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Unforced variations: Aug 2016

Filed under: — group @ 1 August 2016

Sorry for the low rate of posts this summer. Lots of offline life going on. ;-)

Meantime, this paper by Hourdin et al on climate model tuning is very interesting and harks back to the FAQ we did on climate models a few years ago (Part I, Part II). Maybe it’s worth doing an update?

Some of you might also have seen some of the discussion of record temperatures in the first half of 2016. The model-observation comparison including the estimates for 2016 are below:




It seems like the hiatus hiatus will continue…

371 Responses to “Unforced variations: Aug 2016”

  1. 1
    Ed Greisch says:

    From July: zebra: You forgot about factories. Some of them run 24 hours/day, 7 days a week, and they use a lot of electricity. And you forgot about hospitals, police stations, traffic lights, electric subway trains, your water supply, and so on.

    Bart: The battery that would be big enough to smooth out the intermittent nature of wind and solar for the whole USA. It has to maintain base load at constant voltage, frequency and phase at all times. Did you look at the references I gave you? The professor does a good job of telling you what battery? The one we can’t build. The battery has to store a weeks’ worth of power because it will get run down over 4 months of cold, cloudy calm winter. Europe is worse.

    Global Grid: A great idea, if we had all of the technology. We don’t. Let’s Build a Global Power Grid:
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/the-smarter-grid/lets-build-a-global-power-grid/

    We don’t have a switch that can repeatedly turn off a 1 million volt, 60,000 amp DC power line. We don’t have a superconductor that will work at 150 degrees F Above zero. Etcetera. When we do have the technology, we will be able to build a global grid, but it will take decades AFTER we have the technology. Reminder: We don’t have the technology. We don’t know if we will ever have that technology. What we do have: We do have the technology for nuclear.

    MartinJB: I made my own estimate. It has been corroborated. “Tom Murphy is an associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/
    Pump Up the Storage”
    We would have to lift Lake Erie half a kilometer skyward per Tom Murphy. Be sure to read http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/nation-sized-battery/
    first to see why we need a week’s worth of storage. The basic physics and chemistry didn’t change.

    “Green Illusions” by Ozzie Zehner: A complete renewable energy system for the US would cost 1.4 QUADRILLION dollars.

    My estimate for the cost of a battery for the US is $0.5 QUADrillion. 5 times 10 to the eleventh power. About 29 times GDP. How I got it: Fairbanks has a battery that can last 7 to 15 minutes. They paid $35 Million for it. Fairbanks has 30,000 people. That is $1167 per person. Multiply by 400 million people. Divide 7 minutes into a week. Multiply that by the number you got before. You get half a quadrillion dollars. Batteries are out. I did not account for price going up as resources are depleted.

    What is absolute raving nonsense is forgetting to read physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math before commenting. Smart grids and flywheels and compressed air and biomass gas burners all added together don’t make any difference.

    See: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – “GVEA s Fairbanks battery bank keeps lights on”
    http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/12739242/article-GVEA-s-Fairbanks-battery-bank-keeps-lights-on?

    To go with renewables only, you need a whole week’s worth of battery power for the whole world because Europe can have a long cold cloudy calm winter. The batteries can run down over several months.

    My list of references is too long to put here.

    Basic chemistry hasn’t changed. Batteries improve some % per year. We need an improvement of about a million times.

    0 shares, f, bird, printer, + prevents me from going to the desktop site on Safari. It works on Chrome.

  2. 2
    Ed Greisch says:

    One of my doctors showed me an image of a bunch of grapes that must have weighed 1000 pounds [wild guess] as a solution to GW. I reminded him that it didn’t happen without water.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    JCH says:

    Skeptics, about that pause saving, 2016 La Niña, BOM now says:

    All climate models indicate more cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely, but only two of eight models exceed La Niña thresholds for an extended period. A La Niña WATCH (indicating a 50% chance of La Niña in 2016) remains, but if La Niña does develop it would most likely be weak.

    Could still happen, but too funny.

  5. 5
    Andrew says:

    Thank you Hank Roberts, Kevin McKinney, Nemesis, Edward Greisch and Victor for you comments about the idea of a climate emergency.

    Victor, you ask what emergency public policies I would suggest to address a global climate emergency.

    Well, I can list a few:
    1. Bringing the issue of a climate emergency to the U.N. Security Council and adopting a resolution declaring a global climate emergency would be the first step, at least in my book.
    2. The implementation of a global carbon tax, as suggested by James Hansen, seems like a necessary and simple to implement emergency public policy.
    3. An emergency plan to phase out all coal fired power plants worldwide, replacing them with renewable electricity generation.
    4. The immediate shutdown of all tar sands oil activities and a permanent ban on their exploitation.
    5. The recognition that some islands / countries will inevitably disappear due to the sea level rise that is already “in the pipeline”, and the reallocation of their populations to safe grounds in decent conditions within the next 10 years.
    These are just a few.
    Why isn’t there a “climate emergency day” when all climate scientists worldwide would unanimously declare that we are already in the midst of a climate emergency?
    Why are we still discussing the exact value for a “carbon budget” to remain under 2C warming, when we all know that any carbon budget estimate only leads to business as usual emissions until the highest estimate for a carbon budget is exhausted?

