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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. 101

    KIA 98: Don’t reply – don’t want to hijack the thread.

    BPL: I’ll be damned if I let you post a bunch of denier lies without responding just because you say “Don’t reply.” Who the hell do you think you are?

  2. 102

    #98, KIA–

    As a T supporter, I can tell you that I’ve never heard anyone say AGW theory is being pushed by China.

    Oh, *I* know somebody who said that:

    https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/265895292191248385

    (And subsequently denied having said in, on national TV no less–without ever bothering to delete the Tweet! But that’s another story.)

  3. 103
    mike says:

    Nigel at 95: I don’t think I have “attacked” emission numbers, I just think they are soft in terms of accuracy because the entities calculating the reported numbers have a political stake in the numbers that are reported. Al Rodgers likes to focus on the noise in the MLO CO2 numbers, and there is noise in daily, weekly, monthly and even annual numbers, but that noise is related to fluctuations and a certain amount of randomness in the climate. That noise is not a result of anyone cooking the numbers to create the noise. The MLO numbers are what they are.

    When you look at a weekly average number and compare it to a weekly average from last year, it can contain a lot of noise in both numbers, so the yoy increase for weekly averages is not something you would want to use to extrapolate. When you throw in the weekly average from 10 years ago, you knock the noise level down quite a bit. So, the weekly CO2 numbers that I sometimes post are somewhat useful if you look at all three on a regular basis, week after week, which is something I have been doing for many years. If you want to extrapolate from CO2 and CO2e numbers, I think anything less than a ten year set of numbers might turn out to be misleading. I have stated this on many occasions.

    I think it is a very dangerous practice to discuss emission reports that suggest we are making progress without noting that:

    1. The emission report numbers are not easily verified and are inherently soft and
    2. That CO2 and CO2e numbers which are easily verified, but noisy, do not indicate that significant progress has been made.

    Finally, as always, all of the policy changes and emission reports mean absolutely zilch if CO2 and CO2e continue to rise. It does not matter if the rise is due to anthro emissions, or changes in the carbon sinks, or methane dragons, or deforestation, or drying of large forested land area because if we do not stop the rise in atmospheric and oceanic CO2 accumulation, we will continue to try to survive on a planet that is too warm for many earthlings and will only get warmer.

    I really don’t see how my take on these various sets of numbers can provide much support to denialists. The sixth extinction event can be monitored quite easily in the hard, accurate CO2 and CO2 numbers that are produced at MLO and elsewhere.

    I am an earthling. I am convinced that the earth will be fine with the CO2 levels that we are producing, but many species of earthlings, including our own, may find the warmed planet uncomfortable. That is not doom, that is simply a rapidly heating planet winnowing out the inhabitants. Ten million years is the blink of an eye in geological terms and that is the time that the earth usually takes to recover from a major extinction event. Our species can mitigate the sixth extinction event if we can bring the atmospheric and oceanic accumulation of CO2e down. Keep your eye on the prize. The prize is the measurement of atmospheric numbers at MLO and elsewhere. We get well in a flash if our carbon-sucking fairy godmother makes her appearance. Until she appears, we need to work very hard to get to net zero emission in some way. Net zero emission reports are just smoke and mirrors if the accumulation numbers continue to rise.

    Do you understand what I am saying here?

    Cheers

    Mike

  4. 104
    nigelj says:

    BPL @99, well rebutted.

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

    What do the terms in these equations mean? The related paper is paywalled.

  5. 105
    Mr. Know It All says:

    99 – BPL
    “BPL: Water vapor condenses out as rain or snow in 9 days.”
    MKIA:
    But the addition of water vapor to the atmosphere by humans is continuous 24/7/365. So, is the increase in water vapor in the atmosphere due to warming from CO2 OR is the warming due to water vapor added by humans, and how do we know? Not sure if it’s available, but estimates might be done on water evaporation by humans each year going back to the industrial revolution, and plotted against rising temperature? or against rising humidity?

    Since most industrial activity occurs in the northern hemisphere, and since there is likely an increase in added moisture in the summer, can we measure a sawtooth effect in the concentration like we do in CO2?

    Although gases in the atmosphere are well-mixed, do we see higher CO2 concentrations over continents (where it’s being introduced) than over the open ocean? And is there a higher concentration in the northern hemisphere than in the southern; or perhaps a time lag before they equalize?

    “BPL: Doesn’t stop them from bringing their kids to pro-Trump rallies, does it? Hypocrite.”
    MKIA: That’s fine if parents teach their kids, but IMHO the schools should teach kids HOW to think, not WHAT to think. ;)

    101 – BPL
    “BPL: I’ll be damned if I let you post a bunch of denier lies without responding…..”
    MKIA: Note that I did preface those beliefs with this: ” I’m not arguing that any of these are correct, but I think the reasons those on the right resist belief in AGW include:”

  6. 106
    Mr. Know It All says:

    102 – Kevin
    Holy Cow – a tweet from 2012? Is that the correct date? And the reply was 2017? Is that believable? You know, it would be easy to modify the text of a tweet and post it on the internet. Wonder how often that happens? It may be legit, but it’s so old I don’t remember it. Concerning the Paris climate agreement he has said something to the effect that China (and others) have either not done what they promised or that they were not required to do much while we were required to do a lot; don’t remember all the details – I think that was the reason given for pulling out of it. To that extent he has made statements about China and CC.

