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Unforced Variations: Apr 2021

Filed under: — group @ 1 April 2021

This month’s open thread for climate science discussions. Be nice, it’s Earth month.

361 Responses to “Unforced Variations: Apr 2021”

  1. 101

    TN 93: “Why should a rational person believe that we are currently experiencing a “climate crisis”?” . . . *Please* answer it.

    BPL: Because of the mountains of evidence to that effect. Because temperature has increased 1.1 K since 1850 and 5.5 K is the difference between now and a mile of ice over Chicago and New York. Because the ice caps are melting and sea level is rising and Miami and Norfolk Virginia and a hundred cities around the world are experiencing unprecedented flooding. Because kudzu has moved from the American South as far north as Ontario, and we’re getting Dengue Fever in Texas and Zika in Florida. Because the flowering dates of the cherry blossoms in Kyoto have been getting earlier each year since 1850. Because the intensity of hurricanes is increasing. Because there are more and more droughts in continental interiors, and they are lasting longer and doing more damage. Because we have unprecedented forest fires in California, Siberia, and Australia.

  2. 102
    sam says:

    Re 93: How can any sane, rational person not believe that there is a climate crisis?

    There is more Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere than any time in at least hundreds of thousands of years. The temperatures just keep climbing. All the the highest average Temperature years are since 2000. There are vast changes in climate patterns all around the globe. The Arctic and Antarctic are melting. Glaciers that have been around for thousands of years are melting. There are unprecedented wildfires in many places. The rate of loss of species continues unabated…

  3. 103

    TN 93,

    And let’s not forget: Because the ocean has acidified to the point where it now holds 30% more hydronium ions than in 1750. Because 25% of the world’s coral reefs are now dead. Because 40% of the world’s phytoplankton, the base of the ocean food chain, is gone. Because swordfish, which used to be confined to Mediterranean latitudes, is now found off Scandinavia. Because melting icebergs from the Arctic are now bringing Walruses as far south as Ireland.

  4. 104
    CCHolley says:

    Re. Climate crisis and lukewarmerism et al

    “Earth’s carbon dioxide levels highest in over 3 million years”—USA Today, April 9, 2021

    In fact, the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is now higher than it has been in at least 3.6 million years, federal scientists announced Wednesday.

    At that time, sea levels were as much as 78 feet higher, the average temperature was 7 degrees higher than preindustrial times, Greenland was mostly green, and Antartica had trees.

    Although there is some uncertainty in the science, it is clear that the consequences to increases in CO2 levels are not instantaneous, it takes time for the climate and the planet to reach a new equilibrium—especially the melting of ice. We’ve already created a new state with significant future consequences yet to be realized.

    So even though there may be uncertainty in the exact amount of the climate sensitivity to increases in CO2, there is significant evidence in the paleoclimate records that we are already going to have significant sea level rise–exact amount may be uncertain, but it will be very significant. Much more sea level rise than that projected by the end of the century no matter the emissions pathways or sensitivities used. It is already in the bank, significant sea level rise will occur even if emissions stopped today. It may take several hundred years for all that ice to melt, but melt it will.

    The only way to stop that sea level rise will be to actually remove CO2 from the atmosphere. There is no time, banking on man’s ability to come up with a cheap effective way to remove CO2 while continuing emissions unabated is a fools errand. It is a CLIMATE CRISIS. Unless, of course, you have no compassion and don’t give a damn about future generations.

  5. 105
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    87 Barton Paul Levenson 11 Apr 2021 at 7:01 AM
    Thanks for the serious reply to my query. At the risk of appearing a pedant I’ll elaborate further on my query.

    Consider a simple, planar geometry, model of the whole earth-atmosphere system in equilibrium. At the surface there is the incoming shortwave flux plus the downwelling flux emitted by the atmosphere, which is balanced by the upward flux from the surface. The shortwave flux is given by the solar constant and earth albedo.

    The upward flux from the surface and the downwelling flux from the atmosphere are proportional to the 4th power of the surface and atmosphere temperatures respectively. However, the half-and-half proposition implies that this proportionality does not hold in the case of the atmosphere.

    It seems to be more then a case of semantics.

    Thanks again.

  6. 106
    John Pollack says:

    Tom Nelson @93 – a “rational person” would probably desire a definition of “crisis” in order to answer your query, since there are a variety of definitions. I will use “an unstable condition, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.”

    I believe that we are in a climate crisis, in part, because of an accumulation of concordant evidence from climate modeling, real-world observations, and geologic evidence of relatively abrupt and drastic changes in climate, particularly associated with changes in prevailing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

    To give but one of very many examples of observational evidence, global ocean heat content, which has been rising rapidly since at least the 1990s,
    and is well-measured since 2005.
    https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/global-ocean-heat-content/
    This is important since, as the ocean accumulates heat, it gets more and more out of equilibrium. An ocean at equilibrium with the current climate would show a steady line (with some “noise”) as a trend, rather than an increase. As the ocean accumulates heat energy, instability of the climate system increases, along with the potential for large and abrupt climate change.

  7. 107
    z1 says:

    Can some of the more knowledgeable participants here pls have a stab at this skeptic’s video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U1tI4IKC8w

    …or this lecture by MIT professor Richard Lindzen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD8SXP02h4c

    I must say that I found them fairly convincing yet they directly contradict 95% of the comments on this site and “settled climate science”.

    As a neutral observer with no horse in this climate race but with a fairly large engineering and scientific background, I also must say that I find the arrogance and dismissive attitude by “priests of settled science” from any field extremely off putting. As far as I know, “your idea is not published in a peer-reviewed journal” is not a scientific argument. Hope to learn from both sides of the debate.

