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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. 401
    harrywr2 says:

    Given that following.

    US coal production east of the Mississippi has declined from 600 million tons/year to 400 million tons per year in the last 20 years and continues to decline.

    The EU currently imports 40% of it’s coal and it’s production continues to decline.

    China with the worlds 3rd largest coal reserves became an importer in 2006.

    India with the worlds 5th largest coal reserves became an importer in 2009

    I would note coal is quite expensive to transport. China and India currently have to import from as far away as Columbia.

    Where exactly do these enormous amounts of coal IPCC projected to be burned in the future come from?

    The current global price of coal delivered is approximately $100/ton. Electricity from nuclear is cheaper if one has to depend on imported coal.

    Is not the correct ‘business as usual scenario’ in a free market that the cheapest source of something will be chosen absent government interference?

    Why did China just announce another 28 Nuclear reactors by 2020 on top of their already aggressive nuclear power program? Free Market Economics or Concerns over the Environment?

  2. 402
    Andreas Bjurström says:

    389 Ray Ladbury,
    I agree, although you always emphasise (for the ideology of scientific advancement) favourable aspects of a complex reality.

    As I told you before, many of the studies you dislike have other aims than to improve science (yes, I agree that there are many crap studies as well). For example, the aim of a a gender study may be to emphasise what is denied in the laboratory: that their exist gendered roles. Elderly men might be very upset by such studies, yet this is pure denialism. The results may not be useful at all to advance methods of gene sequencation for example. But that was not the purpose of the gender study.

  3. 403

    #385 Andreas Bjurström

    Look up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

    My assessment of your argument style is that it simply is not holistically intelligent. Whether they be arguments to your own authority or the authority of others, or non sequitur arguments. What precisely do you mean by your usage of ‘conservative consensus culture’, since that is a relativistic phrase. If someone else is using the phrase, what is their context? etc.

    Might it be possible you are trapped in thinking you are right because of your own possibly, or even likely, conflated opinion of your intelligence (confirmation bias)? This is a trap though. You see, I’m an idiot. I know this because I realize that there are many angles in intelligence and I do not possess all of them. In fact I don’t think anyone possess all the angles. Maybe the human brain simply is not big enough. So I come to a new definition of intelligence, at least from an individualistic perspective. Intelligence is the ability to parse reasonable certitude from plausible error in such amount as to allow for humility to recognize that another line of logic (another intelligence) that may not yet be considered could enhance understanding to a higher level, even though a particular line of logic shows within the scope of that reasoning to be relatively correct. You might see the trap?

    In other words, in a complex consideration, it is oft easier to be wrong than right (partially right/wrong in variant degrees) and what we are really trying to get to in human understanding is better versions of right that are more considerate of the interconnected influences that we yet do not see or recognize. In that sense intelligence is not what you know, but what you can come to know.

    In other words, intelligence is knowing that some things are knowable but there is always more to learn. This, to a degree is somewhat different than mathematics or physics which through the scientific method have produced relatively better intelligence than the scope of human sociological understanding wherein all manner of bizarre and interesting arguments are purported. But in the realm of understanding the mind, how many theories are truly holistic?

    I confess I have not been reading all your posts, but what I have read seems to ambiguous in it’s argumentation. Your premise does not seem to stand on what might better be called holistic logic but rather your interpretation, or relativistic logic. Granted this is a common problem in logic interpretation as those that do not see yet have limited scope, and therefore can not see, yet. One of course hopes both sides of an argument are open minded enough to consider that which they do not yet understand. But this runs into a problem, that of if one side of the argument may have heard the other argument over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and already knows the contexts that show how illogical the position on the argument is and yet faces an argument that simply is unable to see the fallacy of ones ones own argument. . . When this ‘impression exists on both sides of the argument, progress is impeded or fails utterly. . . well, you ‘might’ see the point.

    . . .then again, you might not. Such determination is likely, or possibly, in your hands. It is merely a manner of realization that one does not know it all or even an appropriate fraction to contain the mysteries of the universe, especially when we are discussing the universe of man’s understanding. Man’s arrogance is all to often his undoing. Humility and reason capacitate the potentials of higher intelligence. It is the open mind that learns, and the closed mind contains the intelligence of a stone.


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  4. 404
    Naindj says:

    David Miller, 377,
    Didactylos, 366,
    Barton Paul Levenson, 364,

    Thank you for your replies.
    My figure was effectively very generous for the coal. It is more about 4 cents per kWh.
    And I was comparing coal with solar, whereas windfarms appear to be more cost effective.

    This is a document I found, already several years old, alas.
    http://www.raeng.org.uk/news/publications/list/reports/Cost_Generation_Commentary.pdf
    They estimate cost of wind farms at 7-10 cents per kWh…
    And we can see that cost depends on a lot of parameters: fluctuations of coal price and CO2 capture for coal generated elec, and back-up plant for wind generated elec, to name a few.
    So coal appears to be twice cheaper than wind farm to produce electricity.

    So on which basis can one claim that renewables are becoming cheaper now?
    I understand that in some particular regions it might me the case, but at the scale of a big country??

    Also, David Miller, 378, I don’t understand your point. If you burn locally 75% of you coal (or gas, or oil), the question is: are the 25% remaining, that you can export, still enough to cover all costs? And coal is so highly energetic that it might be the case. Of course, environmentaly, this is not the best… Did I miss something?

