RealClimate logo


Unforced Variations: Aug 2011

Filed under: — group @ 2 August 2011

This month’s open thread. Your starter for 2010, the 2010 State of the Climate report….


475 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Aug 2011”

  1. 401
    ccpo says:

    Is my untutored eye missing something, or does the Cryosphere Today graphic show the Main NorthWest Passage completely open?

    [Response: If you mean Lacanster Sound/Viscount Melville Sound, then yes. This is not however the ‘Main Northwest Passage’ – traditionally the NWP was always the southern route through the McLintock Channel and south of Victoria Island. This full passage opened up around the same time in Aug 2007 and Aug 2010. – gavin]

    Comment by ozajh — 24 Aug 2011 @ 9:18 AM

    It’s not quite completely open. The Cryosphere images are model-based, if I’m not mistaken, but it is and has been clear enough for commerce for a while now, the southern route for over a month. MODIS shows ice still in the Parry Channel, so one would go with caution, but should be able to easily pass through.

    This image is from the 22nd: http://www.arctic.io/observations/8/2011-08-22/8-N73.418757-W107.040702/Canada-Kitikmeot-Region

    My Sea Ice Update is here: http://aperfectstormcometh.blogspot.com/2011/08/current-state-of-arctic-sea-ice-arctic_22.html

  2. 402
  3. 403
    ozajh says:

    gavin/ccpo,

    Thank you for the responses.

    Yes, I did mean ‘Lancaster Sound/Viscount Melville Sound’ when I wrote ‘Main NorthWest Passage’.

    (In my defence, I suggest that that will be the common usage if (or should that be ‘when’?) the open season becomes long enough and reliable enough for the NWP to get significant usage as a trade route.)

  4. 404
    Hunt Janin says:

    Re sea level rise:

    I need a dramatic illustration of sea level rise for the front cover of my coauthored book on this subject. If a photo, it must be of extremely good quality: a photo already published in a textbook would be the best solution. I would of course get written permission to use it.

    Any suggestions?

  5. 405
    Septic Matthew says:

    361, Martin Vermeer: Ehm, you don’t heat molecules, you heat gas.

    Have you given more thought to how you can transfer energy into gas without transferring energy into its molecules?

  6. 406
    Septic Matthew says:

    Here is another pothole on the road to civilizational collapse:
    http://newnostradamusofthenorth.blogspot.com/2011/08/tremendous-recovery-in-world-wheat.html

  7. 407
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 404 Septic Matthew – on the level of individual molecules, the flow of heat actually looks like work. Work is done by one molecule on another, in emission or absorption of a photon, etc. It is the organization – or lack thereof (except in the form of statistical distributions) – that make this heat (with corresponding entropy) – and actually, if I’m not mistaken, it’s really internal energy, which when combined with work done by expansion at pressure, gives you enthalpy, which is lost or gained as a flux of heat (at constant pressure, or internal energy is lost and gained by a flux of heat if at constant volume, etc.).

  8. 408
    Patrick 027 says:

    … I mixed up two different things there; the microscopic work done adds up to a flux of heat in aggregate except for that portion which is back-and-forth (no net flux on the larger scale); the energy possessed is internal energy or enthalpy, etc.

  9. 409
    ccpo says:

    @405 Septic Matthew says:
    Here is another pothole on the road to civilizational collapse:
    http://newnostradamusofthenorth.blogspot.com/2011/08/tremendous-recovery-in-world-wheat.html

    Septic, really, if you’re going to do your reasoning like the do at WUWT, why bother posting at all? You are seriously touting grain production from one year as the savior of humanity? Year-to-year variation in crop production of all kinds is as variable as the weather. I guess last year, when Russia lost 30% of it’s grain crop, was just a mirage.

    Bore hole material: nothing but propaganda (not the data, the post) and ignorant of scientific process.

  10. 410
    Hank Roberts says:

    For SM: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/
    You can find the ‘single molecule temperature heat energy’ confusion thoroughly thrashed out in the comments. It’ll save much retyping.

