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Messages - Tom_Mazanec

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Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: October 17, 2019, 03:48:55 PM »
It is a big problem in the whole thing. People will understand the problem and support moves to fix it.

But the second you start really screwing with people's lives, when those people have little option, sympathy goes out the window fast.

Then what exactly are they trying to prove?

FF cars, check
Flights, check

One of the largest and most heavily used public transport infrastructures which runs on Electricity in a country which is already in compliance with the Paris accord?


The message is supposed to be getting out of your fuel guzzling car and onto shared transport which runs on renewable energy.

"Own Goal" doesn't even begin to describe it.

All I can say is that if this continues in this way people are going to get hurt and those who get hurt will be the honest caring people, not those who organise XR.

The rest / Re: Unsorted
« on: October 15, 2019, 12:00:56 PM »
Intelligence of Ignorance
(Longing to Know)

What i know, i know
what i do not know, i do not know
i have no reason to believe
i have no reason to disbelieve
i can enjoy it all
while longing to know.

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: October 06, 2019, 08:44:03 PM »
Here is a quote which I provide first, and hope it will be read before being dismissed. The explanation of why it is here follows directly. Since this is one of the best summaries of the problem I've ever seen, I felt it was worth putting it out of context, and lead this comment with it. It is equal opportunity in accusing big fossil of corruption everywhere.

The saga includes, among other incidents, the purposeful detonation of a 50-kiloton nuclear bomb 8,000 feet below the earth's surface (unsettlingly close to an I70 exit ramp in Colorado); an international financial crisis; a 28,000 ton vessel dragging unmoored and unmanned on the craggy coast of Alaska; tornadoes; the novelty of man-made earthquakes; murdered cows; and a third-grade public school teacher panhandling to provide school supplies for her students. Even an inept Russian spy ring ferreted out of suburban tract houses in New Jersey and Virginia. Even Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Seems unlikely, but it all ties.

The motive force of all the action - its fuel as well as its engine - is the most consequential, the most lucrative, the most powerful, and the least-well-governed major industry in the history of mankind. Oil and gas. I do not propose to discount or minimize the powerful and positive effects the producers of our hydrocarbons have had on our own country and on the world at large. I like driving ... and heating my house as much as the next person, and the through line between energy and economic growth and development is as clear to me as an electric streetlight piercing the black night. But the political impact of the industry that brings us those things is also worth recognizing as a key ingredient in the global chaos and democratic downturn we're now living through.

I don't mean to be rude, but I also want to be clear: the oil and gas industry is essentially a big casino that can produce both power and triumphant great gobs of cash, often with little regard for merit. This equation invites gangsterism, extortion, thuggery, and the sorts of folks who enjoy these hobbies. Its practitioners have been lumbering across the globe of late, causing mindless damage and laying the groundwork for the global catastrophe that is the climate crisis, but also reordering short-term geopolitics in a strong-but-dumb survival contest that renders everything we think of as politics as just theatre. It's worth understanding why. And why now.

Why is this here? Because Neven has shut down a discussion about Rachel Maddow's superb book about the history of oil and gas and its takeover of the world (quote is from her introduction), with some blistering insults and misrepresentations (see below). This is not true (I was going to say something stronger, the lack of skepticism reflects a strange lack of interest in the facts or the truth; it is hard to understand why Neven, who has does the world a great service as one of the world's most superb reporters on the cryosphere, chooses to be guided by hate on this). It is gaslighting, ad hominem, using personal attacks to discredit some of the best reporting on big fossil we have in the world today. I didn't know exactly where to put it, so here it is.

Please at least read the above quote with an open mind (it's from the introduction to Blowout. It is a powerful bit of truthtelling. To call the author one of the out-of-touch-millionnaire stooges of smoke-and-mirrors neoliberalism is wrong, and it does harm.

Re: Last Stand of The Fossil Fools« Reply #1 on: Today at 12:38:02 PM »

But this has nothing to do whatsoever with Arctic sea ice, and a video with two out-of-touch-millionnaire stooges of smoke-and-mirrors neoliberalism is about the worst starting point one could imagine.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: October 04, 2019, 01:04:49 PM »
One could look at that image and say "Wow, data for last 10-15 years BELOW the prediction every single year."  One year also blasts way below the uncertainty estimates for the model.

The rest / Re: Unsorted
« on: October 03, 2019, 07:19:29 PM »
Golden Ratio Observed in Human Skulls

In a new study investigating whether skull shape follows the Golden Ratio (1.61803398875 … ), Johns Hopkins researchers compared 100 human skulls to 70 skulls from six other animals, and found that the human skull dimensions followed the Golden Ratio. The skulls of less related species such as dogs, two kinds of monkeys, rabbits, lions and tigers, however, diverged from this ratio.

Rafael J. Tamargo et al. Mammalian Skull Dimensions and the Golden Ratio (Φ), Journal of Craniofacial Surgery (2019)

Science / Re: Magnitude of future warming
« on: October 01, 2019, 08:18:55 PM »
Excellent work by Gerontocrat into carbon sinks. However, I am surprised to find the quantity in gigatonne of carbon sunk being on the same axis as percentage sunk given that total emissions are not constant.
It isn't.

Percentages - refer to the right axis (green)
Amounts in GT - refer to the left axis (red).

Revised graph attached with amount left in atmosphere (in GT) added. (Also after rooting around online found a better figure to convert CO2 ppm to CO2 Gigatons - minor change).

Note that as regards percentages of CO2 sunk, the most often quoted figures are 30% Ocean, 26% Land, Total Percent of Emissions captured 56%.

The ten year average on 1980 to 2019 data is never higher than just over 52%.

If 2019 data ends up in line with current estimates, the percent of CO2 captured in 2019 will be only about 42%

The rest / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: October 01, 2019, 02:11:24 AM »
From reading some of the comments, and watching some of the videos in them, it seems that a lot of people have misconceptions about the impeachment inquiry and even the process of impeachment.  The story linked below is a good summary:

Given these complexities, responsible discussions of impeachment must consider three questions. First, has the president engaged in conduct that warrants his removal under the Constitution? Second, is the effort to remove him likely to make a positive impact—or will impeachment be a mere quixotic quest? And third, would impeachment be worth the resulting rupturing of our national fabric?

