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Unforced variations: Dec 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 December 2018

This month’s open thread for climate science topics. Please use the Forced Responses thread for solutions and politics.

168 Responses to “Unforced variations: Dec 2018”

  1. 51
    Mike says:

    I would really like to hear from the posters here who thought that emissions had peaked during the 2014-2016 emission reports that indicated that emissions had fallen. Please review the most recent report on emissions and let me know how it is looking. I have forgotten exactly who was making those arguments, but I think you know who you are. I don’t want to rub your nose in it, but I am interested in how you think we are doing on emissions in light of the most recent report.

    reference: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/co2-emissions-reached-an-all-time-high-in-2018/

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  2. 52
    S.B. Ripman says:

    Here’s a news story that serves as a stark reminder that conscienceless Frankenstein monsters walk among us and wreak havoc constantly: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/climate/cafe-emissions-rollback-oil-industry.html
    The monsters are publicly-held corporations. They are conscienceless because (a) their sole purpose is to make profits for their shareholders, (b) their shareholders, even if the majority of them believe in the climate change threat and wish to see it forcefully addressed, do not have management control, (c) they instead are managed by boards of directors and officers who have a fiduciary duty to do everything necessary to serve the narrow corporate purpose (of making money), and (d) in order to fulfill their responsibilities the managers must hire lobbyists, support mission-friendly politicians and engage in such other activities as further profitability, even if in doing so harm comes to humanity.
    If a rampaging conscienceless monster were headed in your direction, would you build a cage to capture it and contain its damage, or would you grant it constitutional protections afforded normal human beings so that its actions could be furthered? The Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, chose the latter.

  3. 53
    Nemesis says:

    @mike, #51

    I never believed in all that calculated optimism for a second.

    ” Chance of 2°C target at 5%, chance of 1.5°C target at 1%”

    https://www.scinexx.de/news/geowissen/kaum-noch-chancen-fuers-zwei-grad-ziel/

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3357

    Hot regards,
    Nemesis

  4. 54
    MA Rodger says:

    Mike @51,
    I’m not sure why you are looking for discussion of the GCP prelimenary 2018 report from those with a history, those “who thought that emissions had peaked during the 2014-2016.” The GCP numbers do show flat CO2 emissions (FF+cement+LUC) for the period 2014-17, something I have flagged-up in the past, their total emissions for these years being 11.29, 11.30, 11.04, 11.26 (Gt(C)). The prelimenary report gives a FF+cement value for 2018 above 10Gt(C) for the first time, projecting a range 10.04 to 10.24 (up from 9.87 in 2017). The LUC emissions have been 1.4+/-0.35(2sd) in past years suggesting that 2018 could still extend the flatness another year, an outside chance even if the FF+cement emissions come in at the top of the projection.

  5. 55

    #52, SBR–

    You are right, but the ‘conscienceless monsters’ are not without human direction–and in fact, the corporate ethos you describe is not inherent nor original, but a recent and ideologically-motivated perversion.

    The Delaware Supreme Court, renowned for its corporate governance decisions and the source of the primary legal standards for the duties and liabilities of corporate officers, ruled in 1993, re-affirmed in 2006, and again in 2010, that the “triad” of duties includes the duty of loyalty, due care and good faith, where “good faith” and “full and fair disclosure” are considered to be the essential elements of, or prerequisites for proper conduct, by a director.

    https://via.library.depaul.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://search.yahoo.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1038&context=jrbe

    Does anyone really define their personal well-being in purely economic terms? It’s doubtful, IMO–what percentage of the population would agree to a multimillion dollar payout for the amputation of a limb, for instance? Non-zero, probably, but doubtless very small. So why should the fiduciary duty of corporate officers be limited to a very tightly-defined subset of the stakeholder’s economic well-being? (I.e., that portion directly resulting from the corporate bottom line.)

    Isn’t such a standard to demand that “good faith” actually be tantamount to stupidity? Put differently, can “due care and good faith” really imply that shareholders (let alone other stakeholders) are only to value their share prices and dividends? Surely anything meriting the description of “good faith” can’t coexist with such an absurd value proposition.

    Moreover, even the doctrine that fiduciary duty is limited to “shareholders” is not historical:

    …history has demonstrated that fiduciary duties have been and can be the responsibility of all corporate members, and these duties may be extended to all stakeholders and the larger society. Research supports the theory that the corporation should have one set of duties for multiple stakeholders, an argument made by managers in the 1990s that managers had the skills and independence to mediate fairly among the firm’s stakeholders, and could assemble innovative teams capable of expanding wealth and economic opportunity. Managers sustained this claim well into the 1990s, both within their firms and within their major business associations but by 1997 pressure from the global commodity and national financial markets persuaded managers to revise their stakeholder standard. The perception is that managers moved from a focus on a single duty of loyalty to shareholders, to a narrower focus on making their principals (shareholders) and themselves rich, while disassociating themselves from the ideal of widening economic opportunity and improving living standards for the many.

    So the ethos you describe is a recent perversion emanating from corporate ‘libertarian’ theory elaborated and promulgated by the new emerging oligarchy, both in the US and internationally. Historically, corporations have had duties to the larger society; have balanced outcomes to different stakeholder groups, and have even included social goods as part of their corporate missions.

    But the ideology you describe weaponizes corporations as an element in class war. And it’s become widely accepted–not only by its proponents, but by critics and observers in general, who increasingly take it as a norm. It’s not–or at least, we shouldn’t allow it to become one, for the reasons you already outlined.

  6. 56
    DrivingBy says:

    @Gavin

    Re post #43
    Thank you, I had not the patience, the knowledge of this topic, or experience in Science to deal with Mr. Trollski.

