Open threads as promised


Sat 16 Oct 2010 10:20

I’ve returned to the familiar CCG style for now. Since the new style wasn’t giving us everything we wanted, there was no point in leaving it there. As I look around the Internet I see little that I like; finding a good blog theme is not proving easy. If anyone wants to give links to excellent themes, I’d be grateful. – Richard T

Open threads have been put up today, as requested by several very active members of our Conversation. They’re accessible from the menu bar (look for Open threads) and the sidebar on the right. I guess I should start to move relevant comments from the “Housekeeping” post to the new topics.

The record number of comments previously was 68 recorded on “Observations on NIWA’s Statement of Defence” but now the record is up to 138 143 161 recorded on “World of sceptical questions unfolds…“. Rodney take note: see what you started? (thanks again)

154 Thoughts on “Open threads as promised

  1. Richard C (NZ) on November 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm said:

    NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 5.0)

    User’s Guide – html

    User’s Guide – pdf

    Search or Browse – Namelist Variables

    Scientific Description – Physics Formulations CAM3

    Scientific Description – Physics Formulations CAM5

    Forum – CESM, CAM, Land, Ocean, Ice

    ESG – Gateway for datasets, simulation outputs, software tools

    RDA – NCAR’s Research Data Archive

  2. Richard C (NZ) on November 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm said:

    User’s Guide to the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)

    Note: this guide is stil a very useful resource and to date is in the best integrated and finalized format – very instructive.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on November 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm said:

    CCSM/CAM – Timelines for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

    Operational Plan AR4 -> AR5 quickview pdf

    CCSM3 -> CCSM4 quickview pdf

    CAM3 -> CAM4 quickview pdf

  4. Richard C (NZ) on November 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm said:

    CCSM3/CAM3 in AR4 configuration

    TemperatureFailed to mimic 2000 -> 2010 plateau (common model problem)

    PrecipitationGood agreement with observation 1900 -> 2000

    CAM4/CCSM4 Summary for AR5

    CAM4 major component changes
    a.Convective momentum transports
    b.Convective buoyant parcel dilution
    c.‘Freeze drying’ of polar low-cloud
    d.Finite volume dynamical core
    e.Option of HOMME spectral-element dynamical core

    Translates to mostly tropical atmosphere climate improvements
    *Reduced strong bias in surface stresses (sub-tropical, mid-latitude)
    *Improved mean precipitation simulation and local feature

    More frequent extreme precipitation events over land
    *Stronger modes of tropical variability (esp. MJO)
    *Reduced winter-time polar cloud excess
    *Improved transport properties (WACCM, CAM-chem)
    *More realistic coupled modes of variability
    *El Nino period 2->3-5 years
    *Realistic global teleconnectionpatterns

    20thCentury Climate Change

    Short wave cloud forcing over the 20thCentury (1970-1999 minus 1850)
    CCSM3 and CCSM4: low-cloud feedbacks are positive (warming)
    Amplified signals at 1 deg. compared to 2 deg.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on November 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm said:

    CAM Conclusion AR4 -> AR5

    • CAM forecasts allows for diagnosing parameterization errors in
    different cloud regimes

    • CAM3 (AR4)
    too much precipitation near ITCZ (deep convection scheme: no
    mixing between the parcel and its environment)
    PBL too shallow in StCu (dry and surface-driven PBL scheme )

    • CAM4-t1 (AR5)
    dramatic improvement of precipitation in the early forecast with
    the new convection scheme (entrainment of environment)

    • CAM4-t5 (AR5)
    new PBL scheme produces deeper and better mixed PBLs (PBL
    scheme: prognostic TKE with explicit entrainment at top of PBL)

    Note: PBL is planetary boundary layer, StCu is stratocumulus

  6. Richard C (NZ) on November 13, 2010 at 9:22 pm said:


    I’ve been able to access the greenhouse gas forcings datasets for CAM 3,4 and 5 via as per Acquiring Input Datasets, CAM5 users guide. Login (if reqd) is username guestuser, password friendly.

    Select atm/ cam/ ggas/

    Spin-up datasets are:-


    These datasets are the same Law Dome icecore – Mauna Loa splice used by other models in the IPCC stable – very disappointing.

    Simulation datasets as specified by the IPCC SRES scenarios are:-

    # ghg_ipcc_A1B_1870-2100_c040521.ncdump

    I suspect these are the spin-ups with data (estimates) from the RCP Database appended.

    To view these files in Windows requires a utility to present ARM netcdf .nc extension files. A number are available on this page:-

    So far I have used NCExplorer successfully. The files can be plotted and by clicking on the CO2 plot line, the CO2 concentration in ppm will be returned with a day value. The day value can converted to year by dividing by 365.

