Tuesday, March 10, 2009


An email below from Craig Loehle [Craigloehl@aol.com]

Hansen's theory that CO2 forcing is hiding in the oceans can't be true if the oceans are cooling, as my latest paper shows (Energy & Environment Vol. 20, No. 1&2, 2009).

Excerpt below:

Cooling of the global ocean since 2003

By Craig Loehle, Ph.D. National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI)


Ocean heat content data from 2003 to 2008 (4.5 years) were evaluated for trend. A trend plus periodic (annual cycle) model fit with R2 = 0.85. The linear component of the model showed a trend of -0.35 (~0.2) x 1022 Joules per year. The result is consistent with other data showing a lack of warming over the past few years.


There is great interest in detecting rates of temperature change in the earth system. It has been suggested (e.g., Pielke 2003) that changes in ocean heat content should be particularly informative. A recent study (Lyman et al. 2006) claimed to find rapid cooling of the ocean between 2003 and 2005, but it was later determined that data from certain instruments caused a substantial cool bias in the result (Willis et al. 2007, 2008a; Wijffels et al. 2008). A corrected and longer dataset has now become available to redo this analysis.....


It has previously been estimated by Willis et al. (2004) that from 1993 to 2003 the upper ocean gained 8.1 (~1.4) x 1022 J of heat. This study estimates a loss since then of from 0.668 to 2.48 x 1022 J, or 19.4% (up to 31%) of the gain of the prior decade. Ishii and Kimoto (In Press) also show a bias-corrected cooling from 2003 to 2006. On an annual basis, this is a cooling of 0.35 x 1022 J compared to 0.81 x 1022 J warming for 1993 to 2003 (Willis et al. 2004) and slightly less for the same period to 700 m in Ishii and Kimoto (in press). Dominguez et al. (2008) show a 700 m depth annual warming from 1961 to 2003 of 0.38 x 1022 J. Thus the estimate of cooling in the present study is not out of line with past results. It is also consistent with satellite and surface instrumental records that do not show a warming trend over recent years. Another bias-corrected estimate (Gouretski and Koltermann 2007) is based on depth profiles too different to make a comparison. By comparison, Willis et al. (2008a) do not find any significant trend (slight negative trend) for 2003 to 2006, but had a shorter record and performed their trend analysis using simple annual means. Heat loss from the ocean has been estimated to also have occurred in the 1980s (Ishii and Kimoto, In Press; Gouretski and Koltermann 2007; Levitus et al. 2001). The data also indicate an interesting damping with time of the annual fluctuations in heat gain and loss (Fig. 1b). While the current study takes advantage of a globally consistent data source, a 4.5-year period of ocean cooling is not unexpected in terms of natural fluctuations. The problem of instrumental drift and bias is quite complicated, however, (Domingues et al. 2008; Gouretski and Koltermann 2007; Wijffels et al. 2008; Willis et al. 2004, 2008a) and it remains possible that the result of the present analysis is an artifact.

Heartland climate conference-2: session one

by Bob Carter

The opening session of the Heartland-2 Conference opened with a bang here in Manhattan tonight [Sunday evening March 8, 2009]. With registrations of around 700 persons, the conference is almost twice the size of its predecessor last year. The audience for the two opening plenary talks, held over dinner, included an eclectic mixture of scientists, engineers, economists, policy specialists, government representatives and media reporters.

In welcoming delegates, and opening the conference, President of the Heartland Institute Joe Bast also launched two new publications. The first, by Anthony Watts, is a summary of his extensive studies of the weather stations at which U.S. surface temperatures are measured ("Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable"), which have revealed that many stations are scandalously poorly sited for their intended purpose. The second, "The Skeptic's Handbook", by Joanne Nova from West Australia, is a succinct and well illustrated briefing paper that summarizes accurately the evidence against dangerous human-caused warming in a humorous and easily understood format.

The first Plenary Address was given by President Vaclav Klaus, who is President of both the Czech Republic and (for a 6 month current term) the European Union. His talk was greeted, both before and after, with standing ovations. In response to a question, he reported a just-released Czech poll, which shows that only 11% of persons questioned in a recent poll believe that man has a significant influence in warming the global climate.

