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Comments 801 to 850:

  1. Climate-conscious conservatives try to make their voices heard

    Swampfox @1 & 2. You are right about that. Generally the way systems work in western democracies is you get a progessive reforming governmnet doing its thing for a few years and then a conservative governments gets elected, then back to a progressive governmnet in a cycle. And generally the conservative leaning governments have kept in place many of the progressive reforms, maybe cancelled some of the crazier ones. Its kind of worked ok. You had a consensus between conservatives and progessives over plenty of the important things,

    Occasionally you get a governmnet with an excellent balance of reform and restriant but that seems to be rare. Its more often a cyclcial progression of left and right leaning governmnets.

    IMHO the problem is in recent years newly elected conservative governmnets have been cancelling every policy of progressive governments they possibly can, and often it seems just out of spite and hatred. Theres often very little logic to what they do. Its become extremely tribal in America. I dont know how that gets fixed. Biden is trying but also faltering. 

  2. Climate-conscious conservatives try to make their voices heard

    Democrats, on the other hand, are revisionists.  They see improvement is always possible.  It is often said that Democrats might maintain a point of view reflected in the lyric in Johnny Cash's "Man in Black","...that things will never be right, I know...". Progressives are a group of generic Democrats that have named themselves "Progressives", and are often willing to make changes in most social, economic and political (even religious) systems with no special regard for the suitability of those changes...or even the need for change at all.  

    Between the two groups, the Republicans and the Democrats?  The trick might be to find a way to satisfy the "longing to change things with the longing to leave things the way they are."   But, finding that trick?  I've not the slighest idea.

  3. Climate-conscious conservatives try to make their voices heard

    Republicans shun the climate problem because they resist collectivist action. At bottom, Republicans believe "Man is and end in himself, not a means to the ends of others". Any human action that smacks of collectivism, like socialism, communism or fascism will always be rejected by people who identify as Republicans (generally). Republicans and their "individualism" can participate in fixing the climate problem if they don't feel like they are going to be swept away to a government gulag by Marxist/collectivist style coercion. People who identify as Democrats are always ready to manipulate the social fabric, whether it needs fixing or not. Republicans fear change. That's why there are often called Conservatives.

  4. Can genetically engineered seeds prevent a climate-driven food crisis?

    swampfox: I couldn't agree more.

    Comment on overpopulation brings forth instant abuse on most comments' columns - usually snidely asking whether the writer should be the first to drink the koolaid. ie. punishing the messenger.

    But it's hard to fathom why it appears taboo across the board when its OBVIOUSLY the fundamental problem.

    Not saying there's a solution apart from war, famine, flood and drought. Most of these are well under way without any deliberate "solutions".

    You can feel it.

  5. Sea level rise is decelerating

    Discussing sea level and global warming to appreciate fg. the trends one should study the whole process in historical time line:

  6. Can genetically engineered seeds prevent a climate-driven food crisis?


    Shortly after reqading your comment, I came across the following op-ed about the future of homo sapiens.  

    Humans Are Doomed to Go Extinct, Opinion by Henry Gee, Nature, Nov 30, 2021

    The lede for this article: Habitat degradation, low genetic variation and declining fertility are setting Homo sapiens up for collapse.

  7. How much has nuclear testing contributed to global warming?

    The contribution of nuclear testing to global warming should be analyzed not by the total energy released by nuclear explosions wich is of course negligible over the earth surface but rather by the impact of radioactive radiation lasting for decades in the strata especially in the ozone layer wich has a very destructive and complex effect. Please see new study here:

  8. Can genetically engineered seeds prevent a climate-driven food crisis?

    According to a recent chat on this site, 80 million more people were added to the planet in the past 365 days. Thus, yesterday, 218,800 more new people are walking the Earth, than on the day before yesterday... and another 218,800 will be added today. Not only are these carbon footprints being added to the GGE problem but each of these are consumption and destruction machines acting against a variety of ecological benefits (clean water, reforestation, carbon sequestration, AMOCs, LUCs, cryosphere change,  etc.) Who will come forth to author an expansive essay, similar to the one above, that will remedy the population of humans problem and do so as comprehensively as the above essay has for seeds?

  9. Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete

    Three years ago I published a blog post sharing my thoughts about Discussing climate change on the net which might come in handy.

  10. Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete

    Nigel - Ha! Yes, believe me, it is very frustrating for me when there's an Uncle Pete around. I did enjoy reading your post! Thank you. 

  11. Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete

    Robin, I agree there is no point ruining a family gathering by debating climate change with Uncle Pete, and its best to change the subject. Although I find it takes me an effort of will to do this. I was silently thinking stick a sock in his mouth and sit him in a corner of the room and shove a bottle of whisky in his hand to keep him amused. I know we cant really do this but it was an interesting, satisfying thought.

    However what do we do when uncle Pete appears on websites like this? This is more perplexing because he (or she) can sway impressionable people following the discussion that are mildly sceptical. There seems to be a school of thought that says ignore Uncle Petes when they rear their ugly heads in public forums. Engaging with them draws attention to them so its thought. Pretend they don't exist. In my observation climate scientists have mostly done this (this website excepted) but this strategy has obviously not stopped Uncle Pete causing havoc.

