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Unforced variations: Aug 2019

Filed under: — group @ 31 July 2019

This month’s open thread on climate science topics. Arctic sea ice minimum is upcoming, global temperatures running at (or close) to record levels, heat waves, new reconstructions for the last 2000 years, etc… Surely something there to discuss?

186 Responses to “Unforced variations: Aug 2019”

  1. 101
    Chuck says:

    “Weird things are happening in the Arctic.”

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/lightning-struck-near-north-pole-why-strange/?cmpid=int_org=ngp::int_mc=website::int_src=ngp::int_cmp=substest::int_add=substestcontrol::int_rid=

  2. 102
    MA Rodger says:

    Al Bundy @100,
    The Guardian covers the story of the fracking source of CH4 increases since 2008. They do add some input from folk other than the author of the paper:-

    However, UK academics have said the jury is still out because there remained “significant uncertainty” about the theory, which has not been conclusively proven.
    The claim is “highly contentious in the academic community and further work is needed to constrain uncertainty before conclusions such as this can be robustly backed up”, said Prof Grant Allen, from the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester.
    “However, this paper makes a very important point,” he said. “Controlling emissions from fracking, and fossil fuels in general, represents a potential policy quick fix to stemming the rise of methane still further.”

    And the paper itself Howarth (2019) ‘Ideas and perspectives: is shale gas a major driver of recent increase in global atmospheric methane?’ is saying it finds “that shale-gas production in North America over the past decade may have contributed more than half of all of the increased emissions from fossil fuels globally and approximately one-third of the total increased emissions from all sources globally over the past decade.”
    That is a bit of a change on previous work on the subject.
    If it turns out to be correct, I would go further than Grant Allen and call it good news. The increasing methane emissions that are under our own control (abet actually controlled by the fossil fuel industry) would be significantly greater than we thought, and so those not under our own control (ie what was the previous major suspect – natural wetlands) significantly less.

  3. 103
    MA Rodger says:

    GISS has posted for July with an anomaly of +0.93ºC, a squeak up on June’s anomaly and a little below average for the year-to-date. It is the warmest month on record (being the warmest July with July globally having the warmest anomaly base) as it was in the ERA5 Reanalysis (but by a greater margin, +0.08ºC as opposed to +0.03ºC), and ahead of other GISS Julys – 2016 (+0.85ºC), 2018 (+0.82ºC), 2017 (+0.82ºC) & 2015 (+0.75ºC).
    July 2019 sits at 29th warmest monthly anomaly in the GISS all-month record (20th in ERA5).
    With seven months of the year behind us, 2019 is in equal-second position behind 2016 and equal to 2017, both of which which were significantly cooler through the latter part of the year, suggesting 2019 sits firmly in the top-three warmest years-to-date with second-place looking the likely outcome.

    …….. Jan-July Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.13ºC … … … +1.02ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. +0.98ºC … … … +0.93ºC … … … 2nd
    2019 .. +0.98ºC
    2015 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 3rd
    2018 .. +0.85ºC … … … +0.85ºC … … … 4th
    2010 .. +0.80ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 6th
    2007 .. +0.75ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … … 9th
    2014 .. +0.74ºC … … … +0.75ºC … … … 5th
    2002 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 13th
    1998 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.61ºC … … … 15th
    2005 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … … 8th

    Of course, all this will mean nothing to denialists like Roy Spencer who cannot understand how surface records can be in any way accurate given the existence of the massive span of the Urban Heat Island archpelego, the absence of canvas buckets when taking today’s SST measurements and of course Spenser’s own ‘precision’ UAH TLT record.
    So talk of July 2019 being “the hottest all-time month on record” will be a red-rag-to-a-bull for those denialist folk.

  4. 104
    patrick says:

    Greta Thunberg sails for the IPCC–in more ways than one: the meeting and the message (see photo). Plus real time map: “Follow our journey here.”

    https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1161649053668708357

    No amenities of any kind on this keel-less speed sailboat. A ride described by one reporter as “brutal.”

  5. 105
    MA Rodger says:

    And BEST has posted for July with an anomaly of +0.86ºC, up on June’s +0.82ºC and a little below average for the year-to-date. Again July 2019 is the warmest month on record as it was in GISS & the ERA5 Reanalysis, and ahead of other BEST Julys – 2016 (+0.76ºC), 2018 (+0.72ºC), 2009 (+0.71ºC) and 2017 & 2009 (both +0.69ºC).
    July 2019 sits at 36th warmest monthly anomaly in the BEST all-month record (29th in GISS, 20th in ERA5).
    The table of year-to-date averages is pretty-much a carbon copy of GISS and, as BEST provides the value of the anomaly base on the same page as the anomalies, here is the Top of the Pops for absolute monthly global temperature in the BEST record (along with the Bottom of the Barrel). The monthly anomaly bases range from January 12.3ºC to July 16.0ºC.

