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Comments 251 to 300:

  1. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    I think the big eruption at Yellowstone was 2.2my ago. Calculations in Gerlach 2010 would have that comparable to a year of human emissions. 

  2. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #52

    "Discovery of recent Antarctic ice sheet collapse raises fears of a new global flood" points to sks itself. Probably meant link:

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The correct link has been inserted into the OP. Thanks for bringing this glitch to our attention.

  3. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    @ancient_nerd, There are ice core records from Antarctica which go back that far. See Luthi et al (2008) and Bereiter et al (2015). If you look at their figures you'll see that at around 670,000 years ago the CO2 levels were quite low, below 180 ppm.

    Volcanic activity does often show up in ice cores, not as elevated CO2 levels, but as ash layers, and other geochemical effects. These ash layers are often used to synchronize the cores which come from different locations.

    For Yellowstone activity that would most likely stay in the northern hemisphere, so that would show up in the Greenland ice cores. Unfortunately, the deepest (oldest) cores only go back to about 150,000 years ago. So your 670,000 year event wouldn't show up.

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

    I have a question about linking to IPCC reports but don't know where to put it to be on topic.  Could someone advise?

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Just make your comment here and someone will advise. 

  5. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Religion is based on belief. Science is based on evidence. I don't think we should try to reconcile the two using either the discipline of belief or the discipline of evidence applied to both.

    If you want to know if God exists, go talk to him. The response received from such an inquiry is the basis of belief and is not easily put into words nor easily proven. For me that is the essence of belief.

    Science, on the other hand, is much easier to quanity and demonstrate to others through experimentation and logical discourse, such as by using this great forum.

  6. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    Nick Palmer @12, I agree totally. Neoliberalism on wikipedia is worth a read. There are no policies there I fundamentally disagree with in the most general terms. For example free trade is good, immigration is good, nobody wants over regulation, the government doesn't need to own everything,  but the trouble is neoliberalism has been high jacked and pushed to a really damaging extreme.

    Governments do have a role regulating environmental matters, and most "liberal economists" agree. Deregulation was intended to apply more to labour markets and occupational licencing.

    The trouble is various business interests would prefer the free market not be tweaked, at least not in ways that upset them. They are of course utterly inconsistent in their various philosophies but they influence governments, and in some cases virtually own governments.  

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

    MAR @24 thank's for the information. Yes emissions stopped 2014 - 2017. I meant to say atmospheric "CO2 levels" have shown an acceleration in recent decades, -  at first glance.

    But it looks like you might be onto something and have found some decrease in the rate of acceleration. I love graphs because a picture paints 1000 words. Sorry my university math is too rusty and forgotten to add anything on the technical details, but I'm just really interested and trying to figure out where you and Mike are coming from, I think maybe his grasp of it is a bit off somewhere but he means well.

  8. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    I think some religious people do obviously reject science because of conflicts with belief, but not all do, and in fact many of the greatest scientists are religious. And theres K Hayhoe as well. But the thing is, they are intelligent and able to compartmentalise things, and lots of people struggle to do that.

    And heres something quirky. Not all athiests accept the theory of evolution: "Questioning evolution is neither science denial nor the preserve of creationists"

    I think Y N Hariri and S Carrol are very good. For me the athiest and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is right. From memory he says there may be a god in the sense of some incredible power behind the universe that we don't yet understand, but there is no evidence of a god in the form described in the bible, a sort of patriachal creator god with semi human characteristics.

    The ethical teachings of the new testmament are another matter and seem inspired, but incomplete and open to interpretation, suggesting human origins in the writings.

  9. Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans

    With the recent tsunami from Anak Krakatoa, there seems to be an increase in discussions of CO2 emissions from volcanoes.  I have read that the 1883 Krakatoa and 1816 Tamboora eruptions did not emit enough to affect global CO2 levels in ice core measuremnts.  

    What about the Yellowstone eruption 670,000 years ago?  Do we have any measurements with enough resolution going that far back?

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 04:49 AM on 30 December 2018
    Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    I agree with Evan - for Good Helpful Altruistic Reasons (no personal benefit expected to be obtained by agreeing with Evan).

    Spiritual beliefs are not a problem. Associating rules for human behaviour, or perceptions of superiority to such beliefs, is a serious problem.

    That means that Religion is a problem when it is used to justify rules that have no real basis other than having been written by someone in the past. The obvious governing rule should be Good Helpful Altruistic Reasoning improving awareness and understanding and applying that learning to achieve and improve the Sustainable Development Goals (all of them).

