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Unforced Variations: June 2019

Filed under: — group @ 3 June 2019

This month’s open thread for climate science discussions. Remember discussion about climate solutions can be found here.

206 Responses to “Unforced Variations: June 2019”

  1. 151
    nigelj says:

    Killian @146

    “Hobbes was right… about the wrong people. Life was nasty, brutish and short… for urban agricultural societies. Thus sayeth the scientists.”

    I don’t think anyone here is disputing this. Namely that early agricultural society appears to have a harsher life than hunter gatherer life. This raises the question of why people persisted with farming? I have read various explanations, varying from food security (questionable) to simply having forgotten hunter gatherer lifestyles and their merits, to it being easier to bring up children in a settled community, to the emergence of religion and settled places of worship and finally the status displays made possible by the expanding farming economy. One thing is for sure, people must have found something about settled farming communities quite attractive.

    The problem is it’s difficult for us to turn back time. For all practical purposes humanity is reliant on a farming culture for a long time yet so we can only make it work as best as is possible.

  2. 152
    MA Rodger says:

    And NOAA has posted the global anomaly for May at +0.85ºC, equal with February as the coolest anomaly of the year-to-date which up-to-April ran +0.93ºC, +0.85ºC, +1.08ºC, +0.96ºC.
    It is the 4th warmest May in NOAA (3rd in GISTEMP) behind 2016 (+0.93ºC), 2015 (+0.89ºC) and 2017 (+0.87ºC), while ahead of 5th-placed 2018 (+0.81ºC) and 6th 2014 (+0.82ºC), so the order slightly jumbled from that of GISTEMP.
    May 2019 sits at =36th warmest month in the all-month NOAA record (=87th in GISTEMP).
    As with GISTEMP, 2019 currently sits in the top-three warmest for NOAA start-of-years.

    …….. Jan-May Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.14ºC … … … +0.98ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. +0.97ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 3rd
    2019 .. +0.93ºC
    2015 .. +0.86ºC … … … +0.92ºC … … … 2nd
    2018 .. +0.81ºC … … … +0.82ºC … … … 4th
    2010 .. +0.80ºC … … … +0.72ºC … … … 6th
    1998 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.65ºC … … … 9th
    2007 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … … 15th
    2014 .. +0.71ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 5th
    2002 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 14th
    2005 .. +0.66ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … … 8th

  3. 153
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Hobbes was right… about the wrong people. Life was nasty, brutish and short… for urban agricultural societies. Thus sayeth the scientists.

    AB: “life expectancy at age 15 is 48 years for Aborigines, 52 and 51 for settled Ache and !Kung, yet 31 and 36 for peasant and transitional Agta.”

    https://condensedscience.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/life-expectancy-in-hunter-gatherers-and-other-groups/

    “The life expectancy for a 15 years old [USA] woman is 66 years and 8 months. So a woman at this age can live until 81 years and 8 months.”

    “The life expectancy for a 15 years old man is 62 years and 1 months. So a man at this age can live until 77 years and 1 months.”

    https://coolconversion.com/heath/life-expectancy-calculator-us/Life-expectancy-at-age_15_in-US_w

    So current HGs who survive to age 15 on average live 12 to 33 fewer years than Americans who survive to 15. Given that Americans are around the bottom of the first world’s barrel your comment appears to be inaccurate. Life was short for HGs, too. Or are you saying that the above cites are in error? Or perhaps that modern HGs are not as capable as previous groups?

    Since the human body is designed to live 70+ years and can recover, those early deaths surely were accompanied by many really wretched close calls. “Joe died but the rest of us didn’t quite starve.”

  4. 154
    Nemesis says:

    @Al Bundy, #149

    ” Tone is more important than words and subsequent comments can inform about the tone of a previous comment. Apparently Nigel considers you a friend.”

    Yes, tone is more important than words, I second that as a musician. But written words in general lack tone/sound, mimics, gesture ect, wich can lead to a lot of misunderstanding in social online networks ect. Anyway, I consider Nigel as a friend too most of the time ;)

    I appreciate what you said about competition. Competition can be fun and fruitful sometimes, when it’s not taken too serious, but capitalist competition is not about fun, it’s about making dollars out of other peoples/companies/nations failure and misery. It all comes down to this:

    ” Rich man, poor man faced each other in a van.
    Said the poor man with a switch:
    “ Were I not poor,
    you wouldn’t be rich.”

    – Bertolt Brecht, Alfabet! 1934

    And that’s just the socio-economic side of the game, let alone the climate- and ecological aspect. But capitalists will never give up capitalism just like vultures will never give up carrion as their privilegs depend on it. As long as capitalism lives on, there will be nothing but BAU (“BUSINESS” as usual as it is called), so we have to wait until capitalism collapses. It will collapse in the not too distant future I’m sure.

    The matrix of scientific and economic materialism is a total failure, a brainfuck, it insults my intelligence. I prefer poetry over materialist science (sorry, guys) and music over pervasive, “rational” bean counting. The Spirit of the cosmos (our home^^) is a poet, a musician, a dreamer, but never a fuckin bourgeois. Never.

  5. 155
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #151

    ” Namely that early agricultural society appears to have a harsher life than hunter gatherer life. This raises the question of why people persisted with farming?”

    Just read the Gilgamesh epic, the oldest written scripture of mankind, it’s all in it. It’s a very deep tale about one of the very first cities (Uruk), it’s about power and wealth, it’s about the search for immortality of the elite and it’s about the destruction of the environment for worldly power and material wealth, it’s about the slaughter of Humbaba, the old Spirit of the woods. First there was the omnnipresent connection to Nature and the cosmos and cooperation (not competition) and then the elite came up and started a global desaster for fame and fortune until that very day. Humbaba’s dire curse is still valid, he will get them all.

