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Unforced variations: Apr 2014

Filed under: — group @ 6 April 2014

More open thread. Unusually, we are keeping the UV Mar 2014 thread open for more Diogenetic conversation and to keep this thread open for more varied fare.


296 Responses to “Unforced variations: Apr 2014”

  1. 201
    sidd says:

    Not one, or two, but THREE nice papers on the cryosphere discuss (open access, chekitout)

    Thompson et al., doi:10.5194/tcd-8-2119-2014

    “Modeling the elastic transmission of tidal stresses to great distances inland in channelized ice streams”

    Can’t leave out hydrology in tidal stress transmission, the ocean affects further upstream than we thought.

    Lea et al., doi:10.5194/tcd-8-2005-2014

    tidewater glacier in greenland modelled since 1871, surface ablation forced by atmosphere is too important to leave out.

    Hughes et al., doi:10.5194/tcd-8-2043-2014

    brilliant pic of “Gogineni gorge” under Jacobshawn in Fig 14, and detail on subglacial lakes and hydrology under Byrd. Concludes that Byrd is different, knock on wood, because when Byrd starts sliding there will be small bubbles rising from our coastal cities.

    sidd

  2. 202
    sidd says:

    Re:output formats for greenland maps

    Mr. Glen Fergus: Here are the output formats i can conveniently translate into from GRASS. Perhaps one or more might b helpful to you. I see something called KMLSUPEROVERLAY for raster maps, but i dont know if that is what you meant.

    For vector maps (contours, for example)

    ESRI_Shapefile, MapInfo_File, TIGER, S57, DGN, BNA, CSV, GML, GPX, KML, GeoJSON, Interlis_1, Interlis_2, GMT, SQLite, ODBC, MSSQLSpatial, PostgreSQL, MySQL, PCIDSK, DXF, Geoconcept, GeoRSS, GPSTrackMaker, PGDump, GPSBabel, GFT, CouchDB, ODS, XLSX, ElasticSearch, PDF

    For raster maps (like a 2D matrix)

    VRT, GTiff, NITF, HFA, ELAS, AAIGrid, DTED, PNG, JPEG, GIF, XPM, BMP, PCIDSK, PCRaster, ILWIS, SGI, SRTMHGT, Leveller, Terragen, GMT, netCDF, HDF4Image, ISIS2, ERS, JPEG2000, FIT, RMF, WMS, RST, INGR, GSAG, GSBG, GS7BG, R, PNM, ENVI, EHdr, PAux, MFF, MFF2, BT, LAN, IDA, GTX, NTv2, CTable2, ARG, USGS-DEM, ADRG, BLX, Rasterlite, EPSILON, PostGISRaster, SAGA, KMLSUPEROVERLAY, XYZ, HF2, PDF, ZMap

    sidd

  3. 203
    wally says:

    Is the IPCC Government Approval Process Broken?
    Posted on April 25, 2014 by Robert Stavins

    Over the past 5 years, I have dedicated an immense amount of time and effort to serving as the Co-Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of Chapter 13, “International Cooperation: Agreements and Instruments,” of Working Group III (Mitigation) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    http://www.robertstavinsblog.org/2014/04/25/is-the-ipcc-government-approval-process-broken-2/

  4. 204
    Fred Magyar says:

    Chris Dudley @ 196,

    “I think you are misjudging this. Oil prices are being held high enough to expand supply by all kinds of means. The Arctic oil is conventional oil and so is no more expensive than oil form the Gulf of Mexico to produce aside from the ice issue. That gives them lots of margin to play around with.”

    First let me be clear that I am quite sure that Putin will develop oil fields in the Artic! However it is extremely naive if not deliberately disingenuous to claim that the costs of drilling in the Artic are comparable to the costs of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and ice issues are just tip of the iceberg (pun intended).

    An interesting case study is what has happened to Shell Oil over the last few years.

    That oil prices are being held high enough to expand supply by all kinds of means is simply untrue! The data does not in any way support that statement. If you have evidence to the contrary please provide it!
    We are living in a world where oil is a supply constrained commodity and the price has been on a relatively stable price plateau for sometime now. The data are very clear about two things, the market does not support increases in prices and the costs of finding and developing more oil is getting more and more expensive.

    “it seem pretty clear that the Green River shale formation can now be produced profitably. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shale_oil_extraction#ExxonMobil_Electrofrac That is about 3 trillion barrels and it is only going to get cheaper.”

    For the record you are talking about Kerogen deposits:

    “When it comes to the Green River Formation, we’re talking about finely-grained sedimentary rock that holds a significant amount of kerogen.
    Kerogen, unfortunately, is not crude oil.” https://images.angelpub.com/2011/46/11446/kerogen-pic.jpg

    Again, please provide data on realistic future production rates.

    Think of it this way, if you have 3 trillion dollars in the bank but you are only able to take out $500 a week and you have to pay a $100 ATM fee you aren’t exactly going to live like a king.

