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Unforced Variations: May 2017

Filed under: — group @ 1 May 2017

This month’s open thread. Topics this month? What should a conservative contrarian be writing op-eds about that avoids strawman arguments, and getting facts wrong? What do you really think about geoengineering? Tracking the imminent conclusion of the Nenana Ice Classic (background)?

Usual rules apply.

275 Responses to “Unforced Variations: May 2017”

  1. 1
    Fred Magyar says:

    Re: What do you really think about geoengineering?

    From the TED talk link:

    “On Wednesday morning, computer theorist Danny Hillis got onstage and proposed a series of ideas for what he called a “thermostat to turn down the temperature of the earth.”

    People like Danny Hillis, however well intentioned they might be, terrify me as well, even more so than those who are ignorant and scientifically illiterate because they seem to be oblivious to the laws of unintended consequences.

    I think anyone who proposes any geoengineering scheme and wants to be taken seriously, needs to first of all have advanced degrees in ecosystem science and chaos math just to even get up on the stage.

    Though I guess in a world where we have the current Trump administration running the US government, that may be an overly naive expectation…

    I wish my fellow passengers of this fine little planet the best of luck!

  2. 2
    SteveP says:

    Don’t you think we should cut Bret Stephens some slack? After all, he is just exercising his right to write in a post truth (PT) style. He is being PT , that’s all. In a world where the ability to create simulacrums of reality exceed the ability of perceivers to discern real from fake, it is not unreasonable to expect that smirk faced punks will create snake oil fraud emporiums employing the style of their time. Know what I mean? We are just experiencing the interface between PC and PT. Give him some slack. That way, when he uses up his slack and hits the end of his rope, the abrupt change in momentum will be all the more dramatic.

  3. 3
    mike says:

    What do you really think about geoengineering?

    I think we have been doing geoengineering for a couple of thousand years. It went ok until we discovered the power potential in fossil fuels. It’s too bad we did so much un-reviewed and poorly-reviewed geoengineering, but that ship has left port under coal/steam power some time ago. The geoengineering we have done is largely disastrous. That’s what I really think about geoengineering.

    I think the poorly-phrased question might be asking “what we really think about future, intentional geoengineering as proposed in IPCC plans to limit global warming? I believe the IPCC plans all call for a black box solution where we develop a technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or ocean to drive the CO2 levels or to at least slow the rise of CO2 and give us more time to make fundamental changes in the way we live to limit global warming to some arbitrary level. And on that question, I guess I say, good luck with that. Cane toads come to mind. But, I think that nation states are going to engage in unilateral geoengineering to change rainfall patterns in the next thirty years and that will lead to new regional conflicts (which we don’t need).

    I also think individuals and groups are going to engage in geoengineering experiments (sulfates, solar radiation management, ocean seeding etc.) and these may “work” in some sense, but I think these experiements are likely to have unintended consequences and be difficult to scale up and deploy as an effective means to address the pulse of CO2 we have injected into the global carbon cycle.

    I would love to see a geoengineering solution scale up and deploy to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or ocean waters. This black box miracle is a great tool to enable nations to reach agreements about CO2 that do not require costly changes in the infrastructure of our global built environment.

    I also think it is possible that a space ship will arrive from elsewhere in the universe bringing us the solution to our problem. I think of this as the silver box miracle and I think the IPCC has been remiss not to make mention of this solution because we should be ready if the saucers arrive and ask for the solution to our carbon cycle problem instead of reacting defensively to the arrival of neighbors in the universe.

    Both black and silver box miracles allow us to continue on a NQBAU (not quite business as usual) trajectory and that is good for the global economy and the planetary wealth-growth needed to sustain 7 to 10 billion big-brain bipeds.

    Daily CO2

    April 30, 2017: 409.98 ppm

    April 30, 2016: 408.39 ppm

    Warm regards

    Mike

  4. 4
    TTT says:

    This is nothing to do with the current topics so please forgive me.
    I have this one question for decades since I was a kid but I always forget to ask. What I noticed was at dawn while we’re waiting for the sun to come up or something temperature “suddenly” dips down in a few minutes. Then as soon as the sun comes up temp goes back up. I can feel it even inside the house with all the windows & doors closed. Even when there’s no wind, especially when there’s no wind I feel it clearly. No, I’ve never actually measured it with a thermometer. I did look at one several times but the time it takes to dip down & comes up is not long enough to change regular, normal thermometer, I think.
    This is not it cools down at night and it gets the coolest just before the sunrise. It does dip down about 4-5 F in a few minutes just before the sun comes up. It happens when there’s no wind so it can’t be by cool winds or some sort of air circulations. There’s no sunlight because the sun hasn’t come up yet, but it should go up with the sunlight, and it does. I’m totally lost. I’ve look it up in the internet but I couldn’t really find any.
    What is it that causes temp to dip down so sudden at dawn? If anyone could help me or point me to some web site I’d really appreciate it.

  5. 5
    mike says:

    Killian at 165:

    No, I was not aware that NOAA was lopping off high average days in their calculations, but I don’t think it matters because the daily number of quite noisy anyway and the long term rise in CO2 in that atmosphere will not be solved or hidden by numeric slight of hand.

    Am I missing something about this practice? Does it have real impact that I am not seeing?

    btw: I like intersectionality as a discussion topic. I think it helps us seek large, systemic changes that identify and address global issues in a manner that builds support. It is the unified field theory of social activism.

    I also like strikes, marches, sine-waving generally, but I have given up on that model because it failed to move Obama and the dems to make bold choices about policy in 2009 and the elections since that time have been so reactionary and destructive of the “common good” that I don’t want to waste my time in these activities now. But that’s just me. I can’t keep doing the same thing when it appears to be ineffective or counter-productive.