  6. 156
    Nemesis says:

    Addendum to my recent comment above:

    A few years ago a real scientific sensation happened when a missing text passage of the Gilgamesh Epic had been found: http://etc.ancient.eu/exhibitions/giglamesh-enkidu-humbaba-cedar-forest-newest-discovered-tablet-v-epic/

    The text reminds us of the destruction and murder of Humbaba, the guardian of the forest, the destruction and murder of Nature by the ever hungry, ever greedy elite like no other text in human history, it’s a poetic lamentation over greed, hatred and ignorance. Here is an intensely speaking excerpt of the newly found text tablet, these are the roots of the global desaster we’re in (there are still some gaps in the text):

    ” They stood there marvelling at(?) observing the height of the cedars, observing the way into the forest.
    the forest, Where Humbaba came and went there was a track,
    the paths were in good order and the way was well trodden. They were gazing at the Cedar Mountain, dwelling of gods, throne-dais of goddesses:
    [on the] face of the land the cedar was proffering its abundance, sweet was its shade, full of delight.
    [All] tangled was the thorny undergrowth, the forest a thick canopy, cedars (and) ballukku-trees were [so entangled,] it had no ways in. For one league on all sides cedars [sent forth] saplings, cypresses […] for two-thirds of a league.
    The cedar was scabbed with lumps (of resin) [for] sixty (cubits’) height, resin [oozed] forth, drizzling down like rain, [flowing freely(?)] for ravines to bear away. [Through] all the forest a bird began to sing:
    […] were answering one another, a constant din was the noise, [A solitary(?)] tree-cricket set off a noisy chorus, […] were singing a song, making the … pipe loud.
    A wood pigeon was moaning, a turtle dove calling in answer. [At the call of] the stork, the forest exults,
    [at the cry of] the francolin, the forest exults in plenty. [Monkey mothers] sing aloud, a youngster monkey shrieks: [like a band(?)] of musicians and drummers(?),
    daily they bash out a rhythm in the presence of Humbaba.
    As the cedar [cast] its shadow, [terror] fell on Gilgameš.
    [Stiffness took] a grip of his arms, and feebleness beset his legs.
    [Enkidu] opened his mouth to speak, saying to Gilgameš:
    “[Let us go] into the midst of the forest, [set] to it and let us raise (our battle) cry!”…”

    Look at that beautiful poetic, musical description of the forest! And then later on Gilgamesh and Enkidu are about to kill Humbaba, the guardian of the forest:

    ” Enkidu [opened his mouth to speak, saying to Gilgameš:]
    “My friend, Humbaba, guardian of the Forest [of Cedar,] finish him, slay him, do [away with his power!]
    Humbaba, the forest guardian: finish [him, slay him, do away with his power,
    before [Enlil] the foremost learns (about it), and the great gods become angry with us: Enlil in Nippur, Šamaš in [Larsa . . .]
    Establish an eternal [. . . ,] how Gilgameš slew [the fearsome(?)] Humbaba!”
    Humbaba heard . . . [. . .] and . . . [. . .] Humbaba lifted [up his head, weeping before Šamaš,]
    [his tears flowing] before the [rays of the sun:]…”

    And after Gilgamesh and Enkidu slaughtered Humbaba, the guardian of the forest, they realized what they’ve done:

    ” [Enkidu] opened his mouth to speak, saying to Gilgameš:
    “[My friend,] we have reduced the forest [to] a wasteland, [how] shall we answer Enlil in Nippur? ‘[In] your might you slew the guardian,
    what was this wrath of yours that you went trampling the forest?’… ”

    Full text of the newly found tablet: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/18512/

    This text speaks to us from many millennia ago as a warning, as a curse, as Nemesis.

  7. 157
    Killian says:

    Re lack of reading comprehension at #153:

    “Killian: Hobbes was right… about the wrong people. Life was nasty, brutish and short… for urban agricultural societies. Thus sayeth the scientists.

    NigelA: “life expectancy at age 15 is 48 years for Aborigines…

    “The life expectancy for a 15 years old [USA] woman is 66 years and 8 months. So a woman at this age can live until…

    “The life expectancy for a 15 years old man is 62 years and 1 months. So a man at this age can live until…

    So current HGs who survive to age 15 on average live 12 to 33 fewer years than Americans who survive to 15. Given that Americans are around the bottom of the first world’s barrel your comment appears to be inaccurate. Life was short for HGs, too.

    And, no, they were not. You are cherry picking. The primary forms of death for H-G’s were birth, illness, accident. A mean or average lifespan is meaningless in determining the health of individuals absent those three. What you cite is a measure of bad luck.

    This has been discussed here before. Learn.

    And stop trying to score points.

    Or are you saying that the above cites are in error?

    I’m saying you’re so intent on finding fault, merely bc I posted the link, you couldn’t handle simple verb tenses in your response, nor use adequate logic: Comparing compromised H-G societies (pollution, severely reduced tribal lands and resources, and on and on) of today with non-compromised H-G’s of the previous 296k years is an embarrassing mistake to make. The article was referring to, Çatalhöyük began as a small settlement about 7100 B.C.

    You have taken apples and attempted to compare them with oranges. I compared, merely by implying, not in specific, peoples from approximately 9k years ago with… people from 9k years ago. You somehow thought it appropriate to not only ignore research you are already aware of, but erase 9k years between comparisons.

    Not exactly scholarly.

    Even worse, as I said, you are cherry picking:

    If you were a hunter-gatherer and you made it to adolescence, there was a strong likelihood that you would live a long and healthy life – not so different from modern humans….

    The Tsimané, for example, are an indigenous forager people of lowland Bolivia and their modal lifespan is 70 years…

    http://theconversation.com/hunter-gatherers-live-nearly-as-long-as-we-do-but-with-limited-access-to-healthcare-104157

    Coronary health of the above people: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30752-3/fulltext

    This, too:

    Longevity among small‐scale populations approaches that of industrialized populations, and metabolic and cardiovascular disease are rare. Obesity prevalence is very low (5%), and mean body fat percentage is modest (women: 24–28%, men: 9–18%). Activity levels are high

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Re #151 OGnigelj said
    Killian @146

    “Hobbes was right… about the wrong people. Life was nasty, brutish and short… for urban agricultural societies. Thus sayeth the scientists.”

