RealClimate logo


Unforced variations: Dec 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 December 2019

This month’s open thread. December already?

47 Responses to “Unforced variations: Dec 2019”

  1. 1
    MA Rodger says:

    The end of November saw Arctic Sea Ice Extent grow above the 10 million sq km mark, the third slowest arrival of that value, 2019 being one day ahead of 2006 and four days ahead of 2016 (whilke 2 days behind the more-icy 2010, 4 days 2012). The end of November also saw 2019’s average iciness-for-the-year-to-date tip above that average for 2016. So 2019 will now become the second-least icy for Arctic SIE, although 2019 did take one accolade – the largest negative SIE anomaly – and by a quite convincing 0.1M sq km, this during October after the SIE minimum had come and gone. The previous holder was 2012’s during that dramatic SIE minimum. (See anomaly graph here – usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’.)
    The coming maximum of this freeze season is not predictable from these Autumn SIE values.
    ..

    The end of November is also the traditional end of the North Atlantic hurricane season. The forecast for the 2019 season was uprated quite late-on by NOAA and it proved to be such an above-average season. (The annual N Atlantic ACE record plotted here – usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’.) In some ways 2019 with its very slow start was very similar to the very busy 2017 season except the storms through September mostly remained small and didn’t all evolve into the set of monsters seen in 2017, this image capturing the height of that 2017 drama.

  2. 2
    MA Rodger says:

    The NOAA MLO daily CO2 numbers for November are in and while we await their official November figure, here is my approximate November value to compare with my grand MLO CO2 projectied values below. They are also graphed out here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’ while the modelling is explained back in the August UV thread. I have to say that the 4 months of projected values are embarrasing accurate so far, certainly not the level of noise that existed in months previous to the projected values.

    12-Month MLO CO2 increase (ppm/yr) Dec numbers below next table
    … … … … …Modelled… … … … ..Actual… … … .. ..Actual
    … … … .[Original,Smoothed]… ..[Unsmoothed]… ..[Smoothed]
    Jan19 … … … 2.74 … … … … … … 2.87 … … … … 2.85
    Feb19 … … … 2.92 … … … … … … 3.43 … … … … 2.95
    Mar19 … … … 3.13 … … … … … … 2.56 … … … … 3.02
    Apr19 … … … 3.10 … … … … … … 3.08 … … … … 3.02
    May19 … … … 3.16 … … … … … … 3.42 … … … … 3.21
    Jun19 … … … 3.24 … … … … … … 3.13 … … … … 3.20
    Jul119 … … … 3.07 … … … … … … 3.06 … … … … 3.05
    Aug19 … … … 2.94 … … … … … … 2.96 … … … … 3.02
    Sep10 … … … 2.78 … … … … … … 3.03 … … … … 2.84
    Oct19 … … … 2.66 … … … … … … 2.53 … … … … 2.62
    Nov19 … … … 2.44 … … … … … … 2.20
    Dec19 … … … 2.13
    Jan20 … … … 2.07
    Feb20 … … … 2.06
    Mar20 … … … 1.87

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Mal Adapted says:

    Review of new book Waters of the World, by Sarah Dry (really), in the current Science magazine:

    How did climatology become climate science? More fundamentally, how did the idea of Earth as an interconnected natural system—one of the conceptual foundations of climate science—emerge from a welter of different disciplines? In clear and engaging prose, historian Sarah Dry narrates the life stories of six individuals—from the Victorian British scientist John Tyndall to the late-20th-century Danish glaciologist Willi Dansgaard—whose scientific careers helped lay the foundations for the modern science of climate.

  5. 5
    Ignorant Guy says:

    What happened to the “More than 500 people misunderstand climate change” and its comment thread? I can’t find them in the archive anymore.

    [Response: Not sure. But I’ve restored it. – gavin]

  6. 6
    patrick says:

    COP 25 is being streamed live, with full schedule and timeline nicely shown.

    https://unfccc-cop25.streamworld.de/upcoming

    This link shows the full schedule. Select “Live” tab and schedule will show live event(s) streaming now. Select event and it will stream.

    Select “On-Demand” tab and schedule will show events available on-demand. Select event and it will stream. Very together.

    Did somebody say “transparent,” “accessible,” “tireless,” “consensus,” or “free”? Twenty-five conferences and counting, this is the greatest piece of diplomatic work in history, I think. And work it is, plus thanks to all who serve.

  7. 7
    Andrew says:

    COP25 has begun today.
    From https://twitter.com/antonioguterres (UN secretary General):

    “Climate change has escalated into a global climate emergency.”

  8. 8
    patrick says:

    “Eye of the Storm: The Science Behind Extreme Weather.” This is the new blog at Scientific American by born storm chaser, weatherman, and climate science hotspot Dr.Jeff Masters.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/eye-of-the-storm/

    Meanwhile, back at Weather Underground (on the Cat 6 blog) Jeff says so long and reminisces… “What’s a blog?” …and the 360-degree rainbow.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/So-Long-Wunderground

    Jeff reviews the second edition of “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change” by that other born storm chaser, weatherman, and WU co-founder, Bob Henson, who’s holding down Cat 6 now.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Review-Bob-Hensons-Awesome-Book-Thinking-Persons-Guide-Climate-Change

    And Bob Henson reflects on working with Jeff and says Bon Voyage.

    https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Bon-Voyage-Masters-Cat-6-One-and-Only-Jeff

    Now showing on Cat 6 are guest posts direct from paleoclimate researcher Peter Akers on Project EAIIST, the East Antarctic International Ice Sheet Traverse.

