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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.

251 Responses to “Unforced Variations: May 2017”

  1. 151
    Victor says:

    Just a thought. Suppose a nuclear war broke out in some region of the world, between, say, India and Pakistan. And as a result, as envisioned in this research paper (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013EF000205/full), a “nuclear winter” is triggered, producing “widespread damage to human health, agriculture, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Killing frosts would reduce growing seasons by 10–40 days per year for 5 years. Surface temperatures would be reduced for more than 25 years due to thermal inertia and albedo effects in the ocean and expanded sea ice. The combined cooling and enhanced UV would put significant pressures on global food supplies and could trigger a global nuclear famine.”

    What I’m wondering is what those posting here would recommend in the event of such a catastrophe. Since the prevailing conviction is that CO2 emissions are heating the earth at an alarming rate, would you then suggest a considerable increase in the burning of fossil fuels, to offset the cooling effects of such an event? Or would you still feel it important to cut back?

    No pressure. :-)

  2. 152

    #151, Victor–

    Uh, Victor, why would anybody combat a 5-25 year cooling problem with a warming ‘solution’ that would last millennia–and which would probably take more than 5-25 years to implement to a (potentially?) helpful degree in the first place?

    No pressure. :-)

  3. 153

    Looking bad for the sea ice, as has been noted at various points already.

    Here’s what the invaluable Neven has to say:

    “There are clearly myriad of ways by which the 2017 melting season could break 2012’s record low minimum.

    “If this year’s melt is equal to the average of the last 10 years, there will be around 2500 km3 left in September (mind you, the 2012 record low minimum is 3673 km3). If there’s as much melt as in 2010 or 2012, this year’s minimum will barely go above 1000 km3. I don’t want to know what the Arctic looks like if that should happen.

    “There’s nothing else to do but hope that PIOMAS has it completely wrong, or else pray for lots of cold and cloudy weather in the Arctic this summer.”

    That’s a remarkable tone, coming from him; he fully understands the variability of the Arctic environment, and is not given to doomsaying. Further down the thread, another commentator notes that the long-range forecast for the high Arctic currently favors a sunny May-June–not good news for the ice.

  4. 154

    V: Just a thought. Suppose a nuclear war broke out in some region of the world, between, say, India and Pakistan. . . . Since the prevailing conviction is that CO2 emissions are heating the earth at an alarming rate, would you then suggest a considerable increase in the burning of fossil fuels, to offset the cooling effects of such an event? Or would you still feel it important to cut back? . . . No pressure. :-)

    BPL: Just a thought. Suppose pigs could actually take wing? Suppose, as a result, we had pigs defecating on our heads? Those who have worked on farms know that pig excreta is the most powerfully odorific of that produced by any domestic farm animal. Under those circumstances, would those who protest killing pigs in factory farms then reverse their PETA-like ideology, and agree to take them out with shotgun blasts? . . . No pressure. :-)

  5. 155
    patrick says:

    #147 (me) “Hayhoe is on the board of Citizen’s Climate Lobby…” Correction: It’s the Advisory Board of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, on which Hayhoe serves.

    https://citizensclimatelobby.org/about-ccl/advisory-board/

  6. 156
    patrick says:

    “Misrepresenting German renewables: NYT does climate [dismissal] 101,” Amory Lovins on Bret Stehphens in the NYT…

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/misrepresenting-german-renewables-nyt-climate-denial-101/

    So, among other things, Brett Stephens in the NYT is another example of how putting down renewables is part of dismissive attitudes to climate change. If people see new fundamentally-clean alternatives to legacy systems of the fuel lobby are ready to be phased-in, people become less dismissive, I think.

  7. 157
    m ross says:

    We are already doing “weak geoengineering” right now, in front of your noses. Rockets emit perhaps 50 Gg of various aerosols and gases directly into the atmosphere from the surface all the way to the thermosphere. Mainly though, think about the BC and alumina injected from rockets forming quasi-steady state stratospheric layers – of which we know almost nothing.
    Rockets are, you know, the things that put into orbit all those wonderful satellites that provide global communication, GPS, observations of Arctic ice, aerosols, and so forth. The Global Economy would grind to a halt without these satellites. The global launch rate is growing quickly. We know almost nothing about how this sort of geoengineering is affecting solar radiation. Doesn’t anybody think we should know all about this weak SRM before we start taking on the strong version?

  8. 158
    Thomas says:

    Or would you still feel it important to cut back? Cut back?

    Victor is asking questions little different in essence from:
    An alcoholic with severe liver damage and a young family to support gets hit by a truck and placed into hospital for several years where he cannot access alcohol …. is that a good thing for him and his life expectancy? Or would you still feel it important to cut back on alcohol during his accident recovery and after he gets released from hospital?

    Both hypothetical ask incredibly stupid irrational illogical unintelligent and patently MANIPULATIVE SOPHIST questions given the reality…..

    I think (no, I know) you misunderstand the situation Victor. What is needed is more than a cut back, it is a permanent Net Negative man-made contribution of carbon (CO2e) emissions; plus permanent reductions/changes in AGW drivers from land use, land clearing, agriculture, consumption, and cement production.

    Have you not been reading up on this the last 37 years? :-)

    Ongoing AGW/CC is far more harmful to earth’s ecosystems and catastrophic for human life than the 100Kt example in the paper. Both events are problematic and MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

  9. 159
    Russell says:

    135

    I do wish bFagan would read the paper and look at the figures-

    He has not yet grasped that doubling surface brightness means dispersing about a part per million by volume of one micron bubbles in the surface layer of a body of water

    As Water at STP contains ~ 3 orders of magnitude more of ordinarily dissolved air or oxgen, the chemical impact of microbubble brightening is dwarfed by the Henry’s Law barometric variation natural waters ordinarily experience.

    His other questions are also addressed in the discussion section of the paper, and applying hydrosols to coral conservation is part of UNEP’s reef research agenda.

  10. 160
    Thomas says:

    PS for #151 Victor, an intelligent person would also know, logically, if the scenarios described in the Paper occur that there would be a default net negative AGW emissions immediately and over the short term – eg Obama’s CEP, CCL, and the Paris agreement would instantly become moot.
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/moot

    Long term, for centuries ahead, the AGW threat and the maths and the science of it remain the same. Nice try though.

    Besides that, what those posting here would recommend for hypotheticals is irrelevant. Try reality for once in your life Victor.

    Please report back to your minders for further advice. :-)

  11. 161
    Thomas says:

    PS for #151 Victor, an intelligent person would also know, logically, if the scenarios described in the Paper occur that there would be a default net negative AGW emissions immediately and over the short term – eg Obama’s CEP, CCL, and the Paris agreement would instantly become moot.
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/moot

    Long term, for centuries ahead, the AGW threat and the maths and the science of it remain the same. Nice try though.

    Besides that, what those posting here would recommend for hypotheticals is irrelevant. Try reality for once in your life Victor.

    Please report back to your minders for further instructions. :-)

  12. 162
    Russell says:

    KIA:

    As nonagenarian contrarians go, Singer is just not in the same league as a Lovelock or a Dyson, including the dead writer and the vacuum cleaner man. His most interesting idea, since proved wrong , was the assertion that aliens made the moons of Mars.

  13. 163
    Mal Adapted says:

    patrick:

    I think what [Hayhoe] says there is important. It’s a mistake to narrowly separate alternative energy and/or the health effects of burning fuel, the leakage, and the pollution, from the facts and concerns of climate science. These things are linked in many people’s minds. The anti-climate science lobby–the dismisssives (her term)–spend a lot of time convincing themselves and others that alternatives aren’t real or ready. And if there aren’t alternatives, then the effects of business as usual on breathing disorders, cancer, etc.–and on health care costs–will remain just something that people have taught themselves to accept, and to learn to live with, and not to question.

    WRT “earth stewardship” in general and climate in particular, Katharine Hayhoe is an exemplar of a deeply devout Christian with whom, AFAICT, I differ only on theism; about the physical universe OTOH, not enough to matter.

    I agree Hayhoe’s advice about linking AGW with health and economic impacts is important. BTW, I don’t know that you’re saying otherwise, but I’m pretty sure she attributes ‘dismissives’ to the 2014 Six Americas report by Yale Climate Communications.

  14. 164
    Hank Roberts says:

    Victor links to

    Multidecadal global cooling and unprecedented ozone loss following a regional nuclear conflict
    First published: 1 April 2014
    DOI: 10.1002/2013EF000205

    and fails to think about the rebound warming that would follow such an event, since the soot and sulfates would fall out rather rapidly but the CO2 from the associated fires would have an effect for a millenium.

    I’m surprised he doesn’t suggest introducing a pulse of CFCs to counteract the cooling, despite the associated ozone loss.

    Long-lasting “solutions” to short-term problems have a way of biting back.

  15. 165
    David B. Benson says:

    jgnfld #146 — while way off the topic of this blog, there is nothing in physics or cosmology which precludes an infinite universe. Indeed, flatness measurements suggest that it might be.

  16. 166
    Killian says:

    Re #147 patrick said @131 Mal Adapted: So like, Catherine Hayhoe.

    We can agree on solutions even if we’re not on board with the science. And often by agreeing on solutions it actually goes back and can somehow, you know, backwards change our minds. When we feel like we’re part of a solution to something, we’re more willing to say it’s real than when we feel like the solutions are completely unpalatable. –Katherine Hayhoe

    Indeed, though I have had conversations with KAtherine and she still does not quite accept a risk-based paean to the people – though that is, imo, the only wat to get everybody and anybody working on solutions together: The shared fear of the same losses, regardless of cause.

    Hayhoe is on the board of Citizen’s Climate Lobby, along with Hansen, Inglis, and other good company

    That is no endorsement: CCL is clueless, though in a very well-meaning sort of way.

  17. 167
    Mike Flynn says:

    Re #50

    “At the same time, the film sucked heat out of whatever surface it was sitting on . . . ”

    I presume it stopped after it reached absolute zero.

    Cheers.

