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  1. Sea ice really is interesting this year. I couldn’t uncompress the daily data from where I am, but if these updated charts are correct then July was rather remarkable.

    Comment by Levi — 5 Aug 2014 @ 9:47 AM

  2. MARodger (July #337),

    You really need to look at fig. 7 to understand the issue. Globally, the temperature is not the same from month to month in the period that is subtracted to calculate monthly anomalies. Winter in the South does not exactly balance Summer in the North. You can inter-compare anomalies between months regarding their size, but you can’t do that regarding temperature without the offset information found in fig. 7. In other words, the month with the largest anomaly is unlikely to be the hottest month unless it is July.

    You can find the hottest May or the hottest December using anomalies alone, but you can’t decide if the hottest May was hotter than the hottest December without more information than available in the anomalies data on their own.

    Fig. 7 here: http://seaice.apl.washington.edu/Papers/JonesEtal99-SAT150.pdf

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 5 Aug 2014 @ 10:08 AM

  3. Graham Readfearn interviews Naomi Oreskes on the occasion of her new book (with Erik Conway):

    shttp://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/jul/25/harvard-historian-strategy-of-climate-science-denial-groups-extremely-successful

    Article plus videos, also posted at Skeptical Science.

    More immigrants from the planet she’s from would be a great help.

    Comment by patrick — 5 Aug 2014 @ 11:18 AM

  4. I’d like to bring forward Kevin’s excellent link on how to submit effective comments to the EPA on proposed regulations. http://www.regulations.gov/docs/Tips_For_Submitting_Effective_Comments.pdf

    The deadline is October 16th, 2014 for the clean power plan. http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/how-comment-clean-power-plan-proposed-rule

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 5 Aug 2014 @ 11:26 AM

  5. The moderators wrote: “if people can get past the hype about the Ebola outbreak”

    Not sure what you mean by “hype”, but the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang has an article discussing the science on possible links between climate change and Ebola outbreaks, which appears to be a cautious assessment.

    Will climate change worsen Ebola outbreaks?
    By Angela Fritz and Jason Samenow
    http://www.WashingtonPost.com
    August 5 2014

    As usual with any Post article that discusses global warming and climate change, the comments are already dominated by sneering, arrogant deniers who ignore the actual content of the article and launch into their scripted, robotic, idiotic diatribes.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 5 Aug 2014 @ 2:22 PM

  6. Ocean acidification is killing baby oysters in Washington. Fortunately the farms can spike the water (with lime?) and keep the babies alive, but that makes the oyster dependent on humans, no longer a wild species. Also, as acidification gets worse, the adults might stop growing. (From NYT, sorry, no cite)

    “Mission Accomplished” for the US reducing carbon emissions ~80% by 2050 took another hit as a dozen states have sued over the new coal rules.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 5 Aug 2014 @ 4:20 PM

  7. Any comments here on the scientists’ letter to the US Admin re methane emissions accounting?
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/climate_law_institute/global_warming_what_how_why/methane/pdfs/Scientist_letter_re_methane_GWP_7-29-14.pdf

    Comment by gws — 5 Aug 2014 @ 6:47 PM

  8. ‘We’re F’d': Methane Plumes Seep From Frozen Ocean Floors

    ” “The SWERUS-C3 expedition is really well equipped to detect the release of methane,” chief scientist Örjan Gustafsson wrote a week into his expedition.

    “For 72 hours now, we have been in the thick of extensive investigations of methane releases from the outer Laptev Sea system,” he wrote on July 20.

    According to Stokholm University, the discovery of these releases came as a bit of a surprise, not because the plumes were unexpected, but because of their concentration. An increased concentration of methane release, Gustafsson suspects, may be coming from collapsing “methane hydrates” – pockets of the gas that were once trapped in frozen water on the ocean floor.

    “It has recently been documented that a tongue of relatively warm Atlantic water, with a core at depths of 200-600 [meters] may have warmed up some in recent years,” Gustafsson explained. “As this Atlantic water, the last remnants of the Gulf Stream, propagates eastward along the upper slope of the East Siberian margin, our SWERUS-C3 program is hypothesizing that this heating may lead to destabilization of upper portion of the slope methane hydrates. This may be what we now for the first time are observing.”

    The researchers are quick to point out that they are just a few weeks into their work, and this is a very much speculation. However, the very fact that these plumes are there is worrying enough.”

    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/8401/20140805/fd-methane-plumes-seep-frozen-ocean-floors.htm

    Comment by wili — 5 Aug 2014 @ 8:55 PM

  9. I remind all the mitigators that they can start their very own thread on the firmly moderated
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/

    Comment by David B. Benson — 5 Aug 2014 @ 9:31 PM

  10. I am a layperson,and I apologise if this link is tendentious, but it seems alarming to me. Can any more knowledgeable members explain, expand and/or debunk it? Thanks. http://www.su.se/english/research/leading-research-areas/science/swerus-c3-first-observations-of-methane-release-from-arctic-ocean-hydrates-1.198540

    Comment by Samantha C — 5 Aug 2014 @ 10:42 PM

  11. This unfortunately isn’t the primary reference, but I thought it intriguing anyway.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716183128.htm

    Are ants the answer to carbon dioxide sequestration?

    Source:
    Geological Society of America
    Summary:
    A 25-year-long study provides the first quantitative measurement of in situ calcium-magnesium silicate mineral dissolution by ants, termites, tree roots, and bare ground. This study reveals that ants are one of the most powerful biological agents of mineral decay yet observed. It may be that an understanding of the geobiology of ant-mineral interactions might offer a line of research on how to “geoengineer” accelerated carbon dioxide consumption by Ca-Mg silicates.

    Ronald Dorn of Arizona State University

    Comment by Thomas — 5 Aug 2014 @ 10:54 PM

  12. Al Gore and David Blood explain a strong economic case for coal divestment. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/46ff6e44-0cd8-11e4-90fa-00144feabdc0.html#axzz39aR6eAUu

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 6 Aug 2014 @ 12:43 AM

  13. Ed asks: “Do you have any qualifications in science or engineering?”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/07/unforced-variations-july-2014/comment-page-7/#comments

    Not really. Life-long interest in science, quite a few family & friends in the scientific world, some course work here and there, training in electronics.

    Oh, and a belief I share with you, Ed, in the value of doing the math.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Aug 2014 @ 1:06 AM

  14. How viable is this for reducing CO2 in the atmosphere? Does this have the potential to fix most of our problems?

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

    Thanks

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 6 Aug 2014 @ 1:28 AM

  15. I’m trying to learn as much as I can about our climate situation (DIO) and clogging up the thread with insults and boorishly long commentary is counter productive. This is a multifaceted problem. If you want to be listened to, do the following:

    “Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
    ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 6 Aug 2014 @ 2:01 AM

  16. Viscount Monckton now seems reasonably sure that he’s probably wrong

    Comment by Russell — 6 Aug 2014 @ 4:03 AM

  17. Wili #8. Yes we are. Anyway, but arctic methane is not going to help. The Swerus expeditions have been putting up blogs of the journey, but they have gone very quiet on postings about methane emissions after those early findings.

    Its hard to know what to read into that (nothing/much) – it may be nothing is to be said because nothing of significance has been found, or just be scientific reticence or perhaps a fear of spreading alarm before the results are in. We shall see.

    Certainly the early suggestions of warmer Atlantic Water starting to warm the shallow sea bed areas is a worry.

    Comment by Nigel Williams — 6 Aug 2014 @ 4:08 AM

  18. 5: Secular animist. Did you read my contri in the last unforced variation at line 372. Tell me what you think. Thanks. Re: Ebola outbreaks and climate change(amongst other factors) induced decimation of the world’s invertebrate pop.

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 6 Aug 2014 @ 6:39 AM

  19. Chuck (#12),

    To get to a concentration of 280 ppm in the atmosphere some form of deliberate sequestration will be needed. One method is discussed here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/air-capture/ The methods discussed in your link are aimed at reducing emissions by capturing carbon dioxide as it is produced at a stationary source. This could provide a way to continue to use coal and natural gas for power generation with reduced emissions, an 80 to 90% cut according to your link. By mixing in biomass fuels, another from of air capture could be included.

    Some consider a carbon dioxide concentration of 350 ppm to be safe. RCP2.6 used in the recent IPCC reports gets there slowly. It includes some air capture of carbon dioxide in the latter part of this century. But, more rapid cuts in emissions could allow a path to 350 ppm without that being needed.

    So, if 350 ppm is your goal, then CCS is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s deployment is necessarily slow because it needs a large pipe network and new power plants and increased coal and gas extraction (to help power the capture and storage). Because it is slow, you end up needing it to handle the overshoot in emissions that slowness causes. This is in contrast to manufactured replacement technology that does not require fuel which can grow very rapidly.

    Some like 500 ppm as a target concentration. The slowness of CCS fits best with this kind of scenario. It looks like that concentration as a stabilization target does not fix our problems but may slow or avert some bigger problems.

    Carbon capture and utilization has been included in a recent report to the UN in the form of electrically synthesized methane. This has the potential to scale more rapidly than CCS. http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/07/new-report-calls-for-deep-decarbonization-to-stay-within-2c-limit/

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 6 Aug 2014 @ 7:50 AM

  20. #14–Chuck, I think it depends what you mean by “potential”, and how certain you want to be about the assessment of that potential. There’s been a lot of skepticism about CCS here in past discussions, mostly around the cost issue, and it seems well-founded in principle. On the other hand, IIRC, CCS was important in the scenario building in the recent WG 3 report (AR 5).

    An important test is going to come soon, as the Boundary Dam CCS retrofit project in Saskatchewan comes online.

    https://sequestration.mit.edu/tools/projects/boundary_dam.html
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-1-power-plant-clean-up-coal-and-make-money/

    There’s also the free-air capture strategy, notably championed by Klaus Lackner. I discussed it in (briefly) this review of “Fixing Climate” a few years back:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Climate-change-resources–Fixing-Climate–A-review

    Lackner’s Global Resources Technology is now Kilimanjaro Energy; after a large private investment they changed names. Unfortunately, the company has become a black hole for news; their website is still up, but has posted nothing new since 2010! Don’t know if that means they are working hard on the QT, or whether it’s now a zombie corporation.

    Stepping back a pace, one of the attractions of CCS is that, conceptually at least, it would be one way of drawing down CO2 concentrations over time.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Aug 2014 @ 8:07 AM

  21. Re #6 above from Larsen;

    There is much evidence-based discussion of the Washington State oyster larvae die off than the NYT reporting covers. A much more complete discussion is offered by Prof. Chris Mass of University of Washington and firm believer in the dangers of CO2-emissions driven ocean acidification, indicates that in the case of the specifc die-offs emphasized in the article that local aguaculture problems explain much more of the observed die-off than do global CO2 emissions-driven ocean acidification problem. See this from Mass:

    Much of this oyster tale is inaccurate. Billions of oyster are not dying in the inlets of the Pacific Northwest. Rather non-native oyster larvae died in factory larvae farms along the coast when they mistakenly used cold, upwelled water during a few summer periods. Human CO2 was not the culprit. They understand their mistake now and oyster larvae production in healthy. Native oysters in natural water have and are doing fine. Saying that anthropogenic CO2 caused this problem is like saying the damage from the Fukashima tsunami was caused by global warming. Sure, sea level rise made it slightly worse, but the problem would have happened anyway. The story is inaccurate in talking about acidic waters. The waters in the Northwest have never been, nor ever will be acidic. They are becoming a little less basic.

    Check out my blog for an in-depth examination of the oyster/acidification issue:
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/11/coastal-ocean-acidification-answer.

    Comment by Joe Lassiter — 6 Aug 2014 @ 8:08 AM

  22. > Graham Readfearn interviews Naomi Oreskes (#3).

    Here’s the Skeptical Science link for it:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/harvard-historian-denial-strategy-extremely-successful.html

    Comment by patrick — 6 Aug 2014 @ 9:18 AM

  23. This just fixes the link to Prof. Mass’s blog mentioned in #21

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/11/coastal-ocean-acidification-answering.html

    Comment by Joe Lassiter — 6 Aug 2014 @ 10:27 AM

  24. I wonder if anyone (Gavin?) has any comment on this paper – An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations

    Does it have any implications for climate modeling? Climate sensitivity uncertainty?

    Thanks,
    Dave

    Comment by Dave Erickson — 6 Aug 2014 @ 11:03 AM

  25. Check Lassiter’s claims:

    Check out my blog for an in-depth examination of the oyster/acidification issue:
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/11/coastal-ocean-acidification-answer.

    “Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.”

    Billions of oyster are not dying in the inlets of the Pacific Northwest.

    Google: No results found for “Billions of oyster are not dying in the inlets of the Pacific Northwest.”

    Those search results, however, do make clear that the Mass article was wrong.

    It appears Mass was misled by Lassiter’s blog story, which is no longer published at Mass’s site.

    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/seachange/2013/10/12/expert-critique-of-seattle-times-sea-change-project-ignores-the-science/

    … it wasn’t The Seattle Times that reached this conclusion. It was some of the world’s foremost experts in chemical oceanography – the scientific community that actually understands the role of carbon in the ocean. We interviewed these scientists over and over – some more than a dozen times – and reported their findings, which are backed by a combination of several studies. The key ones are here, here, here, here, here and here. (Mass did not reference any of them.)

    Many of the experts – Richard Feely, Chris Sabine, Simone Alin, Jeremy Mathis, all with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle – have been furloughed by the government shutdown and aren’t available to respond. But several have spoken publicly in the past about the link between atmospheric CO2 and shellfish deaths.

    Here, starting at about 2:45, Feely describes to a European reporter ocean acidification’s role in the deaths of oysters in the Pacific Northwest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUG21s-6sFs.

    Here, during a lecture earlier this year at a conference sponsored by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Feely goes into more detail. His discussion of the oyster phenomenon begins at 24:20: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etFob9Wy45E

    Sabine takes an even more thorough look here, at about 38:00:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaRgGpRS8dI

    Mass is not a chemical oceanographer, but he is a scientist with some familiarity with these issues. So, to be absolutely certain we did not make a mistake, The Seattle Times asked another of the region’s leaders in chemical oceanography, Burke Hales, at Oregon State University, to review his critique and our story.

    Hales’ pioneering research in ocean carbon chemistry underlies much of what we know about the role carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions plays in changing the chemistry of Northwest seas.

    After reading Mass’ critique, here is Hales’ response: “The Seattle Times got the oyster story right.”

    We asked Hales what he thought of Mass’ contention that “atmospheric CO2 is probably not” the cause of recent oyster problems.

    Hales was blunt. “This is not true.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Aug 2014 @ 11:15 AM

  26. I wonder if anyone (Gavin?) has a comment on this paper:
    An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations Stephens et al Nature Geoscience 23 Sept 2012

    Implications for modeling? Climate sensitivity uncertainty?

    Thanks,
    Dave

    Comment by Dave Erickson — 6 Aug 2014 @ 11:16 AM

  27. Viscount Moncktons letter campaign against academics who criticize his performance art has inspired some Australian imitators

    Comment by Russell — 6 Aug 2014 @ 12:00 PM

  28. gws @ 7: Thanks for that link. It looks like a very important reminder that we should be using more updated numbers for the global warming potential of methane, and that the 20 year potential is at least as relevant as the 100 year one. CO2 is still, of course, the main culprit. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore other powerful GHGs.

    Nigel @ 17. Good points. It is likely that the situation is more complex than most anyone imagines. It would be surprising if some permafrost and clathrates were _not_ dissociating on some of the slopes. But there are other potential sources of increased methane–rivers running off of increasingly melty permafrost; methanogenic bacteria, probably others I haven’t thought of. It would indeed be good to get some more current info from that expedition. Do post it if you see something relevant. Thanks.

    Comment by wili — 6 Aug 2014 @ 12:35 PM

  29. Cliff Mass’s response to the criticism: http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/search?q=Oysters

    Note Mass is not at all climate denier; his point is not what Joe Lassiter claims above.

    Quoting Mass:

    So how much of the low ph is is associated with human-connected CO2? If the Seattle Times is right, then humans are making a substantial contribution to low ph and the “lethal” factory waters. We can calculate this.

    The low ph periods only occur during periods of coastal upwelling. According to a highly quoted paper by Feely (Science 2008), the upwelled waters were last in contact with the atmosphere about 50 years. A local physical oceanographer told me 40 years, so let’s be conservative and assume 40 years ago (1971). Atmospheric CO2 levels were much lower then compared to now (400 ppm now, versus 325 then–see graph below to prove this). A number of studies (including Feely) have suggested that general pre-industrial levels of open ocean ph were about .1 lower than today. Before industrial society, the CO2 level was about 280 ppm, about 45 ppm less than in 1971. So let’s assume that the upwelled waters today were exposed to 1971 levels of CO2. So it is very reasonable to assume that the contribution of human-produced CO2 levels to the ph change today in upwelled waters is thus (45 /120)*.1 or .0375. Let’s round that up to .04.

    Consider the implications of this. The lowest ph observed that (2009) summer (7.6), would have been 7.64 without human CO2. Doesn’t seem like such a headline grabber does it? To but it another way, human CO2 impact is 6.6 % (.04/.6) of the natural variability observed that summer.

    To put this in further perspective. Imagine a heat wave in which the temperatures are 20F above normal one day. Imagine that CO2 increases explained 6.6% of that. This would be 1.32F. The heat wave was made slightly worse, but the heat wave would have happened with or without the CO2.

    Later in the century the story will be different. In 50 years, human impacts on ocean acidification will be twice as large—still smaller than natural variability, but more significant.

    … The truth is that anthropogenic increases in CO2 are only having subtle impacts on our regional weather today, the big changes and impacts will occur decades into the future. Both global warming and ocean acidification are very serious issues and by the end of the century their impacts will be substantial.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Aug 2014 @ 2:55 PM

  30. Re: #8, #17

    From a translated interview with Örjan, the principle scientist on the SweRUS Oden expedition circa 7/28:

    “If any percentage of this [Arctic Methane] is released in the coming decades, it can definitely have a noticeable Impact from the global climate. But it WILL NOT do it, we will be able to respond better to having finished working with this expedition. There is a high potential, but little risk, says Örjan Gustafsson.”

    Full article
    http://www.google.com/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.svt.se%2Fnyheter%2Fvarlden%2Fmetanutslapp-kan-bli-stor-klimatbov

    Still scary as all get out though.

    Comment by PCalith — 6 Aug 2014 @ 4:24 PM

  31. 21 Thanks for the info Joe. Sounds like Washington’s governor is basing his climate campaign on this story. Then again, maybe the article got that wrong too!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/04/us/as-oysters-die-climate-policy-goes-on-stump.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A9%22%7D

    Unfortunately your link brings up, “Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.”.

    Comment by Jim Larsen — 6 Aug 2014 @ 5:47 PM

  32. PCalith — for what it is worth, the section that Google bizarrely mistranslated as “But it WILL NOT do it… having” is better translated as, “But whether it will happen is a question we can better answer after having….” Hope this helps.

    Comment by Eric Boesch — 6 Aug 2014 @ 11:52 PM

  33. To the Moderators,

    “please no discussion of mitigation strategies – it unfortunately does not bring out the best in the commentariat.”

    I strongly disagree! My definition of ‘best’ when it comes to science/research is effectively surfacing the truth. What’s a good way to do it? Well, an Oyster creates a Pearl as a result of an Irritant. That’s not a bad model. Over the past nine months, there have been a number of Irritants provided to the Commentariat. As a result, there were a number of ‘Pearls’ produced by the RC Comments ‘Oyster’. These included: enhanced awareness of the contrived nature of the 2 C limit and the necessity for the 1 C limit to avoid catastrophe; a plan that included the correct 1 C limit and showed how the climate change cliff could be avoided; and a strong surfacing of the major deficiencies of renewables as a significant ameliorative factor. Creation of these ‘Pearls’ required the confluence of mitigation with climate science.

    Comment by DIOGENES — 7 Aug 2014 @ 4:49 AM

  34. Thomas (#11),

    Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant….

    Niche building species, like ants, beavers and people, have transformative effects, but those are also directable. Plagues lack that quality.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 7 Aug 2014 @ 5:23 AM

  35. A well written letter on Reed’s refusal to divest. http://portlandtribune.com/pt/10-opinion/229316-92311-my-view-reed-trustees-must-divest-from-fossil-fuels

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 7 Aug 2014 @ 7:20 AM

  36. I have followed the Seattle Times Oyster story since last November. I think that story is example of the the ways in which climate change attribution can be overstretched in ways that I believe undermine science, misdirect resources and weaken the social support for addressing climate change. I think it also shows how an “overstretched” meme propagates in the popular press and rattles around among its “believers.”

