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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12

Posted on 25 March 2018 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

Taking Greenhouse Gases from the Sky: 7 Things to Know About Carbon Removal

Degraded Landscapes Costa Rica

Restoring degraded landscapes like this one in Costa Rica is a natural way of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Photo by Luciana Gallardo Lomeli/WRI

With greenhouse gas emissions climbing and climate impacts becoming increasingly severe, the urgency to address climate change has never been greater. Many of the solutions to date have focused on mitigation—ways to slash emissions as quickly as possible, such as by adopting renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency and stopping deforestation. These efforts remain critically important, and we need to accelerate them. Yet the science shows they will not be enough on their own to have a good chance of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

To prevent the worst impacts of climate change, the world will need to reach net-negative emissions, a point at which we’re actually removing and storing more carbon from the air than we’re putting into the atmosphere. This will involve deploying techniques that remove carbon from the atmosphere and permanently store it.

Here, we take a look at the latest science on negative emissions and carbon-removal approaches:

Taking Greenhouse Gases from the Sky: 7 Things to Know About Carbon Removal by Kelly Levin, James Mulligan & Gretchen Ellison, World Resources Instittue (WRI), Mar 19, 2018

Note: Also see the Graphic of the Week section of this Digest.

Toon of the Week...

2018 Toon 12 

Quote of the Week... 

Europe Saw a Spike in Extreme Weather Over Past 5 Years, Science Academies Say

Flooding Carlisle UK Storm Desmond 2015

Flooding like Carlisle, England, experienced during Storm Desmond in 2015, is becoming more common as the planet warms, research shows. Credit: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Europeans are facing more frequent extreme weather as the planet warms. Floods and big landslides have quadrupled and extreme heat waves and crop-damaging droughts have doubled since 1980, with a sharp spike in the last five years, according to the European Academies' Science Advisory Council's latest extreme weather update.

The increase in the frequency of extreme weather events should spur European countries to boost adaptation and resiliency efforts, said EASAC Environment Program Director Michael Norton.

"Policy makers and lay people think climate change is something gradual and linear, but we need to keep explaining that the gradual change is increasing the chance for dangerous extremes, and that's what we have to prepare for," Norton said.

"The increasing frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events makes climate-proofing all the more urgent. Unfortunately, there's a disconnect between the political time scale of taking action, and the time scale on which climate change happens," he said. "And by the time a lot of these more serious problems are widely recognized, the changes will be irreversible."

Europe Saw a Spike in Extreme Weather Over Past 5 Years, Science Academies Say by Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News, Mar 21, 2018

Graphic of the Week...

Staying Below 2 Degrees o fGlobal Warming 

Taking Greenhouse Gases from the Sky: 7 Things to Know About Carbon Removal by Kelly Levin, James Mulligan & Gretchen Ellison, World Resources Instittue (WRI), Mar 19, 2018

SkS in the News...

In his article, Answers to the Judge’s Climate Change Questions in Cities vs. Fossil Fuels Case (InsideClimate News), John H Cushman Jr wrote:  

Some people, well-known for disputing the mainstream consensus on climate science, are asking the judge to admit their views in a friend of the court brief, asserting that  "there is no agreement among climatologists as to the relative contributions of Man and Nature to the global warming" of the past several decades. Another familiar trio, asserting that the climate always changes, that it's impossible to say how much of the "modest" recent changes are due to humans, and that there's been no significant increase in damage, offered their own answers to the eight questions.

The first link embedded in the above pragraph is to: Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming, Cook et al, Environmental Research LettersVolume 11Number 4, April 13, 2016

In her article, How do you talk to Pruitt about climate change? (ClimateWire/E&E News), Nina Heikkinen sounded out to a number of experts including Dana Nuccitelli and John Cook for advise on how to interview the US EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt.  Both Nuccitelli and Cook are quoted extensively.

In his article, The judge in a federal climate change lawsuit wants a science tutorial (Vox Energy & Environment), Umair Irfan wrote: 

The “Little Ice Age,” a period of cooling in North America and Europe between 1300 and 1800, is actually a separate phenomenon from true ice ages, and it occurred on a regional rather than global scale. Scientists are still figuring out why it happened, but there is some evidence that it started due to volcanic eruptions and ended with a change in output from the sun.

