Natural Climate Cycles – Part 2: Millennial Oscillations

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This shall be part two of a four part series, discussing and detailing natural climate cycles and how these cycles combine and/or interact to contribute to and/or drive the weather that we observe, over time.  Once the entire series has been completed, it will be compiled into a book with some additional details, and graphics added.

It should be noted, that much of the data used when discussing climate over this length of time or longer, is scientifically reconstructed.  Actual observations can only take us back a few hundred years.  Beyond that, methods such as: ice cores; ocean, lake, and river bottom sediment cores; tree rings; geologic evidence in rocks; and historical accounts can be used to get an indication of what climate factors were like in Earth’s past.  Some of this data is open to interpretation, but I shall attempt to use the most logical, common sense approach to interpreting such data.

Part two of this series, shall discuss natural climate oscillations that cycle with a periodicity of 100 to 10,000 years.

Solar Cycles / Oscillations

Short term solar oscillations were discussed in part 1 of this series.  However, new research indicates that longer term solar oscillations also play a significant role in our natural climate variability.  Of utmost importance, is an apparent cycle of “Grand Solar Minimum” or “Solar Hibernation“, such as the “Maunder Minimum“, which appears to cycle around every 412 years on average.  The “Maunder Minimum” began around the year 1615, or 400 years ago.  Therefor, we can assume that if this new research is correct, then the cycle is due to repeat.

TSI-CYCLE-LENGTH-400yrs_trend-300x247

The above chart shows sunspot cycle length and Total Solar Irradiance, over the last ~420 years.  TSI is a measure of energy which reaches the top of earth’s atmosphere, from the Sun.  It is measured in Watts per square meter.  The “Maunder Minimum” is clearly identified on this chart, near the left edge, as a sharp and long lasting dip in solar output.  Also of note, is the recent rise in TSI over the latter half of the 20th Century, which is largely responsible for the period known as “Global Warming“. During this time, sunspot cycles were both shorter (peaks were closer together) and more intense.

Three crucial solar oscillations can be identified by this chart.  At the top we see a ~103 year oscillation in the length of sunspot cycles from as short as 8 years, to as long as 14 years.  In the bottom chart we see the ~206 year oscillation in sunspot cycle intensity.  The intensity of solar irradiance should have peaked around the year 1800 AD, but in stead a period known as the “Dalton Minimum” occurred at this time, due to the sunspot cycles being longer / farther apart.  The entire length of this chart, signifies the ~412 year cycle of “Solar Hibernation“.  This oscillation for the most part alternates every-other trough in the ~206 year oscillation.  These oscillations then also provide the basis for a cycle of warm periods, or “climate optimums” which appear to peak every 824, 1,030, or 1,236 years.  These optimums are apparently dependent upon just how well these oscillations line up, and the effect of longer period oscillations, as well.

Millennial Cycle of Warm Periods

What exactly causes these cyclic warm periods, is still being intensely investigated.  The most logical hypothesis, assuming that each cyclic warm period happen the same way the “Modern Warm Period” did, is that it is a cyclic peak in solar activity.  A period where sunspot cycles become shorter (closer together) and more intense, as is shown above to have occurred in the late 20th Century.  Some influence may also be exerted on the Sun by neighboring stars as they rotate together around the galaxy, but confirming that hypothesis will be difficult.

Looking back farther, actual temperature measurements only go back so far, especially in the Americas, where weather stations have only been in place since the mid to late 1800s.  So, in order to see further into the past, scientists must reconstruct the temperatures based on the numerous methods available to us.  While these temperature reconstructions are fantastic tools for seeing deep into Earth’s past climate, they are somewhat open to interpretation, and different methods sometimes lead to different and occasionally even conflicting results.  Here, I shall use the most common, most trusted methods, and show what the most consistent results have been, to get a picture of natural climate cycles over the past 10,000 years, since the end of the last period of glaciation.

 Warm-Periods-300x176

This chart shows the results of an ice core study from the ice sheet in northern Greenland, indicating relative temperature at that location.  Here, you can see a relatively regular cycle of “warm periods“, which occur roughly every 824 to 1,236 years. At the far left of the chart is the end of the “Younger Dryas“, where this interglacial period began in the Northern Hemisphere, which is a period also known as the “Holocene“.  Long range ice cores indicate that many interglacial periods have two temperature peaks, or “climate optimums“, and on this chart we see those peaks being at about 7,300 years ago, and 3,600 years ago.  More information about the glacial / interglacial cycle will be available in Part 3 of this series.

The peak 7,300 to 6,000 years ago is known as the “Mid-Holocene Climate Optimum“, which is believed by many scientists to be the peak of this interglacial (between glacial advances) period.  Since then, the warmest temperatures within the past 5,000 years were during what is known as the “Minoan Warm Period“, which occurred around the year 1200 BC.  Next came the “Roman Warm Period“, which peaked around time of Christ, or around 20 BC.  Then came the “Medieval Warm Period“, which peaked at around the year 1050 AD.  Finally, the “Modern Warm Period” peaked around the year 1990 AD.  At the far right of the chart, the ice core data is augmented with actual temperature observations at that location, which clearly shows the peak of the “Modern Warm Period”. The “Modern Warm Period” exactly matches the timing and scope of the Millennial warm period cycle, and also exactly matches the timing and scope of the peak in solar activity shown in Chart 2-A above.

Now, lets look back farther still, and see if these cyclic warm periods only occur during the Holocene, or if they’re a constant in climate.

20K-TEMPS-GREENLAND-300x189

 

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This chart is formulated in much the same way as the Chart 2-B above, but goes back twice as far.  Bracketed in the top right, is the size of the 10,000 year chart in relation to the 20,000 year chart.  Here, we can see that these cyclic warm periods do indeed continue back well beyond the Holocene, into the coldest, deepest parts of the last period of glaciation. While larger forces are at play to drive the overall long term climate, the shorter term Millennial oscillation drives temperature fluctuations of about +/- 1.5°C from the mean temperature being driven by longer term cycles, that will be discussed in later parts of this series.  Each successively shorter cycle happens within the longer term cycles.

We can also see that temperatures began to warm in the Northern Hemisphere about 15,000 years ago, but then sharply fell again.  This sharp fall in temperatures around 13,000 years ago is what is known as the “Younger Dryas“.  The cause for this sharp dip in temperatures is not fully understood, and did not have the same affect in the Southern Hemisphere, as Vostok ice cores do not indicate much of a dip in temperatures during this period.  Some theories have been put forward to attempt to explain this.  The most logical of which being that the rapid melt of the Arctic ice sheets around 14,600 years ago, caused the North Atlantic Ocean to become flooded with fresh water, which then caused a shift within the Thermohaline Current, which had the result of cooling the Arctic and growing the ice sheet once again.  Some scientists have stated that this melting alone could not have caused the Younger Dryas, but perhaps some kind of asteroid impact in the Arctic may have enhanced or augmented the melting that was already underway.  This would seem to be supported by the fact that the melting after the Younger Dryas happened just as quickly, yet did not have the same affect on the North Atlantic.  In any case, the Younger Dryas is indicated in all ice cores throughout the Northern Hemisphere, so we know it happened.  The main question is how can we explain it?

Cycle of Sharp Cold Shifts

Between the Millennial Warm Periods are often lengthy periods of substantially cooler climate.  These cooler periods are likely due to reduced solar activity, as was the case during the “Little Ice Age“, which stretched from the 1200s AD to the mid/late 1800s AD, a period of around 600 years.  As indicated in Chart 2-A, the Maunder Minimum largely contributed to the coolest years of the Little Ice Age.

The cooler periods tend to last significantly longer than the dips in solar activity.  The most logical explanation for this, is that as Infrared and TSI as a whole decrease, and the sun’s heliosphere becomes weaker, galactic cosmic rays are more able to penetrate the sun’s heliosphere and reach the planets, including Earth.  Since cosmic rays are confirmed to cause an increase inatmospheric aerosols, which then lead to an increase in low clouds around the globe, this would have the affect of reflecting sunlight, and enhancing the affect of reduced solar output, which further reduces global temperatures, over time.

The cyclic periods of solar hibernation extend back beyond the Maunder Minimum.  New research suggests it is a quasi-regular oscillation of about 412 years in length.  So, lets take a closer look at more recent solar activity, and see if there are clear signs of this beginning.

TSI-and-sunspots-300x218

 

The above chart shows TSI at the top, and the sunspot count over the same time frame, at the bottom.  Direct solar records began too late into the process of entering into the Maunder Minimum, to be able to do a direct comparison between then, and now.  Therefor we must assume that if the Sun is indeed entering into a new “Solar Hibernation“, we should see solar cycles getting both weaker, and farther apart, as an indication of it.  Cycle 21 and 22 were 9 1/2 years apart, which was also typical of the two cycles preceding cycle 21.  Cycle 22 and 23 were about 11 1/2 years apart.  Cycles 23 and 24 were 14 years apart.  Clearly, the cycles are getting farther apart, and that alone is enough to cause a decline in global temperatures.   The chart also indicates that each successive peak is lower than the one before it, so each is also getting weaker.  This will enhance the effect of cooling our global temperatures over time.

