Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Consequences => Topic started by: TeaPotty on October 30, 2014, 05:02:41 PM

Title: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on October 30, 2014, 05:02:41 PM
Most people who understand the nature of our Climate crisis, and the rate at which we are pushing ourselves deeper into an extinction threat, understand that the public must be informed. The question is not about "scaring" the public or not, but rather how can we educate the public about our Climate Crisis, while hastily mobilizing people to save our future.

How many people are even remotely aware of our looming extinction crisis and what this means for our way of life? I doubt even 10%. Some Scientists still congratulate themselves for standing up to deniers nearly every day, an increasingly pointless waste of time, as reality is already revealing obvious climate change even to the least educated. How about we instead start a public discussion of how many people this planet will be even capable of supporting in 50 years?

Unfortunately, it seems most mainstream Scientists are beholden to the bourgeois upper-class academic environment. They often open their mouth to show their loyalty to the current conservative corporate culture, and then arrogantly proclaim that this conservatism is inherent to Science. This of course boosts their credibility with the "Very Serious People", and they get bonus points for attacking "alarmism". Then there's also the pro-corporate fad of "objectivism", where pretending that you lack any opinion or humanity is somehow sacred. Of course, their never is any credibility loss or career damage if one is wrong on the conservative side, even if extremely wrong (2C by 2100 anyone?).

So here we are, playing Russian Roulette on our planet with an increasingly loaded gun, with mainstream Scientists seemingly content with measuring our chances for survival (so the 1% can decide how many they are willing to let die), instead of focusing their efforts on sounding the alarm for the now obviously necessary radical emissions reductions (@7:40 Professor Kevin Anderson) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qZ8ATCIMoA).

I'd like this thread to be a collection of opinions and articles on this subject. The point is not to attack Science, but rather discuss the current culture controlling & shaping it for maximum profit, and the consequences of remaining obediently silent. Time is running out...

Climate Scientists Aren’t Too Alarmist. They’re Too Conservative: (Chris Mooney)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/30/climate-scientists-arent-too-alarmist-theyre-too-conservative/)

Scientist David Spratt recently gave a great lecture on our crisis: Dangerous Climate Change: Myths & Realities (https://vimeo.com/109570287/)

Scientific reticence and sea level rise (James Hansen)
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/fulltext/ (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/fulltext/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on October 30, 2014, 09:15:51 PM
Very well put, TeaPotty. Thank you.

I think it can be argued philosophically that you have a greater ethical responsibility to be absolutely sure your facts are correct, if you choose to publish a "this is going great" or "this isn't really so dramatic" work or conclusion. For when it is within the scope of the available climate scenarios to quite simply "kill us all", the consequences of being wrong in your lax conclusions are so vast.

I once took a bio ethics course at University, in my youth, but I'm not skilled enough to make this philosophical argument myself, I think. Yet I could perhaps ask my old professor to give it a try?

For most other things in life, the Consequences of Being Wrong are not that serious.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on October 31, 2014, 08:55:45 AM
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on October 31, 2014, 09:30:48 AM
Michael Hauber,
The pope may be infallible, but the scientific process?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on October 31, 2014, 10:47:50 AM
Quote
The question is not about "scaring" the public or not, but rather how can we educate the public about our Climate Crisis, while hastily mobilizing people to save our future.

I (we)have to advertise in front of my (our) house(s) about climate...I am thinking of it for a long time...it has to be done, internet is not enough we have to gently wake up or fellow citizens. (I am afraid of the reaction, perhaps I should not...)

The question of the failure of science was already discuss with the ipcc thread created by Viddaloo so I don't think it is necessary to add some more. We need the Ipcc to have a common base even though it is conservative...well once you know it (it has to be explained), you read between the line and try to look for some more accurate information.

Quote
How about we instead start a public discussion of how many people this planet will be even capable of supporting in 50 years?
That was already discussed by JimD some times ago. I do think the question is not how many people can the earth stand but how to adjust locally (nation, region, town) the demography. because each part of world cannot and will not be able to stand the same amount of people.



Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on October 31, 2014, 09:59:27 PM
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

You have a reading comprehension problem as well I see. I literally wrote:

The point is not to attack Science, but rather discuss the current culture controlling & shaping it for maximum profit, and the consequences of remaining obediently silent. Time is running out...

The problem is not the Scientific Process, but how and for what objective this tool is used.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on October 31, 2014, 10:06:41 PM
Michael Mann has given an amazing interview with Leftist blogger Gaius Publius. In this interview they not only cover up-to-date research on Climate Change, but also highlighted the topic of this thread.

Join their discussion on the consistently conservative projections failing, and how our window for meaningful action is closing faster than we can learn to measure it:
http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/10/michael-mann-on-climate-theres-very.html (http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2014/10/michael-mann-on-climate-theres-very.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on October 31, 2014, 11:21:52 PM
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

Michael, this post doesn't belong here, in fact, the trollish nature of this post indicates that YOU don't belong here.

Either put up some arguments, with scientific backing, or bug out.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on October 31, 2014, 11:22:10 PM
Thanks again, TeaPotty! You're putting the "interesting" back in "interesting discussions" :)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on October 31, 2014, 11:50:37 PM
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

Michael, this post doesn't belong here, in fact, the trollish nature of this post indicates that YOU don't belong here.

Either put up some arguments, with scientific backing, or bug out.

Back at you.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on October 31, 2014, 11:52:41 PM
Michael Hauber,
The pope may be infallible, but the scientific process?

Is of course flawed.  Does anyone have any meaningful suggestions on how it can be improved?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 01, 2014, 12:06:12 AM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sfj.no%2Fcmssff%2Fcmsmm.nsf%2FlupGraphics%2FOriginal_Jotne2_dark.jpg%2F%24file%2FOriginal_Jotne2_dark.jpg&hash=08aca9978708fafeed087b9eb8c6c374)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 01, 2014, 12:14:00 AM
The last resort when the weight of the scientific consensus is against you is to claim that the scientific process is flawed.

You have a reading comprehension problem as well I see. I literally wrote:

The point is not to attack Science, but rather discuss the current culture controlling & shaping it for maximum profit, and the consequences of remaining obediently silent. Time is running out...

The problem is not the Scientific Process, but how and for what objective this tool is used.

I read the rest of your article, and some of the articles you linked to. 

'Unfortunately, it seems most mainstream Scientists are beholden to the bourgeois upper-class academic environment'

'they get bonus points for attacking "alarmism"'

From the links:

' IPCC's reports, they say, often underestimate the severity of global warming'

'Climate research has conservative systematic bias'

'scientific reticence is is inhibiting the communication of a threat of a potentially large sea level rise.....Scientific reticence may be a consequence of the scientific method'

Looks like an attack on science to me, and tacking a disclaimer that its not about the scientists who are good guys but the evil people trying to control and shape science for maximum profit at the end does not change my mind.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 01, 2014, 12:56:52 AM
Neven, sorry to drag you into this. I consider Michael Hauber's posts to be trolling. He is flooding this thread with posts intended to slander and derail, and generally not make much sense as usual. Please delete his posts if you can. Thank you.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 01, 2014, 03:05:18 AM
I dont reckon you will attract much meaningful debate if you alienate all 'conservative' people by slinging mud at them. If you want to whip up alarmist fervour there are plenty who will answer the call - but make a difference, persuade those conservatives - no chance. Michaels obviously offended, I certainly am, now you want to drag Neven in to pour water on the flames you lit. Its your thread and your first post - read it again with a conservative mind and see if it would spur you to read further!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 01, 2014, 09:48:17 AM
I'm having a complaint to the BBC processed. (It's abouth their constant implication that economic growth is the only way to create jobs - and economic growth usually causes more pollution)

I'm preparing to make another complaint on their coverage of global warming. One aspect is that they choose rather conservative climate scientists to argue with a climate deniers.  This avoids the more significant debate between conservative official leaning scientists and those that question the official (IPCC and UK Government) line.

I want to produce a league table of climate scientists who are willing to comment (and climate-aware commentators). Just as a convention I am putting the most question at the top of the league. My own starter:

Kevin Anderson
MichaelMann
James Hansen
Sir Bob Watson
David Mackay
Sir Brian Hoskinson

Should this be on a points basis?




Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 01, 2014, 10:33:26 AM
Neven, sorry to drag you into this. I consider Michael Hauber's posts to be trolling. He is flooding this thread with posts intended to slander and derail, and generally not make much sense as usual. Please delete his posts if you can. Thank you.

Next time send me a PM. :)

If I thought Michael Hauber is a fake skeptic trying to hide his true identity, I'd have warned him already. That is something I won't tolerate on this forum. But I don't believe he is one. In my opinion he is someone who believes AGW is real and potentially (very) problematic, just not as much as others here. So then we get disagreements and some misunderstandings. This is all normal in a forum environment. Everyone blows off some steam, doesn't get offended too much, and we all move on. Don't take things too personal, everyone!

When it comes to this subject, I'm a bit torn. Yes, there is such a thing as scientific reticence, and a lot of scientists are erring on the side of least drama. I try to counterbalance that a bit when blogging. At the same time I find it difficult to make confident statements about what is going to happen, when there is so much I don't know and/or understand.

But I always stress the risks, and I'm also annoyed when scientists don't do that. A lot of them don't do that enough.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 01, 2014, 10:42:27 AM
Well, good luck on that endeavor, Geoff! I think The Guardian wrote recently about the real debate being between conservative scientists/polluticians on the one side, and what you call «those that question the official (IPCC and UK Government) line».

Of course they will try to make it seem like the debate is *still* with deniers about *whether* humans cause warming for at least another decade. While I hope your complaint can have a fair amount of success, the BBC to me seems so in line with state and corporate powers these days, so TBH I don't see much hope for anything resembling real quality journalism from that corner.

Our Norwegian NRK told us in September that more growth and sustained growth would be the best way to solve the climate crisis. Am I mad for thinking it's no coincidence that they are in line with the BBC on this issue?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 01, 2014, 05:35:55 PM
Awareness of Both Type 1 and 2 Errors in Climate Science and Assessment
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00115.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00115.1)


Selected Quotes

While different decision rules are necessarily appropriate for different circumstances, we highlight that false-negative errors also have consequences, including impaired communication of the risks of climate change. We present recommendations for better accounting for both types of errors in the scientific process and scientific assessments.


Type 1 errors are a false positive: a researcher states that a specific relationship exists when in fact it does not... has become scientific convention in many fields of the natural sciences

Type 2 errors are the reverse: a null hypothesis would not be rejected despite being false—a false negative on the hypothesis that no relationship exists.A scientist says no relationship exists when, in fact, one exists; but again, the p (probability) value threshold for making such a claim is, in fact, arbitrary.

In scientific assessments such as the IPCC, scientists synthesize and weight multiple lines of evidence from diverse tools. Thus, the relative avoidance of type 1 versus type 2 errors can shape this synthesis process and the findings produced. In this case, an overestimation of a given climate impact is analogous to type 1 errors (i.e., a false positive in the magnitude of an impact), while an underestimation of the impact corresponds to type 2 errors.


Recent research has suggested in a number of key attributes in climate change that scientists have “erred on the side of least drama” by underestimating changes in climate assessments (Brysse et al. 2013), effectively favoring the risk of type 2 errors to lower the chances of type 1 errors.

Yet, careful treatment of type 2 errors can fall outside current uncertainty characterizations and it has particular relevance to climate impacts (Trenberth 2005 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/308/5729/1753)). Failure to account for both type 1 and type 2 errors leaves a discipline or assessment processes in danger of irrelevancy, misrepresentation, and unnecessary damages to society and human well-being.


Because ice sheet melting was accelerating quickly and in unpredictable ways, “quantitative projections of how much it would add [to sea level rise] cannot be made with confidence” (Bindoff et al. 2007, p. 409). The authors decided, given these realities, to remove sea level rise driven by ice melt from their future estimates—not because the ice was not melting but because future rates could not be projected.

More specifically, Working Group I of the Fourth Assessment Report dealt with this insufficient understanding by removing the acceleration of ice sheet melt out of its quantitative projections of the future. The summary for policymakers' table 3 of sea level rise projections includes sea level contributions from ice sheet flow held steady at the rates observed from 1993 to 2003, but they do not include a continuation of the observed acceleration of melt.


Several scientists pointed out this potential type 2 error in the peer-reviewed literature is a consequence of “scientific reticence” (Hansen 2007 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/)), which includes a strong focus on avoiding type 1 errors. The limitations of consensus and dynamics of the IPCC assessment process, however, may have instead influenced this range (Oppenheimer et al. 2007 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5844/1505); Solomon et al. 2008 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/319/5862/409.3)), as the process of determining upper and lower bounds involves integrating and weighting different sources of information and model simulations.

We analyzed a dataset of major U.S. and U.K. media outlet news coverage of the IPCC WGI report to examine whether media outlets reported the critical caveat regarding the upper bounds of sea level rise. A lack of reporting this caveat suggests that this potential type 2 error impaired effective communication of climate risks.


While recent research has in fact shown that the majority of Himalayan glaciers are melting and at a rate on par with glaciers around the world (Fujita and Nuimura 2011; Kaab et al. 2012; Kargel et al. 2011), the 2035 melt date is almost certainly an overstating of melt rates (Bolch et al. 2012) and thus provides an example of a possible type 1 error.

In contrast to the sea level rise, the scientific community and media response to this potential error was substantial. In the peer-reviewed literature, the melt date was described as incorrect (Cogley et al. 2010) and some suggested that “this error . . . shredded the reputation of a large and usually rigorous international virtual institution”.

Did the overestimation actually damage scientific credibility of the IPCC? It is hard to know the true impact, but polling data since the incident indicates likely not. A poll conducted in June 2010 found that 14% of Americans heard in the news recently about errors in the IPCC report (Leiserowitz et al. 2013 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/57/6/818)). About 5% said that these errors had decreased their trust in climate scientists, though these were largely concentrated in the “doubtful” and “dismissive” categories of respondents with relatively low trust in climate scientists prior (Leiserowitz et al. 2013 (http://abs.sagepub.com/content/57/6/818)).


A retrospective analyses of several key attributes of global warming concluded that the IPCC as an institution has tended to be generally conservative and often underestimate key characteristics of climate (Brysse et al. 2013 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215)). This arguably has led to larger (though unknown) type 2 error rates, particularly in presenting the upper bounds of climate changes and impacts that might not capture the full tails of the probability density function distribution.

Concluding Remarks

We suggest that assessment can further institutionalize the aversion to type 1 errors and attendant risk of committing type 2 errors. Both in paradigm and procedure, the scientific method and culture prioritize type 1 error aversion (Hansson 2013) and “erring on the side of least drama” (O'Reilly et al. 2011 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.135/abstract;jsessionid=C420C4CADF29C8F4FCB9D9168379794D.f04t01)) or “scientific reticence” (Hansen 2007 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/2/024002/)), and this can be amplified by both publication bias and scientific assessment (Freudenburg and Muselli 2010 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378010000300); Lemons et al. 1997 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1009611419680); O'Reilly et al. 2011 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.135/abstract)). Thus, the high consequence and tails of the distribution of climate impacts, where experts may disagree on likelihood or where understanding is still limited, can often be left out or understated in the assessment process (Oppenheimer et al. 2007 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5844/1505); Socolow 2011 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-011-0187-5)). As participants in the IPCC assessments, we have observed the excessive focus on avoiding type 1 errors at various stages in the assessment process, which may have worsened following the Himalayan glacier event.

Growing evidence suggests that, partly owing to this treatment of error as well as other processes, consensus scientific assessments to date are likely to underestimate climate disruptions (Brysse et al. 2013 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215); Freudenburg and Muselli 2010 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378010000300); O'Reilly et al. 2011 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.135/abstract)). A recent paper reviewed the suite of studies that compared past predictions with recent observations of sea level rise, surface temperature increase, melting of Arctic sea ice, permafrost thaw, and hurricane intensity and frequency. The study found that IPCC assessments of projections were on the whole largely correct or even underestimates (possible type 2 errors), and that there was little to no evidence of “alarmism” or widespread overestimates (Brysse et al. 2013 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215)). Thus, while a full accounting of the relative prevalence of type 1 versus type 2 errors is not possible (as what determines an “error” is a difficult question and future projections cannot be assessed currently), the balance of evidence indicates that potential type 2 errors may be more prevalent in assessments, such as the IPCC.

This asymmetry of treatment of error has unintended consequences. Type 2 errors can hinder communication of the full range of possible climate risks to the media, the public, and decision makers who have to justify the basis of their analyses. Thus, such errors have the potential to lead to unnecessary loss of lives, livelihoods, or economic damages.

Uncertainty must be recognized as multifaceted and textured. As such, Brian Wynne described four kinds of uncertainty:
1) “risk”—where we know the odds, system behavior, and outcomes can be defined as well as quantified through probabilities;
2) “uncertainty”—where system parameters are known, but not the odds or probability distributions;
3) “ignorance”—risks that escape recognition; and
4) “indeterminacy”—which captures elements of the conditionality of knowledge and contextual scientific, social, and political factors (Wynne 1992 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0959378092900172)).
Thus, the risks through uncertainty in these conditions of postnormal science have material implications. Incomplete presentation of the full possibilities of outcomes (likelihood compounded by consequence) can lead to a lack of preparedness, loss of livelihoods or lives, and economic damage
.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 01, 2014, 06:31:01 PM
Climate Science Predictions Prove Too Conservative
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/]
[url]http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-science-predictions-prove-too-conservative/ (http://[url)[/url]

The tendency to underplay climate impacts needs to be recognized, conclude the authors of a recent paper exploring this bias. Failure to do so, they wrote in their study published last month in the journal Global Environmental Change, "could prevent the full recognition, articulation and acknowledgement of dramatic natural phenomena that may in fact be occurring."

Quote
Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378012001215)

In particular, we discuss recent studies showing that at least some of the key attributes of global warming from increased atmospheric greenhouse gases have been under-predicted, particularly in IPCC assessments of the physical science, by Working Group I. We also note the less frequent manifestation of over-prediction of key characteristics of climate in such assessments. We suggest, therefore, that scientists are biased not toward alarmism but rather the reverse: toward cautious estimates, where we define caution as erring on the side of less rather than more alarming predictions. We call this tendency “erring on the side of least drama (ESLD).”

IPCC Vice-Chair Jean-Pascal van Ypersele countered that "the mandate of IPCC is to assess where there is consensus, and to reflect the full diversity of views that are scientifically valid where there is not."* He conceded that by requiring teams of authors to agree upon a report’s text, the IPCC process is inherently conservative. Getting the balance right, he said in an e-mail, is "not always easy."

--I'll Say

The inability to adequately address uncertainty in a realm of "consensus" obfuscates risk. 

as this graphic from a 2011 paper shows what happens to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation if the model is forced to tip. paper here:  http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n4/full/nclimate1143.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n4/full/nclimate1143.html)

Graph at top left shows that once a tipping point is reached (about 35% reduction from average) then a collapse ensues.  We simply don't know if arctic sea ice declines will produce this effect already, but it is very likely to happen in a +4C world.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nature.com%2Fnclimate%2Fjournal%2Fv1%2Fn4%2Fimages_article%2Fnclimate1143-f3.jpg&hash=6caafe2f24a09a81f568d3e6a1c8900a)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 01, 2014, 10:56:09 PM
Well, good luck on that endeavor, Geoff! I think The Guardian wrote recently about the real debate being between conservative scientists/polluticians on the one side, and what you call «those that question the official (IPCC and UK Government) line».

Here's that Guardian quote and source (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/oct/20/2014-arctic-sea-ice-extent-6th-lowest-in-millennia):

«There was recently a contentious dispute at a Royal Society Arctic Sea Ice meeting, in which Wadhams felt that his views were being disrespected by some of those mainstream climate scientists. Those scientists argued that Wadhams was misinterpreting their comments, but this dispute illustrates where the climate debate really lies.