    Do China, Russia, and others want to become more powerful than the US? Probably. They’d probably like to see their currencies as the world reserve currency. Will it happen? They’re working on it and Ds here are doing what they can to help by making us weaker.

  7. 107
    Fred Magyar says:

    KIA @ 98,

    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.

    Then perhaps you should listen to this young lady’s TED talk” She makes it quite clear what she thinks about learning the ‘basics’ and making decisions about policy matters later…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAmmUIEsN9A
    To be fair, she does have the advantage of being a direct descendant of Svante Arrhenius.

    And while we are on the topic of basics and understanding them, Perhaps this government report should be assigned as required reading to all members of the current administration including Mr. T, himself.

    https://carbon2018.globalchange.gov/

    Then they should all be quizzed in a public forum on the implications, by the children whose future depends on decisions about policy matters related to a thorough understanding of the report.

    One does have to wonder, if given Mr. T’s track record, he is even capable of reading and understanding The Executive Summary, let alone the full 800 plus page rather technical report.

  8. 108
    Al Bundy says:

    KillingInaction says that as a Trump supporter he’s never heard Trump say that AGW is a Choice news hoax. (In the spirit of the season I didn’t correct the autoincorrect)

    Dude, have you no shame?

  9. 109
    Killian says:

    #76 nigelj said ys:
    19 Dec 2018 at 12:51 AM
    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.

    And, again, I wasn’t discussing religion. But, you’re stupid, so can’t understand that. I was addressing bigotry and racism – neither of which bothered you in the slightest, so there’s that.

    I read this website for the climate content.

    You read this website, near as I can tell, because it blows your mind to see yourself on a website. You seem to think it equals having said something intelligent. You never do. Nothing unique, anyway. Lots of parroting, nothing anyone else hasn’t already said.

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

    Because you can’t think your way through any string of English longer than three words? Again, I did not discuss religion, Sherlock, and I, and I am sure all, are in no way surprised you come nipping at my heals instead of the bigot, BPL.

    And you notice he’s at it again? I notice you’ve said nothing about his shittiness. You never have. You have no credibility.

  10. 110
    Killian O'Brien says:

    Re #93 A Butt said The two salient points

    You made no salient points. You engaged in Straw Man logical fallacies and further painted yourself as without ethics on these fora. A Straw Man is just another word for nothing truthful to tell, Bobby McLie.

    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.

    Troll are you: Intentionally stirring things up just for their own amusement) Context matters.

    The non-trolls reading your comments don’t need my clarification, but, here goes: Who would you expect to make a man’s spear? The man himself. This isn’t a case of running off to the armory. Who, then, does that spear best fit? It’s maker. Who, then, would need a spear? Those who hunt or fight. I’m fairly sure they know who they are. Given these sorts of societies do not force work – they are autonomous – who would go hunting if they didn’t already have a spear? It would be a bit of a prerequisite.

    I have said, and any quick review of the literature would clearly show people don’t share what would amount to their personal items. Clothing, e.g. A family’s hut is theirs, e.g.

    No significant permanent structures.

    Who said this? There are many kinds of tribal people. Monolithic building goes very, very far back in human history. And, in adapting the *patterns* of regenerative societies, we have to follow the principles: Design for place. Use what you’ve got. We will do exactly that. A general pattern is not a template, and no permaculture designer would design to someone else’s template, and especially at a specific location.

    Your two Straw Men are deeply ignorant. That is, they would be if you weren’t intentionally being a solutions denialist out of sheer spite. You thought you saw a gotcha, and got yourself. What does it say about a person who puts gotcha before avoiding extinction? Nothing good.

    But yes, it had some good thoughts and it seems to have confirmed Nigel’s speculation of what the only solution we have would look like…

    Yes, you both lie, out of sheer spite and lack of ethics.

  11. 111
    Killian O'Brien says:

    Re #93 A Butt said The two salient points

    You made no salient points. You engaged in Straw Man logical fallacies. A Straw Man is just another word for nothing truthful to tell. You… errr… human… are a liar.

    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.

    Troll are you: Intentionally stirring things up just for their own amusement) Context matters.

    The non-trolls reading your comments don’t need my clarification, but, here goes: Who would you expect to make a man’s spear? The man himself. This isn’t a case of running off to the armory. Who, then, does that spear best fit? It’s maker. Who, then, would need a spear? Those who hunt or fight. I’m fairly sure they know who they are. Given these sorts of societies do not force work – they are autonomous – who would go hunting if they didn’t already have a spear? It would be a bit of a prerequisite.

    I have said, and any quick review of the literature would clearly show people don’t share what would amount to their personal items. Clothing, e.g. A family’s hut is theirs, e.g.

    No significant permanent structures.

