June 22, 2013 at 8:41 am #7593
UK Secretary of State for the Environment reveals his depth of knowledge of (not!)June 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm #7618June 26, 2013 at 11:25 pm #7633June 27, 2013 at 5:16 am #7634June 30, 2013 at 8:58 pm #7666
El Nino unusually active in the late 20th century, study findsJuly 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm #7680
Kevin Anderson :
To sum up: those commissioned to produce these scenarios are essentially obliged to use a reduction rate in emissions (from the emissions peak) that is dictated by what economists assert is viable with economic growth. Consequently, scientists are being cajoled into developing increasingly bizarre sets of scenarios … that are able to deliver politically palatable messages. Such scenarios underplay the current emissions growth rate, assume ludicrously early peaks in emissions and translate commitments “to stay below 2°C” into a 60 to 70% chance of exceeding 2°C.
Moreover, when even these scenarios fail to deliver, Dr Strangelove – in the guise of geo-engineering – is called upon. Such technologies may be found to work, perhaps even at reasonable scale. So they may one day be used. But, given the levels of uncertainty, their ubiquitous presence in 2°C scenarios only adds to my concern that orthodox economics and political cowardice are unduly influencing science.
To some extent, the cat has been let out of the bag. Increasingly, established organisations are joining the voices of those previously dismissed as alarmists and noting how the optimistic ramblings of many analysts look increasingly ridiculous. The International Energy Agency (IEA), Price Waterhouse Coopers, and a range of others are saying explicitly that emission trends are heading in completely the wrong direction, and that we need something much more radical to avoid 2°C.
However, while the scale of the problem is being grudgingly acknowledged, few are yet prepared to challenge the dominance of financial instruments and the wholly inadequate suite of mitigation proposals – let alone the more thorny issues of economic growth, equity and absolute versus relative emission reductions.
So in 2013 we are left with an increasing recognition of the radical nature of the problem – but a willingness only to consider piecemeal incrementalism as the solution. Anyone daring to highlight the disjuncture continues to be marginalised.July 6, 2013 at 2:11 pm #7690
To find out if a warmer climate is cranking up the water cycle, scientists have been searching for clues in the restless, churning oceans.
Dr Susan Wijffels
Most of the evaporation and most of the rainfall in the world actually cycles through the ocean surface, not through the land. Because it covers 75 percent of the Earth, most of the action’s actually happening over the ocean.
Every time rain falls or water evaporates from the sea, surface salinity changes.
Dr Susan Wijffels
When we look at the ocean salinity field right now, we see this beautiful reflection of what happens in the atmosphere. So the places that are very rainy – say, the Tropics, where there’s a large amount of rainfall all the time – the surface salinity field is very fresh. When we go to the parts of the atmosphere where we find deserts on land, there are desert equivalents over the ocean, where evaporation dominates, and that’s where we find the surface of the ocean is very, very salty.
Keeping track of how salty seas change, more than 3,000 ocean robots called ‘Argo floats’ have been bobbing about on the global currents, beaming back data over time. The oceans are always mixing, so results are smoothed out instead of patchy like land records. Argo data and long-term records from research vessels reveal an unmistakable trend.
Dr Susan Wijffels
Over the last 50 years, that contrast has gone up quite markedly. So, for instance, the Atlantic Ocean is becoming saltier and saltier and saltier. And the Pacific is becoming fresher and fresher. Essentially translates to the fact that the wet areas have become wetter and the dry areas have become drier.
The big surprise is how fast the change is occurring. For every degree rise in air temperature, the water cycle is intensifying by percent. That’s double the climate-model predictions.
Dr Susan Wijffels
The intensity of the storms are likely to go up, because the moisture in the atmosphere is actually the feeder energy stop that drives storms. And we expect droughts and floods to amplify as well.
July 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm #7722
Study shows how early Earth kept warm enough to support life
The simplest solution to the faint sun paradox, which duplicates Earth’s present climate, involves maintaining roughly 20,000 parts per million of the greenhouse gas CO2 and 1,000 ppm of methane in the ancient atmosphere some 2.8 billion years ago, said Wolf. While that may seem like a lot compared to today’s 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, geological studies of ancient soil samples support the idea that CO2 likely could have been that high during that time period. Methane is considered to be at least 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2 and could have played a significant role in warming the early Earth as well, said the CU researchers.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-early-earth-life.html#jCpJuly 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm #7725
Wildfires may contribute more to global warming than previously thoughtJuly 11, 2013 at 4:04 am #7729
Arctic Methane TrendsJuly 12, 2013 at 11:50 am #7741July 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm #7745July 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm #7794
Offshore permafrost decay and massive seabed methane escape in water depths >20 m at the South Kara Sea shelfJuly 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm #7802July 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm #7846July 21, 2013 at 8:17 pm #7847
“The last below-average June temperature was June 1976 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985,” NOAA said in a release.July 24, 2013 at 4:55 pm #7886July 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm #7887
All about the money. No mention of the possible potential methane spike that gives us a 10 deg C temp rise over ten years…July 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm #7888
But this one does, in a rather oblique way, using very careful and diplomatic language, from Dr Wadhams.July 26, 2013 at 7:16 am #7915
Unlike in other parts of the word, tropical ecosystems are capable of generating significant carbon dioxide when temperatures rise, an international team of researchers has found.
