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Messages - Tom_Mazanec

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Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: June 08, 2019, 07:09:04 PM »
the only viable pathway to American abundance and excellence
Classic GreenBAU. Ignore sustainability. Ignore resource use. Ignore the limits. Ignore those who already died. Ignore the rest of the world.

RoW to Mad Scientists (who made the graph):
                     "You expect me to stop emitting CO2 by the end of 2020 ?"

Mad Scientists to RoW:
                     "No, Mr RoW, we expect you to die"

Consequences / Re: AGW consequences where you live
« on: June 01, 2019, 05:19:18 PM »
Tom, you're looking at this wrong to think this is all just about adding a few degrees to your local temperature, such as 3C global average rise means 3C warmer in your area, what's the big deal, sounds nice.

It's about the knock on effects those seemingly slight changes have on earth systems. Let me tell you not about what people predict might happen, but what already has happened to my area, and some of the earth system changes that have happened to cause that, and it's all been very bad.

The 1C rise so far, so tiny it seems, has led to the arctic melting. That reduction in albedo and open water has actually led to the arctic beginning to warm faster than just the 1C global average. Knock on effect one.

This has led to the knock on effect two of a radical change in the way the jet stream behaves, because the jet stream was driven by what used to be a sharp difference in temperature between the cold arctic air and the warmer mid latitude air. Now that this differential has been reduced, the jet stream has slowed, causing massive changes to the amplitudes in it's sine wave pattern. Those amplitude waves are also getting stuck in one place for longer than they used to. This has all amounted, already ... not in the future ... to drastic changes in how weather manifests in the middle latitudes. The first picture I've attached is a picture to demonstrate this change. This is knock on effect two.

What's that jet stream change has caused for my area in southern Alberta Canada, is that these huge amplitude jet stream ridges have been reaching high up toward the arctic during our winters for the past ten years, and getting stuck that way for months and months on and, and continued to happen year after year after year. This virtually eliminated the cold winter temperatures for our area. When these ridges form, which have been called ridiculously resilient ridges, we don't just change by a 1C global average temperature, we go from sub freezing temperatures that used to be the norm in our area, it means we change by 20C, or even 30C from what used to be the norm, virtually eliminating what used to be 'winter' under the old way that the jet stream used to behave. These patterns now 'lock' and stay this way for months. No more winter here.

We would call this 'weather' ... but it has been drastically changed by climate change altering the jet stream. And this is all just caused from the 1C global average change so far.

Knock on effect three, and I'll group a few things together here, has been what this elimination of winter has done to our local ecology that evolved to be stable under the 'old' jet stream behavior, and can't handle these changes to the jet stream. The plants all come out of the ground and trees start to form buds during these extended winter warm periods of 20C to 30C warmer 'weather.' Then they die when the buckled jet finally moves off and the cold swoops back in. They weren't adapted to swing back and forth in these extreme shifts. The animals that hibernate will come out of hibernation, thinking it is spring, and find they are out of step now with long evolved symbiotic systems, and there will be no berries for them to eat because it isn't actually spring yet. They die, or wander into human settlements looking for food, because they are starving. Then they get shot.

This loss of winter has also led to another incredibly massive knock on effect too ... the pine beetles that had evolved to die back over a cold winter, now no longer die over the winter. This has led to them expanding in a way they never used to, to the point where they have ravished the boreal forests of western Canada to the point where they have killed half the forests already since the 1990's. I'll put a picture of this happening up as picture two. Let's call this knock on effect three.

For knock on effect four, I'll talk about the wildfires that are erupt from having all this dead wood standing around that has been killed by the pine beetle changes (all caused through these knock on effects of climate change in just a 1C changed world so far.) There are wildfires burning 600 miles north of me right now, 1000 km away, and in picture three I'll show you what my area looks like right now because of this. It's awful, and extremely hazardous to people's health, especially the very young and the very old. This is smoke, for the third summer in a row now. The last two years this was how our entire August looked like. It's almost approaching unlivable to spend a solid month like this, in smoke, every summer. This would be knock on effect four in my local example.

All this earth system change from just a 1C global average rise so far. 20C to 30C changes for my area in winter, not from the global average rise, but because of how it has changed the arctic, which changed the jet stream, which changed the weather, which changed the pine beetle, which changed the fire activity.