    That makes the likes of the GOP (with an influential portion of their United Group believing that the governing rules are the Written Rules of Their God - their interpretations of their preferred texts), a serious problem that undeniably needs to be corrected in order for humanity to develop a sustainable better future.

    I really like the way that Yuval Noah Harari, presents the problem in his book "21 Lessons for the 21st Century". He opens Chapter 13 "God" with "Does God exist? That depends on which God you have in mind: the cosmic mystery, or the worldly lawgiver?". Later in the chapter he presents the following that I will not try to paraphrase:

    "When the faithful are asked whether God really exists, they often begin by talking about the enigmatic mysteries of the universe and the limits of human understanding. “Science cannot explain the Big Bang” they exclaim, “so that must be God's doing”. Yet like a magician fooling an audience by imperceptibly replacing one card with another, the faithful quickly replace the cosmic mystery with the worldly lawgiver. After giving the name of “God” to the unknown secrets of the cosmos, they then use this to somehow condemn bikinis and divorce. “We do not understand the Big Bang - therefore you must cover your hair in public and vote against gay marriage.” Not only is there no logical connection between the two, but they are in fact contradictory. The deeper the mysteries of the universe, the less likely it is that whatever is responsible for them gives a damn about female dress codes or human sexual behaviour.”

    And Yuval's presentation on God is reinforced by Sean Carroll's presentation in “The Big Picture” of how our investigation into the fundamental physics we exist in has advanced to the point of certainty that there is no physical mechanism for a God to influence things or communicate with a human mind. That means the written religious texts may provide some very good guidance for people to live by, but it is all made-up by humans and is therefore open to justified correction just like science is.

    One of Sean Carroll's strongest points regarding religious writings is that if there was indeed a God that was able to influence and communicate with humans the messages received and written by such humans would not be as diverse and contradictory as religious texts are. And it is highly unlikely that such a God would have instructed three of its most popular sects (Jewish, Christians and Muslims revere different prophets of the same God) that they are superior to the others (unless the God has no desire for humanity to have a better future).

  11. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    I personally think that tweaking the 'free market' so it encourages responsible, rather than wasteful and/or irresponsible purchasing decisions by the greater mass of people is 'the answer' - not just to global warming but all the other envirnmental issues too. The 'over free' market enabled the problem. Reining it in a bit might be the solution.

    Conventional economics, never mind the more exreme neo-liberal economics, takes little account of the 'externalities' - those effects caused by a product or service that somebody else ends up paying for the clean up of, rather than the manufacturer/service provider that made the product or provided the service.

    More nuanced economic systems, such as Hermann Daley's ecological economics, which assign the costs of the clean up to the bottom line costing of a product, should have a very powerful effect on changing peoples' purchasing decisions - not as a result of burdensome legislation or moral crusades, but because the cleaner greener options work out cheaper!

    The beauty of this is that we already know that it would work in principle because of how putting a price on acid gas pollution cleaned up industry smoke stacks rapidly and effectively in the 70s. A  proper price on carbon would do the same.

  12. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Fortunately we have people like Katharine Hayhoe and others who demonstrate how to merge the two. My father was a well-respected scientist and a well-respected Christian. I also merge both in my life with no problem.

    So whereas I agree 100% with you Sunspot about the existence of the face-off between science and religion, there are people who merge the two. Such as John Cook, the originator of this site.

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

    Nigelj @23,
    You say the last 20 years of atmospheric emissions trends "are accelerating" but also that I have attempted to account for the ENSO cycle. I have elsewhere been quite strong in pointing out that "emissions" data show no increase for the period 2014-17 which would suggest no acceleration woud result within the rise of atmospheric CO2 levels (eg MLO data) for those years. This would contrast with the record since 1960 when an acceleration is evident.

    I have also attempted to adjust MLO CO2 data for MEI. Just as ENSO wobbles global temperature, it also wobbles the CO2 increase, the latter with an 8-month lag (with some complications that I ignore). Using MEI as a measure of ENSO, I found that the Airborne Fraction (the amount of extra CO2 in the atmosphere as a proportion of the amount of anthropogenic CO2 emitted) is boosted/reduced by 11% for a unit increase/decrease in MEI. The adjusted airborne fraction can then be used to adjust the CO2 increase, this reducing the noise within the MLO data by 50%. (Also a base MEI value of +0.1 is assumed.)

