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Comments 751 to 800:

  1. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Evan @6,

    For myself, I do not reckon we are past the point where keeping AGW below +1.5ºC becomes impossible. But we are cutting it mighty fine.

    You 'assume' ECS=3ºC but it could be higher. The one saving grace in there still being a possibility of an ECS significantly above 3ºC is that the additional warming resultant from higher ECS appears later, most of the addition a full century after the forcing is applied. So the ECS=3ºC assumption isn't entirely foolhardy in ignoring the possibility of it being higher.

    The 400ppm of CO2 gives a little over half the forcing of double CO2. There are of course other significant positive climate forcings as well as negative ones, but for CO2 the atmospheric concentrations will drop once we stop the emissions. The general view has been that once you stop emissions, the falling CO2 forcing would balance with the warming from the remaining un-balanced forcing leaving a roughly constant global temperature, even a cooling. For instance, IPCC FAR projections (graphic annotated here) to 2100 includes 'zero CO2 emissions' and that results in significant cooling. With other GHGs and a pile of negative forcings to handle, that 'cooling' factor would be required - as we nudge upwards and that +1.5ºC of AGW grows ever closer, we need all the help we can get.

    And given Greenland goes into melt-down somewhere between +1ºC and +2ºC, I can imagine the target of staying below +1.5ºC will be replaced by a target of reducing the warming back down to +1ºC or 350ppm CO2.

    I would add that I have always given the message that once AGW has become severe enough for building-dwelling people to notice, it will be a little too late to scrap all the gas-guzzling cars and convert the smog-works to run on sunbeams. We do need to act more quickly than that. Happily there are signs of that action beginning.

  2. Philippe Chantreau at 04:13 AM on 25 December 2018
    Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    Bsettlem, your post makes no sense at all. You're acknowledgeing that total contribution from human respiration with a population of 9 billions would be only 0.5% of just gasoline burning emissions, therefore an even smaller fraction of all fossil fuel CO2. And somehow that makes it a bigger problem than fossil fuel? Indeed CO2's radiative properties are independent of its origins, and of anyone's opinion as well. As you stated yourself, human respiration generated CO2 is a tiny fraction of that coming from other sources, so these other sources, over which we have control, are what matters. You being absolutely sure of anything does not make it real. Some people are absolutely sure that the Earth is flat.

  3. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Roder@5, great points. My view of the current focus on 2030 as the make-or-break date is not that the science really supports that (this is just my view from all that I've read), as much as the point that scientists will never say "We've past the point of no return." CO2 is 410 ppm now, 400 ppm CO2 is the approximate threshold for locking in 1.5C warming if we assume 3C warming/doubling CO2, and yet we're still talking about staying below 1.5 warming. The real problem as I see it is CO2 concentrations accelerating upwards combined with a 30-year delay between cause (CO2 emissions) and effect (warming). The scientists are warning of this, but it is beyond the comprehension of most people to appreciate what this means. In Minnesota people look outside and see weather that feels pretty much the same as it has all their lives. There is no sense of the impending doom that climate scientists are proclaiming. So they tune out.

    But I also see no alternative to the path that scientists are charting. Continue warning people, improving out understanding through good science, and trying to help people connect the dots. What else can we do? At some point as Climate Change gets sufficient severe to a sufficient number of people we will begin to win the messaging campaign. Let's hope it's soon enough.

  4. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    There was a second comment from Thomas Thorne that has been disappeared. It did try to provide some evidential basis for the assertions being made @1. It wasn't particularly exact in doing this. There was an alleged "UN in 1989" talking about catastrophe by 2000 and also a reference to Al Gore and catestrophic sea level rise. It seems both these 'predictions' concern SLR. The 1989 UN 'prediction' came from a 'Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.' Now bear in mind that this is coincidental with Montreal and the threat from CFC-caused AGW was as big as was CO2 back then. Even so, the predicted 1 to 7 degree in 30 years temperature increase (Fahrenheit) has happened. The "by 2000" comment was about SLR - "entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000." They are, of course small low-lying nations and I would ahve thought the warming by 1989 was probably enough to do the job without a further 10-years of AGW.

    Myself, I have been bashing on about AGW since 1995. The requirement for CO2 back then was a reduction of 50% by 2050. That has since become 80% and now 100%. The need for action prior to that was always expressed as a need to see CO2 emissions peak by 2020. I don't think that has ever changed. So from my memory the idea that "the IPCC ... have been making these 10-12 year claims for almost 30 years now," is a gross misrepresentation. The IPCC has been tightening the requirement, not the opposite which would have been the case if allowing deadlines to float along, always 10 years in the future.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The user ThomasThorne is one of dozens of fake account sock puppets operated by a serial spammer of this venue.  Its posting privileges have been rescinded, as will those of all future iterations of this spammer.  There is no need to respond to it anymore.

