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A warning from Copenhagen

Filed under: — stefan @ 21 June 2009 - (Deutsch) (Chinese (simplified)) (Español)

In March the biggest climate conference of the year took place in Copenhagen: 2500 participants from 80 countries, 1400 scientific presentations. Last week, the Synthesis Report of the Copenhagen Congress was handed over to the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen in Brussels. Denmark will host the decisive round of negotiations on the new climate protection agreement this coming December.

The climate congress was organised by a “star alliance” of research universities: Copenhagen, Yale, Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, Tokyo, Beijing – to name a few. The Synthesis Report is the most important update of climate science since the 2007 IPCC report.

So what does it say? Our regular readers will hardly be surprised by the key findings from physical climate science, most of which we have already discussed here. Some aspects of climate change are progressing faster than was expected a few years ago – such as rising sea levels, the increase of heat stored in the ocean and the shrinking Arctic sea ice. “The updated estimates of the future global mean sea level rise are about double the IPCC projections from 2007”, says the new report. And it points out that any warming caused will be virtually irreversible for at least a thousand years – because of the long residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Perhaps more interestingly, the congress also brought together economists and social scientists researching the consequences of climate change and analysing possible solutions. Here, the report emphasizes once again that a warming beyond 2ºC is a dangerous thing:

Temperature rises above 2ºC will be difficult for contemporary societies to cope with, and are likely to cause major societal and environmental disruptions through the rest of the century and beyond.

(Incidentally, by now 124 nations have officially declared their support for the goal of limiting warming to 2ºC or less, including the EU – but unfortunately not yet the US.)

Some media representatives got confused over whether this 2ºC-guardrail can still be met. The report’s answer is a clear yes – if rapid and decisive action is taken:

The conclusion from both the IPCC and later analyses is simple – immediate and dramatic emission reductions of all greenhouse gases are needed if the 2ºC guardrail is to be respected.

Cause of the confusion was apparently that the report finds that it is inevitable by now that greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will overshoot the future stabilization level that would keep us below 2ºC warming. But this overshooting of greenhouse gas concentrations need not lead temperatures to overshoot the 2ºC mark, provided it is only temporary. It is like a pot of water on the stove – assume we set it to a small flame which will make the temperature in the pot gradually rise up to 70ºC and then no further. Currently, the water is at 40ºC. When I turn up the flame for a minute and then back down, this does not mean the water temperature will exceed 70ºC, due to the inertia in the system. So it is with climate – the inertia here is in the heat capacity of the oceans.

From a natural science perspective, nothing stops us from limiting warming to 2ºC. Even from an economic and technological point of view this is entirely feasible, as the report clearly shows. The ball is squarely in the field of politics, where in December in Copenhagen the crucial decisions must be taken. The synthesis report puts it like this: Inaction is inexcusable.

Related links

Press release of PIK about the release of the synthesis report

Copenhagen Climate Congress – with webcasts of the plenary lectures (link on bottom right – my talk is in the opening session part 2, just after IPCC chairman Pachauri)

Nobel Laureate Meeting in London – a high caliber gathering in May that agreed on a remarkable memorandum which calls for immediate policy intervention: “We know what needs to be done. We can not wait until it is too late.” The new U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu participated over the full three days in the scientific discussions – how many politicians would have done that?

416 Responses to “A warning from Copenhagen”

  1. 301
    pete best says:

    Re #295, Jim

    Thanks for your input on the ICE vs electric motor debate. As my physics friend here in the UK also points out, on a cold day (plenty of them here) and electric motor engine would have trouble keeping the occupants warm and on summer days running air conditioning would drain the energy efficiency to. ICE has a lot more to offer on that front to.

    However my thoughts to go why are people dragging around often 4 to 6 empty seats with them ? Can’t electric cars or hybrids be a lot smaller if only one occupant is required. How can electric motors power trucks/18 wheelers and pick ups etc. These things weight 2 tones to 40 tonnes +. What will happen here me wonders ?

