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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!

321 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Sep 2017”

  1. 251
    zebra says:

    Kevin McKinney #237, 236,

    “humanity is not forever”

    Yes, the Nirvana Fallacy is a fallacy no matter who is using it.

    “lower long-term population”

    The lower the population, above some minimum, the longer term (not forever) humans are likely to exist and prosper. The more likely it would be, even if the curve is just bent down or flat, that all the good stuff like less disposable-ness, and less inequality, and so on, would occur.

    #236

    geoengineering, varying local effects, war,…

    We are already in a war. Some places have fossil fuels, some don’t. Those with try to control the politics of the others, because their wealth/power is subject to being extinguished. Tanks or trolls or terrorists, it’s still war.

  2. 252
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktroll@238: “I see nothing in that graph to suggest an acceleration, do you?”

    OK, Weaktor. Try this as an excercise. Draw a line between the two endpoints. The rest of the curve is below your line. Now draw a tangent line at the midpoint of the curve. It does not intersect the rest of the curve. This suggests your curve is concave up, not a line. You could also do some actual math and look at the statistical significance of the quadratic term, but I don’t expect you to be either inclined or able to do so.

  3. 253
    Killian says:

    Relevance of this post: Consumption is the driver of climate change, pollution and resource depletion. Decreasing consumption is our straightest line to reversing GHG buildup and thus temps.

    #231 nigelj
    #235 zebra
    #243 Al Bundy

    Here I place Commonses vs all your variants: Private, semo-private, gov’tal control of capital. They are differences without distinction.

    nigelj said 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… You cannot assume that a sharing culture that is sustainable means that private ownership is unsustainable.

    That is not the assumption. Your cause and effect is whacked. Private ownership is unsustainable because it creates waste via direct waste or hoarding. Either case removes resources from the system, making input/output equilibrium impossible –> unsustainable.

    Principles: * All elements support, and are supported by, two or more other elements in a design.

    * Zero waste.

    Some principles do not apply, all do, else they are not principles.

    Communal ownership broke down as economies became more specialised.
    See how that worked out? It’s interesting to note not all humans went this route. Why? Which ones still have viable ecosystems, which do not? This really is not rocket science. One choice destroys the very fabric of life, one does not. Mimicking the latter cannot possibly be called illogical or what have you.

    Not all ancient sharing societies were good for the environment. We all know the easter island story

    Clans, not Commonses. Oops. Still, the unsustainability of some does not argue against those that remains so.

    nut there are many others. Communal economic or religious motives can be as bad environmentally as individual profit motives.

    Argumentation by assertion. Show us a Commons-based society destroying itself. Rapa Nui was not one.

    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.

    Has anyone asserted the economic system alone solves anything? Straw Man. If the owner knows and is skilled at regenerative design, he would likely not have enviro problems, or would be in process of correcting them. Had he a group of likeminded co-owners, all the more so via shared labor, better problem-solving, etc. But sustainability is not achieved by a farm, but by the planet. All have to go that direction, or we are wasting our time, really.

    Sustainabilty would be more a function of knowledge, practices, rules and laws. This would apply equally to any ownership structure.

    One man managing 500 acres will never, can never, be sustainable. Not enough hours in the day.

    But I don’t oppose private ownership.

    I don’t either, so far as it goes. Stop making this personal. It’s not. You are conflating advocacy with want, desire, preference. No, it’s just numbers. I absolutely have zero interest in sharing everything. Doesn’t matter. There is no other system that can get us back to sustainable on a planetary scale. It’s math. I’ve said this a thousand times! It’s math, not want, not like, not wishing, not preference.

    #235 zebra said nigelj,

    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.

    Well, that’s just mean, and false.

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

    1. Only the State “owns” resources.

    What State owns the lands of the uncontacted tribes of Amazonia?

    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…

    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.

    Nope. Actually matters. Different forms of ownership result in different forms of allocation.

    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.

    As I have said. The solutions lie in the mirror, your yard, your neighborhood, your engagement with your community. The only real role gov’t *need* play is getting out of the way. See: Maine, food laws.

    #243 Al Bundy said 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.)

    AKA waste.

    #217 nigelj said 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.

    Yes, you have been. Every time you claim capitalism can be sustainable you are arguing, inherently, what you claim to *not* be arguing now. This is **exactly** point I have been making. When you make fun of systems that are sustainable and advocate for systems that are inherently consumptive, you are absolutely arguing unsustainable systems are preferable and will lead to survival as well or better than actually sustainable one.

    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.

    Once again, it is your knowledge that is lacking. Permaculture is quite clear on Appropriate Technology. I cannot do a permaculture course on this forum.

    Like I have said we might as well use these materials, obviously with some care. We can get close to sustainability.

