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jai mitchell

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #50 on: November 04, 2014, 04:09:36 AM »
FYI the Durack et. al analysis has pushed ECS up from 4.5 to between 4.75 and 5.5

The 1.1 lowball estimate is based on paleoclimate analysis that is limited to ice age periods (they threw out the interstadial inputs because their models blew up). 

It is clear that current top of atmosphere energy imbalances make the 1.1 limit so completely untenable that its very presence within the body of the report is the most damnable indication of falsehoods and suppression of real risk messaging. 

There is no FREAKING way that it can possibly be 1.1 with .6C already happened, .7C locked in at current emissions and another .7C projected as soon as we reach ice free arctic summers. 

I have yet to see a real honest scientific argument that can honestly state 1.1 has any credibility.  When a scientist buys into that argument without proof, I consider it to be akin to a tobacco industry executive testifying before the U.S. congress that he "doesn't believe that nicotine is addictive."
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #51 on: November 04, 2014, 07:40:20 AM »
TeaPotty, thanks for reminding me that you referred to Anderegg et al in this thread and not the 9 degrees one.

My question to Michael Hauber on type 1 and 2 errors still stands though, since the answers he gave did not address that question specifically. Or put differently: how strong should our mitigation policy be to prevent us from 'erring on the side of least drama'?

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #52 on: November 04, 2014, 08:01:58 AM »
I don't believe the IPCC climate models try to pin–point exact starting dates for el–niños, so that may be an urban myth, Mike. The IPCC tries to predict future climate, which is average weather over very long periods of time.

I wasn't talking about the IPCC, which definitely does not predict starting dates for specific el-ninos, but the climate scientists that are referred to in the thread title and the first post.  To further elaborate on my point, conservatism is an important aspect for scientists to avoid making short term errors in their predictions.  If they make such errors their credibility goes down.  Perhaps one could think it would be nice that scientists are conservative when making short term verifiable predictions, and alarmist when making long term predictions?  But that just wouldn't be ethical would it?
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #53 on: November 04, 2014, 08:08:27 AM »
Michael Hauber,

How about Russian Roulette or fat tail risks?

If you play Russian Roulette there's a good chance, about 83%, that you will survive and not get egg on your face. But would you take the risk?

Absolutely not.  That is what is happening with climate change, and I'm going to hope we get one of the chambers without a bullet, that more action is taken before more bullets are loaded into more chambers, and tell anyone that says all the chambers have a bullet that they are wrong.

And what about the fat tails of climate risk? There may be some negative feedbacks that could limit future warming, but the risks of positive feedbacks that could increase future warming seem assymetrically and significantly greater.

What is worse: erring on the side of least drama or erring on the side of most drama? Even IPCC now says that the risks of mitigating too little are much greater than mitigating too much. In the 9 degrees thread Anderegg et al 2014 on type 1 and 2 errors was referred to. What's your view on this?

What about doing your best to get it right?  My argument is not about the possibility of very nasty consequences, and you have my wholehearted agreement that significant action is required in light of those possible consequences.  My argument is against those who are claiming that scientists or more often the IPCC are systematically making an error on the conservative side.  For those people I repeat my original comment - accusing the scientific process of being biased is the last resort of those who have the weight of scientific evidence and consensus against them.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #54 on: November 04, 2014, 08:18:07 AM »
FYI the Durack et. al analysis has pushed ECS up from 4.5 to between 4.75 and 5.5

The 1.1 lowball estimate is based on paleoclimate analysis that is limited to ice age periods (they threw out the interstadial inputs because their models blew up). 

It is clear that current top of atmosphere energy imbalances make the 1.1 limit so completely untenable that its very presence within the body of the report is the most damnable indication of falsehoods and suppression of real risk messaging. 

There is no FREAKING way that it can possibly be 1.1 with .6C already happened, .7C locked in at current emissions and another .7C projected as soon as we reach ice free arctic summers. 

I have yet to see a real honest scientific argument that can honestly state 1.1 has any credibility.  When a scientist buys into that argument without proof, I consider it to be akin to a tobacco industry executive testifying before the U.S. congress that he "doesn't believe that nicotine is addictive."

I've already explained why Durack et al is more likely to mean a lower climate sensitivity not higher.  No one has explained the flaw in my reasoning, but simply resorted to name calling.

The lowball estimate for ECS according to IPCC is 1.5, not 1.1.  It is not justified by paleoclimate analysis only, but is also supported by several observational studies.  Currently the Co2 equivelant in the atmosphere is something like 480ppm, which is over 70% of a doubling.  Add 0.6 to the 0.7 locked in and we are at 1.3.  70% of a doubling at 1.5 ECS would be at about 1 degree.  That 0.3 degree difference could easily be due to a combination of some of the warming to date being caused by something other than Co2, or the 0.7 estimate of locked in warming being in error.  As for the 0.7 increase due to an ice free Arctic - I call nonsense.

When you make such basic errors, and then proceed to accuse scientists of fraud, I find that  extraordinarily offensive.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #55 on: November 04, 2014, 08:43:26 AM »
As for the claims that the IPCC report does not include methane feedbacks in its temperature projections, or ice sheet dynamic melt in its sea level projections, see section 6.4, FAQ 6.1 and sections 13.4.3.2 and 13.4.4.2.

Its all there.
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wili

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #56 on: November 04, 2014, 10:14:12 AM »
We're heating the planet faster than in earlier times. And we don't have reliable year-by-year or even decade by decade temperature data as you go back further. So I'm  not sure you can use our current global atmospheric temperature as a sure indication of what the exact response we should expect going forward.

And as we've seen in recent studies, and as common sense suggests, oceans play a huge role here, absorbing heat more effectively in some years than others. A few strong El Nino years could see us pushing rapidly into much warmer atmospheric temperatures.

There are also aerosol effects from industry that were presumably not part of earlier warming, and iirc the exact effects of those are still hard to determine with much precision but could be considerable.

On the IPCC thing, it is not an entirely scientific process, and it always represent at least two to three year old science.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #57 on: November 04, 2014, 10:34:18 AM »
Michael,
I think your reading of the science is fine, but maybe you're ignoring Risbey (2008), Brysse et al (2013) en Anderegg et al (2014)? Or do you know of any papers that show at least as severe over-estimation of risks by IPCC as these papers show under-estimation?

As long as under-estimation seems more severe than over-estimation, I think it's important to be aware of a risk or tendency to 'err on the side of least drama'. Of course the ultimate goal for science is to get it right. But from a risk-perspective it's important not to err on the conservative side. Also, the risks of strong mitigation seem small compared to the risks of weak mitigation.