  11. 411
    Chris Colose says:

    For those interested, Kerry Emanuel has a good article on chaos theory/weather forecasting with some mention of Hurricane Irene now coming up the East Coast.

  12. 412
    Septic Matthew says:

    ccpo: Septic, really, if you’re going to do your reasoning like the do at WUWT, why bother posting at all?

    I am interested in reading your responses. If Barton Paul Levenson is right, then this single year record really is just a “pothole” (what a climate scientist said about the recent decline in sea surface level.) However, it might be a harbinger of future increases in wheat yields — an expectation expressed in another link that I posted a few days ago that AGW might produce a net increase in wheat yields.

    One attitude I feel at RC and at WUWT is a dislike of the idea that the future is not known right now. To me, there is not enough information for a reliable forecast of wheat yields through 2050.

    Patrick 027. Martin Vermeer and Hank Roberts are objecting to my use of language. A molecule, no matter how energized, can’t be “hot”, so you can not say “heat a molecule”, even as an abbreviation for “transfer energy to a molecule”. They are dwelling on this terminological detail because they can not answer the questions that I asked, even after the prompt from Marcus (the prompt helped some.) Apparently, it’s approximately as I wrote: near the surface, nearly all of the radiant energy abosrbed by GHGs are transferred by collisions, and very little is radiated; near the top of the atmosphere, nearly all of the energy in excited (but not “hot”) molecules is radiated, and very little is transferred by collisions. How/where does the balance change as you rise in the atmosphere?

  13. 413
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    SM @ 408, not to worry. It’s smooth sailing through the Arctic. ;(

  14. 414
    ccpo says:

    Further to @405
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-24/drought-baked-fields-curb-2012-u-s-wheat-outlook-as-prices-gain.html

    A yearlong drought from Kansas to Texas has created the driest conditions on record for farmers preparing to plant winter wheat, dimming crop prospects for a second straight year in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter.

    Dry weather already has cut output of hard, red winter wheat, the most common U.S. variety, by 22 percent from 2010, government data show. If drought persists into the planting months of September and October, next year’s harvest will be even smaller, and prices on the Kansas City Board of Trade may jump 50 percent to $13 a bushel

  15. 415
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Tar Sands Action: another pothole?

  16. 416
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    SM @ 408, it’s remarkable that you mention this on almost exactly the 40th anniversary of the road plan.

  17. 417
    ccpo says:

    I always have a problem with pejorative comments not backed by rational thought and infused with ideology.

    Your original post had several errors despite being but one sentence and a link.

    1. It is dismissive of a phenomenon that is well known to history.

    2. It implies a cherry-picked number in a long series of numbers is meaningful, which, you having been on this site for some time, is simply inexcusable.

    3. To come to the conclusion you do, despite the pseudo-caveat, shows a willingness or ignorance of systems theory. A. CO2 is balanced by temps. B. CO2 is balanced by weather/disasters. C. A recent study found CO2 gains were already being overridden by heat affects. D. Collapses of societies do not happen, generally, because a single cause is present, though they certainly can have primary causes. E. Collapse is a geo-socio-political failure, not just wheat. It is systemic failure typically aggravated by decreasing returns on increasing complexity.

    As the primary writers on collapse have shown, collapse is essentially a choice. Geenland Norse adopting First People’s methods of survival might well have led to their long-term survival, e.g. Rome not overreaching, ditto. The Maya choosing to simplify and change food production to deal with long-term drought might have had a different result.

    Take a look here and see if you can spot your basic error: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_wheat_production_statistics

  18. 418
    ccpo says:

    @411 ccpo: Septic, really, if you’re going to do your reasoning like the do at WUWT, why bother posting at all?

    I am interested in reading your responses. If Barton Paul Levenson is right, then this single year record really is just a “pothole” (what a climate scientist said about the recent decline in sea surface level.) However, it might be a harbinger of future increases in wheat yields
    Comment by Septic Matthew — 25 Aug 2011 @ 4:13 PM

    Well, any year *could* be an inflection point on a trend line, but it’s a bit unscientific and a bit lazy to tout a year’s production of one grain as proving wrong an entire area of study.

