Climate Change I

In all of the confusion caused by the financial meltdown, it is easy to forget that Climate Change is still a major issue for us to confront. The Australian has an article on a statement signed by around forty scientists stating that we must not forget about the dangers of climate change. Then again, on a spring day like this in Sydney, I guess those who confuse climate with weather will say that climate change is a myth. I do not know the truth, all I know is that when people who know are scared it tends to cause me to be scared too.

Over at bravenewclimate.com (which Tim recommended to us), Barry Brook has put up a thread on a the statement as well.

Maybe we should be looking at the meltdown as an opportunity to get some real action on climate change… it could be bring about the paradigm shift that we need?

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22 Responses

  1. I wish I was on my Mac, then I would have an automatic spell checker on when I write a new post.

  2. Depending on which news bulletin you listen to, today was the coldest October day in 30 years or 45 years.

    So was Bolt, Sherlock etc right, we are going into a freeze.

    Well we did have the second hottest ever start to Spring and up until now average temperatures have been 3 – 4 degrees warmer, with some days 14 degrees above the average.

    Both signs of global warming, and below is yet more signs.

    I’ll chase up the links at another time but the thing that recently bought it home to me was a world wide scientific report on flora and fauna over the last 80 years and more detailed for the last 30.

    In short what it finds is that cold climate plants and animals (including sea life) are moving further north and south than they ever have before, whilst warmer climate flora and fauna are being found in what used to be colder climate areas and in areas they have never been seen before. This is not seasonal stuff or they have been recorded in these areas way back in ancient history, these are plants and animals that have never ever been recorded in these areas, and they are there because the unusual warmer climates have either allowed them to move to these areas or pushed them out of the areas seeking colder climates.

    Then there is the study on krill and the effect of increased ocean CO2 on them and it’s not good news. Krill lose motor control as the oceans become more acidic because of saturated CO2, and this is exactly what is being found in oceans around the world. This also ties in with the finds of substantial increases in deep ocean salinity, which again is caused by CO2 saturation.

    So this excess CO2 saturating the oceans must come from somewhere and the only extra source being measured over the last 200 years is from man made sources.

  3. joni | October 22, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I wish I was on my Mac, then I would have an automatic spell checker on when I write a new post.

    Firefox has spell checker add ins, Australian, UK or US English. It checks all spelling of anything you type into any webpage.

  4. Joni,

    After many hours of research and attending functions I have a personal opinion…that does not mean that we should not act.

    I have noticed that certain people have jumped on the bandwagon to push their agendas…when in Rome.

  5. “I do not know the truth, all I know is that when people who know are scared it tends to cause me to be scared too.”

    One of the most honest, admirable and sensible statements anywhere on the whole issue. I only wish the tenured opinion columnists in media had that attitude.

  6. Well, its a pity the majority of the financial experts weren’t scared too – but then those that spoke up were in the minority…

    …bit like the minority of experts who have reservations about some of the research techniques and computer models for AGW being “dynamically upgraded” to fit scenarios. (BTW that’s plural – ie more than one).

  7. The whole issue has become so polarised that what is required will meet strong resistance by the electorate.

    This will be difficult to turn around.

  8. “Depending on which news bulletin you listen to, today was the coldest October day in 30 years or 45 years.”

    Snowed here in Katoomba today and temp was as low as 4C late morning with a windchill of around 1C.

    This weekend temps are predicted in the high 20s. My poor, poor new Spring plants and shoots …

  9. But TB there are also opponents who have deliberately misrepresented modelling to prove their side.

    As scaper so rightly says it’s a pity certain people have jumped onto the bandwagon to push their agendas, and that goes for both sides.

    Not withstanding that, the evidence so far tends to support a global warming and as I stated recent studies of oceans, flora and fauna have only supported that hypothesis. Nature itself doesn’t changed so dramatically in response to climatic conditions and in ways never recorded before if something isn’t happening with the climate.

  10. Adrian,

    Yep…from both sides, the emotion that has been generated is detrimental to any semblence of unity and that is not the desired position to meet the future.

    The botton line is we have to move on in technology to meet our needs in this infant century of change.

  11. Adrian, don’t you find it even a little bit odd that when average temps are supposed to be increasing (in line with the increase in CO2) we seem to continue to break records at the lower end of the scale? I would have thought that the lows would tend to be higher, along with the means, along with the highs.

    Further, this CO2 “saturation” of the ocean…..how many parts per million increase can be defined as “saturation”. Of those parts, how many can be attributed to the contribution of mankind as opposed to the natural increases from the natural temperature increases?

    Finally, how in God’s name can you reference the position of marine life going back beyond say 50 years? Cave paintings?

  12. Then James don’t you find it a little odd that average temperatures have gone up and that we just had the hottest start to Spring on record as compared to coldest October day in 30 years, and the prediction is for a hotter than average Summer with a hotter than average 2009. We had temperatures in Sydney at the start of Spring 14º above average so are you just going to ignore that and focus in on the lower than average temperatures?

    Where are you getting the data we continue to break records at the low end of the scale or are you only looking at certain parts of Australia. Other parts of the world have been breaking records at the high end of the scale.

