Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Climate Hustle

Recent Comments

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

Comments 1 to 50:

  1. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Ed @478, take a look at the comments at this SkS post from 2014: Ice Picks: Five pieces of ice news...

    You may want to look at the comments at a RealClimate post from the same time. Specifically this one (#179).

    The upshot is that not much of the melting in West Antarctica is due to geothermal heat flux.

  2. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Anyone hear anything about how much of the melting West Antarctic land ice is due to geothermal/volcanism versus the warming climate?  

  3. A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming

    @91

    I see a link to a SWF file is now like:

    https://www.brightstarstemeculavalley.org/science/zonalFlow.swf

    So the difference in safe (HTTPS) and unsafe (HTTPS) protocols is no longer the problem. But the site brightstarstemeculavalley.org does not work with https. See:

    https://www.brightstarstemeculavalley.org/

    Thereby the flash movies still do not work, sorry.

  4. Climate's changed before

    The above-mentioned cloudiness data for your convenience:

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/CloudCoverTotalObservationsSince1983.gif

    Correlation with temperature change:

    http://www.climate4you.com/images/TotalCloudCoverVersusGlobalSurfaceAirTemperature.gif

    This is data is not being shared to divert topic, just to ask where it is included in the above-mentioned IPCC AR4 WG1 figures.

  5. Climate's changed before

    I've read the other myth-busting pages.  Lots of good information on many of them.  I hope to engage on some that appear deficient from my semi-informed perspective.  I have no dog in this hunt other than truth and scientific integrity.  I'm disappointed by the personal commentary that some se fit to include. 

     

    Defendping consensus scientific orthodoxy ought be done with humility, lest you join the ranks of the scoffers and naysayers who pilloried the likes of Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, and LeMaitre.

    I'm not seeing lots of hard scientific evidence here on this myth-buster topic,  just mostly declarations.  Thus my posting.

    This myth-busting deals with natural climate variability, yes? Isn't the uncertainty about ECS exactly directly related to that?  It's wide range informed by some decadeal to millennial scale proxy temperature records—GISP2 stands out—would seem to indicate a significant uncertainty related to this topic, no?  That's the only intended point.

    Can anyone engaged hereing please explain the apparent certainty on the issue offered here on SKS relative to figure 8.14 and 8.15 of AR4 WG1?  

    Has anyone seen the NASA data showing significant decadal reduction in global cloudiness from around the 1980-2000 time frame, dropping from roughly 70% to 65% in two decades?  That drop in cloudiness corresponds with an apparent increase in global surface solar radiation of roughly 4 W/m^2.  

    Where is that addressed in the AR4 WG1 tally of radiative forcing information included in the aforementioned figures 8.14 amd 8.15?

  6. A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming

    I have a hard time understanding what the tropopause is reading this article. It this not just the real story behind the existence of this phenomena?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_parcel_level

    In other words: Isn't it just the bounady above which a parcel of air can only get above when it is (almost) completely dry? So any parcel of air that contains water vapour in any concentration will never have enough 
    buoyancy to get above that 'magic' boundary, right?

  7. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    Menschmaschine @113,

    It was suggested that you read coment #107 above but you plainly have not.

    A feedback system with a gain of g=1 or g>1 will cause a runaway situation. The feedback from a climate forcing is expected to triple an initial pertubation (ECS=3 with feedback, =1 wiithout) and this would therefore correspond to a feedback gain of g=0.6667. This is what @113 you call "the (at least implicit) position of the greenhouse modeling industry." There is no "proposed ... hypothetical mechanism to counteract" runaway climate change as for today's climate g<1 and a runaway situation thus cannot happen.

  8. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    @scaddenp

    Actually, as a natural climate change proponent I wholeheartedly agree that the "gain factor" of the water feedback loop is smaller than 1 - so much so in fact, that the amplification in practice is indistinguishabble from 1. So I am a bit at a loss how to discuss a purely hypothetical situation that I don't believe to be true. The concrete assumptions ("model") going into it would need to be spelled out, the article(s) here quite tellingly avoid to discuss the actual water vapor feedback case.

    But there are clear indications that any attempt to model a water vapor feedback loop that results in any significant amplification at all, would find it very hard to avoid it being of the runaway type. Note, for instance, the highly nonlinear water carrying capacity of air at different temperatures. The (at least implicit) position of the greenhouse modeling industry is certainly that a runaway feedback loop will happen - they have proposed a hypothetical mechanism to counteract it (See answer to DB)

    @DB

    I am sincerely puzzled how you managed to so completely misunderstand the issue. Of course Hansen has backed off his claim, because it is actually highly damaging to his case. The point is this: The anthropogenic climate change adherents claim that there are powerful positive feedback loops prevalent in the global climate system, in particularly water vapor feedback (In contrast to natural climate change proponents that maintain that negative feedbacks dominate).

    But if the claims of the anthropogenic climate change adherents are true, then we should have a bipolar climate: Any small initial temperature change would lead to a runaway feedback loop until some maximum (or minimum) ist reached. If the maximum is high enough to completely destroy the current atmospheric system in a venus like scenario it will stay there. If it is not so high, another induced small initial temperature fall would lead to a drop to the minimum. Depending on the exact assumptions, the climate would either be permanently stuck in either the minimum or the maximum or it would bounce between the two extremes. In any case, only the minimum or the maximum temperature would be stable (or both semistable).

