back to article Soot warming 'maybe bigger than greenhouse gases' - NASA

Researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, also the home of famous carbopocalypse doom-prophet James Hansen, have repeated earlier assertions that atmospheric soot may be as important as greenhouse gases in driving global warming. This could be good news for humanity, as atmospheric soot levels would be much easier …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Not again

    How heavily have these figures been "corrected"? It's all just more climatologist bullshit if you ask me.

    And other greenies are worried about CO2 being pushed out of the limelight? Well diddums. *IF* (and it's a big "if" given the amount of fraud in this pseudo-science) soot is more dangerous than CO2, the more emphasis SHOULD be on CO2. It's all for the planet, man, not your pathetic little agenda.

    But no, the greenies will just stick to their dogma and ignore any evidence. Which is why they felt they have to "correct" all that climate data in the first place. The evidence didn't give them the answer they wanted.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 12.39 GMT

      You are Lewis Page's alter-ego and I claim my £ 500

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      "How heavily have these figures been "corrected"?"

      You do realise that raw data have to be normalised and callibrated before they can be used? Also, you could have a look for yourself, rather than bitching and accusing everyone you disagree with of having an agenda - All NASA data are available on the Internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Two points.

        Take away all the adjustments made to individual stations and the warming trends disappear.

        There is no such thing as a global average temperature. It's a meaningless number.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hmm...

          @AC if you're going to make a statement like "Take away all the adjustments made to individual stations and the warming trends disappear" you should really cite sources, or at least reveal your name - A statement like this with no name or evedence is not going to be beileved.

          @Mickey - I will repeat myself and clarify slightly, because I know people who use NASA supplied data on a daily basis: All NASA data are available to the general public, where that data still exists (some of the moonlanding data is missing, for example) and where the data aren't classified, (certain satellite positions at specific times are not available). It is a legal requirement for any data funded by the US taxpayer to be made available to anyone who wants it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        BWWWWHAHAHA

        Having actually worked for NASA for a short period (oh yes..touch me) I can confrim that the statement "All NASA data are available on the internet" is utter bullshit.

    3. Anton Ivanov
      Flame

      Regardless of how they are corrected it makes sense

      This makes a _LOT_ of sense. Glacier ice retreat so far has been limited predominantly to the northern hemisphere. The retreat in the southern hemisphere is nowhere as pronounced. This in inconsistency is a subject of constant flamewars.

      In the case of global WARMING due to greenhouse gas this difference is extremely difficult to explain.

      In the case of global MELTING due to the albedo of the ice dropping like a stone things start making a lot more sense.

      The temperate and polar zone air flows in the north and southern hemisphere are nearly perfectly isolated. To add insult to injury in the south there is an also little mix-up between the air masses across the inhabited temperate regions and the polar region because of the way roaring 50-es can go around the earth uninterrupted.

      As a result any soot going up into the air in the north stays in the north and can be carried all the way into the arctic (no roaring 50-es in the northern hemisphere). Which in turn results in snow staying for much shorter during the winter (observed), glaciers retreating (observed) and arctic ice cap retreating as well (observed). None of that has been observed in the South. There you have a mixed bag. Retreat here, advance elsewhere.

      This actually is a _MUCH_ worse scenario than global warming.

      1. The sea rise from this is way faster than from global warming.

      2. The models show that the worst case scenario for gulfstream interruption is actually in the case of change in ocean salinity due to excessive melting of ice.

      So if this is the case we will actually see Europe sinking and frozen in our lifetime.

      1. R Callan
        Boffin

        North v South glaciers.

        There has been a lot of fearmongering here in NZ regarding the retreat of our glaciers, and it has been put down to "Global Warming". There is no doubt that the planet has been warming for the last 150 years, but that is due to us coming out of the "Little Ice Age". The size of glaciers is due primarily to snow fall, not temperature per se, but why the snowfall has reduced, and since when,

        seeing that the mountains are in the "roaring 40s" I would not like to hazard a guess.

        p.s. the mountains in question are quite high, there are 223 named mountains exceeding 7,500 ft (6,750 metres) in height, plus a number of unnamed ones in a range approx 500 miles in length.

