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Unforced Variations: July 2018

Filed under: — group @ 1 July 2018

This month’s open thread for climate science related topics. The climate policy open thread is here.

307 Responses to “Unforced Variations: July 2018”

  1. 51
    nigelj says:

    MAR @39 thank’s for your views, and I think we are in broad agreement on sea level rise. I’m probably bit more ‘skyrockety’ than you in my views on it, but I struggle with Hansen’s predictions as well. I will leave it there for now!

  2. 52
    zebra says:

    #47 Bill D,

    “At what point do individual extreme weather events start to become clearly indicative of longer term climate shifts?”

    Bill, climate is, in simple terms, “average weather” (over, say, 30 years). So, by definition, individual extreme weather events cannot, by themselves, be “indicative”.

    This is the problem with discussions about “attribution”– people just don’t want to formalize the question and stick to the disciplined language (and reasoning) required to do science.

    Maybe you could think some more about what you are really asking? What do you mean by “longer term climate shifts? Do you mean 30 years or 300 years or 3,000 years? Are you asking if a “run of record temps” of 30 years can predict what will happen in 3,000 years, or something like that?

    Seriously, and I’m not trying to be all mystical, getting the question right is always way harder than providing an answer. Lots of people here can give you answers if you can clarify what you are looking for.

  3. 53
    nigelj says:

    Killian @37

    Please appreciate I didn’t claim all your predictions were wrong, simply that we tend to “forget” our bad predictions! I’m sure you have been on the right side of several things!

    I totally accept you have predicted faster rates than the general IPCC views, and you been proven right to that extent. But then I have also predicted things would be a faster than the IPCC view, although not quite to your extent of fastness. I have only been commenting on this website a year, and I have not seem much point in regurgitating all my personal predictions.

    I tend to be reactive. I find the climate denialists misleading rhetoric deeply angers me, hits my red button and I think its important to sometimes rebut them. Perhaps I should spend more time on adding something more novel on the science and mitigation.

    I think we face huge risks, yet surely you can see the need to avoid too many excessive, fringe, claims and feeding right into the hands of the denialist community?

    “Yet, you are so very sure of your own extremely conservative prediction”

    My prediction of 2 metres by 2100 is hardly conservative, and I made it some years ago! Its way ahead of the last IPCC view and likely to be ahead of their next report. Please also note I have not in any way ruled out Hansens predictions completely, its just they seem somewhat unlikely.

    Personally I get frustrated with the lack of action on climate change and the lack of understanding of how serious it could become, but at the same time details matter in science. You cannot just bandy about talk of exponential rates without providing some physical mechanism as others have pointed out, and not expect push back and criticism. Don’t take it so personally. If you are as smart as you keep lecturing everyone you are, you should be able to tell the difference between criticism of specific claims you make and criticism of your general view.

  4. 54
    nigelj says:

    I just don’t know why this website publishes comments like Victors @40. Its just pure denial of what RL just said, total sophistry, and denialist propaganda causing more doubt and confusion. Way to shoot yourselves in your own feet people.

  5. 55
    nigelj says:

    Mike @43

    “My guess is that if you asked Nigel about SLR in 2003, you would have gotten the mainstream science position reflected in SA that AGW is not settled science, so AGW-related SLR discussion makes no sense.Contrarians, lukewarmers, etc. are always late to the party….”

    With respect I take absolute exception to that claim. It’s absolute nonsense.

    I have thought climate change will be worse than IPCC predictions since 2003, and in fact before this date. I have virtually always thought climate change is very serious and human caused. I was briefly sceptical for about 1 year way back in the 1990’s, but it was rather short lived and I never really believed in my own scepticism very much.

    I just don’t jump on every stupid piece of hysterical speculation as if its true. I have at least some self scepticism, which appears somewhat lacking in your good self.

    While some trends are a ahead of past predictions, including sea level rise and the arctic, the warming trend is not ahead. Its nuanced and complicated and its important to be accurate. Its serious, but getting carried away wont help! Lets not divide into warring factions of skyrocketeers and doubters (or fizzers).

  6. 56
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @46, read last months UV particularly the comment by Kevin McKinney near the end of the thread. Dr Wanless was misreported, and seems to have modified his views.

    The two articles you reference do not claim sea level rise of 5 metres by 2100 (or similar) and appear to be talking about multi metre sea level rise spread over several centuries. If you disagree, provide specific quotations from them.

    All I’m saying is 5 metres is an outlier prediction by Hansen. However like I said, I don’t personally rule it out, or think he is crazy or anything. I just think 2 metres is more plausible. Apparently this makes me a climate denialist troll. Sigh, some people have weird suspicious minds.

  7. 57
    Nemesis says:

    Found this gem at Al Bundy, #6:

    ” On sniping and insulting:

    I think that it’s bleed-over from Victor-sniping. Folks go after Vic because he’s ever so proudly DK. The blood stains everyone and since we’re in shark-mode the feeding frenzy becomes cannibalistic.”

    Perfectly put :’D This is about our culture, we live in a shark culture. It’s not like zebra once said repeatedly that we are monkeys, but we are snipers and sharks, still hunters way too often, especially the men, seldomly the women. Too often the discussion is about winning against eachother, not a real mutual, constructive discussion. I can’t even count all the wounds I suffered in discussions about climate heating and politics. But that’s ok with me, as I’m a man too and a sniper and a shark sometimes. Men are like little boys, they play fighting, still fighting when they are grownups :)

  8. 58
    Al Bundy says:

    mike: So far, as 5 year time frames pass, the alarmists have been proven most accurate time after time.

    AB: Yep. I often ponder what a graph of the change in consensus predictions over time would look like. “It’s worse than we of the consensus thought” has been the mantra of the climate change community for as long as I have followed the topic. Trends are trends and the trend of consensus scientists being wrong (on the low side) has been going on for a very long time.

    ———-

    Victor: I have no idea

    AB: Yep, and your post should have started and ended there. However, it gives me a chuckle when you talk about how you have no comprehension or even the ability to comprehend and then ask for peer reviewed data. When you can’t comprehend basic arithmetic asking for access to calculus is suspect, motivationally speaking.