    I have pondered how to best present this data, whether a simple table or with added analysis of some form. Perhaps the best presentation would be graphically with an OLS for each of the measured/adjusted data. A graph has been duly uploaded here (usually two clicks to 'download your attachment'). You may draw your own conclusions as to whether the adjusted data shows acceleration (an increase in ppm/yr) over recent years, or indeed what should constitute "recent years" in any statistically-significant analysis.

  14. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored


    In addition to the issues that Scaddenp mentioned, the UAH temperature record is of the upper atmosphere and not the surface.  The TLT (temperature of the lower troposphere) is centered arond 10,000 meters up in the air.  Are we interested in the surface temperature, where we live, or the temperature where airplanes fly?  The other products from UAH are even higher.

    UAH deals poorly with interference from the stratosphere which is well known to be cooling (scientists predicted decades ago that carbon dioxide pollution would cool the stratosphere).

    It is much more difficult to measure the temperature of the atmosphere than the temperature of the surface.  They use microwave emissions, not thermometers.  There is a very complex model to convert the measurements into temperature. The UAH data do not agree with RSS and other evaluations of the same data.    Their computer code undergoes major changes regularly (currently version 6).  UAH rarely finds errors in their code and has to be corrected by other researchers.  UAH does not provide a complete copy of their code to anyone.  As Daniel Bailey showed, most everyone else does provide code.

    By contrast, surface records are easily evaluated to generate a record (a record at least three times longer than satalite records).  There have been no major changes or issues for at least 30 years in the surface record. (UAH made major changes two years ago).  BEST, financed by the Koch brothers, did a major reevaluation of the surface data using very different methods of other scientists and found that existing records were correct. 

    The UAH record conflicts with balloon measurements.  Should we believe version 6 of a computer model or actual thermometers?  The scientists at RSS (an alternate satalite record) say that the surface record is better than the satalite record.  The UAH record differs substantially from the other satalite records.

    In my opinion, scientists would discard the UAH record because of its long standing severe problems.  It is only kept around because deniers like to cite it.  Scientists bend over backwards to avoid being accused of being biased.

  15. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    AFT @11 ,

    the UAH data have been "wrong" since their beginning.   Basically, UAH is measuring the wrong thing.

    My understanding is that the satellites were set up with the expectation that their data would be a useful addition to the surface temperature readings (which are limited in coverage ~ though still decidedly adequate, statistically speaking).   Also an addition to the (at that time) very limited deeper ocean temperature readings.   It ought to have been a good thing (especially for overall global coverage) . . . but turned out not to be so.

    As mentioned above, UAH has had a great deal of trouble in getting their act together ~ the delays in recognizing teething problems, the delays in correcting the data, the delays in acknowledging (to politicians) the inadequacies of the UAH data.

    Essentially, the UAH term "TLT" (The Lower Troposphere) is no such animal.  It is a beautiful name, TLT, but misleading.  Not really comparable to surface temperatures ~ the surface where we humans and the general biosphere are living [excepting the abyssal creatures below the oceanic thermocline].

    UAH "TLT" has some stratospheric contamination, and contamination from mid and upper troposphere.   I have heard the TLT described as being very useful if you are interested in conditions at the level of the uppermost part of Mt Everest.   In other words, of little relevance to our biosphere (except for high-flying migrating geese).

    But the satellites are already up there, and may as well be made some use of.   But it is a pity that the UAH group has chosen to misuse the data.

  16. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    There is a very simple explanation for why people reject science:


    I know lots of people try to merge science and religion, but the hard truth is that science and religion are exact opposites. Science relies on objective evidence. Religion relies on belief. Evidence not required. Science begins when these beliefs are questioned, and when the evidence comes in, the belief vanishes into thin air. Or it should. Tyson puts it well - "The best thing about science is that it is true whether you believe in it or not".

    Here's what happens though:  Little Johnny goes off to school, and some atheist communist humanist science-type teacher tries to explain to him that the basis of science is the questioning of belief, and we should always demand evidence. So of course little Johnny goes home and demands that Mom and Dad show him evidence of this "god" they keep going on about. It's what the teacher said, isn't it?

    But of course this scenario can't be allowed, so we can't teach the most fundamental truth about the world, the universe. Science is truth. Religion is fantasy. All religions are incorrect views of the universe. Until most of us agree that this is true, we will never make the hard decisions that could give us a chance for long-term survival. But it is clear that, as survival becomes more challenging due to the damage that we have inflicted on the planet, a great many will turn back to superstition to explain the world. Which is the problem to begin with. It's already happening. Our government now officially rejects science. 