    This is very obviously not how the climate on earth works. Therefore, climate change adherents need to find some explanation why the feedback loop should stop before reaching its conclusion. The explanations on this site are, in the famous words of Pauli, "not even wrong", they simply don't address the issue.

    I actually found it surprisingly difficult to find the "official" explanation of the greenhouse modeling industry for such an important issue. It is supposed to work somehow like this: the models can be made to move warm air in the tropics to higher tropospheric altitudes, where energy is more efficiently radiated into space. This can be made to be dependent on the rate of warming by the water vapor feedback loop, therefore providing a means to counteract and stop it. By turning the knobs of the models appropriately, about any cutoff point desired can be selected, leading to the wide range of assumed amplification factors from 1.5 to 4. As obviously arbitrary, self serving and lacking in evidence as this hypothesis is, it is still better than the attempts here which, as I wrote, don't address the issue really at all. I suggest therefore to delete the current answers here and replace them with the "official" narrative.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please keep in mind that the burden of proof is on the claimant, you, to provide source citations for claims.  Simply making unsupported assertions is not how dialogue is kept in this venue.

    Moderation complaints snipped.

  9. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    How would you describe a country where every elected office is up for grabs to the highest bidder, where gerrymandering is rife, where avarice at all costs – including destruction of the environment - is lauded and where appointments to the Bench and Court decisions can be politically motivated?

    Would you say that country was the worlds’ leading democracy, the guardian of the ‘free world’ – the land of the free doing things in an exemplary ‘American Way’? Well no, it is none of those things. It is of course the USA to-day, a country increasingly derided for its practices and pretentions - a country which has inherited and sought to preserve the worst failings of 18th century Britain.

    Should we blame the GOP or Trump for this state of affairs? No. We should blame those who voted them into office, who so avidly support all that they espouse, all that is rotten and corrupt in America – and which has the potential to destroy climate stability, the economy and ultimately, human habitat and civilisation.

    Because science has failed to persuade the American electorate of the dangers posed by their support for GOP policies and practices, the task is left to climate change. As the severity and frequency of climate events increases, as the cost of damage they cause becomes prohibitive, as now seems inevitable, the electorate will opt for reform of the country’s worst excesses.

    The problem for America and the rest of the world is that by the time climate deterioration becomes so damaging as to force change in America, it may no longer be possible to stave-off catastrophic effects of climate change in other parts of the of the world.

    Bearing that possibility in mind, we should remember that the USA is not the worst contributor to growing climate instability. China is. So is Russia, India and some EU counties.

  10. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    And yes just to wrap this up, your denialist did have a sense of humour. A real comedian. Perhaps some of the denialism is  expressed as  making fun of science, or being antagonistic,  basically as attention seeking. I would say keep the jokes for "live at the apollo", and after smoking you know what.  

    But its the shifting of goal posts that really annoys me. So for example basically someone raises some sceptical point, and you counter it, they ignore your comment and raise another point, on and on until the end point is reached, which is usually inevitably "its all lies" or "its all a left wing conspiracy". In other words, they have a temper tantrum.

  11. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    EsaJii @10

    I have had a few similar conversations with denialists. It's very frustrating and goes on and on, and they keep moving the goal posts.

    I would sum it up by saying we all have some natural  healthy scepticism,  but scepticism is on a spectrum, and can morph into a form of lunacy. Some people are just antagonistic for the sake of it, or get influenced by political motives, and if they are not very smart this makes it a whole lot worse.

    Many denialists are a lost cause, but I respond sometimes in the hope I might convince one or two, or other people listening / reading and because its mentally stimulating. You like to practice finnish. All good I think.

  12. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    Nigel, I've spent years discussing all kinds of topics on the net in Finnish. The quality has gone down thru the years, but I do have a few places left, mainly to keep up my FInnish. These climate deniers are an annoying bunch, only one has a sense of humor.

    One discussion involved the typical handling of solar rays falling on the planet, watts per square meter etc. Then we add the radiation going back from greeen hous gases, as well as out to space. So not all goes back. One of them said I was cheating ( I quoted some article in English), as "now the sun is sending more than 100% of its radiation to the earth!" I made him then think of them as separate sources. One, the sun with visibel light. Two, a different source (working even at night), the green house gases. He got that much and half way agreed. So we get extra radiation to the surface. A day goes by. "What about the IR radiation, from those green house gases. Does that reflect back to the sky?" Me: Yes. "Well, you are cheating again, you are still going over 100%!". I gave up, I did not respond, half way guessing that this cycle would be small after a few iterations.

  13. Is Methane Worse than CO2?? | Climate Chemistry

    EsaJii@13. By definition, if a molecule gains an amount of energy that is higher than the average energy of surrounding molecules, it will transfer some of its energy to its neighbors so that on average, its energy returns to the average energy of its neighbors. Molecules are very generous. In fact, there is a constant redistribution of energy among molecules. There is no sense that a single molecule gains energy and keeps it for itself for a period of time exceeding something like 0.0000000000001 seconds.

  14. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    Hardly "mysteriously" stops. In a simply analogy water (and other climate) feedback has gain factor of less than one, so asymtophically reaches it limit.

