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Unforced variations: June 2014

Filed under: — group @ 1 June 2014

June is the month when the Arctic Sea Ice outlook gets going, when the EPA releases its rules on power plant CO2 emissions, and when, hopefully, commenters can get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is). Thanks.


488 Responses to “Unforced variations: June 2014”

  1. 1
    Thomas says:

    Can we talk mitigation this month, or is it still off limits.
    I can identify two questions/topics which might shed some light.

    (1) Can renewables like wind/sun continue their exponential growth long enough to make the needed difference? Or do we accept projections from the likes of EIA which show the rate of new renewables plateauing almost immediately and never becoming big enough?

    (2) Can we prevent at meaningful scale, cheap energy from renewables being used to extract more fossil carbon?

  2. 2
    Killian says:

    I’d like to know if anyone else is concerned about the seemingly hyperbole curve of “It’s worse than we expected” science year after year, not to mention the actual observations.

    Heck, I’ve been saying things are significantly worse than scientists were able to show since IPCC IV, but even I’m getting skittish. 200 years for Antarctic ice shelves to collapse *at current rates,* and as little as 100 at increasing rates – which just happens to fit with earlier Hansen, et al., estimates of possible 5 year doubling of melt rates.

    I wonder if we might not find a way to begin to measure rate of change?

  3. 3
    Chris Dudley says:

    Thomas (#1),

    On your question #1, you can find a state by state roadmap for for ending fossil fuel use by 2050 here: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/february/fifty-states-renewables-022414.html

    On your question #2, an international agreement to cut emissions adequately would cut quite a lot of fossil fuel demand and so it would not make much difference if renewable energy is used in extraction or not. Absent a global agreement, we might use the GATT for a while to place tariffs on countries that are increasing emissions, but once their economies are more dependent on internal consumer demand than on exports, tariffs won’t have much effect on emissions. Tariffs, like mitigation, have a pretty brief window in which to get to work.

    The California grid is getting to have quite a lot of renewable energy in the mix. Grid power is being used to drill oil wells in Huntington Beach. http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/announcements/announcement.cfm?id=649 Using renewable energy to extract fossil fuels is not something that can really be avoided. But, extracting fossil fuels can be avoided if we all agree to that.

  4. 4
    Edward Greisch says:

    1 Thomas: The EIA is correct. Countries and states that have more renewables have higher electricity prices. Wind averages 20% of nameplate power. Solar averages 15% of nameplate power. Making a battery to fill in the dead spots is not feasible, no matter what you do for energy storage. All of the required references have been presented many times.

    There are lots of wind turbine salesmen and solar cell salesmen that I would rather not hear from again. Lots of previous investors in renewables have lost their shirts over my lifetime. The recent ones will loose their shirts likewise, as soon as the subsidy or legal requirement vanishes. The salesmen will not read or can not follow the math, or they believe that everything is a sales pitch.

    The bad news is that there is only one answer that works right now, nuclear, but Americans always try every other answer first. It seems that every generation has to go through the same process until there are no more humans. My guess is that the moderators are rather tired of hearing about it. It does get rather repetitive because the salesmen can’t deal with reality.

    So good luck, but I would say that it might be better to forget about it. BraveNewClimate.com has the story if you want to find out about it. Instead of talking mitigation, become a math teacher.

    PS: I’m not selling anything. But I can do enough math to tell a right answer from a wrong answer.

  5. 5
    Adam R. says:

    @Thomas

    If renewables get so cheap, won’t they drive the price of fossil carbon below a level that allows profitable extraction? Seems like a self-solving problem.

  6. 6
    Chris Dudley says:

    apocalypsi

    The plural of apocalypse is like
    the plural of hippopotamus.
    But as any ostrich knows
    (who to Fantasia may go)
    They’re singular when you get squished.

  7. 7
    wallly says:

    Australia has experienced its hottest two years on record and high temperatures are set to continue through winter in a clear sign climate change is having an impact, a new report warns.

