Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spanish wind power blows nuclear away

It is often pointed out by the nuclear power fetishists and the coal-power aficionados, that renewable energy is variable because it relies on the winds or sunny weather depending on your source.

So variable, in fact, that last week in Spain the winds generated more energy than did Spain's nuclear power plants, and more energy than that glorious country's coal-powered electricity plants. :::[The Age]

Taking advantage of a particularly gusty period, Spain's wind energy generators this week reached an all-time high in electricity production, exceeding power generated by all other means, the nation's electricity network authority said in a statement.

At 5.40pm (0340 AEDT on Tuesday) on Monday, wind power generation rose to contribute 27 per cent of the country's total power requirement, Red Electrica said.

At that moment wind power contributed 8,375 mega watts to the nation's power consumption of 31,033.

Nuclear power, the second largest contributor, added 6,797 mega watts, while coal-fired electric generation came third with 5,081, the statement said.

Wow. Something in the paella that day?

Taking a longer outlook, last year wind power only contributed 9% of the country's annual total, but this last week does show the potential. It strikes me that global warming is only going to create more wind, because that is what happens when you heat-up large bodies of air. Is it possible that wind power may come into its own as the globe heats up?

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Thank god I don't live in that country...

I thought John Howard allowing the fossil-fuel industry to make up our greenhouse gas policy was bad enough, but when a government environment department in another Axis-of-Ignorance country is this brazen about pushing US government propaganda I become grateful for small mercies: :::[U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works: GORE REFUSES TO TAKE PERSONAL ENERGY ETHICS PLEDGE]

“Are you willing to make a commitment here today by taking this pledge to consume no more energy for use in your residence than the average American household by one year from today?” Senator Inhofe asked [of Al Gore]

As a believer:
· that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical, and spiritual issue affecting our survival;

· that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use;

· that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions; and

· that leaders on moral issues should lead by example;

I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.”

Gore said no to the stunt. Why would he take such stupid pledge? The rather witless proposition from Inhofe is that people taking their emissions outputs to that of average output will lead to an lower average. But more importantly, energy use is not the problem - it is the energy source, and if Al Gore wants to use more than the average American household, especially more green energy, good luck to him.

This a skirmish in what has become apparent as the War on Gore; Sen. Inhofe did not let Al Gore answer in full after asking for the pledge. He had his EPW website press release in mind.

Green-collar jobs - jobs of the future

Van Jones, a civil-rights lawyer, is founder and executive director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, as I discovered from Dave Roberts' article on the man.

In 2005, the center unveiled an initiative that would put it at the cutting edge of progressive activism: Reclaim the Future, a program aimed at ensuring that low-income and minority youth have access to the coming wave of "green-collar" jobs.

"Green-collar" jobs!

The compact fluorescent light flashed on in my head and for a timeless moment I had a vision of the future economy where the green-collar workers contribute as significantly as white and blue collar ones. It's an evocative term with instant understanding. So what does Van Jones have to say:

We need to send hundreds of millions of dollars down to our public high schools, vocational colleges, and community colleges to begin training people in the green-collar work of the future -- things like solar-panel installation, retrofitting buildings that are leaking energy, wastewater reclamation, organic food, materials reuse and recycling.

All the big ideas for getting us onto a lower carbon trajectory involve a lot of people doing a lot of work, and that's been missing from the conversation. This is a great time to go to the next step and ask, well, who's going to do the work? Who's going to invest in the new technologies? What are ways to get communities wealth, improved health, and expanded job opportunities out of this improved transition?

That's one component: rather than creating job-training pipelines that put these kids at the back of the line for the last century's pollution-based jobs, we need to be creating opportunities for them to be at the front of the line for the new clean and green jobs.

Another piece is to go a step beyond job training and begin to think about reviving the old Civilian Conservation Corps that [Franklin D. Roosevelt] created during the environmental challenges of his day. Now we have a new set of environmental challenges. The national Apollo Alliance and the Campus Climate Challenge have been talking with us about creating what we would call an Energy Corps. It would be like the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps, but it would be focused on deploying people to begin retrofitting the U.S. economy, rebooting it based on clean energy.

