Thursday, 27 May 2010

A Good Place to Start

From Climate Change (2007) The Physical Science Basis, a report accepted by 
Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Frequently Asked Questions

How to Fail a Test

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Almost 13 Trillion of Debt Outstanding

From the Daily Treasury Statement, 
Cash and Debt operations of United States Treasury 24th May 2010

Ozone concentrations

Stratospheric ozone has peak concentrations less than 8 ppm...

...which is a counterpoint to the view that atmospheric CO2
concentrations - currently 392 ppm - are not significant.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Another Favourite...

An Old Favourite...


Weighing Greenland

“Scott Luthcke weighs Greenland -- every 10 days. And the island has been losing weight, an average of 183 gigatons (or 200 cubic kilometers) -- in ice -- annually during the past six years. That's one third the volume of water in Lake Erie every year. Greenland's shrinking ice sheet offers some of the most powerful evidence of global warming.
Lutchke "weighs" Greenland by processing and interpreting data from one of the most sophisticated gravitational "scales" ever built: the U.S.-German satellite mission called GRACE -- the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment.
The two GRACE satellites fly over Greenland several times each day. As the first satellite approaches, the island's mass causes the satellite to accelerate and thereby move slightly away from its trailing companion. Over time, the Grace mission carefully records fluctuations in the distance between the two satellites each time they pass over Greenland.
By examining the GRACE data, Luthcke can monitor subtle changes in the gravitational pull that the land mass exerts on the satellites to get a reliable measure of Greenland's shrinking mass. The system, says Luthcke, is accurate enough to "detect the loss of just a centimeter of ice over an area the size of Delaware.”  More here

Monday, 24 May 2010

Polar Science Center

Polar Science Center site is here

Lawyer hired by Goldman Sachs

"Long, thoughtful pauses followed by rambling non-responsive answers can easily devour half of a member's allotted questioning time."

-- K. Lee Blalack II, lawyer hired by Goldman Sachs to prep execs for Congressional hearings, explaining strategy in a 2009 article

Recent Arctic Sea Ice Extent

Monday, 10 May 2010

Open letter: Climate change and the integrity of science

Full text of an open letter from 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences in defence of climate research.

We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modelling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial— scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That's what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of "well-established theories" and are often spoken of as "facts."

For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5bn years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14bn years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today's organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: there is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.

Can natural variability explain the warming?