RealClimate logo

Note 3/23/2021: we had a few hiccups with comments after moving the site to https/SSL. Hopefully they're fixed now. Please let us know if there are remaining issues.

Unforced Variations: Aug 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 August 2018

This month’s open thread for climate science issues.

409 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Aug 2018”

  1. 201
    Killian says:

    #151 Ron R. said “Hardly ever do I hear much of anything containing specifics regarding exactly WHAT is to be done.”

    One thing might be to re-examine how we got here.

    This is already well known. No mystery: We’ve been in a long cycle of living outside natural systems and in opposition to them, a long-term trend of believing more is better, growth is necessary, consumption must always increase. We have ignored the effects despite the damage being pointed out many decades ago.

    The first world leads the way here with A LOT more consumption than we are entitled to population-wise.

    And there’s a good nutshell statement.

    Our worth, we’re led to believe from grade school on, isn’t actually based in our personhoods, no, it’s in our being consumers.

    Sure. Intentionally set in motion starting in the 1930’s bc the rest of the world was not buying enough.

    live more sustainably environmentally-speaking, families tend to remain together, with several generations living in the same structure.

    Although Koreans still mostly do this, but it is rapidly changing.

    We need to look at communities that are living sustainably now and find out how they are doing it.

    None are. At least, not “modern” communities. Some are trying. A few come close. But there are sustainable communities that live quite simply. It is the key to sustainability, and why appropriate design is based in Needs Analysis, not Wants Analysis.

    They aren’t all living in poverty.

    Careful: Simplicity is not poverty, it’s sufficiency and living within the means of the ecosystem. There is no poverty in that. The having of stuff does not make one not impoverished, being hungry, poorly nourished, dissatisfied, discontented, psychologically and emotionally imbalanced, etc., does.

    We already know what sustainable communities look like. it requires no new research. We need to get those afraid of simplicity – many examples on this forum – to accept the risk assessment, the inevitability of change caused by a massive overshoot of the planet’s resources, and that simplicity is the only way to rapidly and safely draw down carbon while living happier, more fulfilling lives.

    Design to need.
    Live simply.
    Learn the First Principles of natural systems.
    Build community.

  2. 202
    Killian says:

    Re #175 Carrie said …climate sensitivity depends on the pattern of warming, so if the past has warmed differently from what we expect in the future then climate sensitivity estimated from the historical record may not apply to the future. We… show that climate sensitivity simulated for observed historical climate change is smaller than for long‐term carbon dioxide increases. The results imply that historical energy budget changes only weakly constrain climate sensitivity.

    What?! ECS is higher than we thought?! Who woulda thunk it?

    This is, of course, a big deal. More sensitivity is not good. This constrains the non-existent carbon budget even further, moves tipping points and effects forward in time and time was already short. At some point, people must accept simplification is the only choice.

    File under. “Worse than expected…” By most, anyway.

    (Yes, nigel, once again, I have predicted the future ten years out. Rather than whining about it, try to learn how to do so. It’s not hard, actually.)

  3. 203
    Hank Roberts says:

    Our Hubris Will Be Our End
    Then we’ll adapt and start telling ourselves new stories, just as humans have always done.

    By Roy Scranton

    Mr. Scranton is the author of “We’re Doomed. Now What? Essays on War and Climate Change.”

    The paucity of historical evidence and the eradication of native peoples’ culture by European colonizers make it difficult to reconstruct precontact indigenous life in all its detail. What evidence there is, combined with anthropological insights into similarly premodern cultures, strongly suggests that despite having to persevere without the miraculous comforts, devices and potions upon which we thoughtlessly depend, they almost certainly lived lives at least as meaningful, complex, rich and joyful as our own.

    Indeed, some historians and anthropologists — such as James C. Scott, in his book “Against the Grain” — argue that life before modernity was better than our own, with more leisure time, fewer diseases and afflictions, and a more robust phenomenological and spiritual engagement with the world around us….

    … Then I go back to my habits: the computer at which I write; the gas range, with its reliable, smokeless flame on which I heat my coffee; the flush toilet — indoors! — that carries away all bodily waste; the electric lamp I turn on to read by; the heating and air-conditioning that regulate our house’s microclimate. And I cannot help but feel an abiding sense of relief. …

  4. 204
    MA Rodger says:

    BEST has reported for July 2018 with an anomaly of +0.70ºC, down on June’s +0.73ºC and the coolest anomaly for the year so far. (Previous 2018 months range from +0.90ºC to +0.73ºC.)
    It is the 2nd warmest July in BEST (for GISTEMP it was 3rd, for the satellite TLT records, July was 4th in UAH & 3rd in RSS) below 1st-placed July 2016 (+0.74ºC) and not far ahead of 3rd placed July 2009 (+0.69ºC) & 4th-placed July 2011 (+0.66ºC). (Unlike in GISTEMP which ranks July 2017 as 2nd & July 2015 as =4th, in BEST July 2015 & 2017 are ranked lower at 7th & 5th respectively.)
    July 2018 is the 77th warmest anomaly on the full all-month BEST record. (In GISTEMP it was =44th warmest anomaly.)

    In the BEST year-to-date table below, 2018 sits 3rd.
    Table ranked by average of Jan-to-July anomalies.
    …….. Jan-July Ave … Annual Ave ..Annual ranking
    2016 .. +1.07ºC … … … +0.96ºC … … … 1st
    2017 .. +0.95ºC … … … +0.85ºC … … … 2nd
    2018 .. +0.79ºC
    2010 .. +0.79ºC … … … +0.69ºC … … … 4th
    2015 .. +0.77ºC … … … +0.82ºC … … … 3rd
    2007 .. +0.72ºC … … … +0.63ºC … … … 7th
    2014 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.68ºC … … … 5th
    1998 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 11th
    2005 .. +0.68ºC … … … +0.67ºC … … … 6th
    2002 .. +0.67ºC … … … +0.60ºC … … … 12th
    2006 .. +0.61ºC … … … +0.62ºC … … … 10th

  5. 205
    Fred Magyar says:

    Re: Killian @ 167:

    Since the topics discussed in the Deep Adaptation paper are supposedly OT in this thread. Perhaps we could discuss this one with all the possible implications of the social and economic trajectories that the majority of the inhabitants of this planet continue to follow.

