Scientists: ‘Severe droughts experienced recently…can no longer be seen as purely natural hazards’ – Land use & water management contribute

Changes to the way people use the water and the landscape contribute to extreme water shortages.

The University’s Water Science Research Group is leading key researchers from 13 organisations in eight countries to redefine how the world should study and tackle drought. The researchers propose broadening the definition of drought to include water shortage caused and made worse — or sometimes improved — by human activity.

…severe droughts experienced recently in countries such as China, Brazil and the United States can no longer be seen as purely natural hazards

The current California drought has severely affected the state’s environment and economy. Storing water in reservoirs and extracting groundwater increase evaporation and decrease groundwater levels, making the drought worse. It demonstrates how strongly water and society are intertwined during drought periods.

Europe suffered a severe drought last summer with high heat causing soils and plants to dry out helping to spread wildfires. Agricultural and hydropower production decreased, whilst rivers fell to record low levels and inland water transport shut down in some places. Water and drought policies vary across the EU and more work is needed to understand their influence on drought.…

NOAA study: Heavy daily precipitation trends ‘have been intimately linked to internal decadal ocean variability, & less to human-induced climate change’

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists recently published a report claiming heavy daily precipitation trends “have been intimately linked to internal decadal ocean variability, and less to human-induced climate change.”

“Analysis of model ensemble spread reveals that appreciable 35-yr trends in heavy daily precipitation can occur in the absence of [man-made greenhouse gas] forcing, thereby limiting detection of the weak anthropogenic influence at regional scales,” NOAA scientists wrote.

NOAA’s new study, however, runs up against the Obama administration’s 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA), which claims global warming is increasing heavy downpours.

While both studies agree heavy rainfall events have increased, the 2014 NCA suggests global warming is mostly to blame. NOAA, on the other hand, claims man-made warming played a minimal role in increasing heavy rains.

Related Links:

New paper finds global precipitation is increasing, decreasing, & not changing – depending upon which of 3 global datasets are examined! – Published in Atmospheric Science Letters – “Decadal trends of global precipitation are examined using the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP), Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis data. The decadal trends of global precipitation average diverge a decreasing trend for the CMAP data, a flat trend for the GPCP data, and an increasing trend for the reanalysis data.” 

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‘Scientists Hide Their Doubts About Global Warming In The Media’

Many scientists don’t actually talk about uncertainty when speaking to journalists.

In fact, scientists who regularly talk to the press are more likely to sound the alarm on global warming, and are often reluctant to publish research results in the media that don’t conform to the narrative of catastrophic warming.

Researcher Senja Post surveyed 300 German scientists and found that “the more climate scientists are engaged with the media the less they intend to point out uncertainties about climate change and the more unambiguously they confirm the publicly held convictions that it is man-made, historically unique, dangerous and calculable.”

Post also found that “climate scientists object to publishing a result in the media significantly more when it indicates that climate change proceeds more slowly rather than faster than expected,” which finding, in her words, “gives reason to assume that the German climate scientists are more inclined to communicate their results in public when they confirm rather than contradict that climate change is dramatic.”

Read more:…

Climate Change Theorists Consistently Deceive with Glaring Omission

However, omitted in these articles are discussions of climate change in the pre-industrial past, particularly in the last two millennia, for which there is significant source material. The reason this neglect is so critical is that it is commonly assumed that atmospheric CO2 is the only meaningful variable behind climate change. Since pre-industrial levels of CO2 appear to have consistently been below 300ppm with little variation, and levels since the mid-twentieth century have steadily risen to about 400ppm today, atmospheric CO2 is an obvious anthropogenic variable. And, the reasoning goes, since both CO2 levels and global temperature averages have increased together, man’s fossil fuel usage must be causing global warming. The science is settled. We can move on.

Well, let’s continue this line of reasoning and see where it goes. If atmospheric CO2 levels and global temperature are truly correlated, then they ought to be as correlatedbefore the industrial revolution as they are afterward. Pre-industrial CO2 levels remained relatively constant. Did pre-industrial global temperature levels also remain relatively constant? No, they did not. Over the last thousand years, for example, there was the well-attested Medieval Warm Period from about 900–1300 followed by the equally well-attested Little Ice Age from about 1350–1800.…

Obama’s proposed oil tax would almost double taxes at the pump

President Obama proposed yesterday to tax every barrel of oil produced or imported an additional $10, which translates to almost twice the federal gas tax Americans pay at the pump. Last year Obama told senior citizens that they wouldn’t see a 2016 cost of living adjustment in their Social Security benefits because of “cheap oil.” The new tax would only be applied to domestic and imported oil, but not to oil exported to other countries. This means other countries would benefit from the president’s largesse, and penalizing Americans in the process.

This new tax would also be equivalent to a 33 percent increase on U.S. oil, as it’s currently hovering around $30 per barrel. His new tax proposal is in his latest budget proposal and the Republican-controlled Congress has already indicated this new tax would be dead on arrival. The White House says the tax would provide “$20 billion a year to help expand transit systems across the country and more than $2 billion a year to support the research and development of self-driving vehicles and other low-carbon technologies.”

Critics say Obama is picking winners and losers again using crony capitalism. Currently, many tech giants are testing new vehicles that rely on cameras, maps, motion, software, et al, to create so-called self-driving cars. The self-driving cars are also battery powered, but that electricity comes from a mix of natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy. They also want to use the extra money to fix the country’s infrastructure system.…

Study: ‘The vast interior of Greenland is slowly thickening’ – Greenland ice sheet moving slower now than in the last 9000 years

“Like many others, I had in mind the ongoing dramatic retreat and speedup along the edges of the ice sheet, so I’d assumed that the interior was faster now too. But it wasn’t,” said MacGregor.

The authors identified three causes for this deceleration. First is that snowfall rates were generally higher during the past 9,000 years, second is the slow stiffening of the ice sheet over time, and third is the collapse of an “ice bridge” that used to connect Greenland’s ice to that on nearby Ellesmere Island. Of most interest were the last two.

“The ice that formed from snow that fell in Greenland during the last ice age is about three times softer than the ice being formed today,” according to William Colgan of York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, a co-author of the study.

Because of this difference, the ice sheet is slowly becoming stiffer. As a consequence, the ice sheet is flowing more slowly and getting thicker over time. This effect is most important in southern Greenland, where higher snowfall rates have led to rapid replacement of ice from the last glacial period with more modern Holocene ice.…