The moral challenge of the century is this: We need to ensure that there's equal protection for everyone in the face of the perils of this new period, and equal access to the opportunities of this new period.

There you go, there's a man with a plan. He has more to say on the subject and it is stimulating reading. I am going to adopt and expand his term, "green-collar", because in my vision I also see that keeping up with a Joneses is out with sequestered dinosaurs, and that the new game in town will be keeping up with the Van Joneses.

One of Van Jones' strengths is that he connects the disparate global warming concerns of high and low income groups.

In terms of achieving the aims of his specific mission, 'working to prevent youth violence and incarceration' he is going to give affected communities the chance to buy into the sustainable economies of the future, a chance to get ahead of the curve, a slingshot forward.

The other thing to keep in mind is that people who have a lot of opportunity, the affluent, love to hear about this big crisis. Oh my god, global warming, we're all going to die. For people who have a lot of crisis already, they don't want to hear about another big crisis. They've got sick parents, no health care, all that kind of stuff -- they don't want to hear about it. The rhetoric has to change. For people with a bunch of opportunity, you tell them about the crisis. For people with a bunch of crisis, you tell about the opportunities.

When you start shutting down some of these dirty power plants and move to renewables, you reduce asthma by a certain percentage. That's important, because if you have one kid with asthma and you don't have health care, that's about $10,000 a year between inhalers, lost wages, and emergency room visits. So you're putting $10,000 per kid per year back into the pockets of poor people when you clean up the air. You save the polar bears and you save the black kids too.

That's got to be how we come at this: What are the jobs, wealth, and health benefits of being a part of this movement?

I'm arguing for a progressive eco-populism with an appropriate role for government, that rewards and helps the problem-solvers in the U.S. economy but taxes the hell out of the problem-makers. That can be a winning formula to realign U.S. politics and economics.

We have an obligation to recognize that we've entered a new period of real limits and real consequences. We need to be part of a conversation about how to limit the harm and spread out the hope.

Finally, his thoughts on the green-collar economy:

There's no way to get changes big enough to solve these problems without creating pathways out of poverty for millions of new green-collar workers. The renewable economy is more labor-intensive, less capital-intensive; therefore, there should be a net increase in jobs.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hansen to Congress: Big Brother censoring climate science for big oil

James Hansen heads the NASA Institute for Space Studies. On Monday he revealed to the US Congress the extent the Administration is censoring climate science. :::[SMH: Scientists Muzzled, Congress told]

THE Bush Administration has run a systematic campaign to play down the dangers of climate change, demanding hundreds of politically motivated changes to scientific reports and muzzling a pre-eminent expert on global warming, the US Congress has been told.

The testimony on Monday to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform painted the Administration as determined to maintain its line on climate change even when it clashed with the findings of scientific experts.

James Hansen, who heads the Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York, said in testimony: "The effect of the filtering of climate change science during the current Administration has been to make the reality of climate change less certain than the facts indicate, and to reduce concern about the relation of climate change to human-made greenhouse gas emissions."

Since the Democratic takeover of Congress in January the committee's chairman, Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, has led efforts to uncover the extent of White House interference with scientific debate.

The Administration has moved to exercise control over environmental agencies by installing political appointees including a former oil industry lobbyist, Philip Cooney, as chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality. Mr Cooney told the committee: "My sole loyalty was to the President and advancing the policies of his Administration."

...while taking no heed of the tax-paid science. Hmmm. Funny ideas on loyalty.

Documents released on Monday show that in 2003 Mr Cooney and other senior appointed officials made at least 181 changes to a strategic plan on climate change to play down the scientific consensus on global warming. They made a further 113 alterations to minimise the human role in climate change, and inserted possible benefits of climate change. "These changes must be made," a note in Mr Cooney's handwriting says. "The language is mandatory."

Some of the statements deleted on Mr Cooney's instruction were non-controversial, such as: "Climate change has global consequences for human health and the environment." He also deleted references to models indicating that temperatures have been rising for 1000 years. However, he chose to highlight a study funded by his former employer, the American Petroleum Institute.