    Personally I think its better to rebut their claims but without getting too much into an extended one on one debate. If possible dont even use their name. You are really not trying to convince or inform Uncle Pete, but other people involved in the discussion or reading it.

    Some people directly engage Uncle Pete partly just to ridicule them and for entertainment. I confess I've sometimes done this myself. But this is a risky strategy because it can alienate people who dont like such harsh treatment and stong language.

    Uncle Petes are very frustrating. I wish they would just  STFU.

  12. Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete

    Typo correction: my local paper is the "Daily Inter Lake"

    Editorial reference if you are interested:

  13. Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete

    This article has great information but as far as Uncle Pete goes, smile, nod, and quickly change the topic. According to the Yale program on Climate Communicatio, only 8% of Americans are "Uncle Petes". Nothing can change their mind so save yourself the frustration and keep your gathering pleasant.

    Instead be thankful for the 92% of people you can work with to learn about climate change and get going on implementing solutions.  

    Here's a quote from an editorial in my local paper, The Dai Inter Lake, published today (Thanksgiving 2021):

    "When we say our blessings at Thanksgiving dinner this year, may our thoughts be for the greater good and our words be carefully parsed for a community and, for that matter, a world that so desperately needs our love, and may the gratitude in our hearts shine toward finding solutions … and being part of them."

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  14. Global CO2 emissions have been flat for a decade, new data reveals

    pattimer @1,

    The Global Carbon Project correction to FF+LUC anthropogenic CO2 emissions over the last decade is actually very minor. I compared the before-&-after numbers when first published and for that period (from memory) OLS showed they changed from +75Mt(C)/yr to +25Mt(C)/yr. (The increase in emissions had been running at about +200Mt/yr through the preceding two decades.) So an already quite-flat emissions rate through the last decade is revised somewhat more flat. Given the wobbles in the draw-down of emissions our into the biosphere, the calculation of Af is a long-term thing. (It averages 44.3% 1959-2020 with a 2sd variation of +/-25.9%.) So the impact of the adjustment on Af is insignificant. For 2019 the single year figure previously 48.7% becomes 49.1%.

    Af will get interesting when we get round to reducing our collective CO2 emissions. The draw-down of CO2 is not a single-year-emissions thing as suggested by the Af but the draw-down of our accumulated CO2 emissions over the decades (& eventually centuries). Thus the 2.99Gt(C) ocean draw-down and 2.92Gt(C) biosphere draw-down estimated by GCP for 2020 would hardily have budged if we had halved emissions in 2020. But if emissions had halved from 10.38Gt(C) to to 5.19Gt(C), the atmospheric levels would have dropped and Af would have turned negative.

  15. Global CO2 emissions have been flat for a decade, new data reveals

    Ian, the atmospheric fraction of CO2 remaining after sinks do their thing has held steady at 45% for a very long time.  See Friedlingstein et al 2021 for details.

  16. Global CO2 emissions have been flat for a decade, new data reveals

    I had been thinking the same thing. Using data from wood for trees the rise in CO2 during the period 2000 to 2010 is 2.04 ppm /year. The rise from 2010 to present is 2.45 ppm /year, an increase of 20%. Why the discrepancy with the data on CO2 released from burning of fossil fuels?

    There are a number of possible reasons. Firstly, the countries may be fudging their CO2 figures. Secondly, another source of CO2 is becoming significant e.g. CO2 from forest fires or melting permafrost. Thirdly, sinks are losing their effectiveness in removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

    Any comments?

  17. Global CO2 emissions have been flat for a decade, new data reveals

    Interesting article. And hello everyone at Skeptical Science. It's been a long time since I have been in touch. 


    I have a question. 

    If CO2 emissions have been less than previously thought in the past from fossil fuels and land emissions but the atmospheric CO2 is increasing just precisely as we measure it then does this not mean that very worryingly the air borne fraction must be increasing. If so positive carbon feedbacks are coming earlier than we feared? OR Have I missed something? 

  18. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    Recommended supplementary reading:

    Climate Pledges Still Not Enough to Keep Warming Below 2-Degree Limit

    Current national targets to cut emissions could result in nearly 3 degrees C of warming

    by Chelsea Harvey, E&E News/Scientific American, Nov 23, 2021 

  19. How will carbon pricing impact inflation?

    We are are in a situation where evidence points to having to change our old ways.

    We are no longer in the 1880's where advancement of society depending on using Fossil Fuels.

    We are beyond that and now yes it would be equitable to help those in society who may be effected.

    However as the article points out those in the lower income level actually benifit with lower energy prices useing Renewable Energy.

    What is not to like?

  20. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    Thank's plincoln24. The En-ROADS simulator is very useful. I have seen it before.  Heres the link to it.

    But notice it doesn't just allow variables like emissions and types of energy source to be altered. It also allows population and economic growth to be altered. Its in effect a practical application  of I = PAT that I posted above.

