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Unforced variations: Sep 2012

Filed under: — group @ 5 September 2012

Open thread – a little late because of the holiday. But everyone can get back to work now!

591 Responses to “Unforced variations: Sep 2012”

  1. 351
    Jim Larsen says:

    On operating costs:

    You’ll save money on operating costs with an EV, ‘more than all of it’? consisting of road (and other) tax avoidance, the over-supply of both coal and CH4, and the perennial small shortage of oil, as maintained by Saudi Arabia.

  2. 352
    Jim Larsen says:

    348 wayne D said, ” Also encouraged by the Japan and Germany deadlines to end n______”

    From a climactic standpoint, shutting down a low carbon investment before proper retirement is a bad thing. Building a new low carbon energy widget is a different matter.

  3. 353
    Jim Larsen says:

    335 Ray L said, “If you think a catastrophic collapse of human population would benefit any lifeform more complicated than a bacterium, you are delusional.”

    Beautiful, and it frustrates me that the only reason I saw your post is because it was subsequently referenced.

    MODERATORS: I assume that the problem is that posts get flagged by your software and require human intervention. Assuming the sort is Received Time, could you change it to Accepted Time? Or even just change Received Time when manual intervention is required.

    347 Chris K said, “Why not simply read their paper? I don’t have access to it”

    Don’t know if this applies, but If one is having a dispute for which the critical piece of evidence isn’t known by the disputer, then I’d say the disputer is blowing smoke.

    349 Chris K,

    The World Without Us says nothing about the events which would result from an involuntary human population collapse. It pretty much assumes that everything else would do just fine. Ray is 100000000000% correct, and TWWU omitted that key fact.

  4. 354
    Jim Larsen says:

    Chris K,

    For a grand example of a human population collapse, study Leningrad in WW2, where rats and humans competed to have the last remaining biomass. Both survived on the other.

  5. 355
    Edward Greisch says:

    348 wayne davidson: I get from
    that Germans are paying 26.3 euro cents/kWh and Danes are paying 30.5 euro cents/kWh. I am paying 7 and a half US cents per KWh. 1 Euro = 1.33385 US dollar. Germans are paying 35 US cents per KWh. Danes are paying 40.68 US cents per KWh Why? Because they are buying a lot of “renewable” energy. In Germany, renewables were 16.8% of production. What is the price going to be when they get to 100% renewables?
    “the useful service lives of wind turbines is about 20 years and of solar panels about 25 years versus 40 to 60 years for existing energy production units.” Existing energy production units are nuclear and coal.


    The Germans are paying $1.71 per kilowatt hour for renewable energy, assuming that nuclear + coal costs the same as what I am paying and ignoring the life expectancy of the machines. So double or triple the cost per kilowatt hour for renewable energy to $3.42 or $5.13. !?

    I would like to see your or anybody else’s analysis of how much renewable energy costs in Germany and Denmark. I hope you were being sarcastic. Moderator, do you have any hints on this problem?

  6. 356
    Jim Larsen says:

    And I have to re-visit this.

    The out-of-ordering of comments has caused me to have lengthy arguments with people I consider friends (because one of us simply never saw the other’s comment), and has also hurt my understanding of the science. If anybody who actually reads this comment knows any of the mods, would you please push for a fix? Inserting a comment backwards in the list has too many bad ramifications. When submitted is not terribly important as compared to available to be read. Thanks.

  7. 357
    Jim Larsen says:

    And to help future communcations, though Ray L is 100000000% correct about his collapse ramifications, he’s technically wrong, as many species we can’t eat, exploit, or out-compete will thrive. Rats and flies…

    So accept the truth Ray L speaks, or thrash him for being technically incorrect.

  8. 358
    dbostrom says:

    Jim on wind: Pies include all stakeholders. My guess is that the taxpayers’ slice gets smaller.

    Can somebody please explain how money is vanished from the economy when it’s collected and spent through the government?

    We don’t complain that money goes poof when we pay our mandatory licensing fee by purchasing a cup full of soda sporting an NFL logo we didn’t want and which does nothing beneficial for the product we intended to purchase, but bring government into the picture and–suddenly– money is believed to magically disappear, never to be seen again.

    How’s that work? Civil servants don’t eat, have no corporeal existence? Dollars are taken out of circulation?

