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Hundreds pose naked on shrinking Swiss glacier

Reuters – August 19, 2007

There is nothing like the naked body to draw attention to an issue. Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame learned a long time ago that the naked body was good for business and it even allowed him to put out articles that were worth reading (allowing the quip: “Honestly dear, I just get it for the interviews”).

This article talks about an activist that organized several hundred people to stand and lay naked along one of the Swiss glaciers that is shrinking. The activist, Spencer Tunick a member of Greenpeace, has organized this type of effort before. It undoubtedly is working since it was picked up by Reuters and reprinted in hundreds of other locations (including here).

Sunday morning comic strip

It is Sunday so I think we have had enough bad news and hard thinking for the week.  This comic on a carbon credit trading scheme at a personal level should at least raise a smile. I originally saw this at Pete’s Place (he says I have a good looking website without much material – interesting since he simply writes 2 sentences and then pastes entire copyrighted articles on his site).

It took me a while to find the cartoon at Geek Culture. For some reason Pete’s Place doesn’t believe in giving proper crediting of the source of the original work of the stuff that is republished there. I don’t believe that is fair to the original author and will always give credit to the source where possible.

Global warming forecast predicts rise in 2014

Telegraph – August 9, 2007

I constantly tirade against the climate computer models that predict global warming. I really don’t see how they can be accurate based on my knowledge of them and the many “assumptions” that I know they make.

Here is an article on climate models that actually gives me hope that we are moving in the right direction!

According to the article (and to the best of my knowledge), this is the first computer model that is not designed to predict the climate in 50 or 100 years but rather predicts it in 10 years. I think this is important, since if you can get 10 years correct (something that is verifiable in 10 years), we can gain confidence in the 20, 30, 50 and 100 year predictions if they use the same modeling techniques.

1998 was not the warmest

I have had a few people email me asking why I didn’t make a big deal about the republishing of data on 1998 not being the warmest ever.  Keep those emails coming but I wanted to publicly comment.

There are three reasons I didn’t make a big deal about this, even though a Google search of blogs shows that others did. 

  1. It appears that it was an honest mistake. I don’t want to make a big deal about honest mistakes. More importantly, I think it is critical that scientists own up to these mistakes as soon as possible. He who is perfect should throw the first stone…
  2. It really doesn’t matter much.  So now 1998 is second. So what? It was so close to first that it was a virtual tie.

Smog may speed up global warming

Australian Broadcasting Corporation – July 26, 2007

This article details a study that was published in Nature. The study points out that plants absorb less CO2 if they are in the presence of ozone. Since ozone is a major pollutant in some parts of the world, this gas will reduce the ability to balance the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Once again, we are reminded that we do not totally understand the many influences on our environment and this calls into question any future predictions as well as challenges any suggestions on the solution to a climatic change.

We really need to make science a bigger priority in our world wide budgets. More funding and more effort is required to guide us.

Greenhouse Simplicities

Newsweek – August 20 issue

You probably saw the very ominous issue of Newsweek that stirred up quite a bit of controversy regarding global warming deniers and claimed there was a denial machine. Some have said that I am part of the denial machine because I call for more studies and more scientific research to prove what is happening. I don’t think that I am part of that machine, but I understand why others put me in that camp.

In the latest issue, there is an op-ed piece by Robert Samuelson that accuses Newsweek of going too far.  Frankly, I agree with him. While there is certainly a lot of evidence that the earth may be slightly increasing in warmth – the evidence is hardly conclusive and the evidence of massive problems in the future is very tenuous.

Green energy hot, price rising

San Jose Business Journal – August 10, 2007

As the loyal readers of this site know, I am not a fan of carbon credits. This article underlies much of my mistrust of this system. The article touts several companies that have bought green credits (companies that aren’t huge per capita users of energy). These companies have bought the credits because they want to do the right thing by the environment, and admittedly, they want the bragging rights of buying them.

Rising temperatures "will stunt rainforest growth"

Nature.com – August 10, 2007

The common thinking was that as global warming increased, rainforests would grow faster and would naturally moderate the effect.

This study suggests differently. This study notices that 2 rainforests actually slowed down their average growth as the temperature in that area of the world increased.  While the scientists validly point out that there may be many other factors or combinations of factors to this outcome, it is concerning.

It is also concerning that the various climate models do not adequately model this phenomenon.  Once again we find that we still do not have a solid understanding of our environment and we need to expand our investment in this science.

South Africa: Marion Island Clue to Global Warming Threat

allAfrica.com – August 8, 2007

An extremely interesting article even though I think the title is making a basic claim that is not proven by the article!

I have written about the adaptability of species on this site before (see here and here and here). I found this article to have a unique spin. I am not convinced though that this article is about the dangers of global warming or the dangers of man introducing new species into another environment.  Wikipedia has a great write-up and other links on the dangers of species invasion and you may want to do some background reading there as well as check out their references.

Global Warming Is Man-Made’ Claims Study

LifeStyleExtra – August 8, 2007

This article cites a study done that shows that variations of solar activity cannot account for the current changes in temperature and puts the blame on man-made sources of global warming.

The study was done by Ka-Kit Tung and other colleagues at the University of Washington where Mr. Tung is a mathematician professor. The study was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

I am concerned that this is the “first time a statistically significant global temperature signal has been found for the 11-year [solar] cycle.” I have been saying for some time now that we needed to understand these various attributes and we need to spend more time incorporating them into our models. I look forward to more work that is developed off of Mr. Tung’s effort.