Change in the Weather: Climate Change and Arctic Oscillation (7)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:14 AM GMT on November 19, 2013

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Change in the Weather: Climate Change and Arctic Oscillation (7)

This is the end-for-a-while of my series on the Arctic Oscillation / North Atlantic Oscillation. Links to background material and previous entries are below.

At the end of the previous blog I showed the following figure. The top panel shows the observed Arctic Oscillation Index from 1864 to 1960. The middle panel shows the observed Arctic Oscillation Index from 1864 to about 2000. The little number “r” in the panel is a measure of how well one year’s Arctic Oscillation Index is linked to or correlated with the previous year’s. A number close to zero is a measure of being unrelated. Prior to 1960, the observations were almost unrelated from year to year (r=-0.03). After 1960 there is a much stronger relation (r=0.4). Just looking at the graph after 1960, you can convince yourself that the Arctic Oscillation stays stuck in one mode or another for several years.



Figure 1: The top two plots in the figure show the observed Arctic Oscillation Index. The bottom plot shows a model simulation of the Arctic Oscillation Index. See text for more description. Thanks to Jim Hurrell

The bottom panel of Figure 1 shows a model simulation with the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model. In this model simulation the model’s carbon dioxide is held constant at levels prior to the industrial revolution, when man-made carbon dioxide was quite small. This simulation does not represent any particular year; it is 200 years which when taken together might look, statistically, like the atmosphere. An interesting feature of this simulation is that the Arctic Oscillation does look like the observations before 1960, but not after 1960. One possible suggestion of the reason why the model loses its ability represent the behavior of the Arctic oscillation is that carbon dioxide has increased enough to change the Arctic Oscillation.

I will come back to this below, but first a reminder of the other ideas I introduced in the middle part of the series. Most importantly, there is a stream of air that wants to flow around the North Pole. Likely in a world that has no mountains, no land and water sitting next to each other, then that air would actually circulate with the pole in the center. We live in a world with mountains and oceans and continents, which distort this stream of air. It’s a little like boulders in a creek, and water going around the boulders. The stream becomes wavy. There are other factors that also cause the air to be wavy, but I have introduced enough to make my points, and you can go back to the earlier blogs linked at the bottom for words and pictures. What causes the air to spin around the North Pole? The first thing to consider is the rotation of the Earth. The Earth’s atmosphere wants to line up with the rotation. Another important factor in determining the details of the air circulating around the North Pole is heating and cooling. The patterns of heating and cooling contribute to setting up high-pressure and low-pressure systems. Air flows from high to low pressure and as it flows towards low pressure it does its best to line up with the rotation of the Earth. This relation between high and low pressure and the Earth’s rotation is one of the most important features of the motion of the air in the atmosphere and the water in the ocean.

The way carbon dioxide changes the Earth’s climate is by changing the heating and cooling. A common comparison is to compare additional carbon dioxide to a a blanket which holds the Sun’s heat closer to the Earth’s surface. This blanket causes the Earth to heat up more at the pole than at the Equator. The poles are also special because the Sun goes down for the winter and it cools off. In fact, it gets very cold, and as discussed in the previous blogs, the stream of air that gets spun up isolates the pole enough to let the cooling really get going. With these changes to heating and cooling, if we add a lot of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, then it is reasonable to expect that the Arctic Oscillation might change.

The studies prior to, say, 2008, suggested that the effect of carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere would be to cause the Arctic Oscillation Index to become more positive. This would be the pattern of the Arctic Oscillation where the cold air is confined to the pole; that is, the less wavy pattern (scientific references: for example, Kuzmina et al. 2005 and the 2007 IPCC AR-4). The studies prior to 2008 support the idea that the additional carbon dioxide is a leading suspect in the changes after 1960 noted in Figure 1. That is, without carbon dioxide increasing in the simulation, the models cannot reproduce the statistical characteristics of the observations and with it increasing, they can.

Those pre-2008 studies, effectively, only considered increasing carbon dioxide. They did not represent the huge changes in the surface of the Arctic that have been observed. Notably, sea ice and snow cover have declined. These surface changes also cause changes in heating and cooling. The decline of sea-ice, for example, changes the surface of the Arctic Ocean from white to dark. This changes the surface from a reflector of energy to an absorber of energy. Sea ice is also a temperature insulator; hence, without the ice the ocean and atmosphere exchange heat more easily. There are many other changes as well, but all I want to do here is establish the plausibility that large changes at the surface are also likely to change the behavior of the Arctic Oscillation. Why? Changes in the patterns of heating and cooling, leading to changes in high and low pressure systems, which then with the influence of the Earth’s rotation, change the waviness of the stream of air around the Arctic.

There have been a series of papers in the past couple of years that suggest that the changes in sea ice and snow cover are having large effects on the weather in the U.S. If you look across these papers, then there is growing evidence that the meanders (or waviness) of the Arctic Oscillation are getting larger and that storms over the U.S. are moving more slowly. Here is a list of quotes from these papers.

From a paper I have previously discussed:

Francis and Vavrus (2012): Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes - “Slower progression of upper-level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid-latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events that result from prolonged conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves.”

Liu et al. (2012): Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on winter snowfall – “ … some resemblance to the negative phase of the winter Arctic oscillation. However, the atmospheric circulation change linked to the reduction of sea ice shows much broader meridional meanders in midlatitudes and clearly different interannual variability than the classical Arctic oscillation.”

Greene et al. (2012): Superstorm Sandy: A series of unfortunate events? - “However, there is increasing evidence that the loss of summertime Arctic sea ice due to greenhouse warming stacks the deck in favor of (1) larger amplitude meanders in the jet stream, (2) more frequent invasions of Arctic air masses into the middle latitudes, and (3) more frequent blocking events of the kind that steered Sandy to the west.”

