1,700 Private Jets Fly to Davos to Discuss Global Warming

private jetsA squadron of 1,700 private jets are rumbling into Davos, Switzerland, this week to discuss global warming and other issues as the annual World Economic Forum gets underway.

The influx of private jets is so great, the Swiss Armed Forces has been forced to open up a military air base for the first time ever to absorb all the super rich flying their private jets into the event, reports Newsweek.

“Decision-makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner, and lower-carbon economies,” former Mexican president Felipe Calderon told USA Today.

Davos, which has become a playground of sorts for the global elite, is expected to feature at least 40 heads of state and 2,500 top business executives. Former Vice President-turned-carbon billionaire Al Gore and rapper Pharrell Williams will be there as well; each plans to discuss global warming and recycling respectively.

Another big theme of the mega-rich confab will be combating “income inequality” and how the world’s rich can pay their fair share to reduce the gap between top earners and the lower class. Admission price for Davos: roughly $40,000 a ticket.

The World Economic Forum will also feature discussions on gender equality and opportunities for women. According to the World Economic Forum’s own statistics, just 17% of all 2015 participants are women.

The 45th World Economic Forum meeting begins on Wednesday and runs through Saturday.

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Train derailment fuels debate over Keystone, oil pipeline safety

spillThe derailment of a train in West Virginia that sent flames soaring and at least some of the 3 million gallons of crude oil onboard into a Kanawha River tributary has prompted a renewed call for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline as a safer alternative to rail transportation.

Daniel Kish, an Institute for Energy Research vice president, said Wednesday that trains remain a safe way to move oil and that the U.S. rail industry has met the demands of the recent domestic-energy boom. 

But he said underground pipelines are safer. 

“Any time you make more trips — whether it’s trains, trucks or buses — accidents increase,” he said. “I’m not trying to scare people. But the records show that if you move more stuff there will be more problems.”

Kish pointed to a State Department environmental-impact study that shows the number of stations for loading and unloading oil across Canada and the United States increased roughly 10-fold over the past four years. “I’m not opposed to these things being built,” Kish said. “But I have to say to myself: ‘The fewer the number, the safer the transportation, which leads me to the pipeline being built.’ “

The effort to complete the 1,700-mile-long pipeline, which would carry Canadian crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries, started six years ago and has become one of the country’s most politically charged issues.

Congress approved legislation this month to complete the XL pipeline extension, from Canada to Nebraska, after Republicans took control of the Senate in January. Republicans and other supporters argue the pipeline will create tens of thousands of new jobs and reduce the country’s dependency on foreign oil. However, President Obama has vowed to veto the bipartisan-backed bill, as long as the State Department is still conducting its own review of the TransCanada Corp. application.

Pipeline critics argue that drilling for crude in Canada’s tar sands will emit too much greenhouse gas and contribute to global warming. While supporters say pipelines are safer, critics say neither mode of transportation is safe. 

“We’ve had 6,000 pipeline blowouts or leaks over just the past two decades,” said Bob Deans, with the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

In addition to the accident Monday in southern West Virginia, two other major rail incidents have occurred in the U.S. in roughly the past 15 months — a train collision in Casselton, N.D., in December 2013, and an April 2014 derailment in Lynchburg, Va.

No deaths were reported in any of the three accidents. However, 47 people were killed in a July 2013 derailment in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic.

All four trains were carrying crude oil from the Plains States’ oil rich Bakken shelf. Crude from there also will go the Gulf Coast refineries if the pipeline is completed.

North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, a co-sponsor of the Keystone XL bill, and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who also backed the bill, declined to comment on whether the accident impacts the Keystone debate. 

The accident occurred during a heavy snowstorm, igniting at least 14 tankers and burning down a house.

In addition, hundreds of families were evacuated and nearby water treatment plants were temporarily closed, prompting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to issue a state of emergency.

One person was treated for potential inhalation issues, but no other injuries were reported, according to a news release from CSX, the train company.

The company and the Federal Railroad Administration are assisting in the National Transportation Safety Board investigation.

“This accident is another reminder of the need to improve the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail,” said acting agency Chairman Christopher Hart. “If we identify any new safety concerns as a result of this derailment, the board will act expeditiously to issue new safety recommendations.”

Meanwhile, the Transportation Department is weighing tougher safety regulations for rail shipments of crude, which can ignite and result in huge fireballs.

But the three recent accidents in the U.S. all involved tank cars that already meet a higher safety standard than what federal law requires — leading some to suggest even tougher requirements that industry representatives say would be prohibitively costly.

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Drowning in An Ocean of Misinformation?

Making waves out of nothingMaking waves out of nothing at all.The oceans are dying, says . . . just about everyone. Well at least the New York Times, which reported last month that “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says.” And the Times never makes any factual mistakes; I checked to make sure this story wasn’t from Gail Collins.

But to my amazement, there’s a broad study out in the latest issue of BioScience, a premier journal in the Oxford University family, written by eight scientists from universities on several continents, that bravely takes issue with the conventional wisdom. “Reconsidering Ocean Calamities” argues that there is an “absence of robust evidence” for many of the most common claims about ocean perils. Even though the article is written in the usual dry and technical language of scientific journal articles, it is not hard to make out that the authors think a lot of the popular claims, such as ocean acidification, are exaggerated or badly overestimated. It takes direct aim at some of the leading catastrophist journal articles:

However, an analysis of some of the calamities reported in doom and gloom media accounts (e.g., table 1) shows some—at times, severe—disconnect with actual observations. For instance, there is no evidence that ocean acidification has killed jellyfish predators, nor that jellyfish are taking over the ocean, and predictions that the killer algae, Caulerpa taxifolia, was going to devastate the Mediterranean ecosystem have not been realized, despite claims to the contrary from the media (table 1). It may be, therefore, that some of the calamities composing the syndrome of collapse of coastal ecosystems may not be as severe as is portrayed in some accounts. . .

[W]e contend that the marine research community may not have remained sufficiently skeptical in sending and receiving information on the problems caused by human pressures in the ocean and that there is a need to revisit the process by which potential or isolated problems escalate to the status of ocean calamities. . .