    Month … … … Ave Temperature … … Rank
    2019.7 … … … … 16.86ºC … … … … 1st
    2016.8 … … … … 16.78ºC … … … … 2nd
    2016.7 … … … … 16.76ºC … … … … 3rd
    2018.7 … … … … 16.72ºC … … … … 4th
    2009.7 … … … … 16.71ºC … … … … 5th
    2011.7 … … … … 16.69ºC … … … … 6th
    2017.7 … … … … 16.69ºC … … … … 7th
    1998.7 … … … … 16.66ºC … … … … 8th
    2015.7 … … … … 16.64ºC … … … … 9th
    2014.8 … … … … 16.64ºC … … … … 10th
    2017.8 … … … … 16.61ºC … … … … 11th
    2015.8 … … … … 16.61ºC … … … … 12th
    …….. ……. …… ……
    Coldest July on record
    1884.7 … … … … 15.42ºC … … … … 496th
    Warmest January on record
    2016.1 … … … … 13.45ºC … … … … 1,246th
    …….. ……. …… ……
    1862.12 … … … ..11.45ºC … … … … 2,031st
    1893.1 … … … … 11.38ºC … … … … 2,032nd
    1862.1 … … … … 11.33ºC … … … … 2,033rd
    1887.1 … … … … 11.31ºC … … … … 2,034th
    1861.1 … … … … 11.10ºC … … … … 2,035th

  6. 106
    mike says:

    I also read the Guardian piece on methane. Here’s a piece from it:

    “Robert Howarth, the author of the paper published in the journal Biogeosciences, said the proportion of methane with a “carbon signature” linked to traditional fossil fuels was falling relative to the rise of methane with a slightly different carbon make-up.

    Researchers had previously assumed the “non-traditional” methane was from biological sources such as cows and wetlands, but the latest research suggests unconventional oil and gas from fracking may be playing a significant part.

    The theory would support a correlation in the rise of methane in the atmosphere and the boom in fracking across the US over the last decade.

    “This recent increase in methane is massive,” Howarth said. “It’s globally significant. It’s contributed to some of the increase in global warming we’ve seen and shale gas is a major player.””

    I am not surprised that fracking has now been identified as a major source of some of the spike since 2008. The marshlands source story is now back burner. I think this search for the source of the methane spike is going to lead everywhere, from fracking to marshlands to warmed peat to thawing permafrost to clathrate emissions. Al says this is good news because he believes we can more easily reduce methane emissions if the source is fracking. I think this is correct, but hey, did any fracking engineer on the planet fail to understand that methane emissions arising from fracking would be very bad? Does anyone think they have not been working to reduce methane emissions? If methane emissions are just part of the bargain with fracking, does anyone think the fossil fuel industry is going to give up on the practice?

    but, yeah, I think I agree that this sounds like good news (if it is true). It is a curious matter that the methane emissions were attributed to the wrong source. How did that happen?

    Warm regards

    Mike

  7. 107
    jb says:

    I’ve been trying to look into model data from CMIP6. The problem is that it is very difficult to narrow down searches because all of the search criteria are acronyms. Does anyone know where to find a list of the search criteria and their meanings, particularly: Activity, Source ID, Institution ID, Source type, Experiment ID, Sub-experiment, Variant Label, Grid Label, Table ID, Frequency, Variable. None of these things are clear.

    A summary of how the data files are indexed would also help.

    The FAQs that I’ve been able to find are not really helpful.

  8. 108
    Al Bundy says:

    On 2100:

    It was a huge mistake to peg “by 2100” as the endpoint for lay discussions about climate change. Far better would be a moving target: “in 100 years”. This would provide a constant distance, which conveys the eternal nature of “the future”, as opposed to a constant destination, which conveys the idea of a race to an ending beyond which nothing matters.

    We should change the parameters of the discussion. Thoughts?

    [Response: I agree with the principle here, and your identification of a problem, but it’s hard to see in practice how to implement such a moving target discussion. –eric]

  9. 109
    Nemesis says:

    @mike, #106

    People need to feel the methane monster to believe in it, that simple. And they will feel it. And then the party will be over ultimately and champagne will turn into water and even blood.

