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Unforced variations: Oct 2011

Filed under: — gavin @ 1 October 2011

Open thread for October…


409 Responses to “Unforced variations: Oct 2011”

  1. 351

    Hunt (#350), can’t quarrel much with the conclusion per se–though, as phrased in your comment, there’s an implied confusion between mitigation and adaptation efforts. That is, the UK and Netherlands efforts mentioned are presumably adaptive–but it’s the *mitigation* efforts (of which there are surely other nations with noteworthy efforts) which will actually affect SLR.

    But I doubt that observation applies to the book itself.

  2. 352

    #344 Edward, Nice examples of Noctilucent clouds, now look at my blog http://eh2r.blogspot.com/, and or at your sunset horizon sky, these streaks are unique in two ways, one they are black, blackish and 2, they streak horizontally perpendicular to sun rays. I believe these are aerosols highly likely CCN’s from thundercloud overshoots. They cant be seen at any other time than during twilights especially at sunset. Digital cameras have tremendous time in capturing them, even under powerful magnification. Sort of like the opposite of infra-red which is enhanced by CCD’s, blackish particulates do not emit light.

  3. 353
    Paul S says:

    john byatt – Don’t rely on everything I say being completely accurate but I think I can provide some context to the quote:

    ‘AMO’ refers to Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation – a hypothesised quasi-periodical source of multidecadal variability in surface temperatures around the North Atlantic. I believe I’m right in calling it “hypothesised” because it has only been observed in a statistical sense, without any strong physical theory to support a mechanism that drives temperature changes.

    The AMO has been observed via analyses of detrended historical North Atlantic SST records, which are often called AMO indexes. The BEST paper is a correlation study between an AMO index and their land surface temperature data, although they actually focus on short-term fluctuations (2-15 years) rather than the multidecadal trends. To enable this focus they suppress longer-term trends in the AMO and land surface data.

    They find strong correlation between both datasets and use it to infer that natural ocean SST fluctuations in the North Atlantic may be a key factor in short-term land surface temperature fluctuations. This holds some interest because changes associated with ENSO are typically thought to be more relevant at this scale, but the BEST team seem to conclude that the AMO link-up is stronger. The quote you posted is where they go on to speculate that this may mean some of the warming trend of the past few decades has likewise been driven by AMO changes. The paper itself doesn’t really look at that issue. Note this passage from the paper:
    ‘Correlation does not imply causation. The association between Atlantic sea surface temperature fluctuations and land temperature may simply indicate that both sets of temperatures are responding to the same source of natural variability. However, it is also interesting to consider whether oceanic changes in the AMO may be driving short-term fluctuations in land surface temperature. Such fluctuations might originate as instabilities in the AMO region itself, or they might occur as a non-linear response to changes elsewhere (such as within the ENSO region).’

    One point of interest is that the AMO index fluctuations even track the land surface temperature downturn associated with the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, whereas ENSO does not. Given that this event is undoubtedly caused by an ‘external’ forcing this is strong evidence that at least some of the short-term AMO index fluctuations are simply reactions to the same ‘other’ forces driving land surface temperatures – the fact that it correlates in this case counts against it as a causal factor. As far as I can see, this issue isn’t mentioned in the paper.

    In the bigger picture I think I’m right in saying that climate scientists in general believe that some fraction of Northern Hemisphere warming over the past few decades has been caused by Atlantic ocean circulation changes.

  4. 354
    john byatt says:

    Thanks Paul, to me they seemed to be jumping from “some land warming”
    to “global warming” much appreciated and I am sure that it will be the main point that the skeptics will pick up on if any of them bother to actually read the report.

    again appreciated
    JB

  5. 355

    Has there ever been an experiment which most people can do at home mimicking the greenhouse effect?

    Well for one I tried about .5 ml of sugar mixed with 500 ml of water. 1 minute in the microwave (not to boil). temperature rose from 10.5 to 25.5 C.

