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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. Harry Twinotter at 06:05 AM on 18 April 2014
    The consequences of climate change (in our lifetimes)

    I discount the possibility of the oceans evaporating based on the fact that it did not happen before when conditions on the earth were similiar.

  2. johnthepainter at 02:59 AM on 18 April 2014
    The consequences of climate change (in our lifetimes)

    Hansen's 2012 statement, shows in the video, that we could get to a condition where the oceans would begin to boil was unfortunate and opened him to ridicule by the deniers. It shows the danger of simplifying complex matters for the public. In his most recent paper he was more careful in assessing the possibility of such an occurrence:

    "In principle, an extreme moist greenhouse might cause an instability with water vapour preventing radiation to space of all absorbed solar energy, resulting in very high surface temperature and evaporation of the ocean [105]. However, the availability of non-radiative means for vertical transport of energy, including small-scale convection and large-scale atmospheric motions, must be accounted for, as is done in our atmospheric general circulation model. Our simulations indicate that no plausible human-made GHG forcing can cause an instability and runaway greenhouse effect as defined by Ingersoll [105], in agreement with the theoretical analyses of Goldblatt & Watson [128]."

  3. Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false.

    As I grumpy-looking old white guy I protest your denigrating grumpy-looking old white guys! I know you are being tonge-in-cheek, but deniers will use anything they can agianst this site. Might be better to leave out the racial humor.  

  4. The consequences of climate change (in our lifetimes)

    When I heard about EAGW, I thought why not just rename CAGW to Costly AGW?

  5. One Planet Only Forever at 14:03 PM on 17 April 2014
    Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false.


    It is important to be as aware and informed as possible. The key point was the Fox TV camera. These same frauds will be the guests on many of the staged Fox News propoganda sessions. And those orchatrated song and dance numbers have a large audience of grumpy-looking old white guys with money who are easily impressed into contributing to the "Good Work being done against the Threat posed by the likes of the IPCC".

    Money and the "image it can create" still matters more than true substance in America and many of its Mini-Me type followers. It is important to be aware of the real challenge, actually succeeding at disappointing unethical powerful rich people and all those who want to be like them. That can only happen when everyone who actually wants to be a caring and considerate person genuinely interested in developing a sustainable better future for all, better understands who and what should impress them.

  6. To frack or not to frack?

    The Purdue study listed above (Caulton et al.) has now been published:

    Toward a better understanding and quantification of methane emissions from shale gas development, Dana Caulton et al, PNAS, April 14, 2014, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1316546111

  7. 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    The real main problem with nuclear energy is we are still way too ignorant in how to convert it directly (or at least more directly) into electrcicity. All we do is create heat and boil water with it which wastes 99% of the energy pontential. Fukushma for example, all that heat generated they were desperately trying to cool down is wasted energy ... Nuclear waste is still radioactive is generating Energy, energy that is completely wasted 

    BTW does anone know the 'Carbon Budget" for 10,000 years of babysitting nuke waste? I'm pretty sure it's going to be well about zero ......

  8. Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false.

    Curious...  any idea whom the "5 grumpy-looking old white guys" or the "2 bored looking middle-aged guys playing with electronic devices" were?

    Would be nice if Heartland was discouraged by spooning with Fox will keep em excited (around) I am sure (unfortunately).

  9. Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false.

    Simon,   Because this thinking is STILL controlling the Republican party almost completely as well as oil and coal democrats. The blogsphere is filled with all stripes of deniers effectively confusing the accurate science even in palces like Scientific American. So, while it may be a nutty fringe in Washington, it still has vast sway in parts of the country and prevents any legislative action on a national level. And inaction by the US gives cover for the entire rest of the world to not increase efforts to curb CO2.

    I am pleased that no legislators turned up fo this. I hope it makes Heartland rather discrouraged

  10. Simon Peatman at 01:24 AM on 17 April 2014
    Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, therefore global warming is false.

    The tiny turnout showed that most people give this nutty fringe the attention it deserves.

    Good, but why are you then giving it publicity by writing this article?  If people aren't listening to this group of people anyway, why not just ignore them?

  11. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    A further clarrification needs to follow from my post @12.  The original retraction notice for "Recursive Fury" was approved by Axel Cleeremans, Field Chief Editor for "Frontiers in Psychology".  In contrast, the blog that attempted to alter the story was from the Editorial Office of Frontiers, the organization.  It was not a statement by the Editorial Board of "Frontiers in Psychology".  Consequently, concern about the lack of integrity shown by that statement should result in concern about the integrity of the organization as a whole, rather than one particular Journal.