    Your post, IMO, was stated dismissively, as if collapse scenarios are an ideological phenomenon rather than derived from history. And what of complexity, which is core principle in collapse scenarios? one grain is indicative of collapse or non-collapse?

    Besides the simple logic of the above, what of the report in recent months that temps were already overcoming the benefit of CO2 with a concomitant reduction of 3% in yields/vegetation, e.g? Collapse is about complexity and choices made in response to that and other factors. Even discussing complexity in terms of one grain is fairly absurd.

    Maybe it wasn’t your intent, but I felt you were posting your ideology not a relevant observation on collapse theory.

    @413 Tar Sands Action: another pothole? Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 25 Aug 2011 @ 5:17 PM

    This is a better example. The amount of carbon we release from whatever confines obviously is directly relevant to potential collapse scenarios. A bit of perspective, though. The tar sands can only be a long-term major driver because it is very difficult to process the stuff. Energy extraction is most aptly considered in terms of flow rates, not reserves. They’ve been working on the tar sands for decades and still process well south of 2mb/d. If will take massive ramp up for them to be a major player – though they are a bit like methane in their nasty effects on CO2 and the environment in that it is out of proportion to their total.

    They are going to have a very hard time getting tar sands above 5mb/d, water being perhaps their greatest limiting factor.

    Essentially, Hansen is right about them, but he gives them too much weight in the short term. On the time scales we are talking about, there wont be time to exploit them before everything is already falling apart (assuming that is the case.)

    The positive about hydrocarbons is that if we’d leave them there and use them sparingly we could lubricate and power the core needs of society for a very, very long time. Probably their best use would be to judiciously turn the knob on CO2e to keep the climate stable over periods measured in glacial cycles and to power the transition to non-fossil fuels.

    Yes, if we reduce the production of tar sands and other hydrocarbons we stand a fair chance of pulling out of the “death spiral.” For a little longer.

  19. 419
    Septic Matthew says:

    415, ccpo: Your post, IMO, was stated dismissively, as if collapse scenarios are an ideological phenomenon rather than derived from history.

    I disagree with that. My contention is that the collapse scenarios are insufficiently supported by evidence to date. If I were dismissive, I’d never read RC.

    412, Pete Dunkelberg: SM @ 408, not to worry. It’s smooth sailing through the Arctic. ;(

    well said. A palpable hit. Indeed, I linked a while ago to a site that listed ships in the Arctic, though I did not specifically address the Arctic.

  20. 420
    Hank Roberts says:

    > they cannot answer the question that I asked

    The answer to that kind of question traditionally is:
    “The higher the fewer.” [collisions, in this case]

    > How/where does the balance change as you rise in the atmosphere?

    C’mon. You’re showing off now. Presuming you mean Earth’s atmosphere and not one of the others, you need to specify enough detail — as with your previous unanswerable question. E.g., what geographic location.

    Boring, SM. Ask smarter questions, and you’ll get some of the people took the class (or taught it) to respond.

  21. 421

    “A palpable hit. . .”

    All this, and Shakespeare, too!

    Smooth sailing through the Arctic is right–the 60- or 70-thousand tonner that just completed the NEP run–the second such of this season, with a transit by a 120-thousand tonner upcoming, btw–averaged 14.6 knots/hour, if memory serves!

  22. 422
    Martin Vermeer says:

    SM:

    They are dwelling on this terminological detail because they can not answer the questions that I asked

    Pardon my French but based on your commenting history in the chain I had to assume you were ignorant of this point. If you’re on top of things, by all means use sloppy jargon ;-)

    A beginning of an answer: LTE breaks down in the thermosphere, from 80 km up. This is also where generally radiative emission/absorption events become dominant over collisions. Perhaps already in the underlying mesosphere, starting at 50 km.

    This is not simple, and the subject of active research. Enjoy.

  23. 423
    Hunt Janin says:

    For Martin Vermeer (419):

    I’d like to raise the faint possibility, in my book on sea level rise, that a black swan event affecting the WAIS might somehow lead to a quicker and higher degree of sea level than is now thought likely.