    Other datasets can be accessed similarly e.g. solar

  7. Richard C (NZ) on November 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm said:

    The physics in the model need to be assessed in the context of the Gerlich and Tscheuschner (G&T) 2009 criticism of IPCC RF methodology. From G&T:
    1.2 The greenhouse e ffect hypothesis

    Among climatologists, in particular those who are affliated with the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC)3, there is a “scientifi c consensus” [22], that the relevant mechanism is the atmospheric greenhouse e ffect, a mechanism heavily relying on the assumption that radiative heat transfer clearly dominates over the other forms of heat transfer such as thermal conductivity, convection, condensation et cetera [23{30].

    In all past IPCC reports and other such scienti c summaries the following point evocated in Ref. [24], p. 5, is central to the discussion:

    “One of the most important factors is the greenhouse e ffect; a simplifi ed explanation of which is as follows. Short-wave solar radiation can pass through the clear atmosphere relatively unimpeded. But long-wave terrestrial radiation emitted by the warm surface of the Earth is partially absorbed and then re-emitted by a number of trace gases in the cooler atmosphere above. Since, on average, the outgoing long-wave radiation balances the incoming solar radiation, both the atmosphere and the surface will be warmer than they would be without the greenhouse gases : : : The greenhouse e ffect is real; it is a well understood e ffect, based on established scientifi c principles.”

    To make things more precise, supposedly, the notion of radiative forcing was introduced by the IPCC and related to the assumption of radiative equilibrium. In Ref. [27], pp. 7-6, one fi nds the statement:

    “A change in average net radiation at the top of the troposphere (known as the tropopause), because of a change in either solar or infrared radiation, is de fined for the purpose of this report as a radiative forcing. A radiative forcing perturbs the balance between incoming and outgoing radiation. Over time climate responds to
    the perturbation to re-establish the radiative balance. A positive radiative forcing tends on average to warm the surface; a negative radiative forcing on average tends to cool the surface. As de fined here, the incoming solar radiation is not considered a radiative forcing, but a change in the amount of incoming solar radiation would
    be a radiative forcing : : : For example, an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration leads to a reduction in outgoing infrared radiation and a positive radiative forcing.”


    On the other hand, the macroscopic thermodynamical quantities contain a lot of information and can be measured directly and accurately in the physics lab. It is an interesting point that the thermal conductivity of CO2 is only one half of that of nitrogen or oxygen. In a 100 percent CO2 atmosphere a conventional light bulb shines brighter than in a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere due to the lowered thermal conductivity of its environment. But this has nothing
    to do with the supposed CO2 greenhouse eff ect which refers to trace gas concentrations.

    Global climatologists claim that the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect keeps the Earth 33 Deg C warmer than it would be without the trace gases in the atmosphere. About 80 percent of this warming is attributed to water vapor and 20 percent to the 0.03 volume percent CO2. If such an extreme eff ect existed, it would show up even in a laboratory experiment involving concentrated CO2 as a thermal conductivity anomaly. It would manifest itself as a new kind
    of `superinsulation’ violating the conventional heat conduction equation. However, for CO2 such anomalous heat transport properties never have been observed.
    The treatment of thermal conductivity, convection and condensation can be ascertained from Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 4.0) which is AR5 relevant.

    From the description:-

    4 Model Physics
    4.1 Deep Convection
    4.1.1 Updraft Ensemble
    4.1.2 Downdraft Ensemble
    4.1.3 Closure
    4.1.4 Numerical Approximations
    4.1.5 Deep Convective Momentum Transports
    4.1.6 Deep Convective Tracer Transport
    4.2 Shallow/Middle Tropospheric Moist Convection
    4.3 Evaporation of convective precipitation
    4.4 Conversion to and from dry and wet mixing ratios for trace constituents in the model
    4.5 Prognostic Condensate and Precipitation Parameterization
    4.5.1 Introductory comments
    4.5.2 Description of the macroscale component
    4.5.3 Description of the microscale component
    4.6 Dry Adiabatic Adjustment
    4.7 Parameterization of Cloud Fraction
    4.8 Parameterization of Shortwave Radiation
    4.8.1 Diurnal cycle
    4.8.2 Formulation of shortwave solution
    4.8.3 Aerosol properties and optics
    4.8.4 Cloud Optical Properties

    From this, only conduction has yet to be addressed and is so far not addressed in Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 5.0)

    CAM4 physics can be compared to CAM3 by viewing Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)

    More CAM evolution can be viewed here.

  8. Richard C (NZ) on November 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm said:

    From George at JoNova:

    November 24th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    The total influence of the GHG effect is significantly less than 33C. Your -18C number (255K) assumes that clouds and ice are still reflecting power maintaining an artificially high albedo of 0.3, where as the no atmosphere albedo would be the same as the 0.12 measured for the Moon. No GHG effect means no atmosphere, no water vapor and no rain, snow, ice or clouds. Using this value, the no atmosphere surface temperature would be about 270K, or about -3C, making the net GHG effect (all water effects + CO2) only about 18C.

