- Methane (CH4): Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with a much higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 over a short period. It primarily comes from sources like livestock digestion, rice paddies, wetlands, landfills, and fossil fuel production. Addressing methane emissions is crucial as reducing them could provide significant short-term climate benefits.
- Black Carbon (Soot): Black carbon consists of fine particulate matter emitted from incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels, biomass burning, and industrial processes. It absorbs sunlight, warming the atmosphere and contributing to the melting of snow and ice, thus accelerating the warming of certain regions.
- Aerosols: Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere that can either reflect sunlight back into space (cooling effect) or absorb sunlight and heat the atmosphere (warming effect). They can originate from natural sources like volcanoes or human activities like burning fossil fuels. Aerosols can have complex and sometimes counteracting effects on climate.
- Land Use Changes: Deforestation, urbanization, and changes in land cover can influence climate by altering the Earth's surface properties. Forests, for instance, act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2, while urban areas with dark surfaces (such as asphalt) absorb more heat, contributing to the "urban heat island" effect.
- Albedo Effect: Albedo refers to the reflective properties of a surface. Light-colored surfaces, like snow and ice, have a high albedo and reflect sunlight back into space. Dark surfaces, on the other hand, have a low albedo and absorb more heat. Melting ice reduces the planet's albedo, leading to more heat absorption and further warming.
- Water Vapor: Water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, and its concentration increases with higher temperatures. While it's not directly controlled by humans, it acts as a feedback mechanism, amplifying the warming effect of other greenhouse gases.
- Solar Variability: Changes in the sun's output can influence Earth's climate. While variations in solar radiation are relatively small and play a minor role in recent climate change, they have contributed to past climate variations.
- Volcanic Activity: Volcanic eruptions release aerosols and gases into the atmosphere, which can have both warming (due to greenhouse gases like CO2) and cooling (due to aerosols reflecting sunlight) effects, depending on the type and magnitude of the eruption.
- Ocean Circulation Patterns: Ocean currents play a significant role in redistributing heat around the planet. Changes in these currents, such as El Niño and La Niña events, can influence regional climates and weather patterns.
- Industrial and Agricultural Emissions: Besides CO2 and methane, other greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural practices and industrial processes also contribute to climate change.
- Human-made Reflective Surfaces: Urban planning and infrastructure choices can impact local climate through the use of reflective materials that reduce heat absorption.
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Having just watched (by chance) an old video talk given by Professor Ian Plimer on the Earth's history and the many factors influenceng climate, I asked our robot thinker ChatGPT to do a mini essay:
Itemise and evaluate factors other than carbon dioxide that may affect climate change
Climate change is influenced by a variety of factors beyond carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. These factors can have both natural and human-induced origins, and their impacts can either amplify or mitigate the effects of climate change. Here's a list of some important non-CO2 factors:
Evaluating these factors involves considering their magnitudes, lifetimes in the atmosphere, and interactions with other components of the climate system. Addressing non-CO2 factors requires a comprehensive approach to climate policy that goes beyond CO2 reduction strategies.
It missed the Milankovitch (Orbital) Cycles but there's plenty to chew on there.
I liked the talk - and the crack about plate tectonics ridding Australia of New Zealand ('and that's a good thing') and hope to find a cheap copy of his latest book, Green Murder - WOB just sold out.
Friday, August 25, 2023
VOCES8 is a British vocal ensemble originally founded in 2003, and regrouped in 2005, by brothers Paul and Barnaby Smith, both former choristers of Westminster Abbey. For most of its history, the ensemble has contained two sopranos, two countertenors, two tenors, a baritone and a bass. By 2018, one of the countertenors had been replaced by a female alto.
The ensemble has a diverse repertoire including early English and European Renaissance music, traditional folk song, classic jazz, pop and their own arrangements. They have appeared internationally, touring especially in Europe, Asia and North America.
Voces8 are (currently) -
Andrea Haines – First soprano (2008–present)Molly Noon – Second soprano (2021–present)Katie Jeffries-Harris – First alto (2018–present)Barnaby Smith – Second alto/countertenor & Artistic Director (2005–present)Blake Morgan – First tenor (2016–present)Euan Williamson – Second tenor (2019–present)Chris Moore – Baritone (2018–present)Dominic Carver – Bass (2022–present)
VOCES8: Mass In B Minor, BWV 232:
Credo: Et In Unum Dominum Jesum Christum
VOCES8: Ave Maris Stella by Edvard Grieg
VOCES8: Sleep by Eric Whitacre
VOCES8: The Deer's Cry - Arvo Pärt
Voktett Hannover & VOCES8: Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber)
VOCES8: Miserere Mei, Deus by Gregorio Allegri
Friday, August 18, 2023
The Lennon Sisters are one of the most admired and longest-performing female vocal groups in American music history marking 67 years since their television debut in 1955 as children on The Lawrence Welk Show. Growing up in the public eye with their weekly television performances, the sisters rose to fame as acclaimed recording artists and vibrant live performers throughout the nation.
