JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Glaciers on the move: Two minutes of extreme climate change on Swiss Alps, Italian beaches

The next ice coming to Europe might look something like the last ice age shown in this simulation. A time when Venice will be top of a long paddock that stretches to Albania.

In school children are taught to hyperventilate about the last 30m retreat of glaciers that never stayed put ever.

Instead, they could be studying this… (click to start)

At the 24,000 year BC point glaciers have wiped out Zurich, Bern, Geneva.

Image the effect on people if this were shown everytime a Swiss Alps disaster story was run?

OK, so it is a model

Advance and retreat of the Alpine glaciers during the last glacial cycle from Julien Seguinot on Vimeo.

About 25000 years ago, Alpine Glaciers filled most of the valleys and even extended onto the plains. Using a computer model that contains knowledge on glacier physics based on modern observations of Greenland and Antarctica and laboratory experiments on ice, help from traces left by glaciers on the landscape, and one of the fastest computers in the world, this animation is an attempt to reconstruct of the evolution of Alpine Glaciers in time from 120000 years ago to today.

Meanwhile, WWF [...]

Evil Nature caused Swiss Glaciers to melt faster in 1870 (See solar and volcanic effects)

A study on Swiss Glaciers shows that the fastest melting was in the 1860s and 1870s, long before the first coal fired power. (See that steep decline from 1850-70 in Part a in the graph below.) In Part b see the glaciers have been going back and forward in cycles that somehow have no correlation with human emissions.

Climate models can’t predict any of these turning points, don’t understand any of these cycles, but “doom is coming”.

Pay up your money to make glaciers grow again.

From the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)

Figure 8. (a) Cumulative glacier length changes for the four glaciers Bossons, Mer de Glace, Oberer (O-) Grindelwald and Unterer (U-) Grindelwald …); (b) glacier length change rate …(c )glacier length changes compared to surface air temperature anomalies for the summer … Panel (d) air temps and stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD) (Click to enlarge and read the proper full caption).

In Part c (above) — glacier lengths correlate with temperatures.  In part d the brown spikes are the Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Depth [SAOD] — meaning volcanic dust, black carbon, soot. These were bad years to head to the beach.

In terms of speed, note the lack [...]

News from the Non Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

A sample of recent scientific news from NIPCC * The Glaciers of Greenland were smaller 5000 years ago; * African savanna trees thrive with increases in CO2; * It was hotter in China a thousand years ago, and by a whole degree; * Marine-life-with-shells can’t agree on their favourite CO2 level and * Temperatures make no difference to the 5000 year record of hurricanes. [...]

Save the world — whitewash the Andes

Painting rocks on Chalon Sombrero (Image: BBC)

File this in unrealized parody. The BBC beats the Onion.

The World Bank has awarded a Peruvian inventor $200,000 to paint rocks white. They hope if they make them the right colour the glacier will come back…

Can painting a mountain restore a glacier?

It is the first experimental step in an innovative plan to recuperate Peru’s disappearing Andean glaciers. The World Bank clearly believes the idea – the brainchild of 55-year-old Peruvian inventor, Eduardo Gold – has merit as it was one of the 26 winners from around 1,700 submissions in the “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition at the end of 2009.

Although he is yet to receive the $200,000 (£135,000) awarded by the World Bank, his pilot project is already underway on the Chalon Sombrero peak, 4,756 metres above sea level, in an area some 100km west of the regional capital of Ayacucho.

There are no paint brushes, the workers use jugs to splash the whitewash onto the loose rocks around the summit.

It is a laborious process but they have whitewashed two hectares in two weeks.

“Cold generates more cold, just as heat generates more heat,” says [...]

The debate continues: Dr Glikson v Joanne Nova

Dr Andrew Glikson (an Earth and paleoclimate scientist, at the Australian National University) contacted Quadrant offering to write about the evidence for man-made global warming. Quadrant approached me asking for my response. Dr Glikson replied to my reply, and I replied again to him (copied below). No money exchanged hands, but Dr Glikson is, I presume, writing in an employed capacity, while I write pro bono. Why is it that the unpaid self taught commentator needs to point out the evidence he doesn’t seem to be aware of? Why does a PhD need to be reminded of basic scientific principles (like, don’t argue from authority). Such is the vacuum of funding for other theories that a debate that ought to happen inside the university obviously hasn’t occurred. Such is the decrepit, anaemic state of university science that even a doctorate doesn’t guarantee a scientist can reason. Where is the rigor in the training, and the discipline in the analysis?

Credibility lies on evidence

by Joanne Nova

April 29, 2010

Reply to Andrew Glikson

Dr Andrew Glikson still misses the point, and backs his arguments with weak evidence and logical errors. Instead of empirical evidence, often [...]

Is the media awakening? GlacierGate gets traction.

The Sunday Times and The Australian both picked up the scandal of the IPCC claims that the Himalayan glaciers might melt by 2035.  The claim turned out to be based only on a WWF report, which in turn was based on a New Scientist article from 1999. The Australian story today was headline front page news: UN’s Blunder on Glaciers Exposed.

The rigorous IPCC methodology amounts to this:

Here’s the IPCC Quote from Chapter 10 of the Fourth Assessment Report:

Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).

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