See what it's about? Tacking 3C onto your nice sunny weather is not at all what it's about. It's about changes to the sensitive earth system that even small changes to the gloabal average temperature produce. Remember, it's only a few degrees C cooler and you trigger a whole ice age. These tiny changes produce massive changes to the earth systems, including 'weather.' Think ... Mississippi flooding. That's a stuck pattern. California drought, that's a stuck pattern. Hurricanes dumping a deluge on North Carolina from a stuck jet stream ridge in the North Atlantic when it was expected to have turned north. That's a jet stream change. Think extremelt abnormal heat in Scandinavian countries. Jet stream changes.

That's what you're missing. You're looking at it wrong. You need to expand your learning of the impacts of climate change. Not just what people say might happen, but what even now already [has] happened. It's much more drastic than the way you've framed it. It's about changes to the entire system from tiny global average temperature changes, not about tacking a few degrees onto your nice summer afternoon temperature.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: May 26, 2019, 03:07:40 PM »
Here is my stupid question:
What is CO2e now?
I don't mean the definition, I mean the number. Searching I find an implication that it is still below 500 ppm but will reach it BAU within a decade of 2016:

The latest CO2e figure from NOAA is for 2018, and is 496. That means it is probably just on 500 now (one year after the average for 2018) - more methane, higher CO2 ppm.

Read all about it and NOAA's  ANNUAL GREENHOUSE GAS INDEX (AGGI) at

At the end of the webpage a simple download if you want the data.

Although I believe we'll certainly see a blue ocean event in say the next ten years if not sooner (depending on weather), I have to point out that EVEN AS THINGS ARE, society could not hope to survive these extreme rain events like Harvey/Florence/Michael/flooding in the upper mid-west that we've seen just in the last year and a half.  From what I understand, extreme weather started in earnest in 2005 and is thought to be related to the ice pulling away from ESS.  Of note is that 2005 is almost 900,000km below our current arctic ice extent.  Society can barely survive its own economics practically let alone all these extreme events and all but Harvey has been even close to a worst case scenario.  What if Michael hit Miami... what if Florance sat raining for another two, three days along the coast if not a week or more?  We are already in a no win situation and unless we dig in on high ground so as to firmly emplace all the industrial abilities we'll need to build as many CO2 extraction plants as there are McDonnald's in this world, we will NOT survive! 

For all we know, an actual blue ocean may be a temporary repreave from extreme events if the Jet stalls out completely and fails to draw so much moisture up from the gulf over land???  All I'm saying is it is folly to be waiting for such an event to act decisively with all the tech we can muster.

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 09, 2019, 09:00:15 PM »
Manufacture and co-option of Protest Groups

Extinction Rebellion really worries me, as it fits the most likely scenario for how the elite will manage/screw-up the response to climate change - and thats just part of the ongoing anthropogenic destruction of our habitat.

Stage 1 (1979-1990): THE HOPEFUL DECADE:

Scientists raise the issue (first World Climate Conference in 1979) and slowly bring it to the attention of policy makers/politicians. Calls for significant cuts in GHG's from the mid-1980's onwards (yep, from the mid 1980's!).

Stage 2 (1990-2000): HOPE LOST:

Policy makers / politicians say very nice words and have hopeful conferences (1992 Rio Earth Summit) then spend the rest of the decade killing real action with political realpolitik and bureaucratic bullshit. We end up with Kyoto, with pathetically small commitments (and none for Chindia etc.)."Eco-modernism", "Green Capitalism" etc. become the academic and business vogue.

Stage 3 (2000-2010): ALL HOPE LOST:

The US rejects the pathetic Kyoto Accord, China massively increases coal use and places like the EU reduce emissions at a rate that does not endanger their low growth rates (i.e. slowly and benefitting from the collapse of dirty industries in the ex Soviet Bloc that make the 1990 comparisons look pretty good).

Stage 4 (2010-Now): THE BULLSHIT DECADE:

The UN IPCC scenario builders realize that even with all the devices already used to spin a positive message (e.g. 66% and 50% probability levels rather than the usual 95% for risk management), atmospheric concentrations and emissions are just too high so they use a "plug factor" called BECCS (Bio Energy Carbon Capture and Storage) to allow for future growth while cutting NET emissions (I talked with fellow academics who confirmed this view). Then we have the Paris agreement with voluntary commitments which are not being backed up in many cases by government policies (including my own Canada).

Stage 5: NOW

The only way to keep the "we can grow and deal with climate change" charade on the road is the massive use of negative emissions technologies to offset emissions (BECCS, Direct Air Capture and Storage, Enhanced Rock Weathering) and Solar Radiation Management. There will be massive resistance to this, especially when it will be structured as a huge profit-making activity for big corporations and finance (e.g. the commodification of nature and integration into the market - i.e. extreme ecological modernization). Both the eco-modernists and the fossil fuel interests will be supportive, with the latter seeing it as a way to put off their own extinction.

