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Bleached from a Distance – Watts Up With That?

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Reposted from Jennifer Marohasy’s Blog

September 26, 2021Byjennifer

I lent my underwater camera (Olympus TG-6) to a dear friend who recently visited Lady Elliot Island at the Great Barrier Reef. She came over last Sunday to return the camera, and to show me some of her photographs. My favourite is of the Parrot fish just beyond the magenta-coloured corals, shared above. Over the ledge the water is deeper, and the corals have a blue haze. This is because wavelengths in the blue part of the visible light spectrum penetrate water to some few metres, while all the wavelengths in the red part of the spectrum are absorbed by 5 metres under the water.

For those who have never snorkelled or scuba-dived, and who like to lament the dying Great Barrier Reef, the corals beyond the parrot fish in Jessicas picture might all look bleached. But that is how corals look in the distance when visibility is good, because the water is so clear. It is only when you swim up to them, when you are nearer to the corals, that you can see their real colour.

When I see photographs online and in newspapers of corals described as bleached, I often wonder how the photograph was taken at what depth and whether it was colour corrected. I wrote to a journalist, Michael Foley from the Sydney Morning Herald, back in April about a picture purportedly showing bleached coral.

Hi Michael

Im really impressed with your interview with Terry Hughes and particularly how much online media has republished your article Reef on path to destruction and clever science cant fix it and that photograph.

I was curious about the image of the bleached corals. Where it was taken, and how it was colour adjusted. I sent an email via the Catlin Seaview Survey contact page, asking for this information last Tuesday (13th April) and to Sara Naylor at UQ. The email to Sara bounced, Catlin hasnt replied.

This image was featured in many news reports back in April 2021, republished from a Sydney Morning Herald article with the Catlin Survey credited for the image, but otherwise providing no details.

What I would really like is the original full resolution raw image. Could you please send me this?

Also, where was the image taken/which reef, and when/which year?

If it was taken back in 2015 or 2016 or 2017 it would be important to know the state of that coral now?

Michael Foley never replied.

There is a wonderful library on Lady Elliot Island, at the resort in a room tucked behind the museum. I spent some time there most evening when I was on the island for a week back in May. I found a photograph very similar to the one I queried Michael Foley about. It is in a book entitled Coral Whisperers by Irus Braverman published by the University of California Press in October 2018.

This picture is from the introduction to Irus Bravermans book Coral Whisperers

The caption to this photograph provides a lot more information than the Sydney Morning Herald article by Michael Foley published on 8th April this year (2021). So, the photograph used in the article by Michael Foley was perhaps taken at Heron Island and back in February 2016.

It would seem somewhat disingenuous for a news story published on 8th April 2021 to be accompanied by a photograph from 2016 but without including this important information: that the photograph is five years old. It would also be useful if the publisher explained that visible light of a blue wavelength penetrates water, while red is absorbed, so corals even just a few metres away can have a blue haze and even appear bleached.

Also, if the Sydney Morning Herald are going to include a photograph from five years ago in a news story, why dont they also show a more recent photograph so we have some idea whether the coral is still there, or not?

The Sydney Morning Herald/ Catlin Seaview Survey photograph with the coral changed to beige by my friend Michael who first alerted me to this photograph and how easy it was for him to fix what he described as the blue cast.

Of course, beige is the most common colour of corals at reefs around the world, as I explained in my short documentary film Beige Reef, that you can watch on YouTube.

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The feature image, at the very top of this blog post, was taken at Lady Elliot Island in September 2021 by Jessica with my TG-6 camera. I also like how Jessicas photograph so clearly shows that the Parrot fishs teeth are fused together. These fishes eat live coral. Ive seen them scrap the massive Porites and bite into pretty Acropora.

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Weather vs. Alarmism – Watts Up With That?

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Brief Note by Kip Hansen — 20 October 2021

Channel 4, a British free-to-air public-service television network, sent a three-person TV crew to the Heartland Institutes’ 14th International Conference on Climate Change held this last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. I met and spoke with the two journalists. It took me less than ten seconds to realize that they had been sent to gather material for a scurrilous hit job piece on the conference. And that is exactly what they did.

