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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. 401
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS, I’m not arguing in favor of iron fertilization; that’s dicey:
    http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/iron-fertilization-develops-a-new-wrinkle-130617.htm
    (Some recent press confusedly promoted the idea of boosting diatoms (which don’t sequester carbon, they use silicon for their shells)

    Rather, I’m wondering if there’s enough at the bottom of the food chain to restore the top predators, the big filter-feeding whales in particular, which would, I gather, be a strong source for iron fertilization naturally if they came back in large numbers.

  2. 402
    Tony Weddle says:

    Chris Reynolds,

    You did well to get a critical post published at all, at the Arctic-News blogspot. It’s a shame that Carana didn’t continue the discussion or give a more considered answer. In the years since, it’s clear that Arctic sea ice isn’t quite going to the schedule of those worst casers. (Not that an abrupt shift is out of the question).

  3. 403
    Tony Weddle says:

    The team that includes Semiletov and Shakhova has published another paper. The abstract includes, “The emission of methane in several areas of the ESS is massive to the extent that growth in the methane concentrations in the atmosphere to values capable of causing a considerable and even catastrophic warning on the Earth is possible.” I suppose “catastrophic warning” is a typo. Or maybe not!

    Sadly, I don’t have access to the full text.

  4. 404
    Tony Weddle says:

    I just became aware of this story in New Scientist from last December. It’s about the shifting of the poles due to climate change. It doesn’t mention the impacts of this shift. Does anyone have further info?

  5. 405
    DIOGENES says:

    Chris Dudley #360,

    “That needs to be demonstrated”

    You selectively extract a part of my statement, then offer the usual solar installation statistics that SA, McKinney, and Fish rely on as proof of something. The context was:

    “The goal is species survival, and if renewables by 2050 can accomplish that, or even part of that, great. That needs to be demonstrated. If you/Dudley [edit] can show that installation of renewables by 2050 will keep the global mean temperature anywhere near 1 C with reasonable certainty, go right ahead.”

    In other words, focus on the outputs and impacts, not the inputs. Show the consequences of rapid solar/renewables installation on what it will do to place a lid on climate change, not what it will do to enrich the Windfall proponents and their front men. I have never seen such proof; I don’t believe it exists. Show me the temperature/concentration consequences!

  6. 406
    DIOGENES says:

    Hank Roberts #316,

    “For example where you noted

    [Response: This is almost all complete nonsense, written by people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. - gavin] –

    See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/06/unforced-variations-june-2014/comment-page-4/#comment-552429
    (for which, many thanks, sanity checks always help)
    I wish that comment could be linked to every post where the ‘methane emergency’ program is touted. The same story shows up many thousands of times over the past few years, over and over and over.”

    That comment has applicability to the referenced article. Why isn’t that comment applied consistently and even-handedly on this blog? Is the speculation and fantasizing in the referenced article any worse than the articles and reports by the ‘establishment’ scientists, who espouse the 2 C target as something meaningful to which we should strive, who then talk about allowable carbon budgets based on that contrived target, and who then spawn myriad recommendations for ‘action’ that might achieve the 2 C target with reasonable (not high) chances of success. Is the speculation and fantasizing in the article any worse than the many posters here who fantasize that all we need are some low carbon and higher efficiency sources to avoid the climate abyss, and we can experience ‘prosperity’ at the same time? Why isn’t that comment applied uniformly to the above group of speculators and fiction writers?

  7. 407
    MARodger says:

    Tony Weddle @398.
    The paper referred to by New Scientist is available here – Chen, J.L., C.R. Wilson, B.D. Tapley, Contribution of ice sheet and mountain glacier melt to recent sea level rise, Nature Geoscience, 6, 549-552, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1829, 2013.
    The measurement ‘mas’ is 1 mas = ~3cm on the Earth’s surface. So the pole is plotted moving a couple of metres.

  8. 408
    sidd says:

    1) Mr. Roberts wrote on the 22nd of June, 2014 at 11:40 AM, referring to declining phytoplankton in the ocean. Unfortunately the chain of references leads to a 2010 paper, which was later found to be in error.

    2) META: I plaintively repeat Mr. Roberts suggestion from some time ago to include an immutable reference to the original comment when responding. The comment numbers change, so are not useful in finding the parent comment.

    sidd

  9. 409
    Meow says:

    @393:

    …I don’t think there is any reason for US consumers to be paying anything extra so long as we are on track to cut emissions 83% by 2050.

