Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

US Global warming solution

US butt on heat

From the ABC

Aust leaves US in the cold at climate talks
Australia has broken ranks with the US at a key global climate change conference in Montreal, backing early negotiations for deeper cuts in greenhouse gases.
Ministers and representatives from 189 countries and entities are in Canada this week debating the shape of the Kyoto Protocol after the UN climate pact expires in 2012.

Gus Babble:
Is there a catch or are we at a turning point because the government finally saw the heat is on?

Hot and cold showers

Three major subjects are fiddling with our perceptions in the SMH letter pages at the moment... Global Warming, Prisons in NSW and new pieces in the US administration deception puzzle...

On the US Administration world fiddles and porkies, we’ve harped on and on about it here... and there is plenty more to come...

On the subject of Prisons in NSW, we have to put it into perspective: 1 person being incarcerated per 600 is a lot...
But in the US the official figure is 1 per 150!!! The next stat is even more scary: nearly 1 person in 3 (30 per cent at least) in the US has spent some time in jail...

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But back to the first subject, a letter from Ron Robb of Toongabbie states that :
“Three correspondents (Letters, January 3) claim that on the basis of a few recent hot days, global warming is now proved. Not so fast.
That may be so, but the evidence is by no means set yet, if it ever will be, because there are plenty of reputable scientists who disagree.
Last month was Perth's coldest December on record, and while December here was on average very hot, it was made so by a few extreme days.
Tasmania is experiencing cool weather while Europe is in the grip of one of the worst cold snaps for many years.
New Year's Day was reported as the hottest in 67 years, which suggests that there were very hot days more than half a century ago, too.
I'm not opposed to the reduction of carbon dioxide and other pollutants but let's not make claims that are accepted only because the bandwagon is passing by.” etc...

___________________

GLOBAL WARMING
We need to urgently realise that “Global Warming” does not mean evenly rising temperature everywhere. In fact many models of Global Warming predict cooling in many places, like in England while other areas experience warmer sea surface temperatures like the Gulf of Mexico.

If it was not for the Gulf Stream warm current, England would endure severe cold weather in winter (and cool summers), like Nova Scotia. With Global Warming, models show a slowing of the Gulf Stream, thus a cooling of the sea around England lowering temperature like if in an Ice Age, despite warmer average global temperatures.

That Tasmania and Europe are presently experiencing cool weather, as well as recording the coolest day in December in Perth are thus not disproof of Global Warming. To the contrary...

We have to consider the totality of events to understand what’s happening. As mentioned in previous blogs here, the Earth has two fridges. The Arctic and the Antarctic... Apart from a multitude of other effects, Global Warming is opening the fridge doors further ajar that they would normally be at this point in time under “nil added GW conditions”. If we place an ice cube in our whisky, the drink will cool down but the SUM-TOTAL temperature is slowly going up towards room temperature.

The room temperature on the earth is regulated by dissipation into the big void, insulation by glass-house gases, surface temperatures, clouds, sun activity and other factors such as pollutants that create dimming. We are lucky this system works so well.

Due to our release of CO2 and methane we are creating more insulation and also more warming by the heat we artificially generate for energy supply.

Heat-wise, since the beginning of last century, we are releasing on average the equivalent of 25,000 years of solar/photosynthesis activity of past eons per present year. In the last 100 years, humans have used the equivalent of 2,500,000 years of solar photosynthesis energy as we burn fossil fuels... This is ADDED EXTRA to the normal natural activity such as volcanoes energy release, and such. Much of this dissipates into the great void but — as well as continuing solar energy gets “trapped” by the atmosphere — a portion of our artificially manufactured energy also gets trapped by the “insulation” we are adding to the previous set of climatic balance.

Global Heat is a complex set of leaks, transfers and balances that is not new in terms of geological terms but presently modified and accelerating towards warm due to human activity.

My personal worst estimate was that 1996 was the point of no-return. I still stand by this... No matter what we did in terms of CO2 and methane emissions it wouldn’t stop the increase in average temperature by 6 degrees till it hit a new climate stability level, this within a hundred and fifty years.

Most models of Global Warming are more conservative.

In my model, increases in various points on earth are not linear but like a kinked curve with sinusoidal fluctuations of warming and cooling with a trend towards hotter.
The SUM-TOTAL is for a clear trend towards hotter until it settles at level + 6* Celsius (the follow-on level is likely + 9* etc.) at that level balance is reached between insulation and rate of dispersion... *Note: These levels are not whole-number specifics and could be 6.3, 5.2 or 5.7 in whichever measuring system we use. These are only interpretations of a trend phenomenon with margins of errors but with specific island of stability. Level + 6 means:
A) an increase of 3 Celsius at equatorial latitudes and 4 Celsius at tropical latitudes.
B) an increase of 6 Celsius at temperate latitudes northern hemisphere
C) an increase of 4 Celsius at temperate latitudes southern hemisphere
D) an increase of 6 Celsius in the Antarctic region
E) an increase of 9 Celsius in the Arctic region

The Polar record:
Antarctic
— Some part of the region are showing average increases above 2 degrees per 50 years
— Increased snow activity at the pole is in line with Global Warming models

Arctic
— The region is melting fast. Permafrost is defrosting fast. Glaciers are retreating fast.

The simple effect of polar warming:
— cooler temperature in temperate regions in some conditions due to the Whisky/ice-cube effect on air mass convection.
— warmer temperature in temperate regions in some conditions due to the separation effect in air mass inversion.
All these are interfered with eddies (depressions), convection, jet-streams, sea surface temperatures and a multitude of mitigating factors that slow the process, including pollution and SO2 gas.
— in the short term, the sea level is not rising as fast as one would expect.
A) Ice that melts is shrinking back to a volume which is that of the water it is made of, thus the top of iceberg cannot be included in the increase of volume and the average temperature is temporarily lowered as the ice melts.
B) Sea water expansion is different to that of pure water (4 Celsius is pure water minimum volume, Ice creates about 10 per cent more volume than the volume of the water it is made of. Floating ice displaces only the volume/mass of the water it is made of, thus “floats”.
C) Average sea temperature is 3.5 Celsius. Surface temperature can reach more than 30 Celsius. Thus some cool part of the sea will shrink while warming up, warm part of the sea will expand while warming up. Due to currents, up-swelling and surface eddies it is very difficult to predict the precise result of all this.
D) Proper accurate lab testing have to be done. Urgently. But a theoretical model can be made — with proper statistical error included — showing that an increase of 3 Celsius in the atmosphere would result in an increase of 0.5 Celsius of average sea temperature this can be related in various layers of shrinkage and expansion to a SUM-TOTAL increase of 3 metres in sea level. This is the MOST conservative estimate that also includes the volume of water invading low lying lands, thus spreading the surface. With various data input of size of present relative volumes of cool and warm sea water, the upper calculation is a rise of 15 metres. I would suggest 6 metres by the end of this century.
E) Sea level is rising. Tidal gauges in some pacific nations — after adjustments for air pressure, king tides and other interfering factors — are showing that sea level is rising by about 8 mm per year since the early 1980s when these records were started. Meteorological stations, once on dry land are now regularly flooded by tides. This gives a clue on the possible increase in global temperatures by working backwards. To achieve this small sea rise, global temperature average had to increased by a minimum of 0.32 Celsius since 1985 (in the most conservative bracket). We now have to plan for an unstoppable increase of a minimum of one degree in the next 60 years. This with present level of CO2 in the atmosphere... But we are still releasing more of it, adding more energy into it, we are also deforesting and reducing the ability of the earth to absorb this huge excess. The sea absorbs more CO2 as it warms up but with currents and up-swelling it is most likely to release some of it in cooler regions. In the best scenario, we have to plan for an increase of two to three Celsius within sixty years and a sea level rise of 3 metres (lag time of temperature exchange may only give 1.5 metres in that period but 3 metres soon after).
F) at the end of the previous ice age, sea level rose massively: around 200 metres. The scientific record shows that at one stage sea level was rising by one metre per year. The record also shows that there was a correlation between massive forest fires and THAT Global Warming that heralded the end of the ice age. It is still debatable what came first, but presently the strong increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is undeniably contributing to Global Warming...

We might be lucky. Scientific calculations done in the 1940s hinted to the possibility of having entered an ice age... So far, if we were to do so, the SUM-TOTAL between going into an ice age and the present record would indicate we’ve added more "heat" than we are measuring... Towards a full blown ice age counted from the early middle ages reached in two or three hundred years (1000 years to settle in) and being roughly 6 Celsius cooler, it would mean we’d have contributed at least three times the amount of global warming than we are presently measuring. If the “natural trend” towards an ice age is reversing, our speed of global warming might accelerate beyond belief... We are on a knife edge and my next estimate is that the middle of this year should see some topsy-turvy extreme weather... massive events...
I hope I am wrong... Have a great new year...

excellent gus ....

an excellent piece Gus .... it ain't as simple as the tabloids & politicians make it out to be.

