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Unforced variations: May 2016

Filed under: — group @ 4 May 2016

This month’s open thread. Usual rules apply.

370 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2016”

  1. 1
    Hank Roberts says:

    Strongly increasing heat extremes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 21st century

    Climatic Change, 23 April 2016; doi:10.1007/s10584-016-1665-6

  2. 2
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    Look at this:

    http://www.dmi.dk/uploads/pics/laninaelninoaar_01.png

    Since as far as I know this winter’s El Nino isn’t very much warmer than the big one 1998, it seems that the extreme jump in global mean temperature upwards this year for the most part can’t be explained by El Nino. Agree? I suppose the explanations could be lowered albedo in the arctic ocean and the surrounding land mass (less sea ice and snow cover) plus maybe rising outbursts of methane from thawing permafrost in Siberia and Canada/Alaska. Very interested in comments on this! And other plausible explanations. To me this development seems alarming indeed, as I have also read it is to Stefan Rahmstorf, who recently used the term “global emergency”.

  3. 3
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    I forgot to put in the link to the source, which is the homepage of the danish meteorological institute (DMI – dmi.dk). This figure and four other are commented here (in danish) on their webpage:

    http://www.dmi.dk/nyheder/arkiv/nyheder-2016/april/klodens-hedetur-forklaret-i-fem-grafikker/

    The last sentence says exactly what I said above: this El Nino has almost the same level of warmth as the one 1998, and therefore can’t explain the extreme warmth of 2016 so far. Which is very probably going to continue, cfr. this:

    https://gfx.nrk.no/8IuUMsOakMChlkGnPvF7RA1bxvT7L_z7Y0GeSEHR2p9Q

    which I found here:

    http://www.yr.no/artikkel/verden-rekordvarm-for-ellevte-maned-pa-rad-1.12909514 (comments in norwegian from among others Rasmus Benestad from the norwegian meteorological institute). What is said there isn’t fully in agreement with the comments from dmi.dk cited above.

  4. 4
    Thomas says:

    519 Edward Greisch says: 3 May 2016
    re 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.”

    What matters is what each nation’s opinions are about what to do and by when. The USA’s opinion is only one of many. Not all Americans agree with the USA’s opinion either. What is driving that variance in opinions is typically competing morals, ethics or politics.

    I was simply pointing out that whatever actions are taken are predicated on competing morals and ethics (wound up in each nations politics). That different nations have different points of view about that and are at a greater or lesser risk than others should be a given. Those opinions are part of the global mix and so they matter. What I said before has nothing to do with my own ethics or my opinions.

  5. 5
    MA Rodger says:

    Mal Adapted @518(April).

    Victor is persistent enough to be considered a troll (& I’ve called him one often enough) but his take on AGW is not actually that of a troll. Victor believes AGW is all a big mistake. He believes the science is wrong and bases this on what he sees as a “lack of correlation” between CO2 forcing and the impacts of AGW. While his defence of this “lack of correlation” varies with time (but is ever based solely on eye-balling and podgy finger pointing), Victor’s consistency of purpose does demonstrate a certain integrity. However, his deafness to all reason demonstrates an exceptional stupidity.

    And he is now pushing hard to harness wider arguments.
    When Victor first appeared here at RealClimate he told us he was “not a denier,” and asked for “feedback from anyone reading here in the form of comments, positive or negative” on a now-defunct blog post which set out his grand “lack of correlation” thesis. Yet his comments in April’s thread (@330 & @451 & @476) are now stepping well beyond his “lack of correlation” thesis and deep into troll territory.
    @330 he invokes perceived problems with Gore’s Inconvenient Truth so as to “keep raining on everyone’s parade”, @451 he invokes the “distinguished scientists on both sides of this debate (that) deserve to be heard.” (Perhaps Victor can name the “distinguished scientists” that presumably support his position.) and @476 he invokes the ‘but AGW isn’t a problem’ and the ‘even if it was a problem, there’s nothing can be done’ arguments of a truly deluded denier.

    So it’s taken Victor since October 2014 but he has managed to arrive at the point where he conclusively demonstrates that he is what he proclaims he isn’t.

  6. 6
    mike says:

    KJ at 2,3:

    A lot of folks evacuated from fire in Alberta probably now think the climate change situation is an emergency. I wonder if/when they will be able to return to their homes and their jobs in the tar sand industry?

    I am really fixated on the creation and accumulation of atmospheric CO2 as the primary issue that our species has to address (now that Ted Cruz is no longer seeking to become president).

