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#COP21

Filed under: — group @ 30 November 2015

Apparently there is a climate conference of some sort going on. Happy to answer any science questions as they arise…

270 Responses to “#COP21”

  1. 51
    Russell says:

    The Cinema du Pantheon , 13, rue Victor-Cousin 5th Ar. will continue its century of service to surrealist cinema with the December 7 premier of Climate Hustle, starring Judith Curry, Marc Morano and Anthony Watts:

    A red-carpet ceremony and champagne reception will take place at 7:30 p.m. prior to the screening. The film is planned for theatrical and home video release in 2016.

    Because of very limited space, credentialed media that wish to attend the event should RSVP in advance to Christina Norman of CFACT (cwilson@cfact.org or phone (651) 724-4228). Climate Hustle’s host, Marc Morano, along with key scientists from the film, will be available for a short time on the red carpet prior to the event at 7 p.m. and are also available for interviews and comments upon request.

  2. 52
    Edward Greisch says:

    December 2 of COP21: http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events

    From sampling very few of the choices, it seems that nobody gets it. The supposedly high ability people who are at COP21 are not smart enough to understand the whole thing. They all think that all 7.5 billion of us are going to survive, that there is only one crisis, and that it is a little worse than a terrorist attack.

    Telling them the truth doesn’t work. It is information overload. They can’t handle drinking from a fire hose, as small as a fire hose seems compared to the bandwidth required.

    There are 3 major crises happening at once, not counting the minor ones like nuclear war, future shock, the religion crash/clash, etcetera. The 3 biggies are GW, the population bomb and resource depletion. All 6 or more are happening at once. Each of the 3 biggies is worth 1000 holocausts all by itself. Could an average person remain in command of him/herself during even one of these 6 crises? Of course not. Is there such a thing as death caused by being overwhelmed?

    Dive back into lecture soup.

  3. 53
    Edward Greisch says:

    Did this get into the moderation que or not? Don’t repeat if it did:

    December 2 of COP21: http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events

    From sampling very few of the choices, it seems that nobody gets it. The supposedly high ability people who are at COP21 are not smart enough to understand the whole thing. They all think that all 7.5 billion of us are going to survive, that there is only one crisis, and that it is a little worse than a terrorist attack.

    Telling them the truth doesn’t work. It is information overload. They can’t handle drinking from a fire hose, as small as a fire hose seems compared to the bandwidth required.

    There are 3 major crises happening at once, not counting the minor ones like nuclear war, future shock, the religion crash/clash, etcetera. The 3 biggies are GW, the population bomb and resource depletion. All 6 or more will be happening at once. Each of the 3 biggies is worth 1000 holocausts all by itself. Could an average person remain in command of him/herself during even one of these 6 crises? Of course not. Is there such a thing as death caused by being overwhelmed?

    Diving back into lecture soup.

  4. 54
    Tony Weddle says:

    AR5 WG1 SPM E.8 mentions carbon budgets. It appears to say that the total CO2 emissions, to avoid 2C, has a range (with a range for each of 3 likelihoods of avoidance, with only a 66% chance, at best) which is zero at the bottom end.

    We appear to be using the top end of the range for the best chance as the budget (and consistently failing to recognise that we’ve already used up a lot since 2011) but why aren’t we using a median number? Also, the range seems to cover all emissions since the 1861-1880 period; does that imply that it is possible that it was already too late, by 1880, to avoid 2C (as the lower end of the range is given as zero)?

  5. 55
    Victor says:

    I remain a skeptic on AGW, but I do agree that the development of alternative power sources is essential. Thus I heartily applaud Bill Gates’ and other’s efforts to stimulate research in this area, regardless of motive.

    While contemplating this issue, a question occurred to me that someone here might be in a position to answer. Why aren’t efforts being made to tap ocean wave/current dynamics as a power source, analogous to wind power? While winds come and go, the ocean is in constant flux, and looks to be a more reliable and also less disruptive power source than wind. Is anyone researching this possibility?

  6. 56
    Don Cox says:

    “how ever that massive amount of energy is created it will generate massive pollution.”

    The new designs of nuclear fission power stations will produce no pollution. Even among the primitive designs, only two or three have given any trouble; and the deaths are vastly less than those from coal.

    The main problem is training enough competent engineers.

  7. 57
    flxible says:

    Maybe Uruguay can inject some reality into this conference … they appear to have bypassed EG’s megabattery requirement sans use of nukes.