    “Robert Wright and Luke Flynn from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu used the NASA satellite MODIS…[to determine that]…Over 2001 and 2002, these volcanoes [the world’s 45 most active] kicked out about 5 x 1016 joules per year”

    https://www.nature.com/news/2004/040301/full/news040301-1.html

    Note that 5×10 to the 16th is 50 petajoules. Note that all I did was Google “volcanic activity energy yearly”. That you chose to close your mind instead of doing the obvious search speaks loudly.

    ———–

    Killian: Al, Please add content to your posts. This isn’t the PTA or a drunken soiree.

    AB: Uh, please re-read. This time for comprehension as opposed to denial.

    Killian: Just finishing old business at #2, nigel.

    AB: When you say, “Let’s start fresh” then “finishing old business” [of tossing insults]” in the very next post is laughable. That you STILL don’t get it is a real howler.

    So, please show everyone here that you are a man by apologizing for your “number two filled” post.

    ———

    nigelj, I looked up the book. In early 2016 Dr Wanless said, “Well, consensus right now is three feet by 2100 but that keeps going up. I don’t think it will be less than four feet by the end of the century. I personally believe it will be fifteen feet.” ref: “The water will come” by Jeff Goodell

  9. 59
    Carrie says:

    For ‘Dumb and Dumber’ and everyone else who believes in Mainstream Climate Science projections coming true.

    Filed under: Climate Science Communicating Climate IPCC Oceans
    — stefan @ 15 October 2013

    I recommend to everyone with a deeper interest in sea level to read the sea level chapter of the new IPCC report (Chapter 13) – it is the result of a great effort by a group of leading experts and an excellent starting point to understanding the key issues involved. It will be a standard reference for years to come.
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/sea-level-in-the-5th-ipcc-report/

    Sea-level rise: What the experts expect
    Filed under: Climate Science IPCC Oceans
    — stefan @ 23 November 2013

    Model simulations are still associated with considerable uncertainty – too complex and varied are the processes that contribute to the increase. A just-published survey of 90 sea-level experts from 18 countries now reveals what amount of sea-level rise the wider expert community expects. With successful, strong mitigation measures, the experts expect a likely rise of 40-60 cm in this century and 60-100 cm by the year 2300. With unmitigated warming, however, the likely range is 70-120 cm by 2100
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/11/sea-level-rise-what-the-experts-expect/

    ‘Twas BS in 2013 and it’s still BS in 2018

  10. 60
    Carrie says:

    47 Bill D – you’re asking a really intelligent question on the wrong forum. You will not get a proper answer from anyone here (it’s a waste of time.)

  11. 61
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    Scott Pruitt is out as head of the EPA.

    Resigned.

    Should be imprisoned and ass fucked to death by his boyfriend Bubba.

  12. 62
    Killian says:

    Re #46

    Ya don’t say! Huh… Imagine that. Who coulda….?

    :-)

    I found this rather enlightening.

    They found sustained warming of one to two degrees [currently 1.2+, I believe] had been accompanied by substantial reductions of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and sea level rises of at least six metres

    The article didn’t offer time frames, so I’m interested in reading the paper itself.

  13. 63
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Victor,
    All I did was type search terms into Google and do some math with the resulting numbers I found. It is pretty easy to find the energy released by Mt. Saint Helens. Ice loss from Antarctica is also a matter of public record. This alluded to an interesting study:
    https://www.nature.com/news/2004/040301/full/news040301-1.html

    However, the real point I was making is that you are putting way too much faith in your own incredulity for someone who has no inkling of the numbers involved.

    The energy required to heat up an entire planet is HUGE. If you think about a sphere, the volume involved increases as the cube of the radius. If geothermal heating were involved in any significant way, that would say that the core (much smaller than the planet) would have to be losing energy at a prodigious rate. That is not happening–we know that from studies like that cited above, but we also know it because seismology and geomagnetism tell us about how the core is convecting.

    This is just an example. We can reason similarly to show that the energy isn’t coming from the oceans, or for that matter, a Martian death ray or leprechauns

    We know with 100% certainty that greenhouse gasses warm the planet. If it weren’t for the 33 degrees they add to the planet’s blackbody temperature, we’d be living (or rather, not) on an ice ball. We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and so adding CO2 will warm the planet. And we can do calculations that show that this mechanism can provide sufficient energy to account for the warming observed.

    That YOU, personally, do not possess the skills needed to do such calculations is immaterial. The scientists in the National Academy do possess such skills, and they have done the math for you–correctly–and checked it and rechecked it. Do you really contend that the National Academies are full of bomb-throwing radicals, or that somehow a condensed matter physicist on a National Academy panel is going to have his research affected if he deviates from the consensus. Victor, these guys are good, and they are selected for panel service because they have demonstrated the ability to deliver unbiased opinions and reach consensus.

    Compare that to the so-called scientists in the denialati, who cannot agree on an alternative theory that could even be tested! Look at the overlap of those who reject climate change and evolution. These guys are NOT the A team.

    So, I guess my question to you would be why you place so much credence in your own selective incredulity and those who provide Just-So stories to support it when there are true experts recognized by other experts as objective who have already done the math?

  14. 64
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Bill D.,

    The short answer to your question is that climate is accumulation of patterns the weather exhibits over time–and “time” here means decades at least. The reason for the decadal emphasis is that short-term patterns can persist for a few years with little rhyme or reason (e.g. borrowing heat from the oceans, increasing or decreasing sunlight reaching the surface, and so on). Over time, these fluctuations average out, and you can see climatic trends that make sense–that are driven by things we can understand, like conservation of energy.

    More precisely, you can view climate as the distributions of different event types–temperature, precipitation, storms… Looking at extreme weather events is looking at the extremes of those distributions, and that is a matter for Extreme Value Theory or order statistics, etc. If you know what the climate has looked like and you see many more events of a given severity, that is often a pretty good indication that the distributions have shifted, and that level of severity (temperature, rainfall…) is no longer as extreme as it was previously. It is like you are flipping a coin and get a nice distribution of 50 heads and 50 tails in 100 throws. Next, someone brings in a new coin and you get 90 heads and 10 tails. Well, it could happen. But if you repeat the trial and get 85 and 15, you might start to wonder. Does that make any sense?

  15. 65

    I’m not trying to challenge anyone’s scientific findings in this regard, I’m just using simple common sense.

    No, Victor, you are just rationalizing.

    Simple common sense would involve listening seriously to the folks who have the broadest and deepest knowledge on a given topic, but this you consistently fail to do.

    A great (if somewhat atypical example) is your response to Ray’s energy calculation. You say “Whether your calculations are correct or even meaningful, I have no idea,” which is a pretty amusing response, since lack of knowledge has heretofore not been much of an inhibitor on your commentary–so much so that it is well-nigh impossible to take your sudden attack of humility seriously.

    That’s particularly the case since there is nothing hard or mysterious about his back of the envelope calculation: the energy required to melt ice is well-known to say the least, having been verified in high school science classes for decades now. It would take a science historian to track the ‘peer reviewed science’ on that down to the level of specific citations, I suspect–I’d bet on a mid-nineteenth century date, if pushed. So it’s easy to convert published estimates of ice loss into minimum amounts of energy required–easy enough that either you or I could verify Ray’s numbers without much effort.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=energy+required+to+melt+ice&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

    The only other bit of science knowledge is the energy released in volcanic activity. From there, it’s simple multiplication and comparison. From 1992 to now, obviously, is 26 years, so 26 years times 50 exajoules of volcanic energy released each year is 1300 exajoules. So your idea would be that the volcanoes in West Antarctica are releasing *at least* 3/4s the amount of energy dispersed globally by volcanic action in a typical year.

    Given that the area in question is a tiny fraction of the Earth’s surface (and a tiny fraction even of the Earth’s volcanically active surface), that’s not plausible on the face of the matter.

    Now, I don’t believe for a moment that you are ‘too dim’ to understand that. But it is quite evident that you choose not to consider the matter dispassionately. The less painful option would appear to be the uncharacteristic outbreak of humility–or better, ‘humility’. That’s denial in full operation.

  16. 66

    Correlation. 1.

    Let’s say you have two sets of data, and you want to find out what the “correlation” is between them. Here are two sets–the masses of planets in the Solar system and their number of moons.

    Planet* Mass Moons
    Mercury 0.0553 0
    Venus 0.815 0
    Earth 1.00 1
    Mars 0.107 2
    Ceres 0.000157 0
    Jupiter 318 67
    Saturn 95.2 62
    Uranus 14.5 27
    Neptune 17.2 18
    Pluto 0.00219 5
    Haumea 0.000671 1
    Eris 0.00278 1

    *Makemake is excluded because its mass is unknown.

    We start with some very elementary statistics. There are N = 12 data points. The sum (Σ) of the masses is 446.883098, while the sum of the number of moons is 184. The mean (μ) for each figure is 37.24025817 and 15.33333333, respectively.

  17. 67

    Correlation. 2.

    We assign the number of moons the variable name “Y” and the masses “X,” though they could be anything you wanted (MASS and MOONS, for example). Now we need the squares of each figure (X^2 and Y^2), and their “cross-product” (X times Y):

    Y^2 X^2 XY
    0 0.00305809 0
    0 0.664225 0
    1 1 1
    4 0.011449 0.214
    0 2.4649E-08 0
    4489 101124 21306
    3844 9063.04 5902.4
    729 210.25 391.5
    324 295.84 309.6
    25 4.7961E-06 0.01095
    1 4.50241E-07 0.000671
    1 7.7284E-06 0.00278

    This can be done with a hand calculator, or even pen and paper, but it’s much easier with a spreadsheet program like Excel.

  18. 68

    Correlation. 3.

    The sums of Y^2, X^2, and XY are the “raw sums of squares.” To get the “corrected sums of squares,” or “sums of squared deviations,” we need to subtract N times the means involved:

    ssxx = SSxx – N μx^2

    ssyy = SSyy – N μy^2

    ssxy = SSxy – N μx μy

    I get ssxx = 94,052.76681, ssyy = 6,596.666667, and ssxy = 21,058.5209.

  19. 69

    Correlation. 4.

    Lastly, the correlation coefficient is ssxy divided by the square root of ssxx times ssyy:

    r = ssxy / sqrt(ssxx * ssyy)

    I get r = 0.845434189

    Now, in science, we always stick to significant figures. Endless decimals are fine when doing the computations, but in the end you can’t have more than you went in with. I gave masses to three significant places, and number of moons was exact. Therefore we have a correlation of r = 0.845, and we can conclude that bigger planets have more moons. Or that planets with more moons tend to be bigger.

    Remember, correlation is not causation. A high correlation between two variables can mean that X causes Y, Y causes X, a third factor causes both, or even that the correlation is accidental (the null hypothesis). But if you have reason to expect a high correlation on other grounds, and then you find one, that’s confirmatory (though not conclusive) evidence for your theory. In the case of carbon dioxide and temperature, it was first posited that rising CO2 would raise temperatures (Arrhenius 1896). This was then found (Callendar 1938, Hansen et al. 1988, etc.).

  20. 70
    BIll D says:

    Hank @ 48 thanks for the useful link. I’ve seen the 30 years before and I understand that and in terms of gradually developing trends I get that. I was thinking more about how more extreme events or runs of events get factored in. Let me give a for example

    Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the current runs of heatwaves around the world are in reality an indicator of some tipping point. Clearly we wouldn’t want to be waiting 30 years to be sure we had picked that up before we were certain a climate shift had taken place. I guess I’m asking then how far out of the normal run of events does a single event or sequence of events have to be before we could say “hang on, we don’t need to wait 30 years here, this is substantial enough to indicate a major shift”. So I’m not arguing about the general application of the thirty years approach ( which seems generally a sensible one) but whether the approach used is geared to pick up shorter term sizeable shifts – which can happen in complex systems in shorter timescales as they shift states I think?

  21. 71
    MA Rodger says:

    Carrie @59,
    What is it you are describing as “bullshit in 2013 and still bullshit in 2018”? You denegrate “Mainstrean CLimate Science projections” but provide no description of what you mean by this rather caustic remark.
    I would suggest you pick up on this being a science blog and that Mr Shouty has no place being here.

  22. 72
    mike says:

    Hi Nigel, 41 and 50

    Here is what I asked at 41:

    What was your prediction for SLR by 2100 in 2013?
    Same question for 2008?

    Do you remember what you thought about SLR 5 years ago and 10 years ago?
    If yes, are you willing to share those memories and discuss the implications?

    The point? I am trying to figure out if you are a former denier who has now become a bit of a lukewarmer.

    I think I recalled you saying that in the past, you did not think AGW theories were correct, but I am not sure if that was you.

    Cheers

    Mike

  23. 73
    Carrie says:

    57 Nemesis, yes it’s all bs, it never stops, and is imo precisely why we’ll all be toast eventually bar a few in the not too distant future.

    (oooh aaah naughty naughty you used an adhom omg you’re bad ….. as opposed to being ass fucked of course which is oh so mild and fine, as it’s not ad hom to another poster here on Pruitt …. such are the vagaries of insanity in action)

  24. 74
    Killian says:

    57 Nemesis said Found this gem at Al Bundy, #6:

    ” On sniping and insulting:

    I think that it’s bleed-over from Victor-sniping. Folks go after Vic because he’s ever so proudly DK. The blood stains everyone and since we’re in shark-mode the feeding frenzy becomes cannibalistic.”

    Perfectly put :’D This is about our culture, we live in a shark culture.

    Incorrect on the first, a contributor, perhaps, for the second. My very fuzzy memory was that things started to go south on these boards around 2013/2014, so I went looking.

    Here’s an example: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/06/unforced-variations-june-2013/#comment-341707

    Money quote: Maybe when he fixes Detroit we can consider his theories further, meanwhile please stop feeding the troll.

    Sarcasm and then a more direct insult. If you were to read the entire thread you’d find I had said absolutely nothing reaching anywhere near troll level. As is the way anymore, troll has lost its original meaning from the early years and now far too often is used simply to mean “the person I disagree with.” I am sure there are better examples, but I don’t have all day to spend on showing the rudeness is not new. Being called a troll when you are not only accurate, but sincere and deeply invested is incredibly offensive. What was the problem? I kept tying sustainability into the issue of climate, as is appropriate, consumption being the cause of climate change.

    A much milder comment from Jim Larsen, but still showing a lack of respect for others’ points of view by labeling them inaccurately: “You’ve said some outrageous things,” which, of course, I had not. No, the quote is not egregious, but it shows how the general attitude of some had already turned dismissive. Once you’ve been dismissed, you’re not longer “us” and become “them.” Then the feeding frenzy begins.

    It has never stopped.

    It needs to.

    That said, the overall tone in that UV thread was much better than today. We all used to mostly get along. Things have deteriorated badly. Time for a reboot.

  25. 75
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Bill D.

    Would this be the kind of data you’re thinking of? Definitely looks like there’s something going on, on one particular day, doesn’t it?

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DhP3SWfX0AAE2Y3.jpg

    I think the kind of analysis you’re looking for is what Tamino describes here:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/slowdown-skeptic/

    a form of change-point analysis to look for exactly what we’re discussing: changes in the rate of surface warming. It does so by fitting piece-wise linear functions to the data, and determining how many changes from one piece to another are needed, and justifiably so, to get an “optimal” model.

  26. 76
    nigelj says:

    Mike @72, you wonder if I was once a sceptic who has become a so called “luke warmer”

    I did spend about a year briefly sceptical way back in the late 1990s, but I was only halfway sceptical, and for the last 20 years I have strongly supported agw and said its serious, and that the IPCC have been underestimating things in all their reports.

    I think the IPCC warming predictions are about right, but that they are underestimating the potential increases in weather severity and sea level, but not to the extent of Hansen’s and Killians claims.

    I’m mystified why you think I’m a luke warmer – normally defined as someone who believes we are warming the climate, but not much, its not serious etc. I have said about ten times on this page that I think sea level rise will be ahead of IPCC predictions, and 2) I have been very critical of Victor, and 3) I have consistently promoted strong emissions reductions on this website. So wheres you actual evidence?

    Do you seriously think that because I’m dubious about 5 metres by 2100 that makes me a “luke warmer?” That would make most climate scientists luke warmers. Funny definition that you have.

    Most people claim I’m a bit of an alarmist!

  27. 77
    Nemesis says:

    @Carrie, #73

    Some say there’s a wheel going round and round without beginning and without end, driven by hatred, greed and ignorance, it’s called “Samsara”.

    ” Summer grasses:
    all that remains of great soldiers’
    imperial dreams

    Eaten alive by
    lice and fleas — now the horse
    beside my pillow pees

    Along the roadside,
    blossoming wild roses
    in my horse’s mouth

    Even that old horse
    is something to see this
    snow-covered morning

    On the white poppy,
    a butterfly’s torn wing
    is a keepsake

    The bee emerging
    from deep within the peony
    departs reluctantly

    Crossing long fields,
    frozen in its saddle,
    my shadow creeps by

    A mountain pheasant cry
    fills me with fond longing for
    father and mother

    Slender, so slender
    its stalk bends under dew —
    little yellow flower

    New Year’s first snow — ah —
    just barely enough to tilt
    the daffodil

    In this warm spring rain,
    tiny leaves are sprouting
    from the eggplant seed

    O bush warblers!
    Now you’ve shit all over
    my rice cake on the porch

    For those who proclaim
    they’ve grown weary of children,
    there are no flowers

    Nothing in the cry
    of cicadas suggests they
    are about to die.”

    – Bassho

  28. 78
    Victor says:

    65 Kevin McKinney says:

    “A great (if somewhat atypical example) is your response to Ray’s energy calculation. You say “Whether your calculations are correct or even meaningful, I have no idea,” which is a pretty amusing response, since lack of knowledge has heretofore not been much of an inhibitor on your commentary–so much so that it is well-nigh impossible to take your sudden attack of humility seriously.

    That’s particularly the case since there is nothing hard or mysterious about his back of the envelope calculation: the energy required to melt ice is well-known to say the least, having been verified in high school science classes for decades now. It would take a science historian to track the ‘peer reviewed science’ on that down to the level of specific citations, I suspect–I’d bet on a mid-nineteenth century date, if pushed. So it’s easy to convert published estimates of ice loss into minimum amounts of energy required–easy enough that either you or I could verify Ray’s numbers without much effort.”

    V: “This mega-volcanic province is likely associated with the West Antarctic Rift zone, explains Bingham, an author of the study. A rift zone forms where some of the tectonic plates of Earth’s crust are spreading or splitting apart. That allows molten magma to rise toward Earth’s surface. That in turn can feed volcanic activity. Many rifts around the world — such as the East African Rift zone — have been linked with active volcanoes.

    Lots of molten magma marks a region that could produce plenty of heat. Just how much, though, is not yet known. . . .

    The West Antarctic Rift is by far the least known of all of Earth’s geologic rift systems,” notes Bingham.Individual eruptions, though, probably wouldn’t have much effect on the whole ice sheet, says Van Wyk de Vries. Why? Each would be just one small point of heat under all that ice.

    If the whole volcanic province is active, however, that would create a different story. High temperatures over a large region would melt more of the base of the ice. If the melt rate was high enough, it would carve channels along the bottom of the ice sheet. Flowing water in those channels would then act as a powerful lubricant to speed the ice sheet’s motion. Faster sliding would send it out to sea sooner, where it would melt even faster.

    Measuring temperatures at the base of an ice sheet is quite hard, notes Van Wyk de Vries. So it’s hard to tell how warm the volcanic province is, beneath all that ice. . .” (https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/giant-volcanoes-lurk-beneath-antarctic-ice)

    Not hard for Ray or Kevin, apparently. They can puzzle out the facts simply by doing a few back of the envelope calculations, saving everyone a great deal of time and trouble.

    From the same source: “But exactly what will happen, and where, is complicated, he adds. Buried volcanoes may behave differently in different parts of the ice sheet. Researchers may find all three effects — melting, pinning and erupting — at different spots. That will make predicting the overall impacts especially tough. But at least now scientists know where to look.”

  29. 79
    Carrie says:

    71 MA Rodger says:
    Carrie @59,
    What is it you are describing as “bullshit in 2013 and still bullshit in 2018”? You denegrate “Mainstrean CLimate Science projections” but provide no description of what you mean by this rather caustic remark.

    What I mean? It’s obvious what BS means. I provided the refs as well. What more do you need?

  30. 80
    MA Rodger says:

    Killian @62,
    You say “I’m interested in reading the paper itself.” That would be Fischer et al (2018) ‘Palaeoclimate constraints on the impact of 2°C anthropogenic warming and beyond’. The comparison set out within the Guardian article of an eventual SLR with 2100 SLR is very misleading as the 6m SLR referes to “time-scales of millennia” not a single century.
    Comparing this article with IPCC AR5, the eventual SLR from 2°C AGW as projected by IPCC AR5 (illustrated in AR5 Fig 13.14 e&j) is 12m(+2m/-9m) with SLR two-millenia-post-warming of 4.6m(+2m/-3m), and that is without any attempt to predict big destabalisation of Antarctic ice caps. Five years on, the review article Fischer et al (2018) doesn’t reduce those uncertainties.

  31. 81
    Carrie says:

    June 2018: 410.79 ppm +1.95
    June 2017: 408.84 ppm

    A relatively minor drop of only 0.46 ppm from May to June averages.
    But an increase of CO2 ppm growth of +0.30 ppm since May into June.
    Week beginning on June 24, 2018: 410.57 ppm +2.70
    Week beginning on July 01, 2018: Trending @ +1.81

    Oooooh, awfully skyrockety and quite skycollapsy all at once, what. But it’s still a bad moon rising. Looks like we’re in for nasty weather … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_Psclfgfhw :)

  32. 82
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Vendicar Decarian@61

    OK. Step back. Look at what you just wrote. Is this really the person you want to be?

    The unfortunate thing you have to realize is that the most egregious activities of Mr. Pruitt’s regime–the ones that will likely lead to the most deaths–were perfectly legal. He lost his job because he is utterly tone deaf when it comes to ethical lapses…not unlike his boss.

    However, NO ONE, ever, under any circumstances deserves to be raped. That is absolute…sacrosanct. If it is not…if you are willing to compromise the principle of bodily autonomy…then the consequences are dire indeed.

    Please. Stop. Take some time and reflect on who you are becoming.

  33. 83
    William Duncan says:

    64 @Ray that’s more what I was getting at Ray. See my post at 70. If there is the possibility for climate shifts happening in shorter “jerks” as well as slower trends then I’m wondering how this would be picked up.

    The coin analogy is a good one although somewhat limited in that each trial is independent of the former state of the system, unlike climate and weather.

    But let me try to develop the idea and get round that limitation with a mental experiment.

    Assume a “coin toss” system but where there was a black box in the system which can do things like limit the runs of all heads or all tails and which can ensure that the results over runs of 100 tosses or always tended to come in around a set level eg 50;50 but with a degree of variation over different runs. The black box can also be set by the experimenter to weight the results of the coin tosses towards heads or tails by any desired algorithm.

    An outside observer, who knows there is this black box which can influence the system and knows that the experimenter can change the way the black box works when he so decides, measures this system and concludes that over periods of 100 runs or so the system tends to produce results which come in around 50:50 on average but with some variation typically no more than the bounds 45:55 and 55:45. He may conclude that the black box is set to exert minimal if any weighting.

    Then a series of runs start coming in and the observer notices that slowly the average is moving consistently towards tails at 49:51 say for a series of 10 x 100 runs. As before the system produces occasional outlier runs but these rarely now go outside the bounds h:T 45:65 and 55:45. He notes the outer bounds appear to have shifted also.
    Then some further runs show a shift to 48:52 and so on.

    The observer, who knows that there is a black box which can impact the system, might now conclude that some trend factor that the experimenter has turned on in the black box is disturbing the system and pushing towards increasing tails. On the best evidence he has he might conclude that this slow trend produced by the black box will continue.

    Now come three runs of 100 where the results come in 20:80 , 35:65 and 15:85 These results are significantly different from previously observed patterns over similar timescales. The results are also quite significantly more weighted to tails over these timescales to what he has previously seen.

    What should the observer conclude if anything? Would it be a reasonable working conclusion that the black box may have been shifted to yet another but significantly different state?

    Its this last bit I’m asking about, how is this considered?

  34. 84
    Al Bundy says:

    nigelj: Dr Wanless was misreported, and seems to have modified his views.

