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  1. For use in my coauthored book on sea levell rise, I need some dramatic, professional-quality photos of storm surges.

    Any suggestions where I can buy them?

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 1 Sep 2011 @ 7:55 AM

  2. About climate cartoons and print…

    Here is a version im working on atm…
    http://246410.spreadshirt.de/men-s-t-shirt-by-american-apparel-A17227017

    Notice this is not the final version, a later version will be scalable and then can be used on cheaper products. hence less costs :) This is american apparel with front/back printings. And soon there will be a Tshirt designer tool which lets you design your own Tshirt (colors/products and my motives) Cheers

    Comment by prokaryotes — 1 Sep 2011 @ 9:19 AM

  3. Will La Niña resume? There is no sign of El Niño.
    ENSO wrap up

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 1 Sep 2011 @ 10:35 AM

  4. Hunt Janin – Boston.com has this page with lots of photographs of the storm surge caused by Ike.

    Comment by JCH — 1 Sep 2011 @ 10:44 AM

  5. Hunt Janin @ 1

    Don’t know if this is where you’re heading, there are a number of stock photography houses online. You may have to spend a good chunk of time sifting through dross to get the image that suits you. I pulled this site at random, for instance:
    http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/storm.html

    You might want to Google “best graphic design stock photo resources” (or some such) and pro artist sites to catch the buzz on reputations of various houses. Getty Images and Corbis are big names in the biz (or were back when I was paying attention to this sort of thing).

    One thing we used to do was drill down on — ask for guidance (pester) — people at agencies like the USGS or academic sites for images. It’s leg work, you may want to assign it to an assistant.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 1 Sep 2011 @ 11:01 AM

  6. Malamud, blogs, bunnies and the warming of Mauna Loa: it’s quite a tale.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 1 Sep 2011 @ 11:41 AM

  7. Hunt #1,

    Dunno about stock imagery in general, but I’m quite taken with this photo. It sums up both problem and cause with a hint of poetic justice.

    Comment by CM — 1 Sep 2011 @ 12:02 PM

  8. Can anyone point me to a paper describing the method of how radiometric satellite temperature measurements are converted to an atmospheric temperature profile? I’ve read a few internet sources, but none have given me a satisfactory answer…..

    Comment by Paul from VA — 1 Sep 2011 @ 1:17 PM

  9. Notes from the ‘real world’–Germany produced more than 20% of electricity from renewables for the first time:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,783314,00.html

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 1 Sep 2011 @ 5:03 PM

  10. August’s heat in Houston was a 1-in-10,000-year event

    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2011/09/august-in-houston-was-a-1-in-10000-year-event/

    Comment by Adam R. — 1 Sep 2011 @ 6:03 PM

  11. So called “Skeptics” like to quote the IPPC as saying that because of the chaotic nature of climate systems it is impossible to predict future “climate states.” What exactly does the IPPC mean by “climate state?” I suspect that it a technical term used by modelers but unfortunately it is not defined in the TAR.

    [Response: They mean the exact state of the climate at any point in the future. Because of the chaotic nature of the weather, there are irreducible uncertainties in whether, for instance, there will be an El Nino or a La Nina or some in between state in December 2050. That does not however imply that certain metrics are not predictable (within those bounds). For instance, the global mean temperature will predictably cool after an large volcanic eruption regardless of the state of ENSO, the seasonal cycle is predictable regardless of the state of the NAO etc. The TAR statement is correct, but (as is often the case), the 'skeptic' interpretation is a misleading distortion. - gavin]

    Comment by Sceptical Wombat — 1 Sep 2011 @ 9:43 PM

  12. Kevin McKinney @9 — Also note that Germany has shifted from being a net exporter of electricity to being a net importer:
    http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_No_nuclear_back_up_for_Germany_3108111.html
    [Although both your comment and mine are, strictly speaking, off-topic on Real Climate.]

    Comment by David B. Benson — 1 Sep 2011 @ 10:08 PM

  13. prokayotes @ 2

    Love the dinosaur!

    Comment by Radge Havers — 1 Sep 2011 @ 10:14 PM

  14. #1 Hunt Janin,

    I use to work for the USACE ERDC CHL (Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory) and I’ve seen many before and after aerial photographs, which, I believe, were taken mostly by the USGS.

    These are usually the most dramatic, as you can see overwash fans, many missing/destroyed coastal buildings, loss/retreat of the foreshore beach, etceteras.

    For ground level imagery, dune erosion and waves overtopping coastal structures immediately come to mind, and I know that CHL has done literally hundreds of coastal studies, again I can ask around about that type of imagery.

    I could ask the folks I still know at CHL about storms like Katrina and Rita (2005), Dolphin Island overwash, and if that doesn’t work, and if I have the time, I know I’ve seen these aerial images on the web, in data reports, or some such.

    I believe storm surge exceeded 10m on the Gulf coast, in places, during Katrina, so while sea level may rise by, let’s say, one meter in a 50-100 year timeframe, that is still an order of magnitude less than possible storm surges.

    But then again, if your typical barrier island has a mean elevation of, let’s say three meters, than a sea level rise of one meter, will have a rather dramatic effect given enough time for significant storm events to occur.

    Comment by EFS_Junior — 1 Sep 2011 @ 11:19 PM

  15. NPP satellite is moved to Vandenburg, for launch in late October.

    Happily they’re not launching on one of those pathetic little bottlerockets with the fairings that never seem to come off properly thus dooming two important and absurdly scarce climate investigation missions in back-back failures over the past few years. This one’s going up on a Delta 2, which has a 99% success rate as opposed to the stunning-in-the-wrong-way 66% of the Taurus.

    Here’s a question: if we insist on man-rated launch vehicles for crew as small as a single astronaut, why do satellites critical to the welfare of millions or even billions of people ride on recycled ICBM boosters? Sure, it may seem more expensive to do man-rated gear, but a few launch failures down the road and the big savings from putting a cheap gloss on old Peacekeeper missile designs begin to look rather paltry.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 1 Sep 2011 @ 11:24 PM

  16. Thank you Radge, btw is there any news, progress with the evidence on the extinction theories of the dinosaurs?
    Even if we have the high impact theory, would it be technically correct to connect dinosaurs and climate change? Because in such an event the climate would have been changed considerably…

    Climate Change Killed Dinosaurs, Scientist Says
    http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/28/climate-change-killed-dinosaurs-german-scientist-says/

    Comment by prokaryotes — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:12 AM

  17. So called “Skeptics” like to quote the IPPC as saying that because of the chaotic nature of climate systems it is impossible to predict future “climate states.” What exactly does the IPPC mean by “climate state?”

    [Response: They mean the exact state of the climate at any point in the future. Because of the chaotic nature of the weather, there are irreducible uncertainties in whether, for instance, there will be an El Nino or a La Nina or some in between state in December 2050. That does not however imply that certain metrics are not predictable (within those bounds). For instance, the global mean temperature will predictably cool after an large volcanic eruption regardless of the state of ENSO, the seasonal cycle is predictable regardless of the state of the NAO etc. The TAR statement is correct, but (as is often the case), the 'skeptic' interpretation is a misleading distortion. - gavin]

    Comment by Sceptical Wombat

    Put another way, they are setting up the Straw Man logical fallacy. The IPCC, nor any other serious climate scientist I know of, engages in making predictions. By claiming, falsely, that predictions have been made, they can then bash the “prediction” when it doesn’t come true.

    They like to ignore that probabilities and scenarios are not predictions. More accurately, they like to falsely characterize them as predictions when they are not.

    Comment by ccpo — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:55 AM

  18. This is probably available somewhere but I don’t know where to look.

    One often sees plots of average instrumental global temperature anomalies versus time with the ensemble average of climate models. However aren’t Tmax versus time and Tmin versus time interesting as well since (as I understand it) GHGs are supposed to effect Tmax and Tmin differently? Are the instrumental and model ensemble Tmax and Tmin comparisons available anywhere? Thanks.

    Comment by MikeCoombes — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:13 AM

  19. Gavin’s response at #11 — missing negation:
    > That does not however imply that certain metrics are predictable
    Should be: unpredictable

    [Response: Indeed. Thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by CM — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:38 AM

  20. Of the potential of the southern drought areas losing their topsoil to floods see f.e.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html

    http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/09/weekend-weather-catastrophes-and-the-three-body-problem/

    Comment by jyyh — 2 Sep 2011 @ 4:31 AM

  21. there’s also the pretty large conversion of ferns to angiosperms happening thereabouts so if a dinosaur wasn’t a seed-eater the impact would have been pretty damning, maybe birds survived for this?

    Comment by jyyh — 2 Sep 2011 @ 5:14 AM

  22. #1, #14–Well, if hurricane storm surge counts, picture #5 on this page captures–for me, at least–the surreal appearance of Pensacola Beach after a major hit. That famous white sand is deposited all over the roads, looking for all the world like snowdrift–strange indeed when you are standing there in 85 degree (F) temperatures.

    http://www.pbdisasterservices.com/resource_center/gallery/default.asp?pid=-1&page_size=-1&sort_filter=0

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Sep 2011 @ 7:56 AM

  23. Even Capital Climate is commenting on the media’s refusal to even speak the word.

    Although moderator Gwen Ifill and NPR correspondent and Texas native Wade Goodwyn correctly recognized this as the “worst drought in Texas history”, the word “climate” was not even uttered. (Neither was it mentioned in the 3 minutes of coverage on the flooding from Hurricane Irene.) With the governor of the state embarked on a vicious anti-science campaign, shouldn’t the question at least have been asked? Apparently the reporters have bought into the inane prayer meme:

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 8:18 AM

  24. I keep expecting to start seeing papers about now on whether we can expect further years of anomalous winter jet stream. Has anything been published this year that I’ve missed? Or is the lead time longer in climate science than the typical ~2 months in my own field?

    Comment by Kevin C — 2 Sep 2011 @ 9:18 AM

  25. Kevin C: I’ve been on the impression it would do it again but the strenghtening (if it does so) solar cycle would keep it more ordinary. (Internal variability has less room to do tricks (oh no, the word) when solar radiation is stronger). Expecting cooler winters (+.25C, though)again in 10 years. I’ve got no hard scientific papers to back this up though.

    Comment by jyyh — 2 Sep 2011 @ 9:52 AM

  26. jyyh @ 20 links to new storms in the Gulf. The storms ought to disperse this new oil leak for a while. Out of sight out of mind – what little mind society has anymore.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 10:18 AM

  27. The editor of Remote Sensing has resigned over the publication of the Spencer and Braswell paper:

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/pdf

    Seems a bit hasty to me.

    Comment by SteveF — 2 Sep 2011 @ 10:44 AM

  28. I think there’s a story on Spencer & Braswell’s paper that needs to be updated:
    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/
    “Taking Responsibility on Publishing the Controversial Paper “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” by Spencer and Braswell, Remote Sens. 2011, 3(8), 1603-1613″

    Wolfgang Wagner resigns. A bit too much in my opinion, it ‘punishes’ the wrong person.

    Comment by Marco — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:01 AM

  29. prokaryotes @ 16

    Ah. I was mostly responding to the cool graphic. I wondered about the implied analogy, which I buy, but don’t know enough to comment on it’s strength in relation to that particular species of brontosaurus(?).

    Some people tend to respond quite literally to these things, but it seems to me that the message could easily be taken as more generally cautionary, i.e., wise up or go the way of buggy whips, whalebone corsets… dinosaurs. One of those artistic judgments: You want to anticipate the responses as best you can, but you don’t want to end up in the weeds over it — in “paralysis by analysis” as they say.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:18 AM

  30. Further damning evidence of Airstrip One’s disastrously dysfunctional Freedom-of-Information regime, as discussed under this post. Collaborate with British universities at your peril. (h/t Louise @Stoat)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:31 AM

  31. Good lord. Seen the news about Spencer & Braswell?

    Paper withdrawn, editor-in-chief resigns.

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/

    Not sure who saw this first; I read it at Stoat.

    Comment by J — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:42 AM

  32. Here is evidence of another step forward:

    http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Biofuels_Make_a_Comeback_Despite_Tough_Economy_999.html

    If a 17% per year increase can be maintained, then the biofuel produced in 2050 will be appx 500 times as much as in 2010. Can it be maintained? In 2011 there have been better catalysts discovered and invented; fuel has been harvested from kelp, Far East seaweed and salt tolerant algae; and more work on breeding other salt-tolerant varieties; yields of biobutanol (a better fuel than ethanol) increased, and from more organisms and more feedstocks. With what has happened in 2011, I would be surprised if the growth of biofuel production averaged less than 25% per year over the next 10 years.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:42 AM

  33. With so much heavy stuff happening I hesitate to bother anyone with a very basic question, but

    What is climate?

    One hears that the climate of a locale is the thirty year average of the weather in that locale. Or the average and some additional statistical properties such as the standard deviation in yearly rainfall. This is not quite satisfactory when the climate keeps changing and the climate of thirty years ago is gone, indeed the climate of fifteen years ago is about gone. Our cool La Niña years are now as warm as the warm El Niño years used to be for example.

    What is the term for climate as a dynamic process, non-stationary time series, with increasing variability (is it?) or the like?

    ================
    “Climate system” or where does weather come from? What is the overall cause of all the weather and its variance? [climate system and climate are not the same] Is there any established meaning for the term “climate system?” If not, what term may be used instead?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:50 AM

  34. 17, ccpo: The IPCC, nor any other serious climate scientist I know of, engages in making predictions. By claiming, falsely, that predictions have been made, they can then bash the “prediction” when it doesn’t come true.

    Without predictions there can be no confirmations of the predictions either.

    23, Pete Dunkelberg:Although moderator Gwen Ifill and NPR correspondent and Texas native Wade Goodwyn correctly recognized this as the “worst drought in Texas history”, the word “climate” was not even uttered.

    According to ccpo, no climate scientist has made any predictions concerning the relationship of Texas drought to AGW, so the non-mention of climate would be quite reasonable.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:55 AM

  35. Here is another summary of steps taken in the forward direction, namely installation of PV power generation:

    http://www.solardaily.com/reports/US_PV_Installations_Forecast_to_Soar_166_Percent_in_2011_999.html

    Much of this growth is government mandated, subsidized, or both — which is to say, a result of citizen pressure and regulatory agencies. Not all of it,however, and for some places and some times, PV power has already passed a price “tipping point”, where it is the least expensive alternative: namely for peak power, mostly for A/C, in the sunniest states. Costs of production continue to decline, and will continue as the “concentrated PV” production lines are expanded and added to. Cost declines are due to cost reductions in all phases of making and installing PV panels.

    That item is about the US, but comparable progress is being made in China and other commercially powerful areas of the world, and in destitute areas of the world. The entire solar PV powered segment of the nationwide and worldwide energy industry will look much different in 2020 than in 2010.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:17 PM

  36. Here is an example what I mean by the climate of the recent past being gone.
    Arctic temperatures over the annual cycle are shown here for years 1958 through August 2011. Check the earliest and most recent five years. How much area is there between the red line and the green line, from above and then from below?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:23 PM

  37. Doug Bostrom wrote: “… why do satellites critical to the welfare of millions or even billions of people ride on recycled ICBM boosters …”

    Hey, a recycled ICBM booster was good enough for the first warp drive ship … or rather it will be good enough when Zefram Cochrane gets around to inventing warp drive in 50 years or so …

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:24 PM

  38. #26, 27, re: editor resigning over Spencer & Braswell,

    Spencer’s predictable damage control effort is of course that “the IPCC gatekeepers” have trampled scientific progress under their hobnailed boots. I guess nothing less than the Great Conspiracy will do to save face under the circumstances.

    Comment by CM — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:42 PM

  39. drop the meme: this exact event must have predicted, and now said to be caused in entirety by global warming, or the latter is not to be mentioned.

    There has been research for years on the expansion of the Hadley cells, increasing Palmer drought index, areas that tend to be hot and dry likely to become more so, ….

    one recent paper on my hard drive is

    Y. P. Zhou, Kuan‐Man Xu, Y. C. Sud, and A. K. Betts 2011.
    Recent trends of the tropical hydrological cycle inferred from Global Precipitation Climatology Project and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data

    and no, a precise drought in Texas in 2011 was not mentioned. The subject is global warming.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:46 PM

  40. Another step forward, and last good news item for the year, from me, unless there is a fusion breakthrough, which I doubt:

    http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Novel_alloy_could_produce_hydrogen_fuel_from_sunlight_999.html

    An improved catalyst for using sunlight to generate H2 from water. If successful, that is if the manufacturing produces the catalyst at a low enough cost and high enough volume, this could be a non-CO2 generating way to cheaply produce large, that is commercially important, amounts of H2. Other researchers have improved the storage of H2, which I’ll just post as an unsubstantiated claim for now. Like the other sectors of energy that I posted about, the H2-based sector of the national and international energy economies will look dramatically different in 2020, compared to now.

    To summarize: progress in producing alternative energy is admirable, and likely to continue, motivated mostly by a desire for cheaper, more reliable, more diverse energy supplies as the petroleum supply dwindles, but also by the desire to reduce all kinds of pollution from coal; by 2100 nearly all the energy of the industrialized world will come from renewable sources; by 2020 there will be much better information on how rapidly and how costly/cheaply the revolution can be achieved (and whether nuclear will play any role at all); the biggest uncertainty relevant to AGW is how rapidly that transition can be achieved.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 12:47 PM

  41. google scholar search [texas climate drought hadley] ;)

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=hadley+texas+climate+drought&as_sdt=0%2C10&as_ylo=2003&as_vis=0

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:07 PM

  42. Septic Matthew says:
    2 Sep 2011 at 11:55 AM

    According to ccpo, no climate scientist has made any predictions concerning the relationship of Texas drought to AGW, so the non-mention of climate would be quite reasonable.

    Unless we’re talking about the Texas State Climatologist, John Nielsen-Gammon:

    “It’s clear, though, that when Texas is in a drought, global warming will make it worse. Higher temperatures lead to more evaporation during a drought, more rapid drying of the soil, and perhaps a stronger feedback loop whereby the dry weather prevents thunderstorms and perpetuates the drought during the summer. At the same time, more evaporation and more population means greater water demand and larger reductions in streamflow and inflow to reservoirs. So global warming has already amplified the impacts of the current drought.”

    Is 100 the new 90? A question to ponder amid Texas’ record heat and drought

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:09 PM

  43. 39, Pete Dunkelberg: and no, a precise drought in Texas in 2011 was not mentioned. The subject is global warming.

    Then why was it remarkable that a discussion of the Texas drought omitted mention of climate?

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:14 PM

  44. Septic Matthew wrote: “… no climate scientist has made any predictions concerning the relationship of Texas drought to AGW …”

    That’s not true. Increased frequency and severity of droughts for the American southwest and southernmost Great Plains region, including Texas, has been one of the most robust predictions of climate change science.

    See for example the 2009 Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States report from the US Global Change Research Program.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:32 PM

  45. Septic Matthew wrote: “why was it remarkable that a discussion of the Texas drought omitted mention of climate”

    Because the Texas drought is a near-perfect example of exactly the sort of extreme weather event that climate science has been telling us for years will result from anthropogenic global warming.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:34 PM

  46. SM @ 43, (granted you probably hadn’t seen 42)
    1. drought is part of climate
    2. there is a climate change trend going on
    3. a greater than usual drought in Texas is in the direction of the trend

    conclusion:
    climate change is part of the story.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:41 PM

  47. Climate quiz

    1998 was an outlier in the direction of increasing global temperature
    2007 was an outlier in the direction of decreasing summer Arctic sea ice
    2011 is an outlier in the direction of Southwest NA dry heat

    How many years does it take an outlier in the direction of the trend to become the new normal?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 1:44 PM

  48. @ #33 re climate and climate system, here are some definitions from a WMO paper- Chapter one, page 3 describes ‘climate’ and ‘climate system’.

    The WMO document, The role of climatological normals in a changing climate could be of interest as well.

    Comment by Sou — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:13 PM

  49. Pete Dunkelberg @36 or 12:23 pm:
    “Arctic temperatures over the annual cycle are shown here for years 1958 through August 2011.”

    Can’t open the link, any chance of reposting it?

    jyyh@20 or 4:31 am, thanks for 3-body problem and Masters, helpful to this amateur.

    Lots of great chat re Remote Sensing – that is one climate hero!

    Fascinating about blaming the victim re Rahmstorf and Nazis. Typical. They can say anything and get away with it.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:19 PM

  50. We could always use whale oil … humor at:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/09/02/1012635/-Energy-Conservation

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:22 PM

  51. To add to your list of web sites:

    http://www.climateinteractive.org/wtainan energy

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:25 PM

  52. New topic: Tar Sands Action, day 14.

    Author Naomi Klein and Indigenous Leaders Join Keystone Tar Sands Pipeline Protest

    Protest Numbers Reach More Than 1,000

    Washington DC – On the day that President Obama refused to tighten air-quality rules, American Indian and Canadian Native leaders, author and activist Naomi Klein, actor Omar Metwally, and Maryland State Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Hyattsville) were arrested today in front of the White House protesting a proposed oil pipeline.

    In total, 166 people were arrested on Day 12 of the Keystone XL pipeline protest. The demonstration has now seen 1,009 people arrested.

    The protestors, many wearing their Obama ’08 buttons, are demanding that the President must live up to his campaign promises to fight climate change and get the country off of oil. The Keystone XL pipeline is a key test of his commitment before the 2012 election. If he chooses to permit the pipeline, he risks alienating a key voting block—youth and environmentalists.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:45 PM

  53. To add to your list of web sites:

    http://www.climateinteractive.org

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:57 PM

  54. 45, Secular Animist: Because the Texas drought is a near-perfect example of exactly the sort of extreme weather event that climate science has been telling us for years will result from anthropogenic global warming.

    You agree with me: actual predictions were made, so it makes sense to tote up the confirmations and disconfirmations.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:58 PM

  55. > editor of Remote Sensing resigns http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs3092002

    The resignation letter is ambiguous; “After having become aware of the situation … I would like to take the responsibility …. ” might even mean this editor didn’t see the paper until it had already been published. Anyone know more than what’s in print there able to speak up?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Sep 2011 @ 2:59 PM

  56. 44, Secular Animist: That’s not true.

    The quote that you disagree with was quoted from a post by ccpo.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 3:01 PM

  57. moderator: 40 Septic Matthew has started the renewables vs nuclear debate again. See:
    http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/08/26/risk-fans-fission/

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Sep 2011 @ 3:01 PM

  58. Sou @ 48, thanks for that!

    Susan Anderson, this Arctic temperatures link ought to work:
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 2 Sep 2011 @ 3:15 PM

  59. http://throbgoblins.blogspot.com/2011/08/all-gone-very-quiet-hasnt-it.html
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cp1v5J-Gbts/TjWQiugVNaI/AAAAAAAADLc/q-QJdfX2WZ0/s1600/clickSTRIP%2528web%2529.jpg

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Sep 2011 @ 3:23 PM

  60. 57, Edward Greisch: moderator: 40 Septic Matthew has started the renewables vs nuclear debate again. See:

    I disagree. There is a minor (parenthetical!) point in a post that is overwhelmingly supportive of renewables.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 2 Sep 2011 @ 3:44 PM

  61. #57–I don’t see how; he mentioned a fusion breakthrough as “unlikely” and stated that by 2020 we’d have a better idea of the role of nuclear power “if any.”

    I think advocacy has to be “read in.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 2 Sep 2011 @ 3:48 PM

  62. Hank Roberts #55. Particularly gratifying on a personal level, since I have recently had Spencer’s paper waved in my face as ‘proof’ against AGW. Richard Black covers it here. At the time my initial reaction was “Remote Sensing? Doesn’t sound like a climate journal.” In this day and age of ducking and shucking responsibility, Wolfgang Wagner is obviously made of sterner stuff.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 2 Sep 2011 @ 8:00 PM

  63. 60 Septic Matthew and 61 Kevin McKinney: Overwhelmingly supporting renewables IS restarting the dabate over renewables vs nuclear. STAY OFF OF ENERGY ENTIRELY or you have restarted the debate. We could have and should have shut down the coal industry half a century ago, if your type had left it alone. What would the CO2 level be now if we had not burned any coal after 1960?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 2 Sep 2011 @ 11:12 PM

  64. More on the disastrous ideological muddle of “information wants to be free”, this time by Wikileaks and the Guardian, and this time with human lives in the balance. Piltdown Mosher must be happy.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 3 Sep 2011 @ 3:14 AM

  65. Re: 31
    The Spencer and Braswell paper has not been withdrawn.

    Comment by Michael J — 3 Sep 2011 @ 3:15 AM

  66. Storm Lee could unleash torrential rains and floods in Gulf coast states

    Mississippi declared a state of emergency in seven counties on Friday as it prepares for tropical storm Lee. The storm has formed in the waters off Louisiana and is expected to unleash torrential rains along the Gulf coast over the Labor Day weekend. Some areas could receive up to 20 inches of rainfall.

    Louisiana has also declared a state of emergency, expecting flash flooding. In New Orleans, mayor Mitch Landrieu has taken similar measures for the city.

    Comment by J Bowers — 3 Sep 2011 @ 4:45 AM

  67. “Overwhelmingly supporting renewables IS restarting the dabate over renewables vs nuclear.”

    With all due respect, I must disagree. Simply noting a climate change-relevant news item on an open thread as a fact does NOT equal ‘overwhelmingly supporting.’ (Or even ‘supporting’ at all–do we assume that every time someone quotes a particularly dumb piece of denialist buffoonery that they are thereby ‘supporting’ it?)

    Ed, I really think you are mistaking your own sensitivities on this issue for the intent of others. But if I unwittingly contributed to that, then I regret doing so.

    Though I’ll admit that I do think that the item about Germany I linked is a small piece of good news, “I swear, I di’n't mean nuttin’ bad by it!”

    Can we move on now? This meta-debate is considerably more tedious than the original endless back and forth about renewables vs. nuclear was.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Sep 2011 @ 8:12 AM

  68. I’m unsatisfied with the speed of research through Universities, Grants, and careers. Permafrost will be melted by end of century; I can research faster but don’t know how to attain some grants or get others to take the ball…
    One problem with afforesting fuscum peat using silt over clay or rolled silt under silt, is that flooding silt might bury acrotelm. If looking towards drier areas; sub 600mm. Don’t know if it is a problem but a bathtub experiment might help. Cranberries are the only artificial perched aquifers I’ve found so far.
    http://info.ngwa.org/gwol/pdf/952964063.PDF
    This paper troubles me. The “klei” 1/2m soil layer doesn’t contain the water table. Is a 1m water table during dry periods, yet 700mm+/yr precipitation. 35% clay, 55% silt (3% organic)…shouldn’t the water table be closer to surface? Is it the remaining sand amount that is acting as macropores? Silt has a similiar hydraulic conductivity as catotelm (10^7-ish m/s), yet for that level of precipitation peat hold water closer to surface. Is the VWC of peat higher by nature? Peat moss needs 30cm or so to stay alive…Rolling soil in EU cost $60/ha, maybe cheaper than laying clay. Why not alternate clay and other similiar layers when making garbage dumps and nuke waste sites instead of homo clay?

    Comment by Macro Tel — 3 Sep 2011 @ 8:34 AM

  69. Pete D. #52 -

    Those activists followed none other than James Hansen himself, who was also arrested at the Tar Sands Pipeline protest, in his case on Day 10.