    Daily CO2
    May 3, 2016: 407.75 ppm
    May 3, 2015: 403.60 ppm

    We really are in uncharted territory. As you increase ghg in the atmosphere, the planet gets warmer. As the planet gets warmer, more ghg are released from “natural” sources. Can you say feedback loop? Plus our species continues to increase the “unnatural” loading of ghg in the atmosphere, not just increasing in a linear fashion – like 1.5 ppm per year – but at an increasing rate. We will probably hit a record rate of 3.3 ppm or higher this year. And yes, annual rates of increase and daily levels compared on annual basis are noisy, but the trend is easy to spot if you are looking hard at the numbers.

    Rahmstorf is correct, we are now in a kind of climate emergency. What are we doing about it? Well, I guess we are evacuating Fort McMurray today. That’s easier than contemplating how to address a blue ocean event that could occur in the arctic this year. Try to think of an appropriate response to that disastrous climate event. Professor Wadhams is looking pretty good with his predictions of blue ocean event. But of course, even if Wadhams gets “lucky” with a blue ocean event, I understand that the scientific community does not think his methodology is sound. So, even if Wadhams is right, he is really wrong and the folks who calc blue ocean event at 2030-2040 may be wrong, but they are really right because their methodology is sound.

    oh, btw, victor is a troll. Don’t feed the trolls.

    Warm regards. I am out building more trellises and planting kiwis and grapes to make the best of the new NW weather patterns. Make some grapes and kiwis and maybe sequester a little CO2 in vines and soil. I have nothing better to do.

    Mike

  7. 7
    Victor says:

    #3 “this El Nino has almost the same level of warmth as the one 1998, and therefore can’t explain the extreme warmth of 2016 so far. Which is very probably going to continue”

    Very probably? Probably? Possibly? Your guess is as good as mine. If it does continue, then of course this will be attributed to AGW, and the panic level will be ramped up several notches, no doubt. And if it does not continue, then the cooling will be attributed to “natural forcings,” and every effort will be made to maximize the panic level regardless. Do you need to be a climate scientist to see the problem here? Or, to put it another way: is this science? Or superstition?

  8. 8
    Patrick says:

    Ocean Tunnels solve Real Climates issues. Time for real geo engineering has arrived..https://www.facebook.com/groups/1548937018758434/?ref=bookmarks

  9. 9
    MA Rodger says:

    RSS has posted for April with an anomaly of +0.757ºC, which gives pretty-much the same sort of ordering as UAH v6.0’s April anomaly. RSS has April as the 4th warmest month on record behind Feb 2016, April 1998 & March 2016. So these TLT satellite data are perhaps showing global temperatures peaking earlier in 2016 than they did in the 1998 El Nino.
    The TLT for the two El Ninos (plus surface temp data & MEI) plotted up to date here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’)

  10. 10
    Russell says:

    The year’s most interesting climate statistic is that Republicans who believe in AGW now outnumber those who favor Trump.

  11. 11
    Edward Greisch says:

    4 Thomas: It doesn’t matter what countries think either. Nature’s opinion is the only one that counts. Competing morals and ethics? Nonsense. Morals and ethics don’t matter. Only survival and extinction matter. Homo Sap as a whole is at risk, not nations or tribes or races or nationalities.

  12. 12
    Phil L says:

    Forestry professor David Martell on Fort McMurray wildfire (includes a question about climate change)
    http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/679642691756

  13. 13
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    Good overwiev here:

    http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2432/

  14. 14
    Piotr says:

    Chris Dudley on 29 Apr 2016 at 9:28 PM said:
    “Another cheerful note at months end, looks like coral gardening is taking off, yielding a nice big carbon sink”

    Err, no. Most of the growth of coral is the calcareous (CaCO3) skeleton. The net effect of precipitation of CaCO3 is a _release_, not uptake, of CO2 by the ocean.

    Here is why: for each mole of CaCO3 formed, you remove 1 mol of inorg. C and 2 equivalents of alkalinity. So even though there less C in seawater, since water becomes more acidic as a result of the loss of alkalinity, more of the remaining C moves from the dominant form of HCO3 into the form of CO2, which is the only form of inorg. C that affects the air-sea fluxes of CO2. Hence the net effect of formation of CaCO3 is to make the ocean LESS of a sink. So corals are important for biodiversity, but by themselves -are a net source of atm. CO2. Sorry.

