Unforced variations: July 2016 1 Jul 2016 by group A week is a long time in politics climate science: Nonsense debunked in WaPo, begininngs of recovery in the ozone hole, revisiting the instrumental record constraints on climate sensitivity… Lots of lessons there. Usual rules apply.
225 Responses to "Unforced variations: July 2016"
Not that zebra says
What tools would be helpful to TV weathercasters who wanted to put the weather into a climate change context, for their audience?
Re: #194 Bill Henderson
Bill, thanks for the three links in your comment. I had already read the imo essential article by Oliver Geden which more or less discusses the issue of “shifting baselines”. I had also read the April 2014 article by Michael Mann and a subsequent article in which he explains why atmospheric CO2 concentration of 405ppm is the real limit for a 50% chance of staying under 2C warming (includes an overshoot of approximately 0.5C due to removal of aerosols) according to the latest climate models. The paleoclimate article by Dr. James Hansen and others is I believe from 2004 (quoting from the article: “… CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385ppm to at most 350ppm…”) and the situation which he described as leading to catastrophic effects then, is nowadays much worse. The exact quote is: “Continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions,
for just another decade, practically eliminates the possibility of near-term return of atmospheric
composition beneath the tipping level for catastrophic effects.”
Needless to say, another decade has passed, we are at 405ppm in 2016, and 2014 and 2015 were the hottest years on record, while 2016 is much on track to be even hotter, and by a record margin.
So the question remains: why aren’t most climate scientists declaring a climate emergency, and why aren’t most governments pushing for emergency policies to reduce carbon emissions?
In particular, in his April 2014 Michael Mann states that “… I found that for an ECS of three degrees C, our planet would cross the dangerous warming threshold of two degrees C in 2036…”. But that was written practically 12 months before 2014 was declared the hottest year on record, and then 2015 became the hottest year on record, and as we all know, 2016 is on its way to become the hottest year on record, while simultaneously the increase in atmospheric CO2 in 2016 has accelerated to 3ppm, versus the previous trend of ~2ppm/year in previous decades.
Given how climate change seems to be accelerating, wouldn’t it be time for scientists to recognize that the notion that we still have a “carbon budget” to spend during a few decades is obsolete and should be scrapped in favor of immediately declaring a climate emergency, upon which emergency public policies should be based?
Edward Greisch says
188 Ray Ladbury: What to do with nuclear “waste” is very well explained to you at BraveNewClimate.com. So quit baiting people here and go find it.
Edward Greisch says
175 Kevin McKinney and 177 Digby Scorgie: Let’s move those questions to BraveNewClimate.com where they have been answered.
Hank Roberts says
You want them to knock on your door personally?
You want them to buy time on the television networks?
You know which soapbox people have to stand on, to get into the news?
What does it take to get people’s attention?
Kevin McKinney says
“…why aren’t most climate scientists declaring a climate emergency…”
How do you know that they aren’t?
“Rahmstorf does think there is a climate emergency, but he would have made the same assessment at any point in time stretching back many years. The record-breaking February doesn’t change that.”
Alfred Jones says
BPL: I know that “base-load” is a meme fossil-fuel and nuke fans use to claim nuclear and wind can never cut it. Sorry, I disagree.
AJ: Actually, base load is just a term which means “the least amount of demand the local grid typically sees.” My point was that to decommission zero carbon systems that are ALREADY UP AND RUNNING and are perfectly suited for the fragmented grid we currently have in order to build/feed more fossil fuel sources is counter-productive, especially when one, like Germany, ramps up the dirtiest fossil fuel available (not just coal, but brown coal). Your leap to wherever in left field you went certainly was not even remotely in response to my comment.
So, come in from left field and actually address my comment. Are you in favor of increased fossil fuel burning (or less decrease in fossil fuel burning) in order to close existing zero-carbon sources? Frankly, I think that’s the best way to ensure the planet burns.
And you’re wrong. NOBODY has ever even suggested we go to “nuclear and wind” alone. Biofuel, solar, hydro, geothermal, tides, and perhaps even OTEC have roles to play. too. So yes,add me to the list of those who think “nuclear and wind” alone “can’t” cut it. It’s a horrible paradigm.
1. shutting down fossil generation systems while building solar, wind, biofuel, and other zero carbon systems, along with a new grid so we can get away from the centralized-but-local power plant system we’ve currently got.
2. Once nearly all fossil fuel generation has been eliminated AND the new grid is in place, then, and only then, should we start decommissioning existing zero carbon sources which are optimal for the old grid’s base load requirements. Once we have continent or globe-spanning grids, everything changes, including the whole concept of base load. But until then,
“Perfect is the enemy of good.” and “Ya gotta get there from HERE.”
Zebra, base load is about the whole local grid, not a single house. Assuming you’ve slain the vampires, your house probably drops to zero load at times. Do you have a point to make?
