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Unforced variations: May 2014

Filed under: — group @ 2 May 2014

This month’s open thread. In order to give everyone a break, no discussion of mitigation options this month – that has been done to death in previous threads. Anything related to climate science is totally fine: Carbon dioxide levels maybe, or TED talks perhaps…

394 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2014”

  1. 351
    wallly says:

    Nov 2013 Prof Peter Ward on Science literacy, convincing the public about CC realities, the URGENT need for Cultural Change inside Science Departments at Universities regarding basic performance standards, teaching abilities, who gets promoted and why, plus enhancing and insisting upon a Scientist’s ability for outreach to the General Public as part of their primary Job Description and potential for career promotions and their Salary

    Link goes direct to lecture segment

    from University of Washington’s 34th Annual Faculty Lecture – Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Climate? What is the Worst That Global Warming Could Do?

    Any comments?

    Will Peter Ward get an invitation to speak at the next AGU Meeting? If not, then why not?

  2. 352
    wallly says:

    342 Chris Dudley says:28 May 2014 at 12:36 PM
    wallly (#337),”Are you saying you are a sock puppet for Edward?” Nope

    “That may clear up a misunderstanding.” All misunderstandings are your own. If my posts were not interfered with that misunderstanding would have been cleared up a week ago easily. I am on a very tight leash here, Gavin has demanded of the other Moderators that only he “approves” my comments. That seriously interrupts clear communication and only makes it worse for everyone, including himself. My personal values, direct approach, sense of humour, my extensive and very relevant personal experience and knowledge and opinions are not valued nor understood. That’s fine by me. I have no desire to be a “resident” here either. As a teacher of teachers only the alert comprehend, and I have been very successful at that and have no interest in kudos nor need positive affirmations from others. Ego and always being right does not drive my actions or words. I get it that you Chris won’t understand what I am talking about here. So be it. That’s not my personal failing or making. Good Luck with it.

  3. 353
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Those will be the next round of answers. Await publication.

    Comment by Hank Roberts

    I will. I would still like to know if you have any opinions on sudden SLR. Dr. Alley said that the movement of glaciers was like “flipping a switch” instead of something more gradual as far as movement goes. Does this add any credence to the possibility of sudden SLR this century? (your opinion)

    I was a little surprised to find out that Dr.Richard Alley was a conservative Republican. I wonder what he thinks about his party’s rejection of Climate Science or any other science for that matter? I know that Charles Keeling was also a Republican but I don’t think the GOP was quite like they are now on certain issues back in his day.


  4. 354
    wallly says:

    REgarding the excellent comments by 344 perwis (and to Diogenes or anyone else interested in the new Science paper about Amazon Carbon emissions already posted to here this morning) well one aspect is obviously about the rational need for massive sequestration of carbon from extensive re-forestation etc. James Hansen puts the figure at a minimum 100 GtC (equal to 10 years of total carbon energy use today) which is truck load of trees and acreage. The problem I saw articulated a cp weeks ago (will try to find the ref for that) was that unless drastic emission cuts comes first to stop further warming and climate impacts in weather, then circa 2040 such “new” forests will not survive due to climate change and will go back into the atmosphere again, and trying to plant more post 2040 will very likely not succeed. [obviously depending on when/if that transpires]

    BUT more than that aspect it also shows new Paper listed on the con today informs us yet again that the true carbon emissions total quantity are being underestimated (past and into the future) this time from forest logging use and subsequent fires in the Amazon not only from total destruction. SEE:

    New Paper – The research to be published in Global Change Biology on June 3 was carried out by 10 researchers from 11 universities and research institutions in Brazil and the UK. Read more at: or ref

    “54 GtC (billion tonnes of carbon) is lost from the Amazon every year due to selective logging and wildfires, making up 40% of the global yearly carbon loss from deforestation.” [ note this appears it is not included in past/current net emissions data of IPCC, nor future scenarios RCPs]

    So, if 54 GtC PER YEAR (5 years of total global CO2 emissions each year) is going into the atmosphere each year from the amazon alone,and if this study is accurate and valid over time, then it alone blows apart every single CO2 projections in the IPCC reports since 1990 to today.

    What really concerns me now .. there is such a large volume of NEW quality research papers being published even the Climate Scientists must be personally struggling to keep up to date and could be under extreme stress trying to work out which new Studies are the most important…. and what to do or say about it. How they are coping with this personally, and how well they are able to support and communicate with each other while the “ground is basically shifting under their feet” almost daily is hard to comprehend.

  5. 355
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Paul Krugman:

    “Think of it this way: Once upon a time it was possible to take climate change seriously while remaining a Republican in good standing. Today, listening to climate scientists gets you excommunicated — hence Mr. Rubio’s statement, which was effectively a partisan pledge of allegiance.

    And truly crazy positions are becoming the norm. A decade ago, only the G.O.P.’s extremist fringe asserted that global warming was a hoax concocted by a vast global conspiracy of scientists (although even then that fringe included some powerful politicians). Today, such conspiracy theorizing is mainstream within the party, and rapidly becoming mandatory; witch hunts against scientists reporting evidence of warming have become standard operating procedure, and skepticism about climate science is turning into hostility toward science in general.”

  6. 356
  7. 357
    Tony says:

    Has this research been referenced? Swell and sea in the emerging Arctic Ocean. I’m not sure if the use of models (which overestimated at some point) renders this less than an iron-cast candidate for another positive feedback mechanism. As the ice retreats, the waves get bigger (in summer), which breaks up the ice more, causing more melting. I heard that this is an impact in the Antarctic, too.

  8. 358
    DIOGENES says:

    Chris Dudley #338,

    “but it is definitely a lie to call McKibben’s description his position.”

    In November 2012, after publication of the Rolling Stone article, McKibben went around the country on a ‘Do the Math Tour’, whose focus was listed on his site: “It’s simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth.” ( Sounds like his position to me. I think it’s pretty obvious who’s doing the lying on this issue!

  9. 359
  10. 360
    DIOGENES says:

    Chris Dudley #300,

    “There is a guy who’s father’s project at a national lab was a horrible mess to clean up. He wants our global warming problem to be a means of vindicating his dad’s failed project. He’s worked hard at promoting that and now Jim Hansen is writing the President about it. What a waste of time.”

    You have yet to provide one shred of evidence backing up your presently unfounded assertion above!

  11. 361
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Chris Dudley — 28 May 2014 @ 1:22 PM, ~#343

    You make my point.


  12. 362

    “…80 mm of global sea-level rise…”

    That would be equivalent to less than three average years.


  13. 363
    Chris Dudley says:

    Looks like the new regulations for existing power plants will require a 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions over six years. Regional Cap-and-Trade run by states will fit into these regulations.

  14. 364
    Radge Havers says:

    Steve Fish @~ 335

    Would that it were so. I think we’re looking at silly in the rear view mirror when it comes to one or two of the cases here.

  15. 365
    wili says:

    A pretty accurate picture of how things will go from here wrt denialists & pseudo-skeptics:

  16. 366
    Chris Dudley says:


    I take a “pack out your trash” position of 280 ppm on what our carbon dioxide concentration target should be, yet I am very please that with RCP2.6 we have a 270 GtC cushion which can avoid major extinctions owing to climate change. Dangerous climate change arrived early, so many people will die while we work on this, but we won’t be destroying biodiversity potential by that means, we won’t be eliminating the potential for recovery. RCP2.6 is marginally compatible with the goal. Since we’ve got to go through 350 ppm to get to 280 ppm, I support what is doing. And, though I often urge that China be coerced into cutting emissions using GATT, the 2 C limit does have the potential to get China to act voluntarily. That is where the world diplomatic efforts are concentrated so far. The usual consequence of diplomatic failure is war.

    So, a 280 ppm target to be good people, a 350 ppm target to avoid culpability for deaths from dangerous climate change and future ice sheet destabilization and a 2 C limit to avoid major powers war and limit famine and species extinction to some degree. Mathematically, both targets are compatible with the limit.

    You might ask McKibben if his work to get people to understand the 2 C math might not just be a case of trying to keep 350 ppm within reach. Your accusation just does not fit.

  17. 367
    Chris Dudley says:


    I answered you here:

    Don’t keep asking on a page where the answer is not allowed.

  18. 368
    Chris Dudley says:

    wallly (#354),

    If you want to pinch hit for Edward, do it back in that thread where that topic is allowed. I suggest you read Amory Lovins book “Reinventing Fire” first so you can have an adequate handle on the topic.

    If you get censored, ask why. I suspect you just posted to the wrong thread. If you read that thread, you’ll see that I got the topic open with this post: Relative costs of mitigation options can be discussed there.

  19. 369
    DIOGENES says:


    There are myriad atmospheric CO2 concentration targets being proposed. It is instructive to examine some of the range, and the accompanying arguments. Below, I summarize four of the many: 450 ppm; 350 ppm; 300 ppm; 260 ppm. All are fantasies, of course. There is no relationship between our current policies/actions on CO2 emissions, nor any realistically proposed policies and actions, and achievement of targets anywhere near the above ranges.

    “450 Scenario: A scenario presented in the World Energy Outlook that sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C by limiting concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2……
    -The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of Energy Technology Perspectives. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give AN 80% CHANCE of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced. The 2DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario through 2035.”

    “350 ppm (Safe): Many leading climate scientists do not have that appetite for risk. A December 2013 report by “James Hansen, Johan Rockström, and 15 other scientists, “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature,” declares that 2°C of global warming would have disastrous consequences and could cause major dislocations for civilization…..The authors advocate for a TARGET OF 350 PPM AS THE MAXIMUM SAFE CONCENTRATION OF CO2 CONCENTRATION, WHICH WOULD STABILIZE THE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE AT 1°C ABOVE PRE-INDUSTRIAL LEVELS and avoid runaway climate destabilization.”

    “That “350 ppm” is where gets its name. “PPM” stands for “parts per million,” which is simply a way of measuring the ratio of carbon dioxide molecules to all of the other molecules in the atmosphere. Many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments agree with Dr. Hansen that 350 ppm is the “safe” level of carbon dioxide….. Right now we’re at 400 ppm, and we’re adding 2 ppm of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Unless we are able to rapidly turn that around and return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk triggering tipping points and irreversible impacts that could send climate change spinning truly beyond our control.”
    Yet, the leader of goes on a national Do the Math tour, hyping the 2 C target and 565GtC remaining carbon budget, neither of which will get us in the ballpark of what Hansen recommends. AND, WE WONDER WHY THE CLIMATE ADVOCACY MOVEMENT HAS A HARD TIME FINDING RECRUITS!!!

    “ exists to inform people about the Climate Emergency and the need to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ) concentration to a safe and sustainable level of about 300 ppm.

    The fundamental position of is that “There must be a safe and sustainable existence for all peoples and all species on our warming-threatened Planet and this requires a rapid reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to about 300 parts per million”. [1]. urges the World to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (CO2) to about 300 parts per million by volume (ppm). In urging a target of an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 300 ppm, is informed by the advice of top world climate scientists as set out below.

    The name reflects support for the implicit goal of less than 350 ppm CO2 (although, as detailed below, a goal of “350 ppm” is clearly inadequate according to top climate scientists) and the goal of about 300 ppm CO2 of the 2009 Australian Climate Action Summit [12], the Australian Climate Emergency Network [13] and the Yarra Valley Climate Action Group [14].”

    “The four key take home messages of the Target 300 Campaign
    1.The target for a Safe Climate is 300 ppm CO2 or below.
    2.We can reduce our emissions by 50% or more today individually or collectively if we simply choose to.
    3.We have already passed the tipping points for a number of critical climate systems.
    4.We must create a global cooling as soon as possible and we have the solutions to do this.”

    260 PPM:
    T. Goreau, PhD
    Delegation of Jamaica
    Scientific & Technical Briefing To the Association of Small Island States
    United Nations Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, December 7-18 2009

    The long-term sea level that corresponds to current CO2 concentration is about 23 meters above todayʼs levels, and the temperatures will be 6 degrees C or more higher. These estimates are based on real long term climate records, not on models. We have not yet felt the climate change impacts of the current excess of greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuels, and the data shows they will in the long run be many times higher than IPCC models project. In order to prevent these long term changes CO2 must be stabilized at levels below preindustrial values, around 260 parts per million. CO2 buildup must be reversed, not allowed to increase or even be stabilized at 350 ppm, which would amount to a DEATH SENTENCE FOR CORAL REEFS, SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES, AND BILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVING ALONG LOW LYING COASTLINES. The good news is that all the tools for reversing global warming and reducing CO2 to safe levels are ready, proven, and cost effective, but are not being seriously used due to lack of policies and funding.

  20. 370
    Hank Roberts says:

    What really concerns me now .. there is such a large volume of NEW quality research … Climate Scientists must be personally struggling to keep up … how … to support and communicate with each other … is hard to comprehend.

    Killfile or its social equivalent; filter out the chat and pearl-clutching and ranting, and avoid forums when chat by nonscientists drowns out science.

  21. 371
    DIOGENES says:

    Chris Dudley #366,

    “You might ask McKibben if his work to get people to understand the 2 C math might not just be a case of trying to keep 350 ppm within reach. Your accusation just does not fit.”

    What is this ‘accusation’? All I’m doing is quoting his written statements, in articles and on his blog, and in his presentations on his tour. So, I’m to blame for his superficially contradictory statements? Sorry, you’re aiming at the wrong target!

    Now, is his public support of the 2 C target and 565GtC remaining budget a ploy to gain recruits for the more dire sacrifices that lie ahead if the 1 C and 350 ppm targets are desired? Is it really a Trojan Horse to get his foot in the door? Maybe. I doubt whether he would want to admit that to me in a written response!

    But, that gets into the issue of one’s moral compass. If you’ve read my posts on this blog, I don’t compromise with the truth, and I take an enormous amount of flack for holding to that position. Stating some true facts, and ignoring other true facts, is not my view of stating the truth. One could debate whether or not this selective process of presenting facts is a lie, but unless all the important known facts are presented, in their appropriate context, it is not the truth, from my perspective.

    That’s one reason I admire Hansen. He states the target should not be higher than 350 ppm, and the interim peak temperature should not be higher than ~1 C, and he provides an amelioration plan consistent with those objectives. As far as I can see, there’s no deception on his part. He provides the critical facts, and places them into context. Maybe McKibben has the same beliefs, but that’s not what he is consistently presenting to the public. BTW, I have a similar problem with Kevin Anderson. He selects 2 C as his target, makes amelioration recommendations based on this target, then in the next breath states that such a target places us in the Extremely Dangerous regime. Can you honestly state that this makes sense to you? Would you follow a leader with this philosophy?

    I am not condemning Anderson or McKibben. They are very good people, who are putting their reputations and careers on the line to try and reverse the climate change situation in which we are mired. They have what amounts to an impossible task, and maybe they believe the one-step-at-a-time approach is the best way to gain a critical mass of recruits. Maybe they’re right; who knows? Laying out the actions really required to achieve the 1 C level targets may be a far too bitter pill for the vast majority of people to swallow; they’re not even willing to put a sweet lozenge under the tongue, at this point.