    Who said this? There are many kinds of tribal people. Monolithic building goes very, very far back in human history. And, in adapting the *patterns* of regenerative societies, we have to follow the principles: Design for place. Use what you’ve got. We will do exactly that. A general pattern is not a template, and no permaculture designer would design to someone else’s template, and especially at a specific location.

    Your two Straw Men are deeply ignorant. That is, they would be if you weren’t intentionally being a solutions denialist out of sheer spite. You thought you saw a gotcha, and got yourself. What does it say about a person who puts gotcha before avoiding extinction? Nothing good.

    But yes, it had some good thoughts and it seems to have confirmed Nigel’s speculation of what the only solution we have would looked like…

    This is like watching Watts and Singer collaborating to “take down” climate science.

  12. 112
    Killian says:

    Re #94 Al Bundy spittled Killian, your statement that facts aren’t insults is moronic.

    You out yourself. Because of this…

    “moron noun

    2 dated, now offensive : a person affected with mild mental retardation”

    …good people no longer use that term. “You’re fat” said to an obese person, is not an insult. It’s accurate. It may be *rude*…

    2 : lacking refinement or delicacy: a : IGNORANT, UNLEARNED
    b : INELEGANT, UNCOUTH
    c : offensive in manner or action : DISCOURTEOUS
    d : UNCIVILIZED, SAVAGE
    e : COARSE, VULGAR

    …but that is not the same as an insult:

    Insult noun : a gross indignity…”

    Bit, of course it depends on context. You, e.g., are both rude and insulting.

    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.

    And so you double down. Nobody, well, nobody clearly does not include you, would do that even though it was a common thing to do some time past. To have called someone that was never OK, despite the dominance of the term in that use during parts of the past century.

    veracity has nothing to do with whether a statement is insulting.

    It does when you are not using an obviously inappropriate, and disgusting – no surprise there – analogy. When I say you are a troll, it is accurate. You are responding here out of sheer nastiness. Your post serves no purpose. It enlightens none, it is riddled with logical fallacies and is off-topic. The only reason to post is is because you are, in fact, a troll. It’s not an insult, it’s what you do. It’s descriptive. It’s a label. Your label. Chosen by you by your ongoing actions.

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

    That is another fallacy. Being hypocritical in no way requires one to be hypocritical to all. My concern for you is you are starting to sound like nigel, and he literally almost never gets what’s being discussed, being too distracted by ankles.

    Gone? Am I?

  13. 113
    nigelj says:

    Mike @103

    Yes I definitely understand and I don’t disagree. I think we are in a difficult situation because the possible small decrease / flattening in emissions over about 2015 – 2017 looks too small to me to show up in the atmospheric levels yet. So right now we just don’t know with 100% certainty if we are making a difference.

    I also asked the question of anyone who knows how much would we have to decrease emissions for it to register above the noise in atmospheric levels, and what would the time delay be?

    I have had a brief look at how emissions are measured and the information collated and assessed and my gut feeling is the emissions trends over say a three year plus period are reliable, certainly not 100% proven but certain enough to have some confidence, but the exact numbers dubious because of politics (as you say), and just normal errors measuring such a complex thing. However it’s interesting that 2015 – 2017 reported a flattening of emissions and the 2018 an increase so the increase wasn’t “hidden” by politics.

    The more doubt we cast on emissions numbers means the denialists will say “look they are worthless” we will never know so mitigation is a pointless excercise. I think its important to discuss the issue here from time to time, but I would not over do it everywhere. Do you know what I mean?

  14. 114
    Nemesis says:

    @Fred Magyar, #107

    Btw, some interesting quotes from Svante Arrhenius:

    ” If the quantity of carbonic acid [ CO2 + H2O → H2CO3 (carbonic acid) ] in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall by about 4°; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8°. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface by 4°; and if the carbon dioxide were increased fourfold, the temperature would rise by 8°.”

    ” We often hear lamentations that the coal stored up in the earth is wasted by the present generation without any thought of the future, and we are terrified by the awful destruction of life and property which has followed the volcanic eruptions of our days. We may find a kind of consolation in the consideration that here, as in every other case, there is good mixed with the evil. By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”

    Svante Arrhenius, Worlds In The Making

    There’s a direct link from these predictions to the *adventure* we are in today. Truly “worlds in the making”:

    Geo- resp climate engineering driven by the fossil fueled military-industrial complex.

    And still they might think they got “everything under control” I bet- until they learn better.

    I call it hubris, hubris, hubris.

  15. 115
    Mr. Know It All says:

    104 – nigelj
    You say “well rebutted”, but don’t know what the terms mean? :)
    Equation given by BPL:
    “RF = 5.35 ln(C/Co) (Myhre et al. 1998). dT = λ RF”

    RF = radiative forcing
    ln is natural log – a math function on your calculator
    C= final concentration of CO2 (~410 ppm today)
    Co = initial concentration of CO2 (~ 280 ppm for pre-industrial)

    for doubling CO2, RF = 5.35 ln(2) = 5.35 x 0.693 = 3.71 W/sq.m.

    dT = Temperature change (delta Temperature)
    the lambda symbol that looks like a teepee usually means wavelength, but may not in BPLs case.