  21. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    Comment number 5 is the most useful comment. In some population will always be the cause of every environmental problem. You can't get around that. But there exists ways where people can shift to sustainable living given the current population size. You can see this in En-ROADS for example . If you like you can do a search in YouTube for an explanation of how to use En-ROADS (a world economy and climate model developed by MIT). The UN projections in En-ROADS show that the most likely population projection is one that peaks midcentury and begins to fall.

  22. One Planet Only Forever at 14:22 PM on 18 November 2021
    Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?


    There are reports indicating that total population levels of 12 Billion could live decently, but admittedly without people living in the ways that the wealthier people do today. But it would undeniably be easier for all humans to live as sustainable parts of the robust diversity of life on this planet if there are fewer humans.

    The population challenge has a solution that is being worked on and can be improved. The report in The Lancet indicates a total global population of under 7 Billion by 2100 (lower than the current total population) if the SGDs are achieved. Acknowledging that the SDGs are the solution is essential. By all means provide legitimate improvements of any specific aspect of the SDGs or of the understanding presented in the 2020 Human Development Report. Better is Better.

    And aligned with nigelj's comment regarding Impacts=PxAxT is the fact that it is important, and possible, to solve the poverty problem by achieving the SDGs without harmful technological developments that unsustainably produce perceptions of superiority or affluence.

    Stating "Population is the problem" is a waste of time.

    The problem has less to do with the total population and far more to do with the insatiable desire for "Growth of GDP", or any other harmfully unsustainably obtained perception of advancement or superiority. Without sustainably solving that problem even 1 billion humans (or 500 million) will be unsustainable on this planet.

    The people perceived to be the highest status need to be the ones living less harmfully, more sustainably, not the backwards way things have been perceived through human history. The perception that people who are more technologically advanced and more willing to benefit from harmful activity are "Superior" has repeatedly failed to produce sustainable improvements.

    The European colonizers ruinously spreading their harmful insatiable desires for "More" around the planet is potentially the most harmful human development, along with the related misleading marketing that makes people believe it was "beneficial for the future of humanity". It is possible to understand, from the evidence, that there was no "Population problem" in Turtle Island (N. America) before the insatiable harmful Europeans over-flowing out of Europe arrived.

    The sustainable improvements have developed through the hard work of people who recognised how harmful things had become and succeeded in the battle against misleading marketing that glorified harmful unsustainable developments.

  23. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    I think discussions of the root cause of environmental problems tend to go around in circles because perhaps there is no single root cause. Its more of a related set of causes. There is a simple formula on wikipedia as follows: "I = (PAT) is the mathematical notation of a formula put forward to describe the impact of human activity on the environment."

    I = P × A x T

    "The expression equates human impact on the environment to a function of three factors: population (P), affluence (A) and technology (T). It is similar in form to the Kaya identity which applies specifically to emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide."

  24. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    OPOF >>In spite of it being possible to better understand the issues, the waste-of-time diversionary claim that "Population is the problem" continues to persistently be brought up.<<

    Yes, it's a "waste of time" but it is still THE problem whether we like it or not.

    I certainly agree that the assumption that capitalism relies on constant growth is doomed to failure. The model has definitely allowed the planet to achieve what it has - standard of living for billions, moon landings, nuclear weapons and the rest - by use of FFs in the main. Obviously exponential growth of GDP as well as population is unsustainable.

    It is interesting to look at the widely varying estimates of what population the planet can sustain indefinitely - I've never seen one that is remotely close to the projected 10 - 11Bn even assuming the same percentage are living well below the poverty line.

  25. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    nigelj >>Agree that there is no answer to the population problem, at least in the short to medium term.<<

    I agree with you. However that's not a valid reason for not bringing it up - it's THE problem.

    Per capita consumption being addressed - and how's THAT going? - is all very well but running up the "down" escalator slower than it's travelling will never get you anywhere.

    Individual decisions to cut consumption won't do much: government laws will result in them being voted out - and it's all the result of overpopulation. (Edited - I initially typed "overCopulation" although that's possibly more relevant...)

    I really think the next generation is screwed. I wish it wasn't, but there.

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 03:51 AM on 18 November 2021
    Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    This is going to be blunt but not brief, and it goes beyond the "Climate Science" focus of SkS. But in needs to be all of that to appropriately respond to what has been brought up in comments @1 through @4 (and has repeatedly been unjustifiably been brought up in comments, not just on SkS).

    Most Bluntly: The growth in GDP per capita is the problem. Or, more correctly, the harmful unsustainable and inequitable ways that GDP is increased are the problem - regarding more matters that matter than the climate change harm being done by increasing GDP.

    GDP has increased faster than the global population, and yet extreme poverty persists, and poverty continues to exist in the nations that are believed to be "very advanced - based on GDP or GNP per capita" (research that point any way you wish - it is fairly irrefutable - part of the story is presented by Worldometer regarding GDP which includes a table of GDP and population data since 1961).