    But I know a lot of people love a parade, speeches, marches, etc. Do it if it makes you feel good. I have withdrawn from all that now and I am choosing to go camping away from the masses now instead of spending my time in close proximity to hundreds of activists, counter-activists and armed police forces. I am tired of that scene.

    Cheers

    Mike

  6. 6
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH TLT v6.0 has posted for April with an anomaly of +0.27ºC. This is up on March (+0.19ºC) but a little below Jan & Feb (+0.30ºC & +0.35ºC).
    April 2017 is the 5th warmest April on record (after 1998 +0.74ºC, 2016 +0.71ºC, 2010 +0.33ºC, 2005 +0.33ºC – all El Nino years) and the 52nd warmest of all months in the record.
    The first four months of 2017 thus average +0.28ºC, the 4th warmest start to a year on record (after 2016 +0.71ºC, 1998 +0.59ºC, 2010 +0.45ºC and ahead of 2007 +0.26ºC. 2005 +0.25ºC, 2004 +0.24ºC, 2003 +0.22ºC, 2015 +0.18ºC).
    Given the El Nino wobbles in the TLT record are far bigger in TLT data sets, without an El Nino, 2017 has kicked off remarkably “scorchio!!”

  7. 7

    Killian ended last month by suggesting that ‘walks’ wouldn’t solve climate and resources.

    He’s correct, of course. Sustained political pressure isn’t generated by the use of just one tactic. I’ve repeated that the mantra should be “Organize!” There’s a reason that the status quo likes us isolated in front of our screens.

    However, I reiterate that the term “intersectionality” is an important one to learn, not just as a verbal construct of greater or lesser felicity, but at a gut level. I learned a lot about it at the Climate March, in just such a visceral way.

    What it means is that climate is not isolated from other issues such as gender equality or economic and racial justice, because causality runs both ways: those who are oppressed in other ways are precisely those who are vulnerable to the worst effects of climate change, and precisely those who are least responsible for its occurrence. And on the other hand, those who are the most responsible are pushing all of us, even those who are used to a relatively privileged position, into the same boat as the poor, the minorities and so forth.

    The good news in that set of facts is that ‘we’–meaning those who are concerned about climate change–do not find ourselves limited in our search for allies and political effectiveness to our own demographic groups. Embrace that reality, and we are in a much better position to advocate for sanity.

    Another note, while I’m at it: the coverage of the march was pretty pathetic. OK, there’s some level of ‘march fatigue’ in the era of Big Trump. But 100,000+ on the streets of DC, and many, many thousands more in the 300+ ‘satellite marches’ is not chopped liver. More than a few desultory pieces are merited. Hell, I don’t think locals even got a traffic advisory that morning!

    I can’t help but put that together with the longstanding history, prominently exemplified in the sad omission of even *one* moderator question about climate change during the Presidential debates last year. I for one am now convinced that this is not accidental, not just an innocent bias. I think editors are being pressured right across the system. And I think that this is part of the ‘hacking of democracy’ that Al Gore for one talked about in his 2013 book, “The Future.”

    I could, of course, be wrong. But based on Occam, that is my provisional conclusion. It’s what I’ll be basing planning on, going forward.

  8. 8
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    The EPA webste as of this morning – May 01, 2017 has been scrubbed of all information regarding global warming.

  9. 9
    Killian says:

    Re #5 Mike said Killian at 165:

    No, I was not aware that NOAA was lopping off high average days in their calculations, but I don’t think it matters because the daily number of quite noisy anyway and the long term rise in CO2 in that atmosphere will not be solved or hidden by numeric slight of hand.

    Am I missing something about this practice? Does it have real impact that I am not seeing?

    Perhaps I was a bit vague. I don’t look at the raw data because I don’t know where to find it. I just look at the graphs. The graphs routinely don’t give a daily average for certain days, i.e. extreme days. That black little dot just isn’t there. That’s what I mean.

    Do you, or anyone else, know why and whether these are ignored as noise or end up in the averages even if not on the graphs?

    ——————————-

    Re #5 Mike and #7 Kevin McKinney said

    btw: I like intersectionality as a discussion topic. I think it helps us seek large, systemic changes that identify and address global issues in a manner that builds support. It is the unified field theory of social activism.

    So, I always ask, what perfect equality do you know of anywhere in the modern world after centuries, if not millennia, of trying to create social change this way?

    You know what they say about the definition of crazy. Or, as the doctor says, if it hurts when you do that, don’t do it.

    To be clear: It is not working. Bigger problem: It cannot work because of the nature of the beasts in question. Activism, by definition, seeks change within a system. But this system requires elements that *cannot* exist in a regenerative nee sustainable system. You are asking apples to beget oranges.

    More below.

    Mike said: I also like strikes, marches, sine-waving generally, but I have given up on that model because it failed to move Obama and the dems to make bold choices about policy in 2009 and the elections since that time have been so reactionary and destructive of the “common good” that I don’t want to waste my time in these activities now. But that’s just me. I can’t keep doing the same thing when it appears to be ineffective or counter-productive.

    Bingo.

    Kevin McKinney said Killian ended last month by suggesting that ‘walks’ wouldn’t solve climate and resources.

    He’s correct, of course. Sustained political pressure isn’t generated by the use of just one tactic. I’ve repeated that the mantra should be “Organize!”

    Organize into what?

    However, I reiterate that the term “intersectionality” is an important one to learn, not just as a verbal construct of greater or lesser felicity, but at a gut level. I learned a lot about it at the Climate March, in just such a visceral way.