    We include the scent nobody ever asked for that goes on lavatory tissue as part of GDP, but revenue paid by taxpayers for the purpose building durable and beneficial infrastructure simply disappears? The workers who build things for government are not paid, apparently. Slave labor in the United State in the 21st century. Who knew?

  9. 359
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Chris Korda,
    Allow me to educate you. An ad hominem attack has the form: “Chris Korda is an ass, so you should not listen to him.”

    What I have said is a simple insult. Hint: Using Latin to make yourself look intelligent works better if you actually understand what the Latin says.

  10. 360
    MARodger says:

    Jim Larsen @350.

    I do not know if you really wish me to answer to the question you pose or whether you pose it rhetorically for some reason that I cannot yet fathom.

    There is no “proper’ formula. How many gallons of CH4 equal one gallon of gas?” Assuming you talk of LNG & gasoline, the answer is 2.

  11. 361
    Superman1 says:

    Chris Korda #349,

    “you are delusional … get off your privileged ass

    Your ad hominem attacks are bizarre and outrageous. I find it fascinating that RC tolerates such incivility. If this is indicative of how scientists normally communicate, no wonder they don’t want their emails leaked. You obviously don’t know the first thing about me.”

    I agree with your comment about Ladbury’s ad hominem attacks. I find that when people have to resort to the use of invective, explitives, and hyperbole, it is a tacit admission of defeat.

  12. 362
    Superman1 says:

    Steve Fish #343,

    “It just keeps getting worse. First you identify the climate scientists as liars and now, by the same logic, you have outed that lying Lennart Hardell. Well, there is a little difference. There is no known physical mechanism by which the 60 cycle from your refrigerator, or 2 watts of radiation from your mobile phone, can affect living tissue adversely. Epidemiology is correlation without causation. So you should be saying that Hardell is lying about the cause while completely ignoring the several other obvious potential causes for the small correlation that has been detected by the scientific community. In contrast, climate scientists have a well established physical cause, can demonstrate a large effect, and have a whole UN agency to help them collate the science in a convenient form for us and the policy makers. Lying by omission?”

    The way you continually distort my postings, and the message you clumsily try to present, makes me believe your full-time job is for one of these infamous three-letter Agencies near the DC Beltway. Hardell is the modern Diogenes; he is not alone in showing the devastating potential and actual effects of electromagnetic non-ionizing radiation. There is a large amount of laboratory and clinical evidence supporting EMF damage, but the discipline has its own ‘deniers’ like WUWT, Goddard, and, it appears, yourself.

    There’s nothing new here. The book Merchants of Doubt shows this deliberate sowing of confusion among many fields, including climate change; the same phony arguments you present to deny EMF effects were used decades ago to ‘show’ how smoking was harmless. Don’t you guys ever get tired of spinning the truth?

  13. 363
    Rob Dekker says:

    Chris Korda,

    Why not simply read their paper? I don’t have access to it, but maybe you do.

    It’s only $18 to purchase the paper. Should not break the bank.

    Even though you did not read the paper, you quote Anderson and Bows :

    science is important amongst these and needs to be communicated clearly, honestly and without fear

    so, could you maybe identify which scientists in your opinion have best communicated clearly, honestly and without fear their scientific findings to the public ?

  14. 364
    GlenF says:

    I see NSIDC have updated, with this year’s startling record minimum sea ice extent just days away, and with this odd snippet:

    The situation in the Northwest Passage this year also contrasts with 2007. Both the narrow and shallow southern route used by the late polar explorer Roald Amundsen and the wide and deep northern route through the Parry Channel opened in 2007. This year only the southern route has opened. According to Stephen Howell of the Canadian Ice Service, rapid ice loss occurred in the Parry Channel in July. However, due in part to the August storm, a subsequent influx of multiyear ice from the north has kept at least some of the channel blocked.

    Sign of the times that we appear to have redefined “open”, given that the Parry Channel looks to have been navigable for weeks. (And I guess that “the (very) late … Roald Amundsen” could just be meant to refer to his era of exploration?)

  15. 365
    Superman1 says:

    Jim Larsen #338,

    “You and Superman1 might have some similarities. No choice but to reduce as fast as possible VS no choice but to watch ourselves die…”

    The reality may not be A vs B; the reality may be A and B, if all we’re doing is reducing emissions.