    May 2012 to April 2014 was the hottest 24-month period ever recorded in Australia, but that is likely to be eclipsed by the two years between June 2012 and May 2014, according to the Climate Commission’s latest report, Abnormal Autumn.

    “We have just had an abnormally warm autumn, off the back of another very hot ‘angry summer’,” Climate Council Professor Will Steffen said.

    “The past two-year period has delivered the hottest average temperature we have ever recorded in Australia.

    “Climate change is here, it’s happening, and Australians are already feeling its impact.”

    The average temperature across Australia in April was 1.11 C above the long-term average, the report says, citing Bureau of Meteorology figures.

    The average minimum temperature was 1.31 C above normal. https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/24069088/no-relief-in-sight-as-warm-wave-rolls-on/

    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/

  8. 8
    wallly says:

    RE may uv #383 Response http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/05/unforced-variations-may-2014/comment-page-8/#comment-545294

    Thank you Gavin. I trust you, and now that I have a reliable confirmation I will advise TheCon so they correct their material.
    My apologies to all for passing on false information, it was unintentional.
    The #1 reason I submit such info here (besides just sharing), is be corrected by ‘experts’ if/when it is wrong.
    Now I know for certain, I will let others know too. Maybe the incorrect info could be deleted here, so no one else is misinformed by what I had said?

  9. 9
    Edward Greisch says:

    1 Thomas: See: New article at http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/06/02/critique-100pc-renewables-edm/?blogsub=subscribed#subscribe-blog
    “Critique of the proposal for 100% renewable energy electricity supply in Australia”

    “In May 2010 there was virtually no wind anywhere in Australia for three days.”

    “They say that in winter the 426 MW installed PV capacity in Victoria contributes a mere 4 MW (…and this too seems to be an estimate, not a measured observation.).”
    4/426=.0094 = <1%

    "I took six widely distributed good sites from central Australia to Mildura and found that in the 92 day period at the end of 2010 there were 12 (non-overlapping) periods each lasting 4 days or more, including 48 days in all, in which DNI averaged across the sites did not reach 500 W/m2 at any time during the day."

    "…..indicates that almost no power would have been generated on these days. "

  10. 10
    Steve Milesworthy says:

    “1.5 km model…shows a future intensification of short-duration rain in summer [in southern UK], with significantly more events exceeding the high thresholds indicative of serious flash flooding.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27624478

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2258.html

    “future” here means “~2100, under the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change RCP 8.5 scenario”

  11. 11
    DIOGENES says:

    Wally #386 – Unforced Variations May 2014,

    “you go ask him directly what HIS TARGET IS”

    We need to ask the Clintonesque question: what is the meaning of HIS? If one reads Anderson’s papers and listens to his speeches, he discusses the origins of the 2 C target, what various scientists think might be a more appropriate target, and finally concludes that it forms the boundary between Dangerous and Extremely Dangerous. He then goes on to examine what actions are necessary to provide a roughly 50-50 chance of not exceeding 2 C. So, the 2 C target is HIS in the sense that he uses it for his computations and policy recommendations.

    Now, if you want to argue that he is using the 2 C only as a convenient point for doing computations, in much the same way that he could have selected 3 C or 4C and shown the actions required to stay within these temperatures, why, go right ahead. I view it as disingenuous. He has NOT been doing parameter sweeps over temperatures for years to illustrate consequences of actions, but rather has focused his papers and speeches to show what is required to stay within the 2 C peak.

    My comments on Anderson and McKibben stand as written!

  12. 12
    DIOGENES says:

    Thomas #1,

    “Can renewables like wind/sun continue their exponential growth long enough to make the needed difference?”

