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Comments 651 to 700:

  1. Dan_the_Engineering_Man at 08:29 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Awesome, we have a discussion instead of name calling.

    First, I did not give my Political opinions.  My description of Republicans was to show that it is absurd to believe that roughly 1/2 the population wakes up every day in anticipation of how they can destroy the Planet.

    Secondly, there are maybe trace elements of CO2 in higher elevations, but not enough to support Photosynthesis.  I would imagine, warm CO2 Gas exiting a Power Plant might linger until it cooled, but it will return to the ground level.  Please people, CO2 is heavier than AIR.  Please don't call me names for explaining that fact. CO2 is heavier than Air, how can it be a Greenhouse Gas, insulating the Planet? I am sorry but first there is not enough CO2, it is a tiny fraction of Air, and second, it is heavier than Air.

    As for the holes in my math, all the Energy that Man uses in a Year is less than 4 Hours of the Energy that the Sun imparts on the Earth.  Look it up yourself, I even give the website.  Don't be angry with me, I am simply looking for the Truth.  

    I like solar and Wind Power, I am not against them.  I understand how Power Companies work and that having multiple Sources and Fuels are important to National Security and our Welfare.  A pile of coal that could last a Month at a Power Company would be very nice to have especially in the event that something like a Tornado happened across a Gas pipeline or to a Wind or Solar Farm.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Again, read the Comments Policy.   And ensure all future comments are constructed to comply with it.

    Ideological, off-topic and sloganeering statements snipped.

  2. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Again, you are simply guessing what the science knows or not instead of bothering to read. What you are talking about is UHI effect, very well studied as it has to be corrected for in temperature record. As someone who works in thermodynamics, I am extremely aware of waste heat, but as you point out, it is insignificant compared to solar output. It is also insignificant compared to greenhouse effect.  Please see the waste heat myth here for more details. Comment there, not here, if you want to discuss waste heat further. Off topic comments get deleted.

  3. Dan_the_Engineering_Man at 07:53 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Scaddenp, I guess none of the Scientists that you speak of came from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Pittsburgh was once the Steel Capitol of the World.  Growing up in Pittsburgh, it was comom knowledge that Pittsburgh and the surrounding Counties were always 5 Degrees warmer than the out laying Communities. Even areas farther to the South of Pittsburgh were colder.  It is difficult to understand what 100's of Cities with the Industrial capacity of 1940's and 50's Pittsburgh, would do to Regional Climate if condensed into one Country, but that is what has happened in China.  Every Steel Mill, every Aluminum Mill, Glass Factory, Chemical Plant, Textile Factory, each one, uses the Energy of a Large Residential City.  As you add Manufacturing, you must add Power Plants, they also add Heat depending upon types of fuel.  Check out any Thermal Dynamic Cycle you can think of, burning any Fuels in the conversion to Electricity is at best 40% Efficient. Therefore, you have 60% wasted Heat from all the Fuels burned.  How can the Scientists that you speak of, ignore that fact?       

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] "How can the Scientists that you speak of, ignore that fact?"

    Scientists ignore no such thing.  Waste heat is addressed on this thread

    And, while urban areas are undoubtedly warmer than surrounding rural areas, this has had little to no impact on warming trends.

    "The Urban Heat Island effect is real. Berkeley’s analysis focused on the question of whether this effect biases the global land average. Our UHI paper analyzing this indicates that the urban heat island effect on our global estimate of land temperatures is indistinguishable from zero."


    "Time series of the Earth’s average land temperature are estimated using the Berkeley Earth methodology applied to the full dataset and the rural subset; the difference of these is consistent with no urban heating effect over the period 1950 to 2010"


    "The simple take-away is that while UHI and other urban-correlated biases are real (and can have a big effect), current methods of detecting and correcting localized breakpoints are generally effective in removing that bias. Blog claims that UHI explains any substantial fraction of the recent warming in the US are just not supported by the data."

    Please note that Skeptical Science is a big place, with thousands of blog posts and rebuttals addressing virtually every topic available in the science. Please familiarize yourself with the site, using the Search function in the upper left of every page when in doubt about which thread to place a comment on. 

    And remember that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  4. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work


    "When you look at a Mountain, there is a Tree line, the Trees can not grow above that Altitude. That is because CO2 is heavier than Air, and there is no CO2 at the higher Altitudes."

    "Carbon dioxide, also known by the chemical formula CO2, has a higher density than the other gases found in air, which makes CO2 heavier than the air."

    CO2 is heaver than oxygen, but the atmosphere has "well mixed gases" with CO2 at very high altitudes because of winds etc as briefly discusssed in ths article. This is established science, that has been measured at high altitudes with measuring devices. 

  5. David Kirtley at 07:30 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Dan: The Mauna Loa observatory, which has been measuring increasing atmospheric CO2 since the late 1950s, is located at an elevation of 3379 meters (11,145 ft) above sea level. Not sure if this is above or below the treeline. Nevertheless, CO2 is a well-mixed gas and occurs throughout the troposphere and into the stratosphere.

  6. One Planet Only Forever at 07:23 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work


    As a long time Professional Engineer with an MBA I spotted may holes in your comment, in addition to the one that Philippe pointed out @6 and the one that scaddenp pointedout at 7.