    All of which seems inevitable to me. Maybe there is intelligent life somewhere in the universe, but I don't think it's here.

    I don't expect this comment to be very popular. As you may have noticed, I don't care.

  17. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    Climate feedback is not a simple curve. There are different feedbacks that work on different timescales. The water vapour feedback is more or less immediate while albedo feedback from melting ice and landcover changes is very slow. Again, the models are the best guide we have for forecasting the future. On the scale of centuries to millenia carbon feedbacks, (from reduced solubility of CO2 in the oceans, CH4 release from tundra) are also important (major components of the milankovitch-driven ice-age cycle) and not well-captured by models. However these are not likely to be much of a factor in next 100 years.

  18. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    UAH is preferred by pseudo-skeptics because it has the lowest rate of warming of the available temperature series and is published by long-time climate skeptics, Spencer and Christie. Note that in past, pseudo-skeptics had been very keen on RSS for the same reason. 

    I dont think anyone is going to really rush in an say UAH is wrong or inferior. Like RSS, it is a record for tropospheric temperature rather than surface temperature derived from satellite MSU readings. It also has a troubled history - see here for details. It would have more credibility if the algorithms used were properly published as RSS does. The latest version is the joker in pack compared to other temperature series and appears to be also diverging from radiosonde readings. (eg see here). Time will tell. 

  19. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    Greta's full speech at UN Climate Change COP24 Conference here => School strike for climate - save the world by changing the rules - Greta Thunberg

  20. One Planet Only Forever at 08:31 AM on 29 December 2018
    Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    A follow-on to my comment @9,

    The Story of the Week in the 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51, "The Green New Deal, Explained", mentions the need to correct Neoliberals.

    Neoliberals like more power/freedom to make-up whatever economic related beliefs they want to excuse the pursuits of personal enrichment they have developed a liking to getting away with. And they are willing to partner with Social Conservatives (people who like the idea of more power/freedom to make-up whatever morality related beliefs they want to excuse their resistance to corrections of attitudes they developed a liking to get away with).

    Advancement of humanity to a sustainable better future is contrary to those collectives that have been uniting to try to more powerfully resist economic and social and political correction.

    The Uniting of the USA, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in opposition to accepting the understanding presented by the most recent IPCC Report is an example of what I am referring to.

    Australia joining that group to try to promote Coal burning is another example.

    The Yellow Vester protests in France likely fueled by Le Pen's links to Russian assistance in her failed pursuit of victory in France is another example.

    And the Unite the Right parties in Canada making-up claims about actions in Canada to reduce fossil fuel burning are another example. And those Unite the Right types are fond of claiming that Canada only contributes a small percentage of the global total, just as Greta has observed the similar types in Sweden do.

    Anyone can claim they are not a Big problem (even Trump can claim that a collective of others is worse than he personally is). What is needed is the requirement for everyone to prove by consistent action that they are a signficant helpful part of the solution, helping to develop a sustainable better future for humanity.

  21. One Planet Only Forever at 07:50 AM on 29 December 2018
    Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    william @7,

    The Citizen's United decision was indeed a harmful development that needs to be corrected.

    But the system that developed that incorrect development needs to be understood to be what needs to be corrected.

    Another way to say it is that the system clearly needs to be corrected so that people do not develop into the likes of the Koch Brothers (and Trump) who are not just understandably incorrect, but are difficult to keep from incorrectly becoming wealthier or more powerful.

  22. One Planet Only Forever at 07:36 AM on 29 December 2018
    Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    In fairness, Global Leaders and the global population should be talking about many more required corrections of what has developed, not just climate change impacts. So having discussions that are not about climate change is not a real serious concern.

    All of the Sustainable Development Goals deserve serious discussions and actions, particularly corrective actions.

    However, many of the rich and powerful people attempt to distract global efforts from those essential corrections (to protect undeserved perceptions of grandeur or superiority). That should be a major news item every day (there are many news items related to this), and be part of almost every social discussion.

    The future of humanity is far more important than entertainment matters. Yet being dismissive or denying the reality of these important issues is popular and is not being bluntly declared to be incorrect (because of concerns about popularity and profitability).

    It always has been harmful to try to get along with incorrect people who do understandably harmful things rather than correcting them or limiting their impacts. That is the basis of Good Engineering, and any other Good Work.

  23. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    I've said it again and I'll say it again ad nauseum. As long as vested interests such as the Koch Bros are allowed to finance our politicians, the politicians will do their bidding.  Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune.  It is that simple.  What a great kid.

