19th June - Today's News

Well I guess the big news story today is the release yesterday of the long awaited UKCIP09 report which details possible changes to climate in the UK over the next 100 years.

The full report can be assessed at http://ukclimateprojections.defra.gov.uk/ and I would suggest anyone wishing to comment on it reads the report thoroughly beforehand - though I'm sure a great many media commentators will fail to do so, jump to erroneous conclusions about it and make a big fool of themselves in public. As they are wont to do. Are you listening Mr Booker?

Anyway, naturally the newspapers are full of it today so we may as well see what they are saying, but bear in mind what they say may not necessarily be what the report really says.

The Daily Telegraph highlights flooding risk to millions as climate warms - but omits to mention it's not climate chnage that has built millions of homes on floodpains, water meadows, over winter bournes or has channelled streams into culverts. They also report on Environment Secretary Hilary Benn warning that Climate Change will "transform our lives" . I'm amused by Greenpeace's response: "If the government continues to push for new runways and new coal-fired power stations, they can no longer claim they didn't realise the damage they were causing." Hmmm, so that's all we need do to prevent global climate change? Yeah, right ...... I sometimes wonder which planet these guys live on. Not building a new runway at Heathrow will not cut air travel at all - the planes will just fly over the UK to Europe instead of landing here. Which in turn would likely increase the number of contrails - so in fact, building a new runway at Heathrow would actually be beneficial to Britain! Anyway, elsewhere, the Times tell us that Climate Change will make Britain hot, wet and wild - and accompany the story with a wholly unrelated (but nonetheless quite nice) picture of noctilucent clouds that Mark Humpage took on Wednesday night - and The Independent (aka Global Warming Daily) 's spin is : the outlook for the rest of the century: 40c summer days. Which isn't what the report says at all.

Meanwhile, and by no strange coincidence I'm sure, the US Climate Change Research programme has also just published a new report revealing that drought and floods from warming already seen in the US

Meanwhile you can only laugh (or cry) at the way the media get duped into headline like coldest weather in 100 years to strike by 2012 - all based on the utterances of one John Casey aka the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) in Orlando, Florida. But don't worry, the Research Director at the International Climate Research Centre in Evesham, England (that's me!) says it's all complete b*llocks. In my humble opinion, Casey is a charlatan. But if by chance he is right then come 2025 he can sue me.

Of course, climate change is nothing new and fresh dating of bones found in England have led to new speculation that the woolly mammoth was killed off by climate change. Which is more or less what we all knew already - climate turns from cold and dry to warm and wet, new vegetation, marshy ground, competition from other species better adapted to the new conditions, all conspire to put the mammoth population in decline. And man finished off the rest.

And talking of ice ages, an ancient ice age, once regarded as a brief 'blip' now found to have lasted 30 million years.

Some parts of the USA have had a cool start to summer, leading to the inevitable (and rather silly and ignorant) questions about "what's happened to global warming?" Not those in Hawaii though where an early sizzle fries Oahu - and in the meantime, parts of Canada are suffering too with the drought a 'disaster' in western Canada.

In Asia: Tibet grapples with worst drought in 2 decades.

The British media seem undecided whether holding hands or an ipod saved a girl hit by lightning in Essex on Monday. Either way, she'd best look out should she find herself on the Red planet because there's just been Evidence found of lightning on Mars

One of the complaints about current climate assessment and predictions is the lack of data from across much of Africa. This may hopefully start to change as mobiles boost Africa climate data.

Some interesting research going on in the Arctic regarding the Eocene/Oligocene transition - when palm trees gave way to spruce trees

And finally, from the "well they blame it for everything else" section: global warming causes record poison ivy season. Still, at least that means it's not my fault the ivy round the front of my house is running rampant!

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