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 2019

Filed under: — group @ 31 July 2019

This month’s open thread on climate science topics. Arctic sea ice minimum is upcoming, global temperatures running at (or close) to record levels, heat waves, new reconstructions for the last 2000 years, etc… Surely something there to discuss?

186 Responses to “Unforced variations: Aug 2019”

  1. 51
    Nemesis says:

    @Russel, #41

    Exactly, that’s what Jason Box et al say.

  2. 52
    Solar Jim says:

    RE: #29 and #31.
    There was no timeline that I can recall. The planetary response was discussed by J. Hansen some years back as the “Climate Response Factor.”
    The sited paper by MAR is not what I referred to, i.e. a Draft several weeks ago. Thanks for your response none the less.
    My question is: Assuming 0.75C increase with each watt/m2, should this value be current heat flux (0.75 w/m2) or should it be Net Forcing (about 2 w/m2). “In the pipeline” refers to the coming inevitable increase in temperature assuming today’s Net Forcing as constant, as I understand it.

  3. 53
    nigelj says:

    Nemesis @50, yes it could be a methane feedback, and this would certainly be a simpler explanation. It’s certainly happened before: Methane spikes in vostok ice cores:

  4. 54
    nigelj says:

    Kevin McKinney @46 I have just recently bought a new book by Jared Diamond called “Upheaval, How Nations Cope With crisis and Change” which looks at several historical examples, and also has a chapter on what lies ahead for the world including climate change. Looks quite good. Might be of interest to you and others.

  5. 55
    MA Rodger says:

    George @43,
    I have read sections of the Fleming book (dipping in via Google books) and it says little more than his paper R.J. Fleming, (2018) ‘An updated review about carbon dioxide and climate change’, Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 77, pp1-13. The paper has been mentioned adequately within a RealClimate item solely as another exemplar of denialist nonsense that was inappropriately published in a scientific journal.
    In its Section2, the 2018 paper repeats the findings of a 2014 paper by Fleming.(I have no understanding of Section 2’s veracity.) The remainder of the paper continues in an entirely incoherent way before running through a large calculation to shows CO2 to be effectively transparent to IR radiation above 9,000m altitude. This fact is then used to somehow argue that CO2 levels have no effect on global temperature. (Strangely ‘this fact’ is actually a necessary condition for the opposite.) The difference between the 2019 book and the 2018 paper is that Fleming now adds a further poorly-explained (& seemingly inappropriate) step to his entirely-bonkers analysis to apparently now show that it is only above 13,000m that CO2 is effectively transparent, this further step seemingly achieved by using a new magic coefficient of Fleming’s own derivation.
    I don’t consider a more detailed explanation of Fleming’s nonsense is required, although others may disagree and it is quite fun deriding the stupidity exhibited by denialsists.

  6. 56

    G 43: “Past climates have been warm and cold and warm and cold with no changes in carbon dioxide. How can that be a cause when there’s no correlation.”

    I don’t have a good impression as the above statement is wrong.

    BPL: It’s wrong because not only IS there a correlation, but the correlation is very strong:

    It’s also wrong because it assumes we’re saying CO2 is the only factor that affects temperature, and obviously that’s not true. Straw man argument.

  7. 57
    MA Rodger says:

    mike @47,
    As I’m not entirely sure what it is in the article you link to you are wishing to cite, I have not attempted to include it in this reply to you.

    You suggest a modification to my statement @31 that “when we stop pumping those GHGs … the level of forcing will begin to decline” and ask if I agree. I a confused as to what you intent by this modification so cannot really offer a reply.
    You say that a post-emissions reduction of forcing will end in a “new balanced state” for which we will need to “wait and watch,” suggesting there would be a level of uncertainty at the time when the post-emissions reduction is seen to begin (this ‘time’ of course being a rather theoretical concept). But then you say we can “estimate with some accuracy … for any given level of GHG accumulation” suggesting there would be certainty but that there is also uncertainty in “the accuracy of our estimates” and in the “new balanced state.”

  8. 58
    mike says:

    “The annual average wildfire season in the Western U.S. is 105 days longer, burns six times as many acres, and has three times as many large fires (more than 1,000 acres) than it did in the 1970s.”

    “How Bad Is the Climate Feedback from Fires?

