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  • Cold Case vs. CSI « RealClimate
    our imaginations to the false dichotomy of paradise vs death Our present hyper abundance and ease might fade with time but barring runaway catastrophe we re not going to go back to subsistence farming and such Response Precisely why I took the risk of mentioning some dollar cost figures for the US The economic alarmism argument that carbon controls will drive us back to subsistence farming sets up a false dichotomy To solve the US problem we re talking about 550 per person annually gross cost less in net terms That s not going to drive us back to the stone age It s not even going to put much of a dent in our present hyper abundance The burden on the poor can easily be handled by something like the Earned Income Tax Credit which would still leave plenty of incentives in the system for companies to build IGCC coal with carbon sequestration or wind farms instead of pulverized coal plants Forgive me please for pushing the limits of our comment policy by injecting these numbers into the discussion but I justify the indulgence because the estimates link to the technical feasibility arguments in Pacala and Sokolow which are indisputably a matter of science raypierre 59 Lynn Vincentnathan says 15 Feb 2007 at 10 24 AM Re 9 Gavin I think the motive is more or less the same as the robber who holds up a gas station one who doesn t really intend to kill anyone He just wants to get the money so he can live a rich and high life Then in the heat of the moment he kills the person without really thinking Same way we want to live a rich and high life We don t really intend to kill anyone to get that at least the vast majority of us don t want to do so But something happens in the process People get killed or hurt their property destroyed And contrarians plead innocent until proven guilty by a bunch of uneducated juror peers who can easily be swayed by the swagger of a couple of contrarian scientists and big name novelists Even the judge is coaxing them to return a not guilty And since the jurors are also guilty of the same crime they surely don t want to set any precedence that will go against them even if the victims are their own progeny The problem is its sort of like shooting bullets up into the air which they do around here on New Years and some people get hurt Everyone s doing it and you don t know who s going to get hurt The bullets we shoot today will be up in the air a very long time causing untold harm but most of it decades centuries millennia from now Doesn t make for a good crime show or court case 60 Hank Roberts says 15 Feb 2007 at 10 54 AM Ray you may want to update the Wikipedia article if it s not been done Google News found these Note this is a change any percent estimate has to include the time span to be useful information Global Warming Is Being Seriously Underestimated CounterCurrents org India Feb 2 2007 This then emits about 65 tonnes of CO2 per hectare per year Currently millions of hectares of peatlands are drained and are decomposing in Indonesia and Once a dream fuel palm oil may be an eco nightmare Taipei Times Taiwan Feb 2 2007 These emissions generated by peat drainage in Indonesia were not counted before Kaat said It was a totally ignored problem 61 Hank Roberts says 15 Feb 2007 at 11 25 AM Finishing the digression I hope this is definitely off topic The sources for the peat CO2 story are here http www taipeitimes com News editorials archives 2007 02 03 2003347535 62 Marcus says 15 Feb 2007 at 11 29 AM re 54 Ray Ladbury your Wikipedia page does not include land use change emissions for which estimates range from 3 GtCO2 year deFries PNAS 2002 to 8 GtCO2 year Houghton Tellus 2003 compared to 24 GtCO2 year from fossil fuel cement emissions which is what is reported in the Wikipedia table Though I do share your disagreement with 37 in terms of how hard it will be to stabilize emissions 63 Henry says 15 Feb 2007 at 11 42 AM I like it Television fiction as metaphor for paleoclimate research Of course the reality is that Project Innocence has proven hundreds of mistakes in the criminal justice system Granted they haven t proven a single mistake in CSI or Cold Case 64 tamino says 15 Feb 2007 at 12 04 PM Re 52 I checked out the page of ExxonMobil Contributed Papers on Climate Science They list 41 papers All but 4 of them are attributable to ExxonMobil because of the participation of a single author H S Kheshgi The one I find most ironic is this one 28 Kheshgi H S Contributing Author 2001 Technical Summary In J T Houghton and D Yihui eds Climate Change 2001 The Scientific Basis Contribution of WGI to the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC Cambridge University Press New York 21 83 This isn t the only IPCC report on which Kheshgi contributed and all of them are listed as ExxonMobil Contributed Papers on Climate Science In other words ExxonMobil is trying to take credit for the IPCC reports This is padding the resume to the extreme I ve never even imagined anything like it I think it shows quite effectively just how hollow are ExxonMobil s claims that their position on global warming has been misunderstood 65 Lynn Vincentnathan says 15 Feb 2007 at 12 20 PM 46 47 Wang Dang you obviously are not a sci fi freak like me I was okay with DAT knowing it was sci fi but I liked THE ARRIVAL better aliens trying to accelerate global warming to meet their comfort level The only problem was my disbelief became unsuspended when the ice started chasing the people as it did in SUPERMAN when Superman flew around the earth opposite the spin turned back time I also didn t like that much water in WATERWORLD but would have been okay if it had been explained at coming from both global warming some aliens shipping in oceans of water to drown us out to make it habitable for them And I have no problem with Venusians who have caused runaway warming on Venus escaping to earth but they crash on the moon Eons later our moon expedition finds their remains their plans to get to earth in their space pod and their history on Venus how they triggered runaway warming Of course we earthlings are freaking out thinking maybe some Venusians made it to earth and are living among us drowning out the voices calling for mitigation of global warming If I ever get time I ll write that up as a screenplay It d make a great movie Yeh I m no fun at parties But out of politeness to my hosts I make my points hard and fast then move on before it comes to blows Sorry but I m a defender of life on earth warring against the thanatos drive in the Darth Vaders who would destroy the world 66 Lynn Vincentnathan says 15 Feb 2007 at 12 30 PM 55 Don t worry Barton once we get through with Florida no one will want it My place too which is not too far above sea level and in a hurricane area as we moved down we saw the signs pointing in the opposite direction Hurricane evacuation route 67 Dave D says 15 Feb 2007 at 12 37 PM Thanks to mark s and Steve Bloom for responses to my post 28 I found the answer to the time resolution of the ice cores in the link Steve 45 provided The answer is 22 years for bubble trapping so the cores have enough bandwidth to follow CO2 accurately Thanks Neftel A E Moor H Oeschger and B Stauffer 1985 Evidence from polar ice cores for the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the past two centuries Nature 315 45 47 68 Jerry says 15 Feb 2007 at 12 45 PM Another kind of cold case related to climate reconstruction is an article from The Economist which I excerpt and attach My edit ellipsis to omit non climate related material from Economist 10 February 2007 Better Spatlese than never How German wine makers are responding to climate change Just as Rheingau Reisling was making its mark again as one of the world s finest wines it has come under threat from an unexpected source climate change The special quality of Rhine Reisling relies on a mix of cool nights and warm days for slow ripening But warmer average temperatures are threatening to redraw the wine map Red grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot traditionally grown in the south will migrate northward by 200 400km and up hillsides bu 100 150 meters says Hans Schultz of the Research Institute at Geisenheim in the Rheingau Bu 2040 cabernet sauvignon will flourish where Reisling does now The impact has already been felt in the past few years Eiswein a delicious dessert wine made from grapes which are picked frozen on the vine at a temperature of minus 7C or below is becoming even rarer This season the local growers had only two chances December 27th and January 26th to pick grapes frozen enough That was our latest harvest ever for Eiswein says Arno Schales whose family has grown Reisling since 1783 and has made Eiswein for the past 50 years His Eiswein this year a crop of 200 bottles instead of the usual 1 000 2 000 came from pinot noir grapes which survived the late warm weather without rotting Mr Schultz who has written several papers on the subject notes that the Geisenheim vines are developing shoots seven days earlier blossoming ten days earlier and starting to ripen 12 days earlier than the 40 year average they are especially affected by the warmer nights Reisling is very sensitive to the soil and the climate echoes Ernst Buscher of the German Wine Institute across the river in Mainz 69 SecularAnimism says 15 Feb 2007 at 12 56 PM Barton Paul Levenson wrote Like it or not countries attack other countries and any even minimally responsible government will either spend money on a defense establishment of its own or ally itself with a big power that spends it Indeed I surely expect that as accelerating anthropogenic global warming combined with the other ongoing damage that humanity is inflicting on the Earth s biosphere e g see the UN s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment reduces the capacity of the Earth to support life while at the same time supplies of the cheap fossil fuel energy upon which industrial civilization is totally dependent peak and then rapidly decline that the main response of the nations of the world will be to increase military spending the better to fight with each other over the dwindling resources BPL wrote Suddenly stopping military expenditures in the US for instance would leave us vulnerable to attack from the large number of countries around the world that hate our guts The US spends more on its military than the entire rest of the world combined most of the rest of the military spending is by US allies and only a small fraction of those US expenditures have anything to do with actually protecting the US from attack Surely there is some room for adjustments between a half trillion dollars a year in military expeditures and Suddenly stopping military expenditures in the US Response Military policy and prospects for doing without military expenditure are decidely off topic here It came up only as a way of putting the costs of CO2 mitigation into perspective showing that the expenditures involved do not seem too alarming in light of other things governments routinely spend money on Let s leave it at that shall we My apologies if I myself contributed to stimulating this digression raypierre 70 Ray Ladbury says 15 Feb 2007 at 1 51 PM Since some object to Wikipedia on principle I will note that the source of the data was the UN Here s another one http epa gov climatechange emissions globalghg html Fuel use of fossil fuels still dominates the sources of CO2 The industrialized countries still dominate the burning of fossil fuel I do not think it is reasonable to blame the average Brazilian or Indonesian farmer for the fix we are in Could they be part of the solution Certainly The point is If you really want to impact CO2 emissions you have to change the energy sources used by industry 71 Mike says 15 Feb 2007 at 2 18 PM Re 52 64 Great work I m sure Tamino My apologies for not knowing who s who in climatology Maybe they didn t think people would investigate their claims as carefully as their pals scrutinise the good folk s work Back to the CSI track Exxon s dream team pun intended just need to insert reasonable doubt Doubt is their product Reminds me of the lawyer in the movie Scarface who said he was an expert at raising reasonable doubt but when you ve got a million three of undeclared dollars staring into a videotape camera honey baby it s hard to convince a jury you found it in a Taxi Cab Oh to be a juror in an Exxon mass tort claim Been reading too many Grishams Keep the good work 72 Climate Fan says 15 Feb 2007 at 2 22 PM I have a silly question but I need to ask it The CO2 level that we have now has been unprecedented for 600 000 years What if someone asks Yes but maybe if you look further back you WILL find there is a period which has similar CO2 levels I know that that is a silly objection if it were accepted then no number of statistical studies will be enough But what is the best way to answer such a question when someone says You have not looked long back enough and perhaps there is a time when we had climate CO2 levels etc such as we have today Hence this is a natural cycle If this question has been answered before I will appreciate it if you can provide a link 73 coby says 15 Feb 2007 at 3 28 PM Re 72 Have a look at this http illconsidered blogspot com 2006 02 whats wrong with warm weather html There may be a couple of other appropriate articles there too http illconsidered blogspot com 2006 01 climate is always changing html http illconsidered blogspot com 2006 03 geological history does not support html for example 74 John L McCormick says 15 Feb 2007 at 3 45 PM RE 72 IPCC AR4 will help you understand global temperature has increased since 1900 and CO2 increased about 100 ppm since then World population in 1900 was 1 6 billion In 8000 BC it was about 5 million 600 000 years ago is your guess but likely less than a million So raising atmospheric CO2 concentration 35 percent in about 100 years and increasing population four fold in that same time period makes the matter of earlier CO2 concentrations meaningless to your discussion perhaps Whatever the concentration and impact on climate then the earth was unpopulated Ask that someone to look ahead 75 Joel Shore says 15 Feb 2007 at 4 01 PM Re 36 Regarding the complicity of other GHGs besides CO2 While there may be a fair bit of uncertainty regarding the sensitivity of climate to GHGs I believe there is much less uncertainty in regards to the relative sensitivity of climate to the different GHGs I e it is straightforward to determine from the way they absorb radiation what their relative contribution to warming should be And in fact agreements like the Kyoto Protocol have incorporated these other GHGs into the emission reduction requirements using their relative warming potentials It is worth adding however that the warming potentials are not the only things that matter since the lifetime is also important And in this regard I think CO2 has the other suspects beat because it has a much longer lifetime in the atmosphere at least in comparison to the second most potent GHG methane So while lowering methane emissions may actually be a very good short term strategy to get a lot of bang for the buck since this could quite quickly lower its concentration due to its short lifetime eventually you have to deal with the elephant in the room which is CO2 destined to be the dominant player by virtue of its hanging around so long 76 Hank Roberts says 15 Feb 2007 at 4 18 PM Ray L yes but note the problem with peat in Indonesia is caused by a Dutch biofuel project unintended consequences 77 GAW says 15 Feb 2007 at 4 54 PM I wouldn t push the CSI analogy too far most of the wiz bang technology on display is patently fake A better analogy is between AGWism and epidemiology Consider the hysteria over Cholesterol Evidence links Cholesterol to heart disease so the scientific conclusion is to put half the populace on Statins a solution that lowers Cholesterol levels but is not only economically wasteful but probably ineffective in reducing heart disease to boot In reality the low fat high carbohydrate diet recommended by the medical consensus is probably largest contributing factor to both the Cholesterol problem and the recent epidemic of obesity But you certainly won t hear that from the medical establishment or the for profit industry that has grown up around the Cholesterol problem You may or may not agree with my assessment of the Cholesterol problem but I think you are kidding yourself if you don t think that climate science is subject to many of the same limitations as medical science Reductionism is an extremely difficult discipline and many things can go wrong when your facts are mostly statistical and direct experimental validation of a hypothesis is difficult if not impossible Both medical and climate sciences face concerns about data quality in the face of bewildering complexity Both are long on causality and past predictions and short on control and future predictions Both hide their machinery behind a wall of technology that is impenetrable to the layman Both come to conclusions that deserve a large does of skepticism My fear is that AGWism like much of modern medicine will waste a lot of resources that could be better spent elsewhere My personal feeling I am a conservationist that same effort spent on combating the environmental effects of world poverty would do more towards sustaining what is left of our poor planet s environment than anything the comes out of AGWism I don t have any proof of that but it is pretty much the same feeling I have towards the effect of modern medicine Those opinions come more from a deep appreciation of our cultural conceit than any skepticism of our engineering might 78 Mark A York says 15 Feb 2007 at 5 11 PM Reductionism is an extremely difficult discipline and many things can go wrong when your facts are mostly statistical and direct experimental validation of a hypothesis is difficult if not impossible And that is exactly why your argument fails It s based on unsubtantiated opinion and no facts at all 79 Steve Latham says 15 Feb 2007 at 6 26 PM Mark I think you re being heavy handed GAW basically says that we often think we know something when in fact we don t know it so well GAW also says the layperson has a difficult time seeing evidence for him herself I agree with GAW that more controlled experiments would be a real benefit to both climate and medical science Nothing there to get one s back up If there s one thing in comment 77 I disagree most with it s the insinnuendo about profit There will be inertia if when the climate consensus changes but it won t have much to do with profiteering by the scientists 80 Dick Veldkamp says 15 Feb 2007 at 6 32 PM Re 78 AGWism GAW I think what you argue here is a false dichotomy Surely we could spend 1 of GDP or something according to Stern on mitigating the CO2 problem AND tackle other problems at the same time Also it would appear that conserving nature becomes very much harder if temperature rises as fast as we think it will so the problems are really connected You seem to imply with your cholesterol argument that evidence for AGW is rather flimsy Please