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Unforced variations 3

Filed under: — group @ 19 March 2010

Another open thread. OT comments from the Amazon drying thread have been moved over. As usual, substantive comments only please and no abuse.


844 Responses to “Unforced variations 3”

  1. 201
    Stuart says:

    I have an interesting question that I hope some of the experts can shed some light on… and it seems an open thread is the best place for it.

    I know that most of the focus has understandably been on the effect of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere (most notably carbon dioxide). I’m wondering what would happen if you were somehow able to remove all carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or kill the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect.

    Obviously the surface temperature would fall, but by how much? Would the oceans freeze? Does the current distribution of the continents tip the balance one way or the other? The instantaneous forcing change should be easy to work out, but feedbacks would likely complicate the situation somewhat. I can see the water vapour feedback falling with temperature, and a naive approximation would be to take the blackbody limit of about 30 K cooling… but albedo changes of clouds and ice cover would presumably be a factor as well.

    This might be a simple way of conveying the role of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse effect, avoiding the “it’s all water vapour” or “carbon dioxide is a trace gas” arguments. If you show how different the climate would be without a CO2 greenhouse effect, it’s easy to demonstrate how different it would be if you enhance the CO2 greenhouse effect.

  2. 202
    David B. Benson says:

    philc (169) — For a proper application of statistics in climatology, visit
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/
    wherein the latest thread considers just those (silly) writings. For the undoubted warming, decade by decade, see
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/whatevergate/comment-page-23/#comment-164509
    with the warming therein explained as largely due to forcing by excess CO2. To start learning the physics, begin with the Start Here link at the top of the page.

    Once again, you’ve been had.

  3. 203
    Jerry Steffens says:

    #169 (and Eric’s comment)

    How to replicate the global warming experiment:

    (1) Get a time machine.
    (2) …

  4. 204
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Stuart #182: has been done. It’s called Snowball Earth.

  5. 205
    Glenn Tamblyn says:

    Guys

    Some time back you did a post on the Solomon Et Al paper on lower stratospheric water vapour levels. At the time you said there would be a followup post. Just some thoughts on that and the current state of play wrt Climate science research and winning the PR war – getting the herats and minds of Joe Public behind the things we need to do.

    It is probably fair to say that the denialist/sceptic forces have made significant advances in the hearts-and-minds campaign for Joe Public. Which is a sorry state of affairs indeed.

    A significant component of their ‘advances’ is that Mother Nature hasn’t been particularly kind in the last decade or so. Just when it started to become critical to win over public support, Mother Nature decides to throw in a chunk of ‘natural variability’ that was PR poison – the ‘why isn’t it warming’ meme.

    We expect that this will reverse in the next few years, but that may well be several more years of delay.

    I understand from what I have read recently that one of the themes for AR5 is a greater focus on decade level prediction. This is absolutely critical. We need to advance the science. But we also need the scientific tools to advance the main game – reaching Joe Public and convincing them of how serious this is.

    Having said that, the last decade or so of ‘interesting’ variability needs to be treated as a resource to be used. All that data we have started to collect in the last decade or so, Mother Nature supplying us with the information we need to understand how she wriggles around.

    Which brings me to Solomon et al. Is there hidden in there some clues to mechanisms we don’t fully understand yet that will illuminate our research? Consider some armchair expert speculations:

    1. It has been suggested that major El Nino’s can have multi year climatic effects. Could this be what we are seeing? A particularly strong El Nino like 1998 is able to inject water vapour beyond the tropopause and into the lower stratosphere which then takes some years to return to its ‘equilibrium’ H2O level.

    2. Could this be related to Methane? Methane levels have been rising for centuries and then plateaued during the 2000′s only to start rising again near the end of the decade. Since Methane is oxidised in the stratosphere, could some mechanism have resulted in increased transport of Methane into the stratosphere and/or increased oxidation rates in the stratosphere resulting in elevated H2O levels. This mechanism ends/declines, and H2O levels start to decline again?

    3. Could 1 and 2 be linked. Could a strong El Nino be a driver for a mechanism affecting Methane?

    4. Could this be a solar cycle influence? Since the current one has been deep and long, could there be a mechanism from solar input that impacts on stratospheric H2O or Methane oxidation. Not Svensmark’s GCR/Clouds theories but something else at work in the stratosphere, not just TSI variation. Perhaps this might be a small rate change of a reaction involving Methane or H2O that grows/declines over a solar cycle. Only because this cycle has been protracted has this impact been more significant whereas over a more normal cycle it doesn’t have time to have as strong a cumulative effect. And in effect this becomes a magnifying effect to TSI variation over a long cycle.

