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Comments 501 to 550:

  1. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Is this 'a key takeaway' from last week’s IPCC report?

    “B4.1. There is high confidence that the probability of a sea-ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global warming of 1.5°C when compared to 2°C. With 1.5°C of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century. This likelihood is increased to at least one per decade with 2°C global warming. . . . ”

  2. Ivar Giaever - Nobel Winning Physicist and Climate Pseudoscientist

    Ivar Giaever also said that climate scientists come up with a hypothesis to suit their biases then set about proving it.

    However, he knows full well that all science starts with a hypothesis but scientists then must try to disprove their own hypothesis. That's how science works!

  3. wilddouglascounty at 12:46 PM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    One Planet 12

    I am merely pointing out that saying that climate change "causes" increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events is a confusing statement because it is the increasingly number of more severe extreme events that changes the climate.  It is the elevated carbon fraction in oceanic and atmospheric composition that "causes" increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events, not the change in the statistical averages of those weather events, otherwise known as the climate. You don't need to use the steroids in sports example if you don't like it; there are plenty of other apt attributions of carbon as the reason for the changing weather patterns instead of confusing people by saying that "climate change" caused it. Come up with your own. 

  4. One Planet Only Forever at 07:07 AM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    I believe it is less helpful to try to get someone to relate to climate science in the same way that they relate to sports, rather thna simply telling them the basics of climate science.

    I also doubt that the change of term would actually change many minds. The reasons people are choosing to disbelieve and dismiss climate science has little to do with 'difficulty relating to the language'.

    As I presented, climate science is pretty simple to understand. It is just hard for some people to 'accept the required corrections of the ways they are living'. And changing the words would not make it 'easier to accept that required correction'.

  5. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Eclectic @262,

    I'm not sure whether you want (1) an appraisal of the various Nikolov & Zeller papers or (2) an appraisal of Nikolov & Zeller. (Note we move further off-topic.)

    On the first point, the V&R/N&Z (2014) Moon temperature doesn't seem controversial. Their Mars temperature has been involved in criticism from David Grinspoon but I would ask that if the Mars temperature results of Nikolov & Zeller (2015)(withdrawn) are in error, I would be interested to see the results that demonstrate that error.

    Of coure, their grand theory of a pressure-driven global temperature is so much cods-wallop. Yet published cods-wallop is not unknown and can at times be a useful exercise. Note Grinspoon's comment here:-

    Rather than aiming to be a universal paradigm-buster, Grinspoon said the study is better served as a handy mathematical approximation. “It’s a kind of clever, back-of-the-envelope way to calculate planet temperatures,” Grinspoon said. Should scientists find themselves with limited exoplanet data, something like the Volokin and ReLlez model could be a simple way to approximate distant temperatures.

    On the second point, the record shows that up to 2006 the pair have a history of publication but not in climatology. They turned climate skeptics in about 2010 and their first attempts at overturning AGW were dreadful enough to give them a reputation of swivel-eyed lunatics, apparently preventing publication of later work. The the pseudonyms were an attempt to overcome this rejection. It worked. Their 2014 paper has not been withdrawn. Their 2015 was published bu then withdrawn. Today they have a publisher who will publish any old crap of a denialist persuasion (described with others here), thus facilitating the publication of the dubious Nikolov & Zeller (2017).

  6. 1.5 Degree Climate Limit: Small Number; Huge Consequences

    Thank's Mr Adam. Imho the report on 1.5 degrees is good science with a welcome sense of urgency. Finally The IPCC are spelling out harsh realities in strong language. Took a while to get there.

    The danger is that people will start to think we face an impossible task, and countries may be tempted to say its "every man for himself" and retreat into Nationalism just when the appropriate respose is Internationalism and promotion of more altruistic values. I mean the timing of Trumps "presidency" and Brexit could not be more unfortunate. But what is the point of existance if we dont look beyond ourselves to other people and countries in a helpful spirit of altruism? Ultimately everyone benefits from this, if only people could see this.

    In fact negative emissions technology including direct air capture may not be as expensive as people think, according to this article. However I'm not suggesting this in any way means we can go on burning fossil fuels, it just shows that climate mitigation is not as cost prohibitive as some people like to claim.

    One other thing. IPCC projections state that if we continue to burn fossil fuels its possible that warming could exceed 10 degrees celsius above early industrial baselines by the year 2300. This gets forgotten in the focus on the year 2100, and I appreciate the science community doesn't focus so much on the longer term because of the risk it will create a feeling that we have plenty of time to solve the problem. We don't! But warming of over 10 degrees would be catastrophic, and simply cannot be allowed to happen. Fossil fuel burning simply has to stop, and the sooner it is phased down the easier it will be.

  7. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    It wouldn't matter what Trump says on climate change, and how contradictory or absurd it is, his followers will follow. People love authoritarian blowhards, bullies, and anti intellectuals and as long as the economy seems ok everything must be fine in la la land.

    Trump's approval rating is back up to 44% which shows what Americans really value.

  8. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay @24, yes the polar cell would help keep aerosols near the arctic, although I recall reading somewhere that the boundaries of the cell have started to shift south due to the warming effect basically weakening the cell, sort of similar to the meandeing jet stream. So its complicated.

