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Unforced Variations: Mar 2021

Filed under: — group @ 1 March 2021

This month’s open thread. Northern Hemisphere Spring is on it’s way, along with peak Arctic/minimum Antarctic sea ice, undoubtedly more discussion about the polar vortex, and the sharpening up of the (currently very uncertain) ENSO forecast for the rest of this year.

115 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Mar 2021”

  1. 1
    michael Sweet says:

    Hey Gavin:
    I just wanted to say a big Thank You to all the scientists who post here at Real Climate. I know that being Science Advisor to President Bidel leaves you with a lot of time on your hands to moderate the forum here :-). Whatever I see here in the OP’s I know is well sourced and informative. Keep up the good work!!!

  2. 2
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    I would like to read some comments from Rahmstorf and/or other experts to the hypotheses in the text below, given this https://www.researchgate.net/publication/349610177_Current_Atlantic_Meridional_Overturning_Circulation_weakest_in_last_millennium

    recent publication.

    “There is much to be done reconciling the role of the AMOC in surface temperature variation on different regions and on different timescales. Chen and Tung themselves highlight the potential role of the Southern Ocean in heat uptake in the period since 2005, which is potentially part of a see-saw pattern between hemispheres. There is also a distinct difference between the role of decadal AMOC variability and the impact of an AMOC collapse on global temperatures. While considered unlikely, the prospect of the AMOC passing a tipping point and collapsing, is not impossible and an event this dramatic could lead to global surface cooling7. The threshold between a weak AMOC that reduces ocean heat uptake, allowing global surface temperatures to rise unabated, and a very weak or collapsed AMOC that causes dramatic cooling in the North Atlantic and global surface temperature rise to slow or stop will be an important point of debate.
    The AMOC is deemed “very likely” to decline in the coming decades1. Indeed, the Atlantic has seen muted surface temperature rises relative to the global ocean over recent decades. This relative lack of warming has been interpreted as a fingerprint of AMOC decline, potentially linked to anthropogenic climate change8. Whether the AMOC observatories will document the predicted forced decline in the AMOC due to climate change, remains to be seen. They have already observed that the AMOC is now in a state of reduced overturning9. Chen and Tung predict that this will mean a period of rapid global-mean surface warming that may last over two decades.”

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326435465_Sluggish_Atlantic_circulation_could_cause_global_temperatures_to_surge

  3. 3
    Killian says:

    125 mike says:
    1 Mar 2021 at 2:29 PM

    at K at 123: Basic education, Killian. I am not an adherent of the noble savage idea.

    What noble savage? I have never talked about the noble savage idea. What is fact is that the brute and savage view is completely incorrect. What you are saying is you trust science with regard to heat but not with regard to human societies. That seems a bit inconsistent. I have posted resources to support the “not savage” idea many times. I suggest you read them. Why?

    You cannot solve a problem you don’t understand nor that you don’t understand the solutions to. If you hold to the ignoble savage view, you will never understand what sustainable societies look like because they are the *only* sustainable societies on the planet.

    I think lots of humans all over the planet have good ideas and models for simplicity.

    There are exactly zero sustainable non-aboriginal societies. Zero. There are people trying, none that are succeeding. Why? See above.

    You cannot achieve a state of society you refuse to accept exists.

    The context for this discussion is population and fertility rates.

    Incorrect. The topic is population. Interesting, isn’t it, that I know of no population issue among *any* tribal society? But, hey, you think we should not listen to those people because, well, they don’t really exist in sustainable ways, right…?

    And the shift of affluence in the developed world that drives consumption and destruction that could be accomplished by wealth/income redistribution from developed to less-developed populations.

    No. Wrong. You are misunderstanding the problem. If you shift consumption to one group from another, you are merely moving deck chairs. It *is* true we can increase consumption somewhat for those now consuming next to nothing if we decrease consumption by those of us in “developed” countries, and most particularly the top 1% of us, but the key in the end still must be an overall decrease of 80% or more.

    But none of those address the issue of consumption of WHAT? That is the true key to it all.

    If we are thinking about shifting wealth in this way

    If you’re thinking of wealth at all in the common parlance, you are not understanding the issues. If you mean “resources”, then perhaps use that term or something similar. Wealth is too ambiguous to be of use and is easily misunderstood.

    I think education and health care are a good target for where the affluence-reduction funds might do some good.

    Pretty much anyone discussing population agrees: Empower women, et al.

    Again, back at the IPAT formula, even if the affluence reduction did nothing on the receiving end, it would reduce the impact simply through affluence reduction.

    Yes. Did I say any differently? Not sure why you are saying this? Same with the above? Are you under the impression this is not agreed?

    Some info on the receiving end to amplify the gains for the ecosystem:

    LOL… the world bank… Jesus, mike. Do you call an alligator to a vegan convention?

    I am not interested in half-assing it, mike, and that’s what anything short of the degrowth/simplicity paradigm is. The WB has nothing to teach me… nor anyone else. They were instrumental in creating it. Einstein suggested, long ago, asking them to fix it would be rather stupid.

