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Examining Hansen's prediction about the West Side Highway

What the science says...

Hansen was speculating on changes that might happen if CO2 doubled.

Climate Myth...

Hansen predicted the West Side Highway would be underwater

'What I can comment on is this prediction by Dr. Hansen: “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water.” As you can clearly see in the Google Earth images, the West Side Highway remains dry and open. Sea level (at which the Hudson River at that point becomes) is not encroaching on the highway' (Anthony Watts)

James Hansen made his statement in response to a question by Bob Reiss, a journalist and author, in 1988.  He did not predict that the West Side Highway would be underwater in 20 years.

Bob Reiss reports the conversation as follows:

"When I interviewe­­d James Hansen I asked him to speculate on what the view outside his office window could look like in 40 years with doubled CO2. I'd been trying to think of a way to discuss the greenhouse effect in a way that would make sense to average readers. I wasn't asking for hard scientific studies. It wasn't an academic interview. It was a discussion with a kind and thoughtful man who answered the question. You can find the descriptio­­n in two of my books, most recently The Coming Storm."

James Hansen reports the conversation as follows:

"Reiss asked me to speculate on changes that might happen in New York City in 40 years assuming CO2 doubled in amount."

The book The Coming Storm and the article are different.  In The Coming Storm the question includes the conditions of doubled CO2 and 40 years, while the article which is quoted by skeptics does not mention doubled CO2, and involves only 20 years. 

To understand the discrepancy between these two published accounts, it helps to look at the timeline of events.  The original conversation was in 1988.  Ten years later, referring to his notes, Bob Reiss recounted the conversation in his book The Coming Storm.  James Hansen confirmed the conversation and said he would not change a thing he said.  After the book was published, Bob Reiss was talking to a journalist at about it.  As he puts it,

"although the book text is correct, in remembering our original conversation, during a casual phone interview with a Salon magazine reporter in 2001 I was off in years.”

We can check back in 2028, the 40 year mark, and also when and if we reach 560 ppm CO2 (a doubling from pre-industrial levels).  In the meantime, we can stop using this conversation from 1988 as a reason to be skeptical about the human origins of global warming.


The Coming Storm by Bob Reiss, copyright 2001

Book review in Salon. Com:

As reported by Anthony Watts:

Communication from James Hansen, January 26, 2011

Email from Bob Reiss, February 15, 2011

Last updated on 28 February 2011 by ClimateHawk.

Printable Version  |  Offline PDF Version  |  Link to this page

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Comments 1 to 25 out of 38:

  1. It will be interesting to see if the WUWT article will ever acknowledge the account published in 2001 in Bob Reiss's book, The Coming Storm, or acknowledges the answer given by Dr. Hansen could have been a speculation about doubled CO2 (560 ppm).
  2. Yes, they did
  3. DirtyDigger, that same link is included in the article above... and the text of the link itself claims that Hansen's prediction has already failed... which is impossible given that it was for a future event which might still occur.
  4. Photo of flooding along the Westside Highway during Hurricane Sandy.
  5. Here is another one: And I will remind here that Hansen was talking not only about ocean surge but also hight winds. He apparently meant a tropical hurricane in NY. "“The West Side Highway will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds". His prediction came true after 24, not 40 years!
  6. Curiously enough, here is the West Side Highway as of 10/30/2012: [Source] This is due to the "Sandy" storm surge, not a steady-state sea level rise. But both historically unprecedented - and with continued global warming, perhaps something to expect again...
  7. When I read the relevant comments on WUWT, I note how successfull his propaganda is.   That is, no one seems to notice (or maybe care) that Hansen had a contingency, that is, that CO2 must double.

  8. It appears that Hansen added that "assuming CO2 doubled" caveat later. Many years later he claimed to recall that that's what he had said to Reiss back in 1988, but there doesn't seem to be any contemporaneous evidence of it.

