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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #400 on: November 26, 2014, 04:58:40 PM »
Obviously, the topic of climate sensitivity is highly politicized (including within the IPCC process).  Nevertheless, the desire of climate skeptics (denialists) to stay (for at least a couple of decades) on our current path is the most convincing argument of all that society will stay on a BAU pathway which will activate many non-linear positive feedback mechanisms; which in-turn will raise climate sensitivity above the current value to higher levels this century.  In this sense all of the arguments provide by Nic Lewis (a clear denialist) are just proving my point.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #401 on: November 26, 2014, 09:56:25 PM »
I will be on vacation until Dec 8, 2014 so I will not be posting any replies in that period.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #402 on: December 09, 2014, 11:23:57 PM »
The link leads to an open access pdf for a paper by Sornette & Ouillon (2012) on the mechanisms, statics and evidence for Dragon King events.  The Sornette & Ouillon paper did not model climate change Dragon King events, because we have never experienced such an event (even the PETM was slower to develop than what we are experiencing now).  Nevertheless, if positive climate feedback mechanisms were to begin to harmonically align, then some small tipping point could pull the fat-tail of the Dragon King; which none of us would enjoy.  Certainly, if ECS is actually 4.5 C instead of 3 C, and the reduction of masking factors such as negative aerosol feedback (or the end of the recent "faux hiatus" period), then it is plausible that some positive Earth System feedback mechanisms may be accelerated faster than previously expected; which in-turn could lead to a Dragon King event such as a transition of the atmosphere into an equable climate pattern before the end of this century.

Didier Sornette and Guy Ouillon, (2012), "Dragon-kings: mechanisms, statistical methods and empirical evidence", Eur. Phys. J. Special Topics 205, 1-26.

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1205/1205.1002.pdf

Abstract: "This introductory article presents the special Discussion and Debate volume “From black swans to dragon-kings, is there life beyond power laws?” We summarize and put in perspective the contributions into three main themes: (i) mechanisms for dragon-kings, (ii) detection of dragon-kings and statistical tests and (iii) empirical evidence in a large variety of natural and social systems. Overall, we are pleased to witness significant advances both in the introduction and clarification of underlying mechanisms and in the development of novel efficient tests that demonstrate clear evidence for the presence of dragon-kings in many systems. However, this positive view should be balanced by the fact that this remains a very delicate and difficult field, if only due to the scarcity of data as well as the extraordinary important implications with respect to hazard assessment, risk control and predictability."
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Laurent

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #403 on: December 10, 2014, 11:24:59 AM »
You are sure you don't want to stay in hollyday...that would make life easier !!!  ;) ;) ;)

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #404 on: December 10, 2014, 01:19:21 PM »
It may be fair to say that we - humankind - are the Dragon King event that could harm us most severely? IPCC estimates about a 10% chance of ECS being around 6 degrees C. Our climate forcing may become up to 100 times stronger than the PETM-forcing, according to Diffenbaugh & Field 2013.  That could tip ECS over the top. So we better hit the brakes and brace for impact.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #405 on: December 10, 2014, 05:33:48 PM »
It may be fair to say that we - humankind - are the Dragon King event that could harm us most severely? IPCC estimates about a 10% chance of ECS being around 6 degrees C. Our climate forcing may become up to 100 times stronger than the PETM-forcing, according to Diffenbaugh & Field 2013.  That could tip ECS over the top. So we better hit the brakes and brace for impact.

Lennart,

While the IPCC's estimate of about a 10% chance of ECS being around (or above) 6 C certainly sounds frightening enough for most rational people to take serious action against climate change, I believe that we should all recognize that the IPCC process (Frequentist leaning) should be considered a lower bound estimate (one that errs on the side of least drama), as the IPCC AR5 estimates are so riddled with caveats as to look like Swiss cheese to me.  For example:

1. The deal reached at the 20th Congress of the Parties in Lima Peru this week, all but guarantees that RCP 2.6 will never be realized; however, the AR5 estimates include this now non-realizable scenario in all of its calculations.
2. AR5 includes probabilities for low (say 1.5 C) values of ECS that Shindell (2014) has shown are biased on the side of least drama.
3. AR5 leaves out the methane emissions from permafrost degradation (nor for possible high methane emissions from tropical rainforests suffering from accelerated degradation from climate change driven fluctuations of drought and flood cycles, say from stronger ENSO fluctuations) for higher RCP scenarios.
4. The AR5 GCM's do not adequately consider possible non-linear synchronization of positive feedback factors that a ESM like ACME may verify within the next 7 years.

I could go on but to accommodate Laurent I will ease gradually back into posting after my vacation.

Best,
ASLR
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #406 on: December 10, 2014, 05:58:57 PM »
ASLR,

Indeed.

One of the less conservative scientists out there is Jason Box, who thinks six feet of SLR by 2100 is by no means a worst-case:
http://www.rollingstone.com//feature/greenland-melting

And who calls on his colleagues to be less reticent:
Quote
Box doesn’t shy away from bold strokes. As he sees it, the general public has been betrayed by the reluctance of climate researchers to speak about the dangers of climate change with sufficient urgency. For Box, this has never been a problem. In 2009, he announced the Petermann glacier, one of the largest in Greenland, would break up that summer – a potent sign of how fast the Arctic was warming. Most glaciologists thought he was nuts – especially after the summer passed and nothing happened. In 2010, however, Petermann began to calve; two years later, it was shedding icebergs twice the size of Manhattan. Another example: In early 2012, Box predicted there would be surface melting across the entirety of Greenland within a decade. Again, many scientists dismissed this as alarmist claptrap. If anything, Box was too conservative – it happened a few months later. He also believes that the climate community is underestimating how much sea levels could rise in the coming ­decades. When I ask him if he thinks the high-end projections of six feet are too low, he doesn’t hesitate: “Shit, yeah.”
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 07:36:00 PM by Lennart van der Linde »

Laurent

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #407 on: December 10, 2014, 06:16:43 PM »
Just a welcome joke Abruptslr. Nice being feed with informations... ;)
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 06:33:49 PM by Laurent »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #408 on: December 11, 2014, 01:45:53 AM »
As Laurent can handle more feedback factors not fully accounted for in AR5, I offer the following partial listing ;):

1. The following linked reference indicates that the addition of forcings are generally non-linear resulting in larger radiative forcing than most models assume that are used to advise policymakers:

http://www.earth-syst-dynam.net/4/253/2013/esd-4-253-2013.html

The sensitivity of the modeled energy budget and hydrological cycle to CO2 and solar forcing by: N. Schaller, J. Cermak, M. Wild, and R. Knutti; Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 253–266, 2013; www.earth-syst-dynam.net/4/253/2013/; doi:10.5194/esd-4-253-2013

2. The following linked two references discuss the positive feedback caused by the acidification of the oceans reducing sulfur flux from the ocean which then results in more radiative forcing than considered in AR5:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1981.html

Global warming amplified by reduced sulphur fluxes as a result of ocean acidification; Katharina D. Six, Silvia Kloster, Tatiana Ilyina, Stephen D. Archer, Kai Zhang & Ernst Maier-Reimer; Nature Climate Change;  (2013); doi:10.1038/nclimate1981


http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/nc/en/communication/news/single-news/article/climate-change-ocean-acidification-amplifies-global-warming.html


3. The following linked reference discusses the risk of decades-old carbon being emitted into the atmosphere due to global warming.  This could be a significant positive feedback factor (that has not been included in most models yet) if the world stays on the BAU path that it is currently following:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/06/07/1120603109.abstract


Warming accelerates decomposition of decades-old carbon in forest soils;
by: Francesca M. Hopkins, Margaret S. Torn, and Susan E. Trumbore; PNAS June 11, 2012; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1120603109


4. The linked reference indicates that there is considerable uncertainty in the amount of potential CO₂ contribution to the atmosphere from Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) particularly under RCP 8.5, and greater uncertainty means greater risk:

http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/4/1035/2013/esdd-4-1035-2013.html


Nishina, K., Ito, A., Beerling, D. J., Cadule, P., Ciais, P., Clark, D. B., Falloon, P., Friend, A. D., Kahana, R., Kato, E., Keribin, R., Lucht, W., Lomas, M., Rademacher, T. T., Pavlick, R., Schaphoff, S., Vuichard, N., Warszawaski, L., and Yokohata, T.: Global soil organic carbon stock projection uncertainties relevant to sensitivity of global mean temperature and precipitation changes, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 4, 1035-1064, doi:10.5194/esdd-4-1035-2013, 2013