  2. Yorkshirepudding
    Boffin

    Ummm....

    isnt that what the DPF (Diesel particulate Filter) is on new diesels?

    bus's are the most vile stinking derv vehicles i know, im sure someone will come out with some economy of scale more passengers than a car blah blah but ill stick to my lean burning TDCI focus thank you very much

    1. Danny 14
      Thumb Down

      DPF isnt the answer though

      DPF's wont work on most buses. They need a decent continuous high speed run to burn off the soot when they get clogged. On a car this isnt too much of an issue (unless you do continual school runs - I hope you have a decent warranty if so). I believe they "regenerate" about once every 1000 miles? On a bus averaging 15mph over a day they will clog up weekly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not about speed

        From what I've heard It's not about the speed of the vehicle so much as the revs being high enough.

        Many DPF's have been packing up on executive cars as some people are driving them too economically sticking below the rev line at which the burn off comes in.

        The way some of the buses are driven round here I'm guessing it won't be a problem. That's not necessarily a good thing though

        1. phoenix
          Alert

          chiming in with my 5 p

          I thought there was some kind of cyclone addon to buses to spin out the particulates or has that idea died? BTW diesel should be banned due to harmful emmisions of pm10 (particles below 10 microns) these could be reponsible for a masive proportion of respiratory illnesses like asthma and they are also carcinogenic reaching far into the lungs' aveolea. Petrol nice diesel bad

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        FAIL

        DPF.

        They don't work very well on most cars either. The Next Big Thing, courtesy of mandatory DPFs, in warranty claims* is blown engines due to "sumping" caused by unfulfilled DPF regeneration burn cycles**. If you ain't doing the motorway miles to make a DPF work as designed, buy a petrol car or petrol/electric hybrid.

        Incidently, have you ever seen the clouds of crap thrown out by a sumping diesel.....?

        *Many manufacturers are taking the attitude that catastrophic engine failure due to screwed DPFs is a user maintenance issue and not covered (Mazda? I'm looking at you). You're supposed to have it cleaned if the light comes on. Dealer cleaning of a DPF costs upwards of 300 quid as it requires removal, burnout in a sealed environment and mandates an oil flush/change to remove and replace oil contaminated by the failed burn cycles that got you into this situation......ouch!

        **They don't need to do this at all if they get run at 2000RPM+ for >20minutes regularly as the heat from the exhaust burns the crap off anyway. The problem here is that the burn cycle *requires* 2000RPM+ for >20minutes to its stuff or it does nothing but pump diesel into the oil sump and eventually you end up sumping as the engine runs on its own oil. Since the fact that regeneration is required at all indicates that you're not doing this sort of running.....FAIL. Also, since regeneration works by injecting diesel into the exhaust stroke, writing off the fuel economy advantage that you bought a diesel for in the first place........EPIC FAIL.

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      DPF (Diesel particulate Filter)

      Then perhaps you could ask your local MEP to get Europe to make them compulsory.

      Sister-in-law has a brand new diesel car, black smoke a plenty when accelerating or going up hill. Garage says it's normal for a diesel, and looking at all the others it is! MOT will be no problem because the test is done with no load.

      Meanwhile, petrol cars have regs to the hilt, and enforced 3-way cat that means they cannot run lean burn for more economy (which upset Mitsubishi's engine development no end, since all their new engines were to be very lean-burn).

  3. Hermes Conran
    Flame

    If ice is melting faster,

    than alarmist models predict, how are they alamist? Just because there is more than one factor in global warming does not mean we can ignore the incovienient ones. This is just more of the denyalist lobby looking for any reason not to do the right thing.

  4. Fuu Baa

    "Localized phenomenon"

    The NASA news release also says:

    "Over areas of the Himalayas, the rate of warming is more than five times faster than warming globally," said William Lau, head of atmospheric sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Based on the differences it’s not difficult to conclude that greenhouse gases are not the sole agents of change in this region. There’s a localized phenomenon at play."

    This implies that soot is a problem in the Himalayas, not that it is the major cause of planetary warming.

    Also, what about ocean acidification from CO2....

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19125631.200-ocean-acidification-the-iotheri-cosub2sub-problem.html

  5. Cameron Colley
    Unhappy

    Still with the anthropogenic...

    Forgetting the fact that this planet's climate _will_ change and, if the human race hasn't amused itself to death in the mean time, we will have to deal with lower-lying regions flooding and more heavy weather.

    Until the morons in power start addressing what will happen whether we like it or not, we're still facing huge problems even if we stopped "producing carbons" this instant.