    You have not been talking about Appropriate Technology, you have been talking about ramping up consumption to avoid sustainability but telling yourself you are getting close to sustainable. You are not. You are merely replacing some FFs – and not even close to all – with some solar and wind.

    I, on the other hand, realize consumption itself must slow dramatically. I recognize the U.S. has enough wind, solar and hydro to allow simplification to an appropriate level **already,** thus more is waste. And always remember the risk: While an extremely rapid shift of several decrees C is not the most likely scenario, it is a possible scenario. That is the risk we design to: The viable long tail risk.

    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.

    Two out of the entire periodic table? There are quite a few more already under pressure. Water and sand come to mind. Phosphorus, the end of which will collapse food production of we do not go regenerative first.

    Look up Liebig’s Law of the Minimum. We do not need all resources to run out, only one critical one will do.

    And I never called you idiotic.

    ========

    #215 nigelj said Killian @203

    “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.

    You don’t even know them. Kevin spoke of hubris. This is a correct example.

    The nature of a principle, let alone a First Principle, is that it always is relevant.

    *Merriam-Webster: first principles :principles that are basic or self-evident

    * Wikipedia: A first principle is a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.

    You don’t seem to have any sense of what you *don’t* know.

    Until you get down to specifics it doesnt get us very far.

    No. If you are down to specifics and have not yet addressed principles, you are doomed; you have no basis for decision making.

    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.

    All assertions. No facts, no logic.

    “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

    Your modifier makes no difference. You have no basis for this assertion. After all these centuries we are peaking in unjust economics, resource use, biased lawmaking, etc.

    ie stronger environmental and financial laws, plus other things. This will force capitalism to change, and companies to act differently

    And those laws are made by… wait for it… capitalists. What’s supposed to make them pass laws like socialists or communists? 30-years study our of a major university: 70% of laws favor the 1%.

    Oops.

    “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.

    Assertion. Fact: Capitalism is competitive. Fact: Cooperation is more efficient.

    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.

    That is billions of years away. We aren’t leaving without learning to mine asteroids or some such. But that is not needed now. I was emphasizing long-term need for resource planning and that we cannot assume what resources will or will not be needed, so appropriate risk is to use very little or none since we do not *need* to.

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

    And it is time to get rid of them. Without ownership, “economy” has no real meaning in colloquial conversation.

    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…

    blah, blah, blah…

    Assertion assertion assertion…. egad…

    Private ownership is very locked in…

    Which is why you change things.

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

    With respect this is rather vague jargon.

    Neither jargon nor vague. You keep conflating your lack of knowledge with other people’s failings.

    I have spent years training myself out of this weakness.

    Oh, my.

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

    The ANSWER to complexity is simplicity. The one not grasping things is you. I talked to Tainter about addressing complexity with complexity. Literally. Diamond says the same, from a different take. Their two approaches, when combined, make the way forward clear as it can be: Simplify or fail.

  4. 254
    Mal Adapted says:

    Al Bundy:

    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.

    Uhm, that ignores both technological progress and economic substitutability.

    Atoms thinly dispersed in water or sediment can be extracted, if they’re valuable enough. The profit motive tends to drive the technology to do it economically.

    When it’s no longer profitable to exploit one element, other more abundant elements are often marginally less useful but good enough to meet the requirement. For example: currently, copper is mined as low-grade ore and also heavily recycled. Once aluminum became economical to refine by reducing the oxide electrically, however, it began to replace copper for electrical transmission, and when not economical to recycle it accumulates in landfills to be mined later. More recently, advances in signal processing for telecommunications are replacing copper with glass made from abundant sand.

    The voluntary pursuit of private enrichment largely motivates technological progress, but without collective oversight it inevitably impoverishes involuntary third parties (“The invisible hand never picks up the check” -Kim Stanley Robinson). In our pluralistic republic, it’s the responsibility of every private citizen to avert common tragedy by acting collectively. Ultimately, it’s the only way global human society can be sustained. IMHO, of course.

  5. 255
    nigelj says:

    Killian @253, with respect, I just think your comments are full of inconsistencies, hundreds of your own assertions, contradictions, and logical fallacies.

    You glorify past societies a lot with the classic “nobel savage” fallacy. I suggest google this.

    Private ownership and hoarding can also be a fallacy. People who are billionaires do invest or bank that money and it is regurgitated through the system and is borrowed by others. Inequality could be dealt with better with a capital tax or inheritance tax.

    For the record I believe in practical sustainability. Idealised pure forms just don’t make sense to me.

    I do suggest write a book. I will buy a copy with interest.

    I’m not going to comment in detail, because my polite responses to similar issues raised by Zebra and Al Bundy have been deleted. Moderation seems inconsistent to me and I don’t have time to waste.

  6. 256
    Killian says:

    #254 Mal Adapted said Al Bundy:

    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.

    Uhm, that ignores both technological progress and economic substitutability.