    I really like the analogy between the three-pack a day chain smoker who gets diagnosed with Stage3-Stage 4 lung cancer, and our present climate change predicament. If he cuts his smoking in half, that may delay the end very slightly. But, even if he stops smoking, and stays with conventional therapy, that may make little difference in the outcome. In my view, barring a ‘miracle’, his only chance, and it is a slim chance, is to try some radical therapy like Gerson Therapy, where one gets at the root of the disease and tries to eliminate it as deeply as possible.

    I have posted (on this site) excerpts from myriad journal papers that try to estimate future temperature increases from different emission scenarios, including zero emission. Even without feedbacks, which we observe happening and increasing today, they are estimating total temperature increases on the order of 2 C to 3 C if we terminate CO2 emissions today. I see no evidence that increases of this magnitude can be stabilized, and if we add in feedbacks, the chances of stability are even lessened. Predicting decreasing temperatures forty or fifty years after CO2 emissions have ceased may not be relevant; once the match is struck and burn has commenced (autopilot feedback has been triggered), stopping further striking has no effect.

    So, I don’t consider my views on the grim reality of what may happen as the ‘extreme’; it is only ‘extreme’ if the Pablum we are being fed by much of the community is considered the ‘norm’. I view the harsh reality (from today’s vantage point) as the ‘norm’, and the Pablum we are being fed as the ‘extreme’.

    Now, I don’t disagree with your thesis of cutting back on emissions wherever we can. The projection models are by no means perfect, and if there is a window, certainly reduced emissions will help achieve it. And, who knows, a credible technical fix could emerge to prevent some level of runaway temperatures, and maybe even revert to where we were thirty years ago. But, recognize that even significant CO2 emission reductions are still cutting down the numbers of cigarettes; they are not placing the lung cancer in remission.

  16. 366
    Superman1 says:

    DHogoza #332,

    “Given that government doesn’t universally reject climate science, and given that government funding only accounts for about 15% of their budget, your claim doesn’t hold water.”

    You have little understanding of organizations that get funding from the government. I’ve dealt with organizations that get far less from the government than 15%, and they will go to great lengths to preserve that funding, for myriad reasons. I suspect that government response plays a large role in PBS’ programming decisions.

    That does not preclude their being influenced by other sponsors. Obviously, Koch et al want to see a certain message conveyed, and that will contribute to PBS’ decision-making.

    But, maybe it’s time you faced reality. The fossil companies don’t want the message conveyed that their product is harming the environment, and to the degree they and their allies contribute to PBS, that viewpoint will result. The fossil fuel energy workers want to keep their present jobs, as we saw in the near-riot that almost resulted from the brief offshore drilling moratorium following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and PBS will respond to that constituency. The politicians on both sides of the aisle don’t want the seriousness of the problem known for myriad reasons, and since they control some of the PBS budget, their viewpoint will be accommodated. And, the average viewers of PBS, you and me, don’t want to be told that we can’t have our large one-driver SUVs, that we can’t travel wherever and whenever we want, that we can’t have our large McMansions, that we can’t have all our products that require intensive energy use to process, and PBS recognizes that unfortunate reality as well. So, PBS is merely responding to the demands of their sponsors and their audience, and until those demands can be altered, especially those of the consumers, nothing will change.

  17. 367
    Superman1 says:

    [edit OT]

  18. 368

    re: How can the truth be oversold?

    In the recent past, Pakistan lost 2 years of its agricultural production to flood. Pakistan, as you all know, has nuclear weapns. And an active Islamist political movement. The Arab Spring revolts originated in uprisings over food prices.

    These facts are not disconnected.

    Now, we went to war over the (false) assertion that Iraq had WMDs. We lost thousands of our own citizans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis over the scantest POSSIBILITY that anti-Americans would get nukes. But we (by that I mean our leaders) just blankly accept that nothing needs be done to mitigate global warming which would help reduce the amount of political unrest in a volatile region. In fact, Romney recently ridiculed the idea of AGW.

    You can’t make this stuff up. The cynicism of the denialist crowd suggests that misanthropy is a sentimental affectation. But I don’t want that kind of outcome. So, yes, sell AGW. Sell it loudly. Persistently. Constantly, if needs be.

