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Unforced Variations: Sep 2017

Filed under: — group @ 1 September 2017

This month’s open thread…. and let’s stay on climate topics this month. It’s not like there isn’t anything climate-y to talk about (sea ice minimums, extreme events, climate model tunings, past ‘hyperthermals’… etc.). Anything too far off-topic will get binned. Thanks!

399 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Sep 2017”

  1. 201
    Killian says:

    #182 alan2102 Cool. I’ll stop.

    I’ll just leave that laying right there.

    I would rather discuss the anti-renewables lies and misinformation of Smil, known Big Nuke shills like Schellenberger, and others.

    Your problem lies in not knowing what sustainable is or means. This causes you to think others are lying. Is there a reason that those who have genuinely differing opinions must be called liars by you?

    I have already stated I did not use the Smil quote because he is pro-nuke, I was just looking for a quick quote to back you up from your inappropriate and extremely misinformed comments, so you can set the nuke thing aside. I have already said I am anti-nuke. Always have been.

    In reality, if anyone could be reasonably called liars it could *only* be the “sustainable renewables” crowd. The argument is so simple my 9 year-old has understood it for years already: Anything made of a finite element is unsustainable. Brother, that’s darn near everything, and absolutely wind, solar, hydro, geo-thermal, etc. They all use unsustainable resources. All of them. By accepting a label uncritically, you put yourself, the ones you love, your community, your planet, in danger: It is impossible to solve an unacknowledged problem.

    Let’s take the absolutely most obvious problem: The manufacturing itself. Even if every piece of a wind generator could be built from renewable resources, the manufacturing plants aren’t. Sure, you could keep building them for a while, maybe a long while, but then you run out of factories. What then?

    Now, extrapolate that to being virtually every part in a wind generator is unsustainable and you have a serious problem. And look at it in terms of consumption of 9 billion people.

    Renewable energy is not renewable. It’s criminal it is labeled that. It has led many like you astray, yet the math is so very, very simple.

    I used to be excited about “renewables” until I realized just how little time they buy us. Build a house not needing them; shoot the hostage.

    I would appreciate further comments along the same lines (or dissent, if any).

    You have labeled us all liars, so I do not have any faith in this statement.

  2. 202
    Killian says:

    #193 Thomas said Incoming: This task, apparently insurmountable for the west, is made possible by China’s 2,500-year tradition of centralised government.

    “They said, we have a long-term vision, we want to be here in another 2,000 years and that will only happen if we clean up the environment. So we have determined that we’re going to deal with our environmental problems and we’re going to do so in a very thoroughgoing way.”

    Thornton said it helps that most of the politburo are engineers, rather than political scientists, lawyers or economists as in the west. “So when they actually decide that there is a problem – and it takes actual evidence to get them there – they define the problem and then their next question is: what’s the solution? How can we afford it, how quickly can we do it, and how can we marshal all forces in society to get there?”

    Boom-Chaka-Boom

    I have often been frustrated by and or been laughing at the people who have for years claimed China was doing nothing on climate! That China was the problem (despite the significant pile the U.S. has in total historical emissions), and that we should be doing nothing because they aren’t.

    Bwahahahahahaha! China has had national policies in place for years while the U.S. gov has been one of the largest sources of denial stupidity on the planet.

    Americans are stupid.

  3. 203
    Killian says:

    #191 nigelj said I’m fully aware ancient tribes can teach us something about sustainable principles. Its self evident and widely documented. I dont need a lecture from you on the issue.

    Honestly? I don’t believe you. I you did, you would not argue with making those patterns and principles the basis of sound design. But you do. You completely ignore it, claiming capitalism can be sustainable. You cannot hold both beliefs and call it sanity.

    You made a simple claim that workable modern sustainable communities existed.

    Yeah, but no. If this has been the source of your behavior lately, that’s just sad. I have never said there are extant *modern* sustainable communities. I am constantly making the opposite statement, in fact, even to those who claim to be sustainable!

    So, again, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    I simply said show me some examples. The examples you showed me are not workable, modern sustainable communities. End – of – story.

    Why you ever thought that was a statement I had ever made is lost somewhere in your own Twilight Zone of existence. It is at best due to a lack of care in reading or some other misunderstanding, and at worst a Straw Man. At any rate, from that flawed awareness you help create a poopstorm on this forum when you had every chance to simply ask for clarification.

    Let me be clear:

    1. The only extant sustainable societies I am aware of are aboriginal.

    2. There are hundreds of communities trying to create more tech-based (I hate to use modern, as our modernity has been so very deeply ignorant) sustainable communities. They cannot. The value of their efforts comes from their experimenting with social, political and economic structures that can mimic as closely as possible what extant sustainable communities do.

    3. The model I have presented achieves what people in #2 wish to do. It does so by accepting #1 as a fact.

    You will never understand sustainability until you accept how very simple it must be overall. Mind you, I am on record here saying we should prioritize our unsustainable resource use for medical care, communication, education, R&D (for very specific uses such as mining the heavens, e.g.) and *limited* transportation. We cannot make these things sustainable, but if we put a stop to all non-essential use of resources, we could carry on those activities for a very long time, perhaps long enough to find ways to get more resources and raise living comfort/tech availability and, looking very long term, move off of the Earth should we beat all odds and survive for an extended period of time as a functioning society.

    If you had tried, even a little, to look at my past posts all this nastiness would have been avoided.

    Now I would make one comment that isnt obvious at least to you and it should be. Auriavale will work nicely as a few families sharing ownership of a farm etc, very communal, but we know from history such shared ownership breaks down when applied to larger scale

    The Amazon had a minimum of 5 million pre-Columbus. Wrong again. More importantly, immaterial: The goal is small, networked communities. There is no problem.

    and only larger scale can really provide a reasonable level of technology, even a low level unless we go back to hand making everything.

    And?

    This is why I think we are stuck with some form of private ownership and capitalism, although somewhat modified. The term hybrid comes to mind.

    The above does not follow from what was said further up. And, you clearly did not understand my graphic. To repeat, small communities, in commerce with other small communities, all networked bio-regionally.

    It also states problem be solved at appropriate scale. So, you want a space ship to deflect a killer asteroid? Organize that at the interbio-regional scale, drawing what you need from the network of communities around the world. I have already said keep limited transport and R&D. But we do not need banks because nobody need own anything. We do not need government: We can self-govern. We do not need militaries: We all survive or we all experience collapse, if not extinction. Yes, one nation could choose to exterminate the rest of humanity, really, that never works. It’s actually really, really hard to kill off millions of people, let alone billions. The guerrilla warfare would never end. Well, until Mother Nature came up for her last at bat.

    So… get simple. It’s not as if you have a choice.

    And you can talk all you like about going back to fist principles and expecting something completely new to develop. This has a large element of naivety and wishful thinking in it.

    You keep saying things like this, yet, there are people living this way, both modern and aboriginal.

    You are stuck with the same human nature

    The one you claim exists? First of all, the concept of “human nature” is bull. Secondly, if there is one, it’s the one before media, before kingdoms, before power-mad whackos. Human nature, if it exists, can only be found in pre-history, and that means among our aboriginal cousins. For them, sustainability is a way of life. You’re wrong again.

