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Comments 851 to 900:

  1. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11


    In deference to other parts of my life, I try to restrict my blog time to reading blogs that help me learn things. Judith Curry's blog does not fall into that category, for reasons that include what Eclectic stated in his response.

    When you post (on the selected/appropriate thread), instead of feeling that you have to present or defend a particular position, focus on outlining what you do understand, describe what you don't, and ask questions to help understand.

    You're not a lawyer trying to argue a case against an opponent. The idea here is to be a participant in a discussion where ideas are shared and a common understanding is the desired outcome. It is the ideas that will be put in the line of fire, not you.

  2. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Greenhouse gases include water vapour ,carbon dioxide ,methane ,nitrous oxide and other gases.
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”Deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic
    source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere ranging between 6 percent and 17 percent,”said Daley.Then water vapour is actually the most powerful greenhouse gas and has a strong effect on weather and climate.As the planet get warmer ,more water evaporates from the Earth’s surface and become water vapour in the atmosphere.
    If there a place where is ocean then it will have more of water vapour than the desert or not? And if want to reduce these problem then the place which dry or desert will have more stable of temperature than the ocean which has higher evaporation of water in the atmosphere.Because these issue is the positive feedback loop.How human can figure out greenhouse gas effect? And it’s not just only 1 problem because it will effect in a chain for example climate change ,global warming and methane pollution.
    Global Warming is harming the environment in several ways including desertification ,increased melting of snow and ice ,sea level rise , stronger storms and extreme events.These problem made by human activities affect to the environment so in every year water vapour will more increasing to reach greenhouse gas effect and other problems.It was the responsibility of human to take care our Earth’s.

  3. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    NorrisM @19 , with your permission, I will jump into the fray also — with an overview.

    Judith Curry's recent articles on sea level rise exhibit typical Curryism.  She provides, at first glance, an impressively erudite summation of the field of (modern) sea level rise.  It is a complex area.  She quotes from the IPCC and and other sources, and in effect she states that somewhere in the region of 40 - 60% of recent MSL rise is clearly anthropogenic (from AGW).

    But there are three facets of Curryism here : 

    1.  Although the mainstream scientists know that around 100% of modern rapid global warming is caused by human activity (including more than simply CO2 effects) . . . this fact does not suit public acknowledgement by Dr Curry and her agenda.  Her clientele wish to hear that only a very minor part ( or none !! ) of global warming is caused by CO2 emissions — and to hear that AGW itself is a very small and temporary effect and will never amount to more than a limited inconvenience.  (And preferably hear that today's slight/insignificant warming is merely the result of "natural variability" . . . such as a 1000-year or 2400-year cycle, or the AMO and/or a Stadium Wave and/or due to ABC [Anything But Carbon] ).

    Dr Curry therefore presents her case in a way that implies that the very reasonable conclusion of 40 - 60% human attribution for sea level rise, must (by implication) point to AGW being far less than 100% human . . . and that therefore the mainstream scientists have gotten it wrong about warming.   Curry is happy to strongly hint, but never state that explicitly.

    2.  Another typical Curryism, is her careful avoidance of the bigger picture.   Readers who read her without making any effort to notice what she has avoided saying, will feel that she is giving a fair, balanced and dispassionate presentation.   But taking a longer historical view of sea level, one sees that Curry is restricting her comments to the narrow case of the recent century or so (and she prefers to draw the focus toward 1950 and later).  In that narrow window it is indeed possible to make a defensible case that cycles [however dubious] plus contributions from solar variability, the AMO, volcano eruptions, or other natural variability . . . can explain around half of [recent] sea level rise.

    But on the multi-century / multi-millennial scale, her explanations are twaddle.

    3.  NorrisM, you may also notice how very carefully Dr Curry delineates the various time-segments through the 20th Century up to 2017.  And she wishes to suggest validity of the post-1998 "Pause" in surface temperatures (and to minimize or not even mention the continuing oceanic heating).  And she places the last few years of high spike in surface temperature, in a separate post-Pause category . . . caused by the "super-Nino" (without acknowledging that it's an ongoing warming problem, not just an El Nino fluctuation).

    All very selective, all very denfensible in a court of law . . . yet at the same time rather obviously intended to mislead the unwary reader.


    NorrisM, if you have time, take a further read through the comments columns at the foot of Dr Curry's articles.  I confess to finding them quite entertaining — I usually skim through the repetitive nonsense coming from most posters there.  But yes you are right, JCH is usually fairly well on the ball, if rather short-tempered.  Nick Stokes is always worth reading, and provides genuine science.   And there is the admirable calmness of JimD as he continually puntures the nonsense of posters like "ABC" Ellison and the slightly less crackpot-ish Javier.  All good fun, but sadly illustrating the insanity of some of the tolerably intelligent sections of the human population.

    Also entertaining, NorrisM, is the way that on Curry's Climate Etc, the denialists who are scientifically/mathematically literate "medium crazies" have to keep turning around and putting down the "ultra-crazies" who come out repeatedly with way-off-planet ideas (ideas which are nevertheless still extremely common in the common ruck of denialists).  You hardly ever see that with the posters at WhatsUpWithThat . . . where craziness & anger run rampant continuously.

  4. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Bob Loblaw @ 18

    I have to admit this is pretty daunting.  I somewhat have a feeling of someone in the trenches being asked to "go over the top" into the machine gun fire!  I really should keep out of this because it is so technical.  But by the end of the weekend, I will take a shot at it (excuse the pun).

    I would be interested in your thoughts on the Judith Curry most recent posts IV and V on sea level rise.  I think JCH has done a pretty good job of responding, especially his summary of sea level rises 1900 to 1990, then the various shorter periods of the last 20 years, last 10 years and last 5 years.

    I have now read your last reference at RealClimate.

  5. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    NorrisM @50, I have bought Pinkers Enlightenment book, and it is well worth the money. Everyone should read it.

