Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interview mit Klimazwiebel-Diskutant "Andreas"

Andreas, Sie sind einer der aktivsten Diskussionsteilnehmer hier auf der Klimazwiebel. Daher heute dies Interview. Ich werde Sie fragen, wer Sie sind, worin Ihr Interesse am Klimathema herrührt, und wie Sie die Klimazwiebel erleben.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Earthquake politics, tornado politics

The recent jail sentence handed out to Italian seismologists has provoked angry reactions from across a spectrum of commentators. Some of these seem to have been written in the heat of the moment. In good academic tradition it is perhaps better to analyse the issues at play, as dispassionately as possible. I have drafted a paper in which I try to provide an account of decision making under uncertainty in which scientific expertise has been used in a specific way by public authorities.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Helm's new book on facing climate change

It is not the failure of the regulations that is the problem but their basic design. They have caused people to focus on the most expensive ways of mitigating climate change, rather than the cheapest, imposing high costs for little gain. Moreover, by concentrating on their own carbon production, and how to reduce it, Europeans have ignored the impact of their continued demand for goods made using carbon- intensive processes. Since Chinese and Indian manufacturing is usually dirtier than Europe’s, the real upshot of Europe’s choices has been an increase in global emissions. The regulatory approach, argues Mr Helm, has got the worst of all worlds. It is expensive, it has not cut emissions and its treaties are unworkable. No wonder the public is growing sceptical.


I have not read the book (yet), but it seems to me that current policies are not working. So it may be worth looking at alternatives

Friday, October 26, 2012

Perilous science advice

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian sees some merit in the Aquila court decision (see here for an excellent comment). While he does not go as far as justifying the jail sentences for the six scientific experts who "failed to predict" the earthquake in Italy, he thinks they should be held to account, just like other professionals:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nachfrage aus der Öffentlichkeit

Hier noch ein Nachfrage an mich:

...ich habe ein Problem, dass direkt mit Ihrem Namen verbunden ist.
    Ich bin Lehrer ... . Jedes Jahr werden hier von sieben Kursen der Oberstufe Kursfahrten, oder besser: Kursflüge unternommen. Nun gibt es eine Initiative einiger Lehrer, entweder auf Flüge ganz zu verzichten oder - falls das nicht durchzusetzen ist - wenigstens einen CO2-Ausgleich an Atmosfair zu zahlen, die ja nicht einfach Bäume pflanzen, sondern sie fördern ja Technologien, die CO2 einsparen sollen. Das Ablasshandel-Argument ist uns wohl bekannt, aber wenn sich ein Verzicht auf Flüge schon nicht durchsetzen lässt, dann wenigstens Ausgleich.

Global warming, finally a major issue (among others)

Monday, October 22, 2012


Kürzlich bekam ich diese Zuschrift; ich denke, die Nachfrage ist nicht untypisch, und gebe daher den kurzen Austausch wieder:

"... kürzlich las ich noch einmal Ihre Rede zum 80. Geburtstag von Prof. Hasselmann, die im November 2011 in der FAZ abgedruckt wurde. Dort schrieben Sie, dass die Wissenschaft als einzige Ursache für die periodisch auftretenden Warmperioden einen Anstieg des CO2-Gehalts der Atmosphäre erkannt hat. Weitere Gründe habe man einfach nicht gefunden. Nun werden inzwischen große Anstrengungen unternommen, um die Erzeugung von CO2 zu verringern, damit die Erderwärmung unterhalb 2°C bleibt.

Has Global Warming taken a break?

Last week the English paper Mail on Sunday had a story claiming that a Met Office report shows global warming had stopped 16 years ago. The article, written by David Rose, caused a storm and was contested in a piece Dana Nuccitelli had written for Skeptical Science and published by the Guardian. It is certainly no accident that these two papers aligned themselves in predictable ways. And it is no accident that corresponding blogs reacted in predictable ways.

