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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

After-math 2

It is now long enough after the Brisbane floods for the vultures to start circling.  With 20-20 hindsight they are certain that SEQ Water (the authority managing Wivenhoe Dam) should have done things diferently, and that if they had done so, there would have been no flood worth talking about.

I disagree!

Friday, January 14, 2011


The Brisbane flood peak is over, and the peak was below that predicted on Tuesday, though one meter higher than that predicted when I made my last post on the floods.  Unfortunately the flooding in the capital has drawn focus away from victims who have suffered far more from the floods: those west of the range whose towns have been flooded, two, three and in one case five times in less than a month (and who in many cases were also flooded in March); and above all, those in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley who faced the devastation of the "inland instant tsunamis".

It has also allowed AGW deniers to start playing there predictable, but disappointing game of "blame the victims".  The floods, we are told, was only so bad because because of inadequate mitigation, poorly managed.  And only a problem at all because fools built houses on flood plains.   Oh, and above all else, the flood did not exceed what commonly occurs due to natural variability.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Under Brisbane Waters?

I have been holding of blogging on the Queensland floods for a week or so, now.  I thought I might wait for a more appropriate time.  This seems like an appropriate time:

Brave New Climate - Qld Floods Highlight the cost of climate extremes (Link added 14/1)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Getting it wrong: George White's argument against AGW (Pt 2)

Continuing my critique of George White's argument against AGW*, I must first note its general structure.  After the introduction, White proceeds to analyse the various energy flows into, and out of the the Earth's atmosphere as revealed by satellite data.  He does this in the sections on Albedo Effects and Energy Flux.  He then mounts an argument that Thermal Lag does not influence the rate at which the Earth warms or cools due to changes in forcings.  White claims this result is itself an argument against AGW, but this is not so.  Rather, if he could make his case, it would be a necessary auxiliary hypothesis to the argument he mounts in his introduction, and to a lesser extent, his second argument.    That second argument uses the same data and an unusual method to determine the Earth's climate sensitivity, and is presented in the section on Climate Sensitivity.  I had hoped to deal with both of those discussions in one post, but on reflection I will require two (making this a four part series).

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hypocrisy at Climate Clash

Although I will not normally make a policy of commenting on other blogs, in this case I will make an exception.

Until recently, I have been an active participant in the Climate Clash blog maintained Dr Ed Berry.  I had withdrawn from that site, in part because of the inconsistent moderation by Dr Berry which, in practise, gave open slather to opponents of AGW to insult both pro-AGW participants on the board, and noted defenders of AGW, both academic and in the blogosphere.

Getting it wrong: George White's argument against AGW (Pt 1)

George White mounts an argument;that the theory of global warming fails certain essential emperical tests. Specifically, he argues the temperature increase in the lower troposphere is to low to be consistent with global warming over the period of satellite observations; and that climate sensitivity is, at most, about one sixth of that determined by the IPCC.

Considering the former argument first, he writes:
"The first prediction of AGW to fail, is that a 20% increase in CO2 is expected to cause an increase in the average global temperature of about 0.8°C. Detecting trends in satellite data is difficult for many reasons. Year to year differences can exceed 1°C, global seasonal variability exceeds 3.5°C, hemispheric seasonal variability exceeds 12°C and discontinuities arise as the data from different satellites is merged, however; a 25 year trend this large should be evident and it's not."