  19. 369
    SecularAnimist says:

    What I’m getting from Superman1 is:

    1. “Government scientists” are lying about global warming.

    2. It’s too late to do anything about it, so why bother.

    Which sounds to me like just what the fossil fuel corporations would come up with at this point in the public discourse:

    Don’t trust the scientists.
    Don’t do anything about the problem.

  20. 370
    SecularAnimist says:

    Superman1 wrote: “I agree with your comment about Ladbury’s ad hominem attacks”

    Oh, look, another commenter who has no idea what “ad hominem” means.

  21. 371

    #352 Jim Larsen, Shutting down plants which produce Plutonium Ingredient for nuclear bombs and also horrendous devastating fallout from catastrophes havin devastated parts of beautiful Ukraine and Japan is not a bad thing!!!!!. It is absolutely wonderful news! Engineers think it a death blow for their jobs, harghhhh they need to think in 3 D looking at dollar signs in the sky fly by at every moment the wind blows.

  22. 372
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Superman1: “I find that when people have to resort to the use of invective, explitives, and hyperbole, it is a tacit admission of defeat.”

    On the contrary, it is merely all your pathetic arguments and pretensions are worth. [edit]

  23. 373
    Superman1 says:

    [edit: enough]

  24. 374
    Jim Larsen says:

    363 Rob D said, “It’s only $18 to purchase the paper. Should not break the bank.”

    Say there’s two papers I might enjoy perusing a day…

    371 Wayne D, my sentence began ‘From a climactic standpoint’. Tell me how plutonium affects climate.

    Superman1, I respect the heck out of SecularA. I’d read a long post of his and learn something every time. I almost didn’t make the comment because even the hint that you two share the smallest of similarities is an incredible insult to SecularA.

  25. 375
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Chris Korda — 18 Sep 2012 @ 10:08 PM ~#347:

    So, instead of just a link you have cut and pasted a long description of a paper that doesn’t sound very complementary to climate scientists, on a site run by climate scientists, and you haven’t read the paper. Further, you want me to buy it and tell you what you have pasted. Sheesh!


  26. 376
    Jim Larsen says:

    David B said, “My prefer is to actually go enough below the preferred level to regrow ice sheets and glaciers to the extent practicable… …around 270 ppm”

    I think we had a slight miscommunication. I thought the group was talking about what we have to do. You’re talking optimal.

  27. 377
    Jim Larsen says:

    Wayne D, your comments are of a banned nature and they translate to:

    “Climate change is less of a concern to me than risk to small numbers of people (when compared to billions)”

  28. 378

    #374 Jim Easy one, If you cant live in a radioactive climate why bother having one in the first place.

    #335 Edward

    “”the useful service lives of wind turbines is about 20 years and of solar panels about 25 years versus 40 to 60 years for existing energy production units.” Existing energy production units are nuclear and coal.


    The Germans are paying $1.71 per kilowatt hour for renewable energy, assuming that nuclear + coal costs the same as what I am paying and ignoring the life expectancy of the machines. So double or triple the cost per ki”

    Well another easy one, they build the turbines, old generation though ( there are better designs in the pipeline), and for the new ones they will build again, jobs jobs jobs, great engineering technical jobs, making the economy strong. Even if $1.71 KWHr seems a bit high the money is spent internally, reinforcing the economy to the better. From the stand point of another Fukushima or Thchernobyl international disasters, Nuclear have huge environmental costs, having spread fallout all over the world.
    A wind turbine does not do the same thing when it fails. And the challenge for science is to make them better cleaner for the longest times to come, need I say more? About good interesting challenging jobs.
    Congratulations to the people of Japan and Germany! We will eventually catch up with you.

  29. 379
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Superman1 — 19 Sep 2012 @ 5:48 AM ~#363:

    Correlation is not causation. If there is no direct link between a scientist’s favorite cause and an effect, then they had best get busy and search out the link. If you think that there is a known physical mechanism that explains how non-ionizing radiation can cause disease in living tissue, I would be glad to hear about it. Otherwise the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a choice, although there are better candidates that could be more easily tested.