    Further, neither of the authors of the blog, Costanza Zucca and Fred Fenter, are members of the Editorial Board of "Frontiers in Psychology".  Indeed, they should not have beeen.  Zucca is a physicist specializing in magnetized plasmas.  Fenter is an evironmental scientist.  That is ironic given Marco's argument above that journalists would not have a proper handle on ethical issues in Psychology as ethical requirements differ between disciplines.  If that were true, then Zucca and Fenter would themselves be in no position to judge the ethical issues involved in publishing "Recursive Fury".  Indeed, as no specialists in psychology, they appear to have put themselves at odds with the specialists from the editorial board of "Frontiers in Psychology".  

  12. If growth of CO2 concentration causes only logarithmic temperature increase - why worry?

    I would argue that the calculations in this article are not convincing, because Figure 3 represents the dynamic response rather than hypothetical equilibrium T, assuming constant remaining atmospheric CO2 fraction. These are two different entities and the entity calculated in the article is unrealistic. It's only by coincidence, that equilibrium T curve as calculated above closely matches the IPCC dynamic temp curve in response to their scenarios.

    The recent relevant literature for example Allen et al 2009, (on which the Figure 3 is based) conclude that the peak dT response to CO2 emissions (rather than equilibrium dT this article calculates) depends on the cumulative emissions but does not depend on the rate of emissions. In other words, if we burn our fossil fuels fast (e.g. RCP8.5 and stop burning abruptly due to FF limit/civilisation collapse), we reach the same maximum temperature as if we blissfuly burned FF slower (say RCP6) buf longer. The only difference is that Tmax comes earlier.

    In climate change mitigaion, peak dT response is a better measure than equilibrium dT: e.g. in icesheet stability considerations.

    As Allen et al have shown in their sumulations, within the range of possible antropogenic CO2 slug (1-5exagram C), the dT response is indeed linear. The reason of such response is the fact that dT signal lags the dCO2 signal due to ocean thermal inertia (resulting in delayed warming), while the remaining fraction of the original dCO2 in the atmosphere at the later time drops over time (due to ocean CO2 uptake). It turns out those two dynamic processes about cancel each other, resulting in almost linear dependence of peak dT and the emission slug. And that explanation is the key outcome, alowing a simplified measure of cumulative CO2 emissions as the only restriction is climate change mitigations.

  13. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    Dana, WheelsOC, Chriskoz, in this dispute, the title of the journal "Frontiers in Psychology" has often been abbreviated as "Frontiers", thereby leading to confusion.  Frontiers, according to their blurb, is "... a community-oriented open-access academic publisher and research network".  Frontiers publishes nearly fifty journals, all of them called "Frontiers in XXX", where XXX is the name of some particular academic specialization.  The three editors that resigned are all editors for Frontiers.  One is an editor for two of their journals, but none of them are editors for "Frontiers in Psychology", ie, the journal that published and then withdrew "Recursive Fury".  The OP does get that wrong, and should have an update noting the error.

    Marco @4, OK, you got the above right but so what?  The editors in resigning have shown that they feel the retraction of "Recursive Fury", with subsequent comments so calls into question the integrity of the entire organization that they have resigned from any participation in that organization.  How is this better than merely calling into question the integrity of just one journal published by Frontiers?  To my mind it is a much greater indictment.

  14. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    John Vonderlin@8,

    You assert that you occupy "different part of AGW spectrum" but you said nothing substantial.

    For example I'm interested in your argument in response to "Wheels OC" (sic!): 'A number of other blogs, mainly Contrarian, have dissected this issue "ad nauseum."' Please give me an example together with your short comment as to what that example shows. Note that a short comment is required per this site's policy - "naked links" are not accepted.

    Your responses to One Planet Only Forever and dana1981 appear to be not in good faith, but rather ad hominem trolls so I'm not interested in them.

    But I note hewever, that in case of your response to dana1981, you're engaging in the nitpicking spell/grammar checks, while on the other hand you mispelled WheelsOC's name. While I don't engage in spelling nitpicks, people names are an exception to me. IMO, the care of name spelling is a sign of respect towards others on the internet. So I understand Lewandowsky who suggests the same with his "Say whatever you want about me, but be sure to spell my name right." You seem to denigrate/not understand the issue of person's name respect. No surprise, because you've denigrated WheelsOC's name in the same message.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Vonderlin's post was nothing more than concern trolling and therefore was deleted.  

