Wednesday, December 08, 2010 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Bob Carter in Prague

A few comments about the talk have been added at the end

This is just a two-sentence announcement of an event that takes place in Central Europe:

Dr Bob Carter, a leading Australian climate skeptic and the author of "Climate, the Counter Consensus", is giving a talk in Prague today. Dr Václav Klaus is the moderator. The talk begins at 5 p.m. in the Autoklub, 28 Opletalova Street.

All Czech TRF readers (3% of all the readers) are invited. I suppose that earphones will be available if you need them. See the CEP event web page for details.

After the talk

It was very pleasant to meet Prof Carter - and his was a fabulous talk. I primarily care about the content which was flawless but let me mention that he is a spectacularly good speaker, too.

He discussed climate change from the viewpoint of different time scales, showing that it is warming or cooling depending on the interval you look at it. Various geological perspectives were combined.

The absurd smallness of the recent "catastrophic" warming was indicated in most of his graphs. This rate of warming was compared with all kinds of noise and the dependence of the temperature on latitude and altitude - the latter was clarified by a story about running to the Prague Castle where the moderator lives (enough to undo the global warming).

He stressed many points I like to emphasize as well. For example, there is nothing God-given about a 30-year boundary separating the climate and the weather: it's just a conventional separator invented by the people. So every major event - and some rare ones were shown - is also a climate event.

The impossibility of organisms' serious problems with such climate change was demonstrated. Towards the end, Prof Carter discussed the right "solutions". Being convinced that this "problem solving" can't go completely away because too many people have invested their energy into this "problem", he thinks that people should talk about adaptation - and we talk about adaptation to the local climate because only the local climate impacts the real people (and ecosystems).

No one lives in the world climate. Some tragic local weather events - naturally caused - were shown as examples. He pointed out that no governments are ready for things that can actually occur and that matter - such as the refreezing of the sea around Scandinavia which has happened for unknown reasons in the past. More generally, a relevant question is what the weather will look like around 2020 but no one knows. Science can't predict these things so if we want to be ready, we must be ready to both/all possibilities.

Quite generally, the true drivers of the climate change are not fully understood. Prof Carter also presented a simple proof that the people affect the climate - although not by a currently measurable amount. His pedagogical example is based on the albedo. In Australia, the crops are lighter than the forests that had to be cut to allow for agriculture which actually causes local cooling. This effect may sound less fancy than the greenhouse effect but it has probably led to a comparable temperature change as all the CO2 emissions.

(UHI is doing the same thing with the opposite sign and causes local warming.)

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