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Unforced variations: August 2013

Filed under: — group @ 1 August 2013

This month’s open thread.

Since there are two main topics (Advocacy and Methane bombs) buzzing around the blogo-twitter-sphere this week, perhaps those are our starters for ten… (Feel free to populate the comments with links to various commentaries – we will chime in as we find time).


450 Responses to “Unforced variations: August 2013”

  1. 51
    Henk Lankamp says:

    Some first remarks re the Rosema ‘paper':

    1. They assume daily mean temperature is the mean of temperature at noon and at midnight. It isn’t. With clear sky conditions a maximum will occur several hours after noon, and minimum after sunset.

    2. They assume that local temperatures will behave linear between 12Z and 13Z. Such a behaviour is rather seldom.

    3. They assume that the highest value in a 10 (or 20/30) days window around the measurements is the best estimate for a ‘clear sky’ value. It’s perhaps the best estimate for IR radiation, but not for near surface temperatures. Further: clear skies aren’t ‘normal’ for our planet.

  2. 52
    patrick says:

    #25 John Burgeson: That’s Hans von Storch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_von_Storch

    Note the resignation episode and follow the explanatory links if you wish, as far as you please.

    Search his name on this site. There’s a lot. About the Spiegel twist:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/04/climate-scientist-bashing/comment-page-3/

    Note the mentions of Schnellnhuber in the article you cite.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Joachim_Schellnhuber

    “From solid state physics and quantum mechanics, John Schellnhuber´s interest was drawn to complex systems and nonlinearity or chaos theory. This is what later led him to do research on the climate system which is characterised by its complexity and nonlinearity. Having become a full professor for theoretical physics and then director at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment at Oldenburg University in northern Germany, he was involved in analysing the complex structure of ocean currents. In 1991 he was called upon to create PIK before becoming its director in 1993 – making it grow from zero to one of the world’s most renowned climate research institutes with today more than 300 employees following an interdisciplinary approach.”

    Here’s John Schellnhuber two years ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etl0FBDghtA

    “[Due to possibilities in the “logic” of the masking effect of aerosols and the inertia of the ocean] I can argue: Two degrees [centigrade] is not a safe level. Below two degrees probably the Great Barrier Reef will perish…not just because of warming but because of ocean acidification–the combined effect is devastating…But many other systems can survive if you do not turn up the heat more than two degrees. Beyond two degrees large-scale non-linearities will kick in. That means entire organs, if you like–vital organs of the planetary system–might collapse.”

    I’d like to take the last paragraph of the article you cite and make it the lead.

    If you are interested in the controversy that inevitably arises from the first link above, see Michael Mann’s talk linked on the AGU Chapman Conference on Climate Science Communication current post, and maybe this video (plus your RC search):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrKfz8NjEzU

    Spiegel is working the #6 Most Used Climate Myth compiled by SkepticalScience. Sks and every practicing climate scientist around have scooped Spiegel already on the story that–gasp–models may be improved. So there will be no embarrassment in any case (though von Storch’s may endure):

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm

    The either-or given by von Storch in the article is far from exhaustive. There’s another possibility made clear by HJS (see video)–and by Richard Alley on the cli-sci-com thread: one is far from reading, by global surface temp alone, what’s already in the system. If I heard right.

  3. 53
    patrick says:

    Make that: “Schellnhuber” with one “n.”

  4. 54
    Meow says:

    @51: re: “1. They assume daily mean temperature is the mean of temperature at noon and at midnight. It isn’t. With clear sky conditions a maximum will occur several hours after noon, and minimum after sunset.”
    Under clear skies (and assuming — ha! — that the only factor distinguishing day and night is insolation), the minimum will occur slightly before dawn, at which point outgoing IR has just become balanced by absorption of incoming sunlight.

  5. 55
    David B. Benson says:

    owl905 @37 — Thank you! But I suspect we cannot call the event the Clovis comet any longer.

  6. 56
    patrick says:

    51 Thank you for your prompt first remarks. How about the fact that “almost the entire hemisphere” isn’t the globe? Is that relevant?

    If the idea is to develop insurance for hydrological events including drought, it seems that Munich Re and the Reinsurance Association of America are on a more complete page, so to speak. I mean: in regard to what’s significant in climatology for global temperature, and what’s relevant about global trends–including trends of atmospheric and oceanic temperature at every level, CO2, and extreme events.

    The paper says it has “used [Meteosat visual and thermal] data to study recent planetary temperature” that were originally composed to apply to drought monitoring and to crop and river flow forecasting–and to develop insurance for hydrological events including drought, more recently.

  7. 57
    NickC says:

    Back to Advocacy …

    The following link for example points to an enormous unfair onus placed on all actors in the specific anthropogenic debate to be the frontline warriors in a social policy fight. (By specific I mean, not the argument that there is warming, but if the anthropogenic contribution is worrying)

    http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/pubs/00se.html

  8. 58
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Okay, so who exactly is Robert Scribbler? I’m not looking for criticism of fellow scientists or individuals who are working to solve the climate problem but I did a few google searches on Robert and wasn’t able to find much in the way of information. He seems to have a different take on the whole methane debate in that he thinks it may be a serious problem. In case there are a few who are not familiar with his blog here is the link:

    http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/

    I’ve heard of wordpress.com but not Robert Scribbler. I’m looking for a little background information and would like to know if Mr. Scribbler is a scientist of some sort or if anyone can point me in the right direction. Thanks

  9. 59
    MalcolmT says:

    Chuck@58 Given that a ‘scribbler’ is a writer, that the blog has a category devoted to a fantasy novel advertised in the side-bar, and that the novel’s author’s first name is Robert, I don’t think you’re looking at professional scientific work … although I admit I could be wrong.

  10. 60
    flxible says:

    Chuck Hughes, What makes you think Robert whoever is a ‘scientist’? Why does it matter? If you notice the Amazon adverts for books on Mr “Scribblers” blog, you might have a clue to follow to the mans real persona. He appears to be what some refer to as a “talking head”.

  11. 61
    patrick says:

    37 & 55 Thank you. You’ve got my attention.
    “Large Pt anomaly in the Greenland ice core points to a cataclysm at the onset of Younger Dryas” Approved at PNAS June 26. The abstract is here:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/07/17/1303924110.abstract

    Anyone can see the abstract and supporting materials.

    I hope RC does a post or guest post on this, or that there’s something on it at the Fall AGU, or that a contributor weighs in on it on this thread.

  12. 62

    I could weigh in on the purported YD (impact event?). You may not like it though. It’s not necessarily something that can be said in a paragraph, and so I’m not about to dive into this again unless there is a specific request for my personal take on it, independently of the ‘contributors’. Thanks.

  13. 63
    Hank Roberts says:

    > 58,59,60
    The person you’re asking about was reading last month’s open thread and replied to questions about his blog there, and I hope is still participating.
    His heart’s in the right place.

  14. 64
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://garrettcalcaterra.blogspot.com/2013/06/an-annotated-bibliography-for-science.html
    incomplete, but it’s a start (it’s for science fiction related to climate)

    Some excellent links there already to real projects.

  15. 65
    Susan Anderson says:

    1. Fascinating about the platinum and Younger Dryas.

    2. RobertScribbler has been following along and collecting information along with a variety of skilled and unskilled amateurs and scientists at Neven’s blog. His observations about the extraordinary heat at the Ob River are supported by real information about weather extremes, here:
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/show.html
    and more specifically, here
    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=177

    There seems to be a repressive attitude towards discussion of possibilities, particularly when the word methane comes into the discussion. It really is too bad that the extraordinary costs of climate disruption in the ordinary way of business got buried in the specifics of what appears to have been some rather simplistic assumptions and exaggerated scenarios.

    I would suggest that being repressive is going to have the opposite effect from the one intended, as a lot of observation is pouring in. “We don’t know” is not quite the same as “it’s impossible.” Gavin makes this distinction nicely in his tweets. I acknowledge that currently there is a lot of information that indicates for the moment methane is a very very minor contributor and the mechanisms and history say we shouldn’t shift focus or take extreme measures on an outside chance that history and data do not support.

    While one must acknowledge that local weather is only a very small part of the climate record, in a multidisciplinary field, where observation is outstripping theory, it is useful to observe and collect these instances. The most spectacular one is former “skeptic” Stu Ostro’s over 1000 page powerpoint that demonstrates how out of whack recent history is.

    No matter what you do or say, ordinary people are going to relate best to local weather. Instead of stomping on that, the best communicators seem to put it in context (Jeff Masters, Jennifer Francis, Peter Sinclair, et al.).

