March 24, 2008

Not our fault

A bizarrely sensible announcement from Port Augusta, South Australia, following an unusual and history-making 14 day heat wave, which set a new mean for March temperature of 39.5C - 10 degrees hotter than the average temperature of 29.5C:
"The Bureau of Meteorology said the heatwave was not the result of global warming but the fault of a high pressure system remaining stationary in the Tasman Sea and blowing hot air across the inland."
Sheesh - it was the weather!


Resume emitting.

As you were.

Meanwhile, some weeks ago, The New York Times got all huffy and puffy over "climate skeptics" leaping onto random cold spells as proof that climate change - more particularly global warming - isn't a done deal.

Apparently it's quite OK for Al Gore and co to blame every hurricane and butterfly death on "climate change", but when the skeptics try the same trick their anecdotal evidence must be publicly scrutinized and ridiculed, unlike the former, which is taken in the butt, much in the way of a shot of penicillin, reasons for which remain in-confidence between the patient and the doctor.
"Climate skeptics typically take a few small pieces of the puzzle to debunk global warming, and ignore the whole picture that the larger science community sees by looking at all the pieces," said Ignatius G. Rigor, a climate scientist at the Polar Science Center of the University of Washington in Seattle."
Yeah, right.

The noble converts would never do anything so intellectually sloppy, would they?
"I will admit that we do not have all the pieces," Dr. Rigor said, "but as the I.P.C.C. reports, the preponderance of evidence suggests that global warming is real." As for the Arctic, he said, "Yes, this year's winter ice extent is higher than last year's, but it is still lower than the long-term mean."
"Dr. Rigor said next summer's ice retreat, despite the regrowth of thin fresh-formed ice now, could still surpass last year's"

Here's hoping Dr Rigor, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

"Michael E. Schlesinger [a climate change believer - ed], an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, said that any focus on the last few months or years as evidence undermining the established theory that accumulating greenhouse gases are making the world warmer was, at best, a waste of time and, at worst, a harmful distraction.

Discerning a human influence on climate, he said, "involves finding a signal in a noisy background." He added, "The only way to do this within our noisy climate system is to average over a sufficient number of years that the noise is greatly diminished, thereby revealing the signal. This means that one cannot look at any single year and know whether what one is seeing is the signal or the noise or both the signal and the noise."

Sooooo, consistent signals and noise from, say, the last ten years might be compelling, non?

While a less than earth-flooding Arctic melt is clearly a major disappointment for many, that didn't stop the Melbourne's Age from declaring that the end is nigh - or at least it will be if we can figure out when and where they're getting their magic-information.

This is their intro paragraph, from today's paper:

"Ice scientists around the world watched with a mixture of alarm and astonishment as the great Arctic Sea ice sheet shrank over the northern summer to its lowest level in memory. The rapid melt exceeded almost every scenario the scientists had modelled."



This is happening, as we speak?

Well, one has no idea really.

I've read the entire piece, but The Age, having started out with gusto and promise don't ever get around to identifying which year this startling melt occurred.

We already know from The New York Times piece that the Arctic, at present, is a little thicker than some scientists would like it to be.

Back to The Age's turgid piece - turns out that they are not speaking of a present melt-down.

Indeedy no. They too are dreaming of a big flush, and daring to declare that the apocalypse is upon us, melt or no melt:

"As the scientists wait nervously to see if the sea ice shrinks again this year, they tell us the time for doubt has passed. Global warming has gone from a theory to hard fact. And as they turn the problem over to all of us, many, such as British scientist David King, are hopeful we will work towards a solution.

"This is neither a time for pessimism nor for denial," King explained: "this is a time for constructive, determined action."

Or maybe not.

This is not science fiction ... (Seriously, that's the real heading: I couldn't make up shite like that.)

Skeptics on human climate impact seize on cold spell ...


  1. Should you keep these posts up my dear Caz you may well find yourself described as relentlessly partisan!

    From there it is but keyboard skip to global warming bigot and filthy climate change lier.

    At least it would be, seemingly, difficult to "grub at the margins of" your own blog....

  2. Hey, I'll grub at the margins of my own blog if I want to!

    Just you watch me!

    If I can't grub, no-one grub!

    Damn it!

  3. Watch out: we might all leave at once - in a collective even - in a petulant huff inspired by an Uncomfortable truth.

    By the way, feel absolutely free to grub. Go on, just grub. Do it.

  4. ... or an unappealing hunch

  5. Very good. I was looking for something but am afraid I'm too frazzled and settled for the bloody obvious.

  6. I've learnt a lot about the climate change furphy through your reasoned intelligent posts Caz.

    More's the pity that you do not have a weekly column in a newspaper.

    People need to know the REAL truth!

  7. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I like grubs; taste a bit like nuts, but a little squishy.

    You know this morning it was raining, this arvo it was sunny, now that's climate change don't you think?

    Now where are all those grubs; actually I like mine slightly toasted, crispy grubs are best, but one should not over do it.

  8. Dr. Rigor? How misnamed can you get?