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.
Gillard’s speech goes global
On 16 March 20011 Julia Gillard gave a speech to the Don Dunstan Foundation.
Climate Progress picked it up, quoted a long slab and highlighted these bits with approbation and the wish that Barack Obama would do as well:
Australians of the future will look back on [opposition leader Tony] Abbott’s campaign with pity and shame. The pity and shame posterity reserves for leaders who miss the wave of history and misjudge the big calls.…
We will cut carbon pollution. We will not leave our nation stranded by history. We will not live at the expense of future generations. We will get this call right and get this job done: For our nation. For our people. For our future.
It’s a mighty fine speech, but why did I have to find out about it from the other side of the world?
Perceptions of climate change
There is a lot of detail and some predictions. A confident one that the 2010s will be the hottest decade on record, and this:
… we believe that the system is moving toward a strong El Nino starting this summer. It’s not a sure bet, but it is probable.
If that happens, our perceptions of climate are highly likely to change.
Trends in record temperatures
Sceptical Science has a neat graph showing trends in record temperature readings:
If the trend keeps going in the same manner for the next two decades I wonder whether we will still have sceptics.
Sea level rise: how much by 2100?
Predictably this was taken up wrongly by the MSM. It seems that the authors found that the levels around Alaska were decelerating in their rise, cancelling out acceleration on the Pacific west coast of the US. But the sea was still rising. As explained here if the sea level is to achieve forecasts of 60-190cm (midpoint 125cm) by 2100 there needs to be a considerable acceleration from current rates.
We have to remember that sea level rise is an issue that plays out over centuries and millennia. It’s not the fundamentals of climate science in play here, just the timing of sea level rise in what must be considered the short term, where there are still great uncertainties.
Two comments. Firstly, if Alaska is lagging there may well be an isostatic rebound factor, given how much ice would have been piled up there.
Secondly, if Greenland is seriously in play, and the evidence for this is mounting, my understanding is that New York and the east coast of the US will be in the front line.
The US military takes climate change seriously
Two weeks ago I posted about the US Navy’s preparations for climate change. Now Climate Progress tells us that the US military as a whole takes the issue very seriously indeed:
as Brad Johnson points out, while the U.S. Senate is preparing to vote on a series of amendments “to cripple the federal response to climate pollution” the “military brass are working intensely to do their job of defending our nation from the very real threats of dependence on fossil fuels and their world-altering pollution.”
Canada nuclear plan gets environmental OK
Canadian regulators see no big environmental impact from a plan to expand a nuclear power station 70 km (45 miles) from Canada’s biggest city.
As to Germany, there was discussion about it on Deutsche Welle last night. They are looking at what would happen if the backup systems in the power station fail for 72 hours while the surrounding infrastructure had been destroyed for any reason. They are also looking at the possibility of terrorist strikes and plane crashes.
This masks the fact that nuclear power is becoming politically impossible in Germany. No party can expect to govern alone. The Greens are on the up and up after the recent state elections in Baden-Württemberg while the right wing FDP (Free Democrats) are faltering. Hence the ruling CDU are looking towards a coalition with the Greens in 2013.
There’s more at Climate Spectator including a 50/50 possibility that the EU will go for a 30% reduction by 2020.
Garnaut has just issued his last two updates:
I haven’t got time for a separate post right now, but here are a few links.
The Herald Sun leads with the COALition’s schtick and positive reactions like this from the Climate Institute:
“Professor Garnaut’s report highlights that an effective pollution price will transform Australia’s electricity sector away from one dependent on polluting technologies to one based on clean energy,” the institute’s deputy chief executive Erwin Jackson said.
“Analysis by the Climate Institute shows this would unlock billions of dollars of new investment in clean energy and create over 30,000 new jobs, mainly in regional Australia.”
Electricity producers have a whinge at the Oz.
Don’t miss Giles Parkinson at the Climate Spectator. His penetrating posts are worth signing up for.
Holiday spots under threat from climate change
Finally, someone is producing a guide of 100 places to go before they disappear. It includes The Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef.
There’s an obvious irony in this, of course, if heaps of people head off all over the place as a result.