    And there’s another very pressing issue. Its very unlikely that enough of the world will go the Auriavale way in enough time to prevent dangerous climate change.

    Friend, it’s unlikely ANY large scale change will happen in time, so the point of comparing ideas on this scale is moot.

    This is is why I promote “capitalism plus better law”

    What is funny is you think there’s a human nature that can’t change, but you think a non-avaricious, non-planet-consuming, non-dominated by the wealthy and powerful form of Capitalism is possible. Heck, we don’t even have to address that capitalism is inherently unsustainable and that if there isn’t time for simplification (which would require literally just a few years if all were on board because it mostly involves not doing things we now do) then there sure as heck isn’t time for Cap 2.0 and then sustainability. Cap 2.0 cannot possibly draw down carbon: It would need carbon to exist.

    As I have said 100 times, this will in itself encourage communities like Auriavale.

    Capitalism encourages Aurovilles? Oh, my. Cap 2.0? Also nope. Auroville exists because capitalism exists, not because capitalism is trying to become Auroville.

    All your Cap 2.0 would do is result in Jeavons’ Paradox.

    and have a pretty good academic record as it happens.

    I’ve tested at near-genius. Graduated college. 97th percentile or better on every test like the SAT, etc., I’ve ever taken.

    All irrelevant.

    People on this forum watched me predict a year in advance near-new or new ASI records in 2016 and/or 2017, then watched ASI volume plummet. It is still running equal to or near the record even after a very mild summer in the Arctic for ASI destruction. Yet, I have no skills, no relevance, know nothing… Your academics don’t matter, or even your achievements. People tend to be ego-driven, so they treat each other like poop.

    Simplicity = the answer to Climate Change.

  4. 204
    Erik Lindeberg says:

    Does anyone know where I can find older UAH temperature records (pre version 5.1 which is readily available).

  5. 205
    nigelj says:

    Regarding hurricane irma and others:

    https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/hurricane-irma-batters-florida-with-catastrophic-storm-surge-wind-and-rain/70002657

    “Irma had sustained 185-mph winds for 37 hours, the longest any cyclone in the world has maintained such intensity. Super Typhoon Haiyan previously set the record in 2013 when it maintained winds at that level for 24 hours.”

    Climate models anticipate increased hurricane intensity. We have two intense hurricanes in very hot years.

    Granted historical studies are contradictory in term of whether intensity has increased yet, but its hard to believe two record setting hurricanes in very hot years is just coincidence.

  6. 206
    Victor says:

    #195 Mr. KIA asks: “Do you think that the reason why [the Earth is warming] may be the same reason that caused the 1930s warming back when CO2 was about 100 ppm lower than it is today?”

    I have no idea. But if no one can explain why that rather steep upswing in temperatures took place during that period, then how can anyone claim CO2 HAS to be the reason for the steep upswing at the end of the 20th century? Yet so often what we hear is that CO2 emissions are the only possible cause, since everything else has been eliminated. We are dealing with a very complex system which may well, for all practical purposes, be totally unpredictable.

  7. 207
    Thomas says:

    Readers are likely unaware the current 50% agw/cc denying Oz govt is now harassing another major old ‘past it’s life’ coal fired power station operator to not close it in 2022 or at least to sell it to another who will.

    fwiw from the guardian:
    “Today, despite the diplomatic triumph of the Paris climate agreement, debate around climate change policy has never been more dysfunctional, indeed Orwellian, particularly in Australia.

    “In his book Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell describes a double-speak totalitarian state where most of the population accepts “the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane.”

    Orwell could have been writing about climate change and policy-making.

    International agreements talk of limiting global warming to 1.5–2°C, but in reality they set the world on a path of 3–5°C.

    Goals are reaffirmed, only to be abandoned.

    Coal, by definition, is “clean”.

    Just 1°C of warming is already dangerous, but this cannot be said.

    The planetary future is hostage to myopic, national self-interest.

    Action is delayed on the assumption that as yet unproven technologies will save the day, decades hence.

    The risks are existential, but it is “alarmist” to say so.

    A one-in-two chance of missing a goal is normalised as reasonable.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/11/hostage-to-myopic-self-interest-climate-science-is-watered-down-under-political-scrutiny

    Meanwhile as soon a Hurricane appears on the horizon scientific folks such as Mike Mann are all over the tabloids asserting no one can attribute any specific Hurricane or extreme weather to climate change effects at the same time saying well actually we can anyway but only if but maybe and then RC puts out an article saying no we can’t attribute Hurricane extremes to ‘climate change’ because IT isn’t a ‘forcing’ but however ‘global warming’ is, and yet it isn’t either if you really think about it clearly .. for both are “labels” and not ‘forcings’ that impact the “weather” events.

    Which, for those not interested anyway, is precisely why when Harvey raised it’s head I said here “here we go again” … and so it is. I wish Bet365 ran odds on such thing’s for I’d be a rich man thrice over.

  8. 208
    Charles Hughes says:

    Barton Paul Levenson says:
    5 Sep 2017 at 9:10 AM
    V 88: without Harvey (and, hopefully, Irma) you have nothing.

    BPL: Will you PLEASE take a course in statistics, or at least work through a stats textbook?

    I’d say the odds of Weaktor doing that are not very good.

  9. 209
    nigelj says:

    Hilarious two minute satirical video on the so called great global warming conspiracy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpzVc7s-_e8

  10. 210
    dhogaza says:

    Mr. Know It All:

    “Do you think that the reason why may be the same reason that caused the 1930s warming back when CO2 was about 100 ppm lower than it is today?”

    Do you – unlike scientists – believe that there can only be one cause of climate change?

  11. 211
    Thomas says:

    I actually agree with #192 Steve Fish who says: Re: Gavin, 8 Sep 2017 at 8:08 PM, ~172 “I applaud your edict and encourage you to erase the violators on their first post or soon after one of the stupid exchanges starts….”

    That being so, I encourage you to please delete this stupid comment: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-4/#comment-683120

    At least those who are ‘arguing’ and misconstruing what each other says and means are discussing genuine AGW/CC related issues and the range of seriously divergent views about how to deal with it. Whereas some commenters who say things like: “… and please indentify the bad boys”, appear to still be living in a world much like a 1950s Christian Brothers school in Ireland.

    No one lives in a vacuum. Removing the first domino as it is falling over, and before it’s made public, would surely help stop the annoying chain reactions. Yes? :-)

  12. 212
    Thomas says:

    A-Team on Neven’s blog comments about ESRL: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/forecasts/seaice/

    ” ESRL did not go ‘whole Arctic’ until the 22nd of August 2017. The web site was first opened on August 23rd. ESRL products, as labelled in 20 pt font on all 37 daily graphics, are experimental. And that product mix is still being revised daily into September.

