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Unforced variations: Dec 2011

Filed under: — group @ 1 December 2011

Open thread for December…


406 Responses to “Unforced variations: Dec 2011”

  1. 101

    @ s.radun

    Those who deal in climastrology and math-turbation continually, in spite of kind advice to the contrary, are afforded little slack in my book. Vukcevic has a history of focusing on cycles with little regards to real-world mechanisms underlying his physics. Nor does he, as noted earlier, bother to provide sufficient documentation as to the paternity and construction of his graphs.

    Those such as he rely on the power of the eyecrometer to beguile the innocent. Facts, cites to supportive literature, a slavish adherence to the physics of this world and an open description of the methodology used are inconvenient to that end; as such their lack is the hallmark of the specie. Examples abound on the webs, from G. White to Tisdale to Gaddes to Cotton.

    Given that, and his previous encounters with Vukcevic on Tamino’s blog, I thought Tamino was rather restrained. Vukcevic in his current iteration is here to gain acolytes, and little else other than to waste the time of others.

  2. 102

    #84–

    A nice (and somewhat unusual) book with a lot about phenology is Amy Seidl’s “Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming,” described here:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Finding-Higher-Ground-A-Summary-Review

    #92–

    Interesting–if I can use so callous a word about a situation that seems to be verging on the tragic–given that Mexico is a ‘drought hot spot’ in a lot of model studies. Hadley cell expansion and all that. . . Gwynne Dyer talked about that in “Climate Wars,” I believe.

  3. 103
    DrTskoul says:

    s.radun. You must be kidding right?

  4. 104
    vukcevic says:

    Tamino
    One thing I can give you is you’ve recognised importance of what is plotted; but lecture on politeness from Tamino!?
    Back to business:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSN-T.htm
    Graph presented is kind of ‘Poincaré conjecture’ not of the climate, but more importantly of physics.
    Two well versed scientists Dr. Svalgaard of Stanford and Dr. Steig of Washington Universities have all information required. None have protested any irregularity.
    The fact that temperature oscillates with more or less at rate of solar activity isn’t surprise, but 1-1.5 degree C is far more than expected.
    It is not actually following the sunspot cycle as much as the strength of the Heliospheric magnetic field at Earth’s orbit in form, the amplitude and the base line:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HMF-T.htm
    This you may make you think of Svensmark and GCR.
    Well it is not, since on numerous occasions temperature precedes the HMF by some years.
    It is this type of little cracks in our knowledge which opens a new vistas in the marvels of science.
    Do I have solution?
    Not exactly, but I am working on it.

  5. 105
  6. 106
    J Bowers says:

    Carbon dioxide emissions show record jump

    “Latest research on carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels shows they have increased by half in the last 20 years”
    [...]
    The study, published in the peer reviewed journal Nature Climate Change, found that global carbon emissions were likely to carry on increasing at a rate of about 3% per year. It was accompanied by another study offering new proof that climate change is linked to human activities, in burning fossil fuel.

    Prof Chris Rapley, professor of Climate Science at University College London, said: “These two new results offer a stark message. Human carbon emissions are certainly disturbing the climate system upon which we depend, and in spite of the economic slowdown, and despite all the efforts by governments, businesses and people to reduce them, our emissions are reaching new highs. The climatic consequences, already emerging, will grow over time, and are irreversible….
    [...]
    Julia Steinberger, lecturer in ecological economics at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds, said the research showed that even the recession had barely made a dent on the rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

    She said: “The worst economic crisis in decades was apparently a mere hiccup in terms of carbon emissions: a temporary drop for the richest countries in 2009, and hardly perceived by emerging economies. These findings are truly shocking, and constitute a global wake-up call.”

    What’s that phrase? “Same… something…. different day”?

  7. 107
    J Bowers says:

    vukcevic — “I do publish you may find some new stuff from this one

    There’s “publish“, and then there’s “publish“.

  8. 108
    notjonathon says:

    Another local anecdote:
    I moved to Okayama, Japan some twenty years ago. For the first few years, first frost generally occurred sometime in the first week of November, and fall color was at its peak about a week later. Ten or so years ago, that began to change, and for the past three or four years, the effective date of first frost has retreated to the beginning of December. This year, the weekly forecast predicts first frost to occur this coming Friday (the 8th).
    In addition, true summer (temps over 32-33 C), which used to end between the last week of August and the first week of September, now generally continues well into the month.
    Add to this warmer summer nighttime temperatures and generally warmer winter lows and you get a picture of nearly continuous warming, with fewer anomalous cold spells (one “average” winter in the past five).
    I am living in an unequivocally warmer climate than I was twenty years ago.

