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Unforced Variations: August 2017

Filed under: — group @ 2 August 2017

This month’s open thread.

592 Responses to “Unforced Variations: August 2017”

  1. 1
    Thomas says:

    395 Kevin McKinney, well down in laying that all out there so clearly and succinctly. Fantastic Post!!! Par Excellance!!! Thank You. It should be shared anywhere and everywhere, imho.

  2. 2
    Thomas says:

    Well Done …

  3. 3
    Andrew says:

    Re: #381 (last month) mike

    “There is a lot of wasted energy going into the discussion of DWW article…”

    Are you referring to my criticism of DWW’s “TUE” or to the fact that 17 climate scientists responded to it, here: https://climatefeedback.org/evaluation/scientists-explain-what-new-york-magazine-article-on-the-uninhabitable-earth-gets-wrong-david-wallace-wells/

    Please consider the following metaphor for communication about climate change:

    We are the passengers in a bus that is speeding – actually accelerating – toward the abyss. Some of the passengers – actually, “bus-tracking” scientists – have been for decades analyzing the bus trajectory, speed, the damage the bus will take when it finally falls into the abyss, etc. And they have been – rather stridently actually – telling the driver to take the foot off the accelerator and shove the brakes down.
    As we are almost reaching the abyss, one of the passengers decides to shout that “we are all going to die”, that scientists have been too “reticent” in their description of what is going to happen once the bus falls in the abyss, and that any measures to slow down and stop the bus are useless.
    17 “bus-tracking scientists” feel compelled to respond to that doom and gloom shouting passenger.
    And one of the passengers also decides to analyze and respond in detail to the doom and gloom shouting passenger, in the comments section of a well-known “bus-tracking” website, because he is strongly convinced that it is more important to point out that the driver can and must take the foot off the accelerator and shove it on the brakes – exactly as the “bus-tracking” scientists have been saying for decades.
    Yet another passenger keeps regularly copy/pasting the RPM readings onto the comments section of the same well-known “bus-tracking” website, remarking that “The RPM numbers seem too high to me.”
    Can you see where DWW, you and I fit in this metaphor?

  4. 4
    patrick says:

    The Southern Company halts operations at flagship “clean coal” plant. It’s definitive. MIT Technology Review: “Clean Coal’s Flagship Project Has Failed.”

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608191/clean-coals-flagship-project-has-failed/

    Southern Company made the announcement June 28. As it happened, on June 27, they said this:

    https://www.southerncompany.com/newsroom/2017/june-2017/0627-powersecure-ams-alliance.html

    What is Advanced Microgrid Solutions? http://advmicrogrid.com/

    Peter Thiel backs a similar company, called STEM, “Intelligent energy storage and predictive energy software.

  5. 5
    Andrew says:

    Re: #395 Kevin McKinney

    “IMO, it’s a piece which is quite obviously carefully reported, in the sense of documenting specific factual claims made, if not so much one in the sense of carefully summarizing and interpreting them.”

    That is your opinion and you are obviously entitled to it.

    Here is the opinion of Alexis Berg, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University, one of the 17 climate scientists who responded to “TUE”:

    “In addition, the article contains a number of claims that are factually wrong, and a number of claims that are, to my knowledge, not substantiated by research.

    I was also concerned by the implied claim that this article, being written after interviews with many climate scientists, somehow reflects scientists’ true opinion about global warming. I don’t believe it does.”

    I have checked the annotated version of “TUE”. In it, DWW still does not mention that he interviewed Guy McPherson in mid-June 2017.

    Something else: DWW writes at length about hypothetical “climate plagues”.

    Presently there are approximately 400,000 confirmed cases of cholera in Yemen, because Saudi Arabia has bombed and destroyed so much civilian infrastructure, among other things hospitals and the sewage system in the capital Sana’a. Those are US and UK manufactured bombs that were dropped on innocent civilians, using US and UK manufactured jet bombers piloted by US and UK trained pilots.

    The word “cholera” is not to be found in either the original or the annotated version of “TUE”. Reality is anathema in a New York Magazine article, apparently, if it could cause any moral discomfort to their readership. Better to stick to the entertaining “Pirates of the Caribbean” version of climate change doom.