    The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.

    We are not causing the damage, those who are causing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to rise by increasing emissions are causing the damage and the bill should go to them.

    1. You are confusing derivatives. As long as the emission flux exceeds the sequestration flux, atmospheric concentrations will increase. This will happen even if there is no net increase in emissions over the current flux. In this respect, the situation is analogous to a tank of water being filled by emissions and drained by sequestration.

    2. You are confusing increasing emissions with increasing global average temperature. Once again, as long as GHG _concentrations_ rise, so (everything else being equal) will GAT. Also, not all the warming from the existing GHG imbalance has been realized, both due to climate inertia (e.g., burial in deep ocean) and because existing warming has created feedbacks that haven’t yet played out (e.g., arctic sea-ice melt).

    3. Because excess CO2 has a very long atmospheric lifetime, a gram of CO2 emitted in 1850 causes nearly the same amount of warming as a gram emitted in 2014. (See, e.g., Matthews & Caldeira 2008, “Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions”, http://globalecology.stanford.edu/DGE/CIWDGE/labs/caldeiralab/Caldeira_research/pdf/Matthews_Caldeira_GRL2008.pdf ).

    Thus, historical emitters are just as responsible for warming as current emitters.

    4. And again because of excess CO2′s long lifetime, and climate inertia, warming contiues for decades after complete cessation of anthropogenic emissions, Ibid at Fig.3, and temperatures remain elevated for hundreds of years thereafter. Ibid.

    5. Therefore, we are all in this together, and all must contribute to cutting emissions drastically and accelerating sequestration of atmospheric CO2.

    [P.S. The CAPTCHA has become nearly unusably obscure.]

  10. 410
    Hank Roberts says:

    > has published another paper

    Nope, same paper much discussed previously, that’s almost 2 years ago:
    Doklady Earth Sciences
    September 2012, Volume 446, Issue 1, pp 1132-1137

  11. 411
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Tony Weddle
    > shifting of the poles due to climate change. It doesn’t mention
    > the impacts of this shift.

    What did you read that made you worry about that? Seriously, curious.

    Are you looking for some kind of feedback from this feedback? The little change in the Earth’s rotation is the change from melting ice as the meltwater moves somewhere else.

    But “… 1.2 metres since 2005″ is in the range we used to call glacially slow, back before glaciers sped up. About six inches a year.

    Compare that to

    how fast, and how much, recent big earthquakes have shifted the planet’s axis

    The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis. But don’t worry—you won’t notice the difference…. the Japan quake should have shifted the position of Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced) by about 17 centimeters (6.5 inches)”

    I can’t tell from the New Scientist article which axis they’re talking about. From the same NASA page,

    “Earth’s figure axis (the axis about which Earth’s mass is balanced)…. should not be confused with its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet).”

    … “Earth’s rotation changes all the time as a result of not only earthquakes, but also the much larger effects of changes in atmospheric winds and oceanic currents,” he said. “Over the course of a year, the length of the day increases and decreases by about a millisecond, or about 550 times larger than the change caused by the Japanese earthquake. The position of Earth’s figure axis also changes all the time, by about 1 meter (3.3 feet) over the course of a year, or about six times more than the change that should have been caused by the Japan quake.”

    (I gave up relying on stories in New Scientist years ago. I’d tried emailing several times asking for clarification on that sort of ambiguity, and finally got a reply from a then senior editor advising me that NS isn’t a science magazine, it’s an entertainment/lifestyle magazine, so not to bother them further about little picky stuff.)

  12. 412
    David B. Benson says:

    Any abrupt climate change around 16 mya?

  13. 413
    Ron R. says:

    Hmm, something up with the website.

    Anyway, just some observations and speculations. I’m on California’s Central Coast, just inland. This spring I have noticed some changes from the usual. I second blooming of flower on my Robinias, and Ailanthus especially. Not a big one, but noticeable. Fruit buttoning, looking like mutations, on plums related to warmer/dryer winter (one hopes that’s all it is). An unusual spread of parasitic Dodder in fields on the long road toward home. And a much larger release of willow seeds than I’ve seen before – which I am wondering if it may indicate a coming wet season.