    In effect, we can say that the influence of the GHG effect is to both heat and cool. It heats the surface by redirecting a fraction of the power emitted by the surface back to it and cools by increased reflection due to clouds, snow and ice. The cooling can be considered to be the difference between the 255K and 270K, or about 15C.


  9. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 8:33 pm said:


  10. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 8:37 pm said:

    Transport Pollution

  11. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm said:

    How 16 ships create as much pollution as all the cars in the world

    By Fred Pearce
    Last updated at 10:13 PM on 21st November 2009


    Emma – dubbed SS Santa by the media – brought Christmas presents to Europe in October and is now en route from Algeciras in Spain to Yantian in southern China, carrying containers full of our waste paper, plastic and electronics for recycling.

    But it burns marine heavy fuel, or ‘bunker fuel’, which leaves behind a trail of potentially lethal chemicals: sulphur and smoke that have been linked to breathing problems, inflammation, cancer and heart disease.

    James Corbett, of the University of Delaware, is an authority on ship emissions. He calculates a worldwide death toll of about 64,000 a year, of which 27,000 are in Europe. Britain is one of the worst-hit countries, with about 2,000 deaths from funnel fumes. Corbett predicts the global figure will rise to 87,000 deaths a year by 2012.

    Part of the blame for this international scandal lies close to home.

    In London, on the south bank of the Thames looking across at the Houses of Parliament, is the International Maritime Organisation, the UN body that polices the world’s shipping.

    For decades, the IMO has rebuffed calls to clean up ship pollution. As a result, while it has long since been illegal to belch black, sulphur-laden smoke from power-station chimneys or lorry exhausts, shipping has kept its licence to pollute.

    For 31 years, the IMO has operated a policy agreed by the 169 governments that make up the organisation which allows most ships to burn bunker fuel.

    Christian Eyde Moller, boss of the DK shipping company in Rotterdam, recently described this as ‘just waste oil, basically what is left over after all the cleaner fuels have been extracted from crude oil. It’s tar, the same as asphalt. It’s the cheapest and dirtiest fuel in the world’.

    Bunker fuel is also thick with sulphur. IMO rules allow ships to burn fuel containing up to 4.5 per cent sulphur. That is 4,500 times more than is allowed in car fuel in
    the European Union. The sulphur comes out of ship funnels as tiny particles, and it is these that get deep into lungs.

    Thanks to the IMO’s rules, the largest ships can each emit as much as 5,000 tons of sulphur in a year – the same as 50million typical cars, each emitting an average of 100 grams of sulphur a year.

    With an estimated 800million cars driving around the planet, that means 16 super-ships can emit as much sulphur as the world fleet of cars.


  12. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm said:

    The surprisingly complex truth about planes and climate change

    A new study suggests that planes cause more warming than cars, while ships are cooling enough to counteract them both


    If we shift to a 20-year time frame, things look completely different. The short-term impacts have largely died down and the plane looks considerably better – helped along by a quirk of atmospheric chemistry which sees nitrous oxide pollution from the aircraft engines causing cooling during this period by destroying methane in the air. The paper even suggests that for any time frame longer than 20 years, flying is typically greener per kilometre than driving (although when I phoned to check this, one of the authors of the report confirmed my suspicion that this isn’t true in Europe, where fuel-efficient cars are more popular).

    Of the various forms of transport examined by the researchers, shipping is the other one most markedly affected by short-term climate impacts. Here, however, everything is in reverse because the major short-term effect of shipping is sulfate aerosol pollution. While they remain in the air, these aerosol particles bounce sunlight away from the earth and therefore cause cooling rather than warming. The extent of this effect is amazing: if I’m understanding the numbers correctly, over a five-year time frame the world’s ships cause enough cooling to offset the total warming caused by every car, plane and bus combined.

    Even over a 20-year time frame, shipping pollution still contributes an overall cooling effect – as do electric trains, due to the aerosol pollution kicked out from coal-fired power stations. This throws up a tricky issue for policy makers and industry. If we clean up some kinds of air pollution for the benefit of environmental and human health, then we stand to significantly accelerate global warming in the near-term.

  13. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm said:

    Coal-fired Power Plant Pollution

  14. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm said:

    New paper: Coal-fired power plants cause global cooling?!

    Posted by Tom Nelson September 09, 2010

    The surprisingly complex truth about planes and climate change | Duncan Clark | Environment |

    Even over a 20-year time frame, shipping pollution still contributes an overall cooling effect – as do electric trains, due to the aerosol pollution kicked out from coal-fired power stations. This throws up a tricky issue for policy makers and industry. If we clean up some kinds of air pollution for the benefit of environmental and human health, then we stand to significantly accelerate global warming in the near-term.

    [From the comment section of the above article] |

    Cactiform seems to have interpreted the logic of this paper perfectly. Having looked at the paper,it does indeed claim that SO2 pollution causes global cooling, and that coal power stations are therefore [are] helping to stop global warming.