“… in his April 2014 Michael Mann states that “… I found that for an ECS of three degrees C, our planet would cross the dangerous warming threshold of two degrees C in 2036…”. But that was written practically 12 months before 2014 was declared the hottest year on record, and then 2015 became the hottest year on record, and as we all know, 2016 is on its way to become the hottest year on record, while simultaneously the increase in atmospheric CO2 in 2016 has accelerated to 3ppm, versus the previous trend of ~2ppm/year in previous decades…
why aren’t most climate scientists declaring a climate emergency, and why aren’t most governments pushing for emergency policies to reduce carbon emissions?”
Because optimism is like a rubber band, it can be stretched almost infinitely.
Here’s another “nice” incident, an interesting message from Exxon Mobil’s internal papers, back in 6.6.1978:
” Man has a window of five to ten years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”
If Exxon Mobil REALLY knew about these “five to ten years” back in 1978, then we are somewhat f**** now in 2016, because 1978 is 38 years ago, not five to ten years.
Edward Greisch says
202 Andrew: As always, it isn’t a matter of convincing the climate scientists to do or say anything. They already have, to the best of their ability. It is a matter of convincing the public and the politicians to do something. What to do is discussed on BraveNewClimate.com.
Edward Greisch says
200 zebra: Base load does not refer to your house. Base load refers to the requirement of the grid as a whole for the constant “low” level of power that must be provided at all times.
Edward Greisch says
199 Barton Levenson: It is just that the battery would cost ~ a quadrillion dollars. That means the battery is imaginary.
#202 Andrew: “Given how climate change seems to be accelerating, wouldn’t it be time for scientists to recognize that the notion that we still have a “carbon budget” to spend during a few decades is obsolete and should be scrapped in favor of immediately declaring a climate emergency, upon which emergency public policies should be based?”
What policies would you suggest?
David B. Benson says
Baseload is a power industry technical term for that portion of the demand which is omnipresent
Here in the Pacific Northwest it is about 70% of the maximum load.
Just a suggestion : we now have many years of monthly records of global temperatures available from different sources (satellites included), how about trying to set up a comparison of their means over 360 month running periods? A 30 year period gives a good idea of climate (not weather)?
Chuck Hughes says
Are we in for “rapid climate change”? I have seen where in the distant past the earth’s temperature increased dramatically in the space of a decade or so. Are there indications that we’re headed for such an event in the near future?
“A new analysis of global data related to wildfire reveals major misconceptions about wildfire and its social and economic impacts. Researchers carried out detailed analysis of global and regional data on fire occurrence, severity and its impacts on society. They found that global area burned has seen an overall slight decline over past decades, despite some notable regional increases.”
“In contrast to what is widely portrayed in the literature and media reports, [the researchers] found that:
global area burned has seen an overall slight decline over past decades, despite some notable regional increases. Currently, around 4% of the global land surface is affected by vegetation fires each year.
there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.
direct fatalities from fire and economic losses also show no clear trends over the past three decades.
The researchers conclude:
“The data available to date do not support a general increase in area burned or in fire severity for many regions of the world. Indeed there is increasing evidence that there is overall less fire in the landscape today than there has been centuries ago, although the magnitude of this reduction still needs to be examined in more detail.””
Based on: Stefan H. Doerr, Cristina Santín. Global trends in wildfire and its impacts: perceptions versus realities in a changing world. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2016; 371 (1696): 20150345 DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0345
“Perceptions vs. realities.” Sort of has a ring to it.
Edward Greisch says
Dramatic Mangrove die off in northern Australia (Aerial footage)
July 24 – 30, 2016 403.83 ppm
1 Year Ago
July 24 – 30, 2015 400.43 ppm (increase of 3.40 ppm, noisy number)
should have July monthly average in a few days, I projected 405.30 and would love to see a number below that. We do seem to have a global problem with heat buildup, but maybe I am wrong about that.
sidd, #126 18 Jul 2016 at 1:33 AM > “This is cool.” I fully agree.
Think of it as restoration, because that’s what it is and that’s what it’s being called (seagrasses, shell banks). (Plus, kelp is food, medicine, fertilizer.) The restoration is necessarily regional/local–just like the corals.
The restoration being found and shown is not only regional and local, but daily and hourly, by time of day. Finding a window of opportunity at peak photosynthesis in the afternoon is a start.
The hazard in the idea that there is–or may be–a silver-bullet solution for the global ocean is this: the source of the idea and the source of the problem are the same. The problem is a quite numerous biped who apparently has the ability of advanced thought–the foremost feature of which, for now, appears to be the capacity for self-deception. The global solution is known already: prevent CO2 emissions in the first place.
“I always come back to restoration.” Replanting the seagrasses or shell banks that used to exist in an estuary is much safer, and often easier, than some industrial schemes. And, he adds, it probably comes with “built-in benefits that we don’t even recognize.” –Thank you, Dr. Waldbusser.
