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IPCC WG2 report now out

Filed under: — group @ 30 March 2014

Instead of speculations based on partial drafts and attempts to spin the coverage ahead of time, you can now download the final report of the IPCC WG2: “Climate Change 2014:Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” directly. The Summary for Policy Makers is here, while the whole report is also downloadable by chapter. Notably there are FAQ for the whole report and for each chapter that give a relatively easy way in to the details. Note too that these are the un-copyedited final versions, and minor edits, corrections and coherent figures will be forthcoming in the final published versions. (For reference, the WG1 report was released in Sept 2013, but only in final published form in Jan 2014). Feel free to link to interesting takes on the report in the comments.


131 Responses to “IPCC WG2 report now out”

  1. 1
    Danny Bloom says:

    climate change friends and advisors HELP ME on this DAN BLOOM asks re recent AP story that mocks global warming issues as a mere “game” WTF? your opinion? tell me

    Shame on AP reporters SETH BORENSTEIN inm DC and KAORI HITOMI in Tokyo whose bylines appeared on Ap story online for for ending their very important and good climate story with a mockery of serious issue by writing in last graf: ” So far, the scientists have not come up with the next step, common on Facebook pages: The interactive quiz to determine which global warming problem you most resemble.” WTF? That is funny? Mocking the serious issues confronting humankind
    by adding that last graf that lowers the discussion to trendy Facebook list trend and asking which global warming problem the reader most resembles?

    I wrote to Seth and he apologized and said he was jetlagged and wishes he never added the last graf. but it went on the wire worldwide now and the climate denialists are eating it up: “see” they say ” even AP mocks global warming as a mere trendy facebook list game and of course climate change is a hoax.”

    Thanks AP for being a professional wire service. NOT.

    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2014/03/30/2003586877

  2. 2
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    Most probably due to some goverment pressure, the possibility of adaptation is now emphasized …
    Some media are seeing this as kind of U turn … But, due to our innaction, it will be a necessity rather than a “new” possibility …
    I´m afraid this approach will backfire in the medium and long term: most people won´t NOW reduce emissions as IT IS NECESSARY.
    Adaptation will only slightly soften some of the problems, only to some people, and only for some time … And it will be very expensive too!

  3. 3
    Mike Donald says:

    Ah well. Here’s the Guardian’s 5 key point from the report

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-five-key-points

    Is it me or is there a reduction in the number and venom of denialist posters on the web? Wishful thinking I’m sure.

  4. 4
    pete best says:

    Here in the UK it has been announced and reported on but then one of the BBC’s talk radio stations (5live) decided that a more critical response was needed and hence Judith Curry has been interviewed. Oh the joy of our fair and balanced media. However she just seemed to focus on the fact that there has been no warming for 16 years (she have a peer reviewed paper for that fact I wonder) and then told us about how ACC is but part of a larger environmental picture (feeding the world etc).

    So it turns out that there is no warming but there is some ACC but its only one amongst a lot of issues environmentally hence the sceptical side of the argument are still and forever casting their doubt.

  5. 5
    GlenFergus says:

    I’ve long thought that, like the 2°C maximum warming target, there should be an ocean acidification target at pH 8.0, as a global surface average. Such a target would have real meaning to many technical non-specíalists, and might help engage them with the consequences.

    It’s disappointing that WG2 chose to formulate figure SPM.6 in terms of pH change alone, without reference to absolute values. There’s not even some note like, say, “Average global ocean surface pH over 1981-2005 was 8.1″.

  6. 6
    Rob Nicholls says:

    1. Rafael Molina Navas (#2). I don’t think the IPCC is necessarily over-emphasising adaptation (compared to mitigation), although there are blogs and media reports suggesting this.

    I noticed that Professor Curry’s article on AR5 WG2 yesterday (admittedly before WG2 was published) seemed to imply that the IPCC seems to be now focussing more on adaptation and less on mitigation, and Curry quotes (apparently favourably) a Telegraph article by Andrew Lilico saying “If the leaked draft is reflected in the published report, it will constitute the formal moving on of the debate from the past, futile focus upon “mitigation” to a new debate about resilience and adaptation.”

    Leaving aside the breathtaking statement that mitigation is “futile” (perhaps these people live on a planet where 3 or 4 or 5 degrees C of sudden warming can be said with certainty not to have very serious negative impacts, but I fear the impacts may be very serious here on Earth), I don’t think the IPCC is “moving on” from a focus on mitigation. I understand that a whole IPCC working group (Working Group III) is dedicated to the mitigation of climate change. I think it will release its report on 13th April.
    One more quote from Prof Curry: “While I have yet to read the entire WG2 Report, the message that I am getting is there is a great deal of uncertainty in the attribution and future projections of climate change impacts, and that the threats on the timescale of the 21st century are not existential.” Once again, Curry’s repeating the suggestion that the attribution of climate change is much more uncertain than the totality of the evidence seems to suggest (I’m not a physicist, I’m just going by the IPCC’s view, and Curry has not presented the extraordinary evidence needed to support her extraordinary statement that the IPCC has got it very wrong). Curry seems to be strangely comforted by all the uncertainty around future climate change impacts, as if the uncertainty is on our side. This is not a good way to manage such major risks.

  7. 7
    Robert Dyson says:

    Working to slow global warming and in principle start to reverse it does not fit the short-term profits of a lot of powerful people, even assuming they have a grasp of the matter. For most of us it would be wonderful work and jobs with clear beneficial goals that would be enjoyable to do. The response of many of the relatives of the missing Malaysian flight shows how some people will deny the best evidence. I am in a community group trying to raise awareness of climate change, and help with mitigating technologies like insulation and solar power, but it is incredibly hard to move people.

  8. 8
    Rob Nicholls says:

    Having re-read the quote from Judith Curry in my comment above, I think she was probably talking about the attribution of climate change impacts (relevant to WG2) rather than the attribution of climate change itself (relevant to WG1), and so I think she probably wasn’t repeating her previous suggestion that the attribution of climate change (in terms of warming over the last 50 years or so) is much more uncertain than the totality of the evidence seems to suggest (according to IPCC WG1). Apologies for this misinterpretation.

  9. 9
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Here’s a quick summary: We are all sitting ducks.

  10. 10
    Chris Dudley says:

    My favorite figure so far is Figure SPM.5. This shows that under RCP2.6 extinctions can be avoided. Just think, we can still emit 270 Gt of carbon and avoid some serious issues. We’ve got a cushion!

  11. 11
    Hank Roberts says:

    > global surface average

    Have you talked to any ocean biologists about that criterion?
    It’s been a while since I have, but I’d expect they’d tell you that it’s not the average that kills the organisms, it’s the excursion, and the timing of the excursion.

    You can get a hell of a lot of polluting done before the average reaches some threshold criterion, and polluters know that if you instead limit emissions and watch for extreme events, you have a better chance of reducing the damage to ecosystems. Costs’em tho’.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Rachel F says:

    Pete B, I despair at the BBC.
    Five live seem to be even worse than Radio Four, which is pretty dire. They actively promote deniers. No better than Fox news.
    I wrote another strong letter to them, this time as a formal complaint about their general reporting on CC. If more people would complain more frequently, they might listen eventually. They are supposed to be the voice of mainstream thought and reliability and they are most certainly not in this case. It is very misleading for the public.

  14. 14

    #2, Rafael Molina Navas,

    Regardless of reducing emissions, adaptation is necessary because the committed warming will set the climate for about the next 20 years.

  15. 15
    GlenFergus says:

    Hank, Hoegh-Guldberg lives in my town (but it’s a big town…). Answer is no, haven’t asked, but I reckon I know what he’d say. Has said, tirelessly.

    You could make a similar point about 2°C. It’s not the global average that kills things.

  16. 16
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    #13 Chris Reynolds
    You are right … but I said that too:
    “… adaptation … due to our innaction, it will be a necessity rather than a “new” possibility”
    #6 Rob Nichols (and others who mentioned BBC)
    I wrote my post before reading more deeply and directly IPCC paper … just after listening BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme, where in an interview to one of the “authors” in Japan, the presenter and the interviewee were both emphasizing adaptation as a “new” approach in IPCC paper…

  17. 17
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    #13 Chris Reynolds
    You are right … but I said that too:
    “… adaptation … due to our innaction, it will be a necessity rather than a “new” possibility”
    #6 Rob Nichols (and others who mentioned BBC)
    I wrote my post before reading more deeply and directly IPCC paper … just after listening BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme, where in an interview to one of the authors in Japan, both the presenter and the interviewee were emphasizing adaptation as “new” approach in IPCC paper …

  18. 18
    Hank Roberts says:

    > It’s not the global average that kills things

    Yeah, things (plants and animals, including us) getting killed is a concern for those individuals.

    But (except for the individuals and communities affected) killing individuals isn’t tragic, all die one way or another.

    Killing off populations, ecosystems, and species has a nasty feedback multiplier: trophic cascades.

    I keep wondering if the whales can come recover, or if we’re already capturing too much krill to leave food for whale populations to recover.

