Open thread – a little late because of the holiday. But everyone can get back to work now!
OT here, but there’s not yet a September Open Thread–and “Let The Games Begin,” which was really attractive from a title POV, is apparently closed to commenting. However, 800 words on the RNC and the ironies it posed from a climatically-informed perspective can be found here:
I imagine many have seen the paper (or more likely press reports of it) that claims that a very large amount of organic carbon lies under the Antarctic ice sheet. The presumption is that this carbon could be released following a retreat of (part of) the ice sheet. I think that would be useful to discuss.
I note that there are now 12 trackers on this page, up from 6.
Facebook social plugins
Media Innovation Group
Scorecard Research Beacon
I repeat: are all these necessary to realclimate.org ?
Oddly, after I clicked submit on the last comment, the number fell back to 6.
Addthi, Facebook, Sitemeter,Google,Scorecard,SpecificClick remain.
1 Kevin McKinney: And that Image was courtesy of Al Jazeera! Another irony.
Well Review has it flaws and I am more and more for open review… If you want to laugh and perhaps cry this is a… article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658?v=s5
A 13 minutes slot on BBC2 Newsnight programme last night (5 Sept) BBCi player 35 – 48 mins (I’m told works inside UK only) addressed the loss of Arctic ice. It was effectively a trailer for a BBC2 documentary which is going out in October following Peter Wadhams professor of Ocean Physics, and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge.
This was followed by a session with Paxman asking denialist questions of Natalie Bennett (the new leader of the UK Green Party) & some very odd, almost comic, statements from has-been Tory MP Peter Lilley (who is recently published by the lunatic GWPF).
Apart from addressing the subject (full marks for that – there was even a PIOMAS animation (a bit small to see) that turned into a 3D PIOMAS graph!), the main feature worthy of comment was a repeating of the ‘an ice-free summer Arctic effectively doubles mankind’s contribution to warming’ last heard of from Lovelock. Presumably this is Wadhams, although it was only attributed to “scientists say” on the programme.
Lilley likely provides himself a hostage to fortune saying he is as one with the IPCC. He was actually wriggling & saying the IPCC who are the experts don’t predict ice-free summers until after 2070 so the BBC’s film was a hoax. And anyway we had melts in the 30s. Sadly when Lilley came so so close to winning an award for excessive comedy, Paxman interupted the flow.
Natural Oscillations can be relatively easily calculated from interaction of the solar and the Earth’s magnetic fields
Dr. Schmidt may be dismissive of the idea but his colleagues from JPL are not:
If Dr. Schmidt (or any other identifiable scientist) may be interested to know more I am happy to forward details.
Further to previous post, this BBC web-news item on the programme explicitly attributes “the equivilant of about 20 years of additional CO2 being added by man” to Prof Wadhams, although ‘what’ is equivilant here is not entirely clear.
(20 years-worth would be about 0.5Wm^-2 ? which is higher than recent figures for an ice-free summer arctic (0.3 Wm^-2), but then the 0.5 is just starting to approach the level of TOA energy imbalance.)
Any comments on this recent sea level study by Meehl et al, particularly their figure 3:
It seems this shows a risk of 10-12 meters of sea level rise by 2300 under BAU. If so that would be a lot more than other estimates I’ve seen so far.
I did not see the program but professor Wadham was also mentioned on Neven’s iceblog. I do think his numbers is an overestimate. He assumed a reduction albedo from 0.6 to 0.1 for ice-free conditions, which is fine, but he did not take into account that the cloud-cover over the Arctic Ocean in summer is 80-90 %. Unless I have misunderstoood other points in his estimate he his forcing estimate is a factor of 5 too high.
I have a question…. If most of the heat from global warming is going into the oceans and the oceans have very deep currents, when can we expect the btus to reappear?
I can’t figure out if this is a smart question or a very dumb question.
[Response: Not a dumb question, particularly since there is a lot of confusion on this point. Basically, it is never going to ‘reappear’ (as long as we are not actively reducing CO2 below current levels). The OHC change is a measure of the planetary imbalance, and so indicates how much the planet still needs to warm to come into equilibrium with the forcing, but that isn’t a statement about the specific joules. – gavin]
sidd @ 3&4 – As the last time you brought up your problem with your cookie jar, the only cookies set at RC are ‘site meter’ and ‘add this’, the rest come from other places you’re visiting [including links you click to from here] and ‘add this’ items you use, I have never picked up any of those others you list from RC. The reason the “number dropped back to 6″ is because your most recent active cookies that were held in memory ‘dropped out’ – they ‘expired’ or noted you were no longer where you picked them up..
