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Unforced variations: July 2014

Filed under: — group @ 2 July 2014

This month’s open thread. Topics of potential interest: The successful OCO-2 launch, continuing likelihood of an El Niño event this fall, predictions of the September Arctic sea ice minimum, Antarctic sea ice excursions, stochastic elements in climate models etc. Just for a change, no discussion of mitigation efforts please!

373 Responses to “Unforced variations: July 2014”

  1. 301
    Hank Roberts says:

    > pony there

    And to be clear, yes, I’m sure a baby/grain of wheat/pony will be found somewhere in that stuff.
    After the fact — that’s easy to do. Something in there will be found, eventually, to have been correct.
    Or almost correct.

    Deciding which ideas can be tested and what could prove them wrong soon enough to make a difference — that’s harder.

    Remember a few decades ago when Antarctica was believed to be stable for a thousand years to come, no matter what?
    Remember a decade or less ago, when glacial ice would squeeze itself solid every winter so new meltwater channels had to melt through every spring?

    Stuff changes. Scary stories from back then about the icecaps collapsing — were right, or almost right.
    But who was predicting that? What else were those people predicting?

    You can’t cherrypick after the results are in, to decide who to trust. Look for the record of what was said at the time.

  2. 302
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 29 Jul 2014 @ 6:17 AM, ~#296

    Your convoluted arguments are getting amusing. You are railing about “DROPS AND SURGES FROM WIND AND SOLAR POWER,” and disruption, and high prices when your plan would leave much of the world without any power. No power is a major drop, don’t you think? Your plan would cause an APOCALYPSE of starvation, war, and pestilence much worse than more than two degrees temperature increase. No wonder that it is unacceptable to everyone.


  3. 303
    Hank Roberts says:

    Another prediction (grin) to be checked later: here’s a novel source of blue photons — which are the same energetic photon that drives the phosphors in all of our white fluorescent lights including white LEDs. If this source can become that sort of driver, we may yet have true cold light without all the waste heat:

    A Novel Type of Luciferin from the Siberian Luminous Earthworm Fridericia heliota: Structure Elucidation by Spectral Studies and Total Synthesis†

    Valentin N. Petushkov1,2, Maxim A. Dubinnyi3, Aleksandra S. Tsarkova3, Natalja S. Rodionova1,2, Mikhail S. Baranov3, Vadim S. Kublitski3, Osamu Shimomura1,4 andIlia V. Yampolsky3,*
    Article first published online: 15 APR 2014

    DOI: 10.1002/ange.201400529

    hat tip to:
    (where I was reading about the enormous holes appearing in Siberia)

  4. 304
    patrick says:

    # 296 More participants means that it’s working. That’s how it’s supposed to work. It’s a market-based approach to making a smart grid instead of a dumb grid.

    It’s a process of development and transition ‘while the plane is in the air,’ so to speak.

    If the grid gets as smart as the balancing-market is, it will be o.k. Somebody’s got to lead.

    The article says:

    “New participants are flooding into the market now, which means that prices are coming under pressure,” Pilgrim said. …

    German grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur welcomes the increase in balancing market participants.

    “That’s in our interest as we want to encourage competition in this market,” Armasari Soetarto, a spokeswoman…said by phone July 18.

  5. 305
    DIOGENES says:

    Kevin McKinney #295,

    “You’ve somehow convinced yourself that having the right target is so important that it obviates the need for any sort of intellectual consistency.”

    Again, yet another post where you avoid stating the targets for which your mitigation efforts would aim. It should be crystal-clear to the readership by now, with these months of endless evasion of identifying targets, that you, Fish, SA et al are unwilling to state any quantitative targets, since you know that your proposed low carbon technology and energy efficiency implementation schemes have zero chance of achieving any meaningful targets for avoiding the ultimate climate disaster. The de facto goal of your efforts has been, and continues to be, Windfalls for the renewables investors.

    However, as my post #296 (Green Disillusions) has shown, your prediction of increased jobs and prosperity from renewables implementation has come true. Unfortunately, much of this increase has gone to the fossil fuel industry to keep the power supply stable. So, while your proposals have done nothing to ameliorate climate change, you have made the Koch Bros. very happy.

  6. 306
    DIOGENES says:

    Kevin McKinney #295,

    “working to support the fossil fuel interests who are currently waking up to the fact that renewables are actually a serious threat to their business models.”