    Hopefully to clarify Mass’s views and sources, I googled and copied Mass’s recent letter to the NYT Editor in response to As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump By Coral Davenport. 3, 2014. Mass’s letter was one the NYT Editor’s Picks. I quote from Mass below:

    “Much of this oyster tale is inaccurate. Billions of oyster are not dying in the inlets of the Pacific Northwest. Rather non-native oyster larvae died in factory larvae farms along the coast when they mistakenly used cold, upwelled water during a few summer periods. Human CO2 was not the culprit. They understand their mistake now and oyster larvae production in healthy. Native oysters in natural water have and are doing fine. Saying that anthropogenic CO2 caused this problem is like saying the damage from the Fukashima tsunami was caused by global warming. Sure, sea level rise made it slightly worse, but the problem would have happened anyway. The story is inaccurate in talking about acidic waters. The waters in the Northwest have never been, nor ever will be acidic. They are becoming a little less basic.

    Check out my blog for an in-depth examination of the oyster/acidification issue:
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2013/11/coastal-ocean-acidification-answer

    I have huge respect for Governor Inslee, who has been fearless in communicating the importance of dealing with anthropogenic climate change. Mankind is not reducing CO2 emissions and we are facing substantial climate change in the future. He is right, we must act. But crying wolf with oysters in the end will be counterproductive.”

    Comment by Joe Lassiter — 7 Aug 2014 @ 7:23 AM

  37. #26–The (2012) paper Dave Erickson was asking about is here:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1580.html

    Other than that, I don’t actually have a comment on it…

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Aug 2014 @ 7:43 AM

  38. #33, Willfully not following the guidelines for this blog, and in fact, flaunting them, would seem a recipe for getting oneself banned, but the cherry on the top is calling your self a pearl, and scientists who run this blog irritants.

    Honestly, why don’t you just start your on blog, or whatever? And I don’t believe you’ve answered any inquiries as to whether you follow your own advice as far as fossil fuel demand reduction goes? If you haven’t noticed, people tend to follow people who do things, as opposed to saying things.

    Comment by Doug — 7 Aug 2014 @ 8:46 AM

  39. I’m particularly interested in the implications of this statement from the abstract:

    Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance. At the top of the atmosphere, this balance is monitored globally by satellite sensors that provide measurements of energy flowing to and from Earth. By contrast, observations at the surface are limited mostly to land areas. As a result, the global balance of energy fluxes within the atmosphere or at Earth’s surface cannot be derived directly from measured fluxes, and is therefore uncertain. This lack of precise knowledge of surface energy fluxes profoundly affects our ability to understand how Earth’s climate responds to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. In light of compilations of up-to-date surface and satellite data, the surface energy balance needs to be revised. Specifically, the longwave radiation received at the surface is estimated to be significantly larger, by between 10 and 17 Wm–2, than earlier model-based estimates. Moreover, the latest satellite observations of global precipitation indicate that more precipitation is generated than previously thought. This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.

    Comment by Dave Erickson — 7 Aug 2014 @ 11:25 AM

  40. Ladies & gentlemen in the real climate…..

    Those holes and craters that pop up in Siberia nowaday should moove and cause and force variations of thought now in august 2014.

    I red that they are traditionally known also in Alaska, but much smaller. I think we have to discuss Methan- hydrate.

    For quite interesting reasons, the sea-floor in shallow waters north of Siberia is frozen. Just think of that also.

    Comment by Carbomontanus — 7 Aug 2014 @ 11:28 AM

  41. “‘We’re F’d': Methane Plumes Seep From Frozen Ocean Floors”

    vs

    “An Arctic methane worst-case scenario”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/01/an-arctic-methane-worst-case-scenario/comment-page-1/#comments

    I’ll confess I can’t quite reconcile these two versions of Arctic methane releases.

    Comment by Zachary Smith — 7 Aug 2014 @ 12:58 PM

  42. Rapid Environmental Change over the Past Decade Revealed by Isotopic Analysis of the California Mussel in the Northeast Pacific
    Catherine A. Pfister, Sophie J. McCoy, J. Timothy Wootton, Pamela A. Martin, Albert S. Colman, David Archer
    Published: October 03, 2011
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025766

    Corrosive water has recently been documented in the northeast Pacific, along with a rapid decline in seawater pH over the past decade. A lack of instrumentation prior to the 1990s means that we have no indication whether these carbon cycle changes have precedence or are a response to recent anthropogenic CO2 inputs.

    We analyzed stable carbon and oxygen isotopes (δ13C, δ18O) of decade-old California mussel shells (Mytilus californianus) in the context of an instrumental seawater record of the same length. We further compared modern shells to shells from 1000 to 1340 years BP and from the 1960s to the present and show declines in the δ13C of modern shells that have no historical precedent.

    Our finding of decline in another shelled mollusk (limpet) and our extensive environmental data show that these δ13C declines are unexplained by changes to the coastal food web, upwelling regime, or local circulation. Our observed decline in shell δ13C parallels other signs of rapid changes to the nearshore carbon cycle in the Pacific, including a decline in pH that is an order of magnitude greater than predicted by an equilibrium response to rising atmospheric CO2, the presence of low pH water throughout the region, and a record of a similarly steep decline in δ13C in algae in the Gulf of Alaska. These unprecedented changes and the lack of a clear causal variable underscores the need for better quantifying carbon dynamics in nearshore environments.

    [extra paragraph breaks added for online readability — hr]

    Seems to me the question is whether the upwelling is also a consequence of changes in ocean circulation, which are just starting to be described as more floats and gliders add data.

    E.g. Nature Climate Change 4, 222–227 (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2106

    … a pronounced strengthening in Pacific trade winds over the past two decades—unprecedented in observations/reanalysis data and not captured by climate models—is sufficient to account for the cooling of the tropical Pacific and a substantial slowdown in surface warming through increased subsurface ocean heat uptake. The extra uptake has come about through increased subduction in the Pacific shallow overturning cells, enhancing heat convergence in the equatorial thermocline. At the same time, the accelerated trade winds have increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific ….

    Are we also seeing an increase in the volume or frequency of deep water upwelling along the temperate Eastern Pacific coast, affecting oyster reproduction? I know it’s been suggested as the connection between CO2 and local areas where various organisms are showing effects of pH change.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Aug 2014 @ 1:18 PM

  43. Dave Erickson @26.
    You ask for comment from “anyone (Gavin?)” on Stephens et al (2012) ‘An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations’ The paper (linked @37) is a couple of years old and was commented on by Gavin at the time (See second last response at this comment in the thread.)

    At the time there was also a few denialist blogs doing their best to present the the paper as proof of the lesser role played by CO2.

    More recently, IPCC AR5 Section 2.3.1 when referring to Figure 2.11 which gives the latent heat flux as 84 Wm^-2 (with a range 70-85 Wm^-2 after Wild et al 2013) covers Stephens et al (2012b) (and then concludes) as follows:-

    “The global mean latent heat flux is required to exceed 80 W m–2 to close the surface energy balance in Figure 2.11, and comes close to the 85 W m–2 considered as upper limit by Trenberth and Fasullo (2012b) in view of current uncertainties in precipitation retrieval in the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP, Adler et al., 2012) (the latent heat flux corresponds to the energy equivalent of evaporation, which globally equals precipitation; thus its magnitude may be constrained by global precipitation estimates). This upper limit has recently been challenged by Stephens et al. (2012b). The emerging debate reflects potential remaining deficiencies in the quantification of the radiative and non-radiative energy balance components and associated uncer­tainty ranges, as well as in the consistent representation of the global mean energy and water budgets (Stephens et al., 2012b; Trenberth and Fasullo, 2012b; Wild et al., 2013). Relative uncertainty in the globally averaged sensible heat flux estimate remains high owing to the very limited direct observational constraints (Trenberth et al., 2009; Ste­phens et al., 2012b).”
    “In summary, newly available observations from both space-borne and surface-based platforms allow a better quantification of the Global Energy Budget, even though notable uncertainties remain, particu­larly in the estimation of the non-radiative surface energy balance components.”

    The latent heat flux inferred by that Stephens et al (2012b) to achieve a surface balance due to higher back radiation was 88 Wm^-2 (+/- 10 Wm^-2) so the paper hasn’t created an “emerging debate” that is in any way momentous. The current NASA energy balance graphic, for instance, gives a figure of 86.4Wm-2.

    Comment by MARodger — 7 Aug 2014 @ 5:57 PM

  44. It can be hard to keep up with technology. http://www.forbes.com/sites/amorylovins/2014/08/05/sowing-confusion-about-renewable-energy/

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 7 Aug 2014 @ 7:13 PM

  45. The Rossby Wave thread seems to have gone dead, so I’m going to post a link to this must-see video “Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak” (and no, it’s not an AMEG project) here: http://earthtechling.com/2014/08/must-see-video-arctic-emergency-scientists-speak/

    With some further commentary and discussion here:

    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/arctic-emergency-top-scientists-explain-how-arctic-warming-is-wrecking-our-weather-and-pushing-world-to-rapidly-cross-climate-tipping-points/

    Comment by wili — 7 Aug 2014 @ 9:51 PM

  46. Thanks for #43, Chris–I had read the article in the Economist, and found it a tad ‘dodgy.’ It’s good to see a detailed rebuttal.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 7 Aug 2014 @ 10:45 PM

  47. “There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubbable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger’s Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offenses, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion.”

    -Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 7 Aug 2014 @ 11:05 PM

  48. @Zachary Smith

    I don’t think you have to. Box is absolutely right that if such a thing were to happen, we’d be totally f’ed. But, at the same time, you have to keep in mind that

    a) he is not a permafrost scientist (he’s a glaciologist)
    b) science reporting sucks these days
    c) time scales are quite uncertain, and we’re f’ed regardless of what an extra couple methane degrees will do.

    SWERUS has found some interesting stuff, and as I posted earlier Orjan (co-head scientist with Smiletov) thinks that a massive release is highly unlikely. As Gavin and David have pointed out a number of times – increasing emissions will probably happen, but a single massive emission will likely not.

    (aside – Eric, yeah, I noticed that after posting. RC could really use an edit feature)

    Comment by PCalith — 7 Aug 2014 @ 11:28 PM

  49. MARodger @42 – Great. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks. Excellent perspective in the comment from Gavin.
    Best,
    Dave

    Comment by Dave Erickson — 8 Aug 2014 @ 12:03 AM

  50. Runaway blockquote above, should have read thus:

    increased equatorial upwelling in the central and eastern Pacific ….

    Are we also seeing an increase in the volume or frequency of deep water upwelling along the temperate Eastern Pacific coast, affecting oyster reproduction? I know it’s been suggested as the connection between CO2 and local areas where various organisms are showing effects of pH change.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Aug 2014 @ 12:16 AM

  51. Doug #38,

    “the cherry on the top is calling your self a pearl, and scientists who run this blog irritants”

    You need a course in reading comprehension. Nowhere did I call myself a pearl, and nowhere did I call the scientists who run this blog irritants. For your information: deliberate misquoting infuriates me. If anything should be banned from this blog, that’s my number one candidate!

    Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Aug 2014 @ 4:14 AM

  52. Check out http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/orthographic=165.21,-26.67,560
    It gives you real time, air temp/wind/humidity/ocean temp and a million other parameters. Great to see how the earth system are behaving. Also because you can see what each atmospheric layer is doing, easy to spot tell-tale rossby waves as well. Great site!!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 8 Aug 2014 @ 6:27 AM

  53. #50–Got metaphor?

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Aug 2014 @ 7:28 AM

  54. [edit – if you don’t realise that this kind of posting is exactly why ‘mitigation’ is currently off-topic, then there isn’t much hope for any continued dialogue here. You obviously have a lot to say, so please start your own blog where you can outline your ideas in complete freedom. We’ll be happy to post a link to it for anyone interested.]

    Comment by DIOGENES — 8 Aug 2014 @ 8:21 AM

  55. More on the carbon bubble: http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2496246/will_the_carbon_bubble_burst_your_pension.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 8 Aug 2014 @ 10:00 AM

  56. #11 Do ants increase sequestration merely by digging up minerals and exposing them to the atmosphere? Seems like green powered robots could do the same thing. I am not clear what the mechanism is.

    Comment by Tom Adams — 8 Aug 2014 @ 11:01 AM

  57. Misinformation strategy chapter 3: ask stupid questions about the connection between climate change and something unrelated and by inference encourage denial: if the answer is ‘no’, then CC is not a problem, and if the answer is ‘could be’, the science can be challenged, this discrediting the underlying idea.
    Suggest folks are careful when responding to such enquiries…

    Comment by Fergus Brown — 8 Aug 2014 @ 11:55 AM

  58. Scholar Alert: Document citing “Proxy evidence for an El Nino-like response to volcanic forcing”

    Vegetation and climate change over the past 800 years in the monsoon margin of northeastern China reconstructed from n- alkanes from the Great Hinggan …
    Y Zhang, X Liu, Q Lin, C Gao, J Wang, G Wang – Organic Geochemistry, 2014
    Abstract: n-Alkanes from the Great Hinggan Mountain ombrotrophic peat bog in northeast China record changes in vegetation and climate of the East Asian monsoon marginal region over the past 800 yr. At the end of the Medieval Warm period, shrubs and/or sedges were …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Aug 2014 @ 12:30 PM

  59. I read here on occasion, so have trouble keeping all of the posters straight, but one of the reasons that I scan this site is to monitor if/when climate scientists are going to shed their scientific reticence and start hollering “all hands on deck.”

    All of the global warming processes that I have been following have been moving along as fast or faster than climate models have predicted. I have been tracking the methane release issue from tundra, arctic sea floor for several years and have been unable to get a clear sense of how bad that might be, even as I have a clear sense that it is happening and that it might be really, really bad.

    Because the climate models have underestimated the impacts as shown in each successive IPCC where we see that the higher end of earlier projections has been the most accurate (shouldn’t we see something near the middle if the models are not damped in some systematic way?) I am uneasy about the slow and cautious political action of the scientific community about our situation. For species survival reasons, I would think that we would want aggressive/cautious public policy to protect against the worst case scenarios, but instead, we get public policy that lags way behind the scientific reticence, which itself is lagging behind the actual facts and impacts of global warming. At some point, we will be yelling fire in the theater, and maybe that is already happening, with folks like McPherson, Ward and Garrett, but I wonder if there is a better way to communicate the gravity of our global situation because there is no quantitative easing for a global climate disaster to engineer a soft landing.

    I recognize that straying into rhetoric and public policy may damage or end a career in the sciences and I am sympathetic to the reluctance, but there are some large ethical concerns about generational and environmental justice to consider, so I think climate scientists are in a bind.

    The upshot of this for many concerned lay persons come to a website like this one, hoping/looking for any good new, rays of light and hope and we expect that those are likely to be discussed in the language of mitigation. And mitigation is a discouraged thread.

    I understand that mitigation discussion creates a lot of conflict. I would love to see the mitigation discussion continue with the disagreements simply dealt with in a simple and relatively polite manner, like: “yes, that idea comes up, but is weak, see this link:” or “yes, I understand that you are pursuing that idea, remember to post the hard science links, not just the cultural fluff, that supports that idea, so we can keep the discussion based in ideas that are subject to peer-review.”

    One thing that I think is likely is our species will choose deliberate geo-engineering in an ad hoc manner. I am not happy about that, but I think the way to stop the climate disaster is to dismantle the global economy and I think that is not going to happen. I think the alternative is deliberate, ad hoc geo-engineering that will probably produce more resource war than global cooling or stabilization.

    Have to get off to work, not sure that I communicated effectively or added anything to the larger discussion, but I will continue to read here on occasion. I wish you all well.

    Comment by Mike Coday — 8 Aug 2014 @ 12:48 PM

  60. RE the Carteret Islands, does anyone know if the inundation there is caused by the islands sinking (subsidence) or sea level rising, or both?

    Comment by Lynn — 8 Aug 2014 @ 7:14 PM

  61. Of course, this site would be most appropriate to host a dedicated discussion on the topic of mitigation. Who would be better?

    How about once or twice a year? Maybe on the equinoxes or solstices?

    Comment by richard pauli — 9 Aug 2014 @ 2:04 AM

  62. There are some here who insist that fossil fuels are required for agriculture and nothing can be done about that. In fact, there are more efficient ways to do agriculture that don’t involve fossil fuel inputs. http://phys.org/news/2014-08-air-ammoniaone-world-important-chemicals.html

    “Researchers have developed a method to produce ammonia simply from air and water. Not only is it more energy efficient than the century-old Haber-Bosch process currently in use all over the world, but it is also greener.”

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 9 Aug 2014 @ 7:43 AM

  63. For those who might enjoy a reasonably ‘sciency’ essay on the “puny humans” denialist meme, I’ve just published one on Hubpages:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Puny-Humans-Can-We-Change-The-Course-Of-Nature

    Please feel free to correct me on any mis-statements I may have made on paleobiology, or anything else, for that matter.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 9 Aug 2014 @ 9:21 AM

  64. Mike@~59

    From where I sit, the issue of mitigation is not currently off topic because of reticence. Rather it’s because threads have been swamped with Gish gallopy, repetitive and trollish crankiness on the subject. It’s disruptive, and while I’d personally like to see mitigation dicussed, the moderators have been exceptionally patient, and I’d like to thank them for the steps they’ve taken to keep the site focused and classy. If you’ve spent any time on the internet, you well know that some people just don’t respond to politeness and that the techniques they use to derail serious discourse (intentionally or otherwise) are myriad.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 9 Aug 2014 @ 11:02 AM

  65. mike coday, #59: “many concerned lay persons come to a website like this one, hoping/looking for any good new, rays of light and hope and we expect that those are likely to be discussed in the language of mitigation. And mitigation is a discouraged thread.”

    Would it be possible to split the mitigation discussion off from this forum; create an “unforced-variations-M” forum for the purpose? I for one am not necessarily looking for “rays of light and hope” so much as intelligent conversation, quality links, thoughtful fact-based suggestions, etc.; i.e. let the “rays of light and hope” be based on good analysis and facts. Even the obstreperous and obstinate Diogenes would be a good contributor, if for nothing else than to demark the very far end of a range of views describable as rational. Maybe this is something that the RC proprietors/moderators might consider?

    coday: “straying into rhetoric and public policy may damage or end a career in the sciences … [but] there are some large ethical concerns about generational and environmental justice to consider, so I think climate scientists are in a bind.”

    Indeed! Would this alternative forum idea provide enough separation so that no careers are jeopardized, while allowing a vital conversation (re mitigation) to proceed within the stable, credible venue of RC?

    Moderators: consider please that doing this could be a contribution to alleviating our global predicament — one that you are in a unique position to make. And as Coday says, there are large ethical issues here. This is not just a quarrel about numbers of angels on pinheads.

    Comment by alan2102 — 9 Aug 2014 @ 11:07 AM

  66. This is something I’ve been wondering about:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/apocalypse-soon-has-civilization-passed-the-environmental-point-of-no-return/

    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1754/20122845.full

    I’m not in any sort of panic mode but I’ve heard people like Dr. Stephen Hawking, Peter Ward, James Lovelock, Frank Fenner and Michio Kaku saying basically the same thing or at least suggesting it as a real possibility. I am wondering if any of the people here at RC view this as likely?

    Thanks

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 9 Aug 2014 @ 11:56 AM

  67. richard pauli wrote: “Of course, this site would be most appropriate to host a dedicated discussion on the topic of mitigation. Who would be better?”

    I respectfully disagree, and I agree with the moderators’ requests in the last couple of “unforced variations” threads of discouraging discussion of mitigation here.

    I think the immediate impetus for those requests is the behavior of a couple of regular commenters, who have repeatedly and egregiously engaged in personal attacks against anyone who disagrees with their views on mitigation strategies.

    I, for one, have been told repeatedly and explicitly that I am “paid by the Koch brothers” to lie, and have also been targeted with the contradictory accusation that I am a “windmill salesman” — simply because I have posted links to information about solar and wind energy that contradict those commenters’ assertions.

    But I think that behavior happens here for a reason. For one thing, it seems to me that the moderators — who are all busy climate scientists — have better things to do than to moderate immature, abusive behavior on a blog comment page, and quite rightly have little interest in doing that. The result tends to be that trolls can “run wild” here.

    For another, the moderators are climate scientists — and the whole rationale of this site is that it’s an opportunity for the public to get an inside look at climate science, from some of the world’s leading experts in the field, who are doing the hard work of seeking answers to the most difficult questions about global warming and climate change.

