What is the role of the ocean’s abyss in global warming?1
I’ve already posted on a study published in Nature Climate change that shows that the amount of extra global warming related heat in the Southern Oceans is greater than previously thought. There is another paper in the same journal by Llovel et al, “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade.” This paper verifies previous research that the oceans absorb a lot of the excess heat, but looks specifically at the ocean below 2,000 meters, which the paper referrs to in places as “deep” but that we should probably call “abyssal.”1 The paper concludes that the abyss is not warming. This is bad news, because if it was warming the total effects of global warming on the surface would be potentially less, or at least, stretched out over a longer period of time. But, it is not unexpected news. We already suspected that the abyssal ocean does not absorb much of the surface heat, while the shallower ocean absorbs quite a bit.
Research done prior to 2012 (e.g. Hansen et al 2011) parceled out the energy imbalance the Earth experiences from anthropogenic global warming. The extra heat caused by AGW from 2004 to 2010 was divided among the upper ocean (71%), the deeep ocean (5%), with the rest going various other places (only 4% over land). The new paper suggests that the abyssal ocean takes up closer to zero heat.
There are three complexities you need to be aware of to interpret this finding. First is the complexity in the climate system, second is the complexity of the research itself, and third is the relatively straight forward statistical problem of assigning meaning to specific numbers. That third one is important for journalists and regular people to pay attention to, because the climate science denial community is already exploiting it to misrepresent this study.
Posted on 9 October 2014 by howardlee
Past climate changes like the Eocene Hyperthermals left many traces in the geological record. These tell scientists a great deal about what the Earth looked like in these hothouse eras, the changes they made to rainfall, drought, landscape, oceans, ecosystems and life. Ultimately those records contain clues to the causes of the climate changes, and are signposts to the effects we can expect from modern climate change.
A trio of new studies show that the Eocene Hyperthermals were the result of, not the cause of, global warming in the Eocene. This refocuses attention on abrupt global warming episodes like the PETM, and their role in converting the cooling Paleocene climate into the long-lived Eocene hothouse.
Modern climate change is even more abrupt, and is likely to have a similarly long, hot tail.
The Paleocene and Eocene Hyperthermals were numerous recurring periods of hot global climate (a bit like human “hot flashes”) between around 59 and 34 million years ago. They were variations on a climate that was generally some 15°C (27°F) warmer than today, when the poles were free of ice even in winter and sea levels were about as high as they have ever been. The land was largely covered in jungle and even polar areas were lushly vegetated.
Posted on 8 October 2014 by John Hartz
- 2014 extreme weather: Looking for climate ties
- California just entered 4th year of severe drought
- Different depths reveal ocean warming trends
- Drought dries up California hydropower
- Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean
- Getting beyond the 2-degree threshold on global warming
- How to lie with data (or, “Melting Away Global Warming”)
- In Nobel season, Laureates fret for sickly Earth
- In the Age of Extinction, which species can we least afford to lose?
- Mystery of ocean heat deepens as climate changes
- Oceans getting hotter than anybody realized
- UN alarm over shrinking biodiversity
- US east coast cities face frequent flooding due to climate change
- Why you should be afraid of climate change in 10 charts
- World falling behind 2020 plan for nature protection
2014 extreme weather: Looking for climate ties
The ongoing, intense drought in California; the nonstop storms that left parts of Great Britain waterlogged all winter; the bitter winter cold in the eastern U.S. — these are just some of the extreme weather events from this year that could be examined in an annual report that looks for the fingerprints of climate change in such occurrences.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society since 2011, rounds up some of the most notable events from the previous year and tries to answer the question increasingly being asked: Did climate change cause this? Not only that, but it attempts to do so relatively quickly, (in the world of science, anyway) after the event, with the studies coming out in early October of the following year.
2014 Extreme Weather: Looking for Climate Ties, Climate Central, Oct 8, 2014
Posted on 8 October 2014 by dana1981
DeSmog UK has found that libertarian banker Lord Leach is a likely funder of the anti-climate political advocacy group Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). In May of 2009, Lord Leach gave a long speech in Parliament detailing his beliefs about global warming.
The speech was full of inaccuracies, myths, and misinformation. Known as a Gish Gallop, the sheer number of false claims in the speech would require tremendous effort to debunk. Most telling were the sources that Lord Leach relied upon to support his statements. For example,
Probably the best climatologist in the world is Professor Lindzen and another good one is Professor Singer.