    I don’t think anyone here is disputing this…

    You’ll want to take that up with nigelA.

    The problem is it’s difficult for us to turn back time. For all practical purposes humanity is reliant on a farming culture

    Straw Man. Nobody has suggested turning back time, abandoning agriculture, nor 9+ billion living H-G lifestyles.

  8. 158
    zebra says:

    #149 Al Bundy,

    “the semantics and timing are complicated”

    Only because, as I said above, keeping them “complicated” (vague) means the discussion never goes anywhere, but people get to keep posting comments.

    You quoted me recently… my favorite question on FR, “what’s the plan?”. But here on UV, where we are supposed to be talking science, my favorite is:

    “What’s the question?” Meaning, you have to be specific about what your answer addresses.

    In this case, it takes the form of requiring that you tell us what exactly is it that is “tipping”?.

    I gave an example of that. If you isolate the arctic from energy input by mass transport, and increase CO2, will the arctic undergo a state change, which would be to a year-round liquid state? That would be the case of the arctic experiencing a “tipping point”. If the CO2 remains at that level, and solar output remains the same, and so on, then this is the new equilibrium.

    But you keep changing the subject, talking about global ice and glaciation and Greenland and permafrost. That’s a different question. In the real world, without my hypothetical “arctic isolation” a new global state might include a year-round liquid arctic, but that would be a “tipping point” of the global climate system, because many things have changed.

    But we don’t know if, or how stable, that year-round arctic liquid state would be… the new global state could include long cycles where the arctic freezes, for example, but the rest of the planet doesn’t change much at all.

  9. 159
    mike says:

    “Scientists are concerned about the stability of permafrost because of the risk that rapid thawing could release vast quantities of heat-trapping gases, unleashing a feedback loop that would in turn fuel even faster temperature rises.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jun/18/arctic-permafrost-canada-science-climate-crisis?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVUy0xOTA2MTk%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&CMP=GTUS_email

    The headline says scientists are shocked by what they saw, but they may be media hype because the quotes from scientists indicate they were only astounded or amazed by what they saw:

    “A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.

    “What we saw was amazing,” Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, told Reuters. “It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years.“

    It’s troubling, of course, but this is not really supposed to occur for 70 years. I think this one of slow feedbacks that we could be concerned about. This probably needs a bit more study.

    As Nigel said: Of course if arctic amplification was to accelerate beyond current trends and predictions then the permafrost would melt sooner than we think, but I’m inclined to think Zebra is right in principle this doesn’t make it worse unless of course its much, much sooner.

    I am still scratching my head about all the energy and attention given to the feedbacks versus tipping point question. This is a slow-moving system. A feedback that takes a long time to show its hand as irreversible would look like a tipping point in retrospect to me. I tend to think more about feedbacks and reversibility/mitigation as the feedbacks arise than I do about tipping points. Tipping point discussion is pretty discouraging.

    But that’s must me. Carry on.

    CO2 and methane? I think still on the rise, waiting for capitalism system and market forces to kick in cause the rise to slow down and/or level off.

    No worries. I think if we listen to the stable geniuses on this list and pay attention to the special folks who don’t exhibit any confirmation bias, then we can maintain our bearings.

    Cheers

    Mike

  10. 160
    DasKleineTeilchen says:

    Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-permafrost/scientists-amazed-as-canadian-permafrost-thaws-70-years-early-idUSKCN1TJ1XN

    surely seems like a tipping-point to me. and again, “than thought/predicted/ecetera”

    @nigelj:

    However we can at least change aspects of capitalism and make it work better in environmental terms.

    yeah, we saw how good that worked for the last 100 years, dont we?

    but once we remove some element of free market competition ‘between’ firms, the economy may stagnate.

    so? thats exactly the point, there is no “competition”, there is only “growth”, and “growth” means one thing in capitalism: to make profit and only profit, despite any consequences that may have. the economy HAS to stagnate, even shrink massivly back, if “we” as a species want to survive the next 100 years.

    We can probably say goodbye to more progress with medicine, technology, etcetera

    why? sounds like fearmongering to me…as like humantity hasnt progressed before capitalism at all.

  11. 161
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://text.npr.org/s.php?sId=733739909

    NPR.org, June 19, 2019 · The world’s glaciers are melting faster than before, but it still takes decades to see changes that are happening at a glacial pace.

    To look back in time, researchers are turning to a once-secret source: spy satellite imagery from the 1970s and 1980s, now declassified. “The actual imagery is freely available for download on the USGS website, and people can use it,” says Josh Maurer, a doctoral student at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

    Maurer is the lead author of a study using satellite imagery to show that in the past 20 years, Himalayan glaciers melted twice as fast as they did in the 1980s and ’90s. The work was published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.

    The spy satellite images come from KH-9 Hexagon military satellites, launched during the Cold War to help the U.S. peer over the Iron Curtain, says Summer Rupper, a co-author of the study. Each satellite was about the size of a school bus and carried miles of film. Packaged in buckets equipped with parachutes, the film was later ejected into the upper atmosphere and plucked out of the air over the Pacific Ocean by Air Force pilots. Most Hexagon images were declassified in 2011 as a continuation of a 1995 executive order by President Bill Clinton to release spy satellite footage that was “scientifically or environmentally useful.”…

  12. 162
    Erik Lindeberg says:

    Why has Berkeley Earth not posted any global temperature data (BEST) since February 2019? Do I maybe have the wrong link to these data? http://berkeleyearth.lbl.gov/auto/Global/Land_and_Ocean_complete.txt

  13. 163
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @148, I don’t like the privatisation of essential basic services like education and healthcare either. I’ve lobbied against this where I live. However such issues are better discussed on the FR page, I might respond in more detail there.

