Michaelmas Gracie

Welcome to little Gracie, born at Michaelmas.

By the time this child is five years old, the world should have agreed to control Carbon Dioxide emissions.

Net greenhouse gas emissions to air should have peaked, and be on the decline by the time this child starts school.

It’s up to us to care for our children.

If we don’t take steps to stop the ocean becoming increasingly acidic, we will have destroyed part of the food chain, and people will go hungry in greater numbers than they do now :-

http://www.sciamdigital.com/index.cfm?fa=Products.ViewIssuePreview&ARTICLEID_CHAR=F50CF08B-237D-9F22-E86BA2E071920760

“August 2010 : Scientific American Magazine : Threatening Ocean Life from the Inside Out; August 2010; Scientific American Magazine; by Marah J. Hardt and Carl Safina : …As researchers, we were concerned about the underappreciated effects of changing ocean chemistry on the cells, tissues and organs of marine species. In laboratory experiments at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Havenhand had demonstrated that such changes could seriously impede the most fundamental strategy of survival: sex. Ocean acidification—a result of too much carbon dioxide reacting with seawater to form carbonic acid—has been dubbed “the other CO2 problem.” As the water becomes more acidic, corals and animals such as clams and mussels have trouble building their skeletons and shells. But even more sinister, the acidity can interfere with basic bodily functions for all marine animals, shelled or not. By disrupting processes as fundamental as growth and reproduction, ocean acidification threatens the animals’ health and even the survival of species. Time is running out to limit acidification before it irreparably harms the food chain on which the world’s oceans—and people—depend.”

And global warming will only make the problem worse :-

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v2/n2/full/ngeo420.html

Letter : Nature Geoscience 2, 105 – 109 (2009)
Published online: 25 January 2009 : doi:10.1038/ngeo420

“Long-term ocean oxygen depletion in response to carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels”

Gary Shaffer, Steffen Malskær Olsen & Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen

“Abstract : Ongoing global warming could persist far into the future, because natural processes require decades to hundreds of thousands of years to remove carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning from the atmosphere. Future warming may have large global impacts including ocean oxygen depletion and associated adverse effects on marine life, such as more frequent mortality events, but long, comprehensive simulations of these impacts are currently not available. Here we project global change over the next 100,000 years using a low-resolution Earth system model, and find severe, long-term ocean oxygen depletion, as well as a great expansion of ocean oxygen-minimum zones for scenarios with high emissions or high climate sensitivity. We find that climate feedbacks within the Earth system amplify the strength and duration of global warming, ocean heating and oxygen depletion. Decreased oxygen solubility from surface-layer warming accounts for most of the enhanced oxygen depletion in the upper 500 m of the ocean. Possible weakening of ocean overturning and convection lead to further oxygen depletion, also in the deep ocean. We conclude that substantial reductions in fossil-fuel use over the next few generations are needed if extensive ocean oxygen depletion for thousands of years is to be avoided.”

America Finally Might Actually Do Something

[ UPDATE : America might not actually, finally, do something – check the resistance dinosaurs. ]

We have waited long enough for serious action States-side on Global Warming.

The bankers (apparently largely Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan with lashings of Tony Blair) had their chance to talk up the idea of Carbon Trading. What a dead duck that turned out to be !

Carbon Taxation looks like it’s a non-starter with the global economy being a whisker from utter, utter, collapse.

The Clean Development Mechanism isn’t.

(Plus, the CDM hasn’t helped those it was principally promoted to help – Africa).

The global Biofuels targets are reducing rainforest to logpiles.

The Coal Kings have been pushing the idea of Carbon Capture and Storage for well over fifteen years and persuaded…no one.

The nightwalkers from the dark, radioactive side are still scaring people and luring them at the same time. If Iran wanting Nuclear Power was tricky enough, now Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait want it too, and I don’t expect the international dialogue tightrope act to get any easier.

The Congress and the Senate have seen filibuster and deal-breaking and lobbyist handshakes in dark corridors and reneging in bars.

But, at long last, it seems like Barack Obama is going to do what he hinted at, and regulate the bottom line out of Carbon Dioxide emissions, regardless of whether there’s any elected representatives passing bills :-

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-14/epa-issuing-u-s-carbon-limits-guidance-soon-agency-administrator-says.html

Continue reading America Finally Might Actually Do Something

Christopher Booker : For Once, I Agree

Even only semi-regular perusers of this little web log will be astonished, galled and maybe even venomously upset to discover that for once, and probably only the once going on past evidence, I actually agree with Christopher Booker :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7969102/The-Clean-Development-Mechanism-delivers-the-greatest-green-scam-of-all.html

“The Clean Development Mechanism delivers the greatest green scam of all : Even the UN and the EU are wising up to the greenhouse gas scam, “the biggest environmental scandal in history”, says Christopher Booker. : By Christopher Booker : Published: 28 Aug 2010 : …The way the racket works is that Chinese and Indian firms are permitted to carry on producing a refrigerant gas known as HCF-22 until 2030. But a by-product of this process is HCF-23, which is supposed to be 11,700 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. By destroying the HCF-23, the firms can claim Certified Emission Reduction credits worth billions of dollars when sold to the West (while much of the useful HCF-22 is sold onto the international black market). Last year, destruction of CFCs accounted for more than half the CDM credits issued, in a market that will eventually, it is estimated, be worth $17 billion. Of the 1,390 CDM projects so far approved, less than 1 per cent accounts for 36 per cent of the total value. Even greenies have become so outraged by this ridiculous racket that the Environmental Investigation Agency has described it as the “biggest environment scandal in history”…”

I would commend Mr Booker to get his chemical acronyms sorted out, by substituting “HCF” with “HFC”, or “HCFC”, but apart from that, which was fairly easy to unpick, it is quite an honourable description of the problem.

