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Unforced Variations: May 2013

Filed under: — group @ 3 May 2013

This month’s open thread.

551 Responses to “Unforced Variations: May 2013”

  1. 501
    patrick says:

    @499 The website you front for and turn clicks for is very impressed with itself. It thinks it’s satire. But it doesn’t rise that high: it is merely an exercise in narcissism. It has nothing to say and wastes my time. That’s as good as it can do, or else that’s exactly what it seeks to do: by saying nothing, to distract.

  2. 502
    Killian says:

    500 MARodger says CO2 at MLO is still stuck very close to 400ppm(v)… ESRL are showing (provisionally) a +400ppm five-day period. May 26 – 400.59 May 25 – 399.97 May 24 – 399.84 May 23 – 399.67 May 22 – 399.97

    Mauna Loa five-day avg. through May 27: 400.05

    Week ending May 19, 2013: 399.91 ppm
    Weekly value from 1 year ago: 396.30 ppm

    That’s +3.61 in one year. Good lord… I’ve thought that the rise in CH4 starting around 2007 was primarily or significantly due to Arctic emissions for quite a while. There is nothing about the world economy that would suggest we should see that large an increase. Economic growth simply is not that robust. Could CH4 emissions and degradation be boosting the CO2 count? Makes sense to me, particularly since we had 400 ppm reading in the Arctic a year earlier than at Mauna Loa.

    Weekly value from 10 years ago: 379.36 ppm

    Twenty ppm. In ten years. That steady rate would put us at 500ppm by 2060 or so. At least in May and a full doubling over pre-industrial around the end of the century.

    I am become the destroyer of worlds.

  3. 503
    MARodger says:

    Killian @502.

    The rise of the weekly value over the last year may be unrepresentative. The monthly value for May 2012 was 396.78ppm so a rise in the monthly value over the year will probably be less than 3.2ppm. This, of course, is still quite a rise outside an El Nino event (although there was such an annual rise to this February).
    Then again, the averaged annual rises in CO2 has been somewhat flat since 2006. Perhaps 2013 is seeing the resumption of increasing CO2 rises.
    A graph of change in CO2 is linked here (but may need 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).

  4. 504
    Hank Roberts says:

    > MARodger … annual growth rate
    Another way of looking at the annual growth rate:

  5. 505
    Jim Larsen says:

    Killian demanded, ” Please show us all where I have advocated, suggested or implied anything even remotely like a hunter-gatherer lifestyle for a sustainable world.”

    When one intelligent person is arguing against five or a dozen intelligent and open-minded people, then either the one has a blind spot or he’s being clear as mud.

    I reverse the question: Please show us all where you have advocated ANY lifestyle besides hunter-gatherer as sustainable.

  6. 506
    Hank Roberts says:

    quoting that other paper, writes:
    the New York Times reports:
    ———-begin excerpt———-

    “President Obama will soon … [be] nominating three judges to an important federal court ….

    “… the 11-member United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit … will … be front and center in … plan to curb carbon emissions on existing power plants, which will lead to a legal battle in … that arena.

    “… Republicans … are ‘pushing a proposal to eliminate the three empty slots from the court by shifting them to circuits in other parts of the country,’ which would leave the court with a ‘strongly conservative flavor.’ This all but ensures that Republicans will filibuster Obama’s nominations.”
    ——–end excerpt———–

  7. 507
    Jim Larsen says:

    505 Hank, the only way to respond to a filibuster is to ride it out, all the while making emergency declarations to the country.

  8. 508
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Jim Larsen — 28 May 2013 @ 5:42 PM

    Killian said “It doesn’t matter if a part of a system is sustainable, only that the entire system is sustainable.”

    Followed shortly by- “The only sustainable systems on the planet are aboriginal.”

    And, regarding one of your questions – I resent that Jim will have electricity for music available. And/or, I just don’t want him to have it. Nor anybody else. Yup. That’s exactly what I said.”

    There is a lot more of this crap. Steve

  9. 509
    Hank Roberts says:

    > the only way to respond is to ride it out

    Read the linked article. Delaying the carbon emission plan is exactly what they want, you know.