  9. 9
    Mal Adapted says:

    There’s definitely something messed up in the HTTP route between the server RC resides on, and my browser. Flushing my Google Chrome cache and restarting the browser hasn’t helped. I’ve long noticed the right-side index to be temporarily out of synchrony with the comment pages when I click through to them. Today I see the comments I posted last night to the current UV and “Ten Years On” threads in the index, but while the actual UV page is up to date, clicking on the 10YO page brings up an out-of-date version. I wonder if it has to do with caching on ISP nodes. Or perhaps automated processes on the RC server are updating individual HTML files at different intervals?

    Whatever the causes, we should probably call this a 1st-world problem 8^}.

  10. 10
    Mal Adapted says:

    Not sure it’s related to the synchronization problem: yesterday (12/1) I tried to post a comment on the “Forced Responses: Oct 2019” page, and was informed comments were closed, but no new FR page was up. While we’re waiting, how’s this for a forced response? The current Science magazine carries a brief news item:

    Scientific societies
    Psychological associations from more than 40 nations agreed this month to apply their discipline to help advance efforts to combat the effects of climate change. The groups agreed to study effective ways to communicate with the public, policymakers, and other scientists about the problem and promote environmentally friendly behaviors, for example. At the inaugural International Summit on Psychology and Global Health in Lisbon, the groups approved a proclamation supporting the effort and vowed to support a U.N. sustainable development goal of helping countries create climate adaptation strategies and low-carbon development programs.

    “Study effective ways to communicate with the public, policymakers, and other scientists about the problem and promote environmentally friendly behaviors”? Clearly a bunch of activist scientists, pushing a partisan political agenda ;^)!

  11. 11
    mike says:

    Climate Emergency in the news:

    headline: Scientist’s theory of climate’s Titanic moment the ‘tip of a mathematical iceberg’

    “Our reaction time has to be fast and to decarbonise by 2050 we have to really move now. That’s the point of [Schellnhuber’s] maths.

    “To err on the side of danger is a stupid thing to do.”

    https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/01/scientists-theory-of-climates-titanic-moment-the-tip-of-a-mathematical-iceberg?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&__twitter_impression=true

    That piece follows this piece:

    headline: Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago. At that time, these ‘large-scale discontinuities’ in the climate system were considered likely only if global warming exceeded 5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Information summarized in the two most recent IPCC Special Reports (published in 2018 and in September this year)2,3 suggests that tipping points could be exceeded even between 1 and 2 °C of warming (see ‘Too close for comfort’).”

    How are we doing with CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere? We have done just about nothing that has changed the trajectory of the Keeling Curve.

    Read carefully, please. If you want to argue that we have done something about CO2, then please identify how our actions show up in the Keeling Curve. Many of us have done lots of things. Some of us have done some things. Some of us have done just about nothing, but the sum of our efforts has not changed the trajectory of the Keeling Curve to date.

    Should be fine, but put your trays in the full upright position, fasten your seat belts and extinguish all burning materials, it’s going to get a little bumpy ahead.

    Daily CO2

    Dec. 1, 2019: 410.92 ppm
    Dec. 1, 2018: 408.17 ppm

    Warm regards,

    Mike

  12. 12
    Russell says:

    Mal:
    “Psychological associations from more than 40 nations agreed this month to apply their discipline to help advance efforts to …..Clearly a bunch of activist scientists, pushing a partisan political agenda ;^)!”

    Who would ever think of such a thing ?:

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-behavioral-science-insights.html

  13. 13
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH has posted for November with a TLT anomaly of +0.55ºC, an increase on October’s +0.46ºC and the second highest anomaly of the year-to-date, after September’s exceptional +0.61ºC. Other 2019 UAH TLT anomalies spanned from +0.47ºC down to +0.32ºC.

    It is the warmest November on the UAH TLT record ahead of 2016 (+0.47ºC), 2017 (+0.36ºC), 2015 (+0.34ºC) and 2018/2009 (both +0.28ºC).
    It is the 12th highest anomaly on the all-month UAH TLT record.

    With just a single month to go to complete the year, 2019 sits firmly third spot in UAH, behind the El Niño-boosted years of 1998 & 2016.

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.54ºC … … … +0.52ºC … … … 1st
    1998 .. +0.50ºC … … … +0.48ºC … … … 2nd
    2019 .. +0.43ºC
    2017 .. +0.38ºC … … … +0.38ºC … … … 3rd
    2010 .. +0.36ºC … … … +0.34ºC … … … 4th
    2015 .. +0.25ºC … … … +0.27ºC … … … 5th
    2018 .. +0.22ºC … … … +0.23ºC … … … 6th
    2002 .. +0.22ºC … … … +0.22ºC … … … 7th
    2005 .. +0.21ºC … … … +0.20ºC … … … 8th
    2014 .. +0.18ºC … … … +0.18ºC … … … 10th
    2007 .. +0.18ºC … … … +0.16ºC … … … 11th

  14. 14
    David B. Benson says:

    No Forced Responses is open so I will attempt to leave my comment here.

    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/678/australian-grid?page=3#post-6104

  15. 15
    David B. Benson says:

    Maybe the one I had intended to leave is
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/697/power-world?page=3#post-6100

  16. 16
  17. 17

    Mike wrote @11:

    How are we doing with CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere? We have done just about nothing that has changed the trajectory of the Keeling Curve.

    The trajectory has only changed upwards.  The world is burning fossil fuels faster than ever.

    Note that this record pace has not even been slowed by 45 years of effort on “renewable energy”.  There are some industrialized countries which have notably low per-capita carbon emissions.  These countries did not get that way using wind and solar; as Dr. James Hansen noted before Congress, they used hydro and nuclear.

    Read carefully, please. If you want to argue that we have done something about CO2, then please identify how our actions show up in the Keeling Curve.

    What’s notable is what does show up.  The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo caused a pronounced flattening of the curve which lasted a couple of years.

    Some of us have done just about nothing, but the sum of our efforts has not changed the trajectory of the Keeling Curve to date.

