Unsettling news …

Climate change seems to have jumped the shark so far as the average punter is concerned but having been told that the science is settled governments are busily regulating vacuum cleaners, preventing gas extraction and pursuing policies which will soon lead to rolling blackouts in Britain and Europe and increased energy costs in the US.

Predictions based on the only settled science have proven to be somewhat inaccurate, and the smart new technology somewhat inadequate.

Germany’s state of the art offshore wind farm shows what a state the art is in …

The wind farm was officially turned on in August last year but was shut down again almost immediately due to technical difficulties that have still not been resolved – and now lawyers are getting involved.

The wind farm comprises 80 5MW turbines situated 100 km off the north German coastline. The difficulty facing engineers is how to get the electricity generated back to shore. So far, every attempt to turn on the turbines has resulted in overloaded and “gently smouldering” offshore converter stations.

Built at a cost of hundreds of millions and costing between €1 and €2 million a day to service, the project is estimated to have cost €340 million in lost power generation over the last year alone. And if the problems with the technology are deemed not to be the fault of the operator, German taxpayers will be on the hook for the running and repair costs, thanks to the German Energy Act 2012.

In the Arctic sea ice is disappearing because of global warming meanwhile in Antarctica sea ice has reached its greatest extent since satellite recording began because of global warming. A situation that prompted one commentator to ask

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The answer, Duggie me old mate, is only in the southern hemisphere. But rest assured it will be very bad for the wildlife and also for Kiribati where the surface area for each Kiribatan is just a third of what it was in 1960.

Just this very day the ABC set aside its fascination with interspecific sex and brought us this gem

JAKE STURMER: The nation of Kiribati is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to climate change.
It’s about 7,000 kilometres north east of Australia and is already feeling the devastating impacts of rising tides.
The water is destroying homes, making soil more salty and decimating crops.
If some climate scientists are correct, the majority of Kiribati could be underwater by the end of the century.

If we are going to evacuate Kiribati the sooner we do it the better … whilst there is still room to put them somewhere else.

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Meanwhile the surface area of Kiribati has not diminished and the sea level graph shows that the risk of being swamped by the sea is considerably less than the risk of being swamped by their own population …

tarawa-SLR1

I take comfort in the fact that a substantial part of Australia is still above water and that we haven’t been swamped by climate refugees

In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people, it was said, would flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to food production.

But like any good doomsday cult nothing seems to be disproved when the end of the world fails to happen.

Another pronouncement of the illuminati concerned wetness, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald April 27 2012 …

WET areas have become wetter and dry areas drier over the past 50 years due to global warming, a study of the saltiness of the world’s oceans by a team including CSIRO researchers has shown.

Just imagine the floods get worse and the drought gets worse simultaneously. It remains a popular meme in the settled science.

This effect can be abbreviated to DDWW, dry dryer, wet wetter, and apparently it works well over the oceans (especially dry oceans) but it was tested on land (Greve et al 2014) and it’s true … for only about 10% of the land area. And for about 10% of the land area the opposite happens. Which leaves about 80% of the land area where there is no clear signal of what happens. (DDWW/DWWD/D?W?). Go figure.

One commentator  has obviously been keeping up with our Bureau of Meteorology’s secret adjustment business and points to the truth …

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The snail’s tale …

National Public Radio, August 08, 2007 4:00 PM ET

It’s hard to prove conclusively that a species is extinct, but Gerlach says he’s all but certain that in the late 1990s, the last Aldabra banded snail curled up inside its purplish shell and died. In a paper in the journal Biology Letters, Gerlach lays the blame on an unusual series of summers so long and hot that they killed off all the younger snails.

“So the juveniles just weren’t surviving, and the adults gradually died off,” Gerlach says. “Now we don’t have juveniles or adults.”

Gerlach says he found the proof he needed in shells gathered up by collectors. Smaller shells, once common, disappeared with the frequent long, hot summers. He suspects — but cannot prove — that these bad summers are a side effect of global warming. If he’s right, then this snail has earned itself a grim distinction: It would be the first species in the modern era to become extinct as a direct result of climate change.

