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Unforced variations: Nov 2017

Filed under: — group @ 4 November 2017

This month’s open thread. Lawsuits about scientific disputes, the new Climate Science Special Report from the National Climate Assessment, and (imminently) the WMO State of the Climate statement for 2017.

200 Responses to “Unforced variations: Nov 2017”

  1. 1
    Hank Roberts says:

    Pilot study on potential impacts of fisheries‐induced changes in zooplankton mortality on marine biogeochemistry

    Julia Getzlaff and Andreas Oschlies
    DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005721

    Key Points

    –potential fisheries‐induced impact can be of similar size as warming‐induced changes in marine biogeochemistry

    –globally integrated response is in line with a linear top down control

    –regional response shows systematic differences depending on the local ecosystem dynamics

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GB005721/abstract

  2. 2
    MA Rodger says:

    The UAH anomaly for October has been posted but I do wonder if there is something amiss here. October TLT came in at +0.63ºC, the warmest October on record (way ahead of 2016 +0.43ºC, 2015 +0.42ºC, 1998 +0.40ºC). October 2017 is the 7th warmest anomaly on the full all-month record, besting all but the hottest three El Nino months of 2016 & the hottest three El Nino months of 1998. The rising anomalies since June (0.21, 0.28, 0.41, 0.54, 0.63) have not been reflected in the surface records and are starting to look a bit odd as a linear feature on the monthly record – see graph here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’). I will give a little time for this possibility of there being a problem to develop before I comment further on this strange anomaly sequence.

  3. 3
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Deconto and Pollard 2017

    I wish someone would map the rate of change in scientific thinking about Antarctic stability.
    I think it would be interesting to see how fast the rate of change — Batesian prior? — is turning out to be.

    For a good time, compare at the studies mentioned in this thread that began in 2007:
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/02/05/why-do-science-in-antarctica/

  4. 4
    MA Rodger says:

    RSS has posted for October with an anomaly of +0.80ºC, the second warmest anomaly of the year so far (ahead of Sept which was +0.84ºC). October 2017 is the warmest October on the RSS record ahead of October 2015 (+0.72ºC) and 2016 (+0.60ºC). It is the 7th highest monthly anomaly on the all-month record behind September 2017 and the peak months of the two big El Ninos (Jan-Apr 2016 & Apr 1998). So for a non-El Nino year, we certainly continue to have “scorchyisimmo!!!!!” on the TLT records.
    I remain curious as to why in recednt months these TLT anomalies are hitting such high values when the SAT records are not showing a sign of it. There was the warmth in the SAT records early in the year that failed to appear in the TLT numbers but it seems too much of a delay to be the explanation for this TLT warming which (looking at UAH data up to September) appears to be associated with TLT over ocean.
    The table is ranked by the average RSS anomaly of the first ten months of the year (so almost identical to the annual ranking). It is certain that annually 2017 will end up in 2nd slot in RSS TLT as it would now require the final two months averaging above +1.22ºC to gain top spot and below +0.27ºC to drop into third.

    …….. Jan-Oct Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.79ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … …1st
    2017 .. +0.64ºC
    1998 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … …2nd
    2010 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.56ºC … … …3rd
    2015 .. +0.51ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … …4th
    2005 .. +0.44ºC … … … +0.42ºC … … …5th
    2014 .. +0.41ºC … … … +0.41ºC … … …6th
    2007 .. +0.40ºC … … … +0.36ºC … … …9th
    2002 .. +0.40ºC … … … +0.38ºC … … …8th
    2003 .. +0.37ºC … … … +0.39ºC … … …7th
    2013 .. +0.37ºC … … … +0.36ºC … … …10th

  5. 5
    Matthew R Marler says:

    Lawsuits about scientific disputes,

    I think an essay on Jacobson v Clack et al by this site’s managers would be worth while. Perhaps not right away.

  6. 6
    Russell says:

    Heartland Institute President Joe Bast’s leaked Red Team memo has so far <a href="https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/10/will-real-troglodyte-please-stand-up.html&quot; been parroted by Pruitt, Perry and Steve Koonin as well as the usual Fox, Breitbart and Watts contributors

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2017/10/will-real-troglodyte-please-stand-up.html

  7. 7
    barry says:

    M A Rodger @ 4

    I remain curious as to why in recednt months these TLT anomalies are hitting such high values when the SAT records are not showing a sign of it

    Certain denizens of the climate blogosphere are laying it on a busy hurricane season moving ocean energy to the lower atmos.

    Checked daily SSTs and hurricane intensity/tracks over the Atlantic region (and a bit of work on the Pacific), and seems to me that the hurricane transfer effect (new acronym alert – HTE!) from local ocean to global TLT, if any, is negligible.

