Author: wryheat2

Wildlife in my yard

I live in the foothills on the west side of Tucson, AZ, amid a forest of saguaros, prickly pear, senita, and other types of cactus, and Palo Verde trees which produce edible beans as do the mesquite trees. I put out hummingbird feeders, quail blocks, and water. All of this attracts wildlife.  I am a “back porch” birder and have so far observed more than 70 species of birds. The photos below show some of the wildlife in my yard. Since these days, you may have time, why not explore nature in your yard?

The Blue Palo Verde trees start to turn the desert golden during mid-April and are followed by blooming of Foothills and Mexican Palo Verde trees.

Sometimes javalinas pass through the scene above:

Javalina porn:

Bobcats occasionally visit (they especially like my neighbor’s chicken coop):

Cooper’s hawks patrol the back wall:

 

American Kestrels stop by for lunch:

Baby squirrels play on the wall but must keep watch for hawks:

Tarantulas lounge by the pool (I’ve found this one swimming):

A Roadrunner laughs about it:

A Phainopepla peeps into the bedroom window. He also makes a mess by pooping out mistletoe seeds:

A Gila woodpecker keeps watch from the ocotillo plant (the flowers of which make a nice salad garnish):

Gambels Quails visit the bird block:

 

Mourning doves like to nest on the back porch window sills:

 

A female spiny lizard likes my rocks:

And there are hummingbirds:

Anna:

Costa:

Rufous:

Sometimes there is an unwanted visitor who is encouraged to move on:

What can you find in your yard?

Climate at a Glance from the Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute has a new website called Climate at a Glance (https://climateataglance.com/) take a look.

Heartland has also launched another new website: Climate Realism

http://climaterealism.com/ 

Nearly every day, the establishment media promotes new climate propaganda themes designed to scare people into believing a climate crisis is at hand. When the Climate Scare goes unrebutted, people are likely to believe by default that the propaganda is true. Yet most of the media’s climate propaganda is misleading or outright false. ClimateRealism.com will address and debunk the media’s most prominent climate-related tall tales.

Repeal the EPA endangerment finding

The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has send a 139-page petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging them to end their 2009 “endangerment finding”  for greenhouse gases due to lack of evidence.

The press release notes:

Over ten years have elapsed since the EPA Administrator made this judgment in its so-called CO2 Endangerment Finding. During that time a considerable amount of scientific research has been conducted on the potential impacts of rising greenhouses gases on humanity and the natural world. The additional knowledge obtained from such research and observations reveal quite clearly that rising greenhouse gases do not represent what EPA identified in 2009 to be a current or future threat to public welfare.

According to the Center’s Chairman, Dr. Craig Idso, who is the lead author of the petition, “multiple observations made over the past decade confirm the projected risks and adverse consequences of rising greenhouse gases are failing to materialize. The truth is, in stark contrast to the Endangerment Finding, CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use during the Modern Era have actually enhanced life and improved humanity’s standard of living. And they will likely continue to do so as more fossil fuels are utilized.”

The 139-page petition by the Center highlights multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies in support of this thesis. In particular, the petition shows (1) there is nothing unusual or unnatural about Earth’s current warmth or rate of warming, (2) historic and modern records of atmospheric CO2 and temperature violate established principles of causation, (3) model-based temperature projections since 1979 artificially inflate warming (compered to observations) by a factor of three, invalidating the models and all their ancillary claims associated with greenhouse gas-induced warming, and that (4) key adverse effects of greenhouse gas-induced warming,
including extreme weather events, temperature-induced mortality and sea level rise, are not occurring despite EPA predictions they should be worsening.

The petition also presents compelling evidence that CO2 emissions and fossil energy use provide critical benefits that act to enhance health and welfare for humanity and the natural world. According to Dr. Idso, “Without adequate supplies of low-cost centralized energy derived from fossil fuels, few, if any, of the major technological and innovative advancements of the past two centuries that have enhanced and prolonged human life could have occurred. Additionally, without the increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use over the past two centuries, Earth’s terrestrial biosphere would be nowhere near as vigorous or productive as it is today. Rather, it would be devoid of the growth-enhancing, water-saving and stress-alleviating benefits it has reaped in managed and unmanaged ecosystems from rising levels of atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution began.”

Download the entire petition here:

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V23/mar/EPAPetitionCO2ScienceMarch2020.pdf

Examining the Effect of the Border Wall on Private and Tribal Landowners

The following is testimony submitted by Arizona rancher James K. Chilton, Jr. to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations, on February 27, 2020.