    Only as the upcoming refreezing season progresses will sufficient product accumulate for evaluation, after which the much-published PI will publish another journal publication.” and

    “In physics, if no experimentally testable prediction is coming out the door, you’re not doing.” and

    “Bottom melt? Nobody is down there in scuba gear; can predictions be assessed from a few broken-down buoys and moorings in wrong places? Rain gauges? Not a single one for an area the size of Europe. We go by droplets and soggy snow on a couple of web cams. That’s a budget issue though, not string theory.

    So while ESRL has gone all-in on ice thickness prediction, the best part really is their release of all the contributing components to that calculation (e.g. ice-to-ocean thermal flux daily graphic and its underlying .nc data). There’s no obligation to use all their inputs or computational pipeline. Anyone can stub in an improved ingredient if they have it, or use it for validation.”

  13. 213
    Al Bundy says:

    Mr Know-it-all: 174 – Victor

    Quote: “…..the Earth is most definitely warming. No one other than a few crackpots would deny that. The question is: why?”

    Do you think that the reason why may be the same reason that caused the 1930s warming back when CO2 was about 100 ppm lower than it is today?

    Al Bundy: Note that much of the 1930s USA issue was poor farming techniques combined with the lack of irrigation. DUST bowl, not heat bowl, eh? Both made the 1930s worse in the USA. But lets play your game, first provincially, by focusing on the USA, and then globally:

    “#1: The historic rank for July 2012, nationally, in temperature, making it the hottest July since records were first kept in 1895”
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/15/us/drought-by-the-numbers/index.html

    “The year 1934 was a very hot year in the United States, ranking sixth behind 2012, 2016, 2015, 2006, and 1998.” and “Globally the year 1934 was cooler than the 20th century average.”
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/1934-hottest-year-on-record.htm

    And, of course, EVERY year in the modern era (1979-present) has been hotter than ANY year in the 1930s, with EVERY year since 1997 being AMAZINGLY hotter than ANY year in the 1930s. See graph at https://phys.org/news/2015-02-years-above-average-temperatures-climate.html

    Thus, up until now you could honorably post false (or merely incomplete and so misleading) comments, but now, given that you’re informed of the truth, that all of the top five warmest years in the USA were in the last 20 years and that the 1930s were COOL globally and only 1934 being a sixth-rate semi-contender in “hottest in the USA contest” and the rest laughable losers, you WILL start crowing about how current temperatures are FAR higher than the 1930s, even in the USA, right? And you WILL start claiming that this increase is likely due to the higher levels of CO2 today, right?

    Or do you have another hypothesis? Do share…

    (I hate know-it-alls. They make it ever so hard for those of us who do.)

  14. 214
    CCHolley says:

    Victor @206

    I have no idea. But if no one can explain why that rather steep upswing in temperatures took place during that period, then how can anyone claim CO2 HAS to be the reason for the steep upswing at the end of the 20th century? Yet so often what we hear is that CO2 emissions are the only possible cause, since everything else has been eliminated. We are dealing with a very complex system which may well, for all practical purposes, be totally unpredictable.

    Well we can explain the increase, so there is that.

    Climate is complex but that does not mean it is impossible to understand. We understand climate forcings very well, yet we cannot always predict when certain forcings will change, i.e. volcanic activity, solar output, rate of CO2 emissions, etc. etc. Natural unforced variation caused by heat movement throughout the system is currently not well understood as far predictability is concerned, but we understand the limits to how much this can effect temperatures, and it cannot count for the current warming.

    Why don’t you ever make an attempt to learn what the science actually tells us? The ignorance shown by you and Mr. KIA is tiresome.

  15. 215
    nigelj says:

    Killian @203

    “I’m fully aware ancient tribes can teach us something about sustainable principles. Its self evident and widely documented. I dont need a lecture from you on the issue. Honestly? Honestly? I don’t believe you. I you did, you would not argue with making those patterns and principles the basis of sound design”

    Some of the principles are useful, some arent. Until you get down to specifics it doesnt get us very far. Some of these ancient communities had good farming practices like not wasting things, good soil tilling. Obviously anyone should consider adopting that, but its all possible in any economic system. But I doubt that some form of public ownership or communal ownership of everything is any longer viable. It might work for some things but not everything.

    “But you do. You completely ignore it, claiming capitalism can be sustainable. You cannot hold both beliefs and call it sanity.”

    I said a MODIFIED form of capitalism could be sustainable, ie stronger environmental and financial laws, plus other things. This will force capitalism to change, and companies to act differently, thus it will probably lead to more Auriavale communities as opportunities will favour them more, and these might eventually REPLACE capitalism. I don’t care either way, as long as we take better care of the environment.

    I see things more as a process, than trying to design a master plan community, or just hope that somehow things will change just by emphasising “fist principles”.

    “I simply said show me some examples. The examples you showed me are not workable, modern sustainable communities. End – of – story.Why you ever thought that was a statement I had ever made is lost somewhere in your own Twilight Zone of existence.”

    No its not, it was a simple, entirely reasonable and honest question. I have already moved on and acknowledged these modern alternative communities do at least teach some lessons. I dont know why you are raising the issue again.

    The more important thing is can they work wider scale, with communal ownership etc and how do we encourage them. Thats what Im talking about. If you dont want an honest open discussion on that fine.

    “You will never understand sustainability until you accept how very simple it must be overall. Mind you, I am on record here saying we should prioritize our unsustainable resource use for medical care, communication, education, R&D (for very specific uses such as mining the heavens, e.g.) and *limited* transportation.”

    Sure of course we should prioritise all that I agree. Try doing that without capitalism and its not so easy. As I discussed above. And you mentioned we leave the planet eventually, and perhaps we will but to do that will require a technological society.

    Small networked groups are a nice idea but theres such a thing a economies of scale as well.

    “Now I would make one comment that isnt obvious at least to you and it should be. Auriavale will work nicely as a few families sharing ownership of a farm etc, very communal, but we know from history such shared ownership breaks down when applied to larger scale
    The Amazon had a minimum of 5 million pre-Columbus. Wrong again. More importantly, immaterial: The goal is small, networked communities. There is no problem.”

    I just don’t see humanity going back to anything like that. I certainly don’t see any evidence of it happening apart from a few isolated, tiny modern day examples. I don’t see it working in our highly urbanised, heavily populated societies, with emphasis on individualism. Perhaps it might, but you give no indication of how we get from present position to that position.

    Private ownership is very locked in at least for large enterprises. Communal ownership could work for smaller enterprises perhaps. Public ownership works well enough for things like education right now anyway. I see a LOT of potential there with a mixed model. This is why I say we are probably best to accept some form of hybrid model.

    “To repeat, small communities, in commerce with other small communities, all networked bio-regionally.”

    With respect this is rather vague jargon. I have spent years training myself out of this weakness. You have to paint a far more specific picture. Basically its very hard doing any form of modern technology small scale.

    “The one you claim exists? First of all, the concept of “human nature” is bull. ”

    Oh really? I disagree. I suggest you read a book like Behave, by Robert Sapolsky, that documents the considerable evidence our behaviour is at least partly coded in our genes so hard to change. I think we have to work with it carefully not against it. We have to accept humans have a complex mix of drives often contradictory and gently emphasise the positive traits. Scandinavia does a great job of combining and accepting competitive, acquiring instincts with sharing, egalitarian instincts and that is not a bad model. Humanities behaviour can obviously be changed but you cant do it radically like the USSR attempted.