    I learned a lot about it because, well, I have always believed in absolute equality of genders and skin tones. I have long advocated general strikes as practiced in other countries. I first suggested women strike back in the early ’80’s

    I know of intersectionality because i married women from patriarchal, racist cultures and was spit on, avoided, insulted, etc., for my troubles. I know of it because I lived in the south and experienced the anger generated by racism just because I was White. I know of it because I went to 87% non-Caucasian Detroit and tried to work with others to create the first, and only, self-sustaining large city in the world. (Detroit is the only city with the empty space to be able to do this.) I sat in discussions of race and participated in Food Justice, Social Justice, etc., fora and participated in Occupy Detroit – and watch it fracture (predicted its fracture three weeks in, almost to the day, two months later) by race and cliques.

    I offered permaculture courses to all comers for work exchange so anyone could take a course. The only one from in Detroit who came… was White. I was seen as a carpetbagger.

    I sat in meetings at the Boggs Center and warned them we could not wait for months to respond to the city effort to strong arm a growth model for the new city plan, then watched the city’s plan steamroll all “social activism” in opposition like a bug.

    I told them what I tell you: This time is different. You do not yet understand we are not engaging in social activism, we are engaging in a fight for survival. The two are radically different in nature.

    But, simplest of all, the things we must do to create a different future automatically beget the social justice you seek.

    Work smart, not hard. Do regenerative, do justice.

    This is what you are failing to see.

    The fact is, these “social change” approaches simply cannot create the change we need, they can only cause incremental change in the existing paradigm. That is, all the energy going into them is suicidal. This is not hyperbole.

    As Bucky Fuller said, don’t fight the old thing/system, build a better one and the old one will simply die off. This correlates well with Einstein’s view to stop doing the stupid crab that got you into the mess you’re in. Think differently to fix the old crab.

    What it means is that climate is not isolated from other issues such as gender equality or economic and racial justice, because causality runs both ways: those who are oppressed in other ways are precisely those who are vulnerable to the worst effects of climate change

    Yet, your approach is *not* to change the system. Oops. Oh, and I disagree to some extent. When the deep change comes, the changes will actually be minimal to 6.5 billion people, and will be improvements. The biog losers, the ones who will be mentally and emotionally unhinged by regenerative life, will be the .5 billion living the high life. The bigger they are….

    …omission of even *one* moderator question about climate change during the Presidential debates last year. I for one am now convinced that this is not accidental, not just an innocent bias. I think editors are being pressured right across the system.

    Exactly. And this is why you do not fight the system, you starve it. You opt out. You build the better one. Fight the system head on, one of two things happen: You lose or you destroy so much in winning that you still lose. It’s pointless. Even more germane, **you have no idea how much time we have.** It’s poor risk assessment to engage in processes that have yet to achieve their goals after decades or hundreds of years or thousands of years when serious people already think we may have virtually no time left, decades at the outside, to get serious change going.

    I could, of course, be wrong. But based on Occam, that is my provisional conclusion. It’s what I’ll be basing planning on, going forward.

    You are wrong because you are still asking the wrong questions. If you ask, “How do we make this sustainable?”, you don’t understand the nature of sustainability becasue you cannot do so, and that should be obvious. The question must be, “What is true, deep sustainability?” When you understand that, much else becomes clear. If you then ask, “What does that look like for humans?” you have to also ask, “What is the minimum change we can expect from CC if we act decisively?” Once you consider that using a reasonable time frame, say 100 years or so, so maybe 2100, you must then backcast from there, not forecast from here.

    But even that is really unnecessary because the degree of simplicity when we consider resource limits *and* climate must be high, indeed. So, ask this, instead: What do we need? Bare bones. And how long must we do that to get back to sub-300 ppm? (I have posted repeatedly that the ice started melting when CO2 was barely over 300, so to not only slow, but stabilize ice loss, we must go below 300.)

    So, the problem is, Kevin, while you dismissed/ignored my attempts to discuss CCL with you, it seems it is you who has yet to understand the problem… and the solutions.

    I hope you will consider these thoughts carefully.

    Cheers to both of you… if this gets through moderation.

  10. 10
    David B. Benson says:

    In this link
    https://bravenewclimate.com/2016/09/10/open-thread-26/#comment-470348
    I briefly outline the results of an important paper which uses Liang causality, a statistical notion superior to the older Granger causality, to analyze the climate data, both ice core and recent, to obtain the expected result that CO2 Liang causes global warming in recent times but the opposite conclusion for the paleodata.

  11. 11
    Michael Klein says:

    Will GISS be continued to be funded by the current budget resolution being passed by Congress? I want to see all you guys continuing to do the great jobs you always do.

  12. 12
    Sheridan Mayo says:

    Many of the EPA’s climate sub-pages are still up – albeit harder to find without the entry page. Look in the A-Z index under Climate Change heading:
    https://www.epa.gov/environmental-topics/z-index#C

    All the subtopic links are still live.

  13. 13
    b fagan says:

    Vendicar at 8, I read your note and went to the EPA site.
    They do still reference climate change under Environmental Topics/Index A-Z, with links to some useful pages still in place; and they mention it under their Laws and Regulations tab, though only to point out they intend to do as little as possible.

    So, the information is still there, but it might also be worthwhile for people to consider submitting an official Environmental Violation report. That page allows you to characterize the suspected violation (suggest address of violator is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and Intentional/Dump-Buried/Documents/Government-Military) for the checkboxes for characterizing the violation.

    PS to the hosts – I’ve been reading the site for quite some time and learned a lot – thank you all for your work. The NYT new opinion columnist is one reason I’m tired of limiting my comments to there – especially trying to fight some of the crew on Revkin’s former blog. It’s unfortunate that the Times feels they needed to hire someone who seems content to channel Lomborg and Curry in his climate opinions. From his WSJ writings, maybe they just hired him because he dislikes Trump.

