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  1. Can we talk mitigation this month, or is it still off limits.
    I can identify two questions/topics which might shed some light.

    (1) Can renewables like wind/sun continue their exponential growth long enough to make the needed difference? Or do we accept projections from the likes of EIA which show the rate of new renewables plateauing almost immediately and never becoming big enough?

    (2) Can we prevent at meaningful scale, cheap energy from renewables being used to extract more fossil carbon?

    Comment by Thomas — 1 Jun 2014 @ 9:28 PM

  2. I’d like to know if anyone else is concerned about the seemingly hyperbole curve of “It’s worse than we expected” science year after year, not to mention the actual observations.

    Heck, I’ve been saying things are significantly worse than scientists were able to show since IPCC IV, but even I’m getting skittish. 200 years for Antarctic ice shelves to collapse *at current rates,* and as little as 100 at increasing rates – which just happens to fit with earlier Hansen, et al., estimates of possible 5 year doubling of melt rates.

    I wonder if we might not find a way to begin to measure rate of change?

    Comment by Killian — 1 Jun 2014 @ 10:21 PM

  3. Thomas (#1),

    On your question #1, you can find a state by state roadmap for for ending fossil fuel use by 2050 here: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/february/fifty-states-renewables-022414.html

    On your question #2, an international agreement to cut emissions adequately would cut quite a lot of fossil fuel demand and so it would not make much difference if renewable energy is used in extraction or not. Absent a global agreement, we might use the GATT for a while to place tariffs on countries that are increasing emissions, but once their economies are more dependent on internal consumer demand than on exports, tariffs won’t have much effect on emissions. Tariffs, like mitigation, have a pretty brief window in which to get to work.

    The California grid is getting to have quite a lot of renewable energy in the mix. Grid power is being used to drill oil wells in Huntington Beach. http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/announcements/announcement.cfm?id=649 Using renewable energy to extract fossil fuels is not something that can really be avoided. But, extracting fossil fuels can be avoided if we all agree to that.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jun 2014 @ 12:01 AM

  4. 1 Thomas: The EIA is correct. Countries and states that have more renewables have higher electricity prices. Wind averages 20% of nameplate power. Solar averages 15% of nameplate power. Making a battery to fill in the dead spots is not feasible, no matter what you do for energy storage. All of the required references have been presented many times.

    There are lots of wind turbine salesmen and solar cell salesmen that I would rather not hear from again. Lots of previous investors in renewables have lost their shirts over my lifetime. The recent ones will loose their shirts likewise, as soon as the subsidy or legal requirement vanishes. The salesmen will not read or can not follow the math, or they believe that everything is a sales pitch.

    The bad news is that there is only one answer that works right now, nuclear, but Americans always try every other answer first. It seems that every generation has to go through the same process until there are no more humans. My guess is that the moderators are rather tired of hearing about it. It does get rather repetitive because the salesmen can’t deal with reality.

    So good luck, but I would say that it might be better to forget about it. BraveNewClimate.com has the story if you want to find out about it. Instead of talking mitigation, become a math teacher.

    PS: I’m not selling anything. But I can do enough math to tell a right answer from a wrong answer.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Jun 2014 @ 12:03 AM

  5. @Thomas

    If renewables get so cheap, won’t they drive the price of fossil carbon below a level that allows profitable extraction? Seems like a self-solving problem.

    Comment by Adam R. — 2 Jun 2014 @ 12:04 AM

  6. apocalypsi

    The plural of apocalypse is like
    the plural of hippopotamus.
    But as any ostrich knows
    (who to Fantasia may go)
    They’re singular when you get squished.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jun 2014 @ 12:18 AM

  7. Australia has experienced its hottest two years on record and high temperatures are set to continue through winter in a clear sign climate change is having an impact, a new report warns.

    May 2012 to April 2014 was the hottest 24-month period ever recorded in Australia, but that is likely to be eclipsed by the two years between June 2012 and May 2014, according to the Climate Commission’s latest report, Abnormal Autumn.

    “We have just had an abnormally warm autumn, off the back of another very hot ‘angry summer’,” Climate Council Professor Will Steffen said.

    “The past two-year period has delivered the hottest average temperature we have ever recorded in Australia.

    “Climate change is here, it’s happening, and Australians are already feeling its impact.”

    The average temperature across Australia in April was 1.11 C above the long-term average, the report says, citing Bureau of Meteorology figures.

    The average minimum temperature was 1.31 C above normal. https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/24069088/no-relief-in-sight-as-warm-wave-rolls-on/

    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/

    Comment by wallly — 2 Jun 2014 @ 1:38 AM

  8. RE may uv #383 Response http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/05/unforced-variations-may-2014/comment-page-8/#comment-545294

    Thank you Gavin. I trust you, and now that I have a reliable confirmation I will advise TheCon so they correct their material.
    My apologies to all for passing on false information, it was unintentional.
    The #1 reason I submit such info here (besides just sharing), is be corrected by ‘experts’ if/when it is wrong.
    Now I know for certain, I will let others know too. Maybe the incorrect info could be deleted here, so no one else is misinformed by what I had said?

    Comment by wallly — 2 Jun 2014 @ 1:51 AM

  9. 1 Thomas: See: New article at http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/06/02/critique-100pc-renewables-edm/?blogsub=subscribed#subscribe-blog
    “Critique of the proposal for 100% renewable energy electricity supply in Australia”

    “In May 2010 there was virtually no wind anywhere in Australia for three days.”

    “They say that in winter the 426 MW installed PV capacity in Victoria contributes a mere 4 MW (…and this too seems to be an estimate, not a measured observation.).”
    4/426=.0094 = <1%

    "I took six widely distributed good sites from central Australia to Mildura and found that in the 92 day period at the end of 2010 there were 12 (non-overlapping) periods each lasting 4 days or more, including 48 days in all, in which DNI averaged across the sites did not reach 500 W/m2 at any time during the day."

    "…..indicates that almost no power would have been generated on these days. "

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Jun 2014 @ 2:23 AM

  10. “1.5 km model…shows a future intensification of short-duration rain in summer [in southern UK], with significantly more events exceeding the high thresholds indicative of serious flash flooding.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27624478

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2258.html

    “future” here means “~2100, under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change RCP 8.5 scenario”

    Comment by Steve Milesworthy — 2 Jun 2014 @ 4:20 AM

  11. Wally #386 – Unforced Variations May 2014,

    “you go ask him directly what HIS TARGET IS”

    We need to ask the Clintonesque question: what is the meaning of HIS? If one reads Anderson’s papers and listens to his speeches, he discusses the origins of the 2 C target, what various scientists think might be a more appropriate target, and finally concludes that it forms the boundary between Dangerous and Extremely Dangerous. He then goes on to examine what actions are necessary to provide a roughly 50-50 chance of not exceeding 2 C. So, the 2 C target is HIS in the sense that he uses it for his computations and policy recommendations.

    Now, if you want to argue that he is using the 2 C only as a convenient point for doing computations, in much the same way that he could have selected 3 C or 4C and shown the actions required to stay within these temperatures, why, go right ahead. I view it as disingenuous. He has NOT been doing parameter sweeps over temperatures for years to illustrate consequences of actions, but rather has focused his papers and speeches to show what is required to stay within the 2 C peak.

    My comments on Anderson and McKibben stand as written!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 2 Jun 2014 @ 5:13 AM

  12. Thomas #1,

    “Can renewables like wind/sun continue their exponential growth long enough to make the needed difference?”

    First, you need to define the “needed difference”. If 2 C is your target with 50-50 chance of not exceeding, then, as Anderson’s computations show, we would need ~10% reduction in emissions per year for years to meet this target. Anderson concludes that the supply side increase cannot meet such a target, and strong demand reductions are required. Anderson also concludes that such strong demand reductions will require a ‘planned recession’, which many others would call a deep Depression.

    If a very high chance of staying under 2 C is your target, then, as Raupach showed, there is no carbon budget left. Extremely severe cuts in demand, with the accompanying global economic collapse, would be required.

    If the 1 C proposed by Hansen is your target, there is not only no carbon budget left, we are in carbon debt. ANY expenditures of carbon, even for the most admirable of purposes, only go toward increasing the carbon debt.

    Bottom line, for real amelioration to keep out of major harm’s way, any supply side contribution will be minor.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 2 Jun 2014 @ 5:26 AM

  13. Edward Greisch #4,

    “There are lots of wind turbine salesmen and solar cell salesmen that I would rather not hear from again…..It does get rather repetitive because the salesmen can’t deal with reality.”

    Amen, from this corner!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 2 Jun 2014 @ 6:36 AM

  14. Great. Despite an upfront plea from the moderators that we have “constructive and respectful conversations about climate science,” by #4 we already have rehashing of the same tired crap, including the baseless ad hom that those who feel that renewable energy is important to mitigation efforts are ‘salesmen’ who are presumably motivated by personal greed–and that is then explicilty endorsed at #13.

    I think comments such as those should go straight to the Borehole from here on out.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Jun 2014 @ 9:36 AM

  15. #12–

    The idea that ‘any supply side contribution’ will be ‘minor’ seems pretty bizarre to me. Given that we need to be nearly emissions-free in just a few decades, and that we will need to feed 9-10 billion mouths in that time frame, we clearly need to substitute for a whole lot of fossil fuel capacity, no matter what we do on the demand side. (Though to be sure, demand is extremely important also.) The alternative, seems to me, is a huge population crash–difficult, traumatic, dangerous and surely violent and unjust to boot. Avoiding that requires the full palette of mitigation measures.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Jun 2014 @ 9:43 AM

  16. If we are answering questions from May:

    384,

    It is not so much lack of oxygen as too much carbon dioxide. For humans here are some limits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercapnia#Tolerance
    Trouble begins at about 50 times the preindustrial concentration of of carbon dioxide. Probably sooner for the very young and the elderly. As we saw earlier in this [May] thread (based on the work of Russell et al.), mammals have a particular problem at that point which is that the entire Earth is too warm for then to survive. BAU gets us to the correct concentration to make that happen in about 2125. But, we’d need to wait for the carbon feedbacks to get to the final concentration.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jun 2014 @ 9:43 AM

  17. #1–Thomas, one sort of guidance in addressing your question is the historical record. If the EIA is correct about renewables plateauing, it will be the first time that they have *ever* been right about renewables.

    Draw your own conclusions…

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Jun 2014 @ 9:46 AM

  18. Edward Greisch wrote: “There are lots of wind turbine salesmen and solar cell salesmen that I would rather not hear from again.”

    Let’s be honest here, which means naming some names.

    The reason that discussion of “mitigation” here is problematical is that a couple of commmenters — Mr. Greisch and DIOGENES — will not discuss non-fossil-fuel energy sources without engaging in insulting personal attacks against anyone who advocates, or even provides accurate and positive information about, solar and wind energy, or who questions the assertion that nuclear power is “THE ONLY” option.

    In this case, Mr. Greisch is basically accusing anyone who writes positively about wind and solar energy of being a paid liar, of providing false information to make a “sale”. This is a false accusation, not to mention utter nonsense, and he knows it, as does DIOGENES who has filled dozens of comments with such baseless accusations.

    It’s childish, and nothing but naked trolling. Perhaps the moderators will respond by giving Mr. Greisch an entire comment thread all his own where he can carry on in that fashion indefinitely, as they did with DIOGENES.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Jun 2014 @ 10:40 AM

  19. Here is the proposed rule from the EPA: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-05/documents/20140602proposal-cleanpowerplan.pdf

    That it anticipates more than 30% of electricity generation coming from coal and more than 30% from gas in 2030 seems to indicate a lack on ambition.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jun 2014 @ 10:53 AM

  20. Thomas #1,

    The EIA (Annual Energy Outlook 2014) predicts renewables will continue growing, reaching 16% of US ‘leccy generation by 2040.

    “…the first decade of the projection, growth in electricity generation from renewables tends to be largely policy-driven. However, as reference case natural gas prices rise and the capital costs of renewable technologies — particularly wind and solar — decrease over time, renewable generation becomes more competitive, accounting for 16% of total electricity generation in 2040.”

    Comment by Jason — 2 Jun 2014 @ 11:08 AM

  21. http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2014/06/new-video-reports-on-unstoppable-antarctic-glacial-melting/

    Video keeps resetting itself to the beginning, so you have to push it forward. If you manage to see the whole thing: We have just floated a huge part of Antarctica’s ice. A new sea level rise forecast is in order. The map for sea level rises is at http://flood.firetree.net/
    Sell your beach front property now.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Jun 2014 @ 11:51 AM

  22. I think I have found one of the problems with sea ice models, it is more related to GCM’s though. After a couple of very interesting highly refracted sunsets, GRIB did not have any important inversions calculated. A couple of years later, I have perhaps found the reason GRIB failed. Its at once simple and contradictory : sea ice top cools faster than surface air. However thermal dynamics did not explain this directly, specific heat capacity of sea ice is more than twice that of air. Unlike ground or soil, air should cool faster than sea ice. While very clear multiple (hundreds) refraction observations proved otherwise. For more on this please look at:

    http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/2014/05/finding-sea-ice-underside-melting-at.html

    If top of sea ice would cool according to theory, the horizon would appear to drop.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 2 Jun 2014 @ 1:48 PM

  23. Gavin says:

    … and when, hopefully, commenters can get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is).

    … and in the first 13 comments we have a comment on the pending apocalypse, the etymology of apocalypse, several comments on nuclear power and some rather back-handed preemptive comments about those who might support wind and solar.

    So, Gavin, I’m afraid the answer is already in – no, the commenters here can’t restrain themselves.

    As for arctic sea ice, Neven’s blog – linked to on the sidebar is excellent as always. For a similarly high signal-to-noise ratio discussion of sea ice goings on, http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php is a wonderful resource. Well worth a visit; the deniers and nuke advocates don’t seem to have found it yet.

    Comment by David Miller — 2 Jun 2014 @ 3:02 PM

  24. Thomas:

    Can we prevent at meaningful scale, cheap energy from renewables being used to extract more fossil carbon?

    By a carbon tax, of course.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 2 Jun 2014 @ 3:42 PM

  25. @Edward Greisch 4 – The comment comes across as another shallow pro-nuke, anti-wind&sun vent. Higher prices for electricity aren’t due to the subsidized introduction of wind&sun. They were on their way up before either of those technologies made inroads.
    Everyone already knew capacity and production numbers were different, that isn’t news or newsworthy.
    Harking it to a batteries-not-included complaint is tabling the false premise that there has to be a battery reservoir solution. Other static solutions, like dam reservoirs filled during off-hours, isn’t just for wind and solar but has been part of grid redundancy requirements since the 30′s.
    Your against-the-current vote for nuclear power is a waste of time – nuclear has a cost-management and damage problem from womb to tomb (ex. the total impact of the Fukushima damage is now estimated at over $250billion dollars, exclusive of the costs to de-nuke the Japanese economy). The Vogtle project in Georgia required loan guarantees from the federal government because of construction cost over-runs. Turn off all the electricity and cut the wire in your home in Ontario, Canada … and you still get a monthly bill for almost $100 because of the massive refurb costs of the Ontario nuclear power plants.
    Wind and solar will continue to outpace the growth rates of other energy sources. They will never be a panacea, but neither will any other energy source.
    Attempts to slander solar and wind in favor of the tainted nuclear power industry, down to weak comments about wind and solar ‘salesmen’ you don’t want to see again … isn’t just sad. It is yelling ‘pants on fire’ at a world now driving wind, solar, and hydro expansion because of their reduced pollution footprint.

    Comment by owl905 — 2 Jun 2014 @ 5:44 PM

  26. Edward Greisch #9 and others
    Your disparagement of renewables didn’t ring true to me and your link led me eventually to http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/17/the-breakthrough-institute-why-the-hot-air/ which articulates my half-formed criticisms far better than I could have done.
    That said, we clearly do need to tackle the supply side as well, and allowing prices to rise (even encouraging it, as Germany did) is likely to continue to be a key driver of demand reduction. “Planned recession”? Maybe. But Stern warned us years ago that the economic effect of unchecked climate change will amount to a prolonged major recession anyway.

    Comment by MalcolmT — 2 Jun 2014 @ 6:03 PM

  27. The continued recession of the Arctic ice has not stopped Viscount Monckton from having a hot time in the Persian Gulf

    Comment by Russell — 2 Jun 2014 @ 7:04 PM

  28. Adam at 5. Renewable energy cheaper than the same amount of energy from fossils, doesn’t mean demand for fossils goes to zero. They don’t directly compare, you might want fossils because of surge capacity, or because you can use them on a rainy day. Or because you have infrastructure designed to run off them.
    As storage becomes better and cheaper, then renewable energy can expand the range of applications it is suitable for. But it will be difficult to replace fuel for long distance air flights for example. So there will be niches where the uses of fossil fuels are willing to pay a premium per BTU, in order to get these other characteristics.

    Comment by Thomas — 2 Jun 2014 @ 8:06 PM

  29. Well Austin energy signed an agreement to purchase solar PV at $.05 per KWhour. The contractor feels they can make money building and operating the PV farm. This a cheaper than even natural gas power. And many wind energy contracts are coming is even cheaper. Now it is a fact that places with already high power costs are installing more renewables than places with currently cheap power. It’s not so straightforward to disentangle cause and effect here.

    There is of course a big difference in the cost per unit capacity between small residential units, and large scale utility based projects. Wind turbines are notoriously difficult to scale down, and virtually all consumer level wind turbines are a waste of money. Residential PV roofs might be cost competitive, because they are competing against retail electricty tariffs, not wholesale power costs.

    Comment by Thomas — 2 Jun 2014 @ 8:42 PM

  30. New Video Reports on ‘Unstoppable’ Antarctic Glacial Melting | The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media
    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2014/06/new-video-reports-on-unstoppable-antarctic-glacial-melting/

    Ocean water has penetrated under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Is “penetrated under” more accurate than saying “the WAIS is afloat”?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Jun 2014 @ 10:08 PM

  31. #7 who would have thought that it was not the angry summer which convinced many, it was the warmer autumn, everyone was still swimming at the beach last week, but the penny seems to have dropped somewhat. figure that out

    Comment by john byatt — 3 Jun 2014 @ 5:19 AM

  32. “Bottom line, for real amelioration to keep out of major harm’s way, any supply side contribution will be minor.”
    Nevertheless, the supply-side is a crucial part of the equation. Meaningful demand reduction is a no-go. I have friends who actually state flat-out that they intend to do nothing about climate change in terms of life style changes. They don’t believe it will help. They don’t believe they can reduce their climate impact as much as required. It’s a no-go.

    On the supply side, I have never seen a credible analysis showing that nuclear energy is unable in principle to eliminate co2 emissions globally within 40 years globally, in combination with auxiliary electricity and heat-based known technologies which would eliminate co2 emissions from steel and cement production if abundant cheap (nuclear) energy was available, and for producing synthetic liquid fuels using nuclear power. Therefore, I consider any and all communications which disparage or hinder nuclear development equal to directly causing climate catastrophe.

    Comment by Joris van Dorp — 3 Jun 2014 @ 6:15 AM

  33. Thomas #1,

    “Can we prevent at meaningful scale, cheap energy from renewables being used to extract more fossil carbon?”

    There are copious peripheral issues being raised on the climate blogs; the issue of cheap renewable energy being used to extract more fossil carbon is one of them.

    There are only three central issues that need to be addressed here for REAL climate change amelioration:

    1) What are the temperature targets that will prevent catastrophe?
    Answer: 1 C, OR LESS!

    2) What are the actions required to achieve these targets?
    Answer: Stringent demand reduction, on the order of TENS OF PERCENT PER YEAR; massive reforestation and other soil/vegetation management procedures for carbon sequestration; perhaps short-term geo-engineering, to keep temperatures within limits after aerosols have been removed.

    3) How do we get a critical mass of people to implement these actions?
    Answer: That is the challenge! We know the TYPES OF PEOPLE we need; they were identified by Kipling and Tennyson more than a century ago:

    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
    But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” WHEN THE DRUMS BEGIN TO ROLL,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” WHEN THE DRUMS BEGIN TO ROLL.
    ……………………………………….
    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    …………………………………..
    THEIRS NOT TO MAKE REPLY,
    THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY,
    THEIRS BUT TO DO AND DIE:

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Jun 2014 @ 6:46 AM

  34. Regarding renewables, I’m hearing DIOGENES loud and clear — there’s no way to staunch the flow of carbon into the atmosphere without a significant and long-term economic recession. This recession will either be voluntary, government-imposed, or climate-imposed. My guess is the final option — as CO2 rises, climate havoc will increasingly disrupt economic growth, forming a negative feedback that provides an ultimate, upper-bound on warming.

    Comment by Joel — 3 Jun 2014 @ 8:26 AM

  35. http://www.humanitystest.com/endless-layers-of-delusion/

    Many here may find common ground and perhaps insights from various parts of this longish essay:

    Endless Layers of Delusion
    By Roger Boyd

    One of the delusions discussed: “2 Degrees is Safe, and 450 ppm of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Will Get Us There”

    Comment by wili — 3 Jun 2014 @ 10:03 AM

  36. Kevin McKinney #15,

    “The idea that ‘any supply side contribution’ will be ‘minor’ seems pretty bizarre to me”

    it only seems ‘bizarre’ to you and the other members of the ‘tag team’ because you refuse to look at the numbers involved. SA posted two proxy plans that I analyzed in detail; both contained copious amounts of renewables, and were viewed by the authors as ‘challenging’. As I showed in detail, the Spross-quoted plan resulted in emissions reductions on the order of 1% per year, and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan (which by the way is up to $44 TRILLION now) resulted in emissions reductions on the order of ~1.5% per year.

    Even if you accept Kevin Anderson’s 2 C targets with ~50-50 chance, he requires ~10% per year demand reductions for years to stay under 2 C. If you accept Raupach’s targets of 90% chance of remaining under 2 C, then there is no carbon budget left, and emissions reductions on the order of TENS OF PERCENT PER YEAR are required. So, the supply side contribution from at least those two plans is MINOR with respect to what is required.

    But, Greisch has it right. Because all we ever get from the ‘tag team’ are sales pitches, we NEVER see any numbers reflecting what they will accomplish in terms of achieving climate change targets.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Jun 2014 @ 10:11 AM

  37. Joris Van Dorp #32,

    “Nevertheless, the supply-side is a crucial part of the equation. Meaningful demand reduction is a no-go. I have friends who actually state flat-out that they intend to do nothing about climate change in terms of life style changes. They don’t believe it will help. They don’t believe they can reduce their climate impact as much as required. It’s a no-go.”

    I don’t disagree at all about your projection of their behavior. But, if meaningful demand reduction is an ABSOLUTE requirement to avoid catastrophe, and all we get is substitution of low carbon for high carbon sources, and replacement of low energy efficiency technologies by high energy efficiency technologies, then we go over the cliff! It’s no more complicated than that. In essence, what we need to avoid catastrophe we can’t get, and what we can get will not avoid catastrophe.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Jun 2014 @ 10:19 AM

  38. David Miller #23,

    “commenters can get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science…..So, Gavin, I’m afraid the answer is already in – no, the commenters here can’t restrain themselves.”

    It depends on how you define ‘constructive’. I happen to think that discussions about the few central climate science issues in climate change amelioration should garner highest priority. Sales pitches for vegan diets and low carbon technologies, without any accompanying quantitative analysis showing how they will contribute to climate change amelioration, are anything but constructive. I’ll let the readers decide which posts are respectful, and which are nothing but unsolicited diatribes, devoid of technical content.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Jun 2014 @ 11:38 AM

  39. Where are the professionals (Gavin et al) with respect to the EPA rules & Socolow’s stabilization triangles? My thinking is this EPA rulemaking fits in somewhere in the efficiency component however only scratches the surface.

    Comment by Mike Knapp — 3 Jun 2014 @ 11:49 AM

  40. Our preliminary reading comprehension test results are in:

    As a reminder, the reading test material presented is:

    get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is). Thanks.

    I’m sure each of us has tried his best in Round One of this test.

    Carry on. Round Two begins; same reading test material as before.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jun 2014 @ 12:22 PM

  41. Joel,
    While to you think that increasing CO2 levels, by themselves, will disrupt economic growth? Unless carbon-based reserves fall substantially, thereby raising prices markedly, I fail to see how this could occur.

    Comment by Dan H. — 3 Jun 2014 @ 12:46 PM

  42. In other news, Michael Mann has an entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica under “Global Warming” here.

    Comment by chris colose — 3 Jun 2014 @ 1:31 PM

  43. re #34 – its as Michal Mann states there are many forks in the road (pathways) to get off at and if we miss this one we ready ourselves for the next one. USA goes for a 30% reduction in coal emissions relative to 2005 emissions and its a good play. Coal to go first as its the easiest to replace technologically if not economically and politically but there are technologies ready that can scale to replace base load power such as solar and nuclear, wind, geothermal, wave and tide and energy efficiencies.

    Its not all as is stated recently here. Maybe its a 3C or 4C world but it wont be a 6C one. Just get off where we can and with urgency

    Comment by pete best — 3 Jun 2014 @ 1:34 PM

  44. Any thoughts on whether the Mount Sangeang eruption could blunt the El Nino warming this year or next?

    Comment by Mike S2 — 3 Jun 2014 @ 1:42 PM

  45. “the etymology of apocalypse”

    It only takes one.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 3 Jun 2014 @ 3:56 PM

  46. Joris van Dorp (#32),

    You are asking the fuel supply to do more than is possible. As the IPCC points out, there is only about a century of fuel available at the current rate of use. Your 40 year scale up does not work out mathematically.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 3 Jun 2014 @ 4:04 PM

  47. Wili #35,

    Your Boyd reference was Beyond Outstanding. However, because of its length, not everyone will read. it’s highlights need to be emphasized.

    ” “there is little explicit scientific evidence for why 2 degrees centigrade should be the preferred target”[23]. The current impacts of only a 0.8 degree warming point to the IPCC target being too high, “If we’re seeing what we’re seeing at 0.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees is simply too much”, states Thomas Lovejoy…..Such evidence has led climate scientists like James Hansen to call for a limit of 350 ppm[45] of carbon dioxide (we are already pretty much at 400) rather than the U.N. supported 450 ppm. Of course, if the U.N. accepts Hansen’s position, the soft and fluffy options disappear and the “BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, AND SWEAT” OPTIONS RAISE THEIR UGLY HEADS.”

    Where have we heard that before?

    “Vaclav Smil has captured the sheer enormity of the task of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, “Annual combustion of [fossil fuels] has now reached 10 billion tonnes of oil equivalent …. nearly 20 times larger than at the beginning of the 20th century … Energy transitions, shifts from a dominant source (or combination of sources) of energy to a new supply arrangement, or from a dominant prime mover to a new convertor – are inherently prolonged affairs whose duration is measured in decades or generations … It took natural gas about 60 years since the beginning of its commercial extraction (in the early 1870’s) to reach 5% of the global energy market, and then another 55 years to account for 25 percent.”[85]“….. The many congratulatory announcements of growth in installed wind and solar capacity MISREPRESENT THE TRUE SITUATION. Even using the best locations possible, the utilization of that capacity is about 40% for wind, 20% for solar photovoltaic (PV), and 60% for concentrated solar (CSP)[86]. There are also the specious congratulatory statements about wind and solar providing a high percentage of a country’s electricity needs on a specific day, or even confusing electricity supply for the overall energy supply[87]. Of course, there is no mention of the non-windy, overcast days where they may be providing next to nothing and the fossil fuel generating plants are being fully utilized. In the absence of extremely cheap and scalable storage systems, redundant backup systems are needed, as with Germany, which assumes that it will be burning coal to produce electricity for decades to come”…..NEARLY ALL THE INCREASE IN RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION IS USED UP BY THE GROWTH IN DEMAND AND THEREFORE THERE IS VERY LITTLE ACTUAL REDUCTION IN FOSSIL-FUEL USAGE. As long as the economy keeps growing, energy demand will tend to grow, and thus the replacement of fossil fuels will be chasing an ever-increasing target. As James Hansen notes with respect to China, “It is true that China is leading the world in installation of renewable energies. However, … new fossil fuel energy output in China, mostly coal, exceeded new wind energy by a factor of six and new solar output by a factor of 27”

    Where have we heard that before?

    “Humanity faces a predicament, an uncomfortable situation from which a graceful exit is impossible. All of the different layers of delusion share the drive to avoid the painful reality that society will have to go through wrenching changes on the path to sustainability. ECONOMIES WILL HAVE TO SHRINK, AND LIVING STANDARDS FALL; especially in the richer countries. Whether it be from climate change, cheap energy shortages, or some other side effect of humanity’s exponential growth in its claims upon the earth, if this reality is not accepted and acted upon, modern complex human society will not see the end of this century…… Without an acceptance of reality, and the commitment and acceptance of the REQUIRED CHALLENGES, PRIVATIONS, AND SACRIFICES REMINISCENT OF A WORLD WAR, modern human civilization will not survive. The truth is that there will be a lot of “blood, toil, tears and sweat” on the way to a sustainable future.”

    And, where have we heard that before?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 3 Jun 2014 @ 4:38 PM

  48. Can someone explain to me how Judith Curry comes to be writing attacks on Michael Mann for this virulently anti-Israel ‘news’ service? https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/ipcc-third-assessment-report-and-the-hockey-stick/

    [Response: Looks like a simple cut-and-paste job. I doubt she knows anything about it. - gavin]

    [Response: I think we're long past the point where anything Judith Curry writes is worth either reading or responding too. It's actually rather sad what has happened to her. I hope her cries for help are heard. -mike]

    Comment by Steven Sullivan — 3 Jun 2014 @ 5:09 PM

  49. Proxy evidence for an El Nino-like response to volcanic forcing
    JB Adams, ME Mann, CM Ammann – Nature, 2003 –
    Abstract
    Past studies have suggested a statistical connection between explosive volcanic eruptions and subsequent El Niño climate events 1, 2. This connection, however, has remained controversial 3, 4, 5. Here we present support for a response of the El Niño …

    Cited by way too many papers for this amateur reader to review quickly. Perhaps someone who actually knows something about the subject will.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jun 2014 @ 5:56 PM

  50. Proxy evidence for an El Nino-like response to volcanic forcing
    JB Adams, ME Mann, CM Ammann – Nature, 2003 –
    Abstract
    Past studies have suggested a statistical connection between explosive volcanic eruptions and subsequent El Niño climate events 1, 2. This connection, however, has remained controversial 3, 4, 5. Here we present support for a response of the El Niño…

    — cited by way too many papers to review quickly by this amateur reader. Pointer welcome from or to anyone who actually knows something about the subject.

    [Response: Hank, some further context for this earlier work can be found in Mann et al (2005) and in this RealClimate post on our '09 Science article. -mike]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jun 2014 @ 5:58 PM

  51. #42 chris colose > other news

    Other news, for sure.

    That’s a great article you point to, by Michael Mann, and the entire section looks like a good learning tool and a useful resource.

    Thank you very much; and thank you, Michael E. Mann.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/235402/global-warming

    [Response: Thanks Patrick. And thanks Chris for posting the link :-) -mike]

    Comment by patrick — 3 Jun 2014 @ 11:28 PM

  52. “This recession will either be voluntary, government-imposed, or climate-imposed. My guess is the final option — as CO2 rises, climate havoc will increasingly disrupt economic growth, forming a negative feedback that provides an ultimate, upper-bound on warming.”

    Comment by Joel

    I’ll take “Climate-Imposed” for $500 Alex…

    I do not envision a scenario where either the government or the populace voluntarily cause a recession.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 4 Jun 2014 @ 12:44 AM

  53. Re #9 Edward Griesch:

    Lovely numbers, sir! Out-standing! Tell me, good sir, has green power (I shall not call it renewable until it actualy is) been installed in Australia with comprehensive local planning of the environment, built and otherwise? Or with local planning? Then bio-regional? Then island-wide/continental?

    No?

    Well, then, we shan’t be surprised when weaknesses appear, no? Planningless planning is, well, less than intelligent.

    Comment by Killian/ccpo — 4 Jun 2014 @ 12:46 AM

  54. Edward! Nuclear?! So sad: http://aperfectstormcometh.blogspot.com/2008/03/build-out-grid-vs-household-towards.html

    Cheers

    Comment by Killian/ccpo — 4 Jun 2014 @ 1:04 AM

  55. 18 SecularAnimist: See: New article at http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/06/02/critique-100pc-renewables-edm/?blogsub=subscribed#subscribe-blog 
“Critique of the proposal for 100% renewable energy electricity supply in Australia” Which I listed above and you didn’t read. The author, Dr Ted Trainer, reviewed and critiqued a paper by Elliston, Diesendorf and MacGill on how eastern Australia might be run off 100% renewable energy. The summary of the summary: It can’t be done unless Australians loose their lifestyle and move back a century or so. Elliston, Diesendorf and MacGill make assumptions that are nonsense.

    WHO is insulting? WHO is a troll?

    My complaint is that people WILL NOT do the math. I mean literally THE MATH. Nor will they look at the results of other attempts to go renewable. Berliners are paying FOUR times what I am paying for electricity. Many Germans cannot afford electricity at all now. I have repeatedly given you good references. Nobody reads them. A good example out of many:
    physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/nation-sized-battery/
    I bet SecularAnimist never even looked at the URL.

    There are so many of them:
    http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/germanys-energiewende-shows-why-we-need-nuclear/

    http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/07/16/new-critique-aemo-100pc-renew/

    Again: Batteries are not included with renewables

    bravenewclimate.com/2011/11/13/energy-storage-dt/#more-5281

    bravenewclimate.com/2011/07/03/lacklustre-colorado-solar/
    Be sure to read the linked papers.

    ssis.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/RE.html
    “Renewable Energy – Cannot Sustain an Energy-Intensive Society.”

    “100% renewable electricity for Australia – the cost”
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/
    bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang

    So, SecularAnimist, if you again make no attempt to do the scientific thing, as in read the references I have given you and find mistakes in the math, and do experiments and calculations on your own and show us the math you did, what am I supposed to think of your effort? I predict that you will do the same as before: Wave your arms vigorously and generate words, words, words. So sorry, words don’t cut it here.

    SecularAnimist: Go invent the SuperBattery or the Room Temperature Superconductor. Get rich. We will all cheer when you come back with a patent. But bla bla bla is not music to our ears.

    25 owl905: I am paying 7 and 1/2 cents per kilowatt hour. Californians are paying twice as much at 15 cents per kilowatt hour. Berliners are paying 28 cents per kilowatt hour. The difference is that California and Germany are forcing renewable energy into their grids. My electricity is from coal and nuclear. Higher prices for electricity are exactly due to the forced introduction of wind & sun.

    owl905: Wind delivers 20% of nameplate power on average, very intermittently.
    Solar delivers 15% of nameplate power very intermittently.
    That adds up to 30% of the time since wind and solar overlap. What is your power source the rest of the time? I know: A fossil fueled power plant. You have done nothing more than decorate a fossil fueled power plant.

    29 Thomas: Keep reporting what happens in Austin, please. Remember that $.05 per KWhour is wholesale, not retail. Confusing wholesale with retail is a typical trick of the renewables salesmen.

    Thank you 32 Joris van Dorp

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 4 Jun 2014 @ 1:27 AM

  56. Hank Roberts #40,

    “having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science”

    Well, there’s climate science and there’s CLIMATE SCIENCE. I would like to see some real CLIMATE SCIENCE of central interest to climate change amelioration addressed on the premier climate science blog. What we are being fed are articles like those of Brigitte Knopf, which tell us “many of these issues cannot be answered solely by science, such as the question of a temperature level that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. What we need to see specifically are articles that address “the question of a temperature level that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. Why are they not being posted?

    McPherson, in his Update and Summary, lists 30+ positive feedbacks that drive the temperature upwards. What are the consequences of these feedbacks acting in concert? What are the metrics that will inform me of how serious the combined action of these feedbacks is? How do I judge the validity of McPherson’s, or any other commentator’s, conclusions about these feedbacks without such metrics? How can any of us on this blog state McPherson’s conclusions about extinction are incorrect without such metrics?

    So, the above initiating statement only addresses part of the larger picture, and not the most critical part. Yes, on a climate science blog, we should be having constructive conversations about climate science, but under the present critical conditions, these constructive conversations need to focus on those climate science issues of highest importance to climate change amelioration. For the most part, this is not happening now. [edit - just stop]

    Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Jun 2014 @ 4:37 AM

  57. Pete Best #43,

    “Maybe it’s a 3C or 4C world but it won’t be a 6C one.”

    We don’t know that! I suspect that when we reach 3 C, we may be on autopilot, and we’ll get to 6 C or more whether we want to or not. Why do you think Hansen, Anderson, et al call even 2 C Dangerous or Extremely Dangerous? My interpretation is that’s where the danger of self-sustaining positive feedback mechanisms increases substantially.

    But, at this point, it’s only a suspicion. I have no metrics that can act as Early Warning Indicators or precursors of runaway feedback. And, for whatever reasons, RC continues not to address some of the critical climate SCIENCE issues like identifying these metrics.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 4 Jun 2014 @ 6:16 AM

  58. The science of one:

    One of the things scientist really like to have is an ensemble. This allows the mathematics of statistics to be used to learn something about the whole thing by studying some of the parts.

    Here at realclimate, we’ve even heard reality called just one realization in the context on an ensemble of model runs. I don’t think I agree with that, but you can see the attraction of ensembles.

    In cosmology, we can eliminate certain fine tuning issues by supposing that THE Big Bang occurs in a context of chaotic inflation. The laws of physics don’t have to be the same in different non-causally connected parts so our particular laws of physics are just one set of many and we don’t have to be surprised that the Hoyle resonance of carbon has just the right energy: in other parts of the Universe it doesn’t.

    So, in chaotic inflation, beginnings are happening all the time. But, how many endings are there? By construction, since these different universes are not causally connected, they each get their own fate.

    On Earth, we’ve had a number of mass extinction processes. But these apocalypsi only have meaning if there has been time for new species to evolve in between. Since the event is defined by the destruction, if there is nothing left to destroy, a second event just gets rolled into the first. So, a zombi apocalypse followed by peak oil collapse followed by a climate runaway, while mutually contradictory and quite different in nature, just make one apocalypse because there is only one civilization to destroy. There really isn’t an ensemble to consider in this case.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 4 Jun 2014 @ 6:51 AM

  59. I read here a lot although I rarely post. Diogenes and Edward Greisch are getting beyond bearable. Citing nuclear salesmen to show solar salesmen are incorrect is illogical and a waste of time. Diogenes has been given his own thread and he still has made 20% of the posts on this thread, all off topic according to the rules we were given. None of them add anything to the discussion. If you add the people complaining about these two it is almost half the thread.

    I second the motion to send their posts to the bore hole if they cannot stay on the thread they have been given.

    Comment by michael sweet — 4 Jun 2014 @ 7:47 AM

  60. Michael Sweet @ 59: Agreed.

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 4 Jun 2014 @ 8:09 AM

  61. #36–

    “…it only seems ‘bizarre’ to you and the other members of the ‘tag team’ because you refuse to look at the numbers involved.”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-1/#comment-547965

    You are not listening. (Quelle surprise.) I am well aware of ‘the numbers.’ But issue at the moment is not whether this or that ‘challenging’ renewables plan will avoid ‘Climate Apocalypse.’

    At issue is the question of whether or not supply side contributions to mitigation are ‘minor’. The Diogenes Apocalypse Avoidance Plan (™) has so far, as far as I know, never actually offered quantitative targets, despite multiple requests for same. (Talk about ‘refusing to look at the numbers’!) So I will assume for the sake of argument that the DAAP asks us to reduce per capita energy use by 75%, which I think most would find quite aggressive.

    By 2050, pewresearch.org projects, we’ll have 9.6 billion people on Earth. That’s up from the current 7.2 by a third. Combining that population figure with the assumed energy reduction factor, we have E(2050)= E(2014) x 0.25 x 1.33, or 0.33.

    So, for this version of the DAAP to actually avoid Apocalypse–due to climate effects a la Diogenes, if we keep burning FF at the lower level, or due to economic collapse on an unimaginable scale if we ‘just say no’–we need to have essentially one third the current total energy consumption supplied by carbon-free sources.

    If you choose to call that ‘minor’, I would still find the categorization bizarre, but would carry on in silence, satisfied that we had achieved quantitative understanding at least.