I outlined in this article, other factors which also indicate the existence of this ~412 year solar cycle, and what the effects may be if this cycle is repeating.

Past Affects of Climate Shifts

Human history is replete with mass migrations that are a direct result of both the Millennial warm period oscillation, and the effects of “Solar Hibernation” periods, as well.  One example is the “Great Wall of China“, which was largely built during the “Roman Warm Period”.  It has been surmised by some who study both history and climate, that the “Great Wall” was built because the Chinese knew about this temperature oscillation, and that the climate would soon cool.  The Chinese economy could not withstand being bombarded with a mass migration of the Mongols and people of the Eurasian Steppes to the north, so the “Great Wall” was built to keep them out.

The Mayan Civilization is another example.  Given their knowledge of astronomy and geography, and having such an accurate calendar system, it is quite possible that they too, knew the climate was about to change to their determent.  Having been founded just as the “Roman Warm Period” was ending, and likely knowing the Medieval Warm Period was soon to come, they abandon their magnificent cities in favor of cooler, wetter lands to the north.

The Harappan Civilization is yet another example.  The Harappans thrived in what is now northwest India and southeast Pakistan, along the Indus River, around the same time that the Egyptians were building the pyramids at Giza.  Then as the Minoan Warm Period began, the monsoon rains changed, and their entire rich civilization was lost to encroaching desert.  Like the Mayans, they too were forced to migrate northward, into the Eurasian Steppes where the climate was more suitable.

There are many other examples which serve to help confirm the results of the ice core data shown above, such as the early inhabitants of Ireland migration from what is now Libya, as the Sahara changed from savannah to desert 5,500 years ago at the end of the “Mid-Holocene Climate Optimum“, but I’ll save those for the book form of this series.

Previous parts of this series….
Natural Climate Cycles Part 1 – Short Term Oscillations

Coming Soon….
Natural Climate Cycles Part 3 – Glacial Cycles and the Milankovich Cycle Theory
Natural Climate Cycles Part 4 – Deep Time Cycles

** Data source: Lean 2000, SIDC sunspots, PMOD and ACRIM Composite TSI
*** Data source: GISP2 data set.

© 2015, James Covington. All rights reserved. On republishing this post, youmust provide link to original post

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Natural Climate Cycles – Part 1: Short Term Oscillations

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This shall be part one of a four part series, detailing natural climate cycles and how these cycles combine and/or relate, to create the overall climate, and daily weather that we observe.  Once the entire series has been completed, it will be combined into a book with some additional details and graphics added.

Before I begin, please understand the difference between weather and climate.  To get one single climate data point, requires the averaging together of 30 years of weather.  Therefor a century of weather, would contain only three climate data points and some change.  Keep this in mind throughout this multipart series.  Then when I speak of climate, you know I am referring to periods of longer than 30 years. Also by this strict scientific definition, “Global Warming” is a historic weather event, nothing more.  It lasted less than 25 years, and ended more than 18 years ago.  Therefor, it cannot fit the scientific definition of climate, at all.  This series will also discuss why there were no human causes in the past, or today.

There is one other point I’d like to make before I begin.  Wherever possible, when I use temperature or sea level charts and/or data, I will be using the raw, unadjusted data.  “Official” temperature data from NOAA and other sources has been “homogenized” or “corrected”, which I find to be very suspect, as these “adjustments” do not seem to conform to established scientific methods.  I will not use that kind of data here, unless it is to show how those “adjustments” were made.

Part One shall detail the shortest climate cycles…. those which oscillate, or cycle with a periodicity of 25 to 250 years.

Oceanic / Upper Air Oscillations

The most important cycles to our daily weather and short-term climate, are the oceanic and upper air oscillations.  Here, I will list the most prominent oscillations and how they affect what we observe, over time.

The PDO – Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a periodic oscillation in the northern Pacific Ocean.  This is quite similar to the El Nino / La Nina (ENSO) pattern in the central Pacific Ocean, but takes place in the northern Pacific Ocean, and oscillates over a period of around 25 to 35 years.  It has a warm (positive) phase, and a cool (negative) phase.  The PDO phase is a major contributor / driver of weather and short-term climate variability throughout North America and eastern Asia.  The PDO also works in tandem with the ENSO – El Nino Southern Oscillation.  When the PDO is in its warm phase, an El Nino can be stronger, such as the El Nino of 1998.  During a PDO cool phase, an El Nino tends to be much weaker if they develop much at all, but the opposite La Nina phase can be much stronger than it would be during a PDO warm phase.  Below is a graphics representation of the PDO.

PDO
positive (warm) phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . negative (cool) phase

When the PDO is in its positive (warm) phase (at left), sea surface temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean tend to be below normal. Across North America, temperatures tend to be above normal, with precipitation generally near or below normal.  However, areas along the Pacific coast of both North America and Asia, tend to be cooler and wetter during a PDO warm phase.

Conversely, when the PDO is in its negative (cool) phase (at right), the waters of the northern Pacific Ocean tend to be warmer than normal, and the Pacific coasts of North America and Asia also tend to be warmer and dryer.  Inland portions of North America tend to be cooler with generally above normal precipitation, especially in winter.  This can contribute to the development of blizzards which strike the central and eastern United States and southern Canada with regularity.

PDO - US Temperature
PDO / Raw US Temperature Record (click to enlarge)

The above is a graphic I put together, which shows the clear and obvious correlation between the PDO, and the raw US temperature record.  While it is not an exact match, as no single climate driver will be, it does show just how significant the PDO phase is, to our weather in the United States.  The PDO works in tandem with the next oscillation we’ll look at and discuss.

The AMO – Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is quite similar to the PDO, but takes place in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and generally cycles with a periodicity of about 30 to 45 years.  The AMO has a major impact on temperature and precipitation throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but particularly eastern North America, and much of Europe, into western Asia.  When the AMO is in its cool phase, temperatures tend to be below normal over a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere.  Conversely, when the AMO is in its warm phase, above normal temperatures are typically observed.

AMO---US-Temperature
AMO – US Temperatures (click to enlarge)

Similar to the previous graphic, I put this together to show the obvious correlation between raw US temperatures, and the AMO phase.  The AMO phase correlates equally as well as the PDO phase does.  However, when you combine the effect of the two, this makes up about 70% of the influence on our daily weather, and short-term climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

Both the PDO and the AMO were in their warm phase for an extended period only once during the last 140 years, which was the 1930s into the early 1940s…. the time known as the “Dust Bowl”.  When both the PDO and the AMO are in their negative phase for an extended period, as occurred in the 1910s into the 1920s, and again in the 1960s and 70s, is when we get our coolest summers, and coldest winters. When one of them is in positive phase and the other in negative phase, the two rarely cancel each other out. In stead, it depends on the phase of various shorter term weather oscillations, such as the AO (Arctic Oscillation), NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), and PNA (Pacific / North America Oscillation), which help determine which ocean’s phase is dominant in our daily weather.

As of late October of 2014, the PDO was mildly in its negative phase, and the AMO has just flipped into a weak negative phase.  Therefor, our next several years are likely to be much cooler than the past several have been.  Shorter term weather oscillations, such as the AO, NAO, and PNA, are what have pushed the so called “polar vortex” southward in the winter of 2013/14, which is likely to return in the next several winters.  The negative PDO phase has also been a significant contributor to the drought conditions in the western US.

Solar Cycles / Oscillations

Many people do not realize that our sun is actually a variable star.  Just how variable our star is over time, is a matter of some conjecture, and considerable importance to our long-term climate.  We only have sunspot records going back to the year 1610.  Prior to 1610 the solar record is reconstructed, based on ice cores, ocean bottom sediment cores, tree rings, and various other methods.  As a scientist, I prefer direct measurement methods, which involve less guess-work, and are much less open to interpretation / possible error.

In short-term climate, solar variability generally accounts for about 20% of what is observed.  In the geologic past, it may have been much higher, but this will be explained in later parts of this series.  For now, lets discuss the sunspot record that exists since 1610.

ssn_yearly
Sunspot Record since 1610 (click to enlarge)

The above graphic shows the sunspot count, since the year 1610 when direct measurement records began.  There are several features which are noteworthy in the sunspot record, which had significant impacts on our climate.  Most notable, is the clear oscillation between peak and valley in the sunspot count, which is what is commonly called the “Sunspot Cycle”.  The Sunspot Cycle is highly variable in both length (9 to 14 years), and strength, over time.  For example, when the sun goes into a period where peaks are both stronger, and closer together, as was the case in the latter half of the 20th Century, then our climate warms.  This is what was largely responsible for the period commonly called “Global Warming”.  Conversely, when the peaks are weaker and farther apart, as was the case during the “Little Ice Age”, our climate cools.  The effects of a strong solar peak are mitigated by the atmosphere’s ability to bleed excess heat off to space through convection.  Therefor the warming effects of solar peaks are of lesser importance to day-to-day weather and short-term climate, than are the effects of weaker solar activity.