  9. 109
    Adolfogiurfa says:

    @Tamino: But..don´t you think that including “cities” would be biased as we all know cities have an anomalous temperature?

  10. 110

    Call me dense, but vukcevic is simply impenetrable.

  11. 111
    James says:

    Just an observation on the weather versus climate point – there are a number of comments above with respect to trees on leaves at this time of year and tomatoes only recent receiving their first frost when growing outside in the UK.

    As is also pointed out above, this time last year, the UK was experiencing its biggest snowfall and lowest temperatures for many years. This lead to many imported and indigenous trees being killed by the cold weather for the first time in living memory.

    Either both weather events are relevant to a debate regarding climate change – or neither.

    If a mild autumn, following a very cold one – are both to be indicative of AGW then I am lost.

    There is also a comment above about the CET graphs for England which, in all honesty, do not demonstrate a signature for AGW – and we need to understand more about the regionality of the effects of AGW.

  12. 112
    Richard Willey says:

    Hi All
    I have a somewhat odd request. I am an active member of a bridge related newsgroup. For whatever reason, the “Watercooler” portion of the newsgroup has fallen victim to a particular annoying spambot / troll. Every day or or two, “AL-U-Card” posts another bunch of discredited denialist crap. I’ve tried dealing with him, however, in all honesty it takes a long time to track down his references and find the appropriate counter to his usual crappy claims.
    I’m hoping to crowd source a bunch of responses. In an ideal world, I’d love to see 50 or so people wander by, pick one of his claims, and a craft a reasonable response. I’m not asking for or expecting a sustained effort, however, I’d love to see him drown under the weight of a bunch of replies.
    So, if anyone has some free time today and feels like posting, please wander by
    http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/42775-climate-change/
    Thanks in advance
    Richard

  13. 113
    Edward Greisch says:

    Has anybody ever heard of a “Minoan High” other than from an Australian “think tank” and Adrian O?

  14. 114
    Paul S says:

    James,

    I was playing around with the HadCET data yesterday and found that December temperatures are unique amongst the monthly time series in not showing a positive trend over the past 40 years. Even exempting the last three cold years, which may bias the trend, it is -0.1ºC/Decade (-0.4ºC/Decade including those years). This compares to +0.2 to +0.5ºC/Decade seen in all other months.

    It seems that temperatures around December in the UK have been strongly affected by some other factor(s) over the past few decades

  15. 115

    #112–I’d be glad to assist, in general, but not when it involves watching a hour’s worth of denialist video, which is what the link appeared to be pointing to when I clicked.

    Heck, it’s hard to carve out time to watch Dr. Archer’s very worthwhile video lectures.

  16. 116
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Richard Willey, I recommend this
    source for short rebuttals:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/shorturls.php

  17. 117

    #109–”don´t you think that including “cities” would be biased as we all know cities have an anomalous temperature?”

    No.

    It’s areas which are *urbanizing* which are problematic, not ones which are just *urban.*

    It doesn’t matter, for example, that downtown New York or London (or, for that matter, downtown Paducah, KY) are a degree or to warmer than they would be if they were still marshland. They’ve been built up far longer than the period with which we are concerned–and there isn’t any reason to think that urban environments respond differently to generalized warming.

    In fact, if I’m not mistaken, studies of urban vs. rural warming have been done, and don’t show significantly different trends for the two categories.

    It’s worth noting, by the way, that the urban heat island effect was being taken into account even before it received the name by which we now know it–Guy Callendar took it into account in his pioneering work in the late 30s:

    http://doc-snow.hubpages.com/hub/Global-Warming-Science-And-The-Wars

    So those who are under the impression that “skeptics” discovered this issue are sadly mistaken.

  18. 118
    vukcevic says:

    @J Bowers
    Agree, anything I ‘publish’ on line (as an article) is based on easily verifiable data, from half a dozen world most reliable sources. Publications with hundreds of references, but no ‘downloadable’ data source for most of people is ok.
    @Kevin McKinney
    I search, not re-search, no much point staggering along path well trodden by many; have irritated as many sceptics as proponents of the prevailing understanding.
    Lot of established scientists and commentators take exceptions references to oscillations, but I am sure you musician know differently. Whish you success in your endeavours.

  19. 119
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    @ 105 – link to whine from “Half-graph” Michaels – he is harassing scientists because he was criticized in a private email:
    “…Wigley must be compelled to come forth.”

  20. 120
    Dan H. says:

    Kevin,

    GISS has been using an UHI correction to its temperature data for years in an effort to eliminate the “urbanizing” effect.
    http://climate.dot.gov/images/about/graph_us_temperature.gif

    I agree that once a city, like New York, reaches a certain metropolitan status that its growth is rather meaningless with regards to the UHI. Small cities or towns that have experienced large growth over the timeframe are much more likely to exhibits these growing pains.

    Just look at the temperature changes in West Point and Central Park, NY. These two locations are roughyl 60 miles apart. The growth on NYC starting ~1880 is clearly visible.
    http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/newyork_usa_large1.gif

  21. 121
    Daniel J. Andrews says:

    @ Kevin McKinney (102). Thanks for the link to that book–I hadn’t heard of that one. I read the review, and it has food for thought. Some objections came to mind, but also I can see the point being raised. I’ll have to track it down in a library. Thank you.

  22. 122
    wush says:

    The Greatest Uncertainties in Projections of Future Climate!
    How many aerosols does it take! I read somewhere that our actions produce twenty percent of the total aerosol load!

    http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/pubs/BNL-91041-2010-JA.pdf

    Is enough credence given to the action of aerosols and their ability to alter the earths energy budget?
    Extract;-
    The invigoration-induced upward motion can change regional
    circulation patterns, which can potentially alter larger-scale
    circulations and affect global climate. The delayed onset of
    precipitation and stronger updraughts could result in more aerosol
    particles and water transported into the upper troposphere and
    even the lower stratosphere. It also suppresses the wet scavenging
    of aerosols, creating a positive feedback.

    The clear observational evidence with the support of model
    simulation results of aerosols affecting convective clouds and
    precipitation is a testimony to the fact that human activities can
    impinge on the natural system of our planet by altering cloud
    development, precipitation and latent heating profiles to a much
    greater extent than previously thought.
    The findings presented here imply a potentially adverse
    impact on sustainable development over regions vulnerable to
    extreme meteorological events such as drought or flooding.
    ……………………….
    A much greater extent than previously thought!!?
    ……………………….

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n12/full/ngeo1313.html?WT.ec_id=NGEO-201112
    ……………………….
    An aerosol-induced invigoration of upward winds! So the extent to which heat is moved upwards is, to some degree, dictated by aerosol concentrations.
    ……………………….

    This bit ;- could result in more aerosol
    particles and water transported into the upper troposphere and
    even the lower stratosphere.

    I don’t suppose this could explain why aircraft condensation trails appear to last longer nowadays, having more material for water vapour to condense onto?
    ……………………….

    Professor Lovelock, a climate science independent thinker who refuses to conform to the accepted views, said this ;-
    The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. They could be absolutely running the show.
    From here;
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock
    ………………………..
    Is he correct? It seems to me, from what I understand so far, that they, aerosols, have a far greater influence on climate than previously thought and they could indeed be absolutely running the show.

    Your thoughts and advice would be appreciated.

  23. 123

    #120–

    Thanks, vukcevic, I can use every good wish.

    But you could help this musician’s endeavor to understand your work by providing more context and more useful labeling of your graphs. You seem to feel that they speak for themselves; for me, that is mostly not the case.

  24. 124
    Hank Roberts says:

    > easily verifiable data, from half a dozen world most reliable sources

    If it were, you could specify the explicit data source right in the graph.

    When you repeatedly claim it’s out there, for sure, someone can find it:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Snipe+Hunt

  25. 125
    Mark Shapiro says:

    A glance at Patrick Michaels’ CV (a version is here: http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/MICHAELS.CV_.2009.02.12.pdf )
    shows that in 1989 he made an important discovery about global warming. Michaels found that the big money, the easy money, was in denialism.

    Sad to say, he has been riding the gravy train ever since.

  26. 126
    Russell says:

    113

    The notion of a ‘Minoan Warm Period ‘ has about as much archaeological street cred as the Iron Sun does in astrophysics.

    Some years ago Peabody Museum director Steve Williams wrote an excellent book entitled ‘Fantastic Ardchaeology’ , dealing with the gonzo works of Von Dannikin and the sort of amateurs intellectually preared to translate New Hampshire glacial grooves and graphic granite as evidence of Phoenician or Welsh explorers .