So I repeat from last time, don’t blame it on RC, delete all cookies from sites you log in to when you leave them, particularly anything google related, and as a “safe surfing” habit, delete all cookies regularly. Also if you use the IE browser, you might consider changing to Firefox or Opera.
sidd, as before — flxible is right.
(Google Custom Search option is at upper right corner of each page)
In other news, David Brin (“Contrary Brin” blog) has a blunt answer to someone:
“… your simplistic dogma that no planning at all can be allowed in an economy is not only historically inaccurate and naive, it is (the concept and not you!) utterly hypocritical.
Please consider the possibility that what you see is NOT what you get. Read about “FIBM vs GAR” or Faith in Blind Markets vs Guided Allocation of Resources. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2006/06/allocation-vs-markets-ancient-struggle.html
Those who proclaim loudest that bureaucrats cannot allocate well are conniving for a return to the 6000 years when far smaller groups of far stupider lords would allocate instead. Market “blindness” is fictitious and undesirable anyway.
What we need and want is COMPETITION so that inevitable human delusions are caught by competitors. This can be done artificially in government (Adam Smith recommended it as one tool!) and or organically in a healthy market. But you don’t get a healthy market with “blindness” or zero regulation. Have I proof of that?
Only 6000 years of proof.”
The news of the month is the plummet in American CO2 emissions. They’re now back to early 1990’s rates. The decline may slow but the trend will continue – ironically, America will likely hit its Kyoto targets … by accident. Natural gas from fracking is in takeoff mode. Power generation from coal has dropped from 50% of the static total to 34% in just half a dozen years. Demand for thermal coal dropped 10% last year alone (100 million tons. Natural gas is so cheap and ubiquitous and cheap and domestic and … cheap … that for the very first time all it took was a(nother) very warm winter to produce a ski-slope: http://tinyurl.com/bvj7new
This is the tough place – there are environmental downsides to water and geo-formations. But the pollution ends up inside the USA instead of butter-knife spread around the world’s atmosphere. And it’s the first piece of solid emission reduction in years … even tho its best parallel is the miracle germ response that killed the Martians in War of the Worlds.
What was sea level the last time CO2 went up to 400? 450?
What difference might the decline of Arctic ice make for sea level in 2060? 2100?
If we burn all the planet’s reduced carbon, we’re cooked. Supposing we stop burning coal by 2050 (approximately assumed under BAU?)and lose our sulfate aerosol cooling. How might this effect the conclusions of the present semi-empirical approach to estimating sea level in 2100?
I wanted to ask again a question i posted in the last UV which closed before there was an answer.
I am wondering about the possibility of hurricanes along California during the Miocene. Not only was it much more tropical, but there was a warm, shallow (200 – 600 ft) deep inland sea. This sea may may also have been warmed from below by volcanic activity at places along the coast the time. There was massive upwelling (Monterey formation) and a strong (on or offshore) breeze. Hurricanes or other sea sprites?
If so, is there a chance that hurricanes, which are now occasional to Mexico, could begin to move upcoast to California?
Gavin or others?
@12 & the response
I would offer a guess: possibly via the ocean conveyor belt some of it eventually ends in the Arctic Ocean, and since energy is required to turn ice into water (most of the ice and its melting is below the surface), small fraction of it may have ‘reappeared’ this August, but on the other hand I could be wrong.
Put that coffee down….. Joe Bastardi uses screengrab of DMI Arctic SST map to pronounce… “rapid rebound in sea ice confirms theory that low amount was because of storm causing abnormal min #dramatic-1 week!”
[Response: It isn’t obvious to me that he even noticed that the map is of temperature, not sea ice. – gavin]
I just read michael mann’s book. OMG hope the threat mails have stopped. Good job.