    Anyway, you can see the derivation in the links here:
    http://globalwarmingequation.info/

    Good stuff, but I always wanted to see it calculated based on first principles such as energy released from photon/CO2 molecule collisions, mean beam length at various concentrations, and energy released per collision, etc. Don’t know if that calc is possible, and I doubt I’d understand the math. The reason I want to see derivation based on first principles is because I don’t want to rely on anything “backed into” based on earth temperature observations – and maybe BPLs equation isn’t – I need more study on it.

    Similar problem in my heat transfer text:
    Determine the emissivity of a gas mixture consisting of N2, H2O, and CO2 at a temperature of 800K existing in a sphere with diameter of 0.4m. The partial pressures of the gases are PN2 = 1 atm, PH2O = 0.4 atm, PCO2 = 0.6 atm.

    Solution involves mean beam length, emissivity curves for each gas at various partial pressures, etc.

  16. 116
    nigelj says:

    Killian

    “And, again, I wasn’t discussing religion. But, you’re stupid, so can’t understand that. I was addressing bigotry and racism – neither of which bothered you in the slightest, so there’s that.’

    You seem to think discussing religion means discussing the contents of the bible. You dont think talking about Christianities impact on native people is discussing religion. I beg to differ.

    Please note I said all the comments on religion seemed off topic to me including BPL, I didn’t single you out.

    I don’t approve of bigotry and racism, in fact I loathe these things and have been active in politics fighting them, but this websisite is not “social science 101”. What the hell has it got to do with the climate?

    “And you notice he’s (Al Bundy) at it again? I notice you’ve said nothing about his shittiness. You never have. You have no credibility.”

    What shittiness? He doesn’t go around calling people stupid and liars like you do. Hes not perfect, but Im not going to nitpick, and he hasn’t said anything that offends me.

    Ray Ladbury is a bit pointed in some of his cutting comments, but at least he has the saving grace he is targeting the extreme denialists.

    Regarding your views. I don’t think resource scarcity will lead to extinction. Primitive peoples survived with wooden tools, but I dont think our society will come to that. Resource depeletion will be painfull, but mostly for poor people.

    However I dont like seeing people suffer whether poor or rich, and so we should do what we can to mitigate impacts by reducing our per capita consumption, but not to the point we sacrifice high technology. And Im not joining no commune I’m afraid.

    Climate change is possibly more serious because if we go on burning fossil fuels, we could possibly hit 10 degrees by year 2300, according to the IPCC. This would be life threatening for parts of the world especially asia, and I think it would cause massive refugee problems. Hence my concern that we do something and converting our energy sources. I cant see people slashing their energy consumption by vast ammounts, and it just wouldnt make sense anyway, so I think you are dreaming there. I try to be a realist.

  17. 117

    n 104,

    In RF = 5.35 ln (C/Co)

    RF is the radiative forcing at top of atmosphere in watts per square meter. ln is the natural log operator, C is the ambient level of CO2, and Co is a base level, usually taken as the preindustrial level of 280 ppmv. You can see from this that doubling CO2 produces 3.7 W/m2 in radiative forcing.

    In dT = λ RF

    dT is the change in surface temperature, and λ is the climate sensitivity, the best value for which is about 0.75 K per watt per square meter. Thus a 3.7 W/m2 RF gives a change in surface temperature of about 2.8 K.

  18. 118

    K 109: I am sure all, are in no way surprised you come nipping at my heals instead of the bigot, BPL. . . . And you notice he’s at it again? I notice you’ve said nothing about his shittiness.

    BPL: If you can’t take the heat…

  19. 119

    K 110: Yes, you both lie, out of sheer spite and lack of ethics.

    BPL: Paranoid much?

  20. 120
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr.KIA: “But the addition of water vapor to the atmosphere by humans is continuous 24/7/365.”

    OK, come on, dude. You’re smart enough to science your way through this. If the ongoing warming epoch were due to anthropogenic H2O rather than CO2, then you’d expect more of an effect in summer than winter, during the day than at night. In fact, we see the opposite.

    Dude, please. You’re not even trying.

  21. 121
    nigelj says:

    Killian @112

    What does it matter if a fact is insulting or just rude? You completely miss the point. You are an off topic, nit picking, time waster too tedious and annoying for words.

    Moderators please. I’ve had enough. I think we have all had enough with this guy.

  22. 122
    Al Bundy says:

    Yo, Killian,
    It is wrong to take a quote, split it in half, and then denigrate the author for not saying the caveat that the author did in fact say but you snipped.

    It went something like, “or are you saying that you’re the only…”

    So, really, buy a clue.

    And when I said you are gone, I meant that I see no productive interactions resulting from engaging you. You are sub-brilliant. You insult others for not providing original thought (for not being an inventor) yet I’ve never seen an original thought come out of your keyboard. You parrot your heroes. Nothing wrong with h that, but stop insulting folks for being human.

    I wanted to find a way to forge a productive relationship with you. Perhaps later, but for now it’s obvious that you’re clinging to your Hell.

    Seriously, can you say that your life isn’t unmitigated Hell?

