Earth Day 2016. Let’s clean the air! A Limerick.

It’s time for the annual Earth day

to celebrate Lenin’s old birthday.

Less “carbon pollution”

is not the solution.

Plant trees and clean up! Ban all hairspray!

The very last sentence is meant as a joke. Unfortunately it isn’t. Most countries have switched out ozone-depleting propellants with non-depleting forms because they signed 1987’s Montreal Protocol, a landmark international agreement signed by 191 countries with the goal of phasing out the production and use of CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals.It is reported that the phase out of the chemicals is now about 90 percent complete.

Just because those hairspray and shaving cream cans aren’t depleting the ozone layer doesn’t mean they are actually good for the environment. They still contain hydrocarbons and/or compressed gases, much more efficient greenhouse gases than CO2. Every time you hit the button, then, you are raising your “carbon footprint”, albeit ever so slightly.

Modern-day, CFC-free aerosol sprays also emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to ground-level ozone levels, a key component of asthma-inducing smog. The state of California is now regulating consumer products that contain VOCs—and aerosol sprays are not the only targets: Fingernail polish, perfumes, mouthwashes, pump hair sprays, and roll-on and stick deodorants also emit them.

Meanwhile, back in Sep 22, 2011 FDA ruled: Over-the-counter asthma inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) will cease to be made or sold after Dec. 31, 2011

Users of Primatene Mist then had to switch to a prescription product to treat their asthma. Asthma accounts for one-quarter of all emergency room visits in the U.S. each year, with 2 million emergency room visits. Each day 11 Americans die from asthma. There are more than 4,000 deaths due to asthma each year, many of which are avoidable with proper treatment like over-the-counter asthma inhalers.

The reason for their phase out is U.S. in complying to a U.N. mandate to phase out all CFC’s since they burn up the ozone layer over Antarctica, and to a lesser degree over the North Pole.

During the heydays of CFC production the world produced about one megaton annually of all types of CFC combined. This led to an increase in CFC of about 25 parts per trillion in the atmosphere per year. After 1994  the CFC’s were phased out and replaced with HCFC’s. The total amount of CFC’s in the air is now decreasing by about 1 percent per year.

A quick calculation shows that over the counter inhalers release maybe 100 tons of CFC’s per year. This would increase the level in the atmosphere by 0.002 parts per trillion per year. Since CFC’s now are decreasing by 20 parte per trillion /year it would speed up the decrease by 1/10000.

So this banning of CFC inhalers will decrease the time to return to previous levels from 100 years to 99 years and 361 days. And for this we are banning $10 inhalers and forcing asthma sufferers to use prescription devices at more than 40 dollars, and increase the number of emergency room visits, and  even asthma related deaths. For four days in a hundred years?

And the replacement propellants contains VOC’s, which increases the ground level ozone levels, leading to more asthma inducing smog.

In the meantime the Ozone hole is closing again by itself, maybe due to actions already taken.

FDA and EPA gone mad.

 

 

Earth day 2015. A Limerick.

It’s time for the annual Earth day

to celebrate Lenin’s old birthday.

Less “carbon pollution”

is not the solution.

Plant trees and clean up! Don’t call mayday.

We are called to be good stewards of the Earth, and strive to leave it a better place than we entered it.

To do a good cleanup job takes energy. That is true for the whole Eco-system as well as the toilet bowl.

All our energy comes from the Sun in one way or another, except for nuclear energy. If the cosmic radiation changes, the total energy output from the sun changes or our polar orbit changes, all of these factors will lead to climate change. The normal state for the earth is an ice-age, interrupted by shorter warm periods. We are now at the bog-building phase of an interglacial period, which means, the next phase is another ice-age. This warm period is unique since we are experiencing rapidly increasing levels of CO2. Will that cause a rise in temperatures rendering the earth uninhabitable, or will it prolong the warm period, or -will it hasten the arrival of the next ice-age?

The political class has made the decision increasing CO2 is bad, leading to thermal runaway and they base this on climate models that assumes a logarithmic response of the effect of rising CO2 levels, coupled with a gain, since absolute humidity also rises with temperature, and since water vapor is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, there must be a strong gain in the system. In so doing they are the true Climate Change Deniers, since they deny the strong negative feedback from changing clouds and thunderstorms.

There is a group of people that deny Climate Change has anything to do with human activity, and all that happens is what has always been: Climate changes over time. This too is too simplistic.

The third group, Climate Change Scientists, try to observe what is really going on apart from models, to get a grip on which way Climate is changing. We now have enough data that a scientific approach can be taken by looking at data.

1. The Antarctic ice-sheet is at new record levels for this time of the year, 28th 2015 Daily Record for the Antarctic – 1.8 million square kilometers above the 1981-2010 mean. 

antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2015_day_116_1981-2010

2. The arctic ice-mass is no longer shrinking, but stabilizing.

BPIOMASIceVolumeAnomalyCurrentV2.1

The trend line has been broken since 2011, and ice mass is increasing again (for now). Ice mass is a lagging indicator, so a better concurrent indicator is point 4.

3. The Greenland ice-mass has stopped shrinking, and is now increasing.

accumulatedsmb

This chart needs some explanation. The total ice mass of Greenland is about 2.85 million Gt. The changes so far this season is an accumulation of about 500 Gt. This will partially melt away during summer, and some ice will be lost through calving, so the net loss of ice has been about 200 Gt per year, at which rate all the ice might be lost in 14250 years. 2014 was the first year in a long time Greenland added ice, and the 2015 season is following the same pattern.