    The first one I add is the political one. Every category of people you listed also includes Liberal Progressives.

    The most glaring error of understanding is your claim that "CO2 is not a Greenhouse Gas.", that was correctly pointed out by scaddenp.

    Your other expressions of thoughts is similarly questionable.

    I will close by hoping you do not extend the approach you have taken to mis-understanding this issue to your Engineering work. That would be irresponsibly tragic.

    Do more research to be sure you properly understand what is going on, setting aside personal preferences, just as you would do with any engineering work you perform.

  7. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Dan_the_Engineering_Man @5

    You compalin the article is politically biased, however its not biased. Because it's a simple fact that polls do actually consistently show republicans more sceptical of climate science than democrats.

    You say republicans dont want to destroy the planet. Strawman argument as nobody has accused them of that. However it's a fact thar the current republican administration has downgraded numerous useful Obama era environmental protections in this article, and so they are damaging the planet whether they intend to or not.

    You say trees dont grow above the tree line because CO2 is heavier than air. Nothing to do with temperatures at high altitudes, precipitation, soils, shading effects  then?    In fact CO2 is detected at high altitudes with measuring devices in weather baloons etcetera.

    You appear to say there is climate change because Chinas industrial machine generates CO2 emissions. This conflicts with your previous two incorrect statements that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, and doesn't exist "above the tree line".

    It's probably also worth noting that while China produces more total emissions than America, America has higher emissions than China on a per capita basis. 

    You complain about Chinas industrial machine and it's affects on the west. Now I'm going to agree the issue needs watching carefully, but you totally fail to see the other side of the issue, that it has given the western world numerous low cost consumer products.

    You think China will become a giant industrial monopoly, but that isn't happening, because rising wages in China are already slowing its industrial growth, and its shifting manufacturing to other countries like vietnam and bangladesh etcetera. Its implausible to believe any one country would dominate manufacturing, and you have more to fear from multi national corporate monopolies.

    You say the Waste Energy Heat from this massive uncontrolled industrial monster in China, is carried to the North Pole by Trade Winds and is melting the arctic. You provide no evidence of this, and research studies conslusively show heat generated directly by industry and transport  is insignificant in global warming as in this article.

    You say global warming is caused by the suns energy. This would require an increase in the suns energy, but it's been decreasing in recent decades as in this article.

    This is just a relatively quick response to your comments. Have to agree with PC that no engineer would seriously generate the nonsense in you post.

  8. Dan_the_Engineering_Man at 07:19 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Philippe Chantreau, "Carbon dioxide, also known by the chemical formula CO2, has a higher density than the other gases found in air, which makes CO2 heavier than the air. Air is composed of approximately 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and less than 1 percent of other gases".  CO2 is a small fraction of the 1 % of other Gases.  It is absurd to think that a minute increase in CO2, can cause Global Warming. 

    You must have some emotional maturity issues for your use of name calling, when none is required.  Please, I mean no offense, only to educate in this matter.

    CO2 is dangerous to workers because it can become concentrated when trapped in crawl spaces under industrial furnaces, or other areas with poor ventilation.  But possibly you have never held a job, where the Safety Department requires you to be educated in the dangers and proceedures of confined spaces.

    Again, I concede that Industrial Cities can elevate local Temperatures, and when concentrated with as many Industrial Cities that exist in China, Regional Weather patterns can be affected.  Especially when the Industrial Cities of Europe and the Americas are in decline.  But the Energy from the Sun laughs at all the combined Energy created by man.  A solar flare in our direction and all life on Earth is toast.  

    Do a little reasearch yourself Philippe, I give you the Wikipedia site for Energy.  It really is very simple math, and I bet you could follow it if you tried.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please keep it civil.

  9. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Every scientist agrees waste heat isnt a problem. What made you think otherwise? Try reading the AR5 Summary for Policy makers or Technical summary to understand what the science claims actually are before making. Your statements about CO2 are nonsense and directly contradicted by experiment and observation.

  10. Philippe Chantreau at 03:44 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Dan I don't know what kind of engineer you are but your tree line Co2 heavier than air thing is complete nonsense. No engineer worth anything would spit out such idiotic BS. You seriously need to educate yourself before commenting.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] over the line.

  11. Dan_the_Engineering_Man at 01:37 AM on 6 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    This article " On Climate Change, Zero-Sum Thinking Doesn't Work" written by a guest Author on the Skeptical Science Website, was written by someone who is very politically charged and biased.  But I wonder if the Author sees the larger picture?  If so, it would be written without the Political Spin. I do not believe that Conservative Thinkers, who can be broken down as Republicans, Tea Party Patriots, Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, NRA Members, Factory Workers, Small Business Owners and Workers, Hunters, Fishermen, Policeman, Firemen, Military Personnel both presently serving and Veterens, Mothers and Fathers, and many others including Billionaires like our President, get up in the Morning and want to ignore Science and destroy the Planet.  I do not believe this at all.  If we examine the Facts, Reality will guide us to the correct conclusions and the Path we should collectively take.  The Political Spin ruins any inteligent examination.

