Saturday 24th of February 2024

the lemming syndrome .....


the lemming syndrome .....

from the BBC …..

Climate change 'can be tackled'

The growth in greenhouse gas emissions can be curbed at reasonable cost, experts at a major UN climate change conference in Bangkok have agreed.

Boosting renewable energy, reducing deforestation and improving energy efficiency can all help, they said.

This is the third report this year from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and aims to set out the costs and benefits of various policies.

IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri said the report was "stunning".

If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble said Ogunlade Davidson, IPCC

"Human society as a whole has to look for changes in consumption patterns," he told reporters at a news conference in the Thai capital.

The report suggests that if major climate impacts are to be avoided, global emissions should peak and begin declining within one or two decades.

The IPCC has already this year produced the two other elements of this global assessment report - its fourth since 1990 - dealing respectively with the science of climate change and the potential impacts.

Continued growth

Greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 70% since 1970, and will rise by between 25% and 90% over the next 25 years under "business as usual".

Green, green grass of home

From our ABC

Climate change report 'debunks economic argument'

Labor, the Greens and environment groups have seized on the latest UN report on climate change to hammer the Howard Government's policies.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report says reducing greenhouse gas emissions is possible with current technology and it is affordable.

And two of Australia's leading authors of the report say Australia can adjust its economy with a "modest" cost.

Labor says that puts a hole in the Government's argument that tackling climate change will destroy the economy and cost jobs.

The detail in the United Nations report may be complex, but chairman of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri says its message on climate change is simple.

"It is challenging but at the same time, I don't think we have the luxury of time," he said.

"We have to start doing rather quickly."


Gus: urgency beckons...

Circling the drain

Of course climate change can be tackled in a way that doesn't result in the demise of human kind as we know it, but unfortunately human kind as we know it is lead by the blinded, the lazy, and the corrupt. Wouldn't JH have already taken action to alleve public concern, as he is such an "in touch with the people" kind of guy, like he claimed to be when he gave back the fairness test to Australian worker (even though this was really closing the gate after the horse has bolted). Surely he would...if it meant nothing actually had to change.

The question for us now is, will the Liberal spin doctors manage to make it seem like something is nothing, and nothing is something, and secure another 3 years circling the drain. 

I think we need a lot more angry people people writing angry letter, knowing whats-what to cut through the BS, and of course, getting their own lives in carbon order. 

the usual suspect .....

‘Negotiators from the United States are trying to weaken the language of a climate change declaration set to be unveiled at next month's G-8 summit of the world's leading industrial powers, according to documents obtained yesterday by The Washington Post.

A draft proposal dated April 2007 that is being debated in Bonn, Germany, this weekend by senior officials of the Group of Eight includes a pledge to limit the global temperature rise this century to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, as well as an agreement to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The United States is seeking to strike that section, the documents show.

Many scientists have warned that an increase of more than 3.6 degrees this century could trigger disastrous consequences such as mass extinction of species and accelerated melting of polar ice sheets, which would raise sea levels.

The documents show that American officials are also trying to eliminate draft language that says, "We acknowledge that the U.N. climate process is the appropriate forum for negotiating future global action on climate change." Industrial and developing countries have used the United Nations as the forum for crafting climate agreements for years.’

US Aims To Weaken G-8 Climate Change Statement

Bob! Our BoomRattus is unaware of the F*&@%# problem...

Live Earth? It's a waste of time, Geldof tells Gore By Cahal Milmo Published: 16 May 2007

He may have made the definitive film on climate change and come within a hanging chad of becoming the most world's most powerful man but Al Gore's status did little to protect him from another force of nature - Bob Geldof.

The unloved former US vice-president, turned unlikely hero of the environmental lobby, found himself the target of withering criticism yesterday from the singer-campaigner for copying his "Live Aid" format for a series of concerts to raise awareness of global warming.

Geldof, who invented the simultaneous global charity gig with Live Aid in 1985, accused Gore of doing little more than organising a worldwide musical extravaganza to state the obvious when Live Earth - a series of seven concerts across the world spanning 24 hours - takes place on 7 July.

Speaking in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, the former Boomtown Rats frontman, renowned for his expletive-strewn broadsides against world leaders in aid of debt relief for developing nations, said: "I hope they're a success. But why is he [Gore] actually organising them?

"To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that problem for years. We are all fucking conscious of global warming."

40 years ahead of schedule

From the BBC

Polar ocean 'soaking up less CO2'
By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News

One of Earth's most important absorbers of carbon dioxide (CO2) is failing to soak up as much of the greenhouse gas as it was expected to, scientists say.

The decline of Antarctica's Southern Ocean carbon "sink" - or reservoir - means that atmospheric CO2 levels may be higher in future than predicted.

These carbon sinks are vital as they mop up excess CO2 from the atmosphere, slowing down global warming.

The study, by an international team, is published in the journal Science.

This effect had been predicted by climate scientists, and is taken into account - to some extent - by climate models. But it appears to be happening 40 years ahead of schedule. 

10 years behind

Govt 'has no credibility' to set-up regional emissions trading

The Federal Opposition says Prime Minister John Howard has no credibility to negotiate an emissions trading scheme with Australia's neighbours.

Newspaper reports today suggest the Government is moving towards a regional emissions trading program at this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

The new plan would include the US and China in setting a price on carbon and a target for greenhouse gas emissions.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd says the announcement is a pre-election stunt and Mr Howard should have acted five years ago.

"Mr Howard's problem is he goes to our friends and neighbours in the region with no credibility, because his Government has been denying the reality of climate change for more than a decade it's been in office," he said.

The ALP also says the Government's plan is a step down from the Kyoto Protocol.

Dumb intelligence

Intelligence agency refuses to release climate change studies

The Office of National Assessments (ONA) says it has done several studies on climate change but to release them to the public would result in "dumbing" them down.

