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Unforced Variations: Feb 2017

Filed under: — group @ 1 February 2017

“O brave new world, that has such people in ‘t!”

This month’s open thread. Usual rules apply.

257 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Feb 2017”

  1. 151
    Scott Strough says:

    No Thomas, not good at all. Still too flawed to work unless 100% of the dividend goes to verifiable sequestered carbon in the soil. Just make carbon a commodity sequestered in the soil it earns a dividend, released into the atmosphere it becomes a cost against the bottom line. The market will quickly solve AGW because economic pressure will be on both sides of the carbon cycle. The sources in industry financially motivated to get their production using the least CO2, the farmers motivated to sequester the most in their soils.

  2. 152
    MA Rodger says:

    This Guardian story reports that Wikipedia has branded the Daily Mail and its website “generally unreliable, and its use as a reference is to be generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist. As a result, the Daily Mail should not be used for determining notability, nor should it be used as a source in articles.” That is quite a strong restriction to place against a publication that purports to be a newspaper, or at least a serious newspaper. (The UK’s Sunday Sport calls itself a newspaper and regularly spoofs its headlines. It probably operates without a ban at Wikithing because it is straight to the point, styling itself “The world’s most outrageous newspaper”).
    The Daily Rail responds to the Wikithing ban saying ““It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this move by Wikipedia. For the record the Daily Mail banned all its journalists from using Wikipedia as a sole source in 2014 because of its unreliability.”
    I suppose if a newspaper were to make fools of its readership by regularly pumping out fake-news by the bucket-load, you would have to do it with a straight face.

  3. 153
    Thomas says:

    145 Scott Strough: Hi, i struggled somewhat. I have a question.

    1. I would argue that not only is natural capital a real asset, it is by far the most valuable of all three, being the source of all life on the planet including us!

    Being the most ‘valuable’ it has a high value.

    2. “Ecosystem function is vastly more valuable than the production and consumption of goods and services.” -John D. Liu

    Here natural capital is vastly more valuable than – say narrow it down to ‘money’ – and what it can purchase being both production capacity and consumption.

    3. Once you give natural capital a real value

    Oops, isn’t that a non sequitur?

    Maybe would be best if that was written as: Once you give money/financial capital a real value relative to the most valuable asset being ‘natural capital’….

    Because, 4. (edited) No matter how “inspired” a capitalist society might be, there is no other outcome other than the destruction of the ecosystems required to support civilization; until a real value is placed on money / capital.

    As opposed to a theoretical one….. ?

    The native americans have this thing called “7 generations ahead”.

    The minimum requirement of all choices is to first consider the impact upon the decendents 7 generations into the future … taking the highest moral and ethical stand means honouring and taking responsibility for 200 years of potential impact form today’s decisions.

    A timely example of that is this little ‘problem’ of UCG gone bad

    Being able to lock people up or fine them doesn’t reverse the consequences of such horrendous decisions and the degree of incompetence involved to screw things up this badly.

  4. 154
    Scott Strough says:

    Yes I can see you are struggling. Things like soil health and ecosystem function are abstract concepts very different than tangible goods and services in our economic systems. However, our economic systems have shown quite capable of dealing with the abstract regarding things like social capital and financial capital, while failing to deal with natural capital. All we have right now to deal with it is a holistic decision making framework in our management of government and business.

    However, one limitation of any management system is that economically and politically powerful users can easily quantify and argue their needs. It is harder to define the economic value of ecosystem services and, therefore, the ecosystems and people most dependent on them for their subsistence become voiceless and often neglected users.

    So in order to more easily quantify this intangible abstract concept of natural capital, soil health, and ecosystem services resulting from higher ecosystem function, placing a real value on carbon and treating it like a commodity will help.

    It has been tried and failed several times. However, the flaw in those previous attempts was that they traded back and forth between sources, rather than traded to sinks. It was just shuffling the deck rather than removing any cards to the discard pile.

    Get it?

  5. 155
    Killian says:

    Dear Peanut Gallery,

    The effectiveness of permaculture aka regenerative design shows up more and more in science journals.

    You’re welcome for your early introduction to the primary solutions to climate we have: Simplicity and soil sequestration.

    My August 2015 prediction on Arctic Sea Ice (near new lows and new lows follow El Nino’s the year of or year after) has aleady been confirmed (2nd lowest extent, e.g. and record lows across the board before and since the ’16 summer low) and seems poised to keep being accurate in ’17.

    Again, you’re welcome

  6. 156
    Killian says:

    And this is why compost teas work.