  14. 414
    Chris Dudley says:

    Future costs to the US economy from the dangerous climate change China’s increasing emissions will cause is coming into focus. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/science/report-tallies-toll-on-economy-from-global-warming.html GATT Article XX tariffs in imports from China should account for these costs.

  15. 415
    Chris Dudley says:

    My reading of the recent Supreme Court decision against tailoring is that the Clean Air Act does allow regulation of smaller emitters based on the endangerment finding so long as it can be done in a cost effective manner. Basically we are taking about back up generators and boilers in commercial buildings. This could be a place where switching to biofuels would be effective and could be regulated at the point of fuel sale just as ethanol content is regulated for gasoline. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/us/justices-with-limits-let-epa-curb-power-plant-gases.html

  16. 416
    Entropic man says:

    Tony Weddle

    The change in pole position is due to changing mass balance as ice sheets shrink.This will affect the climate.
    The effect of the polar shift itself is too small to have a direct impact on the climate.

  17. 417
    Edward Greisch says:

    “Obama carbon rules survive court challenge”
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2014/6/24/policy-politics/obama-carbon-rules-survive-court-challenge

    The same story was on many newspaper web sites yesterday, 23 June 2014. We won at the US supreme court, but the EPA rule is too lax to count for much.

    “On June 2, the White House announced proposed rules calling for 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, including coal-fired facilities.” By 2030.

    Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy. We need 90% reduction, at least, by 2030. Big power plants are the easiest to improve upon. The EPA rule allows half of natural gas fired power plants.

  18. 418
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    There is a brief but informative post about the recent Supreme Court decision at the CPR blog.
    http://www.progressivereform.org/CPRBlog.cfm?idBlog=CA364441-C1A2-CB2F-CA2F267C8143ECD8

    The EPA is doing as much it can under the current law, the Clean Air Act, and how the majority conservative wing of the court will let them interpret it. Two of the conservative judges, Thomas and Alito want to revisit Mass. v EPA and completely remove greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act. They don’t want to abide by settled law. The other conservative judges want to substitute their judgement for the EPA’s, again not wanting to accept a previous Supreme Court decision, this time Chevron v NRDC.

  19. 419
    Ron R. says:

    Per my comment above, “And a much larger release of willow seeds than I’ve seen before – which I am wondering if it may indicate a coming wet season.”

    My 13 yr old daughter has come up with an opposite hypothesis. Maybe the greater release of willow seeds this year means a coming extra dry year. In this scenario, willows are putting out tons of seeds because they are trying to spread their seed far and wide, as the normal riparian resting grounds for the seeds will be dry. So the hope is that put out a lot more and maybe some will find water.

    So, gotta chew on it some more.

  20. 420
    Thomas says:

    Chris @382.
    I’ve been trying to point this out: solar has reached a point where significant amounts of it are being installed, strictly for economic reasons. This increases the overall scale of the solar industry, which allows costs to decrease, which feeds more growth. So the number of markets where it makes economic sense to add solar grows.

    The real issue, is how long this positive feedback can go on? Beyond solar penetrations of say 10-25% integration costs begin to rise. Currently California is at roughly ten percent, but there doesn’t seem to be pressure building to stop/slow down. I think the biggest threats to scaling up PV, are not the physical costs of integration, but the economic costs to the incumbent producers. As we’ve seen from the German experience, the incumbent power producers counted on having pricing power during the daylight peak-demand hours, and solar destroys that. So the incumbent power plants owners have every incentive to try to kill -or at least slow down the solar juggernaut. This is the primary source of political pushback against solar and wind.

  21. 421
    Thomas says:

    I seem to recall that one of the principle effects of the changing spin vector (velocity as well as direction) from the redistribution of some of the planets water mass, is that the changed spin causes further redistribution of planet’s ocean waters. One more effect which means that sea level rise won’t be geographically even, but will be higher in some regions and lower in others.

  22. 422
    Tony Weddle says:

    Hank, thanks for putting me straight; I’m not sure why I thought it was a more recent paper.

    Also, it wasn’t necessarily worry about the impacts of an axis shift because I simply didn’t know enough to know if I should be worried. That’s all. Thanks for following up. The only impact I can think of is a slight change in the seasons, including a shift in the location of the tropics. Only slight, admittedly, though if it sticks to an eastward shift, perhaps no real change.