  15. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    Marco@4, your prologue statement

    First, "the journal" when referring to Frontiers is wrong. None of the people who resigned are from the journal that published the Lewandowsky paper


    This is a rather bold statement. However, you pronounced that statement "as is" without any supporting evidence. By contrast, dana has provided the link to the blog by one of the resigned editors Björn Brembs (that I repost here) entitled Recursive fury: Resigning from Frontiers, where Björn writes:

    In the coming days I will send resignation letters to the Frontiers journals to which I have donated my free time for a range of editorial duties.

    Given this evidence, I conclude that your statement is demostrably false. Unless you can show some link that supports your statement and contradicts the evidence herein, I stop reading all of your comments. I generally stop reading comments by people who are not debating in good faith or by paople who tell demostrably false information.

  16. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    WheelsOC, care to tell me what relevant expertise McKewon has to allow her to make a qualified judgment about the ethical guidelines in the field of *psychology*? Journalists have different rules than psychology.

    One can even find differences in rules *within* scientific fields, depending on the region. There are known examples of medical studies being performed in certain places because the rules there are less strict, and resulting discussions of whether someone from country A should be allowed to perform the studies in country B to deliberately circumvent the rules in country A. Some say yes, some say no.

    Note that there also is the very real possibility she was not involved in the discussions about the other complaints (several came quite a bit later, I have understood).

    In the meantime, Kenyon can easily take the "no ethical concerns" while also supporting the same concerns as raised later by several Frontiers staff higher up the food chain. I disagree with the idea that the other concerns are "legal" in nature, but I can also see how they can be constructed as such (rather than ethical). Plenty of things are illegal but ethically defensible, and vice versa.

  17. The Debunking Handbook: now freely available for download

    Fantastic information but I would also like to request either a Kindle version or at least abandon the two column format. It's pretty hard to read this pdf on a Kindle or tablet.

  18. IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks

    Just an observation: pretty much every problem under the "environmental" rubric is an unintended consequence of a solution to some other problem. Civilization itself is a consequence of the invention of agriculture as the solution to some mesolithic clan's food security problem.  One doubts the first farmers foresaw, much less intended, all that's happened since then.

    However global society reacts (or doesn't) to AGW, we can be sure there will be winners and losers, and that even what's intended "for the benefit of all mankind" will be to the detriment of countless other species. 'Twas ever thus!

  19. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    It seems to me that your objections are basically just raising points that A) have none of the evidence necessary to support them, and B) are already contradicted (not just spoken around) by the evidence we do have. You have to assume that there's more going on than we have any evidence for (which is not implausible by itself), and you have to assume that the evidence we already have from multiple sources has been falsified or is inadmissable for some reason (which has some credulity-stretching to do).
    If McKewon's version of events does not discuss the "other complaints," then we can either assume that those other complaints were not at stake at all or that they were not something on which the journal felt she could give any valuable input. I don't find the latter to be very convincing. Why wouldn't she have the relevant knowledge about issues of potentially unethical revelation of sources being quoted for publication? Doesn't she have a background in journalism?

    Kenyon's statements seem to go beyond lawyerly bafflegab and misdirection; he flatly states that Frontiers' investigation found no academic or ethical problems with the paper. He plainly describes the paper as "ethically sound." This is entirely consistent with the version of events relayed independently by both Lewandowsky and by McKewon, and perhaps unsuprisingly with the original retraction statement. It's not consistent with the version of events later given by Frontiers (it might be reconciled with their second statement if we give THEM the benefit of circumspection in their choice of words, but doesn't work with the third). I've considered his words from several angles and can't reconcile it with the idea that mere "lawyerspeak" explains the discrepancy. It's not as though he's avoiding the question of ethics to shift the focus onto something else, he directly deals with it. So either he lied about there being ethical issues and convinced everybody to sign a statement to that effect, or there didn't turn out to be any ethical issues. A pinch of salt tastes insufficient here. Maybe that's just lack of imagination on my part; I'd love to hear some proposed explanations that don't boil down to either of "Kenyon's lying" or "the editors are lying."