  8. 58
    Carbomontanus says:

    Dear Dr.R.Climate

    Your page for comments comes up all black on my PC since you went underground for a while, and came up again. Unkraut vergeht nicht, we hope. remember the year I diversity, where I propagated the worst and most unpopular weeds stinging nettles and Artemisia vulgaris ants whasps and yellyfish. Natures police.

    I have questions about what came up recently in the media, the much larger growth of phytoplancton in the cold seas, due to more CO2. If we further can assume higher percipitation on land and flow of Calcium magnesium and iron and if that also will be the result of higher glacial grinding on the lands, then we have an increase of carbon sink due to global warming, and a negative “GAIA”- feedback = good news in the system.

    Algae may also adapt to the situation and may allready have adapted in an økosystem of high phytoplancton diversity meaning that other species now rather take over.

    I would like your comment on this and not in black.

    My textbooks of biology and chemistery is Braarud & Føyn, & Otto Schmeil & Liebig, The Nansen Haeckel Darwin Føyn system. (Struggle for life and survival of the fittest also in the sub- arctic seas..)

  9. 59
    Edward Greisch says:

    45 patrick: “Faith & Science Initiative” is a very bad title page for James Hansen’s talk.
    http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-02-16-30-tzu-chi

    What we need to combine are numeracy and science. Almost all of the “delegates” are innumerate and don’t know what science is. They also exhibit excess altruism. They all assume that everybody is going to survive, a very bad assumption. We don’t know who, if anybody, is going to survive.

    Even Dr. Hansen has failed to recognize the population biology problem, and Dr. Hansen hasn’t mentioned resource depletion yet. Since 7.5 billion people are not going to survive, population stabilization does not make any difference or sense. The carrying capacity of the planet was 3 billion, but the carrying capacity of the planet decreases as aquifers are drained.

    Other than that, Dr. Hansen is exactly correct.

  10. 60
    Susan K says:

    My question relates to this Russian paper
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11538-015-0126-0

    that estimates that if we get to 6 degrees rise, then ocean plankton will die and that will decrease oxygen to the point that we can’t breathe. The idea is that ocean plankton make 70% of the oxygen in the air.

    Is this plausible do other climate scientists think? Do they really make 70%? I realize that 6 degrees is a mortal threat in itself – but morbid curiousity:

    Could the previous mass extinctions have been caused by lack of breathable air by oxygen breathers like today’s life as it got too hot and plankton died out?

    If so, this seems like a much more promising line of research to galvanize action, (than polar bears losing their homes) It is as easy to personalize a world we can’t breathe in as it was to personalize the fear of nuclear annihilation.

  11. 61
    Jim Baird says:

    The Existential Imperative: Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

    A study led by Sergei Petrovskii, Professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester’s Department of Mathematics released Monday points out, “falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding.”

    Thermal stratification of the ocean is one of the principal issues. It cuts phytoplankton that are the base of the ocean food-chain and the source of two-thirds of the planet’s total atmospheric oxygen off from the nutrients they need to survive.

    Ocean thermal energy conversion is a method of using this stratification to produce energy and in turn limit the damage to phtoplankton.

    No other energy source provides this vital benefit.

  12. 62
  13. 63
    Edward Greisch says:

    57 flxible: Uruguay: “Along with reliable wind – at an average of about 8mph”. “helpful natural conditions (good wind, decent solar radiation and lots of biomass from agriculture)”

    Also notice in the same article: Costa Rica went a record 94 consecutive days earlier this year without using fossil fuel for electricity, thanks to a mix of about 78% hydropower, 12% geothermal and 10% wind.” Hydro is dispatchable.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/uruguay-makes-dramatic-shift-to-nearly-95-clean-energy

    flxible: I never said renewables wouldn’t work in the right niche. Uruguay and Costa Rica are the right niches. They have great renewable resources and little heavy industry. Neither is a manufacturing giant.

    Illinois is not the right niche for renewables. Neither is most of the US, or Germany, or most of Europe except Scotland.

    The problem arrives when you try to use renewables in the inappropriate places. Deciding how to generate electricity in a particular place is a job for engineers. That means the public, politicians and the innumerate should keep their noses out of engineering. The public and the politicians can decide parameters, like kilowatts required, hours of down time per year, deaths per terrawatt hour, and so on. Then you have to leave it to the engineers to meet the requirements with no restrictions on how it is done.

    When non-engineers do the engineering, bad things happen.

