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Unforced variations: May 2014

Filed under: — group @ 2 May 2014

This month’s open thread. In order to give everyone a break, no discussion of mitigation options this month – that has been done to death in previous threads. Anything related to climate science is totally fine: Carbon dioxide levels maybe, or TED talks perhaps…

394 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2014”

  1. 201
    DIOGENES says:

    Chris Dudley #199,

    “but we are not discussing good things this month.”

    Can you elaborate?

  2. 202
    MARodger says:

    wili @195.
    Headlining “6 degrees C of global temperature increase” may not be the best take-away from DeConto et al (2012) [Full pdf.]. (Note this results from something like a quadrupling of CO2, thus ECS=3ºC.) Remember that the world at the end of the Palaeocene does not present the same climatic picture as we have today. The reservoir of carbon locked into permafrost in the late Palaeocene appears to be much greater than today with 3,500±900GtC released during the PETM(ETM1) and additional releases during the subsequent ETM2 & ETM3. Yet today, for instance, Zimov et al (2006) estimate the current reservoir as 1,600GtC.
    While this may provide a little reassurance with this comparison, our pre-industrial CO2 levels were lower than the late Palaeocene (perhaps a third the level) so to quadruple atmospheric CO2 will today only take a third of the emissions it did during the PETM.
    However, I feel a comparison of today with the PETM should mention the relative slow speed of the permafrost emissions and put this in the context of how quickly this permafrost will melt. The rate of emissions appears to be ‘very slow’ in than, say, Schaeffer et al (2011) Abstract] argue for a permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) by AD2200 of 190 ± 64 GtC. Like SLR, PCF is a challenge we leave with the warmed-up world for future generations centuries-hence to grapple with.

  3. 203
    sidd says:

    From McMillan(2014) doi:10.1002/2014GL060111
    Ice loss in West Antarctica up by 30% in the period 2010-2013 as compared to 2005-2011. Thats a doubling rate of less than 15 yrs


  4. 204
    Chris Crawford says:

    What is wrong with my rough calculation of the increase in ocean temperatures due to AGW:

    anthropogenic forcing: 2 W/m^2
    multiplied by surface area of earth (collecting area): 1.3 * 10^14 m^2 = 2.6 * 10^14 W
    multiply by length of year in seconds (3.1 * 10^7) = 8.0 * 10^21 J/year
    divide by mass of oceans (1.4 * 10^24 g) = 5.7 * 10^-3 J/year-g
    divide by heat capacity of water (4.2 J-g/Kº) = 1.4 * 10^-3 Kº/year

    One millidegree increase per year???? This is way, way, wrong, but I can’t for the life of me see where this simple calculation goes wrong. It should certainly get us into the ball park.

    So what am I doing wrong?

  5. 205
    sidd says:

    Insurance company goes after communities for “failing to prepare for flooding. The suits argue towns should have known climate change would produce more flooding.”

    “Chicago says it is already spending heavily on infrastructure to adapt to changing weather and has a comprehensive Climate Action Plan.

    But the city’s foresight may have made it a target, said Verchick, since Farmers cites the document as evidence officials were aware of the risks.”


  6. 206
  7. 207
    wally says:

    #191 10,900 versus 2,000 GtC, you are wrong.

  8. 208
    wally says:

    Dio re “But, the debate was ‘framed’ to make 2 C the acceptable norm.”

    I suggest considering the temp was set rather than a CO2/CO2e ppm because the former is flaky with severe time lags, and the latter is accurately measurable in real time. It’s a hunch. But if I were “them” that’s exactly what I would do too as it is eminently a ‘rational’ approach to avoid responsibility.

    In the beginning, the max goal was framed as PPM ….. if my memory is ok.

  9. 209
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Can’t stop laughing

    If your doctor says you have high cholesterol and you have a high risk of a heart attack, only idiots go home and search the internet until they find a web site that says cholesterol doesn’t exist.


  10. 210
    idunno says:

    I would like to suggest a possible contributor for a guest post here; Lennart Bengtsson.

