Sunday, September 06, 2015

Richard Betts Puts the Frighteners on Eli

As somebunnies may or may not be aware, Emma Thompson had some things to say about the threat of the changing climate a few days ago.  In talking about Shell's drilling and particularly their drilling in the Arctic:

They continue without cessation, to extract and they continue their plans to drill in the Arctic. They have plans to drill until 2030 and if they take out of the earth all the oil they want to take out, you look at the science, our temperature will run 4 degrees Celcius by 2030 and that is not sustainable.
This lit Richard Bett's torch.  Betts was inflamed with this "non scientific" claim and Prof. Betts took to the twitter.  Eli trusts the smart readers here can find the tweets, but what this post is about is one of the first
Now Eli is not going to get involved about whether ET was talking about a committed rise to 4C by 2030, or an actual rise, of what the people she talked with were talking about.  Gavin pretty much summed that part up
and Eli had a few things to say along that line.  Eli and Gavin were not pleased by Richard Betts' tweeting, and perhaps in response, he posted some remarks on Facebook September 4:
If global greenhouse gas emissions do not begin to decline in the next few years, the chances are that global warming will exceed the 2°C “guardrail” that the EU and UN aim to stay below. HELIX is researching the impacts of higher warming levels, specifically 4°C and 6°C. What would a 4°C or 6°C world look like, and when could these be reached?

If the world does warm by 4°C, this can be expected to have profound implications. Previous research shows that some areas could get a lot drier, while others a lot wetter. Many places will warm by more than 4°C, and indeed we’d expect more of the major heatwaves such as that which caused many deaths in India this summer. Also of course we’d be locked in to ongoing sea level rise due to melting ice and swelling of warming ocean waters.
Emissions are growing along a high pathway, as high or higher than the ones Betts and co-authors considered
For a scenario of high GHG emissions, the earliest time of reaching 4°C above pre-industrial was around 2070, and the latest sometime after 2100. In the most extreme case, 6°C is projected by 2100 although most models do not show this. If feedbacks are stronger or weaker than in those simulations, the timing could be outside these bounds – but evidence for these would need careful examination before we could be confident in this.
Richard Betts worries that Emma Thompson is crying wolf.  Eli would point out Richard Alley's remarks on such
You have now had a discussion or a debate here between people who are giving you the blue one and people giving you the green one. This is certainly not both sides. If you want both sides, we would have to have somebody in here screaming a conniption fit on the red end, because you are hearing a very optimistic side
Strangely though he is most concerned about premature concern with climate disasters to be
Secondly, if people come to believe that catastrophic impacts are only round the corner, this could lead to wrong decisions made in panic. A lot is being done to make us more resilient to the climate change we’ve already set in motion – new flood defences, plans for reservoirs and water supplies, and so on. But these are expensive, and doing these too early could cost billions. And if people are scared into moving away from their homelands because they think it will be uninhabitable, this would only add to the existing refugee crisis, for no good reason.
This is absolute and dangerous nonsense.  The people who are going to be pushed out of their homes by climate change are almost all very poor, and are not going to start moving until they start dying.

POSTSCRIPT:  Anybunny who thinks they can move a billion or more people in a few decades is sipping some interesting stuff (AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN

The deadly temperature rise is going to be a committed temperature rise decades before they reach full effect. The most likely scenario are hot summers in the Ganges and Indus valleys which reach or approach the wet bulb temperature limit for survival.  This is already close to happening.

Sherwood and Huber who were the first to write on the wet bulb temperature limit wrt climate change said
We conclude that a global-mean warming of roughly 7 °C would create small zones where metabolic heat dissipation would for the first time become impossible, calling into question their suitability for human habitation. A warming of 11–12 °C would expand these zones to encompass most of today’s human population. This likely overestimates what could practically be tolerated:
One of the bunnies back in 2010 added
It's the creeping statistical hints between the lines of this paper that really bother me. Long before or even if we never see broad areas permanently enter a existentially threatening torrid regime, what about excursions? For instance, Pakistan this year has seen record temperatures approaching 54 degrees C in places where many people live, fortunately with lower humidity and only for handful of days but what about when/if such aberrations extend to a handful of weeks and are accompanied by inexorably increasing humidity? The resulting disaster would cause migrations. The worst-case scenario in Sherwood and Huber would not have to happen before we effectively lose major swathes of territory for year-round habitability.
What is scary is that Richard Betts thinks that 4 C by 2060 is possible, and by ~2100 inevitable on current emissions.  We are now 1 C from pre-industrial.  Richard Betts thinks we are going to triple that in 85 years.  There is a chance the globe will warm to 6 C by then.  Richard Betts says stay calm and carry on.  That is not very good advice.

