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Unforced variations: Aug 2015

Filed under: — group @ 3 August 2015

This month’s open thread. A traditional time to discuss the Arctic sea ice minimum. But NH summer heatwaves, and to be fair, snow in the southern hemisphere, are also fair game…

282 Responses to “Unforced variations: Aug 2015”

  1. 1

    MJB 262 (last thread): Hi BPL, you’ve mentioned your forecast for global collapse several times. Would you consider posting a link to the paper?

    BPL: Here it is.

    http://www.ajournal.co.uk/pdfs/BSvolume13(1)/BSVol.13%20(1)%20Article%202.pdf

  2. 2

    MJB 262 (last thread),

    Here it is. Tried posting this a minute ago, but forgot to do the stupid ReCaptcha thing since I couldn’t see it. RealClimate guys, you REALLY ought to move the “Say It!” button to BELOW the reCaptcha. Okay? http://www.ajournal.co.uk/pdfs/BSvolume13(1)/BSVol.13%20(1)%20Article%202.pdf

  3. 3
    Aaron Lewis says:

    What is “sea ice”?

    Is it all the stuff that the eye in the sky sees?

    Or, is it all the stuff that is firm enough for a man to walk on with snow shoes? Is it stuff that is firm enough for a polar bear to walk on? Is it stuff that is firm enough for any sailor to walk on without show shoes?

    Is it only the stuff that is firm enough for a safety officer to let a science research team land, and deploy instruments?

    Is something that one can run a ship through at commercial speed, really “sea ice”?

    Is an ice field that allows water vapor exchange in both directions between the sea below and the atmosphere above, still “sea ice” in the vernacular of climate science?

  4. 4
    Chuck Hughes says:

    So, there is JUST DEATH EVERYWHERE. I would fear for the local Sequoias, but, a few back, they got > 4 inches of rain in July–a freaky thing, since Europeans have kept notes. The long debate is finally over. Cody.

    Comment by dave peters — 3 Aug 2015 @ 3:03 AM

    I realize you’re in distress and I’m not trying to be too critical here but complete sentences, spell check and a few links would give, at least myself, a better picture of what you’re trying to describe. It sounds terrible and it would be nice to have a clearer ‘picture’ of what’s going on. Maybe a link to the newspaper article about the boy or a few local pics?

    I was watching Andrea Mitchell just now about the California fires and it’s unreal. I don’t hear anything about Alaska though and it would be nice to hear from someone on the ground up there as well. Best of luck to you and yours. Stay safe. Thanks!

  5. 5
    Chuck Hughes says:

    How much if any benefit will this provide? Thoughts? Opinions? Thanks

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/08/03/3686977/moral-urgency-epa-clean-power-plan/

  6. 6
    Killian says:

    This is healthy.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.arctic.png

    Don’t know if that link auto updates. Probably does. Was 4.246 m sq. km and -1.589 anomaly when I posted.

    According to this graph, ’15 trails only ’07, ’10 (?), and ’12 in ASI Area.

    http://meteomodel.pl/index.php/arcticice

    Good thing transport through Fram Strait has slowed to a crawl.

  7. 7
    BruceA says:

    I’ve got a question. I’m not an expert on climate change, but I got pulled into a discussion on another forum. Someone was trying to dismiss global warming, saying that all the natural climate forcings–solar input, solar reflection, volcanic activity, etc–are currently showing a global cooling trend (my paraphrase). My quick response was, that’s all the more evidence that the current global warming from actual measurements is anthropogenic.

    But now I’m wondering: Are natural forcings trending downward? And if so, is it accurate to say that humans are responsible for more than 100% of today’s global warming?

    [Response: Yes. ;-)

    – gavin]

  8. 8
    patrick says:

    Here’s a nice transition from data viz (last month, such as it was) to Arctic ice. The composition, “Iceprints,” by Matthew Burtner, seeks both to transcribe the decline of the Arctic ice extent and “to evoke a complex paradox: individuals are distant and separate from some real effects of our actions and from things that affect us; we cannot escape our physical or temporal context and yet we are constantly affecting and affected by things that are not present spatially or temporally.”

    http://matthewburtner.com/iceprints/

  9. 9
    patrick says:

    He can’t help it, he’s almost indigenous.

    http://matthewburtner.com/ecoacoustics/

    http://www.ecosono.org/

  10. 10
    wili says:

    Apparently, even with optimistic assumptions about their future capabilities, carbon removal strategies will not be enough to offset our CO2 emissions for a very long time–centuries.

