The Climate Show #20: the boys are back (on Tuvalu)

by Gareth on October 20, 2011

Battling against rural broadband that resembled digital molasses (or the bunker oil being pumped out of the Rena), Gareth returns to NZ and joins Glenn Williams and John Cook to discuss drought in Tuvalu, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), floods and sea level falls, ocean cooling (that isn’t), solar towers of power and much, much more…

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The Climate Show

News & commentary: [0:05:54]

Tuvalu, La Nina/ENSO and water

http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/desperate-tuvalu-receives-more-aid-4470389

Tuvalu drought could be dry run for dealing with climate change

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/mei.html: “I believe the odds for a La Niña winter have indeed risen to near 100%, with the ‘fall window’ of disrupting this evolution closing rapidly. However, it does not appear likely that we will see as strong an event as in 2010-11.”

https://www2.ucar.edu/staffnotes/research/5566/el-nino-climate-change-coming-century

The research team, which was led by Samantha Stevenson (University of Colorado Boulder) and includes NCAR scientists Markus Jochum, Richard Neale, Clara Deser, and Gerald Meehl, used the NCAR-based Community Climate System Model (CCSM) to simulate the effects of climate change on ENSO over the 21st century. They found no significant changes in its extent or frequency.

However, the warmer and moister atmosphere of the future could make ENSO events more extreme. For example, the model predicts the blocking high pressure south of Alaska that often occurs during La Niña winters to strengthen under future atmospheric conditions, meaning that intrusions of Arctic air into North America typical of La Niña winters could be stronger in the future.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00252.1

And while we’re talking about ENSO…

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-262

The strong La Nina caused intense rainfall in Australia and Brazil – enough to cause a downward blip in sea level rise… confirmed by GRACE satellite measurements.

Meanwhile, on sea level:

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2011/10/17/sea.levels.will.continue.rise.500.years

“For the two more realistic scenarios, calculated based on the emissions and pollution stabilizing, the results show that there will be a sea level rise of about 75 cm by the year 2100 and that by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.”

Worst case: “sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by the year 2100 and will have risen 5.5 meters by the year 2500.”

Starbucks concerned world coffee supply is threatened by climate change.

New climate science roundup

http://hot-topic.co.nz/not-a-pretty-picture-recent-science-summarised/

http://pdf.wri.org/climate_science_2009-2010.pdf#

NIWA’s new Climate Change Atlas: http://www.niwa.co.nz/node/102850

Debunking the skeptic, John Cook from skepticalscience.com [0:35:50]

Ocean Cooling? (No it’s not).

Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods (Meehl et al 2011)

http://sks.to/oceanheat

Solutions [00:45:45]

Solar Decathlon results:

NZ team finished third: http://www.solardecathlon.gov/, http://firstlighthouse.ac.nz/.

The Kiwi bach of tomorrow: http://firstlighthouse.ac.nz/the-house/design-features/

Sky-scraping Tower Will Power 100,000 Homes with Hot Air

A 2,600-foot tower planned for the Arizona desert will be the world’s second tallest structure and will be able to power 100,000 homes through hot air alone.

NASA issues award in green aviation competition

On Monday, the space agency issued the award to team Pipistrel-USA.com of State College, Pa., as part of the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency, or CAFE, Green Flight Challenge.

The competition, sponsored by Google, was created to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry, NASA said. The winning aircraft had to fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity.

Electric car infrastructure begins to roll out across the UK

Thanks to our media partners: Idealog Sustain, SciblogsScoop and KiwiFM.

Theme music: A Drop In The Ocean by The Bads.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Cowan October 21, 2011 at 10:37 pm

This “Southland weirdo” found the show interesting. Ta.

Gareth October 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Oops. I’ll spare Glenn’s blushes and get my apology in first.

Carol Cowan October 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm

That’s ok, Gareth, I’m actually a transplant from North Island (although I can now roll my rrrs with the best of them).

Phillybillydilly October 22, 2011 at 6:17 am

I want to recommend this speach by US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from 13 oct 2011. Let’s hope this speach can help convince top politicians in the US and around the world to take the climate threat seriously:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6VQ0vYfrAw

Carol Cowan October 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm

That was a clear message, Phillybillydilly. I hope the Republicans were listening.

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