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« Transparency and culpability | Main | Honing his hypocrisy »

Saturday open thread

In my absence, here is an open thread for any climate and energy news today.

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Reader Comments (111)


The last time CO2 reached 400ppm was in the Pliocene, some 3 million years ago.

The Isthmus of Panama was closing about 3 million years ago. This is thought likely to have had enormous impacts on ocean currents and the worlds climate. So likely all bets are off regarding what CO2 was, or wasn't, doing at that time.

Oct 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Of course, the numbers are not to be taken literally. They refer to any manufacturer of diarhorrea products.

Oct 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Presumably so. Beta-ray skin burns are similar to sunburn, so I guess they would not be considered to be significant damage. Though uncomfortable...
Oct 27, 2013 at 11:06 AM Dodgy Geezer

Two points:

[1] ktwop quoted a statement:

"No radiation-related deaths or acute effects have been observed among nearly 25,000 workers (including TEPCO employees and contractors) involved at the accident site"..... The statement did not say "no...significant acute effects".

[2] Beta rays are not necessarily trivial. Wasn't there a radiation therapy machine that killed several patients with beta rays as a result of software defects?

Oct 27, 2013 at 8:14 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Seen on the Metoffice blog tonight:-

'There is much coverage of the storm heading our way later this weekend with mentions of it being a ‘hurricane’. This is not strictly correct as we don’t get hurricanes in the UK and this is why. Hurricanes are warm latitude storms; they draw their energy from warm seas and can only begin to form where the ocean is warmer than 26 degrees Celsius or so, and can really only become a major storm when the sea is warmer than 28 degrees Celsius. That’s like a warm bath, so you won’t find one around the UK anytime soon! Other limitations, like wind patterns in the upper atmosphere and the forces caused by the Earth’s rotation, mean hurricanes are normally found in an area between 8 and 20 degrees north of the equator...The storm which is due tomorrow is expected to bring very strong winds and heavy rain, and we are warning of winds gusting 60-80 mph quite widely and locally over 80 mph, especially on exposed coasts, both in the southwesterly winds ahead of the low centre and west to northwesterly winds behind it.

Winds of that strength are classified on the Beaufort scale as ‘hurricane force 12’ but that is not the same as being a hurricane.'

So if we get a hurricane tomorrow morning, as Michael Fish would say, dont worry, it's still not a 'real' hurricane.

Oct 27, 2013 at 8:59 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

DaveB, Michael Hart, Mike Jackson, geronimo,
sorry I didn’t reply earlier. I hope it’s clear that I’m not defending Greenpeace’s action. If they are tried and found guilty and imprisoned, so be it. I won’t be signing any petititions on their behalf. (Why not though? I’d defend Jehovah’s Witnesses, wouldn’t I? Wouldn’t you?)

In the 80s they had a boat blown up by the French government, causing the death of one of their activists. Their activists no doubt retain this folk memory preciously.

“Protecting the planet” sounds to most people like a decent and honorable thing to do. We climate sceptics think it’s a load of old Cronian gonads, but there’s only a few thousand of us, and millions of them.

Oct 27, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

@Martin A

...The statement did not say "no...significant acute effects".

[2] Beta rays are not necessarily trivial. ..

Hmm. It almost sounds as if you are trying to make an issue out of something where no issue exists?

The statement said "No radiation-related deaths or acute effects..." This implies 'deaths or serious injury' to me. Though the definition of 'acute' seems a bit vague, it does seem to imply 'serious'. For example:

"Of short and sharp course. Illnesses that are acute appear quickly and can be serious or life-threatening."
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine.

a·cute (ă-kyūt')
1. Referring to a disease of sudden onset and brief course, not chronic, sometimes loosely used to mean severe.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing

adj. pertaining to a traumatic, pathologic, or physiologic phenomenon or process having a short and relatively severe course
Mosby's Dental Dictionary, 2nd edition

You will find many such definitions. Given this, I think that describing 'acute' as 'severe' or 'significant' is quite reasonable. Sunburn seems to be a reasonable comparison. Of course, extensive sunburn can kill, just like any extensive burn, but since the reports at the time stressed that the injuries to the workers were not life-threatening, and we can now see that this was correct, I think that a comparison with holiday sunburn is quite valid.

