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Unforced variations: Sep 2016

Filed under: — group @ 1 September 2016

To come this month: Arctic sea ice minimum, decisions from the IPCC scoping meeting on a report focused on the 1.5ºC target, interesting paleo-climate science at #ICP12 and a chance to stop arguing about politics perhaps.

Usual rules apply.

292 Responses to “Unforced variations: Sep 2016”

  1. 251
    mike says:

    Last Week

    September 18 – 24, 2016 400.87 ppm

    September 18 – 24, 2015 397.31 ppm

    3.56 ppm increase. That is roughly what the dailies have been running, so no surprise. I am still hoping for an annual increase for 2016 in the 3.1 range and hoping it does not come in higher than that.

    3.1 is a terrible number. Poking the beast.

  2. 252
    mike says:

    Karen Street at 221:

    There is some data on ghg at this website.

    I skim some sites that list CO2e at times, will try to remember to share the link here when I see that info.

    For my part, I figure we are kicking our own butts so well with CO2 that I don’t really need to track CO2e. Also, I think the solution to CO2 accumulation will generally address CO2e as well (except for the carbon sequestration unicorn technology).

    Please share what you find and track. CO2e numbers and trends are interesting.


  3. 253
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #246

    Recently someone told me “Ah, come on, it’s only about some breakfast that has been sponsored by ExxonMobil for the AGU!”, hahaha. But when you dig deeper into it, it’s far more than just about some funny breakfast:

    ” 26.5.2016 – Exxon’s Donations and Ties to American Geophysical Union Are Larger and Deeper Than Previously Recognized

    Donations tied to Exxon have totaled more than $600,000 since 2001, and a former Exxon vice president sits on the AGU’s board of directors. The board of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) sparked a protest among member scientists when it announced last month that it would keep accepting money from ExxonMobil amid new revelations the oil giant misled the public on climate science. At issue was the company’s sponsorship of a $35,000 student breakfast at its annual conference.

    What AGU president Margaret Leinen did not discuss when announcing the decision was Exxon’s other, longtime financial support and close ties to the world’s largest organization of earth scientists.

    ExxonMobil Exploration is recognized by AGU as a top donor, and some of that money was raised by two longstanding AGU members who are Exxon employees: Carlos Dengo, a former company vice president and a member of AGU’s board of directors, and Exxon scientist Pinar Yilmaz.

    In all, donations tied to Exxon have totaled a little over $620,000 from 2001-15 and less than half was secured by Dengo and Yilmaz. Both are listed in AGU’s annual reports among the top 10 living AGU donors for their bundling efforts, the practice of gathering contributions. Both have also personally donated to AGU in much smaller amounts, according to Dana Rehm, AGU’s director of communications. Dengo contributed as recently as 2015…”

    ” 6.5.2016 – Why is the largest Earth science conference still sponsored by Exxon?

    By accepting sponsorship from ExxonMobil, AGU allows the company to greenwash its climate science disinformation campaign…”

    I mean, the natural business of the American GEOPHYSICAL Union is exploitation of fossil fuels :-) :

    ” 10.9.2016 – Elsevier and the American Geophysical Union Collaborate to Increase the Precision of Subsurface Geology Research

    More than 80,000 geological maps added to Geofacets, Elsevier’s geoscience solution platform for natural resource exploration geoscientists…”

    Oil, fracking gas, coal ect ect, that shit is AGU business, it’s their profession and it is therefore natural, that they have breakfast with ExxonMobil et al, who tries to greenwash their old, old, worn out sins over and over again :-)

  4. 254
    Thomas says:

    Nemesis: “They will only learn through real pain.”

    And even then many perhaps most still do not!

    A clear majority of Humans, over +200,000 years now, are not even close to being as smart as they believe they are.

    re +200,000 years now, a new paper is coming out soon based on dna sampling etc.

  5. 255
    Karen Street says:

    Mike and MA, thanks, and the figure of 485 ppm CO2-eq at does save me some effort.

    The motivation is the discussion of keeping temperature increase below 1.5 or 2°C. For example, if in 2100, atmospheric levels of CO2-eq is 480-530 ppm, the chances are more likely than not/about as likely as not to stay below 2°C, depending on whether there has been overshoot of 530 ppm. Similarly, for 1.5°C, we are more unlikely than likely to stay below 1.5°C if 2100 atmospheric levels of GHG are 430-480 ppm.

  6. 256
    Tony Weddle says:

    In Hansen’s “better graph” post, he talks about the surface temperature rise being “only” about 0.1C, between true pre-industrial and the 1880-1920 base line that he uses. However, in this article, last year, Michael Mann estimates the warming to be about 0.2C between true pre-industrial and 1870. These aren’t exactly the same periods but there still seems to be a discrepancy here. Can someone shed some light on this difference?

    As an aside, it’s surprising that Hansen characterises a 0.1C rise before 1900 as “only”, when he has determined that a 1C rise over pre-industrial would be dangerous. His 12 month running mean is at 1.3C above 1900 and an extra 0.1C would put it at +1.4C, which is very close to the 1.5C aspiration mentioned at Paris.

  7. 257
    Alfred Jones says:


    Scott and I exchanged non-disclosure agreements and explanations of agricultural projects. I think my path is better. (predictable, eh?) Perhaps Scott feels his path is better. In any case, I’ll tell you that permaculture is not the “one and only” way to go.

    Perhaps someday we’ll GMO corn, wheat, soybeans and the rest into perennials. (perennial carrots?!?) Dunno. I will say that both Scott’s and my techniques would work (if they work) on humungous farms, and so would perennial versions of grains. There’s no reason we can’t continue to gather into cities while ginormous farms supply most of our calories. Cities and huge farms have tremendous efficiency.

    Scott’s right. There’s more than one way to eliminate ploughing. He’s also right in that future generations will improve on what we do today. Our job is not to build perfection out of whole cloth, but to maintain conditions where productive weaving is still possible. It’s not our job to stop mining phosphorus et al, but to ensure that the mines don’t run out before our descendants create truly sustainable systems. We do not need sustainable systems yet. We just need to keep from going off the cliff.

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. Your stance seems to be, “We must kill off or impoverish most everybody because otherwise we won’t win a [totally irrelevant] Gold Medal.” Good luck with that.