The authors walk through a number of purported ocean calamities, debunking or qualifying them one by one. Of special note is their argument about ocean acidification from CO2:

[T]here have been a few claims for already realized impacts of ocean acidification on calcifiers, such as a decline in the number of oysters on the West Coast of North America (Barton et al. 2012) and in Chesapeake Bay (Waldbusser et al. 2011). However, the link between these declines and ocean acidification through anthropogenic CO2 is unclear. Corrosive waters affecting oysters in hatcheries along the Oregon coast were associated with upwelling (Barton et al. 2012), not anthropogenic CO2. The decline in pH affecting oysters in Chesapeake Bay (Waldbusser et al. 2011) was not attributable to anthropogenic CO2 but was likely attributable to excess respiration associated with eutrophication. Therefore, there is, as yet, no robust evidence for realized severe disruptions of marine socioecological links from ocean acidification to anthropogenic CO2, and there are significant uncertainties regarding the level of pH change that would prompt such impacts.

Ditto for coral bleaching:

[D]espite the strong mechanistic or physiological basis for a role of warming in coral bleaching and coral growth, a robust demonstration of a direct causal link between global warming and global coral bleaching over decadal time scales has not yet been produced.

They don’t hold back with their closing arguments:

[O]nce hypothetical problems have risen to the status of calamities in the literature, they seem to become self-perpetuating. Indeed, the marine research community seems much better endowed with the capacity to add new calamities to the list than they are to remove them following critical scrutiny. As an example, the newest calamity extends the problem of the expansion of coastal hypoxia to a concept of global ocean deoxygenation (Keeling et al. 2010). The possible explanation that the list of calamities only experiences growth because all calamities are real is inconsistent with the examples provided above that some of them may not withstand close scrutiny. The alternative explanation is that there are flaws in the processes in place to sanction scientific evidence, such as organized skepticism, that need to be addressed to help weed out robust from weak cases for ocean calamities. . .

The rise of ocean calamities has generated a worldview in which a host of ecological syndromes resulting from human-driven pressures is leading to the collapse of the ocean. The addition of new problems, such as new invasive species, ocean acidification and deoxygenation, or the perils from plastic pollution, to the litany validates and strengthens this worldview, forming a more compelling case for action to reduce human pressures. Although reducing human pressures on the marine environment is a positive outcome, this may provide a motivation to inadvertently—or, in worst cases, deliberately—fall into the white hat bias, defined as “bias leading to distortion of information in the service of what may be perceived to be righteous ends” (Cope and Allison 2009, p. 84). Clearly, no righteous end justifies the perpetuation of scientific bias. . .

Most important, we should remain skeptical and, in exerting organized skepticism, will ensure a depiction of global ocean problems devoid of unsupported claims and statements, which will help organize management and policy options targeting the most pressing problems to limit the deterioration and to provide effective stewardship of the oceans.

I sure hope all of the authors of this paper have tenure.

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The EPA’s Ozone Nightmare

skiesPutting aside its insane attack on carbon dioxide, declaring the most essential gas on Earth, other than oxygen, a “pollutant”, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in trying to further regulate ozone for no apparent reason other than its incessant attack on the economy.

In late January on behalf of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Dr. Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D, filed his testimony on the proposed national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The EPA wants to lower the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range of 70 to 65 ppb, and even as low as 60 ppb.

“After promulgation of the current ozone standards in 2008,” Dr. Cohen noted, “EPA two years later called a temporary halt to the nationwide implementation of the standard in response to the severe recession prevailing at the time.”

In other words, it was deemed bad for the economy. “Now, EPA is proposing a new, more stringent standard even before the current standard has been fully implemented and even though, according to the EPA’s own data, ozone concentrations have declined by 33 percent since 1980.”

According to Wikipedia: “Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb. This makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level. However, the so-called ozone layer (a portion of the stratosphere with a higher concentration of ozone, from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth’s surface, to the benefit of both plants and animals.”

So, yes, reducing ozone in the ground level atmosphere does have health benefits, but the EPA doesn’t just enforce the Clean Air Act, it also seeks to reinterpret and use it in every way possible to harm the economy.

As Dr. Cohen pointed out, “the Clean Air Act requires EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to produce an evaluation of the adverse effects, including economic impact, of obtaining and maintaining a tighter standard. Despite repeated requests from Congress, (the Committee) has not produced the legally required evaluation. By ignoring this statutory mandate, and moving ahead with its ozone rulemaking, EPA is showing contempt for the rule of law and for the taxpayers who provide the agency’s funding.”

Since President Obama took office in 2009 he has used the EPA as one of his primary tools to harm the U.S. economy. In a Feb 2 Daily Caller article, Michael Bastasch reported that “Tens of thousands of coal mine and power plant workers have lost their jobs under President Obama, and more layoffs could be on the way as the administration continues to pile on tens of billions of dollars in regulatory costs.”

The American Coal Council’s CEO Betsy Monseu also testified regarding the proposed ozone standards, noting that the increased reductions would affect power plants, industrial plants, auto, agriculture, commercial and residential buildings, and more.

Citing a study undertaken for the National Association of Manufacturers, “a 60 ppb ozone standard would result in a GDP reduction of $270 billion per year, a loss of up to 2.9 million jobs equivalents annually, and a reduction of $1,570 in average annual household consumption. Electricity costs could increase up to 23% and natural gas cost by up to 52% over the period to 2040.”

In a rational society, imposing such job losses and increased costs when the problem is already being solved would make no sense, but we all live in Obama’s society these days and that means increasing ozone standards only make sense if you want to harm the economy in every way possible.

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Health Care or Climate Change?

hospitalClick image for more informationCCD Editor’s Note: If you see a striking similarity to what is happening in the United States to what the status quo is in Canada, you’d be right on the money. The Obama administration has made it clear the Number One threat facing the United States is climate change, not terrorism, not our flailing socialistic healthcare system, not even ISIS. Donna Laframboise describes how her government is giving short shrift to Canada’s citizenry and prioritizing climate change over people’s lives.