    Specific Climate Impact of Passenger and Freight Transport – Environmental Science & Technology (ACS Publications) [Access this link via the Tom Nelson link above]

    High SO2 emissions notably from the electricity produced in coal fired power plants lead to a strong cooling from sulfate aerosols.
    But SO2 is a killer

    SO2 pollution killer – Google Search

  15. THREAD on December 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm said:

    Air Pollution SO2 – Google Search

    Note this

    {PM10 – Particulate Matter)

    Why don’t they could forget GHG mitigation and focus on real pollution? Unnecessary GHG mitigation represents an opportunity cost for real pollution mitigation efforts

  16. THREAD on December 7, 2010 at 8:31 am said:

    Coal Power Plant Scrubbers – Google Search

    Flue-gas desulfurization – Wikipedia

    Air Quality Scrubbers Help Coal Plants Move Forward – Environmental Leader

    Coal-fired power plant, scrubbers could cost $200mn – POWER-GEN …

    EPA Says Scrubbers Necessary for Health Protection Under Coal Conversion Plan [EPA press release – July 14, 1977]

    The Need for Additional U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants – ASME

  17. Richard C (NZ) on December 8, 2010 at 10:24 am said:

    Supreme Court to Hear Global Warming Case Against Power Companies

    Written by Lee Ross, FoxNews | 06 December 2010

    The Supreme Court announced Monday it will give further consideration to a closely-watched lawsuit filed by environmentalists, eight states and New York City blaming the problems associated with global warming on the carbon dioxide output of five major power companies.

    An ultimate judgment against the energy providers could lead to dramatic changes in the energy marketplace and ripple into other industries. But the high court’s decision to give the matter closer attention makes that possibility less likely.

    In 2009, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs could move forward with their lawsuit alleging the companies were creating a public nuisance by releasing excessive amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

    That decision “sets a major precedent in that it gives citizens — in the absence of climate change legislation — the right to take action against big business pollution,” according to a statement released last September by Open Space Institute, one three environmental groups that joined the lawsuit along with New York City and Connecticut, New York, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

    In asking the high court to review the case, lawyers for the power companies said the plaintiffs have no standing to file a lawsuit. Instead, they contend, only the federal government through the Environmental Protection Agency has the ability to hold power companies accountable for contributing to global warming.


  18. Richard C (NZ) on December 8, 2010 at 10:51 am said:

    From the Fox News article.


    The states claim the power companies have caused irreparable environmental harm by allowing its plants to produce excessive levels of carbon dioxide. They claim people have died because of their actions and others have been directly impacted by the resulting smog, decreased fresh water supplies, land erosion and rising sea levels. Their suit was filed before the 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA and the Second Circuit’s 2009 ruling came before the EPA had started to regulate carbon emissions.


    In his brief, acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said recent actions by the EPA show the feds are now regulating carbon emissions.

    Read more:

  19. Richard C (NZ) on December 9, 2010 at 12:08 am said:

    Arrests derail chain gang’s power station pollution protest

    December 6, 2010 – smh

    Sixty-seven people were arrested near one of the nation’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters in the Hunter Valley yesterday.

    About 150 protesters spent the weekend near Muswellbrook at ”Climate Camp” to draw attention to Macquarie Generation’s coal-fired Bayswater power station, one of the nation’s largest and the proposed site for a second baseload power plant.

    A group of the protesters knocked over a fence yesterday and chained themselves to the power station’s railway track, used to transport coal.

    A police spokesman said about 50 officers were sent to manage the protest. The 67 people were charged with a range of offences that related to anti-social or criminal behaviour. On Saturday two other men were arrested after allegedly entering private property and chaining themselves to a coal conveyor.

  20. Richard C (NZ) on December 9, 2010 at 5:46 pm said:

    New NASA model: Doubled CO2 means just 1.64°C warming

    Written by Lewis Page, The Register | 08 December 2010

    A group of top NASA boffins says that current climate models predicting global warming are far too gloomy, and have failed to properly account for an important cooling factor which will come into play as CO2 levels rise.

    According to Lahouari Bounoua of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and other scientists from NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), existing models fail to accurately include the effects of rising CO2 levels on green plants. As green plants breathe in CO2 in the process of photosynthesis – they also release oxygen, the only reason that there is any in the air for us to breathe – more carbon dioxide has important effects on them.

    In particular, green plants can be expected to grow as they find it easier to harvest carbon from the air around them using energy from the sun: thus introducing a negative feedback into the warming/carbon process. Most current climate models don’t account for this at all, according to Bounoua. Some do, but they fail to accurately simulate the effects – they don’t allow for the fact that plants in a high-CO2 atmosphere will “down-regulate” and so use water more efficiently.

    Bounoua and her colleagues write:

    Increase in precipitation contributes primarily to increase evapotranspiration rather than surface runoff, consistent with observations, and results in an additional cooling effect not fully accounted for in previous simulations with elevated CO2.

    The NASA and NOAA boffins used their more accurate science to model a world where CO2 levels have doubled to 780 parts per million (ppm) compared to today’s 390-odd. They say that world would actually warm up by just 1.64°C overall, and the vegetation-cooling effect would be stronger over land to boot – thus temperatures on land would would be a further 0.3°C cooler compared to the present sims.

    International diplomatic efforts under UN auspices are currently devoted to keeping global warming limited to 2°C or less, which under current climate models calls for holding CO2 to 450 ppm – or less in many analyses – a target widely regarded as unachievable. Doubled carbon levels are normally viewed in the current state of enviro play as a scenario that would lead to catastrophe; that is, to warming well beyond 2°C.

    It now appears, however, that the previous/current state of climate science may simply have been wrong and that there’s really no need to get in an immediate flap. If Bounoua and her colleagues are right, and CO2 levels keep on rising the way they have been lately (about 2 ppm each year), we can go a couple of centuries without any dangerous warming. There are lots of other factors in play, of course, but nonetheless the new analysis is very reassuring.

    “As we learn more about how these systems react, we can learn more about how the climate will change,” says Bounoua’s colleague Forrest Hall, in a NASA statement accompanying the team’s scholarly paper. “Each year we get better and better. It’s important to get these things right.”

    The NASA/NOAA boffins’ paper Quantifying the negative feedback of vegetation to greenhouse warming: A modeling approach is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (subscription required).
    Note that “current climate models” includes NASA GISS.(Hansen, Schmidt et al).

    There’s in-house polariity at NASA – GSFC vs GISS

    There will only be one winner and it will be the one that mimics observed conditions best.

    GISS has such a warm bias that it is now an outlier.

    That leaves GSFC – watch the space.

  21. Richard C (NZ) on December 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm said:

    E Timor counts costs of Chinese power plants

    December 15, 2010 – smh

    DARWIN: The construction of two second-hand Chinese power plants in East Timor is an escalating environmental and safety disaster that has been hit by delays and cost blow-outs, the project’s supervisors say.

    The government in Dili has removed the Beijing-owned Chinese Nuclear Industry 22nd Construction Company from responsibility for building the plants and has hired an Indonesian company to finish the work.

    Puri Akraya Engineering Limited was registered with the Hong Kong Companies Register only five weeks before it was secretly given a contract expected to multiply the cost of building the plants from US$91 million to US$353 million.

    A confidential report in September by the Italian joint-venture company Electroconsult and Bonifica, which was hired last year to supervise the project, estimates the project will now cost at least $US629 million, almost double the original price.

    The report, obtained by the non-government organisation La’o Hamutuk in Dili, revealed a deteriorating quality of work, safety practices that were ”far below regulations” and acts of ”environmental negligence” at the plant sites.

    The report listed 14 serious ”issues of concern” and eight more ”problems/issues” but said the supervisor’s recommendations to the Chinese company were rarely implemented.

    Although being removed from responsibility for the plants at Hera and Betano, the Chinese company is still believed to be responsible for building high-voltage transmission lines and other parts of the project.

    The government in Dili has been criticised for buying the 20-year-old plants from China, which commits the gas-rich country to three decades of importing expensive heavy oil and using outdated technology that is banned in many countries.

    Environmental groups say the plants will create acid rain, water pollution, toxic solid waste, particulate air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

    While government leaders claimed the project would provide 20,000 jobs for Timorese, the Chinese company had hired only 155 Timorese workers by May this year.

    Dili residents say that hundreds of Chinese workers brought to Timor to work in electricity and other projects have caused social tensions among impoverished Timorese, particularly in Dili, where Chinese have fought local gangs on the city’s streets.

    The supervisors’ report said the Chinese company had not prepared a single monthly environmental report, although it has been required to do so since January this year.

    The report said the Chinese company had no formal process for complaints, had not replanted cleared areas, had no solid waste management plan, had not established buffer zones between residential and project areas and had not complied with requirements for silt containment, oil and grease traps, sanitation facilities or waste treatment. And the company was working below the level required to finish the plants by December next year.

    Most routes for the transmission lines had not been surveyed and land disputes were causing problems.

    In a website posting, La’o Hamutuk said it was distressed that its predictions about the project were being fulfilled while Timorese became increasingly frustrated about power shortages and public officials concealed the extent of the problem.

  22. Mike Jowsey on December 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm said:

    “Our over-consumption is alleged to cause global warming. We are guilty because we are prosperous, so we supposedly owe reparations to the poor nations.”

  23. Richard C (NZ) on December 16, 2010 at 8:42 pm said:

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that “we need to fundamentally transform the global economy, based on low-carbon, clean-energy resources.”

    Yeah right – this man is evil personified.