  5. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Moderator, sorry about the oversized graphs. I copy and pasted the links without realizing they would not be rescaled. My mistake.

  6. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Perhaps I missed some Thomas.

    CO2 is the control know and the H2O content is controlled by the CO2 concentration, not the other way around.

    Take a look at the following plot and tell me that CO2 and temperature rise are not correlated.

    Ocean Time Lag

    Then take a look at measured CO2 concentrations for the last 60 years and see where they're headed. These two plots show the problem. Ice melts when it gets warm, and just because New York is still above water does not mean it will remain above water. It takes a long time to heat a pot of water the size of the oceans.

    CO2 projected increase based on the Keeling Curve

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Reduced widths of images and linked to full size versions.

  7. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Thomas Thorne,

    I have a strong recollection thinking about the changes from global warming after the IPCC AAR4 was released in 2007.  They described many changes that could occur like sea level rise and intensification of storms.  At the time I was 49 years old.  I remember wondering if I would live long enough to see definitive changes in sea level rise and weather caused by climate change.  I thought that if I lived to 85 I might see some effects.

    Today I am 60.  News reports regularly describe catastrophies caused by climate change.  Four record hot years in the past four years, streets regularly flood from sea level rise, record damage from weather, Arctic sea ice has collapsedExtraordinary rainfall causes floods around the world.  Record drought grips Australia.  I note that you do not specify a single prediction scientists have incorrectly made.  What evidence do you need to become alarmed?

    I still have 25 years left before I turn 85.  Scientists have been way off in their calculations: they have underestimated the danger.  Pray that recent reports of tipping points past that cause the Earth to continue heating regardless of what humans do are incorrect.

    We have no choice but to try our hardest to minimize the damage caused by fossil fuels.

  8. Animal agriculture and eating meat are the biggest causes of global warming

    And read this article:

    LINK

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened and hyperlinked URL.

  9. Animal agriculture and eating meat are the biggest causes of global warming

    Sorry, but this is not true. Read this: 

    LINK1

    Global meat industy has a very important role on greenhouse gas. 

    And if you have this in mind: 

    one kilo meat cost approximately 15000 litre water. - LINK2

    How many meat we eat globally world wide? 

    read this article:

    LINK3

    So please don't say that the meat industry is not responsible for the  greenhouse gas that is produced every year. 

    That fact is that the meat industry is responsible for more then the car industry and the airplane industry together!

     

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Your first link does not materially disagree with the OP of this post, and where it does your link cites older sources than does the OP of this post.

    Shortened and hyperlinked URLs breaking page formatting.  Sloganeering snipped.

  10. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    If the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to be believed, humanity has just over a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change impacts become unavoidable.

    Why should this report be believed?  The IPCC and several climate celebrities have been making these 10-12 year claims for almost 30 years now, and none of it has actually come to pass.  How many more failed predictions is it going to take before the climate change community starts to rethink just who the climate experts really are?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] A note to readership: 

    This user is just one of dozens of fake accounts operated by a serial spammer of this venue.  This sock puppet account has been disabled and there is no need for any to reply to it.  All future iterations of it will also be disabled/removed.

  11. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    bsettlem @115,
    You say "If you don’t consider everything you get distorted and untrue results," so are you taking everything ito account?
    Yes, the average person exhales something like 1kg of CO2 per day, comprising 27% carbon and 78% oxygen. So if, as you say "all else remaining the same," this average human (who weighs something like 62kg comprising 18% carbon) would be losing 270g of carbon each day through breathing. So, "all else remaining the same," in six weeks time the human race will have run out of carbon to breathe with, and so will be dead. And with 9 billion humans exhausting all their carbon in this way, the atmospheric concentration of CO2, "all else remaining the same," would have risen by a whole 0.05ppm.
    And I am not just "absolutely sure" about this: I know it.

  12. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    9 billion live people would add about 9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per day to the earth’s atmosphere. All else remaining the same, the atmospheric change in carbon dioxide would be 9 million metric tons lower every day if every human was not here.
    17.6 living people produce the same amount of CO2 as burning 1 gallon of E10 gasoline.
    Humans every day contribute as much CO2 to the atmosphere as burning about 5 million gallons of E10 gasoline.
    If you don’t consider everything you get distorted and untrue results.
    The world burns about 1 billion gallons of gasoline each day. This contributes about 200 times as much CO2 as 9 billion breathing humans.
    If carbon dioxide causes global warming it doesn’t matter its origin. I am absolutely sure that CO2 is not the cause of all global warming.
    Carbon Dioxide is plant food.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Hopefully you are able to think of data that would change your mind rather than being wedded to an ideological argument. Your comment is full of misconceptions readily checked by data. Please see CO2 is plant food and CO2 is from Ocean (because it points to evidence that CO2 rise is from fossil fuel burning) and finally Human CO2 emissions are tiny compared to natural which is where you mostly go wrong.

