Climate clippings 157

1. Growing corals turn water more acidic

Scientists carefully monitored a coral reef in Bermuda for five years and what they found surprised them. According to the New Scientist, they

    discovered that the coral growth itself drove up this local acidity. To build their skeletons, it seems the corals sucked alkaline carbonate out of the water, leaving it more acidic.


    These corals didn’t seem to mind the fluctuations in local acidity that they created, which were much bigger than those we expect to see from climate change. This may mean that corals are well equipped to deal with the lower pH levels.

And it may not. Before we declare all previous science overturned and experiments which demonstrate the negative effects of increased acidity null and void, I suggest we note the results and wait.

The original article is here.

The NS article has a lovely photo:


2. Effects of El Niño around the globe

RN’s The World Today did a round up of the likely impacts of El Niño. The 97-98 El Niño dried up Indonesia, parts of the Philippines and elsewhere in SE Asia. It flooded Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina and Peru. California expects rain.

    Many other parts of the globe are bracing for similar extremes; India, Brazil, southern Africa and China can expect dry or even drought conditions, while those in other parts of the US can expect a nearly 200 per cent increase in their annual rainfall.

There’s more in the world than our little patch.

There’s more at Climate Code Red.

    Global warming also supercharged this El Niño to drive a record-breaking storm season, with 23 Category 4 and 5 storms in the Northern hemisphere, far above the old record of 18 set in 1997 and 2004.

3. World temperature breakout

As of the end of September, global temperature is sitting at 1.02°C above the 1850-1900 average, and is “expected to hold” for the rest of the year, according to the UK Met Office.

On this chart the year to September is marked with a cross in the top right-hand corner of the chart:


It looks like a spike, similar to what happened in 1998.

4. Grounds for optimism at Paris

Mike Steketee has an excellent round up of developments running into the Paris climate summit.

The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project report this year looks at 16 of the largest emitting countries and

    concludes that energy-related emissions for the 16 countries can be cut by 48-57 per cent below 2010 levels by 2050 despite population growth of 17 per cent and an increase in GDP of 250 per cent – an average of 3.1 per cent a year.

Steketee looks at the CSIRO’s Australian National Outlook report, which we looked at here.

Then the UK government announced this week that it would close all coal-fired power stations by 2025.
In conclusion he says:

5. Paris attacks will change the Paris climate summit

Nick Rowley was working for Tony Blair when in 2005 the Gleneagles G8 meeting Blair was chairing was interrupted by the London bombing. At The Conversation he ponders how the Paris attacks could change the Paris climate summit.

Inevitably fewer people will attend and there will be less scope for protest. But the leaders themselves will spend some time on the attacks and are more likely than otherwise to seek to demonstrate their determination to act on climate.

25 thoughts on “Climate clippings 157”

  1. Alright, so corals may be able to tolerate a bit more naturally occurring acidity in their locality than was previously thought – but what about abnormal changes in local acidity?

  2. From BOM:

    December temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for southern Australia, while rainfall is likely to be above average across southeast Queensland and northeast NSW, parts of the interior and southwestern Australia.


    Current climate influences include a combination of a strong El Niño in the Pacific, a decaying positive Indian Ocean Dipole, and very warm Indian Ocean temperatures.

    Possible lessons:

    1. There is more to weather than El Niño (see here).

    2. There is more to El Niño than SOI.

    The biggest story coming out of El Niño this time may be global temperatures (see story 3 above).

  3. In my part of Victoria, dams that had water in them throughout the Millenium Drought are dry yet we still aren’t in summer. I haven’t seen the country this hot and dry in my 30 years here and 80 year old neighbours are reporting the same. This lines of with the BOM rainfall and temp maps.

  4. Let’s have a little look at how valuable the BOMs ” likely ” is for this month ( still 5 days to go )

    Rain ” likelihood ”
    Rain actual.

    Out of ten, what would you score them ?
    ( 10 being ” wow, that $70 million computers modelings are spot on “, 1 being ” an orang-utan flinging its dung at a map is as accurate ” )

  5. GB the coral ph info is a little deceptive, in my opinion. What the study says is that once the coral has absorbed the calcium ions the ph drops until the area is flushed out and the water is replenished with more calcium carbonate raising the ph in the process. However if the larger body of water has a lower ph (acean acidification) then the amount of calcium carbonte will be less and the coral growth will be reduced.

    The study says that when a reef has a growth spurt the water becomes more acidic as the calcium carbonate is consumed by the growing coral. At that point the growth stops until external cycles replenish the carbonate. I think the New Scientist article missinterprets the nature of the acidification in not highlighting the cyclic nature of the acidification.