  8. 108
    Piotr says:

    TYSON MCGUFFIN(105) “the half-and-half proposition implies that this proportionality does not hold in the case of the atmosphere.

    The “half-and-half proposition” does apply to INDIVIDUAL MOLECULES, not to “the atmosphere” as a whole. The IR sent from that individual molecule downward will be absorbed by molecules below and re-emitted in all directions from there, at warmer temp. (temp. nearer to the Earth are higher). The downward part of these emissions will be absorbed again by an even lower and even warmer molecules and reemitted again. and so on, until in the end the IR is absorbed by Earth, from much lower height, thus much higher temp., than our initial molecule.

    That’s how the “ half-and-half” emission from individual air molecule s RESULT in asymmetric radiation from the whole atmosphere:
    the downward reemitted IR reaching the Earth surface = 324 W/m2, the upward re-emitted IR flux into the space = 195W/m2.

    So the back-radiation does exist is almost TWICE as strong as the away (into space) radiation. In fact – knowing the IR flux toward the Earth – you can back-calculate the effective height of the back-radiation:
    use you S_B equation to calculate the temperature needed to produce the downward IR flux =324 W/m2, and then from the atm. temperature profile read how high would this temperature is.
    Without atmosphere all heat emitted by Earth would leave into space. So another name for the “back-radiation” from the atmosphere is “greenhouse effect”.

    Further human emissions of GHGs – by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses, put more molecules in the air – so that “last” (or “first”) molecule is closer to the Earth, making the effective height lower => air warmer => increases the absorbed IR beyond the current 324W/m2. And voila: Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    And that’s WHY there are dozens? 100s? of deniers’ sites to claim that there is no “back-radiation”. Their authors try to appear knowledgeable, so their throw in some technical lingo (Stefan-Boltzmann equation seems to be the favourite), yet their “arguments” make painfully clear that they have no idea how it applies to the atmosphere.

    So when _you_ showed up on the RC with your with your:
    Where did the idea of “back radiation” originate?
    AND you indicated your familiarity with the Stefan-Boltzmann (“S-B law”)
    AND you appeared on RC at the same time as a troll cohort with similar open-minded questions like:
    Why should a rational person believe that we are currently experiencing a “climate crisis”?” . . . *Please* answer it.
    … as if they were really opened to the possibility that we do have a “climate crisis”), then please forgive if RC some regulars are skeptical about your intentions.

    So now the ball is in your court – by what you do with the information you got,
    whether you original question was genuine or not.

  9. 109
    z1 says:

    Another question. Is this why Obama had no concerns about buying a $12 million waterfront (sea-level) mansion ( https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/real-estate/a30169311/barack-michelle-obama-buy-marthas-vineyard-house/ ), why waterfront (sea-level) properties are at all time highs in market prices worldwide, and why Warren Buffett sees no increase in weather/flood related damage claims in his insurance business?

    0.75mm/yr sea level rise at Sydney doesn’t sound like a “climate crisis” and has been constant since 1890:

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=680-140

    Every long-term chart from this global list looks similar to that:

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/mslGlobalTrendsTable.html

    What am I missing? Serious question.

  10. 110
    Killian says:

    107 z1 says:
    12 Apr 2021 at 6:15 PM

    I must say that I found them fairly convincing yet they directly contradict 95% of the comments on this site and “settled climate science”.

    As a neutral observer with no horse in this climate race

    Ah, the soft denier. Also known as “liar.”

    but with a fairly large engineering and scientific background

    Fully confrmed!

    I also must say that I find the arrogance and dismissive attitude by “priests of settled science” from any field extremely off putting.

    Hitting every lying trope!

    As far as I know, “your idea is not published in a peer-reviewed journal” is not a scientific argument.

    Yup!

    Hope to learn from both sides of the debate.

    And there’s the Big Lie!

    I don’t fault the liars any longer, I fault the enablers who let them post this garbage. Gentlemen, you are engaging in False Equivalence against yourselves. Please, stop allowing these lies the light of day.

  11. 111
    Killian says:

    **This one is properly formatted.**

    107 z1 says:
    12 Apr 2021 at 6:15 PM

    I must say that I found them fairly convincing yet they directly contradict 95% of the comments on this site and “settled climate science”.

    If they weren’t utter crap, perhaps.

    As a neutral observer with no horse in this climate race

    Ah, the soft denier. Also known as “liar.”

    but with a fairly large engineering and scientific background

    Fully confrmed!

    I also must say that I find the arrogance and dismissive attitude by “priests of settled science” from any field extremely off putting.

    Hitting every lying trope!

    As far as I know, “your idea is not published in a peer-reviewed journal” is not a scientific argument.

    And neither is yours. It’s not even ironic: You know you are here to lie.

    Hope to learn from both sides of the debate.

    And there’s the Big Lie!

    I don’t fault the liars any longer, I fault the enablers who argue with them for years on end, constantly reinforcing the Big Lie and those who let them post this garbage. Gentlemen, you are engaging in False Equivalence against yourselves. Please, stop allowing these lies the light of day.

  12. 112
    Piotr says:

    From the climate-change denier troll-book, accidentally left in a coffee shop, after a workshop in a nearby troll farm.