  8. 258
    Nemesis says:

    @Thomas, #254

    ” A clear majority of Humans, over +200,000 years now, are not even close to being as smart as they believe they are.

    re +200,000 years now, a new paper is coming out soon based on dna sampling etc.”

    It’s not about smartness, it’s about integrity. The vast global majority lives in poverty without any political/economic power. No power, no responsibiliy. Where the money/power is, there is the responsibility for the mess we are in.

  9. 259
    Scott Strough says:

    @257 Alfred Jones,
    Actually just the opposite. I identified a minor gap in what is available to farmers right now in regenerative systems and my research is designed to provide one way to fill that minor gap. Since I have yet to prove my research, the only rational conclusion would be to say my research is not better but worse. I am striving to fill that gap with something that is better, but it would be arrogant to claim I am sure to succeed where so many others have come up slightly short. That’s why for now I don’t advocate my own methods I am developing yet. They are still being developed. I am still learning.

    This is very different than the systems I do advocate, all of which are well vetted by others. The vast majority of food and fiber produced world wide is produced in an unsustainable manner, but those well vetted methods can be dropped in to reverse that at almost any scale for rice, corn, small grains, meat and dairy, and fruit. There are a few things that have defied scaling up to large commercial farms, but by far the vast majority of farmers world wide do already have well vetted alternatives available to convert their unsustainable farms to more profitable regenerative farms. In so doing this, they would sequester huge quantities of CO2 per hectare. This is because universal to all these regenerative methods is restoring soil health means increasing soil carbon content using biology. That is universal because life on this planet is carbon based, and increasing soil life is increasing carbon, and many millions of years of evolution of terrestrial life have developed into biological systems that create soil beneficial for that life. All we have to do as agriculturists is mimic those biological systems, and soil carbon increases universally in all cases. If we as agriculturists are failing to increase soil carbon content yearly (and most are) then we are not mimicking those evolved biological systems. The trick of course is to do it in a way that increases soil carbon at an accelerated rate just as we produce yields of food and fiber at an accelerated rate. Sure enough there are well vetted examples of farmers doing just that exact thing at every scale farm.

  10. 260
    Alfred Jones says:


    Like you, I’m not advocating anything except research. Unlike you, I’ve conducted a successful experiment. My core technique works, but you are correct that ever so many techniques end up as “almosts”. 99% solved is still unsolved. In my case, I’d say it’s perhaps 40%. (By the way, I doubt your technique is viable. Good thoughts, though, and I could be wrong.)

    I’m not minimizing other regenerative techniques. Like you, I advocate that they be expanded. In fact, my potential system would dovetail into many of them nicely. Diversity and complexity is grand.

    No technique is universal. My system was conceived with the Great Plains ecosystem in mind, with great consideration given to how farming is done here, as well as our recurrent droughts. My system is drought-proof. (assuming seasonally accurate weather forecasting)

    So, I’m not sure what you mean by “just the opposite”. To me, it sounds like we’re more or less on the same page, or at least within the same book.

  11. 261
    Thomas says:

    Unprecedented weather event strikes South Australia and SE Australia the entire State lost electric power late yesterday afternoon and has still not recovered.

    The winds ripped at least 22 (high voltage) transmission towers from the ground across the mid-north with about 80,000 lightning strikes hitting the state, some damaging generation facilities.

    RIPPED THEM FROM THE GROUND – think about that – cyclones in Qld tropics do not do that!

    I’ll call it – it’s caused by climate change, in particular, the 2016 el nino event and high ocean temperatures in the southern ocean.

    It’s easy to call it because one only needs to see the synoptic (barometric pressure) weather maps before and after it hit.

    It IS unprecedented – that weather pattern never happens – it has affected the entire continent with additional storm cells in central to northern australia, and across to the states of Queensland and NSW yesterday and today.

    Such things DO NOT have never happened in SPRING at this time of year, nor any time of years. What has happened is similar to a cold weather tropical cyclone hitting western australia, south australia and now proceeding through Victoria.

    South Australia bracing for more destruction with monster 140km/h wind system set to bear down on state

    So do we have a global climate change crisis yet?

    How much worse everywhere every year does it need to get before the truth is finally accepted and acted upon globally?

  12. 262
    Thomas says:

    255 Karen Street, fwiw, going back to CO2 ppm only – all things being equal and with only the limited changes being made to our current global direction as per the Paris COP agreements to date, the trajectory is for CO2 @ ~510ppm by 2050.

    And that I would suggest is conservative – it does not include any extra negative feedbacks by further destabilization of the climate system (nor any kick from losing the arctic summer sea ice ~2025).

    In hard numbers it looks like this:

    Cumulative fossil fuel CO2 emissions from 1750 to 2011 was 365 ± 30 PgC

    That is over 261 years.

    From 2000 to 2009 fossil fuel CO2 emissions increased by 3.2% yr

    In 2011 it amounted to 9.5 ± 0.8 PgC

    Theoretically keeping to that rate of 9.5 / year to 2100 equals 836 PgC

    836 + 365 = 1200 PgC Cumulative

    Temps have already risen up to 1.3C and are still to increase based on what has already been emitted (some estimates are 1.8C is already in the pipeline)

    The current trajectory is to cumulatively emit 300% of what we have already emitted by 2100

    AR5 RCP8.5 increases that to a high of 1685 ± 225 PgC

    That is 19.1 PgC per year vs 9.5 per year in the above figures based on 2011 levels.

    China is saying they will stop increasing, that doesn’t mean cutting – no one has projected actually cutting global CO2 PgC emissions in real terms as yet.

    They talk about it and that’s it. It has not yet happened.

    A world with DOUBLE our current CO2 emissions that has led to 1.3 (up to 1.8C) increases already will be here before 2050 if massive negative cuts are not implemented now.

    Forget about 2100 …. the crisis is actually right now and the next 10 years.

    After that it’s all over and not worth even talking about GHG emission cuts any more – nor funding climate science either – that horse has almost bolted and will be never be seen again if serious rational logical action is not take BEFORE 2025.


    Check the climate science papers, the COP ‘treaty’, the UNFCCC, and energy use papers for yourself.

  13. 263
  14. 264
    Killian says:

    Re: #257 Alfred Jones said stuff

    Sorry, Alfred, but like Scott, your response is nonsensical. You are talking about agriculture techniques and methods. That is not what permaculture is. Since you don’t have much understanding of what it is, your criticism of it is a bit pointless.

