» Home > In the News

Transits of Venus and flooding on Earth

6 March 2013

This story goes back to last year's transit of Venus. Phil Plait focussed on some dodgy Chinese science – rather, one maverick Chinese scientist, and he made a meal out of it. The story is at www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/venus_flood.html … and picks up on something said by Geng Guoqing (Chinese Geophysics Society) preceding the transit of Venus, and that is that he had noticed a correlation between such events and flooding incidents along the Yellow River. Phil Plait is at his most sanctimonious and without actually reading what the Chinese scientist said catapults himself into a discourse which revolves around the fact the Yellow River floods on many occasions, and not just at transits of Venus. The Chinese scientist obviously knew how often floods occur but that didn't stop Phil Plait from lamblasting him. Good example of jumping in at the deep end.

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/02/aerosols-from-moderate-volcanos-no… … is a post on a new study by a team of climate scientists desperate to account for the standstill in global warming in spite of rising levels of co2 in the atmosphere. It is as if they are joined at the hip with the theory of co2 causing a greenhouse effect and warming up the surface of the Earth when it is increasingly looking likely that Earth's climate system has ways to disperse excess heat from the atmosphere and the oceans. It disperse it into space. The idea is that sulphur dioxide spewed out by volcanoes, and there has been no major volcanic activity since Pinatubo in the early 1990s, has a cooling effect. However, as commenter Polistro, at 5.57am notes, in CAGW theory the input is co2 and the output is in global temperature. The model says the output should follow the imput. However, in the field, as opposed to the computer screen, the facts are not corresponding with the model. Output is variable. The sutdy introduces a CONSTANT epicylce which doesn't really help them when looked at more closely. Low activity volcanoes are a constant input so they won't constrict any increasing co2 production. Another commenter notes that China is burning a lot of coal in power stations and these too create aerosols. Is that having an effect on global warming? If so, why does Hansen and others  call coal trains (from source to power station in the US) trains of death when they might actually be saving the world, by cooling it. Of course, the whole issue of aerosols is a red herring as it is generally recognised the atmosphere is quite clean in comparison with what it has been when volcanoes were more common – the big ones, that is. At times in the past the atmosphere has been decidedly opaque, restricting the input of the Sun. Here is the key to the dilemma. The Sun has been quiet in comparison to what it was in the second half of the 20th century. Climate science downplays the Sun and overeggs the role of co2. Does that make sense? (see also http://phys.org/print281357644.html)

Meanwhile, researchers find 'structure' within a black hole 'concretion disc' – see http://phys.org/print281340211.html … where there is also a video recording. Ari Loeb, a theoretical astrophysicist, is hoping a new generation of telescopes will prove true his theories on how stars and galaxies are formed. 

Skip to content