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« Energy and climate priorities | Main | Cooked Motl - Josh 337 »

What am I bid?

Richard Black, whom you  might recall from the obscure BBC past, has recently (24.7.2015)  tweeted that Simon Sharpe, head of the FCO Climate Risk Department, has  suggested  that the risk of a seven degree warming  by 2200  is now more than 50% under "business as usual".

A conclusion made in good time for Paris, then. Any advance on seven degrees, what am I bid? 

Black  also asks the question: "Can the UK run on 100% renewables with no baseload power. Maybe it could..."


Update: 8.27am corrected  figures typo.

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Reader Comments (49)

7 degrees? By 2020. Are those figures correct?


[Thanks- typo now corrected. TM]

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

Here is the Black stuff:

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

"Can the UK run on 100% renewables with no baseload power. Maybe it could..."

Of course it can. It used to for many millennia.

Would I want to live in a 100% renewable UK? Sure not.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

It's all pie-in-the sky, with no basis in reality (a bit like climate science). When his organisation is full of ex-WWF and ex-FoE staff and refers to Catherine Mitchell of Exeter University, (a history graduate) you know it has no credibility.

You only have to look at the list of people on the advisory board of Richard Black's E&CIU to know how bad it is. Spot the names.
Sir Crispin Tickell
Lord Turner of Ecchinswell
Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Thanks for the correction TM. I've just spent the last 10 mins skimming through the Assessment looking for your numbers.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

That baseload free world is a computer model here - so the lignite burners in Germany are being re-classified as biofuel??

I suggest that the prescriber should try the medicine first .... in say Africa? = foreign jollies aid / blank canvas / helping the poor - all ticked .....

Now if we can arrange for the oxygen larcenist E&CIU advisory board to relocate for the duration .... that'd be grand - sadly a fantasy. They'll continue continue sucking public funds for some time yet - it's quite a depressing gallery of parasites.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:49 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Business as usual in 2200? Sounds like the "London will be full of horse manure" forecast to me.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger


Jul 26, 2015 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered Commentercheshirered

"A conclusion made in good time for Paris, then. Any advance on seven degrees, what am I bid? "

We still have Mules Allen's 11 degrees C!!!!!!!

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered Commentercharmingquark

I notice that BD's Twitter offers

Damian Carrington
Louise Grey
Richard Harrabin

as related folk to follow..... surprise not.

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:08 AM | Registered Commentertomo

Sigh...Shame it was a typo as many of us would have been around in 2020 to laugh at the prediction. Whereas by 2200....


Jul 26, 2015 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

Have a look at the German study that 'shows' Germany can run on 100 % renewables.

There's a generation stack for December 31st which you can run forward hour by hour, complete with a complete transmission study, generation sourcing, etc. All very impressive so it must be right.

Given the first part of the simulation is January, it's impressive to note that they're likely to have an output of nearly 50 GW from their solar fleet.

But I was more interested in their onshore wind fleet output for January. Remember German onshore wind struggles to get close to an annual capacity factor of 20 %, and has a generation mode of about 8 % rated capacity my guess of how much wind they'd have had on the grid would be well in excess of 200 GW. And they're blessed, of course, that they never, ever suffer any of those irritating high pressure systems in winter when it's damn cold and the wind doesn't blow.

Mind you, we have our very own loonies coming up with reports like these. Try this gem from Molly Scott Cato (don't you love those three-barrelled names):

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

...Black also asks the question: "Can the UK run on 100% renewables with no baseload power. Maybe it could..."...

Er...that's a straight engineering question. I know, let's NOT ask an electrical distribution engineer - let's wave a few guesses from activists in front of the audience...