  6. 6
    Chuck Hughes says:

    I posted this in last months open thread but it was at the very end of the month and I doubt it will get a response so I’m posting it again and my question is… Is global warming speeding up?

    I ran into Kevin Trenberth in Boulder, Colorado last month and was able to ask several questions but I forgot to ask him that one. He said we would probably hit 2C by 2050. I told him I thought it would be higher than that and his response was, “…but that’s a lot.”

    http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/07/global-warming-is-in-overdrive-and-we-could-soon-hit-targets-set-for-2100-5738876/

    http://metro.co.uk/2016/07/27/we-didnt-predict-this-global-warming-is-speeding-up-and-scientists-are-shocked-6031696/

  7. 7

    “To go with renewables only, you need a whole week’s worth of battery power for the whole world because Europe can have a long cold cloudy calm winter. The batteries can run down over several months.”

    Egregiously unrealistic. A single household is well-advised to have backup for a week, typically. At continent-wide scales, no.

    “My list of references is too long to put here.”

    Maybe, but all the ones presented in the past to support this contention have failed to do so. I’m not confident that this iteration will be any different.

    “Basic chemistry hasn’t changed. Batteries improve some % per year.”

    Battery chemistry is changing all the time. And quite significant cost reductions have been observed over just the last few years.

    ” We need an improvement of about a million times.”

    Not if realistic assumptions are made. See point #1.

  8. 8

    EG 1: Bart: The battery that would be big enough to smooth out the intermittent nature of wind and solar for the whole USA. It has to maintain base load at constant voltage, frequency and phase at all times. Did you look at the references I gave you? The professor does a good job of telling you what battery? The one we can’t build. The battery has to store a weeks’ worth of power because it will get run down over 4 months of cold, cloudy calm winter. Europe is worse.

    BPL: Straw man argument. You do not need a single giant battery for the whole United States. You can use a variety of power storage methods on a regional or even a building basis. Every building with a Tesla wall is one that doesn’t have to be on the grid. And in addition to batteries there are flywheels, pumped hydro (a technology dating back to at least the 1930s), the recent invention of railroad uphill/downhill load variation storage, compressed air, etc., etc.

  9. 9

    CH 6: Is global warming speeding up?

    BPL: Yes. A linear fit between temperature anomalies and elapsed time (1860-2015) is good, but a quadratic fit is better, and survives a partial-F test.

  10. 10
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH has posted the global temperature anomaly at +0.39ºC, the second warmest July (after 1998) and the 24th warmest of all monthly anomalies. It represents a small rise on June’s anomaly. To achieve the ‘warmest calendar year on record’ (which remains 1998 at +0.484ºC) the remainder of the year would have to average in excess of +0.34ºC.
    (All this applies to the UAHv6.0 record which is officially still unreleased except as a beta prototype. The official UAHv5.6 record which also still has 1998 as its warmest year would require Jul-Dec 2016 to average greater than +0.16ºC which is even more likely to occur as v5.6 has been running +0.1ºC warmer than the v6.0beta5 record.)
    The table here allows comparison with the 1997-99 El Nino years. That El Nino was quickly followed by La Nina conditions. While the 2015-16 El Nino ended pretty-much in sinc with 1997-98 El Nino, the La Nina conditions are a bit slow off the mark in that by the start of August 1998 the SOI 30-day average was hitting +14 yet so far in 2016 it hasn’t yet managed to top +5.
    ……….1997/99 … 2015/16
    Dec … +0.250ºC … +0.450ºC
    Jan … +0.479ºC … +0.540ºC
    Feb … +0.653ºC … +0.832ºC
    Mar … +0.475ºC … +0.734ºC
    Apr … +0.743ºC … +0.715ºC
    May … +0.643ºC … +0.545ºC
    Jun .… +0.575ºC … +0.339ºC
    Jul … +0.511ºC … +0.39ºC
    Aug … +0.516ºC
    Sep … +0.441ºC
    Oct … +0.403ºC
    Nov … +0.123ºC
    Dec … +0.246ºC
    Jan … +0.060ºC
    Feb … +0.166ºC
    Mar … -0.081ºC
    Apr … +0.009ºC
    May … -0.037ºC
    Jun … -0.154ºC

  11. 11
    Ed Greisch says:

    8 Bart: By the time you add up little pieces you will have either: The nation-sized battery or blackouts.

    Go ahead and try it as long as it is your money and your home town. You are free to do it and I am free to laugh. May I suggest Portland, Oregon, where a number of people have already backed out as the reality struck them?