  7. 57
    Killian says:

    Re #49: Pay attention, nigel, you hypocrite: I did not comment on religion, I commented on bigotry and racism and had already suggested that conversation go elsewhere. You actually did comment on religion, the discussion of it. That’s not my job, nor yours, that’s the mod’s.

    Still, I would be fine with my post deleted particularly if the bigotry is, too.

  8. 58
    Killian says:

    Re #49: Pay attention, nigel. I did not comment on religion, I commented on bigotry and racism and had already suggested that conversation go elsewhere to the persons involved, not the mods, as I am sure they don’t need you nor I telling them what to do. My post stated a *personal* response to that subthread, and my personal desire to see it gone.

    But I’ll be damned if there’s ever a topic that arises you don’t comment on.

  9. 59
    nigelj says:

    The corporate profit motive has the virtue of a simple focus, but is causing an environmental nightmare that cannot be disputed any longer. I think corporations are going to have to embrace wider goals than the simple profit motive ( or get back to having wider goals as KM suggests). Either willingly or by force from shareholders or governments. Dont ask me how we make this happen, and it will be a more complex system, but it either happens or the alternative is a major disaster.

    I think I could envisage some combination of profitability, environmental goals, and fair pay goals. It seems challenging, yet more likely to happen than people willingly abandoning the capitalist system. Alternative lifestyle communities or “intentional communities”, are an admirable idea, but frankly dont have a great history of success if you google the issue.

  10. 60
    nigelj says:

    Killian

    “I did not comment on religion, I commented on bigotry and racism..”

    Yes you did comment on religion. You mentioned christianity at least three times, and almost every reference included religion. You said “Christianity does, in fact, place humanity above and in a controlling position to Nature and indigenous beliefs generally, in fact, do the opposite.” To claim you were only discussing bigotry, and not religion is not tenable.

    Fwiw I’m not religious, so I am not defending religion, but I’m tired of way off topic rants that get divisive and which blame religion for every evil in the world. There’s more to it than that. The colonisation process and oppression of native peoples was primarily driven by expansionary economic policies, technologies that enabled sea travel, greed, and so on. And this process has precious little to do with climate mitigation, so your comments on oppression of native peoples are also off topic.

  11. 61
    mike says:

    MAR at 54: I am wondering if a logical conversation is possible with folks who thought the emissions had peaked during the 2014-2017 lull in emission rise. Peaked – as in, we would not see a year or series of years where the emissions would rise above the level of emissions in 2017. The emission numbers are what they are from year to year. They are a soft indicator number because the data underlying the numbers are not a hard number like MLO saturation numbers, but if we think that the soft emission number is meaningful, then a peak in that number would suggest that annual emission numbers after the peak would be smaller than the peak year. Does that make sense to you?

    and secondarily, what do you think about the 2018 emission numbers and what they mean with regard to our species’ attempts to curb emissions?

    Cheers
    Mike

  12. 62
    Killian says:

    Back to the future, indeed:

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181210150614.htm?fbclid=IwAR1kwGk2g3rWsBJ4hJ97cbM14sDgnZjdogbgjhievQ4lSFIg1nIgnRLRhdQ

    Under both scenarios and across each model, compared to previous eras, the Earth’s climate most closely resembled the mid-Pliocene by 2030 (under RCP8.5) or 2040 (under RCP4.5). Under the greenhouse gas stabilization scenario of RCP4.5, the climate then stabilizes at mid-Pliocene-like conditions, but under the higher greenhouse gas emissions of RCP8.5, the climate continues to warm until it begins to resemble the Eocene in 2100, achieving Eocene-like conditions more broadly by 2150.

    The models showed these deep-geological climates emerging first from the center of continents and then expanding outward over time. Temperatures rise, precipitation increases, ice caps melt and climates become temperate near the Earth’s poles.

    “Madison (Wisconsin) warms up more than Seattle (Washington) does, even though they’re at the same latitude,” Williams explains. “When you read that the world is expected to warm by 3 degrees Celsius this century, in Madison we should expect to roughly double the global average.”

    The study also showed that under RCP8.5, “novel” climates emerge across nearly 9 percent of the planet. These are conditions that do not have known geologic or historical precedent and they concentrate in eastern and southeastern Asia, northern Australia and the coastal Americas.

  13. 63
    Killian says:

    Re #59 nigelj said …corporations are going to have to embrace wider goals than the simple profit motive…

    …I think I could envisage some combination of profitability, environmental goals, and fair pay goals. It seems challenging, yet more likely to happen than people willingly abandoning the capitalist system.

    I find it bizarre you still frame everything in terms of willingness rather than conditions. What does it matter what people want to do when they have no choice? If your boat sinks, you have two options, swim or drown. That you *want* your boat to still be floating does not matter, and is not a thought a sane person would be busy trying to make happen.

    Alternative lifestyle communities or “intentional communities”, are an admirable idea, but frankly dont have a great history of success if you google the issue.

    Because these are places that come from a flawed perspective of what, from this paradigm, seems like simplicity. The key point is they are theorizing from within *this* paradigm. They do not start from a First Principles, tabla rasa perspective as we do in permaculture. Tribal systems have features ecovillages do not, for example, no ownership. This is actually rare in ecovillages. Free movement: This is non-existent in any ecovillage I know of. People are bound by commitments, financial, social, physical place, that our aboriginal First Nations are not. There is more, but these two are enough to show why ecovillages fail: They do not mimic human systems embedded and at one with Natural systems.

  14. 64
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Pay attention Nigel, you hypocrite

    AB: I decided to read until the first insult. Twas an efficient choice. It took five words.

