Saturday, June 25, 2016


Vive la France!

By far the best reaction to Brexit came from France.  Many European leaders rightly saw the Brexit vote as a repudiation of their policies but, instead of being humbled by it, were simply angry about it.  They were sure they knew what was best for the peasants and can't see where they went wrong  -- EXCEPT M. Hollande.  The French president rightly saw the excesses of the EU bureaucracy as a powerful motor behind British dissatisfaction with the EU.

I also liked the reaction of Donald Tusk, representative of the heroic Polish people, who insisted: 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.  Being the ham in the sandwich between Germany and Russia, Poles have had to have that attitude. Some excerpts below of the European reaction.


European leaders have warned Britain to leave the EU quickly and avoid prolonging uncertainty.

The presidents of the EU's main institutions said in a statement today that they expect London to act on the decision to leave 'as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.'

As he demanded Britain make a quick exit from the EU, furious European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the U.K.'s relationship with the EU had been ambiguous, but was 'now clear.'

He added a prolonged exit was 'the opposite of what we need', adding that it was difficult to accept that 'a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party'.

French President Francois Hollande has admitted the EU requires 'profound change' in the wake of the Brexit vote as German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her dismay at the result.

Hollande said the UK's vote to leave the EU must act as a 'jolt' to the bloc to implement the change needed to address its troubles - adding he was 'sad' to see Britain sever relations.

The French President warned the remaining 27 member states that action was needed to reconnect with citizens. 'The British people have decided to leave. It is a sad decision but one which I respect,' he said.  'The vote puts the European Union in difficulties. It must recognise its shortfalls.

'A jolt is necessary. Europe must reaffirm it values of freedom, solidarity, peace. The EU must be understood and controlled by its citizens. I will do everything to secure profound change rather than decline.'

As leaders across Europe woke up to the news, France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen changed her Twitter picture to a Union Jack and told her followers the result was 'victory for freedom'.

'As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,' she wrote.

This morning, Marion MarĂ©chal-Le Pen, a member of the Le Pen dynasty and an FN MP,  tweeted 'Victory!'


Egregious, I know.  But this is a picture of Marion MarĂ©chal-Le Pen, an anti-immigration member of the French parliament

The Le Pens are fiercely anti-Europe. They view an end to the EU as the best way of implementing their anti-immigration and anti-globalisation agenda.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was 'sad for the United Kingdom' and that 'Europe will continue but it must react and rediscover the confidence of its peoples. It's urgent.'

Meanwhile the result also triggered Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders to call for a referendum on EU membership in the Netherlands. Wilders, who is leading opinion polls, said if he is elected prime minister in March he will force a vote.

He said in a statement: 'We want to be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders and our own immigration policy. 'As quickly as possible the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union.

'If I become prime minister, there will be a referendum in the Netherlands on leaving the European Union as well. Let the Dutch people decide.'

SOURCE


Thursday, June 23, 2016



New crop varieties 'can't keep up with global warming'

How ridiculous can you get?  Do the BBC have no pride to publish this excreta?  For a start, global warming has been so slight in C21 that there is debate over whether it exists at all.  It is certainly not racing ahead in the way the article below implies. 

Secondly, we don't need new crop varieties.  We just use ones we already have. There are heaps of areas on the earth that are both very hot and which grow crops. A warming world would simply see them more widely used. Just as a minor example of heat-adaptation, the tropical Australian city of Townsville produces grapes, normally a cool temperature crop, And what is the effect of growing grapes there? They are bigger and juicier and reach the table up to a month before most other table grapes. We ALREADY have heat adapted crops if we need them.

A large muscadine grape native to sub-tropical Florida

Some very tasty Chambourcin grapes from Townsville

Warmer temperatures tend to suit crops in fact,  which is why the greatest biodiversity is in the tropics.  And maize is just such a plant.  It is  it is "cold-intolerant".  It likes warmth. It is already grown in temperatures up to 35C in India.  The most usual limitation on maize crops is drought.  But warming oceans should give off more water vapor -- which comes down as rain -- so maize should get more water and yield very well in a warming world.