    I'm not settled on the answer yet, but so far the arguments marshalled to support the journal's side of the story are unconvincing and weak. We can't expect one of the reviewers to know this stuff, and we can dismiss unambiguous statements just because they came from a lawyer? It still seems simpler and more consistent to conclude that the editors are in damage-control mode, and that it's they who are engaging in some kind of misdirection to deflect criticisms in the wake of first legal, and then academic backlash, rather than the other sources being ignorant (McKewon) or dishonest (Kenyon, Lewandowsky[?]) about the issues leading up to the retraction.

    The apparent shift in the journal's stange in going from "This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear," to this later version implicating ethics rather than "legal context" seems to have caught everybody flat-footed, which we wouldn't expect if they were all privy to the conversation. If the discussion really did revolve around this ethics angle from the start, why didn't anybody else involved in it take that message from it? I also find it compelling that the University of Western Australia has decided that the paper as published is defensible enough to host on their servers, even though Lewandowsky has moved on to Bristol in the UK. And so far, the journal is the only side in this to have seemingly changed their tune in the wake of outside reactions.

    It could come out that this is all wrong, but we'd need e a lot of very convincing evidence to the contrary coming to light. The contrarian position simply doesn't have a lot of wiggle room right now.

  20. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    WheelsOC, McKewon's story is not helpful, as there is no discussion of other issues than two sentences which indeed involved a legal threat (IIRC by Foxgoose and/or Jeff Condon). There were other complaints, and McKewon does not discuss them at all, suggesting they were not discussed at that meeting. She would also not have been the right person to discuss those criticisms with.

    Lawyerspeak is lawyerspeak. One cannot expect a lawyer who just arranged a mutual agreement to contradict that agreement, so let's take his comments with the appropriate pinches of salt.

  21. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    Second, the publisher may well have felt compelled to change its story, deviating from the mutually accepted statement, because several of the people involved attacked the journal for its decision to retract. It would not be the first time that a retraction statement is not fully truthful, and that the later statements are closer to what the journal/publisher had considered.

    This doesn't seem very likely to me. Up until the second statement from Frontiers in Psychology, everybody's story was the same. It wasn't just the authors of the study, it was Frontiers' own lawyer and one of the peer-reviewers. Both of them corroborated the story that the only issue surrounding the paper before, during, and after its retraction was one of potential defamation liability in the wake of reactions to the paper. They were both part of the internal dialogue about the retraction. At no point was the decision to keep the paper withdrawn ever pinned on anything other than this, even in sources other than the original statement.

    If the later statements are truthful in that the higher-ups decided to keep the paper retracted for other reasons, then they apparently hadn't shared this information with their lawyer, their reviewer, or the authors of the paper.

  22. michael sweet at 02:12 AM on 16 April 2014
    Arctic sea ice has recovered


    Broken off glacier ends called ice islands and ice bergs are not sea ice, they are land ice.  If they are the only ice left than sea ice extent is zero.  The extent of these ice islands is very samll, even near Greenland.

  23. Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    I am going all contrarian here.

    First, "the journal" when referring to Frontiers is wrong. None of the people who resigned are from the journal that published the Lewandowsky paper (Davis coming closest as an editor of a sub-publication of Frontiers in Psychology". Please get that fixed.

    Second, the publisher may well have felt compelled to change its story, deviating from the mutually accepted statement, because several of the people involved attacked the journal for its decision to retract. It would not be the first time that a retraction statement is not fully truthful, and that the later statements are closer to what the journal/publisher had considered.

    To be quite honest, there are a few situations around the paper that make me uncomfortable. While the conclusions and analysis may be sound, in my opinion it was improper for several of the authors to interact with their study objects. I don't buy the "psychopathological characterization", but I also don't buy the paper to be an objective analysis. Lewandowsky should have known better and asked a third party to do the analysis.

  24. Methane emissions from oil & gas development

    The air quality perspective of fracking-driven new oil&gas development is getting more attention:

    NPR, Inside Climate News, NPR All Things Considered, Ecowatch, and, as an academic example, a discussion on legal aspects and local government roles (note: these are heavily weighed toward Texas)

  25. One Planet Only Forever at 00:00 AM on 16 April 2014
    Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    This article presents a good case study of highlighting some of the many fatal flaws of the current dominant socioeconomic systems. It highlights the expected result of a system that enable pursuers of unsustainable and damaging actions to viciously compete to benefit and become powerful. It shows how “uncaring vicious pursuers of anything they can get away with” will viciously abuse the power they get away with getting, including using any potential fiscal/legal threats they can get away with to keep the population less aware of anything contrary to their interest.

