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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. One Planet Only Forever at 09:44 AM on 25 November 2017
    Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    nigelj,

    Just to clarify. In Canada the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are 'outliers' when it comes to political leaning and attitude towards reduction of burning of fossil fuels. Both of those provinces are heavily dependent on continuing to get away with benefiting from the burning of fossil fuels for electricity and export of fossil fuels for burning ... because they have large deposits of those non-renewable resources (Alberta more than Saskatchewan).

    Excluding the GHG generated by the burning of fossil fuels exported from Alberta, activity in the province of Alberta is the largest contribution to Canada's total emissions. This can be seen in the lastest Government of Canada report of GHG emissions (2015).

    And Alberta will have increased emissions since major expansions of Oil Sands extraction will be completed and start operations in the near future. These facilities can take nearly a decade to design and build. So they got started when the price of oil was alluringly high. Now that they are built their investors have 'sunk their costs in the facilities'. Those investors are desperate to maximize their revenue, and so is the Government of Alberta. They push for new pipelines to reduce the cost, increase the speed of exporting the stuff, and also in the hopes of attracting new investment to further expand the extraction for export.

    The popularity of getting away with getting wealthy from the global burning of fossil fuels is regionally massive. So massive that just about any Alberta Government has to be seen to be a Cheerleader for the unacceptable activity if they want to stand a chance to win power in the flawed multi-party First-Past-the-Post game. The current government leaders have implemented Carbon Legislation for Alberta that includes a modest Carbon Price. And they set a limit on the GHG emissions, but at a level that allows significant expansion of Oil Sands extraction (Alberta plan for Oil Sands GHG). And the United Conservatives have declared the 'Need' to eliminate all of the Carbon Plan without offering any Carbon Reduction action of their own.

    Thankfully, the Federal Government has legislated a minimum required action by any province. So the Conservatives winning power in Alberta will only be able to cut back the actions in Alberta to the Federal minimums. The United Conservatives in Alberta (and Conservatives in the rest of Canada), have already declared their dislike of the Federal Government that implemented such a diabolical restriction of 'Their Freedom to Believe and do as they please'.

    If the likes of the United Conservatives win Federal power it may be necessary for the global community to impose targeted penalties on Canadian activities (or specific Canadians) to motivate 'better behaviour' from the anti-Leaders. Since the power winners in multi-party First-Past-the-Post elections usually do not have true majority support, the majority of Canadians would likely support such external influence, just as the majority of Albertans would support Federal restrictions on a Conservative Provincial leadership.

    And the Conservatives should not be expected to change their minds. They will likely continue trying to Win any unacceptable way they can get away with. The future of humanity clearly needs that group to globally become nothing more than an irrelevant annoyance.

    Things are headed in that direction. And the rising anger of the United Right/Conservatives is probable proof that even they know their Winning is not sustainable. But since they only care about the benefit they can get away with in their lifetime there will always need external restrictions on what they can get away with - restrictions and penalties that they will always be angry about, never acknowledge their understanding of the importance of the restrictions because the importance is the Public Interest. And their Private Interest is to compromise the Public Interest as much as they can get away with.

  2. Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    Nigelj,

    I would look more carefully at the Gulf Stream system.

    This RealClimate post reviews two reasons that current models are biased toward a more stable Gulf Stream.  It describes collapse of the Gulf Stream over 100-300 years.  It has several additional links at the end.

    This Real Climate post #2 describes slowing of the Gulf Stream since 1930.

    Gulf Stream

    Fig. 3 Index of the strength of the overturning circulation in the Atlantic (AMOC), calculated from the temperature in the subpolar Atlantic minus the mean temperature of the Northern Hemisphere (red and blue curves). The green curve shows the coral data of Sherwood and colleagues. Source: Rahmstorf et al, Nature Climate Change 2015.

    The Gulf Stream flow is a little higher than its lowest point around 1980.  It is not catastrophic but not a "low probability" that it could get worse.  The currently measured slow down is greater than predicted by models.

    The cold patch just below Greenland on many global temperature graphs is caused by the slowing of the Gulf Stream.  This patch set a record for the coldest measured (over the entire record) during 2015, a record hot year worldwide.

    cold patch

    Fig. 1 Linear temperature trends from 1901 to 2013 according to NASA data. Source: Rahmstorf et al, Nature Climate Change 2015.

  3. Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    HK @7 yes fair comments. The movie the day after tomorrow was obviously fantasy, and things like a change in the gulf stream and cooling Northern ocean cannot cause such a deep ice age and certainly not that fast, or generate superstorms of that ferocity and also  covering the entire northern hemisphere. That is Hollywood hype and dramatic licence,  like numerous other disaster movies. Virtually everyone realises this is fantasy. However I quite enjoy these movies, and it's interesting to contemplate why we enjoy disaster movies.

    However its interesting that the day after tomorrow got a little bit partly right that changes to gulf stream and thus cooler northern oceans leads to more intense storms as you pointed out. I wonder if that was accident or a little bit of science input.

    The more accurate scenario is a warming climate could cause a change in gulf stream, but low probability at this stage. It  would potentially cause a semi ice age in Europe and parts of N America with significant drop in temperatures over decades to centuries, that would be very damaging, although  not kilometre thick ice sheets. Although the probability is low, the consequences are still serious enough so we should pay strong attention. 

  4. Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    OPOF @5

    Your account of Canada's climate policy is interesting.

    I live in New Zealand, and our history of emissions reductions has actually been very weak, but our new government elected this year is taking a stronger stand on emissions reduction, and I will get to that.

    Firstly, our history of attempts to reduce emissions and deal with global warming has been of limited success so far. Here is a brief summary of the sorry story, a comedy of errors and denial:

    The Labour (liberal / left leaning party) started things about 15 years ago by proposing a sensible carbon tax,  but was beaten in that election and the incoming National Party (conservative party) adopted an emissions trading scheme. This ETS has been an appalling joke of a scheme with limited strength, no actual cap, and huge reliance on imported carbon credits that turned out to be worthless, but still form part of the system in terms of value, despite this being acknowledged by the government. This ETS is still in force today.

    The ETS scheme is so complicated nobody understands it, and the media don't go near the thing, apart from Brian Fallow, but his comments are so technical only enthusiasts would bother. This ETS has proven useless, because our emissions have continued to grow, and the scheme excludes farming, our main source of emissions, because we are a big dairy producer. The ETS settings are not strong enough, and too much reliance is put on forestry sinks particularly buying credits in these from other countries that are proven to be of dubious value.

