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wili

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Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« on: September 27, 2013, 12:40:09 PM »
The IPCC 5th assessment report has been released. Here's a link to the first part (thanks to dorlomen at POForums for the link):

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf
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Richard Rathbone

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 02:08:02 PM »
Its just the summary of the science section. That section is out in a few days time, and then there are other sections due over the next year.

Its of some interest, but more for the sorts of effects you haven't been paying much attention too, than ones you have been following.

The things I noticed the most.

Sea level is rising up the agenda as well as up the beach. There is a tacit admission that we may already be committed to an eventual complete melt of Greenland, but there are mixed messages about how soon.

Extremes get significant coverage. Any heatwave is as likely as not anthropogenic, which is the sort of thing that I think will eventually lead to the likes of Exxon being sued out of business in 10-20 years time. Balance of probabilities is all it takes to win a civil case, and once IPCC start saying the same thing about rainfall extremes as there are now about temperature, the states will start to have enough $$$ at stake to sue.

They are covering themselves against Arctic Sea Ice melt out before the next report. Its expected to be gone by mid century under the BAU scenario but they aren't saying anything about how soon before 2050.

There is earlier time projection. They are saying things about the temperature of the next two decades and not just 50-100 years time.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 03:10:40 PM »
I just had to come over here after breaking my rule and reading the stupid comments below a CBC News article on the new report. http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/global-warming-95-likely-to-be-manmade-un-panel-says-1.1870378

Yesterday the headline was
Climate change report's 'temperature hiatus' fuels skeptics
Latest IPCC report affirms science of global warming but at pains to explain 15-year warming plateau


Today the idiots are pointing to yesterday's article as if today's is a reversal.

Sigh.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 04:10:28 PM »
The IPCC has its own link for the report if you would prefer the official one.

http://www.ipcc.ch/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 04:40:21 PM »
Hidden heat in the ocean.

As pointed out by Lynn the item causing the most controversy at this time (I am sure there will be others) is related to the surface warming hiatus since 1998.  Here is what the AR5 has about that in the Summary for Policy Makers from D.1 Evaluation of Climate Models (bold mine).

Quote
The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols). {9.4, Box 9.2, 10.3, Box 10.2, 11.3}

It is not hard to see why this paragraph can be manipulated by the deniers to cause trouble.  But, the fault does not lie with the authors as they are following the proper criteria for what they have been tasked to do.  As we know there is more recent research which adds further confidence to the sequestration of heat in the oceans that was not ready in time for the report.

Additional quote from B.1 Atmosphere:

Quote
In addition to robust multi-decadal warming, global mean surface temperature exhibits substantial decadal and interannual variability (see Figure SPM.1). Due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends. As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade)5. {2.4}
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 05:01:26 PM »
From section D.1 Evaluation of Climate Models
 
Quote
There is robust evidence that the downward trend in Arctic summer sea ice extent since 1979 is now reproduced by more models than at the time of the AR4, with about one-quarter of the models showing a trend as large as, or larger than, the trend in the observations. Most models simulate a small downward trend in Antarctic sea ice extent, albeit with large inter-model spread, in contrast to the small upward trend in observations. {9.4}

I find this very interesting as I was not aware that the models are catching up with the observations regarding loss of Arctic ice.  This may explain the apparent reluctance of almost all researchers to openly support claims of a very near-term end of melt season ice free Arctic.   It could be those 25% of the model which can now predict the Arctic melt do not show this happening with high confidence for a longer period of time?  does anyone know what they models say? 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 06:04:26 PM »
Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

From D.2 Quantification of Climate System Responses (bold mine)

Quote
The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)16. The lower temperature limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2°C in the AR4, but the upper limit is the same. This assessment reflects improved understanding, the extended temperature record in the atmosphere and ocean, and new estimates of radiative forcing. {TFE6.1, Figure 1; Box 12.2}


This implies that the odds are that the temperature at 2100 will be below 4.5 C as CO2 levels should not have reached the doubling amount of 574 ppm until about 2084 and some number of years would be required to reach equilibrium (calc used 2.5ppm increase per year).  There are additional factors to take into account of course (primarily potential increases in the rates of increase in positive feedbacks), but the fact that the upper bound has not increased over AR4 is of some significance.   There was a lot of research performed between AR4 and AR5 which seems to have reached a consensus on this critical number.


The Transient Climate Response (bold mine)

Quote
The transient climate response  quantifies the response of the climate system to an increasing radiative forcing on a decadal to century timescale. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at the time when the atmospheric CO2 concentration has doubled in a scenario of concentration increasing at 1% per year. The transient climate response is likely in the range of 1.0°C to 2.5°C (high confidence) and extremely unlikely greater than 3°C. {Box 12.2}

This is also pretty interesting as it uses CO2 concentrations increasing at 1% a year.  But CO2 concentrations are not increasing at that rate.  This years increase, which is on the high end of any kind of average is well under 1% at no  more than 0.7 %.  This number also implies that temperatures in 2100 will not exceed the 4.5 C number and may be quite a bit lower.

From E.1 Atmosphere: Temperature (bold mine)

Quote
Increase of global mean surface temperatures for 2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005 is projected to likely be in the ranges derived from the concentration driven CMIP5 model simulations, that is, 0.3°C to 1.7°C (RCP2.6), 1.1°C to 2.6°C (RCP4.5), 1.4°C to 3.1°C (RCP6.0), 2.6°C to 4.8°C (RCP8.5). The Arctic region will warm more rapidly than the global mean, and mean warming over land will be larger than over the ocean (very high confidence) (see Figures SPM.7 and SPM.8, and Table SPM.2). {12.4, 14.8}

So this report (admittedly conservative in nature) projects that in the worst case scenario (RCP8.5) that the high end temperature in 2100 will be between 2.6C to 4.8C (3.7C is median).

In light of all of our discussions regarding the temperature in 2100 it behooves us to keep these projections in mind.  Claims of 6-7C are clearly on the very high end of any predictions from the research.  To get to those numbers it requires that we follow a worst case scenario and that even then we hit the high range of the numbers for that scenario.  This requires a lot of increase in the rates of positive feedbacks as well as assuming that our civilization continues to function on a BAU basis for another 70+ years.  Is this likely??

I think not.  We have had lots of discussion on the Forum regarding the likelihood of collapse setting in sometime in the future.  My projection of circa 2050 is one of the latest ones and most everyone else has picked much sooner times than that.  Even if I am right we cannot hit these numbers and if the posters who have picked earlier times for collapse are right it is even less likely we hit those numbers.  If collapse happens it changes everything and I am convinced it is coming.  All the scenarios from the earlier AR's and even the new RCP's for AR5 assume some form of BAU and none of them take into account any kind of major civilizational disruptions.  So IMHO we are screwed (as my writing has indicated), but we are screwed in a different way than the worst climate change numbers indicate.  Even if one assumes that there is no collapse there is still a high likelihood that coming climate disruptions will change the course of civilization and modify BAU behaviors (though I think that is some time away still).  Does this makes sense to you?  If not, why not?