    The consequence that I draw from this line of reasoning is that it is of vital importance to do everything possible to speed the adoption of low-carbon energy sources. (In the real world, this is going to mean renewables first, with increased nuclear as well, in places where this is politically feasible.) This is particularly important since there is clearly a long learning curve in doing so–luckily, for some technologies (notably wind, and to a lesser extent solar PV) we are already a long way along that curve. (And if we are talking about cost, I should probably say “down” that curve.)

    But in terms of scaling up generation, of grid management, of integration into the economic system, and (as Chris Dudley points out) of avoiding perverse outcomes in emissions terms, there is a lot of work to do, and we need to be getting on with it–not denigrating those who point out this reality, and not arguing that it is unimportant.

    Philosophers have been accustomed to speak of the ‘necessity’ and ‘sufficiency’ of particular conditions with regard to particular outcomes. Diogenes, you make a decent argument that energy substitution measures are unlikely to be ‘sufficient’ to avoid ‘CA.’. But I think that the argument that such measures are ‘necessary’ is far more compelling.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Jun 2014 @ 8:56 AM

  62. Edward (#55),

    People have done the math. That is why they don’t believe you and realize you suffer from an emotional attachment to nuclear energy. Just look at the anecdotal evidence you present. You claim to have cheap electricity. And yet new wind and solar are cheaper now than old nuclear power, so is new natural gas. New nuclear power is vastly more expensive than old nuclear power owing to a negative learning curve. So, the math is very clearly against you, yet your strange love propels you on. Read this and you could get clear: http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 4 Jun 2014 @ 9:21 AM

  63. Scientists can provide options. The choices people make collectively and systemically are based on diverse hopes, desires, values; on the vagaries of all sorts of emotions, ethics, world views; on hard science; on delusions; on dogma and many other things too numerous to mention–including the inability of people to get past their Dunning-Kruger impairments and their unreasonable sense of self-importance and have meaningful exchanges of ideas.

    Anybody who confuses science on the one hand and policy/politics on the other is very naive and understands neither at a very fundamental level.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 4 Jun 2014 @ 9:36 AM

  64. #55–Ed, why are you stuck on the idea that it “must be” either renewables or nuclear?

    I have skimmed the Trainer piece you link. It’s a bit ironic, because Trainer’s whole thing is demand reduction, and he thus supports Diogene’s POV, not yours. See, for example:

    http://thebulletin.org/why-consumer-society-cant-fix-climate
    http://simplicityinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/TedTrainerandTheSimplerWay1.pdf

    The piece already is in disagreement with your statements, which have been adamant that renewables can’t possibly replace fossil fuels. Front and center is Trainer’s summary, which says, inter alia:

    “My general view is that it would be technically possible to meet total Australian electricity demand from renewables but this would be very costly and probably unaffordable, mainly due to the amount of redundant plant needed to cope with intermittency.”

    But leaving that aside for the moment, I’d invert the comment–can’t find it now, for some reason–to the effect that there is no evidence that nuclear generation *can’t* scale sufficiently to avoid CA™. (Actually, I think there is such evidence, in the form of a 60-year track record during which nuclear power has consistently failed to scale well, or to fulfill its own (admittedly extravagant) promises about cost.)

    I’d contend that there is absolutely no evidence suggesting that we *can* train a sufficiently large nuclear work force and find the massive financing necessary in order to build hundreds of new reactors within the next couple of decades. Admittedly, hard data is not easy to find–no-one seems to want to look at this question, least of all nuclear advocates. (That reality is suggestive in itself, I’m afraid.)

    Renewables are presently scaling up to a useful degree:

    “In the power sector, global capacity reached 1,560 gigawatts (GW) in 2013 – an increase of about 8.3 per cent over 2012 – and renewables accounted for more than 56 per cent of net additions to global power capacity.

    “Renewable energy provided around 19 per cent of global final energy consumption in 2012.”

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/analysis/2347726/ren21-global-renewable-energy-report-at-a-glance

    Note that last: 19% of consumption. That’s downstream from ‘capacity factor.’

    I’d suggest that the binary renwables/nuclear concept is pointless because it’s unrealistic: we are going to have a lot more renewables in the future, and we are going to have nuclear in the future, too. A more rational outlook would consider what a realistic energy mix might look like, and what we should be aiming at. An intriguing thinker in this regard is Dr. Charles Forsberg, who points out that nuclear and renewable energy have complementary strengths and that there could also be some novel and potentially very helpful synergies between them:

    http://mitei.mit.edu/research/energy-faculty/charles-forsberg

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Jun 2014 @ 9:45 AM

  65. By my count, the scientists who maintain this site, or their guests, have posted 21 articles so far this year, a little less than one per week. I continue to find those articles informative and worthwhile, and I continue to be grateful to the scientists who take time from their important and demanding work to offer that material to the public. Much of it is quite unique in giving an inside look at climate science.

    Having said that, I think the limitation of this site is precisely that it is a project run by scientists in their “spare time”, rather than by professional journalists or bloggers who could make it a full-time effort.

    For frequent, current updates on developments in climate science, I find Skeptical Science especially, and Climate Central and Climate Progress as well, to be more useful. Articles are published more frequently, and information is presented in a way that in my opinion communicates more effectively to lay readers. The comment pages are better moderated. All of which takes more time, and perhaps more training in journalism and blogging, than the hosts of this site can bring to it.

    As for the comment pages, and discussions of mitigation — the comment pages have basically become a playground for a couple of boorish, belligerent, hostile trolls who seem primarily concerned with heaping abusive, personal attacks on anyone who presents any positive views or accurate information about solar or wind energy technologies. I have now been called a paid liar and a shill DOZENS of times, simply because I have occasionally posted links to informative articles about what’s happening in the real world today with solar and wind energy and efficiency, or corrected misstatements of fact.

    As far as I’m concerned they have succeeded in turning the comment pages — especially the monthly “unforced variations” threads — into an utter waste of time to read, and probably an even greater waste of far more valuable time for the hosts to moderate.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 4 Jun 2014 @ 10:39 AM

  66. http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2014/06/new-video-reports-on-unstoppable-antarctic-glacial-melting/

    West Antarctic Ice Sheet WAIS: Could we have a RealClimate article on this please?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 4 Jun 2014 @ 11:26 AM

  67. > thread they have been given

    The UV Mar 2014 thread dedicated for more Diogenetic conversation isn’t writeable (and hasn’t been for a while).

    Maybe adding a new “Recent Comments” category to the right sidebar — listing only Recent Comments by Dio in his own topic — would get him the attention he requires?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Jun 2014 @ 11:38 AM

  68. Kevin @~60

    Thank you, Kevin. That was clear and refreshingly well modulated.

    I’d like to challenge anyone who can’t resist the temptation to drop the ‘A’ and/or ‘C’ words to first define them both rigorously and scientifically to a level that’s fit for publication in a respectable peer review science journal

    Well make that the ‘C’ word. The ‘A’ word has pretentious, if not downright superstitious, biblical overtones that will always tend to make it sound stupid on a science thread. Best to just drop it altogether.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 4 Jun 2014 @ 5:51 PM

  69. Michael Sweet, I completely agree. I’ll third the notion for the bore-hole for those who can’t respect the mods direct requests and keep specific topics out of their posts.

    Mods, if you choose not to bore-hole the comments, perhaps you could dedicate a thread to nuclear discussions as a means of localizing the noise? It kept some of the Diogenes apocalyptic noise out of last months open threads…

    Comment by David Miller — 4 Jun 2014 @ 5:52 PM

  70. http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/saskpowers-boundary-dam-power-station-pilot-plant

    http://www.thestarphoenix.com/business/SaskPower+push+clean+coal/9905455/story.html

    For Wally, from last month–as far as I know, the closest thing to an actual CCS plant is the Boundary Dam project in Saskatchewan. It’s supposed to come online in October.

    The CCS portion was supposed to run $600 million CDN.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 4 Jun 2014 @ 7:23 PM

  71. Kevin (#60),

    Perversity is the rudder of invention.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 4 Jun 2014 @ 9:17 PM

  72. Hope springs eternal, and much could occur with an enlightened populace and a carbon tax.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/13/3436923/germany-energy-records/

    Comment by Gordon Kenney — 4 Jun 2014 @ 10:40 PM

  73. re: 3 Jun 2014 @ 5:09 PM Yeah, I realized, soon after posting, that that nasty ‘news’ service ‘aggregates’ articles without citing the original venue…and almost certainly without informing the authors either. I’ve notified Judith Curry of it, after a fashion, on her own site (where the article originated).

    Comment by Steven Sullivan — 4 Jun 2014 @ 11:30 PM

  74. @michal sweet #59 – Second your second to have the nukers relocated to some other paradise. Griesche’s science source is the whole blog, and nothing but the blog. His statement that the diff in price is all renewable is absurd … so he repeats it. Even tho examples of existing variable-demand backup were provided, he reverts to the refuted canard that a standby coal-plant is the only alternative. Isn’t there some way to encourage them to interact elsewhere?

    Comment by owl905 — 5 Jun 2014 @ 1:36 AM

  75. Dear All

    Questions/musings from a non-scientist.

    Depending upon which data set one looks at, there has been “x” amount global warming since, say, 1950. Based upon the accepted maths of the greenhouse effect of CO2, and the levels that man has introduced, we (but not me because I ain’t clever enough) should be able to quantify what warming man has, and is, contributing to the total figures.

    Once we know that, then we should be able to subtract those numbers from the “observed” to establish the underlying, natural trends. Has anybody done that work?

    Secondly, has anybody done any work that concludes what the “ideal” global temperature should be? I guess that depends on who’s “ideal” we are looking at i.e. what would the Inuit, or the Bedouins, “ideally” want to make their lives better, more sustainable, less arduous, more plentiful, comfortable, etc. But has anybody suggested the “ideal” global temperature that represents the best fit overall?
    Is it that we would want it where it is now, or 1,2,3,4, degrees warmer or colder?

    Comment by Dave — 5 Jun 2014 @ 4:12 AM

  76. Kevin McKinney #60,

    “At issue is the question of whether or not supply side contributions to mitigation are ‘minor’. The Diogenes Apocalypse Avoidance Plan (™) has so far, as far as I know, never actually offered quantitative targets, despite multiple requests for same. (Talk about ‘refusing to look at the numbers’!) So I will assume for the sake of argument that the DAAP asks us to reduce per capita energy use by 75%, which I think most would find quite aggressive…..So, for this version of the DAAP to actually avoid Apocalypse–due to climate effects a la Diogenes, if we keep burning FF at the lower level, or due to economic collapse on an unimaginable scale if we ‘just say no’–we need to have essentially one third the current total energy consumption supplied by carbon-free sources.”

    I don’t know which is worse: responses on my posts containing nothing but vitriol (SA) or responses based on lies (#60). How can you say with a straight face that I’ve never offered quantitative targets. I’m one of the only ones, if not the only one, who offers quantitative targets. Go back and re-read my posts!!!

    I have told you repeatedly I believe the 1 C limit (OR LESS) is the appropriate target, and at a minimum, we might be willing to take a gamble with very high probability of staying within 2 C (not my preferred choice). I have told you repeatedly that to achieve the latter target, according to Raupach, we are out of carbon budget TODAY, and to achieve the former target, we are not only out of carbon budget TODAY, but we are heavily in carbon debt TODAY. Now, ‘out of carbon budget’ TODAY means ZERO; is that quantitative enough for you; if not, it should be.

    Now, let’s look at the numbers you provide, picked as they are out of the air. You project a reduction of total energy use by 2/3 (if I understand your convoluted wording) by 2050, with all the energy at that time supplied by low-carbon sources. If my interpretation is correct, and we assume a linear reduction in fossil fuel use over that period, then we will have burned the equivalent of eighteen years FTE of fossil fuel over that period. That’s slightly more than half of what I calculated for the Ceres Clean Trillion plan, since your rate of low carbon source introduction is approximately twice theirs.

    We can’t afford eighteen more years of fossil fuel combustion at today’s rates; the remaining budget TODAY is ZERO!! Plain and simple!! Are your numbers better than if we had no low carbon introduction; of course? Will they do the job required to avoid disaster; of course not!! And, by the way, if you go back and read my plan, rapid introduction of low carbon sources is a part, but not the major part. It can’t be, as Anderson has pointed out repeatedly.

    What is the role of low carbon sources in my plan? Think of the analogy with a patient who has an extremely serious condition. For survival, high-dose Keemo and high-dose radiation are necessary. To make the process bearable (but not pleasant), high amounts of asspiirin are allowed as well. The latter is the main role that low carbon sources play in my plan. They do not reduce demand sufficiently to have more than a minor impact on what is required, but they will make life somewhat bearable for many people.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 5 Jun 2014 @ 5:03 AM

  77. Dave @ 69, here’s a 2010 link from Skeptical Science: http://www.skepticalscience.com/quantifying-the-human-contribution-to-global-warming.html

    Given a choice, wouldn’t you ideally want to continue with the relatively stable climate we’ve had during which agriculture and civilization flourished?

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 5 Jun 2014 @ 9:47 AM

  78. Dave, there’s also:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/foster-and-rahmstorf-measure-global-warming-signal.html

    and http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/the-real-global-warming-signal/

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 5 Jun 2014 @ 9:50 AM

  79. Lastly, Dave, the discussion of the “ideal” climate appears to be moot: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/earth-will-cross-the-climate-danger-threshold-by-2036/

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 5 Jun 2014 @ 9:54 AM

  80. Dave –
    > natural trends?
    That’s been done — click the “Start Here” link at the top of the page, or the “Categories” list in the right sidebar. Natural trends are very slow compared to what we’re causing.

    > “ideal” temperature
    None. The issue is how fast conditions change. Many plants and animals can’t move far enough fast enough or have enough offspring fast enough for natural selection to find any offspring that can survive the new conditions, as conditions keep changing.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Jun 2014 @ 10:14 AM

  81. Re- Comment by Dave — 5 Jun 2014 @ 4:12 AM, ~#69

    The answer to your first question (anthropogenic component) can be found on this site repeatedly, but for a concise explanation, I recommend the Skeptical Science site. Their articles are written by, or vetted by, scientists. Switch between the basic and intermediate explanations as seems appropriate for you. For human cause- http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming-intermediate.htm

    The ideal temperature question is a climate denialist straw man. What small groups of people who live in extreme environments might prefer would surprise you. The real question involves the climate during the current interglacial period which made it possible to develop human society and support currently 7 billion and soon to be 10 billion, people. We are currently at the top of the temperature range that allows feeding everyone, and this is on top of a whole bunch of other developing ecological problems.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 5 Jun 2014 @ 10:27 AM

  82. #69–Dave, this is a bigger task than you appreciate.

    The most authoritative source is the recently released Fifth Assessment Report (Working Group I.) Chapter 2 deals with observations of the Earth system, including temperature changes. It says, in part, that:

    The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated by a linear trend, show a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06] °C, over the period 1880–2012, when multiple independently produced datasets exist, and about 0.72°C [0.49°C to 0.89°C] over the period 1951–2012.

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter02_FINAL.pdf

    However, the ‘accepted maths of the greenhouse effect’ part remains a real problem. The basic physics isn’t bad, but the response of the Earth system to radiative forcing is extremely complicated. That’s the problems of ‘detection and attribution,’ which are the subjects of Chapter 10:

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter10_FINAL.pdf

    Detection and Attribution results can be used to constrain predictions of future climate change (see Chapters 11 and 12) and key climate system properties. These properties include: the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), which determines the long-term equilibrium warming response to stable atmospheric composition, but not accounting for vegetation or ice sheet changes; the transient climate response (TCR), which is a measure of the magnitude of transient warming while the climate system, particularly the deep ocean, is not in equilibrium; and the transient climate response to cumulative CO2 emissions (TCRE), which is a measure of the transient warming response to a given mass of CO2 injected into the atmosphere, and combines information on both the carbon cycle and climate response.

    TCR, in other words, is short-term–in this context, that means a characteristic time frame of ~70 years–and ECS more long-term. Neither one can be usefully calculated from first principles:

    Because neither ECS nor TCR is directly observed, any inference about them requires some form of climate model, ranging in complexity from a simple zero-dimensional energy balance box model to OAGCMs (Hegerl and Zwiers, 2011).

    There’s a lengthy discussion of particular studies of TCR, but the bottom line given is this:

    TCR is likely to lie in the range 1°C to 2.5°C and extremely unlikely to be greater than 3°C. This range for TCR is smaller than given at the time of AR4, due to the stronger observational constraints and the wider range of studies now available. Our greater confidence in excluding high values of TCR arises primarily from higher and more confident estimates of past forcing: estimates of TCR are not strongly dependent on observations of ocean heat uptake.

    So if CO2 doubled over 70 years or so, you would expect to see 1-2.5 degrees C of warming. Just for fun, according to GISS estimates, CO2 in 1944 was ~310; currently it’s at 401, for an increase of 29% or so. The equation given for TCR in a case like this is:

    TCR = F2xCO2 dT/dF

    So, you’d naively expect 0.29-0.72 C warming since 1944. Using the Woodfortrees site to calculate warming since 1944 by the least squares method of trend estimation, you get ~0.49 C.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/ghgases/Fig1A.ext.txt
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/wti/from:1944/trend

    Returning to work that actually is ‘primetime’, the AR5 ‘bottom line’ statement about ECS is this:

    …there is high confidence that ECS is extremely unlikely less than 1°C and medium confidence that the ECS is likely between 1.5°C and 4.5°C and very unlikely greater than 6°C.

    (This follows voluminous discussion of the various methods used to estimate ECS.)

    As to considering the overall ‘compromise ideal’ temperature you discuss, no, no-one has ever tried to calculate such a thing, because there is no objectively agreed standard for ‘ideal.’ The closest thing to an answer to your question is consideration of the effects of warming to various degrees. The short version of that research is that warming which exceeds 2 C is apt to prove very dangerous and have increasingly fewer ‘winners’ and increasingly more ‘losers’ the more extreme it is allowed to become.

    There’s a lot on the effects of specific levels of warming in Mark Lynas’s book, “Six Degrees”, which I discussed and summarized here:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Mark-Lynass-Six-Degrees-A-Summary-Review

    Each chapter also has a separate table of effects, as best as I could summarize them in a tabular format. The final one is here (and also includes some updated information):

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Six-Degrees-Choosing-Our-Future

    On the ‘cooler’ side, Annan and Hargreaves (2012) estimated global mean surface temperature during the last Glacial Maximum–in other words, the very depth of the last ‘Ice Age’–to be just 4 C cooler than present. I doubt we’d want to cool things more than a degree or so.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 5 Jun 2014 @ 10:55 AM

  83. Answer to Dave:
    It could be that more than 100% of warming is attributable to human activity. How? Look at the Milankovitch theory, and we should be seeing a cooling trend since 1950. Ah, if only it were that simple. However “skillful” the models are, they may not include as yet unidentified factors in what we measure. Weather remains a chaotic phenomenon, and climate data will, to some extent, reflect uncertainties because of this.
    “Ideal” temperature? I think this would entail too many assumptions to be meaningful. What we need to be most concerned about isn’t the absolute “ideal” temperature, it is the rapidity with which change in climate is occuring, and the impacts of this on the biosphere. Given time, organisms adapt. But lacking enough time, many organisms will be going extinct. There is plenty of reason to be concerned about how this affects the entire food chain, including apex consumers like humans.

    Comment by Gene — 5 Jun 2014 @ 11:11 AM

  84. Dave @69.
    Your second question “Is it that we would want it where it is now, or 1,2,3,4, degrees warmer or colder?” probably should be couched in terms of tenths of degrees rather than degrees (or fifths of degrees if you’re talking fahrenheit). Human civilisation was established during the Holocene (the last 11,000 years) and the climate has been remarkably constant over that period. The global temperatures over that period as reconstructed by Marcott et al (2013) and recent global temperatuers are graphed here. Note the graph’s Y-axis.

    Comment by MARodger — 5 Jun 2014 @ 1:13 PM

  85. #69-Dave,

    There are people that dislike daylight saving time or vaccines. How do you imagine a consensus can be reach about an ideal temperature?
    It is amazing the gigantic amount of hubris that can fit a human brain.
    Stop burning fossil fuels is the answer. All the rest is talk and crossing of the fingers.

    Comment by MAXMARE — 5 Jun 2014 @ 2:58 PM

  86. Thomas @ 1 – I will be quite surprised if renewables plateau any time soon. I’ve worked in the renewable energy business for over 10 years and during that time I’ve designed and sold a little over 50MW of installed solar energy in California, Arizona and Hawaii. I’ve no doubt that solar energy works reliably and as designed because my customers have often had to sign performance contracts which guarantee output over a 20-25 year period. Of the over 100 of these contracts, not one of the systems is under performing. Solar energy is just simple. It’s output is based on a known amount of insolation per square meter in a given location and a well regulated output capacity for a given standard poly silicon panel, (+/- 6% per year). Is it the only solution? Of course not but it will be an important part of our overall solution to electrical energy generation.

    Comment by Eric Rowland — 5 Jun 2014 @ 4:19 PM

  87. How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently:

    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/03/28/daniel-dennett-rapoport-rules-criticism/?utm_

    “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”

    Good luck.

    Comment by patrick — 5 Jun 2014 @ 11:51 PM

  88. Schon et al. -76+/-15Gtonne/yr for WAIS and periphery over 2003-2009

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/8/2995/2014/tcd-8-2995-2014.pdf

    might be low, but it is 2014 now

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 6 Jun 2014 @ 12:32 AM

  89. Dave > [Would we] want it where it is now, or 1,2,3,4, degrees warmer or colder?

    Not to distract from any of the responses to the question so far, but if you ask the same question about your own body temperature–and answer it–you have made a good start. You are in good company, too. More than one leading climate physicist has said as much. The comparison is valid.

    Comment by patrick — 6 Jun 2014 @ 12:42 AM

  90. Ezra Klein highlights the hurdles of tackling Climate Change:

    “If you were going to weaponize an issue to take advantage of the weak points in the American political system — to highlight all the blind spots, dysfunctions, and irrationalities — you would create climate change. And then you would stand back and watch the world burn.” – Ezra Klein

    http://www.vox.com/2014/6/5/5779040/7-reasons-America-fail-global-warming

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 6 Jun 2014 @ 2:18 AM

  91. #30 Edward Greisch says:
    “Ocean water has penetrated under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Is “penetrated under” more accurate than saying “the WAIS is afloat”?”
    It´s not just that … Warmer (or less cold …) is penetrating, and melting ice beyond the end of what could be considered previously floating … The video illustrates it pretty well.

    Comment by Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid — 6 Jun 2014 @ 2:52 AM

  92. @ 59. I agree. Given the recent flood of published findings related to climate science (West Antarctica, EPA rules, rumours on Chinese emissions cap, upcoming Club of Rome report), it seems a waste of RealClimate’s potential to be rehashing last month’s debates instead of getting views on these and related points. As much as I dislike nuclear power, there are other matters to be understood, which is why I read RealClimate.

    Comment by Tristen Taylor — 6 Jun 2014 @ 4:51 AM

  93. Paul Krugman, who won a Nobel Prize for understanding world trade, has come out for climate damage tariffs. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/opinion/krugman-the-climate-domino.html

    Here is the note the note I left with him:

    It is very good to read a world expert in the economics of trade propose this move. Article XX of GATT does indeed allow us to unilaterally impose tariffs on China. I’d suggest that there should be a ramped approach. First, we should acknowledge that dangerous climate change has come early and we are already suffering damages. The growth in Federal crop and flood insurance payouts is owing to the effects of climate change. Instead of increasing premiums, we should use climate damage tariffs to cover this increase. That amounts to a pretty small tariff, but it firmly establishes the liability connection. Non-Annex I countries (as listed in the Kyoto Protocol) are becoming the main contributors to cumulative emissions just as climate change has turned dangerous, that makes their emissions the cause of dangerous climate change. An accident of timing? Yes. But deliberately increasing emissions, as China is doing, eliminates safe harbor as well.

    This small tariff could be used as a stepping stone to larger tariffs imposed cooperatively with other Annex I countries if China does not turn around. The larger tariffs could be used to assist with adaptation costs in countries with low per capita emissions where vulnerability to dangerous climate change is high. Lack of a clear funding mechanism for this sort of thing has been a sticking point at climate negotiations. This would essentially det funds from those who are causing the damage.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 6 Jun 2014 @ 7:08 AM

  94. > Dennett
    Dennett cites Anatol Rapoport as his source for these ideas.
    Op. cit. (quoted excerpt): 20 May 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Jun 2014 @ 10:01 AM

  95. There’s a big new report from IRENA out today, which I’ll link below. But first, some context.

    Looking at the ClimateCodeRed site, devoted to the ideas of Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows-Larkin, one can see quite clearly the roots of the Diogenes Apocalypse Avoidance Plan™. See, for instance:

    http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/01/radical-emissions-reductions-1-kevin.html

    (Dio has, of course, cited Dr. Anderson (though, curiously, not Dr. Bows-Larkin) quite frequently.)

    There’s the same insistence on demand reduction, driven by the same (and far from unreasonable) pointing out that, really, adopting strategies giving 50-50 chances of avoiding enormous catastrophes is not what one would call ‘good risk management.’ Again, Dio has been quite clear on the intellectual attribution.

    The principle difference–and it’s a curious one, to my mind–comes clear late on this page, where the blog author summarizes:

    …a radical plan looks something like this:
    –Low carbon energy supply is pivotal in the long term but can’t be built fast enough in order to solely be relied upon for 2°C, so;

    –Radical reductions in energy demand from now to ~2030. Radical reductions in energy demand over one decade are possible if carefully planned. This extends the window to get the low carbon energy supply in place.

    –A Marshall plan to build 100% low carbon energy supply by 2030–2040.

    So, for Anderson and Bows-Larkin, building a low-carbon energy supply is “pivotal,” but can no longer serve as the sole option because we have quite simply frittered away too much of our lead time. By contrast, for Dio, anything on the supply side is “minor”.

    Needless to say for those who read what I wrote above, I’d come down on the side of Anderson and Bows-Larkin: failing to build a much more substantial low-carbon energy supply would be, far from Apocalypse Avoidant™, actually Apocalypse Invitational. (Still a public domain term, if anyone cares.)

    By the way, one other difference–I’m not certain if it’s real or apparent–is that Anderson/Bows-Larkin (or perhaps the CodeRed author?) are clear that the 10% demand reduction Dio cited is for developed nations, not the whole globe:

    So let’s assume non-Annex 1 nations (developing nations) collectively peak their emissions by 2025 (which a a big ask) and reduce emissions thereafter by 6 to 8% per year. Then what emissions budget is left for the rich, developed Annex 1 nations? The answer is that Annex 1 nations require at least a 10% reduction in emissions year on year (this is based on analysis a few years old so 10% is a bit low now).

    But leaving that last point aside, and with reference to renewables alone, what is the prospect today? Perhaps the best answer so far is the report I mentioned at the top of this post, IRENA’s REmap 2013:

    http://www.irena.org/REmap/

    The headline point is that it’s the first comprehensive global bottom-up analysis of the potential of renewables to contribute to what IRENA analysts term “Total Final Energy Consumption” (TFEC). The reference case is business as usual, in which renewables would grow from 10% (in 2010) to about 18% of TFEC by 2030–quite a bit of which would still be burning traditional biofuels such as wood and dung. But with existing technologies and clear policy choices at the global level, we could see that double renewable TFEC to 36% by 2030.

    That’s not the best case, though. There’s also an RE+ case, which envisages renewable TFEC hitting ~50% by 2030, if there were both substantial early retirement of FF sources and technological breakthroughs in RE technology. (The report notes that there are currently some limited instances of both already, so these possibilities are at least a bit better than pure pie-in-the-sky.)

    RE+ would cut emissions to ~22 GT CO2. When you compare to today’s level, that seems a bit disappointing: we’re currently around 30 GT, so that would only be a one-third reduction. But we figuratively need to run faster just to stay in the same place: the reference case would yield 2030 emissions of over 41 GT!

    You can directly view the relevant figure from the report here:

    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h402/brassdoc/REmap2030EmissionsProjections.png

    Some of the best news, though, is the net cost: though required investments are very substantial, when you factor in the savings, the net cost of change is small. In fact, if external costs are accounted for, “switching to renewable energy results in savings of up to USD 740 billion per year by 2030.”

    The bad news–before other commenters point it out–is that this still doesn’t put us on a path that would meet the more stringent Anderson/Bows-Larkin risk management targets. IRENA considers that it would put us on a path to achieve 450 ppm and a reasonable chance to stay under 2 C, but is that safe enough, given the magnitude of the risk?

    Dio would certainly say no, Anderson and Bows-Larkin would say no, and I would, too, for what that’s worth.

    In addition to the home page linked above, here are a couple of REmap 2030 links for those interested:

    Fact Sheet #1:
    http://www.irena.org/REmap/REmap-FactSheet-1-36%20and%20Beyond.pdf

    Summary of Findings:
    http://www.irena.org/REmap/REmap_Summary.pdf

    A couple of additional points:

    1) Although this report is focussed exclusively on renewables, that does not imply that I (or the IRENA analysts, for that matter) think that RE is the sole ‘silver bullet’ solution to the problems we face. The future energy mix will also include nuclear energy to some degree. And energy efficiency (as IRENA points out, too) is tremendously important.

    2) It’s worth noting that the IRENA approach differs from Anderson/Bows-Larkin in that the adoption of renewables considered is global in scope, which rather renders the emphasis on the Annex 1/non-Annex 1 divide somewhat moot. This is particularly the case since renewables need not entail high net costs, and can be helpful in increasing energy access in the developing world. As has been pointed out more than once, non-Annex 1 nations don’t really *need* to make all the energy/sustainability mistakes we have…

    3) And of course, Anderson/Bows-Larkin emphasize the necessity of demand reduction IN ADDITION TO supply side transformation. I haven’t determined how compelling their case is; they seem to be outliers in the climate policy scene. But the conclusion of the blog page quoted above is, I think, very well worth considering seriously:

    Anderson concluded by quoting Robert Unger that“at every level the greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be different.” He said the paradigm he had outlined will be dismissed as not being practical, but 4, 5 or 6°C is impractical and certainly not equitable.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Jun 2014 @ 11:02 AM

  96. @86:

    Non-Annex I countries (as listed in the Kyoto Protocol) are becoming the main contributors to cumulative emissions just as climate change has turned dangerous, that makes their emissions _the_ cause of dangerous climate change.

    (emphasis added)
    Thus it’s always the last straw that breaks the camel’s back, not the many other straws that went before, even though the straws are “cumulative”? Ha! All of us are responsible for preventing dangerous climate change.

    Comment by Meow — 6 Jun 2014 @ 12:28 PM

  97. New at Robert Grumbine’s:

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    AABW in the news!

    It only took 25 years, but my thesis topic is now becoming newsworthy!  Gluttons for punishment can see at least the abstract at A model of the formation of high-salinity shelf water on polar continental shelves.  Which is aimed at one of the important ingredients for AABW (Antarctic Bottom Water).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Jun 2014 @ 2:37 PM

  98. Henk A. Dijkstra
    Nonlinear Climate Dynamics
    Cambridge University Press, 2013
    concentrates on climate variability.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Jun 2014 @ 5:57 PM

  99. It seems that the arguments and name calling about different forms energy are not adding anything useful to the discussion. Mitigation is not the most useful discussion on RC.

    I think RC is being generous when they open with the topic of the new EPA proposed regulations on CO2 from powerplants. It is a mitigation strategy, but the commenters on RC aren’t interested. In the 85+ comments on this post only two or three comments address this issue. There are some informative articles at the Center for Progress Reform about the recent proposed regulations. The CPR is a think tank that advocates better regulations to protect human health and welfare as well as the environment as a whole.
    http://www.progressivereform.org/CPRBlog.cfm?idBlog=626EA67A-FD32-03A1-B65F7E786B75622A

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 6 Jun 2014 @ 7:53 PM

  100. Eric @79. I follow renewables especially PV, but as an outsider. I think the people inside the industry expect exponential growth of 30-50% per annum to continue. But the energy agencies routinely forecast that growth will stop or even reverse. I suspect this is largely due to institutional blind spots, including, but not limited to the fact that future project pipelines will always empty out as you go forward in time (PV farms to be built ten yeras from now are not yet in the planning pipeline). Supposedly IEA now has new leadership, we will see how their predictions change the next few years.
    But, if I look at Europe, the three big PV countries were Germany, Spain, and Italy. All three have decreased their rate of adoption by severalfold. So we have an example of formerly enthusiastic adopters practically falling off the map -and at a time when the cost of new systems has plummented. So the issue is, are these European examples outliers, or are they an indication that the exponential phase can rapidly end -and at not particularly high penetration rates.

    Comment by Thomas — 6 Jun 2014 @ 10:09 PM

  101. reply#57

    I dont know exactly what you are thinking apart from some kind of ultimate doom scenario but as the USA has promised 30% cuts in coal burning relative to 2005 levels then 6C is looking more and more unlikely. The feedbacks your are referring to dont appear to be a major factor being stated by the science although of course its a possibility at 3-4C via permafrost melt which seems to be the big one in the media these days but not so much in the scientific literature (IPCC etc).

    Don’t think its all over for us for that is a blind belief in my mind and not one that unless we economically and politically stupid enough to burn it all but as we know its not going to happen. Like you though I can see enough momentum in the system for 3-4C.

    Comment by Pete Best — 7 Jun 2014 @ 4:02 AM

  102. 70 Dave — “Secondly, has anybody done any work that concludes what the “ideal” global temperature should be?”

    30C, +/-5C. Above that, our staple crops close their stomata to conserve water from evaporation thus inhibiting photosynthesis, and their enzymes denature.

    It’s all about food IMHO. And then there are the effects on marine life, which is our other food.

    Comment by J Bowers — 7 Jun 2014 @ 7:46 AM

  103. Richard Tol has been complaining about that 97% figure again…

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2014/jun/06/97-consensus-global-warming

    (Dana Nuccitelli responds in the comments below, and his original criticisms are linked in the first sentence pf Tol’s article)

    Comment by Guy Rowland — 7 Jun 2014 @ 12:25 PM

  104. Hmm. Combine an extreme heatwave with creaky power infrastructure based on coal, and administered by a notoriously inefficient bureaucracy. What could possibly go wrong?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/india-riots-sparked-by-heat-wave-power-outages-1.2668358

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Jun 2014 @ 1:17 PM

  105. Dana Rohrabacher, Vice Chairman of the House Science Committee, has been calling the Cook et al. “97%” paper “a lie” that top Obama Administration officials won’t defend. He’s claiming that NOAA director Jane Lubchenco, EPA head Gina McCarthy and Science Advisor John Holdren wouldn’t defend the paper and dodged questions about it in testimony before his committee.

    It would be nice if anyone reading this who has the right connections could get in touch with Ms. McCarthy, Dr. Holdren and Dr. Lubchenco and ask them to issue strong public statements endorsing the Cook et al. paper (after reading it, of course ;) ).

    Rohrabacher has been repeatedly taking McCarthy’s, Holdren’s and Lubchenco’s names in vain in his attacks on the “97%” paper. That’s been his latest talking-point (check out the twitter feed @danarohracher if you have the stomach for it).

    Strong statements of endorsement from Ms. McCarthy and Drs. Holdren and Lubchenco would take away one of Rohrabacher’s favorite anti-science talking-points.

    Below are a few of Rohrabacher’s recent tweets:

    “Presidents science advisor, heads of NOAA & EPA, pro GW scientists, when asked not one would defend 97o/o– so it is a lie”

    “major figures refuse to support 97o/o claim. That should tip U off as to lies that many advocates of GWarming support”

    “asked specifically about the 97o/o claim & they [Holdren and Lubchenco] would not defend it, dodging the question. It is bogus yet still repeated”

    “personally asked Presidents science advisor, head of EPA & NOAA not one defended 97o/o as accurate. BOGUS like other claims”

    Comment by caerbannog — 7 Jun 2014 @ 3:37 PM

  106. A few thoughts, probably worth about what they’ll cost you. It seems like the RealClimate Comment section has become more of a forum than an Echo Chamber, something I value in my monitoring of various science forums. Enforced civility and relevance are probably a good thing too, though I do enjoy the occasional zingers or creative insults. In that vein, I was a little shocked to see one of the moderators, Mike, referred to Dr. Curry, as producing “a cry for help.” While, I may not agree with everything she or many of the denizens that contribute to her blog post, such a comment’s insinuations seem way out of bounds to me; certainly not in line with the rules you would seem to want your commenters to follow. Consider this a finger wagging Tsk. Tsk. Mike.
    That said, I’d like to point out to Chris @86 that your plan to slap a punitive Carbon tax on China sounds like a great way to start W.W.III. China has repeatedly said that the history of developed nation’s CO2 output counts more than the present output. Our dependence on them buying our Treasuries at a minimum should give pause to such an idea. Though, perhaps the resultant World War or Great Depression is what you are hoping for to save us from CO2. If so, remember the survivors will be the unlucky ones. Rats don’t taste any better just because the weather is nice. Enjoy.

    Comment by John Vonderlin — 7 Jun 2014 @ 8:23 PM

  107. 86 Chris D,

    Re-read Krugman’s article. He currently places the USA on the naughty list. So, as France and Germany and other wealthy countries lower their emissions, Chris, how much should the USA have to pay, assuming we take BAU?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 8 Jun 2014 @ 1:14 AM

  108. 59 michael sweet 60 Walter Pearce: Sorry I didn’t remove every occurrence of the word you object to. I will check for that word more carefully in the future. My point remains:

    You have to do the math. All of it.

    61 Kevin McKinney reminds you to do the math.

    You have to solve the whole problem, however you do it. That means you have to SOLVE the energy storage problem. that means do the math. We don’t have the technology. Without technology we don’t have, renewables give you either very expensive energy or intermittent energy. The Trainer article that I referenced spoke about the expensive part.

    79 Eric Rowland has “worked in the renewable energy business for over 10 years and during that time I’ve designed and sold a little over 50MW of installed solar energy.”
    If you click on “Eric Rowland,” you go to Eric Rowland’s business web site. There is nothing wrong with selling solar panels. But it doesn’t solve the whole problem. And Eric Rowland’s comment is spam/advertising.
    I am selling math. Math is free.

    Again, sorry. My intent was to focus on the math required to do the whole problem. The whole problem requires engineers to design whatever system works for wherever electricity is needed. It won’t be the same system everywhere. To stop GW, we have to solve the problem with a new constraint. CO2 production must be minimized. Engineers are needed to design for specific places. Salesmen cannot do engineering if they are not degreed engineers.

    EPA/Obama is promulgating a new rule for power plants. It is a first step, not good enough. Will RC comment on it?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 8 Jun 2014 @ 2:11 AM

  109. re 108 – Anyone that can think, do math, and get their facts straight can do engineering – then one needs a PE to sign the permit applications.

    This is nothing against engineers. Quite the contrary, everybody that is thinking about important stuff, should have a basic knowledge of math and engineering. Everyone needs to understand the culture of engineering. It is one of the cores of civilization.

    One clear issue is the way climate scientists and engineers express risk. For example IPCC statements on the risk of sea level rise cannot be translated into a basis of engineering design, and the IPCC does not accept the kind of protocols that engineers would use to calculate sea level rise as a basis of engineering design.

    For example one good El Nino can raise level along the California coast in ways that will rip levees to pieces. This is important to engineers, but climate scientists consider it only a short term weather event, and not long term global sea level rise.

    For CA levees, I would say that a reasonable sea level basis of engineering design is 60 cm during the next strong El Nino. However, the climate guys looking at long term averages do not see 60 cm global sea level rise for decades. When the long term IPCC projection of SLR is cited as a basis of current engineering design for California water infrastructure, then our civilization is suffering from a failure to communicate from Climate Science to Engineering and from Engineering to Climate Science. (Sure the IPCC and others put disclaimers in saying the stated projections are not intended to be used as a basis of engineering design in public or safety critical design, but they do not provide such basis.) This will result in infrastructure failure and wasted capital.

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 8 Jun 2014 @ 2:52 PM

  110. I like reading this website and have commented a couple of times in the past. I recently stumbled on an article written for the National Post.

    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/04/14/lawrence-solomon-search-is-on-for-the-island-of-palau-lost-in-the-pacific/

    My first impression when reading it was that the central claim, that the UN had predicted the demise of the island of Palau by 2010 in models run in 2005, seems highly improbable (not because there appears not to be an ‘island of Palau’). The average magnitude of sea level rise is only a few mm per year, and as I understand it, a little more in parts of the pacific. The highest point in Palau (the island chain) is 240m. The capital city of Palau, Ngerulmud, appears to be at an elevation of 3m (http://dateandtime.info/citycoordinates.php?id=7303944), though I am not sure exactly what that value means (average elevation maybe?). The idea that the UN predicted in 2005 that the islands would disappear within 5 years does not sound reasonable.

