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Unforced variations: May 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 May 2020

This month’s climate science open thread.

183 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2020”

  1. 51
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    RE #40 &41

    Where Nigel says:

    “By contrast, average projections from the CMIP5 global climate models foresee a gradual slowing of sea ice loss even in high carbon emissions scenarios.”

    Can one of the physics guys explain why modelling has ice loss slowing even in high emissions scenarios? That’s sort of counter-intuitive.

    That is a question I would like answered. But note, if the decline in sea ice is accelerating then when it hits zero that will be the end.

  2. 52
    Bill Henderson says:

    Canada is a global bad example
    https://countercurrents.org/2020/05/canada-is-a-global-bad-example

    “This probably doesn’t need to be said but planning for low probability, high impact, worst case scenarios is looking pretty smart right now.” Gavin Schmidt

    The building climate change dangers promise to make the coronavirus pandemic look like a day off work with a cold.

    Increasing global temperature means rising sea levels, worsening extreme weather, more forest fires, and widening desertification. Climate change is a threat multiplier and increasing warming portends more famine, plagues and war. These disasters will mostly happen in the world’s more vulnerable regions but the spillover effects will hurt us too.

    These are just the dangers of increasing monotonic warming. There are, more disturbingly, low probability but high impact existential climate dangers collectively labeled ‘dangerous climate change’ which have the capacity to kill not millions but billions of people globally and which could crash our global civilization leaving who knows what hell for our descendants. Increasing human-induced warming is effecting key tipping points in the earth’s climate and could lead to a cascade of latent feedbacks and horrific Hothouse Earth.

    We have known about these climate dangers for at least three decades but governments have not acted and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from burning fossil fuels and human landuse change have continued to rise. Actual mitigation action has been minimal and current projections suggest that with present policies we are headed for a 3-4C rise in temperature this century. Each increment of warming increases the damage of monotonic warming and increases the chances of dangerous climate change. We are headed for catastrophe of a scale unimaginable.

    ….

  3. 53
    Killian says:

    50 Alastair B. McDonald said I had thought that the tipping point would happen when the ice extent fell below a certain level at mid-summer. But which level? Say an extent of 50% of the winter maximum?

    There appears to be a strong correlation between June insolation and extent you may want to check out if not already aware.

  4. 54
    Killian says:

    Re #51 Alastair B. McDonald said RE #40 &41

    Where Nigel says:

    “By contrast, average projections from the CMIP5 global climate models foresee a gradual slowing of sea ice loss even in high carbon emissions scenarios.”

    Can one of the physics guys explain why modelling has ice loss slowing even in high emissions scenarios? That’s sort of counter-intuitive.

    That is a question I would like answered. But note, if the decline in sea ice is accelerating then when it hits zero that will be the end.

    This seems rather straightforward: It’s cold up there. More rainfall, more ice melt, regionally and globally freshens the oceans a bit, etc… but mostly, it’s cold up there and water freezes when it’s cold. The decline must necessarily “stall” towards the end of the tail, no? At least until the oceans get so warm there isn’t much of an Arctic…

  5. 55
    Killian says:

    “This probably doesn’t need to be said but planning for low probability, high impact, worst case scenarios is looking pretty smart right now.” Gavin Schmidt

    Thanks for the shout out.

  6. 56
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin’s link: If this shift continues, our results suggest increased likelihood of accelerated sea‐ice loss over the coming decades, and an increased risk of an ice‐free Arctic within the next 20–30 years.

    AB: Lots depends on currents and ice bridges. The ice’s Last Stand is Canada’s and Greenland’s northern islands. If ice volume reduces to where bridging fails and winds happen to blow just so then the ice could all go away quite soon. Would it come back? Probably, since it will likely be a 1998-type excursion that turns the end of September’s Arctic Ocean blue. But 1998 was mild by current standards. And a decade after the first Code Blue a Code Blue will just be another name for “Late Summer”. It won’t stop there, but migrate like a guy’s hairline to “Summer”, then “Spring”.

    Ooo, a whole nuther planet, weather-wise. Re-racking the precipitation odds retaining only land mass configurations. Currents, winds, cells, everything else brand new. It’s be fun for all species to wake up and realize that “We’re not in Kansas, anymore”.

  7. 57
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    @52 Where Bill Henderson quotes Gavin as saying:

    “This probably doesn’t need to be said but planning for low probability, high impact, worst case scenarios is looking pretty smart right now.” Gavin Schmidt

    But it is not low probability! It is a certainty, because no action will be taken until the public are frightened, just as they are with Covid-19. By the time AGW causes fear it will be too late to prevent a catastrophe. It is already too late to stop the Greenland ice sheet melting and creating a 6 m (20 ft) sea level rise.

    When governments and public wake up to what is happening, they wont be able to stop it by finding a vaccine. The only way to stop Greenland and Antarctica melting will be to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to below pre-Industrial levels! That wont be done in the 18 months it takes to find a Covid-19 vaccine.

    So how are you going to feed the refugees fleeing their coastal villages when there is less agricultural land? How are you going to feed the general population when Mid-West of the USA becomes a desert? When are you going to wake up to the fact that adaptation is not an option. Severe mitigation is the only answer.

