An unexpected source of irony …

Rice, the staple diet of half the world’s population produces about 17% of anthropogenic methane.

Methane traps about 20 times as much heat as carbon dioxide.

The world’s population is increasing.

Rice does the photosynthesis thing in its leaves. The resulting carbohydrates find their way to the seeds. That’s a good thing. Much also finds its way to the wet soil around the roots. That’s where microorganisms make the methane. That’s a bad thing.

The distribution of the carbohydrate is, to some extent under genetic control. You may have already caught on to where this is going.

the addition of a single transcription factor gene, barley SUSIBA2, conferred a shift of carbon flux to SUSIBA2 rice, favouring the allocation of photosynthates to aboveground biomass over allocation to roots. The altered allocation resulted in an increased biomass and starch content in the seeds and stems, and suppressed methanogenesis, possibly through a reduction in root exudates. Three-year field trials in China demonstrated that the cultivation of SUSIBA2 rice was associated with a significant reduction in methane emissions and a decrease in rhizospheric methanogen levels. SUSIBA2 rice offers a sustainable means of providing increased starch content for food production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rice cultivation.

G M Rice could feed the masses without pushing up the temperature. What will Prince Charles make of that?

Unprecedentedly accurate …

Thank goodness we got that settled …

The earth is 15 years from a “mini ice-age” that will cause bitterly cold winters during which rivers such as the Thames freeze over, scientists have predicted.

Solar researchers at the University of Northumbria have created a new model of the sun’s activity which they claim produces “unprecedentedly accurate predictions”.

They said fluid movements within the sun, which are thought to create 11-year cycles in the weather, will converge in such a way that temperatures will fall dramatically in the 2030s.

Solar activity will fall by 60 per cent as two waves of fluid “effectively cancel each other out”, according to Prof Valentina Zharkova.

In a presentation to the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, she said the result would be similar to freezing conditions of the late 17th century.

Spinning faster than windmills …

Filched from Steven Hayward, Power Line

International climate talks are a sideshow designed to keep politicians and bureaucrats busy, and the shallow, superficial climate campaign happy and engaged.

Climate-Talks-cartoon-Morten-Morland

News out of Europe yesterday is that the EU has adopted an ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction target, calling for a 40 percent reduction in GHG emissions by the year 2030. But the announcement was larded with lots of talk of “flexibility” and contains so many contradictory elements that it is clear this is not serious. My favorite condition is this one:

A 27% renewable energy target that is binding at an aggregate European level but voluntary for individual member states.

In practice what this means is: Let Germany do it. They’re dumb and rich enough to keep subsidizing this nonsense. And why not? Germany is sticking it to the rest of the Euro-zone economies with its de facto domination of the Euro currency, which is adverse to the economic interests of the poorer southern European nations. If I were a Greek, Portugese, or Spaniard, I’d want to stick more windmills up Germany’s arse too.

Such cynicism …

Wall to wall walrus …

It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,
      To play them such a trick,
Dreadfully sad news for the Walrus.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Pacific walrus that can’t find sea ice for resting in Arctic waters are coming ashore in record numbers on a beach in northwest Alaska.
628x471It’s another remarkable sign of the dramatic environmental conditions changing as the result of sea ice loss,” said Margaret Williams, managing director of the group’s Arctic program, by phone from Washington, D.C. “The walruses are telling us what the polar bears have told us and what many indigenous people have told us in the high Arctic, and that is that the Arctic environment is changing extremely rapidly and it is time for the rest of the world to take notice and also to take action to address the root causes of climate change.”

I’m sure it brings a tear to the eye …

I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
      I deeply sympathize.’
Funnily enough this strange new behaviour, hauling out on land, has been noted before. The walrus was virtually unknown to Europeans until 1604 when the good ship “Speed”, commanded by Stephen Bennet, on its way back from the Kola Peninsula, came across a haulout of Walrus. Naturally they slaughtered a goodly number for their tusks, leaving the meat to rot on the beach.
The size of this gathering could be seen as good news, plenty of oysters, perhaps. It may even be the result of creating a reserve for their protection

The Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary (WISGS), protects a group of seven small craggy islands and their adjacent waters in northern Bristol Bay, approximately 65 miles southwest of Dillingham. The WISGS includes Round Island, Summit Island, Crooked Island, High Island, Black Rock and The Twins. The WISGS was established in 1960 to protect one of the largest terrestrial haulout sites in North America for Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The sanctuary also protects important habitats for several species of seabirds, Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) and other marine and terrestrial birds and mammals. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) manages the sanctuary primarily to protect these important habitats and wildlife species, and secondarily to provide for public use and enjoyment of these resources including the opportunity for scientific and educational study, viewing, and photography.