    If you haven’t yet watched Steve Kopits’ presentation then please do:
    Oil Supply and Demand Forecasting with Steven Kopits
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLCsMRr7hAg

    Final Note: None of this means that we will stop adding CO2 from fossil fuels to the atmosphere anytime soon. I’m a strong supporter of powering down and simplifying our life sytles.I support transitioning to clean forms of alternative energy such as wind, solar, hydro and wave energy.
    We need to reduce our ecological and thermodynamic footprints asap, however I don’t see any way to accomplish any of that without massive use of fossil fuels. So IMHO, what it boils down to (pun intended)
    is a much more judicious use of our remaing fossil fuel reserves. We need to find a way to bring the majority of the planet’s inhabitants on board with a plan to power down and get out of the consumption patterns that we are currently in.

  5. 205
    Chris Dudley says:

    Fred (#204),

    Well, the price of oil is hold at a “well supplied” market level for a while now based on OPEC’s view of what well supplied means (economically growing customers will buy more oil rather than less). That price is well above break even for oil shale production. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_shale_economics

    The usual objection to shale oil is that you only get about twice as much energy as you put in in production. Your objection about the number of straws is new to me and seems strange. Fracking usually gives fast production, and there does not seem to be an important limit on the number of wells that can operate at once.

    The usual objection is overwhelmed though by the advent of low cost renewable energy. If a solar cell is giving back thirty times the amount of energy that went into making it, and that energy is put into processing oil shale, you are getting 60 times the initial energy input back. Now, if instead we use hydrolysis for hydrogen and biomass carbon to produce liquid fuels the energy conversion efficiency may well end up less than one and will likely not result in a factor of 2 gain. So, you may only get 20 times the energy back from the original manufacture of the solar cell. This may make climate-smart use of low cost solar power to produce liquid fuels seem unattractive.

    We are really potentially unleashing the entire fossil carbon pool (four doublings with feedbacks) by getting good at renewable energy.

  6. 206
    SecularAnimist says:

    Recommended reading:

    Want to Stop Climate Change? Take the Fossil Fuel Industry to Court
    Big Carbon is where Big Tobacco was, before it started losing.
    By Dan Zegart
    April 21, 2014
    http://www.TheNation.com

  7. 207
    SecularAnimist says:

    Fred Magyar wrote: “We need to find a way to bring the majority of the planet’s inhabitants on board with a plan to power down and get out of the consumption patterns that we are currently in.”

    The vast majority of the planet’s human inhabitants already have “consumption patterns” that produce vastly less GHG emissions than “WE” — the commenters on this blog — do.

    Sure, “WE” in the developed world, particularly in the uber-wasteful USA, need “a plan” — actually a whole host of plans — to reduce our emissions to near zero ASAP, starting with addressing the outright, blatant waste of more than half of our primary energy consumption.

    What tens of millions of “the planet’s inhabitants” in the developing world need, on the other hand, is “a plan” — and again, that really means innumerable, local/regional/national, detailed, specific and actionable “plans” — to get access to energy, specifically electricity, and to sustainable food production, without adopting the “consumption patterns” of the USA.

  8. 208
  9. 209
    Chuck Hughes says:

    What the heck… I’ll ask one more time. Does anyone here think that the coming El Nino will have any adverse effect on the West Antarctica Ice Sheet or is this a non issue?

    “Re: Selected Forcing Factor for Abrupt SLR from the Collapse of the WAIS
    « Reply #20 on: March 08, 2013, 04:19:32 PM »

    “I would also like to point out that not only has the recent hiatus in El Nino activity (see previous post) been masking (hiding) the rise in global surface temperatures for the past 10-years (thus reducing the atmospheric telecommunication of heat to the West Antarctic while increasing the ocean telecommunication of heat); similarly the melting of a large volume of Arctic sea ice for the past ten years has masked the Arctic amplification of the increase Arctic surface temperatures. Once the rate of Arctic sea ice volume loss decreases (in the next few years) the rate of increase of Arctic surface temperatures will accelerate thus further reducing the thermal gradient between the topics and the Arctic; which in turn will reduce the atmospheric telecommunication of energy from the tropics to the Arctic. Thus in a few years there will be more energy in the tropics (due both to the end of the El Nino hiatus and the drop in the rate of Arctic sea ice volume loss) to telecommunicate atmospherically to the West Antarctic (which as Steig et al have pointed out is the focus of such telecommunication from the Pacific tropics), which will likely result in the collapse of the Larsen C ice shelf by 2018 and the possible collapse of the thinned FRIS and/or RIS after 2070 due to the ice melt pond mechanism.”

    Discussion here:

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=41.0

  10. 210
    Killian says:

    Re 206 SecularAnimist said Recommended reading:

    Want to Stop Climate Change? Take the Fossil Fuel Industry to Court
    Big Carbon is where Big Tobacco was, before it started losing.
    By Dan Zegart

    Wrong. Climate change is directly tied to consumption. There is one way and one way only around climate change, energy issues, resource issues and degradation of the planet: Use less. Absent that, you’re spitting in the wind.

    Besides, the worst thing you can do to any business is to not buy their stuff. Lawsuits won’t end fossil fuel consumption or force them to renewables. Market forces will: Stop consuming.

    Look how long legal challenges to tobacco took. Etc. So, on top of maintaining demand, which causes them to keep extracting despite the lawsuits, you also give them decades more to keep doing what they are doing before anything likely changes.

    Sorry, but no matter how you look at the collapse we are in the middle of, the answer is to simply stop consuming.

