RealClimate logo


Unforced variations: Jun 2020

Filed under: — group @ 2 June 2020

This month’s open thread on climate science issues.

93 Responses to “Unforced variations: Jun 2020”

  1. 51
    David B. Benson says:

    All and sundry — Around here the hawks and kestrels nest far from town, but those raptors do come hunting in the more open parts. So thanks for the correction.

    Nobody addressed the problem of low reproduction rates for some species, with bats as of particular concern. Once again, consider the posts towards the end of
    https://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/676/foibles-renewables?page=2

  2. 52
    Dan says:

    re: 42. “When they consider the current situation to be a success, it proves that they do not care about the environment; the sad truth is that they ONLY care about political power.”

    Gee, what a surprise, another denier who does not know the difference between the words “truth” and “opinion”. Of course, the real reason they use “truth” is due to their inherent insecurity. They are unable to admit when they are wrong so it must be an absolute like “truth”. It’s always the deniers who flaunt their ignorance whether it is science or simply vocabulary. EP and KIA and textbook examples.

  3. 53

    E-P 46: watermelons

    BPL: You heard it here first, folks. Environmentalists are COMMIES! Green on the outside, but RED on the inside! The only way to stop Stalin is to build 20,000 NUKES! NUKE ‘EM TILL THEY GLOW!

  4. 54

    E-P 47: Actual environmental issues like wind farms killing 1200 tons of flying insects per year in Germany

    BPL: Anyone care to guess how many tons of flying insects there are in Germany?

  5. 55

    E-P 48: Wind turbines kill endangered raptors

    BPL: Not as many as buildings do.

  6. 56
    Chuck says:

    “Some of these we think are vulnerable in the temperature range we’re entering into now,” said Steffen.

    “If we get those starting to tip we could get the whole row of dominos tipping and take us to a much hotter climate even if we get our emissions down.”

    “For example, it appears that the USA is entering a long period of decline in many aspect of its society, with a potential for a more rapid collapse in the coming decade,” said Steffen.

    “As economies deteriorate and as inequalities deepen, more people get disenfranchised, incentivising resistance and sadly sometimes making people look for scapegoats to blame for new or intensifying hardships (e.g. the so-called alt-right),” said Alexander.

    “You’d have to halve the birth rate, you’d have to have net zero immigration, you’d have to go totally renewable energy and double efficiencies in every sector of the economy, and the really key thing is you’d have to reduce the working week over time so that it would become half of what it is,” said Turner.

    “But that would also mean that people wouldn’t have the same level of income and it goes hand in hand with reducing household consumption by half. And unless you do all of those things, you don’t achieve a steady state, sustainable future, and if you leave some things out you’ve got to go even harder at the others.” “I think if we all manage to live a simpler and arguably more fulfilling life then it would be possible still with some technological advances to have a sustainable future, but it would seem that it’s more likely … that we are headed towards or perhaps on the cusp of a sort of global collapse,” Turner told Voice of Action.

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-06-08/collapse-of-civilisation-is-the-most-likely-outcome-top-climate-scientists/?fbclid=IwAR3Htvm1sRO0K0pCXDd8u5Rf60ZHrCRtKtS_4FLaf1J_hDG7QgwTwGIS1q4

  7. 57
    MA Rodger says:

    Unusually Berkeley Earth is the first global surface temperature record to report for May giving a global anomaly of +1.02ºC (using the ice temp=air temp data), the 15th highest monthly anomaly on the BEST all-month record (as it was in the ERA5 re-analysis reported up-thread) and the lowest anomaly of 2020-to-date (Jan to Apr anomalies running +1.11ºC, +1.13ºC, +1.11ºC & +1.12ºC), this also as in ERA5.

    May 2020 is the warmest May in the BEST record (1st also in ERA5), ahead of May 2016 (+0.96ºC), 2017 (+0.92ºC), 2019 (+0.86ºC), followed by May 2014 (+0.84ºC), 2015 (+0.78ºC), 2018 (+0.77ºC), 2010 (+0.75ºC) & 2012 (+0.74ºC).

