“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

Arctic Ice Decline: A New “Pause”?

ArcticThe decline in Arctic sea ice has become an iconic symbol of global warming. You don’t have to look far on the internet to find predictions by scientists, campaigners and commentators about how soon the region will become ice free in the summer. Unfortunately for those predictions, the Arctic ice has not been listening.

The Arctic sea ice has probably reached its greatest extent for this year. It usually occurs at the end of March – last year it was March 21st. There have been some reports that this year’s maximum extent was the lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1979, and it certainly looks low hovering around 13 million km2 for over a month, see Fig 1 (click on image to enlarge). But looking back over past behavior its maximum extent was similar last year and in 2011 and 2005-7 (Fig 2). Hence this year’s extent is not that unusual being similar to that observed ten years ago!

Claims Of New Warming ‘Pause’ As Arctic Ice Melt Stabilises

arcticMelting Arctic sea ice, a keenly watched measure of global clim­ate change, has “paused”, sharpening debate on whether humans or natural variability are to blame for the earlier decline.

After shrinking 35 per cent over several decades, the low point reached in Arctic ice cover each year appears to have stabilised. This is despite a record low maximum ice extent this winter and new research that shows the annual melt was beginning days earlier each decade.

Scientists who first identified the “hiatus” in global average surface temperatures are claiming a new climate change “pause”.

Summer melts are still retreating to levels that put them at the extreme low end of the relatively short satellite record and attention increasingly is being focused on the loss of ice thickness.

How Growers Gamed California’s Drought

Pistachio nuts growing on treeCCD Editor's Note: The following is from The Daily Beast, which isn't exactly a right-wing rag, about the current drought in California. Most of it has useful information, and some is pure speculation (regarding climate change impacts), so I've tried to include what I think are the salient points without getting into the global warming drama. Emphasis added:

“I’ve been smiling all the way to the bank,” said pistachio farmer John Dean at a conference hosted this month by Paramount Farms, the mega-operation owned by Stewart Resnick, a Beverly Hills billionaire known for his sprawling agricultural holdings, controversial water dealings, and millions of dollars in campaign contributions to high-powered California politicians including Governor Jerry Brown, former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

California Drought: Alarms, agendas, no science

droughtClimate change has been blamed by some for all sorts of evils, including Islamic terrorists. Indeed, it sometimes is possible to link human behavior to weather conditions - but alarmists have taken to claiming any undesirable weather is a result of global warming.

Sometimes, they even invent weather related problems, as in maintaining the United States is experiencing more and worse hurricanes because of climate change. The truth is that during recent years, the frequency and severity of tropical storms has lessened.

Now, Californians' water crisis is being blamed on climate change. Specifically, a long drought is cited. Never mind that scientists note such lapses in rainfall are a normal, regular phenomenon.

Despite misleading study, polar bears aren't starving or dwindling

polar bearThe media is up in arms today over the imminent starvation of polar bears because they may have to rely on land-based foods for sustenance. But according to Susan Crockford, a zoologist and polar bear expert, the media has missed the point entirely of this new study. She writes that "whatever food polar bears consume in the summer – whether they are on land or on the ice – doesn’t really matter." What actually matters is what polar bears eat and how much during the spring.

The most important food that polar bears consume yearly is fat-rich baby seals between March and June. By gorging on these plump little delicacies from late winter to the end of spring, polar bears put on enough fat to carry them "over the summer, no matter where they spend it." According to Crockford, the authors of this new paper (Rode et al.) have tried to frame the issue as one "about the future survival of polar bears in the face of declining sea ice." Without enough foodstuff in the surrounding water, polar bears will have to "eat things like berries and bird eggs and even mammals like caribou." This is because declining sea ice, they predict, will cause the loss of their primary food source, forcing polar bears to live off the land.

Tom Nelson & Steve Goddard suspension, a reminder Twitter's part of the Establishment

gavinCCD Editor's Note: Tom Nelson has a NEW twitter account, which unfortunately means all his past tweets, followers, etc..., are gone. If you want to support Mr. Nelson, follow his new twitter handle at @brd333.

Twitter, like Facebook, is a part of the establishment. When Steve Goddard & Tom Nelson's climate questions got too hot under the collar they were suspended.

Goddard's account was reinstated after an outcry. But Goddard's suspension lasted only about twelve hours from my observation; Tom Nelson's (@tan123) has been suspended for 2 days now.

Tom Nelson's Twitter account epitomises the virtues of free speech, asking lots of questions that were uncomfortable to the climate establishment.