take a look at Raypierre s reply 120 under Nigel Calder that sums up the evidence in a few lines If that does not satisfy you what better advice can I give you than to read some more of th4 stuff on this site 81 Sashka says 15 Feb 2007 at 6 38 PM Re 57 Anything that helps to bring this under control has got to be a good thing with lots of benefits for biodiversity as well as for global warming What s to dispute about that To dispute is the Kyoto approach regarding the means and ways whereby the developing countries are assumed to be just a small part of the problem To dispute also are the well intentioned government initiatives that lead to the Indonesian fiasco in the first place Response So Kyoto doesn t solve all the world s environmental problems Agreed So now what do you want to do about it How does dropping the only mechanism currently available for dealing with a big part of the problem i e developed world CO2 emissions help solve the Indonesian problem Anyway I m glad you agree something should be done Kyoto s not my favorite either and there are a lot of things I d do differently if I were the emperor of the world but I m not International negotiations are messy I think you ll have a hard time arguing that what s going on in Indonesia has much to do with anything other than good old fashioned greed and good old fashioned lax environmental regulations raypierre 82 Sashka says 15 Feb 2007 at 6 43 PM Re 30 45 I don t doubt Eric s credentials for a minute Unfortunately in the RC article that you linked he never mentioned diffusion even once The only relevant to my inquery bit came from a reader Georg Hoffmann However I m not sure that the paper that he s referring to discusses diffusion on long time scale Response Sashka we re getting tired of doing your literature searches for you You are surely perfectly capable of looking up the diffusivity of gas in ice and combining that with the porosity of densified ice to get the number you re asking for Our conversation with you if you can call it that struck me as familiar and suddenly I figured out why When my children were quite small they figured out that their parents being professors and having a natural reflex to answer questions they could be kept going almost indefinitely on any topic by simple utterances of why and how come without even needing to listen to the answer Sometimes it was amusing to them always actually but not a great way to make any progress on learning things At some point we instituted the idea of the question buzzer After a certain number of whys and how comes the question buzzer would go off and no more questions would be answered untill the kiddies had reflected on the previous answer and shown some progress in understanding I should add that they grew out of the mechanical whys and how come stage by the time they got to first grade Draw your own conclusions about what I m getting at here raypierre 83 SecularAnimist says 15 Feb 2007 at 6 45 PM Every episode of Law Order begins with this voiceover In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups the police who investigate crimes and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders These are their stories With apologies to Dick Wolf In dealing with anthropogenic global warming the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups the climate scientists who investigate the scientific facts of global warming and climate change and the environmental advocates who work to educate the public and policy makers and press for change to reduce the harmful consequences These are their stories 84 Steve Bloom says 15 Feb 2007 at 7 02 PM Re 79 GAW I would urge you and anyone else who hasn t to read the Discovery of Global Warming on line book and the new IPCC Report both linked through the right bar Also I think your analogy to medicine is really quite apt except that climate science is in the role of simply making the diagnosis In terms of solutions I suspect most climate scientists would suggest prevention as the first and best course of action now that the diagnosis has been made The analogy in the case of high cholesterol would be to utilizing appropriate diet and exercise to first stabilize and then reduce the problem Drug intervention is comparable to various geo engineering schemes that seek to avoid addressing the causes Regarding your concerns about conservation speaking as a long time Sierra Club leader I would point out that there are reasons why world poverty isn t getting sufficient attention now and that those reasons have nothing to do with a desire to devote resources to dealing with global warming Besides things like increasing drought associated with climate chnage are not likely to be very kind to the Third World 85 Craig Allen says 15 Feb 2007 at 7 10 PM Re 76 Actually CO2 release in Indonesia and particularly in the peat forests of north east Sumatra Kalimantan Borneo and perhaps also Irian Jaya East Papua is caused by a combination of burning the creation of vast networks of drainage channels that dry out the peat and wetlands and conversion to farmland and plantations This is being done by both farmers massive settlement transmigration settlement programs have been underway for decades and by forestry companies Dutch companies and others may be there but both Indonesia and Malaysian companies are notorious for these practices both there and elsewhere in South east Asia and the Pacific Region Go for a tour on Google Earth it s really scary Having said that I was traveling in the Tarkine region of North West Tasmania Australia last week and I came across landscape scale areas of temperate rainforest and mixed eucalyptus forest on peat soils that are rapidly being converted to monoculture blue gum plantations again it is clear as day on Google Earth Then we came across an area where from horizon to horizon the rainforest has been so fiercely repeatedly burnt that all that is left is a depauporate grassland heath on a skeletal chalky substrate Mind you much of the timber is used to provide the cheap chipboard skirting and and just about anything else wooden in our luxury western homes We re all implicated in this 86 Steve Bloom says 15 Feb 2007 at 7 17 PM Re 82 Well there may be another post that addresses it so try searching the site Alternatively Google Scholar is your friend Offhand though what makes you think it s a problem at all Finding literature that simply proves a negative can be difficult In any case trying to think the issue through diffusion could have only a smoothing effect and if it was suspected that it was somehow masking CO2 excursions which I think would imply greater climate sensitivity I m confident we would have heard a great deal about it 87 Sashka says 15 Feb 2007 at 7 31 PM Re 78 I m curious what sort of facts would you like to see in support of the opinion expressed in 76 Do you think that direct experimental validation of a hypothesis is easy If it s so easy how come hundreds of scientists are working on it so hard What I find wrong about GW debate is that positions of the sides are not falsifiable The denialist wouldn t agree that the observed trend is out bounds of natural variablilty Or they would look for other than CO2 reasons No need for me to bash them there is a hundred people here who specialize in this sport My problem with mainstream is over reliance on models Is there something that would signal that the models are wrong I m not claiming just suspecting there is but the hypothesis that the models are right must be falsifiable What is the criterion Is there anything that should happen with climate such that the modeling community would admit that the models don t have sufficient predictive ability to forecast 100 years forward even with the horrible variance that the current generation displays Correct me if I m wrong I don t believe there is anything that would shutter the confidence Say mean global temp in 2007 goes down 1 degree C vs 2006 no volcanoes no major La Nina etc Does anybody foresee this No Would it change anything I guess not Free variablity Noise in the system Perhaps All I m saying that model verification process must include a possibility of falsification Otherwise there is just one possible outcome In which case we move to the domain of religion instead of science 88 Sashka says 15 Feb 2007 at 7 40 PM Re 87 In my mind stack of snow is a porous medium which could allow the air bubble to diffuse through the column until it solidifies completely I don t know how long the complete solidification might take not even down to an order of magnitude The smoothing could obscure sharp CO2 changes in the past Not that it changes anything about human made CO2 trend but still I d like Ray s lightbulb moment to be taken in the right perspective Perhaps there s nothing wron with the argument at all I m just asking 89 S Molnar says 15 Feb 2007 at 7 47 PM Gavin I love the new multiple choice search function If you need me to be your straight man for anything else don t hesitate to ask Response No problem You inspired some kindly reader to help me out I will use you again in future if necessary Thanks gavin 90 Jeffrey Davis says 15 Feb 2007 at 8 02 PM Kyoto was supposed to be a baby step in global cooperation in global warming Criticism that it doesn t solve the world s problems is like ragging on a toddler for not winning the Olympic 100 meter dash 91 tamino says 15 Feb 2007 at 8 06 PM Re 82 Sashka if you study the data carefully you ll discover that for at least the last 700 000 years or so the time period covered by EPICA dome C diffusion even long term cannot be a big factor in these measurements That s because the pattern of CO2 changes from one glaciation to the next are so similar Diffusion could only smooth the data but in fact they show no sign of any reduction in variance from one to another glaciation deglaciation You remind me of the skeptics who suggested that the moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo were actually internal reflections caused by imperfections of the optics Galileo wondered how it would be possible to construct optical imperfections that would perfectly mimic four separate satellites proceeding in regular orbits around the planet And when Galileo set up his telescope so the skeptics could actually see them they refused to look 92 Jim Crabtree says 15 Feb 2007 at 8 10 PM Ray L I still stand by my numbers in 37 China a third world country is rapidly approaching us for producing CO2 and is expected to overtake us in the near future India is moving up rapidly I wonder if the UN man made emissions numbers for Brazil include the transformation of the Amazon from a carbon sink to a carbon source As for the people look at how many working poor we have in this country and we are a rich country Many of them are living just a paycheck or so away from going under I call that barely surviving Most drive cars that get poor gas mileage and live in homes that don t have energy efficient appliances and live in poorly insulated homes Now look at China India and Brazil and see how many working poor there are China is bringing online a new coal fired plant at about 1 a week Think about how much it will cost to retrofit all of the these plants and other facilities they most likely won t shut them down Most of the workers in Chinese factories are working poor On a per capita basis their carbon foot print is small but their populations are large What percentage of these people can afford to cut their carbon footprint The poor slash and burn farmer in Brazil has one objective to feed his wife and 7 kids today and he is not too worried about something a few years down the road Jim 93 tamino says 15 Feb 2007 at 8 48 PM Re diffusion in snow Take a look at Etheridge et al 1996 J Geophysical Res 101 4115 which describes in detail the analysis of the Law Dome ice core They study the effect of diffusion in the snow actually firn by sampling the air in the snow itself down to the bubble closure depth about 72m This corresponds to ice only 10 years old but the low value for Law Dome is due to the very high rate of snow accumulation at that site 94 Steve Bloom says 15 Feb 2007 at 9 09 PM Re 87 Sashka Dave D was able to find the answer in the post I linked see 67 above 22 years to seal the bubbles clearly presents no problem given the rate of CO2 change being reflected especially since the diffusion rate would be dropping to zero during that period and so each bubble effectively would reflect rather less than 22 years of mixing As for diffusion afterwards I can imagine there being a small amount but given the lengths of time we re concerned with it would have to be a large effect indeed and even so would only tend to make deglaciations look a little less abrupt But as Raypierre noted the calculation shouldn t be that tough If it turns out to be too hard of course somebody somewhere has aleady done it probably lots of somebodies but if you can t find anything via Google Scholar email Eric and ask him who would be likely to have such a thing at their fingertips If he doesn t know try NSIDC I think they have a budget for PR Good luck with that 95 Lynn Vincentnathan says 15 Feb 2007 at 9 37 PM RE 83 or In dealing with anthropogenic global warming the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups the climate scientists who investigate the scientific facts of global warming and climate change and the policy makers who don t

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  • Cold Case vs. CSI « RealClimate
    you are teaching this subject I would assume that you should be able to answer it easily if somebody raised it in your class no 109 Sashka says 16 Feb 2007 at 10 58 AM Re 94 I was able to access only the abstract and it doesn t say much In the references however there is a link to another abstract which actually has the 22 years number http www nature com nature journal v311 n5981 abs 311045a0 html The age of the entrapped air is however not the same as that of the surrounding ice because air bubbles only become isolated from the atmosphere during the transition from firn to ice Typically the age of the ice at this transition is between 100 and 3 000 yr depending mainly on firn temperature and snow accumulation rate So my guess in 108 was correct The mean age difference between ice and enclosed air as well as the age distribution width for a given sample are especially important for the investigation of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 and trace gases in the atmosphere over the last centuries and for the comparison of climatic parameters recorded in the ice with parameters recorded in the bubbles For Siple Station Antarctica this age difference and age distribution width were deduced from the bubble volume measured as a function of depth The values are 95 yr and 22 yr respectively This would be an answer to the question except they must have assumed something about porosity during transition period They also had to assume something about accumulation rates in the past vs today Sorry for the nitpicking 110 GAW says 16 Feb 2007 at 12 31 PM 80 Sorry for the delay I only get 1 or 2 chances to visit this site during the day I took a look at your suggestion sorry didnt really help When you install perfectly good physics in a finite element model you are making a lot of serious assumptions on how your linear approximation of the continuum is held together I haven t bothered to educate myself on the physics involved but I would be much surprised if a lot of the glue holding all your elements together wasn t based on some sort of diffusion equation That turns your finite element universe into a maze of boundary value problems to a very poorly behaved class of differential equations With such a system even the simplest assumption of how the representation scales is suspect Even worse is the assumption that a finite element model of something like steady state temperature distribution to meets expectations can accurately represent a dynamic system In short I wonder how much physics is left after you have assembled your model I also really wonder how you have any confidence that common features that appear out of an ensemble of solutions to such an ill formed system are anything other than artifacts of the respresentation A very long time ago I was given the task of investigating the migration the FAA airport noise model from a Cray to a minicomputer The basic calculation was a nuts an bolts sum that attempted to account for topography flight path plane characteristics and traffic schedule to draw noise contours at various times of the day The problem was that the engine noise model was represented by an exponential with a liberal mix of transcendentals in the exponent I did a standard error analysis on the formula and even the loss of 2 bits of floating point precision quad precision on a mini reduced accuracy to order of magnitude That was enough to kill the project PS the model lives on though it now seems they use some sort of lookup to provide different engine profiles the planet may go belly up but Fortran never dies Moral Be very suspicious of complex systems they often don t work the way you think they do 111 Lynn Vincentnathan says 16 Feb 2007 at 12 43 PM 102 you re probably right just to stick with global warming and include this hysteresis 251 55 mya scenarios as part of its total package However as I understand it acknowledging the lag time or already in the pipes warming there are 2 possibilities and many between 1 we reduce our GHG emissions to the point at which the earth can reaborb them and the warming slows ceases or even reverses harm is done but not as extreme as 2 and 2 we reach a point in the warming mainly caused by our GHGs at which even if we reduce our emissions to zero the warming will cause nature to emit more GHGs methane clathrates etc causing more warming causing more of nature s emissions until we get to a much hotter world than with only our own human emissions and it stays that way a lot longer thousands of years and kills off much of life on earth Then there are many paths between these two and I think we are already witnessing some of nature s net emissions due to our initial AGW but that might be too early to tell and it does not mean we ve reached that tipping point but who knows I sort of think that most people only have the 1st case in mind and have no or little idea about the 2nd So the attitude is that eventually we ll get around to reducing our GHGs and maybe there re be some more harm and damage but once we really get serious about reducing then it s just a matter of decades or perhaps a century and we ll be back to normal I also understand that the triggering point for the 2 scenario could be about 6C which is the upper projection for 2100 and is perhaps more probable for 2200 or 2300 It s not highly likely that we ll reach that level of warming but it s likely enough to have people understand what might happen 2 if we get there and distinguish it from regular AGW that could be reduced more easily albeit with a long lag time for warming already in the pipes Climate scientists please feel free to jump in here if I m wrong 112 PeakEngineer says 16 Feb 2007 at 3 21 PM Nice article We could be looking