    Moreover, his claim doesn't pass the smell test, not only because of the implausibility of remembering such details years later, but also because in 1988 the atmospheric CO2 concentration was less than 352 ppmv, and it was rising by only 1.63 ppmv or +0.476% per year. For the CO2 level to reach 570 ppmv by 2028 would have required a wildly accelerated average annual increase of ((570-352)/40) = 5.45 ppmv or +1.21% per year.

    The rate of CO2 level rise did accelerate, but only slightly. Over the last decade the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased at an average rate of 2.45 ppmv or +0.603% per year.

    With only five years to go before 2028, the average sea-level at The Battery in Manhattan has risen by only about 6.7 inches (some of which is due to subsidence), and the "West Side Highway" (Henry Hudson Parkway) is still about ten feet above mean sea-level.

  9. daveburton,

    Your observation does not change the conclusion that "..., we can stop using this conversation from 1988 as a reason to be skeptical about the human origins of global warming."

    But it raises interesting questions you may be able to answer.

    How much sea level rise at the West Side Highway would be 'locked-in (occur in the future)' by a 'locked-in' doubling of CO2 to 560 ppm?

    What would the expected high tide levels be relative to the elevation of the lowest point of the West Side Highway?

    And what flood levels and frequencies of flooding would likely be the result?

    Note that in May of 2017 portions of the West Side Highway were flooded due to heavy rain and an inability to drain the areas quick enough. The level of such flood events are higher if the water level that they drain into is higher.

    Also note that Hurricane Sandy (2012) also flooded many parts of New York.

  10. One Planet, why are you asking me "about the human origins of global warming"?  My comment had nothing to do with that.

    As for your first indented question, it appears that you've made two unjustifiable assumptions:

    Assumption #1: You assume that there's such a thing as "a locked-in doubling of CO2."

    If I understand you correctly, that means you think CO2 added to the atmosphere just stays "locked in" there, forever, and the longer we add CO2 to the air the higher the level will rise. Is that what you think?

    If that's what you think, you're mistaken. CO2 doesn't just stay in the atmosphere. Nature is rapidly removing CO2 from the air, into other carbon reservoirs. The only reason the atmospheric CO2 level is nevertheless rising instead of falling is that we're adding CO2 to the air even faster than nature is removing it.

    But it's becoming harder and harder to keep up with natural CO2 removals, because they're accelerating. This is an excerpt from AR6 WG1 Table 5.1, showing how the removals are accelerating:

    LINK (Note: 1 PgC = 0.46962 ppmv = 3.66419 Gt CO2.)

    At the current 420 ppmv level (i.e., 135-140 ppmv above a 280-285 ppmv baseline), those negative feedbacks already remove an average of about 5.5 PgC per year (= about 2.6 ppmv), and for each 20-25 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration those removals accelerate by another 1 PgC/year.

    With our current emission rate, the CO2 level is only rising by about 5.1 PgC/year (+2.4 ppmv). So it won't take much of a CO2 level increase before natural removals match our current emission rate: just (20 to 25 ppmv/PgC) × 5.1 PgC = (102 to 128) ppmv.

    420 + (102 to 128) = 522 to 548 ppmv. That's the "plateau level" beyond which the atmospheric CO2 level cannot rise, unless our emissions increase further. If we were to continue our current anthropogenic emission rate indefinitely (or until the coal runs out), we'd still not quite reach 560 ppmv.

    Assumption #2: You seem to think that the CO2 level controls sea-level. But the data do not support that assumption. Most coastal measurement sites have seen negligible acceleration in sea-level trend over the last century, even as the atmospheric CO2 level rose by 115 ppmv.

    Here are the best long U.S. Atlantic and Pacific measurement records, respectively:
    Both show a statistically insiginficant acceleration of 0.006 mm/yr² (± at least twice that) over the last century.

    Hogarth studied many long measurement records, and concluded, "Sea level acceleration from extended tide gauge data converges on 0.01 mm/yr²"

    That's very, very slight.

