Comments: LINK

I was looking for this excellent webpage as a general rebuttal, but the current artical is a direct rebuttal. The blog gives in-depth debunking info.

Also, I'm anxious for disclosure of recent vorticity trends (general measure of atmospheric swirling). Anyone anxious about hurricane season? Seems we're having a tornado every third day here in the midwest. I don't remember hearing the sirens so much as a kid.

In related news, ultra-low emissions and ultra-high MPG is becoming economically attractive, the only way it will take off. Toyota will likely gain even more market share. I've been getting an honest-to-god 49 mpg (I'll send you my excel spreadsheet if you want to see) over the first 5000 miles in my 2006 Prius. Note, the figure in the article is likely quoted in miles per imperial gallon, so the translation for U.S. readers is 94 MPG.

Posted by Curtis at April 12, 2006 12:07 PM

Full text of last link from AutoExpress which as I was typing became stale enough to require registration.

"Toyota is charging ahead in the race for domination of the hybrid car market, according to Auto Express spies.

The firm's next Prius will be so efficient it will be the first production car capable of returning more than 110mpg. The newcomer is being developed to try to improve European sales. While the car has been a success in the US, it has met a mixed reaction on this side of the Atlantic, due to the popularity of diesel models.

But now we've been told that engineers working on the new Prius have a fuel economy target of 40km/litre - a mind-boggling 113mpg.

"The whole electrical system has been redesigned to improve economy" said one Toyota engineer. "We are working on a prototype that runs solely on the electric motor in slow traffic, but switches to engine and motor drive when higher speeds are needed." The secret lies with the batteries. The current Prius uses nickel-hydride items, which currently offer the best balance between cost and performance.

But engineers are working on new lithiumion cells, which are lighter, smaller, generate more power and last longer. Subaru and Mitsubishi both plan to sell electric cars by 2010, but Toyota hopes to get its new model on the road as early as 2008.

And improved economy isn't the firm's only goal, as engineers are working on reducing the current car's 10.9-second 0-62mph time by more than a second.
Peter Lyon "

Posted by Curtis at April 12, 2006 12:11 PM

Some long-term data:

Posted by Pericles at April 12, 2006 08:42 PM

It's definitely been getting warmer in the Pacific Northwest area. I remember in the 80s, when I was growing up, it always snowed for at least a week each winter in Seattle and Vancouver. But lately, well, it hasn't really snowed here in about ten years. Time magazine recently published an article that said all Arctic ice will be gone in 60 years. I feel bad for the polar bears. I know that Arctic ice and polar bears haven't been around forever, but I somehow feel bad all the same, having to see them go in my lifetime.

Posted by Will at April 12, 2006 09:28 PM

Actually Pericles, that link has important information about short-term data as well. It states that 2005 was the hottest year in recent history, and didn't receive a temp boost from El Nino like 1998 did.

Straight from that page:
"Record warmth in 2005 is notable, because global temperature has not received any boost from a tropical El Niño this year. The prior record year, 1998, on the contrary, was lifted 0.2°C above the trend line by the strongest El Niño of the past century."

Global warming seems pretty straightforward to me:

The only possible argument there is, is that CO2 from human activity is not enough to cause any problems (of course we wouldn't know that for certain until it was too late). An analogy I heard once, is it's like poking a sleeping bear with a stick - sure you might not poke him hard enough to wake him up, but are the risks really worth it?

Posted by Polar at April 12, 2006 11:55 PM

An analogy I heard once, is it's like poking a sleeping bear with a stick - sure you might not poke him hard enough to wake him up, but are the risks really worth it?

That is an amazingly dumb analogy. Congratulations.

Posted by Pixy Misa at April 13, 2006 09:16 AM

Another valuable and civil contribution from Pixy...

Posted by Pericles at April 13, 2006 10:35 AM

I agree with Pixy. Analogies involving bears are, by their nature, amazingly dumb. No reason for that, by the way. It could be because bears are funny looking, or something. I don't know. But congratulations are in order. To all of us.

Posted by Will at April 13, 2006 11:42 AM

That made me laugh, Pixy. You were the one who alerted me to the fact that the most important greenhouse gas is water vapor.

Thanks for linking that article Sarah, I thought it was very enlightening.

Posted by annika at April 14, 2006 05:15 PM

Saying water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas is like saying nitrogen is the most important element in the air we breath. Nitrogen is something like 78% of the air, Oxygen is only 20%, CO2 is less than a percent. You also breath in helium, carbon monoxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide.

Now, you're saying that the more of something there is, the "more important" it is. Obviously, oxygen is the most important element of air, not because of its percentage but because of a more complex reason - it's the element that attaches to red blood cells and travels to the rest of the cells in our bodies, keeping us alive. Nitrogen does nothing either way.

So basically, you just don't understand life.

Posted by Will at April 14, 2006 09:10 PM

Ok, I'll admit - the bears analogy was superficially silly. I half-expected a comment along the lines of Pixy's as I was writing it (while still hoping any replies would address the content of the post). A "perfect analogy" is a contradiction in terms, but what I was trying to parallel was the idea of the climate as a big and complex thing that we can't control, but only provoke. We can see CO2 levels rising, and we know CO2 will increase temperatures, so why are people so adamant about ignoring it?

And yes, annika, you are correct, water vapor is the "most important" greenhouse gas. (If by important you mean the most prevalent greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.) Without water vapor (and other greenhouse gases) life as we know it probably would not exist on Earh - it would be inhospitably cold (-4°F). Climatolgists are well aware of water vapor, but the reason it's not talked about much is because we can't directly control how much water vapor is in the atmosphere. CO2 (the second most prevalent greenhouse gas) on the other hand, we can.

Posted by Polar at April 15, 2006 04:00 PM