Monday, November 26, 2018

#TakeYourSeat poem

COP24 is an international  gathering coming up in Katowice, Poland, on December 2-14 to discuss the nations' progress towards implementing the Paris Agreement to limit world temperature gain to 1.5C.

David Attenborough is going to represent the voice of the people.
He has asked people on social media to use the hashtag #TakeYourSeat to advise him of people's feelings about global warming.

I made this poem for him:


Dear David Attenborough,

It’s gotta be fun
While we learn how the Sun
Can supply all our need
And we learn how to feed
On veg that’s delicious
As well as nutritious.

It’s gonna be fun
When we talk
While we walk
(even run)
To good work
That we all love to do.
Because, just like you
Green means a good deal
And that’s how we feel,
With constructive employment.
We all get enjoyment
When we find the solution
Means less air pollution.
It’s gonna be fun.

So – no fuss
On the bus,
No pain on the train.
We will all like our bikes.
We will not huff and puff
As we downsize our stuff.
We’ll feel fantastic
When we get rid of plastic
We will feel really good
As we walk in the wood
We’ll stop feeling bitter
As our children get fitter,
We will feel that much wealthier
When our children get healthier
one by one.

It’s gonna be fun.

So don’t make it a chore
In COP24.
Don’t be imperious
Or even dead serious
When you speak to the leaders

(Not even the bleeders
Who say it’s a hoax -
They’re nothing but jokes).

You don’t have to tell them their system is crappy -
You just have to say  
“Let The People Be Happy”.

Richard Lawson
Churchill 24/11/2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

Mogg-Darkness brings gloom into our lives

The Bringer of Darkness

Quarter to five, and it's dark already. This is Mogg-Darkness, brought on by the Brextremist MP for North East Somerset, who talked out the Daylight Saving Bill  2020-2012l ,  a modest Private Member's Bill that would have required the Government merely to analyse and test the effects of stopping the gloom of dark evenings.

The 10:10 climate action campaign promoted the Daylight Saving Bill, arguing that it would save the UK from emitting about 447,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, along with saving :

  • 100 lives lost due to road traffic accidents in dark evenings
  • NHS costs to the tune of £140,000,000 per year
  • high electricity bills
  • 70,000 job losses
  • crime rates
  • the misery of thousands who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder
Note that the Daylight Saving Bill would have only required Government to investigate and test daylight saving; it would not have been bound to implement it. Yet even this was offensive to Rees-Mogg, and he filibustered it, talked it out. Stopped Government from even discussing the question of the impact of dark evenings on public life.

That he could do this is a shame on antiquated and anachronistic rules and procedures of the House of Parliament, and another blot on the name and behaviour of Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

Rees-Mogg should be voted out of Parliament, but the Labour Party will not let this happen. The excellent and popular Dr Phil Hammond is ready to stand against him, and if Greens, LibDems and Labour agreed to stand aside for Phil, Rees-Mogg could be defeated. Sadly, the Labour Party, encrusted with thought-patterns as antiquated as Rees-Mogg himself, will not agree to anything so enlightened, and so we continue to have to suffer Mogg Darkness.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Why Nikolov and Zeller are wrong

I am getting about 100 notifications a day from a Twitter discussion. You may be able to see it here (but be careful not to get entangled in it).

Some of it is useful, because it is interesting to see psychic defence mechanisms in action, and because occasionally a serious climatologist drops by, but much of the contributions from climate "skeptics" is depressingly irrational.

Ned Nikolov is on the list and has gained followers.

Nikolov and Zeller are forestry professionals who found a correlation between the temperature of a few planets on the solar system and their barometric pressure at their surfaces. On the back of this he believes there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect.

The interesting thing is that climate contrarians have such as Roy Spencer, Willis Eschenbach, and Patrick Moore reject Nikolov and Zeller (N&Z) because they bring climate "skepticism" into disrepute.

N&Z respond to Eschenbach's critique.

Basically, NZ is wrong because his basic correlation is the result of simple curve fitting. He requires the earth to lose and gain millions of tonnes of atmosphere at the beginning and end of interglacial periods, and the temperature of the earth surface should have gone down throughout the 20th century in line with this graph of barometric pressure at sea level.

Instead it has gone up.

N&Z predict downward long wave radiation at night will be zero. Direct measurements show more than 300 W/m2.

N&Z recalculated Mars’ pressure and temperature data, in lieu of using the “known data for Mars that people had been carefully studying for decades. If they hadn’t, their model would not have worked quite as well.”

None of these arguments affect the beliefs of Ned and his followers. They are immovable, impervious to reason, because they are ideologically committed to the notion that burning fossil carbon cannot affect the environment and human civilisation because if it did, we would have to change our lifestyles, conserve energy, and cooperate with other people and nations.

Therefore I am going to mute all Neddists on the list, in order to get my Twitter account back into manageable proportions.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The effects of Sun and CO2 over the Holocene temperature

I have been debating climate change intensively on Twitter for the past three weeks. 

It has been a bit pointless most of the time, because most of the contrarians are simply there to gainsay any and every point made by defenders of the science of climatology, but it is useful to know what the main talking points are at the moment.

Some of them repeatedly post misleading graphs, and are totally immune to reason when they misunderstand the science. 

They often use insulting and emotional language, and the most common argument they use is a cherry-picked factoid which is supposed "bang the last nail in the coffin of global warming".

However, one graph posted by a contrarian was interesting, and pushed me to look much more closely at Milankovitch cycles. This post comes with a health warning: I am an amateur and an autodidact, so I very much stand to be corrected by solar and climatology scientists.

It shows the temperatures in Greenland over the last 10,000 years (the Holocene period), set alongside CO2 levels over the same time span. Now Greenland is in the Northern Hemisphere, and the CO2 readings are gained from the Vostok Ice core in Antarctica, but CO2 is a well-mixed gas, so that should not, on the face of it,  have any effect on the situation, although the actual process is very complex, involving the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.  

However, in essence, the Greenland temperatures show the general shape of inter-glacial periods - warm beginnings followed by a gentle cooling. The graph stops before we reach the modern temperature spike. The interesting thing is that CO2 levels are dropping during the warm early Holocene, and rise when the temperature is dropping. The implication of the person that posted the graph is that this contradicts the idea that CO2 has a warming effect.

The variations of CO2 in the graph are slight: they amount to only 15ppm over 10,000 years. 
We on the other hand have produced a 120 ppm change in only 170 years. 

The answer to this observation is to look for what the Sun has been doing during the Holocene. The red line shows the variation in the solar energy (insolation) reaching Earth. Note that temperature and CO2 stays up for a while after the insolation declines.

Here is a longer look back at the relationship of Milankovitch cycles and T:

It is reasonably clear that Milankovitch sun cycles do have a relationship with Earth temperature, although it is not an uncomlicated relationship. Note that Milankovitch cycles mainly affect the region of the globe that receives most insolation; the actual amount varies, but not by so much. Which is why the AMOC is involved, and why also outgassing of CO2 resulting from initial waming from solar cycles is necessary to achieve the large (6-8*C) temperature swings that happen in the Ice Age cycles.

The take-home lesson is that, in contrast to the claims and beliefs of the contrarians, climatology takes account not just of CO2, but of all known significant factors.