  10. 110
    mike says:

    CO2? How are we doing?

    Daily CO2

    Aug. 16, 2019: 410.25 ppm
    Aug. 16, 2018: 406.85 ppm 3.4 ppm increase, very, very noisy number

    August 4 – 10, 2019 410.34 ppm
    August 4 – 10, 2018 407.33 ppm 3.01 ppm increase very noisy number

    July CO2

    July 2019: 411.77 ppm
    July 2018: 408.71 ppm 3.06 ppm increase, noisy number.

    As Al mentions about the methane numbers, I guess the good news is that much of the increase is from anthropogenic activity, so we could make changes and reduce the rise of CO2, just as the fossil fuel industry could do at reducing the methane leakage now attributed to fracking. We should do that. It would be a good idea.

    CO2.earth source

    Warm regards

    Mike

  11. 111
    O. says:

    Regarding the moving target in #108:
    To get things/goals achieved, it’s better to be concrete and have a fixed date.
    It’s also good to have a comparable point in time.

    Otherwise it’s the best way to do procrastination:
    Today: “When will you do your homework?” -> “Tomorrow!”
    Tomorrow: “When will you do your homework?” -> “Tomorrow!”
    (…)
    Even better for procrastination would be the answer “during the next days”.

    Anothe point: 100 years is a long time, not many people will get that old.
    So they will not care.
    Even the year 2100 is far from now. Why to take care of?
    Let’s live for today…

  12. 112
    John Kelly says:

    Regarding mike #106:

    One of the main drivers of the industrialized nations’ success in emission reductions over the last few decades has been the replacement of coal with natural gas. It was not ideal, and, correctly, no one here was celebrating, but it did in fact draw down coal generation. If it were to be a bridge to RE, rather than a substitute, then I would take it.

    In the sense that it was still a fossil fuel, it was always partially a pyrrhic victory. If these findings are correct, then perhaps it was entirely a pyrrhic victory. Is it possible that we are worse off from a CO2e perspective with our fracked “lower carbon emission” gas plus the “accidental” methane releases than if we had just stuck to coal all this time? When coal woulda been better, that’s a pretty miserable own goal. Hilariously, the American fracking revolution has then offshored the methane release problem, as US LNG exports have helped other countries reduce their emissions by swapping coal for gas.

  13. 113
    Al Bundy says:

    [Response: I agree with the principle here, and your identification of a problem, but it’s hard to see in practice how to implement such a moving target discussion. –eric]

    AB: Hmm, it would be aided by the incredibly fast aging of the science. I get pissed when I see a video or an article that doesn’t begin with the date the work was done. Heck, it could be from the stone age (aka 5 years ago)! So, instead of saying “in 100 years”, say, “by 2119”. That provides even more data automagically, eh?

    This seems like a “just do it” moment to me. Individual scientists and journalists can easily change their process and methinks that folks will adopt the technique, being sheeple by nature (which is only a bad thing if they’re following a Judas goat). And frankly, I don’t see any risk to early adopters. Anybody, what harm could come to Eric if he, and only he did such an audacious thing?

  14. 114
    Marco says:

    AB + Eric @108: maybe better to have by 2100 and by XXXX (e.g. 2200)? Just to show it doesn’t magically stop at 2100, but continues far out into the future?

  15. 115
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @106,
    You ask ” It is a curious matter that the methane emissions were attributed to the wrong source. How did that happen?”
    While the “wrong source” (and indeed, the ‘right source’) is yet to be satisfatorily “attributed”, the paper Howarth (2019) does explain itself as follows.

    The rising levels of atmospheric CH4 to 2005 was accompanied by falling levels of C-13 within atmospheric CH4 this symptomatic of the source of the increase in CH4 being fossil fuel.
    The renewed rise in CH4 after 2008 (+27Mt/yr) was accompanied by rising levels of C-13, this interpreted as an increase in natural-sourced CH4 with fossil-fuel-sourced CH4 emissions remaining flat or falling. Modelling of the CH4 cycle supports this conclusion.
    However, Worden et al (2017) point to an unexplained rise in atmospheric ethane (C2H6) and argue this can be explained by a reduction in biomass burning. When using C-13 to determine the ratio of CH4 sources, Worden et al estimate the reduction in biomass burning (which is heavy in C-13 CH4) and suggest this is enough to mask a rise in FF-sourced CH4 (which is light in C-13 CH4). They estimate this FF-sourced CH4 increase in the range 12-19Mt/yr, enough to also explain the global increase in C2H6.
    Howarth (2019) re-examines this by considering the levels of C-13 in the various sources of FF CH4 (which isn’t so straightforward) and conclude they can attach a lower C-13 level to the large CH4 emissions from US shale gas/oil extraction and thus allow a further increase in the proportion of FF-source CH4, this estimate rising to 18Mt/yr, this an increase of ~10% on the Worden et al central value..