    Just some speculations, I am sure there are other possible causes for the results seen by Solomon et al and more generally for this quiet decade. But we need to find the answers to why the last decade happened quickly. Yes its natural variability but to win over Joe Public we need to be able to model and predict them. Otherwise the ‘these scientists don’t know what they are saying’ meme is just too strong.

    Good Luck guys.

  6. 206
    Gilles says:

    “Gilles@158 “Call me up the first time you see a hydrogen car on the street, I offer you a beer”

    Obviously you didn’t attend the Vanvouver/Whistler Olympics, buses take many cars out of the loop [and those are not the "first"] …. I think you owe septic Matthew a beer.”

    Of course I know that hydrogen vehicles exist. The beer is for the first time that you see a private hydrogen car on a normal street :).

    Glenn Tamblyn 201 :”A significant component of their ‘advances’ is that Mother Nature hasn’t been particularly kind in the last decade or so. Just when it started to become critical to win over public support, Mother Nature decides to throw in a chunk of ‘natural variability’ that was PR poison – the ‘why isn’t it warming’ meme.

    We expect that this will reverse in the next few years, but that may well be several more years of delay.”

    Are you saying that a definitive proof of the exact amount of anthropic influence on temperature hasn’t yet been given ?

    Martin “I’ll do you a favor and ignore your silly nonsequitor about needing to curtail fossil fuel use for eternity…”

    could you elaborate a little? does it mean that you think that we will use all the available fossil fuels at the end, whatever we do for their conserving ?

    “fossil fuels aren’t going to be around for forever, so we’ll have to make the switch at some point anyway.”.

    Well I understand that the argument is often presented in this way, but I’m rather doubtful on what you mean exactly by “making the switch”. The point I’m raising is that it is absolutely not granted for me that the “switch” could power the same society as ours. And BTW, which one is it supposed to power? average global one? european one? american one? more? less? which growth? how long? up to which level ? why ?

  7. 207
    Brian Dodge says:

    If norman is still following the discussion here, I downloaded data from http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries1.pl over 5×5 degree areas in the western (dry) US and the eastern (wet)US, and compared monthly averages of precipitable water versus Outbound Longwave Radiation. The graph is at http://www.imagenerd.com/uploads/water_vapor_vs_olr-pZOTO.jpg.
    Keeping in mind that the data is uncorrected for altitude, landform/vegetation, and cloud cover, (which would affect albedo, surface temperature, and emissivity), one could argue that the dry climate rapid Jan-Jun increase in OLR as the season advances towards summer, followed by flatter OLR over Jun-Sep as the precipitable water vapor increases is due to the changing water vapor greenhouse effect. The modest rate of OLR change Jan-Jul in the wet climate, followed by peak OLR in Sep and small drop to Oct as the precipitable water vapor decreases, and the differences in trajectory between the dry and wet climates are consistent with water vapor greenhouse effect on OLR.

  8. 208
    flxible says:

    Gilles: “Again I may be wrong – I just liked to have objective arguments showing why”
    You missed my point #170, Septic Matthew is waiting for his beer.

  9. 209

    #114, #115 ccpo

    I’m just reviewing the thread.

    Very interesting discourse in these posts. ccpo, my apologies but I am a little disconnected. Which contention do you wish me to expound upon?


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  10. 210

    #165 John Peter

    The link you posted for the article by Dr. David Evans is a classic example of someone trying to sound as if they know what they are talking about when in reality they are merely offering a load of horse manure and attempting to paint it to look like science.

    Not even close though. He presents a lot of the classic out of context arguments that have long been debunked.

    Only the relevant contextual science that is now well understood on the basic mechanisms of climate forcings.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels

    Denialists tend to pick on the periphery of the things unknown, but again, in context, how much does that really matter to the main signal that has been reasonably bounded?

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/images/temperature-records/2000yrs_models_ipcc_6_1_large.jpg/view

    It’s like the pathetic M&M argument against the ‘Hockey Stick’.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-hockey-stick

    Statistically insignificant in that case. Just because models are not perfect does not mean they are not useful or indicative.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/models
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/models-can-be-wrong


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  11. 211
    flxible says:

    RodB@180 “Just a little sidebar for John Peter, in politics a minority can be right. They just don’t win…”
    Obviously Rod, you don’t know much about the Canadian political system or our present minority conservative govt. They’re not right, but sadly they did win.