    I can’t, but I have faith that I’m on the cusp of an existence where the extacy of non-brutalizing human touch isn’t limited to haircuts and a cashier harming back one’s change.

    (Man, this month’s theme, the auto-incorrect, is spooky, eh?)

    So, Killian, I hope your life goes well.

  23. 123
    Steven Emmerson says:

    KIA@102 wrote

    Holy Cow – a tweet from 2012? Is that the correct date? And the reply was 2017? Is that believable?

    I believe that debating tactic is called “moving the goalposts”.

    It’s a fallacy.

  24. 124
    mike says:

    nigel at 113: I think you are having difficulty absorbing the amount of change in emissions that would be required to show up as a change in the atmospheric concentration. I also think you don’t understand how fast a really significant change in emissions would show up in the atmospheric concentration. I think it would be fast, as in, a month or less. You bring emissions down to zero and we would see a change in the atmospheric concentration in a month or less. Nevermind that we can’t do it, that is the answer to your question. If I am mistaken, I request to hear it from Gavin/Stefan et al.

    as to your question about whether denigrating emission numbers empowers the denialists? Hey, the denialists can go f themselves. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows the denialists are idiots whose ideology overpowers their intellect. Don’t waste a minute on them. Talk with sensible people using the correct metrics and scale those metrics correctly.

    A 10% drop in human emissions would be a huge deal to human beings. It would be in the headlines everywhere and it would not drop the rate of increase of atmospheric to under 2.0 ppm per year. Let’s say we are at 409 right now (that’s close enough for this discussion) and we are already experiencing terrible consequences like coral bleaching, forest fires, heat waves, melting of glacies, etc. So what happens if we pull out all the stops and drop emissions by 10% overnight? Then we are looking at 411 next year (absent the normal fluctuations, like EN LN etc) and our situation is worse than it is today. Even though we have knocked ourselves out to reduce emissions by 10%, things are actually worse next year and they will continue to get worse every year until we reach net zero, and then start reducing the atmospheric accumulation.

    Try to wrap your head around our true situation, which is the need to get to netzero asap. I would say that cheerleading any happy numbers that arise in emissions misleads the general public in a manner that blinds them to the actual level of change that is required. This blindness leads to election of policymakers who are going to provide a leadership role in addressing the problem, they will simply manage the situation with a very short term endgame in mind. Does that sound familiar?

    Cheers, buddy

    Mike

  25. 125
    mike says:

    Nigel: let me be clear. you say “I think we are in a difficult situation because the possible small decrease / flattening in emissions over about 2015 – 2017 looks too small to me to show up in the atmospheric levels yet.”

    The small decrease/flattening of emissions is not sufficient to rise above the noise levels in the atmospheric concentration number. You will never see a flattening in the atmospheric numbers that you can point to and say, ah, there it is, the 2014-2017 pause in emissions. If I am wrong about that, please, moderators – Gavin/Stefan et all, straighten me out on this.

    Cheers all,

    Mike

  26. 126
    nigelj says:

    Mike @124, yes I do realise atmospheric concentrations of CO2 wont fall until we hit net zero emissions. I probably worded it badly. I was wondering how much we would have to reduce emissions and for how long to see some detectable change in the rate of growth of atmospheric concentrations.

  27. 127
    Mr. Know It All says:

    Question for scientists, not wannabes:

    If all human-caused GHG emissions ceased today, (or maybe just all CO2 emissions from burning FFs):

    1) Roughly how many ppm would the atmospheric CO2 concentration drop per year?

    2) Got a link to a graph showing estimated ppm for the next 100 or more years for such a scenario?

  28. 128
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @124&125,
    You say ” You bring emissions down to zero and we would see a change in the atmospheric concentration in a month or less” and also that“You will never see a flattening in the atmospheric numbers that you can point to and say, ah, there it is, the 2014-2017 pause in emissions.”
    I cannot agree.
    Firstly, the average annual increase in manmade CO2 emissions has been something like 1.8% so a zero increase in emissions (constant emissions) over three years would have a bigger impact (a third more) on total emissions than a full month with zero emissions.
    Secondly, while a ‘zero’ month would give a more sudden step change (0.2ppm ‘lost’ CO2 increase at current emission rates & Af), this remains significantly smaller than the monthly noise in atmospheric CO2 increase. The MLO monthly data shows individual months varying from their 12-month mean by 0.75ppm (2 s.d.).

  29. 129
    MA Rodger says:

    The Ironically Ignorant Mr Know It All @127,
    1) It depends which year you are talking about.
    2) See Figure 1b here.

    The Ironically Ignorant Mr Know It All @115,
    You say “I doubt I’d understand the math.” Not a lot of point to your request then, is there?

  30. 130
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel: He’s not perfect

    AB: You got that right. I’m subhuman. My life’s goal is to become marginally acceptable. I figure that saving the world might possibly be enough.

    As to my abilities, I’m not that smart. I’m probably in the 98th percentile, which means that if you look through three classrooms you’ll find a kid that equals or exceeds my smarts.