  14. 64
    Tony Weddle says:

    Regarding decoupling carbon from GDP, read this article by George Monbiot for a fuller picture. It’s just not true (IMO) that economies can be decoupled, or have been decoupled, from fossil fuel carbon emissions.

  15. 65
    Edward Greisch says:

    60 Susan K and 62 Zach Osterman: “Under a Green Sky” by Peter D. Ward, Ph.D., 2007 says H2S bubbling out of hot oceans is the final blow at 6 degrees C warming. Sulfur bacteria from anoxic ocean bottoms make H2S which oxidizes to H2SO4. Many extinctions could have been caused by lungs dissolving in sulfuric acid.
    Hydrogen Sulfide Extinction downloaded from:
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00037A5D-A938-150E-A93883414B7F0000&sc=I100322

    Oxygen is keeping the sulfur bacteria trapped in the bottom of the ocean right now. We have to keep the oxygen plankton growing to keep the oxygen layer.

    Massive Release of Hydrogen Sulfide to the Surface Ocean and Atmosphere during Intervals of Oceanic Anoxia. Lee R. Kump, Alexander Pavlov and Michael A. Arthur in Geology, Vol. 33, No. 5, pages 397-400; May 2005.

    It happened 251 million years ago at the Permian-Triassic boundary. It was the greatest mass extinction, called the Great Death. With less oxygen to keep the sulfur bacteria down, the sulfur bacteria pop up. H2S is a poison gas that reacts with water to make sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid eats your lungs out. Very few organisms survive.

  16. 66
    Edward Greisch says:

    “The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development”
    http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-03-17-30-the-interfaith-center-for-sustainable-development

    Really?

    “”Gospel” of climate change”?

    They had a speaker from Kenya. He is a farmer who suffered drought, then his house got blown away, and his house got washed away in a flood. Since then he has been “spreading the Gospel of Global Warming.” My jaw dropped. I thought we had already gotten over those connections between religion and science.

  17. 67
    patrick says:

    @59 Edward Greisch > a bad title [screen] for James Hansen’s [interview]…

    That’s not how I would title it at all. Expanding the frame, that is “PRESS ROOM 3.” It is “The Daily Talk Show from COP 21.” The host is one of the best I have heard. He posts his email on the screen. He has been doing this same show from a number of COPs. His service and his track record is intense. His understanding of climate science leaves nothing to be desired, for the purpose at hand. His presentation of his guests is flawless. And he doesn’t waste time.

    He’s Stuart Scott, the second guy here: http://www.upfsi.org/our-team/

    I don’t care what organization he’s with. Hansen doesn’t either. This is the first COP Hansen has attended. And he easily could have accessed some other on-the-record venue. Now back to the…

    http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-02-16-30-tzu-chi

  18. 68
    Silk says:

    Victor, #55 – Plenty of of people are looking at exploting ocean/marine energy, as a simple Googling “ocean energy” would show.

    Therefore your question “Why aren’t efforts being made to tap ocean wave/current dynamics as a power source, analogous to wind power?” is in error.

    If you re-phrase the question as “Why, thus far, have we failed to get any signficant amount of useful energy from our seas and oceans?” then (and I’m not engineer) I believe that answer is that building stuff that can survive in an ocean environment is phenomenally expensive

  19. 69
    Silk says:

    Victor, #55 – Plenty of of people are looking at exploting ocean/marine energy, as a simple Googling “ocean energy” would show.

    Therefore your question “Why aren’t efforts being made to tap ocean wave/current dynamics as a power source, analogous to wind power?” is in error.

    If you re-phrase the question as “Why, thus far, have we failed to get any signficant amount of useful energy from our seas and oceans?” then (and I’m not engineer) I believe that answer is that building stuff that can survive in an ocean environment is phenomenally expensive. I suspect the moving parts are particularly tricky.

    So, in short, ocean energy has, thus far, stayed far more costly than wind, solar, nuclear, coal and gas.

    Not for lack of investment.

  20. 70
    Silk says:

    #62 – My thoughts are that I wouldn’t expect warming of the oceans by 6 degrees by 2100 and I’d hope that we ‘get lucky’ and reduce our emissions before we drive climate change that seriously disrupts oxygen production.

    If climate sensitivity is 3 degrees then 6 degrees suggests [CO2e] of, er, 1100ppm (I think the oceans would warm by 6 degrees, could be wrong).