    ***** “HOW TO WIN FRIENDS and INFLUENCE PEOPLE – the Climate Troll edition” ******

    1. Arrive and announce your open-mindedness: “ As a neutral observer with no horse in this climate race

    2.Establish scientific credibility, e.g.: ” [I have] a fairly large engineering and scientific background

    3. Gently introduce the deniers. Don’t write “deniers”, stupid, call them as they want to be called:”skeptics“. Ignore the contradiction that if you are NOT skeptical to your OWN claims, then you are as a good a “skeptic” as a goat’s ass a trumpet. If available, add impressive academic position of the skeptic: “MIT professor Richard Lindzen

    4. Bait for the answers:
    – stroke the ego: “ Can some of the more knowledgeable participants here
    – while offering a challenge: “I found [Linden’s claims] fairly convincing ”

    5. Watch alarmists trip over themselves to convince you, particularly when
    the moderation delay prevents then from seeing that others have made similar points already. Each of your opponents wastes their time to answer you as if you were open to being convinced (ha, morons!). They waste the time they otherwise may have used to discuss new climatological papers, to share information and ideas, to educate each other on their areas of expertise, or to discuss political and technological strategies for mitigation.
    This way a single all-purpose troll may tie down several experts in their field. And imagine how well you can paralyze their discussion, if there are several of you!

    6. When the alarmists have seen through your shtick – don’t worry – wait and repeat: pretend that you hear their counter-arguments for the first time. You may
    do it as a “new” author, who just got to this group and would like to learn more,
    or you may post as a recurring one – there will be always a sucker who will try to convert you.

    WARNING – DO NOT SHOW YOUR CARDS TOO EARLY!

    1. If, to enjoy the benefit of the doubt, you pretended to be NEW to this group – don’t make the quantitative claims about this group, as this might tip them that you did research on this group before joining:
    For instance, “ [Lindzen’s ] fairly convincing [claims] directly contradict 95% of the comments on this site” requires quite thorough understanding of the group. AND worse still – means that you ALREADY KNOW what they think about Lindzen, so your feigning of the interest in their opinion becomes less convincing.

    2. Don’t tip your hand by putting quotation marks around the consensus, global warming, or the science being settled – if you do – it would quickly erode the benefit of the doubt you so much enjoy.

    3. WAIT with the bitter conclusion: “I also must say that I find the arrogance and dismissive attitude by “priests of settled science” from any field extremely off putting” UNTIL they actually post something. If you jump the gun and accuse them BEFORE – you make your accusations of “ arrogance and dismissive attitude” feel, well, prefabricated.
    ====

    So go, young man, keep your cards close to the chest, and make the warmists sweat. whether you are a paid troll, or what the Soviets called: a “useful idiot“, of the transnational oil companies, and countries whose economies and geopolitical influence would disappear if the world stopped buying their gas and oil. Go, get them! [harrumph, harrumph, harrumph!]

    P.S. Any similarity with z1 @107, or the characters from the drawer of sock-puppets that recently materialized on RC – are purely coincidental. No actual sock puppets have been harmed in the writing of this post.

  13. 113
    Astringent says:

    z1 @107. Thanks for your offer of a couple of YouTube videos. I’ll pass. As a person with a ‘fairly large engineering background’ myself, I have rarely found YouTube an effective way of increasing my knowledge. Textbooks, published papers, personal observation and lectures or discussion with experts is the way I’ve gotten to know what I know. ‘Your idea isn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal’ is not a scientific argument, but it is a convenient shorthand for ‘put up or shut up’.

    I have no idea what your expertise lies in, but I equally find it hard to believe that if, for instance, you are a Formula 1 car designer, you would pay much attention to a tweet by a fan saying that air resistance is negligible, and cars only go faster today because tracks are more downhill than they were. You wouldn’t agree to waste your time ‘debating’ both sides of that argument, and you would probably get a little dismissive of the fan. You wouldn’t be being arrogant, you would be justified.

  14. 114
    MA Rodger says:

    z1 @107,
    You present a brace of half-hour videos and perhaps expect folk here to waste an hour of their time watching them so as to explain to you why they are nought but bullshit.
    I have not watched them but had a very quick scan of them and that is enough to see they are indeed nought but bullshit.

    The first video from the denialist site of Goddard/Heller (or whatever he is calling himself these days) is not untypical of the bullshit that particular cretin spouts. (As you can see I am not a big fan of Tony Heller!!)
    If you were wanting to ask about Heller’s bullshit, that video is not the best approach. The fool does actually set out his stall here and gives the most important reason for ignoring the science thus:- “The most important argument against climate alarmism is that the proposed solutions are unworkable, dangerous and useless.”
    He also gives four other “arguments” () It’s all a pack of baseless scare-stories on how CO2 will cause flood fire and brimstone. () A small number of people have created a fake climate consensus to stifle debate on the matter. () Such apocalyptic warning always fail miserably. () “Climate alarmism is completely dependent on graphs and useless climate models generated by a small handful of people. The graphs are generated through scientifically corrupt processes of data tampering and hiding data.” (Note that I provide a quote for the last of these “arguments” as this is Goddard/Heller playing the mucky pot calling the shiny electric kettle black.)
    Mind, if there is a particular passage within the first bullshit video that you feel deserves proper debunking, do say. But do you really believe that the temperature record has been manipulated in some global conspiracy to pervert climate science and construct a fake climate emergency? Really?