    “Long-term response of oceans to CO2 removal from the atmosphere”

    Sabine Mathesius, Matthias Hofmann, Ken Caldeira & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber

    Nature Climate Change (2015)
    doi:10.1038/nclimate2729

    Received
    10 December 2014
    Accepted
    19 June 2015
    Published online
    03 August 2015

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2729.html

  11. 11
    wili says:

    After a slow start, it looks as if 2015 Arctic sea ice has about caught up with 2011 and 2007 and may even give 2012 a run for it’s money. Here’s one place where they fairly obsessively keep track of day-to-day developments, for those who care to follow at that level: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=recent

  12. 12
    bozza says:

    If I may, I would like to ask a slightly different type of question.
    Why are the minima for Arctic sea extent bounded by wider standard deviations?
    Also, not being a statistics junkie, do the boundaries have to be equidistant from the average. I realise one answer could inform the other but I still feel it’s a question worth asking, thanx!

  13. 13
    Omega Centauri says:

    Chuck @3. I’m in California. If you look carefully at the sky near sunrise/sunset you can notice a thin layer of smoke in the middle atmosphere (say 10,000 feet). Nothing that the nose detects. For 99% of the states population the only impact is seeing it on TV.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Edward Greisch says:

    1&2 Bart: Thanks for that very interesting paper.

    5 Chuck Hughes: Notice that the Clean Power Plan starts after Bart [1&2] says civilization collapses. Kind of like: “I’ll quit smoking the day after I die.”

  16. 16
    Zach says:

    I’m Just wondering. Does rain fall increase sea level rise on the east coast?

  17. 17
    Zach Osterman says:

    Minor post, I realized its been a year since the methane hole mystery. Which is a when I found this forum. Do I guess here’s to the coming year and all the panic attacks this website will qwell lol.

  18. 18

    Lawrence @268,

    I have a 9 y/o son too, and two younger daughters, and of course I don’t think 3.5 billion people will die over ten years 25 years from now, and that the world population could be 280 million in 2100. These were BPL’s estimates. The current scientific consensus is about 11 billion.

    When I said that people making such statements are always wrong, it attracted replies mainly saying “yes, but this time it’s different”. Right. What else could anyone making such claims think?

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which is not an extraordinary long chain of what-if’s required for a worst case scenario. Yes, it’s been an increase of CO2, a very rapid one in a geological perspective, but the question is whether it can start a chain reaction of events. Subtle changes to the climate is in fact a bit down on my list of environmental concerns. I’m more concerned about the rapid changes to the planet by man that are already more evident, mainly the land use changes to support the short term needs of the human population, and the sea is becoming our trash can. We’re likely entering a mass extinction event, caused by this, not by our influence on climate. Which may or may not backfire on humankind. There should at least be some awareness, and it concerns me a bit that people seem to prefer talk about the weather.

    Why not consider the best case scenario? Perhaps we can all have a good laugh in 2100 at 100 something years, joking about the scares of the previous century. Looking back to a slight warming that did little harm. Looking with wonder at the primitive society that had to drill or dig for fuel to burn to get energy. To breed animals and keep them captives during their short miserable lives for a few beefs rather than to grow tastier food faster artificially. Etc. I don’t know. Predictions usually fail. Even the 20th century burning of fossil fuel might turn out not have been a bad thing, since it helped bringing the technology needed to avoid disasters, and has enabled us to move on to the next, more sustainable technological level. Think of what a few billion educated minds of the 21st century can invent. We should be optimistic.

  19. 19
    Richard Caldwell says:

    BPL,

    Thanks for the link to your paper. Here’s my thoughts:

    The paper would have benefited from an estimate of the background severe drought rate, perhaps using ocean/atmospheric dipoles, deforestation, and the proliferation of bad agricultural practices.

    Two of your scenarios were different versions of “we’re deer in headlights”, and so brought less to the table than more unique choices. The third is “Even as billions die and ecosystems collapse, we’ll redouble our efforts to spew carbon.” That doesn’t seem realistic, but it does add value to the paper.