The ONA is an intelligence agency which reports directly to the Prime Minister and advises on international political, strategic and economic issues.

ONA director-general Peter Varghese has told a Senate hearing that in the past six months, five reports have been written on climate change - including one over-arching national assessment.

Mr Varghese says the reports focus on the international politics of climate change, but they cannot be released to the public.

"My very strong view is that for an organisation like ONA, to produce public versions of their assessments is the surest way of dumbing down our work," he said.

But the Greens have slammed the government agency for not publicly releasing its research.

Greens leader Bob Brown is appalled by Mr Varghese's comments.

"It is a very arrogant view and it's obviously coming from the Government," he said.

Senator Brown says all five reports should be made public immediately.

cooking nicely....

Greenhouse gas levels 'far worse than predicted'

Conservation scientist and Australian of the Year Tim Flannery has warned that huge industrial and economic changes need to be implemented quickly to slow the growth of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

Speaking on the ABC's Lateline program, Professor Flannery has revealed the contents of a crucial Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which will be released in November.

He says the report shows that greenhouse gas levels are at levels far higher than has ever been publicly admitted before.


Gus: see sad toon at the beginning of this line of blogs... 

"nine scientific errors"

The judge said: "This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore's 'wake-up call'." He accepted that melting of the ice would release this amount of water - "but only after, and over, millennia."


Gus: how would this judge "know"? There are precise scientifically collected indicators that show during the last melt between 12.000 ago to 10,000 years ago, the sea rose more than 75 metres (some researches say up to 200 metres) and during a short time it rose at about one metre (3 and half feet) PER YEAR.

Gore, alarmist? Yes, Gore is and rightly so. Because once the full-on melting process is on accompanied with expansion of warming water, no-one will be able to do anything about it (no-one actually is doing anything of concequence about it now anyway). I hope this judge has a watefront property in a low lying area of florida.


The judges comments in italics. Gus comments in normal.

· The film claimed that low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls "are being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming" - but there was no evidence of any evacuation occurring.

Two or three Pacific Island nations are "evacuating" slowly...

· It spoke of global warming "shutting down the ocean conveyor" - the process by which the gulf stream is carried over the north Atlantic to western Europe. The judge said that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it was "very unlikely" that the conveyor would shut down in the future, though it might slow down.

Divergence of opinion on this is quite strong. Should cold waters from melting of Greenland (presently melting 3 times faster than any computer modelling has shown) go too far south and mix with the Gulf Stream, it is likely to slow down to a crawl, a near shut down...

· Mr Gore had also claimed - by ridiculing the opposite view - that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed "an exact fit". The judge said although scientists agreed there was a connection, "the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts"

The connection between CO2 and climate is undeniable. This relationship can be traced even further back to the Silurian, the Devonian, the Carboniferous, the Creataceous — when vegetation on earth was non-existent (Silurian) and the vegetation was present in various styles of species during the other sample periods mentioned here. Other factors — such as the position of land masses — influence climate as well, but these only change things in "hundred of thousands" of years, unless a catastrophic event such as a "bolide" (comet or large meteor) hit the earth. The carbon equation acts upon climate only within "a few years". Other gases have shorter lives and although strongly influence greenhouse efffect, some will act as "coolant". Dimming is important too, as well as water vapour.

· Mr Gore said the disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to human-induced climate change. The judge said the consensus was that that could not be established.

My foot... Warming there is... and we either accept it is related to increased CO2 due to human activity or to the grace of a farting god....

· The drying up of Lake Chad was used as an example of global warming. The judge said: "It is apparently considered to be more likely to result from ... population increase, over-grazing and regional climate variability"

Scientifically, there is evidence that often more than one factors is necessary to create a change in natural situation... Here there are three factors mentioned, including regional climate variability, itself under the influences of global changing patterns. I rest my case...

· Mr Gore ascribed Hurricane Katrina to global warming, but there was "insufficient evidence to show that"

I aggree wiith the judge. Katrina was a category 3 hurricane when it hit New Orleans. But computer modelling show a worldwide increase of severe storms (see Brisbane at the moment) and dry spells as well as various increase of humidity in some area of the globe. I remember reading something about this in regard to Antarctica, the dryest continent on earth (despite all the ice, Antarctica receives little water but evaporation is near nil). The centre of Antartica was getting "wetter"...

· Mr Gore also referred to a study showing that polar bears were being found that had drowned "swimming long distances to find the ice". The judge said: "The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm"

Wrong. More studies have shown a retreat of the artic ice in northern summer way beyond what we've ever seen before and more than computer modelling of global warming have shown. The ice retreat does create problems for the polar bears.

· The film said that coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors. The judge said separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution, was difficult.

It is difficult to pinpoint and separate the factors but it is undeniable that global warming has and will have a powerful effect.

faster than worse

Climate change 'worse than thought'

An independent climate change report has found pollution's impact on global warming is worse than previously predicted.

The University of Melbourne study was commissioned by The Climate Institute.

It found temperature rises and ice cap melting are occurring faster than the worst-case scenarios predicted by the United Nations.

The Climate Institute's John Connor says the predictions of dangerous temperature rises for Australia are alarming.

"A rise of three degrees above pre-industrial levels for Australia will be disastrous," he said.

"It'll see increased droughts, wildfires affecting our capital cities and it will also put at risk the Greenland ice sheets and some of the Antarctic ice sheets which are the real biggies in terms of sea level rises if they slip into the oceans."


Gus: see cartoon at top.... 

about atmos...

No consensus on IPCC's level of ignorance
John Christy

By John Christy
Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the finishing touches to its final report of the year, two of its senior scientists look at what the panel is and how well it works. Here, a view from a leading researcher into temperature change.