    A major part of the problem is the persistence of the incorrect belief that GDP is an appropriate way to measure "advancement". And it is the higher-consuming and higher-impacting portion of the population who most insist on believing that nonsense claim. Read the 2020 Human Development Report to better understand that point, and so much more.

    In spite of it being possible to better understand the issues, the waste-of-time diversionary claim that "Population is the problem" continues to persistently be brought up.

    Robust confidence that "population growth" is "the problem" is necessary in some minds. Otherwise, the way the highest consuming and impacting portion of the population has to be admitted to be "the major problem". And it also has to be admitted that the highest impacting and consuming portion of the population actually have to give up the harmful aspects of their over-developed ways of living "before a cheaper and easier way to enjoy what they harmfully enjoy is developed" - especially since economic  developments (profit and popularity motivated) that are initially thought to be improvements often end up being discovered to have harmful consequences, especially technological developments. And when those harmful developments are popular and profitable they are very hard to limit and it is hard to get all the beneficiaries of the harmful unsustainable activity to pay to amend the harm done.

    The population problem is being solved, particularly by the pursuit of important objectives like the Sustainable Development Goals. I have referred to the recent report in The Lancet on several occasions. And Evan included it in the "The Keeling Curve - Part III" here on SkS. Read the report in The Lancet and you will learn that achieving the SDGs is expected to dramatically reduce the global population relative to not achieving those objectives.

    Anyone concerned about "The Population Problem" should promote the understanding that their leadership needs to be pushed to do even more to help achieve and improve on the Sustainable Development Goals, even if that achievement reduces perceptions of superiority that some people harmfully undeservedly developed. And the achievement of the SDGs is further justified because it also addresses "the problems of human impacts exceeding the safe limits of the Planetary Boundaries".

  27. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    Agree that there is no answer to the population problem, at least in the short to medium term. You cannot line people up and shoot them. Which is why I dont waste column inches on the problem. Instead its more useful to promote renewables which does have a future and is viable. Doh!

    We just have to hope the low fertility rates in the developed world spread to all countries eventually. I think they probably will. I hope so anyway.

  28. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    swampfoxh: Beat me to it.

    Once again only passing references to population: it appears to be a taboo to even mention it and even then it's a "too hard to solve" problem so is just swept under the carpet.

    Meanwhile, while I've been typing that sentence and correcting a typo another 30 lifetime comsumers have entered the food chain.

    Population numbers are the fundamental cause of almost all the planet's problems, from migration through water access to climate warmingThe only countries that have attempted even temporary limits have been China (One child policy) and India (a free transistor policy) so far as I know.

    There is, frankly, no answer to this.

    If you've ever wondered why we've never seen evidence of aliens from the trillions of planets out there it could well be that civilisations evolve to an industrial revolution and it kills them in three or four hundred years.

  29. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    "...the other three analyses..."

  30. Do COP26 promises keep global warming below 2C?

    And so that's pretty much that. Last week, I learned that the annual net increase in global population is about 80 million (births v. deaths) and early this week I learned that Bolsonaro of Brazil pledge to stop deforestation after all the trees have been cut down in the Amazon. COP26 sidestepped, entirely, the issues of Animal Agriculture's negative impacts on 10 important ecological problems, phytoplankton continue their march toward extinction, and China and India, with the US not far behind, led the way toward (but not "to") Net Zero by selecting a much longer timeframe for achieving any meaningful reductions in GGEs. This leads me to believe that the IPCC numbers in the graph above are about on target, the other four analyses being best left for comment by Greta.

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 08:36 AM on 16 November 2021
    The Keeling Curve: Part III


    This presentation of the problem is very helpful.

    It is undeniable that to avoid imposing unacceptably harmful climate change impacts on future generations NET will be required even if it is not "profitable or popular". The requirement for NET to be implemented without being popular or profitable helps to clarify the understanding of what is required for the future of humanity to be protected from harm done by actions of previous generations. Without systemic leadership change the implemented NET is likely to be inadequate, and potentially harmful rather than helpful. Also, developing a sustainable improving future can be understood to require systemic changes that reduce BAR. Reducing BAR will reduce the potential risks of implementing larger amounts of technological NET, or the even riskier implementation of other artificial technological methods that are claimed to solve the ghg global warming impact problem.

    This presentation also helps clarify how challenging it is to get global leadership to collectively act to responsibly and fairly limit global warming impacts and make amends for harm done. It is likely that the wealthy and powerful portion of the population in the developing world, there almost always are some very wealthy people in the developing nations or benefiting from actions in developing nations, will aspire to be more like the wealthy and powerful in the USA, Canada, and Australia (high per-capita impacting hide-outs for the climate impact opportunists) rather than aspiring to be more like the better examples set by the wealthy and powerful in some, but not all, parts of Europe.