* * * * *

I reside in Ontario ‚Äì Canada’s most populous province. The 13.5 million people who live here comprise 38.5 percent of this nation’s population.

Last week, a hospital social worker advised me that Ontario hospitals are in “crisis.” Large numbers of in-patients are elderly people who should be in nursing homes, but the nursing homes are already full, with waiting lists three to five years long.

As a result, an elderly relative of mine is going to be transferred to the only nursing home bed available. It’s located 140 kilometers (90 miles) distant from his home, in a community of less than 1,000 people.

That relative knows no one in the community in which he will spend an unknown number of months waiting for a nursing home bed closer to home. In order for his geographically nearest relations to visit him, they will need to drive 2+ hours in each direction. It is possible he will breathe his last in that remote facility.

Yet the same week I learned how ill-equipped we are to care for our aging population, my provincial government launched a 45-day public review period connected to a new climate change discussion paper. The government web page begins thus:

Climate change is the defining issue of our time.

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is engaging the people, businesses and communities of Ontario in a dialogue on climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fostering strong economic growth.

That feedback will help inform a strategy and action plan to be announced later this year. [bold added]

We have a severe health care crisis on our hands. Here and now, involving some of society’s most vulnerable members. But rather than focusing on that crisis, my government thinks climate change is the defining issue of our time.

My government is going to develop an action plan. It’s going to distribute glossy publications, hold press conferences, and draft new laws and regulations that will, no doubt, lead to the disappearance of even more manufacturing jobs. Then it’s going to pat itself on the back and preen about how green it is.

All in anticipation of a hypothetical climate crisis that is unlikely to seriously effect anyone in this province for decades to come.

The money that will be lavished on this file won’t do a thing to alleviate our nursing home shortage. Nor will it make any difference to the climate. We 13 million people represent less than one quarter of one percent of the world’s population. Every one of us could drastically curb our CO2 emissions by turning off our heat in this sub-zero weather and never using a car again ‚Äì but it still wouldn’t matter.

I want my government to concentrate on things for which it is directly responsible. After it has addressed the nursing home shortage, balanced the budget, and vanquished our $300 billion debt, I might not mind so much if it turns its attention to climate change.

Until then, how dare it behave as if a hypothetical threat is more important than the well-being of my elderly relative.

A government that has already declared climate change to be the defining issue is unlikely to be receptive to public input that thinks otherwise. Nevertheless, Ontario residents have until March 29th to submit comments online here about what should be done about climate change (full details here).

Make no mistake. Green activists will express their point-of-view during this process. If the rest of us remain silent, our government will find it easy to pretend our perspective doesn’t exist.

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Climate Skeptic: Obama’s ‘Weather Witches…Trying to Legislate What Pagans Do’

witchClimate Depot Publisher Marc Morano tells MRCTV that the Obama administration’s “weather witches” are trying to mandate the types of rituals used by Pagans to try to control the climate.

The Obama administration’s tactics mirror those of Pagans who would call on “weather witches” to try to prevent bad weather, Morano explains:

“This harkens back, and I’m actually doing research on this ‚Äì they’re called ‘Weather Witches’ ‚Äì at Pagan festivals, weather witches are brought out to keep bad storms away. They’re actually brought out to stop the tornadoes, to stop a thunderstorm that might ruin the festival.

“The White House is now spinning that kind of language: Barbara Boxer, people in the Senate, Sen. Whitehouse from Rhode Island ‚Äì they’re arguing a carbon tax could help prevent tornadoes, in this case in Oklahoma. They’re turning into weather witches and they’re trying to legislate what Pagans do at their festivals to keep bad weather away.”

By believing it can prevent bad weather via regulation, the administration has plunged the U.S. into “an age of modern witchcraft and astrology,” Morano says ‚Äì adding that incidents of severe weather aren’t even on the rise:

“They think they can stop future hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and droughts by EPA climate regs and U.N. treaties. It’s truly an age of modern witchcraft and astrology.”

“We are the first generation, outside of the Pagan rituals and the weather witches, who actually think we can do something about the weather. And, they’re hyping every bad storm that happens. First of all, on every metric, on 50-100 year time-scales, extreme weather is either declining or showing no trend.

“And that includes floods on over a hundred years, droughts ‚Äì droughts are actually declining on 60-year trends ‚Äì tornadoes, big tornadoes, F3 and larger, are down since the 1950’s, and hurricanes, we’re on the longest period of no category 3 or larger hurricane hitting the U.S., in nine or ten years.”

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Watch full interview with Climate Depot publisher Marc Morano here.

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Bill Nye Pleads With MSNBC: More Climate Hysteria, Please!

Fist bumpClimate change enthusiast Bill Nye appeared on MSNBC, Monday, to lobby the network for more global warming cheerleading and the importance of linking all weather events to the phenomena. Talking to Joy Reid about the cold and snow hitting much of the country, he implored, “…Just say the word climate change. Just, like, ‘It could be climate change. It’s a possible connection to climate change. Is this evidence of climate change?'” 

Nye demanded, “Could you just toss that in now and then?” A compliant Reid agreed: “Absolutely. I would like to toss that in every single time.” Nye then stated the obvious: “MSNBC is, in many ways, regarded as a progressive station.” He spoke to the few conservatives watching MSNBC: “We need you.” 

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Nye quickly turned insulting, “But if the conservative side are going to continue to deny what 97 percent of the scientists in the world are saying, we’re not going to reach a consensus. We are not going to make progress.” 

Before fist bumping Reid goodbye, Nye reiterated the need to make every other word “climate change”: 

BILL NYE: Just talk about it…If we were talking about it, we’d raise awareness and get to work and I, as a guy born in the U.S, would like the U.S. to be leading this effort. It’s President’s Day.

The genesis of the segment on Monday was a Time magazine article slamming Pat Sajak for dismissing the winter storms as “weather.” The Time headline dismissed, “Wheel of Fortune Host Tweets About Climate Change Again.” (Of course, climate change activists are not often derided as mere celebrities. James Cameron has been a frequent guest on the network. He’s not derided as the “Titanic director.”) 