    If you think “huge” cities can continue, then you don’t understand the very simple math behind resource constraints. By extension, I can only assume you also are not clear on critical shortages of a wide range of resources.

    The planet is limited. Anyone saying “huge” cities can continue simply does not understand/accept this. You are, quite simply, wrong. A simple thought experiment suffices: Virtually every building built in the last 100 years will need to be repaired and/or replaced many times over the lifetime of humanity. Search out numbers for concrete, steel, plastics, glass, iron, copper, rubber, sand, gravel, and on and on and on for a single city over, say, 100 years then simply multiply. The resources do not exist on this planet. And this is just scratching the surface of gross/rough resources. What of fr more rare resources needed to keep these monstrosities going?

    So, without even trying hard and not bringing climate change into it, you are absolutely, incontrovertibly incorrect.

    If you want to speak privately, let me know, but you are very, very far from solutions based on what you have said so far.

    And, frankly, that “your” method needs some secret handshake says everything: You’re just here advertising. Sustainable = open source, period.

    We need no special methods. Build soil, capture water, plant seeds. It’s not so very complex, really.

    As the recently late, great Bill Mollison said, the problems are more and more complex, but the solutions are almost stupidly simple. Keep your secret formula; the world does not in any way need it.

  15. 265
    Killian says:

    #259 Scott said stuff.

    I agree with this. I have agreed with much of what you have said given I’ve been saying it here since around 2008 or 2009. That is why your snide comments about me and permaculture, and that your comments show a complete lack of understanding of the full picture, were so disappointing. It was nice to have someone else besides myself, Kevin and a few other occasional commenters speaking on this. Sadly, your bias makes you not very useful as an ally.

    Still, yes, as far as agriculture goes, soil is the key. Even small amounts of annual rainfall can lead to significant production if water is captured, infiltrated and kept in place effectively. Let’s say you get 5 in a year and your house footprint square footage is equal to your garden and you capture and Infiltrate that into High-carbon soils: Productive garden. Capture water from surrounding surfaces too, you can have Hawaii in Tucson, as the Lancasters have shown.

    Still, you are completely wrong about massive farms for so many reasons, but let’s keep this simple: You are calling massive farms regenerative when they cannot be called this for one simple reason: Mechanization. There is no way to make tractors and harvesters sustainably. There is no such thing as a sustainable mechanized massive farm. Can’t be done. Regenerative does not mean CO2 neutral, gents. It means the system can go on essentially forever. You can’t build millions of tractors forever.

    And that’s just one reason.

    BTW, even the U.N. has admitted smallholdings are the future of food. Suggest you get educated.

  16. 266
    Killian says:

    Re #251 Mike said stuff about 3.5 or so increases in CO2.

    Try to remember, +4.3 would have been considered completely normal for a strong El Nino year. That it’s 3.5 or so is a *good* thing.


  17. 267
    Killian says:

    Re #255 Karen Street said Hey, let’s stay under 1.5 or 2.5C!

    Reminder: Arctic Sea Ice started falling in 1953 (though I suspect volume was dropping sooner) when temps were quite a bit lower and CO2 was 300 – 315.

    To me, there is no more meaningful stat with regard to sensitivity and underestimated change than this.


  18. 268
    MA Rodger says:

    Thomas @262.
    I think your CO2 emissions numbers are greatly in need of a little revision. Your estimate for FF-use emissions 1750-2011 is probably sound. But that on its own does not provide a total of human CO2 emissions.
    You need to add to you 365Pg(C) FF emissions a value for the CO2 emissions from cement production (Boden et al provide a figure of 9Pg(C) 1751-2011) and also CO2 emissions from LUC (Houghton provides a figure of 156Pg(C) for 1850-2005 suggesting a figure of perhaps ~190Pg(C) for 1750-2011).
    Other estimates for these emission sources will vary but Cement & Land Use are significant contributors and cannot be ignored.

  19. 269
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    261: Thomas, been watching the S.A battering unfolding. They are still playing politics with it’s current energy systems in place, saying the system was rushed to implement as much renewable energy as possible, thus not investigating thoroughly the contingencies for what if major weather events were to strike the state like what’s unfolding now. Concurrent to that was the statement that due to ‘climate change’ forcing more extreme events can be expected in the near future. You can’t have it both ways even in politics. Either you spend many years of research and fine tuning a ‘weather proof’ system, knowing that with every passing year the climatic extremes are going to get worse. Or you do something now and get as many renewables on the grid a possible with the inevitable teething troubles that are bound to arise when you are mixing coal/gas/wind/solar into a hybrid energy distribution system. Full accolades for S.A for taking the initiative(for whatever reason?) and leading the country. We have friends living in S.A and they just want to get out of the soggy state ASAP. Climate refugees..haha!

  20. 270
    Scott Strough says:

    @265 killian,
    There is somewhere between 35 and 40 Gt CO2 emissions yearly worldwide. To draw down CO2, (decrease the stocks in the atmosphere) we must adjust the flows into and out of the atmosphere until we achieve a net negative flux.

    There are approximately 5 Giga Hectares of land in the world currently being used to produce food and fiber for human populations. (only ~3%+/- is in permaculture or other regenerative ecofriendly management) Agriculture has been proven to be capable of being an emissions source or a sequestration sink depending on the methods used. Currently right now agriculture is an emissions source. (97% being managed by either industrial or traditional subsistence methods)

    Working backwards, for agriculture to offset emissions and achieve a net negative flux for atmospheric CO2 worldwide each hectare of agricultural land producing food would need to sequester long term into the soil over approximately 8t CO2/year. 8t CO2/ha/year X 5 Gha = 40Gt CO2/year

    The case studies mentioned by Dr. Christine Jones show a range in results between 5 & 20 tonnes CO2e/ha/year increases in soil carbon by using permaculture pasture cropping methods. (direct seeding grain crops into perennial pasture and cell or pulse rotational grazing integrated together)

    The carbon footprint for running a tractor to plant those pastures is trivially small. To give you an idea how trivially small:
    Using this as an estimate of fuel use,

    Estimating Farm Fuel Requirements,

    we get a range of between .39 – .59 gallons of fuel to run the no till drill / acre. Using the conversion of 2.5 to convert to hectares and rounding up, we get from 1.0 to 1.5 gallons per hectare to run the no till drill.