    Now, you’ve put your cards on the table, and shown your losing hand for all to see. Nowhere do you mention what renewables will do to ameliorate climate change. I don’t blame you; their contribution would be insignificant relative to what is required. Your emphasis is on the MARKET SHARE that renewables would capture from fossil fuel. The Windfall for the renewables investors will replace some of the Windfall that the fossil fuel investors have experienced for many decades. Never fear; as I have shown in my previous comment, there will be Windfalls for BOTH renewables and fossil investors, since the latter energy form will be required to keep the power supply stable.

  7. 307
    DIOGENES says:

    Patrick #304,

    “More participants means that it’s working”

    No, more participants means that more of the product is being installed and used. That’s not the metric of interest to climate change. We’ll know that some mitigation approach is working when we see the Keeling Curve start to bend around, and the temperature trajectory start to bend around. Without the most stringent demand/consumption reduction, accompanied by massive carbon removal and, in the worst case, by interim geo-engineering, these important climate change metrics will not be decreasing by any meaningful extent.

  8. 308
    DIOGENES says:

    Steve Fish #302,

    “your plan would leave much of the world without any power.”

    My plan would allow minimal power for only the most essential uses. What we are seeing in this large-scale German experiment is expensive power, non-reliable if it weren’t for the fossil backup, and no effective impact on ameliorating climate change. If you wanted to make McPherson’s predictions come true, I can’t think of a better way than this expensive and convoluted German approach. However, it will bring a smile to the faces of both the Koch Bros. and the Ceres investors. What’s not to like?

  9. 309
    Hank Roberts says:

    > their contribution would be insignificant … Windfall … Windfall … Windfalls

    So you’re recommending more investment in what, Windmills?

  10. 310
    MARodger says:

    HadCRUT4 for June was the eleventh hottest month on record. With April in tenth slot, it worth considering that such high values as this have not occurred before outside the aftermath of an El Nino. (To keep pedants happy, do note these are SAT anomalies, not SAT averages.)

  11. 311
    Chris Dudley says:

    It worth pointing out that nuclear power’s share of global electricity supply is at the lowest level since the 1980s.

    A nuclear industry status report explains that of the 67 reactors under construction globally as of July 2014, at least 49 were experiencing delays and eight had been under construction for 20 years. The average age of reactors has also increased, rising to more than 28 years, while more than 170 units, or 44 percent of the total, have been operating for more than 30 years.

    While the three mitigation articles in the RC index (four are listed but one is misfiled I think) deal with geo-engineering, geo-engineers tell us that emissions must be strongly cut before their approaches can gain traction. On the other hand, in the Projections section, the post on future energy supply relies on Pacala and Socolow, Stabilization wedges. and the nuclear wedge relies on retaining current capacity and adding to it. However, “more than 200 reactors may face shutdown in the coming two decades” owing to age according to the new report. Thus, there may be some unrealistic assumptions in forecasts that should be reexamined.

  12. 312
    Edward Greisch says:

    I concur with 306 DIOGENES. Fossil fuels must have a zero market share to stop GW.

  13. 313

    More anti-renewable OT crap. Please stop. This is not supposed to be a propaganda site for or against one side, and we are not supposed to be discussing mitigation issues on this thread.

    In general, because a particular course of action entails certain difficulties, that does not make it the wrong course of action. And the particular difficulties referenced are not newly discovered ‘disillusioning’ phenomena. Everyone knew that integrating high penetrations of renewables would mean dealing with intermittency. The surprise, rather, has been how much could be dealt with without massive amounts of storage.

    Moderators: I’m in a tough place here: on the one hand, I could let this blatantly OT propaganda stand unchallenged; on the other hand, I could respect your stated wishes not to discuss mitigation. What do you suggest I do, and why?

    From my perspective, we’ve reached the point where Diogenes has become easily the most disruptive troll in RC history (or at least the years of it that I’ve observed.)

  14. 314


    #305 More OT BS.
    #306 ”
    #307 ”
    #308 ” And if anyone brings a smile to the face of the Koch brothers et al, it will be you: the one who is pushing a so-called ‘plan’ with no specific actionable steps–and which simultaneously bashes the main force on the scene today that is, in fact, retiring coal plants around the world. Steve is exactly right: in a world that is largely poor, and with a still-growing population, the results of your advocated actions would be precisely to leave the world without power. Millions, and quite possibly billions, would in fact die.