    When you look at a Mountain, there is a Tree line, the Trees can not grow above that Altitude.  That is because CO2 is heavier than Air, and there is no CO2 at the higher Altitudes.  CO2 is not a Greenhouse Gas. 

    I believe there is Climate Change, as China and the greater Asian Region of the Planet is rapidly becoming Industrialized.  The people in Asian are going from riding Billions of Bicycles to riding in Billions of Automobiles, Trains, and Planes.  China now produces more than 6 Times more Steel than the rest of the World combined.  China is also leading in the Manufacture of Aluminum, all Chemicals, Paints, Paper, Cloth, everything.  The Production of everything in China does not stop just because the demand for the products decreases.  China keeps it's people working even if there is not further demand for it's products.  There is more Steel Plate on the Ground in China, then the rest of the World can use in a Year, and yet Chinese Steel Mills continue to produce at record amounts. This massive uncontrolled industrial monster in China has no Enviromental Controls Agency, no OSHA Safety Agency, and No Agency to look at Energy Efficiency.  This massive uncontrolled industrial monster in China is set on destroying any Industrial Factory outside of China.  And when this Task is complete, and Industry outside of China is destroyed, China can raise the Prices of it's Products as it wishes.    

    The Waste Energy Heat from this massive uncontrolled industrial monster in China, is carried to the North Pole by Trade Winds.  The Artic Ice is melting, but there are reports that the Antartic Ice is Growing.  This fact causes Anti Global Warmers to cry Foul to those believeing in Global Warming.  So who's observation is Correct?  Both are Correct!  But CO2 is not a Greenhouse Gas.  In fact, the Sumation of all the Energy that Man has created, in all the Countries on the Planet, in one Year is less than the Energy that the Sun Transmitts to the Surface of the Earth in 1 Hour.  This is simple Math any High School Student can do.  The Sun imparts much greater than an average of 160 W of Energy per Sqaure Meter on the Surface of the Earth.  1/2 the Surface of the Earth facing the Sun is still 260 Tillion Square Meters. 260,000,000,000,000 X .160 KWatts X 24 Hours =

    998,400 TWH of Energy of from the Sun in one Day on the Earth.

    Man Produces 157,500 TWH per Year from all sources of Energy.

    Therefore, our Sun imparts more energy on the Earth in 4 Hours, than man uses in a Year.  Man is not causing Global Warming.  Man may be Poisioning Asia, polluting the Air and Waters in Asia, Killing the Wild Life, destroying Humanity in Asia, preventing the Native peoples from living off of their changing habitats, and man be causing Regional Climate Change, but Man is not causing Global Warming, and CO2 is one of the best gases man has prodcued.        

  12. michael sweet at 23:17 PM on 5 April 2018
    Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated

    Yesterday a post here (since deleted as spam) claimed that I had not produced a citation to support my claims aout nuclear power.  I cited Abbott 2011 to support my nuclear claims.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Your post was deleted because it responded to a deleted post. 

    [DB] Further, the person to which you were responding has permanently recused themselves from further participation in this venue.

  13. Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets
    The graphic embedded here for 2° warming seems to be completely identical to the graphic in the paper for 1981–2010 climate and to the 1.5° warming graphic in the paper.What is the source of the here embedded 2° warming graphic? It is not included in the linked paper.Are the changes to small to be seen on the choosen colour scale or is there another issue?
  14. Explainer: The polar vortex, climate change and the ‘Beast from the East’

    Not sure what planet the author lives on, record cold and snow with crop losses on this one.

    Moderator Response:


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    Note. Sloganeering, argumentive tone, offtopic, gish gallop. (Not to mention monumentally uninformed nonsense).

  15. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    It is actually rather more consistent with rising global temperature. Evaporation from irrigation can only make local, short term change to water vapour in atmosphere. Change in tropospheric specific humidity over past 40 years is about 3.5%, consistant with 0.5C increase in temperature. See Fig 2.30 and accompanying text in AR5 WG1 for the list of peer-reviewed papers discussing this.

  16. One Planet Only Forever at 06:56 AM on 5 April 2018
    Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets


    Food exporting places like Australia would not be considered to be at risk because they can 'reduce how much they export'.

  17. One Planet Only Forever at 06:54 AM on 5 April 2018
    Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets

    Policy makers should already understand what needs to be corrected and why, or at least they can't claim that the required information was not available yet.

    The Sustainable Development Goals were published in 2015. The fundamental understanding of what is wrong and needs to be corrected was pretty clear in the 1972 Stockholm Conference. It has been reinforced by every subsequent increased understanding, especially in the 1987 UN report “Our Common Future” and the 2012 UN report “Back to Our Common Future”.

    The reasons for the resistance to the understood corrections is also well understood. Naomi Klein's “No is not Enough” is one of many presentations of understanding regarding the developed Private Interests that are harmful to achieving the sustainably better future for humanity.

    The obvious losers of climate change impacts are the entire future generations that have to 'adapt to the rapidly changed climate' (even the biggest winners among them will suffer to a degree), thta is created by the lack of responsible correction/restriction of behaviour of the richest and most influential in the previous generations.