  13. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #51

    Very likely we have already set a cascade of tipping points in motion but just in case we haven't passed the critical point, we continue not only to emit the same amount of Carbon per year but actually increase it just to ensure that the ball will get over the peak and hurtle down the other side. We still have to keep trying - hope springs eternal and all that.  So why can't we see that there is one critical factor that is stoping the efforts of so many enlightened people who would likely turn the situation around with all their great efforts. Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.  As long as we allow vested interests to finance our politicians, the politicians will do the bidding of the vested interests.  It is really that simple.  We should abandon all our campaigns and come together on this one.  Then we could go back to our favorite hobby horse with a reasonable expectation of success.

  14. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Alonerock above: "There is a tremendous misunderstanding regarding temporal and spatial scales."

    That's the big one. The layman is confused when a graph is shown that has tens of thousands of years or millions on the x axis. "It's happened before." Then I say "not in 200 years at this rate." I am met with just confusion. I refer them to a book or website, and the conversation is finished.

  15. Dana on Warm Regards Podcast

    So you were optimistic Dana that you would write the denial rebuttals, people would read them, understand them, and you would move on to the next task. :-) Seems to me I remember hearing Ben Santer say something similar about their expectations in the early days of climate science communication.

  16. Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    nigelj and scaddenp, thanks for the useful graph and link.

  17. Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    Indeed. Credible references. Here it is.

    See Nigel's link to see the source references.

  18. Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    This guy has done an extremely useful graph from 1900 - 2008 plotting all source of emissions including volcanoes, coal, oil, gas and deforestation along with listing his source material, so it looks credible.

  19. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    Maybe SkS wants to embed this carbon budget clock into its website

    => https://www.mcc-berlin.net/en/research/co2-budget.html

  20. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    How does that fit to the following article in Nature?

    => Global warming will happen faster than we think

    Accelerated Warming

    Seems like this "little ice age" myth will never die out.

    Safe Climate Zone

     

  21. Climate's changed before

    I should also add that scientists are inordinately attached to conservation of energy. You cant magically increase the Ocean Heat Content without adding the energy from somewhere. The change in GHG easily account for this. Pretty hard to figure a way of doing this from a change in any known natural forcing.

  22. Climate's changed before

    "This myth-busting deals with natural climate variability, yes? Isn't the uncertainty about ECS exactly directly related to that?"

    Um, no? Using past climate to estimate ECS is plagued by the uncertainties in both estimates of past global temperature and past forcings. Naive estimates of TCR from short-term measurement do suffer from internal variability (not to be confused with natural climate variability in forcings).

    Model estimates of ECS must deal with feedback - and the range there is largely due to the difficulties with clouds in current hardware. Ie not only how much does cloudiness change with a change in temperature but also change in high-level versus low level cloud (one is a positive feedback, the other is a negative feedback). Again, all of this is discusssed at length, with references in the IPCC WG1, (see table 9.5 for instance).

    "Natural variability" is of two kinds - one is the internal variability due to uneven heating of wet planet. This is essentially weather and evens out over a 30 year time scale (hence climate being 30 year averages).

    The other is natural climate variability due to changes in natural forcings - predominantly solar (both in strength and orbitally-induced variations in latitudinal distribution), and volcano aerosols.

  23. From the eMail Bag: A Deep Dive Into Polar Ice Cores

    Here is an interesting write-up on a new paper: How complexity science can quickly detect climate record anomalies. And here is the paper: Anomaly Detection in Paleoclimate Records Using Permutation Entropy.

    This isn't dealing with CO2 measurements in ice cores, but rather temperature measurements from H and O isotopes within the ice. What is interesting is that it is possible to get very fine-grained sampling of these isotopes, up to 40 readings per year's worth of ice! The problem now is that this is too much information to manage. The purpose of the paper is to use information theory/complexity science to process the data more easily. (Or something.)

    Compared to previous ice core data, which allowed for analysis every 5 centimeters, the WAIS Divide core permits analysis at millimeter resolution.

    “One of the exciting thing about ice core research in the last decade is we’ve developed these lab systems to analyze the ice in high resolution,” says Tyler Jones, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Quite a while back we were limited in our ability to analyze climate because we couldn’t get enough data points, or if we could it would take too long. These new techniques have given us millions of data points, which is rather difficult to manage and interpret without some new advances in our [data] processing.”

