Einen guten Journalisten erkennt man daran, dass er sich nicht gemein macht mit einer Sache, auch nicht mit einer guten Sache

Bei der Deutschen Welle gibt es eine Sendung namens Wirtschaft_plus. Der Journalist Thomas Spahn berichtete dort, dass Elektromobile nicht so umweltschonend sind wie landläufig angenommen wird. Das Video hat Robert Scherleitner zur Verfügung gestellt. Anzuschauen hier bei Notrickszone. Thomas Spahns Motto ist vorbildlich. Auf seiner Profilseite der Deutschen Welle schreibt er:

“Einen guten Journalisten erkennt man daran, dass er sich nicht gemein macht mit einer Sache, auch nicht mit einer guten Sache.”

Notrickszone weist in diesem Zusammenhang auch auf einen Artikel auf shz.de hin:

Schwedische Untersuchung: Akkus in Elektroautos belasten das Klima
Der Anschein, mit dem Elektroauto eine klimafreundliche Alternative zu herkömmlichen Fahrzeugen gefunden zu haben, bröckelt. Denn schon die Produktion der für die Autos lebenswichtigen Lithium-Ionen-Batterien geht mit enormen Emissionen einher. Das besagt eine neue schwedische Studie, die die bisherigen Untersuchungen in einer Metastudie analysiert und zusammengefasst hat, so die Fach-Zeitschrift „Ingeniøren“.

Weiterlesen auf shz.de

Ganz  frisch im Juni 2018 zum Thema herausgekommen ist eine Arbeit von Ajanovic und Haas im Fachblatt Environment, Development and Sustainability:

Electric vehicles: solution or new problem?
Since electric vehicles (EVs) have been recognized as a technology that reduces local air pollution while improving transport energy security, they have been promoted in many countries. Yet, mainly due to their high costs, especially in the case of pure battery electric vehicles, and a lack of proper infrastructure, the use of EVs is still very limited. In this paper, some of the major barriers and the future challenges are discussed. The current problems are mainly attributed to two categories: (1) the battery performances and costs, as well as battery production including issue of material availability and (2) environmental benefits of EVs depending on the sources used for the electricity generation and their carbon intensity. The major conclusions are that (1) research and development with respect to batteries has by far the highest priority and (2) it has to be ensured that the electricity used in EVs is generated largely from renewable energy sources.

Aus den Conclusions:

One of the largest challenges for the future will be to provide clean carbon-free sources for electricity generation. While this is a minor problem in countries with large shares of renewables as Norway, Austria or Sweden, in most other countries which largely use coal for electricity generation (e.g., China, Turkey, Greece), it may cause a severe barrier. Currently, in many countries, the CO2 emissions per kWh of electricity generated are very high, leading to the effect that virtually no reduction in GHG emissions is brought about by EVs. Future policy designs should ensure high environmental benefits of EVs.

Neuer Kälterekord in der Antarktis: fast minus 100 Grad

Unerwartete Meldung am 1. Juli 2018 in der Tagesschau:

Neuer Kälterekord in der Antarktis
Bislang galten die 1983 gemessenen minus 89,2 Grad als niedrigste jemals gemessene Temperatur auf der Erde. Doch nun wurde in der Antarktis ein neuer Kälterekord dokumentiert: fast minus 100 Grad.

Weiterlesen bei der Tagesschau.

Hier die dazugehörige Pressemitteilung des National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) vom 25. Juni 2018:

New study explains Antarctica’s coldest temperatures

Tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica’s ice sheet reach temperatures of nearly -100 degrees Celsius, according to a new study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters. The finding could change scientists’ understanding of just how low temperatures can get at Earth’s surface, and how it happens, according to the researchers. After sifting through data from several Earth-observing satellites, scientists announced in 2013 that they found surface temperatures of -93 degrees Celsius (-135 degrees Fahrenheit) in several spots on the East Antarctic Plateau, a high snowy plateau in central Antarctica that encompasses the South Pole. That preliminary study has been revised with new data showing that the coldest sites actually reach -98 degrees Celsius (-144 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperatures are observed during the southern polar night, mostly during July and August.

When the researchers first announced they had found the coldest temperatures on Earth five years ago, they determined that persistent clear skies and light winds are required for temperatures to dip this low. But the new study adds a twist to the story: Not only are clear skies necessary, but the air must also be extremely dry, because water vapor blocks the loss of heat from the snow surface. The researchers observed the ultra-low temperatures in small dips or shallow hollows in the Antarctic Ice Sheet where cold, dense, descending air pools above the surface and can remain for several days. This allows the surface, and the air above it, to cool still further, until the clear, calm, and dry conditions break down and the air mixes with warmer air higher in the atmosphere.

“In this area, we see periods of incredibly dry air, and this allows the heat from the snow surface to radiate into space more easily,” said Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and the study’s lead author. The record of -98 degrees Celsius is about as cold as it is possible to get at Earth’s surface, according to the researchers. For the temperature to drop that low, clear skies and dry air need to persist for several days. Temperatures could drop a little lower if the conditions lasted for several weeks, but that’s extremely unlikely to happen, Scambos said.

Finding the coldest place

The high elevation of the East Antarctic Plateau and its proximity to the South Pole give it the coldest climate of any region on Earth. The lowest air temperature ever measured by a weather station, -89 degrees Celsius (-128 degrees Fahrenheit), was recorded there at Russia’s Vostok Station in July 1983. But weather stations can’t measure temperatures everywhere. So in 2013, Scambos and his colleagues decided to analyze data from several Earth-observing satellites to see if they could find temperatures on the plateau even lower than those recorded at Vostok.