    The second video is some turgid arguing from Dickie Linzden. Linzden has been bashing on about how AGW is not a problem for decades. He had lost the scientific argument by the 1990s yet he continues with the same old same-old. Today he even resorts to down-right lies.
    (In 2012 Lindzen presented a seminar in the UK Houses of Parliament [if you like videos Part 1 & Part 2] in which he sets out at length his same old same-old and in so doing said stuff so bad he had to retract it [& remove it from the videos] after it had been exposed. But something he has never retracted is his presentation of DMI Arctic temperature annual reanalyses which he insisted showed just random variation outside summertime. The DMI data shows no such thing. I don’t think he can be forgiven for that lie, especially as he managed to shuffle the annual DMI plots in his presentation.)
    Lindzen’s main argument (if you ignore his pathetic attempts to argue that daily and annual temperature variation trivialise the +1ºC of AGW to date) is that, while increased CO2 will indeed increase global temperatures, the feedbacks resulting from increased atmospheric water content will be small. It’s an argument that doesn’t stack up scientifically, despite Lindzen trying for decades to make it stack up.
    Today the man is entirely ignorable.

    A final take-away is that Goddard/Heller and Lindzen contradict each other on a whole lot of stuff. The only thing that unites them is their denial of the science that says AGW is the problem.

  15. 115
    MA Rodger says:

    TYSON MCGUFFIN @105,
    Is it “more then a case of semantics”?
    You appear to be arguing that either there is no downwelling IR from atmospheric GHGs or that the conservation of energy in your reckoning appears to break down and fail to operate. As you apparently correctly consider that conservation of energy is unlikely to fail us, you conclude that it must therefore be our understanding of downwelling IR from the atmosphere, this “back radiation”, that is wrong.
    I would suggest that the mistake is actually your reckoning. Finding a problem with the conservation of energy would be a big big problem for physics. Likewise, downwelling IR from the atmosphere can be measured so, again, it looks not to be the problem. So the fault must surely lie in your reckoning. Have you factored in the full set of surface energy fluxes. Maybe this would help your semantics along.

  16. 116

    z1 107,

    Richard Lindzen was an important climate scientist at one time, but he is now considered to have “gone emeritus.” He had a legitimate hypothesis that global warming would be contained by what he called a “tropical infrared iris,” and published a paper to that effect in 1982.

    Satellite observations shot down his hypothesis. The tropical infrared iris doesn’t exist.

    Nonetheless, he tried to revive the hypothesis in another paper in 1992.

    And again it was shot down.

    2002. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    In short, Lindzen holds onto his hypothesis in the face of its having been disproved over and over again. This is the mark of the crackpot. He is to climate science what Halton Arp or Thomas C. van Flandern is to astronomy.

    In addition, the man receives plenty of money from the fossil fuel industry to spread lies about climate change. He boasts about it. Most deniers try to hide it. He resents his colleagues so much, he has become a partisan global warming denier, and will repeat any crap argument against it (e.g. “Mars is warming, did SUVs cause that?”) even when he knows damn well they’re untrue. The man is dishonest and no one should rely on him for anything.

    “I find the arrogance and dismissive attitude by “priests of settled science” from any field extremely off putting.”

    Nobody gives a damn. Attitude never determined a science question in the history of the universe. And a statement like that is completely at odds with your clima to be “a neutral observer with no horse in this climate race.” Neutral observers don’t use phrases like “priests of settled science.”

  17. 117
    zebra says:

    Tyson McGuffin #105,

    I think it is about “semantics”, in a sense, because your thinking seems to be confused by the words you are using.

    For your model you say:

    “At the surface there is the incoming shortwave flux plus the downwelling flux emitted by the atmosphere, which is balanced by the upward flux from the surface.”

    But that is not correct if by “balanced” you mean that the downwelling IR radiation is equal to the upward radiation. That makes no sense since we know there is a net escape of radiation to space.

  18. 118
    DasKleineTeilchen says:

    Robert L. Bradley Jr.

    and all of us can be more optimistic and don’t have to ruin our earth with wind turbines and solar panels

    I…cant…WHAT?!?!?

  19. 119
    John Pollack says:

    z1 @109 As Scott Adams, the artist of the US cartoon strip “Dilbert” once explained it, some rich people like living near water. If their house washes away, they can afford to put up a new one.

    I invite you to sink your life savings into a fancy place near the coast, preferably one in a tropical cyclone zone. After all, rich people are doing it, so you’ve got nothing to worry about, do you?

  20. 120
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    115 MA Rodger
    No, I’m neither arguing that there is no downwelling IR nor that the energy balance… doesn’t.

    I’m arguing that the downwelling IR is given by the 4th power of the temperature of the atmosphere. The half-and-half approach implies that the portion of the surface emission that doesn’t escape directly to space is not extinguished in the atmosphere but rather, part is back-radiated to the surface part radiated to space.
    If you’ll indulge this thought experiment to illustrate. Instantaneously turn off surface emission by setting Ts to absolute zero while maintaining the atmosphere’s temperature at Ta, say 255K, the atmosphere will continue to emit proportional to the 4th power of Ta, whether looking up from the surface or down from the TOA that emission will be the same, not half down half up.

    117 zebra
    The algebraic setup for my simple model is:

    Incoming shortwave Flux (F1) + Downwelling IR Flux (Fa)= Upward Flux from the surface (Fs)
    At equilibrium the LHS equals the RHS. Since F1 is fixed for practical purposes, changes in either Fa or Fs forces the other to adjust seeking to re-establish equilibrium.

    Thanks for your attention.

  21. 121
    zebra says:

    John Pollack #19,

    I think the conversation went something like:

    “Barack, stop worrying, we can always unload it on some idiot like Trump who inherited lots of money but very little intelligence.”

    It looks like it’s far enough above sea level that they have plenty of time to sell it, and at a profit. Smart people.