    [Response: It’s worth addressing one of your points more directly than perhaps I have to date. There are indeed many unknowns going forward and we should certainly be alert for ‘surprises’ or anomalies in the observations that can point us in the right directions. The example of the Antarctic polar ozone hole is a classic example. However, there is a huge difference between maintaining vigilance and declaring an imminent and ongoing ‘emergency’ – as is being done by a few people associated with the ‘methane’ issue. It is the difference between installing smoke detectors and yelling ‘Fire!’. Sometimes, as with the overall climate trajectory we are on, we can marshall a lot of theoretical knowledge, successful predictions, and ongoing observations to make a robust case for what to expect. Other times, there is no theoretical basis (merely extreme extrapolations), no successful track record, and no supporting observations (imaginary shallow hydrates for instance). These two cases are not equivalent, and when people expect us to give the two projections equal consideration, they are just going to be frustrated. Scientifically, it does not matter what is being predicted, but rather how it is being predicted. Astrologers who predict that you will meet a tall dark handsome stranger today may occasionally be correct – but the method by which they come to their predictions is demonstrably worthless, and so an occasionally correct guess does not count for much. Method matters. – gavin]

  16. 66
    Hank Roberts says:

    But, whoah, look how the “methane emergency” meme is being propagated:
    http://hieroglyph.asu.edu/forums/topic/methane-burps-in-arctic-and-climate-change/
    Any of you authors, check in there with some reality.

  17. 67
    Hank Roberts says:

    > repressive … discussion of possibilities

    Anything might possible sometime.

    Facts, observations, and probabilities are constraints, not repression.

  18. 68
    E.L. says:

    In the linked article by Tamsin Edwards, the author ponders the notion that scientists should be some type of impartial judges of fact. But I wonder where the author believes such judicial authority will come from in our society. Simply stating that evolution is real is sufficient enough to be hated by a large portion of American society. So it seems to me that the author fails to realize that there is competing authorities out there on what is and what isn’t fact. And as soon as scientists make a claim on a fact, they are also making a political statement that their competitors are wrong.

    In addition, why shouldn’t scientists admit their conformation biases as Gavin suggested? Conformation bias is one of the deadly sins of scientific thinking. Should the public be lead to believe that scientists are not like mortal men who are subject to such concerns? Scientists should not only state their biases in the open, but carefully explain how they avoided allowing those biases from impacting their studies. I think that’s simply good science.

    Just my 2 cents…

  19. 69
    Chuck Hughes says:

    As a non scientist and someone who tries very hard to be a “realist”, I want to separate the wheat from the chaff if I can and I know many others are trying to do the same. I’m all for anyone focused on solutions and realistic outcomes and try to avoid being overly dramatic when discussing Climate Change with friends and family but it helps to have accurate, up to date information based on sound science and research, which is why I keep reading this site.

    After reading what Hank Roberts and others had to say about methane, what Mr. Scribbler said in response to what Gavin and others had said seemed overly dramatic to me but I needed a second opinion.

    One thing I’m curious about now is this…. will we or have we already reached a point where CO2 levels are increasing without human contribution? Thanks

  20. 70
    David B. Benson says:

    Thomas Lee Elifritz @62 — Opine away, please.

  21. 71
    Radge Havers says:

    E.L. @ 68

    Two words:
    Peer review

    Transparency is generally a good thing for a number of reasons. Sometimes it preempts the debators and their rhetorical tricks, and that’s good enough in itself.

    “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    AGW is real, and it’s reasonable to assume that climatologists may have some insight into what to do about it, even though society at large could in theory consciously chose to deal with it through suicide–as a matter of policy. It’s ok for individual climatologists to disagree with that, and their integrity shouldn’t be impugned or the reality of AGW dismissed because of it.

  22. 72
    patrick says:

    62 Thomas Lee Effritz Yes, please do. Please.

  23. 73

    “One thing I’m curious about now is this…. will we or have we already reached a point where CO2 levels are increasing without human contribution?”

    #69–No, not yet–or else we’d be witnessing a tremendous rise in the atmospheric concentration of CO2.

    That must be the case, since we know that Earth’s systems have been sinking ~50% of our emissions. So you’d expect concentration increase rates to double or more, compared with the rates we’ve been experiencing if the planet ( mostly meaning, probably, the oceans) suddenly became a net source of CO2. There’d be no missing that…

    As to the future possibilities, I leave that question to those much more knowledgable than I am–remarking only that deglaciations in the past seem to have involved CO2 increases without human assistance, and there’s no reason to think the fundamental physics are any different today.