By the way, did you get my message .... maybe we could catch-up tomorrow or saturday .... please let me know, as we're off on sunday for a week?

Cheers.

Hot air from some science...

From the ABC
Scientists question trees' role in global warming

....But in a study published in the journal Nature, a team led by Frank Keppler of the Max Planck Institute in Germany has found living plants, dried leaves and grass emit methane in the presence of air. ... The researchers roughly estimate the world's living vegetation emits between 62 and 236 million tonnes of methane per year, and plant litter adds one to seven million tonnes.
This would be equivalent to between 10 and 30 per cent of all annual global emissions of methane. ,,, Blah Blah Blah...

GusGas
Sure... Nothing new here...
At school we all did experiments showing that plants emit stuff, including CO2 in certain conditions, such as darkness... A cut-up--onion in the fridge will live on "forever" and grow (shoot) in a small sealed clear container, and, if there is also a rotten liquified onion with it, it will thrive... even in the minimum light conditions of the fridge.... while producing gases galore that it re-absorbs.

The point in global warming is natural checks and balances being thrown out of kilter. Plants absorb more CO2 in certain conditions, such as under light, and less in certain heated conditions.

Our major problem is that the natural system of emission and absorption of gases that use the whole of the earth surface to flux, is out of kilter. Too many "unnatural" emissions from our burning of fossil fuels... We can't blame the trees for this, otherwise what's next? Remove them all? Er... Yes this is what we are doing in the Amazon forest and Borneo and Tasmania...

"Sinks" (carbon credits for retaining forests) are useful nonetheless even if they are not as efficient as thought originally (I knew that) ... But at least they help nature be nature in more places and still help absorb quite a lot of CO2... Throwing out the "sinks" would only accelerate Global Warming by a factor of 2 to 5 per cent... and at the moment we need all the help we can get...

Boiled frogs

In one of the blogs above, I wrote: "The SUM-TOTAL is for a clear trend towards hotter until it settles at level + 6* Celsius (the follow-on level is likely + 9* etc.) at that level balance is reached between insulation and rate of dispersion... *Note: These levels are not whole-number specifics and could be 6.3, 5.2 or 5.7 in whichever measuring system we use. These are only interpretations of a trend phenomenon with margins of errors but with specific island of stability. "

The following extract care of the ABC, from the pommy government should ring alarm bells everywhere:
-----------------------------------
Polar ice at risk this century, study warns
Global warming could cause ice at both poles of the Earth to start melting this century, driving up sea levels, according to a major study published by the British government.
The study, Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, collates evidence presented by scientists at a conference staged a year ago ahead of the 2005 Group of Eight (G8) summit, where Britain placed global warming high on the agenda.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair added his voice to the warning.
"It is clear from the work presented that the risks of climate change may well be greater than we thought," Mr Blair said in the study's foreword.
"It is now plain that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialisation and economic growth from a world population that has increased six-fold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that is unsustainable."
The consensus view among scientists, the document warned, is of large-scale and irreversible disruption to the planet's climate system if temperatures rise by more than three degrees Celsius above current levels.
Such a rise is well within the range of climate change projections for the century, it said, warning: "In many cases the risks are more serious than previously thought."
The international conference, which took place in Exeter, south-west England, was the biggest gathering of climate scientists since a landmark report in 2001 published under UN auspices.
That report confirmed that temperatures were rising and pinned the blame on carbon emissions disgorged mainly by the burning of oil, gas and coal.
It said that future greenhouse gas emissions were likely to raise global temperatures by between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius from 1990 to 2100.
The temperature has already risen about 0.6 Celsius since 1900.
But the UN report also acknowledged some uncertainties as to when, where and how this pollution would affect the climate.
The latest study says that some of the knowledge gap has been filled.
Compared with the UN report, it said, there "is greater clarity and reduced uncertainty" about the impacts of climate change across a wide range of systems, sectors and societies.
There is a serious risk of large-scale, irreversible system disruption, including the possible destabilisation of the Antarctic ice sheets if the warming goes beyond 3 Celsius above current levels, the report warned.
A regional increase of 2.7 Celsius above present levels could trigger melting of the Greenland ice cap, it said.
It said increasing acidity in the ocean would be likely to reduce the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and affect the entire marine food chain.
Even a more modest rise in global temperatures of about one degree Celsius would probably lead to extensive coral bleaching, the report said.

Hot global sedition

From the ABC

CSIRO scientists say Govt stifles debate
Three Australian scientists have accused the Federal Government of trying to censor their public comments about climate change.
However the Federal Government has rejected the claims it tells scientists not to comment on climate change issues.
Three climate scientists have told ABC TV's Four Corners program they have been ordered to restrict their public comments.
Public Service Medal winning scientist, Dr Barrie Pittock, says he was asked not to write in a government publication about the potential for millions of people to be displaced by climate change.
"I was advised that if I wanted the book to pass acceptance as a government publication it would be better to take it out," he said.

etc...

Gus is not surprised...

Icy coal

From the BBC
Greenland ice swells ocean rise
By Paul Rincon
BBC News science reporter, St Louis
Greenland's glaciers are sliding towards the sea much faster than previously believed, scientists have told a conference in St Louis, US.

It was thought the entire Greenland ice sheet could melt in about 1,000 years, but the
latest evidence suggests that could happen much sooner. It implies that sea levels will rise a great deal faster as well. Details of the study, by Nasa and University of Kansas
researchers, are also reported in the journal Science.

The comprehensive analysis found that the amount of ice dumped into the Atlantic Ocean has doubled in the last five years. If the Greenland ice sheet melted completely, it would raise global sea levels by about 7m. Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise today is two to three times greater than it was in 1996."""""

Gus snigggle:
I would not be surprised if our commander in chief blamed the ice for global warminng and not the burnning of coal...

trouble waters

For more than a year now, I have alerted the readers in this site that sea levels were rising... by about 8 mm per year...
Although it's not uniformly recorded due to tidal differences at various places on the globe, this following article (ABC 22/02/06) , confirms the facts. Do the sums: 10 cm =100mm while 8mm x 13 = 104mm. my margin of error (the "about") was only 4 per cent of the result... we're in trouble... Climate change is rolling in... Please note that all theses measurements are complex and take into account tidal fluctuation, temperature and atmospheric pressure

From the ABC
Pacific islands record sea level rise
Latest figures show that the sea level around the Pacific island of Tonga appears to have risen by about 10 centimetres in the past 13 years.
The South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project publishes monthly figures from 12 monitoring stations.
The latest monthly data report shows that for the stations that have been monitored for more than 10 years, the sea level rise trend is highest in Tonga, with a rise of 8.4 millimetres a year.
The sea level is rising at every station but there are wide variations.
The Cook Islands station is showing a rising trend less than one-eighth that in Tonga.
At Tuvalu, which will be experiencing its highest tides in fifteen years next week, the trend in sea level rise over the past 13 years has been 5.7 millimetres a year, a cumulative rise of about seven centimetres.
Project coordinators urge that caution be exercised in interpreting any of the trend data because they say longer term recordings are needed.

Obviously the watchdog doesn't watch the news

From the ABC

Watchdog bans solar ad featuring Flannery
A free-to-air television watchdog has prevented a commercial involving a prominent South Australian scientist from being screened, sparking claims of political interference.
The advertisement for the Solar Shop in Adelaide featured Dr Tim Flannery.
In the ad he described climate change as "the greatest threat facing humanity" - a statement which was rejected by the Commercials Advice regulatory body.
Dr Flannery says the move reflects an ignorance of the issue rather than a wider conspiracy to suppress information.
"I was surprised actually," he said.
"But then on reflection I thought 'Well perhaps a lot of people don't understand the full implications of what we're facing with climate change'.
"And if they don't recognise it as the most severe threat, then really that's a matter for some more education perhaps."
The Solar Shop's managing director, Adrian Ferraretto, says he believes an indirect reference in the commercial to Australia's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol may have triggered the ban.
"At the end of the commercial we have a tag which says we're doing Kyoto anyway, and I think that may have had something to do with the banning of the ad," he said.

Cold Pacific and La Nina

From the ABC

La Nina promises rain for Australia
The world meteorological organisation is predicting a 'La Nina' global weather event is on its way, bringing above average rainfall to Australia.
It is welcome news for farmers, who have been battling the worst drought in a century.
Scientists have tested temperatures in the Pacific and found they are one degree Celsius below normal.
This indicates that a La Nina weather event is imminent.
Typically this brings dry, hot conditions to the south-west of the United States but in Australia it means cyclones, floods and heavy rain.
Ben Fargher, from the National Farmers Federation, says that is welcome news for farmers.
"We want it after harvest obviously and early in the season so we can get our crops in the ground and getting that production going," he said.
A La Nina usually lasts up to 12 months.