 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 09:29:02 PM »
Jim,

It may be merely due to me misunderstanding, but to be clear: It takes centuries to reach equilibrium. The importance of the transient climate response is for short term, yes, but it is wrong to omit other climate forcings. I remain sceptical of the idea of an imminent and massive CH4 blowout, but at more than half of CO2 RF this is a factor that cannot be ignored given early snow melt over land permafrost and the implications of warming due to reduced sea ice on the thermal equilibrium of marine clathrates. On which subject...

Has nobody else noticed the CH4 forcing increase?

Quote
Emissions of CH4 alone have caused an RF of 0.97 [0.74 to 1.20] W m−2 (see Figure SPM.5). This is much larger than the concentration-based estimate of 0.48 [0.38 to 0.58] Wm−2
(unchanged from AR4). This difference in estimates is caused by concentration changes in
ozone and stratospheric water vapour due to CH4 emissions and other emissions indirectly
affecting CH4. {8.3, 8.5}

They've doubled it. I'm such a nerd I knew there had been a big jump just from the graph SPM5.  :-[

Total anthropogenic RF has gone up by 43%, due to smaller negative forcing by aerosols.

Quote
The total anthropogenic RF for 2011 relative to 1750 is 2.29 [1.13 to 3.33] W m−2 (see Figure SPM.5), and it has increased more rapidly since 1970 than during prior decades. The total
anthropogenic RF best estimate for 2011 is 43% higher than that reported in AR4 for the year
2005. This is caused by a combination of continued growth in most greenhouse gas
concentrations and improved estimates of RF by aerosols indicating a weaker net cooling
effect (negative RF).

Anyone who's ever seen the Horizon documentary on Global Dimming will realise what good news that is.


RFs have been increased to allow for less offsetting due to aerosols, but that means that there is less likely to be a massive hidden RF debt hiding behind the aerosol negative RF.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 09:38:03 PM »
I read somewhere (probably a comment on Dr. Master's WeatherUnderground blog - no, not one of the denier comments!) that IPCC 5 ignores melting permafrost which currently covers 24% of the Northern Hemisphere and contains twice the carbon as the Earth's atmosphere, currently [data from memory].  This may be a significant positive  feedback not included in any of the current models.

I wrote this before Chris posted.  His information may contradict my source.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

ChrisReynolds

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2013, 09:51:49 PM »
Tor,

No contradiction. A major factor is whether Siberia thaws wet or dry (i.e. rainy or not). Dry and more of the atmospheric emissions of carbon are as CO2, wet and more of it emits as CH4.

I am not aware of modelled or actual trends in summer precipitation in the region of permafrost thaw.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 10:45:14 PM »
Jim D......I certainly agree that BAU through the 21st century is unrealistic. Certainly, we will not hit the U.N. population forecasts and population growth is one of the requirements for continued economic growth. Given this, we will continue to see increasingly aggressive efforts to sustain BAU as far into the future as possible.

What does this mean?

We should expect that efforts to access known and to be discovered petroleum reserves will continue with more expensive sources exploited (deep ocean drilling, tar sands, fracking etc.). There will be an intense focus on technological solutions to challenges that emerge through the century. Factory agriculture, GMO developments, new pesticide and herbicide development, with all of its attendant problems (environmental degradation etc.), will be pursued to combat world wide food insecurity.  How far we can maintain BAU into the century will depend on man's ingenuity and ability to make choices without considering implications for the future. I have a great deal of confidence we will be able to do just that for some time to come.

Lennart van der Linde

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2013, 11:08:24 PM »
Temperature projections for 2080-2100 relative to 1986-2005 are 0.6K lower than relative to preindustrial. So 4.8K becomes 5.4K relative to preindustrial.

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2013, 03:32:37 AM »
Hi All,

I was not ignoring you I was out working with the Forest Service this weekend in one of our wildernesses in AZ removing invasive species.

Chris.  I understand this and am not discounting it.

Jim D......I certainly agree that BAU through the 21st century is unrealistic. Certainly, we will not hit the U.N. population forecasts and population growth is one of the requirements for continued economic growth. Given this, we will continue to see increasingly aggressive efforts to sustain BAU as far into the future as possible.

What does this mean?

We should expect that efforts to access known and to be discovered petroleum reserves will continue with more expensive sources exploited (deep ocean drilling, tar sands, fracking etc.). There will be an intense focus on technological solutions to challenges that emerge through the century. Factory agriculture, GMO developments, new pesticide and herbicide development, with all of its attendant problems (environmental degradation etc.), will be pursued to combat world wide food insecurity.  How far we can maintain BAU into the century will depend on man's ingenuity and ability to make choices without considering implications for the future. I have a great deal of confidence we will be able to do just that for some time to come.

SH.  A good summary of what is likely to happen.  The point I was trying to make is that I think that the process you described has a limit that will exceed our abilities to keep pushing the envelope.  There are 'plenty' of fossil fuels we can dig up to burn but the problem we see in the climate change numbers tells us that we do not dare burn them all.  We actually know the location of more fossil fuel deposits than we dare burn already.  We have no need to find more.  In today's world we are hell bent on the endless growth paradigm powered by that same fossil fuel.  We are all frustrated here with the publics lack of willingness to, or demand for, change.  It seems like it will be BAU forever.  But it won't be.  Because the finiteness of the world and the relentlessness of the laws of physics won't allow endless BAU even if we are very clever or just too stupid to change.

That break point is somewhere in our future.  I think that break point will manifest itself mid-century.  Many others think it comes sooner than that.  Perhaps somewhat later.  But we will hit those number projected for 2100 "only" if we continue on the RCP 8.5 worst case BAU scenario out to at least sometime around 2080.  I don't think we are actually very likely to do that.

We have a host of worsening problems that, absent the existence of climate change, would still be very challenging.  These problems would fully tax our creativity and inventiveness in a search for solutions.  When the destructive effects of climate change are added into that mix it seems certain that major global disruption will occur.  Collapse.  This is all speculation of course, but I envision that by 2100 we will be well below our current population of 7.2 billion and down 3-4 billion from our peak.  Even places like the US will have seen many decades before then that dramatic reductions in emissions are necessary for survival and will be operating very differently than we are today.  We will continue BAU for a long time, but not for anywhere near the time it would take to hit those RCP 8.5 numbers.   I see BAU functionally the same for about 20 more years and then reality will be setting in around the world and one after another dominos will be falling. In place after place panic will be setting in, mass migrations will be attempted and opposed, chaos here and there, food production will eventually stall out and eventually see serious declines, collapse happens.  From that point on there will be dramatic declines in emissions profiles everywhere.

In my readings over the last week when I finally realized that none of the ICPP scenarios had tried to project future emissions where there were severe impacts on global civilization due to climate change I was a bit floored.  What can you say about a process that leaves out the effects of the very thing you are studying (I do actually realize that many probably leave this part out because they are trying to get peoples attention).  And when you think about it a bit, basically everyone is doing that.  Even if you leave out entirely the possibility of humans waking up and trying to save themselves you cannot discount the eventual peaking and breaking of the various crises which are building.  Those alone will impact the projections and they are unavoidable.