    After five months, the ‘warmest start-of-year table’ in BEST runs as follows (also showing the calender year averages & rankings).
    …….. Jan-May Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.14ºC … … … +0.97ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +1.11ºC
    2017 .. +1.01ºC … … … +0.86ºC … … … 3rd
    2019 .. +0.94ºC … … … +0.92ºC … … … 2nd
    2010 .. +0.83ºC … … … +0.70ºC … … … 6th
    2018 .. +0.82ºC … … … +0.79ºC … … … 5th
    2015 .. +0.79ºC … … … +0.83ºC … … … 4th
    2007 .. +0.75ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 11th
    2002 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 13th
    2014 .. +0.70ºC … … … +0.69ºC … … … 7th
    2005 .. +0.69ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 8th

  8. 58
    MA Rodger says:

    And hot on the heels of BEST, both GISS and NOAA has posted for May.
    GISS gives a global anomaly of +1.02ºC, the =17th highest monthly anomaly on the GISS all-month record (=20th in NOAA, 15th in BEST and in the ERA5 re-analysis) and the lowest anomaly of 2020-to-date (Jan to Apr anomalies running +1.17ºC, +1.25ºC, +1.19ºC & +1.14ºC), May also the lowest monthly anomaly for 2020 in NOAA, BEST & ERA5.

    May 2020 is the warmest May in the GISS record (1st also in BEST & ERA5, =1st in NOAA), in GISS ahead of May 2016 (+0.96ºC), 2017 (+0.90ºC), 2019 (+0.86ºC), followed by May 2014 (+0.86ºC), 2018 (+0.83ºC), 2015 (+0.79ºC), 2012 (+0.78ºC) & 2010 (+0.76ºC).

    After five months, the ‘warmest start-of-year table’ in GISS runs as follows (also showing the calender year averages & rankings).
    …….. Jan-May Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.20ºC … … … +1.02ºC … … … 1st
    2020 .. +1.15ºC
    2017 .. +1.03ºC … … … +0.93ºC … … … 3rd
    2019 .. +0.99ºC … … … +0.98ºC … … … 2nd
    2018 .. +0.86ºC … … … +0.86ºC … … … 5th
    2015 .. +0.86ºC … … … +0.90ºC … … … 4th
    2010 .. +0.82ºC … … … +0.73ºC … … … 7th
    2007 .. +0.78ºC … … … +0.66ºC … … … 10th
    2014 .. +0.76ºC … … … +0.75ºC … … … 6th
    2002 .. +0.73ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 14th
    2005 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … … 9th

    A graphic of GISS LOTI since 1979 plotting monthly anomalies year-on-year is shown here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’).

  9. 59
    John Pollack says:

    06Z June 15 observation at Greshm Island Airport (OIKQ) Iran: T=36C, Td=34C
    (heat index 69C)

    This refers back to a previous discussion about lethal temperatures.
    Yes, I know that one observation is not equivalent to climate, and that Tw in
    this case is slightly below 35C. However, this observation was on an island in the Persian Gulf, and the cause of the extreme humidity is evaporation from the hot water of the Gulf, which will be heating up more for another month or two.

  10. 60
    Dan says:

    May 2020 continued 2020’s streak of having every single month either be the warmest or second-warmest month on record. 2020 is also on track to be at least among the top five warmest years on record.
    https://climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/may-2020-global-temperatures-tie-record-hottest

  11. 61
    Mr. Know It All says:

    8 – Piotr
    “If you don’t get the reference – a hint: the Earth’s rotation rate has increased by 3 hrs in last 600 Myr, hence cannot explain local temp. records in the last 10 years.”

    No one claimed a change in Earth’s rotation rate was causing warming. The discussion was about how the rotation rate of the Moon affected temperatures on the Moon. Subsequent comments by scientists revealed that they didn’t know with certainty how rotation rate might affect temperatures on the Earth or the Moon. The problem with that is that if your models are based on first principles of physics, you should be able to input the rotational speed, and other data inputs, and the model should give an approximation of the temperatures at various rotation rates. That it isn’t a simple model input may reveal a model error. It’s a heat transfer problem – with slow rotation there is more time to cool at night and also more time to heat when sunlit.

    About the models, I’m sure the code is very complicated – is there a place where non-programmers can go to see an outline, or flow-chart or similar program summary of climate models; just to give an idea of what is going on in the models?

    12 – CCHolley
    “Collapse of the Eurasian ice sheet in less than 100 years? Quote from his linked article:
    But rapid regional warming saw the ice sheet collapse over a period of just 500 years, according to authors of the study published in Nature Geoscience.”

