Tuesday, March 26

Cold wet weather - caused by global warming?

Over the last 12 months we have seen miserable weather. Dull, cloudy, cool and wet (to an extreme in some places).

The question is, what is causing it?

There appears to be growing evidence or early indicators that the warming of the Arctic and melting of sea ice are looking like significant factors (along with some others such as the Arctic Oscillation) in generating the cold weather this winter and spring. Last year we saw some extreme weather caused by the jetstream moving further south than normal. This pushes the warm weather further south and draws the colder wetter weather down over the UK.

The same problem is causing the cold weather this spring. The jetstream is further south than normal, sucking cold weather south with it.

In 2010 the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research sent out a press release on new research that indicated a tripling in probability that reduced sea ice cover in the Arctic will cause extreme cold winters over Europe and North Asia.

Last year, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research announced similar findings, stating "Even if the current weather situation may seem to speak against it, the probability of cold winters with much snow in Central Europe rises when the Arctic is covered by less sea ice in summer"

And in the Guardian yesterday Jennifer Francis, professor at the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science was reported as saying that a growing number of researchers think that the shrinking ice and exposed warming seas of the Arctic are responsible for pushing the jetstream south. She warned in September last year that the shrinking ice could result in a cold winter.

As the evidence builds up, it could be that the initial effects of the extreme aspects of global warming are that we (the UK) have colder duller winters and springs. We will have to wait and see what summer brings this year and more importantly how often this type of weather occurs..

Thursday, March 21

The Great Depression MkII

In 2008 when the full extent of the banking crisis began to sink in, I was convinced that there would be some kind of depression for about 10 years.

We are now in the 5th year of the Great Depression MkII and things are looking just as bad as they were when it started. Despite the spin, PR, lies and delusional statements offered by economists, journalists and politicians. Despite the economy allegedly picking up twice then falling like a brick. Despite this alleged third 'upturn' and promises that eventually the economy will pick up. All the pointers are that the Great Depression MK11 will continue for a few more years yet, in fact my decade prediction is looking good.

It will be interesting to see what journalists and econmists will say when it is all over. Maybe something like:
"Well, no one could have predicted it would take Britain over 7 years to pull out of an economic decline, even the most experienced economists could not have predicted that..."

The fact is no ecomomist or politician can create the conditions to replace the massive vacuum caused by the banking crisis. The Labour party decided to borrow money to bail out the banks, this effectively made the fall of the economy a long slow one to the bottom instead of a fast one.

What makes things far worse is the current government ideology of ignoring the prosperity of future generations in favour of a fast buck today in an attempt to win approval of the electorate. Bit by bit, those that network with the current government are imposing a Big Brother style regime on the nation, whilst pretending to reduce red tape.

This week we have seen Big Brother attempts to re-write the Geography curriculum for Key Stages 1 to 3, removing any mention of climate change and hence deleting important science and knowledge from the curriculum. This is one of many intrusions and manipulations of peoples lives.

Yesterday Osborne arrogantly announced in the budget statement that it was for people that wanted to work own a home and had aspirations, as if the majority that were unemployed didn't want a job or had no aspirations! Previously Iain Duncan Smith had suggested that Geology students should 'aspire' to become supermarket shelf stackers. Clearly government ministers are in conflict with each others goals.

Osborne announced this on the day that unemployment rose and the young in particular suffering the most in this respect. He also announced subsidies for the last dregs of fossil fuel gas to be exploited via fracking, prolonging the emissions of carbon dioxide and handing future generations expensive climate change problems.

The governments 'green' record so far:
  1. Removed carbon/climate public information films (despite approving others)
  2. Reduced support for renewable energy
  3. Investment in high carbon projects massively out weighs any investment in green low carbon projects
  4. Removed/removing climate change from the school geography sylabus
  5. General opposition to onshore wind farms
  6. Increased subsidies for high carbon energy such as gas fracking and other fossil fuels

Locally, councils have:
  1. Banned wind turbines from council land
  2. Opposed solar farms
  3. Approved biodiversity wrecking housing schemes on farm land
  4. Failed to make good use of brownfield sites for building homes
  5. Failed to support electric vehicle charging points
  6. Generally paid lip service to green issues

That is just a few issues that I can think of. When added up, the government has been chipping away at it's promises to green issues. The failure to take green issues seriously not only hinders the economy, it also passes on serious problems to future generations.

Some links about the 2008 banking/financial crash:

Wednesday, March 20

Grainger - Berewood development March 2013

Some panoramic views of the current work on the Grainger - West of Waterlooville MDA development (click on theimage to view the full size version):

The 'front' has been tidied up. Drainage is going to be an issue across the whole site, as can be seen from this front of house shot.

The back end of the devlopment is currently a very muddy building site. I guess the company is desperate to build the first show homes. There are new cycle and pedestrian paths/tracks that border the site.

The act of building on the site will of course have an impact on drainage. Roads and concrete have an impact on how effectively the land absorbs the water. The assumption is that the developers know what they are doing and have carefully followed genuine climate science advice about future flooding risks.

Road side drainage ditch. How long will these stay clear?

What plans does Winchester and Havant councils have to make sure all this drainage and flood mitigation infrastructure remain clear of rubbish, weeds and debris?

Arctic Ice death spiral

Arctic death spiral graph produced by Andy Lee Robinson of Skeptical Science. The plot starts in 1979 and finishes in Feb 2013. The graph highlights the massive reduction of ice in the Arctic as the region warms. Climate scientists have always predicted that the Arctic would warm at a greater rate than the rest of the planet. The September Arctic summer (black) line is expected to reach zero in the near future.

Tuesday, March 19

Hambledon Parade 2007 to 2013

Some then and now photos:

The hedgerow gone and replaced with flats. Some new bollards installed at the Sunnymead Drive entrance to Hambledon Parade.

Just before the work started on Wellington Park, I took some photos from within the fields.
The 2013 photo here is an approximation of where I was standing in 2007. I might have been further back from the pylons in 2007, or the lens on the older camera gave a wider angle view in 2007.

If I was further back from the pylons, then where I was standing in 2007 is now inside one of the ground floor flats.

Thursday, March 14

EDF withdraw lawsuit

Yesterday EDF withdrew their lawsuit against the No Dash for Gas protestors, however many of the protestors still face criminal charges and could be given custodial sentences.