    “What is funny is you think there’s a human nature that can’t change, but you think a non-avaricious, non-planet-consuming, non-dominated by the wealthy and powerful form of Capitalism is possible. ”

    No I simply said changing it is complicated and until you grasp this and whats possible everything else will be muddled thinking.

    “As I have said 100 times, this will in itself encourage communities like Auriavale.Capitalism encourages Aurovilles? Oh, my. Cap 2.0? Also nope. ”

    No I didnt say that. I said capitalism with stronger laws etc will encourage alternatives for obvious reasons. See comments above anyway, I have covered this.

    “I’ve tested at near-genius. Graduated college. 97th percentile or better on every test like the SAT, etc., I’ve ever taken.All irrelevant.”

    I accept that, and yeah it is really. I just dont like being called names, thats all.

    I never said you have no skills etc etc. I have simply been critical of a few claims you make. You take things personally. I have been very specific that I agree with quite a few things you say, just not all of them.

    You said other stuff but I have addressed them in the first few paragraphs above.

    An awful lot of this is about how things are defined. I’m no apologist for corporations, deregulation, neoliberalism, greed, and all that, I dislike these things, but I find it hard to see us abandoning the basic ideas of free markets and private ownership and I’m not convinced we need to.

  16. 216
    Charles Hughes says:

    Victor says:
    10 Sep 2017 at 11:11 PM
    #195 Mr. KIA asks: “Do you think that the reason why [the Earth is warming] may be the same reason that caused the 1930s warming back when CO2 was about 100 ppm lower than it is today?”

    I have no idea. But if no one can explain why that rather steep upswing in temperatures took place during that period, then how can anyone claim CO2 HAS to be the reason for the steep upswing at the end of the 20th century?

    Weaktor, a good explanation can be found here:

    https://media.giphy.com/media/11TT5yMvJ3btU4/giphy.gif

  17. 217
    nigelj says:

    Killian @201

    Killian says renewable energy isn’t sustainable, because of materials used to manufacture renewable energy. He is probably quite right in a purist sense, we will eventually run out of some of these and you cant recycle things forever.

    But what I don’t get is that this is just obvious stuff. Nobody is arguing that these materials are infinite, or could be recycled forever.

    What do we do right now? Isn’t this more to the point? Killian seems to accept some of this type of technology short term, although his position isn’t very clear.

    Like I have said we might as well use these materials, obviously with some care. We can get close to sustainability. Some of the rare earths need conserving carefully and some management. Aluminium reserves are so vast we don’t need to worry for many decades yet. Yet for this Im called idiotic.

  18. 218
    Astringent says:

    #206 Victor, if you are hearing ‘so often’ that CO2 is the only possible cause of climate change, methinks you are listening in the wrong places. As I am sure you are really aware, there are multiple factors that interplay, it just so happens that CO2 is the one that a) we are in control of and b) is thought to be causing the changes we are observing.

    As for your repeated assertions re ‘warming in the 1930s’ I am sure that you, as a careful reader of IPCC reports will have got as far as page 3 of the 5th assesment Summary to Policymakers (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf). There was no acceleration in the 1930s when you look at globally averaged temperatures. Are you by chance equating the USA with the world?

    As for your suggestion that climate is such a complicated system that it may be ‘unpredictable’? That is merely an argument from personal incredulity (i.e you can’t do it so no one can). I think that the processor in my PC is such a complicated thing that i can’t see how anyone could design it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe my PC exists.

    However if you truly believe in irreducible complexity, then it follows that you believe there are forces operating on climate that we don’t yet understand, so s we need to a) redouble our efforts to understand and b) increase investment in action likely to mitigate the effects of climate change – because things have a 50/50 chance of being worse than we think they will be!

  19. 219
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor and Mr. KIA
    Oh FFS, dudes, you know you can look this stuff up, right?

    Tamino: “The 1915-1940 warming was a combination of factors, including a lull in volcanic activity (therefore the absence of its cooling influence), a slight increase in solar output, and yes, an increase in greenhouse gases too (although not nearly so much as during more recent times).”

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/antrhopogenic-global-cooling/

  20. 220

    K 201: Anything made of a finite element is unsustainable

    BPL: Doesn’t that ignore recycling?

  21. 221

    V 206: what we hear is that CO2 emissions are the only possible cause, since everything else has been eliminated.

    BPL: No. Wrong. False.

    That is NOT the reason scientists think CO2 is causing the present warming. They think so because that is the physics of the matter. CO2 is a greenhouse gas–there is no question about that whatsoever. Put more in the air and the surface will warm up. There’s no question about that, either. You’re criticizing a theory you’ve clearly made no effort to learn about in the first place.

  22. 222

    Turning from climate communication to actual mitigation, a new study in Nature Energy finds very significant health and emissions benefits from the remarkable increase in renewable energy in the US from 2007 to 2015:

    http://tinyurl.com/NatureEnergyREBenefitsUS

    We find cumulative wind and solar air-quality benefits of 2015 US$29.7–112.8 billion mostly from 3,000 to 12,700 avoided premature mortalities, and cumulative climate benefits of 2015 US$5.3–106.8 billion. The ranges span results across a suite of air-quality and health impact models and social cost of carbon estimates. We find that binding cap-and-trade pollutant markets may reduce these cumulative benefits by up to 16%. In 2015, based on central estimates, combined marginal benefits equal 7.3¢/kWh−1 (wind)and 4.0¢/kWh−1(solar).

    Obviously, you’d have to call a range of 5 billion to 105 billion “poorly constrained,” but note that the question isn’t whether the benefits exist, it’s what we think they are worth.

    Also noteworthy is the finding that binding cap-and-trade plans could *reduce* benefits–if I’ve got this right, it’s because such plans tend to ‘clamp’ emissions at the target that’s set. In the present environment, marked by dramatically falling RE costs, such plans may be counterproductive.

  23. 223

    This is post 1 of 6. Sorry to take up so much space. But I thought it could be useful. It also settles a recurring argument on these forums.

    1 A Tutorial on Correlation

    The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient.

    Invented by Karl Pearson in 1896, this statistic measures the degree of linear relationship between two variables. Its value ranges from -1 (perfect negative correlation) to +1 (perfect positive correlation). Values around 0 means there is no linear connection between the two variables. There may still be a non-linear one. An example would be a circle, for which any value of X completely determines Y. But because a circle is not linear, we get r = 0 for it. The circle equation may, however, be “linearized”–in this case, by treating it in polar coordinates rather than Cartesian ones. Then we would have r = 1 for it.