    Of course, no-one else is going to choose that particular door. That means that the only possible effect of your BS is to make it harder for the development of non-fossil energy, by offering solace and comfort to those to whom it threatens–those very same Koch brothers and their ilk.

  15. 315

    Documenting an assertion I made above:

    Not peer-reviewed, and rather BOTE, but indicative, I think. And the numbers underlying are public record.

  16. 316

    #312–Dude, everybody concurs with this proposition. Of course fossil fuel use has to be eliminated.

    But Diogenes is the only one here claiming that it can be done by ‘just saying no.’ It’s a highly counterproductive approach: however much we may need demand reduction and so forth, none of that is going to get the job done. We need a mix of approaches, as I (and others) have said repeatedly.

  17. 317

    I was there, supporting the proposed regulations. It was energizing and encouraging to see the confluence of activists for social and environmental justice. Contrary to the report’s “dozens”, attendance was probably about 500. (The reporter is probably referring to the 10 AM press conference attendance; the main rally and march were at noon and 1 PM respectively.)

  18. 318
    Chris Dudley says:

    Perhaps we can put to rest the misunderstandings of the anti-technology poster.

  19. 319
    Chris Dudley says:

    MARogers (#310),

    I think you mean 11th and 10th largest anomalies. According to fig. 7 here April is about 1.9 C cooler than the warmest month globally for the HadCRUT offset period so while April may be in the running for the cruelest month, it can’t come close for the warmest month. I still have not found (refound?) the corresponding table or figure for gistemp but it will be similar.

  20. 320
    SecularAnimist says:

    DIOGENESE wrote: “My plan would allow minimal power for only the most essential uses.”

    Posting repetitive comments on a blog is not an “essential use” of electricity.

    Put down the mouse, step away from the computer, and turn it off NOW.

  21. 321

    Also, this ‘pre-event’ summary of the Atlanta action is worthwhile. Note that online comment to the EPA is still possible; the link is at the bottom of the story. Or, more directly:

    (See the ‘comment now’ tab in the upper right.)

    Additionally, the EPA guidance to commenters is here:

    The text of my comment follows:

    “My name is Kevin McKinney, and I am a technician, teacher, and musician living in Snellville, Georgia.

    “I strongly support the proposed regulations to limit carbon pollution. I have been watching the development of the climate crisis since the mid-1990s, and have been dismayed by the lack of effective action to address it.
    “I have helped raise two boys: with a little luck, the climate of the mid-21st century will be the climate in which they live out their ‘golden years.’ I want those years to be prosperous and healthy, not desperate and dangerous. But we have already raised Global Mean Surface Temperature by .7 degrees C, or a little more. Simple linear extrapolation would make that at least 1 C by mid-century. How would this number further the goal of a prosperous and healthy future for them and their cohorts? Already at .7 C, we find that Arctic sea ice reduced by 80% (as measured by its volume at the annual minimum.) What will we see in what has been called ‘the one-degree world?’ A bare Arctic Ocean? We already see storms like Katrina, Sandy and Haiyan. We see heat waves such as those experienced in Europe in 2003, and again in Russia in 2010. What storms and heatwaves will my boys see in their day?

    “As a musician and teacher of music, I love the art to which I have devoted a considerable portion of my life. As a colleague has said, “It is a privilege to be able to come into a classroom and talk about Mozart. My grandfather had to work in the fields from dawn to dusk, instead.” When most of our most central food crops, such as wheat, rice, and corn, all have relatively sharp negative responses to maximum temperatures, and when those temperatures also dry the soil, exacerbating agricultural drought, how many will need to be in the fields, and for how long, in order to feed the 9 billion souls we think the Earth will see in 2050?
    “And when, contrariwise, the warmth of the air supports more moisture and we more frequently see intense downpours like the $2 billion Colorado floods of 2013, what will those workers do as their crops–perhaps their very soil, too–wash away? How will they get into fields clogged with mud?