    True, and per the article, the 14 deg C rise in temperatures that caused the collapse occurred over “a few decades”. THAT is the problem. It is important that scientists explain how this occurred, otherwise we cannot exclude the possibility that the same thing is occurring today. At this time, there is no concensus explanation. From the article:

    “Studies of ice cores drilled from the Greenland ice sheet have suggested that the atmosphere above Greenland warmed by up to 14 degrees Celsius in a few decades at this time,” he said.

    “We think that this warming was the main driver of the ice sheet collapse.”

  12. 62
    Greg Guy says:

    Any chance of an article on the situation in Siberia? It appears to be having a massive heatwave, and previously had fires bigger than anything in Australia. Unfortunately, this seems to have received fairly limited news coverage

  13. 63
    nigelj says:

    The pointy end of climate change: “Michigan dam break shows how climate change strains infrastructure. Heavy rainfall events are increasing in the north central and northeastern U.S. Many dams, homes, and streets across the country aren’t ready.”

    https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/06/michigan-dam-break-shows-how-climate-change-strains-infrastructure/

  14. 64
    Guest (O.) says:

    For the researchers:

    With this in mind:
    The International Meeting on Statistical Climatology (realclimate.org)
    I want to mention this:

    What Statisticians Want to Know about Causal Inference and The Book of Why

    Short quote:

    “To summarize, causal modeling, a topic that should be of prime interest to all statisticians, is still perceived to be a “hotly contested topic”, rather than the main frontier of statistical research.”

    Would be nice to get some feedback on this, for example, if J. Pearls work has been considered or even be used in climate science, or if not, if it would be worth looking at it.

  15. 65
    jb says:

    Guest (O.) at 64: His work and the work of other causal theorists has been considered. Like you, I would definitely be interested in hearing what people think.

    Causal counterfactual theory for the attribution of weather and climate-related events, 2016, Bulletin of the AMS, Hannart, Pearl, et. et al. https://journals.ametsoc.org/bams/article/97/1/99/103921/Causal-Counterfactual-Theory-for-the-Attribution

    Probabilities of Causation of Climate Changes, Hannart and Naveau, 2017, AMS, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1712.00063.pdf

    Inferring causation from time series in Earth system sciences, Nature, Runge, Bathiany, et. al., https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10105-3

    Using Causal Effect Networks to Analyze Different Arctic Drivers of Midlatitude Winter Circulation, J. Climate 2016, https://journals.ametsoc.org/jcli/article/29/11/4069/35432/Using-Causal-Effect-Networks-to-Analyze-Different

  16. 66

    KIA, #61–

    On the collapse of the Eurasian ice sheet:

    …we cannot exclude the possibility that the same thing is occurring today.

    Yes, we can: a regional temperature change isn’t a global temperature change.

    Your own source said:

    But rapid regional warming…

    (Emphasis mine.)

    Remember?

    Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s recall that the difficulty of diagnosing what drove climate change 14,000 years ago–a period for which our data consists mostly if not entirely of those scattered proxies which happen to have survived the millennia–does not imply commensurate difficulty in diagnosing today’s intensively instrumented climate system.

  17. 67

    nigel, #63–

    “The pointy end of climate change…”

    For us, it’s fluctuating lake levels, mostly. We considered flood risks to the house, and dismissed them. (So far, that dismissal seems to be entirely valid, I’m glad to say, and there’s a lot of safety margin.) However, we neglected to consider the potential effects of flooding on docks, with the result that we have nothing except disappointment, many hours of lost time spent in the demolition of a wreck, and some Facebook pictures, to show for the $11,000 or so we spent having one built. We don’t even have a relationship with the dock builder, who can’t even be bothered to come round and look.

    So, we’re considering what to build back and how to do it. Going to have to do it myself, I think; we don’t have any more thousands to throw away. I think it’s going to be a floating design. Call it ‘climate change adaptation,’ because I think that heavy downpours are just going to keep getting more frequent–and when it happens upstream, look out!

  18. 68
    Piotr says:

    Mr. KIA (1) “No one claimed a change in Earth’s rotation rate was causing warming”

    Piotr: So why the excitement on the website devoted to climate _change – by a global warming denier, shouting with capital letters:
    “HOLY COW! Thanks, I never considered the effect of rotation rate! Do earth climate science models not take into account the 24 hour rotation? [CC scientists] Everyone – back to the physics books!” Mr. Know It All (3)

    KIA: “Subsequent comments by scientists revealed that they didn’t know with certainty how rotation rate might affect temperatures on the Earth or the Moon.”