    Mathematically, the correlation coefficient is defined as

    ssxy / sqrt(ssx ssy)

    These variables are the “sums of squares.” You add up the squares of each variable (or, for ssxy, each x value times the corresponding y value). These are the “raw sums of squares.” You then subtract a “correction for the mean:”

    N mean_y^2 for y
    N mean_x^2 for x
    N mean_y mean_x for x times y

  24. 224

    2 An Example from Astronomy

    I will run through an example. Suppose you hypothesize that the more massive a planet is, the more moons it has. Here is data for the eight planets in our Solar system:

    Mercury 0 0.0553
    Venus 0 0.815
    Earth 1 1.00
    Mars 2 0.107
    Jupiter 67 318
    Saturn 62 95.2
    Uranus 27 14.5
    Neptune 14 17.2

    Call the number of moons Y and the planet masses X. Their respective sums are

    173 and 446.8773.

    Their averages are

    21.625 and 55.8596625.

    Now create three columns of figures — squared Y, squared X, and X times Y. The raw sums of squares are then:

    9263, 110694.8087, and 27841.914, respectively.

    The corrections for the means are:

    3741.125, 24962.41516, 9663.721613

    Which gives us the corrected sums of squares:

    5521.875, 85732.39358, 18178.19239

    Pearson’s r is then

    18178.19239 / sqrt(5521.875 * 85732.39358) = 0.83547784

    Just make it 0.835, since we only had three significant figures going into the calculation. High precision is fine during the calculation, but cannot be relied on for the final answer.

    0.835 is a strong positive correlation. For another useful measure, square r to get the coefficient of determination, r^2:

    0.698

    This tells us that 70% of the variance of one variable is accounted for by the other. The number of moons does rise with the mass of the planet.

  25. 225

    3. Warnings

    How many times have we heard “Correlation is Not Causation?” Caveats like this are mandatory. The two series may be linked because

    1 X causes Y.
    2 Y causes X.
    3 A third variable we’ve failed to account for causes both X and Y.
    4 The correlation is accidental, due to too small a sample size.

    Correlation by itself is not enough to tell you anything other than that there appears to be a relation between two variables. But if you have a physical theory that the two should be connected, and then you find that they are, it is powerful evidence that your theory may be correct.

  26. 226

    4. CO2 and Temperature Anomalies

    In 1896, Svante Arrhenius predicted, based on radiation physics, that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would trigger global warming. Writing in the Swedish winter, and not realizing that economies expanded exponentially, he thought this would be a good thing. He predicted, based on the contemporary rates of fossil fuel burning, that CO2 might double in 3,000 years.

    Let’s see if the evidence bears out his contention that CO2 and temperature are linked. Correlation analysis, with the usual caveats, is one place to start.

    The next post will be the raw data for 1850-2016 (N = 167). I apologize to all and sundry for its length. CO2 figures are from Mauna Loa for 1959-2016, and from the Law Dome ice cores for 1850-1958. Temperature anomalies are CRUTEM4 global figures.

  27. 227

    5. The Data.

    Year CO2 dT
    1850 284.7 -0.374
    1851 284.9 -0.221
    1852 285 -0.224
    1853 285.1 -0.269
    1854 285.3 -0.251
    1855 285.4 -0.273
    1856 285.6 -0.353
    1857 285.7 -0.46
    1858 285.9 -0.466
    1859 286.1 -0.287
    1860 286.2 -0.349
    1861 286.4 -0.413
    1862 286.5 -0.526
    1863 286.6 -0.281
    1864 286.8 -0.494
    1865 286.9 -0.274
    1866 287 -0.249
    1867 287.1 -0.322
    1868 287.2 -0.234
    1869 287.4 -0.267
    1870 287.5 -0.278
    1871 287.7 -0.334
    1872 287.9 -0.23
    1873 288.1 -0.304
    1874 288.4 -0.375
    1875 288.7 -0.397
    1876 289 -0.382
    1877 289.4 -0.076
    1878 289.8 0.036
    1879 290.2 -0.232
    1880 290.7 -0.229
    1881 291.2 -0.207
    1882 291.7 -0.214
    1883 292.1 -0.298
    1884 292.6 -0.411
    1885 293 -0.39
    1886 293.3 -0.368
    1887 293.6 -0.422
    1888 293.8 -0.312
    1889 294 -0.173
    1890 294.2 -0.417
    1891 294.3 -0.335
    1892 294.5 -0.456
    1893 294.6 -0.473
    1894 294.7 -0.405
    1895 294.8 -0.39
    1896 294.9 -0.184
    1897 295 -0.208
    1898 295.2 -0.413
    1899 295.5 -0.289
    1900 295.8 -0.198
    1901 296.1 -0.261
    1902 296.5 -0.404
    1903 296.8 -0.482
    1904 297.2 -0.519
    1905 297.6 -0.377
    1906 298.1 -0.284
    1907 298.5 -0.466
    1908 298.9 -0.511
    1909 299.3 -0.523
    1910 299.7 -0.491
    1911 300.1 -0.543
    1912 300.4 -0.437
    1913 300.8 -0.425
    1914 301.1 -0.245
    1915 301.4 -0.147
    1916 301.7 -0.382
    1917 302.1 -0.463
    1918 302.4 -0.331
    1919 302.7 -0.272
    1920 303 -0.241
    1921 303.4 -0.187
    1922 303.8 -0.301
    1923 304.1 -0.272
    1924 304.5 -0.292
    1925 305 -0.214
    1926 305.4 -0.105
    1927 305.8 -0.208
    1928 306.3 -0.206
    1929 306.8 -0.348
    1930 307.2 -0.134
    1931 307.7 -0.083
    1932 308.2 -0.134
    1933 308.6 -0.267
    1934 309 -0.127
    1935 309.4 -0.172
    1936 309.8 -0.14
    1937 310 -0.022
    1938 310.2 -0.003
    1939 310.3 -0.047
    1940 310.4 0.018
    1941 310.4 0.02
    1942 310.3 -0.024
    1943 310.2 0
    1944 310.1 0.149
    1945 310.1 0.027
    1946 310.1 -0.072
    1947 310.2 -0.038
    1948 310.3 -0.037
    1949 310.5 -0.072
    1950 310.7 -0.172
    1951 311.1 -0.051
    1952 311.5 0.031
    1953 311.9 0.097
    1954 312.4 -0.129
    1955 313 -0.19
    1956 313.6 -0.266
    1957 314.2 -0.004
    1958 314.9 0.046
    1959 315.97 0.017
    1960 316.91 -0.049
    1961 317.64 0.04
    1962 318.45 0.016
    1963 318.99 0.049
    1964 319.62 -0.223
    1965 320.04 -0.14
    1966 321.38 -0.069
    1967 322.16 -0.074
    1968 323.04 -0.112
    1969 324.62 0.031
    1970 325.68 -0.027
    1971 326.32 -0.187
    1972 327.45 -0.067
    1973 329.68 0.062
    1974 330.18 -0.213
    1975 331.11 -0.147
    1976 332.04 -0.24
    1977 333.83 0.046
    1978 335.4 -0.063
    1979 336.84 0.058
    1980 338.75 0.093
    1981 340.11 0.14
    1982 341.45 0.011
    1983 343.05 0.193
    1984 344.65 -0.013
    1985 346.12 -0.03
    1986 347.42 0.046
    1987 349.19 0.191
    1988 351.57 0.199
    1989 353.12 0.118
    1990 354.39 0.296
    1991 355.61 0.254
    1992 356.45 0.103
    1993 357.1 0.145
    1994 358.83 0.206
    1995 360.82 0.321
    1996 362.61 0.18
    1997 363.73 0.389
    1998 366.7 0.536
    1999 368.38 0.306
    2000 369.55 0.293
    2001 371.14 0.439
    2002 373.28 0.497
    2003 375.8 0.508
    2004 377.52 0.448
    2005 379.8 0.544
    2006 381.9 0.505
    2007 383.79 0.492
    2008 385.6 0.394
    2009 387.43 0.506
    2010 389.9 0.556
    2011 391.65 0.421
    2012 393.85 0.469
    2013 396.52 0.512
    2014 398.65 0.575
    2015 400.83 0.76
    2016 404.21 0.773

  28. 228

    6. The Correlation.

    r = 0.907.

    r^2 = 0.823.