  11. 211
    Icarus62 says:

    Tony Weddle #179 – Thanks for the link to Hansen’s publication. On page 10 he says “If the assumption that aerosol forcing increased (became more negative) in the past decade is correct, then the net climate forcing has been quite flat during the past 15-20 years (Fig. 13b).” – and that’s really my point. If the net climate forcing has been flat for 15 – 20 years then we probably wouldn’t expect the rate of global warming as determined by OHC data to have doubled, as it has done. So maybe, as Hansen discusses, the aerosol forcing hasn’t been as great as assumed, and the net climate forcing has actually been increasing. Alternatively, maybe the climate forcing has been flat but natural slow feedbacks have contributed to the acceleration. Or perhaps the OHC data has exaggerated the warming. I don’t know what the answer is, but it seems like there is an inconsistency there somewhere.

  12. 212
    Tony says:

    Chris,

    Your EROEI figure of 30 for solar PV seems way high. An article in Scientific American gives the number as 6, though a later associated article suggested it might be growing. However, your assumption is that all of the energy that goes into producing shale oil could be supplied by solar PV (and, indeed, perhaps even suggests that solar PV itself could be manufactured, operated and maintained with solar PV) at the appropriate scale for the production of said oil (I understand that the global solar PV capacity is a fraction of the energy required for just US shale oil production).

    Your techno-optimism is actually pessimistic, because it implies that much more oil can continue to be used even if it has a very low EROEI. That would pretty much condemn the planet to climate catastrophe. On the other hand, if other voices are correct (and conventional oil certainly does seem to have plateaued since 2005), then oil will begin to decline soon, regardless of attempts to get more, at an affordable price, (we’ve seen this from the independent oil majors whose production has declined in recent years despite increasing investment), then at least there is a chance of some mitigation, but societies will be destabilised anyway.

    Personally, given the lack of any significant action on reducing emissions (just the reverse if various countries’ backing of fracking and other oil exploration is any guide), I think a natural decline in fossil fuel availability is probably our only chance of any mitigation at all.

  13. 213
    Chris Dudley says:

    Tony (#212),

    Yes, I was looking at payback time for a modern low cost solar cell, First Solar-type* or the like. The balance of system energy investment is probably minimal in this kind of application which is just producing heat in a resistive load. Cells can be placed on a convenient slope and wired in series until you get enough DC voltage to get the current to the well bottom. Nothing fancy for inverters, mounts, transmission etc.

    For First Solar, just the cell, mounting, cabling and recycling leaving out the inverter has an energy payback time of about 0.65 years so the EROEI would be about 38. http://www.firstsolar.com/en/technologies-and-capabilities/pv-modules/first-solar-series-3-black-module/cdte-technology. The article you read probably looked at silicon technology from a few years back. Things are changing rapidly in this area.

    You are correct that complete climate catastrophe comes within reach with the advent of high quality renewable power. Unless we regulate emissions around the world, we could unlock huge amounts of fossil carbon, far beyond our current resource estimates. In situ gasification of very narrow coal seams becomes easy, for example.

    *First Solar provides a convenient example because their numbers are checked by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory so you know they are not BS. It is possible they would refuse to let their panels be used for oil shale processing.

  14. 214
    Killian says:

    Tony said …However, your assumption is that all of the energy that goes into producing shale oil could be supplied by solar PV (and, indeed, perhaps even suggests that solar PV itself could be manufactured, operated and maintained with solar PV) at the appropriate scale for the production of said oil (I understand that the global solar PV capacity is a fraction of the energy required for just US shale oil production).

    Your techno-optimism is actually pessimistic, because it implies that much more oil can continue to be used even if it has a very low EROEI….

    The key here is always going to be efficiency does not equal sustainable. An EROEI of 30 is irrelevant if the systems are unsustainable.

    The other great problem in this discussion is fungibility. It doesn’t matter of we reduce oil but have nothing to replace its functions with, and petroleum is in 95% of everything around you in one form or another.

  15. 215
    Chris Dudley says:

    Tony (#212),

    Another thought on tapping fossil carbon. The Marcellus Shale formation is quite carbon rich. Injecting hydrogen and heat could bring that carbon up to the surface as methane. I don’t think that has been counted in carbon inventories yet.

  16. 216
    Pete Best says:

    People certainly seem to be more shrill on these forums using terms such as climate catastrophe etc.

    This article on the whole political stance and issue in the USA is a good one:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/obamas-last-shot-20140423

    Worth a read by anyone here.

  17. 217
    SecularAnimist says:

    Killian wrote: “Wrong. Climate change is directly tied to consumption.”

    I’m guessing you didn’t even look at the article, let alone read it.

    Yes, climate change is directly tied to consumption of fossil fuels.

    Just like lung cancer is directly tied to consumption of tobacco.

    The tobacco companies knowingly and deliberately lied about the tie between lung cancer and smoking tobacco, in order to profit from perpetuating the consumption of their products. This became a legal issue.

    The fossil fuel companies have likewise knowingly and deliberately lied about the tie between fossil fuels and climate change, in order to profit from perpetuating the consumption of their products. This could — and should — become a legal issue.

    And again, with all due respect, speaking of “consumption” without specifying consumption of what, or of “growth” without specifying growth of what, is just noise.