    According to this:

    How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel?

    about 19.64 pounds to 22.38 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced per gallon depending on the fuel used.

    Lets just say you have a gas guzzling old tractor and round everything up to make the math easier to understand. Say 25 pounds. So to no till drill 1000 hectares would release 25000 pounds of CO2, but the plants on those 10 hectares would sequester to the soil 5000-20000 tonnes of CO2.

    Or to frame it in your terms: 25000 pounds CO2 = 11.3398 tCO2
    So the number of hectares required to offset the carbon footprint of the no till drill on 1000 acres is approximately in the range of 0.1 hectares +/-. Maybe another 0.1 hectares to harvest it? Trivially small.

    So not only would it offset the tractors use, also quite likely if done on enough land, offset between 62% and 250% of all emissions worldwide. (yes even the carbon cost to build the tractors in the first place) That is VERY conservative BTW, because it doesn’t even include the oceans or the forests which already are removing about 1/2 of the ~35 to 40 Gt CO2 emissions yearly worldwide. So we have some wiggle room to do other things beneficial to the environment if we were to switch to a 97% regenerative ag world instead of the 97% industrial and subsistence agriculture we use currently.

    No one understands the importance of the small to tiny family farm more than me. I grew up living it. I also found work as a youth as a laborer on larger commercial farms and large seed research companies. I have hands on experience at both scales, large and small. I grew up in a cornfield, nearest neighbor 1/2 mile down the road a retired farmer. Nearest neighbor with children 1 mile across a field, 2 miles by road.

    But sorry, you are just wrong about the need for scale-ability. All you are saying to the Iowa farmer with 1000 acres is that you can’t help him, so he might as well carry on the best he can using the standard BMP that is causing all the problems to begin with. You are not helping. You are just being a technology Luddite when you claim farmers can’t mechanize and regenerate soil carbon at the same time. It simply isn’t true. In fact arguably the most advanced permaculture farm on the planet is Sepp Holzer’s permaculture farm. He has bulldozers tractors trucks chainsaws etc..all sorts of mechanized equipment.(and a computer with internet etc etc etc) He also has a water mill for hydro power. He also does a lot of work by hand. He also lets natural systems do the work in many cases without being touched at all. The key of course is using the appropriate tool for the job.

  21. 271
    Chris Dudley says:

    In a Climate Central article, Gavin claims we won’t see carbon dioxide concentrations below 400 ppm again. However, Mark Jacobson predicts the concentration will fall below 400 ppm around 2040 with and adequate policy response. It is a mistake to ignore this work.

  22. 272
    mike says:

    K at 266: Can you put up a link to help me see where you are getting a CO2 increase number of 4 ppm as normal from strong EN year, please?

    I am looking quickly at monthly averages from 1997, 98 and 99 and not seeing anything like that kind of number.

    midway down page is a pretty easy to read scale of CO2 ppm averages. Months on x axis, years on y axis.

    I have trouble seeking/finding rationales for accepting any increase of CO2 at this point. I think it’s important to remember that we are in uncharted territory in a lot of ways. We have put an amazing pulse of CO2 into the atmosphere in a very short time. We are seeing large stable things like QBO and AMOC start to look perturbed.

    When you are in a hole, stop digging. In this case, the hole we are digging is measured by CO2 and CO2e ppm in the atmosphere.

    Not trying to be argumentative, interested in where you get the EN 4 ppm increase number.

    Daily CO2

    September 28, 2016: 400.44 ppm
    September 28, 2015: 396.91 ppm (3.53 ppm on very noisy number)

    Warm regards


  23. 273
    Scott Strough says:

    @ Alfred,
    You said, “Perhaps Scott feels his path is better.” regarding my own personal research. I don’t…. yet. While early results are promising, they are still in development. You later said, “So, I’m not sure what you mean by “just the opposite”. To me, it sounds like we’re more or less on the same page, or at least within the same book.” Yes. Just the opposite means I am not claiming my research is a viable alternative that can be used for BCCS yet. Yes it does sequester copious amounts of carbon, but still needs work on the yields per acre and scale-ability fronts.

    Please don’t confuse this with the larger “path” that includes the research and development of hundreds and thousands of agriculturists working on Biological Carbon Capture and Storage (BCCS). Yes indeed we are on the same page, just different paragraphs. As I stated before I identified a small gap in what could be dropped in right now this very day by farmers to participate in BCCS. So I am working on developing a solution for that gap that is scale-able. All the major crops, rice, corn and soy, small grains, tree fruits and nuts, vineyards, meat and dairy, forestry, wool etc. already have drop in solutions available for BCCS that at the same time as they sequester carbon, they also improve yields per acre, improve profits to the farmer, and help improve rural economies. However, there are a few minor gaps remaining. I am working on one, you another. Simple as that.

  24. 274
    Thomas says:

    268 MA Rodger, I admit my 510ppm by 2050 is a back of the envelope calculation. It is also based on an assumption as mentioned that little to nothing significant is done regards to driving down CO2 emissions globally. Renewable energy still accounts for nothing much and known plans for expansion are still at small global %.

    New coal mines are still being opened, and nothing has changed in regard to oil use. So logically, unless and until coal mines are actually shut down and coal fired power plants in their thousands also marked to close then CO2ppm must only continue to increase at a rising rate of growth into the future.

    That is the basis for my calcs – start at the present and plug in BAU + some growth in CO2. @3ppm/avg/yr 2050 looks like 404 +105 = 509ppm – imo I am being conservative here. The historical pattern shows 1ppm, then 2ppm and now 3ppm which reflects carbon energy use in the real world historically.It’s never been higher than right now. eg

    My 365Pg(C) FF historical emissions came from the AR5 source papers (if I recall correctly) and included all cumulative sources (as best they could). I can check confirm that source again if it’s important.

    It is my view that nothing changes until it actually changes. Therefore things like this by ChrisD:

    “Mark Jacobson predicts the concentration will fall below 400 ppm around 2040 with and adequate policy response. It is a mistake to ignore this work.”

    is far less realistic than my 510ppm, because a theoretical “roadmap” is not the road. One must build that road and make it a reality BEFORE one can draw a road map with future ‘predictions’ of where it leads – iow a road based on factual reality and not fantasy.