    I don't think it would be possible to sample the ice cores in the same manner for CO2 readings. But even if it were, everything I've written in this post would still be in play, so that an extremely fine-grained CO2 record wouldn't actually give you a true look at CO2 on a yearly or monthly basis, as in the Keeling Curve.

  24. Antarctica is gaining ice

    The Realclimate comment does the calculation to show how small the geothermal component is, even with ridiculously unphysical assumptions. Furthermore, if you look at the references behind your links, you will note the important comment that geothermal flux is not increasing - there are physical constraints around the rock properties in play. When you are looking at change in Antarctica, geothermal influence isnt important.

    The biggest player in Antarctica is the loss of the buttressing ice shelves undermined by warming adjacent ocean (see also here), which speeds glacial loss.

  25. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    Econuke:

    Welcome to Skeptical Science.  You have chosen an interesting subject to hang your hat on.

    Unfortunately, when you introduce yourself with obviously ignorant statements like "Reactors using water as a coolant and moderator, i.e. every power reactor in the world if I recall correctly" the rest of your comment does not seem very convincing.  This Wikipedia article describes existing sodium cooled reactors similar to your fantasy reactors. Some of these were built as power reactors.

    Similarly, a first sentence that insults another poster invites insults back.  If you are polite you will receive polite responses.  

    It is customary at Skeptical Science to link to scientific sources to support your claims.  I noticed that you neglected to link any resources at all in you post.  Try to raise your game.

    You could help us here.   For the past several years I have asked all the nuclear supporters who post here to write an article that describes the usefulness of nuclear power.  Skeptical Science would welcome a well written article citing the scientific literature that supports nuclear power.  Unfortunately, no-one thinks it is worth the effort to write such an article. Perhaps it is because the scientific literature does not support nuclear power.  The article should address the issues raised by Abbott 2011.

    Ask the people of Fukushima about nuclear safety.  Imagining that a technology with no existing pilot plants could help with a problem that demands immediate action is folly.

    I will not address the remainder of your post.  It is well known that nuclear power is uneconomic.  Power from existing nuclear plants is the most expensive power.  New plants cannot be built on time and on a budget.

  26. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    @KAllan,

    No. That's just the change in albedo. Ice reflects more sunlight, and water absorbs it instead.

  27. Heat from the Earth’s interior does not control climate

    PetroCurious @71,

    The centre of the earth is incredibly hot but this is achieved because it is well insulated rather than being supplied with a big power input. So think 'candle' rather than 'stove'. And the 'home' has no windows to let warming sunlight in - it is a concrete bunker, well insulated and very very hot inside.

    But we are concerned with the outside surface temperature of the bunker, heated by the sun. Even without a mechanism analagous to the GHG effect, the average temperature of the outer skin of the bunker will be about 250K due to the sunlight heating the outside, although on the outside surface the nights will be cold without a GHG effect, heated only by the warmth left from the day within the concrete, and not forgetting that candle.

    The candle, while it raises the interior of the bunker to fantastical temperatures because of the insulating concrete, is only supplying 80W which at the surface of a 10 metre cubes bunker is only 0.1W/sq m, enough if the sun stopped-for-ever to heat the outer skin of the concrete to just 36K above absolute zero. But with the T^4 relationship in:-

    Radiate energy = (Emissivity) * (Stefan-Boltzmann constant) * (Temperature)4 * (Area),

    with the sun heating the skin, the candle only raises the average outer temperature from 250K to 250.02K, a trivial increase.

  28. Heat from the Earth’s interior does not control climate

    71 @PetroCurious

    "if the Stove is perpetually on, at some point it will have an affect on the overall temperature of the home, no?"

    Your question is not quite defined enough as you need to state more precisely what you mean and the starting conditions. What do you mean by "affect" the temperature? Go up? Go down? Stay the same? All are possible in the scenario you have described. 

    Perhaps what you are thinking is the temperature will go up? That depends on the starting temperature and the rate of loss of the heat from the house. There is a theoretical equilibrium point where the heat being lost is equal to the heat the stove is providing. The house will reach this equilibrium temperature eventually. 

    Or are you suggesting the house does not lose any heat because the "windows and doors are closed"? It will still lose heat through radiation.

    Does that answer your question?