Gus is not so optomistic...
A one degree below average on the surface is quite a lot but does that mean that the onflow effects are certain?... What are the average temperature in the Antarctic ocean doing? Since January (and before) the average temparatures have been at least 2 degrees above average... will that influence the way La Nina will "behave"? Are we likely to see more extreme weather? Rain? Could be massive floods or nothing... Be prepared.

premature information

From the ABC

La Nina prediction 'premature'
Australia's National Climate Centre is warning predictions of a La Nina event in the country are premature.
The World Meteorology Organisation in Geneva says falling temperatures in Pacific Ocean currents mean the La Nina event and higher rainfalls are on the way.
But the National Climate Centre's Grant Beard says the timing is all wrong.
He says the effects on Australia's climate may be short lived.
"But what we have seen, even though we are not calling it a La Nina, we have seen fairly significant cooling in the Pacific starting in about our late spring and going through summer," he said.
"So the timing is around about six months out of phase, completely opposite from what we'd normally see."

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See blog above for comment made the day before this subject...

Even the cactuses are dying of thirst

From the NY Times

Mark Peterman for The New York Times
A drought in Phoenix has left pollutants in the air. Dust storms only add to the area's pollution concerns.
By MICHAEL WILSON
Published: March 10, 2006
PHOENIX, March 9 — Thursday began like the 141 days before it, sunny and crisp, dust settling everywhere except on the record — set again — for the number of days without rain.

More at the NY Times...
Phoenix knows all about dry weather. It is a place where children are drilled throughout elementary school to conserve water, where hotels boast of covered parking areas not to protect from rain, but to offer a bit of shade.
Grown men spread lotion all over their bodies every morning. Noses bleed. Newcomers watch in horror as their hands seem to age right in front of them.
But even the desert suffers droughts, and this winter has brought a strong one, the fickle air currents pushing approaching storm clouds to the east. Until this year, the record for days without recorded rainfall was set in 2000, a measly 101 days. The recording instrument for rainfall is at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, referred to as "the bucket" by meteorologists, and drier than a Sunday morning during Prohibition.
"People are sort of losing their grip," said Gary Woodard, who, as associate director of the University of Arizona Center for Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas, is an
expert on the region's water. " 'Did you hear it's going to rain tomorrow?' Well, actually, there's an 80 percent chance it's not going to rain. People are getting very excited about very slim chances of rain."...

More at the NY Times

When Ronald removed the WH solar Panels...

From Counter Punch (read more there):

Democrats: When the War Was Lost

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Here we are, in early 2006 and the headlines are briefly given over to the disclosure that the oil companies have been underpaying their royalties from drilling on US public lands by $7 billion. One of the firms, Kerr McGee, is saying defiantly it doesn't owe the U.S. Treasury a penny and is suing in US court to have that view confirmed.

There was a time, a generation ago, when people here in the United States thought and wrote about the underpinning of the US economy -- the energy industry -- in a serious way. In the mid-70s the country was bustling with groups pushing for public control, for extending the regulatory powers of the Federal Trade Commission over natural gas prices, for break-up of the oil companies. In the late 1970s I remember a bill put up by Senator Jim Abourezk of South Dakota calling for divestiture of the oil companies failed by only three votes on its first reading. Abourezk remembers Texaco immediately pumped millions into a pro-oil pr campaign.

etc...

It's only March...

From the ABC

Tornados rip through mid-west US
Scores of tornados have whipped across the mid-western United States, killing at least 10 people, while a massive wildfire left seven people dead in Texas, officials and local media reported.
"There was a storm system that moved through the central US that brought everything from tornadoes to heavy snow to flooding in some areas," Pat Slattery, a spokesman for the national weather service, told AFP.

"Missouri had more tornadoes in one day then they usually have in a season," he said, adding that the weather service had not yet confirmed the state's 110 tornado reports.
Most of the dead were killed in mobile homes or in their cars as they tried to escape the tornadoes in Missouri, St Louis television station KMOV reported.
The University of Kansas was closed on Monday after 60 per cent of its buildings were damaged by a storm; the campus was littered with downed trees, broken glass and torn roofs.
In Illinois, public schools were closed and the Governor ordered non-essential state employees to stay home, after tornadoes ripped through the capital of Springfield.

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Wind Gus
See cartoon at top of this line of blogs... and is this the Homer Simpson Springfield? The bummer season starting early?

Less and less ice in our whisky, Miranda...

From the NY Times

A Port's Ice Is Thinning, and So Is Its Tourist Trade
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
Published: March 14, 2006
MOMBETSU, Japan — The icebreaker Garinko II cast off one recent morning with an apology. The loudspeaker told the four tourists aboard the ship, large enough for 195 passengers, what they had already deduced.
Regrettably, the drift ice that drew them here, which usually descends on Japan's northern face this time of the year, was nowhere in sight — a result, experts say, of warming waters in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Inside the control room, the captain, Shigeru Yamai, was making a beeline for a thin patch of ice in a corner of the harbor. It was hardly drift ice. Still, as the icebreaker's two powerful drills tore through the pitifully thin ice, perhaps the muted sound did give the tourists, in the captain's words, "just a feel" of the real thing.
"It wouldn't do if all they saw on this trip was the sea's blue water," he said, steering the Garinko II toward just that.
"It's an abnormal year," said the captain, who has navigated through the drift ice for 21 years. "We've gotten so little ice."
Indeed, there was so little this winter of the majestic, often latticeshaped ice that normally drifts down the Sea of Okhotsk onto the northern coast of Hokkaido that the tourist association here is already talking of the post-drift-ice era. In its thinness, in its short duration and in every other measure, this winter's drift ice was considered the poorest in almost two decades.

read more at the NY Times...

Ice maiden

From the NY Times

Ice Retreats in Arctic for 2nd Year; Some Fear Most of It Will Vanish
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: March 15, 2006
For the second year in a row, the cloak of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean failed to grow to its normal winter expanse, scientists said yesterday. The finding led some climate experts to predict a record expansion of open water this summer.
"We keep looking for the ice to recover, but it isn't," said Mark C. Serreze, a senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., which monitors the region using satellites. "Unless conditions turn unusually cold this spring and summer, we may be looking at sea ice losses in 2006 that will rival what we saw in 2005.

Palm trees in Greenland?

from the NY Times

New Studies Warn of Effects of Melting Polar Ice

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: March 23, 2006
Within the next 100 years, the growing human influence on earth's climate could lead to a long and irreversible rise in sea levels by eroding Earth's vast polar ice sheets, according to new observations and analysis by several teams of scientists.

One team, using computer models of climate and ice, found that by about 2100, average temperatures could be 4 degrees warmer than today and that over the coming centuries, the world's oceans could rise 13 to 20 feet — conditions last seen 129,000 years ago, between the last two ice ages.

The findings, being reported today in the journal Science, are consistent with other recent studies of melting and erosion at the poles. Many experts say there are still uncertainties about timing, extent and causes.

But Jonathan T. Overpeck of the University of Arizona, a lead author of one of the studies, said the new findings made a strong case for the danger of failing to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

"If we don't like the idea of flooding out New Orleans, major portions of South Florida, and many other valued parts of the coastal U.S., we will have to commit soon to a major effort to stop most emissions of carbon to the atmosphere," he said.

According to the computer simulations, the global nature of the warming from greenhouse gases, which diffuse around the atmosphere, could amplify the melting around Antarctica beyond that of the last warm period, which was driven mainly by extra sunlight reaching the northern hemisphere

Read more at the NY Times

More profits, faster warning

From the Guardian

UK scientists attack oil firms' role in huge Arctic project

Sixty-country survey to search for fossil fuels in pristine environment

David Adam, environment correspondent
Tuesday April 18, 2006
The Guardian

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by 2060, scientists warn.

British scientists are at loggerheads with US colleagues over a controversial plan to work alongside oil companies to hunt for fossil fuel reserves in the Arctic.
The US Geological Survey is lining up a project with BP and Statoil to find oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean, under the auspices of a flagship scientific initiative intended to tackle global warming.
But the head of the British Antarctic Survey, which coordinates UK activity at the poles, has said he is "very uncomfortable" with the idea and has questioned its ethical and scientific justification.

Read more at the Guardian

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See cartoon at head of blogs...

More editorialisaing from Michael Duffy at the SMH

Beware the big green political monster (extracts)
By Michael Duffy
May 6, 2006

....
In truth, Chernobyl was caused by communist managerial incompetence, not nuclear technology. France went nuclear in 1974, has had no significant accidents and today has 78 per cent of its power coming from nuclear plants. Its energy is almost the cheapest and its air probably the cleanest in Europe.

..........
We don't know how many people will die as a result of Chernobyl, but it will be fewer than the number killed by the Russian Revolution. The Chernobyl Forum, which includes the World Health Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency, says 56 people died after the accident and up to 9300 more will die. Greenpeace claims 100,000 will die. It's a huge difference in prediction. Who do you believe: a United Nations body that depends on its reputation for accuracy, or the green fear factory?
......
Recently I interviewed Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, on radio and asked why he quit the organisation. He said: "I left in the mid-'80s when the policy started to drift away from science and logic into these kind of zero-tolerance positions that I believe are based more on sensation and fund-raising around scare tactics. Look at the campaign against genetically modified crops and the whole 'Frankenstein food' …

Read more at the SMH

-----------------------------

Gus is annoyed at Michael Duffy's disingenuous tale. It's not because people do something right once that they are right all the time... meaning that Patrick Moore having resigned from Greenpeace — because he did not agree with the "zero" tolerance policy that it had developed — did not understand one iota the reality of what we are doing to the planet. Even if there are some "exaggeration" from time to time coming from Greenpeace on some issues, the massive disinformation coming from the "official" sources are far out-balancing the problem.