Now I want to ask about the pliocene, the most recent time that the co2 in the atmosphere was as high or higher compared to today’s levels. Apart from the sea level rise (25 meters!) what else do we know about this period? Do we know for example if the climate of the southern europe was similar to todays North Africa’s?
19 J Bowers
Mr “Sea ice Recovery” Bastardi has it wrong again, looking back at 2011 we see the same melt pattern:
Bastardi wants to show a single storm melting the ice pack more, while Laptev and East Siberian sea wasn’t affected being so far away from the low pressure centre. 2008 to 2011 melts show a similar pattern than 2012 meaning its daily tides, dominant sea current and dominant winds which caused the melts to be shaped this way.
The brief presence of an intense cyclone west of the Arctic Archipelago didn’t do much. The sum total of this storm is not as big, but it was strong because of the open water already present and also melted some ice by mixing because of the warmer sea water present before the storm. Bastardi is a better snake oil salesman!
[Response: Addthis, facebook and sitemeter are installed for social bookmarking and site metering. Neither ‘specificclick’ nor ‘scorecardresearch’ have any software installed on this site (as far as I can tell) and neither appear in the page source or info. What tool are you using to assess these things? – gavin]
Romney and the Republicans making fun of sea level rise just above sea level in Tampa Florida.
Perhaps someday this clip will make Romney the poster boy for this age of global warming denial.
vukcevic — 6 Sep 2012: Natural Oscillations can be relatively easily calculated from interaction of the solar and the Earth’s magnetic fields…
Your reference to NASA/JPL states:
“Our research demonstrates that, for the past 160 years, decadal and longer-period changes in atmospheric temperature correspond to changes in Earth’s length of day if we remove the very significant effect of atmospheric warming attributed to the buildup of greenhouse gases due to mankind’s enterprise…”
Again demonstrating (in their data) that anthropogenic global warming is over and above that of natural variations. If you are (as I believe you have in previous threads) asserting that natural variations are responsible for current climate change, you have contradicted your own point.
sidd – see here, the RC folks may want to read it too, although it’s old news. The addthis box may be a bit more problematic [RC take note], but even the browsers now have it as an add on, and if you don’t use it what effect can it have on your privacy?
Bottom line, stop blaming the dysfunctional nature of the web and the way you use your browser on RC, they’re climate scientists not hackers.
“[Response: It isn’t obvious to me that he even noticed that the map is of temperature, not sea ice. – gavin]”
Possible, but to get two different dated maps you need to move your mouse to the dropdowns at the left, where we find…. ;)
Re: #24 Comment by KR — 6 Sep 2012
What I demonstrated in the graph is de-trended data (not the anomaly, there is a difference) i.e. any long term rise is eliminated, and the calculated interaction between solar and the Earth’s magnetic fields.
The NASA –JPL also says:
So what mechanism is driving these correlations? Dickey said scientists aren’t sure yet, but she offered some hypotheses.
Since scientists know air temperature can’t affect movements of Earth’s core or Earth’s length of day to the extent observed, one possibility is the movements of Earth’s core might disturb Earth’s magnetic shielding of charged-particle (i.e., cosmic ray) fluxes that have been hypothesized to affect the formation of clouds. This could affect how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space and how much is absorbed by our planet. Other possibilities are that some other core process could be having a more indirect effect on climate, or that an external (e.g. solar) process affects the core and climate simultaneously.
You say: …..as I believe you have in previous threads asserting that natural variations are responsible for current climate change
I do not wish to interfere with your beliefs, it is a matter of a personal choice.
‘ironically, America will likely hit its Kyoto targets … by accident.’
US commitment would have been a reduction, by 2012, to 93% of 1990 levels.
Note that the story you link is talking about first-quarter emissions only. In terms of annual figures I can find two sources – 1) an IEA 2011 report (page 46, 2009 US emissions were 107% of 1990 levels); 2) a 2012 EPA report (page 4, 2010 US emissions were 112% or 114% of 1990 levels, depending on whether you look at total CO2 emissions or just those from fossil fuel combustion).
Obviously the proof will be in 2012 annual emissions figures but, based on the information in so far, I can’t see any way the US will get close to its (rejected) target.