    What is key to understand about population right now is that it cannot save us. The inertia in the system is too big to have an impact on climate before mid-century. Yes, we should concurrently be trying to reduce population, but it is already expected to peak in that same time frame. This makes it a moot point in terms of the next 30 to 50 years in terms of mitigation, but, as I have clearly said over and over, long term we want to greatly reduce population and how to do that is likely to be the most important aspect of ecosystem stability after achieving climate stability.

  4. 4
    MA Rodger says:

    The prospect of the Arctic Sea Ice Extent annual maximum having arrived early this year (mentioned in last month’s UV thread) has been confounded by the again-increasing SIE which JAXA’s VISHOP page is showing has now exceeded the peak of 16th Feb.

  5. 5

    Got to say, I wholeheartedly agree with Killian (#3) on this one:

    What is key to understand about population right now is that it cannot save us. The inertia in the system is too big to have an impact on climate before mid-century. Yes, we should concurrently be trying to reduce population, but it is already expected to peak in that same time frame. This makes it a moot point in terms of the next 30 to 50 years in terms of mitigation, but, as I have clearly said over and over, long term we want to greatly reduce population and how to do that is likely to be the most important aspect of ecosystem stability after achieving climate stability.

    It doesn’t mean–just to underline the point–that we declare victory and stop working to reduce population growth via all the methods we seem to agree on. But even medium-term mitigation-wise, population ain’t where it’s at.

    And, since we are talking of mitigation, I guess further discussion on this, if needed, should be on the FR thread.

  6. 6
    Killian says:

    4
    MA Rodger says:
    2 Mar 2021 at 4:53 AM

    The prospect of the Arctic Sea Ice Extent annual maximum having arrived early this year (mentioned in last month’s UV thread) has been confounded by the again-increasing SIE which JAXA’s VISHOP page is showing has now exceeded the peak of 16th Feb.

    I had suggested starting the melting season thread maybe was premature as the AO was quite positive and was overall expected to remain so till mid-March-ish. Mind you, we’d seen a 310,000 km2 drop, so to wonder if the melting thread was due was in no way odd. But…

    Unsurprisingly…

    ;-)

  7. 7
    mike says:

    At Killian: I am curious about your ideas and views on sustainable societies look like. You may have listed examples before, and if so, I apologize for making you repeat yourself, but… What are the examples of sustainable societies that you believe exist on the planet today? Places, ethnicities/tribe level please, not generic models, but actual examples.

    If you can just answer in a civil, non-aggressive manner, that would be appreciated, but if not, I guess I understand that is generally outside your range of communication. I see you do that occasionally, so I think you can, but I gather that it is hard for you because of the level of rage you carry on these matters.

    Cheers

    Mike

  8. 8
    Chuck says:

    Looks like it’s business as usual again. CO2 levels continue to climb unabated…

    https://phys.org/news/2021-03-co2-pollution-climate-goals-iea.amp

  9. 9
    Jean-François Fleury says:

    An idea. Make a post about this article published in Nature Geoscience : Current Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation weakest in last millennium. Hum???

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Killian says:

    7 mike says:
    2 Mar 2021 at 1:26 PM

    I gather that it is hard for you because of the level of rage you carry on these matters.

    No, mike, I don’t like stupidity and lying. Your problem with me is you don’t like a direct, blunt style, even if you are not being insulted. That is, you like most, have a fair bit of intolerance for the non-PC-speak folk like myself. What you are catching from my previous is a reaction to the racism inherent in your comments, intended or not. There is no excuse for this given the information I have provided and repeated; I have directed people on this forum to Dr. Peter Gray’s work and Helga Imgeborg Vierich on Facebook. Here is her WordPress page: https://anthroecologycom.wordpress.com/

    This is interesting: https://anthroecologycom.wordpress.com/2021/02/17/reply-to-singh/

    This is interesting: https://anthroecologycom.wordpress.com/2020/09/24/economies-are-trophic-flows/

    At Killian: I am curious about your ideas and views on sustainable societies look like.

    Pick one. Any intact indigenous culture. Literally any one of them. However, I have given you a shortcut above via Helga. That will save you time.

    Here’s more, often already posted to these forums: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/pre-colonial-australia-natural-wilderness-or-gentleman-s-park

    If you can just answer in a civil, non-aggressive manner

    If you don’t want my frustration, don’t repeat racist tropes I have long disproved on these pages.

    Characteristics of Regenerative Societies

    Small communities
    Networks of communities
    Simple
    Low-consumption
    Deep understanding of their ecosystem
    Manage and manipulate the ecosystem without disrupting it
    Live within the limits of their ecosystems
    Non-violent, gentle behavior management
    Egalitarian
    Take the time necessary for decisions rather than time-limited decision-making
    Work is play/social activity
    Absolute autonomy WRT personal choices/work

  12. 12
    MA Rodger says:

    UAH have posted the TLT anomaly for February at +0.20ºC, the 7th warmest Feb on record and a bit of a rise on January’s anomaly of +0.12ºC [which was the 13th warmest January on record].