  14. 14
    Dan Miller says:

    There are two types of intentional geoengineering: Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Removal (or Direct Air Capture (DAC)). SRM probably has some bad consequences and must be continued uninterrupted for centuries. You can think of it as chemotherapy since it has bad side effects but you might die if you don’t do it.

    DAC, on the other hand, does not have major bad side effects, though it is expensive compared to SRM. With DAC, we capture CO2 from the atmosphere and put it back underground where it came from or we turn it into an inert solid (carbonate). The IPCC says that to avoid +2ºC warming we need ~10 GT-CO2 of annual “negative emissions” in the second half of this century (after bringing net emissions to zero). While that sounds daunting, remember that we have built up an industry that emits 40 GT-CO2 each year.

    So while you can complain about carbon removal, the bottom line is that civilization likely doesn’t survive without it.

  15. 15
    victor says:

    When people start taking sledge hammers to their own vehicles, then I’ll know we’ve really gone off the deep end. Until that time, I prefer to believe the current attack of creeping meatballism is a passing trend.

  16. 16
    oakwood says:

    Its a pity to see you routinely destroy your own scientific credbility by namecalling your fellow scientists (who don’t agree with you) with names such as contrarian and denier. We are passing through a tragic time for Science.

  17. 17
    Bryson Brown says:

    Oakwood, the tragedy is not what’s happening in science– things there are just as they should be: the field continues to develop new data and refined analyses, general conclusions have been reached that a very large majority support, based on well-established principles (properties of CO2, thermodynamics, effects of warmer air on evaporation…) and data (measures of CO2 levels, shifts in isotopic composition of atmospheric CO2, temperature records– instrumental and proxy,…). There is a small minority of scientists who resist the consensus– which is not new, and not a problem for science. It took a while for evolution to be accepted– and longer still for natural selection to be accepted as the principal process. And the discussion within the scientific community continues. The tragedy is that many politicians and special interests have dug in, rejecting a clear and well-founded consensus in science and continue whistling in the dark, rather than acting to mitigate the risks of climate change. This response isn’t justified by any real doubts about the science– in policy making, we often have to base our decisions on risks and probabilities, not on certainties, but deniers in the political sphere are bent on ignoring the risks altogether. If we’re very, very lucky, things may turn out fairly well regardless. But on the evidence, that’s a very big risk to take.

  18. 18

    oakwood 16,

    No comments from the concern-troll gallery, please. The vast majority of deniers are not scientists, and those who are scientists and deny anyway are even more shameful. No one’s scientific credibility has been destroyed here, scientific credibility gets destroyed when you post shoddy research which isn’t even peer-reviewed, lie to congress and the public, and embrace crackpot pseudoscience instead of real science. Dig the blog name, stud.

  19. 19
    Scott Strough says:

    Can atmospheric geoengineering solve global warming?

    That depends entirely on what you mean by geoengineering. Most geoengineering proposals have unacceptable risk to benefit ratios due to the high potential for disastrous side effects as unintended consequences of emergent properties of complex biological systems.

    That’s a mouthful that can be summed up by saying we are completely ignorant of what might happen, thus likely we will screw something important up we didn’t even think about.

    It’s like when you spray a field with pesticides to kill some grasshoppers, and the grasshoppers die, but so do the predators like spiders, beetles, birds, wasps, bees etc…. Soon you find the field over run by army worms that never were a problem before. Plus you get poor pollination. So we have to spray again and bring in portable bees from outside too! Always juggling the bees we import in and out between sprayings so we don’t accidently kill the portable hives too.

    At least though we can experiment with spraying fields small scale, instead of the whole planet. We start experimenting with the whole planet and it could potentially be a disaster of biblical proportions…literally.

    On the other hand there is a certain type of geoengineering called biomimicry. This is where we simply try to fix what we screwed up on this planet by mimicking the ecosystem function of a natural biome. That has the most potential in agriculture.

    “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labor; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Bill Mollison

    In this way we can use biological complexity to our advantage instead to reduce risk, rather than increase risk. A cow may not be a bison, but if we force that cow to rotate through pastures in a similar way that mimics a bison migration, then the grassland biome will respond positively! Now suddenly that biome is sequestering 5–20 tonnes CO2/ha/yr! Do that on enough land and all the atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuels get converted by the grassland into fertile soil that make the grass grow even better!

    The odds of an unintended consequence using biomimicry is significant smaller than say spraying sulfur or God knows what else into the upper atmosphere to “shade” the Earth. DAC was mentioned as expensive. Well of course it is! If it is part of agriculture though, it generates net profit. So not really expensive at all. Just the opposite.

    So I would say yes. It probably can work, but only if we are wise enough to do it by restoring ecosystem function to the biosphere.

    There is a huge debate on climate change that needs reported on by news organizations for sure.

    That debate is NOT if climate change is real or a hoax. That’s stupid reporting. That’s reporting equivalent to rags reporting alien Elvis sightings. :P

    The real debate we need to have reported is mitigation strategies.

    Of course we need debate. There are several courses of action to take:

    Here is one:

    Project Drawdown
    http://www.drawdown.org/

    Another:

    Restoring The Climate White Paper
    http://www.savory.global/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/restoring-the-climate.pdf

    Another, this one from the IPCC, 9 years old and still not acted on:

    How to cut greenhouse gasses and minimize global warming
    https://www.ipcc.ch/docs/UN_products/IPCC_Booklet_2007_English.pdf

    Another one:

    FARMING A CLIMATE CHANGE SOLUTION
    http://www.amazingcarbon.com/PDF/Farmingaclimatechangesolution_Ecos141.pdf

    Another one:

    How Nuclear Power Can Stop Global Warming
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-nuclear-power-can-stop-global-warming/

    Another:

    Commonland – 4 returns from landscape restoration
    http://www.commonland.com/en

    At the risk of beating a dead horse since I already posted this before, I even did one myself which draws a little from all of the above.