    I have been unable to find this claim anywhere on the internet with all of my searches bringing me back to this National Post article. The author provides three links as references at the end. The third link is described by the author as

    “For the original study by Professor Norman Myers of Oxford on which the UN based its mapping, click here”

    This is a link to a pdf that appears to be a short text written as part of a conference that took place in 2005 organised by the OSCE and not the UN, and is not a scientific paper and the author is not a climate scientist. From what I can tell, the paper does not refer to Palau at all, does not seem to discuss climate models, and makes only one passing reference to sea-level rise.

    The second link the author provides is to a pdf that appears to be a screenshot from a website, though it seems to have been carefully edited to make it hard to see which website it is from. This website also makes no mention of Palau or sea-level rise. From the National Post article, and the pdf itself, you would think that these predictions come from UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). With a bit of Googling, I found that the screenshot appears to come from the website for ‘GRID-Arendal’, which has some association with UNEP. They have replaced the page depicted in the pdf with this http://www.grida.no/general/4700.aspx. The website contains the following message

    “We have decided to withdraw the product and accompanying text. It follows some media reports suggesting the findings presented were those of UNEP and the UN, which they are not.”

    The first link is just a blow-up of the plot in the second link. You can see that the Palau islands appear to be in a region shaded purple, which means ‘areas exposed to hurricanes’. The map does mark some island as ‘small islands (some disappear completely)’, but it is hard to see which islands it is referring to.

    So anyway, I had a lot of fun looking this up. It appears that the claim was cooked-up by the author of the National Post article as a way to discredit climate science models and the UN.

    Comment by Colin Johnstone — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:16 PM

  111. Kevin McKinney #95,

    “So, for Anderson and Bows-Larkin, building a low-carbon energy supply is “pivotal,” but can no longer serve as the sole option because we have quite simply frittered away too much of our lead time. By contrast, for Dio, anything on the supply side is “minor”.”

    Quoting me out of context will not help your faulty argument one iota.

    If we want to save our civilization, and our species, from climate disaster, rather than sell renewables, here’s what’s needed. We need to set limits such that the climate will stabilize at acceptable levels of key metrics. Now, Steinacher identifies six metrics that must be satisfied, but for purposes of this discussion, I will focus on temperature. We need to set a temperature limit that won’t be exceeded and lead to disaster. Until we identify that limit, all discussions of mitigation plans are essentially meaningless.

    Now, when papers are written discussing temperature targets, two main quantities are provided: a temperature, and the chances of staying under that temperature. If a fixed temperature is selected, say 2 C for purposes of this discussion, one can come to any conclusion desired by altering the chances of staying within that temperature. Thus, for the Anderson example, I have seen chances of remaining within 2 C at both 50/50 and roughly 2/1. As the chances of staying within 2 C increase, the allowable carbon budget decreases. Nothing more complicated. As Spratt shows, if we want our chances of remaining under 2 C to be 90%, there is no allowable carbon budget remaining.

    So, the first question to be asked is what is the temperature ceiling desired, and the second question to be asked is what chance do we want to allow the temperature to exceed that ceiling? All I do is go by the statements of experts, including Hansen and his 15+ co-authors, Thomas Lovejoy, Anderson, McKibben, Spratt, etc. All have said that 2 C is dangerous (using different flavors of dangerous), and all have said that 1 C is a much ‘safer’ target. Now, how do we interpret ‘dangerous’ in this context? My interpretation is the possibility that the positive feedbacks can go on autopilot (out of our control) and eventually bring the climate to conditions unacceptable for human life. But, in any case, when experts tell me something is ‘dangerous’, I usually try to avoid it, in the absence of conflicting information.

    So, at a minimum, I would want the highest possible chance of not exceeding 2 C, but would much prefer to have a substantial chance to stay under 1 C. If there is no remaining carbon budget at 2 C, according to Spratt’s quote of Raupach’s result, then to stay under 1 C we would be heavily in carbon debt. Given that reality, the target should be re-stated as two maximization conditions: maximize the reduction in fossil fuel use STARTING TODAY; maximize the reduction in GHG concentration STARTING TODAY. Neither of these is accessible through introduction of low carbon sources, the installation rates aren’t there to meet the large demand reductions required. Any introduction of low carbon sources will be for the main purpose of making the large fossil demand reductions more bearable (not pleasant). In this scenario, the role of low carbon sources in achieving the required temperature targets is ‘minor’.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:31 PM

  112. Edward Greisch #108,

    “Without technology we don’t have, renewables give you either very expensive energy or intermittent energy.”

    You’re putting the cart before the horse. The real problem we have is that the renewables salesmen offer the fiction that introduction of renewables alone (perhaps with some energy efficiency improvement technology) is enough to keep the climate from entering a ‘dangerous’ state. In addition to not doing the math you identify, they don’t do the math demonstrating that renewables are adequate to protect us. The reason they don’t do either math is because the math doesn’t give them the results they want. If I believed that introduction of renewables combined with the energy efficiency improvement technologies could protect us from the ultimate catastrophe, I would be willing to support this even if it were expensive. Money is not the only consideration when it comes to insuring survival of our species. But, I don’t believe it because it’s not true.

    [edit - stop]

    Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:50 PM

  113. 105 caerbannog: The debate on 97% is also hot at:
    https://class.coursera.org/4dimensions-003/forum/thread?thread_id=270

    But the debate is irrelevant. You need to repeat Tyndall’s 1859 experiment. It is much easier to do today. Look up Tyndall. You can watch a modern version on youtube at
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot5n9m4whaw

    The fact you need to know to understand Global Warming is this: CO2 is opaque to infrared. Oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to infrared.

    Whatever politicians say is irrelevant. Politicians are not scientists, as they have admitted. What is relevant is what NATURE says. NATURE will determine the results of our actions. Politicians are helpless as well as clueless. In the old days, we would have said that “the politicians are trying to tell God what to do.” It doesn’t work that way. We no longer use that kind of language.

    Journalists are putting words into the mouths of bureaucrats. So what? Both are merely humans.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:55 PM

  114. “16
    Chris Dudley says:
    2 Jun 2014 at 9:43 AM”

    (in regard to a disaster scenario I inquired about in May, #384).

    Sounds like that particular movie disaster can’t happen.
    Re asphyxiating on C02, it doesn’t seem there is enough recoverable FF to raise C02 to the level to begin asphyxiation in humans.

    Comment by Spectator — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:56 PM

  115. 104 Kevin McKinney: Thank you for “India riots sparked by heat wave, power outages”
    117 degrees F is getting too close to the survivable limit. 130-117=13
    And this is only June.

    What is the maximum temperature a human can survive?

    “About 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55˚ Celsius), with proper hydration. However this depends on many things, such as the length of exposure to the heat source or how used to the hot temperatures is the individual person.
    For example, a person who lives nearby a hot desert, or is used to desert temperatures will obviously resist heat longer, than a person who is relatively used to cold temperatures.”

    http://answers.wikia.com/wiki/What_is_the_maximum_temperature_a_human_can_survive

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:57 PM

  116. I don’t know but I think our future depends on the next couple of elections in the United States. I can’t see how a Republican elected President, Senate and Congress gets us anywhere toward our goal of capping CO2 emissions.

    “Yeah, absolutely,” Obama responded. “Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us. … We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling. … The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-climate-change-deniers-congress

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 8 Jun 2014 @ 5:02 PM

  117. I don’t know but I think our future depends on the next couple of elections in the United States. I can’t see how a Republican elected President, Senate and Congress gets us anywhere toward our goal of capping CO2 emissions.

    “Yeah, absolutely,” Obama responded. “Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us. … We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling. … The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-climate-change-deniers-congress

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 8 Jun 2014 @ 5:04 PM

  118. Jim (#107),

    How sad for you that you would write such a thing.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 8 Jun 2014 @ 5:55 PM

  119. #96,

    Your camel is broken, but my climate started killing people when China decided to massively increase emissions and become the largest polluter. And they are still going. And the deaths are still mounting.

    Obviously there is a safe threshold and emission up to that point don’t matter. Past that threshold, failing to cut emissions is intentional slaughter. China is adding straw after straw after straw well after the time to change direction. Get a grip.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 8 Jun 2014 @ 6:08 PM

  120. John (#106),

    Since China has already agree to Article XX of GATT, retaliation by them would lead to WTO sanctions. Your point about US treasuries is mistaken. With the tariff, US GDP grows, bringing the deficit down and reducing bond sales.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 8 Jun 2014 @ 6:15 PM

  121. “Past that threshold, failing to cut emissions is intentional slaughter.”
    If that applies to any country, it applies to the US equally. If “your climate” hadn’t already taken us to the brink, China acting as you did in the past wouldn’t matter. No one country or group of countries is “to blame”, we’re all in the oven together.

    [even Captcha says 'shall allyeB']

    Comment by flxible — 8 Jun 2014 @ 10:54 PM

  122. Sorry for the double post. My first post disappeared from my screen under the name, “Anonymous Says”… so I thought it didn’t get sent.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 9 Jun 2014 @ 12:14 AM

  123. Chris,

    The US is responsible for a lot more emissions per capita than China and for much greater cumulative emissions. See figure 21 on Hansen’s updated figures page. It is disingenuous to say that just because China’s rising emissions come at a time when climate change is turning dangerous, that China should be made to pay more than the US. If we keep ignoring our (the western societies) contribution to the problem, it ain’t gonna get fixed or even mitigated. Note that US emissions rose last year and even more in the first two months of this year, even as the economy contracted and not to mention exported emissions.

    Comment by Tony — 9 Jun 2014 @ 2:31 AM

  124. Kevin McKinney,

    In #111, the two maximization targets I specify are for the purpose of risk reduction. We want to maximize our chances of coming as close to 1 C as is possible. To do so, we need to pull out all the stops ASAP.

    Further on #111, if you don’t agree with the temperature targets I have selected, please state the combination of temperature ceiling and chance of remaining below that ceiling that is acceptable to you, and why it is acceptable. In the Anderson example you selected, tell me specifically why a 50/50, or even 2/1, chance of remaining below 2 C is acceptable, or why 2 C has any validity as a desired ceiling.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 9 Jun 2014 @ 5:16 AM

  125. Pete Best #101,

    “as the USA has promised 30% cuts in coal burning relative to 2005 levels then 6C is looking more and more unlikely. The feedbacks your are referring to dont appear to be a major factor being stated by the science although of course its a possibility at 3-4C”

    Here is Kevin Anderson’s statement on that proposed reduction (http://kevinanderson.info/blog/category/quick-comment/):

    “The United States’ plan to reduce power sector emissions by 30% by 2030 (c.f. 2005) is the jewel in the crown of US mitigation policies. Under current proposals economy-wide reductions in total emissions will be much less than 30%; Climate Action Tracker (CAT) estimates emissions will be just 10% below their 2005 level. Yet even if total emissions were to follow the example of the power sector, they would still fall far short of the country’s 2°C commitments enshrined in agreements from the Copenhagen Accord to the Camp David Declaration.

    The EU, with emissions per person just 50% of those for a typical US citizen, needs an across the board reduction of over 80% by 2030 (c.f. 2005)1 if it is to make its fair contribution to avoiding the 2°C characterisation of dangerous climate change. Given the higher per capita emissions of the US, reductions there would need to be greater still.

    Consequently, whilst Obama’s proposition is certainly brave within the rarified political environment of Congress, it signals yet another wealthy nation whose weak domestic targets are fatally undermining international obligations around 2°C. The low level of ambition of the US, EU, Russia, China et al is why global emissions are set on a pathway much more aligned with a 4°C to 6°C future (~RCP8.5) than the 2°C of our rhetorical targets. Moreover, given that temperatures relate to the cumulative build up of CO2 in the atmosphere, failure to radically reduce emissions in the short-term locks in higher temperatures and “dangerous” impacts, particularly for “poorer populations“. Ramping up the mitigation effort post 2030 will simply be too late. This is a challenging message with implications for policy makers (and all of us) that we have thus far refused to countenance.”

    As for 6 C being possible or non-possible due to positive feedbacks going on autopilot at some lower temperature, I would not rule it out. It all depends on one’s interpretation of 2 C as being ‘dangerous’, much less how one would characterize 3 C or 4 C.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 9 Jun 2014 @ 5:48 AM

  126. Chris@ 118 and 119,
    Do you really not understand how interconnected the global economy actually is? Perhaps you should take a trip to your local Walmart and check to see how many products on their shelves are made in the USA with low carbon footprint manufacturing techniques. Guess where most of the products that concerned and patriotic Americans like yourself buy, are made? Your China bashing notwithstanding… the per capita carbon footprint of the average Chinese is still far below that of the Average American. If you are so inclined watch the launch of the 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years” http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=6316 pay close attention to the second part and the comment about what is needed for a real dialogue with all global participants, hint a holier than thou attitude is rather counter productive.

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 9 Jun 2014 @ 6:03 AM

  127. #114,

    I think you think that the recovery factor can’t exceed unity for a oil field. However using hydrogen to activate non-mobile carbon could raise the recovery factor above unity.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 9 Jun 2014 @ 6:59 AM

  128. Tony (#123),

    Everyone should be cutting at this point towards the US goal which is about 3 GtC per per person per year. Since we have more to cut, it will be more expensive for us than for others since we must write off more sunk costs in fossil fuel infrastructure. The US needs to do what it can to get China to cut emissions. Imposing tariffs seems like a good method since China has already agreed to GATT. If your position is that world emissions should increase, then there is not much to talk about. But, at least admit you want the death and destruction that accompanies that. You want more global warming rather than less.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 9 Jun 2014 @ 7:20 AM

  129. flxible (#122),

    In fact, countries set their own emissions policies. That means that there is agency and that mean responsibility and blame.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 9 Jun 2014 @ 7:29 AM

  130. Greisch @ 108: No, you’re absolutely right — the math that’s been done has resulted in hundreds of smooth-running, efficient nuke plants delivering clean energy throughout the country, with dozens more coming on line every year…

    Oops.

    I have no interest in more blather on nukes and was simply agreeing with Michael Sweet’s point that your advocacy has become tedious. Why not take your own advice and take that particular discussion to BNC?

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 9 Jun 2014 @ 8:23 AM

  131. Congratulations to Gavin on his appointment. Best of luck.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Jun 2014 @ 10:15 AM

  132. #111–I’ll leave it to the readers to decide whose argument is “faulty.” But your 4 paragraphs asserting already oft-repeated points not at issue here (because nobody is disagreeing with them) probably won’t prejudice them in your favor.

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-3/#comment-550370

    Cutting to the chase:

    “…the target should be re-stated as two maximization conditions: maximize the reduction in fossil fuel use STARTING TODAY; maximize the reduction in GHG concentration STARTING TODAY.”

    Absolutely correct, in my opinion.

    “Neither of these is accessible through introduction of low carbon sources, the installation rates aren’t there to meet the large demand reductions required.”

    Renewable energy is currently displacing more fossil fuel emission than anything else. By contrast, Dio, you yourself have characterized the DAAP™ as probably ‘not sellable.’ Sadly, there is no discernible real-world evidence that you are wrong in that characterization.

    And why might that be? I’d suggest that people need two main things to make a change. First, it has to be crystal clear that there is a need to change. That, of course, is what RC is all about, and it’s something you yourself make a positive contribution to with the plain talk about risk assessment und so weiter. But we do run into the issue of denial, whether emotionally-based, financially/tactically-based, or a combination of both. A highly persistent campaign of truth-telling is indicated, and indeed underfoot, if not resourced as highly as I’d like it to be. But it is winning, and will continue to gain ground over time, despite transient ups and downs–not least, because the problems become harder and harder to deny.

    The second thing, though, is an actionable alternative. In principle, that could be demand reduction; but there you run into the denial problem. Humans are hard-wired to dislike ‘giving things up.’ Substituting something is much more palatable. That’s why there is action on renewable energy, and very, very little on ‘just saying no.’

    You say that renewable adoption rates are too low. Correct. But they are orders of magnitude higher than your proposed alternative, and much, much more ‘sellable.’ Moreover, they have been rising exponentially, and while that can’t continue indefinitely, we do not know yet where the limits lie.

    Forgive my plain speaking, but I think it’s just stupid to criticize the leading factor dampening FF growth in favor of a measure which, however necessary over the longer term, is making no contribution whatever at present, and seems unlikely to do so in the next few years.

    It’s doubly stupid when there is a lot of work to do to get renewables (and nuclear) adoption rates up to what they need to be in order to, as you say, “[make] the large fossil demand reductions more bearable (not pleasant).”

    You say that your goal is to be “STARTING TODAY.” But your suggested course of action, through its tactical folly, does not support that goal.

    In short, I’m thinking more and more that your scorn for ‘salesmen’ is highly ironic. What we need, if you think about it, IS salesmen. I’m not one, either by nature, inclination, or definition. Quite self-evidently, you aren’t either. More’s the pity. We need a disaster avoidance plan that is not only sellable, but sold. And somebody’s got to do the selling.

    “The words of the prophets are written in the concert halls
    And studio walls
    And echo
    With the sounds of salesmen.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Jun 2014 @ 10:29 AM

  133. Dave > Is it that we would want it where it is now, or 1,2,3,4, degrees warmer or colder?

    Start thinking about climate changes in IAU (Ice Age Units): http://xkcd.com/1379/

    Tweeted by Gavin.

    Comment by patrick — 9 Jun 2014 @ 10:36 AM

  134. Is there anything going on here any more besides attacks on renewable energy and finger-pointing at China — both based on, and conducted through, endless repetition of falsehoods and fallacies and insults?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Jun 2014 @ 10:44 AM

  135. (Edward Greisch — 8 Jun 2014 @ 3:55 PM)

    The fact you need to know to understand Global Warming is this: CO2 is opaque to infrared. Oxygen and nitrogen are transparent to infrared.

    Whatever politicians say is irrelevant. Politicians are not scientists, as they have admitted. What is relevant is what NATURE says. NATURE will determine the results of our actions. Politicians are helpless as well as clueless.

    As far as the science goes, I agree with the above 100%. However, my intent isn’t to debate the science with folks like Rohrabacher; instead, it’s to do whatever I can (in any small way) to help isolate and marginalize them. Rohrabacher is highly unlikely to read (and even more unlikely to understand) the Cook et al. paper.

    However, as the 2nd in command on the House of Representatives “Science” Committee, he is in a position to mislead the public about that paper. And as long as Rohrabacher can trot out the “Obama Admin Officials refuse to defend the 97% paper” talking-point, he can continue to mislead the public with respect to the scientific consensus. He’s gone way out on a limb with this, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help saw it off behind him.

    With respect to the science, what politicians say is definitely irrelevant, but what they *do* can have huge impacts on how society responds to the information provided by scientists.

    Comment by caerbannog — 9 Jun 2014 @ 10:53 AM

  136. I was intrigued to read an article in The Economist about the business of energy demand-side management (May 10th issue, p.65, if anyone wants to check it out. It’s probably available online, as well.)

    The biggest firm is the decade-old American firm Enernoc, which earns $383 million annually, and has acquired a number of smaller firms, particularly in Europe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EnerNOC

    The Economist says that demand management can source up to 20GW in the US, or 2% of installed capacity, and has ‘plenty of room to grow.’ (That’s especially true for Europe, where current demand-side ‘virtual capacity’ is only 5.4 GW.)

    That article acknowledges that “Demand response still faces skepticism.” (What a surprise!) But also, “Some parts of America already have well developed markets in capacity, where demand-resonse providers can bid alongside conventional power producers for supply contracts, typically three years sin advance. Their cost advantage makes them increasingly competitive.”

    So perhaps I was a little too hasty in telling Dio (above) that there was nothing happening with demand reduction/energy efficiency. (Though I wonder if the vulgarly commercial tone of all this will make this comment poor consolation for him. So many salesmen involved…) Anyway, I’m delighted to be wrong in this respect. If demand response can provide the virtual equivalent of this kind of power, that’s obviously relevant for grid management as penetration of intermittent sources increases.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Jun 2014 @ 10:53 AM

  137. The first one is free.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Jun 2014 @ 11:54 AM

  138. Hank Roberts > Dennett cites Anatole Rapoport as his source for these ideas.

    The fact is duly credited by the item I cited.

    What’s really important to me is this idea of Dennett’s: “in the real world past history and future function are bound together by…evolution, development and learning.” I think this is a key to many questions that come up here. So does Steven Rose, who extends it–in spite of everything else:

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/19/daniel-dennett-intuition-pumps-thinking-extract

    We’re not going to get out of this mess except one tweet, one study, one step, and one generation at a time, so to speak.

    Rapoport did not shrink from crisis, as you may know. He did teach-ins.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatol_Rapoport#Conflict_and_peace_studies

    Gentlepersons, start your teach-ins.

    Comment by patrick — 9 Jun 2014 @ 11:56 AM

  139. @119:

    Obviously there is a safe threshold and emission up to that point don’t matter. Past that threshold, failing to cut emissions is intentional slaughter. China is adding straw after straw after straw well after the time to change direction. Get a grip.

    The first sentence is internally inconsistent, because every increment of emissions moves the system closer to the threshold. The second and third sentences apply to everyone currently emitting, not just China. It’s true that everyone emitting since the peril became clear is more _morally_ culpable than those emitting before that point, but that doesn’t completely absolve those who emitted before that point: alarms have been sounding for decades now. Nor does it say anything about _physical_ culpability, which is equal for every identical GHG molecule, no matter who emitted it or when.

    Once again, we’re all in this together, and it’d be best for us to work together to limit emissions. Passing blame around doesn’t seem to do much for that effort.

    Comment by Meow — 9 Jun 2014 @ 2:04 PM

  140. Tony:

    I find it disturbing that Figure 27 comparng US and China in Hansen’s figures page cuts off in 1900, as this omits the integral of literally millennia of emissions from the nation that inaugurated the metalurgical use of coal and coke and natural gas drilling centuries before any other.

    Comment by Russell — 9 Jun 2014 @ 2:16 PM

  141. Gavin,

    Congratulations on your promotion! Hope you will still be able to be involved here.

    Regards,

    Chris

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 9 Jun 2014 @ 2:21 PM

  142. Tony @123.
    I prefer my own version to Hensen’s figure 21B of the per capita cumulative CO2 emissions for different countries. Yet it should be said that the top offender goes unmentioned in both graphs. That is Luxembourg which has had a relatively massive steel industry since early industrial time.
    I did read somewhere recently that for all GHGs (ie not just CO2) its the UK takes to top spot but I cannot remember where.

    Comment by MARodger — 9 Jun 2014 @ 2:25 PM

  143. Congratulations, Gavin! ;-)

    Comment by Jonathan Abbey — 9 Jun 2014 @ 2:43 PM

  144. Congrats to Gavin on the promotion!

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20140609/

    Comment by numerobis — 9 Jun 2014 @ 3:32 PM

  145. Congratulations to Gavin on being named Director of GISS!

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 9 Jun 2014 @ 3:59 PM

  146. Just a note to say congrats to Gavin on his recent appointment. Dr Hansen will be a tough act to follow, however no doubt you will continue to bring your own particular blend of hard science and clear communication to the role. Richly deserved, keep up the good work.

    Comment by Phil Clarke — 9 Jun 2014 @ 4:18 PM

  147. 118 Chris D,

    Krugman was criticizing the tendency to blame or use China as an excuse, giving tariffs as a hypothetical proving that there’s no problem. Your fixation on China is the opposite of Krugman’s point. And your logic has a couple problems:

    First, China might climb on board faster than the USA. They don’t have elections or deniers to get in the way. If that should happen, should China put punitive tariffs on the USA?

    Second, China’s equally valid point of view is per capita emissions, where they beat the pants off the USA. They would put environmental tariffs right back on the USA. Can you say trade war?

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 9 Jun 2014 @ 5:05 PM

  148. Congratulations, Dr. Schmidt. GISS seems to be in good hands.But I always thought your degree was in Physics…

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 9 Jun 2014 @ 5:12 PM

  149. Congratulations, Gavin!

    Comment by Kevin O'Neill — 9 Jun 2014 @ 5:46 PM

  150. Congratulations to Gavin on being named Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The right choice, of course, and one that will no doubt cause considerable teeth-grinding in certain circles.

    Comment by Adam R. — 9 Jun 2014 @ 6:38 PM

  151. We talk-talk-talk temperature change. What we need is Corn-Wheat-Bean production change estimates. From that we can think about 10 billion.

    Can we have corn and 2 degrees? Wheat and 4 degrees? Those are crucial and very difficult questiona!!

    Comment by oaw — 9 Jun 2014 @ 7:00 PM

  152. Yawn.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 9 Jun 2014 @ 7:25 PM

  153. About 10 cubic kilometers of ice seem to have just fallen off of Jakobshavn. This is a very major calving event! Reported on here:
    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/ten-cubic-kilometers-of-ice-lost-from-jakobshavn-glacier-in-less-than-one-month/#comments

    and discussed here:http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,154.200.html

    Comment by wili — 9 Jun 2014 @ 8:12 PM

  154. The seemingly obligatory monthly wade through energy use and sources “has aroused me from my dogmatic slumber” to contribute my two cents, which is merely that it’s all about EROI, and in support of which I enclose excerpts from the summary of the third chapter of Roger Boyd’s “Energy & The Financial System”.

    “Total world energy demand in 2010 was about 523 quadrillion (that’s 523 thousand billion) British Thermal Units (BTU) … In the past century this energy demand has grown by a factor of ten. Global energy consumption is estimated to keep growing at about 1.6% for the next 20 years, resulting in a 36% growth during that period. Nearly all of the growth is assumed to be in the low and medium income economies, such as China, India and Brazil.

    “Fossil fuels currently provide about 87% of current energy supplies, dwarfing the 2% provided by the new renewables such as wind, solar, and bio-fuel. Even with relatively optimistic assumptions about the growth of such renewables, it’s obvious that they will not be able to meet even the forecast increase in energy demand, let alone replace current fossil fuel energy sources. Hydro and nuclear will be able to provide some additions, but even with their contribution, fossil fuel use will need to increase to meet the forecast demand. … As long as economic growth continues, which historically requires increases in energy use, renewable and nuclear energy will not realistically displace fossil fuel use.

    “… Exacerbating the global energy problem is the lower net energy levels of both the new fossil fuel energy sources and most of the renewables. Thus, increases in gross output may conceal decreases in the net energy available to society as more energy is required both to find and exploit any new – and usually less energy dense – sources.

    “… With the need to combat climate change the future may also be constrained by limitations on the amount of fossil fuel energy that can be safely used, as well as the amount of fossil fuel available. [Epic understatement!] Instead a long and complex journey to a simpler way of living may be what stands before Earth’s population, especially in rich industrialised countries. With the need to build out a whole new energy infrastructure in the face of falling societal levels of net energy, much of the current consumer economy may have to be curtailed to free up the required energy resources.”

    [For the footnotes, see the original article.]

    Comment by Chris Korda — 9 Jun 2014 @ 8:16 PM

  155. Robertscribbler’s blog should be added to your “Other Options” side bar, as should Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice _Forums_ (not just the blog; most of the really dynamic discussion is now going on at the forums).

    Comment by wili — 9 Jun 2014 @ 8:45 PM

  156. Perhaps others have long known this, but it was a new discovery for me–Kevin Anderson has a blog! http://kevinanderson.info/blog/an-inconvenient-truth-us-proposed-emission-cuts-too-little-too-late/

    Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a comment function.

    Comment by wili — 9 Jun 2014 @ 9:21 PM

  157. #141–Except that in 2013, according to REN-21, 10% of final energy consumption was ‘modern’ renewables, not 2%.

    http://www.ren21.net

    (See 2014 status report executive summary, page 12.)

    I know, it’s hard to keep up.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Jun 2014 @ 9:57 PM

  158. Indeed, congratulations to Gavin!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Jun 2014 @ 9:59 PM

  159. #129,

    You claim that alarm bells have been going off for decades. But it is really only the Greens who have urged a precautionary approach and probably wholeheartedly for less than two decades. It is only in the last few years that we have realized that the threshold had been cross and climate change is now dangerous. There was some early attribution work on the heatwave in Europe, but we were unaware of the kind of recurrence interval we might expect. Most of the world accepted a 2 C limit as the threshold until recently. Diplomacy is still grinding along on that path. An RCP marginally consistent with the Hansen Target paper has only shown up in the most recent IPCC work. If fact, the directions have been to emit more, just get the industrialized countries on track to cut emissions. Let everyone else do sloppy development. But things are different now. People are dying and there is no room for slop. Those who are increasing emission are trying to kill people. Those who are cutting emissions are trying to save people.

    So, you are mistaken: every increment of emissions moves us away from the threshold because it is behind us. That is what makes those who are increasing emissions culpable.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:02 AM

  160. Congrats to Gavin. I only hope it does not reduce his ability to contribute on Real Climate

    Comment by Marco — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:04 AM

  161. Chris (#141),

    Nothing can beat solar for EROEI. Your most luscious early oil gusher can’t hold a candle to it. The reason is that silicon solar cells degrade owing to cosmic ray hits which create crystal defects that trap electron, reducing efficiency. However, it takes little energy to heal those defects. So, over time, the initial embodied energy gets spread out and the limit is the energy cost of re-annealing. Over a few centuries, EROEI will exceed 100.

    You can tell Boyd is just jawboning when he groups Brazil with China and India. You should explore this subject more deeply. You are being led astray.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:25 AM

  162. Congratulations Gavin,too busy for here, any replacement in mind?

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/06/gavin-schmidt-new-director-of-goddard.html

    Comment by john byatt — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:34 AM

  163. 125 caerbannog: How are you going to do That?

    124 SecularAnimist: I am trying to do it by encouraging people to finish the math problem so that they can see what the real problems are. Then that enthusiasm can be directed toward the real problems.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Jun 2014 @ 4:11 AM

  164. Chris Korda #141,

    Your reference to Roger Boyd’s article is excellent! It complements my reference to his previous article Endless Layers of Delusion, which I summarized in #47. His well-conceived statements on the capabilities of solar energy deserve emphasis, and they counter the ‘Endless Layers of Delusion’ we see posted on some threads:

    “The many congratulatory announcements of growth in installed wind and solar capacity MISREPRESENT THE TRUE SITUATION. Even using the best locations possible, the utilization of that capacity is about 40% for wind, 20% for solar photovoltaic (PV), and 60% for concentrated solar (CSP). There are also the SPECIOUS CONGRATULATORY STATEMENTS about wind and solar providing a high percentage of a country’s electricity needs on a specific day, or even confusing electricity supply for the overall energy supply. Of course, there is no mention of the non-windy, overcast days where they may be providing next to nothing and the fossil fuel generating plants are being fully utilized. In the absence of extremely cheap and scalable storage systems, redundant backup systems are needed, as with Germany, which assumes that it will be burning coal to produce electricity for decades to come”…..NEARLY ALL THE INCREASE IN RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION IS USED UP BY THE GROWTH IN DEMAND AND THEREFORE THERE IS VERY LITTLE ACTUAL REDUCTION IN FOSSIL-FUEL USAGE.”

    Comment by DIOGENES — 10 Jun 2014 @ 4:37 AM

  165. Came across some extremely illuminating articles this morning (appended), all authored by Cory Morningstar. They address the history of how the 2 C target came into being, and why it would lead to disaster. They stress the urgency of doing what is necessary to attain not the vaunted 350ppm, but rather 300ppm.

    Where have we heard that before?

    http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/category/articles-2010/expose-the-2o-death-dance-the-1o-cover-up-part-i/
    http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/category/articles-2010/expose-the-2o-death-dance-the-1o-cover-up-part-ii/
    http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/category/articles-2010/climate-change-a-global-imperative-to-return-to-300-ppm/

    Comment by DIOGENES — 10 Jun 2014 @ 5:06 AM

  166. Just a question about a query on the Thwaites glacier in the West Antarctic ice shelf. It is now said that a sizable proportion of the melt and subsequent collapse is caused by geo-thermic sources. Very little additional info is given about the nature of that geo-thermic source. How long has it been active? Could it be caused or triggered by the rapid tectonic rebound happening throughout Antarctica? Is the heat given off increasing? etc. Or do we just not have enough data at this present time? Logic seems to dictate, at least to me that if billions of tonnes of ice is being removed from above the bedrock then weaknesses in the crust will begin to manifest more frequently or move as the mantle below does. How much do we know yet about the fate of the Thwaites glacier or similar glaciers that may succumb to geo-thermic forcing?

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 10 Jun 2014 @ 6:30 AM

  167. Congrats, Gavin!

    Comment by Pete Helseth — 10 Jun 2014 @ 8:42 AM

  168. Thanks to everyone for their good wishes in my new post. Things may be a little different going forward, but I will try to maintain my public outreach (including here) as well as my other roles. – gavin

    Comment by gavin — 10 Jun 2014 @ 9:46 AM

  169. Re- Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:02 AM, ~#154

    You said- “So, you are mistaken: every increment of emissions moves us away from the threshold because it is behind us. That is what makes those who are increasing emissions culpable.”

    Let me restate this so that it is accurate- So, any emission moves us away from the threshold because CO2 is cumulative. That is what makes those who are emitting culpable and when calculated on a per person basis it is the US that is among the most culpable.

    Do you disagree? Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 10 Jun 2014 @ 11:03 AM

  170. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 10 Jun 2014 @ 4:37 AM, ~#164

    Regarding your comment about Germany, here is a puzzle for you. If the world adopted your target of no use of fossil carbon without any compensating development of clean energy, wouldn’t it be those nations, such as Germany, that have already put in place nonpolluting energy infrastructure that will suffer the least?

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 10 Jun 2014 @ 11:24 AM

  171. Let me add my congrats to everyone else’s. Best of luck Gavin!

    Comment by Tokodave — 10 Jun 2014 @ 11:57 AM

  172. “geo-thermic forcing”

    that’s popping up at Watts’s blog yesterday, attributed to PNAS
    Physical Sciences – Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

    Dustin M. Schroeder, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, and Enrica Quartini
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/06/04/1405184111.full.pdf

    Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet PNAS 2014 ; published ahead of print June 9, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1405184111

    Earlier related work:
    July 23, 2013, vol. 110 no. 30
    http://www.pnas.org/content/110/30/12225.short
    12225–12228, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302828110
    Evidence for a water system transition beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica
    Dustin M. Schroeder, Donald D. Blankenship, and Duncan A. Young

    substantial water volumes are ponding in a system of distributed canals upstream of a bedrock ridge that is breached and bordered by a system of concentrated channels. The transition between these systems occurs with increasing surface slope, melt-water flux, and basal shear stress. This indicates a feedback between the subglacial water system and overlying ice dynamics, which raises the possibility that subglacial water could trigger or facilitate a grounding-line retreat in Thwaites Glacier capable of spreading into the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    Edited* by Richard B. Alley, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, and approved June 3, 2013 (received for review February 13, 2013)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Jun 2014 @ 12:06 PM

  173. @159:

    So, you are mistaken: every increment of emissions moves us away from the threshold because it is behind us.

    Perhaps I need to recharge my thinking cap, but I cannot find any way in which this idea represents reality. Or perhaps you have a new hypothesis, in which warming is not proportional to cumulative emissions? If so, explicitly state the hypothesis, and show us how it’s more predictive than the cumulative-emissions hypothesis.

    That is what makes those who are increasing emissions culpable.

    No, increasing emissions is what makes those increasing emissions culpable. And everyone is increasing emissions.
    .

    Comment by Meow — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:01 PM

  174. I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of congratulations to Gavin on his new post.

    I would also like to second Lawrence Coleman’s request at #166 (10 Jun 2014 @ 8:42 AM) for illumination, if any can be found, on the part that geothermal heat is playing in the Thwaites melt. I have already seen denialists jump all over this, and it would be nice to be able to cite some data that puts it in context.

    Comment by wili — 10 Jun 2014 @ 1:52 PM

  175. @166:

    Just a question about a query on the Thwaites glacier in the West Antarctic ice shelf. It is now said that a sizable proportion of the melt and subsequent collapse is caused by geo-thermic sources….

    “It is now said” by whom?

    Comment by Meow — 10 Jun 2014 @ 2:36 PM

  176. Schroeder et al. says:

    the Thwaites Glacier catchment has a minimum average
    geothermal flux of ∼114±10 mW/m2 with areas of high flux exceeding 200 mW/m2

    How does that compare to the rest of the planet?
    My usual five minutes of intensive research aka ‘oogled it:

    Rather old, but for comparison:

    . The mean heat flows of continents and oceans are 65 and 101 mW m−2, respectively

    Heat flow from the Earth’s interior: Analysis of the global data set
    DOI: 10.1029/93RG01249
    Reviews of Geophysics
    Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 267–280, August 1993

    So all of the Thwaites Glacier catchment basin ground temperature is (slightly) above that global average, but they’re describing warm rock and mud, not erupting open mouthed volcanos under the ice.

    Be patient, someone who actually knows something may be enticed to comment.
    Remember, “Climate science from climate scientists” is the goal here. Hope they’re reading and care to comment.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Jun 2014 @ 3:19 PM

  177. P.S. just to make it explicit:

    “mW m-2″ or “mW/m2″ refers to milliwatts per square meter.

    A milliwatt is to a watt as a millimeter is to a meter.

    So this heat under the ice matters — but it’s not warm like sunshine.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Jun 2014 @ 3:27 PM

  178. Steve (#169),

    I do disagree. First, lets use the word contributing rather than culpable to deal with the scientific situation. Nations that are cutting emissions are contributing to stabilizing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Those that cease emissions are contributing to reducing the concentration. Those that are increasing emissions are contributing to raising the concentration. With the exception of the last, you need others to go along with you to get what you want, but your actions are the ones needed to stabilize or reduce the concentration.

    Now for the word culpable, which is a moral judgement. If you are cutting emissions, then you are doing what is needed to make the climate safe again. If you are increasing emissions then you are, with malice, trying to kill more people.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 3:30 PM

  179. @172:

    that’s popping up at Watts’s blog yesterday, attributed to PNAS
    Physical Sciences – Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

    Dustin M. Schroeder, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, and Enrica Quartini
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/06/04/1405184111.full.pdf

    Thank you for the cite. The paper’s upshot is:

    We estimate a minimum average geothermal flux value of about 114 mW/m^2 with a notional uncertainty of about 10 mW/m^2 for the Thwaites Glacier catchment with areas exceeding 200 mW/m^2 (Fig. 3). These values are likely underestimates due to the low uni-form geothermal flux value used in the ice sheet model (9) and the compensating effect of enhanced vertical advection of cold shallow ice in high-melt areas….

    Alright, let’s do some basic physics. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, geothermal flux of 200 mW/m^2 over the entire Thwaites catchment, and also that all of that heat goes into melting the overlying ice (as opposed to, say, heating it to the melting point). The Thwaites catchment has an area of ~189,000 km^2. Water ice has a heat of fusion of 333.55 kJ/kg. A 200 mW (=0.2 J/s) flux is 6.3 MJ/yr (0.2*3600*24*365). That flux will, thus, melt 18.9 kg of ice/yr. Since the flux is distributed over a m^2, the melt rate will be 18.9 kg/m^2/yr, or 3.6 Gt/yr for the entire catchment.

    The actual melt rate for the Thwaites, exclusive of calving, is ~70 Gt/yr (Depoorter et al, doi:10.1038/nature12567, http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~lenae101/pubs/Depoorter2013.pdf , at Fig. 1).

    So, even assuming a geothermal flux almost 2x that in Schroeder, and that all of it melts ice, geothermal flux contributes, at most, 3.6/70=5.1% of Thwaites’s meltwater, and probably much less.

    Comment by Meow — 10 Jun 2014 @ 3:39 PM

  180. 173,

    “Perhaps I need to recharge my thinking cap”

    Well, consider the number line. If your threshold is 2 and you are at 3, adding 1 moves you away from 2.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 4:02 PM

  181. Aside — that ‘billion’/'million’ error at The Conversation was corrected over there a few days after Wally asked about it here back in May

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Jun 2014 @ 6:22 PM

  182. Heat flux in Antarctica.
    I only saw a few paragraphs, but they seemed clear enough. The reported geothermal flux was two to three times the “normal” value. IIRC geothermal heat is roughly 1.e-4 of the power density of solar radiation, i.e. the amount of melting per year would be pretty small. It would be a crucially different boundary condition for an glacier/ice-sheet model however, which starts with ice thats been there for thousands of years. In some cases a dry glacier (ice below freezing down to the bed), might become a temperate glacier, i.e. the base is at the freezing point. The biggest impacts would be reduced resistance to flow both basal and body deformation within the glacier.