Most serious scientific study and models are predicting global warming... What are our government and the US doing? They buy a bucket with the help of China to find solutions, if they ever can, that may be only be put in place in 40 years from now... Half a billion dollars from our government to further develop coal industry while the real green industry are starved of funds or arrested in their tracks due to the possibility that a rare parrot may fly in one the propeller of a wind turbine, with once in a million chance... We are looking at porkies on a grand scale...

On the Chernobyl problem to which official figures say that about 9,300 people will die from that accident is a bit rich... There is no way they can tally up what is and what is not Chernobyl related deaths... WE are entering the rubbery figures of low levels radiation to which Gus can claim that a certain proportion of the population is susceptible and may be affected by it. Death might not occur but can be brought forward, from "natural " death causes, by radiation.

This is very difficult if not impossible to accurately pinpoint and the figure of 100,000 by Greenpeace is closer to the mark than less than 10,000 In the UK it has been estimated that 30 per cent of the cultivated land has been affected by Chernobyl, showing a rise in low level radiation. I would not be surprised if Richard Carleton, the journalist who died at beaconsfield today, would not still be showing some residual radioactivity after his stint into Chernobyl.

We also know that despite its many experts, the UN can be manipulated to believe this or that furphy, especially if the Americans are tooting knowing something.

AS far as being clean, the industry is producing an enormous amount of radioactive waste, some of which is low level but some of is plutonium... The UK is about to spend many billions (60 billion plus) of Pounds to "clean up" their old reactors sites and dispose of the waste... The Finns have had to dig underground to store their waste in a manner which appear safe but we have no way of knowing beyond a hundred years.

So even if scientists like Tim Flannery are also tooting the safety record and the non greenhouse gassing of the nuclear energy, all we need is a fast breeder in France to overheat that little much during summertime that the reactor has to be closed down ( like during the heat wave of a few years ago) and something goes wrong... I do not wish that... but it is possible despite the many safety measures in place. A fast breeder reactor uses a few tonnes of plutonium as its heating source and, being so hot, the reactor uses liquid sodium under pressure at 700 Celsius to transfer the heat of the plutonium to steamers that then transfer the steam to turbines. A small discrepancy can change the balance and when i was studying the engineering of these fast breeders, then there was less than a tenth of a second before the reactors became "critical". Chernobyl would be piss-ant compared to the result of a fast breeder melt down.. More could be said here but then I need a beer. Cheers.

Just a quick note reminding readers to scour this site for Gus' comments about the 'Frankenstein food'... Go organic is the catch cry... Go organic... Go organic... We cannot allow multinationals to copyright seeds and poison the planet at a faster rate with the use of more toxic herbicides and insecticides...

Saving the planet from the anti-green demons

From the letters in the SMH

Science shows nuclear risks outweigh any benefit

It is curious that Michael Duffy, in his quest to discredit green groups ("Beware the big green political monster", May 6-7), ignores basic, verifiable facts. Instead of taking a source like Patrick Moore at his word that groups such as Greenpeace are "unscientific", a check of the internet would have shown that since Moore's departure from Greenpeace 20 years ago we have developed the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter, equipped with hardware to analyse heavy-metal and organic contaminants and expertise in toxicology, organic and inorganic analytical chemistry, biochemistry and terrestrial and marine ecology.

Duffy should let readers know that his primary source, Moore, exploits his association with Greenpeace to further his role as the paid public face of the British Columbia Forest Alliance. The alliance is an industry front group set up by the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, notorious for green-washing Exxon after the Valdez oil spill, Union Carbide following the Bhopal chemical disaster and the nuclear industry after the Three Mile Island reactor accident.

It is our scientific assessment that nuclear power is not the solution to climate change. Even if there was a doubling of global nuclear energy output by 2050 it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by only 5 per cent. Nuclear power is expensive and poses unacceptable proliferation and security risks, and the market cannot carry the cost of reinsurance for Chernobyl-type accidents or terrorist attacks.

Like Duffy, we hope that Chernobyl will cause the death of only a few thousand people, but our analysis, with input from 52 scientists, shows there are likely to be up to 93,000 cancer-related deaths caused by the radioactive emissions. The International Atomic Energy Agency is a promoter of nuclear power. This is why Dr Tilman Ruff, of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War, endorsed Greenpeace's Chernobyl critique last month, calling for an international effort to independently monitor the consequences of the disaster.

It took environmentalists decades to bring these issues from the journals and laboratories of scientists into the mainstream. We are now taking on the biggest challenge to the security of life on earth - climate change - and it would be a great pity if negative industry PR was allowed to distract the debate from positive solutions.

Danny Kennedy Greenpeace campaigns manager, Sydney

--------

Gus is glad that Greenpeace is fighting back the crap that some slanted journos are dishing out... Read the blog above this one (and others on this subject) and see the cartoon leading this line of blogs... as well as the "Not-the-Kyoto-Protocol" cartoon.

Con deal of the day

From the ABC

Australia, S Africa sign climate change deal
Australia and South Africa have signed a joint agreement on climate change.

Environment Minister Senator Ian Campbell announced the deal with his South African counterpart at a conference in New York in the United States.

The partnership will allow collaboration on adapting to the effects of climate change, especially in farming.

Australia already has climate change partnerships with several countries including the United States, China and Japan.....

--------------------

Ah-ah... let Gus laugh.... Not a solution to solve the global warming problem but find ways to "adapt to it"!!! ah-ah... ... Our Gov. has Just bought another 10 litre bucket and signed a protocol not to fart as much on odds days...

Melting record

From the Guardian

Meltdown fear as Arctic ice cover falls to record winter low

David Adam, environment correspondent
Monday May 15, 2006
The Guardian

Record amounts of the Arctic ocean failed to freeze during the recent winter, new figures show, spelling disaster for wildlife and strengthening concerns that the region is locked into a destructive cycle of irreversible climate change.
Satellite measurements show the area covered by Arctic winter sea ice reached an all-time low in March, down some 300,000 square kilometres on last year -an area bigger than the UK.

Scientists say the decline highlights an alarming new trend, with recovery of the ice in winter no longer sufficient to compensate for increased melting in the summer. If the cycle continues, the Arctic ocean could lose all of its ice much earlier than expected, possibly by 2030.

Read more at the Guardian

And see the cartoon at the top and read the blogs below...

Exxon in dismal denial

From the [http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1876538,00.html|Guardian]

Royal Society tells Exxon: stop funding climate change denial

Read the letter in full [http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2006/09/19/LettertoNick.pdf|here] (pdf)

David Adam, environment correspondent
Wednesday September 20, 2006
The Guardian

The Royal Society is worried about climate change lobby groups, including those funded by Exxon.
Britain's leading scientists have challenged the US oil company ExxonMobil to stop funding groups that attempt to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. In an unprecedented step, the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific academy, has written to the oil giant to demand that the company withdraws support for dozens of groups that have "misrepresented the science of climate change by outright denial of the evidence".
The scientists also strongly criticise the company's public statements on global warming, which they describe as "inaccurate and misleading".
read more at the Guardian
---------------------
Gus: see cartoon at [http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/2002|top of this line of blogs]...

Aussie assist

The first of the extracts from Monbiot's book nails Philip Morris as key culprit in marketing pro-corporate propaganda. 

I wonder if that was happening under the careful watch of our own Aussies, Rupert Murdoch and Geoffrey Bible? 

SMH assist

Yes T.G., the propaganda also happens in the Sydney Morning Herald where La Divine spruiks in favour of "scientific" non evidence of global warming... May her petunias catch fire on a hot day in the sun....

Hopefully, this won't end in a lot of hot air

From the Guardian

California sues car firms for global warming

· Green campaigners hail landmark action
· Six largest manufacturers creating 'public nuisance'
Dan Glaister in Los Angeles
Thursday September 21, 2006
The Guardian

America's most populous state, California, opened a new front in its struggle with [http://environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1877421,00.html|climate change] yesterday when it announced that it was suing the six largest carmakers in the US for allegedly contributing to global warming.
In the unprecedented lawsuit, the state accused Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Chrysler and Nissan of creating a "public nuisance" and costing it millions of dollars. Environmental campaigners hailed the lawsuit as a landmark event in the effort to deal with global warming.

read more at the Guardian

good on you, sir

From our ABC

Branson commits profits to fight global warming
British billionaire Sir Richard Branson has committed to spending all the profits from his airline and rail businesses, an estimated $US3 billion over the next 10 years, on combating global warming.

