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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. 301
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://quantpalaeo.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/pattern-obfuscation-of-ocean-ph/

    Pattern obfuscation of ocean pH
    Posted on 18/09/2017 by richard telford

    I noticed that my blog had been cited by a couple of papers, so I went to have a look.

    Albert Parker has a paper in Nonlinear Engineering. I’m sure this journal wasn’t chosen for the relevant expertise of the editors and usual pool of reviewers. More likely the converse: Parker (2016) is neither good nor original, a Gish gallop of a paper, recycling bad ideas from climate denialist blogs….

  2. 302
    MA Rodger says:

    NOAA have also posted for August with an anomaly of +0.83ºC, identical to July and =3rd coolest month of the year-so-far. (This roughly mirrors GISTEMP).
    It is the 3rd warmest NOAA August on record after Aug 2016 (+0.90ºC) and Aug 2015 (+0.88ºC) ahead of Aug 2014 (+0.79ºC) & 2009 (+0.70ºC).
    For all months, Aug 2017 is the =26th warmest anomaly on the full NOAA record (GISTEMP =25th). Of the top warmest anomalies, very few are not from the last few years 2014-17, the five exceptions in the top thirty being two months from 2010 and single months from 2007, 1998 & 2013 (identical to GISTEMP bar a 2002 month replacing a 2013 month).
    The years ranked by Jan-Aug Ave below are the same years as in the equivalent GISTEMP table with almost identical rankings. (The annual rankings show a bit more difference fronm GISS.)

    …….. Jan-Aug Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.01ºC … … … +0.94ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.88ºC
    2015 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … …2nd
    2010 .. +0.75ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … …4th
    2014 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … …3rd
    1998 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … …8th
    2007 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … …11th
    2005 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … …6th
    2002 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … …13th
    2013 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … …5th
    2009 .. +0.62ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … …7th

  3. 303
    Mal Adapted says:

    Scott Strough:

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

    Once the large-scale anthropogenic transfer of fossil carbon to the climatically active pool ceases, soil sequestration is theoretically an excellent way to draw that pool down again.

    Even with atmospheric CO2 capped, however, setting aside and sustainably managing enough grassland to draw it down at a useful rate and store it ‘in perpetuity’ would be at least as challenging, economically and politically, as reducing fossil carbon emissions to zero at a rate sufficient to avert global tragedy.

    Worse, the rise in atmospheric CO2 to date means the next several generations of humans will have adapted to a warmer world, making the choice of how far to bring GMST down again even more fraught.

    I’m glad I didn’t have offspring.

  4. 304
    Obs says:

    NOAA TCHP ( http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/cyclone/data/at.html ) appears not to be updated for days > 9/9/2017. Any ideas?

  5. 305
    sidd says:

    I use this forum archive very frequently (and not infrequently to find a reference which I had myself posted …) and I feel it is an invaluable resource. I would hate, and i am sure many others share my sentiments, if it went away.

    Therefore I ask if backups are secure, and if the administrators could use a remote mirror or backup. I dont know what the total disk usage is, but it may be that i have enuf resources to do on my own, and i can definitely contribute to a distributed effort. I dont want to do a giant websuck on my own without permission.

    Please do let me know if a remote backup would be useful and if i can help.

    sidd

  6. 306
    CCHolley says:

    Victor @299

    A factor, yes — a major factor, no. Actually it’s more like 200 years:

    Wrong. There is much variability in sea levels. In fact, sea level has been rising somewhat since the 17th century after two centuries of higher sea levels. The period of the 1800s is simply a reflection of this variability. However, the significant change in sea levels did not emerge from the noise until the 1900s corresponding to industrialization.

    All CO2 has an influence on temperatures and the initial emissions have the greatest effect per unit due to the logarithmic effect of the phenomena. The warming of the first half of the 1900s when sea levels began rising in earnest beyond that of natural variability was mostly due to CO2 warming.

    http://assets.climatecentral.org/images/made/2_22_16_John_CC_NuisanceFlooding_GlobalSLR_1050_718_s_c1_c_c.jpg

  7. 307
    MA Rodger says:

    It appears the denialists on The Times (kindly reproduced outside a pay-wall on the planet Wattsupia) and those working so hard to misguide the readership of Viscount Rothermere’s grubby rag have found a new channel of assault on science, in particular their favourite flavour for science-bashing, climatology. The latter along with the work of snot-for-brains wee Jimmy Delingpoo even get their bullshit uncritically repeated by the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme in their paper review, (this resulting in an official complaint to the BBC from me).
    The cause of this deluded denialist activity is Millar et al (2017) ‘Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 °C’ [Abstract] [Guest Post by Millar at CarbonBrief]. This should be enough to demonstrate whether there is the slightest whiff of justification for the juxtaposed quotes provided by the Mail’s Climate-Lies-Compiler* or the wild claims of wee Jimmy Delingpoo that the BBC chose to repeat. (“In the name of promoting the global warming myth, free speech has been curtailed, honest science corrupted and vast economic and social damage done. That ­apology is long overdue.”)

    *The BBC reported the print paper thus:-

    The Daily Mail rounds on climate scientists after an admission that their climate models have turned out to be inaccurate. “For the umpteenth time they’ve been proved wrong,” the paper says, “yet not a whisper of apology do they offer for the swinging green taxes levied on energy bills or the landscapes and sea views destroyed by unsightly wind farms.”

  8. 308
    Scott Strough says:

    Killian,
    Enough of the insults. You were warned by Gavin about that. Leave me out of your nasty digs.

    Coppicing can give you a net negative if it is combined with biochar. Otherwise it is still labile carbon, not sequestered carbon. But even though we can do biochar, it is no where near scale-able to something big enough to reverse AGW. That’s just a mathematical fact, no matter how offensive to your sensibilities it may be. Restoring the lost great prairies of the world is possible at scale large enough to significantly mitigate AGW.

    Remember, this site is a climate science forum. Not a change the world into only your personal ideas forum. Doesn’t even matter if I or anyone else likes your ideas or not. Irrelevant. I personally would love to see the entire cornbelt of the USA converted from soybeans and corn to hazelnuts and chestnuts managed in an open oak savanna biome and the farm animals moved through between the trees and shrubs for a true silvopasture type management. Hazelnuts produce more oil per acre than soy and chestnuts can produce more starch per acre than corn, and the total primary productivity including the grassland between trees is off the scale higher. No doubt it would massively reduce tremendous quantities of CO2. But I don’t get to make that call, and neither do you.