There is some controversy about the work connecting the changes in the sea ice and snow cover to changes in the Arctic Oscillation and to changes in extreme weather in the U.S. (Barnes (2013): Revisiting the evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in midlatitudes, Francis response, and Freedman @ Climate Central ).

I think there is significant merit in the work that connects changes in the Arctic Oscillation to increases in carbon dioxide and related changes to the surface of the Earth. Part of my intuition comes from a career of working with atmosphere models. If a model is radiatively dominated, then the vortex over the pole is very strong. In this case, there is little waviness in the jet stream. This is analogous to the case of increasing carbon dioxide and the Arctic Oscillation becoming more common in its positive phase. If a model is less driven by radiative forcing, then it is easier for the waves that are initiated by the flow over the mountains to grow and distort the edge of the jet stream – more waviness. This is like the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. Though in the end it will require a careful calculation of the energy budget, the removal of sea ice from the surface of the Arctic Ocean allows more heat into the polar atmosphere, which means the radiative cooling will be less intense. Hence, the vortex will be weaker or the Arctic Oscillation will more commonly be in its negative phase. If there are changes in the Arctic Oscillation, which are realized as changes in the waviness and speed of the jet stream around the Arctic, then there will certainly be consequences to the weather in the U.S.

Potential changes in the character of the Arctic Oscillation are an important issue for those thinking about how to respond to climate change. The loss of sea ice is a large change, which will undoubtedly have important impacts in the Arctic. It is reasonable to expect large impacts on weather at lower latitudes, in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The change in the Arctic sea ice has happened very rapidly. This challenges the assumption often made in planning that climate change is a slow, incremental process. The weather of the here and now and/or the next fifty years, a common length of time for planning, is likely to be quite different from the past fifty years. Since we rely on our past experience to plan for the future, this is a direct challenge to our innate planning strategies. If we are cognizant of the possibility of significant changes to weather patterns on decadal lengths of time, then we can develop new planning strategies that will improve our resilience and make our adaptation decisions more effective.

r

Previous entries:

Climate Change and the Arctic Oscillation

Wobbles in the Barriers

Barriers in the Atmosphere

Behavior

Definitions and Some Background

August Arctic Oscillation presentation

CPC Climate Glossary “The Arctic Oscillation is a pattern in which atmospheric pressure at polar and middle latitudes fluctuates between negative and positive phases.”


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You guys will stop at nothing to further all things liberal. We got yer number. Now with the collapse of Obamacare, everybody is getting it. LOL!!!!
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Seems someone get's a FOX fix every morn then runs here to expound on it.

Sad reality.

Where's the Climate Denial data,is it in the Chaser Primer from OZ?

LOL

Maybe try the Press releases.

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See you there!

Making sure we don't win?


Hows that? By voting early and often?


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Quoting 137. tramp96:

The only denialist is you with your clean sweep theory in
2014. Hope to see you here or your place of choice on
election night.
I'll be where I always am on election night: volunteering at a couple of local polling stations, doing my part to make sure the "If we allow a fair and open vote, we can't possibly win" party doesn't get its way.

See you there!
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Good catch tramp.
I posted that over on my blog. Hope you don't mind.
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Quoting 134. tramp96:
Well well look what we have here

Link
Another anti-science rant by well-known denialist Pielke, Jr.? What of it?
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Quoting 133. JohnLonergan:
"Climate scientists are the opposites of weathermen"

This, by Bryan Walsh on Time.com, is very well put:


Climate scientists are the opposites of weathermen %u2014 the further out they%u2019re asked to forecast, the more confidence they tend to have in their predictions.



I think a lot of people don't understand that, including meteorologists used to wresting with the next day or two's forecast. In physics there are a great many things that you can calculate over large spatial scales and/or over long time periods, that you cannot calculate for small distances or short time frames -- like essentially all of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Or fluid flow. Or cosmology. Physics is very good at dealing with very simple systems, like a hydrogen atom or Mercury's orbit around the Sun, and large things, like the average temperature of a body of water or the properties of a universe. It's all the stuff in between that's difficult, and that's where most of climate science falls, once you get past the basics of energy balance. We probably knew enough to be wary of the dangers of fossil fuels shortly after Arrhenius did his calculation in 1896 -- and if he'd lived in India instead of Sweden, he might not have thought the warming would be so beneficial

Physics leads to an argument like this, a comment on John Baez's blog Azimuth:


I like the word used in that comment. It's the inevitability of the process.
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"Climate scientists are the opposites of weathermen"

This, by Bryan Walsh on Time.com, is very well put:


Climate scientists are the opposites of weathermen %u2014 the further out they%u2019re asked to forecast, the more confidence they tend to have in their predictions.



I think a lot of people don't understand that, including meteorologists used to wresting with the next day or two's forecast. In physics there are a great many things that you can calculate over large spatial scales and/or over long time periods, that you cannot calculate for small distances or short time frames -- like essentially all of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. Or fluid flow. Or cosmology. Physics is very good at dealing with very simple systems, like a hydrogen atom or Mercury's orbit around the Sun, and large things, like the average temperature of a body of water or the properties of a universe. It's all the stuff in between that's difficult, and that's where most of climate science falls, once you get past the basics of energy balance. We probably knew enough to be wary of the dangers of fossil fuels shortly after Arrhenius did his calculation in 1896 -- and if he'd lived in India instead of Sweden, he might not have thought the warming would be so beneficial

Physics leads to an argument like this, a comment on John Baez's blog Azimuth:

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3758
Quoting 129. BaltimoreBrian:
Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.

*** Could spinach genes save the world's oranges?


GMO crops have been given a bad rap, deservedly so in some instances, as Monsanto and Du Pont approaches completely changed the paradigm of how farming is done and were solely to promote short term gains versus long term implications.

However, for tree fruits - the time it takes to produce cultivars resistant to disease using conventional breeding methods is time and cost prohibitive.

If this is effective, that would be excellent as citrus greening has devastated citrus growing regions world-wide.