    There is a very strong long-term correlation between CO2 and temperature anomalies. Period.

  29. 229
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    #172 (Gavin)

    I agree. The tit-for-tat can get out of control, and it just adds to the noise. It’s easy to get caught in an argument, but these types of discussion can lose any usefulness. I know because I’ve done it on RC too. Now I just read the posts and the comments and rarely comment myself.

  30. 230
    Paul Donahue says:

    #195, #212

    Will this talk of the “warming of the 1930s” stop already? This hot weather event consisted of a couple years (primarily 1930 and 1936), was limited to portions of N. America, and also included a period (1935-36) of record cold weather at many N. American locations. Global mean temperatures were right at, or slightly higher than, the 1880-1930 mean during the same time period – and 1.0C colder than the current mean.

    The 1930s – and even the later, real one-decade spike of global mean temperatures in the WW2 period – do not resemble, in the least, the 50 years of inexorable warming seen over the past 5 decades.

    Will you people like #195 and #212 look at yourselves? Are you all unaware of how your contrary opinions keep shifting (there is no warming; there is no warming; there is no warming…. uh…er, there is warming but there is no proof it is anthropogenic, there is warming but there is no proof it is anthropogenic, there is warming but there is no proof it is anthropogenic…). Even as the decades-old physicist’s predictions of the effects of human CO2 emissions are proving to be as accurate as the best calculation we do for the stability of structures in my field of civil engineering (especially the complex messy field of soil/rock mechanics and foundations). If you are going to continue to doubt the human contribution to global warming, then at least be consistent and avoid standing near any tall buildings or crossing any bridges – and god-forbid, don’t get on any airplanes!

  31. 231
    nigelj says:

    The proposition has been put by some commentators that communal, shared,and public ownership is more environmentally sustainable than the private ownership structures of capitalist society. The proposition is put that this would also combat the climate problem.

    The evidence given is the sustainable living practices of ancient hunter gatherer sharing societies, and problems of modern societies with individual profit motives taking precedence over environmental concerns.

    There seems several things wrong with this. You cannot assume that a sharing culture that is sustainable means that private ownership is unsustainable. This is just bad logic. There were only a couple of million hunter gatherers so very little environmental pressure. Communal ownership broke down as economies became more specialised.

    Not all ancient sharing societies were good for the environment. We all know the easter island story, but there are many others. Communal economic or religious motives can be as bad environmentally as individual profit motives.

    You can take a particular farm with environmental problems, and its hard for me to see how the ownership structure would in itself resolve the problems. Sustainabilty would be more a function of knowledge, practices, rules and laws. This would apply equally to any ownership structure.

    Having said that I’m not an ideologue opposed to all shared ownership. I have no problem with public education systems for example as there are some obvious value with such systems. But I don’t oppose private ownership.

  32. 232
    mike says:

    Thanks to MAR as always for steady and responsive temp overview. It’s really great to have someone tracking that critical number. It’s even better that you are willing to answer questions about the numbers and kinda dumb it down for me when necessary. I am deeply appreciative.

    August CO2 is up and it’s a stinker:

    August 2017: 405.07 ppm
    August 2016: 402.25 ppm

    CO2 and CO2e continue to rise and the rate of increase is still increasing as far as I can determine. As those numbers rise, temp rises. As temp rises, all hell breaks loose. Oh, well.

    On time delay between CO2 and CO2e rise and temp, I adopted the 25 year number that some folks here seemed to favor and got a bit of flak to effect that lag is probably more like 10 years. I think that 10 year lag is naive and fails to take in complexity, dynamics and tipping points, but I could be wrong about that.

    Beautiful day in the PNW. Blue skies again which is great because smoky gray skies are a bummer. I am enjoying the current drop in daily temps. 90 plus is no fun for me.

    Don’t feed the trolls.

    Cheers

    Mike

  33. 233
    Mr. Know It All says:

    196 BPL

    “RF = 5.25 ln (C/C0)”

    Is that equation the net RF due to increased CO2? Or does that only take into effect outgoing energy?

    What would be the equation for decreased incoming IR radiation from the sun? Not in the right wavelengths for CO2 to reduce it?

    Is the non-IR radiation from the sun reduced by increased CO2 and H2O?

    Any gases we could add to the upper atmosphere to decrease incoming energy that would not also decrease outgoing energy?

  34. 234
    Killian says:

    Why simplicity is our single best Climate Change mitigation technology.

    (Read to the end.)

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/18/the-case-against-civilization

  35. 235
    zebra says:

    Nigelj,

    Nigel,

    I see you are still going around in circles with K. This is the result of neither party being willing to move beyond vague definitions.

    Let me review some basic concepts that I have mentioned earlier:

    1. Only the State “owns” resources.

    2. “Ownership” is the ability to prevent others from using a resource.

    3. The State may be a dictatorial oligarchy, or it may be an Enlightened egalitarian democracy, or anything in between.

    The issue I have with your position… “nigel-Capitalism with strong environmental regulations”… is that it is self-contradictory.

    You seem wedded to the idea of “private” ownership of resources as being necessary to Capitalism. But if the State can prohibit the extraction of coal, for example, to prevent CO2 emissions, then clearly, it is the State that owns the coal, not the Koch brothers.

    So, I think you guys are going in circles because your solutions are actually the same:

    “If only whoever is in power (see #3) cared globally about future generations more than short-term personal benefit, (contrary to humans’ monkey-nature), we could prevent global warming and all social ills as well.”

    Well, sure. But it has nothing to do with nigel-capitalism, socialism, fractal-sci-fi-hippie communalism, and so on.

    The question is, what is the best way to influence what is happening by leveraging existing structures to move things in the right direction?

    It will never be the case that some noble Philosopher-King (which K imagines himself to be, no doubt) will dictate a global solution— it’s monkeys, all the way down.

  36. 236

    #233, Mr. KIA–

    Interesting questions. I’m going to let others–BPL, perhaps, as it’s his comment you responded to–tackle the first one. But I have a couple of thoughts on the others.

