Climate Change (Steve Phipps)

Further to my previous post, there was an interesting article in The Economist on March 20 2010 (http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15719298) concerning the science of climate change.  Thoroughly worth reading if you want a more balanced view of the arguments for and against.  What is most interesting in the article is just how ignorant we are about the Earth’s climate and the effects of different chemical compounds have on it.  For instance, water vapour can amplify the effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in respect to Global Warming, yet we are not certain about what role clouds have to play.  Also, data on climate change really needs to be fully open to inspection and debate.  Much has been made about the fact that climate stations are collecting trend data from sites that are sited near urban areas (and thus subject to an additional warming effect) that then skews the data.  Also, the historical analysis only goes back reliably as far as the 1950s, then we are wandering into the realms of indirect climate data, which is obviously open to interpretation.

What is almost universally agreed upon is that the climate change models we currently have are not accurate enough to determine where our planet is heading – therefore more computing power is needed and we should ensure that we provide it in a sustainable way (unlike the Met Office! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/6098802/Met-Office-climate-change-supercomputer-polluting-the-planet.html).

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About Steve Bowes-Phipps

Over 20 years of operational systems management experience, specifically managing data centres since 1996. After a stint managing data centres and IT operations in the UK and Ireland, joined ambitious web hosting company GlobalCenter who were expanding from the US into Europe. Sitting on the senior management team, oversaw the building of five data centres in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris until Exodus Internet bought the company in 2001. There, moved into a more strategic role, dealing with blue chip customer issues and relationship management, process improvement and building a culture of continuous improvement. Spent four years in Visa Europe managing strategically important projects and processes. In 2007, joined his Alma Mater, Hertfordshire University, to become their head of Data Centres and has been working with the UK’s Higher and Further Education IT funding arm, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) ever since, to assist in embedding Green ICT in UK HE and FE institutions, and more recently across the EU as well. In 2010, the University of Hertfordshire became the first European university to comply with the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres, and was recognised in the European Datacentre Leaders Awards 2010 Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT Awards (GEIT) 2011 and the EAUC Green Gown Awards 2011. In addition, Steve has lead the University to win three internationally-acclaimed awards.