    While I suspect that I personally would find LB’s personal politics entirely repulsive, oh Voltaire.

    I have a feeling that LB is currently being abusively manipulated by dark forces, of whom you are all aware; but that he has enough credentials for his scientific opinions to grace these pages.

    His inside story of how the 200+ year tradition of anonymous peer review just got publically pissedallover by the GWPF/Ridley/Times might also be of wider interest.

    Perhaps a debate between one of y’all who sees evidence for a higher ECS OTOH, and LB OTOH?

    [Response: Thanks – great pastiche of the sillier contrarian memes! – gavin]

  11. 211
    Mal Adapted says:

    My new favorite quote:

    Belief in climate change is optional, but participation is mandatory

    Jim Beever, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council

  12. 212
    SecularAnimist says:

    Pete Dunkelberg wrote: “Can’t stop laughing”

    Perhaps you don’t very often read blogs that deal with diet, nutrition and health. The behavior described in the passage that you quoted may sound absurd, but it is VERY common.

    In fact there are a lot of folks who will react to scientific studies showing that meat consumption is linked to multiple serious health risks with a level of denial that would make the most hard core global warming denier blush.

    And just as in the global warming case, they can point to their own “studies” from meat-industry-funded “think tanks” to “prove” that eating lots of bacon is good for you and vegetarians are REALLY the ones more likely to die from a heart attack.

    For that matter there are still folks out there denying any link between tobacco smoke and cancer.

  13. 213
    Hank Roberts says:

    The American Society for Microbiology annual meeting is starting.

    Hat tip to microbiologist and author Joan Slonczewski from her blog which points to this session:

    Global Change Microbiology: Anthropogenic Pressures and Microbial Responses

    The presentations on the schedule are:

    Oceans, Climate, and Human Health: Infectious Diseases Linked to the Environment

    Blighted Harvests: Plant Pathogens in a Changing World

    Winners and Losers in a Changing Climate: Dynamic Models of Marine Microbial Populations

    Walking Thin Ice: Microbial Feedback Mechanisms from a Shrinking Cryosphere

    Disturbance, Adaptation and Selection Drive Greenhouse Gas Production by Terrestrial Microorganisms

  14. 214
    DIOGENES says:

    Wally #208,

    “I suggest considering the temp was set rather than a CO2/CO2e ppm because the former is flaky with severe time lags, and the latter is accurately measurable in real time.”

    I have no problem with A temperature being selected; the problem is with a temperature that has little or no scientific basis, and appears much too high for any degree of safety. Had a temperature of around 1 C been selected as the norm/target, I would have no problem. Then, we would be seeing far different proposals for remediation, and far different conclusions coming from international reports. Yes, the debate was framed to take all of us off the hook, and insure we do little to really solve the problem.

  15. 215
    Hank Roberts says:

    And if you follow the microbiology links — there’s a whole universe of material out there — much modeling starting to be done — and not much discussed in the climate change area.

    This is where the atmosphere can change change following a change in the microbial population of the upper ocean — which can occur very fast, given how fast they reproduce (or don’t).

    Here’s ENSO showing up in the rate of accumulation of ocean carbon (see the arrows across the timeline pointing to marked changes in the rate):
    That’s from among the figures from Jorge L. Sarmiento and Nicolas Gruber’s paper Sinks for anthropogenic carbon, Physics Today, 55(8), 30-36, 2002

    Does this ring any bells for anyone?

    There is an unexpected “glitch” in the CO2 record for the 20th century, a hesitation in the steady steeply rising curve. At one point, for a few years, even a small downturn was recorded. The timing of this unexpected reversal of the pattern coincides with World War II, a time of increased fossil fuel emissions, but, interestingly, also a time of markedly reduced fishing activity. Fishing, whaling and sealing in the North Atlantic Ocean came to a virtual halt during the war. (Was the “biological carbon pump” in the sea therefore able to recoup a bit of its former strength and momentum while the fishermen were otherwise engaged, fighting the war?)