    We definately can stop [CO2e] getting that high. Whether or not we do depends on whether we stop burning coal, largely.

    (Of course there are potential tipping points :-( that mean we reduce emissions but [CO2e] keeps going up. At that point if this research was shown to be broadly right you’d be looking at serious geoengineering or extinction. Which is horrible to contemplate. )

  21. 71
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Victor, you are still to ignorant to merit the title “skeptic”. How about clueless? Does clueless work for you?

  22. 72
    patrick says:

    Make that: “Climate Matters, the talk show from COP21.”

    Here’s Justin Gillis (NYT Dec 2) on the Hansen interview (video linked in comments on this thread):

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/climate/2015-paris-climate-talks/hansen

    “Our parents did not know that they were causing a problem for future generations by burning fossil fuels,” Dr. Hansen said. “But we can only pretend we do not know.”

  23. 73
    Silk says:

    Off topic – Susan K, Hank. You were talking about freezing out CO2.

    Not sensible, as Hank said.

    Plausible (but still major issues to overcome which might make me realise they are impractical) things one can do are

    – Reduce fossil fuel consumption without CCS as quickly as possible
    – As much CCS as quickly as possible, combined with sustainable bioenergy (if such a thing exists) to remove CO2 from atmosphere (so-called “BECCS”)
    – Remediation (if that’s the word) of soils on large scale to improve soil carbon content
    – Aforestation, where possible
    – Massive storage of charcoal in mines and voids (seems implausible to me)
    – Addition of very large volumes of Ca(OH)2 to seawater to tie up CO2 in Ca(HCO3)2. In theory there is sufficient limestone in Southern Australia to form trillions of tonnes of Ca(OH)2 though any solution would require MASSES of energy (nuclear or solar?) and, presumably, MASSES of CCS to deal with the CO2 from the CaCO3 -> CaO + CO2 reaction you need to carry out to get to Ca(OH)2 (CaO + H2O -> Ca(OH)2). And MASSES of money (from a carbon price?) to pay for this.
    – Air capture of CO2 (possible) combined with CCS

    Looking at all the above it’s clear the cheapest and most plausible thing to do know is to rapidly expand renewables, nuclear and energy efficiency.

  24. 74
    patrick says:

    Dean (1 Dec 2015 12:10 PM):

    On energy imbalance, Dr. James Hansen is most helpful at the start of the interview with him by Stuart Scott, in the video linked by comments on this thread (min 3:20-4:25). The satellites are one set of tools.

  25. 75
    patrick says:

    @51 Russell: Go higher up the tree sometime. The fruit you seem to pick is so low it’s on the ground.

  26. 76

    V @55,

    Yes, tidal power and current power have been researched for a long time. A big tidal power plant has existed in France since the 1960s.

  27. 77

    Susan K,

    No, 70% is not correct. They have confused the fraction of Earth’s surface covered by ocean (70.8%) with the fraction of O2 the ocean produces (about 50%). In fact, land is more productive, on average, of oxygen than ocean is.

    Also, even given all the photosynthetic organisms were to die, the oxygen supply would last hundreds or thousands of years. After that everyone would die, of course.

  28. 78

    Why aren’t efforts being made to tap ocean wave/current dynamics as a power source, analogous to wind power?

    What makes you think they aren’t? Here’s a list of wave energy convertors:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_power#Wave_farms

    As you can see, there are numerous design, and quite the array of companies present and past working on them.

    Ocean Power has been a US leader in the area, but the sailing (so to speak) has not always been smooth, as this episode makes clear:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/08/oregon_wave_energy_stalls_off.html

    Waves aren’t the only source of ocean power, of course. Tidal power stations exist in a number of places around the world:

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

    The oldest has been operating since 1966, and provides very low cost electricity, though paying off the high construction costs took quite a while, apparently. Nor is it free of environmental consequences.

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

    There are systems being developed for exploiting the power of currents, as well:

    http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Renewable-Energy-Guide/Ocean-Current-Energy.aspx

    All of which is interesting, but unlikely to scale fast enough to be more than a minor part of the solution to carbon mitigation.

  29. 79

    Even Dr. Hansen has failed to recognize the population biology problem, and Dr. Hansen hasn’t mentioned resource depletion yet.

    Note to the unwary: Ed has a cartoon version of population biology going in his mind. If his comment worries you–and I’m not saying that population isn’t worth considering–I suggest you start by doing some basic reading on the topic. Ed’s source is Will Catton, whom you can start reading about here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_R._Catton,_Jr.

