RealClimate logo


Unforced Variations: March 2013

Filed under: — group @ 4 March 2013

A new open thread – hopefully for some new climate science topics…


350 Responses to “Unforced Variations: March 2013”

  1. 301
    Killian says:

    Where’s the heat? In the oceans, of course. Always nice to see the obvious confirmed by the science.

    http://skepticalscience.com/new-research-confirms-global-warming-has-accelerated.html

  2. 302
    Killian says:

    Now we have confirmation of the obvious as ocean heat content rise is confirmed in the deep ocean. It even shows a rather obvious increase in rate of change.

    http://skepticalscience.com/new-research-confirms-global-warming-has-accelerated.html

  3. 303
    John Mashey says:

    Re; #286 sidd, #299, bill
    Sidd: try this graph of Law Dome CO2.
    The red segment is the unusual fast drop of CO2, as per population collapse.

    Bill: is Figure 2 from the 2011 paper from The Holocene online anywhere not behind a paywall? (I.e., the CH4/CO2 insolation-aligned one?) That one Figure would do a lot to help people understand the comments in #299, including the 240-245ppm estimate.

  4. 304

    The entire GISS web site appears to have gone down, with responses like this:

    Forbidden
    You don’t have permission to access /
    on this server.

  5. 305
  6. 306
  7. 307
    David B. Benson says:

    Greenland’s Glaciers Loom Larger as Source of Sea Level Rise
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=greenlands-glaciers-loom-larger-as-source-of-sea-level-rise
    Glaciers and ice caps not (strongly) associated with the main ice sheet.

  8. 308
    Hank Roberts says:

    Mount the backup … oh, wait ….

  9. 309
    Killian says:

    Sorry about the double post; it’s a pop-up issue. Sometimes works weird for me.

  10. 310
    Peter Shepherd says:

    If each joule of fossil carbon burned today traps 100,000 in the future, what fraction of the total forcing over 350,000 years (the duration of the long tail) does the first 100 years’ worth trap?

  11. 311
    perwis says:

    The latest Economist have a very long and very strange article on climate sensitivity:

    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/a_sensitive_matter

    A debunking of some of the misrepresentations and misunderstandings in that article would be good, I think.

  12. 312
    Jim Larsen says:

    311 perwis mentioned The Economist…

    They’re pretty good with their words. Let’s dig in…

    They lead off with a comparison that doesn’t matter to the Big Picture – 1998 SAT compared to 2013 SAT – and link it to a fact (CO2 is rising) that doesn’t explain the comparison. It’s a great way to instil the reader with the false sense of legitimate comparison while not explicitly saying it. Since the REAL answer is well-known (read Foster and Ramstorf 2011), their usage of supposed ignorance is in fact a lie.

    Next, they take another fact, that if one ignores the weather and solar and volcanic activities of the last 15 year, one would estimate that temperatures would be a tad higher today. They then make an IMPOSSIBLE extrapolation. If this flat period (which has been explained) were to continue (which wouldn’t happen even if the conditions which caused this flat period were to continue), then that impossibility would make scientists question their theories. Yep, and if unicorns suddenly filled the woods and pigs started flying, genetic science would be in an uproar. Big Whup.

    Then they delve into Climate Sensitivity, conveniently labelling the section “the insensitive planet”. The title says nothing explicitly wrong – (actually nothing at all), but it sure is leading, eh? They note that mainstream science says 2-4.5C per doubling, and mention that leaked (i.e. EVIL) info goes all the way up to 7C. All of this, including future releases, they then label as “old” and “conventional wisdom”.

    Then they talk about unpublished and minor players. Folks nobody has heard of. Those people get labelled “new”.

    This begs the question as to whether NEW is better than OLD. Gee, not a hard choice, eh?

    They talk about the traditional way climate science is done – trying to understand the physics behind climate and building a model of the planet, as compared to simply recording basic historical facts and extrapolating. They note that the technique they prefer, basic extrapolation (they never explain why they thought such a technique was Evil and Wrong in 1998) would result in too severe an estimate of global warming as volcanic cooling could be underestimated. (all errors admitted MUST be towards false alarmism).

