Open Thread Plus Cartoon of the Week

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66 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon of the Week

  1. Artful Dodger says:

    Car & Driver Magazine explains the Physics Of Clown Car. Shows you can get over 20 GOP Candidates into a modern Clown Car.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-physics-of-clown-cars-feature

  2. Steve says:

    With the Muller report, the IPCC report on extreme weather and the IEA report on the closing window to reduce CO2, it’s time to start talking solutions, the most important one being to put a price on carbon.

    A bill has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Pete Stark, the Save Our Climate Act (H.R. 3242), which places a gradually-increasing tax on carbon-based fuels and returns most of the revenue to households. The price signal will shift massive amounts of investments into clean energy.

    More about Stark’s bill available here:
    http://citizensclimatelobby.org/files/images/FAQonSaveOurClimateActof2011v2.pdf

    Time to start making some noise about this, especially since the U.S. is going empty-handed to COP17 at the end of the month.

    Some good messaging available here:
    http://citizensclimatelobby.org/files/images/CCLedpack1111v2.pdf

    Great editorial in the Concord Monitor here:
    http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/292229/tax-carbon-to-slow-climate-change?SESScfdeae4e9fccb2ae8350be0a1498c0d0=facebook

    • thanes says:

      The Stark Bill needs a big push. It needs co-sponsors. It needs to break into the news cycle the way the XL Pipeline did, and by it’s very nature, if we can get it into the discourse it will draw the facts out into the public discourse.

      We need Stark or something like it, because without the real solutions being discussed, well-intentioned people disposed to support meaningful action on the climate won’t really know what we need to be getting done right now. I keep running into people who think we need to recycle more, or ‘Live sustainably,” without knowing what that really means right now.

      Great resources you’ve linked above.

      God bless Australia!

  3. Joan Savage says:

    Checking up on Texas’s food production.

    Rio Grande Valley vegetable produce depends on reservoir water, which was topped off by heavy rain in 2010 and is expected to last to the end of 2012.

    In the four county Winter Garden area near San Antonio, dependence on well water has led to decisions to plant 22% less of the spring crops.

    Notes from-

    Produce News Daily
    Texas vegetables enduring worst drought in 50 years
    By Chip Carter | November 18, 2011
    The upcoming season is a good news-bad news scenario for Texas vegetable producers.
    (very long http)

    “Worse, climatologists say that the La Niña pattern has settled in and no significant rains are expected before spring. In fact, there will not be notable precipitation “until we get a significant change in the weather pattern and we get tropical moisture,” Dr. Miller said. That may not come until fall 2012 and “they’re already talking about La Niña coming back in next fall.”

      • Colorado Bob says:

        Drought continues lowering Texas reservoirs
        FORT WORTH, Texas — The severe Texas drought continues to affect reservoirs that supply water to scores of municipalities.

        Some 96 percent of the state’s major reservoirs were below 60 percent capacity as of the end of October.

        The Texas Water Development Board says that average is the lowest since the agency began keeping records in 1978.

        The agency says water levels aren’t available for the other 4 percent because those reservoirs aren’t monitored.
        http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/drought-continues-lowering-texas-reservoirs-1979073.html

      • Celia Schorr says:

        Agree with Steve #2 re: opportunity to push the conversation forward, and connecting the dots to food production is one key way to do it. In fact, didn’t Joe Romm just post about this – - the need to connect the increasing droughts (and predictions of far worse to come) to food insecurity?? (Since the MSM seems unable to make that huge deductive leap on their own…)

        • Joan Savage says:

          Indeed, and with that, let’s note that global food production has followed industry with on-demand production and low inventory.

          The global food transport system masks the low inventory, as commodity brokers can switch from one source to another behind the scenes. The food shipments cross oceans without much of a ripple in stores.

          Decades ago there were silos full of food reserves that would last a few years. Not now.
          And the Texas situation reveals that when the water reservoirs get low and farmers can’t or won’t plant, that introduces time lags that are minimally a growing season, easily as long as a multi-year La Niña, or as we suspect, possibly a permanent drought.

