"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Here Comes Sunshine

If this pans out I believe it will make 30 consecutive days over 100 F here. Climatologically Austin does historically get over 100, about a dozen times a year.

As I saw somewhere today "100 is the new 90".

(100 F ~= 38 C)

But not to worry, everything is normal.

Climate change is always in the future. What we are seeing is merely weather. It is in the nature of Climate change that you can never observe it because only weather is observable. So everything is fine, Austin will never have a string of days over 110 F, and even when we do it will be a coincidence...


Pangolin said...

Hmm, didn't most of the heat energy from GHG forcing go into heating the oceans and melting ice? That would make changes in atmospheric temperatures a lagging indicator that signals that the buffers are at or near saturation.

Meaning we go from bad now to worse soon. If not why not?

BarbD said...

Thought you'd appreciate this Twitpic from the ALEC conference in New Orleans this week touting the benefits of CO2: http://twitpic.com/60x0ij

Andy S said...

I believe the loblolly pine forest is a good indicator of long-term climate trends. They and their long tap roots are sensitive to long term soil moisture levels. The lost pines of Bastrop are there because it's an island of sandy soil that is permissive so that more of the region's rainfall is available for tree growth versus becoming surface runoff. Likewise the east Texas pines indicate both sandy soils and greater and more dependable rainfall. There are islands of loblolly forest between Bastrop and Houston whereever sandy soil inclusions exist in what is largely a sea of heavy clays.

How old is the pine forest around Bastrop? I'd guess it's been there since before the end of the Pleistocene when rainfall was higher than today and temperatures were cooler. Probably the pines were continuous or nearly so between Austin and Houston. I'd also guess that it survived the Holocene optimal as I've heard from other biologists that there is significant genetic differences between the Bastrop pines and those of east Texas.

So if the Bastrop pine forest dies before we get rain, then I'd say the drought and high temperatures are unprecendented since at least the last interglacial and that this is no longer weather but climate change that is killing Texas.

The Peak Oil Poet said...

i've often wondered if the peak of population looms
and our time is bright but short just like a fleeting flower blooms
and maybe there's no going back the tipping point's been crossed
'cause we're all of us the most we'll be - peak people


Anna Haynes said...

MT (and others in U.S. heat-drought territory), what happens when you strike up a conversation with folks at the supermarket, about the weather & climate change? are they more receptive?
(and do you wear your SkepSci "97% of climate experts agree..." Tshirt when running around town?)

Steve Scolnik said...

Today (Aug. 6) ties the record for consecutive 100° days:

Andy S said...

In case anyone is wondering, Andy S, who posted earlier on this thread, and I are doppelgangers, at least in regard to our unimaginative web handles. I'm the Canadian who posts at Skeptical Science and occasionally comments here.

Not that I would mind taking credit for his interesting comments here.

Andy F said...

And just to clarify, we're not related.