Beta-rays are not trivial. No indeed. I am sure you can get killed by them. You can also get killed by being hit over the head repeatedly with a broomstick. That does not mean that I should panic if a broomstick slips from a cupboard and hits me on the head.....

Oct 27, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

More on Greenpeace

Oct 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Further to some earlier comments about how GP works as an organisation, someone relatively senior must have sanctioned - if not actually commissioned - the operation given the resources and equipment involved.
That must open the door for the Russian authorities to go after the upper echelons for conspiracy or similar charge. The top guys should be held responsible, in legal terms, for the actions of their underlings.
It would be fun to see how the government would respond to an extradition request....

Oct 27, 2013 at 10:19 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Greenpeace are in endless war, let them be endlessly in prison.
An endless war does not make a peaceful world, they should quit their
war mongering. If they stop fighting then they probably realize their cause
was foolish and unjust.

Oct 28, 2013 at 12:25 AM | Unregistered Commentergbaikie

The BBC has a motto, ""Nation shall speak peace unto Nation". It would be improved if the word "truth" were substituted for "peace". Or maybe not!

However, sometimes a comment on another subject can echo elsewhere, for example, the climate scam.

I am struck by how apt is the following quote, about excavations in Jerusalem, made by Yonathan Mizrahi of Emek Shaveh, when his words are taken out of context & are used to describe the politics of CAGW.

"I think people are putting too much on the shoulders of archaeology," he adds – in religion as well as politics. "Science should try to provide answers, but it can't provide the answers to all our questions, and it should not replace religion.... You don't need physical proof for your beliefs." Oh really! When governments are taking our taxes to subsidise ***king windmills, I say the proof should be extraordinarily strong.


I take an interest in the archaeology of humanity, without the shackles of religious indoctrination.

Oct 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM | Registered Commenterperry


The Bishophillbillies playing copy and paste Links Poker.

I call your Under Sea Earth Quakes in the Atlantic Causing a Possible UK Fukashima

and i raise you sir

Carbonation in rivers causing smaller penis size in Otters Humans will be next.

Your call
Oct 27, 2013 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid



Your assertion of the UK not 'doing' tsunami is wrong and nowhere did I infer any likelihood of a Japan-type scenario. Instead, I simply offered conclusive proof that the UK does 'do' tsunami (albeit infrequently and not for a while) and their proven occurrence is not in any doubt. Further clear evidence and discussion on their probability, possible magnitude, etc., is contained in Defra's 2005 report, 'The threat posed by tsunami to the UK',

From the report:

There is historical and geological evidence of tsunamis reaching UK shores, and so the possibility of future events impacting on low-lying populations and infrastructure in the UK cannot be dismissed. Future tsunamis could originate from areas that have produced tsunamis in the past, but there might be other potential source regions that have not, so far, been responsible for tsunami generation."


"The tsunami hazard to the UK has been assessed by gathering evidence on past events, considering possible source regions, and modelling the propagation of tsunami waves from selected source locations to the coast. This part of the study lead to the following conclusions:

The occurrence of an earthquake in the North Sea of sufficient magnitude to have tsunamigenic capability is possible.

A strong, potentially damaging tsunami reaching the coasts of the UK resulting from a passive margin earthquake in the Sole Bank area (western Celtic Sea) or associated with the Rockall Trough, or in the North Sea Fan area, is credible.

A tsunami reached the UK following the Storegga Slide, but the geological model suggests that another glaciation (timescale ~ 100,000 years) is needed to re-establish the conditions required for a similar failure at that location. However, there are other sections of the neighbouring continental slope that have the potential for a landslide, possibly triggered by a passive margin earthquake."

More on the Storegga Slide (p14),

"Deposits from the Storegga tsunami have been found from northeast England (55.5°N)[...] to north of the Arctic Circle along the coast of Norway (67.5°N). Within the UK these show run-ups reaching in excess of 20m at Sullom Voe, Shetland, a long narrow inlet oriented towards the source area and likely to have amplified the wave. Run-ups decrease southwards with 3-4m seen in northeast Scotland and 1m in northeast England."

Twenty metres plus at Sullom Voe! Hopefully they've got their model right on that one...

Oct 28, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterdc

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