Spread this excellent new video from the talented team at Skeptical Science far and wide. It explains why the latest denialist trope — no warming for 16 years — is rubbish. Take out the impact of the three biggest factors driving natural variations in the global average temperature — volcanoes, the El Niño Southern Oscillation and the solar cycle — and what’s left is the underlying upwards trend being driven by our CO2 emissions. The world’s warming, Australia’s burning, ice is melting and we did it. No room left for wishful thinking or complacency.
It’s only if we fail to grasp the enormity of the threatened impacts of climate change on the global environment that we can scoff at the notion that even volcanic eruptions and earthquakes may be triggered as a consequence of our continuing to burn fossil fuels. Not that it’s an easy consequence to appreciate, but vulcanologist Bill McGuire’s latest book Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes explains it with patient clarity. His book is a fascinating read in its discussion of the past and an alarming one in its analysis of future likelihoods.
The book begins with a straightforward and sobering view of the catastrophe which looms if we continue to fail to act on emissions. The signs of climate change are everywhere apparent and the prospects for the future are bleak. McGuire acknowledges the difficulties of precise prediction of what that future might hold 50 or 100 years from now and suggests that looking back on the past may be the best way to gauge what lies ahead. The main focus of his book is on ways in which Earth’s crust has responded to dramatically changing climates, but he also considers, further back, times of high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide as possible pointers to what today’s increased greenhouse gases might forebode.
I was a little startled a few weeks back to see in a Waikato Times column written by former National Party MP Michael Cox the extraordinary claim that the 1991 Mt Pinatubo eruption “shot out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire years on Earth”. I don’t know where he derived this from – no doubt it’s floating around somewhere in the denial world, though even there it seems possible that he misunderstood what he was reading. Anyway it served to support his view that talk of human-caused warming is a Left-inspired crusade to compensate for the collapse of communism! I was able to say in a letter to the paper how ridiculous the Pinatubo statement was, and pretty much everything else he said as well. Continue reading “Anthropogenic CO2 Far Exceeds Volcanic”
We thought we’d try for a record short show — and failed, because once again there was just to much to talk about. We have more on Eritrean volcanoes, extreme weather over the last 18 months, a new report on the dire state of the oceans, and Stoat’s big bet. Special guest is Professor Michael Ashley from the University of New South Wales, discussing the state of play in Australia, John Cook does a rapid debunk of Bob Carter, and we have electric cars, more flow batteries and the gas we do not want to smell.
A busy news week sees Glenn and Gareth discussing volcanoes in Chile and Africa, busy pumping ash into the atmosphere and disrupting flights in South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, an extreme spring in the USA, drought in Europe and a warm autumn in NZ, a new UN report on black carbon and how a reduction could cut future warming, Aussie scientists fighting back against climate denial, and forecasts for the summer ice minimum in the Arctic. John Cook from Skeptical Science deals with their new series on John Christy’s climate crocks, and introduces a great new graphic front end for the SkS climate literature database, plus we cover price reductions on solar panels, LEDs on streetlights in San Francisco and MIT’s Cambridge crude.