  22. 372
    DIOGENES says:

    “Considered together, these points would seem to indicate that glacial inertia to heat forcing is not so great as previously hoped. More likely, the energy balance of the Earth System more rapidly responds to total heat content, energy imbalance, and pace of heat accumulation than previous sensitivity estimates assumed. If this meta-analysis is true, and it seems to be based on a growing pile of evidence, sea level rise for the current century is likely to be far greater than previously anticipated by scientific assessments. The top range of a 3 foot sea level rise for this century under IPCC modeling is likely, given current realities, to instead be a low estimate. A more realistic range, given a greatly reduced true glacial inertia, is probably 3-9 feet through 2100 with higher outside potentials during large glacial outburst flood events.”
    “This “committed warming” of past CO2 emissions whose effect will be manifested in the coming decades is about 0.6 degrees Celsius. Adding up the current warming of 0.85°C from the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the loss of aerosols with global dimming at 1.2°C, and the “committed” temperature rise from the 40-year lag time of CO2 emissions equal to 0.6°C, we get a total of 2.65°C. If all industrial activity stopped right now, we would already be committed to 2.65°C, a global average temperature rise of three times what we are currently experiencing.”

  23. 373
    wili says:

    John Abraham on new Rignot study:

    “the authors found, ‘widespread presence of well-eroded, deep-bed troughs along the ice-sheet periphery, generally grounded below sea level, coincident in location and spatial extent with fast-flow features and extending over considerable distance inland.’ These features were not previously known.

    These findings allow a few conclusions. Aside from the importance of deep troughs to ice motion, the extension inland means that glaciers will have to retreat further than anticipated inland in order to reach a position above sea level…

    The ice sheet is therefore more vulnerable than predicted, and existing projections of sea level rise contribution from Greenland are too conservative and need to be revised…

    As the authors state in the paper, ‘Our findings imply that the outlet glaciers of Greenland, and the ice sheet as a whole, are probably more vulnerable to ocean thermal forcing and peripheral thinning than inferred previously from existing numerical ice-sheet models.’”

  24. 374
    Hank Roberts says:

    Vulnerability of marine based sectors of Antarctica
    posted May 7, 2014, 2:44 AM by Aslak Grinsted [ updated May 23, 2014, 1:29 PM ]

  25. 375
    Dave Peters says:

    On Lychee fruit & forebodings from the Bay of Bengal

    (Kota & Rajasthan both hit 116 F,)

  26. 376
    Hank Roberts says:

    So can we say which processes are just slower in the paleo record, and which are likely quite different with our current rate of change?

    I’m thinking of ocean pH, which I recall did not take a rapid excursion in most of the past high CO2 times– because the processes that continue the chemical cycling to convert the dissolved carbonic acid into solid carbonates worked — slowly, but sufficiently fast during paleo times.

    What else? Winds circulating surface warm sea water under the icecaps? With a slower rate of warming, would the winds have also not changed so quickly?

    I realize proxies are hard to find for wind and water …

  27. 377
    Pete Best says:

    its the thing to do when you know that the UN and other mechanisms of resolving issues have their hands tied by the real lack of political will, economic uncertainty and available technology to reduce our emissions.

    The path to a clean future is blocked is many factors – ignorance, caring, vested interests, money, corruption, lack of education, more important things to worry about and the media to name a few

  28. 378
    Chris Dudley says:

    wallly (#354),

    That 54 GtC looks like a mistake. From the paper:

    “The aboveground carbon pool was the most sensitive to human disturbances with disturbed primary forests containing between 18% and 57% less carbon than we observed in undisturbed forests (Fig. 2). Combining this observed range with Brazilian government remote sensing estimates of the extent of forest degradation (INPE, 2013b) suggests that, in 2010 alone, the Brazilian Amazon could have lost between 0.03 and 0.08 Pg of carbon from the 7 51 000 ha of forest impacted by fire and/or logging – c.40% of the loss from deforestation in the same year (INPE, 2013a). This substantial loss of carbon stocks remains unaccounted for in inventories of greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. MCT, 2010).”