Bottom line is, excepting a rapid increase in positive feedbacks, we just won't hit those numbers.  This is not to say disaster of epic proportions is not coming...because it is.

I hope I am making some sense here, but I think I am rambling a bit as I am pretty tired from the weekend.  If you disagree or think I was not making sense poke me and I will try again tomorrow. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2013, 04:11:24 AM »
Jim D......You are making sense.

domen_

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2013, 05:30:07 PM »
Final draft has been published online, here's link: http://www.climatechange2013.org/report/review-drafts/

Or here: https://ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/#.UkmYszNEOMA

I wonder why they say "Do Not Cite, Quote or Distribute" on every page. Is it all right to post pictures in forums?

ritter

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2013, 06:15:36 PM »
Bottom line is, excepting a rapid increase in positive feedbacks, we just won't hit those numbers.  This is not to say disaster of epic proportions is not coming...because it is.

I hope I am making some sense here, but I think I am rambling a bit as I am pretty tired from the weekend.  If you disagree or think I was not making sense poke me and I will try again tomorrow.

I'm following you!  ;)

In fact, I'd say I'm about 20 years ahead of your projections. I see evidence of those issues you describe as being 20 years out today. The fact is the world can't support those population projections. One of the reasons (I've stated in a different thread) that I see a rapid and sooner collapse vs a longer and later one benefiting the world is that we will have less opportunity to liberate those reserves giving the rest of the species (and remaining humans) a better chance at a survivable climate. All that said, nobody is going to acknowledge the probability of collapse in a document like the IPCC's. But they do apparently bring up the necessity of geoengineering--not a good indicator of our situation!

wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 07:19:29 PM »
It could be that collapse will lead to a big reduction in ff use. But it may not.

FF = power

Will human institutions suddenly be uninterested in acquiring and using power post collapse?

Or will the scramble to grab and use as much power as possible become ever more furious?

You don't need billions of people to dig up and burn up all the accessible sequestered carbon on the planet. All you need is a relatively small group that wants to hold on to power. War is a very energy and ff intensive project.

 If the US, perhaps allied with a few other major powers, chooses to exert all it's enormous power and influence over grabbing as much of the remaining ff on the planet as possible, it could use up an awful lot of ff in both transport and directly in ordinance, and of course in the process of fighting over ff supplies, a lot of them will be destroyed intentionally or un-.

Tar sands development shows that even very low energy-return-on-energy-invented sources can and will be exploited as the price signals turn up. Lots of people thought those would never be exploited because of EROEI factors, but now they are. I suspect that will happen again and again.
"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."

domen_

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 09:58:21 PM »
Quote
All that said, nobody is going to acknowledge the probability of collapse in a document like the IPCC's. But they do apparently bring up the necessity of geoengineering--not a good indicator of our situation!
Where did they bring up geoengineering? I must have missed it.

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2013, 10:14:10 PM »
...Where did they bring up geoengineering? I must have missed it.

Here you go.  From last paragraph of Policymaker Summary section E.8 Climate Stabilization, Climate Change Commitment and Irreversibility

Quote
Methods that aim to deliberately alter the climate system to counter climate change, termed geoengineering, have been proposed. Limited evidence precludes a comprehensive quantitative assessment of both Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and their impact on the climate system. CDR methods have biogeochemical and technological limitations to their potential on a global scale. There is insufficient knowledge to quantify how much CO2 emissions could be partially offset by CDR on a century timescale. Modelling indicates that SRM methods, if realizable, have the potential to substantially offset a global temperature rise, but they would also modify the global water cycle, and would not reduce ocean acidification. If SRM were terminated for any reason, there is high confidence that global surface temperatures would rise very rapidly to values consistent with the greenhouse gas forcing. CDR and SRM method
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2013, 11:00:05 PM »
It could be that collapse will lead to a big reduction in ff use. But it may not.

FF = power

Will human institutions suddenly be uninterested in acquiring and using power post collapse?

Or will the scramble to grab and use as much power as possible become ever more furious?

You don't need billions of people to dig up and burn up all the accessible sequestered carbon on the planet. All you need is a relatively small group that wants to hold on to power. War is a very energy and ff intensive project.

 If the US, perhaps allied with a few other major powers, chooses to exert all it's enormous power and influence over grabbing as much of the remaining ff on the planet as possible, it could use up an awful lot of ff in both transport and directly in ordinance, and of course in the process of fighting over ff supplies, a lot of them will be destroyed intentionally or un-.

Tar sands development shows that even very low energy-return-on-energy-invented sources can and will be exploited as the price signals turn up. Lots of people thought those would never be exploited because of EROEI factors, but now they are. I suspect that will happen again and again.

I am not discounting your point as such an outcome is certainly possible.  But I think it highly likely that we will see huge reductions in carbon emissions both pre and post collapse.  Once again assuming my 2050 timeframe for collapse I think we can look at the limited trends towards reduced carbon emissions that are manifesting themselves all over the world today to continue and increase in magnitude.  Additionally, as time passes a small but continuous number of people will get on that bandwagon and push it along (this is the process of working towards a critical mass of opinion), additional scientific proof will be obtained and this will slowly move governments and eventually industries to change as well.  As the years pass the forces advocating (demanding) change will grow more powerful and exert pressure for greater rates of change.  This process seems to me to be inevitable and unstoppable.  All this will happen prior to collapse.  As we see collapse coming (it will not be a big surprise) the impetus to change will constantly grow and effect real change.  It will just be too little too late to prevent collapse, but it will reduce emissions significantly.

After collapse kicks in just the changing population will reduce emissions but I think other factors will as well.  Part of what the global consortium of powerful countries is likely to do in those circumstances is divide up the resources amongst themselves and cut everyone else out of the loop.  This is quite doable if sufficient nasty force is involved.  Say we finally reach the point that everyone accepts that burning any more coal at all is unacceptable (yes we will eventually get there) then your consortium uses force to prevent anyone from burning coal and reserves most oil and natural gas to themselves.  This would dramatically reduce emissions and when coupled with a rapidly shrinking population (actually it would assist reductions in population) have a large impact.

Quote
Or will the scramble to grab and use as much power as possible become ever more furious?

In a never ending economic growth sense I guess we may be trying right now to figure out how to use the maximum amount of power and it may get worse for a while, but that paradigm cannot last as those many factors bringing on collapse are not going to go away and eventually large numbers of people are going to be cut off from power sources they do not control.  Rather than sending in the US military, at great expense of resources, to control some country not following directions a more effective use of force is not to attack but to starve them of resources.  Much cheaper. 

I don't think that the US and the Europeans are going to be the major participants in the collapse wars of the future.  We will use our military's to exert control over resources and our colonies but we will stand off from most conflicts and let them play out as it will be to our advantage to do so.  When Bangladesh bites the dust and the mass migration towards India takes place there will be a huge war (or genocide most likely) with massive loss of life.  Why would we get involved?  Similar scenes will play out in other locations.  When it is to one's advantage to let a conflict play out why get involved?  Every time there is a conflict that one can stay out of one gains as the other entities are both losing ground and will be weaker if you have to then deal with them yourself. 