  24. 74
    Hank Roberts says:

    I’m not sure about how to interpret this one:
    > “… a point where CO2 levels are increasing without human contribution?”

    Do you mean without -further- human contribution?
    And do you mean levels in the atmosphere, the oceans, or the sum of the two?

    We’re not talking about an increase that increases (a “runaway” feedback) — yet.

    That runaway becomes the story if we take several more stupid steps in that stupid direction, making things worse (Donella Meadows warns we often do know where the leverage point is and push systems in the wrong direction).

    We (as a species, with a future) need to find the smart path and take steps along it — invest the time and money in less immediately profitable longterm ways, taking the short term costs on ourselves instead of externalizing them to poorer people and the future.

    Get off the wrong mountain, go through the valley and start climing the right mountain, energywise, as Neil Stephenson put it recently. He wrote of:

    “… the true innovation-killer of our age. In this environment, the best an audacious manager can do is to develop small improvements to existing systems—climbing the hill, as it were, toward a local maximum, trimming fat, eking out the occasional tiny innovation—like city planners painting bicycle lanes on the streets as a gesture toward solving our energy problems. Any strategy that involves crossing a valley—-accepting short-term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance—-will soon be brought to a halt by the demands of a system that celebrates short-term gains and tolerates stagnation, but condemns anything else as failure. In short, a world where big stuff can never get done.”

    That’s from:
    Innovation Starvation | World Policy Institute
    http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/fall2011/innovation-starvation‎

  25. 75
  26. 76
    prokaryotes says:

    From above link

    “The temporal mismatch between methane release from gas hydrates and the onset of euxinia and mass extinction suggests that at best methane release was a consequence and not a driving mechanism. There is increasing evidence that the release of volatiles to the atmosphere from widespread flood basalt volcanism, especially through interaction with surrounding crustal rocks, was among the prime causes for the end-Triassic and Pliensbachian–Toarcian mass extinction and ensuing marine anoxic events.”

    This was 200mil years ago, a very active geological time, however the processes at play likely occur because of ocean stratification – anoxic events.

    ie.

    Increased thermohaline stratification as a possible cause for an ocean anoxic event in the Cretaceous period http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v409/n6818/abs/409325a0.html

  27. 77

    I’ve been having trouble with the comment form and so this will be brief, the biggest problem I’ve had with this hypothesis is did something happen at all, that’s always a sticking point with me even starting such a conversation. Certainly whatever ‘it’ is doesn’t appear to be a large cometary airburst onto the ice sheet, forming a temporary circular crater lake and a drainage nexus for the catastrophic discharge of glacial Lake Agassiz. That’s if you believe the composition reports of the various impact spherules.

    It’s possibly to think about such things though because the ice sheets were ubiquitous and there is already a one in a hundred year Tunguska type flux, and so some outliers would be expected on millennial and one in ten thousand years, but to my mind it seems far fetched according to its form.

    There is Corossol, though, and if you think about a big hypervelocity straight down impact of a heavy bolide through a thick ice sheet and then forming a columnar disruption down into the bedrock, then maybe we’re just seeing the bottom of it, and then possibly you could get into some magnitudes that align with some of the data. There then is the additional attraction of an ozone collapse and a ten year deviation from the atmospheric norm, which may very well be enough to tip the scales against a very fragile megafaunal foraging and hunter gatherer relationships. Corossol is kinda in the right place too. So some deep seismic information on Corossol might be useful here, not much else out there to find.

    So the Younger Dryas is still a hydraulic phenomenon, I can’t connect the dots to anything else. There is still a huge battle going on more or less over the locations, magnitudes, durations and frequency of the discharges and their various effects on the atmospheric and oceanic circulation and ice feedbacks.

    I hope that helps and I’d be happy to answer any specific questions. This topic is pretty easy to follow.

  28. 78

    Interesting recent abstract

    W. Wang, P. Ciais, R. R. Nemani, J. G. Canadell, S. Piao, S. Sitch, M. A. White, H. Hashimoto, C. Milesi, and R. B. Myneni, “Variations in atmospheric CO2 growth rates coupled with tropical temperature,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013.