5. The linked reference indicates that terrestrial vegetation will stop acting as a carbon sink after a 4 degree C mean global surface temperature rise, while this high degree of climate sensitivity is not captured by most GCMs:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/12/12/1222477110

Andrew D. Friend, Wolfgang Lucht, Tim T. Rademacher, Rozenn Keribin, Richard Betts, Patricia Cadule, Philippe Ciais, Douglas B. Clark, Rutger Dankers, Pete D. Falloon, Akihiko Ito, Ron Kahana, Axel Kleidon, Mark R. Lomas, Kazuya Nishina, Sebastian Ostberg, Ryan Pavlick, Philippe Peylin, Sibyll Schaphoff, Nicolas Vuichard, Lila Warszawski, Andy Wiltshire, and F. Ian Woodward, 2013, "Carbon residence time dominates uncertainty in terrestrial vegetation responses to future climate and atmospheric CO₂", PNAS December 16, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1222477110

6. The linked reference provides the first evidence that as water vapor invades the stratosphere it is serving as source of a significant positive feedback mechanism (which in not fully modelled by most GCMs):

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/26/1310344110.abstract?sid=8069b689-eb9f-44f1-8e4e-13e764b3d5fc

A. E. Dessler, M. R. Schoeberl, T. Wang, S. M. Davis, and K. H. Rosenlof, (2013), "Stratospheric water vapor feedback", PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1310344110

7. The linked reference (with a free access pdf) indicates that the albedo of both melting snow and ice are affected at least two times more adversely than non-melting snow and ice by black carbon.  Therefore, as the polar areas continue warm-up the positive feedback from black carbon will likely increase:

Marks, A. A. and King, M. D.: The effect of snow/sea ice type on the response of albedo and light penetration depth (e-folding depth) to increasing black carbon, The Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 1023-1056, doi:10.5194/tcd-8-1023-2014, 2014.

http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/8/1023/2014/tcd-8-1023-2014.html

8. The following linked research indicates that emissions of methane of biological origins increase rapidly with increasing warming, even on a seasonal, or ENSO, basis:

Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, Andrew P. Allen, David Bastviken, Ralf Conrad, Cristian Gudasz, Annick St-Pierre, Nguyen Thanh-Duc & Paul A. del Giorgio, (2014), "Methane fluxes show consistent temperature dependence across microbial to ecosystem scales", Nature, Volume: 507, pp: 488–491, doi:10.1038/nature13164

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v507/n7493/full/nature13164.html

9. The linked reference makes it clear that the boreal forests (in the taiga, see the attached image for the extent) are at greater risk of destruction than previously realized, most significantly due to the thawing of the permafrost, which promotes fires, droughts and insect attack.  Not only would this destruction turn a large CO₂ sink into a CO₂ source, but would also eliminate a major source of aerosols emitted by the boreal forests which facilitate cloud formation (which reflects sunlight and reduces global warming):

Moen, J., Rist, L., Bishop, K., Chapin, F. S., Ellison, D., Kuuluvainen, T., Bradshaw, C. J. (2014), "Eye on the taiga: removing global policy impediments to safeguard the boreal forest", Conservation Letters, DOI: 10.1111/conl.12098

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/conl.12098/abstract

10. The linked reference indicates that methane emissions from livestock is greater than previously thought, and with meat consumption in Asia increasing rapidly, the coming increases livestock will contribute to increasing atmospheric methane concentrations:

Wecht, K. J., D. J. Jacob, C. Frankenberg, Z. Jiang, and D. R. Blake (2014), Mapping of North American methane emissions with high spatial resolution by inversion of SCIAMACHY satellite data, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, doi:10.1002/2014JD021551.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD021551/abstract

11. The linked article about current Canadian wildfires indicate that the current weather pattern contributing to the wildfires were not predicted by the GCMs to occur for another 40-yrs:

http://www.adn.com/article/20140717/worst-wildfire-season-decades-canada-s-northwest-territories

12. The linked article (with a free access pdf) indicates that as global temperatures increase, methane emissions from peat bogs will also increase:

van Winden JF, Reichart G-J, McNamara NP, Benthien A, Damsté JSS (2012) Temperature-Induced Increase in Methane Release from Peat Bogs: A Mesocosm Experiment. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39614. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039614

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0039614

13. The linked reference indicates that the Earth System Sensitivity, ESS, may be bigger than previously thought; however, it does not indicate how quickly the positive feedback from the synchronization of the North Pacific and North Atlantic climates:

Summer K. Praetorius, Alan C. Mix, (2014), "Synchronization of North Pacific and Greenland climates preceded abrupt deglacial warming", Science 25 July 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6195 pp. 444-448 DOI: 10.1126/science.1252000

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6195/444

14. The linked reference found that aerosol-cloud associated changes in the amount of the clouds and changes of their internal properties are both equally important in their contribution to cooling our planet. Moreover, they found that the total impact from the influence of aerosols on this type of cloud is almost double that estimated in the latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  These finding could lead to an increase in the observed global warming as China begins to clean-up its air pollution:

Yi-Chun Chen, Matthew W. Christensen, Graeme L. Stephens & John H. Seinfeld, (2014), "Satellite-based estimate of global aerosol–cloud radiative forcing by marine warm clouds", Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2214

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2214.html

15. The linked reference (with a free access pdf) provides evidence that the main source of uncertainty for Arctic climate variability, and its predictability, is the North Pacific.  As we know that the North Pacific is projected to warm-up over the next 25 years in order to synchronize with the North Atlantic, it seems likely that we can expect the Arctic to warm rapidly as the North Pacific warms:

Dmitry V. Sein, Nikolay V. Koldunov, Joaquim G. Pinto, William Cabos, (2014), "Sensitivity of simulated regional Arctic climate to the choice of coupled model domain", Tellus A, 66, 23966, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/tellusa.v66.23966

http://www.tellusa.net/index.php/tellusa/article/view/23966

16. The linked 2013 article focuses on changes in the Arctic Ocean, and indicates that changes in the plankton there could result in a positive feedback (that will likely become more important with time) associated both with lower dimethyl sulphide production and lower CO2 absorption: 

http://www.egu.eu/news/76/tiny-plankton-could-have-big-impact-on-climate/

17. The reference cited below indicates that atmospheric hydroxyl-radical concentrations are about the same in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  This is bad news as it implies that methane emissions in the Northern Hemisphere are likely higher than researchers have previously assumed (as it was expected that the Northern Hemisphere would have more hydroxyl-radicals than the Southern Hemisphere, and it appears likely that greenhouse gases such as methane are consuming part of store of atmospheric hydroxyl-radicals in the Northern Hemisphere).

P. K. Patra, M.C. Krol, S. A. Montzka, T. Arnold, E. L. Atlas, B.R. Lintner, B.B. Stephens, B. Xiang, J. W. Elkins, P. J. Fraser, A. Ghosh, E. J. Hintsa, D. F. Hurst, K. Ishijima, P. B. Krummel, B.R. Miller, K. Miyazaki, F.L. Moore, J. Mühle, S. O’Doherty, R.G. Prinn, L.P. Steele, M. Takigawa, . J. Wang, R.F. Weiss, S.C. Wofsy, and D. Young, (2014), "Observational evidence for interhemispheric hydroxyl-radical parity", Nature, doi:10.1038/nature13721


http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/just-published/12346/wheres-atmospheres-self-cleaning-power
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #409 on: December 11, 2014, 07:58:01 PM »
The linked article provides more evidence that the Amazon basin is more susceptible to degradation from the predicted increasingly frequent El Nino events; which will likely contribute to higher climate sensitivity than previously expected:

Thomas Hilker, Alexei I. Lyapustin, Compton J. Tucker, Forrest G. Hall, Ranga B. Myneni, Yujie Wang, Jian Bi, Yhasmin Mendes de Moura, and Piers J. Sellers, (2014), "Vegetation dynamics and rainfall sensitivity of the Amazon", PNAS, vol. 111 no. 45,  16041–16046, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1404870111

http://www.pnas.org/content/111/45/16041.abstract

Significance: "Understanding the sensitivity of tropical vegetation to changes in precipitation is of key importance for assessing the fate of the Amazon rainforest and predicting atmospheric CO2 levels. Using improved satellite observations, we reconcile observational and modeling studies by showing that tropical vegetation is highly sensitive to changes in precipitation and El Niño events. Our results show that, since the year 2000, the Amazon forest has declined across an area of 5.4 million km2 as a result of well-described reductions in rainfall. We conclude that, if drying continues across Amazonia, which is predicted by several global climate models, this drying may accelerate global climate change through associated feedbacks in carbon and hydrological cycles."