  8. 8
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Does this story have merit? Science Says: Jack Frost nipping at your nose ever later. Seems plausible and consistent with peer-reviewed studies.

    Second question: One denialist blog claims to account for the results by invoking “NOAA’s massive loss of station data since the 1980’s, which makes a downwards hockey stick. More than 40% of the USHCN monthly data is now fake.” That’s the first I’ve heard of this. The blogger, of course, doesn’t link to data, just shows a graph. I’m highly skeptical in this “data loss” — what is he talking about?

  9. 9
    nigelj says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/05/donald-trump-accused-blocking-satellite-climate-change-research

    “Donald Trump accused of obstructing satellite research into climate change. Republican-controlled Congress ordered destruction of vital sea-ice probe”

    “President Trump has been accused of deliberately obstructing research on global warming after it emerged that a critically important technique for investigating sea-ice cover at the poles faces being blocked……”

  10. 10
    Hank Roberts says:

    Common Warming Pattern Emerges Irrespective of Forcing Location

    First published: 27 October 2017
    DOI: 10.1002/2017MS001083

    Abstract

    The Earth’s climate is changing due to the existence of multiple radiative forcing agents. It is under question whether different forcing agents perturb the global climate in a distinct way. Previous studies have demonstrated the existence of similar climate response patterns in response to aerosol and greenhouse gas (GHG) forcings.

    In this study, the sensitivity of tropospheric temperature response patterns to surface heating distributions is assessed by forcing an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to an aquaplanet slab ocean with a wide range of possible forcing patterns. We show that a common climate pattern emerges in response to localized forcing at different locations.

    This pattern, characterized by enhanced warming in the tropical upper troposphere and the polar lower troposphere, resembles the historical trends from observations and models as well as the future projections.

    Atmospheric dynamics in combination with thermodynamic air-sea coupling are primarily responsible for shaping this pattern. Identifying this common pattern strengthens our confidence in the projected response to GHG and aerosols in complex climate models.

    ============
    paragraph breaks added for online readability – hr

  11. 11
    Hank Roberts says:

    “You use palm oil? You might as well just spread your bread with ground up baby orangutans.”

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1464665470276295&set=a.444130062329846.1073741825.100001985692108&type=3

  12. 12

    MAR, #1 (UAH October anomaly)–

    Interesting observation, and thanks for it…

    MAR, #4 (RSS October anomaly)–

    …and that was going to be my next question. Very interesting that the two are showing similar values. Presumably that shows us that it isn’t a glitch with UAH, which would seem to leave 1) a real world effect, or possibly 2) an artifact of the portion of the methodology that’s common to both. (NB–“Captain Obvious” is one of my alter egos.)

    Barry, #7 (‘hurricane transfer effect’)–

    Too bad; the concept has a certain elegance to it. But I imagine you are right; I don’t think the global ACE value has been extraordinary this year, though the North Atlantic Basin value certainly has. In fact, and IIRC, the last time I looked, global ACE was pretty much at the climatological norm.

  13. 13
    Killian says:

    For those going on about trees and sequestration, stop. Forests. Ecosystems. As I have oft told you.

    https://news.stanford.edu/press-releases/2017/10/05/soil-holds-potenw-global-warming/

  14. 14
    MA Rodger says:

    Jim Galasyn @8,
    The arrival of frost is not the only thing telling us that Autumn arriving later (& Spring arriving earlier). Phenology records seasonal plant & animal cycles and useful records began at about the same time as the first temperature records. Thus the UK has data that goes back 250 years showing how dramatic AGW is compared with those earlier couple of centuries. There is also US data here from the EPA back to 1900 and note the link within your Jack Frost story to the USA National Phenoogy Network.
    The web-pages you enquire about are specifically US and one aspect of US temperatures which differs from UK is the regional warmth over N America during the 1930s. The Jack Frost story (& the linked USA NPN) are a little silent on that 1930s warmth, instead comparing today only with 20th century averages. The one indicator from the Jack Frost item that the 1930s have not been swept under the carpet is the comment that “the trend became noticeable” after the 1970s.
    So it is good that we get your second link to Goddard/Heller providing a graph showing a “hockey stick” with hardily a hint of a 1930s wobble.
    The remainder of that second link is simple denialist nonsense. His snow-cover argument ignores the 1970s data for October (which was as snowy or snowier as any time since, but this is almost all variation up in Canada) while the seasonal data (Sept-Nov) is swamped by the November variations which are (as you would expect for a more-wintery, more-snowy month) a lot greater than October + September.
    His use of temperature data is asking way too much; its not going to show the phenomenon using monthly average data. And given he then brands that same data as “40% … fake”, it is odd he feels he can use the one to discredit the other.
    This is a deep well of nonsense you bring here. So I can use the excuse of being the wrong side of the pond to be digging deep into accusations leveled at the USHCN. Besides the volume of garbage posted by Goddard/Heller is surely an adequate evidential basis for dismissing all his ranting nonsense out of hand.

  15. 15
    PaulS says:

    Jim Galasyn #8,

    Regarding the “NOAA loss of data since the 1980s”, the way it’s expressed in your link is a bit different from how it usually is but I think is a well-known phenomenon which “skeptics” have been harping about for a long time.

    As I understand it there was a massive data collection effort in the late 80s/early 90s associated with the initial creation of the GHCN and USHCN databases. That meant they picked up a huge amount of data up to that time from stations which then didn’t subsequently provide regular reports to those networks, even though such stations may still be operating. Consequently there is a large drop-off in the number of stations in the dataset around that time, as demonstrated at the top of this NASA GISS page for the global GHCN dataset (The US-only USHCN dataset I think has a similar drop-off).

    However, there are other temperature databases which don’t feature such a drop-off, either globally or in the US. They achieve this by incorporating a large number of different data sources rather than relying on providers reporting data through a particular standard channel.

    For example, Berkeley Earth. As can be seen on this page, about half-way down, there is no drop-off in station count in the late 80s – in fact a slight increase from then (there is a big drop off confined to the last couple of years due to reporting lag). Despite that difference from the USHCN network, Berkeley Earth’s US estimate is very similar, which is evidence that the USHCN drop-off doesn’t have any effect, despite untested insinuations to the contrary.

  16. 16
    PaulS says:

    On the TLT uptick, one clear problem with the hurricane hypothesis is that the anomalous spike appears to be primarily an Extratropical/Mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere phenomenon.

    There was a spike of similar nature in mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere SSTs earlier in the year, as well as the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Eastern Pacific. Those could provide an explanation. If so, the SST spikes in those areas were shortlived so expect TLTs to drop quite a bit over the next few months.

  17. 17
    Mal Adapted says:

    NYTimes Op-Ed by four authors of the just-released NCA4, Vol. I:

    This comprehensive report — the most up-to-date climate science report in the world — is an outstanding example of federal science in action, and is especially noteworthy given the current political climate.

    What’s noteworthy given the current political climate is that it was released at all, as it forthrightly contradicts the public position of the current political leadership of the US. Honest question: does anyone on RC think it will have an effect on the subsequent political climate?

  18. 18

    Jim Galasyn, #8–

    Ah, well, that’s Tony Heller, AKA Steve Goddard, who will say anything and is never wrong (in his own mind). However, it’s an unusually bizarre claim even for him, as the USHCN consists of a fixed number of stations–1218–comprising a specially quality-checked subset of all US stations.

    However, the claim of data loss is not a new tactic. For instance, here:

    http://climateobserver.blogspot.com/2010/01/cru-was-not-alone-in-manipulating-data.html

    “Overall, U.S. online stations have dropped from a peak of 1,850 in 1963 to a low of 136 as of 2007. In his blog, Smith wittily observed that “the Thermometer Langoliers have eaten 9/10 of the thermometers in the USA[,] including all the cold ones in California.” But he was deadly serious after comparing current to previous versions of USHCN data and discovering that this “selection bias” creates a +0.6°C warming in U.S. temperature history.”

    That’s sourced from the bogger “Chiefio” (AKA Smith), still available here:

    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/07/gistemp-ghcn-selection-bias-measured-0-6-c/

    However, it’s nonsense. It’s just not true that US obs were limited to less than 200 stations. I expect some here can provide much more detail on this.

    Bottom line: Heller/Goddard will literally say anything (except, of course, “I was wrong.”)

  19. 19
    Mr. Know It All says:

    From the lawsuits link:

    “Jacobson’s original 2015 paper outlined how the U.S. could be 100 percent fueled by hydropower, solar and wind.”

    Who thinks this is a reasonable claim?
    If you do, about how much would it cost and on roughly how many years would it take to achieve it?
    Would you propose using those 3 energy sources to power airliners, freight trains, farm equipment, heavy trucks, personal vehicles, and heating of buildings?
    What type of energy storage would you propose for night time?

  20. 20
    Killian says:

    #17

    Op-ed could have been significantly stronger in wording. Gift horses and all that…

  21. 21

    KIA: “Jacobson’s original 2015 paper outlined how the U.S. could be 100 percent fueled by hydropower, solar and wind.”
    Who thinks this is a reasonable claim?