    See comment 107 above.

  15. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    EsaJii @8, good comment. I thought you were a denialist yourself, just the way you worded a couple of things, but you are not.

    The interesting thing is temperatures have increased more in winter in some places,  and also at nights, as a general rule. This doesn't lessen the problem, but might make it less easy to perceive given we sleep through the night. However very hot nights are really bad for your health because the body doesn't shut down properly.

    I understand the reality in America that Republicans are determined to undo democrats policies. From what I have read they now appear to want to undo all the reforms going right back to the new deal. Seems absolutely crazy to me, and I'm not hard leftist, but thats just my opinion. Whats undeniable is it is not what the American people want according to numerous polls and its just not right to ignore the majority like that especially when theres no hard evidence to dismiss public opinion.

    Like you say things are more in the hands of the States. This might even be appropriate for some things, but it doesn't make so much sense for the environment, because environmental issues don't respect borders and having 50 different sets of standards is inefficient. In my country we are going in the opposite direction to one central government set of environmental standards, although it was a battle getting there, as the conservative leaning party preferred to leave it local.

  16. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    How exactly is this article "debunking" anything? Of course no one wants to indicate with "runaway feedback" that the warming/cooling will go on forever; Venus also stabilized at about 450°C. Remember, the claim by anthropogenic climate change enthusiasts is that the water vapor feedback only amplifies an initial temperature change by a specific factor of 1 or 2 and then mysteriously stops instead of going all the way to the maximum/minimum. I honestly fail to see how playing around with solar irradiance levels is going to show us how this feat is achieved.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  "no one wants to indicate with "runaway feedback" that the warming/cooling will go on forever"

    No scientist says that it will.  Even Hansen has walked back from that:

    "With the more realistic physics in the Russell model the runaway water vapor feedback that exists with idealized concepts does not occur. However, the high climate sensitivity has implications for the habitability of the planet, should all fossil fuels actually be burned.

    Furthermore, we show that the calculated climate sensitivity is consistent with global temperature and CO2 amounts that are estimated to have existed at earlier times in Earth's history when the planet was ice-free.

    One implication is that if we should "succeed" in digging up and burning all fossil fuels, some parts of the planet would become literally uninhabitable, with some time in the year having wet bulb temperature exceeding 35°C.

    At such temperatures, for reasons of physiology and physics, humans cannot survive, because even under ideal conditions of rest and ventilation, it is physically impossible for the environment to carry away the 100 W of metabolic heat that a human body generates when it is at rest. Thus even a person lying quietly naked in hurricane force winds would be unable to survive.

    Temperatures even several degrees below this extreme limit would be sufficient to make a region practically uninhabitable for living and working.

    The picture that emerges for Earth sometime in the distant future, if we should dig up and burn every fossil fuel, is thus consistent with that depicted in "Storms" — an ice-free Antarctica and a desolate planet without human inhabitants"

    Beyond that, it is quite well-established that water vapor is a feedback to temperature changes, and not a driver of them.

  17. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    "Well raise income tax or perhaps have an infrastructure levy so it actually funds basic infrastructure. Do you expect new infrastructure to appear out of nothing?"

    That sort of thinking seems to have fallen back into the last century. It now seems that 4 years is all Americans are willing to plan. The polticis here is sort of a pendulum of about 8 years. Whatever Democrats achieve is erased by the next Republican congress. On top of that, I live in a Red state and it took a state wide referendum to add for instance Medicaid expansion. The governor is still dragging his heels. As I mentioned the only progress we have on the environment is county or city level. 

    The statements I made about cars and the 2 degree guy are the denialists', and their level on understanding. "It does not feel warm" is what they are capable of. Bever mind that the winter has warmed more than summer in Finland. Every cold week in summer is followed by screams of "there is no warming." Most of them are found at this address, though I knew two from before that. https://ilmastofoorumi.fi/foorumi/

  18. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

     EsaJii @4

    "The problem seems to be that they cannot "feel it in their bones." My denialist "fiend" in Finland said exactly that. I asked him if he would be able to tell if it is -22C or -20C outside, just by standing outside. He had no answer. Right wingers have usually some small government preferece so studies paid for by any government as suspect."

    That's a misrepresentation of what global warming forced climate change will do. It's not a slight warming everywhere that has little discernible impact, it is an increase of the global average temperature that has catastrophic impacts at the local level.

    Like 86 people being killed by the Camp Fire and almost 20,000 buildings destroyed. It's killer heat waves that are ten times more common now and that can kill thousands. Or years long droughts that can help trigger wars that kill hundreds of thousands and send millions fleeing for their lives.

    As for your denier "friend" in Finland, it's not a slight warming he should be concerned about now. Due to the large amount of melting fresh water off the Greenland ice sheet, global warming is already desreceasing the ocean currents that warm much of northern Europe. While the rest of the world warms, places like Finland could experience a drop in temperature.

    What climate change means is chaotic weather conditions for decades or possible centuries that are already deadly.

    Pretty sure the humans who were vapourized by the intense heat of the Camp and other other fires felt it in their bones. And when half the North American continent is covered in smoke from fires tied directly to climate change and we're getting smoke here from wildfires in Siberia due to the same then how out of touch with reality itself do people have to be to not get the link and the risk.