    Now comes the real hard part. The future of global energy production must come from pan continental grids spanning continents for seveal reasons. The sun flows around so if the continent is wired up you get a lot mote sunshine over a longer period of time which is a good thing. If it is windy in one place but no another crossing a continent would help smooth out brownouts across the grid and you can going continental tie in many disparate renewable energy sources:

    CSP (solar thermal)
    Photo Voltaic and Solar hot water
    Geo thermal
    Hydro electric
    some fossil fuel and nuclear
    Wave and tidal (perhaps)

    Surely we can deliver this pan continantal wise. The USA has plenty of wind corridors and deep offshore wind can tap into it where it is needed according to one report I have read. Maybe Mexico can suply to CSP to the USA and Canada some wind and perhaps other stuff but no tar sands.

    Them pesky efficiency gains must also play a role too. A lot of electrical hardware is not nearly efficient enough. Fridges, freezers, TV, compuers etc. All can be made more efficient and home can be a lot better at staying cool and keeping warm I would have thought ?


  2. 302
    Mark says:

    “ICE has a lot more to offer on that front to.”

    It does?

    Why then does my Dad’s car stall if you have the AC on and the radio and the lights (driving at night) if ICE’s are OK with all that?

    Why do my lights (if I have them on) dim when I do that?

    Why is it when I have the heating on in my ICE car, it’s STILL freezing when I get in?

  3. 303
    pete best says:

    Re #300, your dads and your car is crap perhaps Mark. Whilst I drive a brand new energy efficient diesel motor here in Europe and it rocks along at 60+ MPG with everything on. no problems. I often have the full beam on too as well as the normal lights and the radio. No issue here.

    What are you driving may I ask and why would you want aircon on at night ?

    Are you saying that a electric car will do better than a ICE one with it wedges of heat just waiting to be pumped into your car to warm you up ?

  4. 304
    Mark says:

    No they aren’t Pete.

    My dad’s car is second hand, but still serviceable quality and my car is a 1.2L engine and brand new.

    Or your cars are massively over-engineered. Carrying all that extra engine just to warm your car up quickly has to nerf your fuel economy for the 99% of the time you don’t need all that power.

    Didn’t we have a discussion about how USians were horrendously wasteful of thier power needs, so demanding the same power level per capita world wide wasn’t needed to keep a US-level (darn near third world, mind) quality of life for those still coming up.

    Your car has just proven how true that is.

    And no, I’m saying that an ICE car still has the problems you ascribe to electric cars. Power is power is power. Doesn’t matter if you got it by torturing mice or tapping in to the cosmic rays.

  5. 305
    Hank Roberts says:

    Good grief, people, does every thread now have to be about this same argument?

    Are you even _reading_ the Copenhagen abstracts?

    You could be ready, if you start reading now, to think about them knowledgeably by December.

    Or will you still be arguing abour your own personal hobbyhorses?

    C’mon. Leave us a climate topic to talk about the science.


  6. 306
    pete best says:

    Re #301, Well it has 140 bhp, what is a useful horse power I wonder as my last car had 105 BHP and last me through the winter and it was fine. We all know that USians drive around in silly vehicles doing an average 22 MPG but Europeans on average 33 MPG, not a huge amount more now is it considering how most people trhink of amwrican cars. We all need an average of double what we are doing now regardless of where you live so I average 60 (its says so on the total mileage average button) so its time we all did but petrol cars cannot do 60 MPG unless the cars are tiny which is fine for some but not for all and it never will be.

    All I was saying is that can an electric motor car be powered by renewable power solely (after we have powered everything else that presently uses fossil fuels) and give people who own them what they think they want. I have no idea what the future of cars will be. Biofuels for aircraft perhaps and electricity for driving etc.

    Re #303, I am more concerned with the present senate vote on the USA climate change Bill.,0,5647633.story?track=rss

    Sort of sums it all up. Are the USA really up for it or is it just a politicial power wrangle on biofuels and experting your CO2 guilt to someone else.

  7. 307
    Hank Roberts says:

    Pete, whatever you’re more concerned about, there’s a topic for it.
    But a few enthusiasts can make every attempt boring if they don’t focus.

    Stefan gave us this one for the Copenhagen conference results, which will be rolling out with more and more detail.

    Focus, people, it’s not a bad thing to be able to focus your attention.

    “… the key messages … are resilient and based on a broad scientific consensus …. the scientific book … will reflect
    even more details from the congress about the scientific evidence that has emerged on climate change. The book will be published
    in 2010.”

