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Unforced Variations: Oct 2016

Filed under: — group @ 1 October 2016

Here’s hoping for no October climate surprises…

Carry on. Usual rules.

265 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Oct 2016”

  1. 1
    MA Rodger says:

    Thomas @274(Unforced Variations: Sept 2016),
    I wasn’t directly questioning your “510ppm by 2050” figure, although it may need some correction. It was your “365 ± 30 PgC” that I was claiming to be wrongly used. The impact of such an error on your calculation would be important as the proportion of emissions from LUC has dropped greatly over the period 1750-2011.
    As for checking the source of your “365 ± 30 PgC”, IPCC AR5 Ch6 presents a summary of cumulative CO2 emissions thus:-

    “Anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere were 555 ± 85PgC (1 PgC = 10^15 gC) between 1750 and 2011. Of this amount,fossil fuel combustion and cement production contributed 375 ± 30 PgC and land use change (including deforestation, afforestation and reforestation) contributed 180 ± 80 PgC.

    Your “365 ± 30 PgC” appears in drafts of chapter 6 (eg here) being the original value for FF+cement emissions. Thus the value for all sources was also set lower at “545 ± 85 PgC”. As cement emissions are about 10Pg(C), this obsolete “365 ± 30 PgC” IPCC value is pretty good for FF on its own.

  2. 2
    Russell says:

    Anthony Watts has once again declared himself the greatest living climate blogger,
    but something seems rotten in the stats of Wattsmark.

  3. 3
    wili says:

    Hurricane Matthew has certainly been exhibited some interesting behavior. It blossomed quickly from a tropical depression to a full category 5 hurricane in spite of some wind shear (that usually rips nascent hurricanes to shreds).

    Now it seems to be headed north, possibly hitting the eastern seaboard at some point. Worth watching and discussing, it seems to me.

  4. 4
    mike says:

    rm at 282 Sept: no, not trolling. I really believe we need to commit to whatever it takes to stop the rise of CO2 and CO2e in the atmosphere. And we should start doing that stuff now… immediately.

    Implementation will take some time, but half-assed measures to talk a good game about carbon emission reductions should be seen for what they are: talking the talk.

    People/beings will die if we do nothing about climate change. People/beings will die if we go all out on reducing the carbon footprint. I am not in favor of triggering a massive die-off through the mechanics of getting the CO2 needle to stop moving up.

    I do think we have to decarbonize our economy and it would be better to do it sooner rather than later. I wonder what could be accomplished if we took half of the military budget and committed it to building an energy system that did not burn fossil fuels? It would certainly make sense to stop building fossil fuel infrastructure now if we were serious about addressing global warming. It would certainly make sense to stop exploring for new sources of fossil fuels if we were serious about addressing global warming. We are not making this basic rational decisions that help us move in the right direction. I am looking for those kind of radical actions as an indication that we are committed to stopping the increase of CO2 and CO2e in the atmosphere.

    K at 279 September: Thanks, I am looking at the annual averages on a spreadsheet using the NOAA numbers at CO2.earth. Here is what I get:
    1993 increase 0.69 ppm (fluky low year)
    1994 increase 1.75 ppm
    1995 increase 1.97 ppm
    1996 increase 1.79 ppm
    1997 increase 1.12 ppm
    1998 increase 2.95 ppm
    1999 increase 1.67 ppm
    2000 increase 1.20 ppm, from that time forward, recovering and generally trending up

    I am not sure how I can see any year above 3 ppm as acceptable, EN or no because once the CO2 and CO2e is at the table, it takes a long time to chase it off. be that as it may be, I need to put in a few more years watching these numbers to get a better handle on trends, noise and fluctuation. I would love to see noise or fluctuation that caused a lower-than-expected number on a regular basis, but to the extent that those low numbers are present, they appear to be getting overwhelmed by upward trend, noise and fluctuation.

    When in a hole, stop digging. I think every ppm increase should be seen now as an alarm bell going off telling us to work harder and faster.

    But, hey, what do I know?

    Warm regards all

    Mike

  5. 5
    Thomas says:

    MAR “this obsolete “365 ± 30 PgC” IPCC value is pretty good for FF on its own.”

    Sure. Thanks for nailing the details down. FF use was exactly what I was intending to speak to, but that probably got lost in the telling.

    Excellent info for others to check too. thanks again

  6. 6
    Thomas says:

    “It costs about $1,000,000 of turnover.

    “It’s people we employ who don’t get to work. It affects the community, it affects everyone.

    “If that’s not climate change, I don’t know what is. I’ve been farming this area all of my life. I’ve only ever seen one dry period like that before, but never seen the rain events like that.”

    – Betting the Farm: Farmers confront climate change

    Climate change is here, and Australian agriculture is acutely feeling the effects. Three farmers explain how it’s impacting their lives and livelihoods.

    Real-world observations of temperature spikes, pasture growth and grape harvests across southern Australia reveal that the landscape is heating up at rates experts did not expect to see until 2030.

    In some instances the rates of warming are tracking at 2050 scenarios.

    Scientists concerned that climate change is biting harder and faster than models anticipated are campaigning for more research investment to protect Australia’s $58 billion agriculture industry from extreme weather.

    Background Briefing has learned that their concerns about the capability of Australian research to address climate change will be validated in an independent review by the prestigious Australian Academy of Science.

    The review, due for release in the next few weeks, has identified a substantial shortfall in the nation’s climate research firepower.

    It’s understood that the review will recommend that the number of scientists working for CSIRO and its partners on climate science needs to increase by about 90. That is almost double the current number of full time positions.