    Can we reverse global warming?
    https://www.quora.com/Can-we-reverse-global-warming/answer/Scott-Strough

    So yes plenty to debate, but why we are even discussing either denialism or those risky DAC strategies is beyond me. I see it as not much more than obfuscation. Probably purposeful obfuscation.

  20. 20
    mike says:

    Interesting study notice from PNAS:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/early/2017/04/25/1618722114.abstract.html?collection

    Abstract

    Collective intelligence is the ability of a group to perform more effectively than any individual alone. Diversity among group members is a key condition for the emergence of collective intelligence, but maintaining diversity is challenging in the face of social pressure to imitate one’s peers. Through an evolutionary game-theoretic model of collective prediction, we investigate the role that incentives may play in maintaining useful diversity. We show that market-based incentive systems produce herding effects, reduce information available to the group, and restrain collective intelligence. Therefore, we propose an incentive scheme that rewards accurate minority predictions and show that this produces optimal diversity and collective predictive accuracy. We conclude that real world systems should reward those who have shown accuracy when the majority opinion has been in error.

    Mike says: interesting to read this and reflect on the treatment (by the scientific community) of the outlier scientists who appear to have been more accurate on important questions like loss of Arctic sea ice.

    Killian: yeah, I think I agree on organizing, activism etc. My life experience is similar to yours in some ways: I grew up in the south Texas in a white family that was too openly allied with the chicano community.

    It’s interesting to review how groupthink works. It’s a powerful moderator and I think it does not serve us well in these times.

    April 23 – 29, 2017 409.92 ppm
    April 23 – 29, 2016 407.67 ppm

    MAR at 6: Could this be the new normal?

    DM at 14: You nailed it imho. We have to pull CO2 out of the system if we want to survive. It’s expensive. I think most nations will decide we can’t really afford to do CO2 DAC etc. without cutting in the critical military defense budget. (I think this is a nice example of the weakness of groupthink process.)

    Moderators: please commit the energy to clear submitted comments at least every two days. Why allow comments if you insist moderating them in a manner that throttles the conversations?

    Many wordpress blog formats allow KillFile addon to work and that is very helpful for those of us who don’t want to engage with the trolls. How about an update or movement to a wordpress format that supports killfile. Tamino and Open Mind both support the killfile function.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/blog-killfile/?src=api

    Warm regards to all, wave those sines like there is no tomorrow!

    Mike

  21. 21
    Hank Roberts says:

    4
    TTT says:
    1 May 2017 at 10:11 AM

    … I have this one question for decades since I was a kid but I always forget to ask. What I noticed was at dawn while we’re waiting for the sun to come up or something temperature “suddenly” dips down in a few minutes….

    An ordinary liquid-in-glass thermometer won’t react fast enough to test what you’re feeling.
    But you can get a decent infrared thermometer for not too much money. ‘oogle for it.
    It’s a point-and-click technology — the cheap kind works on anything other than shiny reflective surfaces
    (you can put masking tape on something shiny and read its surface temperature that way).

    Or a cheap digital thermometer for ambient air temperature would change quickly as the air around changes.

    https://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/science_projects/measuring-the-temperature-of-the-sky-and-clouds/

    I’d suggest you get a notebook and start taking observations to see if your surroundings are changing with the dawn, or if your perceptions are (I have no guess about the answer; does our body change at dawn? could be — but the sunlight going through the atmosphere overhead may also change the moisture content of the air above you, and so make the sky “feel cooler” to you standing on the ground. Pure speculation on my part.

    Pick up an IR thermometer and note the temperature of the ground around you, of rooftops, and of the sky as illustrated at that link.
    You could get a blog page somewhere and make your results public and that would encourage others to try checking the same things.

  22. 22
    Simon_C says:

    Dan Miller at 14, I think it should be said that it would depend how the direct air capture is done. Genetically engineered fast-fix carbon drawdown organisms that might escape into the wild and damage existing ecosystems, perhaps drawing down CO2 to levels that induce very rapid cooling? No thanks. I remember Nick Shackleton saying that he hoped that humans would never attempt geoengineering of the global climate system. Having said that, my understanding is that the Paris agreements virtually require carbon removal towards the end of the next 50 years in order to keep warming below 2 degrees centigrade. It may be that in the end we give ourselves no choice but to try to remove carbon dioxide on a superindustrial scale, though that is really not a good place to be. There are always the unknown unknowns. Sometimes they bite.

  23. 23
    Graham Saunders says:

    For #4 TTT

    The following timing does not precisely fit with what you describe – but close.
    On a clear night there is often a steep inversion upward from ground level. The temperature can be several degrees cooler at ground level. The sun rising mixes the lowest layer of air and results in a dip in temperature where thermometers are usually located. This mixing can result in the coldest overnight temperature occurring just after sunrise.
    I have observed this when attempting to protect plants from frost.

  24. 24
    Mal Adapted says:

    Dan Miller:

    [Direct Air Capture of carbon], on the other hand, does not have major bad side effects, though it is expensive compared to [Solar Radiation Management].

    I agree with the former but question the latter, Mr. Miller. However, I’m willing to be convinced DAC is more expensive than SRM by some reasonable accounting, if you’re willing to link to your sources for that.

  25. 25
    Steve Emmerson says:

    What do I think of geoengineering?

    Too few of the proposed solutions addresses the issue of ocean acidification.

