RealClimate logo

Unforced variations: June 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 June 2018

This month’s open thread. We know people like to go off on tangents, but last month’s thread went too far. There aren’t many places to discuss climate science topics intelligently, so please stay focused on those.

297 Responses to “Unforced variations: June 2018”

  1. 101
    MA Rodger says:

    While we await GISTEMP & NOAA, BEST has reported for May with an anomaly of +0.78ºC, a drop from April’s +0.90ºC, the highest anomaly of the year-to-date following the lowest. BEST’s May 2018 sits as the 4th warmest May on record after 2016, 2017 & 2014. It is the 44th highest all-month-anomaly on the full BEST record. And it is the 4th warmest start to the year (Jan-May average).

    …….. Jan-May Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.14ºC … … … +0.96ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. +1.01ºC … … … +0.85ºC … … … 2nd
    2010 .. +0.83ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … … 4th
    2018 .. +0.83ºC
    2015 .. +0.79ºC … … … +0.82ºC … … … 3rd
    2007 .. +0.76ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 7th
    2002 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 11th
    2014 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.69ºC … … … 5th
    2005 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 6th
    1998 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 12th
    2006 .. +0.63ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 8th

  2. 102
    Russell says:

    Another great proponent of academic freedom has banned another RC contributor from commenting on her blog- Judith Curry seems less than disinterested in critical commentary on the outcome of Tuesday’s paywalled West Virginia debate with Mann & Titley

  3. 103
    nigelj says:

    The new paper on the antarctic ice loss mentioned @91 is a very concerning acceleration with no obvious reason why such an acceleration would stop. What are the calculated implications for sea level rise by 2100? My guesstimate is it looks like it could easily pushing things into the 1-2 metres range.

  4. 104
    Russell says:

    I assume Mal won’t be impressed with a report commissioned to reflect John Holdren’s West Wing celebration of Behavioral Science as a tool for social engineering :

    “”As President Obama noted in his Executive Order 13707, behavioral science insights can support a wide range of national priorities including … accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.

    That Executive Order, 13707, directs Federal agencies to apply behavioral science insights to their policies and programs, and it institutionalizes the Social and Behavioral Science Team…The adminstration is releasing new guidance to agencies that supports continued implementation of The Behavioral Science Insights Executive Order. ”

    It incidentally echoes the playbook on the subject commissioned by John Podesta.

  5. 105
    Fred Magyar says:

    Kevin McKinney @ 77 says

    …I think irreversible changes are baked in now. Sea level rise is Exhibit A in this regard. The region of Miami, for instance, is going to look very different in 2100 than it does now, even if emissions mitigation really takes off in the short term (as of course it needs to do.) I think it’s also inevitable at this point that we are going to see a lot less extent of coral reef in our tropical seas–again, that’s something that’s already basically happening now, and with warming set to continue for at least a couple of decades, realistically, it’s not going to improve anytime soon.

    Unfortunately I have to agree! I moved to the greater Miami area about a quarter of a century ago. Having visited South Florida on a regular basis since the late 1970s before my move. I most certainly do not recall regular flooding of A1A and Collins Ave down by South Beach back in the 70s, it is quite common nowadays.

    Re coral reefs, I have been scuba diving since the mid 1970s and can attest to a steady decline in coral reeefs all along the Florida coasts. There are numerous known causes such as agricultural fertilizer run off, pesticides, herbicides, industrial pollution, careless boaters and divers, beach replenishment projects, toxic sunscreens used by beach goers, the list goes on and on. Then of course in recent years we have experienced coral bleaching to large extents of our reef systems due to escessively warm waters. As if all that were not enough we also are dealing with a steady reduction in ocean pH which impacts organisms that have shells or structures built from CaCo3.

    So over all, it is quite a tough time to be a coral in South Florida these days…

  6. 106
    mike says:

    from Carbon Brief: “Each year, BP releases a data dump of global energy statistics which many view as an oracle on whether the world is getting serious about weaning itself off fossil fuels.

    Carbon Brief’s in-depth analysis of BP’s 2017’s figures shows a mixed picture. Yes, the growth in non-hydro renewables was at a record high last year. However, coal demand returned to growth after three years of decline.

    Overall, growth in demand for gas, oil and coal meant there was a 1.6% year-on-year rise in CO2 levels in 2017.”

    @MAR: you track fossil fuel demand and consumption more closely than I do (or for any others who follow these numbers closely and critically)
    Is Carbon Brief misrepresenting things in this piece? On it’s face it suggests fossil fuel demand and the emissions that follow are on the rise again, but the time frame of yoy gives me pause. If 2016 was particularly low consumption for some reason, then 2017 yoy might looks worse than it actually is. It’s possible to pick out a time frame and present real numbers that tell one story when the same numbers mean nothing in the larger timeframe trend. And, we live in the large timeframe trend. Playing with and framing numbers is fun, but can be misleading.



  7. 107
    mike says:

    Moderators: I looked at the broad spectrum of MLO readings that Carrie brought up at 87 and the numbers look strange. If somewhat-innocent bystanders are noticing this, are the experts talking about it?



  8. 108
    Mal Adapted says:


    MAL, ever a waste of my time, thinks commerce is economics.

    Yet Killian saw fit to waste his time responding to something I did not say. Here’s what I do say.

    First, readers are reminded that the universe of phenomena isn’t ‘really’ organized into academic departments. Methodologically, IMHO it’s better modeled as a single hierarchical system. On such a framework:

    Humans are animals*, thus our behavior is a natural sub-system appropriate for investigation by the methods of science.

    economics‘ (uncapitalized) is a common rubric for the sub-system of human behavior associated with allocating finite resources within populations.

    Economics‘ (capitalized) is a name for the cultural institution under which our knowledge of economic subject matter is conventionally organized. Economics is often grouped with the ‘social sciences‘, which are so called because they adapt scientific methods to reduce errors caused by studying ourselves. IOW, Economics is contained within Science (capitalized), the global cultural institution.

    Trade‘ is a label commonly applied to a resource allocation sub-system attested by physical artifacts from early in our species’ existence. As such, it logically falls within ‘economics’ the behavioral sub-system, and is appropriate subject matter for ‘Economics’ the cultural institution. IOW, trade is contained within economics. To be clear: by implying I equate ‘commerce’ (a synonym for ‘trade’, absent his disambiguation) with ‘economics’, Killian attacks a straw man, as is his habit.

    QED for readers of good faith, though presumably a waste of time for Killian. If he gets through the first paragraph I’ll bet he won’t be able to resist responding, but I’ll be surprised if he takes time to read my entire comment ;^D! Meh, all his time is wasted anyway.

    * just so there’s no mistake: not all animals are humans!

  9. 109
    Mal Adapted says:


    I assume Mal won’t be impressed with a report commissioned to reflect John Holdren’s West Wing celebration of Behavioral Science as a tool for social engineering

    Er – no more than I was the last time you brought this up. Does it seem to you coincidental that ‘Political Science’ is an established academic discipline? An informal rubric for its application to the real world is ‘social engineering’. Thankfully, AFAICT politics is still more ‘art’ than ‘science’.

    If that leaves you unimpressed, Russell, look at it this way: do you prefer that the West Wing ignores science, behavioral or otherwise?

  10. 110

    Victor’s excitement about Dr. Boris Smirnov made me curious. I started by trying to look at Smirnov’s publication list, here:

    It’s quite obvious that while Dr. Smirnov is quite prolific (particularly since 2007), his area is plasma physics, which is quite different from anything that happens in the troposphere, which is where the action mostly is as far as climate change is concerned.

    I do see a textbook written by Dr. Smirnov and published back in 1997, as Victor said, but alas! it is somewhat tangential to the problem of GHG-induced climate change, as far as I can tell. The description says:

    Much of the material that is essential to the development of a complete understanding of radiative processes in atomic physics is not to be found in the standard atomic physics textbooks. This remarkable volume breaks new ground on two fronts: It provides a comprehensive description of the contemporary treatment of radiative processes in atoms; and it presents this material in a useful and engaging format – a succession of problems. This essential reference work and advanced textbook is best suited for graduate students and researchers in the fields of quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular physics, plasma physics, laser physics, and synchrotron light-source applications.

    So, I would say that Marco’s description of Dr. Smirnov’s previous involvement in climate science as “minuscule” (IIRC, that was the term) is warrented.

    But looking back at the thread I realized that I had discourteously left Victor’s request for information #50 unanswered. To recap, Gavin had offered 3 objections to the Smirnov paper:

    1) “the discussion of climate sensitivity is patently wrong (it assumes fixed water vapor/lapse rate/clouds”

    2) “[it] applies the fluxes at the surface, not the tropopause…”

    3) “the author appears to think that the warming due to CO2 is because of the exothermic reaction of CO2 and CaO…”

    While my knowledge is far from sufficient for a full explanation, perhaps I can at least advance the discussion a bit for V, as follows:

    1) Water vapor, lapse rate and clouds are not fixed under warming, and are important feedbacks contributing (water vapor!) or potentially contributing to climate sensitivity. Therefor, omitting important ‘fast feedbacks’ means that by definition, Smirnov is not talking about climate sensitivity, but rather some related construct of his own.

    There was a post on climate feedbacks back in 2006:

    2) The most important radiative flux in understanding greenhouse gas-driven changes (be they warming or cooling) is the flux at what is conventionally called TOA–“top of atmosphere”. (It really isn’t the top of the atmosphere, confusingly; really it’s more like the tropopause.) That’s because what really matters is the mean altitude in the atmosphere from which ‘greenhouse frequencies’ (so to call them) radiate to space. (The fundamental issue for the planet’s temperature, after all, is how much energy comes in from space, and how much goes out to space again.)

    This altitude is determined by the optical thickness of the atmosphere at the relevant frequencies, and the altitude increases with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Since higher altitudes are (as long as they are still below the tropopause!) cooler, radiative efficacy drops as a function of that higher altitude. That’s the essence of the so-called ‘heat-trap’ action of GHGs. But it’s driven from TOA; the surface follows that driver.

    3) “Exothermic” denotes a chemical reaction which releases energy. (“Endothermic” ones, contrarily, require energy to proceed.) So Dr. Smirnov is quite mistaken to conflate a chemical reaction of CO2 and CaO with the greenhouse mechanism. The latter involves no chemical reaction; it’s purely a radiative effect, involving of itself no chemical changes whatever. (Or maybe–I haven’t read the paper, either–Dr. Smirnov is putting forward this reaction as an alternate explanation for observed warming, if he is trying to deny the existence of the greenhouse effect. But there’s no hint of that in the abstract.)

  11. 111
    CCHolley says:

    Victor @90

    V: Well, he’s published at least one textbook on the topic.

    Really? Which of his publications is a textbook on atmospheric physics?

  12. 112
    Fred Magyar says:

    Hank Roberts @ 100
    Don’t worry too much, it’s probably just another ploy by the Chinese to sell more solar panels and destroy the American way of life… We now have a great leader who will protect our interests and soon all nations will be able to see the Great Walls of America on the both our northern and southern borders from space! /sarc

  13. 113
    Mal Adapted says:

    Al Bundy:

    Trump was able to steal the election because he was willing to attack while being entertaining. Victor is right. Nobody cares to listen to your calculations. Viewers want to enjoy the show.

    Joe Romm agrees with you, and thinks climate realists need to put on a show. See Tamino’s post, Top 10 Tricks Climate Deniers don’t want you to know (#3 will shock you!). Be forewarned, Tamino doesn’t say what #3 is ;^D.

    My concern, FWIW, is that clumsy efforts to put on a show may actually make things worse 8^(.

    Speaking for myself, I though Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was an excellent show. It appears to have changed a few minds. Maybe we need more of that sort of big-budget, high-production-value show.

  14. 114
    Carrie says:

    Further on the question: Is the Rate of Increase in Atmospheric Concentration of CO2 Increasing (Accelerating)?

    As a guide Annual Mean Growth Rate of CO2 for Mauna Loa

    The current Decadal Growth Rate is as follows
    2010 2.32
    2011 1.92
    2012 2.61
    2013 2.01
    2014 2.19
    2015 3.00
    2016 2.98
    2017 1.95
    2018 1.70 to June
    Average to date for 8.5 years is +2.30 ppm

    Average of the last 5 years alone is higher +2.36 ppm

    The Decadal averages of the growth rate are approx:
    1960s 0.85
    1970s 1.30
    1980s 1.60
    1990s 1.50
    2000s 2.00
    2010s 2.30 (to 2018)

    Therefore the Growth Rate of Atmospheric CO2 Decadal Trend has been accelerating from 1960 to 2018 (the present)

    Even if the 2019 CO2 growth rate remains steady at 1.70 ppm or falls even lower the Decadal Growth Rate will remain well above the 2000s growth rate of 2.00 – thus confirming an accelerating growth rate since 1960 out to 2019.

    The specific sources for this ongoing increase in CO2 concentrations is irrelevant to the fact of an accelerating rate of increase long term.

    This is because CO2 is CO2 is CO2. No matter where atmospheric CO2 comes from the Global Warming Forcing component of CO2 remains exactly the same.

    The last time the growth rate was below 1.70 ppm for more than a single year was between 1999-2001 after the 1998 record global temp year and the 1997-1998 El Nino event. This is two decades ago.

    Therefore I ‘suspect’ it is more likely than not the Annual CO2 Growth Rate will again rise above 2.00 ppm in 2019. Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher. If this was to happen this would easily push the 2010s Decadal Rate above 2.40 ppm.

    During the period April to June 2018 the growth rate above 2017 is running at about 1.6 ppm.

    The Daily CO2 record high for 2018 is 412.63 on the 26th April
    The 2nd highest reading was 412.45 on May 14th 2018.

    The Weekly CO2 record high for 2018 is 411.86 during May 13-19
    The 2nd highest average is 411.45 during May 20-26
    And 3rd highest average is 411.39 during May 27-02 June

    The 2017 weekly CO2 record high was 410.36 during May 14-20
    a difference of 1.50 ppm on the new 2018 record high

    Daily CO2 readings have been above 411 ppm almost everyday the last 60 days since mid-April to today.

  15. 115
    scott says:

    $2.5 billion in solar projects canceled or frozen after Trump solar panel tariffs: report

    Renewable energy companies have decided to cancel or freeze $2.5 billion in investments on large solar panel projects following President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported panels, Reuters reported Thursday.

    That number is more than twice the $1 billion that firms said they were planning to spend in the U.S. solar panel industry following Trump’s decision in January, according to Reuters.

    Cypress Creek Renewables LLC told Reuters that it has cancelled or frozen $1.5 billion in projects in response to the tariffs because the tariffs had increased its costs. Another company, Southern Current, also said that it put $1 billion worth of projects on hold.

  16. 116
    Carrie says:

    OSLO (Reuters) – Global warming is on course to exceed the most stringent goal set in the Paris agreement by around 2040, threatening economic growth, according to a draft report that is the U.N.’s starkest warning yet of the risks of climate change.

    Governments can still cap temperatures below the strict 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) ceiling agreed in 2015 only with “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in the world economy, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    Exclusive: Global warming set to exceed 1.5°C, slow growth – U.N. draft.

  17. 117
    mike says:

    to carrie at 114: thanks for picking up the slack on broad analysis of CO2. I have tired of the argument about the acceleration question. We will only know when the rate of acceleration has slowed a few years after it happens because the system is noisy and the signal we are looking for will be swamped by noise in anything shorter than an annual cycle and decadal will be more clear.

    Yes, CO2 is CO2 is CO2. We keep producing it and talking about reducing production. But it’s mainly talk and reduction doesn’t get it done anyway, we have to actually start removing CO2 from atmosphere and oceans to protect a planetary habitat. I hope we figure that out because I do love my grandkids.

    I hope the moderators will look at the question you raised at 87.

    Cheers and warm regards to all,


  18. 118
    MA Rodger says:

    Both GISTEMP and NOAA have reported for May.
    GISTEMP report an anomaly of +0.82ºC, a small drop from April’s +0.85ºC. GISTEMP’s May 2018 sits as the 4th warmest May on record after 2016, 2017 & 2014 (identical to BEST). It is =33rd highest on the all-month-anomaly record (BEST was 44th). And it is the 3th warmest start to the year (Jan-May average). BEST’s was 4th warmest.

    …….. Jan-May Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. + 1.16ºC … … … +0.99 ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. + 1.00ºC … … … +0.89 ºC … … … 2nd
    2018 .. + 0.83ºC
    2015 .. + 0.82ºC … … … +0.87 ºC … … … 3rd
    2010 .. + 0.80ºC … … … +0.70 ºC … … … 5th
    2007 .. + 0.75ºC … … … +0.64 ºC … … … 8th
    2014 .. + 0.73ºC … … … +0.73 ºC … … … 4th
    2002 .. + 0.72ºC … … … +0.63 ºC … … … 10th
    1998 .. + 0.69ºC … … … +0.62 ºC … … … 11th
    2005 .. + 0.65ºC … … … +0.67 ºC … … … 6th
    2003 .. + 0.60ºC … … … +0.61 ºC … … … 14th

    NOAA is very similar, reporting an anomaly of +0.80ºC, an even smaller small drop from April’s +0.82ºC. NOAA’s May 2018 also sits as the 4th warmest May on record after 2016, 2015 & 2017 (2015 appearing while 2014 drops to 5th below 2018). It is =37th highest on the all-month-anomaly record. And it is the 5th warmest start to the year (Jan-May average). The small drop in the global anomaly in May resulted from a larger drop in the SH (particularly SH Land) partially balanced by a rise in the NH.

    NOAA’s warmest Jan-Mays are:-
    …….. Jan-May Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. + 1.09ºC … … … +0.94 ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. + 0.92ºC … … … +0.84 ºC … … … 3rd
    2015 .. + 0.85ºC … … … +0.90 ºC … … … 2nd
    2010 .. + 0.77ºC … … … +0.70 ºC … … … 5th
    2018 .. + 0.76ºC
    2007 .. + 0.71ºC … … … +0.61 ºC … … … 13th
    2014 .. + 0.71ºC … … … +0.74 ºC … … … 4th
    1998 .. + 0.70ºC … … … +0.63 ºC … … … 9th
    2002 .. + 0.68ºC … … … +0.60 ºC … … … 14th
    2005 .. + 0.64ºC … … … +0.66 ºC … … … 7th
    2013 .. + 0.62ºC … … … +0.67 ºC … … … 6th

  19. 119
    Carrie says:

    Atmospheric CO2 record based on ice core data before 1958, (Ethridge et. al., 1996; MacFarling Meure et al., 2006) and yearly averages of direct observations from Mauna Loa and the South Pole after and including 1958 (from Scripps CO2 Program).

    webpage showing 278 ppm increasing to 408 ppm

    Graph image file – Merged Ice-Core Record 1740-2017

    C. D. Keeling, S. C. Piper, R. B. Bacastow, M. Wahlen, T. P. Whorf, M. Heimann, and H. A. Meijer, Exchanges of atmospheric CO2 and 13CO2 with the terrestrial biosphere and oceans from 1978 to 2000. I. Global aspects, SIO Reference Series, No. 01-06, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego, 88 pages, 2001.

  20. 120
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy says “Trump was able to steal the election because he was willing to attack while being entertaining. Victor is right. Nobody cares to listen to your calculations. Viewers want to enjoy the show.”

    It’s a good comment with some real truth, but over simplifies. Let’s look in more detail.

    Trump also kept things short and concise. He also mixed in a lot of lies, insults and misleading garbage, and appealed to naked emotions and prejudices.

    But he only just barely won. Clinton lost mainly because of the email thing in the last week, and she was never a great candidate. She was a cold fish with one too many scandals in her history, and got lost in details and was too passive. I realise she didnt want to sink to Trumps level, but she should have stood up to him more at times.

    What does this mean for climate rhetoric, like promoting the science and rebuting denialists? Be careful before copying Trump, because it could go wrong. But a couple of things he does are clever, especially the way he keeps the message concise and simple, and his confident delivery and body language. My take is generally keep things simpler, but depending on the audience and type of media of course, and this is important. Sometimes detail is appropriate sometimes it isn’t.

    There’s nothing wrong with some emotion and strong rhetoric and accusing someone of talking stupid nonsense, but don’t call people names in interview situations, and while the public like watching a verbal tennis match, I feel they won’t forgive scientists for lying, exaggerating, or twisting things, and this will all get exposed.

    Science is often presented with complex arguments and a final concusion. I have seen scientists being interviewed run out of time before they get to the point. It’s better to have a very brief summary of the key issues right up front, clearly and strongly worded.

    I agree an Inconvenient Truth did it well on the whole.

  21. 121
    Carrie says:

    106 mike; Is Carbon Brief misrepresenting things in this piece?

    Maybe consider info comments from here:,347.msg157830.html#msg157830
    and further down both those threads

    eg But the speed at which coal plants are closed down is not at all sufficient. (in Europe),347.msg158955.html#msg158955

    eg The myth of fossil gas as a “bridge” to a stable climate does not stand up to scrutiny.,347.msg159280.html#msg159280

    Renewable energy grew by the largest amount ever last year 2017, while coal-fired electricity also reached a record high […] Nevertheless, all low-carbon sources together met just a third of the 253Mtoe (2.2%) increase in global energy demand in 2017. Fossil fuels met the remaining two thirds, with gas (+83Mtoe, 3.0%) the single-largest source of new energy supply last year.

    So much for a transition? See the pink EU nations in eastern Europe and Spain, plus poland ukraine in gray and all of Russia not included in a transition to renewables.

    It’s 2018 and global fossil fuels use is increasing not decreasing as global energy demand continues to increase. Remember the issue is Anthropogenic GLOBAL Warming – not regional, not by nation nor by solar farm, by wind farm.

    Nothing has really changed that much, and nothing is changing significantly to have a global impact. Atmospheric CO2 continues to increase UNABATED and seems as much driven by natural sources these days as it is by mankind.

    eg this cause a massive 3ppm spike across 2 years …. all that CO2 is still there in the atmosphere, it has not been re-sucked by by vegetation, and CO2 readings have not self-corrected, but instead have increased even more – another 1.7 ppm above 2017 ytd in 2018.

    Maybe the AR6 will save us all from doom and destruction? No chance of that. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result – correct?

    Hope and faith is for the Losers. :-)

  22. 122
    Carrie says:

    113 Mal Adapted, why reference a post and then skip the most important takeaway message and use another opportunity to REPEAT IT?

    I now realize that those are what I love to do, but what I most want to do is persaude (sic) people to take global warming seriously enough to make it their #1 issue in the voting booth. Correcting temperature time series for exogenous factors and exploring the intricacies of Fourier analysis, don’t do that. As much as they inform and inspire, they do not persuade.

    Excuse the intermission – please return to arguing the “facts” with deniers here. It’s oh so productive and can really change peoples minds – NOT.

    But do not given up hope – maybe by the time global temp anomalies are +3C above they might get it then. So don’t quit now fellas.

  23. 123
    Carrie says:

    116 Carrie reports: “Governments can still cap temperatures below the strict 1.5 degrees Celsius…”

    Now come on fellas. You don’t seriously believe that do you? Because I think you’re totally mad if you believe “Governments can still cap temperatures below the 2.0 degrees Celsius…”

  24. 124
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @144

    I’m not questioning your maths or general views, but I do think the source of emissions is important. If you average the first five years of your series, you get 2.30, if you average the last 5 years but leave out 2105 and 2106 el nino, you get 1.99 which does suggest a small deceleration.

    This is not minimising the warming problem, its looking for a clue as to whether we are achieving anything. But I’m the first to admit its a crude analysis and all rather too short term to really know with certainty.

    The main focus should be on burning less fossil fuels. Unfortunately fossil fuel burning is up since 2107 due mainly to India abandoning various renewable energy projects including nuclear power, and reverting to coal. Just what we don’t need. Apparently they just dont have the capital for nuclear power, and its hard getting the right labour skills and component parts. Nuclear power is a problem child.

  25. 125
    Killian says:

    Re #124 nigelj said It has an EN!!!

    Uh… they ALL do. Even more than one sometimes… so… you have to adjust for ALL EN’s. Oh… and LNs.

  26. 126
    Killian says:

    Re #121 Carrie said Renewable energy grew by the largest amount ever last year 2017, while coal-fired electricity also reached a record high […] Nevertheless, all low-carbon sources together met just a third of the 253Mtoe (2.2%) increase in global energy demand in 2017. Fossil fuels met the remaining two thirds, with gas (+83Mtoe, 3.0%) the single-largest source of new energy supply last year.

    So much for a transition?

    You can’t get there (sustainability) from here without simplification. Period.

  27. 127
    Carrie says:

    124 nigelj, “… but I do think the source of emissions is important….. but leave out 2105 and 2106 el nino”

    OK then. So in your opinion back in 1740 when CO2 was 278 ppm and there was a major El Nino event then this means 1) scientists should adjust their CO2 data by excluding any el nino forcing of CO2 from those years.

    and/or 2) Now that Global Avg temps are +1.2C on 1740 temps, and regionally even higher; and CO2 is above 411 ppm now these two known facts have absolutely no impact upon either “strength” of modern day El Ninos (short term temps/CO2) Forcing or make any difference with how much CO2 is being driven out of Tropical Forests and other land mass vegetation today by the strength of these modern day el ninos … and so should be “accounted for” as increasing CO2 levels?

    (sorry if that’s confusing …. was a bit hard to word that simply)

    Is this your position that any and every El Nino driven increase in global CO2 levels should be ignored as it is unimportant because none of the higher temps and CO2 levels coming from El Ninos has been driven by accumulated AGW forcing processes up to today?

    OK, though I find that quite odd (if this is an accurate way to describe the logical outcome of your comment above.) What to do with La Ninas then?

  28. 128
    Mr. Know It All says:

    103 – nigelj

    So you are worried about what sea levels will be in 2100. Let’s do a quick calculation:

    From the article:
    “A mass of one billion tonnes corresponds to a cubic kilometer of water. If continental ice sheets lose 100 billion tonnes of mass mean sea level will rise by 0.28 mm.”

    It says West Antarctica is losing 159 billion tons per year and the Antarctic Peninsula is losing 33 billion tons per year. Let’s call it 200 billion tons. Let’s add 300 billion tons of ice loss from Greenland per year:

    We’re now up to 500 billion tons per year or 0.28 mm x 5 = 1.4 mm = 0.0551 inches rise per year. 2100 is 82 years from now. Total sea level rise based on Antarctica and Greenland = 0.0551 x 82 = 4.52 inches using current rates of rise.

    This seems low, did the article make a mistake in calculating the 0.28mm/100 billion tons? Let’s find out, starting from first principles, but ignoring cosmic rays, changing rates of ice melt, temperature variations of the ocean, satellite orbital decay, atmospheric pressure, bulging of the earth geoid, gravity changes due to magma movement under the ocean floor, gravity change due to proximity to other planets/stars/asteroids/etc, Moses parting the waters to get across to the other side, the increasing surface area of the ocean as land is flooded, land subsidence due to the weight of added water, loss of water due to space aliens siphoning it in the middle of the night, volume of water evaporated to the atmosphere due to AGW, the volume of lava displacing water near volcanos, and swimmers urinating in the ocean. :)

    Per the world ocean covers 361,132,000 square kilometres. Density of sea water = 1.025 Kg/L = 1025 Kg/cubic meter = 1.025 tonnes. But when ice freezes, or if it’s from snow, then it’s no longer salty – and when it melts, it’s ordinary fresh water with density ~ 1.0 Kg/L = 1000 Kg/cubic meter.

    A cubic Km of water = 1000 x 1000 x 1000 meter = 1 billion cubic meters = 1 billion tonnes. Thus their statement that 1 cubic kilometer of water = 1 billion tonnes is correct.

    So, does 100 billion tonnes = 0.28 mm rise? How much does 1 mm of water on the ocean surface weigh?
    1mm = 0.001m
    Volume of 1 mm thick layer of ocean water = 361,132,000 sq.Km x 1,000,000 sq. m/sq.Km x 0.001 m = 361.13 billion cubic meters = 361.13 billion tonnes.
    Thus, 100 billion tonnes equate to a thickness of 100/361.132 = 0.2769 mm as measured by satellite. They are correct.

    So, based on the info in the article and only including the losses from Antarctica and Greenland, and assuming all the losses contribute to rising sea level (assumes ice isn’t floating), then by 2100 the rise in sea level, based on current rates of rise, is ~ 4.52 inches.

  29. 129
    Killian says:

    Dear Malthought:

    You’re wronger the morer you tries.

    Nowhere can I find – and god strike me down for the wasted time – your separate definitions because… ta-da!!… they are the same exact thing.

    There is no big e, small e silliness. You are confusing economy into this.

    I especially like your “rubric” nonsense. Economics is a field of study. There is no rubric, which is “an authoritative rule.” That’s pretty much the opposite of economics, such as it is, which is an attempt to study what people are doing when they exchange stuff. Note I say an attempt.

    Anywho… off with you.

  30. 130
    Killian says:

    Nigel to the rescue, again! Not so much:

    120 nigelj says: Clinton lost mainly because of the email thing in the last week

    She lost because of who didn’t vote: Bernie supporters who abandoned the Dems by voting elsewhere or staying home after their fixing of the primary, and even more so, minorities:

  31. 131
    Carrie says:

    Add on for nigelj; please consider pausing and thinking a moment about today versus 1740.

    Such the “egg cup full” of CO2 being emitted from thawing permafrost in the far north that wasn’t happening back in 1740 and onward until x date?

    The Methane put into the atmosphere by a 150 years of coal mining that has been breaking down into CO2 in the atmosphere more and more; and the rise of fugitive methane leaks from fracking and tar sands exploitation since 2000 which by now is also breaking down into CO2 amounting to X (?) amount annually and will definitely (and logically) be increasing as the years roll by. Plus the continuing destruction of forests and forest fires the last decades ongoing .. that are not being replaced by new/recovery growth as forests used to do pre-1740 for centuries. I do not the precise amount of CO2 being driven out of the soils and grasslands of land masses as the temperatures rise especially in remote high elevation plateaus such as in China / Mongolia and/or droughts taking hold there more than in the past since the cooler 1740 era. There are papers on this too and the Chinese are quote concerned long term of what could unfold if AGW continues to push temperatures up and up.

    And keep in mind that while Volcanic eruptions do spew cooling effect gases they also spew much more CO2 into the atmosphere that lasts for hundreds of years as the icing on the cake (so to speak).

    Co2 is CO2 no matter from where it comes from. It will have the same effect globally. If you think a little bit more about this you might notice that almost all the items mentioned above are the result of man made forcing and actions aka human impact.

  32. 132
    Mr. Know It All says:

    110 – Kevin

    Quote from the book: “…..This essential reference work and advanced textbook is best suited for graduate students and researchers in the fields of quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular physics,……”

    Those ARE the fundamentals of AGW theory:
    5 minutes:

    77 minutes:

  33. 133
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Here’s a question on Sea Level Rise:
    At what rate is the bottom of the ocean rising due to organic matter, dust, silt from rivers, etc being deposited on the bottom? Is this accounted for in future sea level estimates?

    89 – Nemesis

    Interesting video on Fracking. It blames Trump for fracking, yet the video shows the first fracked well, still producing gas after 17 years so it’s all Trump’s fault. Right. Maybe the video authors need a lesson in logic.

    115 – scott

    So, Trump tariffs are why no one can afford solar power, right? Wrong: You can buy panels for quite less than $1/watt all day long:

    Given the low cost, I trust that you have solar panels on your home? Ditto the rest of the FF bashers. Such articles no doubt written to make Trump look bad to non-thinkers more than any other reason.

  34. 134
    Fred Magyar says:

    Mr. Know It All says: @ 128 says

    …So, based on the info in the article and only including the losses from Antarctica and Greenland, and assuming all the losses contribute to rising sea level (assumes ice isn’t floating), then by 2100 the rise in sea level, based on current rates of rise, is ~ 4.52 inches.

    Even only a 4.52 inch rise in sea level would already have devastating consequences on major metropolitan centers located on the coasts of the world.
    One need only look at what happened in New York during hurricane Sandy to get a glimpse of the future under such a scenario.

    However your calculations notwithstanding, I think NOAA’s numbers give us a better indication as to what actual levels might be by 2100. Even the lowest numbers do not give an encouraging outlook for anyone residing in a coastal metropolis.

    Note: I live in the greater Miami Area and we already have salt water street flooding on sunny windless days under certain high tide conditions. Wouldn’t take much to create absolute devastation if we were to experience storm surge from a direct Cat 5 hit at high tide. Even If we only got 4.52 inch rise in sea level by 2100, that would already be game over for Miami in its current configuration.

  35. 135

    KIA, #128–

    But note that your assumptions are counterfactual–that is to say, ice melt from Greenland and Antarctica aren’t the only sources (and in fact only amount to about 30%, per the article), about half being due to thermal steric expansion; and current rates are (per the article) observably accelerated relative to the past, with every reason to expect acceleration to continue.

    So, the 4.52 inches figure is no more than one attempt to calculate a lower bound on sea level rise, and we may confidently expect that children now living will have a higher sea than that to deal with–which is to say there’s a pretty good chance that none of them will be living in Miami Beach. Or parts of Norfolk. Or Charleston (at least, not the historic downtown, nor the cool suburban lots backing up to the Ashley and Cooper river marshes.)

  36. 136
    Mal Adapted says:

    While none of Killian’s opinions are the least bit humble, he does display an impressive grasp of many topics. However, he evidently misses the distinction between the cultural adaptation of trade as a manifestation of human economic behavior, and the cultural institution of Economics as a way to organize the scientific investigation of economic behavior including trade. IMHO the distinction is important in this context, because not all scientists who study economics are employed by academic Economics departments, nor do academic models of economic behavior map perfectly to ‘objective’ phenomena (although some economic models are useful nonetheless). Killian’s curious failure is still no one’s problem but his, but since having the last word seems to matter to him, he may have it.

  37. 137
    Hank Roberts says:

    Then there’s the “it can’t happen” theorists. I’m sure I recall seeing this idea came ’round a year or two ago, but here it is in a new publication by someone unfamiliar, set out in excruciating detail:
    6. Conclusion

    Geophysical shape of the earth is the fundamental component of the global sea level distribution. Global warming and ice-melt, although a reality, would not contribute to sea-level rise. Gravitational attraction of the earth plays a dominant role against sea level rise. As a result of low gravity attraction in the region of equatorial bulge and high gravity attraction in the region of polar flattening, melt-water would not move from polar region to equatorial region.