    Meanwhile, the reality is already confronting farmers on the front line, many of them battered by this last year of wild conditions.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-30/farmers-confront-extreme-reality-of-climate-change/7887720

    How Climate Change Is Fueling a Food Crisis in Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria

    Persistent rural poverty and food insecurity have long been a fact of life here. Rapid population growth—sub-Saharan Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, the fastest rate of growth anywhere on Earth—only threatens to make those problems worse.

    Now, a new threat has arisen: Climate change, which is raising temperatures even as it disrupts the seasonal rains on which Amelia’s crop depends.

    East Africa is roughly 1.5 degrees F warmer now than it was in the 1980s; during the same period, rainfall during the primary rainy season fell by 15 percent, according to climatologist Bradfield Lyon of the University of Maine.

    Emerging research indicates that climate change could drive down yields of staples such as rice, wheat, and maize roughly 20 percent by 2050. Worsening and widespread drought could shorten the growing season in some places by up to 40 percent.

    http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/09/29/how-climate-change-is-fueling-a-food-crisis-in-kenya-uganda-and-nigeria/

  7. 7
    Thomas says:

    Understanding The Dunning Kruger Effect Upon Too Many Climate Scientists

    Experts often underestimate themselves!

    The Dunning Kruger Effect

    Highly Competent and Unaware

    The Dunning Kruger Effect

    Where smart clever and talented people tend to be too humble to realize that they are really clever!

    Krugar – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDOiTgCyrO8

    Dunning – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRBmBzLusoY

    Hoi, Climate Scientists – You’re Better Than You Think

    Highly competent people like Climate Scientists tend to underestimate their ability compared to others.

    “One of the painful things about our time is that those [.] with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.” – Bertrand Russell, The Triumph of Stupidity

    http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/06/the-worse-than-average-effect-when-youre-better-than-you-think.php

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

    This is the worse-than-average effect. This means that when you’re REALLY REALLY GOOD at something, you tend to ASSUME, wrongly, that other people are good at it as well.

    So, when you’re faced with a difficult task that you are good at, such as communicating directly to the people and journalists, you underestimate your own ability!

    Be decisive and have no doubt because Climate Scientists, You Are MUCH Better Than You Think Are. :-)

  8. 8
    Geoff Beacon says:

    In the video of the recent conference in Oxford that discussed keeping below 1.5°C, Professor Corrinne Le Quere says [to keep within 1.5°C] it is necessary to be “completely de-carbonising the economy in just a few decades.”

    Earlier this year Carbon Brief reported “Analysis: Only five years left before 1.5C carbon budget is blown”. There is a big difference between “a few decades” and five years.

    Any clues? How long have we got?

    Professor Le Quere also says “Global emissions have stalled in the past few years”. Apart from the fact that “stalled” is nowhere good enough, this reduction is not yet seen in the concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. They seem to be accelerating.

    CO2 concentrations may be subject to lags or effects such as El Nino. Are these the explanations or are carbon feedbacks kicking in? Carbon feed backs will reduce or remaining carbon budget.

    If we can’t decarbonise the carbon intensity of production will we have to have degrowth? i.e. Green growth or degrowth?

    I for one would welcome fewer planes, cars and buildings made from bricks and steel.

    Stopping beef eating is easy too.

    But that might not be enough.

  9. 9
    Scott Strough says:

    Geoff,
    You said, “Stopping beef eating is easy too.”

    True it is easy, but it is not a solution. Eating beef is irrelevant. Rather you could say, stop raising beef on corn. That’s even easier and you don’t lose an important food source for humanity. Then people could chose to eat beef or not as they choose according to whatever culture or religious beliefs they happen to have.

    It is not the cow’s fault industrial beef production is so wasteful and such a significant source of ecological harm, including AGW. It’s the way we raise those cows that causes all the harm. The cows have no say in the matter.

  10. 10
    wili says:

    Geoff Beacon, I can’t locate the source right now, but I recall some not-wild source saying that basically by next year we have to completely stop producing any more cars, machines, plants…anything at all that depends on FF as its fuel source to have any chance of staying below 2 degrees.

    As far as I know, nothing like that level of change on anything like that time frame is even being talked about by any political entity or NGO.

  11. 11
    sidd says:

    Scott Strough wrote on the 2nd of October, 2016 at 4:11 PM:
    “The cows have no say in the matter.”

    Perhaps they should. We know and they know how to run a prairie. (Need some wolves and such, too, but they will come …) It’s just cheaper in current economics to run corn thru them in very cruel production line.

    wili writes on the 2nd of October, 2016 at 5:54 PM:
    ” … by next year we have to completely stop producing any more cars, machines, plants…anything at all that depends on FF as its fuel source to have any chance of staying below 2 degrees. ”

    It is becoming quite clear, at least to me, that atmospheric carbon sequestration is necessary for limiting rise to 1.5C over preindustrial. I think this can be done using spilled power from renewables overbuilt against interruption.

    While I am sympathetic to land use change as a sequestrator, I am dubious enuf largescale multinational land rapists such as Conagra or ADM will see the light in time. But perhaps they will. If for example, agricultural pathways for carbon sequestration prove profitable with a carbon price established, I am sure the multinationals will jump into it with both feet.

    sidd

  12. 12
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    Thomas: from 275 last month. Very true about the psychopathic bosses you mentioned. Goes beyond my fav quotation..”there are non so blind as those who do not wish to see”. There might well be a darker, more sinister element to all of this. Those select uber-scientists in the know, the ones who advise governments or heads of corporations must realise as you and I do and many on this site, that we have left it probably 40+ years too late. That might be why they advise against taking any direct action against CC and instead keep the process of public misinformation and political confusion at full steam. I’m not sure where in aus you are located, I’m on the sunshine coast in queensland, but it seems to me that labor across the states is completely divided on the relevance and urgency of CC. While qld labor fully supports coal in all it’s forms, Shorton is bludgeoning Turnbull over not doing enough. Nothing meaningful is going to happen at least in the political arena in the short-med term I’m afraid. If trump should win(heaven help us all), then you might want to up your predictions to 550ppm by 2050 coz he’ll be intent in digging up the last remnants of fossil fuel he can lay his grubby hands on. I believe those in the know must realise it’s too late and wish to perpetuate the BAU but now with steroids.

