Climate Change

I was going to write a long post on the latest climate change news, however, but I came across the following summary from http://www.carbonbrief.org/.

Guardian of the climate

There was a notable uptick in media coverage of climate change this week – and it was largely down to the volume of articles emanating from one newspaper. On Saturday, the print edition of the Guardian came wrapped in artwork by Antony Gormley. It marked the launch of the newspaper’s Keep It In The Ground campaign which Alan Rusbridger, the outgoing editor, wrote was aimed at raising awareness about the “climate crisis”. The paper carried extracts of Naomi Klein’s book This Changes Everything. An editorial argued that “we really are all in this together”. Copies of the paper were handed out to the thousands of marchers who took to the streets of London that day calling for action on climate change. Over the following days, the Guardian published opinion pieces by, among others, Bill McKibben, George Monbiot and Mark Lynas. The paper is promising “something big” for this coming Monday.

Warming up

The launch of the Guardian’s campaign coincided – no causal link is suspected – with the confirmation by scientists in the US that the long-anticipated El Niño, the cyclical phenomenon that affects weather worldwide, had officially been detected. Carbon Brief explained why it is of great interest to climate scientists. On Monday, the MailOnline posed an open question: “Will El Niño make this year the warmest on record?” It quoted Eric Holthaus, a US meteorologist, writing in the New Scientist: “El Niño transfers huge amounts of heat from the oceans to the atmosphere, and there are hints that this El Niño, combined with the already very warm global oceans, could bring about a new phase in global warming.”

A new study published in Nature Climate Change this week concluded that the current rate of “multi-decadal scale” global warming is unprecedented “for at least the past 1,000 years”. The finding was widely reported by the media, including the Press Association, the MailOnline and Scientific American. Carbon Brief also covered the paper, with one of the authors telling us: “What was ‘normal’ is going to keep changing. It is unlikely that we can avoid most of the changes projected for the next several decades.”

Reclining chair

Tim Yeo MP, the outgoing chair of the Commons’ energy and climate change committee, made a valedictory speech in London this morning in which he had some strong words for climate sceptics and environmental campaigners alike. The Telegraph homed in on his remarks about critics of onshore wind. He said: “Allowing opponents to rule out onshore wind altogether has only one certain consequence – to raise the cost of achieving the cut in greenhouse gas emissions to which Britain is legally committed. In other words, higher electricity prices for all consumers.” Meanwhile, the Guardian’s eye was caught by another angle of his speech in which he hit out at opponents of fracking for shale gas. “The next government must stand up to the fuzzy-headed ideological fringes that oppose fracking,” he said. “The greens opposed to fracking do not have evidence on their side.”

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My work background is in operational meteorology and in my career I have been involved in forecasting for everything from bananas to jumbo jets.I joined the Met Office 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport. After training as a forecaster, I worked as an Operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, I moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and STV broadcaster till 1988. He then took up a post as Senior Forecaster London Weather Centre, then Senior Forecaster ITV where I qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became Head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of front-line management for Southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office Chief Advisor for Scotland & Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh. I retired in September 2014. My one claim to fame is once performed a comedy sketch on TV with Manuel (Andrew Sachs) from Fawlty Towers in support of Comic Relief.

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Posted in Climate Change, Comment, Ecology, Environment, News, Politics, Research, Science, Sharing

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