Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Message to the Several Misbegotten

The Presidents of the National Academies (Science, Engineering and Medicine) have issued a statement on climate science.  In general this may be regarded as a message to Donald Trump and Wil Happer to screw off,

Scientists have known for some time, from multiple lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate, primarily through greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence on the impacts of climate change is also clear and growing. The atmosphere and the Earth’s oceans are warming, the magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing, and sea level is rising along our coasts. 
The National Academies are focused on further understanding climate change and how to limit its magnitude and adapt to its impacts, including on health. We also recognize the need to more clearly communicate what we know. To that end, in 2018, the National Academies launched an initiative to make it easier for decision makers and the public to use our extensive body of work to inform their decisions. In addition, we will be expanding our Based on Science communications effort to include clear, concise, and evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about climate change. 
A solid foundation of scientific evidence on climate change exists. It should be recognized, built upon, and most importantly, acted upon for the benefit of society.
The statement links to a more complete discussion and references but if you want the elevator speech, Richard Betts' tweet ain't bad

The usual bleat for Planet B went up, but as Eli always points out Planet B ain't necessary.  We have  a ton of lab experiments showing how greenhouse gases in the atmosphere behave under varying conditions of temperature and pressure.  We have spectroscopic models that perfectly match the lab measurements.  We have measurements as well of emission and absorption spectra throughout the atm, that we can perfectly match using our spectroscopic calculations.  We have measurements of solar output.  We have lab measurements of the density of sea water when heated, and models that perfectly match the lab measurements.  We have measurements of the density of sea water on site that again are matched by the lab models.  And on, and on, and on.

For the deniers to be right, ALL of those lab measurements and models would have to be wrong.

Not something to bet Planet A on.

22 comments:

velvet nous said...

“Tallbloke” and Co. aren’t betting - they’re checking, because they know that Planet A isn’t theirs to lose.

velvet nous said...

(Hat tip to “Brexit Guilt Trip” for an unexpected display of integrity.)

THE CLIMATE WARS said...

A desire for independence from the EU does not entail abandoning the scientifically obvious, witness Rory Stewart's campaign for PM.

velvet nous said...

'Twas never my intent to suggest otherwise, O VVise One.

DocRichard said...

"For the deniers to be right, ALL of those lab measurements and models would have to be wrong."

In other words, the hypothesis of the deniers is this: "Humans can persist in altering the GHE without incurring any serious penalty in climatic terms".

This hypothesis can be falsified.

I have found that deniers run off in all directions at once when confronted with this method, but it is fruitful, if you can actually hold their noses to the central points, supplying evidence that their hypothesis does not match any facts. It is more focussed, as compared with supplying answers to the infinite number of taklking points that is their stock in trade.

DocRichard said...

*talking points

Fernando Leanme said...

Doc, as a Charter Member of the Denier Society, I can assure you we only want to discuss why the area of the island of Tuvalu increased almost 3% in 40 years, in spite of the 13 cm world wide sea level rise measured with satellites over that period of time.

velvet nous said...

From the Wiki:

“Whether there are measurable changes in the sea level relative to the islands of Tuvalu is a contentious issue.[283][284] There were problems associated with the pre-1993 sea level records from Funafuti which resulted in improvements in the recording technology to provide more reliable data for analysis.[278] The degree of uncertainty as to estimates of sea level change relative to the islands of Tuvalu was reflected in the conclusions made in 2002 from the available data.[278] The uncertainty as to the accuracy of the data from this tide gauge resulted in a modern Aquatrak acoustic gauge being installed in 1993 by the Australian National Tidal Facility (NTF) as part of the AusAID-sponsored South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project.[285] The 2011 report of the Pacific Climate Change Science Program published by the Australian Government,[286] concludes: "The sea-level rise near Tuvalu measured by satellite altimeters since 1993 is about 5 mm (0.2 in) per year."[287]

Tuvalu has adopted a national plan of action as the observable transformations over the last ten to fifteen years show Tuvaluans that there have been changes to the sea levels.[288] These include sea water bubbling up through the porous coral rock to form pools at high tide and the flooding of low-lying areas including the airport during spring tides and king tides.[229][230][231][289][290][291]”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuvalu

Discuss.

