JoNova

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


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Archives

Books

Kiribati sinking “like Titanic” but 59 million times slower

Kiribati, with a natural resource base of almost nothing, makes 15% of its nominal GDP, via donations from the Australian government. Periodically Mr Anote Tong, president of Kiribati,visits Australia to remind us how much they need help money.

Creatively, this year, Mr Tong is comparing Kiribati’s future to the sinking of the Titanic.

Give the man points for theatrix:

“We are the people who will be swimming,” he said.   “The question will be — will those people on the lifeboats bother to pull us in or push us away because we would be too problematic?”

Kiribati’s highest point is 13m above water, and is sinking at a rate of 1mm a year (see the updated graph below by Eyes On Browne). To rephrase Euan Mearns, at this rate, complete inundation of it will take 13,000 years.

The Titanic’s elevation (waterline to the deck) was 18m, so it was 50% higher, yet it sank in 2 hours 40 minutes. That’s one ninth of a day, or one 3,285th of a year. Conservatively, the comparative speed works out to be 42.7 million times faster. Allowing for the higher elevation (but discounting funnels and/or palms) that would be 59.1 million times faster.

[...]

Line up the free cars on the frontline of the climate change war

An apt caption:

“PHOTO: The low-lying islands of the Pacific are on the frontline of the fight against climate change. (ABC News: Chris Uhlmann)“

PHOTO: The low-lying islands of the Pacific are on the frontline of the fight against climate change. (ABC News: Chris Uhlmann)

It seems an expensive way to stop tsunami’s.

Still, if you have to run for the not so low-lying hills in the background, perhaps the shiny black sea-walls might  still be useful.

But this is what it’s all about. Pacific Islanders play the game, speak the fear, and admonish those who don’t buy them enough goodies. The Chinese heroes offer nice cars and a sports centre. (That’ll really slow the seas and save the corals).

Turnbull turns up to give away $80 million extra dollars of other people’s money, the islanders seem happy, and he is nearly sorta forgiven by the ABC.

It’s hard not to be afraid of climate change when you get free cars.

Australia could still win hearts at climate change forum — ABC

Nearby stood a shiny new fleet of MG SUVs, gifted by China to Micronesia to ferry about the leaders and assorted dignitaries from the forum’s 16 countries.

[...]

Sea level hyperbole: CSIRO, BOM, ABC and Kiribati President should apologize for wasting our time

Minister Peter Dutton made a joke about Pacific Islander time. The Offendotrons howled and called for him to be sacked. But the real problem here is not the small 1mm rise in sea-levels, it’s the the national media end up discussing global “offense” levels rather than sea levels. The scientific data shows there is no issue. Australian taxpayers pay the ABC, the CSIRO and the BOM to inform the Australian public, yet none of them explained that the real sea level rise recorded in Kiribati is less than 1 mm a year. Why not?  The ABC does not clear the fog for Australians, it generates it. Dutton apologized, but he shouldn’t have. It feeds the offendotrons. They didn’t accept it, won’t stop referring to his comment, nor start talking about real problems. Apologizing only extends the time our national conversation is wasted on mindless things.

Yet again, the unfunded bloggers report the scientific data and not the institutes we pay to do that?

Noting that today’s meeting to discuss the resettlement of refugees was running late, Mr Dutton quipped that it was running to “Cape York time”, to which the Prime Minister replied: “We had a bit of [...]

Vanuatu sea levels: how much did they contribute to cyclone damage?

Sea levels are part of the scare campaign, but how many journalists ask, and how many scientists admit, that sea levels in the South Pacific are noisy data that changes as the ground moves and the ocean slops back and forward? The Pacific averages 4 km deep. Is it any wonder that slight changes in winds and currents will shift the top 10cm, just 0.0025% , around? Long term sea level changes are difficult to assess. But this is not what we hear much in the media:

“Rising sea levels making island nations such as Vanuatu more vulnerable to storms and amplifies the impact of tropical cyclones” –The Guardian

“Coastal flooding is a sleeping giant,” it says. —  The Climate Council (News.com)

The good recent data shows big rises and falls that don’t correlate with CO2

A very neat high-quality network of SeaFrame equipment was installed around South Pacific Islands in 1992 to measure both land and sea movements. This is called the Pacific Sea Level Monitoring Project. It is maintained by the Australian BoM. The geodetic observations are done by Geoscience Australia.

These tide gauges show that sea levels are rising and falling around Vanuatu [...]

South Pacific sea levels – Best records show little or no rise?!

Are the small islands of the South Pacific in danger of disappearing, glug, under the waves of the rising ocean? Will thousands of poor inhabitants be forced to emigrate, as desperate refugees, to Australia and New Zealand? Has any of this got anything to do with man-made emissions of CO2?

By looking closely at the records, it turns out that the much advertised rising sea levels in the South Pacific depend on anomalous depressions of the ocean during 1997 and 1998 thanks to an El Nino and two tropical cyclones. The Science and Public Policy Institute has released a report by Vincent Gray which compares 12 Pacific Island records and shows that in many cases it’s these anomalies that set the trends… and if the anomaly is removed, sea levels appear to be more or less constant since the Seaframe measurements began around 1993.

Sea levels: The El Nino / tropical storm anomaly in 1997-1998 is clear. A long sustained rise is not.

Take the infamous Tuvalu for example. It’s sea level rise was reported as 5.7 mm/year back in  2008. Now it’s calculated as 3.7mm/year. But look at the Seaframe Graph – its flat. It is universally forecast [...]