Oct 27, 2007

Climate Science & Politics Redirection

Climate Science & Politics has a new home.

Redirection - Umleitung

climatepatrol.wordpress.com will make it easy for you to navigate from one topic to another and from one language to another

Go to new Climate Patrol

Oct 15, 2007

Blog Action Day - Rose out of Green Trash Can

One day, when I returned from my holiday, I spotted a white rose in a very unusual place. A few weeks ago - I remember - I had just dumped the pot with the sick rose bush with its yellow leaves into the green trash. A little slot of the trash can lid remained open. Out of the same slot, stretched a new plant, grown in record speed and holding its beautiful white open blossom. This was a hint by the creator that there is always new beginnings, new life is possible, and new houses can be built out of the rubble of old ones. Biological carbon is one of the chief constituents of life.

Environmental Down-to-earth politics versus Eco-Ideologies
This is a list of practical steps for environmental care beyond any green ideology. Here are some suggestions as partly found during the October 2007 Swiss Election Campaign, as suggested by my favorite candidate, Josef Jenni, energy planner in Switzerland. Jenni became famous for the first 100% solar powered appartment bloc in Europe in Burgdorf, Switzerland. In his "energy visions for the future", he suggests among other things:
• Electricity from water power. 60% of Swiss electricity is water powered.
• Passive use of solar energy through clever installation of windows.
• Solar panels: ALL YEAR ROUND for hot water and heating; a combination of solar panels and wind energy for the production of electricity.
• Geo-thermal projects to drill heat from the mantle of the earth (3 - 5 kilometers) are fit for the future: In densely populated areas, unlimited heat can be gained from the earth for the production of electricity as well as heating and hot water.
• Industrial and commercial waste heat can be a useful source of energy.
• Use wooden pellets for heating wherever available. The biggest effect can be achieved by means of a good chimney heater with a water cooled heat exchanger.

All the above can be achieved by taxes from old engines and heating systems that are no longer energy efficient. A taxation system should be neutral, i.e. all taxes should go into domestic projects such as the above to increase energy efficiency and to promote energy independence from abroad, most particularly independence as much as possible from fossile fuels from the Middle East.

Getting out of Our Comfort Zones

According to a position paper of the EDU party (Federal Democratic Union), a Christian minority party similar to the Evangelical Peoples Party (EVP) of Jenni, ideal climate politics should not be separated from realistic energy politics. It is deceptive to believe that our free society can function with environmentally friendly energies alone, if we are not willing to get out of our comfort zone. Incentive taxes are therefore necessary, but they should be introduced according to the amount of energy used (both for cars and for heating), and according to the pollutants. Moreover, EDU suggests individual accounts for heating and hot water in all appartment blocs. The former is already standard in Switzerland.

With domestic projects such as the above, we will be on the right track even if the climate starts to cool down again for whatever unprecedented reason.

Oct 7, 2007

New Evidence on Future Climate Variability

Increasing Variability in a Warmer World? The Abstract did not challenge that, the contents did!

Changes in variability and persistence of climate in Switzerland: Exploring 20th century observations and 21st century simulations

This paper investigates the shift in variance under conditions of atmospheric warming, under the paradigm that a warmer climate induces greater variability, as has been suggested by a number of other studies. Based upon observational data since 1900 at both a low and a high elevation site in Switzerland it is shown that, at least for these locations, the inter-annual and decadal variability of both maximum and minimum daily temperatures has in fact decreased over the course of the 20th century despite the strong warming that has been observed in the intervening period. The decrease in climate variability is attributed to changes in daily weather conditions as well as these aggregated in weather types, with an observed reduction in the more perturbed weather types and an increase in the weather patterns that exhibit greater persistence, particularly since the 1960s and 1970s. The greater persistence recorded in daily weather conditions associated with more elevated pressure fields helps to explain the decrease in variability during a period where minimum and maximum temperatures have been observed to rise considerably since 1900. An insight into the future behavior of temperature variability in Switzerland, based on the daily results of a regional climate model applied to the IPCC A-2 emissions scenario (a high greenhouse-gas emissions scenario leading to strong climate forcing during the 21st century) suggests that a warmer climate may induce greater variability in maximum temperatures, but also greater persistence beyond selected thresholds; in the case of minimum temperatures, variance remains close to current conditions in the latter part of the 21st century, but the persistence of cold events diminishes substantially, as can be expected in a climate that is estimated by the climate model to warm by about 4°C on average in Switzerland.
Global and Planetary Change, Volume 57, Issues 1-2, May 2007, Page vii
Martin Beniston and St├ęphane Goyett.

So this is what the abstract says. You wouldn't probably expect a copy of an intro for a climate change related paper on this blog, which looks into future climate variability in Switzerland, given the scenario of an increase in temperature of 4°C towards the end of the 21st century. In the recent post consensus and sea ice record tandem, a consensus of >0.4°C could be deducted throughout the 21st century, if the current trend of human induced increase in global mean surface temperature continues. Looking from the corner of one's eye at Oreskes' claim that non of the abstracts of a sample of hundreds of peer-reviewed papers challenge the consensus on global warming, one could shrug and say. OK - another paper that does not challenge the consensus position.

Now this is what Beniston and Goyette, 2007, found out:

The team collected daily maximum and minimum temperature records from a low elevation station station (Basel, 300 meters above sea level, my home town) and a high elevation station (Saentis, 2500 meters above seal) from 1901 to 2004. These stations were selected based on their quality, representativeness, and completeness. For each year, they calculated the mean and variance of the daily maximum and minimum temperatures, and they converted the mean and variance values into anomalies based on a 1961-1990 "normal" 30-year period.

They demonstrated that the temperatures at both sites have increased by approximately 2°C over the most recent four decades. However, here comes the surprise. The authors note that whatever the period considered, the variance decreases with increasing temperature. Let's say it again: So the minimum temperatures were less extreme, but the maximum temperatures were also less extreme.

This is contrary to to horror scenarios which suggest that the weather will be more violent with rising temperatures, right? This is why the contrarian 'World Climate Report' picked it up from the newly published science book Global and Planetary Change and posted itand posted it here