Another major feature in the sunspot record is the period from about 1615 to about 1710, which is known as the Maunder Minimum.  During this period of “Solar Hibernation”, there were very few sunspots noted on the surface of the sun, and extended periods where none were noted at all.   A second, shorter “Solar Minimum” occurred between roughly 1805 and 1840, which is known as the “Dalton Minimum”.  The period from roughly 1600 to 1860 is known in climate as the “Little Ice Age”, as the effect of lower solar radiation, combined with an active period of volcanism, lead to cool summers and very cold winters throughout much of this period.  This combined effect lead to “The Year Without a Summer” in 1816 as measurable snow was observed throughout the summer months, in New England and parts of Europe.

One other item of note on the sunspot chart, is that our latest Solar Maximum was the weakest in a Century.  Many of the record cold temperatures that are now being tied or broken, were set the last time we had a Solar Maximum this weak.  Clearly, while solar variability only accounts for about 20% of our short-term climate, it can have a major impact on what we observe.

Something which goes along with this most recent weak Solar Maximum is the double-peak, with the second peak having just occurred in October and early November of 2014.  Looking back over the sunspot record, there are only two other times when a double-peak occurred similarly to what we’ve just observed.  Those two times were in 1615 as the Maunder Minimum began, and 1805 as the Dalton Minimum began.

Several scientists, such as Dr. Don Easterbrook, PhD, Piers Corbyn, and former NASA engineer John L. Casey, who has written a book entitled “Cold Sun“, have theorized that the sun is entering a new Solar Minimum similar to the Dalton Minimum, or possibly a new “Solar Hibernation” similar to the Maunder Minimum.  The current time frame of the sunspot record, is not long enough to determine if there is a possible cycle of Solar Minimum or Solar Hibernation.  Thus, trying to predict such a cycle is no easy task.  However thus far their predictions have been almost exactly accurate, making it quite likely that they are indeed, correct.  However, only time will tell.  If the sunspot count drops to almost zero and stays there, we’ll know for certain that at least a Dalton-type of Solar Minimum has begun.  Then, if it is sustained over a period of years, we’ll know it has become a Solar Hibernation.  We should know for sure within the next few years.  It should be noted, that if the sun enters a period of “Solar Hibernation”, it could have dramatic effects on human civilization.  Cool summers and shortened growing seasons could lead to significant crop losses throughout the “bread baskets” of the world.  Extremely cold winters could lead to a failed power grid, costing thousands of lives if it happens at the wrong time of year.

The Volcanism Connection

volcanoSome scientists, with which I personally agree, have hypothesized that when the sun goes into a period of Minimum or Hibernation, and infrared radiation from the sun declines, that other forms of radiation like neutrinos and cosmic rays, have a corresponding increase.  Cosmic rays are known through empirical and experimental data to increase atmospheric aerosols, which increase low level cloud cover, globally.  This increase in low clouds has the effect of reflecting sunlight, resulting in cooling of the short-term climate.  Additionally, neutrinos are believed to result in heating of the interior of planetary bodies in the Solar System.  Observations of Mercury and Mars may indicate a possible resurgence in their magnetic fields, while increased storm activity within the atmospheres of the Gas Giants and Ice Giants in the outer Solar System, also seems to point to an increase in internal heat within those planets.  Along the same lines… Earth responds to this increase in neutrinos with an increase in earthquake and volcano activity, which we are now beginning to observe.  While earthquakes have little effect on climate, volcanoes can have a major impact on climate.  The size of the impact on climate, relates directly to the size of the eruption.

Large volcanic eruptions such as Laki in 1783, Mt. Tambora in 1815, or Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, are able to spew significant amounts of sulfur dioxide, SO2, into the stratosphere.  SO2 then mixes with water vapor already in the stratosphere, to become sulfuric acid.  Sulfuric acid has the effect of blocking sunlight.  This effect when combined with reduced IR radiation from the sun, and the effect of low clouds reflecting sunlight, is what leads to periods like the “Little Ice Age”, especially during those periods when the PDO phase and AMO phase are both negative at the same time, which is what accounts for the coldest years of the “Little Ice Age”.

If temperature records went back far enough, the coldest year on record for the eastern United States would be 1784, the year after Laki erupted in Iceland.  In 1784, the Mississippi River froze over at New Orleans, and ice was observed on the surface of the northern Gulf of Mexico, while much of the eastern US had its most extreme winter recorded before, or since.  This is what happens when all of these negative feedback forces on our climate, hit us all at once.  Given recent activity of Icelandic volcanoes, with both the PDO phase and AMO phase now negative, and the sun possibly going into a phase of weaker activity, a repeat of 1784 could be on the horizon.

Coming Soon….
Natural Climate Cycles Part 2 – Millennial Cycles
Natural Climate Cycles Part 3 – Glacial Cycles and the Milankovich Cycle Theory
Natural Climate Cycles Part 4 – Deep Time Cycles

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Natural Climate Cycles – Part 1: Short Term Oscillations

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 photo earth_covered_by_clouds_zps4deb8d7f.jpg
 

This shall be part one of a four part series, detailing natural climate cycles and how these cycles combine and/or relate, to create the overall climate, and daily weather that we observe.  Once the entire series has been completed, it will be combined into a book with some additional details and graphics added.

Before I begin, please understand the difference between weather and climate.  To get one single climate data point, requires the averaging together of 30 years of weather.  Therefor a century of weather, would contain only three climate data points and some change.  Keep this in mind throughout this multipart series.  Then when I speak of climate, you know I am referring to periods of longer than 30 years. Also by this strict scientific definition, “Global Warming” is a historic weather event, nothing more.  It lasted less than 25 years, and ended more than 18 years ago.  Therefor, it cannot fit the scientific definition of climate, at all.  This series will also discuss why there were no human causes in the past, or today.

There is one other point I’d like to make before I begin.  Wherever possible, when I use temperature or sea level charts and/or data, I will be using the raw, unadjusted data.  “Official” temperature data from NOAA and other sources has been “homogenized” or “corrected”, which I find to be very suspect, as these “adjustments” do not seem to conform to established scientific methods.  I will not use that kind of data here, unless it is to show how those “adjustments” were made.

Part One shall detail the shortest climate cycles…. those which oscillate, or cycle with a periodicity of 25 to 250 years.

Oceanic / Upper Air Oscillations

The most important cycles to our daily weather and short-term climate, are the oceanic and upper air oscillations.  Here, I will list the most prominent oscillations and how they affect what we observe, over time.

The PDO – Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a periodic oscillation in the northern Pacific Ocean.  This is quite similar to the El Nino / La Nina (ENSO) pattern in the central Pacific Ocean, but takes place in the northern Pacific Ocean, and oscillates over a period of around 25 to 35 years.  It has a warm (positive) phase, and a cool (negative) phase.  The PDO phase is a major contributor / driver of weather and short-term climate variability throughout North America and eastern Asia.  The PDO also works in tandem with the ENSO – El Nino Southern Oscillation.  When the PDO is in its warm phase, an El Nino can be stronger, such as the El Nino of 1998.  During a PDO cool phase, an El Nino tends to be much weaker if they develop much at all, but the opposite La Nina phase can be much stronger than it would be during a PDO warm phase.  Below is a graphics representation of the PDO.

PDO
positive (warm) phase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . negative (cool) phase

When the PDO is in its positive (warm) phase (at left), sea surface temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean tend to be below normal. Across North America, temperatures tend to be above normal, with precipitation generally near or below normal.  However, areas along the Pacific coast of both North America and Asia, tend to be cooler and wetter during a PDO warm phase.

Conversely, when the PDO is in its negative (cool) phase (at right), the waters of the northern Pacific Ocean tend to be warmer than normal, and the Pacific coasts of North America and Asia also tend to be warmer and dryer.  Inland portions of North America tend to be cooler with generally above normal precipitation, especially in winter.  This can contribute to the development of blizzards which strike the central and eastern United States and southern Canada with regularity.

PDO - US Temperature
PDO / Raw US Temperature Record (click to enlarge)

The above is a graphic I put together, which shows the clear and obvious correlation between the PDO, and the raw US temperature record.  While it is not an exact match, as no single climate driver will be, it does show just how significant the PDO phase is, to our weather in the United States.  The PDO works in tandem with the next oscillation we’ll look at and discuss.

The AMO – Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation is quite similar to the PDO, but takes place in the northern Atlantic Ocean, and generally cycles with a periodicity of about 30 to 45 years.  The AMO has a major impact on temperature and precipitation throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but particularly eastern North America, and much of Europe, into western Asia.  When the AMO is in its cool phase, temperatures tend to be below normal over a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere.  Conversely, when the AMO is in its warm phase, above normal temperatures are typically observed.