    Next they blather on about Ignorance, and how Nobody Knows Anything. Nary a mention of F&R2011, which speaks to the heart of their article and surely they know about. Why not mention the #1 piece of information, especially when no other information is even 10% as relevant?

    Next they talk about ocean temps. Science recently got a jolt because the estimated rate of transfer of heat from the surface to the deep turns out to be far larger than expected. So, of course, The Economist ONLY talks about surface water temps and wonders where O where could all that missing heat have gone? Uh, the deep ocean.

    Sorry, but my ability to hold down my lunch while reading and interpreting an extremely intelligent NaziPropagandaesque version of Climate has its limits….. I’ll let someone else carry the flag from here….

  13. 313
    Hank Roberts says:

    Perwis, that seems to be based on the “unpublished Norway” study talked about a while back, is there any news in it?

  14. 314
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Isle of Man buried under 10 foot snow drifts: http://www.theworld.org/2013/03/isle-of-man-snow/

    I would say this is highly unusual any time but especially in the Spring. Should we expect more of this type of event in the future given the erratic situation with the jet stream?

  15. 315
    MARodger says:

    Peter Shepherd @310

    It takes 9 months for CO2 released into the atmosphere to trap the energy equal to that released by its creation through burning, this assuming 43% remains in the atmosphere (which is today the case if land-use emissions are included). And 43% is probably not far off the average for the CO2 residency over the first 100 years. That would yield you 133 x release energy. If you include feedbacks in your total and take ECS=3, you’d probably be multiplying by, say, 2.4 for the total with average feedback over 100 years.

  16. 316
    AndyL says:

    Agree with #311 – keen to hear RealClimate’s view of the Economist article. Back in early Jan, Gavin promised a follow-up on climate sensitivity specifically covering Nic Lewis (mentioned in the Economist article).

  17. 317
    Hank Roberts says:

    > each joule of fossil carbon burned today traps 100,000 in the future

    Is that a paraphrase of http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Data%20sources/Warming-burning.pdf ? Might look there, if that’s what you’re referring to. I’d guess you look at how far from the new equilibrium the planet is in each year to answer your question.

  18. 318
    MARodger says:

    Perwis @311
    That Economist article is strange. It has the whiff of being written by an idiot who is at most ambivalent about AGW. Yet the actual content is not greatly in error. It is its composition, its emphasis that sucks. And this it does so badly as to make it a grossly misleading account. The Economist will run stories like this at its peril – when does their readership decide that grossly misleading articles on climate might indicate grossly misleading content in other articles on other subjects?

    It is the judgement of the author that is wrong. He (assuming a single male author for the article) quotes Hansen on the 5-year mean temps being flat for a decade but says this is a “surprise.” Why? Hansen doesn’t consider it ‘surprising’. And conflating this with a 15-year period and the denialist ‘no warming’ nonsense? Perhaps ‘he’ is a Daily Rail reader!!
    He then takes a cue from a true skeptic from the Daily Rail despite this cue having taken a kicking already. And note that, like Hansen, the mis-used source of Rose at the Rail, Ed Hawkins – he isn’t “surprised” either.
    And so it goes on showing zero appreciation of the full subject, all the way down to its non-conclusions. “Hardily reassuring.” Indeed so!

    The Economist’s editorial comment on the article, while unquestioning of the ‘lower’ sensitivity finding of the article, is unequivocal in its conclusions. There is no room whatever for denialism. “If the world has a bit more breathing space to deal with global warming, that will be good. But breathing space helps only if you actually do something with it”

  19. 319
    Sven says:

    perwis, thanks for the link

  20. 320
    Peter Shepherd says:

    MARodger #315 & Hank Roberts 317, yes it was the Caldeira & Hoffert article. I expanded that formula to see what it looks like, not able to paste into this dialogue box. Instead I used Hansen’s graph at http://www.tececo.com/sustainability.fossil_fuel_facts.php to visually estimate the integral assuming 33% at 100 years, repeating for 1,000 & 350,000 year periods, then comparing to the longest ratio. MARodger your solution at #315 is more up to date and complete than my calculation, which I’ll share after an engineer friend reviews it. Your 100-year result looks small compared to the 100,000 larger quantity expected over 350,000 years – an extraordinary head-to-tail ratio, hard to grasp in common human timescale.