    Some of my reservations after skimming it in the shop were simply because one or two issues Pinker argues don't seem convincing to me, and I had already read the Moral Arc by Shermer, which is rather similar.

    But overall Enlightenment is more comprehensive than the moral arc and the better buy.

    He is indeed critical of Ayn Rand and the comparison with Nietzshe is perceptive. 

    His chapter on CO2 emissions is good overall and very balanced. He has certainly done his homework, but geoengineering even of a temporary kind is still high risk. He is attempting to be open minded on it which is rational, but the tecnical risks remain daunting.

    The guy pulls together the work of so many people, and I dont think I have ever seen such a long bibliography, so the guy must read a lot.

    The underlying decision making philosophy is basically sound,  and if only people thought like that it would be a better world.

    However he does start to worship freedom a bit ardently, and over simplifies.

    And there is always a risk that people will use his emphasis on progress humanity has made to dismiss problems. Of course this would not be Pinkers fault. Perhaps he should have cautioned readers more about this issue and not to use his book in that way.

    But his book is phiosophically soundly based overall, and so a useful guide even if some things in it are debatable, and it should be on everyones list of best non fiction of the year.

  6. Web of Power: Cambridge Analytica and the Climate Science Denial Network Lobbying for Brexit and Trump

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, explained with a simple diagram: A visual of how it all fits together. by Alvin Chang, Vox, Mar 23, 2018

  7. Web of Power: Cambridge Analytica and the Climate Science Denial Network Lobbying for Brexit and Trump

    From the Guardian a few hours ago:

    "Leaked: Cambridge Analytica's blueprint for Trump victory.  Former employee explains how presentation showed techniques used to target voters .

    Article here. complete with video interview.

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 02:47 AM on 24 March 2018
    Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right?

    I try to be more aware and better understand things. So I would like one (or both) of the people who up-voted jef's comment @3 to explain why the comment was a well-presented helpful supplementary, clarifying or correcting comment.

    My understanding is that the good objective of any presentation and discussion is to increase the correct awareness and understanding of what is going on, including developing recommendations for how to best apply the improved awareness and understanding to develop things that will be helpful to others.

    And the up and down votes are to indicate whether a comment helps in that regard (they are not to be understood to be 'like or dislike' votes).

    With that in mind, I have reread jef's post and rewatched the video (several times).

    The point of the video is to provide good reasons why the burning of fossil fuels should not be considered to be a way to help the less fortunate develop to better ways of living. The 5 reasons provided seem to be very well presented, not naive in any way that I can figure out.

    I struggle to see how jef's comment helpfully clarifies or corrects or adds to the content of the video in that regard. I get that developing nations probably cannot develop to live the way the developed nations do. My comment @1 makes the same point. But that is more about the developed nations having to correct the way they are living to be sustainable, likely reducing perceptions of prosperity as they make the correction to having all their energy be from sustainable sources.

    As the wealthiest and most powerful in the world 'all' correct their ways of living to be truly sustainable, leading the correction of ways of living for all of humanity, the ways of living in the more developed world will change to be ways of living that the less developed nations can develop up to, with help form all of the wealthiest and most powerful.

    Which leads to a request for the down-voters of my comment and nigelj's, with the above in mind please provide an explanation of how those comments could be improved or corrected.

  9. How we know the greenhouse effect isn't saturated

    Further to my assertions @104 concerning the requirement for CO2 warming to maintain H2O in the atmosphere, a paper looking at the impact of the zeroing of LL GHGs has featured in the evidence resulting from Judge Alsup's call for an AGW tutorial. The evidence in question is from Monckton, Soon et al (its contorted thesis of high humour content) which cited Lacis et al (2010) 'Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature'. While the description @104 was bravely considering a zero-CO2 steady-state, all LL GHG are something like 75% CO2 but those other LL GHG will be much reduced in a colder world so there won't be a great difference between zeroing CO2 and zeroing all LL GHG.

    Lacis et al show by zeroing all LL GHG the world begins to cool at 4ºC/year thus becoming colder than ice-ages in 18 months. The cooling continues but at a far lower rate after the first seven years, and temperature will still be sinking beyond the 50 years of the modellng. At 50 years, average annual temperatures at the equator remain just above freezing allowing atmospheric H2O at 20% of pre-industrial values but 50% of the oceans are frozen over.

  10. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11


    When you're ready, a search (box in the upper left corner) for "sea level" will provide several threads where such a discusssion would be best placed. Top candidates are:

    Sea level is not rising   [You likely won't argue against that]

    Sea level rise is decelerating    (Ditto)

    Sea level rise is exaggerated.   (If you argue the data is poor)

    Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated.   (Ding, ding, ding, ding!)

    You may also wish to go over this post at RealClimate.

  11. Web of Power: Cambridge Analytica and the Climate Science Denial Network Lobbying for Brexit and Trump

    Hmmm. Certain individuals will take whatever data they can find about people on the Internet, and use it to their own advantage to try to manipulate anyone they can. Ethics be damned.

    Whooda thunk?

  12. Philippe Chantreau at 07:46 AM on 23 March 2018
    How we know the greenhouse effect isn't saturated

    There is currently a good discussion of the spectroscopic basis of the GH effect at Rabett Run, goes down several threads and shows what happens on the "wings." Real Climate also explored this in details a number of years ago, might be possible to find searching the site. Clive Best is run-of-the-mill disinformation.

  13. Web of Power: Cambridge Analytica and the Climate Science Denial Network Lobbying for Brexit and Trump

    A related book is "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer.

    Review here.

  14. Web of Power: Cambridge Analytica and the Climate Science Denial Network Lobbying for Brexit and Trump

    Great article, if a little short on background information on cambridge analytica. Cambridge analytica are hugely embroiled in numerous allegations of law breaking, pushing the law to the limits, and ethically questionable practices if you scan through wikipedia and media articles. There's far too much of this to dismiss as media hype and where there's this much smoke theres usually a fire.

