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USGS scientist sees dire climate-change impacts

Original post made on Mar 23, 2012

If worldwide carbon emissions continue at the present rate, rising temperatures could cause the Sierra Nevada to lose 80 percent of its winter snowpack in just 40 years, a United States Geological Survey scientist said Thursday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 23, 2012, 9:33 AM

Comments (18)

Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 23, 2012 at 9:55 am

The USGS hasn't yet figured out how to predict earthquakes, and yet the know the climate future? Sheesh.

New research from the GRACE satellite shows us that the world's largest snow-capped peaks have lost no ice in the last decade and that polar ice is melting at a much lower rate than climate alarmists say.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, a supporter of President Obama in the last election, publicly resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) with a letter that begins: "I did not renew [my membership] because I cannot live with the [APS policy] statement: 'The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.'

Thousands of abandoned wind turbines litter the American landscape, a testament to clean energy's dependence on tax subsidies.

What does the best evidence now tell us? That man-made global warming is a mere hypothesis that has been inflated by both exaggeration and downright malfeasance, fueled by the awarding of fat grants and salaries to any scientist who'll produce the 'right' results.


Posted by Not-So-Sure, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2012 at 10:52 am

I wonder if the USGS employee identified in this article has stopped driving his car to work, or flying in airplanes to go on vacation, or trips back to Reston, VA, (USGS Headquarters) for meetings?

Until everyone claiming that "we are doomed" shift to walking, bikes, or mass transit, for ALL of their transportation needs--then it's a little difficult to believe that they believe what they are saying.

> "We now have multiple 1,000-year storms per decade,

Huh? Why not offer a few examples, since we have been fed a constant diet of "100-Year Storms" for such a long time, that the public really has no idea what a 1000-Year storm might be. And what about 10,000-Year storms? Are they to be something that we have to be concerned about too?

Lastly, how much of the information that this USGS employee is sharing with the public is his own research?


Posted by climate deniers, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

Climate change deniers are like Nazi holocaust deniers. Yes, they have some believers, but none of them have actually studied the facts.


Posted by Not-So-Sure, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:11 am

> but none of them have actually studied the facts.

And you know this, how?

Equating people whose views are different than your own to "NAZIs" is really tedious, and not very beneficial to discussion on issues of import.


Posted by two plus two equals, a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 23, 2012 at 11:59 am

Chris: Sources, please.


You really wanted to lead with this inanity? "The USGS hasn't yet figured out how to predict earthquakes, and yet the know the climate future?"


"Thousands of abandoned wind turbines litter the American landscape"'

Lots of Google hits on that, but the first half dozen just link to the Natural News opinion piece without any documentation. Any credible source for those numbers, and comparisons to numbers of producing turbines?

And of course, there's this for comparison - an investigation revealed that there are over 27,000 abandoned oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and that no one is monitoring them. Of these rigs, 23,500 are permanently abandoned, and 3,500 are only "temporarily abandoned." Web Link

Show us a source for the turbine claim that verifeis the claim, and puts it into context.


Ivar Giaever, 82 year old Norwegian who worked for General Electric, won a Nobel in PHYSICS 40 years ago. Resigned from a physics society because the scientists there agreed with the international consensus. Ummmm, okay. Big whoop. One guy disagreed about climatology studies, as a physics guy. What about the rest of the society that does support the international consensus? This guy is more important than the current, active membership that have looked at the issue?

"that polar ice is melting at a much lower rate"

Oh, goody, goody! A lower rate than some say, yet no one seems to be denying the melt. Web Link

Your conclusion? Take a bit here and a byte there and viola! 2+2=13!!! "That man-made global warming is a mere hypothesis that has been inflated by both exaggeration and downright malfeasance, fueled by the awarding of fat grants and salaries to any scientist who'll produce the 'right' results. "

The Koch and Exxon funded Heartland type "thinktanks" sure love smart guys like you!!


Posted by David, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

""1,000-year storms" are already 10 times more frequent now than they were in the 1920s."

I have been around for six decades, all in California, and I feel cheated, because I wouldn't know a thousand year storm if I saw one. Did I miss them?


Posted by Not-So-Sure, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm

> Show us a source for the turbine claim that verifeis the claim

Here are a couple hits from googling "abandoned wind turbines" --

Web Link
Web Link

But if you are asking for a US Department of Energy database of abandoned wind turbines, that might be a little harder to produce.

But then, perhaps you can produce a list of all of the installed wind turbines, which includes the current operational status of each.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

As long as we keep adding a billion people per decade, climate change is the least of our problems. Climate change may actually be the solution.

(By the way, new Godwin's Law record here, took only 3 comments for a Nazi analogy. Forfeit.)


Posted by AMRW, a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Whenever I see car commercials for a vehicle that can park itself or alert the driver when they're falling asleep, or become invisible...I think to myself "If they only put that same effort into fuel efficiency...."
A car that parks itself?!?!?! Why do I need that?


Posted by Steve Eittreim, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thanks USGS for continuing to educate the American public, through your monthly seminars and other venues. Some of the comments above show that it is grievously needed. Still too many folks, apparently fed by the lies from Big Oil, coal-burning power plants, and many others lobbyists being asked to sacrifice, actually believe there is some kind of international scientific conspiracy. How possibly could a thousand of the world's best scientists, gathered by the UN, collude in that way? Please folks, read the IPCC report and believe. This is very serious, especially for our grandchildren.