    “Between 1935 and 1945 the atmospheric CO2 concentration was constant, or even declined slightly. The reason for this is unknown.” 3

    Large increases in fish numbers were apparent in the North Sea and elsewhere by the end of the war. The biological activity that built those larger fish stocks seems possibly to have been the same activity that briefly drew down more CO2 from the atmosphere, and caused the “glitch” in the graph. Enough life remained in the sea in 1939 to rally and realize a noticeable gain in a few years. Like a “new growth forest,” re-growing what was cut down, a fish population recovering from a depleted state can act as a carbon sink, and also as a catalyst for faster plant growth. During the wartime break from fishing, marine life in the Atlantic Ocean “inhaled” CO2 deeply, rapidly rebuilding fish stocks, and it seems from the atmospheric record that marine CO2 uptake briefly equalled CO2 exhaled by the ocean in those years.

    Things are different now. Sixty fishing years later the ocean is in much weaker condition. ….

  16. 216
    Chris Dudley says:

    Wally (#207),

    The integral seems to be correct. The number of years seem now to be correct. Perhaps you have just not been paying attention.

  17. 217
    Hank Roberts says:

    More here:
    Has Bill Ruddiman looked at this interpretation anywhere?

    marine productivity has been thought to be “physically forced.” Recognition of the strength of “biological forcing” has been lacking in traditional views, and this is the basis of the arguments offered here, including the reasoning that total productivity can be reduced by significant living biomass removal (fishing). It is speculated here that, besides ecological functions such as floating spawn, one important route of biological forcing that has been missed may be the possibility that vertically migrating zooplankton not only shuttle carbon down to deeper waters, but they may also shuttle ‘new’ nitrogen up to surface waters.

    That latter idea is well developed, e.g.

    What Makes Plankton Migrate?
    Jul 31, 2013 – Diel vertical migration (DVM) is exhibited by plankton all over the ocean, not only zooplankton, but by dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria too….

  18. 218
    Hank Roberts says:

    More here:
    Has Bill Ruddiman looked at this interpretation anywhere?

    marine productivity has been thought to be “physically forced.” Recognition of the strength of “biological forcing” has been lacking in traditional views, and this is the basis of the arguments offered here, including the reasoning that total productivity can be reduced by significant living biomass removal (fishing). It is speculated here that, besides ecological functions such as floating spawn, one important route of biological forcing that has been missed may be the possibility that vertically migrating zooplankton not only shuttle carbon down to deeper waters, but they may also shuttle ‘new’ nitrogen up to surface waters.

    That latter idea is well developed, e.g.

    What Makes Plankton Migrate?
    Jul 31, 2013 – Diel vertical migration (DVM) is exhibited by plankton all over the ocean, not only zooplankton, but by dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria too….

    And this. Why was this so hard to find? Is this ‘outsider science’ that’s not getting traction in the journals? Or am I just looking in the wrong places?

    Marine animals actively helped to lower the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere and increase the oxygen content of the ocean, to the extent that they accelerated nutrient cycling and plant growth.

    Modern Whales and Seals – 25 Million Years Ago

    Modern whales and seals evolved by about 25 million years ago. Birds, fish and sharks still thrived, and the entire assemblage did quite well together.

    Centuries ago, before fishermen began removing fish and their predators, seas were unimaginably full of large healthy animals. The first explorers of the Northwest Atlantic ocean reported that the noise of the great numbers of whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence prevented sleeping at night, that large cod could be caught in baskets lowered into the sea, that fish were so numerous they slowed the progress of ships, that oysters and other invertebrates grew to huge sizes and were extremely abundant, that there were massive colonies of big fat seabirds, and that rivers were so full of giant sturgeon it was dangerous to get in a canoe….

  19. 219
    Hank Roberts says:

    Well, crap. This explains a whole lot.
    Threaten an industry, get squashed?

  20. 220
    sidd says:


    Most of net radiative imbalance goes in the top, so a couple millidegrees averaged over depth sounds about right.

    From the Department of Slightly Dubious Statistics from sidd:

    net radiative imbalance is about the same as the amount of arctic sea ice melted every year. (So far, we might run out soon.)