The President commenced his talk by commenting that little change had occurred in the global warming debate since his talk, 12 months earlier, at the Heartland-1 conference. He likened the situation to his former experience under communist government, where arguing against the dominant viewpoint falls into emptiness. No matter how high the quality of the arguments and evidence that you advance against the dangerous warming idea, nobody listens, and by even advancing skeptical arguments you are dismissed as a na‹ve and uninformed person. The environmentalists say that the planet must be saved, but from whom and from what? "In reality", the President commented, "we have to save it, and us, from them".

Klaus reported his discouragement at participating in meetings with other senior politicians at Davos and within the EC. Here, he finds that not one other head of state who will make common cause in support of a rational assessment of the scientific evidence. Instead, all believe that the summaries provided by the IPCC represent the scientific "truth" on global warming.

But the climate data do not support the theory of human causation; the IPCC summaries therefore do not represent science, but instead environmental politics and activism. As a result, large and highly organized rent seeking bureaucracies and groups have emerged, and they further propagate the climate alarmism that is now in their self-interest.

President Klaus professed to be puzzled by the environmentalists' approach to technical progress. It as if they "want to stop economic progress and take mankind centuries back", he said. Applying their ethic of "saving the world", western electorates are being asked for the first time in history to abandon successful current technologies before new technologies have been developed to replace them. Klaus stressed that there is no known, feasible way in which modern technological society can be run based on present sources of renewable, clean, green energy.

The second Plenary Address was delivered by Dr Richard Lindzen of MIT, an acknowledged world leader in atmospheric physics and a doyen of meteorological science. Dr Lindzen started by making the important observation that being skeptical about dangerous human-caused global warming does not make one a good scientist, and nor does endorsing global warming necessarily make one a bad scientist.

He then pointed out the professional difficulties that are raised for many skeptics when scientists whose research they respect nonetheless endorse global warming. In most such cases, however, the science that such persons do is not about global warming in the strict sense. It's just that supporting global warming makes their life, and especially their funding life, easier.

Thus, it is a particular problem for young scientists to oppose the prevailing alarmist orthodoxy, because to do so is to cruel their chances of receiving research funding. For as long as it is the AGW spin that attracts the research funds, for so long will there be a strong disincentive for most scientists to question the hypothesis in public.

Lindzen commented that the politicization of the AGW issue has had an extraordinarily corrupting influence on science. Most funding that goes to global warming would not be provided were it not for the climate scare. It has therefore become standard to include in any research proposal the effect of presumed AGW on your topic, quite irrespective of whether it has any real relevance or not.

Lindzen asserted that it boils down to a matter of scientific logic against authority. The global warming movement has skilfully co-opted sources of authority, such as the IPCC and various scientific academies. For instance, over a period of 20 years, the US Academy of Science has had a backdoor route for the election of environmentalists as Members of the Academy. The success of this tactic is indicated by the fact that the current President of the Academy (Ralph Cicerone) was elected that way and is a strong environmentalist.

But in giving an endorsement of alarm about climate change, the NAS, as well as similar societies in other countries, has never polled their own expert membership. Rather, the pro-alarm policy statements that are issued by various professional societies express the views of only the activist few, who often control the governing Council.

Despite the manifold problems of combating the alarmist climate message, Dr Lindzen concluded his talk with the rousing observation that in time the climate rationalist cause will win. "When it comes to global warming hysteria", he said, "neither gross ignorance nor even grosser dishonesty has been in short supply. But we will win this debate, for we are right and they are wrong".

During an extended question and answer session after the conclusion of the two plenary addresses, Drs Klaus and Lindzen were in close agreement about two things. The first, is that global warming hysteria is being fomented as part of an environmentalist ideology; it is a politically organized movement. The grip that this hysteria now has on public opinion is explained partly by the fact that there is no equivalent, politically organized movement to mount a defense of sound science. Instead, there is simply a collection of persons who are united mainly by their common affront at the gross abuse of science that is going on.

The second common viewpoint was expressed in response to the question "What arguments are the most effective to promulgate the skeptics' cause of building policy, not on authority, IPCC or otherwise, but on sound science".

Both President Klaus and Dr Lindzen agreed that the most important arguments were (i) that sound science demonstrates that human increases in carbon dioxide are not going to cause dangerous global warming, and (ii) that a thorough cost-benefit analysis must be applied to all potential policy options.

For those on all sides of the argument accept that the Kyoto Protocol, despite its high cost, will do nothing towards measurably reducing global temperature; and the public need to be informed that the same is true also for the more ambitious carbon dioxide cuts mooted under cap and trade legislation. If taxpayers are to fund the operation, then it is only fair that they be told that the considerable pain, which will run to many trillions of dollars, will be for no measurable gain.