    It should be mentioned that the mechanisms that remove CH4 from the atmosphere (mainly converting it into CO2) could also be a significant factor in changing atmospheric CH4 levels.

  16. 116
    Killian says:

    Re #100 Al Bundy said AB: on the plus side wildfires are great at creating biochar.

    Just for clarity so readers understand the distinction:
    This isn’t really true in the short term. That would be charcoal. For charcoal to be considered bio-char it needs to be in the soil, not on top of it and “charged.” Over time, yes, it will slowly be buried via purely natural processes, but it won’t have the true benefits of bio-char until this happens as it becomes infused, “charged” with nutrients, water, etc. Terra Preta is made up of depositis of refuse/human waste and char, not just char.

  17. 117
    Killian says:

    Re #108 Al Bundy said On 2100:

    It was a huge mistake to peg “by 2100” as the endpoint for lay discussions about climate change. Far better would be a moving target: “in 100 years”. This would provide a constant distance, which conveys the eternal nature of “the future”, as opposed to a constant destination, which conveys the idea of a race to an ending beyond which nothing matters.

    We should change the parameters of the discussion. Thoughts?

    [Response: I agree with the principle here, and your identification of a problem, but it’s hard to see in practice how to implement such a moving target discussion. –eric]

    Absolutely not. To what practical end? The concepts of Receding Horizons and Discounting the Future both argue strongly against this, imo.

  18. 118
    nigelj says:

    Zebra made a comment on the Antarctic ice is melting thread @47 that is probably better discussed here namely:

    “My approach to Victor is to ask him to state explicitly whether he agrees that:Increasing CO2 has caused the energy in the climate system to increase.”

    This is fine in theory and will work with open minded people, but the thing with the Victor’s of the world is you probably wont get a straight answer. He is like a scared creature, and will feel trapped. I have rarely got a straight admission out of him. He has made his mind up on climate change, and is looking for evidence to support his view and is also too proud a person to admit error. Given a few comments he has made he looks like he is just scared of the costs of climate mitigation, so he probably attacks the science to avoid confronting cost issues.

    The main reason I respond to comments by the Victors of this world is to show normal people where he is in error, as briefly as possible. There is nothing wrong with “factoids” I have no idea where Zebra is going with that. It’s important to do this firmly but diplomatically. Plus Victor does raise a few interesting issues that deserve an explanation and I like to learn form what others say.

    But I doubt you will get Victor into stating that he accepts that CO2 has caused energy in the system to increase or the like. But does Zebra always provide straight answers to simple questions? Often he does not.

  19. 119
    nigelj says:

    Mike (and others) this is interesting on the methane issue:

    https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2668/nasa-led-study-solves-a-methane-puzzle/

    The key finding is “Combining isotopic evidence from ground surface measurements with the newly calculated fire emissions, the team showed that about 17 teragrams per year of the increase is due to fossil fuels, another 12 is from wetlands or rice farming…”

  20. 120
    nigelj says:

    Re #108 Al Bundy said On 2100:

    “It was a huge mistake to peg “by 2100” as the endpoint for lay discussions about climate change. Far better would be a moving target: “in 100 years”. This would provide a constant distance, which conveys the eternal nature of “the future”, as opposed to a constant destination, which conveys the idea of a race to an ending beyond which nothing matters.”

    Much of the IPCC report is based on modelling sea level rise etcetera by the year 2100. If you have a moving target of talking about the next 100 years, the climate predictions would constantly need to be adjusted, and this is no simple thing to do. Killian’s receding horizons is also an issue.

    The problem for me is that the focus on year 2100 alone downplays the level of climate change possible by for example the year 2300 if we go on burning fossil fuels.

  21. 121
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #119

    17 teragrams per year of the increase due to fossil fuels, that’s a lot. Fracking is no good, Mr Obama et al (new fracking frenzy under Mr Trump right now). What about these 12 teragrams from wetlands (and rice farming)? Melting permfrost must be considered as wetland too. Are there any detailed numbers in that study (there’s no link to the study)?

  22. 122
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #119

    Related:

    ” 14.8.219 – Fracking causing rise in methane emissions, study finds

    Researchers say boom in shale oil and gas major contributor to climate emergency…

    The boom in the US shale gas and oil may have ignited a significant global spike in methane emissions blamed for accelerating the pace of the climate crisis, according to research.