Thanks for the response, Dr. Schmidt. I am using some custom code, similar to ‘Ghostery’, but with some additional features and sandboxing. But I see that Ghostery agrees with my results. As Mr. Flxible points out, some of the additional trackers are invoked by sitemeter. Flash is not the culprit, my tests were done with flash (indeed all add-ons) disabled. However, contrary to his assertion, I assign no blame to realclimate. And cookies are not necessary to track viewing patterns.
In any event, this forum is not the place to discuss privacy issues. I merely desired some explanation, which Dr. Schmidt has been gracious enough to provide.
One last point: I have, for my sins, and to my regret been somewhat involved in some very large data agglomeration over more than a decade and a half. I can state that only 5 to 10 clicks are required to uniquely identify 99.9% of the humans behind the browsers. I further regret that I am bound not to divulge any more detail. You may take this as you will, I make this comment for those who care.
I’d like to address a comment by owl905 above:
The news of the month is the plummet in American CO2 emissions. They’re now back to early 1990′s rates. The decline may slow but the trend will continue – ironically, America will likely hit its Kyoto targets … by accident. Natural gas from fracking is in takeoff mode.
With fracking, I wonder if the reduction in CO2 emissions isn’t being offset entirely by increased methane emissions. The movie Gasland (which all of you should see if you haven’t already) made it clear that methane leaks were widespread in fracked fields. There was one impressive scene in the movie where a creek had methane bubbling furiously, enough so that it could be ignited. Another scene taken at night with infrared photography showed warm methane leaking from wells. And numerous times it was demonstrated how there was methane in well water. Most of the time, of course, you can’t see methane – it’s invisible.
Considering that methane is about 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2, the supposed environmental benefit of America’s natural gas boom may be illusory.
I’d be curious to know if anybody is even studying this problem. Figuring out how much methane is leaking may not be possible. I don’t know how one could measure this since it’s happening over such a widesprad area.
I’d be curious to know if anybody is even studying this problem. Figuring out how much methane is leaking may not be possible. I don’t know how one could measure this since it’s happening over such a widespread area.
James Hansen is sometimes accused of overstating his case, but I find him controversial for an entirely different reason: he consistently portrays climate change as an intergenerational injustice. His argument is that climate change violates the civil rights of future generations, including the right to a livable world. To my knowledge no one else with comparable scientific reputation is making this argument so forcefully and publicly. It’s clever and plays well because 1) civil society avows egalitarianism, 2) people are justifiably proud of the significant progress that’s been made towards that goal, and 3) climate change threatens to wipe out that progress in short order (along with much else).
Unfortunately, extending civil rights to future generations isn’t new: pro-lifers have been using this gambit for decades, with considerable success. Hansen hasn’t made any public statements on abortion to my knowledge, nor does it seem likely that he would, whatever his private views are, but his otherwise laudable meme is nonetheless potentially entangled with religious oppression of women. The right of future generations to a livable world needs to be distinguished from the right of women to make their own reproductive choices. I don’t find this difficult, but I suspect many Americans will have trouble getting their heads around it. It’s a PR problem that Hansen may not have considered.
A more serious criticism of Hansen’s intergenerational justice meme is that it doesn’t go far enough. I propose a more strident alternative: war on the future. The idea is that we’ve declared war against future generations, and we’re winning. Victory means no future, for our species and countless others. This may seem absurd, but in my experience paradoxes are very useful in PR, because they expose hidden assumptions. Here the assumption is that climate change is merely an injustice to future generations, when in fact it’s an existential threat, the type of threat that wars are usually fought over. Injustice implies the possibility of compensation, but in the worst-case scenario, future generations won’t even get the opportunity to bitterly resent us, because they won’t exist. War on the future is also totally asymmetric: future generations can’t defend themselves, because they’re not here yet.
WWII and the Manhattan project are commonly used as analogies for the global effort that will be needed to mitigate climate change, and this is part of my inspiration, but “winning the war on the future” is primarily inspired by Jeremy Jackson’s work. Daniel Pauly’s shifting baselines feel mild-mannered compared to Jackson’s incendiary “How we wrecked the ocean” presentation, which he starts by telling the audience that everything he ever studied disappeared during his lifetime. Jackson very effectively communicates devastation and irreversible loss, not only with his emotional intensity and relentless examples, but also by using vivid metaphors such as “silent ocean” and “the rise of slime.” Similarly visceral memes are desperately needed in the struggle to wake people up to the reality and consequences of climate change.