  18. 218
    Fred Magyar says:

    Chuck Hughes @ 209,

    “What the heck… I’ll ask one more time. Does anyone here think that the coming El Nino will have any adverse effect on the West Antarctica Ice Sheet or is this a non issue?”

    I certainly don’t know if that is an issue or not but if it turns out that this is indeed shaping up to be a very strong El Nino event similar to the one we had in 1998 then I’m extremely concerned about the health of tropical coral reef ecosystems. According to Dr. Jeremy Jackson that event by itself was the direct cause of 25% of all shallow tropical corals on the planet dying! And to be clear there are quite a few other things killing corals as well.

    Jeremy Jackson: Ocean Apocalypse

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zMN3dTvrwY

    Short version: https://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_jackson#t-352698

    I don’t think the corals will do very well!

  19. 219
    SecularAnimist says:

    Killian wrote: “… petroleum is in 95% of everything around you in one form or another.”

    Yes, chemicals derived from petroleum are extremely useful and valuable.

    Which is another good reason not to burn it all up to produce a tiny fraction of the energy that is readily available from sunlight and wind every year, in perpetuity.

  20. 220
    Chris Dudley says:

    Pete (#216),

    There has been debate here in the past on whether or not James Hansen’s book, “Storms of my Grandchildren” is correct in the claim that the Venus Syndrome is accessible through human action while we are still about 2 billion years away from when the Sun would force the issue. He was considering about four doublings of the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. But, there are a number of carbon pools that may not have been considered there that renewable energy would make accessible and profitable. Perhaps another couple doublings would be in reach. Raypierre may still argue that the Kombayashi–Ingersoll limit still would not allow a water runaway with boiling oceans, but we would have a very different and more massive atmosphere at the least. And, we’d be crossing over into the toxic range for carbon dioxide.

    If you think about it, a tool powerful enough to protect us from climate change is likely to be powerful enough to make things worse as well. We need to use the tool responsibly and understand that things could go very very wrong, the more technical capability we have. Offshore oil rigs are sometimes mounted with wind turbines now to help with operations. That could be the start of a bad direction to take.

  21. 221
    wili says:

    The latest NOAA El Nino weekly forecast is out:

    “The CFS.v2 ensemble mean…predicts El Niño starting in May 2014″

    So El Nino in…2 days!

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

    (p. 26)

    Still hoping for that dedicated thread on this biggest climate story of the year (and probably for next year, as well).

  22. 222
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Killian — 26 Apr 2014 @ 11:03 PM, ~#210

    Your rigid absolutism continues to blunt your message. Saying just stop consuming will not work. You are, supposedly, trying to convince the comfortable family in their house in the burbs, with two cats in the yard, to not follow their spiritual and political leaders, to ignore their neighbors, and suffer for no apparent reason. This condition is not an addiction. It is not sloth. It is what is easy and inexpensive. This entire enterprise is driven by advertising to support corporate competition and the planned obsolescence big gorilla. I am not saying that this is the whole picture, but that overconsumption is a very complicated phenomenon, and your simple statements are just the guy in the cartoon, on a city corner wearing a robe, holding a sign that says The End of the World is Nigh as crowds of folks in their work attire walk by without looking.

    Steve

  23. 223

    #216–Yes, Pete, they do.

    Thanks for an interesting and illuminating link on the politics of the forthcoming EPA rules–and much else.

  24. 224
    MARodger says:

    Pete Best @216.
    I agree with your use of the word “shrill”. It can be particularly deafening at times.
    This has led me to consider that we need a better way to communicate the scale of disasters being predicted here (and elsewhere). So I wonder if what we need is a Hierarchy of Global Warming Outcomes.( I had hoped the name’s acronym would fit with a HereWeGO scale but I think that only works in Frenglish.)

    It is quite remarkable that big disasters with massive death tolls can go almost unnoticed in history – reduced to mere footnotes. As an example, one of my own provocative statements:-
    “World War One? Why all the fuss? It wasn’t half as deadly as a dose of flu.”
    This is based on the death toll of WW1 being about 10 million while the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918-20 killed 20-odd million (or maybe more Whenever I look the number seems to rise. Wikipedia now put it at 50-100million).
    Of course, there is the idea that such a deadly flu virus could only have developed into such a transmittable disease within a big filthy environment like the Western Front trenches. A deadly virus (like the recent bird flu) usually becomes less deadly before it becomes easily transmittable.
    The point of this WW1 blather is to show the perceived importance of a disaster depends on it being remembered, not just actually happening.

    The HereWeGO Scale – calibrated against recent wars etc. Present AGW status = 1.4?

    1. Iraq One – Cradle of Civilisation.
    Death toll – Hundreds with many tens of thousands of ‘native’ deaths. Total = 0.1% of annual average global mortality.
    Population movements – A few local sources of refugees.
    Economic impact – Imperceptible. Small broadening of dust belts or marshes drained.
    Anthro-Environmental impact – No statistically-significant events.
    Image – Occasional news items/documentaries.
    Involvement – Difficult to find or to get involved. Very unlucky to be caught in it.