Normally the ‘debate’ is depicted as being between climate ‘sceptics’ on one side and mainstream climate scientists on the other. Many bystanders assume that the truth must lie somewhere in the middle. However, in reality it’s the mainstream scientists who fall into the middle of the spectrum, with climate contrarians on one extreme, and those who believe climate scientists are underestimating the impacts of global warming on the other extreme.»
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 02, 2014, 08:36:18 AM

When it comes to this subject, I'm a bit torn. Yes, there is such a thing as scientific reticence, and a lot of scientists are erring on the side of least drama. I try to counterbalance that a bit when blogging. At the same time I find it difficult to make confident statements about what is going to happen, when there is so much I don't know and/or understand.

So are more erring on the side of least drama then are erring on the side of more drama?  Are there good examples?

Personally I think the scientists do about as good as could be expected given all the factors of uncertainty, imperfect humans who can't be perfectly free of error and bias etc etc.  I'm sure that the scientists are 'wrong'.  But in which way?  Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?  What better method do we have of predicting what will happen than listening to what the scientists say?  Do we pick a side based on ideology and then hold up the science that agrees with our side as proof and ignore the science that does not?  Do we trust the Blog Scientists?  Or perhaps the media?

Where I would have a concern is in the understanding of risks and uncertainty.  I feel the IPCC message for the average case of temperature projections, and even sea ice projections is about right (and yes I left sea level rise out there lol).  My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

However the possibility of upper range consequences is a serious concern.  I don't think we can totally rule out possibilities were the majority of the earth becomes uninhabitable to man.  I think such a possibility is unlikely, and that no one has shown a scenario I find convincing where things go really haywire and something along the lines of a runaway clathrate melt down happens.  But I haven't seen anything that nicely rules it out either.  As the IPCC says - it is 'likely' that climate sensitivity is 1.5-4.5.  Which means a 15% chance that sensitivity is above 4.5.  I don't like those odds at all when we are talking about the future habitability of planet earth.

But how do you discuss such a belief in a reasonable way with anyone?  Some people are convinced that global warming will be much less than the IPCC project.  Others seem to be convinced that the warming will be in the upper range.  The idea that warming could be anywhere between 'not particularly scary' and 'horrendous' seems to be one of the least popular beliefs out there.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 02, 2014, 09:07:25 AM
Michael Hauber,
I think your assessment is one fair interpretation of the science. My interpretation is that mainstream projections are serious enough, but the really ugly risks are in the under-reported fat tails. Scientists are in the best position to recognize these risks before others, and therefore have a special responsibility to stress them. For a while it seems they were afraid to do this, since they were and are indeed under attack, but not by the likes of James Hansen, but by the pseudo-sceptic denial machine. Just see the case of Mike Mann, or Hansen himself. By now scientists seem to better understand in what kind of epic fight they have been accidentily drawn, and have better organized to stress the risks, as for example in the AAAS-publication What We Know.

To me it all comes down to this question: Is the science alarmist of alarming? It think it is very alarming, which seems a fair assessment, according to this paper by Risbey (2008):
http://www.marine.csiro.au/~ris009/pubfiles/gec_alarming.pdf (http://www.marine.csiro.au/~ris009/pubfiles/gec_alarming.pdf)

The papers by Brysse et al (2013) and Anderegg et al (2014) above show that often/sometimes this alarming nature of the science seems to not have been stressed enough in the past. If you know examples of alarmist science, it would be good to know about them too.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 02, 2014, 09:46:11 AM
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?

Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 02, 2014, 12:43:29 PM
Quote
My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

Excuse me, but how does dramatic ecological disruption not impact human welfare?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: werther on November 02, 2014, 01:14:54 PM
The process within the IPCC to deliver the climate reports is in itself enough to dilute concern about the consequences of human greenhouse gas emissions. A lot of scientists are aware of that and have criticised the working process. As it is, the IPCC is the only organisation that combines scientific efforts on a large scale basis. And it has at least serious attention within the political sphere. So I feel I have to accept the outcome of each report, even though I get increasingly weary by the cautious and time-consuming path.

To criticise the process is not the same as calling the science flawed. An assessment report is not a sort of monumental, unified piece of work. There’s no point in discussing it like the Bible or the Quran. Like when I don’t literally accept one paragraph I’d criticise the Word, and thereby would cease to be a religious person.

A lot of scientific work on climate is top-of-the-bill. Usually beyond my intellectual capacities. But I think I understand the general direction. I also have great respect for the intricate and complex structure of our biosphere. From what is my perception of the scientific method, I guess it is awfully hard to make progress toward complete insight. In the scientific method, for any projection into the future, the basis lies within the past. The respect for the complexity of the system is expressed in probability. A statistical approach. Any projection, to me, looks like a sort of risk analysis.

When the IPCC reports are criticised, the critics can be seen as an expression of a different concern about the risk. That concern cannot generally be dismissed as a claim that ‘the whole scientific process’ is flawed.

PS I listened to the interview that Gaius Publius had with Dr. Mann. It touches well on the risk assessment.

On the opening of this thread; I agree with TeaPotty that time is running out. There’s a strong incentive on maintaining business-as-usual. That incentive has driven and financed mainstream science ever since the beginning of the modern industrial society. I often wonder why someone would deny the obvious consequences of such behaviour. But then, I think my own perception of beauty in this world is probably not mainstream…

BTW that was a good reply Neven. Ecological disruption is going on everywhere, beauty is turned foul. And it does impact human welfare, even though it is just a part of the welfare of all living beings.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: P-maker on November 02, 2014, 01:54:41 PM
Excerpts from the IPCC AR5 SYR released today in Copenhagen – with a focus on more recent cryospheric issues, and with a bias towards higher confidence statements.

“Over the period 1992 to 2011, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass (high confidence), likely at a larger rate over 2002 to 2011. Glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide (high confidence). Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover has continued to decrease in extent (high confidence). There is high confidence that permafrost temperatures have increased in most regions since the early 1980s in response to increased surface temperature and changing snow cover. {1.1.3}

The annual mean Arctic sea-ice extent decreased over the period 1979 to 2012, with a rate that was very likely in the range 3.5 to 4.1% per decade. Arctic sea-ice extent has decreased in every season and in every successive decade since 1979, with the most rapid decrease in decadal mean extent in summer (high confidence).

Anthropogenic influences have likely affected the global water cycle since 1960 and contributed to the retreat of glaciers since the 1960s and to the increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet since 1993. Anthropogenic influences have very likely contributed to Arctic sea-ice loss since 1979 and have very likely made a substantial contribution to increases in global upper ocean heat content (0–700 m) and to global mean sea-level rise observed since the 1970s. {1.3.1; Figure 1.10}

The global mean surface temperature change for the  period 2016-2035 relative to 1986-2005 is similar for the four RCPs and will likely be in the range 0.3°C-0.7°C (medium confidence). This assumes that there will be no major volcanic eruptions or changes in some natural sources (e.g., CH4 and N2O), or unexpected changes in total solar irradiance.

Year-round reductions in Arctic sea ice are projected for all RCP scenarios. A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean (When sea-ice extent is less than one million km2 for at least five consecutive years. ) in the summer sea-ice minimum in September before mid-century is likely for RCP8.512 (medium confidence). {2.2.3, Figure 2.1}

It is virtually certain that near-surface permafrost extent at high northern latitudes will be reduced as global mean surface temperature increases, with the area of permafrost near the surface (upper 3.5 m) projected to decrease by 37% (RCP2.6) to 81% (RCP8.5)for the multi-model average (medium confidence). {2.2.3}

The risks associated with temperatures at or above 4°C include substantial species extinction, global and regional food insecurity, consequential constraints on common human activities, and limited potential for adaptation in some cases (high confidence).

It is virtually certain that global mean sea-level rise will continue for many centuries beyond 2100, with the amount of rise dependent on future emissions. The threshold for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet over a millennium or more, and an associated sea-level rise of up to 7 m, is greater than about 1°C (low confidence) but less than about 4°C (medium confidence) of global warming with respect to pre-industrial temperatures.

For mitigation scenarios that stabilize concentrations (without overshoot) in the range of 430-530 ppm CO2-eq by 2100, annual investments in low carbon electricity supply and energy efficiency in key sectors (transport, industry and buildings) are projected in the scenarios to rise by several hundred billion dollars per year before 2030.”
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 02, 2014, 08:08:15 PM
The trouble I have with that P Maker is it is a model driven possible scenario. Thats ok for the readers of forums such as this as we wouldnt be here if we werent interested in trying to work out with greater certainty what the future holds and therefore we have a belief in the warming scenario. The difficulty is putting it to the rest of the world when they have nowhere near the comforts we do. Once the rest of the world has a reasonable energy supply/standard of living and more time to educate themselves then they are more likely to show some concern for the rest of humanity and the problems associated with AGW. Until that point they will strive to burn fossil fuels to supply themselves with a small proportion of the comfort we enjoy - I cant blame them for that and I stand up for their right to do so. 80% of the globes population lives in substandard accommodation and less than 1% owns a computer - a good population analogy is the world represented as a village of 100 people -  http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/populate.asp (http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/populate.asp)

Perhaps educating the western world that they need to share their energy resources more equally with the rest of the world would be a better way of spending money. However would you give up your car/television/phones/computer/......lifestyle in general so that the third world can have a greater share, or are we going to suppress 80% of the worlds population and keep them in energy poverty so that we can carry on as we are.

This is why I will not move on to the 'drastic action is needed' side - it wont happen without a massive change in attitude or population or both. If however we as a scientifice forward looking society can bring forward energy parity for the rest of the world - only then will you get the rest of the world to come along for the ride.

If I thought this process was already in place then I would follow the 'drastic action' plan. If not I will still prefer to see the poor in the world take action to improve their lot - if that means we are doomed then we are doomed as an entire species and not just the underpriveleged majority.

That is why I prefer to look for balance in forcings and feedbacks so I can sleep at night, which is why I enjoy the depth of information available on this site. I dont want to believe in catastrophe and all it means for my children when the action needed to change the hypothetical situation IMO is even more catastrophic. I think thats why the skeptical side of the debate wont budge, the mainstream side says we will all suffer if we dont do something, which may or may not prove to be true but if it involves a massive change in the way we all live and further disadvantages the majority of the worlds population, then there will always be huge resistance to it until the s**t hits the fan and they become involved by events.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 02, 2014, 11:20:12 PM
Are Scientists Too Conservative About Climate? (Peter Sinclair)
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/11/02/are-scientists-too-conservative-about-climate/ (http://climatecrocks.com/2014/11/02/are-scientists-too-conservative-about-climate/)

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

"The most important thing is that you know its conservative, so you understand the IPCC reports in the correct way"
-Stefan Rahmstorf
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 03, 2014, 01:58:32 AM
Why the IPCC synthesis report is necessary but not sufficient to secure a response to climate change (Skeptical Science)
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-the-IPCC-synthesis-report-is-necessary_The-Carbon-Brief.html#.VFZ5G2Onq9E.twitter (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-the-IPCC-synthesis-report-is-necessary_The-Carbon-Brief.html#.VFZ5G2Onq9E.twitter)

The combination of the IPCC working group and synthesis reports will almost certainly be used by some to argue for action and by others to say do we know enough to act now.


Lets see what the media is reporting, shall we?

[BBC]: Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC... In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be "phased out almost entirely by 2100
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884)

[CNN]: According to the IPCC, to stay below a 2-degree C increase, greenhouse gas emissions need to fall as much as 70% around the world by 2050 and to zero by 2100
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/02/world/ipcc-climate-change-report/ (http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/02/world/ipcc-climate-change-report/)

[AP]: UN Climate Report Offers Stark Warnings, Hope... Emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the temperature rise below a level that many consider dangerous... the word "dangerous" disappeared from the summary altogether. It appeared only twice in a longer underlying report compared to seven times in a draft produced before the Copenhagen session. The less loaded word "risk" was mentioned 65 times in the final 40-page summary

NPR: U.N.: End Greenhouse Emissions By 2100 Or Risk 'Irreversible' Damage... the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero by 2100
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/02/360932486/u-n-end-greenhouse-emissions-by-2100-or-risk-irreversible-damage (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/02/360932486/u-n-end-greenhouse-emissions-by-2100-or-risk-irreversible-damage)

[TIME]: U.N.: Phase Out Fossil Fuels By 2100 Or Face ‘Irreversible’ Climate Impact
http://time.com/3553269/un-climate-change-report/ (http://time.com/3553269/un-climate-change-report/)


Phew... So the party can keep going till 2100, right?
Please, tell us more about how we really should stop "alarming" the public who is barely even paying attention.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 03, 2014, 02:12:29 AM
IPCC is stern on climate change – but it still underestimates the situation (Bill McKibben)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/02/ipcc-climate-change-carbon-emissions-underestimates-situation-fossil-fuels (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/02/ipcc-climate-change-carbon-emissions-underestimates-situation-fossil-fuels)

this new document – actually a synthesis of three big working group reports released over the last year – almost certainly underestimates the actual severity of the situation

the current IPCC document does not even include the finding in May that the great Antarctic ice sheets have begun to melt
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 03, 2014, 09:45:06 AM
[BBC]: Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC...

OMG, do I need to wake up my 'Suicide Pact' thread?

The IPCC — the best climate panel money can buy.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: werther on November 03, 2014, 09:52:59 AM
Some introduce ‘we’ to suggest that most of the blog fellows find themselves part of their assumptions. Please leave me out. Speak for yourself. I don’t have to ‘work out’ anymore to have a strong sense where this is going. I have no ‘belief’ in a warming scenario. The Rubicon has been crossed, so to say…

BTW I have enjoyed the comforts mentioned, but I don’t want to hold on to them at the cost they bring. I try not to put blame on others, and certainly not on the less fortunate. Because the Rubicon has been crossed, there’s no time to achieve equality whatsoever. It is a noble idea, but also a perfect strawman argument to not address the consequences of AGW and the finality of resources.
I do wish anyone those good nights sleep. I do sleep well, at least, most of the times. Because I think there’s a distinction between personal and general providence. It is within my personal providence to accept what’s to come and act with compassion.
What happens in the realm of general providence is not for me to fathom. But the Universe is large and possibilities infinite.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: werther on November 03, 2014, 09:59:21 AM
Thanks for the info on the IPCC report, guys. This 'FF-phase-out-trajectory' as you took them from the media are, well... let's say they don't seem to fit well with what Dr. Michael Mann supposed in the interview mentioned up in the thread.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 03, 2014, 10:50:28 AM
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?

Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.

Wetlands are currently the largest source of methane IPCC 7.4 (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-4-1.html).  Methane emissions have been slowing down over the last 30 years, and the reason is not understood.  IPCC 2.3.2 (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-4-1.html) What if wetlands are drying out due to AGW induced drought, reducing methane emissions and acting as a negative feedback?

Do you think methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook? 

I do not believe in a mechanism that everything will be fine no matter what.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 03, 2014, 10:53:34 AM
Why the IPCC synthesis report is necessary but not sufficient to secure a response to climate change (Skeptical Science)
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-the-IPCC-synthesis-report-is-necessary_The-Carbon-Brief.html#.VFZ5G2Onq9E.twitter (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-the-IPCC-synthesis-report-is-necessary_The-Carbon-Brief.html#.VFZ5G2Onq9E.twitter)

The combination of the IPCC working group and synthesis reports will almost certainly be used by some to argue for action and by others to say do we know enough to act now.


Lets see what the media is reporting, shall we?

[BBC]: Fossil fuels should be phased out by 2100 says IPCC... In the longer term, the report states that fossil fuel power generation without carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology would need to be "phased out almost entirely by 2100
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29855884)

[CNN]: According to the IPCC, to stay below a 2-degree C increase, greenhouse gas emissions need to fall as much as 70% around the world by 2050 and to zero by 2100
http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/02/world/ipcc-climate-change-report/ (http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/02/world/ipcc-climate-change-report/)

[AP]: UN Climate Report Offers Stark Warnings, Hope... Emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, may need to drop to zero by the end of this century for the world to have a decent chance of keeping the temperature rise below a level that many consider dangerous... the word "dangerous" disappeared from the summary altogether. It appeared only twice in a longer underlying report compared to seven times in a draft produced before the Copenhagen session. The less loaded word "risk" was mentioned 65 times in the final 40-page summary

NPR: U.N.: End Greenhouse Emissions By 2100 Or Risk 'Irreversible' Damage... the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero by 2100
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/02/360932486/u-n-end-greenhouse-emissions-by-2100-or-risk-irreversible-damage (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/02/360932486/u-n-end-greenhouse-emissions-by-2100-or-risk-irreversible-damage)

[TIME]: U.N.: Phase Out Fossil Fuels By 2100 Or Face ‘Irreversible’ Climate Impact
http://time.com/3553269/un-climate-change-report/ (http://time.com/3553269/un-climate-change-report/)


Phew... So the party can keep going till 2100, right?
Please, tell us more about how we really should stop "alarming" the public who is barely even paying attention.

The media will always report all sorts of nonsense whether the scientists are being reasonable or not.  The report I heard every hour on the Australian national radio network (ABC) was that the IPCC had said that emissions must stop immediately.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 03, 2014, 10:54:32 AM
Quote
My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

Excuse me, but how does dramatic ecological disruption not impact human welfare?

Thats worth a new thread in my opinion.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 03, 2014, 11:07:25 AM
I read through my post Werther and dont see the 'we' as inclusive on any assumption that is unfair on anybody who lives in the western world and is affluent enough to be able to read this blog - anywhere else I used 'I' which is fair I think. I speak for noone other than myself - its my opinion based on my accumulation of knowledge. To speak for anybody else is arrogant and really just somantics - so if I have been taken that wayand caused offence I apologise
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 03, 2014, 11:40:14 AM
What would have been the consequences if scientists had been less conservative 30 or 40 years ago? 

In the late 70s we saw the Charney report, which is one of a number of reports at about the same time that first marked the emergence of a consensus on climate change.  In this report climate sensitivity was estimated to be between 1.5 and 4.5, which is about the same that it is estimated by many today.  The logic?  Charney had two major modelling efforts to judge by.  The more primitive Manabe which did not include seasonal effects, did model clouds in one of the three models but found no positive cloud feedback and found a climate sensitivity of 2 degrees.  The other model was Hansen which included seasonal effects, a more sophisticated cloud simulation and found a sensitivity of 4.  Charney decided that Hansen was the upper bound, Manabe the lower bound, added a further error of 0.5 and decreed climate sensitivity was 1.5-4.5 and most likely 3.

Since that time a large amount of research has found a similar sensitivity.  Climate projections have been made which have been mostly pretty close, but we are currently a little on the cool side of many projections.

I feel that many arguing here that the IPCC are too conservative would also have argued that Charney was too conservative for similar reasons - that positive feedbacks such as due to clouds were being downplayed and that not enough weight was being given to the latest and greatest research.  But Charney's conservatism has stood the test of time rather well.

Back to Hansen.  One of the favourite targets of the deniers is Hansen's 88 projection.  In this paper Hansen notes that the models that best predict temperature increases up to 88 are those with a high sensitivity of over 4.2 degrees.  He then provides a projection based on this sensitivity, which overestimates global warming by about 30% as at 2011 according to   Skeptical Science (http://www.skepticalscience.com/lindzen-illusion-2-lindzen-vs-hansen-1980s.html).  However if the projection is scaled down to be equivelant to a sensitivity of 3 degrees then the projection is pretty good.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skepticalscience.com%2Fpics%2FHansen_3C_Sensitivity.png&hash=c88744437b8a20d383f952cf7a2b7f34)

This is one prediction that would have stood the test of time better with a somewhat more conservative approach.  To be fair I'll also point out Hansen's projection in 1981 was almost spot on SkS (http://www.skepticalscience.com/lessons-from-past-predictions-hansen-1981.html)  Another side point is that luke warmers should pay close attention to Hansen's error of reading too much into recent short term temperature trends when predicting future trends so as not too fall into the same error (but in opposing direction).

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 03, 2014, 01:04:10 PM
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?

Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.

Wetlands are currently the largest source of methane IPCC 7.4 (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-4-1.html).  Methane emissions have been slowing down over the last 30 years, and the reason is not understood.  IPCC 2.3.2 (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-4-1.html) What if wetlands are drying out due to AGW induced drought, reducing methane emissions and acting as a negative feedback?

Do you think methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook? 

I do not believe in a mechanism that everything will be fine no matter what.

Again, please answer the question, Michael.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 03, 2014, 01:33:34 PM
Then there's also the pro-corporate fad of "objectivism", where pretending that you lack any opinion or humanity is somehow sacred.