    We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

    To be frank, what humanity should or could do, to mitigate the ecological damage that is currently underway due to BAU and human population overshoot alone, is not what I see it doing. Nor do I think we will change our trajectory within the necessary window of time to avert what for all practical purposes is is a climate emergency. Having lived and worked in a few countries around the world during the course of my life, let’s just say, I’m not what one would call optimistic!

    Perhaps see this paper as well:


  6. 206
    Hank Roberts says:

    Remember Crutzen’s comment that “we dodged a bullet” because the bromine industry did not find a market for that element, instead industry used chlorine to make chlorofluorocarbons?

    But aha, the bromine industry found another market use in persistent organic chemicals:

    There aren’t enough working scientists available to keep a proper eye on the bastards getting rich by putting the world at risk.

  7. 207
    Hank Roberts says:

    What would Crutzen say about these new constituents of the atmosphere?

    Global Atmospheric Concentrations of Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants and Organophosphate Esters
    Cassandra Rauert, Jasmin K. Schuster, Anita Eng, and Tom Harner*
    Air Quality Processes Research Section, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4, Canada
    Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (5), pp 2777–2789
    DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b06239

  8. 208
    S.B. Ripman says:

    Hank # 185: a book you might enjoy: “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. Similar to climate scifi, but oddly less speculative. The focus is trees and scientists. Just an FYI.

  9. 209
    Al Bundy says:

    NigelJ: Of course there are natural emissions from various things, but they tend to be short term and balanced by natural sinks.

    AB: I’m with the crowd who believe that “tend” is now in the process of morphing into “tended”


    MA Rodger,
    The IPCC report has to get past the Gatekeepers. Given that the Gatekeepers have deemed that climate change is a politically-motivated hoax, I’d say Nemesis has a point. If the Republican party was even slightly interested in an unbiased report, I’m certain that the IPCC reports would read differently. Do you feel the same?


    Nemesis: The fault for the failure lies with a US Congress hostile to funding climate change research.

    AB: Really? Last time I checked the EU alone has economic clout equal to the USA. The USA sent up most of the previous hardware. I’d say the EU, Japan, China, Australia, et al should pony up for the next batch. It isn’t just USAians who assume that the USA must lead the world in every category of everything even though the USA is near the bottom of the barrel in many measures, including climate sanity. It’s insane to expect the USA to foot the bill for measuring a “hoax”.

  10. 210
    C. Cal says:

    “The last time the global temperature was this high, mean sea level was X feet higher than it is today” –

    Is there a graph online anywhere, of paleo MSL plotted against global temperature, that could be used to fill in that sentence in future?

  11. 211
    Ron R. says:

    Reports lately on the use of a mineral to draw CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Don’t know much about it. Sounds great though; I hope it’s true.

    But there is a danger in such solutions, as we all know. ‘You can now pollute with impunity’ solutions will encourage certain hyper-selfish interests to claim clear sailing now and advocate a full speed ahead policy. “The problem’s solved!” They’ll say, “So you can all now stop your whining and let us get back to business!” That business being to continue, and even increase, overshoot and the rape of the natural world, which will STILL lead to the earth’s, and our demise, same timeframe.

    Just a thought, but maybe we need to make clear that it’s not just about climate change, as Victor, ironically, notes. Yes, that’s a big issue. But in having to spend so much time defending the science of CC from the professional skeptics and their loyal disciples, from those who will never be convinced anyway, from those whose sole mission is to distract and delay, many of us have become single-issued. These debates, like the creation/evolution debates, are good in that they force science to be ever more accurate. And, for that reason, to some measure, they should, of course, continue. But perhaps at some point we need to officially say, the earth is round and not the center of the universe and I’m not going to continue wasting valuable time arguing about it.

    Saving the planet from ALL of the many, many threats staring it in the face, threats growing more immense every day, should be the single issue. There’s only one planet, and thus all of these should be tied together and given equal weight. We KNOW that eventually, if we hope to survive, at least, we will have to deal with these things one way or another, right? So why wait until the last minute, only after irrevocable damage has been done, and when it will only be that much more difficult?

    There’s only one earth. Isn’t it better to save it while there’s still something worth saving?

    And no, this is not a call to force.

    Apologies for the sermon. :\

  12. 212
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @194,

    “Eh? The CO2 emissions are the source of the feedbacks, so reduce emissions and you reduce the feedbacks.” “Show me your supporting scientific evidence / data where present and future emissions are reduced below 10 Gt C.”

    You appear to want scientific research that shows that night follows day :)

    But please refer to my other post where I linked to a study that shows some feedbacks could reach tipping points, and so would be impossible or hard to stop. But the link shows warming mostly needs to get towards 2 – 5 degrees to trigger the tipping points so there’s still a chance to reduce emissions and reduce the ‘possibility’ of them happening. I do not need to provide quotations to prove what should be an obvious thing.

    “According to the links supplied by MAR the models include most feedbacks. The ones not included are not included for various sensible reasons.” “Show me. Which models? What “most feedbacks” are included in which papers? ”

    Oh for goodness sake, read the links that have been provided, read MAR’s comments because he has clearly got some knowledge on the issues and is careful to do his homework, read the IPCC report, do a google search, its all a start, and stop expecting people to give you every last piece of information on some subject. The term I think is spoon feeding! Your blather is getting very tedious.

    That’s not to downgrade the usefulness of some of the excellent links you yourself post. (See what Im doing there?)

    “Now here’s a challenge for you – which of those papers ref’d by MA Rodger or anyone ever included the 2.5 gigatons more carbon boost in natural emissions from only 3 distinct equatorial locations as noted here at NASA. None of that was part of the 10GtC of human GHG emissions per year.”

    Carrie, given this information is from late 2107, it should be rather obvious its not in the modelling in the last IPCC report, and probably the other links provided by MAR. This is what we have been talking about. The event also looks too short term to form the basis of being incorporated into models but we shall have to wait until the next IPCC assessment to see what happens.