    When looking at a complicated scientific area it is best to look at the whole field and find a consensus if there is one. It seems to me that what you have been doing with respect to climate science and non-ionizing radiation research, and other topics, is to form a strong opinion about the topic, cherry pick the evidence that you agree with, and then demonize (e.g. calling liar) those that you don’t agree with. The number of nefarious groups you have identified keeps growing. This looks like conspiracy theory to me.

    With regard to your views specifically about climate science and scientists, I challenge you to elucidate a couple of climate topics on which you have demonstrable evidence of lying or any kind of malfeasance on the part of climate scientists as a group. Remember, that your unsupported opinion carries no weight (You may recall Dirty Harry’s pithy expression of this notion). Also, please provide citations to research findings.


  30. 380
    Charles says:

    The truth is not being oversold – that is impossible. However, there have been those who portrayed future events as happening much sooner than forecast, giving the impression of imminent danger (or protraying the events without a timeline). The thought was that people would act too slowly, if they felt that the consequences were too far in the future to affect them. As scientists, we were split over this action, as it appeared less than honest. The approach appeared to work, as support for government action increased significantly.

    However, as with all questionable tactics, the chickens came home to roost. There were some who made proclamations that were easily refuted in short time; Dan posted a short list earlier (along with some appropriate quotes). When people realized what was occurring, they rebelled. Now, support is less than it was before this occurred. Any attempt to return to such a tactic would likely be met with similar results. We scientists have worked too hard on this to allow support to dwindle because of the overzealous.

    [Response: Pick any subject you like and you can find people who say dumb things at the extremes. Your argument can be made for any of them regardless of the merit of the point that the mainstream is making. People on the fringes who want attention will always exist. All that one can do is make sure that when people hear the loudest voices, they are reminded of the where and how the serious statements are made. It is also very easy to quote sensible people’s words shorn of caveats and complications and make it seem that they are being extreme and people that focus on those examples instead of paying attention to the National Academies or the IPCC reports are choosing to be distracted. While I and others can point to sources of better information and help give context, we can’t force everyone to only talk about what I find substantive. – gavin]

  31. 381
    Killian says:

    How is this even possible? record high sea temps “all the way to the bottom?”

    I have felt for a long time that climate sensitivity is much higher than most think. The melt in the Arctic, not just a little affected by sea temps, made that clear, particularly in the most recent years when meteorological conditions weren’t as conducive to melt as 2007 yet the thinning went o9n setting records virtually every year for volume.

    I see these “anomalous” temps as a harbinger of the new normal. Somehow, somewhere along the line, we are underestimating the amount of energy being kept on this planet. I will not be at all surprised when studies start indicating this.

    Boy, are we in trouble.

    Simplification, simplification, simplification.

  32. 382
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Charles: “…there have been those who portrayed future events as happening much sooner than forecast…”

    “The thought was that…”

    “There were some who…”

    Really, could you possibly have been more vague? How can you expect us to take responsibility for the actions (unspecified) of people (unnamed) motivated by (who knows what)

    Charles, abandon the passive voice. It is not your friend. Give names, examples. Be concrete. Otherwise you simply come across as a concern troll.

  33. 383
    SecularAnimist says:

    Charles wrote: “there have been those who portrayed future events as happening much sooner than forecast … Now, support is less than it was before this occurred”

    And of course, current events demonstrate that they were correct.

    Which is why, contrary to your unsupported assertions, public support for action to address global warming is stronger than ever.

    Charles wrote: “We scientists have worked too hard”

    Are you a scientist? Because, with all due respect, you sound more like a global warming denier posting scripted talking points.

  34. 384
    Doug Meyer says:

    from the 2010 National Academy of Sciences report, “Advancing the Science of Climate Change”:

    “Finally, aerosol emissions represent an important dilemma facing policy makers trying to limit the magnitude of future climate change. If aerosol emissions are reduced for health reasons, or as a result of actions taken to reduce GHG emissions, the net negative climate forcing associated with aerosols would decline much more rapidly than the positive forcing associated with GHGs due to the much shorter atmospheric lifetime of aerosols, and this could potentially lead to a rapid acceleration of global warming (see, e.g., Arneth et al., 2009). Understanding the many and diverse effects of aerosols is also important for helping policymakers evaluate proposals to artificially increase the amount of aerosols in the stratosphere in an attempt to offset global warming (see Chapter 15).”