    In order, then:

    What would be the equation for decreased incoming IR radiation from the sun? Not in the right wavelengths for CO2 to reduce it?

    As to the first, I don’t know that, either. (But if you Google a bit, you can find the empirical measurements in the form of spectral graphs. Try “Science of Doom” as that blog goes pretty deep into the scientific weeds, and as I recall has a multipart series on this and similar questions.)

    As to the second, I do know that the IR part of the solar spectrum is quite broad, whereas the CO2 absorption bands are not–so you are correct in speculating that not a lot of the solar IR would be ‘blocked.’

    Additionally, what does get ‘blocked’ might not matter much for our question of interest here, because “blocked” really means “absorbed,” not “reflected.” That means that the energy of that incoming IR still ends up in the climate system.

    (As an aside, I think this is a nice example of the dangers of loose terminology–by using the inexact ‘blocked’, we are misled into forgetting just what the physical process is. If we say ‘reflected’, we are reminded that the energy is redirected; if ‘absorbed’, we know it is internalized into the local energy balance. And yes, you can certainly criticize the terminology I just used–but I hope it didn’t mislead.)

    Is the non-IR radiation from the sun reduced by increased CO2 and H2O?

    No. That’s the whole point, and that’s why Tyndall was so stunned to discover that these gases do absorb IR, back in 1859. (As an aside, presumably it is no coincidence that our eyes evolved to be sensitive to just those wavelengths that penetrate the atmosphere best. It’s certainly no coincidence that we term energy at these wavelengths ‘visible.’)

    Is the non-IR radiation from the sun reduced by increased CO2 and H2O?

    I’m not aware of gases that would have that effect, but particulate SO2 has been suggested as a ‘radiation management’ strategy, as for example:

    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/JonesGeoengineering-acpd-10-7421-2010.pdf

    Most people think it’s a really desperate idea, not because it wouldn’t work per se, but because it would entail quite a few negative consequences, not least of which is that the geographic response is not uniform. That means that national interests don’t align well in terms of how much ‘management’ might be desirable, or even tolerable. That, in turn, might well mean war.

  37. 237

    Killian, #201–

    Let’s take the absolutely most obvious problem: The manufacturing itself. Even if every piece of a wind generator could be built from renewable resources, the manufacturing plants aren’t. Sure, you could keep building them for a while, maybe a long while, but then you run out of factories. What then?

    This kernel lays bare one of the strangest parts of the Killian construct, and in a way one of the most–I’m struggling for a term here, but let’s go with ‘positivist.’ Leave aside that it’s an utterly unsupported assertion (if you can make the turbines completely from renewable resources as posited, why not the factory, too?)

    The point Killian makes here is that sustainability means forever. And when he says ‘forever,’ he really means it. A couple of thousand years doesn’t cut it.

    There’s an astounding hubris in that, at least as I perceive it. We must, right now, make decisions not just for ourselves, not just for our kids or grandkids, or even the proverbial next 7 generations, but forever. That’s a really big ‘wow’ for me.

    And it could have negative consequences, should it gain wide traction. Killian argues against political action for sane energy policy, and against renewable energy. But we work with the politics we have, not the politics we want, and ditto for the society and technology. And if we fail, the consequences are very bad. Right now, the only thing I see that can bring down emissions in the near term is transformation of our energy economy–which means accelerating the already startlingly rapid deployment of renewable energy, the electrification of transportation, and increased adoption of conservation measures (which could, and perhaps must, include some of the agricultural methods discussed here by Killian and by Scott Strough.)

    (As an aside, the last half of Gore’s “Inconvenient Sequel” is a striking illustration of how technology exchange and political horsetrading can work in the present.)

    I wish K luck with the constructive aspects of his project; we certainly need alternate models for how to live, and his critiques of the status quo have some bite, IMO. But I don’t see how his model can, as he has claimed in the past, support ‘billions’ in the near term. Maybe we can get there, eventually; maybe it’s even inevitable in the long term. But if it happens anytime soon, it’s only going to happen via us crashing society as a whole, and that will, IMO, mean a whole lot of premature death.

    For me, the task now is to get through the current crisis with as little damage to society, culture (in the widest sense), and the environment as we can still manage, while bearing in mind that the objective is to build something that is closer to truly sustainable. That means ending the disposable society mindset, and a lower long-term population. It means new economic models that don’t depend on trashing the commons. (And we’re going to need economists for that, IMO.)

    And–speaking as I was a moment ago of “premature death”–it may even mean accepting that humanity is *not* forever. Something will do us in–if not us, then something cosmic, be it the end of the Sun or the heat death of the Universe. It may seem silly to say so–but I can take ‘forever’ seriously, too–though not, perhaps, as a guide for immediate tactics.

  38. 238
    Victor says:

    #218 Astringent says:

    “As for your repeated assertions re ‘warming in the 1930s’ I am sure that you, as a careful reader of IPCC reports will have got as far as page 3 of the 5th assesment Summary to Policymakers (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf). There was no acceleration in the 1930s when you look at globally averaged temperatures. Are you by chance equating the USA with the world?”

    Thanks, Astringent, for calling attention to that particular page of the IPCC AR5 report, as the graphs on that page are particularly instructive. Take a close look at the first graph, labeled “Globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature anomaly.” Starting at approximately 1910, we see a rather steep increase in temperature, peaking at ca. 1945. That is NOT only the USA, it’s global, as labeled. You seem to have confused the dust bowl years of the 1930’s with the point being made by KIA and myself, which concerned worldwide temps only.

    Let’s take an even closer look. The temp anomaly for 1910 is displayed at ca. -.8 degrees Celsius. At the peak of this trend, ca. 1945, the anomaly is ca. -.2, a difference of .6 degrees. Following 1945, we see first a decline and then a leveling off, until ca. 1979, when the anomaly is, roughly, -.5. There is then a steep upswing until the El Nino year of 1998, where the anomaly peaks at ca. +.2, a difference of .7 degrees. Thus, according to the IPCC, there is a difference of only .1 degree Celsius between the upswing during the early 20th century, when CO2 levels increased only slightly, and the upswing during the last 20 years of that century, when CO2 levels were soaring dramatically. (Moving into the 21st century, we see an anomaly increase from +.2 in 1998 to a peak of +.25 or possibly .3 in 2010 — also an El Nino year — an increase of only .1 degree or so.) Keep in mind that the “record” years we’ve seen during the 21st century would not have set records had it not been for the earlier rise.

    I’m not through, however, because the other graphs on that page are equally instructive. The second represents “Globally Averaged Sea Level Change” from 1900 through 2010. I see nothing in that graph to suggest an acceleration, do you? Looks to me like a steady rise. If CO2 has been driving sea level during this period, the effect would seem to have been minimal.

    The last graph on the page, representing “Global anthropogenic CO2 emissions,” shows only a slight increase from 1910 through 1945, with levels rising dramatically from that point to 2010. Yet we see no corresponding rise in temperatures until 1979, 35 years later, with little difference between the earlier rise, when it finally appears, and the later one.