The Virgin Group chairman says the money will be spent on renewable energy initiatives within his company and on investments in bio-fuel research, development, production and distribution, as well as projects to tackle emissions contributing to global warming.

"We have to wean ourselves off our dependence on coal and fossil fuels," the flamboyant 56-year-old entrepreneur said.

"Our generation has the knowledge, it has the financial resources and as importantly it has the will power to do so."

Sir Richard, who is known as much for his daredevil stunts as his business, unveiled his plan at a news conference at the Clinton Global Initiative, a summit run by former US president Bill Clinton to combat world problems.

"Richard's commitment is groundbreaking not only because of the price tag, which is phenomenal, but also because of the statement that he is making: clean energy is good for the world and it's good for business," Mr Clinton said.

Droughts for thoughts

Would the boffins at the SMH letter page (and the Miranda of this world too) show some knowledge... but it might be a bit much to ask...

Allan Lehepuu of Tinderry writes in the letters page:
Been dry before
To all those acolytes of Al Gore and the Kyoto Protocol, how do you explain the causes of the Federation drought or the droughts of 1914-15, 1937-38, 1944-45, 1965 and 1980-82 or, in fact, any of the droughts that have dried Australia's rivers over the previous thousands of years?

------------------

Gus: Would someone (sorry I can't) tell the dear Allan to do his own PROPER research on the subject...
About 10-12,000 years ago, there was a "global warming event" of quite large magnitude (It was deemed the end of an "ice age"). There has been many theories about what happened but many serious scientists confers that the record shows a major increase in ASH from burning wood at that time... Many scientists thus attribute this to a strong increase in cultivation which demanded more lands, previously forested areas. The combination of a normal cyclical "end of ice age" and the burning contributed to a temperature increase of about 6 degrees then: Sea levels rose massively (That time is recorded on 10-12,000 years old aboriginal drawings and paintings in Arnhem land) and the plains between Australia and New Guinea were flooded. This is also the time of the extinction of the Mammoths which ran out of their diet food (change of climate changed the grasses) compounded with hunting.

Climate change is a very complex issue. The droughts that Allan refers too are to some extend "normal" droughts under the regime of El Nino or other natural cyclical events (solar spots, etc.). In the Bible one is invited to read about 7 years of good crop years and seven years of bad crop years. RECENTLY (40 years ago), it has been noted that there was a general increase in temperature worldwide WHILE WE SHOULD BE ENTERING AN ICE AGE once more in the cyclical timeframe... It has also be note with horror to those who are closely monitoring the event (as slowly it unfolds in decades-centuries) that the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has not been as high as that, for nearly one million years. The melting of many "permanent" ice shelves (100,000 years and more) is the major indication of MASSIVE climate change. The odds are that increase in temperature is accelerating faster than we even ARE imagining presently and we may soon (within 1000 years) experience a climate similar to that during the early Cretaceous Period (sea level so high it makes "Waterworld the movie" conservative in its depiction of what can be. Just wake up! Allan, please, go to serious "palaeo"-geologists to see where we're at... and study the climates of the past going back to the origin...

The ice illusion

Often when you buy ice for your party, the ice in the cooler from wherever may be at about four to five degree below zero... But it's still ice that soon melts into cool water when you dip your beerslabs in it. And you would not know the difference. The ice in a home freezer is at about minus nineteen degrees. And this difference is what is happening in our world... we accept ice is ice, yet we do not question the latent amount of entropy... The colder the ice the more energy to warming up is needed... Yet at the moment, I would suggest that the "ice" of the world although still apparent (and melting fast in some regions) also hide a massive problem: The ice has already "warmed up", but it still appears as ice. In some areas of the globe, the problem remains hidden because the edges of the ice caps are not melting very fast yet, due to increasing extreme conditions that allow much cooler air of higher altitudes down to lower altitudes... thus the "natural" strata of layered temperatures is slowly being changed by a few degrees in the polar regions... The resultant of this can be very far reaching.... Some urgent studies need to be made....

Jock's hot air bubble needs bursting

In his article [http://www.news.com.au/sundaytelegraph/opinion/story/0,22049,20464712-5001031,00.html|A tent of Hollywood hot air] (Sunday Telegraph September 24, 2006) Piers Akerman spews a lot of hot air... He is not unlike our Devine... Both have only the interest of promoting the lesser of evils with higher rate of temptation usage, rather than find an angel that would shoot down their lame ducks.

By Piers Akerman
GUS ANNOTATIONS IN LARGE LETTERS
September 24, 2006 12:00
Natural gas is the most benign of all the fossil fuels. A big statement, true, but it appears to be unchallengeable.
COULD NEARLY SWALLOW THE ARGUMENT, EXCEPT NATURAL GAS, LIKE COAL IS NOT BENIGN... ITS OUTPUT IS CLEANER THAN COAL, SLIGHTLY MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT BUT GAS, AS A FOSSIL FUEL IS NOT SUSTAINABLE, AND BURNING IT STILL PUMPS OUT MASSIVE AMOUNT OF CO2.

A slew of Hollywood stars however, are opposed to building this pollution-reduction facility if cutting greenhouse gases has to begin in their back yard.
THIS TERMINAL WON'T CUT GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS.
A) ITS PRESENCE WILL ENCOURAGE THE USE OF MORE ENERGY.
B) GAS IS MOSTLY A POLLUTION-REDUCED ENERGY SOURCE WHICH IN A STRANGE TURN OF FATE, DUE TO LESSER POLLUTANTS, LEADS TO LESSER "DIMMING" FACTOR, THUS WILL INCREASE THE TEMPERATURE OF THE BIOSPHERE FASTER.

Former US vice-president Al Gore was in Australia a fortnight ago, lecturing us about global warming and insisting that we had to sacrifice Australian jobs for the sake of the politically correct Kyoto protocol.
THE KYOTO PROTOCOL IS NOT PERFECT, BUT THE SOLUTION BY THE LARGEST POLLUTERS AND CONSUMERS ON EARTH (CHINA, THE US, INDIA, AUSTRALIA [per capita]) IS FAR LESS EFFECTIVE, THUS A MASSIVE CON.

Check the ABC website: Gore was on every talk show and news show (even Kerry O'Brien shut up and let him talk uninterrupted), warning about rising sea-levels and cataclysmic storms unless we did something now.
BLAME THE ABC FOR EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE BUBONIC PLAGUE... OR THE BIRD FLU... OR YOUR PILES...

Well, we are doing something. We are offering the world the opportunity to scale back on coal-fired power stations and the chance to reduce greenhouse omissions (sic)- yet the very people who insist we should do something want to do nothing.
SORRY, WE (Johnnee's Australia) ARE DOING NOTHING MORE THAN JUST SELL GAS TO SOMEONE ELSE. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS. THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF GAS IS ONLY SLIGHTLY BETTER TO THAT OF PETROL, BUT REPLACING PETROL OR COAL WITH GAS IS ONLY GOING TO REDUCE EMISSIONS OF CO2 BY A FEW PERCENTAGE POINTS THAT IN TURN WILL BE ABSORBED BY A GREATER CONSUMPTION... NOT ONLY THAT, TRANSPORTATION OF GAS TO PRODUCE THE SAME AMOUNT OF ENERGY AS COAL, IS MORE ENERGY DEMANDING AND MORE SECURITY DEMANDING.
_______________________

SEE BELOW FOR OTHER INFO:
The most damaging pollutants from coal combustion are sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), carbon dioxide (CO2), and particulate matter (PM). China has successfully reduced emissions of SO2 and NOX and decreased PM from power plants. But controlling CO2 emissions and mitigating their greenhouse effect is still one of the most serious environmental challenges facing China, as well as the rest of the world. Up to now, there have been three main approaches to controlling greenhouse gas emissions: (1) improving the energy efficiency of power plants; (2) switching to fuels that produce less CO2 per unit energy; and (3) using renewable and/or nuclear energy.

Gas
greenhouse emission: "Fair" if natural gas, very bad if 'town gas'.
FAIR HERE MEANS LESS EMISSION THAN COAL AND OIL, BUT STILL TOO MUCH OF IT)
Little pollution of consequence outside the house
THINK LESS DIMMING, MORE HEAT...
Non-flued types are 100% efficient in that all the heat is retained inside the house; however, they then release combustion products (CO2, possible CO, possible NOx) inside the house.
Not sustainable. Gas is a fossil fuel, whether the gas is 'town gas' or natural gas.

END OF STORY.... DON'T BLAME THE HOLLYWOOD NIMBs, WHO DO NOT WANT AN UGLY TERMINAL IN FRONT OF THEIR HOUSES — A TERMINAL THAT MAY OR MAY NOT SAVE A FEW BUCKS OR KILOJOULES ON A HIGH ENERGY BILL, BUT WILL NOT SAVE THE PLANET ONE IOTA....
NOW ASKING TO SWITCH TO MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT LIVING, THAT WOULD BE A DIFFERENT STORY....