    Incorrect. It is a correct statement. You are engaging the voodoo arguments, which is why econ is voodoo. Tech/efficiency has never overcome consumption. Applying both those little lies of classical and neo-classical econ has resulted in growth when they are supposed to result in reductions in consumption. Cheese is not poo, however. Hamburgers are not steaks, nor steaks stakes.

    Atoms thinly dispersed in water or sediment can be extracted, if they’re valuable enough. The profit motive tends to drive the technology to do it economically.

    When it’s no longer profitable to exploit one element, other more abundant elements are often marginally less useful but good enough to meet the requirement.

    Except the chain must break at some point. Each resource being finite, substitution does not solve the long-term problem, it merely kicks the can down the road. But there is a Liebig Minimum waiting.

    Regardless, one does not design for what does not yet exist. Only fools do because that is magical thinking.

  7. 257
  8. 258
    Victor says:

    252 Ray Ladbury says:

    “OK, Weaktor. Try this as an excercise. Draw a line between the two endpoints. The rest of the curve is below your line. Now draw a tangent line at the midpoint of the curve. It does not intersect the rest of the curve. This suggests your curve is concave up, not a line.”

    Thanks, Ray, but I prefer to wait until that rightmost endpoint goes down a bit at some future date. THEN I’ll draw my line. It’s called cherry picking, Ray, and anyone can play that game.

    “You could also do some actual math and look at the statistical significance of the quadratic term, but I don’t expect you to be either inclined or able to do so.”

    You’re right, I am not so inclined. Why don’t you do it?

    OR, better still, why don’t we consult an authoritative source, from a recently published peer-reviewed paper? (https://www.nature.com/articles/srep31245?WT.feed_name=subjects_projection-and-prediction ):

    “Global mean sea level rise estimated from satellite altimetry provides a strong constraint on climate variability and change and is expected to accelerate as the rates of both ocean warming and cryospheric mass loss increase over time. In stark contrast to this expectation however, current altimeter products show the rate of sea level rise to have decreased from the first to second decades of the altimeter era.”

  9. 259
    Brian Dodge says:

    Victor says:@ 13 Sep 2017 at 10:04 AM “Let’s take an even closer look. The temp anomaly for 1910 …..”
    Lets take a longer look instead, using the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature product, about which Anthony Watts famously stated “In fact, the entire team seems dedicated to providing an open source, fully transparent, and replicable method no matter whether their new metric shows a trend of warming, cooling, or no trend at all, which is how it should be. I’ve seen some of the methodology, and I’m pleased to say that their design handles many of the issues skeptics have raised and has done so in ways that are unique to the problem.”
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1800/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1895/to:1965/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1955/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1900/normalise/offset:0.4/plot/gistemp/from:1930/to:1945/trend/plot/best/mean:36/scale:0.8/plot/best/to:1970/trend/scale:0.8/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/offset:0.4
    There is red noise in the temperature data, and more noise in the earlier data, but it is clear that the long term trends are up, increasing, and correlated with CO2.

    Victor also says ” The second represents “Globally Averaged Sea Level Change” from 1900 through 2010. I see nothing in that graph to suggest an acceleration, do you?”
    No, you can’t eyeball SLR acceleration yet, but ”The best fitting estimate for the acceleration in ice sheet mass loss for the observed period is 30 ± 11 Gt/yr2 for Greenland and 26 ± 14 Gt/yr2 for Antarctica. This corresponds to 0.09 ± 0.03 mm/yr2 of sea level rise from Greenland and 0.08 ± 0.04 mm/yr2 from Antarctica.”
    “To verify that the improvement obtained with the quadratic model is significant we used an F-test [e.g., Berry and Feldman, 1985]. The F-test show that the improvement obtained with the quadratic fit is statistically significant at a very high confidence level.”
    Increasing rates of ice mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets revealed by GRACE; I. Velicogna; GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 36, L19503, 2009; doi:10.1029/2009GL040222

    At that acceleration, how fast will sea level be rising per year in 25 years, and how much will it have risen 50 years from now? How confident are you that there aren’t other nonlinear processes lurking?
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/11/just-nudge-could-collapse-west-antarctic-ice-sheet-raise-sea-levels-3-meters
    “Right now, an underwater ledge is helping anchor the glacier in place. But when the glacier retreats past that bulwark, it will collapse into the ocean; then seawater will intrude and melt channels into the ice sheet, setting the juggernaut in motion.
    Scientists agree that this is going to happen, says Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, lead author of the Geophysical Review Letters paper. “The real central question is the time scale.”

  10. 260
    Jaap says:

    http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511

    This research is claiming they found evidence that CO2 helps with plant growth, but not with the nutrients in the plants. Basically, more carbs, less nutrients/proteins, leading to ‘junk food’.
    It makes sense, just like we have monster-tomatoes in the Netherlands (extra water added, nothing else), more CO2 would lead to more photosynthesis, but with an equal amount of nutrients extracted, the food becomes more bulky on carbs, ceteris paribus, less nutrients per kg. So we may get higher yields, but of lower quality food.

