Doing Advance Work

News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Obama historic CO2 partner is the last with whom a normal human being would choose to associate unless they had a death wish: 'China coal mines are among world's deadliest due to lax regulation, corruption, poor operating procedures, safety often neglected-AFP

11/25/14, "Coal mine fire kills 24 in China: Xinhua," AFP via UK Daily Mail

"A fire at a Chinese coal mine killed 24 workers early Wednesday, state media reported, the latest fatal incident to hit the accident-prone industry.

The blaze at the mine in Liaoning province, in the northeast, also left 52 people injured, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting the state-owned Fuxin Coal Corporation.

Initial investigation showed that coal dust in a shaft was ignited shortly after a weak earthquake with a magnitude of just 1.6 hit the mine, said the report.

Rescue operations had been completed, it added, and production had been suspended for safety checks.

The mine went into operation in 1987 and has an annual production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes, with a total of 4,660 employees, Xinhua said.

China's mines are among the world's deadliest because of lax regulation, corruption and poor operating procedures. Safety is often neglected by bosses seeking easy profits and accidents are common.

Last year, the country recorded 589 mining-related accidents, which left 1,049 people dead or missing, according to the government.

Both the number of accidents and fatalities were down more than 24 percent from 2012.

But labour rights groups have said the actual death toll is likely to be much higher than official data, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment.

Authorities have sought to shut down small mines, a major source of accidents, in an effort to consolidate the industry.

The government plans to close more than 2,000 small coal mines by the end of next year, Xinhua reported in July.

Fuxin Coal is large miner owned by the state, where safety measures are meant to be more strictly implemented, but has seen incidents in the past.

In a major accident in February 2005, 214 people were killed and another 30 injured in a gas explosion at another of the company's mines.

Last year, eight workers died in a gas leak at a separate facility. Multiple coal mine accidents have been reported this year.

In June 22 people were killed in an accident at a coal mine in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

And 20 people died in April when a coal mine in southwest Yunnan province suddenly flooded, leaving miners trapped.

China is the world's biggest consumer of coal, relying on the fossil fuel for 65.7 percent of its energy needs last year, Xinhua reported previously."



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Global warming pause that began in 1998 could last until 2033 per Science Magazine peer reviewed study-BBC

"Cooling periods associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years." Meaning ongoing pause could continue until 2033 (1998 + 35= 2033).
 
8/21/14, "Global warming slowdown 'could last another decade'," BBC, Matt McGrath

"The hiatus in the rise in global temperatures could last for another 10 years, according to new research.

Scientists have struggled to explain the so-called pause that began in 1999, despite ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.
 
The latest theory says that a naturally occurring 30-year cycle in the Atlantic Ocean is behind the slowdown. The researchers says this slow-moving current could continue to divert heat into the deep seas for another decade. 
.. 
However, they caution that global temperatures are likely to increase rapidly when the cycle flips to a warmer phase.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global average temperatures have increased by around 0.05C per decade in the period between 1998 and 2012. This compares with a decadal average of 0.12 between 1951 and 2012.

More than a dozen theories have been put forward on the cause of this pause in temperature growth that occurred while emissions of carbon dioxide were at record highs.

These ideas include the impact of pollution such as soot particles that have reflected back some of the Sun's heat into space.

Increased volcanic activity since 2000 has also been blamed, as have variations in solar activity. 

The most recent perspectives have looked to the oceans as the locations of the missing heat.

Last year a study suggested that a periodic upwelling of cooler waters in the Pacific was limiting the rise.

However this latest work, published in the journal Science, shifts the focus from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Southern oceans.

The team, lead by Prof Ka-Kit Tung from the University of Washington, US, says there is now evidence that a 30-year current alternately warms and cools the world by sinking large amounts of heat beneath these deep waters.

They've used observations from a network of devices called Argo floats that sample the oceans down to 2,000 metres.