Americans have never reduced to a simple formula what it means to commit “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” A working definition captures two general elements. First, impeachable offenses represent betrayal of office. And second, those offenses pose such a serious risk of harm that they require preventive action—in other words, they suggest that the president endangers the nation. Such offenses may involve a pattern of closely related abuses, rather than a single deed. But the ultimate inquiry is whether the president has so betrayed his office and poses such a continuing threat that leaving him in power could imperil our constitutional democracy.

This president has done just that.

Begin with the White House readout of Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That readout, even in its presumably sanitized form, reveals a multitude of impeachable offenses. On that call, Trump abused the foreign policy and military powers entrusted to the president by Article II to serve his own political interests—and perhaps those of his sometime-benefactor, Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose tanks have penetrated Ukrainian territory and would be opposed by the military aid Trump was unilaterally withholding—rather than the interests of the American people.
The resultant cover-up, too, is staggering. We have learned that the effort to protect the president ensnared numerous senior White House officials, including the lawyers representing not the president personally but the presidential office. Indeed, the whistleblower complaint alleges that the cover-up was part of a pattern of systematically overclassifying politically embarrassing information to protect the president. Such conduct betrays the institution of the presidency and poses a clear and present danger to our national security. It does so by compromising the integrity of our system for classifying intelligence, thereby undermining the confidence of our key allies in how the secrets they share with us will be handled. And it conceals the ongoing danger posed to our most sensitive secrets by the seemingly reckless way our commander in chief deploys those secrets for personal advantage or political leverage.

The primary arguments against impeachment—articulated by liberals like Bruce Ackerman, moderates like Frank Bruni, and reactionaries like John Yoo—do not deny the gravity of the president’s violations. Rather, they argue that impeachment is not worth the national costs of enraging the incumbent president’s supporters, fanning the flames of the white-hot anger that drove many of them into his camp in the first place, and leaving even some who might be prepared to vote against Trump in 2020 with the sense that a group composed almost entirely of Democrats is illegitimately undoing the results of an election with which they never came to terms. We should weigh those costs carefully as we consider how to proceed.

But those concerns cannot outweigh the imminent concern of a lawless presidency. Yes, impeachment would be traumatic. But what is the alternative? Acquiescing to lawlessness out of fear? And declining to impeach would be traumatic as well.

Policy and solutions / Re: Greta Thunberg's Atlantic crossing
« on: September 30, 2019, 09:47:38 PM »

Policy and solutions / Re: Greta Thunberg's Atlantic crossing
« on: September 28, 2019, 02:42:48 PM »
Regina McCarthy (born May 3, 1954) is an American environmental health and air quality expert who served as the 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013 to 2017

...becoming the face of Obama's global warming and climate change initiative.


Link >>


Perhaps she should have done something about it while in office?

What is the purpose of these people now sitting in talkshows other than asking them why they did nothing?

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: September 26, 2019, 09:17:43 PM »
Mysterious 'Pocket' of Underwater Gas Could Contain 50 Million Tons of CO2

New research from Japan reminds us, enormous, miles-wide reservoirs of greenhouse gases lurk in untouched pockets just below the seafloor.

In a study published Aug. 19 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team of researchers discovered one such pocket at the bottom of the Okinawa Trough, a massive submarine basin sitting southwest of Japan where the Philippine Sea plate is slowly sinking below the Eurasian plate. Using seismic waves to map the trough's structure, the team found a huge gas pocket stretching at least 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide and potentially containing more than 100 million tons (90.7 million metric tons) of CO2, methane or some combination of the two.

... Pressure wave velocities slowed down significantly over a wide area in the middle part of the trough, indicating a massive gas pocket. The team estimated that the pocket's width, but were unable to calculate how deep or concentrated the reservoir was.

... If the gas in the undersea reservoir is mostly CO2, it could have an even greater impact on climate change. If the pocket were to pop and release 50 million tons (45 million metric tons) of CO2 into the air at once, it could have a measurable effect on CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, and thus on climate change. If pockets like this one are a widespread feature at ocean rifts, as the researchers suspect they might be, then the potential consequences could be even more significant.

... Based on the flow of heat around the study area, the researchers think another possibility is that a low-permeability cap of methane hydrate--a methane-containing ice--acts as the lid.

Large Gas Reservoir Along the Rift Axis of a Continental Back‐Arc Basin Revealed by Automated Seismic Velocity Analysis in the Okinawa Trough. Kota Mukumoto, Takeshi Tsuji, Andri Hendriyana. Geophysical Research Letters

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: September 25, 2019, 09:02:03 PM »
Somehow this reminds me of this one:


Consequences / Re: Sea Level Rise and Social Cost of Carbon
« on: September 25, 2019, 02:37:33 PM »
The BBC's report about the UN report

All you city dwellers - take note. It isn't just the South Pacific Island States and Louisiana's Boot.

Not 2100, try 2050, and for some even earlier.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: September 25, 2019, 01:57:56 PM »
Why are you using a charging station as opposed to charging at home?

Lisa the LEAF usually charges "at home". However the distance from Tremail to Bristol is more than she can cover with a single full "tank".

Consequences / IPCC Ocean & Cryosphere Report 2019
« on: September 25, 2019, 01:40:08 PM »
IPCC Ocean & Cryosphere Report: Humans are Rapidly Turning Oceans into Warm, Acidifying Basins Hostile to Life

A new UN report warns changes to the oceans this century will be “unprecedented.”

“The ocean has been acting like a sponge, absorbing heat and carbon dioxide to regulate global temperatures, but it can’t keep up,” IPCC vice chair Ko Barrett said at a press conference. “The world’s oceans and cryosphere have been taking the heat of climate change for decades. The consequences for nature and humanity are sweeping and severe.”

On Wednesday, the IPCC, convened by the UN to assess climate science, released a summary of the report on the oceans and frozen regions of the world, or cryosphere, for policymakers after more than 100 scientists reviewed thousands of scientific papers. The findings are immense and comprehensive, and seeing them all in one place is sobering.