Specifically, the scientists discovered that a temperature increase of just 1 degree Celsius in near-surface air temperatures in the tropics results in an average annual growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide that is equivalent to one-third of the annual global emissions caused by the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation combined.July 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm #7927
Patrick Brown: Unforced variability and the global warming slow down
One analogy that could be used to describe the interplay between externally forcedvariability (like increasing greenhouse gasses) and internally generated unforcedvariability (like El-Niño/La-Niña) is that of a man walking a dog (Fig. 2). In this analogy the movement of the man represents the externally forced variability and the movement of the dog, relative to the man, represents unforced variability. The man moves in a rather determinist, predictable path while the dog moves in a more random unpredictable path. Many with engineering backgrounds will recognize this as a signal-to-noise issue. Notice that the dog can only wander a certain distance away from the man before the leash pulls it back toward the general direction of the man. Because of this, the path of the dog ends up being the sum of the path of the man plus the movement of the dog. Analogously, the temperature progression that we can observe is the externally forced component of temperature change plus the internal unforced component of temperature change.July 27, 2013 at 8:45 pm #7953
Arctic time bombs
While keeping an eye on day-to-day data and speculating about whether 2013 is going to overcome the odds and break last year’s records, one tends to forget about the wider implications and what this actually is all about. A tree is incredibly interesting, but in the end it’s all about the forest.
It’s important to remember that the situation isn’t looking good in the Arctic. Not good at all. We’re witnessing things that were supposed to happen decades from now. Instead we’re looking at a change that is hard to fathom, but takes place during our lifetimes, not on a geological timescale.July 28, 2013 at 7:03 pm #7966
The trouble with these smart people, particularly the scientific ones with PhDs, they all look through the wrong end of the telescope, and forget that there is a lot more going on outside that narrow little slot….
The East Siberian Arctic Sea continental shelf is vast, possible the biggest on the planet….
The idiot mainstream scientists told us that the clathrates are all in very deep water where it is very cold and the pressure is very high so that we will not have to worry because they won’t warm for thousands of years…
Except that the ESAS is SHALLOW and the water can warm up very fast because the ice cover has gone, and the rivers, I think, the Lena and Ob ? one of the largest estuaries on the planet, which used to be very cold, is now coming off a newly WARM land surface where it is now so hot the people are sun bathing, so the warm fresh water flows into the shallow 50 metre deep sea over the 50 metre thick silt that has been sealing the methane clathrates….
There is the possibility, THE POSSIBILITY, not certainty, but think about it, because there’s no way to stop it, – that we get 50 gigatonnes of methane coming out, which doubles the heating from carbon in the atmosphere over a very few years… and that’s the end of us…
What’s to stop it from happening ? I do not know. I cannot see anything that stops it happening.
All I see is supposedly smart people on blogs talking mostly rather poorly informed nonsense.
For one thing, connect what happens at ESAS to Qinghai Tibet Plateau and to the Antarctic, because if the ESAS methane triggers so will those other two… and as soon as the ESAS methane triggers, and the heating spike starts going skywards, so does all of the N. Hemisphere permafrost methane and Co2, and all the other feedbacks that Guy McPherson lists and nobody else ever talks about…
It has happened before. Methane and temperature went up 10 or 12 deg C in perfect synchronisation, over about a decade. That will wipe us and most else off this planet.July 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm #7968
Although the mainstream clueless orthodox establishment will not agree, they’ll brand him as an extremist, I see Wadhams as a conservative, an optimist, I mean, he’s a Cambridge University Professor, he’s not exactly a revolutionary intent on upsetting the social order…
He said :
… we calculated its effect [ the methane ] on increasing overall global warming, obtaining a 0.6C figure by 2040. We rightly consider these to be substantial figures which deserve wide circulation among climate scientists, and Nature and its referees agreed with us….July 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm #7969
Watch at 4:50July 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm #7970July 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm #7971July 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm #7972
The equivalent heating of methane is about 105 times that of CO2 , NOT 20 times which everyone keeps saying.
The 20 x is calculated over a 100 years. Nobody cares what happens to methane over a 100 years, because that doesn’t matter to anybody. What MATTERS is what happens over the 12 years that methane lasts in the atmosphere before it degrades into CO2, and over that 12 years it’s heating effect is around 105 times that of CO2.
Also in this video, the microbes that break down the peat produce heat as they do so, much like the fermentation in a cow’s stomach or similar processes, so that helps to melt the permafrost, yet another irreversible feedback.July 29, 2013 at 10:38 am #7976July 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm #7977
Good lecture, especially re permafrost, etc from 30:00
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