Monday, April 1, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Major Greenland Glacier Growing Again, Surprising NASA Scientists

Global CO2 Emissions Hit Record High

In this newsletter:

1) NASA: Greenland Glacier Is Growing Again
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 25 March 2019
2) IEA: Global CO2 Emissions Hit Record High
Bloomberg, 26 March 2019
3) German Task Force Can't Agree On Sufficient Traffic Emissions Cuts
Clean Energy Wire, 26 March 2019 
4) Peter Ridd’s Fight For Academic Freedom Begins In Court
The Australian, 26 March 2019 

5) Duke University To Pay US Govt $112.5 Million In Fake Science Case
The Washington Times, 25 March 2019
6) And Finally: Are You Suffering From Climate Change Anxiety?
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 26 March 2019 

Full details:

1) NASA: Greenland Glacier Is Growing Again
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 25 March 2019

A new NASA study finds a major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth is growing again.

The calving front of Jakobshavn Glacier, center. Credit: NASA/OIB/John Sonntag 

NASA research shows that Jakobshavn Glacier, which has been Greenland’s fastest-flowing and fastest-thinning glacier for the last 20 years, has made an unexpected about-face. Jakobshavn is now flowing more slowly, thickening, and advancing toward the ocean instead of retreating farther inland. The glacier is still adding to global sea level rise – it continues to lose more ice to the ocean than it gains from snow accumulation – but at a slower rate.

The researchers conclude that the slowdown of this glacier, known in the Greenlandic language as Sermeq Kujalleq, occurred because an ocean current that brings water to the glacier’s ocean face grew much cooler in 2016. Water temperatures in the vicinity of the glacier are now colder than they have been since the mid-1980s.

In a study published today in Nature Geoscience, Ala Khazendar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and colleagues report the change in Jakobshavn’s behavior and trace the source of the cooler water to the North Atlantic Ocean more than 600 miles (966 kilometers) south of the glacier. The research is based on data from NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission and other observations.

NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission uses ships and planes to measure how ocean temperatures affect Greenland’s vast icy expanses. Jakobshavn Glacier, on Greenland’s central western side, has been one of the island’s largest contributor’s to sea level rise, losing mass at an accelerating rate.

The scientists were so shocked to find the change, Khazendar said: “At first we didn’t believe it. We had pretty much assumed that Jakobshavn would just keep going on as it had over the last 20 years.” However, the OMG mission has recorded cold water near Jakobshavn for three years in a row.

The researchers suspect the cold water was set in motion by a climate pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which causes the northern Atlantic Ocean to switch slowly between warm and cold every five to 20 years. The climate pattern settled into a new phase recently, cooling the Atlantic in general.
This change was accompanied by some extra cooling in 2016 of the waters along Greenland’s southwest coast, which flowed up the west coast, eventually reaching Jakobshavn.

Full story

2) IEA: Global CO2 Emissions Hit Record High
Bloomberg, 26 March 2019

Carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use hit a record last year after energy demand grew at its fastest pace in a decade, reflecting higher oil consumption in the U.S. and more coal burning in China and India.

Those findings from the International Energy Agency mark a setback for the effort to rein in the emissions blamed for global warming just three years after a landmark deal in Paris where all nations committed to cut emissions.

The figures showed that natural gas is becoming a preferred fuel for factories and utilities while the pace of installing renewable forms of energy is lagging. The report also indicated the strength of the global economic expansion last year, with gains in electricity consumption and more notably in the U.S.

“We have seen spectacular growth of the economy in the U.S.,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based institution advising nations on energy policy. “We have seen several new petrochemical projects coming online.”

Energy demand grew 2.3 percent last year, the most in a decade, according to the IEA. It showed a record 33 gigatons of carbon emissions from energy, up 1.7 percent from the previous year. Global electricity demand rose 4 percent and was responsible for half the growth in overall energy demand.

Global coal demand grew for the second consecutive year in 2018, driven by Asia’s appetite for the dirtiest fossil fuel. Even as coal’s share of the global energy mix declined, it remains the world’s largest source of electricity. Natural gas use rose 4.6 percent, its fastest growth since 2010.

The U.S. increased its use of oil products at a faster rate than any other country for the first time in 20 years, overtaking China. The U.S. boosted oil use by 540,000 barrels a day, a fifth more than China even though the Asian nation has four times the population and is moving toward a less oil-intensive model in order to improve its urban air quality.

“European oil demand remained stagnant on slowing economic activity and rising prices,” the IEA said in its report. “Germany saw an important decline in oil demand,” which fell 5.4 percent in 2018.

The pace of energy efficiency improvements fell, and renewables growth didn’t keep pace with surging electricity demand, falling below 50 percent of new power supply last year.

Global output of greenhouse gases from energy-related sources rose to a record as energy demand jumped at its fastest pace in a decade.

“Renewables growth is not keeping pace with the electrification of our society,” Birol said on a call with reporters. “We need to see more support for renewables.”

Global energy-related emissions hit an all-time high in 2018 of 33 billion tons of carbon dioxide, a growth rate of 1.7 percent, which represents the fastest increase since 2013. Coal-fired power plants, which are closing across western Europe, were the single largest contributor to the growth in emissions, accounting for 30 percent of the increase, the IEA said.

Emissions are still increasing in China and India. The U.S. saw an increase of emissions after they fell in 2017. Germany, Japan, Mexico, France and the U.K. all saw declining output.