Among the things that Thompson has said is that she would rather die than see another Spiderman movie.  Kumbaiya my bunnies Kumbaiya

25 comments:

Everett F Sargent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PG said...

Eli I'm confused. Who is the Author of this Curry-esqe paragraph

Secondly, if people come to believe that catastrophic impacts..... ?

Was it Betts? Jesus Christ if it was Betts then Julia must carpet him.

Richard mate, please resign, I'm sure Roy Spencer would love to have you as his lab assistant.

Blogger profile said...

"'Let's speak American': Sarah Palin echoes Donald Trump's on the need for immigrants to speak English"

Shouldn't you be speaking Spanish, though? I don't think Colombus was a Cockney.

Not that bigotry ever needs reasons. Just excuses.

Blogger profile said...

PG, is the confusion you feel because you only read the bit you quoted?

"Secondly, if people come to believe that catastrophic impacts are only round the corner, this could lead to wrong decisions made in panic."

Panic only happens when something hits them in reality. Of course, AFTER that, panic can set in by the mere hysterical *claim* that the same sort of catastrophe is about to happen again. But the first one is necessary because people, especially those so innured by the ROCK HARD FAITH that god looks after them as a country as you appear to be in the USA, are quite willing to see such catastrophe happen *elsewhere* and think it tragic, but not their problem.

Of course, when hysteria sets in, the panic loves company. It doesn't feel so lonely when you can get everyone else around you to lose their head when you lose yours. You can believe, even if it turns out to be fake, that it was *believable* because so many others felt the same way.

Even if you were the one who started them off.

PG said...

Blogger Profile please list those places on the planet that are prepared or will be prepared for a 2-4C over the century?
Where is the enthusiasm, or maybe just a slight apprehension that adaptive engineering should be happening now? If it's out there it's yet to raise its panicked head.
Betts' biggest fear about climate change is fear about climate change

Bernard J. said...

I think that anonymouse in 2010 might have been me, before I capitulated and logged in using Goggle. I was in a Monckton-disparaging phase then, and using a rather long handle which I sometimes didn't remember to include...

The post parses in my style and it rings a bell, as at the time I made a series of comments on that theme about Sherwood's and Huber's paper. If it is mine, I beg Eli's forgiveness for not stamping my homework. If it's not mine I apologise to the author for attempted credit-snatching!

Matt M said...

Meh. Not seeing anything to fuss over here (re Betts).

Blogger profile said...

"Blogger Profile please list those places on the planet that are prepared or will be prepared for a 2-4C over the century?"

Any of them could be. Even if it means abandoning the country entirely.

See Syria.

But why are you asking me?

Everett F Sargent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogger profile said...

"that Obama was the bad guy for allowing Shell to drill in the Arctic, or some such."

Given that these resources have to stay in the ground, yes. Even if it's a bad guy to shell/exxon et al for making them pay for something that they're going to be told they can't use.

Why is the assertions of Greenpeace as caricatured in your comment actually WRONG? Not that you merely disagree with them, what makes your dismissal of it objectively rational?

Blogger profile said...

"So "by the middle of the century" morphs into "by 2030" or some such."

Yes. And. If it happens, would the "by the middle of the century" have been found correct?

Given that the SAR was thinking an ice-free summer Arctic by the end of 22nd Century then became by mid-21st and now looks possible to happen by mid 2030's, why is it ridiculous to conceive that it MIGHT happen by 2030? Or at least dialled in as irremediable, in which case those who did f-all have buggered the kids to death, metaphorically speaking, for a quick buck and a comforting lie.

PG said...

Wow!
Everrett you could have given us some kind of warning that you were going to chuck all the furniture into the pool. Well done. Please post on ATTP.

Russell Seitz said...

To some portraitists, ET looks a lot like Bjorn Lomborg

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/9/4/unbalanced-josh-344.html

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

I don't want to minimize the danger, which is great, but isn't +7 C implausibly large? I think that it is also worth noting that most of the world is essentially uninhabitable for humans without technology - it's too cold, and there is no place where people live without technology. The technology needed for people to survive in extreme heat is hundreds of years old and widely deployed - of course it requires lots of electricity.

Sea level rise will not be so easily dealt with.

Blogger profile said...