  14. 164
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @158, what you say is almost impossible to understand. In the world of published science, an arctic tipping point is just defined as a blue arctic that stays that way for many centuries even if we stop emissions by 2050, say. Its believed this will be at somewhere from 1-3 degrees of global warming above the pre industrial baseline.

    It’s nothing to do with whether the arctic is isolated from the heat energy transport system of the oceans, what is all that about? It doesn’t require the planet reach a tipping point for the arctic to reach a tipping point! FWIW I would say we are very close to an arctic tipping point.

  15. 165
    nigelj says:

    DasKleineTeilchen @160

    “yeah, we saw how good that (capitalism) worked for the last 100 years, dont we?”

    This depends where we look. The USA did well with environmental policies in the 1960s and 1970s and there was a bipartisan consensus to an extent. In recent decades things have gone sour. And I certainly concede capitalism has caused problems, its obvious.

    “but once we remove some element of free market competition ‘between’ firms, the economy may stagnate.”

    “so? thats exactly the point, there is no “competition”, there is only “growth”, and “growth” means one thing in capitalism: to make profit and only profit, despite any consequences that may have. the economy HAS to stagnate, even shrink massivly back, if “we” as a species want to survive the next 100 years.”

    I think you are conflating a few things. Free market competition generates efficiencies and good quality products, but is a separate issue from economic growth. Capitalism does not absolutely require economic growth, for example Japan is a capitalist country, but has had very stagnant growth for years but is actually doing ok economically. I do agree economic growth is a problem, and has to slow down and stop.

    “We can probably say goodbye to more progress with medicine, technology, etcetera”

    “why? sounds like fearmongering to me…as like humantity hasnt progressed before capitalism at all.”

    Sure I agree humanity progressed before capitalism, but take away competition and private ownership and history does show things tend to stagnate particularly the industrial sector, and that is part of advances in medicine.

    This might sound contradictory. I’ve been very critical of capitalism for years, especially the robber baron, laissez faire variety, but I just don’t believe there’s a workable alternative to ‘some’ form of capitalism. Our best hope might be a softer edged form of capitalism, better anti trust laws etc, placing the public good higher up the list of priorities, less of a narrow focus on profits. My country of NZ has just had a government “well being” budget for example that has changed the focus from purely about economic growth and so on towards other things as well.

    And of course I have to ask, your alternative economic structure is what???

  16. 166
    Barry Finch says:

    Looking at a DMI Arctic Ocean sea ice concentration 2003-2018 reminded me of a thought I had 5 years ago, didn’t pursue in detail and forgot. Little sea ice gets south of 60N or thereabouts before melting but the amount that does removes fresh water. I had wondered what contribution that makes to the density of the AMOC chimneys that provides the driving force for AMOC. I realize that the chimneys are in Greenland Sea and Labrador Sea, not Arctic Ocean but still I wonder whether general Arctic Ocean freshening of the shallower waters due to sea ice melting in situ with none departing before melting (when it reaches that stage) will provide some freshwater forcing. 32,000 km**3 it was 40 years ago I seem to recall is a lot of fresh water but of course I don’t know what tiny part used to get south of 60N or thereabouts before melting. The ice has to depart to contribute to AMOC force, the wind must drive it away. This “water gets cold, ice rejects brine into it and it sinks” is nonsense according to some Sir Isaac Newton very old guy (sorry climate scientists).

  17. 167
    MA Rodger says:

    Erik Lindeberg @162,
    I think there was a problem with HadSST for a time as the HadCRUT4 update for March 2019 was much delayed as well (although it did eventually arrive). And the Berkeley Raw Land Only Monthly series is being updated (last to April 2019)(linked from the Berkeley Data Overview Page).

  18. 168
    mike says:

    nitrous oxide emissions from warmed permafrost:

    “We observed large variability of N2O fluxes with many areas exhibiting negligible emissions. Still, the daily mean averaged over our flight campaign was 3.8 (2.2–4.7) mg N2O m−2 d−1 with the 90 % confidence interval shown in parentheses. If these measurements are representative of the whole month, then the permafrost areas we observed emitted a total of around 0.04–0.09 g m−2 for August, which is comparable to what is typically assumed to be the upper limit of yearly emissions for these regions.

    https://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/19/4257/2019/

    Cheers,

    Mike

  19. 169
    Nemesis says:

    @zebra, #158

    ” In the real world, without my hypothetical “arctic isolation” a new global state might include a year-round liquid arctic, but that would be a “tipping point” of the global climate system, because many things have changed.

    But we don’t know if, or how stable, that year-round arctic liquid state would be… the new global state could include long cycles where the arctic freezes, for example, but the rest of the planet doesn’t change much at all.”

    Smile, that’s exactly what Arrhenius were- and Exxon et al are dreaming of, an ice free arctic, open shipping routes and a chance to grab the arctic ressources while anything else will be “almost” fine. It’s a beautiful plan, a godlike plan, capitalist “Worlds In The Making”. Walk on, walk on, we are almost there 8)

  20. 170
    mike says:

    took a minute to look up tipping point:

    Tipping Points

    Imagine a glass of milk on a table. Tip the glass a little, and not much happens. Tip the glass a little further, and still not much happens — the milk just sloshes in the glass. But, tip the glass far enough, and the milk will suddenly pour out onto the table. This moment of suddenly changing from one state (milk in glass, dry table) to another state (milk on table) is called a tipping point. Tipping points are generally preceded by gradual and low-impact changes (the milk sloshing around, but staying in the glass), occur quickly (the milk spilled rapidly onto the table) and cannot be undone (there is no way to put the milk back into the glass).

    Many climate change scientists believe tipping points will play a role with climate change, and may affect the timing and severity of climate change impacts. For example:

    The complete disappearance of Arctic sea ice during the summer months could dramatically change ocean currents in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
    The melting of permafrost could lead to a massive release of methane gas, thus greatly accelerating climate change.
    A longer dry season, precipitated by a temperature increase of just 5-7 degrees Fahrenheit, could cause a rapid die-off of the Amazon rainforest.