  5. 405
    Andreas Bjurström says:

    394 Rod B and Jim,
    That is not what I am saying (I dont contest the scientific basis).
    You are pre-occupied by (1) protecting a scientific and political concensus (2) combat climate scepticism (3)wheres I claim that this pre-occupation with 1 and 2 hinders scientific and political progess to adequately adress, evaluate, mitigate and adopt to climate change.

  6. 406

    393Rod B says:
    25 March 2010 at 9:20 AM

    “””Richard Ordway (353), if you are implying the US Navy is a strong protagonist AGWer, I would suggest that such misleading exaggeration is not helpful to you all.””””
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Nice putting words in my mouth. Well, I highly doubt the US Navy is a strong protagonist for human-caused global warming …They just apparently have a “Task Force Climate Change”-Rear Adm. David Titley.

    Secondly, the USA Department of Defense in 2010 also released their report saying climate change is a threat to US security:

    http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/03/24/24climatewire-accelerating-arctic-changes-pose-long-term-r-99952.html

    http://www.defense.gov/QDR/QDR%20as%20of%2026JAN10%200700.pdf

    Oh, by the way, since you bring it up, LET’S DIG A LITTLE DEEPER, SHALL WE?
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Now, AHEM, I officially, bonafide, guaranteed, verifiably… AHEM, COUGH, COUGH, COUGH…don’t think the US NAVY (OR the US Department of Defense) is a human-caused global warming protagonist- (Whew, I finally got that little bit out of the way, finally…GASP, GASP).

    H-O-W-E-V-E-R, there is a little thing you and I need to look at…Yes, it is your nemesis (and kinda hard to ignore since it is a 2010 major US published Department of Defense release for all to see and download, you’ll admit)…the GOSH, DARN IT:

    US Department of Defense 2010 report with global warming as a threat in it to the good ole US of A.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    It says, and I quote:

    “Although the United States has significant capacity to adapt to climate change, it will pose challenges for civil society and DoD alike, particularly in light of the nation’s extensive coastal infrastructure.” p. 85

    “Climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity, will increase the spread of disease, and may spur or exacerbate mass migration.” p. 84
    __________________________________________________________________________
    OW!!!! The Department of Defense (2010) is saying climate change is a fact…not maybe…and may spur or “exacerbate mass migration.”

    Dude, when I was at the place I was, it was pretty well established that any national government is looking at the country SOUTH of it as a future threat.

    So the US of A is looking at M _ _ _ _ O (border) as a threat from unstoppable mass migrants (10-100 million possible massed migrants at the fence in the future 50-200 year time frame at this rate).

    (The only way to stop it that we can figure out so far (fences don’t stop sh_t historically) is to (and I am really sorry to bring this up and I mean it), is to put up defense in layers at the border with robot machine guns backed up by roving border patrols.

    This won’t fly politically in the future because we already see effective demonstrations from illegals in the USA in 2009. Start a real defense at the border with robot machine guns…and uh…they won’t tolerate it to put it mildly.

    And Canada is looking at the U _ A as a threat to them (we are south of them) from mass migrants in the 50-200 year future time frame from personal discussions I was in. Golly gee. This is the cr_p that we were discussing.

    You tell me why the US Navy has a “Task Force Climate Change” and why the US Department of Defense has released their 2010 report with climate change slapped all over it (please read it).

    So how do we fix this?

    1) Wait until the sh_t hits the fan…and try to use “geoengineering techniques” to slow the warming effects down…HIGHLY DANGEROUS according to peer reviewed studies so far…droughts, rain pattern shifts, famine, etc.

    2) Go into a crash mode now and shift out of oil, coal, gas (which releases (permanently for our purposes)trapped CO2 from millions of years ago and causes warming (Tyndall 1860s, IPCC 1995, National Academy of Sciences- 1979).

    The cruddy warming takes 30 or more years to manifest and is on autopilot according to peer review due to the large heat capacity of the oceans.-IPCC.

    And I am really sorry to bring up the border issues…but it is something we are having to face.

  7. 407

    “””””394Rod B says:
    25 March 2010 at 9:31 AM
    Richard Ordway (360), I might be totally wrong but I think Andreas is mainly saying your consensus is a straw man that you’ve built into an idol.

    [Response: If that’s what he’s saying, he’s wrong. There is a very strong consensus on the basics.–Jim]””””

    Hey, Don’t beat up on me! I’ve always said there is a very strong consensus on the basics of climate change (I hope)!

    [Response: My response was in regard to what Rod B thought Andreas was saying, not you Richard.–Jim]

  8. 408
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “Where exactly do these enormous amounts of coal IPCC projected to be burned in the future come from?”

    From here:

    “China and India currently have to import from as far away as Columbia.”

    I.e. with the coal reserves people like this:

    “The EU currently imports 40% of it’s coal and it’s production continues to decline.

    China with the worlds 3rd largest coal reserves became an importer in 2006.

    India with the worlds 5th largest coal reserves became an importer in 2009”

    are importing. With the added problem that because

    “I would note coal is quite expensive to transport.”

    and such transport is currently done by fossil fuel use, this increases the CO2 load of coal.

  9. 409
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “399
    Andreas Bjurström says:
    25 March 2010 at 10:52 AM

    390 Completely Fed Up:
    “the IPCC denialists are the ones able to create breakthroughs”

    In your dreams perhaps ;-)”

    Nom, Andreas, in YOURS.