    It is also important to be aware that a review of the historical evidence of human “advancement” leads to understanding that harmful pursuits of wealth and power have a history of Winning and Powerfully resisting being corrected. And the harmful winners can temporarily regionally win-back the power to undo justified helpful corrections that reduced their undeserved wealth and power. Those people have been winning the ability to harmfully compromise leadership in many nations, primarily with misleading marketing, especially through misleading marketing attacks on people who would help the general population better understand how harmful some of the wealthy and powerful actually are. As a result the historical trend line may even be an optimistic presentation of future impacts. Significant sustainable systemic leadership changes can be understood to need to occur that the evidence of history indicates have not yet been sustainably achieved in any wealthy powerful region.

    It is accurate to say that the developed attitudes in the current global set of governing systems are accurately described by the statement that "There is nothing in our experience to suggest that the world, as a whole, will accept stagnating standards of living. Developed countries want to consume more, developing countries want to raise their populations out of poverty." An extension of that understanding is that harm being done in pursuit of perceptions of improved living will be dismissed, discounted, or excused. A more insidious point is that many Developed countries have a history of not meaningfully sustainably reducing poverty within their population and do even less to help sustainably reduce poverty elsewhere. As your World Bank sourced chart indicates, global GDP has increased faster than global population. But, in spite of the increasing wealth, extreme poverty and tragic failures to avert horrific suffering by the poor continues to happen (the statistical measure of extreme poverty is being reduced, but tragic extreme poverty still occurs). And there are plenty of presentations of history showing the persistence of tragic poverty is a “constant throughout Greek - Roman - European conquest and colonization history” in spite of GDP rising faster than population population (read the 2020 Human Development Report to appreciate the flaw of using GDP as a measure of advancement).

    A good explanation for the “persistence of poverty in spite of increasing affluence” is that solving the poverty problem is “not profitable, or necessary, for the wealthy and powerful”. A similar explanation applies to the lack of action on climate change impacts. And action to sustainably solve the poverty and climate impact problem can easily be made unpopular among the less wealthy and less powerful through the appeals of misleading marketing tempting people to want more for themselves and see Others as the problem instead of understanding that the problem is the harmful members of the wealthy and powerful (and history is full of examples of the more helpful among the wealthy and powerful being unjustly, but very successfully, targeted for attack).

    Leadership action needs to systemically sustainably shift away from the history of harmfully compromised leadership actions that appease undeserving wealthy and powerful interests. Without the systemic change of leadership behaviour to penalize the harmful among the wealthy and powerful the indicated required actions are optimistic (i.e. less likely to happen). What is more likely to happen is a continued disregard for the harm done to the future generations, or the implementation of technological actions that are claimed to be solutions but are likely to be more harmful and less helpful than they are claimed to be (like many economic developments are discovered to be, especially new technological developments, especially if they get to be implemented “at scale” before an in-depth understanding of the consequences is developed).

    Achieving a sustainable improving future for humanity will require systemic change, especially the wealthier and more powerful portion of the global population reducing their level of consumption, reducing how harmful the consumption associated with their ways of living are, and giving up some level of perception of superiority relative to the less fortunate by acting to sustainably improve the lives of the less fortunate (i.e. the more fortunate helping the less fortunate and foregoing opportunities to obtain more personal benefits). That systemic change will reduce BAR. It will also reduce other harmful results, not just reduce the climate change impacts.

    A critical review of history indicates that institutions and related beliefs like the UN, the free market, and democracy were developed in the hopes of limiting the harm done by wealthy powerful people (and the IPCC and SDGs are even newer attempts to limit the harm done by unethical competitors for perceptions of superiority relative to others). Those developments are the most recent steps of the many steps of advancement of civilization. Each step was implemented as a result of it becoming undeniable that wealthy and powerful people competing for impressions of superiority relative to others produce harmful results. Without diligent Ethical Governing the less ethical people harmfully win unsustainable impressions of progress and prosperity for their misguiding leaders and misled followers. And those winning groups powerfully resist learning about the need to have their harmfully developed impressions of superiority and “Opportunity for More – the vicious pursuit of Growth (including GDP growth)” limited.

    Based on the evidence of what happened at COP26 this can be understood to have played out at COP26. The rational justified perspectives of the less fortunate who have not significantly contributed to the problem but suffer significant consequences from the problem, and would only contribute if they “choose to improve their lives in the ways the wealthier and more powerful did”, the nations with leadership that is less “captured” by wealthy and powerful people, were essentially dismissed. And the last minute power-play by India can be seen to be the wealthy and powerful in that nation abusing the perception that a “developing nation” like India should obtain financial aid and economic competitive advantage at the expense of the perceived to be more developed nations (but not pushing for benefits for the less powerful nations who are more harmed by what is going on). And the more developed nations that have leadership more captured by harmful wealthy and powerful people can be expected to have their general population, rather than their wealthy and powerful, pay whatever price is required. And it is likely that the poorest in those "helping" nations will suffer most by having the amount of assistance they obtain reduced rather than having the wealthy of the nation lose status (like the way the wealthy and powerful in France attempted to put a price on carbon without providing improved assistance to the less fortunate).