    To calculate the effect of that acceleration use the following quadradic formula:

    y = B + M·x + (A/2)·x²


    x is elapsed time
    y is position or sea-level after time x
    B is initial position or sea-level
    M is current rate
    A is acceleration

    So (choosing some fairly typical values) if:

    M = 1.5 mm/yr
    A = 0.01 mm/yr²
    x = 100 yrs

    And if the trends were to continue:

    y = B + 100·1.5 + (0.01/2)·100²
    = B + 150 + 0.005·10000
    = B + 150 + 50
    = 200 mm = 7.9 inches

    6" of that 8" is from the linear trend, and 2" of that 8" is due to acceleration.

    However, there's a subtle twist. When acceleration is estimated by quadratic regression, we're fitting a quadratic curve to the measurement record to date. Extending that curve is the projection. But the curve's slope matches the linear tread at the midpoint, not at the end.

    So, to find y (sea-level) 100 years from NOW, we should use x = 100+(L/2), where L is length of the measurement record.

    So if we have a 100 year measurement record, to calculate the accumulated effect of the acceleration 100 years from now we should use x=150, not x=100.

    Remember our formula:

    y = B + M·x + (A/2)·x²

    That last term is the effect of acceleration; using x=150 we get:

    (A/2)·x² = 0.005·150² = 0.005·22500 = 112.5 mm = 4.4 inches.

    So, an acceleration of 0.01 mm/year² is still negligible, but it's a "slightly bigger negligible."

    A warming climate is know to have effects which both increase and decrease sea-level. Based on the negligible effect that the last century's CO2 increase and consenquent warming has had on sea-level trends, it is clear that, so far, the effects which increase and decrease sea-level must be similar in magnitude, and roughly cancelling.

    So the assumption that a particular CO2 level "locks in" a particular sea-level is not justifiable.


    [RH] Dave, you've been on this site many times now. Please learn how to hot link your citations. It's really easy to do.

  11. Dave... So much is wrong in that post. Let's just start with atmospheric CO2 perturbation. No one claims it stays up there forever. But the change in CO2 concentration will persist for centuries and millennia to come.

    Your snippet is misleading, and I assume you understand that virtually no one is going to follow the link to the actual IPCC page to read the full passage, because it will directly contradict what you're saying.

    What you're looking at in those changes is a function of partial pressure. The ocean takes up about half of our emissions (lucky for those of us who live in the atmosphere, not so lucky for sea dwelling creatures). The increases you're demonstrating are merely a function of increased atmospheric concentrations. The oceans, in particular, are not going to continue to take up CO2 beyond what it's capable of doing due to partial pressure.

  12. Sorry, I didn't realize that bare URLs don't automatically get recognized and turned into links.

    Here's AR6 WG1 Table 5.1, which shows how natural CO2 removals are accelerating:

    Here it is with the relevant bits highlighted:
    Or, more concisely:
    Excerpt from AR6 WG1 Table 5.1, showing how natural removals of carbon from the atmosphere are accelerating
    (Note: 1 PgC = 0.46962 ppmv = 3.66419 Gt CO2.)

    Here are the best long U.S. Atlantic and Pacific sea-level measurement records, respectively, with linear and quadratic regressions calculated for the last 100 years (based on monthly mean sea level data from 1923/6 through 2023/5):
    Sea-level vs CO2 at the Battery, NYC, last 100 years
    linear trend = 3.293 ±0.163 mm/yr
    acceleration = 0.00641 ±0.01258 mm/yr²
    Sea-level vs CO2 at Honolulu, last 100 years
    linear trend = 1.534 ±0.236 mm/yr
    acceleration = 0.00568 ±0.01825 mm/yr²


    [RH] You're also going to want to learn to shorten extra long URL's by changing the display text.

  13. Dave... On the little red notation in your first graphic where is says "greening"... that greening is now turning into "browning." Read up on CO2 fertilization. It was long predicted there would be some fertilization before that process was overwhelmed by other effects. That is now observed. In other words, the greening has now stopped.

    But again, similar to the ocean, this effect was a function of the terrestrial uptakes in response to atmospheric increases that are rising at a more rapid pace. Terrestrial sinks can't keep up with the pace of human emissions.