    Why else do you not look to the IPCC reports as THE BREAKTHROUGH but merely assume that the reason why there is no breakthrough from the opposition to the IPCC reports because of suppression of those breakthroughs that would dissolve the science the IPCC reports?

    YOU hold in your every action that the breakthroughs can ONLY come from those single names and single papers that the denialists trot out every now and then.

    NEVER looking to the IPCC reports to see if they are the ones making the breakthroughs.

    YOU do not wish the IPCC to be right.

    So YOU ignore them.

    :-)

  10. 410
    John Peter says:

    t_p_hamilton@391, 392

    The latest problem(s) I have had with models came from my interpretation of Mike Mann’s interview last November. I posted much of the interview @355. What do you think Mike meant?

    I like your posts, they’re straightforward and clear.

    TIA

  11. 411
    J says:

    A “consensus on the basics” is a far cry from the alarmist view seen in the media and by such highly visible propagandists such as Al Gore. Not to mention the discredited predictions of the IPCC.

    [Response: The very serious problem with a very large fraction of the climate change deniers is that they cannot discriminate between information which comes from science and that which comes from the media’s interpretation of the science. Very serious and very telling.–Jim]

  12. 412
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Andreas, I think that I have personally done more to rectify gender bias in the sciences than any feminist critique of science–and all I have done is mentor promising female (and minority) scientists. I’ve also mentored white male scientists–pretty much indiscriminately.

    I start with the premise that science works–which is pretty difficult to deny in a reality-based paradigm. I then try to show that it can work with women and minorities. Lo and behold, it does. Meanwhile, how many postmodern feminist or minority studies scholars have helped women or minorities get PhDs in science by equating the scientific method to rape or colonial subjugation?

    You claim that insistence on scientific consensus gets in the way of a political solution. Well, on what would you have us base policy if not scientific consensus? Yes, we must go through the probabilistic risk assessment, etc., but you absolutely must start with the most reliable information you can find, and that is the scientific consensus. The portions of it that pertain to AGW and mitigation have been stable for years. They are unlikely to change very much.

    I think that you misunderstand people’s positions here. No one is saying that sociology, politics, psychology, etc. don’t play a role. We are merely saying that you have to accept the science first as a basis for policy. I don’t think that should be controversial.

  13. 413

    Gilles (359): So can you remind me which fraction of the increase of energy (except last year where the energy consumption decreased) is brought by renewable energies in the recent years, compared with fossil fuels ?

    BPL: Renewable energy generation worldwide is rising at about 50% per year, doubling every two years or so.

  14. 414
    arch stanton says:

    @ 401harrywr2-
    “Why did China just announce another 28 Nuclear reactors by 2020 on top of their already aggressive nuclear power program? Free Market Economics or Concerns over the Environment?”

    Likely both, along with: GLOBAL PR -and- luring their next door neighbor KAZAKHSTAN away from the motherland. China’s neighbor has the second largest uranium reserves in the world and China has been busy signing contracts with them.

    Your implied dichotomy of causation based on selective facts is somewhat misleading. After all, the US has also been importing coal- when delivered imported coal is locally cheaper than domestic derived delivered coal. It doesn’t mean the end of coal as an electrical generating fuel or even imply imminent Peak Coal.

  15. 415

    Did (366): I have yet to see figures for California that properly account for subsidies. You seem to be using whole-US figures. In the US, coal is still very cheap.

    BPL: Is the cost due to environmental degradation and health problems properly accounted for in the price of coal?

    You factor that into coal and I’ll gladly factor subsidies into wind.

  16. 416

    Did (368): If you honestly believed that “a safe nuclear plant can be built”, then you would not argue against nuclear power using emotive appeals to hysteria, patently false claims about financial viability and frankly ridiculous lists of nuclear fatalities.

    BPL: Oh, is that how I’ve been arguing it?

  17. 417
    J says:

    >>>Respons: The very serious problem with a very large fraction of the climate change deniers is that they cannot discriminate between information which comes from science and that which comes from the media’s interpretation of the science…

    It’s not just the media. Look at the gross errors Al Gore promotes (20 ft. sea rise for example), many of which are in his film which is required viewing in many grade schools. Look at all the debunked “interpretations” in the IPCC which they got from the advocacy group WWF.

    [Response: Who exactly is it that you think dreamed up and propagated to the world the fiction that “all the IPCC interpretations” have been “debunked”, scientists??? Did you read the RC story on that topic? And the relevant IPCC material?–Jim]

    And look at the wild predictions such as the “collapse of civilization” posted by commentors on this site, which the moderators do not post corrective responses to.

    These alarmist predictions are wrapped up into the science and further used to promote radical political policy. Those that then oppose the latter are deemed deniers.

    The result is politicized science: alarmist vs. denier. And it is all very very far removed from the consensus on the very narrow set of “the basics.”

  18. 418
    Hank Roberts says:

    Nukeeeeeees on all sides
    —> Please, go where this is actively discussed and on topic:
    ———> http://bravenewclimate.com/

  19. 419

    “””””405Andreas Bjurström says:
    25 March 2010 at 12:17 PM
    394 Rod B and Jim,
    That is not what I am saying (I don’t contest the scientific basis).
    You are pre-occupied by (1) protecting a scientific and political consensus (2) combat climate skepticism (3)whereas I claim that this pre-occupation with 1 and 2 hinders scientific and political progress to adequately address, evaluate, mitigate and adopt to climate change.”””””

    Come on… come out and just say it.