    What I do get to say is that in the above case, the part of this artificial agricultural biome that sequesters the carbon is the grasses, not the trees. The quantity of carbon sequestered by trees is minimal. Near net zero. Even when some forests like boreal forests show net sequestration, it’s not the trees but rather the mycorrhizal fungi. And not the ecto types, the endo types.

    http://climate.yale.edu/news/fungi-not-plants-drive-long-term-carbon-sequestration-boreal-forest

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.13208/abstract

    So I will say it again. These tree planting schemes may have value, but that value is not mitigating AGW. The trees have different ecosystem functions.

    Anyone who claims to be a practitioner of permaculture knows that number one priority is to observe natural systems and think how to mimic that function.

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

    And sorry, coppicing is not working with the natural biome that evolved over millions of years to be the cooling forcing for the planet and the soil building component and the terrestrial oxygen source and the carbon sink. That would be the grasslands/savannas of the world.

    http://blogs.uoregon.edu/gregr/files/2013/07/grasslandscooling-nhslkh.pdf
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-06668-4_5#page-1
    http://www.amazingcarbon.com/PDF/Farmingaclimatechangesolution_Ecos141.pdf
    http://scseed.org/wb/media/Liquid_Carbon_Pathway_Unrecognised_Dr._Christine_Jones.pdf
    https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2008/glomalin-is-key-to-locking-up-soil-carbon/

    You can call me silly all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is not the trees, it’s the grasslands. Anyone thinking it is the trees is betting on a losing hand. You want to avoid this “locked in” scenario?
    https://www.ecowatch.com/earth-record-temperatures-2020710545.html

    Then we all need to understand the only solution scale-able to something big enough to “unlock” AGW is grasslands restoration.

    Executive summary:

    Yes we can reverse Global Warming.

    It does not require huge tax increases or expensive untested risky technologies.

    It will require a three pronged approach worldwide.

    1) Reduce fossil fuel use by replacing energy needs with as many feasible renewables as current technology allows.
    2) Change Agricultural methods to high yielding regenerative models of production made possible by recent biological & agricultural science advancements.
    3) Large scale ecosystem recovery projects similar to the Loess Plateau project, National Parks like Yellowstone etc. where appropriate and applicable.

    So yes you can work with trees if you want Killian. Just don’t be in denial. The trees are not what mitigates AGW. Wrong biome.

  9. 309
    Mal Adapted says:

    sidd:

    Therefore I ask if backups are secure, and if the administrators could use a remote mirror or backup.

    Represent, sidd! I recently retired from a 30-year career in tech support for scientific computing. Backups were always my first priority. You just triggered my deepest professional reflex, which developed because the scientists I supported placed a much lower priority on protecting their precious data 8^(!

    Hardware is cheap, so stinting it is a false economy. Software that was worth creating the first time can be recreated. Scientific cubicle-dwellers can be replaced, virtually* on the day-labor market.

    Single copies of a complete time-series of sequentially contingent documents, OTOH, cannot be recovered once lost. If it happens on your watch, blaming your predecessor will avail you nothing!

    * Not ‘literally’. Not yet, at least 8^|.

  10. 310
  11. 311
    Mr. Know It All says:

    196 – BPL

    Quote: “RF = 5.25 ln (C/C0)”

    Thanks, I’m looking at some derivations of that to get a better understanding of it:
    http://www.globalwarmingequation.info/global%20warming%20eqn.pdf

    Question: if the RF due to increased CO2 is ~3.7 W/m^2, why do those NASA cartoons showing the earth energy imbalance typically show an imbalance about 0.6 to 0.8 W/m^2 as indicated in the 4th paragraph down on this page:

    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/EnergyBalance/page7.php

    “The absorption of outgoing thermal infrared by carbon dioxide means that Earth still absorbs about 70 percent of the incoming solar energy, but an equivalent amount of heat is no longer leaving. The exact amount of the energy imbalance is very hard to measure, but it appears to be a little over 0.8 watts per square meter. The imbalance is inferred from a combination of measurements, including satellite and ocean-based observations of sea level rise and warming.”

    300 – CH
    WOW! Likening someone’s post to a “Thomas” post? That’s mean! :)

  12. 312
  13. 313
    nigelj says:

    Killian @295

    “#283 nigelj said The sustainable use of fossil fuels at current levels would require…””They are finite (Fossil fuels). There is no sustainable rate. I do not understand how you continue to fail to understand this. ”

    Actually the planet continues to create oil and coal as we speak, just at a very, very slow rate, and geology currently doesn’t favour the process. Sustainable use in this sense would obviously be at incredibly low levels of consumption. But lets at least be accurate.

    But I was talking about sustainability in a completely different sense, in terms of atmospheric damage from burning them. Maybe I could have been clearer, but it should have been really obvious from context.

    “Recycling”

    You don’t state where you got your information. A simple google search shows metals can be recycled indefinitely without problems.

    However lets assume metals do have some upper recycling limit, for the sake of argument. I would have thought myself theres a limit. This means its IMPOSSIBLE for a high technology culture to last forever on planet earth.

    We have two options:

    Firstly continue with our mineral extraction and high technology until we are gradually forced to scale back over the centuries by limits to recycling into the sort of small scale low technology society you outline.

    Secondly deliberately choose to leave some minerals in the ground. This obviously means we are forced to downscale technology quite short term into a small scale low technology culture. Leaving minerals in the ground doesnt achieve very much. Who are we hoarding them for? Eventually if they are used, you are back to recycling them and they might ultimately degrade.

    The end result is the same. Assuming recycling cannot be infinite humanity would eventually drift towards a low technology culture whatever we do. Such a thing could last millenia.

    However given the outcome is the same, I cannot see the point in deliberately restructuring society right now into small scale low technology, and leaving minerals in the ground, which would clearly create problems for many people. I also just cant see people deliberately choosing this, or politically voting for it, or how you feel it would happen.

    This is why I promote keeping our general free market system, but with better environmental laws, and better wealth distribution laws etc etc. I think we could do many other things without totally radical change, but I don’t have time to go into it.And we should maintain high technology as long as possible. As you correctly point out, all this is hard politically, but what you propose looks INFINITELY harder politically or in any other sense.

    Obviously as you say western society can be wasteful and hoards things but there are many ways of reducing this other than your very radical proposals.

    Of course there’s a third alternative. We cannot reliably predict the future and we might find a clever way of side stepping all these various problems, or we will just colonise other planets. Just remember colonising other planets requires a pretty high technology culture.

  14. 314
  15. 315
    Adam Ash says:

    What are your thoughts on this paper?

    Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 °C
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo3031.html?foxtrotcallback=true
    ‘…Hence, limiting warming to 1.5 °C is not yet a geophysical impossibility, but is likely to require delivery on strengthened pledges for 2030 followed by challengingly deep and rapid mitigation. …’

    I can only access the abstract. Some are claiming points for denialists from this. Cant see how.

  16. 316
  17. 317
    Hank Roberts says:

    Another collateral benefit to global warming.
    If you’re a rat.

    “The reason the rats are so bad now, we believe, is because of the warm winters,” said Gerard Brown, program manager of the Rodent and Vector Control Division of the D.C. Department of Health, at a 2016 rat summit.

    Rat pro Corrigan agrees. “Breeding usually slows down during the winter months,” he said. But with shorter, warmer winters becoming more common—2016 was America’s warmest winter on record—rats are experiencing a baby boom. “They have an edge of squeezing out one more litter, one more half litter,” Corrigan said….

    https://newrepublic.com/article/144392/america-verge-ratpocalypse

  18. 318
    sidd says:

    Rothman has an open access paper ( doi:10.1126/sciadv.1700906 ) considering extinction events in terms of ocean carbon loading. From empirical arguments he concludes that we just about reach a critical threshold under RCP 2.6 in 2100.

    sidd

  19. 319
    Killian says:

    They’re trying hard to not say, “Because it’s all unsustainable, fer chrissake!”

    https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/why-wind-and-solar-wont-save-us.html

  20. 320
  21. 321
    Dan H. says:

    Adam,

    I cannot see how the denialists could be claiming points, as the authors of this paper claim that a steep decline in carbon dioxide emissions are require to meet this target. Denialists claim that CO2 has no effect, so whether it rises or falls, no resulting temperature change would occur. Others are using it to show that there is still hope for the future.

  22. 322
    nigelj says:

    Scott Strough @308, I think you make some good points.

    I claim no expertise in carbon sequestration, but I have read more than the average person would have.

    I think both planting trees “and” soil sequestration has some use to store carbon and mitigate effects of climate change. I don’t think trees versus soils is an either or proposition. You would do both because the sort of land that is viable for trees is often sloping land unsuitable for growing crops.

    However even the most radical plan doesn’t have the capacity to absorb the levels of emissions currently. So the practical strategy is to cut emissions at source and carbon sinks will help mop up some very significant excess carbon over time, as you appear to suggest.

    I do agree tees have limited potential to sequester carbon, but given some sloping land is available it should be used. It would certainly not make sense to use huge areas of flat lands, and you come up against problems of crowding out crops. As a stand alone solution to climate change, or even a large factor, tree planting would probably not ultimately be cost effective. Its more of a useful add on.

    Regarding soil sequestration this has a lot of potential as a sink. But this comes up ultimately against the rates of microbial activity as a limiting factor, and the whole process requires a very exact system of farming applied with great consistency, or everything could be lost within a couple of years if not correctly farmed.

    You have the same challenges with creating grasslands properly, and other people are arguing we need to reduce meat consumption anyway, both in terms of climate emissions and health issues.

    There’s also the big question of how such a scheme is practically implemented as sufficient scale to be worthwhile. It could cost more money short term, or if it doesn’t why isn’t it happening? At the very least you would need considerable education and probably some government support. It just looks like a slow process, but still a useful process.

    Therefore its hard to see soils as a big strategy to deal with business as usual emissions, and it would be more mopping up excess carbon over an extended period.

    I think carbon sinks including both trees, and soil organic compounds, and larger root structures might be sufficient to offset burning aviation fuels or something like that. This should be the main aim and its useful because its very difficult to find viable alternative low carbon aviation fuels, (ammonia anyone?) and electric aircraft are a pipe dream really at this stage.

    The whole thing relies on reducing most other emissions aggressively and a coordinated global effort on carbon sinks to help mop up emissions. It could certainly work if people get behind it.

  23. 323
    Thomas says:

    #253 Killian states: “I, on the other hand, realize consumption itself must slow dramatically.”

    He is not the only one who knows this and states it plainly. The more compelling question is really whether or not that is a cooperative voluntary science based fact based truth based choice made collectively by human beings in their own self-interest, or will it be one that is unilaterally imposed by cause-effect upon everyone without ‘fear or favour’.

    Killian and I already know the answer to this compelling question. As do many many others. Nay, but no one is listening because they are generally too busy talking and defending the indefensible stupidity in which humanity finds itself today, and tomorrow and will next year, and later in 2030, and again in a far worse predicament than today circa 2050 …… thank my lucky stars I will not be here to see that unfolding then.

    The other really telling statement by Killian among the rest of his principled teaching moments was this:

    “It’s MATH, not want, not like, not wishing, not preference.”

  24. 324
    Thomas says:

    Re previous comment:
    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet
    Here’s something, here’s something you’re never gonna forget
    So I took what I could get, Yes, I took what I could get…

    “You need educatin’ You got to go to school”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFRk0FfaQi0

  25. 325
    alan2102 says:

    305 sidd: “I ask if backups are secure, and if the administrators could use a remote mirror or backup.

    You can easily download the whole thing yourself, using the free programs WGET or CURL. Both are utilities that allow automated downloading of pages (or whole sites). They are terrifically useful programs for many purposes, if you have any interest in keeping archives of things, of if you want to have your personal archive for easy keyword searching or whatever. Google “WGET”, or “CURL web page download”, and download the programs. It does require a tiny bit of batch file programming knowledge, plus you have to run the .BAT file from the command line; easy. I just downloaded all of the realclimate forum for september; it took about 30 seconds; here is the code, seven lines, one for each comment page, which I had put on a batch file:

    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_1.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-1/
    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_2.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-2/
    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_3.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-3/
    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_4.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-4/
    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_5.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-5/
    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_6.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-6/
    wget -U firefox -Orc0917_7.htm http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-7/

    “rc0917_1.htm” = sept 2017, page 1
    “rc0917_2.htm” = sept 2017, page 2
    etcetera.

    Each file was written out to my disk in succession.

    If anyone is interested I can post more details, like what the switches (-U firefox and -O) mean.

    [Response: The thought is appreciated, but we do have secure backups. – gavin]

  26. 326
    alan2102 says:

    319 Killian: “They’re trying hard to not say, ‘Because it’s all unsustainable, fer chrissake!’ — https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/why-wind-and-solar-wont-save-us.html

    They did not say that renewables are unsustainable, because they are not, given any sane definition of the word unsustainable. Their entire discussion had to do with their misgivings about intermittency — an overblown problem, albeit a real problem in some areas, notably N/S of the 40th or 45th parallels. Fortunately, the great bulk of the world’s population lives between the 40th parallels, N and S, so not much problem. Germany, mostly north of the 50th, had a hard row to hoe because of this, but most of the world will not.
    They also stress demand reduction and adjusting demand to supply — both good ideas, the latter more practical than the former.