    Alas, I’ve found NO expert who has expressed any interest in this possibility. If you are the sole exception, please let me know.

    Best,

    Hunt

  24. 424
    Septic Matthew says:

    419, Martin Vermeer: Pardon my French but based on your commenting history in the chain I had to assume you were ignorant of this point. If you’re on top of things, by all means use sloppy jargon ;-)

    Sometimes brevity is the soul of confusion. I painted a target on me that time, I suppose.

    Thank you for the link.

  25. 425
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Hunt, interested, certainly; competent, not so much.

    I read about the possibility of a WAIS collapse — and that it could happen quickly enough to be relevant within my lifetime — first in the 1970’s. (I wrote even an amateur sci-fi story based on it for a local competition :-) ) This article from 2002 gives a nice historical overview of these early ideas, and of trying to estimate the risks involved, but may be dated. Here a more recent paper.

    I don’t think it’s true that there are no experts interested in this general possibility; e.g., this article suggests that Jerry Mitrovica and colleagues are definitely interested. BTW you often hear mentioned that a complete collapse of WAIS would produce 5 m of sea level rise on average; but according to another recent paper it would be only 3.3 m.

    Only this is clear to me: the estimates on how likely or even possible this is, vary, and it seems that the science is not able to give a hard answer at present. But you might find it useful to approach a real expert, like Dr Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey.

  26. 426
    Marcus says:

    SM I think people have troubles to find out what You are really about, and I am no exception especially when you point out that the shape of the volume element is of importance for You, or what You mean with “over land, over sea” etc.(distinct wavelengths?).

    I also hesitate to play with numbers where some collision lifetimes in a simple model could exceed state lifetimes (or LTE is achieved as martin vermeer says) if I don’t know the purpose.

    It must be somewhere “in between”, obviously.

    I suppose You have some issue with physical fundamentals of global warming. You should state this very clearly so it can be downcast to formal physics, so one of the professionals in the field here can help out

    Cheers
    Marcus

  27. 427
    ccpo says:

    @416 ccpo: Your post, IMO, was stated dismissively, as if collapse scenarios are an ideological phenomenon rather than derived from history.

    I disagree with that. My contention is that the collapse scenarios are insufficiently supported by evidence to date.

    Just more skeptic mush. You have repeated the error. To say collapse scenarios are not well-supported doesn’t make sense. As with climate, we are talking about scenarios, not predictions, so they are completely supported. Whether they are likely or not is another matter. Again, your comments do not reflect rigorous thought on the topic, or bias. It’s hard to see what you precondition yourself not to see.

    When we have changes, some rapid, some massive, some both, occurring planet-wide and you can say with a straight face collapse scenarios are not well-supported, one is left with both eyebrows raised.

    What you and other “skeptics” often fail at is to understand the processes are one thing, the risk assessment another, and it is the latter you seem to have no grasp of. I’ve seen quotes from climate scientists that the risk of 4C – 6C is on the order of 5 – 20%. That 20 is a huge, huge number in terms of risk assessment. It is far and away much greater than virtually any insurance policy calls for; we insure against much slimmer odds, but not with regard to climate and systemic collapse? Seriously?

    To say collapse scenarios, which have tracked reality quite well, are not sell-supported is an untenable position.

    Some fine examples of complex systems interacting: Climate > drought > crop loss > higher food/energy prices; drought > energy generation loss potential in Texas due to water shortage> higher energy prices; water-intensive energy generation > climate > water shortage > reduced drought mitigation > crop loss… and on and on.

    If you’re not concerned about collapse scenarios when we are in overshoot of ecosystem services and watching them be further debilitated literally by the day, nobody will be able to convince you otherwise.

    Climate leads the way and the Arctic is the canary. That canary is twitching on the floor of it’s cave. Regardless, using one year of wheat production to make a point about long-term trends isn’t well-supported.

    How do you come away from the climate report so sanguine?