  13. 13
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Thanks wili.

    Scott Strough you say

    Rather you could say, stop raising beef on corn. That’s even easier and you don’t lose an important food source for humanity

    I’m not convinced. Stop grass fed beef and let the Amazon Rain Forest regrow. Any beef you eat puts pressure on the Amazon through world markets.

    Methane levels increasing
    Beef and meat from other ruminants causes massive methane emissions. Have you seen Nisbet et. al.(26 September 2016), Rising atmospheric methane: 2007-14 growth and isotopic shift?

    The isotopic evidence presented here suggests the methane rise was dominated by significant increases in biogenic methane emissions, particularly in the tropics: for example, from expansion of tropical wetlands in years with strongly positive rainfall anomalies, or emissions from increased agricultural sources such as ruminants and rice paddies.

    Beef’s terrible carbon footprint.

    Was the research right that convinced George Monbiot that eating beef was terrible for the climate. See Warning: your festive meal could be more damaging than a long-haul flight:

    A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo of protein from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York.

    Methane and climate

    As methane emissions are the main effect of producing beef, this brings up the question of how methane fits into a strategy of limiting global warming. If we have BECCS, CO2 becomes a short lived gas and methane much more important. See Now CO2 is short lived, cows really are bad. (But I don’t feel any certainty on this. Can anyone help?)

    “important food source for humanity”?
    Yes, corn and soya fed cattle are wasteful of food – extremely wasteful. So is grass fed- more productive crops can be grown: Possibly 30 times more soya than beef per hectare.

    The soil carbon argument

    I’m also very skeptical of the cows-increase-soil-carbon argument. Possibly a temporary effect but it would be minor compared to other possibilities.

  14. 14
    Alfred Jones says:

    Scott: Eating beef is irrelevant. Rather you could say, stop raising beef on corn.

    AJ: Reasonable. There’s lots of land that isn’t suitable for crops, but can be productive for grazing. I’m not convinced that cows are the best animal, though. Bison might be better.

    ——-

    wili, they’ve already blown the budget. If they were to magically stop emitting today, aerosol reduction would spike temperatures way beyond the 1.5C “limit”. Whether natural systems would repair their damage in time or not is questionable. Of course, that’s all academic. Two wheels are already over thin air and the rear wheels are still accelerating. Highway to the danger zone…..

    At least I don’t share the blame. I’m carbon negative and working on solutions to help others achieve the same. We currently subsidize the most carbon intensive activities, such as fossil fuels and reproduction. We should subsidize the childless instead of ever-larger deductions for each carbon-hungry child a person spits out. We’ve already got way too many humans. Imagine how wealthy our nation would be if we dropped our reproductive rate to 0.1 children per woman.

  15. 15
    MA Rodger says:

    Geoff Bacon @8,
    The Carbon Brief Whirly-Graph you refer to shows us that future emissions equal to 5.2 years of present day emissions will deliver a 66% chance of keeping below 1.5ºC global average increase. It also sets this emissions budget at 8.9 years for a 50% chance and 16.5 years for a 33% chance. These numbers are based on 2015’s annual emissions of 39.7Gt(CO2) = 10.8Gt(C) and the estimates appear to be derived from IPCC AR5 2014 Synthesis Report (pdf) Section 2.2.1. (The workings are presumably straightforward but not set out. The probabilities will presumably be based on ECS PDFs.)
    While the 5.2 years doesn’t give much of a carbon budget to play with, consider the 16.5 year budget. If the world uses the next 6.5 years in preparation and also manages to hold emissions at 2015 levels through those 6.5 years, the remaining 10 years of budget could be eked out over two or more decades while emissions are ramped down to zero and a “completely de-carbonised economy” achieved in “just a few decades”. Thus the comment of Professor Corrinne Le Quere you quote (I’m not seeing a video down your link @8 – I assume you are referring to the short Carbon Brief interview – video on this page) is compatible with the 33% Carbon Brief figure.
    Talk of “stalled” emissions result from estimates of FF emissions 2013-15 being roughly flat. Of course, while this is encouraging news when compared with the usual rising level of emissions year-on-year (bar the odd year of recession), they are still estimates and still just FF emissions of CO2. And also the grand result of keeping CO2 emissions steady rather than ramping up would not be noticeable in the atmospheric levels for decades.

  16. 16

    “The cows have no say in the matter.”

    If they did, they’d probably second Geoff’s suggestion.

  17. 17
    Nemesis says:

    @wili

    “… I recall some not-wild source saying that basically by next year we have to completely stop producing any more cars, machines, plants…anything at all that depends on FF as its fuel source to have any chance of staying below 2 degrees.

    As far as I know, nothing like that level of change on anything like that time frame is even being talked about by any political entity or NGO.”