    But the ETS "sound impressive" like we are doing something, and the National Government has sold it with appropriate spin and exaggerated hype, and never been properly challenged by the media. I don't think its media political bias, more possibly just laziness and not enough news in a gray complex issue like this, but that is no excuse. We are a small country with just a few main media outlets, and no huge media bias, although the main newspaper did arguably start to favour National a little recently.

    Renewable energy has been more successful, but only by accident. We had good hydro and geothermal power making up over 50% of our electricity, going way back to the 1940's. We have added more geothermal power recently but this would have happened regardless of climate policies. We have added wind power which gets a small subsidy and is about 5% or so of our generation. More wind power is planned, but the global financial crash caused a drop in electricity demand, so we have surplus of generation at the moment.

    Currently approx. 80% of our electricity is hydro, geothermal and wind with the remainder gas and one coal station I think. DS will correct me if I'm wrong.

    Believe it or not we actually export oil, shamelessly as far as the climate issue goes. We are a very open  free market economy and both export and import oil (weird I know, but this is an open market economy). We also export coal, although less recently I think. So there are no limits on this in terms of climate policies, and the National government also allows deep sea oil exploration, again regardless of climate issue. They make a bizarre point of principle that the ETS should be only control on emitters, in a nonsensical application of ideological free market purity. Everyone else can work out you don't have to rely just on an ETS, and need a range of policies and the public have questioned the wisdom of drilling for more oil.

    Now we come to the year of 2017, when a Labour government has been elected (with a very pleasant and smart leader). More precisely we have a proportional representation system of MMP the same as Germany. The National Party got the highest popular vote, but had no real coalition partners this time, so the other three main parties Labour, NZ First and The Greens with less of the vote, formed a governing coalition. As you can imagine this complicates climate policies.

    The new Labour coalition elected this year has taken a stronger stand overall on climate issues, but precise policy is not clear yet and time will tell.

    Unfortunately they have decided one thing, to keep the ETS, but have proposed a rethink and may modify it, but who knows. More significantly they have proposed a carbon tax of some sort on agriculture in an attempt to reduce methane emissions. Time will tell if they implement this.

    The leader Adern has expressed a strong and genuine commitement to reducing emissions, however it appears the party has backtraked partly on some other strong economic policies out of fear of causing negative economic side effects so who knows what will happen over climate issues. I'm not yet decided whether Adern is sensible and prepared to listen and do sensible modifications, or easily lead and weak. Again its too early to say.

    We have no idea what Labour will do in terms of coal and oil exports. and given their commitment to free market this may not change. I think its likely they would stop offsore exploration as this is easy "low hanging fruit" and offshore potential appears limited anyway. I have no doubt they would support renewable electricity generation, as this is an easy thing to agree on.

    So in summary the new Labour government talks tough on climate change, but time will tell if it amounts to much and what real policies are. However it cant be worse than the outgoing National government.

    As you can see I'm not all that enthused about ETS schemes, and think a carbon fee and dividend is probably better. However both can be made to work if theres a will.

    Our political parties and lobby groups have also made some shameless claims about how various climate policies and so on will hurt the poor etc, usually in a very misleading way, but not quite as brazenly as Canada by the sound of it. The various schemes only get back page coverage in the media, and hardly even figured in the election campaign. The media seldom ask the hard questions of National ministers on their terrible ETS, apart from Brian Fallow alone. I suppose the media find it complicated, and frankly anyone would, but it still seems like laziness and poor journalism to me as its clearly an important issue.

    In general we have all the same media issues as you do in Canada, but possibly not quite as severely!

  5. Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    #5:
    In his book Storms of my Grandchildren James Hansen described that movie as "highly unscientific" as it greatly exaggerates the global cooling caused by the shutdown of the Gulfstream. The lead climate scientist in the movie – portrayed by Dennis Quaid – claimed that the storms would continue until the balance was restored, but I doubt that the movie makers really understood the global energy imbalance the way climate scientists define it.

  6. One Planet Only Forever at 01:32 AM on 25 November 2017
    Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    Digby Scorgie@4,

    At least you appear to be in a region with Leadership that  gets popular support for claiming to support actions to reduce carbon emissions and could win re-election if they meaningfully act to reduce fossil fuel burning.

    I live in Alberta, Canada. I would bet Alberta (along with similarly addicted to benefiting from the export of fossil fuels for burning - Saskatchewan) will be among the last places on the planet to get a combined significant popular support for action to reduce Carbon emissions and Leadership that wants that.

    Alberta's current Leaders claim to want action to reduce Carbon Emissions. But they have been careful to not say they want to wind-down the Oil Sands extraction and export quicker than the market-place would wrap it up (the provincial budget is massively dependent on revenue from fossil fuel export for burning).

    But they are only the current Leaders due to a freak event where 2 Conservative Parties were in the 5 Party chase for power. That allowed the strongest of the non-Conservative Parties to win many seats with less than majority support. (Unlike Australia, Canada still uses First-Past-the-Post Voting even though we have almost always had at least 3 major political parties).

    The current government in Alberta has implemented a Carbon Fee and partial Rebate program. A portion of the Carbon Fee is returned to people with moderate or lower income with the rebate likely exceeding the Carbon Fee those people would pay (Full rebate at $60,000 income reduced to Zero rebate at $90,000). And the rest of the Carbon Fee is used to try to diversify the Alberta economy away from actions related to the burning of fossil fuels.

    The Conservative Parties in Alberta recently United. And polls clearly show the popularity in Alberta of that United Party being higher than any other party, though still lower than 50%. In Alberta that level of support (less than 50%) has produced clear majority authority for a party. That is how the current non-Conservative Party won majority power in the last election.

    The leader of the United Conservatives has already made misleading marketing pitches criticizing the Carbon Fee program because the increase in the fees happens at the start of next year. They claim the Carbon Fee hurts the less fortunate (they never mention the rebate). And they claim the Fee is a 75% Tax on Natural Gas (they do not mention that natural gas only costs $2 per GJ and the Carbon Fee after the increase will be a fixed $1.50 per GJ meaning the 'tax rate' goes down as the price goes up).

    A few of the media in Alberta have tried to better inform Albertans when they report the claims made by the United Conservatives. But not all of the media are that responsible (many of the media are also misleading marketers - eager to lock in the more popular audience support that many advertisers look for).

    I am heartened by the fact that some media in Alberta are trying to better inform the population. But I doubt that enough proper efforts to better and more fully inform the population in Alberta will occur before the next election. I also doubt that even all of the major media trying to better inform the population in Alberta would make enough of a difference before the next election. Such action, pointing out the Fake Claims being made by the United Conservatives, would probably lead to massive amounts of loud popular support for claims of Fake News being produced.