  12. 212

    #183 Gilles

    Have I emitted false judgments about you? Please do point them out and show me where or how I am wrong.

    I assess your words as you have written them. They are easily characterized by your tendencies to build straw-man arguments, use red herrings distractions, spin what others say and present ambiguous statements and inferences. For one who loves numbers so much, why don’t you present them in all your arguments?

    You see, I’m not judging you, you are judging yourself with your own words. There is a Biblical phrase that is most appropriate here. Each man eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

    I don’t judge you. I recognize the judgments you place upon yourself with your words.

    You say you try to keep as close as possible to scientific argumentation. If that is true, then why so much ambiguity in your posts? Why so many notions out of context and lacking relevance? You mainly make qualitative arguments but seemingly with less support for your reasoning. And then you expound about how you love numbers and science??? In other words you are the pot calling the kettle black and the accusing others of not being scientific. How utterly bizarre. How illogical and unreasonable.

    Here is a judgment for you. Based solely on what I have seen of your writings; If I worked for you I would probably say to coworkers, see, there is a good example of the ‘Peter Principle’ in action. But am I really making this judgment, or is it not reasonable based on your ambiguous spin-fests about fanciful ideas and notions??? Where are your numbers? Where are your facts? Where is your substantive reasoning for your opinion?

    You are standing on air and claiming now one is convincing you of anything. Does the word hypocrite mean anything to you?

    I would love to hear your objective scientific arguments. Can you please post them clearly and in relevant context.


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  13. 213

    ccpo (154): Just wait to see how hard it gets to produce, maintain and begin replacing wind generators when 95% of the rare earth ores are in China, but China doesn’t care to share

    BPL: Attention, ccpo: There is nothing inherent in the concept of a wind turbine that requires rare earth ores. Not one thing. You could make a wind turbine entirely of wood, iron, and copper. If rare earths get too expensive, wind turbine manufacturers will find a substitute. We don’t need rare earths any more than we need fossil fuels. We are used to using them; the present economy is set up to use them; it will take money to change. But we need to replace our whole energy infrastructure anyway, so let’s lose the rare earths and lose the fossil fuels.

    BTW, we don’t need horse harnesses, buggy manufacturing plants, horsewhips, gas lights, or vacuum tubes, either.

  14. 214

    phil c (160): Co2 is still rising but (according to Phil Jones and others) temperatures are not.

    BPL: Look again:

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Ball.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Reber.html

    http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html

  15. 215

    JP (165),

    I know he’s in Alaska. We were discussing what he said in Japan. Thus my description of him remains accurate: Baka des’.

  16. 216
    philc says:

    RE 169 et al. OK I’ll admit it, I get easily confused between 95% CI and p=.05. mea culpa.

    That doesn’t answer the argument that statistics are being misused. Yeah, CERN can do a lot more experiments and get more reliable data relatively quickly. That doesn’t mean climate science should charge forward with much less reliable results does it? Admit it, the data is sparse, noisy, and open to more than one interpretation. Not good grounds for making epic pronouncements.

    198 Brian Dodge: You can take Dr. Akasofu to task, but at least do it honestly. on your “he is wrong” you choose to break up the HadCrut data into two trends? Want to give some reasons for doing so? The IPCC looks at the whole series with a linear regression(AR4 p253), and then breaks it up also into 100 50 and 25 year trends to make a misleading point-that the rate of temperature change is increasing, when it isn’t.

    So observing that an exponential variation is not a simple linear variation is a mistake? If you look at the whole page, the key rvation is that the projected CO2 increase graph is markedly less correct than the linear variation+mulitdecadal oscillation in correctly predicting the post 2005 temperatures observed and that the 1940′s temperatures did not fit very well with the CO2 causal model either.

    Aarhenius’ use of a model of atmospheric temperatures affected by levels of CO2 is an example of the basic use of a model- to determine if the effects of a change are large enough to justify further investigation. He did this, even though the fact that the results sort of match current calculations is happenstance not science. He got it right, and that is still where we are today. CO2 could have an effect, it was big enough to be interesting. It’s time to stop modelling and start measuring so we can make scientific predictions about what is likely to happen(www.forecastingprinciples.com).

