News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz to chair subcommittee that oversees NASA, Sen. Marco Rubio to chair subcommittee that oversees NOAA

1/11/15, "Sen. Ted Cruz to chair subcommittee that oversees NASA," UPI, Thor Benson

"Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has been made the chair for the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, which oversees NASA

Cruz said in 2013 it is "critical" the United States show continued leadership in space exploration and development. However, his opinion on climate change, which NASA is heavily involved in studying, has been a skeptical one. 

"The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming," Cruz told CNN in 2014. "Contrary to all the theories that – that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn't happened," he said. 

Cruz is also a politician who believes in reducing government spending, so it is unclear how he will view NASA's budget. 

It has also been announced Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will chair the subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, which oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA is responsible for analyzing atmospheric and oceanic conditions. The NOAA is also heavily involved in analyzing climate change trends, which is something Rubio also doesn't support. 

"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," Rubio said in 2014." 
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Sept. 2014 PNAS peer reviewed study finds changes in west coast US climate over past 100+ years virtually all due to natural causes:

"We do not see a human hand in the warming of the West Coast,” said co-author Nate Mantua, now with NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center. That is taking people by surprise, and may generate some blowback.”"

9/22/14, "Study says natural factors, not humans, behind West Coast warming," Seattle Times, Craig Welch

"The rise in temperatures along the West Coast over the past century [of between .5 to 1C] is almost entirely due to natural forces — not human emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a major new study...."
 
"It has been a subject of debate for years: How much has global warming contributed to a documented rise in temperatures along the West Coast?

A new study published Monday in a major research journal suggests the answer thus far, particularly in the Northwest, is: hardly any.

An average coastal temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius since 1900 along the West Coast appears more likely to be the result of changes in winds and air circulation over the eastern Pacific Ocean, two former University of Washington scientists found. And the researchers said they could find no evidence that those weather patterns were being influenced by human greenhouse-gas emissions.
 
“It’s a simple story, but the results are very surprising: We do not see a human hand in the warming of the West Coast,” said co-author Nate Mantua, now with NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center. That is taking people by surprise, and may generate some blowback."...  


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9/16/14, "Supplemental Information," PNAS.org, Johnstone and Mantua

"Climate Dataset Comparison for the NE Pacific, 1900-2012, Sea Surface Temperature."...chart, page 4 in PNAS report





















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LA Times: "Most of the warming in the region occurred before 1940, when greenhouse gas concentrations were lower and winds were weaker, the study found."...

9/22/14, "West Coast warming linked to naturally occurring changes," LA Times, Tony Barboza

"Naturally occurring changes in winds, not human-caused climate change, are responsible for most of the warming on land and in the sea along the West Coast of North America over the last century, a study has found.

The analysis challenges assumptions that the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been a significant driver of the increase in temperatures observed over many decades in the ocean and along the coastline from Alaska to California.

Changes in ocean circulation as a result of weaker winds were the main cause of about 1 degree Fahrenheit (about .55C) of warming in the northeast Pacific Ocean and nearby coastal land between 1900 and 2012, according to the analysis of ocean and air temperatures over that time. The study, conducted by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington, was published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Natural, wind-driven climate patterns in the Pacific Ocean, such as El NiƱo and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, are already known to exert a powerful influence on sea and land temperatures over years and even decades.

This latest research shows that similar changes in atmospheric and ocean circulation  

can drive trends that last a century or longer, overshadowing the effects of human-generated increase in greenhouse gases, the

study's authors said....

If global warming had been the most powerful influence on land and sea temperatures, those temperatures would have been different, the study's authors said. Most of the warming in the region occurred before 1940, when greenhouse gas concentrations were lower and winds were weaker, the study found. In contrast, winds have strengthened since 1980 and coastal ocean cooled, even as the rise in greenhouse gases has accelerated."...
 






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