    UAH TLT February anomalies over the last decade.
    2010 … … … +0.30ºC
    2011 … … … -0.21ºC
    2012 … … … -0.39ºC
    2013 … … … -0.03ºC
    2014 … … … -0.02ºC
    2015 … … … +0.04ºC
    2016 … … … +0.70ºC
    2017 … … … +0.30ºC
    2018 … … … +0.08ºC
    2019 … … … +0.21ºC
    2020 … … … +0.59ºC
    2021 … … … +0.20ºC

    As a start to the year, 2021 is also 7th warmest [behind the same list of years as the February top-spots], behind 2016 (+0.56ºC), 2020 (+0.50ºC), 1998 (+0.42ºC), 2010 (+0.33ºC), 2017 (+0.28ºC) & 2019 (+0.22ºC) with 2021 (+0.16ºC).

  13. 13
    Chris Korda says:

    William R. Catton “was one of the first to apply ecological overshoot to humanity, and he did so with astonishing foresight at a time when environmentalism was still in its infancy and our population was half of what it is today. He unmasks our explosive progress as irrational exuberance and challengingly portrays us as detritivores—animals that feed on dead organic material—who succeeded by consuming the compacted remnants of our predecessors in the Jurassic. In other words, we’re dancing around a bonfire of dinosaur corpses, ecstatically oblivious to the lethality of the climatological forces we’ve unleashed. Like yeast turning sugar into alcohol, we’re gradually choking ourselves to death on our own waste, but unlike the yeast, we’re aware of it and theoretically capable of changing course. Let’s drink a toast to that.” Excerpted from my booklist for black-pilled environmentalists in Document Journal.

  14. 14
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Greetings.

    Curiously enough, I’ve not been able to arouse any interest in our local pool of Skeptical Science cognoscenti regarding two recently published papers that by title and abstracts (and hence via a superficial glance) appear to depict some confusion over AMOC:

    Current Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation weakest in last millennium
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-021-00699-z

    A 30-year reconstruction of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation shows no decline
    https://os.copernicus.org/articles/17/285/2021/?mc_cid=cbeda0c2d5&mc_eid=b0f93db32f

    Both papers mention AMOC behavior during similar recent periods of time but appear to be in sharp disagreement over conclusions, to untrained eyes.

    Almost needless to say, these articles in juxtaposition don’t convey a sense of “we understand what we’re telling the public” in terms of AMOC status.

    Some expert interpretation would be great.

  15. 15
    Piotr says:

    Chuck (10) “Overpopulation or Declining Birth rate?”
    https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/declining-birth-rate-younger-generations-crisis/
    “We need to have enough working-age people to carry the load of these seniors, who deserve their retirement, they deserve all their entitlement

    Are we talking about the same generation who while supported by their parents, are not planning to pay it forward, and are in your face with it – see “Spending My Kids Inheritance” bumper stickers. And who for their unrestrained consumption used up took more than their fair share of easily available resources and left behind polluted, overpopulated and impoverished biologically world? Isn’t our unspoken motto: “After us, Deluge”?

    Nobody in the history of the globe has had so many older people to deal with

    You can’t sustain exponential growth forever, so this problem with too few young people having to support many old ones – HAD TO COME at some point. We just managed to make it so much worse by increasing per capita consumption and adding 4 billion people since 1970. And the faster the population growth now, the harder the crash has to be tomorrow.

    So I don’t think most of us “deserved all our entitlements” – quite the opposite – we have a lot to answer for the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.

  16. 16
    zebra says:

    Doug Bostrom #14,

    Doug, you seem to be engaging in the Tonto Fallacy, since it isn’t clear who this “we” is that is supposed to be in some kind of lockstep agreement.

    There is a nice NYT article on this which discusses the different outcomes, and it sounds exactly like the way science is supposed to work. My understanding is that the nature model was developed through proxies, and the “no decline” analysis was through some kinds of direct measurement which indicated that there is more complexity in the deep flow patterns than previously thought.

    I think the consensus is that AMOC is not going to just stop anytime soon, so there is time to get a better map of how it all works. And in cases like this, I tend to step back and look at the fundamentals.

    It seems unlikely that there will be no change in the pattern if we continue to increase the energy in the climate system. The slower that change, the better. But if we knew that there was going to be a ‘tipping point’ in 10 years, what would we do about it anyway?

    Let the specialists keep working; healthy disagreement is healthy.

  17. 17

    #14, Doug B–

    My take is hardly expert, but I did have a look at both of those, so perhaps a quick comment while waiting for The Real Thing to weigh in has some value.

    Briefly, those papers are talking about different things. The it’s getting weaker paper sampled short-term variability over 30 years, and didn’t find a statistically significant trend. The it’s at its weakest in the record paper looked at what, 1400 years of proxy data? The conclusion we know.

    But the point is, both could be true. For an analogy, the last time I looked there was still a bit of what Tamino–and when, if ever, is he going to post again?–called a ‘warm hole’ in the US Southeast. That is, an area–from memory, Alabama-Mississippi-ish–where there was an observable cooling trend if you looked at the whole period of the US instrumental record. It was–again, IIRC–unique in the continental US.

    However, if you consider the temperature trend observed there from 1970–sometimes called ‘the modern warming era’–then the warm hole goes away. It’s warming, just like the rest of CONUS. The seeming paradox occurs because the area in question had anomalously warm temperatures in the late 19th century, during the early part of the record. So, the ‘warm hole’ is apparently ‘cooling’ and ‘warming’ at the same time!