Under heated questioning, Mr Cooney admitted the changes were all intended to cast doubt on the impact of global warming. He denied they were directly co-ordinated with the White House but said he had regular conversations with a senior White House aide. "We got notes from them."

Notes? Notes from them? How Orwellian. Shouldn't the notes be going in the other direction? Shouldn't science be informing the politicians, not the politicians informing the science? Hansen went on to accuse the government of propaganda.

Control from the White House became the norm, Dr Hansen told the committee. "Scientific press releases were going to the White House for editing," he said. "It's very unfortunate that we developed this politicisation of science. The public relations office should be staffed by expert appointees - otherwise they become offices of propaganda."

For Hansen's full transcript, go to Climate Change Action. It's compelling reading. Here is James E. Hansen's homepage.

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Uni NSW research harnesses sea, sun for hydrogen fuel.

University of NSW researchers have been working on a revolutionary technology that uses sunlight to split sea water into hydrogen fuel, and water. It could be developed within a decade, and take another five years to be commercialised. But this is how long nuclear plants take to be built, and hydrogen fuel has two advantages - it's unlimited when sourced from seawater, and 100% clean, with water as the only by-product. It is yet-to-be-developed, but then so is the so-called 'clean-coal' saviour technology that the Howard government is pinning all our futures on.

Best of all it decentralises energy production. :::[SMH]

Leigh Sheppard, of the University of NSW, estimated that 1.6 million of the solar devices, installed on rooftops, would be able to produce enough hydrogen gas to supply Australia's entire energy needs.

He believes, "It is the cleanest, greenest energy option for a sustainable economy.".

Its technique relies on using a light sensitive material, titanium dioxide, to harness the power of the sun to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas. "The process has the additional advantage that it works best in sea water," Dr Sheppard said.

Australia was rich in titanium, and had abundant sunshine. "And we are surrounded by ocean."

It might also be possible to use artesian water, or pump sea water inland, to a large array of solar panels which could produce hydrogen for local use and even for export.

An area covering 40 square kilometres would meet the country's energy needs.

The process is safe because it mimics nature.

The small UNSW team, led by Professor Janusz Nowotny, is a world leader in using titanium dioxide as a catalyst to split water. The researchers have developed instruments which can measure the electrical properties of the material so they can improve its performance by altering its oxygen content or adding impurities.

A visiting German solar expert, Helmut Tributsch, of the Free University in Berlin, said research was urgently needed into ways to covert the sun's power into usable energy, such ashydrogen fuel and photovoltaic electricity. Professor Tributsch said water splitting was a process nature used to harness the sun's energy. "We should really follow the example of nature. It is the only safe way to handle our environment in the long term."

Hydrogen was a clean and efficient fuel for powering everything from vehicles to furnaces and air conditioning. "When you burn it, it gives water, so there is no pollution of the environment," he said.

Professor Tributsch will give a public lecture on solar energy at the university on Monday night.

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More about the Chicago Climate Exchange

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is the world’s first and North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and trading system for emission sources and offset projects in North America and Brazil. CCX employs independent verification, includes all six greenhouse gases, and has been trading greenhouse gas emission allowances since 2003. CCX was launched prior to the commencement of trading in the European Union through the ETS system. To date, more than 120 CCX Members range from corporations like Ford and Motorola, to state and municipalities such as Oakland and Chicago, to educational institutions such as Tufts University and University of Minnesota, to farmers and the Iowa Farm Bureau.

CCX has an aggregate baseline of 226 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, which is equal to the United Kingdom’s annual allocation under the EU ETS. This would make CCX one of the largest “countries” in the EU CO2 market, or 4% of U.S. annual GHG emissions.

Here is the CCX website.

The first Australian big member is AGL who have recently made a $2 billion investment in renewable energy, and are seeking to offset that investment.

Andhyodaya, an NGO based in Kerala, India, which promotes biogas production among poor farmers, has become the first Indian member of the United States-based climate exchange.