    The other way is to test water alone. Which went from 10 to 27 C.

    Exciting that 1 part per thousand has a consistent effect, microwave boiling is a bit complex. Not that it mimics exactly the warming of the atmosphere. The point is Microwaves next to Infrared on the electromagnetic spectrum chart, causes a molecular interaction which differs when water chemistry is very slightly altered, clearly has potential to discard “CO2 is a trace gas” argument which rages on the contrarian side.

  6. 356
    Septic Matthew says:

    I thought I would take this opportunity to say good-bye, congratulations again on the recent award, and thanks for letting me post here.

    yours truly,

    Matthew

  7. 357
    john byatt says:

    # 353 Paul. I did not realize that AMO was Muller’s pet theory.

    coming together.
    believe that Tamino may have something on it soon

    .

  8. 358
    CM says:

    Septic Matthew #356,

    Are you leaving us? You know, I’ve long thought of Septic Matthew as two different people. Septic’s just another guy who quibbles with the consensus over trivial points (‘acidification’) or rebunks dime-a-dozen ‘skeptic’ talking points. Matthew, on the other hand, takes a real interest in the science, looks up sources, boosts solar energy, and has above all been unfailingly courteous in his exchanges here. I’ll miss that guy, even if I think he worries way too much that saving the planet might burden the economy.

  9. 359
    Paul S says:

    john byatt – Perhaps you’re referring to Eric’s post over at tamino’s place? I’ve posted there (awaiting moderation) asking Eric to check if what I’ve said above is accurate.

    The AMO as a multidecadal driver of internal climate variability has been widely discussed in the literature for a decade or two. See for example Knight et al. (2005), coauthored by our very own Mike Mann. This 2006 RealClimate post is also highly relevant.

    The apparent innovation of the BEST paper is to conclude that the same processes may also be responsible for short-term climate fluctuations.

  10. 360
    John E. Pearson says:

    355 Wayne said about trace gases:

    Dunno if it has the “potential to discard “CO2 is a trace gas” argument” or not, but here is a related thought: The fact that CO2 is a trace gas is what makes it possible for us to actually alter its concentration.

  11. 361
    Hank Roberts says:

    >I’ll miss that guy
    +1 (and hoping it’s just a change in pseudonym)

  12. 362
    Hunt Janin says:

    I’m now working on the final Conclusions chapter in my coauthored book on sea level rise. If anyone has any thoughts on what SIMPLY MUST be in this chapter, please send them to me.

  13. 363

    360, spot on John. i have improved my little experiment and it works well, but its not quite ready for the kitchen.

  14. 364
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/10/nest_thermostat/

    From a very badly written article (by a writer who clearly doesn’t understand chemistry or software) obscuring what might be a good product:

    “… The Nest is the iPod of thermostats…. Artificial intelligence figures out when to turn down the heat and when to jack up the air conditioning, so that you don’t waste money and perturb the ozone when no one is home, or when you’re asleep upstairs. You can communicate with the Nest from your smartphone, tablet or web browser.

    Fadell promises the Nest will pay for itself within a year or two of use, and ultimately save you up to 30 percent of your utility bill….”

  15. 365
    wili says:

    “If anyone has any thoughts on what SIMPLY MUST be in this chapter, please send them to me.”

    feedback and uncertainties.

  16. 366
    John E. Pearson says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/world/asia/flood-waters-in-bangkok-shut-domestic-airport.html?ref=global-home

    “Unusually heavy flooding and typhoons have taken the lives of nearly 800 people and affected more than eight million in an arc that stretches across Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines, according to a tally by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

    Another 100 people were said to have died in Myanmar, where reports are difficult to verify.”

