Environmental Disaster: Northern Europe Deforestation Up 49% Due To Effort To Meet “CO2 Targets”!

Reposted from the No Trick Zone

By P Gosselin on 6. September 2020Share this…

Wood pellets.

Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann calls it “the dumbest energy and environmental policy ever”. Now, finally, after years of being warned, Germany’s mainstream media are finally showing signs of waking up to it.

Idiots and energy policy: Burning of “CO2-friendly” wood pellets driving mass European deforestation. Illustrative photo by P. Gosselin

Germany’s flagship ARD public broadcasting recently presented a report earlier today about how “CO2 neutral” wood burning is leading to widespread deforestation across northern Europe – a rather embarrassing development for the Europeans, who  recently expressed their condemnation over Brazilian forest policy.

Deforestation up 49%

The ARD’s “Das Erste” reports how satellite images show deforestation has risen 49% since 2016 in Sweden, Finland and the Baltic countries. The reason: “Because of the CO2 targets. That sounds totally crazy but precisely because of the trend to renewable energies is in part responsible for deforestation in Estonia,” says the Das Erste moderator.

Having spent some time working for the EU, Liiana Steinberg explains in the report how she recently returned to her native Estonia and was shocked to see how much deforestation had taken place over the recent years (2:25). “I discovered how the forests no longer exists here left and right.”

For “CO2-neutral” wood pellets

Where once massive hardwoods once stood now grows tiny fir trees. The harvested trees, the report says, were used for wood pellets – a form of renewable green energy. The trees, the pellet industry says, will grow back.

Not only are the forests taking a hit, but so is the wildlife that once inhabited in them. According to Ms. Steinberg, bird life has fallen some 25%. “It’s wasted. Now we have to start all over again.”

Idiots “follow the science”

Climate activists, including the media like ARD, have long insisted that burning trees was good for the climate and environment because the emitted CO2 would simply be recycled back into nature – “follow the science” they insisted again and again.  But they failed to understand that trees, depending on their age, acted as sinks and that some 100 years of stored carbon would be unloaded into the atmosphere in just a matter of hours if burned for heat.

It’s sad that they are just waking up to this (maybe).

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September 7, 2020 at 04:31PM

Joe Biden says he won’t ban fracking, but can we believe him?

My column in the Patiot-News (Harrisburg, PA).

The problem for Pennsylvanians with Joe Biden is very straightforward. Which should they believe: what he says to their faces or what he says behind their backs?

At a Monday campaign stop in Pittsburgh, Joe Biden emphatically stated, “I am not banning fracking.” Here’s what he says when he’s not in Pennsylvania.

At a July 2019 Democratic presidential debate, CNN’s Dana Bash asked Biden, “Would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking in a Biden administration?” He responded, “No, we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated.”

At a September 2019 campaign event, Biden told another young girl to “look at my eyes” before he promised her, “I guarantee you, I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.” Fracked natural gas is, of course, a fossil fuel.

Then at a February 2020 campaign appearance, Biden said three times that he was going to “get rid of” or “phase out” fossil fuels. And, of course, the many thousands of jobs that go with them.

But there’s much more than just Biden’s latest or even past statements.

His running mate, Kamala Harris, has also been public, and emphatic, about her opposition to fracking. If Biden had to step down or, for whatever reason, would be unable to serve out his term, Ms. Harris would fulfill the fracking ban and throw thousands of Pennsylvanians out of work.

A poll last month found almost 60 percent of voters believe Biden won’t make it through his first term.

Likewise, a climate advisory committee established by the Democratic National Committee came out with a recommendation against fracking in May. Bernie Sanders opposes fracking and Biden is adopting many of Sanders’ policy positions to win over Bernie voters. All the green activist groups supporting Biden want a fracking ban.

And left-wing activists take heart that Biden can be easily steered further to the left. Even two-time Communist Party vice presidential candidate Angela Davis supports Biden because he ”can be most effectively pressured” by the left.

Pennsylvania: this is why what Biden says to your face doesn’t matter and has no basis in truth.