    Although the exact quantities are difficult to calculate, scientists estimate that wildfires emitted about 8 billion tons of CO2 per year for the past 20 years. In 2017, total global CO2 emissions reached 32.5 billion tons, according to the International Energy Agency.

    When they calculate total global CO2 output, scientists don’t include all wildfire emissions as net emissions, though, because some of the CO2 is offset by renewed forest growth in the burned areas. As a result, they estimate that wildfires make up 5 to 10 percent of annual global CO2 emissions each year.”

    I think wildfire is difficult to assess. There are a lot of considerations: cooling from soot, regrowth offset of CO2, etc. but I think it’s safe to assume that increase in wildfire activity is contributing to our CO2 accumulation problem now.



  9. 59
    Chuck says:

    Nemesis says:
    3 Aug 2019 at 12:48 PM

    “I see that guillotine blade working like a charm, there’s a nice mantra written on it:

    “Faster than expected.”

    Are you available for children’s parties?

  10. 60
    Nemesis says:

    There is the virtual debate about climate heating and numbers and data and this and that and funny politics and dirty gamez and then there is the Real Concrete Jungle- the fight for water in Germany begins:

    ” 6.8.2019 – Engpässe in Deutschland – Der Kampf ums Wasser beginnt

    Die Versorgung mit Trinkwasser ist in Deutschland für die meisten so selbstverständlich, dass sie nicht darüber nachdenken. Das könnte sich bald ändern.

    Wasser kommt aus der Leitung – das ist noch immer die Haltung, die viele hierzulande haben. Aber so selbstverständlich ist das nicht mehr. Auch in diesem Jahr sind in manchen Regionen Brunnen und Flüsse ausgetrocknet, Behörden drohen Landwirten mit Bußgeldern, wenn sie zu viel bewässern. Der Kampf ums Wasser beginnt. Und Deutschland ist nicht darauf vorbereitet….”

    In the end, there will be no more debate, no more smoke and mirrors, no more stiffnecked fools, only Rude Boy Shufflin.

    “Israel Vibration – Rude Boy Shufflin'”

  11. 61
    Nemesis says:

    Addendum to my recent comment about the begin of the fight for water in Germany:

    I am a caller in the desert, literally.


  12. 62
    Nemesis says:

    @Chuck, #59

    ” Are you available for children’s parties?”

    Yes and for funerals as well, meet me at the gates of hell.

  13. 63
    DasKleineTeilchen says:

    @Nemesis: “I am a caller in the desert, literally”

    nix für ungut, nemesis, aber könntest du dein ego bitte bischen im zaum halten? fängt langsam an zu nerven. danke.

    Love, DKT.

  14. 64
    Nemesis says:

    @nigelj, #53

    Thanks for that beautiful graph. Isn’t it stunning how these curves matched eachother almost perfectly in the past? But that’s no surprise as CO2 and CH4 are two sides of the very same coin as carbon dioxide and methane (and water vapor) set up the greenhouse effect early in earth’s history. But why that huge gap between CO2 and CH4 today compared to ancient times? Some positive methane feedback resp a methane runaway state?:

    ” 8.6.2018 – The Role of Methane and Methane Hydrates in the Evolution of Global Climate

    … Especially the increase by 2.5 times from 700 to 1800 ppbv over the last 30 years is important to mention. The increase of methane concentrations over the past millennium is plotted in Figure 1, concluding that in the next 50 – 60 years the doubling of the concentration of CH4 is expected. As can be seen, the dependence is exponential…

    Numerical modeling carried out by using the global chemical and climatic model of the lower and middle atmosphere showed that the contribution of methane emissions from Arctic gas hydrates to global emissions is currently underestimated…

    The relationship between methane emissions and climate warming is not random. Especially in the North-East of Asia, in the coldest region of the NH, the average annual temperatures grew at a trend of 0.06˚C to 0.09˚C/year over the last 50 years. And especially there, there is an increase in methane emission rates, whose concentration was at least doubled in the past 40 – 60 years (see Figure 1). This can lead to an abrupt rise in temperature of 1˚C – 1.3˚C in the near future (in about 30 years), and 3.3˚C by the end of this century. Such high rates of temperature increase can be explained by positive feedbacks in the climate system, which includes the growth of temperature in lower atmosphere layers and the earth’s surface, causing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, followed by further warming of the atmosphere and underlying surfaces…

