Friday, June 20, 2014

Eli's Gift

As manybunnies have noticed climate science blogs, have well, not have a lot of science in them lately.  The basic stuff has been gone over time and time again, the only thing left is to mole whack the day dreams of science denial and frankly, even that becomes repetitive.  Stoat has been reduced to baiting the disbelievers, ATTP is dealing with messaging the 97% once again, and Victor is working out his immature and neurotic fixation on Tony Watts, Real Climate is doing mostly Deltoid imitations, James and Jules have taken up biking in the forest, and so it goes.

Everyone goes on about what the 97% believe or don't.  For some time Eli has been using the term the IPCC Consensus, something that even one of the Pielke's says he believes in, but confusion about what is believed are starting to grow, so Eli would like to propose a simple answer that can be used by all players of ClimateBall and which is sufficient to justify action and legislation:

Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at current rates will increasingly cause bad things to happen.  Over the next one to two hundred years this will lead to VERY BAD things happening. 
The rest is detail.


Anonymous said...

"As manybunnies have noticed climate science blogs, have well, not have a lot of science in them lately."

Not a lot of good English, either.

Of course, some of them (Rabett Run) have not had science in them for a long time (with the exception of the occasional copy and paste of math and science that others worked out).

thefordprefect said...

The problem is that this is too far in the future!
Most humans consider effects on family only for the next couple of generations - if it happens it will be someone else's problem.
They want their SUVs and air con NOW. Just read Tony's blog - they do not want to pay taxes (but they still want someone to finance wildfire fighting 747s.
They do not want to help (financially) the underprivileged to better energy use and lower pollution - it's someone else's problem.
Anyway "something" will be invented to provide a solution.

Anonymous said...

Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at current rates will increasingly cause bad things to happen. Over the next one to two hundred years this will lead to VERY BAD things happening.

Increasing CO2-> increasing temperature.
Yes! Amen! I'm the 97%!

Increasing CO2-> very bad things - NO! Wrong! Error!

The current rate of CO2 accumulation is lower than even the low end scenarios of a few years back and the emissions chart appears to indicate we've passed an inflection - a deceleration.

With birth rate less than replacement on all continents except Africa, CO2 emissions are not likely to keep up with even the relatively low "current rates".

No trend, including the 0.015C per year temperature rise, can continue indefinitely. But that also includes population increase and the host of many other trends. And that also will soon include population decrease. Decrease the population long enough and humans will cease to exist.

The erroneous ascription of many weather phenomena to global average temperature is a large logical flaw that many would do well to consider against the seasonal analogue. During Summer, and entire hemisphere is warmer than average, but it is not a calamity relative to winter. In fact significantly more die in winter and significantly fewer die in summer. To be sure, that may well have to do with sunshine, but still represents a misplaced risk.

Increasing temperatures has a basis in reason and physics.
'Very bad things', on the other hand, is vagary tolerated by imagination, but not observation.


Steve Bloom said...

In which Lucifer misreads and misunderstands both of those charts.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Lucifer is an impotent little devil wannabe.

Aaron said...

"Really bad stuff"?? like what?

When I was a kid, we learned that hail larger than baseball sized was bad stuff.

Now we are getting grapefruit sized hail. What are we waiting for? Basketball sized hail?

Talking about climate change in the future tense was fine in 1964, now climate change is here. Now we know the temperature of every place on Earth will be warmer in the decade 2011- 2020 than it was in the decade 1961-1970. The heat is here. However, it is not the average temperature that kills, it is that there is more heat to drive more extreme weather; hotter droughts, deeper floods, bigger hail, and blizzards with more snow and more wind.

We have had paralysis by analysis for 20 years. Now, we know, it is far worse than we thought. It should affect every decision that we make.

For that last statement, I am going to be accused of being an alarmist. That is fine. In ten years, you will look back and see that I am a realist and that you should have taken me much more seriously.

Ten years ago, you could walk across the Arctic. Try that today. All that open water is a powerful albedo feedback. All that open water is putting water vapor into the atmosphere, and water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas. Thus, the next 10 years will bring even larger changes. There is no reason to write about waiting a hundred years for VERY BAD things.

The thing is, that no matter how bad it is now, it can always get much worse. We need to turn things around now.

Hank Roberts said...


Susan Anderson said...

For a dose of optimism, check out Al Gore at Rolling Stone:

I wish I believed him, but he's a professional optimist and I don't like what I've been seeing.