Posted by two plus two equals, a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

not so sure - Chris:

"Here are a couple hits from googling "abandoned wind turbines" --"

Useless links, follow then through and they come out to the Natural News article that does not source the number.

Just a bunch of posts referencing a number without anyone verifying the number.

As I said:

""Thousands of abandoned wind turbines litter the American landscape"' Lots of Google hits on that, but the first half dozen just link to the Natural News opinion piece without any documentation. Any credible source for those numbers, and comparisons to numbers of producing turbines?"

Giving up on the rest of the claims?

;-)


Posted by Not-So-Sure, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 24, 2012 at 4:25 pm

> to the Natural News opinion piece without any documentation

Ok .. sources are always a good thing. As it turns out, the Natural News article is not an "opinion piece" but a "staff article". This article references an article in the American Thinker:
Web Link

This article was written by a person who edits a web-site called "the Hawaii Free Press":

Web Link

The editor of this blog was contacted about the source of the 14,000 number. He responded with an hour with the following link to a British newspaper, the Daily Mail:

Web Link

This article claims that perhaps 5,000 wind turbines have been abandoned in the US, leaving it as an easy extrapolation to come up with the 14,000 number for world wide abandonment.

So, at the moment, the source of this 14,000 number is not crystal clear.

There is ample evidence of abandonment of wind turbines, however:

Web Link

And this abandonment raises all sorts of issues—such as why are these generators of power being abandoned in the first place. There turn out to be all sorts of reasons, ranging from the wind farms where these turbines are located not being profitable, so the owners just walked away from the properties, to the turbines breaking down and replaced with newer models on the farm. The obvious conclusion is that dismantling the older units would increase the total operating costs of the wind farm, and the base cost of electricity it sells to its customers, so doing nothing does not incur these costs. It is clear that there is an increase in the number of these units world wide, so it is likely that the number of abandoned units worldwide will increase in the coming years.

So, the question now becomes—how do we find out how many abandoned units there are, and who will make the determination of those numbers?


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 25, 2012 at 10:14 pm

I have an idea for how to at least mitigate this.

Let everyone place themeselves (and their families) in one camp or another.

Climate Change Deniers would be in one camp---those who want to "Drill Baby Drill", think this is all a big scam, etc.

Believers in Climate Change would be in another. Those who are currently willing to make significant personal, policy changes, as well as pay increased taxes and fees to help counter what they believe is about to happen.

Make it akin to a Mayan Soccer Game. The winners would take all. The losers would lose all.

Of course no way this will ever be sanctioned. But an interesting concept to imagine who would put their money, lives, etc., where there mouths currently are.


Posted by David, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Wait! Before you split into camps, and bet your first born, etc., we all deserve the pleasure of experiencing a 1000-year storm. Can somebody please name one?


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 27, 2012 at 12:39 am

Ask and ye shall receive....


Pakistan

from that commie socialist pinko site the World Bank....

Web Link



"2. Earth‟s climate is already changing, and further change is inevitable. Year 2010 was the wettest year on record, and tied for the hottest (NOAA 2011). The summer extent of the arctic ice cap is dwindling, with planet-wide impacts on weather patterns. While it is not possible to link specific events to climate change, the devastating 2010 Pakistan flood (a 1 in 1000 year event by historical standards (Straatsma, Ettema and others 2010)) and Russian heat-wave (a 1 in 3000 year event) are illustrative of the kinds of extreme events that climate change has already made more frequent (Stott, Stone and others 2004; Min, Zhang and others 2011; Pall, Aina and others 2011). Preparing for these and other changes requires adaptation at all levels of society."

We are already split into camps. We are already all betting our children's futures. I just wish that the people obstructing and denying could be made to pay up for their obstructive stances when the bill comes due.


Posted by David, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 27, 2012 at 7:42 am

I'm not talking about Pakistan. I mean California, that's where I live. No fair cherry picking severe storms around the world and saying, "See, that's because of global warming!".

BTW, how would a 1000-year storm be proved? Did they have rain gagues and wind speed measurement 1000 years ago? If not, what are the proxies?


Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of Professorville
on Mar 27, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Insisting that the 1,000 year storm occur in your state, or backyard, is indeed cherry picking. If everyone in every state did so we'd need a 1,000 year storm in every state.

I am not a climate scientist and have no idea how a 1,000 year storm is defined. I tend to trust the scientists rather than the skeptics (who often are aligned with the Creationists, etc.).

Perhaps an updated 1,000 year storm will occur now.


Posted by David, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:34 am



"If worldwide carbon emissions continue at the present rate, rising temperatures could cause the Sierra Nevada to lose 80 percent of its winter snowpack in just 40 years, a United States Geological Survey scientist said Thursday, March 22."

Somehow, the effect has yet to be seen, despite the hysteria about global warming for the past 20 years. For example, last year (2011) was the fifth highest recorded snowfall in the Sierras, since records were kept in the late 19th century.

Web Link



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