The Simple Truth Lies

If I were a scientist specialising in climate change, I would be rather depressed about my work. It seems that hardly a week goes by when some journalist gets air time on a serious news programme to dismiss anthropogenic climate change as nonsense. This happened on Thursday when Melanie Phillips spoke on the BBC’s Question Time. Continue reading

It has been raining in Southern California

A very cold winter, an exceptionally cold winter is still happening in the United Kingdom. A whole host of journalists have rushed into print, (most ignorant of that which they are most assured) to tell us that climate change is nonsense. The noise and confusion from these journalists has meant that when the BBC commissioned a poll recently 25% of people thought there was no global warming (compared with 22% only a few months earlier) and those who thought climate change was a reality fell from 83% to 75% over a similar period.

So the snow and cold weather has caused many British people to change their minds and disbelieve in climate change; perhaps those awfully clever journalists like Melanie Phillips and that clever gent Nigel Lawson are right; there is no global warming.

Climate change, therefore, is being less believed by people in the United Kingdom than before because we think that the world’s climate is working in the same way as the climate of the British Isles. People in Southern California are thinking differently. According to the song it never rains in Southern California but in the past two or three months Southern California has experienced exceptionally large amounts of rainfall – so large that local infrastructure could not cope and there was flooding.

On 21st January this year heavy rainfall caused floods that made hundreds of residents of Los Angeles flee their homes. Some parts of Los Angeles experienced 12 inches of rain in a week in January. The average rainfall in Los Angeles is 15 inches a year although some parts have as much as 30 inches a year, depending upon elevation. Nevertheless 12 inches in a week is plenty of rain for Californians. It brings flooding and stops traffic, because they are not used to these conditions.  They have also experienced two tornadoes and waterspouts in January which are also very unusual weather events. Californians are generally attributing the exceptional amounts of rainfall and extreme weather events to …climate change!

So while the Brits are becoming climate sceptics because of some snow, the Californians experiencing quite the reverse. But then again, as the song told us it never rains in Southern California, but it pours, man it pours.

A tipping point in climate changes and weeding the lawn

Is there a tipping point? Some people claim that there is a point at which the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reach such a quantity that the atmosphere cannot recover – the tipping point.

After the tipping point is reached the theory goes that our planet will be on an path of catastrophic change which we cannot reverse, whatever we try.  The present level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 381 parts per million although it is not evenly distributed. Continue reading