Screw the Poor, Our Eyes are Fixed on Tomorrow

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Anthony Kelly departed this world last Tuesday. Three days later, a short report he wrote for the Global Warming Policy Foundation was published. Titled Climate Change Policy and the Poor, it raises questions relevant to us all.

What issues are we spending huge amounts of money on? What other problems are losing the battle for our attention? As Kelly points out:

with global warming we are discussing the possibility that there will be a problem in the future… [italics in the original]

Despite the hypothetical nature of this concern, in Britain and elsewhere weighty laws have been passed, expensive regulations have been enacted, and enormous amounts of money are being spent. On a speculative problem that may – or may not – become serious decades hence.

This might make sense if those of us who already call this planet home all enjoyed access to a safe and sufficient…

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The 3D lab

Last night brought extreme weather conditions to Belgium. After a hot summer day, hailstorms swept over the country, dropping hail stones of several centimeters.  Hailstones and pingpong ball

The storm resulted in a lot of economical, agricultural and natural damage, although it lasted not longer than fifteen minutes. Those fifteen minutes were however enough for the hailstones to perforate windows and greenhouses and many other unprotected things all over the country.

Hailstones in grass

Such hail storms provide a good example of temporal variation in microclimate. I have been focussing on its spatial counterpart, which gives different climate over a distance of a few centimeters or meters. But it is not only on a spatial scale that we can see deviations from the average climate. Over time, extreme weather conditions may happen, that may differ a lot from the average Those extremes, like hail storms, long heat waves or large floodings, may be much more limiting for plant growth than the average climate ever will.

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Holocene Cold Spells Brought Drought And Famine…Sea Levels Were Often Much Higher Than Today


In North Africa, and southwest Asia, beginning 15,000 years ago, because earth’s axis tilt began to favor the northern hemisphere during summer, the deserts were favored with additional summer monsoon rainfall. This allowed more human migration from north Africa into the Levant. At this time the Persian Gulf was a low valley watered by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and several others, some now dry wadis, combining into the Ur Schott river, and before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), at least two large lakes. Fresh water springs, now 4 or 5 fathoms under the gulf off Bahrain, supplied additional water.

NOAA shows ‘the pause’ in the U.S. surface temperature record over nearly a decade

Watts Up With That?

USCRN_Average_CONUS_Jan2004-April2014After years of waiting, NOAA has finally made a monthly dataset on the U.S. Climate Reference Network available in a user friendly way via their recent web page upgrades. This data is from state-of-the-art ultra-reliable triple redundant weather stations placed on pristine environments. As a result, these temperature data need none of the adjustments that plague the older surface temperature networks, such as USHCN and GHCN, which have been heavily adjusted to attempt corrections for a wide variety of biases. Using NOAA’s own USCRN data, which eliminates all of the squabbles over the accuracy of and the adjustment of temperature data, we can get a clear plot of pristine surface data. It could be argued that a decade is too short and that the data is way too volatile for a reasonable trend analysis, but let’s see if the new state-of-the-art USCRN data shows warming.

A series of graphs from…

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