Funnily enough, this attitude is precisely mirrored in the 'Yes Minister' program The Greasy Pole that deals with a ministerial decision to OK the development of a chemical plant. The politicians are concerned because one of the chemicals has a scary name. They ponder on whether it could be dangerous or not, while admitting that they know nothing about Chemistry, being educated in the Classics and Arts. The foot note mentions:

"...It is significant that none of those present thought of telephoning Sir Willy McFarland. But then, he was merely the expert, and the Chairman of the nationalised industry in question..."<.i>

Jul 26, 2015 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Phillip Bratby

Sir Crispin Tickell was President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1990 to 1993 and Warden of Green College, Oxford between 1990 and 1997, where he appointed George Monbiot and Norman Myers as Visiting Fellows.

Sir Crispin Tickell, member of the eugenics Huxley clan. Thinks UK population should be cut by two thirds.

He is also a patron of population concern charity Population Matters, (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust), and told Radio 4's Today programme that the ideal population for Britain could be around 20 million. As a member of Lord Rogers' Urban Task Force, Tickell counselled against spreading cities saying that we need denser living, that young adults should not expect to leave home straight away, and that older relatives could live in 'granny flats'

Jul 26, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

100 percent Renewable with no baseload , maybe it could .

Till England have another Penalty Shootout in the World Cup or another Cliffhanger Xfactor Final or a Soap Story line that grips the nation to its TV sets .watch power surge at the National Grid ,imagine two million electric Kettles switched on all at once.

Jul 26, 2015 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Paris is just modern political theatre. The Agreement has been written, approved and inked leaving only two items to be accomplished before it's premier:
1. Detail planning of the parties
2. Haggling over how the funds generated will be spent
Oh, and, yes, the ad campaign (i.e., the 50% the Earth will melt) prior to the premier is going as planned including changing all the data for those that think "facts" matter.

Jul 26, 2015 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill


The Agreement has been written.

Yanks - no

India - no

China - no

Far East - no

Europe - yes, turbine blighted landscapes with added austerity.

Jul 26, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

Of course to get to that temperature, they need two centuries of exponential increase in energy production. Every individual will consume more energy than a mega-city does now.
The same exponential increase in income means every person will be a trillionaire, and the exponential advance of technology will result in the rapture of the nerds so that we'll all be software running inside computer programs by then anyway. At the same time, we'll each be burning 1,000,000 tonnes of fossil fuel per capita, despite the fact previous generations used up several planetsful of fossil fuels.
Isn't exponential increase wonderful?
Especially if your brain is turned off.

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Morgan

Sir Crispin Tickell was President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1990 to 1993

Indeed he was though I'd hesitate to call him a geographer. In 1976, while UK ambassador to the UN, he took a year’s sabbatical to study meteorology and astronomy at Harvard, an experience he presumably felt qualified him to write "Climate Change and World Affairs" (1977). That the book is largely run-of-the-mill undergraduate stuff did not deter him from noting in a 1986 revised edition that:

"I think I persuaded Mrs. Thatcher of the importance of climate change and she took it up in a famous speech at the Royal Society in 1988. She came to the United Nations in 1989 and gave a speech on it. She attended the World Climate Conference with me in attendance in 1990. And certainly that aspect of it she was always very strong about . . . Indeed I remember an all-day meeting with her ministers in which we discussed nothing else".

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

I'll match your seven and raise you seven.

Rounded to the nearest I make that 20.

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

HADCRU temp data is heading towards a big jump for 2015. GISS temp also on the higher side for 2015.
So, are the scarey predictions finally heading in the right directio? Is this the first sign of the lost ocean heat finally coming out of the cupboard? The first step towards +7degC by 22200?

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

I remember Black when at BBC facing the met office against a forecast from Piers Corbyn one winter. When the met office lost the forecast despite many e-mails and messages at his blog from readers - he just chose to ignore the fact. Extremely poor journalist and another Eco fibber - best ignored.

Jul 26, 2015 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

The comment about Piers Corvbyn reminds me that he is the brother of the next leader of the Labour Party. Wonder what his thoughts on climate change are?


Jul 26, 2015 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

Climate Change Turkeys are not looking forward to Christmas 2015.

There may be an undignified scramble for any leftovers in the New Year.