    Ahem, you need to tell that the military-industrial complex, corporate Empire, that they can’t make any more profit by next year, they’ll LOVE that message and will surely stop making profit, harr harr :-)

  18. 18
    MA Rodger says:

    1 Sep 2016 at 2:10 PM

    UAH has posted the August global temperature anomaly for its TLTv6.0(beta5) at +0.44ºC (two significant places). This probably best described as equal-warmest September on record as Sept 1998 is listed at +0.441ºC. And thus Sept 2016 is probably best described at the =19th warmest of all monthly anomalies. It represents a tiny rise on August’s anomaly. The year-to-date average stands at +0.552ºC, To achieve the ‘warmest calendar year on record’ (which remains 1998 at +0.484ºC) the remainder of 2016 would have to average in excess of +0.28ºC.
    The table here allows comparison with the 1997-99 El Nino years. That 1997-98 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 have been much slower appearing than in 1998 with SOI 30-day-average languishing in the high neutral zone until just 2 weeks ago, so three months behind the 1998 transition to La Nina conditions.
    ……….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 . … +0.389ºC
    Aug … +0.516ºC …. +0.435ºC
    Sep … +0.441ºC …. +0.44ºC
    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

  19. 19
    Hank Roberts says:

    The climate scientists are in the same position as the antibiotic-resistance scientists.
    It’s the Cassandra Corner.
    Ironies abound, as the melting icecaps are flushing several centuries of lead fallout into the oceans, and the melting tundra is releasing 10,000-year-old viruses and bacteria — both at rates of change exceeded only by the pace of glacial retreat.

    Those saying they ought to have been warning people better just haven’t been listening.
    That would be approximately all of us and our parents.

  20. 20
    SecularAnimist says:

    It’s interesting to see ardent advocates of climate change action morph into deniers when the sanctity of their hamburger consumption is called into question.

    Every serious study of the issue has found that livestock production is a major source of global GHG emissions, comparable to the entire transport sector.

    Yet many environmentalists who would gladly spend tens of thousands of dollars on hybrid cars or rooftop solar panels throw a fit when it is suggested that simply switching to a vegan diet would reduce their personal GHG footprint by a comparable amount — and would not only REDUCE their food expenditures but would have enormous positive “side effects” for their health.

    It is important to realize that the livestock production methods touted as “sustainable” actually use MORE resources (e.g. land and water) to produce a given amount of protein than does “factory farming”. The reason that factory farming exists is because it is the ONLY way to mass produce the vast quantities of cheap meat that Americans demand. To supply just the US demand for meat using such methods would require the resources of several planet Earths. The reason that US-style factory farming methods are now being adopted all over the world is precisely because traditional methods cannot keep up with increasing demand for meat.

    It is also important to realize that there is no human nutritional need to consume any food of animal origin. All of the nutrients needed for optimal health, strength and longevity are abundantly available from fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and other non-animal sources.

    Moreover, decades of overwhelming scientific evidence shows that consuming anything more than tiny amounts of meat, dairy and eggs on a regular basis causes multiple, serious, potentially life-threatening degenerative diseases — many of which are at epidemic levels in the USA where per capita meat consumption is near the highest in the world.

    What is really needed to reduce food-related GHG emissions, and to address the dual public health crises of hunger and diet-driven illness, is a drastic reduction in meat consumption and a transition to whole food plant-based diets.

  21. 21
    mike says:

    Sep. 25 – Oct. 1, 2016 400.72 ppm

    Sep. 25 – Oct. 1, 2015 397.25 ppm

    looks like 3.47 ppm increase on noisy number.

    Cows everywhere agree it’s time to stop eating beef and see if it helps with the increasing CO2 and CO2e.

    Warm regards

    Mike

  22. 22
    Dp says:

    re#17 if that happens it isn’t just corporate profit. The economy would crash in a way that would make the 1930’s seem like a picnic. Get real.

  23. 23
    Scott Strough says:

    @11 Sidd,
    You said, “We know and they know how to run a prairie. (Need some wolves and such, too, but they will come …) It’s just cheaper in current economics to run corn thru them in very cruel production line.”

    That is mostly correct. However, grassfed beef is actually cheaper to raise than cornfed beef. Where the economics comes into play is not cost to produce, but rather agricultural policy related to commodity markets. Specifically, the buffer stock scheme (ever-full granary or ever-normal granary) as it is currently managed. Right now the buffer stock scheme is designed to promote the over-production of corn and soy and other grains. We don’t raise cows on corn because it is cheaper or more efficient to raise cows that way (it isn’t), we raise cows on corn because it is more profitable to feed corn to cows than simply destroy the huge grain surpluses obtained from the buffer stock scheme. Same reason we use corn to make ethanol instead of switchgrass to make ethanol. Switchgrass ethanol is far more efficient, ecologically sound, and profitable. But if we went to switchgrass ethanol, what would we do with those huge grain surpluses?

    For more information of buffer stock schemes look here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_stock_scheme

    This means any strategy to convert to grass forage fed animal husbandry must also be accompanied by a corresponding reduction of the land in grain production by adjusting the buffer stock scheme policies. It can work if the land taken out of grain production is restored to prairie, forage crops, and/or pasture and those newly restored prairies and pastures are what we use to add additional forage to raise the animals on. As Geoff correctly pointed out, cutting down forests to create pastures, (just so we can continue to over-produce corn) is defeating the purpose! The purpose is to allow the land to rest from cropping and let it regenerate lost carbon! Not destroy even more ecosystems!

    This is a prime example where we need cooperation between the agricultural, political, and financial sectors to effect a successful BCCS AGW mitigation strategy. Without that cooperation it is doomed to fail. The good news is with cooperation all three sectors benefit. So with cooperation we should be able get this done. It’s the one way I can see we can get die hard conservatives and die hard liberals to agree and break the deadlock.

    PS Oh and BTW, Humans can be the wolves! ;)

  24. 24
    Nemesis says:

    @DP, #22

    ” if that happens it isn’t just corporate profit. The economy would crash in a way that would make the 1930’s seem like a picnic. Get real.”

    Yep, thanks a lot for your additional note. I am completely with you^^ And yep, the economy wouldn’t just crash, it WILL crash sooner or later. In fact, from my humble perspective, economy crashed already, the world economy got ~60 trillion $$ debt, if that’s not a CRASH, then what?^^ So, yep, let’s get real, I second that since more than 30 years now. Everybody will get real sooner or later, because reality is never late for sure.