In more trouble than we think

From your ABC

Earth's temperature nears [http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200609/s1748741.htm|million-year high]

Earth may be close to the warmest it has been in the last million years, especially in the part of the Pacific Ocean where potentially violent El Nino weather patterns are born.
James Hansen, of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, says this does not necessarily mean there will be more frequent El Ninos, which can disrupt normal weather around the world.
But he says it could well mean that these wild patterns will be stronger when they occur.

Democracy in hot water

From the Sydney Morning herald

[http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-land-down-under-going-under/2006/09/28/1159337280484.html|Now you see it, now you don't]: the land down under going under
IT IS Australia as we have never seen it before - a dry brown land transformed into an archipelago of disparate islands.
The six images, a fusion of art and science, portray what would happen if sea levels rose by up to 500 metres and the waters inundated the lower-lying regions.
---------------------
Gus: If we think that this theory is far fetched, one only has to look at the geological record. Of the maps shown on the front of the SMH today (29/09/06), the one of sea levels at 300 metres higher than present for example is the closest to the early Cretaceous period when the interior of our continent was flooded. I would suggest then that sea level was about 250 metres above the present level...

Earlier, like in Devonian times, coral reefs formed in places like inland of "Western Australia" (Napier range) which also indicate high sea level.

What makes fluctuation of such magnitude possible? Many factors indeed. From the ice caps forming and melting from expansion of water with warming, to geographical positioning of continents, as well as the changes in atmospheric composition, temperatures and pressures. All these are inter-related and influence each other. There are "earthly natural balances" which I would personally say are of slow diminishing general range towards a hyperbolic target at relative infinity (a few billion years from now) but we are still in the high to medium topology of change and "uncertainty" (unpredictable, except for general trends and some outcomes). These factors also including gravity, the daily spin (not the Canberra blab variety but the solar-earth relationship), the solar winds and the "regular" magnetic reversal that holds the resultant within certain values.

For example the melting of the ice cap on Greenland can in a minute way change the "weight" of that continent on the surface of the "liquid" core of the earth, the viscous hot and fiery liquid that spurts out of volcanoes, and subterranean/sub-sea cracks. This change of weight can modify the "parameters" of the molten currents (those currents that displace continental shelves and keep replacing sea floors (No sea-floor is older than 150 million years while some base rocks on some continents have been dated as having formed 4 billion years ago) ... and also influence the shape of our planet (which is slightly pear shaped, and has minute variation in gravitational pull due to this factor and others such as various density of rocks).

It has been my estimate that on average we have released back into the atmosphere the equivalent of 25,000 years of solar photosynsethis, per year/fossil-fuel-usage since the industrial revolution, In a hundred years we have pumped back into the atmosphere 2.5 million years of carbon-molecular-modification energy... Fossil fuel is that — carbon-molecular-modification. We dig this fantastically stored "energy" in plants that took millions of years to create and decompose, then we burn it a few seconds... We should expect some "cause and effect" important result from this process.

What has all this got to do with democracy?
Well, in my book, unless we understand the dynamics of our natural world, we cannot understand ourselves. Like a minute amount of catalyst can change or engender a chemical reaction, humanity on Earth can and is changing this world. Some changes are for the better, in our views, but some changes are not good, in the short and long range for the whole. Climate change is a long term event (although very fast in geological time-frame). Now we are faced with a slow measurable problem, for which the consequences are dire... may not be in 50 years... but in a hundred years, the effects will be not only undeniable to the believers of furphies and sellers of oil (strangely enough, most scientists are the sceptics who tell us we'VE GOT A PROBLEM, because they do analysis and synthesis with conclusion confirming the "theory"), the problem will be well advanced in its devastation... As democracy survives the right for people to believe and vote for anything they wish, we have to ensure that the moronic believers and silly warriors do not overtake the numbers of sceptics who ask and answer the right questions without beliefs, but knowledge. The true power of democracy can only be exercised in knowledge, at all levels... not just that of economic elasticity (which is not knowledge), "Economy" is only an iffy acceptance of values, — irrelevant to the needs of this planet but only pegged to the greed of us.

crumbling for profit

Environment planning subservient to economic growth: scientist

The former leader of CSIRO's resources futures program says Australia has lost the plot on environmental issues.

Scientist Barney Foran says the State of the Environment report released yesterday shows a continuing decline of awareness and concern about the environment.

smoke and mirrors

US answer to global warming: smoke and giant space mirrors

Washington urges scientists to develop ways to reflect sunlight as 'insurance'

David Adam, environment correspondent
Saturday January 27, 2007
The Guardian

The US government wants the world's scientists to develop technology to block sunlight as a last-ditch way to halt global warming, the Guardian has learned. It says research into techniques such as giant mirrors in space or reflective dust pumped into the atmosphere would be "important insurance" against rising emissions, and has lobbied for such a strategy to be recommended by a major UN report on climate change, the first part of which will be published on Friday.

--------------------------- 

Gus: Blimey! More crap! And this time it's done with smoke and mirrors with official approval... Soon the fog of climate change will be so thick that we won't  see past our clogged up brains! 

Trousers on fire!

From the ABC

Climate change report a 'wake-up call' for Howard
The federal Opposition says new research on climate change commissioned by the world's governments should be a massive wake-up call for Prime Minister John Howard.

A Sydney newspaper has published the report, which is to be presented to an inter-governmental panel in Paris next week.

The report was commissioned by 180 countries and suggests that the greenhouse gases emitted in the 21st century will continue to warm the world for the next 1,000 years.

The research also suggests that there is a 90 per cent chance that human activity is to blame for global warming.

Opposition climate change spokesman Peter Garrett says the report paints a grim picture and should be a wake-up call for the Howard Government.

"I think this report is the most serious warning we've had yet on climate change," he said.

"It means that the bell is tolling on our way of life, on our economy, on the health of the planet, and it means that the bell is tolling on the Prime Minister to stand up and actually show that he's got a policy that will address climate change."

Mr Garrett says Labor would immediately establish a national carbon trading emissions scheme as a first step in demonstrating its serious commitment on climate change.

Bush's clap trap on warming

From the Independent

 Bush's 'clean fuel' move may cause more harm, say environmentalists
By Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 25 January 2007

...
"There is no revolution in global warming policy in anything the President is proposing, no matter how the White House tries to spin it," said Philip Clapp, the president of the National Environmental Trust. "
....

He added: "The President's proposals will contribute almost nothing to stopping global warming. They will allow our carbon emissions to grow by 14 per cent over the next 10 years." 

boreal time bomb

Scientists acknowledge they are not certain how the carbon time bomb will explode, or when. Many of the consequences of global warming that experts once predicted would take centuries are occurring in decades, such as the melting of the world's glaciers and ice caps. But other changes might be more gradual.

2032

Two thousand and thirty two

In 1994, I had a fleeting dream. A dream that had morphed from another fleeting dream I had in 1972. In 1972, the dream was about the end of humanity as we know it, not via judgement day or a Lucifer crushing defeat — but in a radiating whimper. We were all looking at it from across Pittwater Road, Dee Why... Strange place for it, but the vantage point was letting us see the Norfolk pines of Manly beach — trees that by now were just sticks, joining the night sky to the sands.

The 1994 dream was set in the same place, daytime, but the skies above belonged to Germany.

These skies above Dee-Why Germany were extraordinarily clean as if scrubbed of all life and dust —and we know that dust to dust we are — we all take our turn at it. Deep blue. Only the people wanting to die ventured out. It could have been two thousand and septante two (2072) as my Belgium friends would call it, but then on letting the enormous feelings through it was definitely 2032. The latter version of the dream comes to me often, like a perennial plastic flower that blooms effortlessly since it's there in the shade.

Whatisname and his novel 1984 could have inspired me to write a book about it... The downfall of civilisation, etc... using this crazy fiction to justify my pecuniary existence.

No Gus Leonostradamus does not predict the future on dreams and riddles. So he went to the calculator and crunched a few numbers. Sure, one can make a date fit an expectation... If you crunch the numbers with enough loading in them you can make them do somersaults like you would not believe... That is the purpose of statistics when you need then for painting a viewpoint. In the end the year stuck... No matter how I could permute the numbers and twiddle the error parameter, the date would stick... 2032 it is.

As we acclaim daily the rise and rise of the stock market like puff pastry in an oven or a soufflé with mushrooms, the cream sauce is spilling on the hot plate and burning, contributing to the fire below. Carbonising so to speak. And we're bent on producing more soufflés and more cakes because that is our destiny —more cakes and more soufflés — the destiny of a system that has to make more to make more.... Makes sense? Not really on the natural set ups but that's the way we humans do things since we left our tree.

Worldwide our masters and future masters should put the brakes on us, in a screeching noise. Emergency meetings, public decrees and a total briefing of all the lodges, vatic-anuses, and secret alpha-gammas to stop the underground scrooges complaining about not being able to gouge the eyes of anyone else.