Climate Change Turkeys may be extinct in a few years time, as very few people will see any point in contributing towards their exorbitant costs and perpetual demands for improved living conditions.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

We can't help it if "business as usual" involves him sitting on a Bunsen burner (a lit Bunsen burner).

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered Commentertoorightmate

I just posted this, although it "is waiting to be approved by Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit" (!)
"there isn’t peak demand all the time either"

That's a bit specious. Peak demand happens when it happens (that's why it's called 'demand') and wind'n'solar are unreliable, so where's that 50GW coming from when it's needed? It doesn't matter how many intermittent sources you have, there has to be enough controllable power to meet the demand when they aren't working. Unless you're happy with the anarchy that would result from a widespread power cut longer than a backup generator has diesel...

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

When the FCO set up a Climate Risk Deprtment, presumably it was staffed by people who believed there was a risk.

Presumably the FCO does have a Gullibility Department, to test staff heading new Departments?

Given its miraculous powers, shouldn't the FCO have a Department to test and evaluate loft insulation, with entrapped CO2, so we could all exhale into our roof spaces, and raise the temperatures in our homes, without contributing towards atmospheric CO2? Seems like a No-Brainer to me, and cheaper than Black's humorous efforts.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

They're going mental.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterCB

Black has his own little fantasy world. I recall the original SimCity computer game also had a "nuclear free zone" option.

Just like all those parish councillors who liked to fantasize they had jurisdiction over anything more than the flower arrangements.

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"They're going mental."

After 26 of 28 derogatory comments at the Telegraph they pulled comments, not so at Breitbart. :)

The Mail version has this as the most popular comment at 1500 plus up votes, curiously some down votes also.

"Ade , London, United Kingdom, about 11 hours ago

Murdered by's a new one!"

Jul 26, 2015 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

Am I ok to turn my central heating on today cos my global warming aint working?

Jul 26, 2015 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

As others have gone O/t to the "Mystery of the Three Scientists"; it should be obvious to any Agatha Christie reader that the culprit MUST be the fourth one who, strangely, survived - by no means an original ploy.

Jul 26, 2015 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

Good call Mike Spilligan. With fewer competitors, Wadhams should now be able to clean up in the grants and awards areas. There's your motive.

Jul 26, 2015 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The new agreement will be adopted at the Paris climate conference in December 2015 and implemented from 2020. It will take the form of a protocol, another legal instrument or 'an agreed outcome with legal force', and will be applicable to all Parties. It is being negotiated through a process known as the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
[ My emphasis]

Negotiating now? That doesn't sound much like someone expecting a wide-ranging negotiation to take place in Paris..

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

The can't predict an 18 yr pause happening right now but they can predict the temp 185 yrs from now?

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterTed

Wadhams - “It seems to me to be too bizarre to be accidental but each individual incident looks accidental, which may mean it’s been made to look accidental...If it was some kind of death squad, you don’t expect that with something like climate change. I know oil companies have been giving lots and lots of money to . . . climate change denialist organisations but you don’t expect them to kill people.”

Paranoia -a form of schizophrenia - a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions ascribing hostile intentions to others, often linked with a sense of mission.

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:35 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

As it was Lightning, God has spoken!

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E


I don't know. It's health and safety gone all PC.
I rang the council to ask if I could pump floodwater during the hosepipe ban.

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

I've had a look at the German study.

It is based on using surplus power in summer to produce hydrogen, which is then combined with CO2 to produce methane.

The methane is then stored till needed, when it is used to produce electricity instead of natural gas.

Hardly revolutionary and no doubt extremely expensive.

To make it work, we would need to increase our wind/solar capacity by 14 times what we have now, and the subsidy cost alone would be something like £25bn a year, not to mention all of the methane infrastructure.

I'm not sure where they would get their CO2 from to combine with the hydrogen, but I cannot see burning all of that methane doing much good for the environment!!

