andygates: (polarbear)
Well Def Jeff has a nice summary of the March climate: Top-two warmest ever; Arctic ice wasn't quite so bad (top 5 meltiest) but that was because the Arctic Oscillation's wacky wind stopped ice outflow; el Nino weakening and record sea surface temps in the Atlantic will make for a fun hurricane season if you sell plywood and generators.
andygates: (Default)
I'm filled with smiles today to see that the BMA are heartily spanking Andrew Wakefield, the doctor whose bogus - knowingly bogus - research started the whole stupid false MMR flap and gave credibility to a whole generation of vaccine-phobic woo-mongers telling people that a shot will turn their kids into Rain Man, (here, buy this crochet spiral chicken liver instead, it'll purge toxins and align your native reiki chakras).  Wakefield, you are a lying liar. 

And I'm filled with weary to see that the latest Final Nail in the coffin of global warming, yes, there are so many final nails that you have to wonder whether there's any wood at all or, for that matter, room for a body (alas, it aten't ded and aten't dying: eppur si riscalda no matter what the lying liars write) -- *breathe* that this latest Final Nail, Rose's piece in the Daily Mail about Himalaya glaciers, is a big fat lying lie.  The boffin at the heart of the story, Murari Lal, was heinously misquoted and fibbed over; the story pretty much made up out of whole cloth.  Rose, you are a lying liar.
andygates: (Default)
In discussion today, "why does everyone have to agree before cutting emissions? Why not just do it?"

As I see it, this is because they all view "it" as a painful thing, and so the whole Prisoner's Dilemma / competition thing kicks in. Untrustworthy actors are expected to welch; trustworthy actors don't want to be the schmuck.

The whole thing would be a metric ton easier if someone had the chutzpah to present decarbonizing as a short term economic and social good.

Any suggestions? [ profile] despaer , economics is your bag. How'd you sell it? The current best sell, the Stern report, is about a 500% ROI but on a century timescale, which clearly means not you, not me and not the current governments (possibly not the current nations).

The Wave

Dec. 6th, 2009 01:14 pm
andygates: (Default)
I Vote! (by andygates)I was in London yesterday at the Wave climate march. Never have I seen so many grimly determined old ladies. There's a reason for this.

The Wave was organised by a huge coalition of charities and pressure groups, and high on the list are Christian Aid, CAFOD and Oxfam. The greenies come down the list, and at the protest, the greenies were down the list compared to this moral cohort, the WI Marching Army. And this is good, and this is as it should be: we're far closer to a humanitarian disaster than we are to an existential one -- especially you and me in the wealthy west.

I was reading the Copenhagen Diagnosis - the science update since the IPCC AR4 - while the throng gathered, and we're basically on the worst-case scenario curves for everything that was discussed back in 2007. This march was a reminder to the powers that be (and the powers that will be: Cameron, these little old ladies are your natural constituency) that a lot of people give a damn. It was ever so friendly, but if the powers that be are gutless at Copenhagen or they welch on their agreements, there's a lot of people who will be really hacked off.
andygates: (Default)
I love Deltoid. Here's their beautiful takedown of one of the so-called climategate drama points: the "very artificial!" computer code: Quote Mining Code. In a nutshell: the code was ugly but so is my appendix. It's vestigial crap that was never published, disk cruft that's been dug up and paraded around by the usual wingnut buffoons.

Every point of science has been taken apart now, clearly and easily. It was never going to be any other way.

(There remains the procedural matter of the alleged FOI stuff, but that's still in the air especially as no FOI request may actually have been made and the data may not have been FOI-able at all: again, shooting the shit is not conspiracy even if it's dumb shit).

Of course someone was bound to try to use this rubbish as leverage at Copenhagen. Who would that be? Who has vested interests in selling scads of fossil fuel? Why, Saudi Arabia of course. Follow the money.
andygates: (Default)
Copenhagen_Diagnosisf16.png The Copenhagen Diagnosis is an update to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report to cover research published since 2006.

The blue squiggly line is satellite observations. The grey cone is the range of IPCC predictions - in this case for sea level rise. The observations closely track the worst case scenario.

Oh. Shit.

The IPCC's worst cases are pretty damn 'worst'. They're things like a Greenland melt this century, so there's something for the kids to look forward to.

The false-flap around 'climategate'? It's trying to distract people from this.
andygates: (polarbear)
Rowson just had this cartoon in the Guardian. Harsh, bad taste, but on the money (enhanced European windstorms are on the climate-change track - the insurance industry were discussing this at Copenhagen last year - and these intense rain events are what they do).