As the IPCC synthesis report says on p.13 of the SPM:
“Mitigation involves some level of co-benefits and risks, but these risks do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change. Inertia in the economic and climate system and the possibility of irreversible impacts from climate change increase the benefits from near-term mitigation efforts (high confidence). Delays in additional mitigation or constraints on technological options increase the longer-term mitigation costs to hold climate change risks at a given level.”

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #58 on: November 04, 2014, 10:55:20 AM »
On the risks of sea level rise IPCC explicitly states that it probably underestimates these risks beyond 2100 (p.30 of the full synthesis report):
"There is low confidence in the available models' ability to project solid ice discharge from the Antarctic ice sheet. Hence, these models likely underestimate the Antarctica ice sheet contribution, resulting in an underestimation of projected sea-level rise beyond 2100."

See also their figures 2.5c and 2.8c attached below.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2014, 11:06:22 AM »
To illustrate how much the IPCC-figures above may underestimate SLR around 2100 and beyond see the attached figures from Rohling et al 2013 and Kopp et al 2014.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 11:30:26 AM by Lennart van der Linde »

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #60 on: November 04, 2014, 11:23:06 AM »
Also see Jevrejeva et al 2014 for the potential IPCC-underestimation of SLR by 2100:
http://www.glaciology.net/Home/PDFs/Announcements/upperlimitforsealevelprojectionsby2100

Edited figures by Grinsted attached below. They estimate a 5% chance of 1.8m by 2100 under BAU, while Rohling et al estimated a 2.5% chance of 1.8m by 2100 in that scenario, and Kopp et al estimated a 0.5% chance of 1.76m by 2100 for BAU.

S.Pansa

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #61 on: November 04, 2014, 11:27:52 AM »
@ Michael Hauber repley 55

are you sure that all the methane and carbon feedbacks are included in the temperature projections?  AR5 WGI, chapter 6 explicitly states on page 468:

There is high confidence  that reductions in permafrost extent
due  to  warming  will  cause  thawing  of  some  currently  frozen
carbon. However, there is low confidence  on the magnitude of
carbon  losses  through  CO 2   and  CH 4  emissions  to  the  atmosphere,
with a range from 50 to 250 PgC between 2000 and 2100 under the
RCP8.5  scenario.  The  CMIP5  Earth  System  Models  did  not  include
frozen carbon feedbacks.
{6.4.3.4, Chapter 12}


To me that sounds as if the CO2 and CH4 feedbacks from future permafrost melting are not included.

point 6.4.3.4 on page 526 seems to confirm this:

... Terrestrial carbon models project a land CO 2  sink with
warming  at  high  northern  latitudes;  however  none  of  the  models
participating in C4MIP or CMIP5 included explicit representation of
permafrost soil carbon decomposition in response to future warming
.
Including permafrost carbon processes into an ESM may change the
sign  of  the  high  northern  latitude  carbon  cycle  response  to  warm-
ing from a sink to a source (Koven et al., 2011) ...


Re sea level rise, read the very interesting article by Chris Mooney in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/) linkted by TeaPotty in hist opening post (thanks for that by the way!)
A few highlights:

- the IPCC SLR projections rely on process-based models and they might miss a few things (see for instance the wonderful post from Stefan Rahmstorf over at RealClimate - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/sea-level-in-the-5th-ipcc-report/)

- the IPCC misses the most recent research (which is of course not their fault, but it is very important in such a fast changing system).  Some Recent papers which indicate a higher sesibility of the WAIS from Rignot 2014, Joughin 2014, Favier 2014, Grant 2014 - well see the Antarctic folder ....

- experts-estimates are higher by quite a bit (https://marine.rutgers.edu/pubs/private/HortonQSR_2013.pdf)

A paper of one of the lead authors of the IPCC chapter on SLR, Anders Levermann, seems to confirm, that the current IPCC-estimates underestimate SLR, especially  the contribution of Antarctica, by quite a bit. See the press release here (https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/antarctica-could-raise-sea-level-faster-than-previously-thought?set_language=en). 

 - The CMIP5 models (and also the Levermann paper, by the way) are - due to a too low resolution - likely to underestimate the influence of the changes to the westerlies in the southern hemisphere :
(See Spence 2014 10.1002/2014GL060613, free pdf here - http://web.science.unsw.edu.au/~matthew/GRL_Ant_Warming_GRL_appeared.pdf)

.... and so on

Well, or simple see Lennart van der Linde's posts above 8)



Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #62 on: November 04, 2014, 11:44:39 AM »
S.Pansa, thanks for adding these useful references.

For one more illustration regarding the potential risks of SLR see the attached fig.3 from Meehl et al 2012. In their article they say:
“[T]he semi-empirical method… indicates greater increases than the IPCC AR4 example, with sea-level rise of nearly 115 cm and 145 cm by 2100 in RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively, with an eventual increase approaching 440 cm and 960 cm for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively, by 2300. These values inform the upper range of the shading in Fig. 3 that encompasses the larger estimates. But the limit of the higher end of the shading is depicted as being indistinct to reflect that these are only estimates. There is no real way of knowing if these higher total sea-level rise values are credible, or if higher or lower values are more likely.”

Just for comparison check again the attached fig.3b from Rohling et al 2013, which is based not on the semi-empirical method of Meehl et al, but on a geological analysis. They seem to match pretty well.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #63 on: November 04, 2014, 12:14:20 PM »
To get an impression how the wider SLR-expert community thinks about the IPCC-estimates see the attached fig.2 from Horton et al 2013-2014. About 50% of them apparently think there's a 5% chance of 4m or more SLR by 2300 under BAU, and about 25% think there's a 5% chance of 5m or more in that case, while almost 2,5% (or 10%?) estimate a 5% chance of 7m or more (see bottom right panel).

The caption to this figure reads:
"Fig. 2. Box plots of survey results from all experts who provided at least partial responses to questions. The number of respondents for each of the four questions is shown in the top
left corner; it is lower than the total of 90 participants since not all answered each question. Participants were asked to estimate likely (17th-83rd percentiles) and very likely (5th-
95th percentiles) sea-level rise under two temperature scenarios and at two time points (AD 2100 and AD 2300), resulting in four sets of responses. Shaded boxes represent the
range between the first and third quantiles of responses. Dashed horizontal line within the box is the median response. Whiskers (solid lines) represent two standard deviations of
the responses. Filled circles show individual responses that are beyond two standard deviations of the median."

Compare this to the also (again) attached fig.2.8c from the full IPCC synthesis report, the caption of which contains this warning:
"The bars in (c) show the maximum possible spread that can be obtained with the few available model results (and should not be interpreted as uncertainty ranges). These models likely underestimate the Antarctica ice sheet contribution, resulting in an underestimation of projected sea-level rise beyond 2100."