    The bottom line of the article in question (by De Decker) is not that renewables are unsustainable or unworkable, but that renewables might not be (or probably are not) entirely capable of powering the super energy-intensive, super high-waste societies of the developed world (particularly the U.S.) as they exist, without modification, and on that point I agree, weakly and tentatively. We don’t know for sure, yet. Lots more data required.

  27. 327
    Scott Strough says:

    @314 Hank Roberts,
    Thanks very much for the link Hank. It is actually a major part of what I have been going on about for years here (including how government policy is subsidizing the problem instead of the solution). But that link explains it probably much better than my feeble attempts. I tend to get very technical and sometimes people miss the bigger picture.

  28. 328
    alan2102 says:

    237 Kevin McKinney (13 sept 2017):

    Excellent post, Kevin.

    I encourage all to take a look, in case you missed it:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/09/unforced-variations-sep-2017/comment-page-5/#comment-683269

    Yes, the definition of “sustainability” embraced by some is positivist idiocy, a derivative of the pre-20th-century Newtonian/Cartesian reality model, which valorizes being over becoming, state over process, the (supposedly) fixed and immutable over the dynamic and evolutionarily-changing. In truth, sustainability is much more a verb than a noun; more of a process than a thing. We seek to sustainabilify, to make by degrees more-sustainable, as a continuous process involving experimentation, learning, and incorporation of the learned into practice; then repeat, endlessly. We never arrive; we’re always working on it.

    You write that, in the view of some, “sustainability means FOREVER… 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.”

    Yes, a HUGE wow, and “astounding hubris” is spot-on. Pretending to know, or trying to anticipate, the sustainability of a practice or technology out past, say, a century or two, (approximately 7 generations), reflects hubris, or trying to play God. It is really none of our business to try to anticipate conditions in 2300 or 2500 (much less forever!). We’re doing really good to anticipate and make suitable adjustments for the remainder of this century, and perhaps a half-century beyond. That’s plenty. That’s HUMAN scale.

    This reminds me of discussions nearly a decade ago on the yahoo energyresources group. I actually had arguments with people who believed permacultural practices to be undesirable because they are unsustainable (!) (don’t ask!) — a crazy idea based on a nincompoopish definition of “sustainable”: supposedly that which can be done for countless millennia or eons — or forever! — with no drawdown of limited resources.

    Snippets might be worth repeating:

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/114519
    From: Alan2102
    Date: Fri Jul 4, 2008
    It is possible to take this [sustainability] thing too far, and to try to anticipate too far into the future. There’s no point speculating what might happen after several millennia; that is trying to control outcomes that are too distant. We cannot rightly control (and ought not want to control) things 5,000 years hence… Not our place, and it takes too much energy away from what should really be occupying our attention… I think it might be enough to consider 7 generations into the future, as per the native american tradition.

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/energyresources/message/116064
    From: Alan2102
    Date: Mon Aug 11, 2008
    Nothing we do is sustainable. The “standard” of sustainability, as a static and known state — as reflected in questions and statements such as “is this thing sustainable?” or “that technology is not sustainable” — is meaningless. I hereby apologize for ever having used the word in that way, myself.
    Further, it is an abuse of the word to use it (or one of its proxies) to reject potentially useful practices or technologies when it is obvious that those things are vastly LESS unsustainable than what they replace. An example would be the idiocy of rejecting permacultural practices because they are (allegedly) not sustainable for millennia. Obviously, whether or not they are sustainable for millennia, they are incalculably MORE sustainable than the [extremely unsustainable] technologies and lifestyles that they seek to replace. This is a gross abuse of a useful concept…
    “Sustainability” is a useful concept, provided it is not thought of or expressed as a *state* which can suddenly be instituted, but as a distant ideal, an end, a *telos* — something toward which we strive, by degrees, and cultivate, over time. (AND provided we do not expect ourselves — absurdly — to arrive at the ideal this month, or even this generation.)
    It is a matter of direction or trajectory. We move TOWARD sustainability, as rapidly as we can. That’s all we can do, and that will either be enough, or it won’t. Not to worry, since all we can do is all we can do.

  29. 329
    Mal Adapted says:

    AGU announcement: New Earth and Space Science Preprint Server to Be Launched.
    Put up (your research) or shut up, pseudo-skeptics.

  30. 330
    Mal Adapted says:

    Killian:

    Because it’s all unsustainable, fer chrissake!

    In as much as human culture has been globally unsustainable since the spread of sedentary cereals cultivation.

  31. 331
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @323

    Yes as you rightly say consumption will reduce. It’s inevitable obviously. Although its far from imminent and we are looking at centuries, and it will relate to some things more than others.

    It will probably reduce the hard way as you imply. Its basic economics. True scarcity will drive up prices, forcing down consumption over the centuries. Humanity may be forced to change its entire mode of existence to a lower tech smaller scale civilisation. The question is how much lower tech and that’s difficult to calculate.

    The other alternative is we voluntarily reduce consumption, waste less, etc.

    A lot depends on energy, as abundant cheap energy can prolong many things. Renewable energy is already falling in price. Fusion might become a reality.

    A lot depends on the law. Tighter environmental laws would tend to reduce consumption.

    We could maintain at least a medium technology culture as long as possible. I don’t care what happens in a million years. The planet would probably have been hit by an asteroid anyway.

  32. 332
    Hank Roberts says:

    Another item for the “Oh, shit” file:

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

    as the zooplankton experiment showed, greater volume and better quality might not go hand-in-hand. In fact, they might be inversely linked. As best scientists can tell, this is what happens: Rising CO2 revs up photosynthesis, the process that helps plants transform sunlight to food. This makes plants grow, but it also leads them to pack in more carbohydrates like glucose at the expense of other nutrients that we depend on, like protein, iron and zinc.

    In 2002, while a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, Loladze published a seminal research paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, a leading journal, arguing that rising CO2 and human nutrition were inextricably linked through a global shift in the quality of plants. In the paper, Loladze complained about the dearth of data: Among thousands of publications he had reviewed on plants and rising CO2, he found only one that looked specifically at how it affected the balance of nutrients in rice, a crop that billions of people rely on. (The paper, published in 1997, found a drop in zinc and iron.)