Ice age fears 

The researchers say that there was another hiatus between 1945 and 1975 due to this current taking down the heat, that led to fears of a new ice age

From 1976 though, the cycle flipped and contributed to the warming of the world, as more heat stayed on the surface.

But since the year 2000, the heat has been going deeper, and the world's overall temperatures haven't risen beyond the record set in 1998

"The floats have been very revealing to us," said Prof Tung.

"I think the consensus at this point is that below 700 metres in the Atlantic and Southern oceans [they are] storing heat and not the Pacific."

A key element in this new understanding is the saltiness of the water. The waters in the Atlantic current coming up from the tropics are saltier because of evaporation. This sinks more quickly and takes the heat down with it.

Eventually though, the salty water melts enough ice in Arctic waters to lower the saline level, slowing down the current and keeping the heat near the surface. "Before 2006 the saltiness was increasing, this indicated that the current was speeding up," said Prof Tung.

"After 2006, this saltiness is diminishing but it's still above the long-term average. Now it is slowly slowing down. "Once it gets below the long-term average, then it is the next period of rapid warming."

As well as the data from the Argo floats, Prof Tung has also examined the Central England Temperature record, that dates back over 350 years. He believes that this confirms the

regular 70-year cycles of warm and cold spells

This historic pattern, he says, could extend the current period of pause. 

"We probably may have another 10 years, maybe shorter as global warming itself is melting more ice and ice could flood the North Atlantic, but historically we are in the middle of the cycle."

Rising staircase of warming

Several other researchers in this field acknowledge the Tung analysis is part of a growing body of evidence that suggests the Atlantic has a role in the pause. 

Prof Reto Knutti from the ETH Zurich has recently published a review of all the current theories on the hiatus.

"I see the studies as complementary, and they both highlight that natural variability in ocean and atmosphere is important in modifying long term anthropogenic trends," he said.

"A better understanding of those modes of variability is critical to understand past changes (including differences between models and observations during the hiatus period) as well as predicting the future, in particular in the near term and regionally, where variability dominates the forced changes from greenhouses gases."

Other scientists say that the Atlantic hypothesis is interesting but a much longer range of observations is needed.

"We really don't have a lot of data," said Dr Jonathan Robson from the University of Reading, UK.

"So if there is this 60-year oscillation in the ocean, we haven't observed it all, basically we've observed the impact of it. We may have to wait 15-20 years to know what's going on."

Prof Tung believes that whatever the cause and the length of the pause, we are on a "rising staircase" when it comes to global temperatures that will become apparent when the Atlantic current switches again.

"At the end we will be on the rising part of the staircase, and the rate of warming there will be very fast, just as fast as the last three decades of the 20th Century, plus we are starting off at a higher plateau. The temperatures and the effects will be more severe.""

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Science Magazine study on "slowdown" in global warming linked in above BBC article:

8/22/14, "Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration," sciencemag.org
. Xianyao Chen1,2, Ka-Kit Tung2,*
Author Affiliations
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1Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China. 2Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

"A vacillating global heat sink at intermediate ocean depths is associated with different climate regimes of surface warming under anthropogenic forcing: The latter part of the 20th century saw rapid global warming as more heat stayed near the surface. In the 21st century, surface warming slowed as more heat moved into deeper oceans. In situ and reanalyzed data are used to trace the pathways of ocean heat uptake. In addition to the shallow La Niña–like patterns in the Pacific that were the previous focus, we found that the slowdown is mainly caused by heat transported to deeper layers in the Atlantic and the Southern oceans, initiated by a recurrent salinity anomaly in the subpolar North Atlantic. Cooling periods associated with the latter deeper heat-sequestration mechanism historically lasted 20 to 35 years."...