But no despite all the warning signs saying slow down, our engine is overheating, we put more coal and more oil on the fire. The ice in our whisky is melting twice as fast as before... Sorry, I mean three times as fast.... Oops correction: it's melting four to five times faster than ever before, even in the last hey days of the Dicroidium flora.

But economically speaking we're driving this truck at high speed because we've got to deliver the goods to make more goods... So many opportunities to grab and so many opportunities to create before — before 2032.

We've already passed the point of no return. Our previous CO2 emission no matter what we do have already stuffed up our future till 2115. But we could try to salvage a bit of the furniture, couldn't we? No, we can't.... Our system of capitalistic relationship is not geared to cope with a down-turn as necessary as it is... We've got to accelerate at least 10 per cent per year, twenty is better. So as our speed is getting closer to the speed of crap, the steering is going to become unstable. I mean unsustainable. It is already unsustainable but we don't want to know because our butt is siting on the comfy padding. Our high-tech machine has entered unpaved roads, then it will jump onto dirt tracks, then on total rock-falls... and we could fly out at high speed into the ravine.

One can see a string of events, gritty like sand in ball bearings, that will arrest us, right on the edge — and then the quiet, enormous quiet as we admire in awe the inevitable downgrading of our naturalness into the enlightened frenetic fools we were destined to be.

The feeling of standstill, of peace, and the slow-mo of our feet making no noise and no imprint will tell us something... "What?", are we going to ask...

No... Stop and listen... do not move... a single fart could trigger the biggest avalanche ever... it does not matter what... The universe is talking to our burning heart.

In the mean time, let's dig up more coal and burn more midnight oil... just to get there faster...

Yeah... 2032, here we come... No matter who controls the purpose, the beliefs and the how of our destiny.

"we don't do reductions"

From the New York Times

U.S. Predicting Steady Increase for Emissions
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: March 3, 2007

The Bush administration estimates that emissions by the United States of gases that contribute to global warming will grow nearly as fast through the next decade as they did the previous decade, according to a long-delayed report being completed for the United Nations.

The document, the United States Climate Action Report, emphasizes that the projections show progress toward a goal Mr. Bush laid out in a 2002 speech: that emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases grow at a slower rate than the economy. Since that speech, he has repeated his commitment to lessening “greenhouse gas intensity” without imposing formal limits on the gases.

global warming upset maple sugar...

From the New York Times

Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of Maple Sugar
By PAM BELLUCK
Published: March 3, 2007

MONTPELIER, Vt. — One might expect Burr Morse to have maple sugaring down to a science.

For more than 200 years, Mr. Morse’s family has been culling sweet sap from maple trees, a passion that has manifested itself not only in jug upon jug of maple syrup, but also in maple-cured bacon, maple cream and maple soap, not to mention the display of a suggestively curved tree trunk Mr. Morse calls the Venus de Maple.

But lately nature seems to be playing havoc with Mr. Morse and other maple mavens.

Warmer-than-usual winters are throwing things out of kilter, causing confusion among maple syrup producers, called sugar makers, and stoking fears for the survival of New England’s maple forests.
-----------------
Gus:  see cartoon at the head of this line of blog.

why not kiss your arse goodbye?

From the ABC

Switkowski says rushed green efforts pointless

The head of the nation's major nuclear science organisation says that there is nothing Australia can do as a whole to make a difference to climate change.

Ziggy Switkowski, the newly appointed head of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), led an inquiry last year into the possibility of replacing coal and gas with nuclear power.

Dr Switkowski has told a business council forum in Canberra that current discussions about how the country could become greener would have little impact.

"Australia is hostage to global warming, not to national warming," he said.

"Arguably nothing Australia does at a local level will make any difference to our climate."

He says that climate change happens slowly and any decisions need to be carefully considered.

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Gus: why not kiss your arse goodbye? that would have as much effect as using nuclear energy to produce lollypops...

In geological terms, the present climate change is fiercely fast. Not so obviously so, because the poles are melting (fast), holding back the rise of temperatures in other places on the planet. Thus when this is completed to a point, possibly around one third of their respective mass, the rest of the planet will heat up at an unbelievable speed.

 

at last...

Obama brings US in from the cold

In a landmark speech, the next president ends American isolationism over climate change

By Leonard Doyle in Washington and Michael McCarthy


The Independent

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Prospects for success in the world's struggle to combat global warming have been transformed at a stroke after US President-elect Barack Obama made it clear that America would play its full part in renewing the Kyoto Protocol climate-change treaty.

His words, in effect, brought an end to eight years of wilful climate obstructionism by the administration of George Bush, who withdrew the US from Kyoto in March 2001, thus doing incalculable damage to the efforts of the international community to construct a unified response to the threat.

The Bush withdrawal set back the international effort by nearly a decade – years in which it became increasingly clear that the warming of the atmosphere being caused by greenhouse gas emissions was proceeding much faster than UN scientists thought it would.

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see toon at top...

terrible storms, shrinking coastlines

From the NYT

WASHINGTON — In his first weeks in office, President Obama has dismantled many environmental policies set by the Bush administration. But in some areas, he will be building on the work of his predecessor, rather than taking it apart.

Through most of his presidency, Mr. Bush largely framed his approach to global warming around two talking points: the uncertainties in forecasts of a dangerously human-heated world and the certainty that economic harm would come from mandatory cuts in emissions of heat-trapping gases.

A result was a series of mainly voluntary climate and energy initiatives intended to slow the release of such gases, with no commitment to binding reductions at home or abroad.

Mr. Obama has taken precisely the opposite tack. He spoke late last month of the specter of “violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines” and other perils from unchecked warming, while pressing his vision of prosperity rebuilt around clean cars and pollution-free power from the wind and sun.

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Read more at the New York Times and see toon at top...

So far January 2009 in Sydney has been — to my recollection — one of the driest and hottest on record. February is following in similar footsteps and trying hard to surpass January. Temperature of 40 Celsius plus (110 Fahrenheit) are  presently a daily experience about 5 miles from the coast, where sea breezes are keeping temperature at about 35 C plus...  Tomorrow, some forecast have predicted about 47 C (116.5 F) within 20 miles inland from Sydney and possibly 44 just a couple of miles from the coast. Even today the forecast was 31 C for the city. It reached a sweltering 34 C.

And this warm hot weather is felt all along for more than 2000 miles till Adelaide. And we're lucky we're in one of La Nina cycles, a cycle that should be bringing rain and lower temperatures...

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Three homes have been destroyed and many more are under threat across Victoria and New South Wales as thousands of firefighters battle dozens of bushfires.

Six major fire fronts are raging across Victoria and residents have described smoke so thick it blotted out the sun and huge walls of fire ripping through forests.

A cool change expected to ease conditions has hit the coast of Victoria but is still hours away from some of the worst-hit areas.

Melbourne's temperature peaked at 46.4 degrees Celsius in mid-afternoon but is expected to fall by 15 degrees around 6:00pm (AEDT) and in the north of the state by midnight.

 ----------------------

Meanwhile  in Northern Queensland, about 1500 miles north of Sydney, they are experiencing some of the worst floods ever, lasting for the longest time probably on record...

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The floodwater level in the north Queensland town of Ingham is rising again amid predictions it could go higher than the 12.2-metre peak of earlier this week.

The town has been flooded for six days since tropical ex-cyclone Ellie dumped torrential rain across north Queensland.

The Herbert River began to retreat yesterday but about 130 millimetres of rain fell in Ingham overnight, pushing floodwaters higher.

Forecasters say it could reach a peak higher than Tuesday's 12.2m if the predicted rain continues.

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Meanwhile London is under snow as long time seen...

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The coldest snap for 20 years shows no sign of letting up, with the freezing weather expected to last all weekend and into next week.

Almost anywhere in the UK can expect a further covering of snow on Sunday and Monday, the BBC Weather Centre said.

It comes as driving organisations warn ice is turning roads into death traps.

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Welcome to global warming. See comment "2032" above in regard to UK "cooling"...

smoke....

The 'continent of smoke' is still burning

The Browning of Gondwana

Australia burning. Note this is a pdf at the bottom of the top ten list.

About atmos

Politicians, WAKE UP!

born before the kaiser...

"one would have to be foolishly brave to blame the Victorian bushfires on "global warming" and stupid not to do so" would have said my granny.

Would she be alive, she'd be around 147... Back then in her time of horse and cart in "Yourp", in farms built (not "designed") to repel assaults from hordes of Visigoths and Huns, common sense would work at the slow pace of the seasons, but was solid as granite — despite the subtle contradictions in all observations.

The "record" high temperatures in Victoria, the present cool temperatures in Sydney after record-days above 40 in Penrith, the snow storms in England, the more severe storms in Europe ("Yourp") and a host of other indices combine to tell us things are slightly skewith of what they were, or are they not? Is our ability to measure with more accuracy and record disasters in more places than ever before at the same time not being part of our misreading of the history of events?

How can we be sure that the Arctic is melting? Or the Antarctic?... Is the earth still flat? 

Many factors have entered the equation in the bushfires. From dangerous firebugs to the way houses are built in fire-prone areas. From droughts to record high temperatures.