  17. 367
    SteveF says:

    Just a minor bit of blog amusement, but I notice that Judy Curry has posted some reviewers comments on her reply in the back and forth over her “uncertainty monster” paper. The reviewer writes, quite reasonably:

    Curry and Webster state: “The heart of our argument is that the broader scientific and other technical communities (beyond the field of climate science) have higher expectations for understanding and characterizing uncertainty than has been portrayed thus far by the IPCC.” Curry and Webster are entitled to their opinion, but it is inappropriate to “speak for” scientists outside the IPCC process and from other technical fields as a whole without citing support for such claims. Their views should be represented accurately as the views of two individuals, rather than as the unsubstantiated collective view of diverse scientists and scientific communities.



    At the bottom of her post, Judy writes:

    My statement about the broader scientific community refers to YOU (the climate etc denizens).

    This is a fairly, er, idiosyncratic interpretation of what “the broader scientific community” means. I’m not sure if you asked most people what was meant by this, they will immediately reply, “ah yes, it’s Oliver Manuel and the assortment of cranks who populate Judy’s blog comments”. Perhaps a more reliable measure might be found here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Joint_science_academies.27_statements

  18. 368
    dhogaza says:

    SteveF:

    This is a fairly, er, idiosyncratic interpretation of what “the broader scientific community” means.

    No shit, Sherlock. Man, I wonder what the reviewers would’ve written if they’d understood that the “broader scientific and technical communities” refer to anyone who can muster up a keyboard and an internet connection?

    Curry is just … weird.

  19. 369
    Deep Climate says:

    Here is the latest of my continuing coverage of Ethical Oil (the meme, as well as the organization and blog, all inspired by Ezra Levant’s 2009 book of the same name).

    The Ethical Institute on oil sands emissions

    http://deepclimate.org/2011/10/25/the-ethical-oil-institute-on-oil-sands-emissions/

    Today I’ll take a detailed look at the Ethical Oil position on the oil sands carbon footprint, as seen in former spokesperson Alykhan Velshi’s error-filled and confused post entitled Mythbusting: Are the Oilsands Major greenhouse Gas Emitters?, part of his “Myths and Lies” series.

    I’ll focus on the two most significant problems in Velshi’s piece:

    * Velshi’s original premise was that not only are oil sands greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions relatively insignificant, but that they are actually declining. This has been partially corrected, presumably in response to my initial commentary on this issue, but in such a way as to render his argument completely illogical. And Velshi’s conclusion still repeats the utterly mistaken assertion that oil emissions “are falling”, whereas in fact they are rising at a rapid rate.

    * Ethical Oil’s credibility is further damaged by misleading statements concerning the supposedly tiny contribution of oil sands emissions when compared to total global human and natural emissions. This echoes barely veiled climate “skeptic” arguments in Ezra Levant’s 2009 book that started the whole “ethical oil” rebranding effort. And an examination of Levant’s previous statements on climate science would appear to confirm that a strong anti-science stance is not far from the surface, despite the efforts of Ethical Oil spokespersons to hide it.

    Also see:

    http://deepclimate.org/2011/09/01/the-institute/

    http://deepclimate.org/2011/01/12/ethical-oil/

  20. 370
    Hank Roberts says:

    Dale asked in the “Moscow Warming” thread how to find this:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=heartland+youtube+2008+forum+video

  21. 371
    Hank Roberts says:

    How do climatologists decide when a linear trend isn’t giving the best fit to the information? I know it’s possible to fool yourself by picking what appear to be patterns out of graphs, we’re built to do that (thanks to great-great…grandparents who fled any spooky shadow and thereby didn’t get eaten by the occasional tiger lurking in the leaves).