    But I’m a savant. I can “see through walls”. In other words, I’ve never found an axiom that isn’t a huge impediment to any reasonable solution.

    So, yeah, I’m subhuman, but I’m an incredibly rare resource, one that has been wasted for decades.

  31. 131
    Al Bundy says:

    Nigel,
    Atmospheric CO2 will start dropping when we halve our emissions, not when we hit net zero. That thousand year buffer we call the ocean is our ace in the hole.

  32. 132
    jgnfld says:

    Re. KIA@127

    What else is happening in your hypothetical world? It’s ridiculous to think humanity can stop using FFs and make no other changes to the carbon cycle or all the other GHG gas cycles either positively or negatively.

    AR5 covered the complexity of these issues in detail under “Topic 2”. RCP 2.6 isn’t far from your ask. Perhaps you didn’t read it? AR5 goes on to state in Topic 3: “Many adaptation and mitigation options can help address climate change, but no single option is sufficient by itself. Effective implementation depends on policies and cooperation at all scales and can be enhanced through integrated responses that link mitigation and adaptation with other societal objectives.”

    Basically, it’s complex but solid work has been done already been completed that can help answer your ask. You might study it.

    AR6 will cover these issues in Chapter 4.

  33. 133
    mike says:

    Al at 131 says “Atmospheric CO2 will start dropping when we halve our emissions, not when we hit net zero. That thousand year buffer we call the ocean is our ace in the hole.”

    I think you are correct with the idea that we could see a change in the Keeling curve, the hockey stick if we made substantial cuts in emissions, not plateaus of emissions, or reductions in the rate of increase of emissions, but real, significant reductions in emissions. We might see the hockey stick change and stretch out a bit if we cut emissions by a quarter or a half. For my purposes of understanding our predicament, these changes at academic if they are not directly linked to a move toward a netzero emission civilization, and I don’t know how we can do that.

    As to the oceans as an ace in the hole, I think that the acidification of the oceans through increased CO2 absorption is another wicked problem. This is an ocean planet. If we force too much ocean acidification and warming, we will still face a collapsing ecosystem and dire impacts on the land and the land creatures.

    409 ppm and rising is a climate disaster.

    How are we doing?

    Nov. 2018 408.02 ppm
    Nov. 2017 405.12 ppm
    Nov. 2008 384.19 ppm

    24 ppm increase in ten years, 2.4 ppm annual increase for that ten year span. There is noise and fluctuation embedded in these numbers, but the steady increase in the ppm are the primary story. Read the writing/numbers on the wall if you really want to know how we are doing.

    Cheers, buddy

    Mike

  34. 134
    Fred Magyar says:

    Nemesis @ 114:

    We may find a kind of consolation in the consideration that here, as in every other case, there is good mixed with the evil. By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”

    Svante Arrhenius, Worlds In The Making

    Svante may have groked physics and chemistry but I doubt he had much of a handle on biochemistry and plant physiology…

    Not to mention, ecosystem and population dynamics and concepts like ecological overshoot.

    Cheers!

  35. 135
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @130

    I never criticised Killian for not being perfect. I’m not going to put up with such over the top petty nonsense, and being called names, and accused of dishonesty, and his usual vitriol like “your comment was unintelligent”. I poke back, but I will not descend to that same level.

    I’m a very laid back non aggressive person, but I only have so much patience. I can have a very cutting tongue which was my defence against school bullying, but I make the effort to control it.

    Your humility is commendable, but you devalue yourself or have some guilt complex. You seem like a clever fellow and I don’t find you offensive by the way, and I identify with most of your views. I have many weaknesses and I try also to compensate by giving something back to society. Its a bit off topic so leave an email address if you want to discuss it further.

    I don’t know how you can say you are not that smart at the same time you say you are in the top 97 percentile! :) But anyway, using what you have to do some good makes total sense to me. My IQ scores and such like seem variable depending on my moods, but I did pass a mensa application test some years ago done as a public relations thing at a local library. FWIW. I try to judge people by what they say and how they back up their views, not their academic credentials etc.

  36. 136
    mike says:

    Nigel at 126: I think AB is probably right with the scaling question, so if we were to cut emissions by 25% or more, we would probably notice a change in the trend of the Keeling curve, we would see a drop in the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. I continue to think the time frame to see the change would be quite fast, as in 30 days of less. I could be wrong about that, but I think emissions into the atmosphere are pretty immediate, the atmosphere stirs constantly, so I can’t think of a reason why there would be significant delay in spotting a change in the trend. MAR at 128 says he disagrees, but I can’t tell what he is saying exactly. Maybe he thinks we can spot a flattening in the Keeling curve that we can point to and say, there it is, the 2014-2016 pause in emissions? It’s a bit of a moot point because 2018 emissions jumped back with an expected increase of about 2.7%. It would be good to see human emissions peak and start to fall. I don’t think that has happened yet. There is noise in the annual emissions numbers that relate to how energized the global economy is during any particular time period. A global recession would be good for lowering emissions and slowing the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, but it’s hard to get excited about that prospect. Lowering emissions through large scale movement away from fossil fuels would be great because it would probably be accompanied by economic activity associated with ramping up green energy sources. That should happen, but it’s hard when the POTUS and the dominant political party doesn’t believe in the science of AGW and the risks that arise therefrom.