    In the case of the AMOC, it would analogously be comprehensible if the last 30 years failed statistical significance in terms of internal trends, but was nevertheless the weakest 30-year period in the reconstructed record.

    Perhaps real experts can weigh in on whether my interpretation is correct.

  18. 18
    jgnfld says:

    Speaking of “climate”, I’m sure our resident deniers are all quite excited by UAH TLT last month. It set an all time Feb high value last month.

    {Time to get excited about a different series yet?)

  19. 19
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Zebra, if you click the link on attached to this post you’ll end up better calibrated as to the perspective I’m bringing to this. As a fellow victim I fully understand the “police hardened” attitude you’ve perhaps developed but you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Thanks Kevin– you’re echoing my gut feeling about this. Time is desperately short right now so I’ve not been able to even roughly simulate actual understanding of the relationship between the two articles. But I’ve a feeling this is a Dunning-Kruger moment, to the extent that I don’t know what I don’t know. :-)

    What I’ve observed already in the scant few days since these articles were published is that the titles are catnip to deniers, put one against the other, perfect for claiming “see, they can’t even agree on this and don’t know what they’re talking about.” It would be great to have an authoritative enlightenment for reference purposes.

  20. 20
    MA Rodger says:

    Doug Bostrom @19,
    The two papers with the opposite AMOC conclusions, Caesar et al (2021) and Worthington et al (2021) are looking at different data with the former looking at proxy data to determine the strength of the AMOC through the past sixteen centuries while the latter relies on an OLS analysis of different proxy data to infer the strength of various components of the AMOC over the last three decades. Given Caesar et al’s conclusions show a strong weakening of the AMOC over the last century, you would perhaps expect this to be apparent within the results of Worthington et al. Instead we “The time series shows no overall AMOC decline as indicated by other proxies and high-resolution climate models.” This finding thus refutes the usefulness of the proxies employed by Caesar et al.

    Yet there is data both papers accept, the RAPID data available post-2004, this plotted in Caesar et al’s Fig 1g and also in Worthington et al’s Fig 7. The other measurements Worthington et al present is from Bryden et al (2005) which provides single measurements (1957, 1981, 1992, 1998, 2004) rather than a time-series.
    RAPID does show a decline of 2.7 Sv in the AMOC 2004-18 but with a lot of noise. And both papers agree to the noise. This 2.7 Sv over a decade is not the rate of decline. Bryden et al also show a decline with noise. And so does Worthington et al’s Fig 8 which shows something like 1.2Sv/decade.
    And note the detail of all this the noise does not marry up. While Worthington et al shows a declining AMOC 1980-2000, Caesar et al show a steep rise for this same period.

    And Worthington et al also goes further by inferring strengths of deeper flows, the Upper & Lower NA Deep Water, considered as showing the southward component of the AMOC and which do not show decline in the RAPID measurements.

    So really the issue is one of how strongly you put your take-away conclusions. For Caesar et al, there is a steep decline in the AMOC over the century, while Worthington et al there is nothing but wobbles to be seen in the last few decades resulting from “internal variability.” Both could easily be right.

  21. 21
    nigelj says:

    The Worthington paper looks at 30 years of data. Dont you need more than 30 years of data to be confident you are looking at climate change, rather than just natural variability? So why did they pick only 30 years?

  22. 22
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Thank you, MA Rodger @20.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    MA Rodger says:

    Copernicus has posted the ERA5 anomalies for February giving the first indication of Feb SATs. In doing so they have updated the anomaly base to 1991-2020 so the anomaly numbers are all a bit lower than previous.

    The Feb 2021 global anomaly is +0.06ºC the lowest monthly anomaly since 2015. (The maps on the Copernicus web-page shows the northern continents were the main reason for this drop.) This is a significant drop on the previous two months which were themselves significantly down on preceding months. (Dec +0.23ºC, Jan +0.24ºC, these the lowest anomalies since 2018. Otherwise 2020 Jan-Nov averaged +0.43ºC with Jan to Nov spanning +0.27ºC to +0.60ºC.)
    Feb 2021 becomes just the 12th warmest February in the ERA5 record, behind 2016 (+0.69ºC), 2020, 2017, 2019, 2018, 2010, 2015, 1998, 2006, 2007 & 1995.
    And the first two months of 2021 average as the 9th warmest start to the year, below 2016 (+0.62ºC), 2020, 2017, 2019, 2018, 2007, 2010 & 2015.
    A year-on-year plot of ERA5 global monthly anomalies is here (usually 2 click to ‘download your attachment’).

  25. 25
    Chris Korda says:

    Piotr @15, Re “we have a lot to answer for the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren”: that’s the realization that sparked the Apologize to the Future album along with its videos (title track and Overshoot) and the Overshoot slide show. People urgently need to respond to the climate crisis, and sober journalism and scientific reports apparently aren’t sufficient motivation. I’m convinced that culture is the most effective way to motivate people. We need “the Bob Dylan of climate change” but in hip-hop not folk, not only because hip-hop reaches younger people whose consumption and procreation decisions will have the most impact, but also because hip-hop is the frontier of lyricism, featuring relatively sophisticated rhyming and poetically ingenious use of language compared to other popular styles. Like or not it’s climate change hip-hop For The Win.