    The moderators are NOT, however, experts on mitigation strategies — on the numerous energy technologies that could replace fossil fuels, on energy efficiency, on strategies for demand reduction, on agricultural and land-use and forestry practices, or other approaches to mitigation. So they are not necessarily any better informed on these matters than anyone else, and not necessarily the best people to run and moderate a blog that focuses on these issues — even if they had the desire to do so, which it seems clear they do not, and IMHO wisely so.

    Lastly, as several commenters have pointed out from time to time, there are plenty of other websites and blogs that DO focus on mitigation strategies, where such discussions are ongoing, moderated by folks who — regardless of any bias for or against particular strategies — tend to be well-informed, intensely interested, and in some cases have hands-on academic, regulatory or commercial experience in the relevant fields.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 9 Aug 2014 @ 1:05 PM

  68. There’s an article in today’s WaPo about the mysterious crater which appeared in Russia. The story reports claims that the crater is the result of melting permafrost.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/08/05/scientists-may-have-cracked-the-giant-siberian-crater-mystery-and-the-news-isnt-good/

    While melting permafrost might have weakened the roof on the crater and pressure from methane gas may have been the driving force for the eruption, I doubt that the cavity below was the result of melting of the permafrost. Having ventured into a limestone cavern and witnessed such a large cavity from below partially filled by the collapse of some of the overlying material, I think some other process formed the cavity. From the photographs which have been published, there appears to be much less material around the rim of the hole than would fill the cavity. It’s been suggested that a large mass of ice may have pushed up from below. Does anyone happen to know about karst activity in the area, which would produce sinkholes, like that evident in Florida?

    Comment by Eric Swanson — 9 Aug 2014 @ 1:49 PM

  69. Tom (#56),

    I don’t think the paper settles on an answer, but it is suggested that the increased partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the nest may play a role. http://alliance.la.asu.edu/dorn/Dorn_Ants_Geology2014_Online.pdf

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 9 Aug 2014 @ 2:00 PM

  70. Gavin, you say “Keeping track of the Arctic sea ice minimum is interesting but there should be plenty of other climate science topics to discuss (if people can get past the hype about the Ebola outbreak….” Really?? Hype about the Ebola Outbreak?? CDC has activated its Emergency Operations Center to its highest response level, the World Health Organization as formally declared the multi-nation Ebola outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and you dare to say “hype?” People are actually dying of Ebola, please show more respect.

    Comment by CRS, DrPH — 9 Aug 2014 @ 2:55 PM

  71. Chris #38
    That’s still an industrial process. Haven’t you heard of diluted urine? It’s the obvious natural fertiliser (but not when poured into the sea).

    Comment by Barbara — 9 Aug 2014 @ 4:18 PM

  72. #59
    “I read here on occasion, so have trouble keeping all of the posters straight, but one of the reasons that I scan this site is to monitor if/when climate scientists are going to shed their scientific reticence and start hollering “all hands on deck.”

    I guess the answer to that inquiry lies buried in the answer to another question, namely: whom are they going to holler at?

    If we talk about the US specifically, it is no secret that the ones that determine policy are not the ones we call the elected officials. Those who have vested interests in the CO2 producing industries do not only include the usual suspects but in effect include every consumer of the commons. Both groups, as a result of finely developed psychological compartmentalization techniques, look at short term effects of keeping those industries running as opposed to drastically turning the wheel, which is what the research tells us is needed. What we see instead, is a completely pathological approach to the matter where not only the scientists but just about everyone is finding themselves in a bind, save for some indigenous peoples and emerging, though scattered environment minded communities who are by no means on the same page themselves.

    So we have reality on the one hand and a deeply flawed recognition of that reality on the other. If you want to holler at the vested interest groups, you are preaching to the quire. These people are not idiots, they know perfectly well what is going on and what the implications are going to be like. If you want to holler at your fellow man, you will encounter a few problems:

    personally, I know of no one in my active social network that has even a rudimentary knowledge of how climate systems work. What little knowledge was passed on during the few moments in school it was discussed, has long been forgotten. Global warming is just a pesky term they read in the papers once or twice a year. AGW is criminally under-reported (read: avoided) at least in the main stream media where I live (Holland). The latest IPCC report, if my memory serves me correctly, got a small editorial on page 11 in one of the most read national papers.

    A second problem no doubt, is the religious mindset of so many people, most of whom don’t even practice their religion in a hardcore fashion. I’ve spoken to dozens of young, educated people (some were academics) from Turkey (where 99% of the people or something like it, though moderately, ascribe to Islam) who think that evolution is a fairy tale not founded in evidence and who think climate change, even if it were true, cannot possibly be a problem since there is divine oversight.

    Thirdly, the implications the research tells us should get serious consideration, is simply too big for most people to handle. I’ve asked several people if they would still consider to have kids if the most dire of predictions was a given. At no point did my hypothetical even sink in. Just see the responses of audiences where climate change is discussed. When the subject of possible human extinction (or the termination of civilization as we know it) is mentioned, people tend to chuckle. I doubt they would respond that way if their doctor just told them they may have a form of cancer for which there may not be an effective treatment.

    The science has been clear about the issue for many, many decades and the global response to it is not even lagging, given the dire implications, it’s practically non-existent. Like a lung cancer patient stating he’ll consider smoking a bit less, but only in a few years time, and then proceeds to order a ten year supply of cigarettes somewhere online.

    According to Chomsky, if anything can still sway the direction this is going, America needs to step forward as the world’s richest and most influential country and commit to drastic change if you want to mobilize the rest of the world in doing the same. As far as I’m aware, the US are taking an opposite route as they commit to a 100 year energy independence thus taking the piss out of any carbon budget discussion.

    Another problem is growing political instability in many parts of the world to which you can now add Eastern Europe as well where Russia is finally responding to the growing NATO influence in the surrounding region. You can’t have all that volatility and also expect to get everyone on the same page when entire continents seem to -in effect- deny there’s even a book to open up, let alone go to a specific page.

    The exact number for climate sensitivity, the precise tipping point thresholds or an accurate oyster reproduction response to acidification index.. it’s no doubt all very interesting to those in the fields. But all that research is meaningless if no one can use even the underlying basic knowledge of climate change and turn it into policy because of insuperable implication restraints and the absence of any hope of a global cooperative effort which the problem itself is only going to have a negative impact on.

    Disregarding everything else (the possibility of nuclear war, meteorites and Rush Limbaugh) I guess we were just unlucky that our oil, gas and coal reserves were/are as large as they were/are. If only we had long depleted them by now and have let Tesla die a rich man, we wouldn’t be having this discussion today.

    Comment by Gorgon Zola — 9 Aug 2014 @ 5:33 PM

  73. 95: Would something like this, from Dr. Jason Box, suffice?: http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=1329

    What’s the take home message, if you ask me? Because elevated atmospheric carbon from fossil fuel burning is the trigger mechanism poking the climate dragon. The trajectory we’re on is to awaken a runaway climate heating that will ravage global agricultural systems leading to mass famine, conflict. Sea level rise will be a small problem by comparison. We simply MUST lower atmospheric carbon emissions. This should start with limiting the burning of fossil fuels from conventional sources; chiefly coal, followed by tar sands [block the pipeline]; reduce fossil fuel use elsewhere for example in liquid transportation fuels; engage in a massive reforestation program to have side benefits of sustainable timber, reduced desertification, animal habitat, aquaculture; and redirect fossil fuel subsidies to renewable energy subsidies. This is an all hands on deck moment. We’re in the age of consequences.

    There are still questions, of course, but the cautionary principle makes clear we have to keep this dragon in the ground.

    Comment by Brucie Bruce — 9 Aug 2014 @ 5:52 PM

  74. Or, shorter Dr. Box: If We Release a Small Fraction of Arctic Carbon, ‘We’re F*cked': Climatologist

    Comment by Brucie Bruce — 9 Aug 2014 @ 5:55 PM

  75. Kevin,
    Enjoyed it. The meme seems to be a perverse analogue of the Frankenstein trope. Puny humans thinking small, so to speak:

    Puny humans who think they are on a par with god and nature will be punished
    Therefore
    Puny humans who think they can change climate deserve to be punished
    Instead of just
    Puny humans who dare to screw up the climate will be punished

    ——–

    “Puny Earthlings were shocked today to learn that a ball of garbage will destroy their pathetic city of New New York.”
    ~ Morbo

    “Morbo is pleased but sticky.”
    ~ Morbo

    Comment by Radge Havers — 9 Aug 2014 @ 8:06 PM

  76. I have just finished reading “Bottleneck” by William Catton, 2009. Catton says we have several reasons for a human population crash, not just GW. I don’t know if I can remember them all, but some of the others are overcrowding, fuel depletion, aquifer depletion, lack of empty land, other resource depletion, …..

    Catton says: terrorists suffer from “diminished significance.”

    Catton says our culture of seeing other people as walking wallets to be picked and tools to be used is a big part of the problem. City-fication.

    Catton may as well have said: “It is Hotel Rwanda until the population gets small enough.” How small is that? How few after GW?

    Catton calls us “Homo Colossus” because of the energy we use.

    Catton gives a date of “This century” for the population crash to happen.

    Catton’s mitigations are lowered birth rate and quit using energy.

    If it is Hotel Rwanda, do you have enough ammunition?

    Deer without wolves on an island: Catton says they didn’t starve. They got some other organic disease never before seen. ~99% died; and they started over.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Aug 2014 @ 1:24 AM

  77. #75–Thanks, Radge. Appreciate the feedback.

    And that’s a pretty good summary you made–and from an angle I didn’t really consider (ie., the substitution of divine or karmic wrath for natural consequences.) The psychology involved seems fascinating if creepy.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 10 Aug 2014 @ 7:02 AM

  78. CH@~66

    Smithsonian has an artsy graph based on the original book (note that AGW is not considered here):
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/looking-back-on-the-limits-of-growth-125269840/

    and an interview with Meadows:
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/is-it-too-late-for-sustainable-development-125411410/

    Meadows on collapse:
    “In the world model, if you don’t make big changes soon—back in the ’70s or ’80s—then in the period from 2020 to 2050, population, industry, food and the other variables reach their peaks and then start to fall. That’s what we call collapse.

    “Now, in real life, what would that mean? It is not clear. In a way, it is like being in San Francisco and knowing that there is going to be an earthquake and that it is going to cause buildings to fall down. Which buildings are going to fall down, and where are they going to fall? We just don’t have any way of understanding that. What we know is that energy, food and material consumption will certainly fall, and that is likely to be occasioned by all sorts of social problems that we really didn’t model in our analysis. If the physical parameters of the planet are declining, there is virtually no chance that freedom, democracy and a lot of the immaterial things we value will be going up.”

    Comment by Radge Havers — 10 Aug 2014 @ 9:09 AM

  79. Health Organization as formally declared the multi-nation Ebola outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and you dare to say “hype?” People are actually dying of Ebola, please show more respect.

    Comment by CRS, DrPH

    Your chances of dying from Ebola are slim to none. Death from the flu next year here in America will probably be in the hundreds of thousands. Ebola outbreaks tend to happen after severe drought or flooding as I understand it. Water borne illnesses associated with a warming climate are on the increase which is a concern for everyone. It all goes back to CO2.

    “Multi-Nation” in this context refers to the 4 African countries already affected and the potential spread to surrounding countries, I think. Somebody feel free to correct me.

    Thanks.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 10 Aug 2014 @ 12:42 PM

  80. Anomalous thrusting? I thought my take on the speed of dark would excite some attention, but no…

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 10 Aug 2014 @ 3:13 PM

  81. Barbara (#71),

    Crop rotation that includes legumes has been a traditional means of fixing nitrogen.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 10 Aug 2014 @ 6:34 PM

  82. SA #67:

    Good points. I am convinced.

    However: if the moderators want mitigation to be off the table, then they’ve got to follow through on that. That means summarily axing posts having to do with mitigation. That will solve the problem, easily and completely. Trollish behavior will vanish. No one will continue posting on that subject if ALL of such posts disappear into a black hole, never to be seen. The trick is for the moderators to be consistent and ruthless. If they allow one mitigation-related post, then that post will spawn others — as well it should; that’s what a forum for the exchange of ideas is supposed to do. There’s nothing wrong with setting out the allowable scope of the forum, however, and “no mitigation” is just fine as a restriction. Only, ensure that the restriction is enforced, uniformly.

    Failing that, the best alternative would seem to be something along the lines that I (and others) have suggested.

    Comment by alan2102 — 10 Aug 2014 @ 7:06 PM

  83. Tom Toles explains the holes in Siberia

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Aug 2014 @ 7:21 PM

  84. Edward Greisch:

    Wikipedia has a quote from Catton which includes

    … our lifestyles, mores, institutions, patterns of interaction, values, and expectations are shaped by a cultural heritage that was formed in a time when carrying capacity exceeded the human load. A cultural heritage can outlast the conditions that produced it. That carrying capacity surplus is gone now, eroded both by population increase and immense technological enlargement of per capita resource appetites and environmental impacts.

    Does he actually go onto say something useful like the Earth could easily carry a larger population if we changed our “cultural heritage”? i.e stopped screwing the world up by driving cars, flying planes, eating beef &etc?

    Although I would support an academic that’s on the right side, it irritates me that what seems perfectly obvious should have to be couched in wooly academic guff. But, I suppose, some “intellectuals” need “a source of conceptual insight and existential inspiration regarding the ecological basis of human societies”.

    Some of us see the bleedin’ obvious.

    Comment by Geoff Beacon — 11 Aug 2014 @ 3:35 AM

  85. Are the current Arctic Ice levels (minimum) a sign of anything other than natural variability? Also will having more ice this year have a positive/negative effect on the jet stream pattern?

    Thoughts? Ideas?

    Thanks

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 11 Aug 2014 @ 5:43 AM

  86. I would really want to know what you think about this.

    http://www.nature.com/news/mysterious-siberian-crater-attributed-to-methane-1.15649

    Comment by Anna Karisto — 11 Aug 2014 @ 7:58 AM

  87. alan2102@~82

    FWIW, the moderators seem to stuff the most boring verbiage into the Bore Hole and remind the commentariat (rightly I think) to put some effort into self-policing the gray areas. The approach is more patient and open than authoritarian and dogmatic. The moderators also no doubt have more important things to do than make a full time job of baby sitting commenters. So it gets messy. I’m just amazed and grateful that they let my trifling comments pass.

    Kevin,

    Well I think people tend to resort (appeal) to stock responses that are derived from folk wisdom. If there’s any validity to my take on puny humans, then the confusion is leveraged from the fact that warnings are coming from the scientists, who must always wear the mask of bad guys in this type of morality tale.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 11 Aug 2014 @ 8:39 AM

  88. So, chuck, we should only be concerned about things that are likely to be a direct threat to us in the near future? I guess we shouldn’t be worried about global warming at all then, right? ‘-)

    Really, though, case numbers of ebola are doubling every month, deaths doubling at nearly that rate. And if it is now loose in Lagos (over 21 million pop.), that is a very large pool of potential new cases. And each new case is someone who could get on a plane during the up to 21 days that they are asymptomatic and be anywhere in the world in a few days. Each new case is also another chance for the virus to mix DNA with other viruses and become even more easily transmissible. Many officials are saying that cases are under-reported, reported cases representing perhaps a little as 25% of the actual total.

    I have no idea why anyone would call “hype” an exponentially expanding lethal disease that has caused WHO to issue its highest level of alert, three countries to declare national emergencies, nations to shut down borders and restrict air traffic…

    It may have only tangential relations to GW, but its spread has certainly been linked to deforestation, which we will likely see more of as GW takes its toll, even if all more direct assaults on forests stop.

    Comment by wili — 11 Aug 2014 @ 8:48 AM

  89. #85–[See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/unforced-variations-aug-2014/comment-page-2/#comment-578380

    “Are the current Arctic Ice levels (minimum) a sign of anything other than natural variability?”

    You are confusing me a bit here; minimum is still at least a month out. It remains to be seen how this season plays out, though it’s unlikely this season will reach remarkable melt levels now. Indeed, it may be something of a ‘recovery’ year. (Volume this year already ‘recovered’ once, during the winter, before falling once again.) I think that the short answer is no–over the last couple of seasons, all we are seeing is variability.

    The long-term trend is, of course, another story–it’s highly significant statistically.

    The best source for anything sea-ice related is Neven’s Sea Ice Blog:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2014/08/asi-2014-update-7-late-momentum.html

    “Also will having more ice this year have a positive/negative effect on the jet stream pattern?”

    As far as I know, the general question of how sea ice affects the jet stream pattern is still open, let alone the much more difficult question of just how a particular level will affect it. It may be worth noting that last year’s extent was much higher than 2012 and we still had much jet stream weirdness (in fact, it’s still ongoing, isn’t it?)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Aug 2014 @ 9:30 AM

  90. [edit – rules apply to everyone]

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 11 Aug 2014 @ 9:40 AM

  91. > hype about the ebola outbreak

    That word’s used referring to the press coverage.
    The press hypes immediate short-term hazards that dramatically affect few people.
    The bigger and slower the problem, the more people at risk, the less excitement in the press.

    Microbiologist (and science fiction author and teacher) Joan Slonczewski describes the press coverage the same way:

    Michael Spector in the New Yorker…. his title “The Doomsday Strain” is overhype

    Respect for victims isn’t diminished by pointing out journalistic failings. Quite the contrary.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Aug 2014 @ 2:17 PM

  92. alan2102 wrote: “… if the moderators want mitigation to be off the table, then they’ve got to follow through on that. That means summarily axing posts having to do with mitigation. That will solve the problem, easily and completely.”

    I think the folks who run this site, who are among the world’s top climate scientists, probably have better things to do than moderate unruly and disrespectful blog commenters. Even full-time, professional bloggers have better things to do than that.

    FWIW, I would be happy to see the RealClimate comment pages abolished and replaced with a Q & A section.

    Rather than letting people post comments willy-nilly and engage in extended, frequently off-topic dialogues (or monologues as the case may be) that require active moderation, invite visitors to submit questions to the hosts, who could then select particularly interesting, timely or otherwise important questions and respond substantively to those in a way that is informative to the general readership of RC.

    Off-topic or “bore hole” type questions could just be ignored, and frequently asked questions directed to a FAQ page, or to previously given answers in the Q & A section.

    This happens occasionally in the comment pages when one of the moderators posts an in-line reply, and IMHO that’s the best thing about the RC comment pages.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 11 Aug 2014 @ 4:11 PM

  93. #76 Edward Greisch, RE: William Catton

    I’ve ordered a copy of Catton’s book, Overshoot, and I’ve just begun to read Craig Dilworth’s book Too Smart for Our Own Good.

    Dilworth’s first chapter begins things with a statement of the basics of energy and entropy, which ultimately govern the reality which faces humanity as population continues to grow unchecked and non-renewable resources are exhausted. There have been several other writers over decades which have addressed our ecological predicament and most conclude that there will be a collision between our selves and the rest of the Earth, leading to a sharp decline in total population. The concept of “sustainability” is at the middle of these discussions and it’s entirely possible that mankind’s population has already passed that which can be sustained without fossil fuels.

    Having become familiar with these concepts as an engineer over more than 40 years since the first Earth Day, beginning with study of the energy problem after the 1973 Arab OPED Oil Embargo, I must agree that we are headed for some serious turmoil, some of which may already be appearing in the nightly news. It appears that production of conventional oil peaked around 2005 and the more recent upsurge in production has been from unconventional sources like tar sands and fracked shale oil, much of which costs more to produce than previous sources. As the conventional sources are depleted, one might expect that the market price for oil will increase and the clamor for more oil will lead to more conflicts, such as we now see in Iraq and Libya. We may find solutions to the energy side of things, which would allow continued population growth, but climate change awaits and the ultimate problems are food and water, which will become ever more difficult to address as more hungry mouths appear to consume that which can be taken from the biosphere.

    I’m rather glad that I have no children to face this bleak future.

    Comment by Eric Swanson — 11 Aug 2014 @ 4:28 PM

  94. Re Eric Swanson #68, there are several craters now and here are a few science statements in those regards. Though, craters might be classified as an extreme form of thermokarsting? But in the crater cases, probably with some methane involved. Also notice this particular image https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermokarst (2008)

    In regards to the recent methane observations by SWERUS expedition, see this post (includes quotes from Gavin).