What is the fuss about? The Mail article shows temperature data from 1997 to 2012 with no warming trend.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eine Anfrage zum Hockeyschläger

Christoffer Bugge Harder hat uns ein paar Fragen gestellt im Zusammenhang mit den Auseinandersetzungen um den Hockeystick. Die Mail ging an mich (Hans von Storch), aber tatsächlich hatte Eduardo die Sache viel besser erlebt. Wir geben diese Fragen hier mit erlaubnis von Christoffer wieder (unverändert abgesehen von der Korrektur kleinster sprachlicher Unklarheiten) zusammen mit den Antworten von Eduardo Zorita:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Zwei Grad, vier Grad...

Frank Drieschner hat einen interessanten Beitrag in der Zeit veröffentlicht. Das Thema ist das 2-Grad Ziel, das er, wie auf der Klimazwiebel oft diskutiert, für realitätsfern hält. Seine Gewährspersonen sind unter anderen Oliver Geden, der nierderländische Mathematiker und IPCC Autor Michel den Elzen, und die Klimazwiebel (nicht genannt, aber sichtbar sind das Hartwell Paper und Roger Pielke Jr). Er beginnt den Artikel mit der Feststellung
Fahrt weniger Auto, dämmt eure Häuser, dann wird der Klimawandel nicht so schlimm – das haben wir geglaubt. Doch unser Planet wird trotzdem heiß, trocken und lebensfeindlich werden. Selbst wenn wir radikal umsteuern

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Is climate change the number one threat to humanity?

There is a new paper out under this title by Indur Goklany, to be published in WIRES Climate Change.

Here is the abstract:
This paper challenges claims that global warming outranks other threats facing humanity through the foreseeable future (assumed to be 2085–2100). World Health Organization and British government‐sponsored global impact studies indicate that, relative to other factors, global warming's impact on key determinants of human and environmental well‐being should be small through 2085 even under the warmest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenario.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Reinhard Böhm gestorben

Our friend Reinhard Böhm has died, unexpectedly but at least on his beloved Sonnenblick. Wonderful critical observer not only of climate but also of the social process "climate science". His book "Heisse Luft" was an inspiring (and well written) read. (Is the song "Komm lieber Mai und mache die Bäume wieder grün" of Mozart indicative that it is now warmer than in Mozart's times? - No ... read Reinhard.) Spiegel on-line has more on this sad news.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Media "overkill" -- could it be true?

Regular readers of this blog will remember that we had quite a few discussions about the alleged (or real) alarmism over climate change. The UK (among other countries) seemed to be a case in point. Now the EU climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, is on record of saying pretty much the same (or at least some unnamed source close to her -- you see, it is a sensitive issue).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Vortrag vor Studenten der Cusanus-Stiftung

Vortrag vor Studierenden und Promovierenden der katholischen Cusanus-Stiftung in Osnabrück: Klimaforschung in der Gesellschaft. Es handelt sich um Hochbegabten Förderung durch die katholische Kirche in Deutschland. Ein breites Fächerspektrum einschl. Theologie, Jura und Physik.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Carbon and Coal

Dieter Helm, the Oxford economist and climate change expert, has a new book out. It is called
The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix it. He has written a blog which summarizes the main points here. He argues that the coming years will see an increase in carbon emissions, primarily through additional energy generation with coal power plants. Emerging economies will be using this form of energy supply because it is cheap. It is also dirty, in fact the dirtiest form of energy. China and India are currently opening 3 coal power stations a week.

Monday, October 1, 2012

UK public on climate change

An interesting report is out, co-authored by Emily Shuckburgh, Rosie Robison and Nick Pidgeon. It examines the public perception of climate science and climate scientists in the UK, comparing data collected in six focus group interviews. There are some results which will not surprise Klimazwiebel regulars, others might. Below I summarize the main findings:

Halfway point

Remember the headlines that we have 10-15 years to save the planet? Six years ago Tony Blair warned that the world will reach "catastrophic tipping points" on climate change "within 15 years, unless serious action is taken to tackle global warming." The Guardian from 2006 quoted him saying "We have a window of only 10-15 years to take the steps we need to avoid crossing catastrophic tipping points." This rhetoric was deployed in the run up to the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. After its failure it seemed to have been forgotten, almost an embarrassment. Mainstream politicians, keen to use the rhetoric before 2009, seemed to have ditched it afterwards.