    First, you need to define the “needed difference”. If 2 C is your target with 50-50 chance of not exceeding, then, as Anderson’s computations show, we would need ~10% reduction in emissions per year for years to meet this target. Anderson concludes that the supply side increase cannot meet such a target, and strong demand reductions are required. Anderson also concludes that such strong demand reductions will require a ‘planned recession’, which many others would call a deep Depression.

    If a very high chance of staying under 2 C is your target, then, as Raupach showed, there is no carbon budget left. Extremely severe cuts in demand, with the accompanying global economic collapse, would be required.

    If the 1 C proposed by Hansen is your target, there is not only no carbon budget left, we are in carbon debt. ANY expenditures of carbon, even for the most admirable of purposes, only go toward increasing the carbon debt.

    Bottom line, for real amelioration to keep out of major harm’s way, any supply side contribution will be minor.

  13. 13
    DIOGENES says:

    Edward Greisch #4,

    “There are lots of wind turbine salesmen and solar cell salesmen that I would rather not hear from again…..It does get rather repetitive because the salesmen can’t deal with reality.”

    Amen, from this corner!

  14. 14

    Great. Despite an upfront plea from the moderators that we have “constructive and respectful conversations about climate science,” by #4 we already have rehashing of the same tired crap, including the baseless ad hom that those who feel that renewable energy is important to mitigation efforts are ‘salesmen’ who are presumably motivated by personal greed–and that is then explicilty endorsed at #13.

    I think comments such as those should go straight to the Borehole from here on out.

  15. 15

    #12–

    The idea that ‘any supply side contribution’ will be ‘minor’ seems pretty bizarre to me. Given that we need to be nearly emissions-free in just a few decades, and that we will need to feed 9-10 billion mouths in that time frame, we clearly need to substitute for a whole lot of fossil fuel capacity, no matter what we do on the demand side. (Though to be sure, demand is extremely important also.) The alternative, seems to me, is a huge population crash–difficult, traumatic, dangerous and surely violent and unjust to boot. Avoiding that requires the full palette of mitigation measures.

  16. 16
    Chris Dudley says:

    If we are answering questions from May:

    384,

    It is not so much lack of oxygen as too much carbon dioxide. For humans here are some limits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercapnia#Tolerance
    Trouble begins at about 50 times the preindustrial concentration of of carbon dioxide. Probably sooner for the very young and the elderly. As we saw earlier in this [May] thread (based on the work of Russell et al.), mammals have a particular problem at that point which is that the entire Earth is too warm for then to survive. BAU gets us to the correct concentration to make that happen in about 2125. But, we’d need to wait for the carbon feedbacks to get to the final concentration.

  17. 17

    #1–Thomas, one sort of guidance in addressing your question is the historical record. If the EIA is correct about renewables plateauing, it will be the first time that they have *ever* been right about renewables.

    Draw your own conclusions…

  18. 18
    SecularAnimist says:

    Edward Greisch wrote: “There are lots of wind turbine salesmen and solar cell salesmen that I would rather not hear from again.”

    Let’s be honest here, which means naming some names.

    The reason that discussion of “mitigation” here is problematical is that a couple of commmenters — Mr. Greisch and DIOGENES — will not discuss non-fossil-fuel energy sources without engaging in insulting personal attacks against anyone who advocates, or even provides accurate and positive information about, solar and wind energy, or who questions the assertion that nuclear power is “THE ONLY” option.

    In this case, Mr. Greisch is basically accusing anyone who writes positively about wind and solar energy of being a paid liar, of providing false information to make a “sale”. This is a false accusation, not to mention utter nonsense, and he knows it, as does DIOGENES who has filled dozens of comments with such baseless accusations.

    It’s childish, and nothing but naked trolling. Perhaps the moderators will respond by giving Mr. Greisch an entire comment thread all his own where he can carry on in that fashion indefinitely, as they did with DIOGENES.

  19. 19
    Chris Dudley says:

    Here is the proposed rule from the EPA: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-05/documents/20140602proposal-cleanpowerplan.pdf

    That it anticipates more than 30% of electricity generation coming from coal and more than 30% from gas in 2030 seems to indicate a lack on ambition.