  4. Tim Kelly says:

    This week, I dropped by the local office of Congressman Jason Altmire armed with a stack of hardcopy climate news and other material and spoke with his Deputy District Director, James Ferrichie. The upshot of the conversation (and the viewing of a couple of videos on ocean acidificiation and new energy technology) was that the deniers in my district are calling and showing up more than the climate community is.

    Ferruchie and I touched upon climate, ocean acidification, vertical farming (in the context of food security)Ray Anderson’s work in sustainability, Scott Brusaw’s solar roadways concept, and landfill mining in combination with plasma gassification of solid waste. This last concept is currently being developed in Belgium. The idea I wanted to get across was that we CAN help the help the environment AND create new industry.

    Altmire’s District hosts a lot of Rust Belt towns. I’ve been a good number of them while doing GIS fieldwork. I’m hopeful that the idea thet we can do better will stick.

    The upcoming months will be a war of ideas. I can’t recall a time that there were so many groups out there trying to bring change. 350.org, No Labels, United Republic, the Occupiers; it’s astounding. All this in the shadow of a deteriorating environment. I don’t know how you get this all moving in one direction, but it looks as though that what has to occur. Anyone got any thoughts?

    • climatehawk1 says:

      See comment #2 above.

      • 6thextinction says:

        350.org is asking for suggestions for their next effort.

        why don’t we all copy “A bill has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Pete Stark, the Save Our Climate Act (H.R. 3242), which places a gradually-increasing tax on carbon-based fuels and returns most of the revenue to households. The price signal will shift massive amounts of investments into clean energy.” and send it to our congressperson at both offices-dc and local.

        that will take us about 5 mins. then we can pass it along to those on our email lists that might do it.

      • 6thextinction says:

        p.s. to let 350.org know that’s what you think their next effort should be, join their live chat by going to this site at 9 PM Eastern on Nov. 30th and hit play (they’ll send you a reminder too): http://www.tarsandsaction.org/video-chat

        350′d like you to have a group mtg of climate enviros beforehand for collecting ideas, but if you aren’t up for that, ask a few people before 11/30 what they think, and call anyway.

      • thanes says:

        Climatehawk1,
        Love the name. And I second the motion. Look at Comment 2 above.

    • thanes says:

      Tim, what you’re doing sounds like what Citizens Climate Lobby does, and when you note it seems like the Deniers are out-numbering the realists, we all need to emulate you. I’m getting involved with CCL.
      I bet groups count more than individuals. Organization means something to office-holders, as they count on it to get elected.
      I need the advice they give to make my efforts effective, like hand-writing a letter to my Congressman to ask him to co-sponsor the Stark Bill rather than e-mail one, then follow-up with an e-mail to the Congressman’s Environmental issues staffer just before or about when it arrives, to maximize the chances it makes an impression.
      I need the encouragement and reminders to keep up the effort and to believe it will make a difference.
      I need to know I’m doing something, so that one day, when my children ask what I did, I don’t have to lie or apologize.

  5. Paul magnus says:

    Is it time to leave the planet?

  6. Paul magnus says:

    Deaths and damages from extreme weather and climate-related disasters are increasing significantly, but climate change isn’t the main culprit, says a new report by the IPCC.

  7. John McCormick says:

    Lamenting a great mind gone off the tracks

    From the Canadian Press, Nov. 18, 2011

    “TORONTO – Stephen Hawking says the colonization of outer space is key to the survival of humankind, predicting it will be difficult for the world’s inhabitants “to avoid disaster in the next hundred years.”
    The renowned astrophysicist explores some of the most remarkable advancements in technology and health with the new U.K.-Canadian series “Brave New World With Stephen Hawking,” debuting Saturday on Discovery World HD.
    “We are entering an increasingly dangerous period of our history,” said Hawking, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease, leaving him almost completely paralyzed and unable to speak.
    “Our population and our use of the finite resources of planet Earth are growing exponentially, along with our technical ability to change the environment for good or ill. But our genetic code still carries the selfish and aggressive instincts that were of survival advantage in the past. It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand or million.
    “Our only chance of long-term survival is not to remain lurking on planet Earth, but to spread out into space.”
    Hawking said this is why he favours manned — or as he puts it, “personed” — space flight and encourages further study into how to make space colonization possible.”