    It can also be shown that those type of people try to ensure effective promotion/threat mechanisms are developed that they have more ability to benefit from than those who would try to develop a sustainable better future for all.

    The obvious conclusion is that the socioeconomic systems “cherishing image over substance” combined with promotion of “personal freedom to enjoy the best life any way you want” leads to unacceptable actions being popular and profitable. Unacceptable unsustainable ad damaging behaviour should simply not be accepted, yet those wanting to maximize their lazy harmful ways of benefiting often succeed in getting popular support for a “balance”, meaning doing something contrary to the best understanding of its unacceptability and risk of harm.

    That is why so much of the current developed economy is fundamentally a threat to the sustainable growth of the economy. Fundamentally unsustainable and damaging activities cannot possibly be expected to develop toward a sustainable better future for all. Such a future will fundamentally not be in the interests of many of the pursuers of profit through popularity. And those who do not care about the sustainability and damage of their desired actions have a competitive advantage, and they will viciously fight to "enjoy the best possible life for themselves" for as long as they can get away with any way they can get away with.

    This is nothing new. History is full of observations of the unacceptable results of allowing “some people” to get away with doing as they please. The record of human thoughts includes clear statements of the threats such people pose. And yet today we see that attitude being admired with many people desiring to be like that. Whenever those type of people succeed everyone else suffers, especially the future of humanity. That is clear. And it is also clear why such clearly understandable things are “unpopular” and viciously fought against.

  26. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Interesting aside: When nearly all of the sea ice has melted out, the last remaining bits will be large 'ice islands' of very thick ice broken off from land. At that point, the 'multi-year ice' in summer will be near 100% while the ice extent and volume will be near zero.

    I suspect that in the upcoming years we'll see a trend of growing percentages of summer multi-year ice (and average ice thickness). Not because the ice is 'recovering', but simply because the thicker multi-year ice will be the last to go.

  27. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    The 'significant increase' seems to have gotten us back to ~ March 2008 multi-year ice levels... yet PIOMAS shows that after the 'high' ice volume at the end of last summer's melt, the final March 2014 volume was lower than every previous year except 2011.

    That seems contradictory... until we consider that the multi-year ice chart shows percentages. The percentage of the ice which is now multi-year is similar to what it was in March 2008. However, the total amount of ice has decreased and thus the 'same percentage' actually means less multi-year ice. This can also be seen on the PIOMAS average ice thickness graph. There, 2014 is higher than all years since 2008, but significantly below 2007. The average thickness has increased because the percentage of thick ice is higher while the total ice volume has declined.

    Volume will always be the determining factor because it quite simply is the amount of ice. The fact that the volume at the end of March 2014 was slightly lower than that of March 2012, which went on to have the lowest summer volume (and extent) ever, tells me that there has not been any 'recovery' in sea ice. We are at essentially the same place we were in 2012. Thus, if we again see weather conditions like that year we could again see new record lows this year. If we get better weather conditions maybe we'll start to see an actual recovery in a few years, but it clearly hasn't happened yet and doesn't seem likely to as the planet continues to warm.

  28. Harry Twinotter at 16:04 PM on 15 April 2014
    Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    "... bullying by contrarians over a paper ..." I am still not convinced that pressure has come from "contrarians" as such, more like the pressure has come from conspiracy theory proponents who feel they have been slighted. Maybe someone can clear this up for me.

    My own "conspiracy theory" is I can understand why Frontiers is nervous about any legal action. Such action would get a lot publicity as it is connected to Climate Change, and the claimants may well get a lot of anonymous financial help to pursue their lawsuit.

  29. michael sweet at 11:20 AM on 15 April 2014
    IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks

    There are often discussions about Nuclear on these threads.  It then becomes hard to find the previous posts because nuclear is not in the title.  No-one has appeared to write an opening post for Nuclear Power.  Perhaps a thread could be created with a title like Benefits of Nuclear Power without an OP so that all these comments can be in the same place.  Then we could refer to that thread and not have to re-do all the comments over again.

  30. johnthepainter at 11:17 AM on 15 April 2014
    Climate contrarian backlash - a difficult lesson for scientific journals to learn

    Thanks for the two related articles, which do a useful service in demonstrating that not only does the research concluding that human activites have little effect on climate change, or that it is nothing to worry about, comprise only 3% of published research in this field, but that these studies are also of inferior quality, and many have been shown to be simply wrong. This point has been made before, but it receives little attention in the news most people hear or read.