    But anyway yes cost might be the main limiting factor. I suppose automated aircraft are a possibility. The other problem is politics. Countries like Russia see mining opportunities in an ice free Arctic, so would probably not be supportive of the idea. Not that one country should be allowed to dominate proceedings.

  9. wilddouglascounty at 02:34 AM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    One Planet @ 9,

    The reason for the clarification is so that the average "Joe" understands the role that steroids play in sports, and knows that the enhanced "performance" from even a little increase is illegal for good reason. Furthermore, it is confusing to attribute a baseball player's enhanced performance to "batting average change," which is exactly what we are doing when we attribute increased freqency and severity of extreme weather events to "climate change."  We need to start referring to the sources of those changes, just like we do with steroids, so the public understands the connection, and once they do, we can move ahead. If new langage helps, it should be used. If you can do it with existing langauge, that's fine, too.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 01:33 AM on 19 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!


    The debate is very powerfully fueled by desires to personally benefit from the understandably unsustainable and harmful burning of fossil fuels.

    The CO2 impacts are the most significant recently understood harmful consequence of the burning (an understanding that was pretty solid in the late 1970s). Many other harmful conequences have been identified, with some of them sort of mitigated by government regulation.

    The developed socioeconomic-political systems have developed unsustainable perceptions of superiority of some people relative to others. And those undeserving Winners have proven that they will not willingly have their developed perceptions corrected. And the developed socioecoinomic-political systems have actually allowed them to powerfully resist being corrected.

    Changing terms is unlikely to change 'willingness to understand'. The term climate change is not difficult to understand in the context of a simple understanding of the science. This site has many levels of presentation of the fundamentals. It is simple enough that I can make my own presentation as follows:

    • CO2 is a very important trace element in the atmosphere. Without it, the surface of the planet would be significantly cooler.
    • CO2 is increasing dramatically due to fossil fuel burning and other human activities. There is no other plausible explanation for the increased CO2.
    • Increased CO2 leads to more solar energy staying in the planet's system. The global average surface tempreature has been rising in response. The planet's climate system is complex and the global average surface temperature has its ups and downs, but the trend is clear.
    • Increased energy in any system will change the system. So climate change is what is happening because of increased energy in the planet's climate system due to human impacts affecting the system.

    That concluding statement is the same as 'juicing the climate'. And anyone fully familiar with the above string of connected points would get a reference to carbon-juicing.

    But using that term is unlikely to change the mind of anyone who has developed a personal preference for ways of personally benefiting and enjoying their life that they have to understand are unacceptable, and need to be given up, if they choose to better understand the climate science.

    Also, if the scientific community started using that term there would be claims that they are just making up new names. People have already claimed that climate science 'changed' the term it used even though the science has always been about improved understanding regarding 'the connection between increased CO2, global warming and climate change'.

  11. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    In a recent BBC news panel discussion wih denier Myron Ebell (Competitive Enterprise Institute) the host effectively silenced Ebelll a couple of times by saying something like "now lets stop there; again, you're saying you know more than the scientists ... but you don't .. because they're the scientists, so lets move on from that .." 

  12. wilddouglascounty at 23:20 PM on 18 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    I believe that the whole debate has been obscured by terminology, specifically looking at the changing weather patterns and referring to it as climate change--hear me out a bit.  Scientists have a good understanding of the causes that drive the changing weather patterns and increasing severity/frequency of extreme weather events, but when they summarize that dynamic as being “caused” by “climate change,” it confuses many, many people. We need to look at it more like baseball. That's because “climate” is an abstraction, i.e. the averages of actual weather events over time. “Climate” is very analogous to the “batting average” of a baseball player, which is an abstraction created by averaging the numbers of hits and misses the player performs over the baseball season, right? But if the player’s batting average jumps 50 points, from say .250 one season to .300 the next season, we start looking for the reasons. If blood tests show that the player has started using steroids this season, we say that the player’s batting average jump was “caused” by his using steroids because of what we know about the physiological effects of steroids on the human body. It’s not that he doesn’t possess a wide range of skills that got him to the major league in the first place; it just means that those skills were enhanced through the presence of steroids. When he steps up to bat and hits another home run, we say that the home run was “juiced” or likely assisted by his use of steroids. What we DON’T say is that the home run was “caused” by the increase in his batting average.

    But that’s exactly what the media and the scientific community has latched onto saying about the increasing frequency and severity of weather events. In baseball, enhanced performance is clearly understood to be an outcome of steroid use, and not referred to as “batting average change,” which sounds nonsensical and confusing. The scientific community clearly understands the physical role of carbon in the atmosphere and oceans and with great confidence can say that the resulting changed atmospheric and oceanic chemistry is what is driving the more extreme weather events, oceanic acidification and sea level rise. Excess carbon in these system and the resultant changes is “juicing” the atmosphere in the same way that steroids can juice the baseball player’s performance, and if we start saying that Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence were carbon-juiced weather events or some such terminology, the public will “get it” and will be more likely to move past the climate change debate and get down to what we’re going to do to get the carbon back into the earth so our weather patterns, sea levels and acidification will gradually return to levels we can live with.

  13. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Correction to last paragraph :-


  14. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    MAR@261 , my concern with Zeller / Rellez and his partner Nikolov / Volokin was more to do with the accuracy of the data they provide.