  19. The Security & Sustainability Guide

    Article says: "A transition to “sustainability” is underway, but still at an early stage of development. The progress that has been made (e.g. wind and solar energy installations) is being offset or outmatched by ....( long list of daunting problems) . "

    This is a good paragraph. There is some evidence the younger generation are more environmentally aware than the older generation. Millennials are prioritizing 'experiences' over owning stuff. Family sizes are falling quite significantly, so population growth might decline faster than the quoted estimates. But obviously none of this will be fast enough to solve the climate problem so we need support for renewable energy, a carbon tax and dividend and related policies.

    The older generation are set in their ways, and get conservative and have memories of the cold war and communism , and associate environmentalism with creeping communism. The single greatest challenge might be to convince them that they are wrong, and that environmentalism is really just commonsense, and can be part of a free market private ownership economy.

  20. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    EsaJii @4

    "I mean there is enough detail for most voters to have made up their minds, so they no longer read techical articles."

    I do understand your point and its tempting to think that people do have enough detail, but it's not really the case surprisingly. Media coverage of climate change in America has been superficial and of variable quality, full of denialist propaganda.

    Climate change is badly taught in schools in America according to research.

    The level of igorance about climate science is huge as in this research.

    And what are you doing reading a technical article? And how would you know how many articles people read?

    "Even my Democrat friends (about 90% of the people I realte to) have put all of the Trump items as the top ones to "change back."

    Remember the electorate has expressed huge concern over his environmental policies as in my comment above so these might be at the top of the list to change back.

    "I asked him if he would be able to tell if it is -22C or -20C outside, just by standing outside. He had no answer. "

    Obviously nobody can reliably tell the difference between a couple of degress without a thermometer, but that won't stop ice sheets melting.

    " Right wingers have usually some small government preferece so studies paid for by any government as suspect."

    This is just a crazy attitude with all due respect. So what are they going to do, completely ignore science despite the fact it essentially powers their lives? ! Obviously studies by oil companies are virtually worthless because of massive conflict of interest.

    "They show how much CO2 is spent making one. I have no idea where these numbers come from as they do not show the calculations."

    Ever thought why they are reluctant to release calculations? It's possibly becuase the denialists attack them, make false allegations about them, cherrpick material out of context, nit pick, exaggerate problems, and cast yet more doubt. The denialist community are mostly not after the facts and are not interested in proper process or fair minded debate.

    "Taxes on carbon is an issue that seems to be postponed to the after Trump era"

    Why? The democrats control congress so it could be back on the agenda. Its going to depend on sentiment in the senate, and it could possibly go with a carbon tax. They don't know until they try.

    "Republicans that tax cuts for alternative energy are a good idea, especially for a business in their own state"

    This is a bad idea economically. Because of Trump's ill advised tax cuts that were never needed, America now has a balloning deficit and growing federal debt so more tax cuts are no longer feasible.

    "State income tax is so low that building power plants is a major drain on state funds. "

    Well raise income tax or perhaps have an infrastructure levy so it actually funds basic infrastructure. Do you expect new infrastructure to appear out of nothing? You need new roads and 21st century sustainable electricity generation as well as buying cars and expresso machines etcetera. Sigh.

  21. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    I can't think of another country that has greater renewable energy resources than Australia combined with a widely spread population that makes distributed energy sourcing a particularly attractive solution to their energy gerneration.  However they will be fighting an uphill battle unless they first sort out the one ring that controls them all. https://mtkass.blogspot.com/2018/01/wasted-effort.html

  22. Philippe Chantreau at 04:18 AM on 14 December 2018
    Climate's changed before

    Ed says earlier in the thread "changes in solar behavior, volcanism, impacting comets and meteors, seismic activity, and who knows what else would be tough to rule out."

    Certainly not for recent times. None of these is a factor in the changes we are currently experiencing. Solar activity is actually lower now than it was in the late 20th century (see related threads where PMOD data can be found). Comets and asteroid strikes have a way of getting noticed. Even tiny nuclear weapon tests in North Korea can be detected by our seismological equipment. "Who knows what else" seems to be falling in the category of cosmic rays and Leprechauns (see applicable thread, except for Leprechauns), rather surprising from one who claims an extensive scientific background.

    Perhaps, like a lot of other people, Ed has difficulty accepting that we humans are responsible for a truly geological scale event. Going up in total atmospheric CO2 content by a 100 ppm within the 2ish decades since I started teaching weather for pilots is simply astounding, and a lightining fast geological freak event. Anyone who doesn't see that has a problem with quantitative thinking. Human activity releases about 100 times more CO2 per year than all volcanoes together (see applicable thread). If all of a suddent we started witnessing that kind of volcanic activity, year after year, there would be absolutely no doubt about its scope, consequences, and the urgency of the situation.

  23. Climate's changed before

    Ed the Skeptic @616 : you say you are not uninformed ~ yet you seem unaware of the absurdity of suggesting that the modern-day rapid global warming could be caused by "multiple cyclic peaks" of warming.   (e.g. Dr Curry's frequent "hints" that oceanic cycles are the majority cause of recent rapid warming, are similarly absurd.)