AMO---US-Temperature
AMO – US Temperatures (click to enlarge)

Similar to the previous graphic, I put this together to show the obvious correlation between raw US temperatures, and the AMO phase.  The AMO phase correlates equally as well as the PDO phase does.  However, when you combine the effect of the two, this makes up about 70% of the influence on our daily weather, and short-term climate in the Northern Hemisphere.

Both the PDO and the AMO were in their warm phase for an extended period only once during the last 140 years, which was the 1930s into the early 1940s…. the time known as the “Dust Bowl”.  When both the PDO and the AMO are in their negative phase for an extended period, as occurred in the 1910s into the 1920s, and again in the 1960s and 70s, is when we get our coolest summers, and coldest winters. When one of them is in positive phase and the other in negative phase, the two rarely cancel each other out. In stead, it depends on the phase of various shorter term weather oscillations, such as the AO (Arctic Oscillation), NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation), and PNA (Pacific / North America Oscillation), which help determine which ocean’s phase is dominant in our daily weather.

As of late October of 2014, the PDO was mildly in its negative phase, and the AMO has just flipped into a weak negative phase.  Therefor, our next several years are likely to be much cooler than the past several have been.  Shorter term weather oscillations, such as the AO, NAO, and PNA, are what have pushed the so called “polar vortex” southward in the winter of 2013/14, which is likely to return in the next several winters.  The negative PDO phase has also been a significant contributor to the drought conditions in the western US.

Solar Cycles / Oscillations

Many people do not realize that our sun is actually a variable star.  Just how variable our star is over time, is a matter of some conjecture, and considerable importance to our long-term climate.  We only have sunspot records going back to the year 1610.  Prior to 1610 the solar record is reconstructed, based on ice cores, ocean bottom sediment cores, tree rings, and various other methods.  As a scientist, I prefer direct measurement methods, which involve less guess-work, and are much less open to interpretation / possible error.

In short-term climate, solar variability generally accounts for about 20% of what is observed.  In the geologic past, it may have been much higher, but this will be explained in later parts of this series.  For now, lets discuss the sunspot record that exists since 1610.

ssn_yearly
Sunspot Record since 1610 (click to enlarge)

The above graphic shows the sunspot count, since the year 1610 when direct measurement records began.  There are several features which are noteworthy in the sunspot record, which had significant impacts on our climate.  Most notable, is the clear oscillation between peak and valley in the sunspot count, which is what is commonly called the “Sunspot Cycle”.  The Sunspot Cycle is highly variable in both length (9 to 14 years), and strength, over time.  For example, when the sun goes into a period where peaks are both stronger, and closer together, as was the case in the latter half of the 20th Century, then our climate warms.  This is what was largely responsible for the period commonly called “Global Warming”.  Conversely, when the peaks are weaker and farther apart, as was the case during the “Little Ice Age”, our climate cools.  The effects of a strong solar peak are mitigated by the atmosphere’s ability to bleed excess heat off to space through convection.  Therefor the warming effects of solar peaks are of lesser importance to day-to-day weather and short-term climate, than are the effects of weaker solar activity.

Another major feature in the sunspot record is the period from about 1615 to about 1710, which is known as the Maunder Minimum.  During this period of “Solar Hibernation”, there were very few sunspots noted on the surface of the sun, and extended periods where none were noted at all.   A second, shorter “Solar Minimum” occurred between roughly 1805 and 1840, which is known as the “Dalton Minimum”.  The period from roughly 1600 to 1860 is known in climate as the “Little Ice Age”, as the effect of lower solar radiation, combined with an active period of volcanism, lead to cool summers and very cold winters throughout much of this period.  This combined effect lead to “The Year Without a Summer” in 1816 as measurable snow was observed throughout the summer months, in New England and parts of Europe.

One other item of note on the sunspot chart, is that our latest Solar Maximum was the weakest in a Century.  Many of the record cold temperatures that are now being tied or broken, were set the last time we had a Solar Maximum this weak.  Clearly, while solar variability only accounts for about 20% of our short-term climate, it can have a major impact on what we observe.

Something which goes along with this most recent weak Solar Maximum is the double-peak, with the second peak having just occurred in October and early November of 2014.  Looking back over the sunspot record, there are only two other times when a double-peak occurred similarly to what we’ve just observed.  Those two times were in 1615 as the Maunder Minimum began, and 1805 as the Dalton Minimum began.

Several scientists, such as Dr. Don Easterbrook, PhD, Piers Corbyn, and former NASA engineer John L. Casey, who has written a book entitled “Cold Sun“, have theorized that the sun is entering a new Solar Minimum similar to the Dalton Minimum, or possibly a new “Solar Hibernation” similar to the Maunder Minimum.  The current time frame of the sunspot record, is not long enough to determine if there is a possible cycle of Solar Minimum or Solar Hibernation.  Thus, trying to predict such a cycle is no easy task.  However thus far their predictions have been almost exactly accurate, making it quite likely that they are indeed, correct.  However, only time will tell.  If the sunspot count drops to almost zero and stays there, we’ll know for certain that at least a Dalton-type of Solar Minimum has begun.  Then, if it is sustained over a period of years, we’ll know it has become a Solar Hibernation.  We should know for sure within the next few years.  It should be noted, that if the sun enters a period of “Solar Hibernation”, it could have dramatic effects on human civilization.  Cool summers and shortened growing seasons could lead to significant crop losses throughout the “bread baskets” of the world.  Extremely cold winters could lead to a failed power grid, costing thousands of lives if it happens at the wrong time of year.

The Volcanism Connection

volcanoSome scientists, with which I personally agree, have hypothesized that when the sun goes into a period of Minimum or Hibernation, and infrared radiation from the sun declines, that other forms of radiation like neutrinos and cosmic rays, have a corresponding increase.  Cosmic rays are known through empirical and experimental data to increase atmospheric aerosols, which increase low level cloud cover, globally.  This increase in low clouds has the effect of reflecting sunlight, resulting in cooling of the short-term climate.  Additionally, neutrinos are believed to result in heating of the interior of planetary bodies in the Solar System.  Observations of Mercury and Mars may indicate a possible resurgence in their magnetic fields, while increased storm activity within the atmospheres of the Gas Giants and Ice Giants in the outer Solar System, also seems to point to an increase in internal heat within those planets.  Along the same lines… Earth responds to this increase in neutrinos with an increase in earthquake and volcano activity, which we are now beginning to observe.  While earthquakes have little effect on climate, volcanoes can have a major impact on climate.  The size of the impact on climate, relates directly to the size of the eruption.

Large volcanic eruptions such as Laki in 1783, Mt. Tambora in 1815, or Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, are able to spew significant amounts of sulfur dioxide, SO2, into the stratosphere.  SO2 then mixes with water vapor already in the stratosphere, to become sulfuric acid.  Sulfuric acid has the effect of blocking sunlight.  This effect when combined with reduced IR radiation from the sun, and the effect of low clouds reflecting sunlight, is what leads to periods like the “Little Ice Age”, especially during those periods when the PDO phase and AMO phase are both negative at the same time, which is what accounts for the coldest years of the “Little Ice Age”.

If temperature records went back far enough, the coldest year on record for the eastern United States would be 1784, the year after Laki erupted in Iceland.  In 1784, the Mississippi River froze over at New Orleans, and ice was observed on the surface of the northern Gulf of Mexico, while much of the eastern US had its most extreme winter recorded before, or since.  This is what happens when all of these negative feedback forces on our climate, hit us all at once.  Given recent activity of Icelandic volcanoes, with both the PDO phase and AMO phase now negative, and the sun possibly going into a phase of weaker activity, a repeat of 1784 could be on the horizon.

Coming Soon….
Natural Climate Cycles Part 2 – Millennial Cycles
Natural Climate Cycles Part 3 – Glacial Cycles and the Milankovich Cycle Theory
Natural Climate Cycles Part 4 – Deep Time Cycles

 

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Government Study (Once Again) Shows Fracking Does Not Harm Drinking Water

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 photo oil-well_zpsf28f3739.jpg

Hat/Tip to Michael Bastasch at The Daily Caller.

File this one under “you’ll never hear this on the evening news.”

The Energy Department has released a study that once again shows that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is not harming drinking water supplies in the Marcellus Shale region.

The DOE’s report found no evidence that fracking fluid or natural gas migrated into drinking water aquifers. The report found that “fracture growth ceased more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers and there was no detectable upward migration of gas or fluids from the hydraulically-fractured Marcellus Shale.”

Not only was the Department of Energy thorough in their investigation of fracking, but this is the second time they’ve come to the same conclusion.

Researchers with the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) used tracers to look for evidence that fluid and gas from fractured shale had migrated the 3,800 feet upward into the “Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian age shale” — the area midway between the surface and the Marcellus shale.

NETL researchers detected “microseismic signals that were at least “2,000 feet beneath the Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian gas field, and more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers.” Researchers collected gas samples from the “Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian” gas field 2 months prior to fracking activity and up to 8 months afterwards.