The news clip (well, really just bit of video-climate-alarmism masquerading as journalism) exposes the featured Channel 4 reporter when, instead of asking questions and reporting the answers, her role is shown to be arguing for the alarmist viewpoint on camera.

I only mention this because the Smoking Gun of Climate Disaster in the broadcast news clip was Lake Mead, with its lowest water level “ever”.

The weather almost never co-operates . . . ask any sailor.

Atmospheric river storms to soak Bay Area, Northern California biggest in 9 months

“Three successive storms will surge in from the Pacific Ocean this week, forecasters said Tuesday, bringing what may be the most rain in nine months to drought-stricken Northern California and offering a promising start to winter after two years marked by record wildfires and dry conditions.

Two of those storms look like atmospheric rivers narrow, moisture-rich storms that play a critical role in the states water supply. The first, which was set to arrive late Tuesday night and continue into Wednesday morning, is likely to be a moderate storm. But another big one shaping up for Sunday night was upgraded to a category 5 on Tuesday, the highest in a five-level scale.

On average Northern California might get 1 or 2 of those a year, said Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego. We are looking at prolonged rain and some heavy rain.

The storms will dramatically reduce fire danger across Northern California, possibly all but ending it in some places. But they could also cause a risk of mudslides in some burned areas, particularly the Dixie Fire near Mount Lassen and the Caldor Fire near South Lake Tahoe.”

The last time California and the American Southwest had such an event was January 2021.

This new series of storms are predicted to drop up to two feet of snow in the high Sierras. 2017, which was the wettest year on record in much of California, also began with a series of similar soaking storms soaking in October. The incoming storms are predicted to be so serious, bring so much water and snow, that CalTrans has closed Highway 1 through the Big Sur area.

The weather is on our side and will help to debunk the Channel 4 nonsense.

This one series of three or four storms will not, of course, refill Lake Mead to historic levels, but a they are a good start to a wet winter for the parched and fire-scarred American West.

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2001-2019 Warming Driven By Increases In Absorbed Solar Radiation, Not Human Emissions – Watts Up With That?

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Reposted from the NoTricksZone

ByKenneth Richardon18. October 2021

Three new studies affirm the increase in absorbed solar radiation associated with decreased reflection by clouds (albedo) has been the root cause of the positive Earth Energy Imbalance and global warming since the early 2000s.

Scientists (Loeb et al., 2021) have determined the rather uncertain positive trend in Earths Energy Imbalance (EEI) from 2005 to 2019, 0.5 W/m 0.47 W/m per decade1, is primarily due to an increase in absorbed solar radiation associated with decreased reflection by clouds.

CERES satellite data indicate clouds and surface albedo account for 89% of the absorbed solar radiation trend in the 21st century, whereas anthropogenic greenhouse gases account for but a tiny fraction of the trends in combined absorbed solar radiation and greenhouse effect forcing (reductions in emitted thermal radiation) during this period.

This very small human emissions/greenhouse gas impact is represented by the red Other (trace gases) bars in the graph below. In emitted thermal radiation, graph (e) shows the greenhouse gas impact is effectively offset by the cloud influence; both factors are cancelled out by temperature changes. This leaves the increase in absorbed solar radiation shown in graph (d) due to natural variations in clouds and surface albedo (SFC) as the primary driver(s) of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux forcing during the last two decades.

Image Source: Loeb et al., 2021

Other scientists (Dbal and Vahrenholt, 2021) have also concluded that the positive TOA net flux (+1.42 W/m) from increasing downwelling shortwave (SW) facilitated by a drop in cloudiness has been the major driving effect, dominating influence, and major heating cause explaining the 2001-2019 ocean heat content increase (240 ZJ).

The authors note these CERES satellite observations conflict with the assumption further global warming originates mainly from the LW [longwave] radiation capture caused by greenhouse gases, i.e., a decline in outgoing LW. In fact, the LW or greenhouse effect impact has been negative; it has contributed a net cooling influence (-1.1 W/m) over the last two decades.