  7. New rebuttal to the myth 'climate scientists are in it for the money' courtesy of Katharine Hayhoe

    According to Kevin Anderson, one of the insidious things is that many climate scientists are apparently down playing the severity of climate change so that they get government support, quite the opposite of the effect to which Katharine Hayhoe is referring. "He points to hypocrisy in IPCC working groups, the UK Committee on Climate Change, and university research councils writing their strategy documents. Bodies which he suggests are concealing the gravity of the situation, in the interests of their own funding."

  8. Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    New Zealand has pledged that its emissions will peak by 2020?  Really?  Living in the country, I see business continuing as usual and no real sign of actions to limit our emissions.  We have a new government now that has pledged to take action on climate change.  Nevertheless, I'll believe it when I see it.

  9. What do Jellyfish teach us about climate change?

    Aleks:

    I have responded to you here.  Please respond there where the discussion is on topic.

  10. OA not OK part 20: SUMMARY 2/2

    Responding to Aleks from here:   (his previous post is just above the linked post)

    You said:

    "That's why "dry wall plant" you saw is built not from CaSO4, but from CaCO3 with impurities of CaSO3, Ca SO4, Ca(NO2)2, and Ca(NO3)2. It's not a good building material."

     The Wikipedia article on drywall states:

    "Drywall (also known as plasterboard, wallboard, gypsum panel, sheet rock, or gypsum board) is a panel made of calcium sulfate dihydrate (gypsum)" (my emphasis)

    Your claim that dry wall is made from calcium carbonate is incorrect.  You make yourself look stupid when you make false claims that can be easily Googled.  Calcium carbonate is what is added to convert the SO2 into calcium sulfate.  SInce I am a chemistry teacher I know that the Calcium Sulfate from coal power plant scrubbers is especially high in purity and makes the best drywall.

    As for your suggestion that:

    ""The actual value of the mmol of H+ ions formed from 34 mmol of CO2 is about 37 mmol". This is possible only if H2CO3 dissociates completely (??) as a monopritic acid and partly as a diprotic acid. It contradicts the facts established in chemistry."

    I will remind youu that I have provided a reference from an expert and I have taught students how to do this calculation for the past ten years.  I reviewed the experts calculation and I got the same values he did.

    By contrast you are an anonymous guy on the internet who claims to have a degree in Chemistry.  You have provided no citations to support your wild claims, only an incorrect calculation.

    When a weak acid is dissolved in distilled water most of the acid does not ionize.  When the weak acid is dissolved in a buffer, the pH of the buffer determines how much of the acid ionizes.  If the pH of the buffer is greater than the pKa of the acid most of the acid ionizes.  If the pH is less than the pKa than most of the acid does not ionize.

    Since the apparent Ka of carbon dioxide is 4.5 x 10-7, the pKa is about 6.3.  Since ocean surface water is about pH 8.2, about 99.5% of the CO2 has ionized.  The actual values of % ionization are: 

    "At typical surface seawater pH of 8.2, the speciation between [CO2], [HCO3−], and [CO3 2−] is 0.5%, 89%, and 10.5%,"

    as I previously posted.  These are the "facts established in Chemistry" and calculated from the Ka's of Carbonic acid listed previously.  Your "calculation" was incorrect because you do not know how to incorporate the pH into the calculation. You must use the pH.

    You do not know how to do calculate the % ionization of an acid in a buffer.  Why are you bothering to call out scientists who do calculations you do not know how to do?

  11. New rebuttal to the myth 'climate scientists are in it for the money' courtesy of Katharine Hayhoe

    Actually, I think the bulk of the money spent on climate change research goes to satellites - by a very large margin. Shouldn't there be a conspiracy theory that AGW is the invention of corporations that build and launch satellites?

  12. New rebuttal to the myth 'climate scientists are in it for the money' courtesy of Katharine Hayhoe

    Climate scientists salary looks very ordinary, given the high level of education and solid contribution, more so than the so called contribution of some of the characters in the financial sector.( Refer to the book "Other Peoples Money' by John Kay). Not everyone is in things for the money, many people value job satisfaction, and choose lower paying jobs accordingly.

    But I think the other issue not confronted in the video is an (erroneous) public perception with some nasty minded people scientists exaggerate warming to get governments worried so they get more research grants. This is just so ridiculous. Exaggerated or mistaken claims about warming come up against criticism form other scientists and future data trends and don't survive long. Recent temperatures have actually vindicated predictions made by climate modelling, so it's hard to find these so called exaggerated claims. It's also interesting that data adjustments to the global warming trend have actually adjusted temperatures down overall.

    This all makes the attacks of denialists look increasingly unfounded, irrational, nasty, and desperate. They are reduced to making inane claims for example that climate scientists are communists! Its like medieval accusations of "you are a witch". Next there will be Spanish Inquisition of climate science, and a ritual burning of text books, and I'm not entirely kidding just looking at America right now. This is how stupid the whole thing is becoming. Humanity should be ashamed of its conduct, and stick to science and carefully prepared, reports like IPCC report.

  13. What do Jellyfish teach us about climate change?

    Aleks, one final important point just for you to think about in terms of quantifying this issue as a whole.

    First to summarise, your basic proposition is SO2 and NO2 are dominant causes of ocean acidity more so than CO2. Internet and mainstream science all says CO2 is main cause, so you are on the back foot and need compelling argument. Given combustion products are mostly C02 this also means you have to precisely prove your case because at face value it looks like CO2 even although I take your point other gases are more acidic.

    So far I dont think you have proven your case.

    I think to prove your case you need by analogy a sort of bookeeping ledger approach. This is why I said before its more complex than you think, or just a case of molar concentrations. Let me explain.

    First calculate effects of burning coal, oil and gas regarding how much CO2 is produced by each, and calculate how much acidity this produces in oceans ( or strictly speaking change in ph). Your calculation on this 9 above seems in dispute.

    Then on other side of ledger you have to consider how much of combustion of coal, oil and gas is SO2 and NO2 and how much acidity this produces. So far you have only considered coal which has most sulphur compounds. you have to consider propertions of each fossil fuel humanity uses and quantities of SO2 and NO2 each produce and what it adds up to.

