It's a Cop Out

Conference of the Parties Since 1995 the self-proclaimed great-and-good of the climate movement have met to discuss measures to combat climate change. The meetings have taken place every year, except for the COVID hit year of 2020. Each meeting is referred to a Conference of the Parties. The Conference of the Parties, usually shortened to COP, is the supreme decision-making body of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It works in parallel with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which produces regular Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) reports. The latest is CMIP6. In brief, the IPCC produce projections of climate change (with emphasis on temperature) and the UNFCCC proposes measures to moderate those changes. The following chart shows the number of participants at each of the annual meetings of the COP. COP 26 The two largest meetings were those at Paris in 2012 (COP 21) and in Glasgow in 2021 (COP 26). Participants are classed in

Scotch mist and COP26

The most common definition of Scotch Mist is “ A cold and penetrating mist, verging on rain .” There is however another definition: “Something that is hard to find or does not exist” . The latter is the one I am using as a basis of this post, and I’ve chosen it because I am going to look for evidence of warming in Scotland. Glasgow is in Scotland and is, of course, the venue for the COP 26 climate meeting so all the eyes of the world are on that country. The first question to examine is “Is Scotland different to England?” The British Meteorological Office publishes long-term climate data for almost 40 climate stations covering all constituent countries of the United Kingdom. So, for a start let’s compare the long temperature records of Oxford and Stornaway Airport. Oxford is in England and almost as far form the sea as it is possible to be in that country. Its record started in 1853. Stornaway is on the Island of Lewis, to the west of Scotland, and its data go back to 1873. The chart

What goes up must come down (maybe)

Generally speaking, as far as the earth’s water is concerned what goes up (evaporation) must come down (rainfall). One of the major tenets of the climate change community is that with global warming this might no longer be true: that with increasing temperatures more water will be held in the atmosphere. To quantify this requires accurate measure of the variables involved. I have in an earlier post looked at the decline in temperature measurement (a major determinant in what goes up). This post looks at rainfall where the situation is worse. First let me note that measuring rainfall has one important difference from measuring temperature. Rainfall is much more variable than temperature both temporarily and spatially. A significant depth of rain can fall in a few minutes. Most places on earth can sometimes go for days with no rain. Similarly, it can rain heavily on one side of town and a few kilometres away there be no rain at all. Getting an accurate estimate of rainfall over a given

Flight of Fancy

Every year there is a meeting of national delegates of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The schedule was broken by COVID restrictions and no meeting was held in 2020. A couple of years ago I posted some comments on the meeting held in Poland in 2018 ( The last meeting to be held took place 2–13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain During the previous meeting of the COP, 60 of the participating countries had no temperature stations in the GCHM (Global Historical Climatology Network) data base and only 15 of the 193 parties had more climate stations than members. In COP25 the equivalent numbers were 72 countries with no temperature stations and only 11 countries had more temperature station than delegates. So, in terms of data availability for assessing what was happening to the climate, the situation was clearly getting worse. Disturbing though these figures are, this is not what I want to
Global Snow and Ice A recent post called "Water Behaving Badly" by Willis Eschenbach looked at the change in sea ice at the poles. He concluded that the change were marginal when both Arctic and Antarctic ice were considered. In this post I have taken this a stage further looking at global sow and ice cover.  The main data sets I have used are the NSIDC sea-ice data set and the global snow cover from Rutgers University. The first of these deals with snow lying on ice and the second deal with snow lying on land. In both case I have used the monthly data. The following chart shows the global snow and ice cover from the end of 1978 to the near present.  Add caption The chart has monthly values and a 12-month moving-average. The main message from the chart is that snow cover area is, indeed, tending to reduce. However, it is difficult to argue that the rate is is any way approaching catastrophic. The trend line plotted through the 12-month average values represen

COP24 - who is really working for the climate?

Who are the real climate believers? The latest Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has convened in Poland (December 2018). This was a truly massive international event. One hundred and ninety-eight parties (equivalent to countries or similar entities) were represented by 7749 delegates. The total number of registered participants is over 22,000. I fully recognise that the COP meetings are not specifically technical. That said, they are discussing the implications of something that is measurable – climate change. One would expect, or at least hope, that those countries most concerned about the impact of climate change would also be the most assiduous in determining the degree and extent of climate change by rigorously monitoring the climate. As an index of a country’ political concern about climate change, I have used the number of registered participants at COP24. Similarly, as an index of a country’ pa