    The good news is that the UN has got off-side with some Green factions (not all) after the Cancun “process” extension.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on December 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm said:

    Activated Carbon


    Mercury scrubbing

    Activated carbon, often impregnated with iodine or sulfur, is widely used to trap mercury emissions from coal-fired power stations, medical incinerators, and from natural gas at the wellhead. This carbon is a specialty product costing more than US$4.00 per kg. However, it is often not recycled.
    World-first green technology has vast market potential

    Wednesday, 8 December 2010, 10:38 am
    Press Release: Carbonscape


    December 8, 2010

    Carbonscape Cracks One-Step Production of Activated Carbon From Waste

    World-first green technology has vast market potential

    BLENHEIM, NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand charcoal technology company Carbonscape™ has become the first in the world to pioneer a new green technology – a one-step process to cheaply produce highly porous charcoal.

    Known as Activated Carbon (often described as AC), this form of charcoal has a huge surface area, typically measuring more than 500 square metres per gram.

    This large surface area gives AC a diverse range of uses, including cleaning contaminated soil and water, and capturing significant amounts of carbon dioxide emissions from power stations.

    Throughout the world AC is used in such diverse industries as metallurgy, chemistry, agriculture, timber processing, gold extraction, nuclear energy, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, medicine and food processing.


  25. Development Pollution

  26. Richard C (NZ) on December 19, 2010 at 11:56 am said:

    India’s ‘Dr No’ battles for eco-friendliness

    5:30 AM Saturday Dec 18, 2010 – NZH

    India’s Environment Minister has blocked the construction of mines, power plants and dams. He’s held up a new airport and describes diesel cars as criminal. He’s even taken Harry Potter to task for promoting threatened owls as pets.


  27. Richard C (NZ) on December 19, 2010 at 11:57 am said:

    Just 18 months into the job, Jairam Ramesh has turned a once-marginal Environment Ministry into a powerful gatekeeper on India’s road to prosperity.

    He’s been called an eco-crusader, a “Dr No” of development and even a buffoon, angering so many investors and politicians that there are constant rumours of his impending dismissal. But his tenacity has fuelled an environmental debate that many say is long overdue.

    After two decades of unbridled development, India risks becoming a victim of its own success. It is now the world’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, with rivers the World Bank has described as fetid sewers and cities among the world’s most polluted.

    “Many people in India, particularly the elitist classes, still think ‘grow now, clean later’. We cannot repeat the mistakes of other countries,” Ramesh said.

    “I’m no eco-evangelist, but are we serious about implementing our environmental laws or not?”

    The US-educated technocrat-turned-politician insists his job, adversarial by nature, is to help correct India’s development course by enforcing long-ignored environmental laws.

  28. Environment Pollution

  29. Richard C (NZ) on December 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm said:

    Green taxes: a brief overview

    Parliamentary support, Research papers

    Andrew Morrison
    Economist, Parliamentary Library
    February 1996

    Executive Summary

    • Green taxes are one of a variety of policy measures designed to control activities which affect the environment.

    • They consist of charges on pollution or on whatever causes the pollution, paid for by producers and/or consumers.

    • These charges act as an incentive on producers and consumers to reduce their dependence on the taxed item.

    • Other environmental policy measures include regulatory instruments, suasive instruments and economic instruments besides green taxes.

    • These policy measures can be evaluated in terms of their environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, equity and acceptability.

    • Most economists believe that green taxes and other economic instruments generally achieve environmental objectives more cost-effectively than regulatory instruments.

    • However, exceptions exist, and detailed study is required to determine the optimal policy for any specific environmental problem.

    • Furthermore, empirical evidence is inconclusive. This is the result of limited data and the fact that most green taxes are secondary parts of wider regulatory structures and have charges set too low to have any marked effects on incentives.

    • Green taxes and other economic instruments have been the subject of considerable political and analytical interest over the last few years, and work is being produced which should be of more practical use to policy-makers.

  30. Richard C (NZ) on December 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm said:

    Electricity generation: NZ and selected OECD countries

    Parliamentary support, Research papers

    7 December 2004


    For year ended March 2004 an estimated 40,006GWh of electricity was generated in New Zealand, which was derived from the following sources:1
    Hydro 61.6 percent (approximately three-quarters generated in the South Island)
    Gas 21.5 percent
    Coal 7.1 percent

    Geothermal 6.3 percent
    Others 3.5 percent (biogas, industrial waste, wood & wind, including cogeneration)

    [Snip – see Figure 1.]

    In addition, some energy commentators believe that coal will also play a greater role as a generation fuel.8


    Around 41% of New Zealand’s available gas is used for electricity generation, including cogeneration.