    The "multiple peaks" hypothesis is unphysical [=absurd] because:

    A.  Oceanic currents merely redistribute heat energy, giving negligible overall change through a full cycle.  (Unusual events, such as the Younger Dryas, produce a forcing feedback via albedo change ~ but that is not-at-all the case in the present circumstances.)

    B.  There is no evidence of significant positive [=planetary heating] effect from other cycles or Natural Variations that you mentioned, during the recent 50 years of rapid surface temperature rise.  And the real temperature rise is still going up steeply.

    C.  If the oceans were producing the observed surface heating, then there would be some consequent cooling of the upper ocean.  But actually the opposite is occurring ~ the oceanic water is warming [Oceanic Heat Content is increasing over many decades].

    D.  Even assuming that a "perfect storm" is presently existing ~ leads to the necessity of having a simultaneous Unknown Mysterious Cooling Factor which counteracts the known planetary warming effect of our recent atmospheric CO2 rise (and other GHG's).   Some Mysterious Cooling Factor that nicely follows/matches the rising arc of CO2.   Clearly absurd !

    Ed, our past climate change tells us global warming occurs when there is a reason causing the change.   The evidence is strong enough to indicate that we should abate the present [Greenhouse] cause.

  24. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    I named my denialist "friend" above as "fiend", it was a typo. Not entirely wrond.

  25. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    Climate change seems to have saturated the news for quite a while, I mean there is enough detail for most voters to have made up their minds, so they no longer read techical articles. It interests voters as much as disco music by now. Sure, they will vote for the candidate that has the same opinion as they. But it is low down on the list. Even my Democrat friends (about 90% of the people I realte to) have put all of the Trump items as the top ones to "change back."

    The problem seems to be that they cannot "feel it in their bones." My denialist "fiend" in Finland said exactly that. I asked him if he would be able to tell if it is -22C or -20C outside, just by standing outside. He had no answer. Right wingers have usually some small government preferece so studies paid for by any government as suspect.

    The other thing these people want to debate is electric cars. They show how much CO2 is spent making one. I have no idea where these numbers come from as they do not show the calculations.

    Taxes on carbon is an issue that seems to be postponed to the after Trump era. More likely we are going to get incentives passed in the mean time. You can persuade Republicans that tax cuts for alternative energy are a good idea, especially for a business in their own state. My state has public utilities, and they might convert old coal plants, but will not tear them down. State income tax is so low that building power plants is a major drain on state funds. On the city and county level we have managed some solar and wind power units. This comes in when courting a Google or Amazon or other high tech company unit (centers of regional use) to build in their city. They make those demands on power.

  26. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    The advantages to EVs are significant.

    First off your "fuel" can be transported at near ligthspeed hundreds of miles with little risk, pollution and waste stream. And it weighs almost nothing.

    EVs take that energy and deliver it directly and highly efficiently to the wheels meaning only a tiny fraction of the loss of potential energy we have with fossil fuel produced gas and diesel. And with so few moving parts the need for expensive after-market replacement parts is a tiny fraction with EVs compared to ICE vehicles.

    And when the electricity generated for EV transportation is produced with low carbon renewables like solar and wind power that is a major step to an essential reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

    One of the roadblocks so far has been battery pack cost and technological barriers. Wet lithium ion batteries do remove a lot of the risk associated with wet lithium metal batteries at the cost of about half the energy denisty, longer recharge cycles and shorter lifespan.

    This does cause some incovenience to drivers as they have to plan for shorter range, longer "refueling" and at what speed to drive. The faster you go the quicker you draw down your charge and it drops very fast when EVs are operated at high performance levels.

    What solid state lithium metal batteries will do is eventually significantly increase the energy density, lower the weight of the battery pack, increase range, decrease the recharge time and mostly remove the fire risk with the elimination of the flamable electrolytes in wet lithium ion batteries.

    I think a decade from now there will be no comparison between ICE vehicles and the latest EVs that will have impressive range, much quicker recharging, much longer battery pack life and little of the risk of catastrophic discharge if the battery is damaged in an impact.

    With inductive roadbeds it will be possible to charge your vehicle while driving in some schemes that have already been tested in places like New Zealand and London England.

    The UK is testing out roads that charge electric cars as they go

    Major new investment in wireless electric-charging roads

    The future is electric with power provided by solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and other renewable utilized in ways that will simply drive innovation in ways we can't predict now.

    The future for us all will be exceedingly dark if we stay the course with fossil fuels while the potential with alternatives could be very bright indeed if we choose.

  27. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    @scaddenp  Thank you so much!  After being told I'm "suffering from confirmation bias" and "not interested in science", it was a real pleasure to serve that guy with this information this morning!

  28. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    I think electric cars are great and the way of the future. I would draw a comparison between electric cars and smartphones in terms of the product growth cycle. The early smartphones such as Nokia communicator were actually quite good, but big, ugly looking and not that user friendly, and expensive. Electric cars have mostly been in the same space, a bit dull looking in the main, and unknown quantities with limited range etc so product market penetration has been slow.

    Smartphones took off with the apple models because they were easy to use and looked stylish, don’t underestimate the importance of looks. Then the android models came along, and the price dropped and now everyone owns the things, just about. Growth has been exponential.

    The latest electric car models are much better looking and have good range and great performance and comfort. What is needed is quick charging – don’t underestimate the importance of convenience to the public. It also takes a little time for the public to accept new technology. Then I predict growth will be exponential.

