* Posts by Jimbob...

8 posts • joined 5 Oct 2011

Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

Jimbob...

Re: Clutching at straws?

My problem isn't that the Reg's conclusion doesn't conform to my "religious views", the problem is that the paper itself doesn't make that conclusion! It's a careful and rather narrow bit of science focused on aerosol formation in boreal forest, not global climate research. The quote from one of the authors is their subsequent speculation, not research that has been done, and is balanced by the bit I quoted about problems with a hotter dryer world. As you'd expect from scientists, they're basically (and carefully) saying this is a new process that could have an effect. They are not saying what or how strong that effect will be (yet). None of which stops the Reg presenting the whole thing as a landmark of anti anthropogenic climate research. Yes, they say "could", they could equally well have said "could not". They could have reported both sides of the speculative statements. Hedging a whole lot of statements all going in one direction with "could" doesn't disguise the intention behind doing so.

For the record, I'm not trying to downplay something because it conflicts with my beliefs, it's interesting research will doubtless feed into climate science in a useful way, but what the conclusions of that will be, neither you, me, the Reg or the authors know yet....

Jimbob...
FAIL

Clutching at straws?

Once again, a climate related story where the actual paper (unfortunately hidden behind Nature's paywall unless you have university access or similar) doesn't back up the Reg's conclusions. It's a highly technical piece on aerosol formation, and yes, they have discovered an important mechanism for that. What they don't do however, is make any suggestion at all about what this means for climate modelling. They don't attempt to quantify the effects of the process on a global scale. No doubt this can be done in follow up work, and hopefully improves the quality of climate modelling, but claiming this proves climate change won't be a problem is just plain wrong. The lead scientist speculates for the BBC about possible implications, yes, but he also says "The scientists stress that the new understanding is not a panacea for climate change as forests will stop emitting vapours if they become too stressed from heat or lack of water". And either way, at this stage that's just speculation anyway. As the cliche goes, further research needed...

Europe: OK, we'll 'backload' carbon emissions - but we'd better not lose big biz

Jimbob...
Holmes

"Now, in your case, you're saying that all the "experts" agree, and this proves that they must therefore be right".

Kind of- I'm saying that the people who study climate science overwhelmingly share the working hypothesis that anthropogenic climate change is a real phenomenon currently affecting the climate, and that unless I can come up with anything better (highly unlikely given that it's not my field) I'm best off also accepting that hypothesis, in much the same way that I do with lots of other things that people who aren't me are experts in (medicine for example). The fact that politicians are habitual liars has nothing to do with it, since they aren't experts in anything more than being politicians, and certainly not in climate science- although even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day...

Ideally we'd all inform ourselves fully about everything, but given that we unfortunately don't live long enough to be experts in everything we tend to listen to the people who are experts in their field. Of course they're not infallible, and of course they can be challenged, but its a reasonable starting point, and one we accept all the time of course. Until the expert opinion is one we don't like that is....

Jimbob...
Holmes

I'm not an expert in climate science, and I understand that it's a field with a lot to discover. However, the fact that almost everyone who IS an expert in climate science accepts anthropogenic climate change to be the best working hypothesis is pretty important here no? I'm willing to accept that the consensus opinion of people who study this stuff is probably a better guide to what's going on than whatever opinion I might form after looking at wikipedia for a few hours!

Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

Jimbob...
FAIL

You're just making it up now

"But he and his colleagues consider that it means forecasts should be adjusted downward by around a degree, which is a big deal in global-warming terms"

No, they really don't. I've read the full paper and they suggest the feedback they identify is responsible globally for roughly −0.01 W m−2 K−1 (watts per meter kelvin). This is nothing like enough to adjust global forecasts downward by a degree and the paper makes absolutely no attempt to do suggest that.

The effect is more like the one percent quoted here- "The effect of enhanced plant gas emissions on climate is small on a global scale -- only countering approximately 1 percent of climate warming, the study suggested. "This does not save us from climate warming," says Paasonen.(Paasonen being the lead author of the paper) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130428144921.htm

In fact the only place one degree of change is really discussed is in the supplementary methods section where they explain they used a hypothetical one degree of warming to do the calculations needed to figure out the feedback effect...

The true, tragic cost of British wind power

Jimbob...

Rather than just 'unprofessional shrieking' the response of the director of strategy at the Department of Energy and Climate Change to the AF Consult report was to make the following points-

"The report's conclusions are undermined by its assumptions, which skirt over four crucially important factors:

First, electricity demand is set to increase. All of our main scenarios for 2050 tell us that we need to plan to meet an increase in demand of between a third and two thirds, as transport and heating shift onto the electricity grid. AF Consult massively underestimates this and as a consequence risk us not having enough electricity to power the country and failing to meet our carbon targets.

Second, diversity of energy technology is crucial. As no one can yet say for sure what the relative costs will be decades hence, the Government's approach is not to be captured by any technology lobby. Each has its place in a technology race between renewables, nuclear, and clean fossil fuels in which the lowest cost technology wins the largest market share and keeps bills down for consumers. AF Consult appear to be trying to second-guess the unknowable, and as a result put all of our eggs into just two energy technologies. The build rate using just CCS and nuclear would be unrealistic, risky and costly.

Third, the costs of renewables are already being driven down. Our renewables target is an industrial policy aimed at accelerating reductions in the costs of renewable generation. Onshore wind has already come down in price, hence why we have proposed to cut the subsidy it gets by 10%, and the offshore wind industry is working towards reducing costs to £100/MWh by 2020. Add to that the wider economic benefits of investment and jobs in advanced green industries that will have a global market.‪

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, gas prices are uncertain and volatile. In contrast to renewables, the signs are that gas prices will be higher in future. Even with shale gas there is no certainty that supplies or prices would filter through to the UK.

The IEA for instance foresees gas prices rising to 2030 as demand pressures outweigh supply boosts. Today's consumers are already bearing the brunt of gas price volatility. The Arab Spring and Fukushima last year contributed to driving up gas prices which pushed up the average dual fuel bill by £175, eclipsing the £20 a year current cost of subsidising renewables. While gas will still play a role in the future, home grown renewables will help insulate our economy and consumers from depending excessively on gas imports and the volatility that accompanies that.

Consumers would not be well served by an energy strategy based on short-sighted analysis that pins all its hopes on just two energy technologies and then crosses its fingers that gas prices come good".

http://blog.decc.gov.uk/2012/03/05/future-consumers-would-not-thank-us-for-looking-for-an-energy-policy-in-the-bargain-basement/

RIP: Peak Oil - we won't be running out any time soon

Jimbob...
FAIL

And if we do manage to keep burning oil?

So if we do somehow manage to economically extract oil from these previously unviable reserves, then we can what? Alter the climate even more than the already frankly scary prognoses based on using the known, conventional, fossil fuel reserves? Nothing to worry about there then...

(Disclaimer: unless of course you believe that anthropogenic climate change is a myth cooked up by the green commies in the UN etc etc)

Google+ inertia sets in at Chocolate Factory

Jimbob...

You have to register with your real name, or at least a name that sounds real, but you can add a nickname and have that visible if you want...

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