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Mind of Dan: A new normal

Unsurprisingly XKCD nails it, but head on over there to read the mouseover text, I am sure it perfectly describes more than a few Planet3.0 readers (and writers!). And we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Mind of Dan: Silence of the labs

The CBC’s Fifth estate devotes 1 hour to exploring the sorry state of federal science in Canada.

The link above takes you to CBC’s official page which might not work for some people outside of Canada, but thankfully someone has posted it to YouTube.

Only briefly touched upon at the end of the Silence of the Labs program is the closure and destruction of several science libraries across the country containing irreplaceable data going back as much as 100 years. These closures were sold to the public saying that any material destroyed or sold would first be digitized and thus (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Crowded

(h/t The Disaffected Lib)

Mind of Dan: It’s not the spill that matters

The recent approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline by National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act review panel has brought a renewed flurry of attention to the project. The media here in Canada has run several stories in recent weeks discussing what the approval means for the pipeline and what if anything can be done to appease those who oppose the pipeline. These discussions, while interesting, focus on the wrong issue and completely ignore what really matters.

Even on shows like CBC’s As it Happens and The Current, which normally do a very good job of (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Coincidence

“Global warming, huh? By pure coincidence every scientist was right” Homer Simpson

Mind of Dan: The Entire IPCC Report in 19 Illustrated Haiku

Mind of Dan: Merry Christmas

Mind of Dan: Canada’s climate policy delayed again

At this rate Canada’s emission regulations should be ready by 2025.

Canada is once again delaying emissions regulations in the oil and gas sector, despite major pipeline projects that continue to put intense scrutiny on the energy industry’s environmental track record

The regulations were first promised seven years ago, and Alberta has recently criticized the federal government for delays in introducing them.

Mind of Dan: Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline gets one step closer to reality

From the bad-news department.

In Calgary, the Joint Review Panel today (December 19) recommended that the federal government approve the $6.5-billion project, which would transport oil from the Alberta tar sands across British Columbia to Asia, subject to 209 conditions.

“The environmental, societal, and economic burdens of a large oil spill, while unlikely and not permanent, would be significant. Through our conditions we require Northern Gateway to implement appropriate and effective spill prevention measures and spill response capabilities, so that the likelihood and consequences of a large spill would be minimized,” the panel’s report states.

The biggest obstacle to (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Climate Change 2013 Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis

The IPCC has released a very snazzy video that summarizes the fifth assessment report.

Mind of Dan: Arctic and American Methane in Context

Real Climate gives the recent methane news some proper context. The bottom line is that since methane is a short lived GHG it would take a very sudden and very massive release of methane for it to have a large effect on the climate. And that is unlikely.

Methane is a short-lived gas in the atmosphere, so to make it rise, the emission flux has to continually increase. This is in contrast to CO2, which accumulates in the atmosphere / ocean system, meaning that steady (non-rising) emissions still lead to a rising atmospheric concentration…

The Siberian Arctic, and the Americans, (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Warming at 4 Hiroshima bombs per second: a widget to raise awareness about global warming

A frustratingly stubborn climate myth is that global warming stopped in 1998. It hasn’t. In fact the earth is currently accumulating extra heat at a rate of 4 Hiroshima nuclear bombs per second!

To help drive home the point climate change hasn’t stopped, or paused, but has continued unabated the friendly robots over at Skeptical Science have created this widget showing just how quickly the earth is accumulating energy.

Mind of Dan: A Summary of COP19

Reuters nicely summarizes the outcome of the COP19 UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland.

FINANCE

Developed nations promised in 2009 to increase their aid to poorer countries to help them cope with climate change to $100 billion a year after 2020, from $10 billion a year in 2010-12. But in Warsaw they rejected calls to set targets for 2013-19.

A draft text merely urged developed nations to set “increasing levels” of aid, to be reviewed every two years.