On January 26, Nye connected the storms in Boston on climate change and sneered, “I know there will be certain viewers who will become unglued.”         

A transcript of the February 16 Reid Report segment is below: 

2:09

JOY REID: Why should we care that it is cold in the winter? Well, for one thing the unusual nature of some of these temperatures does raise, or should raise, questions about climate change. And joining me here on set is Bill Nye the Science Guy, one of my favorite people, period. But favorite people to talk about this. So, Bill, there’s a helpful description from someone named Eliana Dockterman in Time magazine that sort of teases the difference between climate change and weather. She says, “Cold snaps do not change the overall trajectory of our warming planet. While weather is what changes in the atmosphere day to day, climate is how the atmosphere behaves over a long period of time.” So, when it’s cold, should we then say, “Oh, no problem. Don’t worry about climate change.” 

BILL NYE: No, no. Let’s not confuse or interchange climate change with global warming. Global warming ‚Äì The world is getting warmer. There is more carbon monoxide holding in more heat. So when the climate changes, some places get colder. And the thing that’s really consistent with climate change models is this variance where it’s cold, it’s warm, it’s cold, it’s warm. And so I was in Wyoming last week and it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s very unusual. So what I would hope for, my dream, Joy, is that you all, you and the news business would just say the word climate change. Just, like, “It could be climate change. It’s a possible connection to climate change. Is this evidence of climate change?” Could you just toss that in now and then? 

JOY REID: Absolutely. I would like to toss that in every single time. Because I’m of the mind, Bill Nye the Science Guy, that, you know, I grew up in Denver, Colorado. I went to school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I have lived in New York. I’ve lived in places where it’s cold all the time. 

NYE: Yes, yes. 

REID: But when you see extremes of cold, when you’re breaking, I’m counting one, two, three, four, five records from Little Rock to Flint, Michigan, to Redding, Pennsylvania, New Jersey. 

NYE: Louisville, Kentucky. 

REID: We’re breaking 100-year-old records in cold. Is there not enough attention that people are paying to what we are doing to the planet and how it’s impacting our daily lives? 

NYE: No, there isn’t enough attention being paid. But I’ll go on to say if the ocean, this mythic thing, the noreaster, if the oceans just ever so slightly warmer, it snows more. There’s more moisture in the atmosphere, just for example. Yesterday, everyone was so excited about thunder snow, this is where you had atmospheric conditions. So, the gradient, the difference between the bottom of the top of the atmosphere was so strong that it was lightning and thunder during a snowstorm. Oooh. It’s cool. It’s cold. The other thing I would say, MSNBC is, in many ways, regarded as a progressive station, as opposed to a conservative ‚Äì I say station — news organization. I will say to the conservatives, we need you. This is to say, we can’t have everybody be a progressive, liberal bleeding heart and so on and so on. We need people on both sides. But if the conservative side are going to continue to deny what 97 percent of the scientists in the world are saying, we’re not going to reach a consensus. We are not going to make progress.

REID: Yeah. 

NYE: And I get a sense that if I can use the term “they” know this because they say repeatedly “Well, I’m not a scientist so therefor I can’t have an opinion on this.” But you’re a human running around in Boston or Louisville and you can look at the graphs as much as anybody. The world’s climate is changing.

REID: Yeah. 

NYE: And along with that, apparently, is this extraordinary winter event. See, I have got to tell you the hot weather events like we had in Texas in 2012, those are now statistically connected to climate change. You know, any one event is hard to do when you’re talking about — 

REID: It’s the cumulative effect. 

NYE: Yeah, yeah. I bet you in coming years, people will be able to tie events like this mathematically to the bigger picture. So, we need you, you guys Just say it could be climate change, possible connection. Just once in awhile. 

REID: Yeah. And I think the bigger picture meaning we’re not pursuing aggressively the policies that could do something about it. 

NYE: Can I throw in one more thing? 

REID: Quickly. One more thing. Yes. 

NYE: People always say to me, “What can I do about climate? What can I do about climate change?” Just talk about it. 

REID: Yeah. 

NYE: If we were talking about it, we’d raise awareness and get to work and I, as a guy born in the U.S, would like the U.S. to be leading this effort. It’s President’s day. Let’s go. Let’s lead. 

REID: Amen. Fist bump. [The two fist bump.] Bill Nye the Science Guy. 

Sourcenye

See also (h/t Climate Depot):

 

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Green Activists Growing Security Threat To Canada, Police Warns

CartoonThe Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has labelled the “anti-petroleum” movement as a growing and violent threat to Canada’s security, raising fears among environmentalists that they face increased surveillance, and possibly worse, under the Harper government’s new terrorism legislation. –Shawn McCarthy, The Globe and Mail, 17 February 2015

Environmental groups in Canada have expressed concern over the nation’s new anti-terrorism laws, after a report from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reportedly made specific mention of the dangers of green activism. The report, obtained by Greenpeace, said “anti-petrol” environmental advocacy groups pose a threat to Canadian security. — 9 News, 18 February 2015

The Government has so far banned 13 foreign activists of Greenpeace International from entering India including nine from the UK, three from the USA and an Australian national. These activists have been blacklisted as their activities were found to be in violation of visa rules and they were found to be training, motivating and organising Greenpeace India’s activists to create field level protests near thermal plant and coal mine locations, apart from other activities that would damage India’s energy security interests, Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has told the Delhi High Court. —The New Indian Express, 18 February 2015

British energy giant BP has estimated that strong demand from Asia will spur steady growth in energy demand over the next two decades despite ongoing oil price volatility. Global energy demand was expected to rise an average of 1.4 percent annually over the next 20 years, or a total of 37 percent from 2013 to 2035, BP said in its Energy Outlook 2035 report released on Tuesday. The report also considered global CO2 emissions to 2035 based on its projections of energy markets and seen against a backdrop of national carbon-related policies. Its projection showed emissions rising by 1 percent a year to 2035, or by 25 percent over the period. —Deutsche Welle, 18 February 2015