    But ya know, it’s _so_tempting_ to think there’s a pattern in something like this, about the time the US Clean Air Act really limited sulfate pollution (addressing acid rain):

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/best/mean:60/from:1975/to:2012/plot/best/from:1975/to:2012/trend/plot/best/from:1800/to:1975/trend/plot/best/mean:60/from:1800/to:1975

    (Aside– and how do -statisticians- decide? biologists? etc. — I know statistics is a very new field and still much discussion is happening among statisticians about what we can and can’t say …)

  22. 372

    Beside all this very interesting science, some Belgian enthousiasts raised a funny, non-profit, free website in the hope to give an extra scream to the global leaders on the next climate conference in Durban (South-Africa) at the end of November.
    Please defart your penguin to virtual Durban, pimp your penguin and enjoy the party over there.
    http://www.pissedoffpenguins.com

  23. 373
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Poul-Henning Kamp, who raised the JASON report in the Moscow paper thread, here’s some previous discussions of it:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=“jason+report”+stoat

    (copy and paste into a search tool if the double quotes break in this blog)

  24. 374
    Radge Havers says:

    NPR. Same old same old, but at least somebody noticed:

    Class: M

    “A worthy story, broken by the Houston Chronicle, and picked up here and there, but not by NPR, until today.

    Here’s the headline from some other media outlets that paid attention when it was first news:

    Texas officials censored climate change report
    — New Scientist

    Perry Officials Censored Climate Change Report
    — Mother Jones

    And here’s NPR’s headline:
    Scientists Say Texas Agency Edits Out Climate Change

    See the difference? Subtle, but significant. “

  25. 375
    ccpo says:

    I have a meeting in 40 minutes and am hoping some of us losers (Just kiddin’) are on-line and can help: Statements of emissions are usually given in gross amounts. Does anyone know off-hand the difference between the emissions the Earth can safely cycle and current emissions? That is, what is the number for emissions that would not add to the total atmospheric carbon vs. current emissions? And, can someone quantify that in a way Joe or Josephine Sixpack can understand?

    Thanks.

    [Response: Roughly, as a multi-year average, but with a lot of year to year variation, and assuming no drastic, short term changes in forested land cover, it would be: 0.57 * 9GtC/yr = 5.1 GtC/yr. The 0.57 represents the approximate fraction sequestered from the atmosphere on these time scales.--Jim]

  26. 376
    Dale says:

    Antarctic Circle has 9 times the ice of the Arctic Circle – WHY? I know that I once saw a write up on this by a denier at one of the GW blogs. It was to prove somehow that some natural phenomena was going on which debunked sea ice melt. Maybe volcano’s under the Arctic ice or something. I can’t remember exactly. I believe I read a good explanation here sometime ago. That it had something to do with the fact that the Southern Hemisphere has more sea area and less land area than the Northern Hemisphere.

    If anybody can give me a link I’d appreciate it. If my post is confusing it’s because I’m confused and haven’t been able to locate what I’m looking for.

  27. 377
    Nube says:

    375-ccpo
    I think Jim answered another question. The safe human emissions must be zero!

  28. 378

    @ Dale

    Umm, that would be largely because Antarctic land ice sits on a small continent a few thousand feet above sea level (in places) whereas Arctic sea ice floats over an abyssal plain thousands of feet below sea level.

    It is more difficult for the warmer ocean water to melt Antarctic land ice because most of that ice is out of it’s reach. So less melts and more accumulates at the “Bottom of the World” than at the “Top”.

    No magic volcanoes or other mythical stuff needed.

  29. 379
    Dale says:

    Thanks Daniel. I did find more on the subject. The amount of heat generated by the volcanoes was said to be about .1 watt per square meter while the sun could take or give 100 watts per square meter. The heat effect of volcanoes was negligible. It would have little effect of the ice retreating.

  30. 380
    SecularAnimist says:

    Radge Havers wrote: “NPR. Same old same old, but at least somebody noticed”

    I heard NPR’s report on the Texas censorship case on Morning Edition this morning, and it was even worse than that headline suggests. The reality of anthropogenic global warming was presented as a matter of “opinion”, not of science.