    As quoted in the article, higher yields is an upside of the higher CO2-levels. Well, good luck with that.

  11. 261
    Victor says:

    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/

    I read Tamino’s (non-peer reviewed) blog post with real interest. I’m wondering whether he’s ever attempted to publish it. But I’m left with a puzzling question:

    If “a lull in volcanic activity (therefore the absence of its cooling influence)” can be deemed responsible for some of the warming we see from 1915-1940), then why can’t the lull in volcanic activity after Pinatubo, in 1991, be held responsible for some of the sea level rise since that event?

  12. 262
    Bill Henderson says:

    I’ve been away, busy, for awhile but not impressed with the blah-blah in this Real Climate forum.

    How about a take on Wallace-Wells that contains a sentence like this one:

    Furthermore, the carbon budget left to burn before we cross a 2C increase is shrinking rapidly due to advancing climate science (for example, Rogelj et al,Tan et al, MacDougall et al, Friedrich et al, Proistosescu et al, and Schurer et al) and continuing emissions of just under 10GT per annum. Therefore emissions must decline by something like 100% by 2030 to even stay under the 2C guardrail.

    You can find it if you want to.

  13. 263
    Russell says:

    Killian says” look up Liebigs Law…”
    Baron von Liebiig has been the victim of some big lies of late-

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/09/watts-rolls-out-barrel.html

    There is some justice in this , as the principle in question was first set forth by agricultural chemist Carl Sprengel , in 1828,- von Liebig just popularized it,

  14. 264
    Nemesis says:

    When will funny debates with weaktor et al ever stop? I can tell:

    When it’s too late to stop anthropogenic induced global heating and the struggle for nacked survival begins for all of us.

    See you there soon, weaktor et al 8-)

  15. 265
    Killian says:

    What? The risk from climate changes is… suddenly… existential…?!

    Gotta love it when science catches up to simpletons like me. Science, friends, is not the leader of policy, it is the informer to policy. Policy is based on much broader issues than scientific findings.

    20%. Wow. That is huge. It’s higher, IMO. Still, nice every time scientists give us the backup we need to our analyses.

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/new-climate-risk-classification-created-account-potential-existential-threats

  16. 266
    mike says:

    ATTP has a post about the Xu and Ramanathan paper called “Well below 2 °C: Mitigation strategies for avoiding dangerous to catastrophic climate changes” that was published recently in PNAS. I skimmed the paper yesterday and was going to provide a link, but it’s better to get it with ATTP observations from that website.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  17. 267
    Mal Adapted says:

    Russell:

    Killian says” look up Liebigs Law…”

    Always the only guy who knows anything, is our Killian. He seems not to imagine that when others of us say something, we rarely say everything we know.

    Still, some of his comments are good. Some are even new. Sadly, what is good is not new, while what is new is not good 8^(.

  18. 268

    V: If “a lull in volcanic activity (therefore the absence of its cooling influence)” can be deemed responsible for some of the warming we see from 1915-1940), then why can’t the lull in volcanic activity after Pinatubo, in 1991, be held responsible for some of the sea level rise since that event?

    BPL: It can. Wouldn’t be much, though. Too brief.

  19. 269
    sidd says:

    For those who are having difficulty logging into

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net

    please see this thread

    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2155.0.html

    sidd

  20. 270
    CCHolley says:

    Victor @261

    If “a lull in volcanic activity (therefore the absence of its cooling influence)” can be deemed responsible for some of the warming we see from 1915-1940), then why can’t the lull in volcanic activity after Pinatubo, in 1991, be held responsible for some of the sea level rise since that event?

    Here is a link to the NASA GISS discussion on forcings.

    https://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/

    Looking at the charts, you can see the overall dominance of greenhouse gas forcing over all others since industrialization including the period of the first half of the 20th century. You can also see the negative effect of volcanos. As for your question, can the decline in volcano activity have an effect on sea level rise after Pinatubo? Sure, but any such sea level rise due to that warming is significantly overshadowed by that of greenhouse gas forcing.

  21. 271
    Hank Roberts says:

    For Russell: here’s your opportunity to confound a dendrochronologist today.

    Buy a batch of bristlecones and plant them somewhere interesting.

    A source here:

    jonsteen.com/tree-kits/
    Jonsteen’s Tree Kits are guaranteed to grow…. These trees include Japanese White Pine, Japanese Black Pine, and Bristlecone Pine.