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/08/30/308183/nasas-james-hansen-arrested-at-tar-sands-pipeline-protest/

    Also, you pondered earlier “what is climate?” This isn’t the scientific definition you sought, but is handy in general discussions: “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.” (Credit to Prof T Weiskel of Harvard and Cambridge Climate Research Associates, http://www.climate-talks.net/2006-ENVRE130/CCTV-Programs/)

    Comment by Pete Helseth — 3 Sep 2011 @ 8:46 AM

  70. 63, Edward Greisch: STAY OFF OF ENERGY ENTIRELY … .

    Each of my posts awaited moderation before being approved by the moderators. Have a little respect for their judgment.

    Kevin McKinney, in fact I did more than list news items. I expressed opinions based on them: the energy industry will be a lot different by 2020; almost all industrial energy will be derived from renewable sources by 2100; we should persist in developing these renewable energy sources.

    I hate it when people tell me that, as a skeptic, I support DOING NOTHING. I support developing all energy sources possible to replace coal and petroleum and natural gas, in that order (with what might be termed “all deliberate speed”, or at least “deliberated” and “debated” speed); while collecting as much evidence as possible relevant to AGW. I don’t expect the scientific case for or against AGW to be clear before 2030.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 3 Sep 2011 @ 11:25 AM

  71. [edit - please leave out the criticisms of individual commenters, as opposed to comments]

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 3 Sep 2011 @ 11:32 AM

  72. Kevin McKinney:
    Can we move on now? This meta-debate is considerably more tedious…

    Begging the question, should continuing arguments about whether a given post was inciting a renewables versus nuclear festival of fratricidal slagging also be proscribed?

    Perhaps in addition to “The Borehole” there should be a “Verbal High Level Waste disposal facility.”

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Sep 2011 @ 11:33 AM

  73. “Begging the question, should continuing arguments about whether a given post was inciting a renewables versus nuclear festival of fratricidal slagging also be proscribed?”

    I don’t know about “proscribed,” but “eschewed” seems like a good idea!

    (Which is why I’m determinedly not responding/elaborating on #69.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Sep 2011 @ 12:15 PM

  74. Hunt #1,

    Dunno about stock imagery in general, but I’m quite taken with this photo. It sums up both problem and cause with a hint of poetic justice.

    Comment by CM — 1 Sep 2011 @ 12:02 PM
    ============
    Cool photo.
    Looks like an engineering problem, not likely to be solved by windmill construction.

    Comment by u.k.(us) — 3 Sep 2011 @ 6:29 PM

  75. Pete Dunkelberg @33 asks what is climate? The usual definition gives a moving average, hence lagging, indicator. I opine it still suffices.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 3 Sep 2011 @ 7:41 PM

  76. Re the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS):

    I know that climate scientists are not prone to engage in speculative thought but, that said, I’m still wondering what dramatic, unexpected events might possibly trigger a more rapid collapse of the WAIS than is now thought likely.

    Any heretical ideas?

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 4 Sep 2011 @ 3:31 AM

  77. David Benson, thanks for responding to # 33. But you acknowledge the problem I pointed to: the usual definition in our unusual circumstances is never right. A moving average becomes a lagging indicator when there is a directional trend. In particular a 15 year lagging indicator.

    But that is long enough for what was a shock fifteen years ago to have become the new normal (see Climate quiz @ 47). So the official “climate” is in human terms the climate of the past.

    What is climate in real time?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 4 Sep 2011 @ 6:20 AM

  78. Another way that the climate of the past does not tell us about the climate of today: there has been so much rain in the last couple of years that water is accumulating on land – so much that sea level is declining!

    In order to explain to real people what is really happening we a concept of climate that is not fifteen years out of date.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 4 Sep 2011 @ 7:35 AM

  79. > sea level is declining!

    Ah, but there’s a physics-based prediction quoted there:

    “Willis cautions that sea level drops such as this one cannot last, and over the long-run, the trend remains solidly up. Water flows downhill ….”

    Reminds me of a paper I ask about every year or two:

    Abrupt increase in seasonal extreme precipitation at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary
    Birger Schmitz, Victoriano Pujalte
    http://ic.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/eart120/readings/Schmitz_Puljate_07.pdf

    “…. during the early, most intense phase of CO2 rise, normal, semiarid coastal plains with few river channels of 10–200 m width were abruptly replaced by a vast conglomeratic braid plain, covering at least 500 km2 and most likely more than 2000 km2. This braid plain is interpreted as the proximal parts of a megafan. Carbonate nodules in the megafan deposits attest to seasonally dry periods and together with megafan development imply a dramatic increase in seasonal rain and an increased intra-annual humidity gradient. The megafan formed over a few thousand years to ~10 k.y. directly after the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Only repeated severe floods and rainstorms could have contributed the water energy required to transport the enormous amounts of large boulders and gravel of the megafan during this short time span. The findings represent evidence for considerable changes in regional hydrological cycles following greenhouse gas emissions….”

    Are we there yet?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 8:59 AM

  80. Does anyone know what significance to place on this:

    http://en.rian.ru/science/20110902/166364635.html

    “Russian, U.S. scientists set to study methane release in Arctic”

    “A group of Russian and U.S. scientists will leave the port of Vladivostok on Friday on board a Russian research ship to study methane emissions in the eastern part of the Arctic.

    “This expedition was organized on a short notice by the Russian Fund of Fundamental Research and the U.S. National Science Foundation following the discovery of a dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas from the seabed in the eastern part of the Arctic, said Professor Igor Semiletov, the head of the expedition.”

    Is it just me, or does ‘on short notice’ and ‘following the discover of a dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas from the seabed’ sound a bit…disquieting??

    The sst anomaly maps show that area as quite warm by historical standards. How long has it been ice free this year?

    Comment by wili — 4 Sep 2011 @ 1:36 PM

  81. 80 wili — “Is it just me, or does ‘on short notice’ and ‘following the discover of a dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas from the seabed’ sound a bit…disquieting??”

    Yup.

    Comment by J Bowers — 4 Sep 2011 @ 2:25 PM

  82. > methane
    hasn’t showed up here yet:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/webdata/iadv/ccgg/graphs/ccgg.ZEP.ch4.1.none.discrete.all.png

    But remember what’s detected — the amount measured in the air (or sometimes in the water).

    Just speculating, but the pattern over the past decade — an increase then a level for a handful of years then another increase — could mean that some organism that eats methane started to reproduce really quickly with the first increase in available methane, and continued to grow and consume methane as fast as it became available — until said hypothetical organism hit some other limit on what it needs and quit keeping up.

    If that happened it would delay our ability to detect the increase in the atmosphere — until whatever was consuming it started leaving more to detect.

    Anyone noticed an increase in smelly slime somewhere?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 2:31 PM

  83. Hm. Well, there are some known limits on methanogens; here’s a suggestion that they need nickel to be competitive:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7239/full/nature07858.html

    “Nickel is a key metal cofactor in several enzymes of methanogens7 and we propose that its decline would have stifled their activity in the ancient oceans and disrupted the supply of biogenic methane. A decline in biogenic methane production therefore could have occurred before increasing environmental oxygenation and not necessarily be related to it. The enzymatic reliance of methanogens on a diminishing supply of volcanic nickel links mantle evolution to the redox state of the atmosphere.”

    So methanogen populations collapsed (2.5 million years ago), allowing oxygen-breathers to take over.

    I wonder how much nickel we’re washing into the oceans compared to natural background erosion. Perhaps their time will come again?

    Pure speculation on my part.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 2:40 PM

  84. (aside — I’d look for changes in populations of methane eaters, and what else might limit their growth) — like this beast:

    “Globally, acidic environments such as marshes and peat bogs generate significant quantities of methane. Scientists have always suspected that a proportion of this methane was being consumed by bacteria living in these environments.

    “Our discovery has demonstrated that methane-consuming organisms do live in highly acidic environments. Without them, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere would be much greater….”
    http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20072311-16633-4.html

    and for changes in populations of methane-producing organisms as well, which might vary along with them.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 2:45 PM

  85. Pete Dunkelberg @77&78 — Your are asking for that which doesn’t exist or even make sense. Just use the WMO definition of climate and then point to recent anomolies. Works for those willing to actually look at the evidence.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 4 Sep 2011 @ 3:40 PM

  86. @ JBowers–good to hear that someone else shares my disquiet.

    @HR–interesting about the nickel. Perhaps they should be looking at spraying the area with nickle? Unfortunately, much of the continental shelf is so shallow up there, there is little time for the microbes to do their methane munching work. And if the stuff is escaping in large quantities very suddenly, the quantities of methane would likely overwhelm their capacity to gobble it up.

    Comment by wili — 4 Sep 2011 @ 4:08 PM

  87. I checked out:
    Climate Insights 101 Module 1: Climate Science Basics by the the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions…
    http://www.pics.uvic.ca/insights/

    I think its very good…

    What do you think?

    Comment by Harmen — 4 Sep 2011 @ 4:20 PM

  88. Oh, here’s a loose end — has anyone calculated whether the increase in nickel runoff on the north side of Russia could be boosting methanogens in the Arctic seabed mud?

    That would be another way — besides warming permafrost — to get more methane.

    The carbon isotope content would distinguish methane from warming old clathrate from new methane produced by methanogens near the surface.

    Attributing some of the methane to increasing nickel is a faint hope. But:

    “Major man-made sources of release of nickel are the combustion of coal and heavy fuel oil. Emissions from refineries and from refinery products (including road tar) are particularly important because of the large amount of refinery fuel oil and residues burnt which contain nickel from the original crude oil. Other sources include emissions from mining and refining operations, municipal waste incineration, and windblown dust….”
    http://pollution.unibuc.ro/?substance=22

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 4:40 PM

  89. Pete Dunkelberg — Such as
    It was really hot in Houston last month!
    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2011/09/august-in-houston-was-a-1-in-10000-year-event/

    Comment by David B. Benson — 4 Sep 2011 @ 6:03 PM

  90. “So methanogen populations collapsed (2.5 million years ago), allowing oxygen-breathers to take over.”

    My ancestors have been breathing oxygen for a lot longer than that. ;)

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 4 Sep 2011 @ 6:11 PM

  91. Oops, read to fast. I see now that it is methanogens that need nickel, not methanophages. What would encourage growth of the latter?

    Comment by wili — 4 Sep 2011 @ 7:15 PM

  92. > million
    D’oh. “the progressive rise of atmospheric oxygen, the so-called Great Oxidation Event, about 2.4 Gyr ago ….”

    Yeah, a bit longer. Thanks Pete.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 8:02 PM

  93. http://blog.seattlepi.com/davidhorsey/2011/09/01/pray-that-naysayers-are-right-about-climate-change/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Sep 2011 @ 8:42 PM

  94. Methane is often said to have somewhere around a 20 year lifetime in the atmosphere. Methane is broken down through a number of complex reactions involving OH radicals, eventually yielding CO2 and H2O.

    What is the source of OH radicals? IE, if the concentration of methane goes up by, say, a factor of 100 will it overwhelm the available OH and have a longer average lifetime?

    TIA.

    Comment by David Miller — 4 Sep 2011 @ 8:52 PM

  95. “if the concentration of methane goes up by, say, a factor of 100 will it overwhelm the available OH and have a longer average lifetime?”

    That’s what I understand (limited though my understanding may be). But that would have to be quite a rise in methane concentration.
    Methane also reacts with ozone. In your scenario, more of it would get up to the level of stratospheric ozone layer, and so more water vapor would be produced at this crucial level of the atmosphere.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219.abstract

    Comment by wili — 4 Sep 2011 @ 11:07 PM

  96. Others here should find this new paper of interest:

    Guirguis K, Gershunov A, Schwartz R, Bennett S (2011). Recent warm and cold daily winter temperature extremes in the Northern Hemisphere. Geophys. Res. Lett. (38:17; p.L17701). http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GL048762

    Abstract: The winters of 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 brought frigid temperatures to parts of Europe, Russia, and the U.S. We analyzed regional and Northern Hemispheric (NH) daily temperature extremes for these two consecutive winters in the historical context of the past 63 years. While some parts clearly experienced very cold temperatures, the NH was not anomalously cold. Extreme warm events were much more prevalent in both magnitude and spatial extent. Importantly, the persistent negative state of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) explained the bulk of the observed cold anomalies, however the warm extremes were anomalous even accounting for the NAO and also considering the states of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). These winters’ widespread and intense warm extremes together with a continuing hemispheric decline in cold snap activity was a pattern fully consistent with a continuation of the warming trend observed in recent decades.

    Comment by Larry — 4 Sep 2011 @ 11:42 PM

  97. New field of research, wide-open, apparently untrammeled by scientific inquiry. In the New York Times, concerning floods in the NE US, we read:

    Recent studies have asserted that the region’s weather is getting more severe, including heavier rainfall and more frequent and intense flooding.

    Reading the rest of the Times article on increasingly frequent and violent flooding in the NE region, it appears we have no idea why this is happening. Residents are surprised, confused, wondering what to do, but if coverage by the Times is any indication nobody’s bothered to look into this flooding problem, what may be causing it to happen, or what an appropriate response may be. Should folks rebuild in floodplains, for the third time in decade? Nobody knows!

    What a shocking blind spot, eh? Somebody ought to do some research on climate so the New York Times can report on it.

    On Flood Plain, Pondering Wisdom of Rebuilding Anew

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 5 Sep 2011 @ 12:39 AM

  98. Lots; multiple sources too (knock a water molecule apart)
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=oh+radical+atmosphere+source

    “We infer a small interannual OH variability as a result, indicating that global OH is generally well buffered against perturbations. This small variability is consistent with measurements of methane and other trace gases oxidized primarily by OH, as well as global photochemical model calculations.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6013/67.short
    Science 7 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6013 pp. 67-69
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1197640

    Report
    Small Interannual Variability of Global Atmospheric Hydroxyl

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Sep 2011 @ 12:59 AM

  99. 88

    Hank, I’m puzzled here is a lot of porphyrin nickel in Cretaceous marine crude oil. but it probably pales relative to the inorganic Ni in the smelter fumes from Norilsk- and what has it got to do with clathrate CH4 ??

    Comment by Russell — 5 Sep 2011 @ 1:36 AM

  100. David Miller: yes, increasing CH4 will decrease OH and thus increase methane lifetime – this has been looked at in a number of studies. Though the changes are not quite as dramatic as what one might expect – one reason for this is that some OH is regenerated if NOx is present. For the “100 x” methane case, we calculated (Atmos. Chem. Phys. 2011) a lifetime increase of about a factor of 3. So given a current methane lifetime of a bit more than 12 years, that would give about 40 years in the 100x scenario. Caveat: this was computed with atmospheric chemistry models that might lack some of the more recently discovered features of OH chemistry, e.g. the large role of HONO, as well as the observations in the link Hank gave. Hope this gives you a ballpark idea of the magnitude of the changes…

    Comment by Theo Kurtén — 5 Sep 2011 @ 8:12 AM

  101. Thanks all for your insights. This article seems relevant:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010GB003845.shtml

    From the abstract:

    “Assuming several hypothetical scenarios of CH4 release associated with permafrost thaw, shallow marine hydrate degassing, and submarine landslides, we find a strong positive feedback on RF through atmospheric chemistry. In particular, the impact of CH4 is enhanced through increase of its lifetime, and of atmospheric abundances of ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and CO2 as a result of atmospheric chemical processes.”

    Comment by wili — 5 Sep 2011 @ 11:22 AM

  102. #8 Paul

    Here are a couple of places you might look:

    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/data_products/algorithms/

    The URL will take you to the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents for AIRS. Within one of the atbd’s you are likely to find an answer.

    You might also consider looking for the appropriate MODIS atbd

    Comment by BillS — 5 Sep 2011 @ 12:10 PM

  103. “Assuming several hypothetical scenarios….”

    Although some methane comes from the Arctic, it has not been established that methane from this source is increasing. Atmospheric methane is increasing just a bit this year, but from human causes. (For the purposes of this remark, cows and sheep are human:).

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 5 Sep 2011 @ 12:30 PM

  104. Pete, there are indeed many sources of methane, but recall that atmospheric concentrations increase as you go from the south pole to the Arctic circle. I’m not sure what other cause there would be for such high relative concentrations at such high latitudes unless there are some major sources up there, but I would be happy to be enlightened to any you know of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Airs_methane_2006_2009_359hpa.png

    The deepest red is far north of where most sheep and cows graze, burp and …

    Comment by wili — 5 Sep 2011 @ 1:37 PM

  105. > not been established that methane from this source is increasing

    What’s this then? http://www.google.com/search?q=methane+bubbling+permafrost
    and Scholar finds more, e.g.
    Isaksen, I. S. A., M. Gauss, G. Myhre, K. M. Walter Anthony, and C. Ruppel (2011), Strong atmospheric chemistry feedback to climate warming from Arctic methane emissions, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 25, GB2002,
    http://doi:10.1029/2010GB003845

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Sep 2011 @ 1:59 PM

  106. A time series is required to show an increase. Then you have to show where the increase is coming from. Is there an increasing time series from the Arctic? Did not atmospheric methane dip a little due to a dip in human sources in recent years?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 5 Sep 2011 @ 2:23 PM

  107. Is there to be no discussion whatsoever of the Wagner resignation?

    Comment by hank — 5 Sep 2011 @ 2:55 PM

  108. Is there to be no discussion whatsoever of the Wagner resignation?

    Given the fairly comprehensive treatment of his resignation by Wagner himself, there’s not much left to discuss without swerving into evidence-free speculation. Still, Wagner’s leap is almost irresistible as a subject of gossip. Short of diving into the Academy of the Paranoid School of Climate Science, there’s some better grade hypothesizing at the Rabbett & Tobis blogs. Might avoid reinventing the wheel by joining those?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 5 Sep 2011 @ 5:25 PM

  109. @wili 100 and 80

    Re 100, the Isaksen paper you mention gives a baseline lifetime of 9.1 years, but for large quantities of methane in the atmosphere this can increase by many times.

    Re 80, yes we should be worried by vast quantities of methane, discovered by Professor Igor Semiletov and Natalia Shakhova, who are about to make a further expedition to the ESAS (East Siberian Arctic Shelf).

    It so happens I’ve just made some calculations, based on their findings and the work of Isaksen; and prepared the following message:

    The Siberian Shelf is the largest continental shelf in the world [1], and includes the Kara Sea and the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS).

    Shakhova et al [2] reckon that 50 Gt of methane could be released “at any time” from the ESAS. They believe that the methane is held back by permafrost which is thawing as a result of Arctic warming, and a sudden release of such a quantity could be triggered by an earthquake – the region being prone to them.

    If the 50 Gt were released within a year, it would multiply the concentration of methane in the atmosphere by about 11 times (referred to as “methane X 11″), the total weight of methane currently in the atmosphere being ~5 Gt. Current direct radiative forcing of methane is estimated at 0.48 W/m-2 (Watts per square metre), compared to 1.6 W/m-2 from CO2. So this would be increased to 5.3 W/m-2. To this would be added indirect radiative forcing, as the methane reacts with other compounds in the atmosphere. Isaksen et al [3] calculate that an increase in concentration of less than half that amount (“methane X 5.2″) would lead to an additional 400% of indirect forcing. So the total forcing for “methane X 11″ would be well over five times the direct forcing, i.e. over 26 W/m-2. The resulting abrupt global warming of many degrees would probably not be survivable by our civilisation.

    If however the 50 Gt of methane were released over 30 years, it would lead to at least 4 times methane concentration on average, i.e. “methane X 4″. This would give a direct forcing of at least 2 W/m-2, and total forcing of at least 4 W/m-2. That would kibosh any chance of meeting the 2 degrees global warming limit, let alone the much safer 1.5 degrees limit now urged by UNFCCC chairperson, Ms Figueres [4].

    Thus there is a need for emergency action to cool the Arctic as quickly as possible and reduce the risk of such a methane excursion, whether produced from the Arctic Shelf or permafrost on land. But there must also be action to stop any drilling which could accidentally cause a leak of natural gas (which is mostly methane) or oil (which could prevent the formation of sea ice in winter).

    These actions would be against the short term interests of the oil giants, especially Exxon, now that they have a deal with Rosneft [5] with proposals to drill in the Kara Sea, and are no doubt looking forward to an ice-free Arctic.

    Thus there is not only the need to overcome the political resistance to solar radiation management geoengineering to cool the Arctic (at least without years more of research by which time it will be too late), but also to overcome the commercial resistance to prohibiting the drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic.

    How can we overcome such resistance to geoengineering, often from such well-meaning people as the ETC group and many environmentalists? And how can we stop the drilling?

    John

    P.S. Over the past few years, the atmospheric methane level has risen from 1750 ppb to 1850 ppb, which is 5.7%. If this rise was annual, you’d get a doubling in about 13 years.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Shelf

    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_methane_release

    [3] http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010GB003845.shtml

    [4] http://globalwarmingisreal.com/2011/06/03/unfccc-chief-says-two-degrees-is-not-enough/

    [5] http://planetark.org/wen/63110

    Comment by John Nissen — 5 Sep 2011 @ 5:34 PM

  110. > A time series is required to show an increase.
    > Then you have to show where the increase is coming from.

    Ah, then I have been thinking about it backwards. I was thinking the recent reports of methane starting to bubble up in those areas as the increase: http://www.google.com/search?q=methane+laptev

    But I haven’t seen a time series chart of those observations.

    Where it shows up — depends; as this hasn’t been seen in the global average, I’ll stay with my guess that more and better-fed methane-eating beasties would consume an increase, until they hit some other limiting factor.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Sep 2011 @ 6:14 PM

  111. > time series is required to show an increase

    Well, there’s this: http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/methane.jpg

    http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0904/full/climate.2009.24.html
    “In 2007, scientists scouting the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean began to notice some troubling signs. In about half of their seawater chemistry samples, the concentration of dissolved methane was two to ten times higher than in samples taken during previous years from the same locations. Then, last summer, they observed large rings of gas — sometimes as wide as 30 centimetres in diameter — trapped in ice, as well as methane plumes bubbling to the surface over hundreds of square kilometres of the shallow waters along the Siberian Shelf.

    The team, from Russia and other nations, presented their results at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting in December ….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Sep 2011 @ 6:18 PM

  112. Methane closely watched by scientists

    “This has become the first expedition dedicated to revealing the scale of methane emissions and accompanying processes. We assume, even though this needs to be clarified, that this results from the degradation of underwater permafrost which is no longer acting as a shell preventing methane from penetrating into the atmosphere from deep gas hydrate springs,” Igor Semiletov says.”

    Comment by J Bowers — 5 Sep 2011 @ 6:51 PM

  113. US counts the cost of nine months of unprecedented weather extremes

    “The insurance company Munich Re said in the first six months of the year there were 98 natural disasters in the US, about double the average of the 1990s.
    [...]
    A year of US disasters – 2011 so far
    • Hurricane Irene, August 20-29. Over $7bn and around 50 deaths.
    • Upper Midwest flooding. The Missouri and Souris rivers overflowed in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Damages: $2bn.
    • Mississippi river flooding, spring and summer. Damages neared $4bn.
    • Drought and heatwave in Texas, Oklahoma. Over $5bn.
    • Tornadoes in midwest and south-east in May kill 177 and cost more than $7bn in losses.
    • Tornadoes in the Ohio Valley, south-east and midwest on April devastate the city of Tuscaloosa, kill 32 and cause more than $9bn in damages.
    • Tornadoes hit from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania 14–16 April. Toll: $2bn in damages.
    • 59 tornadoes in midwest and north-east April 8-11. Damages: $2.2bn.
    • 46 tornadoes in central and southern states 4 and 5 April. Toll: $2.3bn in damages.
    • Blizzard late January paralyse cities from Chicago to the north-east. Toll: 36 deaths and more than $2bn in damages.

    Comment by J Bowers — 5 Sep 2011 @ 7:46 PM

  114. J Bowers @113 — And we arn’t even up to 1 K global warming yet.
    Mark Lynas’s “Six Degrees”:
    http://www.marklynas.org/2007/4/23/six-steps-to-hell-summary-of-six-degrees-as-published-in-the-guardian

    Comment by David B. Benson — 5 Sep 2011 @ 8:08 PM

  115. John Nissen at 109:

    Thank you for the detail in that post.

    You did mention one other thing that is commonly brought up that I wanted to ask about:

    These actions would be against the short term interests of the oil giants, especially Exxon, now that they have a deal with Rosneft [5] with proposals to drill in the Kara Sea, and are no doubt looking forward to an ice-free Arctic.

    I’m confused about how the oil companies would go about drilling in the arctic ocean or surrounding seas. How does one build a platform to withstand a 10,000 square kilometer piece of ice 4 meters thick being driven by the wind? If we had anchors that could withstand that much force we could just anchor the ice across the Fram and stop most of the summer ice export:)

    I’m not doubting that Exxon wants to try, and probably is. The challenges, however, are significant. One doesn’t just bring in a supply ship every third day.

    “Ice free” is usually defined as a 90% reduction in ice extent during the summer minima; while anything like our current civilization is here it won’t describe winter conditions in the Arctic.

    Comment by David Miller — 5 Sep 2011 @ 8:24 PM

  116. 108, Doug Bostrom: Might avoid reinventing the wheel by joining those?

    I second the motion.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 5 Sep 2011 @ 8:41 PM

  117. Thanks. Sorry if this is off topic. If you can suggest a better place to ask questions on climate generally, please do tell me.

    Where would one find a good guide to the analysis, basis and the calculation of greenhouse effect for CO2? (for a person with advanced maths and say first year university level knowledge of physics). I mean an analysis to give full understanding of how the published forcing figures eg 1.6 W/sm due to increase from 280 to 380 ppmv, are calculated. As you can imagine, it is hard as a layperson to comprehend how a concentration of just 1 molecule in 10,000 can have such an effect as to increase global temperatures by 0.6 degC.

    Re volcanoes I was really asking about underwater volcanoes and vents, and whether significant amount of heat is released into world oceans. Are they well studied?

    Comment by Richard bird — 6 Sep 2011 @ 2:03 AM

  118. Re: 117

    Start Here button, top left of Home Page.

    And given what you’ve posted here so far, I’d downgrade that 1st year university knowledge of physics estimate. No offence.

    Comment by Joe Cushley — 6 Sep 2011 @ 7:19 AM

  119. Richard bird

    As you can imagine, it is hard as a layperson to comprehend how a concentration of just 1 molecule in 10,000 can have such an effect as to increase global temperatures by 0.6 degC.

    How many molecules do you think there are in the atmosphere? You’re bordering on making an argument from personal incredulity here, which is a common tactic by those who deny a variety of scientific realities, not just climate science. The fact that *you* don’t know the physics doesn’t mean that physicists don’t know the physics. Who cares? Take Joe Cushley’s advice, start reading the information on this site.

    Here’s a simple comment on the whole “CO2 is just a trace gas” argument.

    Re volcanoes I was really asking about underwater volcanoes and vents, and whether significant amount of heat is released into world oceans. Are they well studied?

    What do you think are the odds that you, Richard Bird, have thought of something that tens of thousands of working scientists have ignored?

    Really. What are the odds?

    Especially given that the CO2 trace gas and submarine volcanoes heat the oceans arguments are two of the most common and dumbest “arguments” in the denialsphere.

    Which makes me ask … what are the odds that you, Richard Bird, thought up these two distractions on your own? Close to zero. I’m sure you’re just parroting something you’ve read on one or more really low-grade denialist sites …

    Comment by dhogaza — 6 Sep 2011 @ 8:04 AM

  120. Richard: off the top of my head I recall that the total column mass of CO2 in the atmosphere is in the ballpark of four kilograms per square meter. (If I remember wrong, someone will surely correct this…). Does it seem incredible that a “roof” with density 4 kg/m2 (and fairly strong radiative properties) could make some teeny-weeny difference to the energy budget?