The third link embedded in the above paragraph is to the SkS rebuttal article, What ended the Little Ice Age

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Wind and solar can power most of the USA (John Abraham)
  • In court, Big Oil rejected climate denial (Dana)
  • How could global warming accelerate if CO2 is 'logarithmic'? (qwertle)
  • A flaw in the Paris climate agreement leads to a scientific debate (Dana)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13 (John Hartz)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2018 Toon 12 

Climate Feedback Reviews...

Washington Post accurately covers permafrost study, albeit under a somewhat sensational headline

Climate Feedback 12

Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the article, The Arctic’s carbon bomb might be even more potent than we thought by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Mar 19, 2018

Three scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'very high'.

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: Accurate, Sound reasoning

Review Summary

This article in The Washington Post describes new research on greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost—specifically the balance of carbon dioxide vs. methane released from waterlogged permafrost soils.

Scientists who reviewed the article found that it accurately described the study and provided context on its overall implications by quoting comments from two other researchers. The article’s headline, however, may mislead readers through the use of the sensational phrase “the Arctic’s carbon bomb”, which calls to mind a catastrophic, explosive release of greenhouse gas. The study could indicate that more of the carbon released from thawing permafrost will be released as methane—increasing its near-term warming influence—but it is not clear how much additional methane this would represent. 

Washington Post accurately covers permafrost study, albeit under a somewhat sensational headline by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Mar 22, 2018 

SkS Week in Review... 

97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Glifford Miller 


Wally Broecker's bio page and quote source

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Comments 1 to 3:

  1. BECCS = huge use of existing scarce land, huge use of fertlisers and water, complicated energy intensive processes, and considerabe transport costs = something where serious questions need to be asked.

    Related articles ; "It’s the big new idea for stopping climate change — but it has huge environmental problems of its own"

    "Biomass-based negative emissions difficult to reconcile with planetary boundariesVera Heck1,2*, Dieter Gerten1,2*, Wolfgang Lucht1,2,3 and Alexander Popp"

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  2. Why does this article sound like it is screaming with adjective?

    mans sounds very insecure. Any article that speaks about carbon capture and carbon reduction should always mention “net” gain or loss in co2 or ghg for that process. All AGW articles are repeating the same in every article, repeating same adjective. So why not repeat same solutions and effects? 

    Why AGW articles does not talk about “cost”? Like cost capture and store carbon. Who is going to bear the cost of developing such techs and runnning such facilities? The commmon people? Ok now I understand why the adjectives and the scare and daRe. The word “denier” should not be used and should be banned. AGW is an opinion and not a fact. You can call it “expert opinion” but scientists are not god (well for that matter I am athiest) same applies to doctors , we have seen written offs by doctors living. Science is not absolute and not settled. Science is growing and challenging assumptions every day. 

    When einstein started to think about gravity did he say “newton settled this issue? It is just like belief in god. 

    Whenever i read articles like above it only rreminds me of the telemarketing ads “act us in the next 10 minutes and you will get two..,” 

    people should realize that between the scientists and the people there are two more layers, they are the funders and the media, both have vested interest in what the scientist says And will exaggerate or change it. Media’s only interest is in selling itself through sensationalism. Funders wants material for policy making and public support.


    Why AGW does not talk about the jobs of so many illiterate or undereducated people in the world? why AGW does not talk about ware management (I mean every article)

    suspicions are only growing day by day. The more you call them “deniers” the more you will be suspected of moral crucifixtion , word play, “term shifters”, dishonest people.

    hope you are not going drown today.


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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please keep comments both on-topic and constructed to comport with this venue's Comments Policy.  Thanks!

  3. Who is going to bear the cost of developing such techs and runnning such facilities? The commmon people?

     Probably the same common people who will bear the cost if we don’t develop CCS. The 1% are very adept at dodging paying taxes, that’s how they get to being the 1%.

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