  22. 122
    Alex says:

    John Pollack @106 Warming up water with warm air is not a trivial task. Warm air simply can not heat up ocean temperature, only the *sun* can do that (and underwater vulcanos). It is basic science, and you could even try this at home: try warming up the water in your bathtub by 1 degree, with hot air (for example a blow dryer). It won’t work, it is simply impossible.
    Even if warm air has some influence on ocean temperature, it will not reach lower depths.
    So, it is sunlight that is warming oceans, and that is simply beyond our control.
    (also, remember that warmer oceans results in more clouds, causing cooling and blocking sunlight).

  23. 123

    z1, #109–

    Every long-term chart from this global list looks similar to that:

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/mslGlobalTrendsTable.html

    What am I missing? Serious question.

    Apparently you are missing the diligence to actually check your own list. It took me about 2 minutes to find the counterexample of Khios, Greece, which over the last 50 years or so has averaged 3.79 mm/yr, +/- 0.80. That’s a tad over 5 times the rate you cite for Sydney. YMMV, but I don’t call that “similar.”

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=290-071

    Or there’s Rodrigues Island, Mauritius, at 5.48 mm/yr (though with a whopping uncertainty margin):

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=450-021

    That took another minute or so. But maybe they are both flukes. Let’s see what the New World has on offer. How about Acapulco:

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=830-081

    Hmm. 7.47 mm/yr, +/- 2.10. That’s a full order of magnitude above Sydney. So, definitely not “similar.”

    But guess what? You can find even *more* dissimilar values. Take Tofino, Canada, for example.

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=822-116

    Wow! -1.22 mm/yr! Opposite sign! So is the sea *falling* at Tofino??

    Of course not. But it’s not rising as fast as the land is. That’s the first problem you run into in assessing the significant of tide gauge records: you have to figure out what the land is doing, because most of the time it isn’t perfectly stable.

    It’s not the last problem in measuring and assessing sea level rise, though. Some of the methodological issues are discussed here (along with some nice archival photography that will be a pleasure for science history buffs):

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/climate-tech/reading-between-tides-200-years-measuring-global-sea-level

    Beyond even that is the fact that the sea isn’t perfectly ‘flat’ (ie., spherical.) Regional and even local gravitational anomalies induce distortions in the surface, and these can change with time (e.g., when a large ice sheet disintegrates.) But even just the problem that “relative sea level rise” is relative to the land is already enough to point up the fact that individual examples are pretty meaningless by themselves. You really need a comprehensive analysis. Like say, the ones reported here:

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-sea-level

    The global mean water level in the ocean rose by 0.14 inches (3.6 millimeters) per year from 2006–2015, which was 2.5 times the average rate of 0.06 inches (1.4 millimeters) per year throughout most of the twentieth century. By the end of the century, global mean sea level is likely to rise at least one foot (0.3 meters) above 2000 levels, even if greenhouse gas emissions follow a relatively low pathway in coming decades.

    Turning from the sublime to the ridiculous, your “argument” that because President Obama reportedly bought a Martha’s Vineyard mansion therefore sea level rise doesn’t exist is–and I’m being polite here–plainly incomplete, because 1) you have no idea how long he might plan to hold the property, and 2) you fail to make a meaningful assessment of the actual risk at that particular location. (I do note that the picture in the story you link shows a house at considerable distance from the water, and with a sloping shore. I’d guesstimate that the elevation is probably at least in the range of 20-30 feet above sea level, which should be perfectly secure for the balance of this century or more. But it’s admittedly hard to tell for sure.)

    And your unsupported assertion about waterfront property being at “record highs worldwide” begs the question “What about *non*-waterfront properties?” Are they at record highs, too? After all, real estate in general has tended to appreciate in value over long periods of time.

    On the other hand, there actually is reason to think that the risk posed by sea-level rise is starting to be priced into real estate markets:

    https://www.npr.org/2020/10/15/924239753/is-the-risk-of-sea-level-rise-affecting-florida-home-prices-a-new-study-says-yes

  24. 124
    Solar Jim says:

    RE: BPL #103
    “Because 40% of the world’s phytoplankton, the base of the ocean food chain, is gone.”

    Scientists et al. worry about an immense cascade of unfolding and projected cataclysms on our water planet. One of my “top ten” is dropping oxygen levels in air (and waters), due to death of forest and phytoplankton ecosystems. If possible, would you be able to provide any links or other references regarding the above.

    Regards, “Solar Jim”

  25. 125
    zebra says:

    Tyson McGuffin #120,

    So I was correct that you are setting the up radiation and down radiation equal, which, as I said, doesn’t make any sense, because we know that there is a net escape of radiation to space.

    Can you explain where that escaping radiation comes from?

    Again, your language indicates that you are suffering some kind of cognitive disorientation or lack of understanding about basic thermodynamics. (In your reply to MAR as well… how is energy ‘extinguished’?)

    It might help you to use actual units when you write equations; dimensional analysis is the first test of whether you are getting things right.

  26. 126
    John Pollack says:

    Alex @122 Thanks for the info., although I do recall it from my thermodynamics courses in meteorology. I agree with you that warming up water with warm air is not a trivial task, although it can be done. So, the primary source of the excess 25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules of energy that has accumulated in the ocean since 1990 is the sun, but that includes the downwelling flux of infrared energy which has been enhanced by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere since 1990. This includes the extra downward energy flux from the higher water vapor content of the atmosphere – resulting from the higher moisture capacity of warmer air. There has been no observed overall increase in relative humidity, and there aren’t more clouds, on the average, than in 1990.