They've recorded more than 20 albums and over 100 singles. They have a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame, are inductees in the National Vocal Group Hall of Fame and memorabilia chronicling their career is on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
Following the retirement of sisters Peggy in 1999 and Dianne in 2001, the current performing sisters are original group members Kathy and Janet Lennon and their younger sister Mimi.
These videos are from TV shows broadcast in the 1950s and give an idea of how the country saw itself during the post-war boom with increased affluence plus the move to 'Levittowns' in the suburbs. In the 1950s, televisions became something the average family could afford, and by 1950 4.4 million U.S. families had one in their home. The Golden Age of Television was marked by family-friendly shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone and Leave It To Beaver as well as the Lawrence Welk show which featured the Lennon Sisters every week.
The booming prosperity of the 1950s helped to create a widespread sense of stability, contentment and consensus in the United States. However, that consensus was a fragile one, and it splintered for good during the tumultuous 1960s.
The Lennon Sisters, Roberta Shore & Rocky Rockwell
Pink Shoelaces (1959)
The Lennon Sisters - Mockingbird Hill
The Lennon Sisters - Dodge Dart Commercial (1960)
Lennon Sisters -- The Lawrence Welk Show Biographies
Lennon Sisters at the Hollywood Palace
The Lennon Sisters with Round and Round.
Monday, August 14, 2023
According to the lunatics in JSO (Just Stop Oil) this is happening now.
“If ever you wanted a prime example as to the gigantic con trick inflicted on us poor taxpayers that is the Green scam, then look no further than Drax. This conglomerate goes through the motions of pretending that it is beneficial to the planet whilst burning imported wood chips, sometimes manufactured by cutting down trees in Canada or the USA, whilst getting a huge subsidy of around £2 million a day. Not only that, the CEO of Drax managed to trouser upwards of £5 million last year as a reward for running this fake green company. That Drax exists is a testament to successive governments who have gone along with this con trick and particularly to the successive so-called energy ministers like Ed Miliband, Chris Huhne and Ed Davy, who have , no doubt, done very well personally out of this. That these ministers are not locked up for fraud rather than prospering is a national disgrace but all you have to do nowadays is shout "green" and you can get away with almost anything.”Drax also now own the logging company that supplies them. They say this is to offset when the green subsidies stop, but by then of course they will control the price of the wood pellets that Drax use.
This farce will then continue under the banner of green energy, despite the fact that the wood pellets produce as much CO2 as coal. Some say it also produces more airborne toxins as well, plus the moving of thousands of tons of pellets across oceans is hardly a green exercise, which when put together begs the question as to why we can’t use our own gas and coal resources until such time as so-called sustainable energy comes of age - and we are a long way from that.
I even heard a smug eco zealot talking about tidal wave power. That went out of favour some time ago when the costs were analysed and the fact that the tide has dead periods when it doesn’t move or hardly moves. It is no good talking about further storage to overcome these problems the cost is enormous and prohibitive, in the majority of cases.
But we are in a dire state regards energy supply. Once again decades of poor decision making by governments has come back to bite us in the backside. We have thrown away our ability to lead the world when we did with nuclear power decades ago. We close the only large gas storage facility and stop further gas exploration in the North Sea, rely on shipping gas in from the middle east and elsewhere when we could frack, stop a specialised coal mine from opening to supply industry and import the same from elsewhere and somehow believe that makes us green.
And become evermore reliant on intermittent wind and solar. It doesn’t matter how many wind farms you build, if the wind doesn’t blow there's no energy; yet the policy demands that all must change to electricity:
Despite the claims that more and more energy is supplied by wind power, the above shows how unreliable it is. The troughs out weigh the peaks by some margin; this will apply regardless of how many windmills are built.
All this has been repeated hundreds of times,. Does anyone actually take notice in the positions of power? It certainly does not look like it: the glacial approach to decision making is only matched by the glacial slide of the country into the second tier of world powers. Anyone believing we still have a top table say in the world's affairs is living in the previous century; energy wise, the century before that is where we are heading in the short to middle term.
I can see the time when a box of these…