    The key people are Alexander Nicks, Steve Bannon, and Robert Mercer. Obstensibly it is a data gathering organisation, however independent experts question whether its microtargetting techniques actually work.
    However it's activities appear to go rather beyond just data gathering and targeting potential voters, and it appears to me that  Cambridge analytica is basically a politically partisan dirty tricks organisation and a gun for hire, but with clear partisan leanings.

    The entire network of people identified in the article associated with climate denialism, and cambridge analytica, are acting in grotesque, and arguably unethical or underhanded ways and appear blissfully unaware how low they have sunk. Perhaps they are so paranoid about their world changing, that they will stop at nothing to prevent this, so the ends come to justify the means. Yet their fears are exaggerated, and their self obsession with power and wealth has clearly become distorted.

    People concerned about climate change, and people of moderate and sensible political views need to harden up and reject the agenda of the Kocks, Bannons and Mercers of this world and their front groups. They are manipulating decent but easily lead people with buzzwords and nonsense about "they will take our guns and freedoms" as a front for a corporate friendly agenda designed to remove all environmental rules, consumer protection rules, and enhance only the upper level corporate sector. The evidence for this is now staring America in the face. Wake up if you still can, and see it for what it is.

  15. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    michael sweet @ 16

    Thanks.  This time I have downloaded the Connolly paper and will read it when I have some time. 

    Finally the essay on sea levels which I was waiting for on another website has now been published.  It had nothing more specific on the Nerem 2018 paper so I probably will not raise any more questions on that paper.   

    The question of rising sea levels and the amount of acceleration we have seen since 1993 is so complex that I think all I can do is set out what a non-technical person has absorbed listening to both sides but I promise to have technical citations or IPCC references for anything (most of what) I say.

  16. michael sweet at 02:26 AM on 23 March 2018
    It's CFCs

    CFC's were banned by the Montreal accord.  They are no longer used.  HCFC's ad other less damaging substances are currently in use.  Apparently HCFC's are also being phased out as they also damage the ozone layer.  The issue is the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from damaging UV light,  not protecting the Earth from heat.

    After CFC's and other gasses are released into the atmosphere in the city they are mixed into the entire atmosphere by wind.  In a relatively short time the entire atmosphere is mixed together.  The heat is absorbed relatively uniformly over the  entire Earth  Since most of the Earth is covered by ocean, most of the energy absorbed goes into the ocean.

  17. Stop blaming ‘both sides’ for America’s climate failures

    eclectic @ 25,

    You asked me to provide a summary of Steven Pinker’s new book “Enlightenment Now” when I had finished reading it. I will take this opportunity to recommend this book highly to all readers of this website. I have no doubt that John Hartz Cook, who I understand is now doing research in the area of cognitive psychology (as it relates to reaching people or changing people’s views on climate change), will have read it by now.

    I recall nigelj concerned that tones of Ayn Rand seem sprinkled in Pinker’s views generally. I only suggest you and nigel read the last chapter on Humanism to be disabused of that opinion. Pinker does not have nice things to say about Ayn Rand in this chapter. Although he clearly supports the general concepts of utilitarianism he comments on its flaws as well.

    There are some very interesting observations in the book that contradict the general view that Trump’s road to victory was from voters left out of the globalized economy. In Pinker’s view, the populism rise has not been economic but rather a racial and an anti-immigration backlash both in the US and in Europe. But Pinker holds out hope. In his view, populism has seen its “Peak Populism” because it is largely demographic and the early Baby Boomers are dying off.

    As well, Pinker is not just looking backwards in this book but is also looking forward. This becomes clear later in the book after his description of where we have come from in the last 250 years.

    I obviously cannot provide a summary of the book but just to tempt you, here are the chapter headings:

    Part I: Enlightenment

    1. Dare to Understand
    2. Entro, Evo, Info (a fascinating view of the world in 3 words)
    3. Counter-Enlightenments

    Part II: Progress

    4. Progressophobia
    5. Life
    6. Health
    7. Sustenance
    8. Wealth
    9. Inequality
    10. The Environment
    11. Peace
    12. Safety
    13. Terrorism
    14. Democracy
    15. Equal Rights
    16. Knowledge
    17. Quality of Life
    18. Happiness
    19. Existential Threats
    20. The Future of Progress

    Part III: Reason, Science and Humanism

    21. Reason
    22. Science
    23. Humanism

    Whether this is a positive or a negative to you, the precursor to this book “The Better Angels of Our Nature” was described by Bill Gates as “the most inspiring book I’ve ever read”. I suspect this one will supplant it.

    My sense is that this book will have an impact on the discussion of where we are going as a human race whether or not you agree with all of his observations. For that reason alone, I suspect most should read it.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Your reference to John Hartz is in error. It is John Cook, the founder of this website, who does research in cognitive psychology. 

  18. It's CFCs

    CFC is a substance that is widely used around the world. Used as a component in various products such as refrigerators, air conditioners. And products that look like spray, although CFC will be a tremendous benefit to human life. Non-degradable substances in the atmosphere. It will float up to the stratosphere and be altered by the sun's rays. Become a chlorine particle and destroy ozone, which protects the Earth from heat.

     The graph in the article shows the ocean heat at CFC. It was released in the city, why heat energy causes the ocean to heat up, as CFCs are released over urban areas.

  19. Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right?

    jef @3

    You make a fair point that poor countries are unlikely to have the same lifestyles as middle class western countries given resource constraints, but surely they should at least try, and can reasonably improve their condition? Especially with basic things like healthcare.

    The real issue is choices that poor countries make for what energy development they do want and can afford. They have a choice of fossil fuels and renewable energy. It's that simple.

    Fossil fuels are damaging the atmosphere and are a finite resource that will run out in 50 - 100 years. Renewable energy is low emissions, and is now cost competitive with fossil fuels, and it uses metals that can at least be recycled, and metals can be recycled indefinitely without degradation. There will be waste in the process, but we can minimse this, and ultimately all humanity can do is prolong its technological future as long as it can.