    One of the things that makes Ed’s version a cartoon is over-dogmatism on just what global carrying capacity for humans is.

    “Several estimates of the carrying capacity have been made with a wide range of population numbers. A 2001 UN report said that two-thirds of the estimates fall in the range of 4 billion to 16 billion (with unspecified standard errors), with a median of about 10 billion. More recent estimates are much lower, particularly if resource depletion and increased consumption are considered.”

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

    Personally, I doubt it’s a fixed number: carrying capacity for hunter/gatherers is pretty clearly not the same as carrying capacity for a highly developed technological society. (Yes, this does beg all sorts of questions about sustainability.)

  30. 80

    #62, et al–

    The abstract says “…increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans of around six degrees Celsius — which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100 — could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.”

    Seems wrong, though I don’t recall seeing specific projections of SSTs. But given that 6 C is on the upper end of estimates of surface temp warming, ocean warming of that magnitude by century’s end doesn’t seem very plausible to me.

    Which doesn’t mean that the central idea is necessarily wrong, or that ocean warming couldn’t hit 6 C over longer timescales.

    I think Susan K’s question is a good one for evaluating the idea, though I myself would add the two words in brackets:

    “Could {some of} the previous mass extinctions have been caused by lack of breathable air by oxygen breathers like today’s life as it got too hot and plankton died out?”

    Fortuitously, I’m working on my article on Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Sixth Extinction” later today. Maybe I’ll get back to the thread on this idea, if there’s something of possible use that I come across.

  31. 81
    Jef says:

    #44 Killian – I believe you are wrong and observation proves it. The poor are and will be dying off first and fastest while the so called 1st worlders continue along with their lifestyles.

  32. 82
    Jef says:

    #46 SecularAnimist – In context with what I wrote My point is that advocates talk about replacing current energy use with “renewables” which in its self represents a huge effort but then add in the other half or more of the populations energy needs and it becomes the largest undertaking humanity has ever attempted, requiring more resources than are available including all the FFs we can get.

    I am a major proponent for change and am actively pursuing just that. I just wish we could propose change that doesn’t need to sprinkle out from the end of a starry wand.

  33. 83
    Edward Greisch says:

    United States of America: Press briefing with Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd D. Stern December 4, 2015 14:30 CET
    http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/events/2015-12-04-14-30-united-states-of-america

    The US is not on board with James Hansen’s program. Tell Todd D. Stern to get with the program.

  34. 84
    Hank Roberts says:

    Would the following statement be accurate: “We have satellites in orbit. They measure the energy that arrives from the sun and the energy that leaves earth. The difference is global warming.”
    [asked twice]
    Comment by Dean — 1 Dec 2015

    No.

    If we could accurately measure the energy that arrives and leaves, then we’d have an instantaneous measure. It would not include feedback changes over time.

    The satellites are too close to the planet to measure the entire area (except for a few far away, like DSCOVR, which are not doing those measurements). And the satellites fall out of orbit and are replaced. No two to

    LMGTFY: https://www.google.com/search?q=satellite+measurement+uncertainty+warming

  35. 85
    Icarus62 says:

    I’ve been watching a presentation by Kevin Anderson about how he rates our chances of averting 2°C or more of global warming (Spoiler alert: Very slim). He talks a lot about the risk that we might see 4°C or even more by 2100.

    If global warming were to continue at the current rate, we would see a rise of 2°C above pre-industrial temperature by about 2080. To get to 4°C within this century, the rate of warming would have to at least double very shortly, or accelerate hugely later on in the century. Is there any realistic chance of that happening? Surely the planetary energy imbalance that is driving global warming would have to be a lot larger than it is now, in order for the rate of warming to increase that much. Either we would have to dramatically increase our emissions or the climate system would have to start adding some serious extra feedbacks to see such an acceleration of warming. Does the science indicate that such an acceleration is on the cards?

  36. 86
    Hank Roberts says:

    Note to the unwary: Ed has a cartoon version of population biology

    Yep.

    And to know what Catton says, don’t rely on Ed’s paraphrases — nor on his addition and subtraction. Doomers gonna doom.

    Read better.

  37. 87

    Surely the planetary energy imbalance that is driving global warming would have to be a lot larger than it is now, in order for the rate of warming to increase that much.

    Haven’t looked at numbers, but I do know that the forcing has increased quite considerably between AR4 and AR5. Presumably that trend continues.