    Most SO2 and NO2 is washed out over land, with some blown offshore into harbours and some released from ships. So you have to find quantities / proportions and factor this in to work out what proportion gets into oceans as a whole. The smaller quantity getting into the oceans is obviously smaller and so offsets the strong acidity of these gases. Some of these compounds rained out over land will get into oceans through groundwater and rivers, but you have to quantify how much, and how much is neutralised along the way. The rate of groundwater flow is also extremely slow and is not going to be a significant factor.

    You also have to also factor in complex processes of effects of organic life interacting with these compounds as others have raised that reduce their effects.

    So far you havent done a lot of this and its hugely significant.

    This will give two final quantities to compare, acidity from CO2 compared to acidity from the combination of other gases (or rather effect on ph). Until you do this you have proven absolutely nothing to me.

    I dont know that its of great significance to humanity what the proportions are. They all come from burning fossil fuels anyway so it becomes pedantic.

    Regarding Michael Sweets comments on diffrent concentrations of C02 in different oceans being due to older water. I read this myself somewhere so he is right. So its a  complex issue, more than just looking at chemistry of specific molecules.  

  14. What do Jellyfish teach us about climate change?

    I apologize to the other opponents, but so far I'll only reply michael sweet (@15 and @24).

    @15. "Scientific consensus is that CO2 is causes ocean acidification". The correctness of the scientific theory is determined not by voting, but by how it corresponds to the facts. Your assertion that SO2 from coal burning power plants absorbs in scrubbers refers to particular cases and is refuted by the data given in @23 (thanks MA Rodger for interesting information). I'll only add that not only SO2 and NO2 are absorbed in scrubbers, but first of all CO2 (absorbent Ca(OH)2). That's why "dry wall plant" you saw is built not from CaSO4, but from CaCO3 with impurities of CaSO3, Ca SO4, Ca(NO2)2, and Ca(NO3)2. It's not a good building material.

    @24. "The actual value of the mmol of H+ ions formed from 34 mmol of CO2 is about 37 mmol". This is possible only if H2CO3 dissociates completely (??) as a monopritic acid and partly as a diprotic acid. It contradicts the facts established in chemistry.

  15. One Planet Only Forever at 02:38 AM on 24 November 2017
    Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    Minor rephrasing in the 7th para. of my post @2

    'encourage better behaviour from individuals in nations trying to get away with behaving irresponsibly in the hopes of temporarily benefiting more by getting away with behaving less acceptably'

  16. One Planet Only Forever at 02:32 AM on 24 November 2017
    Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    takver@1,

    The Australian Carbon Tax was implemented in 2012. Its ending in 2014 may have created a temporary surge of irresponsible behaviour. But something other than a "Carbon Tax Policy" was reducing emissions prior to 2012. Perhaps the possibility of a carbon tax being imposing was an influence. Things were also affected significantly by the 2008 global set-back due to irresponsible pursuers of Private Interest temporarily Winning until the inevitable collapse of their unsustainable and damaging pursuits.

    One of the factors regarding the bump up after 2014 may have been an expansion of activity in Autralia related to the development and operation of factlities for exporting fossil fuels for burning elsewhere. In addition to increasing coal exports (the same irresponsible behaviour the Trump Administration is trying to temporarily impress people with in the USA), Australia has been increasing natural gas exports.

    The Australian DoE document that Figure 9 was taken from for the Guardian Article (and that it incorrectly sub-labelled as 1990-2025) states the following related to Figure 9.

    "Projected 2029–30 emissions provide an indication of long-term emissions trends. Projected emissions growth to 2029–30 is dominated by electricity generation emissions, as electricity demand increases with growth in economic activity and coal-fired electricity generation retains a high share of total electricity generation. Emissions from direct combustion and fugitives also increase significantly, primarily as a consequence of the extraction of coal and natural gas in increasing volumes for export (Figure 9)."

    How coal exports will be doing in the future is an important consideration for the future emissions in Australia (note there are added emissions of that coal being burned elsewhere). China is clearly cutting back on coal burning. And the latest COP meeting included a significant group of nations becoming activists for the more rapid termination of the global burning of coal.

    And the infrastructure building for fossil fuel export may not continue far into the future since facilities can operate for 30 to 50 years. Facilities related to fossil fuel burning are likely to have a shorter future than that in developed nations (the nations that will be globally expected to lead the reduction of global fossil fuel burning). That shorter future makes the Return on Investment less encouraging for new infrastructure related to fossil fuel burning in the more fortunate nations.

    The global community may be a significant factor regarding what happens in Australia if Australia does not responsibly restrain its pursuits. It is highly likely that global trade tariffs will be introduced to 'encourage better behaviour from individuals in irresponsible nations that hope to win advantages by behaving less acceptably'. There is also the possibility of global limits or embargoes on the export of fossil fuels for burning, a more extreme step to deal with the worst offenders.

    That type of future global action is often ignored because it seldom happens to an activity that the most fortunate benefit from. But that type of global action is the history regarding dealing with individuals, and groups they gather around themselves, who try to get away with unacceptable behaviour (Private Interest behaviour that is clearly compromising the Global Public Interest in developing lasting improvements for all of humanity - The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals set out the actions that will make lasting impovements for the future of humanity as long as all the goals are achieved).

    So what happens in the future in Australia, and any other nation, can either be responsibly determined by Australian's or be externally 'corrected' by global interests in the future of humanity. That is where the future has been headed since the 1960s with a few unfortunate Dips temporarily Winning Influence along the way. Responsible Global Leadership Winning is actually the only way for humanity to have a future that is not dystopian.

  17. The Debunking Handbook: now freely available for download

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    In his own words: Behind a one-time skeptic's climate 'flip' by Bud Ward, Yale Climate Connections, Nov 20, 2017

    A chat leads to a change of view on climate by Karin Kirk, Yale Climate Connections, Nov 21, 2017

  18. Analysis: WRI data suggests emissions have already ‘peaked’ in 49 countries

    Australia's emissions achieved a peak in 2006, but have been rising rapidly from a low point in 2014 when the carbon pricing policy was abolished. It is highly likely Australia will exceed 2006 emission levels and keep increasing out to 2030, unless there is a major policy direction change. See March 2016 article: Greg Hunt's claim of 'peak emissions' attacked by climate experts 

    See also the Climate Council from March 2016 questioning whether Australia's emissions have peaked.

  19. The Debunking Handbook: now freely available for download

    I'd read The Debunking Handbook once before and it was worth re-reading recently, although it can't cover everything to do with climate communication.  Really we all want civil, informative, constructive dialogue but things can get out of hand.  If there's a personal attack on Twitter it's hard not to respond with an excessive salvo and risk provoking a 'backfire effect'.  I want to explain science, I want what I say to be well-supported (so I usually double-check via diverse comprehensible web sources beforehand), but when it comes to climate I also want to link to people's values and encourage action.  It's hard to know for sure that, while confident you're putting reasonable effort into representing science correctly, you're not adding even more noise and confusion that is a barrier to public consensus.