  15. 15

    For those interested in Arctic Sea Ice and the prospects for the coming summer: April is the volume peak, and I have done a detailed run down of PIOMAS ice state using their gridded data. Regions are based on Cryosphere Today regions.
    http://dosbat.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/piomas-april-2016.html

    Karsten #2,

    I agree, I don’t think the El Nino explanation cuts it.

  16. 16
    patrick says:

    The Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Phoenix. The central U.S. destination for the next leg of the journey will be announced soon. After that, it’s New York. I recommend this TED video from 2009 with hypnotherapist and extreme pilot Bertrand Piccard. He’s saying how, why, and when he made a promise to himself about zero-fuel flight around the world (min 5:01):

    https://www.ted.com/talks/bertrand_piccard_s_solar_powered_adventure?language=en#t-80319

    “And this is why you need weathermen. This is why you need people with long term vision.” (6:19)

    This is about how to think outside the box, and get there.

    The capsule from his record non-stop round the world balloon flight (1999) resides in the Air and Space Museum in Washington.

  17. 17

    Pyotr, 14–

    “So corals are important for biodiversity, but by themselves -are a net source of atm. CO2. Sorry.”

    Thanks for that succinct explanation. Did not know that.

    I’d venture to guess, though, that given the foundational importance of coral reefs to the ecosystems they support, the high diversity and productivity of those ecosystems, the coral may still act as net sink, not by themselves, but as part of the reef system. What happens to the carbon in the reef flora and fauna when a reef dies?

    As Elizabeth Kolbert pointed out, coral reefs are oases of productivity in tropical waters that otherwise tend to be rather biologically impoverished compared with more oxygenated arctic or even temperate waters.

  18. 18

    V 7: If it does continue, then of course this will be attributed to AGW, and the panic level will be ramped up several notches, no doubt. And if it does not continue, then the cooling will be attributed to “natural forcings,” and every effort will be made to maximize the panic level regardless. Do you need to be a climate scientist to see the problem here? Or, to put it another way: is this science? Or superstition?

    BPL: Apparently you don’t understand what “attribution” means, either. One attributes a cause in science (or at least a connection) with a mathematical technique called “analysis of variance.” Google it. “Attribute” does not mean “guess at whatever is convenient.” In short, your argument is a straw man.

  19. 19

    EG 11,

    If survival and extinction matter, that is itself a moral judgment. You must start with the moral premise, “that man [humanity] ought to be preserved.”

  20. 20
    Tom Adams says:

    What you “believe” about climate change doesn’t reflect what you know; it expresses *who you are*:

    http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2014/4/23/what-you-believe-about-climate-change-doesnt-reflect-what-yo.html

  21. 21
    Tom Adams says:

    Recent 538 blog: Democrats — And Republicans — Are Growing More Worried Over Climate Change

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/democrats-and-republicans-are-growing-more-worried-over-climate-change/

  22. 22
    Russell says:

    16.
    Has patrick compared the total CO2 footprint, logistics & transport included , of Piccard’s solar powered circumnavigation and Rutan’s non-stop gasoline powered flight ?

  23. 23
    Chris Dudley says:

    Now it is really May, I’ll ask again, are the climate concerns here overblown? http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/04/a-human-extinction-isnt-that-unlikely/480444/

  24. 24
    MA Rodger says:

    ESRL-NOAA are reporting April 2016 CO2 at MLO as 407.42ppm, an annual rise from April 2015 of 4.16ppm. This rise is a record and the first annual MLO monthly rise over 4ppm. (Previously the record for annual monthly-average rise was to March 2016 at +3.76ppm which overtook the previous top-dog September 1998 at +3.70ppm. That the record was set in September 1998 suggests this latest record may still fall later in the year.) Yet a +4ppm rise during 2016 is not unexpected for an El Nino year with today’s emissions. Using the CO2 rise 1997-to-1998 and the higher CO2 emission rates of recent years as a predictor, you would expect MLO CO2 peaking this year with a monthly average for May at something like 408ppm and with the April figure a little less (which it has proved to be).

  25. 25
    Adam R. says:

    Victor does not fit my internet dictionary’s definition of “troll,” as he appears to take the nonsense in his comments seriously, rather than posting it simply to provoke responses — although he probably enjoys the attention he gets.

    He is that rather ordinary sort of crank denier who imagines he sees a flaw in the evidence that would collapse the edifice of scientific fraud he believes comprises AGW theory. (If only everyone would just listen to him! Wake up, sheeple!)