And I suppose I should mention the obvious:  According to Warmist theory, there will be lots more CO2 in the atmosphere of a warming world.  And plants LOVE CO2.  They suck it up.   It's the raw material that they use to build themselves. So again, a warmer world would be a CO2-rich world in which plants would flourish as never before

So a bit of global warming would IMPROVE maize crops. The picture below of the sad lady holding maize ears is just another example of Warmists lying with pictures


Crop yields around the world could fall within a decade unless action is taken to speed up the introduction of new varieties. A study says temperatures are rising faster than the development of crop varieties that can cope with a warmer world.

In Africa, researchers found that it can take 10-30 years before farmers can grow a new breed of maize. By the time these new crops are planted, they face a warmer environment than they were developed in.



The scientists behind the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, looked closely at the impact of temperature rises on crop duration - that's the length of time between planting and harvesting.

They found that in a warmer world durations will be shorter meaning these varieties will have less time to accumulate biomass and yields could be affected.
Out of date

In their paper, the researchers write that crop duration will become significantly shorter as early as 2018 in some regions but by 2031, the majority of maize-growing areas of Africa will be affected.

"The actual changes in yield may be different but this effect is there, the impact of this change in duration will occur unless breeding changes," said lead author Prof Andy Challinor from the University of Leeds.

"The durations will be shorter than what they were bred for - by the time they are in the field they are, in terms of temperature, out of date."

The scientists say the lag is down to a combination of factors including the limited number of crops you can grow in a season, the need for government approved testing and there are also a number of problems of access to markets that can increase the time it takes before the farmers have the new seeds to plant.

"We can use the climate models to tell us what the temperatures are going to be," he told BBC News, "We can then put those temperature elevations into the greenhouses and then we can breed the crops at those temperatures. People are beginning to do this, but this paper provides the hard evidence of the necessity of it."

Researchers are also working on the impact of heat stress on crops at sites in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ethiopia. Data from these trials is being used to identify species that could cope with warmer conditions.

But would the use of genetic modification (GM) help speed up this type of work? "GM does some things faster, so you would get a new variety of crop faster," said Prof Challinor.

"But it doesn't get you out of the testing requirement in fact the testing may in fact be greater and it doesn't help it all with farmers accessing seeds and markets - the problem will remain even for a magic GM crop."

Better techniques and more money for research are the keys according to others in this field, familiar with the study.

"Investment in agricultural research to develop and disseminate new seed technologies is one of the best investments we can make for climate adaptation," said Dr Andy Jarvis, from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture,

"Climate funds could be used to help the world's farmers stay several steps ahead of climate change, with major benefits for global food security."

The researchers believe that the study also has implications beyond Africa, especially in the maize growing regions of the tropics.

SOURCE


Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Incredible co-ordination



Japanese chefs pounding rice to make rice cakes




Chinese fitness fanatic enjoys morning walks while balancing a 90lb boulder on his HEAD



"Most people try dieting fads or exercise to try and lose a bit of weight. However this fitness fanatic from Cihna has taken exercise to the extreme by balancing a 90-pound boulder on his head.

53-year-old Cong Yan from Jilin province says walking with a stone on his head helps him lose weight and he has shaved off around 60 pounds in the space of a year, according to a Weibo post from People's Daily Online. Cong Yan said: 'When I began, I wanted to try this method because I did not want to use diet pills.'

When he first tried the weight loss method he used a 33 pound stone and then gradually increased it to 88 pounds.  Every morning Cong Yan heads to the Beishan Scenic park to do laps while wearing the boulder.

Yan says the method has worked well and over three years he has reduced his weight by 85 pounds"

Source


Which animals will cope with climate change droughts?

One has to assume that the Warmist prophecies below will be as good as all the other Warmist prophecies:  Totally useless and wrong.  Prophecy is a mug's game and those who engage in it reveal themselves as mugs.  And why is prophecy needed anyway?  Australia is always having a drought somewhere so if response to drought is of interest, go out and observe it directly instead of theorizing about it from your armchair

And the basic assumption below is a crock-- that warming would cause drought.  It would not.  Warmer water gives off more water vapour which eventually comes down as rain.  Flooding might be a problem, not drought.