    Comment by Theo Kurtén — 6 Sep 2011 @ 8:25 AM

  121. Dr. Roy is still claiming that clouds effect the climate. What a maroon!
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/a-primer-on-our-claim-that-clouds-cause-temperature-change/

    [Response: Be careful here. It is obvious (and should be uncontroversial) that clouds affect the climate, and that indeed they affect temperature. This is not the issue in question (despite Spencer's strawman description). The issue is whether clouds do something independent to drive climate *change*. - gavin]

    Comment by Johanus — 6 Sep 2011 @ 8:30 AM

  122. Eager to see RC’s synopsis of Dessler 2011!!!!!

    Comment by Sphaerica (Bob) — 6 Sep 2011 @ 8:31 AM

  123. 117, Richard,

    Visit CO2 is a Trace Gas at Skeptical Science. It’s brief and rather entertaining, if you need your credulity adjusted about exactly what trace amounts of elements are capable of doing.

    [To add to their list, 200mg of arsenic, or 100ppm of your body weight, is fatal. Only 100ppb -- that's parts per billion, not million -- of the mass of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima actually underwent fission and released energy and leveled an entire city in moments. How's that for the impact of a trace element?]

    Comment by Sphaerica (Bob) — 6 Sep 2011 @ 8:37 AM

  124. #117–

    Richard, why do you think that the proportion of GHGs to non-GHGs in the atmosphere is the significant factor to focus on?

    After all, do you doubt the medicinal efficacy when you take a .5 g pill delivering a few micrograms of some active ingredient?

    Or take another analogy–the proportionate mass of GHGs in the atmosphere is roughly comparable to that of water droplets composing a moderate fog. (Or so I calculated once.) Would that consideration cause you to feel you’d never need to slow down when driving through such a fog?

    What you are asking for is an awful lot to chew on. (And I’m not the guy to ask, to be quite honest.) As a start, though, here’s a (relatively) brief overview of the history of observations of just one relevant parameter, the so-called ‘back-radiation’ or ‘sky-radiation’:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Fire-From-Heaven-Climate-Science-And-The-Element-Of-Life-Part-Two-The-Cloud-By-Night

    (That doesn’t address the ‘forcing’ part, just the direct radiative observations, and much of it is of course consequent to water vapor, not just CO2–just to clearly state the obvious.)

    There’s then the question of integrating the observations into the larger picture of the Terrestrial heat budget–not to mention the fact that the TOA satellite observations are probably more crucial for the warming issue than are the back-radiation observations. But for obvious reasons there’s a much longer history of the latter, and we do need to understand what happens near-surface, too.)

    For that, I can do no better than a Google Scholar search, which at least shows how large the topic is–my constrained search still brought up 4,400 results:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=1,11&as_ylo=2005&as_vis=1&as_subj=phy&q=terrestrial+heat+budget+global+OR+atmospheric+OR+radiation+OR+evapotranspiration

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Sep 2011 @ 9:02 AM

  125. Richard Bird,

    I find it interesting that denialists argue both that the concentration of CO2 is too low to be of consequence, and also that the greenhouse effect due to CO2 is saturated–sometimes in the same exchange!

    Consider this. Surely, the number that is relevant is not the concentration of CO2, but rather the number of CO2 molecules a 15 micron photon is likely to encounter on its way out of the atmosphere, right? Well, we know the weight of a column of air 15 microns in diameter (such that the photon will stand a good chance of interacting)–about 2.25 mg. We know that CO2 is ~400 ppmv–or about or that 663 of every million molecules in the column are CO2. That’s about 1.4 micrograms of CO2 in our 15 micron cylinder. So, we’re talking about 10^16 CO2 molecules in that column. Still think the effect of CO2 is puny?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Sep 2011 @ 10:14 AM

  126. Richard, you want more details of physics? Go to SOD. Not that exact link, you’ll want to go back some. But that kind of time consuming detail when you don’t seem to have an idea of the big picture is probably not your best course. As noted in 119, you are distracted by some well known red herrings, and there are well known sources who make a profession of spreading such.

    About your question of the moment, what matters to a first approximation is how many IR absorbing molecules an IR photon passes close to before it escapes to outer space. And the answer is: a lot more than 100 years ago.

    A little of the big picture: we earthlings enjoy a neat two-gas greenhouse system. H2O does most of the “work” but CO2 adds enough heat to keep the H2O in the air, and the extra CO2 since we started burning things puts more H2O in the air. Thus the increase in IR absorbing molecules is greater than you think.

    Molecules and photons: the photons of interest are absorbed by GHG molecules, the energy is redistributed via collisions to the surrounding gas, sometimes an IR absorbing/emitting molecule gains energy and emits an new IR photon in a random direction, and this happens many times before energy escapes to space.

    ===
    It seems to me that so far you don’t have enough of a grasp of the big picture to recognize when someone is feeding you a steaming plate of red herrings. You might try reading books! What an idea! On the other hand, the professional deniers all have books just waiting for you.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 6 Sep 2011 @ 10:15 AM

  127. (I think RichBird gets the message by now, folks.)

    To John Nissen #109, do you have any ideas for how to ‘cool the Arctic’?? Are you talking about mirrors in space? Or aerosols? Perhaps this is a techinical point, but in this case perhaps such schemes could be categorized more as “regional environmental engineering” than “geo-engineering”? I don’t know it that would allay the concerns you mentioned. As one who has generally been against most geo-engineering schemes, I have to say I am open to hearing about any ideas that might allow this monster to toast the planet.

    Comment by wili — 6 Sep 2011 @ 1:27 PM

  128. @ David Benson. Aye. I think what’s happening in Texas makes it 99 natural disasters this year so far, too. Maybe Governor Perry can throw a party for when the US hits 100.

    Comment by J Bowers — 6 Sep 2011 @ 1:59 PM

  129. “Maybe Governor Perry can throw a party for when the US hits 100.”

    A tea party, no doubt.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Sep 2011 @ 2:58 PM

  130. @ wili #127

    I am organising a workshop in London, October 15-16, specifically to address the Arctic methane problem/crisis, and brainstorm on what can be done to stop a methane excursion. The approach must be multi-pronged: (1) geoengineering, especially with stratospheric aerosols and cloud brightening techniques, to cool the Arctic generally; (2) local methane management/engineering to try to prevent methane escaping into the atmosphere at hotspots; (3) capturing or destroying methane in the atmosphere.

    Comment by John Nissen — 6 Sep 2011 @ 5:33 PM

  131. The BigGovernment website just posted one of the most poorly written articles I have seen in a while. It claims a new paper in Nature has just disproved AGW because it’s really cosmic rays and the Sun that is driving everything.

    http://biggovernment.com/cstreet/2011/09/06/nature-journal-of-science-discredits-man-made-global-warming/#idc-cover

    “Nature Journal of Science, ranked as the world’s most cited scientific periodical, has just published the definitive study on Global Warming that proves the dominant controller of temperatures in the Earth’s atmosphere is due to galactic cosmic rays and the sun, rather than by man. One of the report’s authors, Professor Jyrki Kauppinen, summed up his conclusions regarding the potential for man-made Global Warming: “I think it is such a blatant falsification.””

    Jyrki Kauppinen has nothing to do with the recent CERN paper; and it most definitely the CERN paper they are referencing:

    “The research was conducted by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which invented the World Wide Web, built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and now has constructed a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreates the Earth’s atmosphere. The climate study involved scientists representing 17 of Europe’s and America’s premiere research institutes. The results demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that can grow and seed clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere…”

    This author conflated a paper that has never been published from some obscure Finnish physicist with Kirkby 2011 et al. The Kauppinen paper was alleged to be appearing in the June 2010 Nature way back in spring 2010. It didn’t. His name doesn’t appear on the Nature website. After completely confusing the current CERN paper with the Finnish guy’s non-existent paper, the article goes on to list the normal denialist talking points, from Climategate massive fraud to attributing AGW theory to Al Gore. There is never an explanation as to what this alleged silver bullet against AGW is supposed to be.

    This would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that a lot of people will read the article and never think to research it, believing instead that once again AGW has been slain by another valiant Galileo.

    Comment by Robert Murphy — 6 Sep 2011 @ 9:07 PM

  132. Wow, John. Do you really have the clout to implement something like that?

    Some questions/clarifications (not meant to be criticisms):
    Wouldn’t aerosols quickly leave the area of the Arctic?
    Is there enough of a water column for the methane to be effectively managed underwater? Much of the continental shelf up there is just a few meters deep.
    What exactly do you mean by “capturing or destroying methane in the atmosphere”? Combustion?

    Perhaps that’s why you need a brainstorming session, to see what if anything can be reasonably done?

    If things are proceeding in as scary a direction as they seem to be, I wish you luck.

    Comment by wili — 6 Sep 2011 @ 9:39 PM

  133. Ray Ladbury: thank you that is EXACTLY the sort of information I was looking for. In fact I have been trying to arrive at those sort of figures in my own amateur way from first principles for a week or so, from consideration of a thin column of atmosphere. But I have lacked the data on atmospheric densities, average molecular spacing in gas etc. (All of which I guess is part of “Climate Science year 1″) My curiosity was first aroused by considering the image of the atmosphere as a flat dome, and C02 as a 1/10000th part of that dome. Wrong Image! – as I have since realised on reading up the history. But I was not able to find a correct analysis in terms of a column of air. So thanks again.

    Comment by Richard Bird — 7 Sep 2011 @ 4:02 AM

  134. If you will pardon an elementary question, what is the relationship, if anym between methane and sea level rise?

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 7 Sep 2011 @ 8:17 AM

  135. RE: Kevin Mac 129, well the guv’s prayer party was followed by the burning of only ~1000 houses, so maybe it was a success in keeping the number “so low.” As it is, the moribund housebuilding industry will take a thousand, and is hoping for party sequels and maybe even cross-country franchises. No matter to the guv–he loves to dance the little sidestep.

    Comment by ghost — 7 Sep 2011 @ 8:21 AM

  136. ghost – on April 21 he called for 3 days of prayer. If he does that again, all I can say is if you live in Alabama, seek shelter.

    Comment by JCH — 7 Sep 2011 @ 9:23 AM

  137. For 131 Robert Murphy, a previous thread with Kauppinnen discussed.

    Comment by J Bowers — 7 Sep 2011 @ 9:54 AM

  138. Here’s my September nomination for climate cluelessness.

    Last evening Mr. Stephen Dubner of the well-named “Freakonomics Radio” discussed a “hurricane vaccine” with the host of NPR’s “Marketplace”. This system is intended to prevent hurricanes by reducing SSTs by using wave energy to mix surface waters with cooler subsurface waters. Asked repeatedly by the host whether, you know, anything could go wrong, “Freakonomics” author Dubner said that “environmental concerns…actually appear pretty benign when you look it through.”

    No climatologist was asked to comment.

    Have at it.

    Comment by Meow — 7 Sep 2011 @ 12:09 PM

  139. @ Wili #132

    Wili: Wow, John. Do you really have the clout to implement something like that?

    John: No, but I’m hoping the workshop will give credibility and an impetus for action.

    Wili: Some questions/clarifications (not meant to be criticisms):
    1. Wouldn’t aerosols quickly leave the area of the Arctic?

    John: Not very quickly as latitudinal (north-south) circulation in stratosphere is relatively slow.

    2. Is there enough of a water column for the methane to be effectively managed underwater? Much of the continental shelf up there is just a few meters deep.

    John: Yes. This is a real problem for ESAS – the East Siberian shelf, where average depth is 40-50 metres.

    3. What exactly do you mean by “capturing or destroying methane in the atmosphere”? Combustion?

    John: If you can get to the methane as it bursts into the atmosphere, you can flare it. Otherwise you are forced to try and capture it or get it to react in the atmosphere. Both approaches are problematical.

    Wili: Perhaps that’s why you need a brainstorming session, to see what if anything can be reasonably done?

    John: Yes, exactly. But we’ve got some very capable scientists and engineers on the problem.

    Wili: If things are proceeding in as scary a direction as they seem to be, I wish you luck.

    John: Thanks. We all need it. But I’m posting on this RealClimate list, so that a few more people can understand what a heck of a mess we are in – regardless of how we came to be in this mess.

    Comment by John Nissen — 7 Sep 2011 @ 12:30 PM

  140. Tar Sands Action continues. Latest news. The plan for Tar Sands Action in the coming weeks.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 7 Sep 2011 @ 2:22 PM

  141. Arctic seaice *volume* sets new record low; area about as low as 2007, but thinner: http://bit.ly/PioAug

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 7 Sep 2011 @ 4:24 PM

  142. Serious question: If all Greenland’s ice would melt, how much would the oceans rise? Same question for Antartica.

    Robert Henson’s “Rough Guide to Climate Change” says (page 127) that the answer to a 5 degree warming would melt enough of both areas to make MSL rise by 80 feet.

    Is there any consensus on this issue?

    Comment by john burgeson — 7 Sep 2011 @ 4:45 PM

  143. Older journal references becoming available without paywall:

    http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early-journal-content-faqs

    “Beginning September 6, 2011, the Early Journal Content will be made available in batches, over the course of 1 week, in discipline groupings.

    Users may chose to browse …(journal content published in the U.S. before 1923 and before 1870 elsewhere) or use the Advanced Search to search across all content and limit results to “Only content I can access.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Sep 2011 @ 4:47 PM

  144. For Hunt Janin
    http://www.google.com/search?q=relationship++%2Bmethane+%2B“sea+level”
    http://www.google.com/search?q=+site%3Aipcc.ch+%2Bmethane+%2B“sea+level”
    http://www.google.com/search?q=%2Bpingo+%2Bmethane+%2B%22sea+level
    and make that latter one an image search

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Sep 2011 @ 5:00 PM

  145. 109 John Nissen and several others: Thanks for the discussion on methane at the bottom of the Arctic ocean.

    115 David Miller: “10,000 square kilometer piece of ice 4 meters thick being driven by the wind”
    Roger that.
    “26 W/m-2″ or “total forcing of at least 4 W/m-2″ The lower figure is bad enough.

    I saw somewhere something about somebody wanting to drill into the methane hydrates to make a gas well. A slant well from land would have to be very long. Is drilling from a submarine possible? Would the well be a possible trigger for releasing a lot of methane?

    “And how can we stop the drilling?” Good question. Trying to run for US Congress has a lot of problems. For example, as an independent, I would need 5000 signatures on a nominating petition but a “major party” candidate needs only 600. Online signatures are not allowed. I think it takes a lot of social skill, or money, to get signatures.

    If we did stop the drilling, refrigerating the arctic ocean would be the problem. It seems to me that stopping BAU is easier.

    130 John Nissen: Please keep us posted on that workshop in London, October 15-16, specifically to address the Arctic methane.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 8 Sep 2011 @ 12:12 AM

  146. Pete Dunkelberg: I have now found time to check out the SOD site. Very useful and informative. Thanks. Getting to grips with the details is a route towards fully understanding the ‘big picture’.

    Questions arising. The models derive from calculation based on analysis using accepted and well tested physics. However it is seemingly impossible to carry out experimental verification of the derived Co2 forcing model in the field without eliminating all other factors such as water vapour, other gases, etc. In this regard CLOUD currently seems to have the advantage in terms of potential for experimental verification. Are any plans in progress to overcome this difficulty wrt co2 forcing models?

    Please note to anyone who is interested that I have no ‘agenda’ and am not employed by any oil or call company! My reason for my interest in GW arises from my role as chairman of the Environment Working Group of a major snowsports organisation. it behoves me to understand as much as possible about environmental issues, within limits. Apart from that, I enjoy the intellectual exercise of getting to grips with the physics.

    Comment by Richard bird — 8 Sep 2011 @ 3:16 AM

  147. Richard Bird,
    Huh? Dude, the greenhouse nature of CO2 has been known since the 1850s. It presents no difficulty to estimate the energy trapped by added CO2. Feedbacks are a bit more difficult to estimate from first princoples, but are well constrained by several independent lines of evidence. Do you realize you are arguing about physics that was well established when Einstein published his Special Relativity paper in 1905?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Sep 2011 @ 9:19 AM

  148. I am all for a carbon tax. Carbon is soot. Dirty stuff.
    Carbon dioxide however is a life giving gas. It makes plants grow. Lets have more of it

    [Response: Well, your post is a gas as well, but I'd think twice about asking for more...-Jim]

    Comment by Jim Petrie — 8 Sep 2011 @ 9:32 AM

  149. I’ve checked your bona fides, Richard, and it seems you do what you say you do. What shocks me is that the Ski Club of UK couldn’t come up with someone who has a least a basic level of knowledge of the arguments on both sides (*cough* false balance alert *cough*) as the chairman of their Environmental Working Group, rather than someone who seems to have read a few denialist blogs… After all the winter sports industry has been worried about the effects of climate change for several years now, as a simple Google search will attest.

    This, for example, is a simply insane statement on so many levels…

    “In this regard CLOUD currently seems to have the advantage in terms of potential for experimental verification. Are any plans in progress to overcome this difficulty wrt co2 forcing models?”

    As I said, I’d advise the Start Here button and then come back with questions when you’ve got the *very basics*…

    Comment by Joe Cushley — 8 Sep 2011 @ 9:59 AM

  150. In some cases it’s obvious that people come loaded, willfully or otherwise, with denialist propaganda while pleading agenda-free curiosity and concern. OTOH, one of the things that makes the propaganda so intractable is that it’s tailored to fit into people’s already existing blind spots and faulty thinking. Much of it is the kind of stuff that occurs naturally to the uninformed. Propaganda only serves to solidify it and cement it into place.

    I can sympathize with Richard Bird if he’s just found himself tossed in over his head– maybe the benefit of the doubt for the time being?

    Richard, really, it’s good advice: Go to the “start here” button. If you’re sincere, you’ve got A LOT of reading to do.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 8 Sep 2011 @ 11:22 AM

  151. Hello Richard Bird,


    . However it is seemingly impossible to carry out experimental verification of the derived Co2 forcing model in the field without eliminating all other factors such as water vapour, other gases, etc. In this regard CLOUD currently seems to have the advantage in terms of potential for experimental verification. Are any plans in progress to overcome this difficulty wrt co2 forcing models?

    I would heartly recommend working through a textbook first.”Principles of Planetary Climate” from Raymond Pierrehumbert is first class if You want to connect to the physics, IMHO

    Cheers,
    Marcus

    Comment by Marcus — 8 Sep 2011 @ 11:37 AM

  152. Richard,
    If you explain what you mean by the “derived CO2 forcing model”, perhaps progress may be made. It will probably turn out to be either (a) apples to oranges or (b) well understood and long since experimentally verified when compared with what CLOUD is about.

    Comment by CM — 8 Sep 2011 @ 11:50 AM

  153. Radge Havers wrote: “… one of the things that makes the propaganda so intractable is that it’s tailored to fit into people’s already existing blind spots and faulty thinking …”

    That’s important to remember. The denier talking points don’t just arise spontaneously. They are the result of a lot of research, polling, focus group testing and other sophisticated tools that the most insidious minds of Madison Avenue have spent decades developing precisely to exploit “people’s already existing blind spots and faulty thinking”.

    ExxonMobil and Koch Industries don’t give millions of dollars to those propaganda mills a.k.a. “think tanks” for nothing.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 8 Sep 2011 @ 12:41 PM

  154. Congratulations, Gavin, on the quotes in USA Today. Nice that they took a couple whole paragraphs instead of trying to squash you into a one-sentence soundbite, like usual.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/09/climate-report-links-2011-extreme-weather-events-to-global-warming/1

    Comment by Maya — 8 Sep 2011 @ 1:34 PM

  155. SA @ 152

    I agree with what you said, though I think sometimes the propagandists must take advantage of stuff that’s already out there and pounce on any opportunity to pound it home.

    I’ve sat in fairly innocuous meetings where somebody suddenly and heroically pulled some piece nonsense out of their backside, only to watch it go from garbage to gospel in less than 0.5 sec. flat. This usually involved either avoiding work, shifting responsibility for something outside the group, or scapegoating.

    Humans seem to be a b.s. emitting species. And of course science is the best remedy for that so far…

    Comment by Radge Havers — 8 Sep 2011 @ 2:19 PM

  156. Surprising NCAR finding: shift from coal to natural gas would slightly *accelerate* climate change through at least 2050: http://bit.ly/NgasCC

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 8 Sep 2011 @ 3:05 PM

  157. Dear Dr. Schmidt:

    Did you say lately about climate “My thinking has evolved.” If so, what did you mean?

    [Response: It was in response to the possibility of fractionally attributing extreme events to anthropogenic forcings. I used to think this was too difficult to do, but I now think that, at least in some cases, it can be done reasonably. Some more thoughts on this are available here. - gavin]

    Comment by Nabil Swedan — 8 Sep 2011 @ 3:27 PM

  158. Unrelated sorry but I wasn’t sure where else to post…does anybody here have the time and expertise to review http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Warm_Period ? There are a number of links to peer-reviewed articles in particular that on first glance don’t obviously seem to be relevant references to the points made in the article. Thanks.

    Comment by wizofaus — 8 Sep 2011 @ 6:09 PM

  159. I’d add that some of those who accept the anti-factoids proliferating in the reverse-science hotairosphere are unable to face an unbearable reality. I suffer a bit from that myself, but it doesn’t push me to lie to myself. However without specific education most people find the available and plausible looking alternative explanations comforting and don’t want to look closely at the possibility they might not be truthful.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 8 Sep 2011 @ 7:53 PM

  160. For John Burgeson, estimates vary:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%22sea+level%22+%2Bgreenland+%2Bantarctica&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2011&as_vis=0

    Older, typical: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/question473.htm

    Newer: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110728144727.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Sep 2011 @ 8:36 PM

  161. I should like to thank Susan Anderson for alerting me to the existence of an improbable addition to to ‘the reverse-science hotairosphere- the section of Naomi Oreskes book that , while quarrying my 1987 narrative of the nuclear winter controversy , refuses to communicate its conclusions, electing instead to misrepresents them by ellipsis so extreme as to recall the better efforts of Marc Morano.

    If Susan would care to compare Oreskes anti-historical tirade with the primary source it traduces , I will cheerfully send along a pdf so she may judge for herself.

    The copy provided Oreskes weeks ago has thus failed to appear on the Corrections page of her book’s website. I hope to have it resurrected from the publisher’s pre-electronic archive and scanned for posting on The National Interest website before the year is out.

    [Response: Claims of anyone 'refusing' to do something usually say more about the claimant than the accused. Care to be more specific about what you allege Naomi gets wrong? We have a great deal of local expertise on nuclear winter around here, so it will be easy for us to check up on the facts.--eric]

    Comment by Russell — 8 Sep 2011 @ 8:36 PM

  162. @ wizofaus 157. In case it’s something to do with Romans growing vines in Britain, have a read of The Agricola by Tacitus, Book 1 [10], written around 98 AD.

    “With the exception of the olive and vine, and plants which usually grow in warmer climates, the soil will yield, and even abundantly, all ordinary produce.”

    By the 3rd Century it looks like they were cultivating vines in Britain, but that’s near the end of the “RWP”, and the evidence from the ground goes as far as the Midlands in England last I read.

    Comment by J Bowers — 8 Sep 2011 @ 8:54 PM

  163. http://www.nytimes.com/1987/02/17/science/science-and-politics-nuclear-winter-clash.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm

    —-
    … One physicist, S. Fred Singer of George Mason University in Virginia, went so far today as to suggest that unappreciated warming effects would overwhelm the cooling effects, leading to a net warming trend. Explosions and fires would send vast amounts of water vapor into the upper stratosphere, causing a greenhouse effect, he said, and smoke clouds would add to the heating by absorbing infrared rays.

    Dr. Schneider dismissed that possibility, calling it the “infrared herring.”
    —-

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Sep 2011 @ 9:25 PM

  164. #156, Gavin’s thoughts are online, clear, concise and evolving, but always maintaining the inevitable results which actually have happened within the lifespan of RC. However I rather hear the thoughts from Texans, right in the middle of their worst drought in history. Have they evolved? Or is the majority of anti AGW Texans stuck in the mud turned into in deep denial drought cement? I think its important that nature’s signals are properly understood. It is easy for me in the way Northern world to report dramatic climate changes they are as clear as black on white, rocks revealed in the water wakes from once bright in the sun glaciers. It is exceedingly maddening to observe recent events of mass Arctic melts and relate them to only those with ears, especially not busy confusing themselves with political stupid backwards nonsense. Like we live on a different planet, so few people in the Arctic, hardly a match for the billions down south with a few seconds of our time seen world wide during any given year. Not so few folks in Texas though, I would rather just read if they the lone star contrarians got the proverbial message making them more susceptible to accept climate science as a little more than a con job? We tried to convince, but I suspect mass calamities a bit more stimulating for thinking. At least the warnings abound, what we do with them is a matter of action from reasoning.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 8 Sep 2011 @ 10:02 PM

  165. Wayne, mass calamities do not stimulate thinking, in general. They are more likely to produce fear, hate, and falling back on basic intuitions, superstitions, religious comforts…

    http://photoblog.statesman.com/dry-season-the-texas-drought-of-2011

    Look at the letters to get an idea of what the average tone of the people from the area.

    Comment by wili — 8 Sep 2011 @ 10:41 PM

  166. Earlier there was at least one question about projected sea levels. One possible answer is by looking in the past: The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene (3.3 Ma–3 Ma) was 2–3 °C higher than today[1], global sea level 25m higher … from
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliocene_climate
    which offers a potential prognostication.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 8 Sep 2011 @ 11:22 PM

  167. 160

    That’s an extraordinary claim, Eric. Perhaps you should examine the evidence first.

    Having challenged what Sagan called his ‘Apocalyptic conclusions ‘ in Foreign Affairs, in 1984, and Nature in 1985 and 86, and participated in the Defense Nuclear Agency follow-up to TTAPS, in 1987 , while at Harvard’s CFIA I wrote a lengthy essay in The National Interest reporting what I had learned not only about the underlying model and the attendant scientific controversy – specifically the iteration of often unrealistic worst-case parameters to yield enormous optical depths and radiative forcings , but also about how a lack of transparency, that would scandalize those used to IPCC best practices , withholding the 1-d model software , for instance , and the misrepresentation of a 1-D model as ’sophisticated’, was compounded by accelerated peer review and the hiring of a PR firm to put political spin on the science before the fact of its publication.

    This led to an extraordinary media spectacle that elevated statistically implausible outliers to the status of hard scientific facts in the popular imagination. It also seems extraordinary that , despite the controversy , the original authors were called upon to write a review article summarizing it the journal in which it originally appeared. Although many of the harshest criticisms of the media hype surrounding ‘Nuclear Winter came from indignant peace movement activists loathe to see disarmament predicated on mythology, and some , e.g. senior Science writer Eliot Marshall’s essay ‘The Little Chill ‘ appeared in liberal journals, Oreskes remains in deep denial as to the bipartisan nature of the critique.

    Accusing me of rejecting science in general while failing to quote one intact sentence out of a 7,000 word article seems to me prima facie evidence of the corrosion of Naomi’s ordinary respect for historiography by her book’s clearly polemic intent. It is ironic that the unfortunate example of serial media hype and scientific stonewalling that began on an earlier battlefield of the Climate Wars should recrudesce in the parallel PR tactics of today. Instead of learning the lessons of the ‘nuclear winter ‘ fiasco many seem to view it as a potentially profitable example of how to sell science , good or bad.

    I expect you will now refer us to Alan Robock’s Comment piece in Nature. (Nature 473, 275–276; 2011). I suggest you read my reply in the July 7 issue as well.