In the new study, they analyzed satellite data collected during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter between 2004 and 2016. They used data from the MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites as well as data from instruments on NOAA’s Polar Operational Environmental Satellites. The researchers observed snow surface temperatures regularly dropping below -90 degrees Celsius (-130 degrees Fahrenheit) almost every winter in a broad region of the plateau, more than 3,500 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level. Within this broad region, they found dozens of sites had much colder temperatures. Nearly 100 locations reached surface temperatures of -98 degrees Celsius.

The atmosphere in this region can sometimes have less than 0.2 mm total precipitable water above the surface. But even when it is that dry and cold, the air traps some of the heat and sends it back to the surface. This means that the cooling rates are very slow as the surface temperatures approach the record values. Conditions do not persist long enough—it could take weeks—for the temperatures to dip below the observed records. However, the temperature measured from satellites is the temperature of the snow surface, not the air above it. So the study also estimated the air temperatures by using nearby automatic weather stations and the satellite data. Interestingly, even though the coldest sites were spread out over hundreds of kilometers, the lowest temperatures were all nearly the same. That got them wondering: Is there a limit to how cold it can get on the plateau?

How cold is it really?

Using the difference between the satellite measurements of the lowest surface snow temperatures at Vostok and three automated stations, and the air temperatures at the same place and time, the researchers inferred that the air temperatures at the very coldest sites (where no stations exist) are probably around -94 degrees Celsius, or about -137 degrees Fahrenheit. The research team has also developed a set of instruments designed to survive and operate at the very coldest places through the winter and measure both snow and air temperatures. They are planning to deploy the instruments in the next year or two, during the Antarctic summer when the temperatures are a comparatively mild -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).

See the American Geophysical Union news release here.

Download a copy of the paper here.


Vor 8000 Jahren war es in Grönland 5°C wärmer als heute: Grönlandeis robuster als gedacht

Die Webseite The best schools hat nun die 15 prominentesten Klimawissenschaftler gekürt. Dabei wird strikt zwischen Vertretern der Alarmlinie und Skeptikern unterschieden. Dabei standen 10 Plätze für die IPCC-Linie zur Verfügung, jedoch nur halb soviele für die Skeptiker. Hier die Top 5 der Skeptiker:

1. Lennart O. Bengtsson

2. John R. Christy

3. Judith A. Curry

4. Richard S. Lindzen

5. Nir J. Shaviv

Hier nachzulesen.


Forscher der Northwestern University untersuchten Seeablagerungen in Grönland und machten dabei eine unerwartete Entdeckung. In den 8000 Jahre alten Sedimenten fanden sie Überreste von Fliegen, die heute nur 1500 km weiter südlich anzutreffen sind. Damals muss es in Grönland also sehr viel wärmer gewesen sein, mit Temperaturen die etwa 5°C über den heutigen lagen. Die unerwarte große vorindustrielle Wärme bringt nun aber Probleme: Das Grönlandeis schmolz viel weniger als es die gängigen Klimamodelle für dieses Temperaturniveau errechnen. Was machte das Eis so robust gegenüber der Wärme? Die Forscher können nur spekulieren und vermuten, dass verstärkter Schneefall einen Teil des Schmelzverlustes ausgeglichen haben könnte. Hier die Pressemitteilung der Northwestern University vom 4. Juni 2018 (Gradangaben bezehen sich auf Fahrenheit):

Ancient Greenland was much warmer than previously thought

Discovery helps researchers understand how Greenland’s ice sheet responds to warming. A tiny clue found in ancient sediment has unlocked big secrets about Greenland’s past and future climate.

Just beyond the northwest edge of the vast Greenland Ice Sheet, Northwestern University researchers have discovered lake mud that beat tough odds by surviving the last ice age. The mud, and remains of common flies nestled within it, record two interglacial periods in northwest Greenland. Although researchers have long known these two periods — the early Holocene and Last Interglacial — experienced warming in the Arctic due to changes in the Earth’s orbit, the mix of fly species preserved from these times shows that Greenland was even warmer than previously thought. This information could help researchers better gauge Greenland’s sensitivity to warming, by testing and improving models of climate and ice sheet behavior. Those models could then improve predictions of how Greenland’s ice sheet, which covers 80 percent of the Arctic country and holds enough ice to equal 20 feet of global sea level, might respond to man-made global warming.

“Northwest Greenland might feel really remote, but what happens to that ice sheet is going to matter to everyone in New York City, Miami and every coastal city around the world,” said Yarrow Axford, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “One of the big uncertainties in climate science remains how fast the Earth changes when it gets warmer. Geology gives us an opportunity to see what happened when the Earth was warmer than today.” Published today, June 4, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study included contributions from collaborators at Dartmouth College.

People might be surprised to see how today’s frigid Greenland looked during the past two interglacial periods. Today, northwest Greenland hovers in the 30s and low 40s Fahrenheit and weathers snowstorms in summer. But average summer temperatures in the early Holocene (8,000 to 11,000 years ago) and Last Interglacial (116,000 to 130,000 years ago) climbed well into the 50s. During the Last Interglacial, global sea levels increased by 15 to 30 feet, largely due to thinning of Greenland and Antarctica’s ice sheets. But now Northwestern’s team believes northern Greenland’s ice sheet experienced stronger warming than previously thought, which could mean that Greenland is more responsible for that sea-level rise.