  19. 19
    dan bloom says:

    NYTimes today link – College Classes Use Arts to Brace for Climate Change

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/education/using-the-arts-to-teach-how-to-prepare-for-climate-crisis.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

    New York Times
    … of the mushrooming subgenre of speculative fiction known as climate fiction, or cli-fi, novels like “Odds Against Tomorrow,” by Nathaniel Rich, …

    Using the Arts to Teach How to Prepare for Climate Crisis

    … of the mushrooming subgenre of speculative fiction known as climate fiction, or cli-fi, novels like “Odds Against Tomorrow,” by Nathaniel Rich,

  20. 20
    John Bruno says:

    Hank,

    As Glen says, it isn’t the global average that matters, for temperature, pH, or really any environmental factor that affects critters. What affects them is deviations (short and long term) from the conditions under which they evolved and are physiologically acclimatized to, i.e., local conditions.

    In terms of pH, we have a poor understanding of what “normal” is in many parts of the ocean, especially nearshore environments, or how much variability there is in “normal” even over short time scales (days, hours, etc). Check out Fig 2 in Hoffman et al 2011: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0028983

    and Table 1, ie, mean pH among the samples sites ranged from 7.8 to 8.1 and within some sites. Just like with surface or ocean temperature, the global average pH is a pretty meaningless value, and like temperature, pH is changing at dramatically different rates in different regions (due to greenhouse gas emissions).

    Cheers,

    John B
    Prof of Biology, UNC Chapel Hill

  21. 21
    Chuck Hughes says:

    This was on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams as of tonight:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/no-one-immune-study-offers-bleak-climate-change-outlook-n68436

    I’m wondering if even this goes far enough in explaining in no uncertain terms how dire our situation is?

    I don’t guess there’s any way to get Judith Curry to put a sock in it. I don’t understand what her problem is with being able to analyze the data and be accurate. Is she doing this on purpose or is she just that thick? Rhetorical question I know but it boggles the mind.

  22. 22
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    #6 Rob Nichols (and others who mentioned BBC), and #17 (mine)
    What follows, from last part of linked BBC News article, is in similar line to what I heard yesterday at “Today” programme.
    “I think the really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about managing climate change as a problem in managing risks,” said Dr Chris Field.
    “Climate change is really important but we have a lot of the tools for dealing effectively with it – we just need to be smart about it.”
    There is far greater emphasis to adapting to the impacts of climate in this new summary. The problem, as ever, is who foots the bill?
    I WOULD ASK Dr Field: Is it now THAT simple, do we JUST need to be smart about it? … Has that “solution” not been there for many many years, to no avail?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26824943

  23. 23
    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid says:

    #20 John B
    “Just like with surface or ocean temperature, the global average pH is a pretty meaningless value, and like temperature, pH is changing at dramatically different rates in different regions (due to greenhouse gas emissions)”.
    ¿MEANINGLESS values? … I consider you, Prof of Biology, should be more carefull when choosing your words … They mislead ordinary people.

  24. 24
    Pete Best says:

    Rachel – yes indeed scientifically the BBC is somewhat seemingly biased but they would say fair and balanced (due diligence or something like that). To understand all things newspaper then watch this from the now sadly departed Stephen Sneider:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmlHbt5jja4

    GENIUS

  25. 25
    Chris Dudley says:

    One of the interesting repercussions of this report is that while RCP2.6 emission scenario requires little adaptation beyond what we are doing now, the others do imply a need for adaptation and the current figure is around $100 billion an year for poor countries. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/01/world/climate-study-puts-diplomatic-pressure-on-obama.html

    This means that there is an opportunity to reduce risk that might cut that $100 billion/year figure substantially.

    Our national flood insurance program http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Flood_Insurance_Program makes flood insurance available in communities that adopt flood plain management ordinances that prevent construction in flood plains, thus eliminating flood risk over time. A world climate insurance program might include some similar features. Insurance for climate damage might be issued to countries that take steps to mitigate risk, such as cutting greenhouse emissions, preserving forests, withdrawing from flood plains, building storm shelters, and constructing famine prevention infrastructure.

    Owing to the environmental clause in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), premiums for the insurance program could be subsidized through tariffs on the exports of countries that do not participate in the program because they intend to increase greenhouse gas emissions or destroy forests.

    For the US, the program would likely look like re-insurance, with the tariffs on Chinese imports backstopping increased payouts for flood and crop insurance. In less developed nations, if may look more like the introduction of flood and crop insurance for the first time with a couple of decades of low premiums while development goals are met.