Neven, do we have to have that kind of creeps on this forum? People who "don't know" whether a mass extinction event would be bad or not are bad for my blood pressure.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 03, 2014, 03:38:13 PM
Then there's also the pro-corporate fad of "objectivism", where pretending that you lack any opinion or humanity is somehow sacred.

Neven, do we have to have that kind of creeps on this forum?

I don't know if there are, but there is room for that. Some, not a lot.

When your blood pressure gets too high, it's time to step away from the computer and relax or do something useful. An Internet forum is not worth getting upset about.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 03, 2014, 04:20:36 PM
A well-written article by Joe Romm. He is more optimistic than I though, especially of Capitalism's ability to change for the greater good, and our ability to get out of this through "economic growth".

Can Progressives, Enviros, And Scientists Save Capitalism From The Pro-Collapse Polluters?
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/14/3568601/pro-collapse-capitalism-polluters/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/14/3568601/pro-collapse-capitalism-polluters/)



Highlighted Quotes

Our prolonged inaction in the face of the growing threat of collapse that has limited out choices, forcing drastic action now.

Unchecked capitalism is a Ponzi scheme that must collapse.

Can catastrophe and collapse be avoided if we keep doing what we’re doing? No. As the Guardian reported this month, eleven “Nobel laureates call for a revolutionary shift in how humans use resources” based on “new figures highlighting that humanity is living absurdly beyond its means.” Duh.

Our current do-nothing policy is de-growth in that it must lead to catastrophe and collapse.

I think that our continued dawdling means ultimately we will need a World War II style (and scale) effort to avert catastrophe.

I agree with the three essential points Klein makes in her book:
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 03, 2014, 10:27:56 PM
Are they overestimating climate change or underestimating it?

Are you seriously asking that question? I mean, do you honestly not know whether IPCC is overestimating or underestimating climate change? Do you think for instance adding the methane positive feedbacks that the IPCC has left completely out thus far, could go either way, and maybe contribute to cooling the planet instead of heating it, which is the conventional way of thinking about methane from permafrost? Maybe I'm missing something major here, Michael. Some inherent design of our world, put there by a god or, perhaps, some little pixies?, a mechanism by which everything will always forever be fine, no matter how senselessly inconsiderate we human beings behave?

Please answer my questions, Michael. I need to know.

Wetlands are currently the largest source of methane IPCC 7.4 (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-4-1.html).  Methane emissions have been slowing down over the last 30 years, and the reason is not understood.  IPCC 2.3.2 (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-4-1.html) What if wetlands are drying out due to AGW induced drought, reducing methane emissions and acting as a negative feedback?

Do you think methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook? 

I do not believe in a mechanism that everything will be fine no matter what.

Again, please answer the question, Michael.

There are other factors besides Arctic permafrost methane.  We need to know the total of all factors before we know whether IPCC are overestimating or underestimating climate change.  Unless of course you believe that Arctic permafrost methane is the only possible factor that could change the IPCC outlook.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 03, 2014, 10:35:53 PM
Fine, Mike. After asking you twice I then assume you do not seriously ask whether they are overestimating or underestimating climate change. I think you know. Welcome to the club.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 03, 2014, 10:41:12 PM
Another example of scientific conservatism and its consequences:

Consider the extreme Kelvin wave at the start of the year and the speculation of a super el nino.  Didn't happen.  At the time I was surprised at the conservatism of the experts and climate models and suspected they were underestimating the likelihood of an extreme el nino.  In discussions on another forum I talked about the possibility of an extreme event, and included the caveat that we couldn't be certain as we had a sample size of 1 (97/98 event) to compare to.  I felt the caveat was a bit silly as it seemed obvious to me that we would see a major event, but I couldn't see any clear way to get rid of the caveat.  And then surprise surprise there was a significant temporary reversal of the ENSO warming trend and those who had been conservative found they had avoided getting egg on their face.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 03, 2014, 10:50:27 PM
I don't believe the IPCC climate models try to pin–point exact starting dates for el–niños, so that may be an urban myth, Mike. The IPCC tries to predict future climate, which is average weather over very long periods of time.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 03, 2014, 11:29:10 PM
I don't believe the IPCC climate models try to pin–point exact starting dates for el–niños, so that may be an urban myth, Mike. The IPCC tries to predict future climate, which is average weather over very long periods of time.

In the Conservative's reality, this is equivalent to the collapse of Western Antarctica missing from the IPCC report. Never mind that ocean temps are practically at El Niño levels, or that an El Niño is still brewing. Never mind the irreversible several meters of sea level rise locked in from W Antarctica's collapse. Facts just don't compare to the warm fuzzy feeling False Balance gives conservatives in their bowels.

It must truly be terrible to ascribe to an ideology responsible for most of past and future human suffering, and worse when your reactionary defense of disproven ideas gives away that it's more about cult identity and money than what is ultimately true.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 12:03:27 AM
Michael Hauber,

How about Russian Roulette or fat tail risks?

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

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

What is worse: erring on the side of least drama or erring on the side of most drama? Even IPCC now says that the risks of mitigating too little are much greater than mitigating too much. In the 9 degrees thread Anderegg et al 2014 on type 1 and 2 errors was referred to. What's your view on this?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 04, 2014, 12:30:09 AM
What is worse: erring on the side of least drama or erring on the side of most drama? Even IPCC now says that the risks of mitigating too little are much greater than mitigating too much. In the 9 degrees thread Anderegg et al 2014 on type 1 and 2 errors was referred to. What's your view on this?

I extensively quoted that paper just above (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39197.html#msg39197 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39197.html#msg39197)).


Michael Hauber's response:

I feel the IPCC message for the average case of temperature projections, and even sea ice projections is about right (and yes I left sea level rise out there lol).  My personal view is that the average and most likely case for climate change is not something to be strongly worried about - from a human welfare point of view (unless we get unlucky with a climate change induced war or something).  Very different if you hold strong natural conservation ethics as I think dramatic ecological disruption is highly likely. 

However the possibility of upper range consequences is a serious concern.  I don't think we can totally rule out possibilities were the majority of the earth becomes uninhabitable to man.  I think such a possibility is unlikely, and that no one has shown a scenario I find convincing where things go really haywire and something along the lines of a runaway clathrate melt down happens.  But I haven't seen anything that nicely rules it out either.  As the IPCC says - it is 'likely' that climate sensitivity is 1.5-4.5.  Which means a 15% chance that sensitivity is above 4.5.  I don't like those odds at all when we are talking about the future habitability of planet earth.

But how do you discuss such a belief in a reasonable way with anyone?  Some people are convinced that global warming will be much less than the IPCC project.  Others seem to be convinced that the warming will be in the upper range.  The idea that warming could be anywhere between 'not particularly scary' and 'horrendous' seems to be one of the least popular beliefs out there.


If this isn't trollish, I don't know what is. The False Equivalency here stinks. Especially if you have "strong conservation ethics", like not killing millions of people.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 04, 2014, 04:09:36 AM
FYI the Durack et. al analysis has pushed ECS up from 4.5 to between 4.75 and 5.5

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

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

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

I have yet to see a real honest scientific argument that can honestly state 1.1 has any credibility.  When a scientist buys into that argument without proof, I consider it to be akin to a tobacco industry executive testifying before the U.S. congress that he "doesn't believe that nicotine is addictive."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 07:40:20 AM
TeaPotty, thanks for reminding me that you referred to Anderegg et al in this thread and not the 9 degrees one.

My question to Michael Hauber on type 1 and 2 errors still stands though, since the answers he gave did not address that question specifically. Or put differently: how strong should our mitigation policy be to prevent us from 'erring on the side of least drama'?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 04, 2014, 08:01:58 AM
I don't believe the IPCC climate models try to pin–point exact starting dates for el–niños, so that may be an urban myth, Mike. The IPCC tries to predict future climate, which is average weather over very long periods of time.

I wasn't talking about the IPCC, which definitely does not predict starting dates for specific el-ninos, but the climate scientists that are referred to in the thread title and the first post.  To further elaborate on my point, conservatism is an important aspect for scientists to avoid making short term errors in their predictions.  If they make such errors their credibility goes down.  Perhaps one could think it would be nice that scientists are conservative when making short term verifiable predictions, and alarmist when making long term predictions?  But that just wouldn't be ethical would it?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 04, 2014, 08:08:27 AM
Michael Hauber,

How about Russian Roulette or fat tail risks?

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

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

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

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

What about doing your best to get it right?  My argument is not about the possibility of very nasty consequences, and you have my wholehearted agreement that significant action is required in light of those possible consequences.  My argument is against those who are claiming that scientists or more often the IPCC are systematically making an error on the conservative side.  For those people I repeat my original comment - accusing the scientific process of being biased is the last resort of those who have the weight of scientific evidence and consensus against them.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 04, 2014, 08:18:07 AM
FYI the Durack et. al analysis has pushed ECS up from 4.5 to between 4.75 and 5.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

When you make such basic errors, and then proceed to accuse scientists of fraud, I find that  extraordinarily offensive.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 04, 2014, 08:43:26 AM
As for the claims that the IPCC report does not include methane feedbacks in its temperature projections, or ice sheet dynamic melt in its sea level projections, see section 6.4, FAQ 6.1 and sections 13.4.3.2 and 13.4.4.2.

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

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

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

On the IPCC thing, it is not an entirely scientific process, and it always represent at least two to three year old science.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 10:34:18 AM
Michael,
I think your reading of the science is fine, but maybe you're ignoring Risbey (2008), Brysse et al (2013) en Anderegg et al (2014)? Or do you know of any papers that show at least as severe over-estimation of risks by IPCC as these papers show under-estimation?

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

As the IPCC synthesis report says on p.13 of the SPM:
“Mitigation involves some level of co-benefits and risks, but these risks do not involve the same possibility of severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts as risks from climate change. Inertia in the economic and climate system and the possibility of irreversible impacts from climate change increase the benefits from near-term mitigation efforts (high confidence). Delays in additional mitigation or constraints on technological options increase the longer-term mitigation costs to hold climate change risks at a given level.”
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 10:55:20 AM
On the risks of sea level rise IPCC explicitly states that it probably underestimates these risks beyond 2100 (p.30 of the full synthesis report):
"There is low confidence in the available models' ability to project solid ice discharge from the Antarctic ice sheet. Hence, these models likely underestimate the Antarctica ice sheet contribution, resulting in an underestimation of projected sea-level rise beyond 2100."

See also their figures 2.5c and 2.8c attached below.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 11:06:22 AM
To illustrate how much the IPCC-figures above may underestimate SLR around 2100 and beyond see the attached figures from Rohling et al 2013 and Kopp et al 2014.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 11:23:06 AM
Also see Jevrejeva et al 2014 for the potential IPCC-underestimation of SLR by 2100:
http://www.glaciology.net/Home/PDFs/Announcements/upperlimitforsealevelprojectionsby2100 (http://www.glaciology.net/Home/PDFs/Announcements/upperlimitforsealevelprojectionsby2100)

Edited figures by Grinsted attached below. They estimate a 5% chance of 1.8m by 2100 under BAU, while Rohling et al estimated a 2.5% chance of 1.8m by 2100 in that scenario, and Kopp et al estimated a 0.5% chance of 1.76m by 2100 for BAU.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 04, 2014, 11:27:52 AM
@ Michael Hauber repley 55

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

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

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

point 6.4.3.4 on page 526 seems to confirm this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.... and so on

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


Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 11:44:39 AM
S.Pansa, thanks for adding these useful references.

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

Just for comparison check again the attached fig.3b from Rohling et al 2013, which is based not on the semi-empirical method of Meehl et al, but on a geological analysis. They seem to match pretty well.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 12:14:20 PM
To get an impression how the wider SLR-expert community thinks about the IPCC-estimates see the attached fig.2 from Horton et al 2013-2014. About 50% of them apparently think there's a 5% chance of 4m or more SLR by 2300 under BAU, and about 25% think there's a 5% chance of 5m or more in that case, while almost 2,5% (or 10%?) estimate a 5% chance of 7m or more (see bottom right panel).

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

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

It seems IPCC is trying to catch up here with the divergent opinions within the wider expert community. But maybe the community's opinions have also evolved again, since the new alarming research that the Washington Post article above refers to.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 04, 2014, 12:19:22 PM
Another example of scientific conservatism and its consequences:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 12:42:12 PM
In addition to Rahmstorf's comments, also see this earlier statement by his PIK-colleague Anders Levermann:
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/yale_e360_forum_on_ipcc_report_2013/2698/ (http://e360.yale.edu/feature/yale_e360_forum_on_ipcc_report_2013/2698/)

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

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

Meanwhile it seems the upper limit is about 1.8m in 2100, as illustrated above, or even some more, depending on how risk averse you are.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 01:02:22 PM
Also note that even with very strong mitigation (RCP2.6) there's still a 5% chance of 2.4m of SLR by 2200, according to table 1 in Kopp et al 2014 (attached). Meehl et al 2012 also suggest a small chance of 2.4m by 2200 with such strong mitigation, while Horton et al 2013 found that about 25% of the relevant experts estimate a 5% chance of 2m or more in this scenario (RCP2.6).

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

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

Somewhere here I think we get our thinking as to what a scientist is very muddled. A scientist who produces a predictive set of results and then gives a one sided bias by expressing an opinion has just become unscientific. That should be left to others to manipulate the results for effect - which after all is done by all sides of the climate argument.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 04, 2014, 02:13:37 PM
Mark,
See above what Anders Levermann said about SLR in the fifth IPCC-report:
“In the case of sea level, society might want to know what is science’s best guess for the future rise, but for any practical purposes of coastal protection it is the worst case that is relevant. What is the upper limit of sea-level rise? An upper limit is different from a best guess and has at least two peculiar properties that are trivial but important. First, for all practical purposes, the upper limit cannot be exceeded. That means that if you build costal protection with respect to this upper limit, then you are safe, independent of scientific uncertainty or socio-economic scenarios. Second, an estimate of an upper limit is getting lower the more information is available — i.e., the more our scientific insight deepens. You start with the highest number available and then seek scientific evidence that allows dismissing this value and pushing the number down until you find no further reason to decrease it. Then you have your upper limit and you are safe.

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

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

I'm from the Netherlands, so I think we have an interest in knowing about these kinds of risks. But of course Shell is also from the Netherlands, and they see another kind of risk, of stranded assets. Which kind of risk is more important?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 04, 2014, 02:16:22 PM
Lennart & Neven

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

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

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

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

Homo sapiens sapiens, indeed!

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

Of course this argument is far more pertinent for a Dutch citizen and I would concur that the absence of extremes would be very remiss in any dialogue. Standard deviations smooth out any extremes and far too often the data that has been 'smoothed out' has been removed or simply excluded - quite often this makes the data set more 'saleable', but as a tool to create 'safety', unusable. I wonder if the height of the tsunami defences in Japan were built with the extremes built in to their models or just the smoothed deviations!! There lies catastrophe dont you think
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 04, 2014, 04:20:31 PM
It is for politicians and policy makers to make what they will of the scientific evidence and not for the scientists themselves to emphasise the dangers or risks - that surely would be unscientific of them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So scientists have an extra reason to not be conservative. But most of them are. The IPCC surely is.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 04, 2014, 05:54:20 PM
But you say they shouldn't be conservative, and I agree. As Rahmstorf says: "if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."

Or just think of it in terms of why we have a Climate Panel, and what ordinary folks expect them to do: I certainly for a couple of decades expected them to find out as much as possible about the Arctic and climate, and then warn us of ANY danger. They're not, and that pisses me off no end. I certainly didn't expect the IPCC to be bought off by the corporations.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 04, 2014, 07:10:33 PM
But you say they shouldn't be conservative, and I agree. As Rahmstorf says: "if you are facing a threat to civilization, and you have underestimated that, from a point of view of avoiding  dangerous risk and the precautionary principle, it would actually be better to have overestimated the threat, rather than underestimated it."

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

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


Repeat till it makes sense:

IPCC reports are the best that money can buy.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 12:26:17 AM
Mark,
I think scientists have a role to play when political and financial interests are trying to sow doubt about their science or quoting it selectively, or even attempt to silence them. Fortunately more and more of them are taking up this role courageously.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 05, 2014, 10:26:20 AM
Of course this argument is far more pertinent for a Dutch citizen and I would concur that the absence of extremes would be very remiss in any dialogue. Standard deviations smooth out any extremes and far too often the data that has been 'smoothed out' has been removed or simply excluded - quite often this makes the data set more 'saleable', but as a tool to create 'safety', unusable. I wonder if the height of the tsunami defences in Japan were built with the extremes built in to their models or just the smoothed deviations!! There lies catastrophe dont you think

The dikes in the Netherlands must be upgraded to withstand the scientific extreme scenario SLR or storm surge a 100+ years from planning them, and this is not 'alarmism' in a Dutch context, just sensible use of public money: If you're going to spend x billion euros on dike upgrades, adding the last meters that take care of the extreme scenarios costs very little compared to the overall sum, and almost nothing compared to having the entire country submerged by the North Sea.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 05, 2014, 10:27:29 AM

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

point 6.4.3.4 on page 526 seems to confirm this:

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

From further down the same page:

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

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

As for the sea level, on the surface it looks to me like a stronger case that IPCC underestimate sea level rise, but I just don't have enough interest or time to further chase up the details on this issue - I'm far more concerned about the methane issue than SLR.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 11:23:22 AM
Michael Hauber,

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

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

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

It seems to me you know enough about the science to have good reasons to be worried, but apparently you don't want to let yourself be worked up too much, so you look hard for reasons not be worried too much. For humanity as a whole that seems a very risky coping strategy to me.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 11:30:13 AM
S.Pansa,
More methane also means more SLR, or not? And IPCC itself explicitly says it probably underestimates SLR beyond 2100.

Your excellent points on carbon feedbacks that are not included in IPCC-models have not been answered by Micheal Hauber, I think.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 05, 2014, 11:40:17 AM
Michael Hauber,

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe I don't understand you, but as I said above, there's plenty in the IPCC-report that scares me and seems like a big problem to me.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 11:52:59 AM
And Michael Hauber,
What do you say to the points by S. Pansa on carbon cycles feedbacks not being included in IPCC-models? You said they were, but they're not. What is your reply?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 12:20:55 PM
Prominent climate psychologist Renee Lertzman gives advice to Don Quichottes and Sancho Panza's:
http://www.theleftcoastindependent.com/story/2014/06/30/niche/coping-with-climate-change/105.html (http://www.theleftcoastindependent.com/story/2014/06/30/niche/coping-with-climate-change/105.html)

Some quotes from this piece:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What are the optimal conditions that facilitate our capacity to access our innate desire to be doing the right thing and feel that one can have more efficacy, be more active?"
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 12:25:28 PM
Ah, excuse me, I see now Michael Hauber did reply to S. Pansa, but I did not read carefully enough.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 05, 2014, 12:31:33 PM
To get back a little bit more on topic and in response to Neven a while back. I think basically we agree (back to semantics again). If I implied that scientists shouldnt be extreme you misread me perhaps. In a prediction the upper and lower deviation limits are the extremes, if any data has been excluded in the calculation of that extreme there should be a note that explains that or the data and information should be available in order for the presentation  to  be truly accurate or just 'true' as that extreme piece of information was part of the data. Should a piece of information be excluded and then subsequently that extreme occurs - mega egg face!!! Si it makes sense to include everything. The trouble with climate science is how much is being left out - it really doesnt help, how much credibility was lost when the actual temperature fell below the lower predicted deviation at the IPCC a few years back. The temperature still rose, CO2 continued upwards, the arguments were still valid but huge credibility was lost.