All but certain, that would be like 99.999%.

Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 … Good News and a photo.

The pause explained …

As most of us are aware the world has failed to warm significantly in the past 17 years, during which time there has arisen an ever increasing gap between the predicted and observed temperatures. Various causes have been proposed for the pause. The House of Lords may have stumbled upon the explanation quite serendipitously. From the BBC …

A hereditary peer has asked the government if it takes into account flatulence caused by baked beans in its climate-change calculations.

Labour peer Viscount Simon, 73, raised concerns about the “smelly emissions” resulting from the UK’s unusually high consumption of baked beans.

Lord Simon said: “In a programme some months ago on the BBC it was stated that this country has the largest production of baked beans and the largest consumption of baked beans in the world.”

“Could the noble baroness say whether this affects the calculation of global warming by the government as a result of the smelly emission resulting there from?”

The Baroness foreshadowed a new Department of Flatulence in her answer …

“The noble lord of course does actually raise a very important point, which is we do need to moderate our behaviour.”

The BBC goes on to add …

A study last December suggested the total value of baked beans sold in the 2012 had fallen by £20.8m to £339.3m in the UK.

Which must have occasioned a significant decline in the UK emissions of greenhouse gases. If this trend were to be confirmed on a world-wide scale it might be a complete explanation for the pause.

And they called it science …

Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy summarises his view of science thus, Popper …

 … repudiates induction and rejects the view that it is the characteristic method of scientific investigation and inference, substituting falsifiability in its place. It is easy, he argues, to obtain evidence in favour of virtually any theory, and he consequently holds that such ‘corroboration’, as he terms it, should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely ‘risky’ prediction, which might conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event. Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory. In a critical sense, Popper’s theory of demarcation is based upon his perception of the logical asymmetry which holds between verification and falsification: it is logically impossible to conclusively verify a universal proposition by reference to experience (as Hume saw clearly), but a single counter-instance conclusively falsifies the corresponding universal law. In a word, an exception, far from ‘proving’ a rule, conclusively refutes it.

From that viewpoint a theory that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will produce global warming can be tested by comparing global temperature with CO
2
levels. If CO
2
goes up and temperature does not then the theory is refuted.

It is a useful theory because it is a falsifiable theory. If it doesn’t hold true you don’t necessarily have to toss it in the bin. You can take it back to the drawing board and tinker with it and see if there is a related theory that better explains the facts. To be useful the new theory must also be capable of disproof. A theory, for example, that predicts that increasing CO
2
will produce temperature rise, temperature decrease, increased rainfall and drought is a tough one to falsify.

The University of Michigan brings us news of a study that will soon be published in the journal Global Change Biology. Be afraid, be very afraid because it is clear from the study that “scientists may be underestimating the impacts of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

I will quote selectively, you may feel obliged to see if I have distorted the tale by reading the whole saga <HERE>.

Between 1978 and 2009, Finnish scientists used light traps at night to catch 388,779 moths from 456 species. Eighty of the most abundant species were then analyzed.

Hunter used a statistical technique called time series analysis to examine how various ecological forces, including climate, affected per capita population growth.

The study analyzed populations of 80 moth species and found that 90 percent of them were either stable or increasing throughout the study period, from 1978 to 2009.

There is an obvious conclusion to be drawn here and the authors thought of it …

On one level, the results can be viewed as a good news climate story: In the face of a rapid environmental change, these moths appear to be thriving, suggesting that they are more resilient than scientists had expected, Hunter said.

… and rejected it. In favour of …

The findings have implications that reach beyond moths in Lapland.

If unknown ecological forces are helping to counteract the harmful effects of climate change on these moths, it’s conceivable that a similar masking of impacts is happening elsewhere. If that’s the case, then scientists are likely underestimating the harmful effects of climate change on animals and plants, Hunter said.

And they called it science …