  35. 385
    sidd says:

    Mr. Charles wrote, on the 19th of September, at 3:09 PM, complaining of dire predictions made that had not yet come to pass. How then shall we evaluate dire predictions that have come to pass, and indeed very much sooner than expected, or those that are worse than predicted. For the first, the much quicker decline of arctic sea ice than thought possible. For the second, underprediction of intensification of hydrological cycles. For a combination, the phenological and other biological evidence of the stampede poleward and upward of living things.


  36. 386
    David B. Benson says:

    Jim Larsen @322 — Somewhere above about 285 ppm arctic melt will continue. To restore the climatic conditions for industrialized agriculture requires returning to the best conditions prevailing in the past 150 years or so.

    One has to have a goal in order to discuss what we have to do.

  37. 387
    Hank Roberts says:

    > there have been those who portrayed future events ….
    > As scientists, we were split over this action,
    > as it appeared less than honest …..


    “Charles” — you say you are a scientist?
    In what field?
    Where did you, or someone you know, make false claims?

    It’s important to find an actual instance of this, as it’s so often alleged by people who think someone did it somewhere — Google finds the usual “masterresource’ and “C3” and “SPPI” stuff, but you wouldn’t be relying on that as evidence.

  38. 388
    SecularAnimist says:

    David B. Benson wrote: “One has to have a goal in order to discuss what we have to do.”

    I really don’t get these sorts of discussions.

    Global average CO2 levels for 2011 were over 390 ppm and were measured at 400 ppm over the Arctic in May 2012 according to NOAA, and the global average is expected to reach 400 ppm around 2016.

    Meanwhile, global CO2 emissions reached their highest levels ever recorded in 2011, increasing more than 3 percent over 2010.

    Under these circumstances, debating the CO2 levels that we would ultimately need to manipulate up and down to control the Earth’s climate and prevent ice ages seems pointless and absurd.

    We know “what we have to do”. We have to stop the growth of CO2 emissions immediately and then begin to reduce emissions just as rapidly as we possibly can, to reach zero emissions as soon as possible. That means phasing out all fossil fuels as fast as possible, and ending deforestation and other destructive “land use changes”.

    And while we are doing that we also need to be engaging in a massive global reforestation effort and converting to organic agriculture to draw down and sequester the already dangerous anthropogenic excess of CO2 in soils and biomass.

  39. 389
    Doug Meyer says:

    The point of my comment at 384 is to raise the issue of lying by omission. If emissions reductions and (extremely dangerous) geoengineering are BOTH required, then say so, all the time. (Or is it felt that overall climate forcing does not need to be reduced this century?)

  40. 390
    David B. Benson says:

    The Quaternary started with a bang:
    but did the bolide impact cause the Quarternary?

    [The reCAPTCHA oracle states Dumble Rock which I leave to your imagination as to the interpretation.]

  41. 391
    AJ says:

    I came back to look for an answer to my question (what is the mass balance of Arctic sea ice melting and Antarctic sea ice increasing), but it was apparently deemed unworthy of discussion. I would think this question is relevant to the site, and it certainly rises above the average level of discourse on this particular page of the thread.

  42. 392
    Charles says:

    I am surprised by how people can so readily deny that which is contrary to their own opinion. Secular said, “public support for action to address global warming is stronger than ever,” yet a recent poll shows just the opposite.

    Indeed, the issue ranked near the bottom of a current poll of American election issues:

    How about this fringe statement of 25m sea level rise by the end of the century?

    [Response: Now that’s just what I was talking about. You haven’t even read, or possibly not understood, what is being discussed. Instead you have invented a claim that you consider alarmist and with no further ado proceeded to assume that this was in fact the claim made. There is no defence for the writer against the blatant misrepresentation of their words. And you appear to be so un-self conscious of the fact that you are making things up that you actually give the link – presumably confident that anyone curious enough to click through will similarly see only the fantasy you wish for them. Sorry to disappoint, but this completely pedestrian misrepresentation is neither novel nor interesting. – gavin]

    Often accompanied by an image of this sort.

    How about this famous speech about global warming leading to increased hurricane activity?

    Yet, this has not materialized.

    [Response: Not what was said. Again. – gavin]

    I am sure that everyone is familiar with Maslowski’s ice-free Arctic by 2013. Even with this summer’s record low, few people see this occurring within a year, let alone this decade. It could happen thereaftet, if the trend continues.