  7. 157
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    Thomas: have a look at the 250hPa jet stream that’s not over Australia but far far down south. It’s supposed to be over central oz though. Instead we have this little circular eddy that’s blocking and building all the hot air in west Qld and NSW.
    I have never seen the jetstream look so strange. Large parts of the east coast are enjuring record temps…40-50C. Us included. Sorry I’m not feeling guilty about having our aircon on, it’s a vital necessity.

  8. 158
    Scott Strough says:

    Thanks for the links. I am very familiar with several projects similar to that, but not that particular one. When I went to the site, I tried to find case study data quantifying carbon sequestration. Didn’t find it. Do you have a link for that?

    On the carbon sequestration side I have found no case study over 32 tCO2/ha/yr (10 year average), and as I stated before in earlier posts, the average ranges between 5-20 tCO2/ha/yr for the more advanced methods similar to this.

    5-20 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year x 1.5 billion hectares = 7.5 – 30.0 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s roughly 60%-250% of annual fossil fuel emissions +/-. So I buy the idea that reducing fossil fuel use by 40% and simultaneously changing agriculture worldwide to regenerative models of production could potentially get us to a CO2 drawdown scenario.

    Pretty sure that between solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear energy, where each is appropriate, combined with better efficiency on the consumer side, we can reach a goal of 40% reductions in fossil fuel use without disrupting worldwide economic growth. These new regenerative agricultural models of production actually increase yields per acre. So by doing both it’s at least a plausible solution, and I see no negative unintended consequences to stop us from trying.

    But proving that is significantly harder due to lack of usable empirical evidence from case studies. We have a few from CSIRO, and a few more from USDA NRCS & SARE, China has some data from their Loess Plateau project, but there needs to be a whole lot more taken from all over the world in various climates and local conditions. So if you know of data I would sincerely ask for a link to it.

    Oh and BTW, anyone seen this movie? Here is the trailer, and a very bold claim is made:

  9. 159

    Does anybody have an up-to-date figure for the infrared surface emissivity of Venus, on average? I’ve seen figures ranging from 0.8 to 1.0. Any input appreciated.

  10. 160
    Thomas says:

    154 Scott Strough says:
    Thomas, Yes I can see you are struggling. […] Get it?

    Yes thanks Scott I do get it now. One, you never directly answered my question/s and instead ignored it completely.

    Secondly, I have made another bad judgement call to be recorded in my life’s karmic records. You are not as wise, aware, logical, evidence based and as decent a person as I thought you were. Damn I and just ref’d you to others as a source about soils sequestration. Oh well, no biggy.

  11. 161
    Thomas says:

    157 Lawrence Coleman, thanks for the heads up. I didn’t know about that technicality. Too busy surviving this onslaught to go chase the bigger issues like the jetstream you mention.

    The positive news that I may well lose ~3kg in a cpl of weeks. Living in a sauna (even with the air-con on FULL) is kind like that.

    Stay cool brother!

  12. 162
    Thomas says:

    151 Scott Strough says:
    “The sources in industry financially motivated to get their production using the least CO2, the farmers motivated to sequester the most in their soils.”

    Well if you are right and know you are right and you know of the empirical evidence that supports such a conclusion, as that just above, then you probably also should know Dr. James Hansen is on the Board of CCL. (hint)

  13. 163
    Thomas says:

    Your thoughts?

    By Astrophysist Steven Desch ASU moving past his usual field into climate geoengineering (et al)


    As the Earth’s climate has changed, Arctic sea ice extent has decreased drastically. It is likely that the late-summer Arctic will be ice-free as soon as the 2030s. This loss of sea ice represents one of the most severe positive feedbacks in the climate system, as sunlight that would otherwise be reflected by sea ice is absorbed by open ocean.

    It is unlikely that CO2 levels and mean temperatures can be decreased in time to prevent this loss, so restoring sea ice artificially is an imperative. Here we investigate a means for enhancing Arctic sea ice production by using wind power during the Arctic winter to pump water to the surface, where it will freeze more rapidly.

    We show that where appropriate devices are employed, it is possible to increase ice thickness above natural levels, by about 1 m over the course of the winter.

    We examine the effects this has in the Arctic climate, concluding that deployment over 10% of the Arctic, especially where ice survival is marginal, could more than reverse current trends of ice loss in the Arctic, using existing industrial capacity.

    We propose that winter ice thickening by wind-powered pumps be considered and assessed as part of a multipronged strategy for restoring sea ice and arresting the strongest feedbacks in the climate system.