  18. 168
    Russell says:

    151:
    When Victor reads the fine print in the paper he links, he will find it uncritically based on parameter assumptions made over a generation ago that have well and truly melted down:

    https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v475/n7354/full/475037b.html

  19. 169
    MA Rodger says:

    Kevin McKinney @153,
    Indeed so. But it is perhaps worth mentioning that this year the PIOMAS re-analysis is showing a bit of a difference from the CryoSat data. However, most of the Arctic watchers are reporting the sea ice is in poor shape and consider that the CryoSat data is picking up the larger volumes of snow which will do little to reduce the speed of melt.
    Also, in recent weeks, the record-breaking run of low Arctic Sea Ice Extent anomalies has been taking a bit of a holiday (JAXA Arctic SIE anomalies graphed here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’). The Rudger Northern Hemisphere snow cover data is also showing (here – 2 clicks) less melty anomalies for April and the DMI 80N temperature re-analysis shows high-Arctic temperatures as below average for the beginning of May.
    So in predicting the coming melt-season, there are factors which are possibly working against a record-breaking melt season. But they have a lot of factors working the other way and suggesting a big big melting season.

  20. 170
    MA Rodger says:

    Victor the Troll @151 asks the most silly question. It is akin to asking us what the most appropriate equipment would be for us were we foolhardy enough to attempt to walk across a desert. Should it be a sack full water bottles? Or a perhaps it is more important we take lifejackets.
    Of course, as with most of Victor’s input here, the question is entirely rediculous. The journey would be made by different means and probably via a different route.

  21. 171
    mike says:

    If a nuclear broke out, who would provide for the care and feeding of trolls?

    Daily CO2

    May 13, 2017: 408.84 ppm
    May 13, 2016: 407.80 ppm

    Don’t feed the trolls.

    Mike

  22. 172
    mike says:

    KM at 153: yes, looking very poor for Arctic sea ice. Wadhams’ prediction of sea ice gone by September 2019 is looking pretty solid. Sea ice might rebound, there are fluctuations that could produce a “good” season of sea ice formation, but anybody watching the temperature trend might be inclined to think that we are now watching the end of Arctic sea ice. The world without an Arctic polar icecap is not a world that our species has ever inhabited. I feel bad for Neven, but I appreciate the work he is doing. It must be heart-breaking to know what he knows and to be seeing what he is seeing.

    Once more to MAR: I think it is reasonable to propose that with regard to global temps, there is no new normal. We have set in motion too many large-scale changes that will have significant impact on global temps for the next several hundred years (maybe it’s thousands of years, global temp trends are not my strong suit) to be able to assert any “new normal” on global temp.

    I believe it is clearly the case that as long as atmospheric CO2 is rising, we will see a ten year trend toward warmer global temps. There will be wobbles, it’s a highly dynamic system, but I feel very confident about one equation: more CO2 in atmosphere – equals more heat. Another equation that I feel pretty confident about is that we are generally seeing global temp and weather patterns today based on atmosphere with CO2 at 386 ppm. We don’t know yet how hot the globe gets with CO2 of 408 ppm (or co2e 490). I think we will only be able to extrapolate the heat moment in the rear view mirror because we do not appear to be able to stop the rise of CO2 and CO2e in the atmosphere. Find a hedge fund for that risk if you can.

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  23. 173
    Victor says:

    Well, folks, thanks. Your responses to my question re nuclear winter fully lived up to my expectations. Clearly your concerns are not for the future of humanity or even for the legitimacy of science, but for the satisfaction of your ideologically determined dogma, i.e., that fossil fuel emissions represent some absolute evil in themselves, with no possible redeeming value.

    And no, BPL, nuclear winter based on the concerns expressed in that article has nothing to do with flying pigs, but is in fact far more likely than any of us would want to contemplate. And if you’re worried about the long-term effects of boosting CO2 emissions, I can assure you that, after a nuclear winter event of the magnitude described in this paper, there might not be any long-term at all, as far as the great majority of humans are concerned. It would be a question of weighing a POSSIBLE disaster many years down the line against an immediate disaster requiring an immediate response.

    I read all the time on this blog about how the warming effects of CO2 might well be far more drastic than anything so far contemplated and if that were the case then ramping up those emissions certainly might be worth a try. And if the effects of CO2 would be too long-term to suit you, then what about releasing methane, which would have a more immediate effect and not last all that long. IF you actually believe what “the science” is telling you, then you should be willing to at least consider such measures rather than simply dismissing them — thus revealing the ideological basis of your crusade.