    The trouble-makers identified by the likes of Klein try to claim it is reasonable to do unsustainable things and create costs and challenges for others, especially future generations. They like to compare the perceived benefit or opportunity that they have to give up if creating those impacts on Others was rapidly curtailed (careful not to point out that it is mainly the sub-set of trouble-makers who would have to give things up), to the current generation's perceptions (the trouble-makers claimed perception) of the created future costs or challenges.

    In engineering design the future risk of negative consequences is to be minimized to make the built item a sustainable benefit rather than a future problem or burden. Creating problems others have to deal with in the future is understood to be unacceptable. When uncertainty is involved, the potential for negative future consequences is conservatively mitigated by over-estimating the impact and under-estimating the ability of what is built to adequately deal with those impacts.

    However, in some business thinking, the future risks of negative results are often considered to be mitigated by having someone else suffer the negative consequences, or gambling that the ones benefiting in the near term will not be penalized by any negative result that occurs in the longer term.

    Clearly policy makers need to follow the engineering approach (the application of science approach), not the business approach (the gambling to get rich quick approach). Don't get me wrong. A policy maker with business experience could be a very effective applier of science through the engineering approach. The key is to be willing to identify and effectively address the other types if they should get away with temporarily Winning anywhere.

    Focusing on properly identifying who deserves recognition and reward and who deserves to be disappointed and discouraged is what all policy makers understand they need to develop, but some of them are motivated by other Private Interests.

    Those other Private Interests are not interested in minimizing the negative impacts on future generations. Regarding food production, they would not like to see the development of responsible limits to long distance transportation of food. They would not like local agricultural Coops developed to maximize the local benefit of what can be locally grown for local consumption (rather than multinational investor operations). They would also not like to see trade limited to emergency food aid and the importing of produce that cannot responsibly be grown locally in an area (but still obtained with limited transportation).

    Working towards those types of corrections do not need improved understanding of the regional level of climate change impact. Those corrections are required, along with the requirement to most rapidly reduce the impacts causing increased climate change challenges.

  18. Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets

    It mystifies me why Australia is not particularly at risk. This country has a considerable history of droughts already. 

  19. Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets

    Interesting map – but no surprises. Countries of Europe, North America and Australasia have no reason to feel complacent. It is likely that most will be affected by sea level rise reducing fertile coastal land now producing food crops and destroying infrastructure essential for its distribution.

    The article asks: ‘is there a tipping point for ice sheet loss from Greenland or Antarctica? A certain temperature threshold that once passed cannot be reversed?’ I would have thought the answer was indicated by Arctic amplification, sea ice depletion and increasing mass loss from polar ice sheets.

    Is it likely that these indicators are going to reverse?

  20. Humans survived past climate changes

    Ping34 , you should read the article [posted on 3 April 2018] titled "Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets".  Also read the linked article ("how bad will it be") mentioned in the second sentence of the 3 April 2018 article.

    Also read "Most Used Climate Myths : Number 3" which is listed in the upper left region of the Home Page.  You may read it at the Basic level or Intermediate level or the Advanced level.

    In very brief summary — a one or two degree rise (from now) in surface temperature will produce a significant reduction of cereal crops [rice, wheat and maize, and other foods as well].  More heat-waves, droughts, floods, and storms, will reduce the total food production (there are very few food crops which will benefit from the new conditions).  Maize is especially damaged by droughts and prolonged heat-waves.

    Increased ocean acidity [from CO2] will reduce the supply of fish and other marine foodstuffs.   Rising sea level will gradually affect farming in the rich soil of the river deltas.

    Less food supply, rising food prices . . .  and so more political unrest & instability . . . and increasingly big numbers of "climate refugees" (on top of political refugees) . . . yes, the world will be a tougher place to live in.

  21. It's cosmic rays

    This seems to be the main SkS page on galactic cosmic rays, reachable via I like the way the advanced version highlights the slim chance of new particles reaching the necessary size (about 50nm?) to become cloud condensation nuclei (and that the basic version just reiterates that there's no historical connection).  There are other rather outdated pages that could be linked here:

    It does look like the CERN CLOUD experiments are producing unexpected and useful results, possibly finally reducing the uncertainty range in the effect of anthropogenic aerosols, but are pretty conclusive that cosmic rays have a very small effect.

    One of the most recent CERN results (Gordon et al, 2017) concludes 'Our model suggests that the effect of changes in cosmic ray intensity on CCN is small and unlikely to be comparable to the effect of large variations in natural primary aerosol emissions.' and this seems consistent with other methods finding <1% of cloud condensation nuclei are related to cosmic rays.

    However, there is some good news I've seen contrarians pick up from CLOUD studies: although present cloud effects are dominated by anthropogenic sulphates (potentiated by ammonia?), in the pre-industrial atmosphere, terpenes and pinenes and other natural VOCs had a role seeding cooling clouds.  This potential constraint on aerosol effects could reduce upper limits on ECS - one of the researchers is quoted as saying "the highest values become improbable".  I'm not clear if this is ECS > 4°C, say, or whether a reduced uncertainty has fed into recent attempts at 'quantifying our Faustian bargain' of reducing sulphate pollution.

  22. Humans survived past climate changes

    It's not the case that we would survive or not, but in the sense that the world would be a much tougher place to live. I am curious about this. Are there any reliable prediction on the things that climate change will change our way of living in the next few decades?