    Comment is Free

  14. 164
    Thomas says:

    157 Lawrence, i cant find info the jetstream issue, if you have a ref link pls, would like learn about it.

    Just saw on abc news24 that Singleton hit 47.2C yesterday (117 F) breaking nsw state high temp record. 46C today. Like it’s not the sahara desert and only 60kls to the coast.

    Singleton, NSW February Maximum Temperature

    Highest This Month 47.2°C 11th

    Highest On Record 44.5°C 2nd 2006

    Average This Month 38.4°C +8.2°C

    Long-term Average 30.2°C

    Only 17 C above average …. what global warming people keep asking.

    I’m near Coolangatta/Tweed only 500 meters to the beach w sea breezes, and it was 27C inside the house at 7 am.

    (shaking my head in disbelief)

    The beast has been awoken.

  15. 165
    Scott Nudds says:

    Good news

    This 10 year old girl has decided to act.

    Are your plans continued complicity?

  16. 166
    Scott Nudds says:

    Commit now to defeating Republican evil or live the rest of your life in a country dominated by fundamentalist Republican ignorance.

    Decide what you are willing to lose to prevent everything you value from being taken.

  17. 167
    Chuck Hughes says:

    Thomas says:
    11 Feb 2017 at 10:58 PM
    Your thoughts?

    “By Astrophysist Steven Desch ASU moving past his usual field into climate geoengineering (et al)”

    Sounds a lot like putting a tourniquet around your neck for a head injury.

  18. 168
    pete best says:

    Still heading for 2C, 1.5C is a pipe dream, prepare for 3-4C in reality.

    For all of our talk and alleged promises at the various meetings since RIO in 92 we appear to be unable to address the issue with technology alone, unwilling to look to your own lifestyles and address it that way either and hence keep on arguing about it in the media but not in the scientific literature. So what it comes down to is that the bad news keeps on coming, the issue is constantly deflected, the people who need to make lifestyle changes are not up for it and lots of people want to join us in living a carbon heavy lifestyle more than want to lead a cleaner one.

    So what are the solutions

  19. 169
    MA Rodger says:

    JAXA have posted a record-breaking low Antarctic Sea Ice Extent.
    February 11th 2017 is given as 2.237M sq km which is 0.014M sq km below he previous record of 2.251M sq km set February 19th 1997. Of course the Antarctic melt season of 2017 is not over so the final 2017 minimum is probably still to arrive.

    Up in the Arctic, the 2016/17 freeze-up contiues to show less ice extent for the day-of-year than previously seen on record (Year-on-year anomalies graph here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’). The lowest freeze recorded by JAXA SIE currently stands at 13.942M sq km set in 2015 which was an exceptionally early freeze maximum (Feb 15th). In recent years the maximum has usually been recorded in early March with the full range (in JAXA, bar 2015) spreading from Feb 24th to March 31st. So the 2017 freeze maximum which so far sits 0.570M sq km below the record maximum could still find enough ice to avoid becoming the record.

  20. 170
    mike says:

    Jan. 29 – Feb. 4, 2017 406.20 ppm
    Jan. 29 – Feb. 4, 2016 403.84 ppm

    2.36 ppm increase in weekly average number. Feb 2016 saw a pretty big jump in CO2 readings as well as a spike in temp readings.

    submitted at 8:30 on Feb 12th

  21. 171
    Scott Strough says:

    Apparently still struggling, and attacking me for apparently being incapable of explaining the concept to you. Fair enough. Explaining things is not my strong suite.

    Let me first say that I posted two separate ways to potentially solve the issue of degradation of natural capital (tragedy of the commons). This is not a non sequitur, it is simply different than what you are understanding. (one is a management solution within current economic structure, the other is changing economic structure to fit current management models)

    If you have a different solution, by all means, go for it. I may prefer a market solution, seeing as how I am a conservative. But a regulatory solution, done properly is still superior to both the current model which gives an economic value of zero to ecosystem function and fails to sufficiently regulate a solution.

    As far as empirical evidence for the movie? I have none and actually think the claim is in error (exaggerated). But not seeing the data I can’t say for sure. Was fishing for more info on that one. Hoping someone here had some.

    The data that is published at USDA NRCS & SARE and CSIRO, proves plausibility but is still far too few case studies to be certain. (and significantly lower sequestration rate than the movie claims) Still it is significantly larger than current agricultural production models are capable of sequestering.

    So take it or leave it I guess.

    As far as Dr. James Hansen and CCL. I respect Hansen for his science and understanding of the problem, but am directly opposed to the strategy they have proposed as a solution. I think the evidence clearly shows the strategy CCL is taking has nearly no chances of working.