    “And what will the response to the probable food shortages be? The droughts of 2010 have been linked to the Arab spring uprisings, and thus to the ongoing Syrian civil war. That conflict has so far killed a reported 170,000 people; has led to upsurges of measles, typhoid, hepatitis, dysentery, tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, leishmaniasis, not to mention polio which have killed or sickened unknown but numerous additional victims; and helped destabilize the entire Middle East. What will happen with the food insecurity we might see by 2050?
    “And so I must ask as a musician: to what degree will the creations of Mozart, Beethoven and of thousands of other musicians–indeed, the whole immense cultural heritage embodied in the living skills of musicians around the globe–be able to survive the turmoil and desperation of the ‘one degree’ or ‘two degree’ world where food shortages have become a commonplace?

    “One could continue. However, in the interest of brevity I will merely note the conclusions of the most recent report issued by the International Panel on Climate Change, and of the Third National Climate Assessment Report. I have read these reports (or at least considerable portions of them) and am quite sure that EPA analysts have already considered them in even greater depth. Simply stated, they agree that we are running out of time for effective, affordable action. As the NCAR put it, “Adaptation and mitigation are closely linked; adaptation efforts will be more difficult, more costly, and less likely to succeed if significant mitigation actions are not taken.”

    “In short, climate change appears to bear huge downside risks for the things in this life which I love most. How can I fail to support the first systemic approach to limiting those risks which is being undertaken by the US government? It may be that there will be costs to limiting our carbon pollution–though I note, also, that there is a considerable body of historical precedent suggesting that such costs may well be subject to serious overstatement by some. However, it is not only possible but certain that there will be very large costs to failing to limit our carbon pollution.

    “As a private individual, I choose to pay the costs of insuring my house, my car, and other possessions of value, because it is the rational and responsible thing to do. Why should I advocate any other approach in the public sphere? I hope the EPA will do the rational and responsible thing, and limit the carbon emissions each state is allowed to make, as the proposed regulations set forth. Please, administrators and analysts of the EPA–take this vital step toward a safer and more prosperous future.”

  22. 322
    James@CAN says:

    We (the human race) appear to be entering into the very unsettling phase of game face, childish behaviour, financial hedging, military preparations and god knows what else in regards to AGW. Panic is close at hand.
    AGW is according to the most up-to-date known data the biggest threat to our species ever. Yes or no?
    If yes then it is to be expected that the human species (all of us) will do what an outside observer would expect us to do as a species based on the past recorded/observed history of our species. Some will row, some will panic and some will pray, some will give in to fate, some will apply themselves in a desperate attempt to fix and mitigate and rescue, others will weasel their way and attempt to profit and so on. All very predictable. It can been seen across the entire web today including here.
    Compare any huge known disaster in our past human history with this one.
    Now add the unprecedented scope of AGW and what it means to the human race (not to mention the other living organisms that share this planet with us). This is clearly a daunting task for all.
    Will valuable life-saving information be withheld (strategically or criminally) to benefit some at the expense of others? This has surely been our past history. The very thing that keeps us all alive and makes everything else possible, good and bad, for our human experience is at stake here. Yes or no?
    We have debt clocks and doomsday clocks and so on.. why not an AGW clock that will take into account the unprecedented scope of information needed to make that clock (or gauge, model or whatever form it should best take) honest and real and free to all.
    Fascinating to observe. Frightening to realize.I want to know where I am going even if it is to hell. I emphasize that I want to know based on what I have always put my faith in; science. Science is not perfect but I believe it is humanity’s best achievement. Think, observe, measure, record, report. Go from there.

  23. 323
    DIOGENES says:


    Any thoughts on the tundra craters?

    “Add salt, sand, and thawing methane pockets buried beneath scores of feet of warming permafrost together and what do you get? Massive explosions that rip 200-300 foot deep and 13-98 foot wide holes in the Siberian earth.

    The name for the place where this strange event first happened, in Russian, is Yamal, which roughly translates to mean ‘the end of the Earth.’ Now, three holes of similar structure have appeared over a 700 mile wide expanse of Siberian tundra. The most likely culprit? Catastrophic destabilization of Arctic methane stores due to human-caused warming.”

    “A single event of this kind might be easy to overlook as an aberration. A freak case that might well be attributed to unique conditions. But over the past two weeks not one, not two, but three large holes, all retaining the same features, have appeared within the same region of Yamal, Russia.

    A single event may well be easily marked off as a strange occurrence, but three look more like the start of a trend.”