  10. 510
    Killian says:

    503 MARodger said: The rise of the weekly value over the last year may be unrepresentative.

    Assumed, thus the prominent use of modal verbs.

    Re: 505 Larsen:

    Far Side, my friend, sad. Asking the accused to prove the accusation is not just illogical, it’s stupid. Bias is bad. Don’t be biased. Do better, or find yourself ignored like any other good little denialist. Not a threat, for you will claim you don’t care. Then, of course, you will continue to nip at my heels like a hell-bound chihuahua.

    I am merely prepping the crowd for the spectacle.

    Do you and yours a favor and crawl out of your bias-filled ivory tower and get some education in designing sustainable, holistic and wholistic systems before you and yours find yourselves with no paddle, no boat and no clue.

    Since you have such a hard-off for permaculture, take a gander at Holistic Management. Very much regimented and with almost no actual design element. Perfect for you, in all seriousness.

    Perhaps that will help you develop a more serious attitude toward solutions.

    Inspiration for you (no permie influence for John Liu when he started, so as objective about regenerative design as you could ask for): Regional restorative agriculture in China

    More non-permie work (that is a great example of permie design): Creating a Community and Rebuilding an Ecosystem


    P.S. I am willing to close doors, but rarely lock them. Solutions are urgently needed and cannibalistic behaviors among people generally going in the same direction make little sense.

    Up to you.

  11. 511
    Killian says:

    That Guy said: Killian said “It doesn’t matter if a part of a system is sustainable, only that the entire system is sustainable.”

    Followed shortly by- “The only sustainable systems on the planet are aboriginal.”

    What That Guy is missing is that those two comments are not logically locked together to describe an entire system. I forgive That Guy for this because he has not chosen to educate himself WRT the work I do and so does not appreciate the importance of “pattern fluency.” In short, pattern fluency is the ability to recognize patterns, and more so, apply patterns from seemingly disparate contexts to help solve problems in virtually any context.

    Simply put, the recognition of useful patterns in aboriginal societies and/or cultures does not equate to advocacy of living as aboriginals, but rather gives us a pattern or set of patterns to explore with which we may well find a template upon which to build a sustainable system that fundamentally meets the limits of sustainability while looking much like the modern world.

    Sadly, That Guy is more interested in points scored than futures created. As I am bored with the sophomoric responses of That Guy in the face of ever more difficult global circumstances, as I can only guess the rest of you are, also, enough is enough. No more stooping to a denialist-styled, meaningless “debate.”

    However, I do appreciate the opportunity to encourage you all to look into the deeper human and physical (meta design, not monumental architecture) structures that allow and have allowed aboriginal societies to occupy the same space for millennia. And, for that matter, the fact Asians have occupied ecological niches for millennia all the while at high levels of relative technological sophistication.

    Hint: Soils.

  12. 512
    MARodger says:

    Killian @510.
    The use of modal verbs makes a statement less “assumed” rather than more.
    I will here, however, assert unambiguously that the evidence points to the latest week’s annual rise being indeed unrepresentative.
    The annual rise for the last 8 weeks are as follows:-
    2.79, 1.08, 2.26, 2.35, 2.68, 2.37, 2.68, 3.59. (You may spot a small discrepancy between the numbers as the 2012 weeks are shifted a calendar day later.)

    The reason for the unrepresentative increase in the latest figure is partly because in 2012 CO2 had peaked two weeks earlier but mainly because a year ago there began a little 3-week dip in value.

  13. 513
    Hank Roberts says:

    Killian says: …
    29 May 2013 at 1:33 AM
    > Re: 505 Larsen: …
    > Far Side, my friend, sad.

    Alluding to the cartoonist with the same surname — mockery is bait.

    “It’s not the trolling, it’s the biting.” — Marion Delgado

  14. 514
    Jim Larsen says:


    You claim to have developed a truly sustainable system. You also dissed mining as unsustainable. That eventually means no metals. You further said that we should build out renewables to 10% of current electrical production. Guess what? Renewables already supply 10.5%. Now, if you were excluding hydro, then you’re talking a bit over doubling of wind and solar. You’re going to run cars and everything on 10%?