    Piotr: You mean responses to the full-of-himself ignoramus who had just projected his own ignorance onto others (“[CC scientists] – back to the physics books!”)? Like BPL (6): “You could look it up, but you won’t, so I’ll answer your question: Of course they do. They use the Navier-Stokes equations for fluid motion, and a big part of that is the Earth’s rotation, and more importantly, its differential rotation with latitude (e.g. Coriolis force).”
    So … Know It All Yet Cannot Read?

    KIA: “About the models, I’m sure the code is very complicated – is there a place where non-programmers can go to see an outline, or flow-chart or similar program summary of climate models; just to give an idea of what is going on in the models?”

    So let me get right- you FIRST lecture climate change modellers: “HOLY COW! […] Everyone – back to the physics books!” and THEN you admit that you know … nothing about their models, nor even have the slightest idea about the elementary physics (Coriolis effect)???

    If you and the Enron’s PR guy from the parallel thread are the best minds to represent climate change deniers, then you guys are truly scraping the bottom.
    ====
    Piotr

  19. 69
    John Pollack says:

    Mr. Know It All @61 “The problem with that is that if your models are based on first principles of physics, you should be able to input the rotational speed, and other data inputs, and the model should give an approximation of the temperatures at various rotation rates.”

    The rotation speed of the Earth is incorporated into the model physics as part of the equations of atmospheric motion, which are covered in a first course in dynamic meteorology required of any meteorology major. These take the form of the coriolis parameter, geostrophic flow relationships, and vorticity equations. The same would be true of the ocean for a coupled climate model. However, these basic physical relationships are tied into a huge number of interactions that make up the climate. There is no simple – or single – answer to “if the rotation speed is x, then the Earth’s average surface temperature must be y.” Not only that, since the rotation speed is essentially constant over the time period of a model climate simulation, there is no practical need to pull it out of the coding and treat it as a variable. The coding effort goes into stuff that varies over short enough periods to make a difference.

    Rotation speed can be, and is, taken into account when trying to model the atmospheres of other planets, or this planet in the distant geologic past. However, this is a different modeling problem than was being discussed here. So is the Moon. The discussion was basically about the thermal conductivity of the lunar surface, which is poorly sampled.

  20. 70
    Killian says:

    The climate system has tipped. May gods have mercy on us all.

    https://twitter.com/mikarantane/status/1274279541075312640?s=19

  21. 71
    Killian says:

    Re 56:

    Told you, people. Listen or collapse and die-off.

    Choose.

  22. 72

    KIA 61: Subsequent comments by scientists revealed that they didn’t know with certainty how rotation rate might affect temperatures on the Earth or the Moon.

    BPL: Sure they do. This is something that has been discussed in the literature at least since Blanco and McCuskey in 1961. Want the math?

  23. 73
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    I have a fairly basic climate science question. I was wondering about the connection between a warming atmosphere and the water cycle.

    As a general principle, the warmer air gets, the more water it can hold. The air in the atmosphere is warming due to climate change, I surmise that more moisture could go from terrestrial and oceanic sources into the air.

    I’m wondering about the physical processes involved. I am also curious about what will happen if warmer air does pull water from terrestrial sources. What, if any, are the larger effects. For example, ecosystem effects, like a forest becomes drier as a result of increased evaporation and might transition into a grassland, or societal effects, like irrigation for agriculture or surface man-made reservoirs.

    Could someone point me to a primer and some more in-depth papers?

    It’s been a long time since I’ve commented on RC. I read the posts regularly, but not so much the comments. The topics of the comments are different, but the general tone seems to be how it was before, the more things change, the more things stay the same I guess.

  24. 74
    Piotr says:

    E-P” (41): While you’re smirking, a mountain of proof is accumulating that everything I’ve been saying for years is true.

    Piotr: If you read to what my “smirk” was referring to, then you would have known that your “mountain” … has nothing to do with my “smirk” – I was smirking at the hutzpah of the guy who claimed:

    “I stated assumptions, and went to conclusions based on those assuumptions.I note that you have no specific objections to my conclusions” E-P

    doing that in response to my posts in which I … identified at least 5 assumptions he didn’t “state”, not meeting even one of them would have rendered his “conclusions” meaningless. Hence my “smirk” from his claim.

    E-P: Your wind and PV are capable of providing maybe 50% coverage, without massive storage. If your base load is not hydro or nuclear, it must be fossil.