There is history here. In 2008, the official position of the Obama-Biden campaign on coal – another important job-creator resource in Pennsylvania – was that they favored it if it was “clean coal.”

But as was noted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sept. 24 of that same year, that was not actually true.

The Post-Gazette reported about a video showing Biden interacting with supporters at a rally in Ohio. A young woman asked Biden why the Obama-Biden campaign supported “clean coal.” Biden replied, “We’re not supporting clean coal.” He then went on to say that there would be “No coal plants here in America. Build ’em, if they’re gonna build ’em over there [in China.]”

Once in office, the Obama-Biden administration used every apparatus of the federal government – from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Interior to the Department of Labor – to choke the coal industry out of business via overly burdensome regulations.

Then in 2015, Obama-Biden banned new coal plants. By the end of the Obamas-Biden term, almost 50,000 high-paying coal jobs had been killed nationwide and 94% of the market value of the coal industry had been wiped out. All the major coal companies have since filed for bankruptcy.

Much of this devastation occurred in Pennsylvania, where Hillary Clinton paid dearly for her offhand and callous remark during the 2016 campaign about putting the entire coal industry out of work.

What’s at risk for Pennsylvanians if Biden is elected? A lot.

As of 2017, fracking had produced an estimated $44 billion in economic activity in Pennsylvania, 322,000 direct and indirect jobs and $1.5 billion in impact taxes to the state, according to a report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute.

A fracking ban would do a lot more than just cripple the Pennsylvania economy. Gas prices would skyrocket nationally as we lose our energy independence and become dependent on foreign oil once again.

Our newfound energy dominance would evaporate. The broader economy would suffer and national security would once again depend on politics in the Middle East.

Time and again Joe Biden goes behind the backs of Pennsylvanians and says he will ban fracking. Maybe we should believe him.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com, served on the Trump EPA transition team and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” (Bench Press, 2016).

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September 7, 2020 at 03:05PM

Good news: Mystery cases falling fast in Victoria, staying low in Sydney

Finally, some unexpectedly good news on community spread in Victoria:

Untrackable new cases in Victoria are drying up.  The incidence of community spread cases with an unknown source are every epidemiologists nightmare. So their absence is a marker of how well the restrictions work– and whether the “fire” is under control. It’s cheery news.

Community spread is the number that matters most — more than daily infections. Known cases can be track-and-traced. Unknown cases mean whole clusters are spreading invisibly and restrictions need to be wider. Despite the depressing schedule planned in Victoria, if this reduction in unknown cases is sustained, then other options for pandemic management become possible.  The NSW-style-management with intense tracking and tracing may suddenly become an option within weeks.  (Though there may be a 50 case spike tomorrow just to prove me wrong.) Tracking and tracing works best at lower levels, and becomes overwhelming quickly as the number of clusters rise.

With strong restrictions, the exponential rise in infections can become an exponential fall. Where before each person might infect three new people, now three people staying home are only infecting one (or something like that). Two lines get extinguished instead of amplified, as the virus runs out of fresh bodies to hijack.

Victorians, no doubt, are fed up to the nth with lockdowns. At least a graph like this shows the end is in sight, and the isolates have achieved something. It augurs well.

Victoria, unknown cases of Covid-19, Sept 2020. Graph

Victoria, unknown cases of Covid-19, March to Sept 2020.

Unknown cases in NSW are also graphed (in blue, above) for comparison (and below in more detail). The spread in the Victorian community was vastly larger than what NSW faced in March when many cases were from overseas.

Don’t confuse this graph up for Daily New Cases, which are still coming in this week at 112, 79, 64, 59, 36…. New infections are still popping up, but mostly they are connected to known outbreaks, which are easier to manage (usually).

The Victorian modeling of how long strict conditions need to run apparently doesn’t take this into account. So the harsh conditions are likely to end sooner than expected as long as people stay distant.

The modelling did not attempt to estimate the number of community transmission “mystery cases” in the weeks ahead, nor did it model differing risks of transmission in industries like healthcare and meatworks.