It is 10% owned by Goldman Sachs. Maurice Strong is on the board of directors of the Chicago Climate Exchange. He was a former Secretary General of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Rio Earth Summit - the start of global warming awareness). And on March 1st this year they announced their highest trading month (.pdf):

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX®) announced today that the total
trading volume in the month of February was 3,712,100 metric tons carbon dioxide, making it the highest trading month in the history of CCX.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

AGL joins the Chicago Climate Exchange

Yes that is our AGL - Australian Gas and Light - and what are they doing in Chicago is looking for a mechanism whereby they can market their energy efficiencies and emissions savings to less efficient companies around the world. That's the beauty of global warming - abatement is an instantly globalised industry. :::[SMH: Energy giant embraces carbon trading]

THE energy giant AGL has said it will become the first big Australian company to join the Chicago Climate Exchange, a move that may embarrass the Federal Government as it wrangles over climate change.

The move will allow AGL to do something it cannot do at home: profit from cutting its greenhouse gas pollution in Australia.

It will help the company expand its renewable energy operations, including plans to build the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere at Macarthur in Victoria. This will power about 190,000 homes.

AGL's managing director, Paul Anthony, told the Herald the company had invested almost $2 billion in renewable energy in the past 12 months. Mr Anthony said he hoped the board would soon agree to the big investment needed for the Macarthur wind farm. It has also just bought three "bio-mass" power stations in Queensland fired by, among other things, macadamia nuts.

This leave the Federal Liberal party, (the party of big business?) decidedly flat-footed.

For the past 10 years, the Howard Government has stalled on setting up a carbon trading scheme in Australia or ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, which would allow companies to trade in the European carbon market.

Now Australian companies have no real way to measure the cost of greenhouse gas pollution caused by carbon-intensive energy sources such as coal, oil and gas, except for the Chicago Climate Exchange, which puts the price at $US5 a tonne.

So if Australian companies cut their emissions and invest in renewable energy they can find it difficult to reap an immediate reward for their efforts, while polluting competitors who stick to coal-fired power are not penalised.

The good news is that there is an election coming up as soon as Howard announces. Then we can get on with our future.

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Garrett: Put economy first by addressing climate change

Federal Parliament ALP member, Peter Garrett, places global warming in an economic context, looking at the positive and negative implications: :::[SMH: Economy put at risk by climate inertia]

Last week Michael Molitor, the principal of CarbonShift (a wholesale supplier of voluntary carbon units) and a former director of climate change services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, described the opportunity in this way: globally, we will need to prevent 600 billion tonnes of carbon emissions that will otherwise accumulate in the atmosphere over the next 43 years in order to stabilise atmospheric concentrations at or below 500 parts per million.

Using a low average abatement cost of $25 a tonne creates a capital-market opportunity of $15 trillion. This would be the largest global financial market opportunity in history. The question Australia needs to answer is: how much of that $15 trillion is coming our way?

And how do we get our hands on some of it? Well, something has to change.

Unfortunately, after a decade of inaction on climate change, the Howard Government has been left standing at the docks waving goodbye to Australian jobs, investment and technology. Last week the Australian company Global Renewables announced a $5 billion deal with Britain's Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council. The Lancashire project aims to cut greenhouse pollution by more than 4 million tonnes.

Global Renewable has had to go to Britain to realise its ambitions.

Four weeks ago another Australian company, Pacific Hydro - which has 1800 megawatts of clean energy assets around the world - announced its move into Brazil. Why?

Because according to its general manager, Rob Grant, the growth in Australian clean energy assets has been held back by Australia's decision to not sign the Kyoto Protocol. The company is looking internationally for investment opportunities in countries that are enacting positive policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming.

Zhengrong Shi, an academic from the University of NSW who was unable to realise his ambitions to develop solar technology in Australia, moved his business to China, where he is now that nation's third-richest man. His technology is helping reduce China's emissions. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that in a few years we might have to import these technologies, which were developed in Australia, from China. We should not be in the business of exporting jobs, technology or our brightest and best minds.

Peter's solutions are to create jobs developing and manufacturing the technologies for clean coal, biomass, solar and wind. And that we set up a carbon trading system as soon as possible.

We need climate change policies that will make Australia a regional hub for emissions trading and clean energy. Federal Labor has a suite of policies that will not only drive down our emissions but also create jobs in regional and rural Australia and open up the market potential of carbon trading.