  26. 26
    Eric Swanson says:

    Killian #9 – I began to become involved in politics back in ’72, mostly because of environmental issues. Of course, my idea was that the politicians would (eventually) fix the problems and everything would be OK. So now, many decades and elections later, where are we? Well, the US political system has been captured by the money from corporations and rich individuals, the result being a hard right turn away from science and rational thought. That the average voter for Sir Plump still supports him, even as he has flip-flopped on many of his campaign promises, just shows the success of the steady stream of disinformation they/we are exposed to form the media and the internet. The money guys have tightened their control and they aren’t going to give up without a fight.

    You/we can try to live with the goal of a sustainable world, but most people appear to prefer to jump on the bandwagon/gravy train as it rolls by and the corporate guys want to keep things going as before. It’s possible to think of waiting out the corporate idiots, abiding one’s time until all the fossil fuels have been exploited, but the fact is, by the time they are done, they may have done so much damage to the basic life support functions of space ship Earth that there will be no way for humanity to recover or even survive. The other approach would be rather like a re-play of the situation in 19th century Europe as described by Karl Marx, which leads one to think that his solution of revolutionary change in governance will be the only way to survive. Our politicians can’t even face this simple question: “What’s the sustainable population of the US and how will we get there?” This can’t end well.

  27. 27
    Dan says:

    re: 16. Goodness, what a rubbish comment that is.
    Responding to or referring anti-science (based on evidence, data, facts, the scientific method…read about it) deniers is in no way what so ever “name-calling”. What you have done is try to create a false equivalency. Try reading the science. And that includes learning about the scientific method which is the manner in which climate change research is conducted. And part of that is peer-review. Which contrarians and deniers utterly fail to do.

  28. 28
    Phil Scadden says:

    oakwood, which “fellow scientist” who isnt denying evidence and being contrarian is being called such, and by who? Your comment lacks context.

  29. 29
    Russell says:

    1.
    Fred Magyar might find Danny’s remarks less scary if he actually listened to them. , though he was severely constrained by TED’s famously short speech format:

    He tried to express my views on albedo in ten words or less-
    here’s one of ten things he was trying to talk about in 20 minutes
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpotupJanKti1t1Nuj3gZA

    Elsewhere i archaeology has dealt a body blow to Medieval Warm Period fanatics by discovering evidence of Iron Age through Viking Age grape-growing in Denmark.

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-grapes-of-horvath.html

  30. 30
    Hank Roberts says:

    > oakwood
    Chuckle. Got habitual, wringing those pearls
    ———-

    Another limit to watch: nitrogen and sulfur fallout from the air affecting ecosystems, getting worse with warming

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EF000588/abstract

    Climate-driven exceedance of total (wet + dry) nitrogen (N) + sulfur (S) deposition to forest soil over the conterminous US
    Authors

    Accepted manuscript online: 28 April 2017
    DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000588

  31. 31
    victor says:

    “Too few of the proposed solutions addresses the issue of ocean acidification.”

    You never heard of Alka Seltzer?

  32. 32

    Killian, #9, Eric S., #26–

    What I hear in #9 is basically “tend your garden, and if you do it sustainably all will be well.” Sorry, I don’t think so.

    In past conversations with K, I ‘ve been unable to get real detail on this marvellous world which will follow the withering away of the status quo (even down to the mundane question of whether we would still get to use steel).

    Consequently, while I remain interested in permaculture und so weiter, I have little faith in K’s dream. (Particularly unconvincing to me is the reformation of human nature implied by the apparent lack of militarism of any sort in K’s imagined future. Rather ironic in that regard that he accuses me of expecting a different result from the same actions…)

    It’s also a bit confusing to compare K’s latest screeds with the earlier sunny allegation that Trump’s election wasn’t a problem since it had unleashed a wave of activism that would move the country a bit closer to a sane climate policy.

    Now that same activism is useless, the result of persistently asking ‘the wrong questions.’ Perhaps if K’s points were made a bit more specifically and clearly, this unworthy one wouldn’t be still languishing in the outer darkness, despite years of opportunities to profit by K’s enormous wisdom.

  33. 33
    Scott Strough says:

    Steve @ 25
    And rapid drawdown scenario, of which I posted 5 of 7 strategies that potentially could, would have an expected outgassing of ocean CO2 as well. It’s one of the negatives to take such strategies. I believe the soil should be capable of holding that too, but we will at some point get dangerously close to the limits of this type of strategy due to saturation. The soil sink potential is huge, but not infinite. And the rate if done on enough land is pretty big too, but no guarantees unless we can lower emissions at minimum ~25-30% +/-. More if we can’t get enough people to convert methodology.
    That’s why I posted examples that all were more profitable to the farmer and more yields per Hectare too. We need a significant % world wide to buy into it or it won’t be enough. Profits are a good motivator.

  34. 34
    Killian says:

    Re #19 Scott Strough

    Posters here have known about permaculture since 2009/10, at least, because I’ve been talking about it that long.

    Doesn’t get the jeers it used to.

    Yet, all these years later… still debating.

  35. 35
    Thomas says:

    34 Killian, give it up Killian. It’s not worth it. You’ll be much happier not even bothering a single thing written on this forum by anyone. Ever.

    You will not miss a thing. It’ll never change nor improve. Like Sunday Church in a old country town, the same people show up, the same things get said and nothing changes, except occasionally someone gets buried.

    Besides they are all deaf as door posts and twice as thick. (shrug)

  36. 36
    Thomas says:

    34 Killian

    Stefan Rahmstorf get really serious puts his foot down “enough is enough” and cancels his NYTs subscription.

