Category Archives: Science

Back Radiation II. The video

As the last post on this subject was so popular,
here is the remake released straight to video.
Click below for the YouTube link and more- Continue reading

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Countercurrent Multiplier

President Trump has finally managed to make good on one of his many campaign promises.
He has pulled out of the Paris agreement.
Muslims are still un-banned, Obamacare un-repealed and Mexicans un-walled.
But Trump can claim real progress in having repudiated the Paris agreement to join with all other Nations (except Syria and Nicaragua), in reducing future CO2 emissions by a self-selected voluntary amount.
While such a withdrawal involves very little change in actions, Trump can point to other steps taken to roll back clean air and water regulations and cut funding for renewable energy research in keeping his larger promise to reduce job-inhibiting regulation and government subsidy of environmental issues.

This one valid success in meeting his manifesto pledges has not been greeted with wide praise. In fact it seems to have increased the expressed commitment of all those within the Paris agreement. With wider signs that the importance of future CO2 emission reduction is gaining support.


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One no Trump

Like many people I followed the US elections with great interest because of Trump. Checking the news everyday to see what outlandish nonsense he was spouting this time. Like many others the chances of him actually winning seemed small, even with a very unpopular opponent. Continue reading

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.


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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