    Comment by prokaryotes — 11 Aug 2014 @ 5:54 PM

  95. Re Dave Erickson #26, since above link is broken, here is the link to the paper An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations (2012)

    Comment by prokaryotes — 11 Aug 2014 @ 6:01 PM

  96. From a few months ago at http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/07/3370481/california-drought/

    … scientists a decade ago not only predicted the loss of Arctic ice would dry out California, they also precisely predicted the specific, unprecedented change in the jet stream that has in fact caused the unprecedented nature of the California drought. Study co-author, Prof. Lisa Sloan, told me last week that, “I think the actual situation in the next few decades could be even more dire that our study suggested.”

    Back in 2004, Sloan, professor of Earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz, and her graduate student Jacob Sewall published “Disappearing Arctic sea ice reduces available water in the American west” (subs. req’d). They used powerful computers “to simulate the effects of reduced Arctic sea ice,” and “their most striking finding was a significant reduction in rain and snowfall in the American West.”

    “Where the sea ice is reduced, heat transfer from the ocean warms the atmosphere, resulting in a rising column of relatively warm air,” Sewall said. “The shift in storm tracks over North America was linked to the formation of these columns of warmer air over areas of reduced sea ice.” In January, Sewall wrote me that “both the pattern and even the magnitude of the anomaly looks very similar to what the models predicted in the 2005 study ,,,

    Looks like another conservative under-estimation of climate change effects, in hindsight.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Aug 2014 @ 10:43 PM

  97. SA & Radge Havers:

    “the folks who run this site…have better things to do than moderate unruly and disrespectful blog commenters.”

    Indeed. But this is a very low-volume forum, and I am under the impression that each message is approved/disapproved individually, anyway — after either reading or brief scanning. Correct? Is the volume of posts received vastly higher than the number actually posted? If I were moderator, I believe I could scan 20 messages (probably more than the actual daily total incoming) for inappropriateness/unruliness/relevance-to-mitigation in perhaps 5 minutes. In fact, I hereby volunteer for the task, if my services would be of help.

    Comment by alan2102 — 12 Aug 2014 @ 6:54 AM

  98. A submission for the bore hole then. I think the the rudeness SA suffered should be addressed somewhere.

    “I, for one, have been told repeatedly and explicitly that I am “paid by the Koch brothers” to lie, and have also been targeted with the contradictory accusation that I am a “windmill salesman” — simply because I have posted links to information about solar and wind energy that contradict those commenters’ assertions.” – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/unforced-variations-aug-2014/comment-page-2/#comment-579702

    Some of this rip may have resulted from my asking to have a discussion that included nuclear power regarding the IPCC WGIII report which had suggested that retaining some old nuclear plants could help with emissions. This seems to be incorrect if the falling cost of renewable energy paced with deployment. The rising expense of maintaining old nuclear plants created an opportunity cost in delaying more effective emissions reduction. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/04/mitigation-of-climate-change-part-3-of-the-new-ipcc-report/comment-page-1/#comment-506375

    While nuclear power was topical regarding that report, broaching it seemed to have broken the OT stricture elsewhere. The nuclear fanboi culture is particularly abrasive and devolves into ad hominem over silly questions about Adm. Rickover’s motives and if people hate President Carter sufficiently to be part of the fanboi club.

    That kind of vitriol got reintroduced.

    Mitigation is an interesting topic that has a subject line in the RC Index. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/index/#Mitigation The speed of mitigation is strongly tied to what kind of Representative Concentration Pathways get explored in the literature with RCP 2.6 really only getting modeled after the Hansen Targets paper http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_13/
    suggested that kind of path in the climate science literature. Mitigation could go even faster than that and there should be new modeling covering that so that avoided climate change costs can be better understood.
    Rapid mitigation methods certainly impact the climate modeling parameter space between RCP 2.6 and the instantaneous emissions cessation that is sometimes modeled. Impacts on carbon feedbacks particularly need a quantitative treatment.

    So, discussion of mitigation methods that can scale quickly should be part of the discussion here.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Aug 2014 @ 7:28 AM

  99. Kevin (#63),

    Nice writing. Wish you had found a place for ants in there especially after what T. H. White did with them. Where you end up, that humans make choices, might be taken a step more. The puny humans meme is then a force against freedom since it seeks to take our choices away from us by denying they exist.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 12 Aug 2014 @ 8:16 AM

  100. Hank @#91–good points.
    @#96–Thanks for the awesome link and quote. It helped me in a (fruitless, as usual–why do I bother?) battle with a troll/sockpuppet over at SkS.

    Comment by wili — 12 Aug 2014 @ 2:01 PM

  101. Geoff Beacon:

    Does he actually go onto say something useful like the Earth could easily carry a larger population if we changed our “cultural heritage”? i.e stopped screwing the world up by driving cars, flying planes, eating beef &etc?

    It’s been said. Saying it hasn’t made it so. Why not? Perhaps because Homo sapiens evolved by the same mechanisms as every other species on Earth, and there’s been no selection for the necessary behavioral changes. Human society is enacting an evolutionary play in an ecological theater, with tragedy residing in the remorseless working of things.

    Should such a counsel of despair be avoided? Maybe. “Let us hope it is not true; but if it is, let us hope it does not become generally known!” (attribution uncertain).

    Some of us see the bleedin’ obvious.

    Seeing it is all very well. What Is to Be Done? Give us your detailed plan, and convince us it will work.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 12 Aug 2014 @ 7:09 PM

  102. So, chuck, we should only be concerned about things that are likely to be a direct threat to us in the near future? I guess we shouldn’t be worried about global warming at all then, right? ‘-)

    It may have only tangential relations to GW, but its spread has certainly been linked to deforestation, which we will likely see more of as GW takes its toll, even if all more direct assaults on forests stop.

    Comment by wili — 11 Aug 2014

    wili, if you want to debate me I suggest you find another hobby. I’m here to learn, not quibble. You’re NOT going to die from Ebola and nobody you know is going to die from it. Yes it’s serious and yes it’s probably linked to Climate Change. Whatever I say is not a personal affront to you or anyone else. Find another target, like the problem at hand. That’s what this thread is about. At least that’s my understanding. Somebody feel free to correct me.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 12 Aug 2014 @ 8:49 PM

  103. Anyone want to take a shot at rebutting this article? Have fun…

    http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/8241/One-Engineers-Perspective-on-Global-Warming.aspx

    As a civil engineer, not an oil-field equipment engineer as the author of this piece is, I’m glad that he is not representative of my colleagues.

    Comment by Paul Engineer — 12 Aug 2014 @ 8:58 PM

  104. First light for OCO-2 seems to have worked. http://www.universetoday.com/113866/nasas-carbon-dioxide-greenhouse-gas-observatory-captures-first-light-at-head-of-international-a-train-of-earth-science-satellites/

    Congratulations!

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 13 Aug 2014 @ 8:02 AM

  105. Is this apt to be of any use to climate work? To energy balance measurements?

    I realize that putting together little bits of imagery isn’t simple, that’s always been the problem with using near-Earth satellites with limited fields of view rather than the whole-hemisphere view from farther away.

    From: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/technology/start-ups-aim-to-conquer-space-market.html

    Last week, Planet Labs announced that it would put about 100 satellites into space from the United States and Russia, bringing the total number of “Doves,” as the company calls them, to 131. That larger network, which Planet Labs hopes to complete within a year, is expected to create a daily photo mosaic of most of Earth.

    That mosaic could be valuable to private customers, like agricultural companies monitoring farmlands, or even to governments trying to figure out how to aid natural disaster victims. The company has so far booked contracts worth more than the $65 million in private equity it has raised

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Aug 2014 @ 6:08 PM

  106. NOAA confirms “Arthur was the first hurricane since August 2012 to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. and marked the earliest hurricane on record to make landfall in North Carolina.” http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2014/7

    Possibly the hurricane season is getting longer for the Mid-Atlantic.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 14 Aug 2014 @ 6:35 AM

  107. Jeesh
    RE: Mitigation, comment management, etc.

    It’s apparent from context that “mitigation” isn’t permanently off topic. It’s just timed out. If you can’t see why, then you too may be too wound up about it to engage fruitfully… for now. That’s my take on it.

    Also from context, I’m inferring that constantly refining the rules for the gray areas is onerous; as opposed to just letting people blow off some steam (up to a point). Management is an art not a science or an exercise in legality.

    Also if you think about it, constantly harping on “site management” can quickly become bore hole worthy. I suggest taking a deep breath and moving on.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 14 Aug 2014 @ 8:50 AM

  108. “One Engineer’s Perspective on Global Warming”… @ ~ 103

    Not for me to take it on, but coincidentally he seems to wrap it up in the last three paragraphs by appealing to the “puny human” meme.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 14 Aug 2014 @ 9:27 AM

  109. Hank (#105),

    These might be used to develop a carbon uptake model related to foliage that could inform use of OCO-2 data. The article points out that they lack infrared capability, but tracking seasons might be done just on the basis of optical color or reflectivity change.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 14 Aug 2014 @ 9:53 AM

  110. #105, Hank Roberts: Using Planet Lab’s micro satellites to measure energy balance might seem appealing, but these guys are working with photographic systems. While they do measure some of the energy, that in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, they aren’t likely to be calibrated well enough to be of much use in climate studies. Think back about the problems which Spencer and Christy had using just one type of instrument placed on a few satellites. The MSU instrument scans are self calibrated in that they view either a heated target with a high precision thermometer or deep space at roughly 3K and even that seemingly accurate method had problems. Dealing with a minimum of 31 satellites, each lasting only a few years, would appear to be much more difficult. The need for repeated launches over a long enough time period (20 years or longer) to establish a useful database would likely kill such an attempt. They might be useful to assess cloud area, but here too, long term data would seem necessary.

    Funny thing, the article claims that the first 31 were launched into “polar orbit” from the ISS, yet, they don’t have “propulsion systems”, so providing the delta V necessary for changing inclination would appear impossible. All these small satellites would soon become “space junk”, orbiting high enough to remain for many decades and their orbit would intersect that of the ISS…

    Comment by Eric Swanson — 14 Aug 2014 @ 12:08 PM

  111. “Three-hundred-fifty is a number most can agree upon: the amount of carbon dioxide in parts per million that’s safely acceptable in the atmosphere to prevent severe climate change.”

    http://portlandtribune.com/sl/229941-91927-activists-push-fossil-fuels-divestment

    Let’s call that opening paragraph a win.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 14 Aug 2014 @ 12:48 PM

  112. From the “It Was Bound To Happen” file: happened to notice just now that, as of May, UAH trends were positive from both 1998 and 2002. How do you like them cherries, Mr. Watts?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1998/plot/uah/from:1998/trend
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2002/plot/uah/from:2002/trend

    Not very important, perhaps, but next time some joker tries to tell you it hasn’t been warming since either of those two dates, you can gently advise him that he needs to keep up a bit better.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 14 Aug 2014 @ 1:19 PM

  113. Chuck, chill out, dude. Did you not see the smiley face? You won’t learn much if you react so violently to anyone gently questioning your assumptions.

    As it happens, though, Patrick Sawyer, the fellow who spread ebola to Nigeria, lives just up the road. Had he decided to cut his business trip short and come home early, and/or had he happened to have been on the longer end of the period during which people can remain asymptomatic (up to 21 days), he could indeed have spread it to any number of people here, to people I know, even to me. In Nigeria, a nurse who claims to have had minimal contact with him and a fellow who escorted him from the airport both contracted ebola from these rather casual contacts.

    But to steer the conversation back to potential interactions with gw, here’s a link to an article on the deforestation connection: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/08/how-deforestation-and-human-activity-could-be-to-blame-for-the-ebola-pandemic/

    The increase in Ebola outbreaks since 1994 is frequently associated with drastic changes in forest ecosystems in tropical Africa,” wrote researchers in a 2012 study in the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research. “Extensive deforestation and human activities in the depth of the forests may have promoted direct or indirect contact between humans and a natural reservoir of the virus.”

    Such a conclusion is particularly troublesome for West Africa, which has never before experienced an Ebola outbreak like this one, and is reported to have one of the world’s highest rates of regional deforestation. The Guinea Rainforest has been ravaged by deforestation and has shrunk to less than one-fifth of its original size. In Liberia, more than half of the forests have been sold off to logging companies, according to the Guardian. And Sierra Leone is “seriously threatened” by deforestation, according to Chatham House’s Illegal Logging Portal.

    Comment by wili — 14 Aug 2014 @ 1:35 PM

  114. Chomsky often refers to the corporate sector’s involvement in the provision of disinformation regarding climate change, saying (quote):

    “The corporate sector has announced, quite openly, that it is carrying out major propaganda campaigns to convince the public that climate change, if it’s happening at all, does not result from human activity”

    Can anyone provide me with links to documents or other sources showing these 113announcements have taken place?

    Thanks in advance.

    Comment by GORGIAS — 14 Aug 2014 @ 1:50 PM

  115. Gorgias @ 114

    Not seeing where he said that. Don’t know if you count quietly but openly supporting front groups.

    http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2014/01/dark-money-funds-us-climate-deniers/
    It seems that not all of the 118 denial organizations referenced have been consistently ‘dark’.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/a-climate-of-corporate-control-report.pdf
    UCS study

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2009/08/why-putting-climate-change-on-trial-is-a-terrible-idea/
    The Chamber of Commerce

    Comment by Radge Havers — 15 Aug 2014 @ 10:03 AM

  116. I think this letter is worth reading in full:

    In light of reporting in the July-August issue on Harvard’s position on fossil fuel divestment, we wrote Messrs. Paul J. Finnegan and James F. Rothenberg [members of the Harvard Corporation, and Treasurer and past Treasurer, respectively], expressing the perspective summarized below.

    Harvard currently holds substantial investments in fossil fuel. The past is no longer prologue for this asset class.

    The scientific community—including Harvard’s distinguished climate-related faculty—assert the world must hold global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees C above the preindustrial figure. Governments agree. And, yet, we have already gone half the distance to this ceiling, and are actually accelerating our rapid approach to it. We face an existential planetary threat.

    By investing in fossil fuel companies that cling to the outdated business model of measuring success by discovery of new reserves, Harvard is encouraging (and expecting to profit from) the search for more fossil fuel—which will become unburnable if we stabilize global temperatures at levels necessary to sustain life as we know it. When the lid is put on, and carbon emissions are severely limited—as they must be—Harvard will be left holding stranded and devalued assets that can never be burned. (Proven reserves are three to four times what’s needed to transition to renewables by 2050.)

    Across the country, hundreds of student organizations work to persuade their institutions’ endowments to divest. Sooner or later, as in the case of companies doing business in apartheid South Africa, divestment from fossil fuel companies will occur. Harvard should be among the first to do so. There are strong, independently sufficient arguments beyond the financial one of stranding to justify divestment. They include the moral (it is repugnant to profit from enterprises directly responsible for carbon emissions or to allow shareholder funds to be deployed in searching for more fossil fuel), the practical (a well-led institution should not wound itself by permitting endowment holdings to demoralize faculty and students, with adverse effects on quality of education, enrollment, and campus environment) and, in Harvard’s case, the unique opportunity (and corresponding duty) it has, as one of a handful of world leaders in education, to lead on this planetary issue.

    We support these other arguments for divestment. However, we wanted to bring the financial argument, in particular, to Harvard’s attention. Over the past three years, equities in the coal industry declined by over 60 percent while the S&P 500 rose by some 47 percent. Coal, we submit, is the “canary in the oil well.” Disinvestment now, before this opinion becomes commonplace, is just sound, risk-averse investment judgment, fitting well within the duties of a fiduciary.

    Bevis Longstreth, J.D. ’61
    Retired partner, Debevoise & Plimpton; former member, Securities and Exchange Commission

    Timothy E. Wirth ’61
    Former U.S. Senator, president of the United Nations Foundation, and Harvard Overseer

    http://harvardmagazine.com/2014/09/cambridge-02138

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 15 Aug 2014 @ 11:45 AM

  117. Thoroughly illustrated blog post, explaining the acronyms — good summary, I think:
    More Research Linking Global Warming To Bad Weather Events
    August 14, 2014

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Aug 2014 @ 12:55 PM

  118. #114–Gorgias, there may be something in this, though it’s getting a bit dated now:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Climate-Cover-Up-A-Review

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Aug 2014 @ 1:42 PM

  119. Paul Engineer: @103

    Re: “Anyone want to take a shot at rebutting this article? Have fun…”

    I have an acquaintance who is a petroleum geologist, who is fond of a quote by George Bernard Shaw:’Never mud wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.’

    It seems that the essence of Mr Simpson’s objections to anthropgenic climate change stem from his expertise in computer modeling…and his personal opinion that it can’t really be all that useful in studying something as complex as the climate. He states:

    “Computer modeling is a cornerstone of modern engineering so there have been many individuals with considerable expertise in computer modeling that have participated in this discussion on http://www.eng-tips.com. This topic is one of very few where everyone with real expertise in modeling agrees—computer models cannot prove anything. Ever.”

    Never mind that he kind of misses the point that climate models are not trying to ‘PROVE’ anything. However he does seem to be a self proclaimed expert in modeling fluid dynamics and concludes that such modeling can’t provide any useful insights if applied to the climate as a whole, let alone be used to make any predictions about future scenarios. He says:

    “Cell to cell math. The climate is strongly influenced by the movement, accumulation, and storage of fluids. This fluid activity is defined by the engineering field called “fluid mechanics.” Fluid mechanics relationships are so complex that the only way to solve problem is to assume a long list of simplifying assumptions (e.g., to develop the well-known Bernoulli equation, Daniel Bernoulli had to assume that there is no fluid friction, fluids were incompressible, there is no heat transfer into or out of the system, there was no rotation, and the fluid does no work).

    None of the standard simplifying assumptions applies to the atmosphere as a whole. Not a single one. This results in the models being forced to rely on empirical equations that try to give “good enough” answers in limited cases.”

    So in the event that should you decide it worthwhile or amusing to mud wrestle with a ‘HAM’, you might try and feed him the two links provided by Hank Roberts @96.

    Especially this one:
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/07/3370481/california-drought/

    because I’m pretty sure the models used probably had a little something to do with at least some aspects of fluid dynamics.

    “… scientists a decade ago not only predicted the loss of Arctic ice would dry out California, they also precisely predicted the specific, unprecedented change in the jet stream that has in fact caused the unprecedented nature of the California drought. Study co-author, Prof. Lisa Sloan, told me last week that, “I think the actual situation in the next few decades could be even more dire that our study suggested.”

    “That is either a highly accurate prediction or one heck of a coincidence.”

    “All this isn’t “proof” that human caused climate change helped shift and reduce precipitation in California during its record-setting drought. But a prediction this accurate can’t be ignored, either, especially because of its implications for the future.”

    What?! No proof?! Well, nothing to see here folks, move right along.

    Have fun!

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 15 Aug 2014 @ 6:15 PM

  120. Paul Engineer @103.
    I take a rather different view to Radge Havers @108. The author spoils his copybook right from the off, describing AGW as requiring “a positive feedback loop, but I have been unable to identify the mechanism that would break the cycle once started.” This can only be describing some sort of run-away greenhouse effect. So when he says “Many warmists would strongly question my ability to describe ACC objectively,” he should be asking himself “Why would they do that?”

    Comment by MARodger — 16 Aug 2014 @ 5:28 AM

  121. And in ‘impacts news':

    http://news.yahoo.com/solomons-town-first-pacific-relocate-due-climate-change-141612915.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 16 Aug 2014 @ 10:59 AM

  122. xkcd has a neat map of US east-coast hurricanes at http://xkcd.com/1407/
    Exercise for the interested reader: colour in the areas according to recency.

    Comment by MalcolmT — 17 Aug 2014 @ 5:38 AM

  123. Geoff Beacon at 84:
    “Does [Catton] actually go onto say something useful like the Earth could easily carry a larger population if we changed our “cultural heritage”? i.e stopped screwing the world up by driving cars, flying planes, eating beef &etc?”

    No, he doesn’t. Neomalthusians never do. It is inconsistent with their ideology.

    Mal Adapted at 101, in reply to Geoff:
    “It’s been said. Saying it hasn’t made it so.”

    Did you think that mere saying of it would make it so?

    Mal Adapted:
    “Why not? Perhaps because Homo sapiens evolved by the same mechanisms as every other species on Earth…” etc.

    Mal, humans have uniquely developed powers of intellection, rationality, future planning, and so forth; we also seem to have extraordinary imaginative capacity. This may be due to larger brains overall (or, more technically, higher encephalization quotients), to larger key structures such as the prefrontal cortex or temporal lobes, and/or to development of peculiar cerebral connectivity/wiring. But regardless of cause, the obvious facts remain: Beethoven’s string quartets, London, industrial agriculture, etc., etc. (a very long list). Ascribing to “evolutionary mechanisms” human’s failure — so far — to effectively address certain collective/global problems, as though humans do not differ substantially from voles or beetles, is laughable. I’m not saying that humans WILL use their dramatically greater mental powers to act rationally and effectively to avert disaster; that remains to be seen, and in some respects things look bad. But that we CAN do so is unquestionable. Catton cannot mention this because he is deeply committed — intellectually and probably emotionally as well — to an ideological agenda according to which catastrophic collapse and die-off is inevitable. Once one has made such a commitment, the sphere of allowable facts contracts; it determines what one can see.