at a prelude to the arguments at the upcoming U S Supreme Court case on global warming http www msnbc msn com id 13554243 And imagine if they actually made a CSI episode about global warming that might get the message through to people 113 SecularAnimist says 16 Feb 2007 at 3 50 PM Lynn Vincentnathan wrote I also understand that the triggering point for the 2 scenario could be about 6C Or the triggering point may be much lower than that and we may have already reached it since there is evidence that self reinforcing feedbacks reduced albedo increased GHG emissions from warming soils and thawing permafrost die off of phytoplankton etc have already started and may be irreversible plus there is evidence suggesting that natural carbon sinks that have been absorbing as much as half of the anthropogenic carbon emissions are becoming saturated 114 Mark A York says 16 Feb 2007 at 4 04 PM Well Steve latham Consider the hysteria over Cholesterol This doesn t exactly lend credence to what followed Any heart surgeon wouldn t agree with this caveat but doesn t this sound like global warming alarmist to you It s a false analogy and fallacious on its face and that s why I was heavy handed as I surely can be sometimes even unjustly so I m working on that one though 115 Climate Fan says 16 Feb 2007 at 4 19 PM Well in the end does it matter if evidence is statistical or causative The consequences are so serious in this case that good statistical correlation and evidence warrants action as much as causative evidence does 116 Rod B says 16 Feb 2007 at 6 57 PM 113 says there is evidence suggesting that natural carbon sinks that have been absorbing as much as half of the anthropogenic carbon emissions are becoming saturated But the CO2 absorption of infrared and its resulting AGW has not 117 Wang Dang says 16 Feb 2007 at 9 48 PM Re 65 Lynn I am a huge fan of science fiction That is why I read the realclimate comment section Lots of science lots of fiction and sometimes science fiction I agree with Steve Bloom in 23 reader beware 118 Hank Roberts says 16 Feb 2007 at 11 34 PM You understand the difference in the two uses of the word absorb there Just checking 119 Ray Ladbury says 17 Feb 2007 at 1 49 AM Reductionism is an extremely difficult discipline and many things can go wrong when your facts are mostly statistical and direct experimental validation of a hypothesis is difficult if not impossible Ah spoken like a man without a good understanding of statistics Contrary to the contentions of Disraeli and Mark Twain any fool can lie with statistics but a skillful statistician uses them to tell the truth In the end most scientific evidence winds up being statistical and the result is just as compelling and just as cogent as a reading on a dial Statistics is not a way of coming to stronger conclusions than are warranted by the data but rather moderating our conclusions so that we are safe to a degree e g a confidence level in making a statement about them Anthropogenic causation is the predominant hypothesis precisely because of its explanatory power No other mechanism is even on the map 120 Marco Parigi says 17 Feb 2007 at 7 02 AM Re 107 Re 97 I agree that methane capture and measures to reduce methane and nitrous oxide production in agriculture should have more prominence Well I expect no I demand that the next Realclimate article be titled The case for complete bans on methane and Nitrous oxide are you listening Gavin See The Acid Ocean the Other Problem with CO2 Emission on this site the June 2005 report from the Royal Society of London at Now although there is consensus on GW being anthropogenic you show me where this acidification problem has consensus among the scientists in the latest UN report If we can get temperatures stabilised or down with CH4 and N2O elimination that should stabilise or knock back the positive feedbacks in play In the meantime maybe we can quantify the oceanic carbon and thermal cycles which are still so poorly understood as far as net energy is concerned that little should be concluded as far as policy is concerned just on the acidification factor 121 Hank Roberts says 17 Feb 2007 at 11 35 AM Marco the change in pH of the surface ocean water is simple chemistry well understood as soon as anyone noticed it happening The IPCC is studying atmospheric physics Did you read any part of the reference on ocean pH change that was provided Which part isn t clear to you Have you searched at all in the science journals on this subject and found anything contradicting it Asking smart questions is hard A less than smart question gives the impression that I did not bother looking this up I want service not education or that one s political or religious beliefs preclude considering the science Encouraging experts is our job if we want them to feel some reward for bothering to try to explain this difficult evolving subject Showing a best effort show your work how did you get to your conclusion is one of the first lessons any student needs to learn to keep the attention of someone who s volunteering time to teach 122 Rod B says 17 Feb 2007 at 12 56 PM re 116 mine and 118 Roberts Yes I understand the difference in the physical processes on one hand the actual carbon CO2 is absorbed by water earth plants etc and pretty much sequestered The other CO2 is absorbing capturing infrared radiation and its energy heat content to likely re radiate some of the heat back to earth But the effect of my question is none the less valid There is a total refutation from the consensus that infrared absorbtion by CO2 is saturated despite some indications that it could be at least in some of its wavelength bands Though the refutation is tempered by the assumption that CO2 s continuing absorption is logarithmic with an even looser assumption of what the constant logarithmic factor is though those two tandem assumptions get absolutely hardened and forgotten in the modeling process On the other hand the ease with which carbon absorbtion saturation on the sink end is accepted despite it being a more complex and unknown process strikes me as more religious than scientific 123 Hank Roberts says 17 Feb 2007 at 1 43 PM There is a total refutation from the consensus that infrared absorbtion by CO2 is saturated despite some indications that it could be at least in some of its wavelength bands Says who This is well explained in the AIP history it depends on air pressure altitude the idea that the bands were saturated was based on sea level pressure experiments done decades ago not recent work carbon absorbtion saturation on the sink end is accepted despite it being a more complex We know the amount of coal and petroleum burned we know the CO2 increase in the atmosphere we do the math and say the rest is going into sinks we know biomass change totals fairly well we know solubility quite well we re learning about ocean mixing depth and rate We can t assume carbon sunk is permanently out of circulation Carbon in plants and topsoil is released when those die unless they re buried to make more coal eh And the ocean chemistry is going toward increasing solubility of carbonate and aragonite in surface waters so the organisms that had been producing the sediments containing those materials become less effective at removing carbon this century 124 Hank Roberts says 17 Feb 2007 at 7 35 PM A question for the stratigraphy students has anyone got a few words on the ways carbon gets taken out longterm What s easier and faster geologically speaking sediment that with time becomes chalk or coal 125 Dave D says 17 Feb 2007 at 9 12 PM Re ice core time resolution 28 44 45 67 94 108 109 Seeing Sahska s link which says 100 too 3000 years for bubble trapping has me thinking this issue is not laid to rest yet In fact there can be no universal number for the trap time since it depends so much on accumulation rate The main characteristics of the bubble record are set by length scales 60 to 80m to trap and 3000m to crush the bubbles The actual timeline depends on the accumulation rate The abstract from the Siple station work 109 only talks about going 200 years back with a 200m ice core That is why the trapping is so fast they get meters of snow per year I am looking for the primary references on Vostok now Since it is so much older the accumulation rate must be slower 3000m 600000y 0 5 cm y ok the ice gets packed denser than the original snow fall This would imply about 60m 0 005m y 12000 y to trap This is an extreme overestimation since snow is more fluffy that the ice layer it eventually forms but I am interested in order of magnitude here This is waaay longer than atmopsheric CO2 lifetime Like I said I am trying to find the orignal sources on these long timeline cores I will not have an issue with whatever values they state for the trap time they are way more expert than me I just want to see if they even considered a number for the write time of their ice memory It is difficult for us lay people to do more than either blindly accept or reject the mass of information on global warming Original papers cost money 10 to 15 a pop to download and if you are asking a question slightly askew of the paper s intent you may not even get an answer That is why this site is so valuable I do appreciate the knowledgeable people who take the time to deal with these questions Lord knows they probably have more important things to do Thanks 126 Marco Parigi says 17 Feb 2007 at 11 56 PM Re 121 Ocean acidification This from a friend who is a chemistry professor The arguments about the ocean heating up and outgassing carbon dioxide and the ocean becoming acidic ignore the fact that the ocean is a very thin warm bit on top of a very thick cold bit It is the mixing of these bits that is important I found some US Geological Survey data of ships sailing here there and everywhere and measuring the carbon dioxide concentration in the water There was a very broad range in carbon dioxide concentrations The concentration in the water was often higher than atmospheric concentration There wasnâ t any trend to less carbon dioxide in warmer water Why is this Well When I was last in Sydney I went to a talk by a physical chemist from New Zealand who talked about how mass and heat transport are coupled you canâ t calculate the flux of carbon dioxide from water to atmosphere and vice versa just by looking at the concentrations you need to know the relative temperatures too I worked out his equations in Excel and a gas will move against a pressure gradient if it is moving with a temperature gradient i e if the air is hotter than the water the concentration of carbon dioxide in the water will be higher than in the air He wrote two papers on this in 1991 1992 in the climate scientistsâ journal of record Geophysical Research Letters They have each been cited exactly four 4 times I found a paper from 2003 by a collection of climate scientist chaps from Princeton and other places who estimated carbon uptake in various places and come to the conclusion â there is more carbon dioxide uptake at low latitudes and less at high latitudes than the models predict â Well this is because the physics in those models is wrong Can a scientist refute this statement please 127 Rod B says 18 Feb 2007 at 12 10 AM re 123 by Roberts et al A simple equivalent spectograph of the infrared radiation leaving the upper atmosphere shows virtually none in a couple of the major CO2 bands notably the 15 micrometer band which is near the peak of the radiation spectrum implying that maybe the current CO2 is already absorbing 100 of the infrared in those bands True as some experimentation shows maybe more can still could be absorbed in the fringes as the density of CO2 increases and the models properly account for that by increasing the forcing by the logarithm of the concentration increase though the concentration ratio is nimbly taken to about the 6th power first But it sure isn t intuitively obvious that the CO2 absorption is not maxed out That was a helpful description of the carbon sink process But given its complexity and a few uncertainties as you describe it s still a big leap of faith to claim prima facia that it is maxed out Granted SecularAnimist only says there is evidence suggesting carbon sink saturation I could correctly say the same thing for CO2 absorbtiopn of infrared Response Of course it s not intuitively obvious That s why we have textbooks It s well understood and if you want to understand it you should just read the CO2 section of Goody and Yung or Chapter 4 of the draft of my own book follow the ClimateBook link on my web site raypierre 128 Hank Roberts says 18 Feb 2007 at 12 54 AM NOAA s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Carbon Dioxide Program http www pmel noaa gov co2 co2 home html 129 Barton Paul Levenson says 18 Feb 2007 at 7 55 AM 113 says there is evidence suggesting that natural carbon sinks that have been absorbing as much as half of the anthropogenic carbon emissions are becoming saturated But the CO2 absorption of infrared and its resulting AGW has not No Saturation of the CO2 absorption bands was the prevailing theory from about 1900 to 1950 Turns out it s not correct Even when the central absorption lines are saturated the lines in the wings are not so adding CO2 keeps adding absorption though at a slower and slower rate It s a logarithmic relationship dF 5 3 ln C C0 where dF is change in forcing in watts per square meter C is CO2 concentration and C0 is initial CO2 concentration usually taken as 280 ppmv for 1750 130 Barton Paul Levenson says 18 Feb 2007 at 8 00 AM there is more carbon dioxide uptake at low latitudes and less at high latitudes than the models predict à Well this is because the physics in those models is wrong I m not a scientist but I play one on TV The poles are smaller than the equator Even if cold water absorbs more CO2 there s a lot more warm water 131 Lynn Vincentnathan says 18 Feb 2007 at 9 33 AM RE 47 117 Mr Dang you ve got me pegged pretty good I m a bore at parties and a nincumpoop re climate science So I guess you ll not accept my argument that science is conservative in its avoiding false positives avoiding making claims about global warming when they are false which is necessary so scientists can protect their repution not become the boy who cried wolf And OTOH policy makers in charge of making sure things are all right in the world and persons living in the world who would like to see it flourish rather than decline would be interested in avoiding false negatives you d think That is avoiding a situation in which some great harm is happening or impending and we do nothing to mitigate it Their focus logically morally emotionally should be on the high end projections like creating all sorts of safeguards against pushing that red button Just because our policy makers that be don t understand their responsibility and are on the conservative side of conservative science does not make that position correct or moral And you needn t come back with arguments that mitigating global warming might be harmful to the economy or our political freedoms because that is just a big science fiction STATE OF FEAR untruth and amounts to greater alarmism than what moral concerned persons are proposing like save money while saving the earth or my little way of environmental healing based on St Therese s little way of spiritual childhood 132 Chuck Booth says 18 Feb 2007 at 11 48 AM RE 131 you needn t come back with arguments that mitigating global warming might be harmful to the economy or our political freedoms From Friday s Hartford CT Courant Economists Debate Climate Change Panel Members Question Findings On The Costs Of Damage From Global Warming By DAVID FUNKHOUSER Courant Staff Writer February 16 2007 NEW HAVEN Yale welcomed Sir Nicholas Stern the British economist whose team offered an urgent warning last fall on the worldwide economic impact of climate change and then gave him a good grilling Thursday A panel of top economists questioned many of the assumptions loaded into the economic models used by Stern s team But the overriding response was that the climate science behind the report is sound that the world must act and that the solutions will require raising the price of carbon the element at the center of the global warming dilemma The review provides enough information to make an economic case for immediate action Wesleyan economics Professor Gary Yohe said Stern head of Britain s government economic services and a former chief economist at the World Bank advised the audience of a few hundred students faculty and interested citizens gathered for the daylong symposium Thursday not to take his report s models too literally On the whole the models are conservative he said And I believe the damage will likely be greater than predicted The case for the urgency of action is very powerful Figuring out what it will cost to cut emissions enough to meet Stern s goal and whether that goal is worth meeting involves some complicated calculations of costs vs benefits The Stern Review predicts that the risks from climate change could cost from 5 percent to 20 percent of global gross domestic product if no action is taken But the report contends the cost of combating the problem can be limited to about 1 percent of GDP Yale economics Professor William Nordhaus argued that the review overstates the case for urgent action and criticized Stern for failing to subject the report to peer review a practice he said is fundamental to good science and sound economics He Nordhaus and the other panelists proceeded to offer such a review in public their critiques tightly woven with the language of economic theory and modeling Nordhaus criticized key factors used in the review s modeling which he said led him to question the costs of damage from climate change and the efforts to abate it He Nordhaus said most economists agree that the science behind global warming is sound and that the issue needs to be addressed almost certainly by raising the market price of carbon In other words put a price on fossil fuels and CO2 emissions that will begin to reflect their environmental impact One way to do that is through cap and trade systems for carbon dioxide emissions similar to the one already in place in Europe and now being organized in Connecticut and several other northeastern states Such systems put a price on every ton of carbon emissions and allow credits for these emissions to be traded Hmmm it seems the economists get it Why can t the AGW skeptics accept the science and economic impact too Response Indeed and remember that the economists agree with the need for action even on the basis of their own rather limited methodology In particular the standard methodology of economics requires a discount rate for future harms and most of the argument between Nordhaus and Stern comes down to the choice of discount rate For distant harms there is no one right answer and any choice of discount rate severely distorts something Nordhaus is right in that a too low discount rate means a trivial harm forever one more mosquito bite looms large but Stern is also right in that a catastrophic harm in the distant future appears trivial in Nordhaus view Discounting and indeed traditional cost