    Nuclear energy, some addition of sulfur to the stratosphere, and perhaps some kind of measure to accelerate the breakdown of long-lived GHGs such as methane, CFCs and N2O.

    There are some tantalizing hints at possibilities of using corona discharges to chemically alter otherwise-stable molecules.

  18. 18

    World emissions are trending 38 GT(CO2) too high to meet 2030 targets.  7.6% annual decreases are required to hit the target.

    https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/12/world-emissions-are-trending-38-billion-tons-co2e-too-high-2030-for-1-5-degree-target.html

  19. 19
    Melissa says:

    We created videos to inform the public about environmental laws. We are getting haboobs and tornadoes in Arizona. We need to make some changes !

    https://lawshelf.com/videos/topic/environmental-law

  20. 20
    Richard Groom says:

    LOL, keep looking at the daily numbers & playing with yourselves, climate change is a LIE!

  21. 21
    Killian says:

    A reminder of the thermodynamics of climate and responses.

    https://twitter.com/Limits2Growth/status/1201907130783154181

    You’ve heard this all somewhere before…

  22. 22
    Killian says:

    Re #11 mike said Climate Emergency in the news:

    headline: Scientist’s theory of climate’s Titanic moment the ‘tip of a mathematical iceberg’

    “Our reaction time has to be fast and to decarbonise by 2050 we have to really move now. That’s the point of [Schellnhuber’s] maths.

    “To err on the side of danger is a stupid thing to do.”

    headline: Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

    suggests that tipping points could be exceeded even between 1 and 2 °C of warming (see ‘Too close for comfort’).”

    Look at that… not wrong again, perfectly.

    Hmmmm…. How *do* I do it?

  23. 23
    MA Rodger says:

    Global Carbon Project are reporting a provisional 2019 FF CO2 emission which for the first time tops 10Gt(C).
    The 2019 estimate is 10.04Gt(C) [=36.8Gt(CO2)], this a rise from 9.98Gt(C) in 2018.
    At the same time the 2018 emissions from LUC & FF are given as 11.49Gt(C) which tops the previous highest value of 10.32Gt(C) back in 2015 (with 2016 & 2017 being 10.20 & 10.24 respectively). CO2 emission levels 1960-2018 with the annual growth rate are graphed out here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).

  24. 24
    Chuck says:

    I saw some discussion earlier about BECCS or Carbon Capture and Storage… I’m assuming whatever technology is available is in its infancy and cannot be effective in removing a substantial amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. My question for anyone who knows; Is this still just a pipe-dream? The last time I looked this wasn’t a viable option for removing CO2.

  25. 25
    Mal Adapted says:

    If this was posted already, I missed it. More RC author publication credit: a Comment in Nature by Lenton et al., including Prof. Rahmstorf, titled Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. After enumerating multiple approaching thresholds in alarming detail, they conclude:

    EMERGENCY: DO THE MATHS
    We define emergency (E) as the product of risk and urgency. Risk (R) is defined by insurers as probability (p) multiplied by damage (D). Urgency (U) is defined in emergency situations as reaction time to an alert (τ) divided by the intervention time left to avoid a bad outcome (T). Thus:

    E = R × U = p × D × τ / T

    The situation is an emergency if both risk and urgency are high. If reaction time is longer than the intervention time left (τ / T > 1), we have lost control.

    We argue that the intervention time left to prevent tipping could already have shrunk towards zero, whereas the reaction time to achieve net zero emissions is 30 years at best. Hence we might already have lost control of whether tipping happens. A saving grace is that the rate at which damage accumulates from tipping — and hence the risk posed — could still be under our control to some extent.

    The stability and resilience of our planet is in peril. International action — not just words — must reflect this.

    My thank to the authors, for taking their public responsibilities seriously. If only they had a wider audience 8^(.

  26. 26
    Mal Adapted says:

    Addendum to my last: for the global non-Nature-reading audience, Bill Nye the Science Guy (trigger warning) delivers the same message more forcefully, with a dramatic demonstration.

  27. 27
    ArcheN says:

    hi,
    Why is it called climate change instead of greenhouse change? In my view it’s a result of industrialization, population growth and loss of primeval-/rainforest. It doesn’t affect the natural climate change, but it does affect the temperatur since the population growth exploded, industrialization and forest destruction started. We are able to reverse the forest-loss and polpulation growth. Europa has a birthrate of 1.6 per woman. I fear the forest destruction is increasing with constant population growth and modification strategy. It could get worse.

  28. 28
    Mal Adapted says:

    ArcheN:

    Why is it called climate change instead of greenhouse change? In my view it’s a result of industrialization, population growth and loss of primeval-/rainforest. It doesn’t affect the natural climate change, but it does affect the temperatur since the population growth exploded, industrialization and forest destruction started.

    Both “climate change” and “greenhouse change” are more or less correct. More completely, it’s “climate change due to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing”.

    Climate is statistical weather over time. As you observe, it has always responded to natural forcings. Anthropogenic forcing began thousands of years ago, with the clearing of “primeval” forest and growth of agriculture. That’s still contributing to recent rapid forcing of climate; but in the last 300 years the transfer of fossil carbon to the climatically-active pool, much faster than it can be drawn down by the land and oceans, for economic reasons has accounted for more of the enhanced greenhouse effect. I trust that’s clear?

  29. 29
    Mr. Know It All says:

    28 – Mal
    “Anthropogenic forcing began thousands of years ago, with the clearing of “primeval” forest and growth of agriculture…….I trust that’s clear?”

    Actually the clearing of “primeval” forest occurred earlier when huge bulldozers called “ice sheets” mowed them over.

    24 – Chuck
    “I saw some discussion earlier about BECCS or Carbon Capture and Storage… I’m assuming whatever technology is available is in its infancy and cannot be effective in removing a substantial amount of CO2 from the atmosphere. My question for anyone who knows; Is this still just a pipe-dream? The last time I looked this wasn’t a viable option for removing CO2.”