It seems IPCC is trying to catch up here with the divergent opinions within the wider expert community. But maybe the community's opinions have also evolved again, since the new alarming research that the Washington Post article above refers to.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 11:11:03 PM by Lennart van der Linde »

Neven

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #64 on: November 04, 2014, 12:19:22 PM »
Another example of scientific conservatism and its consequences:

Consider the extreme Kelvin wave at the start of the year and the speculation of a super el nino.  Didn't happen.  At the time I was surprised at the conservatism of the experts and climate models and suspected they were underestimating the likelihood of an extreme el nino.  In discussions on another forum I talked about the possibility of an extreme event, and included the caveat that we couldn't be certain as we had a sample size of 1 (97/98 event) to compare to.  I felt the caveat was a bit silly as it seemed obvious to me that we would see a major event, but I couldn't see any clear way to get rid of the caveat.  And then surprise surprise there was a significant temporary reversal of the ENSO warming trend and those who had been conservative found they had avoided getting egg on their face.


In response, I'd like to re-post this video because Rahmstorf explains it so well:

Are Scientists Too Conservative About Climate? (Peter Sinclair)
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/11/02/are-scientists-too-conservative-about-climate/

Interview with Stefan Rahmstorf: Is the IPCC too Conservative?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ6HAo_FtD8#ws

"The most important thing is that you know its conservative, so you understand the IPCC reports in the correct way"
-Stefan Rahmstorf


I'll write out the bit pertaining to Michael's comment:

"Let's say the true amount of sea level rise that we expect is like, let's just say for the sake of an example, is 1 metre. And then, if you had estimated it to be only 70 cm, people will later say if it turned out to be 1 metre after all: You were conservative. And that's kind of acceptable, that's sort of okay. But if you had before that estimated 1.30 metre, that is not okay, that is alarmist, and it's certainly viewed upon much more critically by the community than being conservative. For some reason.

Of course, if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #65 on: November 04, 2014, 12:42:12 PM »
In addition to Rahmstorf's comments, also see this earlier statement by his PIK-colleague Anders Levermann:
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/yale_e360_forum_on_ipcc_report_2013/2698/

“In the case of sea level, society might want to know what is science’s best guess for the future rise, but for any practical purposes of coastal protection it is the worst case that is relevant. What is the upper limit of sea-level rise? An upper limit is different from a best guess and has at least two peculiar properties that are trivial but important. First, for all practical purposes, the upper limit cannot be exceeded. That means that if you build costal protection with respect to this upper limit, then you are safe, independent of scientific uncertainty or socio-economic scenarios. Second, an estimate of an upper limit is getting lower the more information is available — i.e., the more our scientific insight deepens. You start with the highest number available and then seek scientific evidence that allows dismissing this value and pushing the number down until you find no further reason to decrease it. Then you have your upper limit and you are safe.

In the latest assessment report of the IPCC we did not provide such an upper limit, but we allow the creative reader to construct it. The likely range of sea level rise in 2100 for the highest climate change scenario is 52 to 98 centimeters (20 to 38 inches.). However, the report notes that should sectors of the marine-based ice sheets of Antarctic collapse, sea level could rise by an additional several tenths of a meter during the 21st century. Thus, looking at the upper value of the likely range, you end up with an estimate for the upper limit between 1.2 meters and, say, 1.5 meters. That is the upper limit of global mean sea-level that coastal protection might need for the coming century.”

Meanwhile it seems the upper limit is about 1.8m in 2100, as illustrated above, or even some more, depending on how risk averse you are.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #66 on: November 04, 2014, 01:02:22 PM »
Also note that even with very strong mitigation (RCP2.6) there's still a 5% chance of 2.4m of SLR by 2200, according to table 1 in Kopp et al 2014 (attached). Meehl et al 2012 also suggest a small chance of 2.4m by 2200 with such strong mitigation, while Horton et al 2013 found that about 25% of the relevant experts estimate a 5% chance of 2m or more in this scenario (RCP2.6).

IPCC suggests less than 1m in this case, but with the warning that this is likely an underestimate.

mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2014, 02:01:40 PM »
Neven, I would think that the natural conservatism of a scientific community comes about because of consequence. Using your figures for convenience - if you make a prediction of 1m, nothing is done about it and the sea level rise by 0.7m then that is a measurable response to inaction and lies within a reasonable range. If however you make a more alarmist prediction of 1.3m and nothing is done and the rise is as before - 0.7m - result is egg on face. So in some respects I agree with Michael (I know, i know what a surprise) scientists should be neither conservative nor extreme. After all maximum and minimum deviations are nearly always set in predictive graphs and surely it is that that we should expect of the scientists - the extremes quantified and applied. It is for politicians and policy makers to make what they will of the scientific evidence and not for the scientists themselves to emphasise the dangers or risks - that surely would be unscientific of them.

I ask you should the scientists themselves be presenting results in an either positive or negative manner - personally I think not - I would expect a good scientist to present an unbiased entirely neutral viewpoint with the extremes set as accurately as they can by a range of parameters. Scientists when presenting anything should not be encumbered by opinion or bias as that would bring their conclusions in to doubt.

Somewhere here I think we get our thinking as to what a scientist is very muddled. A scientist who produces a predictive set of results and then gives a one sided bias by expressing an opinion has just become unscientific. That should be left to others to manipulate the results for effect - which after all is done by all sides of the climate argument.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #68 on: November 04, 2014, 02:13:37 PM »
Mark,
See above what Anders Levermann said about SLR in the fifth IPCC-report:
“In the case of sea level, society might want to know what is science’s best guess for the future rise, but for any practical purposes of coastal protection it is the worst case that is relevant. What is the upper limit of sea-level rise? An upper limit is different from a best guess and has at least two peculiar properties that are trivial but important. First, for all practical purposes, the upper limit cannot be exceeded. That means that if you build costal protection with respect to this upper limit, then you are safe, independent of scientific uncertainty or socio-economic scenarios. Second, an estimate of an upper limit is getting lower the more information is available — i.e., the more our scientific insight deepens. You start with the highest number available and then seek scientific evidence that allows dismissing this value and pushing the number down until you find no further reason to decrease it. Then you have your upper limit and you are safe.

In the latest assessment report of the IPCC we did not provide such an upper limit, but we allow the creative reader to construct it. The likely range of sea level rise in 2100 for the highest climate change scenario is 52 to 98 centimeters (20 to 38 inches.). However, the report notes that should sectors of the marine-based ice sheets of Antarctic collapse, sea level could rise by an additional several tenths of a meter during the 21st century. Thus, looking at the upper value of the likely range, you end up with an estimate for the upper limit between 1.2 meters and, say, 1.5 meters. That is the upper limit of global mean sea-level that coastal protection might need for the coming century.”