    Comment by alan2102 — 18 Aug 2014 @ 5:51 AM

  124. Mal Adapted @101

    “Seeing it is all very well. What Is to Be Done? Give us your detailed plan, and convince us it will work.”

    Thanks for asking.

    I don’t really believe in detailed plans. In my field, software development, detailed plans have been a disaster but we do need some starting strategies.

    $1000 dollar a tonne carbon tax

    A good start would be a carbon tax. With a few friends I started the Pollution Tax Association in 1992 to pay carbon “taxes”, which we pay mostly to charity mostly to pay to charity. Our payment are unrealistically low. I would start at $100 a tonne and raise it $100 a year, expecting to get to over $1000 dollars a tonne before we get a reasonable chance of survival.

    From my piece onCarbon Taxes

    Revenues from carbon taxes could also be recycled into job creating measures, particularly at the bottom end of the labour market. This would create jobs and for the lowest paid, increase their wages using appropriate market signals.

    This piece also has a quote from James Hansen on his carbon fee-and-dividend

    Fee-and-dividend has a flat fee (per ton of CO2) collected from fossil fuel companies on domestic sales of all fossil fuels. Collection cost is trivial at the small number of collection points: the first sale at domestic mines and the port-of-entry for imported fossil fuels. All funds collected are distributed electronically (to bank account or debit card) monthly to legal residents of the country in equal per capita amounts.

    An important point is that most people receive more in Hansen’s monthly dividend than they pay in increased prices and given that the rich generally have more carbon intensive lifestyles than the poor, most households will gain at the expense of the wealthy.

    Both schemes would take from the rich and give to the poor because the rich create much more carbon pollution than the poor. The problem, of course, is that the poor are not as powerful as the rich so the rich can continue polluting the world and some of them (us?) will be able to buy our way out of the worst immediate consequences of climate change.

    More on Open letter to James Hansen

    Our activities that damage the clime
    I have other websites which try to identify the things we do that screw our climate. One is the Green Ration Book. Others can be accessed through the website It’s Simple. These are really work in progress – but progress is rather slow.

    A short list of damaging activies:
    Driving cars (Making and driving them)
    Eating beef, lamb and other ruminant meat
    Constructing high buildings
    Using glass bottles (even with recycling)

    Comment by Geoff Beacon — 18 Aug 2014 @ 6:38 AM

  125. I’m sure there must be some damaging emails between XKCD and NOAA that can be hacked and used as evidence to prove that the climate scientists at XKCD are manipulating the data…

    As a South Florida resident I distinctly remember Hurricane Wilma in 2005, which isn’t even on the XKCD map.
    Category 3 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
    Winds 1-minute sustained: 120 mph (195 km/h)
    Gusts: 130 mph (215 km/h)
    Fatalities 35 direct, 26 indirect
    Damage $20.6 billion (2005 USD)
    Areas affected Florida

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 18 Aug 2014 @ 6:57 AM

  126. Chris at #111 –
    “Three-hundred-fifty is a number most can agree upon: the amount of carbon dioxide in parts per million that’s safely acceptable in the atmosphere to prevent severe climate change.”

    If that paragraph is a ‘win’, then surely our goal would have to be of understating the climate predicament and thus of aiming for far below the requisite response?

    Consider: we still have about a decade to go before the warming off the 350ppm of CO2 in ~1987 is mostly realized. Yet we already have serious climate destabilization to the extent of extreme regional events imposing crop failures across wide areas. Thus far we’ve been fortunate in not seeing such failures occurring in two or more major food producing regions simultaneously, but given the evident ongoing intensification of climate destabilization, that tragic event appears to be only a matter of time.

    In addition, under the realized warming off around 335ppm in 1977, we already have the eight major positive feedbacks observed to be accelerating, some of which already present a substantial offset of our best prospect of emissions control. For instance, just the arctic sea-ice loss fraction of the overall Albedo Loss feedback is reported to have been providing an average forcing equal to 25% of that from anthro-CO2 during the 1979-2011 period. See http://eisenman.ucsd.edu/publications/Pistone-Eisenman-Ramanathan-2014.pdf

    Given that the feedbacks are interactive (mutually reinforcing) both after the delay of their SAT warming (due to oceanic thermal inertia) and also immediately due to very numerous direct coupling mechanisms between them, it seems very clear that even a 335ppm level of CO2, let alone a 350ppm level, would not be stable: planetary energy balance would continue to deteriorate.

    The prime reason why the paragraph is anything but a win in my view is that it maintains the prevaricators’ understatement of the predicament, and thus propagates highly deficient assumptions of the scale and scope of the commensurate response. The widespread plaudits (from pro-action sectors) for the EPA’s belated and derisory proposed regulation of US coal-power’s carbon efficiency in 2030 are a classic case in point.

    Regards,

    Lewis

    Comment by Lewis Cleverdon — 18 Aug 2014 @ 9:54 AM

  127. Lewis (#126),

    You misunderstand “inertia” when used as climate slang. That unrealized warming only applies if we stabilize at 400 ppm, today’s level. If we lower the concentration to 350 ppm we get the 1987 climate so we go back, not forward. Consideration of models where emissions are stopped instantaneously show that warming is what-you-see-is-what-you-get aside from places with bad associated aerosol pollution. The in-the-pipe-line warming associated with various stabilization targets above the present concentration is owing to the future emissions needed to reach and hold those stabilization targets, not past emissions. What inertia there is is in emissions behavior, not in climate response.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 18 Aug 2014 @ 12:16 PM

  128. Geoff @124

    “$1000 dollar a tonne carbon tax”

    Sounds great, let’s do Some simple math:

    According to government statistics In 2013, the US consumed about 134.51 billion gallons of gasoline (or 3.20 billion barrels) a daily average of about 368.51 million gallons (or 8.77 million barrels).

    A gallon of gasoline weighs roughly 6 lbs and produces about 20 lbs of CO2 when burned

    So 368 million gallons x 20 lbs = 7.36 trillion lbs of CO2 or roughly 3.3 million metric tons of CO2 every day x $1000.00 per ton CO2 tax comes out to about a 3.3 billion dollars a day.

    So to be fair, that is what would have to be charged for the God given right of driving all those SUVs and pick up trucks that are currently owned and driven by Mr. and Mrs. Joe six pack.

    Would you like to figure out what flying around in airplanes is going to cost in CO2 taxes to the public?

    How about the CO2 taxes on industry, oil prospecting, cement production, eletricity generation, etc… etc…

    And BTW, I don’t think $1000 dollar a tonne is quite enough at this point.

    Saudi saying: “My father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son flies a Leer Jet and his son will ride a camel”

    That’s because the Saudis at least understand peak oil. In any case we can be pretty sure that sooner or later the current paradigm is going to change, question is will we even have any camels left to ride? Because the way things are going in places like California we sure might need them… >;-)

    Comment by Fred Magyar — 18 Aug 2014 @ 12:43 PM

  129. For those keeping score at home, 2014 continues pretty toasty, with the July update of NCDC data yielding the 4th-warmest July on record (and the warmest SSTs.)

    “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for July 2014 was the fourth highest on record for July, at 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F).”

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/7

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Aug 2014 @ 2:02 PM

  130. Chris – at #127
    thanks for your response.

    I’m intrigued to see the popular US inversion of the scientific concepts of inertia and momentum here on RC. Under a British education ‘inertia’ refers to the energy required to get a given mass moving at a given velocity, while ‘momentum’ refers to the energy embodied in a given mass moving at a given velocity. With regard to the ongoing climate destabilization and its drivers’ delayed action effects, we are, loosely, discussing its momentum.

    Your interpretation of the timelag on warming contradicts what I’d read on the issue prior to ’92 when I went back to uni as a mature student, and what I was taught there, and what I’ve learned of the issue since then. Having no other indication of your expertise I’d suggest looking at the Sks account of the relevance of Ocean Thermal Inertia in the following link:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

    Quote:
    “The reason the planet takes several decades to respond to increased CO2 is the thermal inertia of the oceans. Consider a saucepan of water placed on a gas stove. Although the flame has a temperature measured in hundreds of degrees C, the water takes a few minutes to reach boiling point. This simple analogy explains climate lag. The mass of the oceans is around 500 times that of the atmosphere. The time that it takes to warm up is measured in decades. Because of the difficulty in quantifying the rate at which the warm upper layers of the ocean mix with the cooler deeper waters, there is significant variation in estimates of climate lag. A paper by James Hansen and others [iii] estimates the time required for 60% of global warming to take place in response to increased emissions to be in the range of 25 to 50 years. The mid-point of this is 37.5 which I have rounded to 40 years.”
    ____________________________

    The following references may also be informative:
    Science AAAS, ”Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications”, available (after free registration) at http://www.scienceonline.org/cgi/reprint/1110252v1.pdf, p.1

    iv NASA, “The Ocean Heat Trap”, available at http://www.ocean.com, p.3
    ____________________

    However, the point you address is actually moot as our best case of Emissions Control (of near zero by 2050) will take CO2 at least to 450ppm and even that will require a new global Carbon Recovery industry.

    Without the use of Albedo Restoration we thus face at least 0.6C of pipeline warming, plus that from our phase-out emissions, plus a substantial increment from the loss of the global Fossil Sulphate Parasol (due to Emissions Control), with their outcome being realized at some point in the 2080s, plus the combined effects of the eight major interactive feedbacks’ compound responses to continuing warming over the next 70 years.

    For this reason aiming to eventually regain only 350ppm rather than 280ppm (cutting airborne CO2 by only 100ppm not 170ppm) undermines the case for the earliest most rapid rates of change achievable, and thus leaves us at far greater risk of the onset of intensifying serial global crop failures alongside a ruinous level of ocean acidification.

    Regards,

    Lewis

    Comment by Lewis Cleverdon — 19 Aug 2014 @ 2:08 AM

  131. Chris – at #127
    thanks for your response.

    I’m intrigued to see the popular US inversion of the scientific concepts of inertia and momentum here on RC. Under a British education ‘inertia’ refers to the energy required to get a given mass moving at a given velocity, while ‘momentum’ refers to the energy embodied in a given mass moving at a given velocity. With regard to the ongoing climate destabilization and its drivers’ delayed action effects, we are, loosely, discussing its momentum.
    Your interpretation of the timelag on warming contradicts what I’d read on the issue prior to ‘92 when I went back to uni as a mature student, and what I was taught there, and what I’ve learned of the issue since then. Having no other indication of your expertise I’d suggest looking at the Sks account of the relevance of Ocean Thermal Inertia in the following link:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climate-Change-The-40-Year-Delay-Between-Cause-and-Effect.html

    Quote:
    “The reason the planet takes several decades to respond to increased CO2 is the thermal inertia of the oceans. Consider a saucepan of water placed on a gas stove. Although the flame has a temperature measured in hundreds of degrees C, the water takes a few minutes to reach boiling point. This simple analogy explains climate lag. The mass of the oceans is around 500 times that of the atmosphere. The time that it takes to warm up is measured in decades. Because of the difficulty in quantifying the rate at which the warm upper layers of the ocean mix with the cooler deeper waters, there is significant variation in estimates of climate lag. A paper by James Hansen and others [iii] estimates the time required for 60% of global warming to take place in response to increased emissions to be in the range of 25 to 50 years. The mid-point of this is 37.5 which I have rounded to 40 years.”

    ____________________________
    The following references may also be informative:

    Science AAAS, ”Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications”, available (after free registration) at http://www.scienceonline.org/cgi/reprint/1110252v1.pdf, p.1
    iv NASA, “The Ocean Heat Trap”, available at http://www.ocean.com, p.3
    ____________________

    However, the point you address is actually moot as our best case of Emissions Control (of near zero by 2050) will take CO2 at least to 450ppm and even that will likely require a new global Carbon Recovery industry.

    Without the use of Albedo Restoration we thus face at least 0.6C of pipeline warming, plus that from our phase-out emissions, plus a substantial increment from the loss of the global Fossil Sulphate Parasol (due to Emissions Control), with their outcome being realized at some point in the 2080s, plus the combined effects of the eight major interactive feedbacks’ compound responses to continuing warming over the next 70 years.

    For this reason aiming to eventually regain only 350ppm rather than 280ppm (cutting airborne CO2 by only 100ppm not 170ppm) undermines the case for the earliest most rapid rates of change achievable, and thus leaves us at far greater risk of the onset of intensifying serial global crop failures alongside a ruinous level of ocean acidification.

    Regards,

    Lewis

    Comment by Lewis Cleverdon — 19 Aug 2014 @ 2:14 AM

  132. “perhaps the most thorough survey of climate scientists ever” says Gavin via twitter.

    We investigated in very precise terms how climate scientists (broadly defined) look at various issues such as attribution and climate sensitivity. The vast majority concurs with the AR4 attribution statement, though our results also show how this statement is prone to misunderstanding. We look at e.g. the level of consensus and media coverage from a different angle than previous work did and with much greater specificity.

    The article is available via http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es501998e (open access).

    Or a quick rundown in this blogpost: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/survey-confirms-scientific-consensus-on-human-caused-global-warming/

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 19 Aug 2014 @ 3:08 AM

  133. Lewis (#131),

    It is not moot. You are making claims to motivate a target of 280 ppm which are false. That weakens the case for that target. The case for 280 ppm, is ethical: pack out your trash. The case for 350 ppm is that it might be safe. You don’t understand why it might be safe owing to the misconception I pointed out to you.

    This thought may set you on the way to getting clear on this: How does Hansen know how long it takes for the oceans to respond? He increases the forcing and holds it steady and waits. But, the emissions implications of holding the forcing steady is that they must continue throughout the waiting period. Ending emissions immediately starts to cut the forcing and the oceans won’t respond completely without the full forcing.

    There is, as yet, no safety justification for a 280 ppm target. Claiming otherwise muddies the waters and makes climate action more difficult. Hansen has pointed out that 350 ppm is probably safe but it may turn out that a lower target will be needed. At this point though it is very hard to imagine that that target would be below 300 ppm. At the time that Hansen worked out the safety of 350 ppm, he was somewhat sanguine about overshoot since it may not impact ice sheet collapse if brief enough. His subsequent work has indicated that there is already an attributable death rate for warming that has already occurred. This demonstrates that 390 ppm is not safe so the overshoot concept may need to be reconsidered. Hansen’s espousal of slow effort such as a slowly rising carbon fee suggest that he has not reconsidered the implications of overshoot fully.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 19 Aug 2014 @ 9:03 AM

  134. alan2102:

    Ascribing to “evolutionary mechanisms” human’s failure — so far — to effectively address certain collective/global problems, as though humans do not differ substantially from voles or beetles, is laughable.

    Yes, humans differ substantially from voles or beetles. Whether we differ enough has yet to be shown. More specifically: do our behavioral adaptations for living in small groups of genetically-related individuals enable us to make the required sacrifices on behalf of randomly-related conspecifics, to say nothing of other species, on a global scale? As a student of biological evolution from childhood to the doctoral level, I can’t laugh off our kinship with beetles (for one thing, any hypothetical deity must be inordinately fond of them), but I do retain some hope.

    I’m not saying that humans WILL use their dramatically greater mental powers to act rationally and effectively to avert disaster; that remains to be seen, and in some respects things look bad. But that we CAN do so is unquestionable.

    Do you not see the contradiction in those two sentences?

    Mal Adapted at 101, in reply to Geoff:
    “It’s been said. Saying it hasn’t made it so.”

    Did you think that mere saying of it would make it so?

    No, but it seemed to me that Geoff did. My challenge to him was mostly rhetorical, but he has responded creditably. I have said here and elsewhere that carbon taxes are the most economically efficient way to drive the global transition to carbon-free energy, and I support many of the specifics of Geoff’s plan. The obstacles are political, and in turn may be rooted in our evolution as social primates. I emphasize may be, and again I retain some hope. OTOH, I’ve forsworn fatherhood (thus my ‘nym), and increasingly it appears I made the right choice. The choice to consign your own genes to the unpromising future is, of course, yours.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 19 Aug 2014 @ 9:15 AM

  135. Just a quick comment about the 350ppm figure:

    Hansen’s argument was not that 350ppm is a ‘safe’ value in terms of the global climate associated with that value, but that a reduction from (say) 400ppm to 350ppm would constitute a sufficient negative forcing to cancel out the planet’s current radiative imbalance of ~0.6W/m² and thus stop the accumulation of heat in the climate system. In the unlikely event of us getting anywhere near achieving 350ppm, we would then have to decide how low the atmospheric CO2 level would need to go in order to restore something like a 20th Century climate, and that could well be below280ppm for a time.

    In reality, it’s all a bit academic. We’re pumping out CO2 faster than ever, and I don’t see any prospect of the world getting together to deliberately and precisely manage the climate by changing the composition of the atmosphere. It would require a monumental effort and an unrealistic degree of worldwide co-operation, public education and self-sacrifice. I would love to be proven wrong.

    Comment by Icarus62 — 19 Aug 2014 @ 10:23 AM

  136. Icarus62 at #139,
    thanks for clarifying the issue. I was at a loss to explain convincingly quite how a pan of water will not cool down simply because one stops raising the heat-source under it.

    With regard to the prospect of the predicament’s resolution, I guess we may agree that we’ve yet to see anything like really committed political leadership on the issue. On the contrary – we’ve thus far seen foot-dragging and outright obstructionism from a succession of US presidents on the international stage – which means in effect that the requisite global co-operation is stymied.

    That we are heading towards wholly untenable impacts seems beyond rational dispute, with the prime class being major regional crop failures co-inciding in two or more regions to give the onset of serial global crop failures and the geopolitical destabilization they would entail.

    If the major powers choose to pursue the present de facto “Brinkmanship of Inaction” as far as that, then some kind of settlement is then unavoidable to restore order, though the practical requirement would be of the emergency deployment of Geo-E (Tellers sulphate aerosols being the only option ready due to a lack of research) alongside some level of global emissions control.

    What interests me is quite why we’ve seen such obstructionism, because the conventional wisdom of blaming the fossil fuel lobby doesn’t get near explaining the scale of damage and loss that is being risked by very powerful entities with no inherent loyalty to fossil fuels.

    The link below is to a comment on a Guardian article which addresses the issue of a covert motivation for the inaction, which I hope you may find of interest.

    https://id.theguardian.com/profile/billhook

    Regards,

    Lewis

    Comment by Lewis Cleverdon — 19 Aug 2014 @ 11:09 PM

  137. Gerald Stanhill is back at it.
    JGR ATMOSPHERES
    Radiative forcing and temperature change at Potsdam between 1893 and 2012

    abstract
    Radiative forcing in both the short and long-wave lengths reaching the Earth’s surface accounted for more than 80% of the inter-annual variations in the mean yearly temperatures measured at Potsdam, Germany, during the last 120 years. Three quarters of the increase in the long-wave flux was due to changes in the water content of the lower atmosphere; the remainder was attributed to increases in CO2 and other anthropogenic, radiatively active gases. Over the period radiative forcing in the short-wave flux slightly exceeded that in the long wave, but its effect on air temperature was much less as the climate sensitivity to atmospheric radiation, 0.187°C per W m−2, was three times greater than to short-wave global radiation. This anomalous finding, similar to that previously reported at two coastal sites, awaits explanation as does the complex interaction existing between radiative forcing and advection in determining temperature change.

    Does the RC page “Global dimming and global warming” still apply? I can’t get to the paper from where I am to see if there have been any new tricks.

    Comment by Gene Goldring — 19 Aug 2014 @ 11:55 PM

  138. [moderators: if you want me to shut up and stop posting things along these lines, just let me know. I’m good with it. — alan]

    Mal Adapted, #134: “do our behavioral adaptations for living in small groups of genetically-related individuals enable us to make the required sacrifices on behalf of randomly-related conspecifics, to say nothing of other species, on a global scale?”

    Of course, I don’t know. No one does. I assume you are talking about the sacrifices necessary to effectively turn back or at least stabilize climate change. (And btw I don’t see the “sacrifices” as being that great; in fact it could easily work the opposite way, with the necessary changes causing improved quality of life. But that is a whole other discussion.)