  8. 58
    mike says:

    I know that all models are wrong, but some models are useful, but… it seems important that the models should be useful and reasonably accurate at projecting when parts of the world will become hotter than the human body can withstand.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2242855-climate-change-has-already-made-parts-of-the-world-too-hot-for-humans/?utm_campaign=Carbon+Brief+Daily+Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Revue+newsletter&fbclid=IwAR0rMaI1KJbm6eZmN7Gc3L1W1SWpEPYY4DF3d3G7Kh_RsgQZj2Py-uCgHZY

    “Global warming has already made parts of the world hotter than the human body can withstand, decades earlier than climate models expected this to happen.”

  9. 59
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @24,
    Regarding my modelling exercise that was looking at the relationship between MLO and the Globally-average CO2 levels, I was reluctant to provide the completed table & the graph because summing up the exercise can easily become infernally confusing.
    That said, below is the completed table and the graph updated – usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’.
    12-Month MLO CO2 increase (ppm/yr) Dec numbers below next table
    … … … … … Met Office… … … .Modelled… … … … ..Actual… … … .. ..Actual
    … … … . forecast [Smothd]. .[Original,Smoothed]… .[Unsmoothed]… .[Smoothed]
    Jan19 … … … 2.64 … … … … … 2.74 … … … … … … 2.87 … … … … 2.85
    Feb19 … … … 2.64 … … … … … 2.92 … … … … … … 3.43 … … … … 2.95
    Mar19 … … … 3.04 … … … … … 3.13 … … … … … … 2.56 … … … … 3.03
    Apr19 … … … 3.24 … … … … … 3.10 … … … … … … 3.09 … … … … 3.02
    May19 … … … 3.38 … … … … … 3.16 … … … … … … 3.41 … … … … 3.21
    Jun19 … … … 3.22 … … … … … 3.24 … … … … … … 3.14 … … … … 3.19
    Jul19 … … … 3.00 … … … … … 3.07 … … … … … … 3.03 … … … … 3.04
    Aug19 … … … 2.86 … … … … … 2.94 … … … … … … 2.96 … … … … 3.01
    Sep19 … … … 2.63 … … … … … 2.78 … … … … … … 3.03 … … … … 2.84
    Oct19 … … … 2.42 … … … … … 2.66 … … … … … … 2.52 … … … … 2.59
    Nov19 … … … 2.44 … … … … … 2.44 … … … … … … 2.23 … … … … 2.48
    Dec19 … … … 2.46 … … … … … 2.13 … … … … … … 2.69 … … … … 2.50
    Jan20 … … … 2.48 … … … … … 2.07 … … … … … … 2.57 … … … … 2.54
    Feb20 … … … 2.58 … … … … … 2.06 … … … … … … 2.36 … … … … 2.43
    Mar20 … … … 2.88 … … … … … 1.87 … … … … … … 2.36 … … … … 2.53

    The projected MLO modelling was ridiculously close to the measured outcome through to the end of 2019 but then a few wheels fell off with Jan Feb & Apr 2020 a long way lower than the MLO numbers.
    You’ll note on the graph that I’ve shown the amended modelled values which use the latest Global-average CO2 numbers and these do give a marginal improvement although they themselves will be subject to further amendments in coming months as the Global-average reach their final values (the value usually becoming stable only 5-months after the event).

    The reason for the model giving such low values for Jan, Feb & Apr 2020 was because there was a big deviation between MLO & Global for Jan, Feb & Apr 2019, these in the model being the negative adjustment 12-months on. That adjustment always was a bit troubling. It did give the best results for recent data (and still does for 2019) but analysis of longer periods (and the logic for such adjustments) suggested that half the adjustment was more correct. I thus have in mind adding into the analysis an adjustment for ENSO and then repeating the exercise. As ENSO has a delayed impact on CO2, this will not hinder a repeat fo the modelling exercise.

    And to complete this account, the link to the original comment back in August last year explaining the exercise and if that is too confusing, just to say that the exercise is trying to identify the underlying level of the atmospheric CO2 increase.

  10. 60
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mike: “I know that all models are wrong, but some models are useful, but… it seems important that the models should be useful and reasonably accurate at projecting when parts of the world will become hotter than the human body can withstand.”

    So, if the doctor says, “You need to quit drinking. It’s destroying your liver and will kill you,” you will respond, “Unless you can tell me precisely when I’ll die, I’ll keep drinking?”

    Interesting response.

  11. 61

    #58, Mike–

    As I understand it, it’s a problem of resolution. The models have grid boxes of tens of kilometers, and pretty coarse timesteps. So highly localized, short-lived excursions into 35 C (wet bulb) territory aren’t going to be well-captured (or captured at all). So it’s not that the models were wrong about the emergence of this phenomenon, it’s that they can’t ‘focus’ fine enough in time and space to detect the first flickers of said emergence which we are already seeing (if we look) in the observational data.

    To put it slightly differently, I think that we have no reason to doubt the projected emergence of 35 C(WB) on the scales the models can focus down to. (With caveats about dependence on future emissions, yada yada.)

  12. 62

    I took advantage of the virtual EGU meeting last week and participated in several of the sessions. Here is my set of notes on various climate science and geophysics presentations.

    https://geoenergymath.com/2020/05/10/egu-2020-notes/

  13. 63
    mike says:

    at MAR: I reviewed your concern about yoy comparison and I agree with you that using the previous years as the fundamental baseline is a mistake because of what we might call wobble.