The IPCC is a framework around which hundreds of scientists and other participants are organised to mine the panoply of climate change literature to produce a synthesis of the most important and relevant findings.

These findings are published every few years to help policymakers keep tabs on where the participants chosen for the IPCC believe the Earth's climate has been, where it is going, and what might be done to adapt to and/or even adjust the predicted outcome.

While most participants are scientists and bring the aura of objectivity, there are two things to note:

* this is a political process to some extent (anytime governments are involved it ends up that way)
* scientists are mere mortals casting their gaze on a system so complex we cannot precisely predict its future state even five days ahead

The political process begins with the selection of the Lead Authors because they are nominated by their own governments.

Thus at the outset, the political apparatus of the member nations has a role in pre-selecting the main participants.

But, it may go further.


Gus: the unfolding global warming tragedy is characteristic of not paying due precise attention... The same dilettante process applies to inflation... Despite what your average Howard government says, inflation in Australia has been running much higher than 2 to 3 per cent.

The price of bread at my local shop has just gone up 10 per cent this morning. The cost of living, including paying phone bills, rates, petrol, milk, food, housing has been creeping up and up far more than 2 per cent annually...

Most large companies have to increase profits by at least 15 per cent on a previous year's figures to displease their shareholders and barely maintain their heads above water... the cash interest rate is around 10 per cent... The true inflation rate is not far from the value of the Reserve Bank's interest rate. Banks plan on making sure your house will cost you at least three times what you "bought" it for, in interest alone...

Some companies will go for the big one... up by 45 per cent, or 100 per cent yearly increased profit... double or bust. All this, often with only a modest increase in turnover, say 10 to 15 per cent... When you buy-now-pay-later goods, a factor of inflation and credit cost has to be included in your original purchase price... Even if it looks cheap, it ain't... except may be if the goods are made in China — where most goods are made these days — giving retailers a fantastic margin to play with... and a GST coffer-filling activity for the governments. Credit card interest still runs at 18+ per cent except on special deals, should you switch cards but soon you pay through the nose.

What has this got to do with global warming? We need to pay more attention... and control our expenditure.

We, the general plods and scientists alike, we would not notice an increase of one degree Celsius worldwide... We'll carry on as usual... We would not notice it directly because of daily weather fluctuations and also because the increase would not be even. Say about two to three degrees Celsius increase at polar latitudes and 0.2 degree at equatorial latitudes. 0.5 at temperate latitudes, with hot and cold extremities distending slightly... With daily variations of "normal weather conditions" we would not notice, except in the averages mentioned on the tele... Anyway city averages are faulty by attracting their own mini weather, and averages also factor in the increase as part of the average... But should we pay atttention, we would notice slight changes in weather patterns and possibly tiny changes of behaviour (or timing) in "weather sensitive" animals and plants.... Sure the politics of global warming play a part in making opinion shift. And politics is not a science but an art form. Should present "uncertainty" about climate change — making it difficult to measure and attribute for some — lead to us doing nothing?... The French philosopher Pascal proposed that at a thousand to one if god exists, it's worth taking the bet. At 90 per cent chances that global warming is possible — on an incoming grand scale and is man made — it's a bet we've got to take. Too much to loose if we don't...

In my book, anyway, the present noticeable global warming is 100 per cent man (the animal) made. And there is no time to waste to find ways to deal with it. But I'm not holding my breath. We won't... In the same way as we fudge the true cost of things we will fudge the interpretation of what we see and only see what we are prepared to accept. Some interpreters will go one way, others the other..

John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, is showing good scientific skepticism about global warming. He is an expert and carry on saying:

"The signature statement of the 2007 IPCC report may be paraphrased as this: "We are 90% confident that most of the warming in the past 50 years is due to humans."

We are not told here that this assertion is based on computer model output, not direct observation. The simple fact is we don't have thermometers marked with "this much is human-caused" and "this much is natural".

So, I would have written this conclusion as "Our climate models are incapable of reproducing the last 50 years of surface temperatures without a push from how we think greenhouse gases influence the climate. Other processes may also account for much of this change."


You see, every modeller knew what the answer was ahead of time. (Those groans you just heard were the protestations of my colleagues in the modelling community - they know what's coming).

In my view, on the other hand, this persuasive image is not a scientific experiment at all. The agreement displayed is just as likely to do with clever software engineering as to the first principles of science.

The proper and objective experiment is to test model output against quantities not known ahead of time.

Complex world

Our group is one of the few that builds a variety of climate datasets from scratch for tests just like this.

Since we build the datasets here, we have an urge to be sceptical about arguments-from-authority in favour of the real, though imperfect, observations.

Of all scientists, climate scientists should be the most humble. Our cousins in the one-to-five-day weather prediction business learned this long ago, partly because they were held accountable for their predictions every day.

Answering the question about how much warming has occurred because of increases in greenhouse gases and what we may expect in the future still holds enormous uncertainty, in my view.


Gus: Agreed on the complexity of the world... increases are slow, difficult to gauge because of too many parameters to consider: pressure, humidity and precise altitude levels at which measures are made, winds, jet streams, clouds, inversions, conduction, eddies, chaos... But climatic greenhouse effect is not new and can be traced in the past. Direct study of it was started in the late 19th century. What is hard to know is the day to day effect (why am I paying more for my bread?: drought — less wheat — price of wheat goes through the roof — transport cost go up with petrol costs — profit margins maintained or increased — wages going down — less money for me to buy a more expensive bread — less bread bought — stabilised cost at a "market price" under the law of "supply and demand"...). With global warming, through appearances, the system has a very very slow huge momentum... but it will take more than a rise in interest rates to stop it. In fact the potential of the momentum is fast, in earth evolutionary time... the supply and reabsorbing of CO2 is the main key...