  13. 213
    Ron R. says:

    By the way, my comments are not just meant for ‘the choir’, but for those ‘skeptics’ out there which are not really skeptics (that’s only their mask). In actuality, I suspect, they just want to delay action as long as possible for whatever reason, but plan someday, after they’ve gained their gain, to take a stand.

    Thing is, if we plan someday to take that stand, if at heart we are secret environmentalists and do love the planet, doesn’t it make sense to save it while it’s still beautiful and diverse? While there’s something left worth saving?

  14. 214
    Adam Lea says:

    165: “And what about cars? My bus service is very limited so I need a car to go shopping, visit friends, etc. And before I was retired my car was essential in getting back and forth to work.”

    Your choice to live in an area with poor public transport. Your choice to live and work in places positioned so that they can only practically be travelled between with a car. Often when people say then “need” a car, it is because they have made lifestyle choices which involve transport by car being the only viable option. You can go shopping and visit friends using a bicycle if they are within 10 miles or so.

  15. 215
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @196, yes good study and it looks very plausible to me, but then I’m not an expert so its just an educated reaction. I had read the abstract to that study a few days ago. But its going to be 1) up to the IPCC whether they think its compelling and 2) its not the same as whether models treat feedbacks appropriately.

    I personally think climate sensitivity is in the middle of the range. This is just based on taking a broad view of everything. It could be higher, and I would not bet money on it being lower.

  16. 216
    nigelj says:

    Victor @197

    “I am NOT arguing that it’s too late to do anything meaningful to “fight climate change.” Nor am I arguing that any of the measures that have been recommended as means of mitigating climate change are necessarily futile, in themselves — in fact I approve of most of them,”

    Ok well thats good to hear, but you then say “I have no faith in anything the alarmists have to say and see no need to “do something” when I see nothing to be alarmed about.” So you seem confused, because why would you support doing something about something you (erroneously) see as not a problem?

    “What I AM saying is that the very idea that all the people and all the nations of the world can somehow come together in some vaguely Utopian sense to “fight climate change” in a manner that can actually make a difference (assuming the enormity of the alleged threat) is a huge chimera that could never be achieved,”

    Yes its a huge thing to expect, and I know exactly where you are coming from, but theres certainly at least a reasonable possibility of enough countries moving forwards in a cooperative way. The UK have already made considerable progress to reduce emissions, and most countries are at least on the same page as far as objectives go, and we do actually have the Paris Agreement. So progress is slow but its false to say countries havent come together.

    America seems to have lost its mind, but its reasonable to say this will be temporary. Remember dont confuse the perfect with the good. If we reduce emissions even just moderately (which does mean we have to do better than currently) it will help reduce the probability of dangerous tipping points occurring.

    “We’re being told that CO2 levels have to be reduced by such and such a percentage by such and such a date, but no one has a clue as to how that could be achieved, short of a major worldwide revolution followed by the imposition of universal martial law so onerous that no society anywhere would be willing to accept it. Nor does anyone have a clue as to what the effect on the climate would be if such a revolution WERE possible and the required reductions achieved.’

    This is just ridiculous blather! You loose the plot here. We have good published information on how this would be achieved. Carbon taxes, renewable electricity generation, electric vehicles, less cattle farming, less use of cement etc ( high rise buildings have already been built entirely with structural timber, and of course steel). And we do know what impact this would have on emissions.The IPCC reports document much of this but we are not reliant just on them.

    Such measures do require some economic sacrifices, but nothing like what the doom mongers claim. Do some research on the costs of modernising electricity grids and its chicken feed in the greater scheme of things. Many billions of dollars of course, but government pensions costs countries considerably more.

    It doesn’t require martial law. It requires individual initiative, and governments passing meaningful carbon fee and dividend schemes, and supporting forest planting and so on. This is within our grasp, and yet its people like you that make this harder to achieve, with your constant contradictory and badly informed pessimism.

  17. 217
    nigelj says:

    Killian @202

    “(Yes, nigel, once again, I have predicted the future ten years out. Rather than whining about it, try to learn how to do so. It’s not hard, actually.)”

    Good for you. And what will you say if this new scientific paper is shown to be faulty? Will you apologise or realise the limits of your abilties ( and believe me they are limited)? Probably not.

    Your confirmation bias is off the scale.

    Your predictions are indeed easy. Predict things will be worse than the IPCC say. The safest, easiest bet in the world.

  18. 218
    nigelj says:

    Hank Roberts @203

    “Indeed, some historians and anthropologists — such as James C. Scott, in his book “Against the Grain” — argue that life before modernity was better than our own, with more leisure time, fewer diseases and afflictions, and a more robust phenomenological and spiritual engagement with the world around us….”

    The grass always seems greener in the past. If he is referring to hunter gatherers well doh, of course there was leisure time. A few million people living in a world of plenty using a few basic tools.

    Perhaps this guy should check out how much spare time ancient peasant farmers get, when literally everything has to be made by hand.

    Of course they didnt develop modern diseases. They only lived to about 40, so not so much cancer etc. Superstitious ignorance is indeed bliss. Lets worship the earth god…

    But seriously, theres a grain of truth in what he says, and our materialistic culture has gone too far towards the other extreme in some ways.

  19. 219
    Carrie says:

    187 Nemesis (and #186 too): So there’s absolutely no need to attack a completely a- political nobody like me by political insults, makes no sense, it’s boring.

    I agree. No sense at all. But that’s our Rodger. Boring. Misses the mark, does not get it. :-)

    190 nigelj, yes I am addressing feedbacks and tipping points but it’s best to see that in the context of the whole comment and the paper by Jem. There’s two separate but interconnected issues here. One is the evidence from a scientific pov, and then there’s the real world implications to societal collapse. There’s no clear lines between to the two but they are still connected – exactly how when and where is a mystery. But tracking in that direction is the road we are on – if the issues are addressed properly, synergy wise and holistically in combination. That’s the warning being given, Jem concludes were sunk – time will show when or if – as there’s a lot of water to under the bridge to go yet but not looking good. GHG emissions are not really dropping and they are definitely not rapidly dropping or look like they will the next decade. It’s his THINKING and analysis I like … he cannot and is not making a forecast like you get in a science paper about Temps, ice loss slr RPCs ECS impacts on forests land etc. He cannot, I cannot.

    niglej: “However the evidence suggests we aren’t at those tipping points yet, so there still an opportunity to avoid them, or some of them at least:”

    Sure, of course. Or rather, we cannot be sure we are there yet – nor can be sure are not there yet – or right in the middle of tipping points now. The science doesn’t know yet, is uncertain, but concludes a consensus not there yet – the trouble is nigelj they do know they are coming and why if nothing changes fast.

    For all you know we are smack bang in the middle of several active tipping points operating / building right now, but you will not know via science until they publish the papers in 5-10-15 years in the future, in hindsight that would then have the data to say something like – hey look 2015-2020 period is when this “tipping point” was shifting on steroids but we couldn’t tell at the time – we didn’t have the right observational data or the technical skills to see it happening.

    All tipping points will progressively build up to a peak and then they will become clear what the impacts and consequences will be. After the event, not before. The same with societal collapse. Until it has happened no one can really say it is going to happen or when. After is too late. Telling the world after a tipping point has been crossed is also to late. Both these things plus everyday increasing heatwaves, droughts fires, floods and impacts on food supply are continuing even without tipping points yet being crossed.

    What does that tell you? Because in the 1990s the science was specifically warning about future tipping points being an extreme danger of potential no return. 20 years on from that here you are repeating the same mantra of deniers and luke warmers of the 1990s. the evidence suggests we aren’t at those tipping points yet, so there is still an opportunity to avoid them.

    Is there? How do you know that we will still avoid them and avoid societal collapse even before those tipping points kick in?

    Because it is NOT written in the Climate Science literature nigelj – they do not address these matters at all except by pointing to Proxies like it won’t be good when as I say @155 “… the mass scale implications of those feedback when the global temperatures are plus 1.5C, 2C, or 2.5C, or 3.4C as ref’d in the discussion with Nemesis.

    Science does not as yet provide us with all the details of the looming problems to be faced. They certainly to address the consequences to societies on the edge nor do they address the hard edged solutions to avoid such calamities.

    Climate science is great but it does not provide the answers to everything. Until voters and govt get serious about looking at the holistic systemic interconnections forward in time and space across decades ahead then widespread societal collapse is almost certain. We cannot live well in a +2C or a +3C world with or without tipping points.

    Have you heard that the world is drowning in massive Debt to the tune of $250 Trillion? Who do we owe all that money to and where on Earth did they get it to lend out to all the nations in the first place. When most people are in impoverished 3rd world below OECD avg conditions in nations are living in poverty with massive debts, and nations like China Japan and the USA also carry massive debts where is all the “money” coming from to reconfigure the energy sector let alone handle a rapid increase in Mitigation projects and long term Adaption requirements – look at what is already happening – the climates have already changed – the effects are here now and they will be getting far worse in the next 10-20 years – the science has already and at least told us that much.

    And the science does not offer any solutions nor plans of what to do, how to do it or by when it must be done. Think Holistically and decades ahead if you want to see how serious this is and why people like Jem (and Nemesis and Killian, and Alan many many more, some climate scientists included) are saying what they are saying. Or don’t.

    Hint go back 20 years ago and try to imagine what you thought things might be like in 2018. Now compare that with the reality on all our doorsteps. The Arctic sea in summer will be gone within 10 years no matter what happens from now. Coral reefs will be collapsing in 20-30 years from now, no matter what. The Antarctic Ice Greenland Ice sheets will be melting more in 20 years than they are now, that’s guaranteed, no matter what happens between now and then. Methane permafrost emissions will be going up they will not be going down. More heatwaves, wild fires and droughts, including impacts on agriculture harvests. More El Ninos and massive spontaneous CO2/CH4 emissions from lands and forests at the GtC scales. (see the NASA ref)

    Try and put all that together to see what the future looks like rich and poor societies alike. How does societal collapse not happen in multiple locations across the world in such scenarios we should already know is coming soon if we have READ & UNDERSTOOD THE SCIENCE PAPERS and the IPCC Reports?

  20. 220
    Mr. Know It All says:

    147 – nigelj
    Yup, nigel puts the blame for AGW squarely on Trump, who has been an elected politician for less than 2 years. Yup, it’s all Trump’s fault. Great logic. NOT!

    Here in the Pacific Northwest this past week we’ve not been reaching the predicted daily highs due to smoke from wildfires. So, negative feedback loop there. Smoke has helped moderate our daily high temps.

  21. 221
  22. 222
    Al Bundy says:

    Fred and Killian,
    If some comment is on the wrong thread then there’s nothing that prevents you from answering on the right thread. DUH, eh?

    Hopelessness isn’t equivalent to suicidal. Not believing that ducking will make your assasin miss is nothing even remotely close to putting a shotgun in your mouth and pulling the trigger. Seriously, dude, you are accusing all Holocaust victims of suicide??!?

  23. 223

    I would like to invite people to read my latest 2 posts. They are:

    1) Warming in the USA since 1900 (using NOAA’s new ClimDiv temperature series).
    With a focus on the periods:
    a) 1900 to 1950
    b) 1930 to 1980
    c) 1970 to 2018

    2) Warming using Tavg, Tmin, and Tmax (also using NOAA’s new ClimDiv temperature series).
    Will humans die from high afternoon temperatures (death by Tmax), before they get to enjoy mild nights (pampering by Tmin) ?
    This post also looks at warming in the USA, but from a different perspective. Are Tmin and Tmax warming at the same rate as Tavg?

    Warning – you will find many things on the global warming contour maps, and line graphs, to support your views on global warming. But you will probably also find some things that challenge your views.

    If anybody wants help understanding how global warming contour maps work, then read the article on Robot-Train contour maps.

  24. 224
    MA Rodger says:

    Kevin McKenny @199,
    The paper you introduce for discussion Sévellec & Drijfhout (2018) ‘A novel probabilistic forecast system predicting anomalously warm 2018-2022 reinforcing the long-term global warming trend’ has got a lot of media coverage and, how sweet, our very-own “lurking anti-capitalist anarchist” dedicates the paper to me @192.