    AB: I’m talking about a completely different quote. It was a personal comment made to Jeff Goodell and seven others at a discussion table in Miami in 2016, NOT an interview. “The Water Will Come” page 98. Go ahead and ask him if you doubt it. Hey, perhaps Jeff misheard or Dr Wanless has changed his mind, but since the quote is documented, tis up to you to degrade it.

    Nigel, thanks for the correction. The paper was paywalled so I didn’t read it and you are correct, the journalist said “double” but didn’t give a timeframe (which is really bad form). I saw double and two meters [instead of one meter]. Oops, I used the default “2100” inappropriately. Howevery, two meters total until the end of this period in time is truly silly. If we get to two meters then Greenland is eventually toast simply because of the increase in surface temperature due to the reduction in surface elevation. So, now I don’t even see the point of the article. Have you paid to see behind the paywall (or gotten around it)?

    ———

    Vendicar: Should be imprisoned and a**….

    AB: Yes, Scott Pruitt is an indirect mass murderer, but mass murderers are human, too. He deserves compassion, just like the guy who breaks out an AK47. Ask Gandhi, Jesus, or any other great person whom you admire. Prison should be a decent and safe place to be. Solitary confinement is torture and felons in prison should be the first people with the right to vote. After all, who needs representation more than folks in prison?

    ————

    Ray: the energy isn’t coming from … a Martian death ray or leprechauns

    AB: Says YOU. Pshaw. Ray, you work from evidence to conclusion. That’s one way of doing things. Victor works from belief to justification. Again, says YOU that your way is better. :-)

    ———-

    Bill: But there must come a point I assume when a single weather event, or episode, or run of events has moved so far outside the previous expected level of variability that it indicates something more significant.

    Carrie: 47 Bill D – you’re asking a really intelligent question on the wrong forum. You will not get a proper answer from anyone here (it’s a waste of time.)

    AB: Nope. BPL already answered: “Next, someone brings in a new coin and you get 90 heads and 10 tails. Well, it could happen. But if you repeat the trial and get 85 and 15, you might start to wonder.”

    So, ONE event can’t lead one to a conclusion but two or more independent events will do the trick. We’ve had plenty of independent events to “Carrie Bill’s Day”.

  35. 85
    Omega Centauri says:

    Bill D.
    I think the problem with getting good stats for extreme events is an issue.
    Firstly there are not nearly as many of them. And we can’t assume a simple distribution of weather events at a single site, like say a Gaussian with a mean and variance. The real deal is clearly more complicated than that. Thats why averages are the most common thing you see, they are more tractable.

    Now, I would agree, that extremes are important, especially because they have a disproportionate effect on people and their things.

  36. 86
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @84, I accept you are most probably right about Wanless. To be honest I just dont think its worth my effort to dig back through who said what, when, and how. There are bigger issues. I think the real point is the number of climate scientists predicting 5 metres is pretty small minority, on the evidence we have. Of course that doesn’t mean they are by definition wrong, but it means a lot of smart people think they are overestimating it a bit.

    I thought exactly the same as you about the journalist. It was bad form of them not to mention time frames. I think they deliberately do this to create scary stories so they can sell more newspapers. They also give the denialists far too much attention given most climate scientists are saying we are warming the climate, all I believe to keep the debate alive so they can sell newspapers. My point is the media let us all down to promote sales of their rubbish newspapers.

    One of your other articles said 6 metres, again no time frame given, but the context suggests to me they mean over several centuries, not by 2100.

    No I didnt read beyond the abstract, but the context of the articles and abstracts suggested they were referring to sea level rise over mutiple centuries to millenia and Im sure I read another similar article, where they said 6 metres over something like the next 3 – 5 centuries.

    Sometimes “google scholar” finds a free version of research papers, but it didn’t work with that one.

    However I do think 2 M by 2100 is possible, as previously stated, several times.

    I will be honest, I’m very interested in all these things, but neither do I have all day, or the inclination to trawl through every minute detail of every article. I just get a clear impression that only a very small number of people are predicting 5 metres, and nobody has provided evidence otherwise.

    And very briefly, clearly if we don’t limit warming to 2 degrees or less theres evidence of drastic sea level rise well beyond even 6 metres, but more on a millenia time scale. However this would still result in all sorts of ongoing problems, and loss of arable coastal land and soils etc.

  37. 87
    Carrie says:

    84 Al Bundy, the climate and ecosystem is neither a coin toss or a game of tic-tac-toe. People often complain about “noise” here and elsewhere. While most of the noise is being back-ended into the “problem solving system” by the climate scientists themselves!

    IN combo with their elite cohorts – ala economists political scientists academic elites and technocrat neoliberal billionaires such as Elon Musk and whoever owns Uber this week.

    5 years ago here people were arguing about Dr Francis and her polar vortex. People were demanding that everyone agrees that with wind solar being so cheap then and it’s rapid growth that nirvana was going to break out across the energy sectors and that Coal was dead and so were the ff ICEV very soon.

    Since Ed Griech departed the only person who speaks consistence rational science based first principles logical AND ETHICAL sense here is Killian; oh and Mike of course but his focus is extremely narrow.

    There’s a basic human condition as to why Killian is targeted the way in which he is. It’s in the pathological spectrum. Crack a book sometime. :)

  38. 88
    Killian says:

    #76 nigelj said Mike @72, you wonder if I was once a sceptic who has become a so called “luke warmer” Do you seriously think that because I’m dubious about 5 metres by 2100 that makes me a “luke warmer?”

    No, it’s because you are consistently on the low side in what you allow yourself to believe regardless of the evidence. The IPCC is *not* the authority on most likely outcomes, it is the keeper of the scientific reticence aka the middle road aka what can be stated with a degree of certitude vs. what more recent data is suggesting.

    Perhaps more fairly, it is what only liars and fools can argue against. But, I remind you, climate change over the last ten years has been hallmarked by “faster than expected” nearly everywhere. That is, too many findings either exceed IPCC or are at the high end. The high end does not define “expected,” the center of the model projections do.

    You consistently state things are not “skyrockety.”

    They are, thus the irony of the stupid-assed term being used to denigrate opinions.

    That would make most climate scientists luke warmers. Funny definition that you have.

    You have no idea what most scientists think on SLR. If you think IPCC represents that, you a poor understanding of how the IPCC functions. Private thoughts are often quite different from what the technical papers say because scientists understand science and don’t assume what is today will be tomorrow. Regardless, your in box is not full of their pledges on future SLR.

    When we see published, often anonymous (for obvious reasons), statements they are full of fear and how little the public understands about rates of change.

    Most people claim I’m a bit of an alarmist!

    Most people I communicate with… (<— fixed it for you.)

    You are not. Not even close. To be fair, it's actually almost impossible to be.

  39. 89
    Killian says:

    #53 nigelj Killian @37

    Please appreciate I didn’t claim all your predictions were wrong, simply that we tend to “forget” our bad predictions!

    Contradicting yourself. “Fall flat (on one’s) face” has but one meaning in this context.

    I’m sure you have been on the right side of several things!

    These are long-term issues, not moments passing. Bo, I have not forgotten, I just have not been wrong about much.

    Let it go.

  40. 90
    Killian says:

    #70 BIll D said Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the current runs of heatwaves around the world are in reality an indicator of some tipping point. Clearly we wouldn’t want to be waiting 30 years to be sure we had picked that up before we were certain a climate shift had taken place. I guess I’m asking then how far out of the normal run of events does a single event or sequence of events have to be before we could say “hang on, we don’t need to wait 30 years here, this is substantial enough to indicate a major shift!

    Ah, now here is something juicy! As has been said, climate is best discussed in terms of 30+-year trends. Your question is actually about non-linear and/or chaotic systems and tipping points.

    Chaotic shifts are preceded by wobbles in the system. That’s the good news. The bad news is we have almost zero ability to detect them and identify them as signs of a coming bifurcation. Now, non-linear systems, i.e. suddenly changeable but not chaotic, can be mathematically modeled. To the extent most consider climate a non-linear system more so than a chaotic one, we *should* be able to figure out where the bifurcations will be, just as we know the angle at which a pile of sand will collapse.

    The problem is, there are chaotic aspects of the Earth’s system – like human behavior – and some of us think it actually chaotic. Now, even if not chaotic, the human element is and the utter complexity makes it so that it may as well be in terms of the perfection, or lack thereof, of our modelling.

    Short answer, we do not, cannot know the answer to your question.

    Thus, risk assessment suggest we act as if the tipping points are immediate.

    So I’m not arguing about the general application of the thirty years approach ( which seems generally a sensible one) but whether the approach used is geared to pick up shorter term sizeable shifts – which can happen in complex systems in shorter timescales as they shift states I think?

  41. 91
    Killian says:

    Re #80 MA Rodger said the 6m SLR referes to “time-scales of millennia” not a single century.
    Comparing this article with IPCC AR5, the eventual SLR from 2°C AGW as projected by IPCC AR5 (illustrated in AR5 Fig 13.14 e&j) is 12m(+2m/-9m) with SLR two-millenia-post-warming of 4.6m(+2m/-3m), and that is without any attempt to predict big destabalisation of Antarctic ice caps. Five years on, the review article Fischer et al (2018) doesn’t reduce those uncertainties.

    We can hope, but paleoclimate offers no correlation to the current situation. I think paleoclimate research is excellent for understanding the EArth system and how things function and very rough estimates, but we have to then apply the reality of the system changing far faster than any other warming before and the dearth of hystereses. (Hysteresi?)

    This argues against the Hansen look at doublings that have already been measured and the instability issues with the ice sheets. I still have to take a gander myself.

    Thanks for the germane bits.

    I did have an interesting thought on hysteresis this morning: What if SLR is so fast it limits or slows acidification, which is ultimately far more dangerous than SLR?

  42. 92
    zebra says:

    #83 William Duncan,

    OK, clearly articulated, but I’m still not sure if you are asking about statistical reasoning in general or climate change.

    If you are asking about climate change, the answer is…

    We already know, with scientific certainty, that the algorithm controlling your black box is applying increasing weighting.

    So, my question is, what’s the point of your question? If we experience more heat waves that are extreme by some metric, that is what we expect, given our characterization of the climate system and the effects of GHG thereon.

    What should we “consider” differently?

  43. 93

    #78, Victor–

    Not hard for Ray or Kevin, apparently. They can puzzle out the facts simply by doing a few back of the envelope calculations, saving everyone a great deal of time and trouble.

    Not at all. Ray’s calculation did not attempt nor pretend to show what the detailed contribution of volcanic heat to localized melt may be. What it *did* do was to show that the magnitude of heat required to make volcanic action responsible for ice loss in West Antarctica is implausibly large.

    Note what you are doing, versus what the authors of your study are doing: their motivation was curiousity, and they are open to a range of possibilities, which they are eager to explore. They’ve hypothesized 3 possible effects of the volcanoes on ice: melting, pinning (in which the volcanic cones act as stabilizing features which impede ice flow), and

    A third option: Ice thinning due to climate change might work to trigger more eruptions and ice melting. Ice is heavy, Bingham notes, which serves to weigh down Earth’s rocky crust below. As an ice sheet thins, that pressure on the crust would diminish. This reduced pressure might then “uncap” magma inside the volcanoes. And that could trigger more volcanic activity.

    In that case, these volcanoes would act as positive climate feedback. But I’m still skeptical–as the story notes:

    These volcanoes are hidden beneath the vast, slowly moving West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Most lie in a region called Marie Byrd Land. Together, they form one of the planet’s largest volcanic provinces, or regions. This newfound province stretches across a span as large as the distance from Canada to Mexico — some 3,600 kilometers (2,250 miles).

    So that’s a volcano every 25 miles or so, if they were neatly arrayed in a line. But the rift zone is something like 700 km wide…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Antarctic_Rift

    You, on the other hand, are proposing that these volcanoes could account for all West Antarctic ice loss. It’s implausible for several reasons–not least because ice loss is proceeding from the coast (where volcanoes are mostly not) inland. Why? Because you don’t want humans to be affecting the cryosphere, or anything else about the environment. The consequences would be–inconvenient.

    But the cryosphere is changing on a global scale. I wonder what Occam would have to say about connecting that observation with West Antarctic Rift volcanoes?

  44. 94
    Bill D says:

    Thanks for the responses to my queries and the helpful links. Hank (76) – is that the sort of thing I’m talking about? I.e. The graph with a 4th July spike? No, not really because there is of course an immediately identifiable reason why a spike might occur on that day! I’ve been checking out stuff on Extreme Value Theory and related stuff and that seems very much relevant to what I was getting at.

  45. 95
    mike says:

    Nigel at 76: Ok, I guess that’s all good. I don’t pay that much attention here because of the tone of the discussion that has gone from “curious about the science” to “furious about the other commenters.”

    I thought your posts about the Wanless piece in the Guardian showed you did not read carefully and were shooting from the lip using terms like “moronic” to describe the Guardian journalists. That got me wondering about your motivation and whether you were posting here with sincerity and authenticity or if you were trolling in the luke-warmer style.

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  46. 96
    Carrie says:

    Based on Observations and Our Experience
    and focused on fully communicating the significance and implications of scientific understanding for the public now and into future generations, we scientists and experts in the field of climate change science, impacts, and solutions, submit this call to more aggressive action to limit climate change to the nations of the world through the Talanoa Dialogue.

    (a) Greenhouse gas emissions are not on a pathway to accomplish the stated objective and, indeed, given economic realities, technological capabilities, and the world’s present reliance on fossil fuels for ~80% of its energy, there will be significant temperature overshoot;

    (b) Significant impacts are already occurring at 1ºC warming , including increased occurrence of extreme weather and storms and an emerging commitment to rates of sea level rise that will quite likely exceed a meter per century for many centuries, making it clear that reducing risks back to levels that society and the environment can accommodate will require bringing the global average temperature back to no more than 0.5ºC above its preindustrial level as rapidly as possible;
    (c ) The current warming will further increase by about 50% by the end of the century due to the loss of the sulfate cooling influence and the ongoing response of the ocean, even without further emissions.

    from
    https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/97_Talanoa%20Submission_climate%20institute.pdf

  47. 97
    Carrie says:

    more?

    At the time of writing, the 12-month running average of the atmospheric CO2
    concentration at Mauna Loa is 406.7 ppm. The rate of increase is growing at a rate that is at least as fast as exponential. This is not commensurate with the target of restraining the increase in the global
    average temperature to below 2ºC, much less 1.5ºC

    The consequences of the failure to reduce anthropogenic emissions is clear in the Mauna Loa trend; Figure 2 shows that the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration has consistently
    increased since detailed records began in 1958, rising by ~260% from approximately 0.7 ppm per annum in 1958 to 2.5 ppm per annum over the past decade. [2015/16 @ 3.0 ppm and now 2.7 ppm]

    Increasing rates of loss of soil carbon from tropical forests, oxidation of thawing permafrost, and melting of methane clathrates in high latitudes strongly suggest that natural carbon feedbacks are being stimulated, amplifying the existing warming influences of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

    https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/97_Talanoa%20Submission_climate%20institute.pdf

    Who knew?

  48. 98
    Chuck Hughes says:

    But the basic idea behind Darwin’s theory has held up very well over many years of careful study. Climate change is another matter entirely.” – Weaktor

    Thank God Evolutionary science isn’t on the chopping block. What’s amazing to me is Weaktor has been lurking around realclimate for several years now and still hasn’t learned anything.

    I’m disappointed in you Weak. I had high hopes for your future. I know you love to portray yourself as the Loyal Opposition but you’re not. You’re much more like the bug that got sucked into a jet engine.

  49. 99
    Al Bundy says:

    Carrie: O Bush warblers!
    Now you’ve shit all over

    AB: the world by Trumping truth.

    ————–

    Victor,

    Note that if your “hypothesis” were true then Mount Erebus probably wouldn’t have any ice or snow.

    Mount Erebus photo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mt_erebus.jpg

    from your link: “No surface clues, however, reveal the existence of most of them.”

    If your “hypothesis” were true then three things would result:
    First, above each volcano would be a dip of sorts. One can’t melt out the underside without the top sagging, eh?

    Second, volcanoes produce a LOT of gasses. Those gasses have to go somewhere. So, your job, should you actually decide to get scientific, is to show where those gasses are going.

    And third, ice is heavy and cold. Any volcano under 2 km of ice would have its magma quickly solidified. Then the ice on top of a cold cap would plug the volcano. You’d need a seriously explosive eruption to dislodge the cap. Now, what do you think the odds are that nobody would notice the shaking of the entire Earth that would result?

    Please read your sources. “A second possible impact of all of those volcanoes is that they might actually slow the flow of ice. Why? Those volcanic cones make the land surface under the ice bumpier. Like speed bumps in a road, those cones might slow the ice, or tend to “pin” it in place.”

    And the clincher: “This has, in fact, been seen on Iceland. And there is evidence it could happen in Antarctica too,”

    Ahh, they were talking about the FUTURE. So basically you just found a feedback that is NOT in play YET.

    “When you shoot from the hip, sometimes you hit your foot” – Al Bundy

  50. 100
    jb says:

    William at 82:

    “Now come three runs of 100 where the results come in 20:80 , 35:65 and 15:85 These results are significantly different from previously observed patterns over similar timescales. The results are also quite significantly more weighted to tails over these timescales to what he has previously seen.

    What should the observer conclude if anything? Would it be a reasonable working conclusion that the black box may have been shifted to yet another but significantly different state?

    Its this last bit I’m asking about, how is this considered?”

    You can put actual numbers to this. If you have a FAIR coin and runs of 100, the distribution of results will be “approximately normal” with a mean result of 50 and a “standard deviation” of 5. It means that approximately 68% of your runs will be between 45:55 and 55:45, about 95% of your runs will be between 40:60 and 60:40 and about 99.7% of your runs will be between 35:65 and 65:35.

    Results beyond these last numbers will be VERY rare. Given your example and using X as the number of tails, the probability that X will be 65 or more is about .00176, the probability that X will be 80 or more is about 5.58 x 10^-10, and the probability that X will be 85 or more is about 2.41 x 10^-13. The probability of getting all three of these in a row is a product of the three probabilities, about 2.37 x 10^-25.

    So what does this mean? If you could flip your fair coin 100 times a second, you would get three runs like these (or more severe) in a row once every 133 quadrillion years. So, you should most definitely place a bet that your coin is in fact not fair – and if it once was fair, it is no longer so.