    And the USA isn’t the only country. It’s a big planet and there’s lots of people who won’t stand for 10% of the few, if any watthours they currently get per day, along with 0% of the gas.

    You also said, (thanks Steve Fish) “The only sustainable systems on the planet are aboriginal.”

    I made no claims, so I have nothing to prove. The question rightfully is square in your court: describe the system/lifestyle of which you go on at infinite length while avoiding describing it. So far I’ve got “permaculture”.

  15. 515
    Hank Roberts says:

    MARodger says: …
    … last week’s annual rise … unrepresentative

    This is silly to even argue about.
    Week to week variation is bait for argument.
    Using that kind of bait is recreational fishing.
    Look at the trend, use the data.

    “… concentration has increased every year since scientists started making measurements on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano more than five decades ago. The rate of increase has accelerated since the measurements started, from about 0.7 ppm per year in the late 1950s to 2.1 ppm per year during the last 10 years.”

  16. 516
    David Miller says:

    Does anyone know how I can contact John Cook from skepticalscience ? I run busy websites in my day job and would be happy to help.

    Please contact me offline – first inital and last name at


  17. 517
    David B. Benson says:

    Arctic Current Flowed Under Deep Freeze of Last Ice Age, Study Says
    Quite the clever proxy.

  18. 518
    Killian says:

    MARodger, I taught EFL for years. Reinterpret my comment with that in mind.


  19. 519

    The seasonal oscillations in the Mauna Loa CO2 data set are likely caused by changes in the highest temperature SST. So if we take the SST data for latitudes -6 ±15 degrees (which straddles the Indo-Pacific warm pool) from the Nomad server, and compensate the CO2 data, you get this chart:
    Temperature-compensated CO2 increase
    The seasonally modulated SST provides an outgassing gain of 3PPM/degree C and it leads the CO2 signal by one month.

    I did this analysis because I find that many of the deniers still claim that the long-term increasing CO2 is caused by steadily rising temperatures. This is a straight Henry’s Law and Clausius-Clayperon interpretation that I figure has to shut them up. There is no filtering, just a differential dCO2(time+1 month) = – K * dSST(time) compensation term that is applied to simulate the seasonal outgassing of CO2 from the warmest surface waters near the equator.

  20. 520
    Phil Scadden says:

    David Miller – use the “contact us” on the bottom bar of the sks front page.

  21. 521
    Jim Larsen says:

    509 Hank, one long defeated filibuster wastes less time than 34 successful ones. “We don’t back down from terrorists who hold democracy hostage” would make for good political theater, if nothing else.

  22. 522
    Hank Roberts says:

    “Here, we use stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes to study the foraging history of a generalist, oceanic predator, the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), which ranges broadly in the Pacific from the equator to near the Aleutian Islands. Our isotope records from modern and ancient, radiocarbon-dated bones provide evidence of over 3,000 y of dietary stasis followed by a decline of ca. 1.8‰ in δ15N over the past 100 y. … a foraging shift in wide-ranging Hawaiian petrel populations suggests a relatively rapid change in the composition of oceanic food webs in the Northeast Pacific….”

    Published online before print May 13, 2013,
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1300213110
    PNAS May 13, 2013

  23. 523
    Killian says:

    mockery is bait. Eschew.

    I figure I have three choices: engage my personal troller, ignore my personal troller and/or mock my personal troller. Tried 1, didn’t work. Now using 3 as prelude to 2.

    Hank, you aren’t teaching anyone anything. Your comments are better directed at the the one trolling.

  24. 524

    And, in related (Canadian) news:

    Weather losses rise in Canada:

    US study of reduced snowpack ‘is consistent with’ Canadian trends:

    The latter story is commenting upon this GRL study, Regional patterns and proximal causes of the recent snowpack decline in the Rocky Mountains, U.S.:

  25. 525
    Russell says:

    James Hansen’s bipartisan stock has just risen in response to his wonderfully ornery remarks on recieving the Ridenhour prize!