  31. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    There's an interesting post or two by Tamino noting that ice variability greatly increased around 2007 - smaller amounts of ice are simply going to be more affected by yearly weather. 

  32. IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks

    LCBozo - Regarding your throwaway "the "station black out" fossil fuel generators" statement see this comment on a more appropriate thread; a study of using renewables in the western US grid found that "...the carbon emissions induced by more frequent cycling are negligible (<0.2%) compared with the carbon reductions achieved through the wind and solar power generation evaluated...". In other words, a huge gain from renewables. 

    Further discussion of renewable baseline power really should take place on the appropriate thread, after reading, to avoid repetition. Suffice it to say that it appears quite feasible both technically and economically. 

    As to nuclear waste, while it might be future fuel (Transatomic Power has some interesting proposals, although I don't know how far along they are), you cannot legitimately ignore the costs involved in waste storage, waste reprocessing, and disposal of final nuclear ash and decommissioned powerplants. Nuclear is certainly worth considering as part of the solutions to GHGs, but over-optimistic numbers for any proposal are not terribly helpful.

  33. Rob Honeycutt at 06:21 AM on 15 April 2014
    Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Note that the NSIDC states along with the graphic Juan presented...

    "The percentage of the Arctic Ocean consisting of ice at least five years or older remains at only 7%, half of what it was in February 2007. Moreover, a large area of the multiyear ice has drifted to the southern Beaufort Sea and East Siberian Sea (north of Alaska and the Lena River delta), where warm conditions are likely to exist later in the year."

  34. Rob Honeycutt at 06:06 AM on 15 April 2014
    Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Juan_H...  It's nice to be optimistic but this is unlikely to be anything more than a temporary change. We're still likely looking at seasonally ice-free conditions starting around 2030. 

    It's just that, on the way to the bottom the numbers are going to bounce around like this. 

  35. Rob Honeycutt at 05:49 AM on 15 April 2014
    IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks

    LCBozo... "...I am opposed to the belief that [wind energy] can even come close to solving any significant fossil fuel generation replacement, without some significant "unintended consequences.""

    Can you name one solution that would not have any unintended consequences? Certainly not nuclear. 

    I will reiterate here again, the answer is not A or B or C. The answer to dealing effectively with climate change is A and B and C... and best throw in a D and E while we're at it.

    All solutions are needed, and needed now. We need to put a price on carbon and then watch the marketplace do the job of deciding which technologies are going to be the big winners.

    We can go back and forth all day long about which technologies are better and which have unintended consequences, but at the end of the day we just need to move forward with all of them.

  36. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Just saw some great news about significantly increasing multi-year arctic ice! (2014 compared to 2013 and previous). Hopefully we will see a continued gain in "older" (2-4+ year old ice) ice extent.  

    Multi-year ice gain 2014

  37. IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks

    Ouch, forgive my massive run-on paragraph! I use "No Script" and didn't allow "all the page," so it mucked-up my paragraphs.

  38. IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks
    I was hoping for a bit more objectivity. If one looks at the percent of power generation by wind, and the required expansion of that energy source to realize any real impact to eliminate, for example, dirt burners, one can then tally-up the flying species death results. I won't even get into the environmental esthetics. One might also take a look at the "station black out" fossil fuel generators for the complete picture of wind and solar generation.I'm not at all opposed to wind generation, but I am opposed to the belief that it can even come close to solving any significant fossil fuel generation replacement, without some significant "unintended consequences."I would not endorse more of the present massive scale light water reactors. They represent the influences of a very biased Admiral Rickenbacker. As I stated, a huge percent of construction, operational, and maintenance costs of modern reactors is the nuclear steam supply systems. The sodium cooled FFTF had a full power operational maximum pressure of about 100 PSIG. It also used an electromagnetic RCP. It did not have a secondary steam supply system, but the primary PWR or BWR steam systems are the really expensive part of the light water equation.The cost of PVNGS construction was lower in the late '70s to late '80s, about $6 billion for all three units. Once these plants start generating power, they generate massive amounts of money and electricity.From Wikipedia — which correlates close to the APS data on PVNGS power production (part of our annual incentive payout (bonus) was based on cost per kW hr."The Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant supplies electricity at an operating cost (including fuel and maintenance) of about 1.33 cents per kilowatt-hour.[6] This is cheaper than the cost of coal (2.26 cents per kW•h) or natural gas (4.54 cents per kW•h) in the region as of 2002. However, this power is more expensive than hydroelectric power (0.63 cents per kW•h). Assuming a 60-year lifetime for this power plant and five percent long-term cost of its capital, the depreciation and capital costs not included in the previous marginal cost for Palo Verde are approximately another 1.4 cents per kilowatt-hour."With upgrades over the last decade, PVNGS continuously generates about 4 Giga watts of electrical power. This is about 36% of the total used in the state of AZ. If solar were to replace PVNGS, it would take about 10 Agua Caliente Solar size plants (397 MW when completed this year). The finished cost of Agua Caliente Solar Project is (so far) going to cost about $1.8 billion. To replace PVNGS with solar would cost $18 billion for construction alone. I can (as a maintenance engineer / planner) assure you, that massive volume of solar panels and related inner/outer power distribution, controls/electronics, will cost more per megawatt to keep running than any modern nuclear power plant. Also, 10 Agua Caliente Solar Projects would cover such a huge area of Sonoran Desert, that it would represent an environmental issue.Had I retired in AZ, we were planning to put at least 6 KW worth of solar panels on our home roof. This is a great way to add clean power to the existing grid, and keeps the power distributed to individual home owners, not another government favored utility corporation.
  39. It's cosmic rays

