### Unforced variations: May 2018

Filed under: — group @ 4 May 2018

This month’s (slightly delayed) open thread on climate science topics.

### 238 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2018”

1. 101
mike says:

Rate of increase in CO2 numbers:

2005 – 2014 2.11 ppm per year
1995 – 2004 1.87 ppm per year
1985 – 1994 1.42 ppm per year
1975 – 1984 1.44 ppm per year
1965 – 1974 1.06 ppm per year
1959 – 1964 0.73 ppm per year
(6 years only)

Big picture friend: the numbers are rising. The rate of increase HAS been rising for as long as we have compiled records. Is it possible that the rate of increase suddenly stopped yesterday at 2 pm? Yes. Is it likely? No.

When we can look at decadal numbers and see that the rate of increase is finally flat, we have taken the first essential step in addressing a somewhat significant problems: CO2 sats in atmosphere and oceans.

When we have taken that first step, we have to Take a Giant Step (taj reference) and figure out how to move the needle in the other direction.

In the big picture, if we stop the rate of increase at, say, 2.3 ppm (just an example), then we remain in a status that is driving the sixth great extinction, we have only slowed the speed at which the extinction will proceed. Extinction events look unpleasant, avoid them if you can.

Endless argument about the meaning and definition of “IS” or “HAS” is simply silly. How many angels are dancing on the head of the pin at this particular moment? What is the greatest number of angels ever known to have danced on the head of a pin? I guess we need a ruling from tamino on that, but I don’t think these kind of numbers are particularly meaningful. I could be wrong about that. Have to check in with the Pope or somebody.

Show me decadal GHG numbers that indicate the rate of increase has stopped accelerating and I will slap you on the back and thank you profusely. Until you have evidence of a stall, a flattening of increase numbers in something approaching that level of significance, your criticisms and assertions in that regard are simply noise.

I don’t think you are trolls for arguing about matters that are largely insignificant, but I don’t think the activity indicates great genius either.

Speaking of noise:

Daily CO2

May 14, 2018: 412.45 ppm
May 14, 2017: no data

A suggestion: Make an attempt to understand folks who are posting in good faith and say things that you don’t understand or you think might be wrong in rather insignificant ways. It’s not the end of the world. Let it go.

second suggestion: Trolls are fat, stop feeding them.

Language is a virus. (Laurie Anderson)

Live well all,

Mike

2. 102
Al Bundy says:

Nigel,

How many times have you seen in the eyes of a group member that they have just figured out the solution and immediately known the answer?

Unfortunately, it is likely that testing for collective consciousness and quantum magic will be limited by the “lack of observer rule”. If you’re watching Schrödinger fails.

Two techniques are ” universal blind”, where the experimenter is unaware of the experiment until after the fact, and isolation, so improbabilities can accumulate before Schrödinger comes knocking.

3. 103
Al Bundy says:

Nigel,

Thanks for refreshing my memory. I’m sure that was what I’d read. Note that they used universal blind by looking at past events. The folks who work with atoms have to use isolation.

This quantum stuff is freaky. Planck time is 5×10 to the negative 44th seconds.Multiply that by the number of foundational particles/waves/strings in the universe.It’s hard to see how the universe doesn’t split into a near-infinite near copies every 5×10 to the negative 44th seconds, eh?

Oops, that’s a viable current theory, isn’t it?

4. 104

It turns out that eutrophication of lakes could affect GHG production at global scale, with the biggest culprit probably CH4.

Lakes and impoundments are important sources of greenhouse gases (GHG: i.e., CO2, CH4, N2O), yet global emission estimates are based on regionally biased averages and elementary upscaling. We assembled the largest global dataset to date on emission rates of all three GHGs and found they covary with lake size and trophic state. Fitted models were upscaled to estimate global emission using global lake size inventories and a remotely sensed global lake productivity distribution. Traditional upscaling approaches overestimated CO2 and N2O emission but underestimated CH4 by half. Our upscaled size‐productivity weighted estimates (1.25–2.30 Pg of CO2‐equivalents annually) are nearly 20% of global CO2 fossil fuel emission with ∼ 75% of the climate impact due to CH4. Moderate global increases in eutrophication could translate to 5–40% increases in the GHG effects in the atmosphere, adding the equivalent effect of another 13% of fossil fuel combustion or an effect equal to GHG emissions from current land use change.

https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/lol2.10073

Here’s a story relating that study to the fine city of Toledo, Ohio:

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/15052018/algae-blooms-climate-change-methane-emissions-data-agriculture-nutrient-runoff-fertilizer-sewage-pollution-lake-erie

5. 105
Al Bundy says:

Good news. It’s benign

Which begs the question: was it benign?

6. 106
Hank Roberts says:

Hank, are you disputing that CO2 is rising

No, I’m reminding you* that this site attracts new readers often, and that claims without citation to sources are just going to be read by people who don’t know who you are or have any history so no reason to assume your opinion has any weight.

The link I suggested supports your belief. It’s taken a while for that small signal to emerge from the data, as is the case for many climate-related changes. So even if you just eyeballed the numbers and decided some were getting bigger faster, you may very well be right.

How do we know what we know? Science. Statistics.