    Both sides in this ruckus are not above making unfounded claims. See the above graph in AR4, p.253 Chapter 3. Another author, Olaf Humlum(http://www.climate4you.com/ under reflections), makes a pretty clear case that the IPCC made a major error in AR4, specifically the graph on p253, Chapter 3, proclaiming that “note that for shorter recent periods, the slope is greater, indicating accellerated warming”. This is a highly unusual statement given that short periods in any long term record could easily have a higher slope than the overall rate of increase. A more honest assessment would compare 25 year averages throughout the period from 1850 to 2005. Doing this shows that the recent period is nothing special. He also does an assessment from the HadCrut3 data showing that the temperature has been rising in a uniform manner since the end of the Little Ice Age, and that the simplest explanation is that it shows a naturally occurring recovery of temperatures from the litttle Ice Age without clear anthropogenic impact.

  17. 217
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Walter Manny@190

    Actually, when dealing with a theory of something like Earth’s climate, you most certainly can predict some aspects of its future evolution. Once you have a handle on the long poles and the theory has demonstrated strong predictive power, it is extremely unlikely that you will abandon that theory and start from scratch. CO2 is one of those poles.

  18. 218
    Clark Lampson says:

    RE216 The reason we use statistics is to pull an underlying signal out of a noisy background. If the signal stares you in the face, you don’t need statistics.

    From an economic perspective you might ask how cheaply you can do an experiment and get an intelligent answer. You can spend lots of money and do it without statistics (or with simple statistics) or spend as little as possible and use statistics to pull the less obvious results out of sparser data. Sometimes the reason for sparser data is not dependent on $ spent, it might depend time, or the fact that you can’t replicate the system. Think climate change on planets. It takes time, and you can’t replicate it. Hence the value of statistics to pull a signal out of noise.

  19. 219
    phil c says:

    192 Oh, wait, I shouldn’t assume the “philc” posting just above with the naive questions is the same person who used to post so much as “PhilC” — are you?

    Yes Hank, “phil C” is me, but to add confusion there is another PhilC (no space) #169 & #216.

    So what if questions are (or appear to you) naive? Do you only answer sophisticated questions? “Naive questions” not good enough for you.

    One of the Naive questions I asked a few months ago was about the first BBC report on the IPCC Himalayan glaciers error. I was told I hadn’t read it properly, so I read it properly and asked the same naive questions and got the brush off being told that I didn’t understand glaciers. That particular question does not seem so naive now.

    I also naively asked about the Cloud experiment at CERN – which seems to be to be strongly connected to climate and so I thought (naively) would be of great interest to contributors to this site.

    If you are going to persuade the increasing sceptical public of your case then you had better get used to answering naive questions as you and several others on this site will not persuade many by getting annoyed, talking down to people or by telling them they know nothing about physics or statistics.

  20. 220
    phil c says:

    214
    Barton Paul Levenson

    Are your personal web-pages “peer reviewed”?

  21. 221

    #216 philc

    Your assessment that the latest rise is nothing special is simply myopic. If you have a trend and attribution and confidence is reasonably high in the correlation, then it’s simply not ‘nothing special” as you have stated.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/natural-variability
    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/human-caused

    What you seem to be saying is that there is a body on the floor, we have the gun, we have the culprit, we have the fingerprints of the culprit on the gun, we have gunpowder residue on the hands of the culprit, the bullet markings prove it was fired from the gun with the culprits fingerprints on it, and we have motive…

    but someone made a grammar mistake in one of the reports so how can we know that we have the right guy???????? Even though all the evidence is clear.

    You are saying we still are not sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I find that stunning. By the way, what is your full legal name. You should put your stamp of approval on this amazing assessment of yours. Go ahead, let the world know you stand by your words.


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  22. 222
    flxible says:

    Gillies: “Of course I know that hydrogen vehicles exist. The beer is for the first time that you see a private hydrogen car on a normal street.”
    Move the goal posts much? Those buses ARE on “normal streets”, and when did the “private” limitation get added to your “argument”? Only people who can afford private vehicles are allowed wheeled transport? Public transit is currently the fastest way to reduce overall vehicle emissions.

    “And BTW, which one is it supposed to power? average global one? european one? american one? more? less? which growth? how long? up to which level? why?”
    Aren’t you the one claiming civilization is doomed no matter what? The answer is for you to give, which are YOU talking of? Can you specify the GDP necessary in any location for the lifestyle you claim is necessary and can’t be acieved without FF? Exactly how much FF’s are needed for that GDP? How many “some degrees of global warming” would make that GDP impossible? You continue to demand specific details while offering only ever-changing generalities yourself. Objective arguments? Which “growth” do you desire? Up to which level? Why?

  23. 223
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Re: Bayes.

    The most recommended text is “Probability Theory: The Logic of Science” by E.T. Jaynes.

    also the free book by David McKay which uses and argues for Bayesian stats.

    http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/mackay/itila/book.html

    Yes he is the same person as the author of the energy book.