  24. 174
    MA Rodger says:

    The GISTEMP LOTI anomaly for April is posted shows continuing ”scorchyisimo!!!” The April global anomaly is down on the heights of March & Feb to +0.88ºC, roughly that of January.
    April 2017 becomes =19th hottest month on the full record and the 2nd hottest April on record (behind 1st-place April 2016 (+1.06ºC) and ahead of the pack (3rd-place April 2010 +0.87ºC, 4th-place April 2014 +0.78ºC and 5th-place April 2007 +0.75ºC).
    The start of 2017 also remains ”scorchyisimo!!!” with first four months of 2017 still head-&-shoulders above the first four months of all other years excepting last year which was of course boosted by an El Nino. The first-4-months averages (with eventual annual averages) look like this:-

    .. .. 1st 4 months .. Annual ave
    2016 .. +1.19ºC .. .. +0.98ºC
    2017 .. +0.99ºC
    2010 .. +0.83ºC .. .. +0.71ºC
    2015 .. +0.83ºC .. .. +0.86ºC
    2007 .. +0.81ºC .. .. +0.66ºC
    2002 .. +0.78ºC .. .. +0.63ºC
    2014 .. +0.75ºC .. .. +0.74ºC
    1998 .. +0.70ºC .. .. +0.63ºC
    Note that the only non-El Nino years in this ranking are 2017 along with 2015 and 2014 and it is only these last two whose annual average is not significantly cooler than their first four months.

  25. 175
    mike says:

    from

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/warm-arctic-fuels-second-warmest-april-21449

    The warm global average last month was heavily influenced by a continuation of unusually high temperatures in the Arctic. The Arctic warmth has been linked to record low levels of sea ice and to the variability of weather, including northward-moving storms that have brought heat with them.

    “If it’s just natural variability, it’s a type of natural variability I am not familiar with,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “There’s a lot going on here and I think there’s some catchup to do in the research community.”

    spikey day with CO2 after several days with year on year increase of under 2 ppm.

    Lots of noise in daily numbers, but still, a 411 number is ugly.

    Daily CO2

    May 15, 2017: 411.27 ppm
    May 15, 2016: 406.97 ppm

    warm regards

    Mike

  26. 176
    JCH says:

    Nuclear winter… in such an atmosphere, would additional CO2 make much of a difference over that limited timespan?

    As for the logistics, extracting and refining and combusting fossil fuels is a herculean task. In the oil industry, we work hard and we work long hours. With a region of the globe devastated, I suspect the hardworking humans of the earth, giving it all they’ve got, would be lucky to produce emissions as high as before detonations.

  27. 177
    b fagan says:

    159 Russell says re: 135 “I do wish bFagan would read the paper and look at the figures… He has not yet grasped that doubling surface brightness means dispersing about a part per million by volume of one micron bubbles in the surface layer of a body of water”

    I’m not even trying to grasp that. I’d read your paper a couple years ago and wasn’t commenting on it in this thread until after you started saying I had been. So I read it again and asked questions that aren’t answered.

    You say here “His other questions are also addressed in the discussion section of the paper”
    The paper says: “While the relationship between local biota and interfacial chemistry is beyond this paper’s scope”.

    And you conclude with “applying hydrosols to coral conservation is part of UNEP’s reef research agenda.”

    Great! I hope to be able to read what the biochemists, plankton specialists, etc. working with UNEP find when they study what happens to plankton, suspended matter, chemistry when light patterns change, dissolved gas balance shifts slightly from bubbles due to “oxygen and CO2 depletion” from them, and the air-water surface area near the sunlit surface is expanded incrementally by tiny bubbles encased in biologically active materials – bubbles in greater profusion for longer duration than occur naturally on calm sunny days.

    If the amount produces a quantitative difference in light penetration there’s no reason to assume other aspects do not also undergo measurable changes. I’m not saying they do, or if such changes are good, bad or neutral. I’m saying that according to this paper they are unknown. I’m just a guy working in IT for a long time, and the second-worse sentence I ever encounter in my job is “the fix won’t affect anything but the problem”. The worst is “what could go wrong?”

    So cooling the water surface via bubbles is easier to stop quickly than airborne dimming, in case of another Pinatubo. That’s a winner. The act of cooling this way could potentially be tracked via satellite photography – much better than rogue sulfate in the atmosphere. It has potential in small-scale freshwater retention – bravo. But what happens in the water you are protecting? This is why geoengineering makes me feel someone’s saying “What could go wrong?” before enough questions are chased down.

    If the cure becomes necessary, and is better than the disease, then we have a tool. But I hope they look for and understand any un-expected effects first.

  28. 178
    Hank Roberts says:

    > methane, which would have a more immediate effect and not last all that long. — Victor

    You know what methane produces when it reacts in the atmosphere, Victor.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane

    But if we had a nuclear winter, or the sun got dim for a while, or a cosmic black dust cloud came between us and the sun, we wouldn’t try to enhance the greenhouse effect by increasing atmospheric CO2 or C2H4 or CFCs.

    We’d try to stay warm by heating inside buildings, not by changing the planet’s climate.

    Either way, the money you have invested in fossil fuel stocks would multiply as prices skyrocketed.

  29. 179
  30. 180
    Charles Hughes says:

    Possibly some good news for Climate Science and scientists around the world…. I think we may have turned a corner in the Trump “Presidency”, (as it were). I’m sensing a serious crack in the Republican party:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/comey-testify-fbi-trump-russia

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/getting-out-of-the-way

    We’re about to put our Constitution to a real test. If we pass the test there could be a reversal of fortunes for all concerned. I realize this is political BUT…. I believe it will have positive consequences. We shall soon find out.

  31. 181
    Thomas says:

    “Carbon trading does nothing to slow global warming — they all fail.”
    “This is very important because, maybe that’s the object!”
    “Yes, maybe that’s the object. They know that. They are not stupid!