Abstract: "We show that the vegetation canopy of the Amazon rainforest is highly sensitive to changes in precipitation patterns and that reduction in rainfall since 2000 has diminished vegetation greenness across large parts of Amazonia. Large-scale directional declines in vegetation greenness may indicate decreases in carbon uptake and substantial changes in the energy balance of the Amazon. We use improved estimates of surface reflectance from satellite data to show a close link between reductions in annual precipitation, El Niño southern oscillation events, and photosynthetic activity across tropical and subtropical Amazonia. We report that, since the year 2000, precipitation has declined across 69% of the tropical evergreen forest (5.4 million km2) and across 80% of the subtropical grasslands (3.3 million km2). These reductions, which coincided with a decline in terrestrial water storage, account for about 55% of a satellite-observed widespread decline in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). During El Niño events, NDVI was reduced about 16.6% across an area of up to 1.6 million km2 compared with average conditions. Several global circulation models suggest that a rise in equatorial sea surface temperature and related displacement of the intertropical convergence zone could lead to considerable drying of tropical forests in the 21st century. Our results provide evidence that persistent drying could degrade Amazonian forest canopies, which would have cascading effects on global carbon and climate dynamics."

See also:

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/13-year-record-of-drying-amazon-caused-vegetation-declines/#.VIm8OTHF_1h

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/11091/20141211/dried-out-amazon-could-speed-up-climate-change.htm
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #410 on: December 11, 2014, 08:33:11 PM »
RealClimate,  "Climate Science from climate scientists" celebrates 10 years
Quote
Ten Years of RealClimate
In the spring of 2004, when we (individually) first started talking to people about starting a blog on climate science, almost everyone thought it was a great idea, but very few thought it was something they should get involved in. Today, scientists communicating on social media is far more commonplace. On the occasion of our 10 year anniversary today it is worth reflecting on the impact of those changes, what we’ve learned and where we go next.
http://www.realclimate.org/
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #411 on: December 12, 2014, 04:11:34 AM »
While it may be obvious to most readers, I thought that I would mention that the 3 C ECS values used in most IPCC projections is the mode of the PDF; which may be acceptable when climate change is only an Inconvenient Truth as it is today; however, as global warming continues it will be unacceptable to society to use environmental loading parameters associated with normal operational conditions.  As we are now beginning to transition into a climate condition of Hard Truths, the IPCC will need to report projections based on an ECS with a higher confidence level; and if we stay on a BAU pathway for a few more decades we will transition to climate conditions with Sad Truths.
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #412 on: December 12, 2014, 11:47:55 AM »
ALSR

After a few minutes thought and guessing that ECS was Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, I realised what you said should frighten the youngsters and even the middle aged. Specifically you said

Quote
the 3 C ECS values used in most IPCC projections is the mode of the PDF

Last night I posted on a UK Labour Party discussion board

Quote
many elected vanguards know so little. (e.g. Could many do well in a climate quiz? http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2014/0827/Climate-change-Is-your-opinion-informed-by-science-Take-our-quiz/Gas)

"elected vanguards" was not my term! See Social democrats face irrelevance at best, extinction at worse http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/12/social-democrats-face-irrelevance-best-extinction-worse] [url]http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/12/social-democrats-face-irrelevance-best-extinction-worse[/url]

I like your concise formulation. It has impact - to those that are "most readers". Although, I admit I didn't actually know the IPCC used the mode. The trouble is even "elected vanguards", who see themselves as do-gooders are left far behind - and the do-badders are pulling in the opposite direction.

I'll ask those political contacts I have that might listen if they have any sensible suggestions? Has anyone here?

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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #413 on: December 12, 2014, 06:02:21 PM »
Geoff,

Thanks for your comments.  Unfortunately, in the US the majority of policymakers (particularly our "conservative" Congress) still heavily discount possible future damage from climate change and heavily emphasize their other priorities that they are promoting (typically growth of the economy including growth of fossil fuel consumption).  This allows these policymakers to focus on conditions (& votes) today by conveniently ignoring the risks of Black Swan and Dragon King climate change related events.  Moreover they do not seem to either realize, or do not seem to care, that if they are barely funding their other higher priority issues (eg national defense, fracking, etc.) today; once the consequences from climate change kick-in over the next few decades, the costs of funding these other priorities will increase due to the impacts of climate change, and thus they may not be affordable in the future (eg climate change will negatively impact future national security, disease, hunger, and economic growth).

The only way that I see to motivate policymakers is to get at least 51% of the voter to realize that not only are policymakers currently using mode PDF values in their projections, but also that the Frequentist based IPCC process tends to: (a) discount the fat-tails (where the Black Swan and Dragon King events hide) of the various feedback mechanisms when constructing the ECS PDF; and (b) as increasing temperatures activate the various positive feedback mechanisms, the PDF for the "Effective" ECS (or rather the Earth System Sensitivity, ESS) may increase non-linearly.

Best,
ASLR
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 07:53:09 PM by AbruptSLR »
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viddaloo

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #414 on: December 12, 2014, 07:11:00 PM »
Sounds bad, ASLR, but in an early civilization collapse scenario, it may ironically be good.
[]

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #415 on: December 13, 2014, 12:17:39 AM »
I would also like to note that PDFs actually represent our ignorance as much as our knowledge, and it is my opinion that Bayesian Learning should be applied to the climate sensitivity PDFs on at least a monthly basis in order to get new current PDFs.  This could be possible to achieve if state-of-the-art programs like the DOE's ACME (accelerated climate model energy) program, through their "Big Data" module.  I do not know whether the DOE would provide such a service but it would be rather valuable to help decision makers as climate change mechanisms become increasingly active with continued warming.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #416 on: December 14, 2014, 12:46:52 PM »
The topic of the possible future impacts of methane on future global warming has been extensively discussed in other threads in this forum (which I will not summarize). Nevertheless, I thought that I would say that of all of the multiple synergistic dragon tails that the IPCC process has ignored, the methane dragon tail (including both anthropogenic [eg: fracking, transmission lines, abandoned wells, coal mines, farm animals, rice crops, etc.] and natural positive feedback mechanisms [eg: permafrost degradation, rainforest degradation, methane hydrate degradation, etc.]) is the one that concerns me the most.  In particular, as the planet is currently warming at a rate of about 100-times faster than during the PETM, I am concerned that atmospheric methane will accumulate faster than the OH in the atmosphere will be able to begin the chemical process in the atmosphere to convert methane to carbon dioxide; which (if the case) could significantly increase the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane.
In this regard the first attached image from NOAA's Mauna Loa station shows that not only is the atmospheric methane concentration increasing but that last month the reading temporarily jumped above 1900 ppb.  The second attached image from Jason Box's Meltfactor site shows that similar jumps (which he calls dragon breaths) are common in the Arctic region, but this is the first time (a possible harbinger) just a large jump has been reported for Mauna Loa.

See:
http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/

Quote from Meltfactor's, "Is the climate dragon awakening?" (July 27th, 2014): "Methane records from this network include occasional spikes. Green symbols on the charts below indicate these extreme positive outliers. A reasonable hypothesis for the outliers marked below by me with dragon breath? [I had these labled WTF? ] would be: extreme outlying positive anomalies represent high methane concentration plumes emanating from tundra and/or oceanic sources. Another reasonable hypothesis would be: extreme outlying positive anomalies represent observational errors. What NOAA states:  the outliers “are thought to be not indicative of background conditions, and represent poorly mixed air masses influenced by local or regional anthropogenic sources or strong local biospheric sources or sinks. ” Fair enough. But, the dragon breath hypothesis has me losing sleep."

While no one knows for sure where Box's "dragon breaths" come from, I note that they typically occur during the winter months when both: (a) methane is chemically converted to carbon dioxide more slowly due to the cold temperature (see the third attached image from Christensen 2014), and (b) winter storms can promote brief releases of methane by such means as: (i) breaking the ice over lakes in the tundra/boreal regions (note biogenic methane accumulates beneath ice); (ii) breaks local regions of Arctic Sea Ice beneath which hydrate methane can accumulate) and (iii) stir-up sea water over the East Siberian Shelf (ESS) which is saturated with methane that is released by the agitation.
Furthermore, the fourth attached image (from Christensen 2014) shows that wetlands (particularly Arctic wetlands) is the largest natural source of methane with the greatest uncertainties.