  22. 272
    MA Rodger says:

    The 2017 Atlantic hurricanes continue to rage. September 2017 is but half over yet it has exceeded by some margin all full months for Accumulated Cylone Energy since 2005 (this the period I have the monthly numbers to hand), and done so by some margin. The first half of September 2017 has clocked up ACE=103 while the most energetic full month 2005-to-date was August 2010 which managed ACE=74.
    On the strength of these recent weeks, 2017’s ACE has now topped all but three full years ACE (2005, 2008 & 2010) and for the time of year the 2017 ACE=133 sitting just behind record-year 2005 which mid-August had achieved ACE=137 (& ACE=170 by the months end).
    And so the second half of September 2017 begins with Jose winding away its final days well out to sea and Lee looks set to be doing the same. Yet Maria is forecast to to reach major hurricane status and plough a path through the Leeward Islands similar to Imra.

  23. 273
    nigelj says:

    This video is well worth a look from Tony Selba, author and entrepreneur, on disruptive technologies, convergent technologies, future of electric cars, self drive cars and solar power. It gives a sense of how fast things are moving.

    https://tonyseba.com/

  24. 274

    Victor, #258–

    Let’s at least finish quoting the abstract, shall we?

    “Here, a combined analysis of altimeter data and specially designed climate model simulations shows the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo to likely have masked the acceleration that would have otherwise occurred. This masking arose largely from a recovery in ocean heat content through the mid to late 1990 s subsequent to major heat content reductions in the years following the eruption. A consequence of this finding is that barring another major volcanic eruption, a detectable acceleration is likely to emerge from the noise of internal climate variability in the coming decade.”

    And rather odd that this wasn’t quoted, in view of subsequent comments about Mt. Pinatubo.

  25. 275
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://www.drawdown.org/

    Modeled, using peer reviewed science. Possibly worth a feature.

    Yeah, as they say, nothing here is new. You know the guy who’ll tell you way back when he invented all the ideas.

    Still, these should be talked about.

    The objective of the solutions list is to be inclusive, presenting an extensive array of impactful measures already in existence. The list is comprised primarily of “no regrets” solutions—actions that make sense to take regardless of their climate impact since they have intrinsic benefits to communities and economies. These initiatives improve lives, create jobs, restore the environment, enhance security, generate resilience, and advance human health.

    In our book Drawdown, each solution is measured and modeled to determine its carbon impact through the year 2050, the total and net cost to society, and the total lifetime savings (or cost). The exception to this are our “Coming Attraction” solutions, which are a window into what is still emerging. For these solutions, we did not measure cost, savings, or atmospheric impact, but we illuminate technologies and concepts whose growth we will continue to watch.

    Introduction to Scenarios

    Table: Summary of Solutions by Overall Rank

  26. 276
    mike says:

    thanks to Killian at 265.

    New Climate Risk Classification Created to Account for Potential “Existential” Threats

    “Researchers identify a one-in-20 chance of temperature increase causing catastrophic damage or worse by 2050”

    It’s a bit like the X&R study that I linked to. Would you get on an airplane with a 5% risk of crash? I think it’s very late, but it’s still encouraging to see the discussion start to get real.

    September 3 – 9, 2017 403.71 ppm
    September 3 – 9, 2016 400.98 ppm

    We don’t to be able to reduce the climb in CO2 and CO2e in the atmosphere. I don’t like it, but I think our fate rests in developing technology to capture and sequester carbon. Soil science is a good place to start. Changing the incentives on forests to reward leaving trees standing would help. But these are challenging to facilitate and require large changes in economic systems, so it’s more convenient to imagine a magic technology that will grab CO2 and turn it into something soothing and wonderful. Like a Big Rock Candy Mountain solution to our situation. Yes! Let’s do that!

    Cheers

    Mike

  27. 277
    Thomas says:

    267 Mal Adapted, and who is “we” Mal? Surely not everyone. No, that couldn’t be, or could it?

  28. 278
    Thomas says:

    273 nigelj, well, imho, the only thing moving fast is moving to ‘hell in a hand basket’ at almost the speed of light.

  29. 279
  30. 280
    Victor says:

    274 Kevin McKinney says:

    “Victor, #258–

    Let’s at least finish quoting the abstract, shall we?”

    There is a huge difference between raw data and speculation about what that data might mean. What I saw was a graph that displayed no sign of acceleration. I was challenged on that by one of the resident gurus on this blog, forget which. So then I cited a recent study that arrived at the same conclusion: NO sign of sea level acceleration over the last several years — in fact there has been some deceleration, apparently.

    Since the author’s speculations about Pinatubo had no bearing on the question at hand (interpretation of the graph) I saw no reason to include it. If you now want to claim that the speculation regarding Pinatubo is some sort of proven fact, that’s a different matter. Of course it is not at all a fact. There is, in fact, no way to positively determine what that effect was, or what sea level would be like now if the eruption never happened. Like so many “explanations” we see in the cli. sci. literature, it is a typical ad hoc theory born of confirmation bias. There are all sorts of factors that affect sea level aside from volcanic eruptions and there is no way to confidently claim that any of them is responsible for what we see today. What we DO know is that sea levels have been steadily rising for well over one hundred years, long before CO2 could have become a major factor.