It was not expected that new science would be presented at the opening Plenary Session of Heartland-2. What participants got, instead, were inspirational messages delivered by two inspirational leaders of the climate rationalist cause.


Monday Morning at the Heartland ICCC - Tom McClintock, Lawrence Solomon, and Some Real Science

We're working hard here. We had to be up early and ready for things to start over breakfast at 7 this morning. There were two keynotes over breakfast, and then we split into tracks; I was in a "science" track and encountered some interesting things which I'll enumerate below.

The first morning speaker was Congressman Tom McClintock; Mr. McClintock was long a lonely but stalwart conservative in the California state assembly, and this past November he won a close and hotly-contested race and became a freshman Congressman. Moe will be having more about this later, and he managed to secure an interview with Mr. McClintock - that's being processed. He mostly noted the policy idiocies that California has imposed on itself that are having catastrophic effects. He humorously noted that as a 3rd grader on a 1964 trip to a natural history museum, he noted from the exhibits that the climate does change over time - and he wonders why Al Gore gets the credit rather than him.

But his descriptions of the way California has been blazing away (on full auto) at its own feet has been horrid to watch. He cited the example of the electric utility in the small mountain city of Truckhee that had just contracted with a coal-burning utility in Utah for electricity at $35 per megawatt-hour - only to have the state greens jump in and force them out of that deal and into one that was "greener" but will cost $65 per megawatt-hour. He finally noted that with all this and now sharply higher taxes (on top of already-high rates), California is losing people at a frightening rate. He cited the long-cited metric that the flow has gotten to be so one-sided that the UHaul rental rate to take a truck OUT of California is now six or seven times the rate to take a truck in.

The next keynote was given by Canadian journalist and environmentalist (!!) Lawrence Solomon. He noted something that hit home to me, since I also see quite a bit of the developing world (particularly sub-Saharan Africa) - that Kyoto compliance is a huge environmental destroyer in the developing world.. mainly because that's where those "offsets" that greens buy are "deployed." For example, one of the largest methods of "doing offsets" is to plant eucalyptus plantations in warmer climates; eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree that is prized as a carbon sink. However, to create these plantations, farmers are often evicted from their land (usually without "just compensation"), and old growth forests are clear-cut to make room for eucalyptus plantations. This to me is a stark case of "out of sight, out of mind" detachedness.

He's actually a big opponent of hydroelectric projects on similar grounds; for example, the construction of the (in)famous "Three Gorges" Dam in China displaced millions of people and flooded an immense area of very fertile land. In his view, hydro is no longer economically-viable - because all of the "good sites" for hydro have already been used. The irony is that the "Kyoto subsidies" are tilting the playing field, and making high-impact hydro "viable" again.

He noted that during the 1980s, large labor unions began to develop a strong interest in "environmental issues" - mainly as a method of slowing the erosion in the membership. He also noted that during the 1990s, large "foundations" moved into the space and became "pro-active" - actively working to set the agenda and force policies.

He concluded by noting that polling data shows that when people hear - at least twice - that there is a continuing debate, they quickly become skeptics; this is proving to be true in both Canada and in the United States. He noted that the 11% belief rate in the Czech Republic is due to continual "education" on the subject from the President himself. As he concluded, "We need to clone Vaclav Klaus."

Since he's Canadian, I asked him the Q&A to tell the audience about Hydro Quebec. The short take is that this was a Quebec-nationalist thing back in the early 1980s, with the goal of energy independence for Quebec via huge hydro projects up in James Bay. Vermont is heavily dependent on this power. At first, the enlightened people liked it, mainly because (back in the late 1980s) it meant that we didn't need nuclear power because of it. But when it emerged that (see above) the flooding was driving large numbers of Cree Indians off their land, the enlightened people turned 180 on HQ. The long-term contracts into eastern North American are expiring, and the new rates will be market-based and much higher. Keep an eye on the Hydro Quebec story in the years ahead - I guarantee that you WILL hear more about this soon.

After that, we broke into smaller sessions; I went to a climatology session that was very good (probably the best science session on the schedule), and I wanted to be sure to get this report out this morning since there are some things in here to which some of our reader-writers can contribute.