    Cheers

    Mike

  37. 137
    nigelj says:

    KIA and BPL, thanks for that information on the various equations. I did try to google it but no luck.

    KIA I dont think its possible to go from the energy absorption of the CO2 molecule to warming using first principles. This is my understanding as follows, so some expert tell me if I’m wrong.

    Firstly by analogy it’s like electrical heating, you can only determine what a certain wattage does to temperature by experiments and collecting data, not somehow from first principles. So with the atmosphere its hard to do an experiment with tiny quantities of CO2 in a tube, because its not measurable, and this would not mimic the depth of the atmosphere and other properties anyway. So we take an alternative route as follows:

    So as in your reference in your link, you have to look at how much the planet would heat without an atmosphere from the SB equations, how much it heats with an atmosphere, and that obviously gives you the basis to work out what adding additional molecules of CO2 does to global temperatures. The rest is adding in complicated feedbacks and other properties.

  38. 138
    carrie the can says:

    128 MA Rodger says: “the average annual increase in manmade CO2 emissions has been something like 1.8%”

    Really? Talk about living in the past ….. Rodger brings new meaning to the word. He must surely be going all the way back to the advent of large scale agriculture in the 2nd Millennia B.C. during the early dynastic period of Egypt then and averaging it from there. Such a clever dick. :-)

  39. 139
    Adam Lea says:

    My understanding is if anthropogenic CO2 emissions stopped now, atmospheric CO2 would be elevated for hundreds of years, unless humanity finds a way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere. It takes a long time for natural processes to reduce atmospheric CO2.

  40. 140
    Omega Centauri says:

    Al @131
    “Atmospheric CO2 will start dropping when we halve our emissions”
    That would be true for a nearly instantaneous drop in emissions. But in order to keep the atmospheric concentration nearly constant we would have to keep cutting emissions. This is a consequence of the fact that some of the CO2 reservoirs have relatively fast timescales to reach equilibrium, and those will stop absorbing once they are in equilibrium with the (now constant) atmospheric concentration. So we have to keep cutting to break even.

  41. 141
    S.B. Ripman says:

    A good video on effective communication for scientists:
    https://youtu.be/MYFlRxJ5Sh0

  42. 142
    nigelj says:

    Mike @136

    Thank’s but I think we are still talking at crossed purposes. or maybe I’m out of my depth, but here goes. Lets start with emissions. I agree I dont think we can say they have peaked. There is some tentative data that they stopped growing over 2015 – 2017 and are back up this year. I would need to see 10 years of growth of emissions stopping or falling to be convinced we have a trend cemented in globally but, there are at least tentative signs of progress!

    Now lets look at the effect of emissions on atmospheric concentrations. If we stopped the “growth trend” of emissions completely tomorrow then it should as MAR argues show up as a change in the rate of growth of atmospheric concentrations, and we should obviously be looking for this. It’s not obvious in the data, but MAR has done an exercise subtracting the enso years from the atmospheric data and thinks there’s a slight slow down in the rate of acceleration of atmospheric levels, and he looks like he knows what he is doing to me on the maths of this. So sure its too little data to be more than 50% sure but its a start.

    Now to get atmospheric concentrations to actually start “dropping” we obviously need to not just stop growth of emissions we need to get emissions to net zero. I think perhaps atmospheric concentrations would start to drop before then but it depends on how the oceans behave, and whether they have warmed to the extent they are a net source of emissions.

    The IPCC says from memory that at net zero emissions atmospheric concentrations drop 40% in the first 100 years, and the rest drops over thousands of years.

    Quite happy if one of the climate gurus can find fault with this. I’m trying to get my head around it and all the conflicting comments.

  43. 143
    Nemesis says:

    @Fred Magyar, #134

    You know, I just say:

    Goooood luck.

  44. 144
    MA Rodger says:

    A short lesson in basic arithmetic for Thomas the ‘tin/Carrie the Can @138.

    From Global Carbon Project data:-
    Average CO2 emissions from FF+cement+LUC 1960-64 = 4.269Gt(C)
    Average CO2 emissions from FF+cement+LUC 2013-17 = 11.208Gt(C)
    Proportional increase of average over period = 11.208/4.269 = 2.61
    Period between averages = 2013-1960 = 53 years.
    Proportional increase as an annual increase averaged over period = 2.61^(1/53) = 1.018
    Average annual increase = 1.018 – 1 = 0.018 = 1.8%.

    And for the record, the increase in MLO CO2 readings (requiring a longer average period due to the greater wobbliness) provides a not dissimilar answer, an average annual increase of perhaps 2%.