    That sounds about right, but some here have described changes in agricultural practices that can sequester YUGE quantities of CO2. And as you noted, many industrial processes to do the same are in the works – the question is how much do they cost in $$ and energy to scale up to the point where they make a difference.

    More hopeful news – Israeli scientists have just created a CO2-eating bacteria:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-possible-climate-breakthrough-israel-scientists-engineer-bacteria-to-eat-co%E2%82%82/

  30. 30
    zebra says:

    To the moderators,

    Some of us make an effort to respect the rules about what is appropriate in which thread. Others don’t; they have “issues” with self-control.

    Basic principle of human behavior: Positive reinforcement works.

    Please get FR going again. I would like to comment on UV, but not if it all gets buried by the endlessly repetitive “nuclear is really safe dontcha know” comments; I will answer those where they are supposed to reside.

    Much easier to keep these things separated in my mind when they are separated on the screen.

  31. 31
    nigelj says:

    ArcheN @27, getting rates of population growth down to zero and even a shrinking population can only help the climate problem, and as you point out fertility rates are already low In Europe, but do bear in mind many other countries are already encouraging lower population growth. Also bear in mind that the pace of this is constrained, because if population growth slows too fast we end up with a huge bulge of elderly people, and not enough young to support them. Therefore it’s all a planetary juggling act, and the main focus has to be renewable energy and negative emissions etcetera.

    This population issue plus comments on nuclear power and economic growth do not really belong on this thread. We need another FR thread opened.

  32. 32
    William Jackson says:

    #20 Your childish and incorrect post belongs in the borehole.

  33. 33

    Dr. James Hansen advocating the use of (next-gen) nuclear fission at COP25:

    https://unfccc-cop25.streamworld.de/webcast/international-society-for-ecological-economics-3

    The meat is at 11:18 and in the Q&A at 24:10.

  34. 34
    patrick says:

    #11 Mike: Thank you very much. Schellnhuber puts the illustration so very well and then he seals it with the formula he wrote–on the business end, so to speak, of the illustration.  Because it’s also the applied physics–or the unusual-as-business–for the insurance industry.  I always think of how real the climate emergency is to that (very big) business when would-be realists, bottom-liners, and such, quibble over the actuality of the crisis.  Maybe Schellnhuber’s images come across so well because he’s already working on the analysis behind them.

  35. 35

    Chuck writes @24:

    I saw some discussion earlier about BECCS or Carbon Capture and Storage… I’m assuming whatever technology is available is in its infancy and cannot be effective in removing a substantial amount of CO2 from the atmosphere.

    That depends very much exactly how you go about it.  We currently don’t have anything ready to go at large scale, but if we grew a trillion trees we could certainly process them in a way which holds onto most of the carbon.

    My question for anyone who knows; Is this still just a pipe-dream? The last time I looked this wasn’t a viable option for removing CO2.

    Have a look at Table 2 on page 3 of this paper:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20170120030329/http://2262-presscdn-27-11.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Molten-Salt-Technology-to-Address-Tree-Mortality-by-Bark-Beetle-Infestation.pdf

    My guesstimate based on comparison of heating values is that the raw wood chips used as feedstock were 22.8% moisture by weight.  The 30% char yield by weight constitutes 38.8% of the computed dry weight of wood.  Wood is about 45% carbon by weight (a lot of it is lignin which is much more carbon-rich than cellulose) so most of the carbon is captured as biochar.  If you buried the char you would have a healthy carbon sink.

    Methane, carbon monoxide, hydrogen… they are all good fuels, chemical feedstocks or both.  About the only thing you can’t easily convert to a liquid you can ship by truck is the methane.  You can avoid losing it and adding it to our GHG burdens by burning it for motor fuel or process heat.

    Long story short, I think we can do this and maybe even do it at a profit.

  36. 36
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Re #27

    Archie,

    The official name is the enhanced greenhouse effect. But the equipment that Fourier described, from which the greenhouse effect got its name, was not a greenhouse but rather Horace-Benedict de Saussure’s hotbox!

  37. 37
    Killian says:

    Warmer world, smaller birds.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-americas-bird-shrinkage-documented-194049226.html

    More importantly, physics confirms Antarctic ice falling into the sea because those silly ice shelves are melting at silly rates. Or something…

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2019GL085027

  38. 38
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @29

    “Actually the clearing of “primeval” forest occurred earlier when huge bulldozers called “ice sheets” mowed them over.”

    Not anthropogenic though, so whats your point?

    “More hopeful news – Israeli scientists have just created a CO2-eating bacteria:”

    But you keep telling us the climate is cooling somewhere, climate change is not a problem, etc, so why are you going on about CO2 eating bacteria? You think people don’t see your constant inconsistencies? Or are you trying to confuse people deliberately?

  39. 39

    RG 20: climate change is a LIE!

    BPL: If you have proof it’s a lie, produce it. If you have no proof, STFU.

  40. 40
    MA Rodger says:

    Following UAH, RSS has posted for November with a TLT anomaly of +0.71ºC, a tiny increase on October’s +0.70ºC and not outstanding within the anomaly of the year-to-date which span from +0.89ºC down to +0.63ºC and average +0.73ºC.

    It is the warmest November on the RSS TLT record (as was the UAH anomaly) ahead of 2015 (+0.69ºC), 2016 (+0.62ºC), 2017 (+0.58ºC), 2018 (+0.54ºC) and 2009 (+0.48ºC) – this list very similar to the UAH list with the same years featured & spread of anomalies, this despite the low-trending nature of the UAH record.
    It is the 21st highest anomaly on the all-month RSS TLT record (12th highest in UAH).

    With just a single month to go to complete the year, 2019 sits very firmly in second spot in RSS. (UAH with its low-trending manages to boost 1998 up into 2nd pushing 2019 down into 3rd spot.)