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2013 Nature published study on "the hiatus" in global warming linked in above BBC article:

"Our results show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La-Nina-like decadel cooling."...Nature.com

8/28/13, "Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling," Nature.com

"Despite the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century1, 2, challenging the prevailing view that anthropogenic forcing causes climate warming. Various mechanisms have been proposed for this hiatus in global warming3, 4, 5, 6, but their relative importance has not been quantified, hampering observational estimates of climate sensitivity. Here we show that accounting for recent cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific reconciles climate simulations and observations. We present a novel method of uncovering mechanisms for global temperature change by prescribing, in addition to radiative forcing, the observed history of sea surface temperature over the central to eastern tropical Pacific in a climate model. Although the surface temperature prescription is limited to only 8.2% of the global surface, our model reproduces the annual-mean global temperature remarkably well with correlation coefficient r = 0.97 for 1970–2012 (which includes the current hiatus and a period of accelerated global warming). Moreover, our simulation captures major seasonal and regional characteristics of the hiatus, including the intensified Walker circulation, the winter cooling in northwestern North America and the prolonged drought in the southern USA. Our results show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La-Niña-like decadal cooling. Although similar decadal hiatus events may occur in the future, the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase." 

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Climate models didn't forecast pause in global warming:

2009, BBC: "For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it."...

10/9/2009, "What happened to global warming?" Paul Hudson, BBC

"This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. "For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise."...  


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2011 PNAS study finds "hiatus" in global warming 1998-2008:

7/5/11, "Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008," PNAS.org

 "Robert K. Kaufmanna,1 ,Heikki Kauppib, Michael L. Manna, and James H. Stockc"... 

"Abstract"

"Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings....

Data for global surface temperature indicate little warming between 1998 and 2008 (1). Furthermore, global surface temperature declines 0.2 °C between 2005 and 2008. Although temperature increases in 2009 and 2010, the lack of a clear increase in global surface temperature between 1998 and 2008 (1), combined with rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases, prompts some popular commentators (2, 3) to doubt the existing understanding of the relationship among radiative forcing, internal variability, and global surface temperature."...


 

Science "game changer," new peer reviewed study finds Antarctic ice thicker than previously thought. Climate models say ice "should be shrinking" due to global warming, but observed science finds Antarctic ice thicker and growing each year. Scientist says, "We were biased toward thinner ice," Nature Geoscience-Guardian

"“We were biased towards thinner ice. It was a bit like a doctor diagnosing a condition by prodding the skin”"...said Dr. Williams of  IMAS. 
 
11/24/14, "Antarctic ice thicker than previously thought, study finds," Oliver Milman, Guardian.com "First of its kind robotic survey of underside of sea ice floes reveals denser ice fringing the continent."

"Groundbreaking 3D mapping of previously inaccessible areas of the Antarctic has found that the sea ice fringing the vast continent is thicker than previous thought.

Two expeditions to Antarctica by scientists from the UK, USA and Australia analysed an area of ice spanning 500,000 metres squared, using a robot known as SeaBed.

The survey discovered ice thickness average between 1.4m and 5.5m, with a maximum ice thickness of 16m. Scientists also discovered that 76% of the mapped ice was ‘deformed’ – meaning that huge slabs of ice have crashed into each other to create larger, denser bodies of ice.

The team behind the research, published in Nature Geoscience, have hailed it as an important breakthrough in better understanding the vast icy wilderness. The findings will provide a starting point to further work to discover how ice thickness, as well as extent, is changing.

Previously, measurements of Antarctic ice thickness were hindered by technological constraints. Ice breaking ships could only go so far into ice to measure depth, while no-one had drilled much more than 5.5m down into the ice to extract a core for analysis.

SeaBed, an autonomous underwater vehicle (or AUV), was used by the research team to analyse ice thickness at an underwater depth of 20 to 30 metres. Driven in a “lawnmower” pattern, the two-metre long robot used upward-looking sonar to measure and map the underside of sea ice floes. Oceanography robots are usually focused on the sea floor.

The mapping took place during two expeditions, in 2010 and 2012, that took researchers to the coastal areas of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land regions of Antarctica. The teams came from the British Antarctic Survey, the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies in Tasmania and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the US.

Dr Guy Williams, from IMAS, said the research is an important step in gauging changes to Antarctic ice.