    Restating the central point and trying to reduce distraction is fairly easy to remember. However, it's not always easy to remember to provide an 'alternative explanation' that sticks and doesn't reinforce the myth, as it can be on a very obscure point.

    In extreme cases responding does involve questioning motives of sources which is a kind of ad hom.  In many online discussions (and the rarer face-to-face ones), there are people who are 'cautious' and confused by what appear to be advanced arguments, and it's necessary to simplify things. I feel a simple analogy like 'greenhouse gases are like an extra blanket' can summarise in a supportable way.  In some ways, the handbook seems at odds with Diethelm & McKee 'Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond?' (2009), which says 'a willingness to look at the evidence as a whole, to reject deliberate distortions and to accept principles of logic. A meaningful discourse is impossible when one party rejects these rules'. I still think it's worth attempting.  Quite popular at the moment is a list of cognitive biases to look out for in self and others https://www.yourbias.is. Daniel Dennett also recommends:

    1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, "Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way."
    2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
    3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
    4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

    Finding something you have in common will encourage mutual trust and enable the subject matter to be looked at more seriously and critically.  As I understand it, this is the idea of Kahan's 'two-channel communication'.  It's also something addressed for different audiences by Climate Outreach, a UK-based charity providing research and training: two key things I take from them are a) need to reach across political divides and include all; b) need to couple the science and risks of climate change with a positive message appropriate to the audience.

  20. citizenschallenge at 13:39 PM on 23 November 2017
    Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    Yes, thanks HK.

    "... We focus attention on the Southern Ocean’s role in affecting atmospheric CO2 amount, which in turn is a tight control knob on global climate.

    The millennial (500-2000 year) time scale of deep ocean ventilation affects the time scale for natural CO2 change, thus the time scale for paleo global climate, ice sheet and sea level changes. This millennial carbon cycle time scale should not be misinterpreted as the ice sheet time scale for response to a rapid human-made climate forcing. ..."

    Tell that to the GOP.  (sic)

  21. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    My apologies to Moderators — and to Lampacres, for the insinuation.  (The content's validity, and the lengthy style, seemed to bear some similarity.)

    The parallel plate analogy needs some improvement.  Perhaps try with one plate being semi-transparent.  For starters.  And possibly the Sun might come into it somewhere, too.

  22. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Lampacres @ 319:

    I will only discuss paragraphs 2 and 3.

    Paragraph 2: correct equation for the net exchange between the two plates, but you forgot the other two sides of the plates. What are the inputs/outputs on those sides? Or are you assuming/imposing zero energy flux in any direction other than back and forth between the two plates?

    Paragraph 3: you state "...if the warmer object does not have it’s own power source...".

    If you are making an analogy with earth, then there is a power source: the sun. It's an impoprtant source, hence my comments about paragraph 2. You're forgetting something.

    The other thing you're forgetting, if you are trying to make an analogy with the earth, is that the cooler plate is also losing energy to space. It is also important. Plates have two sides, last I looked.

    Try looking over at Eli Rabbet's The Green Plate Effect to see the math done correctly. Also his follow-up post Green Plate Challenge. (If you find yourself agreeing with Betty Pound, then you're in deep physics denial.)

    Frankly, I stopped reading closely after you got into the sphere case. You've got the fundamentals of the lane parallel case so wrong that it wasnt worth it. Same mistakes in the sphere section.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Frankly, I would like Lampacres to answer SoD two questions (and do it on the SoD site) to see whether there is any point to further discussion here. (Another imaginary law of thermodynamics disciples responded to the challenge with this head-vice required answer rather than answering the questions. We dont to go there). The Green plate challenge is another good place to start.

  23. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    "Given the scale of the graph, would the impacts of ENSO variations even be discernible? "

    Possibly.  As referred to earlier, analysis shows that 2015 would still have been a record year even had the El Niño never occurred.

    "El Niño made only a small contribution (a few hundredths of a degree) to the record global temperatures in 2015"

    And

    "After removing the estimated contribution from El Niño of 0.07C, the average global temperature in 2015, according to NASA, would have been 0.8C above the 1951-1980 average"

    And

    "There is no evidence that that warming trend has slowed, paused, or hiatused at any point in the last few decades."

    El Niño, La Niña and ENSO-neutral years are all warming.  Due to the human burning of fossil fuels.

    ENSO

  24. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Lampacres @319 , you have tied yourself into a knot, with your "spherical steel shell".  To simplify, go back to your "parallel plates" which is a decently fitting approximation of the planetary surface for heat/energy flow per square mile.

    Two questions, Lampacres :-

    Q1 : How exactly does the high-school physics you mention . . . show any disagreement with mainstream climate science?

    Q2 : Have you posted earlier, under the name Cosmoswarrior (etc) ?

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Nice thought but I think it best left to moderators to hunt sockpuppets. Lampacres appears to be someone who stumbled on skydragon nonsense. Hopefully can work through textbook.

  25. Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    HK thanks, sounds slightly like that movie "a day after tomorrow".

  26. Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    #3:
    This is probably one of them:
    Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms by James Hansen et al.

    #2:
    One of the points made in the study referred to above is that increased freshwater flux into the North Atlantic and Southern Ocean from melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will cool the sea surface. This will increase the temperature contrast between high and low latitudes and thus cause more intense storms. The surface cooling will also reduce the heat loss from these oceans and lead to a higher global energy imbalance (possibly as much as 3 or 4 watts/m2) and more deep ocean warming since the elevated GHG level continues to pump heat into the oceans at lower latitudes.

  27. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    Let's distinguish carefully between natural forcings (things that change the planetary energy balance and thus climate of natural origin) and internal variability (modes of weather variation due to uneven heating of a wet planet - ie ENSO, PDO etc. This is internal redistribution of heat, not a change in planetary energy balance). Climate is defined formally as 30 year average of weather because shorter time periods are dominated by internal variability. The temperature readings are absolutely a combination of internal variability and long term forcings but internal variability is chaotic and cant be predicted more than few months in advance.

    If you want to see how well you can account for the temperature record using just forcing + ENSO, then see the excellent series here. Unlike various mathturbation exercises  fitting climate to planets, moon, no. of athetists in world etc. this uses part of the record to determine the fit parameters and then then uses those to predict the other part. However, this cannot be used to predict the temperatures in next decade because ESNO in the future is unknown (and seems to be unknowable).