    “This result suggests that stabilization at today’s greenhouse gas levels may already commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius (range 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, 95 per cent credible interval) over the next few millennia as ice sheets, vegetation and atmospheric dust continue to respond to global warming.”

    Basically what the above means is that we are already locked into pretty severe warming without a completely different approach. So I propose a different solution that at least has a chance.

    If I were to talk to Dr. Hansen, I would simply suggest they abandon the mitigation strategy they are recommending now and search for a new one, whether it is mine or someone else’s like Project Drawdown or Commonland.

  22. 172
    Bruce Parker says:

    I have been looking into climate sensitivity, fast feedbacks, and surface albedo changes in the Arctic and came up with the “observations” below. I’d appreciate any comments on my “corrected” radiative forcing value for 2016.

    1. Based on physics, doubling atmospheric C02 will increase the Earth’s average temperature by about 1.2°C. “Fast feedbacks” (water vapor, clouds, aerosols, and surface albedo changes) also contribute to the equilibrium temperature increase.

    2.In climate models, on average, 6% of the total radiative forcing at the global tropopause was due to surface albedo changes ( )

    3. If the climate sensitivity is 3 (for a doubling of atmospheric CO2) and the IPCC estimate of radiative forcing for 2011 was about 2.3 W m-2, then the expected contribution from surface albedo changes should be about .14 W m-2 (at temperature equilibrium)

    4. Since the change in surface albedo from 1979-2008 was about 0.45 W m-2 (, the IPCC estimate of the current radiative forcing should be increased by about 0.3 W m-2 to about 2.6 W m-2 in 2011 and 2.8 W m-2 for 2016.

  23. 173
    Cody McHubart says:

    (Scroll down to third-from-top, graphic)

    This little gem, from the folks who patiently mind certain of the ‘Watchtowers,’ looking for signs that the Membrane over the Boreal Pole may be Failing, seems destined for Iconic fame, similar to the “Hockey Stick,” of MBH Fame (from their Nature piece of 1998). Only, it ain’t been named* yet!

    Before someone beats the RC Crowd to this Key communicative Act, I propose a contest, from among the Choir, here.

    My ‘starter’tries:

    A) “The Armageddon Signature”
    B) “A Butterfly Affect”
    C) “Flat-Lined!;” &
    D) “An Unforced Variation in the Planetary, Vernal Float Ice”

    I spose, technically, this overreaches, because one wag @ Nevin’s has taken to calling it the “Graphic, graphic.”

  24. 174
    Hank Roberts says:

    I wonder about the large industrial krill harvesting programs being planned.

    Avoidable impacts of ocean warming on marine primary production: Insights from the CESM ensembles

    First published: 24 January 2017
    DOI: 10.1002/2016GB005528


    As anthropogenic emissions and warming continue to alter Earth’s environment, it is essential to highlight future impacts that can be avoided through mitigation. Here we use two ensembles of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) run under the business-as-usual scenario, RCP 8.5, and the mitigation scenario, RCP 4.5, to identify avoidable impacts of anthropogenic warming on marine net primary production (NPP).

    We emphasize the use of ensembles so as to distinguish long-term, anthropogenic trends in marine productivity from internal variability.

    Twentieth century globally integrated marine NPP is 55.7 ± 1 Pg C, with much of the variability attributable to certain regions (e.g., the equatorial Pacific).

    CESM projections indicate that global marine NPP will drop by <"4% by 2080 if we follow RCP 8.5, but only by 2% under RCP 4.5.

    The response to warming on a global scale includes compensating regional effects; NPP increases in polar and eastern equatorial Pacific waters but decreases in the Atlantic, western Pacific, and Indian Oceans.

    The two main phytoplankton groups simulated in CESM show distinct responses: diatoms decrease their NPP, while small phytoplankton NPP increases over the mid-21st century.

    Trends in NPP from mid-21st century to 2080 are significantly different between the two emission scenarios mainly in the Atlantic Ocean basin and therefore impacts here are avoidable if we follow RCP 4.5, rather than RCP 8.5.

    In contrast, changes in NPP on a global scale and in most areas of the Pacific and Indian basins and the Southern Ocean are not distinguishable between forcing scenarios.

  25. 175
    chris korda says:

    “The human magnitude of climate change looks more like a meteorite strike than a gradual change.” -Will Steffen, director of the Australian National University Climate Change Institute, explaining that people are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces. In other words, on the geological time scale, we look more like the K-T event than the Permian-Triassic; here’s a helpful visualization aid from Don Davis. I’m always on the lookout for media that grapples with the breathtaking rapidity and sheer scale of the change we’re in, particularly the great acceleration that has occurred during the lives of many commenters here. Some other examples are Steve Cutts’ brilliant short animation MAN and the 2006 documentary “Manufactured Landscapes” about Edward Burtynsky, much of which was filmed in China.