    The increase of temperature on the Earth’s surface by 3˚C can lead to destabilization of 85% of the existing deposits of oceanic GH, which will result in the release of (4 ÷ 8) × 103 Gt of carbon, while its amount (in form of methane and carbon dioxide) in the modern atmosphere is only 730 – 760 Gt…

    3. “Methane Catastrophe” as a Result of a Critical State of the Planetary Climate System…”

    Read the rest of it here:

    I remember the Yamal peninsula, Svalbard, the ESAS ect…

    Do you remember? Shakova et al warned us repeatedly already years ago…


    Is it ok to evoke the methane monster on childrens parties and/or funerals?

  15. 65
    Nemesis says:

    @DasKleineTeilchen, #63

    ” nix für ungut, nemesis, aber könntest du dein ego bitte bischen im zaum halten? fängt langsam an zu nerven. danke.”


    ” No offense, Nemesis, but could you please hold your ego in rein a little? It’s starting to bug. Thanks.”

    Uhm, I said:

    ” I am a caller in the desert” and I mean it, literally, as (not just) Germany/Europe is turning into a DESERT, my fellow countryman. See, I am talking about facts that got zero to do with “ego”. Now, could you please contribute some substantial climate related facts instead of mocking? Thank you.


  16. 66
    DasKleineTeilchen says:

    about that graph from nigelj@53 and the mention from nemesis about methane hydrate…I wonder how does methane hydrate react to a slow and steady acidification of the oceans (letting the rising temperatur out of the equation) through rising C02-levels in the atmosphere? methane hydrate always dissolve a bit into the water, even under so called “stable” circumstances, right?

  17. 67
    David B. Benson says:

    DasKleinTeilchen @66 — Under sufficient pressure and low enough temperature methyl clathrates are stable. Right at the boundary of the temperature-pressure regime some will form as other assemblies fall apart.

    With increased carbon dioxide concentrations, i.e., increased acidification, the boundary of the temperature-pressure for methyl clathrate stability will shift. I am no chemist but I opine that this shift favors methyl clathrate formation.

  18. 68
    Nemesis says:

    @DasKleineTeilchen, #66

    ” I wonder how does methane hydrate react to a slow and steady acidification of the oceans…”

    Stability of methane is a matter of pressure and temperature, methane does not react to ocean acidification, but large amounts of methane release increase ocean acidification significantly.

    ” methane hydrate always dissolve a bit into the water, even under so called “stable” circumstances, right?”

    Sure, methane hydrates ocasionally dissociate naturally in lakes and continental shelves as temperature and pressure is mutable to some degree, but if it dissociates, then it’s not stable anymore per definition.

  19. 69
    Andrew says:


    May I ask for a link to the “new reconstructions for the last 2000 years”? And do they add any new findings beyond what previous reconstructions (eg. by Michael E. Mann and others) have found? Thank you.

  20. 70
    mike says:

    for folks who attempt to track sea level rise. I don’t think there are many big surprises in the story for many of us. I will move out on a limb ever so slightly and suggest that in the next year we will see a story that reports SLR is happening faster than expected.


    Warm regards


  21. 71
    Killian says:

    Every person who belittles warnings of changes coming faster than we can cope is a massive goddamned delusional effing fool.

    Have you learned nothing from the last ten years?

    Nemesis, I abhor your givupium perspective – it angers and repulses me – but the factual content and inherent warnings are, as ever, on point.

    It is they, not we, who must wake to reality.

  22. 72
    Victor says:

    #56 BPL: It’s wrong because not only IS there a correlation, but the correlation is very strong:

    V: If you read the following analysis, you’ll see where you’ve gone wrong:

  23. 73
    MA Rodger says:

    Let’s have a bit of a laugh with this ΔCO2 malarkey.

    The annual (or 12-month) increase in CO2 levels can be expressed thus:=

    ΔCO2(month0) = CO2(month0) – CO2(month-12)

    We know there is a lot of ‘noise’ in ΔCO2 as measured at MLO for instance making daily, weekly, even monthly values less than useful as a measure of the underlying rate of increase. This ‘noise’ wouldn’t be so bad (as we can average it out over a year, say) but there is also an ENSO-induced wobble superimposed over the ΔCO2 signal which prevents such averaging being used to identify any underlying ΔCO2 value over periods of less thn a decade. So the scene is set for skyrocketeers and myself to have a good old bish-bash-bosh over this underlying ΔCO2 and what we should expect ΔCO2 to read in coming months.