benefit is a broken methodology for such problems For example there is no really satisfactory way to put a cost on non market harms like extinction of polar bears The fact that even within the narrow traditional economic view of the problem economists agree on the need for action only underscores how strong the case for action really is raypierre 133 Zeke Hausfather says 18 Feb 2007 at 3 21 PM Having attended that eight hour conference with Sir Nicholas Nordhaus Jeff Sachs etc last week I can attest to the veracity of that news report In general while there were serious discussions about how strong action needs to be with Stern and Sachs on the strong side and Mendelson and Nordhaus on the weaker side there was universal agreement that some action needs to be taken immediately At the end of the event Jeff Sachs made a prediction so optimistic that it may disqualify him from claiming to be a practitioner of the dismal science Namely he said he was confident that by 2010 there will be a future successor to the Kyoto Protocol with widespread international participation and binding reduction targets or taxes I m not sure I m quite so optimistic but as Nordhaus quipped Sachs has a habit of being right about these things 134 James says 18 Feb 2007 at 3 37 PM Re 132 Hmmm it seems the economists get it Maybe but I m not entirely convinced Else why do they seem to favor a system cap trade which is at best cumbersome but which does offer job opportunities for a new cadre of bureaucrats at worst serves to legitimize continuing CO2 emissions and in any case is at least one level removed from the general public Seems to me that it would be far simpler and much more effective to replace some existing tax such as sales tax or VAT with a carbon tax collecting the same amount of money That would give everyone a direct and personal incentive to reduce their emissions 135 Rod B says 18 Feb 2007 at 3 50 PM re 131 Lynn says policy makers would be interested in avoiding false negatives you d think That is avoiding a situation in which some great harm is happening or impending and we do nothing to mitigate it That s all well and true but not necessarily so high minded as HL Mencken sp pointed out as did Michael Douglas in Mr President The entire purpose of elected leaders is to find some ill evil or hobgoblins real or not that they can scare the people with and convince the people to re elect them to save humanity re 132 I think it obligatory to assess the economic costs and impacts of both scenarios with the current accepted methodology to get a rough idea of what could happen However truth in lending I m a skeptic raypierre makes a major and salient point First economic analyses can be wrong like science sometimes though the errors of economics makes the science errors look puny More importantly some things simply transcend the business case in the final analysis I m not sure what the business case was for WWII or the Cold War but while important to know it was just a small piece of the policy making 136 Joseph O Sullivan says 18 Feb 2007 at 4 18 PM 131 Lynn Vincentnathan 133 Zeke Hausfather A standard talking point against regulatory action in the climate change debate is that it will be too expensive and will ruin the economy This is an old and incorrect assertion Opponents of environmental regulation have been using this argument for decades and have been wrong Its from industry scions like Lee Iacocca and politicians like president Bush not just people on the fringe Pollution control regulation has economic benefits and there have been studies that demonstrate this For example the NAS looked at air pollution laws in the US and stated that there were costs but the economic benefits substantially outweighed these costs One thing that always surprises me is when contrarians say that global warming is just more environmentalist gloom and doom and environmentalist s dire prediction have always been wrong Its really people who have opposed environmental regulation who have made predictions of disaster and have been wrong 137 Zeke Hausfather says 18 Feb 2007 at 4 50 PM Re 134 I ve yet to meet an environmental economist who favors a tradable permit system over a tax see Weitzman s seminal Prices vs Quantities http ideas repec org a bla restud v41y1974i4p477 91 html Ian Parry s Are Tradable Permits a Good Idea http www rff org Documents RFF IB 02 33 pdf or Pizer s Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change http ideas repec org a eee pubeco v85y2002i3p409 434 html In fact a number of the economists at last week s panel took Stern to task for not being aggressive enough in advocating taxes over tradable permits However I ve also yet to meet a politician who favors carbon taxes of grandfathered permits And guess who decides policy 138 Burn boron in pure O2 for car power says 18 Feb 2007 at 6 59 PM Re comment 134 That increased fossil fuel tax would give everyone a direct and personal incentive to reduce their emissions No It would give everyone who pays the tax an incentive to reduce his or her emissions but many people work for government and are net collectors not payers of taxes Increased fossil carbon taxation gives these people a direct and personal incentive to interfere with taxpayers attempts to reduce their carbon emissions Re comment 137 politicians have to balance the interests of the economists who hope to gain by increased fossil fuel taxation and the general public who will be required to pay it and impeded by government in attempts to reduce their emissions 139 Steve Reynolds says 18 Feb 2007 at 9 53 PM Re 132 raypierre s response economists agree on the need for action only underscores how strong the case for action really is raypierre The peer reviewed published median consensus of economists was a carbon cost of about 14 ton which is about the same as current US taxes on gasoline Adding that tax to coal would have some effect but does not seem to underscore how strong the case for action really is 140 Marco Parigi says 18 Feb 2007 at 10 22 PM Re 121 Marco the change in pH of the surface ocean water is simple chemistry well understood as soon as anyone noticed it happening The IPCC is studying atmospheric physics Did you read any part of the reference on ocean pH change that was provided Which part isn t clear to you Have you searched at all in the science journals on this subject and found anything contradicting it Asking smart questions is hard A less than smart question gives the impression that I did not bother looking this up I want service not education or that one s political or religious beliefs preclude considering the science Encouraging experts is our job if we want them to feel some reward for bothering to try to explain this difficult evolving subject Showing a best effort show your work how did you get to your conclusion is one of the first lessons any student needs to learn to keep the attention of someone who s volunteering time to teach My question was essentially would we take action purely on the basis of acidification of the oceans if we could stabilise temperatures by removing GHG s other than CO2 quickly The economic and environmental harm of less alkaline oceans is less well talked about than that of higher surface temperatures Is there any Cold Case evidence for mass extinctions due to less alkaline oceans Is there any CSI evidence of present day extinctions due to less alkaline oceans Thank you for your link The other ones didn t work for me frustrating my attempts at clarifying my questions 141 James says 18 Feb 2007 at 10 49 PM Re 138 but many people work for government and are net collectors not payers of taxes Increased fossil carbon taxation gives these people a direct and personal incentive to interfere with taxpayers attempts to reduce their carbon emissions I don t quite see the point you re trying to make If it s that people getting money from the government wouldn t bother to reduce their emissions how so They d have the same incentive as anyone else no matter what the source of their income if they reduce the outgo they have more left

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    150 The site seemed to be sponsored by environmental groups PMEL Marco that s a NOAA lab And you say a report issued by NSF NOAA and USGS is quite heavy on the environmental propaganda Do you have any idea what those organizations are Maybe you should look then up And if I were you I d consider cutting back on those X Files reruns 154 Hank Roberts says 20 Feb 2007 at 4 41 PM Geology March 2003 v 31 no 3 p 211 214 Missing molluscs Field testing taphonomic loss in the Mesozoic through early large scale aragonite dissolution Paul Wright 1 Lesley Cherns 1 and Peter Hodges 2 1 Department of Earth Sciences Cardiff University Cardiff CF10 3YE UK 2 Department of Geology National Museum of Wales Cardiff CF10 3NP UK It appears that major aragonite dissolution normally distorted both apparent diversity 65 decrease in bivalve diversity and the trophic structure of the offshore facies providing aragonite that probably sourced the diagenetic carbonates We suggest that aragonitic shells were selectively dissolved in the upper sediment column in lower energy settings where high organic contents favored microbial decay and acidity such early dissolution was absent from the higher energy facies that originally had low organic contents Taphonomic loss through early skeletal aragonite dissolution was an equally important process in Mesozoic offshore shelf environments and although still leaving depleted molluscan dominated faunas resulted in a massive distortion of diversity http geology geoscienceworld org cgi content abstract 31 3 211 155 Lynn Vincentnathan says 20 Feb 2007 at 5 33 PM RE 151 well actually the analogy breaks into reality at that point because that s what we re doing through anthropogenic global warming its harms killing future people That s the whole point And I don t base my predictions using computer models but from looking at past GW events such as those 55 215 mya Only this time we re the ones triggering this major extinction level event with nature due to take over in emitting GHGs failing to absorb in response to the warming we are now causing on top of the reducing albedo effect It s a tough pill to swallow Makes one want to believe the denialists rather than own up to it and take responsibility I also don t need the denialists 99 certainty or the scientists 95 certainty to reduce my GHGs which I started doing in 1990 The paradigm for thinking about this 1st proposed by the father of statistics Pascal is If GW is happening and we do nothing to mitigate it we may be headed for a hellish world If GW is not happening and we reduce our GHGs thinking it is happening we are headed for a much more efficient and productive economy So what do you say Come help us mitigate AGW Reduce reuse recycle use alternative energy when feasible Every little bit helps The future peoples will greatly thank you 156 Joseph O Sullivan says 21 Feb 2007 at 1 07 AM 16 Raypierre your analogy is very interesting It reminds me of how evidence is admitted into court Normally past crimes can not be mentioned to a jury Once the jury hears that the accused is a convicted criminal they tend to jump to the conclusion that he must also be guilty of the crime he is charged with now To properly decide the jury must look at the evidence of the crime in question and not be misled or prejudiced There is an exception to this rule If there is a pattern that fits the current crime a jury can hear about a prior conviction but there has to be consistent pattern Someone might have multiple convictions for drunk driving but this is not a pattern that would show this same person is likely to be a bank robber If the accused has multiple convictions for robbing banks it is telling if he is being charged with another bank robbery There is a shown past pattern that can help answer the question at hand For the comments discussing ocean acidification there was a symposium on the effects of ocean acidification this past summer The take home message seemed to be that there is not enough known to draw firm conclusions but the early evidence does not look good for the oceans http www isse ucar edu florida report Ocean acidification res guide compressed pdf In the recently passed bill reauthorizing the Magnuson act there is a directive for the National Research Council to examine the effects of ocean acidification From the bill NOAA will request the National Research Council to conduct a study of the acidification of the oceans and how this process affects the United States http thomas loc gov cgi bin query F c109 5 temp c109oVJdvN e240058 157 Dave D says 21 Feb 2007 at 10 38 AM Re 153 Thanks Steve This is a great source I ll read more but it does seem that the trap time can be long in low accumulation rate sites In fact I think the lag of CO2 concentration behind the temperature record is due to this integration time Temperature is determined by hydrogen deuterium ratio of the ice itself This is instantaneous delta function impulse response as opposed to the air which is a running average integrator Think about how a running average responds to a small step function then consider the real input CO2 signal as made of a bunch of small steps You get a lag of the integration time Someone has probably already thought of all this but I have seen some discussions going back and forth on what the lag means for climate dynamics CO2 vs Temp chicken or the egg Maybe its a perfectly reasonable artifact of the system functions of the two processes 158 Hank Roberts says 21 Feb 2007 at 11 27 AM The take home message seemed to be that there is not enough known to draw firm conclusions but the early evidence does not look good for the oceans http www isse ucar edu florida report Ocean acidification res guide compressed pdf No no no Great paper but I disagree with the summary Quoting a bit While much work remains toward answering the fundamental question How will marine calcification rates respond to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations we need to begin investigations that look forward to answering the question What are the consequences of reduced calcification in both planktonic and benthic calcifying communities and ecosystems We should not wait until we answer the former question before tackling the latter This report is intended as a guide to program managers and researchers toward designing research projects that address these important questions This is the research proposal guide It focuses on where research is needed They know the situation overall There is clear evidence that the carbonate equilibrium of the oceans is shifting in response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations dissolution rates of carbonates will increase in response to CO2 forcing Even small changes in CO2 concentrations in surface waters may have large negative impacts on marine calcifiers and natural biogeochemical cycles of the ocean example a rapid volcanogenic increase in pCO2 at the Triassic Jurassic boundary Palfy 2003 coincides with a major extinction event a worldwide interruption of carbonate sedimentation and an evolutionary replacement of aragonite with calcite Palfy 2003 Hautmann 2004 Furthermore there is evidence that groups of calcifying organisms have become more or less dominant over geologic time depending on CO2 levels and is likely linked to their utilization of dominant carbonate species in the ocean For example comparison of atmospheric CO2 fluctuation from the Cambrian through the Cenozoic to dominance trends for cyanobacterial and algal calcifiers demonstrate that cyanobacteria dominate during periods of high CO2 This is the issue the species we rely on for cycling ocean CO2 can t form their shells at ocean pH levels sure to occur in large parts of the oceans by 2100 within this century the pteropods and other calcite and aragonite shell forming species that currently dominate the oceans will be replaced Question is how They go methodically through the denials Misconception 1 Increasing atmospheric CO2 will increase rather than decrease pH of marine waters This argument is based on an incorrect assumption Misconception 2 CO2 fertilization of zooxanthellae will lead to an increase in coral calcification Misconception 4 The effect of global warming on calcification will outweigh the effects of decreased saturation state It s a very good paper I m glad you point to it I just don t agree with your simple one line summary The take home message is lacking research as proposed we can only hope evolution may operate fast enough in selecting among marine plankton species that something will replace the pteropods My one sentence summary Right now we have only faith based planning a faith that some plankton species will promptly take over removing CO2 from the ocean this century a faith that evolution is our friend and will protect us Seriously read this paper Don t rely on any one line summary look at their sources cited in earlier posts here too 159 Chuck Booth says 21 Feb 2007 at 10 45 PM Re 150 The site seemed to be sponsored by environmental groups It seemed to be light on the facts and figures but quite heavy on the environmental propaganda Umm Marco which site are you talking about Look at the URL http www pmel noaa gov co2 better yet visit the site and actually read the text The site is maintained by the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory pmel in Seattle and highlights its Carbon Dioxide Program which conducts ocean carbon cycle research from ships and moorings in all of the major ocean basins in collaboration with AOML s CO2 Program AOML NOAA s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory The report was sponsored jointly by the U S National Science Foundation the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U S Geological Survey The scientists who authored the report are listed in the document If you want to discredit the science or the scientists you are free to do so but how about doing it based on scientific grounds your comments quoted above make you look foolish Moreover you initial question misses the important point there well may be no documented extinctions yet that is beside the point There is strong evidence that several taxa of marine calcifiers are at risk of extinction due to changes in carbonate solubilities with acidification this is clearly explained in several of the reports I cited in my initial post 142 and in those cited by Hank Roberts 160 Joseph O Sullivan says 22 Feb 2007 at 1 56 AM 158 Hank Roberts My understanding of the ocean acidification issue is that its harder to figure out what the effects will be than climate change Short term changes like el nino are temperature changes that give clues to what a warmer ocean will do to ecology but we have no recent change in ocean chemistry to compare the recent ocean acidification to Yes no one should accept my one sentence summary without doing more reading 161 Vincent says 22 Feb 2007 at 12 17 PM So what does that mean murders and global warming are both good for science technology This is a kind of James Glick ignorance of fundamental physics and thermodynamics So