“Sea ice is an important indicator of the polar climate but measuring its thickness has been tricky,” said Williams, the report’s co-author. “Along with the satellite data, it was a bit like taking an X-ray of the ice, although we haven’t X-rayed much of it, just a postage stamp.

The key thing is that this is a game changer because it was previously very challenging to measure ice depth. We were limited to visual observation from the decks of ships or ice cores and take measures.

“It was a lot of hard work and quite crude, which means we were biased towards thinner ice. It was a bit like a doctor diagnosing a condition by prodding the skin.”

Williams said researchers will now make routine surveys of ice thickness to determine changes over a long period of time. As well as tracking alterations due to climate change, the research will be of interest to marine biologists due to the creatures, such as krill, that inhabit the region.

“This is a big step forward in our knowledge but we’ll need to have longer missions in larger areas,” he said. “What we ultimately want is a team of autonomous robots that self deploy all across the Antarctic, like the spokes in a wheel.”

Hanumant Singh, an engineering scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution whose lab designed, built and operated the AUV, said: “Putting an AUV together to map the underside of sea ice is challenging from a software, navigation and acoustic communications standpoint.

SeaBed’s manoeuvrability and stability made it ideal for this application where we were doing detailed floe-scale mapping and deploying, as well as recovering in close-packed ice conditions.

“It would have been tough to do many of the missions we did, especially under the conditions we encountered, with some of the larger vehicles.”" via Climate Depot

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"According to climate models, the region's sea ice should be shrinking each year because of global warming. Instead, satellite observations show the ice is expanding, and the continent's sea ice has set new records for the past three winters."...
 
11/24/14, "Robot Sub Finds Surprisingly Thick Antarctic Sea Ice," by Becky Oskin, Senior Writer, Live Science

"Antarctica's ice paradox has yet another puzzling layer. Not only is the amount of sea ice increasing each year, but an underwater robot now shows the ice is also much thicker than was previously thought, a new study reports.
 
The discovery adds to the ongoing mystery of Antarctica's expanding sea ice. According to climate models, the region's sea ice should be shrinking each year because of global warming. Instead, satellite observations show the ice is expanding, and the continent's sea ice has set new records for the past three winters. At the same time, Antarctica's ice sheet (the glacial ice on land) is melting and retreating.

Measuring sea ice thickness is a crucial step in understanding what's driving the growth of sea ice, said study co-author Ted Maksym, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Climate scientists need to know if the sea ice expansion also includes underwater thickening. [Album: Stunning Photos of Antarctic Ice

"If we don't know how much ice is there is, we can't validate the models we use to understand the global climate," Maksym told Live Science. "It looks like there are significant areas of thick ice that are probably not accounted for."

The findings were published today (Nov. 24) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Like icebergs, much of Antarctica's floating sea ice in underwater, hidden from satellites that track seasonal sea ice. And it's difficult to take direct measurements from ships or drilling, because the thickest ice is also the hardest to reach, Maksym said.

The researchers were stuck aboard an icebreaker in 20-foot-thick (6 meters) pack ice for more than a week after taking advantage of a lead, or open water, that accessed thick ice, he said. "Obviously that carried some risk, and we were stuck until the wind changed direction again," he said.
 
Pinging the ice

Over the last four years, the international group of researchers has mapped the bottom of sea ice with an underwater robot, or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), during two research cruises offshore Antarctica. The AUV can swim to a depth of about 100 feet (30 m) and has upward-looking sonar to survey the bottom of the sea ice.icebreaker offshore Antarctica.

"With the AUV, you can get under ice that is either difficult to access or difficult to drill, and in each region, we found some really thick ice, thicker than had been measured anywhere else," Maksym said.

Almost all of the sea ice that forms during the Antarctic winter melts during the summer, so scientists had assumed most of the ice never grew very thick. Previous studies suggested the ice was usually 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 m) thick, with a few rare spots reaching up to 16 feet (5 m) in thickness. For comparison, most of the Arctic sea ice is twice as thick (6 to 9 feet, or 2 to 3 m), with some regions covered with 12 to 15 feet (4 to 5 m) of ice.