    7 Kevin McKinney: I am free to ignore you, especially knowing that you aren’t going to do the math.

    Move this to Brave New Climate.

  12. 12
    Peter Smith says:

    “Maybe it’s worth doing an update?”

    Yes, definitely. I would like to see an article on modeling that puts to bed denier arguments that models fail. In particular, I note that the Hourdin paper referenced here discusses “tuning.” Without reading the paper, deniers will jump on that word “tuning” and immediately and say that a tuned model is bogus. They will say that with enough knobs, you can predict anything. So, I think that the presentation needs to be carefully crafted to preclude this and other common denier arguments.

    Yes, I know. Deniers can and do reject all evidence. Still, a careful argument will help.

  13. 13

    Climate “Science” is not a political issue, rather the reporting and public perception of the results are political. They may seem the same, but in reality are quite different.

    The question we should be asking is “Why”, not who. Who becomes evident with just a cursory reading of articles and posts on “The Net”

    Why is Climate change such a polarized issue?

    We only need to go back to see who brought Global Warming, then AWG, and now, more correctly, climate change to the public’s eye.

    Climate change was brought to the public’s attention. Then Carbon Taxes and Carbon Credits were proposes and implemented. In Other Words,the appearance of more big government and money making schemes. All guaranteed to cause conservatives to dig in their heels.

    I am very familiar with raw data manipulation into usable forms.
    My degree is in Computer Science (Science of computers, not programming although there is a lot of that as well) with minors in math and art. I was a Graduate Assistant working on my masters when a good job offer ended my quest for an advanced degree.

    I have found and been told by publishers, that scientists in general are very poor at writing articles on technical subjects in a manner the public can understand. Instead of scientists trying to inform the public, they need to hire a team of writers who are experts at translating technical subjects into plain language. That is where the use of analogies comes in.

    Something is always lost or changed when using analogies. Something scientists “in general” are loathe to use. Unfortunately scientists often use terms easily misunderstood by the public, sometimes leading to the impression that they are intentionally trying to mislead the readers, such as “a trick” in data manipulation.

    Mistakes are made. We often deal with statistics and a consensus, yet there is an element out there that insists, science always comes up with concrete numbers. Even pointing them to weather forecasting doesn’t seem to help.

    Industry hired firms to inundate the public with misleading and sometimes outright false information, with the goal of misleading, or confusing the public as they did with tobacco. The goal was just to make them doubt the science.

    Again, we need to determine the why and address it.

    Regardless, there will always be an element out there that can not accept science’s answers to problems, but with good writers, we should be able to reduce them to a minimum.

  14. 14
    sidd says:

    I never understood the argument that if you can’t fix the whole problem, you can do nothing at all.

    Things are being done.

    1) Their money, their home town, they doin it.

    ” … normal load is 15-16 MW, and its peak load is 23-24 MW … 3 MWac solar array and 7 MW/3 MWh lithium-ion energy storage …”

    15 minutes of peak load from storage, small steps. Clips a bite out of their load too on sunny days.

    ” … all-in $0.095/kWh cost for power matches the muni’s average retail electricity rate … On a budget of $7 million per year, we are saving about $1 million per month …”

    that’s serious money, especially at current interest rates.

    ” … Use of the battery storage allowed Minster to defer a $350,000 purchase of reactive power compensation hardware needed to integrate the solar in its grid … The utility is also able to earn capacity credits and gets reduced transmission charges because of its diminished use of PJM electricity. “Together they will be worth thousands of dollars more than what we could earn from farming,” … returns from the PJM frequency regulation market is another value stream. ”

    Nice. Makes sense, makes money, reduces fossil CO2 out, read all about it.

    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/inside-the-first-municipal-solar-plus-storage-project-in-the-us/421470/

    2) 300 MW of new run of the river hydropower on the Ohio. Easily throttled, great balancer for solar/wind.

    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/241-mw-of-new-hydroelectric-capacity-planned-for-ohio-river/423258/

    This is how you get things done. This is how you get things financed. Not by trying to stuff the whole watermelon down your throat.

    Plant an appropriate tree or two, too.

    sidd

  15. 15
    sidd says:

    correction:

    3MW solar and 7MW/3MWh storage as compared to normal load of 15-16 MW and peak load of 23-24 MW cannot itself supply either average or peak load. If the battery could supply 23-24MW then 3MWH storage capacity is approximately 15 minutes of peak demand. I suspect that outage sensitive companies like Dannon (mentioned in the article) have agreements for priority during outage.