    …….. Jan-Nov Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +0.82ºC … … … +0.79ºC … … … 1st
    2019 .. +0.73ºC
    2017 .. +0.67ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 2nd
    2010 .. +0.65ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 3rd
    1998 .. +0.60ºC … … … +0.58ºC … … … 5th
    2015 .. +0.58ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 4th
    2018 .. +0.53ºC … … … +0.53ºC … … … 6th
    2005 .. +0.48ºC … … … +0.46ºC … … … 8th
    2014 .. +0.47ºC … … … +0.47ºC … … … 7th
    2007 .. +0.43ºC … … … +0.41ºC … … … 10th
    2013 .. +0.42ºC … … … +0.42ºC … … … 9th

    And why am I hearing such odd press comments of late originating from the UN WMO? The latest concerned global temperature. “Average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are almost certain to be the highest on record.”
    Well stretch my error bars!!
    Why the lack of complete certainty?
    Are we anticipating both a giant asteroid strike and a major volcanic eruption that need factoring in during December? Because that is what it would need to prevent the last decade/5-years not to be “the highest on record.”
    Taking the Copernicus reanalysis data (who like UAH & RSS also put November 2019 as the warmest November on record but are SAT not TLT – anomaly base 1991-2010), the last decade 2010-19 is to-date running with an anomaly of +0.39ºC which is far above the previous decade (2000-09 +0.16ºC). Even to close half that gap (so to perhaps allow some error-bar overlap) would require the December 2019 anomaly to drop below -13.56ºC
    And the last 5-years (2015-19) is to-date running at +0.53ºC which again is far above the previous 5-years (2010-14 +0.26ºC). The December anomaly would still have to be below -7.70ºC.
    Come on WMO!! There is no doubt! Month, half-decade, decade: it is ‘scorchyisimo!!!’

  41. 41
    Mal Adapted says:

    Mr. Ironically Anosognosic Typist:

    Actually the clearing of “primeval” forest occurred earlier when huge bulldozers called “ice sheets” mowed them over.

    Wow. That’s what I call an unforced variation! IAT’s peevish muttering reaches a new nadir of irrelevance.

  42. 42
    Barry Finch says:

    This is how the so-called “greenhouse effect” in Earth’s troposphere causes warming. The so-called “greenhouse effect” effect is nothing at all like the effect that warms a greenhouse. A vast “shimmer” of transverse electromagnetic radiation (TER) in the long-wave band (LWR) is caused by molecules of water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2) and some other gases in the troposphere due to their collisions (averaging 2,700,000,000 collisions / second) with other molecules, which are almost always going to be nitrogen (N2) or oxygen (O2) because they are almost all of the gas quantity in the troposphere. The H2O, CO2, CH4, NO2 and some other gases are being called “greenhouse gases (GHGs)” because the overall effect (not just this part) ends up causing warming of Earth’s troposphere. All except H2O are called “well-mixed greenhouse gases” because their boiling and freezing points are so low that they don’t condense or freeze in the troposphere, not even near the top, so they get spread out well mixed around Earth and well mixed vertically in the troposphere. The well-mixed GHGs now punch above their weight compared with water vapour (H2O) because the upper half of the troposphere is so cold that almost all H2O forms on dust/salt particles in liquid or solid form there rather than being a GHG but the others remain as GHGs. The lowest quarter or so of the troposphere where it’s warmer and water vapour (H2O) is king is already highly “saturated” without much additional “enhanced greenhouse effect” possible (still, H2O has such a broad absorption band that it still manages to match CO2 pretty much exactly 1:1 net as a 100% +ve feedback).
    ——————
    The GHG molecules don’t emit a photon (LWR unit) of LWR when they collide and they don’t later get to emit a photon of LWR after every collision, only after a few of them (note 1). What happens is that a collision might cause a GHG molecule to vibrate in a certain way (so with a certain energy) of which the GHG molecule has the capability of any one of a selection (called its “vibrational modes”). GHG molecules with more vibrational modes are more powerful GHGs because they have a broader absorption/emission band. The GHG molecule now has “molecular vibrational energy (MVE)” if the collision did cause it to vibrate. Energy cannot be created without destroying matter and matter doesn’t get destroyed by this. What happens is that one or both of the two molecules slows down such that the total “molecular translational energy (MTE)”, aka “molecular kinetic energy”, aka “heat”, is reduced by precisely the same amount as the MVE that the GHG molecule acquired, so (m1*v1**2 + m2*v2**2)/2 after collision is less than (m1*v1**2 + m2*v2**2)/2 before collision because either v1 or v2 or both was reduced, thus obeying the Law Of Conservation Of Energy. Effectively, the temperature of the 2 colliding molecules was reduced by an energy amount equaling the MVE that the GHG molecule acquired, what happened was energy transmutation from one form to another. When this vibrating GHG molecule hits another molecule it loses its vibration (note 1) and one or both of the two molecules speeds up such that the total MTE, aka “heat”, is increased by precisely the same amount as the MVE that the GHG molecule lost. So it just moved speed/heat from one N2 or O2 (almost always) molecule to another. However, ==here we go==, very occasionally/rarely and not very often at all compared with the 2,700,000,000 collisions / second that happen to this GHG molecule (note 2) the GHG molecule with MVE will spontaneously emit a photon of LWR and lose its MVE. Now it has converted one-photon’s-worth of “heat” in the troposphere to one photon of LWR. It has cooled the troposphere by one-photon’s-worth of “heat” (one molecule is now in a global Mini Ice Age ?).
    ——————
    LWR is also radiated from the surfaces of liquids & solids such as the surface of the ocean, the surfaces of water droplets in spray above the ocean, the surfaces of water droplets in clouds, the surfaces of any water droplets at all, the land surface, the surfaces of trees & grass, the skins of animals, the surfaces of dust, salt, volcanic ash, any ash and any surface whatsoever on the ocean or land or in the troposphere. Except for 10% of this LWR whose photons happen to have wave-lengths in a band called “the atmospheric window” this LWR goes into the vast “shimmer” of LWR in the troposphere with a distribution of energy quantity at each wave-length in the LWR band that you’ve all seen hundreds of plots of all over the place.
    ——————
    GHG molecules also absorb LWR provided that the photon’s energy (which is its wave-length) perfectly matches one of that GHG molecule’s MVE mode energies and the photon goes through (or tries to go through) the area of the GHG molecule that absorbs that wave-length (obvious example, CO2 isn’t at all fussy what part of its molecule a photon of wave-length 15.00 microns goes through, it’ll swallow it and vibrate). Obviously, a GHG molecule neither knows nor cares whether a photon of a certain wave-length trying to go through it was emitted by the surface of the ocean, the surfaces of water droplets in spray above the ocean, the surfaces of water droplets in clouds, the surfaces of any water droplets at all, the land surface, the surfaces of trees & grass, the skins of animals, the surfaces of dust, salt, volcanic ash, any ash and any surface whatsoever on the ocean or land or in the troposphere, or emitted by another GHG molecule (H2O, CO2, CH4, NO2 and any other GHG molecule) because all photons of the same wave-length are the same. A GHG molecule with MVE that it got by absorbing LWR can, of course, ==here we go again==, very occasionally/rarely and not very often at all compared with the 2,700,000,000 collisions / second that happen to this GHG molecule (note 2) spontaneously emit a photon of LWR and lose its MVE. In this case the GHG molecule transmuted LWR back to LWR, it transmuted a photon to an identical photon, so it did nothing at all other than change the direction in which the photon is going. This is the cartoon that scientists show the public because it’s a simple analog that Earth tried to cool itself to space and failed, but since there are 2,700,000,000 collisions / second there’s just about a bat’s chance in hell that the GHG molecule will spontaneously emit a photon of LWR and lose its MVE before it collides and loses its MVE (note 1). The coal/oil shills use the highly-incorrect nature of this ludicrously-over-simplified cartoon to “disprove” the physics theory but it isn’t the physics theory that’s incorrect, it’s the cartoon that’s incorrect. It doesn’t describe the physics theory hardly at all as I’ve explained in detail above. This is why I dislike this cartoon. When a vibrating GHG molecule hits another molecule it loses its vibration (note 1) and one or both of the two molecules speeds up. This means that “heat” increased, what happened was energy transmutation from one form to another, energy transmutation from LWR to “heat” with MVE as the intermediary step.
    ——————
    Now the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect” explanation that I think is clearest, obvious and difficult to challenge by mis-direction disinformation and subterfuge per the memes concocted by the coal/oil shills. 17% of the LWR that Earth sends to space is emitted by the ocean or land surface because the photons are in a wave-length band called “the atmospheric window” that doesn’t get absorbed by the GHGs. It’s my understanding that this will narrow slightly with increased GHGs, but this isn’t the prime “enhanced greenhouse effect” and I’m not addressing any additional warming it might cause. 83% of the LWR that Earth sends to space is emitted by the GHG molecules in the troposphere, tropopause and stratosphere (note 2). This 83% of the LWR is the part that gets reduced by increased tropospheric GHGs and causes an energy imbalance with insufficient energy going out, which causes global warming, ocean heating and ice fusion, which causes climate change, which causes a variety of nuisances that I haven’t studied.
    ——————
    The troposphere has an upper and a lower surface. The upper surface is the top of the troposphere (the tropopause) and the lower surface is the surface of the ocean or land. LWR produced in the troposphere that reaches the lower surface will warm that surface so it stays in Earth’s ecosphere but LWR produced in the troposphere that reaches the upper surface has a good chance to make it through the increasingly-thin tropopause, stratosphere and the ultra-thin extended atmosphere to space and be energy lost to Earth’s ecosphere, thus cooling it. LWR reaching the upper/lower surfaces was produced by GHG molecules, the surfaces of water droplets and the surfaces of solid particles (sea salt, ash, dust) throughout the troposphere sending photons upwards/downwards as described in detail earlier.
    – There is an average altitude in the troposphere of the LWR quantity that reaches space. If you could float at this altitude and watch/count photons with special eye balls and brain you’d see 50% of those photons that reach space are heading up from below you. If you counted it at 48% then you’d need to float upward to get more of the LWR photon production below you. If you counted it at 52% then you’d need to float downward to get more of the LWR photon production above you. This is obvious. When you float to the place where 50.0000000% of those photons that reach space are heading up from below you then you are at the average altitude in the troposphere of the LWR quantity that reaches space.