    Piotr: As explained to you _repeatedly_ – this discussion IS NOT about BASELOAD, but about BACK-UP for the wind/solar baseload – i.e. “When the wind stops blowing” (David Benson) and when “sometimes almost the entire continent of Europe is becalmed” (Engineer Poet).
    The distinction is crucial because for the _back-up_ you need only a fraction of the energy you would need for baseload – you run water over the turbines not all the time but only when the wind and PV drop, and the demand is high.
    With the current US electricity generation: hydro 6%, wind 4.7%, and Solar 0.6%, there have been more than enough hydro to the back up of all existing wind and solar – thus proving that David Benson has LIED when he claimed:

    “the weather dependence of wind and solar HAS LED to an INCREASE in the use of [fossil] fuels as ‘backup’.DBB May: 18):

    and so where “Engineer Poet” in defense of DBB (18) he claimed
    “you’re at 112% of the CCGT emissions figure. You’ve actually gone backwards from what you could do with all-fossil.” (E-P May: 34)

    which numbers he calculated based on his ( unspoken) assumption that for the backup of wind and solar… we won’t use, even in part, hydro, but only fossil fuels – and for those – from his own data he chose for some reason … the less effective one.

    Talk about cherry-picking of the assumptions and data to support your opinions on the renewables (“gone backwards from what you could do with all-fossil” E-P)

    Piotr

  25. 75
    Brian Rich says:

    I am not a climate scientist. Can someone tell me about whether Greta Thunberg’s recent claim that

    “The climate- and ecological crisis can no longer be solved within today’s political and economic systems. That’s not an opinion. It’s just simple maths.”

    is correct? Her evidence is in a 75-minute podcast.

    https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1274618877247455233

  26. 76
    Piotr says:

    To the moderators – could you please move my (74) from this thread to the “Forced Responses -June” thread where it belongs? Thanks

    Piotr

  27. 77
    MA Rodger says:

    Brian Rich @75,
    I do draw the line at listening to a 75-minute argument. If something is worth saying, write it down and if it doesn’t fit on a single side of A4 it is too long. And if you cannot shorten it to fit, it’s probably because your argument isn’t yet evolved enough to be well understood, even by you.
    That said, I think the message from Greta Thunberg is not so much one of climatology but one of mitigation of AGW & the ending of our GHG emissions. (As such this is off-topic on this thread but this thread can survive the odd off-topic comment.)
    But to allow for big letters on that single sheet of A4. In direct reply to your question ‘Is Greta correct?’ the answer is a big fat YES.

    IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report of 2014) sets out in Table 2.2 on p64 a post-2011 budget of 600 Gt(CO2) [=164Gt(C)] to give a 50% chance of keeping global temperatures from rising +1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. Despite world leaders professing to have heard the message, the proof of the pudding suggests otherwise.

    The Global Carbon Project assesses the CO2 emissions 2012-2018 as totalling 78.55Gt(C), thus leaving a remaining budget of 85Gt(C). A year-&-a-half after 2018, the remaining budget is almost certainly dropped to below 70Gt(C).
    As for cutting our CO2 emissions, consider an allegedly shining example of progress in reducing national CO2 emissions. Consider my neck of the woods – the United Kingdom. The UK can boast a 40% reduction in per capita domestic emissions since 1990. But there the good news stops. Two-thirds of the UK reduction was achieved by exporting the emissions and importing-emissions-free the goodies. And most of the rest of the reduction was achieved by swapping coal for natural gas which means we still remain almost wholly dependent on CO2-emitting FFs.
    UK renewable power amounts to just 5.5% of end-user power and a third of that is powered by imported wood chips. With significant reductions in energy-use looking a forlorn hope, we are reliant on renewables to quickly replace all our FF-powered energy. So without importing massively more wood chips, renewables will have to expand over twenty-fold to achieve zero emissions. And I think I mentioned that the CO2-emissions budget is fast running out. So time is of the essence.

    In her 75-min argument, Greta Thumberg apparently accuses the emperors of having no clothes. “The emperors are naked. Every single one. It turns out our whole society is just one big nudist party.” Perhaps the image conjured up is a bit grotesque, but with a Tory regime rulling here in UK, consider the most conscientious of those in that Tory regime (before Boris kicked quite a few of them out); even the continue to speak words that are as empty as the Emperor’s wardrobe.

  28. 78
    David B. Benson says:

    Dusty Caribbean:
    https://phys.org/news/2020-06-sahara-blankets-caribbean-air-quality.html

    Attributable to climate change?