    2. Korea/Vietnam.
    Death toll – Many tens of thousands with millions of ‘native’ deaths. 1% of annual average.
    Population movement – A number of regional sources of refugees as some populations shift from locations vulnerable to flood, fire and storm. Boosted by air travel when available.
    Economic impact – Significant local impacts. Some perceptible minor global consequences.
    Anthro-Environmental impact – Significant broadening of dust belts or forests leveled.
    Image – Significant news items/documentaries on the telly almost every night.
    Involvement – Unlucky to be caught in it. Some minor impacts experienced by most communities.

    3. World War Two.
    Death toll – Many tens of millions – 2% of humanity. 100% of annual average
    Population movement – Numerous refugees worldwide.
    Economic impact – Globally transforming.
    Anthro-Environmental impact – Significant numbers of local areas deserted by living population.
    Image – Ubiquitous.
    Involvement – Most of humanity likely to be involved in some way, major or minor.

    4. The Black Death.
    Death toll – Billions – 30% of humanity. 1500% of annual average.
    Population movement – Unprecedented within human history.
    Economic impact – Fundamentally transforming.
    Anthro-Environmental impact – Significant numbers of regions deserted by living population.
    Image – The major concern of the age.
    Involvement – Impossible not to be.

    5. The Cretaceous–Paleogene Event
    Death toll – ~100% of humanity.
    Population movement – Eventually very little.
    Economic impact – Initiates a late but quick feedback mechanism. A major reason for civilisation’s destruction.
    Anthro-Environmental impact – Reliance on artificial environment.
    Image – Very restricted from here.
    Involvement – Impossible not to be.

  25. 225
    Stranger says:

    Can someone give me some information concerning John C. Fyfe; & Nathan P. Gillett which that claims global warming over the past 20 years is significantly less than that calculated from 117 simulations of the climate?

  26. 226
    Flakmeister says:

    Fred Magyar,

    good informative posts from a perspective not normally seen here. The oil industry is in no position to continue BAU. To wit, spending $3.5 trillion since 2005 on legacy production infrastructure while production from conventional assets decline ~1.5% is telling…

    That being said, falling off the oil production plateau we are currently on will be no panacea.

  27. 227
    Killian says:

    SecularAnimist said Killian wrote: “Wrong. Climate change is directly tied to consumption.”

    I’m guessing you didn’t even look at the article, let alone read it.

    Then how would I know it was wrong? Your problem is you are not seeking to discuss, but to argue, else you’d have asked for clarification – though why you needed it is beyond comprehension given my comments were exceedingly clear.

    Where the article is wrong is in suggesting the courts are an effective way to stop climate change. They are not. For reasons already stated. Clearly. I have argued for years that using the courts to stop denial *would* be effective and have called for an EcoNuremberg-ish response to denial.

    This could — and should — become a legal issue.

    Regardless, and I already made this point clearly, so no idea why you responded at all, taking them to court will have pretty much zero effect on climate mitigation or adaptation… for reasons already clearly stated.

    Apparently what you really want to say is you disagree. You are, of course, free to ignore the historical precedents and the timelines likely available to us, and to disagree. What you should not need to do is be rude about it.

    Try harder next time.

    And again, with all due respect, speaking of “consumption” without specifying consumption of what, or of “growth” without specifying growth of what, is just noise.

    The context is…? Global. That is obvious. Any growth, in any system, anywhere in the universe, given enough time, has a physical limit. Only in your head is there a need to write a treatise on exactly what must not grow and what might every time one posts on the issue of growth. Try not to be argumentative for the heck of it. We need degrowth, not growth, considered globally. Any idiot knows certain extremely low-consumption societies/populations may well see a rise in consumption, and should, as we gain sustainability. And, if you understood sustainability, I would not need to explain where growth and de-growth must occur. Perhaps you are confused about this? Perhaps this principle will help (I’ve posted it many times before, tho): Natural before mechanical, mechanical before technical.

    But this awareness that some populations will actually see a rise in consumption as we achieve sustainable systems is commonly known and need not be trotted out every time overall consumption is addressed.

  28. 228
    Killian says:

    218 Wili said The latest NOAA El Nino weekly forecast is out:

    “The CFS.v2 ensemble mean…predicts El Niño starting in May 2014″

    Lordy! Jumped from July to May? Oh, my. Still wondering if anyone has any directs to info on the interaction of ENSO with the Arctic.

    Anyone?

    219 Fish said (!)

    223 Flakmeister said …The oil industry is in no position to continue BAU. To wit, spending $3.5 trillion since 2005 on legacy production infrastructure while production from conventional assets decline ~1.5% is telling…

    That being said, falling off the oil production plateau we are currently on will be no panacea.

    Indeed.

    The Hirsch Report

    Bear in mind, the above included nothing on other depleting resources or climate, yet is dire, indeed. Shrill, some would say. (So it must be wrong.)

  29. 229
  30. 230
    Flakmeister says:

    Killian,

    Hirsch, like myself, saw a fast oil crash. This undulating plateau that we are currently on has, if anything, only made facing the problem more challenging. I must give credit to CERA, in that they predicted the shape of the peak, wrong level and wrong time, but correct shape…

    BTW, Hirsch was commissioned to write on oil and oil alone…

    And while this probably belongs in the extended March UV, I am all but convinced that the only way we avoid a 4-6 C rise is through a “black swan” leading to economic collapse….