  26. 176
    MA Rodger says:

    I see Judy the Blog-Mom has been trying to explain/defend her role in recent controversies.
    I don’t feel qualified to comment on her ‘On The Hill’ role, me being the wrong side of the pond and all. But the rest of it is quite bizarre.
    Apart from pleading that there are not enough hours in the day to be on top of what she does (which is not an excuse), Judy is unapologetic about promoting nonsense on her blog as this apparently conforms with what she calls:-

    ”My overall goal with the blog is to open the dialogue on climate science, policy, and related issues.  I am trying to provide an open place for an honest debate, with the hope that my posts and discussion will provoke people to think outside of their own little box.”

    As for her relations with the error-soaked Daily Rail articles, this is described thus:-

    ”I am frequently criticized for my interactions with David Rose of the Mail on Sunday.  I like David Rose, and I actually trust him (which is not easy for me after the ‘brain fossilization’ fiasco).  I regard him as an independent, important investigative voice on climate and energy issues, who operates outside of the echo chambers on both sides of this debate.  I agree that the Mail editor often goes ‘over the top’ with headlines etc., which doesn’t help the article’s credibility; after all, the DM is a tabloid.  However, I take no responsibility for any DM articles that happen to quote me (I am invariably correctly quoted by the DM) ”

    The ”brain fossilization” incident concerns a (paywalled) Wallstreet Journal article of 2006 which Judy has said misquotes her criticism of William Gray then of Colordo State Uni. (The (mis)quotes are presented here.) As Rose was not involved, the thing with trust being not easy for Judy is a journalist-thing not a Rose-thing. The fig leaf Judy hides behind is thus microscopically small. Although she says she accepts no responsibility, she is also saying the Daily Rail credibility has only been compromised by the choice of headline!!

    And on a more specific note, up-thread @131 I set out two specific criticisms Judy made of Karl et al (2015). The second was that according to Judy it does matter if you calibrate the ship SST data using the bouy SST data because the result would be different if you do it the other way about. Judy cited a draft of Huang et al (submitted for publication – Nov 2016) to support this claim. A rebutal of this claim has been presented at …and Then There’s Physics by Zeke Hausfather. It seems for ERSSTv5 ”NOAA changed to adjusting ships down to match buoys in the upcoming version 5 of their dataset “ although this change will make zero difference to the resulting SST. The logic appears straightforward and is set out in painfully small steps within the rebutal. I suppose small steps is what it takes.

  27. 177
    Hank Roberts says:

    Let’s just skip 2100 — it’s looking really bad:

  28. 178
    Hank Roberts says:

    A good piece on how to change minds — from a black author who’s talked down some racists:

    the don’ts:

    “You can become argumentative but don’t become condescending. Don’t become insulting. You’re going to hear things that you don’t like. You’re going to hear things that you know are absolutely wrong. And their opinion may be ridiculous. You will also hear things that are not opinions that they’re going to put out as facts. ‘There are more black people on welfare than white people.’ Well, that’s not true. And you should counter that and correct that. But don’t do it in a manner that is insulting or condescending because you know they’re wrong, and you’re going to beat them over the head for being wrong. Show them the data, or tell them you’ll get it, or if they really believe it, say, I know you’re wrong, but if you think you’re right then bring me the data.”
    “Don’t explain somebody else’s movement initially. Let them explain it. And then address the points they have defined. There will be key points that you know you can counter and shut down, but let them finish, give them a little more rope. Say, I hear what you’re saying but I’m not there yet. I need more clarification from you. You said, blah blah blah. Can you give me more facts on why I should accept that? And they’ll come out with these points. Then go to the points that they made. Quote their words and shut down their factual mistakes.”

    How would Daryl Davis go about arguing ….

    Relevant to climate conversations?

  29. 179
  30. 180
    Thomas says:

    Well well well, only the 14th and RC is already on UV page 4 w 179 posts. and new posters are appearing to be coming out of the woodwork across every article this month. Well well well. Every night I’m saying a little prayer for Chucks scrolling finger. (smiling)

  31. 181
    Thomas says:

    Hi, this post relates to some other comments on other articles, but may as well put it here because it is ‘generic’ and therefore broadly applicable.

    and specifically re #150 Hansen CCL, & #163 geoengineering.