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

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

I am being purely objective and a little pedantic as there is always a human element and all scientists will be a % unscientific in their approach somewhere.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 12:37:45 PM
About that reply on carbon feedbacks in or out of the models, Michael Hauber said:
Quote
I am moderately confident from this that the perma-frost methane release is being included in the models, but it is not being modelled in the models. So any tipping point issues associated with perma-frost methane cannot be captured by such an approach, but if the amount of methane included in the emission scenario is reasonable then the most likely case should be as likely to be too high as being too low.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote
The permafrost feedback is not included in any of the CMIP3 or CMIP5 climate models. However, CO2 from permafrost does not contribute to climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is defined as “to the equilibrium change in global mean surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric (equivalent) CO2 concentration (IPCC glossary of terms)”. This definition specifically leaves out carbon cycle feedbacks. The climate sensitivity is determined by the direct radiative effect of CO2 and feedbacks from non-CO2 systems (ex. albedo, clouds, water vapour).
quoted from here http://www.skepticalscience.com/Macdougall.html, (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Macdougall.html,) comment 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PS: Lennart, thanks, just saw your link to the advices of psychologist Renee Lertzman. If I might ad some: a good bottle of wine, a lot of humor and - if I go by my master Don Quijote - a good portion of delusion might also help  :D Of course this won't solve any of our problems, but I am sure the GOP will take over now :o
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 01:14:47 PM
Quote
What type of polluticians are winning out in Holland, Lennart? Would be interesting to know if a nation so desperately susceptible to sea level rise has more denialists in parliament, or fewer, than the rest of Northern Europe.

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

One activist organization Urgenda, together with 900 citizens (myself included), has now sued the government for endangering our country by not mitigating global warming enough. Urgenda and the State will be heard by our Supreme Court coming April. We demand 40% CO2-reduction by 2020, instead of the current 20%. And we try to mobilize the public, which is hard with (corporate/state) media looking the other way. But we try, because we have no choice.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 05, 2014, 01:57:03 PM
So from this, it seems pretty clear - at least to me -  that CO2 and CH4 emissions from Permafrost and Wetlands are not included in the temperature and SLR projections of the current IPCC report.

eggs -> face <- ipcc

Lennart: Replace Shell with Statoil and risk of drowning with permafrost melt induced rockslides and tsunamis, and you have Norway and Norwegian corporate control over government. My ex friend (and ex activist) even works for Royal Dutch Shell in Stavanger telling everyone who feels like listening about the wonderful services Shell contributes to society.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 02:44:39 PM
viddaloo,
I know, a good old friend of mine since high school, works for BP in London. On the bright side there's someone like Ian Dunlop, who worked for Shell for 27 years and was chairman of the Australian Coal Association, but is now member of the Club of Rome. See for his most recent overview of our situation (co-authored by David Spratt of Climate Code Red):
http://media.wix.com/ugd/7b95d7_4325d6a769dc46aa9655820fa742af33.pdf (http://media.wix.com/ugd/7b95d7_4325d6a769dc46aa9655820fa742af33.pdf)

Also the director of Urgenda (that is suing the Dutch government) started her career at Shell, trying to change it from the inside. When that didn't work she joined Greenpeace, but then started her own organization. At Greenpeace she was boss of the current leader of the now governing former social-democrats, who unfortunately has not outsmarted his neoliberal coalition partner. Our neoliberal prime minister started his career at Unilever, which is now a relatively progressive company. He does not seem to share Unilever's vision and sense of urgency, however.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 03:01:40 PM
Mark,
You say:
Quote
to emphasise one extreme and segmentalise it is to bias the science

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

We are talking about threats to complete societies, and to vested interests, not about some minor risks. As long as societies don't understand the risks, they should try to communicate clearer. Once societies understand the risks, it's up to them to make political decisions. They can't force societies to understand, but at least they can make it harder not to understand.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 05, 2014, 03:09:10 PM
Quote
how much credibility was lost when the actual temperature fell below the lower predicted deviation at the IPCC a few years back. The temperature still rose, CO2 continued upwards, the arguments were still valid but huge credibility was lost.

Okay, I'll bite.

This sounds as a fake skeptic strawman argument that you perhaps fell victim to, as the IPCC doesn't do temperature predictions for individual years, but perhaps you could more clearly state what example you have in mind.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 03:17:34 PM
S. Pansa said:
Quote
a good bottle of wine, a lot of humor and - if I go by my master Don Quijote - a good portion of delusion might also help  :D Of course this won't solve any of our problems, but I am sure the GOP will take over now :o

Indeed, too much stress will break us, and the GOP will try to break Obama. But we keep fighting in our best spirits and will break the GOP eventually.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 03:21:18 PM
Quote
how much credibility was lost when the actual temperature fell below the lower predicted deviation at the IPCC a few years back. The temperature still rose, CO2 continued upwards, the arguments were still valid but huge credibility was lost.

The pseudo-skeptic deniers will try anything to delay action as long as possible. No matter what we do, that can't be helped. Only communicating as clear as possible can make denial/doubt as small as possible.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 05, 2014, 04:16:05 PM
I'm not angling Neven - on checking I'm wrong with the source  - the one i refer to is the '73 CMIP5 RCP8.5' models and observations. I'm only demonstrating the point and the dangers - no need to bite - the picture is out there and valid as far as I know - its the effect on the psyche of such information - its having an effect on you now!! It had an effect on me then.......it discredits the models because they have not produced a deviation that matches the record, however the choice of model type is never explained, if you dont follow up with looking up what RCP8.5 means you are left with the impression that this represents all models. This disinformation then makes it hard to restore credibility. Its not a graph I would want to post on here at all other than as a reference for fear of the accusation you have already made.  This is a prime example of an extreme remit (RCP 8.5) and egg on face.......IMO!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 04:24:23 PM
Mark,
I don't think you're right. The models are not perfect, but work in progress and actual temperature trends fit well enough. The so-called hiatus does show that a focus on surface temperatures obscures that most heat goes into the oceans. This is just a simple complexity that pseudo-skeptic deniers will use, no matter what, to sow doubt in an attempt to delay climate action. I see no other way to fight this than by clear and strong communication, as more and more scientists are doing.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 05, 2014, 04:45:43 PM
Again, mark, you prove the point that it pays off to be conservative. Because the ensemble of models for one of the various scenarios the IPCC uses in its latest report doesn't match a current trend* you say it's 'alarmist', 'extremist' and 'has egg on the face'. There are however models out there - I'm sure of it because model imperfection goes in all directions - that are lower than the current trend. I have a feeling you wouldn't call these 'extremist', 'panglossian' and 'has omelette du fromage on the face'. No, they're just conservative, no harm done.

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

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



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

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 05, 2014, 05:50:35 PM
This used to be a very excellent and interesting thread. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 05:58:27 PM
The thread title starts with 'conservative'. What are conservatives (scientists, politicians, citizens) trying to conserve?

If we want to conserve a livable planet, we'll need to take less risks with dumping carbon into the atmosphere. How is taking extreme risks with our climate and home planet conservative?

Like they say: save the earth, it's the only planet with chocolate!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 05, 2014, 05:59:17 PM
Lennart - I cant really win here as the point was not about the models themselves but about their presentation. If I presented the lowest deviation from the lowest reading model I could find and said 'look Global Cooling' i would have a lot of abuse hurled at me quite rightly. The graphical representation of the RCP8.5 models was presented as if it was all the current modelling and therefore devious and unfair, thats all, I wasnt passing comment other than that.

' This is just a simple complexity that pseudo-skeptic deniers will use, no matter what, to sow doubt in an attempt to delay climate action. I see no other way to fight this than by clear and strong communication, as more and more scientists are doing.'

I couldnt agree more
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 06:01:45 PM
Quote
I couldnt agree more

Great, let's have a beer to that!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 05, 2014, 06:22:12 PM
Lennart - come on. Thats a bit rich. Are you saying that a conservative cant conserve the life on our planet because hes conservative and not extreme - come on. I know I am losing my case here by the looks of it, but dont give me false hope!! I will take the label of conservative as its being used here, but in the true meaning I am neither change averse or traditionalist. If it meant I could have an effect on my childrens future I would already be doing it. That I am not strongly onboard with the man made bit or the end result does not mean I dont care - I care greatly. I went bust a few years ago trying to do something for the environment and reducing CO2 - my family suffered because of it. So I am now much more careful with reacting to extremes - yes conservative - but accuse me of not caring, just because my view doesnt match the majority, I dont think so
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 05, 2014, 06:23:19 PM
Beer, Beer best suggestion all night!!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 05, 2014, 07:46:48 PM
Mark,
The word conservative can have different meanings to different people. I have great admiration for both Jim Hansen and Noam Chomsky, who both call themselves conservative. I was just giving my meaning of the term and trying to find out what we are talking about. It sounds like you are indeed trying to conserve the earth and a livable climate, so we're working for the same goal. We can still have different opinions, of course, but that's only natural.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 05, 2014, 08:06:07 PM
FYI the Durack et. al analysis has pushed ECS up from 4.5 to between 4.75 and 5.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am sorry, I must have missed that argument, re Durack et. al, care to provide a link/thread?

The 1.3C of locked in warming is based on purely catching up to current top of atmospheric radiative forcing.  It doesn't include feedbacks and also neglects to include current aerosol forcing which has a strong (temporary) cooling effect and reduces the 480 CO2 equivalent value significantly.  I thought this was clear in my post.  The locked in value comes directly from a lecture by James Hansen.  If we consider these values from my post and current CO2 equivalent is about 400ppmv then we have ECS = (.7+.6+.7)/(400ppmv/560ppmv)  = 2.8C  So James Hansen was being conservative in his estimation.



Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 05, 2014, 08:30:53 PM
Hi Micheal & Lennart,

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

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

Quote
The permafrost feedback is not included in any of the CMIP3 or CMIP5 climate models. However, CO2 from permafrost does not contribute to climate sensitivity. Climate sensitivity is defined as “to the equilibrium change in global mean surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric (equivalent) CO2 concentration (IPCC glossary of terms)”. This definition specifically leaves out carbon cycle feedbacks. The climate sensitivity is determined by the direct radiative effect of CO2 and feedbacks from non-CO2 systems (ex. albedo, clouds, water vapour).
quoted from here http://www.skepticalscience.com/Macdougall.html, (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Macdougall.html,) comment 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


From my reading the emissions are included in the temp and SLR projections - and the feedbacks are not.  That is a fixed amount of CH4 from permafrost is included in RCP pathways which is not calculated within the model but imposed from the RCP.  So the CH4 from permafrost is there, but will not increase under high warming or decrease under low warming, but it is different from one RCP to another.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 05, 2014, 08:41:43 PM
Michael,

Ahh I see, ok I found the "explanation" you wrote on why Durack et. al means lower ECS.

here it is:

A greater amount of heat content increase in the southern ocean does not immediately imply a higher climate sensitivity.  In particular it does not guarantee that the total heat budget of the earth needs to increase.  The total heat budget of the earth must match the top of atmosphere radiative imbalance.  So perhaps our estimate of the TOA radiative imbalance is wrong and needs to be increased.  Or perhaps the heat budget elsewhere is wrong and needs to be changed to balance the books.  In particular the aerosol component is highly uncertain and when church et al (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011GL048794/full) attempted to work out the heat budget they calculated the aerosol component as the residual when other facts were taken into account. 

So what if the aerosol component is wrong?  In that case an increased amount for the ocean heat flux would imply a smaller residual  (see figure 3 of church et al) and a smaller value for aerosol cooling.  This would then imply a lower value for climate sensitivity, and not a higher value.

I glossed over it because it was not an argument but rather conjecture, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of Durack et. al and the physics involved. 

This is why I say that:

Indeed the earth will continue to warm until the Top of Atmosphere (TOA) radiative imbalance reaches zero.  The estimate of TOA is derived from an accurate accounting of historic energy accumulations in the earth's biosphere.  Since Durack et. al. found that we have underestimated the earth's historic warming by between 10 and 30%, the TOA must be increased accordingly.  Having a higher TOA for a given set of emissions then implies a higher ECS.  Indeed, Gavin Schmidt did a rough calculation and tweeted that it increased the potential maximum ECS by about 9%

However, Durack et. al found that the models correctly tracked ocean heat accumulation in the Northern Hemisphere, the revision to heat accumulations were from the southern oceans only.  This then implies that the impact of the anthropogenic aerosols are UNDERESTIMATED (potentially severely) since the impact of aerosols are felt overwhelmingly in the northern hemisphere. 

It should be noted here that the uncertainty for aerosol emissions have a very fat tail, especially secondary cloud effects.  It also implies then that jet contrails may also be a negative forcing, not a positive one as currently modeled (if the aerosol effect is much more negative than currently expressed in the models).

If a significant portion of the southern ocean underestimate of heat accumulation is due to the higher aerosol and contrail cloud effect negative radiative forcing, then the ECS will be revised higher, potentially much higher (by 30% or more).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 05, 2014, 09:03:14 PM
I'm not angling Neven - on checking I'm wrong with the source  - the one i refer to is the '73 CMIP5 RCP8.5' models and observations.

FYI mark, that sceptic graphic has been thoroughly discredited.  Not only do they use faulty satellite data that is contaminated with upper atmosphere cooling signals and skewed by satellite orbital decay and poor coverage of arctic warming.  but, as neven implied, they also cherry picked the CMIP5 runs.

current warming is well within the boundaries of potential error margin within standard climate variability.  In fact, it is spot on:  http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Skeptical-Science-Predictions_500.gif (http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Skeptical-Science-Predictions_500.gif)

however, if you include the work of cowtan and way, it shows an even higher correlation since the arctic is warming so much more quickly than the rest of the earth's surface:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhJR3ywIijo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhJR3ywIijo)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 06, 2014, 03:34:26 AM

I glossed over it because it was not an argument but rather conjecture, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of Durack et. al and the physics involved. 

This is why I say that:

Indeed the earth will continue to warm until the Top of Atmosphere (TOA) radiative imbalance reaches zero.  The estimate of TOA is derived from an accurate accounting of historic energy accumulations in the earth's biosphere.  Since Durack et. al. found that we have underestimated the earth's historic warming by between 10 and 30%, the TOA must be increased accordingly.  Having a higher TOA for a given set of emissions then implies a higher ECS.  Indeed, Gavin Schmidt did a rough calculation and tweeted that it increased the potential maximum ECS by about 9%

However, Durack et. al found that the models correctly tracked ocean heat accumulation in the Northern Hemisphere, the revision to heat accumulations were from the southern oceans only.  This then implies that the impact of the anthropogenic aerosols are UNDERESTIMATED (potentially severely) since the impact of aerosols are felt overwhelmingly in the northern hemisphere. 

It should be noted here that the uncertainty for aerosol emissions have a very fat tail, especially secondary cloud effects.  It also implies then that jet contrails may also be a negative forcing, not a positive one as currently modeled (if the aerosol effect is much more negative than currently expressed in the models).

If a significant portion of the southern ocean underestimate of heat accumulation is due to the higher aerosol and contrail cloud effect negative radiative forcing, then the ECS will be revised higher, potentially much higher (by 30% or more).

The top of atmosphere balance is not found by adding all the components.  It is found by direct measurement by satellite.  eg here (http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/prwaylen/GEO2200%20Readings/Readings/Radiation%20balance/An%20update%20on%20Earth%27s%20energy%20balance%20in%20light%20of%20latest%20global%20observations.pdf)

In contrast the aerosol component of the energy balance is uncertain, and Church et al calculates it by taking the measured top of atmosphere imbalance and subtracting the other components.

Therefore Durack is most likely to imply a reduced aerosol cooling component.  I did state a lower equilibrium sensitivity but some more thinking I'm not sure about that part.  I think the total picture would be less current aerosol cooling means less current co2 warming, but more heat captured by the ocean would mean more lag on the co2 warming so that equilibrium sensitivity would remain the same, but we'd get there slower.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 04:53:00 AM
Mike,

from your linked paper

Quote
TOA are also well documented, although inherently less accurate with an uncertainty of ±4 Wm–2 on the net TOA flux that mostly stems from calibration errors on measurements of the outgoing fluxes12,15. This uncertainty is almost an order of magnitude larger than the imbalance of 0.58 ±0.4 Wm–2 inferred from Ocean Heat Content information13,14.

in other words, the calibration error from the satellite readings is higher than the expected TOA value. 

In church et. al. they use calculated forcings taken from other authors to determine total forcings and then subtract the heat inventory to get the residual.

This is explained here:
Quote
the time-integrated cooling due to tropospheric aerosol (and any unidentified forcings) is inferred as the time-integral of the other forcings (well-mixed greenhouse gas, solar and volcanic) minus the sum of the heat storage and the time-integrated climate radiative response, and amounts to 800 × 1021 J (Figure 3a and Table 2) [716 for 1972–2008, 815 for 1961–2008].

None of the sources used satellites to determine the forcing, indeed portions of the calculation occurred before the satellite era.


You did not mention that the extra heat accumulation occurred solely in the southern hemisphere. . .

I get what you are saying about more heat means less aerosols (aerosols and cloud-effects being the highest uncertainty)

However, there are other uncertainties such as Total GHG radiative forcing effects.  If this value is much higher and the aerosol and cloud-effect components are more negative then this would produce accurate models in the northern hemisphere but higher than modeled heat accumulations in the southern.  In this environment a given GHG abundance produces a much higher forcing value, therefore this pushes the most likely ECS value much higher (by upwards of 30%).

Is this what we are seeing today?

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 06, 2014, 07:04:52 AM
Mike,

from your linked paper

Quote
TOA are also well documented, although inherently less accurate with an uncertainty of ±4 Wm–2 on the net TOA flux that mostly stems from calibration errors on measurements of the outgoing fluxes12,15. This uncertainty is almost an order of magnitude larger than the imbalance of 0.58 ±0.4 Wm–2 inferred from Ocean Heat Content information13,14.

in other words, the calibration error from the satellite readings is higher than the expected TOA value. 

Sorry.  I find the Church et al paper to be tricky and confusing - it seems to be written for people who have a lot of background knowledge about the whole heat budget issue.  So I tried to find a paper that gave a simpler answer without noticing the size of the uncertainty.


In church et. al. they use calculated forcings taken from other authors to determine total forcings and then subtract the heat inventory to get the residual.

This is explained here:
Quote
the time-integrated cooling due to tropospheric aerosol (and any unidentified forcings) is inferred as the time-integral of the other forcings (well-mixed greenhouse gas, solar and volcanic) minus the sum of the heat storage and the time-integrated climate radiative response, and amounts to 800 × 1021 J (Figure 3a and Table 2) [716 for 1972–2008, 815 for 1961–2008].

None of the sources used satellites to determine the forcing, indeed portions of the calculation occurred before the satellite era.

Not quite:  From the paper:

Quote
The rate of storage of heat by the climate system equals the net heat flux into the climate system N = F − λΔT, where F is the radiative forcing, ΔT is the global averaged temperature change and the climate feedback parameter λ is assumed constant over this period (but see discussion below). This parameter is inversely related to climate sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide, ΔTeq = 3.7 W m−2/λ. Murphy et al. [2009] used a regression of N − F, with N determined from satellite radiative flux data from the ERBE and CERES missions, against the global averaged temperature change ΔT to make an observational estimate of the climate feedback parameter.

That is the net heat flux into the climate system is determine as a combination of satellite measurement, forcing data and temperature change history.  It is not determined by adding up the heat accumulation in each component as your argument maintains.

You did not mention that the extra heat accumulation occurred solely in the southern hemisphere. . .

I get what you are saying about more heat means less aerosols (aerosols and cloud-effects being the highest uncertainty)

However, there are other uncertainties such as Total GHG radiative forcing effects.  If this value is much higher and the aerosol and cloud-effect components are more negative then this would produce accurate models in the northern hemisphere but higher than modeled heat accumulations in the southern.  In this environment a given GHG abundance produces a much higher forcing value, therefore this pushes the most likely ECS value much higher (by upwards of 30%).

Is this what we are seeing today?

That is not relevant as ocean currents and wind etc can move heat around - the heat does not have to be stored in the same hemisphere as it originally is collected.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 06, 2014, 09:56:19 AM
Quote
ocean currents and wind etc can move heat around - the heat does not have to be stored in the same hemisphere as it originally is collected

Yes, but how fast can this heat be substantially moved around between the two hemispheres?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 06, 2014, 10:58:51 AM

From my reading the emissions are included in the temp and SLR projections - and the feedbacks are not.  That is a fixed amount of CH4 from permafrost is included in RCP pathways which is not calculated within the model but imposed from the RCP.  So the CH4 from permafrost is there, but will not increase under high warming or decrease under low warming, but it is different from one RCP to another.