    – There is an average altitude in the troposphere of the LWR quantity that reaches the surface of the ocean or land. You could float and find that the same way as the preceding.
    These 2 altitudes in the troposphere are approximately for illustration only and as a global average (I’m not quantifying the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect” in this comment, only describing its operation accurately):
    —- average — —- average global —-
    —- altitude — —- temperature —-
    6,600 metres -29.75 degrees 50% of the “shimmer cloud” of LWR photons that will make it to the tropopause are emitted by GHG molecules and the surfaces of cloud droplets and atmospheric particles below this altitude.
    1,650 metres 3.7 degrees 50% of the “shimmer cloud” of LWR photons that will make it to the surface of the ocean or land are emitted by GHG molecules and the surfaces of cloud droplets and atmospheric particles below this altitude.
    These values are approximate. They are to demonstrate how the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect” works, not to provide quantities. They are approximately correct though. They are based on a global average ~12,000 metres height of the troposphere but it varies geographically from 9,000 to 16,000 metres.
    —————
    If tropospheric GHGs are increased then 2 changes occur per my explanations above since the start of my comment:
    1) More LWR than before is produced by the GHGs, and
    2) More LWR than before is absorbed by the GHGs because the LWR photons have to make it through more GHG molecules that might absorb them before they can reach their goal of going up past the top of the troposphere or going down past the bottom of the troposphere and being absorbed into the ocean or land.
    Note that I have not included “(3) The LWR photons emitted by the surface of the ocean and land have to make it through more GHG molecules that might absorb them before they can reach space” because I’m dealing with the 83% of the LWR getting space that’s created by GHG molecules in the troposphere obtaining, then losing, MVE with spontaneous photon emission caused. I’m not dealing with the 17% of the LWR in a wave-length band called “the atmospheric window” that gets directly to space after being emitted by the surface of the ocean and land. If that 17% is reduced by increased tropospheric GHGs (I’m not sure) then that’s an additional, unrelated, means of the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect” (there’s no particular reason why there has to be only one mechanism).
    —————
    The result of combined effects/changes (1), (2) above is that the average altitude in the troposphere of the LWR quantity that reaches the top of the troposphere gets higher, so perhaps it raises from the 6,600 metres to 6,700 metres (as an example). Also, the LWR quantity is reduced slightly (the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect”) for reason of the tropospheric temperature lapse rate explained below.
    —————
    Likewise, identically, the average altitude in the troposphere of the LWR quantity that reaches the surface of the ocean or land gets lower, so perhaps it lowers from the 1,650 metres to 1,550 metres (obviously, it depends on the change quantity. I just showed a random example) because it has to get past more GHG molecules that might absorb the photon.
    —————
    In either case GHG photons were trying to reach their goal of the top or bottom of the troposphere but now there are more GHGs in the way so it needs, == on average ==, to be a bit closer to make it. So that’s why the “cloud” of LWR that will reach the top is a higher cloud than before and the “cloud” of LWR that will reach the bottom (ocean or land) is a lower cloud than before
    —————
    The tropospheric temperature lapse rate is required to cause the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect”.
    The average altitude for LWR to space got higher (6,600 metres —> 6,700 metres in my example) which means LWR to space is from colder (slower) molecules on average because tropospheric temperature decreases with altitude and LWR to space is from higher-up-than-before molecules on average, so there are fewer GHG molecular collisions / second which leads to less MVE which leads to less LWR production. The quantity of LWR energy (power flux) provided by a mass of gas is proportional to its temperature(Kelvin)**4 (to the fourth power) so, as explained in detail above, the increasing of tropospheric GHGs ==must== cause less LWR than before to be passing upwards through the top of the troposphere.
    That’s the upper end of how the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect” works.
    ——————
    The tropospheric temperature lapse rate is required to cause the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect”.
    The average altitude for LWR to ocean and land got lower (1,650 metres —> 1,550 metres in my example) which means LWR to the surface of the ocean and land is from warmer (faster) molecules on average because tropospheric temperature decreases with altitude and LWR to ocean/land is from lower-down-than-before molecules on average, so there are more GHG molecular collisions / second which leads to more MVE which leads to more LWR production. The quantity of LWR energy (power flux) provided by a mass of gas is proportional to its temperature(Kelvin)**4 (to the fourth power) so, as explained in detail above, the increasing of tropospheric GHGs ==must== cause more LWR than before to be passing downwards to the surface of the ocean and land. This latter is called “downwelling LWR radiation at the surface” and I’ve explained why it must increase and this must, of course, warm the land and ocean surface.
    That’s the lower end of how the so-called “enhanced greenhouse effect” works.
    ——— .
    Note 1: I haven’t yet found the collision MVE production & destruction spectra so I don’t know what %age make MVE and what %age destroy MVE. I looked a few hours 4 years ago but couldn’t find it (not for free anyway). It makes no difference to the description of the mechanism above but it would be needed to confirm the quantity of effect for doubling CO2.
    Note 2: I’ve read on the internet that spontaneous emission of a photon of LWR by a GHG molecule with MVE will typically occur after ~1.0 seconds with MVE but I’m not accepting that without some serious fact checking which I haven’t done yet. One photon / second just seems way too minuscule to me. I also need that information to calculate whether mis-calibration method of the STAR MSU/AMSU instrument makes the RSS & UAH TLT temperature O2 proxy analyses analyse a significantly lower total of energy than thermometers measure, or whether the difference is negligible. It makes no difference to the description of the mechanism above.
    Note 3: 80% of Earth’s atmosphere is in the troposphere (the top of which is 16 km in the tropics and 9 km in the polar regions, averaging ~12,000 metres). The “greenhouse effect” warming can only happen in Earth’s troposphere, there’s no effect in Earth’s tropopause and the effect is “backwards” in Earth’s stratosphere with =increased= stratospheric GHG gases causing =cooling= of the stratosphere because the stratospheric temperature lapse rate has temperature increasing with altitude (that’s how it’s known with total certainty that it’s increased “greenhouse gases (GHGs)” doing the global warming for the last several decades). Since there’s no temperature lapse rate in the tropopause then any change in the quantity/type of GHGs in the tropopause cannot have any warming or cooling effect on the tropopause or the entire atmosphere, ocean or land. No effect at all. If you follow my description of the effect above for the troposphere but apply it to the tropopause then you’ll clearly see that any change in the quantity/type of GHGs in the tropopause cannot have any warming or cooling effect That’s the reality. The increasing GHGs in the stratosphere are a slight -ve feedback to global warming because downwelling LWR radiation from the stratosphere increases with increased GHGs, but it’s a very slight -ve feedback because only 6.3% of the well-mixed GHGs (and all molecules) are above the tropopause and they are initially colder than the average of the troposphere so they make even less LWR than the 6.3% factor. By the time the stratosphere warms more than the average of the troposphere there’s only 0.4% of Earth’s atmosphere’s molecules above, negligible.
    Note 4: FTIR power flux vs wave-length spectra recorded by the instrument on a satellite show which wave-lengths of LWR heading to space past the satellite came from the surface of the ocean and land and which wave-lengths came, on average, from the GHG molecules and surfaces of solid particles and water droplets in the atmosphere. From this atmospheric physicists have calculated the 83% of the LWR that Earth sends to space that is emitted by the atmosphere rather than by the surface of the ocean and land. Also, the MODTRAN tool on the internet can be used to play with a theoretical calculation of the FTIR power flux vs wave-length spectra by adjusting GHGs.