  23. One Planet Only Forever at 13:58 PM on 4 April 2018
    On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    A deliberately under-represented consideration/motivation in the currently developed socioeconomic-political systems is the need to only assign positive value to things that can withstand deep investigation into being sustainable benefits for all of humanity, especially the future generations, actions that would pass being evaluated to ensure they are not contrary to any of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Zero-sum thinking has a history of developing unsustainable harmful results, not just the current climate science exposed over-development in unacceptable directions. The clear evidence of those damaging developments resulted in the international collaboration that has produced the Sustainable Development Goals, efforts that started before the 1972 Stockholm Conference, efforts that have faced constant resistance.

    My MBA education in the 1980s helped me be aware that zero-sum thinking can develop negative-sum results, especially the power of deceptive emotion triggering marketing (deliberate disinformation campaigns) to create unjustifiable temporary (unsustainable) perceptions of winning relative to others.

    Negative-sum developments are tragically common today. Perceived winners create a future that could have been better 'overall' than it ended up being. But those 'competitors' would need to change their minds about what to value, change their mind about how to play the game, change their Private Interests in order to help develop a better potential future (the Global Public Interest).

    Aspects of systems that develop damaging 'learning to compete to appear to be the winner relative to others' (the zero-sum approach to things that leads to negative-sum results), must be 'corrected' to sustainably correct the resulting damaging developments and reduce the chances of other unsustainable damaging winning.

    Systems that develop unsustainable activities that are harmful to others can also be seen to develop resistance to being corrected. The portion of the population pushing to expand or prolong such systems, and resisting correction of such systems, are undeniably the 'problems to be corrected'. The correction requires education efforts potentially including restrictions on influence and freedom until clear changes of attitude and actions toward positive-sum ways have developed'.

    Sean Carroll's “The Big Picture” provides a comprehensive understanding of the total system of Reality and its variety of inter-related and integrated sub-systems. It is a good explanation of the fundamentals of the entire system that humanity is developing in, is a part of, including the future results in the system. It helps understand how the actions of individuals influence the future that develops. The final chapter “Caring”, is particularly enlightening. It includes the following statement “The personal desires and cares we start with may be simple and self-regarding. But we can build on them to create values that look beyond ourselves, to the wider world.”. That relates to one of my favourite quotes from John Stuart Mill's “On Liberty” - “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”. And that understanding is related to the importance of developing more positive-sum thinkers, particularly among the wealthy and influential.

    Naomi Klein's “No is not Enough” provides a comprehensive presentation of the harmful unsustainable developments that have been occurring and how those Winners try to increase their undeserved winning in pursuit of more of their harmful developed Private Interests.

    People all have their Private Interests. They develop those interests as a result of the influence of the environment they experience. Aligning those developed Private Interests with the Public Good of developing sustainable improvements for the future of humanity is what is required.
    The SDGs, curiously not mentioned in “No is not Enough”, are a robustly developed understanding of the collective of Private Interests that need to be encouraged to develop (similar to what Sean Carroll says of robustly developed scientific understanding, the SDGs are open to improvement but are unlikely to be significantly altered by new learning).

    A good way for systems to develop positive-sum results would be to have the highest expectation and requirement for helpfulness apply to the biggest winners, the richest and most influential/powerful. That basis for correcting/penalizing someone who chose not to behave more helpfully/correctly would mean less hope of winning in ways that 'are understandably unhelpful but are hoped to not be able to be legally proven to have been contrary to an interpretation of whatever the written rules of the moment are'. Less freedom for the 'more popular, more profitable, more successful, bigger winners' to be excused for believing what they want and doing as they please would be a good thing. It would help limit the development of damaging zero-sum thinking.

    Efforts to educate the entire population, increasing awareness and improving understanding in the pursuit of positive-sum helpful developments, are undeniably essential to the future of humanity. The alternative is strengthening resistance to correction of regionally popular and profitable damaging ultimately unsustainable activity resulting in more harm done before it is effectively curtailed. The efforts to oppose or delay development of the corrections that climate science has exposed are required, particularly through the past 30 years, are undeniable and undeniably harmful in spite of being popular and profitable. This is undeniable proof that popularity and profitability can only be 'measures of success' in a system where nobody attempts to 'compete to appear to be the winner relative to others'. Popularity and profitability only indicate justified success in systems where everyone strives to be more aware of what is really going on in pursuit of sustainable helpful developments for the future of humanity.

    The evolving systems of human interaction with others and the environment can actually develop a less beneficial future for humanity. More freedom for people to believe whatever they wish and do as they please can actually be understood to develop more damaging and less sustainable behaviour. Education/learning that is focused on helping others be more aware and better understanding of what is really going on and the essential objective of sustainably improving life for all of humanity into the distant future is essential for humanity to have a future on this, or any other, amazing planet.

  24. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    You cannot really make any long-term change to the water vapour content in the atmosphere by injecting water vapour by any means. Water just condenses out. What the atmosphere will hold is function of air temperature (Clausius-Clapeyron relation) and the oceans provide the main source.

