Seen elsewhere

Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

It's the ocean, stupid!

Jeff Id gave up blogging a few months back, but fortunately for us he just can't resist the urge to return from time to time. According to RP Snr, what he has said today is pretty important:

If you were to transfer enough ocean energy directly to the atmosphere to create 4 degrees of atmospheric warming, how much would that change the average temperature of the Earth’s water?

Would you believe –  0.001 Degrees C of ocean temp change?  The left side pancake wouldn’t look any different in Fig 1!   Hell, it wouldn’t change if we were in another oceanic current inspired ice age — think about that.


Windy flops


Cloud of obscurity

Richard Black reports that scientists have got themselves into a bit of a pickle over whether one of their ideas for geoengineering the earth is a good one or not. The proposal being considered is to spray clouds with seawater, which scientists hope will reflect more sunlight back into space cooling our overheated planet.

Well, some scientists anyway. Some think it will actually warm the planet.

Oh dear.


German greens riding high

With the slight hiccup at the Fukushima nuclear plant still fresh in German voters'  minds, a recent poll in that country has estimated support for the Greens at 28% of the electorate, a record high which puts them second behind the CDU.

This could be construed as good news. I don't suppose it will take long for the either the Greens or perhaps more likely the electorate to come to their senses. It doesn't matter which.


The good news and the bad

Matt Ridley looks at a couple of recent papers. One of these notes that sea level rise is less than expected and that it is slowing not decelerating. The other looks at deaths caused by biofuel manufacture:

The production of biofuels may have led to at least 192,000 additional deaths and 6.7 million additional lost disability-adjusted life years in 2010. These estimates are conservative [and] exceed the World Health Organisation’s estimates of the toll of death and disease for global warming. Thus, policies to stimulate biofuel production, in part to reduce the alleged impacts of global warming on public health, particularly in developing countries, may actually have increased death and disease globally.


Why electric cars are really coal cars

An interesting look at arguments for electric cars by a Professor of Chemistry:

It is claimed in a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) report on electric cars that they are in any case cleaner because 80 - 90% of the energy put into them in terms of electricity is recovered in terms of useful power at the wheels, to be compared with 20 - 30% in a conventional oil-powered car. Well, that sounds good, but the reality is that only about one third of the energy in the coal or gas actually ends-up as electricity because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Carnot Cycle limit - the other two thirds being thrown away as heat. Thus the electric car is harvesting in terms of well-to-wheel miles only about 27% of the original fossil fuel energy, so not that much better than the standard car running on petrol or diesel. The difference is merely whether about the same quantity of waste heat energy is thrown away at source or in the vehicle.


Physician, heal thyself

Sometimes you have to wonder about the shamelessness of people at the top of the civil service:

Doctors must take a leading role in highlighting the dangers of climate change, which will lead to conflict, disease and ill-health, and threatens global security, according to a stark warning from an unusual alliance of physicians and military leaders.

Writing in the British Medical Journal on Tuesday, a group of military and medical experts, including two rear admirals and two professors of health, sent out an urgent message to governments around the world. "Climate change poses an immediate and grave threat, driving ill-health and increasing the risk of conflict, such that each feeds upon the other," said the authors...

The authors are as follows:



I've had the captcha switched off for a week or so which I think has reduced the problems with commenting (although not eliminated them entirely). A new fix is now in place so I'm going to switch it back on again. Let me know how it goes.


Green jobs - Josh 93


Keenan on climate statistics

Doug Keenan has just scored something of a coup by getting an article about statistical significance in temperature records published in the Wall Street Journal. It's a wonderful piece of popular science writing, explaining complex scientific concepts in clear simple English.

For years, some researchers have argued that the evidence for global warming is not nearly as strong as has been officially claimed. The details of the arguments are often technical. As a result, policy makers and other people outside the debate have relied on the pronouncements of a group of climate scientists. I think that is unnecessary. I believe that what is arguably the most important reason to doubt global warming can be explained in terms that most people can understand.

Read the whole thing.


Huppert on CCS

Just watching a recording of Herbert Huppert's Bakerian lecture at the Royal Society. Huppert was a member of the Oxburgh panel - one of the ones that Rees and Davies thought would come to the inquiry with "questioning objectivity".

The subject is carbon capture and storage, but there is also a potted history of the global warming hypothesis. I really had to stop having seen this part as it was so interesting. One of the things that struck me was this curiously truncated surface temperature graph...

There was also this outing for the Hockey Stick...

Not much sign of any questioning going on here.


Echoes of Oxburgh

Nick Cohen in the Guardian writes about the scandal of the London School of Economics' acceptance of funding from the Gaddafi regime and the questions that are being asked over its awarding of a degree to the Libyan leader's son. There is an interesting twist though:

The university has appointed Lord Woolf – a retired lord chief justice, no less – to investigate Giddens, Brahimi and their colleagues. He will find out what happened to the hundreds of thousands of pounds the university took from Gaddafi's son, Saif, and whether it was in return for a Phd and academic support for his crime family's rule of Libya. The "independent inquiry" will establish the "full facts", the university says, as it drops heavy hints that it is time to "move on".

Willing though the amnesiac media always are to jump to the next scandal, this story isn't over yet. No one outside the LSE has noticed that Lord Woolf may face a conflict of interest. Some would argue that if he were still a judge in a court of law, he would have to tell the parties to a case that they had the right to ask him to stand down.

Somebody remind me how the Guardian dealt with the appointment of Oxburgh to deal with the UEA inquiry...


Physics World comes over all sceptic

Physics World, until now a bastion of conventional thinking on AGW, has come over all sceptic, with the Quanta column featuring all manner of AGW unfriendly stuff.


Singh's response to Nelson

Simon Singh has posted his response to Fraser Nelson. It's still amazingly thin gruel for a top writer on scientific matters. Is he unaware of the existence of feedbacks? And what about the error bars on that 0.6C warming figure?



Matt Ridley on solar effects 

Matt Ridley reviews evidence of solar effects on the climate.

Carbon dioxide certainly can affect climate, but so for sure can other things, and in explaining the ups and downs of past climate, before industrialisation, variations in the sun are looking better and better as an explanation. That does not mean the sun causes current climate change, but it certainly suggests that it is at least possible that forcings more powerful than carbon dioxide could be at work.