  23. 423
    Tony Weddle says:

    Hank, thanks for putting me straight; I’m not sure why I thought it was a more recent paper.

    Also, it wasn’t necessarily worry about the impacts of an axis shift because I simply didn’t know enough to know if I should be worried. That’s all. Thanks for following up. The only impact I can think of is a slight change in seasons to the various parts of the planet, including a shift in the location of the tropics. Only slight, admittedly, though if it sticks to an eastward shift (is that even possible from the pole?), perhaps no real change.

  24. 424
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    I’m interested in corey barcus’ plan. Nuclear will have to be the way to go into the foreseeable future unless an immediate and truly massive rollout of renewables takes place. We still have clowns such as Tony Abbott, hell bent in extracting the last piece of coal from the earth and others of similar ignorance or malicious vested interest stymieing a united global campaign to convert from fossil fuels into sustainables. I’m also pleased to see that there is now a real sense of urgency growing amongst our scientists that was sadly lacking before.

  25. 425
    Chris Dudley says:

    It is worth noting that the Sierra Club has a beyond Natural Gas Campaign going on. http://content.sierraclub.org/naturalgas/ So far, they asking that natural gas not be exported.

  26. 426
  27. 427
    Chris Dudley says:

    401,

    “The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.”

    That is a bit silly isn’t it, given the news these days? The regulations are written and won’t be stopped by the courts. Mission accomplished.

    “You are confusing derivatives. As long as the emission flux exceeds the sequestration flux, atmospheric concentrations will increase.”

    You’ve misunderstood addition. The Annex I countries are below the “sequestration flux” in their emissions and are cutting. They are doing their job. It is those counties which are sabotaging their good efforts which are preventing mitigation from occurring.

    “You are confusing increasing emissions with increasing global average temperature.”

    You are very confused here.

    Your #3 and #4 demonstrate a lack on understanding of the paper you cite. Fig.3 insists on strict temperature stabilization. Notice how cumulative emissions rise and then fall in the bottom panel. It is unphysical. Fig. 2 shows rising then constant cumulative emissions, with a sharp change owing to immediate cessation in the top panel. Notice that the concentration drops in the next panel down as does the temperature in the bottom panel except for the “4 C” line.

    “Therefore, we are all in this together, and all must contribute to cutting emissions drastically”

    This is very much my point. Some of us are cutting emissions and others are not. It is time for those who are causing climate damage by increasing emissions to pay the bill for the damage at least until they can come to their senses and start cutting. Forcing them to pay the bill may contribute to them coming to their senses and thus we would be acting further to the good.

  28. 428
    Chris Dudley says:

    Thomas (#411),

    Costs have been looked at in the book “Reinventing Fire” and going to majority renewable energy with transmission to balance supply seems to the the lowest cost way forward under our 83% cut in emissions by 2050 national plan. I suppose the extra transmission is an “integration” cost but it is pretty low. http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-present_value_cost_US_electricity

    One thing that has not been explored enough is the zero cost limit. Suppose solar electricity were free. What storage modalities would make most sense? We can expect half a day of our energy use to be stored in cast off transportation batteries if transportation is electrified. That is essentially free storage so day night thing seems to be free as well. So, what about seasonal variations? Would we synthesis methane from dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans and use our existing natural gas infrastructure to handle that? That seems pretty low cost. But there may be other ways to handle that which are either better or, as Kevin says, more perverse.

    Solar will obviously be the lowest cost energy source but it may never be free. But, the mathematical exercise could be instructive. During the to-cheap-to-meter nuclear days, there was talk about more pumped storage. At this point, I suspect technology would point in another direction.

    Very low cost solar power may also affect climate remediation strategies. Certain soils and climates seem to encourage the possibility of using biochar to sequester atmospheric carbon. But, since solar power is vastly more efficient at collecting energy than photosynthesis, gathering and reducing carbon from the atmosphere using solar power may reduce land use requirements. If the carbon were converted to graphite or lonsdaleite it might be used in revolutionary forms of construction. Certainly, very permanent sequestration could be accomplished with these allotropes of carbon.

  29. 429
    sidd says:

    Any GRACE analysts about ?