    BPL: I do.

    K: If you do, about how much would it cost and on roughly how many years would it take to achieve it?

    BPL: Just divert the normal energy investment to renewables. No particular net cost.

    K: Would you propose using those 3 energy sources to power airliners, freight trains, farm equipment, heavy trucks, personal vehicles, and heating of buildings?

    BPL: No, you’d have to generate fuels for those, although some could be electric.

    K: What type of energy storage would you propose for night time?

    BPL: Batteries. Flywheels. Compressed air. Pumped hydro. Capacitors. Wide-area smart grids. Trains driven up hillsides. Fuel cells. Heat in molten salts (solar thermal plants in California have already achieved better on-line time than neighboring coal plants this way). Do you follow the energy research news? Of course, it won’t have much on pumped hydro, since that technology dates to the 1930s or earlier and there are 80+ GWe already in place worldwide, 15 GWe just in the United States.

  22. 22

    Mr. KIA, #19–

    Re: Jacobson et al 2015 ‘100% renewable power’, 4 questions asked.

    Question 1

    Who thinks this is a reasonable claim?

    Depends what you think is ‘reasonable’. It is worked out in some detail, so that consideration seems to have been given to all relevant factors, and there are proposals for meeting every objection or obstacle.

    However, some serious scholars have critiqued the paper as making far too many over-optimistic assumptions, and as modeling some things incorrectly.

    Personally, I think the 100% claim isn’t realistic, in the sense that it is not, pragmatically speaking, very likely to happen. While nuclear power has its pros and cons, I doubt that it is going away completely over the next several decades (and in some parts of the world, it is going to grow, by present indications.) Nor is all our legacy fossil capacity going to be abandoned–though vast swathes of it need to be, and there’s some reason for optimism in regard to the coal portion now. So while wind and solar will, I think, be the workhorses of mid-21st century energy, they won’t be working in ‘splendid solitude.’

    Setting the debate in terms of whether or not 100% RE can be achieved strikes me as ‘straw-mannish’ (if not necessarily by intention, then at least in effect.) It would be more useful to arrive at better estimates of ‘how much’, ‘how soon’, and ‘how expensive’ (not to mention how socially acceptable.)

    Question 2

    If you do, about how much would it cost and on roughly how many years would it take to achieve it?

    Right, you did ask that…

    That’s in Jacobson and in the the critics thereof. Have a look.

    Jacobson, 2015:

    https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/USStatesWWS.pdf

    You don’t have to look far for the ‘when’. To quote from the abstract:

    “The resulting 2050–2055 US electricity social cost for a full system is much less than for fossil fuels.”

    So, over the next 30 years, roughly.

    Jacobson, 2017, global version (press report and paper):

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/139-countries-could-get-all-of-their-power-from-renewable-sources1/

    http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CountriesWWS.pdf

    Likewise for the global version.

    2017 critique (Clack et al.):

    http://www.pnas.org/content/114/26/6722.full

    “In contrast, the weight of the evidence suggests that a broad portfolio of energy options will help facilitate an affordable transition to a near-zero emission energy system.”

    Question 3

    Would you propose using those 3 energy sources to power airliners, freight trains, farm equipment, heavy trucks, personal vehicles, and heating of buildings?

    Why not? In an energy economy there are energy sources and energy carriers. You could in principle use exclusively RE for your energy sources and still use various liquid fuels as energy *carriers*. Hydrogen is frequently proposed as candidate for the latter role, and in fact seems to be competing successfully in one niche now:

    http://www.plugpower.com/products/gendrive/

    But there are numerous alternatives.

    In some applications, battery storage seems likely to prevail–automobiles seem to be going that way. There are also BEV versions of delivery vans and even semis. For instance, a major Canadian grocery chain is bringing an electric semi refrigerator truck into service:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/11/06/canada_largest_retailer_loblaw_unveils_first_fully_electric_truck/

    Surprisingly, perhaps, battery-powered electric planes are also under serious development–though, like the semi mentioned above, not for long-haul applications where the energy density of liquid fuels can’t be matched by any current (no pun intended) battery technology.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_aircraft#Developments

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/cheaper-lighter-quieter-the-electrification-of-flight-is-at-hand

    Note that the Sun Flyer trainer, the focus of the second link above, reportedly has 2 contracts, for a total of 55 planes, as well as 65 deposits. It’s in prototype testing.

    Heating of buildings is just too easy. First, heat pump technology is highly efficient, versatile, affordable and (accordingly) popular. Our place is heated and cooled by a ductless wall-mounted unit, for example.