  21. 221
    sidd says:

    Grrr. something ate a bunch of my previous comment

    it should have read, net radiative imbalance integrated over one year is roughly the same as the latent heat required to melt a volume of ice equivalent to the seasonal melt in Arctic sea ice every year (gross, not net, i mean the difference between the spring max sea ice volume and fall min volume)

    But like i said, we might run out or sea ice in the arctic soon when the seasonal melt hits zero lower bound on volume.


  22. 222
    wallly says:

    #216 – Chris Dudley – wrong assumptions = wrong answer. Keep trying or keep digging.

    #191 10,900 GtC …. WRONG

    Is that clear enough? Probably not (whatever)

  23. 223
    wallly says:

    West Antarctica’s ice sheets collapse [with refs]
    incl “One of those potential fuses is the Totten Glacier, on the margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. In this area, a rift in the Antarctic crust allows sea water to extend hundreds of kilometres under the ice, literally undermining the ice.”

    Observed thinning of Totten Glacier is linked to coastal polynya variability
    Published 05 December 2013

  24. 224
    GlenFergus says:

    Chris @ #204:

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but before we answer, are you seriously interested or out to make trouble?

    [Hints: The forcing applies to the whole surface, not the sun-facing disc. Much ocean mass is at great depths, which so far have warmed little. If one wanted to do rough numbers, it would make more sense to focus on the mixing layer above the thermocline, say maybe 300 m depth.]

  25. 225
    Chris Dudley says:


    We’re not discussing mitigation this month.

    Back when I was in high school and college we worked on ending the nuclear arms race. Part of that was getting Congress to pull the plug on Star Wars. Living in the Senate Majority Leader’s state helped with that for me. But I also spent a semester in Tucson where I worked with David Grinspoon on consciousness raising in the public, promoting the work of Carl Sagan on Nuclear Winter. We sponsored forums and showed a film on the climate effects of nuclear war.

    Similar efforts are going on with bringing an end to global warming. For a while, it looked like the Venus Syndrome might play a role similar to Nuclear Winter. However, the runaway discussed in the Efficacy paper and in “Storms” does not seem likely given the way a bigger atmosphere increases albedo. So, it is interesting to know how far things might go without a runaway.

    It turns out that renewable energy and basic economics can push us much further along than has been previously understood. We can produce a world where little agriculture could take place and only alpine regions at very high latitude could be marginally habitable with assistance from mechanical cooling during heatwaves. We’d have to synthesize food chemically and all nations would be destroyed since their territories would be desolate. Looks like we could do more damage than Nuclear Winter.

    So, exploring the bad stuff may turn out to be a good thing if the result is an an agreed upon rather than controversial doomsday scenario. Ultimately, Nuclear Winter made the nuclear arms race unpatriotic. Renewable energy appears to be able to destroy the American Way of Life by providing much deeper access to fossil carbon pools. That may make our current “All of the above” energy strategy unpatriotic as well.

  26. 226

    #219–Thanks for posting that, Hank. DFO should be a little more open-minded, methinks; their management of the Canadian cod stocks has been a decades-long disaster that has caused hardship to thousands of humans–little say the ecological havoc. I’d think that they might be looking for some different answers by now, but I guess I’d be naive.

    And yes, your #214 does indeed ring a bell or three. It’s fascinating to see a different mechanism proposed to account for the WWII dip which is so striking in the record. Of course, it’s not the only factor in play–I’ve wondered about the aerosol forcings created by combat, such as enormous volumes of smoke from burning cities and oil fields, and the huge dust clouds stirred up by large tank battles in the North African desert, not to mention a big jump in FF emissions on a global basis–but still…

    You can spin an anecdotal scenario: as FF emissions from combat and logistics ramp, you get increased radiative forcings; combustion products (largely ‘sooty’ aerosols, one presumes) reinforce that in certain regions at least. Perhaps lots of that North African dust ends up in the Atlantic, providing a nice nutritive boost for fishery stocks there, priming the biological pump just as human predation falls off a statistical cliff?