In all, “over the 21st century, the ocean is projected to transition to unprecedented conditions,” the report warns. The ocean will be warmer, more acidic, hold less oxygen, be more greatly stratified (i.e. the top and bottom layers won’t mix as much). Ocean heat waves are growing more common, and it’s likely extreme El Niño and La Niña systems will form, leading to more extreme weather around the globe.

... The report makes it clear: the two largest ice sheets on Earth — the Greenland ice sheet, and the Antarctic ice sheet — are melting at an accelerating rate. “Mass loss from the Antarctic ice sheet over the period 2007 – 2016 tripled relative to 1997 –2006,” the report finds. “For Greenland, mass loss doubled over the same period.”

The new IPCC report finds that “between 1979 and 2018, Arctic sea ice extent has very likely decreased for all months of the year.” Additionally, every year, the amount of ice older than five years (which is thicker and more stable) decreases in proportion to young ice. It’s a sign the whole region is unstable.

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2019 melting season
« on: September 16, 2019, 11:50:44 PM »
Over on the ASIB, I've just posted the late(st) PIOMAS update, and I just wanted to share the final half here, because it's how I view this melting season. Normally, I don't like it when people post long texts, but I'm the exception to that rule, of course.  ;)

Last month, I wrote at the end of the PIOMAS update:

From what I've seen on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, written by commenters I've known for years and highly respect, my gut feeling says this year won't be able to break the 2012 records.

But for weeks now, I've been thinking of those prophetic words uttered by Peter Wadhams, back in 2007: 'In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly.' I don't think all of it will melt away quite suddenly in coming weeks, but maybe more than one would expect just looking at the data.

This year is a great test that will tell us a lot about the importance of melting momentum.

To be honest, I expected a clearer melting momentum signal during this final phase of the melting season. Melting momentum took off slower than years like 2012 and 2016, but when it did take off, it was fireworks (see June 2019, one hell of a month). David Schröder's melt pond fraction maps, the SMOS pixel chart, the compactness charts, the Albedo-Warming Potential graphs, the snow cover graphs, more and more they were pointing to a massive build-up of melting momentum. On top of that, PIOMAS was showing that this year was very competitive volume-wise, and for five months in a row, 2019 was in the top 3 when it came to temperature records (August coming in lowest on record):

It was clear that the spell of extremely sunny, warm weather was ending during August. That, to me, was the great test for my melting momentum theory. Weather conditions switched, but for a week or so extent loss was keeping up with 2012's pace, despite the boost provided by the GAC. But then halfway through the month, things slowed down to a crawl after all (see red trend line):

So, what happened? Of course, there was a cyclone that was in a perfect position to disperse the ice, but there was so much weak ice that in my view, momentum should have gone on for a while longer.

There are two possibilities:

1) There wasn't as much melting momentum as I assumed.

2) Melting momentum is less important than I think it is.

As said, it took a while for melting momentum to get going. Timing is of the essence when it comes to breaking melting season records. May was actually very sunny this year, but most of the radiation coming from a Sun at a still low angle, got bounced off the pristine white ice. It may sound counterintuitive, but before the real melt ponding gets going due to open skies, cloudy weather is actually worse for the ice, because with clouds comes humidity and the clouds also block outgoing radiation. This can cause the snow on top of the ice to melt just a tiny bit, deforming the structure of the snow, making it more prone to melt when the sun starts to shine in earnest. 2019 came short in this respect, as evidenced by visual inspection of satellite images. Never mind the fact that the 2018/2019 freezing season was much less spectacular compared to the previous three winters, when it comes to temperatures and extreme weather conditions.

I'm still convinced that without a decent amount of melting momentum no records will be broken. That's why in years like 2016, 2017 and 2018 it was possible to announce at an early date that the 2012 record was safe. But conversely, a massive amount of melting momentum doesn't guarantee records either. Initial ice conditions and late stage weather obviously play important roles as well.

Maybe I'm emphasizing melting momentum too much, but I still feel kind of vindicated by recent developments on the extent front. Over the last week, just a small amount of weather conducive to melting has helped nudge 2019 below the 2007 and 2016 minimums, with quite an impressive run of daily drops. Tomorrow or the day after, the 4 million km2 mark could even be breached. I always thought that this year would come in second whatever would happen, and it looks like it has:

Either way, after almost 10 years of blogging, I'm now clearly seeing the contours of that first year when ice-free conditions will be reached (in other words, an ice cover smaller than 1 million km2, which amounts to ice-free for all practical purposes). It is preceded by a freezing season similar to that of 2015/2016, starts with the melt onset 2012 saw, builds up the massive melting momentum of 2019, and ends with the crazy weather of 2016. It makes me shudder to think what the satellite images will look like then. It may take more time than most cryospheric scientists think it will take, but unfortunately, that's not much of a comfort.

The ingredients are there, AGW is the cook.

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: September 16, 2019, 10:59:11 AM »
Osborne Brothers - Rocky Top (1967)

Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: September 16, 2019, 03:03:23 AM »
Here is why we will never reduce CO2 in time: I present the prisoner's dilemma. A classic game.

We have a multi person prisoner's dilemma in which any individual is pitted against the entire rest of the world. This prisoner's dilemma would hold true for the vast majority of people, i.e. if you replaced individual A with individual B from the "everybody else" section, this would still be true.

We look at the individual's preference ranking.

1st choice - Individual makes no, or minimal lifestyle changes. Individual does not attempt to reduce CO2 output. Individual makes no significant sacrifices. CO2 still reduced enough by rest of the world to avoid major consequences of CC.

2nd choice - Individual makes lifestyle changes to reduce CO2. Some lifestyle changes may cause discomfort. CO2 production by everybody else also decreases enough to avoid major consequences of CC.

3rd choice - Individual makes no, or minimal lifestyle changes. Individual does not attempt to reduce CO2 output. Individual makes no significant sacrifices. The rest of the world also does not reduce CO2 output. Climate change has severe and widespread impacts.

4th choice - Individual makes lifestyle changes to reduce CO2. Some lifestyle changes may cause discomfort. CO2 production by everybody else does not decrease by enough to avoid major consequences of climate change. Individual feels that he/she was played for a fool, made sacrifices for no reason.