Layers of time

To measure these ancient temperatures, researchers look to ice cores and lake sediment cores. Because ice and lake sediment form by an incremental buildup on annual layers of snow or mud, these cores contain archives of the past. By looking through the layers, researchers can pinpoint climate clues from eons ago. Finding lake sediments older than about 10,000 years, however, has been historically very difficult in Greenland. “The classic thing that glaciers do is slide,” Axford said. “So when the ice sheet grows larger, all this wonderful geology gets scooped up and spat out into the oceans.” But Axford’s team found an area where this wasn’t the case. The climate in northwest Greenland houses the perfect conditions to preserve the sediments within a small lake that Axford’s team affectionately calls “Wax Lips Lake” because of its shape.

“During the last ice age, the ice sheet there was just thin enough, and the atmosphere was just cold enough that the ice sheet froze to the ground instead of melting at its base and sliding,” said Jamie McFarlin, a Ph.D. student in Northwestern’s department of Earth and planetary sciences, who led the study. “It grew on top of itself and preserved most of the geology below.” “The ice gently tip-toed over this spot instead of plowing over it,” Axford added.

After taking a two-meter-long tube of sediment from Wax Lips Lake’s lakebed, McFarlin combed through the layers to investigate those from the early Holocene and Last Interglacial periods. It was then that she noticed a mix of lake fly species, called chironomids, that suggested a warmer climate during both periods. Especially surprising: The Last Interglacial period swarmed with another type of insect known as the phantom midge. Although phantom midges have been reported in low abundance in northern climates, one would have to travel 1,000 miles south to Canada’s Labrador province to find phantom midges at comparable abundance to the Last Interglacial in northwest Greenland. “As far as we know, it’s never been found in Greenland. We think this is the first time anyone has reported it in ancient sediments or modern lakes there,” Axford said. “We were really surprised to see how far north it migrated.”

The bigger picture

Discovering this mix of insects means northwest Greenland’s average July during the last two interglacial periods most likely climbed above 50 degrees and possibly into the high 50s during the Last Interglacial. This confirms controversial geological records constructed from ice cores taken nearby, which also indicated significant warming during these time periods. “Other records have shown that northern Greenland’s climate was much warmer than people expected during those periods, and those results received justified skepticism,” Axford said. “Now we have an independent record that confirms that when the Arctic warmed in the past, there was especially strong warming in northern Greenland.” This data will help the broader scientific community further hone climate and ice sheet models used to project future changes.

“This is the kind of ground-truthing that we need to get really accurate climate models and projections,” said Magdalena Osburn, an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences at Northwestern, who coauthored the study. “We’re finding that, in some cases, models don’t include temperatures that are warm enough for this part of the world.” There is one caveat. Well-known changes in Earth’s orbit caused warming during the early Holocene and Last Interglacial periods. Today, warming stems from man-made sources and is happening much faster than warming during those interglacial periods. That means there is a chance that Earth might not respond to current-day warming in the same way. “Past climate is our best analog for future warming, and our results hint that land at these very high latitudes in the Arctic may warm even more than predicted in the coming century,” Axford said. “But nothing in Earth’s past is a perfect analog because what’s happening today is totally unprecedented.”



Hier der Abstract von Farlin et al. 2018:

Pronounced summer warming in northwest Greenland during the Holocene and Last Interglacial
Projections of future rates of mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet are highly uncertain because its sensitivity to warming is unclear. Geologic reconstructions of Quaternary interglacials can illustrate how the ice sheet responded during past warm periods, providing insights into ice sheet behavior and important tests for data-model comparisons. However, paleoclimate records from Greenland are limited: Early Holocene peak warmth has been quantified at only a few sites, and terrestrial sedimentary records of prior interglacials are exceptionally rare due to glacial erosion during the last glacial period. Here, we discuss findings from a lacustrine archive that records both the Holocene and the Last Interglacial (LIG) from Greenland, allowing for direct comparison between two interglacials. Sedimentary chironomid assemblages indicate peak July temperatures 4.0 to 7.0 °C warmer than modern during the Early Holocene maximum in summer insolation. Chaoborus and chironomids in LIG sediments indicate July temperatures at least 5.5 to 8.5 °C warmer than modern. These estimates indicate pronounced warming in northwest Greenland during both interglacials. This helps explain dramatic ice sheet thinning at Camp Century in northwest Greenland during the Early Holocene and, for the LIG, aligns with controversial estimates of Eemian warming from ice core data retrieved in northern Greenland. Converging geologic evidence for strong LIG warming is challenging to reconcile with inferred Greenland Ice Sheet extent during the LIG, and the two appear incompatible in many models of ice sheet evolution. An increase in LIG snowfall could help resolve this problem, pointing to the need for hydroclimate reconstructions from the region.


Im Jahr 2099 könnte fast die gesamte boreale Klimazone landwirtschaftlich nutzbar werden

Derzeit sind etwa zwei Drittel der borealen, kaltgemäßigten Klimazone der Erde landwirtschaftlich nicht nutzbar. Es ist schlicht zu kalt, um dort etwas anbauen zu können. Forscher des Priestley International Centre for Climate haben jetzt berechnet, dass bei fortschreitendem Klimawandel gegen Ende des Jahrhunderts nahezu die gesamte boreale Region geeignete Bedingungen für die Landwirtschaft aufweisen wird. Die nördliche Wachstumsgrenze wird sich dabei 1200 km nach Norden verschieben. Neue Kornkammern für eine noch immmer rapide wachsende Menschheit. Hier die Pressemitteilung des Priestley International Centre for Climate vom 30. Mai 2018:

Climate change could increase arable land

Climate change could expand the agricultural feasibility of the global boreal region by 44 per cent by the end of the century, according to new research. However, the scientists warn that the same climate trends that would increase land suitable for crop growth could also significantly change the global climatic water balance – negatively impacting agriculture in the rest of the world.