In combination with alternative horticultural approaches (LINK and LINK), this will help to save citrus growers around the world.

Edit: Fixed links.

Addendum: Although the post linked to calls it a "mysterious disease" it actually was first described in the 1950's, and known to farmers in Asia since the late 1800's.
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EPA News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2013





Cabot Corporation Agrees to Spend Over $84 Million to Control Harmful Air Pollution at Texas, Louisiana Facilities



WASHINGTON Boston-based Cabot Corporation, the second largest carbon black manufacturer in the United States, has agreed to pay a $975,000 civil penalty and spend an estimated $84 million on state of the art technology to control harmful air pollution, resolving alleged violations of the New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at its three facilities in the towns of Franklin and Ville Platte, La. and Pampa, Texas, announced the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today. This agreement is the first to result from a national enforcement initiative aimed at bringing carbon black manufacturers into compliance with the CAAs NSR provisions.


For complete settlement info click HERE
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Quoting 115. PensacolaDoug:
RE: 110


That has always been one of my favorite "Far Side" cartoons! It wasn't meant as a compliment I'm sure. I don't care. It's still funny!


It was meant in fun and I'm glad you took it that way :)

The 'chuck' typo--sorry about that! I'm glad readers are paying attention :)
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Today's selection of articles about science, climate change, energy and the environment.

*** U.S. and China Find Convergence on Climate Issue

China Clashes With U.S., EU on Roles in New Climate Deal

Pirates Looting Cargoes With AK-47s Threaten African Oil

Geo-engineering and climate change (book reviews)

* Did 90 Companies 'Cause the Climate Crisis of the 21st Century'?

Struggle for agreement at UN climate talks as green groups walk out

* Gamma-ray burst brightest ever seen

*** 'Cinderella' gas a threat to climate and ozone layer

Warsaw Day 11: Civil society turns its back on talks

!!! Warming is twice as fast or half?

* Historic CO2 emissions require cuts now

Genomic Variant Associated With Sun Sensitivity, Freckles Identified

Infant Galaxies Merging Near 'Cosmic Dawn'

Monster Gamma-Ray Burst in Our Cosmic Neighborhood

!!! Two Y Genes Can Replace the Entire Y Chromosome for Assisted Reproduction in Mice

!!! The Era of Neutrino Astronomy Has Begun

* Breakthrough for Biofuel Production from Tiny Marine Algae

Amazon Drones: The Latest Weapon in Combating Climate Change

Power Boosting Self-Cleaning Solar Panels

Cattle ranchers track wolves with GPS, laptops

Hawaii considers modified crops, pesticide bills

*** Halving EU emissions by 2030 is affordable, says Britain

Hydrogen fuel cars in showrooms starting 2014

Democrats recruit pro sports leagues for climate push

Watch an Erupting Volcano Create a New Island Off the Coast of Japan

Hello, Neighbor: Emus Take Over Australian Town
:)

*** Could spinach genes save the world's oranges?



Need to Know: Meet the bug killing the world's orange groves

*** Strange giant dust ring discovered near Venus orbit

Why does Mount Etna keep erupting? It has a bad case of gas
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Why Would A Climate Scientist Need A Quick Course In Legal Self-Defense?

Ben Santer answered his doorbell one evening and was greeted by a dead rat on his doorstep and a stream of obscenities from a car speeding away. Katharine Hayhoe has been called a “Nazi bitch whore climatebecile” and received e-mails mentioning her child and a guillotine. Michael Mann has opened mail only to watch white powder fall out and a group of Australian researchers had to be relocated to a secure facility after an onslaught of vandalism and threats of sexual violence against their children. What do all of these people have in common besides being subjected to brutal harassment? They all study climate science.

While the nature of the work that climate scientists do isn’t so very different from a biologists studying bird migration or an astronomer investigating how stars form, climate scientists have been singled out for personal and professional attacks because of the political and social ramifications of their findings.

As a sign of the times, The American Geophysical Union, which represents 62,000 Earth, atmospheric, and space scientists is for the first time partnering with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to offer legal counseling sessions at its annual meeting next month.



Many of the attacks on climate scientists are more sophisticated than dead rats and obscenities. Scientists who once only had to make sure their data was clean now have to deal with nuisance lawsuits and onerous or excessive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Michael Mann, who directs Penn State University’s Earth System Science Center and is the creator of the “hockey-stick” graph, which illustrates the recent spike in global temperatures, has been the target of legal battles for years. He has been investigated by Penn after his email was hacked during so-called “climategate” and in 2010 was accused of defrauding Virginia taxpayers while he was a faculty member at the University of Virginia. Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli demanded access to every document relating to his research during that time. Mann has never been convicted of any wrong-doing.

“It’s an issue few researchers contemplate as they prepare for a career in science,” Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk County Community College in New York and founder of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund told The Daily Climate. “When you get your degrees in science, you have no understanding of how the legal system works. Such naivety is often exploited to slow down the scientific process.”

In a refreshing turn of events, a New Zealand group dedicated to downplaying the existence of climate change was recently ordered to pay around $90,000 in court fees for bringing a “faulty” lawsuit that had sought to invalidate data that proved the country’s temperatures were on the rise.

ThinkProgress.org

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How to Reverse the Slow-Motion Climate Change Apocalypse

Why the divestment movement against big energy is so important.

Apocalyptic climate change is upon us. For shorthand, let’s call it a slow-motion apocalypse to distinguish it from an intergalactic attack out of the blue or a suddenly surging Genesis-style flood.

Slow-motion, however, is not no-motion. In fits and starts, speeding up and slowing down, turning risks into clumps of extreme fact, one catastrophe after another -- even if there can be no 100% certitude about the origin of each one -- the planetary future careens toward the unlivable. That future is, it seems, arriving ahead of schedule, though erratically enough that most people -- in the lucky, prosperous countries at any rate -- can still imagine the planet conducting something close to business as usual.

