Category Archives: Science

Earth memory and carbon dioxide.

Earth memory and carbon dioxide.

The recent passing of the 400ppm level of CO2 will persist in the memory of the Earth for millennia. The chemical changes as well as the climate effects are slow to dissipate even if there is no further anthropogenic perturbation of the system.

But the Earth can remember bigger and older changes. The Earth remembers by writing the events into the geology of the surface. Small changes only write a small memory that may get overwritten by subsequent events. But the big changes leave traces that persists for many millions of years. Continue reading

Climate sensitivity and visual rhetoric.

 

I found another visual way to depict an aspect of climate science in the course of a discussion. The issue was what value of climate sensitivity can be used to inform policy. The amount the global average surface temperature will rise for a doubling of CO2 is often chosen for its policy implications rather than for its scientific credibility. The problem is there are a range of values, and no good reason to prefer one over another. Continue reading

Mining the Past

Coal has a history. In synergistic symbiosis with steel-making and steam engines it fuelled the industrial revolution. Replaced slavery and became the dominant economic industry on the planet for a few decades.
In the present coal appears to be dying. The bankruptcy of Peabody energy, the last big private coal producer in the US and the conviction of Blankenship, a mine owner for a mining disaster are events that could never have been imagined during the days of King Coal.
Does coal have a future? Or under the influence of campaigns like the coal disinvestment movement will it be relegated to a small scale resource, exploited for its local convenience and no longer exist as a major player in the global energy markets? Continue reading

Impossible Nightmare Scenario

Indulging in serendipitous news gathering via Youtube has its dangers as I have mentioned before. Whatever algorithm suggests new videos can lead from the merely obsessive to beyond the ridiculous.
This nightmare scenario is obviously the product of this, a concatenation of disparate reports Continue reading

Back on trend

Back on trend.

Well after a hiatus in posting, a pause even in blog posts, here are some views on the flotsam and jetsam encountered while wandering through the twilight zone, the outer limits of the Internet in a futile attempt to avoid the febrile nonsense of the EU referendum debate in the UK and the interminable circus of the Trump.


Continue reading

Insubstantial analogies

I have delayed posting because I wanted to put together something substantial, or at least coherently substantive, about our perceptions of the future and the past. Or at least a bit of visuals and sound that satisfied my aesthetics.
This post is neither. Continue reading

Fat Chance

Those that follow the climate change issue may be aware of the low opinion that Matt Ridley is viewed with by people who accept the mainstream scientific position and the opprobrium with which his pronouncements on this matter are often greeted. His financial interests in fossil fuel, he owns a coal mine, do not help but his support of the contrarian view of AGW is also rooted in the political position that rejects the science because the policy choices it implies are an anathema to the hardline free market position he supports. This seems to be the basis for the GWPF advocacy. Some who find his denial, or at least his minimisation of the established climate science objectionable express puzzlement that someone who writes such good books on biology and genetics  can be so wrong on this issue. Others who have a knowledge of the biology he presents in those works that goes beyond the popularist exposition he gives may already have a lower opinion of his work. Continue reading

Hamm and Clov

With due acknowledgement to the original Beckett, and apologies to those better writers who have taken his absurdist nihilism as a suitable vehicle to pastiche when commenting on the futility of the Climate wars… Continue reading

Calories and Climate.

There are many seductive similarities between the problem of too many calories causing obesity, and too much fossil fuel causing global warming.
There are fundimental differences as well. I am well aware that some of the following comparisons stretch the metaphorical Youngs modulus well beyond the linear range.

Continue reading

Hot Curry Easter Egg

The American Physical Society has released its draft Statement on Climate Change to the APS membership. This after a protracted episode of internal politics in which a ‘traditionalist’ cadre tried to reformulate the old statement from 2007 to include a more ‘skeptical’ nuance.
After due deliberation the APS has rather predictably drafted a statement of the mainstream position on climate science. Dr Judith Curry is clearly not amused. Continue reading