The robot sub surveys, which were spot-checked by drilling and shipboard tests, suggest Antarctica's average ice thickness is considerably higher than previous estimates. On average, the thickness of the ice was 4.6 to 18 feet (1.4 to 5.5 m). In the three regions it surveyed, the robot sub found that deformed, thickened ice accounted for at least half of and as much as 76 percent of the total ice volume, the researchers report.

"Our study shows that we're probably missing some of this thick ice, and we need to try to account for that when we try to compare what we see in models and satellites to what we see in the field," Maksym said.

The thickest ice measured during the survey was about 65 feet (20 m) thick, in the Bellingshausen Sea, Maksym told Live Science. In the Weddell Sea, the maximum ice thickness hit more than 45 feet (14 m), and offshore of Wilkes Land, the ice was about 53 feet (16 m) thick.
 
Next steps

These thick, craggy floes likely wouldn't exist without the fierce winds that circle Antarctica from west to east, the researchers said. Winter storms bash up the ice, freezing and reforming the rubble into new, thicker ice. "It must have been crunched up a tremendous amount and [the floes] piled up on top of each other," Maksym said. "The ice can generate enormous amounts of force if you have these strong winds. [The wind] is like an accordion, stretching it out and squishing it back together again."

The researchers' next step is to measure how much of Antarctica's total sea ice this thick ice represents. Maksym said it could be a "reasonably significant area of the pack."

The sea ice growth around Antarctica has averaged about 1.2 percent to 1.8 percent per decade between 1979 and 2012, according to the 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report. The increases are concentrated primarily in the Ross Sea in western Antarctica.

Sea ice in the nearby Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas has significantly decreased. Researchers suspect these regional differences could result from stronger winds or increased meltwater from the Antarctic ice sheet, or a combination of both factors."

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11/24/14, "Thick and deformed Antarctic sea ice mapped with autonomous underwater vehicles," Nature Geoscience

"Satellites have documented trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent and its variability for decades, but estimating sea-ice thickness in the Antarctic from remote sensing data remains challenging. In situ observations needed for validation of remote sensing data and sea-ice models are limited; most have been restricted to a few point measurements on selected ice floes, or to visual shipboard estimates. Here we present three-dimensional (3D) floe-scale maps of sea-ice draft for ten floes, compiled from two springtime expeditions by an autonomous underwater vehicle to the near-coastal regions of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica. Mean drafts range from 1.4 to 5.5 m, with maxima up to 16 m. We also find that, on average, 76% of the ice volume is deformed ice. Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice. We suggest that thick ice in the near-coastal and interior pack may be under-represented in existing in situ assessments of Antarctic sea ice and hence, on average, Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought."

 

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Obama speech to Brisbane college students promoting the $1 billion a day imaginary global warming industry was result of last minute request he made of his Australian hosts. Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide text of the speech in advance or even a summary-The Australian

In 2012 alone $1 billion a day was spent on the notion of man caused global warming.

"Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide a text of the speech to their Australian hosts in advance, and did not provide a summary of what would be contained in the speech."...

11/21/14, "Obama ignored Embassy's warning's on climate change speech," The Weekend Australian, Greg Sheridan

"Barack Obama defied the ­advice of his embassy in Canberra to deliver a stinging attack on the Abbott government’s climate policies in Brisbane last weekend.

The US embassy, under the leadership of ambassador John Berry, advised the President, through his senior staff, not to couch his climate change comments in a way that would be seen as disobliging to the Abbott government, sources have revealed.

When The Weekend Australian put this information to the US embassy, a spokesman said: “As is the case with all presidential speeches, President Obama's remarks at the University of Queensland in Brisbane were prepared by the White House.

It is normal practice when the US President makes an overseas visit that the ambassador in the country he is visiting is consulted about the contents of major speeches. It is unusual, though not unprecedented, for an embassy’s advice to be ignored.