    Troll or crank, he is a waste of time to engage in a blog devoted to serious science such as RC, so let us please forbear. Perhaps in a political forum he would need debunking, but it just encourages him here to little purpose, I believe.

  26. 26
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Victor: Your guess is as good as mine…. … is this science? Or superstition?

    Richard: As if. Your guess is uninformed and biased. But your ending is grand. For us, it’s science. For you, it’s superstition, as evidenced by what I snipped out (which translates to “If the near-impossible happens, then scientists will stupidly try to explain it instead of brilliantly accepting MY guess.”)

    ————-

    Piotr, grand point. It reminded me of an article I read recently about Florida literally dissolving due to acidic seawater intrusion. And speaking to scientific reticence, yet again, “It’s worse than we thought.” Being off by half a century (40 years in this case) about ever so much does hint at a structural problem.

    “The northern part of the Florida Keys reef has lost about 12 pounds per square yard of limestone over the past six years”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-more-acidic-seawater-now-dissolving-bit-of-florida-keys-reef-2016-5

  27. 27
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Tom Adams: What you “believe” about climate change doesn’t reflect what you know; it expresses *who you are*:

    Richard: Yep. I’d add pride, too. This site is supposedly for logical thinkers who seriously relish the thought that they are immune to such human frailties. I’ve tested this over the past month or so by directly confronting folks after I’ve logically demolished their positions. I repeatedly said, “Man Up”. Not a single one did so. To relinquish a position is anathema to most humans, even if it is only to say, “Oh, I thought you meant something else. Now that I see what you’re really saying, then it is reasonable, but I’m still not totally convinced.” If 0% of the tested here pass, then one would suspect that Others would do as poorly. I wonder what Republicans will say if we get substantially blue water in the Arctic this year? Will it be, “It’s NOT 100%!!!”, “It’s God’s Will!!!”, or Sullen Crickets and Personal Insults? The latter is probable because…

    Proving somebody wrong doesn’t usually do diddly except make them hate you with passion. One guy has even resorted to abusing this site by posting comments with zero content except insults claiming that I’m sub-human. Since it is now woven into a valid comment, I’ll reply, “Thank you for calling me MAN’s best friend. That explains why you don’t like me.” :-)

    Similarly, many folks will mutter “FU” as they crank that voting lever for whomever promises to increase carbon emissions. Just like our Local Zero willingly degrades this site out of rage, folks will destroy the planet for the satisfaction of not admitting their sworn enemy was right. I further tested this by giving him a Supreme Compliment. It sent him into a tizzy. Scientific tests are useful. Thanks for the data point. You did me a favor.

    ——–

    Russell: Has patrick compared the total CO2 footprint, logistics & transport included , of Piccard’s solar powered circumnavigation and Rutan’s non-stop gasoline powered flight ?

    Richard: Tests don’t apply to the “real world”. However, I think a Digital-engine powered flight using next-generation soil-building biofuel would thrash both of them. That said, until/if batteries get close to liquid fuels in energy density, air travel will soon be prop-driven biofueled. Jets have no significant place in a sustainable world.

    ——-

    Chris Dudley, their twisting of the word “extinction” to “10%” shows a lack of honesty. Thus, I’d need other sources to even consider their stance, other than to interpret it to actually be saying, “Gee, the WORST is a minor blip centered on Other People.”

  28. 28
    Piotr says:

    Kevin McKinney says: “the coral may still act as net sink, not by themselves, but as part of the reef system. What happens to the carbon in the reef flora and fauna when a reef dies?’”

    Again – probably not. Yes, coral reefs are ecosystems with on of the highest productivities (gC/m2/yr) in the ocean, but that is so thanks to the extremely efficient recycling of nutrients. Corals themselves are one of the best in that – they have symbiotic algae inside them and these algae use CO2 and light and produce organic matter and O2, both of which are utilized by the coral – which wastes CO2 and nitrogenous waste
    become nutrients for the algae in the next cycle. And so on and so on.
    This makes coral reefs so productive, but not necessarily a carbon sink:
    to function as a organic carbon sink – only the buried, i.e. nonrecycled, portion of primarily productivity, counts. This, in turn, is proportional to the _new_ nutrients, i.e. nutrients supplied to the coral reef from the outside. And these are almost always low, because if they are not –
    the corals struggle, since their best-recycler advantage is negated by the external supply of nutrients, and in high nutrient waters the freeliving algae have an edge over corals – they can intercept light before it reaches the corals (either by growing on top of the corals or by floating above them as phytoplankton).