  16. 16
    Eric Swanson says:

    Ed Greisch, #1 and comments from last month.
    There are other sorts of batteries besides the lead-acid type used in calculating the size of the Nation-Sized Battery which you referenced. In a comment at the end of that post, Jason Goodman mentioned sodium-sulfur batteries. There are also Flow Batteries which function by pumping chemicals thru what is essentially a reversible fuel cell. Since these systems are stationary, size and storage capacity/mass are of less importance than for mobile applications.

  17. 17

    #11–7 “Kevin McKinney: I am free to ignore you…”

    Indeed you are, Ed. And anyone else whose ideas you dislike, too.

    That’s well-demonstrated by the fact that you are still rebuking egregiously wrong assumptions after they’ve been thoroughly shown to be erroneous.

  18. 18
    Ed Greisch says:

    14 sidd: That works fine until one foul day in February when your city goes blackout and they come after you with torches and pitch forks. Then, I don’t envy you. Good luck.

  19. 19
    David B. Benson says:

    Comments on electricity production are way off topic on this site. Those posting such appear naively uninformed about the realities of a reliable electric power grid design.

    I recommend moving such discussion to Brave New Climate where there are many who understand some of the realities.

  20. 20
    zebra says:

    @ sidd 14,

    Nice article. But there is still a lot of obfuscation that serves the monopolistic utility and its corporate masters rather than the consumer and the cause of reducing CO2.

    I posed the question last time: What is the baseload of my house? My house is the ultimate microgrid, and science and engineering often does best when it employs a reductionist approach. At least, the answer would provide an accessible reference/starting point for quantitative discussions.

    Any thoughts?

  21. 21
    Ed Greisch says:

    15 Sidd: The problem is, you didn’t really get it all figured out before starting to do it. See:
    http://www.uwig.org/CRA_SPP_WITF_Wind_Integration_Study_Final_Report.pdf
    Prepared By:
    Charles River Associates 200 Clarendon Street T-33 Boston, Massachusetts 02116
    Date: January 4, 2010 CRA Project No. D14422
    SPP WITF Wind Integration Study January 4, 2010
    Charles River Associates
    Do you, Sidd, have an advanced degree in electrical engineering specializing in power distribution? Do you have years of experience in this field? If not, caution is more than in order.

    Like being run out of town with tar and feathers?

    The electric companies do know what they are doing., mostly.

  22. 22

    Update? Yes, please… also helpful would be a bit of clarification on the ‘forcing adjusted’ model spread for CMIP5. Regulars here will remember the general idea at least, but presumably not everyone is a regular. (And I’ve already shared the link once, on a page where basically nobody will be RC regulars.)

  23. 23

    From the “climate emergency” desk:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/state-of-the-climate-2015-1.3704267

    “I think the time to call the doctor was years ago,” NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report, said in an email. “We are awash in multiple symptoms.”

    “There is really only one word for this parade of shattered climate records: grim,” said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb, who wasn’t part of the report, but called it “exhaustive and thorough.”

    Link to report:

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams/2015

    “This impacts people. This is real life,” said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden, co-editor of the report published Tuesday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

  24. 24
    zebra says:

    @ Roger Halstead 13,

    I think you are ignoring the fact that humans will accept information or not according to factors other than reason. Perhaps that is really the default mode, if you think about it– most people go through life without a clue as to how anything works, but they are happy and successful.

    “Better writing” isn’t going to change that. What’s needed is a narrative that counters the (fallacious but effective) claims that reducing CO2 emissions would result in a negative economic or social outcome. In other words, you can’t separate out mitigation and adaptation from the discussion.

    It is unfortunate that the moderators here are in the difficult position of having to discourage that integration due to individuals who approach the troll zone in their lack of restraint. If the good-quality “citizen” and professional scientists here can’t work it out, who will?

  25. 25
    Andrew says:

    Re #23 Kevin McKinney
    Kevin, thanks for reporting from the “climate emergency” desk.
    So, I downloaded the PDF version of the NOAA / International 2015 State of the Climate report and guess what: the expression “climate emergency” is not used once in the entire report.
    Actually the word “emergency” is only used 7 times in the entire report, each and every time in association with local weather events.
    So again, why isn’t NOAA using the expression “climate emergency”? Do NOAA climate scientists figure we in 2016 are still years/decades away from a “climate emergency”?
    Or is there a directive that NOAA climate scientists should avoid using the expression “climate emergency”, a similar pressure to that felt by James Hansen when he used to work for NASA?
    Without clear and unequivocal statements from a majority of climate scientists that we are already in a climate emergency, not a single government and certainly not the UN Security Council are going to declare a global climate emergency and no emergency policies are going to be adopted.
    In other words, business as usual until the eventual exhaustion of all economically recoverable fossil fuel reserves (the RCP 8.5 scenario).