    So the right choice should be obvious, and its not fossil fuels. 

  20. Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right?

    agree jef... i get so tired of supposed intelligent human yeast (in nonsense articles like this), worshiping the god to technology as if it can mitigate finite planet realities, while we breed like mad and continue our massive consumption, non-negotiable lifestyles.

    "renewable" energy isn’t... unless we are referring to waterwheels, windmills and photosynthesis, which cannot support 7.6 billion rapacious animals.

  21. Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right?

    Painfully naive. What made the developed world what it is was enormous, cheap almost free net energy profit (over 100 to 1) and abundant, easy to find, cheap almost free natural resources lying about ready to be gathered and exploited. That and large armies going around the world taking other peoples stuff (and the people too)and keeping them from using it for themselves.

    Now energy is 10 to 1 or less, natural resources are very difficult to find and produce, and its not quite as PC to use slave labor. The only reason the developed world has not collapsed due to this development is the fact that we have all of the massive infrastructure already in place although it is crumbling and not easily maintained and cost too much for anyone to propose doing so.

    Telling the developing world that they can live like we do on so called “renewable” energy is ignorant of the realities of human history. The one and only way it is possible is if the developed world pays for all of the infrastructure and development for them with our money and using our net energy to accomplish it. In truth we owe this to them for all we have done to them over the centuries but this will never happen.

    The world can not afford to operate on low net energy and is collapsing due to the additional expense of depletion of natural resources and biosphere degradation. Those in charge understand that the future was going to be more expensive so they cut loose all constraints of finance in the hopes that everyone would get rich enough to afford it but debt is not energy or anything real for that matter.

  22. CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    I agree with's comment ( that the article itself does not answer the argument of how the poor would be affect by CO2 limit. The article does not address how the laws which limit the usage of CO2 will affect the poor; it only tells us about the effect that climate change would cause to the specific parts of the world.

  23. michael sweet at 12:08 PM on 21 March 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11


    The Vox article only discusses renewable electricity.  The Jacobson articles and Connolly's Smart Energy Europe discuss 100% of all power used.  Connolly, which I started referring you to because you do not like Jacobson, found that as more of the economy is converted to electricity it is possible to get much greater penetration of wind and solar.  They discuss the problems that are discussed in the Vox article.  If you read the references I give you than the Vox discussion would not be news.

    Connolly found that as more sectors of the economy become electrified more renewable energy can be used.  They propose using electrofuels (the conversion of CO2 into methane or other carbon fuels using renewable energy) to supply the storage energy.  Jacobson's plan is similar using hydrogen instead of electrofuels.

    In 100 years oil, coal and gas will run out.  Surely you do not think civilization will collapse then.  We all expect this problem to be solved.  Why don't we just solve it now since it has to be done in the end?

    The Vox article appears to try to preserve as much of the current system as possible for political reasons.  As more and more renewable energy is built it will not be economic to preserve fossil fuels.  Currently nuclear and coal are no longer economic.  Once a proper carbon fee is implemented all renewable will become the cheapest option (or possibly earlier, solar is cheaper than gas in some places now).

  24. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    @11 Liberator,

    Yes, there are several flaws in the paper you posted. Primarily the mistake being made is conflating fixed carbon with sequestered carbon. All plants fix carbon. Trees do in fact have more biomass. However this is not the same as sequestering carbon out of the rapidly cycling short carbon cycle and entering the long term carbon cycle (geological time frames of stability) Grasses have less biomass than trees but higher efficiency rate of photosynthesis. Where does all that extra products of photosynthesis end up? Deep in the soil where a much higher % is SEQUESTERED  into deep geological time through soil building.

    Two great papers by Dr Gregory J. Retallack regarding this ecosystem function of the grasslands compared to forests which cycle carbon relatively rapidly. (through fire and decay)

    Cenozoic Expansion of Grasslands and Climatic Cooling

    Global Cooling by Grassland
    Soils of the Geological Past
    and Near Future

    Dr Christine Jones ran multiple 10 year CSIRO case studies on the rate at which properly managed grasslands and agricultural land can sequester CO2 into the soil. The average measured sequestration rate over 10 years was 5-20 tonnes CO2/ha/yr (yes there were even higher in some cases which were thrown out as outliers.)[1]

    A couple good layman's explanations of Dr Jones' work can be found here:

    Why pasture cropping is such a Big Deal

    Technical Brief: The Liquid Carbon Pathway

    Pasture Cropping: A Regenerative Solution from Down Under

    There is confirming evidence all over the world, this is not just a phenomenon of Australia.

    Here is just one confirming increases of grasslands' sequestration rates simply by changing management strategies in Texas. Falls right in the middle of the ranges Dr Jones found.

    Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical,
    physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie

    I already posted the study from Idaho showing increased soil moisture levels associated with proper grassland management.

    Here is another layman's explanation of how it works:

    How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

    Here is a couple white papers for policy makers, one written by me, the other by Dr Richard Teague:


    Can we reverse global warming?

  25. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Norris @12, yes the Vox article and interview is definitely useful. I was aware of all these issues in general terms, but not all the details. 

    I see the issue this way fwiw. Jacobsen thinks a 100% renewable grid is already practically economically feasible, and for all I know he may be right.However put that aside for now as one view ( a very good view).

    The article appeared to say an 80% renewable grid is feasible practically and economically at roughly current prices and state of knowledge. Imho thats enough to make large inroads into addressing the climate issue, even if it isn't perfect, and I feel that is sufficient justification to proceed.  And its not unreasonable to assume the economics and practical options on both supply and storage will improve towards 100% over time. It's enough to enable society to confidently embrace renewables.