    You think we should just be allowed to burn every last drop of oil, coal and gas that we have. We should just adapt to global warming effects.

    The United States might even do better than other countries in the short term until we get a sudden influx of 50 million+ desperate climate refugees who flood our borders from South and East of us and the world’s economy shuts down due to billions of dead people spreading infectious diseases to the USA.

    Europe, with its close proximity to Africa, would be totally destroyed by desperate immigrants and disease/ crop failures as high pressure systems move in and storm tracks move poleward… and so leave the USA the remaining world power to rule the world.

    China and India, would meanwhile be destroyed by famine (the tropics/ Hadley cells are expanding and storm tracks are moving toward the poles).

    Both countries rely hugely for agriculture on snow melt which is disappearing as the storm tracks move pole ward and high pressure systems move into inhabited areas. The snow melt would leave- which normally fills the rivers which gives huge amounts of irrigation to both countries for crops.

    Wow, nice and tidy for the USA (oil, coal and gas companies)…until we get the flood of infectious diseases and tens of millions of desperate, starving army’s of immigrants from south and east of us and the world’s economy shuts down.

    Our infrastructure (law and order, medical, food, social services, stability would start going as systems ground to a halt with the impossible influx)…then roads, electicity and water would go…I can’t wait.

  20. 420

    #411 J

    “discredited predictions of the IPCC”???

    You are no specific and anonymous. How apropos. Mistakes were made in a couple areas, but the IPCC is vetting tremendous amounts of data and perspective. As has been pointed out, to achieve a reasonable level of consensus, one often needs to lean towards the more conservative position. Thus, the output of the IPCC, generally speaking is conservative in nature.

    Example: We are still sitting on IPCC AR4 SLR predictions measured in centimeters by 2100. The leading edge work indicates relatively well that we have locked possibly 2 meters of SLR by 2100. And, there are indicators that show how it could be even higher than that.

    So, yes, models are wrong1 Yes, the IPCC is wrong1 DO YOU GET IT. ARE YOU ABSORBING WHAT THIS ALL MEANS!!!


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  21. 421
    Septic Matthew says:

    379, Richard Ordway: That is the impression that a small but powerful group of people, aided and abetted by well-funded think-tanks and a compliant mass media, wanted them to have.

    I don’t understand the epistemological point of these references to the money in the denialist camp. Are people really unaware or indifferent to the amount of money that is promoting AGW?

    406, Richard Ordway: So how do we fix this?
    &&&&
    1) Wait until the sh_t hits the fan…and try to use “geoengineering techniques” to slow the warming effects down…HIGHLY DANGEROUS according to peer reviewed studies so far…droughts, rain pattern shifts, famine, etc.
    &&&&
    2) Go into a crash mode now and shift out of oil, coal, gas (which releases (permanently for our purposes)trapped CO2 from millions of years ago and causes warming (Tyndall 1860s, IPCC 1995, National Academy of Sciences- 1979).

    option 3 is to debate, implement, and continuously update a prudent strategy. Prudence requires, among other things, that we keep reserves of wealth (all kinds) to deal with the other calamities that will continue to occur, such as fires, floods, famines, droughts, heat waves, killing cold spells, typhoons, hurricanes, tornadoes, epidemics, volcanoes and earthquakes.

    411, Jim: The very serious problem with a very large fraction of the climate change deniers is that they cannot discriminate between information which comes from science and that which comes from the media’s interpretation of the science.

    This would be corrected, IMO, if the AGW promoters would immediately disavow the exaggerations and outright falsehoods sometimes made in support of AGW by media, politicians, etc. Today there is a report that an island off the coast of India/Bangladesh has been swamped by wave action, and this has been touted as due to AGW, even though such things have happened repeatedly throughout human history. This is a region of water where sea level rise has been below the world average over the last few decades.

  22. 422
    t_p_hamilton says:

    John Peter asks for clarification of what Mike Mann was talking about in an interview. This paper seems to be from around the same time, and dealing with many of the same issues: go to his research page, find the Fan, Mann, Ammann paper.

    The abstract says (note the last sentence in particular):
    ” The Asian summer monsoon (ASM) and its variability were investigated over the past millennium through the analysis of a long-term simulation of the NCAR Climate System Model, version 1.4 (CSM 1.4) coupled model driven with estimated natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing during the period 850–1999. Analysis of the simulation results indicates that certain previously proposed mechanisms, such as warmer large-scale temperatures favoring a stronger monsoon through their effect on Eurasian snow cover, appear inconsistent with the mechanisms active in the simulation. Forced changes in tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures play an apparent role in the long-term changes in the ASM. Analyses of the simulation results
    suggest that the direct radiative effect of solar forcing variations on the ASM is quite weak and that dynamical responses may be far more important. Volcanic radiative forcing leads to a clearly detectable short-term reduction in the strength of the ASM. Comparisons with long-term proxy reconstructions of the ASM are attempted but are limited by the divergent behavior among different reconstructions as well as the
    limitations in the model’s coupled dynamics.

  23. 423
    Didactylos says:

    BPL:

    You are so eager to score cheap points that you have forgotten that I want coal gone. Coal has no up-side. When I say that in the US, coal is very cheap I am simply stating a fact – one that makes me very unhappy, since amoral executives always want to go for the cheap, dirty option.

    In stark contrast, your own actions and rhetoric seem designed to force the UK and other countries into a corner where they can’t generate enough renewables, and they can’t use nuclear, and they are stuck with CCS nonsense. You said that nuclear is a lesser evil than coal, but everything else you say is militantly anti-nuclear.

