The Climate Show #14: volcanoes, black carbon and crocks from Christy

By Gareth Renowden 16/06/2011

A busy news week sees Glenn and Gareth discussing volcanoes in Chile and Africa, busy pumping ash into the atmosphere and disrupting flights in South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, an extreme spring in the USA, drought in Europe and a warm autumn in NZ, a new UN report on black carbon and how a reduction could cut future warming, Aussie scientists fighting back against climate denial, and forecasts for the summer ice minimum in the Arctic. John Cook from Skeptical Science deals with their new series on John Christy’s climate crocks, and introduces a great new graphic front end for the SkS climate literature database, plus we cover price reductions on solar panels, LEDs on streetlights in San Francisco and MIT’s Cambridge crude.

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News & commentary: [0:05:50]

Chile volcano: southern hemisphere’s turn to experience what happened last year in Europe – doesn’t threaten climate cooling (at least, not yet)

Earth Observatory


NZ ash forecasts from the Met Service.

But there’s one nearer the equator: Nabro in Eritrea

Follow the action at Dr Erik Klemmeti’s Eruptions blog

Jeff Masters on extreme weather in the US:

Nature’s fury reached new extremes in the U.S. during the spring of 2011, as a punishing series of billion-dollar disasters brought the greatest flood in recorded history to the Lower Mississippi River, an astonishingly deadly tornado season, the worst drought in Texas history, and the worst fire season in recorded history. There’s never been a spring this extreme for combined wet and dry extremes in the U.S. since record keeping began over a century ago, statistics released last week by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reveal.

And one consequence (among many): NOAA predicts that the annual ’dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico will be the biggest since records begin…

And a dry spring in Europe and SE Britain could mean France has to shut down some nuclear power stations because of a lack of cooling water.

PS: May was the warmest ever recorded in New Zealand… 2.2ºC warmer than 1971-2000 average. (Mt Hutt webcams here).

New UN report on ’black carbon’ just released

Guardian: UN — curbing black carbon would bring dramatic, quick benefits to all

UNEP press release

Report PDF


Aussie scientists hit back at sceptics with series of strongly worded articles at The Conversation

Open Letter.

The greenhouse effect is real.

Speaking science to climate policy.

And finally: First batch of forecasts for the Arctic summer sea ice minimum released.

NASA Arctic Mosaic, and the Arctic Sea Ice blog.

Debunking the sceptic, with John Cook of Skeptical Science [0:42:20]

Christy Crocks

“I think there’s been too much jumping to conclusions about seeing something happening in the climate and saying ‘well the only way that can happen is human effects”

“I think most of all, [current temperatures] are part of the normal ups and downs of climate.”

“We are finding that the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 and those kind of gases”

An Interactive History of Climate Science

Solutions [1:05:00]

Solar PV changing the game? Joe Romm reports:
Solar is Ready Now: ‘Ferocious Cost Reductions’ Make Solar PV Competitive

China Plans to Double Solar Capacity Target for 2015

Google funding rooftop solar PVs

Battery breakthrough (again): MIT Team build liquid fuelled batteries for cars – Cambridge crude!

Another kind of energy storage: an ’energy bag

And energy efficiency: San Francisco replacing sodium streelt lights with LEDs – saves 50% energy…

Thanks to our media partners:, Scoop and KiwiFM.

Theme music: A Drop In The Ocean by The Bads.