  14. There is probably a better thread for this argument, but I always feel that I have to interject when the CO2 fertilization argument is mentioned. That is because it is among the most mendacious and inept arguments out there.

    There is no place on Earth where the lack of CO2 (as in pre-industrial concentration) can be shown to have prevented vegetation from thriving. There is only one factor that truly controls how green any region can be: water availability. It dwarfs all other factors together. The Hawaiian islands show this in the most obvious way possible, with precipitation variations such that one side can be arid or semi-arid while the other is covered with rainforest.

    Everywhere on the planet where water availability allows for it, the richest plant life has thrived and reached the maximum extent possible in term of biomass and biodiversity. The rainforests of Africa often exists on top of extremely poor soil (laterite) but given enough time, they manages to feed themselfves, as the soil's entire top layer is composed of vegetal debris fallen over time. The soil is thin, hence the buttresses evolved by tree species in an environement where they can't grow roots down very deep. Under it is the laterite, something so sterile that it makes for better road covering material than tarmac in these regions: the laterite roads require less maintenance and last longer.

    The experiences that have shown a CO2 fertilization effect were done in very controlled conditions and involved extremely high concentrations (800 ppm and up). The so-called greening that has been observed in some regions by satellite or other means can not be ascribed to CO2 fertilization to the exclusion of other factors because all such factors can not be known, neither can their exact contribution to the greening.

    Anywhere on the planet where there is not enough water available, plant life will not thrive, no matter how much CO2, nitrogen or phosphate we throw at it. Water availability and rain patterns should be on top of priority list of concerns of anyone looking into solutions to feed 9 billion people. Available means falling regularly in reasonable quantities. Torrential rains spaced at long intervals with nothing between don't do much good without massive engineering projects.

    Ii is ironic that some use the argument that the CO2 concentration change is too small to make an effect when it comes to radiative forcing, where it can be calculated with great precision, but then jump on making wild claims about the effect of that change on vegetation, where it can be, at best, observed to have a small effect in controlled conditions, and with concentration changes far greater than what has happened in nature. 

  15. Thanks for fixing those links, Rob. We were obviously typing simultaneously; you beat me to it by 7 minutes.

    However, nothing I wrote was misleading. If you "follow the link to the actual IPCC page to read the full" table, you'll see that it shows exactly what I said it shows: as atmospheric CO2 levels have risen, the natural CO2 removal rate has sharply accelerated. (That's a strong negative/stabilizing climate feedback.)

    The commonly heard claim that "the change in CO2 concentration will persist for centuries and millennia to come" is based on the "long tail" of a hypothetical CO2 concentration decay curve, for a scenario in which anthropogenic CO2 emissions go to zero, CO2 level drops toward 300 ppmv, and carbon begins slowly migrating back out of the deep oceans and terrestrial biosphere into the atmosphere. It's true in the sense that if CO2 emissions were to cease, it would be millenia before the CO2 level would drop below 300 ppmv. But the first half-life for the modeled CO2 level decay curve is only about 35 years, corresponding to an e-folding "adjustment time" of about fifty years. That's the "effective atmospheric lifetime" of our current CO2 emissions.

    Moreover, it is not correct to say that "the ocean takes up about half of our emissions." Our emissions are currently around 11 PgC/year (per the GCP). The oceans remove CO2 from the atmosphere at a current rate of a little over 2.5 PgC/year, but they are not removing some fixed fraction of our emissions. If we halved our emission rate, natural CO2 removals would continue at their current rate.

    Because human CO2 emissions are currently faster than natural CO2 removals, we've increased the atmospheric CO2 level by about 50% (140 ppmv), but we've increased the amount of carbon in the oceans by less than 0.5%, as you can see in AR5 WG1 Fig. 6-1. (It's not a problem for "sea dwelling creatures.")

    In the oceans, biology generally trumps chemistry, and that is certainly true for CO2 uptake. Some people think that the capacity of the oceans to take up CO2 is limited to surface water by ocean stratification. But that's incorrect, beause the "biological carbon pump" rapidly moves CO2 from surface waters into the ocean depths, in the form of "marine snow."