  33. 333

    #328–

    Thanks, Alan. I must say, I like your concept of sustainability as goal. Approaching it tangentially, let me confess that although ‘musician’ is the core of my professional (or quasi-pro) identity, and although I’ve been playing for many decades, I don’t believe that I’ve ever played anything absolutely perfectly the entire time, despite earnest and dedicated effort to be the best I can.

    Yet less-than-perfect has been enough, on a few memorable occasions at least, to create some magic for people.

    So, perhaps, with weightier matters–like, say, the survival of human civilization…

    I hope so. If there are signs of humanity achieving perfection imminently, I must again confess that I’ve missed them.

  34. 334
    Thomas says:

    331 nigelj: “Although its far from imminent and we are looking at centuries,”

    Are you relying on any evidence for that belief? Curious what it may be.

    eg no one predicted the imminent implosion of Syria as a functioning state due their extended drought driven by effects directly related to the agw/climate change realities.

    No one predicted several millions traversing the land or the 1 million who actually made to Europe in under a year either.

    Who knows what is and what isn’t “imminent”? I do not not and doubt you or anyone else here does either.

    Barely a few dozen people were speaking about the imminent USA Real estate bubble collapse and the obvious GFC impacts of that before Lehmann Brothers folded over a weekend.

    Shit so much for “economics” mate. On the Friday pseudo experts in the “media” and other financial gurus had a BUY ORDER out on Lehmann Brothers on the Friday …. to see it never reopen it;s doors except for staff to collect their personal belongings on the Monday.

    Such are the vagaries of the predominant “economic” system – it never sees ANYTHING COMING – EVER.

    Ponder that obvious truth. :-)

    Don’t take my word for it nigelj .. check the historical record. My memory is not perfect, only excellent and above average. :-)

  35. 335
  36. 336
    zebra says:

    On “sustainability”: (In some non-Nirvana Fallacy meaning of the term.)

    Is the relationship between reduced global population and sustainability linear?

    I would say no, for obvious reasons– environmental impacts are greatest when marginal resources are exploited.

    So, would it not make sense to integrate what we know about reproductive patterns in proposed actions to mitigate environmental impacts?

    Prosperity through technology leads to lower birthrates, while localized subsistence farming leads to higher ones. What to do, what to do?

  37. 337
    MA Rodger says:

    The Accumulative Cyclone Energy of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has reached ACE=170 and so topped the complete-year totals for all years back to 2005. It is also running ahead of 2005 for the time of year having topped 2005 ACE for the year-to-end-September. And 2017-so-far has already a topped all but 14 complete-years on the full record (for the period 1851-2016, although before 1970 the data starts to become less than accurate).
    The storms in September will surely be breaking records. Quoting Wikithing, September 8th has been called as having the highest daily ACE on record with Irma, Jose & Katia all at hurricane strength (captured in this satelite image). So far, September has racked up ACE=141, almost double the previous highest full-month ACE for 2005-16 (the period with monthly totals I have to hand). The six hurricanes-in-a-row Frankin to Katia is something not seen since 1998 – and now that the party-pooper Tropical Storm Lee has been forecast to re-ignite as a full hurricane (although the forecast is less definite than it was), that would make it eight hurricanes-in-a-row.

  38. 338
    mike says:

    For MAR mostly: ATTP has a post up assessing global temp and the takeaway appears to be that monitoring ocean temps should be the gold standard because they may have less natural variation than air or land temps, plus the water temp monitor is more responsive to changes in the planet’s energy balance and will show the temp changes better and with less noise. Here’s a quote from ATTP: “it may take more than 20 years for a trend to emerge from the noise in surface temperature data, but it only takes about 4 years if you consider ocean heat content (OHC), or sea level rise (SLR), data. Therefore, ocean heat content (and SLR data) are more robust indicators of global warming, than surface temperature data.”

    Any thoughts about this post and topic?

  39. 339
    alan2102 says:

    “[Response: The thought is appreciated, but we do have secure backups. – gavin]”

    Good to know. However, no single backup is secure. Think: floods, fire, hurricanes, nuclear war; climate change, even. ;-) Redundancy is most excellent. 100 copies in different places, best in different regions on different continents, is better than one copy in one place. Also, there are uses for local copies other than just backup. Having a local copy is great for keyword searching and other tasks; better than google.

  40. 340
    nigelj says:

    Thomas @334, yes well if you are talking consumption of fossil fuels, we are already well over our budget, and it has to scale back fast like within a few decades!

    If you are talking about the limitations of economic theory fair enough. Or the unpredictability of international events and politics (who predicted Trump would win apart from his core supporters?)

    But there’s no reason why consumption of basic things like building materials need to actually fall. This is more what Killian and I have been arguing, the basics, the really big picture, not the erratic nature of political events.

    There’s no convincing reason for us to immediately willfully adopt a near subsistence level low tech lifestyle. Longer time periods and limits to recycling will probably make it inevitable after millenia, but I cant see why that would mean we adopt it right now because it gains us nothing of substance.

    I think sustainable means look at basic things over the next few centuries. It certainly does suggest consumption of some things must fall, but by no means all.

    But planning for a sustainable eternity is just nonsensical on so many levels. I hardly know where to start, its so ridiculous, and you would need a super computer the size of a planet to work it out. Even then its probably just not feasible, too many unknowns. Even Steven Hawking would struggle. Humans would never keep to a strict plan anyway, all we can hope is to avoid the major disasters.

  41. 341
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @332 “Prosperity through technology leads to lower birthrates, while localized subsistence farming leads to higher ones. What to do, what to do?”

    Finally someone understands this thing.

    Low tech. small scale communities could lead to high population growth, thus damaging the environment, negating their very reason for existence. Therefore it seems ridiculous to me to deliberately push this onto humanity. If its an eventual outcome there’s nothing we can do, but why deliberately choose it?

    Our best bet is high technology, but done with minimal environmental impacts. This also helps reduce population growth further reducing environmental impacts. It becomes a question of rules, education, values, laws, and moderating consumption. All this is possible.

  42. 342
    Y says:

    Here’s a meta-climate kind of question. I’d love to have some measure of how complex current state-of-the-art models are, and of the extent of climate change research. More specifically, ballpark figures for:

    — How many separate submodels are involved in climate modeling (CO₂ production by decaying leaf litter, methane release from permafrost, heat absorption by ice, forest fire aerosol shielding, glacial melt transport, etc. etc. etc.) — I’m guessing many hundreds, depending on how you count.
    — How many articles have been published directly involved in modeling climate change? — my guess, tens of thousands, of which perhaps 10,000-ish are still useful and not superseded.
    — How many people (senior researchers and graduate students) are currently working on topics directly aimed at modeling climate change? A thousand? Maybe a couple thousand more working on modeling systems which are useful for modeling climate change, but not with that as a primary focus.