  24. 224
    JiminMpls says:

    154 ccpo – This is of course just in the research staget, but the rare earth problem may be solvable, as well.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091215101708.htm

    As for hydrogen as a power source, I think its development is inevitable and not too far off. It is the ideal complement to wind and solar. Wind/solar address the primary challenge with hydrogen (the amount of electricity required to produce it) and hydrogen fuel cells address the primary challenge with wind/solar power (cost-effective storage.)

  25. 225
    JiminMpls says:

    #159 Gilles – CHEAP AND CONVENIENT will be replaced with EXPENSIVE BUT EFFICIENT. The cost per unit of power will be higher, but the productivity of each unit of power will be FAR higher, as well.

    You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s a shame that someone of your intelligence and talent would choose the former.

  26. 226
    JiminMpls says:

    #198 Brian – I think the honorable Dr Akasofu may have been nipping just a wee bit too much sake. Still, I’m sure he enjoyed his all expenses paid trips to NYC. I’ve heard that Heartland treats their “experts” extremely well.

  27. 227
    JiminMpls says:

    Gilles – Here’s a privately owned hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that can be found on “normal” streets. It’s no the first.

    http://world.honda.com/news/2010/c100106FCX-Clarity/

    And a new hydrogen power fuel station

    http://world.honda.com/news/2010/c100127New-Solar-Hydrogen-Station/

    And let’s not forget the Chinese

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/214371876/wind_powered_hydrogen_generator_equipment.html

  28. 228
    JiminMpls says:

    158.139;Septic matthew The rapid expansion of algae based biofuels is especially impressive.”

    Yes, especially since it compliments and combines with concentrated solar so well.

    There is not silver bullet. There is not single techology that will solve the energy/co2 problem. It’s the synergistic combination of complementary technologies that hold the greatest promise for the future.

  29. 229
    JiminMpls says:

    Are you all familiar with the Hypercar concent developed by the Rocky Moutain Institute? You shoud be. Amory Lovins is one of the most visionary thinkers out there. What makes him a genius is that he goes beyond theory and actually develops the manufacturing processes to make the Hypercar a reality. I’ll gush for a bit and admit that he’s one of my heroes. Bright Automtive will be one of the first commercical implementations of Lovins vision (thogh initially is will incorporate the body construction princiles and not the drive train.)

    Lovin is revolutinary, but he’s soooooo on point.

  30. 230
    John Peter says:

    Brian 198

    Thank you for interesting interpretations and your fun reference.

  31. 231
    Stuart says:

    Martin #204: Thanks for the comment, I have come across the Snowball earth hypothesis before but thought it was due to a number of factors at the time. So removing the CO2 greenhouse effect would be sufficient to trigger a snowball earth? Have there been studies on this?

  32. 232
    Brian Dodge says:

    “198 Brian Dodge: You can take Dr. Akasofu to task, but at least do it honestly. on your “he is wrong” you choose to break up the HadCrut data into two trends? Want to give some reasons for doing so?” Comment by philc — 21 March 2010 @ 6:17 PM
    “Note that the amount of CO2 began to increase rapidly in about 1946 while the temperature distinctly decreased at that time;” Akasofu, page 7. Remember?
    “.. and then breaks it up also into 100 50 and 25 year trends to make a misleading point-that the rate of temperature change is increasing, when it isn’t.”
    Then what’s causing sea ice melt”” and accelerating glacier loss”” ? GCRs? Decreasing solar output?
    That Arhenius’ “…results sort of match current calculations is happenstance not science” ? And the UAH, RSS, and “UHI contaminated” GISS records accidently match ““. And the concurrent cryosphere losses are a coincidental “fluctuations”, its only “happenstance” that the ice shelves, glaciers, sea ice, and Oetzi the iceman all thawed out at the same time. What are the chances of that?
    “It’s time to stop modelling and start measuring” Measure what? CO2 absorption spectrum? Done. H2O absorption spectrum? Done. How water vapor varies with temperature? Done. Dry adiabatic lapse rate, moist adiabatic lapse rate, actual lapse rates? Done, done, and done. Sea level rise? Done. State of the cryosphere? see above. Methane destabilizing in the Arctic? Ya don’t need an icebreaker to get to it in the summertime anymore, so yeah, done. Do you think anyone can explain how CO2, well mixed in the atmospheric column from sea level to 10 millibar, with a bunch of pressure dependent fine structure in absorption bands that overlap H2O vapor, which varies by about 3 orders of magnitude from sea level to 250 millibar, without using a model? I know its easier to sit on our hands and “measure” the unfolding disaster, instead of doing the hard work of testing and comparing and improving and figuring out as best we can what’s coming using all the tools we have. We can see the future, through a glass, darkly and uncertainly, and make it happen for the better, or wait until it happens to us.
    “A more honest assessment would compare 25 year averages throughout the period from 1850 to 2005.” and not proclaim that there has been “…halting of the warming after 2000.” Akasofu, page 7