  24. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    CO2 does not burn. And I don’t have to guess!
    The CO2 exhaled by humans is additive to the atmosphere.
    Simply stated, your post does not justify the Lie.
    I’m leaving this venue as there are no preceptors here for me.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] This participant has opted to recuse himself from further participation here.

  25. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    MA Rodger
    You continue to read superfluous content into my messages. Such as your statement: “you manage to ignore the decrease in the biomass of wildlife that is also a by-product of human activity”. Wildlife was not on your chart and I never ignore wildlife.
    And your statement:”You say it was ejected from an exploding star 5 billion years ago.”
    Your question was: where does all this carbon come from?

    Exactly what I said was: Best guess, from a cloud of hot gases and other mass that resulted from the explosion of a very large star about five billion years ago.
    There are many thoughts, theories if you like, about an answer to a poorly presented question at the end of a paragraph with incorrect information in it. My guess was one to attempt to satisfy your poorly developed comprehension and reasoning. An irrefutable answer, I do have, I’m sure would not be understood by you.

    I’m leaving this venue as there are no preceptors here for me.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Inflammatory snipped.

  26. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Something on the pause which simply didnt't happen. There was however a flattish period of temperatures of about 6 years around 2002 - 2007, and this coincided with weak el ninos and a lot of la ninas, low sunspot numbers, high volcanic activity and high growth in coal fired aerosols. All these exert a temporary mild cooling influence.

    It is therefore no surprise to me that land surface temperatures were flat for a few years. But I would suggest such a coincidence of factors would be pretty uncommon. Don't expect too many flat periods like this.

  27. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Michael Sweet @14, I wouldn't be surprised if the children talking about so called faked data were simply told that by their parents. But it's good to hear some improvement in attitudes and understanding of young people towards climate change.

    I am very philosophical about the whole issue of denialism. Here are some random thoughts not specifically responding to points you made, but just my perspective. Firstly I broadly agree with Evans point of view @15.

    Secondly look at other issues like evolution, dangers of tobacco, and the vaccines debates and even after decades there are still a few deniers out there who will probably die being deniers, for a variety of reasons. I'm not sure why climate science would be different, especially as it has so many real world implications that affect peoples lives.

    However the number of people who deny the dangers of tobacco and theory of evolution has fallen over time from some poll I saw somewhere. Again I think climate change would follow a similar track. There has got to be a big group of people towards the middle of the bell curve open to persuasion, and I would suggest a group of ideologues, and cranks etc at the outer extreme who will never be convinced. But get the vast majority convinced and you are on track.

    The trouble we have is to identify who we are talking to and not to waste energy. One on one debates with scientific cranks are useless. I would not be wasting time with them over the barbecue, and I tend to avoid them on websites unless their mistakes are so simple they can be pointed out irrefutably and briefly. Plus I don't have enough physics knowledge to take on some slippery cranky physicist, although I will get to the bottom of almost any issue if I have the time.

    I think deniers that post lists of denialist myths are a bit different. It's important to refute these for the benefit of "other people listening" and for general education. If lies or missinformation go unrefuted they will obviously gain traction. But it requires judgement, because one doesn't want to give these people too much of a platform by engaging in pages of back and forth debate.

    Young people must obviously be told the facts about climate science just as with any science. I have huge respect for teachers, but I have zero tolerance for teachers who teach climate denialism and they should be fired.

    Of course we have to avoid the label of brainwashing but that is easily done by some factual messaging that the IPCC are 95% sure etc and a small number of cranks do dispute the findings. This all seems commonsense to me. Tell me if I'm wrong.

    I don't know why humanity makes it all so difficult. Ray Ladbury says humanity is just not smart enough.

  28. One Planet Only Forever at 05:33 AM on 29 December 2018
    Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    I share Greta's disappointment and annoyance with the behaviour of the supposed Leaders of Humanity through the past 30 years.

    And I have commented many times on this site about the need for corrections of the socioeconomic-political systems.

    Fatally flawed systems like the ones that developed the damaging unsustainable results that have been developed, and that develop resistance to correction, are undeniably in need of correction. The required corrections will not happen without System Corrections. And those corrections will undeniably mean losses of developed perceptions of superiority relative to others, and losses of opportunity to personally enjoy living any desired (popular or profitable) way that can be gotten away with.

    It is tragic that globally humanity still allows incorrect pursuits of personal enrichment and glory, pursuits that are understandably detrimental to improving awareness and understanding of the corrections and redirection of development efforts required for the benefit of the future of humanity.