  31. 231
    sidd says:

    Alford et al.(2013), doi:10.1002/grl.50684 discuss mixing of southern abyssal waters into the Pacific northwest of Samoa, and I have reproduced fig. 2 with small comment at

    http://membrane.com/sidd/deepwave/

    Deepening of the thermocline in west pacific is seen as possible precursor to El Nino, (mostly all isotherm heave, as opposed to active mixing as disussed in the paper,) but i do wonder if these could affect each other. Naively i would say not, since the mixing discussed in Alford is so deep, but i welcome correction.

    The scale of dissipation in Alford is astounding, a microwatt per kilogram multiplies into a megawatt per cubic kilometer. I recall previous treatment of mixing in the Drake Passage, which is by far the giant here, but i have not seen such detail before; is there similar detail for that mother of all mixers ?

    sidd

  32. 232
    wili says:

    We seem to now have entered into El Nino territory:

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/sst.php

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CFSv2/CFSv2seasonal.shtml

    http://i.imgur.com/pjlDIyq.gif

    We’ll have to see if this one fizzles like the one in 2012 did.

  33. 233
    wili says:

    OT: Has anyone else had trouble getting access to the Skeptical Science website? Are they being hacked again?

  34. 234
    DIOGENES says:

    Flakmeister #230 – Unforced Variations Apr 2014,

    “And while this probably belongs in the extended March UV, I am all but convinced that the only way we avoid a 4-6 C rise is through a “black swan” leading to economic collapse”

    Global Economic Collapse is the First Law of Climate Change Amelioration. It is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse. Anderson and Garrett have come to this conclusion (in different words). Hansen has essentially come to this conclusion without stating it; his massive reforestation effort requires 6% demand reduction per annum, and his still-massive semi-reforestation option requires 9%, roughly the same as Anderson. Steinacher has concluded that emission reductions approximately double those of Anderson are required, based on targets in addition to temperature. I have stated that conclusion many times, given the substantial reduction in GDP that would accompany these massive emissions reductions, at least in the early years.

  35. 235
    Chris Dudley says:

    Further to my (#215),

    Source rock for petroleum usually has more carbon than hydrogen so it stops producing oil when the hydrogen runs out. Four or five time more oil might be produced by injection of hydrogen into oil window source rock such as in the Hanifa formation which sources the Ghawar oil field. With an abundant solar resource for producing hydrogen, and existing extraction wells, such an effort might push Saudi Arabia back into the oil producing top spot. They’d just need to aim their tertiary recovery efforts a little lower and switch from carbon dioxide to hydrogen as their working fluid.

    Renewable energy really does seem to have the potential to vastly expand our access to fossil carbon pools.

    It is hard to see how regulatory limits on emissions are not needed to make mitigation work.

  36. 236
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Divesting in fossil fuel is one of the most powerful actions that can be taken against business as usual. It is time for Harvard to divest.

    This morning we began blocking the main entrance to Massachusetts Hall, which houses the office of Harvard University President Drew Faust and other top administrators. We are here to demand an open and transparent dialogue with the Harvard Corporation–Harvard’s main governing body–on fossil fuel divestment. To date, President Faust and Harvard University have rejected the case for divestment and refused to engage in public dialogue about divestment and climate change. Alongside the 72% of Harvard undergraduates and 67% of Harvard Law students, as well as the students, faculty, and alumni of Divest Harvard, we refuse to accept our university’s unwillingness to hold a public meeting on this critical issue.

    We are here today because we believe in a better Harvard. We are here because it is our duty to act. We are here today because it is our moral responsibility as students to ensure that Harvard does not contribute to and profit from the problem but instead aligns its institutional actions and policies with the shared interests of society.

    We take this action with the conviction that Harvard can, must, and will be a leader in responding to the climate crisis. We owe it to the world’s less fortunate and future generations to lead the way to a livable planet.

    As the university demonstrated when it divested from tobacco and partially divested from Apartheid, Harvard’s endowment can be put into alignment with shared values. We are not asking our university to inject politics into its finances: we are asking it to stop sponsoring and profiting from climate change. By investing in fossil fuel companies, Harvard itself is responsible for their behavior. President Faust’s recent announcement that Harvard will sign onto the non-binding Principles for Responsible Investment and the Carbon Disclosure Project implicitly recognizes that the university cannot ignore its social responsibility when it comes to its investments and climate change.

    As over one hundred Harvard faculty argued in their letter to President Faust earlier this month, it is far too late for business as usual and statements to continue that do not commit the university to action. The governing Corporation’s refusal to hold an open meeting on the issue of divestment–as well as the President’s recent denial that fossil fuel companies prevent political action on global warming and a Corporation member’s suggestion that Harvard students thank BP for its energy practices–betray a disconcerting lack of understanding and urgency with respect to the impending risk of climate disaster.

    Source

    Petition

  37. 237
    SecularAnimist says:

    DIOGENES wrote: “Global Economic Collapse is the First Law of Climate Change Amelioration.”

    Still preaching the Gospel According To ExxonMobil, I see.

  38. 238
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    It looks like El Niño north of the equator, and North American weather is energetic enough. But who ever heard of a one-sided El Niño?