    1. R Callan

      Sea level change

      Since the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years, the Earth's oceans have risen 400 feet or ~125 metres. I calculate this to be an average of 125mm/century or 3 times the 40 mm/century that the warmists are predicting. There is in fact evidence that the oceans have dropped (~ 300mm) in recent times due to greater evaporation, which ends up as snow on the Great Southern Continent.

  6. Tim Parker

    FFS

    "..it is widely felt that the mountain ice is disappearing much faster even than CO2-alarmist climate models predict"

    So thats seems to suggest we'll need to reduce the particulates to stop things (potentially) only being as bad as expected - while I agree with your suggestion that we could probably gain much by cutting soot levels now Lewis, I don't think it should be completely at the expense of reduction in green-house gases (at least not until the data suggests otherwise globally).

    As William Lau said, we "need to add another topic to the climate dialogue" - not remove any

  7. John Square
    FAIL

    Where are we with...

    Climate Change nowadays? No seriously, I've lost track. It seems we don't know:

    A) If the climate is changing

    B) How it's changing

    C) What is causing any change (if change is happening at all)

    D) What measures will help

    From apurely practical point of view, I think that kind of means it's back to the drawing board and start again, no?

    Instead of that eminently sensible option, we are throwing astronomically large piles of money (that we haven't got), at things we don't understand, to achieve ends we don't agree on, all the while whilst making loads of policy decisions that we have no idea whether they'll do what we think they might do.

    Well, that's just great.

    Coat, as I'm going to the pub. Call me when you got your stuff sorted, and maybe then I'll sign up to doing something.

    1. Tim Parker

      Re : Wehere are we with...

      You could do worse than start there then follow your curiousity...

      http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/11/five-things-you-should-know-about-climate-change.ars

    2. JimC
      Alert

      @John Square

      A is easy: The climate is changing. Always has been changing, always will.

      B is a bit more tricky because the measures used for estimating historical changes are a tad shaky, especially for measuring short term changes. One of the most controversial things about the old hockey stick is that different means are used for deriving the values of different parts of the curve...

      C seems to be, to say the least, on the borders of what the science can reliably offer at the moment

      D well who knows...

      Mind you that's not an exuse to do nothing: there are a lot of things that are sensible to do no matter in what direction and why the climate is changing.

      Burning fossil fuels is a pretty damn silly idea, so the less the better. There are better things to do with the oil. Mind you all of history tells us that wind power has always been a last resort when nothing better is available... If water power can't scale without major ecological catastrophe (like a Severn barrage) then build nukes... Cut down on excess travel too..

      Filling the atmosphere with soot/chemicals/other dross is a pretty silly idea too, so lets do as much as possible to stop that.

      Breeding another billion people every decade or whatever is pretty damn silly too, but I don't see too much empahsis on that one...

      1. John Square

        Ta, JimC!

        "Mind you that's not an exuse to do nothing"- but how do we know what's right? If all of the potential "doing something about it" options were free, or had zero negative impacts, then cool, let's do them all. But they aren't, and (apparently) time is limited, so where to start?

        I think that this is why the environment issue is such a bastard. Obviously, no-one wants to destroy the earth, or whatever, but there's clearly competing and mutually exclusive goals here. Jeremy Clarkson wants it to be paved with exciting roads. Janet Street-Porter wants it to be full of walkers. I want it to be full of pubs. Cool ideas, all of them, but apt to get a bit messy, particularly if I drive home from the pubs along the footpaths used by the walkers.

        So if the goals are mutually exclusive, who gets to call the shots? The Rich? Shall we start telling those poor people to stop with the cooking fires in Africa, and go with solar ovens? Or the poor, who want to reverse a few hundred years of spectacular progress in the West, and want to get us to use the solar ovens instead (good luck with that in the UK)?

        My suggestion: let the market sort it out. Two/three hundred years ago, we were dependant upon whale oil to the extent we ran out of whales. Which are a renewable resource. When that crunch came, we switched to oil oil, and all worked out OK (At least as far as we can prove so far). And let's not forget how primitive our tech was when we made that switch to crude from whale.

        So we should be able to come up with some pretty nifty solutions in the days of the iPod and stuff.

        But not if we keep arguing about cuts.

        So, scientists, get out there and start solving fusion or something. But enough fucking around with hockey sticks and trees. I don't care how bad the numbers look now, I want a bloody solution.

  8. Tim Schomer
    Black Helicopters

    It Won't Happen!

    There's no way the politicians will beleive this (or allow any of their followers to beleive it), the main reason? Because they're all on too much of a good thing with the CO2 scares (besides, any politician that publically denounces the CO2 problem would probably be lynched, albeit by his own kind).