    The abstracts are online; many full articles are online; those who made oral presentations may have more on their websites.

    Much to read, for those who can and will.

  8. 308
    Hank Roberts says:

    And for those who won’t or can’t read, Tom Toles draws a picture:

    [Response: Toles proves masterful yet again w/ the one panel cartoon. But its hard to beat this classic from Trudeau. – mike]

  9. 309
    J. Bob says:

    298 – Yes- I had a black asphalt roof last winter, and it still accumulated over a foot of snow.

  10. 310
    pete best says:

    Re #305, its all climate progress is talking about, its that important. Presently more important that Copenhagen I would suggest. This bill needs to go through in order for Copenhagen to mean anything.

  11. 311
    steve says:

    Since nobody objected to the description of the process of sea level rise determination used by Church and White I will assume it is correct for all intents and purposes. Does it make anyone else uncomfortable that one data set is used to clean up the noise from a different data set instead of just using standard statistical procedures? I also wondered if anyone happens to know how much difference the new method changed the results as compared to the standard procedure. If not I will patiently wait until a free version is available.

    Alastair, yes it was very helpful thank you.

    Mark, I rolled the 8 sided die but it didn’t occur to me that could be what he meant.

  12. 312
    Rod B says:

    Mark (262), NY State doesn’t get their surge demand electricity from Arizona. It’s virtually always from nearby power sources (so long as they are not blacked out ;-) ) because that’s by far the most reliable for the grid.

  13. 313
    Rod B says:

    James (264), actually a lot of homes are heated with electricity via heat pumps (CAC running backwards); though it has proven to be very inefficient in all but temperate climes — especially when the temp difference is large enough that the heat pump shuts off and the electric coils turn on: your meter wheel almost spins off its axis. If you don’t have gas, fuel oil or propane available, heat pumps is about all that is left.

  14. 314
    RichardC says:

    275 Doug asks, “could it be better to put the slash below the water table? ” I pondered that as well. I couldn’t find a definitive answer. I figured that methane production was the biggest evil to prevent so I went with dry storage. Perhaps in areas with more insects wet storage would work better.

    276 Jim says, “I recall reading that the very common wooden buildings in Russia burn down fairly often on a historical time scale so there are not a lot of really old examples of Russian architecture.”

    ahhh, the combination of vodka, long winter nights, and fireplaces. Yes, the best laid sequestration plans..

  15. 315
    Hank Roberts says:

    > slash

    The answer will vary a lot with the location. Some answers or pointers to them ought to be found here, in the Copenhagen abstracts. Let’s look, if anyone’s interested:

    Jim Bouldin’s 2008 paper describes work with dry high-elevation fire-prone environments where dead wood will survive for years or even decades if it’s above ground, because most of the precipitation falls as snow during the wintertime and humidity is too low for dry rot much of the year. My 40 acre site in the California coast range is like that; there are still stumps and hollow trees (black oaka nd Ponderosa pine) from the 1940s logging, where subsequent fires haven’t reached them.

    That’s an area where the approach Pekka describes from Finland seems very appropriate (except for the yahoo population who’d set woodpiles on fire to watch them burn)

    In the wet rain forest environment, fungus (and beetles and other organisms) very quickly will turn the dead wood in a tree to new living material. The truism I recall from the area is that there’s far more living mass in a “dead” tree than in a living tree, once the tree’s own protections are breached and the dead dry wood under its living skin is exposed. Look at the remaining bits of the Olympic rain forest — in the little “view strips” along the Hoh River for examples.

    I recall reading that almost all the topsoil in the N. California coastal forests, when looked at closely, is arthropod feces. Everything gets consumed quickly and repeatedly. Chipping or just laying wood down where it will stay damp and the moss and fungus will grow on it ought to turn most of the dead tree carbon into live topsoil and duff carbon quickly, so long as fire’s not allowed.

  16. 316
    James says:

    Barton Paul Levenson Says (26 June 2009 at 4:12 AM):

    “Considering that they’re (solar panels) black and usually at least warm, can snow accumulate on them in the first place?”