    For that reason, I sometimes list the CO2 reading this way: Last Week

    May 3 – 9, 2020 416.83 ppm
    May 3 – 9, 2019 414.11 ppm
    May 3 – 9, 2010 392.98 ppm

    I think adding in the number from ten years ago is helpful.

    co2.earth as usual for the numbers I use.

    Cheers

    Mike

  14. 64
    mike says:

    On temps above what humans can survive: yes, yes, I understand the scaling problem, but didn’t the data exist that showed the level of variation that could be expected at finer resolution than the models could produce?

    Maybe this is just the endless problem of communicating the danger and need to act given the way that science needs to be conducted and communicated. It’s also possible that the article is misrepresenting the true story. I re-read and didn’t find links to the science or studies or reporting that provided the erroneous time frame indicated in the lead paragraph, so it’s hard to evaluate.

    Whatever the case, the fallout from temp spikes in the 35 degree range might turn out to be something we are not ready to address.

    At Ray: Yes, yes, of course most of us know that this problem was coming and we should do something about it and many of us have tried. Do you recall when I posted about the heat wave several years ago and you responded with the “dude, it’s just one month” commentary? As I recall, it was actually the 4th record heat month at that time and the record heat wave has not let up since that time. So, Dude, if you remember your response, do you really think you are on solid ground to talk about inaction on addressing the heat buildup problem?

    I know it’s fun to attack and try to take folks down, but I think it’s more productive to be polite and considerate. If you need to see what that looks like in general terms, read KM’s comments. He is almost always in the polite and considerate mode.

    Cheers and warm regards to you two dudes.

    Mike

  15. 65
  16. 66

    Interesting, if more information than I really need (or can process). But it’s good to know, in general terms, how folks are getting on with understanding the global marine carbon pump–especially as we need to be able to model it accurately to really get Earth Systems modeling right.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/18/9679?fbclid=IwAR35wNV3HwVgWHYOGgH-Mm3FGPWWV-nmWaJLbIaPltDJspydCkQBRxlxEf4

  17. 67

    mike, #64–

    …didn’t the data exist that showed the level of variation that could be expected at finer resolution than the models could produce?

    The short, literal answer would be “yes.” The observational data revealed the 35*C(WB) spikes. But sorry, not really sure what you’re asking here, as that ‘answer’ seems a bit too obvious. Care to rephrase or expand?

  18. 68
    Al Bundy says:

    Alastair B McDonald: How are you going to feed the general population when Mid-West of the USA becomes a desert?

    AB: Most of the USA gets enough rain/snow but the spring flooding summer drought thing gets hard. And that Ogallala aquifer that maintains agriculture in the USA’s Great Plains is running low. Fortunately, re-thinking our flood management system can mitigate the problem.

    You can read about how lateral levies and groundwater accumulation structures can save agriculture in the USA’s Great Plains while greatly reducing both our current destructive flooding and the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone in my post “Flood like an Egyptian” on my blog “the-Weaver.org”.

    _______

    Kevin McKinney: To put it slightly differently, I think that we have no reason to doubt the projected emergence of 35 C(WB) on the scales the models can focus down to.

    AB: And 35C is just the “some humans in some situations will survive” limit. People croak at significantly lower temperatures and they tend to get pretty useless before that, especially if no daily respite is available. I read that 25% of one island’s sugar cane(?) workers having kidney issues brought on by overheating. The cold calculus for similar agricultural regions: Sugar, cheap; dialysis, expensive. And at some point a blackout will occur when conditions are lethal. Heck, a hurricane followed by a heat wave could erase an area.

    Crops aren’t happy during heatwaves, either. Ask any hot tomato. Hanging out in the full sun all day takes serious cooling.

  19. 69
    jgnfld says:

    @65. KIA, and cold weather in NE…

    Child: Mr. KIA…How cold was it this weekend in the NE

    KIA: Why it was SOOO COLD in the NE USA–on about .5% of the Earth’s surface–that the WHOLE PLANET cooled and is no longer warming!

    Child: Gee Mr. KIA. I wish I understood science so well as you do!

  20. 70
    mike says:

    more on the lethal heat events from the Guardian:

    Potentially fatal bouts of heat and humidity on the rise, study finds

    “The ominous findings come as something of a surprise to scientists, as previous studies had projected such extreme weather events would occur later in the century, mostly in parts of the tropics and subtropics where humidity is already a problem.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/08/climate-change-global-heating-extreme-heat-humidity?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0dyZWVuTGlnaHQtMjAwNTEz&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=greenlight_email&utm_campaign=GreenLight

    We can talk about resolution of the models or other issues that allow the models to underestimate the risk of deadly heat event, but if scientists are surprised, then the models and scientists have failed to identify and accurately predict the timing of emergence of an important milestone in AGW.

    I understand wanting to jump to the defense of climate scientists. I share that inclination, but we don’t have to attack the scientists, even those who miss the mark in a meaningful way in the application of the science to recognize and speak out about the need to err on the side of caution with AGW. It also makes sense to note that to date, we have not erred on the side of caution. Our collective response to AGW is woeful. The woes may be with us now. Don’t waste time and energy trying to score debating points, use your time and energy to communicate the evidence, to dumb down the science so that even a red stater with weak knowledge of science and the scientific method might begin to connect the dots.

    When climate activists engage in circular firing squads over arcane details of the climate disaster, they make an egregious mistake. Our energy needs to be directed at helping the red staters understand how to spot a hoax accurately and how to spot when right wing demagogues are perpetrating a public relations hoax for their own benefit.