    Let me add that find his invocation of solar heating induced soot cloud buoyancy at low optical depths about as compelling as Spencer’s views on cloud feedback, But then, at least Alan got the sign right. Unless the rebarbative reality of positive forcing by tropospheric black carbon comes into play– some things remain intrinsically pretty uncertain.

    including the optical depth of the fog of the Climate Wars

    Comment by Russell — 8 Sep 2011 @ 11:43 PM

  168. Russell@160 would be Russell Seitz? I thought discussion of his “1987 narrative” was published in Science and Public Policy.

    Comment by flxible — 8 Sep 2011 @ 11:59 PM

  169. 158 Susan Anderson: Most people do lie to themselves. See 164 willi.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Sep 2011 @ 12:22 AM

  170. Ray Ladbury: post 147. I must correct, I am not ‘arguing about the physics’. I have gone to Start Here and followed many of the links. I have read the relevant IPCC publications, in fact that was my starting point some months ago. I can well understand the reaction in these pages to what may appear to be ‘familiar denialist arguments’. My questions do not arise from reading skeptic websites, but from occasional questions which have arisen in my own mind. I am sorry if they have been asked before.

    As for my role in the Ski Club, (raised by someone else) we are all volunteers. I am not a spokesman for the Club. My role is to coordinate the work of the working group. We deal with many environmental issues. Global warming is just one of them. The Club annually donates funds to support worthy environmental projects. These include ‘concrete’ projects such as installation of hydroelectric and solar systems to reduce the fuel needs of mountain refuges, and ‘academic’ projects examining aspects of climate change and its possible effect upon snow sports. We are also concerned with local pollution, protection of habitat and wildlife, the future of alpine communities dependent on snow sports, and many other issues. Climate change is one issue amongst many. I make no apologies for not being a qualified climate scientist.

    Re experimental verification, I took this up from one of the links given in Start Here, or one of the sub-links (sorry I can’t trace which one right now). The intentionally flippant point was made there that it would be “ideal” to do a field experiment to verify the predictions of models in terms of net heat energy released to space in relation to varying Co2 concentrations, but removing all other elements from the atmosphere to do that was rather difficult, to say the least. Accepted that observations correlate with the model predictions, but in terms of scientific knowledge there is usually great value arising from controlled experiments, even perhaps some surprises. CLOUD seems to present an opportunity to carry out controlled experiments to test the basis of a particular theory in a simulated atmosphere. Hence my question as to whether there have been, or any plans for, similar controlled experiments to test the predictions of the NET warming effect of Co2 and/or to see what comes out of the testing. All part of the knowledge base, I can’t personally conceive of how that could be done in practice,but maybe others can or have.. it’s just a question, not a ‘ denial’ of anything. I hope that clarifies my question.

    Comment by Richard bird — 9 Sep 2011 @ 4:20 AM

  171. Wayne, mass calamities do not stimulate thinking, in general. They are more likely to produce fear, hate, and falling back on basic intuitions, superstitions, religious comforts… – wili

    I think this is a matter for empirical investigation, which AFAIK has not been done – I’d be interested to learn details if I’m wrong. I suspect that the psycho-social effects of a “mass calamity” (and BTW, on the global scale, the Texas drought and wildfires are pretty small beer, scant consolation though that will be to those who have lost relatives or homes) are highly dependent on both the nature and scale of the calamity, and the economic, political and cultural context.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 9 Sep 2011 @ 4:49 AM

  172. Wili @ 164, and others who generalize that way about people:

    Over decades put planet has kept warming, oceans, air, boreholes, melting ice …. could it all be just an internal variation of the climate system? No, the system can not be warming itself. Conservation of energy. Where is the energy coming from? Greenhouse gasses are increasing and thus trapping more of the solar energy stream.

    Likewise, people in general are not in this case driving themselves nuts, they are being driven (forced, a climatologist might say) by the disinformation industry.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 9 Sep 2011 @ 5:06 AM

  173. John Nielsen-Gammon gives a good and clear appraisal of the Texas drought at his blog, sparked by the response to his outlier post.

    Comment by J Bowers — 9 Sep 2011 @ 5:26 AM

  174. Richard Bird:

    My questions do not arise from reading skeptic websites, but from occasional questions which have arisen in my own mind. I am sorry if they have been asked before.

    The chance that you’ve independently come up with a smorgasbord of common denialist themes on your own from your studying of the information on this site and IPCC documents is nil.

    I think you’re just trolling.

    Comment by dhogaza — 9 Sep 2011 @ 8:12 AM

  175. Richard Bird,
    We knew CO2 was a greenhouse gas in the 1850s. That means we could measure the fact that it trapped radiation even if we didn’t know exactly what that radiation was.

    In 1896, we knew enough for Svante Arrhenius to proclaim confidently that burning of fossil fuels by humans would raise Earth’s temperature–that’s 115 years ago.

    It is quite easy to measure the IR radiation absorbed by CO2 or by any mix of gasses under controlled laboratory conditions. We have measured the response of the atmosphere to increasing or decreasing energy. Likewise the oceans, ice caps, etc. We know how the climate responds to CO2 and we can follow the carbon cycle with pretty good precision. We even have over a dozen independent lines of evidence that allow us to quantify climate sensitivity–and amazingly, the results are quite consistent for all these lines of evidence.

    So, we have done carefully controlled experiments and analyses of all the pieces to the puzzle. What we cannot do is reconstruct Earth in the lab so we see how all those pieces interact. To do that we have to reconstruct Earth in a global climate model. We put in all the physics that we have measured in those controlled experiments and turn the damn thing on. Because Earth’s climate is such a complicated system, it is extremely unlikely that we will get something that looks like Earth by accident. If our model looks Earth-like, it is a very good indication that we are getting the most important pieces of the model right. It does and we are.

    I stress: None of this is at all controversial for anyone who knows jacksh** about Earth’s climate. It is all established science. What is more, CO2 as a well mixed, long-lived greenhouse gas has very obvious fingerprints in both current climate and in the paleoclimate. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Richard, I want you to think about this. Over 97% of climate scientists agree with the consensus model of Earth’s climate and its inescapable conclusion that we are warming the planet. Denialists try to make it sound like they are committing fraud to get funding. This is not just a lie, it is absurd. And even this absurd accusation would not explain why every National Academy, every relevant professional and honorific society of scientists also buys into the consensus. These are people who not only understand the science, but who are directly harmed if climate change is true, since mitigating it will take money away from their fields of study.

    The controversy surrounding climate science is not about science. We know the science. The controversy is there because the denialists are lying.

    .

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Sep 2011 @ 8:21 AM

  176. Re sea level rise:

    Having studied and written about this subject full-time for 1 1/2 years now, it is clear to me that (with the likely exception of the Netherlands and the partial exception of the United Kingdom) no national government is going to anything significant about sea level rise until and unless there is a major sea level rise disaster somewhere. The reason is that it will take a disaster to generate the political will needed to spend time and money on this problem.

    If anyone has any contrary views, I’d like to hear them.

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 9 Sep 2011 @ 8:53 AM

  177. @ Richard Bird

    Might I suggest Skeptical Science as an appropriate venue for you to air your questions? Over 4,000+ comment threads exist there on virtually every subject related to climate science.

    The skeptic argument rebuttals contain 3 levels of technical presentation, so there is an understanding available for everyone.

    Comment by Daniel Bailey — 9 Sep 2011 @ 11:18 AM

  178. Russell, thanks for the update, I’ll have to take a look. I don’t claim perfection for anyone, least of all myself (and including Oreskes and Russell), and I enjoy your writing. I would not condemn Oreskes’ overall conclusions based on a part she might have over- or misstated. Certainly each of us knows our own narrative better than any outsider, and if she misrepresented you it must be galling.* Personally, I found Mooney’s Republican War on Science most informative on that line of country. If you are who I think you are I know you are a conservative, and I am aware that the narrative around nuclear winter was miscast by all sides at various points (I may have read about this in Stephen Schneider?).

    You interest me not least because you appear to stand for science and have accepted reality, unlike many to the right, and therefore represent a principled stance as far as I’ve been able to discern. I step gingerly, sometimes unwisely, because of my lack of higher-level science training – that part of the brain does not get better as one ages. Like you, I am related to a world of science and it is interesting to see when I can make valid contributions and have interesting conversations, and when it is beyond my ken. The area I am best at is drawing, intuition, and truth-finding; my years of teaching forced me to find ways to introduce high-level science students to their blind spots and because life drawing is such a great reality check.

    *On misrepresenting others, I’d like to discourage those of us who know how a lot of money goes into the massive underpinnings of the fake skeptic movement from assuming that anyone regurgitating that information is paid or dishonest. They may be, or they may not be, but in most cases I believe they are just deceived and inadequately skeptical of the “side” they’d like to be right. Once a person who knows their own motivations has been miscast, it strengthens their resistance to real and useful information they need to look at, digest and absorb. Few people have enough amour propre to take false insults in their stride.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:08 PM

  179. 167 flxible 11:59 PM:

    Please do not assume that people are one-dimensional. re Russell Seitz, I suggest reading these:
    http://takimag.com/article/the_rights_science_problem
    http://takimag.com/article/a_vast_mass_of_gas

    We don’t want to close doors. I agree with you on most issues, just not the approach. The choir is too small to promote effective action if we exclude any history we dislike.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:26 PM

  180. 168 Edward Greisch 12:22 AM:
    Yes, we are all human and have blind spots. This might be the place to ask you to respond, elsewhere, to my response which I believe you never saw:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2011/06/02/will-the-ipcc-be-ready-to-communicate-about-its-fifth-assessment-report/#comment-104076

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:32 PM

  181. 167

    Oreskes & Conway also neglected to cite Martin 1988

    Comment by Russell — 9 Sep 2011 @ 1:36 PM

  182. #164 wili, “mass calamities do not stimulate thinking” , if true that is the problem.

    Rain is a matter of cooler air, I suspect winter will end this drought, at least partially.

    #170-171, we are doomed if mass climate calamities dont bring an iota of reasoning. Praying is good, but being responsible for what we do to our atmosphere would be, in the long term, a far better step in avoiding what we already told would happen.

    Salutations from the Arctic, already transformed, when at this time Arctic cod have no other place than shore lines to feed and hide, no more multi-year pack ice homes for algae and everything feeding on it, In the Arctic where scenes of change are everywhere, we wish nothing like that to you wherever you may be.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 9 Sep 2011 @ 2:35 PM

  183. #172 J Bowers, I like Nielsen-Gammon assessment, it turns out to be simple, more heat = more droughts, even next to the Gulf of Mexico with all sorts of water vapor.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 9 Sep 2011 @ 2:51 PM

  184. > Martin 1988

    Probably a reference to:

    Nuclear winter: science and politics
    Brian Martin
    Science and Public Policy, Vol. 15, No. 5, October 1988, pp. 321-334.
    http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/88spp.html
    The appendix reports on spin-checking of purported quotes, cautionary.

    Robock does cite Martin 1988

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Sep 2011 @ 2:58 PM

  185. possible good news vs malaria:

    http://www.umm.edu/news/releases/whole-parasite-vaccine.htm

    [Response: Terrific. And completely OT--Jim]

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 9 Sep 2011 @ 8:22 PM

  186. 177

    At a 1987 debate entitled ‘ Is ‘Nuclear Winter’ real and relevant ?’ , moderated curiously enough , by both Al Gores. Sr. & Jr., I remarked to Steve Schneider that the stability of strategic deterrence aside, Sagan was playing a joke on policy analysts at the expense of the credibility of climate modelers on the eve of the greenhouse debate.

    When propaganda begets counterpropaganda, science tends to get caught in the crossfire, and though K Street can raise a formidable racket at the Koch’s behest, it sounds like a kazoo compared to the Soviet Union playing the peace movement full blast at the height of the Cold War.

    [Response: Russell, you're assuming your reader know all the details of the history here, but they don't. If you want to bring up the nuclear winter question, fine. But if so, then cut out the obtuse statements and explain what you think the scientific issues are, for heavens sake. As for your previous comments, what 'extraordinary claim' did you think I made?

    In any case, I've read Robock's commentary and your reply, and I'm confused. Robock's ~1°C drop is for a limited nuclear conflict; the TTAPS calculations were for a global nuclear war. It seems to me you are comparing apples with oranges (or rather MT with GT). Am I missing something? (Note, I'm not defending (nor attacking) Oreskes here; I have not gone and re-read what she wrote in her book about all this.)--eric]

    Comment by Russell — 9 Sep 2011 @ 9:13 PM

  187. And a little good news about climate science and education: COBWEB, soon available at a school near you courtesy of Environment Canada and AIRS

    Comment by flxible — 9 Sep 2011 @ 9:31 PM

  188. Mr. Wayne Davidson: Can you inform if remnants of the recent hurricanes produced rain over Greenland ?

    Comment by sidd — 10 Sep 2011 @ 11:00 AM

  189. The fact that the USSR would exploit nuclear winter for propaganda against US missiles in Europe does not make nuclear winter a KGB hoax.

    The Russian propaganda was not so loud.

    The missiles were put in, and Gorbachev negotiated some reductions.

    I think this KGB defector Sergei Tretyakov who wrote about the “hoax” of nuclear winter was full of baloney. I just wonder WHOSE BALONEY it is.

    I note that some moron in the FBI seems to think this defector’s book has some merit.

    Shouldn’t the FBI check with the NAS and the Pentagon before calling nuclear winter a KGB hoax and Paul Crutzen a unwitting KGB dupe.

    The FBI even mischaracterized what the KGB defector’s book actually said.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/06/higher-education-and-national-security.html

    The FBI is warning scholars to be wary of propaganda, but they end up being the ones to spread ignorant propaganda.

    The book Comrade J quotes the “physicist” Russell Seitz who claims that nuclear winter research is based on “a notorious lack of scientific integrity” (176). However, Seitz does not have a Ph.D. in physics. [See Lawrence Badash, A Nuclear Winter's Tale, page 249.]

    I think it is possible that Seitz’s ideas about nuclear winter were attributed to the KGB defector Tretykov in order to give Seitz’s views credibility.

    An Internet article titled “Debunking Pete Earley’s Comrade J” claims:

    Most of Earley’s account is directly lifted from “The Scandal of Nuclear Winter” by Brad Sparks published in National Review (November 15, 1985), and “The Melting of ‘Nuclear Winter’” by R. Seitz published in The World [Sic?] Street Journal (December 12, 1986). [See page 10, "General Remarks.]

    The author (above) may have confused his dates, because this copy on the Internet of Seitz’s article is dated November 5, 1986. I will try to sort out the confusion.

    Strange that the FBI would malign Dr. Crutzen right when he was leading the Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ workshop on the melting glaciers.

    I do wonder what happened to the Russian scientist Vladimir Alexandrov.

    Comment by Snapple — 10 Sep 2011 @ 12:33 PM

  190. To be clear, Fred Seitz is dead.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 10 Sep 2011 @ 2:01 PM

  191. GA State Climatologist dismissed.

    “Gov. Nathan Deal has removed University of Georgia professor David Stooksbury as state climatologist, a position he has held for more than a decade.

    Stooksbury only learned he had been booted Wednesday, the day after Deal appointed a meteorologist at the state Environmental Protection Division to the post, he said.

    “There was word in June they were considering having the state climatologist report to EPD, but as far as what happened this week, I was totally blindsided,” Stooksbury said.

    Deal announced his decision via an executive order posted Tuesday.

    The office of the state climatologist has been headquartered at UGA for decades, but Deal believes it makes more sense to centralize the office in state government at the Environmental Protection Division, spokesman Brian Robinson said today.

    “They just wanted to consolidate those functions at EPD,” Robinson said.

    Assistant state climatologist Pam Knox will also lose her appointment, Robinson said.”

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 10 Sep 2011 @ 3:38 PM

  192. #188 sidd, entirely possible, happened before , didn’t follow up on them, its the cloudy season now. Wide open water and cool air dominates the Arctic, weather is foggy cloudy almost always, but I will keep an eye on the future ones, Irene was heading well North though.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 10 Sep 2011 @ 4:07 PM

  193. Sensitivity of temperature and precipitation to frequency of climate forcing: Doug MacMynowski http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJv4zL1HR70

    Comment by prokaryotes — 10 Sep 2011 @ 5:58 PM

  194. Russian, U.S. scientists set to study methane release in Arctic

    Professor Semiletov has been studying methane seepage in the region for the last 15 years, and leads the International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS), which has launched a number of expeditions to the Arctic Ocean.

    “The studies are reaching a more serious level. Many Russian and U.S. universities have joined the [ISSS] program bringing in the most advanced equipment which will allow us to study the structure of underwater permafrost with more precision,” Semiletov said. http://en.rian.ru/science/20110902/166364635.html

    Comment by prokaryotes — 10 Sep 2011 @ 8:15 PM

  195. How active is the alaska seismic?

    http://www.aeic.alaska.edu/seis/recenteqs/index.html

    What kind of evidence is required to tie earthquake activity to destabilizing clathrates or orogenic rebound?

    Rapid viscoelastic uplift in southeast Alaska caused
    by post-Little Ice Age glacial retreat

    Our observations show that extreme uplift in southeast Alaska began about 1770 AD, with relative sea level (RSL) change to 5.7 m and current uplift rates to 32 mm/yr. This region experienced widespread glacial melting following the Little Ice Age (LIA), with the collapse of the Glacier Bay Icefield alone equivalent to 8 mm of global sea level rise. Geodynamic modelling links the uplift to post-LIA isostatic rebound, with the extreme uplift signal and a priori knowledge of ice load changes requiring the presence of a low viscosity asthenosphere (3.7 Â 1018 Pa s). These crustal deformations are triggered by climate change through glacier wastage. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CFMQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aeic.alaska.edu%2Finput%2Fchris%2Fepsl_larsen.pdf&rct=j&q=geodynamic%20boundary%20climate%20change%20alaska&ei=8RBsTt6yBMXLtAaS_42_BA&usg=AFQjCNH4Jb-lM7kFpGPt6LTVm9vMyO6q0g&cad=rja

    White Paper GeoPRISMS Planning Workshop for the Alaska Primary Site,
    September 2011, Portland, Oregon

    Linking arc volcanic fluxes and growth rates with Pleistocene climate change:
    Marine tephrostratigraphy of the Aleutian‐Alaska volcanic arc

    Susanne M. Straub and Gisela Winckler
    Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, U.S.A.

    The long‐standing observation that the frequency of arc volcanism changes
    periodically in intensity has led to many hypotheses and models as to cause‐and‐effect
    relationships and feedbacks mechanisms with the global climate (Cambray and Cadet,
    1994; Jegen et al., 2010; Jicha et al., 2009; Kennett and Thunell, 1975; Prueher and Rea, 1998; Prueher and Rea, 2001). For example, global cooling has been proposed to follow the enhanced injection of climatically‐active gases and aerosols into the atmosphere (Jicha et al., 2009; Kennett and Thunell, 1975; Prueher and Rea, 1998; Prueher and Rea, 2001), that may possibly be followed by positive feedbacks, such as an increased albedo of snow covers and ice sheets, or the biological drawdown of CO2 driven by the release of nutrients from dissolving ash into the oceans (e.g. Jones and Gislason, 2008). In a recent study, Huybers and Langmuir (2009) proposed that glacially induced volcanism, triggered by the depressurization of the upper mantle increased the frequency of volcanic eruptions worldwide, and thus plays a key role in the atmospheric CO2 balance and ice‐age cycles. A link between arc volcanism and the 41 ka Milankovitch periodicity also emerges from a statistical evaluation of macroscopically visible marine tephra deposits near circum‐Pacific arcs (Jegen et al., 2010). On a more immediate scale, Tuffen (2010) concluded that ongoing glacier recession likely will result in intensification of eruptions worldwide, with a corresponding increase in associated hazards.

    While these studies suggest causal links between volcanic frequency and climate
    change, the global approaches remain inconclusive as to magnitude, causes and
    feedback mechanisms. Testing time‐cause relationships between arc volcanism and
    climate needs an integrated approach where reliable data on the frequency of arc
    volcanism can be combined with data on volcanic emissions of climatically active
    volatiles and arc growth rates, and in addition can be directly related to the other
    parameters of climate change, such as ice volume data, IRD (ice‐rafted debris) input, etc..
    We propose that the Pleistocene Aleutian‐Alaska arc system provides these
    characteristics and therefore represents an ideal system for addressing a key question of the GeoPRISMS Draft Science Plan (Subduction and Deformation cycles): ‘How do surface processes and climate modulate volatile inputs and outputs at subducting margins and vice versa’
    http://www.geoprisms.org/images/stories/documents/Alaska/Whitepapers/straub_and_winckler.pdf

    Comment by prokaryotes — 10 Sep 2011 @ 8:46 PM

  196. Pete Dunkelberg says:
    10 Sep 2011 at 3:38 PM
    “GA State Climatologist dismissed.”

    How convenient to have a state climatologist who can be silenced or fired at the whim of Georgia’s governor.

    “Former Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) is a global warming conspiracy theorist, filing a “Climategate” petition against the EPA finding that greenhouse pollution endangers the public health and welfare:
    First, Climategate reveals a serious lack of integrity in the underlying data and models, such that it is doubtful that any process can be trusted until the data and models are validated and their integrity assured. Second, Climategate shows that the processes of peer review, consensus building, and scientific evaluation were fundamentally corrupted to the point that EPA should reconsider its reliance on the reports and analyses that led to the Endangerment Finding. Third, Climategate reveals a disturbing, anti-scientific compulsion for mandatory orthodoxy. [Petition for Reconsideration, 12/23/09]

    ThinkProgress

    This is exactly the situation tenure was intended to address, and why a tenured professor at a major university is useful climatologist when reporting to political factions. And of course, that’s exactly why Deal wanted this change implemented.

    This sort of eliminationist tactic seems to be a growing phenomenon. Has anybody noticed, CEI is now calling for the elimination of the National Weather Service?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 10 Sep 2011 @ 9:39 PM

  197. I was noting elsewhere that half the planet’s primary production comes from plankton, and the plankton lives about a week so it’s constantly under selection pressure.

    Today I came across this geoengineering idea from Russell Seitz — modifying the surface of the oceans with persistent white foam to increase the planet’s albedo: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cluster=10913404277931488173&hl=en&as_sdt=2005&sciodt=0,5
    Seitz: Bright water: hydrosols, water conservation and climate change
    Robock has commented: http://scholar.googleusercontent.com/scholar?q=cache:PyubwKbU96wJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5

    I’d love to see what the plankton scientists make of the idea.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Sep 2011 @ 9:47 PM

  198. John Cook, creator of the extraordinary Skeptical Science site, has just won a highly prestigious and well deserved Australian science award. If you are not already familiar with Skeptical Science get over there right now.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 11 Sep 2011 @ 6:06 AM

  199. Doug Bostrom @ 196

    “This sort of eliminationist tactic seems to be a growing phenomenon.”

    I wouldn’t be surprised, although as a tactic it’s pretty much business as usual for the crony capital segment of society. For several decades now there have been increased efforts, some more benign than others but all moving in group-think lockstep, to engineer a certain kind of ideological thinking into US institutions. Note the expunging of RINOs, and the activities of lobbyists, the Federalist Society, Fox news, and televangelists just for starters. The scientific community is the about the only major institution left that’s still relatively uncorrupted. That’s even though it’s being attacked left, right and center and already seems to be crumbling around the alt-med edges. Here’s hoping it can hold out.

    Comment by Radge Havers — 11 Sep 2011 @ 10:51 AM

  200. Daniel Bailey 177: “Might I suggest Skeptical Science as an appropriate venue for you to air your questions? ”

    Very good site with well presented information, very clearly set out. Thanks, and I would certainly recommend that site to others with a general interest in climate change.

    Comment by Richard Bird — 12 Sep 2011 @ 1:34 AM

  201. Speaking of pogroms of elimination from closeted admirers of Stalin found in the fossil fuel industry, Michael Mann is fighting a lopsided battle wherein he’s in one corner, the multi-trillion dollar fossil fuels industry is in the other, and they’re battling over Mann’s research work materials. May the best person win, but that’s only going to happen if Mann can lawyer-up to fight something called the “American Tradition Institute” as it seeks to gain exclusive access to Mann’s work (which various taxpayers actually have funded).

    See Scott Mandia’s page describing the Climate Scientist Defense Fund for more details. Can you rob yourself of the opportunity for a couple of deluxe pizzas, or a few overprice coffee drinks? Consider diverting a few dollars to a less ephemeral sort of satisfaction.

    Again, this is an industry in which just the top 10 firms are flowing some $2.3 trillion in annual revenue, these firms being part of a world where people will kill for $2 and a sandwich. Don’t expect a clean fight, don’t expect to win without fighting. Fortunately, “fight” in this case mostly means a little cash going in the right direction; once in court, things become much fairer but it costs money to be there.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 12 Sep 2011 @ 1:35 AM

  202. Judith Curry has a new paper out concerning uncertainty in climate science. In a reply to a comment published about their paper Curry & Webster state, with reference to Gent et al. (2011):

    In spite of using a better model and better forcing data for the CCSM4 simulations, the CCSM4 simulations show that after 1970, the simulated surface temperature increases faster than the data, so that by 2005 the model anomaly is 0.4oC larger than the observed anomaly. By contrast, the CCSM3 simulations show very good agreement with the surface temperature data. The critical difference is that the CCSM4 model was tuned for the pre-industrial period and used accepted best estimates of the forcing data, whereas the CCSM3 model was tuned to the 20th century observations and each modeling group was permitted to select their preferred forcing data sets.

    From my reading of Gent et al. I can’t see that these conclusions are supported but I could be missing something. Gavin, can you offer a more informed appraisal of the difference between CCSM3 and CCSM4, with regards to the Curry & Webster reply?

    Comment by Paul S — 12 Sep 2011 @ 7:16 AM

  203. We have a neighbor planet called Venus that is famous for its extreme greenhouse effect. What a perfect place to test various models on. Unfortunately atmospheric observations are vary scarce but there is at least one temperature profile. The uppermost parts of the clouds is quite well observed as is the topography. I haven’t seen any serious attempts to model the climate of Venus, however. Can the basic data be approximated straight from first principles? Are there papers on serious climate model runs or do they not exist? Please let me know what you know about the subject.

    Comment by Steven Jörsäter — 12 Sep 2011 @ 7:32 AM

  204. Steven Jörsäter, Ever hear of Google Scholar? More than 30000 hits in 0.17s.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=venus+climate+model&hl=en&as_sdt=1,21&as_sdtp=on

    Knock yourself out.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Sep 2011 @ 8:28 AM

  205. the Soviet Union playing the peace movement full blast at the height of the Cold War. – Russell

    You know, as a member of the peace movement, I never received a penny in Moscow gold, nor saw any propaganda materials of Soviet origin (not hard to spot). Nor was it necessary to believe in the nuclear winter hypothesis to be opposed to the ramping-up of tensions by the Reagan administration, which nearly led to nuclear war twice in 1983 (google “Stanislav Petrov” and “Able Archer” for details). Nuclear winter or no, such a war would have been an unprecedented catastrophe, killing billions. The peace movement I was a member of did its utmost to work with Soviet-bloc dissidents, and opposed Soviet as well as NATO missiles. Russell loves his old Cold War hobby-horse, though, doesn’t he?

    [Response: This is way OT - enough thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 12 Sep 2011 @ 8:58 AM

  206. 186
    Extraordinary claim’ – Eric , you asked for it :

    ‘Claims of anyone ‘refusing’ to do something usually say more about the claimant than the accused. Care to be more specific about what you allege Naomi gets wrong? ‘

    189

    Snapple’s confusion is nearly complete-

    “The book Comrade J quotes the “physicist” Russell Seitz who claims that nuclear winter research is based on “a notorious lack of scientific integrity” (176). However, Seitz does not have a Ph.D. in physics. [See Lawrence Badash, A Nuclear Winter's Tale, page 249.]