    What I DO know is that the behavioral adaptations for living in small groups of genetically-related individuals enabled us to create a system working on behalf of randomly-related conspecifics on a global scale sufficient, for one example, to dramatically reduce poverty over the last 20 years. The UN Human Development report of 2013 describes recent “massive reductions” in poverty (amongst other mostly-good things), and the likelihood of those reductions continuing; see:

    http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/librarypage/hdr/human-development-report-2013/
    http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2013/03/14/-rise-of-south-transforming-global-power-balance-says-2013-human-development-report/

    That is a remarkable feat! I never would have predicted it. And that is just one thing; there is lots more, such as dramatic reductions in malnutrition and starvation, big drops in deaths from malaria and AIDS, and etc.

    Does any of that mean that humanity will mobilize effectively to stop climate change? No, of course it does not mean that. It just means that we’re capable of massive, breathtaking global change for the better — change that leaves all this nattering about “small groups of genetically-related individuals” and “randomly-related conspecifics” in the dust of irrelevance. It means that we’re capable of more than living in tribes and engaging in ethnocentric/parochial struggle against everyone else — as nihilistic malthusian doomers with evolutionary theory pretensions might have it. (That last remark describes some people of my acquaintance, not necessarily you; wear that shoe only if it fits).

    Mal: “Do you not see the contradiction in those two sentences?”

    No, I don’t. Please explain. One of my sentences spoke of what humans CAN do, potentially; the other spoke of what they WILL do, which is of course not yet known. I said that “in some respects things look bad”, which is true; and, in some respects things look good. Tom Atlee’s wonderful remark was: “Things are getting better and better, and worse and worse, faster and faster”. That about sums it up, doesn’t it? If you cannot see the “better and better” part, then I can’t help you, and further interaction here or anywhere would be futile.

    Comment by alan2102 — 20 Aug 2014 @ 8:43 AM

  139. (#135),

    Hansen used the word “dangerous” and “danger” in the paper several times. From the conclusion:

    “We suggest an initial objective of reducing atmospheric
    CO2 to 350 ppm, with the target to be adjusted as scientific
    understanding and empirical evidence of climate effects accumulate.
    Although a case already could be made that the
    eventual target probably needs to be lower, the 350 ppm target
    is sufficient to qualitatively change the discussion and
    drive fundamental changes in energy policy. Limited opportunities
    for reduction of non-CO2 human-caused forcings are
    important to pursue but do not alter the initial 350 ppm CO2
    target. This target must be pursued on a timescale of decades,
    as paleoclimate and ongoing changes, and the ocean
    response time, suggest that it would be foolhardy to allow
    CO2 to stay in the dangerous zone for centuries.”

    So, I think you are mistaken.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 20 Aug 2014 @ 1:02 PM

  140. “I was at a loss to explain convincingly quite how a pan of water will not cool down simply because one stops raising the heat-source under it.”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/unforced-variations-aug-2014/comment-page-3/#comment-582329

    Well, it depends upon a few things, doesn’t it?

    Since you are envisioning a scenario where the heat has been increasing, by definition your system is not at thermal equilibrium. In equilibrium, a quick and well coupled response might be expected.

    But for non-equilibrated scenarios, relative temps are important–if the water is (for instance) 50 C and you turn down the heat-source from 200 C to 100C, the water clearly will not stop warming; it will just warm less rapidly.

    Similarly for ‘raising the temperature’–a scenario fairly well approximated with any electric stove, since the element itself has thermal inertia. As the element reaches its thermal equilibrium (its maximum temperature for the control setting selected), it effectively ‘stops raising the temperature.’ Yet the water warms faster, because the hotter element radiates more heat to the pan.

    Sometimes the worst thing about these simple analogies is that we think we understand the everyday exemplar better than in fact we do–and yes, I resemble that remark. Strongly.

    In the case of the actual Earth system, the ‘element’ is the atmosphere, but its radiative forcing isn’t determined primarily by temperature. And of course the planet isn’t quite as simple as a pot of water.

    RC has had the oft-cited post on Mathews & Weaver (2010), which shows a flat or slightly declining temperature trend following closely upon total cessation of emissions:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/climate-change-commitments/

    However, Gillet et al (2010) shows that while global mean surface temperature would more or less flat-line, global precipitation would continue to increase, sea level would continue to rise, and ocean heat content would continue to rise–dramatically enough, in fact, that “We suggest that a warming of the intermediate-depth ocean around Antarctica at the scale simulated for the year 3000 could lead to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which would be associated with a rise in sea level of several metros.” (NB–they set the emissions cessation date at 2100.)

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n2/full/ngeo1047.html

    That makes sense, since the surface warmth would be more or less ‘clamped’, but ocean mixing would continue.

    So, Chris Dudley may well be right about GMST, but there’s more to thermal inertia (or climate commitment) than just GMST.

    Comment by kevin mckinney — 20 Aug 2014 @ 1:39 PM

  141. anyone know why the huge difference between NOAA and GISS for July?

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    Comment by john byatt — 20 Aug 2014 @ 5:43 PM

  142. alan2102:

    further interaction here or anywhere would be futile.

    On that much we agree.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 20 Aug 2014 @ 8:32 PM

  143. Kevin (#140),

    Nice link http://www.climatesoscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Gillettetal_NGeo_proof.pdf I’ve been looking for that kind of map to see if I could explain a little further. Turns out Arctic deamplifications is dominating over what I’d have said which would have been that if the oceans did not communicate so well with the land, the pattern you’d expect on cessation of emissions would be land cooling right away joined only later by the oceans as the reducing forcing met the delayed and cooler state of the oceans. Looks like that is not terribly apparent in fig. 3 where the poles are seeing action.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 20 Aug 2014 @ 11:44 PM

  144. Shameful but not surprising:

    http://www.canada.com/Federal+government+puts+polar+briefings/10128511/story.html?__federated=1

    The Harper government is all about ‘drill, baby, drill’–though they never use the phrase.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 20 Aug 2014 @ 11:48 PM

  145. Re 239 and 135:

    So.. for the last several years when I was pointing out the ice started melting around 315 and that we had to go sub-300… you could only hear it after stated by Hansen?

    Discuss.

    do I bees more brillianter den you finks I be? Oar, is you not listen lessen der bee a letra soup after a naming?

    Check historical sea ice. You know, the Canary in the Coal Mine? 1953. 30 yr lag = 315 as starting melt point.

    Capiche?

    Oh! And this is fun! Hansen, et al., seemto be right about ice melt doublings at 5 uear intervals, too. Oh, yay.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28852980

    My math is probably off, but wouldn’t 20 doublings in 100 years melt all the ice, everywhere?

    Think happy thoughts.

    Comment by Killian — 21 Aug 2014 @ 3:57 AM

  146. john byatt @141.
    The July 2014 GISS & NOAA-NCDC difference is 0.12ºC but such a difference isn’t so uncommon. A quick look at the data since 2000 and the average size of difference between the two is 0.045ºC with differences of 0.1ºC or more a 1-in-13 month event and 0.12ºC or more 1-in-28 months. The only odd event with these differences since 2000 was in July but in 2004 when GISS recorded a far lower anomaly in the middle of a mid-year temperature dip.

    Comment by MARodger — 21 Aug 2014 @ 6:44 AM

  147. #141–John, I don’t know specifically why there is a relatively large difference for the July NCDC and GISTEMP anomalies. But I was curious enough to download the last 20–well, 21, actually–values for July and do a quick and dirty Excel chart. It shows, I think, that the difference is a bit larger than usual (it’s not uncommon for the two to be the same, or nearly so), but by no means unprecedented:

    http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h402/brassdoc/NCDCvsGistempAnomalies94-14.png

    (Red is NCDC, blue is GISTEMP.)

    My suspicion would be that the spatial structure of the temperature field (especially in the Arctic) would be the main reason for differing values: GISTEMP is more aggressive in extrapolating to cover data gaps.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Aug 2014 @ 6:56 AM

  148. Killian (#145),

    The Hansen et al. Target paper was published 6 years ago. You have been wasting your time for the past several years if you have not yet read it. http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha00410c.html

    Ice melting is not the issue there. Ice sheets collapsing is. 350 ppm might be safe. Recent work suggests that WAIS is going to collapse no matter what target we adopt. If so, then 350 ppm may still partially rebuild it post collapse. The Target paper indicates that 450 ppm would not rebuild it.

    One aspect of Hansen’s slow-to-start-cutting scenario is that the infrastructure to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has to be used to get to 350 ppm whereas if we get China to start cutting now, we can get to 350 ppm without that stuff. It you want to go below 350 ppm, you’ll need those tools to get there. So, your target may benefit from the slow approach methods Hansen urges such a slowly rising carbon fee and waiting for not yet invented fossil fuel replacement technology.

    I prefer more active measures such as EPA regulation of carbon emissions and carbon tariffs placed on Chinese imports implemented now because it is now clear that climate change is dangerous to human life now. Experimenting with larger overshoot and hoping that fast neutron reactors will compensate for a shrinking uranium resource seems to me to be an unethical proposal when we have the regulatory and diplomatic tools available to cut emissions now.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 21 Aug 2014 @ 8:13 AM

  149. MARodger says:
    21 Aug 2014 at 6:44 AM
    thanks

    Comment by john byatt — 21 Aug 2014 @ 3:40 PM

  150. is this analysis valid?:
    Analysis Of 23 Top Quality US Surface Stations Shows Insignificant Warming…Only 0.16°C Rise – Per Century!
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/08/20/analysis-of-23-top-qualty-us-surface-stations-shows-insignificant-warming-only-0-16c-rise-per-century/

    supposedly he took only the class 1 stations in the united states and determined that taken together they only show .16C/century warming. that’s about 1/4 of the warming rate mentioned here:
    https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/faq/how-much-has-global-temperature-risen-last-100-years

    Comment by Walter Crain — 21 Aug 2014 @ 5:19 PM

  151. George Marshall’s new book “Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change” published by Bloomsbury US.
    http://climatedenial.org/2014/08/20/climate-change-the-slippery-problem/

    “DANIEL KAHNEMAN is not hopeful. “I am very sorry,” he told me, “but I am deeply pessimistic. I really see no path to success on climate “

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Aug 2014 @ 9:00 PM

  152. Keen students of the influence of Orwell on the Climate Wars may wish to atttend Anthony Watts latest master class.

    Comment by Russell — 21 Aug 2014 @ 10:12 PM

  153. A new paper promoting the Atlantic as the major recipient of recent global warming – Chen & Tung (2014) ‘Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration’ (abstract) – is getting prominent coverage within BBC World Service headlines this morning (On-line BBC coverage here). The worry with this level of coverage is Ka-Kit Tung has history of playing a rather strong game of “Where’s Amo” and doing so to promote his thesis that recent warming was 40% natural due to the AMO. (To compensate he sees a reduction in anthropogenic forcing assessments is required rather than a reduction in climate sensitivity.) The BBC on-line coverage suggests he is not far away from repeating this with this new paper.

    Comment by MARodger — 22 Aug 2014 @ 2:20 AM

  154. New journal from China, first issue:

    http://engineering.cae.cn/engi/EN/abstract/abstract10625.shtml
    DOI not provided

    Ka-Kit Tung,Rong Zhang,Kevin E Trenberth.
    Mechanisms for the hiatus in global warming[J]. Engineering, 2014, 1(1): 46-48.

    Ka-Kit Tung1(),Rong Zhang2,Kevin E Trenberth3
    1. Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
    2. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
    3. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307, USA

    Abstract

    The observed global mean temperature is the highest on record for the past decade but has plateaued to form an apparent “hiatus” in global temperature rise, with an almost zero short-term trend. Several speakers presented results on the hiatus and suggested possible mechanisms.

    Also in the same issue:
    Engineering 2014, Vol. 1 Issue (1) : 33-40 DOI: not provided
    Sybren S Drijfhout,Kevin E Trenberth,William G Large. (In)consistency of air/sea heat flux estimates, ocean heat uptake anomalies and top of atmosphere radiation budgets[J]. Engineering, 2014, 1(1): 33-40.

    Sybren S Drijfhout1(),Kevin E Trenberth2,William G Large2
    1. National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Hampshire SO17 1BJ, UK
    2. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado 80307, USA

    This paper introduces the consistency between top of atmosphere (TOA) imbalances and ocean heat uptake, and the inconsistency between ocean heat uptake estimates and flux climatologies, and then gives some recommendations and outlook.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Aug 2014 @ 7:56 AM

  155. #150–Almost certainly not. But I’ll leave the detailed debunking to those more adept in this topic than I.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Aug 2014 @ 9:14 AM

  156. Walter Crain @150.
    The US temperature analysis you link to is the work of a Ron Clutz who I see last month provided two sets of similar nonsense for the good Cap’n Watts on the planet Wattsupia. So far there is no sign of this third set of nonsense being posted there and it would be telling indeed if it were shunned even by Cap’n Watts, given the dire standard of work that Watts happily exhibits on his planet.
    Then again, this particular nonsense may be too painful a subject for the good Cap’n. You may recall the pathetic and failed attempt by Cap’n Watts and his scurvy crew to get his magnus opus Watts et al (2012 unpublished) published. Clutz travels the same path and the links Clutz provides to the data he uses leads straight to Watts’ surfacestations website plus the 0.16°C/century result he obtained using Watts’ Class 1 sites is pretty much the same as the 0.155°C/century Watts got for his Class 1 & 2 sites.
    So given all that, you may find this SkS page debunking Watts et al (2012 deceased) also informative of this serving of nonsense from Clutz.

    Comment by MARodger — 22 Aug 2014 @ 4:19 PM

  157. Walter at 150. A basic trick of the debate is to note that the US high quality surface stations are warming slowly (it used to be cooling), contrast this with the global warming rate which contains both the high quality and lower quality stations which have been ‘adjusted’ and imply that the global warming rate is due to the adjustments. However an analysis of unadjusted data for global stations shows about the same warming rate as after the data quality adjustments are made. The official warming rate after adjustments are made for the US is also much lower than that of the rest of the world, and presumably in line with the rate of 0.16/century that they claim although I haven’t looked into the details of this for over 5 years.

    Comment by Michael Hauber — 22 Aug 2014 @ 5:51 PM

  158. Earlier this week, prominent climate scientist Michael Raupach used the occasion of a speech to the Australian Academy of Science to make an impassioned call to fellow scientists, urging them not to sit on the sidelines of climate politics.

    Professor Raupach, who runs the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute, is a respected, experienced and inspirational scientist. I certainly appreciate his frustrations and concerns. I applaud his call for his colleagues get involved.

    But before doing so, they need to learn some crucial lessons about effective communication that go beyond just the frustrating reality that facts rarely win the day. If they don’t, their efforts will change precisely nothing.
    https://theconversation.com/speak-out-climate-experts-but-stop-making-tactical-mistakes-30732

    Comment by Shaun — 22 Aug 2014 @ 10:09 PM

  159. So what’s a climate scientist to do?

    Here are some tips. Have crystal-clear communication goals. Know what you want to do, how you will do it, and how to evaluate your efforts. If you don’t know what you’re trying to do, how can you know if you’ve done it?

    Own your political views. In the climate space, there’s no such thing as “not political”. Being a scientist does not inoculate you against the influence of your values, especially on contentious political topics. Why pretend otherwise?

    Be available. Your climate knowledge is invaluable, and many people need your input and your help. Make it as easy as you can for them to make the best possible use of what you know.

    Team up with different experts. Climate arguments and policy debates are by no means just about climate science. To be as effective as possible, you need to draw on the experience of experts in policy and politics, communication and media, and social sciences. You can’t do it all yourself, but the good news is that you don’t have to.

    Finally, keep being a scientist. And do this in two ways. First, keep doing the climate science (please). Second, approach your involvement in the political and communication space as you would approach your science. Look for evidence and ask questions, rather than making assertions about what works and what’s needed.

    Only an informed approach to the entire communication enterprise will stop us generating the same media white noise as those we need to disarm.
    https://theconversation.com/speak-out-climate-experts-but-stop-making-tactical-mistakes-30732

    Comment by Shaun — 22 Aug 2014 @ 10:15 PM

  160. Planning ahead:

    http://www.clu-in.org/products/newsltrs/tnandt/view_new.cfm?issue=0514.cfm

    EPA 542-N-14-001 | Issue No. 65 May 2014
    This Issue Contains: Featured Articles

    Site Operations and Remedy Design: Hurricane Irene Flooding and Adaptation at the American Cyanamid Site
    Remedy Performance: Remedy Resilience to Flooding at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal
    Remedy Design: Long-Term Protective Measures Against Storms and Flooding at Allen Harbor Landfill

    This issue of Technology News & Trends highlights how remedies for contaminated sites may be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and how measures may be taken to adapt remedies to the impacts. Potential impacts include extreme or sustained changes in temperatures, increased flood events or droughts, increased wind intensity, more frequent and intense wildfires, and sea level rise. The U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) Superfund program has developed an approach that raises awareness of the vulnerabilities and applies climate change science as a standard business practice in site cleanup projects. …

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 22 Aug 2014 @ 11:51 PM

  161. This sounds good but I assume there’s a catch somewhere.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/anga-sponsored/natural-gas-drop-carbon-emissions

    “On a per capita basis, U.S. carbon emissions are now at the level they were in 1961″

    Somehow I just don’t believe that but… I also noticed that the article says “Sponsored Message”.

    I think CO2 emissions are still on the rise last time I checked. Maybe someone can enlighten me on this. Thanks.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 23 Aug 2014 @ 3:21 AM

  162. With lots of conflict over the Keystone XL pipe line including the present administration engaging in misunderestemating http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/214805-study-keystone-emissions-four-times-feds-estimate which we had hoped we were done with, there seems to have been a fairly smooth approval process for a powerline that will bring wind and hyrdo power to NYC from Canada. http://westfaironline.com/65039/canada-to-nyc-power-line-receives-environmental-approval/

    Why is a transmission line approval handled by the Department of Energy while a pipeline denial is left up to the Secretary of State who may well muff it? Most likely it is because every President since Reagan has failed to appoint an administrator for the Economic Regulatory Administration within the DOE as required by law. It is that administration which should handle cross boarder pipelines. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/7136

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 23 Aug 2014 @ 7:15 AM

  163. For Walter Crain: you’re probably thinking of a picture like this one.
    Read about it in context.
    Don’t be fooled again.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 23 Aug 2014 @ 10:03 AM

  164. Chuck.

    It could be true but misleading. Emissions actually rose last year and are projected to rise this year. Per capita emissions take into account population size. I’m guessing that population was a lot lower in 1961, so it could be that emissions on a per capita basis are no higher now than in 1961, but that’s kind of irrelevant if emissions, overall continue increasing. They are down, overall, over the last decade or so, but that is based purely on emissions occurring within the borders of the US, and doesn’t take into account total global emissions due to US economic activity or to emissions from exported coal (and, possibly, other fuels).

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 24 Aug 2014 @ 4:50 AM

  165. Chuck Hughes @161.
    The stat is pretty-much true. Probably “since 1962″ would be a more advisable stat to use as 2013 & 2014 emissions are not collected yet and indications from the power sector suggest emissions will have risen, but only a bit.
    Of course you really must put this stat in context. Globally per capita emissions have rise 14% over the same period which means comparative to globally, the US per capita figure has dropped from 342% of the global average to 300% of the global average.
    My take on the relative national contributions to CO2 emissions is here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) (Per capita the actual worst offender isn’t shown. That is Luxembourg who have had a rather large steel industry for rather a long time.)

    Comment by MARodger — 24 Aug 2014 @ 5:38 AM

  166. On US emissions per capita: yes, the World Bank says the same thing, more or less:

    http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=en_atm_co2e_pc&idim=country:USA:RUS:CAN&hl=en&dl=en

    Tony is right. Here’s an EPA graph showing the absolute numbers for several GHGs (to 2012, so it doesn’t show the 2013 uptick):

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/ghg/us-ghg-emissions.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 24 Aug 2014 @ 6:59 AM

  167. More fuel for the fire. From Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ9-jYfpwfw

    Comment by wili — 24 Aug 2014 @ 3:33 PM

  168. Re #153
    Will RealClimate have a specific post on this?

    Science 22 August 2014:
    Vol. 345 no. 6199 pp. 897-903
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1254937

    Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration
    Xianyao Chen
    Ka-Kit Tung
    Deep-sea warming slows down global warming
    Re #153
    Will RealClimate have a specific post on this?

    Science 22 August 2014:
    Vol. 345 no. 6199 pp. 897-903
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1254937

    Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration
    Xianyao Chen
    Ka-Kit Tung
    Deep-sea warming slows down global warming

    Comment by AIC — 24 Aug 2014 @ 4:32 PM

  169. Amartya Sen tour de force:

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118969/environmentalists-obsess-about-global-warming-ignore-poor-countries

    ” To say that worrying about other species is none of our business is not ethical reasoning, but a refusal to engage in ethical reasoning.”