    Likewise, when the case was mentioned in one of NPR’s hourly news updates last night, the report concluded with “Governor Perry and Texas officials say that global warming is junk science” — yes, believe it or not, “junk science” is a direct quote from NPR’s “news” report, and the claim by a politician who has received millions of dollars from the fossil fuel corporations that global warming is “junk science” was presented by NPR “news” as having equal validity to the views of the world’s scientific community.

  31. 381
    Radge Havers says:

    Journalistic conventional wisdom. It amounts to explaining problems away with a lot of noncommittal dithering presented with just enough authoritative posturing to make the whole ersatz news concoction thoroughly debilitating to anyone unwary enough to mistake it for useful information.

  32. 382
    Hank Roberts says:

    re the various assertions about aerosols (in the ocean heat topic), perhaps this will help:

    Somethig old:
    As I recall — and I’ll have to dig for the cite, it was a few years back –

    The chemistry of particulates from the first coal era (England and US, 1800s) was different in the atmosphere, because of higher ejection velocity, higher altitude and smaller size, more intense sunlight — all factors driving the chemistry — compared to those emitted by India and China’s industrialization.

    For Bob Irvine, who posted the 2009 link on uncertainty about aerosols — there’s a very interesting update on that uncertainty story, about the temperature difference between tropics and Arctic that’s been so hard to model depends on assumptions that air in prehistoric times wasn’t much cleaner than air is nowadays. When clean air is assumed, that problem goes away:

    http://www.earthknowledge.net/index.php/naturalcapital/ecosystemservices/climate/45544-clean-air-fixes-cold-poles-in-model-of-ancient-climate

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21051-clean-air-fixes-cold-poles-in-model-of-ancient-climate.html

    “… Kiehl ran his model of the ancient climate with clean skies, and found that the cold-pole problem largely disappeared. With clouds forming in unpolluted air, the poles warmed up much more than the tropics, giving a climate within a few degrees of the one that actually existed.

    The resulting model is a very good match for the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, says Paul Pearson of Cardiff University in the UK, who uses fossil animals to study past climates. Pearson says Kiehl’s model is the first to reproduce the temperature distribution revealed by the fossils.

    “It’s reassuring,” Kiehl says. “If this is the explanation, there isn’t anything drastically wrong with our climate models.”

    Kiehl presented his work on Tuesday at a Royal Society meeting on warm climates of the past in London….”

    http://royalsociety.org/events/warm-climates-of-the-past/

  33. 383
    Hank Roberts says:

    Here’s a good summary on aerosols:

    The net climate impact of coal-fired power plant emissions [PDF]
    D Shindell… – Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2010
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/10/3247/2010/acp-10-3247-2010.pdf

    See the full text, the cites, and the footnotes for this paper’s sources for the information in it.

    “… Emissions from coal-fired power plants until ∼1970, including roughly 1/3 of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions, likely contributed little net global mean climate forcing during that period though they may have induce weak Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude (NHml) cooling.

    After that time many areas imposed pollution controls or switched to low-sulfur coal. Hence forcing due to emissions from 1970 to 2000 and CO2 emitted previously was strongly positive and contributed to rapid global and especially NHml warming.

    Most recently, new construction in China and India has increased rapidly with minimal application of pollution controls. Continuation of this trend would add negative near-term global mean climate forcing but severely degrade air quality.

    Conversely, following the Western and Japanese pattern of imposing air quality pollution controls at a later time could accelerate future warming rates, especially at NHmls.

    More broadly, our results indicate that due to spatial and temporal inhomogeneities in forcing, climate impacts of multi-pollutant emissions can vary strongly from region to region and can include substantial effects on maximum rate-of-change, neither of which are captured by commonly used global metrics. ….”

    [paragraph breaks added for online readability --hr]

  34. 384
    ldavidcooke says:

    RE:382

    Hey Hank,

    Anthracite versus Bituminous, the quality of the fuels changed. The initial boiler/firebox design was for the hotter burning fuels, when costs increased and availability fell, rather then use coked bituminous, they would force feed the softer, faster/cooler burning, into the firebox faster and close the dampers to maintain fire box temperatures, at the same time they would cut back the tank feed rates to maintain pressure.