    Then things pretty much flip with the end of the war: increased ‘biological forcing’ draws down CO2, the short and relatively mild post-war recession helps hold down emissions temporarily, and black carbon is suddenly much less common in the atmosphere. Put it all together, and you get a brief cooling before the post-war ‘economic miracles’ really kick in with expanding CO2 emissions once again–and the sailors go back to fishing and sealing and whaling?

    A properly quantitative analysis would be pretty interesting, I’d think.

  27. 227
    Hank Roberts says:

    You know about biogeochemical cycling?
    Trash the “bio” component, and what’s left?

    I sure hope the modelers get the biological side understood before it’s gone.

  28. 228
    Hank Roberts says:



    Lead researcher, PhD student Grace Nield, based in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at Newcastle University, explains: “You would expect this rebound to happen over thousands of years and instead we have been able to measure it in just over a decade. You can almost see it happening which is just incredible.

    “Because the mantle is ‘runnier’ below the Northern Antarctic Peninsula it responds much more quickly to what’s happening on the surface. So as the glaciers thin and the load in that localised area reduces, the mantle pushes up the crust.

    “Rapid bedrock uplift in the Antarctic Peninsula explained by viscoelastic response to recent ice unloading.” Grace A. Nield, Valentina R. Barletta, Andrea Bordoni, Matt A. King, Pippa L. Whitehouse, Peter J. Clarke, Eugene Domack, Ted A. Scambos, Etienne Berthier.  Earth and Planetary Science Letters. To be published Vol 397, 1 July, 2014.

    and in

    The Conversation

  29. 229
    MARodger says:

    Chris Crawford @204.
    One of your numbers is a bit out which probably makes enough difference to give your answer that ‘incredible’ feeling.

    The AGW forcing applies to the surface of the globe, not the disc as seen from the sun. Thus the answer would be 4x larger. All you other numbers are reasonably close, but they do all err to reduce the size of the answer (the main culprit is the heat capacity of salt water which is 3.985 J/g/ºK at 0ºC, 3.993 J/g/ºK at 20ºC.) by another ~6%. I’ve ignored the effects of high pressure on heat capacity for reasons that should be evident below.
    So the number I get is ~0.006ºC/year.
    As sidd pointed out @220, the idea that the oceans will increase in temperature by an even amount is not the best way of viewing ocean warming. The bottom of the oceans are the coldest bits and that temperature is set by the freezing temperature of salt water because that is the densest water on the planet. So until ice disappears at both poles throughout the year, the bottom of the oceans will remain at roughly the same temperature.
    So it is surface waters that are going to be doing the warming. Perhaps if you say the majority of that 0.006ºC/year for the total ocean mass (let’s say two-thirds of it) is accumulating in the top 700m, with the average ocean depth 4,000m, over a century that would yield a 2.3ºC rise.
    I hope this now appears more credibile for you.

  30. 230
    Wally says:

    Greenland will be far greater contributor to sea rise than expected May 18, 2014

    “Operation IceBridge vastly improved our knowledge of bed topography beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet,” said co-author Eric Rignot of UC Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “This new study takes a quantum leap at filling the remaining, critical data gaps on the map.”
    The team also reported stark new findings last week on accelerated glacial melt in West Antarctica. Together, the papers “suggest that the globe’s ice sheets will contribute far more to sea level rise than current projections show,” Rignot said.

  31. 231
  32. 232
    Hank Roberts says:

    More climate change due to changing microbes:

    We’re gearing up for a June-August 2014 intensive field campaign designed to further this science. In addition to continued investigation of black carbon, we are bringing new focus to analyze the darkening effect of microbes.   Glacier and ice sheet biologist Dr. Marek Stibal will be gathering data on the increasingly pronounced effects of microbial and algal growth on the warming ice sheet.

    As larger and larger ares of Greenland become subject to summer melt, more liquid water, a key limiting factor for microbial growth, is available on the ice sheet. In addition, Dr. Stibal and Dr. Karen Cameron will be examining whether fertilizing factors, such as nitrous oxide from industrial processes, may be encouraging additional biological activity on the ice sheet.
    In a recent Dark Snow posting, Dr. Stibal noted that organisms on the ice produce dark pigments to shield themselves from intense sun, as well as other functions.