    I don’t have full access to the paper, but the press releases of the paper say “The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that a temperature anomaly of just 1ºC (in near surface air temperatures in the tropics) leads to a 3.5-Petagram (billion tonnes of carbon) anomaly in the annual CO2 growth rate, on average. This is the equivalent of 1/3 of the annual global emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation together.”

    I am interested if anyone has seen the full paper and if this 1/3 is permanent or transient.

  29. 79
    sidd says:

    Thanx for ocean anoxia/euxinia posts. Any oceanographers around want to hazard a guess as to the probability of Red Sea or Med going anoxic or euxinic in the next century ?

    sidd

  30. 80

    @owl, please make contact,I’m back in the land of the living [sorry for OT comment]

  31. 81
  32. 82
    E.L. says:

    @71. “Peer review” doesn’t necessarily lend the same kind of authority in the broader public as it does in the expert community. Once information is brought to the public, it’s potentially competing with other interests. And the discourse of debate isn’t always harmonious with facts. Debate teams are born and raised to argue the best despite facts. And the news networks by and large operate on the drama of such debates.

  33. 83
    owl905 says:

    @77 – at one juncture in the remote past, the YD Event had bold font possibilities for being the event that kicked off the anomaly of the current inter-glacial (it snuffed out the internally forced drive that heats the inter-glacial out). It was also the endgame for the European Solutrean technology transfer (okay, that’s crypto-archeaology). But the tough part was having the guys at RC say there was no Santa Claus at all.
    But it’s not over – the 3-impact group around the St. Lawrence basin show iron residue, and the hypothesis from the Pataev et. al. papers is an iron meteorite with a platinum instead of iridium component. The railway spike would be platinum (who has non-alluvial differentiators?) residue in the three craters.

  34. 84
    owl905 says:

    @77 – at one juncture in the remote past, the YD Event had bold font possibilities for being the event that kicked off the anomaly of the current inter-glacial (it snuffed out the internally-forced drivers that overcooks the thaw). It was also the endgame for the European Solutrean technology transfer (okay, that’s crypto-archeaology). But the tough part was having the guys at RC say there was no Santa Claus at all.
    But it’s not over – the 3-impact group around the St. Lawrence basin show iron residue, and the hypothesis from the Pataev et. al. papers is an iron meteorite with a platinum instead of iridium component. The railway spike would be platinum (who has non-alluvial differentiators?) residue in the three craters.

  35. 85
    patrick says:

    74 Hank > Innovation Starvation: crossing the valley (to get the big stuff done).

    That reminds me closely of John Schellnhuber’s animation (starting at minute 43:00) in his “Climate Change: the Critical Decade” talk at Melbourne (2011):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etl0FBDghtA

  36. 86
    Chuck Hughes says:

    “Do you mean without -further- human contribution?
    And do you mean levels in the atmosphere, the oceans, or the sum of the two?” – Hank Roberts

    Yes and yes. Where the rise in CO2 is being perpetuated by the planet itself, independent of human activity and due to various feedbacks. It seems that we may be headed in that direction from what I can gather but of course I have no idea. We may be a long way from such an event but that seems more likely to me now than some sort of “methane burp.”

    Kevin says we’re not there yet because if we were “we would be seeing a tremendous rise in CO2 levels.” I trust that to be the case but does that mean we’re still a long way from that becoming a reality or is it a distinct possibility in the not to distant future (that’s assuming a BAU scenario remains in place and politicians continue to do nothing)? Thanks

  37. 87
  38. 88
  39. 89
    Radge Havers says:

    E.L. @ 82

    Well, yeah. This is a known problem, hence the discussion of ‘advocacy': what’s appropriate for scientists, how can it be done to effectively promote action and understanding, etc. There may be more broad acceptance of AGW than you realize, but the general passivity, and the corrupt elements that promote it are problematic.

    That said, my limited understanding of what’s controversial about advocacy is not the tackling of denial, but rather how the lines between science and policy are defined. There are areas of overlap and areas where we’re talking about different kinds of expertise– areas where scientists could quickly find themselves out of their depth and making a distraction of themselves. And then there’s the touchy specter of potential conflicts of interest.

    From where I sit, it looks like climate science, historically removed from people’s daily concerns, isn’t quite plugged in yet to civic mechanisms for preparedness in the way that, say, seismology or meteorology are.