    Gavin bashes up Judith Curry with a feather and leaves her “metaphorically” bleeding to death on the floor again. That’ll fix her!

    Michael Mann pops up at Congress again for another overt display of delusional incompetence of speaking truth to power .. and can’t string a single coherent sentence together to make a dint.

    The world shakes with surprise as the latest Nenana Ice Classic race results for another year are posted.

    Victor keeps posting along with several other denier drop kicks day after day after day.

    Mike’s record is still broken with the scratchy noise keeps playing day after day and no clue what to do about it.

    MA Rodger again declares it’s “scorchishimo” for the millionth time.

    Nothing happens.

    No one knows how to communicate with each other about anything of value.

    No one adds anything worth talking about.

    No one learns a thing worth learning.

    Nothing ever changes or improves.

    No one pays it any attention.

    No journalist anywhere pays it any heed or looks at as a scientific resource.

    It’s like The Walking Dead series on repetitive loop.

    It’s like being stuck in a Police Box without DR Who.

  37. 37
    Thomas says:

    The website equivalent of inbreeding.

    Hard to tell what might be the next distorted thing to arise but extinction is guaranteed.

  38. 38
    Thomas says:

    In fact Killian, you’d find more Life and Human Intelligence in a thousand year old cemetery than this place.

  39. 39
    Greg Guy says:

    Apparently someone thinks that climate change denial is the fault of climate scientists being ignorant of Aristotelian rhetoric. No it’s not a joke!

    https://platofootnote.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/on-the-crucial-importance-of-rhetoric/

  40. 40
    Fred Magyar says:

    Russell @ 29,

    Thank you Russell,
    I went to your links and then downloaded and read your paper from which I excerpeted the following:

    “…The energy cost of creating a hydrosol of micron-radius bubbles is small because bubble nucleation in supersaturated media is often thermodynamically favored. The initial inflation energy equals the Laplace pressure (P = 2 γ r), which, given the surface energy of water, is ~160 kilopascal in micron-radius bubbles and integrates to ~100 J l-1 of internal volume, to which must be added the interfacial energy and the viscous and gravitational work of displacement. (Brennen, 1995) In gas-free water, the pressure due to interfacial curvature rapidly drives micron-sized bubbles into solution, but in air-saturated water (22 mg l-1 at STP),but in the presence of film-forming impurities, either present naturally or intentionally added, microbubbles may last for tens to hundreds of seconds. Microbubbles have been observed to persist even longer in biologically active seawater, if interfacial effects lead to spontaneous encapsulation, In times and places where hydrosol lifetimes of hours or longer are obtainable, multi-kilometer coverage may be possible. especially over coral reefs and in shallow estuaries, where high natural surfactant concentrations and subsequent hydrosols persistence may make it economically feasible to lower peak water temperatures for extended periods”

    Bright water: Hydrosols, water conservation and climate change (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225164197_Bright_water_Hydrosols_water_conservation_and_climate_change [accessed May 3, 2017].

    While at least at first glance your paper seems solid with regards the physics and chemistry and the energetic requirements necessary to be able to create multi-kilometer long hydrosols over coral reefs and perhaps thus reducing water temperatures in those areas. That might be all well and good!

    However, I still remain highly skeptical as to how that would actually affect those reefs. What happens for example to the symbiotic algae that live within the coral’s tissues if the turbidity caused by a reflective hydrosol should impede sufficient light reaching the algae and therefore affecting photosynthesis?

    What are the consequences to other organisms such as phyto and zooplankton in the water that are integral parts of the food web?

    How do such changes effect the overall integrity and health of the entire coral reef ecosystem.

    What other unknown unknowns are there that the laws of unintended consequences might unexpectedly unveil?

    My point is simply this: while creating a hydrosol is for all intents and purposes a straightforward engineering problem, applying it over a coral reef is something that, IMHO, requires quite a bit more thought and a lot more careful research before someone can say that the benefits outweigh the environmental and ecological costs.

    Cheers!

  41. 41
    Hank Roberts says:

    Where were you on Earth Day 1970?

  42. 42
    Steven A Sullivan says:

    ooh, Thomas is *having a sulk*. He needs a cookie.

  43. 43
    Hank Roberts says:

    You know how to find this stuff.
    ——————————-

    Intense internal White House debate: The climate is just a little bit pregnant!
    By Tom Toles May 3 at 9:40 AM

    (Tom Toles)

    In yet another in a back-to-back-to-back nonstop series of amoral discussions and actions in the Trump White House, now we can watch them wiggle and maneuver to see just how much moral, legal and national responsibility they can get away with evading on the known most critical issue the world faces.

    Yes, that’s right, now we get to watch this mighty crew of irresponsibles abdicate any moral responsibility whatsoever in the necessary fight to slow and stop climate change before we lose the window of preventing a runaway catastrophe. Instead they are calibrating just how little they can plausibly do.

    They are not, it should be pointed out, internally disputing the science. They know. Everybody except the last, pathetic, misinformed remnants of the anti-climate Internet troll army knows that the science is irrefutable. What they are debating here is their leeway in responsibility avoidance. The words that describe this debate are “legal implications,” “political,” “alter their commitments,” “doesn’t legally prohibit,” “more difficult,” “easier” and “American expense.”

    What you don’t find are the words “compelling,” “necessary” or “duty.” Or “disaster,” “calamity” or “tragedy. And so the fate of the climate that humans evolved to inhabit is debated and decided by the likes of these people. That’s right, these people, who think so highly of themselves, are debating convenience to their administrative ideology, rather than formulating a plan to do what they know they actually need to do to preserve a climate that the entirety of civilization is resting on.

