Seen elsewhere



Click images for more details

Recent posts
Recent comments
Currently discussing

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

Powered by Squarespace

The great cat catastrophe

It has been observed many times in the past that there are many aspects of the global warming debate that reasonable people should be able to agree on: carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the temperature has gone up a bit, that sort of thing.

I think we can now add to the list the idea that Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway are a few cherries short of the full Bakewell, right down there with Peter Wadhams as representatives of the full-on-bonkers wing of the green scientivist academy. I say this after reading a review of their latest opus by Martin Lewis, a confirmed global warming believer. Here's an excerpt:

Click to read more ...


Carbon cycle: better than we thought

A new paper in PNAS has been getting quite a bit of media play today, which is slightly surprising because the overall theme is "it's better than we thought". The original paper is here and there is a rather helpful "Significance" section alongside the abstract.

Understanding and accurately predicting how global terrestrial primary production responds to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations is a prerequisite for reliably assessing the long-term climate impact of anthropogenic fossil CO2 emissions. Here we demonstrate that current carbon cycle models underestimate the long-term responsiveness of global terrestrial productivity to CO2 fertilization. This underestimation of CO2 fertilization is caused by an inherent model structural deficiency related to lack of explicit representation of CO2 diffusion inside leaves, which results in an overestimation of CO2 available at the carboxylation site. The magnitude of CO2 fertilization underestimation matches the long-term positive growth bias in the historical atmospheric CO2 predicted by Earth system models. Our study will lead to improved understanding and modeling of carbon–climate feedbacks.

Click to read more ...


The green blob speaks

The green blob has, after a short pause, issued its response to the news that Owen Paterson is about to issue a call for the Climate Change Act to be scrapped. In an article in the Guardian, Adam Vaughan has been around the usual suspects and has got the usual responses.

Bryony Worthington, for example says that Paterson's ideas are "bonkers", a position she reinforces with her normal battery of pseudoscience.

At the current time, when all the evidence is that climate change is getting worse and we need urgent action, I can’t see any desire to repeal this act. It’s the desire of a small group of fanatics who don’t even know what the act does.

She is clearly a "pause denialist" it seems.

Click to read more ...


Diary dates, feedback edition

The Royal Society is to hold a meeting on climate feedbacks at the start of December:

The response of Earth’s climate system to a perturbation depends on the sign and strength of several feedback processes. This meeting will present critical assessments of major feedbacks, including those (such as ice sheets and the carbon cycle) operating over long timescales. For each, their role in past and present climate change, and their expected future effects will be discussed.

Details here, including a detailed programme.


I have a computer model

I have a computer model, which I use for predicting the weather. The algorithm is fairly straightforward and goes something like this:

It will rain tomorrow.

(Round where I live that's likely to be a pretty effective prediction.)

Anyway, if I run my computer model repeatedly, I find that 100% of the runs give the same result - "It will rain tomorrow". I conclude, therefore, that we can say with 100% confidence that it will rain tomorrow.

Click to read more ...


The Old Lady of Eco Street

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney first came to the attention of BH readers when, at the time of his appointment, it was noted that his wife Diana was (and is) a fervent supporter of the green movement (and redistribution as well as being against conspicuous consumption).

It's therefore interesting to read today that Mr Carney has told a World Bank seminar that fossil fuels must remain unused:

Mark Carney has re-emphasised his support for the idea that oil companies’ reserves could be stranded assets – still valued by investors, but ultimately going to embody losses.

“The vast majority of reserves are unburnable,” the Bank of England governor said – if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Thinking of hydrocarbon deposits as stranded assets has gained prominence in recent years, helped by movements like the US student drive to persuade university endowments to disinvest from fossil fuel companies.

Apparently Mr Carney wants companies to report more holistically on their business strategy and "how it relates to stakeholders of all kinds, now and in the future...[so that] all groups can express their view, and influence the allocation of capital and credit today".

Given Mrs Carney's views on equality, and Mr Carney's views on outsiders giving their opinions on allocation of private assets, could the Carney family please allocate some of their (considerable) capital to mine?


Paterson urges pause for thought

Today is fraught with family athletic fixtures, so I don't have a lot of time to write anything. In the meantime, there is plenty going on, not least the splurge in the Sunday Telegraph about Owen Paterson's GWPF lecture this week.

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week.

He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say.

Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed.

That should set the cat among the pigeons.


The Pause changes everything - Josh 296

One of the phrases alarmists like to use is to "just look out of the window" to see Global Warming aka 'Climate Change' happening right now. Presumably when they have looked out of the window these past 18 years they have seen the pause in temperatures - which should 'change everything' but I am guessing this might just be a pipe dream. Oh well, here's hoping.