  32. Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

    I, too, am a farmer. I once managed a cattle operation on 1,500 acres deeded and 15,000 acres of BLM in Colorado, running 600 cow/calf units. I became severely disappointed in the ecological devastation wrought by cattle on that expansive ranch. I became interested in the climate science in 2008 and have become involved in the peer review of a recently finished new study on the impact of Animal Agriculture. This study will probably be published this coming spring. Its results cover not only GGEs, but also a dozen other eco-topics negatively influenced by Animal Agriculture. It's a frightening picture. The use of fossil fuels in plant and animal agriculture show to be a very minor issue, compared to other issues, in this study. Stay in touch here and I will see to it that Skep/Sci gets a copy on the day of pub.

  33. Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

    swampfoxh: I am a farmer and have some understanding of agriculture's impact on emissions. There is a wide variation in percentage attribution among different sources. Certainly ag is responsible for significant methane and nitrous oxide emissions. But included in ag's overall emissions is the burning of fossil fuels in tractors, trucking, crop drying, etc. If we can use renewable electricity and alternative fuels like hydrogen to power equipment and dry crops, then agriculture's emissions become a smaller part of the problem.

  34. Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

    Clever, entertaining, cute presenter with charming English "accent"... But targeting the lesser villian. It could be said that fossils fuels remain the whipping boy in order to crush the increasing evidence that agriculture, both plant and animal, will be able to  cruise through the breach of the thick, smoking line of causality. Continuing to whack at the fossil fuel companies, "those mean old Capitalist running dogs" grants pleasure equivalent to a sensamillia joint, but after the high, the agriculture industry, mostly the animal portion, still owns responsibility for 33% of an aggregated ten important categories of adverse ecological damage. But, who can blame farmers? For anything? Both the farmer and the oil executive are merely providing a product that everybody wants, and doing so in a form practically everybody is willing to put up with. We have closely scrutinized fossil fuels for their single contribution to global warming, let's apply the same scrutiny to the multiple negative contributions  agriculture makes to an increasingly dangerous  change in the climate.

  35. Supreme Court to weigh EPA authority to regulate greenhouse pollutants

    Perhaps we should consider a dialog that lays aside the greenhouse gas emissions for awhile and turn some attention to the stresses on the ecosystem from desertification, deforestation, eutrophication, habitat distruction, species extinction, unsustainable fresh water use, refuse disposal and various unhelpful land use conversions. Animal Agriculture was not a serious topic at COP26, but it should have been.

    My thanks to the monitor for clarifying the legal definition of greenhouse gases.

  36. Honest Government Ad | Net Zero by 2050 (feat. Greta Thunberg)

    Says to all and is fun about it!

  37. The Keeling Curve: Part III


    You work is certainly most useful if we could convince polymakers to employ it. Sadly, I've not seen much movement. As to your population numbers, I've not looked back at prior data. Your number is nearly twice mine, so I concede to error. Another twelve years of population growth, placing another billion humans on Earth, will be most painful. "See you around".



  38. CO2 lags temperature

    Yoshi @635,

    I fear you misinterpret the 90% figure. As described by Skakun et al (2012) (& discussed in this SkS post), the 90% is not the percentage of warming coming out of an ice age that is caused by CO2. It is the percentage when increases in CO2 occur prior to increases in global temperature.

    The actual post-ice-age warming resulting from increased CO2 is a portion of the GHG warming (which also includes methane). The GHG warming is given as 37% of the total in this CarbonBrief explainer. (The remainder is given as 50% ice albedo & 13% dust & aerosols.) The actual CO2 forcing is about 2.5Wm^-2.

    The cooling of the world that leads to a glacial maximum is much slower than the warming of the world that leads to an interglacial. The cooling begins with increased albedo in high northern latitudes as they lose sunlight through the orbital wobbles.

    The warming is quicker because it takes less time to melt down an ice sheet than it does to build it up. As with the warming, CO2 reacts to this cooling and increases the effect.

  39. CO2 lags temperature

    article: CO2 lags temperature - what does it mean? LINK
    "This positive feedback is necessary to trigger the shifts between glacials and interglacials as the effect of orbital changes is too weak to cause such variation.
    While the orbital cycles triggered the initial warming, overall, more than 90% of the glacial-interglacial warming occured after that atmospheric CO2 increase"
    - Orbital changes alone are too weak to cause such variation.
    - 90% of the glacial-interglacial warming occured after that atmospheric CO2 increase
    Question: What caused the cooling? Certainly not orbital changes, since they are too weak as pointed out above.
    With CO2 causing 90% of the warming and, at the end of the warming trend the atmosphere having very elevated levels of CO2, we should have a runaway warming trend that is unstoppable, but clearly that was not the case as the next ice age approached.
    There seems to be a serious logical flaw in the argumentation of that article.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened and activated link.