    Here's the latest "knock down evidence" against AGW theory from the skeptic camp. Have you guys seen this one yet? I fail to see this as overwhelming evidence that cosmic rays are the main driver of the recent warming, but I'm just a layperson so maybe I'm missing something. Anyone care to comment on this? Thanks!

  40. Glenn Tamblyn at 22:55 PM on 14 April 2014
    Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists


    In 1982 the concept of  CO2 Induced climate change wasn't that new.Arrhenius had suggested it in 1895. Callender thought about it in the 30's,. Gilbert Plass and others such as Bert Bolin were exploring it in the 1950's, Manabe & Wetherald put it on a solid footing in 1967. The President's Scientific Advisory Committee warned of the possible risk in 1965.

  41. Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists

    In 1982, the relatively new concept of CO2 induced climate change was intuitively forecasted. One prediction was a large volcanic eruption in early 1990s that would help scientists calibrate models. Pinatubo happened and Jim Hansen calibrated his models and became a motivated desciple of climate action.

    The conclusion of the forecast was that civilization would either put a tax on carbon or fail in controlling climate change. The other pertinent forecast was that the arc of interest in the subject would mature in the decade of 2000 to 2010. Civilization has not really activated a tax on carbon.

    Now as public interest in the subject wanes, according to the old frecast, will we successfully tax carbon? Has civilization failed to act on time to avert feedback loops that will through us into chaos?

  42. Noel Wauchope at 13:05 PM on 14 April 2014
    2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    The Internet is actually awash with articles about thorium - all praising it. 

    But the general theme is always the same.

    Thorium reactors are basically a form of REPROCESSING
    Reporocessing is pitched as the alternative to deep burial of wasters.

    Big pitch going on in UK - where local opposition to waste burial is strong.

    So - the whole thorium thing is about a way to keep the nuclear industry going, rather than shutting it down

    It's about persuading the world that wastes are not wastes, but are valuable resources.

    An attractive story - as it solves the problem of local opposition to waste burial sites. Conveniently ignores the fact that the thorium reactors themselves produce become wastes - that will need burial.

    All this would mean that the problem of wastes is passed on to future generations.

    In tandem, goes the story that ionising radiation is OK - it is after all "background radiation". For an example of what a lie that is, consider Caesium 134 and 137. It did not exist on earth until nuclear fission. All the caesium 137 and 134 now in water soil air - all came from a nuclear power source - largely atomic bomb testing in the 50s and 60s.

    Now - it's all "natural" - background radiation. And now radiation at low levels is not a worry anyway.

    Two lies working together to keep the nuclear industry going. One could add the lies about the ineffectiveness of energy efficiency and renewable energy

  43. Noel Wauchope at 13:02 PM on 14 April 2014
    2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    "his appointment, though, does suggest the project has political clout. The team plan to fire up a prototype thorium reactor in 2015. Like India’s, this will use solid fuel. But by 2017 the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics expects to have one that uses a trickier but better fuel, molten thorium fluoride."