institutional scientists use ever diminishing and accelerating methodological technical means to try and understand ever increasing disorders and instability 162 Roger William Chamberlin says 23 Feb 2007 at 4 54 AM I think that concentrating on whether global warming is man made or natural is to miss the point completely the facts appear to show that BOTH effects are combining and it matters not which is greater although perhaps it is becoming clear that men are the major cause What matters to life on earth is how rapidly it changes and what is the peak there is now substantial evidence that the RATE of change is too high for species to move North to be able to live at their optimal conditions as much a four times too fast a change we simply cannot afford to allow nature to die off in this fashion in the name of making our lives more convenient for a while because they will become very seriously inconvenient rather quickly as our food supply fails There is equally rather obvious danger in letting the temperature go too high people are already dying worldwide and having their way of life destroyed by climate change and teh CO in teh atmosphere continues its work for centuries there is a delay between taking action and the temperature stopping rising and we have not even begun to act to stop our insane adding to the problem for people and life in general in the future the peak temperature is critical to the extent to which life survives on this earth billions of human lives are at stake besides much of the ecosystem itself and evry day we delay pushes the final peak critically higher besides increasing the rate and the rate of rise is still increasing It is time mankind came to its senses if it can express them at all we need to stop the way we are living in teh West and sttop exporting it to the East too that is a massive task that needs to start now if we are to have any hope of saving at lest some of life on this planet we ahve walked blindly into a TRAP because of the insidiousness of the onset of the problem and the fact that even when te problem becomes obvious it takes many decades to even start addressing it and centuries for te world to recover 163 Marco Parigi says 23 Feb 2007 at 5 51 AM re 158 If you want to discredit the science or the scientists you are free to do so but how about doing it based on scientific grounds your comments quoted above make you look foolish Well I don t really have a defence but I was very frustrated by only being able to get the abstracts and requiring subscription to get anymore The homepage I was looking at appeared to my eyes as very propaganda ish and biased I have no qualms at pushing buttons Thanks for the good links and especially for the overviews and your own unbiased views 164 Hank Roberts says 23 Feb 2007 at 8 45 AM we have no recent change in ocean chemistry to compare Um except what s described in the literature Some experiments you do not want to do outside a lab because you can see in the geological strata what happens to your nice planet when you do them 165 Joseph O Sulivan says 26 Feb 2007 at 1 45 AM Me 156 The take home message seemed to be that there is not enough known to draw firm conclusions but the early evidence does not look good for the oceans Hank Roberts 158 No no no I will try to explain one more time one more time one more time Hopefully the third time will be the charm I have surveyed the literature on ocean acidification For the effects on ecosystems and individual organisms the literature is light on the effects both in lab experiments and open ocean measurements The summary of the symposium about the effects of acidification on organisms and ecology sections stated repeatedly that early results of the few studies done on this show that there could be serious negative effects but there is little specific data to go on The big picture is that ocean acidification is bad even catastrophic but there are details that need to be worked out Climate induced changes in carbonate chemistry could diminish the abundance of microscopic open ocean plants and animals that build calcium carbonate structures Some of these highly abundant organisms influence ocean atmosphere interactions but our knowledge of this influence and these interactions is rudimentary making it difficult to predict the consequences of any chemical changes Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and Global Climate Change p 51 Pew Center for Climate Change Aug 2002 Potential biological impacts of both passive invasion of anthropogenic CO2 into the surface ocean and active sequestration of carbon in the ocean are only poorly known The Ocean in a High CO2 World Oceanography Sept 2004 Weakness of Royal Society report The report was weak on biology because very few relevant experiments have been conducted We do not know what changing ocean chemistry will do to marine biota other than some calcifiers and especially we do not know what the long term chronic effects will be on ecosystems Ken Caldeira Comment 41 The Acid Ocean RC post Resonse to my comment 39 World Wide Glacier Retreat post Response You may also be interested in the article by Richard Feely and colleagues Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 System in the Oceans arguing that quite apart from any climate impact from atmospheric CO2 there is a much more direct impact from the dissolution of CO2 in the world s oceans Richard has said that the scientific community has dropped the ball on this one and we should have been warning the public about this particular catastrophe a long time ago when it was first suspected Unfortunately and despite the name calling we get we scientists tend not to raise alarms until we are very sure I think Richard is now very sure I will add that not enough research has been done by the scientists to warn the pubic 166 Lynn Vincentnathan says 26 Feb 2007 at 5 15 PM 162 I think that concentrating on whether global warming is man made or natural is to miss the point completely the facts appear to show that BOTH effects are

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    comments After reading the leading article I conclude there is a strong correlation between global temperature and global CO2 concentrations Neither the article nor referenced documents provide any indication on whether temperature influences CO2 or vice versa the results do not help us predict future world climate The statement who says climate predictions can t be verified is misleading in that it implies that the quoted results back climate models On the contrary the predictions apply to conditions with zero human influence and provides no indication on the impact of manmade CO2 emissions on future climate Response I ll step you through it There is a clear correlation between CO2 and temperature and Milankovitch forcing Given the lag in CO2 CH4 to Milankovitch and temperature it is clear that climate influences CO2 and CH4 levels Given separate studies in how cold the planet was at the peak of the last ice age given those values of GHGs and ice sheets etc it is clear that GHG forcing is roughly reponsible for half of the glacial cooling e g Lorius et al 1990 Thus we have a classic feedback climate influences GHGs through ocean biosphere interactions and GHGs in turn influence climate through the atmospheric greenhouse effect If given the Milankovitch forcing and how warm it was carbon cycle models can correctly estimate how much CO2 was in the atmosphere prior to the actual results being released it implies the carbon cycle models have some skill at relating the three effects And finally since the atmosphere doesn t care whether CO2 is man made or not and given that Milankovitch forcing is small for the next few centuries the same physics will likely work for the future as well gavin 20 Andre Bijkerk says 26 Nov 2005 at 3 44 AM Re comment 19 Gavin said Given separate studies in how cold the planet was at the peak of the last ice age given those values of GHGs and ice sheets etc Let me give an example of how cold the planet really was during the Late Pleistocene Alfimov et al 2001 Beringian Climate during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Quaternary Reviews 20 2001 127 134 Quote Here we demonstrate the possible use of the fossil remains of beetles in the weevil genus Stephanocleonus for Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate reconstruction that they feed on only a few species of plants and occupy habitats with a relatively narrow range of environmental conditions The main range of these species is zonal steppe and mountain steppe of southern Siberia and Central Asia As in the case of the weevils Three weevil species Stephanocleonus eruditus S fossulatus and S foveifrons play important roles in the insect fauna of relic steppe biotopes The Pleistocene remains of these weevils have been discovered throughout northeast Asia Stephanocleonus fossulatus and S eruditus were common throughout the immense area from the Lena River to the Anadyr River fossil remains of S fovifrons have been found in the lower reaches of the Kolyma and the Indigirka and on Ayon Island Present climate at northern limit of its range 1200 10 C annual temperature sum In N E Siberia at 70 North now only 200 300 16 C mean July air temperature In N E Siberia at 70 N now only 4 10 C 21 David Donovan says 26 Nov 2005 at 10 43 AM Re 19 On the link between Temperature and CO2 I would just like to add to Gavin s reply that from basic physics we know that CO2 in the atmosphere exerts a direct warming influence it helps trap infrared radiation One of the things that the paleoclimate record tells us is there are no natural feedbacks in the climate system that will serve to entirely negate warming due to the CO2 and other GHSs we are adding to the atmosphere This picture is also consistent with the fact that no one has ever came up with a physicaly plausible climate model here meaning the full range from complex GCMs to simple back of the envelope conceptual models that predicts that adding more GHGs will not raise the global mean temperature 22 R T Pierrehumbert raypierre says 26 Nov 2005 at 12 08 PM I ll second Gavin s comment regarding 19 The LGM situation provides the most direct evidence against the existence of some unanticipated stabilizing feedback that would ameliorate the response of climate to CO2 e g Lindzen s old cumulus drying idea or his newer Iris idea If such a mechanism existed it would almost certainly work during LGM times as well as in the present If that were the case then the implication would be that models without this mechanism exagerate the cooling due to reduction in CO2 in glacial periods However WITH the CO2 effects current models can come close to reproducing the observed degree of cooling If some strong stabilizing feedback were added to the models then they would NOT be able to reproduce glacial era climates Study of the LGM gives a pretty strong indication that the range of CO2 sensitivity in the IPCC models can not be too far off the mark There s a lot of work underway now to tighten up this statement so as to use the LGM behavior to provide some indication about whether the true climate sensitivity is near the lower or higher end of the IPCC range 23 Pat Neuman says 26 Nov 2005 at 12 57 PM I think the relationship presented in 8 ENSO compared to growth in CO2 means an acceleration in CO2 accumulation and global warming as oceans warm 24 Lynn Vincentnathan says 26 Nov 2005 at 4 52 PM I ve seen the contrarian argument before regarding warming preceding increases in GHGs with the implication that this disproves AGW I m no climate scientist but simple logic tells me this in no way serves to disprove the point that GHGs cause warming the two are analytically separate issues and this latter has been well accepted for a long time re the natural greenhouse effect The only issue remaining was whether the addition of our human GHGs could cause additional warming and that has been long resolved enough for me to turn off lights not in use However the idea which contrarians seem to embrace whole heartedly that warming precedes and thus causes an increase in GHGs is a very serious issue indeed and points to the possibility of runaway global warming positive feedback loops which would make global warming all the more serious by contrast to only GHGs causing warming What it means is that my GHG emissions may have much worse repercussions the harm that keeps on harming and harming and harming I don t think this positive GHG warming feedback loop is included in the sensitivity factor calculations re human GHG emissions but if it were or could be then we d be talking a much higher order of sensitivity I wish some sincere policy makers more concerned about people living the world than corporations amassing huge bank accounts in the very short run are out there reading about this serious issue so that we can quit stalling and put forth massive efforts to reduce human GHGs which by contrarians own admission are much more dangerous than merely causing increased warming as previous thought but that increased warming then causes increased GHG emissions which cause further increased warming which causes further increased GHG emissions which cause an so on The emperor is really wearing no clothes on this one Contrarians better stick to the current fashionable cloak that AGW is happening but it s cheaper to adapt to it than mitigate it I also have my arguments against that as well 25 Stephen Berg says 26 Nov 2005 at 6 21 PM Re 24 The emperor is really wearing no clothes on this one Contrarians better stick to the current fashionable cloak that AGW is happening but it s cheaper to adapt to it than mitigate it I also have my arguments against that as well Forgive me for injecting a tiny bit of black humour amongst the gloom into this discussion If we keep to a business as usual scenario we may all be joining the emperor and be wearing no clothes as well since it may be far warmer in the future and many of us won t be able to tolerate the heat 26 PHEaston says 26 Nov 2005 at 7 57 PM I thank Gavin for addressing my questions no 19 However I do not feel they are answered Yes there is a very strong correlation between historic temperature and CO2 concentrations which seems to explain the success of predictions on the core results I presume the reason for discussing the study was that it is assumed to support the case for AGW I just don t see this but am happy to be enlightened What am I missing Milankovitch is not mentioned in the article or any of the links so I don t see why he is so significant in the response My main point is that I do not see how the quoted study contributes to the case for AGW regardless of what separate studies may show 27 Mark Rostron says 26 Nov 2005 at 11 32 PM What this graph shows CO2 levels have been as high or higher than they are now four times in the last 400K years There is a regular pattern of rises and falls eight times over the last 650K years The most recent low point 180 ppm was about 35K thousand years ago CO2 levels have risen steeply over that 35K year period starting well before human civilisation and about 35K years before any significant human intervention in the environment This graph shows conclusively that the CO2 levels at present are part of a long term trend pattern on which humans have had no input or effect It is clear that our worry for the next 30 thousand years is what we are going to do if anything can be done about the next ice age This graph is the end for the man made CO2 global warming theorists Response Errr not really Current CO2 380ppm highest value on graph 290 ppm Care to reconsider gavin 28 Thomas Lee Elifritz says 27 Nov 2005 at 12 23 AM 27 CO2 levels have been as high or higher than they are now four times in the last 400K years Ah right Got it 29 Blair Dowden says 27 Nov 2005 at 1 03 AM Re 27 The graph in question is on a scale of thousands of years The rise in carbon dioxide levels from 270 ppm to 370 ppm in the last hundred years simply does not show on such a scale This rate of increase is unprecedented 200 times as fast for the time period of this graph and clearly has a different cause than the Earth s orbital variations Global warming theory is not contradicted in any way by this information 30 Mark Rostron says 27 Nov 2005 at 1 26 AM Gavin You don t have any ice core data that shows 380ppm You have Mauna Loa but that is not really comparing apples with apples is it Response I have Law Dome which overlaps and matches both Mauna Loa and the other pre industrial ice core data Highest value measured in an ice core 323 ppm corresponding to around 1969 levels So even the pure ice core data show values higher than any seen in 650 kya gavin 31 Mark Rostron says 27 Nov 2005 at 1 29 AM Re 29 This rate of increase is unprecedented 200 times as fast for the time period of this graph As you put it it s such a big increase that it s almost unbelievable 32 Kevin Byrne says 27 Nov 2005 at 3 37 AM This new ice core data has recieved much more media attention than the Vostok ice cores did when that ground breaking research was made public Perhaps Katrina and all the other storms this year will be marked as a tipping point that led to the American media waking up from the some scientists trance that they ve been in for 10 years My question is If one were to still be doubtful of the reliability of climate models and wanted to extrapolate from the ice core data what result would today s and projected greenhouse gases give 33 Mark Rostron says 27 Nov 2005 at 4 26 AM Law Dome the one where the age of the air is adjusted by 30 or 58 years depending but not the 83 years like Siple You know it s hard to believe that air and ice and CO2 can behave so differently and yet the one thing that remains constant in all this is that the adjusted CO2 data from the latest ice cores always matches exactly the starting data from Mauna Loa Spooky that Especially when according to Richard Courtney http www john daly com bull120 htm I recently visited Hawaii and observed the Mauna Loa site and this has convinced me that measurements of carbon dioxide from that site are not indicative of the well mixed background Mauna Loa emits carbon dioxide and is adjacent to Kileaua the most active volcano on Earth It seems very likely that Keeling s carbon dioxide measurements are significantly affected by variations in emissions of carbon dioxide from Mauna Loa and Kileaua together with wind direction relative to Kileaua Indeed Keeling adjusts his data for effects of Mauna Loa activity and deletes data from his time series for the periods when Mauna Loa was especially active of itself an admission that his data are not direct measurements of well mixed background But his reports do not mention any adjustments made for effects of Kilaeaua s activity In November 1998 I had correspondence with Dr Curtis Covey an IPCC author concerning my severe doubts at the ice core data Referring to my dispute that it was correct for the IPCC to have transposed the ice core data by 83 years he said such displacements might be considered a somewhat arbitrary calibration that diminishes the significance of the fit between ice core and modern measurements At last week s IPCC