  26. 26

    “…still rebuking egregiously wrong assumptions…”

    As we all should… but that ought to read *rebunking*, of course. Damn autocorrect, anyway.

  27. 27
    Eric Swanson says:

    Ed Greisch #21 about the CRA Report. After a quick reading, I noticed a couple of points:
    1. The report assumes present demand patterns. Thus, there’s no consideration of demand modification to adapt to fluctuations in the proposed expanded SPP grid.

    2. The report notes in section 6.4.7. Additional Recommendations:

    “This study did not explore the possibility of energy storage technologies to support the grid reliability. Most of the regulation needs for this study were handled by enhanced transmission and utilization of the peaking units. In reality, depending on the fuel supply contract, there may be occasions where these peaking units cannot respond to the system operator’s needs. Energy storage technologies can be alternative and/or complementary investments to new transmission and generation enhancements…”

    3. There’s no mention of a mixed system of solar and wind. Solar PV can be a good match to the HVAC demand in summer, which represents the peak seasonal demand in some systems.

    I submit that the constraints presented in the report would be much less severe were these options considered.

  28. 28
    Alfred Jones says:

    zebra: I posed the question last time: What is the baseload of my house? My house is the ultimate microgrid, and science and engineering often does best when it employs a reductionist approach. At least, the answer would provide an accessible reference/starting point for quantitative discussions.

    AJ: You house does NOT have a base load in any meaningful sense. “Base load” is the sum of many independent events, many of which (and this is key) are NOT at minimum levels. Equating your individual “vampire load” to the grid’s “base load” is a non sequitur. Sometimes your refrigerator runs, but the odds that everybody’s refrigerator will be off at the exact same time is zero. Base load is: “during the least busy time of the day/week/month/year, how many folks’ refrigerators (and other loads) are running during any particular second?” “Base load” (the grid) is about probabilities, “vampire load” (your house) is about limits.

    Calling your house a microgrid is an interesting claim. One characteristic of a microgrid is that it has the ability to function while disconnected from the main grid. I’m guessing your house doesn’t have that capability, so no, your house is probably not even remotely like a microgrid.

    ———

    BPL, our conversation has gone something like this:

    AJ: Closing down zero-carbon electrical generation systems (nuclear) and thus increasing (or lowering the reduction) of fossil fuel burning is stupid.

    BPL: I disagree.

    AJ: Please clarify, are you for shutting down zero carbon systems before shutting down carbon-intensive systems?

    BPL: Huh, I don’t remember saying that.

    Dude, you’ve already forgotten that you said, “I disagree”? Again, do you think we should toss existing zero-carbon systems in the dustbin before we toss out carbon-intensive systems?

  29. 29
    patrick says:

    sidd, 14 & 15 > I never understood…

    Well said. Thank you and ditto all the way. The given case is real world, empirically driven, complex, cutting edge, and down home, all at once. People meeting their needs with the stuff at hand in the world as is, as of now. Down home and smart. And they’re just getting started: “Coming soon: a microgrid with islanding.” Anyone who wants to understand microgrids or how it is that microgrids and utilities can mix, study this all the way. (Missing and absent: magic-bulletism.)

    http://www.utilitydive.com/news/inside-the-first-municipal-solar-plus-storage-project-in-the-us/421470/

  30. 30
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: Comment by zebra — 3 Aug 2016 @ 6:04 AM ~#20, “What is the baseload of my house?

    I lived in an area that had a lot of power outages that usually ranged from hours to days, but on two occasions, one in the summer and one in the winter (a very cold one), lasted a week while I lived there. Because our community expected these outages, businesses and homeowners were prepared with inexpensive, low-tech solutions. Wood stoves and portable propane or kerosene heaters provided heat. Camp lanterns and oil lamps provided light. Small generators ran refrigerators and freezers for a few hours per day, and could run lights, TV, and kitchen appliances as needed. Businesses, such as grocery stores with refrigeration and ones that didn’t want to shut down had backup generators. I talked to a physician who said that when the lights blinked in surgery, he knew that the backup power had turned on.

    So, the base load for my home and a fairly large region of the local grid depended on one’s expectations, willingness to adapt, and probably on the duration of an outage. In addition, there is a sense of satisfaction in the ability to take care of one’s own needs. If you think about it, these privations are part of the fun in camping or using an RV. We all can easily adapt to an occasionally fluctuating grid and those who want it perfect all the time are actually using this as a straw man to promote a power grid that we shouldn’t persue, or have an unnatural relationship with their air conditioner.

    Steve

  31. 31
    patrick says:

    FAQ from ‘08/’09 is great. Hourdin et al. global authorship and transparency effort is exemplary, if I am not mistaken. That’s a lot of homework. So, yes, an update, should time allow.