    Learn more about climate change tipping points:

    Tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system
    Climate ‘tipping points’ may arrive without warning,says top forecaster

    https://climatechange.lta.org/tipping-points-and-feedback-loops/

  21. 171
    mike says:

    same source, feedback loop?

    Feedback Loops

    When the output of a system affects itself, this is known as a feedback loop. A well-known example that affects climate change is the ice-albedo feedback loop. Ice has a higher reflectivity — albedo — than land or water. This means that ice is better able to reflect heat back into the atmosphere than bare land or water. However, because temperatures are rising, Arctic sea ice is melting more rapidly in the summer months. This exposes more water, and allows the oceans to absorb and retain more heat. This, in turn, increases the likelihood that even more ice will melt during the following summer.

    Additional feedback loops include:

    Stronger and more frequent droughts in some areas may cause a die-off of local vegetation. Because plants help maintain a certain level of humidity, this die-off could lead to worsening drought conditions in the future.
    As temperatures rise, sub-Arctic and Arctic permafrost begins to melt. This, in turn, releases additional methane. That additional methane then helps drive temperatures even higher.

    yawn…

  22. 172
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #165

    Like I said earlier, the free market is a myth, there is no real free market, but there is corruption, privitization, lobbyism, exploitation all over the place and you know it. And that game will not stop until the work of capitalism is ultimately done once and for all. Soon, dear nigelj, very soon.

  23. 173
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #163

    ” I don’t like the privatisation of essential basic services like education and healthcare either. I’ve lobbied against this where I live. However such issues are better discussed on the FR page, I might respond in more detail there.”

    There’s no need to “discuss” it as capitalists give a fuck about what we discuss, the game will just go on until no more. End of story.

  24. 174
    Nemesis says:

    @mike, #159

    Please, dear mike, you have to keep two crucial facts in your mind you should never ignore:

    1. The methane monster does not exist, it’s just a fairy tale for frightening little kids like you (and me).

    2. Capitalism is the one and only saviour. You just have to have unshakeable TRUST in capitalism, it will solve all problems once and for all (if there are any problems at all.)

    Period.

  25. 175
    Hank Roberts says:

    | Scientists Amazed as Canadian Permafrost Thaws 70 Years Early |
    | https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=19/06/19/0356213 |
    +——————+

    [0]martyb writes:

    [1]Scientists Amazed as Canadian Permafrost Thaws 70 Years Early:

    Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years
    earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest
    sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than
    scientists had feared.

    […] With governments meeting in Bonn this week to try to ratchet up
    ambitions in United Nations climate negotiations, the… findings,
    published on June 10 in Geophysical Research Letters, offered a
    further sign of a growing climate emergency.

    The paper was based on data Romanovsky and his colleagues had been
    analyzing since their last expedition to the area in 2016. The team
    used a modified propeller plane to visit exceptionally remote sites,
    including an abandoned Cold War-era radar base more than 300 km from
    the nearest human settlement.

    Diving through a lucky break in the clouds, Romanovsky and his
    colleagues said they were confronted with a landscape that was
    unrecognizable from the pristine Arctic terrain they had encountered
    during initial visits a decade or so earlier.

    Discuss this story at:
    https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=19/06/19/0356213

    Links:
    0. https://soylentnews.org/~martyb/
    1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-permafrost/scientists-amazed-as-canadian-permafrost-thaws-70-years-early-idUSKCN1TJ1XN

  26. 176
    Nemesis says:

    ” 20.6.2018 – India’s sixth biggest city is almost entirely out of water

    New Delhi (CNN)The floor of the Chembarambakkam reservoir is cracked open, dry and sun-baked. About 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) away, in Chennai, India’s sixth largest city, millions of people are running out of water…

    Droughts in India are an annual problem, but this year’s water shortage has coincided with a fatal nationwide heatwave. As cities struggle to provide enough resources, those on the front lines of the crisis say it’s only going to get worse.
    “Governments are now scrambling to make sure people have water,” said Jyoti Sharma, founder and president of FORCE, an Indian NGO working on water conservation. “Groundwater wells are drying faster and faster every year.”…”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/19/india/chennai-water-crisis-intl-hnk/index.html

    Water is no big problem in a capitalist system as long as you have enough money. For now.

  27. 177
    Nemesis says:

    Correction of my recent comment above:

    The article about India running dry is from 20.6.2019, not 2018.

  28. 178
    mike says:

    to Nemesis at 174: I am into CAPITALISM and TRUST. Are NH4, CO2 and GHG part of the CAPITALIST conspiracy?

    June 21: Unavailable
    June 20: 413.94 ppm
    June 19: 414.29 ppm
    June 18: 414.14 ppm
    June 17: 413.62 ppm

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/monthly.html

    Falling off the annual high number. Everybody get happy and make vacation travel plans.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  29. 179

    N 172: the free market is a myth

    BPL: So is an ideal gas, but the ideal gas law can still be useful.

  30. 180
    Killian says:

    Re #170 mike said took a minute to look up tipping point:

    Tipping Points

    Climate ‘tipping points’ **may** arrive without warning,says top forecaster

    No, that is actually a false statement. One of the aspects of tipping points you left out, mike, was they cannot be predicted within chaotic systems. (They can be figured out on non-linear systems, e.g. a sand pile, but often the time needed to do the calculation does not exist.) I hold that, even if, as Gavin argues, the Earth system is non-linear and not chaotic, the human element – humans being part of the system – makes it chaotic because what we do affects the non-human physical system.

    Ergo, the correct verb is “will,” not “may.”

