Energy White Paper plans to burn, burn, burn it all

Chris McGrathDr Chris McGrath, Barrister-at-Law and Senior lecturer, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management

Burn it all. That is the plan in Australia’s new Energy White Paper.

Released yesterday by Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, it talks about responding to climate change while planning the opposite.

It is true that the Energy White Paper plans to diversify energy production and includes initiatives for renewable energy but this is additional to burning all of our coal and gas reserves. Continue reading

Rate of arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted.

New satellite images show polar ice coverage dwindling in extent and thickness.   A report from the European Space Agency‘s CryoSat-2 probe 

 Science Editor ( ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps.

Preliminary results from the European Space Agency‘s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. Continue reading

North Carolina outlaws sea level rise.

Here is a novel way for responding to sealevel rise.  Just in legislate it out of existence!  This article by Bruce Henderson appeared in the News Observer on May 28.  If you look at the lobby group behind all of this, NC20, you will see that they also claim that internationally renowned researchers such as Stefan Rahmstorf  has been fabricating stories about sea level rise so that big companies such as Munich Re can raise their insurance rates!  This is nutty! Continue reading

Climate change is already here – Michael Mann

ABC Environment 8 AUG 2012Michael Mann

THE FIRST SCIENTIST to alert Americans to the prospect that human-caused climate change and global warming was already upon us was NASA climatologist James Hansen. In a sweltering US Senate hall during the hot, dry summer of 1988, Hansen announced “it is time to stop waffling… The evidence is pretty strong that the [human-amplified] greenhouse effect is here.”

At the time, many scientists felt his announcement to be premature. I was among them.

I was a young graduate student researching the importance of natural — rather than human-caused — variations in temperature, and I felt that the ‘signal’ of human-caused climate change had not yet emerged from the ‘noise’ of natural, long-term climate variation. As I discuss in my book,The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, scientists by their very nature tend to be conservative, even reticent, when it comes to discussing findings and observations that lie at the forefront of our understanding and that aren’t yet part of the ‘accepted’ body of scientific knowledge. Continue reading

Fred Krupp: A New Climate-Change Consensus

The Wall Street Journal, Aug 7, 2012

It’s time for conservatives to compete with liberals to devise the best, most cost-effective climate solutions.

One scorching summer doesn’t confirm that climate change is real any more than a white Christmas proves it’s a hoax. What matters is the trend—a decades-long march toward hotter and wilder weather. But with more than 26,000 heat records broken in the last 12 months and pervasive drought turning nearly half of all U.S. counties into federal disaster areas, many data-driven climate skeptics are reassessing the issue. Continue reading

Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For several days this month, Greenland’s surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its 2-mile-thick center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.

On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland’s ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July.

Continue reading

Science gets a chance to show the way

<i>Illustration: Simon Letch</i>Sydney Morning Herald, Opinion, July 15 2012.

EVERY so often a discovery is made which piques the public’s interest in science once more. A single proof captures the imagination by the significance and the scale of the advance. This week’s news that physicists had proved with near certainty the existence of the Higgs boson is such a point in the history of science.

The scale of the experiment matches the scale of the intellectual leap achieved. A huge apparatus, 27 kilometres in circumference, buried 100 metres below the French-Swiss border near Geneva, accelerated particles in a near-perfect vacuum to speeds just below that of light and measured the effect of their collisions. Minute variations in energy released prove the existence of the Higgs boson, which had been postulated in theory by Peter Higgs in 1964 to explain the mass of elementary particles. Continue reading