    They're using the CO2 argument to push through all sorts of taxes and new legislation 'fore the good od the planet'. If it's found that by cleaning up diesel exhaust fumes will provide a much quicker and more cost effifient solution (whilst we perfect the technology to deal with CO2 more effectively) half of them would be out of a job along with embarressing an awful lot of environmentalists, and we couldn't have that now could we....

  9. Can't think of anything witty...
    Thumb Up

    Where did they loose me?

    I'm trying to work out what it is that I'm struggling with regarding the Climate Change... Agenda.

    I wondered what word to use there, as if I write "Debate" I have a feeling that I'll be shouted down as a denialist and I am Wrong / Stupid / Evil as appropriate.

    Anyway, i generally like the environment and reckon that we do need to be careful with it. I see myself as a scientifically minded person and yet there is still something that doesn't seem right about the issue of climate change as it is currently presented. I think that now i am realising that what I can't get along with (among other things) is the closure of debate and the single focus on CO2. I fail to see how a system as complex as the atmosphere can be simplified down to CO2.

    The other thing that is concerning is that carbon (by which people generally mean Carbon Dioxide) has had so much social and political capital invested into it that even if everyone decided that soot or something else was actually the big bad, we'd never be able to turn the (metaphorical) oil tanker around to do anything about it.

    So thanks to the Reg for highlighting something that otherwise seems to be being overlooked. I bet that this gets written off as "denailist" propaganda in the wider media where as actually it expands the debate. And yes, it is a debate, just like any other thing in science is a debate, even if there is a lot of evidence on one side and not a lot on the other. Just because it's a one-sided debate doesn't mean it's not a debate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I fail to see how a system as complex as the atmosphere can be simplified down to CO2."

      Lots of astoundingly complex systems reduce down to surprisingly simple models. Actually, this includes almost all of physics. So why should your "failure to see" constitute evidence of anything very much?

      1. Cameron Colley

        Really?

        The temperature of a complex system such as the atmosphere of the earth can be succesfully predicted, decades in advance, by taking only one molecule into account?

        Stop trying to be clever.

    2. Quirkafleeg
      Thumb Up

      Carbon, whichever way

      Soot? There's carbon in that, so there *shouldn't* be a problem with social & political investment (but, as you say, talking about C as if it were CO₂ is a bit of a problem).

      People? Carbon in them too. Too many carbon units.

  10. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Down

    "Black carbon"

    "Black carbon," AKA "carbon," if you studied chemistry at all after nursery. Funny that we have to call this "black carbon" now to avoid confusion with "carbon" which is actually carbon dioxide. I expect Americans are murdering resistor manufacturers as we speak.

    Instead of "tuning" your "more efficient" diesel engine, you might want to just add a DPF, as a previous poster said.

    Anyway, a polluntant that washes out of the atmosphere in a few years is hardly a candidate for the primary cause of a 100-year warming trend, is it now?

  11. NoDosh
    Grenade

    @Hermes

    Is the opposite of denyalist (sic) a nihilist? Oh I think it is.....

  12. Anonymous Bastard
    Boffin

    What is missing

    This study is specific to the Himalayas, not to global warming.

    The short-lived nature of atmospheric particles means only areas threatened by industrialisation will be affected. Globally speaking soot is already on the decrease with Asia being the exception. It's already known that dark particles help snow melt faster, it is not a revelation.

    Generally soot is more involved in global dimming (like after a large volcanic eruption) so we have little to fear this time. This study is noteworthy because we are carbon obsessed and they call soot "black carbon" which is good for their grants.

  13. Scott 19
    Pint

    List

    I'm sticking this on my list of wait and see :-

    1) mobile phones give you brain cancer

    2) we're about to enter an ice age

    3) bird/swine flu is going to kill us all

    Scientific scares the new religion.

  14. David Adams
    Boffin

    Errm...

    Seem to remember a Horizon program about global dimming from a couple of years back.

    Research found that particulate soot in the atmosphere attracted moisture to it and formed larger water droplets than occurred naturally.

    These larger water droplets caused more high level cloud cover which reflected the suns rays and meant less solar radiation reached the ground.

    There research further found that this global dimming was mitigating the effects of Global warming which climate models had shown should have been worse than we were actually seeing.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Its another Paris ....