The makeup of cases each day is important in determining the risk of a resurgence.

This is especially promising when we consider how well NSW is doing.

For the last two months NSW has danced with the tiger and kept daily new mystery source cases under 5.

Given that this was in winter, in a big city, this is good news too. This appears to be quite the success with tracking and tracing, and presumably with compliance.

NSW, unknown cases of Covid-19, Sept 2020. Graph

NSW, unknown cases of Covid-19, June to September 2020.

Currently there are a stream of random closures of schools or gyms and resturants. Sydneysiders can have gatherings of up to 20 people at one time. Funerals, with 100. Weddings with 150 people. Large sporting events are limited to 500.  Stadiums are at 25% capacity.

The problem is, of course, that NSW is running along a razor thin fence, one superspreader event away from bad news, and while they are moving a lot more than they were during the official lockdowns of April, it is still below normal levels.

Let’s hope the numbers stay this low. At least in Australia, days are getting longer, and the sun and Vitamin D are rising.

http://joannenova.com.au/

Good news: Mystery cases falling fast in Victoria, staying low in Sydney

Finally, some unexpectedly good news on community spread in Victoria:

Untrackable new cases in Victoria are drying up.  The incidence of community spread cases with an unknown source are every epidemiologists nightmare. So their absence is a marker of how well the restrictions work– and whether the “fire” is under control. It’s cheery news.

Community spread is the number that matters most — more than daily infections. Known cases can be track-and-traced. Unknown cases mean whole clusters are spreading invisibly and restrictions need to be wider. Despite the depressing schedule planned in Victoria, if this reduction in unknown cases is sustained, then other options for pandemic management become possible.  The NSW-style-management with intense tracking and tracing may suddenly become an option within weeks.  (Though there may be a 50 case spike tomorrow just to prove me wrong.) Tracking and tracing works best at lower levels, and becomes overwhelming quickly as the number of clusters rise.

With strong restrictions, the exponential rise in infections can become an exponential fall. Where before each person might infect three new people, now three people staying home are only infecting one (or something like that). Two lines get extinguished instead of amplified, as the virus […]Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

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September 7, 2020 at 01:16PM

Sentinel-6 and Sea Level Rise

By Rud Istvan,

Nearly two years ago (January 2019) over a pleasant lunch, Charles urged me to examine whether the NASA satellite altimetry (satalt) measurements of sea level rise (SLR) were fit for purpose. I eventually provided a longish, somewhat technical guest post concluding they were NOT based on NASA’s newest ‘bird’, Jason-3, while also showing that NASA PR was provably obscuring that. Satalt simply does not correspond with the BEST SLR tide gauge measurements by a factor of about 1.5x. That is not rounding error; it is a big climate data problem.

Jason-3’s replacement, Sentinel-6a, has just completed ground testing and is scheduled to launch November 2020 from Vandenberg AFB. A bit of background. These satalts are necessarily in low earth orbit (LEO). That means they encounter slight atmospheric drag (from Earth’s thermosphere), so their orbit deteriorates, so they do not last long: an average of only 5 years operationally. Jason-3 launched in early 2016. This 4Q2020 launch will allow about 6 months of calibration overlap before Jason-3 must be decommissioned thanks to its orbital decay. Going to be close, because the Sentinel-6a launch was originally scheduled for 1Q2020. Conceptual image of Sentinel-6a below is courtesy of ESA. The ‘roof like’ projections are its solar cells. The downward projections are antennas aimed at Earth. And its odd house like configuration explains why thermospheric drag is such a big LEO orbit problem.

Sentinel-6 is actually two identical satellites, (a) and (b), both to be launched into the same LEO orbit as Jason-3 at 1336km mean original altitude. (b) will sit in inventory and launch in ~2025 to replace (a) for a total mission life to about 2030. Both were built in Europe by ESA, incorporating a couple of JPL.NASA developed instruments. Both will ride NASA launches.