While Richard Lindzen is a climate scientist, he’s also the climate scientist who’s been the wrongest, longest. Throughout his climate science career, Lindzen consistently took positions that were contrary to the climate science mainstream. For example, Lindzen claimed that global warming over the 20th century was minimal, that humans have an insignificant impact on global temperatures, and that water vapor will act to dampen global warming. All of these claims and many more have proven to be completely wrong. In another contrarian position, Lindzen has disputed the link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer.
Posted on 7 October 2014 by CollinMaessen
This is a re-post from Real Sceptic
Very few Americans are aware of the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming (Maibach 2013). There’s a huge gap between the agreement the public thinks there is between scientists and the actual agreement among scientists. It’s because of this lack of awareness that several studies investigated what the agreement is among scientists.
When researchers surveyed climate scientists on the cause of global warming 97% of the actively publishing climatologists said that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures” (Doran 2009) Researchers found the same patterns when they analysed public statements of climate experts (Anderegg 2010). When researchers looked into how the scientific consensus on global warming evolved from 1996 to 2009 they found a steady increase in the agreement among scientists (Bray 2010). The latest survey on the scientific literature found that 97% “endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (Cook 2013).
Posted on 6 October 2014 by John Abraham
A very recent study released in JAMA (Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health) provides a very thorough review showing how climate change affects human health. Perhaps more importantly, the paper also describes how tackling climate change leads to many health and economic benefits.
Authors Jonathan Patz, Howard Frumkin and colleagues combined a survey of the current literature with measured and projected changes to climate to assess health risks associated with climate change. They report many things that we already know. For instance, some of the adverse health effects from climate change are heat-related (such as heat stress, increased cardiac arrests, reductions in work productivity, to name a few).
Others, such as decreased respiratory health (from changes to ground level pollution associated with climate change or increases in pollens for example), increases in infectious diseases, decreased food security, and more mental stress are just some of the lesser reported effects we are seeing and will continue to see. The authors conclude,
Evidence over the past 20 years indicates that climate change can be associated with adverse health outcomes. Health care professionals have an important role in understanding and communicating the related potential health concerns and the co-benefits from reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted on 5 October 2014 by John Hartz
Nuclear power's role in mitigating manmade climate change and the willingness of Evangelical Christians to embrace the overwhelming body of scientific evidence of manmde climate change were the two hot topics on the comment threads of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Garnering the highest number of comments was How did the UK grid respond to losing a few nuclear reactors?, a guest post by Jani-Petri Martikainen. Attracting the second highest number of comments was Dana's Global warming: a battle for evangelical Christian hearts and minds.
Toon of the Week
h/t to Climate Change Guide
Posted on 4 October 2014 by John Hartz
- A change in the climate
- Beyond treaties: A new way of framing global climate action
- Canada switches on world's first carbon capture power plant
- Climate science is settled enough
- Curbing climate change requires "complete transformation"
- Deep, hidden trench discovered beneath Antarctic glacier
- Earth has lost half of its wildlife in the past 40 years, says WWF
- How the effects of climate change in Arctic Canada are shrinking polar bears
- Marathon walk to storm-hit city spotlights Philippine climate risks
- Merkel adviser lashes Abbott's 'suicide strategy' on coal
- Neglected disaster plan deepens Pakistan's climate vulnerability
- Scientists say greenhouse gases most likely worsen California drought
- Scientists speed up analysis of human link to wild weather
- Sea-ice shortage sends thousands of walruses swarming Alaska beach
- Sri Lanka launches $100 million climate resilience effort
A change in the climate
Less than two weeks have passed and yet it isn’t too early to say it: The People’s Climate March changed the social map — many maps, in fact, since hundreds of smaller marches took place in 162 countries. That march in New York City,spectacular as it may have been with its 400,000 participants, joyous as it was, moving as it was (slow-moving, actually, since it filled more than a mile’s worth of wide avenues and countless side streets), was no simple spectacle for a day. It represented the upwelling of something that matters so much more: a genuine global climate movement.
When I first heard the term “climate movement” a year ago, as a latecomer to this developing tale, I suspected the term was extravagant, a product of wishful thinking. I had, after all, seen a few movements in my time (and participated in several). I knew something of what they felt like and looked like — and this, I felt, wasn’t it.