  20. 20
    Jason says:

    Thomas #1,

    The EIA (Annual Energy Outlook 2014) predicts renewables will continue growing, reaching 16% of US ‘leccy generation by 2040.

    “…the first decade of the projection, growth in electricity generation from renewables tends to be largely policy-driven. However, as reference case natural gas prices rise and the capital costs of renewable technologies — particularly wind and solar — decrease over time, renewable generation becomes more competitive, accounting for 16% of total electricity generation in 2040.”

  21. 21
    Edward Greisch says:

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2014/06/new-video-reports-on-unstoppable-antarctic-glacial-melting/

    Video keeps resetting itself to the beginning, so you have to push it forward. If you manage to see the whole thing: We have just floated a huge part of Antarctica’s ice. A new sea level rise forecast is in order. The map for sea level rises is at http://flood.firetree.net/
    Sell your beach front property now.

  22. 22

    I think I have found one of the problems with sea ice models, it is more related to GCM’s though. After a couple of very interesting highly refracted sunsets, GRIB did not have any important inversions calculated. A couple of years later, I have perhaps found the reason GRIB failed. Its at once simple and contradictory : sea ice top cools faster than surface air. However thermal dynamics did not explain this directly, specific heat capacity of sea ice is more than twice that of air. Unlike ground or soil, air should cool faster than sea ice. While very clear multiple (hundreds) refraction observations proved otherwise. For more on this please look at:

    http://eh2r.blogspot.ca/2014/05/finding-sea-ice-underside-melting-at.html

    If top of sea ice would cool according to theory, the horizon would appear to drop.

  23. 23
    David Miller says:

    Gavin says:

    … and when, hopefully, commenters can get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is).

    … and in the first 13 comments we have a comment on the pending apocalypse, the etymology of apocalypse, several comments on nuclear power and some rather back-handed preemptive comments about those who might support wind and solar.

    So, Gavin, I’m afraid the answer is already in – no, the commenters here can’t restrain themselves.

    As for arctic sea ice, Neven’s blog – linked to on the sidebar is excellent as always. For a similarly high signal-to-noise ratio discussion of sea ice goings on, http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php is a wonderful resource. Well worth a visit; the deniers and nuke advocates don’t seem to have found it yet.

  24. 24
    Mal Adapted says:

    Thomas:

    Can we prevent at meaningful scale, cheap energy from renewables being used to extract more fossil carbon?

    By a carbon tax, of course.

  25. 25
    owl905 says:

    @Edward Greisch 4 – The comment comes across as another shallow pro-nuke, anti-wind&sun vent. Higher prices for electricity aren’t due to the subsidized introduction of wind&sun. They were on their way up before either of those technologies made inroads.
    Everyone already knew capacity and production numbers were different, that isn’t news or newsworthy.
    Harking it to a batteries-not-included complaint is tabling the false premise that there has to be a battery reservoir solution. Other static solutions, like dam reservoirs filled during off-hours, isn’t just for wind and solar but has been part of grid redundancy requirements since the 30′s.
    Your against-the-current vote for nuclear power is a waste of time – nuclear has a cost-management and damage problem from womb to tomb (ex. the total impact of the Fukushima damage is now estimated at over $250billion dollars, exclusive of the costs to de-nuke the Japanese economy). The Vogtle project in Georgia required loan guarantees from the federal government because of construction cost over-runs. Turn off all the electricity and cut the wire in your home in Ontario, Canada … and you still get a monthly bill for almost $100 because of the massive refurb costs of the Ontario nuclear power plants.
    Wind and solar will continue to outpace the growth rates of other energy sources. They will never be a panacea, but neither will any other energy source.
    Attempts to slander solar and wind in favor of the tainted nuclear power industry, down to weak comments about wind and solar ‘salesmen’ you don’t want to see again … isn’t just sad. It is yelling ‘pants on fire’ at a world now driving wind, solar, and hydro expansion because of their reduced pollution footprint.