    I am sick to death of this 'Global' Nanny State mentality where unless we fight over each other to pay even more green taxes, and if we are not buying enough low energy (highly toxic) lightbulbs little puppy dogs will drown in an ever increasing flood of melt water .... *YAWN*

    If all of this clap-trap means anything at all then get China and India to sign up to it but until then get real. Guess what - the Earth's climate is dynamic and will always change, so like it or lump it we are just a spot on it's hairy ass that at sometime we will burst ! The UK making overstated cuts in our CO2 ommisions is like peeing in a swining pool.

    More political propoganda and spin to raise the taxes than even Mandy Mandelson could ever shake his shitty stick at !

    As with most things polotics related I think Paris would blow them all out of the water.

  16. Steven Knox

    Double-edged Sword

    “Airborne particles have a much shorter atmospheric lifespan than greenhouse gases, so reducing particle emissions can have much more rapid impact on warming.”

    ...and, by the same logic, much less long-term impact. The focus has been on greenhouse gases specifically because they have a longer atmospheric lifespan.

    Reducing airborne particles will have an effect "soon" rather than "later" but if* that reduction happened but was not enough to counter the warming trend, we would still need to reduce greenhouse gases now to have any effect "later" rather than "much later".

    * Note that I said "if".

    @Eddie Edwards: "Anyway, a polluntant that washes out of the atmosphere in a few years is hardly a candidate for the primary cause of a 100-year warming trend, is it now?"

    Actually, as long as it's been regularly pumped into the atmosphere, it's a very good candidate. As for "primary cause", there's likely no such thing -- just a lot of co-incidental variables adding up.

  17. Robinson

    Oh please.

    It's interesting to me that the Greenists/Warmongerers are now switching away from CO2 and starting to concoct a second catastrophe scenario. Note that all of these things are related to industrialisation; you never hear them talking about natural variation! They're anti-technocracy, anti-capitalist and anti-progress. They are truly the descendants of the Luddites. Organs such as The Register should really stop pandering to their idiotic propaganda.

    1. Brian 47
      FAIL

      Seriously Now??

      You read the whole article and got "switching away from CO2 and starting to concoct a second catastrophe scenario?" Perhaps a little visit to remedial reading comprehension is in order?

      Maybe you should also go revisit the definition of Luddite? Most climatoligists rely on technology and propose technology based solutions to the warming problem.

      The sad thing is how many people reach adulthood without a minimal exposure to how research is conducted - numerical analysis is rarely completely cut and dry. Combine a basic misunderstanding of science and mathematics with a rediculous amount of self centeredness and you get "I'm going to bash everything I hear about climate change because it would be inconvenient to me if it were true." Ostriches put their heads in the sand - it isn't a particularly effective survival strategy. (But hey - it is a great analogy eh?).

      For the rest of you nutters: The concept that fresh water glaciers are melting at faster and faster rates is well documented fact. Something is causing this and it is very reasonable to search for said cause (and that was the topic of the article Robinson). Of course we could wait until all the glaciers are gone and the associated populations that relay on glacial melt for fresh water supply are without. Why not? F'em, its too much trouble to worry about it now right?

      One other parting thought - to all of you brilliant "arm-chair economists" out there who bitch about the cost of environmental protection - have you ever thought about the fact that environmental protections implemented through technological solutions cost money because they require money to implement? Where does that implementation money go? (Hint: Into the economy just like it does when you buy food or a TV). I'll grant you cap & trade is ENORMOUS bullshit / just moving tiles around on a board, but actual solutions implementation generates jobs, grows the economy, etc. Remember acid rain? Reducing sulfer emmissions was going to destroy the world economy, blah blah blah. Wait, it didn't, but it did end up creating jobs as the solutions were implemented. Catalytic converters on cars were rediculous - wait lots of people are employed in their production today... etc. etc. etc. Who's the Luddite?

      1. Robinson
        FAIL

        Patronise much?

        How about you stop patronising me and making assumptions about my background. I have a science degree (1st class honours); I've studied this subject for five years or more and I work for a company specialising in the construction of scientific instruments for measuring...... temperature (infrared). Your shilling follows a familiar pattern: (1) identify possible interaction, (2) extrapolate into implausible chain of inference, (3) propose costly solution, (4) Invest in costly solution, (5) be discovered publishing fraudulent papers and gaming the review process, go to (1).