An international team of scientists have assessed the impact of climate change on land that could support agriculture in the boreal region, which includes large sections of Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia and the United States. They found that the upper edge of land suitable for crop growth could shift as far north as 1,200km from the current position with the most dramatic changes occurring in the inner-continental regions of North America and Eurasia. Currently only 32 per cent of the boreal region falls into ‘growing degree days’ – the climate parameter linked to crop growth – and rainfall requirements for small cereal crops, such as oats and barley.

Using global climate models the team was able to predict the future extent of growing degree days and changes in rainfall. The study, published in Scientific Reports, estimates that by 2099 roughly 76 per cent of the boreal region could reach the right conditions for agriculture. However, the study also warns that while total rainfall will generally increase on an annual basis, a warmer climate will also lead to more evaporation with potentially dramatic impact on the climatic water balance, both geographically and across seasons. For example while the inner continental regions would suffer drought conditions during the summer, the regions around the ocean’s rims could see an increase in water available to crops. Additionally, regions that would suffer temporary summer droughts might see wetter autumns which would have a negative impact on the harvest season.

Study co-author Professor Joseph Holden, water@leeds director at the University of Leeds, said: “Climate change will have a profound impact on our agricultural regions. A projected consequence is the loss of farmland and crops from areas that are currently productive – cause for concern regarding long term global food security. Therefore we need to know whether in northern high latitudes new areas will become suitable for crops. “Understanding future environmental conditions will be vital for agricultural production. But any plans for northward agricultural expansion must be done carefully and with long term environmental sustainability in mind.”

Study lead author Dr Adrian Unc, from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University Canada, said: “We must not forget that any changes in land use has extensive impacts on the entire natural ecosystem, impacts that must be understood and included in any planning effort. After all we must insure that a short–term gain does not come at the cost of a long– term loss in ecosystem sustainability.”


Waren Anwohner von Windfarmen vielleicht schon krank, bevor die Anlagen errichtet wurden?

Windkraftanlagen reichen hoch in den Himmel, um die Energie des Windes anzuzapfen. Damit werden sie aber auch zu Magneten für Blitze, die nur allzuleicht ihren Weg in die Spitzen der Windspargel finden. Die Zeitungen berichten regelmäßig über solche Einschläge. Zum Beispiel kürzlich in der Nähe von Löcknitz oder bei Bad Lausick. Die Feuerwehr kann in der Regeln nichts machen, denn ihre Leitern reichen nicht bis zum Brandherd heran. Also sperren sie das entsprechende Windrad weiträumig ab, damit herabfallende Trümmer niemanden verletzen. Genau diese Trümmer können aber auch später für die Tierwelt zur Gefahr werden, wie Die Glocke am 7. Mai 2018 meldete:

Zerborstenes Windrad bedroht Tiere
Splitter eines zerborstenen Windrades im Kreis Paderborn stellen nach Ansicht eines Gutachters eine erhebliche Gefahr für Tiere dar. Wenn Wild- oder Weidetiere diese Kleinstteile aufnähmen, könne dies innere Verletzungen hervorrufen, heißt es in einem Gutachten.

Weiterlesen in der Glocke.

Das Landleben kann so schön sein. Plötzlich jedoch steht eine Gruppe rotierender Windkraftanlagen vor der Tür. Für die grünen Planer mag dies Fortschritt sein, für die betroffene Lokalbevölkerung ist dies jedoch meist ein Alptraum. Allein der Besitzer des Grundstüks, auf dem die Anlage steht, reibt sich die Hände. Zehntausende von Euros spülen die Anlagen nun in die Grundbesitzerkasse. Die Nachbarn schauen jedoch in die Röhre, müssen ab nun mit dem Flackerschatten der Rotoren, den Anlagen-Geräuschen sowie den Infraschall-Beeinträchtigungen klarkommen. In der ganzen Welt laufen die Menschen Sturm gegen die Mühlen. In Kanada hat man daher jetzt Studien unternommen, um mögliche gesundheitlche Folgen von Windfarmen zu erforschen. In einer ersten Studie hatten die Wissenschaftler bereits gefunden, dass Bewohner in der Nähe von Windkraftanlagen vermehrt unter Schlafstörungen, Bluthochdruck und Stress leiden. Allerdings konnte kein Bezug zur Entfernung zu den Anlagen ermitelt werden. Daher gab es nun eine Folgestudie, die nun belegt, was man intuitiv schon vermuten könnte: Je näher die Bewohner an den Windfarmen wohnen, desto höher sind die gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigungen.

Nun wird es kurios: Die Windkraftlobby gibt zu bedenken, dass der Gesundheitszustand der Anwohner VOR dem Bau der Windkraftanlanlagen nicht ermittelt worden war. Daher wäre nicht auszuschließen, dass durch einen dummen Zufall die Anlagen genau dort gebaut wurden, wo die Anwohner bereits vorher kränker als anderswo gewesen sind. Da es keine vorher-nachher-Daten gäbe, sei die Studie nicht verwertbar. Insofern könne man auch nicht behaupten, dass Windkraftanlagen krank machen. Eine geniale Verteidigungslinie, die natürlich absolut irre ist – was alle Beteiligten genau wissen. Immerhin sichert sie den Forschern nun eine Folgestudie. Man muss kein Hellseher sein, um das Ergebnis der nächsten Untersuchung zu erraten: Die gesundheitlichen Beeinträchtigungen begannen bei den meisten Bewohnern etwa zu der Zeit, als die Anlagen aufgestellt wurden. Sicher wird die Windkraftlobby wieder kreativ und ein neues Gegenargument vorbringen. Vermutlich etwas aus dem Bereich des Klimawandels. Zum Beispiel: Die Krankheiten setzten ein, als das CO2 die 405 ppm-Marke überschritten haben, was nur rein zufällig mit der Eröffnung des Windparks zusammenfällt. Willkommen in Absurdistan. Hier die Pressemitteilung des American Institute of Physics vom 5. Juni 2017 (via Science Daily):

Does living near wind turbines negatively impact human health?

