7th September - Today's News

In Scotland, clean-up under way after floods

Air quality worsens from Typhoon Morakot's dust

Weather presenters grapple with uncertain climate - some interesting quotes there, from a news agency that is usually fairly reliable in such matters.

Caribbean rides the hurricane storm - contains an uncharacteristic error from Philip Eden when he states that "Jimena, which battered Mexico's Baja California peninsula this week with torrential rain and powerful winds, only reached "tropical storm" status" - it actually reached Cat 4 status (and may have briefly been Cat 5) as it approached Mexico and was still at least Cat 1 on landfall. I suspect the hand of a sub editor here though. I know (from Philip himself) that articles such as this are often amended after submission and that often this is how errors creep in.

Finally, and mainly for reference, the datasets used by Kaufmann etal in their 'ice hockey stick' reonstruction are available for free download from the NOAA website here. It's refreshing to see this made publically available immediately on release of the paper. Hopefully others will follow suite and certain bitter acrimony between the 2 extremists group in the climate debate will ease. Meanwhile, there are new suggestions that the world's climate could cool first, warm later - something a few of us have been saying for a good few years now. Further support to the idea that it may be a decade or more before we start to see any more global warming, coming from a new study published by Lean and Rind (NASA) that suggests solar changes offset human climate chnage, for now anyway.

The upshot is: currently, natural variation still has a greater effect on global climate. And natural variation is currently on a cooling trend. AGM may mean it doesn't get quite as cool. though. Meanwhile lack of warming means people stop believing in AGW at all and when natural variation shifts back to warming, with the underlying AGW added on top ...... well, I'll probably not be around by the middle of this century to moan about how hot it has become! If this is the case though it maybe gives a bit of breathing space to worry about more pressing issues such as changes in rainfall distribution caused by deforestation, landuse changes and pollution. Which is likely to kill rather more people (drought, famine & flood) than a slight rise in temperature.

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