  28. 428
    ccpo says:

    @ Comment by Hunt Janin

    For Martin Vermeer (419):

    I’d like to raise the faint possibility, in my book on sea level rise, that a black swan event affecting the WAIS might somehow lead to a quicker and higher degree of sea level than is now thought likely.
    Hunt, I once read an article or a paper about a breakdown of one of the, I believe, Western European ice sheets on human or near-human time scales. I have not been able to find that for years, likely because either 1. it was shown to be incorrect by subsequent research or 2. I cannot recall the name of the ice sheet.

    As for a “Blcak Swan,” I think we understand how the ice sheet will deteriorate. If there is a “Black Swan” it likely lies in the realm of speed of change, not some mechanism we don’t understand yet – though there may well be those.

    Personally (which means exactly nothing to anyone but myself), I am sure the WAIS will see major melt this century and have considered 1m rise as a lower limit since 2006.

    The thing about the climate is that we are doing so many different things that didn’t happen during past climate changes. We are making changes that are positive feedbacks that simply didn’t happen before. It is impossible to quantify them all, but is’t it obvious that the 40% loss of phytoplankton affects ocean chemistry and air chemistry which affects everything else? Isn’t it obvious that tearing down forests faster than they would naturally decline in a warming period must have knock-on affects? What of the black carbon helping melt the ice? Etc., etc?

    Logically, the harder you push a complex system and the more ways you push it the more likely it is to collapse. We do not have to be able to quantify all elements to understand the system is unpredictable, thus our assumptions have large error bars. We don’t have the ability to model this. We have to, at the end of the day, rely on a bit of intuition and logic and not just the science. It’s not the fault of scientists or their skill levels, it’s an issue of complexity that we simply cannot quantify.

    But we already know about sub-glacial lakes, the effects of warm water creeping under the ice tongues, etc. I don’t think we need anything else for a rapid collapse.

    An impact, btw, would do it. I’ll try to find that reference to the ice sheet that disintegrated rapidly.

  29. 429
  30. 430
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Hunt J. — I think you’re confusing short term with long term and the ‘black swan’ notion is just dramatizing what we know will happen longterm as though it would be an unexpected short term event.

    Losing the Greenland ice cap, for example. See the article in _EOS_ (v92 no. 31, 2 Aug. 2011) titled “Glaciologist Studies Greenland Snow Conditions and Helps Calibrate CryoSat Instrument.” That story quotes Elizabeth Morris (Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge) as she begins a traverse across the ice cap:

    “There’s no way out of it. We are probably going to lose the Greenland ice cap.”

    No black swan there.

    I recommend you make the trip to a library if that isn’t something you already have down. Asking in public for help online — even at a site like RC where your inquiry may be noticed by real experts — isn’t sufficient as research. If someone says you can do research from home, Google his name and see how that works out; what’s online isn’t necessarily consensus science.

    For libraries near you, this may help:
    http://lists.webjunction.org/libweb/France.html

  31. 431
    Septic Matthew says:

    more progress in reducing the cost of electricity from wind turbines:

    http://www.winddaily.com/reports/Wind_Power_Now_Less_Expensive_Than_Natural_Gas_In_Brazil_999.html

    It’s a niche, or another step on a journey of a thousand miles.

  32. 432
    Susan Anderson says:

    Please comment at NY Times and anywhere else you can think of:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/business/energy-environment/us-state-department-to-allow-canadian-pipeline.html

    A good number of Times readers seem to think Keystone XL pipeline is safe, which as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is simply not true. The smaller pipeline, though not splitting the US in two and transporting thick awful stuff 1700 miles, has not even come close to meeting its safety record. Now they want a gigantic repeat. Why, exactly, does this stuff have to be transported from Canada to Texas to be refined? Weird!

    Tar sands via unsafe pipeline inches moves towards reality via top-down legislation without proper review. Though I’m willing to admit I’m seeing chimeras, it seems to me like Irene is quite a smokescreen. It’s hard not to be paranoid these days.

    Please forgive me, I will be pasting most of the above into the NYTimes asap.

  33. 433
    Susan Anderson says:

    Well, I get it, the refineries are already up and running in Texas. Just exactly how does building a pipeline from Canada to Texas trump building refineries in Canada? Lack of toxicity?