  6. BilB, you put that well. I was thinking along those lines.

    Jumpy, those are two interesting charts. I don’t think they are directly comparable, but it’s clear the BOM missed out in a major way in the western part of the continent. I’d like to hear a comment from a weather expert.

    It seems to me that the grid units in the forecasting model are too large to cope with what you get in the spring storm season, where small intense cells dump in selected areas.

    It would be interesting to see how the charts compared in three-month blocks, but I’m not interested enough to go looking.

  7. Jumpy, you no doubt heard that another 7 councils have been granted drought status. That makes 86.1% of Qld in drought.

  8. Isn’t that very much what the Bureau of Meteorlogy predicted, Brian, weather extremes? The BOM’s information is proving to be very acurate.

  9. The BOM’s information is proving to be very acurate.

    Please feel free to link to a BOM prediction map ( over 4 days in the future ) that was more than 51% accurate.

    If the BOM was a privately owned Company ( say by Murdoch ), the level of accuracy accountability demanded and calls for compensation when inaccuracies occur would be a screamed for by folk on the left.

    I doubt the ” We said the weather is highly unpredictable, so our terrible prediction record is proof we are correct ” defence would work in private enterprise.

  10. The BOM is very accurate for where I live, Jumpy. Where do you live that you say the BOm has such little success?

  11. Mackay Bilb, now lets have it with proof of BOM accuracy in your area ( wherever that is ), or are your perceptions just that, your perceptions ?

  12. What I want is an independent report card of BOMs predictions and opportunities for private concerns to have access to all the observed data ( un- homogenised ) so that competition in that space can improve the standard.

    If a competitor is more accurate then the market will prevail and we all benefit because a superior product is created.

  13. What is the point of having un-homogenised data? it will be all over the place, inaccurate to boot, and in the hands of someone without the local knowledge to standardise the information will be inaccurate. It is like looking at global tidal data without the knowledge of ocean surges, geographic pressure traps, post glacial rebound, and all of the other physical features that affect tidal levels in different parts of the world that people Joanne Codling just love to ignore. Are you vying to be a junior Jo Nova, Jumpy?

    As far as competition is concerned, the field is wide open for any one to jump in and collect the data over this huge sparsely populated country for the consumption just one fifteenth of the US population. Are you seeing the problem here, Jumpy? What works in the US or Europe is not commercially attractive here because very few people want to pay for it. You’re barking up the wrong Libertarian tree.

    I’m in the Penrith area west of Sydney. When they say it will rain, it rains. When they say the sun will come out, out it comes. The BOM is very good.

    I’ll start looking at your Mackay area. 30 degrees and mostly sunny?

  14. Here is the graph of cyclone extremism/intensity/panic trend.
    To me thats ok.

    And the rainfall trend for Australia here.
    I’m thinking upward there is ok too.
    ( both from BOM )
    Not really getting the bed wets over that as the BOM is.

  15. Bilb

    I’m in the Penrith area west of Sydney. When they say it will rain, it rains. When they say the sun will come out, out it comes. The BOM is very good.

    Again you asking me to accept the perception of some chap on the internet, I am sincerely apologetic but, alas, I would need a little proof.
    I hope you understand….. 🙂

  16. What is the point of having un-homogenised data? it will be all over the place, inaccurate to boot, and in the hands of someone without the local knowledge to standardise the information will be inaccurate.

    Would you trust a private entity to homogenise the observed data BilB ?

  17. I’ll start looking at your Mackay area. 30 degrees and mostly sunny?

    Yeah, our temp is dictated by wind direction.
    From N to S ( clockwise ) is pleasant in summer and winter.
    From S to N ( anti clocwise ) is too cold in winter and too hot in summer
    Wind strength is obviously a major factor too.

  18. Jumpy what your graph A doesn’t show is the severity of the storms. It only says severe or not severe. The other information is intensity, amount of precipitation, wind speed and duration, and other associated factors such as storm surges

    As with everything to do with Global Warming and Climate Change (yes they are two different things) it is always the whole picture, not just the bit that makes an argument look cute.

    I suspect that the problem you have with the BOM information is that you don’t look at all of it. Along with the general description for an area there is also available the Synoptic chart, the satellite image, atmospheric moisture images and the radar image. I have a mate who has endless amounts of bush work and he says he won’t go anywhere without looking at the synoptic chart first. Your perceptions are at complete odds with those of everyone else that I know.

  19. I have a mate who has endless amounts of bush work and he says he won’t go anywhere without looking at the synoptic chart first.

    Bilb, the synoptic chart is, barometrically, what is and at best projected out for four days. Your ” mate ” make his own predictions based on that. Ring him/her and ask.

    Ive asked a few questions above, would you do me the courtesy of addressing them please, only then we may further our friendly discourse ?

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