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Cap and Trade is here

Let me start by explaining that I am not a lover of cap and trade.  The systems that have been proposed to date are simply taxes on certain types of energy so that other forms seem to be more competitive.  They also tend to reward industries that can have a flexibility in energy sources while punishing industries that have to purchase high BTU energy sources.  Finally, they can reward industries and organizations that did nothing to improve their energy use – they were just lucky enough to use less carbon.  To make cap and trade look better, you may also see it referred to carbon trading or carbon offsets but a rose is a rose, regardless of its name (or in this case – a tax is a tax, regardless of its name).

Scientists find bigger than expected polar ice melt

There is no question that our climate has changed slightly compared to 20 years ago.  Most of the data points to increases of temperature and the most significant (and obvious if you are in the Arctic) is the diminished amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean.  While there is some question as to the cause of this melting (see my ocean currents article), there is little question that it is occurring.

This article discusses some of the observations that scientists have seen regarding the ice melt and some possible repercussions.  The article is somewhat refreshing though in that it focuses on what can be observed rather than focusing on what might be causing the warming.  Since it was so evenly reported, I felt it was of significant interest to my readers.

NASA satellite searching for global warming clues crashes near Antarctica

It looks like we are going to have to wait for awhile now for better data on what is really going on with our atmosphere and climate.  The satellite that NASA sent up to study the flow of carbon dioxide developed technical difficulties and crashed.

Once again, we see that our ability to travel outside of our world is still quite experimental and we struggle to do it with the repeatability of plane flights.  If I was a conspiracy fearing individual (which I am not) I would question if scientists deliberately sabotaged the flight so that real data that could prove or disprove climate models could not be gathered.  Such speculation is obviously foolish though.

Dilbert tries to reduce his carbon footprint

Dilbert is trying to do his best to reduce his carbon footprint but he may have gone a bit over the top on his efforts.  Click on the image to go to the Dilbert site and see it as full size.


Hundreds attend global warming protest – funny image

A little lightheated fun to start your weekend!  You should be able to see the full size image by right clicking below and selecting to view the image.

NASA Prepares to Launch Satellite Designed to Study Global Warming

This is absolutely wonderful news.  There is no question that we don’t fully understand the complexities of our atmosphere.  Our models which predict doom and gloom are woefully inadequate (which doesn’t make them incorrect – it just leaves room for extreme doubt).

Perhaps this study will solve one of my mysteries in the global warming discussion and that is that North America actually appears to sink CO2 rather than emit the gas.  We know that carbon dioxide is increasing from man’s efforts due to the isotope nature of the CO2 in the air but we still struggle understanding how CO2 spreads through the atmosphere.

Not cool anymore – followup (Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions)

As a quick followup to my earlier posting on the 1,000 year irreversibility status of global warming.  The folks over at RealClimate also did a story on this subject but they tried to make the distinction that “irreversible” does mean “unstoppable”.  I think they are trying to play with words a bit but I will let you decide for yourselves.  As I read the abstract of the study (below), I do not think that they are following the same logic that the original authors followed.  That is okay though since science is all about discussing the different hypotheses and then testing them.

Not cool anymore

I really can’t comment on the news that it will take 1,000 years to recover from today’s carbon dioxide pollution better than Mr. Taranto of the Wall Street Journal.

I do want to make three additional comments before you read below.  If it takes 1,000 years to recover from an overload of carbon dioxide that has already poisoned our atmosphere then:

  1. why would we risk ruining our current economy for a solution that is likely to not ever happen?
  2. if it takes 1,000 years to get healthy doesn’t it stand to reason that it takes 1,000 years (or at least a couple of hundred) to get sick?
  3. is this just another example of inference based on mathematical computer models that have little to do with reality?