Then someone pointed out that Rowson's cartoon is a riff on this classic Philip Zec cartoon of WW2. When you know that, it gets a whole lot more angry and a whole lot more bitter. And the faceless copper stops being a news story and becomes Everyman.
andygates: (polarbear)
More doom.  It comes to something when Well Def Jeff says, "The latest Arctic Report Card 2008 concludes that "it is becoming increasingly likely that the Arctic will change from a perennially ice-covered to an ice-free ocean in the summer". The best hope I see for the Arctic sea ice to recover in the next few years is for a major volcanic eruption in the tropics to create a "Volcanic Winter" cooling effect for a year or two."

My prediction remains 2012 for an ice-free summer Arctic.  Whaddya know, it'll be the end of the world as we know it after all. 
andygates: (polarbear)
Good news: (because Sad Polar Bear Is Sad is getting stale even if it is always true): The EPA have changed stance on greenhouse gases, saying that they are a health risk.  They were basically prevented from doing this under the Bush administration by political pressure, so this is exactly the bounce back to reality from dogma that the scientific community has been hoping for.  By classing CO2 and its buddies thus, the EPA has powers over it.  Currently, they're holding fire while Obama pulls national-scale levers, but it's another step in the right direction.

Bad news: The current la Niña has ended and March 2009 ends up as the tenth warmest on record.  NCDC have the tale of the tape and it's the same sorry one we've been expecting: warming continues to fit the models, Arctic ice is still doomed.  Sad Polar Bear Is Still Sad.
andygates: (polarbear)
Here's a bit more flesh on the bones of this summer's "methane bubbling up in the Laptev Sea" stories from Grist.  Semiletov, the boffin whose annual expedition spotted wide-scale bubbling this year that wasn't previously there, said, "I think we have to tell people that something is happening now with the subsea permafrost." 

Runaway methane emission from under the permafrost could trigger runaway warming, which is a whole bundle of glee. 
andygates: (polarbear)
The autumn freeze is under way in the Arctic and analysis of the summer melt is getting under way.  You'll recall that the ice area didn't beat 2007's startling minimum, coming a mere second-worst-since-humans-evolved.


It's not all roses though (if that qualifies as roses, and frankly, if that does qualify as roses then I want what you're taking).

This NSIDC map shows the ice age at the melt minimum.  Red is first-year ice, stuff that froze in the winter of 2007-8.  Orange is two-year ice, yellow is three years or older (white is where there isn't enough ice to tell - patchy, grobbly stuff the satellite can't get a bead on).

The North Pole is just about where the old ice that's shoved up against Greenland ends and the one-year ice in the middle of the 2008 picture begins.

New ice is thin, old ice is thick.  So while the area isn't less, the volume of ice in the Arctic is less: like the NSIDC boffins say, "no recovery at all" and it "strongly reinforces the downward trend".

andygates: (Default)
Yay, the summer Arctic melt is almost over and it looks as if it wasn't a total collapse after all - still a big melt, for sure, but local weather kept it cool and cloudy, which retarded the melt.  Here's today compared to last year; last year was a record, though, here's the comparison to this time in 2006.  What does this all mean?  Well, it has no effect at all on the models which predict an ice-free summer Arctic between 2012 and 2030.  This is all well-within parameters.  But it does mean that the bloody denial mob are going to start gloating.  Expect exasperated posting here when they do.


Jul. 1st, 2008 08:08 pm
andygates: (Default)
Remember that North Pole webcam that I mentioned the other day?  Behind the cut is a shot of it sitting in a pool of its own meltwater.

Sure, surface melt is not uncommon in the Arctic, but it's a chilling sight, no?

Anyone got a sea kayak I can borrow?  My kayak-to-the-North-Pole plans are being brought forward by a few years.  :(
andygates: (Default)
I just had to share this link - you know the deal, it's like management bingo, only instead of shouting "Bingo!" when your line manager leverages his synergies in a multidisciplinary customer-facing environment, you get to shout "Bingo!" when some reactionary shill trots out a line about how Michael Crighton predicted an ice age in the 1970s and it's been really cold this week which shows that the hockey stick is broken.
andygates: (Default)
2013 - that's the year that a climate model reported on the Beeb (usual caveats on Beeb science apply) predicts as the first year in which the Arctic ice melts completely in the summer.

Not "by the end of the century" or something distant and vague like that.  One year after the London Olympics. 

That's the polar bears buggered, then.  Arctic oil exploration and Cold War-style posturing.  Oh, and the North Pole?  Where Santa lives?  Someone re-write that for the kids, because he can't live there any more.

Five and a half years?



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