  32. 32
    patrick says:

    #1 Ed Greisch: It’s really fun to beat a strawman like a pinata, isn’t it?

  33. 33
    Hank Roberts says:

    Andrew, you need to find a new word and quit harping on the word “emergency” as though it’s the missing word and nothing else is taken seriously.

    “Emergency” is a rate of change term for rapid financial assistance, basically.

    Is there a lead paint emergency? An antibiotic resistance emergency? A mercury pollution emergency? a hormone mimic emergency? Find the right word for the problem.

    “Emergency” is defined by rate of change: https://www.google.com/search?q=public+health+emergency

    emergency.cdc.gov

    Public Health Emergency Response Guide
    Version 2.0

    This guide is intended to assist
    state, local, and tribal public health
    professionals in the initiation of
    response activities during the
    first 24 hours of an emergency
    or disaster. It should be used in
    conjunction with existing emergency
    operations plans, procedures,
    guidelines, resources, assets, and
    incident management systems. It
    is not a substitute for public health
    emergency preparedness and
    planning activities. The response to
    any emergency or disaster must be
    a coordinated community effort.
    CDC Emergency Response
    Hotline (24 Hours)
    (770) 488-7100

    Personally, I’m recommending a neologism: Culturefuck: see petard, hoist.

  34. 34
    Hank Roberts says:

    P.S., no, of course I didn’t invent the term.

    E.g.: https://www.instagram.com/p/7CVgRBBfaC/?tagged=culturefuck

  35. 35
    Henry says:

    “The model-observation comparison including the estimates for 2016 are below:”
    Those plots don’t show for me…

    [Response: Try reloading? Anyone else having the same issue? – gavin]

  36. 36
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Why is Climate change such a polarized issue?

    Eli tells you:

    So, dear reader, you would like to know how to respond to overtures from Rex Tillerson and other fossil fuel CEOs to you. This has certainly come up with the Democratic National Convention and with Democratic speakers at media events held by The Atlantic, Washington Post, and Politico but sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute. About as alarmingly, the same thing happened at the Republican convention, except that The Atlantic “couldn’t find” people on the panel who would represent climate change as real (apparently the other media panels at the RNC had the same problem). The Petroleum Institute got to make opening remarks and distribute propaganda at the events.

  37. 37

    Huh! Don’t know if it’s the site or my browser, but mysteriously, all commenters have now acquired the (additional) surname ‘kirjoitti’.

  38. 38
    mike says:

    There is a lot going on with our climate. I am surprised by how far and how fast the daily CO2 sats are falling. The comparison year is the 1998 with the last really hot year El Nino event. It’s possible that I am just watching some fluke days, but I don’t think that is the case. I wonder if the annual CO2 cycle is developing slightly wider swings from the peak that shows up in May/June monthly averages to the low that shows up in Sept/Oct monthly averages.

    I think that no one really knows how the carbon cycle works in this changed world. well, maybe victor knows? but most of us not that certain.

    There are numerous new CO2 sources coming alive on hotter planet and historic (human time frame) natural flow are subject to changes in function on hotter planet. The GCM are all wrong in a lot of ways, though also useful in many ways. I don’t think there is any GCM that is capable of capturing/approximating the complexity of this small planet. Even a cloned planet would likely be subject to perturbations that could create significantly different outcomes over the course of relatively long time periods (anything from 1,000 to 100,000 years). Of course, the models that attempt to give us a preview of glacier and ice sheet melt and SLR are particularly wrong, unless I am mistaken. Does anybody know of a GCM that has done a good job of matching up to the loss of arctic sea ice, the increasing fragility of Antarctic ice, and the changes in Greenland ice sheet without significant tuning?

    Daily CO2

    August 2, 2016: 403.26 ppm
    August 2, 2015: 396.82 ppm (6.42 ppm increase, but flukey low day in 2015, so this normally really noisy number is meaningless for August 2, it’s an outlier)

    warm regards

    Mike

  39. 39
    Mal Adapted says:

    Kevin McKinney:

    Huh! Don’t know if it’s the site or my browser, but mysteriously, all commenters have now acquired the (additional) surname ‘kirjoitti’.

    That happens to me occasionally. ‘kirjoitti’ is Finnish for ‘wrote’.

  40. 40
    sidd says:

    Hey, no problem here. The goal is to reduce CO2 ppm in the atmosphere. We all work on what we think is best, rite ? Some of us work on climate models, others on weather models, ice models, solar, wind, hydro, nuke, renewable transport fuel, transmission, soil regeneration, afforestation … list goes on.

    Let us see what gets built first and fastest. “Firstest with the mostest.”