Wind turbines are a source of clean renewable energy, but some people who live nearby describe the shadow flicker, the audible sounds and the subaudible sound pressure levels as “annoying.” They claim this nuisance negatively impacts their quality of life. A team of researchers from the University of Toronto and Ramboll, an engineering company funding the work, set out to investigate how residential distance from the wind turbines — within a range of 600 meters (1,968.5 feet) to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) — affects people’s health. They reanalyzed data collected for the “Community Noise and Health Study” from May to September 2013 by Statistics Canada, the national statistical office. The team reports their new analysis in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

“The Community Noise and Health Study generated data useful for studying the relationship between wind turbine exposures and human health — including annoyance and sleep disturbances,” said Rebecca Barry, an author on the paper. “Their original results examined modeled wind turbine noise based on a variety of factors — source sound power, distance, topography and meteorology, among others.” The team’s new assessment confirmed Statistics Canada’s initial findings. “Respondents who live in areas with higher levels of modeled sound values (40 to 46 decibels) reported more annoyance than respondents in areas with lower levels of modeled sound values (<25 dB),” Barry said. Unsurprisingly, the survey’s respondents who live closer to the turbines “were more likely to report being annoyed than respondents who live further away.”

The earlier Statistics Canada study found no direct link between residents’ distance from wind turbines and sleep disturbances (as measured by sleep assessments and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), blood pressure, or stress (either self-reported or measured via hair cortisol). However, the more recent study showed that survey respondents closer to wind turbines reported lower ratings for their environmental quality of life. Barry and her co-authors note that their cross-sectional study cannot distinguish whether these respondents were dissatisfied before the wind turbines were installed. “Wind turbines might have been placed in locations where residents were already concerned about their environmental quality of life,” said Sandra Sulsky, a researcher from Ramboll. “Also, as is the case with all surveys, the respondents who chose to participate may have viewpoints or experiences that differ from those who chose not to participate. Survey respondents may have participated precisely to express their dissatisfaction, while those who did not participate might not have concerns about the turbines.”

The team’s more recent study didn’t explicitly find evidence that exposure to wind turbines actually impacts human health, but in the future, “measuring the population’s perceptions and concerns before and after turbine installation may help to clarify what effects — if any — exposure to wind turbines may have on quality of life,” Sulsky said.

Rebecca Barry, Sandra I. Sulsky and Nancy Kreiger. Using residential proximity to wind turbines as an alternative exposure method to investigate the association between wind turbines and human health. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2018 DOI: 10.1121/1.5039840


Die Sonnenallergie der Klimaforscher

Auf Achgut erschien am 26. Juni 2018 ein ausgezeichneter Artikel von Ulli Kulke zum Klimafaktor Sonne:

Die Sonnenallergie der Klimaforscher

Auch wenn der Einfluss der Sonne auf die Klimaschwankungen in den letzten Jahrzehnten etwas in den Hintergrund gerückt ist: Es gibt sie, die Forscher, die die schwankende Wirkkraft unseres Zentralgestirns auf das Geschehen in der Erdatmosphäre untersuchen, damit auch auf den Klimawandel – und die dabei überraschende Ergebnisse erzielen. Henrik Svensmark, Leiter der Sonnenforschung an der Technischen Universität Dänemarks in Kopenhagen, ist einer von ihnen. Und er wagt sich weit vor in der Klimadebatte, dem Diskurs mit der womöglich bedeutendsten Tragweite unserer Zeit. Er erhält Widerspruch, natürlich. Dabei sind sich Svensmark und seine Fachkritiker einig: Das Thema „Sonne“ verdient in der Klimaforschung mehr Aufmerksamkeit. Dabei geht es den Beteiligten vor allem um das komplexe Zusammenspiel zwischen unserem Zentralgestirn und ionisierenden Sendboten aus den Tiefen der Galaxie – der „kosmischen Strahlung“.

Svensmark sagt: „Das Klima wird stärker durch Veränderungen der kosmischen Strahlung beeinflusst als durch das Kohlendioxid.“ CO2 habe zwar auch eine Wirkung, klar, „aber sie ist weit geringer, als die meisten heutigen Klimamodelle vorgeben, und auch geringer als der Einfluss der kosmischen Strahlung“. So werde, seiner Einschätzung nach, eine Verdoppelung des Treibhausgases in der Atmosphäre eine Erhöhung der globalen Temperatur um höchstens ein Grad bewirken, und nicht um zwei Grad, wie es heute als „Common sense“ hingestellt wird.

Mit anderen Worten: Die „Klimasensitivität“ von Kohlendioxid sei nur halb so groß wie angenommen. Und, was die Veränderungen im natürlichen CO2-Haushalt der Erdatmosphäre und diejenigen der Temperatur über Zeiträume von Millionen Jahren angeht: Da sei das Treibhausgas eher „ein Sklave der kosmischen Strahlung sowie der durch sie bewirkten Erderwärmung, und eben nicht ihr Herrscher“. Die Höhe des CO2-Anteils sei dabei im Großen und Ganzen der Erwärmung gefolgt, nicht umgekehrt.