  43. 43
    Mal Adapted says:

    Me, responding to ArcheN:

    Climate is statistical weather over time. As you observe, it has always responded to natural forcings. Anthropogenic forcing began thousands of years ago, with the clearing of “primeval” forest and growth of agriculture. That’s still contributing to recent rapid forcing of climate; but in the last 300 years the transfer of fossil carbon to the climatically-active pool, much faster than it can be drawn down by the land and oceans, for economic reasons has accounted for more of the enhanced greenhouse effect. I trust that’s clear?

    Hmm, could be clearer, FWIW. How about:

    Climate has always responded to natural forcings. Anthropogenic forcing began thousands of years ago with intentional burning of “primeval” forests to improve foraging, followed by the spread of agriculture. Land use still contributes to recently accelerated climate change, with elevated greenhouse gas emissions and impaired land sinks. In the last three centuries, however, economically-driven transfer of fossil carbon to the atmosphere, much faster than it can be drawn down by the land and oceans, has greatly enhanced the greenhouse effect.

    Also: thank you, Patrick.

  44. 44
    Clark Lampson says:

    I’m trying to use a very simple example for my not so scientific friends who ask me about climate change and how something so insignificant as the CO2 concentration at 407 ppm can have any impact.

    My example is the following:

    Mass of atmospheric column: 1.03 Kg/cm2
    Mass of CO2 in the column at 407ppm: 0.42gm/cm2
    Density of plastic: About 1gm/cm3
    So the CO2 in the atmosphere amounts to about 0.42cm of plastic wrapping the earth.
    You can make a simple greenhouse from 6mil poly, so that is 0.15mm.

    Taking the preindustrial CO2 at 280ppm to now at 407ppm gives just under 9 layers of 6mil poly equivalent wrapping the entire earth.

    At +2ppm/yr its about every 7 years to add 14.5ppm which is roughly a 6mil layer of plastic.

    When I tell people that every 7 years we wrapped the earth in another layer of 6 mil poly, they can relate to that, especially if they have ever built a little backyard greenhouse.

    But there are obvious problems with this analogy.

    1) The 6mil poly backyard greenhouse gets approximate convective isolation from the first sheet of poly, and a little conductive isolation for each sheet, whereas the earth system is already in pretty good convective and conductive isolation from space, i.e. its just the radiative system in question.

    2) Plastic and CO2 don’t have equivalent radiative optical properties. I just used the mass equivalent for simplicity.

    3) The greenhouse poly is concentrated at a single height layer, whereas CO2 in the atmosphere is distributed top to bottom.

    Can anyone hazard an approximate corrective factor that I could apply to my figure of 14.5ppm of CO2 being about equivalent to 6 mil poly so that I can tell my friends I’ve corrected for 1-3 above?

  45. 45
    Mal Adapted says:

    MA Rodger:

    And why am I hearing such odd press comments of late originating from the UN WMO?

    I mostly agree with you, despite having just cited a WMO press release myself. OTOH, the 5-year global climate report and the press release announcing it are pitched at different audiences. John Nielsen-Gammon says:

    We scientists rely upon a hierarchy of reliability. We know that a talking head is less reliable than a press release. We know that a press release is less reliable than a paper. We know that an ordinary peer-reviewed paper is less reliable than a review article. And so on, all the way up to a National Academy report. If we’re equipped with knowledge of this hierarchy of reliability, we can generally do a good job navigating through an unfamiliar field, even if we have very little prior technical knowledge in that field.

    Well, the typical member of the public has very little retained technical knowledge about just about everything…

    The “typical member of the public” is sadly influenced by relentless denialist charges of scientific ‘alarmism’. The WMO counters in part by couching its press releases in less than complete certainty. Scientists, if alas not all journalists, will at least know to click through the (annoyingly indirect) link in the press release to the actual PDF of the report, and drill down through its references as needed.

  46. 46

    zebra’s point about Forced Responses (mitigation) vs. Unforced Variations (general purpose CC science) is well taken, but nevertheless, I’m going to post a quick note for the (I am sure) soon-to-appear D-J bimonthly FR thread. To wit:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/12/04/powering-the-ev-revolution-battery-packs-now-at-156-kwh-13-lower-than-2018-finds-bnef/

    BNEF projects that the overall industry’s cost reductions will continue, with $100/kWh at the pack level likely to be reached by around 2023… This is the point at which mass market electric vehicles (BEVs) are expected to reach sticker price parity with “equivalent” combustion vehicles, whilst larger vehicle classes and premium vehicles have already passed parity in several cases. All BEVs are typically already more affordable than combustion vehicles on a total-cost-of-ownership basis, due to substantial lifetime savings on fuel and maintenance costs.

    If you want to go a bit deeper into the weeds, there’s some good discussion about raw material supply constraints, alternate battery chemistries and the like.

  47. 47
    Mal Adapted says:

    “having just cited a WMO press release [HTML fail] myself.”

    Dang. Here’s the freakin’ press release.

Leave a Reply

Comment policy. Please note that if your comment repeats a point you have already made, or is abusive, or is the nth comment you have posted in a very short amount of time, please reflect on the whether you are using your time online to maximum efficiency. Thanks.