See:
Torben R. Christensen, (15 May 2014), "Climate science: Understand Arctic methane variability", Nature, Volume: 509, Pages: 279–281, doi:10.1038/509279a

http://www.nature.com/news/climate-science-understand-arctic-methane-variability-1.15196

Extract: "Highly productive methane 'hotspots' have been identified. Many of them are sporadically active. Storms trigger emissions in the East Siberian Sea Shelf by ventilating surface waters. Shallow lakes formed from thawing permafrost can belch methane from decomposing organic deposits, of which there are huge amounts in the Arctic. When added to the wetlands emissions, these potentially important sources reach a total level of emissions that does not match up with the atmospheric observations."

Next, the following links discuss the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE) study that is being conducted by NASA's JPL, and the following extract from a preliminary CARVE report indicates that model projections of possible methane emissions from the Arctic and boreal ecosystem may be shockingly high, but the researchers have a high degree of uncertainty in the matter (remember that high uncertainty means high risk):

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-323

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140926101859.htm

Extract: "Lead author Josh Fisher of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, analyzed 40 computer models of the amounts and flows of carbon in the Alaskan Arctic and boreal ecosystems. His team found wide disagreement among the models, highlighting the urgent need for more measurements from the region.
Models represent scientists' integrated understanding of Earth processes and systems. They are used both to test that understanding, by comparing their results with real-world observations, and to gain insight into how current trends may affect our planet's future.
"We all knew there were big uncertainties in our understanding, and we wanted to quantify their extent," said Fisher. That extent proved to be greater than almost anyone expected. "The results were shocking to most people," he said.

"The general feeling is that the Arctic will be a big source of carbon to the atmosphere, but the uncertainty is a little too high to say for sure," Fisher said. "CARVE measurements will quantify the present-day carbon sources and help to reduce that uncertainty."
http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/projects/CARVE/

See also:
https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/when-it-comes-to-the-arctic-methane-monster-what-we-dont-know-really-could-kill-us-nasa-model-study-shows-very-high-carbon-release-uncertainty/

Finally, an example of an anthropogenic methane dragon tail not considered in the IPCC process includes emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells around the world (see Kang et al 2014):

Mary Kang, Cynthia M. Kanno, Matthew C. Reid, Xin Zhang, Denise L. Mauzerall, Michael A. Celia, Yuheng Chen, Tullis C. Onstott. Direct measurements of methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014; 201408315 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1408315111

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/12/04/1408315111

Abstract: "Abandoned oil and gas wells provide a potential pathway for subsurface migration and emissions of methane and other fluids to the atmosphere. Little is known about methane fluxes from the millions of abandoned wells that exist in the United States. Here, we report direct measurements of methane fluxes from abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, using static flux chambers. A total of 42 and 52 direct measurements were made at wells and at locations near the wells (“controls”) in forested, wetland, grassland, and river areas in July, August, October 2013 and January 2014, respectively. The mean methane flow rates at these well locations were 0.27 kg/d/well, and the mean methane flow rate at the control locations was 4.5 × 10−6 kg/d/location. Three out of the 19 measured wells were high emitters that had methane flow rates that were three orders of magnitude larger than the median flow rate of 1.3 × 10−3 kg/d/well. Assuming the mean flow rate found here is representative of all abandoned wells in Pennsylvania, we scaled the methane emissions to be 4–7% of estimated total anthropogenic methane emissions in Pennsylvania. The presence of ethane, propane, and n-butane, along with the methane isotopic composition, indicate that the emitted methane is predominantly of thermogenic origin. These measurements show that methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells can be significant. The research required to quantify these emissions nationally should be undertaken so they can be accurately described and included in greenhouse gas emissions inventories."

See also:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141209120400.htm

Summary: "Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown, and possibly substantial, source of the greenhouse gas methane to Earth's atmosphere. After testing a sample of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, the researchers found that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. Because there are many abandoned wells nationwide, the researchers believe the overall contribution of leaking wells could be significant."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #417 on: December 15, 2014, 05:13:54 PM »
As another example of a dragon tail not fully accounted for in the IPCC AR5 process, the following linked reference (Liu et al 2014) indicates that: "…. increased temperatures led to strong dust activity, while decreased temperatures resulted in weak dust activity in the northern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau."

Increased dust activity can lead to episodic abrupt temperature rise in regions impacted by the dust, and if combined with Sudden Stratospheric warming events (see: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/04/sudden-stratospheric-warmings-causes-effects.html), such increase dust activity (with increasing global warming) could result in episodic abrupt temperature rise in the Arctic and Greenland areas, in the coming future (particularly as the permafrost in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is also degrading rapidly, which will likely contribute further to future local dust activity):

Xingqi Liu, Zhitong Yu, Hailiang Dong & Huei-Fen Chen, (2014), " A less or more dusty future in the Northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau?", Scientific Reports, 4, Article number: 6672, doi:10.1038/srep06672

http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/141022/srep06672/full/srep06672.html

Abstract: "Dust plays an important role in climate changes as it can alter atmospheric circulation, and global biogeochemical and hydrologic cycling. Many studies have investigated the relationship between dust and temperature in an attempt to predict whether global warming in coming decades to centuries can result in a less or more dusty future. However, dust and temperature changes have rarely been simultaneously reconstructed in the same record. Here we present a 1600-yr-long quantitative record of temperature and dust activity inferred simultaneously from varved Kusai Lake sediments in the northern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau, NW China. At decadal time scale, our temperature reconstructions are generally in agreement with tree-ring records from Karakorum of Pakistan, and temperature reconstructions of China and North Hemisphere based on compilations of proxy records. A less or more dusty future depends on temperature variations in the Northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, i.e. weak and strong dust activities at centennial time scales are well correlated with low and high June–July–August temperature (average JJA temperature), respectively. This correlation means that stronger summer and winter monsoon should occur at the same times in the northern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #418 on: December 15, 2014, 05:38:51 PM »
Following the relatively weak out-come of the UN Climate Change conference in Lima, Peru, I would like to point-out that it would be a bad idea for the USA to wait until the Paris conference to take further active action against climate change (for example we currently have a bill await in the Senate for a carbon fee and dividend plan that is structured to allow the USA to act unilaterally without damaging our economy).  As in the words of General George S. Patton:

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."


“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #419 on: December 16, 2014, 07:42:13 PM »
The following reference (with an open access pdf) discusses the use of a Bayesian approach to complex climate modeling:

Schmidt, G.A., and S. Sherwood, 2014: A practical philosophy of complex climate modelling. Eur. J. Phil. Sci., early on-line, doi:10.1007/s13194-014-0102-9.

http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/early/Schmidt_Sherwood_1.pdf

Summary: "We give an overview of the practice of developing and using complex climate models, as seen from experiences in a major climate modelling center and through participation in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). We discuss the construction and calibration of models; their evaluation, especially through use of out-of-sample tests; and their exploitation in multi-model ensembles to identify biases and make predictions. We stress that adequacy or utility of climate models is best assessed via their skill against more naïve predictions. The framework we use for making inferences about reality using simulations is naturally Bayesian (in an informal sense), and has many points of contact with more familiar examples of scientific epistemology. While the use of complex simulations in science is a development that changes much in how science is done in practice, we argue that the concepts being applied fit very much into traditional practices of the scientific method, albeit those more often associated with laboratory work."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #420 on: December 17, 2014, 04:19:27 PM »
Some readers of my posts on Bayesian vs. Frequentist approaches have been turned-off by the whole topic, if so you can stop reading now.  Others have been confused by this unfamiliar line of thought, if so please read the relatively straight forward discussion of this topic in the following link.  As the following quote indicates the Bayesian approach: " … provides as close to a mathematical description of “the scientific method” as we’re likely to see."  Furthermore, I believe that the Bayesian approach is the only one of these two scientific methods that has a chance of providing appropriate guidance for addressing climate change in a reasonable timeframe:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/life-and-physics/2014/sep/28/belief-bias-and-bayes