  38. 88
    Karsten Johansen says:

    In an old scandinavian folk tale a young boy is hired to work for a troll. He’s told fx that he’ll get plenty of food. The first morning when he comes to the dining table, there’s no food there, though. When he asks why, the troll points to a writing on the wall saying: “No food today. But tomorrow.” The next morning this scene repeats itself,and so it goes on. Until at last the lad takes revenge and kills both the troll and his wife.

  39. 89
    Hank Roberts says:

    Associated Press:

    LE BOURGET, France (AP) — The latest news from the U.N. climate conference in Paris, which runs through Dec. 11. All times local:

    7:45 p.m.

    Researchers say a simulation has showed that it is “technically possible” to reach a climate deal and succeed in limiting global warming.

    Climate Interactive, a research group that models the effects of cutting emissions, took their models to the Paris climate talks Friday and invited regular people to role play, with MIT professor John Sterman as the United Nations chief.

    Following the first round of negotiations, national pledges left global warming temperatures unaffected as no team was ready to compromise.

    After more than an hour of arguments over who should bear the brunt of damage and reparation costs, a strong push from the Chinese delegation and the Europeans sealed the deal and succeeded in lowering global warming temperatures.

    “It’s fun to be part of. It’s tough,” said 43-year old Martin Lehmann who was playing Chinese President Xi Jinping to 17-year-old Raymond Fong’s Barack Obama….

  40. 90
    Victor says:

    Ray Ladbury: “Victor, you are still to ignorant to merit the title “skeptic”. How about clueless? Does clueless work for you?”

    At least I know how to spel. (get it? :-))

    Incidentally, how does a completely irrelevant and pointless remark such as this escape the bore hole while perfectly reasonable posts, totally free of personal attacks, do not?

  41. 91
  42. 92
    Chuck Hughes says:

    . Does the science indicate that such an acceleration is on the cards?

    Comment by Icarus62 — 4 Dec 2015 @ 12:20 PM

    I’ve been wondering the exact same thing? I can guess… Almost all of our estimations about how soon things will happen have been wrong. Most things are happening way faster than anyone anticipated. Also, as I stated earlier, humans ALWAYS think they have more time… until it runs out. Why else would we keep putting off doing anything about it? I think there are a lot of “unknown unknown’s” lurking out there. This absurd idea that we’re going to plant a bunch of trees, then burn them, then capture the CO2 as is goes up the smoke stack is about as foolish as it gets.

    Maybe they’re figuring in possibilities for slowing this down that just don’t exist. Hope is one thing, fantasy is something entirely different. We have a hard time separating the two.

  43. 93
    Susan K says:

    Barton Paul Levenson, thanks for the thousands of years, and 50% v 70% error: reassuring

  44. 94
    Killian says:

    #79 Kevin McKinney said Even Dr. Hansen has failed to recognize the population biology problem, and Dr. Hansen hasn’t mentioned resource depletion yet…

    One of the things that makes Ed’s version a cartoon is over-dogmatism on just what global carrying capacity for humans is.

    “Several estimates of the carrying capacity have been made with a wide range of population numbers. A 2001 UN report said that two-thirds of the estimates fall in the range of 4 billion to 16 billion (with unspecified standard errors), with a median of about 10 billion.

    12 billion can be fed. Of course, for me this includes simplification, and the ultimate simplification is getting down to food, water, stable body temps. If 7 – 9 billion are willing to get real simple, we won’t have major problems with food overall, though obviously localized issues will arise depending on how well we keep global lines of trade going under such circumstances.

    #81 Jef said #44 Killian – I believe you are wrong and observation proves it. The poor are and will be dying off first and fastest while the so called 1st worlders continue along with their lifestyles.

    Well, that’s subjective observation aka opinion, not proof, let alone evidence, so nope. Second, I didn’t say no poor are being affected, I said they have far less change necessary to be living sustainably, so, nope again.

    Right now, 1st Worlders are also being displaced and dying. I suspect as much as the poor of the world. The poor are kind of used to crappy conditions, but a 1st worlder in a heat wave can be pretty helpless. Bunch died some years back in Europe, remember? Some 30k or so? There’s an estimated 150k extra deaths in the LA area alone that are heat related according to Years of Living Dangerously.

    Regardless, making a hut and some land sustainable pretty much takes not much more than developing the soil. Try making the LA Basin sustainable.

    The problem here might be our differing understandings of what sustainable is and what it really looks like.