    Presumably this level of flux would be stable for thousands of years. Not something that would suddenly come into play, baring eruptive activity.

    Comment by Thomas — 10 Jun 2014 @ 8:15 PM

  183. Sou has a critique of watts
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/06/geothermal-flux-west-antarctica-and.html

    Comment by john byatt — 10 Jun 2014 @ 8:55 PM

  184. Jim (@157),

    How sad that you could so completely misread Krugman. He is a pretty clear writer. As pointed out there, the tariffs are legal for us to impose. It would not be legal for China to retaliate.

    So, you’ve really missed the news I guess. It was supposed to be a topic for this month. I’ll try to clue you in. THE US IS REGULATING CARBON EMISSIONS. There is absolutely no way for China to act faster. We’re already doing it. If they get on board, the tariff ends. But, since we are doing the right thing, they still can’t retaliate.

    And, you seem to be clueless of the US per capita emissions target. Take a guess. Come on, you know you can’t stop yourself. No? OK, times up.

    It’s well below China’s current per capita emissions. They have no excuse there at all.

    Try, try, try to keep up.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 9:28 PM

  185. Mr Dudley ignores the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 to dictate who bears responsibility for current and future CO2 levels, cumulative emissions do matter, and the US is by far the responsible party, and from all I’ve found, the rate is still increasing in the US, as elsewhere – might be your personal energy use whining about China. ;) You might also note that tariffs would have to be imposed on the Qatar, Saudi Arabian, Australian, and Canadian fossil fuel exports, which might have much better effect on reducing emissions … in the US.

    Comment by flxible — 10 Jun 2014 @ 9:38 PM

  186. Congratulations, Gavin Schmidt.

    Comment by barry — 10 Jun 2014 @ 9:49 PM

  187. Re- Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Jun 2014 @ 3:30 PM, ~!#178

    Again you are incorrect. You said “Those that are increasing emissions are contributing to raising the concentration.” NO! Any release of fossil based CO2 contributes to the rising concentration because the carbon cycle will not remove it for many hundreds of years. It is the amount of CO2 that is released that is critical, and the most equitable and honest way to count this is amount per capita.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 10 Jun 2014 @ 9:51 PM

  188. Thanks, all for great insights on the geothermal melting under WAIS stuff.

    Thomas at #182 (10 Jun 2014 @ 8:15 PM): That to me is the main question: Has this level of geothermal heating been constant for millennia, or is this something new, possibly triggered by offloading of ice mass from other GW-related forcings?

    Comment by wili — 10 Jun 2014 @ 10:13 PM

  189. If the planet is trending toward increased warming, are scientists currently mapping the progression of the warming by region?
    Are there identified hot spots on the planet that are set to grow and coalesce with each other and eventually begin to work together?
    For example, if the Artic region is warming at the fastest rate on Earth, how do other identified warming regions on the planet (land, ocean, atmosphere) rank after the Artic region for rate of warming?
    In what manner will the various regions coalesce or are they already at work as one entity?
    Thank you.

    Comment by James@CAN — 11 Jun 2014 @ 1:41 AM

  190. Steve Fish #170,

    As usual, you have deliberately and completely misrepresented my position. Read my plan; re-read it until you understand it thoroughly, and then come back and state it correctly. In any case, your question is completely irrelevant, for the following reasons.

    I have posted a number of articles in recent weeks showing that the climate science community was well aware that exceeding the 1 C limit could lead to disaster, possibly the ultimate disaster. They were also aware of the drastic nature of the actions required to stay within that limit; there are only a few actions available, and such actions have been outlined in my plan. Given how society works, there is no doubt in my mind that the politicians and other decision-makers were made aware of the seriousness of the problems and the seriousness of the solutions required to solve these problems.

    Finally, the decision-makers understood quite well there was no way the general public would accept the hardships and sacrifices required to stay within the 1 C limit. They resolved the dilemma of how to act by creating a fiction. They contrived the 2 C limit that, if achieved, would limit climate damage to an acceptable level. This 2 C limit could be achieved without hardship or sacrifice, and mainly was accessible through technology substitution and improvements. This approach would allow the usual job generation from technology improvements, and business could continue as usual. This fiction has been maintained by governments, many in the climate advocacy community, and by most of the climate blogs. It has been maintained by the IPCC, which coincidentally was established at the same time that the need for adhering to the 1 C limit was at its peak of international dissemination.

    So, your question about Germany and its implementation of solar is continuing the fiction. It reflects a focus on the trivial part of the solution, and an inability to address the real part of the solution required.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 11 Jun 2014 @ 4:54 AM

  191. Kevin McKinney #136,

    “So perhaps I was a little too hasty in telling Dio (above) that there was nothing happening with demand reduction/energy efficiency. (Though I wonder if the vulgarly commercial tone of all this will make this comment poor consolation for him. So many salesmen involved…)”

    The problem is not the commercial tone. The problem is all the salesmen pushing a product that won’t solve the problem, such as the ‘tag team’.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 11 Jun 2014 @ 6:05 AM

  192. With subglacial heatflow–actual melting the ice is probably less important than raising the basal glacier temperature. Ice has huge viscosity changes as temperature rises and a warm glacier will flow much faster than a cold one.

    Comment by mitch — 11 Jun 2014 @ 7:35 AM

  193. Ref comment 190
    It seems to me arguing for a 1 degree C limit in the global surface temperature increase is too broad given the size of this planet. A much more useful approach would be to set regional limits in critical regions. In some cases these could be water temperature limits, pH limits, or possibly ice flow velocities?

    Comment by Fernando Leanme — 11 Jun 2014 @ 10:06 AM

  194. I would be very interested in reading comments about the newest post on http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/

    The Arctic Atmospheric ‘Methane Global Warming Veil’. Its Origin in the Arctic Subsea and Mantle and the Timing of the Global Terminal Extinction Events by 2040 to 2050 – A Review.

    By Malcolm P.R. Light, Harold Hensel and Sam Carana
    June 8th, 2014

    [Response: This is almost all complete nonsense, written by people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. - gavin]

    Comment by William Geoghegan — 11 Jun 2014 @ 10:12 AM

  195. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 11 Jun 2014 @ 4:54 AM, ~#190

    You didn’t address my question and nothing you have written here answers this question. I will put a sharper point on it:

    It takes energy to feed 7 to 10 billion people.

    You want to eliminate all fossil energy use (no budget left).
    Won’t countries that already have clean energy sources in place be better off without any fossil energy?

    Don’t write an irrelevant essay about what other knowledgeable people are saying. No name calling. Just answer the question here and now.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 11 Jun 2014 @ 10:14 AM

  196. RE 133 Ice age units (IAU)
    Known effects of IAU are after all feedbacks have come to equilibrium (thousands of years). AGW is recent, and we do not know the full effect of the feedbacks, either from observation or modeling.

    Loss of sea ice and NH snow cover with resultant increase in NH atmospheric water vapor is a big feedback that we are just starting to see.

    We are just starting to see Earth systems carbon feedback from permafrost and sea bed clathrates. Again this feedback is poorly represented in the current generation of climate models.

    In the case of modeling feedback, uncertainty is not our friend. In particular, we do not have a good handle on how fast the feedbacks will affect climate.

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 11 Jun 2014 @ 10:32 AM

  197. > Alright, let’s do some basic physics.

    Congratulations to ‘Meow’ — that useful post was cited by Slashdot
    http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/06/11/0427205/geothermal-heat-contributing-to-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-melting

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Jun 2014 @ 10:54 AM

  198. #191–”The problem is all the salesmen pushing a product that won’t solve the problem, such as the ‘tag team’.”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-4/#comment-552239

    Please review the bit about ‘necessary conditions’ and ‘sufficient conditions.’

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Jun 2014 @ 11:06 AM

  199. Kevin McKinney #132,

    Two points. First, again you refuse to identify any targets that your proposed actions would achieve, despite the fact that I have asked you to do so in a number of posts. Also, you state that renewables are displacing FF more than any other alternatives. That may be so, but the numbers are sufficiently small to be irrelevant ON THE SCALE OF WHAT IS NEEDED TO AVOID DISASTER!

    “In short, I’m thinking more and more that your scorn for ‘salesmen’ is highly ironic. What we need, if you think about it, IS salesmen.”

    I don’t have a scorn for salesmen per se. I agree we need salesmen. But, first and foremost, we need to have a product they can sell that will provide real climate change amelioration, and avoid ultimate disaster. Instead, as Greisch really pointed out, we have the BernieMadoff equivalents for renewables, trying to sell a product whose only beneficiaries will be the sellers! Luckily, the ‘tag team’ are not the salesmen Madoff was.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 11 Jun 2014 @ 11:51 AM

  200. Steve (#187),

    If atmospheric carbon dioxide were in pressure equilibrium with dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans, what you say would be true, and on a stabilization trajectory, we get there is about a century, but owing to disequilibrium, cutting but not ceasing emissions holds the atmospheric concentration steady.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 11 Jun 2014 @ 12:08 PM

  201. flxible (#185),

    Wow, where do you get your news? The US is cutting emissions. Australia is back on board with Kyoto. Canada is rogue but NAFTA probably shields them.

    So, if we had stopped using fossil fuels in 1960, would you be concerned about cumulative emissions?

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 11 Jun 2014 @ 12:15 PM

  202. Chuck Hughes #116,

    “I don’t know but I think our future depends on the next couple of elections in the United States. I can’t see how a Republican elected President, Senate and Congress gets us anywhere toward our goal of capping CO2 emissions.”

    Don’t hold your breath. Look at yesterday’s GOP primary results in VA. A leading far right Congressman (Eric Cantor) got beat by a person even further to the right. That’s not a good omen for the future. or for radical action on climate change.

    But, you know what? Even if one of the hard line climate advocates had won, it would make little difference in the larger picture. We need double-digit FF demand reduction NOW! We would get 0 with Cantor or his replacement, and maybe 1% from the more radical opponent. Look at the vaunted Ceres Clean Trillion plan, SA’s centerpiece, estimated to cost ~$44 TRILLION dollars from now until 2050. It is being pushed by the IEA and other climate advocacy support groups, as well, of course, by the renewables investors. As I showed in my detailed analysis of this ‘plan’, it would provide ~1.5% per annum FF reduction, AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE LESS THAN WHAT WE NEED TO AVOID ULTIMATE DISASTER. That’s the very best we could expect from Washington, and it’s an order of magnitude below what we need.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 11 Jun 2014 @ 12:30 PM

  203. @179: I made a mistake. -70 Gt/yr is Thwaites’s _net_ mass loss due to melting. Because of accretion, its _gross_ loss due to melting is larger. The upshot is that geothermal melting contributes less than the 5.1% ceiling that I calculated in @179. Does anyone know Thwaites’s accretion rate?

    Comment by Meow — 11 Jun 2014 @ 12:47 PM

  204. Congratulations to Gavin on his new post as head of NASA GISS!

    Comment by Jan Galkowski — 11 Jun 2014 @ 1:01 PM

  205. My earlier response to Dio (#191) was probably too cryptic, upon reflection. So, slightly more elaborated: Energy substitution may not be sufficient to ‘solve the problem.’ However, it *is* necessary to solve the problem.

    Further, it ought to be our priority right now, because 1) there’s more work to do, and 2) it can be usefully done right now.

    For demand reduction, the main useful activity right now is education. The public isn’t ready for massive cutbacks, either here or in the developing world. But that will change as the need for them becomes more obvious. If the case for demand is well-prepared and disseminated, and if low-carbon energy is more widely available, it will be much, much better when that moment does arrive.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Jun 2014 @ 1:41 PM

  206. IEEE Spectrum on flow batteries
    Hat tip to Pipedot with more links.

    This is now in operation.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Jun 2014 @ 1:51 PM

  207. Gavin: Copy James Hansen when you get there.

    Where some of the problems come from in the energy discussion:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/06/11/germany-energiewende-oz-critical-review/

    “This use of loaded language is prevalent in renewable revolution discussions. For example, “intermittent” is frequently replaced with “variable” or VRE (variable renewable energy) since “variable” carries connotations of user adjustment, volume, or control. We could perhaps use the more accurate term “uncontrollable variable” in place of intermittent, but of course this improved linguistic accuracy would be counterproductive to those seeking to promote intermittent power.

    Another home-grown example is the so-called “base load myth” and the idea that “intermittency can also be baseload”. This was first promulgated in Australia by Mark Diesendorf [27], but picked up by the environmental community. This demonstrates a corruption of well-established technical jargon, with the purpose of confusing rather than clarifying. Yet even here, the corruption of language is highly context specific”

    “Perversely, the democratisation of the grid is also sometimes framed around the language of social justice, yet this is an inversion of logic – a large-scale exodus from the grid would lead to the dilemma of a smaller revenue base to recover the high fixed cost of networks, leaving low income households, renters, pensioners, schools, hospitals, and others carrying a higher cost burden. In Germany, Spain and the UK, the concept of fuel poverty has already become a serious social problem. Furthermore, an off-grid PV system has a lifetime net-energy return of little better than unity, implying that a large-scale community shift to off-grid would be economically and environmentally disastrous. So the themes of democratisation, social justice, and distributed energy have been imported from Germany and adopted by the Green-left for their universal virtues, yet they lead to what Frank Furedi calls “shallow opinions held strongly”.”

    ” greenhouse intensity for German electricity remains stubbornly high at 10 to 20 times the best performing European nations”

    “The recent signs from Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel seem to point to a dawning realisation that reality might be catching up ”

    The Greens invented the perversion of language that now traps the Greens into being against the reduction of CO2 production. Now I know where a lot of the problem came from.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 11 Jun 2014 @ 1:52 PM

  208. Chris Dudley:

    Talking about the US government imposing a GHG “tariff” on China, while the USA’s exports of coal to China are at an all-time high and increasing — much of it coming from public lands where coal mining corporations pay royalties far, far below the market value of the coal — is just ridiculous.

    Besides, the US government is more concerned with imposing a punitive 35 percent tariff on imported Chinese photovoltaic panels.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 11 Jun 2014 @ 2:17 PM

  209. Neven has done it again. Terrific stuff:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/06/the-day-the-ice-cap-died.html

    references this:
    http://paulbriggs.net/The_Day_The_Icecap_Died.php

    Now since this is a work of fiction, it doesn’t do to be too hard on the various commissions and omissions, but there’s a lot of interesting scientific work in there, and like Neven I’m interested in what is likely or unlikely. It is particularly useful in talking about the breakdown of the earth’s circulatory system. As a part-time resident of New Jersey, the winter just past did a lot of harm, and I think we can expect more of the same, seasonal variation off the charts wreaking havoc on normal systems.

    I’m thrilled about Dr. Schmidt’s new job, and hope he can influence staffing and projects to stop the fake economies being practiced on all our futures.

    ps. captcha has become impossible, and my eyes are good.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 11 Jun 2014 @ 2:28 PM

  210. meow @ 179,

    Thanks for that great, brief analysis!

    Comment by corey — 11 Jun 2014 @ 5:10 PM

  211. Tool kit: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/robotics/aerial-robots/small-drone-probes-antarctic-ice-with-radar

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Jun 2014 @ 8:58 PM

  212. 184 Chris D speaks of targets:

    Lots of people have targets. Even China. Call me when China’s per capita emissions exceed the USA’s in Real Life. Your fantasy apples and oranges comparison does not impress.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/03/3444105/china-carbon-cap-2/

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 11 Jun 2014 @ 10:14 PM

  213. #203: … and a big hug for hug a climate scientist day:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cartoon/2014/jun/12/first-dog-scientist

    Comment by GlenFergus — 12 Jun 2014 @ 1:41 AM

  214. Firstly I’ll add my sincere congratulations to Gavin’s well deserved appointment to Prof Jim Hansen’s old post. Thanks for all those who responded to my question re: Thwaits glacier and for Hanks homework assignment. Cheers!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 12 Jun 2014 @ 2:44 AM

  215. Gavin,

    First, congratulations!

    Second, a sort of narrow question I’m hoping to get in edgewise before you’re swamped with admin duties… I’ve appreciated your “Reconciling Warming Trends” paper, but I’m wondering how to, uh, reconcile it with AR5 (Box 9.2, p. 770). AR5 already notes that increasing stratospheric aerosol loading after 2000 and the unusually low solar minimum in 2009 helping to explain the “hiatus”, but still finds (albeit with low confidence) that effective radiative forcing in the CMIP5 mean was lower than the AR5 best estimate, and concludes: “…there are no apparent incorrect or missing global mean forcings in the CMIP5 models over the last 15 years that could explain the model–observations difference during the warming hiatus.” Your paper suggests that understated forcings can account for a considerable part of the difference. What accounts for the different conclusions? Is it mainly that you have more recent and sufficiently different forcings updates (Santer et al. volcano paper) that the AR5 might have reached conclusions similar to yours if that information had been available? Or is it down to a different approach to that behind the AR5 statement?

    [Response: I can't speak for the AR5 authors, but we quantified (approximately) the impact that updated forcings would have had, and when that is combined with the impacts of ENSO phase, and improved estimates of observations, it fits quite well. In defense of AR5, ours was the first quantification of those combined effects, and so their statement was made without anyone showing anything differently. - gavin]

    Comment by CM — 12 Jun 2014 @ 3:29 AM

  216. Chris Dudley,

    As others have pointed out, decreasing emissions does not help stabilise the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Also, as others have pointed out, the US increased its emissions last year, significantly. So, with recent behaviour, the US is contributing to an accelerating concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Comment by Tony — 12 Jun 2014 @ 3:40 AM

  217. Willian Geoghegan,

    Why do you think that Arctic-News blog pseudo paper has any validity that needs commenting on?

    Comment by Tony — 12 Jun 2014 @ 3:46 AM

  218. #198–“First, again you refuse to identify any targets that your proposed actions would achieve, despite the fact that I have asked you to do so in a number of posts.”

    Don’t be ridiculous. We are speaking in a context which takes *your* DAAP™ targets for granted–such as they are. I add the last, since you’ve never actually broken down what the ‘sacrifices’ you call for mean quantitatively.

    “…the numbers are sufficiently small to be irrelevant…”

    With all due respect, no, they are not. According to REN21′s most recent status report, global renewable energy capacity reached 1560 GW in 2013, and total final energy use was about 10% renewable. Overall growth was about 8%, with non-hydropower sources growing at 17%, and solar at 55%. Could these rates be maintained, they would yield doubling times of 9.01, 4.41, and 1.58 years, respectively. Five doublings would give us more than the current global TFEC, yielding ‘total replacement times’ of 45.05, 22.5, and 7.9 years.

    http://www.ren21.net

    Of course, indefinite exponential growth isn’t sustainable over the longer term, but I’d say that it’s now pretty clear that we could, if we really tried, add more than 150 GW of renewable capacity annually. That would mean reaching 1/3 carbon-free in 23 years–2035. (That neglects any additional contributions from nuclear generation replacing fossil fuels.) As I calculated earlier, that would enable human survival if your ‘just say no to energy’ strategy were able to reduce overall energy use by 75%.

    Better get cracking on that–renewable energy may still be a stretch away from where we’d like it to be, but it’s still way, way ahead of your strategy–again, such as it is. When you’ve shown some success in, say, shutting down the entertainment and travel industries, I’ll concede that you’ll have made some progress in your agenda. In the meantime, the DAAP™ remains an exercise in deep irony.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Jun 2014 @ 4:37 AM

  219. Kevin McKinney #204,

    “My earlier response to Dio (#191) was probably too cryptic, upon reflection. So, slightly more elaborated: Energy substitution may not be sufficient to ‘solve the problem.’ However, it *is* necessary to solve the problem.”

    The problem with your responses is not the crypticity, but the substance. You need to separate ‘solving the problem’ from ‘making life more bearable’. The central problem is that GHG concentrations in the atmosphere are too high, and global mean temperatures are consequently too high, Both must be reduced as rapidly as possibly, in a manner that will not destroy the biosphere in the process. ‘Solving the problem’ has three central components: stringent demand reduction for FF, rapid removal of GHG from the atmosphere and, perhaps, the possibility of having to use some form of geo-engineering in the interim to cap the temperature peak due to aerosol elimination. That’s it!!! Nowhere have I used the words ‘energy substitution’.

    Now, if we have no energy substitution (in the modern sense) during this FF demand reduction process, we basically would start reverting to lifestyles that existed centuries previously. So, in order to make life ‘bearable’ during this solution process, we introduce some low carbon technologies. My plan calls for the minimum necessary, adequate to cover only the most essential uses of energy. How much is that; whatever the traffic will bear!

    The more we relax any of these required conditions, the greater the risk that we go over the cliff. That’s my interpretation of the science and the numbers. I have seen no other competitive plan that will deliver the results of my plan with a commensurate level of risk. So, be clear in your language. ‘Substitution’ is not ‘necessary’ to solve the problem. It is probably necessary to make life more bearable, especially for people in the developed nations who have become essentially dependent on external energy sources for many of their daily activities.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 12 Jun 2014 @ 4:47 AM

  220. Steve Fish #194,

    “Won’t countries that already have clean energy sources in place be better off without any fossil energy?”

    Your question is simplistic and irrelevant to the extreme, and the answer is obvious: Yes! But, why not expand the question, to see the absurdity more clearly? If, in 1976, when Carter was elected, we had initiated a global effort to cap population at 1976 levels, and a global effort to embark on wide-scale transformation to low carbon sources, wouldn’t we be in vastly better shape than we are now with the high FF path we chose? Yes!!! So what? We did what we did, and the only issue confronting us today is what to do from here on out that will maximize our chances for surviving as a species. We are well past the point where the energy substitution approaches that would have worked forty years ago are the optimal approaches today. What you and the ‘tag team’ propose are sure-fire recipes for ultimate disaster!!!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 12 Jun 2014 @ 5:23 AM

  221. DIOGENES: I agree with your stance 100%. Even business as usual as we are currently at 0.8C is proving disastrous. Artic/Antarctic ice melt/tundra melt/greenland/ocean heating etc etc is all happening rapidly with only 0.8C global average temp increase. A 2.0C limit is an absolute furphy. Natural restorative mechanisms will under that level of forcing completely overwhelm any mitigation efforts that we could possibly implement…it’s happening already. With a 2.0C increase the north and south polar regions would probably be experiencing 8-10C increases. 2.0C cap is a blatant lie!!
    Off topic but supporting your renewable interest. You may have heard that the univ of Illinois had creased ultra efficient photo-voltaic cells using a multi sandwich technique, each layer working on a different part of the solar spectrum leading to 30-40% energy efficiency. This method had the potential to replace the use of fossil fuels for power and industry on a global scale. So we have the means….question is do we have the backbone? do we have the will?

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 12 Jun 2014 @ 6:21 AM

  222. 189 James@CAN. By what I can gather by your comment a perfect coalescing bringing all the regions with different rates of warming into unity would much resemble the atmosphere and conditions of venus. The highest rates of warming are the poles and generally those of the greater latitudes. In between them the various countries tend to have their own unique climatic fingerprint, based upon their geography, topography, winds, mountain ranges, river systems etc. But indeed as the atmosphere gets thicker with water vapour and CO2, CH4 and so forth due to global heating, regional differences will begin to become less obvious.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 12 Jun 2014 @ 7:02 AM

  223. Jim (#211),

    How sad you have such delusions. If China had a target, the US would have ratified Kyoto. You are completely lost in this subject.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 7:12 AM

  224. Lawrence Coleman #220,

    Appreciate your comments; they are right on target.

    Your point about problems at 0.8 C is well taken. We set these integer limits as targets: 1 C, 2 C, etc. Why would we think an integer would be most appropriate? All we need do is look around us, as you have pointed out, and we see disaster in some regions already. And, the 0.8 C has not yet played itself out.

    “question is do we have the backbone? do we have the will?”

    The past may not always be the best predictor of the future, but absent any new perturbations entering the system, it may be the best we have. Based on our past performance and motivations, how would you answer the questions you posed? My answer would be a resounding NO!! I have seen no indications that there are any discernible movements in the direction toward necessary change.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 12 Jun 2014 @ 7:21 AM

  225. Tony (#215),

    You, like Steve, don’t understand how the rate of carbon dioxide emissions affects the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Consider RCP6 (chosen for clarity) in figs. 3 and 4 here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-011-0156-z

    Fig. 3 shows the emissions profiles that produce the atmospheric concentrations in fig. 4, We need only look at the top panel of fig. 3 and notice that the thin grey line has still not quite reached zero emissions in the year 2300 while the atmospheric concentration in fig 4. is rock steady at that time. Note that the x-axis extends to the year 2500 in fig. 4. You can do a more detailed comparison with fig. 5.

    Very clearly. cutting emissions stabilized the concentration contrary to your or Steve’s assertions.

    For you second issue, it is irrelevant to Article XX of GATT if we had an up tick in emissions in one or a few years. What matters is that we have stronger environmental laws than China. So, under the Clean Air Act, CAFE standards are rising, New source Regulations are about to be promulgates and existing source regulations are available for public comment. We are cutting emissions on purpose. That is why we can impose a tariff.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 7:52 AM

  226. Since there has been some discussion of China’s contribution to global CO2 emissions some numbers might be useful:
    Year 2012
    Total CO2 Emissions (10^9 Tons CO2) USA: 5.1 China: 9.6
    Emissions per Person (Tons) USA: 16 China: 7
    The website http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org has very good graphics, including time-series for CO2 emissions by country. The plot of Chinese emissions shows a rate of increase that is frankly scary. That may be the reason that (according to the June 4th edition of the China Daily) the Chinese government has decided to cap emissions at the 2016 level, whatever that might be. This may also be part of the reason for the 30 year natural gas deal with Russia.
    The Chinese data also raises another worrying point. What happens if India finally gets its economic act together and follows the Chinese free-market capitalist path?

    Comment by Dave Griffiths — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:19 AM

  227. Since there has been some discussion of China’s contribution to global CO2 emissions some numbers might be useful:
    Year 2012
    Total CO2 Emissions (10^9 Tons CO2) USA: 5.1 China: 9.6
    Emissions per Person (Tons) USA: 16 China: 7
    The website http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org has very good graphics, including time-series for CO2 emissions by country. The plot of Chinese emissions shows a rate of increase that is frankly scary. That may be the reason that (according to the June 4th edition of the China Daily) the Chinese government has decided to cap emissions at the 2016 level, whatever that might be. This may also be part of the reason for the 30 year natural gas deal with Russia.
    The Chinese data also raises another worrying point. What happens if India finally gets its economic act together and follows the Chinese free-market capitalist path?

    Comment by Dave Griffiths — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:20 AM

  228. Congrats to Gavin, although I suspect he will miss being in the trenches.

    Chris @223. So if China had agreed to play ball the US would have gone along with Kyoto. From my perspective the gripes about China were simply a justification for doing nothing.

    In any case China is seriously proposing a cap in 2016, they are way ahead of us in terms of actually dealing with the problem.

    Comment by Thomas — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:28 AM

  229. SA (#208),

    The US has export restrictions on oil. It should do the same with natural gas and coal. However, we can’t cut China’s coal imports that way since there are other sellers. We can cut their coal use by imposing tariffs on their imports to us.

    The article you linked is interesting. A German company is using US trade rules to get tariffs on Chinese products. I’m not persuaded China is dumping. Their lax environmental and labor laws may explain their price advantage as it does for so many products. Applying Article XX of GATT is probably the best way to bring about reform in the former.

    Regarding the latter, a world that is tolerant of slave labor and sweatshops is likely unstable to resumption of BAU emissions growth should we get that under control, so reform is needed there too, but making a start on controlling emissions does not have to wait for that.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:30 AM

  230. Edward Greisch asked earlier in this thread for a realclimate article on WAIS. There is a first rate explanation of the issues provided by Patrick Lynch of NASA’s Earth Science News Team, crediting also Steve Cole and Alan Buis.

    Check out The “Unstable” West Antarctic Ice Sheet: A Primer at jpl’s web pages.

    Comment by Chris Ho-Stuart — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:44 AM

  231. Kevin McKinney #218,

    “We are speaking in a context which takes *your* DAAP™ targets for granted–such as they are.”

    Just to get you to commit to a numerical climate target for once in your life, my targets have been specified in no uncertain terms: under 1 C with reasonable chance, and under 350 (preferably 300) ppm, with reasonable chance. Are those the targets with which you are agreeing?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 12 Jun 2014 @ 9:13 AM

  232. Doh

    finds among much else

    http://cel.webofknowledge.com/full_record.do?product=CEL&search_mode=CitingArticles&qid=3&SID=1EFXOv2HmYIrvlgsGeo&pReturnLink=&pSrcDesc=&page=1&doc=5&cacheurlFromRightClick=no
    The economics of targeted mitigation in infrastructure
    By:Lecocq, F (Lecocq, Franck)[ 1,2,3 ] ; Shalizi, Z (Shalizi, Zmarak)[ 4 ]
    CLIMATE POLICY
    Volume: 14, Issue: 2, Pages: 187-208
    DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2014.861657
    Published: MAR 4 2014

    Been there, got the bumper sticker, and parked the car.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Jun 2014 @ 9:55 AM

  233. New ad campaign takes a novel approach, it links carbon pollution to poisoning babies:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwDd9FVzQx8

    The focus is now on limiting carbon pollution, not just carbon dioxide. Hopefully, this will make it harder to stop the EPA’s plan to cap carbon pollution.

    Comment by Tom Adams — 12 Jun 2014 @ 10:08 AM

  234. Dave (#227),

    China may be considering announcing a cap in 2016, but that is uncertain. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/09/chinese-official-plays-down-emission-cut-expectations

    Some encouragement in the form of a GATT Article XX tariff may be helpful to them.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 11:03 AM

  235. Thomas (#228),

    No they are far behind us. If (big if) they announce a cap in 2016, it is unlikely to stop their emissions growth before 2025 or perhaps 2030. We are already cutting emissions.

    The US Senate was very clear under what conditions it would ratify Kyoto. China was the sticking point.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 11:11 AM

  236. @200:

    If atmospheric carbon dioxide were in pressure equilibrium with dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans, what you say would be true, and on a stabilization trajectory, we get there is about a century, but owing to disequilibrium, cutting but not ceasing emissions holds the atmospheric concentration steady.

    No. First, this is true only if we radically cut emissions. Second, holding concentration steady at 400 ppm is not without bad consequences.

    To elaborate on the first point, I understand CO2′s half-life under current conditions to be > 500 years. Thus (approximately), if we were to cease all emissions immediately, in 500 years we’d be half-way to 280 ppm; i.e. concentrations would decrease, on average [1], about (400-280)/2/500 = 0.12 ppm/yr. To SWAG, current emissions are adding ~2.0ppm/yr, so to reach stability, we’d need to cut emissions to 0.12/2.0 = 6% of current levels. And that’s assuming that we haven’t triggered any positive feedbacks. As I said, “radically cut”.

    [1] The concentration curve is not linear, but rather something like 1/k.

    Comment by Meow — 12 Jun 2014 @ 12:05 PM

  237. Here is a more productive link to Gavin et al.’s article mentioned above:
    http://www.blc.arizona.edu/courses/schaffer/182h/Climate/Reconciling%20Warming%20Trends.pdf

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 12 Jun 2014 @ 1:07 PM

  238. Tony (#16)

    We need a 80-100% reduction in emissions in order to stabilize concentrations. See this NAS report.

    Comment by chris colose — 12 Jun 2014 @ 3:03 PM

  239. Gavin @215,

    Thanks for the reply! Since AR5 was an assessment of the available science, if yours was the first published paper to actually try to do the math on this, I guess that resolves it for me. (Also, as an afterthought, perhaps AR5 should be taken to say merely that different forcings cannot explain all the model-observation difference, though it sounded more sweeping.)

    Comment by CM — 12 Jun 2014 @ 3:29 PM

  240. free (for AGU members), full text:

    Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011 (pages 3502–3509)
    E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi and B. ScheuchlArticle first published online: 27 MAY 2014
    DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060140

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Jun 2014 @ 4:36 PM

  241. Widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers, West Antarctica, from 1992 to 2011 (pages 3502–3509)
    E. Rignot, J. Mouginot, M. Morlighem, H. Seroussi and B. Scheuchl

    Article first published online: 27 MAY 2014 DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060140

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Jun 2014 @ 4:37 PM

  242. Chris D,

    You sound like a glutton who when faced with a food shortage demands that the starving reduce their food consumption at the same rate or pay the glutton a fine.

    There are plenty of reasons to put tariffs on Chinese goods. CO2 ain’t one of them.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 12 Jun 2014 @ 4:45 PM

  243. What we need, as CD says, is a more agressive US in international affairs. I mean, what could go wrong?

    Comment by Tony Lynch — 12 Jun 2014 @ 6:57 PM

  244. Re- Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 7:52 AM, ~#225

    I think you may be confused about how RPCs are used in modeling but I am not a climate physicist. I suggest that you try to start a conversation with Gavin and, before you do, start here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/climate-change-commitment-ii/

    It appears that constant emissions, starting at 2001, result in temperatures heading for the sky out to 2400.

    Also, I would appreciate it if you could redo your EROI for solar photovoltaic comment to Chris Korda. I can’t understand what you are saying at all.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:24 PM

  245. 236,

    You’ve got you math wrong. A couple of years ago I posted some IDL here code to calculate the required additional emissions to hit various target concentrations. It’s been checked by a few people. For a 400 ppm target (no overshoot), we need about a 50% immediate cut in world emissions followed by ongoing decreasing emissions for another 100 years or so. For RCP6 with a target of 750 ppm for carbon dioxide, cuts start around 2070 and are pretty gentle with some emissions still occurring in 2300. You can see that in the link I posted for Tony. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-011-0156-z

    Even RCP2.6 has a cushion of 270 GtC future emissions and its target is just about 370 ppm in 2300. Obviously overshoot is built into that one.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 8:53 PM

  246. Jim (#241),

    You are being very rude. I respond to you, although with little patience for you inability to get you ignorance fixed by reading links or following mathematics, because Susan thinks you heart is in the right place.

    You want much much more warming than can really be tolerated. That is a position that you seem to think is fair to an unelected regime with huge human rights violation that are ongoing. Please, unless you have a question, don’t respond to my posts. Just assume what you are about to write is incorrect and save us the time.

    I’m happy to answer questions, especially if I am covering new material. But you are just coming back with the same old wrong stuff after you have already been corrected.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Jun 2014 @ 9:03 PM

  247. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 12 Jun 2014 @ 5:23 AM, ~#220

    So, you admit that Germany would be in much better shape than other nations with less renewable infrastructure if your “plan” is implemented. In the past you have refused to explain how a nation without any renewable infrastructure can survive after your “plan” takes effect. I suggest that trying to feed 7 to 10 billion people with Medieval agriculture would appear to be a sure-fire recipe for ultimate disaster!!! Explain why all nations shouldn’t get going with renewables, and don’t refer to some previous comment because you have never given an answer except for some vague reference to the possibility that some business might make some money in the process. Also, stop calling names (e.g. tag team); I am beginning to wonder how old you are.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 12 Jun 2014 @ 9:30 PM

  248. “I don’t think people quite appreciate the gravity of what is going on [with regard to global warming] or just how much inertia the climate has,” Musk said during a conference call. “We really need to do something. It would be shortsighted if we try to hold these things close to our vest.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-12/why-elon-musk-just-opened-teslas-patents-to-his-biggest-rivals#r=rss

    Tesla goes open-source (12 June):

    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you

    “Musk named his company for Nikola Tesla, a famous inventor who became so exasperated with the legal system that he finally stopped patenting his ideas.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/tesla-opening-access-electric-car-patents-24114358

    The future you are planning for (engineering) depends upon the future you are planning on (concept).

    Comment by patrick — 13 Jun 2014 @ 1:10 AM

  249. Chris (238),

    It is worth mentioning that in fig. S.4 of that report, stabilization occurs at about a doubling of carbon dioxide over preindustrial. Emissions grow from about 9 GtC/yr now to about 17 GtC/yr around at around 2055. Stabilization starts about then with a cut that takes another 45 years to cut emissions by 80%, with concentration holding stable during that period.

    Holding a stabilization target requires ongoing but reducing emissions. Cutting to zero without that period of reduction leads to a falling concentration rather than a stable concentration.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 13 Jun 2014 @ 1:20 AM

  250. As mentioned in a much earlier post: I do not believe for a second that at this stage of the game due democratic process can come to the party in time. When in the future global mechanisms are set firmly into play to address climate change eg: drastically cut emissions 80-100%/ control population/ renewables/preserve native forest then we can return to democracy again. Until then strong and binding unilateral sweeping reforms have to take place NOW. I still think that educating the public from the grassroots up is the best way to go as I have little faith in democracy in effectively dealing with this issue. So in answer to my above question, I shudder, but honestly have to agree with you..NO! it seems we currently have neither the will nor the courage. I know what my head is telling me and it is at odds with my heart as I have an 8y/0 son. My head says we’ve left it far far too late but for the sake of my son my heart keeps battling on.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 13 Jun 2014 @ 2:02 AM

  251. CARBON BUDGET

    David Spratt has posted the second of two articles on the remaining carbon budget (http://www.climatecodered.org/). His bottom line conclusions are:

    “As the previous post explained, If a risk-averse (pro-safety) approach is applied – say, of less than 10% probability of exceeding the 2°C target – to carbon budgeting, there is simply no budget available, because it has already been used up. THE NOTION THAT THERE IS STILL “BURNABLE CARBON” IS A MYTH.”

    Since his previous posts on the topic, and his monograph, show that Hansen’s 1 C target is a far more desirable target, we are not only out of burnable carbon budget, but are heavily in carbon debt. ANY proposals/plans that have targets other than maximum reduction of carbon emissions and maximum removal of carbon from the atmosphere should be eliminated from serious discussion.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 13 Jun 2014 @ 5:16 AM

  252. Chris
    The graphs you pointed to had the concentration steady after 2150 (roughly). In graph 3 emissions are being “cut” long before then. So, no, that graph doesn’t show that cutting emissions stabilises concentrations, unless the cut is big enough. If the decreases don’t continue (and they didn’t last year), your country will never get to the stage of “helping” stabilise emissions.

    If you want to believe that the cuts up to 2012 were actually a result of wanting to cut the contribution to warming, then that is up to you. But it’s just a belief.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 13 Jun 2014 @ 6:08 AM

  253. So, now that Gavin is the leader of the troops at NASA, and apparently the arbiter of who is acting in “good faith” when it comes to climate policy, why not call out Greenpeace as “bad faith” actors, much the way he did the GWPF..?

    After all, on one hand they decree that massive renewable energy mobilization must be done in order to keep us from crossing the +2°C threshold, but yet they are the ones behind so many campaigns to defeat plans to install those very same energy installations. Whether it be NIMBY local interests, or far-away carpet-bagging, groups like Greenpeace enjoy members having key-roles within the IPCC, while having a clear interest in sidelining all sorts of clean-energy technology.

    Case in point:
    http://santiagotimes.cl/environmentalists-celebrate-historic-victory-hidroaysen-project/

    Is all you have to do in order to be declared “acting in good faith” is declare that ‘something big’ must be done to avert climate change– even if in the end you will knowingly reject all sorts of stabilization/wedge ideas outright, or worse, only when close to home?

    Comment by Davos — 13 Jun 2014 @ 6:41 AM

  254. Tony (#251),

    If you read the text, RCP6 was constructed to stabilize in 2150. The cuts are what achieves stabilization. You can certainly get there quicker by cutting faster and sooner. We’d need China’s participation for that.

    The US goal is an 83% cut in emissions from year 2005 emissions by 2050. That is consistent with the contraction an convergence scheme that would meet the 2 C limit on warming. So, rather obviously, our trajectory contributes to stabilization contrary to your assertion. If we want to get in under 2 C, contraction in other countries will need to get started sooner rather than later. The US has the ability to encourage that using trade policy.

    Obviously cuts between 2005 and 2013 are influenced by falling natural gas prices. They have also been influenced by rising CAFE standards. So a part is on purpose for sure. Now more regulations are coming in to remove the element of chance, regulations adequate to take us to 2030 in our planned trajectory.

    With that in place, we should be using GATT Article XX to encourage our trading partners to cut their emissions as well.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 13 Jun 2014 @ 7:25 AM

  255. Steve (#243),

    There is no doubt that constant emissions increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But it is not emissions that we want to stabilize but the concentration, which is done by reducing emissions. We don’t have to immediately cease emissions to do that, though we do need to get to very close to zero eventually. If we ceased emissions quickly, the concentration would fall rather than stabilize.