  33. 233

    OT Re. Peak Oil

    A friend of mine who does visualization work for NASA and others, has been maintaining tracking data for energy for a while. Although it can not be confirmed due to economic imbalances and affects, there is an indication that we hit peak oil in 2008. This may not be true for a few reasons, such as economic trends, but other indicators point to the possibility that we have hit peak oil. I suppose we will know soon enough though.

    http://mazamascience.com/OilExport/index.html

    You can click on the tabs ‘Import/Export’ and ‘All Fuels’ to get different pictures and parameters. Country and group as well as consumption and production.


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  34. 234
    John Peter says:

    John P. Reisman #210

    Thank you for the information. Since I realize I know little to nothing about climate science, your tips are very helpful to my education.

    Your website is excellent (you already knew that). My only suggestion would be that you make it clearer that you aren’t referring to cap and trade.

    I believe the models as far as they go. I only wish we had equations for more physical laws that we could understand. Then we mght even be able to integrate over regions we have yet to discover…

    Thanks again, your posts are always worthwhile reading for me.

  35. 235
    John Peter says:

    RodB@180, flxible@211

    “..devoted to the poorest of the poor.
    For in real life the ending isn’t half so fine,
    victorious messenger does not come riding often…”
    Kurt Weill 1928

  36. 236
    gary thompson says:

    why is the USA seeing lower temperature annolamolies (close to zero) for the past 2 years vs the rest of the world which is seeing close to 0.6C warmer? there are more weather stations per square km in the USA than other countries so is this a case of the USA data set is more reliable due to higher sample size?

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

  37. 237
    John Peter says:

    JiminMpls 226

    Actually tired old man…

  38. 238
    Gilles says:

    “#183 Gilles Have I emitted false judgments about you?”
    Well, I didn’t know that I was an alcoholic politician working for oil industry, but may be I drink so much that I don’t remember who I am…

    I’m sorry that you didn’t understand clearly what I stated. In a nutshell, my claim is : most of fossil intensive scenarios of IPCC are unlikely since they assume unreasonable rates of production of non conventional resources. Oil production is already very likely to peak much sooner that what they predict, which makes their all methodology relying on the assumption of economic growth quite doubtful. Reasonable scenarios based on proven reserves do not exceed 550 to 600 ppm, which is likely to produce a moderate warming without great catastrophes (and is much likely to be unavoidable anyway). On the other hand, replacement of fossil fuels is also much more difficult and costly than people usually think, since some crucial features of modern civilization (cheap and easy transportation, stable electric grid, all carbo-chemistry) rely heavily on them. The combination of all this makes that the main issues of mankind is much more likely to be due to the depletion of fossil fuels than to the warming caused by their excess.

    If my english is too poor to be understood, and your French is better, I offer you a free translation (this version is guaranteed to be fine ! ):

    La plupart des scénarios intensifs en fossiles du GIEC sont improbables car ils supposent des taux de production de ressources non-conventionnelles improbables.
    La production de pétrole va très probablement piquer bien plus tôt que ce qu’ils prédisent, ce qui rend toute leur méthodologie basée sur l”hypothèse d’une croissance économique très douteuse. Les scénarios raisonnables basés sur des réserves prouvées ne dépassent pas 550 à 600 ppm, ce qui va probablement produire un réchauffement modéré sans grandes catastrophes (et sera de toute façon probablement inévitable). D’un autre coté, le remplacement des combustibles fossiles est aussi bien plus difficile et coûteux que la plupart des gens imaginent, car plusieurs caractéristiques cruciales du monde moderne reposent fortement sur eux (transports bon marchés et faciles, réseau électrique stable, et toute la carbochimie).La combinaison de tout ceci fait que les principaux problèmes de l’humanité seront bien plus sûrement dus à la dépletion des fossiles qu’au réchauffement produit par leur excès. .

