These posts include a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. They don’t preclude treating any of these topics at more length in a separate post.
They can also serve as an open thread so that we can keep each other informed on important climate news.
John Cook at Skeptical Science has a post on two of Monckton’s oft-repeated pieces of climate change misinformation – that climate sensitivity, a measure of how much the earth warms from rising CO2, is so low that you can burn coal with impunity and that sea levels are not going to rise much in the future.
Cook has conveniently collected all his articles on Monckton Myths. Indeed this one lists 15 of them together with their antidotes. For example, Monckton claims that Arctic sea ice loss is matched by Antarctic sea ice gain, whereas in fact Arctic sea ice loss is three times greater than Antarctic sea ice gain.
Oops, said I wasn’t going to mention ice this time.
Cows show how to make biofuels
Cows have a very effective digestive system. Scientists have been exploring the bovine rumen to discover new enzymes to digest switch grass in the production of biofuel.
Temperatures of North Atlantic “are unprecedented over the past 2000 years
and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming”.
That’s as reported at Climate Progress.
The 3.5°F warming of Fram Strait water over the past century is “not just the latest in a series of natural multidecadal oscillations.”
I think that’s almost 2°C, which is quite a lot for sea water. Here is the key graph:
Looks like another hockey stick.
More Frequent Drought Likely in Eastern Africa
The increased frequency of drought observed in eastern Africa over the last 20 years is likely to continue as long as global temperatures continue to rise, according to new research published in Climate Dynamics.
This poses increased risk to the estimated 17.5 million people in the Greater Horn of Africa who currently face potential food shortages.
The Indian Ocean has warmed especially fast, but the resulting warmer air and increased humidity produces more frequent rainfall over the ocean. The air rises, losing its moisture during rainfall, and then flows westward and descends over Africa, causing drought conditions in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Previously it had been thought that there would be more rain over the Horn of Africa, illustrating the difficulty in forecasting regional climate impacts.
Climate change implicated in the fall of civilisations
Huffington Post reports on a study which looked at 2500 Years of European climate variability and human susceptibility. And found a relationship, not only in the demise of the Roman Empire but also with other civilisations.
John D earlier posted a link to an article on this topic in the New Scientist, I think it was. From memory it was the variability of the climate from one decade to the next that did for the Romans.
The UN has declared 2011 as the ‘International Year of Forests
I don’t know much about forests and deforestation and must admit I was surprised at aspects of this article from the Hindustan Times.
Forests in India are growing at 300,000 hectares per annum, for example, China is planting 3 million hectares each year and net global deforestation has declined by 37%. But the CO2 produced is still more than the transport industry.
China is winning the green economy race
That’s according to this article from the Tehran Times.
“China is going to leave all of us in the dust,” Christiana Figueres, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said at a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum Thursday in Davos, Switzerland. “They’re committed to winning the green economy race.”
China last year boosted spending on low-carbon energy by 30 percent to $51.1 billion, “by far the largest figure for any country,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance said Jan. 11. Global accounting firm Ernst & Young said in September that China for the first time overtook the U.S. in its quarterly index of the most attractive countries for renewable energy projects.
“You can leapfrog – you don’t have to follow the model of the north,” Figueres said. “China is showing this.
Can we do it? Yes we can!
Climate Spectator looks at a new report released by the WWF and compiled with the help of European energy consultancy firm Ecofys. The report finds that the world’s energy needs can be met “cleanly, renewably and economically” within 40 years.
The 300-page global study finds that such an effort would require an extraordinary amount of investment, and the securing of significant gains through energy efficiency. The energy supply would be sourced from solar, wind, geothermal and hydro, and facilitated by the introduction of smart grids, international networks that balance renewable power sources, electrification of transport, major efficiencies in buildings, and the increased use of solar, geothermal and heat pumps for heating and cooling.
All you need to spend is 1-2 per cent of world “GP” over the next 25 years, or between $1.4 and $4.7 trillion a year. (I thought world GDP was about $60 trillion.)
In an accompanying report Climate Risk looks at the prospects for Australia. All we need is $2.5 billion per annum. By 2045 energy costs will be at or below those of fossil fuels.
Nope, don’t need a price on carbon! But with a carbon price starting at $28/tonne of C02e and rising to $158/t by 2050 the crossover point could be reached by 2030.
I expect they will tell Julia and Greg, Christine, Ross and all!