  24. 324
    GORGIAS says:

    #302 #308

    Speed III, Helm’s End.

    Bus full of people driving towards a cliff, chased by a hungry and determined pack of wolves. No one knows how far ahead the cliff exactly is, but the changing landscape suggests an ominous deal. The steering wheel is stuck so changing course is a problem. Repairing the wheel is considered but would require essential components of the bus if success is imperative. The weary travelers look to each other for options. There’s lots of talk, prominently by the ones denying there’s a cliff at all. Others dwell on the technical possibility of replacing the power supply of the wheel by that of the on-board coffee machine. Others opt for taking apart the chemical toilet to harvest parts. Both options look promising on paper but then again, the traveling Starbucks sure kept spirits high and the prospect of having to defecate out the window of a speeding bus didn’t gain much traction either.

    Then a man suggests to stop the bus and fight the wolves with their bare hands. – “I don’t expect all of us to live, but at least we’ll have a chance!”

    It is not even considered…

    And as fights break out over the last pads of Arabica Blend and cliff-deniers are caught rigging the breaks, the wolves slow their pace as they watch the bus hurl over the edge and plunge into the abyss.

  25. 325
    DIOGENES says:

    Kevin McKinney #295,

    “But the likely effect, if any, of your fulminations…..would be to decrease and delay effective mitigation action,”

    In order to know whether mitigation is ‘effective’, one needs to identify how well it was able to make progress toward some target. If you have no target, which you obviously don’t, then there is no way you can talk about ‘effectiveness’ of any mitigation scheme.

    ” Yet if anybody else in the world cares what I think the target should be, I haven’t heard about it.”

    Well, if nobody cares what you think the target would be, then why would they care about any mitigation concept you propose? Usually, people want something they believe will achieve some goal. You’re not offering that; why in the world would they buy what you’re peddling.

    I’ll make it simple for you. Suppose I want to be the drag race champion of my neighborhood, and I estimate I need a car with 0-60 times around five seconds. I go to McKinney’s Used Cars. Their chief salesman Kevin shows me a car. He gives me the weight, the dimensions, the horsepower, but refuses to give me the 0-60 time. Based on what he has shown me, I compute the 0-60 time as fifteen seconds, and tell him that is way too slow. He then shows me another car, gives the same metrics, and again refuses to give me the 0-60 time. Again, I compute the 0-60 time as fifteen seconds. After he repeats the process with the third car, I conclude there is nothing in his stock that will do better than fifteen seconds, and all he has to offer me are losers. That’s the message I’m getting with the climate change mitigation schemes from KM. They’re losers for climate change amelioration, but winners for the owners of McKinney’s Used Cars!

  26. 326
    DIOGENES says:


    “For the first time, waves as tall as 16 feet have been recorded in Arctic waters. If these waves are speeding the breakup of the region’s remaining ice, as oceanographers suspect, they could signal the birth of a feedback mechanism that will hasten the Arctic’s march toward an ice-free summer.”

  27. 327
    Chris Dudley says:

    MARodger, sorry for mangling your name.

  28. 328
    Chris Dudley says:

    Kevin (#321),


  29. 329
    Meow says:

    @325 (used cars and all, ad nauseam): All of your posts on renewables exhibit the fallacy of the single cause. The fact is, we need to do everything that reduces carbon emissions: cut consumption, build renewables, and even build nuclear plants (despite the fact that nuclear power often becomes a cover for nuclear weapons proliferation). Renewables and additional nuclear power will make it possible to get by with somewhat less drastic consumption reductions, irrespective of what maximum GAT rise we target.

    So why do you oppose renewables, again?

  30. 330
    prokaryotes says:

    New findings reduce uncertainty in proxy records and improved earlier estimates, and contribute to our understanding of climate change today, especially the findings hint at a higher climate sensitivity to CO2 emissions.

    CO2 in Earth history, the past 400 million years

  31. 331
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by DIOGENES — 30 Jul 2014 @ 6:39 AM, ~#308

    I am very enthusiastic about this quote- “My plan would allow minimal power for only the most essential uses” because it suggests that you have the numbers and analysis to support it. You must have a giant spreadsheet detailing “essential” needs and their power requirements that will keep seven, come eleven, billion people in food, necessary transportation, clothing, housing, lighting, heating, and medical requirements at their minimum level. Also, I am very interested in what specific non-polluting power sources you are proposing to support essential services. It is impossible to make a plan unless one has a well thought out target, and the target in this case cannot be determined unless one knows what minimum really means.