  25. Digby Scorgie at 12:30 PM on 4 April 2018
    Scientists examine threats to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets

    Please fix the first sentence: "now can no longer can"?

  26. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Ruzena @308 , I have not seen scientific figures for the amount of water vapor emitted from composting or from the burning of wet organic matter (or from dry organic matter, too).   But the planet has over 300 million square kilometres of ocean to produce water vapor by evaporation — so presumably the amount of vapor from composting/burning, would be negligibly small in comparison.

    There would be a difference in the timing of release (of vapor) from human-caused composting/burning versus the release by natural composting/burning from organic materials [which would have occurred eventually, producing H2O and CO2].   But over the course of a decade or two, the end result would be about the same.   This is all part of the natural cycle of organic carbon [unlike the CO2 from fossil fuels].

  27. Ruzena Svedelius at 10:37 AM on 4 April 2018
    Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    What effect does the vapor emit at
    a) burning of wet organic matter
    b) composting
    compared with the fact that the wet organic material is used as a raw material for the production of biogas and biofertilizers and the biogas is subsequently burned and thus converted into electricity and heat.

  28. Study: wind and solar can power most of the United States

    Wind turbines operate under great turbulence, with consequences for grid stability( —While previous research has shown that wind turbulence causes the power output of wind turbines to be intermittent, a new study has found that wind turbulence may have an even greater impact on power output than previously thought. The researchers modeled the conversion of wind speed to power output using data from a rural wind farm. The results showed that the intermittent properties of wind persist on the scale of an entire wind farm, and that wind turbines do not only transfer w…

  29. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Related reading: "How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon."

    Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.

  30. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    I would like to get the scientific community to feed back on the impact of Animal Agriculture on the emerging climate crisis.  A recent UN study seemed to fault Animal Agriculture for nearly 50% of global emissions because Animal Ag contributed to desertification, deforestation, eutrophication and acidification of the oceans, wild animal habitat loss, inefficient land use, excessive water usage and health issues affecting over-utilization of medical resources.  While the list didn't end there, it would be good to know what subscribers to this site have to say.  If my request is off topic, please offer a re-direct.  Thank You.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] This post by Dana addresses that.  Please place any concerns or questions you may have on it, after reading it and the comments below it.  Thanks!

  31. Sea level rise due to floating ice?

    @eclectic  cool. thanks.   Someone should tell that to the people that drew the diagram in that guardian piece.

  32. Sea level rise due to floating ice?

    Ewinsberg @63 ,for grounded ice, as the bottom ice melts, the upper ice sags downwards.

  33. Sea level rise due to floating ice?

    What about ice that is trapped below sea level as in this:

    since that ice is not bobbing above the surface, doesn't its melting actually create more space, and hence actually lower sea level?  if not, why not?

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Fill a glass with ice cubes and water. Let it melt and see what happens. (Hint: When a given volume of ice melts, it turns into an equivalent amount of water.)

  34. How do we know CO2 is causing warming?

    billev - read the main article? If you want a really direct measurement, then this article explains a 2015 method. However, you have to be a disbeliever in Planck's Law if dont think that increasing the radiative flux on a surface will not increase its temperature. Doubling CO2 directly increases surface temperature by about 1.1C - the calculation is pretty straightforward. The difficulty with climate sensitivity determination however is that increasing temperature causes other feedbacks to cut in as well notably decreasing albedo and water vapour. As to teasing out of the various influences on surface temperature, then this is known as attribution studies. The IPCC AR5 summaries the published science on this in Chpter 10.

  35. On climate change, zero-sum thinking doesn't work

    Very well said. Imo there's far too much zero sum game thinking, and short term knee jerk reaction thinking coming out of the White House, and not enough calm wisdom and longer term science based  thinking.

    However "Such corrosive behaviors have undermined the competitiveness of polluting industries," surely means non polluting industries?

    Regarding the plunging costs of renewable energy and battery storage this is interesting :

    "The plunging cost of storage, along with that of wind and solar power, appears to have crossed a new threshold after a tender conducted by a major US energy utility suggests “firm and dispatchable” renewables are now cheaper than existing coal plants."

    "The stunning revelation came from Xcel Energy in Colorado, and quietly released over the Christmas/New Year break, although some outlets like Vox and Carbon Tracker were quick to pick up on the significance."

    The original article stated "Market forces will eventually stop rewarding ever more costly carbon-intensive practices that put irreplaceable natural life-supports at risk."

    Yes, but this should not be interpreted to mean market forces will solve the climate problem alone. It's going to take some legislation, like the EPA legislation on CO2, some subsidies and a carbon tax and dividend, because market forces alone are well known to be far too slow and inadequate to deal with environmental problems, due to the tragedy of the commons problem.

    In fact I personally think it needs a combined approach of more personal initiative, better corporate behaviour without always having to be pushed, and government legislation in the background to give things a push and help where market forces don't provide sufficient answers.

    However one would hope Trump could see the obvious fact that market forces do show that coal is no longer economic. Perhaps he doesn't believe in market forces, and just wants to run the economy by command from the whitehouse on his gut instincts. Isn't that communism or even worse?

  36. The sun is getting hotter

    Chanut, the ozone hole does not cause global warming. Why did you say that?