    Scientists at Cornell University have found the “chemical fingerprints” of the rising global methane levels point to shale oil and shale gas as the probable source….”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/14/fracking-causing-rise-in-methane-emissions-study-finds?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

    No surprise, the discussion about that is going on for several years now.

  23. 123
    Killian says:

    Re #118 nigelj said The main reason I respond to comments by the Victors of this world is to show normal people where he is in error, as briefly as possible.

    You realize the audience here is quite likely self-selecting…?

  24. 124
    mike says:

    Nice catch on the methane increase from forest fires, Nigel at 119. A quote from the link there:

    “Scientist John Worden of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and colleagues focused on fires because they’re also changing globally. The area burned each year decreased about 12 percent between the early 2000s and the more recent period of 2007 to 2014, according to a new study using observations by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer satellite instrument. The logical assumption would be that methane emissions from fires have decreased by about the same percentage. Using satellite measurements of methane and carbon monoxide, Worden’s team found the real decrease in methane emissions was almost twice as much as that assumption would suggest.”

    Complicated stuff. We probably just need to reduce CO2 and methane emissions everywhere we can to be on the safe side.

    Seems like that might be happening. CO2 yoy noisy comparisons are well under 3.5 ppm so it looks like we have a handle on the problem. Just nice steady increase, nothing skyrockety going on. Same with methane, I think.

    No worries.

    Mike

  25. 125
    Al Bundy says:

    O: Anothe point: 100 years is a long time, not many people will get that old. So they will not care.

    Marco: maybe better to have by 2100 and by XXXX (e.g. 2200)?

    Killian: To what practical end? The concepts of Receding Horizons and Discounting the Future both argue strongly against this, imo.

    AB: Thanks, folks. So, incorporating O’s point with Marco’s technique, 50 years AND 100 years AND 200 years would do the trick (few “leaders” don’t have children or grandchildren who won’t see 50 years). Killian’s point, that people don’t give a f*ck about the future, well, lets all hope he’s wrong because if he’s right then Nemesis is the be all and end all of analysis. Ain’t it amazing how Killian wholeheartedly supports Nemesis’ thoughts even as he denegrates Nemesis?

    Killian, your point about charcoal v biochar sounds irrelevant. Yep, the definition may change depending on whether the stuff is buried but until it is buried it is immune to degradation. What’s your point? That carbon sequestration is ineffective if it is in two parts, first as above ground “charcoal” and then as “biochar”? Frankly, I find the two part sequestration superior because it is far longer and the first stage doesn’t degrade the second stage a whit (though I am searching for data that falsifies this statement). Thoughts, anybody?

  26. 126
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @120, I haven’t looked at the original study or tried to find it. However something else I read suggested there’s evidence that some of recent methane increases are coming from the Arctic region, but its not a large component of the total methane increase at this stage anyway. It’s possible to get an idea of where methane is coming from geographically because there are monitoring stations.

    However studies go out of date quite quickly. I would not be inclined to underestimate the Arctic as a methane source.

  27. 127
    climatecal says:

    What is our highest-likelihood estimate of what the slowing AMOC (north atlantic / gulf stream current) holds in store for humans, and when?

  28. 128
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: You realize the audience here is quite likely self-selecting…?

    AB: You realize the speakers here feel that the audience here is quite likely superior because of said self-selection (other than themselves, who are individually the cream of the crop, of course)…?

    Human nature exists, eh? “My” opinions are by definition right even if “my” IQ is 70. And those I associate with are by definition less inferior (compared to “me”) as Others.

  29. 129
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Just for clarity so readers understand the distinction:
    This isn’t really true in the short term. That would be charcoal. For charcoal to be considered bio-char it needs to be in the soil, not on top of it and “charged.”

    AB: Thanks for the clarification. So forest fires make pre-bio-char!

  30. 130
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #126

    Whatever, methane is rising, just like CO2, that’s a fact at least. I love facts, just facts, the harder they come.

  31. 131
    flxible says:

    re definition of bio-char:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar

    “Biochar is a high-carbon, fine-grained residue that today is produced through modern pyrolysis processes; it is the direct thermal decomposition of biomass in the absence of oxygen (preventing combustion), which produces a mixture of solids (the biochar proper), liquid (bio-oil), and gas (syngas) products.”

    so, no to it having to be “in the soil”, and no to being created in forest fires [except for the burning of root mass in the ground]

  32. 132
    Nemesis says:

    @Al Bundy, #108

    ” It was a huge mistake to peg “by 2100” as the endpoint for lay discussions about climate change. Far better would be a moving target: “in 100 years”. This would provide a constant distance, which conveys the eternal nature of “the future”, as opposed to a constant destination, which conveys the idea of a race to an ending beyond which nothing matters.”