  33. 233

    “So until ice disappears at both poles throughout the year, the bottom of the oceans will remain at roughly the same temperature.”

    – See more at:

    D’oh! Of course… (although bottom formation rates are variable now.)

  34. 234
    idunno says:

    Hi Gavin,

    I am not a contrarian, except insomuch as I consider you guys to be fully implicated in a corrupt process which misleadingly UNDERstates the risks due to AGW, due to scientists erring on the side of whatever (LR?, RL?) lower risk, maybe; and government reps from Saudi rewriting your reports don’t help neither; nor does the amount of corporate endowment cash swirling about in academia these days; and read some fracking Chomsky.

    Anyway, LB QUOTE himself disavowed the media’s skewed portrayal: “I do not believe there is any systematic ‘cover up’ of scientific evidence on climate change or that academics’ work is being ‘deliberately suppressed,’ as The Times front page suggests.”

    So there it is. The man himself doesn’t believe the cooked-up controversy presented by conservative media. Any objective examination of the situation finds absolutely no validity to either the claims of McCarthyism or of conspiratorial suppression of science. In fact, the reviewer that “suppressed” Bengtsson’s paper offered a number of suggestions to improve its odds of being published. Certainly not something you’d do to a paper you’re trying to “suppress.”

    All that said, I wish the best for Bengtsson, and hope he never has to experience real McCarthyism. But in any event he is a pawn in this affair. The real story here is how desperate the professional climate change denial machine is to fan this dubious matter into yet another faux scandal, even as the observations of climate change come more sharply into focus, ENDQUOTE

    I think it would be very illuminating if you were to arrange a debate about intimidation on these pages between the author of the above, and LB. They could talk about degrees of McCarthyist intimidation; climate sensitivity; whatever. As I understand it, one of them was called ‘silly’; the other one bundles his death-threats by the dozen.

    If LB can show that, as a contrarian, he has been hampered in his career, or been prevented from publishing over the last half century, that would of course demonstrate various contrarian blathering points. Your risk.

    At any rate, his welcome here, and a continuation of the genuine dialectic, as opposed to eristic, debate that has been conducted in the peer-reviewed lit over the past 50 years would, obviously, demolish the contrarian case.

    It might also shed more light on the puppet masters than they might like. I have no idea how a rejected paper makes the lead in the Times of London. Have any of your rejected papers made international headlines?

    Thought not.

    See? There are some areas where LB knows more than you or I. LB is a pawn. Queen him.

  35. 235
    Hank Roberts says:

    Whoah–algae #1 source of sulfur into the atmosphere.
    Models got this anywhere?

    “… algal metabolite … is the most abundant
    form of sulfur released into the atmosphere.”
    Environ. Sci. Technol., 2014, 48 (9), pp 4750–4756
    DOI: 10.1021/es403351h
    Publication Date (Web): April 1, 2014

    Direct Linkage between Dimethyl Sulfide Production and Microzooplankton Grazing, Resulting from Prey Composition Change under High Partial Pressure of Carbon Dioxide Conditions

  36. 236
    DIOGENES says:

    Wili #231,

    “Something to come back to next month: ”

    So, let me get this straight. We are facing possible extinction because of climate change. Yet, here at climate change amelioration Ground Zero, we allow unpaid advertisements for a vegan diet (#212), but we disallow any discussion of climate change amelioration.

    Is this a great country, or what?

  37. 237
    SecularAnimist says:

    DIOGENES, when are you going to stop arrogantly lecturing the hosts about how they should run this blog, and start up a blog of your own where you can pontificate about whatever you like to your heart’s content?

    Of course the latter would involve some actual effort, whereas freeloading on RealClimate does not.

  38. 238
    Hank Roberts says:

    More modeling, cautionary, because — feedbacks! — more crap will be washed downstream with more extreme weather events, changing the microbiology.