  6. 6
    patrick says:

    Like it or not coal zealotry (speaking through tax-exempt funding) is behind much of the sustained disinformation about climate science and the sustained harassment of climate scientists–for instance Hansen, Mann, and Hayhoe, as reported in this article by Lee Fang (note bio).

    “He Waged Intimidation Campaigns Against Climate Scientists; Now He’s Helping Trump Remake the EPA”

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/09/david-schnare-trump/

    More on David Schnare at DeSmog Blog.

  7. 7
    patrick says:

    July 31– “…two South Carolina utilities halted construction on a pair of reactors that once were expected to showcase a modern design for a new age of nuclear power.” See details.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/sc-utilities-halt-work-on-new-nuclear-reactors-dimming-the-prospects-for-a-nuclear-energy-revival/2017/07/31/

    “…federal production tax credits and loan guarantees also have been designed to promote new projects.” About $5 billion had been spent so far on the project, if I am not mistaken.

  8. 8
    mike says:

    Daily CO2

    August 1, 2017: 406.31 ppm
    August 1, 2016: 403.27 ppm

    Carbon cycle is talking to us.

    If you don’t believe the numbers, please put all of your smart money into coastal real estate.

    Warm regards

    Mike

  9. 9
    Dan H. says:

    Andrew,
    A few other somments by scientists:

    Michael Mann, “The article paints an overly bleak picture by overstating some of the science.”

    Richard Betts, “While it is clear that ongoing warming of the global climate would eventually have very severe consequences, the concept of the Earth becoming uninhabitable within anywhere near the timescales suggested in the article is pure hyperbole.”

    Charles Koven, “The article, while it does thoughtfully discuss some serious implications of climate change, also goes beyond the evidence in a number of instances of its exploration of worst-case scenarios.”

    Christopher Colose, “There are many arguments in this article at the interface of climate instability, socio-political disruption, and general global security. They are, however, clumsily wrapped together and doesn’t reflect well the actual risk posed by climate change.”

    Pierre Friedlingstein, “The article is very alarmist, making very strong statements with very little (if any) support. Implying that climate scientists support the article, which I find hard to believe. Such article does not help at all. It’s just too easy to prove it wrong and hence imply that the entire climate change issue is exaggerated.”

    These are not deniers either.

  10. 10
    Andrew says:

    Re #7 patrick

    “About $5 billion had been spent so far on the project, if I am not mistaken.”

    You are mistaken, it’s more like $13.6 billion. $1.8 billion of which were charged to SC ratepayers in the last few years, money that somehow I doubt they’ll get back.

    Wikipedia has an article on the whole boondoggle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgil_C._Summer_Nuclear_Generating_Station

    The nuclear industry is dead in the U.S. and worldwide, and good riddance too.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Climate scientists in Australia caught deleting cold temperature data: “The Bureau of Meteorology has ordered a full review of temperature recording equipment and procedures after the peak weather agency was caught tampering with cold winter temperature logs in at least two locations.” Found it here:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/bureau-of-meteorology-opens-cold-case-on-temperature-data/news-story/c3bac520af2e81fe05d106290028b783

    We’re having hot weather here in the Great PNW, but the record of 107 for Portland was set in 1965 when CO2 was, what, maybe 50 ppm lower than today? Just another data point for those referred to as “deniers”, which also includes people who have not decided yet.
    12:23 pm pacific Aug 2 2017

  13. 13
    nigelj says:

    Killian @397, previous unforced variations.

    It’s tempting to think that way, but I just think the doomsday climate scenario is likely to be unhelpful overall.

    Of course some global problems have had justified worst case scenario / doomsday predictions. The ebola outbreak recently in Africa was very nasty, and left unchecked had a distinct possibility of exponentially getting out of control, and causing a genuine nightmare pandemic, and reputable scientists said this. I think it was wise to warn the population a really nasty disaster was possible, because it was. Measures were put in place that stopped the outbreak.

    However the climate doomsday scenario position of Wells is incredibly unlikely, and many scientists would say impossible. Just imagine if the IPCC adopted his rhetoric. I would suggest you would get a lot of very scared children, and massive denial from vast numbers of adults, who would rightly feel they are being dished up a scenario with incredibly low to zero probability, and generally treated like children. The denialists would have a field day with cries of scaremongering, chicken little, irresponsible science. Politicians would have the excuse they need to say scientists have lost thier minds, and are unreliable.

    The standard IPCC predictions are bad enough, and need reinforcing. I think it would be wise to emphasise some things are ahead of predictions and very worrying. The IPCC should be doing this and are far too conservative and reticent. This is the ground that needs to change, not doomsday within ten years rhetoric.

  14. 14
    Thomas says:

    #12 .. it’s all lies and always has been. the same denier / neoliberal / libertarian collective talking crap in Australia for years about this. Marohasy is a basically stupid idiot and a cheap lying shill. Sorry, that’s just how it is. Not exaggerating.

    Murdoch’s cheap press is simply look after his ‘denier mates’ in the US to try and flog this dead horse yet again. They have another new BS book out and trying to sell a few copies to gullible fools.

    But a truck load KIA .. ain’t gonna help you none.

  15. 15
    Thomas says:

    9 Dan H. happily cherry picks some fat juicy cherries – wise people read the detailed article in question and then all the comments in full from the climate feedback pages. Lazy people don’t. Silly people take others word for it especially if it fits their own default ‘beliefs/opinions’ – see psychology comments elsewhere.

  16. 16
    Thomas says:

    9 Dan H. finds some fat juicy cherries – wiser people read the detailed article in question and then all the comments in full from the climate feedback pages etc. Lazy people don’t. Silly people take others word for it especially if it fits their own default ‘beliefs/opinions’ – see psychology comments elsewhere. Has it got to this now? (shaking me head in disbelief)

  17. 17
    Andrew says:

    Re: #9 Dan H.

    Thank you Dan. Specially the comment by Pierre Friedlingstein, is very close to my personal view on DWW’s “TUE”.

    Re: #13 Nigelj

    “The standard IPCC predictions are bad enough, and need reinforcing. I think it would be wise to emphasize some things are ahead of predictions and very worrying.”

    Agree 100%. For example, the disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice is decades ahead of even the worst scenario in the latest IPCC report (AR5).

  18. 18
    MA Rodger says:

    The Mr Know It All Troll @12 was trying to link to this article in the Australian and previously this article by Mr comedy-Gobshite-himself Delingpole which was boreholed. The denialists will likely be feasting out on these alleged tampering episodes (as they do with anything real or otherwise they choose) so these articles are of some relevance here at RealClimate.
    The Australian BoM has trolls watching every trip to the dunny and the alleged tampering was to provisionally published data from last month, specifically the -10.4ºC values (spookily the same value) apparent in the records both sites here & here. The first reporting of this alleged tampering preceeds the second incident by some days and was corrected by the time of the second incident, suggesting it is some system error rather than a grand conspiracy to exaggerate AGW. Note the alleged findings of the BoM Technical Advisory Forum (an exemplar of “bluster and pretend-scientific authority” according to Gobshite Delingpole,) and compare and contrast with the actual findings.

  19. 19
    MA Rodger says:

    Re The Australian article I linked above.
    It does sit behind a paywall but I had access to it initially via a google search on the quote provided @12 above.

  20. 20
    Dan Miller says:

    Climate scientists (like all scientists) must be very sure (~95%) of something before they publish it. And they would much rather not publish about something that turns out to be true than to publish something that turns out to be false (Type 1 vs. Type 2 errors). While this system is great for exploring things like black holes, it is not serving us well in civilization’s battle against climate change (and, I should note, it was not designed to serve us this way).

    An analogy: An army sends out scouts to assess enemy troop levels. The scouts see 500 enemy troops at a basecamp, though they realize their may be 5000 more behind a hill. They come back and report there are 500 enemy troops because they are 95% sure there are at least that many. Of course, they lose the battle.

    So, lets turn it around. Can climate scientists be 95% certain that ALL of the catastrophes listed in TUE will NOT come to pass? Given the risks, that may be the proper way to view it.

    I believe most climate scientists would agree we are on our way to a +4ºC world later this century (or soon thereafter) under BAU. Climate scientist Keven Anderson says +4ºC “is not compatible with an organized global community.” Can anyone show with 95% certainty that he is wrong?