  26. 526
    Mal Adapted says:

    Is anyone else as disturbed by Principia Scientific International as I am? It looks like the deniers are going so far as to create their own scientific society, in their efforts to confuse the public about the “debate”. Maybe honest scientists should all join too, just to dilute the deniers.

  27. 527
    CM says:

    Mal Adapted, the PSI bunch used to be the Sky Dragon Slayers until they realized noone took them seriously and mistakenly concluded it was because of the silly name, not because of the crackpot pseudo-science. So they switched to Principia Scientific to emphasize they didn’t know Latin, either. There’s no ‘there’ there; don’t go.

  28. 528
    Phil Scadden says:

    Mal Adapted – PSI is the “sky dragon slayers” – full-blown tin-hat crowd with as much grasp of reality as they have of physics. Banned from WUWT, Climate Audit, The Blackboard, and Roy Spencer so not much traction with deniers either. Their denial of basic physics is regarded as damaging for the denier cause.

  29. 529
    wili says:

    It’s looking as if we will soon have our first official weekly average above 400.

  30. 530
    Edward Greisch says:

    To the guys arguing about “sustainable”: I’m just scared. Reference: “The Long Summer” by Brian Fagan and “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. Then along comes “A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization; and how to save it” by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, who says collapses happen over centuries of simplifications. I skipped a chapter or 2 on cloak & dagger stuff and haven’t finished the book yet.

    I see a population crash ahead that I see no sure way to survive. We are between the devil and the deep blue sea. Clearly The System has to be changed radically from the outside. The System cannot change itself. Note how dictators always choose to die with their regimes rather than abdicate to live as a wealthy commoner elsewhere. We have several recent examples. “Rational” appears to be very far from a human trait.

    So please give us more pages of comments on this subject. Comments on how human evolution will be driven by climate change would also be read avidly. James Hansen is forming a new political party to deal with The System. I wish him luck and I am available as a party hack. Can it be done?

  31. 531
    MARodger says:

    Mal Adapted @524.

    To me, the PSI aka Sky Dragon Slayers are a worrying bunch but for the following reason. They have adopted such a ridiculous mantra yet are outwardly otherwise sensible people. They perhaps demonstrate the true innate strength of contrarianism when the internet allows a critical mass of it to coalesce.

    Their founding fathers are listed as ☻ British legal analyst and science writer, John O’Sullivan. ☻ Retired Dutch Analytical Chemist, Hans Schreuder. ☻ Texan engineer and science writer, Joseph A. Olson. ☻ Canada’s most popular climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball. ☻ Biologist, Professor Nasif Nahle. ☻ Astrophysicist, Joe Postma.

    Yet these otherwise normal professional folk are convinced that there can be no greenhouse effect and the reason is because the upper atmosphere is colder than the planet surface. Thus, if you totally mis-interpret the laws of thermodynamics, energy cannot ever flow from any cold body to a hotter one. The direction of net flow dictated by thermodynamics becomes in Sky Dragon Slayer-speak ‘not one photon from cold to hot.’

    Quite how, say, the moon would know not to emit IR towards the sun or to fire off a photon at a pirouetting CO2 molecule in the Earth’s atmosphere that’s about to be heated by a passing jetliner, I know not. Perhaps if I don a tin foil hat it all makes sense.
    Their mis-interpretation of thermodynamics would presumably still allow distant snowy peaks to be seen as the light is reflected. But woe betide if your infrared detector is warmed above the temperature of the object it is looking at – it will surely then stop working.

  32. 532
    wili says:

    A major cyclone is now churning up the sea ice over the Arctic. Does not bode well for ice extent this year.

  33. 533
    Edward Greisch says:

    530 willi: Last year it was drought. This year a daily flood. I see many fields in Illinois that have not been plowed yet and this is the end of May. The fields are too wet for a tractor to traverse. Streets in Davenport, Iowa have been flooded it seems like every other day.

    I looked at
    What do you think about the jet stream at 300 mb?

  34. 534
    Killian says:

    Jim Larsen said Killian, You claim to have developed a truly sustainable system.

    No, I didn’t. I said I do sustainable design. Not quite the same thing. I have said it is relatively simple, which is true. Don’t confuse simple with easy, however. Humans are involved, after all.