    Here’s a model looking at a polluted areas of the North Sea:

    Gypens N, Borges AV, Speeckaert G, Lancelot C (2014)
    The Dimethylsulfide Cycle in the Eutrophied Southern North Sea: A Model Study Integrating Phytoplankton and Bacterial Processes.
    PLoS ONE 9(1): e85862. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085862

    We developed a module describing the dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) dynamics, including biological transformations by phytoplankton and bacteria, and physico-chemical processes (including DMS air-sea exchange). This module was integrated in the MIRO ecological model … and provides an explicit representation of bacterial activity in contrast to most of existing models that only include phytoplankton process (and abiotic transformations).

    Model analysis demonstrates … the need of adequately representing in models both phytoplankton and bacterial processes affecting DMS(P) dynamics. This is particularly important in eutrophied coastal environments … dominated by high non-diatom blooms …. to predict future feedbacks of DMS emissions on climate ….

  39. 239
    Jim Larsen says:

    236 Dio,

    You’ve received more latitude than just about anybody ever. (The only other contender is a guy named Dan H) You had your say, even essentially had your own personal thread, Mar UF. Don’t be a whiner.

  40. 240
    owl905 says:

    @235 “Whoah – algae #1 source … Models got this anywhere?” How much weight do you want the models to put on DMS when it has an atmospheric residency of one day?

  41. 241
    DIOGENES says:

    Jim Larsen #239,

    “You’ve received more latitude than just about anybody ever…..Don’t be a whiner.”

    My posts have the consistent focus of methods and plans for major climate change amelioration. For some strange reason, I believe that, at this critical time, a climate science blog should have a pathological obsession with identifying the best climate science-based targets for focusing the plans. ANY deviations from that focus are, in my opinion, a waste of the considerable talents of the moderators and some of the posters, and I will do my best to ensure we remain focused on the central target! If you define that as ‘whining’, so be it.

  42. 242
    DIOGENES says:


    I have no doubt you are comfortable with disallowing discussion on climate change mitigation. I have yet to see a post from you that would provide any substantive climate change amelioration, so this month’s ban on mitigation discussion is your Business As Usual!

  43. 243
    Robin Levett says:

    @wally #222:

    At risk of being wrong myself, I think you’re confused over what CD has calculated and why.

    His point AIUI is that given that there are 10,900GtC available to be emitted to the air if we throw cheap renewable energy at the problem of its extraction (which figure is calculated in the original comment to which he referred you at his #216), there are no resource constraints on BAU until at least 2125 – so that ending BAU requires a conscious decision to stop. He is not working out how much carbon will be emitted by 2125, he is working out how long it will take to burn through the 10,900GtC he has identified as being available. If you are right that we’ll only get through 2,000GtC by 2125, it makes his point even more forcefully.

    (reCaptcha is getting to the point that a machine will have a better crack at identifying the text than a human).

  44. 244
    Chris Dudley says:

    wallly (#222),

    You got your math wrong before. Now you are not reading carefully either. Perhaps a particular example would help. Parts of the Marcellus Shale formation are so carbon rich they are bituminous. The formation started the oil age by being the source rock for the Seneca Oil Company. Now it is exploited for tight natural gas. But after the oil and natural gas are extracted, there remains a huge amount of concentrated unexploited reduced carbon. That carbon can be made mobile by the addition of hydrogen. That is not current practice in the ground because producing hydrogen is expensive. But energy is getting cheaper owing to improvements in renewable energy technology. With cheap hydrogen available, producing liquid fuels from the residual fossil carbon in the Marcellus Shale formation becomes economically attractive. Thus, multiplying present fossil fuel reserves by a factor of five or ten seems quite justified.

    What you are calling an assumption is not an assumption. It is a natural consequence of renewable energy becoming cheaper than fossil energy, the geology of fossil fuels, and the convenience of liquid fuels. Liquid fuel craving already drives the use of renewable energy in ethanol and biodiesel production and those efforts use clumsily inefficient photosynthesis as an energy input while wasting energy on reducing carbon while fossil reduced carbon is still plentiful. Other renewable technologies have significant efficiency advantages over photosynthesis and can be applied to known concentrated deposits of reduced carbon for fuel synthesis. Because of that, we can expect an oil glut this century. As long as renewable energy keeps getting cheaper as projected, more and more fossil carbon becomes economic reserves. And, we can expect plenty of places to use it: etc…

    Watch a Pennzoil PurePlus commercial and you’ll see we are already far down the synthesis road. Broad new vistas of destruction are wide open to us.