  31. 281
    Killian says:

    More on renewables that are no panacea. Source of previous, unless I mixed things up.

    http://m.pnas.org/content/114/26/6722.abstract

  32. 282
    Killian says:

    **This will be my last direct response to nigelj.**

    #255 nigelj said Killian @253, with respect

    Replacing outright rudeness with false polity is no improvement to a logical man. Just be honest.

    I just think your comments are full of inconsistencies, hundreds of your own assertions, contradictions, and logical fallacies.

    Nothing polite in there. See what I mean? There are zero logical fallacies in my statements. There are many things you might claim, but to tell an INTP type they work from fallacy begs credulity. That is, it’s unlikely, in the extreme, to be accurate even without knowing the subject matter. It’s just now how we address reality.

    There are no contradictions. Name one.

    I do not assert, I analyze and assess based on very real information. Forward-looking statements are not merely assertions just because they are beyond your ken. Everything is tied to the real world. Everything.

    You glorify past societies a lot with the classic “nobel savage” fallacy.

    Bull. Cut and paste and provide the link. I have never invoked the noble savage B.S. You simply do not understand anything I say because you do not understand even the simplest aspect of what I say. As I have said, you do not belong in this conversation; you have too much to learn to be trying to discuss analysis, let alone policy. I mean this sincerely. I have said it before and, almost certainly, will be saying it again given how absolute your faith in your completely untenable positions is.

    I suggest google this.

    And I suggest you not pat others on the head lest you get your hand bitten off. Criminy…

    Private ownership and hoarding can also be a fallacy.

    Good god… no it can’t. Dude, if you can’t even accede to this, you are truly lost.

    People who are billionaires do invest or bank that money and it is regurgitated through the system and is borrowed by others.

    They invest… to increase their hoard… but that’s not hoarding. Really, I cannot deal with this extreme ignorance any longer.

    Inequality could be dealt with better with a capital tax or inheritance tax.

    Yes, because the rich are rushing into seats in Congress to do this…

    For the record I believe in practical sustainability.

    For the record, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Seriously, you are not even in the ballpark of making sense with regard to economics or sustainability, and certainly not with the combination. This is getting beyond absurd.

    Idealised pure forms just don’t make sense to me.

    Indeed. What, pray tell, do you even think that means?

    I do suggest write a book. I will buy a copy with interest.

    Well, there’s that. Yes, I should, actually.

    I’m not going to comment in detail, because my polite responses to similar issues raised by Zebra and Al Bundy have been deleted. Moderation seems inconsistent to me and I don’t have time to waste.

    Comments also have to *make sense.*

  33. 283
    nigelj says:

    Heres my take on “sustainability” fwiw. We have to work within the ultimate system constraints (with some exceptions). The ultimate constraints on industrial and agricultural development are the rate natural sinks absorb carbon, the rate oceans create new fish life, and the rate natural geology can create minerals, (as someone has mentioned), soils can be replenished, pollutants are naturally absorbed.

    The sustainable use of fossil fuels at current levels would require massive planting of trees that doesnt seem feasible ,so emissions have to be reduced at source. In effect the sustainable use of fossil fuels is very limited essentially zero.

    Over fishing is a problem, but could be solved with simple fishing quota management. It doesn’t require quite such radical and total cuts as CO2.

    One of the big challenges is sustainable use of minerals, because geology creates new minerals so slowly, and we are fast using up resources. However the ability to recycle metals indefinitely changes the picture considerably.

    I don’t think we know enough, or have enough information to say much more or to suggest radical restructuring of society, as has been attempted at various times by The USSR and China with unintended and unfortunate consequences. What we mainly need is better environmental laws, less ‘greed’, and changes in attitudes by some of the nutbars in politics.

  34. 284
    nigelj says:

    Kevinn McKinney @274, I expect a certain person is paid not to finish quoting abstracts. What else could possibly explain the consistent pattern of partially quoting things?

  35. 285
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Method to radiate energy to space at such a frequency that CO2 and H20 in the atmosphere do not absorb it. They’re proposing to use it for cooling buildings.

    https://phys.org/news/2014-11-cool-high-tech-mirror-space.html

  36. 286
    CCHolley says:

    Victor @280

    What we DO know is that sea levels have been steadily rising for well over one hundred years, long before CO2 could have become a major factor.

    Wrong.

    CO2 has been a major factor since pre-industrialization and most certainly the last 100 years.