  39. 239
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA, CO2 has strong absorption peaks in the infrared–which also happens to be in the peak range of the (roughly) blackbody spectrum Earth radiates (blackbody temp is about 279 K, effective temperature actually about 288 K).

    Mr. Sun radiates with a (roughly) blackbody spectrum with temperature 5780K. This peaks in the visible portion of the spectrum–roughly green, which is why chlorophyll is an effective molecule for photosynthesis on Earth. Thus, the proportion of sunlight in the IR, where CO2 absorbs is tiny, and the proportion of earthshine in the same wave band is significant.

    If you want to cool Earth, you don’t want absorption. You want to increase the planets reflectance/albedo. This is a subject of geoengineering, one possible tactic of which is to inject sulfuric acid into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight. However, be careful–as I said, plants absorb in the visible, so you are decreasing the light for photo synthesis, not to mention increasing acid rain…

  40. 240
    Al Bundy says:

    K 201: Anything made of a finite element is unsustainable

    AB: No, it merely means that usage can’t permanently exceed what geological processes provide. In other words, you can’t permanently use more than volcanoes and rifts et al discharge. Raw materials are constantly being created. We just have to ramp down our extraction to eventually match the supply.

    BPL: Doesn’t that ignore recycling?

    AB: No, since recycling is never 100% efficient. You might only lose one gram per ton, but that means you can’t use (recycle) more tons than grams are provided by volcanoes et al.

    BPL: There is a very strong long-term correlation between CO2 and temperature anomalies. Period.

    AB: Good work. I’d add (as you have elsewhere) that when correlation is supported by pure unquestionably valid physics (GHGs block IR) then you’ve got much more than a hypothesis. (And speaking of hypothesis v theory, scientists and the rest of us should NEVER use the word “theory”. Its definition is not just nebulous but contradictory between us and “them”.)

  41. 241

    KIA 233,

    Carbon dioxide has absorption bands at 2.1, 2.7, 4.3, and 15 microns. The infrared starts at 0.7. So CO2 does actually absorb some sunlight, but nowhere near as effectively as it absorbs infrared. There are minor bands all over the place, as well, but they are too weak to have much effect.

  42. 242
    Mal Adapted says:

    Published today as a Nature Comment online, Insurance companies should collect a carbon levy:

    Here we propose that insurers collect a levy from energy producers according to the carbon intensity of their products. The funds generated should be invested in climate adaptation and low-carbon energy. This would be fair — polluters should redress the problems they create. The biggest beneficiaries of fossil fuels would then pay for the benefits they have derived at the expense of others, including future generations.

    Insurance payouts for AGW-related damages give insurers incentive to hold FF producers responsible. It would have the same effect as a carbon tax, but motivated by private interest. The idea apparently has some history in the insurance industry. No harm in talking about, I suppose.

  43. 243
    Al Bundy says:

    nigelj: But I don’t oppose private ownership.

    AB: OK, but you’re conflating two things. Private ownership is NOT equivalent to capitalism. For example, I shop at Hy-Vee, which is owned by their employees. That’s private ownership and also laborism, which is the opposite of capitalism. All capitalism does is waste resources by shoveling money to couch-sitting leeches who “let their money work for them”. (Profit = loss/inefficiency, so businesses should attempt to minimize profit.)

  44. 244
    Killian says:

    #240 Al Bundy said K 201: Anything made of a finite element is unsustainable

    AB: No, it merely means that usage can’t permanently exceed what geological processes provide. In other words, you can’t permanently use more than volcanoes and rifts et al discharge. Raw materials are constantly being created. We just have to ramp down our extraction to eventually match the supply.

    Finite means finite. You are answering a different question, one I have addressed many times before. Shouldn’t take much thought to figure out. (Then, again, not sure how you missed it in the first place. It’s an important point, so I think it useful that you puzzle it out.)

    BPL: Doesn’t that ignore recycling?

    AB: No, since recycling is never 100% efficient. You might only lose one gram per ton, but that means you can’t use (recycle) more tons than grams are provided by volcanoes et al.

    Ding-ding-ding! Yes, losses… Saved me the response. Thanks.

    Cheers

  45. 245
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: Al Bundy, 13 Sep 2017 at 1:32 PM, ~240

    Your statement regarding sustainability of elements is not quite correct. Calling an element not sustainable is a non sequitur. When used it doesn’t just go away unless you are shooting it into space. For example, aluminum is 7% of the earth’s crust. It is not really possible to use it all the first time, but if it was all refined and recycled for as long as the sun shines and the rivers run, it would still be 7% of the earth’s crust. Smelting aluminum from a 7% concentration is not as efficient as from 30%, but if the power for doing this was powered by the sun this would not matter. Aluminum can be used for the frames and racks of solar panels, and silicon (28% of the earth’s crust) for the crystals and the glass cover. Build a solar panel and you get back around 50 times the energy that it took to make it over its lifetime. Build enough panels to run an aluminum smelter and a glass and silicon chip factory and you recover their embodied energy in about a year and then get more panels with free energy from the sun for 40 to 50 years. Is this sustainable? Of course it is as long as the sun shines etc.

    Much of the other elements that are touted to be in short supply have to do with the economics of competing companies and countries, not any real shortage. Take rare earth elements for example. They are pretty abundant, but when China captured the market by selling cheap, and then cut off the supply to manipulate the market, news items about rare earths being scarce are wrong. There are several mines that were productive but shut down because the Chinese were mines were marginally less expensive. The other mines are still there. No shortage.

    Steve

  46. 246

    Gavin made a suggestion that I wish he’d follow up on. It’s not that all the material is without merit, only that the self-righteous posturing forms an endless loop. We are all overly fond of shooting at each other, and there are real opponents, not so easily baited, but much more necessary to be taken down.

  47. 247
    nigelj says:

    [enough. Please stick to climate topics]

  48. 248
    Thomas says:

    About half way through this current affairs news program, a chap discusses crowd-funding “news” and various issues regarding the media today. really good insights. Which co-incidentally mirror exactly the same things I have been saying here (in the agw/cc/media/communications context) and why that is so. But whatever. Apparently no one is interested. It’s a pity, because if I was say like a michael mann et al and I had an hour free today, I’d be on the phone to this guy and asking for his advice post-haste. And I’d take what he said on board and actually act on it. And I’d be immediately be making time for some further meetings instead of writing my own “op-eds” anymore, I’d seek out the help of “experts” instead. http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/the-world-today/8883988

  49. 249
  50. 250
    zebra says:

    Al Bundy #243,

    Huh?

    Look, we can all have our own definitions if all you are doing is rhetoric. But since the moderators are nice enough to allow these non-science conversations, how about at least trying to go beyond the rhetoric to a reason and evidence-based discussion?

    How is this “employee owned” business different from any sole proprietor/entrepreneur’s endeavor? You start with some money (capital), and you count the income as salary or returns on the investment (profit)– mostly depending on the tax situation.

    What’s your metric for the transition from laborer to capitalist? Some people work 80hrs a week, and some work 8. How do we decide, other than asking for AB’s opinion?