climate change

How very interesting

More than a third of the vast floating platforms of ice surrounding Antarctica could be at risk of collapsing and releasing “unimaginable amounts” of water into the sea if global temperatures reach 4C above pre-industrial levels, UK scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Reading said that limiting the temperature rise to 2C could halve the area at risk and avoid a drastic rise in sea levels.

Well, actually, not all that interesting. Because we’re never going to get to 4 oC, we’ve already done more than enough to avoid that.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, all codswallop anyway – but even using the usual COP and RCP and all that stuff, we’ve still done enough.

No it won’t you silly man

With the crucial Cop26 summit in Glasgow taking place in November, we are in a vital year of the decisive decade for the climate emergency. And deciding next month who runs England’s capital city will also be a defining question in whether we can win the fight against the accelerating climate crisis.

Which apparatchiki gets to have the two Zil parking spaces at the new HQ really won’t make an iota of difference to the global climate.

Silly man.

Oh dear God, how the hell do they get to this result?

But rising temperatures in this time have acted as a handbrake to farming productivity of crops and livestock, according to the new research, published in Nature Climate Change. Productivity has actually slumped by 21% since 1961, compared to if the world hadn’t been subjected to human-induced heating.

Ah:

Our baseline model indicates that ACC has reduced global agricultural TFP by about 21% since 1961, a slowdown that is equivalent to losing the last 7 years of productivity growth.

Right, so, the heating has lost us 12% of the gains we should have had from the use of artificial fertilisers, which are themselves a leading cause (no, really) of the heating. So, we gain 88%, lose 12%. That’s a win, right?

The carbon impact of PPE

This has to be one of the more stupid complaints:

The considerable use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in health and social care services in England during the first six months of the pandemic added an additional 1% to the carbon burden, a new analysis suggests.

Accept, for a moment, that we do need to limit carbon emissions. No, go on. OK, so we want to use the limited amount we can allow ourselves to produce the greatest value to ourselves that we can. Flying Richard Murphy to a climate conference is not something that adds value to our lives or even civilisation. So, we’ll not do that. Flying ourselves to a beach does, so we will.

Carbon emissions to save lives are worthwhile. So, we do that. Because saving those lives is more valuable to us than the associated damages from future climate change.

This is all pretty simple but so few seem to remember it.

Pretty cool, hunh?

Currently, most of the food scraps that are used for energy around the world are converted into methane gas.

But researchers in the US have found a way of turning this waste into a type of paraffin that works in jet engines.

The authors of the new study say the fuel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 165% compared to fossil energy.

This figure comes from the reduction in carbon emitted from airplanes plus the emissions that are avoided when food waste is diverted from landfill.

165% reductions?

Spotter, John B.

Explaining Texas and the power shutdown

Rather than me cobbling something together, someone who actually knows already:

The events of this week also bring to the fore longstanding debates regarding the appropriate generation mix in Texas. Yes, thermal experienced unprecedented outages, but as noted above, it performed both absolutely (measured by capacity utilization) and relatively (measured by decline in utilization) better than wind. Texas would have been better off with less wind and more thermal. Maybe not enough to avoid blackouts altogether, but enough to mitigate substantially their severity.

But how does the OECD do that?

Green experts said the OECD could play a crucial role in ensuring that future climate targets are met, as governments would listen to its advice.

Helen Mountford is a former OECD executive who is now vice-president of climate and economics at the World Resources Institute, a non-profit research organisation. She said: “Climate change must be central to any successful candidate’s agenda. Leadership from the top to integrate climate across the full OECD agenda is essential. But implementing a sustainable, inclusive agenda will require all countries to engage.”

The outgoing head tells us:

“And put a big fat price on carbon,”

Well, yes, obviously.

Piddling, entirely piddling

Assume, of course, that something needs to be done:

The vision laid out in the actions signed by Biden on Wednesday, however, was transformative. A pathway for oil and gas drilling to be banned from public lands. A third of America’s land and ocean protected. The government ditching the combustion engine from its entire vehicle fleet, offering up a future where battery-powered trucks deliver America’s mail and electric tanks are operated by the US military.

That’s all piddling nonsense. Not going to make anything more than the most marginal difference. Transformative it ain’t.

But then that’s politics and a problem, innit? All show and no difference.

The dizzying list of actions demonstrated the breadth and depth of the climate crisis.

It’s calling for a few more meetings and, well, umm, what?

Well, yes, we really ought to listen to the balance of the science

Climate experts are not being listened to despite the coronavirus pandemic highlighting the importance of following science, the environmental activist Greta Thunberg has said.

The Swedish teenager argued that the Covid-19 crisis had “shone a light” on how “we cannot make it without science”, but people were “only listening to one type of scientist”.