  21. 321
    Jim Larsen says:

    318 MARodgers noted the Economist op-ed that said, “The second reason is more practical. If the world had based its climate policies on previous predictions of a high sensitivity, then there would be a case for relaxing those policies,”

    I LOVE it. When one’s desires have been proven wrong, the best response is to hypothesize. “If I’m right (even though already proven wrong), then….”

  22. 322
    MARodger says:

    Peter Shepard @320.
    My 43% guestimate was entirely a ballpark attempt. It looks low w.r.t. your linked graph @320. It is also low looking at Archer et al 2009 so a figure nearer 50% would perhaps be better. Note that Archer et al demonstrate why the head/tail ratio is small. The top right hand side of Fig 1 shows the decay for a 1,000 GtC release levels off after 1,000 years at ~20%. The following tens of millennia with CO2 effectively constant would provide the bulk of the 100,000 years-worth of warming.
    Archer et al also shows the remaining %CO2 increases if the CO2 release is bigger but that this is roughly mirrored by an increase % in the first 100 years. But then the forcing is not linear with ppm CO2.

  23. 323
    Sven says:

    There’s a thing I can’t understand about Arctic sea ice – how come according to NSIDC the maximum sea ice extent in 2013 was the 6th lowest in satellite history while Jaxa is showing it to be higher than the 2000′s (not even 2010′s) average?
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png

  24. 324
    Jim Larsen says:

    323 Sven,

    To me it looks like the maximum has been stable enough so that different measurement systems could cause huge differences in rankings. If 6th and 16th are essentially equal (not saying they are), then the statements are both reasonable.

    But talking extent is wrong-headed nowadays unless one also mentions volume. Before, volume wasn’t available, so we made do with an inferior and misleading metric. Today, we have the Real Deal. Here’s a graph that shows that there’s been no surprises, no deviations, no nothing but inexorable spiralling death for arctic sea ice.

    http://iwantsomeproof.com/extimg/siv_annual_polar_graph.png

  25. 325
    Jim Larsen says:

    Before, volume wasn’t available, so we made do with an inferior and misleading metric. Today, we have the Real Deal. Thus, Delialists say, “We were misleading in the past, so we MUST be misleading today for consistancy’s sake.”

    They do stick to their principles….

  26. 326
  27. 327
    MARodger says:

    Sven @323.
    As you point out, the 2013 Maximum was the 6th lowest in the NISDC record (1979 to date). It was also the 6th lowest on the JAXA record (2003 to date). And it would also remain in that placing were the JAXA record longer. This graph of monthly data demonstrates the point.
    It isn’t made plain on the JAXA page you link to that JAXA only starts in 2003 & so the decadal averages are derived from other records. There would also be an issue with decadal averages smoothing out annual lumps. Given the multiple-record-use and smoothing, comparisons do need to be made with some caution.

  28. 328
    BallyWho says:

    A A Cory 24 Mar 10:51

    Eighth Tin is great!!!

    (Get it for kindle)

  29. 329
    Mo'Handy says:

    This may be one of the less astute questions, but I am interested in the answer. Two days ago one of my French colleagues, in a conversation about the cold weather this spring (23degF predicted in Chartres tomorrow night), remarked that he understood that the Gulf Stream was slowing. Now, I hadn’t heard very much about that scenario in a couple of years, so I did the usual searches, including RC; but I didn’t come up with anything recent. Given the European climate’s expected sensitivity to changes in the Gulf Stream, I would expect that at least the Europeans would be studying it pretty intensively. My question, then, is whether there is much on-going research into the Gulf Stream, and where would I look for recent results.