So the whole story below is just an arid intellectual exercise. Tasmin Rymer should stick to rhymes




James Cook University, Australia

Summary: Scientists believe the current rate of climate change is unprecedented in Earth's history and will lead to more and worse droughts in many areas. Now a research team may have found a way to predict which mammals will best cope with drought -- and which won't do so well.

JCU's Dr Tasmin Rymer led a study that produced a template measuring several crucial factors, including an animal's physiology and environment, to determine how it would handle a severe drought.

Dr Rymer said scientists believe the current rate of climate change is unprecedented in Earth's history and will lead to more and worse droughts in many areas.

"So we developed a theoretical framework that allows researchers to estimate the likelihood that a species will be able to cope," she said.

Dr Rymer said the "Adaptive Triquetra" model considers the primary driving stressors of droughts: temperature, limited water, and reduced food availability. Then it looks at how well an animal's specific body system could mount a response, and the extent to which its traits are adaptable.

"We have provided a comprehensive suite of traits to consider when making predictions about species' resilience to drought. It's designed to help scientists assess the potential for a species or population to cope with increasing aridity," she said.

Dr Rymer said the process is more complex than it sounds, with much work still needed to fully determine the characteristics of many species before the model can be applied to them.

She said the Adaptive Triquetra is still a conceptual framework in need of empirical testing, but held great promise for fine-tuning wildlife management.

"If you found a species was particularly vulnerable to water stress, such as in a drought, you might design a management plan that provides access to artificial water points. If you found a species was vulnerable to increased temperatures, you might provide subterranean shelters."

Dr Rymer said in one example of where the model would have been useful, managers of a reserve in South Africa assumed their animals were suffering from lack of water during a drought, but in fact they had denuded the vegetation around their few artificially-built water holes and the animals were starving.

"If they had dropped fences and spaced water sources widely apart, this would have promoted movement and foraging over a wider area. Our model may have suggested this course of action if it had been in use," said Dr Rymer.

"Knowing which species are at risk and what stressors have the greatest impact allows for more effective management strategies to be put into place."

SOURCE  

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016



 The great ozone embarrassment

Do you ever wonder why we don't hear much about the ozone hole these days?  There's a reason.  I made some mocking comments about the messed-up talk from Greenies about stratospheric ozone yesterday.  I now want to tell more of the story.

When I searched the net for the numbers about CO2 levels and global temperature, I very rapidly found the numbers nicely set out for both.  So I initially expected that I would have no trouble finding the numbers for atmospheric ozone levels.  I found quite a lot of sites that gave information about that but none of them gave the underlying numbers.  The information was always presented in pretty multi-colored pictures.

That is very strange.  Numbers are food and drink to scientists.  Pictures just cannot give you precision.  So what is going on? Is there a reason for the imprecision?

I think I have eventually found out. The numbers are pretty  embarrassing.   Ozone levels are at least not rising and may be FALLING.  Yet, according to the Ozone-hole enthusiasts, the levels  should be rising.  When the very expensive Montreal protocol of 1989 was imposed on us, we were told that CFC's were destroying ozone at a dangerous rate (ALL change is dangerous according to Greenies) so if we stopped producing CFCs, the ozone would bounce back and the "hole" in Antarctica would shrink away.  So ozone levels should have been RISING for quite a while now.

But the opposite may have happened.  I eventually found  an official  New Zealand statistics site which informed me that: "From 1978 to 2013, median monthly ozone concentrations decreased slightly, about 4 percent",  And I found another source which put the loss to the year 2000 at 7%.

And the cooling trend in the stratosphere can only reasonably be explained by falling ozone levels.  It's absorption of UV by ozone that keeps the stratosphere warm.  I showed yesterday that the cooling trend cannot be explained by CO2 levels.

Greenies are always cautious about when they expect the ozone hole to close, generally putting it quite a few years in the future.  They say, reasonably, that these things oscillate so the  process of ozone recovery must be a gradual one and you need a long series to see a trend.  But  for the level to be DECLINING  looks very much like proof of failure.