    That is my point James, the opponents have been harping on about every lower than average temperature for weather as a rebuttal to global warming, yet the moment we had significantly higher than average temperatures they were quiet. For instance yesterday and today were unusually cold days for Nowra, very Winter. Yet last week on the same days the temperature were unusually warm, and this weekend the forecast is for above average temperatures. So what is the cause of these abnormal fluctuations and why are they occurring?

    That’s what global warming is about, weather anomalies and the increase in the amount, severity and period of them, a sign of generalised warming. Climatic warming increases weather anomalies whilst climatic cooling decreases them, and at the moment we are having a considerable increase in weather anomalies world wide and have been for a while.

    Just how many links to you want on ocean acidification?

    http://climateprogress.org/2007/10/17/ocean-acidification-warning/
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017102133.htm
    http://sydney.indymedia.org.au/story/scientists-say-ocean-acidity-increasing-faster-rate

    …and dozens more if you want.

    I’ll also link to the studies on the shift of flora and fauna than can be directly linked to warming (not cooling). I just have to source the Catalyst piece and the articles on this.

  13. I loose both ways, i feel the heat and cold more than others. but i no longer use a body suit as its to hot after a while. i should be cold as, but whats worse is the sea floor is getting layered with a muddy soot that kills all except star fish(crown of thawns).

    I have seen 1 shark in 2 years inside pumicestone passage and I use to swim with dolphins that hardly appear any more. all bad news

    my toilet is looking cleaner to swim in everyday, pity about the s-bend.

  14. I wrote this in July, I still haven’t got a satisfactory response.

    Thank you, Elise, for the explanation regarding “feedback”. I do understand the concept. What I can’t quite get my head around is this. The feedback would surely have occurred regardless of carbon emissions would it not? Something caused the original heating (not CO2) and we know that the heating raises the levels of CO2 regardless of what we do. Now we think (or perhaps know) that the raised CO2 levels force the temperature higher. OK, that’s fine. My understanding is that these CO2 levels have gone up by around 100 parts per million over around 100 years. Now how many of those parts, given that we accept that CO2 would have increased regardless, are the fault of man. Some say 17, I don’t know but that seems to be the “proponents’” figure. So what I am expected to believe without question, and change my life as a result of, is that it is those 17 parts per million that are the key factor that change a naturally occurring feedback which we can’t help to a potentially catastrophic feedback which will raise sea levels, melt the Arctic, kill the polar bears, drown the Pacific Islands, destroy the Coral Reefs, cause an increase in hurricanes and droughts, and all the rest of it. Now of that 17 parts, Australia’s contribution is 2%. 0.34 parts per million, is that right? And we should change our ways for that contribution for the sake of “setting a good example”? That is just too skinny.

    James of North Melbourne Thu 24 Jul 08 (01:22pm)

  15. James,

    The CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 274ppm pre the industrial age and was 388ppm last year.

    Based on ice core samples it is the highest in 650,000 years.

    That is the science but I have a problem with CO2 being the only culprit…there must be other factors involved.

    I also find it interesting that the CO2 target for emissions is 400ppm when we are supposed to be suffering now at 388ppm…it does not add up!

  16. James

    Are you only looking at what humans are contributing personally at 17 parts per million ? Trees are the only things that absord CO2 and give off oxygen. So not only are we contributing our 17 parts we are also destroying the only life on earth, namely trees at an horrific rate as well ,leaving the planet with a further lessening of its ability to absorb CO2. All I know is if you kill what absorbs it then you will naturally increase the concentration. Simple fact to me.

  17. Yes, Scaper, but what I am asking is what is the level of mankind’s influence on this. Warming started sans CO2 increases. CO2 increases, we are told, forces further warming, which forces further CO2 increases. In the middle of all of that, mankind is pumping extra CO2 into the atmosphere, and it is “very likely” that this is the “major cause” of what is “very likely” to be “catastrophic”. The maths don’t add up.

  18. Hi Hexx, what has happened in the Bribie Passage is a prime example of over development on the coast and will get progressively worse as the entire east coast is converted to a never ending sea of houses.

    Shane, one day people will wake up to the fact that the destuction of our woodlands is more of a problem than CO2…by then it could be too late…we have to re-establish the natural balance.

  19. scaper

    I completely agree. Destruction of woodlands not only causes concentration of CO2 it also destroys bio diversity which is essential to the long term health of our planet and the human race.

  20. It seems strange that this is a left wing, right wing thingy. Surely politics should not come into it.

    Since the left generally agree with global warming, this is all the evidence i need that it is a load of crap.

    It is just natural variation which we really didn’t notice until recently .

    Even if we do have warming there is no evidence that it is due to humans.

    Just for the sake of argument we assume it is due to humans, it may be due to something like we have cut down lots of trees and replaced them with sheep and cattle which give out huge amounts of global warming gases. If this is true, reducing human produced CO2 would be useless. The solution would be to become vegetarians.

    However the fact is that climate change is just left-wing hocus pocus.

  21. Neil

    I accept your POV, but I prefer to listen to the scientists who seem to be mostly in agreement that AGW is real.

  22. But they are only the left wing scientists that are in agreement joni and as such can’t be believed 😉 The right wing scientists keep flip flopping around and can’t work out what their position on climate change is :mrgreen:

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