    The higher CO2 levels go, the faster that "pump" works. Here's a paper about it:

    Once carbon has migrated from the ocean surface to the depths, most of it remains sequestered for a very long time. Some of it settles on the ocean floor, but even dissolved carbon is sequestered for a long time. For instance, it is estimated that the AMOC takes about 1000 years to move carbon-rich water from high latitudes to the tropics, where it can reemerge. That is obviously far longer than the anthropogenic CO2 emission spike will last.

  16. Dave @15... "The commonly heard claim that... [...] That's the "effective atmospheric lifetime" of our current CO2 emissions."

    This entire paragraph is patently absurd and completely fabricated. If you had even one legitimate research paper that made such a claim it might be worth evaluating. But the ridiculousness of your claim is made apparent because, if true, the oceans would just continue to suck up all the atmospheric CO2 and we'd live on a frozen planet.

    You know, rather that starting from a prior where all the published science is getting it wrong, and making stuff up to justify that position, maybe try stepping back from the issue. Start from the realization that you don't have the requisite training to fully grasp the topic and endeavor to learn what actual experts in the field can teach you.

  17. Dave, I think you should take some time to fully familiarize yourself with Henry's Law. Here's a starter teaching video, but don't stop there. Dig deeper and really learn what this means in relation to the ocean/atmosphere relationship for CO2.

  18. Dave Burton:

    I note that the last time Carbon dioxide was over 400 ppm the sea level was more than 20 meters higher than current sea level.

    Your sea level graphs are obviously flawed.  A simple eye ball look at the data from the Battery in New York shows that at the start of the time period the data is above the fit line and at the end of the time period the data is way above the fit line.  That means that the line does not fit the data and some sort of curved line is needed because the rate of sea level rise is increasing over the time period you chose.

    In addition, you have cherry picked two single locations to do your calculations without justifying your choice.

    Fortunately, Tamino did an analysis of sea level rise before he stopped posting analysis. (Tamino is a professional statistical data analyzer who has published on sea level rise).  He analyized "the data for every tide gauge station in region 3 which had at least 360 months’ data (at least 30 years), at least 120 months of which (10 years of which) are since the year 2000 — after all, we do want to know what’s happening now. That leaves 10 stations".  Since he used all the available data his data is not cherry picked like yours is.

    Here is one of his graphs of the rate of sea level rise on the East coast of the Gulf of Mexico:

    sea level rise

    We see immediately that sea level rise does not follow a straight line but varies over the 100 year time from of analysis.  Of particluar interest is the dramatic increase in sea level rise since 2010.  

    The dramatic increase in sea level rise observed since 2010 holds true for an analysis of the entire globe.  Your analysis using a linear fit is simply incorrect and cherry picked.

    I note that the rate of rise since 2010 is more than double all the previous rates.

    We would expect that if the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere remains above 400 ppm that the sea level will rise 20 meters plus.  The question is only how fast the sea will rise.  We see the rise is rapidly increasing every year now.  Your linear fit deliberately hides the observed rise. 

    I note that the change in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has rapidly increased over the past 50 years so one would expect the sea level change to rapidly increase over that time period.  Including the data back to 1900 with a linear fit just hides the recent rapid increase in sea level rise.

    Does anyone know how Tamino is doing?

  19. Rob wrote, "that greening is now turning into 'browning.'"

    Well, here's what AR6 shows:
    AR6 FAQ 5.1

    Some people point to that little orange box and say that greening has ceased. That reminds me of the folks who say that the it's not as warm as the 2015-16 El Nino, so warming has ceased.

    Philippe wrote, "There is probably a better thread for this argument,"

    I agree.  I was just trying to address OnePlanet's remark about a "locked in" CO2 level.

    Philippe wrote, "There is only one factor that truly controls how green any region can be: water availability."