    We should change the parameters of the discussion. Thoughts?”

    The target keeps moving anyway, politics sets up targets and then moves them into the future. “2100” is just a political number among countless numbers and these numbers keep moving for decades, just like the CO2 curve and the fossil fool industry and the economy keeps moving. Politics and economy are driven by what? Science? Ethics? Sustainability? Politics and economy are driven by one target only:

    Money/Power.

    Politics is a bloody business, politics is some kind of battlefield plastered with real bodies. Sounds mundane, it is mundane indeed. Sorry, but that might be the end of the story already. Just look at history, especially the recent 2, 3 centuries. How high might that mountain of flesh and bones from the recent 2, 3 centuries be? Now look around you, the eco-system crumbling, nationalism spreading, the alt-right jumping on the eco/climate bandwagon, armament ever increasing, ressources ever decreasing, the beast, the concrete djungle right around the corner. What’s that moving target ultimately? Money and power, brute and dirty force. That is the name of the target, the name of the game. Forget the numbers, get real, the numbers/science, that kinda map is never the real bloody territory, just ask politics, ask the military-complex or the Mafia about these simple and dirty FACTS.

  33. 133
    Adam Ash says:

    I note that air temperatures in various inhabited locations on Earth have been above 50 C on several occasions recently. As I understand it, 50C is very difficult for humans to survive in for very long. I have been inside a boiler doing emergency repairs for a few minutes with the thermocouple at head-height showing 90 C – which was ‘informative’. As with the ‘2100’ vs ‘100 years’ discussion, which IMHO obscures the fact that changes will not stop at either of those dates – for example sea level rise ensuring that there will be no stable coastline ‘in time inconceivable to man’ [Hansen], etc – where will the climate go in regard to maximum ground level temperatures?

    If we are seeing 50 C in these places today, what climate-related processes will prevent us from hearing from the last survivors of 60 C in the same places in 10 years time, and (by remote unmanned sensors) seeing 70 C there in twenty years?

  34. 134
    Killian says:

    Al, my point was simple. Let me be clear:

    Char is char.

    Bio-char is bio-char.

    They are not the same.

    Using the correct term will serve to not confuse and/or misinform others.

    That is all.

  35. 135
    Killian says:

    Re #131 re definition of bio-char:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biochar

    “Biochar is a high-carbon, fine-grained residue that today is produced through modern pyrolysis processes; it is the direct thermal decomposition of biomass in the absence of oxygen (preventing combustion), which produces a mixture of solids (the biochar proper), liquid (bio-oil), and gas (syngas) products.”

    so, no to it having to be “in the soil”,

    Cherry-picking. Fist sentence at your provided link:

    Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment.

    and no to being created in forest fires [except for the burning of root mass in the ground]

    Straw Man: Nobody said it was created in forest fires.

    Re #129 Al Bundy said So forest fires make pre-bio-char!

    Stretching things a bit, but as char gets subsumed into the humus and lower and infused with useful bits, then, yes. Given Nature builds soils pretty slowly, this would not be a fast process. However, rains, especially, likely sequester useful amounts of micro char, however, or the age-old habit of burning would not seem to be as effective as it is.

  36. 136
    O. says:

    Island: Pumping CO2 into the underground…fixing it in the minerals:

    Media article: Forscherteam macht Kohlendioxid zu Stein

    Project page: CarbFix2

  37. 137

    flxible, #131–

    …no to being created in forest fires [except for the burning of root mass in the ground]…

    Based on casual observations, probably a lot of charring of trunks, too. Looks to me as though the outer layer excludes oxygen while the inner layers pyrolyze. The char is pretty stable over spans of years, and ends up on the ground eventually.

    And fire intensity and duration have got to big variables for the creation of char, surely.

  38. 138
    mike says:

    a tweet from Stefan Rahmstorf: “Climate skeptics and deniers have often accused scientists of exaggerating the threat of climate change, but the evidence shows that not only have they not exaggerated, they have underestimated.”

    and link: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/scientists-have-been-underestimating-the-pace-of-climate-change/

    Those of us who have pointed out the consistent underestimation issue over the years have gotten a lot of grief for it. The brave scientists are now starting to speak out about the underestimatition that has been apparent for quite a while. Maybe Stefan is getting skyrockety, is going to scare and discourage people and then people will give up hope… I hear those criticisms, but you know,, science communication is about conveying the results of the science. That’s the job of the scientists. The audience needs to read carefully and overcome fear and loathing and decide on appropriate action. That’s the job of the science audience.