The Obama speech in Brisbane was added to the President’s program at the last minute. During his extensive talks with Tony Abbott in Beijing at APEC, 

Mr. Obama did not make any mention of a desire to make a speech, 

or of any of the contentious climate change content of the speech.

Only in Naypyidaw, in Myanmar, immediately prior to the leaders travelling to Brisbane for the G20 summit, did the US party demand that the President make a speech 

and that it be to an audience of young people
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At the speech, the President did not ­acknowledge the presence of Governor-General Peter Cosgrove.



...[click excerpts to enlarge]











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Some excerpts above are from FreeRepublic.com

11/21/14, "Obama ignored Embassy's warning's on climate change speech," The Weekend Australian, Greg Sheridan

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Ed. note: The Australian is subscription. Part of the Australian story above was copied on the GWPF site. I found a few additional excerpts from the Australian article at Free Republic. What they had I copied above. The two portions above with grey background are screenshots from the article posted on GWPF. For whatever reason, GWPF is among sites along with PamelaGeller.com, DemocratsAgainstUNAgenda21.com and others from which I can't copy and paste. One is free to imagine why someone would want to limit public exposure to these websites. via WUWT, via Climate Depot






Obama Ignored US Embassy’s Warnings On Climate Change Speech - See more at: http://www.thegwpf.com/obama-ignored-us-embassys-warnings-on-climate-change-speech/#sthash.oiHe5Dgf.dpuf

Saturday, November 22, 2014

In filthy China citizens are forced to live amid mountains of trash and stench in streets-UK Express

11/21/14, "As Britain sends tonnes of waste to China…residents wade through dirty streets," UK Express, Helen Barratt

"Importing thousands of tonnes of waste from British households has left this Chinese city with a dirty habit."





"These filthy photographs show monstrous mounting piles of waste overflowing into streets and even blocking roads in the city of Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong Province.









The smell is so bad nauseous residents have taken to wearing masks.
 






 
Tonnes of plastic recycling being sent from Britain and other European countries is being blamed for the backlog, as tough EU laws have forced local authorities and businesses on the continent to recycle more.
 


As a result, migrant labour, including council staff, are jumping from being council rubbish sorters to private companies where they can earn more cash.


And that has left Shenzhen with domestically-produced rubbish piling up on the city's streets.

One local Sun Fu, 33, said: "We have been forced to wear masks to deal with the smell, and sometimes roads can be blocked as the rubbish heaps topple over when they get too high. Something has to be done about this."

While the country is drowning in a mass of waste, China drives the global waste trade, importing more than 3 million tonnes of waste plastic and 15 million tonnes of paper and cardboard a year including vast amounts coming from the UK.

As landfill charges are rising in UK, it is becoming cheaper to send waste to China on the vast number of shipping containers arriving in Britain with Chinese exports.
 
Freight experts in Britain said the return waste trade to China is accelerating rapidly." via Free Rep.


 
 
 
    
Images: 

"A resident tries to mask the smell of rotting waste in China," Cen photos
"China is struggling to maintain its waste management work"
"A van is trapped, surrounded by waste in the road" 
"Residents have been complaining to the council for months"
"Traffic tries to dodge the mounds of waste" 



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US government will finance fossil fuel production in Ukraine, announcement made during Biden trip, no mention of wind or solar. From 2009 to 2013 US production of crude oil on fed. land dropped 6%, natural gas dropped 28%

11/21/14, "WH Vows to Boost Fossil Fuel Production – in Ukraine," CNS News, Penny Starr

"The Obama administration, no fan of fossil fuels, has delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for six years, but today it announced its support for fossil fuel production in Ukraine.

We are supporting Ukrainian efforts to enhance its own energy production, including through technical assistance to help restructure Ukraine’s national oil and gas company, Naftogaz, and through the introduction of new technologies to boost outputs from existing and new conventional gas fields in Ukraine,” says a fact sheet released by the White House.