  37. 287
    Scott Strough says:

    @ #283 Nigelj,
    Grasslands, not trees. As has been explain multiple times here, trees are an important part of the short carbon cycle (labile carbon). It is the grasslands/savannas that force carbon out of the short cycle and into the long cycle (stable carbon).
    http://blogs.uoregon.edu/gregr/files/2013/07/grasslandscooling-nhslkh.pdf
    But it seems no matter how many times this is pointed out, people go right back to the tree paradigm. Trees will not reverse AGW, not even a whole bunch of them. Not even if we plant so many trees we can’t even grow a crop anymore. We could try planting trees on every square inch of open ground on the whole planet and it still wouldn’t reverse AGW…ever.

    Grasslands on the other hand, can be a huge powerful pump of carbon into the stable fraction of soil. Many many tonnes per hectare.

    http://amazingcarbon.com/PDF/JONES-LiquidCarbonPathway(AFJ-July08).pdf

    You keep focusing on trees and you’ll never get it. It’s a diversion, an obfuscation, part of the denialsphere.

  38. 288
    JCH says:

    NO sign of sea level acceleration over the last several years — in fact there has been some deceleration, apparently.

    The satellite-era (1993 to last data point, July 22, 2017) rate of sea level rise at AVISO is: 3.29 mm/yr.
    The 20-year rate is: 3.32 mm/yr.
    The 10-year rate is: 4.23 mm/yr.
    The 5-year rate is: 4.53 mm/yr.

    Over the last several years, the rate of SLR has been above the satellite-era trend, currently 3.28 mm/yr, for the longest period of time in the satellite record. Far above it.

    So, what would an impending increase in the rate of satellite-era SLR look like? The already bigger numbers, see above, would have to be even bigger? Fine, they will fluctuate and they will eventually get even bigger.

  39. 289

    Victor: “There is a huge difference between raw data and speculation…”

    And there is a huge difference between “speculation” and numerical modeling.

    (Also, the data in question aren’t really ‘raw’, but whatever…)

  40. 290
  41. 291
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP have posted for August with an anomaly of +0.85ºC, not much warmer than July and the 3rd coolest month of the year-so-far. While this may suggest a less warm present situation than for the satelite TLT records, TLT did not show such a warm start to the year (as this graph of comparing recent years TLT & surface records shows – (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).
    It is the 2nd warmest GISTEMP August on record after Aug 2016 (+0.99ºC) and ahead of Aug 2014 (+0.80ºC), 2015 (+0.79ºC) & 2011 (+0.71ºC).
    For all months, Aug 2017 is =25th warmest anomaly on the full record. Of the top warmest anomalies, very few are not from the last few years (2014-17), the five of exceptions in the top thirty being two months from 2010 and single months from 2007, 1998 & 2002
    For 2017 to achieve hottest-year-on-record status, the remainder of the year would have to exceed +1.11ºC. And to drop to 3rd spot the remainder of the years would have to average below +0.75ºC. So a 2nd spot for the full annual 2017 is reasonably the likely outcome.

    …….. Jan-Aug Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.06ºC … … … +0.99ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.93ºC
    2015 .. +0.80ºC … … … +0.87ºC … … …2nd
    2010 .. +0.74ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … …4th
    2014 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … …3rd
    1998 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … …10th
    2007 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.65ºC … … …7th
    2002 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … …9th
    2005 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … …5th
    2009 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …8th
    2013 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.65ºC … … …6th

  42. 292
    nigelj says:

    Scott Strough @287

    Yes agreed soil has potential as a carbon sink. I actually watched one of your linked videos on grassland and carbon sinks in australia (I think it was in your post).

    However carbon sinks like trees or better soil management aren’t nearly enough to fix the problem themselves. That was my point.

    And the real point I was getting at is to understand sustainability you have to start looking at the main parts of the earths system and see what can be done and what it means, not jump to conclusions we should radically alter our society too much along Killians lines, which really is radical.

    The planet wont last forever anyway so idealised forms of planning for eternity is senseless. We should think several generations ahead so reasonably long term, but beyond that is an impossibility.

  43. 293
    nigelj says:

    Killian @282

    I’m not going to respond to your post because it is 1) completely content free and 2) dodged and twisted the points I made. Since you consistently do this over and over and cannot deal with people in a normal way, I have given up.

  44. 294
    Killian says:

    #287 Scott Strough said something rather silly.To wit:

    #283 Nigelj,
    Grasslands, not trees. As has been explain multiple times here, trees are an important part of the short carbon cycle (labile carbon). It is the grasslands/savannas that force carbon out of the short cycle and into the long cycle (stable carbon).

    This is an oversimplification. You take an area fit for forest where there is none and grow a forest, you permanently sequester a great deal of carbon. I forget, but perhaps 40kg/tree on average for an apex forest. Yes, it reaches an equilibrium at Apex, but that carbon is sequestered so long as the forest exists.