    I could be wrong about all that.

    CO2?

    Last Week May 3 – 9, 2020 416.83 ppm
    1 Year Ago May 3 – 9, 2019 414.11 ppm
    10 Years Ago May 3 – 9, 2010 392.98 ppm

    More CO2, more heat, right?

    Cheers

    Mike

  21. 71
  22. 72
    cctpp85 says:

    “So, yeah, there’s very definitely support in the literature for possible ice-free minima before mid-century, and maybe well before mid-century.”

    Hello, what is the rate of success of the literature compared to that of the IPCC analysis since 1990?

    I think that the literature does not mind about the false alarm rate.
    Each time they find arguments towards worst scenarios, they write them out.
    It can be interesting in a precaution strategy, but you can not define any forecasting skill and success from that.

  23. 73
    MA Rodger says:

    Both GISS and NOAA have posted April global temperature anomalies. Both show April 2020 with the lowest anomaly of the year-to-date although GISS records April 2020 as the warmest April on record at +1.16°C ahead of Aprils 2016 (+1.12°C), 2019 (+1.02°C), 2017 (+0.94°C), and 2018 (+0.90°C).
    NOAA puts 2020 as the second warmest at +1.06°C behind 2016 (+1.13°C) while ahead of April 2019 (+0.97°C).
    GISS gives the anomalies for opening months of 2020 as Jan +1.17°C, Feb +1.24°C, Mar +1.19°C, and April’s = +1.16°C, this the =8th warmest anomaly in the GISS all-month record.
    NOAA shows the drop to be a little more strong, the Jan to Apr anomalies now running +1.14°C, +1.17°C, +1.18°C and April’s = +1.06°C, this the 11th warmest anomaly in the NOAA all-month record.

    The table below for GISS, ordered by warmest start-to-year has an identical order as the NOAA equivalent bar the appearance of 1998 in the lower rankings in NOAA.

    …….. Jan-Apr Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.26ºC … … … +1.02ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +1.19ºC
    2017 .. +1.07ºC … … … +0.93ºC … … … 3rd
    2019 .. +1.02ºC … … … +0.98ºC … … … 2nd
    2015 .. +0.87ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 4th
    2018 .. +0.87ºC … … … +0.85ºC … … … 5th
    2010 .. +0.84ºC … … … +0.72ºC … … … 7th
    2007 .. +0.80ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … … 10th
    2002 .. +0.76ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 14th
    2014 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.75ºC … … … 6th
    2005 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … … 9th

    A year-on-year plot of the monthly GISS anmalies here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) gives a visual gauge of the progress of the “scortchyissimo!!!” of 2020, this being without the boost from El Niño obtained by 2016.

  24. 74

    #70, Mike–

    I don’t think your framing is the right one. Take a step back and look at the sequence here.

    The initial paper identifying the 35 C(WB) issue only came out in 2010. Since then, there have been multiple papers examining the prospects that what initially was pretty much a theoretical prediction. They gradually extended the projected scope of the problem.

    Now, in 2020, just 10 years after the first time anyone said “You know, there’s this hard physiological limit and we should look at this,” we see observations that for the first time show there are some limited ‘flickers’ of this phenomenon in the real world:

    “…two stations that have already reported multiple daily maximum TW values above 35°C. These conditions, nearing or beyond prolonged human physiological tolerance, have mostly occurred only for 1- to 2-hours’ duration (fig. S2).”

    (My emphasis–note that that is 2 stations out of ten thousand or more.)

    At any point in the chain of research it would have been possible to characterize everything before that as a failure “to identify and accurately predict.” But what I see is steady, methodical progress in uncovering something important. Surprise is kind of the goal of science–not a marker of failure.

  25. 75
    mike says:

    KM says: …didn’t the data exist that showed the level of variation that could be expected at finer resolution than the models could produce?

    The short, literal answer would be “yes.” The observational data revealed the 35*C(WB) spikes. But sorry, not really sure what you’re asking here, as that ‘answer’ seems a bit too obvious. Care to rephrase or expand?

    Mike says, sure. If the answer on resolution is obvious and the chances of lethal levels of heat were also obvious, then why are scientists surprised that it is happening? As you say, this looks predictable and obvious.

    To the extent that these lethal risks have arrived decades before scientists predicted suggests that scientists and their models have largely failed to anticipate and communicate a serious aspect of AGW.

    As an expansion, now… I would suggest that scientists speak out about the failure of the models to anticipate the arrival time of deadly heat spikes. That’s may be hard to do, because, you know… none of us enjoying saying to someone else, well, I was wrong about something important in a field where I am considered an expert and now some of you will die. Some of you will die in part because my failure allowed the public and policy makers to think we had more time than we do to address global warming in a very, very serious manner. I apologize about my failure in this matter and I wish to state forcefully now that we are out of time with AGW. We have to make big, big changes now. Delays in making big, big changes will increase the number of folks who will die as a result of AGW.

    When redstaters say, oh, the scientists have it all wrong, it would be helpful to be able to point to a statement like the one above and say to the redstaters: You are correct to a certain extent. The scientists have pretty consistently gotten this wrong, but not the way you think. The scientists have consistently underestimated the risk and speed of AGW change. We have to change and we have to do it now.