  29. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Riduna @15

    With recent developments in lithium battery technology it's hard to see how ICE vehicles will remain competitive much longer.

    Solid state batteries are likely going to spur a revolution in EV car design, capabilities and sales.

    Milestone for next-gen solid-state batteries to power future long-range electrical vehicle

    "Our results show that we can make solid-state batteries that have the potential to reach the capabilities of wet batteries, and this using manufacturing processes similar to those for wet batteries," says Philippe Vereecken, principal scientist and program manager at imec, "But unlike wet-batteries, our solid-state batteries will be compatible with metallic lithium anodes with a target of 1,000Wh/liter at a charging speed of 2C (half an hour). This, together with their longer lifetime and improved safety, makes them a promising compact battery technology for tomorrow's long-range vehicles."

    The money that is being invested here in British Columbia alone in the fossil fuel sector is staggering.

    - A $10 billion plus hydro-electric project at Site C located in the Montney formation that will almost certainly be used to power oil and gas fracking across NE BC.

    - The $4.5 billion the Canadian government just spent to pruchase the Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Kinder Morgan plus the approximately $4 billion it will take to finish the tripling of line to a capacity of about 900,000 barrels a day.

    - The $40 billion LNG complex in north central BC that has just been approved by the provincial government with substantial tax breaks and subsidies.

    All this is counter-prodcutive to the carbon tax we have had here in BC for years. The purpose of such a tax is to make all fossil fuels less and less competitive as time passes. But our government gives carbon tax exemptions to polluters.

    I would much rather we were taking these significant resources and investing them where first off they won't become stranded assets in the near future and secondly where they don't help drive further climate change that is already highly disruptive and damaging here. And many other places a true global catastrophe in motion.

    There are so many options and they get better all the time as with solid state batteries with longer life spans, higher energy density and far less failure risks. And as you point out in your article "Problems for Oil", battery packs are already nearing the point where they make EVs as affordable as ICE powered vehicles.

    Certainly this will involve a great deal of change, it kind of reminds me of when gas and electric powered vehicles began to replace horse powered transportation. It's hard to imagine cities like New York and many others a little over a century ago with streets crowed by horse drawn carriages and their attendent "pollution".

    We changed then and we'll change now. The air will be cleaner, there will be less geopolitical stress as sunlight is a univerally available fuel source not located in regional trigger points and we'll at least have a shot at mitigating the worst impacts of climate change.

  30. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Doug_C @3

    Those who seek to maintain or increase the level of greenhouse gas emissions use all kinds of ploys aimed at excusing such action – for example, calling for emissions to be measured on a per capita basis rather than in absolute terms, or tacitly not condemning misreporting or failure of the worlds’ major emitter to curb emissions until 2030.

    While you are largely right in pointing to the imminent threat on public health as stopping use of CFC’s, as noted in the essay China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, although China signed-up to the Montréal Protocol it nevertheless continued its use of CFC’s – and policies aimed at promoting use of coal to generate electricity.

  31. Climate's changed before

    Dear PS:

    That was a quick response!  Thank you for that.

    "...try reading the IPCC WG1 report to understand what the science actually says. Uninformed statements about what you presume science assumes do not helpful to any discourse. You would see that the science has actually carefully examined all known influences on climate and quantified these with error bars."

    I'm not uninformed.  I'm a well-published (dozens of peer-reviewed papers) science professional who's become interested in this subject.  I've read the recent WG1 report, noted the error bars and confidence levels, and that's a big part of the reason for my posting here.

    After some forty years of additional observations, intense scrutiny, supercomputer modelling, satellite technology, and massive capital investment, the stated range of estimated equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) to a doubling of CO2 remains unchanged at 1.5°C to 4.5°C.  

    Climate omniscience seems still a very long way off.  Don't you agree?

    If I get a chance, I'll post links to some of the recent literature dealing with as yet unquantified natural forcings and feedbacks.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Range for ECS (which is problematic because of feedbacks) has nothing to do with attribution of cause which you were querying. Scientific critique of the attribution chapter in the WG1 is welcome. Be sure to comment on the appropriate topic - use the search function to help find one. If you had read WG1, then why all the false presumptions?

  32. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Doug_C @2

    You are right to call for the appropriate policies, more action and less words. I think such calls will become more forceful as severe climate events intensify, occur more frequently and cause more costly damage– as they inevitably will.

    In Australia – and most other developed economies – the next step is transport electrification which, as described in my essay Problems for Oil is expected to have a disruptive effect on demand for and use of oil and its products – particularly heavy oils. The countries most immediately affected by such disruption: Canada, Venezuela and Indonesia.

  33. Climate's changed before

    Ed,

    You say "It seems like changes in solar behavior, volcanism, impacting comets and meteors, seismic activity, and who knows what else would be tough to rule out."  Fortunately, scientists have been working hard on these questions for the past 100 years.  They have been able to make the difficult observations you have apparently missed.  Looking at all the data we see that, in fact, scientists have shown that CO2 was responsible for almost all of past catastrophic climate change.

    Read the references that the moderator linked to find out how all this is known.

    I note that you have cited zero scientific reports in your post.

  34. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Trevor-S @1.