meeting I raised this general question with Haroon Khesghi of Exxon Haroon referred me to Fortunat Joos of the University of Bern who told me that this calibration is no longer used in recent work and yet the remarkable agreement between ice core and modern measurements continues and more I responded that I did not accept the 83 year transposition was acceptable Diffusion occurs from regions of high to low concentration and therefore incomplete sealing of snow over an 83 year period would act like an 83 year running mean it would not transpose all the carbon dioxide a similar amount in one direction Also if the IPCC has stopped using the transposition what correction method is now used And when will the IPCC publish this newly corrected data in place of the graph of historic atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration that it published in both its 1992 and 1994 reports I received no answer to these questions Response Funny stuff Generally speaking cutting and pasting from the wackier of the sceptics sites is not a very credible line of argument but let me take this as a teaching moment Law Dome and Siple Dome have different accumulation rates which are much higher than from Vostok or EPICA Air mixes through the firn down to the depth at which bubbles are closed off Therefore new air is trapped in ice that is significantly older This depth occurs in ice of different ages i e younger ice in higher accumlation cores and this leads to the ice age gas age difference which will be different in different cores it would be spooky only if it were the same This age difference has nothing whatsoever to do with the filtering of the atmospheric CO2 concentration that instead is related to the strength of the wind pumping in the firn and the process of bubble formation and is much much shorter around 20 years Oh and by the way the Mauna Loa record started in 1957 when CO2 was only around 315ppm and shows almost the same annual values and trend as the South Pole data started at the same time Spooky that gavin 34 Andre Bijkerk says 27 Nov 2005 at 5 18 AM Re 11 Gavin you may be interested in this thread http www ukweatherworld co uk forum forums thread view asp tid 25682 posts 1 M299767 35 Steve Bloom says 27 Nov 2005 at 5 58 AM Re 30 I don t mean to pile on much anyway but strictly speaking those would need to be snow core data to show 380ppm Re 31 Mark we are putting a bunch of CO2 into the atmosphere very quickly indeed Nature doesn t do that Ironically the current rate of CO2 increase has been described by at least one skeptic site as so small as to be trivial It s all a matter of what you re comparing it to I suppose Response Mark ought to read our earlier post on How we know that recent CO2 increases are due to human activities eric 36 Brooks Hurd says 27 Nov 2005 at 2 02 PM Can anyone direct me to references which describe how EPICA deals with the storage and transport of ice cores to analytical labs in Europe I am particularly interested in steps they took to reduce ambient air contamination The earlier EPICA article does not address this Response There were a bunch of studies some 20 years ago looking into the possibility that CO2 concentrations in ice cores change with storage and transport of cores The findings are that

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    the time period before 1980 for calibration and secondly proxies other than tree rings show a similar temperature evolution It is very unlikely that a possible change of the proxy temperature relationship is just similar for a broad variety of different proxies and thus would introduce a considerable bias in the overall picture 61 Harold Pierce Jr says 30 May 2007 at 6 17 AM The most conspicious human activity of the 20th century was continuous hot and cold warfare which has continued unabated to this date World War II saw the formation of the military industrial complex MIC now immense world wide enterprise which consumes enormous of amounts energy and resources which also requires even energy for their aquisition and manufacture into weapons In Fig 1 there is a distinct peak in the temperature curve in the WW II years Has any consideration been given to assigning a forcing factor for warfare and the MIC s The extensive use of jet planes for transport of men and materials to the front and for removal of injured and dead soldiers from the war theater must be consuming colossal amounts of fuel which is probably the real reasons for the increase in prices of gasoline diesel and commercial jet fuel and of copper and zinc which are used for the production brass for ammuntion Or put another way how much carbon dioxide is produced by these activities and other government activities such as intelligence If world peace were to break out and the MIC s reduced to near nil how much cabon dioxide would not be produced Will swords ever be beaten into plowshares We can only hope 62 Paul says 30 May 2007 at 7 09 AM Becks graph stops in 1970 the IPCC graph in about 1985 Why are the last 20 years of data missing from the IPCC graph 63 Timothy Chase says 30 May 2007 at 7 19 AM Re 57 Good grief I should know better than to post when I am falling asleep at the keyboard Typos Missing lettes 99 yrs instead of 900 yrs Oy 64 Timothy Chase says 30 May 2007 at 7 28 AM Lawrence Coleman 59 wrote Thanks Tim I think the ocean temps have a 100yr lag No its 900 yrs Or at least that is what it would appear to be And not a problem I just didn t want to leave an opening for some denialist to come along and give you trouble Still I wish I had been a little more awake No alcohol it interferes with my meds just sleep deprivation which isn t really a good idea either And now my wife woke me up early and the kitten insisted that I come out Oh well maybe I will get more sleep tonight 65 RichardT says 30 May 2007 at 9 07 AM 62 Because it was drawn in 1990 66 J Bloom says 30 May 2007 at 1 03 PM Re 52 most global warming deniers are just cultural misfits looking for attention 67 Steve Reynolds says 30 May 2007 at 2 20 PM I actually do not get why skeptics think that it is SO important what the temperature of the MWP was For myself not a skeptic of AGW it is very important in understanding what the effect of AGW will be If the MWP was warmer that currently that is evidence that current warming is not as harmful as some claim 68 catman306 says 30 May 2007 at 2 32 PM Re 52 most global warming deniers are just cultural misfits looking for attention Or perhaps they are paid shills for wealthy corporations and individuals who are profiting from maintaining the status quo in energy and consumerism This is certainly true of right wing talk radio in the US 69 Hank Roberts says 30 May 2007 at 4 05 PM 62 It s explained in the original chapter from which it s taken the link is in the main article before the comments Look at the chapter text for the table 6 1 identifying the records charted The figure shown here at RC is 6 10 b from the chapter Reconstructions using multiple climate proxy records identified in Table 6 1 including three records JBB 1998 MBH 1999 and BOS 2001 shown in the TAR and the HadCRUT2v instrumental temperature record in black 65 RichardT No it wasn t drawn in 1990 You can look this stuff up 70 unconvinced says 30 May 2007 at 5 37 PM The inline response to 47 is in fact incorrect please read the caption of this graphic which clearly explains the smoothing process used Response No actually the inline response is probably correct The caption doesn t indicate how many adjacent values were used in calculating the mean used to pad the series If the number of adjacent values used was one half filter width then the boundary constraint is essentially identical to that achieved by reflecting the series about the terminal boundary i e the minimum slope constraint Even if few adjacent values were used the method still supresses any trend near the boundary mike 71 James says 30 May 2007 at 6 53 PM Re 67 If the MWP was warmer that currently that is evidence that current warming is not as harmful as some claim Except that the current warming by which I mean the warming that has happened so far is not a big problem and would be even less of a problem if we had reason to believe that it was just another wiggle in the curve which would soon reverse itself The problems come from the warming that is predicted to happen warming that is either in the pipeline from existing CO2 or which will be caused by future increases in CO2 72 Paul M says 30 May 2007 at 8 54 PM That s what I like to see healthy discourse about the accuracy of postings With accurate science the truth will show itself with a wink and a smile though the topic may be bleak 73 John Mashey says 30 May 2007 at 9 48 PM re 67 Steve Reynolds Suppose you know that a Today s temperature Tnow is going up very fast for pretty well understood physics which will make the temperature keep going up with the usual jiggles for decades I e the first derivative is certainly positive b There are 6 5B people on the planet with more to come compared to 300M people around 1000AD http www census gov ipc www worldhis html with more people living on the coasts that existed in 1000AD and stress on water supplies etc c Now let us just suppose that you could magically transport today s instruments back to 1000AD and measure the temperature T1000AD so that you got much tighter error bars than one can get with reconstructions What exactly would you do different if today T1000AD Tnow a little cooler today OR T1000AD Tnow same OR T1000AD http www unige ch forel PapersQG06 Holzhauser2005 pdf which shows the Great Aletsch Glacier s advances retreats a long glacier which tends to smooth out short term fluctuations and is only now responding to 1980s temperatures b It is worth looking at the chart of Great Aletsch http glaciology ethz ch messnetz glaciers aletsch html c and read the actual data especially the last column which shows the total length change which is 700m since 1986 http glaciology ethz ch messnetz data aletsch html d The scale is inverted between a and d but if you draw the line from 2000AD 3300m to 2027AD 3300 700 4000m you get a gross approximation to what you d expect if the glacier keeps retreating at the same rate It may be looks almost vertical and the point 2027AD 4000m is slightly below the bottom edge of the chart e Anyway read the article with the caveats speculations and assess whether or not the charts make sense and whether or not something unusual is happening right now 74 unconvinced says 30 May 2007 at 10 26 PM Very well I will accept your explaination as the math is beyond my competence alas I would be pleased if you could explain why a number of proxy records despite being available up until 1980 or so have been truncated at earlier times some end in 1960 some as early as 1930 eg Briffa et al Would any doubts about the reliability of the proxies in this period cast doubt on the same proxies for earlier periods If not why not 75 Craig Allen says 31 May 2007 at 12 14 AM Beck and the rest of his deluded ilk don t seem to be convincing anyone with their nutty ideas 275 Australian economists today issued a joint statement calling on the Australian Government to stop undermining international efforts to tackle climate change and to ratify the Kyoto Protocol without delay The statement draws attention to the likely economic damage to Australia that will come from failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions They acknowledge that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report presents of new and stronger evidence that global warming is attributable to human activities They also acknowledge warnings from the CSIRO Australia s peak science organisation that climate change has the potential to seriously disrupt agricultural output water flows and natural systems in Australia Some quotes from the statement â Policy measures are available that would greatly reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases at modest economic cost â Australia has shown over the last two decades that it can manage significant change without major negative consequences for incomes or employment and in fact with change being a stimulus to improving innovation in the longer term â â The Kyoto Protocol represents the first step towards a major international effort to deal with climate change in the long term The refusal by Australia and the United States to ratify the Kyoto Protocol is undermining global efforts to tackle climate change â The statement can be found here The first page is the media release Skip to page two to read the statement 76 Rod B says 31 May 2007 at 12 33 AM 56 What is for sure as evidenced in core ice samples over the past 650 000 years is that NOW is easily and dramatically the highest the level of CO2 has ever been I hope you re referring to the last 650 00 years as ever There s been many times millions of years back when CO2 concentration was much greater than today and much greater than current projections for 2100 77 Rod B says 31 May 2007 at 12 45 AM 66 68 Who wake you guys up Can you be a little more creative with your ad hominems And check your non sequiturs at the door please 78 Lynn Vincentnathan says 31 May 2007 at 3 27 AM This is a bit OT but I just read THE RISING a novel about global warming The premise seems plausible to me tho perhaps not likely but what do I know The Rone Ross ice sheet distintegrate like the Larsen B and this causes the land glaciers to slip into the sea which causes a 1 foot sea rise The loss of the weight of so much land ice then causes local Antarctic earthquakes as noted to happen in Iceland Greenland and this causes more ice to break up fall into the sea and volcanoes under the antarctic 3 known one unknown heretofore by scientists erupt and that really causes more ice to melt into the sea and a part of a mountain lots of big ice chunks to plunge in causing a tsunami up the Atlantic ocean wiping out inhabitants on both littorals And there s a 3 foot sea rise which overflows the California aquaducts making agri there impossible who knew a 3 ft rise could do that Now the worst is not what global warming does but how the government and people react That s the really scary part It s a good near future sci fi read and I thought somewhat more plausible than DAY AFTER TOMORROW 79 wow power leveling says 31 May 2007 at 4 23 AM Their latest crusade is to try to dent the IPCC s review of the urban heat island literature by saying it s just one guy edited How valid is this criticism Note that I ve read the relevant bits in the IPCC WG1 report but they re trying to make an end run around the IPCC by charging that its review of the UHI literature was biased I don t trust ice sheet modelers because I suspect that they ignore terrestrial heat flow and the reduction in ice sheet friction when sea water floats ice sheets so reducing the normal force from the ice that remains grounded 80 stuart says 31 May 2007 at 5 02 AM I hope you re referring to the last 650 00 years as ever There s been many times millions of years back when CO2 concentration was much greater than today True Of course multicelled life didn t appear on earth until around 600 million years ago so as long as we aren t concerned about having multicelled life anywhere on earth we could use those higher CO2 levels to feel fairly safe about the earth s future Personally I have an interest in the continued existence of multicelled life so I feel it safe to ignore conditions that existed more than 600 million years ago as irrelevant to what conditions may or may not be acceptable in the modern era 81 Barton Paul Levenson says 31 May 2007 at 5 44 AM For myself not a skeptic of AGW it is very important in understanding what the effect of AGW will be If the MWP was warmer that currently that is evidence that current warming is not as harmful as some claim And evidence that heavier than air flight was impractical would show there s no threat to the railroads from an air travel industry 82 FurryCatHerder says 31 May 2007 at 7 07 AM Re 81 True Of course multicelled life didn t appear on earth until around 600 million years ago so as long as we aren t concerned about having multicelled life anywhere on earth we could use those higher CO2 levels to feel fairly safe about the earth s future Personally I have an interest in the continued existence of multicelled life so I feel it safe to ignore conditions that existed more than 600 million years ago as irrelevant to what conditions may or may not be acceptable in the modern era I think we need to keep in mind that 4 6Bya there was not only no any celled life on this planet but there was no planet on this planet Prior to the Cambrian Explosion there were no advanced civilizations much less not so advanced one or even cockroaches rats used car salesmen or any of the other scourge of society We should also keep in mind that there are parts of this planet where multi celled intelligent life live that are a heck of a lot warmer than other places and particularly a heck of a lot warmer than what the more northern and southern extremes are ever going to be under any global warming scenario Some of y all might think 40C 104F is a hot day But some of us are grateful for days that are only that hot If things start getting over 45C 113F then I might think it s really hot There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the things that are believed to lead to global warming Suggesting all higher life forms are going to go extinct any time soon is the sort of doom and gloom that people use to discredit the underlying science 83 Mike Donald says 31 May 2007 at 7 16 AM 67 81 For myself not a skeptic of AGW it is very important in understanding what the effect of AGW will be If the MWP was warmer that currently that is evidence that current warming is not as harmful as some claim If the MWP was warmer than today it means the earth s more susceptible to feedbacks forcings influences etc The exact opposite of what you ve said Response In my opinion the magnitude of the MWP would have to be globally much greater than today s level to have any implication at all That is given the current uncertainties in the forcings principally solar and volcanic and the continued uncertainty in the climate sensitivity only a dramatically warmer MWP will be any kind of constraint Thus the couple of tenths of deg C that are in dispute here are simply just not that relevant for the questions of future climate They are very interesting in terms of climate history and spatial patterns of change of course but the MWP question is just not that important gavin 84 Lawrence Coleman says 31 May 2007 at 7 57 AM Re 76 Rob B But I bet you re glad you weren t around thouse millions of years back Think you re missing a little piece of the puzzle this time it s us who have changed the biochemistry not comets not dinousaurs breaking wind this time Rob it s US 85 catman306 says 31 May 2007 at 9 10 AM 66 68 Who wake you guys up Rod B It was this guy that awakened me The Greenhouse Effect Science and Policy Stephen H Schneider Science 10 February 1989 243 771 781 DOI 10 1126 science 243 4892 771 in Articles of Science Article Article The Greenhouse Effect Science and Policy Stephen Global warming from the increase in greenhouse gases has