The professor continues:
Atmospheric carbon dioxide continues to increase due to the undisputed benefits that carbon-based energy brings to humanity. This increase will have some climate impact through CO2's radiation properties.

However, fundamental knowledge is meagre here, and our own research indicates that alarming changes in the key observations are not occurring.


Gus: yes sir... alarming changes have not been felt (yet) at temperate latitude except for an odd occasion that could also be deem natural occurence... But it does not take much chilli in a sauce to make it mighty hot...

In my own estimates, based on expenditure and recapture in the carbon cycle related to successive eons of the earth evolution — not computerised into weather "models" — the trigger to the flip-side was 1996. I estimated the flip-side (the time when things are going to show up with 'alarming change") at 2032... By then "alarming changes — not catastrophic yet — will show up but it will be too late to stop or even slow the momentum of "dramatic climate change".

At the rate we're going, an average increase of six degrees Celsius is "inevitable" by 2100.

In a car, we do not wait till we hit the wall to use the brakes... we drive carefully with anticipation... The major problem with climate change skepticism is our elastic acceptance of ignorance. We should move heaven and earth to make sure we know we've got brakes. We will need them. We need them now.

some indices are telling us something:

increase temperatures at the poles

melting and retreat of glaciers

unseasonal temperature variations

lengthening of droughts

destruction of forests (carbon sinks)

increase of atmospheric CO2

Hotter years averages

and many more...

including oceans being less "carbon sinks" than previously thought...

We urgently need to increase our knowledge on all front. not "At our present level of ignorance, we think we know..." easy quip... With premises of this ilk, we would still be swinging in trees... Thinking about it, it might have been for the best...

chilli weather...

Climate change to take just years

Marian Wilkinson Environment Editor
November 15, 2007

AUSTRALIANS will begin to see the stark effects of climate change within the next few years, not the next decades, a leading Australian scientist has warned.

Graeme Pearman, the former head of CSIRO's atmospheric research unit, yesterday released a report showing that evidence of global warming has dramatically increased in the past 12 months.

Dr Pearman told the Herald: "If you think climate change is on the agenda, just wait another couple of years. Every day the media are going to be reporting people seeing changes as a result of things we have already done and the implications of these all over the world: like the breeding patterns and migration patterns of birds and animals, the flowering times, the production capacity of farms and the impact of coastal erosion. We are going to get more of them, not in the next few decades but the next few years."

profits and more bits

Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket chain, said on Friday it expects profit in fiscal 2008 to rise by between 19 and 23 percent over the previous year.

Sales in 2008 were seen up 7-10 percent, Woolworths Chief Executive Michael Luscombe said at a shareholder meeting.


Gus: see? that's what I was mentioning in a couple of blogs above:

Most large companies have to increase profits by at least 15 per cent on a previous year's figures to displease their shareholders and barely maintain their heads above water... the cash interest rate is around 10 per cent... The true inflation rate is not far from the value of the Reserve Bank's interest rate. Banks plan on making sure your house will cost you at least three times what you "bought" it for, in interest alone...

Some companies will go for the big one... up by 45 per cent, or 100 per cent yearly increased profit... double or bust. All this, often with only a modest increase in turnover, say 10 to 15 per cent...

rapidity of change

"The Markham Ice Shelf was a big surprise because it suddenly disappeared. We went under cloud for a bit during our research and when the weather cleared up, all of a sudden there was no more ice shelf. It was a shocking event that underscores the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic," said Mueller.

Eat your words, though...

I don't want to eat kangaroo. [Miranda Devine 02/10/08] Ever. It's dark, chewy, gamey and smelly. But, says Ross Garnaut, the Government's economics guru on climate change, kangaroo is what we will all have to eat in a few years. Beef and lamb will be reserved only for the very wealthy in the brave new future he envisages, in which Australia leads the world on tackling climate change.

If we don't, he said on Tuesday, releasing his 652-page study on the cost of climate change, "the failure of our generation will haunt humanity until the end of time". Cue spooky music.

Specky stuff, Miranda... beautiful turn of phrase...
I have eaten kangaroo and when cooked properly it's magic and lean. And healthy too.

But this is not to discuss the taste of fish but "climate change"...
I do not know where the University of Queensland find moneys to fund or pay professor Bob Carter, but even if he is a palaeontologist, a stratigrapher, a marine geologist and an environmental scientist with more than thirty years professional experience, I know more people with similar scientific background with up to 50 years experience in his fields who could argue that Carter is wrong in his views on global warming. Thus endeth the lesson.

Sure, we need global warming sceptics in order for us not to loose sight of the ball: the health of the planet.

It would be arrogant for anyone to make "absolute claims" on any subjects in this relative world, including professor Bob Carter, who in my opinion must be misreading the stratigraphic record to arrive at his conclusion. But that's my opinion...

The relationship between greenhouse gases and heating up of the atmosphere is an accepted theory, even for some people who still think the earth is flat.
A theory sure, but with strong correlation in evidence and tests. Methane and CO2 are the greatest culprits in this. What is presently creating more of these two gases than in previous recent times? Humanity.

There is a relationship between what we do and our environment, even at street level. In our sanized lives, we're actually "rubbish displacers with added crap".

Let me explain: Should we have no means of collecting garbage, excrement and whatever, our streets would be the pits of cloaquas... But we displace the refuse, we bury some in pits upon which we cannot build housing later on because of noxious emissions from below, we treat some, concentrate a few bits and recycle stuff but we actually throw out the greater rest into the environment... Out to sea for nature to deal with it.

Remember, when the outlets were too close to our beaches, we suffered. The detergents were killing the trees lining Manly beach... the beaches were like the sewer pipes I learned to swim in as a kid. I got immunised to a lot of benign disease, but nearly died from the more nasty ones. Still me and me mates, we swam in there during summertime at the height of the smelloroony...