    The nice thing about this is that full participation means low premiums and few occasions for payouts since all countries would be cutting emissions and preserving forests. Partial participation, on the other hand, cuts the economic growth rate of nonparticipants by reducing their export market share. This slows the growth in emissions, and if payouts become very large, cuts off those exports entirely, likely ending emissions growth. Such a function also helps to limit program costs.

    Full participation by all nations might also be used to greatly accelerate emission cuts by including a “biggest loser” mechanism, where premium holidays are allowed based on the most effective mitigation efforts.

    Another feedback that might be useful would be to invest the insurance program reserve funds in mitigation technology such as clean energy projects.

  26. 26
    John Bruno says:

    Rafael Molina Navas, Madrid, meaningless yes in the context of the discussion. Like the average salary of everyone in Spain has no influence on your personal spending and financial situation, animals don’t respond to the global average (temp or pH), just what they experience locally.

  27. 27
    owl905 says:

    WG2 is playing catch-up with circumstances and developments. Like WG1, it is bogged down in covering all the bases with all the pro-pollutionist attacks and claims – attacks and claims that have quite simply worked better than the explanation of the science. That link to Brian Williams ed. on it is worth the price of admissions for the single moment of clarity:
    “Here is the takeaway: unless the world changes course quickly and dramatically, the fundamental systems that support human civilization are at risk.”

    For a counterpoint – how to get the wrong thing on the table in a way that really sizzles and sells: Exxon’s Outlook Report, issued its forecast of energy demand and supply through 2040. They see their forecast, with lower GHG growth, primarily through efficiencies and reduced coal usage. And they shine when they say it closest to RCP 4.5 with no impact on dividends. And for icing, they even have a graph (by global region) showing a “Mission Accomplished” gentle rise in CO2 that naturally flattens and starts to decline in mid-2020s:

    http://cdn.exxonmobil.com/~/media/Files/Other/2014/Report%20-%20Energy%20and%20Carbon%20-%20Managing%20the%20Risks.pdf

    Like Lincoln (would have) said: “You can fuel some of the people all of the time.”

    And a footnote: for anyone to write that the average for global temperature and ocean pH is ‘pretty much a meaningless value’ is not only sad with an edge of hubris, they adds to a serious drift towards turning AGW dangers into a game of ‘Where’s Waldo?’

  28. 28
    Killian says:

    10 Chris Dudley says:
    31 Mar 2014 at 9:28 AM

    My favorite figure so far is Figure SPM.5. This shows that under RCP2.6 extinctions can be avoided. Just think, we can still emit 270 Gt of carbon and avoid some serious issues. We’ve got a cushion!

    No, you don’t. I like to point out… Greenland is already melting. The thick ASI is virtually gone. West Antarctica is losing more ice than Greenland. Methane emissions in Siberian waters are expanding rapidly, now thought to not be equal to all other natural sources, but twice that.

    And, my favorite, look at a graph of ASI extent going back to 1900. When did the ice start decreasing? 1953. What was the CO2 ppm then? About 315, iirc. ****315****. Not 400, not 450, not 350. 315. This means the planet started responding in significant ways to warming virtually as soon as we passed 300ppm. Add in the lag time, and the hard limit is definitely 300.

    Sorry, but you have ZERO cushion. But perhaps, and hopefully, your “!” was intended to invoke sarcasm.

  29. 29
    Fred says:

    The report was a major disappointment. Apparently, the IPCC is simply unable to produce anything timely, or properly disseminate just how serious the current changes are.

    I think the IPCC is now irrelevant, incapable of keeping up with the current measurements and assessments, too slow to produce anything useable, and too weak to speak the clear truth. Literally “ever word” was wrangled over – this is not what humankind needs now.

    Once again, climate science “lets us down” (imo). A planetary emergency exists – and we’re still at square one. The IPCC utterly failed to issue an emergency alert. Or even account for a number of positive feedbacks. So what was the point in this futile exercise? Apparently, to appease politicians and industry.

    The IPCC is irrelevant. Much to do producing nothing useable. There is STILL disagreement. STILL debate. STILL hesitation.

    Unbelievable. But what I’ve come to expect from supposed “experts”.

    Sorry – but you guys and gals are doing a SHITTY job informing the world just how serious the situation really is. You’ve lost the public debate already. And I’m going to keep saying that until somebody in your group starts telling it like it is. Just how bad does it need to get before somebody speaks up? All this piddling around is a gigantic waste of time humanity doesn’t have.

  30. 30
    Hank Roberts says:

    > the average … pH

    I think a few readers may be getting this point backward.