    While gas fired plant is not ideal, if it comprises just 10 - 20% of peaking supply, it may at that level of use be feasible to bury the CO2 emissions underground. Are you smiling? I suspect you are smiling at least a little.

    I honestly think the nuclear option is in the hands of the engineers.  They need to come up with new alternatives that are quicker to build and less reliant on difficult to access materials. The safety issue is complex, because you can argue logically that even with accidents nuclear energy causes fewer deaths "per capita" overall than coal for example and perhaps even some formms of renewable energy. However its a public perception issue of the dangers, and the only workable answer might be that the nuclear industry need to somehow get this across to the public, and also come up with safer systems to improve confidence and public acceptance.

    I don't care if significant parts of the solar or wind supply are "curtailed" given its  cheap power, and this is done already with conventional energy supplies.

    Anyway it was indeed an interesting article.

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 07:00 AM on 21 March 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11


    The undeniable requirement is for the current generation to stop creating more challenges, costs and harm for future generations, or at least limit impacts to a 2.0 C increase of global averrage surface temperature. Nobody has offered up any substantial justified new information to change that robustly established emergent truth, and it is highly unlikely that anyone ever will.

    One question comes to mind. If the USA will 'end up at' 80% renewable and 20% natural gas power supply, if that is 'the best that can be done', what happens to the USA after the natural gas is done?

    Setting aside that thorny questionable future, to achieve the required corrections of what has developed to date all of the richest clearly need to be 'compelled/motivated to responsibly lead the required correction, at their expense'. That means the richest redirecting their efforts and investment into sustainable activities, even if it means a perceived loss of personal wealth because unsustainable perceptioins are just that - unsustainable. That means none of the richest making a penny from the activities related to the 20% burning of natural gas. It also means the richest paying for the non-profitable removal of CO2 from the atmosphere at the rate required to neutralize the impacts of the burning of natural gas, plus the rate to keep the temperature impact of increasing CO2 to 2.0 C and bring it back down to 1.5 C.

    That is understandably what is required. Eventually getting to 20% burning of fossil fuels for power, and claiming that a slow creep towards that objective is the 'best that can be done', is only proof that the reluctant among the richest do not deserve their developed perceptions of wealth or power.

  27. Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right?

    Excellent presentation. It should also be said that solar and wind power are now the same cost as coal in many places or close to it, and electric cars are becoming very cost competitive with petrol cars. 

    Centralised fossil fuel grids make almost no sense in places like Africa, which has very widely dispersed rural communities. Local solar power is ideal, and Africa also has good coastal wind power potential. The did an excellent in depth article on this.

    Fossil fuels use together with high levels of population growth and resource use are not sustainable on a finite planet. Humanity would be wise to obviate this by changing its values from quantity of life to quality of life and slower rates of growth. We either do this consciously, or it will be forced on humanity painfully by resource limits and other problems.

    The answers are slower and more sustainable forms of economic growth and where everyone benefits from growth, smaller populations ultimately, new forms of energy, leisure time that is less wasteful of resources, smaller houses (within reason) sustainable communities, and businesses with business goals operating alonside envionmental goals, and not in antagonistic conflict. 

  28. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11


    michael sweet and nigelj,

    I cannot remember on which thread we were discussing how much of the US energy needs could be supplied by wind and solar power.  My understanding is that the most recently weekly news site is the preferred location.

    Here is an interview with Paul Denholm, a lead researcher at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), who expresses the opinion to the interviewer David Roberts at that "around the coffee table" their general estimate is that wind and solar can provide 80% with the balance probably being supplied by natural gas (he does not think existing US nuclear is safe enough to provide backup variable power).  NREL (with Denholm as the lead) provided the modelling to CAISO, the operator of the California energy grid, regarding what capabilities wind and solar power could provide, so this view comes with some experience.

    I think both of you will find it interesting.  Hope this meets the moderator's test of relevance for this website. :)

    PS  Tried to post the url at this location rather that at the top but unsuccessfully.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Link shortened

  29. One Planet Only Forever at 02:51 AM on 21 March 2018
    Developing countries need fossil fuels to reach the standard of living we enjoy, right?

    Great presentation of the right understanding of development for the benefit of the less fortunate.

    There are additional related points, but more comprehensive raising of awareness and better understanding always suffers when the requirement is brevity and simplicity of message delivery. And today, 9 minutes is a longer message than many people would care to receive.
    However, the following are important related points/questions.

    What is the sustainable portion of the GDP? Only the sustainable portion can be counted on to maintain value into the future. Any speculation that unsustainable GDP activity will continue or increase is unjustified. If unsustainable activity continues to increase in value into the future, that only means a more massive future correction/bubble burst. This is particularly true of fossil fuel burning and climate change. The resistance to correct the unsustainable over-development creates an even bigger and more rapid required correction in the future, combined with creating even more damaging future climate change consequences.

    What is the proof that burning fossil fuels is the reason for helpful human developments? It can be argued that the most helpful human developments would have developed even if we were not burning so much fossil fuels. It could also be argued that if restrictions or, or costs for, burning fossil fuels had been in place earlier even more sustainable development would have already occurred. What can be seen to be going on regarding the corrections of understanding and activity that climate science has developed is efforts to delay the corrective helpful developments (actions to unjustifiably protect developed perceptions of superiority and opportunity based on getting away with understandable unsustainable and harmful activity - including claiming that good things were developed because of the burning of fossil fuels). As an example: What benefit for future humanity is obtained by people being able to race around on water, land, or in the wilderness by burning fossil fuels? Sure. Its Faster and fun and profitable. But speed, fun and profitability that harms others should not be considered to be acceptable, not even if a tax is collected from those doing it, especially if the activity is fundamentally unsustainable.