The same crap (and in larger quantity because of human population increase) is pumped out 20 kms from the coast, slowly polluting the greater sea.

Look! There is a sea garbage float midway in the pacific, about the size of Mexico... Rubbish rubbish rubbish and more rubbish... And this not to investigate what's below the surface or has sunk to the bottom.

Some things do not go away (remember DDT, CFCs), including the things we can't see like CO2. Methane ( oderless on its own) we can smell like a fart (acompanied with hydrogen sulphide and other volatils), but CO2 is only detectable by chemistry or by death whichever comes first...

Some scientists know that the CO2 and the methane in the atmosphere are warming up the planet and the best way to slow the process is to limit emissions.
To blame or not to blame...? To fart or not to fart?... Humanity is burning, transforming and regurgitating in various form about 90 billion barrels of oil every day.  Humanity also exhumes, burns and transforms about 17 millions tonnes of coal daily.

Previously this coal and oil (carbon rich materials) were formed in ecosystems where plant remains (coal) and prehistoric zooplankton and algae, (oil) were preserved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation, thus sequestering atmospheric carbon.

Are you with us so far?

There are several ways of looking at the event if we do not wish to call it a problem so far. The carbon had thus been sequestred by the earth own natural process in successions of events, from the blooming events of life to extinction and to dramatic climate changes, this over millions of years going back to near the beginning, 3 billion years ago. Carbon is one of the mainstay of biotic activity (life). Oxygen is another, then come hydrogen and a few more elements in declining quantities.

The term hydrocarbon used to describe petroleum reflect this composition: hydro (water i.e.: oxygen and hydrogen) and carbon (carbon)...

In the same way as we create our ordinary garbage, we recycle, we burn, we twiddle with oil and coal, but the result of these activities, we do not even manage to pump away from us... We actually let the garbage go in the atmosphere because the CO2 is not smelly and is not killing us, yet. Same with the methane a gas that has a shorter life-span but is ten times or more "green-housing" that CO2... The bad smell? No problemo. Methane is odorless and lighter than air, so it just "floats away" with the other smelly compounds...

Human activity, including raising cattle and cutting old growth forest (huge stores of carbon and CO2 absorbers) may or may not be the culprit but it sure is a very big portion of the pumped garbage to be accounted for (CO2 and methane) into the fresh air...

And the tests are adamant: the level of CO2 and methane is rising in the atmosphere. And the observations are there: the arctic and the Antarctic are melting, glaciers are retreating and there is enough to make the sea rise by 80 metres, not even counting heated water expansion. Now free from ice cover, "permafrost" below the Arctic are now releasing huge amount of methane as never ever seen before...

Global temperatures are rising, no matter what you say.

Remember, there was a parallel between the last big melt and the burning of forests. the ice records tells us that. The extinction of the megafauna was also happening in parallel. Whether we are entitled to link these is for the bravest of us, those who can see cause and action — the opening of the greater plains upon which to cultivate crops, etc.

Natural events do happen to change climate. Such was the eruption of the Krakatoa...

At the moment humanity activity is producing the equivalent of at least 3 to 4 Krakatoa per year... But unlike Krakatoa's clouds that provided some sheltering cover over most of the world, by burning "fossil fuel" we provide clear bright skies that are ADDING to the warming up and up, should there be a "natural warming up".

In fact according to respected scientists, and according to sun cycle observations, we should be entering a new ice age by now.

And the earth is warming up... Take the step, Miranda, we would welcome you on our high dry ground...

Atmospheric CO2 rising faster...

What has worried many of the experts, who include recognised authorities from the world's leading universities and research institutes, as well as a Nobel Laureate, is the failure to curb global greenhouse gas emissions through international agreements, namely the Kyoto Treaty, and recent studies indicating that the Earth's natural carbon "sinks" are becoming less efficient at absorbing man-made CO2 from the atmosphere.

Levels of CO2 have continued to increase during the past decade since the treaty was agreed and they are now rising faster than even the worst-case scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body.


See sad toon-graph at top and read all comments below... One of the saddest thing is to have to fight the climate warming skeptics — in the media and in industries — who are retarding the implementation of proper solution. The present disastrous economic bungle created  on the watch of GW Bushit should be used to make some tough decision on how we can reduce consumption of energy and still enjoy life without destroying the greedy grubby system we enjoy so much.

We're "rooned" by 2055 (see 2032 and all comments in that 2032 line of blogs), if we do not do anything NOW, Miranda Baby (see comment above)...

sympathy to many Victorian families

Wildfires have been burning across Victoria for weeks, but record temperatures of up to 117 degrees combined with the most severe drought in the country’s history to create the worst fire conditions ever seen in Australia, Brumby said.

Scientists have been warning for years that climate change will bring higher temperatures and lower rainfall to Australia, increasing the likelihood of deadly wildfires. Some questioned whether Saturday’s fire was a sign of things to come.

“It’s a sobering reminder of the need for this nation and the whole world to act and put at a priority our need to tackle climate change,” said Bob Brown, the leader of Australia’s minor Greens Party.


Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is waking up the world to the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. This summer has seen unprecedented high ocean temperatures across the region; a strong indicator of another coral bleaching event. If we don't act to drastically lower carbon emissions, Ove believes that the world's largest coral reef system will die within 50 years.

Fifteen years ago, Ove was one of the first scientists to raise the alarm about the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems. He describes coral reefs as 'the canary in the coal mine' for our environment. Despite winning the prestigious Eureka Prize for Scientific Research (1999), Ove was ostracised by the Howard government and dismissed by sceptics for his perceived alarmist views. Ove says that he is not alarmist but states "What I'm saying is alarming, that's the difference".

Since then his international reputation has grown and Ove is now a senior member of local and global research organisations; his work informed Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and he's worked with Sir David Attenborough.