Unfortunately, the dominant strategy here is for the individual to make no lifestyle changes. And indeed, we see that playing out with the vast majority of the general populace.

The Amazon likely is closer to a tipping point (in 20 to 30 years) than many people think:

Title: "Will Deforestation and Warming Push the Amazon to a Tipping Point?"

Extract: "In an e360 interview, Carlos Nobre, Brazil’s leading expert on the Amazon and climate change, discusses the key perils facing the world’s largest rainforest, where a record number of fires are now raging, and lays out what can be done to stave off a ruinous transformation of the region.
“At the current rates of deforestation, we are 20 to 30 years off from reaching this tipping point.”"

Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon tax
« on: September 14, 2019, 06:36:13 AM »
For direct emissions: Since we should have decabonised >2 decades ago, I propose a meaningful carbon tax of EUR 5000/tonne (EUR 5/Kg). This also applies to personal travel by aeroplane, boat and bus. But not for public transport which is exempted.
Corporations are legal persons and to be treated as natural persons wrt carbon tax.

To ease the change, step it up in three years from EUR 500, EUR 1000 to EUR 5000. Right now, we should be shaking from being in a feverish hurry to change our ways if we take reality and eco/climate science seriously. "I want you to panic".

Half of the carbon tax revenue must be distributed to poor people in your rich country, so rich people will have a strong incentive to change their behaviour. The other half must be invested in electrification of all public transport and making it free for all. A beautiful effect will be the disappearance of the abomination of foodbanks. And oil-derived biocides.

For indirect emissions of products (food, clothes, packaging etc): make it mandatory to state the carbon footprint per unit of mass/volume on the packaging so consumers are aware of the real cost. After 2 years, impose the same carbon tax on the products. By this time the poor people should have enough money cover the increased costs of basic products such as food. Organic food (local) will be cheaper so that sector can grow and expand.

I haven't really thought it through for the many unintended/unforeseen consequences (too complex and not enough knowledge). Financial breakdown is not an unintended consequence. We need to stop these high energy, high carbon footprint lifestyles! We are already too late to prevent catastrophic climate change (>2C GMST).

edit: changed "a" to "the same" in 2nd to last pararaph.

The following represents an example of one possible cascade of tipping points (not considered in consensus climate models) that could lead to a 'Hothouse Earth':

1. Emissions of ozone depleting substances in the 1970s-1980s creates an ozone hole over Antarctica, which accelerates circumpolar wind velocities, that induces the upwelling of relatively warm CDW (note that until 2019 consensus climate scientist disputed whether humans were responsible for this increase in upwell; however, it has now been proven that humans are responsible), which accelerates melting of Antarctic ice shelves; which freshens the Southern Ocean surface waters; which begins to slow the MOC since 1990s-2000s; which increases the tropical SST since 2015; which increases water evaporation from the tropical ocean surface; which increase atmospheric convection near the tropical; which increases high altitude cloud formation on both sides of the equator; which increases positive cloud feedback.

2. As the Pacific Ocean has the largest tropical belt in the world and as the Pacific's Western Warm Pool (or Western Pacific Warm Pool) is the warmest large body of water in the world; and the warming of this region of the ocean telecommunicates (both via the ocean and via the atmosphere) heat both into the Bering Sea area and into the Southern Ocean off the coast of West Antarctica; which has been accelerating the warming of these regions relative to the GMSTA; which has accelerated ice melting both in the Arctic and more particularly in the coastal regions of West Antarctica; which has weakened the buttressing action of key West Antarctic ice shelves such as from the Pine Island Ice Shelf (PIIS) and the Thwaites Ice Shelf (this has been confirmed this year) and Ice Tongue.

3. The observed (& projected) increase in extreme ENSO events has also accelerated the advection of warm CDW across the Antarctic continental shelf into the Amundson Sea Embayment (ASE) where it has periodically accelerated the weakening of the local ice shelves and accelerated the grounding line retreat for key marine glaciers in that area; which threaten MICI types of marine glacier failures in this region beginning around 2035 to 2040 (in my opinion) both due to potential collapse of buttressing action of key ice shelves, and due to a potential increasing in low elevation hydrofracturing of the marine glacial ice in the ASE.

4.  A potential MICI-type of collapse of the marine glaciers in the ASE beginning around 2035-2040, would likely send a decades long armada of icebergs into the Southern Ocean, thus cooling it and abruptly slowing down the MOC; which would abruptly increase the Earth planetary energy imbalance, by: a) abruptly increasing evaporation from the tropical oceans; b) abruptly poleward advecting energy from the tropical oceans thus accelerating Polar Amplification; and c) triggering the bipolar seesaw to accelerate ice mass loss from Greenland.

5.  As the tropical SST increases the atmospheric Hadley Cells would expand poleward, thus increasing the risk (depending on factors such as the true value of ECS over this period, anthropogenic radiative forcing, etc.) of a flip into an equable atmospheric pattern in the Northern Hemisphere by the end of this century; which would most likely lead to a hothouse condition for most of the planet.

The forum / Re: Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: September 01, 2019, 05:29:57 AM »
Just saw this one over at Reddit:

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: August 29, 2019, 06:12:03 AM »
I love it! Delightfully absurd.  ;D ;D
Where can I buy this wonderful 'Holtz'?

(sorry sedziobs to unintentionally 'drown' your posts :P)

The Muppets - Mahna Mahna (1977)

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: August 15, 2019, 07:50:41 PM »
On the other hand...

Out headlong rush to renewable power is having consequences.  Those consequences are causing questions to be asked. Questions I have constantly put forward, only to be nixed every time on here.

After all I know nothing and can be dismissed out of hand as an alarmist.

So, on Friday, the UK had a fairly significant power outage.  Trains stopped running, at least one hospital had a failed backup generator fail to start and Newcastle Airport terminal went dark.

So what happened.  Well a relevantly insignificant <800mw gas power station had to emergency power down due to an internal issue.

This caused a cascade power demand at a peak time which overloaded the Hornsea offshore wind farm connection.  It, quite simply, disconnected to protect itself.