  29. Arctic sea ice has recovered

    I note that in the Footnote to this article it is stated that, " When the sea ice diminishes, more heat passes into the oceans." Science seems to be at odds with this statement. I think that the absence of explanation as to where the heat comes from that passes into the oceans can cause confusion. A layperson might argue that the reason for putting ice cubes in a drink is to cool the drink by removing heat from it that results in the ice cubes melting. Clearly, the heat passes from the drink to the ice cubes, yet it is stated that the analogous oceans have heat passing into them. The layperson is left to assume that this heat must come from the melting ice which is a conundrum.

  30. The Key To Slowing Global Warming

    nigelJ,

    It's rather rude to call someone a fanatic for understanding the potential of nuclear power.

    Reactors using water as a coolant and moderator, i.e. every power reactor in the world if I recall correctly, are not the only kinds of reactor designs. I liken them to wood fired steam engines that should really be phased out of use. The vast majority of their construction cost and time comes from the redundancies and physical requirements of keeping water a liquid at nearly 200atm or more and 300c.

    Other designs, such as molten salt reactors, don't have those requirements. This makes them much smaller, much simpler, much faster to build, and therefore much cheaper than water reactors. All safety concerns related to maintaining a giant pressure cooker also disappear. This means they would be even safer than nuclear's already unrivaled safety record.

    Alternative designs are able to be used for producing synthetic fuels because of their much higher operating temperatures. This allows them to serve as industrial heat sources for all sorts of uses, such as ammonia production or synthesizing CO2 into methane, which can be further processed into liquid fuels.

    Safety concerns of nuclear power are grossly overstated, but the general public has no concept of radioactivity. There was a  NOAA map of the Tsunami's wave energy being passed around as a radiation map, but almost no one seemed to notice that the key was in centimeters rather than anything related to radiation. I imagine if you gave most people a geiger counter for a week, they'd have a nervous breakdown.

  31. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    The article is a good explanation, and useful, but once again we are in the mode of explaining and defending. A political commentator in my country noted "explaining is losing" - a perceptive observation. That's not to say we should never explain, but I'm sure people would understand his point.

    Somehow, and I don't know how, those concerned about agw (and social justice) need to set the agenda and get more on the front foot and a lot more hard hitting.

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

    Here:

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

    I read:

    "Low-pressure areas and their related frontal zones occur on the leading edge of a trough within the Rossby wave pattern, while high-pressure areas form on the back edge of the trough."

    I did not read that in this article, or did I miss it?

  33. Heat from the Earth’s interior does not control climate

    Please explain if my analogy incorrect. There is a home, all the windows and doors are closed. There is a Stove on in the Kitchen. Isn't if fair to say that while the Stove can't heat the rest of the house to the Stove Temperature, if the Stove is perpetually on, at some point it will have an affect on the overall temperature of the home, no?

  34. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    >>Alonerock @2, good list. Thank's for mentioning population. If we don't meet Paris goals, and we are stupid enough to still be burning fossil fuels, it will help if population stops growing and falls. Ideally I think we should aim as an immediate priority to get the fertility rate down to something like 1.5 - 2 so a bit below replacement rate. It won't make much difference by 2050, but the difference by 2100 is profound with population trending down in absolute terms.<<

    Exactly.

    Population control is up there with religion as being almost taboo to bring up.

    Millions of words are printed about climate change but almost never is overpopulation mentioned, yet it is arguably the most important part of the equation. We are way past the sustainability of the planet even leaving overpopulation out of the argument. Malthus may have been off by a hundred years but incremental v exponential is always going to end up in one way. And we are not starting with a virgin earth but one with a substantial proportion of its capital already gone or un-reclaimable.

    It's not only the popular press that refuses to tackle the fundamental issue: New Scientist is currently running a series on climate change with barely a word about population.

    Some say, as Jeremy Clarkson would have it, that it would take too long for population control to have any effect, but without it in some form the problem will never be solved.

  35. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    Blind creature that buries head in sand named after Donald Trump. A newly discovered blind and burrowing amphibian is to be officially named Dermophis donaldtrumpi, in recognition of the US president’s climate change denial.

    The name was chosen by the boss of EnviroBuild, a sustainable building materials company, who paid $25,000 (£19,800) at an auction for the right. The small legless creature was found in Panama and EnviroBuild’s Aidan Bell said its ability to bury its head in the ground matched Donald Trump’s approach to global warming.

  36. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    It all comes down to relative radiative forcings and right now the positive radiative forcing by rapidly increasing the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide with the continued emissions of billions of tons of the gas a year overwhelms whatever negative forcing there may be from solar and other activities.

    This is what denial is all about, pretending this forcing simply doesn't exist.

