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Tuesday
Nov042014

Snow longer a thing of the past

Snow in Scotland was at one time said, somewhat notoriously, to be a thing of the past. What then to make of Helen Rennie, who has apparently skied in the Cairngorms in 61 consecutive months?

 

 

Tuesday
Nov042014

Stratospheric persistence

Climatologists are nothing if not persistent. A new paper by a large team of climate scientists, among them Susan Solomon and Ben Santer, reckons it has found the reason for the model-observations divergence. I think this brings the tally of explanations to over 40 now. The correct answer, it seems, is that aerosol cooling, in particular that due to volcanoes, has been severely underestimated:

Understanding the cooling effect of recent volcanoes is of particular interest in the context of the post-2000 slowing of the rate of global warming. Satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) above 15 km have demonstrated that small-magnitude volcanic eruptions substantially perturb incoming solar radiation. Here we use lidar, AERONET and balloon-borne observations to provide evidence that currently available satellite databases neglect substantial amounts of volcanic aerosol between the tropopause and 15 km at mid to high latitudes, and therefore underestimate total radiative forcing resulting from the recent eruptions. Incorporating these estimates into a simple climate model, we determine the global volcanic aerosol forcing since 2000 to be −0.19 ± 0.09 Wm−2. This translates into an estimated global cooling of 0.05 to 0.12 °C. We conclude that recent volcanic events are responsible for more post-2000 cooling than is implied by satellite databases that neglect volcanic aerosol effects below 15 km.

I'm not sure what they've actually done, since the paper is paywalled. No doubt the credibility of their claims will be examined over the next couple of days.

Monday
Nov032014

Diary date, Westminster edition

This Wednesday lunchtime, there's an event at Westminster that may well be of interest to readers:

#RepealClimateAct

 

Speakers include Roger Helmer UKIP MEP: A practical UK energy policy - explaining what is needed and how the EU is driving the UK's energy crisis.

 

More details here.

 

Monday
Nov032014

BBC coverage of sceptics

Ben Pile has a must-read post about the BBC's coverage of climate sceptics, and in particular Roger Harrabin's latest pieces claiming that sceptics have been moving towards mainstream views and Iain Stewart's Climate Wars, which reached similar conclusions:

The only ‘surprising’ thing revealed — as the punchline — by the second of three episodes of Climate Wars is that Stewart was ignorant of the debate he was reporting on. He had begun his film with a preconceived idea about the climate debate, as one divided into two camps — sceptics and deniers — disagreeing about a single proposition: “climate change is happening”. And then, when he encountered the more nuanced reality, he imagined that it was sceptics who had changed their position. It was Stewart’s desire to frame the debate that led to his misreporting.

Read the whole thing.

Monday
Nov032014

Made up science - Josh 300

Cartoons by Josh

Monday
Nov032014

The human rights of Professor Wadhams

This is a guest post by David Holland.

I recently received the Information Tribunal decision in respect of my request to the University of Cambridge for Peter Wadhams' AR5 Review Editors’ reports.  It is short and to the point. The Tribunal dismissed my appeal on two separate grounds. As I read the decision, if unchallenged, it means that no employee of a public authority participating in any IPCC assessment, even if entirely at the public’s expense, can be required under the EIR to disclose environmental information created or received in connection with it, if their work was entirely voluntary.

Firstly, the Tribunal decided, based solely on Aarhus article 5(1)(a) that the Commissioner was entitled to re-interpret what I thought were the clear plain English definitions of “information held” in the Convention, Directive and Regulations to mean the opposite of what the Secretary the State’s statutory code of practice states.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov022014

All together now - Josh 299

Another day and another metaphor, this time from Roger Harrabin on BBC Radio 4 about climate debaters now 'all singing from the same hymnbook' - see yesterday's post below.

It sounded like Roger thought sceptics were now changing their tune but clearly, with lower sensitivity, The Pause and no hope of any global policy harmony on the horizon, the strains that are coming from the alarmist camp now have much more of a sceptic air.