    On EROEI for silicon based solar, it is pretty simple. The bulk of the embodied energy is in the silicon owing to removing the oxygen from the silica and then removal of impurities that interfere with the electrical properties we need. Basically you never need to invest that energy again so in principle the EROEI is about one billion assuming we abandon our solar panels when the Venus Syndrome sets in when the Sun gets too luminous.

    However, cosmic rays induce crystal defects in the silicon so their efficiency reduces with time. To fix that, we need to re-anneal the crystal. That takes much less energy than the initial purification step so over time the EROEI does not increase without limit but rather approaches the ratio of energy collected between re-annealing treatments to the energy needed to re-anneal as a limit.

    But, solar’s EROEI does improve with time, just the opposite of fossil fuels.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 13 Jun 2014 @ 8:01 AM

  256. Steve Fish #247,

    This discussion is ending. You will never, ever, discuss specific targets, no matter how many times I ask. Your posts are rather transparent attempts to sell renewables; Greisch has called you and the other renewables salesmen on this, and it is no doubt obvious to the Silent Majority of the readership. Without targets, I won’t discuss solutions.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 13 Jun 2014 @ 8:34 AM

  257. Lawrence Coleman #250,

    “So in answer to my above question, I shudder, but honestly have to agree with you..NO! it seems we currently have neither the will nor the courage.”

    I personally believe the gap between where we are and where we need to go is far too large to overcome. Furthermore, as I stated in #190, I believe numerous people from different communities (climate scientists, politicians, defense and intelligence planners, other government, energy system developers) realize this as well. That’s my view on why the contrived 2 C target was set, and the concept of remaining carbon budget sufficient to provide an umbrella for transition to low carbon and higher efficiency technology was established. This allows the fiction that technology substitution, with its attendant increase in jobs and ‘prosperity’, can provide a major contribution to achieving the target while remaining within budget, and no hardship or sacrifice is required.

    We are somewhere within a century of the demise of our civilization. The energy developers have recognized this only too well, and are going all out to exploit the situation in the time remaining. We have today the equivalent of a ‘Cold War’ between the high carbon fuel suppliers and the low carbon fuel suppliers. Interestingly, this new Cold War started shortly after the end of the previous one, and is accelerating rapidly. Neither of the combatants have any possibility of avoiding the ultimate disaster, and it is reflected by their continual silence on how implementation of their products will contribute to the required targets to avoid disaster. The hard numbers are staring us in the face, and all the simplistic arguments offered by either of the combatants won’t change these numbers one whit!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:17 AM

  258. 247 Steve Fish: The answer you ask for but don’t want has been presented to you many times.

    skip stuff [self edit]

    195 Steve Fish: Your question is nonsense. To get an answer, first you have to ask a question that can be answered. To do that, you have to know enough science and math to be in touch with reality. So go to school and get a degree in physics. Then you will be able to ask sensible questions.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:26 AM

  259. Davos,
    Do you really have no clue how science actually works, or are you just trying to swat the hornet’s nest?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:28 AM

  260. We need Scientists and Activists alike to start being realists…. not optimists, not pessimists. Most of the public still thinks of Global Warming in the 1990′s 2°C framing, and have no idea what kind of catastrophe we are diving headfirst into, and no grasp of the scale of deaths.

    To the optimists here, who are still in delusion that we can avoid 2°C, I offer you Michael Mann’s recent article showing that we hit 2°C by 2036 under BAU.

    Comment by Climate 4 Revolution — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:54 AM

  261. Re- Comment by Edward Greisch — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:26 AM, ~#258

    I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:55 AM

  262. Well done Gavin! Especially and foremost that you will continue to teach here, but hope you’ll have time for exploration. Of which the high position on top usually don’t see the little guys below.

    Comment by wane davidson — 13 Jun 2014 @ 10:04 AM

  263. Pay attention to ocean pH change, kids.

    It’s far more urgent than temperature and ppm levels in the atmosphere.

    As usual, we have long known what we should have been doing all along: not destroying the source of the food we eat and the air we breathe.

    Reinventing Fisheries Management
    Fish & Fisheries Series Volume 23, 1998, pp 311-329
    Rebuilding ecosystems, not sustainability, as the proper goal of fishery management
    Tony J. Pitcher, Daniel Pauly

    We propose that rebuilding ecosystems, and not sustainability per se, should be the goal of fishery management. Sustainability is a deceptive goal because human harvesting of fish leads to a progressive simplification of ecosystems in favour of smaller, high-turnover, lower-trophic-level fish species that are adapted to withstand disturbance and habitat degradation. Present fisheries management seems unable to reverse this trend for several reasons. Because of this effect on the ecosystem, sustainable harvests are generally incapable of ever being defined using single species-population dynamics, yet almost all fishery science has been long engaged in trying to do this. Even if our science and management were capable of sustaining exploitation at a defined ecosystem structure, we argue that this is the wrong goal. Aquatic systems are likely capable of producing large harvests of high-production, low-trophic-level species, perhaps much in excess of current global fishery yields of around 100 million tonnes per year, yet such exploitation would shift their structure and nature in a way, and lead to products, that would be unacceptable to many. Primal systems, defined as those existing before humans used large-scale harvesting, are generally characterized by an abundance of large top-predator species. An approach to the primal abundance of such systems may have an increasingly higher economic value than present systems in an era where demand is outstripping supply. Therefore, we argue that management that moves aquatic systems in the direction of their primal states and abundance should be rewarded, and that this rebuilding and restoration of ecosystems should be the overarching goal of the new fisheries management.

    The Once and Future World: Nature as it Was, as it Is, as it Could be

    That pause in CO2 increase during World War II coincides with recovery of the Atlantic fishery because ocean fishing pretty much stopped. Coincidence? It’s been written up but the models don’t seem to look at it.

    Or, alternatively, just kill and eat everything but the diatoms …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Jun 2014 @ 10:04 AM

  264. Davos, your comments about Greenpeace (currently #253) are nonsense. The article you link to is about a hydropower dam project that would have been massively environmentally destructive.

    There is absolutely no need whatsoever for such environmentally destructive projects in order to replace fossil fuels very quickly, particularly for electricity generation which is what hydropower is used for. The world has vast solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy resources that can be readily harvested without such environmentally destructive projects.

    No organization in the world has more aggressively and outspokenly advocated the rapid growth of environmentally sound renewable energy deployment than Greenpeace.

    The “blame it on the Greens” meme is phony, dishonest and stupid — particularly in the face of the campaign by Koch-funded organizations like ALEC to block the expansion of renewable electricity generation throughout the USA, which is in fact the source of the spurious and nonsensical “blame Greenpeace” propaganda.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 13 Jun 2014 @ 10:15 AM

  265. Re- Comment by Chris Dudley — 13 Jun 2014 @ 8:01 AM, ~#255

    OK, so my whole entry into this conversation was that, in terms of what is happening to our planet, it is the total amount of CO2 (and other emissions) that exceeds absorption by the slow carbon cycle that is important. And, if one wants to assign a moral judgment (your definition of culpable), it seems that those nations that release the most, per capita, are the ones that must get busy first.

    On EROI, why not just say that the ratio of usable acquired energy divided by energy expended on construction is somewhere between 5 and 20 (for example), and is very good. I don’t know how cosmic rays are important at this level of discussion or where 100% comes from.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 13 Jun 2014 @ 10:33 AM

  266. Meow #236,

    “Second, holding concentration steady at 400 ppm is not without bad consequences.”

    Depending on which sources you trust, it could be in fact quite serious. Cory Morningstar, in my post #165, presents some convincing arguments that going much over 300 ppm gets us in trouble, in the long-term and perhaps the relatively short-term as well. Others have addressed a wider spectrum of the ppm range, and I summarize their conclusions below. In particular, I summarize four of the many: 450 ppm; 350 ppm; 300 ppm; 260 ppm. All are fantasies, of course. There is no relationship between our current policies/actions on CO2 emissions, nor any realistically proposed policies and actions, and achievement of targets anywhere near the above four ranges.

    IEA: http://www.iea.org/publications/scenariosandprojections/
    “450 Scenario: A scenario presented in the World Energy Outlook that sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C by limiting concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2……
    -The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of Energy Technology Perspectives. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give AN 80% CHANCE of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced. The 2DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario through 2035.”

    As I have pointed out, the 2 C target being promulgated by these official organizations is a contrived target; it has no relation to what the science tells us is required to avoid disaster.

    SUSTAINABILITY ADVANTAGE/HANSEN: http://sustainabilityadvantage.com/2014/01/07/co2-why-450-ppm-is-dangerous-and-350-ppm-is-safe/
    “350 ppm (Safe): Many leading climate scientists do not have that appetite for risk. A December 2013 report by “James Hansen, Johan Rockström, and 15 other scientists, “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature,” declares that 2°C of global warming would have disastrous consequences and could cause major dislocations for civilization…..The authors advocate for a TARGET OF 350 PPM AS THE MAXIMUM SAFE CONCENTRATION OF CO2 CONCENTRATION, WHICH WOULD STABILIZE THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE AT 1°C ABOVE PRE-INDUSTRIAL LEVELS and avoid runaway climate destabilization.”

    350.0RG: http://350.org/about/science/
    “That “350 ppm” is where 350.org gets its name. “PPM” stands for “parts per million,” which is simply a way of measuring the ratio of carbon dioxide molecules to all of the other molecules in the atmosphere. Many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments agree with Dr. Hansen that 350 ppm is the “safe” level of carbon dioxide….. Right now we’re at 400 ppm, and we’re adding 2 ppm of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Unless we are able to rapidly turn that around and return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk triggering tipping points and irreversible impacts that could send climate change spinning truly beyond our control.”
    Yet, the leader of 350.org goes on a national Do the Math tour, hyping the 2 C target and 565GtC remaining carbon budget, neither of which will get us in the ballpark of what Hansen recommends. AND, WE WONDER WHY THE CLIMATE ADVOCACY MOVEMENT HAS A HARD TIME FINDING RECRUITS!!! Cory Morningstar, on her excellent blog, discusses the motivations behind McKibben’s efforts in much more detail. You will get a much different, and probably much more accurate picture of McKibben, after reading these articles on her blog.

    300.ORG: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org—return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm
    “300.org exists to inform people about the Climate Emergency and the need to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentration to a safe and sustainable level of about 300 ppm.

    The fundamental position of 300.org is that “There must be a safe and sustainable existence for all peoples and all species on our warming-threatened Planet and this requires a rapid reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to about 300 parts per million”. [1].

    300.org urges the World to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (CO2) to about 300 parts per million by volume (ppm). In urging a target of an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 300 ppm, 300.org is informed by the advice of top world climate scientists as set out below.

    The name 300.org reflects support for the implicit 350.org goal of less than 350 ppm CO2 (although, as detailed below, a goal of “350 ppm” is clearly inadequate according to top climate scientists) and the goal of about 300 ppm CO2 of the 2009 Australian Climate Action Summit [12], the Australian Climate Emergency Network [13] and the Yarra Valley Climate Action Group [14].”

    TARGET300: http://target300.org/1introduction.html
    “The four key take home messages of the Target 300 Campaign
    1.The target for a Safe Climate is 300 ppm CO2 or below.
    2.We can reduce our emissions by 50% or more today individually or collectively if we simply choose to.
    3.We have already passed the tipping points for a number of critical climate systems.
    4.We must create a global cooling as soon as possible and we have the solutions to do this.”

    260 PPM: http://www.globalcoral.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/aosis_briefing_2009.pdf
    WHAT IS THE RIGHT TARGET FOR CO2?:
    350 PPM IS A DEATH SENTENCE FOR CORAL REEFS AND LOW LYING ISLANDS, THE SAFE LEVEL OF CO2 FOR SIDS IS AROUND 260 PARTS PER MILLION
    T. Goreau, PhD
    Delegation of Jamaica
    Scientific & Technical Briefing To the Association of Small Island States
    United Nations Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, December 7-18 2009

    SUMMARY
    The long-term sea level that corresponds to current CO2 concentration is about 23 meters above todayʼs levels, and the temperatures will be 6 degrees C or more higher. These estimates are based on real long term climate records, not on models. We have not yet felt the climate change impacts of the current excess of greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuels, and the data shows they will in the long run be many times higher than IPCC models project. In order to prevent these long term changes CO2 must be stabilized at levels below preindustrial values, around 260 parts per million. CO2 buildup must be reversed, not allowed to increase or even be stabilized at 350 ppm, which would amount to a DEATH SENTENCE FOR CORAL REEFS, SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES, AND BILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVING ALONG LOW LYING COASTLINES. The good news is that all the tools for reversing global warming and reducing CO2 to safe levels are ready, proven, and cost effective, but are not being seriously used due to lack of policies and funding.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 13 Jun 2014 @ 10:48 AM

  267. @245: My math is for a return to 280 ppm.

    Comment by Meow — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:28 AM

  268. Climate 4 Revolution wrote: “We need Scientists and Activists alike to start being realists”

    Which means what, exactly?

    Other than posting defeatist comments on blogs, of course.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:31 AM

  269. I see many people complain about China’s emission. There is a pretty simple solution for that and worked for centuries.
    Use border tariffs to avoid manufacturing in China et all and their emissions pretty much will stop. And this is an action consumer countries need to take.
    China and others have had plenty of time to learn how to run modern industry so they will be able to cope with their own needs.
    Also using slave labor is morally wrong and it should be stopped if only for that reason, but it isn’t.
    That’s like saying you won’t recycle because your neighbour doesn’t. Not that recycling achieves anything meaningful at this point. Reuse, reduce, re-purpose and yes recycle.
    Another taboo conversation nobody want to be part of even in here is the future casualty numbers due to..you know, climate. Even if there is no way to 100% pinpoint deaths due to climate changing it is pretty obvious many people will perish. I guess if you never talked about it, it is not your fault.
    Denial is strong with this one.
    I do feel extremely guilty and I guess others that dare to think about it do too, hence the emphasis DIO tries to put on targets and actions to accomplish them.
    Another point doesn’t get mention much is how reality tends to be faster than the predictions at this point. Could the difference be measured and projected into the future? I do not believe for a second a solution to AGW comes at a 0.06% cost. That’s what I call sugar candy and it makes you fat (in denial).

    Comment by MAXMARE — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:45 AM

  270. I recently discovered the father of human ecology, the guy who invented the term overshoot, William R. Catton. His classic book “Overshoot” seethes with innovation, but perhaps my favorite is his classification of people as detrivores, meaning animals that eat dead stuff, in our case the dead plants and animals that became fossil fuels. Ever since we discovered oil we’ve been having a wild party, like yeast in a bottle, but now that the cheap good stuff is gone, our “exuberance” (reflexive optimism) increasingly seems like a bad joke. Another point he makes is that the consequences were mostly unexpected. In the 1950s if you went around saying that people shouldn’t build cars and highways and suburbs because burning fossil fuels would change the atmosphere and the weather and cause flooding and a hothouse world, nobody would have believed you. They would have laughed, or given you a lobotomy. It’s easy to blame people for being exuberant, but our optimism was forged during the seventeenth century when the resources of New World were seemingly inexhaustible and our population was relatively small. Catton is still with us, and he makes these points and many others in a recent interview.

    Comment by Chris Korda — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:54 AM

  271. Royal Society Meeting Program which tells you the subject of each speaker’s talk.

    To hear them,
    Go to the listing and click on the individual speaker’s name
    to see a link to the audio .mp3 file

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Jun 2014 @ 9:58 PM

  272. 261 Steve Fish: Your questions seem to be nonsense.

    195 Steve Fish says: “Won’t countries that already have clean energy sources in place be better off without any fossil energy?”

    NO! Mostly because the question doesn’t make sense. Partly because you seem to be confused about too many things to answer in one sentence. We are not sure what your confusions are.

    I have tried writing longer replies, but I have discarded them.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:11 PM

  273. 264 SecularAnimist: Greenpeace: Is known for vandalism, trespassing, getting itself into jail in Russia, and opinions that are nonsense and non-negotiable.

    “environmentally sound renewable energy” is an oxymoron. The only one there is, is hydro, and hydro is maxed out already.

    “The “blame it on the Greens” meme is phony, dishonest and stupid — particularly in the face of the campaign by Koch-funded organizations like ALEC to block the expansion of renewable electricity generation”

    What is wrong with your statement?:
    1. The highly insulting words “phony”, “dishonest” and “stupid.” You would scream to high heaven if anybody else used those words.
    2. The Koch-funded organizations are probably funding the campaigns in favor of renewable electricity generation. Why? Because they know that we will never get off of fossil fuels as long as we keep on trying to use wind and solar power. Because they know that renewable mandates force the closure of their only real competition. Mandates force the use of renewables any time renewables can be used because renewables are so intermittent.
    [edit - enough already]

    Renewable energy is nothing else but a decoration on a fossil fueled power plant.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:33 PM

  274. Re 265: “EROI … somewhere between 5 and 20 … very good.”

    The point made by Catton and many others since, is that industrial civilization evolved as a consequence of MUCH higher EROI, in the range of 80:1. Yes, human existence is possible at 20:1, and maybe even at 5:1, but 7 billion people with 1 billion cars, FedEx, and Dubai, not. Not for long anyway. Exuberance dies hard.

    “Large scale industrial societies came into existence through the exploitation of phenomenally large fossil fuel energy sources which were both energy dense and cheap to access. The net energy derived from fossil fuels was very high, with energy return on investment ratios of 80:1 and more. The massive scale of these new resources combined with this high net energy has provided the huge amounts of energy required to drive our modern societies. Without fossil fuels the industrial revolution and the related advances in living standards would likely have stalled at the wind and water power stage of development.”

    Energy & The Financial System, Roger Boyd

    “Despite Malthus’s belief to the contrary it is possible to exceed an environment’s carrying capacity–temporarily. Many species have done it. A species with as long an interval between generations as is characteristic of ours, and with cultural as well as biological appetites, can be expected to do it. Our largest per capita demands upon the world’s resources only begins to be asserted years after we’re born. Resource depletion sufficient to thwart our children’s grown-up aspirations was not far enough advanced when our parents were begetting, gestating and bearing us to deter them from thus adding to the human load.”

    “Overshoot”, William R. Catton, p.138

    Comment by Chris Korda — 14 Jun 2014 @ 12:21 AM

  275. > Catton … Overshoot

    Good work, previously mentioned at RC 85 times to date.
    It’s often worth using the search function and reading the discussions here in depth. There’s much to be learned.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Jun 2014 @ 12:26 AM

  276. 257 DIOGENES: I also believe you are right on the money. Personally I wouldn’t give a rat’s right testicle if humans were the only causality in all of this but to tear apart the intricate web of life on this planet, the interrelationships between millions of lifeforms that have evolved over millions of years is morally and ethically unacceptable. I’ve only just come back from a holiday in bali and I happened to tell our guide who was also the owner/manager of ubud bungalows (free plug) that I am researching climate change and he immediately said that over the last 10-15 years bali has been getting drier and drier (the dry season is now longer than ever) and that has affected yields from rice and other crops. Here in queensland Australia in the last 10 years we have had the wettest summer/hottest years/driest year/hottest autumn/hottest winter/worst drought/most number of sequential hot days/ and highest number of records smashed on record. All in the last 10 years. Not sure about an ecological global collapse within 100 years? My feeling is between 75-200 years. I’m guessing that the wealthy countries will be able to adapt pretty well but as for the developing world it will be an unprecedented catastrophe. Maybe not just from heat but lack of drinking water as most of the glacial fed rivers will have disappeared.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 14 Jun 2014 @ 12:49 AM

  277. MAXMARE #269,

    “I do not believe for a second a solution to AGW comes at a 0.06% cost. That’s what I call sugar candy and it makes you fat (in denial).”

    it’s completely contrived, like the 2 C target on which it is based. As I pointed out in #190, #257, we now have a competition between the high carbon suppliers/developers and the low carbon suppliers/developers for who can exploit climate change the most for their own benefit. The selling points of the low carbon salesmen are the fantasies that 2 C is adequate to protect us against the ultimate disaster, that substitution of low carbon supplies for high carbon supplies and high efficiency systems for low efficiency systems are all that’s needed to achieve these targets, and that no personal sacrifices and hardships are required. All these fantasies can be achieved at some very minimal cost that will impose negligible hardship on the global population. BernieMadoff at his worst never reached such ethical depths!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 14 Jun 2014 @ 5:04 AM

  278. Chris

    Yes, stabilisation is estimated to occur IF reductions continue at a certain pace for long enough. Emitting less for 6 years out of 8 (or whatever the figure is) isn’t the same as emitting less for 25 years. You’re right to think that all countries should emit less but wrong in thinking that past emissions are of no concern. The US was increasing emissions for a long time (and is doing so again). Were you calling for taxes on American made goods then? Past misdemeanours need to be taken into account, not just dismissed.

    83% reduction (over 2005 levels, when cuts of that order over 1990 levels are needed) is a goal but it is, by no means, a given and doesn’t yet have a full plan. Even the announced limits on power generators isn’t a given. Let’s see what happens over then next few years before declaring victory for US common sense.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 14 Jun 2014 @ 5:29 AM

  279. Re 263 “ocean pH change”, see also Is Ocean Acidification an Open-Ocean Syndrome? Understanding Anthropogenic Impacts on Seawater pH http://climatestate.com/2014/01/31/is-ocean-acidification-an-open-ocean-syndrome-understanding-anthropogenic-impacts-on-seawater-ph/

    Comment by prokaryotes — 14 Jun 2014 @ 7:09 AM

  280. Hank (206) –

    Thanks, as always, for the links.

    The BBC have an article on vanadium flow batteries today. No discussion of the economics, or comparisons with other kinds of flow batteries, but interesting on resources and use in localities where roof-top PV is significant. The article doesn’t mention the capacity of the $100000 battery they talk about; I assume it’s the 400kWh one mentioned at Gildemeister.com. So it’s (currently?) the same installation cost as the projected price of the Iron-Chromium battery.

    Comment by Keith Clarke — 14 Jun 2014 @ 8:33 AM

  281. Edward Greisch,
    Take a chill pill, dude. Maybe think about science rather than energy for a while. Renewables are part of the answer. They’d better be because they are the only energy source that is…well, renewable. And you know better than to accuse any regular on here of being a Koch-roach.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 14 Jun 2014 @ 8:47 AM

  282. Re- Comment by Edward Greisch — 13 Jun 2014 @ 11:11 PM, ~#272

    Ed, is this another reading comprehension thing for you? My comment was Re (regarding, with regards to) Diogenes’ insistence that we should stop all use of fossil energy but should not increase non-polluting energy (e.g. nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, wave, whatever) to compensate. His idea proposes a medieval world, but with 7 to 10 billion people to feed. Taking his proposal as a hypothetical I asked him if those countries that already have renewable energy in place, such as Germany, wouldn’t be better off. He can’t deny this but insists that he is correct. What don’t you understand?

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 14 Jun 2014 @ 10:15 AM

  283. Re:#271
    Royal Society: Good to have the sound, but frustrating not to be able to see anything. Have I missed something? The expressions on the speakers faces are not essential , but the graphs are another matter.
    P.S. Gavin was there.

    Comment by deconvoluter — 14 Jun 2014 @ 10:50 AM

  284. Edward Greisch, your assertions about renewable energy are, and I say this with all the respect that is due to them, ill-informed nonsense. And the ignorance is pretty clearly willful.

    Which is why I don’t bother responding to them.

    Ray Ladbury wrote to Edward Greisch: “And you know better than to accuse any regular on here of being a Koch-roach.”

    Know better? That’s been a major theme of Mr. Greisch’s rhetoric here forever: that the solar and wind industries are a hoax perpetrated by the fossil fuel industry to prevent the expansion of nuclear power, and any commenter who posts anything favorable about wind or solar, or criticizes nuclear power in any way, is an irrational anti-science zealot AND a paid shill for the coal industry. It’s utter nonsense, and he routinely floods the comment pages with it whenever discussion of renewable energy comes up. It’s gotten to be like the old Three Stooges “Niagara Falls!” routine.

    Between Mr. Greisch and DIOGENES, with his repetitious, boilerplate, nonsensical, belligerent, flame-bait ranting about “salesmen” and “tag teams”, it is clear that some folks are working very hard to make these comment pages a hostile environment for any discussion of the demonstrated ability of renewable energy and efficiency to quickly, drastically and economically reduce GHG emissions from electricity generation.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 14 Jun 2014 @ 12:41 PM

  285. Edward Greisch:

    2. The Koch-funded organizations are probably funding the campaigns in favor of renewable electricity generation. Why? Because they know that we will never get off of fossil fuels as long as we keep on trying to use wind and solar power. Because they know that renewable mandates force the closure of their only real competition. Mandates force the use of renewables any time renewables can be used because renewables are so intermittent.
    SecularAnimist: How much are the Kochs paying you?

    You apparently haven’t been paying attention, Edward. It’s abundantly documented that the Kochs are funding opposition to policies that promote renewable energy, for example net metering:

    The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates.

    “State governments are starting to wake up,” Christine Harbin Hanson, a spokeswoman for Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, said in an email. The organization has led the effort to overturn the mandate in Kansas, which requires that 20% of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 14 Jun 2014 @ 3:31 PM

  286. Climate 4 Revolution wrote: “We need Scientists and Activists alike to start being realists”

    SecularAnimist wrote: “Which means what, exactly? Other than posting defeatist comments on blogs, of course.”

    How about not ignoring that most of the public has no idea that Global Warming now means at least 5-6°C under BAU, before even touching the 20+ climate feedbacks published about since IPCC’s 2013 deadline.

    How about not ignoring that a significant % of humans on Earth will perish? How about we discuss % human extinction per 1°C warming, or the fact that current human civilization is unlikely to survive 4°C?

    To make clear, I understand where Scientists are coming from, but we have a planetary crisis here. Do not be fooled, the public is completely oblivious to what is coming their way. Your average human consumer today is drowning in apathy from the myriad of problems beyond his control that he must contend with everyday just to survive. These ppl don’t care about polar bears and environmental problems, and nobody is informing these ppl that Global Warming is much more, is an existential threat. Do you think its useful to sing lullabies to someone who’s life is in danger? At least I am sure, that you personally don’t feel this danger, which gives u emotional cover for your optimism.

    More ppl will die from Global Warming that both our World Wars combined. Why is it alarmist to want to prevent us from carrying out this massacre? Why is it alarmist to want to explain to people that the elites in charge of society don’t mean them well?

    Comment by Climate 4 Revolution — 14 Jun 2014 @ 6:57 PM

  287. 267,

    Yes you were. I thought we were discussion stabilization targets so I read your 400 ppm. Regarding 280 ppm as a target, it has had some interesting stability properties back into prehistory. But as a target to be sought by cutting emissions it suffers from the problem of a tenacious 40% or so of raised concentration that just does not go away for a very long time. In your terms it is a little more like 0.6/k+0.4.

    280 ppm is my target too, but as the Green Party 10 Key Values point out, sometimes you have to unmake your waste. We’d need to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and probably reduce it to elemental carbon or convert it to carbonate stone to get to 280 ppm.

    But, we make that job more manageable if we get China turned around now rather than maybe possibly in 2030.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 14 Jun 2014 @ 8:11 PM

  288. Steve (#265),

    If we were just trying to avert an anticipated problem, your measure of per capita emissions as a starting point might make sense. But we stopped doing that two years ago. http://www.pnas.org/content/109/37/E2415

    We now know that climate change is already dangerous, not that it could be in the future if we don’t, as you say, get busy. Now, increasing emissions is knowingly and recklessly endangering people. So the measure changes. Those who are cutting emissions are innocent of intentional harm. Those who are increasing emissions are guilty of intentional harm.

    Now, getting busy means throwing our economic weight around to get China to first start cutting emissions and then join us in throwing their weight around too to persuade India and Canada and any others to do the same.

    I don’t know where 100% comes from either. A module energy pay back time for mid Europe of 0.5 years can be expected in 2020. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pip.2363/abstract

    So, lets assume reannealing has a payback time of 0.1 years and the reannealing schedule is every 25 years. Then, on first production there is a module EROEI of 50. After reannealing we might say the EROEI has jumped to 250, because we already recovered of the initial energy investment. But, it is fairer, and more fun, to say that in the first 50 years the energy payback time is 0.6 years so EROEI is 83 over all. Over the first 75 years it is 107, over the first 100 year it is 125 etc. converging to 250.

    If the module mounts are new aluminum and they get recycled every century, we see a similar pattern of converging to the recycling energy costs rather than worrying much over the new smelting energy cost.

    It is interesting and fun to note that our fuel based systems have decreasing EROEI with time as fuel extraction becomes more difficult.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 14 Jun 2014 @ 9:33 PM

  289. 283 Climate 4 Revolution: Roger that, but an existential threat is one that can make humans extinct. Deaths from GW is already in the millions. 6 degrees C is the extinction level. Nobody survives 6 degrees C. The world wars are ignorable.

    “Preliminary Analysis of a Global Drought Time Series” by Barton Paul Levenson, not yet published. Under BAU [Business As Usual], agriculture and civilization will collapse some time between 2050 and 2055 due to drought/desertification caused by GW [Global Warming].

    The % of humans on Earth who will perish is about 99.99%, maybe higher. That is what happens when civilizations collapse.

    Why don’t scientists “speak out”? They already are, but they are scientists, not TV station owners.

    See: “Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown”
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/12/pentagon-mass-civil-breakdown
    where the Sierra Club is one of the bad guys!

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 14 Jun 2014 @ 11:55 PM

  290. Tony (#227),

    The 83% cut from 2005 emissions levels by 2050 is fine. It is what we asked for in 2007*. We are asking for more now by setting 350 ppm as a would target, but that means a period of negative emissions after 2050 in the current RCP2.6 construction. Still, for RCP2.6, world emissions need to be cut starting around 2020. That means encouraging China to start cutting by then starting now so that we can gauge if we need stronger inducements in 2018 or so, such as 100% tariffs to allow them to simply scale back their industrial activity rather stepping towards prosperity by switch their energy policy.

    So, the US is doing the whole contraction and convergence thing. China needs to make a 60% cut from 2020 emissions by 2050 for them to be a part of contraction and convergence and make RCP2.6 possible. And, they’ve got to bring India and Canada along with them. Everyone needs to be cutting by 2020.

    *McKibben et al. (2007) “Fight Global Warming Now” Holt, NY

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 15 Jun 2014 @ 12:24 AM

  291. I am having this problem that I’m sure many others are having… who can you discuss Climate Change with. I live in the South and the very people who are supposed to be teaching science in the public schools REFUSE to even talk about it to their students. These are folks with a degree in science And they don’t BELIEVE IN SCIENCE!!!

    What do you do about that? I mentioned Climate Change to a science teacher and their response was…. I HATE AL GORE.

    Is anyone else having this problem? What do you do?

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 15 Jun 2014 @ 1:13 AM

  292. Climate 4 Revolution #283,

    “Global Warming now means at least 5-6°C under BAU, before even touching the 20+ climate feedbacks published about since IPCC’s 2013 deadline……Why is it alarmist to want to explain to people that the elites in charge of society don’t mean them well?”

    You have summarized the problem well in your post. I would qualify your last sentence. It is not only the ‘elites’ in charge of society that do not have our best interests at heart. As I point out in #257, there are two major energy supply groups that are pulling out all the stops to exploit the climate change crisis in the time remaining. One is the high carbon energy group, and the second is the low carbon energy group. As you can see by the majority of the posts on the major climate blogs, their main interest is pushing implementation of their technologies, and rarely, if ever, do they provide any evidence that such implementation will avoid ultimate climate disaster. That’s not surprising; such evidence does not exist. Implementation of even the low carbon technologies without the attendant stringent fossil energy demand reduction will have minimal effect on avoiding disaster.

    “More ppl will die from Global Warming than both our World Wars combined.”

    Well, in WWI, there were about 20 million deaths world-wide, and in WWII, there were about 60 million. You mention 5-6 C without incorporation of the carbon feedbacks under BAU. If you accept Lynas’ view of extinction at those temperatures, we are talking about the possibility of TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE MORE DEATHS from climate change than in WWI and WWII combined!!! The next time you read one of the unpaid advertisements on this blog, or on any climate blog for that matter, and recognize that the product will not prevent the catastrophe described above, place it in the proper context.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 15 Jun 2014 @ 4:39 AM

  293. Edward Greisch,

    You might want to consider writing a post on Nuclear Energy for Skeptical Science. They accept submissions from anyone, I have written posts there. You will have to cite peer reviewed data or they will not accept the post, Brave New Climate does not count. That would enable you to post on topic without the owners of the blog criticizing you and you can straighten out all the people who have the wrong impression of nuclear. In the past, nuclear supporters at SkS have posted to renewable threads off topic. They rarely cite peer reviewed data, instead citing industry shills like the International Nuclear Regulatory Agency and Brave New Climate. They usually spend a lot of time insulting the other posters. When they are invited to write an OP, they decline and vanish. Perhaps there are no positive peer reviewed articles on Nuclear? The pro-nuclear posts at SkS (and here at RealClimate) converted me from a supporter of nuclear to being against nuclear.
    From your posts here, I am sure you can do better. I would be interested in seeing what you can find supporting Nuclear Energy in the Peer Reviewed literature. Unfortunately, what I have seen is generally not very positive about nuclear. Can you address how nuclear will power countries at war like Syria, Iraq and all of Africa? How can Nuclear power peak usage during the day without spilling large amounts of power at night like they do in France? In Florida, where I live, Nuclear is not economic. Please address that. Nuclear waste and the Fukushima disaster (monetary costs alone $250 Billion and rising) are often raised as points against Nuclear so I would recommend you address those up front in the OP.

    I look forward to your positive contribution to the scientific discussion of Nuclear power. Once your article is posted online you can post on topic as often as you wish and you can stop insulting the other posters with ad hominum comments because they disagree with you.

    Comment by Michael sweet — 15 Jun 2014 @ 6:35 AM

  294. Mal Adapted #282,

    “It’s abundantly documented that the Kochs are funding opposition to policies that promote renewable energy,”

    The name of the game is not to promote renewable energy (or any other energy supply technology) per se; that’s purely an action without a tangible objective. The name of the game is to do whatever is necessary to prevent the ultimate climate disaster. Even if the Kochs removed their opposition to renewables, that by itself would do little to prevent the ultimate catastrophe. What needs to be promoted is stringent FF demand reduction. That, in concert with massive reforestation/soil and vegetation management, is the ONLY measure that will give us even a prayer of avoiding climate disaster.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 15 Jun 2014 @ 8:04 AM

  295. Lawrence Coleman #276,

    “Not sure about an ecological global collapse within 100 years? My feeling is between 75-200 years.”

    I don’t see how we can avoid it. Even on this blog, climate change amelioration Ground Zero, most of what we see are Defeatist proposals; these are proposals that, if implemented, will lead us directly to climate disaster. Thus, a proposal to e.g. implement renewables and higher energy efficiency technology without requiring attendant strong FF demand reduction is raising the White Flag in the fight to avoid climate disaster. We should require a warning label on these proposals, similar to the ones we see on cigarettes and alcohol. What happened to the America in which I was raised? When I was young, we required ‘Unconditional Surrender’ from the enemy; now, in the War on Climate Change, all I see are proposals that offer only ‘Unconditional Surrender’ on our part. What happened to our fighting spirit; when did we lose it?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 15 Jun 2014 @ 8:23 AM

  296. William Geoghegan #194,

    “I would be very interested in reading comments about the newest post on http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/

    The Arctic Atmospheric ‘Methane Global Warming Veil’. Its Origin in the Arctic Subsea and Mantle and the Timing of the Global Terminal Extinction Events by 2040 to 2050 – A Review.

    By Malcolm P.R. Light, Harold Hensel and Sam Carana
    June 8th, 2014″

    It is an interesting article, combining hard fact with supposition. The two main authors, Carana and Light, have no peer-reviewed publications on the specific topic, and Light’s referenced peer-reviewed publications are tangentially related at best and are almost thirty years old. However, there is enough factual and troublesome material of interest to warrant posting of an article on this topic on this blog. I would prefer to see people like Wadhams, Semiletov, Shakova et al, who have decades of actual hands-on experience in the Arctic, contributing heavily to such an article.

    I have emphasized peer-reviewed articles as a proxy for credibility, but caveats are in order. There is a ‘daisy-chain’ characteristic to the whole peer-review system, such that the ‘establishment’ viewpoint permeates the process and determines which articles end up seeing the light of day in the published literature. So, the fact that Light and Carana have not made the recent peer-reviewed literature doesn’t rule out, in my mind, that they might be right on target. However, their absence from the peer-reviewed literature doesn’t rule it in either. That’s why we need an independent group of experts from many perspectives to evaluate the seriousness of the methane release problem, not just one establishment spokesman.

    I have no doubt this methane release problem is being understated in official channels, just as the 1 C ceiling has been understated and other key metrics have been understated. The last thing any of the national administrations throughout the world want is for their constituents to realize how serious the climate change problem really is, and what extreme steps are required to have any chance of getting it under control.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 15 Jun 2014 @ 9:28 AM

  297. CH @ ~ 288

    Yep. No easy answers. Are you also a teacher? If nothing, else do what you do.

    I just saw this, don’t know if it helps:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/15/1306259/-The-Inoculation-Project-6-15-2014-Pre-K-Earth-Science-Plus-HS-Physics

    Comment by Radge Havers — 15 Jun 2014 @ 12:45 PM

  298. > 288, 293

    I think I see the problem there. Try this approach:

    http://blogs.plos.org/scied/2013/09/02/why-i-dont-believe-in-science-and-students-shouldnt-either/

    As Chris Smither says about evolution, it

    isn’t something you believe in. It’s something you understand — or don’t.

    See also Peter Watts: http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=886

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Jun 2014 @ 1:09 PM

  299. @ Michael Sweet #293

    “Perhaps there are no positive peer reviewed articles on Nuclear?”

    It is encouraging to see that the energy discussion here at Real Climate has not dissipated. I recall seeing an article in one of the engineering journals about how climate scientists support renewables 2:1 over nuclear as an appropriate response to global warming. I find this troubling.

    Has anyone else seen this?

    “An important new study in the journal Energy…”

    “So if you ever wondered why climate scientists like James Hansen are pro-nuclear, this is one reason.”

    GETTING TO ZERO: Is renewable energy economically viable?

    “EROI isn’t a new concept, and there are a lot of similar studies out there already. Weißbach has taken a good look at the previous literature and identified and corrected inconsistencies in many previous works. Most especially, the EROI of nuclear power in previous studies has been notoriously all-over-the-map, and Weißbach has pointed out a raft of errors, omissions, and uneven-handedness in earlier works, both those that come out above and below his result. Also, Weißbach has used the most up-to-date databases available on the energy embodiments of materials, which are required to compute energy inputs.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/07/08/1221552/-GETTING-TO-ZERO-Is-renewable-energy-economically-viable

    Also, this health physicist’s view that the costs of Chernobyl ($hundreds of billions) were largely driven by LNT and radio phobia is very interesting:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2889503/

    Comment by Corey Barcus — 15 Jun 2014 @ 1:51 PM

  300. 293 Michael sweet: I am being very careful to not mention the N word, so I won’t answer your questions right now. Your questions are easily answerable. Why do you bring it up when I don’t?

    Michael sweet: It is up to you to invent and patent and manufacture a battery that can be built in sufficient quantity to affordably make up for the 70% of the time that renewables are not producing electricity. Show us all the math. Or you could invent the room temperature superconductor. Your choice.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 15 Jun 2014 @ 3:13 PM

  301. Arctic warming linked to fewer European and US cold weather extremes, new study shows http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143834.htm

    Comment by prokaryotes — 15 Jun 2014 @ 5:33 PM

  302. Re- Comment by Chuck Hughes — 15 Jun 2014 @ 1:13 AM, ~#291

    The schools in my area are actually very good on the climate issue, but I live in Northern California. I have been supporting Eugenie Scott’s NCSE (National Center for Science Education) for many years. Global warming is one of their issues. I highly recommend it.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 15 Jun 2014 @ 5:34 PM

  303. It is safe to ignore the analysis anyone using the word “overshoot” to describe people just as one would ignore Scrooge.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 15 Jun 2014 @ 5:41 PM

  304. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 15 Jun 2014 @ 4:39 AM, ~#292

    I think that your plan for feeding 7 to 10 billion people with no energy sources would win the megadeath contest by a big margin.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 15 Jun 2014 @ 5:46 PM

  305. Corey (#299),

    You may want to familiarize yourself with this work: http://www.stormsmith.nl/i12.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 15 Jun 2014 @ 6:05 PM

  306. Edward Greisch,

    Your claim that you have not mentioned nuclear while spamming the thread with numerous posts on nuclear demonstrates your level of maturity. You are not fooling anyone. Why would I change my mind from a discussion like you are making? I take it you are unwilling to discuss nuclear on a thread where the discussion is invited and informed people bring up data from both sides. Please stop spamming Real Climate, it wastes other peoples time. I, for one, am less inclined to support nuclear because of your uncivilized behavior. You will never convince a majority of people to support nuclear by insulting those who disagree with you.