    Mirowski cont’ https://youtu.be/I7ewn29w-9I?t=45m51s

  32. 182
    b fagan says:

    Mike @167 – no, cooling causes it to shrink, so it collapses into a mini black hole just before reaching 0 K, so it’s non-polluting, too! Jokes aside, there’s a Perspective article in the same issue, not paywalled. “Metamaterials for perpetual cooling at large scales” http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6329/1023.full.

    But the full paper also describes how simple the stuff is to manufacture using standard equipment and processes, and the ingredients are a just TPX plastic and carefully-sized glass microbeads. Nice to see things made without rare earths.

    And the Perspective notes: “Once deployed, the cooling effect is perpetual as long as the object temperature is higher than that of the outer space.” – so there’s still some wiggle room before we hit 0 K.

  33. 183
    Victor says:

    Here’s what a truly rational, responsible, and scientific response to my “nuclear winter” question, might look like:

    “You know, I’ve never thought much about it, and I’m not sure whether increasing CO2 levels could make much of a difference under such circumstances. But if it could, I’d be for it.”

    However, for the zealots posting here, NO amount of CO2 emissions could ever be seen as a good thing. Better to bury one’s head in the sand than attempt to deal with such an issue.

    Whether or not amping up CO2 levels could make a difference under such extreme circumstances was not really my point. In other words, this was a trick question. What really interested me was whether ANYONE posting here would be willing to even consider the possibility that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere might have a positive effect and could be encouraged if the circumstances warranted it. And, as I expected, no one has (at least so far — I can still hope.) As so often in this (non) debate, what I see on the alarmist side are excuses, NOT rational arguments.

    #158 Thomas: “I think (no, I know) you misunderstand the situation Victor. What is needed is more than a cut back, it is a permanent Net Negative man-made contribution of carbon (CO2e) emissions; plus permanent reductions/changes in AGW drivers from land use, land clearing, agriculture, consumption, and cement production.”

    But a nuclear winter would obviate the need for CO2 cutbacks, so you should welcome such a prospect, no? Actually under such conditions there would be a huge rise in fossil fuel emissions, as the world would be desperate for any heating source it could lay its hands on. So maybe you’d be against it after all. :-)

    #164 Hank Roberts: “Victor . . . fails to think about the rebound warming that would follow such an event, since the soot and sulfates would fall out rather rapidly but the CO2 from the associated fires would have an effect for a millenium.”

    A rebound based on what, Hank? What natural forces would produce the rebound you anticipate after the soot and sulfates dissipate? Seems to me that once the Earth cools so drastically there would be NO natural forces to produce such a “rebound.” Were it not for the emission of CO2, we’d be living in a permanent ice age. Unless you are willing to admit the role of natural forces in producing all the record temps. we keep hearing so much about.

    And yes, there’d be a whole lot of CO2 pumped into the atmosphere simply from all the fires, both “natural” and man made. And yes, this could contribute to some sort of “rebound.” But since your ideology prevents you from considering the possibility that this could be a good thing you have no choice but to deny deny deny any possibility that the emission of CO2 might be welcome as a source of heat, even after the world has cooled down dramatically.

    #170 As usual the pronouncements of Mr. MA Rodger fly totally over my head. I have no idea how it’s possible to compare nuclear winter with a trek across the desert, but no doubt that’s due to the fact that I’m an “idiot,” i.e., someone who fails to appreciate the profundity of his offensive ad hominems.

  34. 184
    Scott Strough says:

    Killian,
    Please don’t be so quick to dismiss CCL. It may be true that they are still stuck on the emissions side only instead of the carbon cycle taken as a whole. And they are still stuck on liberal tax and spend government run and flawed economics rather than truly sustainable natural economic theory. But they are inching ever closer. This last paper published in Nature a month ago regarding carbon pathways just might tip the balance for them and be their AHA moment. Or not… But give them some time. They are so close I can taste it. Once they finally get there they will have the advantage of diverse political backing. Maybe if they somehow could get John D Liu on board to tie it all together?
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=uyAoTFfpFS0

    Victor,
    Confirmation bias much? Is it at least possible that the posters on this site saw through your childlike attempt to set a rhetorical trap? I suggest a more honest conservative Christian approach. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you want people to answer the redeeming qualities of fossil fuels just ask it! There are many! That’s why alternatives that are just as beneficial but without the negative side effects are so difficult to develop.

  35. 185
  36. 186
    Russell says:

    154

    BPL : it would not be the first time pigs figured in an outbreak of lethal hostility in Indian and Pakistan.

    Victor : Though trying to scare the world into disarmament by advertising science fiction as fact proved a policy failure, some of the same true believers are still stonewalling in an effort to relegitimate the tactics of that era.

    But while , contrary to their exppectations, the cold war ended , the numbers still talk – darkness at noon requires more than telling a systems programmer to make it so, and all the first one dimensional round of apocalyptic climate hype really did was put the reputation of climate modeing at risk on the eve of the debate about warming and policy.