  27. 127
    Mike says:

    MLO numbers looking nutty again:

    Daily CO2

    Apr. 12, 2021 = 419.51 ppm

    Apr. 12, 2020 = 415.46 ppm

    Per co2.earth

    Cheers

    Mike

  28. 128
    MA Rodger says:

    TYSON MCGUFFIN @120,
    As you say @81, “the atmosphere radiates by virtue of its temperature” so why does your thought experiment require us to “instantaneously turn off surface emission by setting Ts to absolute zero while maintaining the atmosphere’s temperature at Ta.” You are aware (or maybe not) that the vast majority of IR absorbed by the atmosphere is quickly converted into thermal energy and “the atmosphere radiates by virtue of its temperature.”

    As for the radiation emitted from a gas, imagine it were a solid, a horizontal solid sheet of temperature T(sh). You would not be challenged if you said the radiation emitted by such a sheet equaled double 5.67e-8 x T(sh)^4, that is half of it up and half of it down.
    So why not consider a gas to be a sheet but one with an exceedingly knobbly surface. If its thickness is greater than the path-length of the absorbed/emitted radiation (which for CO2 at sea level is quite short), surely it is behaving exactly like the solid sheet, half up and half down.

    What seems to be troubling you is that the molecules within that knobbly surface of the gas are both emitting IR out of the gas as well as emitting IR into the gas. So for the level of emitted IR per molecule in the gas to equal that emitted by the surface molecules of the solid sheet, the IR emitted out of the gas’s knobbly surface will somehow be half that emitted by the solid sheet’s surface which only emits in one direction from its surfaces, all outward.
    So let’s put a solid surface next to the knobbly gas boundary and make T(sh)=T(g). The second law tells us that the net energy transfer between bodies of equal temperature is zero. Indeed, this is what defines their temperature. But you appear to be saying that a gas (which by nature has no solid surface and has IR passing within it) would thus only radiate half the amount of the solid sheet’s outward emissions as the other half of the gas emissions are radiated by the molecules inwards, into the gas.
    But T(sh)=T(g). They are at the same temperature. So if you are correct, well done!!! You have just disproved the second law of thermodynamics.

  29. 129
    Mal Adapted says:

    Thomas Fuller:

    The climate consensus holds all the levers of power. Some of that is literal–consensus advocates hold positions in government the world wide (and after the past four years we should be grateful that that is the case). It has far greater access to the media, broadly shapes the educational agenda, directs research funding, etc.

    Tom, any political power climate realism has in the US derives from the epistemic authority of science. Early in this century, the Republican Party tied “conservative” ideology to rejection of the overwhelming consensus of working climate scientists, even though conservative voters are as vulnerable to increasingly extreme weather as everyone else is. Since then, the GOP leadership has fanned the flames of culture war so effectively that less than six months ago, 74 million of my fellow citizens voted for Donald Trump to retain his seat as Science-Denier-in-Chief. I, for one, am far less confident than you are in science’s hold on the levers of power.

    OTOH, as others have pointed out, the news of increasingly extreme weather since Trump’s election as POTUS has raised public awareness of the urgency of the problem, even as the market price of renewable energy has fallen dramatically. Two years ago, long-time Republican pollster Frank Luntz advised the party its intransigent denialism was costing it younger voters. Also important in the 2020 election was, as CCHolley observes @64:

    denialism as a political tool to delay action on climate is on its way out due to shifts in public opinion and because the cost of renewables are going down. As such, denialism inherently becomes less effective in protecting the fossil fuel industry. Because of this, the Republican stance is moving to acceptance of the science, but nevertheless still promoting other reasons to hinder action (mostly due to fear of the power of the Koch political machine.)

    IMHO it’s rational to assume that fossil carbon capitalists, who have the most to lose by the transition to carbon-neutrality, will invest in politics as necessary to sustain their profits as long as possible. In spite of that, I’m more optimistic about collective decarbonization than I’ve been since 1988.

  30. 130
    Piotr says:

    Re: Alex (122)

    “Alex” – ask for your money back from the denier who made the fool of you by selling you on the “ Warm air simply can not heat up ocean temperature” denier cliche. It that has been debunked many times, INCLUDING earlier in THIS thread.

    Then again, while you might have been fooled by the denier, the thinking
    how great you are and how stupid are the others, like John Pollock, is ALL YOURS. The bigger the ignorance, the bigger the arrogance.

    To reduce the explanation your level of understanding: the air determines how much of the short-wave solar radiation absorbed by the ocean (ca 190 W/m2) – ESCAPES the ocean: “warm air” blocks more heat, “cold air” block less – so under Global warming the ocean temperature is higher than before Global warming.

    But you have chance to put your money where your mouth is with a simple test – next winter, on a -20C night: I’ll step out in my Northface Arctic Dawn Parka, and you in your favourite pajamas (guessing from you grasp of basic science – SpongeBob SquarePants?): ​we will test your claim that you can last as long as I do, because “ clothing simply can not heat the human body” and “it is the basic science that it is the body that produces heat, so the body temperature is simply beyond our control“. How much would you like to wage?

  31. 131
    Piotr says:

    TYSON MCGUFFIN “I’m arguing that the downwelling IR is given by the 4th power of the temperature of the atmosphere.
    NOBODY claimed that the S-B law does not apply here – so …. what is your point?