But the Hornsea wind farm is rated at a nameplate power of 6GW.  It, quite simply, just went away.  The UK grid, usually under fairly high stress, started to go into cascade failure protection and started shutting down high power consumption sites where the grid frequency dropped the most.

Where are the fast reacting power sources to cover this demand?  Well those are mainly gas and they were either already working or offline for routine maintenance.

It took all day to sort out the mess and, finally, the problem was resolved and things got back to a semblance of normal.

This I have gleaned from many different sources using the knowledge that I have gained from this very site.

I'm very sure that the final analysis will show two things.

1 - that when renewable sources were added to the grid, the standard protections were put in place without any real consideration to the difference between standard power stations and the very on-off nature of renewable energy

2 - That Coal nameplate power was taken offline and replaced with renewable nameplate power to the same capacity.

Why is this critical?  Because Coal delivers somewhere close to 90% of nameplate power over the long term.  Whereas renewables deliver between 0% and 60% of their nameplate power.

Meaning that the UK grid has been losing power for years, if not close on two decades.  Analysis showed that exactly this situation was avoided, narrowly, 3 times over the last two months alone.  But luck has no place in country wide power generation and delivery and luck ran out on the 4th time.

So, why am I posting this now?  To say "look I was right"?  NO, not really.  I don't care if you believe me or not or if you live in lala land or some wonderful renewable energy haven in the sky.  What I care about is transitioning from our fossil fuel systems to near 0 CO2 emission generating systems as fast as possible.

So what this long intro is about is this article which has popped up in the UK press.

The fact that it is the first time I've seen any outlet, stating the problem this clearly, is significant.  What is more significant is that it is likely to be only the first of a succession of warnings which will stunt our transition to near 0 CO2 emission generating systems unless there is a clear answer which covers it.

The problem is that the only answer which can resolve this situation, without spending more on the grid than we do on wind farms, is to double our Nuclear power strategy and deliver it in half the time.

Just about everything the article says is simple truth viewed from a neutral standpoint.  There is no real capacity in the UK generating system to cover a transition of fuel energy to electrical EV energy.  Even if we only need to transition half of it due to the additional efficiencies of Electric, there simply is not anything like enough capacity to even scratch the surface.  Trying to rapidly ramp up EV's is only going to make things worse, much, much worse.

People need to stop riding their hobby horses about "green" power and start getting into net 0 CO2 emission power generation.  And they need to get there fast.

Otherwise the UK is going to wind up like Germany.  CO2 emissions rising and a rapid shift to coal fired power.

After all the UK has 300 years worth of coal under the ground at 1970's consumption levels.

Every time the UK grid has a blackout, from now on, renewable energy and EV's will take the blame.  That blame will grow and grow into a movement to rival all the greens in the country and overwhelm them.

Far from the UK leading a charge to 0 carbon emissions, the danger is that the UK will go with Germany and drive the other way into Coal.

Is that really what the "Renewable Energy" people want?  Honestly I thought they wanted what I did.

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: August 12, 2019, 03:36:08 PM »
I think it will cause more acrimony than it will save. You could have 95% of users agreeing that a certain poster's posts are irrelevant/over-long/off-topic/inappropriate/offensive, but that poster could easily still think otherwise, be insulted, and post even more of the same type of posts. Those posters who are repeat offenders will also usually take offense, as they lack self-criticism.

Light problems - best ignore
Medium problems - make a short gentle post about it (unless involved poster is a repeat offender, in which case best ignore)
Big problems - make a short harsh post about it, report to moderator (unless Neven already said it's okay with him. Then wait for involved poster to quit, luckily it does happen).

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: August 12, 2019, 02:55:34 PM »
This is not specific to the posts above.

Thinking about the lack of/loss of civility on the forum.  Is there a way to help raise awareness without derailing other threads, especially the important ones?  I was thinking of something like the Razzies:

In the first few days of the <time period> snipets from posts in the previous <time period> can be nominated as exemplifying bad manner/bad logic/etc.  Then a poll for that top few, and the voting brings awareness to the poster outside the actual thread.  It gives people an outlet to respond, without detracting from the thread where the faux pas was committed.

I see this as a partially formed idea.  Just wondering if there's anything useful there. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: August 04, 2019, 11:04:36 PM »
Let Them Sail Yachts

Greta Thunberg doesn't want to fly to the UN, so instead she will sail in a plutocrats sailing yacht across the Atlantic because its "zero carbon" (obviously ignoring the embedded energy of the yacht and the consumption of the crew). I feel that the RT article captures the elite stupidity/blindness/etc. of this pretty well, and very much parallels the complaints of the yellow vets - the masses pay for climate change action while the elites keep living the high life.

Sad that RT then reverts to fossil fuel propaganda later on, but the following paragraphs really do capture the elite World Economic Forum mindset so well. Sarcasm at its best. Seems the elites have learnt nothing from the French Revolution.

However, the young proselytizer will not cobble together a boat from upcycled oil drums and driftwood. Instead she’ll be traveling on the Malizia II, a 60-foot racing yacht. The Malizia II is loaded with eco-friendly innovations, like a lightened hull and an array of solar panels powering a backup turbine.

Its crew are also a far cry from the ragtag band of crusties you might imagine. The Malizia II will be captained by renowned yachtsman Boris Herrmann and Pierre Casiraghi, grandson of Monaco’s late Prince Ranier III and actress Grace Kelly. The boat, too, was once named the Edmond de Rothschild, after the financial baron and founder of a fleet of racing yachts. Its construction cost upwards of €4 million.

Despite the cheers of bourgeois bugmen, Greta’s trip of a lifetime reveals the feckless elitism at the heart of her activism. Sailing across the Atlantic on a multimillion dollar racing yacht is a wonderful stand against climate change when you’re Greta Thunberg. But to dock in New York and demand the miserable masses give up car and air travel is the ultimate in anti-humanitarianism.

Us common folk don’t have access to vessels like the Malizia II. In Thunberg’s utopia, we’d have to row. And even if we did, how many of us can take two weeks’ annual vacation just to get to America to see our friends? Or hire actual Monegasque royalty to get us there in one piece?