Best known among the WISGS islands is Round Island, where each summer large numbers of male walruses haul out on exposed, rocky beaches. Round Island is one of four major terrestrial haulouts in Alaska; the others are Capes Peirce (Togiak NWR), Newenham (Togiak NWR), and Seniavin (near Port Moller). Male walrus return to these haulouts every spring as the ice pack recedes northward, remaining in Bristol Bay to feed they haul out at these beach sites for several days between each feeding foray. The number of walrus using the island fluctuates significantly from year to year. However, up to 14,000 walrus have been counted on Round Island in a single day.

So maybe it’s business as usual for the walrus they just gather round and talk

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.’
You can read Lewis Carroll’s poem <HERE>.

I am a climate denier …

Setting aside for the moment that the climate is impossible to deny …

Set aside also the utter certainty that it is and always has been changing …

I am most definitely a sceptic and therefore called by some a climate denier.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 2.24.33 pm

Should I fear a knock on the door in the dead of night?

Interesting what the ACT Government thinks it appropriate to spend tax payers money on … full list <HERE>.

Unsettling news …

Climate change seems to have jumped the shark so far as the average punter is concerned but having been told that the science is settled governments are busily regulating vacuum cleaners, preventing gas extraction and pursuing policies which will soon lead to rolling blackouts in Britain and Europe and increased energy costs in the US.

Predictions based on the only settled science have proven to be somewhat inaccurate, and the smart new technology somewhat inadequate.

Germany’s state of the art offshore wind farm shows what a state the art is in …

The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.

The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and “gently smouldering” offshore converter stations.

Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.

In the Arctic sea ice is disappearing because of global warming meanwhile in Antarctica sea ice has reached its greatest extent since satellite recording began because of global warming. A situation that prompted one commentator to ask

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.07.54 am

The answer, Duggie me old mate, is only in the southern hemisphere. But rest assured it will be very bad for the wildlife and also for Kiribati where the surface area for each Kiribatan is just a third of what it was in 1960.

Just this very day the ABC set aside its fascination with interspecific sex and brought us this gem

JAKE STURMER: The nation of Kiribati is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to climate change.
It’s about 7,000 kilometres north east of Australia and is already feeling the devastating impacts of rising tides.
The water is destroying homes, making soil more salty and decimating crops.
If some climate scientists are correct, the majority of Kiribati could be underwater by the end of the century.

If we are going to evacuate Kiribati the sooner we do it the better … whilst there is still room to put them somewhere else.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.31.30 am

Meanwhile the surface area of Kiribati has not diminished and the sea level graph shows that the risk of being swamped by the sea is considerably less than the risk of being swamped by their own population …

tarawa-SLR1

I take comfort in the fact that a substantial part of Australia is still above water and that we haven’t been swamped by climate refugees

In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.

But like any good doomsday cult nothing seems to be disproved when the end of the world fails to happen.

Another pronouncement of the illuminati concerned wetness, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald April 27 2012 …

WET areas have become wetter and dry areas drier over the past 50 years due to global warming, a study of the saltiness of the world’s oceans by a team including CSIRO researchers has shown.

Just imagine the floods get worse and the drought gets worse simultaneously. It remains a popular meme in the settled science.

This effect can be abbreviated to DDWW, dry dryer, wet wetter, and apparently it works well over the oceans (especially dry oceans) but it was tested on land (Greve et al 2014) and it’s true … for only about 10% of the land area. And for about 10% of the land area the opposite happens. Which leaves about 80% of the land area where there is no clear signal of what happens. (DDWW/DWWD/D?W?). Go figure.

One commentator  has obviously been keeping up with our Bureau of Meteorology’s secret adjustment business and points to the truth …

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 1.15.54 pm