    Simple answer is yes. They might absorb enough heat in the daytime to melt off a light snowfall, but not a couple of feet. Then there’re the snowfalls that happen overnight: even a light snow keeps enough light from penetrating to warm the solar panel. In fact (going by a little experience with solar heating), what you want is for the panels to be at a steep enough angle so that snow slides off before it melts & sticks.

    Rod B Says (26 June 2009 at 11:35 AM):

    “If you don’t have gas, fuel oil or propane available, heat pumps is about all that is left.”

    Solar? Wood stove?

  17. 317
    James says:

    Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. Says (25 June 2009 at 11:52 PM):

    “Nope, there is nothing fair about giving the electric vehicle a three to one advantage by ignoring the reality of the energy conversion process by which the electric energy is produced.”

    Why not? You’re equally willing to ignore the energy production processes on the other side, and attribute it all to coal. And to ignore things like IC engine BSFC maps, cite the peak efficiency, and claim that’s what it gets all the time, instead of under conditions that most cars seldom see.

    “If you get 78 MPG you must be driving a Messerschmitt or maybe an Isetta. Or maybe you drive at steady speeds under about 25 mph.”

    Nope. Honda Insight, at more or less typical speeds, given that a large part of my driving is on mountain roads. A bit slower than average on freeways & multi-lane highways (because going fast in a straight line is boring, and the time saved isn’t worth the speeding tickets), faster than average on the twisty bits. Very little urban driving, though, which helps.

  18. 318
    Mark says:

    “310 Rod B Says:
    26 June 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Mark (262), NY State doesn’t get their surge demand electricity from Arizona”

    Never said they did, Rod.


  19. 319

    Re #299 pete best

    Pete, you see things like I do when it comes to the foolishness of the 4-6 seat car that mostly is used to carry one person. My plan is that cars should provide tandem seating for two large adults. This gives some flexibility. To accommodate a family of four, drive two cars like this. Two smaller children can probably be squeezed in the second seat.

    Starting with this tandem seating requirement, the entire history of the motor vehicle can be revisited with surprising results. When Henry Ford killed the cycle car the promise of tandem seating was forgotten, much to the detriment of the planet.

    And you really do not need a 150 hp engine to warm a car. Even a 1 kW heater would do, and this is only 1.33 hp.

    The Miastrada car design is set to enable it to run at 80 MPH for two hours on 18 kWhr of propulsion power. Double this for margin and it looks like a 6 kW solar panel getting 6 hours of sun could run it. Even so, I still see a future with a small internal combustion engine as an auxilliary for longer trips, and that could be used for heating and airconditioning if necessary. 16 hp would be plenty to enable continuous driving.

    As you see, I have discussed this as a solar based system. With chagrin, I note that it might be better to just sell the solar power to the utility and run on the 16 hp engine all the time. The irony is that plugging in my car at night will probably result in coal fired power generation to fill that load.

    That is how I came to the concept of using the car engine in a cogeneration scheme, where the engine would be run only when heat was needed by an associated household. Thus, the electric generation efficiency would roughly triple to almost 100%.

    Curiously, this would not require that money be invested in the solar panels. And the engine would already be in the car, so the cogeneration hardware would only be some plumbing and radiators stuck in the plenum of your furnace. This seems interesting for countries without a lot of spare cash lying around.

    And we can still go fast!

  20. 320
    Mark says:

    steve, 309: “Does it make anyone else uncomfortable that one data set is used to clean up the noise from a different data set instead of just using standard statistical procedures?”

    Uh, that’s one of the standard statistical procedures.

    If you don’t know what other element may be in play, get a set that has a different array of forces in play apart from the one you’re interested in and where they start to diverge (in a statistical sense), you know you have some significant (in a statistical sense) unknown forcing going on in at least ONE of those datasets.

    E.g. if you want to know how much profit a store makes but you can’t look at the books, and you need to know how they vary over time (so you aren’t buying a shop that is merely a tourist trap), you could just count the number of people going in and going out. I mean, that’s GOT to be a bip proportion of the equation for profitability (or at least turnover), hasn’t it?

    But maybe they go in for different volumes over time. So maybe take the number of trucks over the same averaging period.

    If they diverge, you know you’ve got some other forcing in there. If they don’t you know you have a good analogue.

