Archive for the ‘Oceans’ category

Gulf Oil Spill In Perspective – Stop Crying Over Spilled Milk

August 5, 2010

Not a day goes by without hearing about the “catastrophic BP Gulf oil spill”. Even the media in Europe are fretting hysterically about ocean currents eventually carrying the mess across the Atlantic and over to Europe’s shores – so say all their computer models. There’s now even a lot of discussion about setting up a world environmental court for prosecuting polluters for Crimes Against Nature and Crimes Against Humanity.When I was a kid and milk spilled, we were told not to cry about it, but instead to get up, get a mop, and to clean it up. How are media responding with the latest spill? Many are having fainting spells, some are even leaping out the windows, and the rest just want to beat the crap out of the poor kid who spilled the milk, who by the way gets up early every morning to milk the cow and brings it to the table.

Surely the oil spill was a mess and steps have to be taken to prevent these things in the future. But it’s also important to keep it all in perspective. Globally, once everything settles down, this is not going to be felt at all. It’s reported that 800 million liters have gushed into the Gulf. That sounds like a huge number. Indeed it’s like everyone in the United States dumping 3 quarts.

Pull your head up and look at the big picture. First of all, it has been reported, much to the surprise of the media, that 75% has already been either dispersed or cleaned up. That means 200 million liters are still at large. Of these 200 million liters, what doesn’t end up on shores for manual cleanup, will eventually get carried out to sea.

But for now, let’s stay with the 200 million liters floating out to Europe and beyond. How much is that with respect to the oceans’ sheer volume?
* 200 million liters = 200,000 cubic meters,
* 200,000 cubic meters = 0.0002 cubic kilometers of oil.
* Volume of world oceans: 1.37 BILLION cubic kilometers.

* Concentration of BP oil in ocean: 0.0002 km³/ 1,370,000,000 km³

This equals…folks my calculator doesn’t even get anywhere near that far out! It’s like one rat drowning in Lake Erie. It’s in the trillionths! The average lake has higher concentrations of greasy suntan lotion from swimmers.

Wildlife in the oceans are not even going to notice this, not at all! Fish have other far greater worries on their minds – like not becoming dinner for other fish.

So everybody really ought to just calm down about it. The whole thing has been overhyped a 1000 times.
The Gulf shores will get cleaned up and big mother earth will do the rest.

Source of ocean data:

UPDATE: Claudia Bradshaw of the BBC blogs and plans a radio show about it this evening.

I’d like to point out that the media focusses too much on the environmental disturbance of the oil spill and ignores the fact that a dozen people lost their lives in the accident. That’s the real tragedy.

And let’s not forget there have been far worse disasters.  167 people lost their lives on the Piper Alpha, making that in my view far worse than anything else in the oil industry to my knowledge. We ought to keep things in perspective.  The environment will rebound – lost lives don’t. How does someone’s business taking a temporary hit compare to loss of life? You coastal residents – you live in America, and so you’ll all get through it just fine. I know it’s tough, but count your blessings.

Foodchain-Angst: Scientists and Media Spread More Enviro-Shock & Awe

July 29, 2010

Update 7/30/2010: WUWT debunks this scare: here!

Reading the German online daily news this morning, today’s scare-de-jour is the “shocking” reduction of phytoplankton now underway, all due of course to manmade climate change. The “news” is based on a report just published in Nature by scientists Daniel Boyce and Marlon Lewis of the Dalhousie University (Halifax) and Boris Worm of the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (think Schellnhuber and Rahmstorf).

When reading about such stories,  it’s a very good idea to first read the following:

Science Turns Authoritarian

Here’s a sampling of today’s headlines in Germany:


The cause of the phytoplankton decrease is “warming of the oceans”, Nature reports. Satellite measurements since the end of the 1970s have shown fluctuation in oceanic plankton levels, but have not delivered a clear picture.

That’s why the researchers went back and looked at data of ocean chlorophyll content. The team analysed almost 450,000 measurements from the period 1899 to 2008. The result, according to Die Welt:

In eight of ten oceanic regions, phytoplankton has decreased during the 20th century. Content dropped with increasing sea surface temperature, especially in the tropics and subtopics regions. It is suspected that as a consequence of warming, a more pronounced layering of water occurred.

Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that phytoplankton concentrations in the oceans have declined by two thirds since 1899.

What do I think?

The study involves the Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research, directed by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, visionary of The Great Transformation , and Stefan Rahmstorf, who predicts sea levels will rise 1.7 meters in the next 90 years, but refuses to even bet on a 60 cm rise. This is an institute that is well well-known for activist science and fear-mongering, with the clear agenda of reorganizing how people live. A dangerous social engineering experiment.

I’m sure the findings of this study will turn out to be more plankton-crap.

UPDATE: Beware of science authority. Above I mentioned the Science Turns Authoritarian story, which looked at how often certain authoritarian phrases are used in the media. Click on the following graphic:

Be wary, be very wary, of media claims on climate science.

Ocean Acidification Doesn’t Lead To Species Die-Off, Surprising Scientists

July 26, 2010

Pia Heinemann reports in Die Welt today, Ocean Acidification Does Not Lead To Species Die-Off, on a new study appearing in the latest edition of Science. The study contradicts the assumption that ocean acidification leads to species die-off, surprising scientists.Abstract in Science here

Manmade emissions of CO2 are thought to be partly absorbed by the oceans, which in turn would acidify and pose a huge threat to calcareous organisms like corals and plankton. This is the horror story that has been widely circulating in the media for the last couple of years, and with ever-growing alarmism, at a time the dangers of global warming are turning out to be wildly exaggerated.