    Now the equation above is usually used by skyrocketeers to say that ΔCO2(month0) is eye-poppingly big because CO2(month0) is high. But ther is another logical explanation. ΔCO2(month0) can be high because CO2(month-12) is low. And there is a whiff of sense to this that I see lurking in the MLO data, perhaps exemplified by the high ΔCO2[MLO] this year (averaging +3.1ppm over the last 6 months) and the low ΔCO2[MLO] last year(averaging only +1.7ppm over the 6 months a year ago). As the skyrocketeers say, this high ΔCO2[MLO] this year is difficult to attribute to ENSO (although they are less eager to admit this for the low ΔCO2[MLO] last year).

    However, this lurking high/low wobble in the MLO data is more than a fanciful idea. It becomes quite convincing by considering the difference between MLO CO2 data & Global CO2 data. There is actually a statistically-significant direct negtive linear relationship between the difference MLO-Global and the difference MLO-Global a year earlier. Thus (ignoring the ‘noise’):-

    ΔCO2[MLO](m0) – ΔCO2[Globe](m0) = ΔCO2[Globe](m-12) – ΔCO2[MLO](m-12)

    As this equivalence for Month0 equals data available from a year earlier, it can be used to project this MLO-Global difference for future months. And if we are brave enough to assume that ΔCO2[Globe] isn’t going to change much over coming months as ENSO should be relatively flat, we could project future months of ΔCO2[MLO].
    Assuming a value for ΔCO2[Globe] of +2.5ppm/yr for future months yields values for future months of ΔCO2[MLO] that steadily drop from July 2019’s 3.1ppm/yr down to perhaps +2.1ppm/yr by the beginnign of 2020. The graph here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) plots out this MLO-Global correlation 2016-to-date and carries it forward into 2020. (Do be aware that the last 3 months of ΔCO2[Globe] can be subject to significant amendment.)

    So let’s have a bit of a laugh and see how rubbish (or otherwise) this ΔCO2[MLO] projetion turns out to be.

  24. 74
    Nemesis says:

    @Killian, #71

    My message is givupium indeed:

    Giving up delusional ideas about controlling uncontrollable Nature. Giving up hopium. Giving up greed, material shit and ignorance. And most important: Giving up the fight against impermanence and death.

    This kind of givupium will never result in despair and depression, but in true freedom and realization of the fact, that we can never fall deeper than into the lap of Mother Nature. True life is not a job, it’s not a business, it’s not about piling up numbers and calculation games, it’s not about winning nor losing, it’s about going with the flow of Nature, the flow of life continually. Both, life and death are impermanence, the flow of Life. True realization is all about having the guts to face harsh and painful reality instead of evasion. This way we are able to do what’s truely necessary, no matter what circumstances.

    Anyone who reads beyond the surface of my harsh comments on realclimate will never see despair, but a truely happy man :)

  25. 75
    Nemesis says:

    All day long I read headlines like “Farmers are defying drought”, “Trees are defying drought”, “Winemakers are defying drought” and funny shit like that in the german media. And Mother Nature makes fun of them all :) They “defy” the drought? Very funny.

    Why don’t they defy their very own ignorance and realize the necessities of Nature?!

    There’s no way to “defy” the laws of Nature, never ever. The more they “defy”, the more Mother Nature will get em at their throats, hehe, yeah, Mother Nature, please kick their asses until there will be not the slightest defiance anymore 8)

    Capitalism will strive to “defy” the laws of Nature until it is no more, hehe.

  26. 76

    V 72: If you read the following analysis, you’ll see where you’ve gone wrong:

    BPL: I haven’t gone wrong, Victor. Correlation is a simple number with a formula to calculate it, and I got it right. If I didn’t, show the math error. If you can’t show a math error, shut up, because no matter how you gas about what correlation “really” means, you can’t just make up your own definitions of words.

  27. 77
    Carbomontanus says:

    @ #67 David B.Benson

    I am a chemist. And I red once that a promising way to secure enough fuel for the future is to drill into the worlds CH4 clatrate formations and at the same time pump down CO2 along with CCS, carbon capture and store. Simply because CO2 has got the higher affintity to water and rocks.