    What should 'all of the already most fortunate' be doing (not just the ones who care)? Leading the required correction by:

    • minimizing their energy consumption and meaningfully neutralizing any CO2 emissions 9or other harms) their activities create - Leading by example to a zero-carbon (zero-harm) future.
    • helping the less fortunate to most rapidly sustainable improve their life circumstances. That may mean allowing less fortunate people to benefit from fossil fuel burning in a transition of development to zero-carbon living. It would mean not allowing any already more fortunate people to gain further benefit from the burning of fossil fuels.
    • effectively raising awareness and understanding of the emergent truth of climate science. What was understood in the 1980s was already a robust emergent truth (a sustainable understanding). Research and increased understanding since then has strengthened that emergent truth, improved its sustainability without significant modification of the fundamental truth of the matter.

    All of that is encapsulated by the Sustainable Development Goals, which are also a robust collection of emergent truths (a sustainable understanding of Good Objectives). Achieving all of the SDGs is the Right thing for everybody to want to help become the future reality for humanity. Anyone with other Interests harmful to achieving the SDGs needs to be better educated and corrected, unless they can provide actual evidence that significantly contradicts the robust developed basis for the emergent truths.

  30. John Kelly shut down Pruitt’s climate denial ‘red team,’ but they have a Plan B

    Above talks about ocean surface temperatures rising. This is leading to more hurricanes and OceanTherm AS wants to move cold ocean to the top of the ocean using air bubbles to prevent these hurricanes. Here is an idea. Preventing hurricanes, using floating heat pumps to pump heat from the ocean surface to the air, to cause clouds and convectional rain: The formation of rain moves heat from the surface to higher up, because evaporation occurs at the surface (making it colder) and condensation occurs higher up where clouds form (releasing heat). The clouds can then radiate heat to space and reflect solar energy that would have warmed the ocean. So have floating heat pumps that extract heat from the ocean surface and put the heat into the air. The heated air will rise causing clouds and convectional rain. The rain will cool the ocean surface having come from a cool region high up.

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  31. How we know the greenhouse effect isn't saturated

    kentobin64 @102,

    The Clive Best post you (or your friend) linked to is mathematically not un-reasonable but when it sets out the implications of that mathematics it persents wholly unreasonable language that is, in the words of Clive Best, "completely wrong!".

    Firstly, the Clive Best post itself is addressing only CO2 forcing and itself has nothing to say on H2O.

    Secondly, using a very simple model Best obtains a value for CO2 warming-without-feedbacks which is actually 50% higher that the present scientifically-accepted value (1.5ºC per doubling rather than 1.0ºC).

    Thirdly, the post digresses and uses exceedingly poor language within its conclusions. Thus, it is well understood that CO2 forcing is constant with each doubling of concentration. This means that an extra Gt(CO2) added to a 550ppm atmosphere will provide only half the forcing of an extra Gt(C)2) added to a 275ppm atmosphere. Best describes this logarithmic CO2 effect as "Extra CO2 causes a declining radiative forcing with increasing concentration", a description which is not just exceedingly poorly phrased, it is actually plain wrong. It is not "declining radiative forcing" he describes but "declining additional radiative forcing." And it is this Clive Best error which your friend is wielding.

    Fourthly, the throw-away comments on H2O warming appear to be simply denialist hand-waving. The point with H2O warming is that while H2O does warm the planet and does provide the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect, H2O requires the climate to be 'primed' by other warming agents to achieve that H2O warming. Essentially H2O is not a long-lived GHG. Thus, half of that Gt(C) of CO2 added (as the Airborne Fraction) to the atmosphere will still be there a thousand years hence and indeed ten-thousand years hence. The continued level of atmospheric CO2 is not particularly dependent on temperature and so not dependent on the warming provided by other GHGs etc. Conversely, an extra Gt(H2O) would be back in the rivers/oceans in days and into ice bergs within decades unless some other GHG is present to keep the atmosphere warm wich allows water to evapourate up into the atmosphere and so keep it re-charged with insulating H2O.

  32. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    @Red Baron:

    Can you link some evidence to estimate the relation of grasslands and forests?

    I do not have much knowledge on the issue, but found this source from the australian government, which disagrees with your claim:

    It might be the case, that this depends upon the special australian ecosystems.

  33. How we know the greenhouse effect isn't saturated

    Kentobin64  @  #102 , you are wasting your time looking at the clivebest blog.  ( Indeed, you are wasting your time discussing climate matters with your science-denier "friend".   Denialists are impervious to facts and impervious to rational logic  — it all derives from their determined use of Motivated Reasoning, to support their strange subconscious bias.   Ken, you should only bother to engage with them, if you have some idle time and desire that sort of sport. )

    Clive Best is/was a physicist, I gather, and it shows in his display of various formulae and graphic charts.   He has some "overly simplistic" ideas about the effects of cloud cover.   He says that H2O vapor has 5 times the greenhouse effect of CO2 . . . while elsewhere promoting the idea that (water) gives a negative feedback on global warming and so there cannot be much actual AGW from higher CO2 levels.   He uses the paradigm : Warmer oceans --> more water vapour --> more rain --> reduced water vapour --> reduced greenhouse effect --> negative feedback on warming.   Go figure these contradictions, if you can !

    Ken , check out the respected website ATTP [And Then There's Physics] where you will find at least a couple of articles about CliveBest (and commentary column discussions including posts by Best himself).   Also mentioning Best's use of 35-year-old climate models.

    ~ Possibly the most apt comment at ATTP was by "Dikranmarsupial" (a frequent poster here at SkS in earlier years) :-

    "The frequency with which climate blogs present overly simplistic analysis, without first bothering to do their homework and find out what scientists working on the problem have actually done already, is profoundly disappointing."

    In short, Ken, the good Dr Best is just one more example of those many dozens of blog writers [not climate scientific paper authors] who believe that they themselves are right and all the tens of thousands of actual climate scientists are quite wrong.   You can call them "eccentric" or "crackpot" or "crazy" . . . or whatever . . . but essentially they are deluded or are actively deluding themselves, owing to their strange psychological makeup.