    You also dissed mining as unsustainable.

    Did I? You sure I wasn’t focused on the resources being extracted?

    That eventually means no metals.

    Unless they are 100% recyclable with zero losses in the process, true. The time frames are important to how you allocate, of course.

    You further said that we should build out renewables to 10% of current electrical production. Guess what? Renewables already supply 10.5%.

    I was being lazy. I usually say 10 – 20%, but I’d be willing to bet it’ll need to be closer to ten. That is based on a comment from J. Hansen that one coal-fired plant is enough to impact atmospheric GHGs, and also that the impact of humans on climate has been discerned as long as 10k yrs. ago. If the planet really is that sensitive, we might be well and truly screwed.

    Now, if you were excluding hydro, then you’re talking a bit over doubling of wind and solar. You’re going to run cars

    What? Are you nuts? Cars are utterly unsustainable!!!

    and everything on 10%?

    Yup. The implications hurt your brain, eh? Localization, simplification, regenerative design. None of this is a wish, you see. Everything I say on these issues comes from a purely problem-solving point of view. Whereas your question implies you and/or others want to start with preserving what we have, I start with what the planet can provide at level x climate change at year n and backcast from there.

    And the USA isn’t the only country. It’s a big planet and there’s lots of people who won’t stand for 10% of the few, if any watthours they currently get per day, along with 0% of the gas.

    “Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes, but you can take or leave it if you please.” – Theme from M.A.S.H. I agree with Diamond: collapse is choice and we will make it or we won’t. The idea that it is better to die than to simplify is equal to “Better dead than red,” except that the better option now is definitely with simplification. Such a life would be quite comfy. Well, for me. I’m available for future consultation should you decide suicide is not painless and is best avoided. ;-) Don’t wait too many years – I’m technically middle-aged.

    You also said, (thanks Steve Fish) “The only sustainable systems on the planet are aboriginal.”

    Don’t know of any others. The Amish, perhaps, but I’ve not looked into them and they’ve not been around for millennia yet, so…

    I made no claims, so I have nothing to prove.

    Of course you do. If you are going to challenge my contentions, you have to provide an alternative. If not, stay quiet as argumentation is not interesting to me. At all.

    describe the system/lifestyle of which you go on at infinite length

    Hyperbole. Shame.

    while avoiding describing it.

    Avoiding? Really? So I’ve posted no info, no videos, never said “Hobbiton with a high tech backbone”, never talked about what likely won’t/can’t be part of a sustainable future? Really? Never talked about steady-state economics? Never posted about Steve Keen? Never posted examples of natural regeneration of forest and deserts? Never said word one about natural building, managing population, never mentioned any of the design principles? REALLY? Never mentioned Time Banks, co-ops, etc.? You sure about all this?

    So far I’ve got “permaculture”.

    And that is all you need. Well, you also need knowledge and skill, but the process for designing sustainable futures is right there. I’ve made statements here, numerous times, that would answer this challenge if you took a minute to think on them.

    1. Sustainability is ultimately local. (What are the implications for designing systems?)
    2. Design is site-specific. (What are the implications for designing systems?)
    3. Design requires extensive observation. (What are the implications for designing systems?)
    4. Design requires resource analyses (what is available), needs analysis (what is required to live) and sector analysis (what external factors affect the site?). (What are the implications for designing systems?)

    Other than the above answers/questions, I’m choosing to ignore the absurdity of you asking for a global sustainable design on a message board.

  35. 535
    prokaryotes says:

    The 1st issue of ClimateState is now online

    Featuring 1 RealClimate post (i wrote you but got no answer about republishing), feedback and suggestions for upcoming issue’s are welcome, Chris.

  36. 536
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by MARodger — 31 May 2013 @ 6:30 AM

    You said- “Yet these otherwise normal professional folk are…”

    It might help you to know that having Tim Ball as a founding father is pretty much equivalent to including Christopher Monckton, i.e not normal unless very ethically challenged entertainer is a profession.