    The popularly supported leaders (and leaders incorrectly winning any way they can get away with), of the supposedly most advanced nations have collectively behaved ineffectively (and some of them behaved and still behave deliberately harmfully). They claim they can only 'do what is popular and will be profitable' rather than declaring the obvious unacceptability of the results of competitions for perceptions of superiority based on popularity and profitability. And they incorrectly market misunderstanding to excuse the incorrect things they do not want to see corrected.

    The development of improved awareness and understanding is proven by the Sustainable Development Goals (and all of the predecessors to that most recently established summary of understanding). The failure of global leaders to figure out how to effectively correct what has developed in order to achieve the required results for the benefit of the future of humanity needs to be declared to be the problem requiring solutions (on many more matters than reducing climate change impacts).

    The challenge has always been getting the richest and most powerful to effectively limit and correct the incorrect among them.

    For a young person to understand that means that the richest and most powerful likely also understand it. And the rich and powerful understanding that explains their behaviour (they refuse to give up any undeniably incorrectly developed perceptions of superiority).

  29. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    I didn't agree with all Gretas views, but she got a lot of things right, and I think its important to give young people in particular some positive feedback.

    It's not just political leaders standing in the way, in a simplistic sense. Theres more to it of course.

    Regarding her view that nothing was being talked about and being done I was unsure if she was just talking about Sweden and perhaps climate change is just not talked about there, or whether she was venting her frustration that nothing of 'consequence' was being done, some precocious sarcasm perhaps! I just translated her comments to mean not nearly enough is being done. And it isn't.

  30. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    My latest comment posted simultaneously with scaddenp's reply, so I will look to see if you just answered my latest question too. Thanks.

  31. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    I (think I) get the concept of the feedback curve's shape. So my follow-up question is — how do we now what part of that curve we are on? I assume that the experts are concerned that we are still on an "earlier" part of that curve, where feedback effects are "significant" vs. a "later" part of that curve, where feedback effects are "not significant"?

    My layman's question comes from this — if we have already made large jumps in CO2 output, have we already experienced the "steeper" part of the curve, and any go-forward increases are out "in the flat tail" with much smaller effects?

    Any commentary would be appreciated.

  32. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    scaddenp — for the layman, what is "wrong" (or "inferior" or whatever) with the UAH data vs. "better" or "more credible" temperature data?

    Thanks in advance.

  33. wilddouglascounty at 02:25 AM on 29 December 2018
    Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    Nick #2,

    While Greta talked about nothing being done and needing to stop emissions immediately, she also brought up the need for rich countries to reduce emissions by 15% per year, adding that if rich countries don't take a leadership role, then we can't expect developing countries to take similar steps.  While this is different from just stopping emissions totally immediately, it does require that much, much more be done than is currently being done; hence her call for action first in order to release the pent up hope that comes with that action but is otherwise just so much greenwash, pie-in-the-sky talk that can actually reduce our inclination to act.

    Thank you, Greta, for the excellent talk. I will add it to a resource page I hand out to all who are seeking more information on this topic.

  34. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    Yes there is a lot happening. Yes it takes a lot of time. But few people feel the sense of urgency, and we are moving too slow. So I. for one, welcome any message from anyone pushing for urgency. And this young lady says it so honestly, so simply, so forcefully that it compels. And that is welcome.

  35. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    I think it's pushing it a bit to say that nobody's talking about things and that nothing is happening. I also think it's disingenuous to imply that we could stop using all fossil fuels tomorrow to solve the climate crisis without acknowldging that a sudden cut off would create a devastating, and almost immediate economic impact. It's the immense difficulties in balancing the rate of transition to a low carbon future without damaging or destroying our current economy which explains a lot of what appears superficially to be little or no action or urgency

  36. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    We are talking as though there are deniers and non-deniers. This is not the case. The people following and contributing to SkS are on one end of the spectrum. Deniers are on the other end of the spectrum. In between there are the hoards trying to make up their minds, and they are listening, more than they are speaking. As conditions in the world rachet up with continued global warming, people will become more open to our message. The more we learn from others about how to speak to the people in the middle, the faster we will move them to accept the science.

    I agree about not trying to convert the hard-core deniers. But if you are challenging a hard-core denier in a group of people, there will be many, many people listening to what you have to say. Many people who are more open than the deniers.

  37. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die


    We agree that it is difficult to explain the situation to people who are not really interested.  I find people who are genuinely interested (but uninformed) are easy to talk with.