  28. 78
    Chuck says:

    The manifesto’s author does not believe Americans are capable of changing their lifestyles. The only other option he sees, therefore, is to “get rid of enough people” so that “our way of life can become more sustainable.”

    Pull these threads together — ecological destruction, a new welfare state, white nationalism — and you begin to see the larger eco-fascist logic. Our current relationship to the ecosphere is unsustainable. One option is what might be called an ecosocialist state: a centrally planned economy that regulates the use of natural resources and ensures that all citizens have their basic necessities. The eco-fascist is open to such a state in theory, but not if the state is racially heterogeneous — otherwise, refugees from the global South will flood the global North, taking advantage of the welfare state and making the whole enterprise once again untenable. Therefore, as a condition for “sustainability,” the eco-fascist demands ethnic cleansing.

  29. 79
    Chuck says:


    You’re not adding much to the conversation so far as I can tell. I’d prefer some hard data as opposed to dire prognostications and revelations… and you’re clogging up the thread.

  30. 80
    Chuck says:

    Comment policy: Please note that if your comment repeats a point you have already made, or is abusive, or is the nth comment you have posted in a very short amount of time, please reflect on the whether you are using your time online to maximum efficiency. Thanks.

  31. 81
  32. 82
    Bryant says:

    There’s no consensus that CH4 emissions from Arctic gas hydrates are being underestimated in atmospheric CH4 levels. Also, it’s highly debateable that CH4 spikes from Arctic hydrates resulted in large warming in the past. It is worth noting that Shakhova’s work is not unchallenged

  33. 83
    Nemesis says:

    @Bryant, #82

    Nature doesn’t need any scientific consensus at all. See, there wasn’t any broad scientific consensus the rich northern hemisphere could suffer badly from climate heating just 20, 30 years ago, quite the opposite was true, broad science speculated that the rich countries of the northern hemisphere would “profit” from global heating, hehe. You know that there have been a lot of broad scientific expectations years ago that have been proven to be be plain wrong afterwards. Just take that beautiful meme “faster than expected” into account, just do some research if you haven’t done yet. There wasn’t much scientific consensus about massive global insect extinction ect either just some years ago. Just ask the russian scientists who work right in the field about methane or ask the scientists in Alaska and Canada about methane ;)

    Anyway, I see there’s still way too much calculated optimism yet, it needs too get hotter, it needs to get worse before the rich countries of the northern hemisphere will wake up and realize the full spectrum of what has been done to the biosphere. And it will get hotter and it will get get much worse “faster than expected” with or without scientific consensus. But yeah, I just have to be a little more patient yet, like I have been patient for more than 30 years to see the global mess unfold. All my expectations from decades ago have come true so far, even worse, they have been overhauled by harsh reality. As there’s no fundamental change of the political system and there will be no fundamental change of capitalist empire, I resp we will see the bloody rest of it soon, I just ask you to be a little more patient too. So let’s just lay back and relax, watching the final Rock’n Roll show.

    @Carbomontanus, #77

    ” And I red once that a promising way to secure enough fuel for the future is to drill into the worlds CH4 clatrate formations and at the same time pump down CO2 along with CCS, carbon capture and store.”

    Oh these fond methods sound promising and beautifully optimistic. Go for that beautiful methane, you just need to be quite fast harvesting all that beautiful methane before you get more than you can swallow. Yeah, turn that beautiful methane into money just like oil, coal and nuclear power is still being turned into money. Best wishes.

    @Chuck, #79

    ” You’re not adding much to the conversation so far as I can tell. I’d prefer some hard data as opposed to dire prognostications and revelations… and you’re clogging up the thread.”

    I see, you need more hard data. You will get more hard and even harder data quickly. Yeah, I need to save space at realclimate, as I’m just clogging up that space and wasting my precious time, I will relax now, “using my time online to maximum efficiency”, grabbing my geetar and just enjoy real life for another year or so and then I’ll come back when there will be more hard and even harder facts. You will get all the beautiful hard facts soon I promise. Until then:

    Hasta luego,

  34. 84
    Carbomontanus says:

    Dr.Nemesis & al

    We had a story red for us by our English teacher. It was about King Midas.