    Ken , don't waste your own valuable time on them — however many formulae or graphs they wave in the air.  They talk big but turn "a willful blind eye" on the reality around them.

  34. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Red Baron @8, oh I thought you were referring to me. Ok, I understand now.

  35. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Red Baron @8  yes I said that about forests, but I wasn't promoting trees as such. Like I said my mind was on pumps and rain and I mentioned forests only because the other writer did! 

    I do agree grasslands appear to be the better carbon sink overall than trees from the weight of evidence. I think grasslands in combination with no till agriculture makes sense practically, because it's reasonably permanent, where tree planting is already under constant threat from logging companies, and this will not get less given population pressure.

    However, some land will not suit grazing, and may be better planted in trees. More tree planting is possible as hedgerows and shelter belts, and in urban areas, and as fruit trees combined with crops (theres a term for this but I have forgotten). 

    I tend to look at things holistically,  and in terms of connections and mutually supportive possibilities.

  36. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    @ Nigelj

    My initial comment was directed at this quote, "The only solution seems to be to take carbon dioxide out with massive rain enhancement and growing of trees, etc, in deserts." It wasn't even made by you. Not sure why you in particular got offended.

    It is still the grasslands that will do the work of sequestering carbon. That is in particular one major ecosystem function of a grassland. Forests have important ecosystem functions too, just not that one in particular.

    C4 grasses are double the efficiency at photosynthesis, then after fixing double the rate of CO2, they then sequester many many times more of that larger quantity of carbon long term in the soil.

    Moderator Response:

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  37. Lawrence B. Nadeau at 15:54 PM on 20 March 2018
    We're heading into an ice age

    Correction:  The Martsolf comment is #370.

  38. Lawrence B. Nadeau at 15:48 PM on 20 March 2018
    We're heading into an ice age

    In relation to comment #70 of Dave Martsolf re Betty Friedon on  the open arctic ocean.  This is probably part of it.  In 1960 two geologists (I am still searching for the paper) suggested a lake effect off the arctic ocean as the cause of the ice age.  I have never had a reason to doubt this.  There were some minor objections regarding water temperature, so the theory has been pretty much neglected since then. The actual cause of the ice age is due to the influx of water through the Bering Strait,  gradually undermining the ice cover.  When enough of the ocean is open and the temperature is right the lake effect dumps enormous amounts of snow over northern Canada.  My guess is around three feet a day for about six months or about 540 feet per season.  Most of this consolidates as ice.  I majored in geology and have worked in astronomy.  The various astronomical cycles may influence the exact shape of the temperature and CO2 curves, but they do not cause it.  Global warming due to human intervention may accelerate, but does, not cause the ice age.  The massive deposits of snow drop the arctic sea level so much that massive amounts of water are drawn in from the Atlantic and the Pacific.  As the moisture is drawn off it leaves the salt behind, dropping the freezing point ever lower, making it increasingly difficult for the ocean to freeze over and stop the flow.  Eventually, the flow from the Pacific is cut off as the sea level drops so low that it exposes the Bering land bridge.  Since the lake effect continues, it accelerates the flow from the Atlantic .  Eventually the Arctic Ocean starts to freeze from the Bering Strait until it refreezes to the east and the ice age ends.  Then the ice melts very quickly as the temperature rapidly rises, and the cycle starts all over again.  However, it takes many thousands of years before the arctic opens again.  At first, I thought we had another 5000 years to go;   then 500. And now it look like it could be 50.  Indeed, we may have only a few years, if in fact it has not already begun.    Again, global warming may accelerate the time of onset, but it does not cause it.  The cause is not astronomical, but hydrological. The drop in sea level will quickly become evident.  The decline in temperature and CO2 will be slow, with CO2 falling eventually to about 175 ppm, and temperature (at least in the northern hemisphere) dropping as much as 14 degrees F.  There is nothing that can be done to prevent this from happening.  In the end, sea level might fall as much as 650 feet.  Even before the ice gets this far south the building ice dome will cause frigid temperatures as the air pours off of it.  At its maximum extent, Canada will be almost entirely covered, as well as the northeast from St Louis along the Ohio River to Long Island.  The southwest will be cooler and wetter, as will southern Europe.  The Sahara will be like the Serengeti.  Any place bordering on the ocean will find their coastlines greatly extended.  Most of the Adriatic will be land.

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  39. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    RedBaron @6, you are missing the point, and you know it. I was focusing on pumps and rain, as opposed to forests versus grasslands or whatever. Perhaps I should have said "vegetation".

    I always try to raise awareness of the grasslands issue when I remember to, but that's your department and area of specialisation. Maybe this website could do an article on the issue at some stage. Thank's for the link.

  40. How we know the greenhouse effect isn't saturated

    I am an avid defender of Climate Science. And debate the merits of the science with vigor.  Today a friend asked me the following question:  "H2O vapor is an even greater IR absorber but nobody's claiming H2O is a "pollutant" or clouds need to be eradicated. Are you aware CO2's IR absorption decreases as its concentration increases?"

    I let my friend know this was a myth.  Referencing the climate denial 101 video posted here and on Youtube here.     

    He says I am wrong and sites this website here.

    I don't have the math skills or an understanding of the physics to refute my friends information.  Can you please help me?  Thank you in advance!  Ken

  41. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Rainfall is exactly what we are talking about! You keep forgetting how this effects infiltration and holding of water!

    Effect of grazing on soil-water content in semiarid rangelands of southeast Idaho

    Mitigates the effects of flooding too. Of course trees can do both too, but yet again much less effectively.

  42. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Red Baron @4, while I support the idea of grasslands soil sinks, please stop telling me what you think I should be saying. The point at issue was rainfall, not an evaluation and exposition of ideal soil sinks.

    I only have so much time to post comments and I can't deal with everything in one post. I dont mind criticism of my views at all, but if I'm going to be constantly nagged, told what to say, or personally criticised,  I'm happy to not bother with this website at all.