    Second, space heating is a staple of the Danish model, which as you may know features a very high (and still increasing) penetration of renewable energy in the electricity mix. There are a couple of aspects to that. One is co-generation, in which heat generated as a by-product of electrical generation is then used for heating spaces or water, rather than being simply thrown away. Another is using thermal storage rather than curtailing excess renewable power–essentially, heating water when the wind blows.

    Third, direct solar heating of spaces and/or water can be very effective and efficient–there are passive solar houses on the Canadian prairie and solar hot water heaters in poor neighborhoods in Cairo, for instance, with both performing well.

    So there are good technical solutions in abundance for residential and commercial space heating. What’s tougher is social change to implement them at scale. That takes educational, financial, commercial and legal efforts on a wide scale.

    Question 4

    What type of energy storage would you propose for night time?

    Actually, night time isn’t the big problem, because consumption drops a lot then, and wind power tends to increase. At night the problem is quite often that supply exceeds demand. In that regard, BEVs can actually help, since with the (relatively) simple step of having rates vary by time of use–Ontario, for instance, does this now and they are not the only jurisdiction by any means–it’s pretty much a no-brainer to program your car to recharge after hours. You save money, and the utilization curve gets smoothed out by the arbitrage.

    The trickiest time of day is actually early evening; solar is going down for the day, residential use is going way up as people get home and start running all sorts of energy-intensive appliances, and retail is hopping as well. They call it the ‘duck curve’. It varies of course by location (heating or cooling load) and season. (There’s a similar bump in the morning, too, though a bit less pronounced.) In principle, BEVs could help here: it’s possible that the BEV owner could sell stored power to the grid during high demand times. For example, imagine him/her arriving at home after work with, say, a 60% charge. A smart enough grid could accept expensive peak power down to, say 20% charge (then to be topped back up after midnight.) As one entrepreneur has put it, ‘we could be uploading and downloading power.’

    Another option is pumped storage, and there’s actually quite a lot of it already. Another is stationary battery storage, which is coming into service with products from quite a number of companies on the market, notably Tesla, but with many other competitors and a variety of technologies. It’s also happening at both utility and residential/commercial scales. A third would be the creation of various types of synthetic fuels. You can even do that with direct air capture of CO2, as Carbon Engineering is doing (they have a protoype plant up and running):

    http://carbonengineering.com/

    A final option: In Jacobsen et al., 2015, there’s a heavy reliance on ‘UTES’–“Underground Thermal Energy Storage.” The critique notes the very large gap between the 100% vision of UTES and the small extant capacity with a very skeptical eye. I don’t know a lot about it myself, but here’s some information on the technologies and applications, just to get you started:

    http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2013/ph240/lim1/

    “…UTES is expected to provide 13-15% of the total space heating power in Sweden.”

    https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/11/f27/fupwg_fall2015_hammock.pdf

    This obviously goes back to the question about space heating (and cooling) as well.

    Anyway, I hope all this doesn’t sound gee-whiz Pollyanna-ish–I’m not saying (or assuming) that every initiative I’ve spoken about is going to be successful, or be ‘the answer’–but the reality is that most of the applications and questions raised are receiving serious work from some very smart people (as well as attracting some serious funding.)

  23. 23
    Hank Roberts says:

    Mister KIA has the habit of asking the questions that were being answered a decade ago. Nice to see he’s trying to catch up with the state of the world.
    Sad to see he’s unable to look up the frequently answered questions himself.

    In recent news:

    http://lab.cccb.org/en/angry-optimism-in-a-drowned-world-a-conversation-with-kim-stanley-robinson/

  24. 24
    Hank Roberts says:

    Oh, yeah, for KIA who seems unable to find anything on his own:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100%25_renewable_energy

  25. 25
    Jim Galasyn says:

    Kevin #18, PaulS #15, and MA Rodger #14, thank you very much for the details! I didn’t realize that Heller == Goddard, which explains a lot.

  26. 26
    nigelj says:

    Regarding The Jacobson Study on renewable energy, criticised by Clack. Here is Jacobsens response to Clack in full:

    http://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/CombiningRenew/Line-by-line-Clack.pdf

    Just my own view: The Jacobson study is quite impressive. A 100% renewable grid seems plausible and really just comes down to costs of surplus generation and / or storage to deal with wind intermittency. But not a lot of surplus capacity is needed, law of large numbers starts to apply from what I have read.

    Costs might be more related to transmission grid upgrades.

    But even 90% renewable with some gas fired / nuclear etc would be huge progress.

