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Unforced Variations: Apr 2016

Filed under: — group @ 2 April 2016

This month’s open thread. Standard rules apply…

519 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Apr 2016”

  1. 501
  2. 502
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Feel free to remove any of my posts you deem inappropriate or in violation of site rules.

  3. 503
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Dear Hank, I think I’ve figured it out…

    After checking around the web at other blog sites and reading up on proper blog “Etiquette”… many blogs have a “reply” feature underneath individual comments. I don’t see that feature here on realclimate. It would be much easier to respond if there were such a “button”. Instead, what happens with myself is that I have to copy and paste the comment into my own comment using the persons name and/or quotations marks. The problem as I understand it is that anyone reading the quoted comment has trouble referencing it.

    Do I have this right? If I click on a highlighted name like “Kevin McKinney” it takes me to his website. I am assuming that maybe if I click on the time the comment was posted it takes me to that particular comment? In any case not all blogs are the same as far as I can tell. I think a “reply” button might help this situation. I am certainly not intentionally trying to confuse anyone or avoid proper attribution. It’s nothing intentional on my part. Whatever I’m doing seems to have been okay up till now. I’m not sure why this wasn’t pointed out to me earlier as you seem to have been aware of it for a while. My computer doesn’t show hyperlinks until AFTER I post

  4. 504
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    “Every branch of science is riddled with controversy” – 486

    Riddled? No.

    One of your many problems Victor, is that you just don’t know how science works.

    Those who know science, picture it much like the Mandelbrot Set. What we know to be true, the science that is settled, is the black inner portion, which in the case of science is constantly growing in radius. The portions of science where there are differences of opinion are on the outer edges.

    The fundamental science governing CO2 enhanced Global Warming resides well within the black region.

    No amount of whining by you, or anyone else is going to move that point to the edge.

    It’s done. Get over it. The science is settled.

    So long Victor….

  5. 505
    zebra says:

    @Kevin 489,


    @RC 481,

    You are straying into BPL and EG territory on the log thing. Repeating the same silliness over and over is not a valid argument. Your design is a terrible idea– not better, not cheaper, not faster.

    If you want to sequester carbon in cut logs so you can manage forests, build cheap metal warehouses and stack the de-barked logs carefully to allow drying, and provide some kind of insect control. They will in fact last a very long time. If needed in the future they will be available.

  6. 506
    Chris Dudley says:

    Now that it is May, it might be worthwhile digging into the climate components of this report on hman extinction. Does the claim if a 3% chance of 10 C of warming hold up?

  7. 507
    Ric Merritt says:

    Gavin called Victor’s muddled discussion of trend (#476) a “hail mary pass”. I respectfully disagree. (Hail Mary passes occasionally work.) It’s more like showing up at the finish line of an Ironman first in your division, but mysteriously missing your timing chip, which should have recorded your presence at checkpoints, while the camera footage shows you going around only once on a run course that everybody else did 2 laps on.

  8. 508
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH has posted (v6.0beta5) for April with a global anomaly of +0.71ºC, the 4th warmest anomaly on the UAH record being down a tad on March. This is the first month which has not been above the equivalent of the 1998 EL Nino year. It was April 1998 that was the top month in that event 18 years ago at +0.743ºC and it remains the 2nd hottest anomaly on the record.
    The last 12-month period of the UAH stands 0.19ºC above the same period back in 1998 & the first 4 months of 2016 are 0.11ºC above the equivalent 1998 months, adding to the suggestions that the present El Nino is having less effect on global temperature than the 1997/87 event did. (The warming between calendar years 1997 & 2015 stood at 0.27ºC, with 12-month averages dropping to 0.24ºC/0.23ºC for the periods ending in the first three months of 2016.)
    So far UAH for 2016:-
    Jan 2016 +0.541ºC,
    Feb 2016 +0.833ºC,
    Mar 2016 +0.734ºC,
    Apr 2016 +0.71ºC.

  9. 509
    Thomas says:

    Where does all the catastrophic hyperbole come from? Usually from the media distorting the scientific reports and from biased zealots and reactionaries imo.

    Latest reports of the GBR bleaching event of March/April 2016 shows the high latitude third of the GBR is 88% affected by bleaching. Research is now happening to determine how much of that recovers and how much is actually permanently ‘dead’ corals. The middle third was 33% bleached and the lower third only about 1% bleached.