    I’m not asking you to go out and campaign for nuclear power, I’m just asking you to stop spreading misinformation.

    Hank: This is an open thread. That means that climate solutions and energy plans can be on topic if we want it to be.

  24. 424
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 417 – civilization could collapse even without any climate change; so the idea that climate change adds to that risk is not quite so far-fetched (Though I wouldn’t personally attempt a quantitative assessment of that risk in either case).

  25. 425
    Rod B says:

    Jim (response to 394), yes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that consensus can’t be used either as a straw man or an idol.

    CFU (395), I’m not sure to which post you’re referring: if the navy comment, I simply asked what Richard meant. But if he did mean what I wondered, my evidence to refute that is in his referenced article. My suggestion is just trying to offer a helpful opinion.

    Ray L (396), if that’s the case, it’s O.K.

  26. 426
    Rod B says:

    Richard Ordway (400), No, I didn’t rise more than a tad. Just trying to keep things rational. As I said earlier (regarding the Quad Military assessment), the military would be remiss in their duties if they did not have plans to address serious problems stemming from climate change (among many other things…). Some could be sceptics or even “deniers,” — doesn’t matter. You quote the Admiral, “…For the U.S. Navy, climate change is a challenge…” I think it would have been more instructive to include more of what was said to keep it in context:

    “For the U.S. Navy, climate change is a challenge and not a crisis.”

    or, the challenge posed by climate change — in the Arctic and beyond — is more complex, long-term and tinged with uncertainty.

    The Admiral might be a protagonist or a sceptic. You can not tell from the article so it should not be used as a testimonial.

    My suggestion: hurling hyperbole against the wall only detracts from credibility.

  27. 427
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 397 ge0050 –
    “pattern recognition software, is also very good at finding patters where no pattern exists. ”

    I’d guess with proper statistical analysis, that problem could be minimized, though you could always have a grey area of is it there or not.

    But perhaps more importantly, climate models in general, and GCMS (AOGCMS, etc.) are NOT pattern-recognition software. They make simulations based on known physics (a much more complex and somewhat fuzzy version of something analogous to calculating the orbit of an object based on the masses of objects and the gravitational force). To the extent that there is any tuning of uncertain parameters based on the scale of emergent behavior, the tuning is for the average climate over a period of time, NOT to reproduce a trend. (See the FAQ on climate models parts I and II).

  28. 428
    Hank Roberts says:

    J, if you want to learn who’s lying to you, Google for the quoted string ” 20 feet in the near future” along with any mention of sea level rise and Al Gore’s film.

    That’s the lie, and it shows up many places–but not in the movie, the documentation, or anyone who’s warned about sea level rise.

    The lie is promoted by people who can’t accept that sea level has been that much higher whenever Greenland or Antarctica have been ice-free and will be again, and we are hurrying the warming along with extreme rapid changes.

    People who don’t believe in geological time spans hear Gore wrong because they think every change that’s ever happened has happened recently.

  29. 429
    Hank Roberts says:

    Here’s the fact checker on that claim:
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2007/10/an_inconvenient_truth_part_ii.html

    Note this:

    the quoted words “in the near future” are from a British judge, and not from the movie; and the judge’s time estimate (“millenia”) for sea level rise was 10x what the IPCC and Gore warn about (centuries)

    Centuries for sea level rise is fast, in geological time scales, compared to the rates of change we know happened in the geological past.
    —excerpt follows—-
    1. The judge disputed what he depicted as Gore’s assertion that the melting of icecaps in Antarctica and Greenland could cause sea levels to rise by 20 feet “in the near future.” [Although Gore implied that this could happen quickly, he did not specify a timetable.]
    Parry says that Gore is right that the melting of icecaps could cause a 20 foot rise in sea levels. He says this would likely take place over “several hundred years,” (not millennia as the judge maintained.) However, the IPCC has concluded that “we could become committed” to such phenomena occurring in the next seven to ten decades. “Strictly speaking, it is not a near-term impact, but it is not avoidable,” Parry said.
    —–end excerpt—–

    Not that I expect “J” to quit posting the claim, and it’s such a widely used letter of the alphabet that we won’t know if the same person is posting it repeatedly. But whoever “J” is should at least be aware it’s bunk.

  30. 430
    Rod B says:

    Richard Ordway (406), My! My! My! If that was not what you implied about the Navy, then O.K. ‘Course you go on to take the QDR out of context to assert the same thing. I explained that in an earlier post (but can’t find it right off) and choose not to boringly repeat it. Succinctly, the QDR is NOT prepared to espouse the military’s belief in any theory of any kind — and doesn’t do that.

  31. 431
    Rod B says:

    ps Richard, “…climate change slapped all over it [QDR]…” is another gross exaggeration. You should be more careful.

  32. 432
    John Peter says:

    HR@398

    Climate science energy balance is long term – centuries in fact. The 0.05C decadal effects you refer to are much too small for consideration compared to the 33C in the global energy budget.

    In Earth’s Global Energy Budget (Trenberth et al March 2009) on page 315 sidebar we find:

    “We compared results at TOA with those from the NCAR CCM3 and found good agreement, so that the spatial structure was accounted for. At the surface, the outgoing radiation was computed for black-body emission at 15°C using the Stefan–Boltzmann law
    R = εσT4, (1)
    where the emissivity ε was set to 1.”