Cartoons by Josh


Climate models and rainfall

I have a new briefing paper out at GWPF looking at the question of rainfall, flood and global warming. Here's the press release:

London, 10 October: A new briefing paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reviews the scientific literature on rainfall and floods and finds little evidence that there have been significant changes in recent years and little support for claims that they will become worse in future.

Despite claims to the contrary, there has been no significant change in rainfall trends in recent years both at global and UK levels. It remains very difficult to make strong claims about any changes there have been because of high natural variability in rainfall patterns, particularly in the UK.

Rainfall is a particularly difficult area for climate models, which have limited ability to recreate what is seen in the real world. Since these climate models are the main basis of claims that extreme rainfall and flooding events are being adversely affected by man-made global warming and that rainfall will become worse in the future, policymakers should treat such modelling with extreme caution.

Author Andrew Montford said, “We are constantly bombarded with insinuations that storms and floods are caused by or ‘linked to’ climate change.”

“In reality these claims are usually based on climate models, which have a demonstrable inability to tell us anything reliable about rainfall. The scientific evidence shows that a simple extrapolation of rainfall averages over time can give better rainfall predictions than climate models,” he added.

Here's the paper.


Ecoaudit does the sea ice

Karl Mathieson, the journalist who replaced Leo Hickman on the Guardian's ecoaudit thread seems to be doing a good job of raising interesting questions. I'm not sure the readership are quite living up to the premise of the thread, namely that they should provide scientific insights into the questions asked, but you can't say that Mathieson isn't trying.

Yesterday he raised the irritating - for climate modellers at least - question of the Antarctic sea ice and his article has several interesting points. Not least of which was this:

Dr Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, says increasing Antarctic ice does not contradict the general warming trend. Overall the Earth is losing sea ice at a rate of 35,000 sq km per year (13,514 sq miles).

If one looks at the graph of global sea ice area, I can imagine that a straight line fit through the record might have a weeny bit of a downwards trend. A loss of 35000 km2 out of something like 19 million km2 is, however, only a loss of 0.1% per year; and given that sea ice is currently above its long term average, it would be presumptious to suggest that this is anything other than natural variability. I would say that therefore that it does contradict the general warming trend.


Qui pacat?

A little flurry of stories of divestment and public distancing has caught my eye in recent days.

Glasgow University has announced that it is to sell off all the parts of its £128 million endowment that are invested in fossil-fuel-related businesses. Other universities are expected to follow suit. Meanwhile Lego has announced that it is to end its association with Shell, following a campaign by Greenpeace.

Click to read more ...


Technology issues

A few days ago I wrote about the reactions to a talk given by polar ice specialist Peter Wadhams, whose utterances at a Royal Society conference had elicited a mixture of amusement and amazement because of their lack of scientific rigour.

In an interesting development it seems that Wadhams has retaliated by attacking the conference organisers - Gavin Schmidt, Mark Brandon and Sheldon Bacon - for the latter two, writing letters of complaint directly to senior officials at their universities. The response of the organisers is here, and it's quite amusing, as it seems that Wadhams is even holding them responsible for things tweeted by people outside the meeting.



The BMJ's supersleuth

You have to laugh. Having been on the receiving end of some mild GWPF criticism for its eccentric decision to devote a large chunk of one of its issues to global warming, the British Medical Journal has retaliated. Ooh er!

The august journal has wheeled out its investigations editor, one Deborah Cohen, who has doggedly unearthed the truth behind the wicked people who have dared to challenge it. And being a highly skilled investigations editor, she has been able to get to all those hidden facts that normal people would just have missed.

Actually, she seems to have stuck "GWPF" into Google and has found her way to DeSmog.

Click to read more ...


Corruption, calamity and silliness

Richard North has been doing some interesting analysis of the new carbon capture and storage project in Saskatchewan, which was widely reported in a few days ago. Here's what the Guardian had to say at the time:

Canada has switched on the first large-scale coal-fired power plant fitted with a technology that proponents say enables the burning of fossil fuels without tipping the world into a climate catastrophe.

The project, the first commercial-scale plant equipped with carbon capture and storage technology, was held up by the coal industry as a real life example that it is possible to go on burning the dirtiest of fossil fuels while avoiding dangerous global warming.

Click to read more ...


RealClimate on Lewis and Curry

RealClimate has emerged from its latest bout of torpor to publish an article commenting on the recent Lewis and Curry climate sensitivity paper. It's written by Richard Millar, one of Myles Allen's post-docs, and the author seems to have adopted a much more businesslike tone than is normal at RC. Unfortunately, according to the first comment, which comes from Lewis himself, he hasn't got his facts right.

Richard Millar, you write

“They use the latest IPCC numbers for radiative forcing and global temperature changes, but not the latest IPCC ocean heat content data”.

The statement that Lewis and Curry (2014) does not use the latest IPCC ocean heat content data is simply untrue.

Click to read more ...