Best Climate Change Temperatures

By Andy May

I just gave an informal Zoom talk to a small group on measuring climate change through temperatures. The host, Dave Siegel, recorded it and has posted the presentation here, if you want to view it. It is about 15 minutes, plus some discussion afterword.

The PowerPoint slides can be downloaded here, and the slides with my notes can be downloaded here.

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May/Middleton: Rebuttal to Geological Society of London Scientific Statement on Climate Change

Guest essay by David Middleton and Andy May

A pdf version of this post can be downloaded here.

The Geological Society of London recently published a statement on climate change:

Geological Society of London Scientific Statement: what the geological record tells us about our present and future climate

Geologists Andy May and David Middleton have spent the past few days reviewing the Geological Society of London Scientific Statement and have assembled a rebuttal to some of the more questionable items in the paper.

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Does global climate change require a global solution?

Opinion by Andy May

Al Gore wrote in the Huffington Post (August 28, 2014) that the need for “bold action” to curtail “old dirty sources of energy … is obvious and urgent.” The proper scientific response to an assertion like that is why? How can I test this idea? Science is not a belief, it is a method of testing ideas. We use an idea to make predictions and then we gather data to see if the predictions are correct. If the predictions are accurate, the idea survives. If any of the predictions fail, the idea is disproven, and it must be modified or simply rejected.

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The Texas Energy Disaster

By Andy May

I live in Texas and write about climate science and energy, so I get a lot of questions about the recent problems. My wife and I are OK, we have a natural gas powered generator and did not lose power like most people did earlier this week. We also had a broken pipe, but it was outside the house, and I was eventually able to cap it, with the help of a neighbor, after the normal (for me) three trips to the hardware store and two failed attempts.

As usual these days, discussions of natural events quickly devolve into useless political arguments about who or what is to blame. Little thought is put into the technical or scientific issues, instead everything is viewed through the prism of Democrat or Republican political agendas. Ideology trumps common sense. Thus, we have Democrats blaming natural gas shortages and coal downtime and Republicans blaming the wind power collapse. What really happened?

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Energy and Society from now until 2040

By Andy May

ExxonMobil released its 2017 Outlook for Energy, A View to 2040 in mid-December. David Middleton has written that the report reveals wind and solar will supply a whopping 4% of global energy by 2040! He also reports that wind and solar capacity will grow, but we will only be able to utilize 30% of the wind capacity and 20% of the solar capacity due to their intermittent nature. This is true, but the report has much more to say and this year the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State makes it even more important. Here we will cover some the other numbers in the report. Continue reading

Climate-related Deaths and Insecurity

By Andy May

In the cartoon the guy being tortured is saying “OKAY! I believe mankind causes global warming!”  The priest is saying “Very well… give the heretic back his research funds.”  The cartoon is by Cox and Forkum (2007)

In this post we will discuss the assertion that there will be more climate-related deaths due to man-made global warming. This is the fifth post in a series of seven. Continue reading

Extinctions and shutting down the Gulf Stream

By Andy May

This is part four of our series on climate change costs and hazards. The first three parts were on humans and the environment, population and the food supply, and the cost of global warming. In this part we examine the assertion that man-made climate change, the growth of the human population, and other human activities are causing an increase in species extinctions. We also examine the polar bear controversy. Continue reading

Calculating the Cost of Global Warming

By Andy May

Hopefully, the first two posts in this series, “Do humans harm the environment” and “Population Growth and the Food Supply” have convinced the reader that man-made climate change and global warming are not an existential threat to humanity or the planet. This leaves us in a discussion of the cost of global warming, which is something we can calculate. To do the calculation, we need to estimate the monetary damages caused by global warming, when they will be incurred, and the discount rate of money over that period of time. We will not attempt the calculation here, it is too complex, but we can discuss the parameters and some of the calculations done by others. Continue reading

Population Growth and the food supply

By Andy May

This is the second of seven posts on the potential costs and hazards of human-caused global warming and the impact of humans on the environment. The first post is on humans and the environment (here). The IPCC WGII AR5 Technical Summary, defines “hazards” as follows on page 39:

“The potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event or trend or physical impact that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage and loss to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision, ecosystems, and environmental resources. In this report, the term hazard usually refers to climate-related physical events or trends or their physical impacts.”

The IPCC WGII AR5 report only deals with population growth tangentially, but it has a lot of information on the world’s food supply. The WGII AR5 technical summary states:

“For the major crops (wheat, rice, and maize) in tropical and temperate regions, climate change without adaptation is projected to negatively impact aggregate production for local temperature increases of 2°C or more above late-20th-century levels, although individual locations may benefit (medium confidence).”

As we will show below, there is no indication of a change in the rate of increase in crop yields in the United Nations FAO data. Continue reading

#population, #welcomeandrea

Do humans harm the environment?

By Andy May

This is the first of seven posts on the potential costs and hazards of human-caused global warming and the impact of humans on the environment in general. The IPCC WGII AR5 Technical Summary, defines “hazards” on page 39:

“The potential occurrence of a natural or human-induced physical event or trend or physical impact that may cause loss of life, injury, or other health impacts, as well as damage and loss to property, infrastructure, livelihoods, service provision, ecosystems, and environmental resources. In this report, the term hazard usually refers to climate-related physical events or trends or their physical impacts.”

Do humans harm the environment? If we assume humans are causing most of the current global warming, is the warming dangerous? If we are dangerous to the environment, should we limit our population in some way? If global warming is potentially dangerous, and we assume human CO2 emissions are the cause, would we be better off to adapt to the human-caused global warming and continue using fossil fuels, or do we need to stop using fossil fuels to limit emissions? We will consider these issues here and in future posts.

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