        With respect to fresh water Glacial Retreat: SO WHAT? If the temperature is increasing due to natural variation, one might expect, by concocting an implausible chain of inference, that glaciers also advance and retreat on a timetable totally unrelated to your SUV. That being the case, I can't imagine what could possibly allow you to draw the conclusion that we are responsible. Whatever next? A tax on tectonic plate movement? New geo-engineering project to slingshot the moon away to stop tidal surges?

        Idiot.

        Here's a great movie showing how unprecedented current warming is:

        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif

        Amazing!

        1. Brian 47
          Grenade

          Fair Enough

          Fair Enough on the Patronizing label - re-reading it is patronizing. Beyond that - here are my thoughts in no specific order:

          1) You'll note that the GIF doesn't include any of the VOSTOK or DOME C ice core CO2 data - Interesting that - especially since it shows the current atmospheric CO2 levels well above anything in the data sets. If CO2 levels do indeed impact temperature levels in a positive feedback nature then I think temperature increases are a legitimate worry - you can argue that it isn't proven and my argument back would be ok so we wait until we know beyond a shadow of a doubt damn the consequences?

          2) Atmospheric CO2 levels are impacted by the amount of CO2 dissolved in sea water - the southern indian ocean appears to be at maximum levels (and gas solubilities decrease with temperature) - which would imply that CO2 levels could be at an inflection point (upwards).

          3)I don't think any climatologist has ever claimed that CO2 is the only thing that impacts temperature (Biggest impacts? Obviously the SUN and Earth's relatives proximimity). It seems pretty self evident that something like fine particulates (which by nature tend to be black) precipitating onto glaciers would heat up more than white ice. If we are the producers of said particulates then we are a potential cause for the glacier melt.

          4) Looking at data over hundreds of thousands of years, when humanity would only care about the period of time we might have been able to impact the planet is really silly. I bet the Earth was a lot hotter than even those records in the GIF show when it was a ball of hot slag. So what? The real point is that we live in the current climatological period. If comet impacts, volcanic explosions, solar cycles,etc. have caused other peaks and valleys so what? We can't control or change those. However, if we are pushing ourselves out of the most recent equilibrium that we have enjoyed / evolved in - then perhaps it really does matter.

          5) Oh and again I make the point that the investments in environmental controls are economically productive - just like building roads, houses, etc. So all the bitching about the cost is actually kind of silly - we live in economies built on the idea that technology investments increase GDP.

          6) I'd rather live with the economic investment, which ends up being negligable across everyone on the planet when you factor in economic growth associated with the investment vs. the risk if you are wrong. Have you thought about the net result if you are wrong?

          7) "Idiot" Well at least I didn't resort to name calling?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Troll

        About casting of stones

        Before people start chewing other people's heads off for ignorance, perhaps they should also try to remedy theirs. Ostriches don't actually bury their heads in the sand. Don't take my word for it, look it up.

        http://www.nature.ca/notebooks/english/ostrich.htm

        Secondly, what kind of arrogance makes you think that something that is bad for humans is bad for the rest of the planet? Maybe humans are the parasites of the world and everyone would be better off without us? I am on the fence on that one.

        Thirdly, what is so wrong about mass extiction of species? The animals don't care. They either adapt or die. It seems to me it only clashes with our "sensibilities". There already have been mass extiction events at least twice and more are probably to follow. Why is it important to have the variety of species? It's only aesthetics.

        Personally, I don't care. I already have my house 20 metres above the sea level, so I'm good.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    James Dyson

    Wasn't it James Dyson who was on Blue Peter (or was it tommorrows world) many years ago with his cyclone particulate filter fo diesel engines? whatever happened to that?

    1. neil 15

      The did not work

      I did some research on such systems years ago. Engine efficiency was reduced, needed a very large reservoir to hold the collected particulates and they had to be emptied regularly (every few miles), filters got clogged and needed to be replaced often. Hot, fine particulate matter next to a hot combustion source... and do not remind me of the tests with a solvent. Even looked into a system using a clean air cyclone to periodically scour the system (too complex). Good idea, not very practicable. Cyclones have been used in aerosol research for a long time.

      As for those thinking they now have to be worried about Black Carbon, it of possibly the longest measured atmospheric pollutant, Glasgow City Council have been measuring it continuously for nearly 100 years (ish). Ringlemann charts were used to estimate it back in Victorian times and still used.

      The main effect with regard to climate change is that being black, it efficiently absorbs the visible energy from the sun, rather than reflecting it, then retransmitting in the Infra Red as it heats up, hence lowering the albedo which atmospheric carbon (CO2, Methane etc.) blocks the few escape wavelengths in the atmosphere for energy escape, this is the greenhouse effect.