May the pain and the sorrow heal with time but may the sad days be not forgotten — and help the understanding of our planet and our place on it...

Our sincere deepest sympathy...


global wonking...

Global warming looks set to be much worse than previously forecast, according to new research. Ironically, the crucial evidence is how little warming there has been so far.

Three top climate researchers claim that the greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere should have warmed the world more than they have. The reason they have not, they say, is that the warming is being masked by sun-blocking smoke, dust and other polluting particles put into the air by human activity.

But they warn that in future this protection will lessen due to controls on pollution. Their best guess is that, as the mask is removed, temperatures will warm by at least 6°C by 2100. That is substantially above the current predictions of 1.5 to 4.5°C.

Studies Show Climate Change Danger Underestimated -Scientist

        CHICAGO (AFP)--It seems the dire warnings about the oncoming devastation wrought by global warming were not dire enough, a top climate scientist warned Saturday.

        It has been slightly more than a year since the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a landmark report warning of rising sea levels, expanding deserts, more intense storms and the extinction of up to 30% of plant and animal species.

        But recent climate studies suggest that report significantly underestimates the potential severity of global warming over the next 100 years, a senior member of the panel warned.

        "We now have data showing that from 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased far more rapidly than we expected," said Chris Field, who was a coordinating lead author of the report.

The words used by Tim Flannery on the panel of Q&A, ABC TV, were that the Victorian bushfires were due to "an extreme event"... temperatures around 50 C (120 F) in the shade are not ordinary occurrence and unfortunately other factors converged to create the perfect firestorm... Convergence of events has led to extinction of species in the past aeons and are now becoming a powerful convergence in our lifetime.

What does create "an extreme event"?... Various factors. In the case of firestorm, the conditions, mostly predicted and modelled by Climate Warming experts, were: lengthened drought and increase in extremes temperature (hot or cold) in some regions of the globe, while the poles are warming up significantly. We are at the mercy of our own doings — CO2 and methane. We need to rethink our activities. We need to reduce our energy consumption. But we still live with a modernised version of an arty-farty economic behaviour devised 150 years ago that did not include the damage to the environment — especially not that of global warming.

We are destroying the earth's own natural parameters that deal (within limits) in maintaining an equilibrium of sorts. And we have no clue where this is going to take us — except those who crunch the proper figures know it ain't going to be pretty...

Of course, Ms Devine blames the greenies for it all and wants them to be hanging from lampposts...

See illustration at top.... 

faster than modelled...

From the Guardian

It is calving season in the Arctic. A flotilla of icebergs, some as jagged as fairytale castles and others as smooth as dinosaur eggs, calve from the ice sheet that smothers Greenland and sail down the fjords. The journey of these sculptures of ice from glaciers to ocean is eerily beautiful and utterly terrifying.

The wall of ice that rises behind Sermilik fjord stretches for 1,500 miles (2,400km) from north to south and smothers 80% of this country. It has been frozen for 3m years. Now it is melting, far faster than the climate models predicted and far more decisively than any political action to combat our changing climate. If the Greenland ice sheet disappeared sea levels around the world would rise by seven metres, as 10% of the world's fresh water is currently frozen here.

This is also the season for science in Greenland. Glaciologists, seismologists and climatologists from around the world are landing on the ice sheet in helicopters, taking ice-breakers up its inaccessible coastline and measuring glaciers in a race against time to discover why the ice in Greenland is vanishing so much faster than expected.


So far, the melt or the whatever of global warming is not as fierce as one would expect. But as mentioned before on this site, we would not have a personal clue should the average temperature increase by 2 degrees. It would not affect our personal activities except in the extremes. And as mentioned before, the rise of temperature is not uniform. In my own estimate, the temperature rise in the polar regions would be near twice that of temperate regions, while the rise in equatorial region would be about half that of temperate regions. Let me explain: As heat is generated and retained by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, some of the great part of this heat is presently "absorbed in the process of melting" ice sheets, permafrost and raising the temperature of the sea. Thus the increase of heat in the atmosphere is somewhat deceivingly small, yet still worrying for many scientists.

I repeat myself often on this site, that the melting of the ice is like placing an ice cube in our whisky. It "cools" the drink but the sum-total of latent exchanged heat is rising nonetheless to room temperature... When most of the ice has gone the whisky warms up quite fast. In some of my earliest comments on this site I was placing the rise of the sea level at many metres by 2100... I had extrapolated expansion of water and addition of melted ice that is not in the sea yet. Of course the body of the article disappeared from view and this is one for which my safety copy has sunk in the belly of a defunct computer... I would have to recalcualte...  Anyway a certain Mr Fielding, professional skeptologist, should spend his time talking to people on the ground, those recording the greatest melt on earth since about 3 million years —possibly the greatest since before the Cretaceous, if we look closer... And this melt happening during a period of low solar activity. And this melt mostly happening because the carbon equation has been modified by human activity.  See chart at top....

And my sincere apologies. I am too busy at the moment to make ugly cartoons... that's life. But back soon...

our butt is on the stove....

Average temperatures across the world are on course to rise by up to 6C without urgent action to curb CO2 emissions, according a new analysis.

Emissions rose by 29% between 2000 and 2008, says the Global Carbon Project.

All of that growth came in developing countries, but a quarter of it came through production of goods for consumption in industrialised nations.

The study comes against a backdrop of mixed messages on the chances of a new deal at next month's UN climate summit.

According to lead scientist Corinne Le Quere, the new findings should add urgency to the political discussions.


For those who have read my ramblings on this subject on this site, in the street and in heated discussions over a glass of red ned, I would refer them to my personal (calculated) predictions made even before this line of comments — on a line of comments where I was indicating that the rise of temperature is likely to be 6C (i.e. not so much a precise figure but either something like 5.8 or 6.2) by the end of this lovely century. BUT WAIT! THERE IS MORE!... I also indicated that the flow-on was likely to be a rise to about 9 C soon thereafter...