    And it also means that you can work out whether you have a sampling bias when there are drastic scenario changes.

  21. 321
    Mark says:

    Well JBob, #307, if your house needs the roof cleared to combat dampness and rot, with solar panels your effort clearing has an upside: your electric bill will be lower than it would have been without them!

    And if it doesn’t need clearing, then you don’t have to and you have some extra free insulation.

    Bonus move either way!

  22. 322

    Re #315 James,

    Yup, the Honda Insight should do that with some nursing along.

    Nope, the 38% efficiency number for the Prius engine is listed as an average over the UDDS (urban) driving cycle. See the reference linked through my site for the data sheet. (Admittedly, it is a little obscure in that reference since Argonne was trying to say it was great to make a car into a plug-in. This particular data completely blew their case.)

    Nope, I am not willing to ignore the fuel production inefficiencies. I just say they are relatively small compared to the gigantic loss in any heat engine. There seems to be some agreement that the gasoline production losses add about 25% to the amount of heat that should be charged to the gasoline. Coal transportation etc. heat losses could be corrected for by adding about 10% to the heat input in a coal fired system.

    Thus, on a corrected thermal system, roughly for gasoline we have a 1/1.25 up front efficiency factor, .38 for the Prius engine efficiency factor and .9 for the electric generator and .9 for the electric motor. That gasoline system works out to be 25%. For coal fired electric generation we have 1/1.1 for the up front efficiency factor, .33 for the heat engine in the central power plant including the generator losses, .93 for electric distribution, .9 for charging losses and .9 for the electric motor. That coal fired system works out to about 23%. Both have linkages from the electric motor to the wheels. So as pete best says, the outcome is roughly the same on an efficiency basis. And an honest MPG comparison will come out also to be similar numbers.

    Now take note that about 33% more CO2 come from producing a BTU of heat from coal than comes from producint a BTU of heat from gasoline, and it should be clear that the electric car is not all that special, at least not in comparison with a good hybrid.

    True, the crappy conventional car does not have the Prius engine and it does not have regenerative braking of any decently designed hybrid.

    I would bet your Honda Insight has a very efficient engine also, probably close or better than the Prius. I have not yet uncovered real data on this. But I would be very critical of anyone trying to sell you $10,000 worth of batteries to stuff in your Insight.

  23. 323
    steve says:

    Mark really? Between two different data sets using two different measuring devices measuring two different things? I have little background in statistics and what little I may have known I lost long ago from lack of use but for some reason this sounds unusual. Are you well versed in statistics?

  24. 324

    #304 pete best

    I do not know what the future of the car will be either. However, if we are willing to change the way we look to pedestrians as we ride along, it is possible to move two large people at 80 mph with only 12 hp, and make them feel good about riding high, safely and comfortably. See

    You have to do things my way to make this happen, or else something similarly unusual. If you are willing to scrunch in a bit and ride puny, the Aptera will give good performance on about 20 hp. See

    Aptera simplified their project by switching to all electric operation. I think this was to make them look good for the Automotive XPrize competition, where that contest is using the same flawed ‘MPG equivalent’ that James expounds (#286) which tries to find an equivalent at the point of “connection to the car.” I tried hard to get the XPrize folks to not use this bogus comparison trick. Even though I could do well with it myself, it made the electric car look so good that there would be no need for real innovation. The result of them sticking to this is that the potential global warming benefits will not be achieved, but many people will think there is no need for anything more. See #320 to see the problem with this system that triples the perceived benefit of electric drive compared to what it should be.

  25. 325
    Mark says:

    re 321. Yes.

    Why do they use three (or more) computers in a Fly-by-wire system? Why do they INSIST at least one of the programs be written by a different company?

    Just so they can spread the wealth?

  26. 326
    Mark says:

    Jim 320, another thing to realise is that just about ANY car journey is inevitably 0% efficient.

    We always end up back home.

  27. 327
    Mark says:

    re 316, I knew that would get edited out. It was true, though. And felt good to say.

    He really DID see something that wasn’t there too.

  28. 328

    #324 Mark,

    Isn’t there a final trip somewhere else?

    Cheers, Jim

  29. 329

    Southern Europe is undergoing desertification. The US government has issued a warning (June 16, 2009) that US water supply is in danger due to CO2.