And see the other examples above of recent science implying the IPCC is probably too conservative in its estimates, as the IPCC itself even recognizes. Should this not be made much clearer by the IPCC itself? They say it in the full synthesis report, but not in the SPM. And you have to read carefully to find out.

I'm from the Netherlands, so I think we have an interest in knowing about these kinds of risks. But of course Shell is also from the Netherlands, and they see another kind of risk, of stranded assets. Which kind of risk is more important?

S.Pansa

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #69 on: November 04, 2014, 02:16:22 PM »
Lennart & Neven

Thanks a lot for these references & videos, very interesting and much to chew about ...

PS. As I just stumbled across this new paper "Famiglietti, Global Groundwater Crisis, Nat Cl. Ch." 2014 (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n11/full/nclimate2425.html)

An article by Joe Romm about this paper (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/31/3586561/global-groundwater-crisis/)

Under these circumstances, this really is the way to go ... let's just add a little bit of fresh water to the pool and drain our agricultural backyards  :(

Homo sapiens sapiens, indeed!


mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #70 on: November 04, 2014, 04:12:57 PM »
Lennart, I did make my comments having read that so I stand by what I said in my post. Does the IPCC consider itself as purely scientific - in which case it pitches about right, with the odd political wobble and bias. Having taken the scientific viewpoints of the 'panel' the conclusion of a politically funded and directed body is not going to be scientific, only science based and that to my mind is completely acceptible so long as a claim of being scientific is not made concurrently. The manipulation of data to promote a cause should not be the remit of any scientist.

Of course this argument is far more pertinent for a Dutch citizen and I would concur that the absence of extremes would be very remiss in any dialogue. Standard deviations smooth out any extremes and far too often the data that has been 'smoothed out' has been removed or simply excluded - quite often this makes the data set more 'saleable', but as a tool to create 'safety', unusable. I wonder if the height of the tsunami defences in Japan were built with the extremes built in to their models or just the smoothed deviations!! There lies catastrophe dont you think

Neven

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2014, 04:20:31 PM »
It is for politicians and policy makers to make what they will of the scientific evidence and not for the scientists themselves to emphasise the dangers or risks - that surely would be unscientific of them.

Why can't a scientist stress the risks, if those risks are there? Isn't an Arctic scientist allowed to say that loss of sea ice leads to increased coastal erosion and accelerated warming in the Arctic, which possibly leads to a change in NH weather patterns, melting permafrost/clathrates and sea level rise? Is he only allowed to say: "There is Arctic sea ice loss"?

I ask you should the scientists themselves be presenting results in an either positive or negative manner - personally I think not - I would expect a good scientist to present an unbiased entirely neutral viewpoint with the extremes set as accurately as they can by a range of parameters. Scientists when presenting anything should not be encumbered by opinion or bias as that would bring their conclusions in to doubt.

The answer to this is so very simple: stressing risks is neutral if the risks are there.

So in some respects I agree with Michael (I know, i know what a surprise) scientists should be neither conservative nor extreme. After all maximum and minimum deviations are nearly always set in predictive graphs and surely it is that that we should expect of the scientists - the extremes quantified and applied.

Excellent wording, mark. If you're wrong in one direction you're just conservative. If you're wrong in the other direction: extreme, alarmist, egg on the face. You're proving Rahmstorf's point that scientists are rewarded for being conservative.

But you say they shouldn't be conservative, and I agree. As Rahmstorf says: "if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."

So scientists have an extra reason to not be conservative. But most of them are. The IPCC surely is.
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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #72 on: November 04, 2014, 05:54:20 PM »
But you say they shouldn't be conservative, and I agree. As Rahmstorf says: "if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."

Or just think of it in terms of why we have a Climate Panel, and what ordinary folks expect them to do: I certainly for a couple of decades expected them to find out as much as possible about the Arctic and climate, and then warn us of ANY danger. They're not, and that pisses me off no end. I certainly didn't expect the IPCC to be bought off by the corporations.
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TeaPotty

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #73 on: November 04, 2014, 07:10:33 PM »
But you say they shouldn't be conservative, and I agree. As Rahmstorf says: "if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."

Or just think of it in terms of why we have a Climate Panel, and what ordinary folks expect them to do: I certainly for a couple of decades expected them to find out as much as possible about the Arctic and climate, and then warn us of ANY danger. They're not, and that pisses me off no end. I certainly didn't expect the IPCC to be bought off by the corporations.

Exactly. I don't think u can disconnect the IPCC's conservatism from its financial benefit to the rich. As much of this very same problem effects the academic world, its fairly obvious that this is a deeply cultural phenomena that skews the judgment of otherwise rational people, since the system benefits those who support it most.


Repeat till it makes sense:

IPCC reports are the best that money can buy.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #74 on: November 05, 2014, 12:26:17 AM »
Mark,
I think scientists have a role to play when political and financial interests are trying to sow doubt about their science or quoting it selectively, or even attempt to silence them. Fortunately more and more of them are taking up this role courageously.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #75 on: November 05, 2014, 10:26:20 AM »
Of course this argument is far more pertinent for a Dutch citizen and I would concur that the absence of extremes would be very remiss in any dialogue. Standard deviations smooth out any extremes and far too often the data that has been 'smoothed out' has been removed or simply excluded - quite often this makes the data set more 'saleable', but as a tool to create 'safety', unusable. I wonder if the height of the tsunami defences in Japan were built with the extremes built in to their models or just the smoothed deviations!! There lies catastrophe dont you think

The dikes in the Netherlands must be upgraded to withstand the scientific extreme scenario SLR or storm surge a 100+ years from planning them, and this is not 'alarmism' in a Dutch context, just sensible use of public money: If you're going to spend x billion euros on dike upgrades, adding the last meters that take care of the extreme scenarios costs very little compared to the overall sum, and almost nothing compared to having the entire country submerged by the North Sea.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #76 on: November 05, 2014, 10:27:29 AM »

"Let's say the true amount of sea level rise that we expect is like, let's just say for the sake of an example, is 1 metre. And then, if you had estimated it to be only 70 cm, people will later say if it turned out to be 1 metre after all: You were conservative. And that's kind of acceptable, that's sort of okay. But if you had before that estimated 1.30 metre, that is not okay, that is alarmist, and it's certainly viewed upon much more critically by the community than being conservative. For some reason.