    End result, high ash, high CO, more SO2/Hg/Se… Burn effinciency was dropped nearly in half. The ’70s-’80s installation of the ESD stack scrubbers/wash apps. extended the initial plant investment.

    About ’78-’85 time frame, the EPA starts pushing for fluidized bed boilers with gasification/coking feed chambers. The industry said no, so the gov. prevents upgrades other then repairs and we are stuck with the pollution and efficiency difference.

    (To convert to fluidized bed systems would up the efficiency. Using pre-treated soft coal, (with heat/steam injection) would reduce some pollution. )

    So far, none of the EPA/Industry designs floated by the Industry/EPA/DOE coal burning replacement programs seriously discussed captue/sequestration of CO2.

    Sorry, for butting in…, please continue…

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

  35. 385

    @ Jim’s inline comment in #375

    Have to disagree, there. The airborne fraction could be various values other than 0.57 and the atmospheric concentration would continue to rise (likewise for the ocean concentrations). Likewise, if the airborne fraction is “X” it still matters for all values of carbon emissions greater than some quite low threshold level.

    You seem to just take the current emission rate of 9 GtC/yr as a given, so ~ 5.1 GtC could be “safely” cycled. But by that logic then when emissions were 7 GtC/yr, then ~ 4 GtC would have been “safe”. And yet we know that the atmospheric concentrations were inexorably rising when that was the case.

    I think the answer to ccpo’s question is more like 10% (and perhaps closer to 0%) of current net emissions.

    I suspect some miscommunication or misunderstanding going on here. (Wouldn’t be a first for me!)

    [Response: No you are absolutely correct, my mistake. I answered the question of the estimated total amount of emissions that are sequestered, on short term time scales, but that's not what he was asking. He instead wanted to know how much we could emit and keep the atmosphere at a constant level. It is a much lower number than I gave, the approximate value depending on the time scale in mind, and the changes in the terrestrial and oceanic sinks. On short time scales it's very low. Thanks for pointing this out. Minor point: the 0.57 is the fraction of emissions sequestered, not those retained.--Jim]

  36. 386

    I perfected the microwave experiment replicating trace elements affecting the temperature of an entire water body by adding trace amounts of carbon, sugar, to water. 559 ppm equivalent is as low as i can go. The results were very consistent, by adding sugar to water heated in a microwave, a +0.3C average temperature increase was achieve.

    Water is homogenous compared to an atmosphere of air, but there is little long wave radiation reaching the surface from sun rays directly. microwaves must substitute for Infrared in this case simulating the greenhouse effect in the kitchen. care must be given not to boil water in a microwave, this experiment requires a very small increase in temperature. DO NOT BOIL WATER IN A MICROWAVE.

    After this warning, here is a tentative recipe, it can be perfected

    you need:
    2 plastic cups weighing about 5 grams (each must be weighed exactly0
    0.1 gram of white sugar, borrow .1 g scale from school or lab, (unless someone can figure out how to measure this small amount in kitchen)
    1 very good thermometer capable of reading down to .1 C temperature differences
    obtain exactly 174 grams of water preferably distilled or as pure as possible, twice
    a microwave oven

    method

    fill two plastic cups with exactly the same mass of water, care must be given in weighing the cups,
    weight of cups + 174 grams must be obtained

    after filling them with exactly 174 grams of water, mark each cup,

    mix the water cup 20 rotations with a spoon
    measure its water temperature, 25 c or room temperature water is preferred
    place in microwave, mark the spot where you place it
    heat the water for 20 seconds
    once done without hesitation take the cup out
    mix the water with spoon 20 rotations
    measure the temperature of sample

    repeat the same with other cup, but add .1 grams of sugar
    prior to starting
    place the water with sugar cup at exactly the same spot of the water cup

    the results i obtained were very consistent, sugar sample always was warmed up more than the water one alone from +2 to +.5 C .