Michael,

I do agreed  that it is very difficult for us laymen to get a good idea of what is and what is not included in the RDP scenarios and the projections. But that`s the reason why I have cited scientists, I mean they should know ...

Perhaps someone who knows what he is talking about could help us out here?

In the meantime I have gathered more sings which do indicate that CO2 and CH4 from permafrost and wetland changes are not included in the RCPs and the AR5 projections.

1) Here is a link to a useful tool which allows us to compare the GHG emissions and concentrations of the different RDPs. (http://tntcat.iiasa.ac.at:8787/RcpDb/dsd?Action=htmlpage&page=compare (http://tntcat.iiasa.ac.at:8787/RcpDb/dsd?Action=htmlpage&page=compare)). If you look at the CH4 emissions you will find a list of all the different CH4 sources included in the RCPs. Note that there is no mention of emissions from wetland or permafrost. (see 1st attached image)
 

2) A quote from AR5, chaptre 12.4.8.1, p. 1096f seems to reinforce the idea. If this feedback would be included, the warming for instance would be even higher by 0.04 up to 0.7 °C (based on the 50 to 250 PgC of permafrost emissions):

Quote
The CMIP5 ESMs described above do not include the positive feedback arising from the carbon release from high latitudes permafrost thawing under a warming scenario, which could further increase the atmospheric CO2 concentration and the warming. ... For the RCP8.5, the additional warming from permafrost ranges between 0.04°C and 0.69°C by 2100 although there is medium confidence in these numbers as are the ones on the amount of carbon released ...

2) Figure 6.36 of chaptre 6 shows the scale of possible future CH4 emissions and it shows also that the CH4 emissions - because of their sheer magnitude -  would show up in the figure of the RCPs CH4 emissions: see 2nd attached image

 
The blue colored curves show the lower and upper limits of CH4 emissions from RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5. The emissions from Wetlands will (may) double in the next 100 years, permafrost CH4 just gets a short mention but it would add a significant amount of CH4 to the budget, for all scenarios but RCP8.5 it would double the RCP emissions.

Of course this are only the CH4 emissions, the estimate for the CO2 and CH4 emissions from the PCF alone is about 100 PgC equivalent (AR5, p. 531). If my math is right, that equates to 366 Gt CO2 equ. - a whopping third of the remaining carbon budget for a fifty percent chance of limit the warming to 2 C (around 1.100 Gt CO2 or 300 Gt C if we account for non-CO2 gases, see for instance Summary for policymakers p. 27).

Which finally leads me back to the topic of this thread. While, from a scientific viewpoint, there are good reasons for not yet including the carbon feedbacks (a lack of sufficient and coherent understanding of the exact processes and the magnitude - p. AR5, chaptre 12.5.5.4  Permafrost Carbon Storage, p. 1116), for me this issue should have been stressed much stronger in the Summary (but I am sure there were strong objections from the ff burning kings).

In the summary for policy makers the IPCC writes:

Quote
A lower warming target, or a higher likelihood of remaining below a specific warming target, will require lower cumulative CO 2 emissions. Accounting for warming effects of increases in non-CO 2  greenhouse gases, reductions in aerosols, or the release of greenhouse gases from permafrost will also lower the cumulative CO 2  emissions for a specific warming target (see Figure SPM.10).

But when I look at figure 10 (see 3rd attached image) I definitely don't get the impression that the remaining carbon budget could likely be cut down by 30%. from mother earth.  (Sorry for the long post)

S. Pansa
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 06, 2014, 12:42:50 PM
IPCC 2013 wg1 said:
"Limiting the warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions alone with a probability of >33%, >50%, and >66% to less than 2°C since the period 1861–1880, will require cumulative CO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources to stay between 0 and about 1570 GtC (5760 GtCO2), 0 and about 1210 GtC (4440 GtCO2), and 0 and about 1000 GtC (3670 GtCO2) since that period, respectively. These upper amounts are reduced to about 900 GtC (3300 GtCO2), 820 GtC (3010 GtCO2), and 790 GtC (2900 GtCO2), respectively, when accounting for non-CO2 forcings as in RCP2.6. An amount of 515 [445 to 585] GtC (1890 [1630 to 2150] GtCO2), was already emitted by 2011."

And:
"The release of CO2 or CH4 to the atmosphere from thawing permafrost carbon stocks over the 21st century is assessed to be in the range of 50 to 250 GtC for RCP8.5 (low confidence)."

So 790 GtC - 515 - 150 = 125 GtC carbon budget left for about a 66% chance of staying below 2 degrees C. Or not?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 06, 2014, 01:47:55 PM
IPCC 2013 wg1 said:
"Limiting the warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions alone with a probability of >33%, >50%, and >66% to less than 2°C since the period 1861–1880, will require cumulative CO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources to stay between 0 and about 1570 GtC (5760 GtCO2), 0 and about 1210 GtC (4440 GtCO2), and 0 and about 1000 GtC (3670 GtCO2) since that period, respectively. These upper amounts are reduced to about 900 GtC (3300 GtCO2), 820 GtC (3010 GtCO2), and 790 GtC (2900 GtCO2), respectively, when accounting for non-CO2 forcings as in RCP2.6. An amount of 515 [445 to 585] GtC (1890 [1630 to 2150] GtCO2), was already emitted by 2011."

And:
"The release of CO2 or CH4 to the atmosphere from thawing permafrost carbon stocks over the 21st century is assessed to be in the range of 50 to 250 GtC for RCP8.5 (low confidence)."

So 790 GtC - 515 - 150 = 125 GtC carbon budget left for about a 66% chance of staying below 2 degrees C. Or not?

Yea, for a 66% chance that seems about right to me. For a 50% chance it would be 820 - 515 - 150 = 155 GtC, if we take the mean of the RCP 8.5 scenario. I took the 100 GtC mentioned on page 531 in the FAQ 6.1:

Quote
Until the year 2100, up to 250 PgC could be released as CO 2 , and up to 5 Pg as CH 4 . Given methane’s stronger greenhouse warming potential, that corresponds to a further 100 PgC of equivalent CO 2  released until the year 2100.

I have no idea, where this difference comes from - perhaps the 100 PgC is a mean of all RCPs?

In any case, the PCF should diminish our budget quite substantially, and it will diminish even further,  if we do account for the wetland feedback. No wonder that they didn't quantify the carbon feedbacks for the carbon budget in the summary ...

And if we would look for a reasonable possibility of avoiding 2 C warming (+90%), there would be simply no budget left, even without the PCF, as David Spratt shows in his article linked above (see attachment). Actually, quite a farce all this talk about the remaining budget, it seems
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 06, 2014, 03:26:31 PM
Jai with ref to your 39490 message a while back - that was my point. Thats why I picked that representation (I thought I explained that) as it was a complete deception and also why I wont post it here - it made me really angry, but whats the point I've been 'labelled'.

Yes I do consider myself a conservative - I took to trying to convince sports grounds to take on an alternative way of feritlising other than reliance on Haber Bosch produced nitrogen that produces 1.92t of carbon dioxide to every tone of ammonia. Half the nitrogen in your body has come from that process, 1 - 2% of the entire industrial energy is used in that one process, 30% of humanity is sustained by that process - its truly awful its an incredibly energy reliant process. Everyone I talked to thought moving away from it - especially as it wrecks the microbiology - was brilliant, however so tight is the hold of the big chemical companies that when it came to it very few would take the risk. Net result I went bust, so now I am 'conservative' in my outlook - I cant take the risk of doing that to my family again. I dont like bringing it up, I dont want sympathy, but I really resent the inferences that being conservative means I dont care. Due to circumstances I am risk averse........conservative. Please leave it at that, its now twice I have said it.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 05:53:03 PM
Mark,

I understand what you are saying.  I misunderstood your contextualization and assumed you were speaking from an ideology not communicative philosophy.

with regard to the topic of "conservative" vs. "alarmist"  and the communication of science.  One must first always realize that the process of communicative discourse requires thesis, antithesis and synthesis.  In this regard, the polarization occurs due to the imbalance between authentic and inauthentic poles.

The authentic pole is the scientific one that vainly seeks to maintain credibility within an exhaustively self-critical analysis process.  Then, external to the scientific community the "message" is communicated to the public.  In an attempt to remain credible to the public the internal strategies are reflected in their external findings.  That is the "soft" communication approach.

The inauthentic pole is a network of PR agencies who have been hired by fossil fuel and agribusiness companies which seeks to draw down the synthesis response away from any support for action that might impact those companies' income streams.  Their efforts are expressed in deception and exaggeration, even 'dirty tricks' such as hacking emails from climate scientists and mischaracterizing the discussions into soundbites and paying complicit news organizations to promote their story line.  They also generate deceptive graphics such as this one which was seminal in creating a core group of misinformed idealogues who are (now) heavily invested denialists.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com%2F2013%2F03%2Fgreenland-ice-core-isotope-past-4000-yrs.png&hash=5a0cf7e5311ffaed3f620a59d2f75b23)

usually this image is combined with a small arrow that points to the warming at the tail end of the record and declares that is the modern period warming. 

But the series actually ends in 1855 (not 2000) and the tail end is still within the "little ice age" period.  Since 1855, recent regional warming in this area is currently above the Minoan peak

This is just an example of the "gish gallop" of lies and obfuscations perpetuated by this highly entrenched and well funded system of propaganda dissemination that works as the anti-thesis to the scientific community's message.


within this realm then, the inherent conservatism of the scientific community works to soften their position and allows the final synthesis of the two messages to work in favor of the propagandists (who absolutely don't care if they are proven to be lying, but simply move on to the next lie, realizing that the message is all that matters).

To properly counterbalance this effort, skeptical science has, perhaps done the best job.  However, there is no way that a few websites can counterbalance the entire corporate controlled media empire and their intentional distortion of the scientific truth. 

So, the only real solution is to have an analog response generated by an international alliance of scientific and professional organizations.  An "uberspecht" That can announce from the highest possible tree a constant rapport of alarm, one that continually shows what the real 33% probability of risk looks like and what we need to do to give us a better chance for survival.  The IPCC set the stage for this, now it takes an independent body of "counter propaganda" to oppose the industry PR groups.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 06:15:34 PM
Mike,

Quote
That is not relevant as ocean currents and wind etc can move heat around - the heat does not have to be stored in the same hemisphere as it originally is collected.

This is a good example of the PR strategy of distortion and denial.  We are talking about ocean heat.  Since the ocean currents stay within the same hemisphere, and the DURACK et. al. paper showed that the heat accumulation occurred within the southern hemisphere then the energy stayed in the southern hemisphere.

this is the second time that you have passed over this point, using distortion and then feigning ignorance to assert some kind of message.

"I am not a scientist but. . ."

Even when you are shown that the TOA cannot be determined by satellites (as you asserted) you quote a single phrase that states an entirely different paper (which I read) that used some satellite input in their shortwave incidence radiation calculation, but since EVEN THE TITLE of their paper shows they used this input to develop a MODEL and did not use DIRECT MEASUREMENTS (as you said), your entire argument is deception and obfuscation.

Again, I am sure you will simply claim ignorance. . .

An observationally based energy balance for the Earth since 1950
Murphy et. al. (2009)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD012105/pdf (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD012105/pdf)


Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 06, 2014, 07:30:00 PM
Quote
So 790 GtC - 515 - 150 = 125 GtC carbon budget left for about a 66% chance of staying below 2 degrees C. Or not?

Yea, for a 66% chance that seems about right to me. For a 50% chance it would be 820 - 515 - 150 = 155 GtC, if we take the mean of the RCP 8.5 scenario. I took the 100 GtC mentioned on page 531 in the FAQ 6.1:

Until the year 2100, up to 250 PgC could be released as CO 2 , and up to 5 Pg as CH 4 . Given methane’s stronger greenhouse warming potential, that corresponds to a further 100 PgC of equivalent CO 2  released until the year 2100.

I have no idea, where this difference comes from - perhaps the 100 PgC is a mean of all RCPs?

Or maybe the median?

And the numbers above were the budget from 2011 onwards. Meanwhile we've emitted almost another 30 GtC, so using the mean/median 100 GtC for potential carbon feedback, we get:

790 - 515 - 100 -30 = 145 GtC remaining for a (conservative=risky) 66% chance to stay below 2 degrees. If we want to stay below 1.5 degrees and have a higher chance of staying below 2, then the budget is even smaller, essentially zero, as indeed David Spratt shows.

So we don't have the luxury to reduce our emissions slowly, we have to do it as fast as possible. How fast is that? Maybe zero global (fossil fuel) emissions by 2050? And in the West zero emissions by 2040, with 40% reductions by 2020, as Denmark and Germany are trying to achieve? And negative emissions after 2050, as far as possible?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 06, 2014, 07:37:14 PM
That is so well put Jai, I enjoyed reading that. There are numerous examples of denialist misrepresentation, but the worst of all is when ones own position is misrepresented as then, rather than having something to rail against, one ends up deflated and let down.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 06, 2014, 07:54:17 PM
It's good to see that a lot of deceptive strategies are at play here, that suggests importance of the subject. Trying desperately to complicate simple things, as well as willfully making the dialog hyper–technical (so as to throw off any potential lurkers and make them feel it's boring or complicated) are but two such strategies. I'm sure we can pinpoint more in the new year summary.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 06, 2014, 08:10:41 PM
Mike,

Quote
That is not relevant as ocean currents and wind etc can move heat around - the heat does not have to be stored in the same hemisphere as it originally is collected.

This is a good example of the PR strategy of distortion and denial.  We are talking about ocean heat.  Since the ocean currents stay within the same hemisphere, and the DURACK et. al. paper showed that the heat accumulation occurred within the southern hemisphere then the energy stayed in the southern hemisphere.


Rubbish

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRTu3Oje8UxsfcuyaqtRZ0TPTppXqGk3JaE-w5P4qGYjofiP6GqtA)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 08:56:47 PM
Quote
Scientists estimate that the trip from the North Atlantic to the deep water upwelling sites in the Pacific takes about 1,600 years.

http://scied.ucar.edu/ocean-move-thermohaline-circulation (http://scied.ucar.edu/ocean-move-thermohaline-circulation)

Quote
Relying on the close correspondence between hemispheric-scale ocean heat content and steric changes, we adjust the poorly constrained Southern Hemisphere observed warming estimates so that hemispheric ratios are consistent with the broad range of modelled results. These adjustments yield large increases (2.2–7.1 × 1022 J 35 yr−1) to current global upper-ocean heat content change estimates, and have important implications for sea level, the planetary energy budget and climate sensitivity assessments.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n11/full/nclimate2389.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n11/full/nclimate2389.html)

Again, you appear to be arguing with disinformation.  Please speak to the fact that the paper had to adjust up the southern hemisphere heat content but not the northern hemisphere heat content.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 06, 2014, 09:17:12 PM
It is not how long it takes the water to get from one end of the TCH to the other that matters - but rather the amount of heat flux that crosses the equator.

And by this argument then the additional heat in the southern hemisphere can't be Co2 either, because that is global.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 06, 2014, 10:02:08 PM
Quote
It is not how long it takes the water to get from one end of the TCH to the other that matters - but rather the amount of heat flux that crosses the equator.

If so, how much heat crosses the equator by ocean currents each year, on average?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 06, 2014, 10:18:58 PM

From my reading the emissions are included in the temp and SLR projections - and the feedbacks are not.  That is a fixed amount of CH4 from permafrost is included in RCP pathways which is not calculated within the model but imposed from the RCP.  So the CH4 from permafrost is there, but will not increase under high warming or decrease under low warming, but it is different from one RCP to another.

Michael,

I do agreed  that it is very difficult for us laymen to get a good idea of what is and what is not included in the RDP scenarios and the projections. But that`s the reason why I have cited scientists, I mean they should know ...

Perhaps someone who knows what he is talking about could help us out here?

In the meantime I have gathered more sings which do indicate that CO2 and CH4 from permafrost and wetland changes are not included in the RCPs and the AR5 projections.

1) Here is a link to a useful tool which allows us to compare the GHG emissions and concentrations of the different RDPs. (http://tntcat.iiasa.ac.at:8787/RcpDb/dsd?Action=htmlpage&page=compare (http://tntcat.iiasa.ac.at:8787/RcpDb/dsd?Action=htmlpage&page=compare)). If you look at the CH4 emissions you will find a list of all the different CH4 sources included in the RCPs. Note that there is no mention of emissions from wetland or permafrost. (see 1st attached image)
 

There are no emissions from any natural source whatsoever.  RCPs have two modes - emissions driven in which human emissions only are specified and an earth system model is expected to work out all natural feedbacks and other changes in sources/sinks of carbon and presumably other GHGs.  And concentrations driven scenarios in which the concentration of gases is fixed and the model does not make any modification to these concentrations based on calculations performed within the model.

Quote
2) A quote from AR5, chaptre 12.4.8.1, p. 1096f seems to reinforce the idea. If this feedback would be included, the warming for instance would be even higher by 0.04 up to 0.7 °C (based on the 50 to 250 PgC of permafrost emissions):

Quote
The CMIP5 ESMs described above do not include the positive feedback arising from the carbon release from high latitudes permafrost thawing under a warming scenario, which could further increase the atmospheric CO2 concentration and the warming. ... For the RCP8.5, the additional warming from permafrost ranges between 0.04°C and 0.69°C by 2100 although there is medium confidence in these numbers as are the ones on the amount of carbon released ...

From 6.4.3.3 the earth system models are used to estimate the required the fossil fuel emissions to actually follow the RCP scenarios.

Quote
2) Figure 6.36 of chaptre 6 shows the scale of possible future CH4 emissions and it shows also that the CH4 emissions - because of their sheer magnitude -  would show up in the figure of the RCPs CH4 emissions: see 2nd attached image

 
The blue colored curves show the lower and upper limits of CH4 emissions from RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5. The emissions from Wetlands will (may) double in the next 100 years, permafrost CH4 just gets a short mention but it would add a significant amount of CH4 to the budget, for all scenarios but RCP8.5 it would double the RCP emissions.

I read this as further evidence that methane emissions from permafrost are included when specifying the RCP concentration driven scenarios.


I think much of the confusion is that most of us expect that the IPCC would be following a bottom up approach - start with GHG emissions, work out GHG concentrations, work out forcings and finally work out the temperature change.  IPCC seem to have actually started with a forcing - the scenarios are named after the target w/m2 for each scenario - 2.6, 4.5, 6 and 8.5.  For each target an IAM model works out what emissions and resulting concentrations are required to meet this target.  The IAM model is primarily an economic model and makes decisions such as how much money to invest in a particular mitigation technology.  CMIP AOGM models are then run with the specified GHG forcings to calculate temperature change.  The question then is whether the permafrost methane emissions absent or present from the IAM models.  Given the IPCC discussion  of specific methane emission amounts from this permafrost I would expect them to be there, but have not found direct evidence that they are.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 06, 2014, 10:31:04 PM
Quote
It is not how long it takes the water to get from one end of the TCH to the other that matters - but rather the amount of heat flux that crosses the equator.

If so, how much heat crosses the equator by ocean currents each year, on average?

I don't know.  Its your theory that not enough heat can move between the hemispheres to account for the difference, so I'm not working out the numbers for you.

When you go look them up, don't forget to include the effect of the mass movement of air involved in the monsoon flowing from roughly 20N to 20S each year, and the regular movement of water from the subtropicals to the equator where it mixes and then is discharged to the subtropics again as part of the ENSO cycle.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 10:41:57 PM
Quote
And by this argument then the additional heat in the southern hemisphere can't be Co2 either, because that is global.

notice how you have now diverted the discussion away from Ocean heat content and top of atmosphere energy imbalances, satellite records and the final goal, effects of Durack et. al on ECS.

this circular reasoning is characteristic of disinformation campaigns.

The increase in GLOBAL CO2 forcing is balanced by INCREASED negative forcing of first and second order (cloud) aerosol feedbacks, the vast majority of which affect the northern hemisphere, as I state previously.

and yet, you continue to disregard the issue regarding north/south energy deposition adjustments by Durack et. al.

say it with me, increased CO2 and Methane contributions to positive forcing, balanced by Increased first and second order negative aerosol forcings, primarily acting on the northern hemisphere leading much higher likelihood of HIGHER ECS values. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 10:52:57 PM
Quote
I don't know.  Its your theory that not enough heat can move between the hemispheres to account for the difference, so I'm not working out the numbers for you.