    Well, maybe – but the size of the Pipeline (at this date worth >$20bn) suggests more than slowing emissions increase, particularly if followed up with transport electrification. It seems likely that a Labor Government (if elected?) is likely to encourage commitment to mega renewable projects such as those proposed for W.A and NSW – or large industries such as Whyalla steelworks and remote mining operations.

  35. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    dvaytw - I think you are talking past each other. Looking at this figure:

    https://www.globalchange.gov/browse/multimedia/warming-trend-and-effects-el-ni%C3%B1ola-ni%C3%B1a

    You can see that any no. of La nina blue dots are warming than past El nino red dots. I suspect that he is confused with how the ENSO anomaly condition is defined.

    Figure 5 in this paper (esp 0-700) does not support his assertion that ocean warming is mostly high latitude. The sea surface certainly warms slower than land, but it sure is warming. Here is anomaly in SST to 2012  for tropical area, black line is for coral reef locations from here.

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2012JC008199

  36. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    jbpawley - Quite right.  Error corrected. 

  37. Climate's changed before

    The "science" statement here seems incredibly overly bold and lacking in sufficient supporting scientific corroberation.

    "GHGs, principally CO2 have controlled most major climate changes"?

    That seems like quite a leap of faith. It seems like changes in solar behavior, volcanism, impacting comets and meteors, seismic activity, and who knows what else would be tough to rule out.

    The accompanying video appears to address a strawman argument in that skeptical references to prior climate change, specifically warming are not to argue that "therefore current warming must also be natural" but rather that it may be natural, or at least mostly natural.

    On the skeptics' side an opposing science versus myth scenario plays out, where an AGW argument is offered that "it must be anthropogenic since the current/recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and/or rate." Well, that just isn't true, is it?

    The claim appears to assume high confidence in our understanding of all the various ocean systems' natural heat cycles with periods ranging in scale from decadal, to multidecadal, to century scale, and millennia scale. But aren't we now just beginning to learn about the various systems and cycles of ocean heat transport?

    The science claim appears to also assume high confidence in our understanding of various natural albedo cycles and feedbacks, and also of multiple cyclic and random solar behavior, and also geomagnetic influences.

    If Earth's natural climate response includes a combination of various natural cycles of various periods, then shouldn't we be having a very careful comprehensive look to identify ALL of such cycles, and then very thoroughly analyze ALL of them jointly rather than just dismiss each in turn for failing to fully cause recent observed behavior?

    How do we know that what we've recently witnessed in the observed temperature record isn't mostly just the result of a so-called perfect storm scenario, a coincidence of multiple cyclic peaks? If we cannot know that, then how can we know that equilibrium climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 isn't a benign or even beneficial 1.5°C, not the claimed 3°C?

    That is the point of referring to proxy temperature records that indicate greater magnitudes of temperature and greater rates of temperature change. It is to say, hold on amigo, maybe we best not jump to such a bold conclusion prematurely; cause there's likely a lot we still don't know concerning climate, and so shouldn't we take some more time to be sure we comprehensively understand nature before calling the international 911 climate change SWAT team?

    It appears to me that this particular myth-busting is premature.

    The next 20-30 years of observations may prove highly informative, one way or the other.  If needed, we can pretty easily pump aerosols into the atmosphere while we ramp up nuclear power plants and renewables.  No?  

    Party on and be excellent to each other my brothers! And sisters, if there be any of the finer gender here. :)

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Please look at articles under the "arguments" to understand why the statement is soundly based in scientific observation and not a leap of faith. Better still, try reading the IPCC WG1 report to understand what the science actually says. Uninformed statements about what you presume science assumes do not helpful to any discourse. You would see that the science has actually carefully examined all known influences on climate and quantified these with error bars.

  38. Trump's disbelief won't stop dangerous climate change

    Looking at the chart of wildfires in the article, there appears to have been a step change in 1999. I wonder why? It does roughly coincide with the huge 1998 el nino, although that was just one year.

  39. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    Some polling of interest: : "Around 4 in 10 approve of the way the president (Trump) is handling immigration (39 per cent approve), foreign trade (39 per cent approve) and foreign affairs (36 per cent approve)." Interestingly, the president's climate-change denialism is especially unpopular; only 31 per cent approve of his handling of environmental policy."

     

  40. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    In the last summary list, shouldn't the "MW" be "GW"?

  41. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    Ps can anyone help me with an argument related to the above article in #33? I quoted Hughes as saying the following:

    La Niña periods today are actually warmer than El Niño periods were 40 years ago.

    The fellow with whom I’m arguing says in response to this:

    BS. Here you can see the ENSO data going back seventy years and the zero degree anomaly line hasn’t changed at all. For your “expert” to be right, it would’ve had to have gone up by two degrees Celsius.

    He also says:

    Your problem is that ocean warming is far less than amospheric warming - and it is mostly at high altitudes. But yet somehow it is responsible for bleaching at mid altitudes.

    I‘m in over my head as usual, but this guys *rules* the climate discussions in an FB group of over 30,000 people. If he is wrong - and I’m guessing he is - I’d really like to prove it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  42. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Humanity's fatal flaw may be greed. If we do not gain control of that basic flaw, I fear we are a dead end species. This flaw is most visible in our constant references to "economic growth" as the reason for not taking effective action on climate change. Should humanity not survive as a species, life on this planet will suffer cataclysmic consequences such as the meltdown of over 400 nuclear reactors as well as the release of all stored nuclear material. The climate will continue to deteriorate beyond our demise. The surviving life forms, if any, are beyond my ability to describe.