    How can such a creative mind harbor such ideas?

    There are many o0bvious questions, he should be made to address but there is no chance he will ever be put to the test of justifying that outer space notion. Others have voiced the same opinion and are quoted extensively but never challenged.

    Start with the selection process and the intensive and expensive everything that goes with the crazy idea that, despite a 2 and likely 3 degree C increase in global temp and all the feed backs that will accompany the increase.

    My head hurts just thinking about the audacious idea that we 7 billion (soon to be 9 billion) will somehow sort out the space colonization scheme as seas are rising, crops failing, massive refugee outflow from impoverished countries and the wars migration will spawn.

    Hawking is too intelligent to have missed the thousand reasons why he has wasted the time of anyone who might be interested in hearing his idea.

    Dr. Hawking, please wake up to the reality of your hopeless notion and get back to the real task of helping your audience understand, this planet is it forever.

    There is no escaping our climate chaos fate.

    • prokaryotes says:

      Hawking says this because climate change is not the only threat. He planed his annoucnemnts-warnings very carefully indeed.

      This is what he posted 5 years ago

      How can the human race survive the next hundred years? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TJlfhZwCMw

      All the problems are linked and we can only keep growing and secure future generations when evolving into space. This is the next logical evolutianry step. This is why Gaia made us intelligent, to get out there and safe guard the planet and Life itself.

      • John McCormick says:

        Pro, I should have seen your reply coming at me.

        You may be hopeless on this matter of colonizing space. Let’s drop the conversation right here.

        • prokaryotes says:

          You have to do something about climate change and you have to advance space programs. Colonizing the space around us makes even sense from an energy transition point of view.

          For example Japan has ambitious plans to establish solar harvester near earth orbit.

          I don’t understand why someone is against space exploration in general.

        • thanes says:

          I’m with prokaryotes. Obviously space colonization isn’t any kind of plan or solution for the 7 billion of us here ( unless Hawking is just about to release some warp engine paper) but I’ve got my fingers crossed that humanity makes it out to the stars someday, maybe in the 25th century. Federation style. Closest thing I’ve got to a religion. Should be the new religion. Anyone want to join?

          • John McCormick says:

            Help me! Isn’t there someone else out there who can shut up the space colonizers.

            Space colonizers are worse than climate deniers. The former offers nonsense. The latter, lies. Which of the two are going to succeed? The ones with the money.

            Social security, medicare and medicaid are on the chopping block. Pro, tell me, and I want you to be completely honest with yourself, where the hell will the money arrive for sending whomever to whereever to procreate and send brocoli back to earth.

            Wait a minute! I just thought of a rationale for colonizing some frozen orb to assure the chosen ones can assure continuity of our specie. Make their new habitat off-limits to any form of religion. After all, it took a god to create the garden of eden. But, it will take Rockwell and Halliburton to create the next garden. New gods?

            Are we really talking about Monty Pithon here?

          • prokaryotes says:

            You are not fair with your insulting arguments. You are not constructive and the only reason i answer you is because i respect your post about climate change. It is ok to be against space exploration, but not for the lack of arguments and insults you put forward.

            The human race requires space exploration, to advance.

            What if we are already locked our climate into a mode, some worst case scenario, when we will have an earth which only can feed 1 billion or worse? Sitting it out is not n option!

            Space exploration takes time but the hall endeavor creates a lot in the process, which you ignore – cannot see in your pre-bias(for some reason). Climate change action and space programs are 2 different things. And both are part of the puzzle to solve the many problems of the human race.

            The NASA space program created the instruments which helps us to understand climate better. Exploration was what helped us to get aware of the ozone depletion.

            The human race has to grow and we have to go out there to safe future generations.