The EU Commissioners discussion paper gives a good preview of what we can expect from the ‘Energy Union Framework Strategy’ which is scheduled to be adopted and published by the EU Commission on 25 February. Reading the paper, it is clear that a more appropriate name for this key EU project would be ‘Energy and Climate Union’ or even ‘Climate and Energy Union’. Because the bottom-line of ‘why Europe needs an Energy Union’ is climate, says the EU Commission: ‘Europe has no choice: if it continues on the present path, the unavoidable  challenge of shifting to a low-carbon economy will be made harder by the  economic, social and environmental costs of having fragmented national energy markets. The Energy Union is the EU’s answer to this challenge.’Alice Stollmeyer, 5 February 2015

So, what is “The Way Forward” in the EU Commission’s view? These are actually the most interesting paragraphs in the leaked discussion paper. The ‘energy security’ dimensions that need to be worked on read more like a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with respect to well-known, persistent but often latent issues, than a real actionable strategy. It begs the question of why something will get done this time, given these issues have persisted for at least a decade. –Roman Kilisek, The Energy Collective, 18 February 2015

The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky ‚Äì has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century. For the past 5 days, solar activity has been very low and one measure of solar activity ‚Äì its X-ray output ‚Äì has basically flatlined in recent days. Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and today the sun is virtually spotless despite the fact that we are still in what is considered to be its solar maximum phase. –Paul Dorian, Vencore Weather 17 February 2015

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Bad news for warmists: Sun has entered ‘weakest solar cycle in a century’

The conceit that human production of carbon dioxide is capable of driving the earth’s climate is running smack into the sun. CO2 accounts for a mere 0.039% of the atmosphere, while the sun accounts for 99.86% of all of the mass in our entire solar system. And Ol’ Sol is not taking the insult lightly. Vencore Weather reports:

For the past 5 days, solar activity has been very low and one measure of solar activity – its X-ray output – has basically flatlined in recent days (plot below courtesy NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center). Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots.

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We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and today the sun is virtually spotless despite the fact that we are still in what is considered to be its solar maximum phase. Solar cycle 24 began after an unusually deep solar minimum that lasted from 2007 to 2009 which included more spotless days on the sun compared to any minimum in almost a century.

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There are several possible consequences to the solar quiet. The first is counterintuitive:

By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet. However, while a weak solar cycle does suggest strong solar storms will occur less often than during stronger and more active cycles, it does not rule them out entirely. In fact, the famous Carrington Event of 1859 occurred during a weak solar cycle (#10) [http://thesiweather.com/2014/09/02/300-pm-the-carrington-event-of-1859-a-solar-superstorm-that-took-places-155-years-ago/]. In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. In other words, there is still a chance for significant solar activity in the months and years ahead.

Our dependence on electronic devices is such that extreme solar events could have serious consequences.  However, it is the likely impact on atmospheric temperatures that threatens the “consensus” on global warming:

…if history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere – and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”. In addition, research studies in just the past couple of decades have found a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth. This research suggests that in times of low solar activity where solar winds are typically weak; more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.

It is common sense to believe that the sun has more influence on global temperatures than a trace gas. With a 17 year “pause” in the predicted outcomes of an increase in atmospheric CO2, warmists face more and more awkward questions. If temperatures actually decline as a result of an expected decrease in solar activity, at some point the game will be up, and the billions of dollars a year squandered on climate modeling that doesn’t predict what happens will have to dry up.

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Antarctic Volcano Mount Erebus “Wakes Up”

erebus jan 2015Major volcanic eruptions, such as the recent one in Iceland, capture our imagination and make worldwide news headlines. Conversely, moderate volcanic activity is typically uninteresting to the public and therefore never makes media headlines, with one important exception….volcanic activity in Antarctica.

Antarctica’s Mount Erebus cleared its magma-swollen throat on December 5, 2014, as evidenced by the occurrence of multiple earthquakes and increased volcanic activity within its massive 12,448-foot high summit (photo above). Erebus has maintained a moderate level of volcanic activity since fulltime monitoring began in 1972, punctuated by more active pulses (1984, 1993, 2001, 2005, and 2015).

When it was discovered in 1841 by polar explorer Sir James Clark Ross, it was noted to be erupting at that time. It was subsequently named after one of Ross’ two ships, the HMS Erebus. A second, albeit inactive, volcano found 19 miles west of Mount Erebus was named Mount Terror, after Ross’ second ship.

Since December 2014, earthquake swarms have continued unabated as Mount Erebus emits significantly greater amounts of heat and associated gases, frequently ejects small lava bombs, and provides  resident scientists and sightseers with frequent ash plume displays.

Volcanologists have utilized sound energy from Mount Erebus’ earthquakes to reconstruct a three-dimensional picture of the volcano’s magma chamber’s depth and extent. Research published in May of 2012 by New Mexico Tech shows that as of 2008 the main magma chamber was active (not dormant), likely at a shallow depth (approximately 4,000 feet below the summit), and more than a half-mile wide. Additionally, an earthquake sound imaging technique assisted in the mapping of the volcano’s internal guts, a complex network of deep faults. These faults connect to, and are part of, the giant West Antarctic Rift System. They act as conduits to feed lava upward and into Mount Erebus from deep mantle sources.

The West Antarctic Rift System is 3,000-mile long world-class “divergent” tectonic plate boundary that is literally ripping the Antarctic continent a part (Figure 1).

figure 1

Figure 1

A west-to-east crosscut view of the rift is shown in the Figure 2 seismic line. Seismic utilizes downward directed manually generated sound energy, typically using surface-based explosive dynamite charges, to generate an accurate picture of objects below the surface.

The seismic line clearly shows numerous deep faults associated with the Cape Roberts Rift Basin portion of the West Antarctic Rift System, fault connection to potential deep mantle heat and fluid sources, and the pull-a-part nature of the rift system (Figure 2).

figure 2

Figure 2

The power and extent of the West Antarctic Rift System is also exemplified by the recent and fortuitous discovery of several sub-glacial “active” volcanoes. In January 2010 and March 2011 scientists from Washington University and St Louis measured earthquake swarms 10 to 15 kilometers beneath thick glacial ice cover. These swarms are proven good mapping proxies for the geographic position and activity of deep sub-glacial volcanoes.