“Monitoring of the Upper Devonian gas field up to 5 months following fracturing produced no evidence of fluid migration,” according to NETL’s report.

This is the second time DOE has exonerate fracking of contaminating drinking water supplies. NETL found no evidence of drinking water contamination in a 2013 study of Pennsylvania gas wells. The Environmental Protection Agency has failed to link fracking to groundwater contamination on three separate occasions.

Leave it to the left to twist themselves into a pretzel in order to spin this report into an “urgent” call for a ban on fracking.

The anti-fracking group Food & Water Watch (FWW) put out a report calling for a ban on the drilling process because of its harmful effects on public health and the environment. FWW first called for a fracking ban in 2011.

“We first made the case for a ban on fracking in 2011, but this new report shows that there is an urgent case for a ban,” writes FWW President Wenonah Hauter in the report. “The evidence is in, and it is clear and overwhelming. Fracking is inherently unsafe, cannot be regulated and should be banned. Instead, we should transition aggressively to a renewable and efficient energy system.”

So even though it has been scientifically proven more than once that fracking is NOT a threat to the environment, the left still has their head in the sand when it comes to this issue.

But environmentalist claims that fracking is contaminating water supplies and releasing tons of toxic substances have not been confirmed by state and federal regulators.

For example, a recent report found that faulty well construction, not hydraulic fracturing is to blame for incidents of water contamination in Pennsylvania and Texas. A team of experts from universities including, Duke University, Stanford and Dartmouth took samples from 130 wells where there was suspected water contamination. USA Today reports the researchers found that “methane was neither naturally occurring nor the result of hydraulic fracturing.”

“Our data clearly show that the contamination in these clusters stems from well-integrity problems such as poor casing and cementing,” Thomas Darrah, who led the research team while he was a scientist at Duke University, told USA Today.

“These results appear to rule out the possibility that methane has migrated up into drinking water aquifers because of horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing, as some people feared,” echoed Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke.

Read the full story here.

 

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The Largest School of Manta Rays Ever Filmed

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This amazing video captured in 2012 shows the largest school of Manta Rays ever recorded.

Diego Sacramento
Diego Sacramento

At first I thought it was a bird. Then I zoomed-in closer and could not believe my eyes.What do you see in this video, is an incredibly large group of mobular rays and they do something totally unexpected. Thankfully, National Geographic filmed this event and we may be witnessing a very special natural spectacle.

More from Diego Sacramento.

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Global Temperature Update: No global warming at all for 17 years 9 months

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Hat/Tip to Climate Depot for this one. Global Climate Warming Change Alarmists like Al Gore would have you believe that the planet is merely weeks away from self-annihilation. Yet the truth tells a very different story.

“212 months without global warming represents more than half the 423-month satellite data record, which began in January 1979′

‘Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming”

Special to Climate Depot 

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley,

According to the RSS satellite data, whose value for April 2014 is just in, the global warming trend in the 17 years 9 years since August 1996 is zero. The 212 months without global warming represents more than half the 423-month satellite data record, which began in January 1979. No one now in high school has lived through global warming.

no warming 17 years 9 months

The long Pause may well come to an end by this winter, when an el Niño event is expected in the equatorial eastern Pacific, causing global temperature to rise quite sharply. The el Niños of 1998, 2007, and 2010 are visible in the graph. El Niños occur about every three or four years, though no one is entirely sure what triggers them. They cause a temporary spike in temperature, often followed by a sharp drop during the la Niña phase, as can be seen in 1999, 2008, and 2011-2012, where there was a “double-dip” la Niña.

The ratio of el Niños to la Niñas tends to fall during the 30-year negative or cooling phases of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the latest of which began in late 2001. So, though the Pause may pause for a few months at the turn of the year, it may well resume late in 2015.

Either way, it is ever clearer that global warming has not been happening at anything like the rate predicted by the climate models, and is not at all likely to occur even at the much-reduced rate now predicted. There could be as little as 1 Cº global warming this century, not the 3-4 Cº predicted by the IPCC.

So it would seem that weather and temp on a global scale is entirely cyclical. Hmmm, isn’t that what we “climate deniers” have been saying all along?

Key facts about global temperature: 

  • The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 213 months from August 1996 to April 2014. That is more than half the entire 423-month satellite record.
  • The fastest centennial warming rate was in Central England from 1663-1762, at 0.9 Cº per century – before the industrial revolution began. It cannot have been our fault.
  • The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us.
  • The fastest warming trend lasting ten years or more occurred over the 40 years from 1694-1733 in Central England. It was equivalent to 4.3 Cº per century.
  • Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend is equivalent to 1.2 Cº per century.
  • The fastest warming rate lasting ten years or more since 1950 occurred over the 33 years from 1974 to 2006. It was equivalent to 2.0 Cº per century.
  • In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of the near-term warming trend was equivalent to 3.5 Cº per century.
  • The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to 1.4 Cº per century – two-fifths of what the IPCC had then predicted.
  • In 2013 the IPCC’s new mid-range prediction of the near-term warming trend was for warming at a rate equivalent to 1.7 Cº per century – just half its 1990 prediction.
  • Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its centennial warming prediction of 3.7 Cº warming to 2100 on business as usual.
  • The IPCC’s prediction of 3.7 Cº warming by 2100 is more than twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.
  • The IPCC’s 3.7 Cº-by-2100 prediction is more than three times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.
  • Since 1 January 2001, the dawn of the new millennium, the warming trend on the dataset of five major datasets is zero – 0.0 Cº per century. No warming for 13 years 3 months.
  • Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming. It is as simple as that.

 

Related Links: 

Global Temperature Update: No global warming at all for 17 years 8 months – No Warming Since August 1996

Climate Depot Analysis: ‘There have been at least nine  ten separate explanations for the standstill in global warming’ – 1) Low Solar Activity; 2) Oceans Ate Warming; 3) Chinese Coal Use; 4) Montreal Protocol; 5) Readjusted past temps to claim ‘pause’ never existed 6) Volcanoes 7) Decline in Water Vapor 8) Pacific Trade Winds 9)  ’Stadium Waves’ 10) ‘Coincidence’

Sea level rise slows while satellite temperature ‘pause’ dominates measurement record

Antarctic Sea Ice Expands To New Records – Approaching The Largest Anomaly Ever Recorded

‘The Himalayan glacier melt really was the least of the errors’ – UN IPCC Lead Author Dr. Richard Tol turns on UN: ‘The IPCC does not guard itself against selection bias and group think’ – ‘Alarmism feeds polarization. Climate zealots want to burn heretics of global warming on a stick’

Harvard Univ. Prof. On UN IPCC: ‘Serious ‘conflict of interest’ between scientists and governments’ – Top climate expert’s sensational claim of government meddling in crucial UN report – UN Lead Author Robert Stavins ‘was one of only two scientists present, surrounded by ‘45 or 50’ government officials’

Earth ‘Serially Doomed’: UN Issues New 15 Year Climate Tipping Point – But UN Issued Tipping Points in 1982 & Another 10-Year Tipping Point in 1989!

 

More and more scientists are leaving the global warming movement, many formerly with the UN IPCC.

 Another Dissenter: Geoscientst & former UN Consultant Dr. David Kear declares warming fears ‘based on unfounded unscientific beliefs’ – An ‘innocent gas, CO2, has been demonized and criminalized’

 

Another Prominent Scientist Dissents! Fmr. NASA Scientist Dr. Les Woodcock ‘Laughs’ at Global Warming – ‘Global warming is nonsense’ Top Prof. Declares

 

Green Guru James Lovelock on Climate Change: ‘I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess’ – Lovelock Reverses Himself on Global Warming

 

More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims – Challenge UN IPCC & Gore

 

Top Swedish Climate Scientist Says Warming Not Noticeable: ‘The warming we have had last a 100 years is so small that if we didn’t have climatologists to measure it we wouldn’t have noticed it at all’ – Award-Winning Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, formerly of UN IPCC: ‘We Are Creating Great Anxiety Without It Being Justified’

 

‘High Priestess of Global Warming’ No More! Former Warmist Climate Scientist Judith Curry Admits To Being ‘Duped Into Supporting IPCC’ – ‘If the IPCC is dogma, then count me in as a heretic’

 

German Meteorologist reverses belief in man-made global warming: Now calls idea that CO2 Can Regulate Climate ‘Sheer Absurdity’ — ‘Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us’

 

UN Scientists Who Have Turned on the UN IPCC & Man-Made Climate Fears — A Climate Depot Flashback Report – Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” – UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

 

‘Some of the most formidable opponents of climate hysteria include politically liberal physics Nobel laureate, Ivar Giaever; Freeman Dyson; father of the Gaia Hypothesis, James Lovelock — ‘Left-center chemist, Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the fathers of the German environmental movement’

 

Flashback: Left-wing Env. Scientist Bails Out Of Global Warming Movement: Declares it a ‘corrupt social phenomenon…strictly an imaginary problem of the 1st World middleclass’

Al Who? Gallup Poll: Americans concern about global warming falls to 1989 levels! — Climate ranks lowest among ENVIRONMENTAL Issues

Update: Excuse number 10 for the global warming ‘pause’ — ‘Coincidence!’, according to NASA scientists: ‘Coincidence, conspired to dampen warming trends’

Greenpeace Co-Founder Tells U.S. Senate: Earth’s Geologic History ‘fundamentally contradicts’ CO2 Climate Fears: ‘We had both higher temps and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today’

 Read the full story here.