Full story

3) German Task Force Can't Agree On Sufficient Traffic Emissions Cuts
Clean Energy Wire, 26 March 2019 

The German commission charged with proposing emissions cuts for the nation's transport sector has failed to agree on enough steps to reach the country’s climate targets. During what was billed as the decisive meeting, members could only reach consensus on measures that will lower emissions by around two thirds of the necessary amount. Pro-climate activists said they were disappointed with the results.

Germany’s task force for cutting traffic emissions has failed to agree on the steps necessary to reach the country’s climate targets. In a meeting lasting 17 hours, the task force’s climate group agreed on large investments in public transport, railways and digitalisation, and settled on a target of up to ten million electric cars on German roads, according to media reports.

But the commission could not reach an agreement on a binding quota for e-cars, penalties for dirty cars or an autobahn speed limit.

Climate NGO representatives on the commission said they were disappointed that an agreement on concrete measures had not been possible, and said the recommended steps remained “a long way away” from reducing transport emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030, Germany’s official target.

Full story 

4) Peter Ridd’s Fight For Academic Freedom Begins In Court
The Australian, 26 March 2019 

Lawyers acting for sacked James Cook University professor Peter Ridd say the university sought to turn its disciplinary process into a “star chamber” after he publicly criticised the institution and one of its star scientists over claims about the impact global warming had on the Great Barrier Reef.

Former James Cook University climate scientist Peter Ridd outside the Federal Court Brisbane. He claims he was unfairly dismissed from his job for publicly voicing his opinions on climate change. Picture: Liam Kidston.

Professor Ridd, who worked at the university for 40 years, has challenged the dismissal in the Federal Court, saying the university breached its own enterprise agreement which allowed all staff to express controversial or unpopular views.

The physics professor’s lawyers say the Townsville-based university, which is renowned for its marine science expertise, dismissed Professor Ridd in 2018 for breaching its code of conduct.

But they argue that the code was secondary to the enterprise agreement.

Barrister Stuart Wood said his client had every right to criticise his colleagues and the university’s perceived lack of quality assurance processes.

The first alleged breach of the code occurred in April 2016, when Professor Ridd emailed a journalist to allege that images given to the media by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority were misleading.

Professor Ridd said the images of bleached coral reefs near Stone Island, off the coast of Bowen in north Queensland, were misleading because they showed poorly affected corals, which were selected over nearby healthy coral and used to show “broad scale decline” of reef health.

Field technicians working for Professor Ridd took photos in the same vicinity as the bleaching pictures supplied by the university and GBRMPA which showed “spectacular coral living there”.

Professor Ridd told the journalist in the email that the use of the pictures was “a dramatic example of how scientific organisations are happy to spin a story for their own purposes”.

He also said his colleague Professor Terry Hughes, the head of JCU’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, would “wriggle and squirm” when asked to explain the discrepancies in the images.

“Mr Ridd said the photos being used were not, in his view, an accurate representation of what was going on at the site,” Mr Wood said.

“The complaint was that there should be much more care taken when representing the photos to ensure the story is not based on sensationalism but on science.”

Professor Ridd was sceptical of the photos and warnings around the health of the reef, which had undergone extensive bleaching, because his own academic work had shown coral health was not affected by sediment runoff or increased water temperatures, as claimed by other scientists

After receiving a warning from the university, Professor Ridd was censured again in November 2017 after appearing on Sky News and making similar claims about the lack of quality assurance processes on coral reef science.

At one stage Professor Ridd was told he could not even discuss the proceedings with his wife, leading Mr Wood to compare the proceedings to a coercive “star chamber”.

Full story

See also Peter Ridd's Fight for Freedom of Speech on Climate Change

click on the image above to watch the video

5) Duke University To Pay US Govt $112.5 Million In Fake Science Case
The Washington Times, 25 March 2019

Duke University agreed to a deal Monday that will require it to repay the federal government $112.5 million to settle claims it falsified scientific research at taxpayers’ expense.

The prestigious private school in Durham, North Carolina, said it will take additional steps on “research integrity” and says it already has implemented more monitoring of research in the wake of the scandal, which involved a health researcher and her supervisors.

A whistleblower said Duke falsified research on nearly $200 million worth of grants, and he will collect nearly $34 million for his role in uncovering the fraud, which prosecutors said spanned from 2006 to 2018 and involved money from the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The chief researcher at the center of the scandal, Erin Potts-Kant, had more than a dozen papers stemming from her work on mice retracted. Prosecutors said the school’s higher-ups knew about her fraudulent research but allowed it to continue. The school had contended it didn’t learn until later.

Full story 

6) And Finally: Are You Suffering From Climate Change Anxiety?
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 26 March 2019 

Latest from Pravda:

An incredibly sad film about three young and obviously intelligent people who are suffering from “climate change anxiety”.
One of the guys sums up the whole thing, when he says:
“We are already seeing coastal city flooding, we are already seeing forest fires, we are already seeing flash floods, we’re seeing tornadoes”.
If it is true that more people are suffering this anxiety, the fault lies squarely with the BBC and its fellow travellers, who have relentlessly pushed unjustified alarmism, fake news and failed to offer a balanced, fact based coverage.
I’m no psychologist! But it seems to me that the basis of treating any anxiety or phobia is to get the patient to look at the realities of the situation, rather than their illusions.
If the guy who made the above statement was given the actual facts about sea level rise, forest fires, floods and tornadoes, he would quickly come to realise that these are natural events and have little to do with climate change.
Instead the BBC’s dopey psychologist who talks to them simply indulges their irrational fears.

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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