  30. 330
    Hank Roberts says:

    for Mo’Handy, I searched Scholar since 2012 for
    thermohaline circulation speed gulf stream
    (yeah, I had to know the first 2 words went with it, and there are others I didn’t search on that you learn immediately starting to dig in. AMOC for another:
    Srokosz, M., M. Baringer, H. Bryden, S. Cunningham, T. Delworth, S. Lozier, J. Marotzke, R. Sutton, 2012: Past, Present, and Future Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 93, 1663–1676.
    doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00151.1

    Past, Present, and Future Changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00151.1
    This isn’t paywalled (takes a few clicks); it is a review, and says:

    “… Despite its importance, and the uncertainty about its future behavior, the AMOC has not been well observed until recently. The traditional approach for measuring the AMOC was using synoptic trans-ocean basin ship-based estimates of geostrophic velocities, calculated from density, in turn obtained from temperature and salinity. This approach led to the most highly sampled part of the AMOC being a section at ~24°N, with occupations in 1957, 1981, 1992, 1998, and 2004 (Bryden et al. 2005). A further occupation of this section occurred in 2010 (Atkinson et al. 2012; Frajka-Williams et al. 2011). Such serious undersampling means that any conclusions drawn about the past behavior of the AMOC are subject to considerable uncertainty (Cunningham et al. 2007; Kanzow et al. 2010). This paper will discuss the following: the past and present behavior of the AMOC in light of more recent observations; the possible impacts of future changes; the potential for predicting future changes, particularly on decadal time scales; and future directions for AMOC research. Further background on the AMOC may be found in the reviews of Kuhlbrodt et al. (2007, 2009), Lozier (2010, 2012) and special issue of Deep-Sea Research (2011, Vol. 58, Nos. 17 and 18). Kuhlbrodt et al. (2007) discuss the driving processes of the AMOC—surface heat and freshwater fluxes, vertical mixing processes in the ocean interior, wind-induced upwelling in the Southern Ocean—so readers are referred to that review for more on those topics.

    “What do we know about present and past changes in the AMOC?…”

  31. 331
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Mo’Handy — 29 Mar 2013 @ 3:03 PM

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_q=gulf+stream+european+climate&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_occt=any&as_sauthors=&as_publication=&as_ylo=2010&as_yhi=2013&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5

    This Google Scholar search for- gulf stream european climate- in the “with all of the words” box and limited to 1010 to 1013 in the date box will give you a start. Pay attention to all of the extra goodies available for refining a search. Steve

  32. 332
    Hank Roberts says:

    Nice new-to-me weather site (independent, open apparently):
    http://forecast.io/raw/6

  33. 333
  34. 334
    sidd says:

    Balmaseda et al., 2013 has reanalyses of OHC
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50382/abstract

    I was truch by the divergences of the traces since 2000, so i plotted the differences

    http://membrane.com/sidd/balmaseda-2013.html

    when will the Kraken rise ?

    sidd

  35. 335
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    I’ve heard that old cracker again…”with zero% future emissions”. Yes granted with zero% future emissions we just might avert catastrophic CC. However the only way you are going to achieve zero percent is by making the alternative sources considerably less costly than coal, oil and gas and then by a long process of education, lobbying and negotiating. Also my making the alternatives considerably more efficient at converting energy than fossil sources. The only way to measure a problem’s weight is by acknowledging the realities of the situation and not through dwelling on academic hypotheticals. I just heard that we in Australia have more than 1500 wind turbines operating and it’s still not making any impact whatsoever to our carbon footprint. We will need a million plus to make a sizable carbon dent. We are now rolling out solar panels at an ever increasing rate but it still does not seem to make much difference. What we require now are cheap and efficient alternatives to fossil fuels. Unless the developing countries and many western ones immediately stop building oil or coal fired electricity generators we are going to go over the point of no return..but I doubt that level of collective realisation will be happening within my life time.