    2. neil 15

      They did not work

      I did some research on such systems years ago. Engine efficiency was reduced, needed a very large reservoir to hold the collected particulates and they had to be emptied regularly (every few miles), filters got clogged and needed to be replaced often. Hot, fine particulate matter next to a hot combustion source... and do not remind me of the tests with a solvent. Even looked into a system using a clean air cyclone to periodically scour the system (too complex). Good idea, not very practicable. Cyclones have been used in aerosol research for a long time.

      As for those thinking they now have to be worried about Black Carbon, it of possibly the longest measured atmospheric pollutant, Glasgow City Council have been measuring it continuously for nearly 100 years (ish). Ringlemann charts were used to estimate it back in Victorian times and still used.

      The main effect with regard to climate change is that being black, it efficiently absorbs the visible energy from the sun, rather than reflecting it, then retransmitting in the Infra Red as it heats up, hence lowering the albedo which atmospheric carbon (CO2, Methane etc.) blocks the few escape wavelengths in the atmosphere for energy escape, this is the greenhouse effect.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      He turned it into a not-as-good-as-it's-made-out-to-be floor sweeper, then moved production to Eastern Europe, making lots of people redundant in the UK, saying that manufacture would be cheaper - Guess what? They the price never went down, who'd o thunk it.

  19. JimC

    Of course another point is:

    It matters not one jot whether any climate change is "natural" or "anthropogenic": the results are exactly the same and the human problem is the same. If all of South East England disappears beneath the waves then it will scarcely be a comfort to say, "Oh its all right, its a perfectly natural phenomenum"... Its probably also true that no matter whether warming (or cooling) its natural or artificial the best solution is probably the same.

    The relevance of the anthropogenic stuff seems to be mainly about scare stories and ways of making predictions, and the predictions especially seem to me to be by far the rockiest part of the science. Also of course the rather infantile assumption that if the cause of the warming affect is A then the best solution is to reverse A. Even some fairly low quality thinking ought to suggest that this is not necessarilly the case!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Agreed

      Let's focus on dealing with the effects that climate will have.

      By all means research the cause in case it throws up anything that can be useful in dealing with the effects, but let's plan to deal with the consequences, which seems much more realistic to me.

  20. G R Goslin

    @ Where are we with...

    No need to call you. The Government has already signed you up for it. You're going to pay for it!

  21. Luther Blissett

    Damn

    I was really looking forward to that trip to the Serengeti - hot days hunting big game, sitting around the bonfire at night while the lions skulk about in the shadows hoping for a bit of tit, stuffing my complacent middle class face on quick-fried locust seasoned with soy sauce, followed by my very own contribution to Gaia's fertility... what with the Cyclops suggestion of using NASA satellites to patrol climate change criminals, there's too much risk now from being evaporated in an instant by one of Lewis's flying jumbo lasers.

    Looks like it'll have to be a wet-suit and a ticket to Antarctica instead to intercourse the penguins.

  22. Bod

    Soot

    Regardless of climate impact, I'd welcome reduction in soot from exhausts just on the basis that living on a busy road my front door is covered in the stuff! (and I dread to think what my lungs contain!).

    However:

    ""We need to add another topic to the climate dialogue," says Lau."

    missed off the additional part,

    "because I need more research money".

  23. Robert E A Harvey

    Paint.

    Why don't we paint all our roofs & tarmac roads gloss white?

  24. Douglas Lancaster

    No Brainer

    A friend of mine used to sprinkle coal dust on top of the snow so he could access the radio towers on mountain tops. One thin layer of coal dust and a day or two later, no more snow!

  25. Michael 36
    Megaphone

    @list

    Don't forget other scientific greats:-

    1 - The world ending Jan 1st 2000 when all the computers crashed.

    2 - When we were all going to die after a nuclear war because:-

    - We would freeze to death as the sun would be blocked out by the debris in the atmosphere

    - The sun would fry us to death as there would be a big hole in the ozone layer.

    3 - The earth is flat

    1. password
      WTF?

      muppet

      1 - there was a bug. It was identified for the most part with few failures the media made the hype

      2 - we haven't had a nuclear war this is down to politics not science. Were we to have a nuclear war this would probably be the case.

      - hole? -> http://garybrandastrology.com/images/Earth%20-%202005%20hole%20in%20ozone%20layer.gif

      possibly just an extreme thinning. We acted and banned CFC's worldwide.