I knew, of course, that there were climate-related organizations, demonstrations, projects, books, magazines, tweets, and for an amateur, I was reasonably well read on “the issues,” but I didn’t see, hear, or otherwise sense that intangible, polymorphous, transformative presence that adds up to a true, potentially society-changing movement.
It seemed clear enough then: I could go about most of my life without brushing up against it. Now, call me a convert, but it’s here; it’s big; it’s real; it matters.
A Change in the Climate by Todd Gitlin, The Huffington Post/TomDisptach.com, Oct 2, 2014
Posted on 3 October 2014 by Guest Author
Australia had a hot one in 2013 – a real record breaker.
We started off with a heat wave that made January 2013 the hottest month on record that was part of the hottest summer on record that then became the hottest year on record.
Meteorologists and climatologists looking at records tend to express things by “anomalies” – how far above or below the long-term average is a particular temperature.
September 2013 had all the anomalous bells and whistles you could muster, managing to break above the long term average by 2.75C – a departure greater than any other month on record going back to 1910.
But how much of the temperature rise from that remarkable year was actually down to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere that’s caused the planet to continue to build up heat? Did we leave our dirty fossil fuel fingerprints anywhere?
Here’s one answer (actually there are several, but we’ll start with one).
Climate scientists Dr Sophie Lewis, of the Australian National University, and Professor David Karoly, of the University of Melbourne, ran two groups of computer models for a study into Australia’s scorching 2013.
In one group, they included the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere being added at the rates they are now. In another group of models, they left out the human contribution.
Posted on 2 October 2014 by , John Hartz
- Big business climate change movement grows in size and heft
- Building an Ark for the Anthropocene
- California drought and climate warming: Studies find no clear link
- Can U.N. climate negotiators connect with the real world?
- Chile becomes first South American country to tax carbon
- Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived
- Gravity shift reveals West Antarctic ice loss
- Have Humans Really Created a New Geologic Age?
- Human-related climate change led to extreme heat, scientists say
- India sends mixed signals on climate change
- Media “Echo Chambers” and climate change
- President’s drive for carbon pricing fails to win at home
- Scientists to explain 'Climate at Your Doorstep' at new online hub
- The climate deniers’ newest argument
- 'This Changes Everything' tackles global warming
Big business climate change movement grows in size and heft
Climate Week presented a two-front push for nations to take action on climate change. The moral case was emphatically made by a record-setting, 400,000-person march through Manhattan. What followed was a similarly unprecedented barrage from investor groups and corporations to convince world leaders that there's also a compelling economic case for taking steps against global warming.
The business presence last week was particularly striking because of its breadth and heft, and because of its extension well beyond the so-called "green bubble" that surrounds companies, investors and advocacy groups who embraced the cause long ago.
Signatories representing $26 trillion in investment funds called on world leaders to enact strong policies, cut fossil fuel subsidies and make polluters pay for the effects of their emissions. There were commitments and pledges from the likes of General Motors, food makers Mars Inc. and Nestle, and consumer products giant Unilever. And a string of corporate CEOs joined early-adopters like Ikea Group in supporting renewable energy and citing proof that companies and countries can tackle climate change and prosper at the same time.
Big Business Climate Change Movement Grows in Size and Heft by Elizabeth Doglass, InsideClimate News, Sep 29, 2014
Posted on 2 October 2014 by dana1981
The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a conservative evangelical Christian public policy group that promotes a free-market approach to protecting the environment. The organization recently published a list of ten reasons it opposes policies to reduce carbon pollution and slow global warming, purportedly to protect the poor. As the first point on the list illustrates, the group essentially believes that the Earth’s climate will be able to correct any damage done by humans.
1. As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting.
The group includes climate scientist Roy Spencer and professor of geography David Legates. Spencer’s research is among the 2–3% of peer-reviewed climate papers disputing that humans are the main cause of global warming. He has often argued that climate policies will harm the poor, and has not been shy in making political and free market statements, having gone as far as to make comments about “global warming Nazis.” Legates is known for disputing the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming.
The Cornwall Alliance has tried to use scientific arguments to support its religious beliefs about the resiliency of the global climate, claiming,
3. While human addition of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere may slightly raise atmospheric temperatures, observational studies indicate that the climate system responds more in ways that suppress than in ways that amplify CO2’s effect on temperature, implying a relatively small and benign rather than large and dangerous warming effect.