Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saturday Pick Points

Running a little late again, blame the ice on the grass!

Taking the weekly stroll around some of the climate sites, we start this week with the story that wasn’t. Perhaps nothing illustrates the control that the environmental lobby now have over the news better than the quiet disappearance of the story about James Hansen’s boss. Dr. Theon does no agree with Dr. Hansen’s work, in a nutshell. It was picked up by Anthony Watt and there was a brief comment in a response at Real Climate, and a post at Grist but perhaps given the time since he retired, there really wasn’t as much to the story as first appeared.

Climate Audit has been a little embroiled this week with getting the raw data for a study by Dr Santer, who had previously been loathe to provide the information. It has now been posted, though some minor debate about the process remains. The two more interesting posts are however, (for the sadists among us) the chase, by a polar bear, around a van and the contrast going on between various models of Antarctic temperatures, based on Steig’s paper discussed last week. It will be interesting to follow that thread.

Real Climate makes mention of an article in the Daily Mirror, that goes back to a Danish paper, and I am going to break tradition by putting their plot up, since it agrees with Dr Akosafu that the rise in sea level began about 200 years ago.

Their conclusions, based on a continued acceleration of the line in the short term really depend on the cause of the change, and if it is a return to a warming period, when the curve bends back over. Real Climate has other issues with the paper and considers it unrealistic and caused by a misunderstanding of the data, and explain why they see the return to an equilibrium state as taking a much longer time that the Danes. Both however project a sea level rise of over a meter, this century. Interesting that the Danes report
Over the last 2,000 years minimum sea level (-19 to -26 cm) occurred around 1730 AD, maximum sea level (12–21 cm) around 1150 AD.
which tie in with the MWP and the LIA, and which lead them to project a cycle time of 1200 years.

Real Climate goes into some discussion of the Antarctic warming story that I mentioned last week, and has some rebuttal and discussion relative to the points that Climate Audit were raising, as well as a couple of snide digs at Ross Hays, whose letter at WUWT, was part of last week’s story. They end the week with a discussion, relating to the inter-relationship between air and ocean carbon inter alia, on the paper that got a headline this week that carbon dioxide emission effects will last a thousand years.

Gristmill has some fun (and if they think about it shows the irrelevancy of the argument) by showing how folk are within six degrees of funding by Exxon Mobil. (If their criterion is that a University got some money from that source, then it gets tenuous fast). They note for example that the new USDA chief can be tied to coal money. They note that the wind industry in the United States now employs more than the coal industry and Jerome’s column that the wind industry will contract this year, due to the financial climate.

They don’t like beef tallow biodiesel; the NPR debate on the value of carbon reduction; UL certification of “greenworthiness”; or the Illinois Clean Coal Portfolio.

But it does like giving funds to the natural world; a pro-rail coalition; a kid’s book on climate change; and noted that the lawyer who argued for Massachusetts against EPA in the case over global warming is now joining EPA, while it is following the freezing of the Arctic ice this year. If you go there, you’ll find it since went back up. (For which there is no headline)

And to return to WUWT who hosts an interesting paper on how CO2 and temperature levels can be related, there is an interesting discussion on what is really needed to make a good forecast -climate projection has a few problems there, and the site continues to grow, after having won the Weblog award for science.

On a not-unrelated topic, in discussing the current financial package, Taleb, a former trader who wrote the book "The Black Swan," argued that Wall Street's models -- supposed to prevent bankers from taking excessive risks -- were actually a big part of the problem, since they created a false sense of confidence about the future. Rather than seeking reassurance in models, he advised anxious traders to go have a drink or take up religion. I wonder if that relates also to the global warming models - somehow I can't see those guys giving up all the funds they are getting to go find a bar.

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