Even more telling is recent research that found distinctive volcanic eruption ash layers within Antarctic glacial ice cores dated at 23,000 and 45,000 years ago. These ash layers confirm the time and power of two major sub-glacial volcanic eruptions located along the West Antarctic Rift System, which triggered a sudden and massive heat flow release thereby melting huge quantities of overlying glacial ice.

This brief description of Antarctica’s volcanic history paints a very clear picture that the vast West Antarctic Rift and Volcanic System, including Mount Erebus, packs a tangible heat-flow punch.

The West Antarctic Rift System is responsible for other notable glacial melting and ocean heating events as summarized below and detailed in previous posting: (West Antarctica Ice Sheet Melting From Geothermal Heat, Not Global Warming).

1.) Thwaites Glacier Melting: University of Texas researchers recently published an extensive study that proves geologically induced sub-glacial geothermal heat flow is melting this glacier from below.

2.) Sub-glacial freshwater lake and stream hydraulic system: Significant amounts of research, sub-glacial wells, and observations have proven this system is widespread, interconnected, contains numerous hot springs, and most importantly, is associated with a West Antarctic Rift System heat source. This is an astounding discovery of major significance because it is yet another confirmation of the overlooked power and influence of regional geologically induced sub-glacial heat flow. The very recent discovery of several sub-glacial freshwater lakes in Greenland may just be well…the tip of the iceberg. Research has shown that basal geologically induced heat flow is present here as well (Greenland Ice Melt Geothermal, Not Manmade).

3.) Deep Ocean Rift Volcanoes: The West Antarctic Rift System continues both north and south of the continent into the deep ocean where it is actively emitting heat into and thereby warming the overlying ocean. Scientists continue to discover many of these deep ocean volcanoes. A very recent example is research done in 2011 that located deep submarine mountains just north of Antarctica (Figure 3).

figure 3

Figure 3

A chain of giant, undersea volcanoes has been found off Antarctica, scientists say.

All told a dozen previously unknown peaks were discovered beneath the waves—some up to 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) tall, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

The volcanoes were found near the U.K. territories of the South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands (see map) during a month long mapping expedition, which used multibeam sonar to fill in a 370-mile (600-kilometer) by 90-mile (150-kilometer) gap in existing seabed maps.

“It was amazing finding them,” said Phil Leat, a geologist volcanologist with the survey. “There were so many of these volcanoes we had no idea about.”

Also important is the fact that the still active volcanoes have hydrothermal vents (see video) that provide unique habitats for life, some of which might be analogous to organisms that might survive around hot springs on other worlds, such as Jupiter’s Europa.

In addition, the volcanoes’ rocky slopes provide excellent habitat for fish and other marine organisms.

“They’re almost like coral reefs,” Leat said.

“There’s no coral, but they are habitats for life. When we’ve looked in these areas before, we’ve found new species”

Connection to the giant West Antarctic Rift System is the key geological component that fuels Mount Erebus, and also numerous other Antarctic heating events. It is likely that on-going West Antarctic volcanism and related heat flow should be included as a prominent element of any theory that tries to explain Antarctic glacial melting.

Those supporting the global warming theory, NASA, NOAA, IPCC, and the Obama administration, have flooded the media with reports that rapid West Antarctic glacial melting is clearly and unequivocally caused by manmade global warming of the oceans and atmosphere.

Overwhelming amounts of credible evidence strongly indicates, if not proves, that geologically induced heat flow from the West Antarctic Rift System is melting glaciers from beneath. Rift System faults provide a conduit to deep mantle heat. This is the key geological component that fuels Mount Erebus, and numerous other Antarctic heating events.

An alternative reason for West Antarctic glacial melting is the Plate Climatology Theory (PCT), which provides plausible geological explanations that are testable, observable, and reproducible. While no theory is perfect (hence the term), PCT doesn’t rely on faulty computer models, the latter having failed miserably at predicting the lack of global warming for 18-plus years based on satellite observations.

The reawakening of Mount Erebus is just another piece in a nearly completed geological heat flow puzzle.

Wake Up! Join us by informing politicians and the media that you do not agree with the notion manmade global warming is the proven and consensus theory.

James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 40 years and has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. Years of research / observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is also an important driver of the Earth’s climate. To contact James directly, use the Contact Us page.

References:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/land/antarctica-erupts-140405968/?no-ist

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/131118-antarctica-volcano-earthquakes-erupt-sea-level-rise-science/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/07/110715-undersea-volcanoes-antarctica-science-tsunamis/

http://www.livescience.com/31434-antarctic-volcano-insides-imaged.html

http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/west-antarctic-ice-sheet-melting-from-geothermal-heat-not-global-warming.html.

http://www.livescience.com/31434-antarctic-volcano-insides-imaged.html).

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You Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up

puppiesBut then most of us aren’t “climate scientists”, who have once again granted themselves permission to assemble a cavalcade of conjecture and omission and parade it as “evidence”, courtesy of the Australian Academy of Science. They do, however, care deeply about puppies and kittens.

The Australian Academy of Science  has hitched its wagon to the “climate change will kill kittens and puppies” school of science. This kittens-and-puppies theme was dreamed up by Harvard University’s Naomi Oreskes and endorsed by Academician and ABC Science Show host Robyn Williams — a device quite deliberately intended to make householders sit up, take notice and believe in the scariness of computer-model forecasts.