But if you predicted 0.5 metre then you are going to be in trouble again for not suitably warning everybody.  Probably even if you had said it could be as high as a metre or higher.  Sometimes no matter what you do you can't win.  I have seen complaints somewhere that ENSO forecasters were too conservative in predicting the 97/98 el nino.

Of course, if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."

The IPCC talk plenty about risks of irreversible and abrupt changes to our climate.  If you do a lot of reading of it you certainly get some picture of the low probability high consequence risks.  But it is all a bit vague, with nothing in the IPCC report that would scare me specifically.  As far as direct possible consequences it is stuff like 2-3% of GDP, loss of ecosystems such as barrier reef etc, and a reduction in food supply.  And the risk of 2 degrees turning into 4 degrees if a tipping point is reached.  Is that going to make us worse off in the future?  Or when we weigh those things against the benefits of improved technology can we expect to be much better of in the future?  If what is explicitly spelled out in the IPCC is all the consequences, then aside from the fact that (presumably) no money and technology can replace the barrier reef and whatever ethical/moral implications you want to attach to that, then I'd say no problem.

And of course although IPCC talk plenty about long tail risks of abrupt changes etc I'm not sure how that translates into media reports which i generally pay as little attention to as possible, and what is the understanding that the average man on the street get of the whole issue?


edit:  Viewing Rahmstorf I think the consevatism he talks about is not so much an issue when trying to predict the most likely case, but is a potential issue when talking about exactly what may happen in a worse case scenario.  For instance Hansen's piece of SLR where he projected that based on a continued exponential growth of polar Ice cap melting we could see 6 m of sea level rise by 2100.  Highly speculative stuff, and I think should in no way be construed as something that we can reasonably expect to happen.  But I think the exercise is well worth doing as a risk analysis exercise - its almost like asking the question:  if we are wrong, how badly could we be wrong and how bad could it get.  A very important question to ask, and a very difficult question to ask with what is the normal scientific conservatism.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 11:14:34 AM by Michael Hauber »
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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #77 on: November 05, 2014, 11:00:25 AM »
@ Michael Hauber repley 55

are you sure that all the methane and carbon feedbacks are included in the temperature projections?  AR5 WGI, chapter 6 explicitly states on page 468:

There is high confidence  that reductions in permafrost extent
due  to  warming  will  cause  thawing  of  some  currently  frozen
carbon. However, there is low confidence  on the magnitude of
carbon  losses  through  CO 2   and  CH 4  emissions  to  the  atmosphere,
with a range from 50 to 250 PgC between 2000 and 2100 under the
RCP8.5  scenario.  The  CMIP5  Earth  System  Models  did  not  include
frozen carbon feedbacks.
{6.4.3.4, Chapter 12}

To me that sounds as if the CO2 and CH4 feedbacks from future permafrost melting are not included.

point 6.4.3.4 on page 526 seems to confirm this:

... Terrestrial carbon models project a land CO 2  sink with
warming  at  high  northern  latitudes;  however  none  of  the  models
participating in C4MIP or CMIP5 included explicit representation of
permafrost soil carbon decomposition in response to future warming
.
Including permafrost carbon processes into an ESM may change the
sign  of  the  high  northern  latitude  carbon  cycle  response  to  warm-
ing from a sink to a source (Koven et al., 2011) ...

From further down the same page:

The magnitude of the source of CO2 to the
atmosphere from decomposition of permafrost carbon in response to
warming varies widely according to different techniques and scenarios.
Process models provide different estimates of the cumulative loss of
permafrost carbon: 7 to 17 PgC (Zhuang et al., 2006) (not considered
in the range given above because it corresponds only to contemporary
tundra soil carbon), 55 to 69 Pg (Koven et al., 2011), 126 to 254 PgC
(Schaefer et al., 2011) and 68 to 508 PgC (MacDougall et al., 2012)

Earlier in the chapter the report talks about the difference between emission driven scenarios - where emissions only are specified and further carbon sources/sinks are modelled, and concentration driven scenarios where the full concentration profile over time is specified and no carbon sources/sinks are modeled.  I guess to be sure I'd have to chase up the IPCC references to the individual models, and having read papers on models before they will probably have yet further links in the reference chain to get to the exact details of what is being included, and for what reason, which is too much for what I have time for.  But I am moderately confident from this that the perma-frost methane release is being included in the models, but it is not being modelled in the models.  So any tipping point issues associated with perma-frost methane cannot be captured by such an approach, but if the amount of methane included in the emission scenario is reasonable then the most likely case should be as likely to be too high as being too low.

As for the sea level, on the surface it looks to me like a stronger case that IPCC underestimate sea level rise, but I just don't have enough interest or time to further chase up the details on this issue - I'm far more concerned about the methane issue than SLR.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2014, 11:23:22 AM »
Michael Hauber,

Now you seem to ignore crucial parts of the IPCC-report.

For example:
- Those 2-3% of GDP is not a worst-case, which is more like 15-20%; and all these numbers could very well be underestimates, as IPCC itself says, and Nicholas Stern stresses even more, and they neglect questions of human rights and everything that cannot be well expressed in GDP-terms. Also economic models cannot really say anything meaningful on timescales of 50-100 yrs and more, as is starting to be recognized by some economists. IPCC assumes a baseline per capita economic growth of 300-900% until 2100, but how realistic or certain is that assumption, considering for example the economic collapse scenario's of the Club of Rome?
- The potential reductions in food supply could be very disruptive socially, both locally and globally. The war in Syria has already been linked to drought and disturbed food supply, just as the Arabian Spring. This is one of the ways in which global warming is a stress and threat multiplier and increasing the risks of violent conflicts. In a world full of nuclear and other weapons more conflict is not what we want.
- More warming could imply reaching limits to adaptation. For example The Netherlands as a rich country could probably adapt to 4m of SLR in two centuries, but maybe not to 6-10m in 2-3 centuries. Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Egypt, small island states are much more vulnerable in the short term. We don't have to care about anything, but how moral, fair or just would that be? And how threatening to international stability/security?
- On tipping points and slow positive feedbacks: Earth System Sensitivity could be twice as large as Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, and those slow feedbacks may not be so slow under current extremely rapid forcing, probably 10-100 times faster than in the known geological past. So yes, 2 degrees could very well turn into 4 degrees, and then maybe even some more, since natural negative feedbacks are way to slow to counter the current anthropogenic forcing. Do we want to leave such a legacy to (hopefully) countless future generations? Do we have right to? We have the power, but does might make right? Do we as individuals and human societies care? Do we want to care, or are we beyond caring?
- Potential disruption of ecosystems is being discussed in another thread.

Just based on these examples I would say the risks of even 2 degrees warming are immense and unacceptable, and more than enough justification for the strongest possible mitigation policies, since the risks of mitigation seem to be much smaller, as IPCC explicitly states.