    Unless someone comes up with a way to invalidate the Standard Model of how particles behave and interact then carbon dioxide is still going to absorb the EM radiation that is constantly being emitted by the Earth's surface and re-radiate about half of that intercepted heat back to the Earth's surface. The more CO2 we put into the air the warmer the Earth is going to get.

    But because of the amount of money that is still tied up in the fossil fuel sector there are still some major palyers who will try and pull any rabbit they can from the hat to magically make this dynamic go away. And they just love the "The next Ice Age is Coming!!!" rabbit for the drama it evokes.

    Climate change is not going away and every year we get closer to tipping points that are truly nasty in ecological, social and financial terms.

  37. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    The following graph is a reconstruction of solar irradiance (derived I believe from sunspot activity) from 1600 to approx. 2015. It's from the Sorce website and the sorce satellite system has been monitoring solar irradiance directly for about a decade now.

    Solar irradiance does appear to have been generally lower during the little ice age, but it's only a rather approximate correlation just eye balling it. Solar irradiance increased from 1900 - 1980 and has been falling slightly since then, so shows no correlation with the modern global warming period.

  38. New research, December 3-9, 2018

    Thank you Ari.

  39. Little Ice Age? No. Big Warming Age? Yes.

    There are two important points about the relationship between Global Warming and Solar Activity. Lots of deniers, for some reason, claim that Global Warming is caused by increased Solar Activity, but we know that the sun has been slightly "cooler" than normal for the past few decades, so obviously this explanation for the recent warming is eliminated. But the important part of the story is that the sun is doing us a temporary favor, and being kind to us as we continue to pile on the CO2 blankets. But this will not last, and the return of an active, occasionally angry sun will just add to the heat. Which won't help at all...

  40. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    As far as it goes, the Paris Accord us a good beginning but among the questions it did not address was how we will handle a population increase of 2 billion by 2050, or the effect of that increase on the environment and greenhouse gas emissions. We need to curb population growth now – or be prepared to see a large portion of that increase perish due to lack of essential amenities.

    More importantly – and pressing – is the need to independently monitor the source of our greenhouse gas emissions because the time will come – in the not too distant future – when it may become necessary to impose international trade and financial sanctions on those responsible for the highest emissions.

    The alternative is to accept the ‘inevitability’ of global warming which triggers destructive climate change, impairment of carbon sinks and uncontrollable methane emissions from the Arctic. Either countries like Russia and China, India and the USA reduce their carbon emissions in a timely manner to levels which avoid such threats or they are compelled to do so.

    My guess is that resort to sanctions will not be necessary once the effects of dangerous climate change are observed. Unfortunately it may then be too late to avert their further development, resulting in catastrophic outcomes. So, the sooner major emitters are ‘encouraged’ to rapidly reduce their emissions and control population growth, the better.

  41. New research, December 3-9, 2018

    Hello blatz, there is no place that lists all the papers. There are thousands of scientific journals, most of which can publish a climate/climate change related paper occasionally. I use a RSS feed reader where I have set up new paper feeds of close to hundred journals. If you want to see more, my suggestion would be that you should set up RSS feed reader with your own selection of journals.

  42. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    The other issue is things like universal health care and better minimum wages might be 'socialist' but most countries have such policies, basic human welfare is important,  and they are popular in America with the majority public according to polling. Its only the GOP that oppose them on principle and gerrymander electoral districts and get up to other tricks to push their own policies against the wishes of the majority. At some point the Democrats have to stand up to all this, or they are nothing.

  43. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Alonerock @2, good list. Thank's for mentioning population. If we don't meet Paris goals, and we are stupid enough to still be burning fossil fuels, it will help if population stops growing and falls. Ideally I think we should aim as an immediate priority to get the fertility rate down to something like 1.5 - 2 so a bit below replacement rate. It won't make much difference by 2050, but the difference by 2100 is profound with population trending down in absolute terms. 

  44. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Red Baron, I understand your point of view and believe me I have wondered the same about the wisdom of linking environmental and social policies. I'm a political centrist and pragmatist.

    However heres the issue that is making me reconsider. The GOP has a history of  opposing everything and anything the Democrats have suggested on climate change (and everything else) unless it involves cutting taxes and other Republican beliefs.

    The GOP opposed all Obamas climate policies with or without social programmes attached. The Democrats have ended up watering their ideas down so much to try to please the GOP they end up standing for  nothing. This was Hilarys problem. I think they have given up in frustration, and are going for everything they want adding a few things they know they may have to compromise on, hoping to get something close through the senate.

  45. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change
    • "Making “green” technology, industry, expertise, products and services a major export of the US, helping other countries transition to carbon-neutral economies.
    • Provide all members of society a job guarantee programme to assure a living wage job.
    • Basic income programmes and universal health care."