    And all studies I have seen put costs of converting fossil fuel grid to renewables at approx. 1% – 1.5% of a countries gdp per year spread over approx 30 years. To put that in context America spends far more on pensions, or the military for example each year.

  27. 27
    Killian says:

    Re #19 Mr. Know It All said “Jacobson’s original 2015 paper outlined how the U.S. could be 100 percent fueled by hydropower, solar and wind.”

    Who thinks this is a reasonable claim?
    If you do, about how much would it cost and on roughly how many years would it take to achieve it?

    Etc.

    Would you propose using those 3 energy sources to power airliners, freight trains, farm equipment, heavy trucks, personal vehicles, and heating of buildings?
    What type of energy storage would you propose for night time?

    You’re asking the wrong questions. Rather, you’ve failed to identify the first question(s) you need to ask. Cart before horse, basically.

  28. 28
    Killian says:

    Admin, I really messed up #27. Can you post this and delete #27? Thanks in advance.

    Re #19 Mr. Know It All said “Jacobson’s original 2015 paper outlined how the U.S. could be 100 percent fueled by hydropower, solar and wind.”

    Who thinks this is a reasonable claim? If you do, about how much would it cost and on roughly how many years would it take to achieve it?

    Etc.

    You’re asking the wrong questions. Rather, you’ve failed to identify the first question(s) you need to ask. Cart before horse, basically.

  29. 29
    Mr. Know It All says:

    17 – MA – Never fear, Jarvanka has the ear of Mr. Trump – I’m sure they will do their best to persuade him.

    21 – BPL – Thanks, looks like as of 2013, up to 22 GW hydro in the US with preliminary permits for 34 more. That should bring it up to ~5% of the total electrical generating capacity – more than I thought:
    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=11991

    22 – KM – Thanks for the good answers! I have taken a quick glance at the Jacobson report – it’ll take a while to read it all. I did notice a glaring error right away – he says that all new appliances will be electric and that is not a problem because people can just plug them in. Of the 140 million homes or so in the USA, those heated by FF, and those with gas fired clothes dryers, many cannot simply plug in new appliances because their existing electrical systems would not support those new appliances, and many of the people living there could not afford to install new electrical systems, much less new electrical appliances. I can’t afford to install solar on the house – in fact the roof would be a poor candidate even if I could afford it and I’m in a townhouse and don’t own much land. So, my preliminary opinion is that they’ve underestimated the cost of conversion by a lot, and probably given way too much weight to the “cost savings” from fewer global warming effects – their numbers could be right on (not likely) but the problem is that future “cost savings” don’t pay the bills for doing the conversions today. :)

    BUT have hope, the gubnuh of Oregon just dictated via EO that all new homes must be “net zero ready” by 2023 or something like that. I think that only means that conduit, grid-tie switches, etc have to be built into the home – not that the PV panels must be installed, but I doubt the gubnuh knows what it means either. Lord help the electricians in figuring out what will be needed for a “future” PV system. :) http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/11/kate_brown_adopts_broad_green.html

  30. 30
    Mr. Know It All says:

    28 – K

    Yes, first question in a RE home or energy system is to figure out what you actually need, how to minimize consumption of energy, etc.

  31. 31
    Thomas says:

    More from Jim H.

    I have come to note that greenhouse gas climate forcings are accelerating, not decelerating, and sea level rise and ocean acidification are accelerating. We confront a mortal threat, now endangering, the very existence of island and low-lying nations in the Pacific and around the planet.

    Churchill once said:
    “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.”

    Today we are well into that period; we are now in danger of being too late.
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2017/20171107_Hansen2017COP23Statement.pdf

  32. 32
    Thomas says:

    #17 & #20

    “For that reason, all Americans need to understand the risks we face, and the impact our choices will have on our future.”

    Ha, that’ll be the day when hell freezes over! They’ve never understood before, on any critical subject matter, so they are not going to be having a ‘road to Damascus’ experience over Climate Change now, nor in the future.

    Collectively, too damn stoopid and narcissistic – ie immature, ignorant, gullible, selfish and self-centered!

    The best thing the world of nations could do is to ignore the whole country, ban all commerce with it, cut diplomatic ties, and stop kowtowing to it’s rank idiocracy & unique brand of collective lunacy.

  33. 33

    Th 32: The best thing the world of nations could do is to ignore the whole country [the USA], ban all commerce with it, cut diplomatic ties, and stop kowtowing to it’s rank idiocracy & unique brand of collective lunacy.

    BPL: And you’re writing from where, Australia? “Adani Coal Mine” ring any bells? How about “Ian Plimer?”

  34. 34
    MA Rodger says:

    Thomas @31,

    I think in your quote you missed out the “delays” (or whoever you copied it from did). But in quoting Churchill you do open yourself up to counter-quotes. Did he not say at that same time

    “Let me say, however, that I will not accept the mood of panic or of despair.”

    (Plus there is always that other famous Churchill quote“Oh no no no no no no!)

    And while Jim H (do we have to assume this is Dr James Hansen) may wax lyrical about things climatological, does he know you are citing him? If he did, he may feel obliged to be a little more exacting with his words, or alternatively ask you to stop quoting him. More seriously, if you are citing somebody, do it properly. I’m sure that, if your quote is significant enough to bring into this thread, it has a context, something your quote @31 entirely ignores.

  35. 35
    mike says:

    Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 2017 404.17 ppm
    Oct. 29 – Nov. 4, 2016 402.84 ppm

    1.33 ppm increase. Noisy number. October monthly number coming soon.

    Cheers

    Mike

  36. 36
    Thomas says:

    Thankfully, I can think and chew gum at the same time. Can you? :-)

    By all means crticise the dude littering the street by throwing his cigarette butt out the car window, but that’s no reason to ignore the due burning down your house.

    Hey MA thanks for the ‘astute’ queries. You cannot read nor use urls by clicking on them I see.

    Sorry about that, I’ll be more mindful of your special limitations in future.

  37. 37
    Ric Merritt says:

    Th 32, quoted in BL 33: The best thing the world of nations could do is to ignore the whole country [the USA], ban all commerce with it, cut diplomatic ties, and stop kowtowing to it’s rank idiocracy & unique brand of collective lunacy.

    That’s not a bad policy for a certain spectrum of fantasy worlds. But if you’re letting your fantasy range that wildly, why not just have everyone, or nearly so, realize the error of their ways, stop being part of the problem, and start being part of the solution? Yer begging the ol’ question.

  38. 38
    Mr. Know It All says:

    32 – T
    “The best thing the world of nations could do is to ignore the whole country, ban all commerce with it, cut diplomatic ties, and stop kowtowing to it’s rank idiocracy & unique brand of collective lunacy.”

    Most problems our government tries to solve end up worse than before they started “helping”. The USA will lead the world in emissions reductions and other methods needed to solve AGW, and we will do it despite the government. We can do it as individuals, with no government help.

  39. 39
    Killian says:

    #30 Mr. Know It All said 28 – K

    Yes, first question in a RE home or energy system is to figure out what you actually need, how to minimize consumption of energy, etc.

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner, folks!

    Thus, the answer is: Quite easily, in a sane future. All the hand-wringing is rather stupid without first determining need, and I mean need in the context of reduced consumption. The level of consumption has been figgered by a number of sources, which I put at 80 to 90% of current consumption for OECD nations.

    How can I say quite easily? Because we already have enough W, S and H to cover that level.

    But, go ahead, peanuts, keep talking about utterly unnecessary and likely suicidal things rather than the aspects of the situation that we still need to figure out.

  40. 40
    Killian says:

    Re #31 and 34 MA Rodger said “if your quote is significant enough to bring into this thread, it has a context, something your quote @31 entirely ignores.”

    The latter is false and belongs in the Bore Hole. No useful content. “Gotcha” is poor rhetoric.

  41. 41
    Killian says:

    #32 Thomas said Ha, that’ll be the day when hell freezes over! They’ve never understood before, on any critical subject matter, so they are not going to be having a ‘road to Damascus’ experience over Climate Change now, nor in the future.

    Collectively, too damn stoopid and narcissistic – ie immature, ignorant, gullible, selfish and self-centered!

    The best thing the world of nations could do is to ignore the whole country, ban all commerce with it, cut diplomatic ties, and stop kowtowing to it’s rank idiocracy & unique brand of collective lunacy.

    As another pointed out, Australia is no different. Nor Canada. Nor the UK, nor any nation, really. There are no sustainable nations nor any anywhere close to it.

    But I do not subscribe to the McPherson School of Suicidal Ideation, and that is what you are doing. There is no such thing as kind of or mostly sustainable. We have pushed the planet so far that our mere presence might be enough to keep it warm enough to lead to an ELE.

    Thus, if we cannot get all nations on board, it likely means we are all wasting our time. And a nation as consumptive as the U.S. is pretty much guarantees this. So, if your negative view of the U.S. is accurate, none of us need be on this board. The scientists may as well pack up their instruments and data and go fishing.

    I have resisted getting into this in the past because it’s pointless telling suicidal people to not be suicidal. But, please, stop repeating this nonsense. You are not a fortune teller, so far the American people are not hearing a clear and coherent message on risk and solutions that might change their trajectory, and… what the heck is the point?