 

My name is Jim Chilton. I am a 5th generation rancher from Arivaca, Arizona. Arivaca is a small rural town approximately 55 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona. Our ranch is adjacent to the town and extends south to the international border with Mexico. The ranch includes private property, State School Trust lands and three federal grazing permits in the Coronado National Forest. Our entire family, my wife of 56 years, our two sons and their children, my brother and his wonderful family, are blessed to be able to preserve our western ranching customs, culture, and heritage dating back to our pioneering ancestors who drove cattle from Texas to Arizona Territory in the late 1800’s. Our family has been in the cattle business in Arizona for about 130 years. We have a long-term view of the necessity to be excellent stewards of the grasslands we carefully manage. We are honored to have received various valued awards for resource conservation and wildlife stewardship.

Chilton Ranch and the International Border

Our family ranch is located adjacent to the United States/Mexico boundary in a corridor identified as among the most active for drug smuggling and human trafficking in the Nation. My comments generally relate specifically to the portion of the border south of our ranch extending from Nogales, AZ to Sasabe, AZ.

The following is a map of our beef-producing family ranch. Please notice that the southern end of the eastern part of the ranch is the international boundary for about five miles. Mexico is just across the fence. Our ranch boundary goes north and west bordering three other ranches. Crossers on the western side go through our neighbors’ grazing lands and then through our pastures.

The following photo shows what the international boundary looks like on the southern end of our ranch. It is not signed or marked and mainly consists of a four-strand barbed wire cattle fence. Obviously, there is no wall and you would never know it was the international border by viewing it.

 

This is the U.S.-Mexico border. For approximately 25 miles, this is typical until it reaches the east end of the bollard-style modern wall built to protect the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. It is well known that the Mexican cartels use this 25-mile open door of rarely patrolled land with no border-paralleling road for their drug and people smuggling business.

The following photo shows the end of the wall about 2.5 miles west of Nogales Arizona and the point where the wall becomes an old pasture fence.

 

Jim Chilton: half in the U.S. and half in Mexico! Even an 80-year-young rancher can crawl under the current international border. As you can see, building an appropriate international border fence and road would be no challenge for American civil engineers. We laugh when we hear former officials say it’s such difficult terrain that, “no one in his right mind” would try it.

Border Patrol Strategy

The long-out-dated Border Patrol strategy is to focus on attempts at interdiction of rural area crossers ten, twenty, and over 100 miles inside the United States rather than at the international boundary. As a consequence, the federal government has de facto ceded hundreds of square miles of Arizona to the cartels. My neighbors and I strongly believe the Border Patrol must SECURE THE BORDER AT THE INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARY. The fact that drug packers, MS 13 gang members and deported criminals desiring to re-enter the nation walk through our neighbors’ ranches and our ranch is dangerous for us and for our neighbors. We believe every nation has the sovereign right to secure and control its border and our nation is not succeeding in exercising that right.

We want to emphasize that we support and deeply appreciate the Border Patrol. The agents are polite, well trained and there is a sincere effort by the Sector Commander, his top officials and Tucson Station Patrol Agent in Charge to listen to and try to address ranchers’ border issues. We also appreciate many of the current Border Patrol efforts, including checkpoints, drug-sniffing dogs, and other strategies which certainly interdict highway traffic. We believe, however, these tactics are woefully insufficient to actually stem the tide of cartel operations flooding cross-country routes through border ranchlands of Arizona like ours.

Why is the entire Tucson Station of the Border Patrol with approximately 650 officers operating from a location 80 miles and about three hours from the international boundary at the southern end of our ranch? The Tucson Station has about 24 miles of the international boundary to secure, or 27 agents per mile. Currently, the Tucson Sector personnel report to work in downtown Tucson, check out weapons and vehicles and then drive approximately three hours to reach the border on our ranch. The waste of time and the high cost of each officer traveling to and from the border in his or her individual Border Patrol vehicle are outrageous.

National security demands that drug traffickers, terrorists, and previously deported people be prevented from entering the United States at the border. Asylum seekers and work seekers need to cross at the legal Ports of Entry. Currently, on our ranch all of the above often travel cross-country 10 to 20 miles before the Border Patrol even attempts to apprehend them. Why? Because the Border Patrol is not based at the border; old, slow, dirt roads have not been improved to the ranchland borders, and communications fail in the borderlands. We can work all day on the ranch and not encounter Border Patrol anywhere near the border.