  39. 239
    Hank Roberts says:

    For ‘Stranger’ some information about Fyfe and Gillett:
    cited by three more recent papers; Scholar search finds those here:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=3647927047531053630

    and using the site search here
    (‘oogle search using this in the search box:
    site:realclimate.org fyfe gillett )

    RealClimate: It never rains but it pause
    Mar 4, 2014 – Fyfe and Gillett (2014) Following on from Kosaka and Xie, Fyfe and Gillett (2014) ($) show that the trends in the Eastern Pacific (1993-2012) are …

    and

    <a href="http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/on-mismatches-between-models-and-observations/"On mismatches between models and observations

  40. 240
  41. 241
    Wally says:

    New promo video – AUSTRALIANS FOR COAL. What is your investment dollar doing?
    by ACMC (Australian Coal Mining Company) 2014 Climate Policy Update – http://youtu.be/tqXzAUaTUSc

    This is a great example of good science communication techniques, and shows clearly that the message is getting through to even Coal corporation boards and their shareholders, finally!

    It was surprising to hear they even used two key items I have been suggesting for a long time, cognitive dissonance (holding two competing ideas at the same time) and the Energy Gap between BAU and Reality.

    But I still suggest, that the climate issue cannot be solved globally nor fully until such times as this overriding and controlling *politicial/economic* issue is resolved first: http://youtu.be/QPKKQnijnsM Best

  42. 242
    Hank Roberts says:

    Video series, Alan Robock interview with transcript attached at the link.
    (this is #2 of 5, you know how to find them)

    Quoting the first few paragraphs of the transcript here:

    PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay, and this is Reality Asserts Itself.

    We’re continuing our series of interviews with Alan Robock, who is a climatologist, a climate scientist, a meteorologist. And if you want to know more how we got here, you’ve got to watch part one, ’cause we’re going to just pick it up from here.

    What were doing is we’re going to trace your evolution as a scientist from the beginnings of why you decide to study in climate and where you come to the conclusion that the scientific evidence persuades you that human activity causes global warming and climate change and such. So pick up in college. Why do you decide climate’s going to be your thing?

    ALAN ROBOCK, LEAD AUTHOR, INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE: After two years of graduate school, my masters adviser left MIT to–he retired, and I needed a new adviser. So I went to all the professors and I said, I’m interested in air pollution, I like computers. And Edward Lorenz, who became my adviser, said climate would be a good field to get into these days, in 1974. And I was lucky enough to take his advice. He’s the father of chaos theory. He’s quite well known in our field.

    And so I took a climate model, a computer program to calculate how climate changed with time….

  43. 243
    Killian says:

    230 Flakmeister says …Hirsch, like myself, saw a fast oil crash.

    Fast, undulating, catabolic… irrelevant to the point I found most salient: The effects were multiplied, negatively, the closer to peak mitigation and adaptation happened. Self-evident. However, the *time* the report concluded was needed under various time frames was telling:

    1. 20 years prior to peak, manageable disruption. 2. 10 years before peak, significant disruption. 3. Not till peak: Ruh-roh!

    And, as I said originally and you repeat here, this is only about energy supplies and does not include the many other shortages, instabilities, etc., we face. If we needed 20 years for smooth preemptive action only on energy, then how much time, in the name of all the various holies, might we need for complete socio-economic, geopolitical meltdown?

    Very important to understand this is most scary if you are trying to keep what is rather than accepting the limits nature has. The latter is far less scary because the actions needed to get sustainable are far less problematic than trying to keep things going as is.

    And while this probably belongs in the extended March UV, I am all but convinced that the only way we avoid a 4-6 C rise is through a “black swan” leading to economic collapse….

    There is no possibility of a Black Swan: Too many people are fully aware of the real risks. A long tail event, sure. A Black Swan, no. By definition, a Black Swan is completely unpredicted.

    Besides, I disagree. Until you understand not only what simplicity is but how simply it can be achieved, it’s difficult to imagine anything but uncontrolled collapse. Simplicity is not just the end result, it’s how we get to the end result.

    234 DIOGENES says Flakmeister #230 …Global Economic Collapse is the First Law of Climate Change Amelioration.

    LOL… and whose law is that?

    It is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse.

    You say this, but then list a series of numbers that are not collapse, but contraction. You need to define for this forum what “economic collapse” means in the context you are using it.

    Jared Diamond and Joseph Tainter both speak to this issue, with Diamond being the more useful of the two in terms of what collapse vs. simplification is. Read both, if you’ve the fortitude, for the difference between controlled simplification and collapse is very important.

    Also, putting collapse in economic terms rather than socio-geo-political terms makes little sense as once it begins in earnest the old economics will be immaterial. Money and finance are abstract. Making things and moving them about is real. The latter is not actually dependent on the former; it’s a mirage.

  44. 244
    Stranger says:

    Thank you Hank. This looks like good stuff.

  45. 245
    MARodger says:

    NOAA ESRL have just posted the MLO CO2 for 30th April – 402.44ppm (provisional). So the monthly average for April will be a little above 401.25ppm, the first time a month has topped 400ppm since…..
    …..well some would say 3.5 million years but I have argued (and still consider) that 13million years is far more likely.

  46. 246
    DIOGENES says:

    Killian #243,

    “DIOGENES says Flakmeister #230 …Global Economic Collapse is the First Law of Climate Change Amelioration.

