Reuters posted the first of what will probably be a spate of articles following the last month of the global temperature record, as 2010 is in a “dead heat” to become the hottest year ever.

Even with a possible cool end to the year, 2010 is expected to be no lower than third in a record where 1998 and 2005 are warmest. The U.N. panel of climate scientists says higher temperatures mean more floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

CRU’s Phil Jones says it’s currently in second place, NASA’s James Hansen says the temps through October put 2010 in the lead.
There are subtle differences between the measurements by CRU, NASA and the other global temperature datasets, which allow for CRU to name 1998 as the hottest year, with NASA claiming 2005 – by a few hundredths of a degree.

And for deniers out there, be advised that Dr Roy Spencer also has 2010 as one of the hottest years.

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World Food Supply on the Edge

November 26, 2010

Pakistan, summer 2010

Every week I hear from deniers telling me how great it’s going to be when Co2 rise causes agricultural and forest production to skyrocket.  The idea is that increased Co2 will be taken up by plants, and the earth will become an edenic paradise.  If plants are going to start soaking up the extra Co2, now would be a good time. Instead we see the ‘biggest control knob” rising faster than any time over the last 50 million years.

Here’s the opening pararaph from a New York Times piece about global food supplies:

Global grain production will tumble by 63 million metric tons this year, or 2 percent over all, mainly because of weather-related calamities like the Russian heat wave and the floods in Pakistan, the United Nations estimates in its most recent report on the world food supply. The United Nations had previously projected that grain yields would grow 1.2 percent this year.

Empty silo in Russia's grain belt

The article notes that low supplies are taking food prices to levels that sparked violence around the world in 2007 and 08. Now with reserves lower, and demand increased, production must be even higher in the immediate future just to keep up.
As I pointed out in the recent video, “The Co2 is Plant Food Crock”, adding carbon to an environment that is too dry, or too wet, makes absolutely no difference. Blow all the co2 you wish into the Sahara, it will not bloom.

Ask the farmers of Pakistan how Co2 helped their crops this summer.

And this, from an older video..

Late update: A friend writes: “I wonder how much CO2 plants can benefit from as they whither away in the heat and drought? This argument is like trying to tell a person on fire that taking extra vitamins is good for him.”

Arctic Report Card

November 25, 2010

Just a quick follow up on arctic ice.
Prevailing science opinion among informed observers is best represented by the recently released Arctic Report Card, an annual update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report is based on scientific reports from 69 scientists in eight countries.

Key Points: Region Continues to Warm at Unprecedented Rate
• Greenland is experiencing record-setting high temperatures, ice melt and glacier area loss;
• Summer sea ice continues to decline — the 2009-2010 summer sea ice cover extent was the third lowest since satellite monitoring began in 1979, and sea ice thickness continues to thin. The 2010 minimum is the third lowest recorded since 1979, surpassed only by 2008 and the record low of 2007; and
• Arctic snow cover duration was at a record minimum since record-keeping began in 1966.
• The Arctic is unlikely to return to its former state

According to a McClatchey report, “Jackie Richter-Menge, the chief editor of the report and a research civil engineer at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., said the warming trend made any return to previous Arctic conditions increasingly unlikely, at least in the foreseeable future.”

“It’s very likely Arctic climate warming will continue and that we’ll continue to set records in the years to come,” she said.

Arctic ice continues to lose mass - click to see larger image

Lively Times at WUWT

November 24, 2010

We’ll never know how long Anthony Watts would have let the stench of his summer arctic ice predictions hang in the air, had I not prodded him with the most recent video.

Within 24 hours of the video upload, Watts finally found the time to admit that he and trusty sidekick Steve Goddard might have been a little too “ebullient” about the sea ice.

Anthony Watts and his Trusty Sidekick

There are some interesting comments, this one from “Bill the Frog” caught my eye.

It is intriguing to observe the continually developing meme that, prior to 1979, no reliable information was available relating to the extent of Arctic sea ice. This must certainly be perplexing for the scientists at the University of Illinois, many of whom have been at the forefront of polar research for decades.

As many readers will know, a considerable portion of the work done by the Polar Research Group at UIUC is publicly available on Cryosphere Today. One of the many datasets easily available from UIUC is the Walsh and Chapman Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Data Set. This displays the extent of Arctic Sea Ice since 1870,(emphasis mine – Peter) and, at 141 years and counting, is certainly long enough to show up any significant multi-decadal trend.

Read the rest of this entry »

Japan is one Step Ahead

November 24, 2010

Climate Deniers would have you believe that if you aren’t licking the boots of Big Oil, you’ll have to move back to a cave. These people don’t look like stone age people to me.

Plenty more example where this came from. The rest of the world is not standing still.  I’ll be meeting with top leaders in the burgeoning solar industry in coming weeks and months, and will be video blogging on solar soon.

A Tim Horton Doughnut

November 24, 2010

The Cost of Ontario's new energy program to ratepayers - one doughnut per month, eh?

Ontario’s ambitious renewable power plan will make the province a world leader and the cost to the average Ontario household will be the equivalent of less than 1% of their electricity bills each year – less than the cost of one Tim Horton’s donut per month.  That’s the message in a new report released by Clear Sky Advisors, as reported by Renewables Guru, Paul Gipe.

World wide, critics of feed-in tariff programs like Ontario’s have complained about the cost to ratepayers, and taxpayers, of new energy. According to Gipe, the Clear Sky conclusion is that the “Cost of electricity in the province will increase slightly to a maximum of about 1% of a typical household’s bill, then decline steadily as the initial contracts work their way through the system.” Read the rest of this entry »

I took the bizarre predictions of arctic ice recovery from the “Watts Up With That” blog as a topic for this week’s video. One reason was because, after prominently featuring unhinged forecasts of ice extent recovery,

“Conclusion : Should we expect a nice recovery this summer due to the thicker ice? You bet ya. Even if all the ice less than 2.5 metres thick melted this summer, we would still see a record high minimum in the DMI charts.”

the Watts blog had been strangely silent on the matter, as ice in the real world continued the ongoing death spiral.(see Joe Romm’s illuminating take here)

Read the rest of this entry »