    Dan Miller’s 2009 presentation A REALLY Inconvenient Truth is the genesis of the “Apologize to the Future” meme, for me anyway. One of his slides (#34) is titled “What can you do?” and the first item is “Ask your children for forgiveness.”

    Slide #29 “Why don’t we act?” is also very interesting, because it references the idea (which I first encountered in Edward O. Wilson’s book “Consilience”) that many human behaviors and biases that were determined by evolution and therefore implicitly adaptive in our prehistoric past, have become counterproductive (to say the least) in the modern era.

  26. 26
    mike says:

    Last Week

    Feb. 28 – Mar. 6, 2021 417.97 ppm Year Ago

    February 14 – 20, 2020 414.07 ppm

    We had a few days over 5 ppm yoy increase and the weekly average is at 3.9 ppm.

    I haven’t bothered to check, but I am confident that these high daily and now, weekly, yoy number is specific to MLO and won’t be seen at the other stations.

    This is happening too often to be simple noise and the up-range is where it is happening, the down-range fluctuations happen, but not on similar frequency.

    I don’t know what is happening at MLO, but it happening there and I think we have to simply know that we have to look past the up-range bumps that are now happening at MLO. I do think this is largely something new. I have been watching MLO number long enough and closely enough to feel confident about that.

    numbers per co2.earth

    Cheers

    Mike

  27. 27
    Killian says:

    25 Chris Korda says:
    8 Mar 2021 at 12:30 PM

    People urgently need to respond to the climate crisis, and sober journalism and scientific reports apparently aren’t sufficient motivation. I’m convinced that culture is the most effective way to motivate people.

    I have long said and will continue to remind: Psychologically, when faced with a no way out scenario people tend to give up. Give them the same scenario with at least a small chance of surviving, they tend to act.

    We are not doing this. We are not telling the story correctly. We are not correctly delineating the risks and are dismissive of what the facts tell us the response needs to be.

    They have been given a death sentence that comes off as 20 years with parole and then tell them they can have their cake and eat it, too.

    You want change, tell them the truth.

  28. 28
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    How grotesquely illusionistic the real climate policy (not the pretended…) is, one can, once again, read here:

    “Should governments fail to curb global heating to 1.5C above the pre-industrial era (nothing whatsoever suggests so far that they even try to do that. The just pretend. See further down here. KJ), areas in the tropical band that stretches either side of the equator risk changing into a new environment that will hit “the limit of human adaptation”, the study warns. (…)
    *Dangerous conditions in the tropics will unfold even before the 1.5C threshold, however, with the paper warning that 1C of extreme wet-bulb temperature increase “could have adverse health impact equivalent to that of several degrees of temperature increase”. The world has already warmed by around 1.1C on average due to human activity and although governments vowed in the Paris climate agreement to hold temperatures to 1.5C, scientists have warned this limit could be breached within a decade.*

    *This has potentially dire implications for a huge swathe of humanity. Around 40% of the world’s population currently lives in tropical countries,* with this proportion set to expand to half of the global population by 2050 due to the large proportion of young people in region. The Princeton research was centered on latitudes found between 20 degrees north, a line that cuts through Mexico, Libya and India, to 20 degrees south, which goes through Brazil, Madagascar and the northern reaches of Australia.”
    (My exclamation with *…*, KJ).

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/08/global-heating-tropical-regions-human-livability

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-021-00695-3

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258807151_Reductions_in_labour_capacity_from_heat_stress_under_climate_warming

    But the Guardian journalist forgot (? or just omitted…) something: “The world is *wildly off track* meeting the Paris Agreement goal of holding temperature rises to 1.5°C, despite a recent series of more ambitious national climate plans by the European Union, the UK and other countries, a United Nations assessment has found.” (My exclamation with *…*, KJ).

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2269432-we-are-nowhere-near-keeping-warming-below-1-5c-despite-climate-plans/#ixzz6oZql2C31

    Try fx. to Google Joe Manchin. A “conservative” (what does he want to conserve? Not humanity and our natural habitat) Democrat (another one) who agrees completely with Trump and his partys total climate ignorance. “By accident” he and a whole lot of fellow travellers are tipping the scales in the US Senate towards climate- destructive business as extremely usual… just behind the “new” facade – and why am I not surprised at all?

  29. 29

    Mike (#26), no, these sorts of anomalies happen elsewhere–Ascension Island, for instance:

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/about/global_means.html

  30. 30
    Killian says:

    28 Karsten V. Johansen says:
    9 Mar 2021 at 5:04 AM

    …areas in the tropical band that stretches either side of the equator risk changing into a new environment that will hit “the limit of human adaptation”, the study warns. (…)
    *Dangerous conditions in the tropics will unfold even before the 1.5C threshold, however, with the paper warning that 1C of extreme wet-bulb temperature increase “could have adverse health impact equivalent to that of several degrees of temperature increase”.

    Thus my call, for years now, for the discussion around climate be changed to one focused on long-tail risks. It’s the extremes, not the averages, that will get us long before the averages catch up.

    This thought should be the center of climate discussions, policies and responses.