    Corey,
    Your links were interesting. Unfortunately, nuclear discussion is not allowed here. Perhaps you could post a thread somewhere neutral so that this topic can be discussed. It appears that Edward does not feel his arguments will withstand open debate.

    Comment by Michael sweet — 15 Jun 2014 @ 7:28 PM

  307. @ Chris Dudley #305

    And you believe that analysis is more accurate than this?

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Energy-and-Environment/Energy-Analysis-of-Power-Systems/

    You are of course making a joke…

    Very funny. :)

    Of course, we can option to breed (via D-D fusion) our fissile and greatly lower our U requirements.

    Comment by Corey Barcus — 15 Jun 2014 @ 7:42 PM

  308. Diogenes,

    Why do you “have no doubt this methane release problem is being understated in official channels”? Do you have access to verifiable information about the true release of methane (as opposed to measuring stations which show only a long gradual increase in methane – which is worrying, admittedly)? I haven’t read the full Arctic-News blog post but that blog often has posts filled with very sloppy analysis and hyperbole. As you say, the two main authors appear to have no history of published or credible work in this area (indeed, I can’t really find out who Sam Carana is, or whether his/her past work is indicative of have credibility in this space). The third author also appears to have no expertise in this area. When you say that article contains “facts”, have you verified the facts and been able to link them to the message the authors are trying to put across?

    Try adding a critical comment there about the blog post and see if it gets published. I’ve never seen comments like that at that site.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 16 Jun 2014 @ 1:41 AM

  309. Chuck Hughes #291,

    “who can you discuss Climate Change with.”

    We are at the stage where the climate change groups have divided into three, of differing size, and the positions have hardened substantially. When one looks at the hard numbers and wipes away all the ideology and hype, one finds the full solution to avoiding ultimate climate disaster involves extremely harsh FF demand reduction, extremely massive measures for rapid carbon removal, and perhaps the need for planet-wide geo-engineering.

    The solutions proposed are in three orders of severity, each solution defining each group. The zeroth-order solution defines the group of what are commonly called ‘deniers’. Whatever their real beliefs are about climate change, the actions they would support are essentially none. They are comfortable with the status quo, aka BAU. They are the largest group, the most influential, and we appear to be rock-steady on the BAU path for as far as the eye can see.

    The first-order solution defines most (not all) of the self-styled climate activists who tend to post on major blogs like RC and CP. The actions this group supports center around substitution of low carbon technologies for high carbon and replacement of low energy efficiency technologies by high efficiency. Essentially, it is continuing life as usual, replacing one set of technologies with another, but not making any major changes in lifestyle or, God forbid, having to make any sacrifices or undergo hardships to save the biosphere.

    The second-order solution defines a handful of people who post on this blog, such as myself, Killian, Wili to some degree, and a few others. The actions we support are strong FF demand reduction, massive reforestation, soil and vegetation management, and replacement of high carbon sources with low carbon sources only for the most essential energy needs. These actions place the highest priority on saving the biosphere, not enriching either of the competing high carbon/ low carbon energy suppliers, and they would require substantial sacrifice and deprivation relative to how we live today.

    I think real communication among these groups is extremely difficult, because their fundamental objectives are different. We throw words back and forth on this blog, some of which are at the behest of others, but I’m not seeing great communications across the last two groups that post on this blog. In the real world, I find little difference. It boils down to the first group having no interest in changing their lifestyle or paying for a cleaner energy source, the second group willing to pay more for a cleaner energy source but having no willingness to change their lifestyle, and the third group recognizing that the solutions offered by the first two groups will lead directly to oblivion. I don’t believe lack of knowledge is the issue; that’s a strawman offered by the second group to divert attention from the real roadblock. Bottom Line – there has to be a basis and desire for communication in order for effective communication to occur. I don’t see the interest, and I haven’t seen an effective solution to the communication problem advanced.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 16 Jun 2014 @ 5:50 AM

  310. Steve Fish: 304 Rather interested with your sparring with DIOGENES. Agreed currently turning completely to renewables now might not be that feasible. I also understand that for every additional barrel of oil extracted from the ground and for every trainload of coal on it’s way to a shipping port is not so slowly and defiantly surely digging our grave deeper and deeper. DIOGENES understands the urgency of the situation. He understands the nature of tipping points and points of no return. He understands that the longer we leave dramatic global action on tackling climate change that many many more people and environments will die or at the very least be irreparably compromised than what you seem to be able to comprehend. I think you still seem to think we have years left up our sleeve to figure something out, but the stark reality is that we don’t!. We have in most likelihood left it too late. That is my guess. There is no certainty of knowing if I am right..or wrong. However while there is still uncertainty as to whether we can indeed save planet earth from another PETM or worse we have to take this..our last chance..and act..NOW! I’m with Jim Hansen on the nuclear issue, we must immediately throw out all stops, even the ones that might scare us and do something. I propose nuclear as a medium term solution while we concurrently perfect totally renewable ways to support 7 billion people. The time for talking is over. The time for action is now!!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 16 Jun 2014 @ 6:49 AM

  311. Corey Barcus #299,

    “Has anyone else seen this?”

    You are to be commended for posting this informative article. It can also be accessed on:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CCsQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fewp.industry.gov.au%2Fsites%2Fewp.industry.gov.au%2Ffiles%2FAppendix%25207%2520-%2520Getting%2520to%2520Zero.docx&ei=8vueU8nWA4GHyATcnoDgCA&usg=AFQjCNGucy02_w6en-O2HTw3utyJZFqe4Q&sig2=YKICpkLh3VBZh5GOdo060Q

    To summarize, and place in larger context at the same time:

    Implementation of renewables will result in substantially higher energy costs when all components of the system are included, and, as I have shown, renewables by themselves will take us on a fast track to oblivion. Higher costs; no real payoff! What’s not to like?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 16 Jun 2014 @ 9:37 AM

  312. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-will-cost-world-far-more-than-estimated-9539147.html
    Monday 16 June 2014
    Lord Stern, the world’s most authoritative climate economist, has issued a stark warning that the financial damage caused by global warming will be considerably greater than current models predict.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Jun 2014 @ 9:38 AM

  313. > I have no doubt

    That’s the ‘belief’ problem, in a nutshell.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Jun 2014 @ 9:42 AM

  314. y’all have taken over, eh? Notice the climate scientists quit showing up, while you go on and on about
    “… nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Jun 2014 @ 11:35 AM

  315. More on #299

    The original Title and Abstract:

    “Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants: The energy returned on invested, EROI, has been evaluated for typical power plants representing wind energy, photovoltaics, solar thermal, hydro, natural gas, biogas, coal and nuclear power. The strict exergy concept with no “primary energy weighting”, updated material databases, and updated technical procedures make it possible to directly compare the overall efficiency of those power plants on a uniform mathematical and physical basis. Pump storage systems, needed for solar and wind energy, have been included in the EROI so that the efficiency can be compared with an “unbuffered” scenario. The results show that nuclear, hydro, coal, and natural gas power systems (in this order) are one order of magnitude more effective than photovoltaics and wind power.”

    Also, excerpts from one of its citing papers:

    “EROI of different fuels and the implications for society: The EROI of our most important fuels is declining and MOST RENEWABLE AND NON-CONVENTIONAL ENERGY ALTERNATIVES HAVE SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER EROI VALUES THAN TRADITIONAL CONVENTIONAL FOSSIL FUELS. At the societal level, declining EROI means that an increasing proportion of energy output and economic activity must be diverted to attaining the energy needed to run an economy, leaving less discretionary funds available for “non-essential” purchases which often drive growth.”

    Not quite the spin we get from Fish on his 450 square-foot Utopia!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 16 Jun 2014 @ 12:31 PM

  316. Gavin, many thanks for the inline responses you’ve been adding.

    Suggestion: date your inline responses? They appear days after the post to which they’re added, out of sequence. I thiink often people miss seeing them — or ignore them and continue proclaiming their beliefs.

    For example where you noted

    [Response: This is almost all complete nonsense, written by people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. - gavin] – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-4/#comment-552429

    (for which, many thanks, sanity checks always help)

    I wish that comment could be linked to every post where the ‘methane emergency’ program is touted. The same story shows up many thousands of times over the past few years, over and over and over.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Jun 2014 @ 1:48 PM

  317. Chris, #305

    I’ve already addressed the EROI issue. If you have another question, just ask it. That document you suggested asks plenty of good questions, but the answers I can offer may be rather involved.

    Would you care to discuss waste management? U supply? Something else?

    Comment by Corey Barcus — 16 Jun 2014 @ 3:04 PM

  318. Even more on #299

    Title and Abstract – Author-Ted Trainer

    “Can Australia run on renewable energy? The negative case: The current discussion of climate change and energy problems is generally based on the assumption that technical solutions are possible and that the task is essentially to determine the most effective ways. This view relies heavily on the expectation that renewable energy sources can be substituted for fossil fuels. Australia is more favourably situated regarding renewable sources than almost any other country. This discussion attempts to estimate the investment cost that would be involved in deriving Australia’s total energy supply from renewable sources. WHEN PROVISION IS MADE FOR INTERMITTENCY AND PLANT REDUNDANCY IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE TOTAL INVESTMENT COST IS LIKELY TO BE UNAFFORDABLE.”

    [edit]

    Comment by DIOGENES — 16 Jun 2014 @ 3:16 PM

  319. DIOGENES:

    Even if the Kochs removed their opposition to renewables, that by itself would do little to prevent the ultimate catastrophe. What needs to be promoted is stringent FF demand reduction.

    Yes, of course. I responded specifically to Edward Greisch’s apparent ignorance of the Kochs’ machinations against renewable energy. I assume that by now most others here are aware of the larger campaign, funded by the Kochs and other FF billionaires, against all efforts to reduce FF consumption.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 16 Jun 2014 @ 3:47 PM

  320. Hi all, this guy broke the Hockey stick with his trick math and somehow erased the rapid recorded warming at the end of the century… I want to rebut this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202455206965792&set=a.1073979174033.2012078.1362801102&type=1 can somebody tell in a just few points where he is wrong. To me, it appears that he ran his calibration in reverse and flattened out the known record with the proxy data…

    Comment by FP — 16 Jun 2014 @ 10:54 PM

  321. Stern and Dietz have a new paper available at the Grantham Institute, to be published in the Economic Journal. They acknowledge that the discount rate they use has ethical problems. Such as, what’s the loss of all the coastlines in two centuries worth when you discount the loss to nothing ? Remember that includes the Sunderbans and the Everglades and lotsa small islands and …

    They also use a RCP dependent temperature distribution to quantify economic loss. But not increase in precip intensity or sea level rise.

    Eventually come up with a carbon price of 1e2US$/ton

    The ethical problems with the discount rate bother me a great deal. And the rest. But Stern is usually a sound guide, regardless of my misgivings.

    And there is a nice paper by Bell et al in Nature geoscience, which shows giant heat transport thru melt and refreeze (but that’s my language, not theirs)

    I am on the road, haven’t had time to read either carefully, but they look juicy. Please forgive the absence of DOI

    In other news, my killfile is again skipping over 90% of all text posted …

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 17 Jun 2014 @ 12:50 AM

  322. Michael Sweet #306,

    “Why would I change my mind from a discussion like you are making?”

    Greisch has posted some of the best information on this site, but since it is obvious you have a pre-determined agenda, why would you change your mind? Greisch’s points are validated by the higher energy costs Germany is experiencing since its introduction of renewables, and by the recent peer-reviewed articles I have posted on the basement-level EROIs characteristic of renewables. It’s not Greisch who should not be posting, it’s you and Havers and others who offer no technical contribution, but only complain when the truth is presented. Greisch is a breath of fresh air on this site!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 17 Jun 2014 @ 5:17 AM

  323. FP @320.
    Your guy is evidently a Hockey stick geek which makes a full illustration of his silliness rather difficult. Thus the data he is using may be well known to him & his geek chums. But to normal folk, the “first 17 trees in Mann’s 1400 set, i.e. all up to the first one with NaN’s” does not convert into an accessible data set without a link. I’m left wondering – is that the first 17 trees on the left? And where’s Gandalf?
    What he appears to have then done with that data is to treat each like an average global temperature proxy. Thus he calibrates the 17 data sets by deciding they will all have the same trend over the period (presumably 1400-1550) and adjusting accordingly. He then averages to yield a temperature record 1400-1980. (I’m not sure how you would fix that to degrees Celsius with that method. I note the geek doesn’t label his vertical scale.) And then just for a laugh, he turns it backwards 1980-1400.
    Such an approach would tend to yield a record dominated by the data sets with a low trend 1400-1550, assuming those low 1400-1550 trends are not continued as a small signal for the full record which is a pretty safe assumption. Further, assuming some of those trends 1400-1550 were of the opposite sign to the average 1400-1550 raw trend, they would bizarrely result in any rises in that data’s proxy temperature reducing the averaged result, and visa versa. So I certainly wouldn’t expect a sensible result from such a method.
    Then without sight of the geeky data, who knows what level of foolishness is afoot.

    Comment by MARodger — 17 Jun 2014 @ 5:19 AM

  324. Corey (#307, #317),

    I know the cite you link to has widely been considered a joke. For example, most US power has come from weapons grade materiel that has been downgraded. No accounting of the extra energy needed to do the extra enrichment is included. There are many ways that site shaves corners for its preferred power source while selecting unfavorable studies for those it opposes. Once you come to realize they are dishonest, you may become more interested in independent work that is more thorough.

    One wonders too, since these are industry representatives who are behaving dishonestly, should such an intrinsically unstable and dangerous power source really be entrusted to their care? Their connections with organized crime seem like another red flag. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_waste_dumping_by_the_%27Ndrangheta

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 17 Jun 2014 @ 6:42 AM

  325. Lawrence (#310),

    I don’t usually respond to you since you are a declared totalitarian. But, you are misrepresenting Hansen here, Hansen wants Gen IV plants which can’t provide power for another 35 years. In the mean time, getting 100% renewable power in the US by then is perfectly feasible. http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/february/fifty-states-renewables-022414.html

    You won’t find such a plan anywhere for nuclear power. In many places, cooling water supplies are already tapped out and summer shutdowns are occurring.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 17 Jun 2014 @ 7:07 AM

  326. Re- Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 16 Jun 2014 @ 6:49 AM, ~#310

    Your suppositions regarding my attitudes are uninformed and your “medium term solution” completely violates Diogenes whole thesis. Here is an exercise for you- determine what privations you and yours are willing to endure and then work backward from this minimum to what energy resources will be required while at the same time eliminating fossil carbon pollution. Let’s be serious here.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 17 Jun 2014 @ 10:00 AM

  327. Here’s the ClimateProgress article about the Stern & Dietz paper mentioned above by sidd:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/16/3449645/stern-updated-climate-model-economic/

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 17 Jun 2014 @ 10:01 AM

  328. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 16 Jun 2014 @ 9:37 AM, ~#311 and 16 Jun 2014 @ 12:31 PM, ~#315

    One little problem for you with this article is that EROI and EMROI are the metrics that allow investors to calculate their “windfall” profits without regard to externalities like environmental degradation and fossil CO2 pollution.

    I never claimed that my reduced carbon experience was a utopia. It was hard work. You had better figure out what you will have to do to avoid starvation with your, so called, plan.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 17 Jun 2014 @ 10:35 AM

  329. Gavin, there may be some confusion with Satellite acquired temperatures over sea ice at this time of the year.
    http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/2014/06/hrpt-skin-temperature-muddle.html

    Comment by wayne davidson — 17 Jun 2014 @ 11:54 AM

  330. http://crosscut.com/2014/06/16/environment/120507/aboard-rv-melville-ocean-acidfication-baskin/

    “research by a team of scientists aboard the RV Melville ….from NOAA’s Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Marine Environmental Lab, along with teams from universities in Maine, Hawaii and Canada ….”

    Newspaper article, about current work in progress.
    Not good news for those who like, well, primary productivity of the oceans.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Jun 2014 @ 12:27 PM

  331. At the risk of disturbing Greisch’s anti-renewables rants and Diogene’s apocalyptic puppets, I think it’s worth calling attention to this particular part of the new Stern report:

    These limitations can deliver some ridiculous results. For instance, the traditional DICE model shows a global temperature rise of 18°C would only reduce the global economy by half. But scientists agree this is obviously wrong; such an extreme rise would almost certainly render the planet uninhabitable for humans.

    Civilization as we know it ends well before 18C. Whether it ends at 2 or 4 or more can be the matter of a lively discussion. Any models that have 50% loss at 18C are obviously very wrong.

    Also missing, I believe, is the cultural impact of climate change. When agricultural output falls too far wars start. As Gwynne Dyer says, “people always raid before they starve”.

    I understand that trying to model wars economic impact based on climate model forecasts of floods and droughts is problematic, to say the least. But there must be a better way to say “here be dragons” rather than pretending it’s a safe walk in the park.

    Comment by David Miller — 17 Jun 2014 @ 12:45 PM

  332. Tony Weddle #308,

    I don’t want to do the extended comment your question requires at this time. The main message of my comment was that we need a diverse group of Arctic methane experts to post an article on this issue. I mentioned some names of hands-on experts who are not establishment types; there are others as well.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 17 Jun 2014 @ 2:13 PM

  333. Re #322

    Although Stern is making amends with regard to the impact of AGW/ACC (call it what you will) Kevin Andersen has pointed out some shortcomings of a lot of the most credible reports from the USA and the UK. Essentially although all of the latest data on emissions is available in the public realm most of the people who create these reports have used data from a decade ago or more and hence this allows for greater time to cut your emissions which of course paints a kind of false picture when the real emission cuts required are daunting and hence the percentage chances of really 2C and above are higher and almost out of reach.

    Perhaps 3 to 4C is more realistic but it all depends on a whole lot of assumptions about peak emissions and peak growth in countries economies. Annex 1 countries almost have no room to cut now – let alone in 10 years time.

    Comment by Pete Best — 17 Jun 2014 @ 2:43 PM

  334. “…the 70% of the time that renewables are not producing electricity.”

    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-6/#comments

    A grotesque misstatement of the significance of capacity factors. That’s what kills your cred, Mr. Greisch.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 17 Jun 2014 @ 2:46 PM

  335. > I want to rebut this

    If it’s worth giving them the attention, someone will who knows how.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Jun 2014 @ 3:04 PM

  336. #304 – Re: Steve Fish

    “I think that your plan for feeding 7 to 10 billion people with no energy sources would win the megadeath contest by a big margin.”

    Let’s assume some 2-3 billion will die rapidly and then many more millions a year would die as well due to the lack of extensive medical care as provided by current arrangements.
    Basically people would have to live as past people had to, except with more knowledge. Also populations would be naturally reduced as people wouldn’t be so inclined to bring children to a less abundant world.

    Now compare that to BAU. Do you really think people will fare better when crops start to fail and nobody has a plan?

    I know is all speculation but how do you know you are right and I am wrong?

    Comment by MAXMARE — 17 Jun 2014 @ 7:33 PM

  337. Regarding the Stern & Dietz paper, it is worth recalling that Brigitte Knopf also expressed frustration with WG II accounting and how it might be reconciled with WG III methods:

    “An answer to “And Then There’s Physics”

    It is an somehow lengthy answer, but the cost issue is complicated.

    The important paragraph in the SPM of WGIII reads:

    “Under these assumptions, mitigation scenarios that reach atmospheric concentrations of about 450ppm CO2eq by 2100 entail losses in global consumption—not including benefits of reduced climate change as well as co-benefits and adverse side‐effects of mitigation19—of 1% to 4% (median: 1.7%) in 2030, 2% to 6% (median: 3.4%) in 2050, and 3% to 11% (median: 4.8%) in 2100 relative to consumption in baseline scenarios that grows anywhere from 300% to more than 900% over the century. These numbers correspond to an annualized reduction of consumption growth by 0.04 to 0.14 (median: 0.06) percentage points over the century relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.“ (SPM WGIII)

    Footnote 19, where the paragraph is referring to, says:
    “The total economic effects at different temperature levels would include mitigation costs, co‐benefits of mitigation, adverse side‐effects of mitigation, adaptation costs and climate damages. Mitigation cost and climate damage estimates at any given temperature level cannot be compared to evaluate the costs and benefits of mitigation. Rather, the consideration of economic costs and benefits of mitigation should include the reduction of climate damages relative to the case of unabated climate change.” (SPM WGIII)

    So it mainly says that mitigation costs and climate damages cannot be compared. One problem is e.g. that estimates of damages include risks with low probability but high impacts (e.g. the extinction of some small island states) that can hardly measured while the risks of mitigation can much better be calculated.

    On the cost estimates of damages, WGII SPM says:

    “With these recognized limitations, the incomplete estimates of global annual economic losses for additional temperature increases of ~2°C are between 0.2 and 2.0% of income (±1 standard deviation around the mean) (medium evidence, medium agreement). Losses are more likely than not to be greater, rather than smaller, than this range (limited evidence, high agreement).” (SPM WGII)

    Actually, it doesn’t say anything whether these are aggregated and discounted numbers over the whole century or whether these are numbers in a specific year, so it is even harder to compare to WGIII numbers, despite the methodological difficulties mentioned above and in the footnote.
    Hope this helps a little bit to or at least makes it clear that there are huge methodological difficulties in comparing the costs between WGII and WGIII.”
    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/04/mitigation-of-climate-change-part-3-of-the-new-ipcc-report/#more-17217

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 18 Jun 2014 @ 1:37 AM

  338. To be fair, Hank, the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (if that’s what you’re referring to), isn’t the same as the Arctic-News blogspot. As I understand it, Sam Carana is no longer a member of that group.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 18 Jun 2014 @ 3:03 AM

  339. NASA GISS global temperature for May have been posted and will likely spawn the “hottest May on record” messages.
    At +0.76ºC, it is the sixth hottest month on record. Perhaps most noteworthy is that, despite the very cool February, the first five months of 2014 are running hotter than any full calendar year (just) and an El Nino should be boosting those temperatures by the close of 2014. So 2014 looks to be favourites for the “hottest year on record” accolade and it could be by quite a margin.

    Comment by MARodger — 18 Jun 2014 @ 5:21 AM

  340. EROI

    Let’s review some of the more relevant material posted the past few days, and place it in a larger context. In the 20th century, we had the promise of corn-to-ethanol. Substantial areas of prime farmland were converted to corn production, based on the hype that cleaner burning (less GHG) fuels could be produced at very favorable energy gain ratios. The final result was a fuel system that had little visible energy gain advantage and essentially no GHG reduction advantage. In addition, prime land that could have been used to feed the poor of this country and the rest of the world, and possibly for carbon sequestration purposes, was misused due to this obscene scam.

    Fast forward to 2014. The modern-day equivalent of corn-to-ethanol is again being hyped on our major climate blogs. The postings of Corey and myself (all from the prime peer-reviewed literature) have shown that, like corn-to-ethanol, what we can expect from renewables are basement-level EROIs. Implementation of renewables, the main component of the ‘tag team’ sales pitch, would do even less to reduce emissions than I showed for their proxy Ceres Clean Trillion plan, and would be a Death Sentence for the 7+ billion people of this plant. Let’s not replace one scam with another, no matter how strongly it is lobbied by the renewables investors.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 18 Jun 2014 @ 6:26 AM

  341. > AMEG … Carana … Arctic-News
    Not the same, but all rather full of the same stuff, near as I can tell.
    Their stuff is rebunked over and over and over and over and over again.
    Simple question: ask what would they recommend doing with the methane produced if it were wise to “depressurize” those geological formations? Russia and Japan are drilling into methane sources now — to sell it to burn; that warrants no credit as geoengineering: it increases the very longterm CO2 forcing. The stuff didn’t blow out last time it got very warm.

    You can look these people up. E.g.
    http://planet3.org/2014/03/13/mcphersons-evidence-that-doom-doom-doom/

    Paul Beckwith says: April 5, 2014 at 7:38 pm
    Sam used to be a member of AMEG but he left …

    with disavowal of the some of the more apocalyptic stuff he blogs, but he’s not an outlier

    Michael Tobis says: April 7, 2014 at 8:55 am
    I have received some email correspondence from Prof Wadhams; I do not have permission to reproduce it. I will limit myself to understatement: I find it less than compelling.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:08 AM

  342. Wadhams, May 29, 2014

    it’s either going to hit us fast or it’s going to get us slowly, but it’s going to hit us.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:28 AM

  343. Chris #329,

    Thanks, I’ve been wondering about that: how to compare mitigation costs, adaptation costs, and the remaining risks of potential damage costs?

    It seems to me these haven’t been properly integrated yet, and how that could be done is unclear to me as well.

    And how does all this relate to the IPCC-baseline assumption that you quote: “[per capita] consumption in baseline scenarios… grows anywhere from 300% to more than 900% over the century”?

    How realistic is this assumption of continued per capita consumption growth? Does this assumption include climate and other planetary ecological boundaries and risks? Hoe about potential limits to growth? Can they simply be excluded? On what basis?

    If average per capita consumption will grow by at least 300% over the century anyway, then a risk of 10-20% consumption losses by 2050 or 2100 as a result of climate warming may not seem too catastrophic.

    But if average per capita consumption would only grow by for example 50% and climate risks could be as high as for example 50% consumption losses, then that would seem to be a lot more painful.

    It seems current economic models, including those of Stern himself, are way too inadequate to really tell us anything at this point, as Stern wrote in this paper last year:
    http://personal.lse.ac.uk/sternn/128NHS.pdf

    The abstract reads:
    “Scientists describe the scale of the risks from unmanaged climate change as potentially immense. However, the scientific models, because they omit key factors that are hard to capture precisely, appear to substantially underestimate these risks. Many economic models add further gross underassessment of risk because the assumptions built into the economic modeling on growth, damages and risks, come close to assuming directly that the impacts and costs will be modest and close to excluding the possibility of catastrophic outcomes. A new generation of models is needed in all three of climate science, impact and economics with a still stronger focus on lives and livelihoods, including the risks of large-scale migration and conflicts.”

    How do you see this?

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 18 Jun 2014 @ 10:35 AM

  344. see also MT in discussion at:
    http://planet3.org/2014/01/26/whither-the-golden-horseshoe/

    Though there were a couple of real clunkers, some of the items McPherson raises are very serious. I hope I did not come off as dismissing all of them. They just won’t kill us by 2030.

    A good start on taking down Guy McPherson appeared recently by Scott Johnson at Fractal Planet.

    Takedown, claim by claim, with sources cited; Scott Johnson is a scientist/writer.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jun 2014 @ 11:08 AM

  345. MARogers (#331),

    The monthly anomaly data are not all relative to the same temperature baseline, but rather internally to each month. You can’t say which is the warmest month just by looking at the anomaly data, only the warmest June or October, for example.

    There is also a note that data from China are still awaited so the the May 2014 data can not be directly compared with previous years. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates_v3/

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 18 Jun 2014 @ 1:54 PM

  346. Tony Weddle,

    You are quite right to be sceptical of Camara’s blog.

    Some time ago I tried to start a discussion with a view to dismantling some of the trash posted there. My opening comment was posted, but further comments were not published. Leaving it looking like their BS answer had sent me packing.
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/rebuttal-david-archer-wrong-to-dismiss.html

    Camara and the Arctic Sea Ice News blog are not to be trusted if they won’t allow critical discussion of their claims. In that respect they are no better than WTFWT.

    Comment by Chris Reynolds — 18 Jun 2014 @ 2:27 PM

  347. Re David Miller #326, as a reminder from the 2009 study An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress: summarized = The upper limit for heat stress humans can adapt to is called into question with a 7 °C temperature rise, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature, regions of Earth would lose their habitability. As i understand these are all mean temperatures, extremes will cause a lot disruption for society (and nature ofc) much earlier, due to combined effects such as ozone pollution and infrastructure damage, etc. But as we concluded years ago, the public likely requires sigma events to wake up.

    Full abstract

    Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation. Peak heat stress, quantified by the wet-bulb temperature TW, is surprisingly similar across diverse climates today. TW never exceeds 31 °C. Any exceedence of 35 °C for extended periods should induce hyperthermia in humans and other mammals, as dissipation of metabolic heat becomes impossible.

    While this never happens now, it would begin to occur with global-mean warming of about 7 °C, calling the habitability of some regions into question. With 11–12 °C warming, such regions would spread to encompass the majority of the human population as currently distributed. Eventual warmings of 12 °C are possible from fossil fuel burning. One implication is that recent estimates of the costs of unmitigated climate change are too low unless the range of possible warming can somehow be narrowed. Heat stress also may help explain trends in the mammalian fossil record.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 18 Jun 2014 @ 5:37 PM

  348. Ocean Acidification’s Far-Reaching Effects — KQED Forum, Michael Krasny
    Links to the .mp3 for download or listening online at the main page.
    Excellent program. If you don’t know why the changes in the ocean are — already, now — more serious and changing faster than land temperature and atmospheric CO2, you owe yourself the time to listen to this.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jun 2014 @ 7:23 PM

  349. Lennart (#343),

    I see the consumption growth in their baseline as having to do with development. So long as environmental impacts are reduced during this phase, the “limits to growth” don’t really kick in. If the only kind of car sold in India is electric and solar is they way they charge them, then multi-car families are not a big deal. If we start to synthesize glucose using wind or solar energy, then meat consumption can increase while reducing silage production and returning land to wilderness. A home where the buffalo could be pretty common after mid-century, for example.

    I suspect. also, that they may have got the sign wrong on how limiting environmental damage affects growth. I suspect it increases rather than retards it. The cost curves for renewable energy are quite encouraging.

    I think that over time you can see care for the environment as an investment in prosperity in many many situations. Failure to be prudent in this area seems to induce poverty and pestilence. It would be odd if this suddenly reversed as the IPCC seems to suggest it might.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 19 Jun 2014 @ 12:33 AM

  350. 331 David Miller: Yes. Economics is nonsense. Economics students should be required to get degrees in physics before being allowed to take any economics courses. Otherwise, they will not know what reality is.

    Money is a human invention and therefore not natural/real. Food is not a human invention. All organisms need food. Global Warming [GW] will take away our food supply in about 40 years if GW continues as usual. Humans existed long before the invention of money. Humans will not survive the non-existence of food, if the non-existence of food happens. There is nothing more immoral than risking the extinction of humans. Therefore: Economics is immoral.

    Civilization as we know it ends before 6 degrees C because 6 degrees C is the extinction point. Try to tell that to an economist.

    PS: I don’t do anti-renewables rants. I try to get people to Do the Math. One way to get wrong answers is to fail to solve the problem. Another way to get a wrong answer is to make wrong assumptions. A third way to get a wrong answer is to ignore real world constraints. Most people are allergic to math. Most people cannot imagine 40 years into the future. Etcetera. The human brain is not well designed. There is a consequence. It is called Gigadeath.

    322 DIOGENES: Thank you.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Jun 2014 @ 12:48 AM

  351. Prokaryotes, 347

    It’s useful to note that humans die of heat stress at +7C. Cornucopians may argue that access to AC changes that equation, of course. Given sufficient energy to provide the AC, of course.

    My point, for years, is that “the economy” requires “civilization as we know it”, and that when civilization as we know it ends, so does the economy.

    I’ll suggest, again, that the first climate-induced threat to this is from falling agricultural output caused by changing weather patterns. I’m not sure the climate models are specific enough, yet, to tell us what losses we have for each fraction of a degree, and I’ve not seen papers on that topic. Hank?

    Comment by David Miller — 19 Jun 2014 @ 4:16 AM

  352. Hank Roberts #344,

    “Takedown, claim by claim, with sources cited; Scott Johnson is a scientist/writer.”

    Sorry, that’s not how science is done; that’s the essence of character assassination! If Guy McPherson had published his Summary and Update in a responsible journal, and a Letter to the Editor critiquing his article by Scott Johnson was submitted, then the Editor would provide Johnson’s Letter to McPherson for comment, and would publish both the Letter and Johnson’s response in tandem. What you see in Johnson’s post, and across the blogosphere, are one-sided attacks meant to present a one-sided viewpoint. That’s not to say that there are no problems in McPherson’s Summary and Update, or that some/many of Johnson’s criticism are not valid. I have stated a number of times that McPherson intertwines the good with the overly speculative. My reading is there is sufficient good that much of the speculative can be ignored, and concern about our future should be increased.

    Johnson’s attack is a classical hatchet job. If that’s admirable to you, you’ve got problems!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 19 Jun 2014 @ 4:58 AM

  353. 325 Chris. Maybe we can convert the US to renewables within 35 years. However the US only constitutes 4.4% of the world’s population and only 19% of global emissions. Is the US really going to invest many 10′s of billions of dollars to convert the rest of the world? You have seen how different the climate is now to what is was in the early 1980′s. Now project another 35 years ahead. What concentration of CO2 will we have then? You will find CH4 levels would have risen significantly by then as well.
    Being labelled a totalitarian is fine by me. Horses for courses!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 19 Jun 2014 @ 7:25 AM

  354. 310 Chris. Projecting the keeling curve for another 35 years assuming BAU I reach a CO2 figure around 530ppm. Still no hurry hey Chris.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 19 Jun 2014 @ 7:42 AM

  355. Steve Fish #326,

    “determine what privations you and yours are willing to endure and then work backward from this minimum to what energy resources will be required while at the same time eliminating fossil carbon pollution. Let’s be serious here.”

    Your comment to Lawrence Coleman, quoted above, must surely rank as one of the most inane comments ever posted on RC! That’s the basis for a plan to insure survival of our species????? If we had asked the troops who were destined to invade Okinawa to come up with a plan starting with what they were willing to endure, what do you think we would have gotten? Their starting point would have been ‘I want to get through this battle without a scratch’, and the plan would have evolved from that. One could only imagine what the outcome of such an approach would be.

    The starting point for any RATIONAL plan is the objective: what do we want to accomplish. Once that has been determined, then alternate approaches to achieving that objective are developed. In the present climate case, the objective is to insure the survival of our species. It is not to insure everyone remains comfortable, or, as the Jacobsen article that Dudley references states, “transforming the United States from dependence on fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050″. Your goal is absolutely senseless, and Dudley’s is approach-based, not objective based. The planetary goal is not to sell renewables as fast as is possible, although it appears to be the goal you and Dudley have chosen. The goal is species survival, and if renewables by 2050 can accomplish that, or even part of that, great. That needs to be demonstrated. If you/Dudley [edit] can show that installation of renewables by 2050 will keep the global mean temperature anywhere near 1 C with reasonable certainty, go right ahead. I’ve never seen anyone come even close with renewables conversion, and some high energy efficiency technology substitution. Your post, and Dudley’s post, are just more blatant diversions from the focus on stringent FF demand reduction that is required now, in order to sell renewables to an unsuspecting public.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 19 Jun 2014 @ 7:45 AM

  356. constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is).

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jun 2014 @ 9:20 AM

  357. FP @320.
    Further to my comment @323 about the geeky hockey stick analyses, I did think to take a look within hockey-stick-geekland and the data your geek was using is not hard to find from there. And here it is in data1400.txt

    I’m not sure why the geek baulks at using the last 4 of the 1400-1980 data sets. Then, he’s not very good at explaining himself. And how the data yields his graph remains baffling. I note he now shows a graph using all 412 data sets which looks to all the world like he has created the hockey stick by repeating his method but the extra comments he gives concerning his repeated method (I assume repeated – “I went back and did it with the full set of 415 proxies.”) raises more questions than answers.

    As for the 17 data sets 1400-1980, the geek is entirely disingenuous saying that the hockey stick is but an “artifact.” Given he is apparently attached to a university, spouting arrant nonsense like that is ill advised.

    Plotting out the 17 data sets, they aren’t entirely a bag of individual hockey sticks but that was never suggested. The 17 do contain three that would work against the creation of a hockey stick, two very similar – shades of HHLamb (with MWP & LIA) and one with a cold 1900s. But of the rest there are 2 x mega hockey sticks, 4 x full hockey sticks (although one has a ‘regency flush’ in the early 1800s), 4 x 1900s as warm as any previous century and 4 x 1900s warm but not matching the warmest (one of which had a cold early 1900s).
    How these should be properly combined to create a temperature record is what MBH98 was all about. But any simplistic combination will always yield a hockey stick. Apparently your geek is oblivious to this situation.

    Comment by MARodger — 19 Jun 2014 @ 10:19 AM

  358. Edward Greisch wrote: “I don’t do anti-renewables rants.”

    In fact, Edward, you do — and often.

    What is worse is that you personally attack me, and others who post simple, factual information that is favorable to wind or solar energy, as paid shills for the Koch Brothers (who in reality are funding a nationwide campaign to block and even roll back the rapid growth of wind and solar).

    You SPECIFICALLY asked me how much the Koch Brothers were “paying me” to post positive comments about solar energy — which is to say, on the basis of NOTHING WHATSOEVER, except that you don’t like my comments, you accused me of being a PAID LIAR.

    You owe me — and every other commenter on this site — an apology.

    Of course, you probably won’t see this comment, since the de facto moderation policy here seems to be that repeated malicious personal attacks on advocates of renewable energy are acceptable, but complaints about such attacks are not.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 19 Jun 2014 @ 10:30 AM

  359. Diogenes, i am among the readers who have read your same argument over and over and over again. I really doubt you practice what you preach if you are on an energy using computer all day making these arguments. I don’t think you are going to get anywhere with your case unless you can lead by example. You may be right for all I know with respect to the argument you make. So…why aren’t you acting? Seriously, why? It smells of hypocrisy.

    Comment by Doug — 19 Jun 2014 @ 11:10 AM

  360. Re- Comment by MAXMARE — 17 Jun 2014 @ 7:33 PM, ~#336

    Let me get this straight- You think that the death of 2 to 3 billion people (2,000,000,000 to 3,000,000,000) from starvation, pestilence, and war (a very optimistic estimate) is acceptable, you think that I am proposing BAU (business as usual), and wonder why I might think that you are wrong.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Jun 2014 @ 11:36 AM

  361. The first major crop losses would be to extreme weather events. For example an unexpected drought, or flood or a few warm nights so the corn does not pollinate.

    These are unexpected, and therefor not climate. If they were climate we could change crops, or install irrigation or put levees around the fields to prevent flooding.

    We can plan for climate. We can change our plans for climate change. It will be the unexpected weather that gets us

    Comment by agres — 19 Jun 2014 @ 11:39 AM

  362. Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 18 Jun 2014 @ 6:26 AM, ~#340

    You use the corn alcohol straw man to justify your argument that renewables are too expensive (i.e. “what we can expect from renewables are basement-level EROIs”) when you should know that EROI (energy return on investment) excludes externalities such as environmental damage and human misery. In your 19 Jun 2014 @ 4:58 AM, ~#352 you, an anonymous blogger without any expertise, dare to lecture this group on “how science is done.” And, in 19 Jun 2014 @ 7:45 AM, ~#355, you deprecate 100% renewables by 2050 when your idea is exactly the same. The problem is that medieval renewables can’t support 7 to 10 billion people.

    Is that about it? No, throughout, you continue to use juvenile name calling and unsupported allegations of motive to bolster your ideas. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 19 Jun 2014 @ 12:32 PM

  363. Edward Greisch @350 “Try to tell that to an economist.”

    I happen to be wading through Thomas Piketty’s massive and oh-so-trendy tome, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”. He’s supposedly a good guy as economists go, but I still think he’s a fool. One of the fundamental concepts underlying economics is the discount rate, and I don’t agree with it at all. Since future costs are discounted exponentially, a few decades into the future the value of any cost is effectively zero. According to that logic we shouldn’t do anything about climate change because it’s only going to inflict suffering on our children. OK not my children since I don’t have any, but you know what I mean. And I don’t agree with the idea of externalities either. To me that’s just a polite way of saying that dumping your trash in the yards of powerless people is good business. It’s telling that most of economic theory developed during the period of maximum “exuberance” when the US was still mostly empty and EROI of 100:1 was commonplace. No wonder the answer to every question is growth. So why am I reading this cleverly disguised mind poison? Good question.