    That’s precisely what I posted in the thread.

    The energy flux, 396W/m2, is 200 times the forcings to which you want to refer. AGW forcings are much too small to have any measurable effect on earth/sun black-body T^4 radiation balance. If you want to disagree with 130 years of astrophysics up to and including Keith Trenberth last year, that’s your right as a skeptic. IMO you’re OT here.

  33. 433
    Ray Ladbury says:

    J@417,
    I have not seen a convincing argument that environmental stresses due to climate change, coupled with the need for the globe to produce enough food, water, energy, fabric, etc. for 9-10 billion people will not cause a collapse of civilization. Have you? Last I saw
    1)The oceans were already in terrible shape. Acidification certainly isn’t helping that.
    2)Humans were consuming something like 25% of the globes biomass. That was for 6 billion people, and the likely failure of several important food crops (strains of wheat, rice, etc.) due to climate is bound to worsen this strain.
    3)The globe is already crowded, and sea-level rise is going to inundate some of the most crowded areas.
    And so on.

    Certainly, climate science has established that there are credible threats due to climate change. I have not seen reliable upper bounds to these threats. Until those are established, it would be imprudent to simply assume everything will be all right, don’t you think?

  34. 434
    John Peter says:

    BPL@326

    It’s your Thermal IR radiation with its T^4 dependence that’s giving me trouble. The regional differences (several degrees) are averaged out for global energy balance. I haven’t (yet?) seen how to do this – even conceptually – for regional energy balance.

    The obvious answer may be “don’t try”. I can accept that, but it doesn’t make me happy.

  35. 435
    John Peter says:

    Hank Roberts@329

    We seem to be drifting apart, let me try again

    Hank said
    “John Peter, you post a link to an interview with Mann and tell us what you say he said, but you don’t give a direct quote. Is this what you’re interpreting? You say “he couldn’t get his two models to back cast that way” but that seems exactly the opposite of the point he was making — which is we have paleo data saying how the climate works…”

    Mike Mann said:
    “However, the paleoclimate record of the past thousand years, in our analysis, suggests that at least with respect to the response that the climate has exhibited to natural factors, the response appears to be that thermostat response – it appears to be the opposite of what most of the IPCC projection models project…”

    i.e. the models that give correct responses to AGW forcing give opposite (incorrect?) responses to paleo (non AGW) forcing.

    That’s the way I read it and I appreciate any help in straightening me out.

  36. 436
    John Peter says:

    Sou@381

    You’re right, both regional aspects are very important.I was ignoring the grid size problem because it seemed to me that was a computer power/programming problem that technology would (eventually) solve. Bug I was ignoring a lot of problems that faster computers and better numerical analysis programs may not solve. For example , if it doesn’t converge, it may never converge. And so on.

    I am trying to learn about atmospheric radiation transfer and I am hung up on the regional radiation partitioning problem. And you are right it is very interesting.

  37. 437
    John Peter says:

    HR@398

    Climate science energy balance is long term – centuries in fact. The 0.05C decadal effects you refer to are much too small for consideration compared to the 33C in the global energy budget.

    In Earth’s Global Energy Budget (Trenberth et al March 2009) on page 315 sidebar we find:

    “We compared results at TOA with those from the NCAR CCM3 and found good agreement, so that the spatial structure was accounted for. At the surface, the outgoing radiation was computed for black-body emission at 15°C using the Stefan–Boltzmann law
    R = εσT4, (1)
    where the emissivity ε was set to 1.”

    That’s precisely what I posted in the thread.

    The energy flux, 396W/m2, is 200 times the forcings to which you want to refer. AGW forcings are much too small to have any measurable effect on earth/sun black-body T^4 radiation balance.

    replacing 25.3.10 5:24 lost in the shuffle)

  38. 438
    Gilles says:

    413 “Gilles (359): So can you remind me which fraction of the increase of energy (except last year where the energy consumption decreased) is brought by renewable energies in the recent years, compared with fossil fuels ?

    BPL: Renewable energy generation worldwide is rising at about 50% per year, doubling every two years or so.”

    This is not an answer to my question, Barton. (and your figure is incorrect because renewable energy is by far dominated by hydroelectricity which doesn’t increase at all at this rate).

  39. 439
    John Peter says:

    Hank Roberts@329

    Hank said
    “John Peter, you post a link to an interview with Mann and tell us what you say he said, but you don’t give a direct quote…”

    Mike Mann said:

    “However, the paleoclimate record of the past thousand years, in our analysis, suggests that at least with respect to the response that the climate has exhibited to natural factors, the response appears to be that thermostat response – it appears to be the opposite of what most of the IPCC projection models project…”

    i.e. the paleoclimate response is opposite of the response the models back cast.

    That’s the way I read it. I appreciate all your trouble trying to straighten me out

    (replacing 25.3.10 6:02PM lost in the shuffle)

  40. 440
    Septic Matthew says:

    Any comments on this paper?

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0904/0904.2767.pdf

    I have been recently restudying multidimensional calculus and some dynamics and mechanics. I can’t tell whether the authors here are correct all the way through.

  41. 441
    Sou says:

    @ #425John Peter
    I still see them as two different issues. The regional issue is that of modelling such that regional climate change can be predicted given various scenarios of warming. Predicting regional climate change is a matter of computer power and grid size, plus of course getting the physics right and increasing the understanding of cloud dynamics, albedo changes, ocean circulation, methane emissions etc.