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: August 02, 2019, 05:03:16 PM »
So how much has this wildfire/peatfire been included in all models so far. The wildfires added up over certain areas put out CO2 equal to countries (think i have seen Belgium and Sweden mentioned)

I find these "equal to emissions from Country X" comparisons dumb and unhelpful.  I saw one report saying that the output of arctic fires in June totaled about 50 megatons.  That's about 0.26% of total annual global CO2 emissions (if I got my orders of magnitude right!).  Assuming that number has now doubled or tripled or more, fires in the north may be contributing on the order of 1% of emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels.

We're up to ~120 megatons and counting from the Arctic fires That's about 0.3% of the 40 Gt global total or 1 day of extra emissions.

If you look at it as an isolated concealed event, not such a big deal.

But it ain't that. This is an example of a positive feedback, not an isolated event. By the time this thing burns out and you consider the lost CO2 uptake from those trees not being there in years to come, maybe this is a 1,000+ megaton event. And then you start adding in comparable events like sundry methane leaks and fires elsewhere and Japanese and Europeans buying millions of air conditioning units to cope with unprecedented heat.   

and badda bing, badda boom.....shit starts getting away from us.

It's only 2019. We're just starting to see AGW react to the Great Acceleration. What we're seeing in the Arctic now is the work of AGW as a precocious child. A malevolent teenager is coming soon before we get the real deal.

Arctic sea ice / Re: When will the Arctic Go Ice Free?
« on: July 23, 2019, 11:49:07 PM »
Let's return to the central issues...

1) When the Arctic will go ice free
2) How that is likely to play out from first ice free day, to week, to month, to season, to year
3) What the consequences are of that, and hence why we should care

1) the trends in ice extent, ice area and ice volume are all headed to the same outcome, zero ice. Each points to a somewhat different potential date for that. The differences in those dates, though important from a human perspective in a single human lifetime, are essentially identical in geologic terms, and virtually identical in the lifetime of civilizations or nations.

The most likely correct projection is the limiting projection based on the full suite of projections, not the average, not the last, but the first. And that is based on volume. The inherent oscillatory nature of the many linked earth and solar systems creates a form of variation that looks like and can useful be treated similar to randomness. And it has randomness in it. But it isn't truly random in the large scale.

That said, the outer bounds of the error band on projecting forward on ice volume suggest that we have already entered the outermost likelihood for an ice free summer day. Clearly this year won't be it. Next year could be. But most likely that won't be for a few years.

On the other end, the high band, we almost certainly will see it before 2030 even under the most unlikely combination of events. As a result, the first ice free day in September will almost certainly occur between 2022 and 2028.

2) with the progressive loss of ice cover, warming of the ice free ocean, thinning of the ice cover, failure of the tundra and clathrates, combined with mans continued and accelerating release of global warming gases, the lengths of time that the Arctic is essentially ice free will grow longer. There will be oscillation with temporary retreats, and with shocking extensions. The trend will remain for longer and longer ice free periods. That will happen quickly, even in human terms.

3) as that happens, the downwelling driving forces on both the ocean, driving the Atlantic and Pacific oceanic circulations will progressively grow weaker, and the down falling driving force for the atmosphere will simultaneously decline with it, and with that the motive forces for atmospheric circulation of the polar cell will decline.

As the oceanic driving forces collapse a whole suite of interlocking circulations will lose their motive force. New balances will come into play. The oceanic circulations will perhaps stall, and in some areas new broader slower circulations driven by corriolis forces and topography will take over. Areas will go anoxic. Species will move with the temperature and flow. Many will die.

As the atmospheric driving forces fail, the heat balance will shift. The tropopause will rise. The polar circulation will slow and become more chaotic before too be driven by lesser circulations and forces. As the polar cell fails, so too will the driving forces between the Ferrell and polar cells weaken and fail, then those between the Ferrell and Hadley cells. In time, those too will be overridden by other forces.

With an increased tropopause, single cell circulation becomes possible, though moving at slower speeds allowing drag to counter corriolis forces that would otherwise truncate the circulation. Exactly what happens with this is unknown and is a key question related to how the atmosphere circulates on Venus, and how it circulated on Earth during equable climate periods.

The oceanic and atmospheric circulations are however also interdependent based both on flow interactions and based on heat. With dramatic shifts in flow and consequent large shifts in heat balance, moisture shifts, clouds and the like, the problem is extraordinarily difficult to sort out.

That it will shift is certain.

As has already been noted, we are already seeing dramatic shifts in all of these, with dramatic consequences. However, the largest differences will no doubt come when the relative balance between the various forces reach near parity. At that point, if we had a non dimensional analysis to guide us, we might (and only might) have a better idea about how the transitions will occur, and precisely when we might expect hysteretic sorts of state change.

I haven't found a non dimensional analysis of the coupled ocean, air, ice thermodynamic system using the Buckingham Pi method that might aid there. If anyone does, that might be quite useful. It should tell us what the key dimensionless parameters are to monitor (essentially the ratios of various forces that drive the system as a whole).

What we can be certain of is that the Earth is a heat engine. During periods such as our recent several millions of years where we have ice at the poles, the heat differential between these and the solar inputs (dominant at the equator) act to stabilize the system like a giant engine. The ice acts as a huge buffer or battery holding the system in a sort of equilibrium. That oscillates annually and at longer periods. Still it is a buffer. With the loss of that buffer, the system loses its governor. It then is likely to change quite quickly to an alternate stable system governed by other dynamics. That is when we will,see and experience truly abrupt climate change. No one will need convincing then that it is real. But, no doubt, many will still need convincing that we are at fault, and that we need to urgently act.

That we don't know those dynamics sufficiently well to model them successfully is particularly troubling. That we know from geologic records just how different that system is is even more troubling. But, and this is especially important, people lose sight of the importance of the rate of change in converting from one to state to another. Prior geologic analogies seem tame and slow by comparison to our current predicament. And this may be why a period of ice free Arctic in and transition period between ice ages could exist without completely upending the system. Even then, the dynamics are such that the conditions must have been radically different from what we are acuustomed to.