It seems to me you know enough about the science to have good reasons to be worried, but apparently you don't want to let yourself be worked up too much, so you look hard for reasons not be worried too much. For humanity as a whole that seems a very risky coping strategy to me.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2014, 11:30:13 AM »
S.Pansa,
More methane also means more SLR, or not? And IPCC itself explicitly says it probably underestimates SLR beyond 2100.

Your excellent points on carbon feedbacks that are not included in IPCC-models have not been answered by Micheal Hauber, I think.

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #80 on: November 05, 2014, 11:40:17 AM »
Michael Hauber,

Now you seem to ignore crucial parts of the IPCC-report.

For example:
- Those 2-3% of GDP is not a worst-case, which is more like 15-20%; and all these numbers could very well be underestimates, as IPCC itself says, and Nicholas Stern stresses even more, and they neglect questions of human rights and everything that cannot be well expressed in GDP-terms. Also economic models cannot really say anything meaningful on timescales of 50-100 yrs and more, as is starting to be recognized by some economists. IPCC assumes a baseline per capita economic growth of 300-900% until 2100, but how realistic or certain is that assumption, considering for example the economic collapse scenario's of the Club of Rome?
- The potential reductions in food supply could be very disruptive socially, both locally and globally. The war in Syria has already been linked to drought and disturbed food supply, just as the Arabian Spring. This is one of the ways in which global warming is a stress and threat multiplier and increasing the risks of violent conflicts. In a world full of nuclear and other weapons more conflict is not what we want.
- More warming could imply reaching limits to adaptation. For example The Netherlands as a rich country could probably adapt to 4m of SLR in two centuries, but maybe not to 6-10m in 2-3 centuries. Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Egypt, small island states are much more vulnerable in the short term. We don't have to care about anything, but how moral, fair or just would that be? And how threatening to international stability/security?
- On tipping points and slow positive feedbacks: Earth System Sensitivity could be twice as large as Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, and those slow feedbacks may not be so slow under current extremely rapid forcing, probably 10-100 times faster than in the known geological past. So yes, 2 degrees could very well turn into 4 degrees, and then maybe even some more, since natural negative feedbacks are way to slow to counter the current anthropogenic forcing. Do we want to leave such a legacy to (hopefully) countless future generations? Do we have right to? We have the power, but does might make right? Do we as individuals and human societies care? Do we want to care, or are we beyond caring?
- Potential disruption of ecosystems is being discussed in another thread.

Just based on these examples I would say the risks of even 2 degrees warming are immense and unacceptable, and more than enough justification for the strongest possible mitigation policies, since the risks of mitigation seem to be much smaller, as IPCC explicitly states.

It seems to me you know enough about the science to have good reasons to be worried, but apparently you don't want to let yourself be worked up too much, so you look hard for reasons not be worried too much. For humanity as a whole that seems a very risky coping strategy to me.

So I've swapped sides to arguing that the IPCC is too conservative and misreading what they are actually saying.  How ironic....
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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #81 on: November 05, 2014, 11:49:40 AM »
Michael Hauber,
Swapped sides and ironic? I don't know. But this is what you wrote [my emphasis]:
The IPCC talk plenty about risks of irreversible and abrupt changes to our climate.  If you do a lot of reading of it you certainly get some picture of the low probability high consequence risks.  But it is all a bit vague, with nothing in the IPCC report that would scare me specifically.  As far as direct possible consequences it is stuff like 2-3% of GDP, loss of ecosystems such as barrier reef etc, and a reduction in food supply.  And the risk of 2 degrees turning into 4 degrees if a tipping point is reached.  Is that going to make us worse off in the future?  Or when we weigh those things against the benefits of improved technology can we expect to be much better of in the future?  If what is explicitly spelled out in the IPCC is all the consequences, then aside from the fact that (presumably) no money and technology can replace the barrier reef and whatever ethical/moral implications you want to attach to that, then I'd say no problem.

Maybe I don't understand you, but as I said above, there's plenty in the IPCC-report that scares me and seems like a big problem to me.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #82 on: November 05, 2014, 11:52:59 AM »
And Michael Hauber,
What do you say to the points by S. Pansa on carbon cycles feedbacks not being included in IPCC-models? You said they were, but they're not. What is your reply?

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #83 on: November 05, 2014, 12:20:55 PM »
Prominent climate psychologist Renee Lertzman gives advice to Don Quichottes and Sancho Panza's:
http://www.theleftcoastindependent.com/story/2014/06/30/niche/coping-with-climate-change/105.html

Some quotes from this piece:

"Humans are by and large contradictory, paradoxical, conflicted creatures. So much of what we do in our lives is how we negotiate conflicts and how we negotiate dilemmas that we are presented with in regards to how we live our lives: where we put our energies, where we invest our care and concerns, how we prioritize what really matters to us."

When it comes to any issue, but particularly something as serious as climate change, "there are levels of care and concern, at varying degrees, for all of us. So the question of why people aren't doing more needs to be reframed into: What are these issues really calling on us to do-and who to be?"

In the psychoanalytical orientation that Lertzman draws on, coping with anxiety is the central concern. The psychological term is "defense mechanism": protecting one's self from harm through a variety of mental tools. Commonly, an individual may pull back from a stressful situation to reduce the anxiety it causes, and in the process feel numb, powerless and ineffective.

Those who appreciate the acute jeopardy of climate change also may feel intense senses of loss: loss of home, loss of food security, loss of species, loss of a way of life or quality of life.

Add in guilt over man-made contributions to climate change, and there's a potent cocktail of psychological influences for a subject that also carries cognitive, intellectual heft.

"We're talking about very core, existential, ontological anxieties," Lertzman said. "Environmental issues need to be thought about in that way. This is about mobilizing profound anxieties for us; how humans manage anxieties, as we know, tends towards not the most productive."

Along with withdrawing from a situation, people may resort to demonizing, or blaming a scapegoat for the problem, projecting the problem onto someone else, or denying that the problem exists. (Sound familiar?)

"We're talking about formidable psychological challenges," Lertzman said. "If we take these things on board and move from that direction, the question becomes a different question-it becomes: How can we more effectively support one another and ourselves to be able to be more in alignment?

"What are the optimal conditions that facilitate our capacity to access our innate desire to be doing the right thing and feel that one can have more efficacy, be more active?"