Quotes: "One of the things that gets people fired up is that Bayesian statistics can introduce a level of subjectivity into the scientific process that some scientists see as unacceptable; whereas its counterpoint, the frequentist approach, can be seen (as Peter puts it) as answering the wrong question and is certainly prone to highly subjective (mis)interpretations. Emotive stuff. At this point I probably ought to make my own attempt at saying what Bayes’ theorem actually is, so here goes.
….
Climate change is another good example. If you have a prior assumption that modern life is rubbish and technology is intrinsically evil, then you will place a high prior probability on carbon dioxide emissions dooming us all. On the other hand, if your prior bias is toward the idea that there is a massive plot by huge multinational environmental corporations, academics and hippies to deprive you of the right to drive the kids to school in a humvee, you will place a much lower weight on mounting evidence of anthropogenic climate change. If your prior was roughly neutral, you will by now be pretty convinced that we have a problem with global warming. In any case, anyone paying attention as evidence mounts would eventually converge on the right answer, whatever their prior – though it may come too late to affect the outcome, of course.
….
On the more positive side, Bayes (who was an 18th century priest, by the way) allows us to acknowledge, and therefore somehow accommodate, our prejudice and bias, as well as the weight of prior evidence, and therefore, in my opinion, provides as close to a mathematical description of “the scientific method” as we’re likely to see."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #421 on: December 17, 2014, 06:30:11 PM »
In research with relevance to the Sherwood et.al. (2014) reference on the influence of tropical atmospheric convective mixing on equilibrium climate sensitivity, ECS, the linked reference (Tomassini et.al. 2014) projects values of ECS from "… a little over 3 °C to more than 10 °C".   The fact that the AR5 models poorly represent/understand convective mixing processes (particularly in the Tropics), indicates to me that no one reading this forum thread should express surprise if within the next ten years both observational measurements, and/or state of the art Earth System Models (like the ACME model being developed by the US – DOE) demonstrate that ECS is currently substantially higher than 3 oC.

Tomassini, L., Voigt, A. and Stevens, B. (2014), "On the connection between tropical circulation, convective mixing, and climate sensitivity", Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc.. doi: 10.1002/qj.2450

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2450/abstract

Abstract: "The connection between the large-scale tropical circulation of the atmosphere, convective mixing, and climate sensitivity is explored in a wide range of climates through a perturbed-parameter ensemble of a comprehensive Earth System Model. Four parameters related to the representation of atmospheric moist convection are found to dominate the response of the model. Their values govern the strength of the tropical circulation, the surface temperature, atmospheric humidity, and the strength of the tropical overturning circulation, largely through their influence on the atmospheric stability. The same convective parameters, albeit in different combinations, also have a strong influence on the equilibrium climate sensitivity of the model, which ranges from a little over 3 °C to more than 10 °C. The importance of the most poorly represented processes in determining important aspects of the behaviour of the model argues for the need to move beyond statistical approaches to estimating climate sensitivity and to focus on the development of a better understanding and representation of convective mixing, particularly in the Tropics."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #422 on: December 17, 2014, 07:42:47 PM »
The linked reference indicates that for an abrupt 4×CO2 forcing, the effective climate sensitivity can increase by about 20% in a 75-year period as compared to the conventional ECS (which my immediate prior post indicates could be appreciably greater than 3 C), due to a relatively large positive ozone-circulation chemical feedback mechanism in the atmosphere.  While RCP 8.5 may be less extreme than an abrupt 4×CO2 forcing, nevertheless, this study does not focus on possible/probable other positive earth system feedback mechanisms that will likely be activated/accelerated with continued strong radiative forcing:

Peer J. Nowack, N. Luke Abraham, Amanda C. Maycock, Peter Braesicke, Jonathan M. Gregory, Manoj M. Joshi, Annette Osprey & John A. Pyle, (2014), "A large ozone-circulation feedback and its implications for global warming assessments", Nature Climate Change (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2451

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2451.html

Abstract: "State-of-the-art climate models now include more climate processes simulated at higher spatial resolution than ever. Nevertheless, some processes, such as atmospheric chemical feedbacks, are still computationally expensive and are often ignored in climate simulations. Here we present evidence that the representation of stratospheric ozone in climate models can have a first-order impact on estimates of effective climate sensitivity. Using a comprehensive atmosphere–ocean chemistry–climate model, we find an increase in global mean surface warming of around 1 °C (∼20%) after 75 years when ozone is prescribed at pre-industrial levels compared with when it is allowed to evolve self-consistently in response to an abrupt 4×CO2 forcing. The difference is primarily attributed to changes in long-wave radiative feedbacks associated with circulation-driven decreases in tropical lower stratospheric ozone and related stratospheric water vapour and cirrus cloud changes. This has important implications for global model intercomparison studies in which participating models often use simplified treatments of atmospheric composition changes that are consistent with neither the specified greenhouse gas forcing scenario nor the associated atmospheric circulation feedbacks."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #423 on: December 21, 2014, 06:20:19 PM »
While not news to those reading the Antarctic folder, I thought that I would note here that since the 1950's the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, ACC, has been moving southward, in large part due to the increase in the Westerly winds over the Southern Ocean due to anthropogenic climate change.  The linked science daily articles indicate (see attached image) that as the ACC moves southward (note that the Subtropical Front marks the north boundary of the ACC, see the image at the Cape of Good Hope) more warm salty ocean water from the Indian Ocean's Agulhas Current leaks (Agulhas Leakage) into the South Atlantic Ocean (around the Cape of Good Hope), where it stimulates the great oceanic conveyor belt current, which in turn then carries more warm ocean water via the "Gulf Stream" into the North Atlantic and subsequently into the Arctic Ocean basin.  This in turn decreases Arctic Sea Ice extent, which reduces Northern Hemisphere albedo, which thus serves as a positive feedback mechanism for global warming.  I also not the computer model projections indicate that this trend will accelerate with continued anthropogenic global warming.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427131809.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822091720.htm
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #424 on: December 22, 2014, 11:10:46 PM »
The linked reference provides evidence from coral in the western Pacific indicating a strong relationship between variations in Pacific trade wind strength at decadal timescales and the rate of mean global surface air temperature change.  Also, as the PDO appears to be entering a positive phase, we can expect two to three decades of relatively low Pacific trade wind strength, and consequently a relatively high rate of mean global surface temperature increase.

Diane M. Thompson, Julia E. Cole, Glen T. Shen, Alexander W. Tudhope & Gerald A. Meehl, (2014), "Early twentieth-century warming linked to tropical Pacific wind strength", Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2321

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/ngeo2321.pdf

Abstract: "Of the rise in global atmospheric temperature over the past century, nearly 30% occurred between 1910 and 1940 when anthropogenic forcings were relatively weak. This early warming has been attributed to internal factors, such as natural climate variability in the Atlantic region, and external factors, such as solar variability and greenhouse gas emissions. However, the warming is too large to be explained by external factors alone and it precedes Atlantic warming by over a decade. For the late twentieth century, observations and climate model simulations suggest that Pacific trade winds can modulate global temperatures, but instrumental data are scarce in the early twentieth century. Here we present a westerly wind reconstruction (1894–1982) from seasonally resolved measurements of Mn/Ca ratios in a western Pacific coral that tracks interannual to multidecadal Pacific climate variability. We then reconstruct central Pacific temperatures using Sr/Ca ratios in a coral from Jarvis Island, and find that weak trade winds and warm temperatures coincide with rapid global warming from 1910 to 1940. In contrast, winds are stronger and temperatures cooler between 1940 and 1970, when global temperature rise slowed down. We suggest that variations in Pacific wind strength at decadal timescales significantly influence the rate of surface air temperature change."

See also:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coral-clues-hint-at-looming-global-warming-spike/
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #425 on: December 24, 2014, 11:17:08 AM »
Nice short comment by paleo-climatologist Maureen Raymo on the climate science community usually underestimating the rate of climate change:

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #426 on: December 24, 2014, 02:37:51 PM »
Also see this blogpost with comments by Raymo and Rob DeConto:
http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2013/06/12/400-ppm-world-part-2-rising-seas-come-with-rising-co2/

Quote
DeConto is quick to caution that modeling studies of ice sheet growth and decay have plenty of limitations. Alarmism is, unfortunately, not one of them. “Time and again, we have a problem making models as sensitive as they need to be. They are not sensitive enough to match the geologic record. If anything, our models are too conservative. And that’s scary,” says DeConto.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #427 on: December 29, 2014, 05:22:10 PM »
The linked reference includes several authors of the RCP scenarios and they state: "We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth."  I read this as an admission that these scientists erred on the side of least drama when developing the RCP scenarios.