    I think it is possible that Seitz’s ideas about nuclear winter were attributed to the KGB defector Tretykov in order to give Seitz’s views credibility.”

    what Snapple says” Comrade J ” attributes to me is apparently this quotation
    from Kerry Emanuel, who in observed the subject had “become notorious for its lack of scientific integrity” (Nature 319, 259; 1986)

    Notwithstanding that don’t know this fellow Earley from Adam , that Brad Sparks was a sort of 80′s avatar of Marc Morano, that the KGB has morphed into another service, and I’ve been appointed a Fellow of the Department of Physics at Harvard , It is vexing he should fail to note that Crutzen, who nailed the effect Sagan subsequently hyped in a 1981 Ambio article astutely entitled ‘Twilight at Noon’, mirrored Steve Schneider’s skepticism as to the 1-D model’s limits.

    Sad as defector’s memoirs tend to be , their perusal can occasionally turn up new facts amidst recycled dezinformatsia,

    To clarify an obscure reference , as Eric requests , the Vladimir Alexandrov to whom Snapple refers remains an object of vexation and concern to physicists who do not shoot other physicists because, in a move that might give even Attorney General Cuccinelli pause, he was shoved into a van on the doorstep of the Soviet Embassy in Madrid, after blowing his lines at a Eurocommunist Nuclear Free Zone rally the night before .

    He has not been seen since.

    Comment by Russell — 12 Sep 2011 @ 1:50 PM

  207. The ‘Extraordinary claim’ is the one you made earlier, Eric :

    ‘Claims of anyone ‘refusing’ to do something usually say more about the claimant than the accused. Care to be more specific about what you allege Naomi gets wrong? ‘

    189

    Snapple’s confusion is nearly complete-

    “The book Comrade J quotes the “physicist” Russell Seitz who claims that nuclear winter research is based on “a notorious lack of scientific integrity” (176). However, Seitz does not have a Ph.D. in physics. [See Lawrence Badash, A Nuclear Winter's Tale, page 249.]

    I think it is possible that Seitz’s ideas about nuclear winter were attributed to the KGB defector Tretykov in order to give Seitz’s views credibility.”

    what Snapple says” Comrade J ” attributes to me is apparently this quotation
    from Kerry Emanuel, who in observed the subject had “become notorious for its lack of scientific integrity” (Nature 319, 259; 1986)

    Notwithstanding that don’t know this fellow Earley from Adam , that Brad Sparks was a sort of 80′s avatar of Marc Morano, that the KGB has morphed into another service, and I’ve been appointed a Fellow of the Department of Physics at Harvard , It is vexing he should fail to note that Crutzen, who nailed the effect Sagan subsequently hyped in a 1981 Ambio article astutely entitled ‘Twilight at Noon’, mirrored Steve Schneider’s skepticism as to the 1-D model’s limits.

    Sad as defector’s memoirs tend to be , their perusal can occasionally turn up new facts amidst recycled dezinformatsia,

    To clarify an obscure reference , as Eric requests , the Vladimir Alexandrov to whom Snapple refers remains an object of vexation and concern to physicists who do not shoot other physicists because, in a move that might give even Attorney General Cuccinelli pause, he was shoved into a van on the doorstep of the Soviet Embassy in Madrid, after blowing his lines at a Eurocommunist Nuclear Free Zone rally the night before .

    He has not been seen since.

    206

    Alan Robock rode this hobby horse in from the cold in Nature last spring, and you can read my reply in Correspondence, 7 July.

    Comment by Russell — 12 Sep 2011 @ 2:06 PM

  208. 186
    Eric

    I’ve provided a link to a direct comparison of the TTAPS and Robock scenarios just below my July 7 piece in Nature

    Hank Roberts

    In addition to the planckton guys, coral biologists and limnologists are weighing in, since solar heated hot water is as much of a problem in some aquatic ecosystems as compression of the euphotic zone is in others .

    Comment by Russell — 12 Sep 2011 @ 2:18 PM

  209. All regular readers here have already donated to Prof. Scott Mandia’s defense fund for climate scientists, right? Michael Mann is not going to have to show up in court to retain possession of his private correspondence, working papers, etc. with no lawyer at his side, yes? Dr. Mann won’t be facing a focused, ruthlessly efficient global constituency armed with trillions of dollars all by his lonely self, correct?

    We can confidently say we’re not so complacent as to allow such a terrible thing to happen, I’m sure.

    Climate Scientists Defense Fund

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 12 Sep 2011 @ 2:19 PM

  210. Thanks, Doug. Will do.

    Also of interest, as this event is just 2 days away, and seems surprisingly low profile so far:

    http://climaterealityproject.org/the-event/

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Sep 2011 @ 3:28 PM

  211. 189

    Snapple’s source is a chunk of bloggerel fit for Marc Morano or Tony Watts ; largely incoherent and dead wrong in most of its particulars, from its misattribution to me of a quote from Kerry Emmanuel and failure to note I’m a Fellow of the Department of Physics here to its bizarre equation of Paul Crutzen’s views with those of Carl Sagan.

    Paul’s 1981 Ambio article ‘ Twilight at Noon ‘ accurately predicted the regime of optical depth that TTAPS overshot by up to six orders of magnitude. What he predicted is as far
    from Sagan’s apocalyptic predictions as Robock’s contemporary results-

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/g370/RussellSeitz/?action=view&current=RobockAndSagan.jpg

    Here’s the Nature letter in response to Robock’s revival of this cold war hobby horse

    Nuclear winter was and is debatable

    Alan Robock’s contention that there has been no real scientific debate about the ‘nuclear winter’ concept is itself debatable. (Nature 473, 275–276; 2011
    This potential climate disaster, popularized in Science in 1983, rested on the output of a one-dimensional model that was later shown to overestimate the smoke a nuclear holocaust might engender. More refined estimates, combined with advanced three-dimensional models (see http://go.nature.com/kss8te), have dramatically reduced the extent and severity of the projected cooling.
    Despite this, Carl Sagan, who co-authored the 1983 Science paper, went so far as to posit “the extinction of Homo sapiens” (C. Sagan Foreign Affairs 63, 75–77; 1984). Some regarded this apocalyptic prediction as an exercise in mythology. George Rathjens of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology protested: “Nuclear winter is the worst example of the misrepresentation of science to the public in my memory,” (see http://go.nature.com/yujz84) and climatologist Kerry Emanuel observed that the subject had “become notorious for its lack of scientific integrity” (Nature 319, 259; 1986)
    Robock’s single-digit fall in temperature is at odds with the subzero (about −25 °C) continental cooling originally projected for a wide spectrum of nuclear wars. Whereas Sagan predicted darkness at noon from a US–Soviet nuclear conflict, Robock projects global sunlight that is several orders of magnitude brighter for a Pakistan–India conflict — literally the difference between night and day. Since 1983, the projected worst-case cooling has fallen from a Siberian deep freeze spanning 11,000 degree-days Celsius (a measure of the severity of winters) to numbers so unseasonably small as to call the very term ‘nuclear winter’ into question. ”

    Russell Seitz Cambridge, Massachusetts
    ********@physics.harvard.edu

    Comment by Russell — 12 Sep 2011 @ 3:39 PM

  212. Well, the last approximation to ‘nuclear winter’ didn’t seem to result in any species extinctions at all, e.g.,
    http://anthropology.net/2009/11/24/environmental-impact-of-the-73-ka-toba-super-eruption-in-south-asia-sciencedirect/

    {An article appearing in Scientific American a few years ago indicated that it must have been very cold, globally, for 3–6 years.}

    Comment by David B. Benson — 12 Sep 2011 @ 8:29 PM

  213. I should add to my comment #212 that apparently surviving the Mt. Toba super-eruption was a very close call for the Bengal tigers; unfortunately I don’t have the link.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 12 Sep 2011 @ 8:57 PM

  214. Switching from coal to gas may not change much very soon:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/energy/27156/?p1=A4

    To me, this goes along with “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” to which I usually add “and continues with single steps.” It is still a good idea to replace coal with natural gas as soon as possible, especially since EPA requires cleaner and cleaner effluents from coal combustion (diminishing the cooling effects of SO2 et al, mentioned in the article.)

    This looks like the sort of thing that the anti-AGW forces will publicize.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 13 Sep 2011 @ 12:13 PM

  215. Another unforced variation:

    making energy from hog manure — http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Hog_waste_producing_electricity_and_carbon_offsets_999.html

    Possibly I am more aware of the potential for livestock waste to supply energy and reduce the use of coal, because my wife rides horses and I occasionally help muck out the stalls. Like most parts of the solution, it is a very small part. In some niches, it is a large part, as economies of scale drive down the price, reduce offensive smells, and reduce infective pollution.

    Hopefully, this is at least a little more on topic than malaria and the Cold War.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 13 Sep 2011 @ 12:44 PM

  216. Septic, the ‘coal no worse than gas’ article is pretty lame.

    “While burning less coal would indeed reduce [CO2] emissions, it would also reduce emissions of other pollutants, like sulfur dioxide, which cool the planet.”

    But, guess what–S02 also causes acid rain and other nasties, so most new coal plants scrub most of it out, and many old ones are being retrofitted to do the same.

    So really, it should have said:

    “natural gas plants have about the same net effect as the last few old coal plants which have not yet been retrofitted but soon will be.”

    A pretty worthless point to make.

    But if you simplify that to the point of falsehood, you get a much catchier title.

    Comment by wili — 13 Sep 2011 @ 1:35 PM

  217. 216, wili: Septic, the ‘coal no worse than gas’ article is pretty lame.

    I thought I said that, but I guess not.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 13 Sep 2011 @ 2:18 PM

  218. @102 BillS

    Thanks for the link, that’s exactly what I was looking for. I was curious as to how they accounted for microwave emissivity variations, and the level 2 document provides all I was looking for.

    Comment by Paul from VA — 13 Sep 2011 @ 2:34 PM

  219. Climate change already has unprecedented impact on European oceans; surface water rapidly warming: http://reut.rs/EUocea

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 13 Sep 2011 @ 4:06 PM

  220. More for the methane topic next time it comes ’round.

    Janet Raloff of Sciencenews is a consistently interesting reporter.

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/334245/title/HIPPO_reveals_climate_surprises
    HIPPO reveals climate surprises
    Swooping pole-to-pole plane flights uncover unexpected trends in pollutant releases and spread
    By Janet Raloff
    Web edition : Thursday, September 8th, 2011

    “A major pollution-mapping program that ends September 9 has turned up startling trends in climate-warming gases and soot. The data it collected over the past five years from a National Science Foundation aircraft show the tropics periodically belch huge plumes of nitrous oxide — a potent greenhouse gas — into the upper atmosphere. Arctic measurements show that the recent record summer retreats of ice cover have allowed seas there to exhale unexpected amounts of methane, another potent greenhouse gas.

    Then there’s soot. Parts of the supposedly pristine Arctic skies host dense clouds of these black carbon particles. During some flights, “We were immersed in essentially clouds of black carbon that were dense enough that you could barely see the ground,” recalls Stephen Wofsy of Harvard University, a principal investigator in the program. “It was like landing in Los Angeles — except that you were 8 kilometers above the surface of the Arctic Ocean.”

    Until a few years ago, scientists interested in mapping global emissions of climate-altering pollutants had to rely on Earth-based sensors or satellites’ eyes on the skies. Neither could identify at what altitude the pollutants tended to congregate. They also missed many highly localized or seasonal plumes of natural pollutants.

    That all changed when a federal-university research partnership got access to NSF’s research plane: HIAPER (for High Performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research). Throughout a number of periodic runs, this aircraft repeatedly swooped up and down — from 150 meters above Earth’s surface to heights sometimes exceeding 13.7 kilometers (45,000 feet). All along the way, its instruments measured more than 50 greenhouse gases and black carbon.

    The unparalleled altitude- and latitude- specific data collected as part of this program — named HIPPO (for HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations) — will soon be made available to researchers generally, notes Wofsy. He expects scientists will mine its data for many years, looking for additional climate trends….
    …”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 13 Sep 2011 @ 5:38 PM

  221. Henry Waxman unveils a searchable database of anti-environment votes by the current Congress.

    Comment by J Bowers — 13 Sep 2011 @ 6:42 PM

  222. > Vladimir Alexandrov

    Interesting to learn from Dr. Seitz above details of that disappearance. Your memory goes into detail far beyond what I could find published.

    Can you tell us your source for the details you reveal? Whether you’re giving info from personal knowledge, or from published or anecdotal material?

    I did find: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/printout/0,8816,960025,00.html
    (final paragraph), but that’s much less specific than the facts you state. Does your recollection fill a gap in the published record?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Sep 2011 @ 4:35 AM

  223. DISsertations initiative for the advancement of Climate Change ReSearch

    “Ph.D. recipients whose dissertation or current work pertains to climate change and its impacts are invited to register their dissertation using the form below. After submitting your registration, your dissertation abstract will be available online”
    at: http://www.disccrs.org/search

    “DISCCRS provides online tools for catalyzing interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration: http://disccrs.org/disccrsposter.pdf
    Please display and distribute the poster as widely as possible!”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Sep 2011 @ 4:47 AM

  224. “… corrective information is often presented in an ineffective manner. We … graphical corrections may be more effective than text …. Graphical corrections are also found to successfully reduce incorrect beliefs among potentially resistant subjects and to perform better than an equivalent textual correction….”
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/ten-miles-square/2011/09/new_research_on_political_misp032163.php

    I’ve urged this before — when you search for information about climate, check what’s out there at least three ways:
    use Google, and Scholar, and Images.

    Comparison is often impressive — how _different_ the results are.
    Google Image searches return many, many copies of rebunked material.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Sep 2011 @ 5:14 AM

  225. I apologize to the posters and scientists who post here for my writing being quite simplified. I’m sure my posts are uninteresting to you. Thankfully, I don’t really post for your benefit, but for the laypersons who wander in and find the more scientific stuff too dense. I try to keep it simple, straightforward and work from a meta view, hopefully with images to make points tangible, that is easily grasped. Call it application of the KISS principle. In teaching, this working to the group Zone of proximal Development.

    But here I am talking to you regulars.

    @methane and long term trends: @1850 to current time methane has increased roughly 250%. CO2 only about 37%. That’s a pretty darned robust long-term trend.

    Is that all Arctic? Nope. Much is from FFs and agricultural and animal husbandry, of course. And those are symptomatic of increasing FF use which allowed huge increases in population.

    But the assumption, or more accurately, the reticence, to acknowledge an Arctic methane problem, is handled quite nicely by one simple observation clearly showing a rising trend: A 3oo% increase in direct observations of thermokarst lakes by Katey nee Walter.

    Is it proof? No. Is it enough to stop and think to ourselves, “Oh, holy poop in my pants?” Yup.

    Further, at least one of the recent articles on the new (current?) expedition to measure methane release mentioned that the amounts found during previous trips mentioned the background below the water line and just above were significantly higher than about a decade ago.

    So, rising data wrt thermokarst lakes and rising data in direct measurements in the short term coupled with a renewed rise as of 2007 atmospherically (actually, the graphs earlier in the thread showed a slow in emissions over the previous 10 year span, not a stop), give us pretty compelling evidence of something amiss with Arctic methane. Also, I believe we have reduced emissions from agriculture in recent years.

    I’d like to point out expectations that methane deposits would not erupt for quite some time were based on the belief at the time that the planet could not warm as fast as it has been, that the oceans could not warm as fast as they have been, and that clathrates were in relatively deep water. But the Arctic shelves are very shallow, there’s a lot more warm water infiltrating than believed back then, and the ice is dancing a funeral jig.

    Given the speed of change in the Arctic and all the other evidence, this is not something we want to be cagey about in discussion. The question for me is not whether it is rising – if it isn’t, it very soon will be (but it is) – but how do we get at the evidence? Yes, I realize that sounds like deciding the outcome before doing the experiment, but we have more than enough evidence to form a hypothesis and test it, so it actually is not.

    Let the scientists do their cagey scientist thing, but for heaven’s sake, can’t we simply acknowledge all the evidence is bad, the chance of a significant rise in Arctic methane emissions is very high, and the risk is so great we’d better do something about it regardless of what we can prove or not?

    If you really believe the clathrates and permafrost are not melting while every other part of the cryosphere is, then this is for you:

    :o

    Actually, the real question is, given things are already very tenuous and adding even a percentage point or two of the stored methane would likely leave us with a very small chance of success, what can we do to prevent this from happening? We don’t even need to know if the methane is increasing or not because we need to take action anyway.

    I’m a gunslinger, you’re my target, my hand just twitched: whatcha gonna do?

    @mitigation: You are now moving into my area of knowledge.

    *All of you are familiar with non-liner and chaotic system behavior, so I need not harp on that other than to raise it to immediate awareness.

    * Design Principle: organic before non-organic solutions. Geo-engineering is what we do. All biota do. We’ve seen what non-natural choices do. If natural choices exist, and they do, good design says use them first.

    Options:
    - Re-grow forest ecosystems. (Proof of concept exists: Willie Smits; Hansen has stated reforestation can cover 100% of current emissions.)
    - Regenertive Ag. (Proofs of concept exist: Rodale, for one. Change to regenerative practices globally – big ag only, not including home gardens, 40% )
    - Reduce consumption. (Growth trumps innovation/efficiency; Jevon’s Paradox and US consumption 1980 – 2000′s: US oil consumption rose 5 million barrels a day while US efficiency rose over 30%. Oops. Reducing consumption is not optional.)

    Those three alone have the potential to compensate for more than 100% of current emissions, which means we would be going backwards with CO2e by sometime between mid-century and 2100 if all we did was hold gross non-agricultural emissions constant and implement these changes.

    Why in the name of All would we mess with techno-fantasies and their very likely unintended consequences when we can reduce carbon and feed the planet simply by growing more plants and improving our quality of life?

    That last brings up two other principles: Each element in a system should have more than one function, and each function should be supported by more than one element.

    Also: Least change for max effect. This last is more reflected in type of change rather than scale given we are talking about all agriculture and lots of forests.

    All this without even going into the myriad other needs for and benefits of this sort of solutioneering.

    If I never hear of schemes for geo-engineering again it will be too soon. My prediction: If we are foolish enough to end up choosing non-natural choices over natural choices, and all that implies, we have already lost. You can’t just get liposuction and expect to remain slim, you have to change how you eat and burn calories. If we don’t change how we eat, any techno gain will be overcome by our poor habits and growth.

    K.I.S.S.

    Comment by ccpo — 14 Sep 2011 @ 7:28 AM

  226. 222

    Knowing Alexandrov , as soon as I learned of his disappearance I conducted telephone interviews with people on the ground in Cordoba and Madrid, and met in DC, London and Paris with some of those investigating the matter.

    Comment by Russell — 14 Sep 2011 @ 8:20 AM

  227. Scott Mandia’s website:

    “Update #4 (09/12/11): We have reached our initial target goal of $10,000 which will cover Mike’s [Michael Mann] immediate legal fees. The excess amount will be moved to a more permanent legal defense fund that we are establishing to help climate scientists with any future legal expenses. We hope this new permanent structure will also allow donors to send money as tax-deductible. Thank you all for your generous support. You are really sending a message. Keep that message going.”

    Well done, a sweeping tip of the hat to Scott Mandia and everybody who has contributed to this worthy effort.

    I spent some time in public radio management, among other fun work harassing habitual listeners into coughing up some change to support their addiction. There are stacks of data showing that for every person whose conscience penetrates into their wallets to make a donation to causes they care about, about nine more don’t make that leap. Most of the fault lies in slight inconvenience, a significant little in the way we compartmentalize our feelings safely away from our bank accounts. Inconvenience is no longer an excuse because– as typified by this example– without shifting our keisters one iota we can reach Prof. Mandia’s donation page and do Good Work. That leaves only the evaluatin of how much we care about seeing handfuls of dense, abrasive and draggy sand thrown into the gears of scientific progress.

    Do we care?

    Mandia raised $10k in about 7 days. Factoring in a depletion allowance, he ought to be able to raise much, much more if he can stay visible with his plan and if enough people sincerely care about maintaining scientific integrity.

    As you may have heard on-the-air, “You know who you are.” Do you care?

    As far as continuing visibility goes, RC and like sites should add a prominent link pointing to Prof. Mandia’s fundraising page.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Sep 2011 @ 12:02 PM

  228. 225, ccpo: Those three alone have the potential to compensate for more than 100% of current emissions, which means we would be going backwards with CO2e by sometime between mid-century and 2100 if all we did was hold gross non-agricultural emissions constant and implement these changes.

    I believe that is an achievable goal. Changes already underway in the development of alternative energy and fuel sources will substantially reduce fossil fuel use by 2050. Almost everyone is in favor of reforestation, afforestation, and less disruptive agriculture (beginning with “minimum tillage”).

    What do you say to people who assert that 2050 is too late. Barton Paul Levenson reported here that his simulations show the end of civilization for sure by 2050, due to the collapse of the food supply.

    [Response: That topic is beyond the ability of anyone here--or anyone anywhere IMO--to address properly, as it is fraught with enormous uncertainties. It quickly goes off the rails. Discussions of climate and agriculture and perfectly fine as long as they are firmly based on what we solidly know. Discussions of the end of civilization do not qualify.--Jim]

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 14 Sep 2011 @ 12:06 PM

  229. I posted this on the other thread, but it looks like this might be where it is more relevant (mods feel free to delete one or the other):

    Has anyone else seen this:

    http://arctictransport.wordpress.com/

    “Commercial shipping through the Northeast Passage over the last couple weeks has reported the seas bubbling as if they were boiling. Their observations have been reported to the science ministry who have sent scientists to investigate.”

    Does anyone know about this source? Is it usually reliable?

    Does anyone else find the notion of “seas bubbling as if they were boiling” a bit…disconcerting?

    Do any of the people who post here or who run the site know any of the scientists going on that emergency excursion to study the ‘dramatic’ increase in methane emissions from the Arctic?

    If so, have they heard anything about why exactly they are going up there? What exactly did they hear about? Was it this report from ships in the NE Passage? What are they finding up there now?

    ccpo, I agree that when thoughts turn to non-organic (as you say) geo-engineering, it is a sign of utter desperation and that we’ve likely already lost the game. It looks to me as though we are pretty close to there.

    The obvious answer to your question about why your very sane solutions aren’t being implemented very quickly while people are considering these kinds of geo-engineering schemes is that it only takes a relatively few people to carry out the latter, whereas you have to convince essentially the whole world to go along with your plan–especially the reduction consumption part. Yours is definitely the sane path. We don’t seem to have taken it, and don’t seem likely to at this point, imho.

    Comment by wili — 14 Sep 2011 @ 8:28 PM

  230. Wili, based on the dateline of this article we may have to wait a bit to find out.

    “Russian, U.S. scientists set to study methane release in Arctic

    VLADIVOSTOK, September 2 (RIA Novosti)

    A group of Russian and U.S. scientists will leave the port of Vladivostok on Friday on board a Russian research ship to study methane emissions in the eastern part of the Arctic.

    “This expedition was organized on a short notice by the Russian Fund of Fundamental Research and the U.S. National Science Foundation following the discovery of a dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas from the seabed in the eastern part of the Arctic, said Professor Igor Semiletov, the head of the expedition.

    The group consists of 27 scientists who would attempt to measure the scale of methane emissions and clarify the nature of the process.

    The 45-day expedition will focus on the sea shelf of the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Russian part of the Chukotsk Sea, where 90% of underwater permafrost is located.

    “We assume that the leakage of methane results from the degradation of underwater permafrost…A massive release of such a powerful greenhouse gas may accelerate global warming,” Semiletov said.”

    More

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 14 Sep 2011 @ 11:16 PM

  231. Re: wili said:14 Sep 2011 at 8:28 PM

    It seems a Prof Igor Semiletov departed on an (un)planned trip from Vladivostok to go observe this bubbling. Clathrates, sub sea permafrost thawing.

    reCaptcha: timed ascendts

    Comment by Sekerob — 15 Sep 2011 @ 2:08 AM

  232. > seas bubbling

    Methane detection instrument coming along soon that might help:
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/status_reports/DC-8_status_08_31_11_prt.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Sep 2011 @ 5:02 AM

  233. The Times Atlas of the World has redrawn Greenland:

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/09/greenland-ice-sheet-loss-shows.html

    I’m no expert but that looks dubious to me. Has there really been such a large retreat of the ice sheet and loss of ice area, particularly in the east?

    Comment by SteveF — 15 Sep 2011 @ 8:30 AM

  234. Thanks all. The monitors we that are in the area are not yet showing dramatic increases:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/

    But as I understand it, methane breakdown is particularly fast and high in the full sun of summer. This fall’s and winter’s data should tell us how significant the release is. (Any chance that, if the increase in methane concentrations is really extreme, they will suppress the data? Sorry to get paranoid, but I do wonder if there is a limit at some point to what they will share with the general public if things really start looking hairy.)

    So if it’s a 45 day cruise and ship left from Vladivostok on the second, can we assume that they are up there by now starting their study? Are they completely cut off from satellite communication up there? Are there no scientists affiliated with this site that are in touch with them? Can anyone tell us anything?

    How quickly does methane dissipate in the atmosphere? When should we expect the monitors, all of which are at least 1000 miles away from the main areas of methane release (as far as I can tell), to show major increases in atmospheric concentrations if this is really going on at the rate it seems to?

    (Sorry for all the back to back questions, and thanks ahead of time for any insights.)

    Comment by wili — 15 Sep 2011 @ 8:31 AM

  235. @ Wili, does that ESRL map cover the Northern Sea Route? I can’t see any info for GHGs between Finland and Alaska.

    @ SteveF, NASA Greenland melt day anomaly 2010.

    Comment by J Bowers — 15 Sep 2011 @ 9:41 AM

  236. Video break. David Mitchell’s Soapbox: climate change doubters.

    Last week David Mitchell solved the environment – and he’s a bit miffed that didn’t make more of a stir. So this week he thought he’d tackle climate change doubters. These disbelievers must concede that climate change is a ‘possibility’. In which case, why take the risk – and continue ruining the planet, in the meantime?

    Comment by J Bowers — 15 Sep 2011 @ 10:56 AM

  237. Hey All,

    Hmmm…, many interesting subjects… To pick one, let me consider Coal-vs-Nat Gas to start. Nat Gas is not without it’s issues. First, when in combustion the assumption is correct. Water vapor and CO2 are the primary emissions. However, associated will the ground recovery or pumping if you will there are vast amounts of hydrogen sulfide and CO-CO2 that is associated and must be removed. This same issue also can be observed in the capture of bio-gas. In essence, total Carbon may not be terribly different. That it is lower in sulfates and mercury is it’s greatest pollutant difference. That it also makes a very efficient hydrogen storage medium and can offer a model for the conversion of the liquid fossil fuel infrastructure (bridge fuel), is likely the strongest case for this transition. As for testing if the “boiling Arctic” is methane, the easiest test, a match…

    Moving on, I consider that the methane generation of animals to be a non-issue, whether it was horses, buffalo or cattle it does not matter those values are nearly breakeven. As to chickens or turkey, yes domestication has concentrated waste products as has pig farming. Are the total waste values generated greater, yes, as are human waste total values. Population increases have that effect. At issue is what is done with the wastes. We spread chicken wastes on fields, similar to bio-char whether naturally generated by wildfires or ancient farming practices. In essence we recycle a good deal of it, until it reaches the human food chain where most get washed out to sea (treated/non-treated doesn’t matter). Whether the effluent mixes with farm run off or not to cause coastal dead zones or anoxic shorelines is not the issue. As to the better waste treatment, personally I like the idea of packing it away in former coal mines or deep wells located within former fossil fuel pockets.