  36. 336
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    Just a very premature observation of arctic sea ice extent and area; we seem to be tracking or are slightly under the 2012 trace at this same time last year. To my eyes we are slightly leading last year’s by about a week.

  37. 337
    simon abingdon says:

    @Lawrence Coleman “What we require now are cheap and efficient alternatives to fossil fuels”.

    Nuclear power. Problem solved at a stroke and for the foreseeable future.

  38. 338
    simon abingdon says:

    @Lawrence Coleman “We will need a million plus [wind turbines] to make a sizable carbon dent”.

    Are you suggesting we build them?

  39. 339
    PeteB says:

    Gavin,

    Very nicely judged performance (& judgement on format – I agree, you are there to communicate – not to make ‘good’ tv) on the Stossel show (watched it via the link on quark soup)

    And Roy Spencer was mostly quite gracious on his blog (except when he went in for a bit of mind-reading “I could tell he was somewhat annoyed by the conservative/libertarian vibe he was surrounded by”)

  40. 340
    Susan Anderson says:

    On the Gulf Stream/Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation(AMOC or MOC)/Thermohaline circulation, check out the Thor project. I looked at this recently, and it’s quite helpful (the video within the link:)

    http://econnexus.org/the-day-after-tomorrow-coming-soon/

    or the video direct:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovIvtKSQy9Y&feature=player_embedded

    For those with an appetite for in-depth observation and masses of real-time information, the issues with salt and circulation are occasionally addressed at Neven’s:
    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/

    Also featured here:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/arctic-sea-ice-minimum-2012/

    Also a simple google turned up good images etc.

  41. 341
    Killian says:

    Re: 335 Lawrence Coleman said What we require now are cheap and efficient alternatives to fossil fuels. Unless the developing countries and many western ones immediately stop building oil or coal fired electricity generators we are going to go over the point of no return..but I doubt that level of collective realisation will be happening within my life time.

    My greatest fear is that this logical fail (no disrespect meant) will continue to dominate the solutioneering as we move forward. Not that LC is wrong, but that this is a hugely insufficient response to our predicament. Any care to take a shot at why?

  42. 342
    Hank Roberts says:

    > over the point of no return
    There are a great many such — Great Extinction underway.
    For climate, that was a while ago, for returns within human lifetimes. But I don’t see any support for the real Venus-type “runaway” conditions.

  43. 343
    Susan Anderson says:

    OK, this is my night to howl. Found at Neven’s, this depressing but vital article. Michael McCarthy’s farewell as Environment editor at the Independent:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/man-is-fallen-and-will-destroy-the-earth–but-at-least-we-greens-made-him-wait-8554548.html

    extract:

    But there have been what you might call side effects. For if, over the past decade and a half, you have closely observed what is happening to the Earth, week in, week out, you may take a dark view of the future; and I do. The reason is that the Earth is under threat, as it has never been before, from the ever more oppressive scale of the human enterprise: from the activities of a world population which doubled from three to six billion in four short decades, between 1960 and 2000, and which, in the four decades to come, will probably increase by three billion more.

    These activities are now wiping out ecosystems and species, across the world, at an ever increasing rate: the forests are chainsawed; the oceans are stripmined of their fish; the rivers, especially in the developing world, are ever more polluted; the farmland is rendered sterile of all but the monoculture crop by demented dosing with pesticides; the farmland insects and wild flowers and many of the birds have gone.

  44. 344
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Killian — 30 Mar 2013 @ 4:39 PM

    Please offer an alternative to what Laurence Colman suggests and the means to convince all the citizens in the US and the rest of the developed and developing world to follow your minimalist and near-aboriginal lifestyle ideas. Meanwhile getting everybody focused on the problem with doable technology seems like a realistic good start.