    Love,
    Nemesis

  25. 25
    Omega Centauri says:

    I doubt we could produce anything like the current rate of beef without feeding them industrially grown food. Especially at anything like current prices.

    We really don’t need to go fully vegan, simply cut down on the volumes of meat consumed to more healthy levels and overall consumption would go way down. Demanding purity of lifestyle is the surest way to turn people off making any sort of lifestyle change. Also some types of meat have lower stress per pound of meat than beef, so substitution of one type of meat with another can go a long way. Sure grass fed can be done, but probably not for the current volumes. And as others have already noted demand for grass fed beef could easily create a demand for deforestation in order to create more grassland.

  26. 26
    Russell says:

    It seems less a matter of beef than Beacon, Beacon, Beacon.

  27. 27
    Geoff Beacon says:

    Dp #22 you say

    The economy would crash in a way that would make the 1930’s seem like a picnic. Get real.

    A “crash” in the production of carbon polluting goods and services is what we need – if we are bothered about saving the climate.

    Take from the rich and give to the poor

    The simple solution to avoid the poverty of the 1930s is to take from the rich and give to the poor. This is the Robin Hood moral principle. This is a moral feeling most of us share (See Feeding the geese and robbing the rich. Fortunately in democracies we don’t need the violence of bows and arrows: We have the vote.

    The rich should pay for their pollution

    Another moral principle is the polluter pays principle. The richest 10% of the world cause 50% of the world’s pollution. Make the rich pay and give to the poor – the poorest 10% cause hardly any pollution at all. (See World Wide Carbon Fee and Dividend)

  28. 28
    patrick says:

    “I believe that each of us–exactly who we are, with exactly the values we already have–has every reason we need to care.” –Katharine Hayhoe, “Global Weirding” (posted Sept 28,’16):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvr8WJwKcIA

    On the occasion of this episode of “Global Weirding,” I would like to observe that the fever analogue is good enough for HJ John Schellnhuber–and Katharine Hayhoe likes it too, I see, going by this 2014 video (at 1:42):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMJKkweZN6w

  29. 29
    Bill Henderson says:

    No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously

    If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.

    Updated by David Roberts @drvox david@vox.com Oct 4, 2016, 7:00a
    http://www.vox.com/2016/10/4/13118594/2-degrees-no-more-fossil-fuels

    One of the morbidly fascinating aspects of climate change is how much cognitive dissonance it generates, in individuals and nations alike.

    The more you understand the brutal logic of climate change — what it could mean, the effort necessary to forestall it — the more the intensity of the situation seems out of whack with the workaday routines of day-to-day life. It’s a species-level emergency, but almost no one is acting like it is. And it’s very, very difficult to be the only one acting like there’s an emergency, especially when the emergency is abstract and science-derived, grasped primarily by the intellect.

  30. 30
    MA Rodger says:

    RSS has posted for September at +0.576ºC which is a bit of a rise on the August value of +0.458ºC. (A similar rise appeared in UAH TLTv5.6 but is absent from UAH TLTv6.0beta.) This is the warmest September on record (ahead of 2010 +0.504ºC and 1998 +0.494ºC) and the 12th warmest monthly anomaly on record (behind 5 months from 1998, 4 from 2016 & 2 from 2010).
    The first 8 months of 2016 average +0.654ºC. 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 above +0.24ºC, an average for the last 3 months of a year which was easily exceeded over the last two autumns.
    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… +0.458ºC
    Sep … +0.494ºC… +0.576ºC
    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

  31. 31
    Alfred Jones says:

    Secular A: It’s interesting to see ardent advocates of climate change action morph into deniers when the sanctity of their hamburger consumption is called into question.

    AJ: LOL. I’m reminded of the Elio ad which compares the eating of a hamburger unfavorably to the emissions from their future vehicle. However, grazing is grand when done properly on land which is unsuitable for other stuff, or represents excessive capacity. Of course, that means meat costs so much that it becomes a “treat” as opposed to the primary source of calories. Perhaps a ration card, where folks get one pound of flesh per month? But today? Go to any grocery store. Try to buy a jar of spaghetti sauce without horrendous amounts of salt and sugar. If you can actually find it, it will generally cost you four times as much. Yep, manufacturers charge incredible amounts to leave out the toxins! It takes effort and education to eat actual non-druglike food. However, your leap to “zero animal products” is unwise at best. Totally eliminating 70% of the planet’s surface (oceans) from the food supply is silly. Totally eliminating much of the rest (scrubland) is equally silly. Not culling deer is an environmental crime. As Scott said, “Humans can be the wolves!” Absolutists are always wrong. (Oops, was that an absolute?) B12.

    Myopic definitions and views lead to erroneous conclusions. Ruminants ain’t the only animals around and our inefficient digestive system needs help. Feed the waste to flies and then eat the wriggling results, or, if you’re less interested in health and efficiency, feed the maggots to chickens or fish and have hot wings or salmon!

    —–

    Mike: Cows everywhere agree it’s time to stop eating beef

    AJ: Name one creature who thinks extinction is better than life. Every cow I’ve ever met would rather live for a while than to never be born. Your argument doesn’t MOOOOve me.

  32. 32
    Walt Bennett says:

    I just read that Gavin was quoted saying that 400ppm is “not evidence of a tipping point”.

    And to think this site is called RealClimate ;)

    Gavin, we have long since blown past the tipping point. Do you actually continue to claim we can stop or even significantly slow AGW?

    [Response: I’d like to think that people arguing with me would think about what words mean and discuss the statements on a shared basis. I said and i will say again that 400ppm is not a tipping point. If you want to argue with that, point to something that tipped or will tip at 401ppm vs 399ppm.