    You mentioned possible mitigation efforts in the caveats. This should have been its own scenario. Your paper does not support a climb towards a hidden cliff, but a gradual and steady climb in agricultural failure rates. Humans are very adaptable and have a visceral response to hugely increased starvation rates. I don’t see us ignoring hundreds of millions of deaths. Near-term, I think Republicans are going to get creamed in the upcoming EPA lawsuits. Plus, if we’re headed into a reasonably-sized El Nino, then we’re also headed towards a seriously hot 2016 election season. If you’re religious, pray for another biggie.

    You should have differentiated acreage by drought susceptibility and added in land opened up by ecosystem failure. It is unrealistic to paint such a dismal picture of agriculture without taking into account ecosystem failure. Brazil, the US, Canada, and Russia might end up with vast acreages of dead forests which we would have to race with fire to harvest. If Russia can’t sell oil and gas, what else can they do but turn dead forests into huge farms manned mostly by robots? We’ll go back to log houses and have our pick of new places to farm. Mankind is very mobile and very adaptable. Large-scale starvation is a choice.

    Table 6 drives the drought-caused failure rate to 100%in less than two decades in all scenarios. In a world of increasing precipitation, I think that result is prima facie evidence that the paper is seriously incomplete.

    Thanks for sharing your work.

  20. 20

    EG 15,

    The final goal (which I think is too small) is -32% by 2030, but I believe the plan kicks in well before that.

  21. 21
    Chuck Hughes says:

    5 Chuck Hughes: Notice that the Clean Power Plan starts after Bart [1&2] says civilization collapses. Kind of like: “I’ll quit smoking the day after I die.”

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 3 Aug 2015 @ 11:00 PM

    Hopefully Gavin et al will chime in on the President’s CPP. I’d like to hear their INFORMED ‘opinion’ on whether this is purely window dressing or something that would actually keep us from blasting beyond the 2C ‘limit’ (and I use that term loosely).

    So we cut CO2 by 30% as per President Obama. What about a President Trump, Bush III redux, or even worse, a President Rick Scott, ALL of whose first order of business is to try and reverse everything President Obama has ever done? I mean we’re assuming that one of the Democrats will win and I think the odds are pretty good but this is America which President Carter recently dubbed an “Oligarchy”. Talk about rolling the dice! We can’t even provide adequate birth control and sex ed to our young people.

    All smokers quit…. eventually. Likewise, we’ll quit pumping CO2 into the atmosphere…. eventually.

  22. 22
    Hank Roberts says:

    for Bozza: http://www.robertniles.com/stats/stdev.shtml

    There is more opportunity for naturally occurring seasonal variability in the Arctic for the sea (floating) ice– which forms on a fairly large ocean. The more natural “noise” variation in the data set, the larger the error bars.

  23. 23
    Pete Best says:

    President Obama has done a deal on climate, its not amazing but its better than what went before it. In all of this science of what increased GHG emissions means for our planet one thing is sure, cut emissions and all of the science might not play out here on earth which is what all of this is about fascinating though the science is.

  24. 24

    RC 19: Table 6 drives the drought-caused failure rate to 100%in less than two decades in all scenarios. In a world of increasing precipitation, I think that result is prima facie evidence that the paper is seriously incomplete.

    BPL: What part of “global warming changes the distribution of rainfall” do you not understand? Continental interiors dry out. Coastlines get soaked. So drought and total precipitation can rise at the same time. Do you really think more rain causes more drought?

    “It’s the distribution, stupid.”

  25. 25
    SecularAnimist says:

    Steinar Midtskogen wrote: “When I said that people making such statements are always wrong …”

    You failed to specify exactly what you mean by “such statements”, so your assertion is meaningless.

    Steinar Midtskogen wrote: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence …”

    No, all claims are subject to the same standards of evidence. Otherwise, you are making an a priori arbitrary judgement, NOT based on evidence, as to whether a given claim is “extraordinary” or not.

    With all due respect, what I get from your posts is that you don’t like the conclusions that BPL reached, but rather than actually reading his study, examining his evidence, reasoning and conclusions and responding with substantive criticisms, you are responding with fallacious rhetoric that boils down to “It CAN’T be true! It just CAN’T be!”

  26. 26
    Edward Greisch says:

    18 Steinar Midtskogen & 19 Richard Caldwell & Barton Paul Levenson: Here on the border between Illinois and Iowa, it is another bad year for farming in a new way. The past 7 years have been bad each in a different way that I have never seen before. This year March – July it rained so much almost every day that the fields are lakes and the farmers have given up on this year.

    In the old days there were drought years and flood years but never drought-flood years or flood-drought years or 3 floods in 1 year or etcetera. The climate is now just plain weird. Like the year [2012, I think] when spring and summer were droughts and harvest time was too wet to harvest anyway. On the average, the year got the right amount of rain, but in such a perverse way that the harvest was a bust, and the fields were too wet to plow the following spring.

    That is my evidence that Bart is right and Obama’s plan is greenwashing. CO2 production isn’t going to go down because of Obama’s plan. CO2 production is going to go down when enough people are dead because of the global famine. GW is all about the grocery business. RealClimate should do a lot of talking about groceries to get people’s attention.

  27. 27

    Yes, the plan starts to act prior to its final target date:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/08/03/fact-sheet-president-obama-announce-historic-carbon-pollution-standards

    States are to submit compliance plans in 2016, and there are interim goals as early as 2020.

    Of course, 2010 or 2000 dates would be better, but the Presidential writ only runs so far.

  28. 28
    Killian says:

    #18 Steinar Midtskogen said Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which is not an extraordinary long chain of what-if’s required for a worst case scenario. Yes, it’s been an increase of CO2, a very rapid one in a geological perspective, but the question is whether it can start a chain reaction of events. Subtle changes to the climate is in fact a bit down on my list of environmental concerns. I’m more concerned about…

    Why not consider the best case scenario?

    We do consider the best case. That’s what error bars and such show. That’s why climate science uses scenarios, not predictions. What you seem to mean is, why don’t we focus primarily on the best case scenario? Because it’s suicidal.

    Let’s base home insurance on the best case scenario: Nobody would have any because most homes never burn down. You are suggesting we need do nothing about climate because it’s just not that bad. False. And there are more important issues. False. The issues you raise are symptoms of the same behaviors that created climate change. They are not separate issues. Solving climate solves all those. The opposite is not necessarily true.

    Perhaps we can all have a good laugh in 2100 at 100 something years, joking about the scares of the previous century.

    And perhaps it’s time to start thinking of climate denial as a mental illness given the suicidal, genocidal nature of such ideations, and the incredible level of denial it requires.

  29. 29
    FP says:

    I believe the planet is hotter than being reported. The air is more humid, humid air is hotter. Well, it contains more energy at the same temperature, it has more thermal mass. Has anyone looked into the humid air holding more energy in the form of thermal mass?

  30. 30
    S.B. Ripman says:

    #14 Russell:
    This video comes from Surfing Magazine’s resident wave forecaster and climate guy:
    https://youtu.be/G40wF8QNCYM

  31. 31

    #29–Humid air isn’t “hotter”. It’s just harder for creatures such as humans to cool off in, dependent as we are on evaporation to shed our waste heat.

    “Thermal mass” is used in the context of building, not physics, where the closest equivalent is “heat capacity”. See, for example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_mass

    If you link through to the article on ‘heat capacity’ you’ll find that there’s rather a lot of complication that comes in–but you’ll also find that the specific heat capacity of water is ~4 times that of air at a similar temperature, so your intuition had something of a point there.

    But I’m confident nonetheless that the relevant effects are accounted for, empirically if nothing else.

  32. 32
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Predictions usually fail. Even the 20th century burning of fossil fuel might turn out not have been a bad thing, since it helped bringing the technology needed to avoid disasters, and has enabled us to move on to the next, more sustainable technological level. Think of what a few billion educated minds of the 21st century can invent. We should be optimistic.

    Comment by Steinar Midtskogen — 4 Aug 2015 @ 2:23 AM

    I don’t think anyone here is basing their conclusions on anything other than evidence. We all are hoping for the best outcome but outcomes in this situation depend heavily on human behavior and immediate action based on current knowledge. I hate to burst your bubble but it’s not looking good at the moment. I would suggest you do some serious research and listen to the experts if you’re really concerned about the future. Listen, ask informed questions and read the science. Denial is not a survival strategy. Good luck!

  33. 33
    Dale Lehman says:

    Arctic News – arctic-news.blogspot.com – a blog for ice scientists concerned with methane being destabilized near term has some impressive satellite photos of a 62 x 31 miles 5 meter thick piece of ice breaking free from the coast on July 24, 2015 along with the Naval Research Laboratory animation of sea ice thickness over a 30-day time span.

    On August 3, 2015, heat and smoke from the Alaskan wild fires appear in a satellite photo to be contributing to temperatures as high as 79.4 F in the location near where multi year thick ice had remained until it broke free.

  34. 34
    Chris G says:

    If memory serves, David Archer showed some work a while ago to the effect that methane release in the Arctic would not be a ‘methane gun’ type of event. It was something to the effect that the permafrost could only melt so fast and the methane would oxidize to carbon dioxide quickly enough to prevent a substantial build up. With the fires in Alaska covering an area bigger than Connecticut, I’m wondering if David’s calculations on the rate of melting took into account the loss of insulating material above the permafrost. Any thoughts?

  35. 35
    Omega Centauri says:

    FP. Usually we look at temperature rather than heat content, as we are looking at systems in
    near thermal equilibrium. Heat content is usually relative to some other state (temperature and pressure) of the same material. Cool humid air, and you can extract the heat of condensation as well as the sensible heat of the sample. But warm it, and the water vapor stays as water vapor so you don’t
    realize the potential thermal energy of the vapor. Lift it high in the atmosphere, and you will get condensation, so in some sense humid air can behave a bit like hotter air.
    Also, water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas, and in fact warmer climate leading to more water vapor
    leading to a stronger greenhouse effect is an important feedback.

  36. 36
    Chris G says:

    @18 Steinar,
    “but the question is whether it can start a chain reaction of events. ”

    Well, just taking one measure, if you look at Hansen’s work on 3-sigma heat wave events, they have increased from covering less than 1% of the globe 30 years ago to covering ~10% now. If you look at agricultural reports where these things have hit, they cut yields by roughly 50%. So, 10% coverage means roughly 5% ag loss. We can absorb that currently, but two things are happening: the population is growing, and the world is getting hotter. So, what happens when we have a few billion more people and a couple of the major grain produces suffer one of these events at the same time? An increasing population and a declining ability to grow food will not end well. By the time we realise we have a problem, we already be committed to more warming.

    Russia had one of these events in 2010, and banned all wheat exports. This likely affected the price of bread in Arab states, which had contracted to buy a lot of wheat from Russia, and had to find other suppliers late in the game. The Arab Spring started with food riots in Tunisia in 2011. It is possible there is a causal link in this chain of events.

  37. 37
    Richard Caldwell says:

    10 will says, “Apparently, even with optimistic assumptions about their future capabilities, carbon removal strategies will not be enough to offset our CO2 emissions for a very long time–centuries.”

    There could be some trick or workaround, but the three laws of thermodynamics suggest that it is harder to emit carbon and then remove it than to not emit it at all. Thus, carbon capture and storage has a physics-based hope of providing net energy to mankind while also reducing net emissions of carbon, but sucking carbon out of the air is likely a fool’s task as compared to simply reducing emissions, even 10000000000000 years from now. (creating new energy sources based on solar energy absorption will probably exceed the benefit of burning dinosaurs and vacuuming them up via artificial trees)

  38. 38
    Hank Roberts says:

    for FP: the higher humidity, the _less_ dense the atmosphere is, because water vapor (H2O) is less dense than nitrogen (N2) and oxygen (O2). This was discovered by the Wright Brothers, who flew in early December in freezing cold (relatively dry) air at sea level, them packed up and went to Ohio, where during hot humid weather at 1000′ above sea level, their Flyer wouldn’t get off the ground.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=wright+brothers+“density+altitude”+”North+Carolina”+humidity+Ohio

    at 96oF, the water vapor content of the air can be eight (8) times as great as it is at 42oF. High density altitude and high humidity do not always go hand in hand. If high humidity does exist, however, it is wise to add 10 percent to your computed takeoff distance and anticipate a reduced climb rate.

    https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gslac/library/documents/2011/Aug/56396/FAA%20P-8740-02%20DensityAltitude%5Bhi-res%5D%20branded.pdf

  39. 39
    Richard Caldwell says:

    24 BPL said, “What part of “global warming changes the distribution of rainfall” do you not understand? Continental interiors dry out. Coastlines get soaked. So drought and total precipitation can rise at the same time. Do you really think more rain causes more drought?”

    Yes, more rain might cause more drought. Climate is complex, and some things that are free with the current climate will become expensive with another. For example, if snowpack services suffer, we might have to replace them with expensive dams. My comment was: “Table 6 says the agricultural failure rate due to drought alone reaches 100% in less than two decades in all scenarios, excluding caveats.”

    So, does your table 6 say that drought alone will probably soon cause a near 100% (IIRC, ~86% was a proposed low number) failure rate in agriculture, or did I misinterpret table 6? Please don’t go argumentative with me. I promise I’ll carefully attempt to understand your work.

    And how do you define “failure”? California had a total failure drought-wise, but their agricultural output didn’t crash. Heck, California still hasn’t been forced to stop producing water-intensive crops. Kind of a yawner, when one is contemplating “6 billion die of starvation immediately, and most folks starve over the next several decades” as the baseline scenario.

  40. 40
    Richard Caldwell says:

    21 Chuck asks, “whether this is purely window dressing or something that would actually keep us from blasting beyond the 2C ‘limit’ (and I use that term loosely).”

    Don’t forget that today’s decisions only bind us today. If in a few years we collectively see that our initial plan is inadequate, we’ll simply change our path. The question one should ask is, “Are next year’s actions under this plan close enough to optimal to enable a good result?”

  41. 41
    Richard Caldwell says:

    24 BPL says, ““It’s the distribution, stupid.” ”

    Yep. To Americans, I’d ask, “How much American agriculture do you wish to transfer to Siberia?” We’re in the sweet spot under the current climate and topsoil distribution. But if July becomes unbearable for wheat or corn in our heartland, then we’ve got a problem. Russia, on the other hand, will potentially find itself with the ability to robotically feed the world. Can you say “domination”?

  42. 42
    Richard Caldwell says:

    26 Edward,

    Yes, you are right. We’ve developed agriculture based on climate norms of the past 10,000 years. Rains fall ____. Snow melts ___. Temperatures range ____. Think of it like a massive Dungeons and dragons dice roll. A hand-full of variables all taken together and accepted as axioms for our decisions for thousands of years.

    Well, we’re rolling a new set of dice every decade or so. The odds that we’ll come up with an optimal solution for actions in the next decade is low. The dice are fairly random, as far as our science can determine so far. That’s changing, and soon we’ll be able to see in advance how our actions will harm some of today’s winners and benefit some of today’s losers. Add in geo-engineering, and physics is going to morph into serious politics in the next few years. Interesting times….

  43. 43
    MA Rodger says:

    SecularAnimist @15.
    You are quite wrong to argue that extraordinary claims require the same level of proof as ordinary claims, or the same as banal claims.
    Consider, if I were (in this context of human survival) to claim that humanity bestrides a world that is spherical in form, I would need no proof. The claim is banal.
    If I were to say that we waste our time considering anywhere outside the band 20N-45N, I might need a bit of proof to back up my claim, to show where I’m coming from (which is here that shows the majority of those needing saving live in that band).
    But if I were to claim that this spherical home is the inside and not the outside of a sphere, you would be justified in insisting on extraordinary proof, if nothing else to demonstrate that I am not away with the fairies and wasting your time. And that extraordinary proof, while it doesn’t have to be fully formed or even wholly correct; that proof does have to be reasonable.

    That said, AGW does make extraordinary claims, but it has also presented the required extraordinary proof. It has amply demonstrated that there is an existential threat to human civilisation from BAU, the same civilisation that pretty-much all of us require to stock the supermarket shelves etc.
    Given these established findings on AGW, they do not justify claims that half of humanity will be dead in 30 years or that human ingenuity will painlessly solve the AGW problem for us. These two claims are in themselves extraordinary and neither have furnished the required extraordinary proof that I can see.
    And concerning these two different extremes, exaggerating AGW is far less of a problem than underestimating it. As such, I would challenge those underestimating AGW to explain their reasoning. That challenge would extend to Steinar Midtskogen @18. If he believes AGW is just “weather” and we are “likely entering a (human-induced) mass extinction event” not resulting from AGW, I suggest he re-examines his evidence. The extinction event is already happening. And “weather”; that stretches from the South Pole to Death Valley. Which weather is where depends on climate and AGW will, if we let it, change climate in ways Steinar Midtskogen has evidently yet to comprehend.

  44. 44
    deconvoluter says:

    BBC Radio 4’s answer to the Great Global Warming Swindle GGWS ?

    This morning at about 9.05 AM UK time.

    Whats the point of the MetOffice?

    One sided skepticism.

    The Met Office was given a hard time unlike its opponents Piers Corbyn (PC), Peter Lilley (PL) and Graham Stringer (GS).

    For example PC was introduced by the assertion that he has a “strong record of accuracy” using sunspots and other non main stream methods. Some of you will remember how he also appeared near the start of the GGWS. No substantation was required. PL’s links with the fossil fuel industry was never mentioned and neither was the misguided and failed attempts to discredit the UEA climatologists by all three of them.

    I’m afraid that the interview with Helen Chivers from the Met Office only partially corrected for the muddle.

    Finally at the end of it all, we were told that the programme had ben prepared with the help of the Daily Mail.

  45. 45
    MA Rodger says:

    As GISS & NOAA global temperature records have already shown, HadCRUT4 has posted a hot June 2015. It gives the third warmest month on record. Of the first half of 2015, all six months are top 20 with four of them top 10.
    1st . . 2007 1 . . . 0.832ºC
    2nd . . 1998 2 . . . 0.763ºC
    3rd . . 2015 6 . . . 0.728ºC
    4th . . 2002 2 . . . 0.705ºC
    5th . . 2002 3 . . . 0.699ºC
    6th . . 2006 12 . . . 0.698ºC
    7th . . 2015 5 . . . 0.696ºC
    8th . . 2015 1 . . . 0.688ºC
    9th . . 2015 3 . . . 0.681ºC
    10th . . 2010 4 . . . 0.679ºC
    11th . . 2010 3 . . . 0.678ºC
    12th . . 1998 7 . . . 0.672ºC
    13th . . 2014 8 . . . 0.666ºC
    14th . . 2002 1 . . . 0.661ºC
    15th . . 2015 2 . . . 0.66ºC
    16th . . 2014 4 . . . 0.657ºC
    17th . . 2015 4 . . . 0.656ºC
    18th . . 2013 11 . . . 0.639ºC
    19th . . 1998 4 . . . 0.636ºC
    20th . . 2014 12 . . . 0.634ºC

  46. 46
    deconvoluter says:

    Re: My previous comment.

    No list of errors. I’m sorry about that. Many of them are the usual familiar ones.
    Here’s one I think. Piers Corbyn asserted that the Met Office does not include any account of solar variations in their long term climate calculations. That must refer to the Hadleigh Centre.

    Incidentally his brother Jeremy Corbyn, who is standing in the UK’s Labour Party leadership campaign, does not agree with Piers over global warming.

  47. 47

    RC 37: California had a total failure drought-wise, but their agricultural output didn’t crash.

    BPL: Where did the water for their agricultural output come from?

  48. 48

    MAR 40: Given these established findings on AGW, they do not justify claims that half of humanity will be dead in 30 years or that human ingenuity will painlessly solve the AGW problem for us. These two claims are in themselves extraordinary and neither have furnished the required extraordinary proof that I can see.

    BPL: Science does not deal in proof. It deals in evidence. It is inductive, not deductive. It does not prove theories, it can only disprove them. Nonetheless, this is a very powerful technique.

    For the evidence that AGW is going to induce very serious trouble very soon, see either my paper (total collapse 2022-2034) or the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office study (total collapse c. 2040). Both studies assume nothing serious will be done about the problem. What do you think will be done that is sufficiently serious and will be fully implemented in the next couple of decades?

  49. 49

    “Don’t forget that today’s decisions only bind us today. If in a few years we collectively see that our initial plan is inadequate, we’ll simply change our path.”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/08/unforced-variations-aug-2015/comment-page-1/#comment-634355

    I’m of two minds about that: yes, tomorrow’s ambition is not constrained by today’s, and I hope that (for instance) the ambitions of the President’s climate change plan will act as confidence building measures that enable more ambitious measures still.

    But on the other hand, time is already desperately short, and our measures to date far from adequate.

  50. 50
    Chuck Hughes says:

    If in a few years we collectively see that our initial plan is inadequate, we’ll simply change our path. The question one should ask is, “Are next year’s actions under this plan close enough to optimal to enable a good result?”

    Comment by Richard Caldwell — 5 Aug 2015

    I responded to this a bit earlier but got a message saying the server was down but for the record… “simply changing directions” leaves me thinking you don’t live in the United States or any other major country. You’re talking about 7+ billion people and a myriad of countries and political systems. We’re one bad election away from heading in exactly the wrong direction. Let me know when the Keeling Curve ‘simply’ changes directions.