Why is there a huge Border Patrol station located in Casa Grande when the city is located approximately 130 miles from the international boundary? Certainly we are pleased that thousands of cartel drug packers and cartel-led border crossers are arrested in Pinal County every year. However, we question the current strategy that lets these undocumented persons walk through our ranch or through the Tohono O’odham Reservation to the west of us to disperse so far into Arizona. This strategy allows, we believe, more than half of the crossers to escape detection. This capture percent is even deemed too generous by Border Patrol officers with whom we speak “off the record.” Would a football team ever win a game if, on defense, the team lined up ten yards behind the line of scrimmage?

Need to Secure the Border at the Border

Wouldn’t it make sense to have a Wall TO SECURE THE BORDER AT THE BORDER where linear miles can be effectively patrolled rather than leaving hundreds of square miles of southern Arizona crossed by a web of cartel trails and routes? Of course, square miles are more difficult and costly to patrol than linear miles!! Wouldn’t it be enormously more effective to have patrolled roads along a bollard-style wall (deemed most appropriate by the Border Patrol) together with 21st century communications, cameras and sensors plus 24/7 actual presence of the Border Patrol? Isn’t it called the “Border Patrol” and not the “Interior Patrol? Wouldn’t their presence at the border be a much greater deterrent to cartel offensives than the current backfield game plan?

There are tremendous advantages to closing the gap in the wall between Nogales and Sasabe and then continuing construction to the east end of the wall at Yuma. To achieve reasonable border control, and ensure that rural Arizona is not the “sacrificed route,” effective structures and strategies must also be implemented all the way across Arizona’s borderlands. Most importantly, the bollard-style fence must be conscientiously patrolled and must include forward operation bases, roads paralleling the boundary and surveillance technology. Congress needs to appropriate necessary funds to allow for the completion of the wall, roads and forward operation bases.

A retiring high-level Border Patrol official sat in our living room with all our neighbor ranchers and stated that “electronic surveillance alone only tells me what I missed.” He added, “…we can not respond in actionable time.” Any policy of reliance upon information on which no effective deterrent action can be taken is virtually useless. That perspective allows—even encourages and abets–the current abuse, abandonment, rape, mutilation and murder of would-be workers who are told by cartel operatives that this is the best route. They pay, suffer and are often used as decoys while the drug loads are routed around a different canyon or trail.

Advantages of Securing the Border at the Border

The following are some of the advantages to completing an effective, bollard-style fence with adequate patrolling and appropriate technology and forward operating bases:

First, U. S.Government Accountability Office and Judicial Watch have reported that people crossing the open border sections have been arrested from terrorist-sponsoring countries. How many crossers from terrorist nations actually got through and where are they now? How many successful crossers from the Middle East are connected to ISIS?

Second, it is outrageous that Mexican cartel scouts with satellite phones and other military-grade equipment are free to occupy strategically-selected hilltops for dozens of miles inside Arizona including on our ranch. As a consequence, the cartel scouts know where the Border Patrol is at all times so they can carefully guide drug packers–and people whom know they are not eligible for asylum–through the wooded canyons and along hundreds of smuggler trails on our ranches. Border Patrol officers apprehend fewer than half of the foreign migrants and smugglers according to national Border Patrol Council Vice President, Art del Cueto. Interdiction at the border would stop the occupation of Arizona border ranchlands by these cartel operatives.

Third, environmental costs of the current failure to effectively stop the flood of crossers are well-documented. Much of the unfenced minimally-patrolled Arizona border area includes national forests, conservation areas, monuments and wildernesses. These are exactly the open routes most used by the cartel-led operations. The Border Patrol reported at a meeting we attended that undocumented crossers have left a reported average of 8.5 pounds of trash apiece on these lands. It is estimated that over 25,000 tons of garbage have been dropped by crossers in the Tucson Sector alone since 1992. Just since June 2007 until March 2019 another 463,000 pounds of trash was collected along the Arizona border according to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s Border Trash report. Additionally, just as of 2010, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument documented approximately 2,553 miles of wildcat roads and trails just on their portion of the border with Mexico.

Fourth, there are intolerable human tragedies and abuses faced by work-seeking border crossers, especially women. Work-seekers currently have no feasible option but to cross in the hands of the cartel. It is reported that over 2,500 border crossers have died just in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector since1990. Horrific human tragedies could be avoided by securing the border at the border and implementing a feasible, simplified, e-verifiable worker documentation program to provide a legal and safe alternative for needed workers.

