Moar misc

* xkcd: All 786 known planets to scale.
* I liked Brian‘s take on the USSC ruling on Obama’s healthcare stuff. And also the little-heard-from-anymore RP.
* Planet3.0 on Greenland albedo; if you prefer it with added “tipping point” hype then try Climate Central. My initial though was “oh its warmer, so the albedo drops” but Box himself speculates that its soot from wildfires, or coal burning.
* The Double Recovery of Arctic Sea Ice
* Matthew Parris on everyone’s anger at the banks (the actual article is behind the Times’s stupid unlinkable paywall, so I point you at that, instead. What he is saying is “yes, everyone is pissed off, but that’s it. People are pissed off. Only later do they find a target to be pissed of at to justify their ineffectual rage”.
* A short walk in the Stubai: day 3: LisenserFernerKogel. Not finished yet, but you can read the start :).
* Counterfeit Higgs-Bosons flood eBay apparently, although the ‘God particle’ does not believe in God.
* Film from 1958
* CCS is indeed stupid but not for the reasons that David Suzuki thinks.

3 thoughts on “Moar misc”

  1. Your friend Tim Worstall has a new blog post out (, claiming that a new study indicates there will be mo’ and better rainforests as a result of anthropogenic CO2 increases. I don’t think that’s really what the study says, based on a read of the abstract ( though I don’t have access to the full paper.

    [Yes. You shouldn’t take what Timmy says about the science of GW seriously. That post is, as you say, wrong; but I didn’t think it was worth bothering to point out the obvious reasons why -W]

    I was more interested in this line ‘We know very well that the direct effect of a doubling of CO2 above pre-industrial levels will be a 0.7 degree increase in global temperatures. The IPCC itself points this out and it’s not an amount that anyone really worries about.’ I’ve seen him repeat this at least once elsewhere, any idea where he’s got this from?

    [0.7 sounds about right, but remember that is the direct effects of CO2 excluding feedbacks. Adding WV doubles it, adding the rest gets you to 3.0. At the level of the Torygraph article (or Timmy’s understanding) quoting 0.7 instead of 3.0 (or using the IPCC range) is essentially misleading and thus dishonest; its pandering to the kind of misunderstanding that Torygrpah readers and editors want, I suppose -W]

    The last sentence is interesting, in light of recent discussion about the value of ecosystem services: ‘Better to lose all the forests than have to return to rural peasantry for all.’

    [“And of course what we’re told we have to do about it, closing down industrial civilisation”? That again is just pandering to the readership. I could excuse it on his blog, but not in the paper -W]


  2. ‘…but remember that is the direct effects of CO2 excluding feedbacks.’

    Oh, I understand that’s what he’s talking about but when no-feedback sensitivity has come up I’ve always seen it quoted as 1.1-1.2ºC (AR4 specifically says 1.2) or 1ºC for shorthand. I’ve only ever seen Worstal use 0.7, yet he’s claiming the IPCC as a source.

    [Good point. I find that I don’t know; I don’t pay much attention to that number, as it hardly matters in real discussion.

    Probably, he’s picked it up off some septic blog and now thinks he got it from the IPCC. I’ve asked him -W]


  3. It’s interesting that the main weakness of CCS is the same one as nuclear – economics. But the critics of both are least interested in this real flaw, and more interested in made up issues.

    [CCS would be baffling if it wasn’t so commonplace: something that is obviously uneconomic, and yet something that people keep putting money into demo projects for. Perhaps because the engineering is fun? Perhaps because, if its someone else’s money, its worth it as a bit of PR? -W]


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