Image Source: Dbal and Vahrenholt, 2021

The summarizing text from another new study (Ollila, 2021) bluntly asserts the substantial increase in downwelling SW radiation from 2000-2019 demonstrates there are natural climate drivers that have rapid and significant temperature impacts exceeding the anthropogenic drivers, and that any temperature increase since 2015-16 cannot be due to anthropogenic reasons.

Image Source: Ollila, 2021

These newer studies affirming the  21st increase in absorbed solar radiation has driven modern warming are further substantiated by a 2020 Nature journal paper (Delgado-Bonal et al., 2020) extending the positive (+3 W/m) cloud-albedo SW impact back to 1980.

[S]hortwave radiation is the main driver in the dynamics and plays a major role in the energy balance by affecting the longwave radiation field.
Our research supports the idea that clouds and albedo, which ultimately determine the SW radiation, are variables of the utmost importance for current climate change, in agreement with previous research about the changes in stratocumulus or energy imbalance in the last four decades for example. An increase in cloud coverage of 0.1 would, on average, lead to a 7% increase in spectrally integrated global average reflectance of shortwave radiation.
Image Source: Delgado-Bonal et al., 2020

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #475 – Watts Up With That?

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The Week That Was: 2021-10-16 (October 16, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Presentation of the Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award: Comments Given at 14th International Conference on Climate Change by The Heartland Institute introducing David R. Legates, recipient of the 2021 Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award.

Physical Science develops with the constant conflict between ideas and evidence. What ideas best fit the physical evidence? When the physical evidence changes the ideas must change accordingly. Otherwise, the science becomes stagnant, dogmatic. That is what is happening to the science claimed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers, including many once noted US science institutions.

In 1988, the UN established the IPCC to (1) assess the scientific information related to changes in climate from emissions of greenhouse gases and 2) formulate realistic responses. The IPCC issued its first report in 1990. 

Since then, a great deal has changed including:

  1. human conditions have greatly improved thanks to the use of fossil fuels.
  • the physical evidence of what is happening in the atmosphere with increasing CO2 has greatly improved
  • the attitudes of Western governments to changing science have worsened

Over the last 30 years, one of the most remarkable changes is the tremendous reduction in people living in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is defined as person having a local purchasing power of $1.90 a day. It is estimated in local currency and adjusted to inflation and similar issues. The estimates used here come from Our World In Data and were updated in 2019

As you see, 30 years ago 1.9 billion people 36% of the worlds population lived in extreme poverty, mostly in Asia. Extreme poverty is life on the edge of death. In 2018, 650 million lived on the edge, about 9% of the worlds population. The great reduction in those living in extreme poverty is despite an increase in population of about 43%.

From 1990 through 2018 the worlds CO2 emissions increased by 60%. Chinas CO2 emissions grew by 315%, more than three times. Today, Asia emits more CO2 than all other continents combined.

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A second remarkable change is Space Age Technology which gives us the ability to observe and measure what is occurring in the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect occurs. This evidence contradicts that early scientific speculation. Despite a 60% increase the influence of CO2 on global temperatures is modest, and not dangerous.

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A third remarkable change is the obstinance of Western Governments and many western science institutions in ignoring the changing evidence. Contrary to the scientific method they are refusing to adjust their views, which they still call scientific, to the great expansion in physical evidence about the atmosphere and the effects of carbon dioxide. With mounting physical evidence, what began as a scientific speculation has drifted into world of science fiction and political myth.

Washington DC is a hotbed for science myths and attacking all who dare question them. Our honoree had already experienced what happens to physicists who challenge the accepted myths with physical evidence. In his experience in estimating precipitation, he always advocated those measurements must be checked and double checked, and when scientific concepts do not meet the evidence from experiments and observations, the concepts must be change. This winter, when given an opportunity he bravely stood up, and with the support of a few, declared certain myths popular in Washington are not science, and explained why.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have the privilege to present to you the honoree of the 2021 Fredrick Seitz Memorial Award, Dr. David Russell Legates

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More details of the Heartland Conference will appear next week in a full TWTW

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