Fifth, we have been burglarized twice by south-bound drug packers who, after depositing their drug load at GPS sites or safe houses, stole laptops, cameras, firearms, including historic pieces, and other valuable items they steal to carry on their return to Mexico. This is a typical situation for those of us near the border. Ranchers in the border area cannot leave their houses unguarded even for a few hours since their homes and ranch buildings are often broken into if someone is not on guard duty. It can be hours before law enforcement can respond to rural calls.

Sixth, Arizona borderland residents, ranchers and farmers have suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and personal loss due to major forest fires set intentionally or accidentally by illegal crossers. The human and property costs of these fires, like the Monument Fire, the Murphy Complex Fire, Chiricahua Fire and the Horseshoe Fires must also be figured into the cost of NOT securing the border at the border. We have estimated that U. S. Forest Service costs in one year to fight fires caused by border crossers just in Arizona borderlands were about $600 million.

Seventh, another cost of inaction never calculated by those who decry the “expense” of effective wall and border protection, is the financial and emotional burden placed on ranchers living in Arizona border counties. In addition to suffering losses from home invasions and burglaries, we shell out thousands of dollars each year in constant fence and water line repair and we and our cowboys all work armed. The additional, unquantifiable emotional cost to our families is summarized by noting we are all very much aware of what happened to Sue Krentz’s husband Rob when he went out to check his ranch waters and was killed (including his dog) by a drug packer who then escaped into Mexico.

Eighth, we have heard just this week that the Border Patrol has picked up Chinese crossers coming through our area. The possibility of increasing numbers of undocumented persons, specifically escaping areas where they may have been exposed to coronavirus, is a new concern.

Finally, what percent of the opioids flooding this country comes through rural trails? We know from our hidden cameras that marijuana packs were the dominant VISIBLE drug in prior years, but we have heard that much higher value, lighter-to-pack fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and other drugs are showing up in rural apprehensions now that high tech surveillance is more effective at the Ports of Entry. What is the cost to America of increases in cartel use of open routes like the ones in our area for hard drug importation?

To effectively secure the border, the Border Patrol needs to build the wall and be able to construct or improve roads, build helicopter pads and place forward operating bases at or very near to the border. Construction needs to be freed of the impediments created by federal environmental laws which chiefly benefit the cartels, not the wildlife, in Arizona borderlands. Every day that the U.S. border remains unsecured is another opportunity to allow all of the negative consequences that are so real to borderland ranchers and to this Nation at the present.

The Wall, Humans and Wildlife

Border Patrol Agents apprehended fewer than half of the foreign migrants and smugglers according to national Border Patrol Council Vice President, Art del Cueto. Opponents of effective border control in rural areas advocate prioritizing cross-border wildlife-roaming over interdiction of cartel operatives. Essentially, their perspective is that the human, environmental and social cost of the illegal drug and people traffic is less of a concern than the creation of any impediment to the free passage of animals and wildlife connectivity with Mexico. This route through our portion of southern Arizona is today’s Ho Chi Minh Trail.
In spite of the environmental, financial and security impacts on our ranch, we have taken action to help prevent deaths of any of the crossers. I have installed safe-water drinking fountains on 29 sites where I have my 22 wells and water lines. We don’t want anyone to die of thirst.

Wildlife genetic diversity on both sides of the border can be achieved along with border security by legally transporting animals as scientifically deemed essential. Large mammals can be transported with safe capture to promote genetic diversity while birds can fly over and small animals and reptiles can easily slip through the bollard-style wall. In addition, American engineers can create wildlife friendly, effectively managed passages at some parts of the wall to facilitate wildlife connectivity with Mexico. Keep in mind the irony that the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge sought and obtained a bollard-style border fence and border-paralleling road because they did not want the danger, the wildcat roads, the trash and the fires nor “Wild Life Connectivity” on their border!! We neighbor them and we get all of the above re-routed onto our ranches! First, tear down the bollard-style wall with its patrol road on our Refuge neighbor—then talk to us about “connectivity.”

The following photograph shows the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service bollard-style wall and adjacent patrol road at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge along its border with Mexico—it adjoins the old 4-strand wire fence on our neighbor’s ranch. The refuge did not prioritize a concern for wildlife connectivity.