    I get tired of the wishy-washy language of careful-don’t-scare-anyone! climate comms. Argh. It’s like saying, “Your house may begin to shake in a large earthquake.” You can equivocate as to whether the tipping point or earthquake will occur, but not about whether a tipping point is predictable or not, nor whether a large earthquake shakes buildings. (Actually, typically anything > 3-ish on the Richter.)

  31. 181
    Nemesis says:

    @BPL, #169

    “N 172: the free market is a myth

    BPL: So is an ideal gas, but the ideal gas law can still be useful.”

    Sure, the CO2 gas is almost ideal imo. Lets get more of it as capitalism loves it like no other gas.

  32. 182
    Nemesis says:

    @mike, #178

    ” I am into CAPITALISM and TRUST.”

    You’re a good boy, you learned the prayer book well :)

    “Are NH4, CO2 and GHG part of the CAPITALIST conspiracy?”

    Yes, NH4, CO2 and GHG are a neat BYPRODUCT of capitalism. And I tell you my dirty little secret:

    I LOVE that Damocles sword as it will ultimately chop off the head of CAPITALISM 38=>

    And now lets pray:

    Our mighty dollar who art in hell,
    Hallowed be Thy name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done on earth, as it is in hell.
    Give us today our daily return.
    And forgive us our trespasses.
    As we won’t forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from communism.
    For Thine is the kingdom,
    The power and the glory,
    Forever,
    Amen

  33. 183
    Al Bundy says:

    NigelJ: but once we remove some element of free market competition ‘between’ firms, the economy may stagnate. We can probably say goodbye to more progress with medicine, technology, etcetera.

    AB: Do you have any evidence to support such a counter-intuitive “probably”? Competition between firms is what inhibits progress. Whenever somebody finds a solution all the competitors treat the licensing fees as double-cost instead of no-cost. Thus, stuff gets built with the lousiest tech possible because of competition between firms. You forget, progress has NOTHING to do with firms or capitalism or free market laborism or anything except INVENTORS. Capitalists are NOT inventors so they generally act to impede progress. Did ya know that inventors are told that progress (inventing) is easy, but getting a capitalist to accept progress is harder than tungsten carbide.
    _______________

    zebra: In this case, it takes the form of requiring that you tell us what exactly is it that is “tipping”?.

    AB: I refuse. My ENTIRE point was defining tipping points vs feedbacks. NO situation or earthly current event at all, other than to help with the defining. I don’t know if, when, or what’s tipping where.

    zebra: But we don’t know if, or how stable, that year-round arctic liquid state would be…

    AB: Whether accurate or not, in 2017 somebody ran a set of simulations starting with an ice-free September and the ice came back. So as of a couple years ago it is unlikely that that particular tipping point has tipped. Of course, thousands of other tipping points (especially functional extinctions) have/are occurred/occurring.

    __________

    Killian: Re lack of

    AB:civility and comprehension by Killian. Eh, nothing new.

    Killian: What you cite is a measure of bad luck.

    AB: Duh. That’s how people tend to die. Your point? That lifespan is a grand but totally useless metric? Like I said, perhaps current HGs have different lifespans than ancient HGs. Your response said nothing of value (except the bit about HG’s range diminishing).
    ___________

    NigelJ: Sure I agree humanity progressed before capitalism, but take away competition and private ownership

    AB: Uh, are you saying that “competition” and “private ownership” are impossible
    outside of “capitalism”? That’s ludicrous.

    NigelJ: your alternative economic structure is what???

    AB: search RealClimate for “Laborism”. A couple months ago I gave zebra a short dissertation.
    __________

  34. 184
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @183

    “but once we remove some element of free market competition ‘between’ firms, the economy may stagnate. We can probably say goodbye to more progress with medicine, technology, etcetera.

    “AB: Do you have any evidence to support such a counter-intuitive “probably”?

    Yeah just look at China, N Korea and The Soviet Union under state socialism, so there was little or no private ownership, free markets and competition between firms. The whole system stagnated eventually. Initially technological progress, innovation and output was great but it stagnated badly over time and much innovation was just borrowed or stolen from capitalist countries. People didn’t work hard or take risks or innovate because they didnt have to work or compete to keep their jobs so stopped trying, they got no rewards unless they were part of the communist party so had no incentives to really work hard, and because they had no ownership stake like we have with private ownership.

    This is the constant problem we see with what are effectively monopolies and they made their entire economy a monopoly!

    “Competition between firms is what inhibits progress. Whenever somebody finds a solution all the competitors treat the licensing fees as double-cost instead of no-cost. Thus, stuff gets built with the lousiest tech possible because of competition between firms.”

    Yes but this is only one issue, and is the downside of competition. No competition (or even just the threat of possible competition) is still worse.

    “You forget, progress has NOTHING to do with firms or capitalism or free market laborism or anything except INVENTORS.”

    Again I feel this is a different thing. Inventors are the key element in any economy along with scientists, but you also have to consider how things are financed, built, manufactured and marketed and capitalism does do that quite well compared to state socialism.

    Of course inventors are not fairly rewarded.

    ” Capitalists are NOT inventors so they generally act to impede progress.”

    Thats a bit of a sweeping statement! Capitalists have a lot to gain by progress.

    “Did ya know that inventors are told that progress (inventing) is easy, but getting a capitalist to accept progress is harder than tungsten carbide.”

    Well yes they would say that to maximise their income and position. People can be complete ar******s.

  35. 185
    Killian says:

    Re #183 Al Bundy whined Killian: Re lack of

    AB:civility and comprehension by Killian. Eh, nothing new.

    Already covered. You are flatly lying here. I posted clearly, and you answered with data 9k years apart in time. That’s just bad scholarship, if not outright stupidity. As I said, you were too busy scoring points and screwed up.

    It’s not uncivil to point this out.

    Killian: What you cite is a measure of bad luck.

    AB: Duh. That’s how people tend to die. Your point? That lifespan is a grand but totally useless metric?