    The plan is to come up with a design by 2015 - not an actual operating reactor

    ." But a better way is to turn the element into its fluoride, mix that with fluorides of beryllium and lithium to bring its melting-point down from 1,110ºC to a more tractable 360ºC, and melt the mixture"
    The plan is to work out how to do this temperature reduction - hasn't actually been done yet

    "there is less than a hundredth of the quantity and its radioactivity falls to safe levels within centuries, instead of the tens of millennia for light-water waste".
    This is actually not true. Yes, the volume of wastes is smaller, but it is so intensely radioactive that it requires the same size of containment as the original wastes would. Some of the fissile products do last for thousands of years, e.g technetium-99 (half-life of over 200,000 years)

    And the pitch about 'only centuries' is revealing - do we want to have to guard these wastes for centuries? Is that OK?

    Not able to be turned into weapons? In fact, it can be done . It's just more difficult.

    Left out of this argument is the constant need for plutonium and/or enriched uranium to keep the fissile process happening.

    This means a source of plutonium/enriched uranium nearlby - this means not only import of these but a continuous terrorism risk . The thorium reactor and its ancillary sources and eventual wastes form a lovely terrorism target. Even more fun , if there are dozens of little reactors.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please limit the usage of Bold text.  Over-usage is considered the same as all-caps (shouting).

  44. 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    The media's inability to report anything straighforward about Global Warming was served with some sarcasm in this 3 min piece on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

  45. 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    The Economist article on Thorium is paywalled.

  46. Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists

    It's worth adding the recent "Stadium Wave" hypothesis by Judith Curry to this list, as it just has received a solid debunking by Mike Mann. For details, go to the article I just referenced in the weekly roundup thread.

  47. 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    Natural ocean cycle has offset manmade warming

    This is a rather poorly written article about the most recent publication by Mike Mann. The author does not even mention Mann's name. Also the secondary conclusion of this publication is not mentioned: the debunking of a famous "Stadium Wave" hypotehesis by Judith Curry. Mann has shown that "Stadium Wave" hypothesis a byproduct of incorrectly applied statistical analysis. Curry will be fuming and we have another nail to the coffin of a contrarian hypothesis.

    Read much better, detailed summary here:

    Waving Good Bye To The Stadium Wave Model: About that global warming hiatus

  48. 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B

    Concerning the Thorium reactors the problem with any radioactive substance is that the waste material can be used by terrorists as a weapon irrespective of any explosive capabilities. It only needs to be ground into a fine powder and dispersed in the air.

    I don't know how radiogenic materials are stored but it's not likely to be well guarded.

  49. Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists

    I'd be interested to know what percentage of the contrarian papers have since been found to be incorrect?  Are there any that have not?

    I guess one could ask the same of those papers affirming the climate science, although that might not be so simple a task given there are so many.

    This point may be have been addressed in the paper itself, which I am unable to read as it requires a subscrition at the moment.

  50. One Planet Only Forever at 02:45 AM on 13 April 2014
    Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists

    It is clear that some people will not “change their thought processes and motivations” just because the better understanding of all the available information contradicts what they prefer to believe (or in this case what they want others to believe). Only when these people among the “contrarians to climate science” are acknowledged as being irrational is there hope that they would begin to more rationally pursue the best understanding of the issue, even when that better understanding will result in them rationally understanding the loss of personal opportunity for maximum benefit from unsustainable and harmful activities that is required by that better understanding.

    It may be helpful to use a different term to refer to people whose actions indicate a high degree of certainty that they are not genuinely interested in developing a continuously improved best understanding of what is going on, motivated by a resistance to the changes of human activity that is required by that improved understanding.

    Maybe “deliberate irrational objectors” should be the term for people who strive to create doubts regarding the best understanding of the results of the climate science even though their familiarity with “all of the available information” should not lead them to try to make the claims they try to get away with. These are people who deliberately object to the understanding that would result from a reasoned and rational evaluation of all the available information. And their motivation for being “deliberate irrational objectors” is clear. The current developed socioeconomic system created a lot of people who desire the personal benefits they can obtain from deliberately pursuing benefit from unsustainable and harmful actions. That is a very powerful motivation. And the deliberate irrational objections it can lead to must be recognized and called what they most likely are.

    Having said that, the term deliberate irrational objector can be manipulated to lead thoughts away from the intended description of the person, to make it seem disparaging or unfair. It almost becomes necessary to describe the term every time it is used to make it more difficult for the deliberate irrational objectors to deliberately irrationally object to it, but they still will try.

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