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 24 Aug 2014 @ 9:29 PM

  170. Does anyone know what has happened with Tamino? He has been silent for a longish time now.

    Comment by bjchip — 24 Aug 2014 @ 10:05 PM

  171. AIC @168.
    After hearing the Chen & Tung paper being mentioned on the news on Friday, I did a quick trawl on-line and found 2 graphics potentially from the paper here, and here. In lieu of a sight of the full paper, they may help the curious. In my view, they show timings of OHC rises that are somewhat different from that suggested by the available descriptions of the Chen&Tung thesis.

    Comment by MARodger — 25 Aug 2014 @ 4:29 AM

  172. Sidd (#169),

    It turns out that the research on storage that Amartya Sen is calling for has already been done and the result is that not much is needed. http://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/8272/Is-Storage-Necessary-for-Renewable-Energy.aspx

    I find this passage to exhibit a lack of rigorous thinking:

    “Robert Solow has extended this approach in a powerful way, integrating the sequential roles of different generations in terms of a comprehensive and easily understandable formula woven around the idea of living standards, whereby we want to make sure that future generations can enjoy living standards no lower than ours, and also allow them to ensure that their own successor generations have similar opportunities to live and provide for the future. There is a lot of wisdom in this understanding, but we must enrich it further by moving from the valuation of needs-fulfillment and human living standards to the valuing of human freedom—taking a broader view of our humanity, and not seeing ourselves just as “patients.””

    Solow’s formulation shows obvious concerns for avoiding impinging on the liberty of future generations to make ethical choices for themselves. I think there are other areas of confusion as well where the economist can not see wilderness preservation as part of species preservation or where a call for US leadership falls short of the coercive remedies we might apply such as carbon tariffs.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 25 Aug 2014 @ 7:08 AM

  173. hank @ #163

    i understand how the US could be cold and the globe warm, but over the course of a century? also, he was just comparing class 1 stations vs all stations in the US. the rate he found was less than 25% of the rate given here:
    https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/faq/how-much-has-global-temperature-risen-last-100-years

    i’m just wondering where the “trick” is.

    Comment by Walter Crain — 25 Aug 2014 @ 11:21 AM

  174. If someone does look further into Chen and Tung, I’m curious whether their work will appear here:
    http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/Argo_research_in_press.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 25 Aug 2014 @ 1:03 PM

  175. Wili, thanks for the link to Ozzie Zehner’s talk. It’s a couple of years old, I think but well worth a watch. I’m glad I held back on installing solar.

    Comment by Tony Weddle — 26 Aug 2014 @ 2:44 AM

  176. “The natural variability of climate could be playing a big role. The Pacific Ocean, in particular, oscillates in ways that can strongly influence the temperature of the atmosphere. The cycling between El Niño and La Niña conditions is one of those oscillations, and over the past decade or so, La Niña, which has a cooling influence on global climate, has predominated.”

    -New York Times

    The Natural Variability (NV) card has been played like a God of the Gaps argument by contrarians since the dawn of the discussion.

    Maybe I have missed something but it has always been my understanding that NV is somewhat synonymous with background noise and explains short term trend anomalies. But is there more to it? Can NV have a significant negative effect (if any) on the energy trapped by the greenhouse effect, be the cause of temporary less forcing or more outward radiation into space?

    Or does NV simply have an effect on temp measurements at a specific time or a specific period where the net forcing is still the same but energy (heat) is distributed anomalously?

    Comment by GORGIAS — 26 Aug 2014 @ 5:47 AM

  177. Paul (@ 103)

    I took a few shots, but then side-tracked to a very lengthy, 3 volley exchange with Lord Monckton (9/10ths down-thread, page 1). I have gotten the impression that he played a roll of some significance in overturning the tax regime enacted in Australia. (Mr. Larson?) He was the keynote speaker last month at the minimalist confab in Las Vegas, and is arguing the same point, which Dr. Lindzen offered as a graphic, in the January discussion session with Christy & Curry @ the APS.

    In so far as I know, no one has publicly critiqued that graphic, or argument. I think I did a credible job parrying Monckton’s assertion that science is incapable of assessing feedback and sensitivity, but both his and Lindzen’s feedback criticality argument I just don’t grasp, cannot restate, and cannot rebut.

    Comment by Dave Peters — 26 Aug 2014 @ 6:47 AM

  178. #173–Walter, I had a quick look at the article that’s up. One of the commenters makes the point that the variability and trend appear to make the latter statistically insignificant. I’m no statistics whiz, but the point appears valid: the analysis reports a standard deviation of .66, with maximum and minimum trends of 1.18 C/century and -1.93 C/century.

    Apparently, the 23 stations by themselves are not enough, and what the paper proves is that if you look at small enough data sets, you can reach conclusions that are effectively meaningless.

    Comment by kevin mckinney — 26 Aug 2014 @ 7:35 AM

  179. A technical question:

    Added heat in the atmosphere is presumably causing it to expand.

    But wouldn’t the increasing amount of reflected IR also cause a very minor expansion due to the momentum transfer of the reflected IR photons?
    (More photons bounced back downward would mean more upward momentum on CO2 and H2O molecules…)

    Can anyone here quantify that effect, even to within an order of magnitude? E.g., is the radiation pressure contributing closer to one-thousanth or one-billionth of the expansion caused by thermal expansion?

    Someone asked me and I didn’t have a simple answer except to surmise the effect is rather small.

    Thanks in advance…

    Comment by James McDonald — 26 Aug 2014 @ 9:27 AM

  180. A technical question:

    How much is the atmosphere expanded by the added direct radiation pressure from increased reelection of IR photons back towards the surface?

    How does that compare with the thermal expansion?

    I’m guessing the radiation effect is very small by comparison, but how small? One thousandth? One billionth?

    Thanks in advance…

    Comment by James McDonald — 26 Aug 2014 @ 9:31 AM

  181. > 23 stations by themselves

    Chuckle: ‘oogle this:

    when we publish, we’ll have a set of 80 “clean” U.S. stations (out of over 1200) that contain what I refer to as the “true signal”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Aug 2014 @ 9:54 AM

  182. thanks, all of you guys, for the comments on the ron clutz (poor guy) paper (starting @150).

    i guess the bottom line is that the analysis IS valid, but the uncertainty due to the small sample of stations makes the result meaningless?

    Comment by Walter Crain — 26 Aug 2014 @ 12:04 PM

  183. #170 – bjchip

    It’s my understanding that Tamino got a job offer he couldn’t refuse and moved from Maine to Southern California.

    I expect that between the move and the new job he’s much busier. It’s a shame, I was a regular reader too.

    Comment by David Miller — 26 Aug 2014 @ 12:16 PM

  184. The University of Sydney has become the first institution of its type in Australia to halt further investments in coal mining. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/sydney-university-creates-waves-with-investment-ban-on-coal-20140826-108ecj.html

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 26 Aug 2014 @ 12:52 PM

  185. Dave Peters @177.
    You talk of “a graphic” yet there were actually quite a few ‘graphics’ presented in Lindzen’s APS testimony (pdf of the whole APS event here). Was there a particular graphic or set of graphics you were referring to? I should say I don’t recall seeing any that don’t have a public debunking (apart from the silly ones).

    Comment by MARodger — 26 Aug 2014 @ 1:20 PM

  186. Trash burning worldwide significantly worsens air pollution
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826121056.htm

    Lots of PM 2.5.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 26 Aug 2014 @ 8:48 PM

  187. does anyone have an update for 2013 data and any title change info ?

    http://www.realclimate.org/images/model122.jpg

    tks in advance

    Comment by john byatt — 26 Aug 2014 @ 11:06 PM

  188. The global climate campaign 350.org and partners launched a new campaign today urging Pope Francis to divest the Vatican Bank from all investments in the fossil fuel industry and publicly support the growing movement to divest from fossil fuels.

    The petition to the head of the Catholic church reads: “Your acknowledgement of the dire threat of climate change, the Vatican’s efforts to become the first carbon-neutral state, and your dedication to caring for Creation give us great hope. We urge you to use the power of your office to set an example for the world.” http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=25437

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 27 Aug 2014 @ 7:44 AM

  189. MARogers @184

    The graph I was referring to accompanied Dr. Lindzen’s direct. Today, my computer refuses to retrieve the image. I am 90% confident that the item is his first exhibit, appearing at page 276, line 20 (in blue hypertext as “next page”). It was a schedule of feedbacks, an upward bending curve, and he was asserting that beyond some critical point, an ever so slight mis-assessment would careen away from reality. And, he was asserting that Manabe took the world off on this unnecessary terrifying rabbit run, beginning decades ago, by a comparatively slight, though insufficiently debated error, which ever since has wildly overestimated thermal feedback.

    By the way, thank you for asking (and also for your eternal vigilance). That graphic stopped me in my tracks. I am a generalist, and Lindzen’s caution has been a problem for me for decades. My take is, he has an extremely keen intellect, knows more about the atmosphere than I could hope to gain if given a new lifetime to devote to same, and his credentials speak for themselves. He brings more gravitas to minimalism in his little finger, than a compliment of his fellows, including a handful of the credentialed specimen. When I see his advocacy resembling that of a lawyer serving his brief, it is a great relief, because it gives me a basis for diminishing the credence I give his technical assertions, which frankly, are beyond my capacity to fairly weigh.

    http://google1.aps.org/search?q=cache:rxXfEC2DvHoJ:www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf+lindzen&site=default_collection&clien

    I contemplated posting a query here, back in March, but settled for waiting to see if someone else thought similarly, and whether this new (to me) take drew attention. But then, when it did not, fell back to a silly April Fool’s day comment instead. Now, as I say, Lord Monckton has incorporated this theme in his presence, and he is quite an effective advocate. If, as you gently imply, an extant counter to Lindzen’s APS testimony is at your fingertips, I would greatly appreciate your sharing it.

    Comment by Dave Peters — 27 Aug 2014 @ 12:09 PM

  190. Dave Peters @189.
    I think you’ll find Lindzen & Monckton are not arguing the same point although both do use a similar graph to present their points.

    Monckton is entirely away with the fairies. His argument is perhaps presented a little more sensibly here on planet Wattsupia (the graph is figure 3 and the case he makes is close by).
    Monckton says in that piece that the record of global climate over the last 800ky (Vostock ice core data) is the behaviour of“a stable circuit. The temperature-feedback loop gain cannot much have exceeded +0.1″ (That is ECS = 1.1ºC or less.) because “Process engineers designing electronic circuits intended not to oscillate adopt a maximum value γ = 0.1 for the loop gain (and usually an order of magnitude below this). Thus, in a stable circuit, everything to the right of the blue line is designed out.” Perhaps Monckton doesn’t understand the word “oscillate” because the recent ice-ages sure look like an oscillation to me. He does a few paragraphs later say the graph “may be the wrong equation altogether” and that there must be a necessary “damping term” but he then uses the graph with its potentially “wrong equation” to insist we must be “well shy” of the 1.0 asymptote and that due to this there is an implied low ECS.

    At the Heatland jolly (amongst all the videos here), Monckton was entirely off the rails with a garbled version saying:-

    “The variation from the 800k year mean in global temperatures is only 1% up or down in absolute terms. Three celsius, that’s all. That’s not the pattern of a strongly feedbacked driven system, is it.
    And so if you look at the feedback equasion here. You have loop gain going horizontally, you have climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 going vertially. You see that huge singualrity at a loop gain of one in the output of temperature change. And the fact is that singularity cannot exist in the real climate because once you go above 1 then feedbacks that have previously been driving up the temperature are suddenly going to drive it down. There is no mechanism physically in the climate by which it would do so. They are using, in my submission (any guidance you may like to give me afterwards this I’ll be grateful for): they are using the wrong equation. If they are, then we can establish in theory as well as by measurement thet the maximum climate sensitivity you are likely to get from a doubling of CO2 is just one celsius.
    So if anyone can clarify that point, we’d be grateful.”

    Myself, I would pay Monckton no heed. As the above amply demonstrates, he spouts gobshite from dawn to dusk.

    Lindzen’s version(s) I will consider later.

    Comment by MARodger — 28 Aug 2014 @ 7:57 AM

  191. > James McDonald
    > … added direct radiation pressure from increased reelection
    > of IR photons back towards the surface?

    I’m not a physicist, but I think that’s not what happens.
    Photons are not “reflected” (I assume that’s what you meant).
    So there’s no “solar sail” light pressure effect pushing the atmosphere away from the Earth due to the increased warmth of the surface.

    Photons are emitted randomly in all directions.
    The molecule absorbs and loses energy — and occasionally, if it doesn’t lose energy by collision first, some part of it wiggles in such a way that a photon gets emitted — in some random direction.

    The above is, at best, bad poetry not physics. The first link on the right sidebar — AIP — under the Science Links heading is a good place to start for clear English explanations of how the physics works

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Aug 2014 @ 10:39 AM

  192. Hank, thanks for the response, but my question stems from a simple view of the aggregate energy and momentum.

    In scenario A (no greenhouse gases), all of the IR photons escape directly to space.
    In scenario B (some greenhouse gases), some of the IR photons return to earth and are absorbed there.

    One of the differences between A and B is that the momentum of those returning IR photons has been reversed.
    There must then be a corresponding counter-movement by something else (presumably the atmosphere) to balance that.

    I agree that individual CO2 molecule absorb and emit in all directions, but we still need to account for the aggregate conservation of energy and momentum. In particular, the assumption is that the CO2 molecules, on average, absorb more photons coming from below but emit equally in all directions. That creates a net asymmetric upward push on the greenhouse gas molecules.

    Hence my question: how big is the net outward impetus to the atmosphere due to the change in IR momentum between scenarios A and B?

    I think I could calculate an approximate answer myself, but (a) I’m not that familiar with the details, and (b) simply don’t have the time to work out the answers to every question that occurs to me.

    Comment by James McDonald — 28 Aug 2014 @ 6:39 PM

  193. Nanodiamonds are forever: Did comet collision leave layer of nanodiamonds across Earth?
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140827163443.htm
    Clovis comet redux.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 28 Aug 2014 @ 9:29 PM

  194. > That creates a net asymmetric upward push

    You’re beyond me. Is that an assumption, an observed behavior, or a measurement?
    The radiation physicists will notice the question if it’s interesting, I imagine.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Aug 2014 @ 12:00 AM

  195. James (#180),

    In an opaque medium, radiation does contribute to pressure as you suggest. But where as gas pressure is proportional to temperature multiplied by density, radiation pressure is proportional to the forth power of the temperature. By considering that radiation pressure only contributes a lot to the interior pressure of very massive stars and only a little in the interior of the Sun, at our temperature it should be insignificant.

    It is interesting to note that in very massive stars, the temperature is so high that gamma rays of the same energy as the rest energy of electrons are part of the thermal spectrum. Because radiation pressure is dominant, creating pairs of electrons and positrons using these gamma rays can cause a sudden reduction in pressure (usually more particles means more pressure). That reduction is pressure is followed by a sudden gain in density and a nuclear fusion explosion that can completely disrupt the star in what is called a pair instability supernova.

    Your question leads to some very interesting physics.

    There is a web site to calculate it: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/starlog/staradpre.html For 300 Kelvin it is 2 time 10^(-11) atm.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 29 Aug 2014 @ 2:03 AM

  196. Dave Peters @189.
    Picking up on Lindzen’s use of the graph, you questioned @177 whether anyone had “publicly critiqued that graphic, or argument” which I read a little different to an “extant counter to Lindzen’s APS testimony” that you ask about @189. (I took it to be the-pair-of-them’s graphic but only Monckton’s argument.)
    My comment presented @185 was simply that there were no graphics that I recalled in need of a critique. Now that we both have the one graph in mind, Lindzen’s “Response as a function of Total Feedback Factor” graph, (it’s on p279 of his APS testimony) I would say the graph itself only has one feature requiring a critique. That is, for some reason it shows ECS=1.25ºC for zero feedback. I would assume this is down to a slip-up in X-axis labelling.
    I should say that the annotations are another thing entirely.

    However, looking at the bit of Lindzen’s APS testimony that uses that graph, as I said @190, this is a lot different to Monckton’s nonsense key-note comment at the Heartland jolly.

    There is however a possible connection with Monckton in that the graph did see light of day in a talk Lindzen did (PDF of slides) within the House of Commons in Feb 2012. (The talk was also videoed Part 1, Part 2 (not working just now) and the Q&A session.) And in this HoC talk, Lintzen came close to Monckton’s nonsense. Lindzen is using his graph (p53 of the PDF linked above) to say that high Feedback Factors above 0.5 (ECS = 2ºC or more) are unlikely because over the history of the Earth small changes in ECS would have occurred boosting it higher and this would have caused Feedback Facors of +1.0 and thus run-away climate change. This would prevent us being around to discuss it. As that hasn’t happened and we are here, ECS must be lower than that (whatever “that” is). (Note the graph annotations point to a different use for the graph.)
    Of course, such an argument manipulates the ECS formalism beyond all credibility. For instance, it relies on the ECS formalism for today’s climate continuing to apply for ever-increasing (/or decreasing) temperatures, something which surely doesn’t happen. Feedbacks from the likes of ice albedo rely on there being ice to melt (/or fresh ground that can be covered in ice) which would at least require a freezing temperature to cease (/or to start to occur) at various latitudes and in various seasons. Yet an ice-free Earth has happened, as has a slushball/snowball Earth, both bringing a limit to the action of an ice-albedo feedback. And most other feedbacks will be to some extent or other similarly temperature-dependent.
    So I would suggest that Lindzen’s talk at the HoC was making here a throw-away comment of, I would argue, zero merit. (Mind, some of his other comments in that talk were down-right scurrilous.)
    And the connection to Monckton’s Heartland nonsense is reinforced as this HoC talk was organised by none other than Monckton. And thus Lindzen’s talk could have been the genisis of Monckton’s nonsense as described @282.)

    At the APS, Lindzen is making a different point. He is addressing the question “what gives rise to the large uncertainties in sensitivity? “ (Given its annotations, this appears the true purpose of the graphic.) His comment is that the existance of water vapour as a large positive feedback mechanism increases the sensitivity of the climate “system” to further feedbacks. “The point is, it is the existence in the models of a basic positive feedback that leads to the uncertainty. “(My emphasis.) This, of course, is system talk not real-world talk and so it’s not actually answering the question which was a real-world question.
    It is also a poorly developed argument. If the climate is more or less sensitive to forcings, all that changes is the ratio Δtemp/Forcing. But what has changed in establishing ECS? Establishing Δtemp and Forcing with more accurately remains the nub of the problem. If Lindzen had stuck to expressing Forcing as W/M^2/ºC instead of Feedback Factor (an engineering concept) the confidence limits would plainly remain proportionately large whatever the ECS. Using an inverse-exponential scaling on your graphs won’t reduce real-world confidence limits.

    The full argument that Lindzen then leads on to at the APS takes no account of the science as a whole and presents solely the answers according to Lindzen. These ‘answers’ have already been given a good kicking at Skeptical Science and for some reason it is the earlier 2009 reference that is given the treatment in IPCC AR5 Section 10.8.2.5. That leaves the one unturned stone which is the latest paper Lindzen referred to Choi et al (2014) (Abstract) For some reason it hasn’t yet resulted in any commentary that I can find. But on the strength of past performances, don’t expect anything ground-breaking to crawl out from under it.

    And a final thought, you do say @189 ” That graphic stopped me in my tracks.” Is that still the case?

    Comment by MARodger — 29 Aug 2014 @ 5:42 AM

  197. #192 et rel., and especially #195–

    All this is perhaps a tad esoteric, but interesting for this Bear Of Very Little Physics And Math.

    Chris D’s response at #195 is helpful. But I still had some thoughts.

    “In scenario B (some greenhouse gases), some of the IR photons return to earth and are absorbed there.”

    But that’s not the end of the story, is it? Those IR photons absorbed raise the temperature, and hence increase radiative efficacy (a concept I understand much less well than I’d like.) That’s the Planck (negative) feedback. Some of the energy is diverted, to be sure: thermal energy subducted through mixing of ocean or lake waters, an even smaller proportion taken up via photosynthesis to create the biosphere (or most of it, anyway, remembering that there is chemophilic life.) But just a tiny proportion. Is that proportion relatable in a reasonable way to the radiative imbalance shown to exist? (I’d tend to think that if it were large enough to be so related, it would show up in modern energy budgets–but it doesn’t.)