Jul 26, 2015 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Two things come to mind.
Why generate the "surplus" power in the first place?
Burning methane has to be better than burning coal which seems to be the German alternative.
In a nutshell the only "non-polluting" baseload is nuclear which everyone knows but the greens are reluctant to admit. Trying to avoid that, to them, unpleasant fact of life is slowly destroying the western economies.

Jul 26, 2015 at 6:50 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

The question I would like answered is, why do so many total nincompoops get top jobs? If we could crack that one, we might start getting somewhere.

Jul 26, 2015 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Peacock

oakwood at 12:27

The heat now being noted was never lost. It comes from the western Pacific Warm Pool – a well known storage area for warmed water.
The cupboard for the missing heat is still being sought.
Much like my check from Big Oil or Big Coal.


Jul 26, 2015 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

Messenger @ 5.22. "that doesn't sound much like someone expecting a wide-ranging negotiation to take place in Paris"
Nobody is expecting this. After the debacle in Copenhagen 2009 any deal will be agreed before the first aircraft lands.
The deal will be convoluted, obscure and incomprehensible even to the aficionados amongst us - it must be so.
The document you refer to - the EU position- points to the problem. Of the "agreement" the EU declares "It must..." and follows with 4 criteria that have no chance on earth of being enacted! The present negotiations (the Durban platform) main purpose is to reduce the 80 page draft to a workable? 40. I think they have got it down to 76.
The plus point is that the EU 's "nationally determine contribution" of 40% of 2010 emissions by 2030 will allow Amber Rudd, under Regulation 2, to lower the demands inflicted by the Climate Change Act and decimate the entire renewables industry (or scams if you prefer).

Jul 26, 2015 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenese2

Evidence from the last two centuries of industrialisation, analysing the evolution of energy intensity over the long- and short-run shows tht increased specialisation of the fuel mix, coupled with accelerating convergence of both the sectoral and technological composition of economies, continues to improve energy intensity of economic output and to reduce the reliance on any single energy resource. Analysis suggests that even high growth in per capita income over the next 20 years need not be constrained by resource availability.

The energy intensity of global economic product on a purchasing power parity basis has been continuously declining for over two centuries and has declined by 1.5% in the last decade despite the energy intensive growth of the Chinese and Indian Economies. Energy is expensive and fugitive and there always has been a strong incentive to maximise the efficiency of its generation , transmission and use and to minimise its waste.

The Path of the EU towards high cost, low efficiency and unreliability is a historical and economic blind ally.

This will end in tears - regardless of concerns about CAGW.

Jul 26, 2015 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

This is absolutely nothing to worry about, the temperature in my garden increased by seven degrees between this morning and this afternoon and if anything it was nicer.

Jul 26, 2015 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

"Sounds like the "London will be full of horse manure" forecast to me." --Messenger

That forecast has recently been amply validated. The highest pile is in the immediate vicinity of the Palace of Westminster. A similarly large accumulation may be found at 6–9 Carlton House Terrace.

"The deal will be convoluted, obscure and incomprehensible even to the aficionados amongst us - it must be so." --diogenese2

And yet it will include "consequences for non-compliance." Read that section first. It's the only one that matters. The rest will be altered ex post facto.

Jul 27, 2015 at 1:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Dodgy Geezer at 9.32 am, re The Greasy Pole, Sir Humphrey is revealed as not having a clue what he is talking about. Asked to define inert, he ends up saying it's not "ert". and there are two versions of a broadcast by the BBC, one welcoming the factory development with a sensible report and the other encouraging the sort of ill informed alarmism that now seems the BBC broadcast exclusively, giving coverage to a group of demonstrators who are about as well informed as the demonstrators against fracking and just as emotional.

Jul 27, 2015 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

The high risk of blackouts must be carried out by someone else.

Jul 27, 2015 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I find the latest Prof Peter Wadhams tale quite encouraging. He claims that he quickly abandoned his initial theory about the deaths of the scientists when the evidence proved they were caused by accidents. So, he is capable of applying the scientific method. Come on Peter, use the same in your professional life, you know you can do it.

Jul 27, 2015 at 9:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

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