    “IF we do this” is not a plan. It is a fantastical dream in an unreal non-existent world.

    Lastly, my calcs do not include the unknown negative feedbacks of additional CO2e forcing from nature.

    Neither does the IPCC AR5 RCP8.5 ‘back of an envelope’ projections.

    Neither does the Paris COP treaty. thx

  25. 275
    Thomas says:

    269 Lawrence Coleman says mnay sensible things. Hi Lawrence.

    re “You can’t have it both ways even in politics.” and yet they continue to insist they can. The entrenched ideology in politics everywhere is a disservice to everyone.

    The SA damage was done by an unprecedented and unpredictable extreme weather event. It has nothing to do with SA switching to renewable energy and drawing it’s excess needs from the national interstate grid. It was an off the scale violent storm (for that region) that caused the infrastructure damage and nothing else.

    Meanwhile ideologues talk crap and the media dutifully report that crap to the masses. It’s psychologically sick imo and very dangerous for humanity because it is everywhere today.

    EG: Psychopaths are as prevalent in the Corporate world [and POLITICS] as they are in Prisons

    Journalist Anna Patty published a story in the SMH today titled “One in five bosses is a psychopath, research reveals.”

    Anna reports that: “Forensic psychologist Nathan Brooks and research colleagues Dr Katarina Fritzon of Bond University and Dr Simon Croom of the University of San Diego looked at the psychopathic traits of people working in the business sector. Their research will be presented at the Australian Psychological Society Congress in Melbourne this week.”

    Nathan Brooks suggests executive recruiters should place a higher priority on assessing the personality traits of candidates. He said, “Many companies have their recruitment screening back-to-front.”

    “It needs to be firstly about the candidate’s character and then, if they pass the character test, consider whether they have the right skills.” Dr Brooks said.

    The 2008 Global Financial Crisis has prompted researchers to focus on the so-called “successful psychopath” – high-flyers with psychopathic traits including insincerity, a lack of empathy or remorse, egocentric, charming and superficial.

    Dr. Brooks said the research has major implications for the business sector because the “successful psychopath” may also engage in unethical and illegal business practices and have a toxic impact on other employees.

    “Typically psychopaths create a lot of chaos and generally tend to play people off against each other,” he said
    [end quote]

    Today (as always) one cannot separate the predominant business culture from our (western) political culture. ~20% of well known business and political leaders are psychopaths. They all lie through their teeth. Eddie O’Beid is not a one-off but the norm for that 20%. And like O’Beid they are the ‘puppeteers’ controlling the other 80% and the Media commentary of the day.

    Some very good graphics here showing the dynamics of this system across australia.

    It is not “normal” in any way. It is a direct manifestation of climate change – there is no other viable explanation.

    The global climate has changed, regional climates have changed, therefore logically every aspect of “weather” today is a direct outcome of that climate change.

    It cannot be anything else, because as we know Climate is what drives regional weather systems globally. That’s a scientific fact, not an assumption.

    imo the people of the world need to hear such simple logic. The details of the science, the intricacies of GCMs and disagreements between this and that recent science paper do not matter to them.

    John Cooks UQx output is excellent and valid, eg Five Characteristics of Science Denial, but no one in the real world wants to be told this.

    They do not have the time nor inclination. Those with skin the game may be interested and learn something useful for their activism but it makes no difference to the everyday populace and never will.

    12,140 views of that video is not Broadcasting critical knowledge to the Masses who need to hear it.

    The silent majority (~75% of the population who are not extremists or activists) only need to hear and see the simple basic logic of AGW/CC as it presents itself in the real world for them to change their opinions, beliefs, understanding of AGW/CC importance and their Vote.

    imo it would be much better for 20 climate scientists to have a meeting with Bill Gates and convince him to fund a global advertising campaign run by a top notch Marketing/Advertising Company.

    Why? Because Advertising works – the ‘skeptical science’ website and John Cooks videos do not.

    The only other thing that works are national Court actions, such as the one that Jim Hansen is involved in and those in Europe.

  26. 276
    Alfred Jones says:

    Killian: your criticism of it is a bit pointless.

    AJ: What criticism? I never criticized diddly squat with regard to regenerative or sustainable techniques. What are you talking about? I said YES, all that has been offered is grand, and I have a potential addition to the mix. You find that reprehensible? Why? You hate progress? You think that YOUR ideas and YOURS ALONE are worth anything? Perhaps you should change your handle to “God”.

    Killian: There is no way to make tractors and harvesters sustainably.

    AJ: OK, here we disagree. You want us to go back to sticks and prehistoric agriculture. I find that stupid beyond belief. Yep, we will run out of iron ore, and yep, eventually the planet will be consumed by the sun. There’s nothing any technique can do to prevent that. So far, it seems you want us all to die immediately since there is no way to prevent the eventual consumption of the Earth by the sun. Please explain yourself, since i can’t fathom that you actually want what you seem to be advocating. Yep, forever is IMPOSSIBLE. We WILL all die. Humanity WILL go extinct. Period.

    Your claim that mechanization is stupid is stupid. As if a non-mechanized no-iron-use farmer can provide a significant surplus of food. Ain’t possible, dude. What you are advocating is the elimination of every job except sticks-in-dirt subsistence agriculture. Right? Remember, even shovels MUST end eventually, since iron ore is a limited resource.

    Killian: Keep your secret formula; the world does not in any way need it.

    AJ: How would you know? It sounds like you’re just a luddite who hates intellectual property, modernization, and intelligent thought. You’re ignorant of my research by definition. By definition, there is no market yet, I’m not advertising. I’m doing science, dude. NOT capitalism. NOT marketing. Open your mind.

    Killian: If you think “huge” cities can continue

    AJ: I didn’t say that. I said it was appropriate NOW. What happens in the future happens in the future. Personally, I think we should ramp down to a few hundred million humans. Just my opinion. But to get there from here, well, huge cities are the best course. FOR NOW. Eventually, Earth will die and we will either go extinct, or there is a remote possibility that we’ll successfully leap to another world. Even then, we WILL go extinct. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter. The universe WILL wind down. Period.