  26. 26
    MalcolmT says:

    Edward Greisch #9 and others
    Your disparagement of renewables didn’t ring true to me and your link led me eventually to http://cleantechnica.com/2013/06/17/the-breakthrough-institute-why-the-hot-air/ which articulates my half-formed criticisms far better than I could have done.
    That said, we clearly do need to tackle the supply side as well, and allowing prices to rise (even encouraging it, as Germany did) is likely to continue to be a key driver of demand reduction. “Planned recession”? Maybe. But Stern warned us years ago that the economic effect of unchecked climate change will amount to a prolonged major recession anyway.

  27. 27
    Russell says:

    The continued recession of the Arctic ice has not stopped Viscount Monckton from having a hot time in the Persian Gulf

  28. 28
    Thomas says:

    Adam at 5. Renewable energy cheaper than the same amount of energy from fossils, doesn’t mean demand for fossils goes to zero. They don’t directly compare, you might want fossils because of surge capacity, or because you can use them on a rainy day. Or because you have infrastructure designed to run off them.
    As storage becomes better and cheaper, then renewable energy can expand the range of applications it is suitable for. But it will be difficult to replace fuel for long distance air flights for example. So there will be niches where the uses of fossil fuels are willing to pay a premium per BTU, in order to get these other characteristics.

  29. 29
    Thomas says:

    Well Austin energy signed an agreement to purchase solar PV at $.05 per KWhour. The contractor feels they can make money building and operating the PV farm. This a cheaper than even natural gas power. And many wind energy contracts are coming is even cheaper. Now it is a fact that places with already high power costs are installing more renewables than places with currently cheap power. It’s not so straightforward to disentangle cause and effect here.

    There is of course a big difference in the cost per unit capacity between small residential units, and large scale utility based projects. Wind turbines are notoriously difficult to scale down, and virtually all consumer level wind turbines are a waste of money. Residential PV roofs might be cost competitive, because they are competing against retail electricty tariffs, not wholesale power costs.

  30. 30
    Edward Greisch says:

    New Video Reports on ‘Unstoppable’ Antarctic Glacial Melting | The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media
    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2014/06/new-video-reports-on-unstoppable-antarctic-glacial-melting/

    Ocean water has penetrated under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Is “penetrated under” more accurate than saying “the WAIS is afloat”?

  31. 31
    john byatt says:

    #7 who would have thought that it was not the angry summer which convinced many, it was the warmer autumn, everyone was still swimming at the beach last week, but the penny seems to have dropped somewhat. figure that out

  32. 32
    Joris van Dorp says:

    “Bottom line, for real amelioration to keep out of major harm’s way, any supply side contribution will be minor.”
    Nevertheless, the supply-side is a crucial part of the equation. Meaningful demand reduction is a no-go. I have friends who actually state flat-out that they intend to do nothing about climate change in terms of life style changes. They don’t believe it will help. They don’t believe they can reduce their climate impact as much as required. It’s a no-go.

    On the supply side, I have never seen a credible analysis showing that nuclear energy is unable in principle to eliminate co2 emissions globally within 40 years globally, in combination with auxiliary electricity and heat-based known technologies which would eliminate co2 emissions from steel and cement production if abundant cheap (nuclear) energy was available, and for producing synthetic liquid fuels using nuclear power. Therefore, I consider any and all communications which disparage or hinder nuclear development equal to directly causing climate catastrophe.

  33. 33
    DIOGENES says:

    Thomas #1,

    “Can we prevent at meaningful scale, cheap energy from renewables being used to extract more fossil carbon?”

    There are copious peripheral issues being raised on the climate blogs; the issue of cheap renewable energy being used to extract more fossil carbon is one of them.