    Aside from all the public policy communication on AGW, we need to be discussing the climate refugee issues that will arise this year when areas of the plan pass into temp and humidity ranges that kill human beings.

    Have you read something like that wrt this particular issue? Did I miss it?

    Cheers

    Mike

  26. 76
    mike says:

    More on lethal heat arriving sooner than expected:

    from this https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2833.epdf?sharing_token=L-7FO59mZdOsm0bxYbiDedRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0N3QXVogpPnIlomE3p8TRuOqwd2479gl4UoOPvtr0F_WofViwU4kbg0nbthNaOQJdTxmn8yim37USn1Zz4URjOeYSBPJlNBFXK-P0PxzMmDwQiF_IH-z1S2Nd7V4QlY49PaNFXYgKDHWvHDLgx3HnCnNC37rmezUinubAzyTYHXtHogI0FcM3rtCfoRaW3t1B8kzEIDhDq1LPpBs06OUqv44B2IK5KGfR8ngUYgwuVJ-aO5k4fSFWX8pPQtbExMi-AMaGwRiqjEU7wmWQCSwxQCGc77cImTG5D16tjJcRQ2Nh5zOHDeCRvzkIblXFCm0peSqibPdeh308sTv2fqErCIXIf6Sdcam4rEjm3ZkheZ6bNli3GWmOrpYUFmlZya-snDx7tDlixdcpHgjZp9oewLbXv0-XI47WA0AftuYN-Y1dKKJfxJ4l–8Jhp1pZgKnsAPr5O22NblIQsyKogRqAe&tracking_referrer=www.theguardian.com

    “To predict impacts of future climate change towards the end of the century (2071–2100), two GHG concentration scenarios are assumed, based on the IPCC Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) trajectories: RCP4.5 (ref. 20) and RCP8.5 (ref. 21). RCP8.5 represents a business-as-usual scenario, whereas RCP4.5 considers mitigation. Under RCP8.5, the area characterized by TWmax exceeding 31 ◦ C expands to include most of the Southwest Asian coastal regions adjacent to the Gulf, Red Sea and Arabian Sea (Fig. 1). Furthermore, several regions over the Gulf and surrounding coasts exceed the 35 ◦ C threshold.”

    So, competent scientists thinking hard about this subject in 2015 predict several regions over the Gulf and surrounding coasts will exceed the 35 degree threshold in the period 2071-2100 based on BAU pathway. Now, in 2020, 5 years later, the time frame for lethal heat has moved forward by 50 years.

    I think the news reports are accurately reporting that lethal heat is arriving sooner than expected (by about 50 years) and that scientists are surprised by the early arrival.

    It’s a bit like being killed by a “near miss” in an artillery training when a shell goes off on the deck instead of getting lobbed into the artillery range to explode.

    I think Pal & Eltahir are representative, I did not cherry pick their paper to make this look worse than it may be.

    What’s the point? I kinda think a reasonable person might read this info, reflect momentarily and say, well, this is pretty bad news. And this unfortunate news fits in a consistent pattern where the AGW projections and impacts have gotten more severe and earlier than predicted over and over. The pattern on missing the target is clearly toward having shells explode on deck rather than seeing shells lobbed completely over the target range.

    But, hey, maybe some heat deaths and climate refugee issues are like the covid deaths from opening the economy too soon: deaths that just have to happen because the economy is that important.

    These issues seem sufficient to me to support some discussion. Opinions may vary on what is worth discussion.

    Cheers

    Mike

  27. 77
    nigelj says:

    Mike @70 says “Our energy needs to be directed at helping the red staters understand how to spot a hoax accurately and how to spot when right wing demagogues are perpetrating a public relations hoax for their own benefit.”

    Good point. skepticalscience.com has great information about how to spot hoaxes and conspiracy theories:

    https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ConspiracyTheoryHandbook.pdf

    The following skepticalscience.com article relates to identifying logical fallacies and other misleading arguments.

    https://crankyuncle.com/a-history-of-flicc-the-5-techniques-of-science-denial/

  28. 78
    Chuck says:

    Mr. Know It All says:
    13 May 2020 at 4:10 PM

    “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

    That’s always been true for idiots. Don’t let it get you down.

  29. 79
    Al Bundy says:

    mike: I think adding in the number from ten years ago is helpful.

    AB: I agree. Perhaps add the deviations? as in…

    Last Week May 3 – 9, 2020 416.83 ppm
    1 Year Ago May 3 – 9, 2019 414.11 ppm 2.72ppm
    10 Years Ago May 3 – 9, 2010 392.98 ppm 2.39ppm/yr

    So, even with Covid19 May started out worse than the ten year average.
    ___

    Mr Doofus: There’s nothing new under the sun.

    AB: Well, nothing new under your hat. Same ol’ “Ignore the planetary average temp, which, by the way, includes all the warm air that got displaced to the Arctic so as to feed on Greenland’s or Scandinavia’s or Siberia’s ice or evergreen cap [I’m confident enough to post through MY hat] and sweep under the rug that wide deviations/blocking patterns/etc is an exact expected signature of warming. Instead, stridently reject context and focus on this teensy bit of the planet that has a name that makes it a part of you, makes it Real. Compared to that Personal [imagine the suffering] Connection, all those sciency guys are Fake News”.

    Get a new act.