            John McCormick with your stance you tell Columbus to not take sail.

          • David Smith says:

            Space exploration as a part of an advancing human civilization is important. Space exploration as a solution allowing our planet to die is an act of abandonmentand foolhardy. Only a tiny part of humanity can go and most of human culture and its interaction with the natural world will be lost to memory. If the goal is to colonize below the surface on Mars, why not just colonize below the surface on a less inhabitable Earth? It’s a lot closer. We don’t need more resources. We need to figure out how to use the resources we have more effectively causing less distruction.

        • Merrelyn Emery says:

          John, I tried last week and the wall answered back. Its pointless, ME

      • Chris Winter says:

        John,

        I think the thing you’re missing here is that Hawking’s definition of “long-term survival” makes it much longer than the next hundred years.

        You’re right: during our next century, climate change will be our primary threat, and space travel won’t help.

        However, asteroid and comet collisions will remain as threats for the indefinite future, and the best way to deal with them is to be able to get out there and examine each one that’s on a collision course for the safest way to deflect it.

        So I don’t think Hawking is wrong on this point.

    • Raul M. says:

      if not on Earth where is a good question for the purpose of sustainability for the human species.
      Another good question might be how much wrong is ok before we can be sustainable.
      For if the computers that analyze the entire project are only allowed to look at the grandeur of the space station those same computers might miss the question of carbon compensation or wether they are sustainable from the start.
      Don’t know where the jump from original sin is in the scenario.
      So the assumption is that with the loss of gradational effects and affects sustainability is possible.
      Many logic shifts that it would take a really smart computer to analyze.
      Original sin could be looked at through the aspect of using something that will decay releasing carbon for the purpose of protection or fun and excluding taking purposeful action to compensate for the original action.
      I think that the exponential growth of the extra use of something for those purposes without compensation with reduction of atmospheric carbon could be a real concern for the equation.
      I don’t know how the beneficiaries of the actions could anymore claim but grandeur without a compensating real effect in the reduction of atmospheric carbon.
      I think that the real reduction of the emissions would have to be for the world not just for the beneficiaries to change from that logic of that aspect of the original sin.

  8. prokaryotes says:

    Professor: Methane Spike Seen Near Drilling Activity

    PITTSBURGH – Drinking water wells near gas drilling activity in northern Pennsylvania registered higher levels of methane than wells farther from the drilling, a Duke University professor said.

    Robert Jackson, Nicholas professor of Global Change at Duke, joined a West Virginia University professor of community medicine in traveling to the University of Pittsburgh Friday for the “Health Effects of Shale Gas Extraction” conference.

    Earlier this year, Jackson released information he gathered while studying 68 private groundwater wells across five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York. He said the data showed groundwater with higher levels of methane, particularly when located within a kilometer of a gas well. http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/561889/Professor–Methane-Spike-Seen-Near-Drilling-Activity.html?nav=515

  9. prokaryotes says:

    Methane spikes recorded before Pike River explosions

    The Royal Commission on the Pike River coal mine tragedy has been told of a series of sudden rises in the level of methane in the weeks before the November explosions.

    The commission is conducting phase three of its inquiry into how 29 men died in the West Coast mine almost a year ago.

    The hearing has been told that up to a fortnight before the first explosion on 19 November last year the methane spiked to 1.5% to 2.5% of the air inside the mine.

    A Department of Labour mines inspector Kevin Poynter said he was very concerned about that.

    He says every one of the methane spikes should have been notified.

    Mr Poynter also conceeded that the recorded levels could have been exceeded elsewhere in the mine.

    The hearing heard that daily inspections three weeks before the explosion revealed the methane sensor was out of date. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/pike-river-2010/91203/methane-spikes-recorded-before-pike-river-explosions

    • Leif says:

      The solution of increased ventilation only puts that methane into the air where it is no longer regulated. However methane is ~20 times as effective at green house warming as CO2.

      Do space based methane sensors have sufficient resolution to pick up any of these sources?

  10. Paul magnus says:

    Climate Portals shared a link.