    On the positive side, I taught High School Science for 15 years until last year.  15 years ago every class had 3 or 4 rabid deniers (out of 25 students) who thought scientists were faking the data.  In the last few years there was essentially no-one who thought the data was faked.  Unfortunately, I did not keep a count of everyone's position.

    It was rare for skeptical students to listen to anything I had to say.  I was able to reach a number of students by assigning them to read the NCDC climate reports (no current link due to shutdown).  They frequently expressed surprise at how much temperature has already changed.

    Sunspot: what your said times 2.  Unfortunately, that is the situation we are in.

  38. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Susnspot@11 I understand the spirit you are conveying about the need to stop catering to fools. However, part of the purpose of this site is to help sharpen people's ability to spot and debunk myths. I find value in discussing the myths with people here because I learn about new data and analysis to help debunk the myths. Because of the discussions with others in this comment section, this week I formulated a new analogy that I will be posting on SkS.

  39. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    bsettlem @122,

    While you highlight the increase in the biomass of mankind with its domesticated flocks, in your comparison with wildlife you manage to ignore the decrease in the biomass of wildlife that is also a by-product of human activity. This rather makes your grand theory (that there are tons-more animals exhaling CO2 into the human-dominated world) less than the drama you hope. Not that it makes a ha'p'orth of difference as it is the source of the carbon that is the important issue here, this being the fuel "they burn" according to you comment @119.

    So where does this carbon comes from so as to fuel all these humans and noisy old bleating goats that we meet? You answer @122 is rather poor. You say it was ejected from an exploding star 5 billion years ago. (There is probably an "over" missing from within that reply.) Then miraculously the carbon reappears in the Earth's Hadean atmosphere (of course a hypothetical composition) whence we lose track of it again before it magically reappears for a second time within the breath of today's biomass. I think it's safe to say, bsettlem, you will never make it as a detective with such threadbare reasoning. You would be laughed out of court!!

    (It is interesting that your final point is presaged by the words "I comment on one part of your message." It suggests that only in this final point you were not trolling.) As a plant tend to grow in size with passing time, it is thus accumulating carbon. My understanding (which is not great on this particular matter) is that plant respiration is from all parts of the living plant and it obtains its carbon from the glucose produced by photosynthesis. Thus the living plant as a whole will be a net absorber of carbon from the atmosphere during photosynthesis and a net emitter of carbon through respiration during periods without photosynthesis (or diminished photosynthesis). And I think it is very likely there is a wider lesson to be had here about that damned ellusive source of carbon harnessed for human respiration.

  40. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    Bottom of carbon cycle is plants. When a plant dies, the carbon in it is eventually oxidized and returns to the atmosphere. If it is eaten by anything, then that carbon is going back into atmosphere via respiration somewhere down the track. It doesnt change the amount of carbon in atmosphere whatever the relative no. of human to other organisms is.

    Fortunately, we can test the truth of hypothesis. All carbon in the normal cycle contains the C14 isotope. Carbon in fossil fuels has no C14. If the increase in CO2 in atmosphere was due to humans, the atmospheric concentration of C14 wouldnt change. If the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is due burning CO2, then the C14 would be diluted. Guess what the actual measurements show.

  41. Philippe Chantreau at 14:24 PM on 28 December 2018
    Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    I'm still not sure exactly what your point is. All the yelling and grandstanding certainly doesn't help.

    Human respiration can not cause a net addition to the carbon cycle. That would violate thermodynamics. Extracting carbon from the crust and releasing it in the cycle does, so would intense sustained volcanic activity or a carbon-containing space object impact. Once carbon has been injected in the cycle, it will of course be found throughout the cycle. However, if 9 billion humans were to produce all their energy from carbon neutral sources, inluding producing nitrogen and phosphate rich fertilizers through carbon neutral chemical processes, their respiration would not increase the atmospheric content of CO2. Long term storage of carbon can cause subtraction, that's what happened in the carboniferous. Shifts in biomass do not constitute net addition or subtraction.

    As for warming attribution, if you know of some other forcing, it should be verifiable and its effect should be quantifiable. It should also be discussed on the appropriate thread.

  42. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    AFT - if we keep adding CO2, then it keeps getting hotter.  Do you mean how much hotter would it get if we stopped adding CO2? There have been papers on this - see the articles at Realclimate that discuss them.  The CMIP5 model projections are the best guide to what temperatures will be under various emission scenarios. See below for summary but looking at the IPCC AR5 WG1 report would give you a lot more detail. The "RCPxxx" are the different emission scenarios considered. 2.6 is what happens with stringent mitigation of emissions, and 8.5 at the other extreme is a continue to burn all we can scenario.