Im vergangenen Dezember hat Svensmark erneut eine wissenschaftliche Studie in der Fachzeitschrift „Nature Communications“ („Nature“-Gruppe) veröffentlicht, mit der er seine These untermauern will. In der Arbeit geht es – zunächst – weniger um die Sonne selbst, als darum, wie unser Klima- und Wettergeschehen durch jene kosmische Strahlung beeinflusst wird, ionisierende Partikel, die permanent auf die Erdatmosphäre einprasseln. Dabei handelt es sich um einen Teilchenstrom, der von explodierenden Supernovae stammt, durch die Galaxie fließt und schließlich, in der Erdatmosphäre angekommen, Einfluss auf die Wolkenbildung ausübt, sie verstärkt.

Weiterlesen auf Achgut.


Klimafakten: “In der Hektik der aktuellen Berichterstattung haben Journalisten oft wenig Zeit und Muße, sich mit komplizierten Zusammenhängen auseinanderzusetzen”

Die Webseite ‘Klimfakten’ ist eine lupenreine Aktivistenseite, die u.a. von der European Climate Foundation finanziert wird. Am 14. Mai 2018 warb Klimafakten darum, Stellen für Klimaalarmmultiplikatoren zu schaffen. Journalisten sollten Anlaufstellen haben, die ihnen Gesprächspartner vermitteln. Man kann davon ausgehen, dass hier dann nur stramme Klimagenossen genannt werden, die sich als klimaalarmistisch stabil erwiesen haben. Auf Klimfakten heißt es:

Servicestellen für Journalisten: “Die Lücke zwischen Klimaforschung und Öffentlichkeit schließen”
In den USA sind sie seit langem etabliert, und es gibt sie zunehmend auch in Deutschland: spezielle Vermittlungsstellen, die Journalisten bei der Suche nach kompetenten Ansprechpartnern in der Wissenschaft helfen. klimafakten.de stellt fünf von ihnen vor 

In der Hektik der aktuellen Berichterstattung haben Journalisten oft wenig Zeit und Muße, sich mit  komplizierten Zusammenhängen auseinanderzusetzen. Der Verbindung zwischen tagesaktuellen Nachrichten und dem Klimawandel nachzugehen, erscheint vielen Medienvertretern daher zu komplex.

Sehr richtig. Journalisten verstehen vom Klimathema leider meist herzlich wenig. Viel zu oft kopieren sie einfach Pressemitteilungen, ohne sie richtig gelesen bzw. sogar verstanden zu haben. Mögliche Probleme darin können sie daher gar nicht erkennen. In der Folge werden Expertenmakler genannt. Die haben vermutlich wenig zu tun, denn meist kommen sowieso nur Latif und Rahmstorf zu Wort. Wie kommt es zu dieser Oligarchie? Wieviele Experten stehen wirklich in den Karteien der Makler? Weshalb kommen keine Anfragen an die Kalte-Sonne-Redaktion, die im Zuge der Ausgewogenheit doch auch gefragt werden müsste?


Bill Nye will Kuhpupse besteuern – dem Klima zuliebe.


Erinnern Sie sich noch an Climategate? Bei Alfred Brandenberger im Vademecum können Sie alles nachlesen.


Der Ozean gibt, der Ozean nimmt: Ozeanzyklen in Klimamodellen entdeckt

Günter Köck mit Klimaalarm im Standard am 15. Mai 2018:

Wie der Klimawandel den größten Arktissee der Erde gefährdet
Bereits der Temperaturanstieg von nur einem Grad verursacht im Lake Hazen in Kanada eine dramatische ökologische Verschlechterung

[...] In einer aktuellen Publikation in “Nature” haben wir nachgewiesen, dass ein Anstieg der mittleren Sommertemperatur um etwa einen Grad Celsius seit dem Jahr 2007 im gesamten Ökosystem dieses riesigen Sees zu großen Veränderungen geführt hat, die seit mindestens 300 Jahren beispiellos sind. Unsere Studie zeigt, dass es auch in den nördlichsten Gebieten der Erde nicht mehr kalt genug ist, damit die Gletscher wachsen oder die Oberfläche der Seen das ganze Jahr über gefroren ist. Durch das rasche Abschmelzen der umliegenden Gletscher hat sich zugleich der Zufluss von Schmelzwasser verzehnfacht.

Klimaerwärmung in Kanada, das ist keine große Neuigkeit. Der Vergleich mit der Kleinen Eiszeit ist ebenfalls wenig spektakulär. Dabei handelt es sich um eine der kältesten Phasen der letzten 10.000 Jahre. Den Begriff “medieval” sucht man im dazugehörigen Nature-Paper übrigens vergebens. Damals war es ähnlich warm wie heute. Das hatte “aus Platzgründen” offenbar nichtmehr in den Zeitungsartikel gepasst. Hier gibts die Links zum mittelalterlichen Wärmeklima in Kanada.


Bereits 2012 in unserem Buch “Die kalte Sonne” zu lesen, heute salonfähig: Die modulierende Wirkungsweise der Ozeanzyklen auf die langfristige Temperaturentwicklung. Sybren Drijfhout von der University of Southampton hat die Zyklen jetzt in den Modellen ausfindig gemacht. Pressemitteilung vom 9. Mai 2018:

New study finds variations in global warming trend are caused by oceans

New research has shown that natural variations in global mean temperature are always forced by changes in heat release and heat uptake by the oceans, in particular the heat release associated with evaporation.

