One of The Top 50 Eco Blogs

I appear in the Times The Top 50 Eco Blogs. The accolade is somewhat blunted by the heading “FROM DARYL HANNAH AND AL GORE TO THE SCIENCE AND ECONOMICS OF CLIMAGE CHANGE, THE VERY BEST OF THE WEB” but I suppose I’ll have to take what I can get, and put aside the shouting. I do rate as #2 amongst those listed as “scientists” (someone hasn’t noticed my career change :-), whereas those exiled to Japan who actually have something to say pass unnoticed.

Meanwhile, we had an earthquake nearby, but it was no plastic man toppler and I slept through it.

Nice outing on the river tonight… clear, still, not too cold, and a decent crew. All we need now is fitness, err, and a bit more technique, and a proper boat, and…

And lastly, while I remember, go look at the Old Mans Survey. There are problems with it, of course, but it should have been published.

Parents afternoons. Don’t get me started.

Of course we’d never mislead a close friend and ally…

…said the oily US spokesman on R4 tonight, as it turns out the US has been telling us porkies about torture flights. Though I doubt our govt asked too hard, since it enabled them to make denials when it was all becoming rather embarassing.

The UK govt is still insisting that the US lied to us in good faith. Understandable, I suppose: when you’re shipping so many people around, its just so hard to keep track.

Study debunks ‘global cooling’ concern of ’70s

Just a quick post, since I’m at work, to note our appearence in USA today. This is an upcoming BAMS paper, but clearly making USA today is far more important 🙂

It grew from but Tom and John finally did what I never managed to do, which was to put it into coherent paragraphs with a storyline.

Mind you, I’m not sure its up there with As climate change warms the nation, giant Burmese pythons could colonize one-third of the USA….

[Update: is nice]


A little while ago, I ventured into aircraft CO2, and as good as said that the climate impact of aircraft fuel use should be weighted up by a factor of 2-3 because of various side effects: I thought of water vapour being dumped in the stratosphere. It turns out I’m wrong on that: at the altitudes planes fly at that effect is small, and the extra radiative forcing is dominated by ozone (via NOx) and contrails. There is lots of uncertainty, but a figure of about *3 for the radiative forcing is plausible. The govt website says it uses a factor of two.

Continue reading “Hairyplanes”

NRK nationalised

In order to prove my financial acuity, when Northern Rock fell to about 200p and the govt guaranteed its deposits, I bought £250 worth, believing it would bounce back. Its now down to 90p, and the news now is that its to be nationalised. My shares are now worth so little I hardly care, but this looks to be a disaster in the making, or rather in the continuing.

I can’t see the govt making a success of running a bank. I guess the people who gain from the mess will be the vast numbers of lawyers and auditors who will spend the next decade crawling over the carcass sucking out any blood that remains.

Tipping point watch

More gumf from the Grauniad. Supposedly based on something in PNAS: anyone seen it? The usual suspects: the Potsdam folk and Tim Lenton and so on. Sadly (?) the online version doesn’t have the appalling map that the print edition has, featuring highly implausible timescales for those bits I know anything about (Greenland and W Ant gone in 300 years). One of the dangerous tipping points was the greening of the Sahara, errrrm, because that could lead to dangerously low food prices? Shurely shom mishtake. I’m being unfair: that gets a mention (in print) as a rare beneficial example.

Anyway, I await the PNAS version to see if there really is anything new.

Update: for those who haven’t lost the will to live, the proof is at

And the search for a meaningful definition of tipping point continues.
Continue reading “Tipping point watch”

At work in the fields of the bomb

Is a photo essay I bought years ago and rarely looked at. I was going to get rid of it, but then flicking through I came across this wonderful picture.

It looks like some bizarre sci-fi drawing, but is in fact a prototype nuclear-powered jet engine. Read more about it at, which has the full set of piccies from the book, but I think I got the exposure better on mine.