"I am not a scientist but. . ."

I will tell you right now, the amount of heat transport from the interhemispheric mass movement of the MOC is undetectable over the annual or even decadal periods we are discussing.

It takes approximately 800 years for the water from the equator to reach the atlantic subduction zone, that's about 7 miles per year.

Quote
When you go look them up, don't forget to include the effect of the mass movement of air involved in the monsoon flowing from roughly 20N to 20S

Again, we are discussing the observed amount of ocean heat content gain in the southern oceans.  but you still deny discussing this issue, instead deflecting with even more red herrings and diversions and outright lies (i.e. MOC as a heat transport between hemispheres).

I understand your tactics and observe your disinformation.  I see now that you are indeed a disinformer intent on polluting the forum.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 06, 2014, 11:03:18 PM
"how much heat crosses the equator by ocean currents each year, on average?"
See

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_07.htm (http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_07.htm)

Say 2 Petawatt at 20N

There are some old papers by Emig and Bydyko (and many new ones also)

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 06, 2014, 11:19:25 PM
Why two crucial pages were left out of the latest U.N. climate report
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/why-two-crucial-pages-were-left-out-of-the-latest-u-n-climate-report/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/why-two-crucial-pages-were-left-out-of-the-latest-u-n-climate-report/)

Quotes

You see, one of the report's more powerful sections wound up being left out during last minute negotiations over the text in Copenhagen. And it was a section that, among other matters, tried to specify other measures that would indicate whether we are entering a danger zone of profound climate impact, and just how dramatic emissions cuts will have to be in order to avoid crossing that threshold.

The dropped section in question appeared in an August 25, 2014 draft of the synthesis report, but not in the final version... would have comprised two pages in the final report, and was worked on by a team of scientists for nearly three years... listed climate change impacts of a magnitude that would constitute "reasons for concern," because they might imperil unique ecosystems or risk catastrophic one-off events like the collapse of global ice sheets.

It also discussed what it would take to stabilize climate change in “sufficient” time  to stave off these worst impacts. On this subject, the box stated that "rapid and deep emission reductions" would be required to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Indeed, it stated, the world can only emit about 1000 more gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (one gigatonne is equivalent to a billion tonnes) in the remainder of this century, adding that "at current rates, this remaining budget will be exhausted in the next 20 to 30 years."

The box, he says, "was an attempt to compile the most relevant information from the report into one place." At the meeting, many delegates felt that the proposed language or alternative proposals for the wording of the box were unbalanced. In discussions among delegates and scientists it eventually proved impossible to find language that everyone could accept. The meeting concluded that a separate box was unnecessary given the wealth of relevant information throughout the report."

The box "provided a very precise [time] frame for the emissions that are compatible with a 2 degree of warming," says van Ypersele, who was part of the core writing team for the report.  "And there is no similar sentence anywhere in the report."

Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton who was also part of the core writing team, suggests that politics got in the way of the inclusion of this scientific information... the box explicitly stated that "risks of impacts pose particular challenges for the least developed countries and most vulnerable communities."

Another reason this topic is "extremely sensitive," says van Ypersele, is that not everybody agrees that 2 degrees Celsius is even a safe threshold at all. Many think 1.5 degrees would be safer -- a number that would imply a much tighter global carbon budget and an even narrower window to avoid "dangerous" climate change.

"I have a very strong view that scientists have a last word on what is in the report," says van Ypersele. "What they don’t have the last word on is what is not in the report."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 06, 2014, 11:55:42 PM
"how much heat crosses the equator by ocean currents each year, on average?"
See

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_07.htm (http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_07.htm)

Say 2 Petawatt at 20N

There are some old papers by Emig and Bydyko (and many new ones also)

sidd

Sidd,

We are talking about heat transport from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere, not from the equatorial regions to the polar regions.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 07, 2014, 12:08:18 AM
This is some of the writing that was dropped from the report under political pressure as Teapotty posted about above.
-------------------
http://cryptome.org/2014/04/ipcc-draft-14-0421.pdf (http://cryptome.org/2014/04/ipcc-draft-14-0421.pdf)


Risks for warming between about 2°C and 4°C above pre-industrial

Risks increase with temperature and become high for all Reasons for Concern by 4°C warming above preindustrial levels (Figure 3.4).

-Many species and systems with limited adaptive capacity are subject to very high risks with
additional warming of 2°C, particularly Arctic sea-ice and coral-reef systems (RFC 1).
-Many species will be unable to track suitable climates under mid- and high-range rates of change
(RCP 4.5 and higher) and those that cannot adapt sufficiently fast will decrease in abundance or go extinct in part or all of their ranges. For medium- to high-emission scenarios (RCP 4.5 and higher), ocean acidification, together with decreasing oxygen levels and other drivers, poses substantial risks to marine ecosystems. A large fraction of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species face increasing extinctions risk under projected climate change during and beyond the 21st century (RFC 1, 4).{WGII SPM.B1}

Extensive biodiversity loss with associated loss of ecosystem goods and services results in aggregate risks becoming high by 4°C warming (RFC 1, 4)

-Climate change is projected to reduce renewable surface water and groundwater resources significantly in most dry subtropical regions (Topic 2.5.2).
-Aggregate economic damages accelerate with increasing temperature but few quantitative estimates have been completed for additional warming around 3°C or above (RFC 4).
-Risks from large-scale singular events increase disproportionately around ~2°C and become high
above 3°C, due to the potential for a large and irreversible sea-level rise from ice sheet loss. {RFC 5,WGII SPM B-1}

 Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is more likely than not to exceed 2°C for RCP4.5, and likely to exceed 2°C for RCP6.0 and RCP8.5. It is about as likely as not to exceed 4°C for RCP8.5. Such scenarios require slower emission cuts than the scenarios likely to avoid a warming above 2°C, but all scenarios that limit climate change require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (Topic 3.2). {WGI SPM}

Risks from warming above 4°C compared to pre-industrial

Above 4°C warming compared to preindustrial levels, as projected by RCP8.5, risks from climate
change are high to very high in all reasons for concerns and include substantial species extinction,
large risks to global and regional food security, and the combination of high temperature and
humidity compromising normal human activities in some areas for parts of the year
(Figure 3.4) All

aspects of food security are potentially affected by climate change including food access, utilization, and price stability (RFC 3). {WGII SPM B2}

----------------
I am sure that this isn't really important information to include in the report. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 12:11:41 AM
Quote
I don't know.  Its your theory that not enough heat can move between the hemispheres to account for the difference, so I'm not working out the numbers for you.

Michael,
You make a statement about ocean heat flux, and I have my doubts about the accuracy of that statement. So I ask you a logical question, to find out what you base your statement on. You answer you don't know. So you just suppose your statement could be true, but it could be wrong as well.

Apparently you have no interest in trying to find out if it's right or wrong. So indeed you only seem to argue one way, questioning the argument by others that Durack et al seems to imply higher ECS. It just doesn't make sense, except for trying to downplay the risks of global warming for one reason or another.

Also on the remaining carbon budget you just don't respond to the arguments and references given. You seem smart enough, but not really willing to use your intelligence reasonably. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how it seems to me for now.

Or can you at least tell us what you think the remaining carbon budget is for having a good chance to stay below 2 or 1.5 degrees? And can you at least admit that since you don't know the magnitude of the ocean heat flux you refer to that Durack et al may imply a higher ECS?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 12:22:14 AM
Quote
I am sure that this isn't really important information to include in the report. . .

Indeed not important at all, only inconvenient, to some.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: ritter on November 07, 2014, 12:30:53 AM

I am sure that this isn't really important information to include in the report. . .

Yes, let's just leave out the catastrophic little bits, shall we?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 07, 2014, 01:19:56 AM
"how much heat crosses the equator by ocean currents each year, on average?"
See

http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_07.htm (http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_07.htm)

Say 2 Petawatt at 20N

There are some old papers by Emig and Bydyko (and many new ones also)

sidd

Sidd,

We are talking about heat transport from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere, not from the equatorial regions to the polar regions.

on the page i posted, 0.5 Petawatt at equator

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 07, 2014, 01:33:04 AM
more to the point it's about stocks and flows. Off the top of my head, so check my numbers, Durack(2014) estimates around 0.1 to 0.5 * 1e22 J/yr OHC underestimate in SHemis.
Half a petawatt across the equator is about 3 times the upper number

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 07, 2014, 02:46:04 AM
Sidd,

there is no value on the page you posted that I can see, however it is simply a red herring distraction from the topic of discussion (ECS implications by Durack et. al).  I am sure that if you multiply the flow rate of the MOC by the specific heat capacity and the delta temperature you will come up with a very small number since the flowrate is so slow.

-------
doh, or you may find it is about 1 petawatt of northerly transport.

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/glodap/glodap_pdfs/Thermohaline.web.pdf (http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/glodap/glodap_pdfs/Thermohaline.web.pdf)

the durack et.al estimates are from 1970 to 2004 (34 years)  and estimate an increase in OHC for the southern hemisphere of 2.2 to 7.1 * 10^22 joules

so the amount of heat transport is significant and significantly larger than the adjustments (by 2 orders of magnitude).  In this point I was incorrect in my estimation of cross equitorial heat transport.

however, as I said before, the values of heat accumulation in Durack et. al. stand independent (or rather, regardless of) heat transport across the equator.

The issue isn't where this additional heat will end up, but rather, what caused the additional heat in the southern half of the planet (vs. the northern half).

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 07, 2014, 02:59:25 AM

Or can you at least tell us what you think the remaining carbon budget is for having a good chance to stay below 2 or 1.5 degrees? And can you at least admit that since you don't know the magnitude of the ocean heat flux you refer to that Durack et al may imply a higher ECS?

In my opinion there is no scientific backing for a target of 1.5 or 2.  The only target I think the science justifies is 0.  The carbon budget should be as low as possible.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 07, 2014, 03:08:57 AM
Sidd,

there is no value on the page you posted that I can see, however it is simply a red herring distraction from the topic of discussion (ECS implications by Durack et. al).  I am sure that if you multiply the flow rate of the MOC by the specific heat capacity and the delta temperature you will come up with a very small number since the flowrate is so slow.

So any time anyone comes up for clear evidence that you are wrong, you just label it as a distraction?

Original argument - you need to add up all the heat content components to get the total heat budget, therefore increasing one component increases the total
rebutal - heat budget is measured independently of adding the components
new argument - but the extra heat is in the SH, (I assume the point of that is that there are more aerosols in the NH so it can't be aerosols?)
rebutal - but heat mixes between the hemispheres by stuff like currents
new argument - there are no currents between NH and SH
rebutal - yes there is - the THC
new argument - but it takes 1600 years to get from north atlantic to south atlantic
rebutal - doesn't matter it is the amount of heat that crosses the equator
new argument - it doesn't transfer enough heat,
rebutal (thanks sid)- the net heat flow of all currents flowing from North to South hemisphere is more than 3 times the upper estimate of the heat increase in the southerhn hemisphere
new argument - you are throwing out red herrings.

Lastly I leave a thought - The increase in OHC for the southern hemisphere heat content is justified because a) it matches the CMIP 5 models better - in particular to achieve the balance of heat between SH and NH predicted by these models, b) it matches sea surface height better.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 07, 2014, 03:29:15 AM
"The only target I think the science justifies is 0."

This, at least, we can agree upon.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 07, 2014, 03:35:03 AM
I can play that game too mike

1. Durack et. al. indicates a potentially higher ECS
rebuttal no it doesn't because it doesn't indicate an increase in the earths' heat budget

2. Yes it does because the paper in Durack et. al. precisely stated an increase in the earth's heat budget in the southern oceans, as opposed to the northern ones
rebuttal no It doesn't because the earths heat budget is found by satellites, not by adding components

3. Satelites have too high of measurement uncertainty to determine TOA so heat budget estimates rely on summations of individual components, in fact all three papers you referenced said as much. However, none of this matters because the issue is that the additional heat is added to the southern ocean which indicates an issue with aerosol forcing estimates.
rebuttal: the heat added to the southern ocean cannot be CO2 because CO2 is a global effect

4.  can we please talk about impacts to ECS?  the impact to the southern ocean is (potentially) derived by a significant underestimation of aerosol forcing values which would lead to higher ECS.
rebuttal: heat in the southern oceans is not relevant because it doesn't remain there and can be moved around.

5.  The entire point of Durack et. al. is to show a 35 year increase adjustment to the total ocean heat content in the southern hemisphere.  Why do you keep bringing up statements that have no impact on the argument regarding ECS?

and now, finally,

rebuttal:  Durack et. al. added heat to the southern ocean because it fits the CMIP5 model and sea surface analysis

which leaves then:

6.  The adjustment to southern hemisphere OHC in Durack et. al. is significantly higher than the 2 sigma high error estimation of the CMIP5 Multi model mean (in fact it is higher than 3 sigma!)

and, YES! the methodology that they used relied on sea surface elevations! very good!

But, may I ask once again, why is it that this doesn't impact ECS?


(https://andthentheresphysics.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/nclimate2389-f5.jpg)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 07, 2014, 03:50:50 AM
Scientists often do err on what is (erroneously, I think) called the conservative side.

But meanwhile, science itself is being undercut nearly everywhere you look. There are lots of horror stories over the last year or so from Canada, and now this:

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-us-is-falling-further-beyond-in.html (http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-us-is-falling-further-beyond-in.html)

The U.S. is Falling Further Beyond in Numerical Weather Prediction: Does the Obama Administration Care?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 07, 2014, 05:04:07 AM
1) I seem to have gotten sucked into a sensitive topic. I didn't notice (mea maxima culpa) that i was posting on a thread about conservative scientists and consequences ("its" is the wrong possessive here, and the word might better be dropped, but i digress.)

However, now that i seem to have engaged, let me speak as a sometime and now and again scientist. You may judge how conservative I am. Every climate scientist I know (I do not know Prof Curry, or Dr. Pielke or others of that minority) is far more concerned about climate change than they state in their papers. Why ? Because they include in the paper only what they (think) they have proof of, and that which can be defended (a stronger term than "justified") in the peer reviewed arena. Outside that arena, in the popular press, their misgivings, are rarely voiced, due to the volume of vituperation directed at all those who dare, as you have seen in, for example, the case of Prof. Mann or Dr. Hansen. You may condemn them for lack of courage in the public agora, but I would strongly disagree with imputing a lack of scientific integrity to their peer reviewed work, as some here seem to do. There is a difference between the two. I personally do not blame those scientists reticent to evangelize the imminence of the danger, I would rather have them work on what they do best, and encourage a new breed of that dying species of science journalists who are trained in the language of the science. I confess frankly that I do not know how to do that last bit.

2)On another note, looking at merely TCR and ECS misses large aspects of anthropogenic climate impact. I think change and intensification of local precip patterns, enhanced GIS and AIS melt, and widespread trophic collapse of ecosystems will screw us long before we see 2C global surface temp increase above preindustrial. But that's just me.

3)I think we need a separate thread on OHC, and heat transport. Is there one already ?

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 07, 2014, 08:00:41 AM
Quote
3. Satelites have too high of measurement uncertainty to determine TOA so heat budget estimates rely on summations of individual components, in fact all three papers you referenced said as much.

No the Church paper specifically says that the heat budget total is calculated as a combination of satellite observations of radiation, temperature history and modelling.  None of the papers that I or anyone else has referenced state that the total heat budget is calculated by adding up the individual components.  As I've said several times now.


5.  The entire point of Durack et. al. is to show a 35 year increase adjustment to the total ocean heat content in the southern hemisphere.  Why do you keep bringing up statements that have no impact on the argument regarding ECS?

and now, finally,

rebuttal:  Durack et. al. added heat to the southern ocean because it fits the CMIP5 model and sea surface analysis

Well obviously if the rate of heat accumulation in the southern ocean is faster then the final temperature that the globe as a whole reaches at equilibrium must higher?  I mean why would any logic be needed to explain that??
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 08:09:47 AM
Quote
"The only target I think the science justifies is 0."

This, at least, we can agree upon.

Indeed, so we agree on the risks and the argument is on (important) details in the science.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 07, 2014, 08:36:27 AM
Another consequence of the conservatism is the overton window.  This is the propaganda technique of attempting to frame the debate as being between a totally unreasonable position and your opponents position so that the middle position is close to your desired position.

We have a debate between scientists trying to be as close to the truth as they can be, and anti-climate action propagandists who are lieing through their teeth to claim that Co2 has no effect and even if it did it would be beneficial etc.  So the public can easily fall into the comfortable compromise solution of deciding the truth is somewhere in between and believe that climate change is some sort of problem, but not nearly as much as the alarmists make out.

Of course by this logic I should be happy that there are people who are trying to push positions on climate change far more alarmist than I think correct.  This will tend to push the overton window in this direction so that the middle ground compromise falls closer to the truth.  I find this deeply unsettling....
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 08:55:03 AM
Michael,

You say:
Quote
there are people who are trying to push positions on climate change far more alarmist than I think correct

And:
Quote
In my opinion there is no scientific backing for a target of 1.5 or 2.  The only target I think the science justifies is 0. The carbon budget should be as low as possible.

Can you give some examples of people who're pushing positions far more alarmist than you think justified?

You think the carbon budget should be as low as possible, as do I, and the warming target should be 0 degrees, which implies taking a lot of carbon out of the air. Many people, not me, would call that very alarmist, so do you know people who're pushing even more radical positions?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 07, 2014, 08:59:46 AM
1) I seem to have gotten sucked into a sensitive topic. I didn't notice (mea maxima culpa) that i was posting on a thread about conservative scientists and consequences ("its" is the wrong possessive here, and the word might better be dropped, but i digress.)

«Conservative Scientists & its Consequences» may sound a bit strange, but I read it as (The Problem of) Conservative Scientists & its (the Problem's) Consequences. A (too) simple fix would be to write «Conservative Scientists & their Consequences», but the consequences do not belong to the individual scientists, they are consequences of a problem. Best solution would probably be to rewrite to «Conservative Science & its Consequences».

I think the (future) flooding of Netherlands and the 2011 flooding of Fukushima serve as best concrete cases for thinking about 'alarmism' and conservatism. Society needs to plan for the worst, especially when nuclear facilities are involved. Can we learn how to shut down the plants quicker, so it doesn't take decades?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 09:33:50 AM
On flooding: how about Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesian coasts, parts of China, many small island states? Or New York, Boston?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 07, 2014, 10:50:19 AM
Flooding is happening now in Rome, right after similar events in Northern Italy and SE France:

Red alert Rome braced for ‘water bombs’
Quote
With the civil protection department expecting torrential rain to lead to “water bombs”, the authorities decided to close schools and monuments in Rome Thursday. Thursday. Rome Prefect Giuseppe Pecoraro earlier said that the weather forecasts were “unprecedented” and suggested Romans avoid leaving their homes. …

http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/english/115572/Red-alert-Rome-braced-for--water-bombs-.html (http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/english/115572/Red-alert-Rome-braced-for--water-bombs-.html)


Violent storms lash the French Riviera


http://www.thelocal.fr/galleries/news/in-images-violent-storms-lash-french-riviera (http://www.thelocal.fr/galleries/news/in-images-violent-storms-lash-french-riviera)

    Tuscany residents saved as floods hit Italy

    http://www.thelocal.it/20141105/tuscany-residents-saved-as-floods-hit-italy (http://www.thelocal.it/20141105/tuscany-residents-saved-as-floods-hit-italy)
       

        France deluged with massive rainfall


        Nice got 160mm in 24 hours.

        http://www.bbc.com/weather/features/29921484 (http://www.bbc.com/weather/features/29921484)

(Thanks, as often, to COBob for pointing these out over at robertscribbler's blog.)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on November 07, 2014, 12:57:29 PM
I try to calculate how many nuclear bombs per second is that 7.1 10y22 Joule.
Wikipedia says little boy was : 67 TJ   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy)
Per year : 7.1 10y22 / 35 = 2,028571429×10²¹ Joule
Per day : /360 = 5,634920635×10¹⁸ Joule
Per hour : /24 = 2,347883598×10¹⁷ Joule
Per secondes : /3600 = 6,521898883×10¹³ Joule
Per nuclear bombe : /67.10y12 = 0,973417744 Nuclear Bombs/seconde

That's not 4 nuclear bombs per seconds used on the Neven blog, skeptical and other... is there underestimation somewhere ?