    It’s a vague question and I’m not expecting precise numbers, naturally.

  43. 343
    Killian says:

    #308 Scott Strough said Killian,
    Enough of the insults. You were warned by Gavin about that.

    Actually, we have you:

    no matter how offensive to your sensibilities it may be.

    Remember, this site is a climate science forum. Not a change the world into only your personal ideas forum.

    Doesn’t even matter if I or anyone else likes your ideas or not.

    Hypocritical, and more, but would you learn from correction?

    And this does not include the straw man or two you threw in. More importantly, all this after you were not even insulted. Good christ, man! Did your momma never teach you the difference between talking about a person’s actions versus their character? I said you SAID something silly, which you did (and repeat it below), not that you ARE silly. Shame on you for trying to start up more b.s.

    Coppicing can give you a net negative if it is combined with biochar. Otherwise it is still labile carbon, not sequestered carbon.

    As for the usefulness of coppicing and bio-char, or even just coppicing, your comments above are a straw man: I made no comment whatsoever about the extent to which it would contribute, I merely refuted your false facts.

    To the direct response: Wrong. Again. With bio-char and without bio-char. No how you slice it, if you coppice and ANY part of that gets sequestered, there is a long-term net sequestration vs. simply allowing apex to occur. So, no, we are not stuck only with bio-char. The issue is rates of sequestration. Coppicing has many other benefits, primarily with ground cover, soil building and sunlight, so should be done. The sequestration may be too small to be of much use, but it is not small. This is more true if you consider future transitions to natural building and wood being sequestered in structures more in the future.

    But even though we can do biochar, it is no where near scale-able to something big enough to reverse AGW. That’s just a mathematical fact

    Who cares? Are you trying to prop up a Straw Man? I said nothing about bio-char nor coppicing saving the planet.

    You are tiresome of late with your pronouncements of facts without useful context. You seem to have an agenda you are pushing because that is what usually drives the kinds of comments you are making. Just say it outright: What is it you are pushing for?

    no matter how offensive to your sensibilities it may be.

    I have been championing open ranges, rewilding, returns of prairies and grasslands worldwide, rotational grazing, etc., for nearly a DECADE here. Ridiculous comments from you. Massive Straw Man. Puts Burning Man to shame.

    Restoring the lost great prairies of the world is possible at scale large enough to significantly mitigate AGW.

    As I have championed for YEARS.

    Remember, this site is a climate science forum. Not a change the world into only your personal ideas forum.

    What kind of crack are you smoking to think any of this has to do with any one person’s ideas, or that it is about ego rather than solving problems? How insulting is that assumption by you? Are you that blinded by your own ego and imagined slights? Everything I advocate aligns with NATURAL process. It is ALL supported by science. It is all OBSERVABLE. How dare you, your insipid arrogance!

    Doesn’t even matter if I or anyone else likes your ideas or not.

    You’ve gotten one thing correct in this entire post.

    But I don’t get to make that call, and neither do you.

    Seriously, what is wrong with you that you even raise this? What is in your head causing such bizarre thoughts?

    What I do get to say is that in the above case, the part of this artificial agricultural biome that sequesters the carbon is the grasses, not the trees.

    And right back to silly. Grow a tree, sequester carbon. Period. Stop saying otherwise. I will give you credit by editing your comment to make it accurate, from your perspective: “What I do get to say is that in the above case, the part of this artificial agricultural biome that sequesters the greater portion of carbon is the grasses, not the trees.”

    You’re welcome.

    The quantity of carbon sequestered by trees is minimal. Near net zero. Even when some forests like boreal forests show net sequestration, it’s not the trees but rather the mycorrhizal fungi. And not the ecto types, the endo types.

    Oh, jesus… you think you have the one without the other? Are you seriously ignoring that I said forests not trees? Really? And what you do with those forests matters. And what of food forests? What of chop-and-drop pruning and composting? Etc.? AND, as to bio-char, your pronouncement bio-char cannot do as some claim is mere opinion, nothing more. There is science supporting both sides. Would I take your word over a certified genius like Albert Bates? Not by a long shot.

    Still, I have no dog in this fight: I am agnostic on bio-char.

    So I will say it again. These tree planting schemes may have value, but that value is not mitigating AGW. The trees have different ecosystem functions.

    Really? Cause I am not talking about forests left alone. You are. Stop arguing cherry picked stuff that makes your feel you have something superior to say. You are adding nothing, Scott, because you have thrown your ego fully into this discussion for some bizarre reason.

    Anyone who claims to be a practitioner of permaculture knows that number one priority is to observe natural systems and think how to mimic that function.

    And obviously NOT you. Yet, everything I support, suggest and have created WRT regenerative futures comes from those systems… which is how I created the ONLY sustainable governance model the world has outside aboriginal communities, and it is based on their patterns.

    And sorry, coppicing is not working with the natural biome that evolved over millions of years to be the cooling forcing for the planet and the soil building component and the terrestrial oxygen source and the carbon sink. That would be the grasslands/savannas of the world.

    Actually, coppicing has always happened. Storms coppice. Death coppices. Animals coppice. Try looking up the principles of “Speeding up succession” rather than pretending you know something of permaculture.

    but it doesn’t change the fact that it is not the trees, it’s the grasslands. Anyone thinking it is the trees is betting on a losing hand.

    The greater fools are those thinking it is one or the other. I watched similar debates WRT Peak Oil (resource limits) vs. Climate Change. Both sides were stupidly playing a lsoers game of ego before rationality.

    You want to avoid this “locked in” scenario?

    Then we all need to understand the only solution scale-able to something big enough to “unlock” AGW is grasslands restoration.

    Single-issue advocacy. Are you invested in midwestern land or something? You are just wrong. In fact, the single greatest change we could make is simplification. Reducing emissions 90% makes virtually ANY sequestration scheme one that has a net sequestration.

    You do not know as much as you think you do. Your thinking is too confined, too narrow.

    Executive summary:

    I love such summaries from people who know less than I do, like yourself.

    Yes we can reverse Global Warming.

    It does not require huge tax increases or expensive untested risky technologies.

    It will require a three pronged approach worldwide.