But I needed those elusive numbers to be certain of what was going on. And I did eventually find them at Mauna Loa. They give almost daily readings up to this year. I looked at the readings for three years, 1996, 2010 and this year.  I noted  that the readings in all three years  varied between around 230 to 270 Dobson units, according to the time of the year.  I saw no point in calculating exact averages as it was clear that, at this late stage when the effects of the CFC ban should long ago have cut in, essentially nothing was happening.  The ozone level may not have fallen in recent years but it is not dropping either. The predicted rise was not there.  The levels just bob up and down in the same old way within the same old range year after year

So it looks like the Montreal protocol did nothing.  The whole thing seems to have been wholly misconceived. The "science" behind it was apparently wrong.

Yet it was the "success" of the Montreal protocol that inspired the Greenie assault on CO2.  We have paid a big price for that hasty bit of scientific speculation.



Frustrated employees reveal the dumbest things their colleagues have ever said to them



One user, known only as GldRush98, told how one co-worker was convinced that 'If you went before a judge before taxes were due and recited a specific part of the tax code that you no longer had to pay taxes for that year.'

Mrs-machino said she was dumbfounded after one woman seemed to think humans breathe out pure helium. 'We were decorating for a party, blowing up balloons with our mouths,' she recalled. 'After a few she said, "Why aren't these floating? Did I buy the wrong kind?"'

Genericky told how their receptionist was somewhat confused about the process of sheep shearing. When told there were a lot of sheep in New Zealand, she replied: 'Ha! I bet they wear a lot of cotton then,' before adding: 'I think it's sad that they have to kill all those sheep just to make sweaters.' Her baffled colleague wrote: 'Apparently she thinks sheep are stuffed with cotton.'"

Source


Monday, June 20, 2016


That pesky stratospheric cooling

We all live in the troposphere -- that part of the atmosphere that stretches from the sea surface upwards for about 10 miles.  The next big "sphere" as we go upward is the stratosphere.  And even Warmists agree that the stratosphere is COOLING. And "spheres" above the stratosphere are cooling too.

So does that not upset global warming theory?  No, say the Warmists.  Their whole theory is that various gases in the troposphere "trap" heat rising off the earth.  So that heat rising off the earth never reaches the stratosphere or higher.  So the more the troposphere traps the rising heat, so the stratosphere will cool.  It's a reasonable enough theory given Warmist assumptions.

And the big assumption is to conceive CO2 as forming some sort of blanket around the earth.  A blanket would indeed keep the heat in and deny it to the stratosphere.  But CO2 is NOT a blanket.  It is just lots of separate molecules jiggling away doing their own thing.  And ANY heated atmospheric molecule will emanate its radiation in ALL directions -- not just downward towards earth.  CO2 molecules  don't have little compasses in them telling them in which direction to focus their radiations.

So CO2 is not a blanket at all.  It will be just as likely to radiate upwards as downwards.  It will be just as likely to warm the stratosphere as the troposphere.  So once again Warmism is fundamentally flawed.  Their explanations are bunk. One could argue that upward radiation is blocked by that peculiar layer called the tropopause but if we argue that way, what do we need CO2 for?  The tropopause already does the blocking job that CO2 is supposed to do.  CO2 blocking becomes a surplus explanation that is put to death by Occam's razor.

It is true that stratospheric cooling could be due to the fact that most of the ozone is in the stratosphere. Ozone is that great stuff that soaks up most of the nasty UV radiation put out by the sun. I quote Dr. Jeffrey Masters, Director of Meteorology at  Weather Underground: "The main reason for the recent stratospheric cooling is due to the destruction of ozone by human-emitted CFC gases. Ozone absorbs solar UV radiation, which heats the surrounding air in the stratosphere. Loss of ozone means that less UV light gets absorbed, resulting in cooling of the stratosphere"

That seems precisely backwards to me.  It implies that CFC levels are rising, when the proud boast of the Greenies is to have cut them back.  He is talking about a steady process -- cooling -- and explains it by another steady process -- decreasing ozone.  But thanks to the heroic framers of the Montreal protocol, ozone levels should be RISING, not decreasing.