To those who pay attention, of course, the recent bursts of extreme weather are not “remote “or “abstract,” nor matters to be deferred until later in the century while we worry about more immediate problems. The coming dystopian landscape is all too real and it is already right here for many millions. (Think: the Philippines, the Maldives Islands, drowned New Orleans, the New York City subways, Far Rockaway, the Jersey Shore, the parched Southwest, the parched and then flooded Midwest and other food belts, the Western forests that these days are regularly engulfed in “record” flames, and so on.) A child born in the United States this year stands a reasonable chance of living into the next century when everything, from available arable land and food resources to life on our disappearing seacoasts, will have changed, changed utterly.

Alternet.org
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Quoting 105. RevElvis:
Just 90 Companies Caused Two-Thirds of Man-Made Global Warming Emissions

Chevron, Exxon, and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show.
. . . . .

MotherJones.com

The Guardian (Interactive Graphic)

The Guardian (Article)


Here is the link to the actual paper referenced above. It appears to be OpenAccess, so anyone can read and download it for free.

Tracing anthropogenic carbon dioxide and methane emissions to fossil fuel and cement producers, 1854-2010
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From Salon:

The U.S. has the world’s 43rd-best climate policy

There's a lot of room for improvement


by Lindsay Abrams

Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch are out with their annual Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), which evaluates the effectiveness of climate action taken by the 58 countries responsible for over 90 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Here’s how the ten worst emitters rank in their efforts to do something about it:



The U.S. gets props for an 8 percent reduction in emissions over the past five years, but according to the report, wasn’t progressive enough in our policies to warrant a jump in the rankings. We look great, though, in comparison to Canada, which "still shows no intention of moving forward with climate policy and therefore remains the worst performer of all industrialized countries."

Denmark, due to its "exceptional policy evaluation," ranked highest, but no country can consider itself a winner: the report leaves first, second and third place open in recognition of the fact that "no single country is on track to prevent dangerous climate change."

h/t Climate Desk
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1293
From DeSmogBlog:

CFACT Makes Holocaust Reference About UN Climate Process In Poland

Staying classy as ever, the anti-science Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) sent a fundraising request to its fans this week and made a reprehensible reference to the Holocaust, likening the United Nations' efforts in international climate negotiations to the Nazi concentration camps.

After writing that "there simply is no parallel" between the horrors of Nazi concentration camps and current UN efforts to address climate change, CFACT President David Rothbard went ahead and drew the parallel anyway.

Here is an excerpt from the email (entire message viewable in PDF and online):


(Click for larger image)
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1293
Yeah, run with dat today.

Seems the denial sphere is waggishly on da run.

So whats new?

LOL

No. 10 is tellingly refusing to deny the report in today's Sun that David Cameron has ordered aides to "get rid of all the green crap". A Downing Street spokesman merely stated that "we do not recognise this at all" (a classic non-denial denial). In reference to the environmental levies imposed on fuel bills, a Tory source earlier claimed of Cameron: "He's telling everyone, 'We've got to get rid of all this green crap.' He's absolutely focused on it." The source added: "It's vote blue, get real, now and woe betide anyone who doesn't get the memo."

Those words are strikingly at odds with Cameron's recent declaration in Sri Lanka, following Typhoon Haiyan, that "I'm not a scientist but it's always seemed to me one of the strongest arguments about climate change is, even if you're only 90 per cent certain or 80 per cent certain or 70 per cent certain, if I said to you there's a 60 per cent chance your house might burn down do you want to take out some insurance? You take out some insurance. I think we should think about climate change like that.

"Scientists are giving us a very certain message. Even if you're less certain than the scientists it makes sense to act both in terms of trying to prevent and mitigate.

"So I'll leave the scientists to speak for themselves about the link between severe weather events and climate change. The evidence seems to me to be growing. As a practical politician I think the sensible thing is to say let's take preventative and mitigating steps given the chances this might be the case.
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Maybe Prime Minister David Cameron is starting to "wise-up".

Link
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Environment Groups Walk Out Of Warsaw COP19 Climate
Thu, 2013-11-21 04:30, Graham Readfearn

LEADING global environment and civil society groups have dramatically walked out of the United Nations COP19 climate change talks in Warsaw in an unprecedented move in UNFCCC conference history.

The talks in Warsaw have been dogged by uncertainty and a lack of progress, with campaign groups complaining daily of blocking tactics and buck-passing by many governments.

Groups including Greenpeace International, WWF, Oxfam International, ActionAid International, Friends of the Earth Europe and the International Trade Union Confederation joined the walkout.

Losing patience with the Warsaw talks, the groups accused governments of putting the interests of the "dirty energy lobby" first and of failing to address a global "climate crisis".

In a statement, the groups said: "enough is enough" but some stressed they were not walking away from the UNFCCC process entirely, promising to return for the talks in Lima, Peru, in 2014. ...


Whole article see link above.
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Quoting 98. Neapolitan:
I agree with much of that. But I'm not so sure the "valuable attributes" bit applies where climate change denial is concerned as much as it would if facing a long battle with, say, cancer, or an uncertain military enemy. That is, I suppose a dull-witted person standing still on a wintry mountain slope while watching an avalanche speeds towards him from above could be considered in some ways to be "optimistic, confident, and courageous", though I'd simply think him to be ignorant, oblivious, and more than a little stupid...

Agreed, there are always adjustments to the gene pool. I am more worried now that these small adjustments will not be made in time to save the species.
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Quoting 111. BaltimoreBrian:

Black Beauty rock 'is oldest chuck of Mars'


Just curious - how many "Chucks" live on Mars?

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From CLIMATE ACTION TRACKER


In talks for a new climate treaty, a race to the bottom

Weak government action on climate change will lead to a projected 3.7degC of warming by 2100, around 0.6degC higher than the original promises they made in Copenhagen, the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) said today.