LOSS AND DAMAGE

The talks agreed a new “Warsaw International Mechanism” to provide expertise, and possibly aid, to help developing nations cope (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Major Iceberg Cracks off Pine Island Glacier

Major Iceberg Cracks off Pine Island Glacier : Natural Hazards

Between November 9–11, 2013, a large iceberg finally separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in October 2011 during flights for NASA’s Operation IceBridge.By July 2013, infrared and radar images indicated that the crack had cut completely across the ice shelf to the southwestern edge. New images now show that Iceberg B-31 is finally moving away from the coast, with open water between the iceberg and the edge of Pine Island Glacier.

The Operational Land Imager on the (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Climate Change — The state of the science

A summary of the IPCC report in 4 minutes

Mind of Dan: Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions

Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show

The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.

Fossil fuel produces deserve a lot of blame for for the current state of the debate on climate change. Many of them distorted the debate by funding the spread of misinformation and outright falsehoods. We, rightly, should be very angry at them for this. But (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: A storm surge like a tsunami

This video taken at 6am on Friday 8 November as Typhoon Hayian hit Hernani in Eastern Samar shows how quickly and intensely the storm surge hit.

Mind of Dan: Michael Mann on Super Typhoon Haiyan

Michael Mann echoing Keven Trenberth’s position that all weather now has a climate change component since it is occurring in an altered atmosphere (one with more GHGs, heat and water vapour amongst many other factors).

But herein lies the crux—we no longer live in a world without warming. Given that 1985 was the last year with temperatures below the 20th century average, and 2000-2010 was the hottest decade on record, it has become impossible to say for certain that any given storm is free from the influence of our warmed world.

While contrarians may dislike it when activists or actors (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Inquiring Minds Podcast interviews Michael Mann

Something worth listening to this weekend

Mind of Dan: Signs of hope?

From USA TODAY:

The vast majority of Americans in each of 40-plus states surveyed say global warming is real, serious and man-made, and the concerns tend to be slightly higher in coastal or drought-stricken areas, says an analysis out today.

At least 75% of U.S. adults say global warming has been happening, but the Stanford University research found that 84% or more took that view in states recently hit by drought — Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — or vulnerable to sea-level rise: Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

Despite intense debate in (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Canada doing its part to ensure unmitigated climate change

From The ongoing climate negotiations in Warsaw Poland:

Canada has dropped any remaining pretences of supporting global action on climate change by urging other countries to follow Australia’s example in gutting its climate plan.

In a formal statement, the Canadian government said it “applauds” the move by Australia this week to repeal a carbon tax on the country’s 300 biggest polluters.

“Canada applauds the decision by prime minister Abbott to introduce legislation to repeal Australia’s carbon tax. The Australian prime minister’s decision will be noticed around the world and sends an important message,” the formal statement from Paul Calandra, (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Was Typhoon Haiyan caused by climate change? It’s the wrong question and it doesn’t matter.

Typhoon Haiyan is photographed by Astronaut Karen L Nyberg aboard the International Space Station

It is inevitable. After every extreme weather event the question: “Was it caused by climate change?” is never far behind. Not only that, but often the question is asked with the implication that there is a desire for a simple yes or no answer. But reality is more complex than this and requires a more detailed answer.

Source: Weather Underground

So what can we say about Typhoon Haiyan? First Haiyan was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make land fall with sustained winds of (Read more…)

Mind of Dan: Bert Bolin: The man who got the world to agree on climate

Andy Extance has written two particularly appropriate posts on Bert Bolin the first chairman of the IPCC and an instrumental figure in getting the world to agree to negotiate a climate agreement. Hopefully the current round of climate negotiations in Warsaw will accomplish more than the typical empty rhetoric and voluntary actions that have characterized past negotiations.

Mind of Dan: Philippines’ Delegate Yeb Sano Makes Emotional Plea At UN Climate Talks

Mind of Dan: To those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power:

An open letter by leading climate scientists, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, James Hansen and Tom Wigley calling on green groups to stop opposing nuclear power:

To those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power:

As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.

We call on your organization to support the development and (Read more…)