    And without light – the reef forming corals are usually doomed (since most of their food comes from the photosynthesis of their photosynthetic symbionts). Given that – the coral reefs are limited to the areas with low external supply of nutrients, which means that amount of buried org. C is, by definition, limited as well.

  29. 29
    Piotr says:

    Richard Caldwell says:
    “The northern part of the Florida Keys reef has lost about 12 pounds per square yard of limestone over the past six years”

    That’s the ultimate sink of all the anthropogenic CO2 – used up to dissolve enough calcite (and some other minerals) in ocean and on land. The only problem it would take many 10,000s of years. And not only rocks and animals may be affected – all those marble monuments, gargoyles, intricate facades of palaces and homes – and it is the finest detail that is lost first (largest relative surface area). You may be still able to recognize the head, but the face will be gone.

  30. 30
    Victor says:

    #25 “. . . imagines he sees a flaw in the evidence that would collapse the edifice of scientific fraud he believes comprises AGW theory.”

    Not fraud, no. That’s what Mark Morano thinks. Along with a great many of his fellow ultra-conservatives, who’ve developed a serious case of paranoia about how Obama and his cronies are a bunch of crypto Marxists using “climate change” hysteria as part of a plot to impose “big government” on the world and “divide the wealth.”

    I have no problem with big government (so long as it’s truly democratic) and I’m all for dividing the wealth. And no, I don’t think you guys are frauds — certainly not. Just as you believe me to be sincere (and thank you for that), I believe you’re sincere as well. I think the best term for what I read on this blog is: denial. But since that term is already in use (ahem), I guess the next best would be: deluded. As in “Repent! The END IS NEAR” deluded. Or cargo cult deluded. Or, better yet: lemming deluded.

    It’s not simply that you’re wrong, but that you can’t tolerate even the possibility that you might be wrong. You’d rather see all of humanity jump off a cliff than admit you could be wrong. That’s not fraud. It’s a form of mental illness. And as has now become all too evident, it’s become a highly infectious disease, of epidemic proportions.

    I don’t expect to convince anyone here, nor do I expect to instill any doubts, because you can’t fight a disease with reasonable arguments. But I am hoping that maybe some reading here will learn to understand from my posts (along with so many others I now see everywhere online) that the so-called “deniers” do have a point, and deserve to be taken seriously.

  31. 31
    Edward Greisch says:

    19 BPL: Every species wishes itself to survive. This “moral” judgement was made 3.8 billion years ago. We are not about to unmake that “moral” judgement, but we could easily go extinct. Morality and ethics are mostly evolved things, mostly evolved in the past 30 million years. So there cannot be a moral difference in this particular case, between nations. This particular “value” evolved 3.8 billion years before there were kingdoms. So nations can’t matter. Whatever differences there are between nations aren’t this one. “Moral” judgements that are 3.8 billion years old are not the kind of things you debate in philosophy class, so I don’t count survival as part of moral philosophy. Individual philosophers do each have their own moral systems. There can be and are differences in moral philosophy between nations and smaller groups.

    “Morals” and “ethics” that are the common heritage of Homo Sap [and the other chimpanzees as well] are matters of science and are “givens.” Debating them outside of sociobiology is pointless.

    4 Thomas’s opinion is still demolished. It doesn’t matter if some group, for whatever reason, thinks that it doesn’t have to row the boat for whatever excuse. Everybody is on the boat and everybody has to row. If the boat sinks, we all go down with the boat. There are no exceptions. There are no morally superior people. There are no guilty people. There are only the living and the dead. We have no idea who, if anybody, will survive. Anybody who doesn’t row is guilty of another crime called genocide. Row now. Morals, ethics and politics don’t matter.

    Sunk costs: If you already sent $X million down a rat hole, you don’t gain anything by sending down more money. Whatever has happened in the past is sunk cost. The rule of the wise is: you forget about sunk cost. Vengeance has no profit. Thomas seems to me to be after vengeance. Bleeding hearts don’t matter either. If Thomas is a bleeding heart, here is the deal: Billions of people are going to die. There is nothing anybody can do about it.

    USA’s opinion? NO. Nature’s opinion is the only one that matters. Homo Sap either does or does not survive. Individuals and nations will not survive. For Homo Sap to survive, one pregnant teenager has to survive. Stark enough for you?