    The half-and-half approach implies that the portion of the surface emission that doesn’t escape directly to space is not extinguished in the atmosphere

    again, NOBODY argued against the 1st Law of Thermodynamics – “extinguishing of energy” so mentioning that neither you do – is not exactly Earth shattering

    More importantly, why do you IGNORE what several people have ALREADY expalined to you – there is NO “half-and-half” re-emission from the atmosphere. I even gave you the numbers: 324 W/m2 into the Earth, 195W/m2 into the space. 324W/m2 NOT = 195W/m2

    And I have already explained to you WHY, using small words:

    ==========
    The “half-and-half proposition” does apply to INDIVIDUAL MOLECULES, not to “the atmosphere” as a whole. The IR sent from that individual molecule downward will be absorbed by molecules below and re-emitted in all directions from there, at warmer temp. (temp. nearer to the Earth are higher). The downward part of these emissions will be absorbed again by an even lower and even warmer molecules and reemitted again. and so on, until in the end the IR is absorbed by Earth, from much lower height, thus much higher temp., than our initial molecule.
    That’s how the “ half-and-half” emission from individual air molecule s RESULT in asymmetric radiation from the whole atmosphere:
    the downward reemitted IR reaching the Earth surface = 324 W/m2, the upward re-emitted IR flux into the space = 195W/m2
    =======

    See? So no need for your “intellectual experiments” and “simple models
    if your assumptions is the that 342 W/m2 = 195 W/m2, as they are as relevant as simple models of the number of angels able to dance at the tip of a pin.
    Be best!

  32. 132
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    125 zebra and 128 MA Rodger
    Guys thanks again for your attention. It’s obvious that this is the wrong forum for addressing this issue. Regards.

  33. 133
    nigelj says:

    Piotr @112 exposes deniers tactics for what they really are. Most of those are standard tactics employed by public relations firms (spin merchants), for good purposes and bad purposes, all sorts of purposes. They have weaponised psychology. Sometimes I think public relations firms are a curse on humanity. Possibly do more harm than good.

  34. 134
    nigelj says:

    Alex @122 ” Warm air simply can not heat up ocean temperature, only the *sun* can do that ….Even if warm air has some influence on ocean temperature, it will not reach lower depths…..”

    Do you think people don’t notice the bullshit, the empty, uncited assertions, and the massive contradiction? I will probably regret asking.

  35. 135
    Piotr says:

    zebra (125) about Tyson McGuffin (120):
    your language indicates that you are suffering some kind of cognitive disorientation or lack of understanding about basic thermodynamics. (In your reply to MAR as well… how is energy ‘extinguished’?)

    yeah, either cognitive disorientation, or trolliosis – if the guy read one of the deniers pages that call on the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to “prove” that the up and down radiation from the atmosphere must be EQUAL – hence there is no greenhouse effect, because there would be no way to get rid of some of surplus heat from shortwave radiation absorbed by Earth (I could give you url but don’t want to validate the author)

    The linchpin of this “argument” is to assume the out and down IR emissions happen from the SAME temperature – as if there was on magical thin layer able to emit IR, with un-emittive vacuum above and below. In reality, the IR reaching the Earth comes from much lower atmosphere (hence higher temperature) than the IR radiated into the space. I have explained it in detail in (108), but our “McGuffin” proceeds as if the 50-50 fallacy were still correct.

    This and the fact that he appeared at the same time as latest sock-puppet crop – makes me think that he is likely one of them. And look at his last name – either he is a poor victim of a cosmic coincidence, or he has left an Easter egg for us to find (All Hail Alfred Hitchcock!):

    Mc·Guf·fin /məˈɡəfin/ noun: “an object or device in a movie or a book that serves merely as a trigger for the plot

  36. 136
    michael Sweet says:

    Tyson McGuffin at 120:
    There are several problems with your model. In general, it is a bad idea to try to model something you do not understand. It is better to listen to experts (climate scientists) who do know what they are talking about.

    If you suddenly set the temperature of the Earth to zero K the radiation down at the surface is not equal to the radiation up at the top of the atmosphere as you claim. This is one of the basic issues that you do not understand. The atmosphere is not accurately modeled by a single layer. The atmosphere is actually composed of many layers each radiating up and down according to their temperature.

    As you go up in the atmosphere the temperature goes down (airplanes often show outside temperatures of -20 or -30 F). Each layer emits IR according to its temperature and the SB equation. The outgoing radiation is emitted from a layer about 10 kilometers up. The atmosphere is much colder there.

    The lapse rate (the rate the atmosphere cools as you go up) is about 6C per kilometer. When you increase carbon dioxide that adds another layer to the atmosphere and increases the height of the top of the atmosphere.

    You do not understand how the atmosphere absorbs and emits energy. Since you do not understand how energy is transferred, your model is incorrect. I suggest you read some of the basic references others have given you to try to increase your understanding.

    It is always amazing to me how many deniers think that since they have read something on the internet they are smarter than scientists who devote their lives to studying the atmosphere.

  37. 137
    Piotr says:

    John Pollack says: (126) to “Alex @122 I agree with you that warming up water with warm air is not a trivial task, although it can be done

    Maybe if you want to warm the bathtub water really quickly. For the air-sea fluxes it is “trivial” – since it has been done for billions of years, as discussed a couple weeks ago in this very thread.

    The denier’s cliche comes in two varieties:
    * the elementary school level: Warm air simply can not heat up ocean temperature” (c) Alex,

    * the highschool level, distinguished by using more scientificky terms: “ The greenhouse effect cannot possibly heat up the ocean because IR is absorbed in the top micrometers of the skin layer“.

    Both are falsified by saying that ALL that is needed is for the top of the 0.1mm surface skin NOT to be “insulated” from the mixed layer below. And you know that it is not “insulated” – since it allows the movement of 190 W/m2 from the sea to the air.

    For the high-school version you may add – that almost always there is a net flow of heat from the ocean into the air (to the tune of 190 W/m2). So the sealevel increases by the increased Atm downward IR warming the top of the skin layer and thus REDUCING the temp. gradient across the skin layer and therefore REDUCING amount of heat dumped from the ocean into the air:

    If A reduces the heat LOSS from B, then the temperature of B increases. Ergo “A increased the temp. of B”. Or in the words of our 6-grader: “Warm air simply increased ocean temperature

    And voila – the solution to climate deniers “problem”.