  31. 31
    MA Rodger says:

    Al last kicking off their new year, RSS have updated the data linked to their ‘MSU & AMSU Time Series Trend Browse Tool’ (although as I type, the ‘tool’ itself has not updated from December 2020) giving TLT anomalies for Jan & Feb.
    This shows 2021 in RSS TLT with the 10th warmest January (UAH TLT was 13th while ERA5’s SAT re-analysis placed it 6th) and the 7th warmest February (UAH also 7th, ERA’s SAT 12th). This puts 2021 with the 7th warmest start to the year (7th in UAH as well, ERA5’s SAT 9th), Jan & Feb averaging +0.62ºC and behind:-
    2016 (+1.08ºC)
    2020 (+0.96ºC)
    2010 (+0.71ºC)
    2017 (+0.70ºC)
    2019 (+0.69ºC)
    1998 (+0.67ºC).
    A year-on-year plot of RSS TLT monthly anomalies is graphed out here (usually 2 clicks to ‘download your attachment’) and the monthly anomaly series for the last deacade for UAH, RSS, GISS, NOAA, HadCRUT & BEST are graphed out here (2 clicks).

  32. 32
    Adam Lea says:

    Does anyone know the scientist who wrote this article claiming the pandemic lockdowns had little effect on slowing climate change?

    https://uk.yahoo.com/news/im-climate-scientist-heres-three-152649965.html

    Can’t say I’m surprised. I believe commuting and local car journeys are not significant contributors to one’s carbon footprint. It is the long journeys and flights which rack up the carbon. Even with the lockdowns there have still been people going here there and everywhere, because there are a few instances where it is permitted. People are still consuming as they would have done pre-COVID, just online instead of in stores.

  33. 33
    Mr. Know It All says:

    nigelj,

    30 years is needed to detect ANY inkling of a “trend” in climate due to the normal daily/monthly/yearly variability in weather. With 30 years, you may be able to discern a trend. BUT, you are correct that much longer periods of data would be needed to show a longer term “trend”. Say that a 200 year data trend is upward. If you then look at 1000 years of data, that 200 year up trend may be in the middle of a 1000 year down trend. And if we look at the 800,000 year trend as we all know it’s up/down/up/down/up/down……and on it goes.

    In other news fellow space travelers, be aware of a dangerous late-winter storm to hit the Colorado/Wyoming area. Denver is forecast to get 20-31 inches of snow, Cheyenne forecast is for 29-39″. Mountains may get 5 to 6 feet. This is expected to impact air travel nation-wide due to shutting down flights through the huge Denver hub. The ice age is approaching. Take appropriate steps to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your families. ;)

    https://www.outtherecolorado.com/news/5-plus-feet-of-snow-forecasted-in-colorado-as-storm-shifts-trajectory/article_da4ff0fa-8289-11eb-b334-47e85d0f3363.html

  34. 34
    Mr. Know It All says:

    28 – KV Johansen
    “Try fx. to Google Joe Manchin. A “conservative” (what does he want to conserve? Not humanity and our natural habitat) Democrat (another one) who agrees completely with Trump and his partys total climate ignorance. “By accident” he and a whole lot of fellow travellers are tipping the scales in the US Senate towards climate- destructive business as extremely usual… just behind the “new” facade – and why am I not surprised at all?”

    I don’t know what Joe is, but he isn’t a conservative. ;) He just voted “for” the $1.9 Trillion porkulus bill, so he isn’t interested in conserving the value of a dollar or even the existence of the USA! At first he supported Trump, then he voted to convict him in both impeachment trials! In 2012 he got an A rating from the NRA, then in 2013 came out for universal background checks for gun purchases. Sounds like he is one of those politicians who bases his positions on the political winds of the day, not on any truth or lasting values – we have a PILE of those. So, on CC legislation, I would not be surprised if he rolled over and told his West Virginia constituents to bend over and grab their ankles. We have a HUGE PILE of politicians that do that. The good news for KVJ and the world is that it doesn’t matter – if the rest of the world will get with the Paris Accords and actually achieve their stated goals, the climate will be in pretty good shape compared to today even without the USA, right? And one other thing – if a CC bill comes up you can bet your a$$ that AOC/Schumer/Pelosi will push thru enough bribes for states like WV to get their Reps/Senators to vote as they tell them to. We saw it with Obamacare, which has become a total disaster driving up the cost of bare-bones catastrophic coverage policies with YUGE deductibles; and which causes many employers to only let employees work 29 hours/week so they don’t have to offer health insurance!

  35. 35
    MA Rodger says:

    Both GISTEMP and NOAA have updated the numbers for February with a significant drop on the anomaly, this mirroring the already-posted ERA5 re-analysis anomaly.
    Following the 10th warmest GISTEMP January (UAH TLT was 13th, RSS TLT 10th, while ERA5’s SAT re-analysis placed it 6th & NOAA 7th), 2021 gives the 14th warmest GISS February (UAH 7th, RSS also 7th, ERA 12th & NOAA 16th), so the coolest Feb since 2014 in both GISTEMP & NOAA.
    This puts 2021 with the 10th warmest GISTEMP start-to-the-year (7th in UAH & RSS TLT, ERA5’s SAT 9th), Jan & Feb averaging +0.76ºC giving the top-10 GISTEMP start-to-the-year:-
    1… 2016 (+1.27ºC)
    2… 2020 (+1.22ºC)
    3… 2017 (+1.09ºC)
    4… 2019 (+0.95ºC)
    5… 2015 (+0.89ºC)
    6… 2007 (+0.89ºC)
    7… 2018 (+0.84ºC)
    8… 2010 (+0.80ºC)
    9… 2002 (+0.78ºC)
    10.. 2021 (+0.76ºC).
    In NOAA, the Jan/Feb average comes in 11th with out old El Niño-boosted friend 1998 sneaking into 10th spot ahead of 2021.