    US won’t accept new climate agreement without China, other emitters
    http://www.menafn.com
    menafn: US won’t accept new climate agreement without China, other emittersWASHINGTON, Nov 18, 2011 (dpa – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) –The United States confirmed Friday that it…

  11. On the 2nd anniversary of 2009 CRU cyber-attack, wo more tidbits of information on the attack:

    http://ijish.livejournal.com/39025.html

    (tried posting this earlier, but it didn’t get through)

    – frank

  12. Will Fox says:

    “The end-Permian extinction occurred 252 million years ago, decimating 90 percent of marine and terrestrial species, from snails and small crustaceans to early forms of lizards and amphibians. ‘The Great Dying’, as it’s now known, was the most severe mass extinction in Earth’s history, and is probably the closest life has come to being completely extinguished. With further calculations, the group found that the average rate at which carbon dioxide entered the atmosphere during the end-Permian extinction was slightly BELOW today’s rate of carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere due to fossil fuel emissions.”
    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/mass-extinction-1118.html

  13. Wes Rolley says:

    It is increasingly obvious that the parties controlling the agenda in Washington are nearly completely isolated from the wishes of the electorate that put them there. It is no longer about doing what is good for the nation, but about winning the next election at all cost.

    Unfortunately, they can count on a non-Jeffersonian, uninvolved, low information electorate. “Parties no longer compete to win elections by giving voters the policies voters want. Rather, as coalitions of intense policy demanders, they have their own agendas and aim to get voters to go along.”

    This, and its effect on the media that we so often revile is the subject of a must read post by Jay Rosen at Pressthink. http://pressthink.org/2011/11/low-information-voters-and-the-political-press/

    It just might change our understanding of what we need to do.

  14. Raul M. says:

    Going to church tonight, dinner for $15.
    Not bad for rising prices.
    Paper this morning has story about climate.
    Seems to say world weather will change.
    Maybe people will want to talk. Maybe not.
    Anyway they are opening the church tonight.
    Enjoy.

  15. Eric Normand says:

    I’m frustrated, yet not surprised, at the MSM’s obviously biased reporting of the OWS movement. This week marked the two-month anniversary of the start of this movement, and with the large number of recent coordinated attempts to clear some of the encampment’s, “police” using military tactics against unarmed protesters, and media blackouts, one has to wonder what role the federal government has in trying to squash this movement. At the absolute very least they are complicit after-the-fact by simply allowing this unnecessary police violence to continue. Where is the public outrage about this?

    This video shows police pepper spraying seated college students at UC Davis http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/19/uc-davis-police-pepper-spray-students_n_1102728.html

    This disturbing video shows a police officer beating an Iraq war veteran http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzak22Py8v8

    There are an endless supply of videos like these in which police look more like the armed militant thugs of some foreign dictatorship than those whose duty it is to “serve and protect”. This is a disturbing moment for the future of our country. The longer Obama waits to weigh in on the unnecessarily police brutality and the protesters first amendment rights, the more he looks like he is truly for the 1%.

    This is an extremely important movement which has already changed the national conversation about wealth inequality, corruption in our government and banking systems, and other important issues in our nation. I agree with many of the messages of the occupy Wall Street movement, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like there is hope for our country. This is a peaceful movement that I see as perhaps our last chance to save itself. Please help get the real truth about this movement out to the masses, if we don’t, no one will.

  16. prokaryotes says:

    Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters
    to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)

    The Special Report for Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) is a comprehensive assessment of the role of climate change in altering characteristics of extreme events; and of experience with a wide range of options used by institutions, organizations, and communities to reduce exposure and vulnerability, and improve resilience, to climate extremes. SREX was approved and accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on 18 November 2011 in Kampala, Uganda. It integrates expertise in climate science, disaster risk management, and adaptation to inform discussions on how to reduce and manage the risks of extreme events and disasters in a changing climate. The report evaluates the role of climate change in altering characteristics of extreme events; and it assesses experience with a wide range of options used by institutions, organizations, and communities to reduce exposure and vulnerability, and improve resilience, to climate extremes. http://ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/report/

  17. Joan Savage says:

    As we are getting to the end of hurricane season, here’s a reference that mentions an association between storm severity with preceding lightning, and with a moistened lower troposphere. That practically hands it off to someone to test a correlation between ocean SST and moistened lower troposphere. Maybe it’s been done.