    The Paris accord may be seen by them as an inconvenient impediment, but it should be seen by the rest of us as the definitive test of whether this administration will meet or abdicate its responsibility to the human community. (It will also be all the indication we need on whether darling Ivanka Trump’s positioning as a sensible counselor to Daddy is worth anything at all when the world really needs it.)

    Stay tuned.

  44. 44
    TTT says:

    #21. Hank Roberts
    Thank you for your reply. It is definitely more than “I feel”. I could say temp does drop down. How much, that I’d have to do something you’ve suggested but I’m not sure I’d do actually it, though.
    .
    #23. Graham Saunders
    Thank you for your reply.
    It happens just before the sun rises. It all happen in 30 min or so, down and go back up (after sun rises). And what you told me was one of them I’ve found the net also.
    .
    Hank & Graham, the one I saw on the net that sounds reasonable is this one.
    Infrared radiations from the sun come in before the visible light shows up as the sun rises. It’s a long wave so could go sideways easier than visible light(?). And it warms up water droplets on the ground, in grasses, leaves. As some of them evaporate it cools the air as taking latent heat away from the surrounding air. But it goes sideways so it doesn’t necessarily warm the ground? I don’t know. But this sounds good on its own but I’m not sure if it is correct or even scientifically viable. Any suggestions on key words to do the search?

  45. 45

    Th 35: they are all deaf as door posts and twice as thick.

    BPL: You’ve been reading Dale Carnegie again, haven’t you?

  46. 46

    Th (continuing): Nothing happens.
    No one knows how to communicate with each other about anything of value.
    No one adds anything worth talking about.
    No one learns a thing worth learning.
    Nothing ever changes or improves.
    No one pays it any attention.
    No journalist anywhere pays it any heed or looks at as a scientific resource.
    It’s like The Walking Dead series on repetitive loop.
    It’s like being stuck in a Police Box without DR Who.

    BPL: So what does it say about you that you continue to read it? And stick around here?

  47. 47
    Alastair McDonald says:

    Thomas,

    If you want something new, read this: my PAGES2017 Zaragoza poster.

    It is the answers to another question, like why Barton’s model does not work, that the scientists can’t answer yet.

  48. 48
    Erik Lindeberg says:

    #14, Dan Miller: “There are two types of intentional geoengineering: Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Removal (or Direct Air Capture (DAC))”

    I suggest that we use the term geoengineering for just SRM and not for various form for CO2 capture. DAC is closely related to CCS (CO2 Capture and Storage). The main difference is that you start with a much more dilute CO2 in SRM (410 ppm) than in CCS (3.5 to 14% from power production and even much more concentrated CO2 from some other industries, i.e. ammonia, steel, refineries etc.). A much more diluted CO2 makes the process much more expensive. The large focus that DAC has received during the last years looks to me as a smokescreen considering that there are more than 6000 power and industrial point sources that each emit more than 1 million tonne CO2 per year with a typical concentration of 12% CO2. This CO2 is relatively easy to capture and if we can not introduce CO2 emission penalties soon enough to to release this huge emission reduction potential, I am somewhat pessimistic that we 60 years later shall agree on the much tougher penalties that
    is required to initiate DAC. CO2 removal is already a relatively mature technology and we cannot expect large cuts in cost. The cost is already well known (approximately $40 to $60 per tonne). The cost for DAC must necessary be much higher, not mainly due to larger energy requirement, but due to that much larger equipment is needed to handle the large gas volumes on the feed side which gives large capital costs. The most realistic cost estimates from the National Research Council (http://www.whoi.edu/fileserver.do?id=202544&pt=10&p=39435) are between $400 and $1000/tonne CO2 although one optimistic reference gives a DAC cost of merely $60/tonne (Holmes and Keith 2012), too optimistic in my opinion. Since we are talking about geoengineering, by coincidence, this Keith is the very same as Mr. Geo-engineer himself, David W. Keith, a man of many interests.

    The reason that I do not like to use the term geoengineering on CO2 removal, is that CO2 removal is a kind of atmosphere conservation to keep concentration steady while SRM is to change the radiation balance by radically introducing totally alien elements into the stratosphere.

  49. 49
    Erik Lindeberg says:

    Excuse a misprint in 5th line: should be “…much more dilute CO2 in DAC (410 ppm) than in CCS (3.5 to 14%…”

  50. 50
    b fagan says:

    On the geoengineering topic, these two are more in line with Chu’s advice to paint the roads white, but they go further – reflecting incoming solar but also radiating IR in frequencies that reach space.

    Paint and plastic film. Both require no difficult manufacturing techniques and could be commercialized quickly – BASF already working on the paint.

    These won’t cool the planet, but I live in Chicago and don’t like forecast of UHI plus warming increasing ozone in urban areas. We have a lot of paintable surfaces in Chicago, and cooling in developing nations is going to need to be as efficient as possible, too.

    Using a metamaterial/materials engineering approach to make passive cooling inexpensive would help reduce power consumption, too.

    Paint developed by Xerox PARC: “One type of metaparticle reflects broadband sunlight, helping the paint to keep heat away from anything underneath it. The other type emits infrared radiation at between 8 and 13 micrometers, a wavelength that allows heat to pass straight through Earth’s atmosphere and into space, dropping the paint’s temperature below ambient temperature.”

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/arpae-energy-innovation-summit-selffluffing-fabrics-and-the-worlds-coolest-paint

    “Cheap plastic film cools whatever it touches up to 10°C” Robert F. Service Feb. 9, 2017 , 2:00 PM
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/cheap-plastic-film-cools-whatever-it-touches-10-c

    Pardon the dumb-link posting. I’ll get the hang of it but have work in the morning and think these two developments, because they use simple manufacturing processes, could be ready soon to help reducing the energy demand side.


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