But the world is a complex place and circumstances will certainly support a wide variety of pluses and minuses in this global geo-political game and not all events will go to the low emissions side of the equation to be sure.  But I think the trend must be well on the side of an eventual steep downslope in emissions. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2013, 12:52:39 AM »
"as time passes a small but continuous number of people will get on that bandwagon and push it along (this is the process of working towards a critical mass of opinion), additional scientific proof will be obtained and this will slowly move governments and eventually industries to change as well."

Of course, scientific proof has been continuously growing for fifty, you could even say 100 years, and at an accelerating rate, especially in the most recent couple decades.

And yet throughout that period we have seen the mass of otherwise-safely-sequestered carbon released into the atmosphere also continuous growing for the last 100+ years, and at an accelerating rate, especially in the most recent couple decades.

So, so far, scientific evidence of the certainty and of the enormity of the disaster we are bringing down on ourselves has not tracked very well with a steady global reduction of the threat--quite the opposite.

Now, maybe that long-term disconnect in those trends if about to reverse, but shall we say the burden of proof would have to be on those who are proposing that increased scientific certainty about GW is on the verge suddenly of corresponding with decreased burning of FF, in spite of the long history of the opposite being the case.

Obviously, I would like to hope that your scenario is about to unfold, but history does not give me much reason for such hope, and it certainly does not leave me with much confidence that:

"This process seems to me to be inevitable and unstoppable."

Quote
Part of what the global consortium of powerful countries is likely to do in those circumstances is divide up the resources amongst themselves and cut everyone else out of the loop.  This is quite doable if sufficient nasty force is involved.  Say we finally reach the point that everyone accepts that burning any more coal at all is unacceptable (yes we will eventually get there) then your consortium uses force to prevent anyone from burning coal and reserves most oil and natural gas to themselves. 

Yes, something like this is probably the best among a lot of really bad future scenarios. But again, those those exertions of 'nasty force' are likely to involve lots of wars burning lots of FFs (along with burning babies, children, women, old folks, and of course us plain old men).

And the powers themselves will be getting and holding power by being in control of FFs, which it will be ever-tempting to use to incrementally increase their power. What if you realize that if your country secretly started burning coal to produce more weapons faster, just that little edge would give you an advantage over your non-coal-use-rule-complying opponents. The justification would be that, hey, it's just a bit more coal use, not enough to make a big difference in the big picture of GW.

Anyway, you get the idea. Tragedy of the commons, and all that. I would like to think and hope that scientific understanding of the risks and strong international agreements could be strong enough to overcome such temptations, but I can't help but be dubious.

And again, I do think some such agreement is the best thing we could hope for, however it comes about. But it hardly seems inevitable.

Quote
Rather than sending in the US military, at great expense of resources, to control some country not following directions a more effective use of force is not to attack but to starve them of resources.

I'm not sure I follow this. We would be sending in the military specifically to secure resources. How would not sending them in starve the country of resources? As you say immediately after this quote, we would have little interest in inserting ourselves into the many wars that will crop up that do not immediately effect our 'vital interests,' that is access to ffs.

I'm sure there are war game rooms working out all these possibilities in much more detail than we can imagine. I, too, think that there are likely scenarios in which ff use is steadily (or bumpily) reduced in the coming decades. But other scenarios seem equally if not more likely.

And even as small population can use up massive amounts of ffs--recall that the US with only about a third of a billion in pop (about 5% of world pop) is using about a quarter of the world's ff's every year than, more than the poorest two or three billion use, irrc. And the US doesn't even have the highest per capita rate of use.





"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."

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2013, 05:52:35 PM »
Wili

"as time passes a small but continuous number of people will get on that bandwagon and push it along (this is the process of working towards a critical mass of opinion), additional scientific proof will be obtained and this will slowly move governments and eventually industries to change as well."

Of course, scientific proof has been continuously growing for fifty, you could even say 100 years, and at an accelerating rate, especially in the most recent couple decades.

And yet throughout that period we have seen the mass of otherwise-safely-sequestered carbon released into the atmosphere also continuous growing for the last 100+ years, and at an accelerating rate, especially in the most recent couple decades.

So, so far, scientific evidence of the certainty and of the enormity of the disaster we are bringing down on ourselves has not tracked very well with a steady global reduction of the threat--quite the opposite.

Now, maybe that long-term disconnect in those trends if about to reverse, but shall we say the burden of proof would have to be on those who are proposing that increased scientific certainty about GW is on the verge suddenly of corresponding with decreased burning of FF, in spite of the long history of the opposite being the case.

Cynicism is always a safe position to take in this world and I do not discount the possibility you end up being right.  But I think you underestimate the changes taking place in opinions.  The change in public opinion I mentioned above is not based upon the scientific understanding improving.  The public is fundamentally unscientific and such proofs do not resonate with them.  They make their decisions under the influence of their basic subconscious nature.  But those basic processes are still functioning.  It is like the vast majority of farmers are quite comfortable with the idea that growing conditions are changing.  And they are acting on those changes.  However, they, in general, do not sign up to the AGW bandwagon as it conflicts with their religious and ideological beliefs.  But the pressures of reality are not being ignored entirely as they are still acting on the change in conditions.   So they are operating under a continuous level of internal stress and this stress will, over time, adapt their conscious positions.  Their opinions.  This type of change is going on all over the world and, while it is sort of riding underneath the opinion polls I think we all realize it is happening to varying extents.    Each day a few more of these types of people cross the line and get on that bandwagon I mentioned.  This type of change is the normal way non-catastrophic change takes place and it can result in large changes over time.

The other type of influence, scientific, I mentioned in your quote has more effect on governments and industries.  This change is much quicker.  The intelligence communities and the Pentagon long ago accepted the reality and have been planning on how to deal with it for a long time.  Maybe not in the way you might Prefer, but actions are taking place.  There is no denial or ignoring of the facts on the organizational level.  the same goes for certain industries and this will propagate through others as time passes.  Changes will precipitate out of this and have meaningful effect eventually.  Once again it will likely be to late to avoid catastrophe. 

 
Obviously, I would like to hope that your scenario is about to unfold, but history does not give me much reason for such hope, and it certainly does not leave me with much confidence that:

"This process seems to me to be inevitable and unstoppable."

But Wili, these process are driven by finite limits and the laws of physics.  They can be ignored for a time but they cannot be avoided.  If we don't eliminate BAU they ARE inevitable and unstoppable.  Those processes are going to maintain that pressure on the publics subconscious and they always adapt to those stresses.  It is a form of evolution as well as one of the triggers to our genetic adaptations to danger.  Our subconscious often identifies danger before our conscious mind does and starts the reaction to it.  I don't see any reason that mechanism will stop working.  It may well react too slow to do us any good of course.  But that is a different matter.

Quote
Part of what the global consortium of powerful countries is likely to do in those circumstances is divide up the resources amongst themselves and cut everyone else out of the loop.  This is quite doable if sufficient nasty force is involved.  Say we finally reach the point that everyone accepts that burning any more coal at all is unacceptable (yes we will eventually get there) then your consortium uses force to prevent anyone from burning coal and reserves most oil and natural gas to themselves. 