    Drought might get some attention and even stimulate some real action to cut emissions. The plight of the polar bears or the denizens of Bangladesh don’t seem to matter to most Americans.

    Climate scientists, including Copenhagen, have failed to present a convincing case for taking painful action right now, instead of waiting for more trees to grow in Nigeria, or hoping for a new source of utility-scale power to appear. A 2C rise sounds like a negligible effect, and so does 5C. Of course, ice ages depend on such small swings, but most people don’t know this.

  30. 330
    steve says:

    Mark I’m not sure if a fly by wire system is a good analogy. Actually I’m certain it isn’t. I assume the yes was to the really Mark and the being well versed in statistics was left unanswered? Or was the yes to being well versed in statistics? It doesn’t really matter. There are experts all over the place on this issue. I happen to like Gavin’s answer from 2004 I found when reading his critique of Crighton’s book from The Earth Institute at Columbia University: There are clearly some problems in comparing tide gauge and satellite data, and of course, satellites can have their problems (cf. MSU data), but the quoted numbers don’t support the actual statement at all – though it would be fairer to say that the satellites are consistent with a recent rise in the rate, rather than a proof that it is occuring.

    To me this seems like a well balanced statement with a sufficient amount of skepticism as should be shown by a scientist. I was wondering if Gavin would change that wording at this point?

  31. 331
    Hank Roberts says:

    steve asks

    > Between two different data sets
    > using two different measuring devices
    > measuring two different things?

    Of course. Compare a local weather report relying on satellites with your back yard thermometer. There is a famous example:

    Compare that with the same search run in plain Google, which turns up mostly stuff from the bogusphere repeating the error, failing to acknowledge the correction.

    the “Start Here” link at the top of the page;
    the first link under Science in the right hand sidebar;
    the main post here:

  32. 332
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS to steve, whose last post slipped in; you’ll find much since 2004.
    Look for updates on the topic you found about temperatures.

    — there is no proof available in science. This is again something you’ll find explained in the basic links available. Proof is not possible in the sense it can be done in mathematics; understanding inference will help understand why statistics and probability is what’s discussed.

  33. 333
    steve says:

    Hank you are always well read and always have links available and I always appreciate your input. The one mistake you do make is to think those expressing doubt always do so because they are parroting someone else. Some of us have our own life’s learning regarding science. I, for instance, remember quite well my very first science class in a lab where the instructor told us in no uncertain terms that if you switched scales you had to calibrate. This lesson was never lost on me. I ignored it for the class of course but the concept stuck. Now one of the first things I look for when people are comparing one measuring instrument to another is: where is the calibration?

  34. 334
    David B. Benson says:

    E. T. Jaynes

    Full book available from Cambridge University Press. Comes very highly recommended.

  35. 335
    Hank Roberts says:

    steve, I make more mistakes than that! watch more closely, the real scientists’ corrections here are invaluable teaching moments.

    If you care to say what you’ve looked at — or looked for and haven’t found — and how you’ve searched so far, it will be easier to respond.

    OR just follow that 2004 reference you found forward via citing papers.

  36. 336
    James says:

    Jim Bullis, Miastrada Co. Says (26 June 2009 at 16:18):

    “#324 Mark,
    Isn’t there a final trip somewhere else?”

    Even that can become more fuel-efficient:

  37. 337
    steve says:

    Hank my post #252 has the puzzle I am trying to figure out. The difference between studies of the sea level increase as measured by tide gauges. Methodology seems the most obvious point of interest. Concentrating on the Church and White study seems logical since they are using a new methodology.

  38. 338
    Rod B says:

    James, solar and wood stoves satisfy the statement: heat pumps are about all that is left…

  39. 339
    Rod B says:

    O.K. A waste of time, but…william says (254), “…isn’t transmission loss from Arizona to New York city a bit of a problem?

    Then Mark (262) immediately repeats the quote and adds, “…Not really. It already happens with the current electrical grid. NY State doesn’t produce enough electric for a surge in demand, they get it from another state.”

    I thought Mark was clearly implying that New York gets some electricity from Arizona or western environs. Silly me…

    Captcha: ravage eric Gavin, are you sure?