    So rich is the comic vein opened by RC’s more chuckleheaded opponents that I must stake a copyright claim to the title of the sequel- Fantastic Climatology

    Publisher’s query’s invited of course.

    Here to head off the usual suspects from declaring Predynastic, Shang, Atlantis, High Brazil, Olmec and Hubba Hubba warm periods is a Classical Anecdote that pretty much takes the zephyr out of the Roman Warm Period’s sails

    Whoever ignores this eyewitness account of the climate in question:

    Britanniae situm populosque multis scriptoribus memoratos non in comparationem curae ingeniive referam, sed quia tum primum perdomita est. Ita quae priores nondum comperta eloquentia percoluere, rerum fide tradentur…

    Solum praeter oleam vitemque et cetera calidioribus terris oriri sueta patiens frugum pecudumque fecundum: tarde mitescunt, cito proveniunt

    ……………………………………… –Tacitus, Agricola I, 10-12

    has no more directions in the true disciplines of the Climate Wars, look you, of the Roman disciplines, than is a puppy-dog.

  27. 127
    Susan Anderson says:

    Sorry, no I do not speak from authority. I follow weather and climate science a lot and our breathing planet does seem to provide some complexity in winter that is counterintuitive to those looking too closely at weather and making conclusions from it. But I seem to have joined them.

    I do find it annoying that “snowpocalypse” is cited as proof the global warming is wrong, and when we have July weather in May that is not related. The increase in energy and water vapor in the system is unmistakable, but my lay viewpoint is not sufficient to claim that any particular set of weather events is due to GS. I do, however, feel that scientists are professionally hesitant to notice the obvious at times. I also have to travel through things like Irene and the October storm and both seem a little excessive to just be put down to “normal variation”.

    My apologies. I thought I had provided sufficient vagueness to not seem to be making a claim, but think the whole subject is fascinating and worth thinking about.

  28. 128
    vukcevic says:

    Note for the mod: If my post is too long I am happy to edit it down. Thanks
    @Kevin McKinney
    5 Dec 2011 at 2:07 PM
    Once I assemble enough of ideas and have good data to work on then I do ‘publish’ it on line. It appears to me that scientists have ignored natural variability for some time now.
    This was an inspiration for me to look deeper into the N. Atlantic Oscillations, of which the above controversy is only part of. Part I can be found here:
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/64/12/35/PDF/NorthAtlanticOscillations-I.pdf

    @Hank Roberts says:
    5 Dec 2011 at 2:12 PM
    Hi Hank,
    In my overall state, the time is far too short to take things too seriously. When I work something out I put it on line, just in case. At some stage I gather all bits together and write an article, such as linked above, which than has all info you require.
    Hey how many experts know that the N. Atlantic surface temperatures can be predicted by 5-10 years in advance, or the contribution of the Reykjavik atmospheric pressure on the global temperature trends? The BEST report came close to it, but failed to either understand it or pursue it to its logical conclusion, but I’ve done it anyway. http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/theAMO.htm
    Are Tamino, Daniel Bailey, DrTskoul, people called CM & RichardC aware of the above? How many keen to ‘chastise’ know what drive the ENSO?
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/ENSO.htm
    Attaining knowledge is no one’s privilege, to the contrary ‘the science is often moved forward by reasoning of an individual’.

  29. 129
    Hank Roberts says:

    Dan H claims to state facts, and links to images he found somewhere so a naive reader might believe the images illustrated what he claims.

  30. 130
    timg56 says:

    It probably isn’t a good thing when the climate change debate makes it into The Onion.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-global-warming-may-be-irreversible-by-2006,26808/

  31. 131
    Russell says:

    120

    Note also that in summer Central Park is downwind from New Jersey’s asphalt expanses, while all is green upwind of West Point

  32. 132
    Susan Anderson says:

    Russell, you can always be relied to provide acerbic and entertaining wit about the subject. Thank you.

    Earlier, I was in such a hurry I failed to proof: I meant GW not GS, and there was a reference to selective weather cites that emphasize winter weather in winter but fail to notice extreme summer weather in what should be spring. This is *not* related to my compliment to Russell, which is both sincere and unrelated to my weather comments.

  33. 133

    @ vukcevic


    “Attaining knowledge is no one’s privilege, to the contrary ‘the science is often moved forward by reasoning of an individual’.”

