WMO on the 2011 climate
Via Climate Progress we have the WMO’s Provisional Statement on the Status of the Global Climate and press release. This graph is interesting:
2011 is shaping as the 10th highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Niña event. The 13 warmest years have all occurred in the 15 years since 1997. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud:
“Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs. They are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2-2.4 degree Centigrade rise in average global temperatures which scientists believe could trigger far reaching and irreversible changes in our Earth, biosphere and oceans,” he said.
‘True’ global warming
They tease out and remove the short-term variability due to ENSO, solar cycles and volcanic eruptions in five temperature series and combine them to produce this graph:
Fragmented rainforests maintain their ecological functionality
Well they can according to this study.
A rainforest in Kenya was subject to use by the human population and divided into forest fragments. The study over nine years of this one rainforest found it maintained its ecological functionality.
North America’s greenest building?
The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia
is one of only a handful of buildings worldwide that will provide “net positive” benefits to the environment. It reduces UBC’s carbon emissions, powers itself and a neighboring building with renewable and waste energy, creates drinking water from rain and treats wastewater onsite.
CIRS is one of four flagship projects – valued collectively at more than $150 million – of UBC’s transformation into a living laboratory for sustainability. Innovations that result from CIRS and other UBC sustainability projects will help UBC to achieve the most aggressive carbon-reduction targets at any major research university: a 33 per cent reduction in Vancouver campus institutional GHG emissions by 2015, a 67 per cent reduction by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2050.
Very impressive. BC is said to be a climate-change leader. Well might they be if you look on a flood map at what even one metre of sea level rise does to the river delta area south of Vancouver.
Attribution of global warming
A new study, Anthropogenic and natural warming inferred from changes in Earth’s energy balance is behind the paywall, but from the abstract:
We find that since the mid-twentieth century, greenhouse gases contributed 0.85 °C of warming (5–95% uncertainty: 0.6–1.1 °C), about half of which was offset by the cooling effects of aerosols, with a total observed change in global temperature of about 0.56 °C. The observed trends are extremely unlikely (<5%) to be caused by internal variability, even if current models were found to strongly underestimate it.
There’s more at Climate Progress.
You might like to ponder this graph of emissions from the Global Carbon Project:
Pacific islands climate change report
The CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have completed a three year study giving detailed projections of the effects of climate change on the Pacific’s 15 small island states. The idea is help the island nations adapt to climate change.
There’s more at the ABC.
The SMH tells us:
Australia is providing more than $328 million under a five-year program to help small nations adapt to climate change.
Aerodynamic trucking from Mercedes Benz
Mercedes Benz recently showcased its aerodynamic truck and trailer design.
Mercedes claims an additional 18% wind resistance reduction, giving a 5% reduction in fuel consumption.
It all helps.
Clean Energy Australia Report 2011
If you read the ABC report you might think it’s mainly about solar PV. Go to the report itself and you’ll find it quite comprehensive. There’s even a mention of a tidal power plant on page 46! Marine sources provide 0.003% of our power.
I’ve had only a quick squiz. Two thirds of the 9.64% of energy generated by renewable sources is hydro, where NSW dominates. More than half of the rest (21.9%) is wind and more than half of that is in SA.
There were about 8000 full-time equivalent jobs in the renewable energy sector in 2010, nothing to get excited about. The forecast is for this to rise to 36,600 by 2030.
Meanwhile the man from Petratherm dreams of a $1.5 billion clean energy precinct in the outback of South Australia that would take advantage of the unique combination of geothermal, solar and wind energy resources, aiming at the massive energy demands of BHP Billiton’s proposed Olympic Dam expansion.