  30. 80
    Piotr says:

    (65): “Cold temperature records shattered in eastern US last weekend”
    It seems that Mr. Know it All does not know … the difference between local weather and global climate. I guess great minds think alike:
    “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS
    Whatever happened to Global Warming?”
    Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump, (ALSO after a few days of colder weather in eastern US).
    Have you drunk your Lysol yet, Mr KIA?

  31. 81
    Killian says:

    Re #57 Alastair B. McDonald said When are you going to wake up to the fact that adaptation is not an option. Severe mitigation is the only answer.

    Good luck trying to get that through anyone’s heads here. I’ve been saying it for a decade.

  32. 82

    cctpp85, #72–

    Hello, what is the rate of success of the literature compared to that of the IPCC analysis since 1990?

    Hello, yourself.

    The IPCC analysis *is* the literature, basically. The periodic Assessment Reports are essentially huge literature reviews. So your question is mis-framed.

    As to the “success rate”, well, we won’t know that until we hit some of the ‘milestones’, like that first sub-1 million km2 annual minimum, will we? The famous Maslowski projection of a possible ice-free Arctic minimum in 2016, =/- 3 years has finally been falsified, as 2019 came and went with the lowest minimum still 2012’s 3.3 million. But that was very much an outlying projection, and certainly *not* in any Assessment Report!

    I think that the literature does not mind about the false alarm rate. Each time they find arguments towards worst scenarios, they write them out.

    Yes, typically along with a best estimate and a best case. It’s called “sampling the uncertainty.”

    It can be interesting in a precaution strategy, but you can not define any forecasting skill and success from that.

    No, not if you fail to characterize uncertainty, which is why most researchers try to do that if at all possible.

    Of course, it’s another story with what media chooses to cover and to highlight. In climate as in other areas, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

  33. 83
    Uli says:

    Is there some analysis already from the last months observations to better estimate the aerosol forcing?
    The large changes in aerosol emissions should be very useful to narrow down the uncertainty.

  34. 84
    Guest (O.) says:

    @Stefan Rahmstorf: new article from the social scientists (scientists?!?), who help feeding the AGW-deniers agenda:

    CO2-Hokuspokus: Rettungsversuche am Klimawandel-Mythos
    https://sciencefiles.org/2020/05/14/co2-hokuspokus-rettungsversuche-am-klimawandel-mythos/

    They not only, but sometimes write about climate science, using scientific language, but I already saw them cherry-picking and misinterpreting things.
    Would be nice to have some reply from the expert on their articles.

    Other articles that might be worth looking at:

    Die seltsame Erwärmung der Schweiz in den Daten der NASA
    https://sciencefiles.org/2019/07/23/die-seltsame-erwarmung-der-schweiz-in-den-daten-der-nasa/

    They completely ignore, that the slope of both graphs is nearly the same. There even was a commenter pointing to this fact. But it did not help.

    Another one:

    Homogenisierung oder Fälschung der Klima-Daten? Wie MeteoSwiss und NASA werkeln
    https://sciencefiles.org/2019/07/24/homogenisierung-oder-falschung-der-klima-daten-wie-meteoswiss-und-nasa-werkeln/

    Maybe these articles are something, S.Rahmstorf could pick up for his Klimalounge-Blog…

  35. 85
    mike says:

    at KM: we disagree, but as usual, we are not far apart and we are civil.

    KM says “But what I see is steady, methodical progress in uncovering something important. Surprise is kind of the goal of science–not a marker of failure.”

    I would say wrt emergence of lethal heat episodes, the goal of the science should not be surprise.

    In matter where humans and ecosystems wilt and die, the goal of the science might be to accurately predict emergence of threats so that we can avoid the threats. And that leads to a second area of disagreement:

    in response to “… the literature does not mind about the false alarm rate. Each time they find arguments towards worst scenarios, they write them out.”

    KM says “Yes, typically along with a best estimate and a best case. It’s called “sampling the uncertainty.””

    I say: if I am following that discussion correctly, you are suggesting that it is a solid practice to write out the high impact/low probability outcomes.

    I think it makes sense for the science to mention the high impact, low probability outcomes and to avoid writing them out.

    ?

    Mike

  36. 86

    #85, mike–

    I would say wrt emergence of lethal heat episodes, the goal of the science should not be surprise.

    If science didn’t accept the possibility for surprise, these 35WB(C) ‘flickers’ would still be unknown, right? The commitment to continued questioning is going to generate surprise just as it generates new knowledge and understanding. There’s no way to avoid surprise except to avoid investigation.

    I think it makes sense for the science to mention the high impact, low probability outcomes and to avoid writing them out.

    ?

    I agree whole-heartedly with your question mark.

    I wasn’t sure exactly what cc-whoosis meant by “write out,” which was one reason I didn’t use his terminology. I’m still less sure what you may understand by it.

    But provisionally, I’ll say that I think there are times when it definitely makes sense to explicate high-impact, low-probability scenarios, as for instance James Hanson has done WRT sea level rise.

  37. 87
    John Pollack says:

    Mike @76 You’re doing an invalid comparison between studies.
    “So, competent scientists thinking hard about this subject in 2015 predict several regions over the Gulf and surrounding coasts will exceed the 35 degree threshold in the period 2071-2100 based on BAU pathway. Now, in 2020, 5 years later, the time frame for lethal heat has moved forward by 50 years.”

    The 2015 Pal and Etahir study was looking at 1) ensemble averages 2) of a regional climate model with a 25km grid spacing 3) with the maximum wet bulb temperature averaged over 6 hours.