  21. 21
    Alastair McDonald says:

    Andrew at #17,

    How on Earth can you reconcile

    Pierre Friedlingstein, “The article is very alarmist, making very strong statements with very little (if any) support. Implying that climate scientists support the article, which I find hard to believe. Such article does not help at all. It’s just too easy to prove it wrong and hence imply that the entire climate change issue is exaggerated.”

    with

    … the disappearance of summer Arctic sea ice is decades ahead of even the worst scenario in the latest IPCC report (AR5).

    Don’t you realise when the Arctic sea ice suddenly goes completely due to the ice albedo positive feedback, planetary albedo will fall by about 1%. This will raise global temperatures by 3K, on top of the 1.5K rise we have seen already.

  22. 22
    Susan Anderson says:

    Cross referencing an excellent short review of Wallace-Wells’s TUE (The Uninhabitable Earth) from Julyl anyone still confused could do no better than read it. I already knew I admired Kevin McKinney’s work, and this is a very good example, a “cheat sheet” for those who don’t have the time and energy to sort out the gold from the dross, currently #395 Kevin McKinney 1 Aug 2017 at 5:33 PM
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/07/unforced-variations-july-2017/comment-page-8/#comment-681254

    It concludes:

    And again, IMO, it’s a valuable service to get that ‘fat tail’ of risk out there and discussed. Far too few people know that outdoor temperatures in some places could become literally unsurviveable; or that climate feedbacks could remove any human control of the warming process that we are undergoing; or that malaria is going to be a much more widespread problem; or that AGW is a serious security risk. Et effing cetera.

    Now a good number more know these things. YMMV, but I think that is almost certainly ‘more conducive to action’ than fewer knowing.

  23. 23
    Dan H. says:

    Andrew,
    Any time. To add to Nigelj’s post, “some things are ahead of predictions”, while others are behind. Much of this may just be natural variability. We must be careful not to read to much into short-term variations, and remain focused on the long term. We must be careful not to cry wolf too often, lest we become ignored when the time actually arrives.

  24. 24
    patrick says:

    #10 Andrew: Thank you very much. It doesn’t burn carbon, but it’s still a steam engine.

  25. 25
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Cooler temps and wetter conditions increase wheat yields around Pendleton, Oregon:

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2017/aug/01/eastern-oregon-wheat-farmers-seeing-improved-yields/

    “Jason Middleton, region manager for United Grain Corporation in Pendleton, said the combination of increased moisture and cooler temperatures benefited wheat earlier in the growing season as the plants were still filling in their kernels.”

    Mr. Hawking says we’re going to become like Venus. Maybe a solution to AGW is to move the earth away from the sun:

    http://www.science20.com/robert_walker/hawking_says_trump_could_tip_earth_to_hot_venus_climate_is_it_true_what_can_earths_climate_tip_to-225173

  26. 26
    zebra says:

    Alastair McDonald #21,

    “…Arctic sea ice suddenly goes completely…”

    Sorry, but this is exactly the kind of non-science that we get from the Denialists.

    What exactly does “goes completely” mean?? Does it mean an “ice free Arctic” for 3 days, or three weeks, or three months, or what? Ice free through the winter months when the water can radiate energy unimpeded to space?

    This is a really complex system. The energy balance is determined by highly variable atmospheric currents and ocean currents, which, at this point, we probably can’t rely on being anything like they were before we f’d things up. There are feedbacks + and – for various variables.

    This kind of statement I think is what people are concerned about– the fat tail can go lots of ways. Tell people about that in concrete, scientifically valid terms. Don’t make vague grandiose predictions for which you have no real confidence.

  27. 27
    zebra says:

    Alastair McDonald #21,

    “…Arctic sea ice suddenly goes completely…”

    Sorry, but this is exactly the kind of non-science that we get from the Denialists.

    What exactly does “goes completely” mean?? Does it mean an “ice free Arctic” for 3 days, or three weeks, or three months, or what? Ice free through the winter months when the water can radiate energy unimpeded to space?

    This is a really complex system. The energy balance is determined by highly variable atmospheric currents and ocean currents, which, at this point, we probably can’t rely on being anything like they were before we messed things up. There are feedbacks + and – for various variables.