  45. 245
    Radge Havers says:

    D @ 242
    This isn’t hard to understand. The moderators suggested giving mitigation or whatever a rest because the ‘discussion’ (and I use the term lightly) was unproductive (to put it kindly). From where I sit, I looks like you don’t get how scientists see their work and how they engage in conversation. What is worse, what ticks people off, is that you are dismissive of that and the extraordinary patience accorded you by the moderators.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that you have something to contribute. That’s why I wish you’d hurry up and get over yourself so we can learn what that is. In the meantime could we please not make this thread about the moderators or whoever else you resent for having the effrontery to not bow to your wishes?

  46. 246
    Hank Roberts says:

    Owl, I dunno, that’s why I asked about it, hoping someone knowledgeable will comment. Can you suggest something to read on the subject, or search terms?

    I found this:

    Carbonyl sulfide during the late Holocene from measurements in Antarctic ice cores
    M Aydin et al – AGU Fall Meeting, 2013 –

    … Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is the most abundant sulfur gas in the troposphere with a global average mixing ratio of about 500 parts per trillion (ppt) and a lifetime of 3 years. … Oceans are the largest source, emitting COS and precursors carbon disulfide and dimethyl sulfide. …

    I’m not arguing that it _is_ significant.
    I’m asking.

  47. 247
    SecularAnimist says:

    DIOGENES wrote: “I have no doubt you are comfortable with disallowing discussion on climate change mitigation.”

    I am comfortable with respecting the moderators of this blog.

    DIOGENES wrote: “I have yet to see a post from you that would provide any substantive climate change amelioration, so this month’s ban on mitigation discussion is your Business As Usual!”

    I am also comfortable with ignoring your trollery.

  48. 248
    Hank Roberts says:

    OK, I found an undergrad-level introduction that may be about the level I need; other suggestions welcome.

    I’m going to keep asking about the climate science issues here and ignore the background as long as I can.
    “It’s not the trolling, it’s the biting.” — Marion Delgado

    So on sulfur:

    Volatile Organic Sulfur Compounds of Environmental Interest: Dimethyl Sulfide and Methanethiol. An Introductory Overview
    Authors: Chasteen, Thomas G.; Bentley, Ronald
    Publication: Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 81, Issue 10, p.1524
    Publication Date: 10/2004

    DOI: 10.1021/ed081p1524

    Volatile organic sulfur compounds and their degradation products play important environmental roles in global warming, acid precipitation, and cloud formation. Two important members of this group, dimethyl sulfide, DMS, and methanethiol, MT, are formed by living organisms as well as by abiotic processes.

    DMS is synthesized by various organisms in the marine environment and large quantities of it are released to the atmosphere. One key precursor for DMS synthesis is the sulfonium salt, dimethylsulfoniopropionate. MT, also formed in marine environments, can be further converted to DMS. The chemical reactions responsible for the biosynthesis of DMS and MT are emphasized here, as well as means for their degradation.

    Since sulfur compounds are often ignored in normal course work, this article provides a basic foundation for an understanding of these interesting and environmentally significant compounds.

  49. 249
    Hank Roberts says:

    Ice sheets as a significant source of highly reactive nanoparticulate iron to the oceans.
    Authors Jon R. Hawkings, Jemma L. Wadham, Martyn Tranter, Rob Raiswell, Liane G. Benning, Peter J. Statham, Andrew Tedstone, Peter Nienow, Katherine Lee & Jon Telling NATURE COMMUNICATIONS | 5:3929 |
    DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4929, published 21 May 2014

  50. 250

    “For some strange reason, I believe that, at this critical time, a climate science blog should have…”

    Then I would second previous suggestions that you start that blog.

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