    Now, if you then use that forest for active coppicing, etc., and sequester the removed biomass, then you have an active and ongoing sequestration.

    Make that a food forest, and you have a very active cycling and sequestration of biomass via food to eaters to compost to soil.

    You are far too simplistic here.

    But it seems no matter how many times this is pointed out, people go right back to the tree paradigm. Trees will not reverse AGW, not even a whole bunch of them. Not even if we plant so many trees we can’t even grow a crop anymore. We could try planting trees on every square inch of open ground on the whole planet and it still wouldn’t reverse AGW…ever.

    You keep saying trees, but only an idiot would plant trees alone. So, do you mean trees, forests, or agroforestry, or…? Clarify, please.

    Grasslands on the other hand, can be a huge powerful pump of carbon into the stable fraction of soil. Many many tonnes per hectare.

    But this also requires ruminants hanging out in those grasslands and the ability to roam or be actively managed in smaller sections. A good goal, but hard to achieve.

    You keep focusing on trees and you’ll never get it. It’s a diversion, an obfuscation, part of the denialsphere.

    Bull. Trees are a huge part of regenerative design. The error is yours in focusing only on grasslands. You have to think globally and think in terms of appropriate solutions depending on location. This is no this OR that, only best practices for the space specifically being designed.

  45. 295
    Killian says:

    #283 nigelj said The sustainable use of fossil fuels at current levels would require…

    They are finite. There is no sustainable rate. I do not understand how you continue to fail to understand this. I tried the cheese planet analogy. A child can understand that. My 9 year-old does understand it. How do you not?

    Let me try a different tack.

    1 trillion grams of superstuff.
    You use one gram a day.
    You live a very long time.
    1 trillion days later, you have no more superstuff.
    Superstuff is unsustainable.

    Maybe you are trying to talk about using finite resources as efficiently as possible and do not realize it.

    the ability to recycle metals indefinitely changes the picture considerably.

    All metals are not equal. Even steel has limits. About 18 cycles, IIRC. And with losss, even a theoretically infinitely recyclable metal is not really infinite. And, of course, the machinery wears out and must be replaced, and… and….

    I don’t think we know enough, or have enough information to say much more or to suggest radical restructuring of society

    We? You mean you. I’m really wondering who you work for given your drumbeat for no change. That’s a suicidal response, my friend. The insane keep trying what didn’t work ever before, right?

    as has been attempted at various times by The USSR and China with unintended and unfortunate consequences.

    More unfortunate than people dying needlessly due to lack of healthcare, food, heating, etc.? More unfortunate than endless wars all over the planet? More unfortunate than the deposing of heads of state, the killings of heads of state, for business interests? Are you aware of what happened in Iran and the decades of horrors that followed? All that is directly on “democracy” and “Capitalism.”

    I must repeat, you truly either have no idea what you are talking about, or are a soft-denialist of sorts. This is exactly what the RW denialists are saying these days: Careful, don’t change anything! We can’t do any better, really, but maybe we can keep using… the market.

    Weird, regardless.

    What we mainly need is better environmental laws, less ‘greed’, and changes in attitudes by some of the nutbars in politics.

    Again, who controls those processes? Permaculturists? No. Rich White men, by a very wide margin.

  46. 296
  47. 297

    Mike will like this one–though perhaps ‘like’ should have an asterisk of some sort. A Norwegian group calculates that, although we are not yet halfway to a doubled CO2 concentration, we are (due to the logarithmic nature of GHG forcings) now halfway to a doubled radiative forcing.

    http://tinyurl.com/NatureHalfwayToDoubledForcing

    Milestones…

  48. 298

    …and in related news, the UK Met calls the end of the ‘slowdown’, and relates it to a phase change in the PDO:

    https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2017/a-pacific-flip-triggers-the-end-of-the-recent-slowdown

    The PDO video at the bottom of the page is worth a look.

  49. 299
    Victor says:

    286 CCHolley says

    “Victor @280

    ‘What we DO know is that sea levels have been steadily rising for well over one hundred years, long before CO2 could have become a major factor.’

    Wrong.

    CO2 has been a major factor since pre-industrialization and most certainly the last 100 years.”

    A factor, yes — a major factor, no. Actually it’s more like 200 years: http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/sea-level/jevrejeva-sea-levels-1700-1800-1900-2000-global-2.gif

  50. 300
    Charles Hughes says:

    Mal Adapted says:
    16 Sep 2017 at 2:06 PM
    Russell:

    Killian says” look up Liebigs Law…”

    Always the only guy who knows anything, is our Killian. He seems not to imagine that when others of us say something, we rarely say everything we know.

    Still, some of his comments are good. Some are even new. Sadly, what is good is not new, while what is new is not good 8^(.

    Your last line is spot on. I used to enjoy reading killian’s posts. Lately, not so much. That last one looked like a Thomas production.

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