  15. 65
    carrie says:

    Churchill College, University of Cambridge
    Published on 9 Nov 2018
    Rupert Read, Environmental Philosopher and Chair of Green House Think Tank

    This civilisation is finished: so what is to be done?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzCxFPzdO0Y

    The Paris Agreement explicitly commits us to use non-existent, utterly reckless, unaffordable and ineffective ‘Negative Emissions Technologies’ which will almost certainly fail to be realised.

    Barring a multifaceted miracle, within a generation, we will be facing an exponentially rising tide of climate disasters that will bring this civilization down. We, therefore, need to engage with climate realism.

    This means an epic struggle to mitigate and adapt, an epic struggle to take on the climate-criminals and, notably, to start planning seriously for civilizational collapse.

  16. 66
    nigelj says:

    Mike @61,

    As you say we had a couple of years 2014 – 2017 where emissions appeared to have stopped growing, I can’t remember the exact trend but something along these lines. I thought it was a good sign. I think its kind of natural to celebrate the tentative signs of something positive. Part of me is very doomy and gloomy about climate change and cynical about humanities ability to deal with the problem, especially when you look at the self interested greed, scientific ignorance, denialist campaign brainwashing people etcetera, but I need some optimism and hope as well. You on the other hand seem awfully pessimistic.

    Getting back to the numbers. Clearly 3 years was interesting and a good sign, but too short to conclude we were genuinely on top of the problem. My gut feeling is you would need to see a five or ten year trend to be sure the world had really turned the corner, because a political decision in just one large country could cause enough changes in deployment of renewables to distort the issue for a couple of years and make it look either better or worse than it really is. Ten years would start to remove this noise and give some confidence there’s a global trend developing.

    Apparently 2018 was a bad year for emissions because of continued building of coal fired power stations in China and India cancelling its intention to go nuclear and building more coal fired power stations. This has upset any emerging positive trend, but if other countries cut emissions next year we might see a flattening of emissions. Only time will tell.

  17. 67
    nigelj says:

    Killian @63

    Sure alternative communities are often not well designed, but I think they fail mainly because some of their members are greedy, sexual predators, disruptive, self promoting etc. Perhaps you have to be very careful who you let into these communities. George Orwells political satire Animal Farm explores the problems.

    I also don’t think shared ownership works very well. Like Einstein says don’t keep on doing the same thing expecting a different result. If passionate enthusiasts can’t make such ideas work reliably, what about the rest of humanity?

    At the very least some thing should be in private ownership and some shared and limited to large scale issues.

    The other problem I have is a decentralised set of relatively small, independent self governing communities is likely to struggle to maintain more than an incredibly basic form of technology. I think the only way they could provide some technology for the important stuff (not suggesting we have to maintain the current status quo) is to start to link up together, and then you have a system probably evolving back towards some form of hierachical organisation. So alternative communities are well intended, but look like a step sideways to me.

  18. 68

    #64, AB–

    Yeah, me too. By contrast, I read Killian’s #63 with interest, as a clear and concise exposition of ideas about social structure and the environment.

  19. 69
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP have posted its November anomaly at +0.77ºC, a value more in keeping with 2018-so-far after October’s +0.98ºC. (Prior to October, the GISS monthly anomalies this year sit within the range +0.91C to +0.72ºC.)
    It is =5th warmest November in GISS behind previous warm Novembers 2015 (+1.02ºC), 2016 (+0.90ºC), 2017 (+0.85ºC) & 2013 (+0.78ºC) whilst tying with November 2010.
    November 2018 is =50th warmest monthly anomaly on the full all-month GISTEMP record.
    In the GISTEMP year-to-date table below, 2018 now sits firmly in 4th place (requiring rather impossible December anomalies outside the range +1.41ºC to -0.17ºC to shift from 4th).

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.00ºC … … … +0.99ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. +0.90ºC … … … +0.89ºC … … … 2nd
    2015 .. +0.84ºC … … … +0.86ºC … … … 3rd
    2018 .. +0.81ºC
    2014 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 4th
    2010 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … … 5th
    2005 .. +0.67ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 6th
    2007 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … … 8th
    2013 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.64ºC … … … 7th
    2002 .. +0.64ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 10th
    1998 .. +0.63ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 11th

  20. 70
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @61,
    I’m not entirely sure that there is much to say about recent CO2 emissions that I didn’t @54. “Soft” or not, Global Carbon Project give the following values (GtCarbon):-

    Year … … FF+cement … LUC … … Total
    2013 … … … 9.61 … . … 1.54 … … 11.15
    2014 … … … 9.69 … . … 1.60 … … 11.29
    2015 … … … 9.68 … . … 1.62 … … 11.30
    2016 … … … 9.74 … . … 1.30 … … 11.04
    2017 … … … 9.87 … . … 1.39 … … 11.26

    For 2018 FF+cement they are projecting a range 10.04 to 10.24 so with past LUC figures averaging 1.4+/-0.35(2sd), a continuing plateau in is not beyond the realms of reality although the probability is for a level above the 2015 value.

    Mitigation isn’t supposed to be discussed here in the UV thread, but it is fair to say that the plateau is due to coal being less used as a FF rather than a ramping up in the renewables contribution. But perhaps it should be mentioned that in the numbers, renewables (ie wind & solar) replacing FF in electricity supply is more than one-to-one as the FF is primary energy while the renewables is electrical output. The thermal efficiency of coal is still about 35% and CC gas still below 50%. So wind & solar should be considered as at least double when compared with the primary energy use of FF-generated electric.

  21. 71
    Killian says:

    Re #68 Kevin McKinney said #64, AB–

    Yeah, me too.

    And a good choice as it neither involved nor should have interested anyone but nige and the mods/owners.

    By contrast, I read Killian’s #63 with interest, as a clear and concise exposition of ideas about social structure and the environment.