  39. 239
    Gilles says:

    JiminMpls : I repeat, I know that hydrogen powered vehicle do exist, and I even knew the existence of the Honda FCX. I don’t drink that much that I would offer a bet that I’m sure to loose. My offer is valid only for the fact that anyone of you see an actual hydrogen car on the street, not on a web site. It relies of course on the probability that a reader of RC crosses the trajectory of a hydrogen car in a random walk- which I hope you would admit that it SHOULD become close to one if your vision of the future world is correct, whereas it is currently extremely low. So you may think that this probability will rapidly rise in the next decades, I think the opposite. This bet makes sense.

  40. 240
    Gilles says:

    “Aren’t you the one claiming civilization is doomed no matter what? The answer is for you to give, which are YOU talking of? Can you specify the GDP necessary in any location for the lifestyle you claim is necessary and can’t be acieved without FF? Exactly how much FF’s are needed for that GDP? How many “some degrees of global warming” would make that GDP impossible? You continue to demand specific details while offering only ever-changing generalities yourself. Objective arguments? Which “growth” do you desire? Up to which level? Why?”

    I’m quite ready to try to answer this kind of question. The current carbon intensity is about 1tCO2 /2000 $ GDP. Specifically, I don’t think this will change a lot, although some improvement may be possible of course. Let’s say to be conservative that it could be improved up to 1tCO2/3000 $, but not faster than a rate of about 1% /yr in the best case (I’m not even sure this is possible). The problem is that as long it has a finite upper bound, and the CO2 production is headed to decline anyway, the GDP can do nothing else but decrease eventually. The exact moment of this decline is difficult to ascertain since the improvement of the carbon intensity can counterbalance during some time the peaking and the beginning of the decline of fossil fuels . (All your arguments about the development of alternatives are of course not wrong: they will just be not sufficient to counterbalance eternally the decline of fossil fuels). Anyway if the fossil fuel production indeed peaks between 2020 and 2030, as shown by an estimate based on proven reserves, it is unlikely that the consequences of the warming on the economy would be greater than the consequences of this depletion. I think that the current crisis offers a good picture of what will happen : explosion of prices of fossil fuels each time that the limits of production will be reached, strong recessions, decrease of the consumption (and CO2 production), and a repeated series of such crisis. For most people, problems will be : unemployment, debts, inflation, even collapse of state economies (the case of Greece is a clear warning for that..). The average temperature of the globe and the discussion about which year has been the hottest will be a very secondary concern for billions of people….

  41. 241

    philc: it shows a naturally occurring recovery of temperatures from the litttle Ice Age without clear anthropogenic impact.

    BPL: What is the mechanism that causes “natural recovery” from a little Ice Age? Are you under the impression that the climate system is like a spring in simple harmonic motion?

  42. 242

    philc (220),

    No, my web pages aren’t peer reviewed. The sources I quote in them are. And the calculations are right. If I’ve made a mistake, please point it out–and show your work.

  43. 243

    Taking the Money for Grant(ed) – Part II is now online and I wish to thank thos of you from RC that helped me by commenting and sending email messages.

    In Part I, I addressed the following two claims:

    1) Scientists are getting rich from research grants!

    2) Scientists holding an anti-AGW viewpoint cannot get funding!

    I then asked scientists from around the world to relate their experiences and if they were getting rich from grant funding. Since Part I, I also did a little more digging and came up with some important information. That information as well as a few examples from those that commented appear at the link below.

    http://profmandia.wordpress.com/

  44. 244
    Sekerob says:

    re # 224

    As for hydrogen as a power source, I think its development is inevitable and not too far off. It is the ideal complement to wind and solar. Wind/solar address the primary challenge with hydrogen (the amount of electricity required to produce it) and hydrogen fuel cells address the primary challenge with wind/solar power (cost-effective storage.)

    Some 40 years ago I asked the question of what the effect of widespread irrigation would have on precipitation… now I’m asking the same question if hydrogen engine would have, if it could be build safely, without hanging prius gas pedals… I’m getting a Blade Runner image…rain rain rain in those Urban CO2 rich Heat Islands… all those concentrated humans, they’ll continue to be unhealthy heat island. Wish we could have CO2 rain out… yes some Ain’t true-ists actually claimed that happening.

  45. 245
    Sou says:

    @ 236gary thompson says:

    why is the USA seeing lower temperature annolamolies (close to zero) for the past 2 years vs the rest of the world which is seeing close to 0.6C warmer? there are more weather stations per square km in the USA than other countries so is this a case of the USA data set is more reliable due to higher sample size?

    It’s because much of the rest of the world really has been very hot lately. The arctic for example.