  43. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Once again you have forgotten that it is the degraded grasslands rather than forests that sequester carbon long term in quantities sufficient to mitigate AGW.

    Fix the grasslands and C4 photosynthesis is double the efficiency as C3 photosynthesis in trees. Furthermore, in temperate zones when trees lose their leaves many C3 grasses are still at work fixing carbon.

    Fixing carbon is not the same as sequestering carbon though. It does no good if it returns right back into the atmosphere as CO2 during the decay process. Here again grasslands have the big advantage. Trees put their fixed carbon mostly into the leaves branches and woody trunk. All above ground and easily returned to the atmosphere durring rot. Grasslands instead put the majority of their fixed carbon deep into the soil where it is far less susceptible to decaying into CO2. So as much as 40% of the products of photosynthesis become sequestered into deep geological timeframes of thousands of years.

    Grass starts by fixing as much as double then then sequesters an even greater % of that higher rate into the soil. There is no compareson.

    Lastly, grasslands have a much lower albedo than forests. 3 strikes and you are out of here. Why all this effort talking about the impossible when the solution has already been known for decades? Doesn't fit into your preconceived agenda? Or what?

  44. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Swayseeker @2, you claim that 400 pumps would lead to enough rain and enhanced plant growth to extract all the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels. You have not provided any evidence. Neither have you as an alternative stated a lesser number for CO2 extraction (maybe 25% of emissions), and with any supporting evidence.

    Your comments on water mist make sense more or less but don't answer this key question.

    To extract all additional atmospheric carbon requires vast areas of new forestry plantations of about 25% of land area, according to experts who have looked into this issue. You want to grow these on land thats currently useless for anything, because they are arid, by increasing rainfall, so clearly you would need very substantial increased rainfall over millions of hectares.

    Somehow I dont think 400 pumps will be sufficient for that task. Prove me wrong with maths.

  45. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    Some parts are getting warmer and wetter, but I live in South Africa and it is getting warmer and drier in Cape Town. I also notice that gas and oil exploration are going ahead in grand style. The only solution seems to be to take carbon dioxide out with massive rain enhancement and growing of trees, etc, in deserts. One of my rain enhancement ideas is this and I have written to newspapers about it:  I am proposing the use of floating spray pumps, operated by wave motion, to humidify air that would be blown ashore with sea breezes. Example for Cape Town: Say each pump costs R100 000 and they are placed 50 metres apart to form a 2000 m by 500 m grid (about 400 pumps). The total cost would be about R 40 000 000 (40 million Rands). This is a relatively small amount compared to the cost of the drought.
    My reasoning is this: The sea (with a high emissivity of roughly 0.93) radiates about 400 W of heat energy per square metre if sea temperature is about 18 deg C. Often the sea temperature is a lot higher than the air above the sea at night. Now on clear nights this radiation can go straight through to space if it has wavelength between 8 and 14 microns (atmospheric window). However water in spray mist is not water vapour and it can absorb 8 to 14 micron energy and heat up, so you will get warm moist air if you use spray above the sea. About 37% of all radiated energy from the sea is energy with wavelength between 8 and 14 microns and water in mist captures this radiation very well because the absorption coefficient is around 1000 per cm (intensity of the radiation drops to 1% of the initial intensity within 0.046 mm of penetration of water). So we have extra heat to humidify and warm air if we use spray pumps.
    Eddie Miller

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  46. There's no empirical evidence

    There are a lot of dead links here that need to be fixed (e.g. Wang 2009, for which an archived copy can be found here:

  47. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #11

    A warmer and wetter world will likely increase the decay of untreated or lightly treated building timber, due to more favourable conditions for fungal infections.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #11

    This is off topic,  but is rather interesting,  and deserves mention I feel given the circumstances. From MSN News: Steven Hawkings final research paper:

  49. One Planet Only Forever at 01:55 AM on 19 March 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #11

    As part of Reason 3 in "5 reasons the Arctic’s extremely warm winter should alarm you", the NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice Extent data is presented in 10-year averages, sort of.

    The lines are for 1979-1990, 1991-2000, 2001-2010 and 2018 so far.

    Science data presentation does not have to be confined to the decades of the Western year-date system.

    Since the first year of the NSIDC data set is 1979, a better way to use the data to show the trend of 10-year averages would be 1979-1988, 1989-1998, 1999-2008, 2009-2017 (noted as a 9 year average) then 2018 so far.

    The penchant for using 10 year averages only when a decade has ended leads to nonsense claims that 'we need to wait 10 more years to see if the 10-year trend is actually still happening'.

    That type of claim making would say:

    • Since the required correction would be to the disadvantage of many more fortunate people who have over-developed perceptions of prosperity and opportunity based on benefiting from the burning of fossil fuels, let's wait until the 2020 data is in and verified before we make any serious efforts to correct what has developed
    • Followed then by the recommendation that since it now appears that very rapid action is required even more detrimental to those perceiving themselves to be most fortunate, serious action should actually wait until the 2030 data is in,
    • Followed by, OMG the required correction is now so dramatically detrimental to those perceived to be most fortunate that we really should wait until the 2040 data is in.
  50. Burning coal may have caused Earth’s worst mass extinction

    Thing about coal burning underground is something only someone involved in Biochar would immediately notice, the charcaol one makes to turn into Biochar has to be material burnt with minimum oxygen, otherwise you just create C02 and ash, but better results can be achieved if some water is included, as the high temperature carbon strips all the oxygen from any CO2, creating Carbon Monoxide, and also the Oxygen from the H2O, so creating Hydrogen and then by burning, CO, so the water provides the heat, paradoxically, then the hydrogen and CO travel up to the surface and are either combusted, or, in the case of the CO, react with the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce CO2. Not much heat generated anywhere except at the 'coal face' by burning the oxygen from the groundwater, which keeps the whole thing going. - hope to have helped. 

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