  40. 340
    Hank Roberts says:

    steve, OK, so your quote and question above is about this story? I found it searching the info in your original post, thanks for pointing back to that.

    That news story gives a link only to the GRL Abstract. On the same page as the story, BioEd has a link (membership required) for people who want to “Discuss this article” — did that help?

    For anyone who hasn’t worked through the routine of finding actual papers, here’s what I did to find more:

    Scholar finds the full text of the paper (click on “all 8 versions”)

    123 other papers have cited it, per that Scholar result:

    I didn’t dig through those citing papers; nor have I looked through the Copenhagen abstract page, linked at the top of this thread.

    “sea level” in the Realclimate search box (top of page) also brings up quite a few mentions, some of which (search within results) may help.

  41. 341
    Hank Roberts says:

    Oh, and I forgot at first to search on the attribution given for the BioOne article (Nature News).

    Searching Scholar again:

    finds among others:

    Ironically, my first search — ordinary Google– on the attribution turns up only the original BioOne article and two attacks on Church and White’s paper; this may amuse John Mashey so I’ll post it:“Church+and+White”+”Nature+News”

    Also testing Image Search; the second hit gets a figure from Nature.
    The first hit is hilarious, if you get the same result I did:

  42. 342
    Mark says:

    Rod mumbles:

    “Then Mark (262) immediately repeats the quote and adds, “…Not really. It already happens with the current electrical grid. NY State doesn’t produce enough electric for a surge in demand, they get it from another state.”

    I thought Mark was clearly implying that New York gets some electricity from Arizona or western environs. Silly me…”

    Nope, I clearly STATED they took it from another state. And since the state I was talking about was NY, then “another state” would be “a state not NY”.

    This covers eastern states too, you know.

    Not “implied”. ***stated***. If you want to imply something from something clearly stated, then you’re the one making it up.


  43. 343
    Mark says:

    Rod wibbles:
    “James, solar and wood stoves satisfy the statement: heat pumps are about all that is left…”

    If you’re going to call a wood stove “heat pump” then an electric oven is a heat pump too.

    And an ICE.

    And an electric bar fire.

    Or gas fire.

    And …

  44. 344
    Mark says:

    steve opines

    “Mark I’m not sure if a fly by wire system is a good analogy. Actually I’m certain it isn’t.”

    Uh, it’s a good analogy for why you’d get a measurement for the same thing from very different sources to increase your confidence in what they say.

  45. 345
    Mark says:

    “#324 Mark,
    Isn’t there a final trip somewhere else?”

    No, it doesn’t Jim.

    a) you don’t drive. Well, not *after* you die, anyway, though you could right up to that point…
    b) the hearse goes back to shop. If it stayed at the cemetery, there’d need to be a bigger car park there. And why would it? So that when the dead walk again, they don’t have to walk, they can drive in style?

  46. 346
    steve says:

    Hanks thanks. I am currently trying to find what the Church White tide gauge data shows as trend when the traditional statistical methodology is used. If you happen to run across that it would be most helpful in helping me sort this out for myself.

    Mark I believe there are multiple fly by wire systems used in an aircraft due to safety concerns. It only makes sense that the same program not be used in all the redundant systems since if there is a glitch one would not want the same glitch to affect all the systems.

  47. 347
    Mark says:

    “Mark I believe there are multiple fly by wire systems used in an aircraft due to safety concerns.”


    And why?

    Because if there’s something wrong with the way one of them is made, the other two won’t have the same problem at the same time.

    This allows an error to be noted and corrected.

    Now, how do you consider this different from using different methods to measure, say, temperature?

  48. 348
    steve says:

    Mark the significant difference between the two situations is that in one situation, the sea levels, getting the right answer is the most important factor. In the situation of fly by wire the most significant factor is that they operate using two different systems so using one program to correct another program would defeat the purpose of having two programs.

  49. 349
    J. Bob says:

    321 – Would love to see you on the roof of a two story house, clearing snow at -15. You don’t generate much solar power under a blanket of snow, or wind power when it’s dead still and -30. That happens on regular basis up here.

  50. 350
    Rod B says:

    Mark, not that it matters much, but I did not call a wood stove a heat pump.