    Since the retraction of their 2015 paper (a jocular scandal, at minimum) and pointed criticisms from Gavin Schmidt, as well as by David Grinspoon [re some fudging of Mars temperature and pressure data], it casts even more of a shadow on their 2014 paper ~ which in one sense was a re-run of the unphysical ideas of Gerlich & Tscheuschner.

    I am not sure how much of the N&Z/V&Z business was an elaborate leg-pull.  Or perhaps they have simply "gone emeritus" and become denialist.

  15. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    Eclectric @260,

    My personal position is that I do not recall reading Nikolov & Zeller before. There are certainly within it some worrying constructions within their model, that is worrying for a science faced by deluded AGW contrarians. (It may be diferent if you are researching exoplanetry climate.) Particularly worrying is the idea of the density of an atmosphere being a (or indeed 'the') contributing factor to the greenhouse effect. There is also the acceptance of the 37% result from Volokin & ReLiez which I consider to be badly wrong. (That is the idea that all airless rocky planets, if without an atmosphere like our Moon would have an average surface temperture 37% less-than a temperature calculated globally using the S-B equation j=σT^4.)

    But Nikolov & Zeller do present good accounts of the literature of lunar and Martian temperatues and also calculate a Martian temperature in a reasonable manner, something I've not seen elsewhere.

    Volokin & ReLiez I do remember as I did some simplistic calculations to unpack their 37%. I can repeat these with more confidence since Williams et al (2017). What I don't recall is their use of the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment data (as used by Williams et al) to check their Moon calculations. That is a useful calculation.


    Setting out the simplistic calcs that show the 37% value is misused for the Earth (& Mars as well):-

    The 37% does occur on the Moon. Thus using S-B to calculate the lunar average temperature yields 270K, an over-estimation of some 70K. Only a small portion of this 70K is due to the zonal temperature range (hot tropics, cold poles), perhaps 5K of the 70K. The rest is due to the diurnal range. The Moon with a 708 hour 'day' has a very large diurnal range. Averaged across all zones, the range is 90K to 360K. It is this diurnal range that drops the remaining 65K below the S-B estimate. An Earth stripped of its atmosphere with a 24 hour day will have a smaller diurnal range (perhaps 40% of the lunar range). This is the point where Volokin & ReLiez "briefly explore" the issue. They examining the heat storeage of the planet surface thro the night, feeding conclusions back into their simplified modelling and find hardily any difference (0.3K) due to the 24 hour day. Somewhere they have forgotten Hölder’s Inequality (errors due to averaging a non-linear function) from which that 65K derives. The Moon's temperature between any single 29½ hour period (those used by Williams et al) varies up to a maximum of 114K while the Moon over the full 708 hours varies 267K, thus the 114/267=40%. If the Earth's 24 hour 'day' waggles temperature by only 40% of the Moon's 708 hour 'day', the Hölder’s Inequality shrinks massively, back-of-fag-packet perhaps from 65K to 10K.

    Now, magically, add on the zonal 5K and subtract the 15.7K non-greenhouse zonal-heat-transfer effect (this value from Volokin & ReLiez) and the Earth non-GHG temperature returns to the S-B estimated value. This then magically returns us to a 255K non-GHG Earth and thus the 33K GH-effect we all know & love.

  16. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report


    From what I've read there would need to be annual injections during the northern spring, but injecting into the lower stratosphere or tropopause would still be an effective solution, because over the poles the stratosphere falls to roughly half the average height of the tropical stratosphere, and aerosols would be mostly washed out by polar cells during northern fall & winter. Similarly, much of the soot and pollution coming out of tropical developing nations ends up on the ice caps. 

    My guess is that getting the aerosols up there at a reasonable cost would be the hard part. 

  17. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Nigelj, Art Vandelay @18 just to clarify, my understanding is sulphate aerosols from coal fired power stations tend to be regional in their effects, because they affect the lower atmosphere, but they are short lived because they get washed out pretty quickly. According to the link I posted, to provide a powerful effect that lasts years sulphates would have to be injected right up in the stratosphere and this means they tend to disperse globally with all sorts of global effects and problems. So to confine an effect to the arctic would require injection of aerosols into the troposphere, but they would have to be replenished constantly, and possibly permanently. 

  18. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay @18, yeah I do recall reading that sulphate aerosols tend to be regional in their effects. The following research is interesting and highlights some of the problems with the whole strategy. I mean I do see a certain inevitability that technical fixes like may be used, and could buy time, but I prefer not to tak about it too much, because it takes the focus off doing the number one priority which is to reduce emissions. 

    Yes population is on track to head towards about 10 billion before stabilising. If the world adopted more procative policies it could be lower.

    But my point was that meat eating is a very inefficient use of land, and if we all changed to a vegetarian diet, or even just a low meat diet then there would probably be enough land to sustain a larger population without needing massive levels of deforestation. In an ideal world of course. However the case for adopting a vegetarian or low meat diet is becoming quite strong in terms of more efficient use of land, the methane problem, and also general health and longevity. So the population / food problem could I think be largely solved by more efficient use of land with a more vegetarian diet, so your argument that "CO2 is plantfood" is not a justifiable solution to this particular problem.

