There are several theories for the cause of glacial periods–Cycles of glaciers followed by interglacial warm periods and then repeating that cycle. Of those theories, the Milankovitch Cycles theory seems to have a broad base of adherents who believe it to have the best answer that question. The Milankovitch theory has some weaknesses. So this posting remains skeptical, however, it appears that there are good reasons why it is probably the most accepted theory. That Richard Lindzen is a supporter of the theory is one of the good reasons.
The Milankovitch theory says that moving in and out of glacial periods is a result of variation in the Earth’s orbit and orientation. Three parameters—Earth’s eccentric orbit around the Sun, the planet’s axial tilt and the procession of its axis are the basis of the theory. These parameters are pretty well defined. The coincidence with certain combinations of the three parameters and the paleohistory of glacial periods is reasonably close. A posting by Doug Hoffman on his blog, the Resilient Earth “Confirmed! Orbital Cycles Control Ice Ages” is very good. I could not say it as well, so this posting will lift much from his.
From Hoffman’s posting:
Earth’s orbit goes from measurably elliptical to nearly circular in a cycle that takes around 100,000 years. Presently, Earth is in a period of low eccentricity, about 3%. This causes a seasonal change in solar energy of 7%. The difference between summer and winter is a 7% difference in the energy a hemisphere receives from the Sun. When Earth’s orbital eccentricity is at its peak (~9%), seasonal variation reaches 20-30%. Additionally, a more eccentric orbit will change the length of seasons in each hemisphere by changing the length of time between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. (Click on the Chart to enlarge.)
Variation in Axial Obliquity, Orbital Eccentricity, and Polar Precession.NOAA.
Posted in AGW, Astronomy, CO2, Environment, glaciers, Global Temperatures, Ice Melt, Interglacial periods, Milankovitch Cycles, Solar Activity, sun and climate
The Department of Energy (DOE) projects that global energy consumption will increase 56% between 2010 and 2040 from 524 quadrillion Btus to 820 quadrillion Btus.
Posted in AGW, Alternative Energy, Climate Alarmism, Domestic Energy, Electricity, Energy Development, Environment, fossil fuels, Fracking/Shale Gas, Renewable Energy, solar cells, Windpower
The EPA has devised a system to write policy that favors the radical green NGOs. The EPA is able to, in effect, legislate. This is done by using the courts to issue Consent Decrees outlining policy “agreements. Once issued, the agreements set out in the Consent Decrees are very difficult to get changed.
Back in the 1960tys, activist groups began what is now called “reform litigation”. Initially these litigated cases were to pursue the litigant’s idea of needed prison reforms. But with time, reform litigation spread and it is getting major use by the EPA and radical greens to shape environmental policy. Here is how it works according to Bob Beuprez’s posting “How the EPA connives with Greens on Policy”:
How have these overtly political groups obtained such access to policy decisions that have the power to destroy industries and eliminate jobs? The answer lies in the “sue and settle” legal technique.
Joe Bastardi, Chief Forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics LLC says that the EPA has based the Administration’s energy policy on three easily disproven assumptions. In Bastardi’s posting “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” he list the following:
There are three lines of evidence the EPA uses to back their environmental policies.
- Greenhouse Gas Trapping Hot Spot Theory.
- The so-called unusual rise in GAST (Globally Averaged Surface Temperatures).
- Assumed validity of climate models, used for policy analysis purposes. (See, for example, SOUTHEASTERN LEGAL FOUNDATION, INC., ET AL., Petitioners, v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ET AL. Nos. 12-1268, 12-1269, 12-1272.)
Climate cycles are continuously happening on Earth since its beginning estimated to be some 4.5 billion years ago. Detailing the earliest climate cycles can only be done by painting with the broadest of brushes. In more recent times, proxies, such as ice cores and oxygen isotope measurements are available for use in reconstructing these cycles. The globe has experienced glaciers in relatively recent times and in the not too distant future will surely experience glaciers again. The profound changes that take place resulting in glacial periods are of great interest.
Posted in AGW, Environment, glaciers, Global Temperatures, Greenland, Ice Melt, Interglacial periods, Sea Ice, Solar System, Sun, sun and climate
Gasland Part II, a sequel to “Gasland “, was released 28 June (a limited release according to Rotten Tomatoes). It carries the same theme that fracking is bad. The documentary “stars” are Josh Fox, the director and Dennis Kucinich, former US Representative from Ohio. Can’t imagine that Kucinich is going to bring people into the theater. The documentary has not yet appeared in the “Box Office” top 50 grossing films. TheAmericanInterest.com reviewed the documentary with it’s posting “Gasland II: Muddying a Fractured Debate”. The reviewer tries to play it down the middle saying that the movie and the movies critics tend to go over the top. But he writes this:
Gasland II is chock-full of errors and falsehoods. Some might be unintentional (Fox readily admits that he’s a “theater guy,” not an engineer or chemist), but at least one seems to be a case of deceit. At one point, Fox throws up a graph purportedly showing the high rate of cement casing failures in fracking wells. Its steeply ascending red bars make for an alarming picture, and as he triumphantly explains, “[gas companies’] own documents showed that cement encasings failed in five percent of wells immediately upon drilling, and that the failure rate increased over time; that over a thirty year period, fifty percent of wells failed.” But the caption to the graph, barely visible in the film explains that it’s showing sustained casing pressure (SCP), a condition that can lead to cement casing failure. Worse, the graph showed the SCP only for offshore wells, explicitly stating, “[t]hese data do not include wells in state waters or land locations,” a fact conveniently left out of the film.
Solar Cycle 24 activity was low in June. Sunspots took a sizable drop from about 77 in May to 52 in June. Solar flux dropped as well. (Click on charts to enhance clarity.)
The experts believe that Cycle 24 will match Cycle 14. NASA is predicting Cycle 24 Sunspot peak at 67 whereas Cycle 14’s peak was 64. Cycle 14 began February, 1902 and ended August, 1913. Temperatures during that time were much colder than the average since that time. My March 8, 2013 posting has some interesting statistics to make comparisons of Cycle 24 and other Solar Cycles. There is a plot of temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2010 that you can compare to Solar Cycle size. You can access that data by clicking here.