I also indicated that temperature rise won't be even around the globe: I postulated 3C around the equator, 6 C around the temperate regions and about 9 C in the polar regions. To all the morons who are not ready to play ball yet with this issue, get your brains into gear and WAKE UP!... Predictions like these are not made from placing a licked finger in the air to find the direction of the wind. They are made with the best evaluation of what's happening out-there (melting ice caps at speed, etc) — including Australia, where November 2009 is likely to beat most average temperature records by a mile... And we are in cool cycle!!!

We're in deep shit and we are stupid about it. I first posted on this line of comments 2 and a half years ago, yet our brain still lives in fairyland while our butt is on the stove. See image at top.

rising seas...


SYDNEY will be the Australian capital most vulnerable to extreme flooding events, the Climate Commission says.

While the likelihood of damaging floods, storm surges and king tides will increase around the coast, Sydney can expect to see ''extreme events'' once a month by 2100, the commission's report The Critical Decade says.

''While a sea-level rise of 0.5 metre … may not seem like a matter for much concern, such modest levels of sea-level rise can lead to unexpectedly large increases in the frequency of extreme high sea-level events,'' it said.

Confirmed sea-level rise around Australia's coast amounts to a few millimetres per year since the early 1990s, with the highest levels of about eight millimetres recorded off Western Australia and the far north.

Read more:

Compare this graph with the graph at top...

the floods of probabilities...

What does disaster management and pokies reform have in common?

They both deal with a fundamental problem of human psychology - the failure to understand probabilities.

This was pointed out to me recently by a former hydrologist, and now psychologist, Professor Neal Ashkanasy from the University of Queensland.

He was frustrated - but not surprised - by the number of people blaming Wivenhoe Dam for the recent Brisbane floods.

Professor Ashkanasy argues that flooding is inevitable in sub-tropical catchments, and no amount of human engineering can overcome this.

Yet, many Brisbane residents were genuinely surprised by last summer's disaster.

"The reason why people behave this way is the reason why I'm a psychologist rather than a hydrologist because in many cases it's human attitudes and human psychology that determines the way people respond to events such as this," he said.

Admittedly, there is plenty of evidence that Brisbane's system of flood mitigation could have worked better.

The person heading Queensland's flood inquiry, Commissioner Catherine Holmes, has described the operation manual for Wivenhoe dam as 'a bit of a mess'.

But Professor Ashkanasy argues that the only way of completely flood-proofing Brisbane, is not to build or live in the flood plain.


Yes and the same applies to people living in the Mississippi flood plains who saw the army open the levy gates to flood them, to save bigger cities downstreams... The probabilities of such devastating floods in that region of Queensland is now one in seven years rather than one in a 100 years. Insurance companies would have to know that. They are betting experts and if they did not plan for such odds they would loose money quick smart. But they know the same floods could happen again next year as well...

Granthan is now being moved to higher grounds...

a lot faster than we expected...

From a helicopter clattering over Greenland's interior on a bright July day, the ice sheet below tells a tale of disintegration. Long, roughly parallel cracks score the surface, formed by water and pressure; impossibly blue lakes of meltwater fill depressions; and veiny networks of azure streams meander west, flowing to the edge of the ice sheet and eventually out to sea.

The scientists flying over the world's largest thawing chunk of ice have selected a particularly auspicious summer to be studying the melt. The edges of Greenland's 1.7-million-km2 ice sheet regularly melt in summer, even in years when the ice sheet as a whole grows because of snowfall in its higher, colder center. But in 2016, the melting started early and spread inland fast. By April, 12% of the ice sheet's surface was melting; in an average year the melt doesn't reach 10% until June. And just before the scientists' journey, a violent river of meltwater, one of hundreds coursing out from the ice sheet, swept away a sensor, bolted to a bridge to measure the water's turbidity. It was the second time in 4 years such a device had fallen victim to the liquid fury of the glaciers. "I've been doing these trips for years, but I've never seen so much water," the helicopter pilot told the researchers.

In Greenland, the great melt is on. The decline of Greenland's ice sheet is a familiar story, but until recently, massive calving glaciers that carry ice from the interior and crumble into the sea got most of the attention. Between 2000 and 2008, such "dynamic" changes accounted for about as much mass loss as surface melting and shifts in snowfall. But the balance tipped dramatically between 2011 and 2014, when satellite data and modeling suggested that 70% of the annual 269 billion tons of snow and ice shed by Greenland was lost through surface melt, not calving. The accelerating surface melt has doubled Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise since 1992–2011, to 0.74 mm per year. "Nobody expected the ice sheet to lose so much mass so quickly," says geophysicist Isabella Velicogna of the University of California, Irvine. "Things are happening a lot faster than we expected."

read more:


This will affect the "atmospheric rivers" and the climate somewhere else such as in England, Europe, even Russia and possibly the US/Canada

are the lemmings still at it?...




We should just trust the experts. But wait: to identify true expertise requires its own kind of even more specialized expertise. Besides, experts disagree with each other, and over time disagree with themselves as well. This makes it challenging indeed for all of us non-experts — and we’re all non-experts in the fields to which we have not dedicated our lives — to understand phenomena of any complexity. As for grasping climate change, with its enormous historical scale and countless many variables, might we as well just throw up our hands? Many have done so: Neil Halloran, creator of the short documentary Degrees of Uncertainty above, labels them “climate denialists” and “climate defeatists.”

