It is complicated!

Some lay people and a very few scientists have claimed that there has been either no global warming or a much slower pace of global warming in the past ten years.
Unfortunately, climate science is a matter of genuine scientific complexity, and it is simply not true to try and make simple statements about that complexity and those claims are very simply, almost  childish statements. Continue reading

Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report has just been published. As is the way these days snippets have been released before publication and the headline is that the scientists say that they are 95% certain that climate change is mainly, or dominantly caused by human activity.  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

The Extent of Arctic Sea Ice 2013

We are approaching the time when Arctic sea ice is measured at its seasonal lowest extent. Some sources have inaccurately reported that sea ice concentration this year is the highest ever. It is not. The extent of sea ice is significantly below the average extent of sea ice from 1981 to 2010. Continue reading

The Most Important Issue

At the moment the world news is dominated by the possibility and the United States will drop a few bombs on Syria and then run away, causing deaths and resentment in many places by interfering (rather than preventing) a hideous civil war. Mr Obama has spoken and now will, like Mr Cameron, attempt to deflect some the responsibility of a course of action which may be contrary to International Law by seeking safety in numbers, spreading the decision to bomb or not to bomb, among the American congressmen and senators. However much this news dominates the world media it is not, in my view, the most important news to break. Continue reading

GM Crops and the Test of Time

Genetically modified crops are becoming unfashionable. The European Union has steadfastly resisted the advances of Monsanto to permit the introduction of GM crops in Europe, and Monsanto has given up on the idea of introducing its crops in the EU. They say that the EU will be the loser as a result. Monsanto will still try to persuade the Europeans to permit the sale in Europe of GM crops grown elsewhere, but the European is suspicious by nature of food that is created artificially. Continue reading

It’s Hotting Up

In August ten years ago Faversham in Kent recorded the higher temperature ever recorded in the United Kingdom. The good folk of Faversham felt 38.5 °C (101.3 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded on this planet was at Death Valley in California in July 1913 when temperatures reached 56.7 °C (134 °F).

These are exceptional temperatures, as you would expect record temperatures to be, about ten degrees higher than average temperatures.

While the United Kingdom has experienced a poor and sometimes sunless summer, the folk of the Western United States are suffering a heat wave. Temperatures are on average ten degrees higher than average. In Phoenix 47 °C was recorded while in Death Valley 51 °C was recorded and were forecast to reach very close to the record.

The Western United States is getting hotter, and it is still June. Back in the United Kingdom the forecast for this week end is for temperatures to reach 24°C this week end.

Global Warming – Follow the Money

Although you may read incorrect reports that the planet has not warmed in the last decade, those reports are usually inaccurately reported. It is impossible to summarise a detailed scientific analysis of global warming in the sound bite journalism beloved of the popular press. It is true that global mean temperatures in the past decade, taking the planet as a whole and based on those parts of the land surface that are measure have not risen in the past ten years, but two thirds of the planet is covered by water or ice and those parts of the planet have experienced warming. Continue reading

The End is not a Desirable Consumation

The tornado that ravaged parts of Oklahoma recently was one of the most powerful tornadoes that have been recorded. It was formed by cold air meeting hot air meeting winds, and demonstrates that in the face of the worst that nature can offer humans are relatively powerless. Continue reading

Rough Winds in May

Yesterday as much rain fell on South Wales in a day as normally falls in the month of May. Unseasonably cold temperatures make the British Isles rather unpleasant now; hail has fallen upon some and in London rough winds have shaken those buds brave enough to appear, even though their appearance has been delayed by the cold weather until now. Snow has fallen in Devon, once called the British Riviera in May.  Centrica, owner of British gas, has sold 20% more gas to households in the past six months than it usually sells over the same period in past years. Continue reading