    And it has been the hottest decade in my life where I live, and the hottest on record (since the 1850s). It’s easy to tell the difference between 117F, 100F and 80F with or without a thermometer.

    117F (47C) is so hot it’s hard to go outside or walk more than a few metres, and it happened last year in a heat wave for the first time in my part of the world. We hope the air conditioner lasts the distance, since it is only rated to 41C. (I hope the a/c manufacturers can devise a way to cool things down in a carbon-neutral manner – this will be a challenge when temps this high become more normal.)

    100F (38C) is hot enough to go for a swim and we used to call it a heat wave – no longer. 80F (27C) has now become a cool summer’s day, edging toward a normal spring or autumn day, which used to be cooler.

  46. 246
    Brian Dodge says:

    Sekerob — 22 March 2010 @ 6:44 AM
    I did some crude spreadsheet calculations, and found that if the current 6.6e9 world population consumed energy at the current US per capita rate (3.89295e+11 J/annum, ignore the false spreadsheet precision), and it was all supplied by hydrogen, and it all rained out on the US, the result would be about 35mm extra rain per annum. Spread it out worldwide, and it would be less than a mm. My gas water heater which supplies space heating as well is a “condensing” design, and the water recovered goes into my septic tank whose drain field keeps the herb garden green during the dryer months in NC, but the amounts are likely small compared to my other water use. If I replaced my water heater with a hydrogen fuel cell which supplied me with all my energy usage at a US average rate (including charging an electric vehicle for transportation), and all my neighbors who live in the watershed of the stream behind my house did the same, it would increase the streamflow by about 3 percent, probably ecologically imperceptable against the manyfold seasonal variation from a summertime trickle to rainy weather meter deep flow. Widespread adoption of hydrogen vehicles would probably have some effect on roadside vegetation, and possibly wintertime road hazard.

  47. 247
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “236
    gary thompson says:
    22 March 2010 at 12:01 AM

    why is the USA seeing lower temperature annolamolies (close to zero) for the past 2 years vs the rest of the world which is seeing close to 0.6C warmer”

    Because you’re selecting a place where this happens to be so.

    Check to see what the difference was 10 years ago.

    (remember, the US is 1.7% of the landmass)

  48. 248

    #234 John Peter

    Thank you for the tip. I have adjusted the signature for clarity. Always open to relevant suggestions :)

    I played with the html. Not sure what it will look like since preview has gone the way of the dodo


    Join the Climate Lobby for ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Our best chance for a better future
    Understand the politics of Cap and Trade
    http://www.climatelobby.com/fee-and-dividend/
    Sign the Petition!
    http://www.climatelobby.com

  49. 249
    ccpo says:

    OT Re. Peak Oil

    Although it can not be confirmed due to economic imbalances and affects, there is an indication that we hit peak oil in 2008. This may not be true for a few reasons, such as economic trends, but other indicators point to the possibility that we have hit peak oil. I suppose we will know soon enough though.

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 21 March 2010 @ 11:39 PM

    Actually, a better metric, I think, is the yearly average. The July ’08 peak is a monthly peak. The avg. peak for a full year is 2005. This chart doesn’t show that, specifically, but I cannot find a recent post on this issue at theoildrum.com just now. Eyeballing it, though, you can see ’05 was fairly steady while ’08 was quite chaotic.

    http://www.crudeoilpeak.com/wp-content/gallery/gallery1/opec_non_opec_2009_12.jpg

    Even more astonishing is that oil went up in price by double digits yearly between 2002 and 2008, yet additional crude? Hardly any. Most MSM storied don’t clarify between crude and all liquids, either, even though the net energy from a barrel of oil is quite different than a barrel of LNG, for example. They are treated as equal despite 2nd Law considerations. Even oil from different sources have different net energy levels. Light crude flowing easily from the sands of Saudi Arabia has a higher net energy than very deep water heavy oil. This, too, is ignored.

    I wish more climate folks knew more about energy, and vice-versa.

    Cheers

  50. 250
    ccpo says:

    #154 ccpo – This is of course just in the research staget, but the rare earth problem may be solvable, as well.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091215101708.htm

    As for hydrogen as a power source, I think its development is inevitable and not too far off. It is the ideal complement to wind and solar. Wind/solar address the primary challenge with hydrogen (the amount of electricity required to produce it) and hydrogen fuel cells address the primary challenge with wind/solar power (cost-effective storage.)

    Comment by JiminMpls — 21 March 2010 @ 9:27 PM

    http://anz.theoildrum.com/node/6242

    Read the full post *and* the comments.

    Cheers


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