  32. 32
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Adam R: Troll or crank, he is a waste of time to engage

    Richard: Dunno. Sometimes he instigate productive discourse by others. It’s “obvious” that his presence is a conscious choice by the mods. They even go through the effort of filing his posts either here or in the Borehole. I defer to their judgement and will attempt to make his presence as productive as I can.

  33. 33
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Me: “Gee, the WORST is a minor blip centered on Other People.”

    Richard: The wording is wrong. The malnutrition discussion last month left out a serious issue. The world ain’t Star Trek. Surviving near death will not result in perfect health next week. Kids who grow up with insufficient protein become mentally challenged. The idea of one graduating from a competitive college is probably more laughable than the idea that some random jerk on a comment stream is sitting on Solutions….

    So yeah, a minor blip if you’re counting deaths. WW1 and the Flu came close to that. But with mass starvation, entire generations in entire regions will always and forevermore be stone cold stupid. The Rich get to think….

  34. 34
    patrick says:

    Russell, 22: “…compared…Rutan’s…flight?”

    How about you? You first.

    You beg the question entirely. The question is fuel.

    Rutan’s plane ran a Williams turbofan (FJ44-3ATW)–also found in single engine ‘business jets’–Cessna, Beechcraft, Piper, Saab, etc. The gross weight of Rutan’s plane is given as 22,100 lbs (10,024 kg) with fuel distributed in 13 tanks. The empty weight is given as 3,700 lbs (1678 kg). This is an airplane. Business as usual.

    The purpose of this airplane was to set an un-refueled distance record. It bested the distance of Piccard’s balloon by a few hundred km.

    The loaded weight of the Solar Impulse is given as 3527 lbs (1600 kg). No fuel.

    Zero-fuel makes the Solar Impulse non-comparable. A class by itself, a new class. Perhaps a paradigm. It required breakthrough materials and assembly, and it requires breakthrough energy management in flight, so that potential energy is cyclically ‘stored’ by taking on altitude in daylight–and giving up altitude at night. Call it a flying microgrid. Plus it requires state of the art human energy management techniques from the pilot.

    “This is not an airplane. This is a symbol of what we can achieve.”–Bertrand Piccard (14:08)

    Once more–how, why, and when Bertrand Piccard made a promise to himself to fly around the world without fuel. Start at 5:01 and give it 4 to 6 minutes or so:

    https://www.ted.com/talks/bertrand_piccard_s_solar_powered_adventure?language=en#t-80319

    The Solar Impulse is on limited view in Phoenix. Next take-off is Monday at the earliest.

  35. 35

    RC: This site is supposedly for logical thinkers who seriously relish the thought that they are immune to such human frailties. I’ve tested this over the past month or so by directly confronting folks after I’ve logically demolished their positions. I repeatedly said, “Man Up”. Not a single one did so.

    BPL: Oh. My. God. WE DON’T LIVE UP TO RICHARD CALDWELL’S STANDARDS!

  36. 36

    RC: This site is supposedly for logical thinkers who seriously relish the thought that they are immune to such human frailties. I’ve tested this over the past month or so by directly confronting folks after I’ve logically demolished their positions. I repeatedly said, “Man Up”. Not a single one did so.

    BPL: Oh. My. God. WE DON’T LIVE UP TO RICHARD CALDWELL’S STANDARDS! There’s no hope. We must face up to the burning, smarting knowledge of our own intrinsic inferiority. The best thing we could do would be for Gavin et al. to shut down this site and for the rest of us to go live in the desert in eternal shame.

  37. 37

    V: It’s not simply that you’re wrong, but that you can’t tolerate even the possibility that you might be wrong.

    BPL: he said, looking in the mirror.

  38. 38

    EG: “Morals” and “ethics” that are the common heritage of Homo Sap [and the other chimpanzees as well] are matters of science and are “givens.” Debating them outside of sociobiology is pointless.

    BPL: Except that sociobiology is essentially a pseudoscience. Untestable. As when sociobiologists say any given behavior is to aid kin, and if you do it to aid non-kin, it’s the same behavior “misfiring.”

    And BTW, Darwinian natural selection has nothing to do with “the survival of the species.” If anything, it’s all about evolving NEW species. Selection and competition is at the individual level, not the species level (a la Hyatt) or the gene level (a la Dawkins). “Genes mutate, individuals are selected, species evolve.” So the billionaire who doesn’t care if the rest of the world dies, so long as he and his ten girlfriends survive, is more in tune with Darwinian purposes than the guy looking to “preserve the species.”