  40. 90
    Jeffrey Davis says:

    There are temperate zone clathrates where water temps are beyond anything envisioned by AGW for Arctic regions. It’s damn difficult to get clathrates to give up their goodies. If it were easy, the natural gas companies would have long since killed us by exploiting it.

    Temperate zone people in the Northern Hemisphere will be dead from the advance of tropical diseases or glowing from nukes used in The Great Food War long before we succumb to a giant Arctic fart.

  41. 91
    Pat Cassen says:

    Web @78: Full paper is here; I haven’t read it yet.

  42. 92
    Hank Roberts says:

    The guy who’s writing the methane emergency stuff at the Guardian, and engaging so much with Gavin on Twitter, is the author of some material profiled at Sourcewatch:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/War_on_freedom
    ————–
    Think Tank Study: Did Bush Policies Aid 9/11 Attacks? New book incriminates top officials in 9/11 atrocity, June 7, 2002 /Xpress Press/:

    … The War on Freedom: How and Why America was Attacked, by a British political scientist at the Institute for Policy Research & Development (IPRD), documenting that the White House and U.S. intelligence must have known more than they admit.”

    … “Institute for Policy Research & Development (IPRD), a think tank based in Brighton, UK, is honoured to announce the publication of a powerful new study of the September 11th terrorist attacks, by Executive Director, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed.”
    —————–

    Evidence?
    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  43. 93

    #86–“Kevin says we’re not there yet because if we were “we would be seeing a tremendous rise in CO2 levels.” I trust that to be the case but does that mean we’re still a long way from that becoming a reality or is it a distinct possibility in the not to distant future (that’s assuming a BAU scenario remains in place and politicians continue to do nothing)?”

    That I don’t know, not really. I’d guess that change in such a distributed system might not be likely to be abrupt–we are talking about multiple sinks and sources distributed over almost all the planet’s surface, with maybe hundreds or thousands of biological species involved. I think there’s quite a lot of complexity on the geochemical side, too.

    Also–and speaking of geochemistry–ocean outgassing would be an important piece of the puzzle, and it’s pretty linear with temperature, right? So it *should* get worse gradually, not abruptly.

    But this is all pretty much off the top of my head.

  44. 94
    Pat Cassen says:

    Web – They’re talking about interannual variability, not long-term growth rates:
    Here we show a strong and persistent coupling (r2 ≈ 0.50) between interannual variations of the CO2 growth rate and tropical land–surface air temperature during 1959 to 2011, with a 1 °C tropical temperature anomaly leading to a 3.5 ± 0.6 Petagrams of carbon per year (PgC/y) CO2 growth-rate anomaly on average.

  45. 95

    #78–Found a PDF, here:

    http://cybele.bu.edu/download/manuscripts/weile-wang-cgr-temp-pnas-2013.pdf

    Hope to read it later; it should have some bearing on Chuck’s question, if only indirectly.

  46. 96
    Hank Roberts says:

    In the Guardian Nafeez Ahmed writes:

    “… studies do indicate past precedent. A 2009 Science paper argues that abrupt, catastrophic emissions from Arctic methane clathrates including from thawing permafrost played a key role 11,600 years ago at the end of the Younger Dryas …”

    His link leads, with one further click, to this study:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/324/5926/506.abstract

    Which says:

    “Corrected results suggest that wetland sources were likely responsible for the majority of the Younger Dryas–Preboreal CH4 rise.”

    —————

    Nafeez Ahmed appears to be conflating permafrost in wetlands with permafrost underwater with methane hydrates.

  47. 97

    #84 – Yes, but the data seems to reveal something at the limit of resolution and does not support the idea of an oblique exploding volatile rich bolide catastrophe south of Lake Nipigon, spewing fragments far and wide. That’s your very distant plan B should the data continue to support a cataclysm, but the composition data doesn’t seem to support that, and the area is not indicative of a direct contact impact. Maybe some other ice age, who knows, but certainly a repetitive glacial lake drainage nexus need not be impact related. So the better approach is to take a closer look at Corossol crater.

  48. 98
    prokaryotes says:

    Hank, i do not think it is valid to discount arguments from Nafeez Ahmed on an entirely different topic. What he does is to help bring awareness to the greatest threat in human history, to a broader audience and for that we should be thankful.

    Here is a solution focused movie from him

    The Crisis of Civilization
    http://climatestate.com/2013/05/03/the-crisis-of-civilization/

  49. 99
  50. 100

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