    So, in 2010, around 0.055 PgC were lost from the forest which is 0.055 GtC, not 54 GtC. If the lumber is used to make toilet paper, then the path to the atmosphere is pretty quick, but if it is used to make furniture, it may not get to the atmosphere for quite a while. Since this is selective logging, furniture seems more likely.

  29. 379
  30. 380
    Dave Peters says:

    Of Lychee fruit failure and delayed monsoons in the Bay of Bengal:

    (Kota [1M+] & Rajasthan swelters in record 116 F. heat)

  31. 381
    Non-Scientist says:

    Mods: Can we have an approximate limit on the number of copy-paste posts and posts consisting of links by any one person? Gets hard to read through that all to find an actual discussion.

    – thanks

  32. 382
    Hank Roberts says:

    Hey, an awkward question I can’t answer:

    We say burning biomass is net zero, it’s not adding any fossil carbon (ignoring the processing, and transportation, and fertilizer, of course)

    Now I see projects to burn the methane from cattle feedlots — which is derived from the same biomass.

    We know methane is a short-lived forcing — really big, but only for a few years before it oxidizes into CO2.

    What’s the tradeoff when a business buys a carbon offset that burns feedlot methane, versus buying a carbon offset that burns, say, flare gas from drilling?

    And do any of the regulations or projections look at that? Does it make much difference?

    (I don’t want to restart the methapocalypse stuff here, please — just compare the biogenic methane vs. fossil methane as issues to consider)

  33. 383
    wallly says:

    378 Chris Dudley says: wallly (#354), “That 54 GtC looks like a mistake”

    Well everyone makes mistakes Chris. So if this is wrong (quoting)
    “54 billion tonnes of carbon is lost from the Amazon every year due to selective logging and wildfires, making up 40% of the global yearly carbon loss from deforestation.”

    … then there is nothing I can do about it. Feel free to correct them yourself at the Conversation and contact Lancaster University and tell them where they got it wrong and ask them to correct it. Report back here and let us all know how you did and post the Updated corrected information from both sites. Here’s a real opportunity for you to make a difference IF you are right. It’s not my problem, I didn’t cause it and I’m busy. Thanks for the heads up though, very interesting.

    [Response: The press release is completely wrong. The paper has between 0.03 and 0.08 PgC for the Amazon deforestation (40% of total). And 1 PgC is 1 GtC, and so it should be ~0.06 GtC - 1000 times smaller than the release. i.e billion should be million. - gavin]

  34. 384
    Non-Scientist says:

    I have a question which is totally outside this thread.. but it is the open thread, so:

    Is there a -reasonable possibility of anthropogenicly altering the climate with 2-300 years via BAU (not via a deliberate, science-fiction scenario) in such a way that results in the atmosphere’s oxygen content falling enough that mammals can’t survive?

    I’ve never seen this hypothesized, but I’ve read that in a earlier geologic age there was a die-off of this type. Of course, the Earth was a different place then.

    If this is even plausible, how long would it take?

  35. 385
    Chris Dudley says:


    I’ve pointed you to what aims for. Are you just too blind to make the connection with the Target paper you also cite? Try much harder to catch on to things. Manufacturing a controversy is a form of dishonesty and that seems to be what you aim for.

  36. 386
    wallly says:

    371 DIOGENES says: “BTW, I have a similar problem with Kevin Anderson. He selects 2 C as his target, makes amelioration recommendations based on this target, then in the next breath states that such a target places us in the Extremely Dangerous regime.”

    That is provably untrue, Anderson does not say that at all. The key point being “HE selects 2 C as HIS target”, no he don’t pal!

    He actually says ***IF*** the target is going to be 2C AND as every govt on earth has agreed to that at the UNFCCC lets use that to look at the REALITY, and he adds the UK Govt states that IS their target too, then THIS is what it means … that target is impossible on current realities. (my own words) The multiple videos of his lectures say what I just said repeatedly… go check what he actually says again, and again, and again.