    Someone earlier proposed setting an average ocean pH as a _target_.

    I argued that — for a variety of reasons — you can’t do that.

    Later comments conflate pH with atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    CO2 in air is well mixed within a year or so. We know the CO2 average because nature averages it out — mixes CO2 planet-wide. So people can — meaningfully — talk about a target, whether it’s 350 or whatever. It’s measurable.

    Ocean pH is increasing.
    You can’t specify _any_ average target.

    No average is available.

    Nature doesn’t mix CO2 well fast in water like it does in air.

    We don’t have the global data nor instruments to get such data globally, needed to figure out an average. And it wouldn’t matter if we did, average doesn’t matter.

    Local pH excursions limit what lives

    ‘oogle it: ocean pH meter measurement change accuracy “error bars” — then use Scholar.

    See the difference? Opinions vary.
    Facts, not so much.

    Sure, politically, you can make up anything and call it a goal.

    The goal should be — no damage from ocean pH change, stop doing that.

  31. 31
    Fred Magyar says:

    For Crimminie’s sake! The folks in this thread who are complaining about Prof. Bruno’s comment about the global pH average of the oceans apparently understand neither averages nor ecosystems and biology! The average pH value is indeed MEANINGLESS to organisms at the local level. Furthermore this statement should neither confuse nor confound the readership here. This is after all, a science based site, not intended for the AVERAGE (pun intended) reader >:-) BTW if anyone wants to understand the affects of pH at the local level, may I suggest setting up a living coral reef aquarium and letting the pH rise and fall over the course of a few months while observing what happens to the occupants of the tank…

  32. 32

    “But perhaps, and hopefully, your “!” was intended to invoke sarcasm.”

    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/03/ipcc-wg2-report-now-out/comment-page-1/#comment-488981

    Killian, I do believe you’ve divined his intent…

  33. 33
    Radge Havers says:

    Fred @ ~ 29

    The blame, if you will, is shared and widespread. The message is out there, you’re aware of it for instance. What we lack most of all is leadership from members of our corrupted political system, and serious reporting and commentary from members of our MSM entertainment industry who masquerade as journalists.

    Still, it’s an interestng question; how much of a difference can messaging from scientists potentially make? If you think it’s so easy, you try it.

  34. 34
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Fred@29,
    Might I suggest that you pause and reflect a bit, and maybe become a bit more familiar with the situation in which WG2 is operating before trashing the efforts of those who are doing far, far more to address the problem than you are.

  35. 35
    Eli Rabett says:

    BBC took it on the nose a few days ago when the House Commons Committee Report told them to stop with the false balance and give the deniers 3% of the time or so.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-26845103

  36. 36
    Hank Roberts says:

    When I ‘oogled pH target etc. (yesterday), the top 2 hits are the watts and curry blogs. Hyping false precision? Eschew.

  37. 37
    sidd says:

    Re: “West Antarctica is losing more ice than Greenland”

    i thought the opposite was true
    sidd

  38. 38
    Chris Dudley says:

    Ah, the Killian, still full of p&v. OK, you follow RCP2.6 with me until 2100 and I’ll work with you to get to 280 ppm thereafter. Deal? We’ll be at 361 ppm in 2300 without sweating it so that part shouldn’t be too hard. It’s just the part prior to 2100 that will take a little thought on how to make it happen. http://nldr.library.ucar.edu/repository/assets/osgc/OSGC-000-000-010-882.pdf

  39. 39
    Dean Myerson says:

    Some of the coverage I’ve seen, including some network news in the US, has emphasized negative impacts on agriculture, particularly later in this century, but some starting now.

    Nothing personal against polar bears and ice packs, but the possibility of food shortages or even food price increases could motivate the public a lot more than arctic impacts.

  40. 40
    owl905 says:

    Fred @29 wrote: “Sorry – but you guys and gals are doing a SHITTY job informing the world just how serious the situation really is.”
    To put it back in terms you can understand: “Bullshit baffles brains.” And that’s how the pro-pollutionists rigged the roar. If you don’t have time or preference for the chalky taste of AR5, try the AAAS 29-pager, “What We Know”
    http://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AAAS-What-We-Know.pdf
    Then try and compare how many people know ‘what we know’ versus … ‘the Pause’.
    The message gets harder to hear when the other team isn’t held accountable for their criticisms or responsible for their spins.