  28. What do Jellyfish teach us about climate change?

    Alex, my apologies. I didn't see your paragraph at end  in 9 on combustion products of coal and molar calculations, acidity calculations, etc, I was distracted by a problem in my house. However M Sweet has criticised it, and you haven't refuted his criticisms, so it looks to me that theres just not enough S02 and N02 to be significant.

    I will leave it there and not comment any more on this. I'm getting totally out of my depth on the chemistry, and leave it to you people. Thanks for interesting discussion.

    But M Sweet appears to know exactly what he is doing to me, and you should listen to him.

  29. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    First of all, I have to agree that including ENSO would be incorrect. However, if one were to do so, I believe you would be able to, on occasion, see an ENSO event on the above chart. Gavin Schmidt is on record as estimating the effect of ENSO on the 2015 temperature as 0.07C (see here). That would suggest that there would be a visible blip at 2015 in the natural line. However, again, that wouldn't be the correct thing to do. My understanding of the blog article by Karsten Haustein is that they were only looking at climate forcings (i.e., things that actually cause the climate to change) and ENSO isn't a forcing.

  30. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    Tom13 @9

    The natural variation line in the global warming index graph is flat overall, if by that you mean it shows no upwards trend over the whole period, but it is clearly not flat as a graph. It clearly shows small increase from 1920 to approx 1980. This is consistent with increasing solar irradiance over this period. The reason the slope is small is because solar irradiance is not as powerful a driver as CO2. Solar irradiance was flat as a trend from 1980 - 2016, so obviously would not be represented in the graph other than as a flat line.

    Things like le nino and la nina are short term repeating cycles that show no long term trend upwards or downwards. When you put that information in the index the el ninos and la ninas cancel out and you get a straight line. That is why you dont see them in the index. Remember its an index not a temperature trend, in laymans terms its a composite index. The PDO cycle is the same basically.

    There are no natural forcings known that would cause the index to slope up over the entire period. Thats just the way it is. If you believe otherwise theres nothing stopping you publishing a research paper. 

  31. OA not OK part 20: SUMMARY 2/2

    Aleks,

    It appears that you have abandoned your previous arguments.  I presume that you accept that not enough NO2 and SO2 are emitted to affect ocean pH and that your calculation was incorrect.

    You currently argue that 

    "The result can not be explained from the point of view of a chemist. I think that the analysis of these data allows to doubt the correctness of the theory that explains the ocean acidity only by the presence of CO2."

    You feel that somehow an argument can be made that since you do not understand why the pH changes with depth that contradicts the fact that CO2 controls the pH of the ocean.

    I will note that an argument from ignorance is not a scientific argument.

    OA is not OK #14 (whose graph is slightly different from the one you provide)  states:

    "dissolution of calcium carbonate [in the deep ocean] increases the pH slightly (by removing an acid). As depth increases, the pH does not recover to the surface value and this tells us that there must be more respiration (producing acid) than shell dissolution (consuming acid)."

    The Pacific ocean water is lower in pH because it is older than the Atlantic ocean water.  Over time more CO2 has dissolved, lowering the pH in the Pacific Ocean.

    As the OA is not OK has demonstrated, from a chemists point of view it is easy to explain the pH of the deep ocean.  Scientists understand the reasons for the composition of the deep ocean waters.  Perhaps you should read your references more carefully.



  32. What do Jellyfish teach us about climate change?

    Aleks:

    Your post is off topic here.  You should post all your questions in OA is not OK #20.  I have posted a response to you there.  

  33. One Planet Only Forever at 03:38 AM on 23 November 2017
    Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    Tom13,

    You are clearly misunderstanding what El Nino is.

    Even if you looked into El Nino a little more you might still misunderstand its relationship with global warming. It is complex, but understandable with a little effort.

    NOAA is one of the groups that reports its measurement of the status of the ENSO cycle (La Nina, El Nino). It is the NOAA Ocean Nino Index (ONI).

    The explanation of the NOAA ONI process is presented by NOAA on the tabulated summary of the ONI values.

    The presentation includes the understanding that they need to update the baseline for determining if the Nino 3.4 region of the Equatorial Pacific Ocean is warmer or cooler than average.

    The NOAA presentation of their updates of the 30-year averages every 5 years shows that the 5 year averages have been increasing. That increase is not a natural variation. That increase is due to the warming caused by the added GHG created by human activity.

    The 30-year averages have increased about 0.3 C. That is significant compared to the threshhold of + 0.5 C for declaring La Nina or El Nino. If NOAA did not adjust the ONI baseline then eventually there would be no identified La Nina events. And with a little more human induced global warming eventually El Nino would be identified as permanent. That would be a massive misunderstanding since the Nino 3.4 would still be cycling warmer and cooler than the average.

    Properly understanding many aspects of climate science requires the setting aside of personal preferences for information that excuses a personal desire to benefit from the burning of fossil fuels. Once you have set aside personal belief preferences you will be able to more effectively analyse the legitimacy of information sources.

    Warning - if you do not set aside your personal interests you will struggle to properly understand many things, potentially going so far as to believe/claim that information like NOAA's ONI is fake because they revise the numbers every 5 years, and by extension believing that everything from NOAA or NASA or any other major science group that is contrary to your preferred beliefs is fake.

  34. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    There’s no such thing as the radiative greenhouse effect. I accept it’s a rather bold statement, so let me explain why;

    Do you agree that the heat flow equation (for plane parallel) is: Q = sigma * (T1^4 – T2^4) ?

    The net difference between the radiative ENERGY which is emitted from both surfaces will result in HEAT being transferred to the surface of the cooler object and this will result in the TEMPERATURE of the cooler surface increasing. It may also result in the TEMPERATURE of the warmer surface decreasing (if the warmer object does not have it’s own power source). Either way, HEAT will continue to be transferred to the cooler object until thermodynamic equilibrium is achieved, when Q =0. At this point no further HEAT is transferred, although both surfaces continue to emit ENERGY. The TEMPERATURE of both surfaces will thereafter remain constant.

    When confronted with this statement of truth, many climate experts will revert to the “restricted emissions” argument where the back radiation from the shell inhibits the warmer object from emitting it’s internal ENERGY thus causing the warmer object to HEAT itself and thus cause an increase in TEMPERATURE of the warmer surface.

    If this is your claim, show me the part in the HEAT FLOW equation where it states that the primary object, T1, stops emitting because it is prevented from doing so by the secondary object, T2?