  38. 138
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @106,
    You ask if CarbonBrief ‘misrepresent things’ with their coverage of the 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The news that 2017 CO2 emissions from FF-use would show a rise in 2017 was suggested back in November in early GCP estimates which put the growth as 2% (within the range 0.8% to 3%). The BP Review found +1.6% and thus a new peak for annual CO2 emissions, 9.11Gt(C)/yr (up from last years 9.00Gt(C)/yr, a rise of +0.11Gt(C)/yr). There are caveats set out by BP which CarbonBrief give due coverage.

    “Renewable energy grew by the largest amount ever last year, while coal-fired electricity also reached a record high, according to new global data from oil giant BP.
    However, set against continued rapid rises in energy demand fuelled by oil and gas, renewables were not enough to prevent global CO2 emissions rising significantly for the first time in four years, the figures show.
    This was partly because cyclical economic changes had flattered progress in previous years and, last year, cancelled out some of the slow, continuing shift towards a lower-carbon energy, BP said”

    So bar something specific, I don’t see any ‘misprepresentation’ by CarbonBrief. In that respect, the CarbonBrief quote by Carrie @121 that renewables provided just a third of the (above average) annual increase in energy demand should really be qualified by the point that renewable generation grew from 10.0% of total in 2016 to 10.3% in 2017, so a step in the right direction even in an exceptional year (although Trump may manage to make it far less exceptional).

    And note that while the energy sector is the major CO2 emitter, it is not the only one. Emissions from cement production peaked in 2014 and while the 2017 numbers are yet to appear, the 2016 was -0.06Gt(C)/yr below that peak. And emissions fron LUC also have to be factored in, 2016 -0.24Gt(C)/yr below the 2015 value and -0.10Gt(C)/yr below the 2014 value.
    Such considerations are why you will find the odd projection for total CO2 emissions showing 2017 equalling 2015 and thus not a new peak.

  39. 139
    MA Rodger says:

    Carrie @114,
    In the subject of CO2 emissions growth, what do you mean by saying “Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher.”?

  40. 140
    Hank Roberts says:

    Even Fox News offers its readers a clue now, though the piece was reprinted from an Australian source (not their own work):

  41. 141
    Al Bundy says:

    Mr KIA,

    Sea level rise from thermal expansion is linear. Sea level rise from polar ice melt is exponential at a 20 year doubling time +20/-10 years according to James Hansen in a paper published back in 2016. Michael Mann has reservations about Dr Hansen’s conclusions in said paper, but Dr Mann said, “I think we ignore James Hansen at our peril.”

    And here we are in 2018 and warm ocean water is eating away at West Antarctica and, as Stefan’s post says, the AMOC is slowing. Gee, Dr Hansen has been correct [pretty much all? all?] of the time in his predictions for almost 40 years.

    Here’s a video talk by Dr Hansen

    Mr KIA, please listen to the 15 minute talk and report back with your thoughts. TIA

    Mal and Nigel,
    I agree that Gore’s film was grand work. And yep, I was being way simplistic about Drumpf (the Antichrist?)


    I think human-caused feedbacks that release CO2 MUST be counted as human emissions. All those burning/dying forests are our doing. Slowing of the AMOC? Ditto.

  42. 142
    Al Bundy says:

    Speaking of Dr Hansen, the Guardian talks a bit about his upcoming book “Sophie’s Planet: A Search for Truth About Our Remarkable Home Planet and Its Future” Hardcover – 21 Mar 2019

    Scroll down to see Dr Hansen’s 2010 arrest. Look at the arresting officer’s nametag: Green

  43. 143
    Mal Adapted says:


    113 Mal Adapted, why reference a post and then skip the most important takeaway message and use another opportunity to REPEAT IT?

    I’m not quite sure what your point is, Carrie, but “why not?” regardless ;^)!

  44. 144
    jb says:

    Re: Knucklehead in America at 128. Mr. Knucklehead it seems is trying to learn how to lie with numbers. He uses the flat current rates of melt to extrapolate to the state of affairs in 2100. But he glosses over the fact that the article cited is not concerned about the present melt rate, but the fact that it tripled over the past 25 years. So, the West Antarctica melt rate increased from 53 to 159B tonnes per year from 1992-2017 and the Antarctic Peninsula rate increased from 7 to 33B tonnes per year (this second one is actually more than quadrupled, but let’s be conservative and say it tripled.)

    If the trend continues, then ignoring the error bars and being conservative (because that’s what we are here), the total Antarctic loss rate will triple every twenty five years. So from 2017-2042 it will go from 192 to 576B tonnes per year. From 2042-2067, it will go from 576 to 1728B tonnes per year. From 2067-2092 it will go from 1728 to 5184B tonnes per year. Now, continuing our conservatism, we will use a step function to calculate the SLR, and assume that the loss rate does not increase until the subsequent period. We will use Knucklehead’s calculation of .28mm SLR per 100B tonnes of melt, close enough. The total Antarctic contribution from 2017 to 2100 (3 twenty five year periods and one 8 year period) is 13.44+40.32+120.96+116.12=290mm or approximately 12 inches.

    Since Greenland is on the same planet as Antarctica, maybe it is also tripling its melt rate. If so, from 2017-2042 the Greenland melt rate will go from 300 to 900B tonnes per year. From 2042-2067, it will go from 900 to 2700B tonnes per year. From 2067-2092 it will go from 2700 to 8100B tonnes per year. The total Greenland contribution from 2017 to 2100 will then be 21+63+189+181.44=454.44mm or approximately 17 inches.

    Not so bad. That’s about 30 inches and while it’s far worse than Knucklehead’s estimate and it does not take into account thermal expansion and losses from non ice-sheet based glaciers, maybe it’s not overwhelming.

    But let’s do something revolutionary. Since time doesn’t stop at 2100, let’s take that same acceleration and let it go to 2200. So for 2100-2117, the Antarctic loss goes from 5184 to 15552B and the Greenland loss goes from 8100 to 24300B tonnes per year. For 2117-2142 the rates go to
    46656 and 72900B tonnes per year, respectively. For 2142-2167 the rates go to 139968 and 218700B tonnes per year. For 2167 to 2192 the rates go to 419904 and 656100B tonnes per year. So let’s use our conservative approach and calculate sea level rise from 2100 to 2200. For Antarctica, we get 246+1088+3135+9405+8230=22,106mm or approximately 72 feet. For Greenland, we get 385+1701+4898+14696+12859=34541mm or approximately 113 feet.

    I don’t know, but I think this puts a different gloss on Mr. Knucklehead’s calculations. :)

  45. 145
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA,
    By way of calling attention to your error, I quote Mark Twain from “Life On The Missisippi”:

    “In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

    Linear extrapolations ain’t gonna hold up. Ice loss will increase with time. Also, warmer temperatures will cause the water to expand.

  46. 146
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @127

    “OK then. So in your opinion back in 1740 when CO2 was 278 ppm and there was a major El Nino event then this means 1) scientists should adjust their CO2 data by excluding any el nino forcing of CO2 from those years.”

    I never said any scientists should adjust the basic atmospheric CO2 level data as such. Especially back then when climate change was not an issue. But if we want to discern whether we are reducing atmospheric CO2 levels as measured at the mlo, its handy to do an exercise removing natural contributions. In a similar way to how temperature trends have been constructed with el ninos and la ninas removed, and sunspot cycles removed, to reveal the underlying agw trend.

    I understand your comment on stronger el ninos but we just dont know for sure. Although my ‘instinct’ is el ninos are very likely to get more intense, fwiw.

    And yes ideally you would remove both el ninos and la ninas and go back further in time. I just took the data you happened to have, and it excluded the 1998 el nino and the recent la nina was weak anyway. Killian I hope that explains it. MAR did a more in depth calculation, and found a similar result but his graph was a bit illegible and crowded for me, made my head spin.

  47. 147
    nigelj says:

    Mr KIA @128, your calculations on sea level rise are wrong because they forgot thermal expansion which is very significant, and glaciers in the Americas and Asia, and it simply extrapolates a current linear trend, when the science predicts an accelerating trend particularly after 2050 and this is based on very solid physical realities.

    That’s not to say you are bad at maths and quantities etc you do ok, it’s just that you missed a couple of crucial things.

    The last IPCC review did it properly, and predicted a worse case of sea level rise of about 1000mm by 2100.

    With this change in antarctica very conservative calculations suggest it will add 200mm ( there are articles in the media on this easily googled), so would be at least 1200mm sea level rise by 2100 , but it all depends on how fast and how much Antarctica could destabilise, and it could be very fast. It could be more.

    Meltwater pulse 1a happened about 14,000 years ago, and involved sea level rise of 4 METRES PER CENTURY for several centuries, and the evidence for this is very good. It has been at attributed to rates of warming similar to those predicted for this century, and half the pulse has been attributed to destabilisation of the antarctic. Look it up on wikipedia.

    So a reasonable conclusion for me is is we could definitely be looking at sea level rise of 2 Metres by the end of this century. James Hansen thinks far more is possible, and he is a highly qualified expert. Either way it would be genuinely catastrophic.

  48. 148
    nigelj says:

    Killian @130, wrong as you often are. The main reason Clinton lost was the email thing. It’s simple maths. She was about 6 points ahead in the polls, and would easily have also won the electoral college. Once the email bombshell was dropped on her in the last week, her support dropped several points, and it was game over.

    Yes what you say about Sanders is more or less true, but it was not the proximate reason for her loss, it was a contributing reason to her rather underwhelming level of support. I like Sanders by the way.

  49. 149
    Carrie says:

    146 nigelj re “I just took the data you happened to have, and it excluded the 1998 el nino”

    No it did not. It had not excluded any el nino or la nina or any other data – where do you get this fiction from? If this the best you can do, have you considered quitting being an ‘expert’? I mean if you don’t understand the MLO graphs and basic data etc then what’s the point?

    Carrie @114,
    In the subject of CO2 emissions growth, what do you mean by saying “Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher.”?

    Yes, sorry not very clear. Try “Where it is possible the growth rate could rise up to 2.30 ppm or higher.”

    ie higher again than the present ~1.7 ppm this year etc. eg fossil fuel use is presently increasing 2017 and this year already, eventually that will feed into the the atmosphere and total energy demand is still increasing, and then there is the rest which also feeds into the atmosphere and another el nino is “possible” in 2019 or in x yr so until there is a significant choke on fossil fuel use and on total energy demand and temps keep on the their rising trend then ……….. isn’t it obvious?

    I think it is obvious what happens unless all the climate science produced and the principles it relies upon in the last 40+ years is all wrong. Is it?

  50. 150
    MA Rodger says:

    Carrie @149,
    I was trying to gain some understanding of what you meant by “Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher.”” so as to make sense of your comment. The full paragraph you present @114 is:-

    “Therefore I ‘suspect’ it is more likely than not the Annual CO2 Growth Rate will again rise above 2.00 ppm in 2019. Where it is possible the growth rate will rise by 2.30 ppm or higher. If this was to happen this would easily push the 2010s Decadal Rate above 2.40 ppm.”

    The idea that 2019 would see a CO2 rise “above 2.00ppm” is not a fanciful one. You however seem to be saying that if the 2019 CO2 rise tops 2.0ppm (the “it”?), the 2019 CO2 rise will-be/could-be “2.30ppm or higher” and that a consequence would be to “easily push the 2010s Decadal Rate above 2.40 ppm.”
    You appear to be skyrocketeering again.
    To achieve a “2010s Decadal Rate above 2.40 ppm” will require a lot greater increase than 2.3ppm in 2019. If we assume the remainder of 2018 will average close to the 2018-so-far CO2 increase, you are Carrie, proposing a greater-than +3.3ppm CO2 increase in 2019 to complete the 2010-19 decade. That 2019 rise would become the highest yet on record.
    And your take-away message still holds – “isn’t it obvious?”