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Lord Turnbull’s comments

I thought that Lord Turnbull’s speach in front of the House of Lords on December 8, 2009 was very well done. It does an excellent job of praising many in the community for their efforts in addition to appropriately questioning the correct next action. As this is a public forum paid for by British taxpayers, I feel that I can include his complete comments here.

I especially like the realism in his comments about the exporting of carbon usage to China (or other less developed countries) and then blaming those countries for their dramatic increase. This is an issue that is often overlooked in the discussion of curtailing carbon output in any individual country.

New Milepost for Arctic Sea Ice Extent

There is a great article on Watts Up With That? that you should read.

This article misses out by not making a big enough distinction that weather is not climate and climate is not weather. The amount of ice in any given 2 or 3 year stretch has as much to do regarding global warming as the occassional all time high or low that is hit in Peoria, IL. I have talked about weather v. climate before but we always seem to go around to the same things.

Last year, there was a great deal of talk about Arctic Sea ice and the fact that it was vanishing. Very little talk at the time had to do with the currents under the ice (except for here). The end of the world was at hand though if you read some blogs!

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.

Is it too cold outside to have global warming?

There has been some talk in the press and on some of the blogs that it is too cold in the last couple years to have a global warming trend. Some even say that the warming trend is reversed and it is now going to get colder. There are a variety of people that discuss that the ice caps are re-freezing after having melted which signals that global warming is reversing. Some talk of a local low record that was set at some airport.

The reality is that much of this talk is about weather and not about climate. It is not possible to measure climate within a couple year span. It takes much longer than that to eliminate the various highs and lows from the trend so most climatologists suggest 5-10 years (or longer) before anything is really called climate.

Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

The Independent – June 27, 2008

There is a very real chance that there will be no ice at the North Pole this summer. This is probably being caused by a “perfect storm” of several events including a slight warming of the Arctic Ocean, a slight warming of the air above the ocean, a change in ocean currents, a change in prevailing winds and possibly even the ozone layer.  It is important to note that this does not mean that there is no ice in the Arctic Ocean as it appears that the water off the coast of Canada and Greenland will be ice covered.

Gore Delivers Remarks on Energy and the Climate

Washington Post – July 17, 2008

Mr. Al Gore recently gave a speech in Washington DC regarding energy.  While many in the blogosphere will call Mr. Gore “Pope Gore” and refer to environmentalists as a religion, in this case, I don’t think that Mr. Gore makes many of the outlandish comments which I have chastised him about. Most of his comments are regarding energy independence, the status of the technology of alternative fuels, and the balance of power.

He does make a few global warming references which are a little hard to defend. He implies that the fires in California are caused by manmade global warming – this is probably not true since California has been enjoying an unusually wet climate for several decades and it appears that this current drought is simply going back to status quo.

The Cause Of Global Warming. Is It You?


By Erik Leipoldt

We know the Earth is getting warmer.

The International Panel on Climate Change predicts a global temperature rise of about 5C by the end of this century. Thats enough for major changes. Like in rising seawater levels, in food production and rainfall.

Knowing why we are in this fix is the first step to doing something about it. Yes, thats you and me. (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

There are four levels at which to understand the cause of global warming.

* The mechanics of global warming

* What we do

* Our beliefs and values, and

New Study: Global Warming Not The Only Factor In Arctic Ice Shelf Collapse

AHN – February 7, 2008

More studies and more contradictory conclusions! I feel like a broken record sometimes in this discussion of global warming and causality. As soon as one scientist puts out a hypothesis, another puts out a contradictory or modifying hypothesis. Perhaps the key thing to understand is that these aren’t facts but conclusions that have been reached by individuals.

A hypothesis (according to is:

a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis) or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.

The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan

The Independent – February 5, 2008

The plastic trash in the Pacific Ocean will not affect global warming. Since this site is dedicated to the discussion of global warming, I assume that my readers will be interested in this very disconcerting story on the massive amounts of plastic trash that is floating in the Pacific Ocean that resembles a “chunky soup” analogy. The density of the trash makes one feel like “it is everywhere.”

No Right Turn even discusses how this plastic can get into our food cycle and poison us!

Follow-up: NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

A few days ago, I wrote about a new NASA study that suggests that the Arctic Ocean is reversing the circulation direction. The study theorized that the circulation direction was a major contributor of the melting of Arctic ice.

At the time that I wrote the article, there was very little analysis by other scientists on the study (still isn’t). So I reached out to several of the contributors at RealClimate and asked them what they thought.  Dr. Benestad replied to me and he has agreed to let me reproduce his comments here for all to learn from. I would like to publicly thank him for his willingness to help us understand this.