    LOL… and whose law is that?”

    That is my Law! Our only hope for avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse is implementing the most rapid reduction of fossil fuel emissions possible. Given the relation between GDP and energy generation, and the fact that most energy generation today is fossil-based, rapid reduction in energy generation translates into strong reductions in GDP. This is a hard reality in the early years, and, as I have shown, the introduction of any low-carbon replacements at any rates deemed reasonable today means continued strong GDP reductions for many years. This is Global Economic Collapse in spades!

    “”It is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for avoiding the impending climate Apocalypse.”

    You say this, but then list a series of numbers that are not collapse, but contraction. You need to define for this forum what “economic collapse” means in the context you are using it…..Also, putting collapse in economic terms rather than socio-geo-political terms makes little sense as once it begins in earnest the old economics will be immaterial. Money and finance are abstract. Making things and moving them about is real. The latter is not actually dependent on the former; it’s a mirage.”

    I have defined Global Economic Collapse many times, including above. Now, one can play games with the definition of Economics, as Kevin Anderson does when talking about its roots in stewardship of resources. If you think that the Andersonian approach makes the stringent energy reduction requirement more salable, go right ahead. But, the fossil energy reductions I have proposed will not lead to any prosperity recognizable by Rex Tillerson, the Koch Brothers, our own Windfall proponents, or the majority of the American people.

  47. 247

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/deadly-tornado-outbreak/life-threatening-flooding-submerges-pensacola-florida-n93201

    Seems we have a new example of extreme precip–5 inches in an hour at Pensacola, with 36 hour totals over 20 inches. The Gulf Coast apparently has some more repair work to do.

  48. 248

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/01/global-fossil-fuels-face-loss-30-trillion/

    And another investment-oriented report that’s well-worth pondering. Seems Exxon may be in denial not only about the threat of climate change in general, but the threat to their business model of the renewables/efficiency revolution.

  49. 249
    wili says:

    SkS has a study out that suggests that, when the gradually increasing heat of the sun is taken into account, we are moving into territories of total forcing on GW that have never been seen before in the climate record (of about half a billion years).

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/Past-and-Future-CO2.html#commenthead

  50. 250
    DIOGENES says:

    #237,

    “Still preaching the Gospel According To ExxonMobil, I see.”

    Christmas came early for ExxonMobil this year. Edward Greisch performed a public service by posting a two-part Der Spiegel article from 2012 showing the real-world effects of Germany’s recent emphasis on transitioning to renewables (http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/merkel-s-switch-to-renewables-rising-energy-prices-endanger-german-industry-a-816669-2.html). The article makes the points that:

    “several industries are suffering as electricity prices rapidly rise. Many companies are having to close factories or move abroad.”, “According to a recent survey by the DIHK, almost one in five industrial companies plans to shift capacities abroad — or has already done so. The study also finds that almost 60 percent fear power outages or voltage fluctuations in the power grid, BECAUSE WIND AND SOLAR POWER ARE STILL TOO UNRELIABLE.”

    “Until now, the reliability of the German electricity supply was seen as a significant advantage for doing business in the country. But the loss of several nuclear power plants, coupled with the UNPREDICTABILITY OF ELECTRICITY FROM WIND AND SOLAR SOURCES, has changed the situation.”

    Two years have passed, and what is the present situation? It is summarized from different perspectives in the articles below, and I would urge every visitor to this site to read these articles twice, not once. They present the real-world experience of Germany, a high-tech country if ever there was one, in trying to implement renewables rapidly. Some takeaways:

    “Key German industries have repeatedly expressed concern that the rapid and costly expansion of renewables could undermine the strength of country’s industrial base, ultimately putting 800,000 jobs at risk. (N.Y. Times)”

    “German energy prices 50% higher than EU average: McKinsey (Euractiv)”

    “German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe. But because the government is failing to get the costs of its new energy policy under control, rising prices are already on the horizon. Electricity is becoming a luxury good in Germany, and one of the country’s most important future-oriented projects is acutely at risk……According to government sources, the surcharge to finance the power grids will increase by 0.2 to 0.4 cents per kilowatt hour next year. On top of that, consumers pay a host of taxes, surcharges and fees that would make any consumer’s head spin…..For society as a whole, the costs have reached levels comparable only to the euro-zone bailouts. This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants — electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. Even the figure of €20 billion is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit.

    If there is too much power coming from the grid, wind turbines have to be shut down. Nevertheless, consumers are still paying for the “phantom electricity” the turbines are theoretically generating. Occasionally, Germany has to pay fees to dump already subsidized green energy, creating what experts refer to as “negative electricity prices.”

    On the other hand, when the wind suddenly stops blowing, and in particular during the cold season, supply becomes scarce. That’s when heavy oil and coal power plants have to be fired up to close the gap, which is why Germany’s energy producers in 2012 actually released more climate-damaging carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than in 2011.

    If there is still an electricity shortfall, energy-hungry plants like the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Hamburg are sometimes asked to shut down production to protect the grid. Of course, ordinary electricity customers are then expected to pay for the compensation these businesses are entitled to for lost profits. (Der Spiegel, 2013)”

    Rex Tillerson couldn’t be happier. And, this is the ‘prosperity’ that our renewables advocates keep promising us?


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