  37. 537
    Martin Vermeer says:


    But woe betide if your infrared detector is warmed above the temperature of the object it is looking at

    The good news is that then you are ready to go for big-bang denial as well as obviously Penzias and Wilson never really saw the cosmic background — all those Nobel folks are in on the plot I tell ya

  38. 538
    Killian says:

    For those of you who believe technology can overcome growth (it can’t due to real physical limits and diminishing returns – and we aren’t hard up against the physical limits yet.. well, we are, it just doesn’t look like it… you know, half empty as the last doubling begins):

    Population growth erodes sustainable energy gains – UN report

  39. 539
    walter crain says:

    can anyone here tell me the “direction” of all the major climate forcings right now? i’m talking about things like ENSO, the PDO, the AMO, solar radiation, and any other forcings you can think of?

    i’m trying to figure out if this recent slowing-down of warming could be because all the forcings are negative (except, obviously co2). is it possible or likely that this slowing-down of warming would be an actual cooling period if not for co2?

  40. 540
    Tom Dayton says:

    It would be valuable for RealClimate to take apart the Lu study in Modern Physics B, claiming CFCs are entirely responsible for warming since 1970. It’s getting a lot of press. Fatal flaws are obvious even to me, but my opinion doesn’t count; time to call in the professionals.

  41. 541
    Tom Dayton says:

    Thanks to commenters at Skeptical Science, I now know that RealClimate already covered Lu’s previous claims about CFCs and GCRs. SkepticalScience also covered them before. I suppose I should read Lu’s new paper to see if he has any new claims on top of his obviously recycled ones….

  42. 542
    Jim Larsen says:


    I’ve built several eco-houses, designed but didn’t build an ~100mpg mid-size car, and have generally studied the issues since I was a child. Others here have similar backgrounds. Your tendency to talk down to people who probably know more about the issues than you is off-putting.

    It seems our disagreement is about what we need to give up. I think we’ll need to give up very little, though some things will be expensive or otherwise limited. Air travel comes to mind. Other than that, efficiency can make renewables work. Your 10-20% is probably a bit low; I’d say more like 30%. I see no reason we can’t drop our homes’ and cars’ energy use by 75%. The USA is at 31% non-carbon electricity, so we’ve already got nearly all the electricity we’ll need, even if substantial numbers of cars go electric (as opposed to bio-diesel or ethanol).

    And then there’s our Phosphorus Problem. Wiki says Peak Phosphorus is expected to happen in 2030. Won’t farming be fun?

  43. 543
    David B. Benson says:

    Santa Monica, just above sea level, has an annual average of about 12″ of rain per year; Pasadena at 864′ receives about 20″ of rain (well, it snowed some in 1949) as an average but highly variable. Up the mountain, Mt. Wilson at over 5000′ receives an average of 33″ per year while further east Mt. Baldy at over 10,000′ receives but 31″ per year. So I suppose the moisture is fairly completely rung out lower down.

    Indeed, further north Mt. Whitney at over 14,000′ receives but 9.5″ per year. Looking at the Google satellite images, the Himalayas are mush wetter further down than higher up.

    Is there some convenient approximate formula for determining what proportion of available moisture precipitates at different altitudes with downwind rising terrain? A rather crude approximation suffices but I’ve never seen one.

  44. 544
    Walter Pearce says:

    Jim Larsen@542…I admit to not having read the wiki on phosphorous, but perhaps here is at least a partial solution?

  45. 545
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Killian — 31 May 2013 @ 2:38 PM

    I don’t believe that there is anyone here who claims that technology can compensate for the effects of continued population growth if this is what you mean by “overcome.” Also, permaculture, localization, food forests, and a widespread near aboriginal lifestyle can’t “overcome” population growth.

    The only humane way to reduce population growth is to insure that all women achieve reproductive rights and men feel that they will be able to support their families. This is not a sexist comment when applied to the societies that contribute to population growth. There are off the shelf technological solutions to this problem if there is a will.


  46. 546
    prokaryotes says:

    Tornadoe down again in Moore,

    That is the Jet today (similar to last time)

  47. 547
    Killian says:

    544 Walter Pearce says: Jim Larsen@542…I admit to not having read the wiki on phosphorous, but perhaps here is at least a partial solution?