P. Friedlingstein, R. M. Andrew, J. Rogelj, G. P. Peters, J. G. Canadell, R. Knutti, G. Luderer, M. R. Raupach, M. Schaeffer, D. P. van Vuuren & C. Le Quéré, (2014), "Persistent growth of CO2 emissions and implications for reaching climate targets", Nature Geoscience, Volume: 7, Pages: 709–715, doi:10.1038/ngeo2248

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n10/full/ngeo2248.html

Abstract: "Efforts to limit climate change below a given temperature level require that global emissions of CO2 cumulated over time remain below a limited quota. This quota varies depending on the temperature level, the desired probability of staying below this level and the contributions of other gases. In spite of this restriction, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have continued to grow by 2.5% per year on average over the past decade. Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2 °C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates. We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth. In the absence of more stringent mitigation, these trends are set to continue and further reduce the remaining quota until the onset of a potential new climate agreement in 2020. Breaking current emission trends in the short term is key to retaining credible climate targets within a rapidly diminishing emission quota."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #428 on: January 02, 2015, 09:58:53 PM »
If you are on Twitter (and if you are not, it's easy to sign up:  www.twitter.com):
"List of people who tweet about climate change, all pro-science, many key scientists and communicators:"
http://twitter.com/gregladen/status/551050196806017025
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #430 on: January 06, 2015, 08:56:30 PM »
Long piece by Michael Mann on the Serengeti strategy used by the denial machine to intimidate and scare scientists into keeping silent and stay as conservative as possible:
http://bos.sagepub.com/content/71/1/33.full.pdf+html

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #431 on: January 06, 2015, 09:21:40 PM »
The linked article shows (see extract below) how while it may not be possible to prove many of the stronger climate change risks, it is relatively easy to disprove denialist claims.  Now we need to convince policymakers that history will not be kind to their legacies if they ignore the risks of climate change.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/104/Climate_Science_and_Falsifiability

Extract: "Science may not do proof, but it certainly does do disproof. So although it may not be possible for climatologists to prove their case conclusively, it is possible to look at the contrary hypothesis and refute it. And the contrarians do have a hypothesis: it is that man-made carbon dioxide will not have a severe effect on global climate. This angle transforms the debate into a question about the degree to which the global climate will change given the known increase in greenhouse gases.
There is no reasonable doubt that, ignoring feedback mechanisms, a doubling of carbon dioxide will raise the planet’s surface temperature by about 1.2°C, because this fact is derived from calculations based on universally accepted textbook physics, and is accepted by climatologists and reasonable contrarians alike. The real debate is about climate sensitivity – or what will result from this 1.2°C rise. The Earth’s climate is a complex system of interrelated energy flows, and any warming will result in an array of changes in the system. Most of these changes provide positive feedbacks – that is, they will further increase the initial warming. A number of different lines of evidence drawing from known or deduced changes in global temperature, recent and palaeological, all converge on an eventual temperature rise of between 1.5-4.5°C, with the most likely value being 3°C. Against this, classical climate contrarians put forward a value of 0.5-1°C as their figure for the final temperature increase resulting from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. This is their hypothesis; and it is refutable through measuring and calculating the known positive feedbacks – increase in atmospheric water vapour, changes in ice and snow albedo (reflectivity), changes in vegetation, and from secondary releases of carbon dioxide and methane from soil and ocean. The main negative feedbacks (temperature reducers) are a change in heat distribution in the atmosphere, which can be calculated as slightly reducing the positive water vapour feedback, and an increase in total energy radiation from the warming Earth (a feedback which probably sets a limit to extreme planetary overheating). Several attempts have been made by sceptical climate scientists to substantiate their 0.5-1°C warming hypothesis, but each of these has ended in failure. Contrarian scientists placed their faith in clouds to provide a strong negative feedback, for instance, but recently, measurements by Andrew Dessler have shown that the net effect of clouds is more positive than negative (see Science, Vol.330, 10 December 2010).
Perhaps as a result of realising the unsustainability of the idea of ultra-low climate sensitivity, a small sub-set of climate sceptics has emerged recently, the ‘lukewarmers’, who argue for a figure somewhere below that of the consensus view but above that of the classical contrarians. However, given that their evidence base is much smaller than the evidence for higher climate sensitivity, this group is in a very weak position to claim that there is no need decarbonise the global energy supply.
In conclusion, despite the complexity and ongoing uncertainty in understanding the future effects of greenhouse gases on the climate system, one thing is certain: the hypothesis that the effect of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is trivial and warrants no action simply does not hold up. It does not match the facts. It has been refuted. Journalists may not be able to understand science or the philosophy of science to any great depth, but they can understand the concept of ‘disproven’, and climate scientists can indeed disprove the contrarian hypothesis that greenhouse gases will have no significant effect on the global climate."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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ritter

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #432 on: January 07, 2015, 07:18:22 PM »
The linked article shows (see extract below) how while it may not be possible to prove many of the stronger climate change risks, it is relatively easy to disprove denialist claims.  Now we need to convince policymakers that history will not be kind to their legacies if they ignore the risks of climate change.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/104/Climate_Science_and_Falsifiability

Can anyone provide a pdf of this article? I'd like to forward it to a few of my local folk to help deal with deniers. Thanks.

Edit: Nevermind. Found one.
https://www.gn.apc.org/blog/climate-science-falsifiability
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 07:24:22 PM by ritter »

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #433 on: January 11, 2015, 07:44:13 PM »
While many/most of the viewers of this thread are aware of the "Faustian Bargain" consideration cited by Hansen et al and well summarized by Robert Scribbler at the following linked article (see extracts from the May 2014 Scribbler article), indicating that modern society is living in a short-term "Fool's Paradise" due to climate change masking factors (or temporary negative feedback mechanisms) such as: (a) atmospheric sulfates & other aerosols that could drop out of the atmosphere with 2-years of the air pollution beginning cleared up; (b) a recent (and probably temporary) bust of CO₂ absorption by certain land-based vegetation; and (c) the recent negative (cooling) phases of both the PDO and the AMO.

However, I would like to add the following to Scribbler's list of consideration that could be leading the world to a "…. Permian or PETM type, anoxic ocean, extinction event, at around 800 ppm CO2e, become possible under BAU by 2060-2080.":

1. The Brookings Institute estimates that an explosion of middle class population from about 1.9 million in 2010 to 4.7 million by 2030, will keep the world on a BAU pathway until at least 2030.
2.  Recent findings by Pollard, DeConto & Alley (2015) doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.035, indicate the possibility that a possible collapse of the WAIS could contribute more than 2m to SLR by 2100 (following a BAU pathway to about 2050); and if this were to occur it would push sufficient warm water through the Bering Straits to markedly increase Arctic Amplification.
3.  Current trends in both the PDO and the AMO indicate the probability of relatively rapid warming of both the North Pacific and the North Atlantic over the next 20 to 30 years, that will still further increase the rate of Arctic Amplification.

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/a-faustian-bargain-on-the-short-road-to-hell-living-in-a-world-at-480-co2e/

Extract from Scribbler May 2014: "… what is the full strength of the current human emission and how long will it last? There’s a term for this number: CO2e. In other words — the equivalent CO2 forcing of all greenhouse gasses added together.
Fortunately for our exploration, there’s been a bit of work done on just this subject. Last year, MIT’s Advanced Global Atmospheric Gasses Experiment issued a report describing model data that determined the current CO2 equivalent forcing from all of the more than 50 greenhouse contributing trace gasses in the atmosphere. And the results were somewhat disconcerting. As of June of 2013, that amount was equal to 478 parts per million CO2. Or a CO2e of 478 parts per million when all the other greenhouse gasses were added to the already high and rapidly rising levels of CO2. Adding in the current rate of CO2 rise, we end up with about 480 parts per million of CO2e from all greenhouse gasses by this year.
….
So subtracting out the net effect of sulfates and other aerosols brings us to a total net forcing from all factors related to human changes to the atmosphere of about 425 ppm CO2e. A rather disturbing final number both due to its departure over the current 400 ppm CO2 value and due to the fact that though most greenhouse gasses have atmospheric residence times of decades to centuries, the cooling sulfates would likely last for 1-2 years before falling out entirely. This means that once fossil emissions stop, we may as well just add +55 ppm CO2e to the current total.