  32. 332
    sidd says:

    Mr. Kevin McKinney writes on the 30th of July, 2014, at 12:17 PM:

    “Moderators: I’m in a tough place here: on the one hand, I could let this blatantly OT propaganda stand unchallenged; on the other hand, I could respect your stated wishes not to discuss mitigation. What do you suggest I do, and why?

    I am not a moderator here, but i suggest that Mr. McKinney shut up.

    “From my perspective, we’ve reached the point where Diogenes has become easily the most disruptive troll in RC history (or at least the years of it that I’ve observed.)”

    We can read, we understand you feel strongly. But please stop responding on this forum.

    Do not feed the (presumed) troll.

    We can read. Credit us with some judgement. We can make up our own minds. Just because one thinks that an opinion expressed upon this forum is misguided, does not mean it must be publicly corrected every time. Leave it be. If the moderators agree with you, they will make their preferences known. Until then, live with it. The moderators have enuf on their hands without having to settle squabbles among the commentariat.

    In other news, interesting article on the cryosphere discuss about supra glacial lakes getting covered up in winter. Lotsa heat stored there. Read all about it:

    I see that Gogineni of the Jacobshawn gorge fame is on the author list.


  33. 333
    Hank Roberts says:

    > “My plan would allow minimal power for only the most essential uses.”
    > …
    > “you have no target,… you obviously don’t”

    If you’d get a little blog
    you could decree a little list:
    power uses less essential
    that never would be missed.

    Goodbye to July

  34. 334
    MartinJB says:

    Oh DIO (#325)… You might not like McKinney’s car on offer because you think its acceleration is inadequate. However, I’ll take his offering (or even Ed Greisch’s nuclear roadster – to extend your metaphor) over your fantasy vehicle. At least their suggestions will get us off the starting line. Yours will never go anywhere.

  35. 335
    Chuck Hughes says:

    A single event may well be easily marked off as a strange occurrence, but three look more like the start of a trend.”

    Comment by DIOGENES — 30 Jul 2014

    I don’t think much of it unless and until scientists and researchers can determine exactly what caused it. It is interesting and needs further investigation but folks should hold off drawing conclusions until we know more. If it turns out to be nothing the people promoting it as methane will look foolish and alarmist. That’s MY opinion. FWIW. Even if it is methane, it will only add to the CO2 problem we already have.

  36. 336
    Edward Greisch says:

    314, 315, 316, 317 Kevin McKinney: Billions of people are going to die. There is nothing you can do to stop it now. Your web site says you are a musician.
    “I offer a wide variety of musical materials and services, including:
    *Downloadable scores and parts from the sheet music store
*Composition, Arranging & Production services
*Performance (Brass, Guitar/Bass, Keyboard, Vocal, Conducting) services
*Music instruction (trumpet & brass, beginning piano and guitar, composition & music theory)”

    Do you have any qualifications in science or engineering?

  37. 337
    MARodger says:

    Chris Dudley @319.
    If you wish to play pedant, you will have to up your game.
    June 2014 was actually the =60th “largest anomaly” in the HadCRUT4 record to date. It was however the =11th highest anomaly. This was surely the correction you attempted to make, but such correction is unnecessary as the value referred to was 0.620ºC which as a temperature can be also termed the warmest or the hottest.

    The point you make, that the global monthly anomaly-base does have an equivalent average global temperature – that remains obscure as the data used in the likes of HadCRUT4 is converted into anomalies before any averaging occurs. Thus such a global average is only possible by counting up the gridded data values of the ‘climatology’ as per Jones et al (1999) that you link to. I have had occasion to look for the definitive monthly average values but never successfully.

  38. 338
    Chris Dudley says:

    MartinJB (#248),

    I missed you post. I think that on the mass extinction, until recently, we have done that through predation. In the oceans that is still mainly the case today though warming is affect reefs and nitrogen pollution is also causing some problems. But predators are not plagues. And, we are beginning to apply methods of habitat preservation that we use on land in the oceans. So, our niche building is extending there now as well.