However, for what it's worth, it's a passel of optimism.

Susan Anderson said...

OK, tonight's pints have led to boring on hither and yon about Schopenhauer and Clive Hamilton (I could do a whole lot worse), so offer them here as well. I have to credit Andy Revkin for pointing to Hamilton, who makes a whole lot more sense than he (AR) does.

My first source on this one was Greenfyre (it was not so long ago, though it seems several ages):

Anonymous said...

I'd rather read Inferno than Lucifer.

Steve Bloom said...

Aaron, in addition to the possibility of a large-scale extinction event in the oceans, there are all sorts of other lovely prospects, e.g. rapid ice sheet collapse, large parts of the tropics being rendered uninhabitable, cumulative severe weather impacts on the major grain-producing regions leading to global famine, circulation changes leading to the end of a large proportion of the tropical rain forests, and CO2 sink saturation and rapid permafrost melt/tundra burning leading to a PETM-like event. That's off the top of my head, so don't take it as a complete list.

Importantly, note how very badly human society responds to that kind of stress. What nature doesn't do to us, we are entirely capable of doing to ourselves.

Have a nice day.

Steve Bloom said...

Susan, re the Hamilton article, it's odd for Hamilton to have skipped over Lomborg to highlight N+S and further to make no mention of the political machinations that created the business opportunity for all of them.

He also seems to have conflated era and eon.

So while I like a Breakthrough-trashing polemic as much as the next person, did this one include anything new or incisive?

EliRabett said...

The "Good Anthropocene" types (Schellenberger, Nordhaus Nephew, Pielke Jr, Revkin) are technological cornocopians. Lomborg is of a slightly different although allied strain. The former claim that humans can invent their way out of disaster, the latter that there are more important things to do (which they then proceed to ignore anyhow) and we can ignore climate for the moment. Hamilton has it about right IEHO

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

And the alternative is legislating your way out of disaster? Good luck with that. Revkin et al. really don't believe there is a disaster in need of technological reform. He just caters to the money makers.

Tommy thinks otherwise.

Jim Bouldin said...

"Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere at current rates will increasingly cause bad things to happen. Over the next one to two hundred years this will lead to VERY BAD things happening"

Well then, just how is Dr. Pangloss doing today? The devil is in the details, Eli; I'm sure you've heard that one.

And no, everything has not been "gone over time and time again". There are in fact enormously important climate-related topics that one never sees discussed on blogs, because a lot of climate related blogs are obsessed with discussing the same tired topics over and over again.

You're welcome to comment on this if you like:

cRR Kampen said...

No beef for you, Lucifer, and you (don't) know why.

For others: here's the dividend of the Russo 2010 inferno, the US inferno of 2011, the mass slaughter of cattle ensuing because corn went through the roof. Enjoy. Be sure to check out some other commodity trends. Perhaps some understanding of what happened in Syria and what is our near future would result - though it would only help your own survival.

O, and milk. Say goodbye to a lot of children, then.

Hank Roberts said...

I hope Eli and/or some others competent with the tools will look in on Jim's link, as it seems to get more interesting as people do.

He introduced it thus:

"I get lower point estimates than they do, but there a number of possible reasons for this, and my working assumption is that if somebody’s numbers are less defensible than the others, those are mine, not the IPCC’s. I really just want to get a handle on why the numbers are different."

Hank Roberts said...

Speaking of other climate blogs, whether or not anyone's reading, I wonder if there's anyplace following the development of science in Antarctica these days. I was sad to see the blogspammers take over Stoat's venerable Why do Science in Antarctica? thread, but then, nobody was posting there but me anyhow.

But if you re-read it you see our picture of that icecap change rather remarkably over a few years. Historians of science, low-hanging fruit there.

I treasure that discussion because it showed the science changing rather dramatically -- not quite back to the "unchanged for a thousand years to come" era, but close.

And I still find pertinent work I wish someone else wanted to talk about, that belongs with that collection.

This, for one:

Freezing of ridges and water networks preserves the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains for millions of years

Timothy T. Creyts, Fausto Ferraccioli, Robin E. Bell, Michael Wolovick, Hugh Corr, Kathryn C. Rose, Nicholas Frearson, Detlef Damaske, Tom Jordan, David Braaten and Carol Finn
DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061491Key

Subglacial meltwater flows upward through valley networks and freezes


Who knew water flows uphill?
Well, it was mentioned over at Stoat, years ago.