  36. 36
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @33,
    “With 30 years, you may be able to discern a trend. BUT, you are correct that much longer periods of data would be needed to show a longer term “trend”…”

    I did not say any such thing. I thought you needed 30 – 40 years. I thought the Worthington study frustrating because it appeared just barely in this range. BPL says 30 years and he is expert in these sorts of things, so I have no reason to doubt him.

    “Say that a 200 year data trend is upward. If you then look at 1000 years of data, that 200 year up trend may be in the middle of a 1000 year down trend….”

    No. All you have to do is be confident the time period is long enough to exclude the natural ocean cycles. 30 years is sufficient now I have looked at some of the details.

  37. 37
    DP says:

    Have just noticed that the NASA/GISS anomaly for February is the lowest since 2014. There is a La Nina but there also was in 2018 but the anomaly was .18c lower this year. Anybody have any ideas as to why?

  38. 38
    mike says:

    at KM at 29: I responded to this a while back, but response never appeared.

    My point about the MLO CO2 yoy spike is that it was not matched by spikes at the other stations at the same time. So the MLO spike anomaly does not extend to being a global spike anomaly. I accept and believe your assertion that the other stations also record anomalies. I only track MLO. I find it difficult to grab the data from other stations. I just don’t have the time/ability/interest to mine for that data. CO2.earth does a great job of giving me access to a clean and easy look at MLO, so I track from that.

    I would love to see smoothed, globally-averaged CO2 and CO2e numbers presented in something close to the CO2.earth format because that format is so easy to follow. I am not a scientist or a mathematician, so I try to understand these big mathematical science issues through presentations designed to speak to an average person with interest and a little bit of time.

    Cheers

    Mike

  39. 39
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Mr. KIA: “30 years is needed to detect ANY inkling of a “trend” in climate due to the normal daily/monthly/yearly variability in weather.”

    Sigh! No. The length of the time series to detect a signal depends on the noise in the series and the strength of the signal. It may be 30 years, but it may also be longer or shorter. The AMO debate is a good example–they are looking at a quasi-periodic signal with a cycle time on the order of 60 years. You really need at least 3 periods to have confidence in even a strong signal. Linear increases are actually easier to detect, as they can be detected as a change in the mean of the quantity, a much less noisy statistic.

    Really, a lot of the bullshit that gets published could be averted if people would just go back and crack their old texts on time series or Fourier analysis.

  40. 40
    mike says:

    at K at 30: I agree with you that the focus needs to be on the longtail risks, but I am not sure our species can shift to that measure. We evolved to identify and minimize certain risks that our species could identify as a constraint that would prevent us from producing offspring and moving our genetic profile ahead into the future. Those risks were primarily short term risks, so our species runs away from tornados generally, not toward them. We run away from large predators, not toward them. I think, on the whole, our species just can’t see a longtail risk. For me, this is a situation like “what the frog’s eye tells the frog’s brain. https://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/courses/perception/lecturenotes/brain/lettvin.html

    I think we can and should talk about longtail risks and I think you do good work on raising the issue. I share your interest in raising awareness about the longtail risk. I think we have to manage our expectation for the species to step up and see a risk that they did not evolve to see so that we remain relatively content in our own lives as we continue to carry the torch in the hope that more individuals of our species may evolve to spot this unfamiliar type of risk. If we want to be effective with this message, we have to think hard about how we attempt to convey the message. Do you follow what I am saying here?

    Cheers

  41. 41
    zebra says:

    To The Moderators,

    At the beginning of the new year, you asked for suggestions about modifications to the site. Mine was that you change the Recent Commments listing to one that shows which threads are active.

    There have been some very interesting topic posts since then, some of which I have engaged on. But when I go to see if there have been additional comments, I am instead informed of the not-at-all-surprising fact that Killian has made five long comments in a row on FR. Whoopee, of course I’m going to rush right over to fill my daily dose of incoherence….

    It may seem a trivial inconvenience, but if a few days have gone by, I don’t remember how many comments are in the various threads, so it is annoying trying to determine if there have been new comments.

    I’m not familiar with the mechanics of the service you use, but if it doesn’t require a lot of work, the change would be appreciated.

  42. 42
    jgnfld says:

    Re. Trends in climate.

    The 30 year notion (another from the somewhat different perspective is 17 from Santer et. al. some years ago) are all based on 2 notions:

    1. In the historical record simply there is no evidence of any such long term “cycles” going on which can be invoked to substantiate any notion an overriding long term cyclic phenomenon overriding trends over longer scales (millennia and more). There are Milankovitch cycles which operate 1 to 2 orders of magnitude more slowly and therefore ignorable to a first approximation. And there is catastrophism of various sorts (Deccan Traps, Younger Dryas, human carbon pollution, etc.)