Yes, something like this is probably the best among a lot of really bad future scenarios. But again, those those exertions of 'nasty force' are likely to involve lots of wars burning lots of FFs (along with burning babies, children, women, old folks, and of course us plain old men).

And the powers themselves will be getting and holding power by being in control of FFs, which it will be ever-tempting to use to incrementally increase their power. What if you realize that if your country secretly started burning coal to produce more weapons faster, just that little edge would give you an advantage over your non-coal-use-rule-complying opponents. The justification would be that, hey, it's just a bit more coal use, not enough to make a big difference in the big picture of GW.

You seem to be envisioning global WWII type conflicts here.  I do not think it all that likely such wars will occur again.  They were the solutions to a different problem I think.  I think we both project that the global civilization will continue on its BAU path for some time.  In the BAU world we live in the likelihood of global scale wars is very small. Even the prospect of large regional ones is limited.  Other than the Middle East and possibly an Asian conflict generated by the Chinese expanding their sphere of influence none are in the cards at this time.  And the Chinese have a long history of being pretty sophisticated at getting what they want without crossing that line.  Taiwan for instance is slowly but surely becoming a Chinese colony and the US can do nothing about it.  That leaves the Middle East and while I will admit the West is and has been playing their cards there with little competence we can probably escape total disaster.  But when we reach the point I mentioned where BAU falls apart and collapse sets in then the dynamics of resource control also undergoes a sea change.  With dramatically falling populations and a global shift away from at least coal consumption the dynamics of control of fossil resources will change. In circumstances like that the US does not need to maintain control of the Middle East for its own resource needs as the Western Hemisphere has plenty enough to satisfy what will then be the requirements in between the oceans.  We could in that situation decide to maintain, or even increase control, over Middle Eastern resources through the desire to exert influence on others who desperately need them however.  The Chinese, Indians and Japanese are certainly concerned about this possibility.  And the Europeans ought to be as they are backed into a corner because they are dependent on the Russians.  But we don't have to do that, it is just an option.

I believe that most wars in the future will be of the genocidal nature as various entities decide that they cannot accommodate the needs of large numbers of desperate people on or within their borders.  Such wars are not large scale hugely resource intensive types of conflicts.  Starving large numbers of people or stopping mass migration (as long as you are willing to resort to ruthless tactics) is not going to expend globally significant amounts of resources. 

Anyway, you get the idea. Tragedy of the commons, and all that. I would like to think and hope that scientific understanding of the risks and strong international agreements could be strong enough to overcome such temptations, but I can't help but be dubious.

And again, I do think some such agreement is the best thing we could hope for, however it comes about. But it hardly seems inevitable.

I hope what I have written above clarifies that "...I would like to think and hope that scientific understanding of the risks and strong international agreements could be strong enough to overcome such temptations... " this interpretation is not what I was talking about.

Quote
Rather than sending in the US military, at great expense of resources, to control some country not following directions a more effective use of force is not to attack but to starve them of resources.

I'm not sure I follow this. We would be sending in the military specifically to secure resources. How would not sending them in starve the country of resources? As you say immediately after this quote, we would have little interest in inserting ourselves into the many wars that will crop up that do not immediately effect our 'vital interests,' that is access to ffs.

I'm sure there are war game rooms working out all these possibilities in much more detail than we can imagine. I, too, think that there are likely scenarios in which ff use is steadily (or bumpily) reduced in the coming decades. But other scenarios seem equally if not more likely.

And even as small population can use up massive amounts of ffs--recall that the US with only about a third of a billion in pop (about 5% of world pop) is using about a quarter of the world's ff's every year than, more than the poorest two or three billion use, irrc. And the US doesn't even have the highest per capita rate of use.

Well to use an unlikely example of what the above quote might mean is Egypt.  Say the Egyptians absolutely refused to do something the West considered critically important as they decided it was not in their interests.  We could send in the US military at great expense or we could embargo the shipment of grain supplies.  Since they only grow a fraction of the grain they need now and sea level rise is going to slowly wipe out much of their current capacity they are helpless in the face of such a tactic.  At virtually no expense they can be totally defeated in a matter of weeks and largely eliminated in less than a year.  It is no fun to talk about these situations as it sometimes poisons the discussions.  But the world is full of such vulnerabilities and just because they are not talked about much nor often acted upon does not mean that they can't be or that they do not exist.  I will not give other examples but I hope you see why that argument does not work. There are a host of critical resources (depending on your viewpoint or relative insecurity) that are not fossil fuels and the control of them for use or restriction can be very important in a power/strategic sense so one needs to keep in mind the complexities of all this.  Fossil fuels are not the only lynchpin.  There are many and some have more of these vulnerabilities than others.  The greatest vulnerability there is is not to be able to control your own food supply.

The big consumers of ff's and emitters of carbon are always going to be in that relative position.  Some day when the US emissions rate is just a fraction of what it is now the relative positions on emissions will likely not have changed much.  This is one of the points I allude to all the time.  Power works hard to maintain its position.  We will emit less, a lot less, in the future but you can also bet that everyone else will be doing the same because they will have no choice.  There is not going to be an occurrence of some global Kumbaya where we all accept our fundamental humanity and start behaving as the kindergarten instructors work so hard to beat into us.  We are not going to implement an equaling (the fairness doctrine) of per capita emissions between countries and peoples.  Those 3-4 billion souls who depart may not have the highest per capita emissions but they still are responsible for a significant amount and their departures will reduce the total.  And every little bit counts does it not?

A good discussion in any case.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2013, 07:06:48 AM »
"these process are driven by finite limits and the laws of physics."

Now I am (or you are?) confused. The original reference was to human responses to gw, iirc.

 GW may be a (mostly)physical process, but human responses are social and psychological, not in any direct sense driven by 'the laws of physics' as those terms are usually used. But maybe the whole discussion has gotten too convoluted and elaborated for either of us to follow exactly what the other is saying at this point?

Let me just make clear that I do not pretend to know how thing will unfold (except for the real physics behind global warming and physical feedbacks, that say the globe will now continue to heat and ghg's will build up no matter what we do at this point).

It seems quite likely to me that there will be a major collapse in the next ten to twenty years (or sooner) if the Hadley cells do go through the major rearrangement that they in fact seem to be going through right now--thereby fundamentally disrupting ag and much else.

But I certainly don't pretend to know what future conflicts will or will not look like. Just that it is likely they will involve use of power, and that the most available power source is still ff (and nukes). So I assume that these will continue to be used, short of some kind of universal awakening and moratorium (for which I devoutly pray, but which I see scant sign of happening any time soon--very glad of you do see such signs from your perspective, though).

"I believe that most wars in the future will be of the genocidal nature as various entities decide that they cannot accommodate the needs of large numbers of desperate people on or within their borders."

I'm afraid that much future conflict will indeed involve these factors, but many of these desperate people will also be smart enough and have enough resources to create damage that will expend lots of ff, one way or the other (9/11 anyone?). But let's neither of us pretend that we know exactly what future participants in future conflicts will precisely come up with as ways to cause various forms of havoc.