    Scott, you miss Killian’s point. He’s not even remotely concerned with CO2. He says that IRON will eventually run out, so using iron is stupid. Basically, he’s a luddite who hates anything except wood and stone tools. That he uses a computer just shows his hypocrisy.

    Killian, I welcome your corrections. I can’t fathom that what you seem to be saying is what you believe. Enlighten us. I’m poised to retract everything in this comment. Just give the word. (I suspect that my analysis of you is incorrect, so this is a sincere offer.)

  27. 277
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @272 & Killian @266.
    You might find the red trace on this monthly MLO data graphic (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) a useful aid to judging the wobbles in atmospheric CO2 levels.
    The graphic provides a smoothed assessment of the underlying rate of MLO CO2 increase. This perhaps could be construed as a little opaque but it is not greatly different from say a rolling 60-month average of annual CO2 increases.
    The present underlying rate of CO2 increase is about 2.25ppm/year and the large deviations from that underlying rate on occasion can be approaching 2ppm/year. The 1997/98 El Nino & the 2015/16 El Nino are two such deviations. Thus, with the underlying rate now at 2.25ppm, we have seen for the first time (and given the size of the 2015/16 El Nino, should have expected to see) monthly annual increases above 4ppm.

  28. 278
    MA Rodger says:

    Ooops! Bad link, good link.

  29. 279
    Killian says:

    Hey Mike,

    Really don’t remember the source! But I’ve run across it more than once. However, it’s not 4 ppm for EN, It’s current avg rise + 2 ppm. So, since it’s been rising around 2.3ppm/yr of late + 2 ppm for EN, so 4.3 not at all extraordinary for 2016.

    Go back and look at the average over a few years prior to the 98 EN then add 2. Should be close to the rise that year.


    Re #270 Scott Strough said The key of course is using the appropriate tool for the job.

    Yes, so I’m trying to get you to use your head.

    Call me a Luddite again, it’s gonna get nasty. Your ignorance, whether on the issues or of me, does not entitle you to rudeness.

    No one understands the importance of the small to tiny family farm more than me…

    Not germane. Farmer does not equal regenerative farmer. Farmer does not equal skilled farmer. Etc.

    But sorry, you are just wrong about the need for scale-ability. All you are saying to the Iowa farmer with 1000 acres is that you can’t help him

    This is but your latest absurd statement of my knowledge, intent, etc. Is it arrogance or stupidity that you think you can read my mind?

    Did I say we can’t help a large farm? No. I did not. I said you cannot call it regenerative. You can design and redesign that farm from now till kingdom come, but if it’s mechanized, it’s not regenerative. Regenerative, Dear Readers, and Scott, is beyond sustainable. Thus, anything not sustainable is not regenerative. There is no such thing, at the moment, as a sustainable tractor. They simply do not exist, so the farm is not sustainable. However, with 9 billion sets of hands to keep busy, why do you need one? You do not.

    Yes, you can speak of the tractor, if already existing, as embedded energy and justify its use. You still cannot call it sustainable nor regenerative. A sustainable/regenerative farm can exist, less asteroids or other natural phenomena, indefinitely. That tractor is not indefinite.

    Your little rant on the CO2 footprint of the tractor was not my point then nor now. Not worth even going into, as you found with your math. But CO2 neutrality was not the point I raised. I said it was not regenerative, and it isn’t.

    so he might as well carry on the best he can using the standard BMP that is causing all the problems to begin with. You are not helping.

    This is asinine. See above.

    What the farmer should do is sell off his land/co-opt with others and create a little community on his farm of some hundreds of persons, perhaps as many as a few thousand given 1,000 acres and that we can feed 10 people per acre. I’d go for a more ecosystem approach, though, given we are talking about not just today, but 1,000 years from now and beyond. He needs no tractor IF he goes regenerative rather than your mostly useless merely carbon neural.

    You are just being a technology Luddite when you claim farmers can’t mechanize and regenerate soil carbon at the same time. It simply isn’t true.

    Good thing I didn’t make such a ridiculous statement. That didn’t stop you from doing so…

    I said nothing about not being able to regenerate soil and being mechanized. I said the farm would not be regenerative if mechanized. I said jack-all about the soil. Regenerative is an adjective. Soil is not regenerative, a system is. Thus, the farm. Can you build carbon with a tractor? Yes, but it’s foolish to do so if you don’t have to. Tilling releases carbon and, more importantly, destroys the soil ecosystem. While nutrients are released at high levels immediately, it’s a bit like putting your crops on crack: Long term you burn them out. Thus, as per the 30-yr Rodale study, no till is preferable. Why, then, do we need a tractor?

    In fact arguably the most advanced permaculture farm on the planet is Sepp Holzer’s permaculture farm.

    Holzer’s farm is not a “permaculture farm.” And, I’d bet there are a number of locations that might argue the point. Sepp, FYI, was doing his thing on his own without any reference to permaculture. That people see it as a “permaculture” farm is a tribute to the universality of many of the concepts one finds permaculture designers using in their design process. He came across permaculture later, and it was really others who started calling it permaculture.

    Again we see that your understanding of permaculture is limited. I told you, saying a “permaculture this” or “permaculture that” is like saying, “What a beautiful engineering bridge!”

    Permaculture could be written up in one short essay despite the Manual being over 600 pages. The vast majority of that are methods and techniques, not permaculture, per se. Is a cob oven permaculture? No. A swale? No. No-till? No. Sepp’s farm? No. Tagari? No. You cannot touch a permaculture. It is not a physical thing. It is a set of ethics, a set of principles, and a design process. Anything else is just a tool to be used in applying the ethics, principles and design process.

    He has bulldozers tractors trucks chainsaws etc..all sorts of mechanized equipment.(and a computer with internet etc etc etc) He also has a water mill for hydro power. He also does a lot of work by hand. He also lets natural systems do the work in many cases without being touched at all.

    And his farm is not, as it sits, regenerative or sustainable. Period. As long as it uses things that cannot be regenerated at some point in time, T, in the future, it’s not sustainable/regenerative – even if it were designed using permaculture. People have got to get this. Confusing efficiency, CO2 neutrality, etc., with sustainability aka regenerative is causing all sorts of confused, unsustainable “solution” responses. Like you here on these pages misinforming god knows how many people.