He concludes with an indication of how Labor will be positioning itself on climate change in the yet-to-be-announced-but-already- campaigning election.

The Prime Minister insists that dealing with climate change is an either/or proposition: either we cut emissions or we grow the economy. The fact is we can and must do both.

How refreshing to hear, after all Howard's initial global warming denial, then his denial of the anthropogenic component, then his complete abandonment of the question to concentrate on some yet-to-be-developed saviour technology, and his dodgy Switkowsky report on nuclear.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Examining our fears around global warming

In today's Age Thornton McCamish takes a nostalgic walk through his anxieties wrought from the then threatened nuclear annihilation promised by the policy of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) of the '80s, and compares them to fears of ecological collapse resulting from human-induced global warming that characterise our current angst. :::[The Age: A Climate of Fear]

Proliferation is scary. For the first time the world is at the mercy of leaders with pre-modern beliefs armed with postmodern weapons. But nonproliferation is susceptible to diplomacy and mass opinion in a way that MAD's geopolitical suicide pact never was.

And so is climate change. Nuclear weapons just got more meaningless the closer you looked at them. But the risks of climate change related to human activity will only become clearer, despite attempts to muddy the science.

The ambient fear those dangers produce is real, but it's not mind-emptying. It's actually a humane and energising anxiety. The risk of disastrous climate change makes us worry not just for ourselves, but for others; for animals and plants, too. What's really cheering about climate change anxiety is that it's about the deep future, a place the Bomb managed to obliterate without a single missile leaving its silo. This time, our fear means something because we can act on it.

It is a thought-provoking article, and I agree with his conclusions. We are acting on the threat. Witness the recent drafting of Climate Change Bill in the UK.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Climate change front & Centre in Queensland politics.

In September 2006, the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, promised Queenslanders a headquarters from which to fight climate change, if they re-elected him: :::[ABC News]

Mr Beattie says a re-elected Labor government would offer $10 million over four years to water safety initiatives and would bring together a panel of experts to set up a climate change centre of excellence.

They did, and today he started delivering on this promise. :::[SMH]

A new centre which hopes to put Queensland at the forefront of climate change technology has opened.

Premier Peter Beattie, who opened the Queensland Climate Change Centre, said its scientists would tap into the latest knowledge from around the world to help plan for and adapt to the state's changing environment.

One of its first projects will be to investigate the effectiveness of cloud seeding in Queensland.

Another will be pinpointing which parts of the state would be more affected by climate change, and how they would be affected, Mr Beattie said.

Natural Resources and Water Minister Craig Wallace said Queensland's annual average temperature was projected to rise by up to two degrees Celsius by 2030, and rainfall to drop by around 13 per cent.

But other parts of the state could experience more storms and increased rainfall, he said.

"With more intense droughts and heat waves and less frequent but more intense rainfall the centre is an important step in the right direction to help plan for and adapt to our changing climate," he said.

The centre has an annual budget of $7.5 million and was an election promise.

Climate change is greening politics, like a spreading algal bloom, across the world. Recent examples are the Climate Change Bill passed in the UK giving the British the lead in constructing a framework for enforceable emissions reductions, and the Chinese Premier announcing that they Chinese will forsake 2% of projected economic growth in order to align their economies with the emerging carbon economy.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

UK politics now just a climate change auction

I started blogging about global warming, I dunno, about 14 months ago. Mainly out of a sense of frustration born of the media and greater public attitudes towards climate change. The media reported a 'debate' on global warming, while science reporters (and I) knew there was no question in the climatology community that it was happening. Big time.

It was an awful time. The media gave 50% of time to the reporting the facts of global warming, and 50% of the time to skeptics making a living from disputing these facts on decidedly unscientific grounds. Thinking like, "It's sheer arrogance and utter hubris to think that man can affect the climate", became reported as if this was reasonable logic. I would not have believed it, other than the fact that I had just witnessed an uncritical media swallow all the stories the White House spun, whole, and end up embedded in a UN unsanctioned military adventure trying to relive the Ted Turner Gulf War I glory days. Any Orwellian bullshit was possible. I was staring at a future that that I had been warned about in fifth form English literature. So I blogged, inspired after reading Flannery's The Weather Makers.