    You can keep the cups as is, let them cool down to room temperature and repeat the process,
    making sure water mass is the same. Similar results can be replicated as often as you want.

    Sugar is not CO2 and water is not air, but the fact that you can change the temperature of a volume of matter by adding trace amounts of a chemical may convince those who don’t believe it possible that anything can be be changed with such small alterations, one may call it anthropogenic on a planetary scale.

  37. 387
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Hank thanks for that paper-link (383) and many others.

  38. 388
    Marcus says:

    “It is a much lower number than I gave, the approximate value depending on the time scale in mind, and the changes in the terrestrial and oceanic sinks. On short time scales it’s very low. ”

    Jim: I actually think that on short time scales, your first answer was right. This is why I don’t like the concept of “airborne fraction” – the airborne fraction, in my opinion, is a deceptive number, which has taken hold because it has for remained roughly constant for several decades – but only due to coincidence. The reason it has remained roughly constant is that emissions have, coincidentally, risen at exactly the right rate.

    My guess is that for any given 5 year period, the average carbon uptake is mainly driven by the difference between the atmospheric concentration and the effective concentration in the oceans and ecosystems. To first order, this difference doesn’t depend on emissions during that 5 year period. If the oceans and ecosystems are taking up about 5.1 GtC per year, then if we drop emissions to zero, the oceans and ecosystems will _still_ be taking up 5.1 GtC per year*.

    So, if we want concentrations to stay constant for the next 5 years, we would only need to drop emissions to 5.1 GtC/year.

    In the long term, this doesn’t work, of course, because the effective concentration in the ocean and ecosystems will rise over time, slowly approaching the actual concentration in the atmosphere, and as it does so the size of the sink will drop. So in the long term, emissions must drop to zero. See, eg, Figure 1 in http://globalchange.mit.edu/files/document/MITJPSPGC_Rpt110.pdf, which I think is a good visualization of sources, sinks, and concentration en-route to stabilization in a reasonably sophisticated model.

    *There is a possible 2nd order effect which might depend on emissions, because of fast equilibration with the upper mixed layer… I haven’t actually tested a carbon cycle model with a dramatic increase or decrease of emissions in a single year, so don’t know to what extent this would be important. My intuition says not much, but I could be wrong.

  39. 389
    ldavidcooke says:

    RE:386

    Hey Wayne,

    Have you tried a similar experiment with salt yet?

    Cheers!
    Dave Cooke

  40. 390
    Hank Roberts says:

    For David Cooke — can you open this link?

    http://www.google.com/search?q=microwave+salt+water

    Or, go to the URL http://www.google.com/search

    (the same way you open the RealClimate website, however that is)

    and type in “microwave salt water” including the quotation marks.

    You’ve said elsewhere you’re using either a very old computer without copy and paste, or an old Android handset

    However it is you’re able to get to RealClimate,
    you can also get to Google

    Then search on what you think you remember.

    “It’s a poor memory that only works one way.”
    – the Red Queen

    Google solves that problem.

    You say elsewhere you used to be an IT manager; I’m sure someone can figure out a way for you to use a search engine to check facts.

  41. 391
  42. 392
    ldavidcooke says:

    re:390

    Hank,

    I ran a similar experiment the difference in density affected differences in microwave heating… My question to Wayne was intended to find out if he had come to a similar conclusion or if the effect of the carbohol in solution provided a different conclusion. But, thanks for your suggestion…

  43. 393

    Great Thanks Hank. David Cooke should stay on topic, he would be a better off testing than trying to change the subject.

    I would like to challenge all contrarians , at WUWT, CA and especially the chaps who claim that trace elements don’t do squat with long wave radiation, to do the test as written in #386. it is repeatable. exceedingly precise, especially with a good weighing scale.