    The heat flow equation states that T1 emits fully, at: sigma * T1^4, all of the time; it never has its energy “stopped up” inside of itself. And, the ENERGY from the 2nd body (if it's cooler than the 1st body) can’t act as HEAT. The 2nd body does not stop the 1st one from emitting. The 2nd body never sends back more ENERGY to the first than the first sends to the 2nd, hence the 2nd can never HEAT the 1st.

    Photons don’t act like electrons. Photons are bosons. Bosons stack upon themselves and can share the same space. They are waves, not particles. Normal matter is particulate and can NOT stack upon itself…if you try to shove matter together it takes up more space. Much confusion is caused by a misunderstanding between particulate material and photon waves. The waves from the secondary (cooler) object don’t suddenly become part of “the commitment” from the primary (warmer) object…photon waves don’t add up like that. If you take two equal waves and pass them through each other, at some point in the phase overlap the amplitude of the combined wave will double…and also at some point during the overlap the two waves will cancel each other out. But the effect is on the amplitude. The effect is not on the frequency. You would need a change in the frequency in order to increase temperature, but when identical waves combine they do not change their frequency. This is why the waves from the secondary object only resonate and scatter…they can’t do anything to the frequency of the existing vibrations in the primary object.

    That’s the plane parallel scenario dealt with.

    Now to move to a steel shell around a sphere where the sphere has it’s own internal power source.

    If you agree that only net ENERGY can cause HEAT transfer, and providing that you also agree that the only object which experiences HEAT (and thus experiences a TEMPERATURE increase) is that object where, on it’s surface, Powerin > Powerout i.e. if the power received by an object is greater than the power emitted by that object, then the [positive] difference will be manifested as HEAT upon the surface of that object, and this HEAT will increase the TEMPERATURE of that object, then we can proceed as this the essence of the 2nd LoT.

    The model that we are now considering is slightly more complicated than the plane parallel model because of the distance between the outside of the sphere (say having radius 1m) and the inside surface of the shell (say having radius 2m): the surface areas of the two objects are not identical. I therefore suggest that it is more convenient to use power densities (with units of W/m2) rather than absolute power values, so we can say HEAT will be transferred across the [single] boundary between the two objects when PowerDensityin > PowerDensityout and that HEAT will be experienced only by that object where the net difference is positive.

    When the temperature of the sphere is Tsphere then, at the surface of the sphere, the PowerDensitysphere = sigma * Tsphere4

    When the temperature of the shell is Tshell then, at the surface of the shell, the PowerDensityshell = sigma * Tshell4

    Let's consider what happens at each surface;

    At the surface of the shell, all of the sphere's emissions are received by the shell. However, due the inverse square law, the PowerDensity of the sphere's own emissions are dissipated over the larger area of the shell (and on the dimensions provided we conveniently know that the surface area of the shell is four times that of the sphere). Nevertheless, if at the surface of the shell PowerDensityin > PowerDensityout then the shell will receive HEAT.

    At the surface of the sphere, due to the angle of view from the surface of the shell, not all of the shell's emissions are received by the sphere (some will radiate onto another part of the shell's own surface, again without transferring HEAT). Only if Rshell = Rsphere , will 100% of the shell's PowerDensity leaving the inside surface of the shell be received by the surface of the sphere. Nevertheless, if at the surface of the sphere, PowerDensityin > PowerDensityout then the sphere will receive HEAT.

    Hopefully, we can still agree on all of the above, because it's still 2nd LoT. If we do agree, then;

    If Tsphere is greater (warmer) than Tshell then HEAT may (depending upon the respective PowerDensity values at the inside surface of the shell) be transferred to the shell (and no HEAT will be transferred to the sphere). Conversely, if Tshell is greater (warmer) than Tsphere then HEAT may (depending upon the two respective PowerDensity values at the surface of the sphere) be transferred to the sphere (and no HEAT will be transferred to the shell).

    For a sphere with no internal power source of it's own, the concept of introducing a shell around the sphere actually does decrease the rate of cooling experienced by the sphere (than it would otherwise do as is dissipates it's ever decreasing ENERGY into a 0K environment) but unless the shell was warmer than the sphere at the point the shell was introduced, the sphere will never get hotter.

    For a sphere with it's own internal power source, the concept of introducing a shell around the sphere does not change the rate at which the sphere dissipates it's ENERGY to satisfy it’s Stefan-Boltzmann commitment i.e. the temperature of the shell does not impair the sphere from radiating it's ENERGY and so the TEMPERATURE of the sphere does not increase (unless the shell was warmer than the sphere at the point it was introduced - but even then, the increase in TEMPERATURE would be transient).

    The (false) argument that the introduction of the shell around the sphere prevents the sphere from radiating it's due power density of: sigma * T4 (and so gets warmer from it's own heat) appears to be derived from the erroneous belief that the net energy difference is calculated as the difference between PowerDensityin - minus zero (being the amount it would have received had the shell not been present). This can be shown to be a fallacy if we let the radius of the shell be diminished to it's minimum value i.e. the radius of the shell is reduced to be that of the sphere. In this scenario, the "restricted emissions" argument says that at thermal equilibrium, the PowerDensityshell = PowerDensitysphere and because the shell radiates this on both surfaces, the surface of the sphere also receives PowerDensityshell as HEAT. If this were indeed true, the Sphere would have it's own constant power source of Psphere plus that which receives from the shell (PowerDensityin minus zero), which is Pshell (which is also Psphere) i.e. this is 2*P. But the original model only generates 1 * P. The incorrect "restricted emissions" logic has resulted in the creation of energy (by a factor of two, no less) - something that the 1st LoT says is not possible.

    If you now substitute the sphere with internal power source for the Earth and it’s constant ENERGY from our sun and substitute the steel shell for greenhouse gases at the top of the atmosphere then you will now see that the whole radiative Greenhouse effect story has been mathematically busted – the Earth’s surface does not get hotter from back-radiation from the atmosphere.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] This is an absurd travesty of the actual physics. You would possibly benefit from detailed look at the physics at scienceofdoom assuming you want to understand the problem as opposed to trying to convince yourself that you are justified in opposing climate action.

  35. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    Daniel Bailey or SteveS:

    Given the scale of the graph, would the impacts of ENSO variations even be discernible? 

  36. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    In addition, incoming solar radiation is accounted for in the blue line. You need to click on the links and read them to understand what you're seeing.

  37. citizenschallenge at 02:03 AM on 23 November 2017
    Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    ".. a recent study..." How about some references to which study?