    I do not know why you are so confused, but since you have tried to use terms like regenerative and sequestration, but have failed to mention resources and seem to think a tractor can be called regenerative and/or sustainable, and called me a Luddite for correcting you, perhaps your problem lies on the energy/resource limits side.

    Don’t really care, honestly. You are a rude, disrespectful, and misinformed.

  30. 280

    “Forget about 2100 …. the crisis is actually right now and the next 10 years.”

    Yep. Decision time.

    Actually, existential decision time. Appalling that Trump has a serious chance of winning.

  31. 281
    alan2102 says:

    #257 Alfred Jones: “Our job is not to build perfection out of whole cloth, but to maintain conditions where productive weaving is still possible. It’s not our job to stop mining phosphorus et al, but to ensure that the mines don’t run out before our descendants create truly sustainable systems. We do not need sustainable systems yet. We just need to keep from going off the cliff.”

    Yes! “Sustainability”, like any other abstract value, is not achieved. It is something one moves toward in a sequence of approximations, edging ever closer, but never arriving, because the nature of the thing is not fixed.

    #264 Killian: “Virtually every building built in the last 100 years will need to be repaired and/or replaced many times over the lifetime of humanity.”

    1. Yes, perhaps, if we assume that they will not be replaced by much superior structures made of much superior materials. But why would we assume that? That would be to assume that intellectual and technical development would suddenly come to a halt. Is there any basis for this belief? Not that I can see, barring sudden global apocalypse (which, granted, is a possibility, just not likely). Technical development (including materials) is accelerating, not stopping. Older building materials will be replaced with superior and then vastly superior new ones. See:
    [you can find much more along the same lines, if you look]

    2. We don’t have to worry about “the lifetime of humanity”. We have to worry about the next several generations; say, the next 7 generations; that’s plenty. Worrying beyond that is Faustian over-reach — trying to do more than one can, properly, do — tinged with self-importance. Be modest, organic and human. Think in terms of the next few generations.

    Killian: “Search out numbers for concrete, steel, plastics, glass, iron, copper, rubber, sand, gravel, and on and on and on for a single city over, say, 100 years then simply multiply. The resources do not exist on this planet.”

    One cannot “simply multiply” because of the stunning multiplicative effects on functionality and endurance of technical developments in materials, e.g. graphene. A single technology of that sort can change the game dramatically by causing a drastic reduction in the amount of source materials required for a given structure or application, and/or by drastically extending the life expectancy of a structure (from centuries, as at present, to millennia, or longer).

    Further, there is the matter that urbanization is associated with drastic declines in fertility, and thereby (over a century or so) stabilization or even decline of population. This is very good for obvious reasons. Hence, urban development is self-limiting over the multi-generational term. Past a point, which is coming soon, there will be no need to expand further. We will have all the urban structure built that we will ever need, in terms of quantity.

    Quality is a different matter, and that is where advanced materials come in. There will be slow attrition of existing structures, which can be replaced with much superior new ones. But even most of the old structures will last a very long time. Structures built nearly a century ago (e.g. Empire State Building) show no signs of falling apart. They will probably remain functional for centuries, with minor upkeep. Many ugly old structures should be and (one hopes) would be demolished, to make way for structures superior both technically and aesthetically. Beautiful classics like the Empire State Building would be preserved as functional museum pieces.

    Again, all of this assumes that we avoid near-term global apocalypse, which I admit is possible.

  32. 282
    MA Rodger says:

    Just in time for the end of the month, HadCRUT is published. August anomaly is posted at +0.775ºC, a bit higher than the last three months (in line with NOAA & GISTEMP). It becomes the hottest August on record & the 10th warmest monthly anomaly.
    The average anomaly for 2016-to-date is running at +0.860ºC, pretty much the same as the average for the last 12-months which is +0.858ºC and still running above the average for the last calendar year (also presently the record calendar year) of +0.747ºC. Thus the remainder of 2016 would have to average above +0.52ºC to gain the ‘warmest calendar year’ accolade. (The most recent year with last 4 months’ average below +0.52ºC was 2012.) Only five of the last 20 months are not top 20 anomalies.
    The anomalies for 2015/16 and their rankings within the full record are as follows:-
    2015 …1 … … 0.688ºC … = 21st
    2015 …2 … … 0.660ºC … … 29th
    2015 …3 … … 0.681ºC … … 23th
    2015 …4 … … 0.656ºC … … 31st
    2015 …5 … … 0.696ºC … = 19th
    2015 …6 … … 0.730ºC … … 15th
    2015 …7 … … 0.696ºC … = 19th
    2015 …8 … … 0.732ºC … … 14th
    2015 …9 … … 0.784ºC … … 9th
    2015 …10 … . 0.820ºC … … 7th
    2015 …11 … . 0.810ºC … … 8th
    2015 …12 … . 1.010ºC … … 3rd
    2016 …1 … … 0.908ºC … … 5th
    2016 …2 … … 1.061ºC … … 2nd
    2016 …3 … … 1.063ºC … … 1st
    2016 …4 … … 0.915ºC … … 4th
    2016 …5 … … 0.688ºC … = 21st
    2016 …6 … … 0.733ºC … … 13th
    2016 …7 … … 0.734ºC … … 12th
    2016 …8 … … 0.775ºC … … 10th

  33. 283
    Ric Merritt says:

    Mike, currently #272, says “I have trouble seeking/finding rationales for accepting any increase of CO2 at this point.”

    I believe the commonest rationale is that avoiding *any* increase in CO2 from here on would require pretty much stopping burning fossil fuels. Doing this suddenly would cause the prompt death and immiseration of billions of people. Most folks who would prefer to avoid this choose instead to discuss how we might use a reasonable and diminishing amount of FF.

    If you didn’t mean “any increase”, please don’t write that. Unless of course you are just trolling, in which case I will drop out of the discussion quickly, although we seem to have many others who will oblige you.

  34. 284
    Hank Roberts says:

    Some thinking, well, not long term, but at least a few decades ahead:

    San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood might need large levees or a tidal barrier to help protect it from the impacts of sea level rise in coming decades, a study released Monday and done with the city’s participation concludes.

    The 80-page study is billed as “an imaginative exercise” and consists of design concepts rather than formal recommendations. Still, the emphasis on eventually altering the shoreline — one concept would turn Mission Creek into a lake — is a strong signal that local government sees the tidal aspects of climate change not as a distant possibility, but as a likelihood that needs to be planned for now.