Tom Segalstad from Oslo University (Norway) gave a very interesting talk on carbon isotopes and mass-balance modeling. I'll provide just a few interesting highlights. He noted that the IPCC models treat sea water as being completely pure - as pure as distilled water.. which is of course a gross offense against basic chemistry. He also notes that the amount of CO2 tied up in the oceans is at least 50 times that in the atmosphere.

The most interesting part to me though was to see him actually mention the word "buffer" when it came to CO2 and the oceans - particularly as the formation of calcium carbonates are involved. Since I have some chemistry background, I've long wondered why this subject was never discussed, since when you mix CO2, calcium, and water you are getting into acid-base chemistry and that leads you quickly to the topic of buffering and buffering agents as a means of stabilizing pH. The ocean carbonates act as a buffer, and buffers act as a negative feedback mechanism (there's that phrase again!!) - which is exactly what buffering does. I'll yield the floor here, since perhaps "Chemical Sam" can tell us more about buffering, buffering agents, and how they work.

The next talk was given by the very distinguished Professor Syun Akasofu, who is one of the co-founders of the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska/Fairbanks. This talk was lengthy and rather technical, but I wanted to break out his main conclusions and include a photo I took of his "money chart" that he screened several times.

In his view, the climate is presently in a period of long, slow recovery from the "Little Ice Age" that ran for 300 or so years and ended in about 1850. This gives us a large-scale secular trend of about 0.5 degrees Celsius per century of linear rise - but the underlying trend is punctuated by multi-decade-long oscillations around that larger-scale trend. We'll get back to the implications of this in a moment, but he noted that if this is the long-term underlying secular trend, it may end soon, or it may continue.. but by historical standards it should not last for more than about another 100 years.

This resonated very nicely with me personally, since I've long complained that in the "climate science world" (and as I noted again last night with regard to Richard Lindzen's comments) things are treated in a overly-deterministic fashion - an overly-deterministic view which simply just does not jibe with how nature (and her penchant for "fluctuations") actually works. The natural world, in my humble lifetime of experience (which I'm glad to see seems to mesh with the thinking of the better climate scientists) is that nature (particularly at short time scales) is dominated by fluctuations and statistical variations about variation "centers."


Czech President Vaclav Klaus on why the discussion about global warming is a monologue

For Vaclav Klaus, the inconvenient truth is this: Global warming is far from being proved, and the problem is that everybody has jumped on the bandwagon before any real debate has taken place. Mr. Klaus won his second five-year term as president of the Czech Republic in February 2008. He studied at the Prague School of Economics, where he currently holds a professorship in finance. Mr. Klaus talked to Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Here are edited excerpts of their discussion.

THOMSON: Mr. President, obviously during the dark days of communism, America was a beacon for you and many other people in Central and Eastern Europe. What are your impressions of contemporary America?

KLAUS: Sitting here in this room in the last two hours and the coming from, first Europe, and, second, from a former communist country where I spent most of my life, I almost don't believe my eyes to see how much you believe in government and how much you don't believe in the market. This is for me a shocking experience. And I have to say that very loudly. As a professor of economics, I have my theoretical arguments about the impossibility of running the economy from above.

As a person who spent almost 50 years of his life in a communist country, I know how crazy it is to introduce schemes like the cap and trade and similar ideas, how devastating and damaging for the economy all those ideas really are. So I'm rather frustrated. It seems to me that to fight for freedom, free markets, is still the task of today, even if we hoped almost 20 years ago in the moment of the fall of communism that it was over. This is the same in Europe these days. There is one EU summit after another one weekend after another, there is a summit trying to find solutions. But I don't think that this solution will come from the government.

THOMSON: Now, you're also well known for your views on the environment. Are you concerned more about the environmental debate or the lack of debate that seems to be implicit in some people's approach to the environment?

KLAUS: I'm afraid that a serious debate about that issue has not yet started. What we witnessed are monologues, a conference of believers in global warming. The debate has not yet started. Nevertheless, I'm afraid the politicians have already accepted this idea, understood that it's a good political project, and now the things are moving in a way which I consider extremely dangerous. And I know that not only politicians, the businesspeople discovered that it's very attractive investments to get taxpayers' money and to start doing some things. So this is another problem. But I would like to make one thing clear, let's really differentiate the protection of the environment from the debate about global warming and decarbonizing the economy. I am not against the protection of the environment. I am against global-warming alarmism. Those are conceptually, structurally, two totally different issues.

THOMSON: But a person could argue, "Look, frankly, you've lost the debate on global warming. And what you're doing now is just blaming political correctness for your inability to win an argument you've already lost."