    Which brings me back again to this recent economics lecture by Prof. Philip Mirowski – The key multi-pronged approach by ‘Neoliberals’ to agw/cc, which is the standard approach to all other “problems” as well.

    Picks up at 33 minutes, juts watch for about 3 minutes for the gist of it, and whether or not this speaks to you.

  32. 182
    David B. Benson says:

    Where does all the floating trash dumped into the oceans go?
    offers a graphic of a systematic study. However, it assumes we drop the same amount of trash everywhere. Still,I found this helpful.

  33. 183
    Jim Hunt says:

    Al @169 – The NSIDC daily numbers concur:

    At 2.246 million square kilometers the NSIDC daily Antarctic sea ice extent metric is at the lowest level EVER in their records going back to 1979.

    I wish I could embed images in here, since Arctic sea ice area is looking particularly ropey at present. Go to my link and scroll up a bit to see what I mean.

  34. 184
    Susan Anderson says:

    Report on El Nino from Earth Observatory, very informative and detailed.

    “El Niño: Pacific Wind and Current Changes Bring Warm, Wild Weather”

  35. 185
    mike says:

    Last Week

    February 5 – 11, 2017 406.03 ppm
    February 5 – 11, 2016 404.34 ppm

    We are seeing the ramp up in CO2 from 2016 El Nino event so the year on year increase number “looks” better, but I don’t think it is better. The recent EN drove the CO2 numbers up above the 405 number that Dr. Mann said we should stay under and at this point, I think there we will simply not get back under the 405 number in anything larger than a monthly average and maybe not that. So, 405? see it in the rearview mirror. Wave goodbye.

    I saw posts on websites today about drop in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel source. I expect that will receive a lot of play and be touted as evidence that we are making progress and getting this under control. I think it is evidence that we are creating less CO2 from fossil fuel burning, but as long as the bright line CO2 number stays above Dr. Mann’s 405 limit and continues to rise, the “progress” is very, very weak.

    We are on a fossil fuel civilization train that is headed over the cliff and we may be slowing the train down a bit, but we are still headed over the cliff, we have not changed the track direction. Shall we celebrate if we slow the train to 30 kph instead of launching off the cliff at 50 kph? Shall we break out the confetti and the party hats?

    I think no on the confetti and party hats. We should probably save them for the moment when a monthly average shows a decrease in year on year comparison. That kind of number would suggest we have responded effectively. Some will applaud fossil fuel emission numbers and some will offer an off-season snowball in Congress as evidence to support a certain argument, I will continue to watch CO2 ppm in the atmosphere. A continuing increase in that number is a fact that’s hard to spin or refute.

    Warm regards all,

    submitted for moderation Feb 15 at 11:21 am. Moderators are clearing the queue rather quickly this month. Well done! Give us a hush function when you have a programmer’s moment please.


  36. 186
    Hank Roberts says:

    Thomas, good video pointer, but note Mirowski is wrong about Hayek there.

    in order to make competition work beneficially a carefully thought-out legal framework is required, and that neither the past nor the existing legal rules are free from grave defects… There are, too, certain fields where the system of competition is impracticable. For example, the harmful effects of deforestation or of the smoke of factories cannot be confined to the owner of the property in question…

    Nevertheless, good link, and terseley presented.

  37. 187
    chris korda says:

    I’m trying to get my head around Andy Robinson’s latest spiral plot of Arctic sea ice volume, AKA the “Arctic Death Spiral,” from PIOMAS as of Feb. 2017. The unit is thousands of cubic kilometers. The January volume appears to have decreased by nearly half (roughly 46%) since 1979: around 13,000 cubic kilometers (or 3,100 cubic miles) of ice disappeared down the rabbit hole. How much is that? You could visualize it as a layer of ice a mile thick covering all of Delaware and a third of Rhode Island.

    The September loss is similar, also about 13,000 cu km3, though much worse in percentage terms (72%). When the black line reaches zero in the center of the graph, the Arctic will be ice-free in September. When will that be? Crudely assuming linearity, we could divide 13,000 by 38 years to obtain a rate of loss of 342 cu km3 per year. Divide the remaining September ice (5,000 cu km3) by 342 and we get 14.6, hence the Arctic should be ice-free in about fourteen years. However I would expect the rate of loss to increase towards the end, due to feedbacks. Mesdames et Messieurs, faites vos jeux.

    source: Arctic Sea Ice

  38. 188
    Michael Sweet says:

    I would be very interested in a scientific evaluation of the contribution of AGW to both the heavy rain this year in California and increased temperatures causing early, heavy runoff. How much of the crisis at Lake Oroville is related to warming? Can any statements be made now or do we have to wait for longer term analysis?