    I agree however that 10 billion looks like it is pushing the worlds carrying capacity to the limits such that any problem will spread and become critical. I think thats a really interesting observation. There will be no slack in the system. You see it already in the way the global financial crash became "global".

    Its also painfully obvious that we are already using resources at a prodigious rate, and this will leave a depleted stockpile for future generations that cannot be fully resolved by recycling. Population growth will make this so much worse, and reduced population growth is a relatively pain free solution.

    The climate implications of population growth are interesting. Most of the population growth is in the third world like Africa,  and they have the lowest per capita use of fossil fuels, something likely to continue, so population growth is not quite as large a climate problem as it first seems.

  19. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Jef @17

    "Having said that it is obvious that we can not eleminate or even reduce FFs in the economy and not expect extreme economic repercussions."

    I would question this. I suppose it depends on how you define extreme economic repercussions. This wording has rather a negative connotation. There will be a dislocation but I would challenge the contention that such repercussions have to be extremely negative. 

    For example various reports have found most countries can completely transition from fossil fuel to renewable electricity generation at a cost of 1% of a countries yearly gdp output, spread over approximately 25 years. The maths is actually pretty simple.  For comparison purposes most western countries spend considerably more on just the old age pension each year, so I cannot see that such an energy transition could really be cause extreme economic repercussions and certainly not significantly negative ones. Yes theres more to it than electricity generation, but this puts it into perspective.

    Another example. Transitioning to a low meat diet would achieve a lot, and yes it would be a dislocation for farmers and consumers, but I don't think you could accurately call it some extreme economic problem, and its not as if crop farmers don't make plenty of money. In fact converting farms from one product to another often happens rather quickly as food preferences and market opportunities change. Its more of a motivational problem.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Jef is so far just make vague and unjustified assertions. Unless he can show the basis for his belief and quantify expected economic loss for transition, this is little more than FF propoganda regurgitated. Further sloganeering from him without evidence will be deleted.

  20. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    John Hartz @4, thanks and interesting, but if "the free market" was going to solve the climate problem, it would have done so by now, or at least have had a discernable effect, but pretty much all the evidence I have seen is that any climate progress of any significance has come from government subsidies, cap and trade schemes, regulations, taxes, and the like. 

    I think the problem is the profit motive and vested interests in fossil fuels are just too strong, leading to pollution, and the whole trajedy of the commons problem. No doubt some corporations do act responsibly on their own initiative, without having to be pushed by the state,  but they are clearly in a minority.

    I think the "eco rights" dogma about a true level playing field goes along the lines of "if all government influence was removed from the economy, we would have some economic paradise" like the Ayn Rand school of thought. I don't believe it for a second, and never have, and historical examples of laissez faire capitalism or something close to it do not support the contention that laissez faire is an optimal system. Having said that, I think government interventions should be sparing, and evidence based and time limited.

  21. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    Interestingly, just published today was a report on falling CO2 emissions.


    Noting that the recent emissions reductions are to a great extent linked to the price of gas relative to coal, but moving forward as renewables become increasingly price competitive it will be natural market forces that drives emissions reductions in the energy sector, so the administration's views on climate change will become increasingly less important.   

  22. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Micheal Sweet@ 19,

    No, not just a feeling. I defer to higher authorities and published studies such as:

    Injecting aerosols at high latitudes gives best bang for buck and limits side effects eslewhere, because they're flushed more radiply naturally from the atmosphere. Bear in mind that sulphate or similar aerosol injections could be restricted to northern summer months.  

    Ftr, I'm not advcocating geoengineering but it's my personal belief that it will eventually become a component of climate change mitigation strategy.

  23. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay,

    Adding sufate aerosols to the atmosphere is well known to cause severe drought.  Reducing sunlight reduces evaporation from the ocean.  This is observed after vocalnic eruptions.  Do we really want to cause world wide drought?

    I doubt that any significant effect can be kept over the poles.  Can you provide a citation to support your claim this is possible or is it just a feeling that you have?

  24. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    nijelj@14, I think it might be possible to geoengineer with atmospheric aerosols at high latitudes , reducing polar amplification, without significant climate impacts at lower latitudes. Sure there are risks but at some point the risk of not doing something will become even greater, so I think it's inevitable. 

    Global population is expected to rise by 30% before levelling off, and  that itself will necessitate further extensive land clearing which will release lots more carbon stores from the biosphere above and beyond per capita fossil fuel emissions, so it's unlikely that emisisons growth will be constrained until population growth is very close to zero. 

    Changing to a vegan diet may help to reduce methane emissions though more likely is the development of livestock feeds that achieve similar, because global consumption of beef is still accelerating, due mostly to increasing demand in the developing world.  

    Life will indeed be interesting post 2050 with a global population of >10 billion. That's pretty much the earth's carrying capacity, so every significant natural disaster, which includes droughts, floods, fires, storms, earthquakes etc will have an immediate global impact.

    I think we're in for some radical societal changes too, and that probably includes the end of the laissez faire economic model.

  25. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    I know that this comment is way late to get any viewing but I respectfully submit it in response to moderators of my comments.