    On the 2100 date discussion: the climate catastrophe is a slow moving threat and long time frames are required to make accurate predictions and projections. There’s no help for that. It may be that our species cannot react to a slow-moving threat that has essentially irreversible impacts that occur decades after the trigger event/condition. I hope that is not the case, but the evidence to date, suggests that is the case imho.

    Thanks to Stefan for clearly stating the obvious. Those of you who think the IPCC estimates have been sufficiently and reasonably accurate may now argue with Stefan. No reason to waste your time arguing with me (or others who have noted the consistent underestimation issue) about that.

    CO2? How are we doing? Peachy!

    Daily CO2

    Aug. 17, 2019: 410.06 ppm
    Aug. 17, 2018: 407.09 ppm

    Under 3 ppm increase! Nice steady growth and increase. Nothing skyrockety going on.

    Warm regards

    Mike

  39. 139
    mike says:

    some good news:
    Proglacial freshwaters are significant and previously unrecognized sinks of atmospheric CO2

    Glacier melt is one of the most dramatic consequences of climate change in high-latitude and high-altitude environments. As meltwaters move across poorly consolidated landscapes, they transport vast quantities of highly reactive comminuted sediments prone to chemical weathering reactions that may consume atmospheric CO2. Using a whole watershed approach in the Canadian High Arctic, combined with additional dissolved CO2 measurements in glacial rivers in Greenland and the Canadian Rockies, we show that certain glacier-fed freshwater ecosystems are significant and previously unrecognized annual CO2 sinks due to chemical weathering.

    https://www.pnas.org/node/883632.abstract?collection=

  40. 140
    nigelj says:

    Adam Ash @133, “As I understand it, 50C is very difficult for humans to survive in for very long.” Yes however the real killer is a combination of heat and humidity and climate change is increasing both heat and absolute humidity. This can become lethal at less than 50C.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/11/opinion/heat-humidity-killer-combination.html

  41. 141
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @138,
    I’m not sure why you attribute that quote to one of our hosts. The tweet by Stephan Rahmstorf is itself quoting a passage from the description made by Naomi Oreskes, Michael Oppenheimer & Dale Jamieson about their book – ‘Discerning Experts: The Practices of Scientific Assessment for Environmental Policy’.

    And I fail to see how you connect the issues described in that book to your persistent skyrocketry. If you could be bothered to read the description in the tweeted link, you see the underestimation relevant to AGW concerns revised SST records and the surely-well-known underestimation of the cryosphere melt under AGW found in climate models. Specifically the exemplar concerns Sea Level Rise predictions and the fate of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. These are not, in my understanding, systemic underestimations (although if they were over-estimations they perhaps may have had different treatment which would be systemic in nature).

    The systematic underestimation concerns not the science but the translation of the science into the Assessment documents. The “long, high-end tail of probability” is docked from the Assessment but it remains evident within the scientific literature. The inability “to draw any defensible conclusion” again is still evident in the science and only effects the Assessment.

    So where does skyrocketry fit into this? Is there science linking the current high annual increase in MLO CO2 levels to some mechanism driving your skyrocketry? Or is it but a non-ENSO wobble causing the current high, just as there was a low last year?

    You say “Those of us who have pointed out the consistent underestimation issue over the years have gotten a lot of grief for it”[My bold]. So how would you define this “consistent underestimation issue”? Or are you here just trying to latch skyrocketry onto something inappropriately?

  42. 142
    Dominik Lenné says:

    general vegetation decrease to be expected

    Air is becoming dryer, plants are closing stomata, reducing photynthesis. Effect is stronger than positive effect of higher CO2 availability. Correlation of air dryness and vegetation decrease can be shown.