So, we need a crisis with a "grassroots" organization that makes extremely high-level demands (e.g. "carbon neutral by 2025") that does not preclude the above policy options. That "grassroots" driven crisis can then be used to ram through the negative emissions technologies and SRM.

Endless growth and the concentration of wealth get to roll on for one or more decades - with the risk that the proposed technologies are bullshit (they are completely unproven at scale, with BECCS already having been taken apart by many academics) and/or the climate delivers a nasty surprise (e.g. an Arctic Blue Ocean).

Why are the very corporations and interests that are the cause of the problem so supportive of ER? Because it is an opportunity not a threat? Why did the police allow the disabling of major transport arteries in London for days, when they would usually remove these within hours? What usually happens with groups that truly challenge the status quo in a meaningful and possibly successful way:

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America" Union leader Nicholas Klein in 1914. (p.s. Gandhi never said anything like this, its the most well know misattribution).

I didn't notice the "ignore, ridicule, attack and burn" parts with ER, seems they started past that point already. If they were a real threat, rather than an opportunity, they would be getting the treatment that Occupy got once it was established that it could not be co-opted.

"Its easier to imagine the end of humanity than the end of capitalism"

What studies in the next couple years that we could do would clarify the likelihood of this scenario (in the video) eventuating within a century?

You can review the program conducted this past austral summer in the ASE (Amundsen Sea Embayment) in Reply #824.  So if decision makers had more will power they could perform similar field and modeling work for the next two years.  Also, if DoD was so inclined they could introduce ice-cliff failure and hydrofracturing routines to E3SM within the next year so that we could check James Hansen's ice-climate feedback mechanism projections.

Unfortunately, I would be surprised if the Trump Administration would authorize any such accelerated work.

Edit, the following are reposts that I made in back 2013 in this folder (in the 'Recommendations and Summary wrt the WAIS Collapse Hazard', thread):

1) The following recommendations are from: Abrupt Climate Change a report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. Lead Author: Konrad Steffen, University of Colorado:
•   Reduce uncertainties in estimates of mass balance. This includes continuing mass-balance measurements on small glaciers and completing the World Glacier Inventory.
•   Maintain climate networks on ice sheets to detect regional climate change and calibrate climate models.
•   Derive better measurements of glacier and ice-sheet topography and velocity through improved observation of glaciers and ice sheets. This includes utilizing existing satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data to measure ice velocity.
•   Use observations of the time-varying gravity field from satellites to estimate changes in ice sheet mass.
•   Survey changes in ice sheet topography using tools such as satellite radar (e.g., Envisat and Cryosat-2), laser (e.g., ICESat-1/2), and wide-swath altimeters.
•   Monitor the polar regions with numerous satellites at various wavelengths to detect change and to understand processes responsible for the accelerated ice loss of ice sheets, the disintegration of ice shelves, and the reduction of sea ice. It is the integrated satellite data evaluation that provides the tools and understanding to model the future response of cryospheric processes to climate change.
•   Utilize aircraft observations of surface elevation, ice thickness, and basal characteristics to ensure that such information is acquired at high spatial resolution along specific routes, such as glacier flow lines, and along transects close to the grounding lines.
•   Improve coverage of longer term (centennial to millennial) records of ice sheet and ocean history from geological observations.
•   Support field, theoretical, and computational investigations of physical processes beneath and along ice shelves and beneath glaciers, especially near to the grounding lines of the latter, with the goal of understanding recent increases in mass loss.
•   Develop ice-sheet models on a par with current models of the atmosphere and ocean. Particular effort is needed with respect to the modeling of ocean/ice-shelf interactions and physical processes, of surface mass balance from climatic information, and of all (rather than just some, as now) of the forces which drive the motion of the ice.