  37. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    bearling, that's right. No, the thickness of sea ice doesn't affect its ability to reflect heat very much, it affects its ability to melt.

  38. Philippe Chantreau at 05:46 AM on 3 April 2018
    Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated

    Meanwhile, our knowledge about what is really happening is increasing:

    From the abstract: "Between 2010 and 2016, 22%, 3% and 10% of surveyed grounding lines in West Antarctica, East Antarctica and at the Antarctic Peninsula retreated at rates faster than 25 m yr−1 (the typical pace since the Last Glacial Maximum) and the continent has lost 1,463 km2 ± 791 km2 of grounded-ice area."

    This is from Nature Geosciences, so unfortunately behind paywall.

  39. michael sweet at 04:14 AM on 3 April 2018
    Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated


    We can discuss the Nerem paper by comparing it to earlier papers, discussing the methods and reliablity of the authors and reviewing the new data they have discovered.  For important papers (like Nerem) other experts will comment on new papers so that the rest of us can get an idea of what is going on.  Sometimes we have to wait for more papers to come out to decide what is correct.  It took about 5 years for scientists to agree that the "pause" was denier bunk.  Curries claims that it was real have been long proven incorrect.

    This contrasts to your approach.  You said that you had read the IPCC and the 2017 US Climate Change reports as your source of information.  Then you said that you think that everything in those reports is bunk and calculated your own value denovo.  Thus your "estimate" had no relation to either of the reports you claimed to cite.  It is only the wild, unsupported idea of an oil investor. 

    It may be allowed for lawyers to make up any old story they want, but it is not allowed in scientific discussions.  You must support your claims by referring to papers that actually support your position.  Merely reading the IPCC report does not make you an expert comparable to those who have devoted decades of their lives studing the issue. 

    Your inability to discern how the Climate Report reached its new expected values demonstrates that you have little comprehension of what you are reading.  How can you calculate a new value when you have no idea how the existing value was determined?  I could find that information on my own.

    You are welcome to give our opinion in some areas, but it has no place discussing facts on a scientific blog.  You must support your claims with something besides "this is what I thought up on my own after reading a few scientific papers".  Some of the posts are on more subective issues and then all can promote their opinion, athough you still should be able to support your claims with some sort of reference.

    When you have little understanding of a subect you are much better off asking for help on some of the issues you do not uderstand.  People  here are happy to help you undersatnd why scientists are worried that sea level might rise 8 feet when you think 8 inches is a better estimate. A group of top experts recently published a paper warning about the possibility of 17 feet of sea level rise by 2100.

    Making your own novel calculations is a waste of everyones time.  I have a Masters in Chemistry, I have followed AGW closely for 20 years and I have decades of scientific experience. I rely on my personal knowledge less than once a year (and only on chemical behaviour).  If challenged I produce references.   In a scientiic discussion you must find papers that support your claims.  If you cannot find papers to support your claims that tells you that the claim is incorrect. 

    Your claim of 8-10 inches is 50% of the lowest estimate of the IPCC which they say is very likely to be exceeded.  The IPCC is well known to be extremely conservative (low) on sea level rise.  Would a judge allow such a wild claim by a novice to be allowed as evidence in court to argue against expert opinion?

  40. How could global warming accelerate if CO2 is 'logarithmic'?

    Alchemyst @6 and nigelj @5: The Lambert-Beer Law shows an exponential rise of Absorption with increasing concentration. So Alchemyst's statement is incorrect.

    In the atmosphere, though, the law applies only to infinitesimally small slabs because neither temperature nor pressure are constant with height, thus the results have to be integrated over the whole atmospheric column. Individual absorption lines of GHGs that are "saturated" (e.g. all "strong" GHGs such as CO2), thus absorb less per concentration change, than lines of "weak" GHGs (e.g. CFCs) that are not "saturated". This is discussed in detail in most atmospheric chemistry textbooks.

    The scientific community worked through the math decades ago and found that weak absorbers produce approximate linear increases in radiative forcing in response to their concentration increases, while those for strong absorbers increase logarithmically. These relationships are empirical, aka they apply to our Earth's atmosphere. The numbers for radiative forcing enter the calculation of Global Warming Potentials.

  41. Philippe Chantreau at 02:46 AM on 3 April 2018
    Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Bearling, the sea ice extent has not recovered at all. Although your remark about volume does have some validity, anyone attempting to argue that see ice extent has "recovered" is taking you for a ride. See NSIDC for the latest news.

  42. Arctic sea ice has recovered

          So, many people think that the ice has recovered because of the extent of the ice without considering about the volume. The point is that we need to look at the volume to measure how much there really is. According to the thick ice graph, it is great concern that thick ice takes a lot more heat to melt and it is disappearing so fast.
          “Although a thin layer of ice doesn’t tell us much about the overall state of ice loss at the Arctic, it does tell us a great deal about Albedo, the property of ice to reflect heat back into space. When the sea ice diminishes, more heat passes into the oceans. That heat melts the thick ice and speeds up the melting of thinner sea ice, which in turns allows more heat to accumulate in the oceans.” My question is that, does the thickness of the ice really matter to how well it can reflect the heat? If it is thicker will it be better to reflect the heat or not so much difference?