    [Response: Maslowski (and now Wadhams) are indeed on the fringe on this. Their predictions have not been endorsed by IPCC, National Academies, Royal Societies or acted on by policy makers. I consider their statements on ice free summers as little more than speculation. Yet you think these statements by are somehow equivalent? Again, you are guilty of willful conflation for the sake of rhetoric. Boring. – gavin]

    How about this dire prepdiction?

    Interestingly, when someone predicts a lower rise, they are attacked viciously on this site, but when they predict a similar higher rise, they are praised. Yet, both predictions are just as extreme.

    [Response: Nonsense. – gavin]

    Yes Gavin, fringes will always exists. However, I am not referring to those. Fringe groups exist in just about every aspect, but influence very few people. Why do so many people here think that a few fringe groups can influence the majority of the people? Also, why do so many try to counter some obviously lowball predictions, with comparable highend predictions? If we just stick with the current data, the masses might just come onboard.

    By the way Hank, I am an environmental chemist. My specialty is in oil-related events, and have more than a passing interest in climate change.

  43. 393
    Susan Anderson says:

    Charles @~380, that is an anti-masterpiece, nauseatingly full of innuendo and remarkably short (possibly absent) of facts or clarity.

    Lack of knowledge is not a sin, but pretending to know what you don’t is wrong. In a world rapidly reacting to the most invasive species ever, your negativity no longer gets a pass as idle discussion. It is misdirection.

    In addition, your English is poor.

    Please make clear statements and back them up. Everyone else should not feed him.

  44. 394
    David B. Benson says:

    SecularAnimist @388 — I agree. Clearly there is plenty of time to settle on just how low CO2 concentrations need to go. The first goal is to stop increasing and the second is to start decreasing.

  45. 395
    Didactylos says:

    AJ: The term mass balance doesn’t have a great deal of meaning when applied to sea ice. Mass balance is the difference between ice accumulation and ice loss, and sea ice, being seasonal, flips between the two twice every year, freezing then melting.

    I suppose what you are actually asking is what is the difference between sea ice volume at either pole. This is complicated by the fact that the seasons are out of phase at either pole, and the comparison will be different depending which season you choose.

    Now you have to ask what data is available, and what data is interesting. Antarctic sea ice diminishes almost to zero every year – just a small fringe around ice shelves and icebergs (often from disintegrating ice shelves). The winter Antarctic sea ice is also uninteresting, since it is thin first year ice that won’t survive until the next year. The Arctic is a different story, however, since we have good estimates of ice volume, and a trend that is both substantial and highly statistically significant.

    And this is why Antarctica is ignored in most discussions of sea ice, since the summer ice and the trends are so negligible, and the physical processes causing the trends are so different.

    If you want to make the comparison anyway, you will have to find a reliable estimate of Antarctic sea ice volume at the summer minimum.

  46. 396
    Didactylos says:

    Charles seems to be confused by the difference between claims of what may happen, and what will happen.

    And let’s not forget that Maslowski’s forecasts have been far, far closer than nearly every other scientist modelling the Arctic. Are we going to quibble if he is off by a few years in one direction rather than the other, when other scientists are going to miss the mark by many decades? Let’s not forget, too, that there remains a realistic probability that the Arctic will indeed be substantially ice free next year.

  47. 397
    Patrick 027 says:

    Re 358 dbostrom – yes! There have been some bridges to nowhere, but some of what is considered waste as such isn’t that at all. Still, there is the question of what gives the most return. It’s very logical to suppose that free markets – or at least markets – are more likely to achieve greater efficiency (absent unregulated/untaxed externalities and some other issues), however, humans aren’t completely rational and at least some irrationality can be predictable, and see Hank Roberts @ 14 (and my response @ 59 too).

    Re 361 – Superman1 – “I agree with your comment about Ladbury’s ad hominem attacks. I find that when people have to resort to the use of invective, explitives, and hyperbole, it is a tacit admission of defeat.