    Please give it a rest

  37. 187
    Killian says:

    Re #172 mike said …Wadhams’ prediction of sea ice gone by September 2019 is looking pretty solid… …anybody watching the temperature trend might be inclined to think that we are now watching the end of Arctic sea ice… I feel bad for Neven… It must be heart-breaking to know what he knows and to be seeing what he is seeing.

    Far more heartbreaking is to know both what is happening and how to fix it, yet see so little being done, and so few listening.

  38. 188
    Killian says:

    Mike quoted “If it’s just natural variability, it’s a type of natural variability I am not familiar with,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “There’s a lot going on here and I think there’s some catchup to do in the research community.

    I sent my EN/ASI theory to Mark in 2015 or ’16. He thought it might be interesting to pursue. I think somebody should. At this time we happen to also be seeing a possible change in the PDO, but it may well be there is a resonance to the PDO and effects of EN on ASI, too. I have not checked to correlate EL and PDO and ASI lows.

    Here is the relevant post from 2015:

    EN/ASI

    Re #181 Dan H: Further to the discussion on EL/LN (ENSO) and correlation with ASI Extent lows, my original observation noted rough correlations between EN’s followed 1 or 2 years later by new lows. This observation was based on eyeballing graphs and included no other conditions affecting the ice. However, it is clear the ’07 low was strongly affected by winds and weather generally. Likewise, the lack of winds and relative cold correlated well with the last two years of rise in ASIE and this year almost certainly not hitting new lows. In fact, I had not called new lows, or even 2nd or 3rd new records in extent because I think all the open water makes high variation in extent *less* likely. The weather has cooperated to make that still true.

    I think, in fact, it makes little sense to look for new lows in extent as the primary metric when it is so easy for ice to spread in open seas. Area and volume both tell us more about the *amount* of ice, anyways, which I have focused on since ’10. Unfortunately, we don’t have good records on those so rely on the continuity of the extent record to check for this correlation.

    I went further back, eyeballing from an extent graph through 2010 or so with poor detail (what I could find) and a list of ENSO years and intensities. This is the rough. If anyone has more detailed resources and can nail this down better, please do.

    Here is what I found going all the way back to the beginning of ASIE decline @ 1953-ish.

    EN ’51 – ’54 = inception of ASI Extent decline.
    EN ’57 – ’59 = Near New Low/New Low
    EN ’65 – ’66 = Near New Low/New Low
    EN ’68 – ’70 = New Low
    EN ’72 – ’73 = possible correlation, some delay
    EN ’76 – ’78 = New Low
    EN ’79 – ’80 = New Low
    EN ’82 – ’83 = New Low
    EN ’86 – ’88 = New Low (’89,’90)
    EN ’94 – ’95 = New Low
    EN ’97 – ’98 = Drop from Previous (?)
    EN ’04 – ’05 = Near New Low/New Low
    EN ’04 – ’05/’06 – ’07 = New Low
    EN ’09 – ’10 = New Low (’10, ’12)

    EN ’15 – ’16 = New Low ’16,’17

    What about La Nina? First, I don’t care if the actual cause is LN or EN, the correlation with ENSO is the key. However, we have a problem, Houston. I didn’t check the full record of LN because I found this from recent years:

    La Nina
    ’07 – ’08 After
    ’10 – ’11 After

    ‘ 10 – ’11, ’11- ’12 = New Low

    If LN is following big melts, it can’t be contributing to them, so the correlation is already weaker than with EN. Also, the ’10-’11 EN could be said to be correlated with the ’12 low given the hypothesis of near new lows/new lows following EN’s by 1 or 2 years. Feel free to check the LN record, tho.

    What I think is going on is the EN’s put a lot of heat into the ocean surface *and* the air, yes? I propose these waters and air temps propagate via multiple routes (directly, storm tracks, etc.) into the Arctic enhancing melt. We know melt from the bottom due to water temps is responsible for up to 2/3 of the ice melt, and also that it takes much longer for energy to propagate through the oceans than the atmosphere. It makes sense an EN correlation might be delayed.

    It would be great to correlate wind and storm patterns and temps with all this. Let’s be clear: I am not saying ENSO *is the primary cause of melt*, only that there is what appears to be a strong

  39. 189

    Victor,

    Your logical fallacy is “No true Scotsman.” In this case, “Anyone TRULY concerned about the environment would endorse burning massive quantities of fossil fuels under the conditions of the bizarre thought experiment I thought up.” Sorry, I don’t need to agree with your definition.