    Don’t come along and argue that because I don’t think 400ppm is a tipping point that this means that I don’t think climate change is happening or that I’m suddenly predicting nothing will change or that the moon is made of green cheese. There is not one single piece of connection that links these claims to what I actually said.

    There is enough nonsense talked about climate without more people making things up.

    And lest you think my skepticism about tipping points is new let me point you to a piece I wrote in 2006. -gavin ]

  33. 33
    Geoff Beacon says:

    MA Roger

    I may be getting dozier as I get older but my impression of the numbers you have posted is that the current El Nino’s global temperatures are much the same as the one in 1997 – i.e. temperatures haven’t changed much for nearly 20 years.

    When I look at Tamino’s graphs they seem to have increased enormously – and Tamino seems to do statistics rather well.

    Am I just being stupid?

  34. 34
    Thomas says:

    The Politics of Climate Pew research in the US

    http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/04/the-politics-of-climate/

    Small sampling but a few take away messages eg

    More than three-quarters of Democrats and most Republicans (69% among moderate or liberal Republicans and 48% of conservative Republicans) say climate scientists should have a major role in policy decisions related to the climate. Few in either party say climate scientists should have no role in policy decisions.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    Most American voters may want scientists to have much more influence on climate policies. Unfortunately that has no relation whatsoever to what policies will be implemented by the coming president, be it Clinton or Trump. They are both stubborn denialists, Trump openly, Clinton more behind closed doors. If any real change shall happen to US climate policy, only some kind of political earthquake could do it, completely eliminating the two-in-one-party-dictatorship and the media machine upholding it. As of now we are directly heading for a global catastrophe of enormous geological proportions. After all, even the worse extinctions in the geological record involved much slower greenhouse emissions than are currently going on.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Burgess-Bowring-2015-Siberian-Traps-Dates.html

  37. 37

    MAR, #30–Thanks for the update!

    But you said, “(A similar rise appeared in UAH TLTv5.6 but is absent from UAH TLTv6.0beta.)”

    Isn’t Spencer’s ‘latest global temps’ page on v. 6? Sure looks like a September rise there, too.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

  38. 38
    JCH says:

    In the 19th century the favorite meat in the USA was pork. When my Dad got out of college in 1949 he became part of changing that. Grass-fed beef tastes like game meat. A lot of people do not like it. By comparison, corn-fed beef has a bland flavor, and corn-fed animals fatten faster. Corn-fed beef won out; grocery stores eliminated grass-fed beef from their shelves; and, beef replaced pork.

    Grass-fed bison would turn a lot of people into vegetarians. When my kids were little we went on vacation in Australia. They wanted to eat at McDonalds. They were apparently using grass-fed beef. The kids gagged and never asked to go back to an Australian McDonalds.

  39. 39
    MA Rodger says:

    Geoff Beacon @33.
    The surface & TLT temperature series are yielding markedly different temperature increases between 1997-98 and 2015-16 which can be a tad confusing. Up-thread I pasted in the satellite data for September. The surface data will be posted in a couple of weeks time.
    I am maintaining here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) a graphical comparison of surface measurements, TLT satellite measurements & also MEI which may (or may not) help show what’s going on.
    Basically, the ENSO wobble appears to be smaller in 2016 than in 1998. As the satellites amplify such wobbles, the smaller 2016 wobble will be more reduced in the TLT data, significantly reducing the rise 1998-to-2016 relative to, say the non-ENSO years rise 1997-2015. Tamino was graphing GISS data so the smaller 2016 surface wobble is less amplified and so has less significance. (The relative size of surface/satellite wobbles is shown well for past ENSO events in this graphic (2 clicks again) comparing RSS TTTv4.0 with GISS as both global data sets have a very similar rate of rise per decade.)
    Averaging GISS, NOAA & HadCRUT and also RSS & UAH, the numbers work out as follows:-
    … … …… … … … … Surface … … … TLT
    1997 … … … … …….+0.46ºC … . …+0.05ºC
    2015 … … … … …….+0.64ºC … . …+0.31ºC
    Rise 1997-2015 … … ..+0.38ºC … . …+0.26ºC

    1998 (part year)…+0.974ºC … . …+0.596ºC
    2016 … … … .. …+0.669ºC … . …+0.593ºC
    Rise 1998-2016 .. . ..+0.305ºC … . …+0.003ºC

  40. 40
    alan2102 says:

    #20 SecularAnimist:
    “there is no human nutritional need to consume any food of animal origin. All of the nutrients needed for optimal health, strength and longevity are abundantly available from fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and other non-animal sources.”

    SA, I am with you in support of largely plant-based diets for health and environmental reasons, both. However, it is not true that wholly-vegan diets contain all the nutrients needed for optimal health for all populations under all conditions. Vegan diets contain most or all of the nutrients needed for select populations, such as already-healthy wealthy white men in developed-world contexts (like 95% of the readers of these words). Other populations, including menstruating women, infants and children, elderly people, people with chronic infections or infestations, people with injuries or other severe stresses, people with poor or no medical care, etc., particularly in the developing world, are problematic. Their nutrient intake on vegan or near-vegan diets often falls short.

    The evidence for this, at the macro level, is the fact that billions of people in the developing world, on vegan or near-vegan diets, suffer from multiple serious nutrient deficiencies, particularly vitamin A, iron, and iodine, but also vitamin B12, vitamin D, protein, omega-3 fats, zinc, and others. These deficiencies are generally prevented, or are reversed, by inclusion of small amounts of animal foods in the diet. Even modest quantities of animal foods drastically improve diet quality with consequent beneficial effects on health. Animal foods can have striking effects on e.g. children who had been subsisting on (vegan) gruels and suchlike. Part of the problem is simply getting enough calories from the relatively-dilute vegan fare, and part of it is the micronutrients. Note that infants — humans undergoing very rapid growth and development — subsist and thrive normally on 100% animal food, milk.