    If you read my comment you understand that FFs are the global economy. There is no aspect of the global economy that is not completely dependent on FFs at some level and the largest % of the global economy is FF related. Having said that it is obvious that we can not eleminate or even reduce FFs in the economy and not expect extreme economic repercussions.

    The number 1 problem with AGW/climate change understanding and effective response is the willful ignorance of this simple fact.

    Its like focusing on the cancer cells of lung cancer and completely misunderstanding the part that cigaretts plays in that dynamics. A weak analogy I admit but please try and understand.

    This can be extrapolated out to just about every aspect of earths biospheres degredation. The global economy, the thing that supposably we need to increase in order to keep people from suffering and dying is 100% reliant on FFs, mining, deforestation, industrial ag, global distribution, etc. Please stop perpetuating the lie that we can keep doing all these things but in a "green" way. 

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] You are now skating on the thin ice of excessive repetition which is prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy. Please read the Comments Policy and adhere to it. 

    [PS] Again, I pointed you to peer-reviewed research pointing to exactly how renewables can replace FF. In contrast you have simply repeated your assertion without any supporting evidence. This is a science-based site - if you want to make an argument you need to back it with evidence.

  26. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    nigelj: Check out this website:

  27. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    Trump: My ‘Natural Instinct for Science’ Tells Me Climate Science Is Wrong by Jonathan Chait, Intelligencer, New York, Oct 17, 2018

  28. One Planet Only Forever at 08:47 AM on 18 October 2018
    Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    "Rounds is right. Republicans ought to be looking for policies to address climate change that will maintain a strong economy."

    The problem with that statement is that the best chance to do that was 'starting in the 1970s'.

    The over-development in the wrong direction that has occurred instead of correction has set up the challenging current reality for those who resisted being corrected - It is likely impossible to maintain the unsustainably developed perceptions of prosperity (and superiority relative to others).

    The likes of Republicans should indeed be looking for 'answers from their perspective'. But until they actually come up with something better, they should get out of the way of people who actually want to develop a sustainable better future for humanity, and they should accept their deserved loss of status due to their stubborn refusal to be corrected.

  29. Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too!

    Excellent article. I'm wondering what is the best approach to convincing The Republicans to do more about climate change? Some advocate being inclusive and nice and polite, and  trying to frame issues in ways that appeal to their world view, (me included in the main) but this has been tried and isn't working too well.

    For example, Obama reached out to the Republicans, and had his hand torn off (figuratively speaking), and he kept doing it with the same result. Being nice or conciliatory, and seeking consensus doesn't seem to be working too well. If people, or entire political movements are being plainly idiotic, how much should we try and sugar coat our response?

    I'm not advocating blatant personal abuse or nastiness, because I deplore that, but it seems that strong and simple words can be effective political tools at times.

  30. SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    nigelj@5, if you put the stones it at the same temperature as the wine it will be no more effective at keeping the wine cool than replacing the stones with wine. If the stones are put in colder than the wine, then they will cool the wine. The real point, of course, is that a phase change (from solid to liquid) soaks up a lot of energy without the temperature increasing. The temperature of rocks will always increase as they soak up heat.

    Sorry if I am confusing the issue by using rocks. I will put them back in my head. :-)

  31. SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    Sunspot @3, I would agree that the IPCC are a little too conservative or understated, but not to the extent you and the arctic news website claim. The difference is important, because wild claims attacking the IPCC will undermine trust in it.

    I have just had a read of your arctic news website including the 12 points where it claims the IPCC is misleading. I just think most of this is wrong. Theres no obvious acceleration thus far in global temperatures in recent decades, if you look at the hadcrut or nasa data, although the IPCC project there will be in coming decades and with good reason. The IPCC does consider all the things you claim it doesn't consider, such as the water vapour feedback and methane clathrates, but doesn't reach your conclusions. It doesn't see this as leading to quote your website to " a potential global temperature rise (from 1750) of more than 10ºC by 2026, as illustrated in the image at the top."

    Its also absurd of this website to claim the IPCC understate the problem for humanity, given the strident wording of this latest report on 1.5 degrees - and its good to see a sense of urgency in this report.

    This is not to suggest the IPCC are perfect. This media article from the Guardian claims evidence that the summary for policy makers gets watered down, for example language gets changed from highly likely to likely etcetera. This would not be surprising as this document is signed off by politicians and bureaucrats from sceptical countries, but there's no evidence that the detailed science is watered down. Just consider this: The IPCC projet that if we continue to burn fossil fuels global temperatures could possibly hit over 10 degrees celsius by the year 2300. This would be totally catastrophic and should be enough to scare the pants off anyone with a functioning brain! So this is hardly the IPCC playing risks down.

    There are recently emerging concerns and evidence about melting permafrost and some excellent science on the history of hothouse earth and various tipping points here in this article, that are cause for considerable concern, but this is new material, and so clearly wasn't in the last IPCC report. I would expect it to be in the next report and would be very concerned if it wasn't highlighted.

  32. SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    Excellent article and analogies, but surely if you add cold stones to a glass of wine, heat energy will flow from the wine to the colder stones so cooling the wine? Obviously the stones warm up fast so the effect is much more limited than ice.