    Yup. Humanure. Zero waste. Closed loops. Regenerative design.


  48. 548
    patrick says:

    @546 Very similar to last time in the imaged area. In that #1 issue of Climate State (which you linked in your comment @535) there’s a good video about the Jet, arctic sea ice loss, and extreme weather:

    The video, “This Is Not Cool,” is from the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

    “One of the changes we’ve seen is that the average humidity of our planet has increased by four percent.” –Katherine Hayhoe (from the video)

    What do you think?

    Here’s the Associated Press on the tornadoes 5/31, with photo. The funnel has that same wide profile:

    France 24 (AFP) quotes KFOR saying the funnel was “nearly a mile wide.”


  49. 549
    MARodger says:

    Walter Crain @539.

    A useful but still short answer to your first question is that over the last decade positive anthropogenic forcings have been increasing at a rate pretty much as in preceding decades. And solar forcings have been negative over the last half decade, which (running at c.-0.2w/m^-2 compared with an otherwise constant 11 year solar cycle) is about half a decade’s-worth of the positive human forcings. There is no significant volcanic forcing within the decade. Natural wobbles (which aren’t usually considered a result of forcing) being conventionally attributed to ENSO (although BEST has tried pointing the finger at AMO wobbles), have been small in amplitude, being mainly warming over the early half-decade and cooling over the later half-decade, the from-warming-to-cooling being roughly about -0.1ºC. Negative anthropogenic forcings over the decade are not well known.

    I should add given you mention AMO & PDO that if you have reasons for including longer-term (multi-decadal) natural fluctuations in you assessment, if so I would advise you to check your reasons more thoroughly. I would also point out that, as OHC has continued to rise pretty constantly through the decade, it is difficult to attribute any slow-down in the rise of surface temperatures directly to forcings acting on the total climate system. And it would be wrong not to mention that the increasing polar ice-loss over the decade represents a significant energy flux.

    The answer to your second actual question would be “cooler but not noticeably so.” The amount temperatures would be depressed by a hypothetical zero-increase in atmospheric CO2 would obviously depend on the period involved. After a period of a decade, for instance, the vast majority of the accumulative effective-change-in-forcing would still be acting and temperature would thus be little affected by such a change in just 10 years. A back-of-fag-packet calculation yields me -0.04ºC after such a period.

  50. 550

    Regarding QB Lu’s new paper, it may be recycling of some old work, but it is still worthwhile to see what he has got. If Lu is correct then our work to reduce halocarbon emission has probably been worth it, yet we don’t know whether his conjecture is right. The following is my attempt at duplicating his work.

    Lu doesn’t actually show the halocarbon plot on his arxiv paper
    “Cosmic Rays, CFCs, Ozone Hole and Global Climate Change: Understandings from a Physicist”

    I got the Northern Hemisphere halocarbon data from here.

    I totaled up the rows since 1940 (it started at 0 in 1940). The offsets don’t matter as Lu is doing a linear regression fit between Halocarbon concentration and Temperature anomaly. I used the HadCrut3 global, with a 3 year smooth and ½ year interval to match the halocarbon interval.

    my graph of Lu’s results

    The important point is that Lu has a lag on halocarbon concentration so that today’s temperature is correlated with the halocarbon concentration from 9 years ago. If you don’t do this the regression is really bad, which is the top figure in the image link. As he states:

    ”In Fig. 10F (and Fig. 10C), a 9-year delay in halocarbon concentrations in the stratosphere from surface-based measurements must be applied, otherwise, global surface temperature would show a sharp rise with high total halocarbon concentrations above 1100 ppt (1.1 ppb).”

    The middle and bottom show the correlation when I add the 9 year correction. As is, without all the solar corrections, I get the same R value of between 0.96 and 0.97 he got (sneaky that he doesn’t use R^2).

    If global average temperature starts going up, his argument that all of global warming is caused by halocarbons will go in the dumpster. However that does not mean that a portion of the global warming is not caused by this GHG. According to the consensus model, 1/3 of the 3 degree per doubling is caused by other GHGs and albedo that is associated with increasing CO2. We probably did knock some of the GHG effect off with reductions in halocarbons.