We may, indeed, be able to "wipe out" one Egypt (though please note that we have been arming them for many years, so they would likely pose more of a problem than Iraq, Syria, or certainly Afghanistan, none of which have been areas we have been able to deal with easily so far.) But how many times could we do this? How many enemies would we create every time we did this?

I honestly can see no good outcome at this point for most of MENA nor for South Asia; that whole area (and beyond) has had enormous increases of population fed by the oil boom and the green revolution; the 'benefits' and profits from both of which are diminishing fast.

But I don't pretend I know how it will play out. And I doubt the US will bother to 'wipe' any of  them 'out'--they will just try to contain them and let them wipe themselves out in civil and regional wars, probably; but who knows.

The US is extracting as much fossil fuel as ever (an increasing portion of which, esp for coal, it is exporting), so I'm not sure when or how we will start emitting "less, a lot less" CO2, fairly accounted.

One interesting and somewhat bizarre idea that occurred to me during this interesting conversation is that perhaps at some point wars will be fought using solar, wind and other renewable power. This will surely make many of the 'peace-nik, hippy...' early promoters of these technologies (like me  8)) roll over in their (our) graves!

Anyway, I would like to point out that if you were taking my position in this debate, I would likely be arguing something like yours (as I have on other forums, though not as articulately as you have here.) As with most things, I tend to be of two minds; so it helps to have other minds to argue with, so that I'm not always schizophrenically arguing just with myself.  :)

Thanks for keeping good humor about the whole thing and being such a worthy adversary. I am becoming rather swamped with work, so don't take offense (or assume I have conceded defeat!! :)) if I can't carry on much from here.

Best to all in an increasingly uncertain future.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 07:22:17 AM by wili »
"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."

JimD

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2013, 05:11:29 PM »
"these process are driven by finite limits and the laws of physics."

Now I am (or you are?) confused. The original reference was to human responses to gw, iirc.

 GW may be a (mostly)physical process, but human responses are social and psychological, not in any direct sense driven by 'the laws of physics' as those terms are usually used. But maybe the whole discussion has gotten too convoluted and elaborated for either of us to follow exactly what the other is saying at this point?

You misunderstand what I am saying.  Human responses 'are' often directly driven by actual physical processes.  Human responses take the 'form' of social and psychological responses to be sure.  But what I was pointing out is that the slow change in public opinion is fundamentally being driven by the change in conditions being forced by 'the laws of physics'.  I see that process of the slow change in public opinion to be unstoppable and inevitable as it is being driven by fundamental laws and it will slowly trigger the basic human threat responses (those social and psychological you mention) in greater numbers of people over time. Admittedly what I said could have been phrased better.
 
....It seems quite likely to me that there will be a major collapse in the next ten to twenty years (or sooner) if the Hadley cells do go through the major rearrangement that they in fact seem to be going through right now--thereby fundamentally disrupting ag and much else.

But I certainly don't pretend to know what future conflicts will or will not look like. Just that it is likely they will involve use of power, and that the most available power source is still ff (and nukes). So I assume that these will continue to be used, short of some kind of universal awakening and moratorium (for which I devoutly pray, but which I see scant sign of happening any time soon--very glad of you do see such signs from your perspective, though).

"I believe that most wars in the future will be of the genocidal nature as various entities decide that they cannot accommodate the needs of large numbers of desperate people on or within their borders."

I'm afraid that much future conflict will indeed involve these factors, but many of these desperate people will also be smart enough and have enough resources to create damage that will expend lots of ff, one way or the other (9/11 anyone?). But let's neither of us pretend that we know exactly what future participants in future conflicts will precisely come up with as ways to cause various forms of havoc.

We may, indeed, be able to "wipe out" one Egypt (though please note that we have been arming them for many years, so they would likely pose more of a problem than Iraq, Syria, or certainly Afghanistan, none of which have been areas we have been able to deal with easily so far.) But how many times could we do this? How many enemies would we create every time we did this?

I honestly can see no good outcome at this point for most of MENA nor for South Asia; that whole area (and beyond) has had enormous increases of population fed by the oil boom and the green revolution; the 'benefits' and profits from both of which are diminishing fast.

But I don't pretend I know how it will play out. And I doubt the US will bother to 'wipe' any of  them 'out'--they will just try to contain them and let them wipe themselves out in civil and regional wars, probably; but who knows.

The US is extracting as much fossil fuel as ever (an increasing portion of which, esp for coal, it is exporting), so I'm not sure when or how we will start emitting "less, a lot less" CO2, fairly accounted.

One interesting and somewhat bizarre idea that occurred to me during this interesting conversation is that perhaps at some point wars will be fought using solar, wind and other renewable power. This will surely make many of the 'peace-nik, hippy...' early promoters of these technologies (like me  8)) roll over in their (our) graves!

Anyway, I would like to point out that if you were taking my position in this debate, I would likely be arguing something like yours (as I have on other forums, though not as articulately as you have here.) As with most things, I tend to be of two minds; so it helps to have other minds to argue with, so that I'm not always schizophrenically arguing just with myself.  :)

Thanks for keeping good humor about the whole thing and being such a worthy adversary. I am becoming rather swamped with work, so don't take offense (or assume I have conceded defeat!! :)) if I can't carry on much from here.

Best to all in an increasingly uncertain future.

Wili, we are not adversaries.  And I am not trying to defeat you in a debate.  I am just speculating on the future as are all of us.  The possible outcomes are so vast as to make accurate prediction impossible.  One of the reasons I try to provide an articulate version of the possibilities that I see is that almost no one argues for these points of view.  Many of the things I bring up are unpleasant in some fashion and our politically correct culture leads us to avoid mentioning them.  I think we have too much on the table to let ourselves do that so I offer them for consideration.  I have an unusual background and have seen and experienced life from an uncommon perspective.  Seldom do people from that world interact with others, especially in such forums.  I choose to because I think it adds to the discussions.

To digress, one facet of discussions on subjects like these is how difficult it is to properly explain or layout an argument.  Verbal discussions on subjects like these are almost always a failure due to the quick human interactions.  One speaker will be following a train of thought (hopefully logically) and say a word or phrase which immediately triggers a verbal response from the listener.  Inevitable.  But these kinds of interactions, while intellectually stimulating, are like debating and they always take the conversation off the train of logic it is on.  Usually for little purpose as the listener has not yet absorbed the chain of thought and has misreacted to the speakers words (a standard debate winning tactic).  In a verbal conversation it is  very difficult to be quick of mind enough to be able to absorb and think about the chain of thought one is being presented without reacting to secondary points.

The same process occurs in quickly written blog posts to a lesser extent.  Due to the necessity of limited space and time the author must make wide assumptions about what the reader understands and their knowledge of the history and science of what they are talking about.  The authors assumptions of what are standard human nature reactions,what is appropriate human behavior, what is acceptable ethics, and what is proper moral behavior also must be glossed over.  Not to speak of the lack of space and time to lay out explicitly ones argument and all the various levels of complexity and nuance.  This whole conundrum snowballs and turns into a monster the more difficult the subject.  But this is still more fruitful than direct verbal communication in most cases.