NASA’s big press release yesterday on completion of Sentinel-6 operational ground testing says it will provide ‘centimeter’ precision: “measuring down to the centimeter for 90% of the world’s oceans.” Is that true? Dunno, and there is no way to tell yet because after several hours of researching, neither ESA nor NASA have evidently provided a detailed description of the accuracy and precision of their coming Sentinel-6 data products. But we know some relevant stuff…

It is true that Sentinel-6 contains new plus improved instruments. The five specifically named instruments for SLR by both NASA and ESA are:

  • Poseidon-4, a new higher resolution synthetic aperture radar altimeter,
  • AMR-C, a new ‘climate quality’ multi-frequency radiometer for humidity,
  • GNSS-POD, a GPS guided POD (positional orbit detector),
  • LRA, a laser retroflector array for POD,
  • DORIS, a ‘Doppler orbitotography and Radio positioning integrated by satellite’ for POD—whatever that actually is and supposedly does.

This NASA/ESA technobabble requires both translation and then contextual positioning. Recall the three main Jason-3 accuracy/precision weaknesses from my previous technical Jason-3 post: orbital decay, humidity retarded radar altimetry, and ocean surface wave height.

The higher resolution synthetic aperture radar altimeter, at higher pulse rates, enables a rough estimation of wave heights, at least those above the 2 meter arbitrary average assumed by the Jason-3 signal processing. That helps some.

The multi-frequency radiometer (different frequencies for different altitudes) provides a better estimate of humidity retarding effects to the main altimeter.

The last three instruments collectively provide a more robust triangulation of the inevitable orbital decay over time.

So, it is conceptually possible that Sentinel-6 could achieve a statistically robust 1cm sea height resolution. But nowhere that I can today find is this ‘fact’ explained by published technical specs. There simply is nothing specific on line (yet?) about Sentinel-6 overall ‘data product’ accuracy and precision. Deliberate?

Two final thoughts

First, the best long record calibrated (to vertical land motion) tide gauge estimates of SLR are about 2.2mm/year, with NO acceleration, AND closure. So, even if the new Sentinel-6 1cm claims are true, they are still not fit for purpose by a factor of about 4x SLR mm/year. And this satalt only lasts ~5 years.

Second, if Sentinel-6 really is this good, then it should (inaccurately) find about 2.2mm of SLR per year, proving Jason-3 was a goof as its published tech spec showed. Personally, I think the chances of that data driven scientific outcome is near zero, because the Jason-3/Sentinel-6 calibration overlap period enables any necessary Sentinel-6 data processing algorithm ‘adjustments’. We already have such ‘adjustments’ shown many different ways for NOAA/NASA surface temperature UHI homogenization. (See essay ‘When Data Isn’t’ in ebook Blowing Smoke for multiple compelling examples.)

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September 7, 2020 at 12:30PM

Scientists Just Discovered Our Past Carbon Budget Guesses Have All Along Been Twice As Wrong As We Thought

A new assumption about carbon budgets reveals climate scientists have been vastly underestimating (by a factor of 2) the amount of carbon absorbed by the ocean for decades. Every past carbon budget estimate has been twice as wrong as the current estimate.

When it comes to the ocean heat fluxes and source vs. sink carbon budget estimates, climate scientists have been providing little more than educated guesses for decades.

For example, climate models have long suggested the ocean heat fluxes may only vary around 1 W/m². But “objective” analyses of oceanic latent heat flux (LHF) using different assumptions (equations) reveals fluxes were likely closer to 10 W/m² during 1981-2005 (Yu and Weller, 2007). So our modeled guesses were off by a factor of 10 compared to newer analyses.

Image Source: Yu and Weller, 2007

Ocean carbon sink processes not understood and driven by natural variability

McKinley et al. (2017) analyzed ocean carbon sink estimates and was willing to admit that due to a lack of observation, we lack a “detailed, quantitative, and mechanistic understanding of how the ocean carbon sink works…”

In addition, because internal variability in oceanic carbon uptake is so massive and largely unobserved, we cannot yet detect an anthropogenic influence.