    Who was quite exteemy fond of money, and thus whished that anything he touched should become pure gold.

    An ugly and cruel whith got aware of this, and made him have it so during his sleep. And he woke up and it still worked. Everything that he touched in his enviroment throghout his palace was turned into pure gold.

    But then he got hungry and thirsty after a while, and went for a proper, royal supper…… good greef….

  35. 85
    Bryant says:

    It might be a good idea for you to rely on more than just the research of Shakhova et al. For instance, Pier Paul Overduin and his group have worked in that same region for a long time as well. Or Carolyn Ruppel’s group with USGS in the Beaufort Sea. You’ll find that their findings are quite different

  36. 86

    #78, Chuck–

    Good article. I’d also like to quote the conclusion here:

    The evolution of photosynthesis among cyanobacteria literally changed the atmosphere and made it breathable; the evolution of grasslands created vast carbon sinks and cooled the earth, making human civilization possible. Now life has evolved to a point where it has produced a global industrialized civilization. We are, as the astrophysicist Adam Frank reminds us, what the ecosphere is doing now.

    We cannot go back, as that would mean death for billions. We’ve already geo-engineered the world; can we now do it more deliberately and with greater respect for all life? Despair is not the way out. Hopeless is, and always has been, the enabler of fascism. And it is a luxury we can no longer afford.

  37. 87

    Does anyone know of any free software for reading the .netcdf files everyone’s using now? They stopped releasing data in Excel or ASCII format, and I can’t read netcdf. I’d like to do more research on drought, but I’m stymied at the moment.

    [Response: Panoply for plotting them and some simple manipulations. R using library(ncdf4) works if you want to do more serious analysis. – gavin]

  38. 88
    O. says:

    @Barton Paul Levinson, # 97:
    There is the package “ncdf4” for R.

  39. 89
    O. says:

    @Barton Paul Levenson: I’m sorry for the typo in your name in my last post.

  40. 90
    mike says:

    Stefan tweets some eye-popping melt stats from Greenland. Greenland melt is going all sky-rockety.

    No worries.


  41. 91
    Nemesis says:

    @Carbomontanus, #84

    Yep I know that telling story. Materialism is a deadly desease.

    @Bryant, #85

    I’ve done that. I always look at things from various angles ;) Time will tell for sure faster than expected.

  42. 92
    Bryant says:

    Time will indeed tell

  43. 93
    Killian says:

    Anyone recall my ENSO – Arctic Sea Ice Extent theory from 2015? From something I posted elsewhere very recently – like, today:

    I used this info to predict a new low ASIE or near new low (2nd or 3rd lowest) ASIE for 2016. All of you who frequent these pages know how hard predicting ASIE is. I predicted the Sept. ASIE minimum for 2016 (2nd lowest) in August 2015. Dumb luck? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

    The Theory

    It is a theory: Observation, hypothesis, test.

    Observation: Science lit says no effect. Charts say there is. 1 to 2 years following an EN, low ASIE’s often occur.

    Hypothesis: Warmth from the Pacific via air (fast feedback) and ocean waters (slow feedback) can affect ASI by weakening or fully melting sea ice directly and indirectly, within 24 months of the end of an EN (really two summers as the third summer would be outside the window usually.)

    Some mechanisms:

    * Direct short-term air temps
    * Direct longer-term air temps
    * Precipitation, pan-Arctic
    * Direct effects from hgher and/or warmer river discharge
    * Direct longer-term ocean temps via Bering Strait from the Pacific.
    * Direct/inderect effects from increased short-lived, local CO2/CH4, both land and sub-sea.

    Storms? No idea.

    Here is my original “data”:


    EN ’51 – ’54 = inception of ASI Extent decline.
    EN ’57 – ’59 = Near New Low/New Low
    EN ’65 – ’66 = Near New Low/New Low
    EN ’68 – ’70 = New Low
    EN ’72 – ’73 = possible correlation, some delay
    EN ’76 – ’78 = New Low
    EN ’79 – ’80 = New Low
    EN ’82 – ’83 = New Low
    EN ’86 – ’88 = New Low (’89,’90)
    EN ’94 – ’95 = New Low
    EN ’97 – ’98 = Drop from Previous (?)
    EN ’04 – ’05 = Near New Low/New Low
    EN ’04 – ’05/’06 – ’07 = New Low
    EN ’09 – ’10 = New Low (’10, ’12)
    EN ’15 – ’16 = New Low ’16,’17?