In our case though, we don't have slow changes at work. Our case is more akin to a fully loaded 18 wheeler racing down a 12% grade, burning out its breaks and bashing through the guardrail into open air several thousand feet above the canyon floor. You might as well decide to enjoy the ever so brief ride, as no amount of steering or cranking on the breaks means anything at that point.

But in our analogy we are still on the road. We've begun to lose traction with the highway, the breaks are all but gone and the steering isn't working. Worse, we are making our decisions by committee with a crew in the cab that is, shall we say, less than up to the task.

We are in the ever so brief period before calamity where we cannot be quite certain whether we are going to inevitably go through the guard rail and plummet to our certain death, or miraculously gain the ever so small bit of control that allows us to steer onto the truck runaway ramp. Sure, it's going to rip the wheels off and all but destroy the rig, but at least we get to recover from it.

Now, if we can just get all of the monkeys in the cab to come to agreement that we need to act, and act together, maybe we might just barely survive this yet. But first we have to get them to stop biting each other and throwing their poo.


Glaciers / Global Mean Sea Level
« on: July 21, 2019, 03:42:50 PM »

I found an interesting site this morning. It looks like they only update periodically. I wonder if we will see a more than usual rise in sea level after this NH summer with a greater than usual amount of melt from Greenland.

The rest / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: July 18, 2019, 09:44:18 AM »
Similarities between Trump and Hitler....

If we examine Hitler's rise to power, the context of the German people's desperate suffering in the post WW I environment is obviously essential.

They were so desperate and there really weren't any traditionally logical pathways for them to resolve their predicament. With their survival on the line, nature abhors a vacuum and Hitler stepped in to fill it. 

Fast forward to the 1950's and the German nation as a whole was better off as a result of the horrific processes which unfolded in the interim. The world is short of alternative theories about how the German people could have extricated themselves from their predicament. In hindsight, there is logic for the selection of Hitler as the leader in the destruction of the prevailing paradigm.

I tend to agree with Neven's perspective of concentrated wealth as something akin to a disease from which all suffer, including the wealthy.

The wealthy do not have the collective wisdom to cure the disease, so we are presented again with a vacuum which nature abhors.

The American people have basically exhausted the logical routes for curing the disease. Concentrated wealth has acquired enough of both political parties and the media to effectively suppress the possibility of reform.

A Sanders campaign and real populists in the mold of AOC are something of a last gasp effort to treat the disease proactively, as was achieved under FDR. When they fail, the appeal of a paradigm destroyer such as Trump rises.

Trump is a supremely pathological narcissist. He is immune to the suffering of others and has what it takes to lead the destruction of the paradigm.

He did have a copy of Hitler's speeches at his bedside table. The anecdote is too weird and specific to be contrived and the fact that he owned the book is corroborated in the Vanity Fair article by the man who gave him the book as a gift.

We can argue about whether Trump is a would-be Hitler. I think he is.

But it would be a better to discussion to understand why nature produces DSM-5 quality sociopaths. What is the genetic advantage to a population to have a small number of these individuals walking around?

The answer is that they represent a potential cure for social diseases which can not be treated otherwise. The politically incorrect conclusion that can't be shared in polite company is that Hitler was a success. He treated the paradigm of wealth concentration on behalf of the people who were suffering the most.

America in 2019 is not in as bad a shape as Germany in 1925, but the disease of concentrated wealth that Neven speaks to is entrenched. As the possibility of socially acceptable cures such as those espoused by Sanders are eliminated by the disease, the American people will subconsciously migrate to leaders who are willing to destroy lots of living tissue en route to removing the cancer.

If not Trump, there will be a more competent fascist to follow. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Consequences / The Climatic Effects of a Blue Ocean Event
« on: July 13, 2019, 09:06:18 PM »
I have been finding it difficult to find information on the wider global impacts of a Blue Ocean Event, outside the likes of Paul Beckwith. Peter Wadhams and an odd few extremely reticent/conservative academic papers. Hopefully this topic will help bring together what knowledge there is. Impacts from the materials that I have been able to find have included:

- A collapse of the polar cell and ferrel cells with a resulting equible Northern Hemisphere climate
- A "polar cell" centred on Greenland (until that melts out) with very static jet streams and little seasonal variability
- A maritime environment in the Arctic that produces large precipitation on permafrost areas, which will then accelerate CO2/CH4 emissions
- Massive storms in the North Atlantic as the more rapid melting of Greenland creates a bigger, more intense, "cold blob" that contrasts with the warmer waters around it
- A general acceleration of climate change due to much lower Northern Hemisphere reflectivity
- More rapid melting of the Antarctic due to the climate "see-saw"
- Northward movement of the ITCZ rain belts greatly changing rainfall patterns (plus and minus) for some areas
- etc.

This is a paper I wrote on the subject a couple of years ago and its amazing how little research has been published in the interim.

Seems to generally be "the Northern Hemisphere is f***ed" with a BOE. I have started looking at real estate in Ecuador (Cuenca seems to be very nice) and the Paraguay highlands! Others insights would be much appreciated.

The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: July 12, 2019, 11:59:56 PM »
Does anyone here follow Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson? They are a bit out there. Their thing is talking about how an advanced, at least compared to what we now understand, civilization existed in pre-history. And it was wiped out in part by an asteroid/comet strike in North America on the ice sheet during one of the ice ages, contributing to the mega floods in the west, and which also killed off all of the large animals here (mammoths, saber-toothed cat, giraffes, etc.). There have recently been found some large craters under the Greenland ice sheet that could be as young as when this extinction event happened, around 12,000 years ago.

It's also related ideas like the Sphynx being significantly older than it supposedly is (it's a lion, thus it faced the sunrise or set when the sun was in the constellation Leo, which due to precession of the equinoxes would have been thousands of years earlier than it is supposed to have been built.

Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 27, 2019, 06:37:22 PM »

By those measures Nuclear isn't baseload either. Periodically Nuclear stations must go offline for refueling and for maintenance. These are generally scheduled outages. But taking a gigawatt of production offline for a prolonged period is far more than inconvenient. Such outages are usually between 30-60 days in length, but range from 2-13 weeks. They often run longer as difficulties are encountered.