    This kind of statement I think is what people are concerned about– the fat tail can go lots of ways. Tell people about that in concrete, scientifically valid terms. Don’t make vague grandiose predictions for which you have no real confidence.

  28. 28
    mike says:

    Andrew at 3: No, I am certainly not responding to your participation in the DWW bickering that is going on.

    What I think is that when people share a common goal and are ineffective at achieving the goal, they bicker with each other, they turn on each other and argue about messaging within the allied community. I think it’s a waste of time and a byproduct of frustration with a pervasive sense of being ineffective.

    I think you don’t understand why and what I am watching with the CO2 numbers. I am not watching a tachometer, I am watching for perturbations in a large data array that might suggest underlying changes in a complex system.

    For example: at this moment, I think that we ought to be seeing a year on year increase of 1.5 ppm (maybe less) on CO2 when we compare 2017 to 2016 because we are no longer in an EN event that contributed to a big yoy increase from 2015 to 2016. I don’t want to read too much into the numbers because it’s too easy to slip into DWW territory and be marginalized.

    so, for June we have this to consider:

    June 2017: 408.84 ppm
    June 2016: 406.81 ppm

    increase of 2.03 ppm. It seems too high to me given that we are in post EN year now.

    for the most recent week I am looking at, we have this:

    July 16 – 22, 2017 406.74 ppm
    July 16 – 22, 2016 403.66 ppm

    increase of 3.08 ppm, too high, but weekly numbers are noisy, so need to wait and see what the month of July comes in at.

    The same thing is happening with global temps as MAR shows with his regular and much-appreciated posting of temp data. 2017 is shaping up to be a remarkably hot year in part because the high temp is showing up in a non-EN year.

    I am not going to get into an extended argument with anyone hear about what I track and why, but I thought I would respond quickly to you since you may be asking a legitimate question based on misunderstanding as opposed to being a troll like some that post here on regular basis. I don’t feed trolls. Have better things to do with my time.

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  29. 29
    nigelj says:

    Dan Miller @20, I can go along with that. As you say there’s a significant difference between theory of black holes and some problem that can potentially destabilise the entire planet such as agw climate change. The latter needs some urgency of rhetoric and the rules of ultra conservative science should be relaxed a bit.

    But rhetoric must be on scenarios that are realistic, and even worst case scenarios must be at least plausible. Much of what Wells is talking about is simply not possible, or so low probability as to be nonsensical.

  30. 30
    nigelj says:

    Dan H @23

    “To add to Nigelj’s post, “some things are ahead of predictions”, while others are behind. Much of this may just be natural variability. We must be careful not to read to much into short-term variations, and remain focused on the long term.”

    Many things are ahead of predictions including sea level rise, arctic ice loss, etc and not many are behind predictions. These things have been ahead of predictions for more than just one or two years. Natural variability doesn’t explain it terribly well, but agw does. Sea level rise below:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121101153549.htm

    “We must be careful not to cry wolf too often, lest we become ignored when the time actually arrives.”

    Yeah true, but the trouble is you appear to want to never cry wolf at all, and spend all your time on this website downplaying every possible risk and problem.

  31. 31
    Thomas says:

    KIA please get a clue? WA wheat belt ….
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/effects-of-the-changing-climate-in-south-western-australia/8175170

    Do you have any clue how much science has been going about that area and others in the world? No, none obviously. The easterly winds bring rain have already shifted south, rainfall has dropped, wheat yields are down already, water table has already fallen, and on and on it goes. It’s not weather it’s the climate that has changed already… this is well known and documented and the same stuff is occurring on every land mass on the planet for decades and the data studies keeps accumulating in the one direction – not good.