    Result: 86% correlation of ENs and ASIE lows.

    Here’s a paper I found *today* from this year that appears to confirm the theory, somewhat obliquely:

    By isolating the impact of the individual drivers in an Earth system model, we here demonstrate that internal variability of sea ice is primarily caused directly by atmospheric temperature fluctuations. The other drivers together explain only 25% of sea-ice variability. The dominating impact of atmospheric temperature fluctuations on sea ice is consistent across observations, reanalyses and simulations from global climate models. Such atmospheric temperature fluctuations occur due to variations in moist-static energy transport or local ocean heat release to the atmosphere. The fact that atmospheric temperature fluctuations are the key driver for sea-ice variability limits prospects of interannual predictions of sea ice, and suggests that observed record lows in Arctic sea-ice area are a direct response to an unusually warm atmosphere.

    This may be germane, but can’t access from this url:

    And a lot more similar stuff! This research has really accelerated in recent years.

  44. 94
    jb says:

    BPL at 87

    A good post with step by step instructions for exploring netCDF data in R:

    It is one of the only posts I’ve found that tries to integrate ncdf4 with ggplot2 plotting. This can make your life much easier than some of the other plotting methods that I’ve seen used.

  45. 95

    Thanks, guys. I don’t know R, but I guess I’ll have to learn it.

  46. 96
    jb says:

    BPL at 95

    Oh, Sorry – I guess I just jumped right into the middle of things.

    In any event, the post I gave you will give you some pretty detailed instructions that you might be able to follow even without R experience.

    You should use RStudio as your IDE. There are three things you need to do to get started:
    1) Download and install R.
    2) Download and install RStudio.
    3) Install any packages you need for your application.

    These might help to get started:

    To install R and RStudio:
    To install packages:

  47. 97
    Timothy (likes zebras) says:

    Anyone had a chance to read the Fyfe paper in Nature Climate Change?

    I might have access through a library, but can’t make it work right now.

    Title: “Midlatitudes unaffected by sea ice loss”

    Abstract of the abstract: “Climate scientists cannot agree on what caused a recent spate of severe winters over North America and Eurasia. Now, a simple yet powerful physics-based approach makes it clear that record-low Arctic sea ice coverage was not the root cause.”

    I’d always tended to think that internal variability was a sufficient explanation in this case, as it proved with the trend in NAO in the 90s, so it would be interesting to have a look at this.

    Of course, if I found it unconvincing it might make me think the sea-ice link was more likely.

  48. 98
    MA Rodger says:

    Timothy (likes zebras) @97,
    As well as Fyfe (2019) [Abs], there is also Blackport et al (2019) ‘Minimal influence of reduced Arctic sea ice on coincident cold winters in mid-latitudes’ [Abs] also in Nature and reaching the same conclusion. There is a press release for Blackport et al although it doesn’t say a lot more than the Abstract.

  49. 99
    O. says:

    FYI: (paywall):

    Why clouds are the curse of all climate researchers – Predictions of global warming are still surprisingly inaccurate. Supercomputers and artificial intelligence should help.

    Quote about climate sensitivity:

    “The computing power of computers has increased many millions of times over.
    but the prediction of global warming is so imprecise
    as ever. “It’s deeply frustrating,” says Bjorn Stevens of the
    Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

    For more than 20 years now, he has been researching in the field of
    Climate modeling. He witnessed it (…)”

    … comments by the experts?
    Did you read the Spiegel-article complete?

    [Response: I can’t read the whole thing, but a better headline would have used ‘imprecise’ not ‘inaccurate’. – gavin]

  50. 100
    Al Bundy says:

    “New study: Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane”

    “This carbon-13 signature means that since the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing – commonly called fracking – shale gas has increased in its share of global natural gas production and has released more methane into the atmosphere”

    “About two-thirds of all new gas production over the last decade has been shale gas produced in the United States and Canada”

    Flaring off gas is bad enough, but folks who are still venting it are criminal.

    mike: I think wildfire is difficult to assess. There are a lot of considerations: cooling from soot, regrowth offset of CO2, etc.

    AB: on the plus side wildfires are great at creating biochar.