  38. 138

    #132, TM–

    Not the right forum?

    Not if TM wanted to impress with his brilliance, no.

    On the other hand, if he’d wanted to learn something…

  39. 139
    Mike says:

    I am reading some concerned facebook posts about methane measurements at Barrow.

    Here is a link: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/graph.php?code=BRW&program=ccgg&type=ts&fbclid=IwAR3pNwmcaJwPPVtgzjbRVAR3PikwBjS-R5WffTMD6z7g-l9UbwZ_ff7dxbI

    Thoughts on methane measurements at Barrow?

    Cheers

    Mike

  40. 140
    zebra says:

    Piotr,

    These various commenters may indeed be sock-puppets as I first suggested, or they may be individual trolls, or, low probability, they may be sincere seekers of understanding.

    But if they are indeed trolls, you and others are the real puppets, because they know how to get you to dance. You can’t resist showing off how much you know, instead of showing how much they don’t know. Which creates the false equivalency illusion they are trying to achieve.

    In my experience, the best/quickest way to make them go away or demonstrate their trollishness is to require them to support their argument in a scientific, rational presentation. That’s what I suggested to Thomas Fuller back at #67. That means treating them as I would a real, sincere, student.

    But you don’t help students by producing long lectures to impress your peers with how much you know or your clever framing; if someone has a misconception you get them to examine that misconception in their own terms. This requires patience and listening rather than recitation on your part.

  41. 141
    MA Rodger says:

    GISTEMP has posted the LOTI numbers for March with a global SAT anomaly of +0.88ºC, up on both Jan (+0.82ºC) and Feb (+0.66ºC).

    March 2021 sits as =8th warmest March on the GISTEMP record (9th in ERA5 while in UAH TLT it was 24th) with the GISTEMP warmest Marchs running:- 2016 (+1.36ºC), 2020 (+1.18ºC), 2019 (+1.18ºC), 2017 (+1.17ºC), 2015 (+0.96ºC), 2010 (+0.92ºC), & 2018 (+0.89ºC), with 2021 equaling 2002.

    The first 3 months of 2021 averaged +0.79ºC, the 10th warmest start on the GISTEMP record (9th in ERA5, 12th in UAH TLT), in GISTEMP dropping below 2007 & 2002 as well as those years listed with warmer Marchs.
    A year-on-year plot of GISTEMP LOTI monthly anomalies is here.

  42. 142
    MA Rodger says:

    With TYSON MCGUFFIN @132 telling us that here “is the wrong forum for addressing this issue,” has anybody fathomed what “this issue” he was curious about actually was?

  43. 143
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    136 michael Sweet
    My simple model is straight out of Petty’s Atmospheric Radiation book; If you have a problem with it then take it up with him!

  44. 144

    z1 109: Another question. Is this why Obama had no concerns about buying a $12 million waterfront (sea-level) mansion

    BPL: You’ve fallen for an internet hoax. Obama’s house is an ocean VIEW house which is, in fact, 150 feet above sea level.

  45. 145
  46. 146
    z1 says:

    Thanks everyone for your responses. Not sure this is the proper forum for learning about the actual extent of the “climate emergency” or if any exists at all. Seems like anyone who even asks the question here is immediately accused of trolling or shilling since apparently any honest person would have already realized that the answer is “settled science”. Ok.

  47. 147
    Ray Ladbury says:

    I think the discussion of how back radiation warms seawater is useful, but I think people are getting a bit too fine on the details. Bodies at a finite temperature above absolute zero tend to radiate. The water is radiating energy. The atmosphere above it is radiating. Because they are fluids, you also have heat transport via convection and conduction. And the sun is shining on both the atmosphere and the water. It is the balance between these processes that determines the temperatures of the constituents. Change any of the inputs–pass a cloud over the sun, remove a cloud, warm the water, warm the air, add a greenhouse gas… and the equilibrium, or quasi-equilibrium shifts. That can result in warmer water. The key is in understanding how the change results in different energy flow from the constituents.

  48. 148
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    104 CCHolley

    Scientific American replaces ‘climate change’ with ‘climate emergency’
    Scientific American magazine announced Monday that it would stop using the term “climate change” in articles about man-made global warming and substitute “climate emergency” instead.

    “Journalism should reflect what science says: the climate emergency is here,” Scientific American senior editor Mark Fischetti said in a Monday post about the magazine’s decision.

  49. 149
    TYSON MCGUFFIN says:

    136 michael
    If you suddenly set the temperature of the Earth to zero K the radiation down at the surface is not equal to the radiation up at the top of the atmosphere as you claim.

    I never said that! I said that the atmosphere will continue to emit by virtue of it being at temperature Ta; all to emphasize the existense of downwelling radiation absent surface radiation.
    Your reading comprehension is lacking.

  50. 150
    Killian says:

    How about some useful climate science? This looks like a very important paper on identifying PIG tipping points, reversibility and irreversibility.

    First two tipping points are reversible with significant ocean cooling back to previous stable temp zone, third is irreversible.

    Important: This is done?with artificially steady and slow increases in forcing. Rapid forcing is not addressed. The paper explores the mechanisms a new approach rather than as a predictive model. However, +1.2C over initial (from current? From pre-industrial? Not sure.)
    state triggers irreversible collapse of PIG.

    Others here will understand this more thoroughly than I. I look forward to other’s interpretations.

    https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/15/1501/2021/