    Science advances through a deep understanding of what came before (the ‘seeing farther by having stood on the shoulders of giants‘ thing), not from misquoting Galileo.

    So Vukcevic fancies himself Galileo. A true Galileo would at least have proposed actual physical mechanisms before drawing curves and plotting the data that agrees with them. After all, if one denies scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox; but to properly discuss the physics of nature we ought to begin not with the metaphysical, but with experiments, and demonstrations.

    QED.

  34. 134
    Craig Nazor says:

    Hank and Russell,

    Having debated Dan “H” at great length (years, actually – and about some of the same issues he brings up here) on another blog, the arguments and debating tactics he uses have not changed, and neither have his opinions about anything that I have ever said or posted, as far as I can tell.

    Comparing the temperature of West Point to NYC to illustrate the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect is ridiculous on many levels.

    The elevation for Central Park is around 6 ft above sea level (if you are not standing on a rock), and the elevation for West Point is about 241 ft above sea level. West Point is also located in a very mountainous area, where there is a lot of cold drainage (colder air sinking from higher altitudes and flowing down the Hudson River Valley). NYC is in a much wider and more flat area, 60 miles to the SOUTH, and much closer to the ocean.

    You see, I used to live in NYC.

    I lived on Manhattan Island around 200th Street. Right across the Hudson from me were the cliffs of the Palisades. At the top of the cliffs, there was a pretty typical ecosystem for northern New Jersey. At the base of the cliffs along the Hudson, there was a narrow strip of land protected from the prevailing west wind by the enormous cliffs themselves, and over 300 ft. lower in altitude. The ecosystem there included plants that were found much further south, some on the Shores of Maryland. In the winter, it was an excellent place to go bird watching for birds that were normally found much further south in the winter. Protection from the cold, howling west wind was excellent.

    This is what horticulturists and ecologists call microclimates, and they play a very important role in species distribution in some very surprising ways. This is why temperature averages (or proxies that reflect temperature averages) I would assume are much more important to long term climate measurements than “the temperature changes in West Point and Central Park, NY.” This certainly doesn’t come anywhere close to illustrating the UHI effect.

  35. 135
    Craig Nazor says:

    Dan, from the IPCC AR4:

    Studies that have looked at hemispheric and global scales conclude that any urban-related trend is an order of magnitude smaller than decadal and longer time-scale trends evident in the series (e.g., Jones et al., 1990; Peterson et al., 1999). This result could partly be attributed to the omission from the gridded data set of a small number of sites (less than 1%) with clear urban-related warming trends. In a worldwide set of about 270 stations, Parker (2004, 2006) noted that warming trends in night minimum temperatures over the period 1950 to 2000 were not enhanced on calm nights, which would be the time most likely to be affected by urban warming. Thus, the global land warming trend discussed is very unlikely to be influenced significantly by increasing urbanisation (Parker, 2006). … Accordingly, this assessment adds the same level of urban warming uncertainty as in the TAR: 0.006°C per decade since 1900 for land, and 0.002°C per decade since 1900 for blended land with ocean, as ocean UHI is zero.

    If you disagree with that, post your evidence.

  36. 136
    Edward Greisch says:

    111 James: Look up Rossby waves or polar oscillation. You could have traded weather with Greenland.

    126 Russell: Thank you. That is what I thought.

  37. 137
    Craig Nazor says:

    timg56:

    The Onion makes fun of anyone and everything, and for those of us with a sense of humor, that is a good thing.

  38. 138
    vukcevic says:

    @ Daniel Bailey
    Galileo looked and found, have you visited the basement room?
    Everything I do starts with data ( Met, UCAR, NOAA, NASA etc), so your assertions are plainly false!!
    Vukcevic challenge to Daniel Bailey
    Be more precise: Have you red my article:
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/64/12/35/PDF/NorthAtlanticOscillations-I.pdf
    Specific: Reykjavik atmospheric pressure – N.A. SST ? Tell us here: how much do you or did you know about the link between Reykjavik atmospheric pressure and N. Atlantic SST? Forget about correlation (we already know about moving averages and statistics), just get to the substance and tell us your expertise on the subject. [edit - no personal attacks]
    Specific: Reykjavik atmospheric pressure – N.A. SST ?

    [Response: Relationships between wind patterns (and SLP) in the N. Atlantic have been discussed for decades - Delworth and Dixon (2000) for instance, or read this summary from Visbeck. - gavin]

  39. 139
    vukcevic says:

    Note to the mod:
    Sorry, the ‘basement room’ refers to the Galileo museum in Florence where exhibits and his notes are on public view.