    Go read some science once in your life mate. https://scholar.google.com.au/

  32. 32
    Thomas says:

    23 Dan H…. who is “we” ?

  33. 33
    wili says:

    Some new studies confirm that important parts of the earth are in fact likely to become uninhabitable before the end of the century:

    “Deadly heat waves projected in the densely populated agricultural regions of South Asia”

    Eun-Soon Im1,*, Jeremy S. Pal2,* and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir3,†

    Science Advances 02 Aug 2017:
    Vol. 3, no. 8, e1603322
    DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603322

    http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/8/e1603322

    See also: ” Climate change to cause humid heatwaves that will kill even healthy people

    If warming is not tackled, levels of humid heat that can kill within hours will affect millions across south Asia within decades, analysis finds”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/02/climate-change-to-cause-humid-heatwaves-that-will-kill-even-healthy-people

  34. 34
    Thomas says:

    20 Dan Miller, I hear your point overall. It’s difficult to know what’s up some days.

    However you say: “Climate scientists (like all scientists) must be very sure (~95%) of something before they publish it. And they would much rather not publish about something that turns out to be true than to publish something that turns out to be false (Type 1 vs. Type 2 errors)

    Not arguing or refuting that outright – how I look at science is that it’s more like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle …. each study adds a piece, at times it takes 20 studies/papers to a single piece clear – and yet t still doesn’t complete the whole picture of itself.

    I don;t look at “science papers” as being 95% true or anything like that. The process is suuposed to ensure the one, the process is valid first, the checks and balances on Data inputs observations are accurate valid and so forth, the scientists involved “think about” their work and what it ight mean regarding x,y z or whatever .. and then they draw some conl;cusions and recommendations … best efforts best logica they can come up with.

    Soemtimes the out put is “shit we have no idea” we recommend further data colletion along these lines, or checking this idea, or do this next “research paper” — meaning that such papers do not even get anywhere near a 95% very sure level … I suspect you maybe assuming due tot he emphasis on future foecasting that that is how all papers are supposed to prodeuce results and be 95% or 100% sure in their “conclusions”. this is not the case as far as I know … and is expecting too much.

    In regards AGW/CC I look at as the jigsaw puzzle may only be 33% complete, but what is there is saying it’s pretty likely if we knew for absolute certainty what the rest of “picture looks like and exactly how it works that we’re in deep shit if nothing changes fast wit the climate/temp forcings and “likely feedbacks” into the future.

    Maybe I have said that very very badly, but that’s how I look at it. every paper does not have to be perfect nor 95-100% true ….. in and of itself. Only the “data” inputs must be genuine and accurate “true” not the output.

    Resident qualified people please do correct any mis-info above, best I can do … and how I “look at” the work of scientists but especially climate ones … it’s the body of work as a whole that matters and sticking to the real deal process to get there step by step. Each work/effort simply builds on what has come before.

    Oh well, is it even worth saying all that? probably not, if history is any true indicator. :-)

  35. 35

    #23, Dan H.–

    We must be careful not to cry wolf too often, lest we become ignored when the time actually arrives.

    Dan, what “time” is that exactly? Everybody and his cousin’s chambermaid is telling us that we need to reach peak carbon emissions basically *now.* I hope I’m being unduly harsh here, and there’s another explanation, but your comment strikes me as the lamest example of concern trolling seen in many a long year.

  36. 36
    Mr. Know It All says:

    I was starting to lean “believer” until I saw this list of high temps by state. WOW! Most happened nearly a century ago when CO2 was WAY lower than now. Those “deniers” may end up being right after all. Check it out:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state_temperature_extremes

    If we have human-caused global warming, it is highly unlikely that this many temperatures could stand as all-time highs for this long. A few could stand but not almost all of them. IT’S A HOAX! :)

  37. 37
    Charles Hughes says:

    Mr. Know It All says:
    2 Aug 2017 at 2:24 PM

    We’re having hot weather here in the Great PNW, but the record of 107 for Portland was set in 1965 when CO2 was, what, maybe 50 ppm lower than today? Just another data point for those referred to as “deniers”, which also includes people who have not decided yet.
    12:23 pm pacific Aug 2 2017″

    So what’s with your inability to understand a simple trend? Are you a paid troll or a hapless idiot? Asking for a friend.

  38. 38
    folbec says:

    An interesting question at Charles Stross blog (by a guest blogger) :
    How to you mitigate the mitigation policies scams ?

    “Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory”

    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2017/08/help-wanted-at-the-climate-pol.html

  39. 39
    Andrew says:

    Replying to various interesting comments lately:

    Re: #20 Dan Miller

    “Can climate scientists be 95% certain that ALL of the catastrophes listed in TUE will NOT come to pass?”

    That’s not a very useful way to think about climate change, nor is it a very good excuse for everything TUE gets wrong.