    I’m not the only one who looks upon Sévellec & Drijfhout (2018) with a jaundiced eye. You will have seen over at Open Mind Tamino meets out a catalogue of negativity and quite right too. Sévellec & Drijfhout fail to explain their methods properly. (Do they really predict next year’s (Y+1) anomalies using the five-year average (y-2 to Y+2) as a start point? Their Fig 5 suggests they do!) Yet their claims are clearly set out and are plainly over-the-top which is a usual marker for something not worth wasting time on. Their claims even include “The important numerical efficiency of the method (a few hundredths of a second on a laptop) opens the possibility for real-time probabilistic predictions carried out on personal mobile devices.” Is this truly global climate they are discussing? Or is their journey into global temperature analysis but an act of shameless publicity?
    (Of course, the mobile phone thing applies to stuff other than global-temperature-for-the-coming-decade, but if they are so confident of their method for predicting next Tuesday’s rainfall on a mobile phone, that would be the application to demonstrate the usefulness-or-otherwise of their methods.)

  25. 225
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Weaktor: “What I AM saying is that the very idea that all the people and all the nations of the world can somehow come together in some vaguely Utopian sense to “fight climate change”…”

    You do love your straw men, don’t you. Simlarly, it was absolutely impossible that the entire world would come together and start lighting the streets with electricity rather than whale oil or that we would get together in 1960 and start a 60-year initiative that would lead us from single transistors to CMOS with a feature size of 7 nm.

    Weaktor, believe it or not, there are very smart people out there who are quite capable of solving problems–despite the fact that you–manifestly–are definitely not one of them. All they lack to do so is time. We need to give it to them.

  26. 226
    MA Rodger says:

    Further to my blather @160 on the significance (or otherwise) of feedbacks that fall outside the CIMP5 modelling and thus IPCC AR5 projections for AGW, I thought to examine the impact of IPCC Arctic Sea Ice projections which are famously under-projecting the levels of sea ice loss. To this can be added projections of Northern Hemisphere snowcover. Is this under-projection and resulting under-estimation of changed Arctic albedo significant for the IPCC AR5 AGW projections?

    There are some who seem to be arguing that the albedo feedback is something we have to get right. If we underestimate it, our AGW projections will be badly wrong. Consider this Peter Wadhams comment from 2012:-

    ”(T)he combined impact (of Arctic Sea ice loss and HN snow cover) could be well over 2 W/sq m. By comparison, this would more than double the net 1.6 W/sq m radiative forcing resulting from the emissions caused by all people of the world. Professor Wadhams adds: “Remember that this is going to happen in only about 3 years if the predictions of alarmist glaciologists like myself are correct”.”

    Such comment could be considered as poor reporting on an obscure climate blog. It is plainly wrong to suggest that reduced Arctic albedo will create a greater climate forcing than AGW-to-date. Yet in his book of 2016, Wadhams (2016) ‘A Farewell To Ice’ we read that the Arctic albedo effect is apparently half the force of positive AGW forcing full stop.

    “If we consider the seven types of feedback listed in this chapter, the most serious is probably the albedo feedback associated with both sea ice and snowline retreat (snowline retreat from coastal lands around the Arctic is itself partly the consequence of sea ice retreat and the warming winds). If we add the two albedo changes together and include black carbon in the albedo calculation, we get about double the effect described by Pistone and others, that is, albedo feedback is adding 50 per cent to the radiative forcing effect of the CO2 that we are adding to the atmosphere. It really is equivalent to a case of ‘deliver two climate changing molecules – get one more free’.”

    Now that sounds very significant and given GCMs famously underestimate Arctic sea ice loss (and less famously Spring snow cover loss) it could be construded as a major underestimation of AGW by IPCC AR5.
    And elsewhere we read a 2018 blog:-

    ”The albedo effect due to vanishing sea ice is already responsible for about 25 percent of global warming, according to Jennifer Francis, a research professor at Rutgers University’s School of Environment and Biological Sciences.

    And unlike Wadhams, Francis is truly on the more conservative side of Arctic Sea Ice loss predictions as this 2016 Independent article demonstrates

    ”Professor Jennifer Francis, of Rutgers University in the US, who has studied the effect of the Arctic on the weather in the rest of the northern hemisphere, was also sceptical about Professor Wadhams’ prediction, saying it was “highly unlikely” to come true this year. She said she thought this would not happen until sometime between 2030 and 2050.”

    This will all be music-to-the-ears for the we-told-you-so doom-sayers but hold on to you hats. All is not what it seems. The above accounts greatly misrepresent the Arctic albedo feedbacks and the level of underestimation of any feedbacks within CIMP5 models.
    To be continued….

    (If this is familiar reading, I did manage somehow to post it initially in the wrong thread.)

  27. 227
    MA Rodger says:

    Carrie-aka-Thomas @195.
    My comment to you @179 was more questioning than saying anything, although you will find I described the substance of Dessler & Forster (2018) correctly. Your inability to respond to my questioning suggests their own answers. The quote you enfolded in your description of Dessler & Forster (2018) you presumably just made up, and likely the ”many such papers” you talk-of don’t actually exist. Assuming you don’t care to add any corrections, “Well done you!”

  28. 228
    MA Rodger says:

    Al Bundy @209,
    The Republican party had a hand in IPCC AR5? Are you sure you aren’t thinking of the NIPCC assessment reports?

  29. 229
    Killian says:

    It’s appropriate, I think, to say I told told you so.

    “We don’t have to wait 200 or 300 years to get these large releases of permafrost carbon,” lead study author Katey Walter Anthony, an ecologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in a NASA statement about the research. “Within my lifetime, my children’s lifetime, it should be ramping up. It’s already happening but it’s not happening at a really fast rate right now, but within a few decades, it should peak.”

    Am I still not making sense, nigel? Hmmm? Another prediction, but all just still bull, eh?

    Hope you all wake up to other ways of knowing.


  30. 230
    Al Bundy says:

    “But when that happens below thermokarst lakes, the process is even grimmer because the water at the surface speeds up the melting below. The released gases, built with carbon atoms between 2,000 and 43,000 years old, quickly rise up through the lake and into the atmosphere.”

    So, permafrost melt goes in spikes. The lakes drill through their underlying permafrost, and, obviously, (though the article doesn’t mention it) then melt starts expanding laterally. Oops. (Again, eh?)