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    because of what amounts to a mechanical failure of the ice sheet Glaciers flow downhill and warmer glaciers flow downhill faster Above a certain flow rate there is no equilibrium with precipitation and the glacier vanishes The West Antarctic can be considered a few huge glaciers and this idea holds for them as well 113 Philippe Chantreau says 31 May 2007 at 9 49 PM RE 89 I ran into someone like that Kenny All you have to do is conduct your own quick research Space com and NASA are the good readily available sources for the layman Any assertion that outer solar system planets could be warmed by the sun in a significant way appears unfounded The kind of solar output variation necessary to warm up Pluto or Neptune would be very noticeable to us Keep in mind that no variation in solar output was ever actually observed until the age of satellites The gas giants are mostly driven by their internal heat In the case of Jupiter the internal heat effect is far beyond any other input see space com Most outer planets climates are a matter of educated guesses since there has not been enough observation to cover even 5 years of it In other words we don t exactly know what the climate of Saturn or Neptune is really like and we are not in a position to say affirmatively that it is changing As an example Pluto takes 248 years to revolve around the sun Any latest observation on those planets is likely to be the best to date making comparison inappropriate and will be a punctual observation i e not a long term trend In any case these planets and their atmosphere are so dfferent from ours that any comparison beyond a specific point is very hypothetical There is a lot of noise about Mars it is quite undeserved Mars seasonal cycle naturally exposes it to more intense southern hemisphere summers which are not entirely compensated by its northern hemisphere winters hence a natural deficit in southern carbonic ice see NASA good discussion on that How much of an anomaly the recent southern hemisphere CO2 ice deficit constitutes is debatable Furthermore dust storms appear to be a major driver of Mars weather and short term climate Lastly the correlation between Mars and Earth is actually weak to non existent what the Mars global warming proponents ignore or leave in the dark is that the recent warming trend if there is such a thing is quite recent Mars went through a signficant cooling period after the Viking landings in the 70 s while Earth climate was doing its upward temperature spike Last but not least Venus close to the Sun and sporting enormous GH effect does not show signs of global warming like Pluto Asserting that a solar output variation capable of warming Pluto would leave Venus alone does not seem to make much sense 114 Timothy Chase says 31 May 2007 at 10 18 PM John Mashey 73 wrote What exactly would you do different if today T1000AD Tnow a little cooler today OR T1000AD Tnow same OR T1000AD http www unige ch forel PapersQG06 Holzhauser2005 pdf which shows the Great Aletsch Glacier s advances retreats a long glacier which tends to smooth out short term fluctuations and is only now responding to 1980s temperatures emphasis added That is pretty much the same which is happening to approximately 90 of all glaciers For global glacier mass balance see the chart at State of the Cryosphere Glaciers http nsidc org sotc glacier balance html I think everyone should also keep in mind that even if we were to hold constant the amount of greenhouse gases which are already in the atmosphere the temperature would continue to rise for some time to come Please see Even if we could have stopped any further increases in all atmospheric constituents as of the year 2000 the PCM and CCSM3 indicate that we are already committed to 0 4 and 0 6 C respectively more global warming by the year 2100 as compared to the 0 6 C of warming observed at the end of the 20th century Table 1 and Fig 1B The range of the ensembles for the climate model temperature anomalies here and to follow is about 0 1 C But we are already committed to proportionately much more sea level rise from thermal expansion Fig 1C How Much More Global Warming and Sea Level Rise Meehl et al Science 18 March 2005 Vol 307 no 5716 pp 1769 1772 http www sciencemag org cgi content full 307 5716 1769 Yet we have actually increased the rate at which we are dumping CO2 into the atmosphere For more on this please see CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and industrial processes have been accelerating at a global scale with their growth rate increasing from 1 1 y 1 for 1990â 1999 to 3 y 1 for 2000â 2004 The emissions growth rate since 2000 was greater than for the most fossil fuel intensive of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emissions scenarios developed in the late 1990s Global and regional drivers of accelerating CO2 emissions Raupach et al Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007 May 22 Epub ahead of print http www pnas org cgi content abstract 0700609104v1 In an effort to downplay the seriousness of today s climate change contrarians will argue that some glaciers were smaller a thousand years ago but given the way things are looking our surpassing this is a foregone conclusion Their argument might be carry some weight if glaciers were to miraculously freeze where they are now As things are it is about as relevant to the current state of our climate and the direction that it is headed as the seasons of Pluto 115 Philippe Chantreau says 31 May 2007 at 11 19 PM RE 89 continued About solar output variations a lot of denialists like to refer to the Sulanki paper 2004 I think It is quite helpful that this paper is actually available online as a PDF file I found it easily with Google The conclusions section is very clear as to how much of the current warming can be attributed to solar variation and it is no more than 30 This would be under the extreme assumption that previous temerature changes would be entirely due to solar output a scenario that is virtually impossible I also read about Neptune that the supposedly increased brilliance is in the blue spectrum which would correspond to an amount of energy that simply makes no sense I haven t verified that with any more credible source however 116 Julian Flood says 1 Jun 2007 at 1 47 AM Re 36 global warming art etc link I have reservations about this graph is it HADCRUT3 as it fails to verify my own particular theory of global warming This theory predicts that there should be an SST pulse starting in late 1939 and tailing off after the battle for the Atlantic is won A study of the rise rate grab a passing student someone should confirm that the various effects of oil surfactant spill are what is causing our current warming But look at the graph it begins to rise before 1938 which presents a problem Now look at the raw data before the so called bucket correction is applied this correction was imposed to allow for the differing methods of measurement before engine intake thermometers were installed raising SSTs before 1938 IMHO it should be looked at again it was originally accepted as it enabled one of the GCMs to forecast land temperatures correctly and while it may have achieved this aim it fails the test of the kreigesmarine signal You cannot experiment with the climate How many times have you heard that Well Donitz and his kreigesmarine did and the signal and response is there to see Do you know what it looks like to me It looks like a tiny version of the PETM More details of the AGW theory of surface pollution on my website at floodsclimbers JF 117 SomeBeans says 1 Jun 2007 at 1 55 AM 99 Timothy Chase Cheers that s what I was looking for 118 Julian Flood says 1 Jun 2007 at 2 05 AM Re 61 In Fig 1 there is a distinct peak in the temperature curve in the WW II years Has any consideration been given to assigning a forcing factor for warfare and the MIC s Harold Pierce Jr On the basis of that bulge I have constructed a theory of global warming that explains much of our current problem Briefly oil spill and surfactant pollution alter the properties of the ocean surface reducing cloud formation lowering albedo and changing oceanic nutrient flows It s on my floodsclimbers website No one takes it seriously of course but it s amazing how many predictions it makes about the process of AGW even the isotope smoking gun I ll not hold my breath about a grant though I ve watched a student struggle to finish a thesis on phytoplankton carbon fixation without a grant and that s about as cutting edge GW stuff as you can get No chance then for something as off the wall as this theory JF 119 nicolas L says 1 Jun 2007 at 3 05 AM re 89 About Martian warming I found a french article talking of it I ll try to make a ruff translation here s the source anyway for all french lovers http www cieletespace fr Actualites 544 rechauffement climatique sur mars aspx Planet Mars is heating It s surface temp would have increased by 0 65Â C during the 20 last years says Lori Fenton from Carl Sagan Center California Comparing maps of the planet albedo from Viking probe between 1976 1978 and from Mars Global Surveyor between 1999 and 2000 the scientist discovered many regions of southern emisphere darkened with time And like earth the darker a region is the more it captures heat Why those austral regions became so dark Lori Fenton says the clear dust recovering those areas have been swipped by solar induced winds And this process started to spiral out of control upon the darkened areas atmosphere began to heat making the winds blow stronger swipping away even more dust To estimate global increased of temp on Mars surface considering the surface of darkened regions the american scientist used some models used notably for earth weather predictions From its results and if warming doesn t stop Mars polar sheets could disappear in 500 years It s unlikly to happen commented many planetologists considering the large number of phenomenas that could inverse this tendency for exemple large scale dust storms I didn t manage yet to find the original work from Lori Fenton but if someone finds it I d be glad to read it So what can we conclude from the martian warming Not much apparently as it seems to be due to some very specific regional phenomena the dust deposits and that the main factor here is albedo not solar radiation Secondly this is based on a ruff 5 years long collect of data on an overall 20 years period Not much to make a robust trend is it Each planet is working its own way on this solar system due to its atmosphere specific climatic phenomenas orbit size and so on and so on So when one tells you that because there is a warming on Mars or Neptune I wonder how relevant it is to compare the atmosphere of a telluric planet with the one of a gaz planet this can only be explained by fluctuations in solar radiation and therefore it also explains earth warming I think you can consider this person as pretty ignorant about everything concerning climate AND astronomy And if you wanna be a little sarcastic you can always say that if there was actually a trend of global warming concerning all of the solar system you should observe it on all the planets and not only 3 120 PaulM says 1 Jun 2007 at 3 07 AM 92 There is no generally accepted view on what caused the MWP and LIA Some have pointed out that the peak of the LIA coincides roughly with the Maunder minimum in the late 17th century during which there were virtually no sunspots but note the word coincides Others say that the climate is a complex system that fluctuates in a rather irregular way and it is wrong to ask for a cause of each maximum and minimum 121 pete best says 1 Jun 2007 at 3 41 AM This website has been very good at putting the case for AGW and defying the contrarians and denialsists but that battle seemingly seems to be over no with the current administrations admission on AGW being real and worrying What seems to be happenning now is that the worlds economies seem to want to limit climate change to 2 degrees C or 500 ppmv or CO2 which although possible still seems unlikely Can real climate not run an article on what the consequences are for a average warming of 2 degrees C and when it is likely to happen and how likely it is that we can achieve this President Bush keeps on harping on about breakthrough technologies but no one seems to know what they are and how long it will take to deploy them in order to achieve the desired results Is the Bush administration stalling and providing a smoke screen in order to continue their quest for the continuation of the fossil fuel age 122 ghost says 1 Jun 2007 at 8 13 AM RE 121 Perhaps but it s equally likely in my view that the go is a Rovian attempt to take the issue away from the Democrats Sort of Don t worry about GW we ve addressed it and it s not an issue anymore Move along now Nothing to see here There are no droids here Or toward another movie theme Earl explained it to me we plan ahead that way we don t do anything right now 123 Lawrence Coleman says 1 Jun 2007 at 8 25 AM Re Pete Best If governments just dont get it re climate change then it up to us and business to take the initiative and take the lead We dont have time to wait for governments to argue as to the ways to tackle climate change without effecting one s economy They dont seem to get the seriousness if the situation The US and many world economies wont survive anyway if climate change gets out of hand It will be the countries that can survive on less that will triumph If Bush took this as seriously as the threat in the corny movie independance day we might get some action he must realise that this threat is absolutely no less in magnitude only in slow motion If we fail our young children now may never be given the chance to be grandparents 124 Lawrence Coleman says 1 Jun 2007 at 8 39 AM This is interesting ninemsm conducted a survey which stated Should the Australian economy come before climate change the majority of the resondants said NO I would guess that s the same in the US and europe Good sign Shows people s concern is growing 125 William Calvin says 1 Jun 2007 at 8 56 AM Re 121 see the Two Degrees chapter of Mark Lynas 2007 book SIX DEGREES 126 Rod B says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 12 AM catman 306 what is perfectly obvious to some just might not be so to others This might or might not make us sceptics but still looking stupid And don t use the old argument that we took a vote and AGW won by a large majority so that settles the science 127 Timothy Chase says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 39 AM Re William Calvin 123 Good book Does he seem credible and do his claims seem to be backed up by the science I was a little worried about that Real Climate seems right on target and has the expertise up the yin yang but some articles by others are legitimately regarded as alarmist or at least uninformed I guess I should just check it out and put the preconceptions in the circular file 128 Warren says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 40 AM With the exception of the black curve Instrumental HADCRUT2v the shape of the family of curves in Fig 1 seems to match Beck s curve Fig 2 quite well ignoring scale I m not familiar with the derivation of each of the other curves in Fig 1 but is it possible that low temporal resolution of these other estimates could be masking significant spikes in the past that we are only now able to resolve by better instruments and records In other words that the current hockey stick is an artifact of improved temporal resolution in the recent past compared to the poor resolution of the distant past climate I m not an AGW denier and not trying to make bold claims I m just trying to understand the significance of the data in this chart Response Most of the records shown in the IPCC graph Fig 1 have annual resolution as you can obtain e g from tree ring data The curves shown are of course smoothed versions that applies both to the instrumental record black curve and the reconstructions stefan 129 Timothy Chase says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 44 AM PS My post above I meant to respond to William Calvin 125 regarding Six Degrees My apologies to both William Calvin and Lawrence Coleman 130 nicolas L says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 55 AM re 126 maybe we should put it this way then we looked at the opinion of the climate scientists and AGW won by an overwhelming majority so that settles the science 131 pete best says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 58 AM Re 123 Politicians that rely on lobbying the USA and other countries relying heavily on fossil fuels ie Australis China and India to name a few have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo Painful decisions need to be made regarding energy efficiency and alternative technologies but the coal and Oil industries have a large grip on political thinking in many countries and the economy could suffer under these new initiatives AGW is an inconvenience for them and they really cannot see how to reduce their CO2 footprints by 60 to 80 percent in order to limit AGW to one or two degrees Moving away from Oil and coal to renewables and sustainables is a new world to them one in which they might not be able to control it all As Gavin Schmidt and James Hansen have stated recently we could first deal with aerosol and soot emissions first and then CO2 next stop cutting down rain forests and use land differently in order to give ourselves a chance or then reigning in CO2 emissions but there was no evidence of any of that is Bush s speech just rhetoric really and stalling tactics 132 Alastair McDonald says 1 Jun 2007 at 9 59 AM Re 120 The climate is a complex system but that does mean that it is wrong to look for the cause of each maxixmun and minimum What is wrong is to look for one cause that explains all maximums and minimums or even just all minimums The Little Ice Age LIA began in the 14th Century long before the Maunder Minimum It seems to have started because of the drawdown in CO2 as a result of the increase in fallow land after the depopulation caused by the Black Death A couple of hundred years later in the middle of the LIA the Dutch had their hottest temperatures ever recorded before 1998 Then the solar cycle brought the the Maunder Minimum and the Dutch spent their winters skating on the canals and Londoners were building bonfires on the frozen Thames The most likely cause of the Mediaeval Warm Period MWP was the spread of the Anglo Saxons who cleared the forests in order to farm it with their iron ploughs Their descendants in the USA and Australia had the same effect in early 20th Century culminating with the Dust Bowl It is not a matter of arrogance to claim that Man has changed the climate in the past It is arrogance to think that we have learnt from our past mistakes and that any changes we may make in the future will be for the good of mankind 133 Timothy Chase says 1 Jun 2007 at 10 20 AM Rod B 126 wrote catman 306 what is perfectly obvious to some just might not be so to others This might or might not