    As to root cause of global warming… I can see where current levels of CO2 could contribute to a increase of normal variation towards a warming condition. That the levels are 135ppm greater then 150ya and fossil fuel emissions are the primary cause does not appear to be supportable. That we are seeing effects that were last seen when total atmospheric levels were 2500ppm, suggests to me there is likely a different forcing responsible for the strong deviations or synoptic changes we are seeing.

    To this end I concur that deforestation also plays a part. (Actually this better correlates to 1750-2010 CO2 rise then fossil fuel combustion emissions.) If we look at the Carbon Cycle imballance pre- 1950 there appeared sufficient land based sequestration to offset emissions. Hence, the atmospheric CO2 rise had to of had a different source at that time. Post 1950 I concur fossil fuel combustion has to be the primary cause with 45ppm solely associated there of. That fossil fuels rose to dominance can be attributed to three things, changes in transportation, industrial and home energy systems, increases in human population and reduction of current bio-sphere carbon based energy sources.

    So which Carbon source do we begin to address first… Certainly not the primary cause…

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 15 Sep 2011 @ 11:03 AM

  238. wili: Can anyone tell us anything?

    They likely won’t say a thing unless they see something truly eye-popping. Semiletov and the rest of the bunch have been focusing on this area for years, don’t seem prone to jump the gun by skipping publication.

    As somebody elsewhere pointed out (can’t remember where), given the normal timeline of shipborne expeditions “short notice” could well mean the project was put together in response to last year’s publication of papers concerning dramatic increases in methane output in the region. That would be a compressed timeline with a late summer 2011 departure objective a bare year after inception.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 15 Sep 2011 @ 11:08 AM

  239. http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/boards/r-squared-blog-posts/bombshell-solar-and-wind-power-would-speed-up-not-reduce-global-warming/

    Anybody want to comment on this post by Robert Rapier? He claims, citing a 1991 Nature article, that closing a coal plant would result in more warming, not less, because the reduction in aerosols emissions would have more impact that the reduction in CO2 emissions. If this has been adequately discussed elsewhere, could you direct me to this discussion?

    Comment by Steve Funk — 15 Sep 2011 @ 11:59 AM

  240. 228, Jim inline: Discussions of the end of civilization do not qualify.–Jim

    I am happy with that. Not that my happiness is the goal. But this seems to be a new policy.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 15 Sep 2011 @ 12:01 PM

  241. http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/2011/09/12/bombshell-solar-and-wind-power-would-speed-up-not-reduce-global-warming/

    Does anyone want to comment on this post by Robert Rapier. He is claiming, based on a 1991 article in Nature, that closing a coal plant would increase warming rather than decreasing warming, because the reduction in aerosol emissions would outweigh the reduction in CO2 emissions.

    Comment by Steve Funk — 15 Sep 2011 @ 12:04 PM

  242. #240–Sure. I think he’s being deliberately provocative. And should have been clearer that the effect discussed is short-term only.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Sep 2011 @ 1:59 PM

  243. > 1991 … closing a coal plant would increase warming

    Industry had a lot of old inefficient coal plants reaching end of service life or end of longterm contracts and wanted back then to extend their use as is rather than replacing them with more efficient plants that would put out less sulfate pollution. That was a long time ago and the rationalizations have changed.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Sep 2011 @ 2:47 PM

  244. Steve Funk @ 240, google Hansen Faustian bargain. Sulfate aerosols caused mainly by burning coal have a net cooling effect. We can’t keep burning coal forever. The longer we keep burning coal the more CO2 we put in the air. Sooner or later we have to stop, preferably we3ll before we burn all the coal there is. Then we pay the Faustian debt: climate warms some more because the sulfate aerosols only stay in the air for 6 – 18 months. The more coal we burn the worse things will be regardless.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 15 Sep 2011 @ 4:26 PM

  245. “And should have been clearer that the effect discussed is short-term only.”

    The point is that the effect discussed is short-term with respect to natural gas as well. I didn’t see too many media outlets focused on that. Most with the sensationalism, and my title is a parody of their sensationalism and failure to highlight what is really happening.

    Comment by Robert Rapier — 15 Sep 2011 @ 5:03 PM

  246. I agree with Jim that predictions about the future end of civilization are insufficiently constrained to be wothwhile. However, I’m not so sure that’s true of claims about the current end of civilization.

    Comment by S. Molnar — 15 Sep 2011 @ 5:54 PM

  247. Re: sulfate cooling/CO2 warming from coal power

    I understand that the Wigley paper is not yet published ? I wonder which model(s) they used for sulfate cooling. I see from the graph on Mr. Rapier’s site, that the warming for zero CH4 leakage peaks at about 0.05C in 2050, and I take it this is above some baseline computed from one or more of the IPCC scenarios ?

    On the same note, are there estimates for black carbon dust emissions from coal mining, especially surface mines ? I do not recall the soot/Arctic paper (by Hansen and Kharecha ?) discussing mining sources. I suppose Ramanathan might be the go to guy here. References would be greatly appreciated.

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 15 Sep 2011 @ 6:11 PM

  248. Re: sulfate cooling/CO2 warming from coal power

    I am sorry, I misread the graf: the zero CH4 leak heating, presumably due to loss of sulfate aerosol, peaks at about 0.25C in 2040 and disappears by 2050

    Comment by sidd — 15 Sep 2011 @ 6:29 PM

  249. my eyes are going, the peak of zero CH4 leak is 0.025C…

    Comment by sidd — 15 Sep 2011 @ 8:41 PM

  250. > black carbon dust emissions from coal mining

    Scholar; try this search and then focus using whatever keywords you find:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=black+carbon+dust+emission+coal+mining

    e.g.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479703001737

    Dust from digging and transporting falls out quickly. Look along the rail lines that haul the coal cars for those, not so much in the atmosphere. Small particles from incomplete combustion stay in the air longer.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Sep 2011 @ 10:13 AM

  251. slightly narrower search with better results for your question:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=dust+emission+coal+mining

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Sep 2011 @ 10:23 AM

  252. Pakistan’s Floods: Deja Vu, All Over Again

    Comment by J Bowers — 16 Sep 2011 @ 7:12 PM

  253. Re: David Cooke
    1. Insolation plays little or no role in climate change.

    Note to DC: If insolation never changed, we wouldn’t have variation.

    2. A 37%-ish rise in CO2 plays no role in climate change. Note to DC: Insolation rises and falls and the combination of GHG and insolation can vary greatly while having similar results. E.g., if insolation is low, but GHGs high, it can be equal to the opposite situation in climate effects. Use the search function; that has been addressed by the scientists here at RC.

    3. Some other magical thing nobody has thought of – but probably it’s all those changes in clouds (that have never been measured or quantified.)

    Bore Hole? No? This is stuff you could teach a 4th Grade elementary school class. In an English as a Foreign Language class. In Korea. Some of which I have.

    @228 Septic: In line with Jim’s comment, let me say only that we can manage anything except the clathrates and permafrost destabilizing. There are decades of warming coming in the best case scenario due to ocean heat, and decades more to cool the oceans back down. I watch the Arctic so closely for a reason. If it melts out…

    @228, Jim’s response.

    I’m not arguing we should engage the topic, and encourage all not to follow this with further commentary, but your premise is simply incorrect. Collapse is not about constraining risk parameters, it is about policy because it is something that cannot be risked at all.

    The signals of potential collapse are clearer than those for climate, if anything, though, yes, constraint is hard. It is also irrelevant. The factors at work are so broad and the dangers so great that we do not need good constraints. The calls for mitigation combined with adaptation are a recognition of this very basic dynamic: it is already recognized we are at the edge of potential collapse.

    Dr. Bartlett’s analogy with yeast and doublings is a most excellent example. Essentially, if a lifetime is an hour, 50% of resources still exist at 1 minute to the end of the hour. That makes us myopic.

    Some resources that are at 1 minute to midnight:
    1. phytoplankton
    2. Light sweet crude
    3. Water
    4. Old growth forests
    5. Farmland.
    6. High grade coal
    7. Uranium.
    8. Large fishes.
    9. Population vs. ecosystem services.
    10. Total ecosystem services.
    11. Energy Returned on Energy Invested: oil was 100:1 and is now 11:1, e.g. (Show me the work-around on those thermodynamics.)

    And so on. The key metric according to Tainter is diminishing returns on complexity, which we are already seeing. (US real incomes have been flat since 1970, e.g., and made up with women working and expanding credit; crop yields have flattened.)

    Patterns? Open up the Dow or S&P and look at the longest view, especially in the linear mode. If that’s not a system going out of balance, nothing is. Same thing for ice. Temps and GHGs are increasing at never-before-seen rates, right? Methane is increasing faster than CO2, long term.

    There is, of course, much more I could bring up, but what is the point? I realize many who post here likely do not follow energy, climate, complexity and economics so the full implications of the interconnections may not be obvious to them, but I and some others obviously do watch the full system all the time. Systemically, things look far worse than any one aspect does. Climate may look scary, but the systemic signals are a horror show.

    While “collapse” will never be as definitive as climate science, the risk assessment associated with the topic is already much further along the risk curve than climate is, meaning we are past the apex. There will be a different future because we have used too many resources already and population will rise at least another 25%. A new equilibrium is the minimum we will face.

    I shared a table with J. Tainter at a conference a year ago. He shared that until recently he’d been optimistic, collapse being a choice. He is no longer optimistic. By definition, if he were positive the chance of success would be greater than 50-50. In his mind, it’s obviously worse. Diamond is equivocal. 50% = 1 minute to midnight.

    If you have someone who can trump those two, I’m all ears.

    [Response: I'm not sure how my premise can be incorrect when I don't really have one. We are simply not able to discuss the collapse of civilization. It's not a climate science topic, even if climate change effects society. The very term itself is not even clear. As I said, if people want to discuss the effects of climate change on specific elements that impact society, that's fine, including the arguments of Diamond or whomever. But to vaguely talk about the "collapse of civilization" just goes nowhere. I'm getting a bit tired of having to explain why this is out of bounds. Seems to me it should be obvious--Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 18 Sep 2011 @ 12:25 AM

  254. RE: 252

    Hey ccpo,

    Apparently a bit of confusion has crept into this discussion, Solar insolation at the top of the atmosphere has very little variation. Due to solar activity the old data record suggested a possible 11 year cycle peak of approximately 6 watts. As of the most recent indications it appears to be less then approximately 2 watts. Whether this is is an indication of a long term trend or instrumentation may be of concern; however with the overlap data it looks like it could be a combination of the two in my humble opinion.

    As to insolation reaching the Earth’s surface there is significant variation, via a combination of many anthropogenic activities and yet to be researched secondary effects there have been a number of changes that affect the global surface incoming energy. A lot of the focus here of course is the roughly 7.5Gt of carbon that are added to the atmosphere. Recently more research suggests that a reduction in pollutant aerosols may have increased the insolation reach ing the surface. Though at the same time high concentrations of dark aerosols in the Arctic could be increasing the ice melt there.

    In the Fall of 2004 a Swiss research team suggested that there was approximately 6 watts/m^2 more solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface. In 2005 Dr. Hansen estimated that of the total roughly 1.85-2.5watts /m^2 was related to GHG. The balance could be a combination of solar variation and other anthropogenic activities. If we go with the current est. of 2 watts ToA solar activity variation, this leaves roughly 2w/m^2 to aerosol/water vapor/cloud effects. As to the distribution of contributions I beleve there may be an inbalance in apportioning; but, I am not the expert.

    When we look at the changes in ocean surface salinity, Blocking weather systems and N. Jet Stream deviation from it’s formerly eliptical path the source of warmth contributing to Arctic ice melt is clear. Evidence can be found that suggests it is the transport of the ocean insolation and the winds blowing across the warm oceans surface that is most likely adding to the melt there. At issue of late has been with the added ocean insolation why has it not penetrated much into the depths. Likely this is due to the evaporation, convection, and melting of polar ice.

    As to changes in insolation, as stated earlier anthropogenic changes in aerosol populations have had a significant effect on CCNs according to Professor Choultran at the UEA and recent works out of NCAR. The evidence of changes in the normal adiabatic processes are growing, if we review the global optical depth and compare that value against the global measured Relative Humidity interesting data begins to emerge. Again, it is quite evident that as more research and data sets are built, a better picture of our climate develops. Hence, before we knock on others can we please examine why it appears that differences in view points exist.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 18 Sep 2011 @ 8:11 AM

  255. Has anyone seen this piece or have any comments on it. It looks pretty darn grim to me.

    http://www.bitsofscience.org/climate-biodiversity-loss-holocene-mass-extinction-2800/

    “Nature: climate change leads to 67-84 percent intraspecific biodiversity loss by 2080 – Holocene Mass Extinction within this century”

    “… A Nature study earlier this year has looked at marine and terrestrial biodiversity threats combined – and found for instance 75 percent of all mammal species to be at risk of extinction within 300 years, and defined such a massive loss of biodiversity as establishing the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event.

    That would mean the combined effort of a couple of billion human beings, relentlessly producing and consuming over a couple of centuries time, would somehow have very creatively managed to outweigh the impact of the PETM methane clathrate bomb.”

    This is the kind of thing that makes me feel like the smoker who read so much about the health hazards of smoking that he decided to quit…reading.

    Further from the article:

    ” it is practically impossible for evolution to compensate for current extinction rates. As under current extinction rates we apparently risk losing the majority of our planet’s biodiversity within a century’s time, the formation of entirely new species will take at least 10,000 times as long – and that would only be the point where system Earth would start to recover. It could take many tens or hundreds of millions of years more before the oceans could again see something equivalent to a blue whale – if ever. We should remember climate change is just one of the contributors to the biodiversity crisis.”

    (And I’ll add a humble request that we avoid feeding denialist trolls.)

    [Response: Don't put too much stock in it. The stated intraspecific loss of heterozygosity is based on one aquatic insect study in Europe if I remember right from a brief look at the article. That blog piece you point to is a mishmash of figures pulled from various places with some suspect explanations thrown in. The loss of species diversity is real, but it is mostly due, so far, to direct habitat loss, especially forest clearing, not to climate change. Climate change will have an effect for sure, but how big it will be in 300 years is really anyone's guess. Or even 50 or 100 years for that matter. Prediction of biodiversity dynamics, and consequences thereof, is a highly, highly uncertain business--Jim]

    Comment by wili — 18 Sep 2011 @ 9:42 AM

  256. I’ve been reading Charles Mann’s new book, “1493″ about the exchanges triggered by the European discovery of the Americas. In it he says that reforestation, after disease wiped out large numbers of Native Americans who had been keeping the landscape more open with fire, which may have been a significant contributor to the Little Ice.

    How much work has been done on that and what level of acceptance does that have among climate scientists?

    [Response: This is a topic with differing viewpoints. If possible, you really want to try to get your hands on the August issue of The Holocene, which has numerous articles on the whole topic of the effect of pre-industrial human activities--mostly by land cover alterations--in altering the climate. See also RC posts here and here by William Ruddiman for some good overview.--Jim]

    Comment by R. W. Gort — 18 Sep 2011 @ 5:56 PM

  257. R. W. Gort @255 — Isn’t the book titled 1491? Anyway, in one good CO2 proxy record one can notice the dip in CO2 occassioned by the reforestation. Significant? Doesn’t seem that way to this amateur, but certainly a contribution.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Sep 2011 @ 7:11 PM

  258. for R.W. Gort
    This will find some on that idea:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Arealclimate.org+deforestation+black+death
    here’s one pointer from those results:
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=597#comment-97362
    That first search can be narrowed usefully:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Arealclimate.org+ruddiman+guest

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Sep 2011 @ 7:52 PM

  259. #255–

    Hmm. The back of this envelope is hard to read, but I think it says the idea is implausible.

    Something about a flux change resulting from a vegetative change over a hard-to-define but smallish percentage of maybe 10% of the planet’s surface area (and distributed over a couple of centuries), being much too small to account for the effect proposed.

    Of course, it’s just an envelope.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Sep 2011 @ 8:55 PM

  260. Maybe I should clarify that flip response a bit.

    The Americas are 8.3% of the planet’s surface area–over 24% of land, but the ocean is a more efficient carbon sink anyway, AFAIK.

    Much of the terrain isn’t forested now, and wouldn’t have been then, either before or after Contact–deserts, grasslands, mountains, tundra. Moreover, I strongly doubt that all or most of the disparate cultures did in fact use fire to “keep the landscape more open.” There was a tremendous variety of custom and patterns of life. (And actually, a climax forest *is* relatively open, and stays that way for centuries. Plus, some landscapes, notably the longleaf pine forests of the Southeast, were fire-dependent anyway, and are known to have stayed so into the nineteenth century.)

    Finally, Contact didn’t only happen in 1492; it occurred again and again for at least a century. (For example, Oglethorpe found sizable native populations in Georgia in the 1730s.) It’s hard to say much about how depopulation occurred, since (last I heard at least) we have yet to pin down pre-Contact population figures to even an order of magnitude. But it seems pretty unrealistic to think that disease could have propagated across both continents on less than decadal timescales–and I think some evidence suggests it took a lot longer than that.

    “But it’s only an envelope”–meaning this is the reaction of someone with a little general knowledge and not much more.

    (Hmm, maybe you should call me a ‘skeptic’ on this one!) ;-)

    [Response: I'd have to disagree with some of these statements Kevin. The use of fire, for example, was very widespread--it was the land management tool of choice in many seasonally dry climates, which are nearly ubiquitous. Most climax forests, are by definition, not "open"--that occurs only when either fire or climate (often both) create a woodland, which is characterized by less than full canopy cover, on the continuum from forest to savanna. That said, I also tend toward the view that there was simply not enough land below vegetative carrying capacity to do the proposed job, at least wrt the LIA. Again though, I direct people with more than a hand waving interest to the August issue of The Holocene which comprehensively covers many of these topics, and more.--Jim]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Sep 2011 @ 9:14 PM

  261. Estimates vary: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2011.00395.x/abstract
    Much written: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=depopulation+americas&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=2011&as_vis=0

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Sep 2011 @ 10:27 PM

  262. Deep Oceans Put Global Warming on Temporary Hiatus
    http://www.livescience.com/16109-deep-oceans-global-warming.html

    Comment by David B. Benson — 18 Sep 2011 @ 11:14 PM

  263. RE: 254

    Solar insolation at the top of the atmosphere has very little variation.

    Except it is cooling, so…

    Due to solar activity the old data record suggested a possible 11 year cycle peak of approximately 6 watts. As of the most recent indications it appears to be less then approximately 2 watts.
    Whether this is is an indication of a long term trend or instrumentation may be of concern; however with the overlap data it looks like it could be a combination of the two in my humble opinion.

    I think you are babbling. Certainly not providing any evidence.

    As to insolation reaching the Earth’s surface there is significant variation

    Says…?

    …and yet to be researched secondary effects

    Such as…?

    Recently more research suggests that a reduction in pollutant aerosols may have increased the insolation reach ing the surface.

    True.

    Though at the same time high concentrations of dark aerosols in the Arctic could be increasing the ice melt there.

    Are, not could be.

    In the Fall of 2004 a Swiss research team suggested that there was approximately 6 watts/m^2 more solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface.

    It’s not 2? Thought you said it was 2.

    In 2005 Dr. Hansen estimated that of the total roughly 1.85-2.5watts /m^2 was related to GHG. The balance could be a combination of solar variation and other anthropogenic activities.

    Could be the Easter bunny. Cites for what you think it is that has not already been well-studied?

    If we go with the current est. of 2 watts ToA solar activity variation

    According to…? Why? I’m not clear there is, nor over what time frame.

    this leaves roughly 2w/m^2 to aerosol/water vapor/cloud effects.

    Because?

    I am not the expert.

    Indeed.

    When we look at the changes in ocean surface salinity, Blocking weather systems and N. Jet Stream deviation from it’s formerly eliptical path the source of warmth contributing to Arctic ice melt is clear.

    According to…?

    Evidence can be found that suggests it is the transport of the ocean insolation

    What does that mean?

    and the winds blowing across the warm oceans surface that is most likely adding to the melt there.

    Only those two things?

    At issue of late has been with the added ocean insolation why has it not penetrated much into the depths.

    What depths? Who said it hasn’t? Who said it should have? How deep?

    The evidence of changes in the normal adiabatic processes are growing, if we review the global optical depth and compare that value against the global measured Relative Humidity interesting data begins to emerge.

    Where? From whom? Don’t we already know what water vapor does? Don’t we already know it is a feedback, not a forcing?

    Again, it is quie evident that as more research and data sets are built, a better picture of our climate develops.

    Of course. But you are pretending our knowledge is poorly constrained, which I find untenable.

    Hence, before we knock on others can we please examine why it appears that differences in view points exist.

    There are no non-mainstream, well-researched viewpoints with any significant evidence. There’s a little bit of interest in the cloud issue. I know of no other significant issues that are studied that would change things in any significant way. As to things not yet studied, well, I’m not sure where magical thinking gets us. Since what we do know matches the record quite well, what big surprises are out there?

    Also, please don’t insinuate ideas are dismissed without first being considered, then studied if having merit. There’s no conspiracy against new ideas, only a conspiracy against what we do know.

    I notice nobody else is responding to you. I’m going to follow their lead.

    Comment by ccpo — 18 Sep 2011 @ 11:48 PM

  264. 253 Jim: You are the boss, but if it weren’t for the collapse in the 2050s, I would be working on the Space Elevator instead of GW. I am just plain terrified by the collapse. That is why the collapse should be discussed at RealClimate.

    [Response: Edward, it's very good that you, and others, are motivated by this issue; I don't want to detract from that. I would just suggest discussing it in the more specific terms of the effects of climate on food or water supply or human health issues, for example, keeping in mind that even these topics are really on the fringes of, or outside of, the expertise here.--Jim ps: you would probably be interested in the Resilience Alliance and its associated publication]

    Thanks for the link to “The Holocene.”

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Sep 2011 @ 1:52 AM

  265. Following on from my question in 233 about the new Times Atlas and Greenland ice loss, Julian Dowdeswell and colleagues have written a letter to the Times, complaining about the accuracy of the map:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14969399

    http://people.uleth.ca/~sarah.boon/DATA/Times-letter.pdf

    Comment by SteveF — 19 Sep 2011 @ 6:13 AM

  266. David Benson @ 257…Nope, he’s written a second book, 1493.

    Comment by Walter Pearce — 19 Sep 2011 @ 9:07 AM

  267. Jim, thanks for the perspective on the extinction article.

    David Benson beat me to the punch on the article about an apparent solution to the “mystery of the lost decade of heating.” I would love to hear what others have to say about it. What role, for example, to La Nina’s play in this sequestering of atmospheric heat in the deep ocean? Is there some kind of saving negative feedback here, where heating may prompt more La Nina’s which may draw more atmospheric heat down into the depths?

    How long might we expect this submerged heat to stay out of the atmosphere?

    (Sorry again for the multiple questions, and thanks ahead of time for any comments.)

    Comment by wili — 19 Sep 2011 @ 9:20 AM

  268. #260, inline–Thanks for the comments and link, Jim.

    [Response: I should have clarified though that yes, you can have late successional forests that relatively more open than others (such as your longleaf example)--these are usually fire maintained, and often pine and/or oak dominated.--Jim]

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Sep 2011 @ 9:23 AM

  269. Alas, certainty!

    Scanning abstracts from “The Holocene”, one finds that Nevle et al.–“Neotropical human–landscape interactions, fire, and atmospheric CO2 during European conquest”–says (based on soil and sediment records) that “Reforestation following land abandonment due to population collapse has the potential to account for the rest of this CO2 decline. . .”

    But Pongratz et al., “Coupled climate–carbon simulations indicate minor global effects of wars and epidemics on atmospheric CO2 between AD 800 and 1850” basically says–based upon coupled climate-carbon cycle modeling–“Oh, no it can’t!” Or, more formally, “None of these events would therefore have affected the atmospheric CO2 concentration by more than 1 ppm.”

    (“These events” being “. . .the Mongol invasion (~1200 to ~1380), the Black Death (~1347 to ~1400), the conquest of the Americas (~1519 to ~1700), and the fall of the Ming Dynasty (~1600 to ~1650).”)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 19 Sep 2011 @ 10:09 AM

  270. RE: 263

    Hey ccpo,

    The volumes of evidence are clearly available whether it is a historic analysis since `97 at arm.gov, the ncdc SRRS 250mb isotach station data sets or if you prefer the NCAR/UCAR 250mb upper wind contors, or even if we desire to explore the NASA/NSF sponsored expeditions reviewing the aerosols/water vapor above Costa Rica, the Sahara dust crossing the southern N. Atlantic or even the dark aerosol research during the recent Polar year expedition… The point is there is sufficient evidence that should be reviewed and that most of the long term participants of RC are well aware of. That you would be unaware of Hansen et al 2005 would surprise me as would his follow up, open essay regarding the participating dark aerosols in 08.

    If you do not wish to review the data that is fine. However, you can be assured that it exists, the question is are you interested enough in all aspects of climate mechanisms and their interaction? My concern is a closed mind is a terrible waste, likewise a mind that cannot apply critical thinking. Not that you have either of these characteristics, though it does seem interesting to me that you appear to use a lot of energy in in an apparent challenge of that you may be unfamilar with, or at least it seems so.

    Hope you well, if you find you would like to explore more as it relates to the primary thread and insolation please review some of the works of Dr. Jason Box of late Ohio State. If you have an interest in ocean heating please review the NOAA Triton (Pacific ITCZ data set) or the PIRITA (N. Atlantic ITCZ data set) bouy data; the 20 deg. C isotherms are very interesting. Again, good luck and happy hunting…

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 19 Sep 2011 @ 3:13 PM

  271. Farmers flee as world’s deadliest volcano rumbles
    MOUNT TAMBORA, Indonesia

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gxmXKE_2XXGagd-29Mn2jHUbLmhw?docId=b5b1d5cf90b04a96871e851ab24df23c

    “… ‘The new alert awakened fears about 1815.’
    … Little was known about Tambora’s global impact until the 1980s, when Greenland ice core samples — which can be read much like tree rings — revealed an astonishing concentration of sulfur at the layer dating back to 1816, said geologist Jelle de Boer, co-author of “Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruption.”

    Gases had combined with water vapor to form fine droplets of acid that remained for years in the atmosphere, circling the earth and reflecting some of the solar radiation back into space.

    Temperatures worldwide plummetted, causing crops to fail and leading to massive starvation.

    Farmers on the northeastern coast of the U.S. reported snow well into July.

    In France, grape harvests were decimated. Daniel Lawton of the wine brokerage Tastet-Lawton said a note in his company’s files remarks that 1816 was a “detestable year” and yielded only a quarter of the crop planted.

    Soon after the ice core findings, scientists started studying Tambora in earnest….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Sep 2011 @ 3:23 PM

  272. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/
    subscribed.

    [Response: You might like this in particular.]

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 19 Sep 2011 @ 3:32 PM

  273. Maybe volcanos are there to counter act abrupt climate change. More volcano = more close to abrupt changes.

    Comment by prokaryotes — 19 Sep 2011 @ 3:48 PM

  274. The bad news
    University admits climate ‘research’ funds mishandled

    Talisman Energy and other donors to “research” funds at the University of Calgary received tax receipts as a result of a public relations campaign to cast doubt on global warming science, newly released records have revealed.

    Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/University+admits+climate+research+funds+mishandled/5416818/story.html

    The good news

    Talisman Energy Stock Hits New 52-Week Low (TLM)
    http://www.thestreet.com/story/11252330/1/talisman-energy-stock-hits-new-52-week-low-tlm.html

    Comment by prokaryotes — 19 Sep 2011 @ 5:48 PM

  275. I saw it on Al Jezera on PBS on 20 September 2011:

    6 geologists are on trial in Italy for failure to warn of an earthquake.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 20 Sep 2011 @ 10:55 AM

  276. A brief quote from that Ottawacitizen story with hat tips:

    “… The “research” funds were set up in 2004 by Barry Cooper, a political science professor, in partnership with an anti-Kyoto Protocol group calling itself the Friends of Science, and public relations firms APCO Worldwide, Morten Paulsen Consulting and Fleishman-Hillard Canada, where Paulsen worked as a senior vice-president before moving to his current job as a consultant for the university’s school of public policy.

    Talisman Energy attributed its $175,000 donation to the fund in 2004 to its previous management, noting that its current position acknowledges that greenhouse gas emissions “pose a scientifically credible threat.”

    Talisman was not immediately able to say Friday whether it would revise its previous tax filings regarding the donation.

    A total of $507,975 flowed through the accounts before the university determined they were being used for political activities and shut down the funds in 2007 …

    … The “research” accounts, created to support production of a video examining the debate about climate change policies, were also notably used to purchase advertising in Ontario and Quebec for the Friends of Science, in the midst of the 2005-06 federal election campaign.

    Paulsen, who does communications work for the university’s school of public policy, declined to comment. The director of the school of public policy also sits on the board of directors of Imperial Oil, a subsidiary of Exxon.

    Tom Harris, who now teaches a global warming class at Carleton University, said in a letter to the Calgary Herald that he wrote the script of the video and participated in video production and distribution. Harris worked, at the time, for APCO Worldwide.
    © Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Sep 2011 @ 11:23 AM

  277. #275–

    Ironic.

    Some scientists are frustrated by others’ disbelief in the scientists’ avowed predictive abilities; other scientists are threatened by others’ apparent belief in predictive abilities the scientists themselves explicitly disavow.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 20 Sep 2011 @ 11:29 AM

  278. Carleton lets this guy teach a class on global warming?! @#$%@#$!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Harris_(mechanical_engineer)

    Hmm, apparently not any more:

    http://www.charlatan.ca/content/coolest-climate-prof-campus

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 20 Sep 2011 @ 12:43 PM

  279. Ironic Quote of the Week:

    Perry said he erred by not seeking legislative approval but stood by the aim of preventing cancer. Campaigning in Iowa last week, he said Bachmann’s comment after the debate was unwise “when she had no scientific backing, to say the very least.”

    -Governor Perry, Champion of Science.

    http://tinyurl.com/6eop3yz

    Comment by Ron R. — 20 Sep 2011 @ 8:38 PM

  280. http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/09/17/321712/nytimes-com-strikes-false-balance-on-climate-change/
    has a great graphic RC might want to comment on.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 20 Sep 2011 @ 9:11 PM

  281. oh, my, I wonder if this is a coincidence:
    http://www.ozclimatesense.com/2010/11/more-psychobabble-about-why-skeptics.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Sep 2011 @ 12:34 AM

  282. Those looking for a “Rapid Read” introduction to climate science and policy may be interested in Andrew Weaver’s latest, which I describe here:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Generation-Us-The-Challenge-Of-Global-Warming-A-Summary-Review

    “RapidReads” are meant to be readable in a single sitting (GenUS took me about an hour and a half) and are friendly for ESOL readers, youth and so on.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 21 Sep 2011 @ 10:17 AM

  283. A “multi-year drought” — or abrupt climate change?

    Farmers in the Southern Plains Brace for Multi-Year Drought
    By Tiffany Stecker
    ClimateWire
    The New York Times
    September 21, 2011

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 21 Sep 2011 @ 10:59 AM

  284. re: my comments 20 Sep 2011 @ 8:38 PM

    Ahem.

    Gentlemen and women I believe I have a solution to the skeptics issue. Turns out there is indeed a way to overcome those tenacious objections. Seems to work, at least where Republicans are concerned. We’ve been making the mistake of thinking that mere facts would do the trick. Barking up the wrong tree apparently. Baksheesh (a.k.a bribery) appears to be the missing link in this equation. So cough up folks.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-14/perry-s-merck-donations-raise-questions-about-vaccine-mandate.html

    Let’s see, I have 25, no 50 cents I can afford to “donate”.

    Comment by Ron R. — 21 Sep 2011 @ 3:02 PM

  285. The story about the geologists on trial for failure to predict an earthquake made SciAm:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=trial-such-as-that-star&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20110921

    277 Ironic. And then some. They can’t say RC didn’t try to warn them about GW, but rationality doesn’t seem to apply.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 21 Sep 2011 @ 3:35 PM

  286. Embedded in the article Edward cited:

    The norm of journalistic balance has been exploited by opponents of emissions curbs. Starting in the late 1990s, big companies whose profits were tied to fossil fuels recognized they could use this journalistic practice to amplify the inherent uncertainties in climate projections and thus potentially delay cuts in emissions from burning those fuels. Perhaps the most glaring evidence of this strategy was a long memo written by Joe Walker, who worked in public relations at the American Petroleum Industry, that surfaced in 1998. According to this ”Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan,” first revealed by my colleague John Cushman at the New York Times, ”Victory will be achieved when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom” for ”average citizens” and ”the media” (Cushman 1998). The action plan called for scientists to be recruited, be given media training, highlight the questions about climate, and downplay evidence pointing to dangers. Since then, industry-funded groups have used the media’s tradition of quoting people with competing views to convey a state of confusion even as consensus on warming has built.

    ”Victory will be achieved when uncertainties in climate science become part of the conventional wisdom” for ”average citizens” and ”the media” (Cushman 1998).

    Anything in that sound wrong, let alone unfamiliar? It’s this kind of information that feeds my irritation with the dangling, dancing puppets at sites like WUWT. There’s something deeply offensive about seeing people manipulated in that fashion; they’re not even paid to do this work, instead are gulled into helping to earn money they’ll never see, for private interests.

    Meanwhile the “victory” Cushman refers to means the rest of us are vanquished, our requirements made secondary to monetizing fossil fuels.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 21 Sep 2011 @ 4:31 PM

  287. Science question in need of some expertise!

    It’s about deep ocean warming. In response to the new Meehl 2001 study, Dr. Pielke said as part of his comment:

    A final comment on this paper, if heat really is deposited deep into the ocean (i.e. Joules of heat) it will dispersed through the ocean at these depths and unlikely to be transferred back to the surface on short time periods, but only leak back upwards if at all. The deep ocean would be a long-term damper of global warming, that has not been adequately discussed in the climate science community.

    Is the comment a fair treatment of the situation? It seems he is saying that “deposited” heat is significant and be almost negligible on relevant timescales.

    Comment by grypo — 21 Sep 2011 @ 9:49 PM

  288. Here’s the link for my previous statement.

    Comment by grypo — 21 Sep 2011 @ 9:51 PM

  289. > if heat really is deposited deep into the ocean … unlikely to
    > be transferred back to the surface …

    But, but, undersea volcanos are melting the polar ice caps? I read it on ….
    on, …
    oh, wait. They’ve contradicted themselves again, haven’t they?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 21 Sep 2011 @ 10:36 PM

  290. grypo @287 — Look up the
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_diffusivity
    of salt water and set up a simple situation in which you can sove the heat equation.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 21 Sep 2011 @ 11:26 PM

  291. I believe the ocean currents make the situation difficult to figure out from a simple diffusivity equation, although that’s part of it. There is also westerly winds and ocean temps to consider. I believe Pielke to be correct in that there needs to be more “adequate” discussion. What I’m not sure of is his fairly definitive statement, “unlikely to be transferred back to the surface on short time periods, but only leak back upwards if at all”. In looking through some literature (Manabe 2007)(Hansen 1984) I’m seeing that the timing depends on sensitivity and emissions scenarios (eg emissions X @ sensitity X means equilibrium in 35 years after 70 years). I’m unable to get a clear picture of what that means for amount of warming that is in the deep ocean and on what time scale we’d see that again. This seems to be very important for policy.

    [Response: There seems to be a lot of confusion on this point. The flux of heat into the deep ocean is very relevant to the rate of change of surface temperatures and to the remaining increase in surface temperatures required in order to balance the TOA forcing. A bigger flux into the deep ocean, slows the progress to the new equilibrium and implies we have more warming in the pipeline (given constant forcings). But it has nothing to do with the notion that the heat going into the ocean now will at some point come back out - it might - but not for hundreds to thousands of years, and only if forcings decrease back to pre-industrial levels. OHC changes tell us about the current radiative imbalance - which is important, but the OHC changes themselves, especially in the deep ocean, don't have much of a direct effect on anything. - gavin]

    Comment by grypo — 22 Sep 2011 @ 6:53 AM

  292. RE:287

    Hey grypo,

    If we look at ocean surface salinity increases, estimating the amount of surface evaporation resuling in the higher salinity, it may indicate that other then warming concentrations such as the thermohaline currents, that not as much heat is going into the ocean as some estimates suggest.

    Given the noted changes in the Walker circulation, the NOAA and Woodshole Institute long term cooling trend noted below 1700 feet, and the relative stability of the THC it would seem counter intuitive. As to ocean turnover, most appears to model large lakes with long fetches, a warming at the edge related to shore contact and mixing spreading out over the surface off shore.

    As to a possible reason for a reduction in deep ocean cooling, it may be related to an increase in turbidity or bio-mass in certain regions. The increases in dead zones and anoxic events would appear to suggest an increase of near shore of events. If so how wide spread are the effects of these events and when fully mixed over decades what effect would they have on ocean temperatures?

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 22 Sep 2011 @ 7:35 AM

  293. # 287 “Is the comment a fair treatment of the situation?”

    No it’s just more semantic twistedness. “…has not been ‘adequately’ discussed in the climate science community.”
    And RP SR is the only one who ever thought of anything etc etc.

    Heat moves through the seas by means of mass transport.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 22 Sep 2011 @ 8:00 AM

  294. Well, it seems the cycle time of the MOC is 100-1000 years, according to the first couple of sources I found. Haven’t actually run the numbers, but I’d think that would render diffusion secondary.

    Perhaps that’s “long-term” for Dr. Pielke? Yet as Dr. Trenberth said, that doesn’t mean the ‘sequestered’ heat has no “consequences,” though they may be yet to be determined.

    Anyway, it seems to me it’s basically a new detail about how oceanic thermal inertia plays out in practice, not a big new development per se.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Sep 2011 @ 8:49 AM

  295. I am not sure why increasing the temps in the deep ocean would not count as part of global warming? From a layman’s perspective – the deep ocean is also part of the globe. The differenentials between the deep ocean temps and other layers in the oceans drive currents and most likely do impact the climate that we experience. Warming of water does impact its volume whether its deep ocean or not so it seems likely to impact sea level changes.
    Is there a reason that deep ocean warming would seem to be treated as a mitigation to global warming instead of just another aspect of it?

    Comment by Donna — 22 Sep 2011 @ 9:09 AM

  296. Thank you Gavin, Pete, David, Kevin.

    Donna,

    Is there a reason that deep ocean warming would seem to be treated as a mitigation to global warming instead of just another aspect of it?

    That’s sorta the question I’m discussing. Pielke is saying that heat going into the ocean is a “long-term damper of global warming”. I’m not sure this statement is justified without quantifying it, especially if he thinks it has policy implications.

    Comment by grypo — 22 Sep 2011 @ 11:11 AM

  297. Hi. A specific question re current state of the art in GCM modelling. Forgive my not ploughing through publications to seek the answer, but this seems the best place for a layman to get an expert opinion.

    Given that models include allowance for variation of solar irradiance, volcanoes, and any other natural factors.

    Given that models indicate approx 0.2 deg C warming due to natural variations since 1850, plus approx 0.6 deg C due to AGW.

    Given that generally accepted reconstructed temperature records for period 900 – 1850 AD from various sources indicate natural variations of approx +/- 0.5 deg C either side of average (approx 14 deg C).

    Running current models with no Co2 variation over the period 900 – 1850, can they demonstrate variations of that order? If so may I be directed to relevant papers? Thanks.

    [Response: Yes, the models give a very reasonable ‘natural variability’ compared with measurements. There are many papers on this, but one particularly clear one that comes to mind is Crowley, 2000, in Science.–eric

    Comment by Richard Bird — 22 Sep 2011 @ 11:17 AM

  298. Dona @ 295: “I am not sure why increasing the temps in the deep ocean would not count as part of global warming?” I agree, it counts big time.

    “Is there a reason that deep ocean warming would seem to be treated as a mitigation to global warming instead of just another aspect of it?”

    Not a good one, but it might help keep fossil fuel profits higher longer before the rest of humanity pays the price.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 22 Sep 2011 @ 11:21 AM

  299. RE:297

    Hey Pete,

    I guess part of the problem is what is defined as global warming. Are you refering to the rise in the thermodynamic emission of the Earth as a gray body or the Global Average Temperature as measured via air temperature weather station values.

    If the ocean temperature was a series of gradients rising from the alluvial plain or ocean floor and continental surface that would be different then simple air temperature increases, as long as the deep ocean heat was in essence “sequestered”. Not that the heat has been removed; but, that its influence is not currently contributing to the current air temperature variations.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 22 Sep 2011 @ 12:03 PM

  300. For those interested in collapsing civilization, there’s some brainstorming for hypotheses over at Casuabon’s Book. It might be a better place for this sort speculation, though it’s a little airy at this point — maybe there try to specifically define how responses to changing climate might feed back into climate, for instance.

    Sorting Out Possible Scenarios for the Future

    “But more practically, I hope people will recognize that there is very limited certainty about how each family or community will experience things. That is, it isn’t sufficient to look at the world scale or one previous history and say “this is how it will play out” – because it will play out differently for different people in different circumstances.”

    Comment by Radge Havers — 22 Sep 2011 @ 12:18 PM

  301. I think the first reference was to ocean heat below 300 meters, not the deepest ocean. Will heat from a little below 300 meters come to the surface in the next strong El Niño? How deep is the Pacific warm pool?

    The currents of the world ocean are all interrelated. Take this one for instance:
    Fukamachi et al. 2010 in Nature Geoscience “Strong export of Antarctic BottomWater east of the Kerguelen plateau”.

    This strong current was there all along, and the southern ocean is not emptying out, so there is also more incoming water than previously thought, and it is probably not from the very deepest ocean but not just a surface current either. If this water gets just a bit warmer what might happen? It might undermine the Pine Island Glacier: Observations beneath Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica and implications for its retreat, see also this. In broad terms the ocean is our great heat reservoir, evidently a heat sink except during El Niño. But putting heat in the ocean is not a free pass to get out of global warming.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 22 Sep 2011 @ 12:35 PM

  302. Gavin @ 291, re: ocean heat flux, Meehl 2011, Pielke Sr.;

    A bigger flux into the deep ocean, slows the progress to the new equilibrium and implies we have more warming in the pipeline (given constant forcings).

    So how much the surface will eventually warm simply depends on the top-of-atmosphere imbalance, not on how much heat goes into the ocean.

    No hurry, though—anything that might slow the surface warming from the unprecedented-and-likely-catastrophic rates we’re looking at sounds good to me. But how much might we be talking about? I don’t have Nature Climate Change access, alas, but the ScienceDaily story on Meehl et al. mentioned that

    one simulation showed the global average rising by about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 degrees Celsius) between 2000 and 2100, but with two decade-long hiatus periods during the century.

    That doesn’t sound like all that much of a break to me.

    Comment by CM — 22 Sep 2011 @ 1:37 PM

  303. Re:301

    Hey Pete,

    I had been researching the NOAA Triton buoys for over 8 years now. Considering select buoys that have been in place since about 1996 I have reviewed the various measures across an array both North and South of the Equator from abot 92deg. W through 154deg.W. Through out that time the greatest depth of the 20deg. isotherm appears to be the 97-98 year. Yes, there have been years with near equivalent levels; (IE: 2005); however not as wide spread. If we look at the SST variables there have been a number of peaks that were equivalent to the 97-98 record, though the values do appear to return to normal seasonality with a slight upward trend and then a trouth occurs and the trend resets.

    As the data sets there are nearing statistic significance it suggests that there appears to be a normal variation with little to no trend based on a 0.5 deg. trend resolution. Does this invalidate the ARGO system, no, it just seems to demonstrate there is a flux in the values and to a large extent track with the ENSO.

    If by the same token we monitor the NCAR SST monthly anomolies there does appear to be a similar pattern in the Pacific. I think the issue is the rate of change from one state to the other will likely be our biggest indicator of a probale warming condition with the warmer condition being dominant.

    It is entirely likely that during a negative PDO/ENSO cycle that conditions could feed warmer water to the poles enhancing ice melt, which cools the ocean waters. During periods of positve PDO/ENSO may concentrate the heat along the equator driving Tropical Storm transport of ocean heat towards the poles at an elevated altitude, (NASA did an expedition that observed very warm moisture laden air over the polar regions several years ago.), where the latent heat could more readily radiate out. It would appear the main issue is the intermodal or neutral condition whether moving positive from a negative or negative from a positive state that most of the heat appeared to increase in the temperate region which appears to be incorporated in the THC currents.

    In short, yes, there appears to be warming; yet, at the same time offsets that reduce the heat. During intermodal states it appears that much of the heat is incorporated in the THC; however, the added salinity of evaporation during these periods appears to support the THC current though at an elevated heat content. I think the question of mixing or thermal emission is very small, hence, deep ocean sequestration of the heat appears to be a reality.

    BTW I was in error in a earlier statement regardong the NOAA/Woodshole measurements @2003-05 deep ocean temperature measures were cooling between 1700-2300 meters not feet.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 22 Sep 2011 @ 2:47 PM

  304. Dave (#303), I have no idea what this means: “the added salinity of evaporation during these periods appears to support the THC current though at an elevated heat content.”

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Sep 2011 @ 3:33 PM

  305. Re:304

    Hey Kevin,

    During intermodal or neutral ENSO conditions moving from a positive to a negative mode usually results in a region of High Pressure in the Norwegian/Barents Seas during the Spring and Summer months. Higher temperatures drive high amounts of evaporation resulting in high levels of salinity.

    Of course you are familiar with how cooling of the sea surfaces cause super cooled brine to precipitate out of the surface waters and sink to the basin depths. Likewise evaporation increases salinity; (However, it is also warmer so at lower latitudes it does not precipitate out.)

    However, as this more saline water pulse enters the Barents it quickly loses its heat and sinks. The difference is that it is pre-concentrated if you will, hence it will precipitate out earlier and warmer the normal saline sea water. This then incorporates greater heat in the THC at an equivalent salinity.

    The remaining fresher, warmer surface water then rapidly moves across the cooler saline water driven by the elevated Easterlies, increasing melt in the region. Of course I am stating this as though it is an absolute which it is not.

    This is just based on a study of observations and study regarding papers written over the last 8 years which has led me to this conclusion. My apologies if I have misrepresented the data.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 22 Sep 2011 @ 4:45 PM

  306. @270 Cooke:

    Mumbo jumbo. The problem is not with the science, it is with your interpretation of it. That you claim it can’t be, or is unlikely to be, GHGs is just ridiculous. The primary driver of warming is, and this comes straight from the science, “unambigous”ly GHGs.

    When you start with an obviously false premise, as you are, much BS can be made to seem diamonds, but wishing isn’t proving. And, given your premise is so obviously incorrect, I simply do not believe you don’t understand this, which begs the question, why would you make such easily falsified claims? And if you cannot understand the most basic element of climate science, discussing anything beyond that threshold cannot possibly be productive because the foundation is nothing but fallacious thinking.

    For the last time, please stop pretending you are discovering something important that is not being fairly considered. It’s just a form of dishonesty. Our good hosts here and the fine scientists elsewhere are diligent, serious and meticulous. Quit insulting their efforts and our intelligence. You are not here to learn, imo. You are a denialist thrilled to be taking up so much space here and exposing unsuspecting newbies to your fallacies wrapped in scientific sounding jargon.

    Comment by ccpo — 22 Sep 2011 @ 5:12 PM

  307. #305–Thanks for expanding. That’s a bit easier to parse.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 22 Sep 2011 @ 5:19 PM

  308. Hey Kevin,

    It kind of tracks with why the 2005 and 08 papers suggesting the stopping of the THC by high SSTs did not bear out. Though the “Chimneys” the scientists were expecting had dropped in count/flow the total flow of saline brine was not reduced, just less centralized.

    Cheers!
    Dave

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 22 Sep 2011 @ 6:09 PM

  309. “When there’s a news story about a study overturning all of physics, I used to urge caution, remind people that experts aren’t all stupid, and end up in pointless arguments about Galileo…”

    Enjoy: http://xkcd.com/955/

    Comment by CM — 23 Sep 2011 @ 2:44 AM

  310. Hey, I bet it’s the neutrinos that are doing the warming, I mean, they interact with cosmic rays, or something, don’t they?!

    Comment by Joe Cushley — 23 Sep 2011 @ 9:02 AM

  311. A model for methane release from hydrates

    “…strongly suggest that hydrate dissociation and methane release as a result of climate change may be a real phenomenon, that it could occur on decadal timescales, and that it already may be occurring.”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011JC007189.shtml

    sidd

    Comment by sidd — 23 Sep 2011 @ 4:36 PM

  312. I’m having some diffisulty in understanding just how the excess heat is deposited in the so-called deep ocean. I suppose deep means below the mixed layer.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 23 Sep 2011 @ 9:23 PM

  313. Re:312

    Hey David,

    There are likely multiple paths, about the most probable pathway is the Thermohaline overturn in the N. Atlantic. I have not seen any references for the Pacific though. The salinity and thermal differences pretty much limit mixing there. Likely there is a similar event near the Western Antarctic region that has a similar characteristic.

    I was a little confused myself for a while as most papers are not focused on the hows as much as on the whats. Radiant penetration appears limited to the top 300 meters and evaporation or vaporization at the interface barrier, “skin effect”, then strong convection would appear to remove a large amount nto the atmosphere. To a much lesser degree tropical storms remove some of the added heat.

    The end result is generally a broad pool in the tropics and sub- tropics of highly saline surface water. The higher temperature keeps this bouyant as the THC current carries the water towards the poles, the briney water drops like sheets into the depths. This is a slight change from years past where stagnant pools of warmer waters would cool and then drop into the depths in so called “Chimineys”.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 24 Sep 2011 @ 12:29 AM

  314. David B. Benson, I’ve been on the impression it’s just a cascade. Warmer surface water can displace warmer downwelling water, and this happens at every boundary layer (Antarctic, Arctic bottom water, mixed layer, surface layer, can’t say much of physical processes involved (salinity differences). So it would be driven by the temperature diff between layers. This is probably too simplistic view.

    Comment by jyyh — 24 Sep 2011 @ 2:34 AM

  315. # 331 “…and that it already may be occurring.” Of course it is, but is it increasing?. Global atmospheric methane is increasing but this is accounted for by human sources is it not?

    # 312, If the currents that go deep (see for instance 301 above)are just slightly less cold (warmer, not warm) then heat is taken deep isn’t it? The overall process of ocean circulation and overturning is complex, and driven partly by tidal energy but since it happens and indeed the deep sea is kept oxygenated how could all the heat be kept out of the depths? How exactly might La Niña cause more heat to go deep? And how much? That’s complicated.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 24 Sep 2011 @ 5:34 AM

  316. For Dave Cooke: I’ve been making the effort to find science sources for some of the things you’ve been saying, which mostly seem to make sense — but I can’t find what you’re talking about in the journals. I wonder if you’re confusing several different sources.

    When I’ve tried to figure out what you’re relying on for what you write, I find very strange stuff. Is there another person with the same name as you who hosts conversations about climate but mostly expresses disbelief in the IPCC, and talks about anything else as possible reasons for warming?

    Or is this guy actually you?

    Seriously, I’m trying to look up what you write and see if I can find good information that can be cited to science journals.

    When I start searching variations on your name +”carbon dioxide” +warming looking for science cites you’ve found, instead I find this kind of stuff:

    “… we have yet to establish as fact that the increase in CO2 can be related to human activities…. we really are such a small participant in contrast to the natural events that our participation is little more then added heat energy we would add to a lake if we were to urinate while swimming. (Not to be gross; but, to make the point.) Even the heat added by our bodies being in the lake, where we emit 100 watts of energy, is not sufficient in contrast to the amount of energy that the natural events drive the lake temperatures.”
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:MBABvFtIjewJ:www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp%3Ftid%3D17574%26start%3D1+%2B%22ldavidcooke%22+%2B%22carbon+dioxide%22+%2Bwarming&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    or this one?

    “We want to remember that just because there may be more carbon being introduced to the current bio-sphere the annual carbon cycle between land and sea exchange about 201 Giga Tons emitted by non-human sources with about 208 Giga Tons taken up by non-human sources. (Keeping in mind the approximate 7.5 Giga Tons of fossil carbon being introduced to the surface annually by human processes.) This would suggest that the earth is fully capable of handling the current annual amount generated by human activity. The possibility for problems occur when the total annual emissions exceed the total annual uptake rates. Were this to occur you might get an increase of carbon in a gas form in the atmosphere. Where scientist have difficulties is defining if the apparent build up is caused by excessive generation by human and non-human sources or is it caused by a reduction long term uptake by human and non-human carbon sinks….” Dave Cooke (Mar 4, 2008 | post #30)
    http://www.topix.com/member/profile/ldavidcooke

    If this is what you think this is the right topic for it. It’s when you post in the other threads that I try to find cites to sources — and don’t find much.
    Where are you getting this stuff?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Sep 2011 @ 9:29 AM

  317. Hey Hank,

    To put it simple one, the statement in regards to the total annual carbon flux was in error. The inabilty to edit postings made via topix will likely make it a poor example of the basis of my references. For one, the values I input were the total flux as documented at the CDIAC at the time wrt the Carbon Cycle. The values were approxmately 1/2 of those values for the natural emissions whether land/sea. Of which fossil fuel emissions accunted for approximately 3.5% of the land totals.

    If you are looking for long term references tied to scientific papers, there are at least 100 URLs I had attached to prior posts made here . Along with a stern warning against postings full of links by Dr. Schmidt a few years back. As many of the urls are referenced data sets that have been examined here or within papers referenced here, it is obvious that many of the longterm posters here do not need their reitteration.

    However, if you are interested in some of the references I have employed there are roughly 10-20 that I find very influential rangeing from NCDC SRRS data sets, the various NOAA weather patterns, the 60skyrad data set at arm.gov and of course the CDIAC data sets. There are roughly 3600 posts at UKww with the majority of reference under the Climate Discussion and Analysis which was set aside for serious discussions outside the public eye, yet assessable to any serious contributor. If you would like to discuss a specific point feel free to use my public mailbox at yahoo. If the intent is to highlight my errors that is fine as well, if either of us can achieve value from the discussion.

