John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist, interviewed in Austin, June 2016.

Useful 2014 Lecture above, reposting some info on this below.

PETM, the Paleocene – Eocene Thermal Maximum.

That’s the last time in earth history that things changed in a way similar to the way they are changing now. It was 55 million years ago, give or take a millenium.

Scientific American (sub required – you can also buy single issues) has an article by one of the real experts, Lee Kump, comparing the pace at which the earth changed during the most recent Great Warming event.  As the sobering graph shows, the current CO2 buildup is prodeeding at a blistering pace compared to the ancient past.  Current rates of change are thousands of times faster than normal, and even 10 times faster than one of the most spectacular geological changes in the record.

The PETM bears some striking resemblances to the human-caused climate change unfolding today. Most notably, the culprit
behind it was a massive injection of heat-trapping greenhousegases into the atmosphere and oceans, comparable in volume to
what our persistent burning of fossil fuels could deliver in coming centuries….. New answers provide sobering clarity. They suggest the consequences of the planet’s last great globalwarming paled in comparison to what lies ahead, and they add new support for predictions thathumanity will suffer if our course remains unaltered.

Read the rest of this entry »

Another in my series of interviews with researchers from the Black and Bloom team, a very well funded multi-year project, which was on the ice this past summer looking at some of the same kinds of ice and albedo changes that Dark Snow Project has researched in past years.

I spoke to members of the team on and off the ice, which I’ll continue to post in coming weeks and months.



The £3-million (US$4-million) Black and Bloom project aims to measure how algae are changing how much sunlight Greenland’s ice sheet bounces back into space. “We want to get a handle on just how much of the darkness is due to microbes and how much to other physical factors”, such as soot or mineral dust, says Martyn Tranter, a biogeochemist at the University of Bristol, UK, and the project’s principal investigator.

Team scientists arrived near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, this week for 6 weeks of observations. The work will continue for two more summers, exploring different parts of the ice sheet. Ultimately, the scientists hope to develop the first deep understanding of  how biological processes affect Greenland’s reflectivity.

For decades, most studies on Greenland microbiology focused on cryoconite holes, small pits on the surface of the ice sheet that are filled with dark organic matter and ice-adapted algae. But enormous blooms of photosynthetic algae also cover the snow-strewn ice sheet every summer1. Some, such as Chlamydomonas nivalis, spread first as greenish blooms as they begin to photosynthesize, and then turn a reddish colour as they produce carotenoid pigments to protect themselves from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

“They’re extremely lazy algae — they sleep for nine months and then wake up and have a party,” says team member Liane Benning, a biogeochemist at the University of Leeds, UK, and the GeoForschungsZentrum research centre in Potsdam, Germany.

The algae creates vast, colourful fields of what is popularly known as ‘watermelon snow’. Last month in Nature Communications, Benning and her team reported sampling watermelon snow at glaciers across the Arctic2. They found 6 types of algae living at 40 red-snow sites in Norway, Sweden, Greenland and Iceland. By comparing the optical properties of red snow to clean snow, they estimated that algal blooms could reduce reflectivity by 13% over the melting season. “Wherever we look, the impact is quite dramatic,” Benning says.

After the snow cover melts for the season, other species of alga take over. These ice-adapted algae are typically brownish-grey, less visibly dramatic than the red and green blooms but just as important for darkening the ice sheet. Only in the past few years have scientists begun to realize that some of the dark particles on the ice sheet are in fact these ice algae and not soot, Benning says.

Read the rest of this entry »


Not 36 hours after the video above was released early this year, the neo-nazi “Alt-right” rag, run by Stephen Bannon, Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, had gotten uber-twit James Delingpole, whose motto is “I’m evil and right about everything.”(sorry Jimmy, only half right..) – to produce what they hoped would be a hatchet job in response.

Obviously, Delingpole is on to me, and calls me out for my malevolent practice of seeming “measured and reasonable”.

Ok, Jimmy, you got me.

James Delingpole in Breitbart:

The climate alarmists have come up with a brilliant new excuse to explain why there has been no “global warming” for nearly 19 years.
Turns out the satellite data is lying.

And to prove it they’ve come up with a glossy new video starring such entirely trustworthy and not at all biased climate experts as Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann, Kevin “Travesty” Trenberth, and Ben Santer. (All of these paragons of scientific rectitude feature heavily in the Climategate emails)

The video is well produced and cleverly constructed – designed to look measured and reasonable rather than yet another shoddy hit job in the ongoing climate wars.

John Nielsen-Gammon is the State Climatologist of Texas. I had the chance to question him on a number of issues back in June, and I’ll be pushing some of his answers out over coming weeks.

For the first time, I’m concerned that a post might cause panic.

I was fortunate to catch up with Katharine Hayhoe in June, while I was interviewing TV meteorologists at a conference in Austin, TX.  She was there to present and answer questions on the finer points of climate science for the assembled media mets.

Dr Hayhoe has been named one of Time Magazine’s most Influential People. She is a climate scientist working and teaching at Texas Tech University.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,411 other followers