Bob McDonald is the CBC’s “science” maven who has a “BLOG” which uses rather outdated technology.
Today, McDonald decided to grace the blogosphere with an expression of his deep disappointment in the outcome of the Copenhagen CarbonFest:
Copenhagen summit: Eyes wide shut [03/20/2013 link updated -hro]
While the climate talks in Copenhagen become stalled by political and economic disagreements, scientists remain frustrated as Earth-watching satellites see the planet change before their eyes.
A fleet of satellites, armed with a wide array of scientific instruments, have been looking down on the Earth for decades, tracking changes in the temperature and chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans, as well as a host of other parameters, such as disappearing ice or shifting vegetation.
One recent example comes from the GRACE satellite (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment), which shows that water supplies in central California are disappearing at an alarming rate. Extended drought conditions are causing underground aquifers in the central agricultural valley to be pumped down faster than nature can replenish them. That doesn’t bode well for the state’s vital fruit and wine industries.
And that’s the crux of the problem. It’s not the amount of warming the planet is going through, it’s how quickly things are happening that is setting off alarm bells in the scientific minds.
That’s why, two years before the Copenhagen talks began, an international group of climate scientists put together the “Copenhagen Diagnosis.” The report is a warning that the changes are happening even faster than previously estimated, so action is more urgent than ever.
Too bad that the people with their eyes wide open on the planet are being shouted out by stalling tactics, conspiracy theorists and political resistance.[emphasis added -hro]
Hmmmm … two years before Copenhagen, eh? Were your eyes wide shut when you were doing your “due diligence” for this article, Mr. McDonald? The “Copenhagen Diagnosis”, according to the Press Release of Dec. 15, 2009, provides the following:
Citation: The Copenhagen Diagnosis, 2009: Updating the world on the Latest Climate Science
International media releases and press conferences
Emissions cut of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 needed for industrial countries for 2 degree C limit
The only thing that seems to be happening “faster than previously estimated” is the escalating heated rhetoric from the drivers of the “CO2 causes global warming” bandwagon – one of whom, the chair of the IPCC, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, has a few previously undisclosed conflicts of interest. Not to mention that one of the authors of the new, improved “Diagnosis” is none other than M.E. Mann.
But setting aside McDonald’s poor research skills, I took a look at the NASA page he cited above:
NASA Data Reveal Major Groundwater Loss in California
PASADENA, Calif. – New space observations reveal that since October 2003, the aquifers for California’s primary agricultural region — the Central Valley — and its major mountain water source — the Sierra Nevadas — have lost nearly enough water combined to fill Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir. The findings, based on data from the NASA/German Aerospace Center Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace), reflect California’s extended drought and increased rates of groundwater being pumped for human uses, such as irrigation.
In research being presented this week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, scientists from NASA and the University of California, Irvine, detailed California’s groundwater changes and outlined Grace-based research on other global aquifers. The twin Grace satellites monitor tiny month-to-month changes in Earth’s gravity field primarily caused by the movement of water in Earth’s land, ocean, ice and atmosphere reservoirs. Grace’s ability to directly ‘weigh’ changes in water content provides new insights into how Earth’s water cycle may be changing.
“By providing data on large-scale groundwater depletion rates, Grace can help California water managers make informed decisions about allocating water resources,” said Grace Project Scientist Michael Watkins of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
Famiglietti said recent California legislation decreasing the allocation of surface waters to the San Joaquin Basin is likely to further increase the region’s reliance on groundwater for irrigation. “This suggests the decreasing groundwater storage trends seen by Grace will continue for the foreseeable future,” he said.
The California results come just months after a team of hydrologists led by Matt Rodell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., found groundwater levels in northwest India have declined by 17.7 cubic kilometers per year over the past decade, a loss due almost entirely to pumping and consumption of groundwater by humans.
“California and India are just two of many regions around the world where Grace data are being used to study droughts, which can have devastating impacts on societies and cost the U.S. economy $6 to $8 billion annually,” said Rodell. Other regions under study include Australia, the Middle East – North Africa region and the southeastern United States, where Grace clearly captured the evolution of an extended drought that ended this spring. In the Middle East – North Africa region, Rodell is leading an effort to use Grace and other data to systematically map water- and weather-related variables to help assess regional water resources. Rodell added Grace may also help predict droughts, since it can identify pre-existing conditions favorable to the start of a drought, such as a deficit of water deep below the ground.
NASA is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to incorporate Grace data into NOAA’s U.S. and North American Drought Monitors, premier tools used to minimize drought impacts. The tools rely heavily on precipitation observations, but are limited by inadequate large-scale observations of soil moisture and groundwater levels. “Grace is the only satellite system that provides information on these deeper stores of water that are key indicators of long-term drought,[…]” [emphases added -hro]
My eyes were wide open when I read this article (and, perhaps unlike McDonald, so was my mind!) But I found no evidence of any correlation between the findings in this paper and the recycled dire needs as expressed in the “Copenhagen Diagnosis”.
But, perhaps one needs to keep one’s eyes “wide shut” in order to make the giant leap of faith demanded by the AGW alarmists – and their coalition of willing “science” journalists. Or, as Mark Steyn notes in “The Emperor’s New Carbon Credits“, we must all surrender to the jihadists of the “Church of Settled Science”.