KLAUS: To win an argument you must have a potential place to argue, but I am afraid it does not exist anymore. And to speak about the scientific consensus about global warming, it's not true. To speak about a very strong relationship between carbon dioxide and the temperature in the world, again, not true. And I am really frustrated, I must say.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have great respect for your work in promoting freedom. And at the heart of the current situation regarding climate change, I'd like to compare it to the water-scarcity issue that you identified in California. At our breakout session this morning, I think we pretty much reached a unanimous conclusion that one of the causes is a failure to price water appropriately. It's priced below market. Isn't that a failure in terms of dealing with the environment overall, a failure to price environmental goods?

KLAUS: Well, of course, as an economist, I am aware of the externalities. I am aware of various cases of market failure. Nevertheless, I am first convinced that the government failure is incomparably bigger than any imaginable market failure in history. With regard to the question of water, I think it's rather difficult to introduce the real market in the case of water. I wouldn't mind doing it in some respect. We are used to doing it differently, without paying attention to the real cost of water. It was a mistake, definitely so. I wouldn't be against, not rationing water, but introducing some sort of market mechanism in consuming water and then paying for that.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm an environmentalist. But I want to applaud your willingness to take on and to try to separate the sometimes frustratingly intertwined topics of climate change or, say, global warming, versus environmental conservation. The Amazon rainforest, for instance, we're looking the equivalent of about 180 football fields every three minutes in deforestation. And that's not a sustainable model in my opinion. Can you comment on what it means to help conservation without overheating the argument around carbon?

KLAUS: Well, there are several points. The first one, I thank you for stressing the difference between protection of the environment and global-warming alarmism and decarbonization of the economy. Those are two separate issues. By the way, communism is the nonexistence of real economic prices on the one hand, and state ownership, no private ownership, was a disaster for the environment. Everyone knows that. So we solved the environmental issues in our country in the moment of the fall of communism. By reintroducing normal prices, which give you the real scarcity of one thing or another, plus by introducing private property forced the solution for the environmental protection in general. This is my very strong, strong belief. The policy, the government policy for the environment, was not secondary but much lower importance as compared to those two systemic changes, prices and property rights.

Second, thank you for differentiating conservationism from environmentalism. Environmentalism is really a doctrine, religion, ideology, which has no connection to climatology or environment or anything else.

Then you mentioned the Brazilian forests. Well, tragic problem. Nevertheless, I think that the real stimulus for deforestation in many developing countries, including Brazil, was the crazy idea of biofuels. And those ideas came from the environmentalists. Now, they discovered it was a wrong idea, so they tried to pretend that they forgot the idea. So I'm afraid the deforestation in Brazil and the environmentalism is deeply, negatively connected.



Three current articles below

Queensland weather pattern returns to 1970s

Weather bureau boss says 20 more years of data needed to draw conclusions about climate change. Note: Queensland is roughly twice the size of California

WEATHER patterns have returned to those of the 1970s - the past two summers had featured a good monsoon season and a couple of cyclones. Weather bureau boss Jim Davidson said despite the "normality" of the past two seasons, three unusual events had dominated Queensland's weather this summer. They were the flooding in northwest Queensland and the Gulf of Carpentaria, north Queensland's Ingham being hit with two major back-to-back floods and Cyclone Hamish at one stage hitting category 5 - the strongest possible. Last year major floods also hit central Queensland, in places such as Charleville, Longreach, Mackay and Rockhampton.

Mr Davidson said the past two summers showed the extreme weather patterns that a state as large as Queensland could experience. He had warned in October that coastal residents should prepare for a summer cyclone and flood season, with monsoon activity expected to be above normal. Mr Davidson said the season was dominated by a rain-bringing La Nina weather pattern as opposed to the El Nino conditions that had occurred through much of the decade-long drought. As well, the north had been boosted by an active monsoon. The three cyclones - Hamish, Ellie and Charlotte - were an average number for a season, although more cyclones could continue to form until about mid-April.

Mr Davidson said it was unusual that Hamish was the fourth category 5 cyclone to form in the past five years, but it was "too early" to put that down to climate change. "There's no obvious explanation for this happening," he said. "They are hard to predict, not easily explained and it's far too early to put this down to climate change. "It will take at least 20 years of scientific and statistical observations before we can make that sort of call. "We have very cyclical weather patterns."