    Steve

  45. 345
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    341 Killian. You must a Christian fundamentalist Killian, always hoping for a miracle. I’m a lay Buddhist so looking at and making the best of the cards we have dealt ourselves is natural to me. As Einstein stated. ‘the scientific process and Buddhism is entirely complementary’ or words to that affect. Only by intimately understanding what we are up against and acknowledging it’s stark realities are able to find/ invent and be confident at taking the appropriate action/s for it’s remedy. Sorry no other way!!

  46. 346
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    337: Simon Abingdon. I did mention “cheap” somewhere in there… something that developing countries could readily roll out.
    I’ve considered nuclear power however, excellent and almost unlimited base load power. Maybe a two pronged approach… nuclear power directed to the biggest industries and major polluters, correct me if I’m wrong but that should take care of at least 50-65% of a country’s energy budget and home generators such as solar, Blue gen ((look it up on the net) (Blue gen is a box as large as a dishwasher that converts mains gas to electricity 4-5kw/h and pressurised hot water)), hydro/ geothermal, wind…whatever your local environment would best support.
    I have always included nuclear in the overall picture but it does have it’s place…an extremely safe place!. Inland so immune from tidal waves, but near reliable water and tectonically stable. (I’m a little concerned about all these sinkholes popping up all over the place lately?) So industrial nuclear and passive domestic means might be the best balance??

  47. 347
    SecularAnimist says:

    Lawrence Coleman wrote: “What we require now are cheap and efficient alternatives to fossil fuels … the developing countries and many western ones immediately stop building oil or coal fired electricity generators …”

    Killian responded: “Not that LC is wrong, but that this is a hugely insufficient response to our predicament”

    Of course it’s not “sufficient”. The point is, that it is a NECESSARY response to our predicament.

    We need to stop the increase in GHG emissions and begin rapid, steep reductions WITHIN FIVE YEARS if we are to have any hope of avoiding the most catastrophic consequences of unmitigated anthropogenic global warming.

    The ONLY way to accomplish that, within the necessary time frame, is with technical fixes — specifically, with the rapid deployment of the renewable energy and efficiency technologies that we have in hand now, and the equally rapid phaseout of fossil fuel use.

    Is that “sufficient” to address “our predicament”?

    If “our predicament” is broadly defined to encompass ALL of the negative impacts of human activities on the Earth’s biosphere which are creating the global ecological crisis, the answer is obviously not. Profound, deep, and far-reaching technological, economic, social and even (I would argue) spiritual changes, which will amount to a transformation of human civilization and of humanity’s relationship to the rest of life on Earth, are necessary.

    But the reality is, that we don’t have time for such an evolutionary transformation to bring about the phaseout of fossil fuel use that we MUST accomplish within a matter of YEARS, not decades or generations. We need a quick fix to what is essentially a technical problem — GHG emissions — if we are going to buy the time needed for more profound changes.

    That’s why discourse about replacing capitalism with some other economic system, or about whether wind and solar energy technologies are “sustainable” on time scales of centuries, or reversing population growth, etc. — accompanied by disparagement of the readily available technological solutions to the immediate GHG problem — is frustrating, and in my opinion, unhelpful.

  48. 348
    Killian says:

    Yes, simplest, easiest, least risky pathways forward are largely ignored. What is one to make of this contradiction? One would think that at least via the wedges approach everything would be welcomed, and under good risk management and a wish to avoid unintended consequences the least risky, least invasive, most productive processes would be most championed. Not the case.

    The ONLY way to accomplish that, within the necessary time frame, is with technical fixes

    Absolutely false, as repeatedly demonstrated. In fact, there are no technical fixes that can achieve this in a five year time frame without massive de-consumption (yeah, I sometimes make up words), too. This I would happily advocate, so have no problem with this limit.

    What is technically and practically feasible is to shift all farming to regenerative practices in a five to ten year period. This is primarily an issue of knowledge with some practical issues also present.

    Also technically and practically possible is the restoration of very large areas of forest ecosystems. We know how to rebuild and propagate forests in very simple processes. A base of a forest ecosystem can be in place in five years and left to mature with either little or no management. Food forests require some management for harvesting and optimal growth, but that is mere hours a year for even an acre of forest for two people.