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #84 on: November 05, 2014, 12:25:28 PM »
Ah, excuse me, I see now Michael Hauber did reply to S. Pansa, but I did not read carefully enough.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 12:40:46 PM by Lennart van der Linde »

mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #85 on: November 05, 2014, 12:31:33 PM »
To get back a little bit more on topic and in response to Neven a while back. I think basically we agree (back to semantics again). If I implied that scientists shouldnt be extreme you misread me perhaps. In a prediction the upper and lower deviation limits are the extremes, if any data has been excluded in the calculation of that extreme there should be a note that explains that or the data and information should be available in order for the presentation  to  be truly accurate or just 'true' as that extreme piece of information was part of the data. Should a piece of information be excluded and then subsequently that extreme occurs - mega egg face!!! Si it makes sense to include everything. The trouble with climate science is how much is being left out - it really doesnt help, how much credibility was lost when the actual temperature fell below the lower predicted deviation at the IPCC a few years back. The temperature still rose, CO2 continued upwards, the arguments were still valid but huge credibility was lost.

My point is that to emphasise one extreme and segmentalise it is to bias the science, to leave it out completely - unscientific. I would say however that there is no reason why in Q & A sessions a scientist should not be able to talk about it at length......it just shouldnt be an 'emphasised' point. The emphasis in any scientific document is going to be the mean value surely (therefore conservative I suppose) unless the remit in the first place is to find extremes, but then the remit is hardly ever set by scientists themselves and the conclusions are often worded around who the information was originally provided for.

If the remit is to find the upper extreme of climate warming , even then there will be a mean value to extreme - thats where I am going with this. There is no reason at all why a scientist cannot express his opinion - it will be a well informed one. However once it becomes an opinion its sort of 'off record' scientifically.

I am being purely objective and a little pedantic as there is always a human element and all scientists will be a % unscientific in their approach somewhere.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #86 on: November 05, 2014, 12:37:45 PM »
About that reply on carbon feedbacks in or out of the models, Michael Hauber said:
I am moderately confident from this that the perma-frost methane release is being included in the models, but it is not being modelled in the models. So any tipping point issues associated with perma-frost methane cannot be captured by such an approach, but if the amount of methane included in the emission scenario is reasonable then the most likely case should be as likely to be too high as being too low.


Yes, sort of, I guess. So what does this mean?

The RCPs are concentration pathways, so if carbon feedbacks kick in earlier, then the remaining carbon budgets are smaller. And those may still be underestimated. This is why some argue there's not really any carbon budget left, such as David Spratt from Climate Code Red:
http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/05/the-real-budgetary-emergency-burnable.html

And also here:
http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/07/no-carbon-budget-left-to-burn.html

And here:
http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/08/dangerous-climate-change-myths-and_24.html

Sounds like an emergency to me.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #87 on: November 05, 2014, 12:56:24 PM »
"We're talking about very core, existential, ontological anxieties," Lertzman said. "Environmental issues need to be thought about in that way. This is about mobilizing profound anxieties for us; how humans manage anxieties, as we know, tends towards not the most productive."

What type of polluticians are winning out in Holland, Lennart? Would be interesting to know if a nation so desperately susceptible to sea level rise has more denialists in parliament, or fewer, than the rest of Northern Europe.
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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #88 on: November 05, 2014, 01:04:10 PM »
Hi Micheal & Lennart,

as I am busy just a short answer and some quotes from scientists, which do confirm that carbon cycle feedbacks from thawing permafrost and from increased decomposition of wetlands - be it CO2 or CH4 - are not included in the projections oft the IPCC, AR5.

Andrew MacDougall, author of this paper (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1573.html):

The permafrost feedback is not included in any of the CMIP3 or CMIP5 climate models. However, CO2 from permafrost does not contribute to climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is defined as “to the equilibrium change in global mean surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric (equivalent) CO2 concentration (IPCC glossary of terms)”. This definition specifically leaves out carbon cycle feedbacks. The climate sensitivity is determined by the direct radiative effect of CO2 and feedbacks from non-CO2 systems (ex. albedo, clouds, water vapour).

quoted from here http://www.skepticalscience.com/Macdougall.html, comment 5.

Furthermore GeoffBeacon has collected a list of missing feedbacks here on this forum (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,610.0.html). He has written to a lot of scientists, here is one of the responses:

It has been confirmed by several climate scientists that I have written/spoken to. The first  comment I received was this one (Reply 21 from the link above).

    there is a distinction between processes that have been diagnosed offline from GCM projections (such as  forest fires and permafrost melt), and those that are already fully inside GCMs, providing feedbacks to climate.

    The AR5 GCMs typically didn't include fires or interactive methane emissions from permafrost and wetlands, but many models will include such feedbacks next time around.


more stuff can be found on his blog: http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/the-committee-on-climate-change-letters-and-response/

And attached are the CH4 emissions and concentrations from the 4 RCPS (source van Vuuren, The representative concentration pathways: an overview, Climate Change, 2011 - open access)
Edit: forgot to add that the high CH4 emissions in the RCP8.5 come from "increases in life-stock population, rice production, and enteric fermentation processes" [quoted from Riahi, RCP 8.5, Climate Change 2011, p. 48]

So from this, it seems pretty clear - at least to me -  that CO2 and CH4 emissions from Permafrost and Wetlands are not included in the temperature and SLR projections of the current IPCC report.
And that is not cool, as the IPCC itself says  until the year 2100 "... up to 250 PgC could be released as CO2 , and up to 5 Pg as CH 4 ." from the thawing permafrost alone (Chapter 6 AR5, WGI, p 531)

PS: Lennart, thanks, just saw your link to the advices of psychologist Renee Lertzman. If I might ad some: a good bottle of wine, a lot of humor and - if I go by my master Don Quijote - a good portion of delusion might also help  :D Of course this won't solve any of our problems, but I am sure the GOP will take over now :o
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 01:11:54 PM by S.Pansa »

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #89 on: November 05, 2014, 01:14:47 PM »
What type of polluticians are winning out in Holland, Lennart? Would be interesting to know if a nation so desperately susceptible to sea level rise has more denialists in parliament, or fewer, than the rest of Northern Europe.

viddaloo,
We have a government of neoliberals/conservatives and former social-democrats, and in parliament a significant right-wing islamophic populist faction (led by Geert Wilders). Shell has infiltrated all main parties, so there's little sense of urgency. The director of our environmental assessment agency recognizes the existential threat, but does not speak about it too much out of fear of being ostracized/fired, I suspect. I think SLR is seen/framed as a business opportunity for our water management engineers by a significant part of polluticians and companies.