Italian and Swiss scientists have found answers by looking at 120 million year old sediment deposits. The team directed by Elisabetti Erba of the University of Milan describes new findings in the latest issue of Science.

It is not unusual for CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to surge after large volcanic eruptions. This has happened often in the past.

They examined microscopic fossils and nannoplankton from a time period just after large volcanic eruptions 120 million years ago, when the air’s CO2 content rose to about twice today’s level. Their studies contradicted their expectations. Die Welt writes:

Contrary to what was expected, no large-scale die-offs occurred among the organisms when acidification increased. The species simply adapted: They formed smaller shells and remained small.

They endured the changes far better than first thought.

Heinemann writes that the study also delivered yet another surprise:

Apparently, the oceans acidify with a delay. After the volcanoes erupted and the surface water pH value began to sink, it took 25,000 to 30,000 years longer for the CO2 effect to reach the sea bottom.

These new findings deal a massive blow to those hoping to exploit ocean acidification as the next disaster scenario to replace the discredited catastrophic AGW story. Expect the MSM to bury or spin the story.

Update/Note: Keep in mind that the plankton and coral studied were from 120 million years ago, meaning the species has since survived climate extremes and changes that were off the charts when compared to today’s mild natural changes. They’ve handled much colder and much warmer conditions with widely varying ocean chemistry.

Update 2: The Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany [Read here] is planning years of research on acidification, costing millions of euros, to study a bogus non-problem. They’ve teamed up with neutral Greenpeace, and so you can be sure they’ll come up with “catastrophic” findings and demand more money for reasearch. Whatever it takes to bilk the taxpayer out of money.

Huge Jump in Ocean Acidification Research – Science Assisted by Greenpeace!

July 13, 2010

Ocean acidification research assisted by Greenpeace Esperanza.

35 scientists from 12 countries led by the Leibniz Institute for Ocean Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR) studied for 6 weeks the effects that increasing CO2 concentrations would have on life in the sea. Read here (German). 

Human emissions of CO2 lead to higher concentrations in sea water and thus lower its pH value. The study is led by marine biologist Prof. Dr. Ulf Riebesell, who explains: 

This phenomenon can lead to drastic changes in maritime life systems. Calcium forming organisms like shellfish, snails and microscopic plankton, which are at the base of the food chain, react sensitively to ocean acidification. 

Cold water  can absorb more CO2, and so ocean acidification will occur earlier and more intensely in the Arctic than in other regions, according to the IFM-GEOMAR press release. 

Scientists anchored nine 17-meter long tubes in the Kongsfjord of northwest Spitzbergen. These jumbo sized test tubes held a water column of 50 cubic meters and were subjected to various concentrations of CO2. 

According to Dr. Riebesell: 

We simulated conditions that we expect to see 20, 40 and 60 years in the future. 

As the scientists took measurements and samples daily, they observed changes in the seawater and the enclosed life systems. The simulated ocean acidification led to unexpectedly large changes in the production activity of the plankton with considerable impacts on the release of climate-relevant gases and in turnover rates of important elements in the seawater. 

The scientists took measurements and samples for 6 weeks. Every day 300 liters of water were removed from the large tubes and analysed. With over 60 measurement parameters and tens of thousands values, this will be the most comprehensive experimental data set ever taken in studying ocean acidification, according to the press release. Dr. Riebesell says: 

We expect to make a great jump in the research of ocean acidification. 

Currently the large tubes are now being removed from Kongsfjord. For this job, the scientists are getting assistance from Greenpeace, who have put their vessel ESPERANZA at their disposal. 

Greenpeace is on expedition in the Arctic this summer to record the life systems on the sea floor of the Arctic Ocean for the first time and to continue work on glacier melt in Greenland. (Yeah right! Science by an environmental activist group – I wonder what kind of results they’ll come up with!) 

The Greenpeace ESPERANZA vessel is expected to arrive in Kiel on July 22. The ship will be open to the public at the IFM-GEOMAR pier on July 24-25. 

EPOCA (European Project on Ocean Acidification) started the project in May 2008. The project involves more than 100 scientists from 27 institutes from 9 countries (and Greenpeace). The project will be 4 years long and is funded by the European Commission.

La Nina Trend Continues: BOM Wrap-up

July 7, 2010

Get ready for some short-term cooling in the months ahead. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has released its latest ENSO report.

The BOM says sea surface temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific have continued to cool, and so the tropical Pacific is now generally cooler than average.

Below the surface, temperatures also remain significantly cooler than average, with some areas more than 4°C cooler than normal. Trade winds in the western Pacific remain stronger than normal and cloudiness near the date-line continues to be suppressed.

The BOM adds:

These indicators, together with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), which has been positive since April, are consistent with the developing stages of a La Niña event.

Climate models also predict further tropical Pacific cooling during the coming months. Most models predict cooling beyond La Niña thresholds before the end of the southern winter.


So with the high global temperatures we’ve seen over the last few months fizzing out, it’s the last chance for the warmists to get a few last words in for a while. Now the question remains: How strong will the La Nina get?