How to Stop Climate Change

Someone born today in the United Kingdom will have a life expectancy which, during his or her lifetime, will probably be much more than 85 years. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 85 years is about the length of time that we must phase out fossil fuel burning if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. We have, they think, a decent lifetime to provide lifetimes for the billions of people yet to be born. Continue reading

Nothing Lasts Forever

The latest IPCC synthesis report indicates that humanity should stop burning fossil fuels by 2100. There is, the IPCC states, too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and unless humanity gets a grip we will be into irreversible global warning with a catastrophic rise in global temperatures by two degrees. I have simplified the IPCC statement, and added the twist that most popular reporters place on complicated scientific statements. How much of this simplification is true? Continue reading

Something Will Not Turn Up

It has taken the United Nations many years to reach the conclusion that I reached ten years ago: the people of the world must move away from fuels which when burnt emit large volumes of carbon dioxide. It seems odd to me that this simple and obvious statement has taken the UN many years to conclude, but obvious and universal truth can be hard to recognise, especially when the obvious conclusion of such truth requires people to change their behaviour. Continue reading

IPCC; same old thing

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has published another report. It is simply another summary, consolidation and examination of scientific papers about various aspects of climate change together with an interpretation of the overall effect of scientific knowledge and some guesses as to what will happen in the future. Although the research that has been reviewed is new, the conclusions and summary are not. Virtually none of the newly reviewed research produces any evidence that the consensus of scientific opinion that climate change is happening and is caused by human activity should be changed. Continue reading

Climate Change – it is not our fault and it is not happening

Although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have not yet published their latest report, governments are getting nervous about climate change. The recession has caused many governments, including that of the United Kingdom, to ask scientists to explain why global warming appears to have “paused” in the last decade. Can this “pause” be consistent with the theory of global warming? Is the planet really warming up, or are all those scientists simply wrong? Continue reading

When I was a kid there was a game shown on television known as “re-arrange the words into a well known phrase or saying”.  Words on a magnetic board such as “saves in nine a time stitch” appeared and if the contestant could get it right he or she would win a prize.  It was an asinine game but in those days there was only two television channels and not much else to watch. Continue reading

The Threat to Small Island States

I suppose that places like Nauru are what we think of as desert islands. It is located in the Pacific Ocean and happens to be the world’s smallest independent republic and probably only has that status because what it has is not of much interest to its neighbours, the nearest of which is 180 miles away. Continue reading

Swings and Roundabouts of Galciers

To the west of the Himalaya mountains is another high mountain chain which is the home to the world’s second highest peak,K2. The range is called the Karakoram and like theHimalayascontains many glaciers. Unlike theHimalayasglaciers in the Karakoram are not shrinking but are growing. Continue reading

The Loss of Summer Sea Ice in the Arctic

If you were to place Genersys solar panels in direct sunlight at the North Pole in the middle of the Arctic summer, they would receive more energy that the area of sunlight strike the panel emits. They would receive energy bouncing off the ice and snow, so that the “solar fraction” would not be a fraction at all, but a whole number and a fraction. The reason for this is the higher albedo for ice and snow, which are white. This albedo reflects light (which you can think of as energy or as heat) back into the atmosphere and is an important factor in keeping the atmospheric temperature of the earth benign enough to support life as we know it. Continue reading

The Warming surface of our Planet

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change having read and deliberated over the findings and analyses of a vast body of scientific opinion reached the conclusion that since 180 the surface of this planet has warmed by two degrees Celsius. I could put the figures differently and take a starting point of 1800, when the planet would have warmed by only 1.5 degrees. Since 1960 the surface warming has been by one degree. Continue reading