Nuclear plants also have the interesting problem of being highly sensitive to temperature in many locations. The reactors must dump two thirds of their energy production as heat because they are heat engines. They do this often by dumping that heat to receiving water bodies such as rivers. And when the rivers warm along with everything else, the viability of local fish populations is threatened, necessitating limitations on heat discharge and power reductions or shutdown of the reactors making the problem worse. These sorts of events are increasing as the climate warms. Worse yet, they occur across whole regions taking down many plants simultaneously and threatening the entire power grid of nations and continents. And they occur at the most inconvenient times, precisely when the demand for electricity for cooling is at its maximum, severely threatening the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable populations.

Worse, when (not if... this is probability not just "risk"), nuclear plants suffer emergencies, there is no notice at all, and the rapid withdrawal of a gigawatt of production or more. That is hard to deal with when planned. It is staggeringly hard to deal with when unplanned, and vastly yet more difficult to deal with when the whole power generation system is stressed either in winter or summer, or when other stations are offline, or worse yet when many stations must go offline simultaneously.

Some of the worst and most massive and destructive fires in California occurred when power lines were sagging from current heating causing them to contact ground vegetation starting the fires. The current sagging gets dramatically worse with large scale power transmission across distance. Nuclear requires both. The plants must be located away from population centers they serve. When the power system is distorted by major outages, line capacities are stressed to the maximum.

And then there are the disasters. Japan is not yet fully recovered on power from Fukushima. A nuclear disaster not only distorts the power supply and grid, it also twists it all out of shape for a decade or more. Power may simply not be recoverable at all during the first year or two.

And that is made vastly worse when a natural catastrophe causes severe damage to the system as well. Under those conditions, the nuclear plants disaster diverts massive local, regional, and national assets to deal with it as a priority over dealing with the natural disaster. They become the bully demanding they be serviced first, even at the cost of people's lives and livelihoods.

But, we have an answer to that. We waive the liability laws for them and sacrifice the rights and properties of innocent people to protect them.

Then there are the special conditions, like hurricanes, where not only is power threatened, but the plants themselves are threatened. And should they go down either intentionally or unintentionally, they are then at the greatest risk of a station blackout and a consequent severe accident or disaster right in the middle of a natural disaster, which also makes response the most difficult, and possibly impossible.

Last year Florida suffered just such a problem. The hurricane threatened to entirely sink several reactors with storm surge. By the greatest of good fortune that did not happen. However, the grid was distorted and damaged and ultimately all but one reactor was forced to shut down. The power from that reactor allowed recovery. But the continued operation of that reactor occurred in violation as it had no offsite backup power. Procedurally it was required to shut down.

Once shutdown, the reactors cannot be quickly restarted and brought back on line. Partly this is a procedural safety issue. But primarily it is a physics issue. At shut down samarium and xenon nuclear poisons grow in quantity. These make safe restart impossible until the xenon-135 mostly decays away in a day or so. They make restart either extremely dangerous or physically impossible for much of the first day.  Samarium-149 is stable. So restart requires added reactivity insertion to overcome it and burn it out on restart, with careful power control until it is gone. Xenon-135 has a 9.2 hour half-life. It must largely decay away before restart commences. Restart earlier requires even more careful power control to insert offsetting poisons as it burns out. That can be quite dangerous. With reactors designed to allow rapid power level variation that is a problem. With power stations not designed for that it is a severe problem mandating they stay down for a prolonged period, just as the power grid is most in need of power.

Nuclear because of its frailty in design must be used only as baseload power. So it gets treated as a special case. It also gets special treatment for liability and response. Nuclear is bad and dangerous baseload power.


Policy and solutions / Re: Nuclear Power
« on: June 27, 2019, 04:28:12 PM »
Neil, these are the keywords you want to search for when you want to update your knowledge.

1 ) batteries
2 ) pumped hydro
3 ) power to gas
4 ) molten salt solar plants
5 ) compressed air storage
6 ) smart grids
7 ) grid interconnectivity
8 ) gravity storage

There are many more storage solutions. Have fun learning. :)

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: June 21, 2019, 04:27:53 PM »
Archimid, no it is not people like me, as I take climate change seriously.  You obviously missed the point of my latest post.  Many people in the U.S. do not take climate change seriously, because they are not personally feeling any negative effects.  Those two graphs illustrate my point.  Warming has occurred significantly during the winter months, which many view positively.  Warming has not occurred during the summer (in many areas), which is neither negative nor positive.  Concentrating on the midsection of the country (which takes climate change least seriously), milder winters and average summers would be considered a benefit.  The reduced contrast between cold and hot has resulted in diminished storm severity (as indicated by decreased tornadic activity).  These areas are not personally affected by sea level rise, Arctic melting, or tropical activity.  There are concerned with rainfall (or lack thereof), primarily concerning agriculture.  This year's flooding is raising some concerns, but drought tends to be a bigger concern in this area. 

Calling them deniers based on political or cultural reasons, misses the central issue (not that there are not those who will never see the light for these reason).  Not everyone is idealistic.  Many people are selfish, looking only at how events affect them personally (recent elections should be enough evidence).  Trying to convince people that climate change is negatively affected them when it is not, will not sway them, any more than called them deniers.  The best strategy to change opinions is to first understand their point of view, rather than ridiculing them.  You cannot convince someone that they have been negatively affected by this, when they do not experience it personally.

Glaciers / Re: Glaciers worldwide decline faster than ever
« on: June 20, 2019, 04:19:23 PM »
"No, we ain't gonna lose all the glaciers by 2030.. three might last 'til 2050". Whoopee.
I agree with the sentiment, although on these threads we are often 'arguing' about when the first BOE will occur (for example), with a difference of opinion within a decade or so. These Montanan glaciers, albeit minor players in the scheme of things (unless you are in Glacier National Park or down stream), have scientists disagreeing on more than 2 decades.
Those Montanan glaciers are not going to have a good summer according to the weather people.
Nor will the Alaskan Glaciers or those lumps of ice on land on the islands of the CAA.

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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