    Coal resources occur widely in New Zealand. Total in ground coal resources are estimated at approximately 15 billion tonnes, of this 8.6 billion tonnes is judged to be economically recoverable. About 90 percent (by weight) of the economically recoverable coal is located in the South Island. Of the economically recoverable resources, about one third is in existing mines, while the remainder could be mined without significant investigatory work.16

    As a generation fuel, coal provides five percent of New Zealand’s electricity supply needs. This compares to coal providing 37 percent of worldwide electricity generation and as much as 86 percent of electricity generated in Australia.17

    State owned coal mining company Solid Energy, who produce over three quarters of New Zealand’s total production, contend that new coal-based electricity generation:

    “could maintain the wholesale electricity price near current rates (approximately 6c per kWh) for years to come. A carbon tax of $15 per tonne is likely to increase the cost of all electricity in New Zealand by about 1.5c per kWh.” 18

    The Government has specified that the carbon tax will be no more that $25 per tonne and will be introduced after 2007 (the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period is from 2008-2012). Carbon emission trading proponents refer to the global energy sector as “carbon constrained” and that a price on carbon is being gradually and irreversibly embedded in the global economy. Minister Hodgson has acknowledged:

    “We may well see new coal fired electricity generation built in New Zealand in the next decade. A carbon tax will not prevent that happening. It will simply ensure that the price we pay for that electricity will be a little more reflective of the environmental cost of choosing that source of energy.” 19

    New Zealand industries using coal are working on increasing the efficiency of coal firing to produce electricity, and to reduce the emission of particulates. Genesis Power and Solid Energy have formed a task force to enhance the performance of coal firing at Huntly Power Station (Huntly is a dual fuel power station and can run on gas or coal) and to introduce the next generation of coal technology to the station. Solid Energy is seeking similar arrangements with other major industrial customers, including BHP New Zealand Steel and the dairy industry.20

    Solid Energy mines over 3 million tonnes of coal each year. Over half of this annual production is exported to major international customers. This earns $150 million a year for New Zealand in export earnings. Solid Energy exports to Japan, South Africa, China, India, Chile, Australia, the United States and Northern Europe. Supporters of coal powered generation have observed that modern emissions scrubbing technology can make coal no more polluting than gas fired plants,21 and that purpose built power stations in New Zealand would be able to make use of this technology more effectively, and produce lower greenhouse gas emissions, than countries where New Zealand might otherwise export coal.22


    Possible Future Plant Changes
    Information on possible future power plant developments (10MW or greater), obtained from the Ministry of Economic Development’s Energy Data File, are summarised in table 1 below.27

    Table 1. Future power plant developments (10 MW or greater)

    Overall, the Ministry reports that 843MW of new generation capacity will come on stream over the next 4 years.

    In addition, Solid Energy reports that it is finalising plans for a coal fired plant north of Westport and has not ruled out building a second plant at Rapahoe, also on the West Coast of the South Island, with a combined generation capacity of around 400MW. Solid Energy is planning to lodge resource consents for the building and operation of these plants in 2005. Genesis Power is also undertaking a feasibility study on the recommissioning an old coal fired plant at Meremere in the Waikato, with a projected generation capacity of 500MW.28


    Mighty River Power has begun a public consultation process as a precursor to seeking resource consents to operate the Marsden Point B power station using coal as a fuel source. The station was originally built to run on oil, but was mothballed in 1978 without generating any electricity. Mighty River Power is proposing to refit the plant at Ruakaka, Northland, into a station capable of generating up to 320MW.




    The audit suggests that, despite New Zealand’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, the most likely sources of new generation are thermal, especially coal.


  31. Richard C (NZ) on December 20, 2010 at 12:59 pm said:

    From “The carbon detectives” – NZH

    United States success in reducing acid rain shows how tracking what comes out of a factory – as well as what goes in – can pay off. The EPA began requiring companies to continuously measure the sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides coming from their smokestacks in 1995. They reported as often as every hour in the world’s first large-scale emissions-trading effort. By 2006 the US had cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 40 per cent and nitrogen oxides by almost 50 per cent, a 2007 EPA assessment found.

    The rest of the article is about CO2 emissions measurement and trading i.e. a money-go-round

  32. Richard C (NZ) on May 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm said:

    First Light on the Ozone Hockeystick

    Posted on May 9, 2011 by Willis Eschenbach

    Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

    After many false starts, thanks to Steven Mosher and Derecho64 I was able to access the forcings used by the CCSM3 climate model. This is an important model because its successor, the CESM3 model, is going to be used in the laughably named “CIM-EARTH Project.” Anyhow, just as new telescopes have “first light” when they are first used, so here I’ll provide the first light from the CCSM3 ozone forcings. These are the forcings used by the CCSM3 model in their hindcast of the 20th Century (called the “20C3M” simulations in the trade). How well did they do with the hindcast? Not all that well … but that’s a future story. This story is about ozone concentrations. Figure 1 shows the concentration at the highest-altitude of the 18 atmospheric levels, concentrations that were used as one of the forcings for the 20C3M climate model runs.

    Figure 1. Ozone concentration at about 36 km altitude (23 mi), used as input to the CCSM3 20th century (20C3M) simulations.

    There are so many things wrong with using that “data” as an input to a climate model that I scarcely know where to start.

    First, the provenance. Is this historical data, some kind of record of observations? Nope. Turns out that this is the output of a separate ozone model. So instead of being observations, it’s like a Hollywood movie that’s “based on a true story”, yeah, right … and even then only for part of the time.