Andy Mitchell said...

"...why the area of the island of Tuvalu increased almost 3% in 40 years"

Other people say it is being lost to the ocean.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/will-tuvalu-disappear-beneath-the-sea-180940704/

A rangy woman of middle years, Vavae cuts an unusual figure in her native Tuvalu: she is an Australian-trained scientist and a Muslim in a traditional and Christian society. Lately, she has also played Cassandra to her laid-back countrypeople. “I think we have a lot to worry about,” she says later in her computer-filled office. “Cyclones and tropical storms have been getting much worse since the 1980s. We had a big drought starting in 1999. Flooding from extreme high tides is increasing also.” Big swells and freak waves are washing over the island more frequently. And then there’s a different kind of flood. “In the late 1990s, water started coming out of the ground—first puddles, then a whole sea. That had nothing to do with rain.” The net effect, Vavae says, is that little by little Tuvalu is beginning to wash away.
Other islanders say much the same. Tauala Katea, a young employee at the meteorology station, says that ten feet of beachfront have disappeared over the past decade on the island of Vaitupu. Falealuga Apelamo, 77, a retired fisherman and farmer, says one small islet from the nearby atoll of Nukufetau has “drowned,” another is almost gone and the sea is crashing through a third. “The big waves and winds and storms used to come in November and December,” he adds. “Now it’s any time of the year.” At the northern tip of Funafuti, a gun emplacement, planted on dry land by U.S. soldiers in World War II, now sits 20 feet offshore. At the southern end, old-timers say, their meeting hall used to stand in the middle of the village. Now it is waterfront property.

But then what do they know, they only live there.

Canman said...

There's a climate crisis that's resulted in people becoming innumerate, irrational and denying scientific principles. People are hysterically rejecting nuclear power, industrial development, GMOs, mechanized agriculture, ...etc. By rejecting dense forms of energy, they are becoming a threat to natural habitats. We need energy to create progress, preserve the world and prevent the malthusians from ruining it. There is no planet B!

velvet nous said...

Wit eludes contrarians.

THE CLIMATE WARS said...

Fernando Leanme said...

I can assure you we only want to discuss why the area of the island of Tuvalu increased almost 3% in 40 years in spite of the 13 cm world wide sea level rise measured with satellites over that period of time.

That discussion ended 20 years ago when Michael Crichton wisely dropped the subject from his road show after reading :
Isostasy and Tectonic Origins of Pacific Seamounts

Jeffrey T. FreymuellerJames N. Kellogg
Geology and Offshore Mineral Resources of the Central Pacific Basin
Part of the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources Earth Science Series book series (CIRCUM-PACIFIC, volume 14)

Abstract
Previous studies have shown that the response of the Pacific plate to oceanic island and seamount loads can be used to estimate the distribution of ridge-crest, superswell, and normal mid-plate volcanism. Similarly, estimation of the degree of Airy isostatic compensation can be used to predict the tectonic origin of an oceanic island or seamount. In this study 150 Pacific seamounts, each surveyed with at least three sea surface profiles, are classified as ridge-crest or superswell, mid-plate, or uncertain origin based on bathymetry and on-axis gravity.

The results correlate well with those obtained from three-dimensional flexural and isostatic studies. Most of the analyzed seamounts rimming the Central Pacific Basin are locally isostatically compensated, i.e., ridge crest or superswell, including... Tuvalu (1),

And so as Fernando sails silently into the Pacific sunset, we bid him farewell.