    Because you, despite some friction over the years, do not tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Too many here, and the rest of the planet, do.

    Also a wise choice on your part.

    AB: A fact is not an insult. His comment was hypocritical, and it is not the first time. A pattern does a character reveal. Had you chosen not to read it bc it did not concern you, fine. That you chose not to read it because of a bias, bad. That makes you a small-minded, and given the current state of the planet, potentially suicidal as you put your biases before understanding.

    Please, in all seriousness, do note we SHOULD be allies, but you choose to let your judgmental views get in the way. How does that make a better future?

    Never forget I spent a huge number of words and amount of patience (about 6 months) on nigel before realizing he could not handle the demands of the discussion, and tired of his misrepresenting and distorting my words. It is convenient to forget that, just as it is convenient to forget that up through at least 2013 my relationships here were civil. I did not change, others’ responses to my message did. My certainty, my accuracy, the very view of the future I saw (which has come to fruition – for lack of a better word), all seem to have driven too many of you to attack that which challenged you.

    Get over it. As the movie quote goes, these are serious times for serious people. Act like one of the serious people: Stop being petty.

  22. 72
    Killian says:

    Re #60 nigelj whined

    Killian

    “I did not comment on religion, I commented on bigotry and racism..”

    Yes you did comment on religion. You mentioned christianity at least three times, and almost every reference included religion. You said “Christianity does, in fact, place humanity above and in a controlling position to Nature and indigenous beliefs generally, in fact, do the opposite.” To claim you were only discussing bigotry, and not religion is not tenable.

    It is demonstrative of your intellect that you do not see this as a supporting point for my argument, but as the argument itself.

    so your comments on oppression of native peoples are also off topic.

    Did I claim my post was on topic? No. To repeat, I FIRST suggested the conversation be taken elsewhere. Only after I viewed the video myself did I realize how religiously-based the offending response was, and how biased and even racist. I felt a moral obligation to encourage deletion.

    Your moral obligation is limited to ankle-biting, unfortunately. I note you have at no point addressed the nature of the offending response. You say you are not religious, but are you also not moral?

    Any response should be within your own head, not here.

  23. 73
    Killian says:

    Re #65 carrie said/quoted This means an epic struggle to mitigate and adapt, an epic struggle to take on the climate-criminals and, notably, to start planning seriously for civilizational collapse.

    Tell that dumbass to call me.

  24. 74
    Killian says:

    Re #67 nigelj said Killian @63

    Sure alternative communities are often not well designed, but I think they fail mainly because some of their members are greedy, sexual predators, disruptive, self promoting etc.

    None of those has brought down an IC I am aware of.

    Perhaps you have to be very careful who you let into these communities.

    The antithesis of what I suggest bc that is exactly what HAS been done. Do you not read before responding?

    George Orwells political satire Animal Farm explores the problems.

    No, it doesn’t. Not even a little.

    I also don’t think shared ownership works very well.

    Despite being the ONLY successful model of regenerative systems…

    Like Einstein says don’t keep on doing the same thing expecting a different result.

    You’re correct. I need to stop responding to your massive ignorance.

    If passionate enthusiasts can’t make such ideas work reliably, what about the rest of humanity?

    Those “passionate enthusiasts” have, and do, make it work in places all over the world. See: The Farm; aboriginal communities; Cheran, Mexico.

    At the very least some thing should be in private ownership and some shared and limited to large scale issues.

    Because you’re a selfish twit? Or… do you actually have a reason?

    The other problem I have is a decentralised set of relatively small, independent self governing communities is likely to struggle to maintain more than an incredibly basic form of technology.

    And who called for that?

    I think the only way they could provide some technology for the important stuff (not suggesting we have to maintain the current status quo) is to start to link up together

    No shit, Sherlock? You mean like I’ve been suggesting all along? So, are you stealing my idea or just borrowing it?

    and then you have a system probably evolving back towards some form of hierachical organisation.

    Because… you say so… or…?

    So alternative communities are well intended, but look like a step sideways to me.

    You are a step sideways. The breadth of your self-inflicted ignorance is breathtaking. I have linked and discussed the Regenerative Governance model for years, but it is abundantly clear you have never bothered to study it… or even think about it for more than two minutes.

    I have said it before and I will say it again: You do not belong here.

  25. 75
    nigelj says:

    Killian @74

    You can deny problems with alternative communities all you like, and call me all the names you like, but it doesn’t alter a thing I said. Most alternative communites (intentional communities) fail as below, and partly for the reasons I stated, human failings of some of the members. There are of course other reasons like lack of clear plans and responsibilities, unrealistic goals etc.

    If the enthusiasts can only make a minority of them work, how would the rest of humanity do? I don’t find intentional communities a terribly compelling model in general terms and regardless of the particular style of community. Why would I?

    https://aeon.co/essays/like-start-ups-most-intentional-communities-fail-why

    https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/bzkCYAyfdaSZitbBR/why-most-intentional-communities-fail-and-some-succeed

    https://pjmedia.com/trending/intentional-communities-fail/

    https://areomagazine.com/2018/03/08/why-utopian-communities-fail/

    https://project-community.weebly.com/alentejocommunityportugalblog/4-10-reasons-why-intentional-communities-fail

    I have included some articles with constructive suggestions to make them work better. But of course you know everything, so you wont need to read those.

  26. 76
    nigelj says:

    Killian @72, I think religion in the sense it was being discussed above, and comments on oppression of indiginous people are off topic for this entire website! What the hell has this material got to do with climate? Any link is tenuous.

    I read this website for the climate content. I think there is a place for politics / economics because this does have a relationship to the climate problem, provided it doesnt turn into nasty, hostile rants, (not naming names you know who you are).

    So if anyone does not belong on this website it is YOU.

  27. 77
    nigelj says:

    Killian @74

    “I have linked and discussed the Regenerative Governance model for years, but it is abundantly clear you have never bothered to study it… or even think about it for more than two minutes.”

    What makes you think I read every comment you make or have been reading this website for years? I have not seen any of your links on it. I googled regenerative governance myself out of curiosity, and got a total of three hits , none of which had useful information, definitions, proof of the idea.

    Give me a link and I will read it. And tell me how the model deals with disruptive people.

  28. 78
    Chuck says:

    carrie says:
    16 Dec 2018 at 6:44 AM
    Churchill College, University of Cambridge
    Published on 9 Nov 2018
    Rupert Read, Environmental Philosopher and Chair of Green House Think Tank

    My advice, Stick to scientific sources.

  29. 79
    MA Rodger says:

    NOAA have posted global temperature anomalies for November at +0.75ºC, pretty-much as per GISTEMP, the =5th warmest November on record (after 2015 (+0.96ºC), 2013 (+0.82ºC), 2017 & 2010 (+0.76ºC) and equal to 2004 & 2016), 58th warmest anomaly on the full all-month record, with 2018 firmly on course to claim 4th warmest year on record.
    Relative to October, November saw the global anomaly drop from October’s +0.87ºC to +0.75ºC, most of this due to Land Temperatures (both North & South) seeing November as near the coolest anomaly for 2017/18, with Ocean Temperature (both North & South) seeing November as near the warmest anomaly for 2017/18.

    And with these last five years (2014-18) are also the warmest years on record, the good old hiatus is given another dose of reality, being reduced to the status of “fluctuation” in:-

    Risby et al (2018) ‘A fluctuation in surface temperature in historical context: reassessment and retrospective on the evidence’
    and
    Lewandowsky et al (2018) ‘The ‘pause’ in global warming in historical context: (II). Comparing models to observations’

  30. 80
    mike says:

    Nigel at 66 says: “we had a couple of years 2014 – 2017 where emissions appeared to have stopped growing, I can’t remember the exact trend but something along these lines. I thought it was a good sign. I think its kind of natural to celebrate the tentative signs of something positive.”

    I think the problem with talking about emissions is that they will allow people to feel like there is something to celebrate and to pat themselves on the back, when, in fact, the ACCUMULATION of CO2e continues to rise unabated, and probably at a fast rate. Accumulation of CO2 and CO2e is the right set of numbers to watch because that set of numbers is driving global heating and the sixth great extinction. The emission numbers are part of global squabble about who should cut or has cut emissions. Emission numbers are soft numbers because they are derived from self-reports by nations, industries, etc and each of those entities has an economic stake in the numbers that they report. The soft emission numbers can be fudged only so far because their are other sets of numbers that can be used to match up and see if emission report numbers have been fudged too much.

    Accumulation numbers are global and are measured in a rigorous, scientific manner at MLO and elsewhere. They have fluctuations, most of which are pretty well understood, but the numbers themselves are very hard numbers. I think MLO would not fudge the numbers even if a national leader with a lot of nuclear weapons demanded it. The accumulation numbers also measure changes in the global carbon cycle in a warmed world and the emission numbers do not. The accumulation numbers are the ones that matter. I was, and am, quite surprised by the number of apparently smart people who will latch onto happy emission reports and feel happy about these soft number reports when the hard number reports indicate there is nothing to feel happy about. All of our efforts to reduce emissions mean absolutely zip if the accumulation number continue to rise.

    So, how are we doing on accumulations?

    Last Week December 9 – 15, 2018 409.40 ppm
    1 Year Ago December 9 – 15, 2017 406.28 ppm
    10 Years Ago December 9 – 15, 2008 385.39 ppm

    I am sorry to harsh your chill, but I think the hard numbers provide nothing to celebrate. We have done some work to reduce emissions, but I think we have almost none of the hard work that will be required to slow and stop global heating and the sixth extinction.

    I think Kevin Anderson has suggested we will be alright as long as our carbon-sucking fairy godmother shows up soon. That would be something to celebrate.

    Cheers, mate

    Mike

  31. 81
    Marshall C says:

    Chuck @78
    My advice is to focus on the politics of inaction and diversion, not the science. The science as done by competent people will make clear trends in the changing biosphere. They seem to have very limited influence on the political climate and changing the political climate.

  32. 82
    nigelj says:

    Mike @80, yes I agree totally emissions numbers are soft numbers. My guess is they are probably only about 50% accurate, but that’s better than nothing. I think provided there was a five year plus trend, the trend would at least be reliable if not the exact numbers.

    And yes the keeling curve is the only totally reliable indication. And theres no sign of anything positive there.Sigh.

    However we have to try to measure emissions to know where we are and get a picture of what is happening and where the weak points are. Sort of like an accounting exercise.

    I expect you would need 10 years of emissions cuts before it would show up in the keeling curve due to all the natural variation of short term natural carbon cycles, and of course it’s compounded by the fact we are ourselves causing natural sinks to emit CO2.

    I would be interested if any of the climate scientists or other experts on this website know how much we would need to reduce emissions before it starts to show up in the keeling curve and what time delays there might be.

  33. 83
    mike says:

    Carrie put up: Churchill College, University of Cambridge
    Published on 9 Nov 2018
    Rupert Read, Environmental Philosopher and Chair of Green House Think Tank

    This civilisation is finished: so what is to be done?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzCxFPzdO0Y

    I watched/listened to Rupert Read this morning and I think this is definitely worth a listen. The best thing I got out of it was some suggestions about how to discuss climate disaster with friends/family etc. I think Prof Read’s thoughts about stepping out of the cold science or the confrontational politics with an approach about the emotions, the fears, grief, etc. that normally accompany a reasonable understanding of our predicament is pretty solid. Watch/listen if you have 70 plus minutes to spare from your busy lives. I followed that video with another Rupert lecture abt Wittgenstein and progress. Also quite easy to follow and think about.

    I think Prof Read does have some answers to the questions about why it is so hard to convey the climate science to the general population.

    Cheers

    Mike

  34. 84
    nigelj says:

    This is a good talk to listen to.

    https://soundcloud.com/warmregardspodcast/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-climate-and-where-and-how-we-do-it

    Climate change and past mass extinctions, trilobytes and anoxia, and how the media is now treating climate issues (from Dana Nuticcelli).

  35. 85
    sidd says:

    Re: geoengineering research

    I have been looking for papers on the effects of various geoengineering schemes on the Indian Summer Monsoon. Any pointers would be appreciated.

    sidd

  36. 86
    nigelj says:

    The Rupert Reid talk is very worthwhile. It has some technical mistakes, but why nit pick? It takes courage to get up there and deal with the big picture.

    I think “civilisational collapse” may take the form of a slow motion train wreck which mostly significantly hurts lower skilled, lower income people and poor countries, especially those already prone to heatwaves and crop failures. This will eventually undermine those with wealth by creating economic instability and considerable social friction between various groups. We have refugee problems now, but its nothing to what will develop.

  37. 87
    MA Rodger says:

    Replying to #80 & #82,
    You may wish to downplay the Global Carbon Project findings as “soft” but they are not so “soft” that they can be ignored. And replacing them with an exemplar week of MLO CO2 data is plain silly – the MLO wobbles make such an analysis beyond “soft” and downright misleading.

    The table below showing MEI* is the value for 8-months-in-advance so as to synchronise the ENSO-CO2 wobbles (sort of). The 2018 dCO2 value has the last 2-weeks missing and is using the recent GCP projected FF+cement carbon emissions (which will not significantly change) and an average for LUC emissions (which could signficantly change). Otherwise it is simply the GCP annual numbers used to calculate Af (at 2.13Gt©/ppm).
    I go back to include the 1998 El Nino year to allow comparison with 2016.

    … … … … … …. MEI* … … dCO2(ppm/yr) … Airborne Fraction
    1998 … … … …..2.51 … … … …2.99 … … … … 82%
    1999 … … … … -0.32 … … … …1.65 … … … … 45%
    2000 … … … … -0.84 … … … … 1.21 … … … … 32%
    2001 … … … … -0.31 … … … … 1.59 … … … … 42%
    2002 … … … ….. 0.05 … … … … 2.14 … … … … 55%
    2003 … … … ….. 0.92 … … … … 2.50 … … … … 61%
    2004 … … … ….. 0.31 … … … … 1.74 … … … … 41%
    2005 … … … ….. 0.62 … … … … 2.29 … … … … 53%
    2006 … … … … -0.03 … … … … 2.07 … … … … 46%
    2007 … … … ….. 0.64 … … … … 1.94 … … … … 44%
    2008 … … … … -0.84 … … … … 1.78 … … … … 38%
    2009 … … … … -0.43 … … … … 1.84 … … … … 39%
    2010 … … … ….. 1.00 … … … … 2.45 … … … … 50%
    2011 … … … … -1.28 … … … … 1.76 … … … … 35%
    2012 … … … … -0.54 … … … … 2.19 … … … … 42%
    2013 … … … ….. 0.34 … … … … 2.68 … … … … 51%
    2014 … … … … -0.10 … … … … 2.14 … … … … 40%
    2015 … … … ….. 0.72 … … … … 2.18 … … … … 41%
    2016 … … … ….. 2.13 … … … … 3.40 … … … … 66%
    2017 … … … ….. 0.26 … … … … 2.31 … … … … 44%
    2018 … … … … -0.10 … … … … 1.99 … … … … 37%

    So should we be all doomy or do the numbers show some encouraging signs? (Of course the 21 years total dCO2=45ppm, so there is no room for complacency. And any progress made is mainly down to swapping coal for gas which is no answer to AGW and is also quite a straightforward conversion.)

  38. 88
    nigelj says:

    Sid @85

    This is new research, not geoengineering, but it may be helpful:

    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0386.1

    Dynamics of Asian Summer Monsoon Response to Anthropogenic Aerosol Forcing
    Hai Wang*

  39. 89
  40. 90
    scott nudds says:

    What they read. Know the enemy

    Trump Is Right About Climate Change, China, And The Democrats
    by L Todd Wood December 4, 2018

    After just finishing the revealing book by Michael Pillsbury, “The Hundred Year Marathon,” which outlines in frightening detail the slow but deadly quest of China to dominate the United States, and their deceit and subterfuge to achieve that goal, I am more convinced than ever that the climate change scam is funded and enabled by the Chinese state, and yes, as a weapon to destroy the West.

    And man is it brilliant, and scarily enough, it almost worked.

    The recent federal report on the subject, which was funded and pushed by liberal tycoons Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, who both want to run for president, once again made false conclusions from manufactured evidence. This “project,” along with the scores before it, can be easily broken down into its deceitful elements by any self-respecting scientist, one that has not drunk the climate Kool-Aid or, better yet, taken the climate money. There is a reason that time after time, these “scientists” are busted for faking the data and outright lying to the public.

    However, if you think logically, it makes perfect sense that the entire “global warming” then “climate change” narrative was cooked up by America’s adversaries to enable our enemies to eventually dominate us. What better way to halt our economic growth while enabling theirs? What better way to allow China to catch up with the West in its manufacturing capacity than to stop ours and jumpstart theirs? Ever wonder why the biggest carbon emitter (that being China) always had promises of cutting carbon emissions or future dates to do so, while ours were immediate?

    The climate change agenda is really only about control, as all Marxists policies are. Communists cannot compete in a fair contest, therefore they have to steal. Most cannot compete in the real world, so they have to take from others. The global warming scam is just a way for nations to take from other more successful nations.

    And man has it worked.

    President Obama pushed to “put a lot of coal miners out of business” and rob America of its plentiful, cheap energy. He stopped the Keystone Pipeline. He regulated our oil industry to death, but it grew anyway, thanks to American ingenuity and our pioneer spirit, in spite of the Obama seditious agenda.

    Our economy was on its knees, never breaking above 3 percent per year during his presidency.

    All the while, his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and God knows who else in the Democratic Party, were taking millions for themselves to sell out the country to China.

    Yes, the “Hundred Year Marathon” was working splendidly.

    Then along came Donald J. Trump, who threw a wrench into the Democrats’ and the Communist China’s plan to destroy America.

    He was the only politician running for president who had the guts to tell the truth. He didn’t need China’s money. He saw through their deceptions, and said so out loud, over and over.

    And he was right.

    Yes, the climate change agenda is about destroying the West. Yes, the Democratic Party is in China’s pocket (just ask Sen. Dianne Feinstein). Yes, our education system and our political system are corrupted by Beijing.

    And, yes, Donald Trump is saving the country from this monstrous evil.

    Originally posted at The Washington Times

    https://tsarizm.com/opinion/2018/12/04/trump-is-right-about-climate-change-china-and-the-democrats/

  41. 91
    Mr. Know It All says:

    85 sidd

    I think the first article in last link I provided has what you are looking for.

    The title of the 2017 paper: “Effects of Arctic geoengineering on precipitation in the tropical monsoon regions”

    Free PDF:
    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00382-017-3810-y.pdf

  42. 92
    carrie the can says:

    #87 ROTFLOL

    Please give that man a plastic ‘Science Communication Award’ for 2018, now!

  43. 93
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin,
    Since you recommended Killian’s 63, I read it in full. The two salient points:

    No ownership. I doubt that the maker/”non”-owner of a prized spear would take kindly towards a member of another clan “not” stealing the spear.

    No significant permanent structures. Caves and rock huts work. Log cabins? Ask the Wise One if their maintenance requirements impose too significant an infringement on freedom-to-split.

    But yes, it had some good thoughts and it seems to have confirmed Nigel’s speculation of what KillianWorld would look like… Assuming you could get anyone to “give away” “their” only coat and pair of shoes.

  44. 94
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian, your statement that facts aren’t insults is moronic. Now, whether you are a moron or the genus of the species you certainly know that calling the Down’s syndrome grocery bagger a “moron” is insulting.

    One more time (since you are such a genus), veracity has nothing to do with whether a statement is insulting.

    And speaking of patterns, if what you claim were true then Nigel would be being a hypocrite towards others besides you…

    …or are you saying that you’re the only…

    …and I’m saying that you’re gone. “Poof”

  45. 95
    nigelj says:

    MAR @87, we have to be honest the emissions numbers are a bit soft in the sense of accuracy, however I didn’t say they were useless. In fact I was trying to get across to Mike that we have to rely on them in terms of policy and progress, at least until we see eventually see actual reliable changes in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 which will help compliment emissions numbers.

    I would also say to Mike and others that it’s not a good idea to continually attack the emissions numbers, because it undermines efforts to reduce emissions and plays into the denialists hands. Unless you have a specific idea on how to improve the way we measure such things.

  46. 96
    nigelj says:

    Scott Nudds @90, the climate denialists certainly read some amazingly nonsensical conspiracy theories.

    “I am more convinced than ever that the climate change scam is funded and enabled by the Chinese state, and yes, as a weapon to destroy the West.”

    Of course most of the climate research is by westerners. A little detail they miss. I suppose they will argue its all secretly funded by the Chinese, argue with no evidence of course. But why let evidence get in the may of such an imaginative and soothing narrative that blames China for everything?

    Sadly there are a significant number of fossil fuel executives, gullible people and conspiracy thinkers that would believe it. Psychological research shows a small but significant minority of people are inherently conspiracy thinkers.

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-09/uc-wbi092418.php

    It looks to me like both America and China want to dominate the world. It’s becoming harder to decide who is the more malign influence.

  47. 97
    sidd says:

    Thanks for the pointers. This is a list of some papers:

    doi:10.1029/2007GL030524
    As usual, Trenberth(2007) has thought about this. Pintatubo caused a drop in land precip and runoff, incresed (Palmer) drought severity in India

    doi:10.1029/2008JD010050
    Robock(2008) also saw effects on monsoon, but i believe his results were not subsequently seen in other studies. Nevertheless, useful

    G. Bala has written several papers, here is an overview from 2009 (no doi ? how odd), he is an author on many listed below

    Bala, G. “Problems with Geoengineering Schemes to Combat Climate Change.” Current Science 96, no. 1 (2009): 41-48.

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.569.2355&rep=rep1&type=pdf
    Bollasina(2009) aerosols on monsoon, no doi

    doi:10.1126/science.1204994
    Bollasina(2011) aerosol effects on monsoons

    I note that Wang has many papers on aerosols an monsoons, the latest is the link that nigelj posted: doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0386.1

    doi:10.1002/jgrd.50868
    Tillmes et al. (2013) looks at hydrological impacts in GeoMIP

    doi:10.5194/acp-14-7769-2014
    Modak and Bala (2014) on SRM regional effects

    doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2240-3
    Kalidindi (2015) on SRM

    DOI 10.1007/s00382-017-3810-y
    Nalam(2018) effect of arctic injections of aerosol on ISM

    sidd

  48. 98
    Mr. Know It All says:

    43 – Gavin
    “….Yes, the atmosphere is getting a little heavier – mainly though water vapor increases (~7% up so far – roughly 1.8mb so far)…..”