  43. Corals are resilient to bleaching

    NYT has a hard-hitting report, linking to a new study from Hughes et al:

    Global Warming’s Toll on Coral Reefs: As if They’re ‘Ravaged by War’

  44. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    The results would have likely been much greater if there had been an even playing field in many US states.

    Due to GOP gerrymandering and voter suppression Democrat candidates oftern start with a -8 point deficit in many districts. This can really been seen at the state level in the popular vote compared to the election results.

    I think it was Wisconsin where 53% of voters cast their ballots for Democrat candidates and only 45% for GOP candidates. Yet the Democrats only won 34% of the state senate seats and the GOP won 64% with independents making up the balance.

    There is actually far more support for socially and environmentally sustainable policy in the US that is marginalized by GOP tactics at multiple levels.

  45. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    "All State Governments need to consider appropriate legislation to provide for orderly recovery and disposal of many millions of solar panels in an eco-friendly manner. Who will be responsible for paying for retrieval and recycling of this material – or that used for wind turbines made obsolete by advances in technology? There are going to be a lot solar panels, possibly over 100 million spread over the countryside by 2025."

    This is a really important point, solar and other renewable energy production shouldn't just be as low carbon as possible, it should have the least waste stream possible.

    Solar panels can be designed to be recycled at the end of their decades long lifespan and perhaps having a deposit attached to each panel would encourage as many people as possible to turn them in for recycling at the end of their useful life.

    Recycling solar panels in 2018

    The issues we now all face go far beyond fossil fuels forced climate change, it is now essential that all our activities be sustainable on a long term basis.

  46. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    nigelj @7

    I think that sums it up well.

    When you look at how much money, time and innovation has gone into developing the capability by the fossil fuel sector to go after increasingly hard to access hyrocarbons like tar sands bitumen, gas and oil in rock formations that need to be fractured and oil in reserves thousands of feet under the ocean, it would have been far more efficient, sustainable and ethical to put all of that into energy resources that do not present the harzards of fossil fuels.

    It has been a conscious decision by those at the top of the coal, oil and gas corporate hierarchy to maintain their dominance in energy production no matter the externaized costs.

  47. A Rough Guide to the Jet Stream: what it is, how it works and how it is responding to enhanced Arctic warming

    The flash (.swf) movies in this article do not work (for me). My browser refuses to load them as this website uses the HTTPS protocol and the .swf files are to be loaded over the HTTP protocol; their URL starts with "http://". For safety the browser refuses to embed not-secured obects in a secured page. I hope this helps.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Try it now.

  48. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Also see this article in Renew Economy

    => Australia in midst of $20 billion wind and solar investment boom

  49. Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    The way I see it you have a core group of Republicans who basically reject the whole idea of universal healthcare in principle, they reject publicly funded social security and they are deeply opposed to taxation and government regulation of business and environment. All the evidence points this way because they undermine all these things as much as they can get away with . It's the unfortunate Ayn Randian underbelly, and it mixes ideology and greed together.

    Whats more it was not always this way, not to this degree: Article on how the GOP has come to reject environmentalism and a rules based approach to environmental concerns.

    This group wield power. Republicans have gerrymandered election districts, and used scaremongering to get their way, and then there is the influence of corporate money in politics. They have ignored the views of the public, where the majority want some form of universal healthcare, a carbon tax etc. Polling clearly shows this, so to me the Republicans are being utterly undemocratic.

    So you have the republicans holding the country as a hostage. What makes it particularly galling is the lack of logic of many of the Republican ideas and their dismissal of evidence and science based policy.

    Like you say the Democrats have tried compromise and have tried being nice and have been walked over. One cannot blame them for taking a stronger position and it will force the Republicans hand.

    However governments can't fix every problem in society so pick your causes logically, and the Republicans are not wrong on every issue, for example it doesn't make sense to let just any immigrants into the country, or uncontrolled numbers (although I personally favour immigration for all the usual reasons). Democrats need to avoid the temptation to oppose every Republican idea, just for the sake of payback. But good article.

  50. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Doug C @6, yes the main reason for lack of action on climate change is an underhanded, irresponsible denialist campaign on unprecedented scale. This has clearly worn people down.

    Not only was the ozone issue based on scientific evidence like the climate issue,  it has an international agreement (The Montreal Protocol) and used similar regulatory and cap and trade mechanisms as recommended for the climate problem but the scheme for ozone was robust. Therefore what sets things apart is the size of the denial campaign.

    The refrigeration industry is small and has limited lobbying power. Governments stood up to the ozone industry with a robust cap and trade scheme but not the fossil fuel industry and its hard to escape the conclusion its their lobbying power and campaign donations.

    But there are other significant differences. Developing alternative products was easier with the ozone industry. However the fossil fuel industry like the oil producers could have developed alternatives but have refused to, apart from some window dressing. They have not really even tried and have effectively said the whole thing is someone elses problem.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next



The Consensus Project Website

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)

Smartphone Apps

iPhone
Android
Nokia

© Copyright 2018 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us