The annual assessment by the CAT, a project of research organisations: Climate Analytics, Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research shows that the world has a one in three chance of exceeding 4?C by 2100.

“We are seeing a major risk of a further downward spiral in ambition, a retreat from action, and a re-carbonisation of the energy system led by the use of coal,” said Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics.

“Governments are taking a ‘bottom up’ approach to climate action, unilaterally degrading their pledges without review: the type of pledge first, review later approach to commitments that could lead to a very weak agreement in 2015.”

Since the Warsaw talks began, the announcement by Japan to downgrade its target enlarged the global 2020 emissions gap by 3-4%. Australia's backtracking on implementation could widen the gap further, with some positive signals coming from the US and China.

These developments point towards warming of about 5?C, under the highest of the new IPCC scenarios that sees a sixfold increase in coal use. There is a growing disconnect between current policies and 2020 pledges, and the longer-term reductions needed for 1.5-2°C.

“This whole situation flies in the face of plentiful opportunities for action and the continuing rise of renewable energy,” said Niklas Höhne Director for energy and climate policy at Ecofys. “For the first time, we analysed whether currently implemented government policies are sufficient to meet their pledges and find that significant and very diverse action is happening, but still not sufficient.”

“Instead of strong domestic policies to meet ambitious pledges, we’re seeing a weakening of action, and a degradation of pledges that sees the highest 2020 emissions levels the Climate Action Tracker has ever seen,” said Marion Vieweg, of Climate Analytics.

The Climate Action Tracker has spent recent months researching the world’s 24 biggest emitters, gathering data from a wide range of sources and today released its full assessment of their current pledges and policy pathways. These are the numbers that have been used to arrive at the 3.7degC policy projection.


Download the full policy brief >>
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Partnering With Polluters? U.N. Climate Summit Criticized for Sponsorships by Fossil Fuel Companies

Monday, November 18, 2013

Democracy Now - Organizers of the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, are facing criticism for accepting corporate sponsorships from major car manufacturers, oil companies, steel manufacturers and coal firms. Meanwhile, the Polish Ministry of Economy has teamed up with the World Coal Association to put on a parallel "International Coal and Climate Summit," also in Warsaw. We speak to Pascone Sabido of the Corporate Europe Observatory, who has just published the booklet, "The COP 19 Guide to Corporate Lobbying: Climate Crooks and the Polish Government's Partners in Crime."

TRANSCRIPT



See all of our coverage from the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland: http://www.democracynow.org/topics/warsaw_climate _summit_2013
Member Since: November 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1293
Cheap But Imperfect: Can Geoengineering Slow Climate Change?
Spiegel English, Nov 20, 2013, Interview by Johann Grolle

Canadian environmental scientist David Keith wants to change the world's climate by creating a type of sun filter in the sky to halt global warming. In an interview, he argues the technology is effective and inexpensive, but critics liken it to a nuclear bomb. ...
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RE: 110


That has always been one of my favorite "Far Side" cartoons! It wasn't meant as a compliment I'm sure. I don't care. It's still funny!
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Quoting 104. cyclonebuster:


Sounds like something Abbott and Costello would do.... An Abbott and Costello government.....



Ok, my calculus teacher has got to see this. Might explain to her some of my math figuring.

2+2=5.
Member Since: July 2, 2012 Posts: 101 Comments: 10580
Quoting 111. BaltimoreBrian:
Texas Fishing Report (for etxwx)

There seems to be a consensus. Yellow catfish are slow.
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Quoting 78. cynyc2:


Please keep in mind that I was off by a factor of ten, as a couple of other bloggers pointed out, and after looking back, I believe they are correct.

That blanket is actually 10 feet deep, not one. Wow, I say, just wow!

If we were still at 280 ppm CO2, that blanket would only be 7 feet thick.

As others say, Faster and faster....


And about 0.6" (or 1.5 cm) thicker each year.
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Quoting 106. PensacolaDoug:
I got my blog back up. Feel free to drop by folks. Be nice!



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109. yoboi
Quoting 106. PensacolaDoug:
I got my blog back up. Feel free to drop by folks. Be nice!


Thanks
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 8 Comments: 2736
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3758
Dirty Energy Subsidies Still 5x More Than Pledged Climate Aid, Activists Ask #WTF?


Oil Change International released a briefing paper today at COP19 in Warsaw revealing that subsidies lavished on the fossil fuel industry by wealthy industrialized nations add up to more than five times the amount of climate finance aid the same countries have so far pledged to deliver to poorer nations to reduce their global warming emissions and adapt to manmade climate change.

Despite the fact that industrialized countries have pledged to scale up to $100 billion in annual climate aid by 2020, they are still pumping more money in the opposite direction, subsidizing fossil fuels production and consumption instead of helping the developing countries adapt and mitigate against climate change impacts.

The G-20 has unanimously supported phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies since 2009, and re-affirmed its commitment to doing so this fall, so there is no reason for this disconnect to persist, other than the powerful grip that the oil and coal industries have over many of these governments currently.

Oil Change International's website summarizes this backwards approach:

In an effort to provide shorter term resources and build frameworks for climate finance, developed countries had collectively committed to $30 billion of “fast-start” climate finance from 2010 through 2012. Based on self-reported data compiled by the Open Climate Network, these countries slightly exceeded their commitment, contributing $35 billion of climate finance over the three years – an average of $11.7 billion per year.

However, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2011 fossil fuel subsidies in these same countries totaled more than $58 billion, more than five times greater than average annual climate finance over the fast-start period. This massive expenditure of taxpayer money to bolster the oil, gas, and coal industries continues more than four years after G20 member countries pledged to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.


Stephen Kretzmann, the founder of Oil Change International, told Bloomberg Businessweek:

“The world is in a deep hole with climate change, and the first thing to do in a hole is to stop digging. Governments are not only still digging, they’re still spending at least five times more in taxpayer support to dig more than they are to climb out.”