    More controversial is Savory’s process to rebuild grassland ecosystems with large herds of grazing animals. The primary issue here would actually be sociopolitical and economic as opening large areas of open range would prove difficult from an ownership and profit sharing basis. There are some doubts about the efficacy of his systems, but also some demonstrable successes. Grasslands sequester several times more carbon per acre/annum than forests do, so this would be a very effective and very fast, relatively, approach and is worth a serious look.

    If Savory’s calculations are correct, restoring only half of the lost/degraded grasslands of the world would be sufficient to return us to 300 ppm. That seems a bit grand, but if only half or a quarter true, the benefits would still be massive and multivariate.

    Each of these also addresses food security issues, of course. You will recall Hansen and, I think, Sato estimated reforestation alone could draw down 50 ppm of carbon.

    Any technofix causes problems and likely has limits that will eventually exert themselves. None of the suggestions above hold any serious unintended consequences or limits, particualrly when measured against the massive benefits.

    Another tranch is to simply stop consuming so much. This is ultimately the core of the solution, so to put this off is rather stupid of us. However, since the CO2 issue can be brought down to negative emissions without any change in our industrial systems, we can choose to leverage the time line for pervasive societal change by employing these carbon reduction/food security strategies first and develop a decarbonization process over an as yet undefined time period whose primary constraint will be resources consumption and ecosystem damage. However, at the end of the day, consumption will fall, a lot, per capita – at least compared to OECD levels – and systems will simplify. These are non-negotiable and should, at this late date, be noncontroversial.

    You can keep proclaiming the virtues of technofixes, but please stop the misleading claim technofixes are the only short-term option. They are not, and they are inferior to safer, simpler, more effective and more productive solutions.

    I won’t argue the politics of any of this with you because they are irrelevant since bounded by physical limits. If we fail to shift to simpler, regenerative systems, we fail and the time line to collapse is irrelevant in any practical sense.

  49. 349
    Killian says:

    344 Steve Fish says: Killian — 30 Mar 2013 @ 4:39 PM
    …to follow your minimalist and near-aboriginal lifestyle ideas.

    Please, no grade school rhetoric. It’s demeaning to you and boring.

    Lawrence Coleman says: 341 Killian. You must a Christian fundamentalist Killian

    See above.

    Only by intimately understanding what we are up against and acknowledging it’s stark realities are able to find/ invent and be confident at taking the appropriate action/s for it’s remedy. Sorry no other way!!

    Yeah, seems this is not the first time you’ve implied I’m doing anything other than that. I suggest it’s a redundancy you need not repeat, of so.

    Yes. The realism required is not just in understanding the problems, but in the solutions. While people with views like Steve’s above choose to ignore the real limits and the good scholarship that outline the parameters of the possible viable solutions, I do not. The scale of the problem is immense, but the solutions, particularly long-term, are equally simple. Some confuse simple with aboriginal (a truly unintelligent response) and or simplistic. That is a lack of knowledge, or perhaps ideological blockage to objective analysis. Regenerative systems require very careful observation, planning, testing, adjustment and, above all, patience. There is nothing simple about the process of regenerative design, but the designs themselves are simple. It’s just not a complex problem to build soil, and that, above all else, is the basis of sustainability, e.g.

    Nuclear: hard to believe people still consider this “safe” or “green.” At least more are seeing it as a small wedge rather than a primary solution…. progress, I suppose. As a quick note: 10k nuclear generators to replace FFs. Just sayin…. it’s impossible. Nuclear can only be a possibly, but not currently, viable limited, short-term, option for, as Lawrence implied, places such as Korea.

    But be advised: sustainable nuclear does not currently exist. Lowering consumption is a far more benign response and fits risk assessment much better.

  50. 350
    David B. Benson says:

    New Models Predict Drastically Greener Arctic in Coming Decades
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130331165603.htm
    Albedo change.


Switch to our mobile site