    That's a common misconception. Elevated CO2 levels greatly improve plants' water use efficiency (WUE) and drought resilience. That's why elevated CO2 is especially beneficial for crops when under drought stress. It has been heavily studied by agronomists. Here's a paper about wheat:

    Fitzgerald GJ, et al. (2016) Elevated atmospheric [CO2] can dramatically increase wheat yields in semi-arid environments and buffer against heat waves. Glob Chang Biol. 22(6):2269-84. doi:10.1111/gcb.13263.

    Philippe wrote, "The experiences that have shown a CO2 fertilization effect were done in very controlled conditions and involved extremely high concentrations (800 ppm and up)."

    That's incorrect. All major crops have been studied, and all benefit from elevated CO2. It is true that the greatest benefits accrue at 1000 ppmv or higher, but even modest CO2 increases significantly improve crop yields.

    This recent study quantifies the effect for several major crops. Their results are toward the high end, but their qualitative conclusion is consistent with many, many other studies. They reported, "We consistently find a large CO2 fertilization effect: a 1 ppm increase in CO2 equates to a 0.4%, 0.6%, 1% yield increase for corn, soybeans, and wheat, respectively."

    This study evaluated pine trees:

    Idso, S., & Kimball, B. (1994). Effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on biomass accumulation and distribution in Eldarica pine trees. Journal of Experimental Botany, 45, 1669-1672.
    Pine trees grown at varying CO2 levels

    As you noted, the effect is greatest with CO2 >800 ppmv, but, as you can see, even a much smaller CO2 increase has a substantial effect.

    Rob wrote, "This entire paragraph is patently absurd and completely fabricated."

    It is 100% factual, Rob. I'm surprised that you didn't already know it.

    These figures are from that same AR6 Table 5.1 excerpt which I already showed you:

    average CO2 removal rate in the 2010s = 2.7707 ppmv/yr
    average CO2 removal rate in teh 2000s = 2.3481 ppmv/yr

    These figures are from Mauna Loa:

    average CO2 level in the 2010s = 399.91 ppmv
    average CO2 level in the 2000s = 378.84 ppmv

    (399.91-378.84) / (2.7707-2.3481) = 49.86

    So a 50 ppmv increase in CO2 level accelerates the natural removal rate by about 1 ppmv/year.

    49.86 / 2.1294 = 23.42 ppmv increase yields a +1 PgC removal rate increase.

    I encourage you to do the calculations yourself for any other time period of your choice.

    If you have the natural removal rate as a function of CO2 level (which we do), it is trivial to simulate the CO2 level decline if emissions were to suddenly cease. I wrote a little Perl program to do it; email me if you want a copy.

    Rob wrote, "if true, the oceans would just continue to suck up all the atmospheric CO2 and we'd live on a frozen planet."

    That's incorrect. The system progresses toward equilibrium, which is below 300 ppmv, but not zero.

    Rob wrote, "rather that starting from a prior where all the published science is getting it wrong, and making stuff up... you don't have the requisite training to fully grasp the topic"

    Rob, it's not necessary to resort to ad hominem attacks. I'm happy to document things that are surprising to you. You need but ask. Everything I've written is well-supported.

    Rob wrote, "take some time to fully familiarize yourself with Henry's Law."

    Due to the temperature dependence of Henry's Law, a 1°C increase in temperature slows CO2 uptake by the oceans by about 3%. But a 50% (140 ppmv) rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration accelerates CO2 uptake by the oceans by 50%. That's the main reason that ocean uptake of CO2 continues to accelerate.

  20. daveburton,

    I will try to limit how much I repeat any of the assistance others have provided to increase your awareness and improve your understanding of the issues. I will try to focus on aspects of your response @10 that have not yet been addressed.

    I think it may be best to respond in reverse as follows.

    Regarding: "Assumption #2: You seem to think that the CO2 level controls sea-level."