  29. 79
    CCHolley says:

    RE. Mr. Know Nothing @61

    True, and per the article, the 14 deg C rise in temperatures that caused the collapse occurred over “a few decades”. THAT is the problem. It is important that scientists explain how this occurred, otherwise we cannot exclude the possibility that the same thing is occurring today.

    Total BS. As noted by others this was a regional event. So not relevant. And it certainly is not important at all that scientists explain how this occurs. We have another unfounded assertion from a clueless ignoramus not interested in scientific truth yet willing, with zero expertise, to make bold claims of what is important for scientists.

    This, of course, is just another ridiculous attempt at a tiresome denier meme–that any past climate change for which the exact causes cannot be explained leaves an opening in our understanding of the possible causes of the current warming. This is simply not true. The physics behind what causes the earth’s global surface temperature to be what it is, is well understood. There just are no unknown drivers of climate yet to be discovered that can be applied to today’s situation other than perhaps magic. Just because the exact reasons for a particular climate change incident in the past may not be determinable due to a lack of evidence certainly does not mean we do not understand what all the possibilities might have been. We know. Just like we know all the possibilities today. Today, however, with the actual evidence from instrumental records of multiple parameters over many years we can quite accurately, albeit not perfectly, make attribution judgements of the contribution of warming for each of the possibilities.

  30. 80
    Killian says:

    75 Brian Rich said:

    I am not a climate scientist. Can someone tell me about whether Greta Thunberg’s recent claim that

    “The climate- and ecological crisis can no longer be solved within today’s political and economic systems. That’s not an opinion. It’s just simple maths.”

    is correct? Her evidence is in a 75-minute podcast.

    https://twitter.com/GretaThunberg/status/1274618877247455233

    Yes. It has been true for at least ten years. In fact, because you cannot separate the state of Nature from the climate equation, it’s always been true because virtually nothing non-aborigine humans currently do is sustainable. Nope, not even so-called renewables.

  31. 81
    Guest (O.) says:

    @jb, #65: Thank you for the links.

    IMO climate sciences is an ideal field, where Pearl’s work
    can be used, because it’s a mix of causality (physics laws, physic-based models) and statistics (measurements of temperature, pressure, wind velocity, CO2-concentration in air and ice-cores etc.).

    So, it could be used for making explicit and available via graph theory (and therefore formalisms), what otherwise would need to use language (which can be rather unsharp).

    I’m a friend of using more rigorous formalisms in science, at least additionally.
    This could make things clearer for the scientists and the non-scientists. It also would allow computerized exploration of scientific implications (in the narrow sense of logics as well as in the wider sense of implications for the society).

    The so called AI approach brings some problems, which IMO could be solved/adressed with a more formal approach in scientific papers itself. (As opposed to usual style and later reverse-engineeering approaches via so called AI / machine learning.)

    Also I think, it could be a good tool to convince that sort of sceptics, who are just overwhelmed by the material, or do not know that so many “sceptics arguments” already have been falsified. A formal approach could then easily show “this argument has been explored 17 years ago and was falsified, see database entry xyz”.

    But what do the climate scientists think of it?

  32. 82
    Alastair McDonald says:

    Greta Thuberg is autistic, and so is not vulnerable to emotional arguments. She is just stating the obvious fact. I expect that most other replies to your question will be coloured by optimism, and a refusal to face up to the ugly truth.

    An example of the problem is the Greenland ice sheet. The only way to stop it melting and causing the inundation of most major cities and much agricultural land is to decrease atmospheric CO2. We are unable to stop atmospheric CO2 increasing.

    In a world order where rabble rousing politicians get elected in the UK, USA, Brazil, and India we cannot expect much help from democracy, Nor can I see Russia or China leading us out of this mess. We are doomed!

  33. 83
    Guest (O.) says:

    @Brian Rich, #75: It’s rather something, economists or philosophers should be asked about (or climate scientists with economic/philosophical thinking).
    But I think I would agree with Greta Thunberg. The greenwashing-thing (she mentioned it too), is the well known way, we know for so long.
    I think, it needs a needs-oriented economy, instead of a economy that only looks at numbers (minimize costs, maximise profits).

    One possible problem is, that to make such things operative, it would need some kind of formalism – and we would need a formalism on quality, not only one on quantity.
    There were already philosophical approaches to create a philosophy of qualities and even a mathematics of qualities. But without a formalism of that kind, it’s fast degenerating into irrational beliefs and speculative philosophy.
    Without the extension of the formal logical apparatus we will either stuck in the quantitative world, missing our goals, or going back to dark ages via irrationalism (counter movement to the quantitative rational world and enlightenment).