    “We want to help the public understand what protecting us from sea level rise might look like,” said Laura Tam of the planning advocacy nonprofit SPUR, which managed the project for the city.

  35. 285

    #271, Chris Dudley–

    Thanks for that link. Yes, it would be a mistake to disregard this paper, or previous work by this team, for that matter. They’ve toiled diligently & tirelessly to provide a plan to transform the global energy economy. They have their critics, of course.

    “Adequate policy response” is the main driver of the difference between Gavin and Jacobson et al. There are 3 curves given in JD et al., 100% ‘wind-water-solar’ (WWS) by 2015; 80% by 2030; 80% by 2050.

    The first is ‘unobtainable’ and presumably given for reference purposes; the third doesn’t get us below 400 til something like 2070. (For many of us, that will be ‘never’ from a personal perspective, as we’ll be dead by then.) So the case you are referring to must be the second (which further assumes 100% WWS by 2050). It does indeed dip below 400 around 2040, which would be great. But 80% WWS by 2030 looks like a big reach–sad, to get to ‘adequate’.

    I’ve cribbed their graph, which those interested can see here:

  36. 286

    I think these two psychological states, outlined in below studies are connected, and relate to the climate crisis. For example, inaction in face of an acute emergency situation, and lack of motivation to discuss an emerging abstract threat. Any comments on this thought?

    Why People ‘Freeze’ in an Emergency: Temporal and Cognitive Constraints on Survival Responses


    Example video footage of inaction

  37. 287
    Hank Roberts says:

    Hat tip to

    Donatella Zona. Biogeochemistry: Long-term effects of permafrost thaw, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/537625a

    Min Jung Kwon et al. Long-term drainage reduces CO2 uptake and increases CO2 emission on a Siberian floodplain due to shifts in vegetation community and soil thermal characteristics, Biogeosciences (2016). DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-4219-2016

    Anna K. Liljedahl et al. Pan-Arctic ice-wedge degradation in warming permafrost and its influence on tundra hydrology, Nature Geoscience (2016). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2674

    Read more at:

  38. 288
    Hank Roberts says:

    Everything Change features twelve stories from our 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest along with along with a foreword by science fiction legend and contest judge Kim Stanley Robinson and an interview with renowned climate fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi.

    Everything Change is free to download, read, and share

  39. 289
    Nemesis says:

    Yeeez, the funny “elite” likes to give us the Truth bit by bit, you know :-):

    ” 30.9.2016 – Scientists: Window for avoiding 1.5C global warming ‘closed’

    I got used to get the Truth from the funny “elite” bit by bit a long, long time ago already, so I am just glad, so glad, that I did not procreate.

    ” 30.9.2016 – Climate Change: Most people alive today will witness its ‘dangerous’ effects in their lifetimes

    Most people alive today will witness the “dangerous” effects of global warming in their lifetimes, a group of leading scientists have warned.

    The earth is on track to warm up by 2C by 2050 unless governments at least double their efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, their report claims.

    Titled ‘the truth about climate change’, the report states that plans by almost 200 governments to cut greenhouse gases are not strong enough…”

    The Paris Climate Summit last December saw global leaders agree to try to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

    Before that, a 2C increase had been viewed by scientists as the point at which global warming becomes “dangerous”.

    However, this new report warns that the 1.5C target is already unrealistic.

    Robert Watson, a British-American scientist who was one of the study’s seven authors, told the Independent: “While the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is an important step in the right direction, what is needed is a doubling or tripling of efforts.

    “Without additional efforts by all major emitters, the 2C target could be reached even sooner.”

    This means that the majority of those alive today will be alive when global warming reaches this perceived dangerous level”.”

  40. 290
    Thomas says:

    Assessing recent trends in high-latitude Southern Hemisphere surface climate

    “Our findings confirm that climate change is already having an impact on parts of Australia,” said Dr Abram from the Research School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at ANU.

    “Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are remote but this region influences Australia’s heat waves, affects whether our crops get the winter rainfall they need and determines how quickly our ocean levels rise.”

    Winter rainfall in southwest Australia has declined by more than 20 per cent since the 1970s because of the shifting westerly rain belt, and Perth now relies on a desalination plant to supplement its water supplies.

    Another example of regional climate effects from AGW/CC.

    Of course the anecdotal knowledge about this has been obvious for well over a decade in both SW Western Australia and Tasmania. Farmers know from observation and experience what’s going on long before anyone from the ANU pays attention, and decades before a politician would … most of whom will happily ignore this science paper as well as all the others.

    Before this Paper the predominant wind shifts and lack of rain, which used to fall like clockwork, was not a secret nor unknown. Having a Paper confirm that definitively using science surely still helps (a little).

    Could it be that we will also get climate science papers confirming we have passed the non-return tipping point of the climate system 20 years after it happens? I suspect so.

    Which imo shows again that the problem to be solved here is not the quality climate science nor the scientists nor a lack of understanding of the climate system.

  41. 291
    Thomas says:

    Global warming set to pass 2C threshold in 2050: report
    September 29, 2016

    Signatories have submitted voluntary national pledges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Those pledges, however, are “totally inadequate”, the report said.

    “If governments are serious about trying to achieve even the 2 degree goal, they will have to double and re-double their efforts—now,” Watson said.

    “I think it is fair to say that there is literally no chance of making the 1.5 C target,” he added.

    Urgent steps needed to decarbonise the global economy include improving energy efficiency, switching to renewable energy production, and removal of fossil fuel subsidies, said the report, entitled “The truth about climate change.”

  42. 292
    Thomas says:

    Most people alive today set to witness dangerous global warming in their lifetime, scientists warn.

    Average temperature could rise to two degrees Celsius above the norm by 2050 or ‘even sooner’

    The world could hit two degrees Celsius of warming – the point at which many scientists believe climate change will become dangerous – as early as 2050, a group of leading experts has warned.

    In a report called The Truth About Climate Change, they said many people seemed to think of global warming as “abstract, distant and even controversial”.

    But the planet is now heating up “much faster” than anticipated, said Professor Sir Robert Watson, a former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and one of the authors of the report.

    Been thinking and saying the same things for over a decade. Maybe I’m a new age John the Baptist or an alien spy planted on the earth? lol