Analysing data from six climate models that simulated future climate change scenarios for the last International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Report, which appeared in 2014, University of Southampton Professor Sybren Drijfhout has shown that in all cases variations in global mean temperature were correlated with variations in heat release by sensible and latent heat. Writing in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, Professor Drijfhout says these variations are associated with heat transfer due to temperature differences between the surface ocean and the overlying air, and heat transfer associated with evaporation. The heat fluxes are also called the turbulent heat fluxes.

“The relation holds in all models and is independent of the time-scale of the variation in temperature”, says Professor Drijfhout, Chair in Physical Oceanography and Climate Physics at Southampton. “When the atmosphere gets extra warm it receives more heat from the ocean, when it is extra cool it receives less heat from the ocean, making it clear that the ocean is the driving force behind these variations.” “The same relation can be observed in the observations, but because the data on surface heat fluxes is characterised by large uncertainties, reviewers urged me to drop the part associated with analysis of these data,” he adds.

Professor Drijfhout also explains he could only analyse six climate models because he needed to split natural temperature variations from the forced trend due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. “You need the same model to repeat the same emission scenario a few times with slightly different initial conditions”, he argues. “In that case the natural variations will run out of phase, while the forced response is the same in each model run. This allows for a clear separation of the two.” 

The relation between global mean temperature variations and total heat uptake appears to be more complex due to changes in absorbed solar radiation which are out of phase with the turbulent fluxes and the temperature response. Before the ocean releases extra amounts of heat to the atmosphere, it is warmed by increased absorption of solar radiation. For a hiatus in global warming, or relatively cool period, the opposite occurs and more sunlight is reflected, cooling the ocean after which the atmosphere on its turn is cooled by less heat release from the ocean.

“The changes in solar radiation received at the Earth’s surface are clearly a trigger for these variations in global mean temperature,” says Professor Drijfhout, “but the mechanisms by which these changes occur are a bit more complex and depend on the time-scale of the changes. “When the temperature variations only last a few years,” he continues. “The changes in absorbed solar radiation occur in the tropics, preferably the Pacific, and are associated with moving patterns of more or less clouds that are characteristic with El Nino, or its counterpart, La Nina.”

If the variations take longer, ten years or so, sea-ice becomes the dominant trigger, with more sea-ice reflecting more solar radiation and less sea-ice allowing for more absorption. These variations always peak over areas where surface water sinks to great depth and deep and bottom waters are formed which are transported by the global overturning circulation, or more popularly dubbed, Great Conveyor Belt. “This is a bit strange,” Professor Drijfhout concludes, “because the temperature signal of these global variations peaks over the tropical Pacific, while the trigger peaks over the subpolar oceans. We do not yet understand how the linkage is established in the models, but it appears very robust. Also, if you replace global mean temperature with an average over the tropical belt, this linkage still exists.”

It should be noted that the models seem to underestimate triggers in the tropical Pacific on these long timescales. “Already with El Nino we know that the energy exchange between ocean and atmosphere is not correctly captured in the models,” he says. “But despite these model errors the linkages in the models should be qualitatively correct. Understanding how these links are established and analysing the observations more closely whether the same links can be found there is clearly the way the research of my group will follow in the coming years.”

The article The relation between natural variations in ocean heat uptake and global mean surface temperature anomalies in CMIP5 is published in Nature Scientific Reports.


Blockierte Wetterlagen könnten im Pazifik zukünftig seltener werden

Blockierte Wetterlagen bringen Hitzewellen und anderes Extremwetter. Forscher der Unversity of Chicago haben jetzt den Mechanismus in einem einfachen Modell näher beschrieben. Sie schlussfolgern unter anderem, dass die Klimaerwärmung keine generelle Zunahme der blockierten Wetterlagen bringt, sondern regional sehr unterschiedlich ausfallen könnte. Im Pazifik beispielsweise erwarten die Wissenschaftler sogar eine Abnahme der Blockagen (via Science Daily):

New theory finds ‘traffic jams’ in jet stream cause abnormal weather patterns
Study explains blocking phenomenon that has baffled forecasters

A study published May 24 in Science offers an explanation for a mysterious and sometimes deadly weather pattern in which the jet stream, the global air currents that circle the Earth, stalls out over a region. Much like highways, the jet stream has a capacity, researchers said, and when it’s exceeded, blockages form that are remarkably similar to traffic jams — and climate forecasters can use the same math to model them both.

The deadly 2003 European heat wave, California’s 2014 drought and the swing of Superstorm Sandy in 2012 that surprised forecasters — all of these were caused by a weather phenomenon known as “blocking,” in which the jet stream meanders, stopping weather systems from moving eastward. Scientists have known about it for decades, almost as long as they’ve known about the jet stream — first discovered by pioneering University of Chicago meteorologist Carl-Gustaf Rossby, in fact — but no one had a good explanation for why it happens. “Blocking is notoriously difficult to forecast, in large part because there was no compelling theory about when it forms and why,” said study coauthor Noboru Nakamura, a professor in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences.

Nakamura and then-graduate student Clare S.Y. Huang were studying the jet stream, trying to determine a clear set of measurements for blocking in order to better analyze the phenomenon. One of their new metrics was a term that measured the jet stream’s meander. Looking over the math, Nakamura realized that the equation was nearly identical to one devised decades ago by transportation engineers trying to describe traffic jams. “It turns out the jet stream has a capacity for ‘weather traffic,’ just as highway has traffic capacity, and when it is exceeded, blocking manifests as congestion,” said Huang.