The Australian Academy of Science leadership on Monday (Feb. 16) rolled out its much-delayed booklet “Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers“, updating its 2010 version. Its website includes a three-minute video (below) of Academy luminaries such as astronomer Nobel winner Brian Schmidt saying scary stuff. [Comes at the :30 mark of the video below:]

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The Academy has patched onto this video another clip called “Why people don’t believe in climate science” featuring a youthful Dr Joe Hanson — the geeky guy (pictured at right) who appears toward the end of the clip, borrowed from Public Broadcasting Service channel, the US near-equivalent of our own ABC. In Hanson’s full video (below), he psychoanalyses why ‘deniers’ stubbornly refuse to go along with climate religion, and how psychologists’ arsenal of brainwashing tricks can ensure the public gets an effective message. His advice comes at the 1:35 mark of the video below:

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“Climate change is a gradual, impersonal thing, it always seems to live in the future. But if climate threatened [he drops his voice meaningfully] these puppies, wouldn’t you pay more attention?”

The three little brown puppies are on a tiny island and about to be drowned by the rising seas of climate change. They have long floppy ears, like my own spaniel, Natasha. Stop it, Academy of Science! You’re breaking my heart!

The puppies bring to mind the iconic and genuine pic of a polar bear sitting on top of a dissolving ice floe, which was supposed, by the likes of Al Gore, to represent proof the polar bear populations’ peril from climate change. The truth was otherwise, as the depicted polar bear was just doing what polar bears do, taking time out from crunching seals. As generally occurs with climate change ‘science’, the polar bears extinction meme was shown to be rubbish and bear populations are doing fine, thank you very much.

Anyway, the Academy’s new booklet will doubtless enjoy the same exposure among impressionable schoolchildren as the previous version (1 million-plus circulation). Teachers will cite it as holy writ.

Actually, the  peculiarities start on the first-page introduction by Academy president, Andrew Holmes, who cites sceptic scientist Bill Kininmonth as a reviewer of the draft paper. The wording implies that Kininmonth joined the consensus on the draft. He didn’t*.

Holmes, clearly not across his subject, also makes the claim that “enormous scientific progress has been made in our understanding of climate change‚Ä® and its causes and implications.” This progress is so “enormous” that, 34 years ago, climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 was assessed at 1.5 to 4.5 degrees. Today, after countless billions of dollars spent on further modelling and research, the IPCC estimate of climate sensitivity remains in the range of, yes, 1.5 to 4.5deg!

The low end means “nothing to worry about”. The high end means, “We’re all going to fry by 2100”.   Enormous progress indeed.

What’s the Academy line on the 18-year  atmospheric warming halt (which it pretends is only a 13-year “slowing”)? It merits a three-paragraph box on Page 10  in the 31 pages of text. The box is titled, “Has climate warming recently stopped?” This is at least at least more honest than the Academy’s 2010 “discussion”, in which it set up and knocked down a straw-man argument about whether the planet is “cooling”.

There are, so far, 66 different and often contradictory explanations in the warmist literature for the 18-year warming halt. About the only explanation not canvassed is that the CO2 control-knob theory is wrong.  So the Academy had a rich field to cherry-pick. Paragraph One on the hiatus says: “This slowdown is consistent with known climate variability. Indeed, decades of little or no temperature trend can be seen throughout the last century, superimposed on the long-term warming trend.”

This is cute, very cute. It pretends the halt was somehow foreseen or expected, when the 2001 and 2007 IPCC reports (and every warmist authority in the world) was predicting temperature doom and disaster from this decade on. The statement also alludes to the 30-year warming halt from 1940-70,  which the warmist community cannot explain. Perhaps another 30-year halt is under way?

Paragraph Two explains the halt by citing some desperate claims that the deep ocean is absorbing the (assumed) extra heat. Now let’s get real. The Argo buoy program since 2005 is the only decent ocean-testing apparatus and even then, there’s just one buoy per 200,000 cubic kilometres of ocean and that buoy drifts around, so its ability to test trends even in its 2000m depth range is hampered. Claims about tiny recent temperature changes in the deep ocean are a stretch.

One of the three studies cited in support of ‘the oceans ate my warming’ is Academy stalwart Matthew England and his claim that “wind-driven circulation in the Pacific” is what the hiatus is all about. The second claim is in a paper by Kevin Trenberth, “An apparent hiatus in global warming?” (Note the question mark).

Just for interest, this is the same Climategate Trenberth who emailed, in 2009,

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

Moreover, Trenberth’s  2013 study about the mysterious deep oceans is in the very first issue of some new warmist journal called “Future Earth“. Not much of an academic track record for that journal, despite examinations of life-and-death topics such as “Closing the Gender Gap in Farming Under Climate Change“.

In his paper’s summary, Trenberth says the halt has only been on-going for ten years. (Can he count?). The paper’s summary says,

  • “Global warming continues but manifested in different ways
  • Natural variability is playing the major role in the hiatus, through the PDO  [Pacific decadal oscillation].”

The term “natural variability”, to warmists, means “stuff we can’t explain”.

On such a weak reed rests the most important part of the Academy paper, purportedly explaining the warming halt. The Academy three-para  box continues that the weak sun, aerosols and volcanos have been “temporary cooling factors” and tautologically, “None of these influences is likely to continue over the long term.” Another Trenberth paper is cited, “Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods.” Apart from providing the useful clue that we’re talking computer games here, rather than observations, note the climate-science peculiarity that model output is described as  “evidence”.

The three paragraphs conclude with “Some models predict that, when the current slowdown ends, renewed warming will be rapid.”

A check on the cited footnote finds this lame conclusion is derived from the same Academy member, Matthew England, and from his same paper about “wind-driven circulation in the Pacific”.

Thus one paper, by a colleague of all the Academy authors, gets cited twice to back up two different conclusions.

Returning now to the start of the Academy paper, the first introductory paragraph suggests either sloppy drafting or ignorance. Referring to the past century’s warming, it says, “The best available evidence indicates that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the main cause. Continuing increases in greenhouse gases will produce further warming…”

The IPCC position, which the document is trying to endorse, is that human-generated CO2 is responsible for most of the past half-century’s warming. The Academy summary downgrades this to CO2 being the “main” cause —  which could mean much less than 51% responsibility for warming.

Well, guess what? That’s the sceptic position ‚Äì that CO2 is causing some, but not most, of the recent warming. An own-goal for the Academy warmists!