It’s worth noting that this best possible future, where the risk of a mini-runaway in warming to PETM or Permian levels remains low, probably won’t happen as business as usual fossil fuel emissions continue unabated with no sign of being rationally held in check. Under the current regime, a CO2e of about 550 ppm, enough to warm the Earth between 5-6 C long term, is locked in within 25-30 years. A climate state that pushes the risk of a mini-runaway to moderate. Meanwhile, levels that would almost certainly set off a Permian or PETM type, anoxic ocean, extinction event, at around 800 ppm CO2e, become possible under BAU by 2060-2080."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #434 on: January 21, 2015, 05:34:11 PM »
Many climate scientists appear to be conservative because their GCMs (General/Global Circulation Models) give conservative projections, for reasons including:
(a) Their computers are too slow and consequently their meshes are too coarse; and
(b) The GCMs need to be replaced by state-of-the-art Earth Systems Models, ESMs (such as the ACME [Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy], see links below), project currently being developed by the US DOE). 

http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/
http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/sites/default/files/publications/acme-project-strategy-plan_0.pdf

The first attached image shows that the ACME project includes a "Big Data" module in an attempt to try to pre-identify critical trends in the literature that are not yet being captured by the current (AR5) GCM projections, in order to better focus the effort of the new ACME ESM projection on what is critical.  In this regard, I hope that the ACME "Big Data" module uses a human-driven approach to screening their big data base such as that used by Palantir (see link and extract)

https://www.palantir.com/

Extract: "What We Do
We make products for human-driven analysis of real-world data
We’re focused on creating the world’s best user experience for working with data, one that empowers people to ask and answer complex questions without requiring them to master querying languages, statistical modeling, or the command line. To achieve this, we build platforms for integrating, managing, and securing data on top of which we layer applications for fully interactive human-driven, machine-assisted analysis."

Furthermore, if ACME (or similar future efforts) do adopt a human-driven approach to pre-screening their big data base, I hope that they would include an on-line link to the Internet to take advantage of screened crowd-sourcing, so that people such as those contributing to this forum could help identify trends in the extant data/literature.  An example of such a crowd-sourced contribution to enriching the ACME's big data base is as follows:

(1) Tag the 36-month European Union effort called the: EU Cloud Intercomparison, Process Study & Evaluation Project, EUCLIPSE.  As the linked pdf describes this effort focuses on how to generate grids & models to capture sensitivity (ie non-linear) responses with ESMs; and in-particular this project will focus on atmospheric convective mixing in the tropical zone, which Sherwood et al (2014) indicates could cause the current Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, ECS, to exceed 4 C, and which Tomassini et al (2014) indicates has the potential to increase ECS rapidly with global warming (possibly up to 10 C by 2100):

http://www.euclipse.eu/downloads/D4.2_Comparison%20study%20of%20the%20model%20sensitivity%20to%20the%20numerical%20structure%20of%20the%20computations%20(grid%20and%20time%20step)%20with%20the%20parameter%20sensitivity%20of%20the%20model.pdf

Sherwood, S.C., Bony, S. and Dufresne, J.-L., (2014) "Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing", Nature; Volume: 505, pp 37–42, doi:10.1038/nature12829.

Tomassini, L., Voigt, A. and Stevens, B. (2014), "On the connection between tropical circulation, convective mixing, and climate sensitivity", Q.J.R. Meteorol. Soc., doi: 10.1002/qj.2450

(2) Then link the EUCLIPSE tag to on-going research about the increasing El Nino-like conditions with global warming in the Pacific Tropical zone [see Burls & Fedorov (2014) and Song & Zhang (2014)]; which could change rapidly to El Nino-like conditions circa 2040:

N. J. Burls and A. V. Fedorov, (2014), "Simulating Pliocene warmth and a permanent El Niño-like state: the role of cloud albedo", Paleoceanography, DOI: 10.1002/2014PA00264

Xiaoliang Song and Guang J. Zhang, (2014), "Role of Climate Feedback in El Niño-like SST Response to Global Warming", Journal of Climate; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00072.1

(3) Then link the El Nino-like Tropical Pacific to research about the teleconnection (through both the atmosphere and the ocean) of energy from the Tropical Pacific to the West Antarctic (eg Fogt et al), which will likely rapidly warm the West Antarctic to the extent that the sea ice extent in this area is rapidly reduced beginning around 2050, and that significant ice surface melting begins circa 2050 to 2060:

Fogt, R. L., D. H. Bromwich, and K. M. Hines, (2011), "Understanding the SAM influence on the South Pacific ENSO teleconnection", Climate Dynamics, 37, 2127-2128

(4) Then link the potential rapid warming of the West Antarctic to the potential marine ice sheet cliff failure and hydrofracturing mechanisms identified by Pollard et al (2015) for Pliocene-like conditions that could cause the WAIS to contribute about 1meter to SLR per decade beginning around 2060 (see the second and third attached images), also see Bassis and Jacobs (2013):

Pollard, D., DeConto, R.M. and Alley, R.B., (2015), "Potential Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat driven by hydrofracturing and ice cliff failure", Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 412, 15 February 2015, Pages 112–121, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.035

Bassis, J.N., and Jacobs,S., (2013), "Diverse calving patterns linked to glacier geometry", Nature Geoscience, 6, 833–836, doi:10.1038/ngeo1887.

(5) Think link the marine ice sheet cliff failure and hydrofracturing mechanisms to the University of Alaska Fairbank's website focused on Lake Elgygytgn research, and the extract following the link is from an article Posted on February 4th, 2014 by Laura Nielsen on "Inter-hemispheric climate coupling". The extract emphasizes that in the paleo-past the Antarctic generally responded more quickly to orbital induced solar insolation variations, and that repeatedly paleo-collapses of the WAIS resulted in subsequent Arctic amplification, due both to changes in ocean currents, and to increases in sea level pushing more warm Pacific water through the Bering St. into the Arctic Ocean.  If the WAIS collapses this century, we may soon see a marked increase in Arctic amplification:


http://frontierscientists.com/tag/lake-elgygytgyn/

Extract: "Antarctica and the Arctic Climate at the North and South pole are connected. Sediment records from Antarctica show that the West Antarctic ice sheet melted at various times in history. Following many of those events, the Arctic warmed. These recurring intervals of paired warming show that climate in the two hemispheres is linked – it’s called inter-hemispheric climate coupling.
“When the West Antarctic ice sheet pulls back we see a corresponding warmth in the high lattitudes again, probably affecting the size of the Greenland ice sheet with major implications for changes in sea level,” says Julie Brigham-Grette. “Our results mesh with what glaciologists are seeing today. Seven of the 12 major ice shelves around the Antarctic are melting or are gone. We suspect the tipping point for the gradual de-glaciation of Greenland and the Arctic may be lower than glaciologists once thought.”
Complex systems
Earth is a complicated place. We can’t explain past warming using only orbital dynamics or levels of Carbon Dioxide. Scientists affiliated with the project outlined some past events that might explain the rapid warming the sediment records show occurred in both Antarctica and the Arctic around similar times.
When you imagine Antarctica, the picture includes large ice shelves that hang off the rocky edge of the ice-covered continent. Normally that ice keeps nearby ocean water very cold. The cold water travels along currents toward the north Pacific where it wells up to the surface. Ocean circulation can be affected, though. If Antarctic ice sheets disintegrate or melt away, they no longer enforce cold water currents that journey to the Arctic. Instead, surface ocean waters in the Arctic become warmer.
When Antarctica’s ice sheets disintegrate the ocean gains more water and sea levels rise globally. The Bering Strait usually restricts how much warm surface water approaches the Arctic from the south, but higher sea levels would mean warm surface water didn’t have to squeeze through such a narrow space, letting more warm water past the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean.
Either way, a warmer ocean means higher temperatures and more rainfall for the Arctic, which impacts paleoclimatology and sea ice history. Grasping the climate connections between the hemispheres gives us insight into our near future."

(6) Then link the observations by Laura Nielsen and Julie Brigham-Grette that a collapse of the WAIS will drive warm Pacific ocean water into the Arctic Ocean to research about the stability of submerged permafrost and methane hydrates on the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

jai mitchell

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #435 on: January 21, 2015, 06:55:13 PM »
A rather disturbing final number both due to its departure over the current 400 ppm CO2 value and due to the fact that though most greenhouse gasses have atmospheric residence times of decades to centuries, the cooling sulfates would likely last for 1-2 years before falling out entirely.