make us sceptics but still looking stupid And don t use the old argument that we took a vote and AGW won by a large majority so that settles the science In all honesty I don t think that the contrarians look stupid at all well perhaps some but not any that come here at least that I have noticed Moreover I most certainly don t believe that contrarians have evil intentions Well perhaps a few but not here However personally there is something which I entertain as a hypothesis of sorts namely that many people in different areas of their lives and to different degrees tend not to recognize a fairly fundamental principle identification precedes evaluation This is the principle underlying the fact that ad hominem attacks and appeal to emotion are fallacious forms of reasoning It is something which one violates when one refuses to accept the evidence and where it leads because it would call into question what one believes even with regard to oneself and one recoils from the consequent anxiety It is something which one violates when one places loyalty to a group above one s perception of the truth with regard to any subject And it is something which one violates when one endorses the view that there are different logics for different people dependent upon their race religion or economic class Now in my view some contrarians are simply uninformed Others in one way or another to one degree or another violate the principle that identification precedes evaluation given the weight of the scientific evidence Moreover I believe that the group which is simply uninformed is rapidly shrinking Where I would place particular individuals is another matter and ultimately it would be up to each individual to make this judgment for themselves 134 catman306 says 1 Jun 2007 at 10 58 AM Sorry about my tone Rod B I had just heard the head of NASA s interview on NPR and was livid Since I knew more knowledgeable people would be responding to him and are they there was more emotion in my response than was warranted Climate change shows itself as extreme weather events because climate is average weather and any average is changed either by many small changes or fewer large ones So if you watch the kind number and intensity of extreme weather events you may loose some of your skepticism 135 John Mashey says 1 Jun 2007 at 1 00 PM Re 73 93 me 101 Ferdinand Englebeen 114 Timothy Chase In an effort to downplay the seriousness of today s climate change contrarians will argue that some glaciers were smaller a thousand years ago but given the way things are looking our surpassing this is a foregone conclusion I d assumed 101 was of that sort or at least I ve gotten similar arguments elsewhere Ferdinand have you had a chance to study the Holzhauer paper and did these arguments make sense or not This does remind me of the value of complementary orthogonal approaches 1 Horizontal like http nsidc org sotc glacier balance html which gives a broad global view with clear current results needed to see the current big picture and avoid problems with the randmoness of individual glacier configurations and local differences Unfortunately accurate broad records especially for mass balance just don t go back very many decades 2 Vertical like the various glacier length studies of Aletsch focus on a single example for which there is a Excellent data over last 100 years b Pretty good data over last 1000 2000 years c Some data over thousands of years before that and whose behavior seems reasonably representative I especially like the longer glaciers effect of doing their own curve smoothing so one need not argue about that For some people I think the concreteness of a single example is useful simply because they can see the difference in the photographs While there may be some uncertainty in parts of reconstructions there s no room for argument about how mass balance measures are done how accurate they really are across numerous glaciers etc etc because one is dealing with the visible effects of one glacier Of course a and b are consistent with the view that unusual warming is happening the glaciers are 1 melting as fast or faster than they have for thousands of years and at least from eyeballing the global mass balance charts and a sampling of the Swiss glaciers many retreats have been accelerating and given the response time lag the longer ones haven t even noticed the last 10 years heat 2 have already retreated to levels not seen for thousands of years equivalent to times whose typical insolation should have been higher 136 Michael Gell says 1 Jun 2007 at 1 45 PM The timescales for delivery of effective action may be much less than 10 years circa 4000 days The following is an extract from the summary of the report â High Stakes Designing emissions pathways to reduce the risk of dangerous climate changeâ by Paul Baer and Michael Mastrandrea All temperatures below are in Celcius â The research concludes based on a reasonable set of assumptions that to have a â very low to low riskâ calculated as a nine to 32 per cent chance of exceeding the 2Â C threshold global emissions of carbon dioxide CO2 would need to peak between 2010 and 2013 achieve a maximum annual rate of decline of four to five per cent by 2015 2020 and fall to about 70 to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by the middle of the century This would need to be matched by similarly stringent reductions in the other greenhouse gases These calculations are based on scenarios in which atmospheric concentrations of CO2 which stand at 380 parts per million ppm today peak at between 410 421ppm mid century before falling to between 355 366ppm by 2100 This in turn is based on the understanding that CO2 concentrations can be reduced by lowering annual emissions below the level of CO2 which is absorbed by global carbon sinks which currently take up approximately half of the CO2 emitted annually by human activity â The report can be accessed at the following link http www ippr org uk publicationsandreports publication asp id 501 This type of report is very useful because it provides a time framework on which mitigation efforts should could be implemented Other studies indicate similar results Specifically but roughly speaking one can take this type of emissions pathway assessment for a given target temperature and define what emissions reduction needs to be delivered One degree If people target for a 1 degree warming then roughly speaking emissions should peak within the next 1000 days and be reduced from then one degree may however already be an option which we have thrown away Two degrees If people target for a 2 degree warming then emissions should peak within about 1000 to 2000 days i e between 2010 and 2013 as quoted above and be reduced from then at rates described in the report Three degrees plus If people target for a higher than 2 degree warming then â So how does one work out what level of warming one should target for or what one thinks others should share For this a useful document is the book â Six degreesâ by Mark Lynas Information about the book can be seen on Markâ s website http www marklynas org The IPCC report is another useful source The book is an interesting compendium of degree by degree analysis as one goes from one degree to two degrees to three degrees etc Mark gives some summaries of what to expect at each degree on his website If one goes through each degree one can ask â what sort of an economy might operate at that degree â or â what sort of life might people have in a world at that degree â This is the sort of analysis that business and industry should be doing Corporate executives would do well to read each â degree chapterâ the book is highly readable and ask themselves â can my business and industry operate at that degree and is my board prepared to disclose to the world including to investors shareholders customers and the media what degree the business industry is targetting â Specifically every business and industry should be going through their own systems and supply chains in detail including plant by plant analyses and building a realistic assessment of the situation that has been created or that might occur at each degree It is through this sort of detailed analysis that a more realistic risk landscape can be established let alone navigated So where are we In very simple terms we may be at a point where we can choose which degree we wish to have However if we wish to choose one degree then we have about 1000 days to have got our combined act togther and have peaked the emissions or we may already have missed it If we wish to choose two degrees then â see above So what about BAU The climate systems that people are attempting to model are hugely complex and it is not surprising that climate modelling endeavours remain an ongoing developmental effort However people do develop an intuition about the systems they focus so much of their life studying and when an expert such as Hansen steps forward and says above the â reticentâ crowd that even though he doesn t have fully developed ice sheet disintegration models to back him up that the BAU scenario may give rise to a 5 metre sea level rise by 2100 http pubs giss nasa gov abstracts inpress Hansen html then from the point of view of business and industrial risk assessment which is but one point of view there are important considerations in terms of emission pathways that are now being chosen Also given that climate scientists were taken aback by the disintegration of the Larsen B ice shelf it might be reasonable to expect that other disintegrations may occur which come as a surprise even to climate experts Hansenâ s scenario is therefore instructive to work through and back from in substantive detail because it provides a quasi â boundary conditionâ if one does accept that it may be a worst case scenario for connecting through comparative scenario sets and metricating risk typologies accumulations and flows over the coming business cycles If one takes the 5 metre SLR rise as an estimate and if one then analyses representative individual supply systems across the global economy including coastal plant by plant bases and hazard by hazard bases and builds up risk profiles through multi sector mappings and connectivities it soon becomes clear that structural instabilities including system wide shocks resonances and autocatalytic formations are the norm as various event horizons in relevant scenario sequences gain sharper focus Business and industrial risk managers should take note Risk managers should be developing highly detailed models around specific plants and supply networks out into the future because the risks and liabilities associated with BAU are both enormous and material In analysing and modelling the response of business and industrial systems to varying degrees of climate change abrupt changes to global supply systems industrial processes and plant operations are endemic In other words structural instabilities shocks and risk cascades are the BAU norm We see that quite explicitly in analyses and nonlinear dynamical simulations of projected economic industrial and business processes and market formations We are at a point of structural instability right now and the timescale to choose which branch which we wish to move along is very short Right now that is over the next 1000 to 2000 days we will either have moved industrial and economic systems onto the safest trajectory that we can given the situation we have created or the world system will have taken the branch to higher temperatures Whichever branch is taken the message is absolutely clear present systems in the way they are built configured and operated cannot be a part of a sustainable future Business and industrial leaders should be prepared to state what degree they are targeting 137 Tim Jones says 1 Jun 2007 at 3 10 PM It s going to be interesting to see how this shakes out Jim Hansen is as appalled at Griffin s ignorance as many of us have been livid This is a guy who s going to administer an effort to send people to live on the moon NASA Scientist Critiques Bush s Strategy http www npr org templates story story php storyId 10577221 excerpt Hansen also takes issue with NASA administrator Michael Griffin s views on global warming during an interview with Madeleine Brand Griffin told NPR s Morning Edition that he isn t sure global warming is a problem we must tackle a view Hansen says is remarkably uninformed 138 Timothy Chase says 1 Jun 2007 at 3 24 PM Re John Mashey 135 on glaciers Seems like an accurate assessment and try as I might there isn t really much that I can add to it as I believe you more knowledgeable than I am Concrete examples obviously help likewise charts which show the problem as it exists at a much broader level help and ideally one should have both If limited to text and hyperlinks I would include a very brief description regarding a few points on the chart to illustrate the trend as there will be people who will at least act as if they don t know what you are talking about and didn t even seem to realize that the link was there However if the description is too long the point is likely to be lost in the text for some more careless readers One other point a great many people might not understand the practical importance of glaciers Glaciers permit precipitation to be preserved rather than lost to the soil Their yearly dependable melt provides much of the world s population with fresh water throughout much of the year Without glaciers there will be severe water shortages so there is a genuine urgency to this issue A catastrophic melt may mean that a great many people will drown in a flood within a given year or another but the possibility of extreme and enduring water shortages over vast regions and the consequent reductions in agricultural output are far greater concerns I don t mean to reduce this to body counts but I suspect that ultimately this is in large part what it comes down to 139 Timothy Chase says 1 Jun 2007 at 4 11 PM PS to my post above When projections of the number of people affected

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  • The weirdest millennium « RealClimate
    reaction Essentially what I have done is to say that a green house gas is a gray body if and only if But beyond this manipulation of words there are some serious modeling issues I believe the principles are as follows Quantum mechanics dictates that isolated molecules will have particular energy levels Once launched heat radiation is no different from any other radiation and the rules for its absorption etc are the same as for any other radiation Compared to visible light 300K heat radiation is mostly in vibration rotation rather then electronic Two quantum oscillators will demonstrate increasing splitting as the coupling increases Tightly coupled quantum systems act as a single entity Partly coupled systems have mixed characteristics From the quantum standpoint I need to distinguish quantum oscillators and energy systems that are uncoupled like isolated gas molecules partly coupled like water molecules or fully coupled like solids or CO2 on Venus or dense planets Intermolecular coupling of quantum states is the very important consideration From the Introduction Planck s The Theory of Heat Radiation Dover Publications 1959 Radiation of heat however is in itself independent of the temperature of the medium through which it passes It is possible for example to concentrate the solar rays at a focus by passing them through a converging lens of ice We shall now introduce the further simplifying assumptions that the physical and chemical condition of the emitting substance depends on but a single variable namely on its absolute temperature T A necessary consequence of this is that the coefficient of emission ï ï ï depends apart from the frequency ï ï and the nature of the medium only on the temperature T This last statement excludes from our consideration a number of radiation phenomena such as fluorescence phosphorescence electrical and chemical luminosity We shall deal with temperature radiation exclusively Just as a single copper atom does not make a conductor a single IR absorbing molecule does not make a black body Planck makes clear he is talking about bodies that are black that is characterized by a continuum absorption and radiation bands I can dig out some references if you want but the point is that thermal radiation is a property of materials with emissivities that do not vary greatly with wavelength My statement d ï ï d ï 0 It is clear that Planck is talking about systems consisting of tightly coupled radiators And it is equally clear that your average gas is not a black body Now let us ask the question Can gases be gray bodies and here I am moving into my own less well supported opinion The usual defintion of a gray body is one which partially reflects like a cloud but I am including partially transmitting bodies The answer is only if there is a continuum or the lines broadened to overlap And why is this First the continuum provides some coupling to the external radiation field but mostly because the continuum signals that the

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  • Medieval Warm Period (“MWP”) « RealClimate
    2016 T What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Jim Eager What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Patrick Eriksson What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Kevin McKinney Anti scientists Carbomontanus What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Spencer Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis SteveS What is the best description of the greenhouse effect Chris Colose Blizzard Jonas and the slowdown of the Gulf Stream System doiknow With Inline Responses Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis SteveS Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis steve s Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis Andrew Kerber Blizzard Jonas and the slowdown of the Gulf Stream System Hank Roberts Blizzard Jonas and the slowdown of the Gulf Stream System doiknow Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis MartinM Anti scientists Don McKenzie Marvel et al 2015 Part III Response to Nic Lewis Matt Skaggs Anti scientists mikeworst New On line Classes and Models Marcus Pages Acronym index Data Sources Categories Climate Science Aerosols Arctic and Antarctic Carbon cycle Climate impacts Climate modelling El Nino Geoengineering Greenhouse gases Hurricanes Instrumental Record IPCC Oceans Paleoclimate Sun earth connections Communicating Climate Reporting on climate skeptics Extras Attic Comment Policy Contributor Bio s FAQ Glossary In the News Reviews Supplemental data Tutorials hydrological cycle Open thread RC Forum Scientific practice statistics The Bore Hole Books Contributors Highlights Dummies Guide to the latest Hockey Stick controversy El Nino Global Warming and Anomalous U S Winter Warmth Hurricanes and Global Warming Myth vs Fact Regarding the Hockey Stick On attribution On mismatches between models and observations On Sensitivity Part I Tropical Glacier Retreat Water Vapour feedback or forcing Welcome to RealClimate

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