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Crises Response by Two Presidents: A Look Back

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As we head into the new year, with an eye on the upcoming, all-important mid-term elections, let’s take a look back at how two different presidents handled a crisis, shall we? These events are separate; each having their own hurdles and problems, but both tied to the same geographic area.

On one hand, we have President George W. Bush and one of the major crises of his administration – that would be Hurricane Katrina. And on the other, we have President Barack H. Obama and his response to the Gulf Oil Spill.

On April 20, 2010 the deep water oil platform, Deepwater Horizon suffers an explosion so intense that the 11 rig workers bodies were never recovered. For two days the platform burns and on the 22nd, another explosion sends the platform to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. At this point, thousands of gallons of crude oil are spilling into the gulf each day. President Obama waits nine days from the first explosion to even make a public statement about the disaster. He pledges “every single available resource” to respond to this emergency. In total, he waits an astonishing 12 days to even tour the affected areas. He won’t see the area again until over a month after the original explosion, when he visits again on May 28, 2010.

Backtrack to 2007 and then candidate Obama said, of the Bush administration’s response to Katrina: “Part of the problem, I’ll be honest with you, I just don’t think there is a sense of urgency in the White House, where the president is cracking the whip, day in, day out, and saying, ‘Why is it that we’re not getting this done?'” Obama said.

Continuing on with President Obama’s response to the Gulf Oil Spill, President Obama denied the offered help from the Dutch government who made available the latest in oil skimming technology, citing the Jones Act. It is interesting to note that President Bush issued a temporary waiver of the Jones Act following Katrina – despite having received campaign donations from the Seafarer’s International Union in 2000 and 2004.

In little more than one month since the first explosion, President Obama engaged in a week of vacation, several fundraisers, several campaign events, attended 7 sporting events and played over a half dozen rounds of golf. Let’s just remind President Obama of candidate Obama’s words, “I’ll be honest with you, I just don’t think there is a sense of urgency in the White House, where the president is cracking the whip, day in, day out, and saying, ‘Why is it that we’re not getting this done?”

Almost 45 days into the Gulf Oil Spill, President Obama sends Attorney General Eric Holder and a team of Justice Department lawyers down to the gulf area. On day 58 of the disaster, President Obama assigns a “Blue Ribbon” panel to investigate the causes of the BP Gulf Oil Spill. He also tells the Today Show that he wants to know, “…whose ass to kick.”

By July 15, 2010 BP announces that it has capped the well and the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico has been stopped.

Now let’s shift our focus back to August of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina tore into the gulf region of the United States, leaving death and destruction in its’ wake.

President Bush was already on a working vacation at his ranch in Texas. He flew over the area ravaged by Katrina, deciding that landing Air Force One, which would necessitate shutting down the New Orleans or Baton Rouge airports, would hamper rescue efforts. He actually cut his “vacation” short to fly back to DC to coordinate the federal response.

It is worth noting that Bush faced tough opposition from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and then Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Both were contacted by the National Hurricane Center and urged to put evacuation plans into motion. Both Nagin and Blanco decided not to. In fact, President Bush declared the areas affected by Katrina a national disaster area BEFORE Blanco did on a state level. He did this to facilitate advanced preparations.

Donna Brazile, a pundit that works for CNN and is a former Vice Chairwoman for voter registration for the Democratic National Committee, has been known to be a harsh critic of President Bush. However, she wrote an article titled, “Brazile: Bush Came Through on Katrina,” about her experience with President Bush during her work on the Lousiana State Commission overseeing the long-term recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

She wrote, “George W. Bush was good as his word. He visited the Gulf States 17 times; went 13 times to New Orleans. Laura Bush made 24 trips. Bush saw that $126 billion in aid was sent to the Gulf’s residents, as some members of his own party in Congress balked. Bush put a special emphasis on rebuilding schools and universities. He didn’t forget African-Americans: Bush provided $400 million to the historically black colleges, now integrated, that remain a pride, and magnet for African-American students. Laura Bush, a librarian, saw to it that thousands of books ruined by the floods were replaced. To this day, there are many local libraries with tributes devoted to her efforts.”

And speaking of Bush being as good as his word, as it relates to the Katrina recovery, President Bush signed the following seven acts into law:

*     Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Meet Immediate Needs Arising From the Consequences of Hurricane Katrina

*     Second Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to Meet Immediate Needs Arising From the Consequences of Hurricane Katrina

*     2005 Flexibility for Displaced Workers Act

*     Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005

*     QI, TMA, and Abstinence Programs Extension

*     the Hurricane Katrina Unemployment Relief Act of 2005

*     the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005

Oh, and the number of acts President Obama has signed into law as relates to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

Zero.

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Apparently, Environmentalists Want us to Die

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Back when ObamaCare was being “debated,” and when I say “debated,” I mean it was the Democratic super majority mocking Republicans, Congressman Shrek indicated that the Republicans wanted people to “die quickly.”  Of course, being a shrill, asinine Marxist, Congressman Shrek had it all wrong.  It’s the environmentalists that want us to “die quickly.”   Life News has more…

Humans are the enemy! A new study published in Ecology and Society claims that longer life expectancy for us is bad news for the planet. From the study by Aaron Lotz and Craig R. Allen:

We found a positive relationship between life expectancy and the percentage of endangered and invasive species in a country…The overall trend in high-income countries with improvements to the Human Development Index, which includes human life expectancy as one of its variables, is toward a disproportionately larger negative impact on a country’s ecological footprint. However, some lower-income countries have a high level of development without a high impact on ecosystem services (Moran et al. 2008).

Increased life expectancy means that people live longer and affect the planet longer; each year is another year of carbon footprint, ecological footprint, use of natural resources, etc. The magnitude of this impact is increased as more people live longer.

OK then, let’s parse this…

All you proles need to croak sooner in order to save mother Earth.

Thanks goodness ObamaCare will take care of that for us. 

This only applies to you proles?  Why are you looking at us? we’re like, important and stuff.  Do you think our rules apply to us? Think about Al Gore, got it?

In my usual fashion, I would tell them to “lead by example.”  I’m sure there are copies of “Final Exit” in used book stores.  But, for some reason, they never listen.

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North Dakota Floating on Oil, How will Obama Stop it?

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We know there is a oil boom going on under the northern plains.  In fact, it appears that North Dakota is virtually floating on oil.  However, the scope of it is only now being realized.  The Lid has the facts…

It isn’t new news that there is oil and natural gas under the ground in North Dakota. The news is the latest estimate of the U.S. Geological Survey which reports that reservoir of fossil fuel is double the oil and triple the natural gas originally projected. The new find makes the North Dakota oil field the largest ever on the continental US–even larger than the Texas oil fields that made J.R. Ewing famous.

The fossil fuel fields (Bakken and Three Forks) are shale formations and can be harvested via fracking:

The primary source of oil for the Bakken and Three Forks Formations are the Upper and Lower Bakken Shale Members of the Bakken Formation. USGS assessed the Bakken and Three Forks Formations for both continuous and conventional resources. Unlike conventional oil accumulations, continuous oil remains in or near the original source rock, and instead of occurring in discrete accumulations is dispersed heterogeneously over large geographic areas.

Now, the only question is how will the Obama administration block access to these finds?  they can’t allow this to be drilled, unless it’s going to the ChiComs, or a company owned by George Soros.  It’s simply against the administration’s DNA to allow energy prices to come down.  The middle class must be brought onto the government plantation, and high energy costs are vital to that end.

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Are “Supercapacitor” Batteries Coming Our Way? And Why the Left Will be Sad

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Imagine a cell phone that will charge in minutes, or even seconds?  What if an electric car will charge in a fraction of the current time?  A Supercapacitor Battery would be a game changer!  Andrew Riley at All American Blogger posted the following video.

OK, here’s my thinking. If this type of battery could be massed produced, electric cars could be a real alternative. Off the grid solar and wind, with these supercapcitors storing the juice, would be a more attractive option. People could be energy independent. The global warming alarmists (at least on the basis of their own rhetoric) could be largely silenced. BUT…That’s not the point of the environmental movement at all. And, energy independence does not allow the state much control over the populace. The point of the environmental movement is control of the means of production, and therefore, every human being on earth-from cradle to grave. This development sabotages all of this. So, I wonder if we’ll ever hear about it again, or will the genius of the market win the day?

I personally see the introduction of a cheap supercapacitor batter as a day of mourning for the environmentalists, as well as the left as a whole. It simply represents too great a loss of potential political and personal power.