    Some want everyone to work on just one or two and scream at others for not accepting the One True Way. Sorry dudes, you want the dictator forum, not the realclimate forum.

    sidd

  41. 41
    Alfred Jones says:

    BPL: Every building with a Tesla wall is one that doesn’t have to be on the grid.

    AJ: NO! NO! A thousand times NO! Every building with a Tesla wall is one that NEEDS to be connected to the grid to help stabilize the grid. Going off the grid in an area where the grid is available is completely counter-productive regardless of the self-sufficiency of the building. The grid is, when viewed from a building, a near 100% efficient storage solution. Going off-grid where the grid is available is stupid.

    Dude, have you even read Tesla’s claims?
    “A net zero energy rating means that your home produces as much energy as it consumes, but is still connected to the utility grid for periods of high demand.” [and also for periods of excess production]

    The Tesla wall unit is basically a substitute for a backup generator, but also has the capability to feed the grid. Without the grid, the unit is just a horribly inefficient system that spews carbon in far greater amounts than any grid-based solution. All the “capital” costs of the unit have embedded carbon costs in excess of the carbon costs of a grid connection. Every kilowatt that goes through the unit loses maybe 15% AND degrades the wall unit by a similar amount, so the total loss is perhaps 30%. (Compare that to the near 100% efficiency of transmitting your building’s excess power to the building’s neighbor.) Tesla’s unit is about uninterruptibility, NOT efficiency. The unit MAXIMIZES carbon emissions when separated from the grid. That’s why Tesla says ya still need the grid. To productively use the Tesla Wall Unit, you MUST minimize the use of the Wall Unit. It’s to be used as an exception, not a rule. And 6.4kwh is a pitifully small amount. Your house can burn through that in an hour. Then what? The wall unit is about keeping the fridge and some lights working while the power line to your house is repaired. It is in no way a substitute for the grid.

    You pontificate constantly with essentially zero knowledge, brains, or research. NOBODY who does due diligence would miss Tesla’s own claims. Par for your course.

    Have you ever lived off the grid? I have, and it’s a truly inefficient decision, unless you’re, like I was, in a location where the grid doesn’t exist.

  42. 42
    MA Rodger says:

    And RSS has posted for July at +0.469ºC. This is not greatly different from UAHv6 being the second warmest July on record (ditto UAHv6) and the 27th warmest monthly anomaly on record (UAHv6 was 24th).
    For RSS TLT to have 2016 as warmest calendar year (currently that is still 1998 averaging +0.550ºC), the remainder of 2016 would have to average +0.38ºC or more, which is a little cooler than has so far been seen in 2016 (It is a closer race with UAHv6.). A comparison of recent RSS TLT anomalies with the 1997/98 El Nino years:-
    ……….1997/99 … 2015/16
    Dec … +0.302ºC … +0.545ºC
    Jan … +0.550ºC … +0.665ºC
    Feb … +0.736ºC … +0.978ºC
    Mar … +0.585ºC … +0.842ºC
    Apr … +0.857ºC … +0.756ºC
    May … +0.667ºC … +0.524ºC
    Jun .… +0.567ºC … +0.467ºC
    Jul ….. +0.605ºC … +0.469ºC
    Aug … +0.572ºC
    Sep … +0.494ºC
    Oct … +0.461ºC
    Nov … +0.195ºC
    Dec … +0.311ºC
    Jan … +0.181ºC
    Feb … +0.317ºC
    Mar … -0.013ºC
    Apr … +0.182ºC
    May … +0.112ºC
    Jun … -0.083ºC

  43. 43
    Titus says:

    Eyeballed the chart on the home page. Why are we so concerned about a rise of about .6 of a degree in 40 yrs? Did a quick eyeball comparison with the last 100 yrs and see little difference compared to current trends. Take a quick look:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record#/media/File:Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg
    Satellite data even shows a lower trend.
    Aren’t we over reacting?

  44. 44
    zebra says:

    @ Alfred Jones 28,

    You apparently missed my response last month.

    “…do you think we should toss zero-carbon systems before we toss carbon-intensive…”

    Alfred, there is no “we”. Nor is there a “we should”. In the USA, there would have to be a policy of the federal government to address your issue. What are you suggesting that policy “should” be?

    For example, would it be, say, nationalizing any nuclear plant that an operator wishes to close, and sending in the troops to keep it going if the Governor objects? I think people would like to know how you plan to achieve your goal rather than having the goal stated over and over.

    Now to baseload: “your house does not have a baseload”

    I just don’t follow your reasoning. The baseload as you describe it is determined by individual house loads. I don’t think anyone argues that we can’t build/modify a house that could operate for an appreciable time period using only, for example, one of those Tesla house batteries. Wouldn’t we have to calculate the “baseload of the house” to do that?