Quote
the durack et.al estimates are from 1970 to 2004 (34 years)  and estimate an increase in OHC for the southern hemisphere of 2.2 to 7.1 * 10^22 joules
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 01:52:36 PM
Would that be the average over 35 years for the Southern Hemisphere?

The four bombs per second would be over the last decade or so for the whole planet, I guess.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 07, 2014, 01:56:37 PM
Vid you beat me to it, the conversation here is much better debated under 'conservative science' as that is the end result. It is unfair to categorise or stigmatise scientists as conservative as I am sure that in all these circumstances there are conservatives and non conservatives  better still to give them a good or bad label as that is simpler and more apt as mostly they are constrained by their guidelines.

Certainly the target should be for 0 even when this is totally unachievable given all the variables. However the equilibrium point to aim this 0 at is more difficult to define. To set the 0 point in pre industrial times is not ideal as it was too cold then and crop production in that climate would be compromised, to go colder would mean drastic compromises with the population that would be arduous to achieve. So the 0 would need to be set probably at around the temperature we are at now, which would mean a loss of some land mass but at a food production rate that can support the world ecology. This would lead on to then say should the worlds population be set at its current level and then take this point as '0' as we cannot go back to preindustrial population levels without a very difficult adjustment period.

In other words to set a zero to suit humankind would mean setting a zero point for many other aspects of human behaviour. Shift the population upwards and a corresponding shift of the climate 0 target would need to be made too. Where this 0 point is in both climate and human society is very open to discussion and worthy of yet another thread. Should we set the climate/carbon 0 at preindustrial levels and make adjustments of population levels downwards (not necessarily to match pre industrial levels as we are far more efficient now) or should we set the population levels at todays and work out an equilibrium point for temperature and CO2 that matches our needs.

So is the 0 target realistic as there is cyclical variability, over what period would one set a 0 target - a decade, century, millennia. It could only be set if we are sure we are basing it on a period where all amplitudes are known. So now one comes back to what would be a conservative/non-conservative target?

These points are rhetorical - I am not setting a position. Its just that the conversation has moved to a point where there is a gap in whats being said
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 02:13:41 PM
Mark, good points.

Current temperature would mean more ice melting, since arctic and other ice is not in equilibrium with current temps. So to stop the ice from melting further we would even need some cooling for a while, I suppose?

Hansen c.s. propose 350 ppm CO2 as an initial target (by 2150?), or even lower if shown necessary later. That would probably still mean some warming for a while and then some cooling, if slow feedbacks, such as melting ice and carbon feedbacks, are slow enough.

This all depends on how much carbon we can take out of the atmosphere and at what speed.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 02:18:00 PM
See Hansen et al 2013 for further exploration of these questions:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081648 (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081648)

This article still seems on the conservative (=risky) side, since it does not take carbon feedbacks into account, if I'm not mistaken.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 02:31:57 PM
See specifically this quote from Hansen et al 2013:
"most climate simulations, including ours above and those of IPCC, do not include slow feedbacks such as reduction of ice sheet size with global warming or release of greenhouse gases from thawing tundra. These exclusions are reasonable for a ~1°C scenario, because global temperature barely rises out of the Holocene range and then begins to subside. In contrast, global warming of 2°C or more is likely to bring slow feedbacks into play. Indeed, it is slow feedbacks that cause long-term climate sensitivity to be high in the empirical paleoclimate record."

So it seems they think the risk of slow feedbacks kicking in is limited for their radical mitigation scenario. Current warming/forcing would still be faster/stronger than in the past however, so there could still be a risk of slow feedbacks amplifying the warming more than calculated by Hansen et al. That's why 350 ppm is their initial target, to be adjusted if needed/possible.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 02:51:07 PM
BTW, I suppose nobody here thinks Hansen et al are being either alarmist or overly conservative? Just checking.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 03:06:08 PM
P.S. I consider Hansen et al 2013 the single best scientific article connecting the dots of the climate crisis that I know of, much clearer and less conservative (=risky) than the IPCC-reports. But if anyone knows any even better or equally good articles, let us know. Of course Hansen et al also prescribe targets and policy options, which IPCC cannot do, but still, they make the risks of less ambitious targets much clearer than IPCC has been allowed to do.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 04:12:15 PM
Here a nice news article by Fred Pearce on the various carbon budgets floating around, including the 130 GtC of Hansen et al:
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-07/what-is-the-carbon-limit-that-depends-who-you-ask (http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-07/what-is-the-carbon-limit-that-depends-who-you-ask)

So it actually depends more on your temperature target and how much you want to risk missing it, than on who you ask. And on some assumptions about emissions of non-CO2 gases, carbon uptake and (not included in Pearce's article) potential positive carbon feedbacks.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 07, 2014, 04:19:09 PM
"nobody here thinks Hansen et al are being either alarmist or overly conservative?"

I haven't read all of Hansen's work. He seems to be one of the best on many levels. But all scientists have their areas of expertise. I think on abrupt SLR risks Box, Alley and some others have spoken more forcefully than Hansen has (at least that I know of)--ASLR could of course speak much more knowledgeably on that subject than I could.

But I don't expect any one scientist to lay out all the possibilities for catastrophic events of every kind.

I have problems with the whole 'carbon budget' thing, too. We don't really have any 'budget' left--we're way overdrawn.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 06:06:10 PM
Quote
I think on abrupt SLR risks Box, Alley and some others have spoken more forcefully than Hansen has (at least that I know of)

I'm not sure. Maybe Box, Alley and others speak with some more authority on the risks of abrupt SLR, as glaciologists, but my impression is Hansen has stressed those risks maybe more forcefully than any other scientist, even to the point where Alley sort of unjustly ridiculed him, as Hansen & Sato 2012 shows:
http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9783709109724-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1328875-p174243184 (http://www.springer.com/cda/content/document/cda_downloaddocument/9783709109724-c1.pdf?SGWID=0-0-45-1328875-p174243184)

They say:
"Alley (2010) reviewed projections of sea level rise by 2100, showing several clustered around 1 m and one outlier at 5 m, all of these approximated as linear in his graph. The 5-m estimate is what Hansen (2007) suggested was possible under IPCC’s BAU climate forcing. Such a graph is comforting—not only does the 5-m sea level rise disagree with all other projections, but its half-meter sea level rise this decade is clearly preposterous. However, the fundamental issue is linearity vs. non- linearity. Hansen (2005, 2007) argues that amplifying feedbacks make ice sheet disintegration necessarily highly nonlinear and that IPCC’s BAU forcing is so huge that it is difficult to see how ice shelves would survive. As warming increases, the number of ice streams contributing to mass loss will increase, contributing to a nonlinear response that should be approximated better by an exponential than by a linear fit. Hansen (2007) suggested that a 10-year doubling time was plausible and pointed out that such a doubling time, from a 1-mm/year ice sheet contribution to sea level in the decade 2005–2015, would lead to a cumulative 5-m sea level rise by 2095."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 06:15:39 PM
Just to add: because of negative feedbacks, such as iceberg cooling of the ocean, and also possibly because of kinematic constraints, Hansen & Sato seem to regard about 2,5 meters by 2100 as the upper limit.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 07, 2014, 07:19:34 PM
I'm confused. Is the long quote by Alley? If so, the only thing he seems to ridicule is the notion that a .5 meter gain this decade is likely, which seems pretty reasonable.

What I've seen Alley talk about is the fact that we don't know whether water getting under WAIS will cause a rather sudden large SLR. He says it may be unlikely, but we need to plan for unlikely but possible catastrophic developments.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 08:14:39 PM
No, the quote is from Hansen & Sato 2012. I read it as saying that Alley did not take enough care to accurately present Hansen's conjecture of potentially exponentially growing SLR. That made Hansen's conjecture seem 'clearly preposterous', maybe unintentionally, but still.

And yes, Alley has done a good job of explaining the potential risk of abrupt SLR, up to the point where he seems to not completely exclude a risk of about 3m of SLR by 2100 by a collapse of WAIS.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on November 07, 2014, 08:20:25 PM
That should fuel (lot of carbon) your brains...?
New study questions the accuracy of satellite atmospheric temperature estimates
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/nov/07/new-study-disputes-satellite-temperature-estimates (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/nov/07/new-study-disputes-satellite-temperature-estimates)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 07, 2014, 08:24:15 PM
BTW, I suppose nobody here thinks Hansen et al are being either alarmist or overly conservative? Just checking.

Personally I think his science is good, but I'm not so sure about some of the language, which is of course a much more subjective issue.

In one spot he says that the impacts of climate change at 2 degrees are 'highly deletorious' and 'dangerous'.  Which I agree with.  Significant negative impacts.  And dangerous in the same sense that driving down the highway at well over the speed limit is dangerous - something really really bad might happen.  Then he says 2 degrees would be disastrous.  Disastrous to me is like driving down the highway at well over the speed limit and then crashing into the tree.  Disastrous to me is something really really bad will happen, and I'm firmly in the may happen camp for climate change.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 07, 2014, 10:24:07 PM
In their abstract Hansen et al say:
"2°C global warming, would spur “slow” feedbacks and eventual warming of 3–4°C with disastrous consequences"

In the discussion section of the article itself they say:
"Fossil fuel emissions of 1000 GtC, sometimes associated with a 2°C global warming target, would be expected to cause large climate change [of 3-4 degrees; my addition] with disastrous consequences. The eventual warming from 1000 GtC fossil fuel emissions likely would reach well over 2°C, for several reasons. With such emissions and temperature tendency, other trace greenhouse gases including methane and nitrous oxide would be expected to increase, adding to the effect of CO2. The global warming and shifting climate zones would make it less likely that a substantial increase in forest and soil carbon could be achieved. Paleoclimate data indicate that slow feedbacks would substantially amplify the 2°C global warming. It is clear that pushing global climate far outside the Holocene range is inherently dangerous and foolhardy."

In the main text in between they say:
"distinctions between pathways aimed at ~1°C and 2°C warming are much greater and more fundamental than the numbers 1°C and 2°C themselves might suggest. These fundamental distinctions make scenarios with 2°C or more global warming far more dangerous; so dangerous, we suggest, that aiming for the 2°C pathway would be foolhardy...
let us compare the 1°C (500 GtC fossil fuel emissions) and the 2°C (1000 GtC fossil fuel emissions) scenarios. Global temperature in 2100 would be close to 1°C in the 500 GtC scenario, and it is less than 1°C if 100 GtC uptake of carbon by the biosphere and soil is achieved via improved agricultural and forestry practices (Fig. 9). In contrast, the 1000 GtC scenario, although nominally designed to yield a fast-feedback climate response of ~ 2°C, would yield a larger eventual warming because of slow feedbacks, probably at least 3°C."

So 2 degrees would be disastrous because it would probably imply at least 3 degrees.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 07, 2014, 11:16:54 PM

So 2 degrees would be disastrous because it would probably imply at least 3 degrees.

3 or 4 as Hansen said.

However, the feedbacks associated with carbon cycle and slow response as well as albedo feedbacks in the arctic and Antarctica (later on) will also contribute in the higher end scenarios.  This is why six degrees of warming will lead to 12 degrees. 

Here is a writeup I did on the subject earlier.  I see this as the worst case scenario, however, In it I overestimated sea level rise due to expansion by about 20-40 meters (by 2300)

in my opinion, this is the kind of dialogue that we need to be engaged in.

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,77.msg35993.html#msg35993 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,77.msg35993.html#msg35993)

If you consider current collapse rates of the arctic sea ice and the Amazon basin, as well as mid to high level estimations of current radiative forcing of greenhouse gases (without aerosols included, knowing that they are temporarily cooling).  We are already well past 2C of warming by 2100.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 07, 2014, 11:59:36 PM
Just to add: because of negative feedbacks, such as iceberg cooling of the ocean, and also possibly because of kinematic constraints, Hansen & Sato seem to regard about 2,5 meters by 2100 as the upper limit.

How sure are we that the melting of an iceberg will be a net negative feedback? True, the melt of a 1 km³ iceberg would cool surrounding waters at first, but then it would allow for more solar warming of that ocean area, less albedo etc. Within a year it might be a net positive feedback, no?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 09:10:46 AM
On iceberg cooling Hansen & Sato say it is indeed temporary (p.41):

"Iceberg Cooling Effect
Exponential change cannot continue indefinitely. The negative feedback terminating exponential growth of ice loss is probably regional cooling due to the thermal and freshwater effects of melting icebergs. Temporary cooling [emphasis added] occurs as icebergs and cold fresh glacial meltwater are added to the Southern Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean.

As a concrete example, Fig. 9 shows the global temperature change in simulations with GISS modelE (Schmidt et al. 2006; Hansen et al. 2007c) with and without the melting iceberg effect. GHGs follow the A1B scenario, an intermediate business-as-usual scenario (IPCC 2001, 2007; see also Figs. 2 and 3 of Hansen et al. 2007b). Ice melt rate is such that it contributes 1 mm/year to sea level in 2010, increasing with a 10-year doubling time; this melt rate constitutes 0.034 Sv (1 Sverdrup ¼ 1 million m3/s) in 2065 and 0.1 Sv in 2080. Half of this meltwater is added in the North Atlantic and half in the Southern Ocean. By 2065, when the sea level rise (from ice melt) is 60 cm relative to 2010, the cold freshwater reduces global mean warming (relative to 1880) from 1.86C to 1.47C. By 2080, when sea level rise is 1.4 m, global warming is reduced from 2.19C to 0.89C.

These experiments are described in a paper in preparation, which includes other GHG scenarios, cases with ice melt in one hemisphere but not the other, and investigation of the individual effects of freshening and cooling by icebergs (the freshening is more responsible for the reduction of global warming).

Note that the magnitude of the regional cooling is comparable to that in “Heinrich” events in the paleoclimate record (Bond et al. 1992), these events involving massive iceberg discharge at a rate comparable to that in our simulations. Given that the possibility of sea level rise of the order of a meter is now widely accepted, it is important that simulations of climate for the twenty-first century and beyond include the iceberg cooling effect.

Detailed consideration of the climate effects of freshwater from ice sheet disintegration, which has a rich history (Broecker et al. 1990; Rahmstorf 1996; Manabe and Stouffer 1997), is beyond the scope of our present chapter. However, we note that the temporary reduction of global warming provided by icebergs is not likely to be a blessing. Stronger storms driven by increased latitudinal temperature gradients, combined with sea level rise, likely will produce global havoc.

It was the prospect of increased ferocity of continental-scale frontal storms, with hurricane-strength winds powered by the contrast between air masses cooled by ice melt and tropical air that is warmer and moister than today, which gave rise to the book title “Storms of My Grandchildren” (Hansen 2009)."

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 10:05:11 AM
Jai,
Do I understand correctly that you think 110m of SLR possible in the North Atlantic by 2300?

I'm wondering what that's based on.

The maximum possible global mean SLR would be 70-80m, with 5-10m thermal expansion included, as far as I know. Add maybe 20-25% in the North Atlantic for gravitational effects and circa 85-100m would be the maximum regionally.

But by 2300? I think even Jim Hansen would think more than 10m of SLR per century impossible to imagine. So about one millennium would be the minimum time required for the maximum possible SRL. Most experts would probably say it would take at least a few millennia. That may still be conservative, so an underestimate, but less than one millennium would seem hard to imagine, if only because it would take the ocean at least this long to reach thermal equilibrium.

Or am I missing something?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 01:07:09 PM
I think Kopp et al 2014 are doing a good job showing a full spectrum of estimated probabilities for future SLR up to 2200:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000239/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000239/full)

See their table 1 in particular, which shows 9.5m in 2200 as an upper limit with a chance of less than 0.1%. Extrapolating from 2200 it seems maybe 20m would be the upper limit for 2300. This could be about Jim Hansen's worst-case estimate as well.

Other papers don't estimate such small chances, but speak of 5% or 2.5% estimated worst-case probabilities,. For example, Jevrejeva et al 2014 and Rohling et al 2013 estimate 1.8m by 2100 as a worst-case risk with 5% and 2.5% chance respectively. Rohling et al estimate a 2.5% chance of about 9m by 2300. So maybe for Jevrejeva et al 9m by 2300 would have about a 5% chance?

Meehl et al 2012 estimated 9-10m by 2300 as a worst-case, without specifying any probability. In fact they said this is impossible:
"There is no real way of knowing if these higher total sea-level rise values are credible, or if higher or lower values are more likely.”

Horton et al 2014 asked a group of about 70-90 SLR-experts for their worst-case estimates for 2300:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379113004381 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379113004381)

About 5% of those responding (4 out 72) estimated a 5% chance of 9m or more by 2300, with 15m as the highest estimate. So for a 2.5% or 1% chance the highest individual expert-estimate may indeed be about 20m by 2300.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 01:56:53 PM
See this post and following ones for attached figures from the papers referred to above:
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39377.html#msg39377 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39377.html#msg39377)

My conclusion so far: there's maybe a chance of roughly 0.01% of 20m of SLR by 2300 under BAU.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 08, 2014, 06:38:50 PM
I try to calculate how many nuclear bombs per second is that 7.1 10y22 Joule.
Wikipedia says little boy was : 67 TJ   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy)
Per year : 7.1 10y22 / 35 = 2,028571429×10²¹ Joule
Per day : /360 = 5,634920635×10¹⁸ Joule
Per hour : /24 = 2,347883598×10¹⁷ Joule
Per secondes : /3600 = 6,521898883×10¹³ Joule
Per nuclear bombe : /67.10y12 = 0,973417744 Nuclear Bombs/seconde

That's not 4 nuclear bombs per seconds used on the Neven blog, skeptical and other... is there underestimation somewhere ?

Quote
the durack et.al estimates are from 1970 to 2004 (34 years)  and estimate an increase in OHC for the southern hemisphere of 2.2 to 7.1 * 10^22 joules

Laurent,

The additional heat accumulation found in Durack et. al. is on top of the 4 bombs per second estimation.  In addition, the extra heat accumulation was observed over a 34 year period, not a single year.

The amount of heat added to the earth's biosphere each second is measured on the TOA analysis.  My estimations of TOA show that before Durack et. al TOA was about .7 Watts per meter squared (according to Nuccitelli et. al. and Hansen & Soto (2010))  after Durack et. al, the total heat accumulation is between 10% and 30% higher so current TOA is increased accordingly.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Foi59.tinypic.com%2F2ykax6a.jpg&hash=30198716ac957d473a93b770ec4de4e8)

full image here:  http://oi58.tinypic.com/2ex60ip.jpg (http://oi58.tinypic.com/2ex60ip.jpg)


However, if my observations are correct and the cause of the increased heat accumulation in the southern oceans is due to underestimations of the current aerosol forcing, then this means that the amount of total forcing (less aerosol effects) is much higher.

At this point, it should be noted that the anthropogenic aerosols will eventually go away and when they do, even using the potentially underestimated values, the amount of total incoming radiation from climate forcing will DOUBLE in intensity. (from .7-.9 to 1.5-2.0) 

If there is a significant underestimation it could go even higher (1.8-2.6)

Please note Top of Atmosphere is different from total anthropogenic forcing (as shown in the graph) as TOA subtracts the value of energy being lost as longwave (heat) to space.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.realclimate.org%2Fimages%2Fipcc_rad_forc_ar5.jpg&hash=36d342d912cf3175a4eb46edf9925e24)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 08, 2014, 07:04:46 PM
Jai,
Do I understand correctly that you think 110m of SLR possible in the North Atlantic by 2300?

I'm wondering what that's based on.

The maximum possible global mean SLR would be 70-80m, with 5-10m thermal expansion included, as far as I know. Add maybe 20-25% in the North Atlantic for gravitational effects and circa 85-100m would be the maximum regionally.

But by 2300? I think even Jim Hansen would think more than 10m of SLR per century impossible to imagine. So about one millennium would be the minimum time required for the maximum possible SRL. Most experts would probably say it would take at least a few millennia. That may still be conservative, so an underestimate, but less than one millennium would seem hard to imagine, if only because it would take the ocean at least this long to reach thermal equilibrium.