    Again, plague seems like a wrong description that leads to misunderstanding of what might be done to address extinction and biodiversity issues.

  39. 339
    patrick says:

    > Windmills?

    Turbines, please. Standing [if not sailing] under one–if not on it or in it–instantly cleanses the vocabulary.

  40. 340
    DIOGENES says:

    Chris Dudley #318,

    “Perhaps we can put to rest the misunderstandings of the anti-technology poster.”

    A propaganda flick from RMI won’t hack it; you might as well post a quote from CleanTechnica. Look, there are two levels of issues with renewables. The top-level ignores their real-world shortcomings, and asks the question: what role could renewables play in contributing to REAL climate change amelioration, ignoring their real-world deficiencies. There are a number of papers I have quoted ad nauseam that show renewables, and other supply-side technologies, are insufficient to make a real dent in achieving even the contrived 2 C temperature ceiling. If we aim for the real 1 C (or less) target, forget about renewables! Their contribution would be negligible.

    The second-level includes the real-world limitations, and the book Green Illusions, and a number of journal papers I, Greisch, and Barcus have posted identify the additional limitations imposed by these real-world problems. So, if the approach is a loser in the best of all worlds, and we add in the intrinsic real-world limitations, we have a true loser! All the sleight-of-hand and fancy footwork won’t change this reality one whit.

    If by ‘anti-technology poster’ you mean me, that is a false characterization. I am technology-use neutral. My focus is on solving the climate change amelioration problem. If the solution identified requires 100% technology, or zero technology, I could care less. Whatever works! The plan I have developed is on the low side of technology development. It’s the approach that I believe best meets the desired targets.

    If you have an approach that is high-tech-based, and meets the real targets required, I would be delighted to hear it. So far, I haven’t heard it. You have defined no targets, and no approaches for achieving specific targets. You have offered approaches without targets; that’s not acceptable.

  41. 341
    DIOGENES says:

    First evidence of widespread active methane seepage in the Southern Ocean, off the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia
    (Earth and Planetary Science Letters)


    An extensive active seepage area was discovered north of South Georgia.

    High input of organic matter leads to high rates of formation and emission of methane.

    Gas emissions were restricted to glacially-formed fjords and cross-shelf troughs.

    Seepage might be more common in polar and sub-polar regions than previously thought.

  42. 342

    #325 (Diogenes): “Simple”–and simply wrong.

    The internationally-accepted target is 2 C. I support any action plans that will lead toward meeting that goal. So far, there is not a comprehensive plan adequate to do that which is actually being undertaken (though, of course, some exist as proposals.)

    You, following Hansen, Anderson and others, argue that a 1 C target would be safer. I’m inclined to agree, and I support any action plans that will lead toward meeting that goal. Needless to say, there isn’t currently any commitment toward meeting that goal either.

    So, what exactly would be accomplished by the fabrication of a “McKinney Climate Target”, commitment to which would be about as likely as Earth freezing over? But since you ask, here’s my position: no more than 2 C would be good, no more than 1 C would be better. I hope that settles your fetishism about my ‘lack’ of a climate target.

    As you may have gathered, I’m interested in action; we’ve wasted far too much time addressing the climate crisis. I was on the streets Wednesday (again.) And I’m meeting people and networking with the intent that next time, it won’t be 500-1000 people on the streets, it’ll be 5,000-10,000. If that seems like a waste to you, fine–but for all I care, you can go visit Mr. Lynas’ “six degree world”.

  43. 343
    Chris Dudley says:

    In addition to Kevin’s good testimony, the EPA is learning that carbon pollution is an affront to God.

    “Before man was asked to love his neighbor, love God, or care for the least of these, he was asked to love the earth,” said Rev. Marjani Dele, the minister of missions at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ. “You could say that it was a type of first commandment.”

  44. 344
    DIOGENES says:

    Kevin McKinney #316,

    “But Diogenes is the only one here claiming that it can be done by ‘just saying no.’”

    That’s not my plan; that’s your Green Illusion. My plan includes stringent demand/consumption reduction; massive reforestation and vegetation/soil management; interim geo-engineering if needed to constrain the temperature peak; and introduction of low carbon technology only for the most essential power requirements. You can criticize my plan all you want, but it is one of the two plans on the Web I have seen that gives us a reasonable chance to avoid the climate change bullet.

