Archive for October, 2008

Colloquium on air pollution

October 26, 2008

The research center CRPGL (Centre de Recherche Public Gabriel Lippmann) organizes the 12th Nov. 2008 a conference on indoor and outdoor air pollution. I will present a poster covering 10 years ground ozone measurements done at meteoLCD. All trends are negative, there are some interesting correlations with other parameters. I will post a pdf version after the conference on the meteoLCD site in the “Papers” chapter.

Just a preliminary remark: It seems that biogenic (natural occuring) VOC’s (like isoprenes and terpenes emitted from trees) are largely understated, and may play a major (if not a dominant) role in hot summer ozone peaks at rural stations like Diekirch.

The Royal Society just published a big  report “Ground-level ozone in the 21st century: future trends, impacts and policy implications”. Regardless the bettering at many European locations, the overall tone is alarmist (like: the heat wave 2003 shows what will become the rule…). As Richard Lindzen always says: Alarm seems to be mandatory to get attention and funding.

EEA report: chapter 5.3 to the end

October 5, 2008

Today I finished reading this heavy report. As told before, many pages could have been spared, if the obvious or the trivia had been left out. If temperature increases or has increased, it is a bit trivial to insist on all possible consequences of rising temperatures: If there are new data or observations, it is ok; but if  only projections, model runs or guess-work show up, it becomes tedious.

– sea level: long term projections are told being rather uncertain

– SST: the website is given as a reference for scientific discussions!

– flood events: increase is due to better reporting

– river droughts: have not become more severe

The chapter 7 (Economic consequences) says that the share of climate change (or anthropogenic CC) in the increasing losses  reported by Munich Re is still unknown!

Chapter 8 (Data gaps…) tells that there was no standard set of emission scenarios and climate models available, so projections are a hotchpot of many different ones. Most are IPCC models, known to have poor or even no regional skill. So the confidence in these year 2100 projections should be moderate!

Chapter 6 on adaptation tells some very sensible things. It even says that the Mediterranian stressed today by over-populated summer holidays could benefit from a warming that would force a modal split of these holidays (pre-summer and post-summer).

My conclusion:

The report is very readable and aesthetically pleasant. There are few really new insights, and it should not be considered as a separate report from the IPCC AR4; more a Europian adaptation. It should be noted positively that uncertainties are not systematically swept under the carpet! Alas, not a single inclusion from a non-IPCC consensus scientist is included. Politically correctness rules.

EEA report: Chapters 1 to 5.2.7

October 5, 2008

I started reading the main body of the report on Europe’s changing climate. Chapters 1 to 4 are really just paper fillers: practically a copy/paste from IPCC AR4. Even the well buried hockeystick makes a revival in a plot of the records of past temperatures of the Northern Hemisphere (same plot as AR4/WG2). Economising the 36 pages of chapters 1 to 4 would not have been a bad idea!

From chapter 5 on, things get better and more relevant. This chapter “Indicator bases assessment” is a real blockbuster, going from page 37 to page 148.  Warm spells have been increasing, frost days decreasing since 1976 (maximum is 10 days for both), as should be expected from the slight 20th century global warming. Inmidts the usual “maybe, could, is projected to” are some real gems:

1. the proportion of Europe having experienced drought conditions did not change significantly during the 20th century

2.  there is no clear trend in storminess

I read up to the paragraph on ground ozone. This is a really disappointing paragraph, with no European-wide trends on this well measured gas (trends are given as negative in other reports with a possible slightly higher back-ground level in some parts…). A very visible red-coloured map gives the modelled changes, not the measured ones! As ozone peak levels depend on high temperatures, there is some speculation on a projected rise, but also the honest sentence that “the effect of climate change alone on tropospheric ozone is expected to be small“.