Battling against rural broadband that resembled digital molasses (or the bunker oil being pumped out of the Rena), Gareth returns to NZ and joins Glenn Williams and John Cook to discuss drought in Tuvalu, the El NiÃ±o Southern Oscillation (ENSO), floods and sea level falls, ocean cooling (that isn’t), solar towers of power and much, much more…
News & commentary: [0:05:54]
Tuvalu, La Nina/ENSO and water
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/mei.html: ’I believe the odds for a La NiÃ±a winter have indeed risen to near 100%, with the ‘fall window’ of disrupting this evolution closing rapidly. However, it does not appear likely that we will see as strong an event as in 2010-11.’
The research team, which was led by Samantha Stevenson (University of Colorado Boulder) and includes NCAR scientists Markus Jochum, Richard Neale, Clara Deser, and Gerald Meehl, used the NCAR-based Community Climate System Model (CCSM) to simulate the effects of climate change on ENSO over the 21st century. They found no significant changes in its extent or frequency.
However, the warmer and moister atmosphere of the future could make ENSO events more extreme. For example, the model predicts the blocking high pressure south of Alaska that often occurs during La NiÃ±a winters to strengthen under future atmospheric conditions, meaning that intrusions of Arctic air into North America typical of La NiÃ±a winters could be stronger in the future.
And while we’re talking about ENSO…
The strong La Nina caused intense rainfall in Australia and Brazil – enough to cause a downward blip in sea level rise… confirmed by GRACE satellite measurements.
Meanwhile, on sea level:
’For the two more realistic scenarios, calculated based on the emissions and pollution stabilizing, the results show that there will be a sea level rise of about 75 cm by the year 2100 and that by the year 2500 the sea will have risen by 2 meters.’
Worst case: ’sea levels will rise 1.1 meters by the year 2100 and will have risen 5.5 meters by the year 2500.’
New climate science roundup
NIWA’s new Climate Change Atlas: http://www.niwa.co.nz/node/102850
Debunking the skeptic, John Cook from skepticalscience.com [0:35:50]
Ocean Cooling? (No it’s not).
Model-based evidence of deep-ocean heat uptake during surface-temperature hiatus periods (Meehl et al 2011)
Solar Decathlon results:
The Kiwi bach of tomorrow: http://firstlighthouse.ac.nz/the-house/design-features/
Sky-scraping Tower Will Power 100,000 Homes with Hot Air
A 2,600-foot tower planned for the Arizona desert will be the world’s second tallest structure and will be able to power 100,000 homes through hot air alone.
On Monday, the space agency issued the award to team Pipistrel-USA.com of State College, Pa., as part of the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency, or CAFE, Green Flight Challenge.
The competition, sponsored by Google, was created to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry, NASA said. The winning aircraft had to fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity.