Getting rid of fossil fuels…

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As news of weather stations reading beyond the 400 parts per million of Carbon Dioxide comes in, I ask when and how will we be able to leave fossil fuels behind and therefore be able to avoid runaway global climate … Continue reading

Climate change, changing the sceptics minds…

Another climate sceptic falls away but we’re still very far away from what the author of the report (Prof Richard Muller) sees as the difficult part: agreeing across the political and diplomatic spectrum about what can and should be done.

Prof Richard Muller, a physicist and climate change sceptic who founded theBerkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) project, said he was surprised by the findings. “We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds.” He added that he now considers himself a “converted sceptic” and his views had undergone a “total turnaround” in a short space of time.

“Our results show that the average temperature of the Earth’s land has risen by 2.5F over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1.5 degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases,” Muller wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times.

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Experimental Thorium reactor…

This is just too much to take – the UK is continuously giving up and falling behind every other country in terms of renewable technology. Now India is pressing ahead with an experimental Thorium reactor!

Article pdf: India plans ‘safer’ nuclear plant powered by thorium | Environment | The Guardian

This is exactly the sort of technology which governments need to get behind and develop as there is no profit for private companies to make from this very early stage of development, or maybe only after 10 years, which is a long timescale for an investment.

Tidal, wind, CCS, nuclear thorium… when is the Government going to get the idea and invest in our future manufacturing industry – renewable technology? Shocking.

And here is why it is so annoying… Green house gas levels are rocketing and the time-scales for hitting the 2 degree warming level are reducing.

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Global warming ‘confirmed’…

So, another study which finds that global warming is real. I wonder how many of these studies we’ll need in order to shift people’s perceptions of this issue? The study (according to their website, uses 1.6 Billion measurements in the analysis!

All it takes for the media and people in general to jump on the denier bandwagon is for two mistakes to made in a published paper, a reference to be misplaced or not properly confirmed or for some emails or data to not be properly dispensed. Two mistakes out of a paper containing more than 10,000 references? The scientific process must be absolutely transparent for there to be no chance of misinterpretation, as we have learned from the ‘climategate’ event in connection with the University of East Anglia.

So, that latest study by so called ‘sceptical’ scientists, confirms many previous study findings in that global warming is happening and that humans are responsible. The data matches the range and pattern of previous studies very closely.

One thing to mention is that scientists should be sceptical, they should put out ideas and hypotheses to be challenged and attempted to be broken down, they should always question the data and findings and never take things for granted.

The study by a group of (mostly) physicists (including Saul Perlmutter – Nobel Prize winner for physics this year), confirmed that previous findings based on data from weather stations was accurate and that Earth’s global surface temperature was indeed rising.

The graph shows the pattern of small rises and falls of CO2 in the atmosphere on a cycle every year and the overall upward direction in the temperature. The readings for this graph were taken at Mauna Loa, Hawaii.

I went there with my family when I was maybe 7 years old. I walked above the clouds on Mauna Loa, which is the 3rd tallest structure in the known solar system (it’s height is mostly below the surface of the ocean given it is a volcano and not a mountain), only surpassed by Olympus and Aquias Mons on Mars. Unbelievable experience. I’ve stood within 100 metres of the station which took the measurements. This experience has given me a sort of higher perspective (literally).

The ‘it’ll all be ok’ approach to climate change is so far away from what we need to be doing it’s unreal. The scientists are confirming (again) what is happening and it’s up to the politicians and people to take this seriously and act on the results.

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Climate change indicators / New Year resolutions…

I started this post about 4 weeks ago, thinking about trying to summarise some of the climate change indicators and (maybe totally randomly) also try and have a look at my life and what I can do differently/better, in true New Year resolution style.

So, 3 weeks late, here are some bits of information. I’ve just read so many annoying comments on the various news websites, that I felt the need to clarify a few things. I’m also getting increasingly annoyed with the new breed of James Lovelock groupies who think the whole planet is knackered (or will be quite soon), so what’s the point in trying to do something about it. That probably annoys me more than those who choose to totally ignore the massive amount of evidence and say there’s no evidence or problem!

As with most things in life, the middle road is the most logical, so rather than ignoring the evidence or just giving up, I choose to deal with the data and try and make changes in the only way I can. I’m not in the habit of giving up on things and I hope that’s not going to change ever!

So, a very good report by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration…

Download the pdf here. bams-sotc-2009-brochure-lo-rez

So, some pretty clear graphics from the report. The speed of the warming is so fast.

The two things about these two graphics are that a) the oceans have been acting as a massive buffer for us since the Industrial Revolution and b) the potential rises in sea-levels are not in fact due to melting ice, it’s about water expanding as it warms.

Another strand is an equally clear joint statement released by the heads of the various scientific academies of many of the major world governments. This is also a very clear and concise message and well worth reading if you’ve got a few minutes.

Download the pdf here. 06072005

Lastly, but not least, a good comment on one of the recent articles on climate change and politics – why it will be very hard (but not impossible) to overcome the problems we’re facing/will face…

‘No political party will enact legislation or tax code that will see them lose the following general election. Politics has long been a most venal branch of social self-interest. I can’t seriously expect grand or noble gestures from people who until recently were fiddling their expenses, and who are so thoroughly allied to big business – and the impossible dreams of never-ending profit – that their position is constantly contradictory and compromised.’

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