The fact sheet, which lists all the ways the U.S. is assisting Ukraine, was issued in conjunction with Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to that country.

There is no mention in the fact sheet of developing alternative energy sources such as solar or wind energy generation in Ukraine, as the Obama administration insists the U.S. must do.


Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine over unpaid debts in June, and Ukraine is now relying on domestic supplies and shipments from other countries.

The development of oil and gas resources on public lands in the United States has declined under the Obama administration, which is making a multi-billion investment in renewable energy.

U.S. production of crude oil and natural gas on state and privately owned lands rose from 2009 to 2013 by 61 percent and 33 percent, respectively, according to the Congressional Research Service. But on federal lands and offshore areas, production of crude oil dropped by 6 percent and natural gas by 28 percent over the same period.

While he's in Ukraine, Biden will announce that the U.S. is giving $3 million to the United Nation’s World Food Program to help “displaced” people and others suffering from the ongoing conflict with Russia in eastern Ukraine.

That brings the total U.S. financial commitment to Ukraine to $320 million for the year. “The United States stands ready to continue to work with our partners to provide Ukraine with sufficient financing as it stabilizes its economy and carries out urgently needed reforms,” the fact sheet states.

The fact sheet also includes a wide range of other assistance, from defending human rights to trade diversification.

According to the White House, Biden, who is traveling with his wife, Jill, is meeting today with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and will next travel to Turkey."



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Friday, November 21, 2014

Jacksonville, Florida set new cold record two mornings in a row. 'Any thoughts that the winter of 2014-2015 wouldn't be as bone-chilling as last year's may have just been put on thin ice.'-news4jax

11/20/14, "141 year old cold weather record falls in Jacksonville," news4jax.com, Blake Mathews, Weather producer, meteorologist, Jacksonville, Fla.

"24 degrees breaks old record of 30 set in 1873!"

"Thursday morning not only broke an "ancient" record from 1873, but we also dropped to the second coldest temperature ever recorded in the month of November in Jacksonville. 

According to the National Weather Service, for the second morning in a row, Jacksonville set a new cold weather record. Thursday mornings temperature dropped to a bone chilling 24 degrees breaking the old record of 30 degrees set in 1873.

If that wasn't cold enough for you, Thursday's 24 degrees also marks the second lowest temperature ever recorded in the month of November, beaten out only by the year 1970 when the mercury dropped to 21 degrees in Jacksonville in November.

Some areas around Woodbine, GA flirted with the upper teens as the temperature officially there dropped to 20 degrees.

Any thoughts that the winter of 2014-2015 wouldn't be as bone-chilling as last year's may have just been put on thin ice. And it's only November.

Tuesday morning was the coldest Nov. 19 across the United States since 1976, some 38 years, according to Dr. Ryan Maue, meteorologist with WeatherBell. The average temperature across the entire country was just 19.4°.

An astounding 226 million people in all 50 states, that includes the tropical paradise of Hawaii, were below freezing at the same time putting an exclamation point on an already paralyzing winter season -- that hasn't even officially started yet.

Even Florida didn't escape the icy grip. 

The thermometer at Jacksonville International Airport plummeted down to 27° Wednesday morning breaking the old record of 28° in 2008. Thursday's record of 30° also appears to be in jeopardy; a record that dates back to 1873, or 141 years ago.

Even the snow covering the ground is amazing. Roughly 50.4 percent of the lower 48 was covered with snow -- more than double the amount normally seen for this time of year. At this exact same time last year, just a scant 12.1 percent of the country had snow on the ground....

Jeff Masters is meteorology director at the online site Weather Underground. He says the low temperatures are January-like instead of what's normal for November. He says it's 15 degrees to 35 degrees below average over a big chunk of the country, thanks to arctic air.

According to the Climate Prediction Center 1,998 cold weather records were set over the past seven days with 1,360 of those records being low max highs. That means that the temperature was the coldest day time high ever observed for that day."...via Drudge





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