    At

    http://polarportal.dk/en/groenlands-indlandsis/nbsp/total-masseaendring/

    i see a graph of GRACE derived GIS mass loss through early 2014. Shocking, to me, is the almost nonexistent annual drop in summer 2013, as opposed to a pronounced fall every other summer for the period covered (2003 on). Why ?

    sidd

  30. 430
    wili says:

    There’s a new study out today on GIS tipping points, but when I try to link to it, I get told that it is marked as spam. Perhaps others will have better luck posting the link?

  31. 431
    FP says:

    Somebody said: “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.” — When half the people on the planet don’t even believe it is really happening and think that this is all a hoax and Realtors in NC are are using that lie so sell their beach houses faster and for more money, than it is Always going to be worst than expected. So there.

  32. 432
    Tony Weddle says:

    I would urge those who advocate nuclear as a solution (or part of a solution) to look at the bigger picture, regarding the impacts of possible societal breakdown (which is already happening in some parts of the world) due to a myriad of factors (including climate change, if it is not stopped). I worry that advocates are making a bunch of assumptions.

  33. 433
    Lynn says:

    Here is an issue a climate skeptic (with a degree in Chemistry) keeps posing to a friend; can anyone help with a good answer:

    “…the sun has been warming the oceans for eons; this explains nothing. The question is what has led to increased warming. You assert it is the greenhouse effect but cannot explain how that effect, which, without heating the atmosphere itself, has transferred to the oceans several hundred times its own heat content….”

    He also writes elsewhere: “Radiative warming has nothing to do with greenhouse warming. The oceans have always been warmed by direct radiation from the sun, and CO2 has no effect on the rate at which that happens.”

    My own response was that it seems to me the atmosphere does get the heat first via the GH effect, but then quickly (in less than a year, which is the timeframe for measuring the annual global average temperature for that year) transfers some of that heat to the oceans, and in some cases the oceans take that heat down deeper, where it is not so easily transferred back to the air.

    They both are also referring to this chart: http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=46

  34. 434
    Chris Dudley says:

    According to Coral Davenport, the President is on an eat-your-spinich campaign regarding climate change. Davenport is the NYT’s answer to wrecking their environmental coverage and she has done a puff peice on the Nordhaus brothers recently and has tried to support the Keystone XL pipeline construction by saying new regulations offset it.

    The President does do eat-your-spinich pretty often so she could be right. But something seems a little wrong with her quote on gas prices. The President is aware that raising CAFE standards saves consumers money and helps to control gas prices. He covered the topic in the debates.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/us/politics/obama-warns-climate-campaign-cant-be-deaf-to-economic-worries.html

  35. 435
    sidd says:

    Please disregard my question about GRACE data for GIS, it turns out the graph at polarportal is misleading since the data for summer 2013 is missing.

    sidd

  36. 436
    Hank Roberts says:

    for Lynn:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm
    and the references therein, beginning with
    http://nsdl.org/archives/onramp/classic_articles/issue1_global_warming/n4.Arrhenius1896.pdf

    No, I’m not kidding. Seriously, you should read these.

    I don’t know how long ago your guy got what degree in “Chemistry” but it’s hard to guess how he missed the basic information here.

  37. 437
    David Miller says:

    Lyn, your skeptic friend writes “Radiative warming has nothing to do with greenhouse warming. The oceans have always been warmed by direct radiation from the sun, and CO2 has no effect on the rate at which that happens.”

    He’s missing the IR the ocean absorbs. What he says is correct, it is heated by direct radiation. It’s also heated by IR from the GH effect of CO2 and other gases. Increasing levels of CO2 mean more IR comes back to the ocean.

  38. 438
    Nick Gotts says:

    “Some of us are cutting emissions and others are not. It is time for those who are causing climate damage by increasing emissions to pay the bill for the damage at least until they can come to their senses and start cutting. – Chris Dudley”

    This is absurd buck-passing nonsense. It is emissions, as such, that are causing the damage, not emissions relative to what you were emitting a year ago or ten years ago. So the average American, or European, is causing far more damage than the average Chinese or Indian.

  39. 439
    Phil Scadden says:

    Lynn,see cool skin of ocean for a good discussion of this (it is in part of series on CO2 warms the ocean.

  40. 440
    David B. Benson says:

    Lynn @443 — Your reply is fine although not the complete story.

    If your correspondent has a degree in chemistry, I suggest asking that person to study Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”.

  41. 441
    Kevin O'Neill says:

    Lynn – I would recommend another SKS discussion, Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?