    This news report is another example of why most arguments over climate science are rarely in line with what the scientists or the IPCC actually say and report:

    SHERIDEN MORRIS: Undoubtedly that is going to have an impact on the tourism industry. Many people right across the world are thinking that the reef is 93 per cent dead; thousands of kilometres of reef has been fried all those sorts of headlines, aren’t particular accurate for what’s actually occurring out in the area.

    LOUISA REBGETZ: James Cook University’s Professor Terry Hughes, a reef coral expert, conducted aerial surveys examining just how bad the coral bleaching is.

    TERRY HUGES: Seven per cent of the reefs we flew over from PNG to the southern tip of the reef had no bleaching whatsoever. About 55 per cent of those reefs are severely bleached, the entire great barrier reef has not bleached.

    So headlines like ’97 per cent of reefs are dead’ are pretty extreme and totally inaccurate – that’s not what the scientists have found. … or said.

    Meanwhile other research shows: Great Barrier Reef could lose more than a quarter of coral to bleaching within 40 years

    Give it a year and one will find pseudo-skeptics claiming that Scientists were claiming that 97% of the GBR was dead from bleaching in 2016 but they were wrong yet again! This is how easy it is to distort and distract away from the actual science and the facts – and it works really well. :-)

  10. 510
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Chuck, see, e.g.: — but I understand you’re doing your best to be clear. Thanks for that.

  11. 511
    Victor says:

    #476 Gavin, first I want to thank you for publishing this post, which speaks well for your integrity. You could easily have banished it to Siberia (aka The Bore Hole) and that’s what I actually expected you to do. I also appreciate your willingness to take the time to respond to the problems I raised. I certainly didn’t expect you to agree, but that’s OK.

    All the issues you raised are fully discussed in my book, which I urge you to read. I’m sure you know where to find it. If you’re reluctant to encourage me by actually purchasing a copy, I’ll be happy to have one sent to you gratis, upon request. You have my email address.

  12. 512
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Scott and Phil, excellent points. By the way, I talked to the local county extension agent about my idea to transform the way corn and possibly soybeans are grown. He said he’d never heard anything like it and that it makes total sense. We ended up talking for over an hour. He said he’d ponder who might be a good person to run a couple dozen test plots. (There are a number of variables to consider.)


    Thomas: As fascinating as the nuances are for living in log cabins may be for you I consider it off-topic and of little interest. Log cabins are not silver bullets to reverse ghg emission growth.

    Richard: Not in the slightest. I only mentioned that storing wood indoors can give dual use because it does, and to some people (not me) it provides enough upscale that there might be a market. “Green, solid, and gorgeous? Sure, I’ll pay extra.” It’s not an economical use of wood, but it exudes Class and stores carbon.

    To go from something interesting to mention in passing, escalated via the insistence of others, all the way to now attributing the label “magic bullet”, man, this is comical… Engineered wood is the future. Now you go ahead and figure out how to get it without touching any tree anywhere. (Since we’re going to absolutes…)

    Thomas: Cutting down old growth forests…

    Richard: …has not been suggested by anybody. We’re talking about the best way to get to old growth. Seventy year fire regimes do not allow old growth, (a fire-damaged tree may survive, but it will rot alive from then on. Not a good candidate for living 300 years, and in any case, its carbon-storing capability is severely compromised.) so just leaving a forest alone is not a good way to get there from here. Perhaps Mother Trees are a better idea. Once the Mother Trees reach final maturity, then the decision would need to be made as to whether a particular plot of land stays managed or evolves to Old Growth.

    Thomas: Look it up

    Richard: If I cared, I would. But asking about somebody’s anecdote is just polite conversation.


    Kevin, yeah, it began as an offhand comment which was attacked from an engineering standpoint. I defended the engineering as briefly as I could, and the pitbulls wouldn’t let go until we dove all the way down the well. At that point, instead of acknowledging that structure would indeed be sound, they decided that Manning Up was just too much for them.


    BPL: I didn’t think you’d get it.

    Richard: Such a Softball and you whiffed. I was sure you’d come up with, “Yeah, they were working with plants, so I can see how it would work on you…” Seems I overestimated you yet again.


    Chuck, I understand that you were only responding to Hank, but the use of “:” after an initial name is a grand way to structure text while not interfering with the purpose of a true quotation. I like it and will continue to use it, thankyouverymuch. i attribute the usage on this blog to BPL. He’s the guy I copied. Thanks, BPL.