There are many versions of Jackson’s presentation, but my favorite is here: Silent Ocean – Perspectives on Ocean Science
Matt Ridley has done something very naughty to the British environment.
Jeff Masters Blog has a great summary and discussion of the Arctic Sea Ice Loss at http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html It’s definitely worth a look
> Jeremy Jackson
I was with you up to this line, in which you are mistaken:
> vivid metaphors such as “silent ocean” and “the rise of slime.”
Those are not metaphors.
The ocean is not _totally_ silent, and the slime has not _entirely_ risen.
But we’re already far gone along both those courses. That’s reality.
We f’ed up.
I’d be curious in a comparison of which climate indicators have moved faster than predicted (say, in the TAR) and which have moved more slowly:
eg, Arctic sea ice, sea level rise have both seen more rapid change than we might have expected. Global average surface temperature slower (though it can be explained by ENSO + solar variability). etc…
President Obama specifically named Climate Change as a real issue in his acceptance speech tonight. I love the visibility, but I think it’s sad that so many other of our leaders in the U.S. deny that it is real.
Those are not metaphors.
It was originally “memes” but I didn’t want to use the word twice in a row. What I meant was symbols, images, figures of speech. Facts by themselves aren’t always enough to inspire people to action, it also takes passion and skillful use of language. I value Jackson’s fervor and rhetoric just as much as his science. He connects his audience emotionally with the decline of the ocean, by showing how it affects him personally, and Hansen tries to do the same with climate change.
Pinch me! I can’t believe my ears. The President of the United States just said the words “climate change” in front of millions of people! Now there’s a change I can believe in!
And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future.
A rising slime may shift all ships, Mister Roberts, but metaphors tend to slip their moorings in election years.
The gush of pish and tosh in the wake of Katrins recalls how Vermont’s governor promised aid to Whiite River Junction residents :
” Swept away in a terrible conflagration by the floodwaters” of the 1938 hurricane.
I’m thinking that rain falling through a warmer atmosphere, either directly onto the oceans, or via rivers, will be a major driver in transferring heat from sky to sea (or alternatively, if the rain is warmer than in previous decades but still colder than the sea, still in absolute terms causing less local cooling of the sea) anyone know of information on this?
Gavin, is there a reason why your site does not link external links to new tabs. It’s slightly annoying to have to go back or alternatively to force the new tab explicitly.
[Response: I’ve implemented this. If anyone complains strongly, I’ll revert it, but for the timebeing, you should be happy. – gavin]
Up until now, the issue had taken a back seat in the election. The following give a little perspective on the reasons.
According to a recent poll, 44% of the voters thought it was not an important issue. Compare that to other issues, and one can see why the candidates have trod carefully around this.
The conventions did serve to highlight the issue. How this plays out in the campaign will be interesting. With the sluggish economy, people are reluctant to spend on programs that do improve their pocketbooks.
In all modern browesers click with the middle mouse button and the link will apear in a new tab ;)
Hope this is wrong.
Soon and Briggs in WaPo say BEST project confirms sun driving temperature increase. The graph’s data is highlighted in comments as being wrong, citing Laut & Gundermann(2000) and Laut(2003).
Willie Soon again.
Will he soon change his mind?
Solar distracts thought.
Cherry pick some more.
Confuse issues and ones self.
Missing truth what for?
@45There is a rather large difference between the WaPo and the WaTimes. One is reasonably centrist, the other is run by the Moonies.
That should be all you need to know about the “science”.
Candide per comment 31
The EPA is studying methane from fracking, perhaps a little late to the game.
Open path detectors are useful for wide area monitoring:
Re- Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 7 Sep 2012 @ 10:02 AM:
Good haiku (I live near Ukiah).
> J Bowers says:
> Soon and Briggs in WaPo
That’s not from the Washington Post — check where the link actually goes.
I’m sure it’s a typo. But as Mr. Reagan said, “trust, but verify.”
—– VERIFY —-
Always check the actual link hidden behind abbreviated or short links.
They make for nice tidy readable pages and enable malware to be hidden on them.
Firefox, Opera allow crooks to hide an entire phish site in a link
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