Like, for example, RCP 8.5 isn’t going to happen, isn’t happening. And the solution is a carbon tax anyway.

But that’s not what she means, is it?

Wrong question

The world’s first detailed route map to ending a nation’s use of fossil fuels is both “ambitious and affordable”, according to the UK government’s official advisers,

Entirely the wrong decision tree. The correct one is:

1) Should this be done?

2) Is this the best available way of doing this?

That we can afford to do it this way isn’t relevant at all, not until those first two have been answered.

BTW, the answer to 2 is no, whatever your opinion of 1.

Didn’t they already predict this?

Sledging, building snowmen and having snowball fights could become a thing of the past by 2100 as global warming will eradicate lying snow, according to new analysis by the Met Office.

The detailed climate change projections suggest that if no action is taken to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, the UK’s winters will become warmer and wetter, and our summers will heat up and become drier.

And hasn’t the date of the prediction already passed?

The other question we might want to ask being what’s wrong with warmer winters and drier summers?

We are all so surprised by this, aren’t we?

Scientists who specialise in climate change fly more than other researchers, according to a study by Cardiff University that has prompted calls for them “to look in the mirror” before demanding that others cut emissions.

Climate scientists take about five flights a year on average for work while other researchers take four. Climate professors catch nine flights a year compared with eight for all professors.

Even when trips for fieldwork were removed from the comparison, climate scientists still flew more than scientists from other disciplines.

The difference could be that climate scientists attend more international conferences, according to Lorraine Whitmarsh, an environmental psychologist and lead author of the study.

Such conferences never, ever, taking place in Nome in December, or Dhaka during the monsoon or – nope, always in places convenient for whores and good restaurants jet travel

Err, yes, thought we knew this?

Climate change wiped out early humans, a study has found, as scientists warn that global warming could have a greater impact than previously thought.
Cousins of Homo sapiens failed to adapt to the cold tens of thousands of years ago, a new paper argues, leaving them vulnerable to extinction when temperatures dropped below the levels they were used to.

The land disappears under a mile of ice and humans will find it difficult to survive, yes. Thought this was well known?

The lesson, of course, being pump out that CO2 so the land doesn’t disappear under a mile of ice……

The Earthshot Prize

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough have joined forces to launch what they hope will become the “Nobel Prize for environmentalism”.

They say the search is on for 50 solutions to the world’s gravest environmental problems by 2030.

With £50m to be awarded over a decade, the “Earthshot Prize” is the biggest environmental prize ever.

OK, well, we know what the solution is. From the IPCC, Stern Review, Nordhaus et al. We need globalised capitalism with a carbon tax.

So, my £1 million would be spent on proselytising that around the world. However, given the judges, don’t think I’d actually win, would I?

Be nice to have some evidence about this

Climate and environmental breakdown are a crisis of inequality, rooted in profound imbalances in wealth and power both within and between countries. A spate of reports and letters from leading scientists have sounded the alarm on this sober reality, and warned that we will likely fail in combating the climate crisis unless we radically reduce inequality and redistribute consumption and resource use.

The IPCC’s models actually say that a more equal world is one which has a worse outcome. So it would be nice to have some evidence of these assertions…..

Err, yes, weren’t we told this?

More muggy evenings as study finds that nights are warming faster than days
Climate change is causing more cloud cover, which means nights are heating up

I thought this is what all the models said would happen? That sure, warming, but largely at night.

You know, that absolute disaster of not much change to day temps and an extra degree maybe on night?

This looked interesting, sorta

The world can achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century for an annual investment of US$1 trillion-US$2 trillion, or up to US$60 trillion over the next 30 years, a coalition of major oil firms, companies in other energy-intensive industries, and banks said.

The Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) is a coalition of 45 leaders from energy producers, energy-intensive industries, financial institutions, and environmental advocates, including BP, Shell, Sinopec Capital, Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal, Bank of America, HSBC, Iberdrola, Ørsted, and Vattenfall.

Worth checking out at least.

The ETC is co-chaired by Lord Adair Turner

Ah, no, it’s bollocks.

Further, over and above it being bollocks because it’s Adair Turner the co-chairman manages to allow them to misspell his own name/title in the report itself. He ain’t the second or subsequent son of a Duke. He’s Adair Turner, Lord Turner, even, if he really wants, Adair, Baron Turner of Ecchinswell. But something he ain’t is Lord Adair Turner.

It’a also bollocks in the technical sense because it just doesn’t address the main question. Do we do all this now, or as soon as possible – or do we do the sensible thing as Bill Nordhaus says and replace worn out stuff with emissions free rather than tearing down perfectly good functional stuff to replace it? Without addressing that question you’re not being serious.