An explanation of cooling in terms of a recovery  of ozone might  make some sense:  CFC chemicals had destroyed a lot of the ozone so less of the UV was being blocked. The stratosphere got warmer than it should be. It wasn't blocking as much UV as it once did.  So heroic environmentalists  created the Montreal protocol which stopped human beings from manufacturing any more of the evil CFC stuff.  So the stratosphere has been cooling down from an abnormal high as CFCs diminish and ozone increases.

I don't like that explanation either but let's concede that some way or another ozone explains  stratospheric cooling.  The big problem is that if we go further up in the atmosphere, the ozone more or less vanishes but we still find cooling.

So what is the explanation for stratospheric cooling?

Can I say that I don't know?  What I do know is that the role of CO2 has been misconceived.  CO2 is a red herring.  It explains neither  tropospheric warming nor stratospheric cooling.

Is a confession of not having all the answers troubling?  It shouldn't be.  Such a confession is the starting point of all research.  I was amused by something Carl Mears said on his RSS site: "Climate models cannot explain this warming if human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are not included as input to the model simulation."

He seemed to think that was a decisive argument. Unexplained warming was anathema to him.  We MUST have an explanation, he seems to say.  But there is no such must.  Chemists once had an explanation for combustion that they thought was pretty good.  They thought that it consisted of the release of phlogiston.  Problem:  There is no such thing as phlogiston.  So I think Carl Mears is full of phlogiston

In fact, I think I do know what is happening with ozone and the stratosphere.  The key is to leave CFCs out of the picture. But I will leave that for tomorrow -- JR.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).  <




Girl plucks massive catfish out of lake with her bare hands



While some people opt to use a line, hook, rod and reel when fishing, this girl did away with it all and impressively caught a massive catfish by using just her bare hands.

In video footage of the incredible catch, a girl called Hannah is seen submerging herself into a muddy lake for several seconds. She then comes out with a big smile on her face as she tosses the large catfish over her shoulder with most of her arm inside its mouth while the other is in its gill.  The girl flashes a big grin and is heard cheering after making the catch using the daring method called noodling, which is when flathead catfish are caught by hand.

During the process, noodlers wave their arms around in a catfish hole and if all goes according to plan, the fish will latch onto the arm as a defensive measure and the noodler can bring the fish in. The arm-as-bait method means the sport is not for the faint hearted.

(Catfish have only tiny teeth)

Source

Sunday, June 19, 2016


A very angry woman writes:

"The horrific assassination of British MP Jo Cox should act as a caution for Anthony Watts and his personal vendetta against scientists, whose only "crime" is doing scientific research. He should be very wary of doing or writing anything that would lead one of his nutters to do something like that. I doubt he'll stop"

SOURCE

She claims that her blog is "not a high-brow blog" and it shows. She is just full of anger, in the common Leftist way. The anger seems to have flared up when she "was banned from the share trading forum, HotCopper" but for some unknown reason, the anger seems subsequently to have overflowed onto Anthony Watts. She is pretty obsessed by him. Just about everything he does is wrong, according to her. She is particularly steamed up about one of his more light-hearted posts -- about solar panels on Warmist roofs. A very strange lady

Note that Greenie concerns HAVE fuelled terrorism. Take the case of James Jay Lee, a Greenie who thought that the TV was not Green enough and that babies were "disgusting". Terrorist skeptics have yet to emerge, though.




Mystery of the bent trees



The mystery of the bent trees which are dotted all over the United States have baffled experts for decades. But now, one researcher is investigating the theory that the unusual trees are not a natural phenomena but a secret marker for Native Americans finding their way through the forests.

Dennis Downes heard stories growing up about the native tribes who once dwelled around Lake Michigan. More than a century ago, tribes would use hidden trails to find safe passage through the forests and across the water, Atlas Obscura reports. The Native Americans would cultivate young trees, bending them into shape to mark the path, Downes claims. And while the tribes may have long since vanished from the woods, the trees remain as markers to forgotten paths, from a largely forgotten way of life.  

Don Wells, whose Mountain Stewards began finding marker trees in Georgia around 2003, said that tribal elders have confirmed the practice used to be routine among Native Americans"

[There are bent trees in Poland too.  Polish Indians?]