    C. Price, M. Asfur and Y. Yair (2009). Maximum hurricane intensity preceded by increase in lightning frequency, Nature Geoscience, 2, 5, 329-332.

    Some of their conclusions:

    - More than 70% of hurricanes show lightning activity peaking before maximum sustained high winds, with a mean lag of 30 hours

    - Taking the time lag into account, the lightning can explain 67% of the variability of the high winds, one day in advance

    - The physical mechanism relating lightning and wind speed appears to be related to the moistening of the lower troposphere by convective thunderstorms within hurricanes. A saturated lower troposphere dramatically reduces the downdrafts that tend to inhibit hurricane development.

  18. Leif says:

    The great dying, ~250 million years ago, happened in a very short time. The numbers get a lot tighter.

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2011/11/18/3369150.htm

  19. prokaryotes says:

    German wood-gas power plant in Ulm is to supply a small town warmth. One trick makes for a great current yield – the wood is brought into a sweat. Some experts even see the technology as an alternative to wind and solar power.
    http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fwissenschaft%2Ftechnik%2F0%2C1518%2C797058%2C00.html

  20. prokaryotes says:

    Tar Sands Fight Goes Beyond Keystone: A Little-Known Pipeline Plan Could Prove Disastrous for British Columbia
    An award-winning documentary offers a glimpse of a little-known pipeline plan — and the paradise it threatens.
    http://www.alternet.org/environment/153122/tar_sands_fight_goes_beyond_keystone%3A_a_little-known_pipeline_plan_could_prove_disastrous_for_british_columbia?page=entire

  21. prokaryotes says:

    HEAVY rainfall yesterday caused widespread flooding and major infrastructural damage throughout north Trinidad.

    One resident, who was shovelling sludge in front of his home, said it was “God’s fault” and no one else’s.

    A meteorologist at the Met Office told the Sunday Express, in a telephone interview, the rainfall was typical for this time for the year.
    He explained that the convective activity (atmospheric movement) was enhanced by an upper level trough, which was the main cause of the heavy showers.
    He noted that the Met Office only measures rainfall levels in Piarco and therefore he could not say what were the levels in the areas that experienced heavy rains yesterday.
    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Flooding_leaves_north_under_water-134189008.html

  22. prokaryotes says:

    Wunderground launches new Extreme Weather video series
    Wunderground now features a new, twice-monthly Extreme Weather video series from GREEN.TV, with the latest reports and analysis on extreme weather around the world. From droughts to hurricanes to blizzards to flooding, Extreme Weather will cover the story and the science behind the events to try to understand their causes and consequences. The Extreme Weather series is sponsored by Vestas, the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer. The inaugural episode, launched yesterday, features video of the great Thailand flood, destructive floods in Italy, the $3 billion Northeast U.S. snowstorm of October 29 – 30, the massive Bering Sea, Alaska blizzard of November 9, the Texas drought, and the launch of a new polar-orbiting weather satellite. Look for a new video every two weeks on our Climate Change Videos page.
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1989

    Maybe CP can feature these videos!

  23. Spike says:

    UK remains very warm and dry for the season

    http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/

  24. Colorado Bob says:

    Dr. Masters post -
    Here are some highlights of the forecasts for the future from the 2011 SREX report:

    - A 1-in-20 year hottest day is at least 66% likely to become a 1-in-2 year event by the end of the 21st century in most regions, except in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is likely to become a 1-in-5 year event.

    - For Eastern North America, a 1-in-20 year heavy rain event is predicted to become a 1-in-7 to 1-in-9 year event by the end of the century.

    - For Eastern North America, a maximum high temperature that occurred only once every 20 years during 1980 – 2000 is predicted to occur between once every three years and once per year by 2100.