  33. SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    Interestingly, the latent heat of evaporation is 540 calories per gram or over 6 times as much as the latent heat of melting.  If warm moist air flows from the Arctic Ocean over Greenland, the heat from one gram of water vapor condensing on the ice will give up enough heat to melt over 6 grams of ice. This is in addition to whatever 'sensible heat' the air contains.

  34. SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    At the Arctic Blogspot they have been talking about this for a long time. Over there it's fearmongering. Here it's science. As for "One Planet's" comment - there is no cold mug to put the Arctic Ocean into. There are no cold rods to insert into it. And we are not going to refreeze it using frozen plastic balls or rocks from the freezer. So I fail to see any relevance to your points...

    But back to the article - doesn't this seem in contradiction to the IPCC notion that the Arctic Ocean can go ice-free, but then re-freeze magically and not be ice-free again for another 9 or 99 years. That is what the IPCC claims! In a warming world, with surges of warm water into the Arctic becoming more frequent, they think this is possible, even likely. Amazing.

    Science is all about looking at all possibilities. Even the watered-down IPCC report says that the human race is going to be in big trouble in less than 20 years. The Arctic Blogspot says we are in worse trouble sooner than that. Yet the IPCC, which tries to strike an acceptable balance between science and political reality, is considered pure science, while the latter is dismissed as hysterical. And that dismissal is not science. It just isn't.

    Oh, and for those who believe the future temp rise will be linear - do you really think that it will happen that way when this, and other, feedbacks start to seriously bite? Because that conclusion would also fly in the face of long-established science. Nature isn't big on linear change. She loves those exponentials! Ask Albert Bartlett...

  35. SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    Agree that a really cold rock would work to cool a drink. I should have written that if you place a rock at 0C into a drink, it will warm up with the drink and do nothing to keep the drink cool, whereas if you place ice at 0C into a drink, it will keep it cool while it melts. That is, the main point is that during a melting substance will keep the surrounding liquid cool because it absorbs heat while it melts.

  36. One Planet Only Forever at 02:37 AM on 18 October 2018
    SkS Analogy 15 - Ice Tea and Temperature Rise

    Perhaps the title could be revised to “Iced Tea and Temperature Rise - Tipping Points”, with the term 'tipping points' mentioned regarding the phase transition examples that are presented (balloon starting to lift-off or, finally getting air-borne using wings).

    Adding enough CO2 to the atmosphere to result in the elimination of year-round ice in any region is a tipping point for that region. And that CO2 level will be reached before the actual observation of the end to year-round ice. A related concern that could be added in the section discussing how regions without year-round ice will warm more rapidly is: When glaciers completely melt before the end of a summer season they will fail to deliver water downstream through an entire summer season, which can be a disastrous result that will suddenly occur at some time after the tipping-point level of CO2 has been forced into the atmosphere.

    Another concern could be added regarding reduction of arctic ice extent. There is increased solar energy absorbed in the Arctic waters that are no longer covered by ice during the northern hemisphere summer, that time of the year when the sun shines on the Arctic. That amplifies the concern about the amount of warming of Arctic waters. Arctic waters that are not near surface ice will get warmer than waters near or under sea ice.


    I think that the part about rocks in a drink is not a great example for this very relevant technical point. Many cold things, other than ice successfully help keep beverages cold:

    • Cold mugs are often used. A&W Root Beer in Frosted Mug comes to mind. And I often use chilled beer steins.
    • Cold rods are inserted into wine bottles to keep white wine chilled.
    • And reusable frozen blocks or balls that float are used to keep drinks cool rather than have the drink watered down by melting ice.

    Also, a cold rock could do a lot of beverage chilling. The lower the initial temperature of the rock the more cooling it can do. The disadvantage of a cold rock in a drink, other than it potentially being dirty in its many crevices, is that it will be at the bottom of the drink. A floating cooling element is better. As the drink warms up the warmer contents rise to top. With a rock in the bottom, each sip from the top will be warm unless the drink is stirred before each sip.

    Other people may come up with points like that which would be a distraction from the validity of the technical points being made.

  37. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    MAR@259 , the Nikolov & Zeller / a.k.a. Volokin & ReLlez joke is getting a bit old these days.   Is it still considered to have some instructive elements to it? 

  38. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect

    JC @258,

    Thank you for finding Nikolov & Zeller (2015). These exoplanet scientists often come up with interesting work but it is not an area I follow. You will note their Appendix B providing a calculation of the Martian average global temperature based on measurements taken from Martian probes.

    The lunar temperature they use is reliant on Volokin & ReLlez (2014) who check their modelled value against the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment data which is also the data presented by Williams et al (2017) which I mention @257 as the source of my calculated average lunar temperature.

  39. One Planet Only Forever at 06:09 AM on 17 October 2018
    There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report


    "The issue is how do we do less, stop what we are doing and still take care of 7+ billion people in a humane way?"

    Promote altruistic leadership that responsibly pursues the achievement of all of the Sustainable Development Goals (and strives to improve on them). The Climate Action Goal is particualrly important because achieving it quicker makes it easier to achieve the others.

    Note that many right-wing groups, like the Republicans in the USA, have policy desires that are contrary to achieving many of the SDGs not just the Climate Action Goal (at least they are consistently anti-altruistic).