    A somewhat riskier version of my plan is Hansen’s plan, published in Plos One last December. Are you willing to go on record stating that you criticize his plan as well, and your alternative would be better for avoiding the bullet? Think about what his plan requires. The desired option is 6% demand reduction per annum, in conjunction with full planetary reforestation removing about 100 GtC in the period 2030-2080. A second option is 9% demand reduction in conjunction with 50 GtC removal.

    But, these are only two possibilities. The less reforestation possible, the greater is the demand reduction required to stay within the desired temperature ceiling. We know, from the studies published in the peer-reviewed literature, that in the limiting case of full demand reduction now, the interim temperature will peak anywhere from 1.2 C to 2 C in a decade or two, before starting a long downward trend. How would Hansen’s plan account for that? It seems to me he would be forced to use the odious option of geo-engineering to constrain the temperate peak, same as in my plan.

    So, that’s your choice, if you want to save the biosphere for human survival. My plan, or Hansen’s plan. Your approach, and that of SA and Fish, will effectively do nothing to ensure survival with a moderately reasonable chance. So, again, are you willing to state on the record that you disagree with Hansen’s approach, and that your approach will lead to overall better results?

  45. 345
    Chris Dudley says:

    What is the hottest recorded month globally?

    Since I still can’t find the gistemp offsets and HadCRUT format is for computers rather than people, I will only outline the calculation. By (wrongly) mixing HadCRUT offsets with gistemp anomalies, we see July as having the warmest offset in fig. 7 here: and the highest July anomaly in gistemp came in 2011 at 0.69 C. Looking again at fig. 7 we see that June is about 0.3 C cooler and August is about 0.1 C cooler than July in offsets. So, we’d be looking for anomalies of 0.99 in June or 0.79 to match July 2011 (if we weren’t improperly mixing data sets). Neither June nor August provide such large anomalies in gistemp so July 2011 would be the hottest month. July might hold the next four titles as well with a tie at fifth hottest before August has a shot at a tie at sixth hottest in 1998/2011 with July 2007. Tabular offsets for gistemp would be the thing to make this really count. There is a machine readable “absolute” file for HadCRUT for those who want to make a computer do the work for that data set. But, chances are, the hottest recorded month (globally) was a July in the last 15 years.

    January 1893 may be, fairly securely, the coldest month in the gistemp record.

  46. 346
  47. 347
    Hank Roberts says:

    > I’ll make it simple for you. Suppose I want to be the drag race champion …

    Stop right there.
    You’re supposing a non-essential use of energy.
    Please confine yourself to only essential activities.
    Drag racing is disallowed.

    Is climate modeling allowed under your benevolent rule?

  48. 348
    Edward Greisch says:

    Gavin: To tell people about GW, follow Heidi Cullen. See:

    “Personal Stories About Global Warming Change Minds”
    “It is personal stories that make the issue of climate change hit close to home for many people.”

  49. 349
    Edward Greisch says:

    296 DIOGENES is only reporting

    The businessweek article has one comment:

    “Anne Flynn • 4 days ago
    the EastWest inter connector and the Moyle connector have been functional for many years and we have not reduced these high energy costs why?? This is because the CER has granted the increase in PSO levies consistently year after year, despite the fact that the public are suppose to buy that “wind energy is free” “The proposed PSO levy amount for the levy period 2014/2015 has been calculated by the CER to be €327,712,890 and the draft decision is on its website. In terms of the cost to the PSO of renewable energy, AER is expected to cost €2,269,000 and the cost of REFIT is estimated to be
€84,346,555 which together would amount to an average charge of approximately €16.65 per domestic customer for the year. Although a breakdown of the PSO cost by technology is not available, wind makes up almost 95% of the renewable electricity supported in the two schemes.”… This is relevent because wind energy needs to be heavily supported.… .”

    I am only reporting “[T]he public are suppose to buy that “wind energy is free”.”
    While the price is over 400 billion Euros.

    Again: DIOGENES and I are reporting. You can figure out what it means.

  50. 350
    Chris Dudley says:

    Another fun thing to do with the offsets is ask if we’ve jumped a month yet. Is June the new July? Looks like June 2014 is pretty similar to July 1913 in the northern hemisphere but the average behavior is not there yet. On the other hand, January seem to be the new February pretty easily even though February has not yet become the new March.