16 February 2010

Number of the Day: 1,100

New Delhi is seeing the addition of 1,100 new vehicles to its streets every day.


  1. I heard a book review on public radio yesterday - The Routes of Man. One section describes the author's travels with a Chinese driving club. It's just a bunch of guys who hit the road together for the pleasure of driving.

    Now multiply that by a billion.

  2. This is a sign that they are conquering poverty. Good for them!

  3. Eventually that haze will generate a public outcry for stricter pollution laws.

  4. Why would such a successful economy with huge reserves of cheap labour want to get involved in something as daft as carbon trading ?

    Especially when the world's most celebrated climate scientist, Dr Phil Jones just spilled the beans on global warming to the BBC.


    The army of Greenpeace activists on the Guardian forums has laid down their guns and put their hands on their heads.

  5. eric144: Good day to you.

    Just wanted to point you to the post here that discusses Jones' statement. There is some good discussion there about the statistics behind this statement, and what he meant.

    skepticalscience.com, post for 16 Feb (sorry, I would give the link, but I can't copy and paste into the comment box here for some reason).

    Cheers, M

  6. I think most of those drivers should be commended for being environmentally aware. Most of the vehicles are light colored to curb the urban heat island effect, and the 3-wheelers run on CNG. Also, all of that steel should qualify as a carbon sink.

  7. Mazibuko- the trick is to first preview the comment without the material to be copied included. Then you can preview, then when you click on "edit" you can paste.

  8. Sharon F., many thanks for the tip!

    Works nicely.


  9. Thanks mazibuko. I have discussed this before. Mr sceptical science is extremely biased.

    Even if we accept the warming trend as statistically significant, the result is that the planet is warming by only 1.2 C per century. He also admits that there is a small negative trend from 2002 to 2009 which, while not stastically significant is negative and not positive, as often claimed. It is certainly not the catastrophe portrayed by the corporate media or those within the gravitation pull of Realclimate.

    The bombshell that Phil Jones dropped was this

    Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

    An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I've assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.

    Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).

    I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.

    So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

    (Note, Jones marks all periods as statistically significant)

    Some of us noticed that in a rough manner by looking at graphs some time ago. My maths/stats days are well behind me, and I was never Tamino class, but I really don't care what Tamino says about the stats. Jones' last sentence is very deliberate, and for me it's close enough for rock 'n roll. The current warming is not exceptional.

    Jones also says

    How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?
    I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

    I am sure I have heard that before somewhere ! Apart from the fact that all priests believe in God, it's bad for business not to, the following is the way I understand science operates. A model which doesn't work completely, is appended with a theoretical construct that 'balances the books'. Like the Higgs Boson, Einstein's cosmological constant or dark energy / matter. Climate models didn't predict the perceived warning, so an attribution of human activities was made.I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with that, but I don't believe the average voter would be comfortable with it as a reason to create a multi trillion dollar carbon trading market leading with resulting increased energy prices and potentially very negative implications for the most vulnerable.

    There are still major questions over the temperature records, so I am happy that scepticism is looking extremely healthy.

  10. LOL. Looks just like Seattle at rush hour, except for the types of cars and the fact that they have squeezed 9 "lanes" into the space of about 4 lanes in Seattle. :)

  11. #9 eric144
    Very nicely said. Again the issue is not whether it is warming but by how much and what is the actual mechanism.

  12. Wow, I was going to say it sounds like they need better public transport, but it seems they're working on it pretty well. Just so many people, I guess...

  13. Eric144,

    Thanks for the response.

    To respond in turn to your points:

    Re. rates of warming during the three periods being the same - Jones confirms what a quick glance at NASA GISS and HadCRUT graphs would seem to suggest. This doesn't seem like a bombshell to me, since we are taking about rates. Yes, the warming trend, so far, is linear rather than non-linear. However, the main point, to me, is that it was warmer at the end of the the 20th Century than it was in 1880 (and the 21st C naughties were the warmest on record).

    Of course one can argue about the temperature records, but there are plenty of other places to dig into that, and I suspect this dispute will be largely resolved via Watts effort, the responses to it, and a few more years of satellite observations(but maybe I am being overly optimistic).

    Regarding the issue of bias you raise in regards to Skeptical Science. I agree, he is biased. However, he appears to have an excellent grasp of the subjects he takes on, and his blog is relatively free of the vituperation that marks so much of the blogosphere.

    Ultimately, I think that everyone who is interested in this topic, including myself, is biased. This stretches from ClimateProgress and Realclimate to Wattsupwiththat and ClimateAudit, and includes Roger's blog. Bias is a given, the question is, how much does a person's biases cloud his/her judgement, and how willing is he/she to let other information (and other people's biases) to shape his/her thinking?

    Apologies if this is not terribly coherent, but it is past my bedtime.

    Best, M

  14. It is interesting to note that India only 11 million cars while the United States has 135 million cars and 250 million passenger vehicles total.

    By the way, did anyone else notice that it was Ratan Tata spinning the hydrogen fantasies in the article. Does anyone else recall what organization, that has been mentioned several times in this blog, used to be associated with the Tata Group.

  15. mazibuko

    Thanks. Yes, it is warmer now than in 1880, but the linear increase wouldn't lead one to look for something affecting temperature now, that wasn't there in 1880.

    The decline from 2002-2009 suggests that IPCC predictions of catastrophic warming aren't happening. Despite pressure on him to go along with corporate, mainstream orthodoxy, Latif is predicting cooling for the next decades, which wasn't in the models.

