Upcoming Events

Cork | Environment

no events match your query!

New Events

Cork

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Elaine Byrne: Lacking moral courage to name names

offsite link Real democracies and referendums Anthony

offsite link Public Services Card: Some still forced to comply Anthony

offsite link Catholic Church: Dark influence still active Anthony

offsite link Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Interstate competition swallows Bolsonaro´s Government Tue Feb 18, 2020 17:39 | amarynth
Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog When U.S. President Donald Trump announced on December 2 the taxation of Brazilian and Argentine steel, restoring the immediate effect of the “tariffs

offsite link Trump Plans to Keep U.S. Troops Permanently in Iraq Tue Feb 18, 2020 00:29 | The Saker
by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog A reliable and exceptionally knowledgeable source, who doesn?t wish to be publicly identified, has confidentially informed me that an agreement has been reached

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2020/02/17 ? Open Thread Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:00 | Herb Swanson
2020/02/17 10:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link Erdogan?s Long-Coming Reality Check: Fri Feb 14, 2020 22:04 | The Saker
by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog It is hard to say if Erdogan is running out of choices, friends, time, or all of the above; and his stands on

offsite link Adventures Of Idlib Hipsters. American Waterloo In Khirbat Amu Fri Feb 14, 2020 18:49 | Scott
https://southfront.org/adve... In Turkey, it is by now a good tradition to threaten Syria with a war every time when luckless Idlib rebels suffer another military defeat from the Syrian Army.

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link Latest Listings Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:07 | Human Rights

offsite link Latest Updates Thu Nov 21, 2019 20:32 | Human Rights

offsite link US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights

offsite link UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights

offsite link Fijian women still face Human Rights violations Mon Aug 26, 2019 18:49 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
"A flaky website that purports to be ?leftist,? The Cedar Lounge Revolution, occasionally makes a relevant point or two."

offsite link Equals? 10:58 Tue Feb 18, 2020 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Unserious 07:55 Tue Feb 18, 2020 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link FG/FF and? 07:31 Tue Feb 18, 2020 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link ?The Strange Death of Jeremy Corbyn? 19:06 Mon Feb 17, 2020 | irishelectionliterature

offsite link Long past time? 18:01 Mon Feb 17, 2020 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

Loading the dice - lecture report

category cork | environment | news report author Wednesday March 01, 2017 10:53author by Paul Lynch Report this post to the editors

Climate change and extreme weather in Ireland, Europe and the World

On Monday night professor Myles Allen of Oxford University delivered the first in a series of four Lectures on Climate change at UCC to a full house in room 107 of the Western Gateway Building. The theme of the lecture was "Understanding - Climate science and observations", with a focus on quantifying the role of climate change in extreme weather events in Ireland and worldwide.
Full house at room 107
Full house at room 107

Professor Allen started the lecture referring to the 2014 storm season and effects in Lahinch Co. Clare, the 2009 floods in Cork city moving onto the 2014 floods in the UK as examples of the extreme weather events that are studied for climate change attribution.

He said that scientists in general only recently have agreed that it is possible say with certainty the extent to which human induced climate change has influenced either the magnitude or frequency of extreme weather events.

He basically said that to do this you must first find out what fraction of global climate change is attributable to human influence, and then translate these global changes into impacts on extreme weather.

Super computer
This wasn't so much a lecture on climate change in general as a lecture on probability, statistics and the use of vast repetitions of computer modeling of weather events to show their likelihood with and without a human induced changed climate.

He said the computing power to required to run such models would constitute a environmental problem in itself in terms of building and running a super computer and the associated power consumption and cooling costs so the process is crowd sourced out onto spare capacity on the personal computers of volunteers. Anyone with a computer and internet connection can donate some capacity here: http://www.climateprediction.net/

Using a series of very abstract graphs of weather models the professor made a point that we aren't seeing any weather that would have been impossible due to climate change, and that some events will be made more extreme by climate change but not necessarily more frequent. (Or something like that).

Loading the dice
He likened weather patterns to the faces of a die. In particular the weather patterns of the North Atlantic jumps between four general regimes, and doesn't generally sit between these patterns. The question he asked is are we seeing more of one weather pattern than we should expect? The only way to answer this he said is by rolling the weather dice many times to build up statistics - which would take centuries to build up a clear picture by just observing weather as it happens. So this is where he brought in the use of the computer simulations, to see if climate change is loading the weather pattern towards a particular regime.

He has calculated a 25% increase in risk regarding extreme wind-speed events in the west of Ireland - what was once a 10 year event is now a once in 7 or 8 year event.

Why the numbers matter... or not
At this stage my interest in the lecture and rating of the usefulness of this work took a nosedive. The first use of these statistics he mentioned was to provide the insurance industry with data to prevent them from withdrawing cover for "vulnerable parts of the economy".

The second reason was a legalistic one and was that in many jurisdictions plaintiffs must show with some certainty that their injury was caused by the risk factor in question, as opposed to any other cause.

He brought it back then to the Irish 2013 fodder crisis and reckons that with tighter monitoring of fodder stocks the worst effects could have been mitigated. My thoughts were that there are much more fundamental changes that could be made to farming instead of just monitoring what is largely an unsustainable model of production.

Where is this going?
He finished the lecture by pointing out that the Paris Climate Agreement has a clause 52 that states that the agreement is no basis for liability or compensation and so there is no economic sanction against countries that may pull out. With the current threat of the USA pulling out he advocated that goods sourced from compliant countries adopt a common logo so as to distinguish themselves from non-compliant countries.

Questions
The lecture finished there and questions were opened up to the floor.
Most of the questions were of an academic nature on statistics and probability. There was one question on what is the best course of action for educators and individuals in tackling climate change. In fairness the professor said he wasn't better placed than anyone else to answer that and advocated political lobbying so as not to invest in infrastructure that we won't be able to use in 50 years time if we want to live in a stable climate.

In response to a question on insurance the professor said that the insurance industry do this kind of research themselves and said: "I'm a firm believer that if the insurance industry was allowed to work as it actually should, it could actually play a very positive role in the whole understanding of climate change and managing climate change risk."

There were a few comments like this from the professor showing how easily a gulf can exist between being a specialist in an area of climate change research and having a sound overall political outlook on sustainability. None more so though than the conclusion of a response to a question on weather recording: "...As a species we a very ingenious at inventing ways to wreck the planet, but we're also ingenious about inventing ways to monitor it and keeping track of what we are doing as well, so that's perhaps our saving grace." Even in the context of this being a lecture on understanding as opposed to doing anything about climate change, this attitude is at best self-deluding and worse if the listeners as a result think that just measuring climate change will sort it out.

The following lectures in the series will be on the themes of:
Decarbonising - Climate Change Mitigation
Responding - Climate change Adaptation
Transitioning - Climate Change and Society

The lecture is viewable online - see link below

Related Link: https://ucc.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=55f9f95a-54f5-4640-a940-05e1a21929ac

Climate change graph
Climate change graph

author by Crazy Catpublication date Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The 27th annual ‘State of the Climate’ report, led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has just come out:

Here is on overview:

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-cli...-year

and the report:

http://www.ametsoc.net/sotc2016/StateoftheClimate2016_l...s.pdf

 
© 2001-2020 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy