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Unforced variations: Oct 2015

Filed under: — group @ 2 October 2015

This month’s open thread. Since most climate related discussion this month will be focussed on the COP21

What is (or should be) the role of climate science in the upcoming negotiations? Discuss.

201 Responses to “Unforced variations: Oct 2015”

  1. 151
    mitch says:

    Tom:
    I think your confusion comes because you are looking at gross transfers, not net, of carbon to plants. Net transfers to land from the atmosphere are about 2-3 gTC per year, and oceans are roughly the same. Given about 800 GtC in atmospheric CO2, the rough residence time is 800/4 or 800/6, or about 130 to 200 yr.

  2. 152
    Hank Roberts says:

    … people tend to agree about what deserves to be called stupid and what doesn’t — remarkably, there was a roughly 90 percent rate of agreement. They also learned that there are, it seems, three situations, that we tend to use the word stupid for. Three scenarios, characterized by specific types of behavior, that make people cringe or laugh or put their hands to their forehead….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/10/19/how-to-act-less-stupid-according-to-psychologists/

  3. 153

    It’s rarely unforced variations, but usually forced variations.
    Case in point is the flawed theory of Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) of upper atmospheric winds first formulated by the AGW denialist Richard Lindzen. Here is a thorough debunking of Lindzen’s foundational theory
    http://contextearth.com/2015/10/22/pukites-model-of-the-quasi-biennial-oscillation/

    He considered the forcing of the moon but never followed through:
    “5. Lunar semidiurnal tide : One rationale for studying tides is that they are motion systems for which we know the periods perfectly, and the forcing almost as well (this is certainly the case for gravitational tides). Thus, it is relatively easy to isolate tidal phenomena in the data, to calculate tidal responses in the atmosphere, and to compare the two. Briefly, conditions for comparing theory and observation are relatively ideal. Moreover, if theory is incapable of explaining observations for such a simple system, we may plausibly be concerned with our ability to explain more complicated systems. Lunar tides are especially well suited to such studies since it is unlikely that lunar periods could be produced by anything other than the lunar tidal potential. The only drawback in observing lunar tidal phenomena in the atmosphere is their weak amplitude, but with sufficiently long records this problem can be overcome [viz. discussion in Chapman and Lindaen (1970)] at least in analyses of the surface pressure oscillation. ” — from Lindzen, Richard S., and Siu-Shung Hong. “Effects of mean winds and horizontal temperature gradients on solar and lunar semidiurnal tides in the atmosphere.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 31.5 (1974): 1421-1446.”

    So, years later we can check it again and clearly see the strong forcing influence. For QBO at least, variations are forced.

  4. 154

    #146, Richard Caldwell–

    “By the way, your use of the phrase “sole role” is telling. By posing an extremist position as the logical alternative to your ideas, you risk missing most everything.”

    – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/10/unforced-variations-oct-2015/comment-page-3/#comment-637152

    But I’m not the one posing it. That would be Ed, who has been insisting that nuclear power is our Only Hope.

    Me, I’ve insisting that “sole” options are nugatory, and debating whether nukes or windmills are really ‘It’ is, well, silly. In the real world, I’ve said, we will have a mix and that’s probably a good thing.

    Who knows? It might even look like the mix you describe in your comment. If so, I don’t object.

    For now, though, we can build renewable energy capacity at a pretty good clip–the US has added as much as 13 GW of wind in a calendar year (2012) and similar potential build rates for solar are coming, too. (The US added 7 GW in 2014.) And we should add it, taking care to incentivize the retirement of the most carbon-intensive generation capacity, at the same time restraining energy intensity. (US cumulative totals are now ~70 GW wind and ~20 solar; the greatest proportions of which have been added in the past decade.)

    That’ll help narrow the ‘carbon ambition gap’ in this country for the time when (and if) the promise of Gen 3 nuclear is actually achieved. And if it isn’t, well, that renewable energy will be needed even worse.

    Re the response to your points about Ed’s comment, I suspect that Ed may have been talking about a breeder reactor, not a conventional commercial reactor of today. (No, he didn’t make clear just what he was talking about.)

    At least, a breeder does use much more of the U238 than do conventional ‘thermal’ reactors:

    http://www.whatisnuclear.com/articles/fast_reactor.html

    But then again, maybe not, as that seems inconsistent with the high enrichment percentage you identified.

    (OK, Ed, just what were you talking about?)

  5. 155
    AIC says:

    #62 and other energy storage comments: Flow batteries are in use in some locations, and chemists are working on developing better ones for utility-scale energy storage.

  6. 156
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    149 MA Rodger. To me that data tells me that global temp is increasing remarkably steadily. You would think as the global mean is so far only around the 0.90C mark that the month by month, year by year temps would jump around quite a lot was it not for the massive inertia of the CO2/temp system (global heating). From that data you can see that CO2 is very much the prime mover of the relentless warming. Fascinating!

  7. 157
    Edward Greisch says:

    143 Killian: In 121 you said “your arguments are irrelevant until they also include resource limits” So I showed that there are no resource limits on nuclear fuel for a long time. So now you say: “Don’t give the slightest darn about the fuel source. At all. There are many other pressing limits. And, please, next time notice the “s.”

    What is this “s” that you are talking about? Communicating with you seems rather difficult.

    All nuclear fuel is eventually converted into fission fragments that are:
    1. useful in medicine and industry and
    2. much more radioactive so that they decay quickly. They are plain dirt within 300 years. Journalists tend to get this backwards.

    You can’t solve all problems at once. You can only solve one problem at a time.

  8. 158
    Edward Greisch says:

    140 Lawrence Coleman: Good luck with that. It falls flat if your batteries are ever run down on a cold calm night. That is when you will discover the problem.

  9. 159
    Tom Cullen says:

    Trying to understand from paleoclimate a 1 degree Celsius temperature rise = how many meters of Global Sea Level Rise? PNAS Paper “The multimillennial sea-level commitment of global warming” by Anders Levermann et al 2013 says 2.3 meter GSLR. Another paper: “Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change” by JE Hansen – ‎2011 says that paleoclimate data tells us a 1 degree Celsius temperature rise = 20 meter GSLR. How could there be this much of a difference?

  10. 160
    mike says:

    Scientists continue to get it wrong on global warming. And they get it wrong on the low side of the spectrum, so the actual impact and power for the sixth great extinction is higher than estimated. These lowball estimates, these failures to model the rate of change accurately allow the policy makers to delay the changes that are required. Latest example? From the beeb:

    “It was assumed it would be stable for this century but it seems that’s not true any more”
    Prof Vladimir Romanovski, University of Alaska

    another quote from the article: “When we started measurements it was -8C, but now it’s coming to almost -2.5 on the Arctic coast. It is unbelievable – that’s the temperature we should have here in central Alaska around Fairbanks but not there,” he told BBC News.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34540414?ocid=global_bbccom_email_22102015_top+news+stories

    It would be really helpful if the scientific community could start getting this right instead of reacting with shock when the scientific estimates and projections turn out to be significantly below the actual rates of change.

  11. 161
    Thomas O'Reilly says:

    111 Edward Greisch says: 15 Oct 2015 (pg 2) and
    135 Edward Greisch says: 20 Oct 2015 (pg 3)

    Whatever you do Ed, don;t let on that the Grandfather of Climate Change, Dr James Hansen of NASA, Gavin Schmidt’s boss for decades and his #1 mentor, would agree 100% with the overall thrust of your posted information on the rational logical and science based conclusions that the massive and urgent expansion of Nuclear Power globally (where appropriate) is absolutely critical to saving the planet from AGW/CC impacts.

    Dr James Hansen has been saying it for years, as well as calling out the repetitive myths of “radiation dangers” and “too expensive” catcalling of the Luddite Naysayers anywhere and everywhere people who are willing to listen to him.

    But don’t let that slip, it’s the world’s best kept secret, and needs to stay that way. You ever seen an flock of Ostrichs spin out over a sudden case of cognitive dissonance? Man of man, it’s a frightening sight, I can tell you! (smile)

  12. 162
    Tony Weddle says:

    Hank,

    That “stupid” article was also covered by Dave Cohen in his blog.

  13. 163
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Does hurricane Patricia tell us anything new about Climate Change? I’m wondering if eventually we’ll have to add a new category in strength to accommodate more powerful storms like this one.

    Because Patricia dissipated so quickly might lead some people to believe that this wasn’t all that serious of an event. Not that being worse would have made much difference as far as public opinion is concerned.

    The other thing I keep hearing on the teevee is that Patricia was entirely caused by a stronger than usual El Nino. There has been no mention of Climate Change that I know about.

  14. 164
    Chuck Hughes says:

    One other question….

    Does anyone know if there have been any changes in our trajectory or timescale regarding how quickly our climate situation may deteriorate? I know ‘Barton’ has made some rather concrete predictions in that area. Is anyone hearing anything else, and if so do you have any links or references to look at? Thanks

  15. 165
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Isn’t this more ‘pretzel logic’?

    Case in point:

    “The warm water that fueled Patricia is available in abundance this year. The Eastern Pacific has been very warm, thanks to an ocean phenomenon known as El Niño. This year’s El Niño is likely to be one of the strongest ever recorded, says Mike Halpert of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    “The fact that we’ve had a really active [hurricane] season in the Eastern Pacific — that’s clearly an El Niño effect,” says Kirtman.

    But here’s where things get fuzzy. Although El Niño involves warmer oceans, and climate change is causing ocean surface temperatures to rise, there’s no definitive link between the two, says Halpert. In fact, right now “we don’t believe there’s much of a link between El Niño and climate change,” he says.”

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/23/451208663/why-hurricane-patricia-cant-be-blamed-on-climate-change

  16. 166
    Omega Centauri says:

    Chuck at 164. A useful thought experiment is to consider ElNino(LaNina) as an irregular oscillation added to the slow secular warming trend. By that logic, ElNino is not caused by GW, but the observed sea surface temp is higher that it would be during a similar strength ElNino without AGW. So in fact some of that sea warmth should be attributed to AGW. Presumably without AGW, we would still have ElNinos, but the max sea temps would be a bit lower. It disingenuous to claim AGW had nothing to do with it.

  17. 167
    Killian says:

    #143 EG said Killian: In 121 you said “your arguments are irrelevant until they also include resource limits” So I showed that there are no resource limits on nuclear fuel for a long time. So now you say: “Don’t give the slightest darn about the fuel source. At all. There are many other pressing limits. And, please, next time notice the “s.”

    What is this “s” that you are talking about? Communicating with you seems rather difficult.

    Because you don’t know much, really, that’s important to these discussions, and don’t read carefully. I said limitS, and you respond with one resource out of, what? hundreds?

    All anyone needs to know about *any* proposed tech is, is it sustainable? If not, it should be relegated to R&D until it is. Read Tainter, Diamond, Limits to Growth update, etc. Or don’t. Don’t really care. We’ve been over this ground probably dozens of times with the same mindless responses from nuclear advocates. Forget about the poisoning and blowing up, just look at the resources. It’s unsustainable. That is all you need to know. Anything beyond that is gravy.

    All nuclear fuel is eventually converted into fission fragments that are:
    1. useful in medicine and industry and
    2. much more radioactive so that they decay quickly. They are plain dirt within 300 years. Journalists tend to get this backwards.

    300-year poisons are sustainable? Nope. All those other resources involved in production, from ores dug, to manufacturing plants to transport to sustainability of workers to decommissioning…. blah, blah, blah. You just don’t want to consider facts, dude. Like I said: We done this rodeo before.

    Principle: Zero waste. Not 300-year waste. And, gee, after it’s not radioactive it’s useful for…?

    You can’t solve all problems at once.

    Yeah, actually, we can. You refuse to learn how is all.

  18. 168
    Edward Greisch says:

    The number one problem COP21 has to deal with is COP6. How did this stuff get negotiated?

    Global Warming and the EPA plan to mitigate:
    http://unfccc.int/cop6_2/

    CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES Sixth session, part two Bonn, 16-27 July 2001 Agenda items 4 and 7
    page 8:

    2. Article 6 project activities
    The Conference of the Parties agrees:
    1. To affirm that it is the host Party’s prerogative to confirm whether an Article 6 project activity assists it in achieving sustainable development.
    2. To recognize that Parties included in Annex I are to refrain from using emission reduction units generated from nuclear facilities to meet their commitments under Article 3.1.

    From another document I saw at this web site, maybe http://unfccc.int/press/prel2001/pressrel270701.pdf:
    3. Rich countries are “invited” to give money to poor countries. In effect, poor countries are claiming a right to tax the US.

    All 3 are “poison pills” that make it impossible to reduce CO2 emissions. All 3 must be removed to make real progress in stopping Global Warming possible.

    The following has happened: “I’m fighting GW by building a coal fired power plant. It makes less CO2 than a less efficient coal fired power plant that I might have built.

    The third world countries and the German “Green” party have hijacked the COPs. The tail is wagging the dog. Obviously, nothing is going to get done in the COP venue. There was one GW course I took in coursera.org that spent 2 weeks on a small island “nation” that was about to be below sea level. Fewer people live there than are killed in motor vehicle accidents every year in the US. Remember that what we are fighting for is the survival of the species Homo Sapiens, not every or any individual. The way to prevent poor countries from making CO2 is to let them stay poor. Are we doing GW or are we doing welfare agency?

    Naturally, people who look at the COP documents and not at the science say that GW is all about world government and that climate science is a conspiracy. The Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP] is the real world government. Abandon the UN and continue the discussion in some other venue. The best way to convince people that you are honest is to be honest and not be connected to something that is dishonest. The COP is like “sex” education, “Right to work” laws and that US law that is supposedly to fight GW but actually only forces us to buy appliances that don’t work. Make COP21 delete the nonsense and stick to GW.

  19. 169
    Edward Greisch says:

    154 Kevin McKinney: I was talking about the IFR, the ultimate recycler, for now. GEHitachiPRISM.com https://www.createspace.com/3698013 The book, “Plentiful Energy” by Till & Chang, was downloadable. I expect better recycling in the future. I am supposing that all of the U238 will be converted to reactor fuel. That leaves out thorium. Thorium reactors are necessarily breeders, but there is 2.5 times as much thorium as uranium.

    There are places where wind works, like if you want to sail endlessly around Antarctica. Or if you live on Neptune. There are places where solar works, like at a space station in orbit around the sun. I happen to live in Illinois.

    155 AIC: Yes, I know. So what? ANY battery is still limited to valence electrons. Batteries can’t get to the inner electrons that could give you 100s electron volts per atom. Nor can a battery get to the nucleus. Each cell of a battery is limited to a few volts, like 1 to 3 volts. That puts a limit on batteries that cannot be overcome by more research on batteries. Other energy storage devices have been researched ad nauseum, to no avail.

  20. 170
    Edward Greisch says:

    “Studies show that significant reductions in carbon emissions, while also meeting growing energy demands, cannot happen without nuclear as a major provider of zero carbon energy.”
    http://nuclearconnect.org/issues-policy/usan4c

    ========= == = ====== == = = == = ============= = ==

    AmericanNuclear Society’s Platform Statement on COP21
    http://nuclearconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ANS-COP21-and-Nice-Declaration.pdf

    “American Nuclear Society UNFCCC/COP21 Platform
    To meet proposed global warming goals (below 2o C), it is essential that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP21/CMP11) agreement:
    1. Is performance-based and technology neutral.
    2. Does not favor any individual energy technology over others.
    3. Includes nuclear among the clean energy sources available to meet carbon reduction goals.
    4. Encourages and allows nations to make independent decisions about their energy portfolios.
    5. Ensures that every nation has the freedom and ability to choose from all available energy sources offering the lowest lifecycle carbon emissions.
    6. Facilitates the continuation, expansion and creation of new international clean energy technology advancements by preserving the inclusion of all possible energy options for ensuring that global climate protection goals are reached.
    ANS was one of 39 nuclear associations that signed the Nice Declaration in 2015, a major initiative of the Nuclear for Climate global initiative. The participating societies declared, “We proudly believe that nuclear energy is a key part of the solution in the fight against climate change.”
    Nuclear for Climates call for the new UNFCCC Protocols to recognize nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy option, and to include it in it’s funding mechanisms, as is the case for all other low-carbon energy sources.”

  21. 171
    MA Rodger says:

    Tom Cullen @159.
    IPCC AR5 Figure 13.14 may provide the explanation. Sadly the web figure lacks the caption. It reads (a little wordily):-

    Figure 13.14 | (Left column) Multi-millennial sea level commitment per degree Celsius of warming as obtained from physical model simulations of (a) ocean warming, (b)mountain glaciers and (c) the Greenland and (d) the Antarctic ice sheets. (e) The corresponding total sea level commitment, compared to paleo estimates from past warm periods (PI = pre-industrial, LIG = last interglacial period, M11 = Marine Isotope Stage 11, Plio = Mid-Pliocene). Temperatures are relative to pre-industrial. Dashed lines provide linear approximations in (d) and (e) with constant slopes of 1.2, 1.8 and 2.3 m °C–1. Shading as well as the vertical line represents the uncertainty range as detailed in the text. (Right column) 2000-year-sea level commitment. The difference in total sea level commitment (j) compared to the fully equilibrated situation (e) arises from the Greenland ice sheet which equilibrates on tens of thousands of years. After 2000 years one finds a nonlinear dependence on the temperature increase (h) consistent with coupled climate–ice sheet simulations by Huybrechts et al. (2011) (black dot). The total sea level commitment after 2000 years is quasi-linear with a slope of 2.3 m °C–1.

    You will note the figure provides the 2.3m(SLR)/ºC. But it also shows a further 5m(SLR) from Greenland melting out. A similar fate will await Antarctica at higher temperatures and those temperatures will not be dissimilar to the highest temperature plotted in this IPCC figure. Thus a 4ºC/5ºC warmer world will suffer some 80m(SLR), something demonstrated by the paleoclimatic record as per Hansen & Sato (2012) Fig 1.

  22. 172
    MA Rodger says:

    Tom Cullen @159.
    IPCC AR5 Figure 13.14 may illustrate the reason for the 2.3m(SLR)/ºC-20m(SLR)/ºC. Sadly the caption is missing on this web-image (& it is rather long in the Chapter 13 document). It runs thus:-

    Figure 13.14 | (Left column) Multi-millennial sea level commitment per degree Celsius of warming as obtained from physical model simulations of (a) ocean warming, (b)mountain glaciers and (c) the Greenland and (d) the Antarctic ice sheets. (e) The corresponding total sea level commitment, compared to paleo estimates from past warm periods (PI = pre-industrial, LIG = last interglacial period, M11 = Marine Isotope Stage 11, Plio = Mid-Pliocene). Temperatures are relative to pre-industrial. Dashed lines provide linear approximations in (d) and (e) with constant slopes of 1.2, 1.8 and 2.3 m °C–1. Shading as well as the vertical line represents the uncertainty range as detailed in the text. (Right column) 2000-year-sea level commitment. The difference in total sea level commitment (j) compared to the fully equilibrated situation (e) arises from the Greenland ice sheet which equilibrates on tens of thousands of years. After 2000 years one finds a nonlinear dependence on the temperature increase (h) consistent with coupled climate–ice sheet simulations by Huybrechts et al. (2011) (black dot). The total sea level commitment after 2000 years is quasi-linear with a slope of 2.3 m °C–1.

    Note the 2.3m(SLR)/ºC does not account for a step in the SLR from Greenland. This is because a 5m(SLR) will occur when Greenland melts out and a similar thing will occur for Antarctic at temperatures not dissimilar to the highest graphed in the IPCC figure, at about 4ºC/5ºC. This will result in a total of some 80m(SLR), thus a rate of roughly 20m(SLR)/ºC and this is evident within the paleoclimate (as shown in Hansen & Sato (2012) figure 1).

  23. 173
    jgnfld says:

    @164
    Fact 1: Very warm water, among other conditions, is a requirement for Cat 5 hurricanes.

    Fact 2: El Nino is a cyclical phenomenon rather than a trending phenomenon as best is known right now, anyway.

    Now how do we draw possible relationships? In a world where each successive local max–a result of cyclical factors–trends higher and higher–a result of linear(?) warming–what would a rational person provisionally infer? Without any need of pretzels?

  24. 174

    TO 161: the repetitive myths of “radiation dangers”

    BPL: I don’t think they regard it as a myth around Chernobyl.

  25. 175

    #164–I don’t think the reluctance of Mr. Kirtman to attribute Patricia to climate change is quite ‘pretzel logic.’

    Though I also think he’s erring too far on the side of scientific reticence–the warm waters in the Pacific, as I understand it, go well beyond what El Nino is normally considered to be responsible for. That is, the ENSO regions lie between 5 degrees North and 10 degrees South, whereas the waters where Patricia underwent ‘rapid intensification’ are more like 20 degrees North. So it’s not clear to me at least that one should attribute Patricia to El Nino per se–we’ve had anomalously warm waters across wide stretches of the Pacific, not just in the regions of the trade winds that are affected by ENSO cycles.

    But the lack of a link between El Nino and climate change is a point well made–though both involve a warming at the surface, AFAIK there’s no clear evidence that ENSO changes much under a warming regime.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Patricia#/media/File:Patricia_2015_track.png
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.pdf
    http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/contour/uspacifi.cf.gif

  26. 176
    Edward Greisch says:

    http://unfccc.int/press/prel2001/pressrel270701.pdf
    gets you:
    HTTP Error 404

    The page you are looking for cannot be found.

    Since we re-designed UNFCCC.int, some links have changed.

    Visit our site map or search engine to find what you are looking for.

    Click here for information on UNFCCC process an meetings

    Click here for UN Climate Change Newsroom

    They have hidden press release 270701 Searching fro pressrel270701 leads nowhere. They must be embarrassed of it.

  27. 177
    Urs Neu says:

    on 164: Chuck, El Nino in principle is a process that involves (or produces) deviations of ocean temperatures from the average. These are temporary, it’s an oscillating process (with a wavelength of about 3 to 7 years). Therefore, El Nino does not alter average global temperature. On the other hand, global warming does not influence El Nino a priori (since it involves temperature deviation). Influences are possible, but we don’t really know yet how they might look like.
    However, El Nino influences the year-to-year variability of global temperature quite strongly. Global temperature will be relatively warm in El Nino years and relatively cold in La Nina years. Be aware that there is a time lag of about 5-6 months in the signal of global temperature on El Nino. That’s why El Ninos which normally are strongest in winter have there influence mainly on a full calendar year and therefore lead to strong peaks in yearly mean temperatures (e.g. the El Nino of winter 1997/1998 lead to an outstanding global temperature in 1998). The current El Nino will have its full impact on 2016 (and hardly influence 2015, although you will often read this), which means that the new global temperature record that 2015 will most likely set, will probably only hold for one year (except in case of a large volcano eruption in the coming winter).

  28. 178
    wili says:

    Apologies if this has already been linked, but a wide-ranging, informative interview with Gavin has just been posted over at SkS: https://www.skepticalscience.com/interview-gavin-schmidt.html

    Many issues worthy of some discussion, I would think: (in-)significance of Arctic sea ice ‘recovery,’ likely range for climate sensitivity, likelihood of staying below 2C vs 1.5C…

    Perhaps worthy of a lead post here?

  29. 179
    wili says:

    Fred Magyar, I hope you know that I have nothing but the greatest admiration for you and your work.

    But I do think that it is important for all of us glass-house-dwellers to look honestly at what our contributions are, and flying is one of the toughest major sources for many people to deal with, especially since so many have far-flung relations. I hope we can continue the discussion without unwarranted accusations on the one hand or too much defensiveness on the other.

    I know that it took me a long time to decide to give up flying, and it had negative consequences on my relationships and on my career. But if we are not willing to make some sacrifices to reduce our harms, how much can we really say we are committed to trying to avoid the disasters looming in our midst? I would love to hear from others who have decided to take that step, or who have struggled with such decisions.

  30. 180
    Edward Greisch says:

    When I tried to search http://unfccc.int/cop6 for “nuclear” I got:

    “Application and Network Access Portal

    Log On
    User name:
    Password:

    This site is intended for authorized users only.
    If you experience access problems contact the site administrator.
    © 2010 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions.”

    Is this not public information? Why would the UN have secrets?

  31. 181
    Edward Greisch says:

    I found part of it!

    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/cop6secpart/l05.pdf

    UNITED NATIONS
    CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES Sixth session, part two Bonn, 16-27 July 2001 Agenda items 4 and 7
    Distr. LIMITED
    FCCC/CP/2001/L.5 20 July 2001

    Annex
    I. DECISIONS CONCERNING FINANCE, ADAPTATION AND ARTICLE 4.8 AND 4.9 OF THE CONVENTION AND ARTICLE 3.14 OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
    A. Funding and resource levels
    Issue: Adaptation fund
    Description: There is agreement that an Adaptation Fund should be established and managed by an entity which operates the financial mechanism of the Convention.
    Should contributions to this Adaptation Fund be voluntary or mandatory?
    Options Option A
    V oluntary.
    Option B
    Mandatory.
    Decision

    Issue: Adaptation fund
    Description: Should contributions to the Fund during the period before the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol be voluntary or mandatory?
    Options Option A
    V oluntary.
    Option B
    Mandatory.
    Decision

    =======================================
    bla bla about funding goes on for several pages.
    =======================================

    FCCC/CP/2001/L.5 English Page 13
    Issue: Nuclear
    Description: Can emission reduction units and certified emission reductions be generated by nuclear power projects?

    Options Option A No mention of the possibility of using nuclear facilities for generating ERUs and CERs.

    Option B
    FCCC/CP/2001/2/Add.2, page3 – Recognizing that Parties included in Annex I are to refrain from using nuclear facilities for generating emission reduction units and certified emission reductions.

    Decision
    =======================================
    Pages on how to divvy up the loot.
    Pages on making everybody in the world have the same income.
    =======================================

    MY decision: unfccc is not serious about GW at COP6. Will COP21 be any different? Let’s hope so. In the mean time, we need to straighten out the politicians.

  32. 182
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    163 Chuck, I keep hearing that as well. Same old story; if people or the media don’t understand climate mechanics they are always going to argue, “well was Patricia caused by climate change or not?”. The answer that I tell people is that everything (every forcing) affects everything else to greater or lesser extents. It is no coincidence to me that a record warm eastern pacific ocean spawned one of the strongest hurricanes on record. A stronger than warmer el-nino simply means that the eastern pacific in at such unprecedented rates of temp anomaly in relation to the western side which is pretty ‘normal’ to date. The characteristics of el-Niño seem to be changing. California and queensland Australia have been in record drought concurrently for roughly the same number of years 4-5. The Queensland side of the pacific is no cooler than a neutral or La Nina period yet the east side (California)is getting steadily warmer and warmer. The balance seems to be getting torn out of stasis.

  33. 183
    Mike Roberts says:

    Wili,

    Yeah, that would be a tough decision. The only reason I’d fly, now, is to visit my wider family (as that’s the only practical way to do it), and I seem to do that every 3 years or so. I just can’t justify, to myself, any long distance (>50 miles?) travel that is purely for my own gratification. Most people in the world can’t and don’t travel outside of their own local area and that seems a reasonable state of affairs that should be universal.

  34. 184

    As previously discussed on RC. the Boundary Dam CCS project in Sasketchewan has been operational for a year or so now. And the results so far are not pretty:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/snc-lavalin-carbon-capture-project-saskpower-1.3291554

    Not operating yet at commercial capacity, acrimonious dispute between primary contractor and project owner, and an analysis that alleges the primary financial effect of the project is to transfer $1 billion CDN from Saskatchewan taxpayers to Cenovus, an oil company.

    http://www.saskwind.ca/boundary-ccs

  35. 185
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Edward Gresch: It falls flat if your batteries are ever run down on a cold calm night. That is when you will discover the problem.

    RC: biofuels, synfuels, bigger batteries, bigger grids, smart appliances, flexible industry and population (no aluminum smelting when power is scarce and if you want to drive your car instead of letting the battery drain into the grid, well, that’ll cost you.) It’s doable, but the cost and inconvenience will surely be higher to go that route.

    Urs Neu: the new global temperature record that 2015 will most likely set, will probably only hold for one year

    RC: Perfect voting weather for 2016! Go, El Nino, Go!

    Chuck Hughes: I’m wondering if eventually we’ll have to add a new category in strength to accommodate more powerful storms like this one.

    RC: Here’s one possible extended Saffir-Simpson scale (category 1-4 unchanged from current). I’m sure there’s a better technique than just extrapolating the current doubling rate of the increase in the increase of windspeed, but this way scores a perfect 200, so I propose:

    1 74-95mph
    2 96-110 (15mph over top category 1)
    3 111-129 (19) (4mph over 2-1)
    4 130-156 (27) (8)
    5 157-199 (43) (16)
    6 200+

    Gavin Schmidt in Skeptical Science interview: It looks like it’s got about a 90% chance of being the hottest year on record,

    RC: Other than a huge volcano I’m just not feeling much less than a 99% chance. Two months to go and huge volcanos happen once in decades or centuries, not months. I’m calling scientific over-conservativeness. And the NOAA agrees. They estimated a 97% chance. I think their analysis was flawed because they didn’t include the fact that there’s perhaps a 5-6 month lag in El Nino/temperature. Thus, 2015’s last two months’ temperatures are largely determined already! Plus, their analysis is obsolete. They only used Jan-July data and we know temperatures through Oct 27 and El Nino has grown. That 97% estimate was wrong when made and very obsolete now. If somebody offers you a bet at 99%, take it.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/17/2015-hottest-year-on-record-noaa

    Gavin Schmidt in Skeptical Science interview: The problem with the IPCC trying to keep up with a kind of moving story is that they’re constrained to only be looking at the literature that came out before the report came in.

    RC: Yeah, that makes no sense to me either. Use the latest science all the way up to publication of reports, and I like your idea of making the reports about individual policy-relevant matters.

    Gavin Schmidt: The job of a scientist like me is mostly done.

    RC: Yep, at least as required for the next decade or two’s worth of action regarding mitigation. “Brake hard”. (And thank you for your work so far.)

    Kevin KcKinney,

    Sounds like we mostly agree. I think you’re right that he was talking breeders. Thorium breeders sound like a fairly safe possibility, and “burners” sound intriguing (they’re designed to burn up waste). IMNNHEO, for the next 50 years, almost any low-carbon energy source is welcome to the fight. I’m reading 60-year licenses with a possible 60-year extension for new reactors. That seems to fit our needs and gives our grandkids something to ponder when it comes to refurbishing or closing our (potential) nukes. And if nukes do become a short term “everything into the breach” thing, breeders are silly to even contemplate. If they become long-term, our grandkids can build enough breeders to balance the fuel cycle. Right now, we’ve got to kill or CCS coal as quickly as possible.

    BPL TO 161: the repetitive myths of “radiation dangers”

    BPL: I don’t think they regard it as a myth around Chernobyl.

    RC: “I don’t think they regard it as a myth…” just screams “way unscientific anecdote follows”.

    Wiki says, “A United Nations study estimates the final total of premature deaths associated with the disaster will be around 4000, mostly from an estimated 3% increase in cancers” But your mentioning Chernobyl without caveat is biased and unscientific. Chernobyl was Soviet! The whole system from cradle to grave was designed to fight a war on the cheap against an opponent with a more advanced economy (When Chernobyl’s construction began in 1972 the USSR was still using tubes. Their ICs were just prototypes https://www.zelenograd.ru/f/11405_2.pdf ) Plus, our economy was almost three times their size. (And that’s not even counting our allies!) Read up on their nuclear ocean graveyards. Chernobyl had no containment and was a seriously flawed design that really sounds like they wanted it to blow. They then pretty much proved it by running a throttle-stuck-wide-open test. Boom. As Homer Simpson would say, “D’oh!” Invoking a garbage design tortured into exploding when contemplating whether to build generation 3 or 4 reactors is pure tripe. MUCH better would be to look anywhere outside of the USSR. I’d select the USA, which pioneered nuclear bombs/power, and France, which built their power system with nukes. The USA currently gets 20% of its electricity from nukes and the death toll is either zero or three, depending on whether you count the three who died in a governmental research reactor accident. New designs are estimated at having any damage to the core at all once in maybe a million plant-years. (like “way less than a meter of SLR by 2100”?) In contrast, wind power killed 35 Americans between 1970-2010. Winds gust, ice happens, stuff breaks, things fling, and people die. And from 1970 to 2010, wind produced paltry amounts of power. Even today it’s only perhaps 4%. (but growing!) :-)

    Nukes run France and they’ve never suffered a fatality.

  36. 186
    Eric Swanson says:

    We were reminded this week that there are other problems with increasing greenhouse gases:

    ‘Intolerable’ Heat May Hit the Middle East by the End of the Century

    Climate change could soon push Persian Gulf temperatures to lethal extremes

    These stories report on a new paper in NATURE Climate Change (behind a paywall, as usual):

    Future temperature in southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability

    There was also a commentary in the same issue:
    Climate extremes: The worst heat waves to come

    Things may already be approaching lethal conditions in some areas. There’s a problem with people who work cutting sugar cane for a living in Central America. They work in full sun conditions with high humidity and are suffering from kidney failure, perhaps due to their need to consume large quantities of water to replenish that lost due to sweating. A different index is used to measure their environment, called the “Wet-Bulb Globe temperature”, which attempts to quantify the effect of solar heat on their bodies.

  37. 187
    mike says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/27/world/greenland-is-melting-away.html?emc=edit_th_20151028&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=29826959&_r=0

    beautiful graphics and good article about the rivers of greenland. As we “discover” that greenland ice is less monolithic than thought, we will also probably “discover” that it can melt more quickly than thought, and then we will “discover” that abrupt changes to AMOC are more likely than thought.

    I think climate change is the most important science work in the history of our species and our scientists continue with scientific reticence and a failure of imagination. I think the species has evolved to homo kardashian and that looks like a dead end to me.

  38. 188
    Edward Greisch says:

    185 Richard Caldwell: “RC: biofuels, synfuels, bigger batteries, bigger grids, smart appliances, flexible industry and population (no aluminum smelting when power is scarce and if you want to drive your car instead of letting the battery drain into the grid, well, that’ll cost you.) It’s doable, but the cost and inconvenience will surely be higher to go that route.”

    You haven’t actually done the accounting on that. If you ever do, then you can print out the whole thing in a long comment with a real bottom line. It is not doable until you show us the numbers.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/lets-build-a-global-power-grid
    “Let’s Build a Global Power Grid”
    Would take too many decades. Civilization would have crashed long before it was built.
    “Reports abound of homeowners and businesses unplugging from the power grid and opting instead to generate and store their own electricity. Such grid defections may make sense in places where electricity rates are sky-high or service is spotty. But for just about everywhere else, it’s far more sensible to do the very opposite: interconnect regional electricity networks to form a globe-spanning supergrid.”

  39. 189
    MA Rodger says:

    HadCRUT4 has updated for September showing (yawn!) the warmest September on record at +0.786ºC. This follows May to August also being the hottest specific month on record with chilly January to April being 2nd, 3rd, 2nd & 3rd respectively.
    The average anomaly for Jan-Sept 2015 stands at +0.704ºC with the last 12-month average +0.657ºC which compares with the warmest full callendar year on record (2014, if you can remember back that far) averaging +0.568ºC.

    September 2015 is the second warmest monthly anomaly on the full record with all 2015 months in the top20 and all the last five months in the top10. I reckon that rates a “MUCHO SCORCHIO!!!!”

    25th …. 2014 10 …. +0.626ºC
    =105th .. 2014 11 … +0.489ºC
    23rd …. 2014 12 … +0.634ºC
    11th …. 2015 1 …. +0.688ºC
    18th …. 2015 2 …. +0.660ºC
    12th …. 2015 3 …. +0.681ºC
    20th …. 2015 4 …. +0.656ºC
    =9th …. 2015 5 …. +0.696ºC
    5th ….. 2015 6 …. +0.730ºC
    =9th …. 2015 7 …. +0.696ºC
    4th ….. 2015 8 …. +0.740ºC
    2nd ….. 2015 9 …. +0.786ºC

  40. 190
    Tom Rooney says:

    # 144, 148, 151. Thanks a lot, people! I knew I was missing something, and collectively you clarified it.

  41. 191

    So, I’m just wondering. How many of you at REAlCLimate will appear at the Paris Climate Talks?

  42. 192
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Edward Greisch: You haven’t actually done the accounting on that. If you ever do, then you can print out the whole thing in a long comment with a real bottom line. It is not doable until you show us the numbers. ..Would take too many decades. Civilization would have crashed long before it was built. “grid defections…more sensible to do the very opposite:…form a globe-spanning supergrid.”

    RC: Yes, some people are fleeing the grid. That’s a philosophical and zoning issue. Many jurisdictions require people to plug up to the water and sanitation services. And yes, a globe-spanning superconducting grid would be Sci-Fi cool.

    As to the time it will take, my gut feeling is that we’ve got until Arctic late-September sea ice melts out (< 1 million km2) to start sprinting. After that, melt will reach back further and further into early summer, where the Big Solar Watts live. I see that as mankind's line in the sand. We've got to save early summer arctic sea ice.

    Losing that ice would eliminate the "I'm standing next to an open refrigerator" feeling the summer arctic has. It would also increase summer rainfall in the arctic. (my guess, based on: higher temperatures + more open ocean + less land-and-ice = more rain per acre of land) Melting permafrost is a wet process aided tremendously by rain. Water soaks down.

    Now, if I didn't think we'll resort to geoengineering, then I'd be inclined to agree that we're going to fry. There's a chance that our previous deeds will float us over a tipping point or seven, and it takes a while to ramp up production. Wiki says we produced 6 Sherman tanks in 1940, 1,400 in 1941, 15,700 in 1942, and 28,200 in 1943. Surely, if we felt we "had to", we could get up and running within five years. So, how fast do we have to run?

    During WW2, US military spending reached 36% of GDP. https://eh.net/encyclopedia/the-american-economy-during-world-war-ii/ 36% of our GDP is $6.5 trillion a year. At $4/watt installed (worst-practice cost for large PV systems), that's 1.6 trillion watts installed/year. 15% capacity factor (near worst case) X 24 hours X 365 days / 1,000,000 watts per megawatt = 2,100,000,000 MWHrs/year installed/year. The USA uses 4,700,000,000 MWHrs/year. Replacing 20% of our grid with solar only takes 5.3 months of war-effort, assuming no increases in efficiency from current worst-practice.

    Wind: "The costs for a utility scale wind turbine range from about $1.3 million to $2.2 million per MW"
    http://www.windustry.org/how_much_do_wind_turbines_cost

    At current worst-case of $2.2 million per MW, $6.5 trillion/year buys us 3 trillion watts installed/year. 25% capacity factor (again, worst-case) X 24 hours X 365 days / 1,000,000 watts per megawatt = 6,500,000,000 MWHrs installed/year. Replacing 50% of our grid with wind only takes 4.3 months of war-effort, assuming no increases in efficiency from current worst-practice.

    Add in 20% current nuclear and 13% current renewables, and we're at 103% of current generating capacity in 9.6 months. Assume an equal amount of effort for storage or super grids or unused capacity or whatever, and we're at 19 months worth of war effort to totally solve this issue for all time while giving us nearly free electricity for decades.

    Assuming no advances, substandard design, siting, and workmanship, and a five year ramp up, and spread it out over 15 years, and this is going to take us 1/10 of war-effort to make our electrical grid carbon-neutral in 20 years even if we don't reduce energy consumption a whit.

    Speaking of the demand side, it's amazing how little energy a modern economy can consume and have society not break down. First, our race to 7nm (or something 100 times faster) is almost over. Soon our computers will mostly get better via software. That's lots of saved carbon.

    We can build things just a bit stronger. Even the maligned plastic grocery bag. It's pretty perfect except that it's too thin. Triple its thickness and charge a dime. The perfect reusable grocery bag.

    Drop energy intensity in industry, increase energy efficiency in new construction, bump fuel efficiency up to 70MPG (or 100MPGe), double tractor-trailer efficiency (prototypes already have), and drop the throughput of well to plastic to dump. (though plastic in a dump is very well-sequestered carbon)

    Match or exceed every dollar saved through efficiency with carbon taxes (NOT cap-and-trade) to siphon up any incentive to use more energy. Rebate the taxes per capita if you want to feel better about the shell game we call Taxes.

    Include energy costs in loan approvals. Energy efficient products usually cost more up front, but the total loan payment plus energy cost per month is often lower. Better math results in better decisions. By having the bank point out the math during the process, consumers will be more likely to "get" how the more expensive diesel tribrid is worth it. Companies, knowing that consumers are starting to "get" it, might actually build a diesel tribrid.

    With these ideas and others, perhaps we can cut energy consumption for "civilian" use (everything except building low-carbon infrastructure) by 50% without harming citizens. That will add enough headroom to convert transportation to biofuel, synfuel, and electricity.

    We just have to keep up Moore's Lawing solar, ramp up wind, build backbones and bigger grids, develop bio and synfuels, and either build the next generation of nuclear, come up with breakthroughs in storage and/or OTEC, pay more and be inconvenienced by wildly swinging pricing throughout the day (Already in Germany you can sometimes get negative-cost electricity), or build that Sci-Fi grid.

    The 1/10th war-effort target is 3.6% of GDP spent on reducing carbon. This happens to be about equal to our military budget. If we were to divert half of the military budget to fight climate change, would we be better off? Is climate change a bigger risk than some crazy dude with a boxcutter who's locked out of the cockpit and so can't pull off another 9/11?

    In the meantime, we should start testing geoengineering to slow or stop the progression of ice loss, with the initial focus on arctic sea ice.

    So, Ed, with hardly any effort at all (when compared to our parents/grandparents/great-grandparents' efforts in WW2), we can solve climate change. Shift half the military budget to fight our real enemy: climate change. Since renewables are more labor-intensive per dollar spent than F-35s, jobs will be created. Add in more dollars as we ramp up. No need to strain, but if we want, maybe go all the way up a fifth of our predecessors' WW2 effort.

  43. 193
    Bill Woolverton says:

    Re: #185 “Nukes run France and they’ve never suffered a fatality”. Not strictly true although this isn’t classed as a nuclear accident. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/09/ap-explosion-rocks-nuclear-plant-in-southern-france/1#.VjOdYHhu9yE
    While new generation plants may require less water as coolant it is important to note that the French had to shut down a number of their nuclear power plants during the 2003 heat wave and that the availability of water and the temperature that it is returned to the environment are important considerations in considering nuclear power as an option in addressing climate change.

  44. 194
    Killian says:

    Eric Swanson said We were reminded this week that there are other problems with increasing greenhouse gases:

    ‘Intolerable’ Heat May Hit the Middle East… Climate change could soon push Persian Gulf temperatures to lethal extremes… southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability… Climate extremes: The worst heat waves to come…

    Yeah. One day in the winter of 2011 it hit me the extremes were the real small-scale, local problem, thus the real global problem overall and would push all the problems framed in terms of averages well forward in time. In that moment one thought came to mind: Forget Peak this, Peak that, climate this and climate that, the real monster that was gonna bite first? It’s the food supply, stupid.

    Localize and regeneratively design the food supply, double time.

  45. 195
    mike says:

    Is that a tipping point in the rear view mirror?

    Indonesia fires

    http://www.monbiot.com/2015/10/30/nothing-to-see-here/

    quote from the piece: “It is hard to convey the scale of this inferno, but here’s a comparison that might help: it is currently producing more carbon dioxide than the US economy. In three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany.”

    This sounds significant, but it’s hard to scale global impact. Should this kind of fire be a cause for concern? Does the loss of forest habitat and the carbon emission of the peat and forest fires really matter on the global warming scale?

  46. 196
    Jon Keller says:

    Hi all,

    Not sure if you guys have seen this yet, but this came out recently from people at my alma mater:

    “The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation without a role for ocean circulation”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/350/6258/320.abstract

  47. 197
    Chuck Hughes says:

    So, Ed, with hardly any effort at all (when compared to our parents/grandparents/great-grandparents’ efforts in WW2), we can solve climate change. Shift half the military budget to fight our real enemy: climate change. Since renewables are more labor-intensive per dollar spent than F-35s, jobs will be created. Add in more dollars as we ramp up. No need to strain, but if we want, maybe go all the way up a fifth of our predecessors’ WW2 effort.

    Comment by Richard Caldwell — 29 Oct 2015

    I don’t know but it sounds to me like a great plan EXCEPT you left out all the political hurdles and much needed global motivation and cooperation required to pull it off. WWII was in response to an obvious threat that a person with an average I.Q. could understand. AND the problem did not require a Global solution with 7 billion + people having to participate. There were also no environmental feedbacks helping the process along, not to mention mass extinction of plants and animals. I’m sure I’m leaving out other elements.

    I don’t think anyone here at least, doubts we have the needed technology or resources to save ourselves. We do. That’s NOT the problem. The problem is politics and human nature and fear of the unknown. We have more than enough doubters and outright ignorance to sustain that for decades.

    Run for President on the Republican ticket and WIN. Then we can implement your plan, IF you don’t end up getting impeached for your efforts.

    Call me a ‘skeptic’.

  48. 198
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    192: Mike, great questions!. I think any sudden large scale liberation of long term sequestered carbon into the atmosphere will cause effect. The vast amount of carbon liberated to me is the most significant forcing agent. The huge amount of dense smoke when it reaches the upper atmosphere should somewhat act as a negative feedback as it reflects the sun’s rays back into space but on the way up there it would cause sharp sudden pos f/b climate forcing. The blackening of the soil absorbs additional solar radiation into the ground to be fed slowly back as longwave heat radiation. I think when you weigh up the relative forcing factors it would have to come out heavily as pos. f/b forcing. It shouldn’t be that difficult to quantify with reasonable accuracy the level of additional stress to the environment that this level of unprecedented burning is/will bring.

  49. 199
    Edward Greisch says:

    More obstructions to doing anything about Global Warming at COP21. You know the Senate will never [I hope] ratify this nonsense. And it is a lead pipe cinch that denialists will use it to full effect.

    “U.N. PLANNING COURT TO JUDGE U.S. FOR ‘CLIMATE JUSTICE’
    Stealth agenda to issue rulings on debt, finance, tech transfers
    Published: 18 hours ago

    by LEO HOHMANN

    U.N. PLANNING COURT TO JUDGE U.S. FOR ‘CLIMATE JUSTICE’
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/u-n-tribunal-to-judge-u-s-for-climate-debt/

    At the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, participating nations have prepared a treaty that would create an “International Tribunal of Climate Justice” giving Third World countries the power to haul the U.S. into a global court with enforcement powers.”

    Continues

    WND POLL GLOBAL TYRANNY
    http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/global-tyranny/
    Published: 1 Nov 2015

    Cast your vote now. All answers are stored anonymously.
    SHOULD THE U.N.’S CLIMATE TRIBUNAL HAVE POWER OVER U.S.?

  50. 200
    Hank Roberts says:

    … we’re not only addicted to seeking information that confirms our biases, we’re also willing to tolerate really weak arguments to support our opinions. So weak, in fact, that if we’re tricked into thinking our own arguments come from a stranger, we’re likely to reject them.
    A recent paper in the journal Cognitive Science explored this “selective laziness of reasoning,” finding that people really are quite sloppy with their own arguments. The laziness is selective, though—when we’re assessing the arguments of other people, we’re actually inclined to be pretty tough, especially when we disagree with their conclusions.

    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/11/if-you-think-your-own-logic-came-from-someone-else-you-might-not-believe-it/