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Sat, 2011-01-22 11:51Richard Littlemore
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Canadian Hotspot Hits 21°C (37.8°F) Above Normal

While world media have been distracted by cold temperatures in Europe (December averages in the U.K. were 5.2°C [9.4°F] below normal), a vast pocket over northeastern Canada has been hitting heights that were not just unprecedented but, until this year, unimaginable.

As Bob Henson reports at the NCAR & UCAR Currents, the Canadian low Arctic has been unseasonably, unreasonably balmy, with the largest anomaly rising to 21°C [37.8°F] above normal. Hudson Bay and the waters around Baffin Island remained open well beyond usual, suggesting that the risk for an extraordinarily low summer ice season is built into the works. (If you look at this map, from Bremen University, you see that even the North Pole was unconvincingly frozen by Jan. 11 of this year.)

Henson looks particularly at the community of Coral Harbour, on the northwest corner of Hudson Bay in Nunavut, where typical January temperatures range from a bone-chilling low of –34°C (–29.2°F) to teeth-chattering “high” of -26°C (–14.8°F). This year, Environment Canada reported that in the first 12 days:

Sat, 2011-01-22 10:41Richard Littlemore
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Exxon Emission Projections: Up, Up and Away

In a report that is bullish for the oil industry and horrifying for the people of the planet, the Guardian reports that  Exxon predicts carbon dioxide emissions to rise by 25 per cent over the next 20 years.

“According to the company’s annual Outlook for Energy report – due to be published in the next few weeks – demand for power will increase by nearly 40% in the next 20 years, lifting emissions by around 0.9% a year at least until 2030.”

Which is to say that all the optimistic (!?) international predictions of anthropogenic CO2 emissions levelling off anytime soon are a fiction. Exxon, apparently, is paying attention to the pathetic efforts that world governments are making to rein in increases (and paying a fortune to ensure that platitudes outpace policy for as long as possible).

Fri, 2011-01-21 11:32Richard Littlemore
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CanadaFreePress Apologizes to Dr. Andrew Weaver

Website retracts Tim Ball’s BS

The website Canada Free Press has issued a retraction and apology (full text below) to University of Victoria climate modeller Dr. Andrew Weaver for the content of an article written by Dr. Tim Ball.

Ball, whose own unspectacular academic tenure ended with a fizzle in 1996, has found a second career pretending to be a world-renowned climatologist (he once wrote to then-Prime Minister Paul Martin that he was “one of the first climatology PhDs in the world” - a statement that is purest fiction). In addition to signing on as a “science advisor” to energy industry front groups such as the Friends of Science or the Natural Resources Stewardship Project, Ball has written and spoken extensively, seldom passing up the opportunity to libel real scientists. (Though, when the going gets tough, the dishonest get going.)

One of Ball’s favourite targets has been Weaver, the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis at the University of Victoria in Ball’s B.C. hometown.

Wed, 2011-01-19 11:39Richard Littlemore
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Researchers Say "No Evidence" of Weyburn CO2 Leak

The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) has released a report concluding that there is “no evidence” that the CO2 fizzing out of the ground on a farm outside Weyburn Saskatechewan originated from the nearby Weyburn-Midale carbon capture and storage project.

The original accusation came in a report (attached below) by Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem Ltd. Farmers Cameron and Jane Kerr had hired Lafleur after something started fizzing and banging out of their property - and after a string of small animals wound up unaccountably dead in the vicinity of these events. (The Kerr’s hired Lafleur after the provincial government did a drive-by analysis and lost interest.)

Kerr found CO2 soil levels that he reported to be extraordinarily high and he tested CO2 samples that had the same isotopic fingerprint as the CO2 that is being pumped into the ground in the Weyburn-Midale project. He concluded, flatly, that Weyburn had sprung a leak.

Having taken a week to review Lafleur’s report, the PTRC now says, just as flatly, “There is no evidence presented in this report that can support the far-reaching and definitive statements made about the source of CO2 on the Kerr property.”

Tue, 2011-01-18 14:12Richard Littlemore
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"The silver lining to Arctic global warming" - Seriously?

Whenever I see a headline like the one quoted above, I always go searching for some hint of irony in the story. Woefully, London’s Telegraph doesn’t do irony.

Rather, Tele contributor Roger Howard asserts with grave conviction that while climate change is “unmistakable,” while its effects are “depressing and disturbing,” that it’s great to see the Arctic ice melting because now BP - that paragon of responsible environmental stewardship - can get into bed with the Russian oil giant, Rosneft.

It’s as though the resident of a burning house, madly in search of a fire extinguisher, stops to celebrate instead the discovery of another pack of matches. “Oh goody! Climate change is bad, but the ‘silver lining’ is that now two of the biggest climate culprits on the planet can work together to make it worse.”

Seriously.

Tue, 2011-01-18 11:32Richard Littlemore
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Arctic Sea Ice Still at Lowest Extent Ever

The usual concern for Arctic sea ice crops up in the summertime, when the frightening ice decline results in more open water, and therefore a greater capacity for the dark Arctic Ocean to absorb the 24-hour sun’s heat - rather than reflect it back into space, as was the case when most of the Arctic surface was covered with bright, white ice.

But look at the state of Arctic ice now. Even as we approach the usual winter maximum, the ice extent is lower than at any time in recorded history, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. The Polar Science Center in Seattle reports that ice volume also continues its decline, or should I say, collapse - at unprecedented speed, to unprecedented lows.

Thus, despite the calls from d’oh-headed deniers like Art Horn for a global chill driven by a “super La Nina,” we have a year that wraps up tied as the warmest ever and a continuing trend that indicates the coming summer will feature the effects of redoubling climate feedbacks.

We stand in awe of the DenierGang’s ability to tie themselves up in logical knots and we await their next falacious analysis with unfailing interest.

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