  40. 140

    #126–

    Hmm. Google translate made pretty heavy work of the Latin, but I think it said, among other stuff, that they couldn’t grow olives or grapes in Britain (in Tacitus’ day, presumably.)

    Nice Shakespeare reference, though.

  41. 141
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    wush @ 122, relax and take a deep breath. The paper by Li et al. looks fine to me. It finds yet another cause of bunching of precipitation. Be wary of over-interpreting the paper though.
    “Much more than previously thought!”
    Well it must have been suspected, that’s why the study was done. On the other hand if it is the first study of this exact effect then any statistically significant finding will be “more than previously thought”

    Both clouds and aerosols are the subject of far more research and “credence” than you would ever guess. On the other hand, the last item you link is sprinkled with platitudes, bombast and error. Beware of giving oracles more credence than they merit.

    Li et al. is a good illustration of the need to find out in detail the consequences of our actions. These details may influence the sort of modest policy changes that may actually be made while we hide from the larger picture.

    For a bit more perspective on new papers wush, a few are highlighted at the AGW Observer each week.

  42. 142
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    A new paper, Foster and Rahmstorf 2011: Global temperature evolution 1979–2010 nicely tightens the error bars on global warming. Tamino has all the details. By a remarkable coincidence the whole paper looks like the sort of statistical work he does. ;)

  43. 143
    Dan H. says:

    Craig,

    You personal experience living in New York (or Austin for that matter) does not equate with scientific data. The following was published recently in a peer-reviewed journal. Do you have any evidence to support your contentions?

    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/How_natural.pdf

  44. 144
    timg56 says:

    To Dr Tskoul and others,

    I have a couple of questions and then perhaps a discussion of “deniers” might be appropriate.

    1) Which 3 nations are the top carbon emitters in the world?

    (I understand it is China, India and the US.)

    2) Assuming that the very minimum amount of reduction of emissions required to keep temp rise within the 2 – 4 degree C range is a drop to 50% of 1990 levels by 2020, (which is what I believe they are calling for in Durban) what would be required in the US to reach that level?

    (I read that it would require shutting down every coal fired generation plant in the US and taking about half of the automobiles off the road (or replacing them with electrics).

    3) The proposal on the table is for the developed nations (excluding China, India and Brazil) to fund $100 billion a year to poor nations to cope with climate change. Ignoring for the time being the issue of corruption, which is endemic to most of these nations, what do you think is the likelihood of this happening when Japan is faced with rebuilding following the tsumani and Germany is having to deal with propping up the EU and failing or grossly underperforming economies in southern Europe? By default that leaves the US.

    There is only one technology currently available that is capable of supplanting 50 – 70% of current US generation capacity. (It’s called nuclear.) And even if one chooses to be optimistic and assumes up to 20% could be met by renewables, you would still be faced with the added cost of upgrading the grid (new transmission lines, smart grid technology) in order to integrate them into the system. (Take a look into what is required to integrate wind turbine generation into the NW power grid or the issues revolving around system stability, load balancing and reliability that distributed generation creates.)

    The upshot of this is that in order to meet the minimum emission reduction levels we need to build 250 new nuclear plants, fund develop and construction of renewables equal to 20% of current generation output, and upgrade the entire grid at the cost of billions. All in 8 years.

    At the same time we would have to either replace 50% of the automobiles with electric vehicles (we will ignore the impact that has on generation) or come up with a means to forceably (directly or indirectly) take them out of service.

    Who wants to deny that this is what is required? Or that it will cost tens of trillions of dollars? And assuming we are all in agreement – because I support much of this – who is willing to state that it will make any appreciable difference when the two biggest emitters of carbon are increasing their output the whole time?

    The denial I see is from people who refuse to recognize real world technology and financial limitations and instead try to incite a holy war against fossil fuel. Instead of fighting things like the Keystone pipeline, support the construction of new transmission lines. Rather than trying to making it impossible (or extremely expensive) to operate a coal plant, push for construction of replacement nuclear plants. And finally, acknowledge the fact that even if the US would stop burning its coal, gas and oil tomorrow, the end result would be us shipping it to China, India and Europe to be burned there.