How can it be acceptable that residents of rural southern Arizona are not accorded the same protections provided to residents of the rest of the country? Our homes and ranches and our daily environment is treated as a no-man’s land exposed, by strategic federal choice, to armed foreign trespassers. The current strategy of minimal Border Patrol presence along large segments of the rural Arizona border leaves us unprotected and assures the continued flow of drugs, the abuse of migrants, and the trashing of border lands. None of this, including wildcat roads, trash, wild fires, human trampling, conflicts between drug packers and gang rip crews, could possibly be deemed favorable for wildlife. Persons opposing interdiction of drugs and undocumented crossers loudly cite the costs of securing the border and omit all mention of the human, environmental and security costs of NOT securing it.  END OF TESTIMONY

Related articles:

Rancher Jim Chilton Has To Police The Border Himself

A Petition from Southern Arizona Ranchers on Border Security

 

USGS Mineral Commodities Summary 2020: Arizona’s piece of the pie

From the Arizona Geology blog of the Arizona Geological Survey (link to full post with graphics)

The U.S. Geological Survey’s 42nd annual ‘Mineral Commodity Summary’ catalogs global and U.S. mineral production for 2019. The estimated total value of nonfuel mineral production in the U.S. was $86.3 billion, a 3% increase from 2018. Production of  metals in 2019 was $28.1 billion, nearly identical to that of 2018.  At $58.2 billion, industrial mineral production accounted for 67% of nonfuel mineral production in the U.S.

Export of raw mineral materials was $3.7 billion, an increase of 27% from 2018. Collectively, domestic raw and recycled mineral material production was $770 billion; of this iron and steel scrap contributed $17.6 billion.

Imported minerals made up more than one-half of the U.S. consumption for 46 nonfuel mineral commodities; 17 mineral commodities (e.g., arsenic, graphite, manganese, and fluorspar) rely wholly on imports.  Canada and China dominate mineral imports to the U.S., followed by Australia, Russia, Germany, South Africa, and Mexico.

Each year we peruse the Mineral Commodity Summary for insight into how Arizona mineral production compares with that of other States. Arizona followed Nevada as the #2 state in U.S. nonfuel mineral production. Nevada mineral production was $8,190 million – 9.5% of U.S. total of nonfuel mineral production; Arizona weighted in with 8.08% of US production. Arizona non-fuel mineral production in 2019 reached $6,970 million.  Texas followed closely on the heels of Arizona ($6,470 million), with Minnesota and California rounding out the top five producing states.

Principal nonfuel mineral products of Arizona include: cement (portland), copper, molybdenum concentrates, sand & gravel, crushed stone, dimension stone, bentonite, clay, gypsum, helium, industrial sand, perlite, pumice, salt, and zeolites. For more than 100 years Arizona has led the U.S. in copper production. In 2019 Arizona produced 68% of all copper in the U.S., worth roughly $5.3 billion. Molybdenum byproducts were recovered at four Arizona copper mines: Bagdad, Morenci, Pinto Valley and Sierrita.  (see more at AZGS)

Just another climate extinction prediction scare from the UofA

Arizona Daily Star story Feb 19, 2020:

Print edition title: UA researchers: Warming could kill 3 million species in 50 years.

Online edition title: Arizona researchers predict extinction explosion in bleak new study

Star reporter Henry Brean writes: Human-caused climate change could drive close to a third of all plant and animal species worldwide to extinction in the next 50 years, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Arizona. Without a concerted effort to curb global warming, roughly 3 million species could be lost by 2070, warned UA professor John Wiens, who co-authored the study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “What happens is up to us,” Wiens said. “If we do nothing, there’s going to be a massive loss of species. If we take action … we can cut that in half.”

See also: UofA press release

The paper:

Recent responses to climate change reveal the drivers of species extinction and survival

by Cristian Román-Palacios and John J. Wiens

The paper was published February 10, 2020 in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.) The PNAS paper is paywalled but you can read the full paper from Prof. Wiens’ website.