    Even in developed-world contexts, problems are noted with all-vegan diets in vulnerable populations. Failure to thrive in children, for one example, and intractable anemia in menstruating women, for another. Vegan diets seem to supply barely enough of the growth- and repair-related nutrients to maintain health in the robust fully-grown and -healthy, but not enough for many with health challenges, or in development or recovery. For the latter, small amounts of animal foods are like medicine.

    Note please the phrase “small amounts”. It is not necessary for anyone (except perhaps infants) to eat a lot of animal food. Small amounts are plenty. Some people might be able to get by without any at all.

    Traditional oriental cuisine, featuring lots of veggies, with animal foods in condiment-like proportions, might be the ideal.

    Another angle on this is the potential role of insects as animal food for humans. Insects are eaten widely, around the world, except in the West. In the West, the “yuck” factor prevails; it is a cultural prejudice. This could be overcome over a couple generations, and insects could provide most or all of the animal foods needed… rich in protein, iron, B12, vitamin A, omega-3 fats! Yum.

    I agree that for the average meat-besotted American, (~180 POUNDS PER YEAR, not counting dairy and eggs!), drastic reduction of animal food consumption is in order, for all reasons. Paradoxically, the people with the least need for animal-source nutrients are the ones who eat the most animal foods. Wealthy men gorge on red meat, thereby overloading their bodies with carcinogenic and atherogenic iron excess (in addition to other excesses), while poor menstruating women subsist on iron-poor vegan fare that compromises their health, energy and efficiency. I want to picket McDonalds: “Give your Big Mac to someone who really needs it!”

    #25 Omega Centauri:
    “We really don’t need to go fully vegan, simply cut down on the volumes of meat consumed to more healthy levels and overall consumption would go way down. Demanding purity of lifestyle is the surest way to turn people off making any sort of lifestyle change. Also some types of meat have lower stress per pound of meat than beef, so substitution of one type of meat with another can go a long way.”

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Vegan purity for everyone all the time is not a helpful idea. But the mostly-plant-based meme, for most people most of the time, IS a helpful idea.

  41. 41
    alan2102 says:

    #20 SecularAnimist:
    “It’s interesting to see ardent advocates of climate change action morph into deniers when the sanctity of their hamburger consumption is called into question.”

    It is also interesting to see ardent advocates of climate change action morph into deniers when the sanctity of their electoral choices (Hillary) is called into question.

  42. 42
    alan2102 says:

    http://www.g20.org/English/Dynamic/201609/t20160909_3414.html
    Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, at the Opening Ceremony of the B20 Summit
    Hangzhou, 3 September 2016
    snip
    “We will unwaveringly pursue a strategy of sustainable development and stay committed to green, low-carbon and circular development and China’s fundamental policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment. In promoting green development, we also aim to address climate change and overcapacity. In the next five years, China’s water and energy consumption as well as CO2 emission per unit of GDP will be cut down by 23%, 15% and 18% respectively. We will make China a beautiful country with blue sky, green vegetation and clear rivers, so that the people will enjoy life in a livable environment and the ecological benefits created by economic development.”

  43. 43
    Hank Roberts says:

    [Response: I’d like to think that people arguing with me would think about what words mean and discuss the statements on a shared basis. I said and i will say again that 400ppm is not a tipping point. If you want to argue with that, point to something that tipped or will tip at 401ppm vs 399ppm.

    Don’t come along and argue that because I don’t think 400ppm is a tipping point that this means that I don’t think climate change is happening or that I’m suddenly predicting nothing will change or that the moon is made of green cheese. There is not one single piece of connection that links these claims to what I actually said.

    There is enough nonsense talked about climate without more people making things up.

    And lest you think my skepticism about tipping points is new let me point you to a piece I wrote in 2006. -gavin ]

    Ya know, that could go up top of the page to replace the picture, perhaps to good effect.
    Applause. Thank you.

  44. 44
    mike says:

    Walt and Gavin at 32: the quote was “evidence of a tipping point.” I suspect we are passing some tipping points in natural systems that will disrupt the carbon cycle that existed when CO2 ppm was in the 280 to 300 ppm range, but I don’t know exactly how we will produce evidence that we have passed certain tipping points in a time frame that allows us to do anthing about the passed tipping points except to look in the rear view mirror and say, uh-oh…

    If the conversation turns to tipping points, I think it helps to be specific about the process that is tipping or will tip, or has tipped. CO2 and methane release from warmed/dried ground/permafrost comes to mind for me. Without thinking too broadly, the warming and drying of previously cold and/or damp ground and how those large earth features are operating in the carbon cycle seems like a place where “evidence of a tipping point” might be found. I think there is nothing magical about the number 400 that says, uh-oh… tipping points. But there is something of impact about these big/round numbers that reaches a segment of the population.

    I think when we pass 500 ppm, a lot of the same discussion will occur: uh-oh… does 500 ppm mean we have passed a tipping point? Nope, it means our species has not taken this existential crisis seriously.

    See you there! We should definitely talk about tipping points when we hit 500 ppm. Maybe before that big round number?

    Mike

  45. 45
    Hank Roberts says:

    People out there are listening to that guy who thought of everything before anybody else:

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/mu-sp100516.php

    The researchers invite those who are involved with sustainability projects of various kinds around the world to go to the Seeds of a Good Anthropocene website and contribute them.