Excellent post! I just wanted to elaborate that the vast majority of cooling effects from Aerosols occurs in the mid/lower Troposphere and, due to precipitation, these aerosols are removed from the atmosphere on a scale of 1-2 *weeks* with a remainder of effects from the stratosphere and a longer residence time.

http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap8.html

Quote
The bulk of the atmospheric aerosol mass is present in the lower troposphere, reflecting the short  residence time of aerosols against deposition (~1-2 weeks; see  problem 8. 1 ). Aerosol concentrations in the upper troposphere are typically 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than in the lower troposphere.
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AbruptSLR

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #436 on: January 22, 2015, 07:47:20 PM »
The linked article states that today The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their Doomsday clock forward by 2 minutes due to concerns including climate change (see extract).  This shows that while professionally scientists are conservative, they are so smart that they know that society is in eminent danger (including from climate change):

http://mashable.com/2015/01/22/doomsday-clock-adjust/

Extract: "As of Thursday, the clock was set at three minutes to midnight. Since January 2012, the hands of the clock had been set at five minutes to midnight. The minute hand moved forward, for the first time in three years, due to rising nuclear concerns and increasingly dire climate science findings."
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 08:17:24 PM by AbruptSLR »
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wili

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #437 on: January 22, 2015, 08:15:44 PM »
Great catch! That's my friend Sivan in the picture!
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #438 on: January 22, 2015, 10:19:47 PM »
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #439 on: January 23, 2015, 04:57:53 PM »
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

During the height of the cold war each time decision makers rolled the dice there was as much chance of improving global stability as de-stabilizing it, as nuclear war dominated any doomsday scenario. Now dire climate change scenarios following our current BAU pathway (note that as many ingenious human minds are working for the fossil fuel industries to promote more fossil fuel fed growth as there are ingenious human minds looking for more sustainable options) act as stress risers for all other doomsday scenarios (wars, disease, famine, biosphere collapse, etc); thus now each time that decision makers roll the dice, the dice become progressively more loaded to come up with disasters each time they are rolled (CO2 remains in the atmosphere for centuries) so that I imagine that following even a green BAU by 2050 society will be at 1/2 minute to doomsday.

Anyone who thinks that society can zoom right up to a 2 C mean global temperature rise threshold and then just stop any further climate change risk growth is living in a "Fool's Paradise".
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #440 on: January 23, 2015, 09:34:32 PM »
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

Yes, it was. Why do you bring this up?

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #441 on: January 26, 2015, 09:02:46 PM »
Eric Rignot on scientific conservatism and the inevitable collapse of WAIS:


Timescales, timescales...

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #442 on: January 27, 2015, 06:39:04 AM »
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

Yes, it was. Why do you bring this up?

One way of judging the value in a prediction is to consider the accuracy of past predictions.

Do you think this is not appropriate in this instance?  If so how would you assess the value of this prediction?
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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #443 on: January 27, 2015, 07:05:27 AM »
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

Yes, it was. Why do you bring this up?

One way of judging the value in a prediction is to consider the accuracy of past predictions

There may be a slight misunderstanding here, with regard to the Doomsday Clock: It being set to 2 minutes to catastrophe doesn't mean the world will end in 2 minutes. In other words it isn't a *prediction* at all, and thus you cannot judge the precision of this non–prediction.

The Doomsday Clock is an indicator of the level of danger the present world is in. The purpose of setting it is to alert leaders and populations about these dangers. It is an act of communication that assumes some sort of intelligent reception on the other end, which, if you will, has been naive and is still naive, as no–one cares about anything else than making a short–term profit.
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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #444 on: January 27, 2015, 07:32:12 AM »
Michael,
Like viddaloo says, the doomsday clock is not a prediction, but a warning of danger. We can assess it by looking at the reasons given for this warning. In the case of global warming we're doing this in this forum all the time. In the case of the nuclear threat others are doing this, such as for example Eric Schlosser in his book Command and Control:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/29/command-control-eric-schlosser-review

And:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/25/eric-schlosser-nuclear-weapons-command-control

Over the past 70 years we've come very close to nuclear war or very big nuclear accidents more than once. We've just been lucky that so far no situation has escalated out of control, but it could have easily happened, and it can still happen, if we're not careful.

That's why I think it's not wise to dismiss this recent warning without any argument, particularly not by misunderstanding it to be a prediction instead of a warning.

wili

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #445 on: January 27, 2015, 07:44:18 AM »
"One way of judging the value in a prediction is to consider the accuracy of past predictions."

 :) ::)

Sooo, we haven't already blown ourselves to smithereens, so that means there was never any threat of that happening???
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #446 on: January 28, 2015, 01:14:36 AM »
I'm not saying its a great method, but its certainly one way.  Do you have a better way?
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #447 on: January 28, 2015, 04:54:55 AM »
A previous argument on this thread was that the IPCC was conservative because it ignored carbon cycle feedbacks.

The recent paper Uncertainties in CMIP5 Climate Projections due to Carbon Cycle Feedbacks analyses 11 earth system models from this ensemble and finds that when forced with RCP8.5 emissions and ran as an earth system model that the projected warming increased from 3.7 to 3.9 degrees.  So including carbon cycle feedbacks results in a not at all scary 0.2 degrees extra warming over the next century.

But wait there is more.  These same models also estimate higher concentrations of Co2 in 2005 than actually occurred.  If this tendency to overestimate Co2 concentrations was corrected for then presumably the projected warming would be lower.

And yes CMIP 5 earth system models are capable of [ulr=http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/30jul2013a4.html] modelling permafrost[/url] changes.  Alost note that some of these models are significantly overestimating the current state of permafrost degradation.  Of course the fact that the these models still show serious flaws suggests that maybe when these are fixed up they will predict much greater warming.  Or maybe they will predict less warming?
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jai mitchell

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #448 on: January 28, 2015, 08:21:39 AM »
The reason that they model only a slight increase in CO2 for the RCP 8.5 is because they delay the bulk of the emissions to the end of the century and due to the logarithmic forcing function of concentration the incremental increase in forcing within this scenario is very low due to the 850PPMv abundance already in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic emissions, oh, and they only expect a total of around 100 gigatonnes of CO2, even though some model runs emit over 600 gigatonnes.

That being said, they still neglect to include frozen soils and this paper out today:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12876/abstract

Shows that in northern Alaska alone there is 25 kg of high-carbohydrate carbon that is easily digestible per square meter.   By my calculation this is about 600,000 Square kilometers of soil in Alaska.

By my calculation then this northern Alaska soil holds 75 gigatonnes of easily accessible carbon.

And remember, they model this being released in the latter half of the century under continued RCP 8.5.  However, we understand that a much more rapid arctic transition is occurring now than the models held previously.  So with a much smaller atmospheric abundance the earlier emissions from frozen soil with produce a greater warming potential than if it was produced later and at a higher level of atmospheric abundance.

So, it takes significant mental yoga to pretend that with recent understandings of arctic ice loss, Antarctic mass loss and topography and frozen soils potential for emissions that the IPCC isn't severely understating the damage loss functions of carbon emissions.
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Michael Hauber

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Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« Reply #449 on: January 28, 2015, 10:37:47 PM »
The reason that they model only a slight increase in CO2 for the RCP 8.5 is because they delay the bulk of the emissions to the end of the century and due to the logarithmic forcing function of concentration the incremental increase in forcing within this scenario is very low due to the 850PPMv abundance already in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic emissions,

That is reality.  Any time there is exponential growth the bulk of that thing will be at the end.  Under perfect exponential growth (extended back in time forever) the percentage of Co2 emitted in the last 20 years (or 10 or 40 etc) will be the same in 2100 as it is now.  As a consequence if BAU continues (not possible in my opinion) then in 2100 we will be just as much waiting for long term feedbacks to kick in as we are now.  Its only when exponential growth stops that the proportion of newly emitted Co2 starts to drop and we can start to expect to see whatever long term impacts Co2 will have.

oh, and they only expect a total of around 100 gigatonnes of CO2, even though some model runs emit over 600 gigatonnes.

Not sure what you are referring to here. 

That being said, they still neglect to include frozen soils

The paper I refer to does consider frozen soils.

So, it takes significant mental yoga to pretend that with recent understandings of arctic ice loss, Antarctic mass loss and topography and frozen soils potential for emissions that the IPCC isn't severely understating the damage loss functions of carbon emissions.

Arctic ice loss is in the ocean, frozen soils are on land.  This is the same mistake as those that point out that Antarctic sea ice is increasing therefore Antarctic ice caps can't be melting.  In particular one of the key issues with Arctic ice loss is the 'Warm Arctic Cold Continents' pattern.  If part of the extra Arctic melt is caused by cold air leaving the Arctic for the continents then this mean that frozen soil loss will be slowed down, not sped up.

Also we don't know if the faster than modeled Arctic ice loss is a permanent fault of the models in failing to capture a key Arctic process, or whether it is due to natural variation which may reverse some time in the future.  If it is natural variation, then consider that with faster than expected Arctic ice loss global temperatures have been going up slightly slower than expected.  If the Arctic feedbacks are so important for total global temperature change then when whatever natural cycle is speeding up Arctic melt reverses then the extra warming for the extra Arctic melting will disappear and global warming will slow down.
Climate change:  Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, expect the middle.