    #85 Icarus62 said I’ve been watching a presentation by Kevin Anderson about how he rates our chances of averting 2°C or more of global warming (Spoiler alert: Very slim). He talks a lot about the risk that we might see 4°C or even more by 2100.

    If global warming were to continue at the current rate, we would see a rise of 2°C above pre-industrial temperature by about 2080. To get to 4°C within this century, the rate of warming would have to at least double very shortly, or accelerate hugely later on in the century. Is there any realistic chance of that happening?…Does the science indicate that such an acceleration is on the cards?

    Depends on whom you ask. I say yes because, well, we know from the climate record 5C in a decade or so has happened. We don’t really know why, so we don’t really know why not, either.

    Back in 2007 I suggested the work being done in the Arctic indicated serious rates of degradation going on with permafrost and clathrates. Later they found kilometer-wide methane seeps of old methane. Just in the last days or a week or so we learned of kilometer-wide pingos on the Siberian sea floor made up of new methane.

    And so much more. Can it flip massively by 2100? Yes. Definitely. Likely, imo. But will it? Good question for any gods you may be fond of. Or a psychic. The risk? Non-trivial. Act accordingly.

  45. 95
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Ray Ladbury says:
    4 Dec 2015 at 5:42 AM
    Victor, you are still to ignorant to merit the title “skeptic”. How about clueless? Does clueless work for you?

    But that’s progress isn’t it? He’s making progress…

  46. 96
    MartinJB says:

    Victor, I think I see the cause of your confusion about why your posts end up in the Bore Hole: You think they’re reasonable. They’re mostly not. That you don’t recognize this demonstrates the cluelessness of which Ray wrote.

  47. 97
    MartinJB says:

    Edward Greisch: At least a couple of times now you’ve criticized some speaker or other for talking like everyone is going to survive (paraphrasing here… apologies if I’ve misinterpreted). I understand that you believe a major die-off of some kind is coming, but in your mind what is the significance world leaders talking like everyone is going to survive? How would you have them speak differently? Are they supposed to talk about planning only for those that are likely to survive (whoever they may be…)? Should they be preparing people for this “inevitable” depopulation? I’m just trying to figure out the point of this comment you’ve made repeatedly. It has piqued my curiosity. Thanks!

  48. 98
    Jean-François Fleury says:

    Good morning or afternoon. Interesting ideas to propose people to ask questions in this way. I have an interesting one about a topic raised by Stefan Rahmstorf (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2015/03/whats-going-on-in-the-north-atlantic/). Since then, the beautiful cold anomaly in north atlantic didn’t move : http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_daily.php?plot=ssa&inv=0&t=cur . It has even the exact shape of the subpolar gyre. So I would be happy to know if there is anything more about the fate of this anomaly, the way it is formed and the influence it could have on the weather in Europe. Thanks in advance.

  49. 99
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Killian — 5 Dec 2015 @ 11:40 AM, ~#94

    Your comment- “Well, that’s subjective observation aka opinion, not proof, let alone evidence, so nope” -is excellent because it describes all of what you say in this post and others above.

    Steve

  50. 100
    Edward Greisch says:

    91 pete best: Yes, the first world emits the most CO2. Therefore, do not allow the third world to become first world. As they get richer, they emit more CO2. Leave them in the stone age and they are not a concern, and may be the only survivors.

    Population is relevant because the number 1 kill mechanism is famine. Earth’s carrying capacity relates to famine. Global Warming is relevant because GW causes famine. Resource depletion also causes famine. Do you see a theme here? It is famine. We survived the ice age and the 6 degree C warmup at that time because, 20,000 years ago, there were only 70,000 humans on the whole planet.

    We won’t survive this one because there are more than 70,000 people on this planet. If there were now only 70,000 people total, we would not be worried about GW if we knew about it because it wouldn’t hurt us. 70,000 people could ride it out. 7.5 billion people cannot survive GW. 7.5 billion people, faced with famine, can, like locusts, wipe out every source of food on the planet. The result is famine ending in extinction. Population matters when discussing GW.

    84 Hank Roberts: Go to nasa.gov and type: “Earth’s heat balance” into the searcher. You will get pages of response. NASA is making those measurements. The rise in CO2 production is exponential. The response is logarithmic. The log of an exponential is a straight line.

    “cartoon version of population biology”: Your clairvoyance is amazing. And nonsense. And an ad hominem attack. Have you read even one book on population biology?