    The 2020 Raymond et al study looks at maximum hourly readings at a particular location. These were sharp peaks, rather than 6-hour events (see figure S5).

    If you want to take The Guardian’s word that “scientists were surprised” so be it. Personally, I would be very surprised if point data failed to show greater extremes than model data that had been spatially smoothed two different ways, and time-smoothed in addition!

    I would conclude that temperature/humidity conditions are pushing the limits of human tolerance right now in semi-desert areas in close proximity to hot oceans. Conditions will worsen further as these oceans continue to heat up.

  38. 88
    Al Bundy says:

    mike: Our energy needs to be directed at helping the red staters understand how to spot a hoax accurately and how to spot when right wing demagogues are perpetrating a public relations hoax for their own benefit.

    I could be wrong about all that.

    AB: That depends. Does “preaching to the choir” work when you’re preaching that their preachers are wrong and their god doesn’t exist?

    mike (to Kevin): I would say wrt emergence of lethal heat episodes, the goal of the science should not be surprise.

    AB: Me, too. I think that scientists who cling to 1800s definitions about the Glory of Science and How It Should Always and Forever be Removed From Normal Human Thought and Practice are…

    effing 200 years out of date.

    When Science was a Gentlemen’s Game the old rules made sense. Now that science actually affects reality (as opposed to merely allowing for technical advancements), those old axioms are just another way for stupidity to take over. When a TYPICAL amateur poster with a scientific bent can beat a “Professional” 7 times out of 10 the system is broken. As if “It’s worse than we professionals thought (and way closer to what the amateurs thought)” is some sort of commendation, especially when the same scenario is repeated time after time after time.

    Seriously, when the World Series winners are consistently beaten by T-ballers…

    If you had to bet on Killian or Mann on sea level rise (or whatever) in 2070, would you bet on the (relatively) uneducated comment-person or on the seriously educated world-class scientist?

    Why are you having to think? Shouldn’t it be a brain-dead obvious bet?

    It would be IF the scientific method beat every other technique. Kind of like Capitalism screaming about how it and it alone is Perfect.

    NEWS FLASH: Capitalism and the Scientific Method are hundreds of years old and so almost certainly obsolete as originally conceived.

    And yes, this is a “provoking” post designed for response as opposed to proving itself perfect.

  39. 89
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: Good luck trying to get that through anyone’s heads here. I’ve been saying it for a decade.

    AB: Doofus. Give us a SINGLE quote that supports your contention that the non-denialists (aka “regulars”) here support adaptation along with the total abandonment of mitigation. Are you living in “opposite land”, where everyone’s comments are replaced by their opposite? Is that why I’ve been befuddled by your claim to be the only human on Earth who understands anything? Cuz other folks’ valid thoughts are opposited by your unique brain structure?

  40. 90
    Al Bundy says:

    Kevin McKinney: The IPCC analysis *is* the literature, basically. The periodic Assessment Reports are essentially huge literature reviews. So your question is mis-framed.

    AB: Bull. The IPCC analysis is the literature as warped and degraded as much as possible by fossil fueled governments.

    As to the rest, climate scientists are by definition human, and so by definition as dumb as dirt. The odds that an organization populated by the dumb as dirt who are also certain that they aren’t dumb as other folks (whom they agree are dumb as dirt) will avoid Feynman’s “first rule”, the Speed Bump of Fooling Oneself, are damn near zero.

    Climate scientists are stupid. Just like the rest of us.

  41. 91
    Al Bundy says:

    Killian: “This probably doesn’t need to be said but planning for low probability, high impact, worst case scenarios is looking pretty smart right now.” Gavin Schmidt

    Thanks for the shout out.

    AB: LOLOLOL!!!! Gavin said NOTHING about you.

  42. 92
    nigelj says:

    Al Bundy @89

    “When a TYPICAL amateur poster with a scientific bent can beat a “Professional” 7 times out of 10 the system is broken. As if “It’s worse than we professionals thought (and way closer to what the amateurs thought)” is some sort of commendation, especially when the same scenario is repeated time after time after time.”

    Yes some posters are predicting things a bit more accurately than scientists, but probably not because they are better at science or because science is broken. It’s because the IPCC is proven to be a bit conservative in some of its conclusions, probably explained by a tendency for scientists working as a body tend to be a bit conservative when stating conclusions, to avoid being ridiculed etc, and the IPCC summary for policy makers being possibly politically influenced. It is not proof that amateurs are doing better in terms of scientific thinking. Another way of saying it is its easy for arm chair experts to make bold predictions for which they wont be held to account for.

    “NEWS FLASH: Capitalism and the Scientific Method are hundreds of years old and so almost certainly obsolete as originally conceived.”

    I realise you are probably tossing a grenade to provoke thought, but its actually quite hard to see how we can improve on the basic scientific method of observation, experiment, hypothesis, theory etc apart form a few additive improvements (use of computer modelling?). There simply might not be a better basic tool for understanding the world. It doesn’t achieve perfect results instantly which frustrates Mike, but that is not a reason to throw our trust in someone who waves their hands with some half baked alternative to science. We just have to be patient.

    Imho capitalism does look like it’s more of a work in progress, and your ideas to fix it look good.

    “Ab to Killian : Give us a SINGLE quote that supports your contention that the non-denialists (aka “regulars”) here support adaptation along with the total abandonment of mitigation.”