Much like car traffic, movement slows when multiple highways converge and the speed of the jet stream is reduced due to topography such as mountains or coasts. The result is a simple theory that not only reproduces blocking, but predicts it, said Nakamura, who called making the cross-disciplinary connection “one of the most unexpected, but enlightening moments in my research career — truly a gift from God.” The explanation may not immediately improve short-term weather forecasting, the researchers said, but it will certainly help predict long-term patterns, including which areas may see more drought or floods.

Their initial results suggest that while climate change probably increases blocking by running the jet stream closer to its capacity, there will be regional differences: for example, the Pacific Ocean may actually see a decrease in blocking over the decades. “It’s very difficult to forecast anything until you understand why it’s happening, so this mechanistic model should be extremely helpful,” Nakamura said. And the model, unlike most modern climate science, is computationally simple: “This equation captures the essence with a much less complicated system,” Huang said.

Paper: Noboru Nakamura, Clare S. Y. Huang. Atmospheric blocking as a traffic jam in the jet stream. Science, 2018; eaat0721 DOI: 10.1126/science.aat0721


Klimawandel wird im Mittleren Westen der USA die landwirtschaftlichen Ernten ankurbeln

An erneuerbarer Energie ist ersteinmal nichts falsch. Jahrhunderte lang wurde mit Wind- und Wassermühlen gearbeitet. Die Sonne wurde in Salinen genutzt. Auch in der heutigen Zeit machen die Erneuerbaren Sinn, unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen. Zum Beispiel sollten sie mittelfristig ohne Subventionen auskommen. Und sie dürfen die Umwelt nicht mehr beeinträchtigen als irgendwie notwendig. Letzter Punkt wird jetzt immer mehr zum Problem. In den kommenden Jahren werden unzählige Windkraftanlagen und Solarzellen wieder abgebaut. Einige Anlagen werden ohne Fördermittel über Nacht unwirtschaftlich, Solarzellen kommen an das Ende ihrer Lebenszeit. Michael Shellenberger gab kürzich in einem Artikel auf The Daily Caller zu bedenken, dass aus dem Solarzellenschrott giftige Schwermetalle wie z.B. Cadmium herausgewaschen werden. Wie wird die Umwelt hierauf langfristig reagieren? Hier gehts zum Artikel.

In einem anderen Bericht argumentiert Jonathan Lesser, dass die Elektromobilität unter Berücksichtigun aller Komponenten viel weniger CO2 einspart als landläufig gedacht. Hier gehts zum Bericht (via WUWT).

Und wieder ein Versuch, aus Stroh Gold zu machen: Diesmal will ein US-amerikanisches Labor das Rezept gefunden zu haben. Mithilfe von Wismut will man aus CO2 Treibstoff machen. Hier lesen und staunen.


Gute Nachrichten aus den USA. Der Klimawandel wird dort wohl in den kommenden Jahrzehnten die landwirtschaftlichen Ernten ankurbeln, wie die Michigan State University am 16. Mai 2018 mitteilte:

Climate change should help Midwest corn production through 2050
Climate change and global warming put some forms of life at risk, but researchers found one instance that might not feel the heat – corn. Contrary to previous analyses, research published by Michigan State University shows that projected changes in temperature and humidity will not lead to greater water use in corn. This means that while changes in temperatures and humidity trend as they have in the past 50 years, crop yields can not only survive – but thrive. “There is a lot of optimism looking at the future for farmers, especially in the Midwest,” said Bruno Basso, lead author of the study and University Distinguished professor.

Basso and his colleague Joe Ritchie, co-author on the study, calculated how much energy crops receive from the sun and how it is converted to evaporative loss from the crop, known as evapotranspiration. “Think of the energy balance like a bank account. There are additions and subtractions,” Basso said. “The energy coming from the sun is a known, measured quantity that adds to the bank account. The primary subtraction is liquid water from the crop, and soil using the solar energy to convert the water to vapor.” The researchers used the energy balance to calculate the evaporative water loss for 2017, which set a world record yield of 542 bushels per acre. They found that the water loss was the same as it was for lower yielding crops because the energy balance was about the same.

The trend for the past 50 years of a slightly more humid environment decreases the energy for the crops’ water use. “Our analysis, and that of other climate researchers, shows that the amount of water vapor in the air is gradually increasing in the summers because the daily low temperatures are getting gradually warmer, but the daily high temperatures are cooling – or staying the same – in many areas of the Midwest,” Basso said. “This causes more humidity and slightly decreases how much energy is used for evaporation.” Basso also tested a water balance calculation on the crop models that, similar to the energy balance, has additions from rainfall and irrigation and subtractions from evaporation from the crop.“A water balance is just like the bank account of an energy for crops,” Basso said. “There must be a balance to make crops ‘happy’ so that all the energy reaching the crop surface is evaporated.”

In the United States, as a result of improved hybrids and agronomic practices, corn production has steadily increased by an average of two bushels per acre every year for the past 40 years. Basso explained that data from the National Corn Growers Association competition for high yields shows the potential for continued higher yields in the future. His findings support that climate change won’t hinder its production if the trend of the past 50 years continues into the next 50 years. “The energy for evaporation is changing little, so if the number of days the crop grows and uses water is the same now and, in the future, the evaporation loss will be the same and slightly less,” Basso said. “In fact, the warmer temperatures allow the use of longer season hybrids that will make for even greater yield possibilities.”