    - Extreme high temperature readings that occur once every 20 years will increase by 1°C to 3°C (1.8°F – 5.4°F) by mid-21st century and by about 2°C to 5°C (3.6°F – 9°F) by late-21st century.

    - It is at least 66% likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation or the proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls will increase in the 21st century over many areas of the globe. This is particularly the case in the high latitudes and tropical regions, and in winter in the northern mid-latitudes. There is medium confidence that, in some regions, increases in heavy precipitation will occur despite projected decreases of total precipitation in those regions.

    - Heavy rainfalls associated with tropical cyclones are at least 66% likely to increase with continued warming, and the maximum winds will increase. The total number of these storms is likely to remain about the same or decrease.

    - There is medium confidence that droughts will intensify in the 21st century in some seasons and areas. Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region, central Europe, Central North America, Central America and Mexico, northeast Brazil, and southern Africa are at particular risk.

    - In some regions, the main driver for increased damages from extreme weather events will not be climate change, but increases in population and wealth and vulnerability.
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=1989#commenttop

  25. Colorado Bob says:

    Drought causes peat to release far more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than has previously been realized

    Climate change effect on release of CO2 from peat far greater than assumed Drought causes peat to release far more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than has previously been realised.

    Much of the world’s peatlands lie in regions predicted to experience increased frequency and severity of drought as a result of climate change- leading to the peat drying out and releasing vast stores of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. It’s the very wetness of the peat that has kept the air out, locking in centuries of carbon dioxide that would normally be released from the decomposing plant materials in the peat. Now scientists at Bangor University have discovered that the effect of periods of severe drought lasts far beyond the initial drought itself.

    Writing in Nature Geosciences (doi 10.1038 NGEO1323), Dr Nathalie Fenner and Professor Chris Freeman of Bangor University explain how the drought causes an increase in the rate of release of CO2 for possibly as long as a decade. It was originally assumed that most of the CO2 was released from the dry peat. Now scientists realise that the release of CO2 continues, and may even increase, when the peat is re-wetted with the arrival of rain. The carbon is lost to the atmosphere as CO2 and methane and to the waters that drain peatlands as dissolved organic carbon (DOC).

    “As our global climate and rainfall patterns change, our peatlands may not have sufficient opportunity to recover between these drought-induced episodes of CO2 loss,” explains the paper’s lead author, Dr Nathalie Fenner. “What we previously perceived as a ‘spike’ in the rate of carbon loss during drying out, now appears far more prolonged- with a potential peak after the initial drought period is over.”
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/bu-cce111711.php

  26. J Bowers says:

    Chris Huhne blasts Lord Lawson’s climate sceptic thinktank

    Huhne says influential Global Warming Policy Foundation is ‘misinformed’, ‘wrong’ and ‘perverse’ following GWPF report
    [...]
    The GWPF has repeatedly called for more openness from scientists on research into climate change. But the Guardian has also discovered that Peiser has refused several freedom of information requests himself, leading to accusations against the foundation of double standards and secrecy about the thinktank’s mystery funders.

    Huhne’s letter is a response to a report sent to him by former chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson, who chairs the GWPF, and Lord Andrew Turnbull, a former head of the civil service and a GWPF trustee. The GWPF report “questions blind faith in climate alarmism” and claims there is “huge controversy about the relative contribution of man-made CO2 versus natural forces”.

    But Huhne replies: “Let me say straight away that [I] believe that you have been misinformed and that your conclusions are poorly supported by the underlying science evidence.” He goes on to say: “It would be perverse to ignore this well attested and thoroughly reviewed body of evidence.”

    Huhne tells Lawson and Turnbull: “It is not true to say that UK climate change policy relies on a single source of evidence,” and that “you wrongly assert that the UK is taking unilateral action” in tackling climate change.

    In conclusion, Huhne writes: “The scientific case for action is robust. We would be failing in our duties to pretend otherwise and we must with other countries take the actions necessary to protect our planet from significant climate change.”