If relying on a published paper, as Gavin has several times asked us, give the DOI as the citation.
If relying on a science blogger, give the source and a link.
_____________
for values of “you” meaning “all of us who try to post helpful comments

7. 107

“Deity.” From Latin “deus.”

8. 108
Nemesis says:

@mike, #95

” CO2 is rising and the rate is accelerating.”

Obviously. There are countless sources to prove your statement:

” 8.5.2018 – Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Growth Rate

… the rate of growth is itself growing, having now reached about 2.3 ppm/y the highest growth rate ever seen in modern times. This is not just a “business as usual” scenario, it is worse than that, we’re actually moving backward, becoming more and more unsustainable with every year. This shows unequivocally that the efforts undertaken so-far to limit green house gases such as carbon dioxide are woefully inadequate…

Unfortunately, the carbon dioxide data has been subject to some misleading interpretations, due to poor statistical reasoning. For example in the Nature Communications paper [Keenan et al, 2016] entitled “Recent pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2 due to enhanced terrestrial carbon uptake”, the authors identify “a pause in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2”, lasting from 2002 to (at least) 2014. They also identify a “point of structural change” in the growth rate in 2002. In fact it is highly unlikely that any such pause or point of structural change actually exists…”

http://mlg.eng.cam.ac.uk/carl/words/carbon.html

And from the article at Tamino’s blog Hank Roberts refered to:

” Bottom line: CO2 is on the rise, the rise itself (velocity) has been getting faster (acceleration), and there’s no evidence at all that has changed recently.”

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/is-co2-still-accelerating/

Is anyone surprised? I’m not surprised in any way. Capitalism, politics can’t surprise me anymore, I am highly aware for much to long about what’s going on to be surprised about the political/economic system. Btw, german police powers are being widened to a huge degree now, whatever that means. And some german supermarket left 60% of it’s food shelves empty for one day recently to show what it means to have no pollinating insects anymore.

@mike, #96

” I am tired and retired, so getting my affairs in order and letting a lot of things go.”

Same here. Happy that I decided not to breed for more than obvious reasons a long time ago.

9. 109

Al Bundy @97 and Nigelj@98,
I call bullshit. First, quantum entanglement is not in any way miraculous. It is merely a by product of the math of quantum mechanics and a less than perfectly understood quantum theory of measurement.

Nigel, even if the account in the post is true, the research was never published–that ought to raise your suspicions.

10. 110
Hank Roberts says:

England’s research on the crossword puzzle phenomenon is a clear argument for the existence of collective consciousness. What other reason could there be …

Ya know, “problems get easier after you sleep on them” is also a common folk adage.
Perhaps there’s a subconscious at work for these folks who believe crossword puzzles get easier after some time has gone by.
I don’t think this “morphic resonance” or “collective consciousness” has much evidence in this stuff.

11. 111
Hank Roberts says:

Oh, wait, wait:

England found that her test subjects had a 5% increase in their relative scores after the crossword puzzle was published in London.

… The fact that the test subjects were able to score much higher on the crossword puzzles after thousands of other people had already finished them proves that we are able to access this collective memory

Uh, right. Take any two groups of people and measure some, any, factor. How likely is it they will vary by five percent, just by chance?
How much variation was there within each group?

This proves nothing, it’s bait for the credulous.

12. 112
nigelj says:

Ray Ladbury @10, yes I’m not taking the crossword experiment all at face value. Like I said the data could be wrong, especially as the number was only a 5% difference. But just fascinating stuff.

On other spooky action at a distance. I recall playing with a ouija board with some fellow university students, and we were all shocked and certain the glass moved quite dramatically with nobody touching it. I was sure my hand was just hovering above this glass with no actual contact and it moved – a lot.

Of course I rule out the supernatural, so that leaves either some spooky and force exerted by the individual but such a thing is ruled out by physics. More likely we were touching the glass and moving it without realising this. If we were touching that glass we have amazingly powerful ability to fool ourselves that we weren’t. Which begs the question why would our minds fool ourselves so powerfully as this?

And no we weren’t stoned or drunk.

13. 113
nigelj says:

Mike says “CO2 is rising and the rate is accelerating”

Some people could erroneously interpret it to mean the historic rate of acceleration has steepened. Maybe just say “CO2 is rising and the historic acceleration rate continues” or similar, to shut up your critics. Yes maybe the criticisms are pedantic nitpickery, but that’s life, they are still valid criticisms.

14. 114
mike says:

climate Central has a post about the new normal of higher temps across the US.
http://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/new-normal-temperatures-are-trending-up-across-us

Graph indicates temps have been rising with some dips and spikes in the rise in temps. The rise in temp graph stops suddenly in 2017/2018 so the rise in temps across the US may have stopped. The temps are not currently rising, but they have been rising each year. Is average temp across the US continuing to rise? No. It clearly stops abruptly at the point when the data becomes current. So temp is not rising, it has been rising. We don’t know if it is currently rising. It has been rising each year. Then it stops because we don’t have any more data. The graph becomes completely flat at the most recent point. Flat is good. speaking for myself, I think the planet is hot enough now.

Thanks for clarifying Hank at 106. Point taken.

15. 115
mike says:

al at 100: You say “The end of acceleration that we will sooner-or-later see means only the beginning of the deceleration.”

You state this like it is a fact. Can you provide any citation for your assertion that we will see an end of acceleration? Where did you come up with this assertion?

We all have things we strongly believe to be true. Sometimes we believe them so strongly that we scoot out on a limb with our certainty. I believe CO2 is rising and that the rate of increase is rising. Certainly, the record indicates that CO2 has been rising and that the rate of increase has been accelerating. I am fine with “CO2 is on the rise, the rise itself (velocity) has been getting faster (acceleration), and there’s no evidence at all that has changed recently.” but it’s a mouthful to remember.

I think you believe strongly in that we sooner or later see an end of acceleration, but I have several reservations about that assertion that are similar to the ones you have with my CO2 increase shorthand.

Cheers,

Mike

16. 116
nihonjin desu says:

Click top right 1.5C scenario

Medium estimate 3 months 20 days carbon budget used

IPCC Certificate of Achievement
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1021.0;attach=100907

Namaste

17. 117
Killian says:

Re Skyrocketry: MA is full of GHGs. As other posts have shown, it is still accelerating. Rather, according to Tamino, there is no sign it is not. Thus, logically, the most likely case is that it is. Mike posted decadal numbers above that are pretty scary. Then there’s the simple fact of the sawtooth profile.

I wish MA were just concerned with new arrivals, but, MA, you are exceedingly pedantic on a regular basis and without much reason other than your own craw having something stuck in it.

The recent El Nino makes these things difficult to gaucge. It even makes it seem it is slowing considerably, but that may well be a mirage. And, extremes like El Ninos can push systems to new phases. It’s too early to know if that is the case.

Basically, you had no useful comment to make, MA, that wouldn’t have been covered, by suggesting that Mike simply say something to the effect of “The rate of increase has been rising, but we can’t be sure it still is, in part due to the recent El Nino and because it takes time for trends to be statistically detectable.”

Instead, you’ve been acting a bit of a jerk. Not the first time.

Would be far more pleasant if you let little things go or learned not to make mountains of mole hills or were just not so inherently dismissive of others.

18. 118
MA Rodger says:

nigelj @113,
Your suggestion is identical in meaning to mike’s “CO2 is accelerating.”

We surely all agree that since the 1960s, atmospheric CO2 levels have been accelerating. It has been at a constant rate. Tamino graphs a rate of 0.028ppm/yr/yr since the 1960s. There is no direct evidence from atmospheric CO2 levels that the acceleration has changed but if there were a change (eg an end to the acceleration), we would not expect any such evidence for a decade after it happened.
mike @101 is saying he will consider the acceleration to be continuing as it has since 1960 unless-&-until such evidence arrives, this ten years after the fact. Thus we can understand his insistence that today (as yesterday at 2pm) “CO2 IS accelerating.” Mind, his comments on this peak-CO2 matter are not usually as coherent.
I am saying that the anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been a very good proxy for decadal change in the atmosphere, having been accelerationg since the 1960s consistent with that 0.028ppm/yr/yr. That emissions-acceleration came to a halt three years back and that wasn’t due to a financial crash. If this levelling-off of anthropogenic emissions is maintained it will represent peak-CO2 emissions and in four or five years time mike will be able to see it in his atmospheric CO2 record. And while it is maintained I suggest it is appropriate to consider it being that “CO2 HAS BEEN accelerating.” As there is good reason to consider that it has come to a halt and peak-CO2 may have arrived, it is incorrect to say “CO2 IS accelerating.”.

19. 119
MA Rodger says:

Carrie @86,
The NOAA CO2 data from MLO has been having a few issues of late. The lost daily readings are exceptional but not greatly so. However, the wild wobbles you mention are not exceptional. The annual cycle usually gets a bit raggedy through the Spring, altough not usually as ‘wild’ as in the last few weeks.
If you visit the Scripps Institute Keeling Curve webpage, their daily MLO values are graphed back to two-years ago showing the ‘wildness’ of last Spring.
The weekly MLO record is available from the NOAA webpage allowing ‘wild’ behaviour to be enumerated back to 1974. In that we can see seven ‘wild’ weekly jumps equal to the recent dramatic one, most previous ones occurring in the last decade or so.

20. 120
MA Rodger says:

GISTEMP is reporting April 2018 with an anomaly of +0.86ºC, just slightly down on March’s +0.88ºC. It is the 4th warmest April in GISS after 2016, 2017 & 2015 and ahead of 2010, 2014, 2015, 2007. April 2018 is the 29th warmest month on the full all-month GISS record.
With a third of the year complete, 2018 sits 4th in the year-so-far table below, the displacing of the final calender year rankings due mainly to ENSO.
…….. Jan-Aug Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
2016 .. +1.22ºC … … … +0.98ºC … … … 1st
2017 .. +1.03ºC … … … +0.89ºC … … … 2nd
2015 .. +0.83ºC … … … +0.86ºC … … … 3rd
2018 .. +0.82ºC
2010 .. +0.82ºC … … … +0.69ºC … … … 5th
2007 .. +0.76ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 8th
2002 .. +0.75ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 11th
2014 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 4th
1998 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 10th
2005 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … … 6th
2004 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … … 16th

21. 121
Carrie says:

Does this go in transparency re uncertainties or here? I wonder.

Lawmakers, who are usually not trained to understand climate science, use carbon budgets suggested by scientists, like those in the 2017 study, to lay out policies to help their countries honor their Paris climate commitments. But lawmakers need to balance environmental concerns with economic ones. If, suddenly, scientists say we have more time in hand, policymakers are likely to respond with actions like delaying the date when all cars need to be electric.

The problem, Peters argues, is that that carbon budgets have so many uncertainties that it renders them useless to policymakers. In his analysis, Peters says it’s possible to make scientifically valid arguments for both a large carbon budget and a small carbon budget.

That’s because these budgets are derived from climate models, which are themselves based on hundreds of variables, and any small change in a handful of variables can produce different results.

“The carbon budget is great for an elevator pitch,” Peters says. “But it does not really serve a useful purpose for policy.” A better target, he says, would be zero emissions.

The zero-emissions goal is acknowledged in Article 4 of the text of the Paris climate agreement, though it doesn’t set a date for when the world should reach that target (it does say that rich countries need to get there sooner than poor ones). Most scientists agree that the zero-emissions target date for the world as a whole should likely be early in the second half of the century

https://qz.com/1278776/what-is-a-carbon-budget-can-it-help-us-hit-climate-goals/

Bold is for my emphasis of what is most critically important in the text to be parsed and properly understood in the proper framing context.

Sorry, but I do not like merry-go-round discussions. They go no where and achieve nothing bar time wasting.

22. 122
Carrie says:

113 nigelj

Nothing will shut up pedantic critics.

Especially the emeritus retirees with nothing better to do with their life than snark on about how really pedantic they are on a social media forum while saying absolutely nothing worth saying.

23. 123
Ric Merritt says:

I respectfully disagree with anyone who finds the crossword experiment “fascinating”. If I think of it at all, I find it a distracting annoyance and a waste of time.

24. 124

Carrie,
Why not read the original papers in Nature Geoscience? If you do, you will see that they really aren’t saying all that much different. All the studies eventually assume negative emissions–sucking carbon out of the atmosphere to stay below 1.5 degrees C. What this means is that we are beyond the time when we can be sure to stay below this value.

25. 125
Hank Roberts says:

So this illustrates the difference beetween eyeballing someone’s chart to support a statement, compared to doing the arithmetic:

118
MA Rodger says:
17 May 2018 at 6:18 AM
[inviting us to eyeball one of Tamino’s graphs]
We surely all agree that since the 1960s, atmospheric CO2 levels have been accelerating. It has been at a constant rate. Tamino graphs a rate of 0.028ppm/yr/yr since the 1960s. There is no direct evidence from atmospheric CO2 levels that the acceleration has changed …. As there is good reason to consider that it has come to a halt and peak-CO2 may have arrived, it is incorrect to say “CO2 IS accelerating.”

Is CO2 Still Accelerating?
Posted on January 20, 2018

Not only is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere on the rise, the rise itself has been getting faster — so CO2 concentration has been accelerating….

Hm?

26. 126
Al Bundy says:

Ray and BS,
I don’t disagree. The question is whether consciousness can affect entanglement and what could possibly result? So far, maybe tremendously complex information, such as a crossword puzzle. So far, as far as you know, this is at the first step in physics, student lounge ponderings.

Do you really think such discussions should be shamed into silence?

27. 127
mike says:

Al says at 118: “I suggest it is appropriate to consider it being that “CO2 HAS BEEN accelerating.” As there is good reason to consider that it has come to a halt and peak-CO2 may have arrived, it is incorrect to say “CO2 IS accelerating.”

Are you saying that you believe that the rate of CO2 increase in atmosphere has now peaked? If yes, what do you believe the peak rate of increase is that we have hit? I believe the current background/smoothed decadal rate of increase is in the 2.4 to 2.5 ppm. What number do you believe is the current background/smoothed rate of increase that constitutes the peak CO2 increase rate that you believe we have achieved? Can you cite any scientific study that has found good reason to believe that CO2 accumulation has come to a halt and that peak CO2 may have arrived?

28. 128
mike says:

Moderators: Can you please weigh in on the assertions that MAR makes at 118, specifically:

Is there any good reason to consider the CO2 acceleration has come to a halt and peak CO2 may have arrived?

This sounds like great news. I know MAR is good with numbers, but I need confirmation on his conclusions.

Mike

[Response: I don’t think so. Emissions are still way beyond uptake and so CO2 will continue to rise for the forseeable future and since emissions themselves are still increasing on a decadal basis, acceleration seems built in for some time yet. – gavin]

29. 129
nigelj says:

MA Rodger @118

Yes since the 1960s atmospheric CO2 levels have been accelerating. I can see an obvious curve even by eye that looks like a shallow quadratic.

I agree theres no evidence this curve has changed recently in a significant way. I think you would need to see some change of at least 5 years to say anything significant has changed. Anything less could just be el nino etc.

It’s also hard for me to see why it would become steeper (an increase in the rate of the rate) unless the oceans warmed to the extent they started absorbing less CO2, which Im told is likely to be a slowly developing process.

Anyway the acceleration since the 1960s is more than enough to be a serious concern.

If atmospheric concentrations becomes flatter for a period in excess of 5 years, it would be a solid indication we are actually reducing emissions. Anything less is too short term to be certain, but would be a good sign.

I think the flattening off a few years ago was just too short to be sure of anything, unfortunately. Its may have been a reflection of reducing emissions but got buried by the large recent el nino so we just dont know, but fingers crossed it was a genuine flattening off. We just need a longer time period to be sure.

Regarding Mikes posts. Personally I find these posts on monthly readings a bit too short term be of huge significance but I read the comments anyway. You never know. I don’t think he can claim the rate of the rate is increasing in the last few years, – if that’s what he is doing. Or put it this way – he might accurately claim it is for a single year or two, but that is too short to be worth making an issue of because, it could be natural variability. But imho hes right about most things ans was probably just using shorthand notation.

Yes its best to say “C02 has been accelerating”. I don’t see how this differs too much form in meaning from my statement that the historical rate is continuing, but its more concise.

30. 130
mike says:

hey, Al.

ATTP has a post on sea level rise where he says: “So, sea level is rising and its accelerating, and this is almost entirely due to anthropogenic influences.”

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2018/05/17/sea-level-rise/

Can you straighten ATTP out on that presentation? He’s making a familiar shorthand error that you find quite irritating, right?

Cheers

Mike

31. 131
nigelj says:

MA Rodger @118

I’m not sure if this posted so I will try again.

Yes since the 1960s atmospheric CO2 levels have been accelerating. I can see an obvious curve even by eye that looks like a shallow quadratic.

I agree there’s no evidence this has changed recently in a significant way. I think you would need to see some change of at least 5 years to say anything significant has changed. Anything less could just be el nino etc.

It’s also hard for me to see why it would become steeper (an increase in the rate of the rate) unless the oceans warmed to the extent they started absorbing less CO2, which Im told is likely to be a slowly developing process. Anyway the acceleration since the 1960s is more than enough to be a serious concern.

If it becomes flatter for a period in excess of 5 years, it would be a solid indication we are actually reducing emissions.

I think the flattening off a few years ago was just too short to be sure of anything, unfortunately. Its may have been a reflection of reducing emissions but got buried by the large recent el nino so we just don’t know, but fingers crossed it was a genuine flattening off. We just need a longer time period to be sure.

Regarding Mikes posts. Personally I find these posts on monthly readings a bit too short term be of huge significance but I read the comments anyway because you just never know. I don’t think he can claim the rate of the rate is increasing if that’s what he is doing. Or put it this way – he might accurately claim it is for a single year or two, but that is meaningless and too short to be worth making an issue of because, it could be natural variability. But hes right about most things.

Yes its best to say “C02 has been accelerating”. I don’t see how this differs too much from my statement that the historical acceleration is continuing, but its more concise.

32. 132
Nemesis says:

@#128, inline response

” Emissions are still way beyond uptake and so CO2 will continue to rise for the forseeable future and since emissions themselves are still increasing on a decadal basis, acceleration seems built in for some time yet. – gavin”

Thank you. I’ve met a lot of folks who claim co2 emissions are slowing down or are on a plateau ect. No, Gavin Schmidt said *No* :) The truth might be ugly and painful, but putting a blind and ever optimistic eye on the truth will only bring more ugliness and pain, as we learned from the future, hopefully :)

33. 133

Nemesis, #132–

“…emissions themselves are still increasing on a decadal basis, acceleration seems built in for some time yet. – gavin”

Thank you. I’ve met a lot of folks who claim co2 emissions are slowing down or are on a plateau ect.

Not quite the same thing. On the one hand, it’s true that (estimated) emissions have been relatively flat for several years:

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/360088-carbon-emissions-on-track-to-rise-this-year

But on the other, three or four ‘flattish’ years doesn’t bust gavin’s ‘on a decadal basis.’

IF the 2018 rise *isn’t* the start of a new and consistent rising trend–an idea about which I’m basically agnostic, though obviously it would be a vast improvement–then sometime next decade we’d see plateauing *on a decadal basis.*

Which kinda sounds like what MAR suggested, FWIW.

34. 134

Er, ah, to clarify, I said we could conceivably see ‘plateauing’ on a decadal basis by 2027 or earlier.

But that’s *emissions*, not *concentrations.* As Gavin points out, emissions are well ahead of sinking capacity, so an emissions plateau, though an important milestone, wouldn’t get us plateauing concentrations–much less declining ones. Current emissions, plateaued, would presumably still have us north of 420 ppm, and threatening 430 in 2027. And that presumes no loss of sinking capacity, and no great change in natural fluxes.

Given that we’ll probably see a near-sea-ice-free* annual minimum in the Arctic by then, those later two conditions hardly seem a lock.

*Say, 2 million km2, +/- 10%?

35. 135
Nemesis says:

@nigelj, #129

“… but fingers crossed it was a genuine flattening off…”

Finger crossing is superstition.

” I don’t think he can claim the rate of the rate is increasing in the last few years…

… Yes its best to say “C02 has been accelerating”. ”

This style of co2 discussions is going on for decades now :’D “… the rate of the rate…” In some years we will discuss the rate’s rate of the rate. Yes, let’s discuss things in the djungle of Nature bevor we act (fingers crossed).

The problem is systemic, no way to change things by starring at the co2 measurements and thermometer and discussing the rate of the rate, as it will only keep rising… “grabbing some popcorn”…

36. 136
MA Rodger says:

mike @130,
I have no problem with the ATTP quote you give. Why should I? The contrast with the changing atmospheric CO2 is quite apparent.

(1) [SLR/ΔatmoCO2] results from increased [global temperature/human CO2 emissions].
(2) [SLR/ΔatmoCO2] has been accelerating over the instrument record.
(3) It requires a considerable period of data to show any change in an acceleration so any recent change in [SLR/ΔatmoCO2] acceleration will not be evidient until well after the event.
(4) [Global temperature/human CO2 emissions] have also increased over that period [and continue to increase unabated/but recently show signs of a peak].
(5) Given (4), and accepting (3), there thus is [no/every] reason to [consider/doubt] the continued acceleration of [SLR/ΔatmoCO2].

37. 137
mike says:

nigelj at 129 says: “Regarding Mikes posts. Personally I find these posts on monthly readings a bit too short term be of huge significance but I read the comments anyway. You never know. I don’t think he can claim the rate of the rate is increasing in the last few years, – if that’s what he is doing”

I shortened up the content and context of my CO2 posts over the past few years as I continually got pestered, harassed and demeaned by a changing lineup of “cooler heads” here. I watch and study the co2 numbers as a rather awful hobby, I just cannot look away from these numbers. I have been unable to stop thinking about what these numbers mean for my grandchildren.

A person can make a lot of claims about the rate of increase based on a year or a few years if they want, but I think it’s foolish because I believe there is too much cyclical wobble in a year, or two, or three to be able to make reasonably solid observations about the background/smoothed rate of decadal increase that is buried in all of the numbers that are based on time periods of less than ten years.

When I talk about the background rate of increase, I am referring to a decadal rate that can be determined accurately 5 years in the future when we have the full set of numbers for a ten year period. I have explained this on numerous occasions. This is all shorthand and I am a hobbyist climate scientist to the extent that I am a scientist at all. I rely almost exclusively on the MLO numbers and refer on a regular basis to the decadal increase numbers that show the trend in increase of CO2 accumulation.

I like this site: https://www.co2.earth/ because it presents the MLO numbers in a way that a lot of non-climate scientists can understand.

I don’t enjoy wasting my time with the “someone is wrong on the internet” grind and I have tried to keep my posts about fundamental numbers. I can throw in my wider thoughts about the fundamental numbers, but I have tired of the endless lineup of arguments and corrections from the “cooler” heads, so I keep it a lot shorter than I did a few years ago.

I experience despair as I watch US elected officials deny the facts of climate change or fritter away opportunities to steer this large global economy toward a smaller GHG footprint. The 2016 election cycle just put the icing on the cake for me, so I have relaxed/surrendered my efforts to be a voice for addressing climate change since 2016. My website recently disappeared and I am just letting it go. Like CO2 accumulation numbers of less-than-400, I think it is gone and will not be back in my lifetime. Moving on as some say.

Thank you to Gavin for taking time from his busy life to weigh in.

I prefer to spend time on websites that allow the killfile addon to work so that I don’t have to wade through so much fluff, meanness and lunacy. The killfile addon does not work here, so I end up not-quite-skipping/scanning/reading comments by trolls and clever folks who post in bad faith or who personalize disagreements. Sometimes I can’t shrug it off when a specific critic commits to some kind of pedantic, relentless, personalized attack campaign on me. It gets old fast and makes me wonder whether to engage or withdraw. I lean toward withdraw. Leave the field of comment combat to the most brutish and relentless internet warriors. That seems to make more sense as the years go by.

Warm regards to all. Play nice, be kind and attempt to understand each other and ourselves. If you find you are some kind of cyber alpha dog that has to snarl at others on a regular basis, maybe you want to think about that and determine if that is who you really want to be? or maybe not. choose your path.

Mike

38. 138

Al Bundy: “Do you really think such discussions should be shamed into silence?”

Discuss anything you want. Just don’t delude yourself that your discussions are in any way scientific.

In the case of wondering whether consciousness affects entanglement you are wondering whether a concept that is ill-defined affects a phenomenon we don’t understand (or perhaps cannot understand). That might not be the best use of time–at least when one’s brain is not in a chemically altered state.

If you want your discussion to be scientific, base it on:
1) evidence
2) explaining what you do not understand in terms of what you already do

39. 139

Mike,
WRT the acceleration of a time series, there is what you expect and there is what you can show.

What we expect wrt sea-level rise is pretty clear–it should be accelerating. And because noise is manageable, you can demonstrate that sea-level rise is accelerating over time. See the analysis by Tamino.

WRT sea-level rise, there are still uncertainties in natural sinks and sources, and there is a lot of noise, so the situation is less clear. I’d guess that it is accelerating, but the 2nd order term is still obscured by noise.

A psychologist friend told me a physics joke:
A change in position over time is called velocity.
A change in velocity over time is called acceleration.
A change in acceleration over time is called a jerk.
So what’s a change in jerk over time?
An election.

40. 140
Nemesis says:

@Kevin McKinney, #133

Please see my comment at #135. After all, it’s a fake debate, a childish debate, an obsolete debate, while this is painfully real:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114

Like I said in #135:

The problem is systemic, as long as the system lives on, co2 and temperature and extincion and fake debates will only go on. Just add aerosol cooling effect (the flipside sets in as soon as we seriously reduce co2 emissions^^) and positive feedback loops and we are well beyond +2°C. Next step will be funny climate engineering like SRM ect, wich will make things even worse beyond any scale. We are in free fall already, we don’t feel any real pain yet, the real pain will set in when we hit the ground and the system goes to hell, soon. You will remember my words, I bet.

41. 141
mike says:

Hi Ray,

we do have a change in jerk over time scheduled. That ought to consume the news cycle after the royal wedding is in the rear view mirror.

My gut says that sea level and CO2 rise are actually quite similar and that both have uncertainties and noise, but I might be wrong about that. We can agree to disagree on that in a civil and respectful manner. The link between ghg and sea level rise is of course, global temp. Three sides of a coin, so to speak. April 2018 is reported to have been the third warmest April on record, even though we are not in an EN state. We are in some-kind-a long heatwave, right dude?

Cheers,

Mike

42. 142
Killian says:

Re #128: Surprise! Gavin steps up to the plate for rocketeers!

Will MA learn anything?

No.

Could he/she? Yes.

Should he/she? Yes.

There are people who know, people who do, people who create, and people who judge all of the others. These last, if wise, help keep things honest. These last, if unwise, elect Trumps.

As someone who is fully convinced only simplicity can lead to a happy human future in anything resembling a relatively short time (sub-millennial scale, specifically 2~4 generations), I am often accused of putting the perfect before the good. However, I believe the good to be inadequate. Good enough will not get the job done this time. IMO. In such cases, pedantism is justified bc the solution set is so narrow. However, in merely discussing data that covers a range of time frames, is such pedantism appropriate, particularly when the intent is, for lack of a better term, holy?

I think not.

Besides, MA is wrong.

43. 143
Killian says:

Re Consciousness: You are all wrong, scientifically.

Fact: Research indicates our brain waves extend up to 10 feet from our bodies.

Fact: Research indicates brain waves interact when in direct contact.

Fact: Studies indicate crowds act differently than individuals.

Conclusions: There is a literal human neural network, and it may include non-humans.

Further conclusion: Holy ESP, Batman!

44. 144
mike says:

It occurs to me to mention the Heisenberg Principle wrt to disputes about whether a thing has been or is accelerating (where a thing is going in and the its motion pattern is changing). I assume everyone understands that reference, but just in case:

“the Uncertainty Principle or the Heisenberg Principle. Named after the man who put the idea out there Werner Heisenberg… The idea is that the more accurately we try to measure something, the more inaccurate our measurements will become because the act of measuring affects the thing being measured. (Whew!) Specifically this is about small things moving and trying to figure out how fast they are going and where they are.
Imagine trying to tell me how fast a bullet is going, and where exactly it is. If we try to stop it and say it is right here, then we can no longer measure how fast it is going, because we stopped it.”

http://samknight.com/?p=393

This becomes a problem when you look at a graph or array of data, at the end of the array or graph, you have stopped the processes and you know where a certain thing is, but you can no longer know with certainty where that thing is going. The best thing to measure in the known universe for this kind of experiment is Schrodinger’s cat. That is one unpredictable cat. Beats working on the mysteries of crossword puzzles.

Cheers

Mike

45. 145
Carrie says:

“WRT sea-level rise CO2 level increasing, there are still uncertainties in natural sinks and sources, and there is a lot of noise, so the situation is less clear. I’d guess that it is accelerating, but the 2nd order term is still obscured by noise.”

Horsecrap!

My Reference that those words are acceptable on Real Climate is:
54 Ray Ladbury says: 15 May 2018 at 10:29 AM Carrie: “The problem is the science and the scientists. They are 100% responsible for the solution…”

Horsecrap! (end quotation)

Such denial and contempt for reality only applies to those people whose Reality can only be determined by the text of a peer-reviewed published science Paper and nothing else.

If you want your discussion to be scientific, base it on:
1) evidence
2) logic
3) intelligence and not horsecrap

The evidence?
Previous papers about CO2 sources and accelerating growth
Current economic activity and Global GDP growth
Increased global temperatures forcing increased CO2 emissions from terrestrial biosphere sinks = logic
Ongoing land clearing globally
New coal fired and gas fired power stations operating and built
New cars rolling off the production lines that use Oil and Gas
New infrastructure and buildings using more cement that before
Minimal renewable energy supply that barely matches the Growth in Energy Demand annually
Decreasing albedo of the Arctic Ice
Decreasing albedo of forests
Increasing cattle production
Increasing Ocean Seas temperatures
Increasing economic activity and energy demand in developing nations like India and many others
3ppm boost to global CO2 from the 2015-2016 El Nino as per Nasa
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-pinpoints-cause-of-earth-s-recent-record-carbon-dioxide-spike
Events like and regional heatwaves fires that are not going to stop occurring into the future as CO2 keeps rising and temperatures continue rising.
Higher temperatures forces higher CO2 levels = logic proven by existing science already
Melting Permafrost regions forcing both CH4 and CO2 over and above historical forcing due to higher temperatures
Global Energy demand analysis accelerating reported by credible evidence
Human population increasing
Combined forecasts for present and future Fossil Fuel energy use globally not decreasing out to past 2040 at the highest rate ever in industrial history.
NO negative forcing changes to all existing CO2 sinks (soils, oceans, biosphere forests uptakes) meaning absolutely no likely removal of current CO2 from the atmosphere = logic.
NO known proven NETs in existence at any measurable scale anywhere on the planet for the foreseeable future