  45. 145
    MA Rodger says:

    HadCRUT have posted for November with an anomaly oft +0.59ºC, and as per the other surface temperature records, a bit of a drop from October’s +0.68ºC which is the highest anomaly in HadCRUT for 2018. In HadCRUT, 2018 saw the 7th warmest November on record (in GISTEMP =5th, NOAA =5th, BEST 3rd), in HadCRUT the rankings being 2015, 2013, 2005, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2018, 2017, 2016. In HadCRUT Nov 2018 was the 72nd warmest anomaly in the full all-month record (GISS 50th, NOAA 58th, BEST 35th).
    All these surface records are set to see 2018 as becoming the 4th warmest year on record. The monthly anomalies since 2010 for the various tempeature records are graphed out here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) while the table below gives years by the Jan-Nov average.

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.81ºC … … … +0.80ºC … … … 1st
    2015 .. +0.74ºC … … … +0.76ºC … … … 2nd
    2017 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … … 3rd
    2018 .. +0.59ºC
    2010 .. +0.58ºC … … … +0.56ºC … … … 5th
    2014 .. +0.57ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … … 4th
    2005 .. +0.55ºC … … … +0.55ºC … … … 6th
    1998 .. +0.55ºC … … … +0.54ºC … … … 7th
    2013 .. +0.51ºC … … … +0.51ºC … … … 8th
    2002 .. +0.51ºC … … … +0.50ºC … … … 12th
    2009 .. +0.51ºC … … … +0.51ºC … … … 11th

  46. 146

    KIA, #127–Not a scientist–and this isn’t quite what was asked–but this speaks for itself if you spend a little time with it:

    http://ensembles-eu.metoffice.com/meetings/GA6_Exeter_2009/posters/TJohns_GCM_experiments.pdf

    Bear in mind that that was what would have happened (maybe) if we’d started aggressive mitigation ten years ago.

  47. 147
    mike says:

    I think we are largely in agreement regarding emissions, atmospheric and ocean accumulation of CO2. The places of disagreement are relatively small and somewhat unimportant because there seems to be agreement that we need to hit peak emissions very soon and start seeing emission drop toward a netzero very soon as well. Very soon is a vague term, so, I guess I would suggest that peak emissions need to happen within 5 years. It may be that 2018 with increase is an outlier and that we will be able to look back in 2023-2025 and say with some confidence that we peaked around the time of the 2014-2017 emission pause. I hope that turns out to be true. That would be fabulous news. Emission numbers for 2019 should give us a hint about that. If we are down from 2018 and back in the pause range, Yeah! if we are above 2018 numbers, then Oh No! Wait and see.

    There are a couple of points that I am not clear on:

    1. Are we in general agreement and correct that emissions turn into atmospheric concentration measurements quickly? Like a month or less?

    2. If folks think that the 2014-2017 pause in emissions can be detected in atmospheric concentration with confidence, would those folks please provide the month/year ranges where they think they see the reflection of the emission pause in the accumulation numbers. If emissions turn in to accumulation numbers quickly, then that reflection was likely buried in the large jump that accompanied the large ENSO event in that same time period. Hence, my sense that we will never be able to point at a time range of accumulation numbers and say with confidence, there it is: the 2014-2017 emission pause! We might be able to detect some decrease in accumulation/buildup speed when we look at the MLO numbers after smoothing to help absorb the EN bump and work through the processes to detect the underlying accumulation trend with some modicum of confidence.

    All of that is interesting and worthwhile, especially to academics, but the underlying harsh reality is that the current accumulation number of 409 ppm has created a new environmental reality that is contributing in a major way to the sixth great extinction. Stormy weather. Get ready for it.

    Cheers

    Mike

    I don’t think we are talking so much at cross purposes as we are talking in somewhat different terms and reference frames.

  48. 148
    nigelj says:

    Mike @147, yes we are largely in agreement. It’s also the old problem of “definitions”.

    “1. Are we in general agreement and correct that emissions turn into atmospheric concentration measurements quickly? Like a month or less?”

    It appears emissions take 2 – 3 years to become really well mixed through the atmosphere as below so there seems to be a delay before you get really accurate measurements of changes in atmospheric CO2 trends.

    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/nasa-releases-new-co2-data-refutes-conventional-wisdom#gs.sauxPzs

    “2. We might be able to detect some decrease in accumulation/buildup speed when we look at the MLO numbers after smoothing to help absorb the EN bump…”

    Well exactly, and I think that is what MAR is saying he has done, and theres a sign of a small change to rates of growth in atmospheric levels linked to the emissions slowdown starting at 2014.

    Some people seem to think he is minimising the global warming problem, but it looks to me more like hes looking for signs we are making a difference. We ought not to get too paranoid.

  49. 149
    carrie the tin can says:

    144 MA Rodger – lol.

    Real Scientists don’t need to be told to put a TIME FRAME to their Averages or Means.

    Better late than never hey? You are so very very welcome! :-)

    Ya got anything else?

  50. 150
    Carrie says:

    Nor do Real Scientists need to be told to put some credible references and some hard data to their Assertions either. But who cares about that when all you are doing is ARGUING ABOUT ARGUING anyway.

    But, are the Global Carbon Project data above backed up by the IPCC? I’m not a “believer” – I want to see and feel the evidence from CREDIBLE sources please such as Real Scientists thanks.

    Like Thomas demanded of Jesus, right! ;-)