  40. 190
    MA Rodger says:

    The NOAA anomaly for April is also posted and as NASA Gistemp it shows continuing ”scorchyisimo!!!” As per Gistemp, the April global anomaly is down on the heights of March (+1.03°C) & Feb (+0.96°C) to +0.90ºC, equal to that of January.
    April 2017 becomes =12th hottest month on the full record (=19th in Gistemp) and the 2nd hottest April on record (behind 1st-place April 2016 (+1.07ºC) and ahead of the pack (3rd-place April 2010 +0.83ºC, 4th-place April 2014 +0.80ºC and 5th-place April 2015 +0.78ºC, the first 4 places identical in order to Gistemp).
    The start of 2017 also remains ”scorchyisimo!!!” with first four months of 2017 still head-&-shoulders above the first four months of all other years excepting last year which was of course boosted by an El Nino (this all as per Gisemp). The first-4-months averages (with eventual annual averages) look like this:-

    .. .. 1st 4 months .. Annual ave
    2016 .. +1.14ºC .. .. +0.96ºC
    2017 .. +0.95ºC
    2015 .. +0.85ºC .. .. +0.90ºC
    2010 .. +0.77ºC .. .. +0.71ºC
    2007 .. +0.74ºC .. .. +0.62ºC
    1998 .. +0.72ºC .. .. +0.64ºC
    2002 .. +0.71ºC .. .. +0.62ºC
    2014 .. +0.69ºC .. .. +0.73ºC
    (These are the same years for Gistemp with slightly differing ordering in the lower ranks.) Again note that the only non-El Nino years in this ranking are 2017 along with 2015 and 2014 and it is only these last two whose annual average is not significantly cooler than their first four months.

  41. 191
    Killian says:

    Re #184 Scott Strough said Killian, Please don’t be so quick to dismiss CCL. It may be true that they are still stuck on the emissions side only instead of the carbon cycle taken as a whole. And they are still stuck on liberal tax and spend government run and flawed economics rather than truly sustainable natural economic theory. But they are inching ever closer. This last paper published in Nature a month ago regarding carbon pathways just might tip the balance for them and be their AHA moment. Or not…

    What paper do you refer to?

    But give them some time. They are so close I can taste it. Once they finally get there they will have the advantage of diverse political backing. Maybe if they somehow could get John D Liu on board to tie it all together?

    First, does that political backing matter if politics can’t fix this? I do not see how you get the 1%, or even the 5%, to give up their power and privilege for the good of the many. Pipe dreams like Teslas, wind, solar, etc., are popular because they are supposedly ways to be sustainable so people do not have to change their lives appreciably.

    This is a delusion, in some cases, and maybe outright disinformation in others. I see little value in have the gov’t on board.

    Worse, every contact with *any* CCL member has been defensive, and often dismissive. These people go through Al Gore’s (I think it’s Gore’s thing…?) B.S. 2-day training and think they are experts. They simply do not listen.

    As for John Liu, I was working with John on his Ecosystem Restoration Camps because it was supposed to be a grassroots, ground up, egalitarian effort. It turned into a typical top-down, NGO-funded, secret clique-managed enterprise, so…

    From my conversations with John, he understands restoration, but his grounding on deep sustainability and simplicity is weak. Influential, but not going in quite the right direction so far.

    I have tried to get him to understand something as simple as the camps need to be new communities for multiple reasons, but he will only see what he originally came up with. When you “save” an ecosystem, you need humans integrated into it to both continue to shepherd and protect it and because we need to house 2 billion more people, so why not in brand new little ecovillages integrated with Nature?

    Basically, do the work John wants to do using my Regenerative Community Incubator idea and you get both. Anywho…

    Rather than encourage me to have faith in CCL, why not encourage CCL to reach out to me? God knows I’ve reached out to them enough times…

  42. 192
    Astringent says:

    Re #183 Victor Here’s what a truly rational, responsible, and scientific response to my “nuclear winter” question, might look like:

    “You know, I’ve never thought much about it, and I’m not sure whether increasing CO2 levels could make much of a difference under such circumstances. But if it could, I’d be for it.”

    Actually the truly rational answer would be to stop, take a deep breath through your fallout filtering gasmask, and think things through. Would burning ‘extra’ fossil fuel help over the timescales that putative cooling would take place? Would there be the capacity to pump/mine the reserves given the distracting priority of trying to catch and eat the slightly less radioactive rats? and in any case rationality went out the window the moment someone pressed the first big red button.

    This isn’t about ideology – its about concentrating on the issue at hand, which for climate scientists is understanding what is happening to our climate today. I expect there’s a bright young Lieutenant Colonel or two at staff colleges writing reasoned and erudite thesis on mitigating nuclear winter. I don’t really ever want to have to read them though.

  43. 193

    Russell is going to keep on bringing up nuclear winter and the idea that it’s a failed idea till the end of time. He passionately hates Carl Sagan for reasons I can’t fathom; perhaps related to his politics, and he will go on slandering him and the TTAPS team world without end, amen. Meanwhile, he will endlessly fail to give a substantial argument for his point.

    Seitz, publish your own damn paper on nuclear winter or STFU. The Thomas and Schneider 1984 version had serious methodological flaws, as I have pointed out to you again and again and again, and as the TTAPS team themselves pointed out in a peer-reviewed paper in 1991. Deal with it.

  44. 194
    mike says:

    May 18: 410.21 ppm
    May 17: 410.03 ppm
    May 16: Unavailable
    May 15: 411.27 ppm
    May 14: Unavailable

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/monthly.html

    looks like a 410 week number to me

    Cheers

    Mike

  45. 195
  46. 196
    Killian says:

    As far back as 2003, Robert Gagosian, who was then the President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (he’s now President Emeritus), warned that we ignore the threat of abrupt climate change induced by a slowing or shutdown of the AMOC at our own peril.