    The radiation balance is between energy coming into the earth and energy going out of the earth and is as a global issue that doesn’t need to use regional variations to compute. The radiation balance can be computed using the overall, without necessarily knowing all the detail of which regions will change and how. It’s sufficient to know what is happening to the whole, without needing to know every detail at each specific point on the globe. (If one were to use an aggregate of smaller sections, it would be reasonable to assume that any errors would cancel out and that there is not a bias in one direction only.)

    The radiation balance can be calculated in a number of ways, I’d have thought, that can be used to cross check against each other. Although complex and difficult, it’s simpler than modelling for the detailed climate change of small regions on the globe, particularly land-based regions where topography plays a part.

    Nevertheless, the CSIRO models of climate change in Australia seem to be fairly close to the mark, as far as the projections to date. (Even the CSIRO models that I saw back in the late 1970’s weren’t far from the mark and the projections from then of a warmer, drier south eastern Australia are happening today. Those models projected a shift to the east in the climate – now they are talking more a shift to the south, but the effect is the same.)

  42. 442
    Septic Matthew says:

    441, Sou: The radiation balance is between energy coming into the earth and energy going out of the earth and is as a global issue that doesn’t need to use regional variations to compute.

    That may not be true. IR radiation is proportional to T^4, so small variations in T from region to region, day to night, and across seasons make it quite a challenge to compute a single aggregate (average or total accumulation), as shown in the paper that I cited in 440. According to them, the random error in computing the energy balance is at least as great as the estimated “average” effect of CO2 doubling. And that assumes that all the biases (inaccuracies caused by simplifications in the formulae) are not large enough to be important. (IIRC: I have only read it once.)

  43. 443

    “”””431Rod B says:
    25 March 2010 at 5:18 PM
    ps Richard, “…climate change slapped all over it [QDR]…” is another gross exaggeration. You should be more careful.””””

    Where’s YOUR evidence? Here’s mine:

    1) Out of 126 printed pages in the 2010 US Quadrennial Defense Review with words included on them including title pages, the phrases “climate change/greenhouse gases” is stated on pages p. IX (1 times), p. XV(3 times), p.3(1 times), p.7(1 times),p.73(1 times), p.84(6 times), p.85(5 times), p.87(1 times).

    2) It has also has one whole titled section devoted to “climate change/energy” itself: It is named: “Crafting a Strategic Approach to Climate and Energy.”

    3) Climate change itself is not just limited to a titled climate change section, but is included in five separate named sections :executive summary, introduction, Key Geopolitical Trends, Strengthening Interagency
    Partnerships,Crafting a Strategic Approach to Climate and Energy.

    I think, someone can make a fair case that climate change is “slapped all over the 2010 US Quadrennial Defense Review.”

    Instead of innuendo, where’s YOUR evidence? You say the nebulous term “gross exaggeration” and don’t back it up with evidence. I do.

    However, thank you for making me dig into it and quantifying it.

  44. 444
    John E. Pearson says:

    John Peter says: radiation in = radiation out

    this is not a consequence of any the stuff you cited. conservation of energy, thermodynamics etc. Imbalance leads to heating/cooling. this is really very elementary physics.

  45. 445
    J says:

    >>> RESPONSE: the fiction that “all the IPCC interpretations” have been “debunked”, scientists??? Did you read the RC story on that topic? And the relevant IPCC material?–Jim]

    I didn’t say all have been debunked. I said look at all the predictions that have been debunked – not all of them, the ones that have been debunked. And yes I did read the RC story on the topic and the relevant IPCC material.

    Look at the photoshopped cover of Al Gore’s latest book: “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis” for example. Is this an example of the consensus on the basics? The basics of hurricane predictions for example?

    Do you believe “Inconvenient Truth” is NOT trying to convince the audience sea levels will rise 20 feet? Do you believe this movie does not go far beyond the basic consensus of the science? Did you miss Al Gore’s attempt at: “there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

    Are you trying to say Al Gore’s alarmism is part of this consensus on the basics? Or that the recanted predictions of the IPCC based on shaky WWF sources is not alarmist and in error?

    As for mixing politics, did you miss the call for petition signing for cap and trade legislation – “as outlined by Dr. James Hansen” – posted on this thread?

    There is alarmism beyond the “consensus on the basics,” it is at the foundation of politicizing the science. And this is a major reason for opposition – not denial of the basic science.

    [Response: Sorry, not going to follow your circuitous trail into the weeds. If you spent half the time you spend fixating on Al Gore’s supposed “propaganda” and mistakes, trying instead to understanding what the science says, you’d learn a lot. Notwithstanding that Gore got the basic story very right. The problem’s not with either Gore or the science, but with your biased obsession with him.–Jim]

  46. 446

    “”””421Septic Matthew says:
    25 March 2010 at 3:16 PM
    379, Richard Ordway: That is the impression that a small but powerful group of people, aided and abetted by well-funded think-tanks and a compliant mass media, wanted them to have.

    I don’t understand the epistemological point of these references to the money in the denialist camp. Are people really unaware or indifferent to the amount of money that is promoting AGW?””””
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Facinating. Yes, according to the peer-reviewed respected scholar Naomi Oreskes in her book “Merchants of Doubt”, after six or so years of her research, a small group of anti-science -mainly rocket scientists-WOW (go figure that one out)…OH NO…ROCKETGATE!!!!!, (to be promptly followed by BIG-OIL-GATE and RUSH-LIMBAUGH GATE and then PSEUDO-SCEPTIC GATE!!!!!).