    1) Reduce fossil fuel use by replacing energy needs with as many feasible renewables as current technology allows.
    2) Change Agricultural methods to high yielding regenerative models of production made possible by recent biological & agricultural science advancements.
    3) Large scale ecosystem recovery projects similar to the Loess Plateau project, National Parks like Yellowstone etc. where appropriate and applicable.

    All things I have said longer than most. Still, go ahead, stop there. Watch the world die anyway. Good christ….

  44. 344
    Killian says:

    #313 nigelj said Did you hear the one about the monkey, the typewriter and Shakespeare?

    But I was talking about sustainability in a completely different sense, in terms of atmospheric damage from burning them. Maybe I could have been clearer, but it should have been really obvious from context.

    Y.o.u c.a.n.n.o.t. s.e.p.a.r.a.t.e. t.h.e.s.e. t.h.i.n.g.s.

    All that is obvious is that you still do not understand these things.

    “Recycling”

    You don’t state where you got your information. A simple google search shows metals can be recycled indefinitely without problems.

    1. Not all metals are equal. Already stated. 2. Only if you ignore thermodynamics. 3. Liebig’s.

    This means its IMPOSSIBLE for a high technology culture to last forever on planet earth.

    I just cannot go over all the rest with you yet again. You do not learn. Short version, all previously stated:

    1. Not knowing the future is reason for careful use of resources, not profligate.

    2. Future generations will almost certainly know more than we do, thus will use resources far more effectively. Leave them for them.

    3. Keep R&D active. We can still *live* simply without becoming lobotomized farmer monkeys, for goodness’ sake.

    4. Perhaps we will choose to mine the heavens. Let’s leave future generations the means to do so.

    5. Hi-tech society does *not* make people happier, so who cares about keeping it?

    6. Combining TEK, science, permaculture, et a;., we can live very comfortably *and* low-tech. People do.

    7. Keep all this stuff going, you keep emissions going, you keep pollution going, you keep the world headed for death.

    Please, just stop.

  45. 345
    Killian says:

    #323 Thomas said #253 Killian states: “I, on the other hand, realize consumption itself must slow dramatically.”

    He is not the only one who knows this and states it plainly.

    But we are too few. This site, a climate site, should be crawling with us. There is no other option, so why bother with anything else?

    The more compelling question is really whether or not that is a cooperative voluntary science based fact based truth based choice made collectively by human beings in their own self-interest, or will it be one that is unilaterally imposed by cause-effect upon everyone without ‘fear or favour’.

    Indeed. I have posited risk and solution are the appropriate foci for discussion and policies.

    Yet, look at the fear and ego hackles raised even here by such a proposition as simplicity…

    The other really telling statement by Killian among the rest of his principled teaching moments was this:

    “It’s MATH, not want, not like, not wishing, not preference.”

    And, yet, you see what someone like Strough coughs up; despite how clear it is we should be allies, he attacks constantly.

    I leave it to psychologists to ponder.

  46. 346
    Killian says:

    #326 alan2102 said 319 Killian: “They’re trying hard to not say, ‘Because it’s all unsustainable, fer chrissake!’

    They did not say that renewables are unsustainable

    Yeah… my words make that pretty clear. I am very, very clearly saying it is implied from the totality of the contents.

    because they are not

    :-)

    Cute. Sad, but cute. Wait, no it isn’t. It’s denial of facts.

    given any sane definition of the word unsustainable.

    What’s yours?

    Their entire discussion had to do with their misgivings about intermittency

    They also stress demand reduction and adjusting demand to supply — both good ideas, the latter more practical than the former.

    Wait… was it the first statement or the second…

    The bottom line of the article in question (by De Decker) is not that renewables are unsustainable or unworkable, but that renewables might not be (or probably are not) entirely capable of powering the super energy-intensive, super high-waste societies of the developed world (particularly the U.S.) as they exist, without modification

    Thus unsustainable.

    on that point I agree, weakly and tentatively.

    So… they were not talking about sustainability, but they were, but only tentatively or weakly made a point about…. something.

    Alan, prove everything in a “renewable” generator is sustainable, everything involved in manufacturing them is, everything in extracting the raw materials is, everything in transporting them is, everything in maintaining hem is… or just stop with this argument.

    It is prima facie they are unsustainable because too many of the components are made of limited, diminishing resources. Get over it, for goodness’ sake! But here, from Wiki:

    CFRPs have a long service lifetime when protected from the sun. When it is time to decommission CFRPs, they cannot be melted down in air like many metals. When free of vinyl (PVC or polyvinyl chloride) and other halogenated polymers, CFRPs can be thermally decomposed via thermal depolymerization in an oxygen-free environment. This can be accomplished in a refinery in a one-step process. Capture and reuse of the carbon and monomers is then possible. CFRPs can also be milled or shredded at low temperature to reclaim the carbon fiber; however, this process shortens the fibers dramatically. Just as with downcycled paper, the shortened fibers cause the recycled material to be weaker than the original material. There are still many industrial applications that do not need the strength of full-length carbon fiber reinforcement. For example, chopped reclaimed carbon fiber can be used in consumer electronics, such as laptops. It provides excellent reinforcement of the polymers used even if it lacks the strength-to-weight ratio of an aerospace component.

    Sound sustainable to you? And that’s just one small part of the life cycle.

    We don’t know for sure, yet. Lots more data required.

    I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. The nature of resources and their limits and what happens when societies run out of them are all very well understood.

  47. 347
    Killian says:

    #328 alan2102 said

    If you want to take a swipe, man up, claim it.

    237 Kevin McKinney (13 sept 2017):

    Excellent post, Kevin.

    Incorrect. Kevin’s post was full of fallacies, primarily Straw Men. That two of you agree on fallacies is not impressive, I hope you understand.

    In truth, sustainability is much more a verb than a noun

    This is perhaps equal in absurdity to even the most glaringly false examples of what is sustainable… like… cars are sustainable. I should say, I teach the *use* of language for a living, so for someone to call a noun a verb catches my attention. What is it, sustainabilitate? Sustainabilitizing? It’s nonsense, unfortunately, little more than Kevin getting lost in the crowd rage here at RC.

    more of a process than a thing.

    Sustainability is absolutely a threshhold and a state. Look at water. Endlessly recycled by the planet, but not where we order (a bit of an overstatement, but for purposes of clarity…), only where Nature wishes. Yet, aquifers all over the planet are falling and failing because their equilibrium state no longer exists because we are removing more than we allow to infiltrate. There is a sustainable **rate** of use beyond which the aquifer begins to shrink and eventually fail.