Thank you, Drs. Manzello, Price, and others, as well.
“The potential is huge. Plants in the ocean, from seagrasses to plankton, add up to just 0.05 percent of the plant biomass on land, but are so pervasive and efficient at sucking up carbon that they cycle through roughly the same amount of carbon every day as all the land-based plants.” –Cites info on pg. 11 of “blue carbon” PDF at homepage of this UNEP partner:
NOAA National Coral Reef monitoring program on coral reefs:
@ Alfred Jones 207,
“ya gotta get there from here”
Well, that’s what I always say when I comment on this. And you offer nothing to that effect; you are doing what everyone else does and describing some idealized end result that “we should” achieve. Handwaving, armwaving, magic wand waving, they all have the same null result. For the USA, the question is what policy you would propose the federal government implement to achieve reduction in CO2 production in electricity generation. “We should” build a continental grid doesn’t cut it. Apart from your valid admonition that the perfect is the enemy of the good, we must also remember the wisdom of Tonto of Lone Ranger fame: There is no “we”.
With respect to baseload specifically, if my house can be a virtually zero load at some point, then so can every other house. So with respect to houses in the aggregate, baseload could be zero. My point being, as BPL said, that this is a meme created by the utility monopolies, and not any kind of immutable physical parameter. It is easily controlled and optimized.
(By the way, I think BPL mistyped and meant “solar and wind” not “nuclear and wind”.)
(Another afterthought– the grid isn’t all that fragmented.)
MA Rodger says
With the daily NOAA CO2 data now all posted, I’m not entirely sure how they calculate monthly data when there are missing days but the July figure will not be far from 404.3ppm & the July-to-July rise +3.0ppm.
Since mid-month I have been noting the Scripps daily CO2 data posted by CO2.earth and the resulting differences are not much changed from the figures for the early part of the month. The CO2.earth use of Scripps for 2015 & NOAA for 2016 to calculate the July-to-July annual CO2 rise adds to the NOAA rise by an average of 0.26ppm.
July … ..Scripps via .. ….. … … …….. …… % increase in
… …. … co2.earth . NOAA … difference … .. … . 12-month ave
3rd … 401.75 … 402.10 … + 0.35 … … … … +10%
4th … 401.76 … 402.14 … + 0.38 … … … … +10%
5th … 402.43 … 402.52 … + 0.09 … … … … +3%
8th … 401.07 … 401.29 … + 0.22 … … … … +5%
10th … 401.46 … 401.50 … + 0.04 … … … … +1%
16th … 400.85 … 401.04 … + 0.19 … … … … +6%
17th … 400.96 … 401.11 … + 0.15 … … … … +4%
24th … 401.03 … 401.33 … + 0.30 … … … … +17%
25th … 401.01 … 401.37 … + 0.36 … … … … +14%
26th … 400.88 … 401.15 … + 0.27 … … … … +10%
27th … 400.73 … 400.92 … + 0.19 … … … … +6%
30th … 399.58 … 400.05 … + 0.47 … … … … +12%
31st … 399.54 … 399.93 … + 0.39 … … … … +10%
What is odd about this is that this ‘increase’ is not reflected in the data available from Scripps. Both the monthly data & the weekly data direct from Scripps for July 2015 give CO2 levels higher than NOAA, not lower as in the CO2.earth data. (I can recreate the NOAA weekly data from the daily data, so the table below does cover the same days for each week.)
July 2015 …. .. Scripps .. … NOAA … … . diff
Full month … … 401.6 … .. … 401.3 … .. -0.30
Week No1 … … 402.24 … … 402.22 … . -0.02
Week No2 … … 402.70 … … 401.57 … . -0.13
Week No3 … … 401.01 … … 401.21 … . +0.20
Week No4 … … 401.49 … … 400.81 … . -0.48
I shall relay this finding to CO2.earth.
Barton Levenson says
AJ 207: My point was that to decommission zero carbon systems that are ALREADY UP AND RUNNING and are perfectly suited for the fragmented grid we currently have in order to build/feed more fossil fuel sources is counter-productive, especially when one, like Germany, ramps up the dirtiest fossil fuel available (not just coal, but brown coal).
BPL: Was I advocating doing that? I don’t seem to recall that part.
Barton Levenson says
EG 211: It is just that the battery would cost ~ a quadrillion dollars. That means the battery is imaginary.
BPL: What battery?
Barton Levenson says
F 214: we now have many years of monthly records of global temperatures available from different sources (satellites included), how about trying to set up a comparison of their means over 360 month running periods?
BPL: Already done. Those 30-year periods are called “climate normals,” and you can find many listed at the NOAA web sites.
#211 Ed G.: I don’t see where you get that price tag. The only estimate in the links you sent is about 2 orders of magnitude less. Or did I miss something? And with the price curve on batteries coming down, I would bet it could be done for rather less over time.