    The extension from the current quantitative thinking to the quantitative-and-qualitative thinking would need a transformation from the linear, non-dialectic worldview to a operationable form of dialectics (able to describe structures instead of only values, and to describe different places in the worlds (aka perspectives) as well as feedback-loops (logically, not only by differential equastions)).

    There is ONE philosopher who has layed the (incomplete) groundwork for that, namely Gotthard Guenther (1900-1984).
    But as this is heavy stuff, maybe picking that up and enhancing it until it will be realised as the new paradigm, might need one or two centuries? Too late for the climate problems at hand.
    But worth looking at it. Without that stuff, talking about AI is pure nonsense, because AI is just filtering of data. But consciouness needs that the system with mind can distinguish ITSELF from it’s environment. Thats a dialectical thing, and can’t work on today’s digital-only technology.
    Biology has shown, that minds can exist, but it needs mixed signal apporach: analog plus digital.
    That’s, where quality comes into existence.
    Biology (and virology of course too) would also benefit from that extension of the formal logical apparatus of our science. It’s important not to allow anti-rational movements to take over instead. Enhancing the formal /rational apparatus is not the same as rejecting it. (That’s often a misunderstanding, partially coming from certain french philosophers which became en vogue since some decades and show up in some social movements of today.)

  34. 84
    Colin Rust says:

    In case people haven’t seen it, the excellent reporter Judd Legum (founder of ThinkProgress ,now at Popular Info) has a piece on Facebook creating a fact-checking exemption for climate denial:

    https://popular.info/p/facebook-creates-fact-checking-exemption?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjozODkwNTAzLCJwb3N0X2lkIjo1ODE3NDAsIl8iOiJ3L25pdiIsImlhdCI6MTU5MzAwNTgwMCwiZXhwIjoxNTkzMDA5NDAwLCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTY2NCIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.0u2PffUr769I7aA7AocV3R25lEt2BAYM_yZmb6wqAGw

  35. 85
    Colin Rust says:

    Addendum to my comment above re Facebook overriding fact checkers on climate: That was a joint effort of Legum with Emily Atkin at Heated: https://heated.world/p/facebook-creates-fact-checking-exemption

  36. 86
    David B. Benson says:

    Statistical mechanics for fast climate predictions:
    https://phys.org/news/2020-06-climate-statistical-mechanics.html

  37. 87
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Guest@83,
    I certainly am not optimistic that current economic and political institutions are sufficient to handle climate change, but then I am not sure that humans would be capable of developing institutions that could. In the end, this may be a problem that is simply too complicated for the average human to comprehend–and ultimately survival of a species has to be about the average.

    Ultimately, we already have methodologies for ensuring that we come to reliable understandings and conclusions-those of science. Unfortunately, it appears that there is a substantial plurality of the species that would rather be told what comforts them than be told the truth. I am not sure that the problem is that quantitative reasoning is inadequate to deal with the realities we face–and frankly, I don’t know what other kind of reasoning one could use.

    Mark Twain wrote the epitaph of mankind long ago–“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

  38. 88
    David B. Benson says:

    The sunset tonight was just white and grey against a pale blue. No aerosols to provide color. Nothing from the Puget Sound area. Nothing from the Portland Oregon area. No high specular reflections from the stratospheric aerosols blown over from East Asia.

    I don’t ever recall such a clear air sunset, not even in the oldest days in New Mexico where one could “see forever”.

    I predict a hot summer…

  39. 89
    Killian says:

    Re #83 and #88:

    A system for governance of a regenerative socioeconomic system already exists.

    Regenerative Governance, circa 2011~12.

    https://twitter.com/PermResInitDet/status/1275600337840123905/photo/1

    [Don’t know how to embed a photo. Hopefully, the link works.]

  40. 90
    S.B. Ripman says:

    # 88 David B. Benson: Agree with your prediction. In S. California last evening the sun reflected off fog banks in a pure white glow. The typical admixture of smog isn’t in much evidence.

  41. 91
  42. 92
    David B. Benson says:

    About 6,500 years of global cooling interrupted by the global warming of the last 150 years:
    https://phys.org/news/2020-06-major-paleoclimatology-global-upended-years.html

  43. 93