  39. 39

    RC 33: with mass starvation, entire generations in entire regions will always and forevermore be stone cold stupid.

    BPL: Shades of Lamarck.

  40. 40
    Richard Caldwell says:

    I just looked at the NSIDC sea ice commentary. They’ve updated their stuff and provided a side-by-side comparison of the results for the 2015 minima. Guess what? “It’s worse than we thought.” 4 and 5+ year ice for week 36 is now estimated to be half the extent previously estimated.

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    It amazes me that physical scientists think they are the best ones to evaluate their social structures, let alone that they decree that the social system that was formed long ago is the most efficient one possible. That it inexorably eventually works is friggin guaranteed of any semi-rational system which deals with physical reality.

    It’s not even your field, guys.

  41. 41
    patrick says:

    Russell, 22: The “logistics and transport” canard implies a circular argument, because it is an appeal to the authority of business as usual. But business as usual is the problem. Some degree of special logistics throughout goes with the territory of taking a first step. Or first steps would not be taken.

    “When the world of aviation refused to subcontract the big pieces of our airplane, Andre found a shipyard–guys making ships–and they accepted to make these big pieces of carbon–because they did not know it was impossible. So they could do it. So the goal was not to take people who knew how to build airplanes, because they would have done exactly the same that existed before–so, normal airplanes–airplanes using combustion engine[s]. So the idea was to take people who were coming from different things, from different knowledge, different experience…”

    “When you take off with this airplane…you have the impression of making a jump into the future, because suddenly you move with no noise, no pollution, no fuel… And when you land you…jump back in the past.” –Bertrand Piccard (1:30 & 3:28)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJEACtd6s-I

  42. 42

    #28, Pyotr–

    Nice analysis, thanks! I suppose the ultimate test would still be a thorough quantitative and empirical analysis, but the logic seems pretty compelling to me.

    Raised several questions, and some quick searching led to this brief article, which is well-written and liberally cites primary literature.

    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-11/cj/index.php

    The take-away is that a lot of reefs are influenced by nutrients originating from land.

  43. 43

    #25, Victor–

    It’s not simply that you’re wrong, but that you can’t tolerate even the possibility that you might be wrong. You’d rather see all of humanity jump off a cliff than admit you could be wrong.

    Let me go on record (again, though possibly for the first time on RC).

    If somehow, ‘AGW’ were shown to be a colossal mistake, I would be relieved and delighted. I’d probably throw a party–preferably a ‘picking party/jam’, because large amounts of my ‘discretionary’ time would be rededicated toward music-making, which is what I *really* like to do.

    Yes, I like science. Yes, I like communicating and educating. Yes, I like thinking about scientific and technological issues, and I like the ‘clash of wits’ (provided I can find a denialist who actually has some.) But absent the danger that is posed by climate change, my priorities would shift–and they’d shift in a direction that I would find pleasing.

    The question is, just how likely is it that such an outcome is realistic? Contrary to your comment above, Victor, I have exhaustively examined “the possibility that [mainstream science] might be wrong.” I’ve consistently found that arguments to the contrary have been unfounded, outdated and internally inconsistent. (Quite often, sadly, in ways that suggest an intention to mislead.) The biggest single factor in convincing me that the denialists are wrong is the quality of denialist argumentation, which is generally abysmal. Not the only factor, to be sure, but a significant one.

    So, on balance, I’m resigned to having to continue to do my bit to educate and advocate. You say that “You’d rather see all of humanity jump off a cliff than admit you could be wrong.” As I’ve indicated, that is untrue in my case at least (and, I suspect, in most cases.) But it’s an ironic image, because if the mainstream science is correct–which is what observations are saying, despite your attempted spin–then business as usual does in fact amount to humanity jumping off a cliff.

    (If I were to continue that metaphor, I’d have to add that there’s water at the bottom–but we don’t have any idea what’s under the surface, and little idea of the water’s depth.)

  44. 44
    Hank Roberts says:

    > “all of humanity jump off a cliff”

    Goodbye, Victor.

  45. 45

    On another topic, it is a fairly-well noted irony that wildfire has forced the complete evacuation of Fort MacMurray, the Alberta city economically dominated by the oilsands industry.

    Here’s a NASA-eye view of the conflagration:

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-noaas-suomi-npp-satellite-sees-massive-alberta-wildfire-day-and-night

  46. 46
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Edward: If you already sent $X million down a rat hole, you don’t gain anything by sending down more money.