    “[T]he debate on global change has largely failed to factor in the inherently chaotic, sensitively balanced, and threshold-laden nature of Earth’s climate system and the increased likelihood of abrupt climate change,” he wrote in a post on the WHOI website

    Great minds. Been saying risk is appropriate metric for… 7 years? 8? 10?

  47. 197

    Victor said:

    Whether or not amping up CO2 levels could make a difference under such extreme circumstances was not really my point. In other words, this was a trick question. What really interested me was whether ANYONE posting here would be willing to even consider the possibility that increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere might have a positive effect and could be encouraged if the circumstances warranted it. And, as I expected, no one has (at least so far — I can still hope.) As so often in this (non) debate, what I see on the alarmist side are excuses, NOT rational arguments.

    Or maybe our ability to jump far outpaces your ability to dream up effective hoops. C’mon, if your preconditions fail to make increasing CO2 logical, then responses pointing that out are *entirely* rational.

    Or I could address your ‘concern’. Suppose solar output permanently dropped to levels expected to create a nearly immediate and serious interglacial (and we somehow knew that it was permanent–currently a counterfactual, as far as I can tell.) Would it make sense to consider ramping up atmospheric CO2 by a program of increased fossil fuel burning?

    Maybe. But it would be a temporary solution–though by ‘temporary’, I mean that it would probably only buy us a few millennia of comfortable temps. And we’d still have the ocean acidification side effects to deal with somehow.

    Of course, as it isn’t, it ain’t. But do you feel better now? If so, you are welcome.

  48. 198
    Scott Strough says:

    killian,
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14856

    Of course we can still quibble over the numbers Brian Walsh uses, but the pathways he got. This is a monumental and profound improvement over previous models. I can not stress enough the importance of this. That’s why I don’t mind repeating the post. I would shout it from the rooftops if I could.

    Why you ask? Never before was so well made a published model including soil carbon. That pathway which has been overlooked in agriculture far too long will in the end be the ONLY hope.

    Yeah I know Savory took a lot of heat for claiming the same thing. Scientists and Skeptics both hate when anyone says “only”. I should know better than to say that. At least now we have a new study that suggests that very thing when we simply plug in the case study data from regenerative agriculture, rather than the far lower potential from antiquated industrialized ag.

    Do it. Plug 5-20 tCO2/ha/yr on 1,413,180,000 ha arable ground and 3,377,388,400 ha pasture. Now consider it improves both yields and profits at the same time. Tell us again I am exaggerating when I say “only”?

    Oh and Lillian John has included an embedded community concept in his latest work? Were you the one who gave him that idea? Or was it one of the hundreds of other scientists and economists he works with?

  49. 199

    “CCL is clueless.”

    I disagree. CCL is not trying to achieve permanent sustainability, it is trying to achieve near-immediate term political reform. It has been argued that only the former matters, but I think in the real world it matters how bad the situation actually is when the current paradigm ‘withers away’ (presuming it actually does). As such, I think that CCL has a reasonable program. One may critique ‘flawed economics’, but it’s pretty hard to deny the fact that people buy less of anything (including fossil-fueled energy) when it is more expensive.

    Moreover, CCL has at least a couple of IMO highly valuable attributes. One, it creates and organizes a community of folks active around climate policy. Two, its structure, centered around the weekly call, provides an ongoing program of informal education on the topic.

    I might even try to start up a chapter here in South Carolina, once I get settled a bit better.

    On another topic, I found this paper quite interesting:

    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/585c3439be65942f022bbf9b/t/590a650de4fcb5f1d7b6d96b/1493853480288/Rethinking+Transportation_May_FINAL.pdf

    It’s the inaugural “Rethink X” paper on transportation, which has created some small buzz. The essential thesis is that once autonomous electric vehicles are approved, a drastic wave of disruption will be unleashed, with “Transportation as a service” (TaaS) becoming a new paradigm and virtually completely supplanting traditional car (and truck) ownership, as well as manufacturing. That follows from purely economic logic–for a starter example, the paper calculates that the average American household will save about $5600 annually by switching from individual ownership to TaaS. Moreover, this disruption will be highly non-linear, based on the cost curves of existing tech, and will consequently be nearly complete on a roughly decadal timescale.

    For our purposes, the most significant impact will be the decimation of oil demand on a global basis, and a consequent drastic decrease in CO2 emissions.

    Oh yeah–the authors’ best guess for deployment (disruption) to commence: 2021. That would mean drastic CO2 emissions declines over the course of the 20s.

    Clearly, those who dislike technological optimism will not like this report (yes, Killian, I’m thinking that will include you–no offense intended.) And there are quite a few moving parts to the analysis, which ramps up my skepticism about its supposed ‘inevitability.’ But the basic logic is not, to my mind, obviously wrong.

    Thoughts?

  50. 200
    Alastair McDonald says:

    Re 196 where Killian quoted “… we ignore the threat of abrupt climate change induced by a slowing or shutdown of the AMOC at our own peril.”

    You may find this poster that I presented at PAGES 2017 10 days ago interesting.

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