Abstract

“Climate change may be a major threat to biodiversity in the next 100 years. Although there has been important work on mechanisms of decline in some species, it generally remains unclear which changes in climate actually cause extinctions, and how many species will likely be lost. Here, we identify the specific changes in climate that are associated with the widespread local extinctions that have already occurred. We then use this information to predict the extent of future biodiversity loss and to identify which processes may forestall extinction. We used data from surveys of 538 plant and animal species over time, 44% of which have already had local extinctions at one or more sites. We found that locations with local extinctions had larger and faster changes in hottest yearly temperatures than those without. Surprisingly, sites with local extinctions had significantly smaller changes in mean annual temperatures, despite the widespread use of mean annual temperatures as proxies for overall climate change. Based on their past rates of dispersal, we estimate that 57–70% of these 538 species will not disperse quickly enough to avoid extinction. However, we show that niche shifts appear to be far more important for avoiding extinction than dispersal, although most studies focus only on dispersal. Specifically, considering both dispersal and niche shifts, we project that only 16–30% of these 538 species may go extinct by 2070. Overall, our results help identify the specific climatic changes that cause extinction and the processes that may help species to survive.”

My take:

The paper claims that increases in yearly maximum temperatures is the most critical factor in extinctions, yet according to the paper, maximum temperature increased only 0.4°C at sites with previous extinctions versus 0.14°C at sites without extinction. It is hard to believe that such a small temperature rise would make a difference since over the past 10,000 years Earth experienced several warm-cool cycles of more than 2°C.

The species extinction prediction numbers are based upon temperature projections from climate models and extrapolated to guess possible future temperatures.

But:

“The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change.” — James Hansen, “Climate forcings in the Industrial era”, PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758, October 27, 1998.

And:

“In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible.” — Final chapter, Third Assessment Report, IPCC.

The researchers speculate that past local extinctions in the areas studied may be related to climate change, but they present no physical evidence to support the speculation. There may have been other factors contributing to extinction.

Both Star reporter Henry Brean and researcher Wiens cite “human-caused” climate change by which I assume they mean carbon dioxide emissions. However, there is no physical evidence that shows carbon dioxide plays a significant role in controlling global temperature.

The researchers recommend: “…our results also suggest that successful implementation of the Paris Agreement targets (i.e., warming <1.5 °C by 2100) …could help reduce extinctions considerably, possibly to 16% or less by 2070. My, how politically correct.

Related articles:

A Review of the state of Climate Science

New study shows that carbon dioxide is responsible for only seven percent of the greenhouse effect

New Study shows that impact of carbon dioxide rising to 700 ppm is about 0.5°C

University of Arizona produces another global warming food scare

(A recent paper from the University of Arizona claims “Grasses across the globe may be unable to keep pace with a changing climate, threatening some of the world’s most critical food sources, according to new research by University of Arizona ecologists.”)

Impact of Paris climate accord and why Trump was right to dump it

New Study shows that impact of carbon dioxide rising to 700 ppm is about 0.5°C

As reported by Kenneth Richard, NoTricksZone, a new study (Stallinga, 2020 Comprehensive Analytical Study of the Greenhouse Effect of the Atmosphere) assesses the climate sensitivity to rising CO2 concentrations is just 0.0014°C per ppm.

Dr. Peter Stallinga has published a comprehensive analysis of the Earth’s greenhouse effect. He finds an inconsequential role for CO2. Doubling CO2 from 350 to 700 ppm yields a warming of less than 0.5°C. Feedbacks to warming are likely negative, as adding CO2 may only serve to speed up natural return-to-equilibrium processes. As for absorption-re-emission perturbation from CO2, “there is nothing CO2 would add to the current heat balance in the atmosphere.” (Read full paper , caution lots of math)

Paper’s conclusion: “we find that the alleged greenhouse effect cannot explain the empirical data—orders of magnitude are missing. Henry’s Law—out-gassing of oceans—easily can explain all observed phenomena. Moreover, the greenhouse hypothesis cannot explain the atmosphere on Mars, nor can it explain the geological data, where no correlation between CO2 and temperature is observed. Nor can it explain why a different correlation is observed in contemporary data of the last 60 years compared to historical data (600 thousand years). We thus reject the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hypothesis, both on basis of empirical grounds as well as a theoretical analysis.”

 

See also: Carbon Dioxide Is Responsible for Only Seven Percent of the Greenhouse Effect

Carbon dioxide is responsible for only seven percent of the greenhouse effect

Carbon dioxide induced global warming is the major boogeyman of our times. This fear has been adopted by many governments and candidates for political office. It has spawned a call to reduce CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels and turn to very unreliable “renewable” energy such as solar and wind generated electricity.