    Really, please knock it off.

  42. 42
    Digby Scorgie says:

    I have read the piece by Dr Hansen. What concerns me is his fear of interference by “vested interests” — that natural resources are “not for the exploitation and ruination by a few”. It bothers me that those “vested interests” and those “few” should even exist. What sort of people have so little regard for humanity as a whole that they have no scruples about exploiting the planet to ruinous ends, simply to advantage themselves in the present day?

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Mr. Know It All says:

    39 – K

    “The level of consumption has been figgered by a number of sources, which I put at 80 to 90% of current consumption for OECD nations.”

    Do you mean we can “reduce” consumption by 80 to 90%?
    Is that how much we must reduce it to avoid future problems; or is that how much we could reduce and still do what is needed to stay alive?

    We could do it. Use FF only for farm machines, transport of food, use trains not more planes, use bikes not cars, go to bed when it’s dark, grow some of your own food, barter not paychecks, probably reduce the population, but we best use some FF to make condoms or the whole thing will fail since we’ll be going to bed when it gets dark! :) :) :)

  45. 45
    Thomas says:

    #37 “That’s not a bad policy for a certain spectrum of fantasy worlds”

    Serious question Ric. Do you truly believe we are not already living in a “fantasy world”?

    And especially the 330 milliion aka “all Americans” living inside the borders of the USA.

    I fail to see how anyon could conclude, either logically, rationally or providentially, that we as a species are not already right there right now.

    So I find it really odd that it is ‘I’ being the one accused of being off with the faeries – in fact I think I am sucintly quite sane and rational – especially in regard to the proffered solution.

    I seriously mean it – nothing will change without serious consequences for “no change”.

    and the USA is GROUND ZERO for inaction and disinformation – bar none other in 2nd place!

  46. 46
    zebra says:

    Digby Scorgie #42,

    I suggest that it would be useful to drop the moralizing part…

    “to advantage themselves”

    …but analyze the economic effects of narrow “ownership” of natural resources.

    Do you think that the Socialists of Venezuela, or the oppressed women of Saudi Arabia, would vote to stop selling their oil, any more than the Koch Bro’s would stop selling coal, in some kind of “moral” self-sacrifice, to prevent the suffering of future generations?

    The problem isn’t that humans have this monkey-nature that seeks status and self-interest; the problem is that “owning” natural resources aids in that endeavor.

    I have often in the past juxtaposed the Koch’s with Elon Musk. Musk is absurdly wealthy, ambitious, and no doubt egotistical. I don’t care; I might actually vote for him for President if that were legal.

    But, we have comments here and everywhere from “progressives” that fail to make the distinction between people who are driven (yes, by monkey nature) to be scientists, inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, wealthy, “politicians”… and those who achieve status by “owning” natural resources.

    When it comes to achieving collective economic benefit, what Musk and others recognize is that old chestnut: You can’t beat something with nothing.

  47. 47
    Thomas says:

    “You are not a fortune teller..” you’d be surprised – I’ve a good track record as ‘a futurist’ my whole life – on the topics that get my attention. But whatever, you’d never believe me anyway, because you simply do not care what anyone else wishes to contribute on this subject. You’re so obsessed with your own superiority you have lost sight of the wood for the trees. Plus why pick on me when you clearly have your own axe to grind – no need to use my head to do it mate. I am not going to “buy into that bs” Killian.

    I know what I said and I know I said it in a VERY entertaining attention getting way. Read the spaces between the words and the wise relaise that the reactions come due to the hard assed truth of what has been said.

    Denial comes in all kinds of forms. Victor’s has his kind of denial, there are many forms.

    That you would so foolishly label me as “suicidal” proves beyond doubt Killian that do not have a clue about me nor anything I think know or might say. So please, don’t waste your time — you’re in the same class. Stick to your gardening and your very narrow points of view and lack of awareness. ;-)

  48. 48
    Thomas says:

    you’re [not] in the same class or pay grade. (wink)

  49. 49

    Most problems our government tries to solve end up worse than before they started “helping”. The USA will lead the world in emissions reductions and other methods needed to solve AGW, and we will do it despite the government. We can do it as individuals, with no government help.

    Well, now, that’s fantastic news, given the policy of the current federal government. So–what do we do to ‘solve this as individuals’? I’m all ears.

    See, I’ve always thought that intentional changes to large social systems required coordinated, cooperative action (AKA, ‘politics’).

  50. 50

    What sort of people have so little regard for humanity as a whole that they have no scruples about exploiting the planet to ruinous ends, simply to advantage themselves in the present day?

    ‘Entitled’ ones.

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