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Glenn Beck on Agenda 21

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Glenn Beck has some rather well made, and very creepy, commercials on Agenda 21.  Take a look for your self…

There are a number of links on the site regarding Agenda 21, I’ll be posting a compilation later.  Let’s just say that you ought to know what Agenda 21 is, and how it will one day affect you.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green: Green Cars Cause More Pollution!

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When it comes to green cars, I feel obligated to invoke Quinn’s First Law…

“Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of it’s stated intent.”

You can’t argue it.  The “war on poverty” caused more poverty.  Since the onset of the Department of Education, education has gotten worse.  I could go on all day, but you get the point.  Liberals state that they are going to make something better, and instead make it worse.  Then, they blame us for their failure.  Here is the latest; green cars cause more pollution!  The Lonely Conservative has more…

The Daily Caller reported that a new study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that “green” electric cars are worse for the environment than traditional automobiles that run on gasoline or diesel. I don’t even think they took into account what happens when electric cars catch on fire.

Specifically, the study found that electric car factories can emit more toxic waste than gas-burning car factories. And greenhouse gas emissions rise exponentially if coal is used to produce the electricity necessary to charge “green” vehicles, according to the study.

The researchers compared the overall life-cycle impact of petrol or diesel-powered cars and electric vehicles and concluded that the latter can significantly damage the climate.

“The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles,” the report said. “It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion.” (Read More)

Now, I’m sure that some Obamabot could come by and mention that Obama’s killing the coal industry, just like he promised…Oh wait, they aren’t going to admit that, especially so close to the election.  I wonder how they can argue this one then?

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Equalizing Outcomes “Obama Style” Think Sustainable Living ala Agenda 21

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The closest thing to work Barack Obama has ever done was when he was a “Community Organizer” in Chicago. If he is reelected, he plans to capitalize on that experience.

I came across a very scary National Review  article that was reblogged at John Malcolm’s place. And, I thank him. The NR article is by Stanley Kurtz and is an adaption from his book  Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.

Have you ever heard of the concept of “regionalism”? I vaguely recall reading that term in some research I did a while back on Agenda 21. Mr. Kurtz explains that Obama learned to embrace regionalism from his Chicago community organizing mentors at the Gamaliel Foundation. “Regionalism” is the idea that the suburbs should be folded into the cities, merging schools, housing, transportation, and above all taxation. Kurtz says that the relationship with his community organizing mentors continues to this day.

The alliance endures. One of Obama’s original trainers, Mike Kruglik, has hived off a new organization called Building One America, which continues Gamaliel’s anti-suburban crusade under another name. Kruglik and his close allies, David Rusk and Myron Orfield, intellectual leaders of the “anti-sprawl” movement, have been quietly working with the Obama administration for years on an ambitious program of social reform.

But, how could this possibly be pulled off?

One approach is to force suburban residents into densely packed cities by blocking development on the outskirts of metropolitan areas, and by discouraging driving with a blizzard of taxes, fees, and regulations. Step two is to move the poor out of cities by imposing low-income-housing quotas on development in middle-class suburbs. Step three is to export the controversial “regional tax-base sharing” scheme currently in place in the Minneapolis–St. Paul area to the rest of the country. Under this program, a portion of suburban tax money flows into a common regional pot, which is then effectively redistributed to urban, and a few less well-off “inner-ring” suburban, municipalities.

[…]

The centerpiece of the Obama administration’s anti-suburban plans is a little-known and seemingly modest program called the Sustainable Communities Initiative. The “regional planning grants” funded under this initiative — many of them in battleground states like Florida, Virginia, and Ohio — are set to recommend redistributive policies, as well as transportation and development plans, designed to undercut America’s suburbs. Few have noticed this because the program’s goals are muffled in the impenetrable jargon of “sustainability,” while its recommendations are to be unveiled only in a possible second Obama term.

Long time followers of Conservatives on Fire know that I am supporting Mitt Romney; but he was not was not the person I wanted to be our candidate for President. I do not agree, however, with my libertarian friends that Romney would be as bad or worse than Obama.Romney may not be a conservative but we know that he bends like a reed in the direction the wind is blowing. Our job is to make sure that wind is blowing  from the Tea Party members of the House and Senate. We need to elect more Tea Party candidates this election cycle and again in 2014 and 2016 and etc. If we can elect enough conservatives to the House and Senate, Romney will willingly move in their direction. Obama must be defeated!

On a side note, I was talking the other day with my sister, whom I love dearly. She is five years my senior, she is a widow, and she has a steady boyfriend who is in his eighties. She and her boyfriend both live on UAW pensions and Social Security. They are both life long Democrats but both totally disengaged from politics. Because I know my sister always votes straight Democratic ticket, I never talk politics with her. But, this time I decided to tease her a little bit and I asked her how she was going to vote this election? Her response was that she didn’t even know who was running but that she would vote Democrat as usual. So, I said: “You are going to vote for Obama again?” Her answer was very interesting. She said: “no, no, no we are not voting for Obama. He has lost our votes.”  What this means is that my sister and her boyfriend will vote for every Democrat on the ticket in Michigan but they will not vote for Obama. They won’t vote for Romney either. And, I’m thinking there may be a lot of Democrats like my sister and her boyfriend. I hope so!

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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Does the US Hold the Largest Oil Reserves on the Planet?

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Quite possibly, if we listen to the following official from the GAO…

So then, if we are floating on oil, and the only barrier to this windfall is government, who is the problem? I think we all know the answer to that.

John Hinderaker, from Powerline, adds some more…

…Green River Formation alone–it is located at the intersection of the states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and mostly underlies federal lands–contains as much oil as the entire proven reserves of the rest of the world combined. America is uniquely blessed in its energy resources. Two questions remain: 1) will Obama finally abandon his moronic two percent claim, and 2) will Obama, in a possible second term, block the development of the resources that can assure America’s economic supremacy for generations?

Once again, I think we know the answer to those questions as well.

For those that might be new to this, it has long been our contention that the political left thinks that it is unfair the the US has such a powerful economy.  They also see this as a “zero sum game,” meaning that there is a finite amount of wealth out there, and we have so much because we have somehow stolen it from others.   There is new wealth created every time a product or service of value is invented and offered for sale, but they deny that fact.   They fail to recognize that wealth is expanded, created, and distributed by the market far more efficiently in a capitalist system.  So, in a misguided sense of “fairness,” our leftist friends try to “cut us down to size,” by limiting our ability to develop new energy, create new factories, and the new technology that goes in them.  By limiting the amount of energy sources available to us, they put the brakes on growth, and the creation of wealth.  By doing this, they stifle job creation, as well as revenue to local, state, and federal coffers.    But, in their minds, this is the right thing to do.  Not only is it the wrong thing to do, it is done for all the wrong reasons as well.

Some will discuss the environment, but then again, the environment is the cover that is used to justify the attempt to wreck the engine of the economy.  I would bet a year’s income that if an unlimited and completely clean source of power were created tomorrow, the environmentalists will be rending their garments in grief, as their best chance to kill capitalism just went down the tubes.

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If I wanted America to fail

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Okay all, I found a great new site and stumbled upon them after seeing their video in the Facebook group, Conservative Blogger Meet Up. This group, by the way is always chock full of videos, stories and info that help articulate the Conservative message. Great group, I encourage all to join.

As I said above, I watched the video on my FB group page. It is a powerful, yet simple video which really exposes the left’s agenda for our beautiful country. Those responsible for the video call themselves Free Market America. Check out their website, it is well worth the time and effort to do so.

From their site:

We’re Free Market America.