    Yuan et al., https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/8/eaax1396

  43. 143
    MA Rodger says:

    climatecal @127,
    You ask of the “highest-likelihood estimate of what the slowing AMOC (north atlantic/gulf stream current) holds in store for humans, and when?”
    The climatic implications of a slowing of the AMOC will tend to rely on how much AGW you are expecting and what climatic effects that will have, which in turn cause the AMOC to slow. So it is these assumptions that will prevent a sensible answer to your question.
    Study of the AMOC is on-going although in recent years there has been good progress inderstanding its slowing and tackling the problems in climate modelling of the AMOC (See this RealClimate blog with links).
    Perhaps to give an actual answer to you question is to say that the impact of a slowing AMOC in all likelihood will be less than the scenario painted within Hansen et al (2016) ‘Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimatedata, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2◦C globalwarming could be dangerous’

  44. 144
    Dominik Lenné says:

    @George: Just looked at Rex Flemings web page. Looks to me like a guy who doesn’t quite dig the math he is dealing with, like when a program of me doesn’t run and I start shouting “The compiler must have a bug!” – in 99,999 % of the time, it’s me who had created a bug.

  45. 145

    OK, then, just for fun, here’s a laugh:

    https://phys.org/news/2019-08-fossil-fuel-drilling-contributing-climate.html?fbclid=IwAR38eTLbz6aJNMwWE220YgXGbarpUtlQXe-gONleq3JbX8cqTirRkKZljUg

    How many silly ideas can *you* find in the piece?

    Semi-serious question: I had thought physics.org was somewhat reliable/respectable as a news source. Time to reconsider that? Or is this an outlier?

  46. 146
    mike says:

    finally! a day with yoy increase under 2.0 ppm.

    Not much under, but under is under.

    Daily CO2

    Aug. 20, 2019: 409.04 ppm
    Aug. 20, 2018: 407.05 ppm

    yeah, it’s noisy.

    Mike

  47. 147
    Killian says:

    Stefan had a tweet about this book.

    Discuss.
    Scientists Have Been Underestimating the Pace of Climate Change

    A book entitled Discerning Experts explains why—and what can be done about it

    Thus, so far as our evidence goes, it appears that scientists working in assessments are more likely to underestimate than to overestimate threats.

    In our book, we make some concrete recommendations. While scientists in assessments generally aim for consensus, we suggest that they should not view consensus as a goal of the assessment. Depending on the state of scientific knowledge, consensus may or may not emerge from an assessment, but it should not be viewed as something that needs to be achieved and certainly not as something to be enforced. Where there are substantive differences of opinion, they should be acknowledged and the reasons for them explained (to the extent that they can be explained). Scientific communities should also be open to experimenting with alternative models for making and expressing group judgments, and to learning more about how policy makers actually interpret the findings that result.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/scientists-have-been-underestimating-the-pace-of-climate-change/

  48. 148
    Killian says:

    MAR, aka The. Most. Inappropriately. Pedantic. Person. On. The. Planet., said Doing the science and reporting the science are in no way connected. Not communicating the dire state of the science in terms of the potential long-tail, existential threats is a great way to do science and communicate it to policy-makers and the pubic and is in no way anti-skyrocketry. Asking that long-tail risk be communicated *at all* is really asking far too much! Why should that knowledge be shared? It exists, that is enough. So what if policies are stupidly suicidal because nobody knows the end is nigh? It’s not their job, man (in best Freddie Prinze voice).

    If a scientist produces extreme risk probabilities in the lab and nobody knows about them, will they still make you extinct if they occur? Yes, but that’s a technicality.

    I paraphrase.

  49. 149
    Killian says:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/19/weather/greenland-nasa-climate-battle-intl/index.html

    Holy Christ…

    “It’s very rare anywhere on the planet to see 700 meters of no temperature variation, normally we find colder waters in the upper hundred meters or so, but right in front of the glacier it’s warm all the way up,” said Ian Fenty, climate scientist at NASA. “These warm waters now are able to be in direct contact with the ice over its entire face, supercharging the melting.”

  50. 150
    nigelj says:

    https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s13412-019-00566-9?author_access_token=d_Fqkkb_rEZA2cmnSVJcmve4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY7jNy9SMZ9irJmiEv0W_kQu-A6YvAxnj11D8RFbFJzO9bUklCG8kNrlF-frRNJ3iNAiTIkGa5SUs7l9y1YmndlIyAXI1EOT7gW7r34ghSg0YA%3D%3D

    “Keep calm” A critique of Wolfgang Behringer’s “A CulturalHistory of Climate” by Rüdiger Haud.

    This may be of interest to those fascinated by climate denialism. The original work by Behringer was apparently quite influential in Germany, and an early-ish form of climate denialism, where Behringer takes the position that warming is good for humanity, and cherry picks scientific evidence and ideas on climate change to bolster this belief and downplay the modern warming period as something weak yet desirable. The man is a historian and wrote some interesting and respected work linking the buring of witches to the little ice age, but has gone off on a tangent with modern climate change.