Climate denialists choose to believe that manmade climate change isn’t happening, climate defeatists choose to believe that it’s inevitable, and both thereby let themselves off the hook. Not only do they not have to address the issue, they don’t even have to understand it — which itself can seem a fairly daunting task, given that scientists themselves express no small degree of uncertainty about climate change’s degree and trajectory. “The only way to learn how sure scientists are is to dig in a little and view their work with some healthy skepticism,” says Halloran. This entails developing an instinct not for refutation, exactly, but for examining just how the experts arrive at their conclusions and what pitfalls they encounter along the way.



Degrees of Uncertainty is an animated data-driven documentary about climate science, uncertainty, and knowing when to trust the experts.






READ FROM TOP and see more articles on this site.







Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels have increased over the past year despite most of the world committing to net zero targets, according to new research.

The Global Carbon Project releases its carbon budget each year, with this year's figures showing a 1.1 per cent increase in emissions across the world.

The report found there was no sign of the rapid and deep decrease in total emissions needed to prevent dangerous climate change.




The Paris Agreement is dead. Australia must change its strategic priorities     By Ian Dunlop and David Spratt


As COP28 flounders, the Paris Agreement is dead, and the imperative for emergency action has never been greater. This demands a fundamental change to Australia’s strategic priorities.

Second in a two-part series: Whither climate change? – The World and Australia

The first article in this series highlighted the risks of accelerating climate change, and the existential threat humanity now faces because of global leaders’ collective failure to take timely action, culminating in the COP28 meeting in Dubai not acting decisively to rapidly phase out fossil fuels.

The bottom line is that a 1.5oC average global surface temperature increase will be approached this year and, without radically accelerated action, the world is headed toward a catastrophic 3oC of warming, bringing the curtains down on contemporary civilisation.

In short, the Paris Agreement is dead and the imperative for emergency action has never been greater. This demands a fundamental change to Australia’s strategic priorities.

Human security not national security

Climate change is the greatest threat facing Australia, of a far higher magnitude than geopolitical issues around the US, China, Taiwan, Ukraine and now Israel which have dominated the political agenda since the last election. This is starkly underlined by the latest scientific research on tipping points, cascading risks and escalating climate-related disasters.

The government’s paranoia, that it will be accused of being soft on defence, has resulted in the continual prioritising of national security on conventional geopolitical grounds, particularly the AUKUS agreement, whilst the Opposition helpfully beats the drums of war. The real threat, climate change, is either ignored, downplayed or securitised as with the recent Office of National Intelligence climate security risk assessment which the government insists should remain classified on spurious national security grounds. Allowing national security to dominate political debate has been a fundamental strategic error, obscuring the climate reality.

Ironically, the failure of the government to spend serious time understanding and communicating the real climate risks Australia faces is leaving the community totally unprepared to face the threat ahead. Extensive resources, urgently needed to develop climate preparedness and resilience, are being mis-allocated to the defence/industrial complex, whilst communities have yet to recover from the trauma of past disasters such as the Lismore floods and South Coast bushfires. It is a national disgrace that people can still be sleeping in tents and cars two years after the event, whilst largesse is heaped upon ephemeral submarines which will probably never materialise even three decades hence. We need to get our priorities straightened out.

All countries and regions – whether the US, China, Russia, Europe, Africa or small Pacific islands – have the same problem. Overcoming the climate threat requires unprecedented global co-operation instead of conflict and militarisation. Otherwise, civil war and the societal collapse, which is already happening, will escalate dramatically.

The latest government initiative – the offer for Tuvalu residents to resettle in Australia as climate impacts increase – is a case in point. It recognises Australia’s role in creating the climate crisis and the potentially existential impact on Pacific nations. Albeit addressing the cause of the problem rather than the symptoms, by halting Australian fossil fuels expansion and rapidly reducing our domestic and exported emissions, would have been far more appropriate. But the agreement then obscenely gives Australia a veto right over Tuvalu’s security arrangements with any other country, putting it right back into the national security frame and wiping out its climate credibility.

The response to climate risks must not succumb to the knee-jerk call for even more fortress-building from the security establishment, but to reframe our security priorities as the protection of the population’s fundamental rights to food and water, shelter and work, with emergency climate action on top of the agenda as necessary to sustain such goals over this century.

In short, the focus should shift to human security in the broad sense, rather than national security in a narrow militaristic sense. If conventional national security thinking continues to dominate globally and is given the priority it currently enjoys, there is no solution to the existential climate threat humanity faces.

A climate rapprochement

The recent thawing in relations between the US and China, and our Prime Minister’s travels to both countries provide a valuable starting point for a climate rapprochement.

At the September G20 summit in New Delhi, the Prime Minister emphasised the urgency of climate action. Discussions between US President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the November 2023 APEC meeting also encompassed joint climate action, as subsequently indicated in the Sunnylands Statement.

So far these sentiments are focused on process, lacking recognition of the full range of climate risks and the need for sustained emergency action.

COP28 will fail to achieve outcomes remotely in line with the scientific imperatives, in part because the science and its risks are being downplayed, and a lowest-common-denominator decision-making process is delivering unenforceable voluntary agreements and promises which, if the history of previous COPs is any guide, will not be kept.

The greatest step forward at this point would be an agreement between the two largest global emitters, the USA and China, to set aside their geopolitical differences and prioritise real climate action.

Australia, with long-standing strategic links to the US, and extensive trade ties with China, has a unique opportunity to act as an honest broker to assist in such a development. It would be in Australia’s national interests to do so.

This would require Australia to break its addictive reliance on the US defence relationship, set aside its national security paranoia, adopt a more independent, sovereign, stance and be prepared to act for the global common good.

This requires principled leaders with integrity, foresight, courage and moral standing. Does the Albanese government have the fortitude and capability to take up this challenge? And is the Opposition prepared to accept the science and support the government in the interests of the Australian people, rather than spewing forth climate denialism for political advantage?

If not, we are in big trouble.

Part 1. Whither Climate Change? – The World and Australia

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