    The Future of Humanity is in Question - Altruism is the Answer
    Altruism! What is it Good For? - The Future of Humanity

  40. One Planet Only Forever at 06:01 AM on 17 October 2018
    There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report


    "There is no solution where we make a change of this magnitude and still all make money."

    I agree. Unsustainable unjustified developed perceptions of superiority, prosperity and opportunity will have to be scrubbed out of the economy. It is already happening to coal barons. It is startig to happen to oil sands barons. And it will have to happen to oil and natural gas barons. Everyone else on the sustainable development path will make more money forevermore.

  41. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay @8

    I'm sceptical about solar geoengineering because of the risks. CO2 levels of 600ppm might encourage plant growth but various articles on this website has pointed to research that this will be overwhelmed by the negative effects on crops of higher temperatures, droughts and heatwaves.

    In fact I agree population growth is a problem in many respects, for example energy and resource use, however simply changing to a vegetarian diet would solve the food scarcity problem.

  42. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    jef @10

    "Nigel said,"during WW2 as production was geared up for the war effort. Economic output also doubled, and wages increased." Yes and CO2 and many other toxic destructive doubled too."

    Come on you are deliberately missing the point. The point was surely obvious that humanity has made massive economic transformations in the past so could do so again. What is lacking now is motivation, due to a range of pshychological and political issues, and a campaign to spread climate denialism and pessimism, the later which appears to be what you are hell bent on doing :)

    "Any talk of ramping up means ramping up total energy use and resource extraction which guarantees runaway destruction of the biosphere."

    I never said anything about ramping up total energy use. I simply referred to transitioning to renewable energy.

    For the record I agree with comments by others that it would be wise to reduce population growth and I would add that we should try to reduce our per capita energy use. These things are in the commonsense basket.

    There is a problem with resource extraction but you have to think past the slogans. Most materials can be recycled or are abundant. Metals can be recycled indefinitely, including the metals used in renewable electricity generation and batteries. Where I would agree with you is we have a problem with non renewable resources ,which ironically includes fossil fuels, so once they are gone they are effectively gone and this has implications for plastics and fertiliser manufacture. However if we stopped burning fossil fuels, they would provide many centuries of use for other applications.

    "Fossil fuels (FFs) are the most traded commodity in the world."

    So what?

    "Virtually every business in the world is dependent on FFs."

    Yes, and this has to change, and can change. We already know alternatives are possible for most things. The last IPCC Report had an entire section devoted to climate change mitigation policies.

    "Global food production is 100% dependent on FFs."

    Not really. Many third world farmers make no or little use of fossil fuels, fwiw.

    "There is no water without FFs, and no FFs without water."

    This doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Water could easily be pumped using electricity from renewable generation.

    "There has never been a transition away from an energy source only additions."

    Theres a first time for most things. We used to cook food over open fires.

    "There is no alternative energy source that isn't 100% reliant on FFs."

    This is total nonsense! If the grid becomes entirely based on renewable electricity then by definition it is clearly not reliant on fossil fuels.

    "There is no solution where we make a change of this magnitude and still all make money."

    Empty unsubstantiated slogan. Theres no logic that says an energy transition means we stop making money. The worst case scenario is we are replacing infrastructure, so might make slightly less money in the short term, but good long term outcomes require up front investments thats nothing new. But go back to my example of WW2. Although huge sections of industry were turned over to war production, wages acutally increased and the supply of consumer goods increased. I think its quite possible transitioning to new energy sources will make us wealthier. 

    "The issue is how do we do less, stop what we are doing and still take care of 7+ billion people in a humane way?"

    I think thats a very good point, but it is a separate issue to the climate problem. Right now the solution to the climate problem is renewable energy. The climate issue is a consumption issue, and you are not going to convince people to cut their consumption of energy in half or more, especially poor people. The most we can hope for is to substitute renewable energy and perhaps get people to make some modest reductions to their total energy use. I'm being a realist.

    Eventually its obvious humanity is going to have to reduce its per capita use of minerals and energy but I doubt you will solve that problem by Paris time frames of 2050. I agree entirely that we have to look after the global population in a humane way, and I would hope we eradicate poverty, or at least ensure everyone has good opportunities to improve their situation. However I dont think you will convince people to radically reduce their consumption of materials and energy. The best you can hope for is reducing waste and inefficiency and promoting smaller houses etcetera. The principal and ultimate solution to resource scarcity is going to have to be smaller global population by encouraging low birth rates. So this is demand reduction which enables us to still have a reasonable standard of living.

  43. Venus doesn't have a runaway greenhouse effect


    Here page 11 you have an estimate of the average temperature of the Moon: 197,35 +/- 0,9 ° K. This corresponds to your 200 ° K!

    I think for the rest of your remarks (review the value of the Moon albedo ?).

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened and hyperlinked URL breaking page formatting.  Please learn to do this yourself using the Insert/Edit Link tool.

  44. One Planet Only Forever at 01:07 AM on 17 October 2018
    There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    The current generation of humanity has a clear responsibility to remove CO2 from the atmosphere starting now, as well as dramatically reduce the creation of new CO2 by burning fossil fuels.

    The only ones who can help the future generation are the current generation. The current generation should never believe it is OK to do harm to the future generation, no matter how appealing the harmful activity appears to be, no matter how regionally popular or profitable.