2) - Develop a sophisticated box model for the Thwaites Glacier (including the postulated subglacial cavity) to see how the grounding line retreats into the BSB.
- Run various ice sheet models with the initial starting conditions that have been presented here; particularly the conditions postulated for the Thwaites Glacier after 2060, including the basal melt rate measured at the WAIS-Divide bore hole.
- Run ice shelf models for both FRIS and RIS with CDW (with flow and temperature parameter calibrated to match the reduction of AABW in these respective areas) introduced beneath them in order to evaluate the rate of ice shelf thinning thru 2100.
- Try to hydraulically model the advective (horizontal) interaction between the PIG and Thwaites system to determine whether there is any synergistic advective action.
- Model the hydraulic action of the postulated interconnected sea passageways and side spurs, and their possible influences on local currents around a degraded WAIS (after 2070).
Possible Field Studies:
- Send a research vessel to the Northeast edge of the FRIS to see whether it is true that warm CDW is already entering the Filchner Trough, and monitor the water flow at outer edge of the RIS for indications of possible CDW fluxes.
- Conduct high-resolution ground penetrating radar examinations of the grounding line of the marine ice sheets for Basins A & B near the Southwest edge of the Filchner Ice Shelf, in order to see whether the grounding line has begun to retreat down the negative slope.
- Refine the ground penetrating survey of the ice in the Thwaites drainage basin, in order to more accurately locate, and delineate, the subglacial lakes in this area.
- Deploy a submersible ROV to survey the: (a) Thwaites Hollow/Subglacial cavity; and (b) the gateway to the Ferrigno Glacier to see if a subglacial cavity has formed there.

Edit 2:  With regard to current modeling efforts of the ocean - cryosphere interaction (i.e. the preponderance of ice-climate feedbacks), see Replies #781 & #990.

Consequences / Re: World of 2030
« on: May 08, 2019, 07:32:16 PM »

Sorry, but you are cherry-picking.  Selectively choosing the highest rate over the past decades does no one any good.  Conversely, someone could choose the last three years, when sea level rise has slowed to 1.5 mm/year, and say that the water is slowing.  Neither describes the situation accurately.

I'm happy to pick up the topic of "cherry picking" and peel back the layer on that claim.

If you look at the chart of sea level rise in the satellite era, you will sea a relatively steady rise in the graph with 3 significant downward spikes in 1998, 2011 and 2016. There are no dramatic upward "spikes."

The downward spikes are associated with El Nino's ('98 and '16) and an unusual precipitation event which transferred massive amounts of water from ocean to land ('11).

As far as I know, there is no theory which supports any exogenous processes causing short-term spikes in global sea level rise. Only the chronic processes of thermal expansion and loss of land ice are material factors in GMSL increase.

If we peer closely at the curve, we see the pause for the 2016 El Nino and the resumption of the 8mm year increase in 2017. Another pause follows and the resumption of the accelerated increase from April to October 2018.

You can jump to the assumption of "cherry picking", but I'll challenge you to offer a cogent theory as to what might be causing a short-term increase in the slope of the curve that wouldn't be sustained.

The signal is there that SLR is accelerating and it's corroborated by all of the reports that Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice at accelerating rates. Will their continue to be periodic downward adjustments for events like El Nino's and other anomalies like the 2011 precipitation event? Absolutely!

What I'm saying is that we've entered a new normal for the chronic processes of thermal expansion and land ice loss which will only increase in pace in the coming decades.

The rest / Re: Climate change activists should not fly
« on: April 19, 2019, 02:31:23 AM »
You know, this is all predicated on aviation being the least efficient means of transportation. But is it? I've always heard that, but that doesn't mean it is true.

Take NYC to LA
Scenario 1 Boeing 747-400 in a "medium" 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout,
Scenario 2 262 medium sized cars on the Interstate,
Scenario 3 A cruise ship with 524 passengers going through the Panama Canal, and
Scenario 4 A passenger train (I suspect this would be best. I also suspect it is impossible in the Real World)

Roughly what would be the carbon emissions of these four trips? has anyone done the math?

I hate to say, "As economist, I find it helpful to find data and display it visually" ... ahh, what the heck.  From the US Dept of Energy....

Consequences / Re: Floods
« on: April 15, 2019, 10:53:09 PM »
Michael Snyder has been writing about the collapse of the American society for years.  This is just his latest scare.  FYI, if our crops were indeed in such a dire situation, it would be reflected on their prices in the futures market.  Yet, their prices have barely budged.

Where can I check these futures, as I suspect this will be the first place to indicate if/when AGW is reaching disaster level?
You can go to and click on commodities. Or you can go directly to the Chicago Stock market and get all sorts of data. Or just google "corn futures" and you will be awash with data.

Only one problem. Back in 2008 the stock markets were roaring up and then they fell apart. The Stock market is only a short-term indicator. The market will take account of seasonal climate outlooks as just one parameter when betting on prices for the current season's crop. It will ignore longer-term risks for future seasons as unknown knowns- e.g. over-use of the US Ogallala aquifer, collapse of the Murray-Darling Water Basin.

When the stock market through prices says there is a crisis it may be real or may be manufactured (e.g. suppliers hoarding supplies to manipulate prices). It may be permanent or it may be temporary. Klondike Kat's faith in the markets is not matched by mine.