    He has a website, I have emailed him several times and he responded to me sincerely, you go ask him directly what HIS TARGET IS … AND REFERENCE YOUR POST HERE TO HE GETS THE CONTEXT RIGHT TOO. After you get over the shock, then feel free to apologize to him and then ask the “moderators” (?) to delete your comment and redo it.

    [edit - just let it go. Don't be abusive to other commenters, don't shout and try to be constructive. If you can't stick to the rules here, there are plenty of other places on the internet]

  37. 387
    Chris Dudley says:

    Hank (#382),

    In the Clean Development formalism here are the rules gas flaring reduction:

    You’ll see that the gas has to be converted from flaring to use as a fuel or chemical feedstock.

    But, in landfill management, flaring the gas counts for a credit. It needn’t also be used for energy.

  38. 388
    Hank Roberts says:

    EPOCA is over but their blog continues to report current research almost daily. Here’s one: (from )

    Experimental assessment of diazotroph responses to elevated seawater pCO2 in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Global Biogeochemical Cycles.(subscription required).
    (full article is paywalled)

    This sounds like a rather dramatic change for the 2 out of 9 experiments.
    Do we expect these are local variations and not something that would be happening globally? Because a drop in primary productivity of that magnitude would be, well, enough to make us gasp, right?

  39. 389
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 May 2014 @ 6:31 PM, ~#382

    Yours is a sticky question. My opinion from a sort of purist viewpoint is that no carbon credits are due unless the amount of fossil carbon in the atmosphere is reduced. By this reasoning there should only be a credit for not releasing flare gas at all, burned or not, and bio methane should only get credit if it is used to displace fossil methane (e.g. make electricity).


  40. 390
    DIOGENES says:

    “Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman explains for the umpteenth time that climate action is super cheap — and that even the pro-pollution U.S. Chamber of Commerce agrees…..
    In April the world’s leading scientists, economists, and governments reviewed the literature and came to the broad consensus that even aggressive climate action would reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%……
    In May, the world’s leading energy experts said we are headed towards catastrophic 11°F warming but that if we wanted to keep warming to a far safer level, under 4°F warming, it would require investment in clean energy of only about 1 percent of global GDP per year through 2050……”

    This article is misleading to the extreme. A temperature peak of 4 F warming would be an absolute disaster. Hansen et al state 1 C or less should be the target, and 2 C (3.6 F) would be dangerous. So, we would spend $44T, and still be in very dangerous territory. And, this is what we get from a supposedly climate advocacy blog???

  41. 391
    SecularAnimist says:

    Hank Roberts wrote: “What’s the tradeoff when a business buys a carbon offset that burns feedlot methane, versus buying a carbon offset that burns, say, flare gas from drilling?”

    We need to eliminate both feedlots and drilling, both of which are severely harmful in multiple ways both to the environment and to human health.

  42. 392
    Chris Dudley says:

    Now that it is June, I can answer #303 (#318 needs to be posted in another thread still since nukes, and particularly pointless fanboi schemes are off topic in all threads but one).

    Basically, you are barking up the wrong tree. The break up of the UN will come through a rupture between permanent security council member states. Countries like Australia, where the rule of law is important, can probably stick to commitments. The difficulty is permanent security council member states that are run by oligarchies. They have the economies to keep BAU going into the next century and motive to do so if it maintains internal power and advances their global strategic positions. So, a unified global effort may strain the UN beyond breaking.

  43. 393
    Chris Dudley says:

    Now that it is June, it is worth a mention that in the first quarter of 2014, solar power provided 74% of all new generating capacity in the US and rooftop PV installations exceeded commercial installations for the first time.

  44. 394
    Killian says:

    Re DIOGENES #258, where have we heard this before, that there cant be *any* carbon budget left given effects already observed?

    From me for, oh, the last 5, 6, 7 years. Right here on RC. But all I needed was logic. Then came risk assessment, then came permaculture principles.

    Not everything requires a study to be understood.

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