AR4 comments now available

G points out that the IPCC AR4 comments are now available. Presumably due to JA’s efforts :-).

A quick browse didn’t throw up anything funny (the Courntey bit is pathetic rather than funny).

I made a minor comment to the historical review section, commenting that “Reference to Hawking unneeded: original cite to Einstein enough” (I told you it was minor) which was “accepted”. But then the next comment in line is “Reference to Hawking is inappropriate…” which is “rejected”. Weird.


A weird one. Planktos is a for-profit company that appears to intend to sequestrate CO2 by causing algal blooms. Anyone with more info on this is invited to comment.

And they will sell you CO2 offsets. For example: The average international flight is 9-20 hours long and produces 2 tons of CO2 per passenger. 4 tons of CO2 equivalents will be retired on your behalf to negate 100% of your carbon footprint for this return flight is only $20. How can the average flight be 9-20 hours long and yet produce exactly 2 tons?

But more importantly, why should you believe that they ar doing anything to earn this money? They say At sea, Planktos uses a process called iron replenishment to restore declining plankton growth in the open seas. We revive plankton populations by adding iron dust to the ocean. Iron is a critical micronutrient needed by plankton for photosynthesis. It normally reaches the oceans in wind-borne iron-rich dust from arid lands, but that dust supply has fallen 30% over the past 30 years, resulting in a 10% decline in plankton populations since the late 1970s. Extensive research projects have shown that adding tiny amounts of iron can powerfully regenerate plankton growth. Stimulating plankton blooms not only captures global warming CO2, but also restores ocean ecosystems, as plankton is the base of the food chain. but are rather short on any details: who says iron dust has fallen? how much extra plankton has planktos created? how much CO2 has that sequestered? has anyone verified this? And so on… But perhaps In 2007, Planktos will begin plankton restoration… is the answer: they haven’t actually started yet.

Their science page is a bit thin on science. But the share price seems to be doing OK (no this is not a plug). But will it survive the EPA declaring it illegal?. More from ETC.

Doing this commercially seems to be wildly premature: both because we dont know if it will work (so how can you sell credits, apart from the obvious answer of “anyone can sell credits to anyone dumb enough to buy them”) and we don’t know it won’t have unplesant side-effects.

[Update: the SOLASS statement is worth reading: …Given our present lack of knowledge, the judgement of the SOLAS SSC is that ocean fertilisation will be ineffective and potentially deleterious, and should not be used as a strategy for offsetting CO2 emissions… -W]

[Update: silly me: RC did this a while ago -W]

How unusual was autumn 2006 in Europe?

Gosh this is fun… you wait ages for a paper on a warm event and then 2 come along together :-).

Anyway, thanks to FB for pointing out How unusual was autumn 2006 in Europe? in Climate of the Past. This is almost but not quite the same thing as the 2003 event so I had all the code ready and submitted a little comment. Since its on-line open access you can see it, just click on the interactive discussion.

Looking in the Chase et al. style hemispheric context, 2006 doesn’t look so unusual, even when looking at T1.5m.

Was the 2003 European summer heat wave unusual in a global context?

Asks RP Sr’s paper in GRL (or rather, ask Thomas N. Chase, Klaus Wolter, Roger A. Pielke Sr and Ichtiaque Rasool). Interestingly, they conclude “not really”. This of course is contrary to what everyone knows, so their paper has been ignored, to RP’s annoyance. And if I had demonstrasted conclusively that a well known thing was wrong, and everyone just steamed ahead and ignored this inconventient fact, I’d be annoyed too. But has he indeed demonstrated this?

I thought I’d have a closer look at the data.
Continue reading “Was the 2003 European summer heat wave unusual in a global context?”

Wot Klaus thinks!

We now know what Vaclav Klaus thinks. And the answer is… some very stupid things. On the “science”, he says No in answer to “If it is a reality, is it man-made?” and “if it is a reality, is it a problem?”. This is explicit enough. Unfortunately the very next question reveals the weakness of his understanding, as he fails to grasp the difference between climate and weather (see this, thisand this).

Next Q is “Why do you disbelieve the science when every serious national scientific establishment appears to support it?” to which his answer is “I do not disbelieve the science, but I see a big difference between science and “national scientific establishments”. Which is an evasion, or a lie, depending on how you look at it. There are large piles of papers out there attributing warming to human activity; and saying that T will go up if we keep on. VK’s gives no reason at all for disbelieving all that (unless he is suggesting that because lots of people believe it, it must be wrong? I don’t think so). And then he recommends Singers book. Oh dear.

Overall: nothing very interesting; std.septic_tripe. We do at least know he doesn’t believe humans have contributed to the warming; but he has ducked out of any kind of estimates of future change; and he has presented no reasons at all for why he thinks any of his nonsense. Perhaps Lubos really is running his mind.

The Earth today stands in imminent peril?

Not quite “we’re all going to die” again, but close. But this time by James Hansen, and published in Proceedings of the Royal Society.There is an the Indescribably-over-hypeded write up of it. Featuring:

nothing short of a planetary rescue will save it from the environmental cataclysm of dangerous climate change. Those are not the words of eco-warriors but the considered opinion of a group of eminent scientists writing in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Continue reading “The Earth today stands in imminent peril?”