To avoid the problems of the blog post we have to switch into in depth articles and then, of course, into book length treatises.  By the time we have taken that road (assuming we have the time and energy) we are now in the realm of an entirely different audience.  I can tell you know and understand the above steps and I am certainly not trying to talk down to you.  I am just pointing the above out explicitly to make the point that most of our misunderstandings (not just you and me, but everyone) are not because we have fundamental disagreements with each other (they are more of a minor nature), but that our chosen communication process has flaws that lead to frequent misunderstandings and confusions.

We will see you when you have more time again.  It is sort of the off-season now for the Arctic ice and I have already noticed a diminution of posters and numbers of posts.  I too am likely to post less frequently for a while due to other demands.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Hans

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 07:43:59 AM »
Final draft has been published online, ......I wonder why they say "Do Not Cite, Quote or Distribute" on every page. Is it all right to post pictures in forums?
This is the draft report, as pulished on 7 june. At that time, publication was not permitted. Note that the this week published draft is a draft. There is already a list of corrections to be made, as a results of last weeks dicussion and acceptance of the SPM. See the Changes to the Underlying Scientific/Technical Assessment , also available on the pages you referred to. These changes are NOT incorporated in the draft yet. (And as you will understasnd they will move the pictures and tables from the end of the chapters to the right position in the text)

domen_

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2013, 05:40:23 PM »
Thanks for clarification! I hope nothing's wrong if I cite some of the material before January.

Some people think models are overestimating warming and that they are terribly flawed. But I don't think that's the case. Here's IPCC models prediction compared to linear trend (calculated based on 1982-2012). I think most of the models are holding quite well.

I used Hadcrut4 data for calculating linear part.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1982/to:2012/trend

wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2013, 06:14:35 AM »
Thanks for the insights about online discussions, JimD. I do notice that some people tend to jump on one, often minor, point or nuance to the detriment of the broader point being discussed. It can be quite annoying when you see it in others, but I have a sneaking suspicion I do it more often myself than I would care to admit--it's always easier to see others' faults than one's own.

I do agree that, in spite of the short comings you mention, it is easier to have online discussions of these difficult issues than face to face (as long as one is not regularly swarmed with trolls or other such as happens all to often on many other blogs).

domen, thanks for that graph. It really shows how the observed trend is undulating slightly above and below the modeled straight line--just what one would expect, since nature rarely moves in straight lines. We happen to be on a 'slightly below' stretch (though still getting some pretty horrifying consequences). I expect we will climb above the line within the next 5-10 years, but who knows.
"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."

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2013, 10:03:25 AM »
How serious are the missing feedbacks in CMIP5 models?

I first posted the following on RealClimate because to me they represent the "official" view and wanted to challenge the official view, which I don't trust much. I do trust the people I read here. Are thes missing feedbacks serious. How loud should we shout about it?  My posting (that got one very limp reply on RealClimate) follows...

Last year Professor John Mitchell OBE FRS, Principal Research Fellow, at the Met Office, kindly replied to my email about the feedbacks that were in climate models. The missing/incomplete ones…
Quote
5. more forest fires
 5 we don’t do yet, but could be important for changing ecosystems response to climate.

6. melting permafrost
 6a/b [GB - a:CO2, b:CH4] we don’t have in the GCM, but have some simple modelling of. Too early to show any results yet, but we plan to publish later this year. Bottom line is that both CH4 and CO2 will be released as permafrost thaws. The magnitude is uncertain, but likely to be significant.

7. increased decomposition of wetlands
 7, we have in HadGEM2 but didn’t enable as a fully coupled feedback, but we can diagnose changes in wetland extent and CH4 emissions

I would add that although these things may be important, they are not always easy to quantify, model, initialize and validate, especially 5-7. That is why is taking time to implement them.

John

Is this true for the CMIP5 models used for the current IPCC report?

See the rest of John Mitchell's reply near the end of  Do you believe the European Commission on Climate Change?
http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/do-you-belive-the-european-commission-on-climate-change/

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wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2013, 03:58:55 PM »
Thanks, Geoff. These are my concern, too.

The big one of the three you mention is permafrost melt, since there is more carbon in that one source than in all the rest of the soils on earth, at least. They do mention it in the text of the report, but they don't seem to have worked it into the models, afaics.
"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."

wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2013, 04:34:40 PM »
Thanks, Geoff. These are my concern, too.

The big one of the three you mention is permafrost melt, since there is more carbon in that one source than in all the rest of the soils on earth, at least. They do mention it in the text of the report, but they don't seem to have worked it into the models, afaics.

Here's from page 19:

Quote
The release of CO2 or CH4 to the atmosphere from thawing permafrost carbon stocks over the 21st century is assessed to be in the range of 50 to 250 GtC for RCP8.5


They give it 'low confidence" here, but that level of additional carbon in the atmosphere does not seem to show up in the model results, again afaics.

In section D1 Evaluation of Climate Models on pages 10 and 11, they mention carbon cycles in the last paragraph, but it is not clear to me from that language what changes have been made to incorporate such carbon feedbacks.

But then on the top of page 18 it says:

Quote
It is virtually certain that near-surface permafrost extent at high northern latitudes will be reduced as global mean surface temperature increases. By the end of the 21st century, the area of permafrost near the surface (upper 3.5 m) is projected to decrease by between 37% (RCP2.6) to 81% (RCP8.5) for the model average

81% decrease! Nearly certain! That's huge. So nearly all of the permafrost (down to 3.5 meters) will likely be gone by the end of the century. (Note that RCP2.6 is completely unrealistic at this point, from what I understand, so it is much more likely to be near the top of the range given.)

To put this in perspective, note:

Quote
The most recent work investigating the permafrost carbon pool size estimates that 1400–1700 Gt of carbon is stored in permafrost soils worldwide. This large carbon pool represents more carbon than currently exists in all living things and twice as much carbon as exists in the atmosphere.

So nearly doubling atmospheric C from this one source is just kind of a footnote in the report, with no context for what this implies for century end (and much sooner) predictions of temperature increase!

Look at the last graph at the end of the report.

1700Gt would be the same as all the carbon added to the atmosphere under RCP6, and nearly all of that added even under RPC8.5.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 04:44:09 PM by wili »
"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: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2013, 09:28:36 PM »
Thanks Wili

Soon I will have to write something more on this topic so that I can get something together suitable for getting to the policy makers I lobby (unpaid of course). I will be posting it on one of my websites first and will ask here for comments.  Unless you or Neven object I will use your comment as part of it.

I found some relevant links by searching for "Kevin Schaefer  IPCC AR5". To me the most telling for me was by Fred Pearce, who I have previously regarded as a bit to conservative. Has the U.N. Climate Panel Now Outlived Its Usefulness? is in Yale's Environent 360. Here are two quotes:

Quote
Nicholas Stern of  the London School of Economics, author of an influential economic assessment of climate change for the British government in 2006, takes a similar view about the failings of the IPCC and its models. He complained at a meeting at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., in April that "the scientific models mostly leave out dangerous feedbacks." He called for "a new generation of models [that] focus on understanding probabilities of events with severe consequences for people [rather than] those effects that can be modeled more easily."