    The rather sceptical Geneva climate conference.


    In my view, nothing resembling a case for carbon trading has been made. Scientists, no doubt will contend these issues for some time, however I would like to see them leave the political arena, now.

    I am certainly biased against James Hansen and his offshoot Realclimate. Appearing to follow, a misplaced view of 'left wing' politics, it turns out that Hansen, like a lot of environmentalists is a right wing ultra conservative (whether he knows that or not).

    Hansen has been an enormous influence on this movement since the 1980s, and it transpires that his fundamental motivation wasn't science, but extreme politics. I wish more people knew that he had endorsed a book calling for the end of industrial civilisation.

  16. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for the continued exchange.

    "Yes, it is warmer now than in 1880, but the linear increase wouldn't lead one to look for something affecting temperature now, that wasn't there in 1880."

    Perhaps you could clarify this statement for me? As written, I must respectfully say I don't understand its logic. Why do you need a non-linear increase before looking for a cause? Why is a linearly increasing trend not cause for interest, particularly when a substantial body of evidence suggests that other factors (e.g. solar activity) can't account for this trend, leaving anthropogenic forcing as an important, if not dominant, contributor, to the trend?

    I would also like to suggest that what appears to be a linear trend now could become a non-linear trend in the future as longer-term positive feedbacks kick in (e.g. the well known loss of albedo as arctic summer ice disappears, or the lesser known northward range expansion of evergreen black spruce supplanting deciduous larch in the Siberian boreal forests, which will result in reduced winter-time albedo). Of course negative feedbacks could be stronger, but who knows?

    For me the evidence is strong enough to suggest that we should move away from fossil fuels. CO2 and other GHGs have a well-understood radiative forcing, and we have increased atmospheric Co2 substantially. The increasing heat energy being stored in our atmosphere and oceans is having an effect on climate, and there is a reasonable chance that the effect will be harmful at certain times and places.

    That is how I perceive the risk, and I am reluctant to bet against it. Given that we don't have a command and control economy (unlike China), a carbon price is needed to start us on the path of decarbonization, or, at the very least, the subsidies fossil fuel producers receive should be scrapped.

    Climate change is not the only good reason for decarbonizing either (as Roger says in today's post). I am increasingly concerned that the US is losing ground on new energy technologies and the economic potential they may hold. I also don't like the idea of mountaintops being blown off so that we can have cheap coal-fired electricity.

    Anyway, I have rambled on enough about this. The point about bias is a very interesting one I would be keen to discuss in more depth, but I will spare it for another exchange, should one arise. To hopefully prime such an exchange, I will end with two questions:

    1. Does a scientist's policy preferences/political biases mean that that scientist is incapable of conducting solid science?

    2. Did climate scientists interject themselves into politics, or did politicians force climate scientists into the war over climate policy?

    Best for now. Sorry for being overly long (I would have written less, but I didn't have the time :) ).

    Cheers, M

  17. mazibuko

    AGW has been sold on the basis that the current warming is exceptional. Dr Jones says it is isn't. He also accepts that the MWP was possibly warmer than today.

    When I say sold, I mean untold millions of dollars in corporate propaganda from newspapers, governments and television as well as the public compliance of the entire global corporate world.

    It is incumbent on researches to show that current warming is different from the warming in 1880 (which was stronger). I don't believe that evidence exists, despite the lies and spin in the corporate media.

    Let's remember the total collapse of IPCC credibility, which was the basis of the AGW argument. My opinion of the IPCC never deteriorated through every scandal. I thought it was corrupt five years ago.

    Jasper Kirkby is pursuing a fruitful line of research on cosmic rays at CERN.


    I am not ready to accept that climate models are capable of modelling the climate to the level that any political decisions should be made on the basis of them.

    "Professor X. We gave you 3.5 zillion dollars to build a global climate model, does it work ?".

    "Yes sir, it works really well, another zillion and it will be even better"

    Freeman Dyson is a sceptic, and in my view is a more credible source of information than all the climate scientists on earth. He is very far from being the only top class physicists who is.

    James Hansen has made so many lunatic pronouncements, I wouldn't trust him to make the coffee. That goes for everything that comes out of NASA GISS, like Gavin Schmidt and Realclimate.

    NASA tried to shut Hansen up, but billionaire financier, George Soros stepped in to save him. Soros stands to make a lot of money from carbon trading. He is the 4th highest earning hedge fund manager on Wall Stree.

    It was Hansen who forced his way on to the poltical stage.

    best wishes


  18. Hi Eric,

    Thanks again for your response.

    I just typed one to your last that took a while, and a blogger error wiped it out in the posting process. I can't spend more time on this today, but if you care to continue this, I will try and rewrite it this weekend.

    In the meantime, all best.

    Cheers, M

  19. Why do you need a non-linear increase before looking for a cause?

    Because the world has been warming at just over 1C for a while now. Well before the advent of super CO2.

    So, without any need to invoke CO2 forcings, I would predict a warming of just over 1C by 2100.

    To show things have changed, the trend must deviate from what it has been showing. That is, it must be non-linear.

    Why is a linearly increasing trend not cause for interest

    You can't have a linearly increasing trend.

    CO2 and other GHGs have a well-understood radiative forcing

    Ah, the joys of religion. There is no way on earth CO2's effect is "well-understood". Except in laboratories and theoretical models.

    This reminds me of the assurance Marxist economists used to give of the totally validity of their economic theories.