Sunday, June 12, 2011
Since I have been copied to, I feel I should add my comments -- as they relate to climate science.
1. On the global temp record:
The 1910-40 warming is genuine and caused by natural factors. I am aware of only one analysis that ascribes it to human causes -- and though published in Science and quoted by IPCC, it is likely incorrect
The 1979-97 surface warming is contradicted by many independent pieces of evidence (I count at least six) and is likely close to zero
Not sure if Eric agrees, but I might convince him
5. On geo-engineering:
I am in general agreement with Eric but would add;
1. Injection of sulfate particles into the stratosphere would have undesirable consequences for ozone
2. I question the need or efficacy of geo-engineering but see no harm in modest funding of studies
I am going to stick my neck out, in such eminent company, by saying something more about geo-engineering. I very much agree about it's present efficacy. Cooling the planet before being absolutely certain that we are experiencing a dangerous degree of warming would not only be unnecessary but damaging and conceivably even catastrophic since previous ice ages suggests that there may be positive feedback for cooling. However I think it is important that any reasonable assessment shows it is possible in extremis I am glad we know that possibility exists - this is not the "precautionary principle" simply a sensible engineering "belt and braces" attitude.The fact that sulphate particles would be inexpensive and going nuclear have a net negative cost gives a baseline to assess any alarmist proposals against.
The fact that such particles worked to create "years without a summer following the volcanic eruptions of Krakatoa 1883, Tambora 1815 and Laki 1783-5 show that sulphate would work. I also think they show that the effects on ozone would not cause catastrophe at ground level.
In the long term the best place to geo-engineer Earth from is space, where both cooling and warming could be done. This will be practical when we have a spacegoing civilisation at little extra cost. Building "space solar power, we would build a Lunar colony on weekends and third shifts ...And solving global warming, if it actually ever turns out to be a problem, by building tinfoil parasols on bank holidays."
If the alleged believers in global warming catastrophe, which do not include Professor Wolff, really did believe it the rational thing would be for them to promote nuclear power and space industrialisation.
I like to think that nuclear is higher up his list of priorities than it was though obviously I would like it near the top of almost every politician's.