  13. 513
    Hank Roberts says:

    Chuck Hughes said above at: 2 May 2016 at 1:39 AM

    I have to copy and paste the comment into my own comment using the persons name and/or quotations marks. The problem as I understand it is that anyone reading the quoted comment has trouble referencing it.

    No problem. As long as it’s indicated as a quote, you copy it and paste it into a Google search (using quotation marks, a ‘quoted string’ search) and Google will find where it came from

  14. 514
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS, yes, that Wikipedia item points out the original method of indicating quotation:

    In the first centuries of typesetting, quotations were distinguished merely by indicating the speaker, and this can still be seen in some editions of the Bible.

    And here (grin).

    Whatever works.

  15. 515
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Zebra: If you want to sequester carbon in cut logs so you can manage forests, build cheap metal warehouses

    Richard: Yep. You nailed it. You can stick excess logs in a warehouse or somebody’s living room. Since logs can add Class, that individual might gladly pay the extra cost of carbon sequestration, thus preventing society from having to build/maintain a warehouse. That it dovetails with engineered wood (which is essential) and one possible path to the creation of Old Growth forests is nice, but daffodils are nice, too.

    Remember, this concept is limited to the Rich in areas with more tree growth than is needed once we move from lumber to engineered wood. That means low volume. It’s a micro-wedge funded by the Rich for the satisfaction of and enjoyment by the Rich. I’m having a hard time seeing why letting the Rich play with their Money in a way that helps a bit is controversial.

  16. 516
    Thomas says:

    512 Richard “Thomas: Cutting down old growth forests…” “Richard: …has not been suggested by anybody.”
    I was speaking historically. GHGs are driving ~50% of the extra agw to date. (or is that CO2 of total warming?) Land use changes and the extent of forests make a contribution to getting to this point. Best to learn from past mistakes and stop doing it maybe? I’m thinking clear felling systems and all that comes with those. There are many drivers.

  17. 517


    You’re a small, domesticated pack predator.

  18. 518
    Mal Adapted says:

    Vendicar Decarian:

    “Every branch of science is riddled with controversy” – 486

    Riddled? No.

    One of your many problems Victor, is that you just don’t know how science works.

    I try my best to ignore Victor-the-troll, mostly because he’s so severely afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect that any effort to correct his false beliefs is in vain. However, for the benefit of lurkers for may not realize just how wrong Victor is, I’ll link again to John Nielsen-Gammon’s talk at the 2013 December AGU meeting, titled Scientific Meta-Literacy. The relevant excerpt is:

    We scientists rely upon a hierarchy of reliability. We know that a talking head is less reliable than a press release. We know that a press release is less reliable than a paper. We know that an ordinary peer-reviewed paper is less reliable than a review article. And so on, all the way up to a National Academy report. If we’re equipped with knowledge of this hierarchy of reliability, we can generally do a good job navigating through an unfamiliar field, even if we have very little prior technical knowledge in that field.

    The clear message for non-scientists, as well as for scientists who aren’t climate specialists, is that if the US National Academy of Sciences says:

    Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused primarily by the emission of greenhouse gases from human activities, and poses significant risks for a range of human and natural systems…
    In the judgment of this report’s authoring committee, the environmental, economic, and humanitarian risks posed by climate change indicate a pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change…

    then the fact of anthropogenic climate change, and the need to rapidly and substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions, really can’t be considered controversial. Anyone who says otherwise is either deficient in scientific meta-literacy or is deliberately misleading his audience.

  19. 519
    Edward Greisch says:

    499 Phil L: The satellite images of those boreal fires look really bad. I am worried about the smoke as an allergen. [I am allergic to almost any particulate matter in the air, including dust, pollen, mold spores, smoke [especially leaf smoke], powder puff stuff [whatever you call it] etcetera. Old fashioned powder puff stuff is dust that used to form a cloud about 6 feet in diameter around any woman who powdered her nose.] So I am wondering: Is there anything you can do to reduce the smoke of those boreal forest fires? For example could you clearcut just before there is a fire? What would you do to prevent the carbon in the wood from burning? Is there a way you could burn up the smoke? I have watched the smoke plumes on the internet from forest fires and noticed lung problems when the smoke gets to where I am. GW is causing more forest fires, isn’t it? Or is it that there is less snow to put them out? Snow and rain do clean the air. I feel much better in the winter.

    495 Thomas: “Who done it” doesn’t matter any more. Everybody has to make a maximal effort or everybody is equally dead. So call off your old tired ethics. Your opinion doesn’t matter when you are dead.