  40. Supreme Court to weigh EPA authority to regulate greenhouse pollutants

    Swampfox, anthropogenic climate change especially at the upper end of projections is modelled to increase the mortality rate especially in tropical countries. But anthropogenic climate change is unlikely to lead to half or all  of humanity going extinct. I dont know of any peer revewied science claiming things like that. Its hard to see how warming in cold countries would somehow lead to massive levels of human extinction in those countries. Its easy to see a problem in tropical countries. Impacts of climate change on agriculture globally are modelled to be very serious but fall far short of extinction level events. From what Ive read.

    However climate change is modelled to cause many plant and animal species to go extinct because they wont be able to adapt fast enough. So you better hope technology can save us from climate change because its looking like the only viable solution all things considered. You better rethink some of your ideas.

  41. It's the sun


    Diagram showing the monthly fluctuations in total global cloud cover since July 1983. During the observation period, the total amount of clouds fluctuated from about 69 percent in 1987 to about 64 percent in 2000. The annual variation in cloud cover follows the annual variation in atmospheric water vapor content, which presumably reflects the asymmetrical distribution of land and ocean on planet Earth.


    Within the still short period of satellite cloud cover observations, global cloud cover reached a maximum of about 69 percent in 1987 and a minimum of about 64 percent in 2000 (see diagram above), a decrease of about 5 percent. This decrease corresponds roughly to a net change in radiation of around 0.9 W / m2 within a period of only 13 years, which can be compared with the total net change estimated by the IPCC 2007 report from 1750 to 2006 of 1.6 W / m2 for all climate drivers including greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning(cooresponds to your mentioned 2,5-3W/m² in 2021). These observations leave little doubt that cloud cover variations can have a profound impact on global climate and meteorology on almost every time scale considered.

    The total reflectance (albedo) of the planet earth is about 30 percent, which means that about 30 percent of the incident short-wave solar radiation is reflected back into space. If all the clouds were removed, the global albedo would drop to around 15 percent and the short-wave energy available to warm the planet's surface would increase from 239 W / m2 to 288 W / m2 (Hartmann 1994). However, long-wave radiation would also be affected, which emits 266 W / m2 into space compared to the current 234 W / m2 (Hartmann 1994). The net effect of removing all clouds would therefore still be an increase in net radiation of around 17 W / m2. So the global cloud cover has a significant overall cooling effect on the planet, although the net effect of high and low clouds is opposite.

    HK: - "but also through its warming effect through its strong greenhouse effect, which is the most important of all positive (reinforcing) feedbacks on a global level."

    Wild, M., Hakuba, M.Z., Folini, D. et al. The cloud-free global energy balance and inferred cloud radiative effects: an assessment based on direct observations and climate models. Clim Dyn 52, 4787-4812 (2019).
    According to the current status, the net radiation effect of clouds is -19W / m² (Wild 2019) and corresponds very well with + 0.9W / m² per 5% less cloud cover.


    High levels of global cloud cover are associated with low global temperatures, demonstrating the cooling effect of clouds.                        A simple linear fit model suggests that a 1 percent increase in global cloud cover corresponds to a global temperature decrease                        of about 0.07 ° C.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] You are again off-topic for this post.  Your entire argument revolves around clouds, so if you're going to prosecute that agenda, please take it here (after reading the post and all of the comments in the discussion thread):


    [BL] The user cph has been confirmed as a sock puppet of the previously-banned user coolmaster. Until the admins can delete the account of cph, any further posts by cph wll be deleted as soon as moderators find them. Please do not respond to any comments you come across.


  42. The Keeling Curve: Part III

    swampfoxh My goal is to define alternative paths, from doing nothing to being very aggressive (albeit complicated), and then encouraging people to use the evolution of the Keeling Curve as a check on which path we are following.

    As for population, using this data on Worldometers, whether I use a 50-year period from 1970-2020, a 10-year period from 2010-2020, or a 1-year period from 2019-2020, I come up with a net increase of about 80 million people/yr. What data set are you using?


  43. Supreme Court to weigh EPA authority to regulate greenhouse pollutants

    Further, a 3 to 5 centigrade increase in average surface temperature will probably extinctify much, if not most of the human race. This would be a good thing since "anthropogenic" is the sole cause of short to medium term climate change (Milankovich Cycles ignored). A mass human extinction event would "save" the planet because it would save the plant and animal organisms that seem to have helped make the Earth livable in the first place. When one looks back some 8,000 years, it's clear that only humans have fostered the slow changes that have brought the planet to its "boiling" point. Even until the dawn of the 19th Century, the Anthropogenesees harmed the planet very little. But now, reckless indifference has technology and courts will not save us.

  44. Supreme Court to weigh EPA authority to regulate greenhouse pollutants

    Calling CO2 a "pollutant" is a stretch beyond all stretches. She uses the term, "other pollutants" and copollutants which clearly shows she believes CO2 belongs in the family of pollutants. The term "greenhouse gases" must clearly include 02 and N and Argon, etc, since the entire composition of the atmosphere is a sort of "balanced" greenhouse gas that provides a "heated" (greenhouse) atmosphere supporting a vast array of living organisms. Stunningly, we have to spend time and resources manipulating our environment rather than accepting what all other Earth organisms accept: All others accept the planet in which they find themselves.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Although it has some very important and beneficial effects, CO2 meets the legal and encyclopedic definitions of a "pollutant", and human CO2 emissions pose a threat to public health and welfare. 