  34. 434
    Brian Dodge says:

    @ Septic Matthew — 25 Aug 2011 @ 1:30 PM
    “…the global increase in crop yields per ha across 1961 – 1999 were accompanied by a 97% increase in irrigated acreage and 638 %, 203 %, and 854 % increases in use of nitrogen fertilizer, phosphorus fertilizer, and production of pesticides…” http://people.oregonstate.edu/~muirp/agtrends.htm
    Crop yields increased from ~1.2 to ~2.5 Mt/ha in that interval. Wheat yields grew from 2.3 to 2.9 Mt/ha from 1990 to 2010, a much slower rate.
    Figures from http://www.earth-policy.org/data_center/C24 show that a 4.25 fold increase in fertilizer use from the 1961-1966 average to the 2004-2009 average was accompanied by only a 2.6 fold increase in wheat yield(5 yr avgs to reduce noise). If you download http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/production.pdf, you will find that World wheat harvest fell 5.1%, from 683 Mmt in 2009/2010 to a preliminary estimated 648 Mmt in 2010/2011 (which is just noise, and as meaningless as the rise from 648 Mmt to 672 Mmt estimated for 2010/2011 touted by your link).

    @ Hunt Janin — 26 Aug 2011 @ 8:24 AM
    Your question about Black Swan ice sheet events is sorta like asking “what events do you predict which you can’t predict?” The speed of WAIS collapse, or large nonlinearities in Greenland melt are Grey Swans, seen through a glass darkly.

    I don’t care what reCaptcha says, my pattern recognition is better than any damn computer – and I’m a font junkie as well. What’s the deal with a duplicate comment, when it’s been rejected?

  35. 435
    Brian Dodge says:

    “Just exactly how does building a pipeline from Canada to Texas trump building refineries in Canada?” Susan Anderson — 26 Aug 2011 @ 8:24 PM

    1e6 bbl/day through the Keystone pipeline X $85.30/bbl West Texas Intermediate + $16.25 premium over WTI X 365days = $3.7e10/year. Which means it pays back the 13 billion investment in 4 months – not bad, eh? Not to mention that at the same profit margin, processing Syncrude at $101.55/bbl into $4.35/gal gasoline is better than the current $85.30/bbl yielding $3.65/gal gasoline.
    Plus it allows for future political arm twisting, e.g., “but we have this 13 billion dollar investment that if we abandon because of hypothetical unproven impacts of global warming will result in economic disaster. We’d have to lay off tens of thousands of workers, who will suck our unemployment coffers dry, raise the deficit, and, by the way, vote any politician who supported such a rash action out of office.”
    And you don’t have to build a refinery in Canada, plus a gasoline pipeline(which would probably cost about the same as a crude pipeline), and have to find some other source to keep your refineries in Texas running.

  36. 436
    RichardC says:

    432 Susan asks, “Well, I get it, the refineries are already up and running in Texas. Just exactly how does building a pipeline from Canada to Texas trump building refineries in Canada? Lack of toxicity?”

    If a refinery were built at the source, then wouldn’t a pipeline (or perhaps three or four) still have to be built to transport the finished products?

  37. 437
    Septic Matthew says:

    426, ccpo: As with climate, we are talking about scenarios, not predictions, so they are completely supported.

    I can live with that: scenarios are not predictions. Predictions based on scenarios are not well-supported.

  38. 438
    ccpo says:

    @426 ccpo: As with climate, we are talking about scenarios, not predictions, so they are completely supported.

    I can live with that: scenarios are not predictions. Predictions based on scenarios are not well-supported.

    Comment by Septic Matthew

    Exactly who are you claiming is making predictions? If you don’t understand risk…

  39. 439
    Edward Greisch says:

    411 Septic Matthew: We may not know the future of wheat, but for food in general the prospect is for collapse in the 2050s. It has happened before, a couple of dozen times. Actually read these books: “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan and “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. More reading and less writing would be good.