  41. 41

    Sidd wrote in 37:

    Re: “West Antarctica is losing more ice than Greenland”

    i thought the opposite was true

    I thought so, too, but according to a new paper just six glaciers are responsible for draining more ice into the Amundsen Sea than all of Greenland into the Arctic Ocean. From the introduction:

    Pine Island, Thwaites, Haynes, Smith, Pope, and Kohler Glaciers are among the fastest-flowing glaciers in continental Antarctica [Rignot et al., 2011b]. Combined together, they drain one third of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE), or 393 million square kilometers. Their mass flux into the southern Pacific Ocean (280±9 Gt/yr in 2007) [Rignot, 2008] is comparable to that of the entire Greenland Ice Sheet into the Arctic Ocean [Rignot and Kanagaratnam, 2006].”

    Mouginot, J., E. Rignot, and B. Scheuchl. “Sustained increase in ice discharge from the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, from 1973 to 2013.” Geophysical Research Letters (2014).

    Incidentally, at this point there are no glaciers along the coastline of Greenland that aren’t going to sea, either. Models had suggested that the Northeast region would be stable, but instead ice is moving as far inland as 600 KM.

    Please see:

    Here, we show that the northeast Greenland ice stream, which extends more than 600 km into the interior of the ice sheet, is now undergoing sustained dynamic thinning, linked to regional warming, after more than a quarter of a century of stability. This sector of the Greenland ice sheet is of particular interest, because the drainage basin area covers 16% of the ice sheet (twice that of Jakobshavn Isbræ) and numerical model predictions suggest no significant mass loss for this sector, leading to an under-estimation of future global sea-level rise.”

    Khan, Shfaqat A., et al. “Sustained mass loss of the northeast Greenland ice sheet triggered by regional warming.” Nature Climate Change (2014).

    Later in the paper they state that the northeast had been stable until about 2003, followed by fluctuations until April of 2006, then sustained ice loss through April of 2012.

  42. 42
    Ken Fabian says:

    Fred @29 – I suggest that it is principally at the level of politics, where people who actually hold positions of trust and responsibility and power to act on our collective behalf – positions that should entail being well informed and expert advice taken seriously as a minimum prerequisite – are letting us down and are active in preventing the clear and repeated warnings via IPCC and others being treated seriously.

    Instead of choosing the policy course according to the nature of the problem, they appear to be acting as the political advocates for narrow but extremely profitable (as long as the real and full costs continue to be deferred to the wider and future global community) economic interests. Those fossil fuel dominated interests have no requirement, except perhaps theoretical… or hypothetical, to be up front, honest and truthful; on the contrary they have the ‘free speech’ right to say whatever they like to spruik for their interests as they perceive them, and have no enforceable or even expected requirement to take the science seriously or discuss it honestly. In the case of climate the truth is very bad for their future profitability and they are not going to admit the truth or act on it’s basis by choice. They can and do use all the tools in their bag of tricks – political donations, lobbying, PR, Advertising, direct media ownership and Tankthink to ensure the politics falls out in their favour.

    Fred, you can blame climate scientists and the IPCC but the responsibility to respond appropriately to the warnings they give lies elsewhere.

  43. 43
    Walter says:

    #29, #33, #34, #40

    RE: Jim, “Sorry – but you guys and gals are doing a SHITTY job informing the world just how serious the situation really is.”

    If I posted the links to ~100 published academic papers in the last 5 years that provide compelling research that the above statement is true … would that still not make any difference to the endless criticisms and insulting put downs here of people who pass by occasionally that in FACT DO speak the Truth? Answer: Nope!

    RE: the sock-puppet nym Radge Havers aka Crazy Oats “What we lack most of all is leadership from members of our corrupted political system, and serious reporting and commentary from members of our MSM entertainment industry who masquerade as journalists.”

    It’s only their fault? They have failed because THEY don’t understand the science? And the politicians are CORRUPTED? Who knew? Spun like a true politician, you missed your real calling Crazy Oats!

    And what have you done yourself Radge, besides add your 2 cents worth into the echo chamber that is RC for a decade? Write a list so we can all learn for an “expert” action hero! :)

    What’s the job of the IPCC Crazy Oast?
    Quoting: “One of the main IPCC activities is the preparation of comprehensive Assessment Reports about the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. Since its inception in 1988 the IPCC has prepared four multivolume assessment reports and is in the process of finalizing the Fifth Assessment Report.” http://www.ipcc.ch/activities/activities.shtml

    iow IT’S TO INFORM and EDUCATE the POLICY MAKERS of the SCIENCE – it’s not the Media’s nor Journalist’s job nor Jim’s nor MY responsibility to do that but the IPCC plus it also belongs fair and square inside the DOMAIN of all interested Climate Scientists and their group institutions and universities.

