David Archer’s exercises with specfic models, as links on his Uchicago web site, and allowed inputs by the interested user, are most welcome additions to this otherwise already distinguished blog. thank you
Glad to have you on board, David. I found your post about the longevity of CO2 in the atmosphere very sobering.
Off topic, but I have a correction & further comment in regard to implication that an increase in Delhi high temp from 108 to 108.37 is next to nothing & that we (in the air-conditioned U.S.) can live with it. I stated that we need to understand that while temperatures may increase incrementally, the damage due to GW may not follow a linear or incremental function. For instance, the last few inches added from a flood that breaches a levy and floods a huge metropolitan area are much worse than the first few inches from that flood. And ice shelf break offs are very sudden compared to the slowly rising temps. Likewise, the last .37 F increase in temp may cause a lot more heat deaths than the first .37 increase (say from 92 to 92.37 F). Perhaps “catastrophe theory” from math might be helpful here (I have no idea).
The other point is that unlike heat waves in the past, when there was significant cooling during the night so that people could recuperate from heat stress during the day, the current heat waves under GW do not have as much cooling at night, due to the “blanket” of GHGs, and this in part is what is thought to have led to such high death rates in Europe in the summer of 2003.
[Response:I never meant to belittle the discomfort of people in Delhi or anywhere else, and I apologize if I gave that impression. I can’t stand AC, myself. David]
Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 21 Jun 2005 @ 12:09 AM
A little question about methane clathrates.
I read your interesting notes on this subject (written with Buffett).
In this note (response of oceanic reservoir… to anthropogenic…) you looked at the global scale.
I think to understand that we must not be afraid by abrupt release of CH4 but relatively slow.
So the greenhouse effect of methane stays weaker than the CO2 effect (resulting of methane oxydation)
But what do you think about the Arctic oceanic CH4 clathrates ?
The increasing of temperature in these seas are much more important than in the rest of the planet.
The clathrates layers are also more sensitive and nearer the surface.
In these conditions what is your opinion concerning a massive release of CH4 in this region ,and subsequently, a direct greenhouse effect of CH4 (not completely oxidized) and a catastrophic positive feedback?
[Response:I think you are correct, the Arctic is a special case, for exactly the reasons you name. We didn’t do the Arctic properly in our paper, that’s still work in progress. David]
The lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal seems to me to argue comprehensively, forcefully and — note this, please — technically against pretty much all of present-day climate science as it’s described at RealClimate.org, assuming I understand correctly. It also seems to me that this matters, because the Wall Street Journal molds opinion among lots of important decision-makers.
The lead editorial in the 23 December issue of Nature introduced RealClimate.org as a group of “climate scientists … trying to change the media coverage of their discipline.” But it now seems clear that in fact RealClimate often prefers to dwell — albeit in a publicly viewable way — on higher-level technical discussions usually disconnected, or at least somewhat distanced, from the particulars of actual public discussion of climate.
“The discussion here,” says the RealClimate mission statement, “is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.” Fair enough. But the mission statement also says: “We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary.” Professor Archer, I hope you’ll turn out to be the agent for moving RealClimate’s emphasis in that direction.
The Wall Street Journal is discussing these matters at a level accessible to most educated readers. I hope RealClimate answers in kind.
Comment by Steven T. Corneliussen — 21 Jun 2005 @ 10:40 AM
I agree with much of your post. However, this statement left me in disagreement:
“Off topic, but I have a correction & further comment in regard to implication that an increase in Delhi high temp from 108 to 108.37 is next to nothing & that we (in the air-conditioned U.S.) can live with it.”
The blackout in the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada in August 2003 appears as a repeat scenario if this should happen in the same region. There seems to be a complacency in North America to such events, and the public seems to have a memory problem.
With more and more people living in this region yearly and temperatures increasing (including extreme temperatures), there is a greater burden on energy utilities to provide more and more to their customers.
Such an increase in temperature (and in extreme events) would lead to even greater overloading in the system, which could cause even more extensive blackouts, putting even more people at the mercy of 110 F days without the ability to switch on the air conditioning and at the mercy -35 F days without the ability to switch on their heaters.
This would result, likely, in the death of thousands of people with low tolerances to heat and cold (i.e. children and the elderly), and possibly panic on the streets of the regions affected.
I second the request for a http://www.RealClimate.org response to the despicable dishonesty of the “Kyoto by degrees” WSJ editorial. At least we know that the WSJ practices recycling, because all of the “technical” representations in this editorial are recycled — and in many cases, they have been well-refuted in the scientific sense. It seems that Michael Crichton, George Will, and whoever wrote this editorial drink from the same well of knowledge
I am quite interested in models of the Earth’s carbon cycle because future feedbacks will determine what happens when with regard to CO2 levels in the atmosphere and concomitant climate sensitivity.
I look forward to postings on the oceanic carbon cycle in the future. I have specific questions about ocean warming and carbon uptake, saturation of the ocean surface layers and related topics and I hope you’ll post on some these issues.