  31. 231
    nigelj says:

    Worrying research : “‘Abrupt thaw’ of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models”

  32. 232
    nigelj says:

    Mr KIA @213, I didn’t blame Trump alone, I said people like Trump and Pruitt, so people with a toxic anti environmental mindset and stupid economic policies.

    The Republicans used to be good on the environment. Not any longer.

  33. 233
    nigelj says:

    Carrie @212, ok there’s some good thoughts in there and holistic thinking is important.

    However I already know the climate problem is serious, and have said so many times on this website, and I already think well ahead. So I’m not sure why you are telling me all that.

    I agree climate change could lead to some form of societal collapse if we do nothing. If – we -do – nothing. I don’t think its locked in yet. Most of those tipping points happen from 2 – 5 degrees, and ok we can’t be sure, but we have to go on the best information science has.

    We already know the solutions: The IPCC report covers mitigation, renewable energy, and we have things like carbon taxes etc. There are things getting in the way, including a lack of political action, a campaign to spread denial, and a lack of individual initiative. Useful discussion would centre on fixing those problems.

    So what specifically are you suggesting we do? Because its none to clear. If you are suggesting we all go and live on little self sufficient farms, then perhaps you should actually think this through a bit more, because its not the simple answer you think it is. And if you can’t convince people on this website, how would you convince someone like Trump or even just the average person?

    But I’m a HOLISTIC thinker. I think we sould be promoting the whole lot: renewable energy, carbon taxes, a bit more self sufficiency, regenerative farming, experiments with alternative economic systems and lifestyles and lower population growth. Then we will see what gains traction. Do you get where Im coming from now? I really hope so.

  34. 234
    Fred Magyar says:

    Al Bundy @ 215 says

    Fred and Killian,
    If some comment is on the wrong thread then there’s nothing that prevents you from answering on the right thread. DUH, eh?

    Most Esteemed Al Bundy,
    While I can not, in good conscience, proffer to speak for Killian.
    If not for your thoughtful elucidation, It is difficult for me to even conceive of the possibility, that I might otherwise have been able to come up with such a brilliant deduction, if left solely to my own devices!
    Yours, in eternal gratitude!
    Fred Magyar

  35. 235
    Mr. Know It All says:

    223/224 – Al and nigelj

    How big are these thawing lakes with permafrost underneath them? Must be small ponds. Vast areas of tundra in the far north has permafrost under it. In the summer, winter snow and perhaps the top layer of frozen ground melts, resulting in surface water that sits on top of the frozen ground below. Essentially, the far north becomes one big, shallow swamp about 1 or 2 inches deep in water. Vegetation forms clumps or tussocks that stick up out of the shallow water. This makes travel on foot unpleasant and is pure heaven for mosquitos; thus the far north is infested with hordes of mosquitos.

    These “lakes” must be small low areas that fill with water each summer when the snow melts.

    I can’t imagine permafrost below a lake of much size. Permafrost forms because of annual mean temperatures below freezing, and a lake deep enough to have liquid water throughout the year would prevent permafrost from forming below it. The water in the bottom of a deep lake cannot be below 36 deg F.

  36. 236
    Killian says:

    Here’s the abstract on the new Walter, et al., paper on abrupt thaw.

    But, hey, we knew stuff like this was coming when Walter, et al., noted a tripling in the number of thermokarst lakes over ten years ago. that was enough to make strong risk assessment assumptions.

    This kind of science, even back then, are why any sort of incrementalism is extremely dangerous as our broad response.

    Abrupt thaw accelerates mobilization of deeply frozen, ancient carbon, increasing 14C-depleted permafrost soil carbon emissions by ~125–190% compared to gradual thaw alone.

  37. 237
    Killian says:

    Both stupid and disgusting. The issue is choice, and choosing to do nothing. Your analogy is, as I said, disgusting, but also incorrect, and obviously so, thus stupid.

    Holocaust victims had no choice. That’s what victim implies and history knows. Today, there is a choice. To not take that choice is a form of suicidal ideation. I have made the point many times: Given a hopeless scenario, people will tend to accept it and do nothing to prevent it. However, given a seemingly hopeless scenario, but then a solution, people tend to fight for their lives.

    If there is a way to solve a problem and you choose to let yourself die, you already want to die. Doing nothing is easier. Some don’t have the strength. Nor is it shameful in and of itself. There are many issues associated with such mental/emotional states. I judge none for that state of being.

    What makes such things immoral is the constant efforts to get others to join you. That is an immoral, unethical and criminal act, imo.

    Bundy, you aren’t smart enough to challenge me, so stop trying.

  38. 238
    Killian says:

    Re #211 nigel gets it wrong again: Of course they didnt develop modern diseases. They only lived to about 40, so not so much cancer etc.

    Pretty much all the diseases have existed a very long time. The incidences were lower. What changed? Diet, lifestyle and poisoned planet.

    On age, how can you be spouting such tripe still? Due to infant mortality, accidental death and people dying of now-curable diseases, the average lifespan was relatively low, but actual life spans were normal for anyone not dying prematurely.

    Garbage in, garbage out. Do better.

  39. 239
    Victor says:

    183 Steven Emmerson says:

    “If you are truly interested in such issues, then please read volumes 2 and 3 of the IPCC report.”

    Purely out of curiosity, I decided to look into that report, at least the segment devoted to mitigation (part 3). The kindest thing to say is that it does make an attempt to be comprehensive. The unkindest thing to say is that it is seriously unreadable, from beginning to end. Indigestible would be another way of putting it.

    It’s hard for me to imagine any “policymaker” (or anyone else) having the patience to slog through the whole thing — and assuming anyone were capable of such a thankless feat, the notion that s/he would be capable of integrating this huge body of miscellaneous information into something even remotely useful is beyond my powers of comprehension.

    Hardly anywhere in the entire thing is there any consideration of what sort of sacrifices ordinary people would be expected to make. No mention of things such as the consequences of limiting gasoline supplies, heating oil and natural gas supplies, electricity, access to essentials such as food and water, the need for air conditioning in so many huge high rise buildings, etc. It’s a perfect example of academic bureaucratize at its most abstract and obtuse. A huge array of possible contributions to a solution is considered, but only in the most abstract sense is the necessity of coordinating all these efforts meaningfully addressed. And the very serious challenges, political, financial, economic, social, of implementing any of them in a sufficiently prompt and effective manner is merely glossed over.