More at DeSmogBlog >>
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I got my blog back up. Feel free to drop by folks. Be nice!
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Just 90 Companies Caused Two-Thirds of Man-Made Global Warming Emissions

Chevron, Exxon, and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show.



The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.

The companies range from investor-owned firms—household names such as Chevron, Exxon, and BP—to state-owned and government-run firms.

The analysis, which was welcomed by the former Vice President Al Gore as a "crucial step forward" found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas, or coal, found the analysis, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Climactic Change.

"There are thousands of oil, gas, and coal producers in the world," climate researcher and author Richard Heede at the Climate Accountability Institute in Colorado said. "But the decision makers, the CEOs, or the ministers of coal and oil if you narrow it down to just one person, they could all fit on a Greyhound bus or two."

MotherJones.com

The Guardian (Interactive Graphic)

The Guardian (Article)
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Quoting 103. Xandra:
From The Shovel:

New Science Discoveries To Be Taken To Manus Island For Processing



Any Science found trying to enter Australian institutions would be held in detention on Manus Island before being permanently removed, under tough new regulations revealed by the Government today.

The proposed laws are part of the Abbott Government%u2019s broader commitment to put an end to Science, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott said was already showing results. %u201CSince the new Government has come into power, there hasn%u2019t been a single instance of Science trying to enter our shores. Previously, it was running unchecked, it was out of control. Under my government, Science will never be settled%u201D.

Mr Abbott said he was simply acting on the Government%u2019s pre-election promises. %u201CWe said we%u2019d be a no-surprises government; under this policy there will be no surprising discoveries. We said we would turn back the Science, and this is what we are now doing%u201D.

Asked about the potential consequences of allowing Science into the country, Mr Abbott said extreme caution was needed. %u201CWe don%u2019t know anything about these Science discoveries or what their intentions are. They can be very sneaky, very cunning. Some of them %u2013 like Wi-Fi %u2013 you can%u2019t even see%u201D.

The Shovel is Australia%u2019s satire website. For more, follow The Shovel on Facebook and Twitter.


Sounds like something Abbott and Costello would do.... An Abbott and Costello government.....

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From The Shovel:

New Science Discoveries To Be Taken To Manus Island For Processing



Any Science found trying to enter Australian institutions would be held in detention on Manus Island before being permanently removed, under tough new regulations revealed by the Government today.

The proposed laws are part of the Abbott Government’s broader commitment to put an end to Science, which Prime Minister Tony Abbott said was already showing results. “Since the new Government has come into power, there hasn’t been a single instance of Science trying to enter our shores. Previously, it was running unchecked, it was out of control. Under my government, Science will never be settled”.

Mr Abbott said he was simply acting on the Government’s pre-election promises. “We said we’d be a no-surprises government; under this policy there will be no surprising discoveries. We said we would turn back the Science, and this is what we are now doing”.

Asked about the potential consequences of allowing Science into the country, Mr Abbott said extreme caution was needed. “We don’t know anything about these Science discoveries or what their intentions are. They can be very sneaky, very cunning. Some of them – like Wi-Fi – you can’t even see”.

The Shovel is Australia’s satire website. For more, follow The Shovel on Facebook and Twitter.
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Quoting 68. pcola57:


Thank you DJ..
Interesting article..
This is the kind of info I was asking yoboi for yesterday..
It is carbon neutral..
Not a power source though that could be isolated for field energy production in my opinion..
Net gain seems to only getting back the potential put in..
Water,clean water,has been shown to work..
Salt water needs treatment as is harmful to turbines and other equipment..
Which may be mute by the carbon neutral aspect..
Something to ponder for sure..
Thanks again..


Per Dr. Hugh Willoughby @ FIU....
"One would want to do a detailed simulation before defining the scope of the project, but the basic notion is conversion of some of the kinetic energy of the Gulfstream into gravitational potential energy of the mixed water column." The Gulfstream also carries with it a lot of kinetic energy created by wind (Ekman Transport) combined with Coriolis forces.....

Using the mixed water column would drive Rankine cycle turbines using low-pressure turbines.... Basically,you boil off refrigerants such as ammonia or R-134a to drive the turbine then cool and condense it to be used over again and again in the cycle... Using this Rankine cycle along with the Kinetic energy of the stream you get to tap two energy sources at the same time making it a combined cycle unit/units..
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Quoting 100. yoboi:


I would say they are predicting that they could not pick the coconut.....


sigh
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100. yoboi
Quoting 96. schwankmoe:


yoboi, if someone says 'even if i grew 20 feet i couldn't pick that coconut', they aren't predicting that they'll actually grow 20 feet.


I would say they are predicting that they could not pick the coconut.....
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 8 Comments: 2736
From The Price of Oil:

A Call for Reason in Warsaw: Finance Climate Action, not Fossil Fuel Subsidies

With just a few days left until the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference draws to a close, time is running out to reach a meaningful agreement on providing climate finance for developing countries – a key component of the negotiations.

But as shown in a briefing released by Oil Change International today, while Annex 2 (developed) countries continue to debate how to honor their commitment to provide $100 billion each year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts, these same countries are providing five times more public support for fossil fuel production and consumption than they have so far pledged in climate finance. These fossil fuel subsidies are driving the global growth in greenhouse gas emissions and therefore directly undermining investments to reduce climate impacts.

In an effort to provide shorter term resources and build frameworks for climate finance, developed countries had collectively committed to $30 billion of “fast-start” climate finance from 2010 through 2012. Based on self-reported data compiled by the Open Climate Network, these countries slightly exceeded their commitment, contributing $35 billion of climate finance over the three years – an average of $11.7 billion per year. However, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2011 fossil fuel subsidies in these same countries totaled more than $58 billion, more than five times greater than average annual climate finance over the fast-start period. This massive expenditure of taxpayer money to bolster the oil, gas, and coal industries continues more than four years after G20 member countries pledged to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.