    That is a misunderstanding of my comment. I am aware of and understand the following Common Sense Consensus knowledge:

    Increased CO2 levels will result in a warmer global average surface temperature resulting in the reduction of the amount of water that is stored as ice supported by land (melting of ice supported by water does not change the level - unless the melting of that ice accelerates the flow of land supported ice to the ocean). Most of the water that is no longer "ice supported on land" will drain into the oceans resulting in a higher sea level (and this process will take a long time to reach a balanced state after CO2 levels stop increasing).

    In addition to the sea level change due to melted ice, an increased level of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in an increased average temperature of the oceans. And water expands as it warms resulting in a higher average sea level in addition to the melted ice impact.

    Regarding: "Assumption #1: You assume that there's such a thing as "a locked-in doubling of CO2.""

    I was not assuming anything. I was presenting a hypothetical situation for consideration. That situation is a case where CO2 levels reach 560 ppm and stay at that level due to continued human impacts.

    Simply asking what the sea level will be when CO2 levels reach 560 ppm will result in a vast range of answers. There are a diversity of cases where CO2 levels reach 560 ppm that would have significantly different expected maximum sea level rise. They include the following:

    1. CO2 rapidly reaching 560 ppm and continuing to rapidly increase. That will produce a low amount of sea level increase at the moment that 560 ppm is reached. But it would cause a much higher level in the distant 'balanced condition' of the future that will be established at some significant time after CO2 levels are no longer being increased.
    2. CO2 levels slowly reaching 560 ppm and continuing to slowly increase. That would result in a higher sea level when 560 ppm is reached that in case 1. But if the same 'maximum ppm level' as in case 1 is reached then the long term sea level rise would likely be comparable to case 1.
    3. CO2 level increases to 560 ppm then is held steady by continued human impacts (a locked in level of CO2). This is the case I was referring to. Indeed you misunderstood my comment.
    4. CO2 levels rise to 560 ppm and then are rapidly reduced by human industrial CO2 removal or other human impact changes that result in reduction of CO2 levels rather than a steady level of 560 ppm. This is closer to what an ethical consideration would conclude. The more ethical conclusion is that CO2 levels should not be allowed to reach 560 ppm. And human actions to remove CO2 from the atmosphere are required even though the CO2 levels do not reach 560 ppm.

    Finally regarding your opening statement: "...why are you asking me "about the human origins of global warming"? My comment had nothing to do with that."

    I was not asking a question. I was pointing out that the information you provided did not affect the conclusion of the OP. Your comment could be considered to be an attempt to use a 'new twist' of the "Hansen got it wrong" claim.

    That raises a new question. Why did you make the claim you made @8?

  21. I will respond to Dave Burton on the CO2 fertilization thread on the part of this latest post regarding that subject.

  22. Dave @19... "Rob wrote, "that greening is now turning into 'browning.'" Well, here's what AR6 shows:"

    This is absolutely classic.

    1) That is not an image that appears in AR6, not with the added orange box. Thus you're co-opting their work to infer conclusions they do not make.

    2) The caption for FAQ 5.1 is stating exactly what I've been explaining to you:

    For decades, about half of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that human activities have emitted to the atmosphere has been taken up by natural carbon sinks in vegetation, soils and oceans. These natural sinks of CO2 have thus roughly halved the rate at which atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased, and therefore slowed down global warming. However, observations show that the processes underlying this uptake are beginning to respond to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and climate change in a way that will weaken nature’s capacity to take up CO2 in the future. Understanding of the magnitude of this change is essential for projecting how the climate system will respond to future emissions and emissions reduction efforts. [emphasis added]

    Therefore, quite clearly, you are using this graph completely out of context and using without understanding any of the underlying physics or research on the issue.

    You are merely crafting tidbits to confirm your personal biases.

    And, Dave, pointing out that you don't have the requisit training in this subject is not ad hominem. I don't have the training either, but I'm not making statements that directly contradict what the leading researchers in the field are saying.


  23. Dave... "Due to the temperature dependence of Henry's Law, a 1°C increase in temperature slows CO2 uptake by the oceans by about 3%."

    Moving this to an appropriate thread.