Since we all know how 2018 ended (emissions wise), here's a nice and simple animation of our collective climate actions since 1965 by Robert Wilson:

Also noticeable are the disturbances caused by economic crises.

Rapid collapse of Antarctic glaciers could flood coastal cities by the end of this century. Based on an article written by Eric Holthaus.

The forum / Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: March 23, 2015, 02:48:26 PM »
Wow.  This situation in the Arctic is unprecedented

Look at this map.  The implications are obvious:

... astounding!

But I think we can all agree that it would be meaningless without this context:

Really, that speaks for itself.

The rest / Cli Fi
« on: August 25, 2014, 07:17:23 PM »
Prompted by a post by Viddaloo mentioning The Road in relation to catastrophic methane release, this is a thread to discuss Cli Fi, or Climate Fiction.

There's quite a lot online about the subject. I'm no expert, but this article by Rodge Glass in the Guardian (and some of the subsequent discussion) seems worth a look.
Whereas 10 or 20 years ago it would have been difficult to identify even a handful of books that fell under this banner, there is now a growing corpus of novels setting out to warn readers of possible environmental nightmares to come. Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behaviour, the story of a forest valley filled with an apparent lake of fire, is shortlisted for the 2013 Women's prize for fiction. Meanwhile, there's Nathaniel Rich's Odds Against Tomorrow, set in a future New York, about a mathematician who deals in worst-case scenarios. In Liz Jensen's 2009 eco-thriller The Rapture, summer temperatures are asphyxiating and Armageddon is near; her most recent book, The Uninvited, features uncanny warnings from a desperate future. Perhaps the most high-profile cli-fi author is Margaret Atwood, whose 2009 The Year of the Flood features survivors of a biological catastrophe also central to her 2003 novel Oryx and Crake, a book Atwood sometimes preferred to call "speculative fiction".

Engaging with this subject in fiction increases debate about the issue; finely constructed, intricate narratives help us broaden our understanding and explore imagined futures, encouraging us to think about the kind of world we want to live in.

The rest / Climate change in novel form
« on: April 02, 2013, 08:09:41 AM »
I've realised that I've read a number of books where climate change is one of the key themes of the book (although that's not the reason I read them).

They're certainly not going to add anything a visitor to this site doesn't already know, but might make a good gift for a family member who might otherwise lack engagement on the subject.

I'm a fan of dystopian sci-fi (although I prefer it to stay fictional), and the first books are in that genre:
First up is Margaret Atwood with Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood. Set in a high-tech, high polluting near future, sea levels have risen at catastrophic rates due to methane bubbling up out of the permafrost, the weather is hot, hot, hot and humid with big storms (it's not spelt out, but the novels appear to be set in Boston) and rich people take summer holidays on the shores of Hudson Bay. Polar bears are gone - one of the characters worked for Operation Bearlift in his past.

Second is Paolo Bacigalupi with The Wind-up Girl (and adult novel) and Ship Breaker (a teen novel). These are set in a high gene tech, high poverty, low energy future. The wind-up Girl only has oblique mentions to climate change, such as high sea levels and restrictions on the use of coal, but Ship Breaker paints a strongly dystopian climate change future. The main protagonist (a teenage ship breaker) lives on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, sea levels have risen, cities have drowned and Cat 5 hurricanes are a regular occurrence in the Gulf. The description of a partially drowned but still functioning New, New Orleans is excellent. The main character dreams of working on a clipper ship, and has a picture on the wall of his hovel, of a clipper sailing across the arctic ocean, with ice crystals forming on the rigging. It is still a teen novel, and the final chase and fight scene which occupies the last quarter of the book doesn't have much for the adult reader.

In the category of General Fiction we have:
Barbara Kingsolver with Flight Behaviour. I do like Kingsolver, although her novels can feel a little bit educational sometimes, although this novel entertains well enough, you don't really notice. It's set in rural Tennesse, and the plot revolves around Monarch butterflies that have unexpectedly overwintered in the mountains there, due, of course, to climate change. The novel paints a sympathetic and often entertaining picture of the locals. It's not a climate change doom novel, dealing with the more subtle and near-term effects and so is unlikely to put people off with 'alarmism'.

Lastly, Ian McEwan with Solar. This is a highly entertaining satirical book, with a thoroughly repulsive central character. The author even pokes fun at some of the plot ideas in some of his earlier books. A lot of information is imparted to the reader, but it doesn't feel at all heavy. The only problem I see is that some readers may also think that the climate change message is also intended as an object of fun. Not everyone gets satire.

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