Monday, September 30, 2013

Even more certain about climate change

One of the best summaries of the IPCC's latest climate report is 15 Things You Should Know. In short, it mentions that:

1. Climate change is happening and we're doing it. Scientists are 95-100% certain - which puts it about level with smoking causing cancer.

2. There has been no slow down in warming. The last 30 years were the warmest 30 years. The rate of warming is 10 times faster than any time in 65 million years.

3. We need to leave 90% of fossil fuels untouched, to have a reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophe.

Perhaps it was summed up best by the headline "Jury In: Climate Change Real, Caused by Us, and a Threat We Must Deal With".

Map of global warming

Interesting trivia about the report includes that more than 2,000 scientists worked on it. 9,200 studies were analysed, which were based on over 2 million gigabytes of data. (That's 20,000 times the size of my laptop computer!).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hottest September Ever?

A work colleague heard a news report that this could be our hottest September ever (and she sounded quite stunned by this news). You might guess that I explained how it wouldn't exactly be the world's biggest surprise.

This map is the last 12 months in Australia. On a hot scale of 1 to 10, almost all of Australia has been a 10 for the past year. The dark orange is where the past 12 months has been the hottest on record. About one-third of the country has never been this hot.

We've also just had the 2nd warmest winter ever. So yes, my office buddy, I wouldn't be surprised if this also turns out to be the hottest September we've ever had. And I wouldn't be surprised if these kind of records keep tumbling.

Link: BOM Climate Summaries

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Double Exposure - Spot the Difference

Climate change destroys reefs. We've heard it plenty of times, but now we can see it, thanks to photography project Double Exposure.

This picture is of the Rhone Reef in the British Virgin Islands (in 2004 and in 2011). The difference is shocking.

For more photos, including ones worse than this one, check out the Double Exposure website, and see how climate change is already altering our world.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cyclone Andrew Bolt?

With extreme storms (Katrina, Larry, Sandy etc) becoming more frequent due to climate change, there's an idea (and a petition) to name these events after the high-profile people who reject the climate change science and obstruct meaningful action.

Will changing the name reduce the disastrous damage these events cause? No. But it might give us a reminder of what causes these tragedies to be so horrific - our inaction on climate change. Perhaps then we might stop listening to such people, and get on with the job of tackling climate change - and preventing these storms from getting even worse.

Join me in signing the petition.

Also, find out which of your friends are unlucky enough to have a cyclone or hurricane named after them.

PS. The title of this post was inspired by Gruen Planet - who mentioned this idea in last night's episode.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Are you paying more than your neighbour?

It turns out the answer to this question is the biggest motivator to save energy.

Alex Laskey, through his company opower, has enabled households to save 2TWh (2,000,000,000 kWh) of electricity this year.

That's a heap of energy. The equivalent of burning 34 wheelbarrows of coal every minute of every day, for a year.

It's inspiring stuff. I find it amazing how much we can save just by not wasting energy. He estimates that 40 billion dollars is wasted in the US alone - just to light empty rooms and air-condition empty houses. That's a lot of money to waste.

Thanks to my work colleague for sending this to me. I recommend you watch it.