    No. Lifespan is a group measure, nothing but a statistic. It does not tell us about the general health of the people. All it tells us is whether they were lucky or unlucky in a time period before very highly specialized medicine existed. By claiming average lifespan you distort the quality of life.

    In fact, much of current lifespan extension is preventing early deaths from… birth, accidents and infectious diseases.

    You are basically arguing being born rich is the same as being born poor and becoming rich by creating a company. The issue is not luck, it is quality of life, and the quality of life in terms of health of H-G’s and other non-urban peoples was BETTER than the urban dwellers, and still is. This is not controversial.

    Unfortunately, you’ve turned back into a raging ass so argue simply to argue.

    Your response said nothing of value (except the bit about HG’s range diminishing).

    Scholarly articles say nothing of value? What a damned fool.

    Score your points, child. There’s work to be done, and you are not part of that, nigelA.

  36. 186
    mike says:

    at Al Bundy: Nigel has a steady habit of posting facts that everyone knows. So, when Nigel says:

    “NigelJ: but once we remove some element of free market competition ‘between’ firms, the economy may stagnate. We can probably say goodbye to more progress with medicine, technology, etcetera.

    and you ask at 183:

    AB: Do you have any evidence to support such a counter-intuitive “probably”?

    the answer is: everybody knows this. It’s obvious. Nigel is just telling you what everybody knows. That’s right, isn’t it, Nigel? Everybody knows that if you remove competition from the equation of the marketplace, innovation and productivity automatically decrease. You believe that quite firmly, right? It’s pretty obvious, right?

    Cheers

    Mike

  37. 187
    Nemesis says:

    Addendum to my recent comment about the severe heatwave in Germany and all over Europe:

    ” 23.6.2019 – Mercury climbs as Europe braces for summer scorcher

    … Europeans are set to bake in what forecasters are warning will likely be record-breaking temperatures for June with the mercury set to peak mid-week…

    In Germany, forecasters said they were expecting a week-long heatwave with temperatures that could break the 2015 record of 40.3 degrees, blaming it on a front of “warm air coming from the Sahara”…

    And Meteo France also warned of a “hot, humid and unstable” weather front that could push the mercury up to 40 degrees from Tuesday in some parts of the country, including Paris. The authorities activated an action plan for children, the sick and elderly as well as for homeless people…

    And after last summer’s heatwave, farmers are again fearful the high temperatures could damage crops…

    France is wary of a repeat of the intense heatwave of summer 2003, when nearly 15,000 died over a two-week period, most of them elderly…”

    https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/mercury-climbs-europe-braces-summer-scorcher-doc-1hr67f2

    Smile, could be the next record this year in Germany right after the temperature record last year. Bring it on, bring it on, the rich countries of the northern hemisphere need to feel more Heat.

  38. 188
    mike says:

    at K at 180: I don’t care much about the whole tipping point vs. feedback discussion, but I think it may be true that climate tipping points may arise without warning. I think it is much more likely true that climate tipping points may and will arise with warning. The “may” option in this linguistic construction being whether or not there will be warning. I agree with you that climate tipping points will arise, independent of the warning matter. I think we have already passed some tipping points as they are described in the text that I pasted in here.

    Another reasonable position wrt to the tipping points is that the science itself predicts clear warnings about possible tipping points, so for those of us who subscribe to that pov, all the tipping points will arise with plenty of warning, no tipping points could possibly arise without warning. The warning is right there in the science and data, the tipping points will arrive and it is foolish to claim that there was no warning.

    Feedbacks? Tipping points? so what? big deal. If our species refuses to do whatever needs to be done to reduce ghg accumulation in atmosphere and oceans, the discussion of warning/feedbacks/tipping points will just be footnote in our obituary. Welcome to the sixth great extinction. Did someone forget to warn you about extinction events? Take it to the world court, baby.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  39. 189
    Nemesis says:

    ” 25.6.2019 – Europe heatwave: record high of 45°C expected in France

    Temperature records expected to be broken as minister warns heatwaves could become norm.

    Meteorologists expect previous June highs to be approached and possibly exceeded in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with all-time records likely to fall in some countries…

    Scientists say heatwaves can be particularly dangerous when they occur in early summer, before people have adjusted to seasonal norms. Europe’s 2003 heatwave resulted in the premature deaths of an estimated 70,000 people…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/25/highs-of-45c-expected-in-france-as-heatwave-scorches-europe

    In the heatwave of 2003 ~15 000 people died in France.

    Go capitalism, go, go, go!

  40. 190
    Solar Jim says:

    Would appreciate some help with a self-made riddle:

    We know that methane is two orders of magnitude (100 times) worse as a current GHG than CO2 (Global Warming Potential of 34 over 100 years, 86 over 20 years, higher than 86 over 10 years), and that methane atmospheric concentration is around 1850ppb (and rising).
    So, if we convert to ppm (1850ppb = 1.85ppm) and convert to the GWP of CO2 by multiplying by 100 do we not have a GWP of 185ppm for methane alone today?

  41. 191
    Killian says:

    Re #188 mike said at K at 180: I don’t care much about the whole tipping point vs. feedback discussion, but I think it may be true that climate tipping points may arise without warning. I think it is much more likely true that climate tipping points may and will arise with warning.

    I could have saved you some typing by being more accurate. Within chaotic systems the phases a system may go through often *can* be predicted, but not the order nor, and this is the important one, the timing.

    Basically, if you can measure the tipping point, you are in the tipping point, so buckle your seatbelt.

    The caveat is that in recent years there has been some success detecting preceding wobbles in simpler systems, but, again, if you’re that close, it’s really just time to grab something to hold onto.

    This has huge implications for climate risk assessment that goes largely ignored in the public discussion, even among scientists. I refer you to the Texas coast corals I posted about a good while back.

  42. 192
    t marvell says:

    There is a slew of new articles about the mechanisms of climate change by big name economists in a major economic journal.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-econometrics/articles-in-press

    In the past there have been several scattered articles on this topic by economists, but this is a major step-up. Economists have tended to study the impact of climate change, rather than the mechanisms.
    The climate scientists should welcome the expertise and support by the economic profession, which has far more clout than they have.