    Understanding that changes everything. That could be understood decades ago, especially by leaders and winners who have little excuse to not 'know better' that others. But the global leadership (winners) at the time chose to maintain and maximize their popularity and profitability any way they could get away with. They kicked that responsibility further down the road, but also down a hill.

    The result of that irresponsible behaviour by the supposed deserving leaders and winners has been like a landslide or avalanche. The problem has just gotten bigger, and will continue to grow unless responsible actions by leaders correct the unjustified developed perceptions of superiority relative to others.

    There are existing technologies that can remove CO2 with vary little negative future consequences. But the methods that will be truly sustainable and not potentially create other problems for future generations are not profitable and may never be profitable. Other riskier or more harmful ways are cheaper and potentially profitable.

    If the socioeconomic-political systems are not corrected to keep the undeserving harmful selfish from getting away with the advantages they can personally get from behaving less acceptably, then the 'solutions' that are implemented (if they get implemented), will be less effective than they need to be and could potentially be more damaging than the problem they are claimed to be a 'solution' to.

  45. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Nigel said,"during WW2 as production was geared up for the war effort. Economic output also doubled, and wages increased."  Yes and CO2 and many other toxic destructive doubled too.

    Any talk of ramping up means ramping up total energy use and resource extraction which guarantees runaway destruction of the biosphere.

    Fossil fuels (FFs) are the most traded commodity in the world.

    Virtually every business in the world is dependent on FFs.

    Global food production is 100% dependent on FFs.

    There is no water without FFs, and no FFs without water.

    There has never been a transition away from an energy source only additions.

    There is no alternative energy source that isn't 100% reliant on FFs.

    There is no solution where we make a change of this magnitude and still all make money.

    The issue is how do we do less, stop what we are doing and still take care of 7+ billion people in a humane way?

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] This post is walking a very fine line on sloganeering. You are making a large no. of assertions and provide no sources to back any of them.

    In particular "There is no solution where we make a change of this magnitude and still all make money" flies in face of published plans and many countries roadmaps. Please provide sources to justify this assertion.

    The assertion "There has never been a transition away from an energy source only additions.?" doesnt seem supported by EIA data.

  46. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Jef, not only is Trump not right, he is lying again. The US contribution to the UN Global Warming fund was going to be $3 Billion. Which was cancelled. We spend almost $2 Billion A DAY on our military adventures, I think we could have afforded that. Anyway, "trillions and trillions" is bull. And every study shows that ramping up alternative energy creates a lot more jobs than coal mines do. 

  47. One Planet Only Forever at 15:00 PM on 16 October 2018
    There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    Art Vandelay @8,

    I agree that the total global population is a concern. But the issues identified by climate science are regarding the total impact of all humans, not the number of humans.

    The highest impacting portion of the population changing their minds and behaving less harmfully will have to happen to achieve the required limiting of impacts on the future generations.

    A significantly smaller total global population with the highest impacting people still as numerous is almost no improvement. Of course, a reduction of population that eliminated the highest impacting people would make a big difference, but my preference is for those people to change their minds and behave more altruistically.

  48. One Planet Only Forever at 14:49 PM on 16 October 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41


    The following may be a better way to explain my comment @7.

    In 2013 there was a major flood event in southern Alberta. All kinds of people did all kinds of things to help those affected. The ones in need of help were helped. Nobody asked what the political ideology of anyone else was. And all the help was done in ways that did no harm to anyone else. And the helping did no harm to the future of humanity. That 'local' helping was altruistic.

    In Alberta (and Canada) today, many people claim they want to be helpful regarding jobs for 'others in Alberta (and Canada)' and want tax revenue to help pay for public health insurance, public education, and other social assistance program, which makes them oppose efforts to 'make burning fossil fuels more expensive or more difficult to profit from'. Their opposition to efforts to support the required climate impact corrections is because trhey 'want to help others'. That is just appeals to tribalism (group selfishness) and promotion of anti-altruism.

    Ayn Rand said that capitalism and altruism could not coexist, probably because the likes of her do not like the extra effort and resulting limitations of options that Altruism requires.

    Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine - The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" includes information about what conservative leaders actually did after Katrina hit New Orleans to try to make New Orleans more like what they wanted it to be (not so full of those "Others").

    And more recently we all know how the conservative leadership in the USA 'helped' Puerto Rico.

    Individual conservatives may be nice people. But gathered into a group, especially the United Greedier and Less Tolerant claiming to be Right, they can be very different. The Unite the Right objective is to give those still thinking they are conservatives only one voting choice - supporting the collective of unacceptable interests United and claiming to be Right.

  49. There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

    @Ted Franklin, agreed, but if it's able to halt or reduce polar amplification then it will also reduce some of the related impacts, such as jet stream related weather events and coastal innundation. It also buys some time to develop methods and technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and inevitably, for the world to reduce its population to more sustainable levels. The effect of 600ppm+ CO2 in the atmosphere does at least have the effect of amplifying the carbon cycle, and with so many mouths to feed by 2070 it might be an almost necessary evil.     

  50. Medieval Warm Period was warmer

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    How A Viking Swimming With A Sheep Led To Climate Change Denial by Matthew Gabriele, Forbes, Oct 14, 2018

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