    Richard: Well, it depends on whose money you’re sending down the rat hole. When one owns 500% as much carbon pie as one can logically burn, then spreading the loss as widely as possible makes a twisted sort of sense. And remember, people are resistant to evidence. Just because you “know” something doesn’t mean coal company CEOs “know” it.

    ———-

    Rutan = 9 days.
    Solar Impulse = 2015-16

    Moonshots are fun and inspiring, but folks should remember that this is like bicycles. Just like you only get so much power out of a human, your airplane can only get so much out of the sun. What they achieved is within the ballpark of what we’ll eventually do. Speed cubed is brutal math. You’re not gonna go 450 MPH while carrying a load with a solar plane.

  47. 47
    SecularAnimist says:

    “Victor” is in fact a textbook example of a “troll”. He is posting stuff that HE KNOWS is total bullshit, and HE KNOWS that ALL OF YOU KNOW that it is total bullshit, and he’s doing it because HE KNOWS that you will respond.

    He is dragging a lure (his idiotic denialist posts) through the water (this forum) to attract fish (the rest of you) to bite (reply). That’s the definition of “trolling”.

    His only purpose is to deliberately waste your time responding to his bullshit. And he’s being very successful at it.

    That one of the world’s top climate scientists would actually use even a few seconds of his valuable time to reply to Victor’s comments is a tragedy.

  48. 48
    mike says:

    what secular animist said. don’t feed the trolls

  49. 49
    Thomas says:

    40 Richard Caldwell mentions the NSIDC sea ice commentary and other matters that went over the top of my head. I was having a quick look at the age of arctic sea ice changes recently. In 1984 5+ yr old ice is in red http://greatwhitecon.info/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/iceage.week_.1984.41.n.v3.jpg

    In 2015 5+ yr old ice is in red http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/files/2016/05/ASINA_May_Fig4a.png

    And new record low for sea ice extent in April 2016 graph
    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Do3esmmDLF0/Vw9SB1ZIFRI/AAAAAAAAUJE/cSOyv2P4PEENehtE1fnAzVttWkwq0O_pwCLcB/s640/Extent-April-2016.png

    One thing about the sea ice extent is that it doesn’t define the different areas with 100% ice extent down to only 15% sea ice extent nor how that may have changed in recent decades. Some kind of combo analysis might be handy that integrates the %’s of sea ice extent, with the change in the age of the ice, and piomass calcs?

  50. 50
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Secular: That one of the world’s top climate scientists would actually use even a few seconds of his valuable time to reply to Victor’s comments is a tragedy.

    Richard: Some folks have unique or rare talent and/or extensive training. The value of their work can become a personal burden. Doctors spend so many years coming up to speed that though extremely well off, the “numbers” make any hour not spent in the most productive fashion “a tragedy”.

    I think it is a tragedy that they are put through such a dilemma every time they want to watch a movie or talk to a troll.

    ———-

    BPL: Shades of Lamarck.

    Richard: Lamarck is inter-generational. The classic example is to cut off rodent tails for generation after generation and then does the genetics change so rodents have shorter tails? This has evolved into the cutting edge science of epigenetics, which studies how cells use external clues to change stuff, say which sections of DNA are most exposed and so get expressed more freely. Get up to speed. Lamarck is no longer an insult, and you’d hate to not insult me.

    But, of course, this has nothing to do with inter-generational anything. (at the highest level) This is, “If you cut the tail off a mouse, does that individual mouse have a cut-off tail?”

    When we’re talking a scenario where percentages of the planet lose what? 75% of their population through not a famine but repeated extended famines, then lots and lots of kids will grow up without adequate protein. Brains happen to be made of protein. It’s like concussions. With repeated trauma, folks end up irritable, anti-social, stupid, whatever. Hmmm, you did say I had no idea whether you suffered prolonged malnutrition….

    I’d think you’d get tired of this. You pseudo-scan my posts, pick out some word or phrase and then misinterpret it out of context to make a personal insult. Then I explain your self-induced stupidity and you go Sullen Cricket, which ratchets up your rage and, since you have no clue about behavioral science and how it applies to you, you go right back around. As a personal favor to you, I’ll repeatedly point out every time you make this error so you can improve your commenting skills.

    This is a science site. If you can’t leave your emotions at the door, you’re counter-productive. If you’re not going to fully read and understand a comment, then, instead of adding your -2 cents, move on to the next.