    I think killian was just claiming nobody saw the need for severe mitigation. It depends on how one defines severe. Most people here certainly support robust solutions that go the full way. I dont see the need for his severe, austere prescription, because its not convincing to me and we have other alternatives such as a new energy grid, and a whole range of possible negative emissions approaches.

  43. 93
    Michael Sweet says:

    When challenged about “record cold temperatures” a good website to refer to is NOAA’s record temperature page https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records.

    I see that for daily temperatures in the USA in the last 365 days there were 53,000 hot records and 37,000 cold records. hardly a cooling issue.
    For the harder to attain monthly records there were 3,400 hot records and 2,500 cold records.
    For the most difficult all time records there were 176 hot records and 4 cold records. Do you see a trend?
    The global records are similar with 718 all time hot records and 23 cold records.

    According to Maximiliano Herrera at Jeff Masters blog https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records at major global weather stations in April there were 34 all time monthly heat records set (not tied) and zero cold records. For this year so far there have been 45 monthly national heat records set and only 1 national monthly cold record set. Maximiliano Herrera has a website with many temperature records (mostly hot records).

    It is easy for losers to cherry pick a newspaper headline about a few daily temperature records. There will always be a few days at a few locations where the record is unusually hot and a not very cold day can set a record. All time records that relate to global warming show that the globe is heating rapidly.

  44. 94
    Michael Sweet says:

    Jeff Masters blog post on warm April temperatures is at https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/eye-of-the-storm/april-2020-earths-2nd-warmest-april-on-record/

    Maximiliano Herrera’s website is http://www.mherrera.org/temp.htm

  45. 95
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Al Bundy: “NEWS FLASH: Capitalism and the Scientific Method are hundreds of years old and so almost certainly obsolete as originally conceived.”

    I think we have to be very careful to define what we mean when we say “science” and “the scientific method”. It is not a collection of “facts” or even of theories. Rather, it is a method for reaching reliable understanding of natural phenomena–and specifically of correcting the biases that the human brain imposes on our world to maintain psychological and social equilibrium. The reliable facts that the method reveals–and which people make use of in their daily lives–are a byproduct of the method.

    Looked at that way, it is amazing how well the method has held up. If you read Novum Organum, it reads like a prescription for correcting the ills that plague our own society.

    On the other hand, it presumes that for practitioners of the method, the value of reliable understanding will be self-evident. If a person does not realize that value, then the scientific method is not going to be much help to them or to anyone trying to reason with them.

    The scientific method was never intended for everyone–merely for anyone who wanted to reach reliable understanding. And unfortunately, that will always be a small minority of our species. The most we can hope for is that people become a whole lot smarter when it comes to seeing the value of science.

  46. 96

    AB 88: Capitalism and the Scientific Method are hundreds of years old and so almost certainly obsolete as originally conceived.

    BPL: You have a bad case of “later = better.” Madame would like the *latest* fashion.

  47. 97
    MA Rodger says:

    The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has kicked-off with Tropical Storm Arthur. The predictions for the season are almost all for an above-average season with about 50% more activity, thus ACE at ≈150. (Mind, the +50% is relative to the long-term average. Over the last 25 years 36% have topped ACE=150.)

  48. 98
    mike says:

    at KM 86: I think the possibility of surprise is significantly different from your original “goal of surprise.” I think we both will agree on reflection and some exchange that the possibility of surprise is a feature/possibility of science, but not the goal.

    I looked back and not that your original statement at 74 was “Surprise is kind of the goal of science–not a marker of failure.”

    I am inclined to the position that “surprise is kind of a feature or possibility of science and is not always a marker of failure.”

    I think if “science” is surprised by the emergence and expansion of heat waves that are lethal to human beings, then that is a marker of failure. All of this success/failure stuff can be plotted on a spectrum, it’s not digital – like science is a success or a failure. Science succeeds sometimes and it fails sometimes in the broadest sense of those terms. People sure get defensive when folks suggest that a certain instance falls out there on the failure end of that spectrum.

    I would appreciate it if anyone can point at science papers or studies from anytime after 2000 that did identify and predict the kind of lethal heat waves that are covered in the Guardian article.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  49. 99
    mike says:

    At JP 87: links please to studies or papers since 2000 that suggested emergence/expansion of lethal heat waves that are in the ballpark of what is described in the Guardian article.

    If you had authored such a paper or study, wouldn’t you be speaking up when the Guardian says scientists are surprised? It seems like there would be some natural human impulse to say, “hey, wait a minute. I was not surprised. Here is the paper or study I authored on that question in 20##.” If anyone has spoken up in that way, I am not aware of it.

    It’s a strange and defensive thing that so many folks get their hackles up when anyone points out that the impacts of AGW have been consistently under-estimated by the scientific community.

    https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/11/new-report-finds-costs-of-climate-change-impacts-often-underestimated/

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

    https://www.climatecentral.org/news/report-ipcc-underestimate-assessing-climate-risks-15338

    https://archive.thinkprogress.org/why-climate-scientists-have-consistently-underestimated-key-global-warming-impacts-2342fb09b808/

    https://www.straitstimes.com/world/climate-changing-faster-than-feared-but-why-are-we-surprised

    https://history.aip.org/climate/impacts.htm

    Cheers,

    Mike

  50. 100

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