The Greenhouse Hypothesis is based largely upon the work of Svante August Arrhenius, a physicist and chemist, around 1896. He devised a formula purporting to show the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide content and global temperature. The Greenhouse Hypothesis has two major flaws: 1) It completely ignores heat transfer by convection, i.e., weather, and 2) as the new study shows, Arrhenius could not separate the effects of CO2 from those of water vapor. Additionally, the greenhouse plays a very small role in the very complicated drivers of global climate. As the UN IPCC wrote: “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible.” — Final chapter, Third Assessment Report, 2000, IPCC.

The new paper: Challenging the Greenhouse Effect Specification and the Climate Sensitivity of the IPCC by Antero Ollila, Physical Science International Journal 22(2): 19 Jan. 2019

“The main objective of this study is to analyze the GH (greenhouse) contribution effects of different sky conditions and new contribution effects that had not been considered in the earlier studies. Energy fluxes of different sky conditions are needed in the GH effect analysis. Therefore, the Earth’s annual mean energy budget has been updated.

Water vapor dominates (76.4%) the total greenhouse effect whereas CO2’s contribution is minimal (7.3%), and CO2 climate sensitivity is just 0.6°C upon doubling, about half the value used by the IPCC climate models. Clouds’ net effect is 1% based on the empirical observation.” (Read full paper) (note: the paper is very technical and sometimes hard reading)

Note that the paper says a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide would produce warming of only 0.6°C. Eliminating our CO2 emissions would have almost no effect on climate.

Bottom line: Replacing fossil fuel generated electricity with solar and wind is a very expensive exercise in futility which will make our electrical grid much less reliable and have no effect on global warming.

For more background, see these previous posts:

The Broken Greenhouse – why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

A Review of the state of Climate Science

Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect

New Study shows that impact of carbon dioxide rising to 700 ppm is about 0.5°C

 

Desalination of Sea Water Can Augment Our Water Supply Without Harming Sea Life

Since the Colorado River may not supply us with all the water we need, we should turn to the oceans.

Desalination of sea water can produce the freshwater we need to augment our natural supplies. The most common method is reverse osmosis where the sea water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane which removes the salt.

However, the process is energy intensive which some environmentalists claim will put more dread carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if the electricity comes from fossil-fuels. That can be solved by powering the plants with small, dedicated nuclear generators. (Powering such plants with wind or solar energy will make freshwater production intermittent and unpredictable.)

The other claim by some environmentalists is that the effluent from the desalinization process, very salty brine, is harmful to wildlife. A new study shows this concern is overblown.

A seven-year study, jointly conducted by Southern Cross University and the University of New South Wales at the Sydney (Australia) desalination plant found that when the plant was in operation, fish population in the area almost tripled. Fish populations decreased to normal when the plant was not operating. The Sydney plant has a capacity of producing 74,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Lead researcher Professor Brendan Kelaher said, “At the start of this project, we thought the hypersaline brine would negatively impact fish life. We were surprised and impressed at the clear positive effect on the abundance of fish, as well as the numbers of fish species. Importantly, the positive effects on fish life also included a 133 per cent increase in fish targeted by commercial and recreational fishers. As to why fish like it so much, we think they might be responding to turbulence created by dynamic mixing associated with the high-pressure release of the brine. However, more research is needed.” (Source) The report mentions no detrimental effects on fish or other sea life. The research was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.9b03565

I did try to find information on negative impacts to marine life of concentrated brine being pumped into the ocean, but all I could find was speculation, no actual physical evidence. Apparently harm is minimal. As noted by marine biologist Daniel Cartamil of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, intake water may contain tiny organisms (plankton), including the eggs and larvae of marine life. None of these organisms survive their journey through the plant. However, this entrainment typically accounts for only about 1 percent or 2 percent of plankton mortality in a given area. Cartamil says this about the salty brine discharge: “In theory, marine life (particularly plankton) could be harmed by prolonged exposure to salinity levels higher than those they normally cope with. The most common solution to this problem is to mix the brine back into the seawater with high-speed jets, a process so efficient that salinity levels are effectively back to normal within 100 feet of the release point.” (Source)

Perhaps Arizona, California, and Mexico will take heart and build more modern desalination plants near the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean to help ease our dependence on the Colorado River. Some of the salt could be recovered for industrial applications. There is a desalination plant in Yuma, built in 1992 to treat agricultural runoff and conserve water in Lake Mead. But its technology is outdated. There is also a desalination plant just north of San Diego with a capacity of 56,000 acre-feet per year. Building more and bigger desalination plants powered by nuclear generators is technologically feasible but politically problematic.

Articles on small nuclear reactors:

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