    This is where Democrats shoot themselves in the foot every time, and why US has such pushback. They have never put forth a workable plan and even this one can't work, because they insist on using AGW as a tool to make completely unrelated major socialist changes to the US economy.

    In many of my conversations with denialists, it always comes up ultimately. First they try to deny AGW. But at some point it becomes a socialist plot, ot a communist plot, or a Chinese plot, or a Russian plot, or Al Gore's plot...to destroy the US form of capitalism and substitute socialism.

    And there it is yet again...... universal health care and various socialist  welfare programs attached directly to AGW mitigation strategy.

    As long as the democrats continue with unworkable plans like this, the rest of the country will be fighting them tooth and nail.

    In the good side, at least they finally figured out we must sequester carbon. That oversite on previous plans made certain their plans were literally impossible to actually solve the problem. However, they still haven't figured out to stop attaching welfare programs to AGW mitigation.

  46. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    A few non-scholarly comments regarding possible misunderstandings and potential solutions :

    Climate Change Denial
    Many people exhibit a complacent, if not an outright attitude of denial toward human-induced climate change. The following list contains many of the fundamental reasons behind this irrational behavior:
    -Ignorance of the complex science required to understand this serious, complicated issue.
    -Contradictory information disseminated by the media.
    -Misinformation distributed by politicians and scientific imposters with deep fossil fuel interests.
    -The threat is not immediate. It has been accumulating over a long period of time.
    -There exists no historical precedent with which to compare.
    -The cause is not derived from a specific, tangible enemy. Nearly all humans are collectively responsible for the problem.
    -There is a tremendous misunderstanding regarding temporal and spatial scales.
    -There is a failure of the experts to properly educate the public regarding the urgency of the problem.
    -There is little direct, noticeable impact.
    -Environmental problems are typically too disturbing and unpopular for the general public to address.
    -Why should one entity spend resources to reduce pollution when others that are contributing a far greater problem do nothing.
    -Many people have a passive attitude- expecting others to fix the problem.
    -Unclear links exist between costs to solve problems and the benefits.
    -Many elderly people do not care since they will not be around to experience the consequences.
    -There is a strong unwillingness of people in general to change their lifestyles or specifically, to sacrifice their perceived luxuries.
    -Lack of desire to participate and get involved at Local, Regional, State, National and Global levels which would provide or lead to exposure to other ideas and ways of looking at problems.

    Some potential Climate Change Solutions:
    The present state of climate conditions presents out society with complex, serious moral, social, environmental, economic and political issues unparalleled in history.
    The anthropogenically-induced climate problems are reversable if approached with wisdom in a timely fashion.
    This crisis will not be solved by 195 countries arguing over multiple issues. It can be best solved by the United States implementing important environmentally related regulations, which will ultimately force other countries to participate.
    This horrific problem has become so large, it has evolved into a tragedy of the commons in which others share or will share (future generations) in the cost, in addition to those who actually created the problem. Make no mistake, this climate change is not a liberal left or conservative right issue. It is a species survival issue. It is a species survival issue, including humans.
    If the grave finality of this crisis is to be solved, the following measures could be implemented in a timely fashion by the United States, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, improve/expand existing clean energy sources and search for new clean energy sources, otherwise the problem will soon be irreversible and out of control for the next generation:
    -No couples should produce more than two children. Tax incentives/penalties can be used to encourage this concept. The penalties can be earmarked for R&D of clean energy.
    - The U.S. should implement a C-tax program. The solution is not simply for bigger government and increased taxes. Governmental officials, influenced by special interest groups and lobbyists, lack the knowledge or integrity for successfully managing such C-tax programs. This can be consumer driven. A large fee on fossil fuel businesses implemented at port of entry as well as domestic mines and wells would ensure that the fossil fuel businesses are paying their fair share for their cost to society. The taxes due to the increase at the pumps could then be distributed equally among all legal US residents annually. The wealthier people have a greater C-footprint and can afford the tax. The middle- and lower-class people will receive money back (which would likely exceed the taxes they paid in) which they can then spend and stimulate the economy. Likely, due to the rising cost of fuel, they would spend a substantial portion of the dividends on vehicles of increased efficiency, better insulation in homes, improved heating systems, more efficient appliances, etc. This would further drive R&D of businesses regarding improved energy as well as giving entrepreneurs incentive to invest is such endeavors while unleashing a huge faction of innovations in technology. Industries will compete far more aggressively with far improved results without “help” from the government. The differing prices of food, goods and services based on their C-footprint will cause a shift in what consumers purchase, so the market will drive a healthier and swifter result.
    Cap and trade, as some have suggested as a wise choice, would likely fail in its objective because it will enable rich businesses/nations to not reduce their emissions because they can afford otherwise. Furthermore, the cap and trade scheme cannot be implemented for all types of pollution (personal vehicles, home heating oil, etc.).
    -Huge tariffs must be placed on foreign imports for countries that do not engage in similar environmental policies as that of the United States. This will make competition fair and more importantly, create tremendous incentive for foreign countries (China, India, etc.) to reduce their C footprint as well. This will stimulate all markets/innovations, foreign and domestic.
    -Improved forestry and agricultural practices (i.e. no-till) must be encouraged.
    -Increase individual contributions; car-pooling, improved recycling/re-using, food waste reduction.
    -Support local framer’s markets and other businesses. Educate people from early age on.
    -Reduce travel, particularly air travel and reduce vehicle travel speed
    -Reduce meat consumption overall and eating larger percentage of wild game (deer, fish, turkey, etc.)
    -Sustain vehicles in good condition (tire pressure, tune-ups, filters, exhaust, etc.) and require vastly improved fuel mileage.
    -Reduce thermostat in cold months and limit air conditioning in warm months.
    -Insurance companies can influence climate-based decisions due to their cost from associated health problems (cardiac/respiratory etc.).
    -Law enforcement can influence climate-based decisions due to direct correlations between hotter temperatures and violence.
    -Implement zoning/planning regulations at local levels to encourage a smaller C-footprint; lights off at night in residences, encourage smaller houses, narrower driveways and roads, smaller lawns, reduce street lighting, lights off after business hours, etc.
    -Vote for politicians who have no fossil fuel interests and who care about issues rather than simply devoting their efforts into getting elected and then getting re-elected.
    -Get involved personally and participate at all levels. VOTE! Write senators, representatives, governors and presidents. Write articles in newspapers. Exercise consumer pressure. As Winston Churchill once suggested, if people do not have courage and participate, all of their other virtues are wasted.
    Surely many other wonderful ideas can be considered. We enjoy what we have today because of people who came before us who were wise stewards of the land. Likewise, we have an obligation to future generations. It is all about quality of life and leaving the place better than how we found it.