    There are only three central issues that need to be addressed here for REAL climate change amelioration:

    1) What are the temperature targets that will prevent catastrophe?
    Answer: 1 C, OR LESS!

    2) What are the actions required to achieve these targets?
    Answer: Stringent demand reduction, on the order of TENS OF PERCENT PER YEAR; massive reforestation and other soil/vegetation management procedures for carbon sequestration; perhaps short-term geo-engineering, to keep temperatures within limits after aerosols have been removed.

    3) How do we get a critical mass of people to implement these actions?
    Answer: That is the challenge! We know the TYPES OF PEOPLE we need; they were identified by Kipling and Tennyson more than a century ago:

    Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
    But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” WHEN THE DRUMS BEGIN TO ROLL,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” WHEN THE DRUMS BEGIN TO ROLL.
    ……………………………………….
    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    …………………………………..
    THEIRS NOT TO MAKE REPLY,
    THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY,
    THEIRS BUT TO DO AND DIE:

  34. 34
    Joel says:

    Regarding renewables, I’m hearing DIOGENES loud and clear — there’s no way to staunch the flow of carbon into the atmosphere without a significant and long-term economic recession. This recession will either be voluntary, government-imposed, or climate-imposed. My guess is the final option — as CO2 rises, climate havoc will increasingly disrupt economic growth, forming a negative feedback that provides an ultimate, upper-bound on warming.

  35. 35
    wili says:

    http://www.humanitystest.com/endless-layers-of-delusion/

    Many here may find common ground and perhaps insights from various parts of this longish essay:

    Endless Layers of Delusion
    By Roger Boyd

    One of the delusions discussed: “2 Degrees is Safe, and 450 ppm of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Will Get Us There”

  36. 36
    DIOGENES says:

    Kevin McKinney #15,

    “The idea that ‘any supply side contribution’ will be ‘minor’ seems pretty bizarre to me”

    it only seems ‘bizarre’ to you and the other members of the ‘tag team’ because you refuse to look at the numbers involved. SA posted two proxy plans that I analyzed in detail; both contained copious amounts of renewables, and were viewed by the authors as ‘challenging’. As I showed in detail, the Spross-quoted plan resulted in emissions reductions on the order of 1% per year, and the Ceres Clean Trillion plan (which by the way is up to $44 TRILLION now) resulted in emissions reductions on the order of ~1.5% per year.

    Even if you accept Kevin Anderson’s 2 C targets with ~50-50 chance, he requires ~10% per year demand reductions for years to stay under 2 C. If you accept Raupach’s targets of 90% chance of remaining under 2 C, then there is no carbon budget left, and emissions reductions on the order of TENS OF PERCENT PER YEAR are required. So, the supply side contribution from at least those two plans is MINOR with respect to what is required.

    But, Greisch has it right. Because all we ever get from the ‘tag team’ are sales pitches, we NEVER see any numbers reflecting what they will accomplish in terms of achieving climate change targets.

  37. 37
    DIOGENES says:

    Joris Van Dorp #32,

    “Nevertheless, the supply-side is a crucial part of the equation. Meaningful demand reduction is a no-go. I have friends who actually state flat-out that they intend to do nothing about climate change in terms of life style changes. They don’t believe it will help. They don’t believe they can reduce their climate impact as much as required. It’s a no-go.”

    I don’t disagree at all about your projection of their behavior. But, if meaningful demand reduction is an ABSOLUTE requirement to avoid catastrophe, and all we get is substitution of low carbon for high carbon sources, and replacement of low energy efficiency technologies by high energy efficiency technologies, then we go over the cliff! It’s no more complicated than that. In essence, what we need to avoid catastrophe we can’t get, and what we can get will not avoid catastrophe.

  38. 38
    DIOGENES says:

    David Miller #23,

    “commenters can get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science…..So, Gavin, I’m afraid the answer is already in – no, the commenters here can’t restrain themselves.”