    Only in the first sentences of one of the last paragraphs do we see consideration of one of the most basic human problems: “Some mitigation policies raise the prices for some energy services and could hamper the ability of societies to expand access to modern energy services to underserved populations (low confidence). These potential
    adverse side-effects can be avoided with the adoption of complementary policies (medium confidence). Most notably, about 1.3 billion people worldwide do not have access to electricity and about 3 billion are dependent on traditional
    solid fuels for cooking and heating with severe adverse effects on health, ecosystems and development. Providing access to modern energy services is an important sustainable development objective. The costs of achieving nearly universal
    access to electricity and clean fuels for cooking and heating are projected to be between USD 72 and 95 billion per year until 2030 with minimal effects on GHG emissions (limited evidence, medium agreement).”

    Did you notice that last bit?: “with minimal effects on GHG emissions.” After spending “USD 72 and 95 billion per year until 2030.” Nothing in the whole document speaks to the futility of the whole “mitigation” enterprise so strongly as that single phrase. Yet it is tossed off as though the enormous problem it raises is inconsequential.

    So yes, I did as you asked, I read that pathetically inadequate report, and what I learned only strengthened my conviction that the whole “climate change” crusade is at best totally misguided, and at worst, seriously delusional.

  40. 240
    nigelj says:

    Mr KIA @235, why ask me about the permafrost issue? Why not just read the research?

  41. 241
    A.Randomjacl says:

    Sorry I’m late

    Thanks to all who answered.

    493ppm of CO2e…I was guessing about 500.
    This is not mentioned often enough.


  42. 242
    nigelj says:

    Sheldon, what exactly is your point? (I think I will regret asking this)

  43. 243
    Mr. Know It All says:

    234 – MKIA
    I got that 36 deg F wrong – should have been 39.2 deg F (temp at max density). Temp, at bottom of the lake cannot be below 39.2 unless the lake is shallow. Unless the lake is so shallow that it freezes to the bottom, the bottom would always be above 32F – assuming it’s fresh water, so there should be no permafrost below the water (except at the edges perhaps).

  44. 244
    Mr. Know It All says:

    223 – Sheldon W

    I can’t understand your triangular graphs; but with a skull as thick as mine, as pointed out by Ray, that is not surprising, right? :)

    Based only on your line graphs, I conclude that there was no warming of any significance from 1900 to around 1970 or 1980. May have been some warming after 1980.

  45. 245
    Killian says:

    This is not going to help the water cycle, or anything else.

    Fracking is destroying U.S. water supply, warns shocking new study
    Toxic wastewater from fracking jumps 14-fold from 2011 to 2016 — and it may get 50 times bigger by 2030.

  46. 246
    Carrie says:

    21st-century modeled permafrost carbon emissions accelerated by abrupt thaw beneath lakes. Nature Communications, 2018; 9 (1)
    DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05738-9

    “Northern permafrost soils represent the largest terrestrial organic carbon pool (1330–1580 petagrams, Pg)1 on Earth. While frozen, this soil carbon reservoir is stable.

    However, recent observations2,3,4,5 and projections1,6,7,8,9,10 of future soil warming and permafrost thaw suggest that permafrost soil carbon will be increasingly vulnerable to decomposition by microbes that generate the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). This release of permafrost carbon as greenhouse gases constitutes a positive feedback likely to amplify climate warming beyond most current earth system model projections1.”

    “These finding demonstrate the need to incorporate abrupt thaw processes in earth system models for more comprehensive projection of the PCF this century.”

    See also: “‘Abrupt thaw’ of permafrost beneath lakes could significantly affect climate change models”

    Even climate models that project only moderate warming this century will have to factor in their emissions, according to the researchers.

    I find many papers like this one only a handful of which I ever share here. One day I’ll die of shock if someone with a science degree and climate experience makes an insightful comments about one of them, eg as simple as yes that’s correct, or not it’s wrong because of this and this and this.

    The volume of new papers coming out makes me think that if active climate scientists read all the new papers in their field they wouldn’t have any time left to do their day job. I sure cannot keep up, I can’t see how journalists could either. The other thing is it is really rare to find a paper suggesting things are not as bad as previous Papers and IPCC analysis was reporting 5 years or 10 years ago.

    So now and then I post such a paper here, sit back, relax and then watch nothing happen. :-)

  47. 247
    Chuck says:

    Mr. Know It All says:
    2 Aug 2018 at 10:01 PM
    1, 2, 3 – patrick and jgnfld”

    Does anybody know if Mr. Killed In Action and Weaktor are the same Moron? They seem to be saying the same things all the time, repeatedly, month after month.

  48. 248

    MAR, #224–

    Thanks for the comments on the probabilistic forecasting paper. I rather thought the claims pretty extraordinary, too. “Severe truncating of the phase space,” indeed. But if I dismissed everything I didn’t understand, I’d be–well, one of the other commenters.

  49. 249
    Carrie says:

    212 nigelj, well re #194 you are beyond help and do not want any.

    And there I was almost feeling sorry for you at the level of vitriol sent in your direction by Killian. I had thought, gee that’s a bit harsh, and now I see I have misjudged him. Sorry Killian for my bad thoughts.

    I will not waste my time by belaboring what I said before. But I remind you that I did say that your sophistry against me that I had not provided adequate scientific references before where I responded that you NEVER DO is now proven a third time Nigelji. Conclusion: You are full of shit Nigelj. You know nothing.

    I will only attend to this load of garbage from your keyboard:
    Oh for goodness sake, read the links that have been provided, read MAR’s comments because he has clearly got some knowledge on the issues and is careful to do his homework, read the IPCC report, do a google search, its all a start, and stop expecting people to give you every last piece of information on some subject. The term I think is spoon feeding! Your blather is getting very tedious.

    Proceeding from start to finish in order of that ridiculous paragraph:
    The links do not define what feedbacks are included in which models, nor do they delineate the math of how those feedbacks are inserted into the models.