    Economics appears to be a thin veneer of justification for the view that a) growth is always good, because b) the goal of existence is to make things cushy for the haves, regardless of the consequences. I’m much more sympathetic to Jared Diamond’s hypothesis in “Collapse,” which is that societies are undone by five things: 1) climate change, 2) environmental destruction, 3) hostile neighbors, 4) excessively friendly neighbors, and 5) stubbornness in the face of one or more of the preceding. A society that says something like, “well our cows are toast and we could switch to fishing, but people aren’t meant to eat fish because [insert deity] says so,” is a dead society. About the only thing Piketty seems to have right is that growth of the order that fueled modernity is historically speaking an anomaly, very unlikely to be sustained or repeated.

    Comment by Chris Korda — 19 Jun 2014 @ 12:59 PM

  364. @345:

    The monthly anomaly data are not all relative to the same temperature baseline, but rather internally to each month. You can’t say which is the warmest month just by looking at the anomaly data, only the warmest June or October, for example.

    Where is this documented? Everything I found on the GISTEMP site refers to “base period 1951-1980″ without saying that each month’s base period is separately tabulated.

    Comment by Meow — 19 Jun 2014 @ 1:21 PM

  365. I’m a little confused.

    It seems we can discuss atmospheric science, the environmental and economic risks implied by our models, and even remedies as long as atomic energy is not discussed (as the topic seems so divisive)?

    If we were going to meaningfully respond to ocean acidification, must we not produce something on the order of 10^11 tons of ions (like Ca or Mg) to neutralize the oceanic CO2 within decades? What kind of energy system can scale like that? Is there really another option other than using a compact, efficient, high temperature, highly scalable, carbon-free energy source to reduce the ions?

    Comment by Corey Barcus — 19 Jun 2014 @ 1:34 PM

  366. what losses we have for each fraction of a degree, and I’ve not seen papers on that topic. Hank?

    “despite this ignorance, it is clear that Earth’s climate system has proven itself to be an angry beast….”
    – W. S. Broecker

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jun 2014 @ 2:13 PM

  367. 355:

    “That needs to be demonstrated.”

    It is being demonstrated. Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the halls. http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2014/06/03/q1-solar-installation-figures-the-juggernaut-keeps-rolling/

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 19 Jun 2014 @ 3:12 PM

  368. Lawrence (#353),

    When the US converts the world to democracy, it does no do it by paying for democracy in other countries. It strategically isolated and defeats totalitarian regimes and sweeps their sick ideology into the dustbin. There is no need to be other than the Shining City on the Hill to get the rest of the world to go for renewable energy. They’ve already adopted the solid state electronics we invented for everything else. The trend will continue for energy as well.

    From an airplane, to a guitar to a solar panel, these machines kill fascists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_machine_kills_fascists

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 19 Jun 2014 @ 4:23 PM

  369. 355 Dio was his usual abrasive self.

    Steve Fish had it right. The two variables are consumption and clean production. By determining what minimum consumption we’d live with, we then know how much low carbon production we’ll need. If it can’t be done, then we rethink.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 19 Jun 2014 @ 6:59 PM

  370. Too Little, Too Late? Oops? 19 June 2014 James Hansen
    … I have been working, for a few years, on a paper aimed at a clear quantitative response to the “too late?” and “oops?” questions….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jun 2014 @ 7:18 PM

  371. If the goal is to decarbonize by 2050, can someone please explain what happens to air travel, rail travel, cargo ships and international trade? I can see electric cars for short hauls and perhaps medium hauls, but you need to burn fuel to fly planes and diesel for cargo ships, or will we have nuclear powered trains and boats?

    Comment by Alan — 19 Jun 2014 @ 8:17 PM

  372. Hank quotes a famous one:

    “despite this ignorance, it is clear that Earth’s climate system has proven itself to be an angry beast….”
    – W. S. Broecker

    I laughed out loud at that one :)

    I was actually looking more for your super-librarian skills in finding recent papers tying agricultural output changes to temperature rise.

    That said, I think your quote might well be more to the point.

    What the hell are we doing with this sharp stick? Why are we not smart enough to heed the snarling beast?

    Comment by David Miller — 19 Jun 2014 @ 9:58 PM

  373. 355: DIOGENES. BOY! Do you get it!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 19 Jun 2014 @ 10:18 PM

  374. 360 Chris. Read the article on solar. Good news! Here in Australia our newly elected gov. has scrapped the carbon tax, wound back funding for renewables. Refuses to even raise Climate change at the G20 meeting in Brisbane. Scrapped the federal climate change office. Is going to dismantle another office to create funding for renewable schemes. That comes from a liberal right wing party. No wonder I’m feeling despondent.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 19 Jun 2014 @ 10:36 PM

  375. 357 SecularAnimist: I don’t owe you anything. You, SecularAnimist, owe the rest of us a patent on your new battery and the math that shows how little it costs, preferably a negative cost, and that it uses only infinitely available materials. No unobtainium.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Jun 2014 @ 10:47 PM

  376. Chris Dudley #349,

    You say;
    ‘I see the consumption growth in their baseline as having to do with development. So long as environmental impacts are reduced during this phase, the “limits to growth” don’t really kick in.’

    Maybe, if the impacts are reduced fast enough to stay or return within those limits in time. But if we’ve already crossed those limits so far that we need to to reduce the impacts even faster than you propose, I guess that could mean shrinking consumption at least for the richest parts of the world, precisely to leave space for development for the poorer parts of the world.

    The best indicators I know (like ‘planetary boundaries’ and ‘ecological footprint’) suggest we’ve already crossed some important limits, or are very close, so it seems very risky to assume growth in the baseline can continue as the IPCC does. It seems their models do not take potential limits to growth into account, so they may be very misleading.

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 20 Jun 2014 @ 4:00 AM

  377. Chris Dudley #360,

    “That needs to be demonstrated”

    You selectively extract a part of my statement, then offer the usual solar installation statistics that SA, McKinney, Fish rely on as proof of something. The context was:

    “The goal is species survival, and if renewables by 2050 can accomplish that, or even part of that, great. That needs to be demonstrated. If you/Dudley [edit] can show that installation of renewables by 2050 will keep the global mean temperature anywhere near 1 C with reasonable certainty, go right ahead.”

    In other words, show the consequences of rapid solar/renewables installation on what it will do to place a lid on climate change, not what it will do to enrich the Windfall proponents and their front men. I have never seen such proof; I don’t believe it exists. Show me the temperature/concentration consequences!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 20 Jun 2014 @ 5:02 AM

  378. > looking for … librarian skills

    I often point out _that_ one should make the effort to ask a librarian for help.

    Don’t mistake amateur results for professional help

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jun 2014 @ 10:17 AM

  379. Is anyone keeping up with the GIS melt? I’m assuming that at some point in the near future it too will be in a state of irreversible decline. Are there any credible projections for the future of the Greenland ice?

    Thanks.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 20 Jun 2014 @ 12:47 PM

  380. David (#351),

    Some synthesis work was done by IPCC WGII. Look at Figure SPM.7 here http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/WG2AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf Digging into the basis for this in underlying report is not entirely satisfying, but it is a start.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 20 Jun 2014 @ 2:06 PM

  381. Réf: “Getting to Zero paper”. I find the concept that dividing GDP by energy to give cents GDP/kW, whichh is supposed to be meaningful a bit hard to swallow. Information, intellectual property and financial services which are characteristics of advanced economies have high cents GDP/kWh values whereas manufacturing and agriculture for example have low ratios.

    Comment by turboblocke — 20 Jun 2014 @ 2:34 PM

  382. Some one earlier mentioned Germany electricity prices being high due to renewables. That is wrong on at least two counts. Firstly DE electricity prices for large users is average for Europe: see http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/submitViewTableAction.do
    However small users and households pay above average prices: http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=nrg_pc_204_c&lang=en This due to the way in which the “Energiewende” (energy transformation) is financed. The energy transformation broadly embraces efficiency, renewables and sustainable development. These are paid for by a levy (EEG Umlag). However, bizarrely the really big electricity users are given a massive exemption from this levy paying only 0.05 cents/kWh, other users pay 6.24 cents/kWh. No that is not a typo small users pay over 100 times more than the big users. Here is one of the clearest explanations of the functioning of the levy that I have found: http://www.iwr-institut.de/en/press/background-informations/renewable-energy-is-subsidised-the-state-does-not-pay-a-cent

    In addition, thanks to renewables, the wholesale price of electricity is lower due to the “Merit Order Effect”.

    Comment by turboblocke — 20 Jun 2014 @ 3:04 PM

  383. “When the us converts the world to democracy…” CD you really are a piece of work.

    Comment by Tony Lynch — 20 Jun 2014 @ 6:29 PM

  384. @ Thomas #1

    I believe one of my earlier comments #299 (GETTING TO ZERO: Is renewable energy economically viable) addresses your question regarding the potential role of renewables in the context of mitigation. In summary, they appear to be counterproductive, particularly at scale (see below). More to the point on mitigation, or PLAN B:

    Regarding the Ethical Mitigation of Global Warming

    Our prime directive is to decouple the economy from carbon dioxide emissions as fast as possible. What is the scale of the problem? The global economy is measured at about 17 terawatts of power, providing on average just over 2 kW per capita. Western Europe has managed a highly developed civilization at about 5 kW per capita. The United States almost achieves 10 kW per capita. To raise the global average to merely 5 kW would require around 50 terawatts of power by 2050. How much more energy will be required to neutralize excess oceanic carbonic acid to secure our food chain? How much more energy will we need to insure that the space industry is vigorous enough to safeguard us from that other inevitable environmental disaster, an asteroid impact? How about all of those extra infrastructure costs that will be necessary for coastal protection and recovery? Do we want even more energy to clean up the oceanic gyres of unwanted polymer residue? Do we want to capture excess CO2 from the environment for sequestration so that we may lower atmospheric CO2 concentration? Should we use oceanic CO2 as feedstock for carbon-neutral fuels?

    The size of our problem appears to be on the order of TENS of TERAWATTS, or 10^13 watts, but maybe even as high as 10^14 watts. The deeper one looks, the larger our energy needs appear to be.

    POTENTIAL OF THORIUM MOLTEN SALT REACTORS:
    DETAILED CALCULATIONS AND CONCEPT EVOLUTIONS
    IN VIEW OF A LARGE NUCLEAR ENERGY PRODUCTION

    http://democrite.ccsd.cnrs.fr/docs/00/02/55/24/PDF/democrite-00021911.pdf (note: possible rates of deployment fig. 14)

    In 2013, about 460 tons of fissile (U235) was produced, which would be enough material to start hundreds of 1 GWe high temperature thermal neutron iso-breeders (Th-MSRs). This is possible because thermal iso-breeders improve critical material utilization by hundreds of times over LWRs. After startup, they are fueled with the abundant and mildly radioactive mineral thorium and can proceed to a very high burn up state. The fissile supply necessary to grow the iso-breeder fleet can be expanded with more mining (low grade ores, In Situ Leach) or breeding. One of the highest performance breeder concepts that I have seen involves using small D-D fusion charges within a very large underground reaction chamber (PACER). Other forms of fusion with lower Q, may also prove economical for breeding.

    I believe a symbiotic fusion-fission economy (fusion for the neutrons, fission for the energy) has the most economic potential (the ‘old’ concept was brought up back in 2009 by Wallace Manheimer, see below), and the basic technology to accomplish this has already been pioneered. For the immediate future, GEN3+ LWRs are suitable for rapidly decarbonizing the electrical grid, but the real expansion of nuclear power will come with highly efficient GEN4 reactors.

    The nuclear community has long been working on viable technological concepts to wean the globe from fossil fuels. As can be seen from the above paper, the Th232-U fuel cycle looks to have enormous potential for quickly growing a sustainable economy.

    Today, China leads the world with its determination to develop the next industrial era. Canada is looking to use an MSR converter for steam to lower the environmental impact and raise the energy return of oil sands exploitation. The same high temperature technology will be applicable for synthesizing fossil carbon’s sustainable replacement. Hopefully the new EPA regulations will drive the United States to improve its nuclear deployment and development programs. Additionally, we might positively direct our evolution by focusing on the critical technological pathways for global sustainability with a Planetary Sustainability Initiative.

    On a related note, in order to ease tensions between the US and China, a bill, vital to energy, industrial development, and national security, has been proposed that should encourage an expansion of domestic rare earth mining. It is called the National Rare Earth Cooperative Act of 2014. It currently sits in a Senate committee for energy and natural resources:

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s2006 (rare earth bill)

    Rare earth dependencies: http://www.agiweb.org/environment/earthnotes/note.html?PublicID=8 (notice the chart of imported material dependencies)

    2009 DC conference on fusion: http://www.ralphmoir.com/media/hyFusFisConf.pdf

    Boundary effects for large scale wind farms could lower power density: http://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2013/02/rethinking-wind-power

    Comment by Corey Barcus — 20 Jun 2014 @ 11:09 PM

  385. 364 David Miller: Start with: “Drought Under Global Warming: a Review” by Aiguo Dai
    http://www.atmos.albany.edu/facstaff/adai/
    This was made with data on the extent of deserts from 1870 to present. The usual General Circulation [computer] Models [GCMs] were not used. Since the sensitivity was not used, the sensitivity is irrelevant. Civilization still collapses near or shortly after mid-century this century.

    Search for World Food Organization.

    “Six Degrees” by Mark Lynas

    http://globalwarming.berrens.nl/globalwarming.htm

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/The-Two-Degree-World

    I’m sure I’ve seen some articles lately, but I don’t know where. The answer is that food production drops with increasing temperature because food plants can’t take the heat.. Drought and floods increase with increasing temperature. Triple whammy.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Jun 2014 @ 5:36 AM

  386. PS, a reminder on the arctic methane stuff — why it’s always important to check what’s in the newspapers against the science, and check it again next time: http://planet3.org/2013/09/05/nafeez-ahmed-responds/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Jun 2014 @ 12:02 PM

  387. Climate Progress points out an interesting deal in Utah. Rocky Mountain Power is signing a 20 year power purchase agreement with a company called First Wind. They will be buying the power from a new 320 MW solar development. We’ve already seen Austin Energy signing up for $0.05/kwh but this deal seems to have triggered a federal law requiring utilities to buy the least costly power. “The law says that if utilities can buy power from an independent provider for a lower price than it would cost them to generate the power themselves, they must.” http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/20/3451429/utah-solar-purpa/

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 21 Jun 2014 @ 5:22 PM

  388. More from Climate Code Red:

    http://www.ecoshock.info/2014/06/planet-code-red.html

    Comment by wili — 21 Jun 2014 @ 7:18 PM

  389. Another idea for cause of “pause”?

    Probably it has been thought of and taken into account, but…

    Increased contrails from increased jet traffic causing more high clouds, reflecting more sunlight back to space??

    Somebody was telling me about “chemtrails” (not that I buy that myth) and I saw him looking up at the contrails in the sky with a real look of fear in his face. And then I thought to myself that there did seem to be a lot of contrails, wondered if there was an increase, if that could be one small factor to account for less-than-expected warming.

    Comment by AIC — 22 Jun 2014 @ 1:33 AM

  390. Hank Roberts #316,

    “For example where you noted
    [Response: This is almost all complete nonsense, written by people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. - gavin] – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-4/#comment-552429
    (for which, many thanks, sanity checks always help)
    I wish that comment could be linked to every post where the ‘methane emergency’ program is touted. The same story shows up many thousands of times over the past few years, over and over and over.”

    That comment has some applicability to the article to which it refers. However, why isn’t that comment applied consistently and even-handedly on this blog? Is the speculation and fantasizing in the referenced article any worse than the articles and reports by the ‘establishment’ scientists, who espouse the 2 C target as something meaningful to which we should strive, who then talk about allowable carbon budgets based on that contrived target, and who then spawn myriad recommendations for ‘action’ that might achieve the 2 C target with reasonable (not high) chances of success. Is the speculation and fantasizing in the article any worse than the many posters here who fantasize that all we need are some low carbon and higher efficiency sources to avoid the climate abyss, and we can experience ‘prosperity’ at the same time? Why isn’t that comment applied uniformly to the above group of speculators and fiction writers?

    You decry the attention given to the ‘methane emergency’ program. Well, maybe you need to hear what the REAL experts have to say about the methane problem, such as in this 2012 video (https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/top-scientists-speak-on-growing-risk-of-methane-emergency/). Two of the presenters have many years of hands-on experience of actually going up to the Arctic in surface and sub-surface ships, making measurements, observing trends, and integrating both the published and UNPUBLISHED data. I would value their comments an order of magnitude more than those of blog posters and computer jockeys. It is a travesty that, on a supposed climate science blog like RC, we don’t have an article containing the views of at least three of the four in the video. It’s not that we are devoting too much attention to the methane emergency, as you imply. Given the importance, we are devoting much too little, and what little we are devoting seems to be aimed at covering up the seriousness of the problem!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 22 Jun 2014 @ 8:32 AM

  391. Former Secretary of the Treasury Paulson has an article calling for a carbon tax. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/opinion/sunday/lessons-for-climate-change-in-the-2008-recession.html

    He does not seem to be aware that the US is already regulating emissions through the Clean Air Act and that regional cap and trade for existing source regulations in on the menu. It seems to me that carbon tax advocates must, at this point, explain how their proposal will get us to an 83% cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2035 rather than 2050. The Clean Air Act is a bird in hand. A carbon tax better be four or more birds in the bush for it to excite any interest now.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 22 Jun 2014 @ 9:08 AM

  392. MA,

    Looks like my answer to you at dotearth got lost or censored, so here it is here:

    You have confused returning to the preindustrial concentration with reducing concentration at all. The initial reduction in concentration is quite rapid but there is a lingering fraction which is very persistent. The rapid reduction is what stops the warming. The lingering fraction is what makes some of the past warming irreversible without a dedicated effort to clean our mess. Examine fig. 1 here: http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/1704.long

    You are probably wrong about feedbacks if this were to happen now. The response of arctic sea ice has been much more prompt than many expected, so its behavior probably tracks warming closely and ceasing warming would stop its decline.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 22 Jun 2014 @ 9:33 AM

  393. Another collection on ocean ecosystems, plankton, food chains and (by implication) climate change that we may well have started much earlier than we think. Does Bill Ruddiman somewhere get into ocean harvesting, as well as into land changes during the recent past, and climate change?

    I’m seriously starting to wonder why the heck there’s so much information about this subject — that I would never come across but for the Internet and the time available to search from home. I wouldn’t have thought to ask a research librarian for this material, it shouldn’t be that hard to find.

    Russ George: Bringing Back The Fish … Good News For The Planet

    There’s a lot here and more.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Jun 2014 @ 11:29 AM

  394. A brief excerpt from his page:
    Open Letter – Critical and Ignored CO2 Green Plant Climate Feedback Mechanisms
    May 17, 2013
    addressed to the climate scientists.
    Do y’all recognize this material?

    … We call more plant growth and longer growth “good ground cover” in the world of dryland ecosystem management. This good ground cover is being seen in dramatic reductions of topsoil and dust blowing away in the wind from these drylands.

    That diminished dust in the wind is the link to the collapse of ocean plankton pastures at the observed rate of loss of an Amazon Rainforest of biomass in each five year time span.

    Declining Ocean Plant Life By Ocean Basin

    As the ocean plants depend on dust in the wind for vital mineral micronutrients they are collapsing as the dust becomes ever scarcer.
    Those ocean plankton pastures and the trillion tonnes of CO2 they are no longer managing ought to be entering the models on global CO2 as the largest factor and not in their present role of not being in the models at all or only in some very minor role.

    A last paper in this collection comes from a Finish group and speaks to how forest aerosols are important in cloud formation.

    I loved the metaphor one scientist in that group used saying that we all know about forest aerosols as they are “the smell of the forest.”  I have spent much of my life working as a plant ecologist in forests and know those smells very well. It seems that forest smells have a significant role in weather!

    I am hoping that you might give this some consideration and perhaps you have some thoughts on how the ideas I am presenting here might be put in front of people with influence on CO2 and climate policy.

    The good news is that the replenishment and restoration of ocean plankton pastures to the condition of health and abundance that they were in in 1950 is very workable and affordable. Such work could restore the oceans and buy the world a lot of time on the CO2 crisis. It Just Works!

    There are other scientists who have been raising this issue — William Calvin recently at the MIT Colab contest; Farley Mowat while he lived, for decades; others starting to incorporate these ocean feedbacks in models.

    I hope for more.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Jun 2014 @ 11:40 AM

  395. Tony (#370),

    I capitalized that. Don’t misquote me.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 22 Jun 2014 @ 2:24 PM

  396. Chris Dudley #349,

    You say;
    ‘I see the consumption growth in their baseline as having to do with development. So long as environmental impacts are reduced during this phase, the “limits to growth” don’t really kick in.’

    Maybe, if the impacts are reduced fast enough to stay or return within those limits on time. But if we’ve already crossed those limits so far that we need to to reduce the impacts even faster than you propose, I guess that could mean shrinking consumption at least for the richest parts of the world, precisely to leave space for development for the poorer parts of the world.

    The best indicators I know (like ‘planetary boundaries’ and ‘ecological footprint’) suggest we’ve already crossed some important limits, or are very close, so it seems very risky to assume growth in the baseline can continue as the IPCC does. It seems their models do not take potential limits to growth into account, so they may be very misleading.

    Comment by Lennart van der Linde — 22 Jun 2014 @ 2:34 PM

  397. 369 turboblocke: See http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/merkel-s-switch-to-renewables-rising-energy-prices-endanger-german-industry-a-816669-2.html

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 22 Jun 2014 @ 2:34 PM

  398. Being a singularity, the Apocalypse has no plural , and what you will discover if you ask Yahoo suggests it is unwise to go looking for one:

    What is the plural of apocalypse?

    Best Answer

    Apocalypses, I would guess. It doesn’t sound correct when I say apocalypi, and I get apocalypses when I search google.

    Hope this helps,
    Brandi

    Jackie answered 9 months ago
    God gave you like a shield so that demons don’t harm you, but when you sin or do something spiritually wrong, you open yourself up to demonic influence. For example, chanting mantras leads to demon possession. It’s not the words that get you possessed; it’s the rhythm.

    Buddhists worship fake mountain Kailash in Tibet inside which demons have a UFO base. Barcode is Druid black magic curse. Mediums are shown pictures and given thoughts by demons. Demons move the Ouija board. Demons=Ghosts=Spirit Guides=Aliens. Demons never do good. Demons fly in UFOs. Crystal balls, tarot cards, barcodes, tattoos, talismans, masks, skulls, amulets, etc. attract demons. Meditation, chanting mantras, and astral projection lead to demon possession. Casting spells is asking demons for help. Ask Greek Orthodox priest to help you out (blessing your house, etc.)

    Most dreams and thoughts are from demons.

    Comment by Russell — 22 Jun 2014 @ 3:15 PM

  399. MA,

    Over at NYT you said: “Chris, I agree with you about the tariffs (they’re called “Border Tax Adjustments” these days), but even with the modest regulation proposed by the Obama administration, U.S. consumers won’t be paying their share of the full, global cost of our fossil fuel consumption. Obama’s proposal will lead to more replacement of coal with natural gas, which won’t solve the climate problem. Domestic prices for all fossil fuels, not just coal, have to rise enough to drive our own transition to renewables to completion.

    Paired with a domestic carbon tax, a BTA would help US manufacturers compete with imports from countries that don’t control their emissions, and encourage those countries to follow our lead. So let’s lead.”

    They’ve shut the forum so I’ll mention here that I don’t think there is any reason for US consumers to be paying anything extra so long as we are on track to cut emissions 83% by 2050. We are not causing the damage, those who are causing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to rise by increasing emissions are causing the damage and the bill should go to them. We and other nations can facilitate collection by using tariffs.

    Blaming the good guys really isn’t going to help with accomplishing climate action.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 22 Jun 2014 @ 3:26 PM

  400. Re 341, Hank, I would say MT is the better blogger and Wadhams is the better scientist.

    For example compare what they said about Arctic sea ice in the period 2002-2007. MT considered any stated doubts that the IPCC models were not correct to be alarmist. And, yet very well validated statistical methods clearly indicated that the Arctic Sea Ice System was out of control and likely to have a melt back within a decade.

    Comment by Agres — 22 Jun 2014 @ 4:14 PM

  401. PS, I’m not arguing in favor of iron fertilization; that’s dicey:
    http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/iron-fertilization-develops-a-new-wrinkle-130617.htm
    (Some recent press confusedly promoted the idea of boosting diatoms (which don’t sequester carbon, they use silicon for their shells)

    Rather, I’m wondering if there’s enough at the bottom of the food chain to restore the top predators, the big filter-feeding whales in particular, which would, I gather, be a strong source for iron fertilization naturally if they came back in large numbers.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jun 2014 @ 12:44 AM

  402. Chris Reynolds,

    You did well to get a critical post published at all, at the Arctic-News blogspot. It’s a shame that Carana didn’t continue the discussion or give a more considered answer. In the years since, it’s clear that Arctic sea ice isn’t quite going to the schedule of those worst casers. (Not that an abrupt shift is out of the question).

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 23 Jun 2014 @ 2:09 AM

  403. The team that includes Semiletov and Shakhova has published another paper. The abstract includes, “The emission of methane in several areas of the ESS is massive to the extent that growth in the methane concentrations in the atmosphere to values capable of causing a considerable and even catastrophic warning on the Earth is possible.” I suppose “catastrophic warning” is a typo. Or maybe not!

    Sadly, I don’t have access to the full text.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 23 Jun 2014 @ 2:41 AM

  404. I just became aware of this story in New Scientist from last December. It’s about the shifting of the poles due to climate change. It doesn’t mention the impacts of this shift. Does anyone have further info?

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 23 Jun 2014 @ 5:42 AM

  405. Chris Dudley #360,

    “That needs to be demonstrated”

    You selectively extract a part of my statement, then offer the usual solar installation statistics that SA, McKinney, and Fish rely on as proof of something. The context was:

    “The goal is species survival, and if renewables by 2050 can accomplish that, or even part of that, great. That needs to be demonstrated. If you/Dudley [edit] can show that installation of renewables by 2050 will keep the global mean temperature anywhere near 1 C with reasonable certainty, go right ahead.”

    In other words, focus on the outputs and impacts, not the inputs. Show the consequences of rapid solar/renewables installation on what it will do to place a lid on climate change, not what it will do to enrich the Windfall proponents and their front men. I have never seen such proof; I don’t believe it exists. Show me the temperature/concentration consequences!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 23 Jun 2014 @ 9:22 AM

  406. Hank Roberts #316,

    “For example where you noted

    [Response: This is almost all complete nonsense, written by people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. - gavin] –

    See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-4/#comment-552429
    (for which, many thanks, sanity checks always help)
    I wish that comment could be linked to every post where the ‘methane emergency’ program is touted. The same story shows up many thousands of times over the past few years, over and over and over.”

    That comment has applicability to the referenced article. Why isn’t that comment applied consistently and even-handedly on this blog? Is the speculation and fantasizing in the referenced article any worse than the articles and reports by the ‘establishment’ scientists, who espouse the 2 C target as something meaningful to which we should strive, who then talk about allowable carbon budgets based on that contrived target, and who then spawn myriad recommendations for ‘action’ that might achieve the 2 C target with reasonable (not high) chances of success. Is the speculation and fantasizing in the article any worse than the many posters here who fantasize that all we need are some low carbon and higher efficiency sources to avoid the climate abyss, and we can experience ‘prosperity’ at the same time? Why isn’t that comment applied uniformly to the above group of speculators and fiction writers?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 23 Jun 2014 @ 9:27 AM

  407. Tony Weddle @398.
    The paper referred to by New Scientist is available here – Chen, J.L., C.R. Wilson, B.D. Tapley, Contribution of ice sheet and mountain glacier melt to recent sea level rise, Nature Geoscience, 6, 549-552, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1829, 2013.
    The measurement ‘mas’ is 1 mas = ~3cm on the Earth’s surface. So the pole is plotted moving a couple of metres.

    Comment by MARodger — 23 Jun 2014 @ 9:57 AM

  408. 1) Mr. Roberts wrote on the 22nd of June, 2014 at 11:40 AM, referring to declining phytoplankton in the ocean. Unfortunately the chain of references leads to a 2010 paper, which was later found to be in error.

    2) META: I plaintively repeat Mr. Roberts suggestion from some time ago to include an immutable reference to the original comment when responding. The comment numbers change, so are not useful in finding the parent comment.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 23 Jun 2014 @ 10:54 AM

  409. @393:

    …I don’t think there is any reason for US consumers to be paying anything extra so long as we are on track to cut emissions 83% by 2050.

    The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.

    We are not causing the damage, those who are causing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to rise by increasing emissions are causing the damage and the bill should go to them.

    1. You are confusing derivatives. As long as the emission flux exceeds the sequestration flux, atmospheric concentrations will increase. This will happen even if there is no net increase in emissions over the current flux. In this respect, the situation is analogous to a tank of water being filled by emissions and drained by sequestration.

    2. You are confusing increasing emissions with increasing global average temperature. Once again, as long as GHG _concentrations_ rise, so (everything else being equal) will GAT. Also, not all the warming from the existing GHG imbalance has been realized, both due to climate inertia (e.g., burial in deep ocean) and because existing warming has created feedbacks that haven’t yet played out (e.g., arctic sea-ice melt).

    3. Because excess CO2 has a very long atmospheric lifetime, a gram of CO2 emitted in 1850 causes nearly the same amount of warming as a gram emitted in 2014. (See, e.g., Matthews & Caldeira 2008, “Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions”, http://globalecology.stanford.edu/DGE/CIWDGE/labs/caldeiralab/Caldeira_research/pdf/Matthews_Caldeira_GRL2008.pdf ).

    Thus, historical emitters are just as responsible for warming as current emitters.

    4. And again because of excess CO2′s long lifetime, and climate inertia, warming contiues for decades after complete cessation of anthropogenic emissions, Ibid at Fig.3, and temperatures remain elevated for hundreds of years thereafter. Ibid.

    5. Therefore, we are all in this together, and all must contribute to cutting emissions drastically and accelerating sequestration of atmospheric CO2.

    [P.S. The CAPTCHA has become nearly unusably obscure.]

    Comment by Meow — 23 Jun 2014 @ 2:55 PM

  410. > has published another paper

    Nope, same paper much discussed previously, that’s almost 2 years ago:
    Doklady Earth Sciences
    September 2012, Volume 446, Issue 1, pp 1132-1137

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jun 2014 @ 2:57 PM

  411. > Tony Weddle
    > shifting of the poles due to climate change. It doesn’t mention
    > the impacts of this shift.

    What did you read that made you worry about that? Seriously, curious.

    Are you looking for some kind of feedback from this feedback? The little change in the Earth’s rotation is the change from melting ice as the meltwater moves somewhere else.

    But “… 1.2 metres since 2005″ is in the range we used to call glacially slow, back before glaciers sped up. About six inches a year.

    Compare that to

    how fast, and how much, recent big earthquakes have shifted the planet’s axis

    The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis. But don’t worry—you won’t notice the difference…. the Japan quake should have shifted the position of Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by about 17 centimeters (6.5 inches)”

    I can’t tell from the New Scientist article which axis they’re talking about. From the same NASA page,

    “Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced)…. should not be confused with its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet).”

    … “Earth’s rotation changes all the time as a result of not only earthquakes, but also the much larger effects of changes in atmospheric winds and oceanic currents,” he said. “Over the course of a year, the length of the day increases and decreases by about a millisecond, or about 550 times larger than the change caused by the Japanese earthquake. The position of Earth’s figure axis also changes all the time, by about 1 meter (3.3 feet) over the course of a year, or about six times more than the change that should have been caused by the Japan quake.”

    (I gave up relying on stories in New Scientist years ago. I’d tried emailing several times asking for clarification on that sort of ambiguity, and finally got a reply from a then senior editor advising me that NS isn’t a science magazine, it’s an entertainment/lifestyle magazine, so not to bother them further about little picky stuff.)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Jun 2014 @ 6:49 PM

  412. Any abrupt climate change around 16 mya?

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Jun 2014 @ 10:37 PM

  413. Hmm, something up with the website.

    Anyway, just some observations and speculations. I’m on California’s Central Coast, just inland. This spring I have noticed some changes from the usual. I second blooming of flower on my Robinias, and Ailanthus especially. Not a big one, but noticeable. Fruit buttoning, looking like mutations, on plums related to warmer/dryer winter (one hopes that’s all it is). An unusual spread of parasitic Dodder in fields on the long road toward home. And a much larger release of willow seeds than I’ve seen before – which I am wondering if it may indicate a coming wet season.

    Comment by Ron R. — 23 Jun 2014 @ 11:24 PM

  414. Future costs to the US economy from the dangerous climate change China’s increasing emissions will cause is coming into focus. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/science/report-tallies-toll-on-economy-from-global-warming.html GATT Article XX tariffs in imports from China should account for these costs.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 24 Jun 2014 @ 5:55 AM

  415. My reading of the recent Supreme Court decision against tailoring is that the Clean Air Act does allow regulation of smaller emitters based on the endangerment finding so long as it can be done in a cost effective manner. Basically we are taking about back up generators and boilers in commercial buildings. This could be a place where switching to biofuels would be effective and could be regulated at the point of fuel sale just as ethanol content is regulated for gasoline. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/us/justices-with-limits-let-epa-curb-power-plant-gases.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 24 Jun 2014 @ 6:18 AM

  416. Tony Weddle

    The change in pole position is due to changing mass balance as ice sheets shrink.This will affect the climate.
    The effect of the polar shift itself is too small to have a direct impact on the climate.

    Comment by Entropic man — 24 Jun 2014 @ 12:33 PM

  417. “Obama carbon rules survive court challenge”
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/6/24/policy-politics/obama-carbon-rules-survive-court-challenge

    The same story was on many newspaper web sites yesterday, 23 June 2014. We won at the US supreme court, but the EPA rule is too lax to count for much.

    “On June 2, the White House announced proposed rules calling for 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, including coal-fired facilities.” By 2030.

    Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. We need 90% reduction, at least, by 2030. Big power plants are the easiest to improve upon. The EPA rule allows half of natural gas fired power plants.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 24 Jun 2014 @ 12:55 PM

  418. There is a brief but informative post about the recent Supreme Court decision at the CPR blog.
    http://www.progressivereform.org/CPRBlog.cfm?idBlog=CA364441-C1A2-CB2F-CA2F267C8143ECD8

    The EPA is doing as much it can under the current law, the Clean Air Act, and how the majority conservative wing of the court will let them interpret it. Two of the conservative judges, Thomas and Alito want to revisit Mass. v EPA and completely remove greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act. They don’t want to abide by settled law. The other conservative judges want to substitute their judgement for the EPA’s, again not wanting to accept a previous Supreme Court decision, this time Chevron v NRDC.

    Comment by Joseph O'Sullivan — 24 Jun 2014 @ 9:19 PM

  419. Per my comment above, “And a much larger release of willow seeds than I’ve seen before – which I am wondering if it may indicate a coming wet season.”

    My 13 yr old daughter has come up with an opposite hypothesis. Maybe the greater release of willow seeds this year means a coming extra dry year. In this scenario, willows are putting out tons of seeds because they are trying to spread their seed far and wide, as the normal riparian resting grounds for the seeds will be dry. So the hope is that put out a lot more and maybe some will find water.

    So, gotta chew on it some more.

    Comment by Ron R. — 24 Jun 2014 @ 9:37 PM

  420. Chris @382.
    I’ve been trying to point this out: solar has reached a point where significant amounts of it are being installed, strictly for economic reasons. This increases the overall scale of the solar industry, which allows costs to decrease, which feeds more growth. So the number of markets where it makes economic sense to add solar grows.

    The real issue, is how long this positive feedback can go on? Beyond solar penetrations of say 10-25% integration costs begin to rise. Currently California is at roughly ten percent, but there doesn’t seem to be pressure building to stop/slow down. I think the biggest threats to scaling up PV, are not the physical costs of integration, but the economic costs to the incumbent producers. As we’ve seen from the German experience, the incumbent power producers counted on having pricing power during the daylight peak-demand hours, and solar destroys that. So the incumbent power plants owners have every incentive to try to kill -or at least slow down the solar juggernaut. This is the primary source of political pushback against solar and wind.

    Comment by Thomas — 24 Jun 2014 @ 11:17 PM

  421. I seem to recall that one of the principle effects of the changing spin vector (velocity as well as direction) from the redistribution of some of the planets water mass, is that the changed spin causes further redistribution of planet’s ocean waters. One more effect which means that sea level rise won’t be geographically even, but will be higher in some regions and lower in others.

    Comment by Thomas — 24 Jun 2014 @ 11:22 PM

  422. Hank, thanks for putting me straight; I’m not sure why I thought it was a more recent paper.

    Also, it wasn’t necessarily worry about the impacts of an axis shift because I simply didn’t know enough to know if I should be worried. That’s all. Thanks for following up. The only impact I can think of is a slight change in the seasons, including a shift in the location of the tropics. Only slight, admittedly, though if it sticks to an eastward shift, perhaps no real change.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 25 Jun 2014 @ 12:29 AM

  423. Hank, thanks for putting me straight; I’m not sure why I thought it was a more recent paper.

    Also, it wasn’t necessarily worry about the impacts of an axis shift because I simply didn’t know enough to know if I should be worried. That’s all. Thanks for following up. The only impact I can think of is a slight change in seasons to the various parts of the planet, including a shift in the location of the tropics. Only slight, admittedly, though if it sticks to an eastward shift (is that even possible from the pole?), perhaps no real change.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 25 Jun 2014 @ 2:10 AM

  424. I’m interested in corey barcus’ plan. Nuclear will have to be the way to go into the foreseeable future unless an immediate and truly massive rollout of renewables takes place. We still have clowns such as Tony Abbott, hell bent in extracting the last piece of coal from the earth and others of similar ignorance or malicious vested interest stymieing a united global campaign to convert from fossil fuels into sustainables. I’m also pleased to see that there is now a real sense of urgency growing amongst our scientists that was sadly lacking before.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 25 Jun 2014 @ 6:32 AM

  425. It is worth noting that the Sierra Club has a beyond Natural Gas Campaign going on. http://content.sierraclub.org/naturalgas/ So far, they asking that natural gas not be exported.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 25 Jun 2014 @ 8:58 AM

  426. Ironically good advice from a climate denier gun nut programmer:

    Even if it doesn’t [find an answer], saying “I googled on the following phrase but didn’t get anything that looked promising” is a good thing to do …, if only because it records what searches won’t help.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Jun 2014 @ 12:14 PM

  427. 401,

    “The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.”

    That is a bit silly isn’t it, given the news these days? The regulations are written and won’t be stopped by the courts. Mission accomplished.

    “You are confusing derivatives. As long as the emission flux exceeds the sequestration flux, atmospheric concentrations will increase.”

    You’ve misunderstood addition. The Annex I countries are below the “sequestration flux” in their emissions and are cutting. They are doing their job. It is those counties which are sabotaging their good efforts which are preventing mitigation from occurring.

    “You are confusing increasing emissions with increasing global average temperature.”

    You are very confused here.

    Your #3 and #4 demonstrate a lack on understanding of the paper you cite. Fig.3 insists on strict temperature stabilization. Notice how cumulative emissions rise and then fall in the bottom panel. It is unphysical. Fig. 2 shows rising then constant cumulative emissions, with a sharp change owing to immediate cessation in the top panel. Notice that the concentration drops in the next panel down as does the temperature in the bottom panel except for the “4 C” line.

    “Therefore, we are all in this together, and all must contribute to cutting emissions drastically”

    This is very much my point. Some of us are cutting emissions and others are not. It is time for those who are causing climate damage by increasing emissions to pay the bill for the damage at least until they can come to their senses and start cutting. Forcing them to pay the bill may contribute to them coming to their senses and thus we would be acting further to the good.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 25 Jun 2014 @ 1:34 PM

  428. Thomas (#411),

    Costs have been looked at in the book “Reinventing Fire” and going to majority renewable energy with transmission to balance supply seems to the the lowest cost way forward under our 83% cut in emissions by 2050 national plan. I suppose the extra transmission is an “integration” cost but it is pretty low. http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-present_value_cost_US_electricity

    One thing that has not been explored enough is the zero cost limit. Suppose solar electricity were free. What storage modalities would make most sense? We can expect half a day of our energy use to be stored in cast off transportation batteries if transportation is electrified. That is essentially free storage so day night thing seems to be free as well. So, what about seasonal variations? Would we synthesis methane from dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans and use our existing natural gas infrastructure to handle that? That seems pretty low cost. But there may be other ways to handle that which are either better or, as Kevin says, more perverse.