Source

Saturday, June 18, 2016



Global warming will make it too hot to work in the tropics

That's a reasonable summary of the long article below. It's complete nonsense.  And it's REALLY nonsense to pick 25°C as a cutoff point.  These guys know nothing of the tropics.

There are already highly productive agricultural industries in the tropics -- where I was born.  And we already cope with heat in the '30s (F '90s) with perfect ease.  And I can assure one and all that a couple of degrees hotter would make no difference.  We already have some super-hot days that we endure without blinking.  We are of course heat-adapted so what seems normal to us would seem stifling to people coming direct from a cool climate.

And, last I heard, a lot of our tractors still did not have air-conditioning!  And it's not just tractor drivers who work well in the conditions.  For years, my own father spent months cutting sugarcane every day -- just using a type of machete: Hard, dirty   outdoor manual labour under the bright tropical sun.


A sugarcane knife



LONDON—Climate change is likely to affect the global economy—and it may already have begun to affect raw material supplies from tropical regions, according to new research.

That is because, in a global economy, the flow of wealth depends on a secure supply chain, and productivity that depends on outdoor work in the tropics could become more precarious in a warming world.

Even in a temperate zone country such as Australia, researchers have linked heat extremes with economic losses. And climate-related disasters are on the increase, claiming not just lives but a growing economic toll.

Research has also indicated that, without drastic action, some regions may reach temperatures that could make them uninhabitable.

Heat exhaustion

But there is already evidence that at temperatures around or above 25°C, labour productivity declines. At significantly higher temperatures, heat exhaustion becomes a hazard. And if output falls at a source of materials, then workers far away who depend on those supplies will also see their productivity falter.

Two German scientists report in Science Advances journal that they tracked economic traffic from 26 industry sectors—including mining, quarrying, textiles, forestry and agriculture—all the way to final demand in 186 countries.

They matched temperature, population and global economic connections from 1991-2011, and then fed into their computer simulations the known consequences of heat stress on workers. Their finding was that interdependence had increased, and with this interdependence had come vulnerability.

“The structure of our economic system has changed in a way that production losses in one place can more easily cause further losses elsewhere”

The implication is that what might be bad news for workers in one region subjected to extremes of heat would ripple through the global market.

“Our study shows that, since the beginning of the 21st century, the structure of our economic system has changed in a way that production losses in one place can more easily cause further losses elsewhere,” says Leonie Wenz, a physics PhD student at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “What is self-evident for us today is really a phenomenon of the last two decades.”

Worldwide repercussions

Single events – such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which destroyed half the world’s production of coconut oil, a vegetable fat used in food production worldwide, and the 2011 Queensland flood in Australia that halted production at one of the world’s largest coal sites for weeks—have repercussions worldwide.

But smaller perturbations linked to heat stress for workers also impose costs far from the locale where the temperatures have soared.

“With unabated climate change, the rise in global mean temperature will have severe impacts on natural and societal systems,” says Anders Levermann, head of global adaptation strategies at PIK and adjunct senior research scientist Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the US.

“To estimate the costs of future climate change, we need to assess global economic impacts of more frequent heat extremes and meteorological impacts, such as floods and storms, and understand their relation to the economic network’s structure.

“In a warming world with more intense weather extremes, it is likely that society needs to become more resilient and more flexible.”

SOURCE

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).



Maori cameraman uses a pair of SCISSORS to slice through 'uncuttable' ankle bracelets used to monitor prisoners



The New Zealand corrections department was left red-faced on live television when their new 'uncuttable' monitoring bracelets were cut through with a pair of paper scissors.

Rachel Leota, corrections deputy national commissioner, seemed very confident when she appeared on news program Story to discuss the bracelets, and even invited reporter Dan Parker to try and cut through it with a pair of paper scissors. Footage shows the reporter try to hack at the monitoring system and fail, before a strong cameraman appears on the side of the screen eager for a go.

In just three snips, cameraman Billy Weepu cut through the rubber and the thick wire. The reporters all looked to Ms Leota for comment, however she was speechless as the camera zoomed in on the open ankle bracelet.

Source
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