  43. Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated

    michael sweet @ 62

    There is much to reply to in the responses to date but do not interpret my comments that I do not think AGW is something we have to deal with which will require a move from fossil fuels.  What I am trying to determine is how much time we have to deal with the issue.  There are many potential effects of AGW but obviously one of the most critical is sea level rise.  What I am trying to sort out is how much can we expect and, to a certain extent, how much can be mitigated by a reduction in fossil fuel use.

    But I would like to address one philopsophical point about making contributions to this website.  If your position is that all we can do is exchange academic papers, you would slow any discussion on this blog to a snail's pace.  For example, there could be no references of criticism of the Nerem 2018 paper by other persons until other papers had been published which perhaps disagreed with it.  As you know full well, this could take a year given the process of first writing the paper and then having it go through the peer review process and finally having it published.

    The other philosophical problem I have with your approach is that you then limit any discussion or questions on this website to persons with a technical background.  I highly doubt that the sponsors of this website intend to limit discussion to those persons.  

    If you cannot adequately communicate and discuss these issues with the non-technical public then I have no idea how you expect to get the public onside except on faith.  "Trust me, we know better".  This is obviously a rhetorical statement on my part.

    As promised, I have supported most of my statements in my reply with citations from either the IPCC or peer-reviewed papers. 

    Obviously, my point is that there is more uncertainty in many of these positions than I am fully comfortable with in order to fully accept the projections of the IPCC or the US Climate Report based upon the levels of uncertainty acknowledged, especially when the projection is based upon a statement of "Medium Confidence".  On this point, the US Climate Report was much more "up front" about these uncertainty levels than the IPCC.  I actually did not locate the measurements of Confidence Levels in the early chapter of the Fifth Assessment (I found the probability levels relatively easily but not the Confidence level definitions).

    Glenn Tamblyn has provided me with a paper on the reasons for the increase in the upper level of the sea level rise in the US Climate Report and I intend to read it.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic and argumentative snipped.

  44. Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated

    Glenn Tamblyn @ 65

    Thanks.  I have printed it and will read it today.  

    One issue which I did not get into in my post given its length already is the cause of ocean warming in the Amundsen Sea which is obviously impacting the melting and calving of the WAIS, or at least parts of it.

    My understanding is that there is geothermal activity at the bottom of the Amundsen sea caused by about 200 fissures of some sort of which some 90 have only recently been discovered.

    If this is a major cause of the warming of the ocean then it obviously is relevant, not as to how much sea level rise we be caused by the melting of the WAIS but how much of that melting can be laid at the doorstep of AGW.

    Have there been any academic papers that have discussed the geothermal warming and its effect on the Amundsen Sea? Either positive or negative.  

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic and sloganeering snipped.

    No more.  Period.

  45. How do we know CO2 is causing warming?

    Is there any measured evidence that the heat energy retention by CO2 and methane has had any measureable effect on the  temperatures shown on the official graphs of yearly global air temperature?

  46. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13

    The 'we only just recently figured it out' defence seems to fail both on the grounds that A: it is false and B: several of the denier groups they fund filed amicus briefs insisting it is all a big fraud with the court on this case... so even if it were true that we only figured global warming out a few years ago, the judge is literally holding proof in his hands that they are still funding misinformation to the contrary.

    On the 'shareholder value' front... there is more to it than that. Lying to your shareholders, even if doing so will make them more money, prevents them from making properly informed decisions. It is illegal regardless of the financial outcome... and again, the admission of the truths of climate science in this case does not match well with some dismissive statements these companies have made just in the last year.

  47. How could global warming accelerate if CO2 is 'logarithmic'?

    Though methane‘s direct contribution to sea level rise is small compared to potentional ice melting on Greenland and Antarctica, the point is that the thermal expansion of the sea caused by methane represents stored heat that lasts much longer than the life cycle of methane in the atmosphere that warmed the water. Such methane is like a blow torch heating rocks for only 5 minutes but the rocks then stay hot then warm for 50 minutes. Methane‘s heating of oceans, therefore, contributes to melting ice plugs around Greenland and Anarctica plus on top by contributing to heating the air. Dismissing methane seems misguided.

  48. Glenn Tamblyn at 19:33 PM on 2 April 2018
    Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated


    "The US Climate Report increases the upper level of the very likely range from 98 cm to 130 cm but does not explain its reasons for its difference with the very likely range of the Fifth Assessment."

    The updated sea level estimate from the most recent reports, since AR5, is primarily due to some key studies that have identified additional mechanisms, poorly considered up till now, that can see ice shelves and marine glacial fronts break up more rapidly than previously considered due to mechanical failures. This could lead for example to 1 meter of sea level rise, just from Antarctica, by centuries end.

    Perhaps the key paper is DeConto & Pollard 2016.

  49. It's global brightening

    I presume that 'you' have seen this?
    A BBC documentary about how unintentional increased reflectance due to man made pollution has actually hidden the affects of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

  50. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13

    John Hartz, my comments basically do apply to America, but I think China affects other countries in a similar way, and the trump issue is similar to other authoritarian leaders. 

    I should have been clearer. I got the more global story of the week and the editorial on america confused in my head. 

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