4. The Arctic snow-cap maximum is again increasing, and has been increasing since 1990.

snowanom_nhland

But that is not really the story. The snow-cap is increasing earlier. Here is the November snow-cap:

nov_snow

This chart shows an increase so the snow comes earlier and earlier.

may_snow

We can also see the snow is melting faster and faster. Why is that. Which brings us to point

5. The changing albedo of the ice and snow cap.

6. Ten years since a major hurricane hits the Eastern United States, a new record.

usbt-2015

7. Global hurricane, typhoon, tropical cyclone activity is trending down.

hurricane_frequency-march2015

8. Global droughts are diminishing.

sdata20141-f5

Fraction of the global land in D0 (abnormally dry), D1 (moderate), D2 (severe), D3 (extreme), and D4 (exceptional) drought condition (Data: Standardized Precipitation Index data derived from MERRA-Land).

As we can see droughts are not increasing, there is a slight decrease in worldwide droughts over time.

In preparation of Earth day 2014. Cause of climate change is still up in the air.

The cause of Climate Change is still up in the air.

Sherlock Holmes: “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts”. From: “Scandal in Bohemia” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

LeninThe very first Earth Day was celebrated April 22 1970, on the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin (Владимир Ильич Ленин). True green environmentalists keep telling me it is just a coincidence. I think not.

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earth-day-Einhorn-02The first Earth Day in Philadelphia 1970 featured Ira Einhorn (The Unicorn Killer) as master of Ceremonies. The big environmental scare of the day was the threat of a new Ice Age. The clarion call was: “In the year 2000 temperatures will have fallen 10 degrees”, the culprit was pollution, especially acid rain. The acid rain was so bad in the Adirondacks, Canada, Norway and Sweden that the Rainbow Trout died in droves, and even the oceans were in danger of getting too acid. Regulations were enacted to add Sulfur  scrubbers to power stations, waste water was purified, and – wouldn’t you know it, the cooling trend reversed itself and was followed by warming. Since the cooling trend was “obviously man-made” they had to find a similar reason for the sudden warming.

Never mind that around the year 1200 there was at least one farm on South West Greenland that exported, among other things, cheese. How do we know that? They have excavated the ruins of a farm, “Gården under Sanden”, buried under permafrost for five centuries.  During these five centuries the Northern Hemisphere experienced what is called “the little ice age” a time when the winters could be so cold that in 1658 the Swedish army, cavalry and artillery crossed the Belts in the southwestern Baltic over ice and sacked Copenhagen.

Picture left: Gården under sanden excavation.

Picture right: The crossing of the Great Belt 1658.

To predict future climate changes many computer models have been developed dealing with how the earth responds to changes in atmospheric conditions, especially how it responds to changes in CO2 levels.  Most were developed in the 1970 to 2000 time frame, a time of rapid temperature rise and as such they were all given a large factor for the influence of rising CO2. Since 1998 we have had a cooling trend, so the models cooperate less and less and are given more and more unreliable predictions. It is no wonder then that they all have failed to model the past. None of them have reproduced the medieval warm period or the little ice age. If they cannot agree with the past there is no reason to believe they have any ability to predict the future. The models are particularly bad when it comes to predict cloud cover and what time of day clouds appear and disappear. Below is a chart of a number of climate models and their prediction of cloud cover versus observed data. Note especially to the right where they completely fail to notice the clear skies over Antarctica.

Is there a better way to predict future temperature trends? When you go to the doctor for a physical, at some point and without warning he hits you under the knee with a hammer and watches your reaction. He is observing your impulse response. Can we observe impulse responses for the earth? One obvious case is volcanic eruptions. Sometimes the earth burps a lot of carbon dioxide or methane. But the most interesting response would be how the earth responds to a solar flare  with a sudden change in the amount of cosmic radiation hitting the earth. That would give the best indication how the sun and cosmic radiation affects cloud formation. A couple of solar flares lately have been giving us a hint how the cloud cover responds to changes in cosmic radiation, and they are consistent with the latest results from the CLOUD project conducted using the CERN particle accelerator, a confirmation of a theory forwarded by the Danish Physicist Henrik Svensmark. He first presented the theory in 1997 and finally got the results verified and published in 2007, but the prevailing consensus has been slow to accept the theory that the sun as the primary driver of climate change.

We have many reasons to be concerned about the well-being of the earth, but rising levels of CO2 is not one of them. In fact, CO2 is our friend. Rising CO2 levels increases crop yields, makes the impact of land use changes less pronounced and the photosynthesis process more efficient, using less water and allowing us to grow crops on land once deemed unprofitable.

Picture right: The CERN Cloud apparatus in 2009.

James Hansen, a world famous climate science activist/NASA physicist writes in one of his publications, called “Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Implications“. It contains a quote that ties nicely in with Sherlock Holmes observation:  The precision achieved by the most advanced generation of radiation budget satellites is indicated by the planetary energy imbalance measured by the ongoing CERES (Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System) instrument (Loeb et al., 2009), which finds a measured 5-year-mean imbalance of 6.5 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009). Because this result is implausible, instrumentation calibration factors were introduced to reduce the imbalance to the imbalance suggested by climate models, 0.85 W/m2 (Loeb et al., 2009). (Picture shows James Hansen arrested outside White House fence during one of his demonstrations.)

There we have it. The observed data does not fit the climate models. Change the observed data! Then use that data to validate the climate models! How convEEnient, as the SNL Churchlady used to say. Shenanigans like this have been exposed in what has been named “Climategate1.0”, followed by “Climategate2.0”  This is what happens when politicians take over science and make further funding contingent on obtaining desired results.