One activist organization Urgenda, together with 900 citizens (myself included), has now sued the government for endangering our country by not mitigating global warming enough. Urgenda and the State will be heard by our Supreme Court coming April. We demand 40% CO2-reduction by 2020, instead of the current 20%. And we try to mobilize the public, which is hard with (corporate/state) media looking the other way. But we try, because we have no choice.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #90 on: November 05, 2014, 01:57:03 PM »
So from this, it seems pretty clear - at least to me -  that CO2 and CH4 emissions from Permafrost and Wetlands are not included in the temperature and SLR projections of the current IPCC report.

eggs -> face <- ipcc

Lennart: Replace Shell with Statoil and risk of drowning with permafrost melt induced rockslides and tsunamis, and you have Norway and Norwegian corporate control over government. My ex friend (and ex activist) even works for Royal Dutch Shell in Stavanger telling everyone who feels like listening about the wonderful services Shell contributes to society.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #91 on: November 05, 2014, 02:44:39 PM »
viddaloo,
I know, a good old friend of mine since high school, works for BP in London. On the bright side there's someone like Ian Dunlop, who worked for Shell for 27 years and was chairman of the Australian Coal Association, but is now member of the Club of Rome. See for his most recent overview of our situation (co-authored by David Spratt of Climate Code Red):
http://media.wix.com/ugd/7b95d7_4325d6a769dc46aa9655820fa742af33.pdf

Also the director of Urgenda (that is suing the Dutch government) started her career at Shell, trying to change it from the inside. When that didn't work she joined Greenpeace, but then started her own organization. At Greenpeace she was boss of the current leader of the now governing former social-democrats, who unfortunately has not outsmarted his neoliberal coalition partner. Our neoliberal prime minister started his career at Unilever, which is now a relatively progressive company. He does not seem to share Unilever's vision and sense of urgency, however.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #92 on: November 05, 2014, 03:01:40 PM »
Mark,
You say:
to emphasise one extreme and segmentalise it is to bias the science

Yes, except when one extreme is much more dangerous than the other extreme. Scientists should make fat tailed uncertainties/risks much clearer, so that it is harder for political-financial interests and the media/broader public to remain unaware or ignore them. They shouldn't write these things in the small print of footnotes, but in bold print and headlines.

We are talking about threats to complete societies, and to vested interests, not about some minor risks. As long as societies don't understand the risks, they should try to communicate clearer. Once societies understand the risks, it's up to them to make political decisions. They can't force societies to understand, but at least they can make it harder not to understand.

Neven

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #93 on: November 05, 2014, 03:09:10 PM »
how much credibility was lost when the actual temperature fell below the lower predicted deviation at the IPCC a few years back. The temperature still rose, CO2 continued upwards, the arguments were still valid but huge credibility was lost.

Okay, I'll bite.

This sounds as a fake skeptic strawman argument that you perhaps fell victim to, as the IPCC doesn't do temperature predictions for individual years, but perhaps you could more clearly state what example you have in mind.
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #94 on: November 05, 2014, 03:17:34 PM »
S. Pansa said:
a good bottle of wine, a lot of humor and - if I go by my master Don Quijote - a good portion of delusion might also help  :D Of course this won't solve any of our problems, but I am sure the GOP will take over now :o

Indeed, too much stress will break us, and the GOP will try to break Obama. But we keep fighting in our best spirits and will break the GOP eventually.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2014, 03:21:18 PM »
how much credibility was lost when the actual temperature fell below the lower predicted deviation at the IPCC a few years back. The temperature still rose, CO2 continued upwards, the arguments were still valid but huge credibility was lost.

The pseudo-skeptic deniers will try anything to delay action as long as possible. No matter what we do, that can't be helped. Only communicating as clear as possible can make denial/doubt as small as possible.

mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #96 on: November 05, 2014, 04:16:05 PM »
I'm not angling Neven - on checking I'm wrong with the source  - the one i refer to is the '73 CMIP5 RCP8.5' models and observations. I'm only demonstrating the point and the dangers - no need to bite - the picture is out there and valid as far as I know - its the effect on the psyche of such information - its having an effect on you now!! It had an effect on me then.......it discredits the models because they have not produced a deviation that matches the record, however the choice of model type is never explained, if you dont follow up with looking up what RCP8.5 means you are left with the impression that this represents all models. This disinformation then makes it hard to restore credibility. Its not a graph I would want to post on here at all other than as a reference for fear of the accusation you have already made.  This is a prime example of an extreme remit (RCP 8.5) and egg on face.......IMO!

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #97 on: November 05, 2014, 04:24:23 PM »
Mark,
I don't think you're right. The models are not perfect, but work in progress and actual temperature trends fit well enough. The so-called hiatus does show that a focus on surface temperatures obscures that most heat goes into the oceans. This is just a simple complexity that pseudo-skeptic deniers will use, no matter what, to sow doubt in an attempt to delay climate action. I see no other way to fight this than by clear and strong communication, as more and more scientists are doing.

Neven

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #98 on: November 05, 2014, 04:45:43 PM »
Again, mark, you prove the point that it pays off to be conservative. Because the ensemble of models for one of the various scenarios the IPCC uses in its latest report doesn't match a current trend* you say it's 'alarmist', 'extremist' and 'has egg on the face'. There are however models out there - I'm sure of it because model imperfection goes in all directions - that are lower than the current trend. I have a feeling you wouldn't call these 'extremist', 'panglossian' and 'has omelette du fromage on the face'. No, they're just conservative, no harm done.

In fact, by using these adjectives so selectively, you are actually pressuring scientists into being conservative (not literally, of course, you're not that powerful; but you are helping spread the narrative that a scientist may only be wrong in one direction and thus better be conservative). It's a neat way of controlling the message through intimidation. And disingenuous and potentially damaging, of course.

Are you sure you're not a fake skeptic? I know we discussed this before, but maybe you're just not aware of it yourself.



*even though this is not what it's used for, as it's a long-term projection where you will see trend lines bob up and down, with accelerations and hiatuses, just not at the exact times they occur
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mark

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #99 on: November 05, 2014, 05:41:34 PM »
To be honest, and speaking frankly I dont really care what label you put on me......I'm me and conservative to boot - I couldnt claim anything else could I. Your summation of what I am trying to get across though is not what I mean at all. If a scientist is reporting on extremes then he should report extremes. If his remit is to study RCP8.5 then studying 2.6 will get him the sack. Conservative or not I can be stirred up into extreme language or an extreme position. I dont currently fit an extreme future on to global warming perhaps because I live in a temperate climate with few extremes so I am less sensitive  to hotter zones. I also dont think I am a false anything, I am speaking my mind and have tried to set that out - if it comes out confused perhaps thats because thats where I am at the moment. Warmist but sceptical, I am happy with that and expect a fair bit of criticism here for it. I certainly dont want to offend - but enjoy a lively discussion - I hope you let me continue