      3 - It has never (even before columbus) been the common view that the world was flat and even had it been prior to sir Francis Bacon there wasn't any real science there was only philosopy.

  26. Paul Banacks
    Stop

    What's needed...

    There are so many people who are willing to jump on the climate change bandwaggon simply because lots of people are screaming about it. There are also a significant number of people who are willing to jump on the deniers bandwaggon because lots of people are screaming about it.

    The way I see it is that there's lots more screaming going on producing a religious-like devotion to one cause or the other than any real science. Everyone seems happy to quote this-and-that paper as if they wrote it. Frankly, I'm sick of it as the real science is lost in the sea of FUD.

    Real science is conducted from a neutral POV and should stand up on its own. But it feels not like science but the same, tired old statistical manipulations played by govermnents all over the world for their own political gain.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      New religion...?

      the longer this goes on, the more it feels like a religion. People who disagree are branded "deniers" who don't go with the "one truth". you may as well call them Heretics and be done with it.

      the whole issue moves beyond question and you need to accept the arguments "on faith" (that you agree that the conclusions reached by the scientists were arrived at fairly and that the statistical analyses were fair an you accept the probability factors etc).

      It's even got it's own fundamentalists (on both sides).

      1. Lu

        Gotta agree

        I gotta agree. I still see too many comments here saying "more denialist bullshit again". If you're not gonna say something constructive (i.e. address the actual article or a comment relating to it), or at least expand your "more denialist" argument somehow - Shut the fuck up.

    2. Raving
      Thumb Up

      Fuddle Duddle

      FISHDO

  27. David Sidebotham
    Jobs Halo

    It isn't just diesels

    Just look at the smoke coming out of a jumbo etc.

  28. Fatman
    Flame

    Black soot may be bigger GW factor than greenhouse gases

    OK, boys and girls, time to remember your basic geography.

    Please locate the Himalaya mountains on a world map.

    Please notice the names of the two largest countries, that lie within a 1,000 km radius of those said mountains.

    Please note which ones have experienced tremendous economic and industrial growth in the past 20-30 years. This can be evidenced by an increasing standard of living, more consumer goods, more, and larger factories. This can also be evidenced by lax pollution regulations that are imposed on factories in developed nations.

    Does anyone else notice a correlation????

    Does anyone else notice which countries expect the developed nations to 'provide economic assistance' to "Third World nations"?

    Or, am I just completely wrong, and just another "denier"?

    All I have to say is this - if "cap and trade" gets put into effect; who is quite likely to benefit from the "trade" in carbon caps? I smell Wall Street Schmucks afoot.

  29. JasGarnier

    Be fair

    Hansen's actually been saying this for a very long time. He's not an unwilling convert. In fact he likely authorized this work in the first place.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    What global warming?

    Below are links to interesting links about research done by supporters of AGW... I'll let you make up your own mind what they prove (or don't).

    1.) Some of the scientists involved in creating the IPCC reports have now admitted that the Earth entered a cooling phase this decade and probably won't start warming again until 2020 (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17742-worlds-climate-could-cool-first-warm-later.html).

    2.) Scientists from NOAA have shown that the increases in temperatures in the Atlantic ocean is primarily related to variations in atmospheric levels of dust and volcano ash and the resulting variations in heating caused by the sun ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1167404 ).

    3.) As pointed out in this article NASA scientists have shown that black carbon aerosols (soot from burning fossil fuels, and domestic wood fires) is the primary cause of glacier reduction in the Himalayas and the Arctic (the only 2 areas to have been investigated so far) ( http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-warming.html , http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/09/arctic_aerosols_goddard_institute/ ).

    4.) Meanwhile in the southern hemisphere where the roaring forties prevent the man made soot reaching the south pole, glaciers in the Antarctic are growing ( http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/sea_ice.html , http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16988-why-antarctic-ice-is-growing-despite-global-warming.html ).

    Personally I think that the evidence for AGW is thin (at best), but it's clear that the damage being done to the planet by pollution is probably even more serious than the predicted damage of AGW.

  31. Brian Hall

    Inversions

    It's all so bass-ackward!

    My POV:

    Warming good, Cooling bad (historically speaking).

    CO2 trivial ( arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161v4 ), which is unfortunate since we might need some warming quite soon.

    Big Bux and Power Plays have driven the Green/Climate agenda from early on. It is now irredeemably compromised.

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