  43. Positive feedback means runaway warming

    I apologize if this was addressed in the articles and/or comments and I missed it — given the limitations on feedbacks and the current rates of increasing CO2, what is the scientific consensus of where we "max out" on temperature increase from today's levels? As in, how much hotter will it get, by when? Thanks in advance for replies.

  44. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Anticorncob6 - I also like to use the axial tilt theory of seasons as an analogy -  on average each day of Spring will be warmer than the day before but we don't expect a few days or weeks of colder than average weather in Spring to mean there won't ever be Summer any more or that it "proves" the axial tilt theory must be wrong.

    I admit I was surprised at how much traction "the Pause" got; to me it always looked exactly like the variability overlaying a continuing warming trend that closer studies confirm. Too little "expert" effort distinguishing between shorter term variability and underlying warming and expert efforts at learning what processes are involved in that shorter term variability?

    Foster and Rahmstorf's work that estimated and "removed" ENSO, Volcanic Aerosol and Solar Intensity changes confirmed what I thought - that known sources of variability alone were enough to make "the Pause" indistinguishable within a longer term warming trend.

    Averages of many model runs, where each run has ups, downs, pauses, accelerations may make for a smooth, each year warmer than the last type graph; it is not and should never be seen as a year by year prediction. Should perhaps have taken a leaf out of Exxon's book; their projections were of a (smooth) band of tempertures rising, not a single line average. But people making policy or having fiduciary duties of care - or journalists reporting about it - should be expected to know better.

  45. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Whether or not there was a "pause" in the rise of surface temps is actually irrelevant, and the fact that so much time is being wasted debating the issue is just another example of how we have let the deniers hijack the conversation. It's like debating the ridiculous notion that climate researchers are getting rich by forming a worldwide conspiracy to lie about the scientific data to justify their "enormous" research grants, which they spend sipping wine on the Riviera instead of freezing their butts off on the Greenland ice sheet. We are wasting time with these fools. We need to find a way to stop this.

  46. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    Thanks for the Chart.
    Humans account for about 36 percent of the biomass of all mammals. Domesticated livestock, mostly cows and pigs, account for 60 percent,
    It wasn’t always this way. Humans are responsible for this.
    A similar situation exists for birds. Poultry biomass is about three times that of wild birds.
    It wasn’t always this way. Humans are responsible for this too.
    Where did all this carbon come from you ask. Best guess, from a cloud of hot gases and other mass that resulted from the explosion of a very large star about five billion years ago.
    It is speculated that this early ball of mass was surrounded with an atmosphere mainly composed of nitrogen, CO2 and water vapor.
    I comment on one part of your message, Plants breathe day and night. During the day they do their photosynthesis thing, and produce oxygen. During the night it’s air in and air out. A very few plants are especially talented and do produce oxygen during the night.


  47. Greta Thunberg's TEDx talk

    This is possibly the single best video I have seen on this website. A scarily intelligent young woman. Even if the words are not all her own, she clearly understands them. 

    However unfortunately its well known that humans are built in a way where we respond best and most urgently  to short term threats, and not things that unfold more slowly in the future, even if they are huge. We have to recognise this, and find a way of overcoming it.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MAR @19,

    Can you clarify something briefly. I gather you have looked at the last 20 years of atmospheric emissions trends (which are accelerating)  and found a slowing in the acceleration of these over about the last 5 years by pulling out el nino and la nina years? Looks  convincing approach to me, my maths is too rusty for the details. But they are rather short time frames arent they?. Give it a couple more years of data you should publicise your views more widely. You may be onto something novel because I havent seen anyone else articulate this.

    You also said that you found no compelling evidence for an increase recently in non anthropogenic emissions. But haven't we seen some evidence of more release of methane from the tundra and tropics?

  49. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    M Sweet @8 ah I see what you mean. Deny was a bad use of words on my part. I should have said scientists have found there was 'no pause'. Apologies if it was confusing.

    However I stand by the rest of what I said. Lots of people see any slight flattening in temperatures as global warming stopping, unfortuntately we have to tediously explain otherwise. Unfortunately people don't see the obvious that you assume.

  50. Philippe Chantreau at 04:18 AM on 28 December 2018
    Climate's changed before

    Let me guess James, you spent haf a day on Google too?

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