  38. Ocean acidification isn't serious

    [JH] Recommended supplemental reading:

    Ocean acidification: climate change's evil twin by Lars Bevanger, Deutsche Welle (DW), Nov 21, 2017

  39. What do Jellyfish teach us about climate change?

    It's too difficult to answer all comments at once. I'd like to invite my opponents to analyze together the data from two publications related to the main problem of our discussion: CO2 in the atmosphere and seawater acidity. Doug Mackle (OA is not OK, #14) shows a graph of pH versus depth in Pacific and Atlantic (Fig.13). In more recent article by Z.Ernest a.o. there is a similar graph pH vs. depth along with the graph of the dependence CO2 concentration (T CO2) in water on the depth (see below).

    Values of pH at water surface in both articles confirm the difference between Pacific and Atlantic. How to explain this difference if we assume that ocean acidity is determined by CO2 uniformly distributed in the atmosphere?

    Left and right graphs clearly show that significant difference between pH at zero depth in Atlantic and Pacific corresponds to almost equal values of T CO2 (how to explain?). It can be seen that increase of TCO2 from 2000 to 2350 (Pacific, depth from 0 to 500m) decreases pH from 7.82 to 7.3. So, increase in CO2 concentration by 17.5% leads to growth of [H+] of 3.3 times. The result can not be explained from the point of view of a chemist. I think that the analysis of these data allows to doubt the correctness of the theory that explains the ocean acidity only by the presence of CO2.

  40. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    Oceanic oscillations by definition cannot sustain a long term trend.

    You need to up your game to compete in this forum.

  41. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    Figure 1 is the first graph in this article - between paragraph 2 and pargraph 3

  42. Battered by extreme weather, Americans are more worried about climate change

    [PS] If Tom13 is trying to indicate that climate is not following natural forcings or that models fail to reproduce past variations,


    The graph in figure 1 asserts the warming attributable to natural forcings since circa 1860 has been flat.  That assertion would seem highly unlikely.  As previously noted, the blue line representing the natural forcings, do not include then AMo/PDO cycles, nor the El nino spikes, nor the increase in TSI (with the links previously attached), which has shown a general long term upward trend (albiet with a small down turn since the mid 1950's while still maintaining the general upward trend).

    Those well known factors are not incorporated in the blue line representing the natural forcings.  

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please provide the source for Figure 1 and a link to it.

  43. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Patrickjl,

    What Eclectic said x2.

    Chiefio restates questions as problems when the answers are well knows.  For example, he questions wether we know the ratio of C12/13 at midocean ridges.  Seems like a good question since the mid-ocean ridges are underwater.  Except Iceland is a midocean ridge with many active volcanoes so this ratio has been measured.  Undoubtedly scientists have also measured this ratio for other mid-ocean ridges.  

    This is not an issue of scientists not knowing the answers but Chiefio has made no effort to find the answers to the questions he asks.  There is probably a lot of Chiefio ignoring the answers when they are provided to him.

    It is easy to make any problem look hard if you ignore the answers scientists have found.

  44. The Libertarian Climate Conundrum

    Grypo/moderators, I thank you for the link to my blog at the bottom of your post, but note that the link has changed as I migrated hosts. The current link to the referenced post is: http://tokyotom.freecapitalists.org/2010/02/10/productive-libertarian-approach-climate-energy-environmental-issues/

  45. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    Patrickjl @3 , your chiefio.wordpress reference = a waste of time.

    It is a 2009 article, containing one or two thinly specious arguments [e.g. that recent forest clearing favoring C4-metabolism grasses which deal with carbon-13 slightly differently from C3 plants . . . thus contaminating/invalidating the standard C12/C13 ratio conclusions].

    Worse, the arguments are not quantified (i.e. are little more than handwaving).

    Worse still, they are accompanied by the Usual Suspects -— a grabbag of run-of-the-mill anti-science nonsense arguments, all long-debunked but living a zombie-like undead existence on Denialist websites.

    [ The author himself claims to be a frequent contributing author at WUWT.   My apologies, if that is taken as an Ad Hominem !   ;-)    ]

    All in all, chiefio-wordpress is a waste of readers' time.

    Sorry for the harsh review, Patrick.  "Chiefio" was a waste of your time, too.

  46. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #46

    Thanks, nigel. As Alley points out, we don't worry about these things because they are the most probable outcomes, but because they are not at all impossible, and would pose very great risks...low odds, perhaps, but very high stakes. We don't put our seatbelts on because we think it highly likely that we will get in a crash on that particular ride. But the possibly lethal consequences of not putting it on if that one and a ten-thousand chance happened to be on that ride make it a logical choice.

  47. CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration

    I find this one bit hard.  While I can accept what is written above, I come unstuck when comparing it all with what is written at: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/the-trouble-with-c12-c13-ratios/

    Is there any simple answer or is the complexity muddying the waters?

  48. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #46

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Antarctic glacier's rough belly exposed by Jonathan Amos, BBC News, Nov 20, 2017

  49. Video: Climate, Sea Level, and Superstorms

    These superstorms in the past appear many orders of magnitude greater than even worst case scenario of increasing hurricane intensity (which is bad enough). Yet these superstorms appear to have occured in period of CO2 concentrations similar to where we are heading.

    So assuming evidence for superstorms is convincing, is the current scientific modelling too conservative? Or has it missed some unusual weather / climate phenomenon? Could something cause radical regional ocean warming like a hot spot,  at just right time of year to cause incredibly intense storms in some locations? Maybe change in ocean currents. Because what else could it possibly be?

  50. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #46

    Just on this  rapid sea level rise issue.  We know that in distant past coming out of the last ice age, sea level rise has been very rapid in bursts of several metres over decades, so such things are not unprecedented. For example:

    www.scientificamerican.com/article/oceans-can-rise-in-sudden-bursts/

    The situation was different then, but its a thing that should make us think hard. It appears Antractic could follow similar pattern of fairly rapid melt leading to a couple of metres on decadal time scales as opposed to several centuries. It is unlikely to be as rapid as in the past, but could still be rapid enough to be a deadly serious concern.

    The important thing is to attach probability to this especially in public discussions and media. The probablity would be reasonably low, but the issue is still serious because of the implications, and risk level even with low probability.

    What has to be avoided is crazy media releases "sea level set to rise three metres over decades" without in depth qualification and probablities. Such scaremongering will not help credibility of climate community. Yet at the same time possibility of rapid rise needs to be made public, but carefully described in cool headed way.

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