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12 responses to “Climate clippings 85”

  1. Roger Jones

    Thoroughly recommend the adaptation framing paper by Ben, Johanna and Megan.

    The vulnerability/risk thing that Ben describes is totally peppered through Working Group I and the SREX report – my second biggest criticism of the climate science community’s framing of risk. (The biggest is gradualism)

  2. Graham Bell

    Brian and All:
    Not adding the link from the Climate Commission website and not putting up a notice about the Climate Commission becoming “privatized” was a political blunder and lost opportunity …. and I’ll bet I’m not the only one who thought of that.

    Here in the wilds of Central Queensland, we have been enjoying lovely January weather with no sign of Wet Season rain – and all the local climate change sceptics have gone silent.

    Wonder if ocean acidification might also have some effects on currents as well?

  3. Stuart

    Climate Commission website is available on the Pandora web archive http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/136923/20130919-1415/climatecommission.gov.au/index.html

  4. Stuart

    Whoops missed the in text link on first read.

  5. paul burns

    Amazing how quickly and desperately the Abbott Government assigned the Climate Change Commission to oblivion – they thought.
    Now, though, more people probably know about the Climate Change Commission than they did during the Gillard Government. Worse, for Abbott and his cronies, they’re actively committed to it by committing money to keep the Commission going. And it is likely more people will listen to them – if the Commission can get coverage in the MSM.
    Sounds like Abbott kicked an own-goal here. Or got offside or whatever the sporting metaphor is.

  6. Ootz

    Thanks Brian, could not agree more with Roger re bugbears of risk perceptions and gradualism.

    The primary focus on the reality of AGW affords the ignoring of the various and well known heuristic biases in assessing the potential risk. For example, because we have no immediate experience of climatic changes on that scale, as well as there are no conventional ‘insurance covers’ for such events, we commonly tend to debase the risk. My argument is, if the primary focus would be on the extent of the risk in AGW rather than probability of AGW itself, then we would employ a much more rigorous ‘insurance policy’. House and vehicle insurances are good examples of such behaviour. Because most people focus on the worst case scenario rather than its relative low probability, they tend to ‘over insure’. Inversely with the focus on probability rather worst case scenario, these heuristic biases can easily influence scientists and their work as well. Since the Kahneman and Tversky studies, on how people evaluate probabilities in gambling, these heuristic biases have been widely studied and are reasonably well understood, as well as various theories have been developed from psychological, anthropological and sociological approaches.

    Regarding gradualism, if the latest study by Morgan Schaller and James Wright re the onset of PETM holds up, then it should put the kibosh to that.

    In a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Morgan Schaller and James Wright contend that following a doubling in carbon dioxide levels, the surface of the ocean turned acidic over a period of weeks or months and global temperatures rose by 5 degrees centigrade – all in the space of about 13 years.

  7. Dave McRae

    Thanks Brian for these posts – most interesting

    Very interesting paper in this week’s Nature journal. Probably too late for April’s AR5 WG2.

    Titled “The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability” they’ve defined depature as when the mean climate is hotter than any maximum during 1860-2005.

    Paywalled, the abstract and tables visible at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v502/n7470/full/nature12540.html
    The research pages + press release at http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/mora/PublicationsCopyRighted/Cities%20Timing.html

    Summaries from press at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009133216.htm

    Surprised the researchers that this could occur so soon.

  8. Dave McRae

    Yes, it does make sense. That’s what I got too.

    I also don’t have a nature subscription so could only get the diagrams and abstract and had to rely on the ScienceDaily and original researchers website. (It almost certainly would’ve zoomed over my head anyway)

    I had originally guessed that, as higer lats warm more than lower, that higher lats would cop it more. This research shows to me that lower warming is reqd to shift the tropics into a climate they’re not used to. So much so that they will get ‘climate departure’ earlier.

  9. BilB

    While denialists attempt to explain climate change as being a manifestation of a perpetual yoyo climate system, I wondered if our atmosphere had a stable pressure on a geological time scale and this is what I found


    All science speculation of course, but it fits my impression that our planet is on a one way journey. More importantly it highlights the very precious nature of the coal and oil that we are gleefully squandering as if it will somehow continue to be regenerated to meet our ever expanding needs. These are not new notions for those who frequent this site, but it is another perspective that to my memory has not been explored as being a factor in the development of the biosphere.

    The notion that pterosaurs benefited from a denser atmosphere to make flight possible and by extension that the size of dinosaurs may have required the denser atmosphere for oxygeneation is kind of fascinating. Also possible is that the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs may very well have caused a measurable chunk of the Earth’s atmosphere to be ejected into space causing a significant drop in atmospheric pressure in that one event setting up the climate patterns of the future.

    Separately. State of the art in solar PV


    The system installed in Madagascar comprises two trackers capable of generating a combined 2.28 kWp (peak power under full solar radiation) for a total of up to 12 kWh per day. Each tracker is made up of 12 CPV modules with a total surface area of 4.2 sq m (13.8 sq ft) and an integrated battery system allows the electricity produced during the day to be stored for later use.