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Thursday
Nov062014

Maslin's morass

Professor Mark Maslin, a climatologist from University College London, has written an article for The Conversation to mark the publication of the Synthesis Report of AR5. In it he makes some remarkable claims, for example:

We have tracked significant increase in global temperatures of 0.85°C and sea level rise of 20cm over the past century.

(Don't think so)

Changes in precipitation are also expected to vary from place to place. In the high-latitude regions (central and northern regions of Europe, Asia and North America) the year-round average precipitation is projected to increase, while in most sub-tropical land regions it is projected to decrease by as much as 20%, increasing the risk of drought.

(Don't think so)

I wonder if he is going to try to make a defence of his article. If you head over to the Conversation, do stay polite and on topic. Several BH regulars are already there.

Wednesday
Nov052014

The green blob and shale

The Lords' Economic Affairs Committee report on shale gas was published some months ago, but there was a "motion to take note" of it yesterday. The transcript is here. There is much of interest, not least the fact that nobody now seems to be taking a stand against shale - even Bryony Worthington.

So where do we stand then? Lord Hollick explains:

What, then, stands in the way of rapid development of this promising natural resource? In a word, it is bureaucracy. The regulatory regime is complex, unwieldy and slow with many government agencies sharing responsibility for approving fracking applications. The process is bedevilled by complexity; it lacks transparency, accountability and consistency. Cuadrilla, one of the companies seeking to drill for shale gas, estimated that it could take up to 16 months to navigate the process of obtaining permission to start drilling. We were told that local authorities were not adequately resourced to deal expeditiously with the approval process. Will the Government take steps to ensure that local authorities have the necessary resources?

We recommended that the Government appoint a lead regulator to address these shortcomings. To get an overall grip and provide authoritative leadership of this important opportunity, we also recommended that the Chancellor chairs a sub-committee of the Cabinet to turn the Government’s enthusiasm into action. The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s frankly flaccid, complacent response to our report provides ample evidence of why that leadership is so badly needed.

I would have thought that closing DECC completely might be the way forward.

Wednesday
Nov052014

Joel Barnett

It's sometimes said that climate change scepticism is a right-wing thing and that everyone who opposes the global warming movement prays to Margaret Thatcher each night.

Joel Barnett, who passed away recently, was one man who gave the lie to that absurd conspiracy theory. Better known as the author of the "Barnett formula" by which public spending is apportioned between the different parts of the UK, he was a lifelong Labour supporter and latterly a trustee of the GWPF.

Lord Donoughue, a colleague in the Labour Party and at GWPF, has written an obituary here.

Wednesday
Nov052014

They didn't audit the model

The National Audit Office has just issued a report into the UK's flood defences and declares that the country is not doing enough. Helpfully, the auditors report on the "risks to future sustainability", the first of which is as follows:

The projected impact of climate change on flood risk
2.16 The 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment outlined that rising sea levels and increased rainfall will have a significant impact on flood risk. It noted that Northern Europe has had more frequent spells of very wet weather over the previous 40 years; that future winters will become wetter; and that rainfall will increase across all UK regions. Similarly, sea levels are expected to continue to rise and the rate of this rise is also expected to increase. The impact of climate change is one of 10 top issues the Department’s Chief Scientist recently raised concerning research and development issues facing the Department.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov052014

Barton Moss comes up trumps

IGas has just told investors about the results of its exploratory drilling at Barton Moss outside Manchester and it looks like excellent news:

The key results from the Barton Moss well cores...are as follows:

  • Total Organic Carbon ("TOC") analysis indicates values of up to  5.72% with an average of ca. 1.9%
  • The thermal maturity measurements of the shale places the shale in the gas generating window as per the basin model predictions

Click to read more ...

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.

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