  24. Oh, my. Commenter daveburton is certainly sending a lot of  information our way. I am going to focus on his sea level acceleration claims in comment #10. In that comment, he links to two US locations (The Battery, in the NYC area, and Honolulu) for tide/sea level data, and gives us some quadratic equations to make a claim that sea level rise is negligible, and not much of a worry for the future.

    Most regular readers here will also be familiar with Tamino's blog. Although Tamino has not been particularly active recently, over the years he has done a number of posts on analysis of sea level data. It turns out that a lot of those posts have the name "Dave Burton" showing up in them, either as a source of information that Tamino is debunking, or (on a few) as a commenter.

    Now, I have no way of knowing whether our daveburton is the same Dave Burton seen in the discussions at Tamino's, but there is a similarity: they both like using The Battery and Honolulu stations as examples, and they both like fitting quadratic equations and arguing that there is little or no evidence for acceleration in sea level rise. To avoid confusion, I'll refer to the Dave Burton that is discussed at Tamino's as "the other Dave Burton".

    I don't have the space or time to try to re-write everything that Tamino has written, so I'll just link to a few of his posts on the matter (well, nine) and provide very brief summaries.

    The first Tamino post is from 2012, titled Unnatural Hazards. The other Dave Burton's name shows up quite a few times, although he does not comment. Tamino looks at The Battery data, plus a global sea level data set, and demonstrates why a quadratic fit is unsuitable. He also shows clear acceleration in the data. To provide a little graphic input for this comment, I'll included two of Tamino's figures:

    A graph of the seasonally-detrended sea level at The Battery:

    Sea level at The Battery

    And a graph showing the rate of sea level change:

    Rate of sea level change at The Battery

    I"ll let you decide if you think this shows acceleration. Read Tamino's post for further details.

    The next Tamino post isn't until October 2019. He had five posts from October to December, covering the following:

    • Sea Level Rise. This post looks at acceleration in several global data sets, finding it present. The other Dave Burton comments extensively, and claims that "Honolulu is a nearly ideal place for sea-level measurement". He uses a quadratic equation to look for acceleration (and basically says it isn't significant).
    • The next Tamino post is on Sea Level Acceleration. This post was prompted by the comments from the other Dave Burton on the previous post. Tamino looks at San Diego, Key West, Boston, St. Petersburg (FL), and Honolulu. Honolulu is the only one without acceleration. Tamino uses changepoint analysis to look for changes in linear trend. (Spoiler alert: he finds changes.)
    • Further comments from the other Dave Burton lead to Tamino's next post, on Sea Level Accleration Denial. Tamino goes into more detail on the folly of the other Dave Burton's quadratic analysis, and explains more aspects of statistical testing for acceleration.
    • Tamino's final October post is on Sea Level: Eastern North America. This post only has a passing mention of the other Dave Burton, but it is another excellent analysis along the entire east coast from the Caribbean to Canada.
    • In December, we see another post on A Century and More of Sea Level Acceleration. Also only a passing mention of the other Dave Burton, but this post looks at several different sea level data sets, and includes more acceleration analysis.

    It isn't until November 2021 that we see another Tamino post where the other Dave Burton is mentioned. This one is titled North Carolina Sea Level Rise: Problem Not Solved. (The other Dave Burton first came on the scene, arguing against forcing North Carolina developers to include future rapid rising sea levels in their planning.) Tamino quickly followed the first November post with another, titled Sea Level at Wilmington, NC (and other places). This adds another North Carolina station to the analysis.

    And finally, in February 2022, Tamino posted on Sea Level Denial, where the other Dave Burton's name comes up again. This post has further looks at Wilmington, Cedar Key, Pensacola, and Key West.

    Again, our daveburton posting here may not be the same as the other Dave Burton, but the arguments are much the same - and rife with the same errors. Let's hope that our daveburton can read Tamino's posts and learn from them The other Dave Burton certainly did not.

  25. I'm reasonably certain this is the same Dave Burton, Bob. I've come across him many times over the years. He operates the website. He's making the exact same claims. He's an IT guy who fancies himself an expert on sea level rise.

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