    Cheers!
    Dave

    Comment by ldavidcooke — 24 Sep 2011 @ 10:49 AM

  318. Pielou, E. C. 2008. Plankton, from the last ice age to the year 3007. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 65: 296–301.
    http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/3/296.short

    “… This paper considers, first, climatic changes over the past 30 000 years, as indicated by plankton and their effects on plankton. Only fossilizable plankton can be observed: principally foraminifera, radiolaria, and pteropods in the zooplankton, and their food, principally coccolithophores, diatoms, and dinoflagellate cysts, in the phytoplankton. The soft-bodied zooplankton species—especially copepods—that lived with them can only be inferred. Large, abrupt climate changes took place, aided by positive feedback. Second, this paper attempts to predict how human forcing in the form of anthropogenic climate change is likely to affect marine ecosystems in the future….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Sep 2011 @ 2:01 PM

  319. Above link is to the abstract; the full text is available: http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/3/296.full

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 24 Sep 2011 @ 2:02 PM

  320. Sign my petition at http://wh.gov/gtV and forward, please.

    “WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
    Stop Global Warming by shutting down the coal industry.
    If we do not stop Global Warming [GW] now, the desertification will continue and increase. Some time between 2050 and 2055, the land surface will be 70% desert and agriculture will collapse. Collapses due to small climate changes have happened many times before. If agriculture collapses, civilization collapses. If civilization collapses, everybody or almost everybody dies. We must prevent this by shutting down the coal industry. Let the electric companies figure out how to make electricity without making CO2, as long as they do so. Set a time limit of the end of 2015 to reduce the CO2 from a power plant by at least 95%.

    Created: Sep 24, 2011
    Issues: Energy, Environment”
    And go to
    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions?utm_source=092311&utm_medium=graphic&utm_campaign=daily
    and start another petition.
    and tell me how to improve my petition by a comment here.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 24 Sep 2011 @ 2:30 PM

  321. Whitehouse petitions: It is too difficult to sign a petition. Creating an account is necessary, and the password thing is too difficult. I have so informed the whitehouse. Not that they pay attention to me. Be careful with the password they give you. They told me that the password that they assigned was too weak. So sign in carefully. But do sign in. This petition thing could be a great help to RC.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 24 Sep 2011 @ 11:17 PM

  322. ‘Eric’ Hi. I posted in 297: … {it is] given that generally accepted reconstructed temperature records for period 900 – 1850 AD from various sources indicate natural variations of approx +/- 0.5 deg C either side of average (approx 14 deg C).

    Running current models with no Co2 variation over the period 900 – 1850, can they demonstrate variations of that order? If so may I be directed to relevant papers? Thanks.

    [Response was: Yes, the models give a very reasonable ‘natural variability’ compared with measurements. There are many papers on this, but one particularly clear one that comes to mind is Crowley, 2000, in Science.–eric]

    Crowley T J, in Science, 14 July 2000, Causes of Climate Change over past 1000 years: Abstract: “Comparisons of observations with simulations from an energy balance climate model indicate that as much [sic] as 41 to 64% of preanthropogenic (pre-1850) decadal-scale temperature variations was due to changes in solar irradiance and volcanism.”

    That would mean,if I read it correctly, that for a +/- 0.5 deg C variation models can only account for +/-0.2 – 0.3 deg C due to natural forces.

    It appears to leaves 36 to 59% of variations pre 1850 un-accounted for by the models. A further 0.2 – 0.3 deg C, say 50%.

    That is quite a big gap between model simulation and data. I think my original qusestion remains unanswered. Are there any more papers you could refer me to?

    Comment by Richard Bird — 25 Sep 2011 @ 4:42 PM

  323. Comment headline: Polar Cities Redux: Stranger than Fiction?

    As many of you here know, I have been on a one-man campaign since 2006 to get people to seriously
    consider a worst-case prediction of the British chemist and inventor
    James Lovelock: life in “polar cities” arrayed around the shores of an
    ice-free Arctic Ocean in a greenhouse-warmed world, as Dot Earth blogged
    about in March of 2008.

    Most of you here mocked me and made fun of me, par for the course, and no hard feelings at all. But now I have teamed up with science ficiton writer in Texas to write a sci fi novel about a family
    survival
    saga in a fictional polar city set in 2080 in northern Alaska.
    Thinking that a novel about polar cities might be useful as art,
    rather than science,
    I am putting the the book — as it is wriiten, chapter by chapter — online for
    free for anyone to read and comment on. Here are the first three
    chapters, with
    another 27 to go:

    http://nelsonmandelacom.blogspot.com/

    I told Andy Revkin back in 2008 that my intent with my polar cities media campaign back then
    was to conduct a thought experiment that might prod people out of
    their comfort zone on climate — which remains, for many, a someday,
    somewhere issue. But since my media outreach never
    got very far, and met mostly with derision, even here at Real Climate, since I of course have no academic background
    or science credentials, I decided to take the polar cities meme and
    turn it into a sci fi novel, a kind of “the day after” “The Day After
    Tomorrow.”

    It’s not Cormac McCarthy level writing, as he did so well in ‘The
    Road” which won a Pulitzer,It’s more of an airport
    paperback
    ‘polar western’ survival story, and only the Texas author’s name will
    appear on the cover, as I am serving here as the book’s producer and
    will
    get no byline or money from the sales. It’s his book entirely, and so
    far from what I’ve read, it’s the kind of sci novel that polar
    opposites such as Marc Morano and Joe Rommm could both enjoy. It’s
    just a story, a yarn, and it’s set in a polar city.

    Comment by Danny Bloom — 26 Sep 2011 @ 7:50 AM

  324. Good article. Not a scientific study or anything, but it’s out there, from the Associated Press, and so hopefully picked up by newspapers and news feeds. It hits the highlights and doesn’t pull punches.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hchUFDTcFVXkIzVWWH9iYGIXmCtw?docId=d837de45d0f44d3e8d178949d13b180c

    That’s an ugly link, so if it doesn’t work, google “The American ‘allergy’ to global warming: Why?”

    Comment by Maya — 26 Sep 2011 @ 10:02 AM

  325. Hi, Dave Cooke,

    I’ll comment here on some questions you raised on the Unnoticed Melt thread, where this would be off topic.

    Re #160:

    At issue in my lack of understanding is how can an increase of 135ppm of CO2 (…) demonstrate an effect that is only vis[i]ble in the paleo or fossil records at about a 1500 or 1250ppm above the current CO2 level? It is unlikely that by its self the influence of 135ppm of CO2 is as dramatic as the changes of recent note.

    This sounds like an issue you should be able to resolve. There are easily visible, even dramatic, temperature changes in the paleo record for CO2 changes of merely ~100 ppm: ice ages.

    More generally, the CO2 forcing depends on the fractional change of the CO2 concentration (for a very wide range of CO2 concentrations, anyway):

        \[ \Delta F = 5.35 \times \ln {C \over C_0}~\mathrm{W}~\mathrm{m}^{-2} \]

    So any doubling of CO2 results in the same amount of forcing. Whether a 135 ppm change (whatever that refers to) is a little or a lot, then, depends where you start from. Does this help?

    Re #162:

    If you’re saying man-made global warming will be on the same order as solar maxima, you need to check your math. The peak-to-peak TSI variation over recent solar cycles is about 0.1%, or 1.4 W/m2; half of that – the quantity you referred to – is 0.7 W/m2. Divide by four to average over the spherical surface of the Earth, and subtract a 30% albedo. That’s 0.12 W/m2.

    By comparison, the forcing from a doubling of CO2 is 3.7 W/m2, some 30 times more.

    Re #164:

    Thanks, though I am aware of the participants in the AR4. The confidence in some were low and of late I have not seen any measures that have improved their values.

    I’m mystified. What participants? Whose confidence? What are you talking about?

    Comment by CM — 26 Sep 2011 @ 3:05 PM

  326. Richard Bird #322,

    Pointing you to more articles is unlikely to help until you get what this one is saying. The salient bit of the abstract is:

    Removal of the forced response from reconstructed temperature time series yields residuals that show similar variability to those of control runs of coupled models, thereby lending support to the models’ value as estimates of low-frequency variability in the climate system.

    ([cite ref="Crowley 2000"]10.1126/science.289.5477.270[/cite])

    Comment by CM — 26 Sep 2011 @ 4:51 PM

  327. RE:325

    Hey CM,

    I understand the ratio of forcing in a pure radiant or as can be demonstrated in a lab experiment. What happens in a dynamic real world dynamic is not quite the same based on many conversations held here and elsewhere. The issue is how much is “inteference” playing into the radiant budget?

    As to the historic or paleo reference of 1500ppm it was related to the PETM. The rise in the polar temperature record appeared to rise approx. 7C, (Though since I have seen 14C raised as a peak value. I wonder if that could be related to current thermal latitude differences with around 0.35-1C at the equator and 5-7C at the poles.) With a sediment record suggesting a 1500ppm CO2 variation.

    Looking at the references that were provided in the conversation at a similar site, it suggested that it appeared to be related to an Arctic Methane Hydrate outgassing which decayed to CO2 @ roughly 55mya. In which it appeared to take 13ky to resolve based on biotic uptake.

    As to the solar maximum issue, ToA variation being roughly 2.75w/m^2. At 77% to account for obliquity at the Solstice and 90% at the Equinox the average annual would roughly be what, 83-85%. With a 30% albedo if Cloud distribution did not change, or cleared Earth/desertification did not permenantly increase 20% since mid 17th century (increasing albedo further, possible LIA link?_. Would this not mean a value of 1.6w/m^2 over 1/2 the globe? Or 0.8w/m^2 not accounting for the indirect radiance on a sphere suggesting roughly another 30% reduction max. or roughly 0.56 w/m^2 globally or roughly a 30% variation due to solar deviation without the CO2 added, if the intent was to split hairs. The primary point being if we look at patterns is there or is there not a indication of the direction the added energy could be manifest in the synoptics pre-1950.

    Also when we add the total anthropogenic modifications to the current era, historic values may not track the same as in the pre-20th century past.

    In AR4, (the 4th IPCC report) both the “executive” synopsis and the actual report contained a table of elements that are considered forcing participants some positive, some negative, the error bars on some of the participants were bounded and noted that the science supporting there contribution may not be as well defined as would normally be expected in a report having 90-95% confidence of anthropogenic contribution to Climate Change. Hence, the indications to many is that there may be some hidden, or confounding process that science has not addressed, which there isn’t of course.

    As I stated I am concerned to see a polar attributed warming of 5-7C with CO2 at 135ppm over the Holcene average, when the most recent past equivalent suggested a 14C change with 1500ppm or 2.5 factorial the Holcene average or minimum.

    Given the roughly 15C increase in Earths TSI at the surface compared to the ToA, how much should be attributed to wv and how much to CO2? Then the next question is if CO2 at 135ppm or a 30% increase, not a doubling, is responsible for a polar 7C increase. How much then do we get for a true doubling at 500-560ppm. How does doubling 2.5 times get a maximum 14C at the poles? Like I said it does not appear to match up well. Obviously the error has to be mine, I just can not find it. Unless I am confusing the 0.7C GAT value attributed with a 7C GAT at 1500ppm suggesting much more then the 14C polar record if things were to change like for like.

    Hence, the boost supplied to my understanding that CO2 is not directly responsible for the heating; but, for changing the synoptic patterns. With it being the changes there that both heat the poles quickly and moderate the heating later. At issue is I have not even seen speculation in this regard.

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 26 Sep 2011 @ 5:29 PM

  328. L David Cooke:

    Your numbers and your calculations for solar variability are nonsense. Your comment is such nonsense that it’s really incomprehensible. In fact, that seems to be the general state of your comments.

    You have a choice. Either accept the fact that you don’t even comprehend the basics sufficiently to critique the science, or remain a victim of Dunning-Kruger.

    Believe it or not, I don’t say this to insult you. There is hope for you to understand — but the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem.

    Comment by tamino — 26 Sep 2011 @ 8:42 PM

  329. Dave, #327,

    If you’ll pardon my saying so, your vague references to conversations instead of serious source references, and your idiosyncratic use of language, make it difficult for others here to engage with you. You could have more productive discussions—and save other readers some time scanning the threads—if you tried to wrap your head around the basic concepts involved in man-made climate change, instead of applying your extensive weather lore to non-problems; and if you tried to express your arguments/questions/speculations so clearly and specifically that people could give feedback without having to spend a lot of time guessing your meaning. As to specifics:

    - I thought that by “participants in the AR4″ you were referring to the scientists taking part in the IPCC process; now I gather you meant the principal components of radiative forcing. Glad we have that cleared up.

    - Comparing the CO2 increase over the PETM to the Holocene average is nonsense — the ‘P’ in PETM is for Paleocene, meaning that the initial CO2 concentration was much higher than at present. As I pointed out above, the forcing does not depend on the absolute magnitude of the increase, but on the fractional change in CO2. You need to read this: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/08/petm-weirdness/

    - I don’t know what you mean by “interference playing into the radiant budget”.

    - I don’t follow your solar variation numbers and calculations at all.

    - Your question: “Given the roughly 15C increase in Earths TSI at the surface compared to the ToA, how much should be attributed to wv and how much to CO2?” just fails to compute. Total Solar Irradiance is not a measure of temperature, hence is not measured in degrees C, nor does it increase at the surface compared to the Top Of the Atmosphere, nor does this speak to the respective forcing contributions of CO2 and water vapor, which is not what we were discussing anyway.

    Comment by CM — 27 Sep 2011 @ 4:07 AM

  330. Up thread there was discussion of a team of US and Russian scientists who “on short notice” sailed up the the Arctic to study reported “dramatic” increases of methane release. Reports are now starting to trickle back:

    http://hainanwel.com/en/unusual-world/959-arctic-methane.html

    “Joint Russian-American expedition found a large release of methane in the Eastern Arctic in the north of the Bering Sea and the Laptev Sea. According to Professor Igor Semiletov, which is the leader of the expedition, the methane in large quantities in the ocean comes from the cracks in the crust on the bottom, a sign of amplification of seismic activity in the Arctic. Methane emissions result in higher average temperatures in the Arctic, because of what the area is reduced Arctic ice faster, than in any comparable period over the last eight thousand years. Joint Russian-American expedition sailed on the ship “Akademik Lavrentiev” from Vladivostok, Russia in early September 2011, takes part in the expedition about 28 scientists from Russia and the United States. Until mid-November 2011, scientists will conduct research in the Chukchi Sea, Bering Sea, East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea.”

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/01/55512419.html

    “Until recently, it was believed that underwater permafrost, 90 percent of which is located in the seas of Eastern Arctic, is stable and blocks the ascendant movement of any gases or liquids. But that is not exactly the case, Russian scientists found out, estimating that the region’s sea shelf spews as much methane as registered in all other seas taken together. Even this data may be lower than reality and needs to be verified. For this purpose, the key objective for those involved in the expedition is to examine the entire shelf of the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea and the Russian part of the Chukotsk Sea. This is the widest and shallowest shelf of the World Ocean. The thickness of its sedimentary strata accounts for nearly 20 kilometers, while the hydrocarbon potential of this area is equal to three or even five Persian Gulfs, Igor Semiletov goes on to say.

    We are living through a warm period, whereas during the Ice Age, the global ocean level is known to have been about 120 meters below what we have today. This means that it used to be a mainland tens of thousands of years ago. Temperatures inside that permafrost were 10-12 degrees higher than now. At the beginning of the warm period, the ocean level was constantly rising, eventually flooding this up to 800-meter-thick permafrost. In the course of time, it started coming to a thermodynamic balance with bottom water temperatures standing at about 1 degree below zero. Underwater permafrost is supposedly degrading nowadays, with a number of islands being formed on it. There are no doubts therefore that gas migration canals do exist after all, explains Igor Semiletov.

    The Arctic shelf contains billions of tons of methane. Any massive emission is fraught with catastrophic consequences for our planet’s climate. A jump in its concentration will lead to considerable strengthening of the greenhouse effect. The scientists’ attention is therefore locked on the Arctic. The EU is even creating its own alternative program to study the Russian Arctic shelf. According to Igor Semiletov, research conducted by the present-day expedition will help the world estimate all potential threats and possible development scenarios.”

    This sounds very serious to me. Could we please have a sustained, serious conversation about it, either here or on a thread devoted to it, without being constantly side tracked by obvious trolls?

    Comment by wili — 27 Sep 2011 @ 9:12 AM

  331. ps for David Cooke, please take ASCII text as an attempt meant to help. Your flood of ideas needs editing. Nobody likes to hear ‘slow down and check what you think’ — I’m often enough hoist on that petard. We amateurs sometimes get sharp and caustic corrections — but not like real hard argument; the scientists replying to us amateurs here are relatively gentle.

    Public “science writing” rarely cites sources, but Sturgeon’s Law applies to that.
    Science writers who do cite sources develop some credibility over time.

    Listen to real scientists going at one another face to face sometime. That gets harsh.

    “This is how it works: you put your model out there in the coliseum, and a bunch of guys in white coats kick the shit out of it. If it’s still alive when the dust clears, your brainchild receives conditional acceptance. It does not get rejected. This time.

    Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth despite our best efforts to avoid it. And it does that at least partly fueled by our pettiness and our rivalries. Science is alchemy: it turns shit into gold. Keep that in mind the next time some blogger decries the ill manners of a bunch of climate scientists under continual siege by forces with vastly deeper pockets and much louder megaphones….”
    – Peter Watts, http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=886

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Sep 2011 @ 7:12 PM

  332. “… this season anyone who hits a brick wall will bounce back before sliding to the floor. ‘It’s more scientifically accurate slapstick …’.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2011-09-25/Sesame-Street-smarts-science/50548634/1

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Sep 2011 @ 11:39 PM

  333. Hello all. This is my first time posting, and here is my question.

    In the RealClimate essay from 18 February 2005, “Dummies guide to the latest ‘Hockey Stick’ controversy,” there appear to be some minor typos and editorial shortcuts, and I was wondering if someone here might help me clear them up. One sentence in particular is puzzling me. I think it would be easy to grasp if my confusion is due to a word used in error by the author. Here’s the sentence:

    In Part I, Section 3, second paragraph, it seems that the correct wording would be “The blue line is the result from the REAL data, while the blue dots are the PC results for the real data.” Unless it’s written that way, the fifth sentence in that same paragraph doesn’t make sense. (In other words, the author intended to say: the color of the line is the same as that of the data points from which the line was derived.)

    With this change, it seems the first paragraph of Part II, Section 4 would make better sense as well. (By the way, in reading *this* paragraph, it occurs to me that the colors for the graph in Part I, Section 3 were well chosen–the red crosses are the Republican data, and the blue circles that of the Democrats.) ;-)

    RealClimate is a wonderful site. I cannot praise it enough.

    I’ll keep this brief for now. I have a few more questions about the “Dummies” essay, but in the interest of brevity, I’ll hold them for a later post, as appropriate.

    Comment by Tom Swartz — 28 Sep 2011 @ 12:04 AM

  334. Please disregard my post from yesterday (#333). I’m one of the dummies, but I misunderstood the graph. ;-)

    The same (MBH98 vs. MM PCA comparison) graph is shown here (“PCA details”): http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/pca-details/#figure, but with a more explicit caption. This resolves my confusion.

    For the “Dummies” page version of the graph, it might help to clarify in the caption that what distinguishes the two colors from each other is the centering/normalization convention applied (either MBH or MM). As well, it might help to clarify in that same caption that the red crosses also correspond to real data.

    Comment by Tom Swartz — 28 Sep 2011 @ 7:29 PM

  335. In case you want to be nauseous this morning, check out Heartland’s latest foray into the mainstream media. Gavin, you get a mention.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/09/28/the-global-warming-debate-produces-an-indisputable-winner/

    [Response: I love the way Heartland is so environmentally conscious. Why come up with new arguments relating to discussions of science and data (that might involve, you know, actually knowing what you were talking about), when instead you can simply recycle and reuse the same points you've made before? - gavin]

    Comment by Maya — 29 Sep 2011 @ 8:36 AM

  336. Re #335, it would be interesting to hear Gavin’s side of the event that led to the Forbes article. Are the facts presented (a shift from support to skepticism of AGW by the audience) true? If so, can Gavin explain why he thinks that is? I am somewhat skeptical that the Forbes article is (a) accurate in the facts it presents; and (b) isn’t omitting facts that a reasonable person would want to know.

    [Response: This is what I wrote at the time. - gavin]

    Comment by me — 29 Sep 2011 @ 9:32 AM

  337. Re: “Heartland’s latest foray” (May #335) …

    I would have to say that the fossil fuel corporations are indeed the “indisputable winner” of the global warming “debate” since they have successfully blocked any action to reduce fossil fuel use and the resulting CO2 emissions for an entire generation, raking in trillions of dollars in profit thanks to their denial, deceit, obstruction and delay.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 29 Sep 2011 @ 10:01 AM

  338. [Response: I love the way Heartland is so environmentally conscious. Why come up with new arguments relating to discussions of science and data (that might involve, you know, actually knowing what you were talking about), when instead you can simply recycle and reuse the same points you've made before? - gavin]

    Yes, heated air is an underutilized resource. . . now if only they would “co-generate” some truth, too.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 29 Sep 2011 @ 12:28 PM

  339. How anyone could trust Forbes/Heartland to get facts right is beyond me.

    Forbes claims they provide reliable information for business.
    Didn’t they call themselves a “capitalist tool”?
    Forbes must trust their customers not to check their “facts” — sad.

    Look at the older Taylor column at Forbes, from last May.
    He’s lying — intentionally maligning Stephen Schneider.

    Taylor points to a newspaper (at Goddard’s blog of all places).

    Taylor lies about a direct quote there.

    Taylor — lying — described what’s there thus:

    “Steven Schneider, who for the past 30 years was one of the most prominent global warming alarmists, claimed the west Antarctic ice sheet could melt before the year 2000 …. Obviously, the west Antarctic ice sheet was not raptured away last century ….”

    Schneider in the newspaper article is directly quoted — not saying it would all be melted.

    Schneider said that “initiation” of melting could begin.

    And it has begun.

    I’d call James Taylor of Heartland scum
    –but that would insult cyanobacteria.

    We should try to do better than this.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Sep 2011 @ 12:41 PM

  340. re: 335

    “…the debate truly is over and the victor is indisputable.”

    Wouldn’t it be great (or something) if we could vote on reality? We could vote away sickness, old age, and death!

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 29 Sep 2011 @ 1:03 PM

  341. From the Forbes piece: “Without an objective audience vote on winners and losers, our best way of determining who won and who lost will be determined by post-debate polls, who is able to continue raising money and compete in the months ahead, and who drops out of the race.”

    Wow. Deceive and lie to the electorate and you, too, can be a winner. Use performance enhancing drugs in the Olympics and you, too, can be a winner. Do as Bernie Madooff did and you, too, can be a winner.

    Comment by J Bowers — 29 Sep 2011 @ 1:15 PM

  342. re: 335.
    What will also be interesting is to see how quickly the MSM (especially the Associated Press, like last time) picks up the “story” and regurgitates it as “fact” as opposed to it being anti-science, denialist propaganda.

    Comment by Dan — 29 Sep 2011 @ 1:27 PM

  343. @ 340: “We could vote away sickness, old age, and death!”

    The way elections are going,the reality disoriented majority would vote away sane people.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 29 Sep 2011 @ 3:28 PM

  344. me (# 336)

    I remember watching the debate online a year ago or so (you can still find it on youtube I am sure). It is hard to watch these things as an “audience member” when I have familiarity with all the arguments being presented, but if I was just a regular laymen, I’m not sure my opinion would have changed walking out from whatever it was when I walked in.

    The problem with these type of debates though is that the “winner” generally boils down to who is better skilled with the audience than who has the better scientific content, and it is especially hard being on the side that needs to caveat everything they say rather than the ones that can get away with sweeping talking points. That said, I’m not sure why this is “news” or why anyone should care.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 29 Sep 2011 @ 4:53 PM

  345. BRIAN LEHRER
    We’re into “he said”-“he said.” But— [LAUGHTER] But Gavin
    Schmidt, you seem to suggest that the other side does not have a
    real scientific argument, but a culturally or politically
    constructed one. You don’t think they’re sincere?
    GAVIN SCHMIDT
    That’s a very difficult question. I think—I— no, I, I do think that
    they’re sincere—
    BRIAN LEHRER
    You as much as said it.
    GAVIN SCHMIDT
    I don’t think that they are completely…doing this on a level
    playing field that the people here will understand. And, there
    are…
    AUDIENCE MEMBERS
    [MOANS, VOICES, ETC.]
    —————————————————————————

    It seems you were rudely interrupted, Gavin. Are you saying they are sowing the seeds of doubt because they are unable to use genuine scientific arguments? Please continue.

    [Response: The three people involved here were sincere in their political stand, but in arguing for that, they used many fallacious arguments that they likely knew (and certainly Lindzen knows) were weak. None of Crichton's arguments were relevant to the main issue - what connection is there between the modes of travel of Hollywood mega-stars and the radiative impact of CO2? It was good rhetoric, but bad science. There was lots of that. - gavin]

    Comment by isotopious — 29 Sep 2011 @ 6:09 PM

  346. Any attempt to delicately point out that the truth lies elsewhere will be cherry picked – no doubt something like “the truth lies” would work.

    We need media of all kinds to provide the kind of compelling evidence that is being produced by the planet in a gradually accelerating crescendo.

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 29 Sep 2011 @ 9:54 PM

  347. In 1845 The Northwest passage was so clogged with ice, it took 2 years for ships as sturdy as possibly made with propellers from steam engines to sail from Lancaster Sound to Northern King William Island.
    Today, these same ships, even much smaller ones , can make the same journey in a day, with the channels, even during late September still wide open dark blue, with no ice in sight. From a true North perspective, contrarians look like fools. They are deranged away from crucial notions of science by their political and financial motives, fused with a fake reality they feed to people desperate to hear that their ways are not transforming the Earth’s climate. I disagree with Gavin, The Lindzen’s of this world are willfully ignorant, surely have not witnessed the changes any Arctic person has seen, nor to they believe any from here nor dare their own curiosity to look. Were they reluctant in admitting a warmer world is on them, they still deny science by refuting greenhouse gases, offering no alternatives but the pending cooling surely to come from their intuitions, not the winds.

    The scenery from long ago death by all 105 men, many raked by scurvy dying in a long frozen march in April 1848, transformed as ghosts to this day, Franklin sailors seeing all this water, freed from their executioner at last…..

    Comment by wayne davidson — 29 Sep 2011 @ 11:01 PM

  348. Earth Observatory has an excellent hole-in-one picture (and connected animations) of the clearance at the north pole:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=52230

    h/t Richard Pauli for spotting this excellent CBS article:
    “The American ‘allergy’ to global warming: Why?”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/24/ap/business/main20111268.shtml

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 30 Sep 2011 @ 12:39 AM

  349. FYI, the animation Susan referenced is a .mov file, so you’ll need QuickTime to play it. If you don’t have it, it’s worth downloading it just so you can see … it’s a visceral experience, to see all the ice melt and the Northwest Passage open up entirely.

    Comment by Maya — 30 Sep 2011 @ 10:30 AM

  350. Watts accuses Gore
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/28/video-analysis-and-scene-replication-suggests-that-al-gores-climate-reality-project-fabricated-their-climate-101-video-simple-experiment/

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 30 Sep 2011 @ 4:10 PM

  351. Re. 350 Pete Dunkelberg

    And Monckton pipes in with accusations of criminal fraud, encouraging Watts to take his material to the cops. Of course, they could do the actual experiment themselves, it’s not as if Watts didn’t get the equipment required. But he just takes some photos of his version of the setup and declines Monckton’s suggestion. Hmmm, I wonder why. Delingpole accuses fraud now, as well.

    Comment by J Bowers — 1 Oct 2011 @ 2:57 AM

  352. Here’s a child doing the CO2 experiment.

    Linda’s first CO2 experiment

    She seems far more scientifically curious and capable than Anthony Watts and Monckton of Brenchley.

    Comment by J Bowers — 1 Oct 2011 @ 5:41 AM

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