    EDIT : OT, MOVED

  45. 145
    JCH says:

    I have some questions about the 33C provided by the greenhouse effect. I assume it was less in preindustrial times. What would that number be? Or is my assumption wrong? At the trough of the so-called LIA, was it 33C? If not, what would be a reasonable number?

  46. 146
    SecularAnimist says:

    timg56 wrote: “There is only one technology currently available that is capable of supplanting 50 – 70% of current US generation capacity. (It’s called nuclear.)”

    That’s blatantly false, and in fact it is a claim that has been as often and as thoroughly debunked as denial of AGW itself.

    I’m not going to launch into a detailed, footnoted rebuttal, because the moderators of this site have stated that “debates” about nuclear power are off-topic.

    However, you are following a well-worn pattern in your comments here:

    1. Deny the existence (or seriousness or urgency) of the global warming problem, and

    2. Denigrate, disparage and exaggerate the costs of, and obstacles to, rapid deployment of the solutions that are readily available.

    Your closing paragraph makes your position very clear: do anything, anything at all — EXCEPT REDUCE THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELS.

    EDIT: OT, MOVED

  47. 147
    Hank Roberts says:

    > timg56
    > I read that ….

    Citation needed. _Where_ did you read that? Why do you trust that source?

    Compare this: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=guaranteed-global-warming-with-existing-fossil-fuel-infrastructure

    If you just drop claims here without saying where they came from, nobody’s going to have much helpful to say. Tell us where you are reading the doomsday-scary stuff you keep posting and why you think it’s a reliable source. There are wackos out there from all parts of the political spectrum, not all of them even who they claim to be.

    Cite sources.
    EDIT. MOVED

  48. 148
    David B. Benson says:

    JCH @144 — 33 K remains about the right number for GCH warming. From 1850–1800 until now we’ve seen about a 0.7–0.8 K temperature increase.

  49. 149

    Durban will be a total waste if Canada has it’s way. Obama is treading water. China is the only country on track to reduce energy-intensity and is leading the world in wind and solar use.

    The political system in China functions admirably. In the US, not at all.
    Canada is on the verge of ruining the environment in BC by pushing for tar-sands bitumen pipelines across, west, to Kitimat where spills will be inevitable.

    Canada vitally needs a west to east energy corridor through it’s northern half.

    Superconductivity is lagging. Mag-lev is lagging. High speed rail is non-existent in Canada and is not even contemplated.

    Canadian dinosaurs allied with American sauropods in Durban.

    Brace yourselves for more than 2 degrees by 2050.
    EDIT: MOVED

  50. 150
    J Bowers says:

    Re. 140 Kevin McKinney.

    “With the exception of the olive and vine, and plants which usually grow in warmer climates, the soil will yield, and even abundantly, all ordinary produce.”

    Written toward the end of the 1st-C AD. The Romans did grow grapes in Britain but not until the following century, only as far as Lincolnshire (with any certainty), and in a diagonal line down towards the Bristol area. As to the quality, who knows, but there was still a roaring trade in imports.

    One thing to note is that the map often cited by ‘sceptics’ is from a book by Richard Selley of Imperial College who wrote this piece:
    The Impact of Climate Change on British Viticulture.
    http://www.winebehindthelabel.com/downloads/climate.pdf

    Selley gave a lecture in 2004.

    “Promising areas over the coming decades include south-facing slopes of the Derbyshire Peak and the Lake Districts but, says Professor Selley, the prime winelands of the future will be in Scotland,particularly the north side of the Great Glen.”

    In 2008 he also had a bit of a twist on Tacitus with the release of the 2nd edition of his book, outlined in the ICL press release.

    The author, Emeritus Professor Richard Selley from Imperial College London, claims that if average summer temperatures in the UK continue to rise as predicted, the Thames Valley, parts of Hampshire and the Severn valley, which currently contain many vineyards, will be too hot to support wine production within the next 75 years.

    Instead, Professor Selley says, this land could be suitable for growing raisins, currents and sultanas, currently only cultivated in hot climates such as North Africa and the Middle East.
    [...]
    Combining temperature predictions from the IPCC and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre with his own research on UK vineyards throughout history, Professor Selley predicts that these cool and intermediate grape varieties will be confined to the far north of England, Scotland and Wales by 2080, with ‘warm’ and ‘hot’ varieties seen throughout the midlands and south of England.

    ‘Sceptics’ never point that out ;) An interesting podcast of an interview with him HERE, where he points out that Britain now has the ability to start tea plantations, thanks to Cornwall’s microclimate.


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