Quote
David Keith, a Harvard University professor who recently resigned as an author of the IPCC report, says "The IPCC is showing typical signs of middle age, including weight gain, a growing rigidity of viewpoint, and overconfidence in its methods. It did a great job in the early days, but it's become ritualized and bureaucratic, issuing big bulk reports that do little to answer the hard questions facing policymakers." It needs, he says, "a reinvention."

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/has_the_un_climate_panel_now_outlived_its_usefulness/2696/

Also from the Global Commons Institute: Some Comments on IPCC AR5 and the omissions of significant ‘Feedback Effects’ from the Climate-Models used in its preparation.

http://www.gci.org.uk/Documents/IPCC_AR5_Underestimates_Climate_Change.pdf
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 03:06:19 AM by GeoffBeacon »
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wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2013, 05:37:40 AM »
Geoff, you're always welcome to use anything I write or cite, as far as I'm concerned.

I had seen the Pearce piece, but hadn't read it thoroughly yet. Perhaps it's worth a more careful perusal. I tend to see the IPCC as having been something of a stalling tactic for the PTB from the beginning. It's structure guaranteed that it would always be much more conservative than the best minds in the field and the latest science.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am a great admirer of yours. Would you have any advise to someone considering becoming a lobbyist for greater action on GW?
"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."

idunno

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2013, 11:26:55 AM »
Here an article about some of the ways in which the IPCC is complacent and conservative:

http://www.climatecodered.org/2013/10/confused-about-new-ipccs-carbon-budget.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ClimateCodeRed+%28climate+code+red%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

There is more on ASI in the text, but the conclusion raises several issues;

"NOT DISCUSSED: At a broader level, the IPCC physical basis report seems weak on many Arctic-related issues.  As far as I can see:

    The predictions of sea-ice loss are so discordant with recent observations as to be not credible.
    Decline in Arctic sea-ice thickness (a more robust indicator than extent) is not discussed.
    While the release of CO2 or methane to the atmosphere from thawing permafrost carbon stocks over the 21st century is assessed,  the other very large sources of Arctic methane (such as sub-sea floor clathrates) are not mentioned.
    The permafrost thaw emissions is only given as carbon, not assessed as methane and as CO2, which have very different radiative forcing impacts.
    The impacts of Arctic-derived carbon cycle positive feedbacks such as permafrost loss on future temperature projections and on allowable carbon budgets are not given.
    No mention is made of the cascading additive effect of multiple Arctic positive feedbacks on the rate of global warming, nor an assessment of Arctic amplification sensitivity."

idunno

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2013, 08:09:47 PM »
idunno

While I can't access the full text of the article from what I read in the Abstract and from the Guardian it appears that the reporter confused equilibrium temperature with what would happen by 2100.  The abstract discusses equilibrium temperature which would not result until long after 2100 (2300? or so).  Though in the long run that would not make much difference of course.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

idunno

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2013, 08:29:00 PM »
Hi Jim D,

A very good point, quite correct as far as I can tell. Just off to the Guardian, where I shall attempt to point this out, though as this will be about comment  number 1,000 amongst the usual foodfight, I doubt if this will be noticed.

Steven

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #36 on: January 01, 2014, 06:18:56 PM »
A new cloud study suggests that the models may be too conservative:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/dec/31/planet-will-warm-4c-2100-climate

Abstract:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12829.html

Here is another article describing the new Sherwood et al. cloud study, with an embedded video at the beginning of the article:

http://www.climatescience.org.au/content/680-solution-cloud-riddle-reveals-hotter-future

This article and the one in the Guardian both report that global surface temperatures are on track to rise by at least 4°C by 2100.  According to this tweet from Gavin Schmidt, this assumes that we follow the highest emissions scenario from the IPCC (RCP8.5) and the 4°C is relative to a 1986-2005 baseline.

EDIT.  Replaced linked article by a better source.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 09:52:06 PM by Steven »

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2014, 08:15:49 PM »
Thanks Steven

That, of course, would then bring us back to the discussion as to whether the RCP 8.5 scenario can actually be followed that long before the rapidly changing climate precipitates such disasters that general collapse due to inadequate food supplies starts or panic finally sets in and we initiate a global attempt to lower emissions.  Or both.  This seems almost certain to me. Even if we for some insane reason wanted to follow the 8.5 scenario out to 2100 it is not possible to do it.  We will pass so many trigger points before 2100 following that path that we will be overtaken by events.  In a bad way.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2014, 10:46:02 PM »
A short video with discussion by one of the authors of the article linked above:

http://climatestate.com/2013/12/31/planet-likely-to-warm-by-4c-by-2100-scientists-warn/

As I understand it, this study pretty much does away with all the models that predict global warming sensitivity at anything less than 3 degrees C for every doubling of atmospheric CO2. So what's left are the models that show warming of between 3 and about 5 degrees C for every doubling. And it is sure looking like we are heading to at least a doubling by century's end if not much sooner (especially with carbon feedbacks kicking in and carbon sinks turning into sources...).

Basically, all those low-balling models had an unrealistic circulatory mechanism behind their models and so can be ruled out.

This is pretty damn big new, folks, if right.

Here's the link again to the abstract for the original article in Nature:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12829.html
"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: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2014, 03:15:52 AM »
Basically, all those low-balling models had an unrealistic circulatory mechanism behind their models and so can be ruled out.

This is pretty damn big new, folks, if right.

Ironically, it's about where us doom mongering pessimists expected things to really be at, albeit with no science and nothing more than vague gut feel and general pessimism to arrive at that conclusion.

What hope is there for any collective meaningful action if the scope of the problem cannot even be identified or agreed upon in time though? A policy aiming for the effects of 2C can be totally useless in the face of a 4C outcome. In fact, by diverting efforts away from solutions that might cater to the worse scenario, it can be harmful (and I mean solutions in the broadest sense, believing that there are no collective solutions at this point).

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2014, 08:25:45 PM »
Basically, all those low-balling models had an unrealistic circulatory mechanism behind their models and so can be ruled out.

This is pretty damn big new, folks, if right.

Ironically, it's about where us doom mongering pessimists expected things to really be at, albeit with no science and nothing more than vague gut feel and general pessimism to arrive at that conclusion.

What hope is there for any collective meaningful action if the scope of the problem cannot even be identified or agreed upon in time though? A policy aiming for the effects of 2C can be totally useless in the face of a 4C outcome. In fact, by diverting efforts away from solutions that might cater to the worse scenario, it can be harmful (and I mean solutions in the broadest sense, believing that there are no collective solutions at this point).

They only effective collective solution is a worldwide consumer revolution which could effectively disrupt the entire capitalistic system. It would take making choices that transform our personal lives.

The current economic environment is a direct result of aggregate demand by consumers. The revolution would be a quick, dramatic shift in this demand. Corporations  would have to shift to  meet this new economic reality.

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Re: Fifth IPCC assessment report released
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2014, 09:32:24 PM »