    Now, about your “If you think it’s so easy, you try it.” and Ray Ladbury’s “… those who are doing far, far more to address the problem than you are.”

    I recommend the non-stop whiners and critics of anyone passing through RC who expresses their VALID evidence based disappointment of the ‘state of play’ today read the following RC article again and again until they get it right.

    And then a hundred times more to be sure it actually sinks in until the cognitive dissonance and level of denial finally subsides.

    QUOTING:
    A failure in communicating the impact of new findings
    … but because the way it presented the science.
    The report was written by top scientists, so what went wrong?
    My impression is that the amount of information crammed into this report was more important than making a few strong messages.
    The SPM really provides a lot of facts, but what do all those numbers mean for policy makers? There was little attempt to set the findings in a context relevant for decision making
    A summary should really start with the most important message, but the SPM starts by discussing uncertainties.
    My recommendation is that next time, the main report is published before the SPM. That way, all the space used on uncertainty and confidence in the SPM could be spared.
    I also recommend that people who decide the structure of future SPMs and undertake the writing take a course effective writing for non-scientist. At MET Norway, we have had such writing lessons to improve our communication skills, and I have found this training valuable.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/12/a-failure-in-communicating-the-impact-of-new-findings/

    The day that the resident defense personnel speak to people such as Jim here the EXACT same way they do when Rasmus Benestad and ALL the other authors on RC CRITICISE THE WORK OF THE IPCC et al and Climate Science Communication failures … I will happily die of shock!

  44. 44
    Chris Dudley says:

    Kevin (#32),

    No sarcasm at all. I like the figure and I am very pleased that an RCP that is consistent with the goals of 350.org has been included in the analysis and it is shown to prevent one of the first irreversible consequences of warming: mass extinction. I’m not entirely sanguine about the situation with coral reefs, which seem to be very sensitive. But, Figure SPM.5 is encouraging with regard to RCP2.6. If you read “Reinventing Fire” by Amory Lovins, it seems clear that so long as we can penalize the Chinese into getting smart, the cushion available in RCP2.6 is adequate.

  45. 45
    Walter says:

    Anyone who has issues with people expressing their genuine feelings and being truthfully critical of 25 years of climate scientist’s communication failures publicly could email Dr James Hansen directly here: jeh1@columbia.edu and lodge their personal criticisms of that kind of commentary.

    Quoting Hansen:
    “What makes me sick is the realization that climate change and air pollution were both preventable. Thus they are true human-made tragedies. And I know that we in the West bear a moral burden.
    “We scientists have special responsibility. We had knowledge 25 years ago that should have allowed climate change and air pollution to be manageable problems, not tragedies. However, we failed to communicate the implications well enough with political leaders and we did not achieve effective action.
    We must try harder now, because it is still possible to minimize the climate change effects and it is possible to solve the air pollution problem.
    “We scientists should have made clearer that there is a limited “carbon budget” for the world, i.e., a limit on the amount of fossil fuels that could be burned without assuring disastrous future consequences. We should have made clear that diffuse renewables cannot satisfy energy needs of countries such as China and India. It seems we failed to make that clear enough.”

    For those who prefer to blame everything on politicians by generating multi-node conspiracy theories versus say “reason and holistic perspectives” and the very reality of global politics and economic constraints then again email James Hansen and tell him to please shut up and get with the programme.

    Quoting Hansen (CAPS for my emphasis):

    “It is easy to blame governments for the fact that we are marching inexorably toward climate disasters, as if humanity were a bunch of lemmings scurrying toward a cliff. I have argued that politicians are well-oiled and coal-fired,and, indeed, documentation of that exists.
    However, this is surely NOT THE ONLY CAUSE, and it may NOT BE the most IMPORTANT ONE.

    “Indeed, a case could be made that politicians have been pushed into a situation such that they have no choice but to approve continued coal-burning, hydro-fracking for increased gas and oil production, and pursuit of oil and gas in extreme and pristine environments.”

    FROM http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140310_ChinaOpEd.pdf
    and
    Do Scientists Have a Duty to Expose Popular Misconceptions? by James E. Hansen http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf

    Or via here with more background Hansen info: http://whatsupwithrealclimate.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/james-hansen.html

    DUTY – what dos that mean?

    du·ty [doo-tee, dyoo-] noun, plural du·ties.
    1.something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation.
    2.the binding or obligatory force of something that is morally or legally right; moral or legal obligation.
    3.an action or task required by a person’s position or occupation; function: the duties of a clergyman.