  39. 189
    mike says:

    Decline in global oceanic oxygen content during the past five decades

    How would we spot the early stages of a canfield ocean type event? Would the process include warmed oceans? changes in acidity? significant dead zones?

    The oceans are a bit warmer. They are a little more acidic. There is less oxygen content, but how big a deal is that really?

    Think I am going to the beach (pacific) next month. Will check on things and report back.

    Warm regards


  40. 190
    Thomas says:

    186 Hank Roberts says; “Nevertheless, good link,…” Thanks.

    fwiw my take away message from Mirowski was that Hayek was a driver for the Neoclassical economic theorists (lassie faire?) and he (in other papers/videos as well) separates Hayek out from the more belligerent belief based Neoliberals that he is castigating as basically a new age “cult” selling snake oil to the world … and quite successfully at this point in time.

    fwiw also a close inspection of the trump economic ideology is definitely not Neoliberal. Which a genuine reason why he was so vehemently attacked (on every front possible) by both the Republican and the Democratic establishment as well as the Corporate Media and strange bedfellows.

    iow Trump and his closest supporters are the representatives for the non-globalist non-neoliberal non-libertarian part of the corporate, political and banking sectors/establishment. They all swing in behind the rational actor model of Government and not the imaginary supremacy of the “free market” as God theory.

    I believe that over time this will become much clearer to the well informed and historically aware among us.

  41. 191
    Hank Roberts says:

    I’m’a gonna guess the answer for Mike is that more intense rainstorms are the issue with dams generally — plus, for California, warm rain falls as water and runs downhill fast. A cold storm’s moisture falls as snow and stays put for a while on the Sierra Nevada.

    I’ve found this paper about a paleo warming event really disconcerting for a long while. Maybe one of the climate scientists can point to more info. They document an era of intense rainfall, with high erosion as a result.
    by B Schmitz – ‎2007 – ‎Cited by 139 – ‎Related articles
    Abrupt increase in seasonal extreme precipitation at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Birger Schmitz and; Victoriano Pujalte

  42. 192
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP has posted for January with an anomaly of +0.92ºC. This is the third hottest January on record, below last year’s +1.13ºC and 2007’s +0.96ºC & ahead of 4th-place 2015’s +0.82ºC.
    January’s anomaly stands =11th in the full record. It is exceeded by the nine highest anomalies during the recent El Nino plus the El Nino peak of Jan 2007 and equalling the El Nino peak of March 2010. So now we are beyond the immediate El Nino influences, Jan 2017 is certainly back to the “mucho schorchio!!!!”, exceeding as it does the “scorchio!!!” of early 2015 by some margin.
    The anomalies for 2015/17 and their rankings within the full record are as follows:-
    2015.. 1 … +0.82ºC … = 25th
    2015.. 2 … +0.87ºC . = 20th
    2015.. 3 … +0.90ºC . = 14th
    2015.. 4 … +0.74ºC . = 57th
    2015.. 5 … +0.78ºC . = 34th
    2015.. 6 … +0.78ºC . = 34th
    2015.. 7 … +0.72ºC . = 66th
    2015.. 8 … +0.79ºC . = 30th
    2015.. 9 … +0.81ºC . = 27th
    2015. 10 … +1.06ºC … 6th
    2015. 11 … +1.00ºC … 7th
    2015. 12 … +1.10ºC … 4th
    2016.. 1 … +1.13ºC … 3rd
    2016.. 2 … +1.30ºC … 1st
    2016.. 3 … +1.27ºC … 2nd
    2016.. 4 … +1.07ºC … 5th
    2016.. 5 … +0.93ºC … 10th
    2016.. 6 … +0.76ºC . =46th
    2016.. 7 … +0.84ºC … 24th
    2016.. 8 … +0.99ºC … 8th
    2016.. 9 … +0.89ºC . =16th
    2016..10 … +0.89ºC . =16th
    2016..11 … +0.89ºC . =16th
    2016..12 … +0.79ºC . =30th
    2017.. 1 … +0.92ºC . =11th

  43. 193
    Aksel says:

    CO2: first half of february shows average ab 406 ppm, same as january (Mauna Loa). Perhaps we are back at the usual pattern, where feb has only a small increase compared to jan (with the exception of 2016 with a big increase in feb). Why this annual pattern of small increment in CO2 from jan to feb?