    The initial bunch of powerful men were motiviated by sharp ideology…laissez faire government, opposition to government regulation in all forms. They sincerely believed that big government and government regulation were a slippery slope and bad.

    They were an inordinately powerful all- out- of- proportion small band of cold war physicists. They were powerful and influential, known from cold war work. They went to the White House to brief presidents and were treated in awe.

    The main players were Robert Jastrow (Astrophysicist), Fred Seitz president of NAS- *******consultant to RJ Reynolds*******), William Nierenberg (nuclear physicist). They needed to be prominent or would have no credibility with mass media and no access to corridors of power.

    They founded the George C Marshall Institute to initially defend SDI- Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles) against scientists’ boycott of it.

    The big industry used them and they used big industry. They learned from the Tobacco campaign and applied it to other campaigns that threatened big government intervention.

    They promoted the idea of doubt/scientific uncertainty to avoid action on a set of issues ranging from tobacco, ozone layer, acid rain, global warming. It was very sophisticated with hiring PR firms and focus groups.

    Seitz and George C. Marshall Institute principle strategy of tobacco industry was to promote “doubtmongering”, to insist the science was not settled and that it was premature to act now to control tobacco use. Insist over and over again that the science is unsettled and the public will believe it.

    In 1989, cold war ended and Seitz’s work with the tobacco industry merged and the George C. Marshall Institute turned to other matters. Suddenly there was no Soviet threat. These men were in their late 70s and 80s and had had very successful scientific careers. They had to find new work/causes against big government…

    It was now ”environmental extremism”(Guess who gets lumped in that crowd-climate scientists (“bloody tree huggers”).

    Their new campaign was now against:
    1. Exaggeration of environmental threats
    2. Insistence that government regulation was needed to control these threats.
    3. Acid rain, the ozone hole, second hand smoke, global warming, DDT.

    In every single case, they insisted that the science was too uncertain to justify government interference in the market place. This begins to show a pattern. All were too uncertain…. Acid rain, the ozone hole, second hand smoke, global warming, DDT…all together??? Always the same argument no matter what the scientific argument, what scientists, what agencies were involved, these men always attacked it as if the science was insufficient.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    “Doubt is our product,” ran the infamous memo written by one tobacco industry executive in 1969,” Since it is the best means of competing with the “body of fact” that exists in the minds of the general public.”

    – Smoking and Health Proposal, 1969, BN:680561778, Legacy Tobacco Documents Library,
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/nvs40f00
    __________________________________________________________________________

    Naomi Oreskes states in her book, that S.J. Green, “Director for research for British American Tobacco, confessed later in life,“ What his industry did was wrong, not just morally, but also intellectually, “a demand for scientific proof is always a formula for inaction and delay, and usually the first reaction of the guilty.”
    _________________________________________________________________________

    So it looks like the American public got conned and duped… and is still being conned and duped.

    If it were anyone else except for a peer reviewed publishing scientist writing this (Naomi Oreskes) with an excellent long, solid reputation and whose work has stood up over a long time …this would sound like a fantastical movie.

    It does indeed seem that truth is far stranger than fiction in this case.

  47. 447
    Sou says:

    @ #442 Septic Matthew (and John Peter): Far from me to try to assess the different points made by Arthur Smith vs Gerhard Kramm when they are expressed as detailed as that – my physics education ceased a long time ago :(.

    However, the following links show what I meant by different ways of estimating the net radiation, this one from satellites.

    Radiation flux as monitored via satellite by NASA

    http://aqua.nasa.gov/about/instrument_ceres.php

  48. 448
  49. 449
    Gilles says:

    442 ,441 : there is no simple relation between the averaged temperature and the average effective temperature. You can develop in theory the local temperature at the upper atmosphere in an expansion in spherical harmonics T(theta,phi) = T0 + somme (c_l,m Y_l,m (theta, phi) ) Because only the first ( l= 0 ) term has a non-vanishing average over the sphere, T0 is simply the average global temperature, all the rest describe the local changes around this average. But because the emissivity varies as T^4, the emitted power is a complicated fonction of To AND all the clm. This has a very important consequence : you can keep the same To and make the effective average temperature vary by choosing an infinite number of possible clm. And of course the reverse is true : you can achieve the same effective temperature, and hence energy balance , with different average temperature To.

    It is further complicated by the fact that heat is transferred partly by convection between the ground and the upper troposphere, and so the local temperature isn’t the same between the two. So generally speaking there is no reason why the global imbalance should be a single function of average ground temperature. It is even possible to decrease the average temperature and increase the emissivity, or the opposite. A single relationship between the two would be obtained only if all clm would be proportional to a same parameter, which means that the anomaly should vary homothetically – which is far from being the case, since the coolest regions vary more than the hottest (it should be the opposite). So notions as “climate sensitivity” understood as a single derivative along the forcing has no real physical ground. It may be approximately justified by models, but isn’t a consequence of first principles.

  50. 450
    John Peter says:

    Hank @342

    You remarked “Rich people have the money to fund the restoration of the Earth.
    Will they do that? If not, what’s the next step?

    Former crusader Ralph Nader has a possible answer for you in his recent first novel Only the Super Rich Can Save Us Now. The novel is fiction of course and unbelievable by any but the most altruistic optimist but much of the 700+ pages go into details of obstacles faced by this long time crusader for “constructive” change.