  45. 45
    Victor says:

    #24 Zebra: “What’s needed is a narrative that counters the (fallacious but effective) claims that reducing CO2 emissions would result in a negative economic or social outcome.”

    “Fallacious”? Really? So you’ve forgotten the disastrous introduction of biofuels, as mandated by a law that incentivized farmers to turn from producing food to producing a “safe” alternative to fossil fuel? Resulting in a drastic increase in food prices worldwide. I imagine you hardly noticed. But millions struggling for survival in the third world certainly did. That mandate still holds, by the way, and will be very difficult to undo, despite the by now widespread recognition that it was a terrible mistake.

    Of course a “narrative” can be artfully contrived in all manner of ways, if your intention is to deceive.

    signed: Victor, the Bad Boy of Climate Change. ;-)

  46. 46
    Greg Simpson says:

    Anyone else having the same issue?

    I’m being redirected to http://www.realclimate-backup.org, where the images don’t show. They do show up on http://www.realclimate.org, but there I can only see the mobile site.

  47. 47
    Bill Henderson says:

    re: Climate ‘Science’ and climate emergency

    John Michael Greer has a disturbing caricature of climate science in his recent essay: Climate Activism: a Post-Mortem
    http://www.resilience.org/stories/2016-07-28/climate-change-activism-a-post-mortem

    Disturbing but of utility because his confusion of climate scientists with climate activists, his weighing of the science – falsehoods of the coming ice age science, etc., is maybe a common perception in many publics.

    His essay stimulated me to write about what I think has been/is the biggest mistake by climate activists: continuing to try for as much emission reduction as is possible within BAU and in so doing wrongfooting many concerned citizens about what is needed which helps buttress denial that marginalizes any debate of emergency government action.
    http://www.countercurrents.org/2016/08/04/the-climate-activist-mistake-and-what-is-needed-now/

    Watch a couple of relevant Ed Hawkins gifs
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/07/27/spiral-tastic-climate-change-in-three-animations/

    Read Monbiot on coverage of climate change in the media
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/03/climate-crisis-media-relegates-greatest-challenge-hurtle-us-collapse-planet

    and a 36 min video with David Spratt
    http://www.climatecodered.org/2016/08/climate-heating-is-emergency-and.html

    “We believe the United States must lead in forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis. We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/22/3801094/democratic-platform-climate-wwii-mobilization/

  48. 48
    Piotr says:

    Ed Greisch #21 on the CRA:
    “Do you, Sidd, have an advanced degree in electrical engineering specializing in power distribution? Do you have years of experience in this field? If not, caution is more than in order. Like being run out of town with tar and feathers?The electric companies do know what they are doing., mostly.”
    see, for instance:
    “Our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter… ”
    Chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, 1954 ? ;-)

    Eric Swanson 27 in response to Ed Greisch:

    “After a quick reading, I noticed a couple of points […] I submit that the constraints presented in the report would be much less severe were these options considered.”

    I’d say, this is to put it mildly. The report is like kicking the opponent who has his hands tied behind its back. And as a result of this, Ed’s argument is valid, but in a very specific, and non-existing world, in which (see the caveats identified by Eric):

    – the demand cannot be modified neither in the amount
    nor in timing (people and factories can’t reduce their energy use and can’t be incentivised to use _some_ of their the energy when the energy is abundant and not during the peak in demand/low in the supply)

    – the only energy storage are giant acid batteries, and nobody has heard about the other storage technologies: no hydrostorage, not gas pressure storage, no mechanical storage
    – there is no matching between the energy generation in different parts of the continent that may compensate for the local shortages (when the wind does not blow in Texas, it may blow in Newfoundland, or offshore)

    – there is no matching between different sources of energy – yet if the wind does not blow, the sun may be shining and the water can be let over the hydrodam turbines, and conversely – when the wind blows hard – you stop the water over the damn, allowing it accumulate for later use (call it “passive” hydrostorage), or use the surplus energy to actively pump the water up (“active” hydrostorage).

    Finally, underlying the dismissal of wind energy is the “all or nothing” fallacy – if the wind cannot provide 100% of demand 100% of the time, then forget it. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

    Piotr

  49. 49
    Hank Roberts says:

    Mike: “I am surprised ….. …. The GCM are all wrong in a lot of ways, though also useful in many ways. I don’t think there is any GCM that is capable of capturing/approximating the complexity of this small planet…. particularly wrong, unless I am mistaken. Does anybody know of a GCM that has done a good job … without significant tuning? “

    Mike, Mike, Mike …. sigh

  50. 50

    AJ: Again, do you think we should toss existing zero-carbon systems in the dustbin before we toss out carbon-intensive systems?

    BPL: Are you under the impression that nukes are “zero-carbon?” They aren’t.