  43. 193
    MA Rodger says:

    Solar Jim @190,
    Tese calculations of GHG equivalence can get overly complex very quickly.
    The concept of ‘Global Warming Potential’ (GWP) concerns the GW impact of emissions of a particular GHG. And it does it by weight as well, so with a CO2 molecule weighing 2¾-times a CH4 molecule, there is a big difference using ppm(v) and ppm(w).
    Basically, you wouldn’t convert the atmospheric concentrations of a GHG into CO2-eq using GWP. Instead you would calculate the here-&-now climate forcing of a particular GHG as a contribution Δppm(Co2-eq) to the total CO2-eq.
    The NOAA do a very useful web page for their Annual Greenhouse Gas Index. This gives 2018 CO2 forcing as 2.044Wm^-2 and CH4 forcing as 0.512Wm^-2, a ratio of 3.99 to 1. To convert these into ppm(CO2-eq), CO2 has risen +129.7ppm since pre-industrial. Thus the CH4 equivalent would be +32.5 Δppm(CO2-eq).
    You will note that the NOAA AGGI web page gives a Total for 2018 of 496ppm(CO2-eq) which is thus +87 Δppm(CO2-eq) above the CO2 forcing.

    These numbers also show that the forcing of an extra 1.2ppm (1200ppb) of CH4 has a quarter the forcing of roughly 120ppm extra CO2, suggesting molecule-for-molecule the in-the-atmosphere CH4 is today roughly 25-times as powerful as the in-the-atmosphere CO2.

  44. 194
    Nemesis says:

    Red alert and climate emergency declared in France, 45°C expected for tomorrow:

    ” ” 27.6.2019 – Bis zu 45 Grad erwartet – Erstmals Alarmstufe Rot in Frankreich

    Drei Hitze-Warnstufen gibt es in Frankreich. Die höchste wurde noch nie ausgerufen – bis jetzt. Im Süden des Landes werden Temperaturen bis 45 Grad erwartet. Inmitten der Hitzewelle erklärte die Regierung den “Klima-Notstand”.

    44,1 Grad waren am 12. August 2003 in Frankreich in zwei Orten im Departement Gard gemessen worden. Dieser Hitze-Rekord könnte morgen fallen. Der französische Wetterdienst rief erstmals Alarmstufe Rot in einigen Regionen aus…”

    https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/frankreich-hitze-101.html

    And this is just the beginning of summer^^ If the cooling water for french nuclear power plants should get too HOT, then good night, France.

    Capitalists, you better RUN, RUN, RUN, Mother Nature will get you^^

    Love,
    Nemesis

  45. 195
    Solar Jim says:

    RE: MA Rodger @ 193
    Thanks very much. This may be a subject that one of our hosts should discuss further. However, I must say that the CO2-equivalent value is alarmingly close to the “climate sensitivity” of potentially several degrees rise. (Not to mention the associated carbonic acid in the seas.)

  46. 196
    mike says:

    https://baynature.org/2019/06/26/californias-early-june-heat-wave-cooked-coastal-mussels-in-place/

    “Scientists have studied the effects of warming water on ocean creatures for decades. So-called “marine heat waves,” in which sea surface temperatures rise well above normal as happens in an El Niño, have been linked to die-offs in kelp, seabirds, and mammals, as well as migrations and species movement. But University of British Columbia biologist Christopher Harley said it’s still quite rare to document marine plants and animals dying from hot air.”

    https://www.npr.org/2019/06/28/737004547/france-suffers-through-hottest-day-in-its-history-113-fahrenheit

    CO2? How are we doing? Weekly average start of June 16:

    2019 6 16 414.03
    2018 410.38
    10 years ago 389.20

    Warm regards

    Mike

  47. 197
    Hank Roberts says:

    … new Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics study shows these
    non-CO2 climate impacts cannot be neglected. Bock and her colleague
    Ulrike Burkhardt estimate that contrail cirrus radiative forcing will
    be 3 times larger in 2050 than in 2006. This increase is predicted to
    be faster than the rise in CO2 radiative forcing since expected fuel
    efficiency measures will reduce CO2 emissions.

    Contrail cirrus radiative forcing for future air traffic (DOI:
    [2]10.5194/acp-19-8163-2019)

  48. 198
    Russell says:

    194
    ” If the cooling water for french nuclear power plants should get too HOT, then good night, France.

    Capitalists, you better RUN, RUN, RUN, Mother Nature will get you^^

    Tovarisch Nemesis, have you been reading The European Journal of Social Theory again ?

    Please send fraternal Adidas to socialist comrades who created French state monopoly of means of nuclear power production, including lotsa air cooling towers to keep the grid up during heat waves. They’ve turned some reactors down for droughts on occasion, but have thus far kept the luxe on in Paris.

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2019/06/is-agw-masked-by-cigar-aerosols-of-late.html

  49. 199
    Killian says:

    Re # 196 mike said CO2? How are we doing? Weekly average start of June 16:

    2019 6 16 414.03
    2018 410.38
    10 years ago 389.20

    I think people might want to pay attention to the fact the last three years have seen anomalously high atmospheric CO2 in the Jan-April time frame (Jan, Feb joined in this year after 2 years if April anomalies) as it now seems to be spreading into June: The downslope for June us flatter than usual.

    I don’t see how this pattern could come from anything other than natural emissions.

  50. 200
    Nemesis says:

    @Russel, #198

    Usually I don’t talk to folks like you anymore. But just to correct you:

    I am a nasty Anarchist, I don’t vote for any horde nor any party at all, I fully trust in the cooking pot of Nature and it’s beautiful laws. And PLEASE:

    Leave me alone with WUWT shit, just enjoy what’s comin to you and your beloved ones too one fine day.