"I don't want to minimize the danger, which is great, but isn't +7 C implausibly large?"

For a doubling of CO2, probably. For BAU and complete ignorance, no, not at all.

Think of it like the counterbalance to Lomborg. HE and the other lukewarmers say it's 1C or less, or even just countering the next looming ice age. Sure, science thinks it's as wrong to say 7C as 1, but people need to hear what is thought, else they get a skewed perception and they THINK the debate is between those who say 1 and those who say 3C so the "compromise" is "somewhere in the middle". Without a counter to go *as far as the Lomborgs* to the other side, the balance isn't there.

Richard is right to decry it *as much as Lomborg's statement*. My problem is that Lomborg being a scientist makes his extremism worse.

The correct statement would be "Emma's answer is about as likely to be right as Lomborg. She has the excuse she doesn't have the science grounding to know how far out of whack with what's likely as Lomborg. You're just as valid accepting Emma's answer as Bjorn's".

Andrew said...


+7K Globally.. Well, the Cretaceous Super-greenhouse was perhaps +5K in the tropics and much higher elsewhere.

So it's achievable, if we really try. And you'd want to live in one of those new-fangled ocean cities.

It's interesting - to me, anyway - that birds have a standard body temperature of ~40 degrees C vs Mammals at ~37. It seems possible that this is a product of evolution; you want your body temperature to be as low as possible, so you don't waste energy maintaining it, but not so low that you can't lose heat to your environment (because then you die). And once 'set', it's very hard to change, because every enzyme in your body becomes strongly optimized to the set temperature.

So, it may be that we have two classes of endotherms on Earth - the mammal-like reptiles, followed by mammals, and the dinosaurs -> birds. The dominant one being determined, at least in part, by the global temperature regime. I, for one, welcome our new evolved-chicken overlords.

Blogger profile said...

"+7K Globally.. Well, the Cretaceous Super-greenhouse was perhaps +5K in the tropics and much higher elsewhere."

We have a sun that gets hotter as it ages. Look it up. There's more than just CO2 in affecting the climate. Don't let the denier heehaw make you believe that there can be only one factor in any situation. They're lying to you.

Andrew said...

Bp -

~80 million isn't that long, stellar evolution wise.

And I've exchanged comments with one or two denialists in my time..

Blogger profile said...

"~80 million isn't that long, stellar evolution wise."

But how much is needed for a source that outputs about 1400W/m^2?

Given calculated sensitivity...?

Blogger profile said...

"And I've exchanged comments with one or two denialists in my time.."

And don't they continually go on about how it's ONLY the sun. Or how the IPCC say it's ONLY CO2, or how it can't be CO2 if it's not warming while CO2 goes up?

Hence the cautionary words.

Jeffrey Davis said...

The wet bulb/dry bulb distinction is irrelevant. As is the belief in some future Safe Enough point. People aren't going to sit still and die in place. Response to climate change is dynamic, and people are already responding to disruptions in food supply -- witness the wars and unrest in the Middle East and the refugee crisis sweeping Europe. The root of that conflict isn't religious. Or even particularly political. It was stirred not by starvation but simply by rises in the prices for food.

People aren't going to be trimmed off the rolls neatly.

Tom said...

From an obscure document titled "Summary for Policy Makers, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" we unearth the following statement: "The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016–2035 relative to
1986–2005 is similar for the four RCPs and will likely be in the range 0.3°C to 0.7°C"

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf

Ms. Thompson is not off be a couple of decades.

Blogger profile said...

"From an obscure document"

And Ms Thompson is no less valid in her claims than Bjorn Lomborg is. And FAR better supported by facts than, for example, G&T or Tony Watts. Or Sen Inholfe, who leads a frikkin senate comittee on the damn subject.

Funny how your angst for those taking the extremes outside the likely scenarios only extends to one side. And far less dangerous than Inholfe, and far more justified than G&T, Watts or Lomborg.

It's like you're one sided, partisan or biased.

Or Fullerthanadunnywagon.

Tom said...

Please, BP--stay just the way you are.

Blogger profile said...

You keep telling me that.

Why? You have NEVER answered that. Could you explain WHY you won't ever say why you'll answer that question?

I'll put a few guesses out there:

1) You're too dumb to know why you do anything
2) You "feel" it should do something, but are too dumb to work out what
3) You can't stop it because of a compulsion you are incapable of controlling and cannot identify the source of
4) You have Metathesiophobia, which also explains your denial of climate change if it means changing your ways.