This is one of those rare moments in history where action must be taken by all concerned citizens. From now until June 25th is all the time that we have left to stop the EPA from pushing an energy policy that will cut almost 70 GW of electric generating capacity in the US. That is ~10% of the coal capacity in the United States. Coal is one of the cheapest methods available to generate electricity and the loss of 10% of the capacity will increase the cost of electricity for everyone. The impacts of this will ripple throughout the economy.
Posted May 29th, 2012. 3 comments
There is a news article getting lots of attention that temporarily gave me tourettes. I will be putting together an extensive article discussing this by next Monday, but alas my time is limited for the next few days. In essence the claim being made is that this latest paper proves that increasing CO2 is what [...]
The purpose of the previous two articles was to explain the scale of the human contribution to the carbon cycle and to point out that there is significant natural variation as well in the carbon cycle. The natural variation takes place year to year (ENSO cycle) and over the course of the year (Northern Hemisphere growing season). All of these variations make it impossible to know precisely how much natural carbon exits and enters the atmosphere naturally each year. What is known most accurately is how much carbon mankind is putting into the atmosphere.
Posted March 20th, 2012. 4 comments
In the first part of this article I presented a broad overview of the carbon cycle. What it shows is that no matter how the data is analyzed, the human contribution to the flow of carbon into the atmosphere is relatively small (~4%) part of the total. This also means that the contribution to the [...]
One of the few things that I have not covered before in depth is the carbon cycle. That is the path that carbon takes in and out of the atmosphere. For example, plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, but eventually that carbon will make it’s way back into the atmosphere. The flow of carbon from [...]
Posted March 6th, 2012. 14 comments
There has been one new paper about climate in the past week that caught my attention (the Gleick story did catch my attention, but I am passing on it). The collapse of the Mayan civilization 1000 years ago is now being tied to climate change. Most news isn’t making the direct argument that global warming, but there is at least one newspaper that raises the speculation that global warming caused the downfall of the Mayans. Normally silly things like this get ignored, but I found a couple of genuinely interesting things buried under the propaganda.
Posted February 28th, 2012. 3 comments
Over the past week I have seen news articles all over the place that 2011 was the 9th hottest year ever recorded. Not only that, but 9 of the 10 hottest years are since the year 2000. The NASA news release (GISS) is the main source for this statement, but it has been everywhere. Press releases like this are really good examples of irrelevant arguments, while being misleading at the same time.
Posted January 22nd, 2012. 12 comments
One of the many dangers of global warming being thrown around is the increased incidence of malaria in Africa. The theory being that warmer climate would allow mosquitoes to transmit malaria to higher altitudes as the climate warmed up. Year after year it has been thrown out that malaria will rise as a result of global warming. Considering the typical accuracy of the IPCC it should be no surprise that they are once again completely wrong.
A new paper from Malaria Journal is claiming that there has been an unexplained and dramatic DECREASE in the mosquitoes that cause malaria. The drop over the past 20 years cannot be explained by activities to reduce mosquitoes and the drop is ~100%. They actually put the percent drop at 99.7% and 99.8%, but you will excuse me if I round that up a tiny amount. This qualifies as a significant drop in the mosquitoes that transmit malaria.
Posted August 29th, 2011. 11 comments
As Hurricane Irene weakens and behaves exactly like any other hurricane of this size, the NYT has decided to bring up the old and silly argument that hurricanes are getting worse because of global warming. This is a really dead horse, but it appears that it must be dealt with each and every time a hurricane shows up.
Posted August 28th, 2011. 1 comment
This morning I came across an article that set off all kinds of warning alarms over on Forbes. It makes the astounding claim that renewable energy has surpassed nuclear power in the United States. I knew right away that there was some funny going on because nuclear has been a solid 20% of electric energy generation for a long time and things like that don’t change quickly.
The first indicator of how that claim came about was when she provided the percentage of power generated by nuclear power.
In the first three months of 2011, renewable energy — hydroelectric, geothermal, solar/PV, wind, and biomass — made up 11.7 percent of the U.S. energy production mix, surpassing nuclear at 11.1 percent.