    ###

    About Seeds of a Good Anthropocene: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fee.1309/abstract;jsessionid=3EB343DC33A4C617A3CAFD6861C7B3F7.f01t04

    “Seeds of a Good Anthropocene” is a collaboration led by McGill University in Canada, the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in Sweden, and the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. It forms part of the initiative “Bright Spots – Seeds of a Good Anthropocene,” a FutureEarth funded project.

    This research was supported by Future Earth, The Swedish Research Council Formas, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden; Program on Ecosystem Change and Society, ecoSERVICES, the SwedBio programme and the Natural Sciences and Research Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC).

    To read “Bright spots: seeds of a good Anthropocene,” by Elena Bennett et al, Frontiers in Ecology, published online October 05, 2016. doi: 10.1002/fee.1309
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fee.1309/abstract

  46. 46
    mike says:

    Mike: Cows everywhere agree it’s time to stop eating beef

    AJ: Name one creature who thinks extinction is better than life. Every cow I’ve ever met would rather live for a while than to never be born. Your argument doesn’t MOOOOve me.

    Thanks, I like and agree with that. One aspect of the problem with cows (pigs, chickens, etc.) is they are essentially an engineered species at this point. I think bison or elk or something like that would be close to this animal absent our manipulation of the species.

    My mindset on consumption of beef is heavily predicated by my buddhist/jainist philosophical leanings that can’t easily accommodate the killing of another sentient being, no matter how tasty it might be on a skewer. Now, despite the philosophical weighting, I think that a fine scientific argument can easily be made that cultivating ground for fruits, grains, vegetables and other plant-y type edibles does allow for fewer people to go hungry on the planet and would reduce the carbon footprint of the global diet on any given day.

    Does that moooove you?

    Cheers,

    Mike

    Cheers

    Mike

  47. 47
    alan2102 says:

    Things are moving even faster than the renewables optimists predicted:

    http://rameznaam.com/2016/09/21/new-record-low-solar-price-in-abu-dhabi-costs-plunging-faster-than-expected/
    New Record Low Solar Price in Abu Dhabi – Costs Plunging Faster Than Expected
    Posted on September 21, 2016 by Ramez Naam
    The price of solar power – in the very sunniest locations in particular – is plunging faster than I expected. I’ve been talking for years now about the exponential decline of solar power prices. I’ve often been called a wide-eyed optimist.
    snip
    In fact, if anything, my forecasts were too conservative. The solar prices I expected have been smashed by bids in the Middle East and in Latin America. I will need to update the model above in a future post.
    The latest record is an incredibly low bid of 2.42 cents / kwh solar electricity in Abu Dhabi. That is an unsubsidized price.
    Let me put that in perspective. The cost of electricity from a new natural gas powerplant in the US is now estimated at 5.6 cents / kwh. (pdf link) That is with historically low natural gas prices in the US, which are far lower than the price of natural gas in the rest of the world.
    This new bid in Abu Dhabi is less than half the price of electricity from a new natural gas plant.
    What’s more, it’s less than the cost of the fuel burned in a natural gas plant to make electricity – without even considering the cost of building the plant in the first place.
    The solar bid in Abu Dhabi is not just the cheapest solar power contract ever signed – it’s the cheapest contract for electricity ever signed, anywhere on planet earth, using any technology.
    snip

  48. 48
    Hank Roberts says:

    An old friend, whose work I’ve been supporting for decades, working on replacing corn and soybeans with no-till tree crops:
    http://badgersettresearch.blogspot.com/2016/07/everything-done-right_31.html

    If you’re thinking about changing what you grow, watch out for discouraging — wrong — claims that it will take ten years to get nuts from a newly planted tree — arguments from corn-state academics are being used to discourage farmers who think of replacing the corn and soy.

    Look it up.

  49. 49
    Thomas says:

    There’s a new research article by Hansen et al being made available as a “Discussion” paper in Earth System Dynamics Discussion on 4 October, as it is undergoing peer review.

    Summary by Jim Hansen
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2016/20161004_BurdenCommunication.pdf

    Article http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/esd-2016-42/esd-2016-42.pdf

    Abstract
    “The rapid rise of global temperature that began about 1975 continues at a mean rate of about 0.18°C/decade, with the current annual temperature exceeding +1.25°C relative to 1880-1920.

    “Global temperature has just reached a level similar to the mean level in the prior interglacial (Eemian) period, when sea level was several meters higher than today, and, if it long remains at this level, slow amplifying feedbacks will lead to greater climate change and consequences. The growth rate of climate forcing due to human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs) increased over 20% in the past decade mainly due to resurging growth of atmospheric CH4, thus making it increasingly difficult to achieve targets such as limiting global warming to 1.5°C or reducing atmospheric CO2 below 350 ppm.”

    main page http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/esd-2016-42/

    He gives a high five to Kevin Anderson’s 2015 paper
    “C. Continued high fossil fuel emissions place a burden on young people to undertake massive technological CO2 extraction. Quietly, with minimal objection from the scientific community (Anderson, 2015, is a courageous exception), the assumption that young people will somehow figure out a way to undo the deeds of their forebears, has crept into and spread like a cancer through UN climate scenarios. “

    see http://kevinanderson.info/blog/duality-in-climate-science/
    Published online 12 October 2015 http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v8/n12/full/ngeo2559.html

  50. 50
    Thomas says:

    An increasing mean rate of about 0.18°C/decade for the next 50 years means an annual temperature exceeding +2.15°C relative to 1880-1920 in 2065.

    That sounds conservative to me.

    1) Global temperature: the 12-month running-mean temperature is now +1.3°C relative to the 1880-1920 average in the GISTEMP analysis.

    2) The growth of the three principal human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs: CO2, CH4, N2O) are all accelerating.

    and MAY 12, 2016
    EIA projects 48% increase in world energy consumption by 2040
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s recently released International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 48% between 2012 and 2040.
    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=26212