    It depends on how you define ‘constructive’. I happen to think that discussions about the few central climate science issues in climate change amelioration should garner highest priority. Sales pitches for vegan diets and low carbon technologies, without any accompanying quantitative analysis showing how they will contribute to climate change amelioration, are anything but constructive. I’ll let the readers decide which posts are respectful, and which are nothing but unsolicited diatribes, devoid of technical content.

  39. 39
    Mike Knapp says:

    Where are the professionals (Gavin et al) with respect to the EPA rules & Socolow’s stabilization triangles? My thinking is this EPA rulemaking fits in somewhere in the efficiency component however only scratches the surface.

  40. 40
    Hank Roberts says:

    Our preliminary reading comprehension test results are in:

    As a reminder, the reading test material presented is:

    get back to actually having constructive and respectful conversations about climate science (and not nuclear energy, impending apocalypsi (pl) or how terrible everyone else is). Thanks.

    I’m sure each of us has tried his best in Round One of this test.

    Carry on. Round Two begins; same reading test material as before.

  41. 41
    Dan H. says:

    Joel,
    While to you think that increasing CO2 levels, by themselves, will disrupt economic growth? Unless carbon-based reserves fall substantially, thereby raising prices markedly, I fail to see how this could occur.

  42. 42
    chris colose says:

    In other news, Michael Mann has an entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica under “Global Warming” here.

  43. 43
    pete best says:

    re #34 – its as Michal Mann states there are many forks in the road (pathways) to get off at and if we miss this one we ready ourselves for the next one. USA goes for a 30% reduction in coal emissions relative to 2005 emissions and its a good play. Coal to go first as its the easiest to replace technologically if not economically and politically but there are technologies ready that can scale to replace base load power such as solar and nuclear, wind, geothermal, wave and tide and energy efficiencies.

    Its not all as is stated recently here. Maybe its a 3C or 4C world but it wont be a 6C one. Just get off where we can and with urgency

  44. 44
    Mike S2 says:

    Any thoughts on whether the Mount Sangeang eruption could blunt the El Nino warming this year or next?

  45. 45
    Chris Dudley says:

    “the etymology of apocalypse”

    It only takes one.

  46. 46
    Chris Dudley says:

    Joris van Dorp (#32),

    You are asking the fuel supply to do more than is possible. As the IPCC points out, there is only about a century of fuel available at the current rate of use. Your 40 year scale up does not work out mathematically.

  47. 47
    DIOGENES says:

    Wili #35,

    Your Boyd reference was Beyond Outstanding. However, because of its length, not everyone will read. it’s highlights need to be emphasized.

    ” “there is little explicit scientific evidence for why 2 degrees centigrade should be the preferred target”[23]. The current impacts of only a 0.8 degree warming point to the IPCC target being too high, “If we’re seeing what we’re seeing at 0.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees is simply too much”, states Thomas Lovejoy…..Such evidence has led climate scientists like James Hansen to call for a limit of 350 ppm[45] of carbon dioxide (we are already pretty much at 400) rather than the U.N. supported 450 ppm. Of course, if the U.N. accepts Hansen’s position, the soft and fluffy options disappear and the “BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, AND SWEAT” OPTIONS RAISE THEIR UGLY HEADS.”

    Where have we heard that before?