    …. or a collective of global Climate Scientists even?

    imho it is the height of naive self-deluded haughtiness to have expected that the world and all upon it including Policy makers/ Politicians and Industry and the Coal Miner’s Daughter would have humbly automatically deferred to the pronouncements of the IPCC and Climate Scientists just becausue they said so.

    Being in touch with the realities of the world and cognitive sciences would have been far more rational and a sign of intelligent thinking and planning since 1988 when the IPCC was formed. That never happened, therefore the communications have been an abject failure across the board.

    Instead in 2007 after 17 years of the message NOT getting through the majority of the climate science community silently watched as a “partisan politician” totally polarized the climate change public debate forever whence the IPCC and the scientists totally lost control of the communication process.

    That’s factually correct and is what happened. The highest Intelligence of Humanoids, with the whole backing of the world’s academic resources and experts in public communication and political science at their fingertips, SHOULD have known better and the onus is still upon them ALONE to actually do better.

    You’re the experts in the field, it’s your message, and it’s up to ALL CLIMATE SCIENTISTS to convince others of the validity of that expertise in knowledge. No one else.

    Time to work smarter, not harder.

    Time to stop making excuses and blaming everyone else for making it hard.

    It was always going to be hard. That should have been THE given with a coordinated LONG TERM plan developed (at least by 2000) by the leaders of the scientific community to stay ahead of the obvious criticisms and special interest groups of anti-climate science activism which would surely follow.

    25 years of finger pointing doesn’t make a solid case to be believed now.

  46. 46
    Chuck Hughes says:

    No need to worry folks. Congress is getting right on this problem making absolutely sure nothing politically gets done to solve it. In fact, they think we would be much better off if the scientists would quit talking about Climate Change. And what better way to do that than by passing some more anti-science legislation:

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/02/3421941/house-passes-bridenstine-bill/

  47. 47
    Radge Havers says:

    “…and I have found this training valuable…”

    Spewing is not good communication. Ask for your money back.

  48. 48
    Tony Weddle says:

    Chris,

    RCP 2.6 doesn’t give us any sort of cushion. It is a scenario for what could happen with an aggressive emissions reductions programme. At the moment, we don’t look like getting anywhere near that. It’s not really available as a viable option, because no government would accept the economic impact that such a programme would have.

    A cushion would mean that we can continue to emit at the current rate for some time until something bad happens. Unfortunately, we have no time to do that. The IPCC report gave a budget range that starts at zero for a chance of limiting warming to 2C. I see no cushion in that.

  49. 49
    Walter says:

    Chris …. “If you read “Reinventing Fire” by Amory Lovins, it seems clear that so long as we can penalize the Chinese into getting smart, the cushion available in RCP2.6 is adequate.”

    Not only do the Chinese need to get smart, but they have to be “penalized” into it? I honestly do not comprehend the making of these kinds of statements … anywhere.

    OK, so the 1.25 Billion in the OECD nations have produced ~60% of cumulative emissions to China’s 1.36 billion of only 11%

    The OECD today uses ~40% of all carbon energy to China’s 26% and India’s (1.2 billion) only 6%

    So who uses most of the Global FOSSIL FUEL energy supply and KWh per person and produces the largest share of CO2e Carbon Pollution bar none now and Historically that created this current problem???

    The OECD group of nations and their citizens.

    Not only that but the OECD have shipped a majority of their manufacturing and heavy industry needs to China and others in Asia …. therefore in reality (the truth is) the OECD’s ‘real’ contribution to current CO2e AGW is far above 40%… and maybe closer to 50% given the majority of fossil fuel emissions comes from industry etc.

    Not only that but the #1 developer of new safe Nuclear energy plus Hydro plus Renewable in production and deployment and formulated long term plans for the future is ….?

    Yes, China.

    So right now the OECD 1.25 billion people are producing/causing above >40% of Fossil Fuel CO2e emissions of the globe to the 1.36 billion Chinese but the ones who need the big stick approach are … the Chinese?

    The ones who need to be Penalized and to “Get Smart” and do what the people in the OECD tell them THEY need to do ……… are the Chinese?

    Don’t think so. Try the mirror?

  50. 50
    Entropic man says:

    Walter (#45)

    Unfortunately we are fighting an uphill battle against human psychology. People are reluctant to react to risk until they are in immediate, obvious danger. Until ththey rationalliae excuses to do nothing.

    Unpalatable as it may sound, serious mitigation/adaptation attempts will only follow an obviously climate change related disaster sufficient to convince even Bridenstine.

    By then, of course, it will be far too late. :-(


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