Open Mind

Two Boxes

October 3rd, 2007 · 9 Comments

I recently commented for RealClimate on the inapplicability of the simplified model used in Schwartz’s estimate of climate sensitivity. It seems to me that the greatest failure of this model is that it allows only one time scale, or “characteristic time,” for the climate system. But surely the earth has many. The atmosphere reacts quickly to changes in energy input and output; the land heats up a bit more slowly, the ocean more slowly still. Ice and snow grow and diminish. All these systems have their own characteristic time scales, and they all interact to form our climate system.

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Categories: Global Warming · climate change

Bush league

October 3rd, 2007 · No Comments

Here’s what the British newspaper The Guardian had to say about Bush’s recent global-warming conference:

George Bush was castigated by European diplomats and found himself isolated yesterday after a special conference on climate change ended without any progress.

European ministers, diplomats and officials attending the Washington conference were scathing, particularly in private, over Mr Bush’s failure once again to commit to binding action on climate change.

… One of those present said even China and India, two of the biggest polluters, accepted that the voluntary approach proposed by the US was untenable and favoured binding measures, even though they disagreed with the Europeans over how this would be achieved.

A senior European diplomat attending the conference, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the meeting confirmed European suspicions that it had been intended by Mr Bush as a spoiler for a major UN conference on climate change in Bali in December.

“It was a total charade and has been exposed as a charade,” the diplomat said. “I have never heard a more humiliating speech by a major leader. He [Mr Bush] was trying to present himself as a leader while showing no sign of leadership. It was a total failure.”

Categories: Global Warming · climate change