When all of these things and others not mentioned are all happening at once right now and into the foreseeable future the only logical conclusion based on these known knowns of the evidence clearly and incontrovertibly indicate a current and ongoing acceleration of CO2 and other GHG emissions into the atmosphere which therefore logically means an acceleration of the rate of global CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

A self-evident and UNDENIABLE certain fact right now and ongoing until something significant and dramatic changes on a global scale.

Except for Climate Science and Energy Consumption Deniers who choose to ignore all the the evidence and logic of hard Maths based on that evidence. And for those who deny anything is real unless it’s been reported post hoc as historical facts in a published science paper.

The world no longer has the luxury of time wasting before facing the already potent reality of what is. The weak-kneed Pontius Pilates among the ‘climate scientists and their adherents/followers’ of this world need a good metaphorical kick in the teeth and told to STFU and to get out of the way forever!

Just my opinion of course. YMMV, but it’s horsecrap if it does. :-)

46. 146
Carrie says:

137 mike says: “as I continually got pestered, harassed and demeaned by a changing lineup of “cooler heads” here”

Nah, surely not! With such a welcoming friendly happy bunch of campers present here, I find it impossible to believe you could have been treated so badly mike.

If it happened, then it must have been all your fault. Like you must have called them bad names or somethin’. Or they assumed you were an evil denier.

47. 147
MA Rodger says:

NOAA is reporting April 2018 with an anomaly of +0.83ºC, just slightly down on March’s +0.84ºC. This small change results from a big drop in the NH Land anomaly (dropping from March’s +1.73°C to April’s +1.19°C) being balanced by a rise in NH Ocean & SH Land&Ocean anomalies.
It is the 3rd warmest April in NOAA (GISS had it 4th), sitting below 2016 & 2017 and above of 2010, 2014 & 2015. April 2018 is =31st in NOAA’s all-month rankings (GISS was 29th).
With a third of the year complete, 2018 sits 5th in the NOAA year-so-far table below (4th in GISS), the displacing of the final calender year rankings due mainly to ENSO. The ENSO forecasts are finding increased likelihood of El Nino condituions by the end of the year. At time of writing MEI & NINO3.4 remain the La Nina side of neutral.
…….. Jan-Apr Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
2016 .. +1.15ºC … … … +0.94ºC … … … 1st
2017 .. +0.95ºC … … … +0.84ºC … … … 3rd
2015 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 2nd
2010 .. +0.77ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … … 5th
2018 .. +0.76ºC
2007 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … … 13th
2002 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 14th
1998 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 9th
2014 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.74ºC … … … 4th
2004 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.57ºC … … … 15th
2005 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … … 7th

48. 148
Nemesis says:

@Killian, #143

” Conclusions: There is a literal human neural network, and it may include non-humans.”

That’s for granted, the complete planet is a neural network, everying is interconnected and constantly exchanging information, there’s no space between our skin and the rest of it. Take away every single, individual bacteria inside your body or take away the air you breathe, the light you see, the water you drink and what are you? Nothing. The entire cosmos is a neural network, and so is the internet, language, culture and what have you. It’s an inter- “net” altogether literally. Sounds pathetic, maybe poetic or whatever, but it’s true. Welcome to the “cosmic matrix” or whatever you might call it

49. 149
Nemesis says:

@mike, #144

” That is one unpredictable cat.”

That’s for granted:

https://youtu.be/JNalMWLnt0o

50. 150
nigelj says:

Mike @137, I’m pretty sympathetic to your viewpoint overall. So your background rate appears to be measuring the established rate over ten year periods and subtracting natural variability, ok thanks for the clarification. I agree you would need a 5 – 10 year period to get beyond natural variability.

I can’t see in your numbers and graphs any obvious fundamental change from the established rate of acceleration since the 1960’s in the sense of a new form of curve, or a ‘jerk’. What I see is the same relentless acceleration. I’m sure if you mathematically find something you would say or someone would. The existing long term curve since 1960 is quite worrying enough.

Of course we want the existing curve to decrease, flatten and fall as fast as possible and no sign of that. I think MAR was looking for some sign of a decrease in C02 levels and just trying to take a positive view.

The leadership and politics in America is just woeful right now. I think its healthy to be concerned and critical, but at the same time its pointless getting depressed over it, and I suspect said leadership has a rather short future.

I also get fed up with websites, and the personalised criticisms, and the denialist rubbish, however I do think discussion and debate is valuable. Obviously don’t take criticism personally and filter out the good from bad points. Maybe disengaging is sometimes appropriate, but blunt and prickly people sometimes have interesting views.