    “I believe most climate scientists would agree we are on our way to a +4ºC world later this century (or soon thereafter) under BAU.”

    You can draw on the latest IPCC report AR5 which includes various emissions scenarios and the high confidence interval for warming relative to pre-industrial.

    Summary here: https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_FINAL_full.pdf

    Again, the aim of the Paris Agreement is to stay well below 2C, and to achieve that we have to peak emissions before or at the latest around 2020, and then decrease emissions very rapidly. You can read the latest article by Stefan Rahmstorf here on RC about that.

    “Climate scientist Kevin Anderson says +4ºC “is not compatible with an organized global community.””

    Some climate scientists say that 2C is not compatible with our present civilization, other argue that this limit would be + 4C and other argue other numbers outside this range. They all agree we have to peak GHG emissions as soon as possible and then decrease them as soon as possible.

    Sorry to drive this point again and again, but that’s the message that really should be pile-driven in the public’s mind, and not that “we are all going to die” because of climate change.

    Re: #21 Alastair McDonald

    “How on Earth can you reconcile

    Don’t you realise when the Arctic sea ice suddenly goes completely due to the ice albedo positive feedback, planetary albedo will fall by about 1%. This will raise global temperatures by 3K, on top of the 1.5K rise we have seen already.”

    Yes, the disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice will almost certainly further accelerate global warming, but the exact effect on global temperatures, or the slowing down of the AMOC, or weather patterns in the Atlantic? There’s a lot of uncertainty on these and other effects. But does all this change one iota to the necessity to peak GHG emissions as soon as possible and then reduce them as quickly as possible? Nope. So we are back to the Paris Agreement and Stefan Rahmstorf’s latest article here on RC.

    Or you can join the followers of Guy McPherson.

    Re: #23 Dan H.

    “To add to Nigelj’s post, “some things are ahead of predictions”, while others are behind. Much of this may just be natural variability. We must be careful not to read to much into short-term variations, and remain focused on the long term. We must be careful not to cry wolf too often, lest we become ignored when the time actually arrives.”

    I completely agree with every single word you wrote, Dan.

    Re: # 24 Patrick

    “It doesn’t burn carbon, but it’s still a steam engine.”
    Indeed nuclear is the most complex and most expensive way man has ever found to boil water.

    Re: (various) MKIA

    Please. Go. Away.

  40. 40
    Dan H. says:

    Mr. Know It All,
    Perhaps Mr. Hawking has lost touch. The Earth is already much further from the sun than Venus, and has an atmosphere about 100 times less dense. The situation he describes is a physical impossibility, under current astronomical conditions. To say that he is exaggerating, is an understatement.

  41. 41
    Dan DaSilva says:

    #20 Dan Miller
    I would like to thank you for explaining the principles that motivate the “science” of real climate. Just do not pretend that this is real science.

  42. 42
    dhogaza says:

    Mr. Know It All:

    “Cooler temps and wetter conditions increase wheat yields around Pendleton, Oregon”

    Wet El Niño winter and spring disproves climate science. Who’d a thunk it?

    California also was wet this winter and spring, proving, of course, that the four-year drought never happened (facepalm).

  43. 43
    Hank Roberts says:

    > wheat-farmers-seeing-improved-yields/

    Better weather is good news, isn’t it? Especially ending that multi-year drought.

    But of course you knew this wasn’t climate.

  44. 44
    mike says:

    Some folks are worried that some other folks are crying wolf about global warming. Might be a good time to get real about that. The wolf that is global warming is pounding on our door. It’s ok to cry wolf now. When the door opens, and it will open, we will have the wolf of global warming coming through that door for about 20 years. That 20 year figure is the lag time between CO2e accumulation and the related warming. During that 20 year period the wolf will just get larger and meaner. It’s ok to cry wolf now. It’s time (or past time) to be alarmed about this situation. We don’t know what global warming looks like with a CO2 number of 408. That could be expected to show up in about 20 years. The global warming we are experiencing today relates to a CO2 accumulation of approximately 390 ppm

    Here is some data for review: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/gr.html

    If you look at the 1998 EN event you will see that the growth rate of CO2 jumped from 1.93 ppm in 1997 to 2.93 ppm in 1998, then fell to 0.93 ppm in 1999.