Cartoons by Josh

Click the image for a larger version

 

Saturday
Nov012014

Sceptics on Radio 4

I gather that there was a segment on Radio 4 about climate sceptics this morning, with an interview with Nic Lewis. I'm going out shortly so I can't record it for you, but you should be able to listen again here in a few hours' time.

Friday
Oct312014

Political neutrality at the BBC

Michael Marshall, the deputy editor of tweets:

 

Friday
Oct312014

Quote of the day, waste of money edition

It is important to recall that well over $1,700,000,000,000 ($1.7 trillion) has been spent on installing wind and solar devices in recent years with the sole objective of reducing global CO2 emissions. It transpires that since 1995 low carbon energy sources (nuclear, hydro and other renewables) share of global energy consumption has not changed at all.

Euan Mearns, whose latest post on the subject is a must-read.

Friday
Oct312014

New Zealand's temperature record

Richard Treadgold emails with details of an interesting new paper, with quite an eye-opening end to the abstract.

Yesterday a paper on the New Zealand temperature record (NZTR) was accepted by Environmental Modeling & Assessment. Submitted in 2013, we can only imagine the colossal peer-review hurdles that had to be overcome in gaining acceptance for a paper that refutes the national temperature record in a developed country. The mere fact of acceptance attests to a fundamental shift in scientific attitudes to climate change, but expect strident opposition to this paper.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct302014

McLean on clouds

John McLean, of James Cook University in Australia, emails with details of a paper he has just had published in Atmospheric and Climate Sciences about the warming of the planet at the end of the last century. He adds a useful layman's summary.

The paper ...

- indicates that the temperature pattern can be attributed to a sequence of events, namely a shift in the prevailing ENSO conditions, then a reduction in total cloud cover and then a shift on cloud (decrease in low level cloud that was largely offset by an increase in mid and upper level cloud)

- uses the Trenberth, Fasulo & Kiehl energy balance diagram to show that the loss in total cloud cover caused an increase in heat energy being absorbed at the Earth's surface that was greater than the increase that IPCC 5AR claims was due to greenhouse gases

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct292014

Snail's pace - Josh 298

As Richard Betts notes here "I see the '2 degree limit' as rather like a speed limit on a road". And which is also quite an apt metaphor for the pause in global temperatures - slower than a not very extinct snail.

Click image for larger version

Cartoons by Josh

Wednesday
Oct292014

Richard B on the two-degree

A reader points me to this long tweet from Richard Betts, which I missed while I was away last week. It's certainly worth of reposting:

I see the '2 degree limit' as rather like a speed limit on a road - both are set by policymakers on the basis of a number of considerations.

On the roads, the main issues are safety, fuel economy and journey time. Regarding safety, driving at 5mph under the speed limit does not automatically make the journey 'safe', and exceeding the limit by 5mph does not automatically make it 'dangerous'. Clearly, all other rings being equal, the faster one travels the greater the danger from an accident - but you also want to go fast enough to get to your destination in a reasonable time. The level of danger at any particular speed depends on many factors, such as the nature of the particular road, the condition of the car and the skill of the driver. It would be too complicated and unworkable to set individual speed limits for individual circumstances taking into account all these factors, so clear and simple general speed limits are set using judgement and experience to try to get an overall balance between advantages and disadvantages of higher speeds for the community of road users as a whole. Basically, a simple limit is practical and workable.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct292014

Newsnight does Antarctic sea ice

I can barely keep up with all the climate and energy stuff on the airwaves in the last couple of days. Last night Matt Ridley and Tamsin Edwards were on Newsnight discussing the enigma of the increasing Antarctic sea ice. This was preceded by a review of recent theories about the science presented by Helen Czerski, which was pretty good really, and in particular touched on what I consider to be the key point: that if the models fail to predict changes in the ice then there is something missing in the models. This Eureka moment was then closely followed by Evan Davis noting that global warming is "all about the models".

Perhaps we are getting somewhere.

Video here, from 34:00.

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