The Academy also needs some remedial education about the scientific process.  In the introduction, the Academy itself refers to   output from computer climate modeling as “evidence”, indeed, “compelling evidence”. I’m no scientist but even I know that observations, and not high-level computer-game outputs, are “evidence”.  Here’s the Academy:

“Climate models allow us‚Ä® to understand the causes of past climate changes, and to project climate change into the future.  Together with physical principles and knowledge of past variations, models provide compelling evidence that recent changes are due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. They tell‚Ä® us that, unless greenhouse ‚Ä®gas emissions are reduced greatly and greenhouse gas concentrations are stabilised, greenhouse warming will continue to increase.” (My emphasis)

Climate models weren’t de rigueur when Nobel physicist Richard Feynman was around, but he nailed it:

“It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is. It doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.”

So the IPCC (5th report) last year tested the warming cult’s computer modeling against observations, and found that 111 out of 114 model forecasts exaggerated the warming. Why are the models faulty? The IPCC has no idea:

… an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations [computer models]   reveals that 111 out of 114 realisations show a [temperature] trend over 1998‚Äì2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend [actual temperatures] ensemble. This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing, and (c) model response error.   [chapter 9, text box 9.2, page 769]

Moreover  (and you won’t find this in the Academy paper), even if you believe, wrongly, that 2014 was the hottest year on record, 2014 was yet another year where the deviation widened between the models’ hot forecasts and the actual cooler temperatures.

Still staying with the models, the Academy paper maintains the fiction that climate models accurately modeled all significant natural climate forcings in the recent past. This perfect, god-like knowledge enabled the modellers to attribute all residuals to human-caused CO2: that’s their ‘proof’ of the warmist hypothesis.

The Academy authors must have found it hard to carry off, with a straight face, this fiction of perfect knowledge.  The paper itself acknowledges that there are significant uncertainties in the impact of water vapor, clouds, aerosols, the carbon cycle, the sun, the catch-all “internal fluctuations” etc (the Academy doesn’t even mention the king-sized uncertainties about the influence of multi-decadal Pacific and Atlantic oscillations). And whatever ‘validation’ of the models occurred with respect to past temperatures, it was achieved by endless tweaking of parameters using the benefits of hindsight.

The document repeatedly asserts that the late 20th century warming is unprecedented in the past several thousand years. In fact, as any perusal of the global temperature record shows, the recent warming (now stalled) was not even unprecedented in the past century – the non-CO2 warming from 1900 to 1940 was just as strong as the late 20th century warming.

There are hundreds of peer-reviewed science papers suggesting the Medieval, Roman and Minoan non-CO2 warmings were as strong or stronger than today’s. But the Academy paper prefers to push the ‘unprecedented’ meme.

Note, also, that the Academy has never polled members about their views on the global-warming scare – that could be dangerous, as other scientific bodies have discovered.

The document instead distils the views of the small but influential group of Academy members who happen to be careerists in the $1 billion-a-day global-warming industry.

* Why has the Academy not included a contribution from its Fellow, Dr Tim Flannery, head of Australia’s  very important Climate Council? Tim, for a fat fee, could have done a section expanding on his prediction that this planet, this Gaia, will have acquired a brain and a nervous system. That will make it act as a living animal, as a living organism, at some sort of level.”

Tony Thomas blogs at No BS Here (I Hope)

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Coldest Temperatures In Years Blast U.S., Prompting Polar Vortex Chatter

articOnce again the relentless stretch of bitter cold battering Northeastern cities including Boston with record snow has many people wondering if the polar vortex is here.

On Monday morning, Boston experienced its coldest temperature since 2004, and New York City woke up to the coldest February morning in 28 years. Record cold temperatures were set from Ohio to Virginia, and all the way up to New England.

You may remember when the term polar vortex became popular last winter. The relentless and record-breaking cold experienced last year had many Americans looking for an explanation, and February of this year has been just as bad if not worse in many Northeastern cities.

Though the term makes good headlines, the truth is the polar vortex is still circulating near and around the North Pole where it’s almost always positioned. What much of the country is dealing with is a persistent chain of Arctic air masses plunging south into the continental U.S., a common situation for winter.

A majority of the time, the frigid cold experienced during the winter months is not related to the polar vortex. In fact, as the winter season progresses, the cold air masses to the north across Canada, are growing colder or “maturing”. As this happens, it also helps promote the likelihood of more frequent, and intense shots of Arctic air to move over the United States later in the winter season.

However, the arctic blast that is on the way for the second half of the week will likely be a case where the Arctic air moving in is directly influenced from part of the polar vortex itself.

…snip…

The polar vortex has been known about and studied by the meteorological community for decades. It is an almost always present upper-level circulation that hangs out most of the of time around both the North and South Poles. The circulation is at it’s strongest during the winter months. It is not at the surface, nor is it an actual storm system. It is also not related to every push of cold air.

ABC News Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee says the polar jet stream is like a fence keeping the air influenced by the polar vortex in place. During the first week of January 2014, the polar jet stream was kinked enough to build a large ridge in the west and allow a lobe of the polar vortex to slip southward into Canada, greatly influencing the air that set records in the northern plains and Great Lakes.

Last year the northern Plains and Midwest were hit the hardest, but this year the pattern that set up has the trajectory of the coldest air focusing a bit more to the east.

Over the past several weeks, the jet stream has been locked in a similar pattern allowing for numerous shots of Arctic air to move right down from Canada.

Later this week, yet another blast of Arctic air will arrive, keeping temperatures well below normal through the end of the week across most of the eastern part of the country. A piece, or lobe of the polar vortex will displace itself father south in Canada and influence the bitter cold air moving in.

Looking ahead, there are no indications that this pattern will be changing, leaving the gate open for more blasts of Arctic air to plunge down from Canada. The next time major cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston can expect to reach above the freezing mark will be towards the end of the upcoming weekend. Forecast highs for this upcoming Sunday are currently in the mid to upper 30s.

However, this return to an average mid-late February feel will be short lived, as several additional shots of Arctic air look to be in store right through the end of the month and even into the first few days of March.

Story and graphics, video

 

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