    “Vaclav Smil has captured the sheer enormity of the task of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, “Annual combustion of [fossil fuels] has now reached 10 billion tonnes of oil equivalent …. nearly 20 times larger than at the beginning of the 20th century … Energy transitions, shifts from a dominant source (or combination of sources) of energy to a new supply arrangement, or from a dominant prime mover to a new convertor – are inherently prolonged affairs whose duration is measured in decades or generations … It took natural gas about 60 years since the beginning of its commercial extraction (in the early 1870’s) to reach 5% of the global energy market, and then another 55 years to account for 25 percent.”[85]“….. The many congratulatory announcements of growth in installed wind and solar capacity MISREPRESENT THE TRUE SITUATION. Even using the best locations possible, the utilization of that capacity is about 40% for wind, 20% for solar photovoltaic (PV), and 60% for concentrated solar (CSP)[86]. There are also the specious congratulatory statements about wind and solar providing a high percentage of a country’s electricity needs on a specific day, or even confusing electricity supply for the overall energy supply[87]. Of course, there is no mention of the non-windy, overcast days where they may be providing next to nothing and the fossil fuel generating plants are being fully utilized. In the absence of extremely cheap and scalable storage systems, redundant backup systems are needed, as with Germany, which assumes that it will be burning coal to produce electricity for decades to come”…..NEARLY ALL THE INCREASE IN RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION IS USED UP BY THE GROWTH IN DEMAND AND THEREFORE THERE IS VERY LITTLE ACTUAL REDUCTION IN FOSSIL-FUEL USAGE. As long as the economy keeps growing, energy demand will tend to grow, and thus the replacement of fossil fuels will be chasing an ever-increasing target. As James Hansen notes with respect to China, “It is true that China is leading the world in installation of renewable energies. However, … new fossil fuel energy output in China, mostly coal, exceeded new wind energy by a factor of six and new solar output by a factor of 27”

    Where have we heard that before?

    “Humanity faces a predicament, an uncomfortable situation from which a graceful exit is impossible. All of the different layers of delusion share the drive to avoid the painful reality that society will have to go through wrenching changes on the path to sustainability. ECONOMIES WILL HAVE TO SHRINK, AND LIVING STANDARDS FALL; especially in the richer countries. Whether it be from climate change, cheap energy shortages, or some other side effect of humanity’s exponential growth in its claims upon the earth, if this reality is not accepted and acted upon, modern complex human society will not see the end of this century…… Without an acceptance of reality, and the commitment and acceptance of the REQUIRED CHALLENGES, PRIVATIONS, AND SACRIFICES REMINISCENT OF A WORLD WAR, modern human civilization will not survive. The truth is that there will be a lot of “blood, toil, tears and sweat” on the way to a sustainable future.”

    And, where have we heard that before?

  48. 48
    Steven Sullivan says:

    Can someone explain to me how Judith Curry comes to be writing attacks on Michael Mann for this virulently anti-Israel ‘news’ service? https://alethonews.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/ipcc-third-assessment-report-and-the-hockey-stick/

    [Response: Looks like a simple cut-and-paste job. I doubt she knows anything about it. - gavin]

    [Response: I think we're long past the point where anything Judith Curry writes is worth either reading or responding too. It's actually rather sad what has happened to her. I hope her cries for help are heard. -mike]

  49. 49
    Hank Roberts says:

    Proxy evidence for an El Nino-like response to volcanic forcing
    JB Adams, ME Mann, CM Ammann – Nature, 2003 –
    Abstract
    Past studies have suggested a statistical connection between explosive volcanic eruptions and subsequent El Niño climate events 1, 2. This connection, however, has remained controversial 3, 4, 5. Here we present support for a response of the El Niño …

    Cited by way too many papers for this amateur reader to review quickly. Perhaps someone who actually knows something about the subject will.

  50. 50
    Hank Roberts says:

    Proxy evidence for an El Nino-like response to volcanic forcing
    JB Adams, ME Mann, CM Ammann – Nature, 2003 –
    Abstract
    Past studies have suggested a statistical connection between explosive volcanic eruptions and subsequent El Niño climate events 1, 2. This connection, however, has remained controversial 3, 4, 5. Here we present support for a response of the El Niño…

    — cited by way too many papers to review quickly by this amateur reader. Pointer welcome from or to anyone who actually knows something about the subject.

    [Response: Hank, some further context for this earlier work can be found in Mann et al (2005) and in this RealClimate post on our '09 Science article. -mike]


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