Science, Properly Understood at Heritage

john holdrenOne of the most profound things about the move to silence critics of scientific orthodoxy or those open to questioning it publicly is how anti-enlightenment the notion is.

As John G. West, vice president of the Discovery Institute, pointed out last week in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, thinkers such as atheist John Stuart Mill, the 19th-century utilitarian philosopher and author of On Liberty and “Utilitarianism,” argued for the freedom to question science in his day.

Mill’s logic and West’s application of it is one that can be applied not only to the physical sciences, where global warming is sacrosanct under the Obama administration, but also the social sciences, where Keynesian economics reigns supreme in Washington, whenever politicians wave the authority of science over our heads to persuade us to move in the direction of their policy priorities.

The $15 Billion Failure to Store Nuclear Waste

Reid my lips.Reid my lips: No.“The American people have spent 30 years and $15 billion to determine whether Yucca Mountain would be a safe repository for our nation’s civilian and defense-related nuclear waste.” That’s a quote of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) reported in the April issue of The Heartland Institute’s Environment & Climate News.

Compare that with the one year and 45 days it took to build the Empire State Building or the five years it took to build the Hoover Dam in the depths of the Great Depression. In the first half of the last century, Americans knew how to get things done, but the rise of environmentalism in the latter half, starting around the 1970s, has increased the cost and time of any construction anywhere in the U.S. In the case of Yucca Mountain it has raised issues about nuclear waste that is currently stored is less secure conditions.

As reported by CNS News in January, “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has released the final two volumes of a five-volume safety report that concludes that Nevada’s Yucca Mountain meets all of its technical and safety requirements for the disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste.” Five volumes!

Tom Nelson needs our help...

nelsonA message to our readers (updated):

Tom Nelson needs our help...

From Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller
"For the second time within two weeks, another global warming skeptic blogger has had his Twitter account suspended, this time repeating profanity used by a NASA climate scientist — and no the scientist did not get his account suspended.

"On April 1st, Twitter locked the account of science blogger Tom Nelson , who runs the blog the “Hockey Schtick.” Twitter told Nelson to delete a tweet that contained the word — are you ready for it? — “crap” or else his account would not be unlocked. Nelson then posted the “Delete Tweet” screen to his blog, after which Twitter promptly suspended his account. As of April 2nd, Nelson’s account was still suspended."

From Watts Up With That?
"Not being able to win arguments on merits, a complaint was apparently made to ban/suspend Tom Nelson from Twitter for using the very same description of a graph that climate scientist Gavin Schmidt made."

And from Twictim Steve Goddard:
Tom Nelson has been booted off twitter for using the same word Gavin did.

ScreenHunter_1396 Apr. 01 14.58

Atlanta teachers convicted of racketeering, cheating, lying

cheatersCCD Editor's note: The same teachers who are willing to lie and cheat to improve their student's grades are also schooling our children on global warming. This is what passes for academia in America. From The Economist:

Convicted of racketeering, 11 educators were handcuffed on April 1st for their roles in a cheating scandal within Atlanta’s public schools (APS) that stretches back to 2001. The criminal investigation that led to the beginning of the trial last August involved more than 50 schools and hundreds of interviews with pupils, parents and staff. One teacher was acquitted. 

And how did it all begin? Suspiciously high scores on the Criterion-Reference Competency Test, standardised exams that assess competency in maths, English and other skills, prompted first a local newspaper, and then Georgia’s former governor Sonny Perdue, to start asking questions. 

Polar bear consumption of land-based foods – new paper misses the point

polar bears on landA new paper by polar bear biologists (Rode et al. 2015) argues that terrestrial (land-based) foods are not important to polar bears now and will not be in the future – a conclusion I totally agree with – but they miss the point entirely regarding the importance of this issue.

Whatever food polar bears consume in the summer – whether they are on land or on the ice – doesn’t really matter. What matters is how many fat-rich seals they can consume between March and June each year. The fat put on in late winter/spring from gorging on baby seals carries polar bears over the summer, no matter where they spend it.

DC Cherry Blossoms Coming Late This Year

cherry blossomTalk about late bloomers. D.C.’s cherry blossoms finally started to show their florets on April 1, making this the first time since at least 1992 that blossom florets have not already been showing.

According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s website, the cherry blossoms finally started showing their florets on Wednesday, an unusually late time as they usually come out in late February and early March.

Florets are an indication that the flowers will be in full bloom in 16 to 21 days. Before fully blooming, the florets will extend until flower buds begin to poke out. At this point, peak bloom is about two to three weeks away. But this year, full bloom could be much later than any other year on record.