    Humans are evaporating a lot of water in swamp coolers, cooling towers for buildings and processes, cooling towers for power plants, etc. Water vapor is also added by combustion of FFs, maybe other industrial processes. Does this added water vapor increase warming – or is it too small to matter compared to natural evaporation?

    90 – scott and 96 – nigelj
    As a T supporter, I can tell you that I’ve never heard anyone say AGW theory is being pushed by China. I’m not arguing that any of these are correct, but I think the reasons those on the right resist belief in AGW include:
    1 – they don’t want to give up FF power (we love FF cars)
    2 – the earth climate has always changed – scientists tell us that not too long ago much of North America was under a mile of ice
    3 – in the 70s we were told another ice age was coming – a credibility issue
    4 – they can’t imagine that changing CO2 concentrations from 280 ppm to 410 ppm will do much. CO2 IS an insignificant fraction of the air.
    5 – the adjustments in data are used to back up their hope that AGW is not real
    6 – for bigwigs in the FF industry, money may a driver, but I’m guessing that isn’t very many people
    7- few people, even on this website, can calculate the air temperature rise due to increasing CO2 from say 400 to 440 ppm using quantum physics effects of the increased collisions.
    8 – those pushing CC are mostly on the left, and they bring with them a lot of ideas that those on the right do not agree with.
    9 – those pushing CC seem to be cult-like. For example, children, who couldn’t understand CC if their lives depended on it pushing for action on CC because adults tell them to do it. To many on the right this is immoral indoctrination – children should be learning the basics – they can make decisions about policy matters later.

    Don’t reply – don’t want to hijack the thread. I’m just letting you know that is how one person who is a T supporter sees it. I actually think AGW theory may be right, but I still want to see the math on CO2 and IR photon collisions laid out concisely and logically. Got a link?

  49. 99

    KIA 98: Humans are evaporating a lot of water in swamp coolers, cooling towers for buildings and processes, cooling towers for power plants, etc. Water vapor is also added by combustion of FFs, maybe other industrial processes. Does this added water vapor increase warming – or is it too small to matter compared to natural evaporation?

    BPL: Water vapor condenses out as rain or snow in 9 days. It can only increase if the temperature increases, so that saturation vapor pressure increases. Cooling towers etc. add nothing to the atmospheric water vapor burden in the long run.

    2 – the earth climate has always changed – scientists tell us that not too long ago much of North America was under a mile of ice

    BPL: This is like saying, “Forest fires have happened naturally for millions of years, so there’s no such thing as arson.”

    3 – in the 70s we were told another ice age was coming – a credibility issue

    BPL: By Newsweek, not by a consensus of climate scientists. The credibility issue is on deniers who cite crap like this.

    4 – they can’t imagine that changing CO2 concentrations from 280 ppm to 410 ppm will do much. CO2 IS an insignificant fraction of the air.

    BPL: 0.1 ppm of fluorine in the air will kill you.

    5 – the adjustments in data are used to back up their hope that AGW is not real

    BPL: You need the adjustment because readings are taken at different altitudes, at different latitudes, at different times of day.

    6 – for bigwigs in the FF industry, money may a driver, but I’m guessing that isn’t very many people

    BPL: It doesn’t have to be as long as they’re powerful.

    7- few people, even on this website, can calculate the air temperature rise due to increasing CO2 from say 400 to 440 ppm using quantum physics effects of the increased collisions.

    BPL: RF = 5.35 ln(C/Co) (Myhre et al. 1998). dT = λ RF

    8 – those pushing CC are mostly on the left,

    BPL: Those “pushing” CC are mostly scientists.

    and they bring with them a lot of ideas that those on the right do not agree with.

    BPL: Irrelevant. Science is not a political issue.

    9 – those pushing CC seem to be cult-like. For example, children, who couldn’t understand CC if their lives depended on it pushing for action on CC because adults tell them to do it. To many on the right this is immoral indoctrination – children should be learning the basics – they can make decisions about policy matters later.

    BPL: Doesn’t stop them from bringing their kids to pro-Trump rallies, does it? Hypocrite.

  50. 100
    MA Rodger says:

    nigelj @95,
    You end your reply to my #87 comment saying “Unless you have a specific idea on how to improve the way we measure such things.” I did intend to dig into the data set out @87 and not leave it simply showing that the annual increase in CO2 concentrations is very noisy, this no more than a repost to the demeaning of emissions data for being “soft.”. My thought was to reduce the noise by subtracting the ENSO-effect.
    An OLS through the Airborne Fraction Af plotted against MEI* (MEI* as described @87) reduces the noise by half and suggests an Af(underlying) can be determined with a relationship Af(u) = Af + 0.11xMEI*. (A +0.11 factor is also obtained using the CO2 data back to the start of MLO in 1960.) This factor can then be used to obtain an underlying rate of CO2 increase which thus averages to 2.06ppm/year over the last 5 years.

    Of course this calculation assumes the average MEI* value will be zero which may not be correct. Since 1950 MEI* has averaged about +0.1, the same average being found over the last 20 years. Yet the future averages may not reflect these averages. The 20-year average has been as low as -0.3 (1960s & 1970s) and as high as +0.5 (1980s &1990s).
    That said, without reason to see any trend in MEI*, perhaps an value of +0.1 can sensibly be adopted as the average for MEI* which would suggest a current 5-year average of underlying CO2 increase of 2.16ppm/year.