If I had to build a house in such an area, I would choose non-flammable materials in the construction (no wood, definitely no aluminium). Bricks (double brick walls) or thick mud bricks (did I mention stones?), concrete posts, slabs (and/or walls), pavers, locking roof tiles, waterproofed mud tiles or new thick fibro for the "double" roof, extended verandas, NO GUTTERS but a wide grated collector (slightly elevated from ground) and underground water tank in a bunker under the house. Double glazed windows and 3.6 metre ceilings. One level. No trees, no branches within 10 metres of the house.

It may not work though I think it would be a good start. This could double the cost of building and run against council regulations but then, who am I to give my two bob's worth? I'll give some dough to the Red Cross instead...

May the grief and the hurt be not forgotten, but not felt forever...

globus calorus...

China Fears Climate Effects as Consumer Class Rises

By KEITH BRADSHER

GUANGZHOU, China — Premier Wen Jiabao has promised to use an “iron hand” this summer to make his nation more energy efficient. The central government has ordered cities to close inefficient factories by September, like the vast Guangzhou Steel mill here, where most of the 6,000 workers will be laid off or pushed into early retirement.

Already, in the last three years, China has shut down more than a thousand older coal-fired power plants that used technology of the sort still common in the United States. China has also surpassed the rest of the world as the biggest investor in wind turbines and other clean energy technology. And it has dictated tough new energy standards for lighting and gas mileage for cars.

But even as Beijing imposes the world’s most rigorous national energy campaign, the effort is being overwhelmed by the billionfold demands of Chinese consumers.

Chinese and Western energy experts worry that China’s energy challenge could become the world’s problem — possibly dooming any international efforts to place meaningful limits on global warming.

If China cannot meet its own energy-efficiency targets, the chances of avoiding widespread environmental damage from rising temperatures “are very close to zero,” said Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Aspiring to a more Western standard of living, in many cases with the government’s encouragement, China’s population, 1.3 billion strong, is clamoring for more and bigger cars, for electricity-dependent home appliances and for more creature comforts like air-conditioned shopping malls.

As a result, China is actually becoming even less energy efficient. And because most of its energy is still produced by burning fossil fuels, China’s emission of carbon dioxide — a so-called greenhouse gas — is growing worse. This past winter and spring showed the largest six-month increase in tonnage ever by a single country.

Until recently, projections by both the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration in Washington had assumed that, even without an international energy agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, China would achieve rapid improvements in energy efficiency through 2020.

But now China is struggling to limit emissions even to the “business as usual” levels that climate models assume if the world does little to address global warming.

read more at the NYT

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Meanwhile in Washing-town...

WASHINGTON - The government is handing out nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that President Obama says will create thousands of jobs and increase the use of renewable energy.

Obama announced the initiative in his weekly radio and online address Saturday, saying the money is part of his plan to bring new industries to the United States.

"We're going to keep competing aggressively to make sure the jobs and industries of the future are taking root right here in America," Obama said.

The two companies that will receive the money from the president's $862 billion economic stimulus are Abengoa Solar, which will build one of the world's largest solar plants in Arizona, creating 1,600 construction jobs; and Abound Solar Manufacturing, which is building plants in Colorado and Indiana. The Obama administration says those projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

Obama's announcement came a day after the Labor Department reported that employers slashed payrolls last month for the first time in six months, driven by the expected end of 225,000 temporary census jobs. Meanwhile, private-sector hiring increased 83,000 workers.


Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20100704_Obama_awards_solar-energy_grants.html#ixzz0smATkYzu

 

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see toon at top...

growing the outback with guiness...

Australia's vast outback is remote and arid, but the expansive landscape could also play a cheap and effective role in the Federal Government's climate change solution.

A new study has found around 6 million square kilometres of Australian outback is also a massive carbon bank, storing huge amounts of atmospheric pollution.

The area, from the central west of New South Wales to Cape York, across the Top End and down to the Wheat Belt in Western Australia, stores more than 9.5 billion tonnes of carbon.

Patrick O'Leary, from the Pew Environment group which commissioned the study, says if managed properly it could reduce carbon pollution by 5 per cent by 2050.

"Right now our estimates are there's about 9.7 billion tonnes of carbon stored in the trees and plants of the outback so that's in the roots, stems and leaves and so on," he said.

"About another well over a billion tonnes can be stored between now and 2050 if we can put into practice better land management."

That additional storage would be the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars off the road every year for the next 40 years.

Mr O'Leary says this is an effective and cheap part of a bigger solution, but so far it has been overlooked.

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Gus: do I smell a rat or not...? I've crossed the outback from coast to coast twice west to east and crossed northward and southward from various bottom and top locations, Sydney to Cape York, including the canning route at its most desert... I've seen most Aussie salt lakes from Lake Eyre to Lake Gregory...

In order to achieve what Mr O'Leary talks about would require water... Enormous amounts of water — water that could not be found and if it was ever brought in by whatever expensive and destructive means, would wreck the delicate balance of this centre — a centre already in peril from goats, rabbits, pigs and camels... amd brumbies... and foxes. Effective and cheap? And did I mention the salt problem?... Leave the bush alone and please overlook Mr O'Leary... He sounds like an Irish man who had too much Guiness...

saltlake

picture by Gus...

warming, but snowing...

A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning


By JUSTIN GILLIS

MAUNA LOA OBSERVATORY, Hawaii — Two gray machines sit inside a pair of utilitarian buildings here, sniffing the fresh breezes that blow across thousands of miles of ocean.

They make no noise. But once an hour, they spit out a number, and for decades, it has been rising relentlessly.

The first machine of this type was installed on Mauna Loa in the 1950s at the behest of Charles David Keeling, a scientist from San Diego. His resulting discovery, of the increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, transformed the scientific understanding of humanity’s relationship with the earth. A graph of his findings is inscribed on a wall in Washington as one of the great achievements of modern science.

Yet, five years after Dr. Keeling’s death, his discovery is a focus not of celebration but of conflict. It has become the touchstone of a worldwide political debate over global warming.

When Dr. Keeling, as a young researcher, became the first person in the world to develop an accurate technique for measuring carbon dioxide in the air, the amount he discovered was 310 parts per million. That means every million pints of air, for example, contained 310 pints of carbon dioxide.

By 2005, the year he died, the number had risen to 380 parts per million. Sometime in the next few years it is expected to pass 400. Without stronger action to limit emissions, the number could pass 560 before the end of the century, double what it was before the Industrial Revolution.

The greatest question in climate science is: What will that do to the temperature of the earth?

Scientists have long known that carbon dioxide traps heat at the surface of the planet. They cite growing evidence that the inexorable rise of the gas is altering the climate in ways that threaten human welfare.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/science/earth/22carbon.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=print

BE AFRAID, VERY...

Professor James Hansen's last formal engagement was delivering a keynote paper to the American Geophysical Union Autumn meeting. After that, he spent the holidays not enjoying wintry walks or taking advantage of the sales, but doing something altogether more industrious. "I'm writing a paper to provide the scientific basis for [law] suits against the government – just to make them do their job," he says.

Hansen, director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world's leading climate scientists, has not always been as politically engaged as he is now. He had hoped that politicians would respond to the scientific community by taking action to minimise the risks from climate change. But over the course of 30 years advising US administrations from Jimmy Carter to George W Bush, he has seen how the influence of the energy companies has corrupted the political process. Now with just a small window of opportunity left in which to stabilise our climate before it slips out of our control, he has been busying himself with writing to key heads of state around the globe, advocating civil resistance against the coal industry and getting himself arrested while campaigning against mountain-top removal coal mining.

After his famous testimony before a Congressional committee in 1988 that human-induced global warming had begun, Hansen spent the next 15 years turning down most requests for talks and interviews, preferring to focus on research. He overcame his reticence in 2004, when he became angered by the Bush administration's political interference in climate science. He was seized by the need to ensure the public had the facts about the risks posed by climate change, but he also became outspoken on policy issues, crossing a line that many scientists steer clear of.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/tax-on-carbon-the-only-way-to-save-our-planet-2175130.html

In human recorded history... after the worst ever floods in Pakistan, the worst ever heatwave in Russia, the blistering wintry blizzards in Europe, the tornadoes in the US winter and the massive "blblical floods" in  Australia covering at least a million square kilometres, one has to ask the question: one event is not global warming, but these events combined plus many others not mentioned here seem to indicate a change in weather patterns aligned with global warming... And there is the bracket creep: temperature is rising globally despite the cold... Be afraid, very afraid of global warming... We need to save the planet from our recklessness...

see toon at top...

a report you won't see on US televisions?...

Organic farmers beat US droughts Farmers say that they have fared better, thanks to alternative growing methods

The recent drought in the United States has damaged crops and driven up food prices.

However, organic farmers say that they have fared better, thanks to alternative growing methods.

Al Jazeera's John Hendren reports from Ottawa, Illinois.

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2012/09/2012930181750198689.html

 

See toon and story from top...