Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Naughty, naughty


For the Met Office the forecast is considerable embarrassment. It has spent £33m on a new supercomputer to calculate how climate change will affect Britain – only to find the new machine has a giant carbon footprint of its own.

"The new supercomputer, which will become operational later this year, will emit 14,400 tonnes of CO2 a year," said Dave Britton, the Met Office’s chief press officer. This is equivalent to the CO2 emitted by 2,400 homes – generating an average of six tonnes each a year.
From the very same:

The Met Office recently published some of its most drastic predictions for future climate change. It warned: "If no action is taken to curb global warming temperatures are likely to rise by 5.5ºC and could rise as much as 7ºC above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Early and rapid reductions in CO2 emissions are required to avoid significant impacts of climate change."
Just not that rapid it seems. Also:

Alan Dickinson, Met Office Director of Science and Technology, said: "We recognise that running such massive computers consumes huge amounts of power and that our actions in weather and climate prediction, like all our actions, have an impact on the environment. We will be taking actions to minimise this impact."
Sleep mode? Hibernate?

Naturally, just as the warming causes the cooling and the cooling causes the warming, this dump of massive CO2 into the atmosphere will actually mean less global warming/cooling not more:

Dickinson believes, however, that the new computer will actually help Britain cut carbon emissions on a far greater scale than those it emits. He said: "Our next supercomputer will bring an acceleration in action on climate change through climate mitigation and adaptation measures as a consequence of a clearer understanding of risk. Ultimately this will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."
Mr. Dickinson may very well be correct. The point being that if any non-government body (eg. private sector) took actions which introduced this amount of CO2 into the atmosphere they would immediately be dragged to The Hague or worse, endlessly harangued by the type of folks populating the Met's "climate change" office and the echo chambre at the Guardian.

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