While a huge slab of north, east and western Queensland has been swamped by the best wet season in years, the Murray Darling Basin on the NSW border is so dry entire rivers have stopped flowing. Little water has made it into the basin, about 260,000 sq km of which is in Queensland. University of NSW wetlands researcher Richard Kingsford has labelled conditions a disaster. Mr Davidson said the situation in the Murray Darling showed there was rarely a time in a state as large as Queensland that there was not some place in drought.


Climate change - it's part of natural cycle

A carbon tax is unnecessary and will ruin the Australian economy, a leading academic has warned. With an arm-long list of achievements, Adelaide University geology Professor Ian Plimer told the PGA Convention that there were fundamental problems in the science being put forward in favour of climate change. "An emission trading scheme is based on flawed science and its constraints will destroy the agricultural industry," Prof Plimer said.

"And the interesting thing about ruminants, which is a main argument for climate change, is that there are more of them on earth now than there were 20 years ago, however the methane deposit is going down; so how do we explain that?

"I think the agriculture sector can suffer very badly from emissions trading and the mining and manufacturing industry will also suffer but the reality is those people living in Sydney and Melbourne are driving the political agenda. "The problem is that (people in) the bulk of the electorates live in cities, never experience drought, they always get fresh food, they don't realise that drought is part of living in Australia. Unfortunately the agricultural vote is the same vote as a drongo living in the city who is doing nothing to expand the economy.

"We are a country with first world thinking and third world infrastructure, we cannot afford to make make a mistake on this. "The science is flawed; and if the science is flawed then the whole concept of emissions trading is invalid." Prof Plimer said climates always change, always have and always will. "Climates change in cycles and will change randomly," he said.

"Where those cycles change are based on where that solar system is in the galaxy, how our orbit wobbles, how energetic the sun is, tidal effects and extraordinary events such as massive volcano eruptions." "What you don't see is any evidence in the past, and that is only 4567 million years, that carbon dioxide has driven climate change. "It is the exact inverse."


Scientists cast doubt on deal to tackle global warming

Two leading [British] climate scientists have broken ranks with their peers to declare that hopes of getting a meaningful deal on halting global warming this year are already lost. Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and Professor Trevor Davies, one of the centre's founders, said it was time to start looking for alternatives to an international deal.

They made their comments on the eve of a three-day conference in Copenhagen this week in which thousands of climate change researchers will meet to discuss the latest discoveries in the field. The findings will be used in December when world leaders attend a UN summit, also in Copenhagen, to try to work out an international treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Anderson and Professor Davies expect politicians at the summit merely to pay lip service to scientific evidence that greenhouse gas emissions need to be brought under control within a decade, if not sooner. They said that rather than wait for an international accord it was time now to consider what action could be taken. "We all hope that Copenhagen will succeed but I think it will fail. We won't come up with a global agreement," Professor Anderson said. "I think we will negotiate, there will be a few fudges and there will be a very weak daughter of Kyoto. I doubt it will be significantly based on the science of climate change." He is certain that negotiators will place a heavy reliance on technological solutions that have yet to be invented or proven, rather than recognise the scale and urgency of the problem.

Their comments came as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong prepared to release legislation to establish Australia's Climate Pollution Reduction Scheme tomorrow. Greens leader Bob Brown insists the Government cannot water down its commitment to emissions cuts because of the global financial crisis. "We don't accept for one moment the quisling attitude that this economic downturn means that climate change should be put on the shelf," he said "That is very dangerous and irresponsible thinking."

Professor Anderson believes that the severity of the likely impacts of climate change has been underplayed, and that to doubt that temperature rises could be limited to 2C is a political heresy. He said that scientists had been held back from voicing their doubts. "The consequences of the numbers we come up with are politically unacceptable. It's difficult for people to stand up. To rock the boat significantly is difficult for them."

Professor Davies, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia (UEA), where the Tyndall Centre is based, shares this assessment and regards geoengineering schemes as a potential insurance policy. The GeoEngineering Assessment and Research initiative (Gear) has now been set up at UEA to assess the projects that have been suggested. Among the geoengineering solutions that have been proposed are putting mirrors into orbit to reflect sunlight away from Earth, and encouraging the growth of plankton by pouring nutrients into the oceans. "An increasing number of scientists are talking about Plan B now, the big, global geoengineering things," Professor Davies said. "That's one of the reasons we've set up this centre - not that we think many of the aspects are sensible but because we think it's necessary to assess them."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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