  44. 194
    Victor says:

    In response to #188:

    “To boost our fear, activists and journalists report the weather with amnesia about the past. Ten year records become astonishing events; weather catastrophes of 50 or 100 years ago are forgotten. It makes for good clickbait but cripples our ability to prepare for the inevitable.”

    See the full report on “California’s Past Megafloods” here:

  45. 195
    Hank Roberts says:

    Long Soylent News article on NASA data sets — Gavin? Comment?
    | NASA’s Earth Science Datasets and Others May be Disappearing From Public Access |
    | from the it’s-magic dept. |
    | posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 15, @04:04 (Science) |
    | |

    [0]c0lo writes:

    Wired [1]reports that data sets from NASA – mainly those related to
    climate – that used to be publicly available have started to disappear
    and that a group of “diehard coders” at UC Berkeley and other places
    worked over the weekend to “tag and bag” this data with the Internet

    […] 200 adults had willingly sardined themselves into a
    fluorescent-lit room in the bowels of Doe Library to rescue federal
    climate data.

    Like similar groups across the country—in more than 20 cities—they
    believe that the Trump administration might want to disappear this
    data down a memory hole. So these hackers, scientists, and students
    are collecting it to save outside government servers.

    But now they’re going even further. Groups like DataRefuge and the
    Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, which organized the
    Berkeley hackathon to collect data from NASA’s earth sciences
    programs and the Department of Energy, are doing more than archiving.
    Diehard coders are building robust systems to monitor ongoing changes
    to government websites. And they’re keeping track of what’s already
    been removed—because yes, the pruning has already begun.

    […] Starting in August, access to Goddard Earth Science Data
    required a login. But with a bit of totally legal digging around the
    site (DataRefuge prohibits outright hacking), Tek found a buried link
    to the old FTP server. He clicked and started downloading. By the end
    of the day he had data for all of 2016 and some of 2015. It would
    take at least another 24 hours to finish.

    The non-coders hit dead-ends too. Throughout the morning they racked
    up “404 Page not found” errors across NASA’s Earth Observing System
    website. And they more than once ran across databases that had
    already been emptied out, like the Global Change Data Center’s
    reports archive and one of NASA’s atmospheric CO2 datasets.

    And this is where the real problem lies. They can’t be sure when this
    data disappeared (or if anyone backed it up first).

    [Ed. – emphasis added by submitter]

    [Continued on the link]

    Discuss this story at:


  46. 196
    mike says:

    MS at 188: AGW did make heavy rain, early runoff more likely, but we need bookies in LV to give us the odds. The right concern with Oroville is that we have neglected our infrastructure and spillways will fail, bridges will fall, etc.

    It’s too bad since that kind of infrastructure repair/upgrade would have been perfect for an Obama jobs program in 2009, but Obama chose to repair and upgrade banks and bankers instead.

    We will see more and more of this kind of infrastructure failure and extreme weather in the future. Any river and shoreline infrastructure should be considered to be at risk now. The climate change deniers should be encouraged to invest in these properties that are losing value due to the scare tactics of climate scientists. Put your huge money where your big mouths are.



  47. 197
    nigelj says:

    Thomas 190, yes, Trumpists are rejecting neoliberalism, and are swinging in behind the government heavy rational actor school of thought. Or “Nationalism”.

    In fact, The Trumpists have abandoned all the good parts of neoliberalism, and have adopted all the bad parts of the government heavy rational actor school of thought.

    I think this will also “become evident over time”.

    Its becoming evident right now with their climate policies.

    Neoliberalism (free trade, immigration) is fundamentally sound, just rough around the edges and in need of some sensible modifications. But Trump is throwing the baby out with the bath water. I would have thought this was incredibly obvious.

  48. 198
    Hank Roberts says:


    Posing as representatives of oil and coal companies, reporters from Greenpeace UK asked academics from Princeton and Penn State to write papers promoting the benefits of CO2 and the use of coal in developing countries.

    The professors agreed to write the reports and said they did not need to disclose the source of the funding.

    Citing industry-funded documents – including testimony to state hearings and newspaper articles – Professor Frank Clemente of Penn State said: “In none of these cases is the sponsor identified. All my work is published as an independent scholar.”

    Leading climate-sceptic academic, Professor William Happer, agreed to write a report for a Middle Eastern oil company on the benefits of CO2 and to allow the firm to keep the source of the funding secret.

    Happer is due to appear this afternoon [12/8/2015] as a star witness in Senate hearings called by Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

    In emails to reporters he also revealed Peabody Energy paid thousands of dollars for him to testify at a separate state hearing, with the money being paid to a climate-sceptic think tank.

  49. 199
  50. 200