Developed Country Climate Finance vs Fossil Fuel Subsidies, by Country. Source: OECD 2013, OCN 2013.

In order to ensure meaningful progress on climate finance in Warsaw, Annex 2 countries should commit to predictable and steadily increasing levels of public climate finance through 2020. Clear guidelines for calculating and reporting climate finance contributions are needed to hold developed countries accountable to their promises.

And given the broad agreement on fossil fuel subsidies phase-out, countries should immediately adopt and implement concrete, time-bound plans to effectively phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2015. These plans should include:

- transparency and consistency in reporting;
- concrete measures to phase out producer subsidies including an immediate ban on subsidies for further exploration;
- phase out plans for subsidies provided by international financial institutions and export credit agencies; and
- assistance and safeguards for the poor and most vulnerable who must be guaranteed access to energy.

"The world is in a deep hole with climate change, and the first thing to do in a hole is to stop digging" said Steve Kretzmann, Executive Director of Oil Change International. "Governments are not only still digging, they’re still spending at least 5 times more in taxpayer support to dig more than they are to climb out."

Read Oil Change International’s full briefing.
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Quoting 94. Pipejazz:
My post on "Denial" was buried at the end of the blog that crashed. Its basic premise is that the act of denial (of adversity or impending death) was adaptive for the evolution of the human mind. For those interested, I will post a review after I read the book in its entirety.

1442. Pipejazz 4:44 PM GMT on November 18, 2013 +1
I have not yet read this new book from Ajit Varki and Danny Brower published 2013 on Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind. This description is intriguing…

As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change. On the other hand reality-denial affords us many valuable attributes, such as optimism, confidence, and courage in the face of long odds.

More here:
http://cmm.ucsd.edu/varki/denial/home.html
I agree with much of that. But I'm not so sure the "valuable attributes" bit applies where climate change denial is concerned as much as it would if facing a long battle with, say, cancer, or an uncertain military enemy. That is, I suppose a dull-witted person standing still on a wintry mountain slope while watching an avalanche speeds towards him from above could be considered in some ways to be "optimistic, confident, and courageous", though I'd simply think him to be ignorant, oblivious, and more than a little stupid...
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From the Realeconomics blog:

The costs of extreme weather

The main reason I cover climate change issues so relentlessly is because any meaningful solution to this problem will cost big bucks and the current economic environment will not allow us to spend that kind of money. So obviously, the economic thinking needs to be changed. Lobbying for such changes is the main reason I write this blog.

But once in a while, I am reminded that the costs of doing nothing are also enormous. So we find ourselves in the situation where an economic brain-lock prevents us from spending the money we need for remediation while at the same time, we are forced to spend the money anyway to clean up the damage.

Pretty much sounds like complete insanity to me.

World Bank: Losses From Extreme Weather Now At $200 Billion Per Year
REUTERS 18 NOV 2013


WARSAW (Reuters) - Global economic losses caused by extreme weather events have risen to nearly $200 billion a year over the last decade and look set to increase further as climate change worsens, a report by the World Bank showed on Monday.

A United Nations' panel of scientists has warned that floods, droughts and storms are likely to become more severe over the next century as greenhouse gas emissions warm the world's climate.

"Economic losses are rising - from $50 billion each year in the 1980s to just under $200 billion each year in the last decade and about three quarters of those losses are a result of extreme weather," said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.

"While you cannot connect any single weather event to climate change, scientists have warned that extreme weather events will increase in intensity if climate change is left unchecked."

Reinsurance company Munich Re has estimated total reported losses from disasters were $3.8 trillion from 1980 to 2012, attributing 74 percent of those to extreme weather.

More than 3,900 people have been killed in Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.

The typhoon threw a spotlight on the impact of climate change and coincided with the start of November 11-22 talks in Warsaw, Poland, where governments are trying to draw up a plans to slow its effects.

EMERGING ECONOMIES AT RISK

Many nations have said the typhoon matched trends towards extreme weather and was an example to spur action in Warsaw, which is meant to lay down the outlines of a global deal in 2015 that will enter into force from 2020.

But the U.N. panel of climate scientists says it has only "low confidence" that human emissions have already contributed to the intensity of cyclones, which include typhoons and hurricanes, since 1950.

As part of the talks, governments are discussing a mechanism to help poorer countries cope with losses and damage from climate change.

Although weather-related disasters can affect all countries, the most severe economic and human losses are expected in rapidly growing countries, such as those in Asia, which are building their economies in areas vulnerable to floods, droughts and extreme temperatures, the World Bank said.

The average impact of disasters on such countries equaled 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2001 to 2006 - ten times higher than the average for high-income countries, the World Bank said.

But climate impacts will especially cripple poorer countries. Hurricane Tomas in 2010, for example, devastated St Lucia and caused losses of 43 percent of GDP.

To help avoid unmanageable future costs, governments should focus on making their countries more resilient to disasters, even though that might require up-front investment, it added.

more
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Quoting 91. yoboi:




"as reality even were atmospheric CO2 to climb to 1500ppm, average daytime highs in Kansas to reach 120, the seas to rise a hundred meters, Florida to be submerged, Greenland to become a tropical paradise, all the fish in the ocean to die, and winter to disappear almost entirely save for a few brief January cool snaps in Siberia"


yoboi, if someone says 'even if i grew 20 feet i couldn't pick that coconut', they aren't predicting that they'll actually grow 20 feet.
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Quoting 84. RevElvis:
Imminent peak oil could burst global economic bubble: study

Major industrial sectors are at risk without a swift transition to a more resilient, post-carbon economy

A new multi-disciplinary study led by the University of Maryland calls for immediate action by government, private and commercial sectors to reduce vulnerability to the imminent threat of global peak oil, which could put the entire US economy and other major industrial economies at risk.