    The atmospheric reaction to shortwave and longwave radiation is markedly different. The chemist/skeptic is correct that CO2 has little effect on direct radiation (shortwave)from the sun, but he should also know that water vapor, CO2, and other greenhouse gases have a significant effect on thermal radiation (longwave) emitted from the surface.

  42. 442
    Jim Larsen says:

    427 Chris D said, ” 401, “The U.S. is nowhere near the glideslope needed to cut emissions by 83% (from present levels) by 2050.”

    That is a bit silly isn’t it, given the news these days? The regulations are written and won’t be stopped by the courts. Mission accomplished.”

    “Mission Accomplished” Yes the Bush quote sums things up nicely.

  43. 443
    Thomas says:

    Lynn @324.
    Seems like he’s making a one sided argument. There are both sources and sinks for atmospheric or oceanic heat. Obviously sunlight (short wave) that is absorbed in the ocean heats it. But it also exchanges sensible heat, and latent heat energy (vapour) with the atmoshere, and longwave (infrared) with the overlying atmosphere and space. The direct effect of the greenhouse effect is to reduce the loss of heat via infrared to the atmosphere and space. Indirect effects affect the exchange with the atmosphere by changings its state as well. Its all about the heat balance, not the indvidual terms.

    Of course by far the greatest amount of stored heat will be gained by the oceans, because the thermal storage capacity of the oceans is orders of magnitude more than for the atmosphere.

  44. 444
    Chris Dudley says:

    Lawrence (#374),

    You are antipodal. That explains a lot. Australia goes rogue then comes back to the fold then goes rogue again. I can understand the embarrassment. But, Australia is also showing some innovation. http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2014_06_23_solar_pv_cost_lessons_from_australia

    Be less despondent and perhaps you’ll stop hankering after some global dictatorship. Use the tools of liberty to bring change about much more deliberately, quickly and reliably.

  45. 445
    Corey Barcus says:

    @ Lynn #433

    Regarding the CO2 warming mechanism…

    The GHG’s are insulating the Earth’s surface (see: radiative forcing), much like a blanket traps your own body’s heat in bed. The more CO2, the thicker the blanket, which consequently raises the surface temperature. My understanding is that CO2 (a forcing), by being rather persistent within the atmosphere (the carbon cycle as opposed to the water cycle) drives the rate of H2O evaporation (a feedback).

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Radmath.htm (radiative forcing)

  46. 446
    Thomas says:

    Chris @428.
    There are several different services which storage might be called upon. Its only that any given technology will cover all of the services.
    In order roughly in terms ascending order of response time and average length the energy must be stored.

    (1) Voltage/frequency support. a few seconds.
    (2) Support for ramping generators/ load in response to chaging grid conditions. (several minutes to a hour).
    (3) load/supply shifting, day night mainly, A few hours.
    (4) Covering daily generation of wind/solar (a few days)
    (5) Seasonal variation.
    Also for some consumers, behind the meter storage can be used for either/or backup power, and removing demand spikes that drive capacity charges.

    So storage is finally starting to get a few markets which may be large enough to allow the technology to develop. California, Hawaii, New York, and Germany have all mandated a certain amount of grid connected storage in the near future.

    Very cheap solar thought experiment: If it is cheap enough, simply overbuild until seasonal variation is no longer an issue. Then you only need day/night storage.

  47. 447
    Chris Dudley says:

    A novel method to decompose ammonia may lead to practical ways to use hydrogen for transportation.

    Hydrogen Production from Ammonia Using Sodium Amide

    William I. F. David et al. 2014 JACS

    This paper presents a new type of process
    for the cracking of ammonia (NH3) that is an alternative to
    the use of rare or transition metal catalysts. Effecting the
    decomposition of NH3 using the concurrent stoichiometric
    decomposition and regeneration of sodium amide
    (NaNH2) via sodium metal (Na), this represents a
    significant departure in reaction mechanism compared
    with traditional surface catalysts. In variable-temperature
    NH3 decomposition experiments, using a simple flow
    reactor, the Na/NaNH2 system shows superior performance
    to supported nickel and ruthenium catalysts, reaching
    99.2% decomposition efficiency with 0.5 g of NaNH2 in a
    60 sccm NH3 flow at 530 °C. As an abundant and
    inexpensive material, the development of NaNH2-based
    NH3 cracking systems may promote the utilization of NH3
    for sustainable energy storage purposes.