    Different models include and exclude different feedbacks

    Different models apply different values to the feedbacks they do include.

    Different models cover different time periods and starting points.

    If you have read those links obviously do not understand a thing that presented in them and you are totally misrepresenting and distorting what they do show.

    You do not even know how Models are run. Nor do you know how many models there are nor why they are different and designed to produce different outputs for analysis.

    MAR is an engineer – he is not a climate scientist with expertise in Climate Modelling.

    Yes he knows more than you but that’s why it’s so easy for him to “appear” as an expert on this subject given how little you know.

    Appeals to Authority, when they are not authorities, is a dumb way to debate and I’m not buying your snake oil today.

    MAR does “his homework” about issues he is obsessed about – that does mean he does all the homework required to get a grip on the issues I presented to you at 194 and at other places. That’s YOUR homework to do, and washing your hands and relying upon MAR because you BELIEVE knows what you think he says he knows and YOU BELIEVE HIM and then ASSUME he has covered all the bases is frankly really dumb way to learn about the actual science – and what is and is not included in specific climate models and when and why and how they can be applied versus how they cannot be applied to the real world and future projections and knowledge about the possibilities of outcomes – and the abject LACK of Knowledge about possibilities because they never included the necessary parameters in the first place!

    I have read every page of every IPCC report and even understand some of it. But this I know you will NOT find the IPCC detailing what Feedbacks are included in the various Climate Models on which different parts of the reports rely upon. You should have read them before making such stupid claims. The specifics are only included in the individual papers – of which not all are referenced specifically in the IPCC reports. They typically rely on combined runs (sorry can’t recall the right words here) and their outputs for generalized forecasts and producing different scenarios that end up displayed as graphs. No info about “feedbacks” programmed into said Model runs used in the IPCC reports is included (at least not specifically or ion details – which is what I asked you about – but you know nothing about any of them, not even ONE Model scenario.)

    Do a google search? A you effing serious? You think I am like you and know nothing and have never used google the last 20 years to do my own research and read up about Models, feedback and everything else. That’s not only dumb it’s spurious garbage if that’s how you head works. You so stupid and arrogant you assume people you speak to know as little as you do yourself!

    You go do a google search and you go find even 3 climate models and educate yourself about what feedback are included, which are not but could be, and then try and work out what the actual purpose of those models were meant to find out. I am NOT asking you questions because I do not know the answers or where to find them nigelj … I already know you and MAR do not know the answers to the specific contexts I presented – you are both making it up and avoiding the hard questions about what feedback and what current real world climate data and GHG energy forcings are not have not been included in existing MODELS upon which you are both happily relying upon as being KOSHER and GOOD ENOUGH and UP-TO-DATE when they are not.

    Because the “climate system” and the feedbacks have already changed in way not envisioned when those Models were done – and I am telling you that you do not have a hope in hell of finding out what feedback and at what scale were plugged into those older models and you have not got a clue what are being plugged into the now or if they are GOOD ENOUGH to actually reflect real world observational changes in 2018 or the higher GHG emissions now occurring both from natural sources and Manmade driven forcings.

    You do not know a thing but are pretending you do, already know this stuff, and relying upon MAR as your resident Authority while telling me I need to go do a google search. You’re disconnected from reality on this topic.

    You are so ignorant and uninformed about the facts of this topic you cannot even give me the FIRST piece of information let alone every last piece of it. But you sit there like god almighty and demand that I am the one who doesn’t know and I need to go read the IPCC and do a google search? That’s so dumb it defies belief.

    Your spoons are all empty Niglej. You couldn’t feed a finch! They’d starve.

    My blather is getting tedious? Go on admit it – you didn’t even understand a single thing I said or a single question I asked you nor why all that in #194 was actually 100% on topic relevant and useful to know the answers to when it comes to Models, positive feedbacks (what they are when they’ll increase substantially, about tipping points, about how the climate system is in many ways running way ahead of the best models, why ECS is such a big unknown potentially very dangerous, and about IPCC forecasts of the climate system versus what those forecasts would look like if they were run now instead of a decade ago and the differences that might arise if todays’ knowledge of positive feedbacks and especially the speed of changes in them were also included – then the IPCC AR5 would have a many very different Graphs included than were there in 2012.

    That being said thanks for proving me right about you NEVER ever presenting supporting scientific evidence for anything you ever say and claim, and thanks for once and for proving to me what a great waste of time and space you are. I prefer to communicate with people who are always willing to learn something knew (because they are not already Know-it-Alls like you are) and who are at least self-honest and self-aware.

    Hey look wind … I’m going to fly a kite now and have some fun. Going to do something useful with the time that has just now been freed up forever!

  50. 250
    Carrie says:

    223 Sheldon Walker, I bet I am going to regret this, but OK, I’ll bite.

    “So, I have shown you proof of the slowdown, not just once, but twice. Are you still going to be a denier?”

    What are you so upset about? I’m confused. It was called an Hiatus, a pause, a slowdown “in temperature increases” aka “flattening below the long term trend” and below “the forecast trend of temp increases” from the major peak in 1998 into 2010. Everyone had their own way of describing it and denying it. And then soon enough a handful of climate scientists began to explain it by looking deeper into it. was it Cowtan and Way the first to actually use the word Hiatus in the title of a science paper and acknowledge it was a real phenomena (but explainable)? I think the shit hit the fan in several circles.

    Of course deniers and shills and trolls called this proof global warming had stopped. The world was going to cool down, it’s all a hoax, the models do not work, it’s a conjob. Total windbags speaking bollocks.

    Of course they couldn’t tell the difference between global warming – a process/mechanism driven by global scale complex physics and Temperature – one of the yardsticks used to measure the impact of global warming over time in knowable easy to understand ‘numbers.’

    The flattening in growth of Temperature did not and does not equate to Global warming had stopped or had taken a nap for 12 years. :-)

    The climate system is very complex, lots of swings and roundabouts in it’s behavior. Much is known how the process operates and much is not yet known. Global warming is occurring and it’s going to continue and it won’t be very nice nor accommodating to what humanity has been used to for 10K years the warmer it gets.

    So I’m curious as to what the point is with your refs and what it is that makes it so important to you? I see nothing new or different in those pages.