    And try being a farmer for a while. If the rain moves, can you instantly move to the rain’s new location? Or rather, can you move in negative time, since you won’t know about the move until it is too late? Will farming work at all in the new location? Will the methods you know work there? What if the new location is in badlands or the ocean? Can you learn how to grow a new crop in real time? Can we irrigate the entire world with de-salted ocean water in the next 40 years without knowing ahead of time exactly where the desert will be by then? [Clearly not if you don’t believe it will happen.] Can we refill all of the aquifers that are running dry?

    Unless experienced farmers can answer “Yes” to a large number of this type of question, agriculture will collapse if the climate changes too much in any direction. They can’t.

    We know that genetic engineers have way too much self-confidence. They can’t make food grow fast enough in a desert to feed us. They can’t engineer new crops without knowing what to expect. We don’t know well enough what to expect. That makes changing the climate just too risky.

  40. 440
    Septic Matthew says:

    Edward Greisch: “Collapse” by Jared Diamond.

    That book is ok but not good.

  41. 441
    ccpo says:

    @439 Edward Greisch:
    “Collapse” by Jared Diamond.

    That book is ok but not good.

    Comment by Septic Matthew

    Incorrect, imo. What makes it excellent, if for no other reason, is his insight that collapse is a choice. Simplify/adjust and survive, or don’t and face full collapse.

    Tainter’s big addition, imo, is the his work with complexity and negative returns helping us understand that at some point tech fails to keep up no matter what.

    Neither fully gets into the deep ecology, so then you turn to Catton and Club of Rome.

    Then you talk to someone like me, a sustainable systems type.

    Then we save the world.

    ;-)

  42. 442
    Hunt Janin says:

    If global warming simultaneously generates more sea level rise and more hurricanes (I realize the jury is still out on this latter point), aren’t storm surges likely to become more frequent and more destructive?

  43. 443
    J Bowers says:

    FOX News, August 27, 2011: Do We Really Need a National Weather Service?

    The truth is that the National Hurricane Center and its parent agency, the National Weather Service, are relics from America’s past that have actually outlived their usefulness.

    Comedy timing.

  44. 444
    Robert Murphy says:

    According to “Steven Goddard” (who Drudge called a *scientist* lol), there *was* no hurricane; it landed in NC with winds of only 33 mph. He says it was barely a tropical storm. All that damage you saw on TV? That could have happened any day of the week, storm or no storm!
    His comedy site keeps getting funnier and funnier:
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/noaas-phony-hurricane-coming-on-shore-with-33-mph-winds/#comment-83830

  45. 445
    Doug Bostrom says:

    J Bowers says:
    28 Aug 2011 at 7:14 AM

    A cut and paste job from The Onion, right? Surely? Please say yes.

    Extreme ideology has an ugly face…

  46. 446
    prokaryotes says:

    Check out my new collection, including “Climate Change” styles. In case people like to use their clothes to bring awareness to the topic of climate change.

    http://galaxymachine.de

    more to come!

  47. 447
    J Bowers says:

    @ Doug Bostrom. ‘Fraid not. Written by CEI’s Vice President, Iain Murray, no less.

    [Response: The influence on the ‘competitive’ markets will definitely be interesting if weather forecasting becomes unavailable to all but those with their own in-house weather forecasters.–eric]

  48. 448
    Steve Fish says:

    Prokaryotes, a version of this image would work better- http://www.toilette-humor.com/global_warming.html -. This is especially good up-to-date information based on previous scientific research. Steve

  49. 449
    Septic Matthew says:

    437, ccpo: Exactly who are you claiming is making predictions? If you don’t understand risk…

    It’s “risks”, not “risk”. Humans in the 20th century produced increasing wheat yields (except in places like Egypt where yields were static or hardly increased at all), despite warming temperatures and changes in rainfall patters. The risks to future increases in crop yields include continuing temperature increases and changes in rainfall patterns; they also include decreased agricultural research and decreased investment in water control. It isn’t hard to think of other risks to increasing crop yields.

  50. 450
    Septic Matthew says:

    A recent reduction in African malaria:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14685612

    It’s probably transient, as the scientist says. But it would be nice if it were a consequence of AGW. An increase would be alarming, had it occurred, or were it to occur in future.


Switch to our mobile site