    Solar will obviously be the lowest cost energy source but it may never be free. But, the mathematical exercise could be instructive. During the to-cheap-to-meter nuclear days, there was talk about more pumped storage. At this point, I suspect technology would point in another direction.

    Very low cost solar power may also affect climate remediation strategies. Certain soils and climates seem to encourage the possibility of using biochar to sequester atmospheric carbon. But, since solar power is vastly more efficient at collecting energy than photosynthesis, gathering and reducing carbon from the atmosphere using solar power may reduce land use requirements. If the carbon were converted to graphite or lonsdaleite it might be used in revolutionary forms of construction. Certainly, very permanent sequestration could be accomplished with these allotropes of carbon.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 25 Jun 2014 @ 2:20 PM

  429. Any GRACE analysts about ?

    At

    http://polarportal.dk/en/groenlands-indlandsis/nbsp/total-masseaendring/

    i see a graph of GRACE derived GIS mass loss through early 2014. Shocking, to me, is the almost nonexistent annual drop in summer 2013, as opposed to a pronounced fall every other summer for the period covered (2003 on). Why ?

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 25 Jun 2014 @ 3:59 PM

  430. There’s a new study out today on GIS tipping points, but when I try to link to it, I get told that it is marked as spam. Perhaps others will have better luck posting the link?

    Comment by wili — 25 Jun 2014 @ 5:36 PM

  431. Somebody said: “I’d like to know if anyone else is concerned about the seemingly hyperbole curve of “It’s worse than we expected” science year after year, not to mention the actual observations.” — When half the people on the planet don’t even believe it is really happening and think that this is all a hoax and Realtors in NC are are using that lie so sell their beach houses faster and for more money, than it is Always going to be worst than expected. So there.

    Comment by FP — 25 Jun 2014 @ 8:08 PM

  432. I would urge those who advocate nuclear as a solution (or part of a solution) to look at the bigger picture, regarding the impacts of possible societal breakdown (which is already happening in some parts of the world) due to a myriad of factors (including climate change, if it is not stopped). I worry that advocates are making a bunch of assumptions.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 26 Jun 2014 @ 1:01 AM

  433. Here is an issue a climate skeptic (with a degree in Chemistry) keeps posing to a friend; can anyone help with a good answer:

    “…the sun has been warming the oceans for eons; this explains nothing. The question is what has led to increased warming. You assert it is the greenhouse effect but cannot explain how that effect, which, without heating the atmosphere itself, has transferred to the oceans several hundred times its own heat content….”

    He also writes elsewhere: “Radiative warming has nothing to do with greenhouse warming. The oceans have always been warmed by direct radiation from the sun, and CO2 has no effect on the rate at which that happens.”

    My own response was that it seems to me the atmosphere does get the heat first via the GH effect, but then quickly (in less than a year, which is the timeframe for measuring the annual global average temperature for that year) transfers some of that heat to the oceans, and in some cases the oceans take that heat down deeper, where it is not so easily transferred back to the air.

    They both are also referring to this chart: http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=46

    Comment by Lynn — 26 Jun 2014 @ 1:31 AM

  434. According to Coral Davenport, the President is on an eat-your-spinich campaign regarding climate change. Davenport is the NYT’s answer to wrecking their environmental coverage and she has done a puff peice on the Nordhaus brothers recently and has tried to support the Keystone XL pipeline construction by saying new regulations offset it.

    The President does do eat-your-spinich pretty often so she could be right. But something seems a little wrong with her quote on gas prices. The President is aware that raising CAFE standards saves consumers money and helps to control gas prices. He covered the topic in the debates.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/us/politics/obama-warns-climate-campaign-cant-be-deaf-to-economic-worries.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 26 Jun 2014 @ 5:58 AM

  435. Please disregard my question about GRACE data for GIS, it turns out the graph at polarportal is misleading since the data for summer 2013 is missing.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 26 Jun 2014 @ 3:24 PM

  436. for Lynn:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm
    and the references therein, beginning with
    http://nsdl.org/archives/onramp/classic_articles/issue1_global_warming/n4.Arrhenius1896.pdf

    No, I’m not kidding. Seriously, you should read these.

    I don’t know how long ago your guy got what degree in “Chemistry” but it’s hard to guess how he missed the basic information here.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Jun 2014 @ 3:39 PM

  437. Lyn, your skeptic friend writes “Radiative warming has nothing to do with greenhouse warming. The oceans have always been warmed by direct radiation from the sun, and CO2 has no effect on the rate at which that happens.”

    He’s missing the IR the ocean absorbs. What he says is correct, it is heated by direct radiation. It’s also heated by IR from the GH effect of CO2 and other gases. Increasing levels of CO2 mean more IR comes back to the ocean.

    Comment by David Miller — 26 Jun 2014 @ 4:30 PM

  438. “Some of us are cutting emissions and others are not. It is time for those who are causing climate damage by increasing emissions to pay the bill for the damage at least until they can come to their senses and start cutting. – Chris Dudley”

    This is absurd buck-passing nonsense. It is emissions, as such, that are causing the damage, not emissions relative to what you were emitting a year ago or ten years ago. So the average American, or European, is causing far more damage than the average Chinese or Indian.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 26 Jun 2014 @ 4:54 PM

  439. Lynn,see cool skin of ocean for a good discussion of this (it is in part of series on CO2 warms the ocean.

    Comment by Phil Scadden — 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:35 PM

  440. Lynn @443 — Your reply is fine although not the complete story.

    If your correspondent has a degree in chemistry, I suggest asking that person to study Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 26 Jun 2014 @ 6:39 PM

  441. Lynn – I would recommend another SKS discussion, Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?

    The atmospheric reaction to shortwave and longwave radiation is markedly different. The chemist/skeptic is correct that CO2 has little effect on direct radiation (shortwave)from the sun, but he should also know that water vapor, CO2, and other greenhouse gases have a significant effect on thermal radiation (longwave) emitted from the surface.

    Comment by Kevin O'Neill — 26 Jun 2014 @ 8:46 PM

  442. 427 Chris D said, ” 401, “The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.”

    That is a bit silly isn’t it, given the news these days? The regulations are written and won’t be stopped by the courts. Mission accomplished.”

    “Mission Accomplished” Yes the Bush quote sums things up nicely.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 26 Jun 2014 @ 9:44 PM

  443. Lynn @324.
    Seems like he’s making a one sided argument. There are both sources and sinks for atmospheric or oceanic heat. Obviously sunlight (short wave) that is absorbed in the ocean heats it. But it also exchanges sensible heat, and latent heat energy (vapour) with the atmoshere, and longwave (infrared) with the overlying atmosphere and space. The direct effect of the greenhouse effect is to reduce the loss of heat via infrared to the atmosphere and space. Indirect effects affect the exchange with the atmosphere by changings its state as well. Its all about the heat balance, not the indvidual terms.

    Of course by far the greatest amount of stored heat will be gained by the oceans, because the thermal storage capacity of the oceans is orders of magnitude more than for the atmosphere.

    Comment by Thomas — 26 Jun 2014 @ 9:48 PM

  444. Lawrence (#374),

    You are antipodal. That explains a lot. Australia goes rogue then comes back to the fold then goes rogue again. I can understand the embarrassment. But, Australia is also showing some innovation. http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2014_06_23_solar_pv_cost_lessons_from_australia

    Be less despondent and perhaps you’ll stop hankering after some global dictatorship. Use the tools of liberty to bring change about much more deliberately, quickly and reliably.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 26 Jun 2014 @ 10:20 PM

  445. @ Lynn #433

    Regarding the CO2 warming mechanism…

    The GHG’s are insulating the Earth’s surface (see: radiative forcing), much like a blanket traps your own body’s heat in bed. The more CO2, the thicker the blanket, which consequently raises the surface temperature. My understanding is that CO2 (a forcing), by being rather persistent within the atmosphere (the carbon cycle as opposed to the water cycle) drives the rate of H2O evaporation (a feedback).

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Radmath.htm (radiative forcing)

    Comment by Corey Barcus — 26 Jun 2014 @ 10:35 PM

  446. Chris @428.
    There are several different services which storage might be called upon. Its only that any given technology will cover all of the services.
    In order roughly in terms ascending order of response time and average length the energy must be stored.

    (1) Voltage/frequency support. a few seconds.
    (2) Support for ramping generators/ load in response to chaging grid conditions. (several minutes to a hour).
    (3) load/supply shifting, day night mainly, A few hours.
    (4) Covering daily generation of wind/solar (a few days)
    (5) Seasonal variation.
    Also for some consumers, behind the meter storage can be used for either/or backup power, and removing demand spikes that drive capacity charges.

    So storage is finally starting to get a few markets which may be large enough to allow the technology to develop. California, Hawaii, New York, and Germany have all mandated a certain amount of grid connected storage in the near future.

    Very cheap solar thought experiment: If it is cheap enough, simply overbuild until seasonal variation is no longer an issue. Then you only need day/night storage.

    Comment by Thomas — 26 Jun 2014 @ 10:44 PM

  447. A novel method to decompose ammonia may lead to practical ways to use hydrogen for transportation.

    Hydrogen Production from Ammonia Using Sodium Amide

    William I. F. David et al. 2014 JACS

    This paper presents a new type of process
    for the cracking of ammonia (NH3) that is an alternative to
    the use of rare or transition metal catalysts. Effecting the
    decomposition of NH3 using the concurrent stoichiometric
    decomposition and regeneration of sodium amide
    (NaNH2) via sodium metal (Na), this represents a
    significant departure in reaction mechanism compared
    with traditional surface catalysts. In variable-temperature
    NH3 decomposition experiments, using a simple flow
    reactor, the Na/NaNH2 system shows superior performance
    to supported nickel and ruthenium catalysts, reaching
    99.2% decomposition efficiency with 0.5 g of NaNH2 in a
    60 sccm NH3 flow at 530 °C. As an abundant and
    inexpensive material, the development of NaNH2-based
    NH3 cracking systems may promote the utilization of NH3
    for sustainable energy storage purposes.

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ja5042836

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Jun 2014 @ 7:13 AM

  448. Lynn quotes from the skeptic in 433:

    … the sun has been warming the oceans for eons; this explains nothing. The question is what has led to increased warming. You assert it is the greenhouse effect but cannot explain how that effect, which, without heating the atmosphere itself, has transferred to the oceans several hundred times its own heat content….

    … with the response of:

    My own response was that it seems to me the atmosphere does get the heat first via the GH effect, but then quickly (in less than a year, which is the timeframe for measuring the annual global average temperature for that year) transfers some of that heat to the oceans, and in some cases the oceans take that heat down deeper, where it is not so easily transferred back to the air.

    … but asks for other responses.

    I think you are largely right, although the process with which heat is transferred to the ocean depths is simultaneous with the atmosphere absorbing additional heat. So if I may restate things and elaborate…

    The short answer is that the ocean warms more slowly than land, and as such it could continue to warm even if there had been a real hiatus in surface warming. Furthermore, the rate at which heat has been being buried in the deeper ocean has increased as the result of unusually strong trade winds.

    Please see:

    The contentious “pause” in global warming over the past decade is largely due to unusually strong trade winds in the Pacific ocean that have buried surface heat deep underwater, new research has found.

    A joint Australian and US study analysed why the rise in the Earth’s global average surface temperature has slowed since 2001, after rapidly increasing from the 1970s.

    The research shows that sharply accelerating trade winds in central and eastern areas of the Pacific have driven warm surface water to the ocean’s depths, reducing the amount of heat that flows into the atmosphere.

    Global warming ‘pause’ due to unusual trade winds in Pacific ocean, study finds,
    Study shows sharply accelerating trade winds have buried surface heat underwater, reducing heat flowing into atmosphere
    Oliver Milman, The Guardian UK, 2014-02-09

    … and for the technical paper:

    England, Matthew H., et al. “Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus.” Nature Climate Change 4.3 (2014): 222-227. (Available at Professor Matthew England: Publications)

    The ocean will store more heat during La Nina years and release more heat during the El Nino years. Along the equator, the trade winds that typically blow from the east will bury the heat in the Western Pacific. When those are replaced by westerlies blowing in the opposite direction you will have Kelvin waves where pulses of warm water will move east, and warm water will well up near the equator, at first along the shores of South America, then spreading out to the east, resulting in an El Nino that warms the atmosphere. With the enhanced greenhouse effect, the atmosphere continues to absorb additional heat, but when you have strong easterlies additional heat being absorbed by the atmosphere is more quickly transferred to the ocean depths, with upwelling cooler water slowing the rate at which the surface itself warms.

    Anyway, as I indicated, there hasn’t been as much of a “hiatus” as people thought.

    Please see:

    Not so slow “slowdown”? New paper says warming in last 15 years may be double what scientists thought, Roz Pidcock, The Carbon Brief, 2013-11-14

    … and for the technical paper:

    Cowtan, Kevin, and Robert G. Way. Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (2014).

    … and the update reconciling ocean temperature series available at Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature record. But this is more in the manner of a footnote.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 27 Jun 2014 @ 10:45 AM

  449. Nick (#438),

    You are mistaken.

    “But today’s report, which only covers emissions from energy, by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) show that per capita emissions in China increased by 9% in 2011 to reach 7.2 tonnes per person, only a fraction lower than the EU average of 7.5 tonnes.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jul/18/china-average-europe-carbon-footprint

    In 2014, the crossover has likely already happened.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Jun 2014 @ 11:51 AM

  450. Comment on: http://blog.epa.gov/science/2014/06/a-message-to-iris-program-stakeholders-we-want-to-hear-from-you/#comment-1778

    “To improve the scientific foundation of assessments, increase transparency, and improve productivity,” Make James Hansen president and Mike Mann vice president. Make the contributors to RealClimate.org senators. Better yet, make James Hansen the dictator.

    Your premise is nonsense. You are doing nothing of the kind. You are creating an opportunity for the plutocrats to hijack science.

    You know very well who the scientists are. They work for NASA and NOAA and universities. You have a government agency devoted to advising the government on science. I think it is called the National Science Council or something like that.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:08 PM

  451. Thomas (#446),

    “Very cheap solar thought experiment: If it is cheap enough, simply overbuild until seasonal variation is no longer an issue. Then you only need day/night storage.”

    That is an interesting possibility that I don’t think gets looked at enough in terms of climate remediation. If we are generating more than we use, applying the extra power to cleaning up the atmosphere seems like a pretty good use. Perhaps Klaus Lackner should be looking at reducing the carbon dioxide his machines would capture rather than trying to find places to store it as a gas.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:21 PM

  452. Jim (#442),

    “Mission accomplished” connotes the B-17 Bomber and its effectiveness in Europe. Isn’t it rather silly of you to cede it to a strutting buffoon like that?

    Try to keep up with things. The US does accomplish what it sets out to do.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Jun 2014 @ 12:31 PM

  453. @427:

    “The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.”

    That is a bit silly isn’t it, given the news these days? The regulations are written and won’t be stopped by the courts. Mission accomplished.

    Please show how the existing and proposed EPA regulations will cause U.S. emissions to fall at least 83% from present levels by 2050. Remember to account for not just electricity generation, but also industrial emissions, those from transportation, and those from residential and commercial activities.

    “You are confusing derivatives. As long as the emission flux exceeds the sequestration flux, atmospheric concentrations will increase.”

    You’ve misunderstood addition. The Annex I countries are below the “sequestration flux” in their emissions and are cutting.

    Show how this is so. What is the sequestration flux? What are the total current emissions of Annex I countries?

    Your #3 and #4 demonstrate a lack on understanding of the paper you cite. Fig.3 insists on strict temperature stabilization. Notice how cumulative emissions rise and then fall in the bottom panel. It is unphysical.

    No. It shows active anthropogenic sequestration. As paragraph 17 at p.4 says, “…some of the temperature trajectories (and their associated emissions scenarios) illustrated here…require either abrupt transitions from very high to near-zero emissions, or even prolonged periods of negative emissions for combinations of high climate sensitivity and low temperature targets.” (emphasis added).

    “Therefore, we are all in this together, and all must contribute to cutting emissions drastically”

    This is very much my point. Some of us are cutting emissions and others are not.

    No one is cutting emissions at anywhere near the rate required to stabilize GAT.

    It is time for those who are causing climate damage by increasing emissions

    …and for those who are causing climate damage by continuing emissions greater than their share of the natural sequestration rate…

    to pay the bill for the damage at least until they can come to their senses and start cutting.

    …drastically.

    Forcing them to pay the bill may contribute to them coming to their senses and thus we would be acting further to the good.

    Fixed. China needs drastically to cut emissions. The U.S. needs drastically to cut emissions. And on through, oh, the top 100 or so emitters. As the paper says:

    We have shown here that stable global temperatures within the next several centuries can be achieved if CO2 emissions are reduced to nearly zero. This means that avoiding future human-induced climate warming may require policies that seek not only to decrease CO2 emissions, but to eliminate them entirely.

    Sounds like the natural sequestration flux is darned small.

    ..

    Comment by Meow — 27 Jun 2014 @ 1:08 PM

  454. @433: As long as the atmosphere is the slightest bit warmer than the ocean’s surface, net heat will move from it into the ocean. And the fact that the oceans absorb shortwave (visible) radiation says nothing about whether they absorb longwave (infrared) radiation. They do: water absorbs very nearly 100% of incident radiation; see http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/12/27/emissivity-of-the-ocean/ for an excellent discussion of the issue. Thus, greenhouse radiation (longwave) net heats the ocean to the extent that the downwelling radiation from the atmosphere exceeds the upwelling radiation from the ocean surface.

    Comment by Meow — 27 Jun 2014 @ 1:20 PM

  455. 453,

    “Please show how the existing and proposed EPA regulations will cause U.S. emissions to fall at least 83% from present levels by 2050. Remember to account for not just electricity generation, but also industrial emissions, those from transportation, and those from residential and commercial activities.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/image/president27sclimateactionplan.pdf

    “Show how this is so. What is the sequestration flux? What are the total current emissions of Annex I countries?”

    We can do that using inequities. As pointed out by the IPCC (though suppressed in the summary) non-Annex I countries are becoming responsible for the majority of cumulative emissions. To do that, their annual emissions must exceed those of Annex I countries. That gives them more than half of annual emissions. Since about half of annual emissions are immediately removed from the atmosphere, the Annex I countries are below the level which does not remain in the atmosphere. And, since they are cutting, they would stay below if other emissions ceased. On the other hand, those who are deliberately increasing emissions could not do the same, they would still be increasing the concentration. Recall that “sequestration flux” is your term.

    “No. It shows active anthropogenic sequestration. As paragraph 17 at p.4 says, “…some of the temperature trajectories (and their associated emissions scenarios) illustrated here…require either abrupt transitions from very high to near-zero emissions, or even prolonged periods of negative emissions for combinations of high climate sensitivity and low temperature targets.” (emphasis added).”

    Yes. Read that again. It is an artifact of the model. Use Fig. 2 if you want to be on topic.

    “No one is cutting emissions at anywhere near the rate required to stabilize GAT.”

    Actually, many are for a target of about 2 C. China and a few other deliberate miscreants are blowing it though.

    You run on for a bit under misapprehension and then say:

    “Sounds like the natural sequestration flux is darned small.”

    And here is part of the source of you misunderstanding. Emissions must go to zero at some point, but they only have to go to about half in the first year and then cut towards zero over about 80 years or so (for 400 ppm stabilization). You think that “sequestration flux” of yours is the same number over time, but it can’t be. It must change. It has been growing as emissions have grown all these years. It must shrink after emissions shrink.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Jun 2014 @ 8:23 PM

  456. 447 Chris Dudley: Ammonia is a better way to store energy than hydrogen because hydrogen leaks out of ANY container. Hydrogen gives up its electron when it contacts a surface, becoming a proton. The proton is much smaller than any atom, so the proton can easily slip through the spaces between atoms.

    Ammonia can be used directly as fuel in a combustion engine. Another fuel: hydrazine, or double ammonia. N2H6. But hydrazine is a monopropellant, meaning hydrazine can explode without oxygen. Ammonia is toxic, but ammonia stays put in a pressure tank.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 27 Jun 2014 @ 10:50 PM

  457. Lynn (#433), I already responded in 448), but I believe I have a better answer, one that uses a simple model world, although I have already touched on some of this answer’s elements.

    A Waterworld

    When we talk about surface warming we are normally speaking in terms of temperature — which is what I will assume he meant when he was speaking about an enhanced greenhouse effect heating the atmosphere, that is, until the last two paragraphs, where I will consider the heat content of the atmosphere. When we talk about the ocean warming, at least in the context of the diagram you linked to, we are speaking in terms of increasing ocean heat content.

    Now imagine you have a water world such that all that exists is simply atmosphere and ocean. The ocean will tend to be warmer at the top, cooler below as warm water rises. Now pipe carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This will tend to raise the temperature at the surface as an enhanced greenhouse effect will result in a warmer atmosphere and a warmer atmosphere will result in more downwelling longwave radiation that warms the ocean.

    Stirring the Ocean

    Now add some vertical ocean circulation, with upwelling water in one area, downwelling water in another. How? We can assume there is a wind, or that evaporation in one area leads to greater salinity, causing water in that area to sink, displacing fresher, colder water from below that thereby rises to the surface. Since colder water is rising this will have the tendency to cool the surface whereas warming water that sinks will be carrying heat away from the surface to the ocean depths and will be contributing to the warming of the ocean in the sense of increasing the heat content of the ocean depths.

    It would be possible under such circumstances for an enhanced greenhouse effect to continue to warm the ocean in the sense of increasing the heat content of the ocean as a whole while the average temperature at the surface remains constant since warmer water is circulating to greater depths and cooler water is being displaced to the surface. Ocean circulation cools the surface and atmosphere, possibly keeping the atmosphere’s temperature constant even with the enhanced greenhouse effect, but warms the ocean depths.

    In fact this sort of ocean circulation is exactly what takes place during La Nina years, and given a Pacific Decadal Oscillation that has been in its cool phase since the beginning of the millenium, La Ninas have been more common and stronger, El Ninos less so.

    Regarding the Heat Content of the Atmosphere

    Now if instead the skeptic actually means to refer to the atmosphere’s heat content rather than surface temperature, then using the same mechanism, we can point out that the heat content of the atmosphere continues to be added to by an enhanced greenhouse effect, but the heat content of the atmosphere continues to be subtracted from by ocean circulation that increases the heat content of the ocean. The rate that heat is added to the atmosphere by means of an enhanced greenhouse effect may simply be equal to the rate that heat is remove from the atmosphere by means of ocean circulation, with the ocean’s heat content consequently rising even as the heat content of the atmosphere remains constant.

    And of course the heat content of the ocean will be greater simply because it has a far greater heat capacity and far greater mass. As an analogy here, you can increase the rate at which water enters a half empty tub like heat enters the ocean, but the amount of water in the faucet itself may remain constant, much like the heat content of the atmosphere during a hypothetical warming hiatus. And the increased rate at which water enters the faucet, in this case, corresponds to the increase in downwelling longwave radiation that results from an enhanced greenhouse effect.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 27 Jun 2014 @ 11:06 PM

  458. 452 Chris D said, ” “Mission accomplished” connotes the B-17 Bomber and its effectiveness in Europe. Isn’t it rather silly of you to cede it to a strutting buffoon like that?

    Try to keep up with things. The US does accomplish what it sets out to do.”

    You try to cover up your little slip with a 10 minute 1943 propaganda film and then tell me to keep up?? Either state that you think the majority of readers didn’t immediately think of Bush, or just admit you Bushed one.

    And on doing what we set out to do, well, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, etc.

    You seem to think the US has decided to do something. What happens if Republicans win seats and the presidency?

    You say China is right at mid-EU emissions? Great! If only the US were doing as well, then we’d have the moral authority to tell the Chinese, “Enough!”.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 28 Jun 2014 @ 1:42 AM

  459. Lynn (#433),

    The mistake lies here: “without heating the atmosphere itself”

    The addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere raises the altitude in the atmosphere at which the Earth achieves radiative equilibrium, the level at which outgoing radiation balances incoming radiation. That means that the lapse rate starts from a higher altitude. Having a longer run, the air at the surface ends up warmer. It is indeed the atmosphere that is warmed by the greenhouse effect. Making the air warmer than the ocean leads to heat transfer to the ocean.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 28 Jun 2014 @ 2:32 PM

  460. German electric power prices are falling owing to renewable energy. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-26/germany-s-new-coal-plants-push-power-glut-to-4-year-high.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 28 Jun 2014 @ 2:44 PM

  461. SEA LEVEL RISE

    There have been a number of recent articles and blogs focusing on sea level rise due to Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets (e.g., http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/temperatures-over-greenland-fast-approaching-400000-year-high-risk-4-6-meters-of-additional-sea-level-rise/). Most of them focus on maximum rise at some indeterminate point in time, or estimated SLR in 2100 or 2300 or 2500.

    However, I wonder about the shorter term. What would be the physically-plausible worst case for sea level rise from Greenland and Antarctica in the 2025-2030 time frame?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 28 Jun 2014 @ 4:48 PM

  462. Chris Dudley #405,

    On 23 June (#405), I asked you to “focus on the outputs and impacts, not the inputs. Show the consequences of rapid solar/renewables installation on what it will do to place a lid on climate change, not what it will do to enrich the Windfall proponents and their front men. I have never seen such proof; I don’t believe it exists. Show me the temperature/concentration consequences!” It has been six days since that post, and I have yet to hear your statement on how implementation of renewables will contribute to avoiding ultimate climate disaster. Is that because – gasp – the contribution of renewables implementation will be meager for staying near the 1 C target. This is where the rubber meets the road. What is it exactly that your product will provide for solving the critical problem of concern?

    Comment by DIOGENES — 28 Jun 2014 @ 4:54 PM

  463. Cryosphere Today are showing that the Antarctic Sea Ice Area anomaly has broken new ground in the last couple of days. No signs yet of the numpties trumpeting on about it (beyond the usual noise they make over the anomaly being big and positive).

    Comment by MARodger — 29 Jun 2014 @ 3:07 AM

  464. 377,

    You’ve become very confused. You are asking why cutting emissions to zero will mitigate climate change.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 29 Jun 2014 @ 5:43 AM

  465. A call for a moratorium on tar sand development appeared in Nature recently. http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/ddroitsch/nature_article_tar_sands_pipel.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 29 Jun 2014 @ 6:08 AM

  466. Thomas (#446),

    It turns out that free energy may be an intrinsic aspect of renewable energy. Digging deeper into the book “Reinventing Fire,” fig. 5-27a, which shows 2050 electricity consumption for each of the four scenarios explored there, has about 700 TWh/y of “Surplus renewables spilled,” meaning unused power generation, for the transform scenario. This seems surprising for someone as interested in efficiency as Lovins, but channeling that surplus into hydrogen production for use in reducing carbon dioxide to methane seems like a loop that could entirely eliminate natural gas use from that scenario. So, that scenario might properly be considered a zero emissions scenario. So energy may be left over from that loop closing to convert some carbon dioxide to long lasting building materials which would sequester the carbon.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 29 Jun 2014 @ 8:05 AM

  467. Jim (#458),

    You ask “What happens if Republicans win seats and the presidency?” There are calls to repeal the Clean Air Act. That is what it would take since it is the endangerment finding which is the basis for regulating greenhouse gases and that won’t change. But, repeal would soon be followed by reenactment since repeal would make quite a few republicans vulnerable. It is hard to see the Senate changing enough to support repeal in the next decade, and with climate disasters hitting the federal budget now, it is hard to see denial remaining a big part of the republican mind set for much longer than a decade. It is pretty hard to find young deniers. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/07/poll-young-voters-climate-lcv and as President Obama has shown, republicans can’t win the presidency against a candidate who can motivate young voters.

    So, the paths to the US not cutting emissions seem pretty much closed off at this point, your hero worship of the prior administration notwithstanding. So, again: Mission Accomplished.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 30 Jun 2014 @ 7:29 AM

  468. Edward (#456),

    Very low hydrogen permeability is found for some materials: http://www.rebresearch.com/H2perm2.htm

    But that is not the main issue. Achieving good volumetric energy density with hydrogen is difficult. Think of the space shuttle external tank. Switching to ammonia as a hydrogen carrier helps with that. But, if combustion is the plan, using hydrocarbons would be better. The link I provided anticipated a fuel cell application where ammonia has the advantage of avoiding coking associated with hydrocarbon carrier fuel cells. Ammonia as a combustion fuel is probably limited to stationary and marine applications and likely not even the latter. Developments in synthetic hydrocarbon fuel probably knock ammonia out of the running there. http://www.voanews.com/content/us-navy-lab-turns-seawater-into-fuel/1919512.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 30 Jun 2014 @ 8:30 AM

  469. 460 Chris Dudley: That isn’t how I read that article

    “Power prices slump or even turn negative when wind and solar energy flowing into Germany’s grid exceeds demand”

    A well-known phenomenon: Due to a law requiring that Wind and solar be used in preference to any other power source, the market is disrupted and electric companies have to pay people to take electricity. This law requires that 100% of wind and solar be used, even at a below zero price. The result is economic chaos.

    http://newsletters.dailyclimate.org/t/158244/41592/122297/0/
    Utility companies are retaliating against wind and solar.

    459 Chris Dudley: The ocean absorbs sunshine directly.

    464 Chris Dudley: There is no free energy. Renewables will drive the electric companies out of business and then you will have no electricity. Renewables are intermittent and cannot provide the continuous energy we need.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 30 Jun 2014 @ 10:37 AM

  470. Is climate change destabilizing Iraq?

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/06/isis_water_scarcity_is_climate_change_destabilizing_iraq.html

    “Drought is becoming a fixture in the parched landscape, due to a drying trend of the Mediterranean and Middle East region fueled by global warming. ”

    “Could there be a connection between climate change and the emerging conflict in Iraq?”

    “The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria around the same time may just be an interesting coincidence, but the implications are important enough for us to consider a broader connection.”

    “5 Graphics That Show U.S. Climate Change Costs”
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/5-graphics-us-climate-change-losses-17652

    “Temperature has a notable impact on crime, particularly violent crime. Data show that as temperatures rise, so does the incidence of violent crime.”

    Yes, I know that GW doesn’t cause a particular war or crime. The implication is being drawn in such a way as to lead people to see a direct link.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 30 Jun 2014 @ 10:59 AM

  471. Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Jun 2014 @ 8:23 PM, ~#455

    Your statement- “Since about half of annual emissions are immediately removed from the atmosphere, the Annex I countries are below the level which does not remain in the atmosphere”- is, yet again, false. If the entire world stabilized emissions at current levels immediately, the temperature would increase for hundreds of years. Cutting the entire world emissions by 70% would stabilize temperature at nearly 2 degrees C above pre-industrial. Annex I nations provide a large proportion of this excess 70% and are, therefore, in your terms, “miscreants.” Nobody is drastically reducing emissions, instead there is a recession. Political goals for reducing emissions are just bloviations until some cause effect relationship can be demonstrated. Basing your statement on the fact that one half of CO2 is absorbed by the oceans is dishonest creative accounting or, perhaps, demonstrates a lack of understanding of how the partial pressure of CO2 across the air/water interface works.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 30 Jun 2014 @ 11:29 AM

  472. …As pointed out by the IPCC (though suppressed in the summary) non-Annex I countries are becoming responsible for the majority of cumulative emissions. To do that, their annual emissions must exceed those of Annex I countries. That gives them more than half of annual emissions. Since about half of annual emissions are immediately removed from the atmosphere, the Annex I countries are below the level which does not remain in the atmosphere.

    This argument’s logical conclusion is that an emissions flux of half the present value is OK. It isn’t.

    And, since they are cutting, they would stay below if other emissions ceased.

    Incorrect. About half of the remaining emissions flux would remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, thus increasing atmospheric concentrations. Thus, the emitters whose total emissions flux is larger than the long-term sequestration rate (which is ~0.1 ppm/yr) are responsible for increasing atmospheric concentrations. That includes not just China, but Annex I, and probably the entire top 100 emitters.

    Once again, we’re all in this together.

    Comment by Meow — 30 Jun 2014 @ 2:20 PM

  473. > “Surplus renewables spilled”

    That’s written during the dark ages before ubiquitous cheap 3D microprint fabbing, out of which we are not yet come, of course — but seriously, most “spillable” excess power ought to become useful as we get better at doing useful things with small amounts of power and material.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Jun 2014 @ 3:58 PM

  474. As the intellectual barometer plunges, we again face the weirdest weather of the year– the Heartland Climate Conference season

    Comment by Russell — 1 Jul 2014 @ 12:07 AM

  475. Hank,

    Demand side management was a part of the RMI modeling so I was surprised by the size of the “spill.” Part of this has to be very limited use of storage. PEVs are used in a V2G scheme and compressed air storage is used to a small degree, which is not terribly efficient, but the larger capacity available in used transportation batteries seems to be ignored. I suspect though that including seasonal level storage like synthesizing methane using that energy would change things around.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 1 Jul 2014 @ 6:07 AM

  476. Oh dear, I just chanced upon this fairly recent article in The Telegraph: The scandal of fiddled global warming data. Are there no depths that the deniers will not plumb? I used to think that The Telegraph was a serious UK newspaper.

    [Sorry, made a mess of the link in my last comment attempt - now corrected]

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 1 Jul 2014 @ 6:21 AM

  477. 472,

    No, you are still not understanding. If 2015 emissions were half of 2014 emissions, all of the 2015 emissions would be removed from the atmosphere. They would not linger and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would not increase. To keep that going in 2016 would require somewhat lower emissions that 2015. That is because, in part, the partial pressure disequilibrium between the atmosphere and oceans that drives the large uptake we are now seeing would have been decreased by the uptake in 2015. After eighty years or so, the disequilibrium would be pretty much gone and emissions would have to be zero, but up until that time, nothing lingers in the atmosphere from new emissions, it is absorbed immediately by the biosphere and oceans.

    “Sequestration flux” was your term, but if you are going to use it, you better look at the sequestration as it happens. If it is being sequestered, it is not lingering.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 1 Jul 2014 @ 6:27 AM

  478. Steve (#471),

    Having done the math and presented it here as IDL code, I can say that your numbers are quite far off. After the large initial cut, rather slow cuts are needed to get to zero over eighty or more years. The Annex I countries’ cutting is more than fast enough.

    No, it is the growth in non-Annex I county emissions that is blocking mitigation.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 1 Jul 2014 @ 6:40 AM

  479. Edward (#469)

    “economic chaos” for fossil fuel generators, exactly as desired.

    “The ocean absorbs sunshine directly.” Yes, they do. And yet is is the greenhouse effect which sets their temperature.

    “There is no free energy.” It is rather amusing that you are critiquing the “Transform” scenario in “Reinventing Fire” which has already disposed of your claim long before getting to fig. 5-27a. Fig. 5-19 demonstrates you have completely muffed it.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 1 Jul 2014 @ 7:05 AM

  480. 462,

    Your comments are appearing more slowly than mine right now. So, I did not see you comment when in appeared on an old page immediately. But, when I did, I answered you in #464.

    You might also be interested, if you were sincere, that the “Reinventing Fire” Transform scenario appears to have the potential to be zero emission based on the “extra” energy shown in fig. 5-27-a.

    I know you are not going to read that book and will continue to falsely claim that people have not provided you over and over again with the information you requested. Your determined clinging to ignorance in such a public manner may be the occasion for enlightenment for others. http://www.rmi.org/ReinventingFire Your namesake was such a one.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 1 Jul 2014 @ 7:43 AM

  481. Russell’s link for Heartland’s weather report doesn’t seem to work, at least for me (leads to a requirement to sign in to Google, which isn’t needed):

    Just use: http://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Jul 2014 @ 8:25 AM

  482. For filing under: Counter Cherry-picking. A recent rejoinder to the “warming has stopped” meme:

    Denying that warming itself is occurring is getting to be a damned tenuous claim at the moment. The big belch of ’97-’98 disgorged 35 year’s worth of observed warming within 12 months, from the oceans. Three smaller El Ninos since have each tested the thermal extremes achieved by that Mother of All Known El Ninos for warm starts-of-year: in ’02, ’07, & 2010. That is, their Jan.-thru-May anomalies surpassed 1998. This year has not. Yet.

    But, this May the Earth was warmer than any May in history. And, compared with PEAK + TREND, from 1998, the past ninety days have racked up 70% of the GAIN expected from the historic trend, when measured from the similar ninety days in the Spring of the great 1998 El Nino.

    The tropical Pacific is still warm. What we have in the Pacific to date is a Kelvin wave, not yet an El Nino. Whether an El Nino develops or not is still up to the Gods, but the basis for claiming that planetary warming has stopped, is currently seen to be quickly melting thin ice.

    “How weak is the foundation…we are standing upon.” Precious Angle, B. Dylan.

    Comment by Dave Peters — 1 Jul 2014 @ 2:36 PM

  483. As the intellectual barometer plunges, we again face the weirdest weather of the year– the Heartland Climate Conference season

    Comment by Russell — 1 Jul 2014 @ 5:24 PM

  484. Hank, I keep hearing about used vehicle batteries, but I think they aren’t going to be available in significant numbers for over a decade. Nissan just announced Leaf replacement batteries for $5500 (probably sold at a loss), and an eight year warranty. So if vehicle batteries last roughly a decade and EVs are just beginning their exponential market penetration, it will be quite a while before they are available in decent volume (millions per year).

    Comment by Thomas — 1 Jul 2014 @ 7:52 PM

  485. Steve Fish #471,

    “Cutting the entire world emissions by 70% would stabilize temperature at nearly 2 degrees C above pre-industrial.”

    Any serious statement relating emissions to temperature ceiling contains a likelihood estimate. Without that estimate, a wide range of carbon budgets is possible. For a 90% chance of staying within 2 C, the carbon budget vanishes, as Raupach as shown.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 2 Jul 2014 @ 4:08 AM

  486. Fred (#126),

    I did not see your comment until now. Sorry not to answer. I think that after a little consideration, you will agree that the use of GATT Article XX tariffs will help to reduce emissions directly even if you don’t like that my intent is also to influence Chinese policy on emissions.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jul 2014 @ 6:13 AM

  487. 364,

    Me: “The monthly anomaly data are not all relative to the same temperature baseline, but rather internally to each month. You can’t say which is the warmest month just by looking at the anomaly data, only the warmest June or October, for example.”

    You: “Where is this documented? Everything I found on the GISTEMP site refers to “base period 1951-1980″ without saying that each month’s base period is separately tabulated.”

    That is a good question. It is documented it the note: “Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14.0 deg-C or 57.2 deg-F,
    so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale
    (this note applies to global annual means only, J-D and D-N !)”

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    “(this note applies to global annual means only, J-D and D-N !)” means don’t add 14.0 C to a monthly number/100. And, it is a little wrong as well because the base period is a set of J-D’s not D-N’s so there should be a separate offset. To this precision, however, it would be identical.

    In my digging around I think I recall seeing a figure of the change in average monthly global temperature over a year during a base period in a (possibly) GISS publication but it has been a few years at least. If memory serves, my expectation that northern hemisphere summer would be warmer than southern hemisphere summer was confirmed but I don’t recall the amplitude. With more ocean, the southern hemisphere should have a smaller winter to summer temperature difference allowing the northern hemisphere pattern to show up more in the mean. I think I remember seeing that.

    But it seems to be hard to find from links at the web site. There is software there that could probably generate it. A link to a table would be the most helpful for figuring out which month is the warmest ever recorded. Most likely it is a June, July or August if I am remembering correctly.

    Spot checking, the 1951 to 1980 January anomalies do sum to zero as would be expected.

    Sorry I did not notice your question earlier.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jul 2014 @ 8:23 AM

  488. Thomas in June said:

    “Nissan just announced Leaf replacement batteries for $5500 (probably sold at a loss), and an eight year warranty.” – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-10/#comment-569468

    Let’s think about that warranty. Likely it says the battery will still perform at 90% of original capacity for 8 years or some figure like that. Gently treated as a used battery we might expect 81% after 16 years and 73% after 24 years. Perhaps some will make it to 65% after 32 years.

    It is this aspect of the used battery market that could end up giving very large amounts of storage. We don’t really care if the battery is only half as good as new in a stationary application.

    As for the timing of availability, solar and wind penetration may be well matched. We can probably go to 60% penetration without needing much storage if the two sources are well balanced.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 2 Jul 2014 @ 3:59 PM

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