    Second, what’s up with the strange sub-annual ups and downs (darker sections) in the annual cycle? They start out in the upper part of the annual swing, and then they change to the lower part after about 1970. Nor is this the only altitude level with this kind of oddity. There are 18 levels, and most of them show this strangeness in different forms. Figure 2 shows their claimed ozone concentrations from about half that altitude:

    Figure 2. Ozone concentration at about 19 km altitude (12 mi), used as input to the CCSM3 20th century simulations.

    Again you can see the sub-annual cycles, but this time only post-1970. Before that, it goes up and down in a regular annual variation, as we would expect. After that, we see the strange mid-year variation. Most other altitude levels show similar oddities. Again, it appears that the modelers are not applying the famous “eyeball test”.

    Third, how on earth can they justify using this kind of manufactured, obviously and ridiculously incorrect “data” as input to a climate model? If you are trying to hindcast the 20th century, using that kind of hockeystick nonsense as input to your climate model is not scientific in any sense, and at least gives the appearance that you are cooking the books to get a desired outcome.

    Anyhow, that’s not why I wanted to access the forcings. I wanted to compare them to the output of the model, to see if (like the GISS model) it is functionally equivalent to a trivially simple single-line equation. I’m working on that, these things take time. I just posted this up because it was so bizarre and … well … so hockeystick-like.

    More results as they occur,


  33. Richard C (NZ) on September 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm said:

    Climate ‘scientists’ arbitrarily increase fictitious effects of CO2 by 25% in latest model

    Attention alarmists: the latest version of the world’s most widely used climate model arbitrarily increases the fictitious forcing from CO2 ‘back-radiation’ and non-existent positive-feedbacks from clouds by 25%, from a fallacious 3.2C to 4.0C per doubling of CO2.

    Journal of Climate 2011 ; e-View doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00197.1

    The Evolution of Climate Sensitivity and Climate Feedbacks in the Community Atmosphere Model

    A. Gettelman et al

    Abstract: We use the major evolution of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) to diagnose climate feedbacks, understand how climate feedbacks change with different physical parameterizations, and identify the processes and regions that determine climate sensitivity. In the evolution of CAM from version 4 to version 5, the water vapor, temperature, surface albedo and lapse rate feedbacks are remarkably stable across changes to the physical parameterization suite. However, the climate sensitivity increases from 3.2K in CAM4 to 4.0K in CAM5. The difference is mostly due to (a) more positive cloud feedbacks and (b) higher CO2 radiative forcing in CAM5. The inter-model differences in cloud feedbacks are largest in the tropical trade cumulus regime and in the mid-latitude storm-tracks. The sub-tropical stratocumulus regions do not contribute strongly to climate feedbacks due to their small area coverage. A “modified Cess” configuration for atmosphere only model experiments is shown to reproduce slab ocean model results. Several parameterizations contribute to changes in tropical cloud feedbacks between CAM4 and CAM5, but the new shallow convection scheme causes the largest mid-latitude feedback differences and the largest change in climate sensitivity. Simulations with higher cloud forcing in the mean state have lower climate sensitivity. This work provides a methodology for further analysis of climate sensitivity across models and a framework for targeted comparisons to observations that can help constrain climate sensitivity to radiative forcing.

  34. Richard C (NZ) on November 6, 2011 at 9:13 am said:

    An Initial Look At The Hindcasts Of The NCAR CCSM4 Coupled Climate Model

    Guest post by Bob Tisdale


    Animation 1

    The first thing that’s obviously different is that the frequency and magnitude of El Niño and La Niña events of the individual ensemble members do not come close to matching those observed in the instrument temperature record. Should they? Yes. During a given time period, it is the frequency and magnitude of ENSO events that determines how often and how much heat is released by the tropical Pacific into the atmosphere during El Niño events, how much Downward Shortwave Radiation (visible sunlight) is made available to warm “and recharge” the tropical Pacific during La Niña events, and how much heat is transported poleward in the atmosphere and oceans, some of it for secondary release from the oceans during some La Niña events. If the models do not provide a reasonable facsimile of the strength and frequency of El Niño and La Niña events during given epochs, the modelers have no means of reproducing the true causes of the multiyear/multidecade rises and falls of the surface temperature anomalies. The frequency and magnitude of El Niño and La Niña events contribute to the long-term rises and falls in global surface temperature.

    Of even greater concern are the NINO3 Surface Air Temperature linear trends exhibited by the CCSM4 model ensemble members and model mean. As discussed earlier, there has been no rise in eastern equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies from 1900 to present, yet the CCSM4 ensemble members and mean show linear trends that are so high they exceed the rise in measured global surface temperature anomalies. In the real world, cool waters from below the surface of the eastern equatorial Pacific upwell at all times except during El Niño events. It is that feed of cool subsurface water that helps to maintain the relatively flat linear trend there.


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