    2. The annual trends in the various series are on the order of 1/10 the value of the annual variation.

    Putting these two facts–especially the 2nd as the first basically says there is no evidence of any other catastrophe going on at the moment other than human carbon release–you can do Monte Carlo statistical power studies easily. I did a number of these some years ago. Can’t remember the exact findings but basically found that in randomly generated series using the two parameters of annual variation and annual trend from the various canonical series as inputs, the power of linear regression to correctly identify a trend against a no change alternative was somewhere around 50% at 17 years and somewhere in the high 90%s by 30 years.

    Related: “Pauses” occur very frequently under these parameters. I forget the exact percentages, but they were very common and of complete NONsignificance over the time periods denier types (e.g., our very own kia) found so “persuasive” in their ignorance.

  43. 43
    nigelj says:

    mike @40 I have posted this before which is similar to your commentary:

    https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5530483

    “Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert argues that humans are exquisitely(psychologically) adapted to respond to immediate problems, such as terrorism, but not so good at more probable, but distant dangers, like global warming. He talks about his op-ed piece which appeared in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times…..”

    This explains why so many people can acknowledge the seriousness of the climate problem but dont do a whole lot about it. This is a big road block to solving the problem. I do not like to be a pessimist and maybe there is a way of removing the road block. Perhaps someone knows. It does suggest to me that 1)its important to get the message across that climate change is already having some immediate and significant impacts, being careful not to exaggerate and over play the hand and 2) that mitigating climate change with renewable energy and so on has a wide range of benefits in addition to the climate problem like cleaner air, better health, and more sustainable energy systems, lots of new jobs, etcetera. This is obviously already done but perhaps more focus should go on it. These benefits do develop slowly so Im not sure how persuasive they are with people, but they are potentially a whole lot more immediate than talking about the problem of climate impacts in 100 – 200 years which seems so distant to some people and so not on their radar.

  44. 44
    MA Rodger says:

    They’ve started the 2021 Melt Season thread over at Arctic Neven’s so peak-sea-ice-extent up in the Arctic must have happened. The JAXA numbers show 2021 now 212k sq km below the peak-so-far value on 10th March, a maximum which would put 2021 in the 8th least-icy spot.
    Thus 2017 still sits top of the least-icy league at 13,878k sq km with 2018, 2015 & 2016 all close behind (within 65k sq km), then 2011, 2007 & 2006 ahead of 2021 which thus maxed at 14,237k sq km. 2019 sits in 9th spot (14,271k) and 2020 in 11th (14,448k).
    So nothing dramatic to end the 2021 freezing season up in the Arctic, just another data point on the decline which for annual max ice looks pretty linear over the 1979-2021 JAXA daily record with a decline of 48k sq km per year.

  45. 45
    MA Rodger says:

    DP @37,
    The Feb 2021 anomaly is just one month of low anomaly so far. And comparing 2021 with 2018 may not be entirely wise as the La Niña impacting 2018 was not as strong as the one now impacting 2021 (according to MEI and SOI). Then the 2021 La Niña is not registering as strong as the one impacting 2011/12 and Feb 2021 looks like it sits below-trend by more than any month seen in 2011/12. But it does remain just one month, so far.

  46. 46
    Killian says:

    41 zebra says:
    14 Mar 2021 at 9:17 AM
    I am instead informed of the not-at-all-surprising fact that Killian has made five long comments in a row on FR.

    Over the last two years, you have posted far more than I have.

    Whoopee, of course I’m going to rush right over to fill my daily dose of incoherence….

    But, of course, I cause all the problems… It’s not others randomly being spiteful and disrespectful. Nah…

  47. 47

    He just voted “for” the $1.9 Trillion porkulus bill, so he isn’t interested in conserving the value of a dollar or even the existence of the USA!

    If $1.9 trillion could imperil the existence of the USA, we’d have seen clear evidence of it with the 2017 tax “reform” bill.

    Honestly, the partisan idiocy is truly remarkable.

  48. 48
    JCH says:

    Frost question.

    Night starts out cloudless; ground cools; it gets cold enough; frost forms; early in the morning, still well before sunup, a bank of clouds appears.

    Can the frost melt before solar hits it?

  49. 49
    John Pollack says:

    JCH @48 Yes, the frost can melt if the cloud layer is above freezing, since the clouds will radiate some heat back to the ground. It also helps if the ground is above freezing, too.

  50. 50

    #48, JCH–

    Interesting question; I’m going to say yes, overnight frost can melt before the sun hits it directly. (Never saw it happen, though.)

    Trivial case: a incoming warm front advects lots of warm air in overnight. I’m assuming that was not an intended contingency.

    But dismissing that case, it still seems to me possible in principle that the cloud might be just enough in some edge cases to melt the frost–especially if the frost is only on surfaces such as the tips of long grass blades. Such relatively thermally isolated objects can cool radiatively to well below the ground temperature especially on a cloudless night (as William Charles Wells showed empirically back in 1811-12.) If the ‘heat sink’ of the open sky is cut off by low cloud, I expect the ground could in some cases radiate enough heat to rewarm the grass tips past the melting point once again.