    “In particular, the assumption is that the CO2 molecules, on average, absorb more photons coming from below but emit equally in all directions. That creates a net asymmetric upward push on the greenhouse gas molecules.”

    Seems like a very dubious assumption. First, how meaningful is ‘on average’? One of the big points to remember is that it’s not a slab atmosphere; altitude matters, a lot. GHG molecules near the surface will receive nearly the same radiation from above as from below. (Of course, one would want to quantify that–presumably the lapse rate compared with the optical thickness would be the biggest thing to look at.) But ‘near the surface’ is just where the biggest proportion of molecules is found. It would seem that that should limit (though not eliminate) the effect. Second, I think that the spectral details would probably end up mattering a lot, as would relative abundance of gases at various altitudes.

    “The chemical composition of the troposphere is essentially uniform, with the notable exception of water vapor. The source of water vapour is at the surface through the processes of evaporation and transpiration. Furthermore the temperature of the troposphere decreases with height, and saturation vapor pressure decreases strongly as temperature drops, so the amount of water vapor that can exist in the atmosphere decreases strongly with height. Thus the proportion of water vapour is normally greatest near the surface and decreases with height.”

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

    I really have no idea how the influences of those factors would play out. But I have to wonder, is James’s simplification defensible in that regard?

    Just some fun musings. As Hank says, if they are interesting to some, perhaps they’ll be picked up on. More likely, they will be blissfully ignored by all concerned, and no harm done. :-)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 29 Aug 2014 @ 11:02 AM

  198. From FractalPlanet blog:

    The cooling trend of the last ~6,000 years is actually kind of up for debate, as I recently learned: http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/08/models-challenge-temperature-reconstruction-of-last-12000-years/
    The idea that humans began changing the climate thousands of years ago is Bill Ruddiman’s. He (et al) just published a nice review of that: http://anr.sagepub.com/content/1/2/147.full.pdf+html (open access)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Aug 2014 @ 11:19 AM

  199. “In particular, the assumption is that the CO2 molecules, on average, absorb more photons coming from below but emit equally in all directions”

    Wait, what ? Atmospheric CO2 molecules, say at STP, are moving at a few hundred meter/sec, and vibrating (thats the infra red absorption), and spinning (microwave) have a buncha vib-rot bands, and no clue which way is up, down or any other direction. The will happily absorb and emit in any and all direction. But even without thinking about EM absorption/emission, we know the assumption is incorrect due to kinetic theory and detailed balance considerations.

    If it were correct, from a quick (and possibly inaccurate) calculation, net upward momentum imparted to a CO2 molecule would be around 1 ten thousandth the average translational momentum at STP times the asymmetry per absorption/emission event , which for any noticeable asymmetry would expel all CO2 to space in geologically doublequick time.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 29 Aug 2014 @ 3:40 PM

  200. Kevin (#197),

    Here is a simple version of the problem which is amusing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddington_luminosity

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 29 Aug 2014 @ 6:43 PM

  201. This series is in two parts. Bill Moyers interviews Dr. David Suzuki about the perils of Climate Change and the war on Climate Scientists. None of this sounds good to me.

    Part I:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA-fNEhOUgw

    Part II:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnSicq6Y1lY

    Part two is where Suzuki explains the general consensus amongst Climate Scientists and that most have said it is too late to do much. I know that we’re hoping for “the least worst outcome” and the sooner we act the better. I get that. I don’t like this notion that Climate Scientists are being muzzled. That makes my blood boil.

    David Suzuki hosted “The Nature of Things” for over 30 years and he’s taken on a variety of industries and stopped several corporations from destroying our natural resources but as he states, it’s a losing battle. I would like to hear an unvarnished opinion or two outlining the reality we’re currently faced with. I’m pretty sure I already have a good grasp of the situation but still….

    I would gladly volunteer my time and services if I knew what to do. Consequences be damned. If what David Suzuki is saying is correct I don’t see that speaking out makes much difference. I’d much rather go down fighting than throw up my hands. I welcome any straight forward opinions or corrections as to my take on what Dr. Suzuki is saying. Maybe some of you with experience can help me put this into context. Thanks.

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 29 Aug 2014 @ 11:56 PM

  202. Hank Roberts @198.
    Your link to that blog comment is here.
    The commenter at that link you quote is using the words “cooling trend” but this is as ambiguous as Ruddiman et al. using the words “early anthropogenic warming.”

    The work being discussed (Liu et al 2014) shows models and proxies in disagreement over the holocene. If the speculated summer bias as proposed proves correct, the proxy record with its “cooling trend” would need to be shifted downwards compared with the instrument record. That would make Shakun’s holocene hockey stick even more dramatic than it is at present. And the ice albedo feedback is well known not to work so well in the models. So its a brave man who puts all his faith in a model’s ability to show a deglaciation accurately.
    Given that, I think it’s safe to say that the “cooling trend” isn’t in itself in any way “kind of up for debate.”

    And Ruddiman’s theories are of course contorversial. This is not helped by (for instance in the paper linked @198) talking of “early anthropogenic warming.” Surely this is actually ‘anthropogenic non-cooling’ whose size results from (I would assume) large ice-albedo feedbacks not occurring due to a small early anthropogenic boosting of GHG levels. It is safe to call them small (although massive per capita if they are anthropogenic) as the additional “40 ppm for CO2 and at least 250 ppb for methane” argued as the drivers of pre-industrial anthorpgenic positive forcings do not come anywhere close to the post-industrial increases.

    Comment by MARodger — 30 Aug 2014 @ 6:43 AM

  203. Chuck,

    Speaking as somebody on the Internet, I can tell you it’s quite a pickle. Our society apparently has a whole lot of inertia built into it. In other words you’re looking at initiating timely punctuated equilibrium. Put that way, in terms of planetary evolution (including geologic time, the average thickness of the human head and whatnot) you have an indication of the scale and difficulty of the problem in my estimation. It’s doubtful that there’s any real clarity to be found. Anywhere. It’s damn near an Existentialist issue. So we do our best.

    If you want something unvarnished, try this: there is no happy ending. None.

    Maybe a life well lived if you’re fortunate.

    —-
    RECAPTCHA: eccentric tskabot

    Comment by Radge Havers — 30 Aug 2014 @ 9:28 AM

  204. Chuck Hughes said I would gladly volunteer my time and services if I knew what to do. Consequences be damned.

    As far as what to do, contact me. I’m happy to post e-mail here, if needed. I would post on it, but mitigation, which is what “what to do” means, is still banned on these fora, so far as I know.

    Comment by Killian — 30 Aug 2014 @ 2:21 PM

  205. @192: Congratulations, you have (not) discovered the force that prevents the atmosphere from collapsing into a molecularly-thin layer on the surface.

    For the details, let’s start with Trenberth et al’s canonical energy balance diagram [1], and assume that the atmosphere is in thermal equilibrium.

    That diagram shows the atmosphere receiving 356 W/m^2 from the surface via radiation, 17 W/m^2 via thermals, and 80 W/m^2 via latent heat. At the same time, the atmosphere receives 78 W/m^2 from absorption of incoming solar radiation. That totals 531 W/m^2. Since the atmosphere is in thermal equilibrium, it must somehow lose all that heat. It does so by emitting 333 W/m^2 to the surface and 199 W/m^2 to space, which totals 532 W/m^2. Accounting for rounding, the atmosphere is thus in energy balance.

    But what about radiation pressure? Isn’t there a net upward pressure? Yes indeed. It’s the pressure resulting from the emission difference of 356 W/m^2 (absorption from surface: pressure upward) – 78 W/m^2 (absorption from sun: pressure downward) – 199 W/m^2 (emission to space: pressure downward) + 333 W/m^2 (emission to surface: pressure upward) = 412 W/m^2.

    What is that pressure? Let’s start by converting the emission difference (412 W/m^2) into energy over the span of a second, thus obtaining 412 J/m^2. Now let’s assume that all of it is emitted and absorbed at CO2’s and H2O’s peak-ish emission wavelength of 14.5 um. Now a photon of that wavelength has a frequency f of 2.07*10^13 Hz, and thus an energy of hf of 1.37*10^-20 J (per Planck-Einstein). So each square meter of greenhouse gas (that is, the whole column of gas whose base has an area of 1 m^2) is subject to the net upward radiation pressure exerted by 3*10^22 photons/s.

    So again, what is the radiation pressure? Each photon has a momentum of h/λ, which is 4.6*10^-29 kg-m/s/photon, so the net momentum of all those photons is 1.4*10^-6 kg-m/s. Because those photons are emitted and absorbed over a second, the resulting net upward force is 1.4*10^-6 kg-m/s^2, and the pressure thus 1.4*10^-6 kg/m-s^2.

    But remember that the atmosphere is in thermal equilibrium, so that pressure is exerted against not just the greenhouse gases, but (via collisions between GHGs and everything else) against the whole column of atmosphere whose base has an area of 1 m^2.

    Not that it matters much, because the downward force due to gravity on that column of air is F=ma = ~10,000 kg * 9.8 m/s^2 = 98,000 kg-m/s^2.

    So, radiation pressure is not the force that prevents the atmosphere from collapsing, as it balances only 1 part in 7*10^10 of the force due to gravity.

    See “solar sail” for more on this sort of thing,

    [1] http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/aboutus/staff/kiehl/EarthsGlobalEnergyBudget.pdf

    Comment by Meow — 30 Aug 2014 @ 3:04 PM

  206. The only thing happening in my state is they’re building larger freeways. No sign of solar or electric taking over any time soon. More gas wells going up every day. Plenty of earthquakes. We’re losing our hardwoods to infestation and fungus along with the bat population. Not to mention non stop logging of century old Oak and Hickory. Oh, and frequent and dramatic flooding events alternated with periods of severe drought and excessive heat. In 2012 it hit 114 degrees in Little Rock. We lost a lot of hardwoods due to shock that year. I assume it was the heat. The trees just turned brown and never lost their leaves.

    Killian, if you’re on social media (fb) send me a friend request. I’m using my real name until forced to enroll in a witness protection program.lol

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 30 Aug 2014 @ 3:37 PM

  207. MARodger, I’m not defending the Liu paper; do you think Liu et al. disagree with the pattern described for previous glacial cycles, with a rapid warming then a long slow cooling? — is there something (other than human activity) about this cycle and Holocene conditions?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Aug 2014 @ 4:06 PM

  208. Chuck Hughes at #201–Thanks for the links. Well put. Me, too.

    Comment by wili — 30 Aug 2014 @ 5:37 PM

  209. http://danoneillcomics.blogspot.com/2014_08_01_archive.html#8816233734391781976

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Aug 2014 @ 6:52 PM

  210. Does this idea carry any weight? (I found it on a blog):

    “…currents go through a regular cycle of 30 yrs absorbing and then 30 yrs releasing heat. The impact of this theory is to cut C02 temperature sensitivity in half, since it comes in a spurt lag model averaged over 50+ years.

    Cutting CO2 sensitivity in half destroys the value of all the models used by the IPCC.”

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 30 Aug 2014 @ 8:30 PM

  211. Lynn- //”Does this idea carry any weight? (I found it on a blog):”//

    No, and I’ve taken the liberty of commenting on said blog…

    Comment by Chris Colose — 31 Aug 2014 @ 12:56 AM

  212. Hank Roberts @207.
    Your not signing up as a defender of Liu et al (2014) but I’d reckon they could do with a strong defence. To me, it didn’t read like a well founded paper so I don’t think it necessarily established anything at all.
    Symptoms of problems include its insistence that there is a mismatch between proxies and models w.r.t. global temperatures. They say “Numerous previous reconstructions have shown cooling trends in the Holocene, but most of these studies attribute the cooling trend to regional and/or seasonal climate changes,” but then skate over the word “most” as though it read ‘all’ which in my book is an error.
    And soon they describe the substance of their work. “This inconsistency between the reconstructed cooling and the inferred warming forced by GHGs and ice sheet poses the so-called Holocene temperature conundrum and will be the subject of this study.” Given the title of Liu et al 2014, is it not likely that this “conundrum” is their own invention? That should be made plain.
    And given that Liu et al (2014) is so much an analysis of Marcott et al (2013) (Oops. @202 I named the graph after Shakun.), Liu et al. does contain some worrying omissions. There is silence on Marcott et al’s comments made about seasonal bias. Not a squeak over their contradicting Marcott et al. on the findings from models.
    And that’s just for starters. Those with better grounding in this area may put me right (and this may be required given Liu has co-authored with the full set of Marcott et al. in the past), but the way I see Liu et al (2014), it has serious problems.

    As for their model capturing the spikey nature of previous interglacials (although beyond 420ky, some of the spikiness appears much reduced), I don’t think interglacials are entirely alike. For instance, the Eemian had a bigger orbital forcings than the Holocene. But the temperatures plotted in Liu et al. Figure 2 do seem to show a lazy response compared with the data in AR5 Fig 5.3.

    Comment by MARodger — 31 Aug 2014 @ 6:25 AM

  213. Hey Guys,

    It has been a long time since I’ve had a chance to keep up with the current events in climate. One thing I would like to get an update on is the arctic sea ice melting. My links are currently stuck in limbo from Opera’s link, so digging through and trying to recover all those and migrate them to Chrome.

    Would y’all mind linking me to the site that monitors this again? I remember a couple summer’s ago we saw extreme melting. And I was curious if we were seeing this again, or if we are back to “normal” decline. I got some free time coming way right now, so I’m trying to get back up to speed on one of my favorite sciences in which I am not a professional.

    Thanks again to the contributors to this site, both those that run it and those who make positive contributions in the comments. I just read the April guest post on WGIII and it was fantastic.

    Note: forgot the captcha so I hope this doesn’t double post, sorry, it’s been that long!

    Comment by Unsettled Scientist — 1 Sep 2014 @ 12:00 AM

  214. Chris (#195) and Meow (#205) —

    Thank you. Your responses were exactly what I was looking for.

    I knew the effect had to be very small, but I didn’t have an intuitive grasp for the order of magnitude.
    (I was uncertain to about an order of magnitude regarding the order of magnitude of the effect. :)
    That intuition is now much refined.

    If I read your posts correctly, the blackbody calulator predicts an upward force of about 2 * 10^-6 Pa from the surface, while meow’s more detailed analysis gives a value of 1.4 * 10^-6 Pa as seen by the atmosphere.

    Would it be correct to assume that the difference (0.6 * 10^-6 Pa) is carried away by photons escaping to space? (Or am I reading too much into the precise values provided?)

    Also, thanks for the connection to pair-instability supernova — I’d seen the term in passing but hadn’t given it much thought until your post. Two insights for the price of one question!

    Thanks again…

    Comment by James McDonald — 1 Sep 2014 @ 4:43 AM

  215. Kevin (#197) and sidd (#199) —

    Thanks for your responses, but I think Chris and Meow really nailed it.

    You both reacted dubiously to my assumption that the CO2 molecules would absorb more IR photons from below, so I should clarify:

    I was NOT assuming that the CO2 molecules have any sense of direction — in fact, I assumed that the probability of any single IR photon being absorbed was independent of its direction of approach.

    But the earth is radiating more IR photons out to space than are arriving from space to earth, so at every level there is a net excess of upward IR photons available to interact with the atmosphere. At all altitudes the IR spectrum appears brighter from below, just as the visible/UV spectrum appears brighter from above.

    (Regarding the “end of the story” about downward IR photons, I simply assumed that some signficant fraction of them would be absorbed to produce thermal excitations, as opposed to reflecting back up or being used for photosynthesis, etc., thus heating the earth and raising its temperature, which of course would then increase earth’s emitted blackbody radiation (Stephan/Boltzman fourth power law) until a new equilibrium was reached.)

    Comment by James McDonald — 1 Sep 2014 @ 5:19 AM

  216. James (#214),

    300 K was a round number so there is no significance in the different results. The online calculator assumes complete opacity which for Thomson scattering shading into combined Compton-inverse Compton scattering is a fair assumption. The Earth’s atmosphere is pretty transparent is some spectral windows so you’d correct for that in a more precise calculation.

    Comment by Chris Dudley — 1 Sep 2014 @ 8:10 AM

  217. Just an observation… this thread has become much more science oriented and a lot shorter. Only 216 posts to date. :)

    Comment by Chuck Hughes — 1 Sep 2014 @ 9:19 AM

  218. > Earth is radiating more IR photons out to space than are arriving from space to earth
    You can look that up: “mean free path” — but IR is not the radiation imbalance that affects us.
    Solar infrared is a small part of the total incoming energy that warms the planet.
    The Sun is brighter in the infrared than the Earth is, yet the upper atmosphere loses heat to space.

    > about downward IR photons, I simply assumed
    You can look that up. IR photons aren’t reflected, and aren’t used for photosynthesis.

    Logic didn’t work to figure this stuff out. Logic was tried for a very long time. As it turned out, serious computer calculation was required to understand the effects you’re trying to work out. Seriously, see Spencer Weart’s History: first link under “Science Links” in the right sidebar on every page.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Sep 2014 @ 9:44 AM

  219. #213, Unsettled Scientist–

    The link you are looking for is this:

    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/

    As to this year’s melt, it has again been a tad on the slow side, with the burning question at the moment being, will 2014 come in just above or just below 2013’s mark? The usual suspects are indulging in a bit of triumphalism over this, replete with references to Al Gore conflating conditional projection with absolute prediction.

    Yesterday’s extent, per IJIS, was5,218,262 km2, up a tad from the 30th, and leading on commenter to call minimum, almost certainly prematurely. (Last year’s minimum in IJIS data occurred on September 12, a fairly typical date OTTOMH, and clocked in at 4809288 km2.)

    Comment by kevin mckinney — 1 Sep 2014 @ 9:45 AM

  220. @214: I think the primary cause of the different results is the different assumptions about the temperature of the emitting surface. Chris explicitly chose 300K, whereas I implicitly chose the temperature of a differentially-thin layer of atmosphere where half of the photons are absorbed/emitted above and half below. That layer (whose height of ~2 km is often called the “effective emission altitude” or “average height of emission”; see http://scienceofdoom.com/2013/01/08/visualizing-atmospheric-radiation-part-three-average-height-of-emission/ ) has a temperature of ~275K. If you plug that into the radiation-pressure calculator, you get 1.44*10^-6 pa.

    BTW, http://www.scienceofdoom.com is a fantastic resource on atmospheric physics.

    Comment by Meow — 1 Sep 2014 @ 12:39 PM

  221. Rye (2014) doi:10.1038/ngeo2230

    “Rapid sea-level rise along the Antarctic margins in response to increased glacial discharge”

    “We estimate that an excess freshwater input of 430 ± 230 Gt yr−1 is required to explain the observed sea-level rise.”

    This, of course, is far in excess of mass waste from Antarctic grounded ice, but after adding in the contribution from thinning of floating ice shelves, agrees to within error bars. The paper underscores the fact that, in Antarctica, that floating ice shelves are losing mass much faster than grounded ice.

    There seems to be a comparable thermosteric contribution at depth.

    “Remarkably, the modelled anomalous SSH signal is comprised of comparable halosteric and thermosteric contributions, with the former being focussed in the upper ocean and the latter at depth. Thus, the model suggests that the directly forced halosteric sea-level rise around antarctica is amplified by a positive thermosteric feedback.”

    In this regard, they refer to one of my favorites,

    Purkey, S. G. & Johnson, G. C. Antarctic bottom water warming and freshening: Contributions to sea level rise, ocean freshwater budgets, and global heat gain. J. Clim. 26, 6105–6122 (2013)
    doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00834.1

    “Similarly, Southern Ocean deep and bottom waters have warmed significantly in the period of our study, inducing a thermosteric sea-level rise of ∼1 mm yr−1 (ref. 23) that is comparable to the signal discussed here.”

    There are caveats:

    “Although the spatial footprint of the deep thermosteric change extends well beyond the Antarctic subpolar seas23 , in poor agreement with our observed signal and model results, …”

    The ocean model is NEMO, with dynamic ice and reanalysis based (CLIVAR) atmospheric forcing. Nice paper.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 1 Sep 2014 @ 2:08 PM

  222. #219 kevin mckinney –

    Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to find, thank you very much! I was never really a fan of Al Gore’s movie, especially because the 2000 election makes an appearance. Seriously, what a distraction from the subject matter. But I always tell people to ignore names, forget the politicians, and don’t pick your favorite scientist and only listen to them. It’s one thing to have someone that inspires you. I know that I, along with many physicists, have something of scientist crush on Feynman, but I certainly don’t look to him for all my knowledge/perspective of the material.

    Comment by Unsettled Scientist — 1 Sep 2014 @ 5:08 PM

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