  47. Explainer: Why some US Democrats want a ‘Green New Deal’ to tackle climate change

    Ambitious but persuasive. Look at it in context. The ozone hole problem was simple, only really affected refrigeration and air conditioning and was resolved with a cap and trade scheme.

    The climate problem is complex, affects most of the economy, and requires multi layer solutions including mitigation, negative emissions and adaptation. It's very hard to see how you resolve all these issues with a singular stand alone mechanism like cap and trade or a carbon tax. Inevitably you need a top down lead government plan that combines several mechanisms.

    However without a price on carbon, measures would be ad hoc and arbitrary. and I think theres still a place for a carbon tax and dividend sort of scheme.

    In an ideal world I prefer market solutions, but its just not appropriate for the climate issue. In addition individuals wont do much until they see a concerted effort to transform the grid, and leadership from government and industry. It's human nature and individual economic rationalism.

    Funding can't really come out of taxation. The GOP have recently cut taxes and increased the deficit so the money isn't there. This has eliminated the ideal way of funding such a scheme. This has effectively been an attempt to limit governments ability to do anything, but all it really does is make it harder to fix the climate problem amongst other problems. So you are left with "quantitative easing" as was used for public works projects in the 1930's. Not ideal, but so be it.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    I would be interested to know how long after a sustained drop, or levelling off  in emissions (say ten years) before this would show up in the keeling curve?

  49. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    Don't mean to nitpick, but in the article "UN climate accord 'inadequate' and lacks urgency, experts warn" there is the statement, "The latest figures show carbon dioxide emissions are still rising." This is, of course, correct, but the more urgent message is that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are not just increasing, but they are accelerating upwards. In time the oceans will likely begin taking up less carbon and the biosphere will begin releasing more carbon as positive feedbacks kick in. So although agreements are written to regulate emissions, those interested in monitoring how we're doing should use atmospheric CO2 levels as a better metric of how we're doing, because in the end analysis it is CO2 concentrations that will determine how climate changes, and not emission rates. I realize that the only things we can effectrively regulate are emissions, but because scientists themselves are uncertain about ocean uptake rates and the point where positive feedbacks will kick in, we must always be looking at the Keeling curve (curve of atmospheric CO2 concentrations) as an indication of just how well we're doing.

  50. New research, December 3-9, 2018

    I really enjoy seeing these posts every week.  Thanks!  This is a "selection" of papers.  Is there anywhere online that lists ALL of the papers released?  Somewhere I don't need to pay. 

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