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ja5042836

  48. 448

    Lynn quotes from the skeptic in 433:

    … the sun has been warming the oceans for eons; this explains nothing. The question is what has led to increased warming. You assert it is the greenhouse effect but cannot explain how that effect, which, without heating the atmosphere itself, has transferred to the oceans several hundred times its own heat content….

    … with the response of:

    My own response was that it seems to me the atmosphere does get the heat first via the GH effect, but then quickly (in less than a year, which is the timeframe for measuring the annual global average temperature for that year) transfers some of that heat to the oceans, and in some cases the oceans take that heat down deeper, where it is not so easily transferred back to the air.

    … but asks for other responses.

    I think you are largely right, although the process with which heat is transferred to the ocean depths is simultaneous with the atmosphere absorbing additional heat. So if I may restate things and elaborate…

    The short answer is that the ocean warms more slowly than land, and as such it could continue to warm even if there had been a real hiatus in surface warming. Furthermore, the rate at which heat has been being buried in the deeper ocean has increased as the result of unusually strong trade winds.

    Please see:

    The contentious “pause” in global warming over the past decade is largely due to unusually strong trade winds in the Pacific ocean that have buried surface heat deep underwater, new research has found.

    A joint Australian and US study analysed why the rise in the Earth’s global average surface temperature has slowed since 2001, after rapidly increasing from the 1970s.

    The research shows that sharply accelerating trade winds in central and eastern areas of the Pacific have driven warm surface water to the ocean’s depths, reducing the amount of heat that flows into the atmosphere.

    Global warming ‘pause’ due to unusual trade winds in Pacific ocean, study finds,
    Study shows sharply accelerating trade winds have buried surface heat underwater, reducing heat flowing into atmosphere
    Oliver Milman, The Guardian UK, 2014-02-09

    … and for the technical paper:

    England, Matthew H., et al. “Recent intensification of wind-driven circulation in the Pacific and the ongoing warming hiatus.” Nature Climate Change 4.3 (2014): 222-227. (Available at Professor Matthew England: Publications)

    The ocean will store more heat during La Nina years and release more heat during the El Nino years. Along the equator, the trade winds that typically blow from the east will bury the heat in the Western Pacific. When those are replaced by westerlies blowing in the opposite direction you will have Kelvin waves where pulses of warm water will move east, and warm water will well up near the equator, at first along the shores of South America, then spreading out to the east, resulting in an El Nino that warms the atmosphere. With the enhanced greenhouse effect, the atmosphere continues to absorb additional heat, but when you have strong easterlies additional heat being absorbed by the atmosphere is more quickly transferred to the ocean depths, with upwelling cooler water slowing the rate at which the surface itself warms.

    Anyway, as I indicated, there hasn’t been as much of a “hiatus” as people thought.

    Please see:

    Not so slow “slowdown”? New paper says warming in last 15 years may be double what scientists thought, Roz Pidcock, The Carbon Brief, 2013-11-14

    … and for the technical paper:

    Cowtan, Kevin, and Robert G. Way. Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society (2014).

    … and the update reconciling ocean temperature series available at Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature record. But this is more in the manner of a footnote.

  49. 449
    Chris Dudley says:

    Nick (#438),

    You are mistaken.

    “But today’s report, which only covers emissions from energy, by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) show that per capita emissions in China increased by 9% in 2011 to reach 7.2 tonnes per person, only a fraction lower than the EU average of 7.5 tonnes.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/jul/18/china-average-europe-carbon-footprint

    In 2014, the crossover has likely already happened.

  50. 450
    Edward Greisch says:

    Comment on: http://blog.epa.gov/science/2014/06/a-message-to-iris-program-stakeholders-we-want-to-hear-from-you/#comment-1778

    “To improve the scientific foundation of assessments, increase transparency, and improve productivity,” Make James Hansen president and Mike Mann vice president. Make the contributors to RealClimate.org senators. Better yet, make James Hansen the dictator.

    Your premise is nonsense. You are doing nothing of the kind. You are creating an opportunity for the plutocrats to hijack science.

    You know very well who the scientists are. They work for NASA and NOAA and universities. You have a government agency devoted to advising the government on science. I think it is called the National Science Council or something like that.


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