Our mission is to defend economic freedom against environmental extremism. Since the 1960s, environmental regulation has skyrocketed by over 7,000 percent! It’s a no-brainer that everyone wants clean water and clean air. But when it comes to environmental regulation, we’ve catapulted past commonsense.
~~~~~
Free Market America began as Free Market Florida. In 2011, we began campaigning against the U.S. EPA’s so-called “Water Tax” – a Florida-focused measure that would’ve required the water in roadside drainage canals to meet the same standards as Florida’s pristine rivers and streams. Economists estimated the “Water Tax” would’ve cost Florida’s farmers, taxpayers, businesses and consumers billions each year.

A year earlier, in 2010, we led a coalition of more than 330 business, civic and labor groups against a Sierra Club-backed ballot initiative that aimed to shut down economic growth in the Sunshine State. We won that battle; but we realized that fringe environmental groups are well-financed litigation engines determined to steamroll commonsense whenever it’s convenient for them. We founded Free Market Florida to fight back.

Now, we’re taking the same approach to environmental issues of national concern. That’s why we want to hear from you. Where is environmental extremism threatening the free market? Drop us a line.

And without further ado, here is the video:

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Obama’s Social Engineers at Work in the EPA

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Brian Sussman had a post at American Thinker yesterday. In his opening paragraph he states:

I  just got off a conference call with the Environmental Protection Agency (I do  this regularly just to try stay in the loop as to what these seditious  bureaucrats are up to). The call featured EPA chief Lisa Jackson who shared an  “important announcement” regarding “the Obama administration’s commitment to  environmental justice.”

Now, this immediately got my attention because not just anybody can can pick up the phone and get a conference call  with the EPA chief,, Lisa Jackson.  Since Mr. Sussman’s name didn’t ring any bells with me, I used the magic of Google and Wikipedia to learn that Brian Sussman is an Emmy award-winning television journalist and conservative talk radio host in the San Francisco area.

So, what did our conservative talk radio host learn from his conference call?

In  today’s announcement from the EPA, Jackson stated, “If we aspire to build an  economy and a society that works for every American, we can’t allow the heaviest  burdens of pollution and health threats to fall on our poorest citizens.  Bringing together our federal partners to tackle these challenges is a major  step toward health, environmental and economic benefits in communities across  the nation.”

Are you scared yet? You should be. Think about what Ms. Jackson means by “our federal partners”. Here is a clue from Sussman:

Among  the special announcements today:

  • The  Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration is finalizing an  environmental justice circular to help organizations that have received federal  EPA grants to determine whether there are any minority or low-income populations  that may be adversely affected by a proposed transit project. If there are, then  either the project will be stopped or altered, or the people affected will  likely be eligible for a paid-for-by-the-feds move to a better  neighborhood.
  • The Department of Labor is translating  educational materials and hazard alerts into Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese to  ensure that minority workers have access to information they need to avoid  environmental hazards on the job. The result will be more minorities (including  illegal aliens) filing lawsuits against their employers.

It should be clear to you now what the EPA and their “federal partners” are planning to do to the productive sector, the employers, across America.  They are going to allow any environmental group and any community organizing group to nominate communities that are “unfairly” burdened by pollutants so that the businesses in those communities can be investigated and charged with creating environmental injustices and then be forced to pay fines which will be used to bring justice to the residents of these communities.

Folks, this is just one more Obama wealth redistribution plan.  In the name of environmental justice, this administration will  expand their efforts to kill off what remains of our free market economy.

One of the participants in the conference with Mr. Sussman  was  Elizabeth C. Yeampierre, chair of EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council. mr. Sussman thought she summed up this fiasco best when she said:

Communities that have historically been the reluctant hosts to the country’s  environmental burdens have endured the consequence of poor public health,  housing, employment and education inequities to name a few. The Administration  deserves praise for recognizing that these complex problems require a holistic  approach

A holistic approach? Really? It’s not as though we needed another reason to make Obama a one term president; but, we have one. A big one.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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Remember When Commies Were Called Reds? Now Their Favorite Color Is Green

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To me the words communist and socialist and liberals and progressives are interchangeable. Most progressives/liberals are offended when referred to as socialist and even more so when referred to as communist. I don’t do it to offend those on the left. I do it because there is no other end for their agenda than extreme socialism or communism. In this day and age, their agenda is not for the state to take over all means of production via expropriations, ala Chavez, but to gain effective control of the means of production through regulatory law and crony socialism. Yes “crony socialism” and not crony capitalism as so many have erroneously called it.

The biggest socialist/communist organization in the world, also known as the United Nations, went “green” almost twenty years ago as the primary means of promoting their world-wide socialist agenda for wealth redistribution. Their principle and most effective weapon is their Agenda 21 plans for the world, which relies heavily on environmental policies to eventually gain total control of land and water and, thereby control over all of humanity. I don’t know how successful they have been in other countries but they are making great strides here in the United States. They are so proud of their green socialism; Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Security Council are thinking about changing their blue helmets for, you guessed it, green helmets. (Source)

The UN’s Agenda 21 policies were unconstitutionally introduced into America by Bill Clinton. Because the UN is not popular with many Americans,  the progressives in our government don’t use the name Agenda 21. They have been very creative in coming up with more palatable names such as Smart Growth and Sustainable Living and many others. But what ever they call it, the goal is the same. Under the guise of protecting the environment, the government is instituting incremental socialism by placing more and more restrictions on land use and water use while at the same time hindering the development of cheap fossil fuels for energy production. Incrementally, Americans are being forced to lower their standard of living.  Incrementally we will forced to live in less and less space, to consume less and less energy and food,  and through restriction on the use of ever-growing “public” lands our ability to move about states and our country will be restricted. I am not touting some conspiracy theory folks. This has been going on for years now and under the Obama regime it has picked up speed.

For most of the last eighteen years, implementation  of  Agenda 21,  via Smart Growth plans and Communities for Sustainable Living programs, have focused on urban areas. But now, under  Obama , more emphasis is being directed at rural America.  Remember the Food Safety Modernization Act passed last year? If not, please Google it.  And, recently President Obama created his White House Rural Council.  And now we learn tha the Department of Transportation (DOT)  is writing regulations to force all operators of farm equipment to have a commercial drivers license. Bob Mack of the Be Sure You’re RIGHT, Then Go Ahead blog has an excellent post today that touches on these issues.

But there is more! Listen up those of you who like to hunt. You are about to be pissed off. Obama is now using the USDA, the Forest Service and the BLM to restrict your access to public lands that you have hunted for years. The PPJ Gazette has the story. Read it and weep!

Folks, a coup d’etat is taking place in America and the Progressive/Liberal/Socialist/Communist are the only ones aware of it. The rest of us are lost in our blissful ignorance. WAKE UP AMERICA!

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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Green Energy Is Burning Up Your Green $$$

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Obama’s insane energy policy is burning a hole through the American’s family budget. At the same time, our government is burning through our tax dollars while putting our future generations deeper and deeper in debt.

How are Americans reacting to this insanity? That I can tell, there is almost no reaction from Main Street America. The reason, I think, is obvious.  The average American is being battered about like a ball in a pin ball machine by the multitude of negative impacts their government’s policies are having on them. It is almost impossible for anyone to focus on one bad policy long enough before another one smacks them from behind. We bloggers, on the other hand,  are able to sift through numerous issues each day and decide to write about one of them. In that fashion, I decided that today I would write about the absurdity of Obama’s “Green” energy policies.

What The Obama Administration Won’t Tell You About Solar Power is the title of a recent article at The Daley Gator, via Big Peace,  which begs for attention that it is not likely to get. So, I will do my humble best to help raise awareness on this important issue. Here are some of the highlights:

On Friday, Secretary of the Interior Salazar praised a new solar project in California, expected to be the largest in the world, as a major milestone in fulfilling President Obama’s promise to expand renewable energy.[i] The first phase of the project, to be completed in 2013, is being supported by a U.S. Department of Energy $2.1 billion loan guarantee. The 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in Riverside County, California claims to be able to power between 300,000 and 750,000 homes and create 1,000 temporary jobs and about 200 permanent jobs. The truth is that solar power alone will dependably serve very few homes because it is too unreliable but will cost up to 5 times as much as the cheapest form of electrical generation. Consumers, businesses, and the taxpayer will suffer.

Of course, Secretary Salazar does not tell the public that this solar plant will provide only a small fraction of the power that a 1,000 megawatt fossil fuel or nuclear plant would provide. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a new solar thermal plant has an average capacity factor of only 18 percent, which compares to a new natural gas combined cycle plant at 87 percent, a new coal-fired plant at 85 percent and a new nuclear plant at 90 percent.

Think about for a second or two, my friends. A capacity factor of only 18 frigging percent. This is twenty-first century progress?

And, the capital cost compared to conventional generating plants of the same size:

Not only is the annual production less but the cost of the solar plant is much higher. According to the EIA’s analysis of the cost of new generating plants which begin producing power in 2016, the projected capital cost of a solar thermal power plant excluding finance charges is $4,692 per kilowatt compared to $2,844 per kilowatt for a dual-unit coal-fired plant and $978 per kilowatt for a natural-gas combined cycle plant. [iv] So, the cost for a 1,000 megawatt solar plant would be $4.7 billion dollars, a coal-fired plant would be $2.8 billion, and a natural gas combined cycle plant would be just under $1 billion.

What about the relative production costs?

* solar thermal, 31.2 cents per kilowatt hour,
* coal, 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour,
* natural gas combined cycle, 6.2 cents per kilowatt hour, and
* nuclear, 11.4 cents per kilowatt hour.

When I look at these numbers my blood starts to boil. Our government (well maybe it’s not our government but Obama’s government) is promoting and subsidising solar energy at a cost of 31.2 cents per kilowatt-hour while impeding development of our humongous gas reserves, which could be used to produce energy at not 6.2 cent per kilowatt-hour but something even less. If private industry had the freedom to develop our gas reserves, the unit cost of that gas would be significantly less than it is today.

So, the lucky citizens of California will be paying through the nose for their electrical energy. (That ought to really help the sales of the Chevy Volt.) But don’t worry. I’m sure it wong belong when everyone will have the chance to watch their Green$$$ being burnt up by a Obama Green Energy Plant near you.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Conservatives on Fire

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