The peer-reviewed study contradicts the recent claims within the oil industry that peak oil has been indefinitely offset by shale gas and other unconventional oil and gas resources. A report by the World Energy Council (WEC) last month, for instance, stated that peak oil was unlikely to be realised within the next forty years at least. This is due to global reserves being 25 per cent higher than in 1993. According to the WEC report, 80% of global energy is currently produced by either oil, gas or coal, a situation which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

The new University of Maryland study, in contrast, conducts a review of the scientific literature on global oil production and argues that the bulk of independent, credible studies indicate that a “production peak for conventional oil [is] likely before 2030″, with a “significant risk” it could occur “before 2020.” Unconventional oil such as Canadian tar sands is “unlikely to expand enough to fill the gap”, and this also applies to “shale oil and gas.” Shale wells, the study argues, “reach their maximum production levels (peaks) much earlier than conventional ones and are therefore difficult to operate profitably.”

Although US Geological Survey (USGS), Energy Information Administration (EIA) and International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates project that the decline of conventional resources will be more than compensated by ‘yet to be developed’ and ‘yet to be found’ fields, other scientific studies find that these “projections are overly optimistic.”

RawStory.com (The Guardian)


This is something I have been interested in for quite a while now. I believe the conventional oil peak was actually in 2007, and the expected conventional plus non conventional peak will be prior to 2020 - that's 7 or less years folks.

There is a website called theoildrum, which has closed but kept all of its information up for archival purposes, that has all of the relevant numbers.

The decline in affordable oil will not alleviate the increase in CO2 in my opinion. CO2 concentrations will continue to rise, as natural gas and coal will be used to fill the energy gap left by oil.

On top of that, there is a lot of research going into methane hydrates. If this fuel source is tapped, 1500 ppm of CO2 may become a reality sooner than we think.

No matter what way the ball bounces, it doesn't look good...Peak oil, phosphorus, and certain metals, the loss of biodiversity, farm lands, and fish stocks - not to mention fresh water supplies, they all will have an impact on society, and I fear the largest of these impacts will be to limit the resources that will be needed to mitigate/adapt to CC.
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My post on "Denial" was buried at the end of the blog that crashed. Its basic premise is that the act of denial (of adversity or impending death) was adaptive for the evolution of the human mind. For those interested, I will post a review after I read the book in its entirety.

1442. Pipejazz 4:44 PM GMT on November 18, 2013 +1
I have not yet read this new book from Ajit Varki and Danny Brower published 2013 on Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind. This description is intriguing…

As a consequence of this evolutionary quirk we now deny any aspects of reality that are not to our liking-we smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy foods, and avoid exercise, knowing these habits are a prescription for an early death. And so what has worked to establish our species could be our undoing if we continue to deny the consequences of unrealistic approaches to everything from personal health to financial risk-taking to climate change. On the other hand reality-denial affords us many valuable attributes, such as optimism, confidence, and courage in the face of long odds.

More here:
http://cmm.ucsd.edu/varki/denial/home.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From DeSmogBlog:

Climate Denial Group CFACT Congratulates Australia During Warsaw Talks

AUSTRALIA finally has a vocal cheerleader at the COP19 United Nations climate talks currently taking place in Warsaw - a climate denial activist think tank which rejects the science of human-caused climate change.

The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT, a fossil fuel-funded group which denies that emissions from burning fossil fuels cause climate change, declared in a UN-sanctioned press conference inside the talks that the world should be following Australia's lead in repealing laws to price carbon emissions.

Environment groups have been critical of Australia at the talks, giving the country four "Fossil of the Day" awards for slowing down the talks, while one group said Australia is taking an "anti-climate" stance in Warsaw.

Campaigners have been shocked at the rhetoric coming from Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who recently described carbon pricing as a "so-called market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no-one" and characterised moves to financially support developing countries to manage climate change as "socialism masquerading as environmentalism."

Marc Morano, the editor of the ClimateDepot denial website, appeared Tuesday alongside CFACT executive director Craig Rucker. Morano unleashed a torrent of previously debunked climate denial talking points to a sparsely populated and occasionally perplexed press conference audience.

"Coal is the moral choice, particularly for the developing world," said Morano in the CFACT Warsaw press conference - a comment greeted with laughter from many in the room. Conference hosts Poland have been criticised for simultaneously hosting a World Coal Association conference elsewhere in Warsaw.

"The model for the world right now should be Australia," Morano said. "Australia gets it. Scientifically they get it, politically they get it and particularly when it comes to the United Nations, they get it. They are pulling out of this, they are repealing their carbon tax and Canada seems to be intrigued by what Australia is doing."

"Australia gets it - they have realised what the United Nations is doing here today. Viva Australia - let's hope the world follows Australia's model," said Morano, who is a former advisor to Republican Senator James Inhofe, who has said global warming is a scientific "hoax".

Support from CFACT is not the kind of attention which Australia will welcome.

CFACT has accepted more than $4 million in recent years through Donors Trust, a slush fund for rich conservatives, and has also accepted more than $500,000 from oil giant ExxonMobil and other fossil-fuel related foundations.

Also appearing for CFACT was 81-year-old former Apollo astronaut Walter Cunningham, who admitted he was no climate scientist but then proceeded to tell the audience how science should and should not be carried out.

He said phrases such as "climate change," "global warming" and "anthropogenic warming" were, in fact, "code words for governmental control of energy consumption and consequently our standard of living."

[...]

In questions, one representative from the UK Youth Climate Coalition said: "I'm going to call bullshit on everything that you have just said. You guys are the ones being naive and you guys are the ones ignoring the science. I don't even know what to ask. I think my question would just be... how do you sleep at night?"

Watch the Q&A part of the presser >>

In angry scenes outside the press conference, Morano, Rucker and Cunningham were challenged on their views by British climate change Professor Kevin Anderson. Mr Rucker evaded questions from DeSmogBlog on aspects of the organisation's funding. Stay tuned for more on that soon.
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
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