But by now the harsh reality of Iraq rented the cosy fabric of this mediaverse, and all sorts of light is streaming in. An Inconvenient Truth has woken the globe to global warming, and The Stern Report gave a financial framework for us to contextualise the problem within. Al Gore has an Oscar and Tim Flannery is the Australian of the Year. Hard to believe.

And now UK politics is a law and order, war on terror, national security, climate change auction. The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems are scrapping it out to take the green crown ahead of the Climate Change Bill tomorrow. Hot button issues are green house gases, green taxes, nuclear power, renewable energy and recycling. The truth is the winner.

We live in interesting times. :::[The Independent: Which political party is the greenest?]

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Who's winning the global warming war?

Bolt goes:

US chills
17 Comments 0 Trackbacks Permalink Andrew Bolt Blog
By Andrew Bolt Friday, March 09, 2007 at 04:42pm

The US National Climatic Data Center has chilling news: The average temperature in February 2007 was 32.9 F. This was -1.8 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 34th coolest February in 113 years. Most predictions of global cooling say it won’t happen for a decade or two yet. But who knows?

The Bolt-strokers go "Ooohh!".

Carbonsink goes "Ahhh...".

Posted by carbonsink on Fri 09 Mar 07 at 06:41pm

Hey nutbars,

Have a look at this graph from the U.S. National Climatic Data Center and see if you can discern a trend?

Notice anything? Yeah, global cooling is just around the corner.


And Andrew, seeing as you’re fair and balanced, how about posting the above graph in your next missive?

And so it goes.

So who do you put your money on? And will Bolt post graph?

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Gaia warns America, "Don't get me mad"

Those who accuse global warming realists of falling for a new green religious hysteria should take note of Gaia's power to smite their arguments, and everything else in Her path.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and scientists at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have reported their findings in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters, that shed light on the much debated question of whether global warming is increasing the frequency of hurricane and cyclone activity.

Not helping the debate was the fact that hurricane and storm records were scattered shipping reports and inconsistent up until the advent of weather satellite technology in the 1960s. And after that the technology developed so quickly that consistent standards in collecting and reporting data were not maintained. :::[Newswires]

Kossin and his colleagues realized they needed to smooth out the data before exploring any interplay between warmer temperatures and hurricane activity. Working with an existing NCDC archive that holds global satellite information for the years 1983 through 2005, the researchers evened out the numbers by essentially simplifying newer satellite information to align it with older records.

"This new dataset is unlike anything that's been done before," says Kossin. "It's going to serve a purpose as being the only globally consistent dataset around. The caveat of course, is that it only goes back to 1983."

Even so, it's a good start. Once the NCDC researchers recalibrated the hurricane figures, Kossin took a fresh look at how the new numbers on hurricane strength correlate with records on warming ocean temperatures, a side effect of global warming.

What they found surprised them; it seems global warming, let that read increasing ocean surface temperatures, did and didn't corelate with increasing hurricane frequency activity during this 24 year snapshot. It did in the Atlantic, it didn't anywhere else. Or rather, they "still can't make any global statements.", but can for the Atlantic.

Sea-surface temperatures may be one reason why greenhouse gases are exacting aunique toll on the Atlantic Ocean, says Kossin. Hurricanes need temperatures of around 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) to gather steam. On average, the Atlantic's surface is slightly colder than that but other oceans, such as the Western Pacific, are naturally much warmer.

"The average conditions in the Atlantic at any given time are just on the cusp of what it takes for a hurricane to form," says Kossin. " So it might be that imposing only a small (man-made) change in conditions, creates a much better chance of having a hurricane."

The Atlantic is also unique in that all the physical variables that converge to form hurricanes - including wind speeds, wind directions and temperatures - mysteriously feed off each other in ways that only make conditions more ripe for a storm. But scientists don't really understand why, Kossin adds.

It would seem that when Gaia made Herself in Her own image, She placed America on the shores of the Atlantic to remind them to pay their carbon-taxes, or risk her throwing the alphabet at them. Could this be Intelligent Design's missing link? Could Gaia be this Intelligent Designer?

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