    This is child’s play, gentlemen. Let go of ego. Let yourselves understand.

    We seek to sustainabilify, to make by degrees more-sustainable, as a continuous process involving experimentation, learning, and incorporation of the learned into practice; then repeat, endlessly. We never arrive; we’re always working on it.

    This isn’t metaphysics, darn it. It’s math. Yes, things change even in “stable” regimes because Nature is never equally distributed. Droughts happen, floods happen, populations rise and fall for myriad reasons. There is no great truth here, no metaphysics be employed. Shist happens and people adjust their systems, but always seeking an equilibrium with Nature, a state, rates of use.

    You write that, in the view of some, “sustainability means FOREVER…

    Because he was feeling argumentative. Yes, theoretically, a sustainable system lasts forever, but nobody expects that to be true. But that is how one **designs.** One designs to create a community that, less acts of God and Nature, *would* continue indefinitely.

    Kevin understands this. Kevin was choosing to pretend he did not understand this.

    There’s an astounding hubris in that, at least as I perceive it.

    But the hubris, and the falseness, was Kevin’s, not mine. The hubris does not lie in designing for stability, it lies in assuming that is 1. not possible and 2. not necessary. It amounts to claiming to know the future needs of humanity.

    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.”

    Yes, a HUGE wow, and “astounding hubris” is spot-on.

    What wow? How argumentative Kevin can choose to be? How many times have I taken the time to include “essentially” in such statements, yet you both pretend I have said we can and must build communities and societies that never change, forever. Who told you a state is unchanging? Are you human at 1 minute after birth? 10 years? 90?

    Permaculture teaches a design is never done. That is a core principle: Change happens. Yet look at you two pretending that is not part of the context of my commentary.

    You two are being dishonest and disrespectful. But what is important is that you do not understand such simple concepts, yet spend so much time attempting to influence others to your very dangerous ways of thinking on these topics.

    Pretending to know, or trying to anticipate, the sustainability of a practice or technology out past, say, a century or two, (approximately 7 generations), reflects hubris, or trying to play God.

    What in hell are you talking about? Nobody has claimed to know the state of things 200 years in the future. Are you truly that ignorant of the language? Good god… You have just called various First Nations people idiots, essentially.

    Smooth.

    Your comments make me think of “White Lives Matter, too!” You are unbelievably out to lunch here. The 7 generations mind set, the adherence to true threshholds of sustainability have nothing to do with knowing the future, but everything to do with *not* knowing the future. It has to do with limiting risk for the future by using as little as possible now.

    For you to twist this into an egotistical claim of omnisicence… jesus… how do you people not get banned for this kind of lie? You spend your time on a website where the danger of ***unknown risks*** is regularly discussed!

    As I said, this whole screed is deeply dishonest.

    It is really none of our business to try to anticipate conditions in 2300 or 2500 (much less forever!). We’re doing really good to anticipate and make suitable adjustments for the remainder of this century, and perhaps a half-century beyond.

    See above. Additionally, what a selfish perspective. It fits with your do-nothing, current-system-just-needs-tweaks (I will not live simply!!!!!) B.S.

    Snippets [**not**] worth repeating:
    Alan2102 It is possible to take this [sustainability] thing too far, and to try to anticipate too far into the future. There’s no point speculating what might happen after several millennia

    No, it is not. Nobody is speculating on the future. They are determining what they **need** now, and using no more than that precisely because we do not know the future. The risks are unknown, and there is nothing more dangerous than an unknown risk.

    Go study risk. Everything I post is related to that in some way, but you appear to have exactly zero understanding of the concept or how it applies to limiting consumption now.

    that is trying to control outcomes that are too distant.

    Exactly the opposite.

    We cannot rightly control (and ought not want to control) things 5,000 years hence…

    We can influence them by leaving them as many resources as possible to deal with their currently unknown risks. We build homes to avoid future cold and rain, for chrissake.

    Not our place

    Another godless Christian, perhaps? Let them eat cake? Keep your hands off of my stash? Inquiring minds….

    and it takes too much energy away from what should really be occupying our attention…

    Simplification ***takes energy away!!!!*** Reducing consumption 80-90% takes energy *away*!

    I think it might be enough to consider 7 generations into the future, as per the native american tradition.

    There is no difference whatsoever between this and “essentially forever,” which indicates strongly your sole purpose for this screed.

    Enough. Your original post should have been Bore Holed for its dishonesty.

  48. 348
    Killian says:

    I post this merely to put the issue to bed.

    but investigators didn’t find any evidence that they tampered with actual voting machines.

    Now, please, no more of the Russkies did it!

    They did not.

    May we never see this topic raised here ever again.

    https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/dhs-finally-reveals-states-russia-215800797.html

  49. 349
    Killian says:

    On whether there are short-term rapid changes in temps, and whether they go beyond regional effects. From Wiki:

    History
    The ice core’s signals now recognised as Dansgaard–Oeschger events are, in retrospect, visible in the original GISP core, as well as the Camp Century Greenland core.[15] But at the time the ice cores were made, their significance was noted but not widely appreciated. Dansgaard et al. (AGU geophysical monograph 33, 1985) note their existence in the GRIP core as “violent oscillations” in the δ18O signal, and that they appear to correlate to events in the previous Camp Century core 1 400 km away, thus providing evidence for their corresponding to widespread climatic anomalies (with only the Camp Century core, they could have been local fluctuations). Dansgaard et al. speculate that these may be related to quasi-stationary modes of the atmosphere-ocean system. D-O events tend to be what drives the “Sahara pump” which has had an effect upon human evolution and dispersal.

    Note the Sahara Pump aspect, e.g.

  50. 350
    Killian says:

    #338 mike said For MAR mostly: ATTP has a post up assessing global temp and the takeaway appears to be that monitoring ocean temps should be the gold standard because they may have less natural variation than air or land temps, plus the water temp monitor is more responsive to changes in the planet’s energy balance and will show the temp changes better and with less noise. Here’s a quote from ATTP: “it may take more than 20 years for a trend to emerge from the noise in surface temperature data, but it only takes about 4 years if you consider ocean heat content (OHC), or sea level rise (SLR), data. Therefore, ocean heat content (and SLR data) are more robust indicators of global warming, than surface temperature data.”

    Any thoughts about this post and topic?

    I like. Use ocean and SLR to show real changes in real time and use surface temps to monitor extremes and shorter term perturbations. I get tired of waiting so long to know what the temp really is… a year ago. Maybe. Depending on the length of trend in question…

    I vote yes.