...The gravity results are therefore compatible with recent flexural studies, geochemical results, seafloor depths, age dating, and plate rotation models for other edifices in these seamount clusters that suggest eruption from a South Pacific isotopic and thermal anomaly or superswell during the Cretaceous (80–120 Ma). Recent radiometric age determinations and geochemistry indicate that four Late Cretaceous Marshall seamounts were erupted from mantle sources that are presently in the South Pacific.

DocRichard said...

Note that Fernando Leanme avoids trying to defend his hypothesis, and immediately reaches for a long-debunked talking point.

Let's take it methodically, Fernando.
First, do you reject the GHE? If so, on what evidence?
If you accept the GHE, do you reject that CO2 is the major canon-condensing GHG? Is so, on what evidence.
I'll leave it there for the moment.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: why the area of the island of Tuvalu increased almost 3% in 40 years, in spite of the 13 cm world wide sea level rise measured with satellites over that period of time.

BPL: [CITATION NEEDED]

But even if true, what would it prove? Sea-level rise varies from place to place. The ocean is not perfectly even; sea-level varies depending on local gravity (nearby continental masses, etc.), currents, salinity, winds, etc.

Ken Fabian said...

"People are hysterically rejecting nuclear power, industrial development, GMOs, mechanized agriculture"

No they aren't - those are a small minority of those who take the climate problem seriously. However those with power and influence who are intent on rejecting climate responsibility very much want the issue to be framed and seen as if that were true. I note that the Republican Right in the US, like Australia's LNP Right, don't have a policy of fixing the climate problem by aggressively promoting nuclear for the task - they don't have a policy of fixing it at all! And somehow that fact is deemed inconsequential and that extremist greenies, by promoting public distrust of nuclear, made them not have any climate policy. Utter nonsense; they made their choice themselves, for their own irresponsible reasons.

When the mainstream Right finally get sane on the issue nuclear will have (potentially) some powerful supporters - but as long as they offer the bargain basement option of NOT fixing the climate problem the captains of commerce and industry (who choose climate irresponsibility on the basis of market price - markets are amoral like that) will continue not backing nuclear. The thing is when nuclear for climate is no longer anti-environmentalist theatre but is actual policy, the claims of it's innate superiority to RE get real scrutiny - and it looks a lot less like the low cost and easy emissions solution claimed.

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

Whether or not some specific spot on the ocean is rising or falling is a complicated problem, but it is essentially as irrelevant to the question of sea level rise as the temperature in some specific village or town is to global warming. Detailed studies show that the melting of the Greenland ice cap, for example, may actually lower nearby sea levels while raising global sea levels.

Deniers of all stripes are fond of these "but what about place X" arguments. They are handy because nobody knows the details of every effect affecting every spot on the planet. It's a way for them to waste the time of serious people who go to the trouble of pointing out what's wrong with their arguments.

We have the capacity to measure global sea level rise and average global surface temperatures. Pay attention to the big picture and ignore the "what abouters."

David B. Benson said...

Eli, being a chemist of very little brain, a question. In a light water reactor, the uranium oxide is contained in a zirconium tube which I presume is filled with water. When the uranium fissions, what happens to the cesium? I get as far as cesium hydroxide but then I don't know what it reacts with.

Thabks, David

Fernando Leanme said...

I don't think "the magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing" will convince my uncle to vote for a US Democrat, after seeing their circus act advocating open borders, more taxes, and freebies to college graduates.

velvet nous said...

Would that be Fernando’s Uncle Tuvalu?

velvet nous said...

3 feet of hail in Guadalajara this morning...

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/451148-mexican-city-wakes-up-to-3-feet-of-ice-following-freak

Barton Paul Levenson said...

FL: I don't think "the magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing" will convince my uncle to vote for a US Democrat, after seeing their circus act advocating open borders, more taxes, and freebies to college graduates.

BPL: Nobody advocates open borders, as you damn well know. Quit with the straw man arguments.

David B. Benson said...

Extreme rain in Irkutsk region. See The Siberian Times for photos and videos.