    The term “air pollutant” means any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive (including source material, special nuclear material, and byproduct material) substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air.”

    Legally in the USA, CO2 is thus an air pollutant which may be regulated if it may endangers public health or welfare.
    EPA Link
    EPA Archive Link

    O2, N and Argon are not greenhouse gases, lacking the triatomic/polyatomic structure needed to store the requisite vibrational energy that greenhouse gases do.

    Please take further discussion of CO2 being a pollutant or not to this thread:

  45. The Keeling Curve: Part III

    I have a different number reflecting the annual net (births v. deaths) addition of humans to planet Earth...44 million. Evan's number is 80 million. Can anyone close the gap between our numbers? Thanks.

  46. The Keeling Curve: Part III

    This is far too complex to ever be achieved. Why do we bother with this? There are only two main drivers of a change in climate that endangers survival of the human race: human overpopulation and animal agriculture. Neither will ever be targeted because both require draconian remedies, not much unlike the remedy described above. But, these do not have to be targeted because their bad effects will come to pass anyway. After that, the planet will adjust itself to a half billion people eating plants, those same people living under the strict prohibition of further procreation, all the while  conforming to the final end of animal agriculture.

  47. It's the sun

    My point in #1292 was that the 0.5 W/m2 of forcing from clouds and snow/ice is small compared to the overall net forcing over the last 150 years or so and that the albedo change brought up by you is at least partly a direct consequence of the warming, i.e., one of the positive feedbacks.

    However, I will admit that clouds and humidity are complex and can be influenced by other factors in addition to the direct result of man-made greenhouse gases. Desertification and deforestation in general and especially cutting down tropical rainforests can have a profound impact on the local hydrological cycle, changing humidity, cloud cover, rainfall and run-off and thus have an impact on the local temperature as well. So yes, man-made climate change isn't only about the greenhouse effect and the warming caused by it, but it's definitely the most important part of it on a global scale.
    It's also worth noting that even if the relative humidity seems to have decreased somewhat for the reasons explained here, the absolute or specific humidity has in fact increased, just as expected in a warming world.

    Specific humidity


    Water has an impact on the temperature not only via its removal of latent heat through evaporation – which has a local cooling impact – but also through its warming impact via its strong greenhouse effect, which is the most important of all the positive (amplifying) feedbacks on a global scale.

  48. It's the sun

    HK@1292 - "BTW, if clouds and snow/ice changed by themselves and not as a feedback to warming caused by GHGs, we wouldn't get a cooling stratosphere..."

    --- I did not understand your last sentence. I am of the opinion that, for example, a changed cloud albedo cannot be explained by a rise in temperature alone. Changes and anomalies in global mean cloud cover can also be caused by fewer (sulfate) aerosols or expanding deserts (dry regions become drier).

    Timeseries for evapotranspiration (top), precipitation (second from top), discharge (second from bottom) and change in ground water storage (bottom) over 2003-19.

    Evaporation increases by + 2.3 mm / year, which is not fully compensated for by increased precipitation of + 1 mm / year. A decreasing runoff through the rivers of -1.01 mm / year and a falling groundwater level of -0.75 mm / year quantify the drainage of the continents. This drainage (through drained bogs, wetlands, groundwater, aquifers, canalization of rivers and a constantly growing sealing of urban areas) is just as man-made as the CO² emissions, rising temperatures and the resulting higher evaporation. Too little H²O in desert regions and the earth's atmosphere, which in summer extend through droughts up to the Arctic Circle, are a temperature driver. Too much CO² is just as warming as too little H²O. Less evapotranspiration -> less cloud albedo -> higher incoming radiation energy and record temperatures on the earth's surface -> even faster drying out with even higher temperatures - imho, similar to the ice-snow albedo, form a vicious circle.

    The authors estimate a "statistically significant" increase in evapotranspiration of around 10% above the long-term mean (corresponds to a temperature increase over land areas of ~ + 1.44 ° C). During the same period, precipitation only increased by 3% and global river runoff decreased by 6%.


    What is noticeable here is a simultaneous decrease in relative humidity and cloudiness, which certainly correlates with a general increase in the number of hours of sunshine.

    time series sunshine hours germany 1951-2020


    Global time series of annual average relative humidity for the land (green line), ocean (blue) and global average (dark blue), relative to 1981-2010.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] The user cph has been confirmed as a sock puppet of the previously-banned user coolmaster. Until the admins can delete the account of cph, any further posts by cph wll be deleted as soon as moderators find them. Please do not respond to any comments you come across.

  49. Tiny leaks, big impacts: New research points to urban indoor methane leaks

    Never mind, just found this recent overview:

    Global methane emissions from the human body: Past, present and future

  50. Tiny leaks, big impacts: New research points to urban indoor methane leaks

    Interesting point Ian. Do you know of a study that has estimated human methane emissions?

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