    But i strongly believe grande chef Martha Stuart will do this experiment first before any contrarian will dare to test their physical chemistry concepts.

  44. 394
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Motorcyclist (from the NPP satellite thread):
    answering why methane — here’s one of many stories:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/robertbrown/2011/10/28/global-warming-a-given-to-oceanographers/

    “Big Oil made a miscalculation. They effectively used the media and right wing talk show hosts to destroy public belief in atmospheric Global Warming, then to discredit climatologists and atmospheric scientists in general. But they forgot the ocean scientists…. oceanographers, together with some geologists … have made a pretty strong case that GW is present and serious ….

    First, they noted the enormous amounts of methane sequestered on the ocean floor, particularly under pack ice. They suggested the potential for methane release (e.g. due to disappearance of the pack ice), a potent greenhouse gas on its own, to produce CO2 enhancement and strong GW. This would be a large positive feedback to GW.

    Then increased amounts of methane was detected by aircraft above the ice-free Arctic (see previous blog).

    Most recently, an October National Geographic article, “World Without Ice” (Kunzig), showed evidence of a strong GW event to explain the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) extinctions ….”

  45. 395
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Motorcyclist:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/robertbrown/2011/10/28/global-warming-a-given-to-oceanographers/

    “Big Oil made a miscalculation. They effectively used the media and right wing talk show hosts to destroy public belief in atmospheric Global Warming, then to discredit climatologists and atmospheric scientists in general. But they forgot the ocean scientists…. oceanographers, together with some geologists … have made a pretty strong case that GW is present and serious ….

    First, they noted the enormous amounts of methane sequestered on the ocean floor, particularly under pack ice. They suggested the potential for methane release (e.g. due to disappearance of the pack ice), a potent greenhouse gas on its own, to produce CO2 enhancement and strong GW. This would be a large positive feedback to GW.

    Then increased amounts of methane was detected by aircraft above the ice-free Arctic (see previous blog).

    Most recently, an October National Geographic article, “World Without Ice” (Kunzig), showed evidence of a strong GW event to explain the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) extinctions ….”

  46. 396
    John E. Pearson says:

    wayne: I like it. Using our kitchen scale I weighed a level quarter cup (12 teaspoons) (sugar scraped off with knife) of granulated pure white cane sugar and it came in right at 50 grams. Our scale has 5 gram gradations so I think that is reasonably accurate. A level teaspoon should contain 4 1/6 grams of sugar which is 41.667 times the amount of sugar you said to put into 174 grams of water. If you put a level teaspoon of sugar into 1.9 gallons of water you should be pretty close to your recipe. I suggest one teaspoon of sugar into 2 gallons of water as it is “simpler”. We don’t have a candy thermometer or I’d be trying it myself. If you get a good recipe maybe it’ll go viral and simultaneously disprove both Noella Nikpoor (a republican strategist who says that scientists are the only people qualified to tell if scientists are telling the truth or not and thus all science is suspect [see the above video I linked to]) and Rush Limbag (a popular talk show host who frequently and loudly makes the trace element argument).

  47. 397
  48. 398
  49. 399
    JCH says:

    Hank, you’re copying my graph!

  50. 400

    #395, John E. Pearson, It is indeed a challenge to come up with a recipe with kitchen tools. The problem with large volumes is time respective, of course a 2 galloon microwave is large and I rather think that temperature increase would take a much longer clock setting, the combination would invariably be cause for error. .. But if you can do the larger 2 galloon mix you suggested, take a graduated sample of about 200 ml from it , it may do the job. In this case you need to get 2 flasks as identical as you can find them, disposable plastic cups weigh equal to about .5 grams, some have graduated lines on them and they may represent a close enough equal volume for this experiment to succeed. A standard medical thermometer (the larger the better) is capable to differentiate .5 C. Will try myself the poorer equipment test and report back to see if it works.


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