    It can be that. It can also be out of frustration from a victory that the other side refuses to acknowledge. (That’s not so much directed at you as it is to … wel, remember when Buzz Aldrin punched that guy? The point is, when we know we’re right the others are clearly wrong, you might say that about their ad homs, but the ad homs themselves are not the best evidence upon which to base victory).

    and re your 366 – how many climate deniers watch PBS all that much? Anyway… okay, I’m not going to say the government hasn’t been corrupted to some extent. See Jason Jone’s recent expose on waste in intelligence in particular (Daily Show) (But in that case, it doesn’t matter what the employees do, just that it continues to take as many of them as possible to do it (?) – that is, if things are as the seem, (?)). (But see also Hank Roberts @ 14 ). (Some of the waste that gets popularized isn’t actually waste, or at least it’s not wasteful like a bridge-to-nowhere. Those shrimp running on a treadmill had a purpose. Seriously! Unfortunately I can’t find the website that explained it.) True that there has been Lysenkoism and Mao-style farming, but in this country, James Hansen has still managed to get his word out, even when it seems a bit beyond likely (Could Venusian conditions be readily achievable in the near geologic future – ask Chris Colose). And climate models do what they do; they aren’t tuned to underestimate sensitivity – they aren’t tuned to fit a trend (see RC’s FAQ on climate modelling parts 1 and 2) – they don’t included everything and it’s my understanding that the way feedback could potentially vary with climate leads to the long tail in probability, although I’ve read recently that the confidence interval has been narrowed by combining results from different methods (paleoclimate, historical, models, etc.)… There’s distinctions between the work the scientists are producing and how it is communicated with the public and what the media focuses on, etc, etc.

    Re Chris Korda – you spent so much time arguing with Secular Animist in August on that point (whether or not humans should try to stick around and make it work) and now you give the impression that you’ve gone farther than Secular Animist ever actually meant to (see his clarifying remark). I’m confused.

    Re Edward Greisch – first, to be very clear, I’m not stating this to be anti-(you-know-what) and while I don’t know about some of the technological particulars that wayne davidson’s talking about (risks), I would argue against his perspective on high prices (I prefer ‘efficient stimulus’). But at least on solar panels, I really do think you are underselling their lifespans. The cuttoff is when output no longer justifies the costs of BOS (equipment and land/roof space) – when it is more economical to replace it, which isn’t necessarily at the performance threshold given on the warranties. An individual may want to insure his/her property, but for the fleet, it is the average panel’s survival and performance that matters. (Also, CO2eq/kWhe not that high (and will decrease as clean energy takes over; note EROEIs) – over a year ago you were using old numbers, see my links in unforced August – (you asked a question on another thread sometime in the last few weeks) (and to be very clear, I’m not endorsing all of the numbers in the links I provided, meaning that some of the emissions stated for n____ are not of the lifecycle that many would think… (I actually agree with **some** of the criticisms I’ve read at BNC of the Jacobson-Delucchi work)… I obviously can’t go farther into the details of what I’m thinking about here because I want the moderators to like me; the point is – look at the numbers for solar and wind).)

  48. 398
    Patrick 027 says:

    re 366 – I meant to include this
    Science is so powerful that it drags us kicking and screaming towards the truth despite our best efforts to avoid it.

  49. 399
    Steve Bloom says:

    Maslowski’s projection is for 2016 +/- 3 years, i.e. anywhere from 2013 to 2019. Note how Charles turns this into “by 2013.” I expect he takes the same care with his environmental chemistry work.

    [Response: Maslowski has been quite loose about this prediction over the years, though your formulation is the most recent. For instance, here or in the original NYT piece. As was discussed in the PIOMAS post, no justification for these extrapolations has been given, and I consider predictions based on them to be hugely over-confident. – gavin]

  50. 400
    Brian Dodge says:

    @AJ re relative mass balance of sea ice melting in the Arctic and around Antarctica

    Most of the sea ice around Antarctica melts out and reforms every year. See min bout 3 million, max around 18-19 million. It only reaches 1.5-2 meters thick at max, and the positive trend is small compared to the total – There is no trend at minimum in Antarctica, but the negative trend of the Arctic minimum is large, and this is the ice that used to be permanent – see

    Even if the lost ice in the Arctic had been the same thickness as in the Antarctic, the losses would be greater, since the area is greater; and in fact the ice that has gone missing in the Arctic used to be much thicker. The global net mass balance of lost ice is much greater than the global decline in area –