McKinley and co-authors go so far as to acknowledge the “change in CO2 flux over 10 years (1995-2005)…is due almost entirely to the internal variability” because in most ocean regions “the forced [human-induced] trends in CO2 flux are too small to be statistically significant” and the “variability in CO2 flux is large and sufficient to prevent detection of anthropogenic trends in ocean carbon uptake on decadal timescales.”

Image Source: McKinley et al. (2017)

The Southern Ocean absorbs more than 10 times less carbon than previously thought

The Southern Ocean is where the largest portion of anthropogenic carbon (from our emissions) is said to be absorbed, or Earth’s largest oceanic CO2 sink.

Just 2 years ago, a carbon uptake analysis (Gray et al, 2018 with a Physics Today press release) that utilized estimates from biochemical floats instead of estimates from ships suggested the exact opposite of what had been previously thought. Instead of absorbing close to 1 petagram of carbon (PgC) per year, the Southern Ocean is barely even a carbon sink at all – just 0.08 PgC of yearly absorption. In fact, large regions of the Southern Ocean near Antarctica are a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere.

In other words, when estimates are float-based rather than ship-based, one estimate is more than 10 times different than the other.

Image Source: Physics Today

The global ocean absorbs 2 times more CO2 than previously thought

And now a new study (Buesseler et al., 2020) has scientists insisting that all of our previous estimates of global ocean carbon uptake are substantially wrong because we’ve been measuring from a fixed depth rather than varying depths.

Previously scientists had been using flux estimates from the “canonical fixed 150-m depth.” The new-and-improved way to assess carbon uptake is from varying but often much shallower depths: the euphotic zone (Ez). This is the section of the upper ocean layer that sunlight is able to penetrate, and it can “vary from less than 20 m to almost 200 m” in depth.

When we use the Ez to estimate carbon absorption versus export, the absorption changes from 2.8 petagrams of carbon (PgC) per year to 5.7. So the global ocean sink can be more than doubled just by varying the depth of measurement rather than using a fixed depth.

So, up to this point, scientists’ past guesses about ocean carbon uptake have been emphatically wrong. We can be assured, though, that our current guesses are anywhere from 2 to 10 times less wrong than the last ones.

Image Source: Buesseler et al., 2020 and press release

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September 7, 2020 at 12:05PM

Significant winter storm – in early September!

“Early Significant Snow and Wind east of the Divide and the South,” warns the National Weather Service. “Unseasonably strong.”
Power outages possible. Mountain recreation could be life threatening. Wind chills into the single digits (-12.7C or even lower).

National Weather Service Riverton, Wyoming – 7 Sep 2020

An unseasonably strong storm system for September will impact the Cowboy State Monday afternoon through Tuesday. The associated cold front will push into northern Wyoming Monday morning, and sweep southward to the Continental Divide by mid- afternoon. This front will then sweep across the rest of the area between 9 PM and midnight. Precipitation will begin over the north Monday afternoon spreading south into central Wyoming Monday evening.

In lower elevations the precipitation is expected to begin as rain before changing to snow some time in the evening pretty rapidly depending upon elevation. Significant snowfall is expected for mountains east of the Divide and central Wyoming.

WINTER STORM WARNING from 6 PM this evening to 9 AM Tuesday

Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 10 to 20 inches. Winds gusting as high as 55 mph.

* WHERE…Owl Creek and Bridger Mountains.

* IMPACTS…Travel may become difficult due to slick and slushy roads and low visibility in falling snow. Damage may occur to trees and power lines, possibly leading to power outages.
Mountain recreation could be life threatening to those caught unprepared for severe winter conditions.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Wind chills will be as low as the single digits. Overnight low temperatures Tuesday night in the Colorado mountains will drop into the low 10s.
https://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=cys&wwa=winter%20storm%20warning

Thanks to Kenneth Lund for this link

The post Significant winter storm – in early September! appeared first on Ice Age Now.

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September 7, 2020 at 10:36AM