Daily Archives: March 10, 2015

The Sun and Natural Variability Drive Climate Changes

Hong Yan, Wei Wei, Willie Soon, Zhisheng An, Weijian Zhou, Zhonghui Liu, Yuhong Wang, Robert M. Carter. Dynamics of the intertropical convergence zone over the western Pacific during the Little Ice Age Nature Geoscience (2015) doi:10.1038/ngeo2375

Precipitation in low latitudes is primarily controlled by the position of the intertropical convergence zone, which migrates from south to north seasonally. The Little Ice Age (defined as AD 1400–1850) was associated with low solar irradiance and high atmospheric aerosol concentrations as a result of several large volcanic eruptions. The mean position of the intertropical convergence zone over the western Pacific has been proposed to have shifted southwards during this interval, which would lead to relatively dry Little Ice Age conditions in the northern extent of the intertropical convergence zone and wet conditions around its southern limit. However, here we present a synthesis of palaeo-hydrology records from the Asian–Australian monsoon area that documents a rainfall distribution that distinctly violates the expected pattern. Our synthesis instead documents a synchronous retreat of the East Asian Summer Monsoon and the Australian Summer Monsoon into the tropics during the Little Ice Age, a pattern supported by the results of our climate model simulation of tropical precipitation over the past millennium. We suggest that this pattern over the western Pacific is best explained by a contraction in the latitudinal range over which the intertropical convergence zone seasonally migrates during the Little Ice Age. We therefore propose that rather than a strict north–south migration, the intertropical convergence zone in this region may instead expand and contract over decadal to centennial timescales in response to external forcing.

Click here for paper (fee).

92% of Swiss Voters Reject Carbon Tax

Even if one agrees that a move away from fossil fuels as an energy source is necessary, a carbon tax makes little sense, if any. And voters know this…..

“Swiss voters Sunday overwhelmingly rejected an initiative that would have scrapped the Alpine country’s value-added-tax system and replaced it with a carbon tax. Roughly 92% of voters opposed the initiative while 8% supported the measure.” click here

Accidental Contamination of Drinking Water with Sodium Hydroxide

Luba Lendowski, , Harald Färber, Andreas Holy, Anke Darius, Bernd Ehrich, Christine Wippermann, Bernd Küfner, Martin Exner. Accidental contamination of a German town’s drinking water with sodium hydroxide. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health doi:10.1016/j.ijheh.2015.01.006

Case report of a very serious drinking water incident putting up to 50,000 inhabitants of a town near Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany at risk. A concentrated solution of highly alkaline water by sodium hydroxide was accidentally washed into the town’s drinking water at a pumping station and increased the pH-value of the water to 12. Residents who came into contact with the contaminated water immediately had a toxic reaction. The incident was detected by complaints from customers and after that was stopped within several hours. The pipes were flushed and the customers were warned not to use the water till the all clear. After this immediate management there was an investigation and the cause of the incident was detected as an accidental release of accumulated sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution. The lack of a network alarm system and the automatic cut-off mechanisms as deficiencies in the design of the station were rectified by the water company immediately after the incident.

Paper is here (fee).