    The 2015/6 EN event drove the growth rate of CO2 from 2.17 ppm in 2014 to 3.03 ppm in 2015, then the increase for 2016 posted at 2.98 ppm over the remarkable 3.03 jump. We are cruising along in non-EN 2017 with an increase that I believe will post around 2.4 ppm. Maybe a bit less, like 2.2 ppm, but I hope no higher than 2.4 ppm. Even though I am hoping to see an annual CO2 increase of 2.4 ppm or less for 2017, that number is still quite awful. It does not match up well with the abrupt falloff of 2.0 ppm (from 2.93 to 0.93) that followed the 1998 EN CO2 surge.

    Read’m and weep.

    Warm regards

    Mike

  45. 45
    Susan Anderson says:

    Know-it-all:

    One could hope that you would take Gavin’s response to heart. In case you missed it, here:

    [Response: Fortunately many people can see through this kind of fallacious reasoning even if they don’t have a background in the science. You seem like you should be able to as well, so that raises the question of why you use them? Let me guess: you object to policies that people have proposed to deal with AGW. Fair enough – but stop dicking about with tedious BS like this and argue about what you really have a problem with. You’ll gain respect and perhaps deeper engagement. – gavin] http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/07/the-climate-has-always-changed-what-do-you-conclude/comment-page-4/#comment-681173

    This is a discussion worth having, but following science carefully enough to find things to misrepresent and posting them to deceive is unworthy of anyone.

  46. 46
    Susan Anderson says:

    Dr. Hawking really blew it there. Nobody knows everything, and he diminished the importance of his warning by misrepresenting science. No famous scientist is the be-all and end-all of knowledge, no matter how famous. (I help one of the most famous (PW Anderson) part of the time, and aside from the silly things he gets wrong sometimes, he gets very hot under the collar about those who pronounce outside their field of knowledge, and he does know what he’s talking about there.)

  47. 47
    Thomas says:

    27 zebra, A McD may be referring to things like found in this paper, in the future?
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0466.1

    eg
    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,191.msg123687.html#msg123687

    It’s one of those long tail things I suspect. Where the word “sudden” is in terms of a decade or two after warming is much greater than today. Not much of an issue today of course, more about where earth is heading as a destination as a result? (there’s so much work been done on climate no one can be aware of it all, let alone read it or comprehend it. ‘Tis Mind Boggling!

  48. 48
    Mal Adapted says:

    Dan DaSilva:

    #20 Dan Miller
    I would like to thank you for explaining the principles that motivate the “science” of real climate. Just do not pretend that this is real science.

    Good grief! Why do Victor, Dan H., KIA and Dan DaSilva all pretend they know what ‘real science’ is? Who’s been stuffing their heads with this nonsense? Did they attend a madrasa for AGW-deniers instead of high school?

  49. 49
    Thomas says:

    36 Mr. Know It All, here’s an old News Flash – the USA is not the Globe. Weather is not the Climate. You’re not a skeptic hanging out on climate science denying conspiracy websites. You’re merely gullible, ignorant of the basic science, or perhaps an intentional ideological shill suffering a severe case of cognitive dissonance and several other psychological and/or personality disorders. I’m not sure, and frankly do not care one bit what your problems are.

    But one thing I do know for certain is this – you do not have a single clue about Climate Science nor the facts of the matter. There are many ‘singular words’ that could applied to that known fact. (shrug)

  50. 50
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @36

    “I was starting to lean “believer” until I saw this list of high temps by state. WOW! Most happened nearly a century ago when CO2 was WAY lower than now. ”

    A lot of the high temperature record setting extremes in America were in the 1930s period. This was the dust bowl period of drought and record setting heatwaves, which was an extreme weather event. You don’t have to have high CO2 to occasionally get an extreme weather event.

    But average temperatures are higher in America now than the 1930’s. Its the trend that matters most. And as the climate warms, heatwaves also become more intense and frequent. Its just a matter of time before America gets something far worse than the 1930s events. This is what the world is locking in for centuries.

    But you probably don’t care and dont really understand. As long as you get your pay cheque for spreading drivel on the internet, and the cheap thrill it probably gives you.