None of the money-based “flexible mechanisms” sewn into the Kyoto Protocol appear to be working, and that’s because they are (a) money-based and (b) not economy-wide.

Continue reading Christopher Booker : For Once, I Agree

The Rate of Change

I well remember the huffing and puffing over the release of James Hansen’s paper “Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?” :-

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2008/TargetCO2_20080407.pdf

“…Decreasing CO2 was the main cause of a cooling trend that began 50 million years ago, large scale glaciation occurring when CO2 fell to 425 +/- 75 ppm…”

The sceptic-deniers laughed and scoffed and said things to the effect that clearly there’s nothing to worry about that the current concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the air is over 390 parts per million – it won’t melt the polar ice caps.

What the sceptic-deniers haven’t understood, or pretend not to have understood, is that it is a combination of factors that caused major lasting glaciation on Earth. Yes, the level of Carbon Dioxide in the air is important. But the rate of change of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is a significant component.

If the levels of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere change rapidly, the heating or cooling effect is amplified, in effect. You have to take account of the relative change in levels of Carbon Dioxide, not just its level at any particular point in time.

Continue reading The Rate of Change

Suck On This

Proponents of the proposed Great Engineering Feat of Carbon Capture and Storage, portray their heroic efforts to suck Carbon Dioxide out of industrial processes, and even out of the sky itself, as the last chance to save us from ourselves and our untidy emissions.

Thing is, even if all the extra Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere from the last 150 years of human Fossil Fuel burning activities could be swallowed down into rocks, filters, artificial trees, real trees and caves, all at once, when we have invented and fully developed the Geoengineering Technology for it, we would still have a globally warmed world, and still plenty of excess Carbon Dioxide in the Oceans and Land, which can still make its way out into the Atmosphere…

The enduring challenge is that we must curtail and rein in Carbon Dioxide emissions, as soon as possible, starting now. We cannot carry on burning and wait for Carbon-sucking technological marvels, that may never materialise, as Ken Caldeira and his research colleague Long Cao demonstrate :-

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024011/fulltext

“Atmospheric carbon dioxide removal: long-term consequences and commitment : Long Cao and Ken Caldeira : [Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, CA, USA] : Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (April-June 2010) 024011 : doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024011”

Continue reading Suck On This

Sceptics Have Infected The Guardian

It looks like The Guardian newspaper has been infected with Global Warming scepticism.

I thought the paper was supposed to have some decent editorial process on Science ! But, sadly, clearly, not.

Here are the main problems with the article :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/jan/07/religion-climate-change

1. The author does not understand the processes that govern the accumulation of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere.

2. The author appears to have no knowledge of how the Earth system as a whole regulated Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere in the distant past within certain limits of extent.

3. The author does not recognise that the current level of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere is much higher than in the distant past. Neither does he offer any explanation for why the level should have strayed outside the long-term boundaries.

4. The author accepts that periods of Earth History with more Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere were warmer than periods with less Carbon Dioxide, but fails to offer a possible mechanism that could draw down Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere now to the regulated boundaries of the distant past.

5. The author does not appear to appreciate that the Younger Dryas cooling event was almost certainly entirely unrelated to Carbon Dioxide levels in the Atmosphere.

6. The author does not appear to appreciate that the Younger Dryas cooling event was not global in scope. Or rather, although there are records of effects almost universally, the effects were not the same everywhere.

7. The author does not recount the extreme warming that ended the Younger Dryas event.

Which is what you would expect, since the main cause of the Younger Dryas event was not the level of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere; and naturally, the levels of Carbon Dioxide still in the Atmosphere caused the temperatures to return to where they were prior to the Younger Dryas cooling event.

The author of the article appears to be a software engineer with an education in biological sciences. I doubt he has ever taken a course in Global Warming Science. I suggest he should. It’s all online if he wants it. Here are David Archer’s lecture videos from the University of Chicago :-

http://geoflop.uchicago.edu/forecast/docs/lectures.html

Carbon Dioxide : Global Overheating

As time goes by, the Science of Geology becomes more and more convinced that Carbon Dioxide is the major driver in Global Overheating.

It’s not the only cause of Global Warming, but it’s the factor that explains the high swings in warming and cooling, above and beyond any other explanation or cause.

Research is continually being published that confirms the role of Carbon Dioxide in the warming and cooling of the Earth throughout its history.

Continue reading Carbon Dioxide : Global Overheating

What Is “Clean Development” ?

The idea behind “clean development” is simple : promoting the clean development of developing countries so that they don’t make the same dirty development mistakes that the developed countries did when they were developing.

So, let the developing countries develop, but avoid the dirty part. Instead of burning Coal to make electricity, let them burn Natural Gas, or BioMethane (poo power); or let them make wind turbines, and hydropower dams and efficient biomass stoves.

There was to be a fund to finance Clean Development Mechanism projects, and it was supposed to be aimed at developing countries.

However, the negotiations around the CDM have taken more than one twist. Today, discussions were held about whether to permit Carbon Capture and Storage technologies to be included as “clean development”.

Continue reading What Is “Clean Development” ?

Breaking Up : Bad News from Gas and Ice

It’s proving to be a bad year for Greenhouse Gas control and Polar Ice integrity.

Despite the drop in production of the Developed Economies, due to the downturn/recession, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere carried on rising :-
Continue reading Breaking Up : Bad News from Gas and Ice