Or am I missing something?

80 meters by ice melt  http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/ (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/)
30-40 meters by gravity effects (extrapolated from http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/24-2_tamisiea.html (http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/24-2_tamisiea.html))
20 meters by thermal expansion (an analog to the early cretaceous http://www.earth.ox.ac.uk/~tony/watts/for_studentship.jpg (http://www.earth.ox.ac.uk/~tony/watts/for_studentship.jpg)) This will continue to add to sea level rise until thermal equilibrium around 2600

=130- 140 meters total potential sea level rise (North America and Europe)  by 2300 under a runaway (but not venus effect) hothouse earth of +16C by 2200.  (note: I upped the estimate of thermal expansion again, I have not found a good estimate of this scenario anywhere but believe that the Cretaceous analog is good since it is globally averaged values and the gravitational effect in north America and Europe will compensate for not being at thermal equilibrium).

of course this is basically the total maximum potential, but assumes that temperatures stay well above freezing throughout the year at both poles and spike over 40C in summer.  Under this scenario, intensive hydrofracture due to Moulin coring and continuous internal heat deposition (over the complete ice sheet) http://scrippsscholars.ucsd.edu/hafricker/content/ice-shelf-disintegration-plate-bending-and-hydro-fracture-satellite-observations-and-model-r (http://scrippsscholars.ucsd.edu/hafricker/content/ice-shelf-disintegration-plate-bending-and-hydro-fracture-satellite-observations-and-model-r) as well as sea level rise effects (shear crevasse formation and complete loss of buttressing by 2200 leading to cliff face effects after that)

Other factors included in this scenario but not in the Hansen scenario are contributions to forcing from hydrogen sulfide, clathrate release (resulting in increased tropospheric ozone and significantly longer CH4 residency times), increased carbon cycle effects and the complete halt of the Thermohaline, leading to significantly increased rates of ocean heat accumulation.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 08:47:41 PM
Jai,
IPCC 2013 only gives 66m of SLR if all land ice melted. See table 4.1:
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter04_FINAL.pdf (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter04_FINAL.pdf)

The maximum gravity effect factor for the North Atlantic would be 1.4, so indeed more than the average 20-25% I assumed. Even with your 80m global mean SLR this would add about 30m at the most, not 40m. So 110m in total.

With IPCC's 66m it would add some 26m maximally. So that would make 92m.

Thermal expansion in RCP8.5 would be at most 65cm per century, I assume based on table 1 in Kopp et al 2014. So let's say 6m in a millennium.

In total that would be 72m globally and at most 98m in the North Atlantic.

I assumed RCP8.5 as representing BAU, with maybe 12 degrees C of global warming by 2300 and 10m of total global mean SLR.

But you assume 16 degrees C global warming by 2200. What radiative forcing would that be? And what rate of thermal expansion per century would that imply?

Let's assume about 1m per century, so about 3m by 2300. And maybe 6m by 2600. Your 20m thermal expansion by 2300 or 2600 seems hard to imagine.

But the main question still is: even with 16 degrees of warming by 2200, how would that melt all the ice by 2300? Or would that be the needed warming for the 20m of SLR by 2300 that has a roughly estimated likelihood of 0.01% (based on the references above, and assuming iceberg cooling and kinematic constraints would allow this)?

And how likely is 16 degrees by 2200? Would that also be a 0.01% chance, or more, or less?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 08, 2014, 09:46:58 PM
Lennart

The answers to your questions are within my post(s)
here: https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39676.html#msg39676 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39676.html#msg39676)
and here: http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,77.msg35993.html#msg35993 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,77.msg35993.html#msg35993)

here is the summary

Quote
But you assume 16 degrees C global warming by 2200. What radiative forcing would that be? And what rate of thermal expansion per century would that imply?

Hydrogen sulfide, increased carbon cycle feedbacks, increased tropospheric ozone, clathrate disassociation.   Primary thermal expansion would be significantly higher than IPCC report due to halting of the Thermohaline and hothouse conditions at the poles, leading to (significantly) increased rates of ocean heat accumulation (doubling or even tripling).

Quote
even with 16 degrees of warming by 2200, how would that melt all the ice by 2300?

non-linear polar region temperature rise to hothouse effects, massive hydraulic fracturing of ice shelf and cliff effects created after SLR increases sheer fracture and subsequent collapse of low-lying valley formations.  Ice shelf basal lubrication from continuous Moulin, high altitude rains over ice sheets, beginning to melt from the top down.  rapid ice sheet collapse due to lubrication, sheer/fracture, complete loss of buttress and rapid year-round sublimation.

-there is, obviously, no analog to this scenario within the paleoclimate record.



Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 10:29:24 PM
Let's have a little closer look at Rohling et al 2013:
http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131212/srep03461/full/srep03461.html (http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131212/srep03461/full/srep03461.html)

How conservative is this analysis?

They assume a maximum rate of SLR of 4-5m per century, based on Meltwater Pulse 1A in the geological past. This was during the last deglaciation when there was about/almost 3 times as much ice on the planet as now and during earlier interglacials.

During those earlier interglacials maximum rates of SLR were maybe 1-2m per century as far as scientists can tell.

However, today's antropogenic climate forcing is maybe 10-100 times stronger than the natural forcings during the geological past. So could the rate of SLR become 10-100 times faster than the maximum rates estimated for past interglacials? Or would negative feedbacks and kinematic constraints impose a sort of maximum speed limit for melting ice and SLR?

As Hansen & Sato 2012 and Pfeffer et al 2008 suggest it seems reasonable to assume some such speed limit. So the question then is how likely is it to be more than the 4-5m per century that Rohling et al estimate to have about a 2.5% chance of occuring based on the geological past?

Personally, I don't see an immediate reason why say 7-10m per century would be impossible under a forcing 10-100 times stronger than ever before. For more than 10m per century the negative feedbacks and kinematic constraints may indeed be limiting factors. So maybe 10m per century would be a plausible speed limit?

Kopp et al 2014 also don't seem to exclude this possibility, but the likelihood they estimate as less than 0.1% (extrapolated from 2200 to 2300). Maybe this is comparable to Rohling et al?

Or maybe Rohling et al would give a somewhat higher chance for 10m per century, say 0.5%, since they estimate a 2.5% chance of 1.8m by 2100, whereas Kopp et al estimate about a 0.5% chance for such a SLR by 2100.

Jevrejeva et al 2014 even estimate a 5% chance of 1.8m by 2100 under BAU. So maybe the chance of 10m per century is more like 1%? Or would this still be too conservative?

If about 5 degrees of warming during the last deglaciation caused about 100m of SLR in about 10.000 years, then 5 degrees of warming now could probably cause at least 50m of SLR in the long run. But how long would this take?

Less than 10.000 years seems reasonable. But how much less? Would 5000 years be possible? That would imply an average SLR of 1m per century. So 5000 years seems quite conservative, since 1m per century was possible in the past under much smaller forcings than now.

So would 50m in a millennium be possible? That would imply about 6m per century from 2400 on. Maybe not impossible, although a question would be if that speed could be sustained for six centuries.

Or maybe a SLR of up to 10m per century would be possible for a few centuries and then the rate would slow down to say a few meters per century, comparable to the speed up and slow down during and after Meltwater Pulse 1A.

So if I stretch my layman's imagination to its current limits, I see 20m by 2300 and 40m by 2500 as the maximum possible SLR, and maybe 60-70m as the maximum by 3000.

Or if this would not be possible after all, then maybe 10m by 2300 and 20m by 2500, and maybe 30-35m by 3000?

In the past about 1m per century was a consequence of a temperature rise of about 0.05 degrees per century. If we now get several degrees of warming per century, could we eventually get a SLR of up to 10m per century, or even more? If not, why not?

And if so, why is the threat of this risk not being widely discussed? Is it because scientists are being conservative? Or is it because this is politically inconvenient to discuss?

Or is it because it is not physically possible after all? If so, can someone explain why not?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 10:48:58 PM
Jai,
Ok, in your carbon cycle post your say:
Quote
We are going to force this earth to endure a 5-7C rise by 2100. This warming, on par with the warming that occurred from the depths of the last ice age to today, will create massive natural feedback mechanisms. This will be a fundamental transformation of the surface of the earth, on par with the transformation that occurred at the end of the last ice age, in the space of 100 years.

Yes, 5-7 degrees warming by 2100 seems quite possible. And yes, this would create massive natural feedbacks. But would these feedbacks be strong enough to cause another 10 degrees warming by 2200?

Or would we reach this 16 degrees total warming somewhat later, say around 2500? So 6 degrees by 2100, 10 degrees by 2200, 12 degrees by 2300, 14 degrees by 2400 and 16 degrees by 2500?

Or maybe later still, say at the end of this millennium.

I'm not saying your scenario is definitely impossible. I'm just wondering how physically plausible it is and how strong those natural feedbacks can be.

If you have references to scientific estimates (no doubt conservative ones), then that could be helpful.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 08, 2014, 10:53:48 PM
For example, I think IPCC estimates a maximum 250 GtC from permafrost melting by 2100, so how much extra warming would that cause? And how conservative do you consider this 250 GtC to be?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 08, 2014, 11:09:38 PM
"Or is it because it is not physically possible after all?"

I think if one does the coupled ice sheet/ice shelf/ocean/atmosphere models, the main difficulty is in getting enuf heat into the ice massifs to exceed 1-2m/century. I seem to recall some work estimating about a 1gigawatt/Km of coastline ocean heat influx flux into antarctica, and Box has excellent numbers on the number of extra joules going into GIS thru the albedo drop in recent years. His name is on some papers about GIS evolution in 21st century using MAR or RACMO2 for the atmosphere and I forget the ice model.

One may of course argue that the models are inadequate, but since they can reproduce (Gregoire, doi:10.1038/nature11257) MWP1A, one then has to come up with a better model. Which Hansen doesnt do, his (in the Russell model) ice sheet is not sophisticated,  he superposes supposed melt and then runs the global ocean/atmos model on top of that. But he should. If he don't someone else will, I await the results.

Right now the action is in regional atmos/ocean models coupled to a dynamic icesheet, but i dont think (corrections welcome) that anyone has done a global ocean/atmos model with reasonable complete dynamics (i include hydrology here) for  both GIS and AIS.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 08, 2014, 11:37:00 PM
To follow up, two brief comments:

1)  I believe Hansen's melt cooling effect is already seen in southern sea ice expansion
2) the point above reflects the subtleties in coupled heat and mass transport. one sees that the heat to melt grounded antarctic ice may, in some measure, be supplied from regions much further north than the original grounded ice regions themselves. Russell's model as used by Hansen, is i believe capable of doing this correctly if only (i keep saying, plaintively) it had realistic ice.  I suppose i should quit whining since i am not prepared to take a couple years off and do it myself.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 09, 2014, 12:42:05 AM
sidd,
Hansen used Russel's model to analyse sea level fluctuations over tens of millions of years and produced some better results for interglacials and the Pliocene than alternative models by De Boer et al. He suspects current ice sheet models to have too much hysteresis for climates warmer than now.

I'm not sure, but maybe an example of such a model is Goelzer et al 2012:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/045401/article (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/045401/article)

Their main result is about 7m of SLR after one millennium under BAU. But they seem to use pretty conservative assumptions, such as a low model climate sensitivity. In an alternative analysis with somewhat less conservative assumptions, such as a climate sensitivy of 4 degrees C, they seem to find a potential SLR of about 26m by the year 3000. See in particular their figure 7:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/045401/downloadFigure/figure/erl440214fig7 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/045401/downloadFigure/figure/erl440214fig7)

The models may indeed have problems getting the heat to the ice and/or the ice to the heat. They may already be good enough for the longer paleo-timescales, but it would be understandable if they're not up to date with the current unprecedented climate forcing yet. And if all or many other climate models are also too conservative still, then current process based model results for future SLR may very well be underestimates, right?

Maybe the semi-empirical models are more accurate in their projections, such as Meehl et al 2012, even if they lack the underlying physical processes. Or maybe they could also still be under-estimates?

As Meehl et al said: we may simply don't know. So that implies more risk rather then less, it seems.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 09, 2014, 12:54:38 AM
As Jai pointed out above, IPCC may also be conservative on carbon cycle feedbacks:
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter06_FINAL.pdf (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter06_FINAL.pdf)

For example, they give 250 GtC by 2100 as a maximum (95% likelihood?) for carbon feedback from permafrost, but do mention that McDougal et al found a potential feedback of up to 500 GtC by 2100. Maybe McDougal et al are wrong, but what if they're right?

And they also seem not entirely clear on the methane feedback either, as they mention a potential extra 100 GtC feedback from methane, so 350 GtC in total, but the 250 GtC gets more emphasis than the 350 number. Or do I misunderstand?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 09, 2014, 02:06:38 AM
Lennart,

you can download the different RCP scenarios' abundance, emissions and forcing data here:  http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~mmalte/rcps/index.htm#Download (http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~mmalte/rcps/index.htm#Download)

when you do you will see that they do not include  permafrost, clathrates or albedo changes after 2100, however, they do show c02 continuing to increase until 2160 so that is probably their carbon cycle estimate.   However, they do not include the loss of the amazon, boreal forest, boreal peat and Indonesian forest/peat.  Their carbon cycle feedback under this scenario is grossly underestimated.  There is currently 2,000 PG of carbon in permafrost and boreal peat alone.  Under this scenario, all of it is released to the atmosphere.

I should state here that this worst case scenario is predicated on an ECS of 4.5 or higher.  I believe that this is what we will find to be the reality of our very dire situation as we have already well exceeded the 2C threshold under PPMV of 400 co2.

under the scenario that I pose, a runaway effect leads to a hothouse climate and a total cessation of the thermohaline current.  This will cause significantly increased temperature/depth profile gradients (in the northern latitudes and a smaller gradient in the tropics).  This will lead to a significant shift of heat deposition away from the  oceans and into the land/atmosphere at the tropics but lead to much greater OHC accumulation in higher latitudes.

The mechanics of ice sheet loss have been explained previously.  The ice sheet loss dynamics are not a function of radiative forcing under the RCP 8.5 scenario but rather are induced by significantly higher forcing coupled with precipitation and convection regime changes.   I think that the best analog to this kind of environment is the Larson B shelf disintegration due to melt pond formation and vertical shear stress.

you know, the original concept of shelf collapse.  This will occur on a level that is not analogous to any paleoclimate scenario that we have access to, and it is not modeled that I have found.

basically, take this run, add methane clathrates, reduce thermohaline cooling mechanisms.  massively increase co2 from multiple peat and forest zones that will be lost, decrease albedo in Antarctica to .3 and the arctic to .1 as well as significant volumes of hydrogen sulfide which has very high far infrared absorption spectrum http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C7783064&Mask=80#IR-Spec (http://webbook.nist.gov/cgi/cbook.cgi?ID=C7783064&Mask=80#IR-Spec)  and we get what I am talking about.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.easterbrook.ca%2Fsteve%2Fwp-content%2FIPCC-AR5-Fig-12.5.png&hash=1800a9ba66eefa22d0dd1120e473d255)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 09, 2014, 06:52:06 AM
As Jai pointed out above, IPCC may also be conservative on carbon cycle feedbacks:
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter06_FINAL.pdf (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter06_FINAL.pdf)

For example, they give 250 GtC by 2100 as a maximum (95% likelihood?) for carbon feedback from permafrost, but do mention that McDougal et al found a potential feedback of up to 500 GtC by 2100. Maybe McDougal et al are wrong, but what if they're right?

And they also seem not entirely clear on the methane feedback either, as they mention a potential extra 100 GtC feedback from methane, so 350 GtC in total, but the 250 GtC gets more emphasis than the 350 number. Or do I misunderstand?

you didn't read the following sentence. . .

Quote
The CMIP5 Earth System Models did not include
frozen carbon feedbacks.

in other words they are saying, "yes, we have 90% probability in our current consensus understanding that the carbon from frozen sources will be 50-250PG by 2100, but we are not including that in our models.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 09, 2014, 12:58:29 PM
Quote
they are saying, "yes, we have 90% probability in our current consensus understanding that the carbon from frozen sources will be 50-250PG by 2100, but we are not including that in our models

Yes, I thought that much was clear. But how about the estimated potential 5 GtC methane feedback, that could add another 100 GtC CO2e by 2100, beyond the 50-250 GtC mentioned above?

Quote
this worst case scenario is predicated on an ECS of 4.5 or higher

Ok, so are there any studies/models that show what could happen with an ECS of 4.5 or higher?

You refer to the PIK-site and essentially Meinshauen et al 2011:
http://edoc.gfz-potsdam.de/pik/get/5095/0/0ce498a63b150282a29b729de9615698/5095.pdf (http://edoc.gfz-potsdam.de/pik/get/5095/0/0ce498a63b150282a29b729de9615698/5095.pdf)

Their figure 6 shows 8 degrees C by 2300 as their best estimate for RCP.8.5 with ECS 3 degrees.

But the range with other models included is much wider. I'm wondering if that range includes models with ECS of 4.5 or higher. And it's not clear to me how high their range reaches for 2200 and 2300. Is that the same as the figure you showed above, with about 10 degrees max in 2200, and a little over 12 degrees max by 2300? Or is this range only with ECS of 3 degrees?

Also they don't seem to talk specifically about permafrost feedbacks, but following IPCC they seem to be excluded. So how do we know what inclusion of the missing feedbacks you mention would mean for potential warming by 2200 and 2300?

You seem to assume it would or could cause 16 degrees warming by 2200, but is that a guess or based on some other studies not referred to yet? Or have I missed it being mentioned in earlier references?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 09, 2014, 01:16:24 PM
Just back from a week away and enlightened but depressed by this thread.

Challenging the BBC

I'm making slow progress on classifying climate scientists to check the view that the BBC are avoiding the serious debate between “activist” scientists and  “official” ones but I've attended a couple of meetings this week where the “remaining carbon budget” was addressed.

The remaining carbon budget was taken to be the greenhouse gasses (or just CO2?) that can be emitted before we hit the 2 deg C “dangerous level” of global warming. 

The first meeting was the UK All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group which included speakers from UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (http://uksif.org (http://uksif.org)) who were addressing the dangers to economic stability if the corporations holding carbon assets cannot realise them because of restrictions on carbon emissions. None of the panellists challenged my assertion that these budgets were calculated using underpowered climate models so were too generous.

The second meeting included a speech from an MEP that Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, had appeared before the European Parliament and said that we had used 65% of the allowable carbon budget.

I think the carbon budget idea far too simplistic – there are feedback effects not accounted for in  the budget - and does a 2 deg C over pre-industrial keep below a dangerous climate change threshold?  But carbon budget is a popular concept because it is easy for policy makers to use in the context of energy use for things like heat, power and transportation.

It has occurred to me that this idea would be a useful parameter in classifying opinions among climate scientists and climate commentators.  i.e. Ask them “What is the size of the carbon budget that can be omitted before triggering dangerous climate change?”

Should I try to contact relevant scientists and commentators to help create a league table with the initial aim of challenging the BBC's coverage? My crudely guessed league table is below with the mentions of the candidates that have appeared on the BBC website in the past year. I do admit the counting needs much more sophistication. Advice/help very much appreciated - even "don't bother" advice.

The classifications below are my guesses. This is the state-of-play so far. I set the Google searches to be for the past year only.

Climate scientists and climate commentator searches.

Activist 3 results

"Michael Mann" climate site:bbc.co.uk 2
"Kevin Anderson" climate site:bbc.co.uk 0
"James Hansen" climate site:bbc.co.uk 1
"Robert Watson" climate site:bbc.co.uk 0
"Peter Wadhams" climate site:bbc.co.uk 0
“Jason Box” climate site:bbc.co.uk 0
“Bill McKibben” climate site:bbc.co.uk 0
“Stefan Rahmstorf” climate site:bbc.co.uk 0
“Andrew MacDougall ” climate site:bbc.co.uk 0

Concerned 15 results

"Peter Cox" climate site:bbc.co.uk 2
"Jim Skea" climate site:bbc.co.uk 7
"David Mackay" climate site:bbc.co.uk 1
"Corinne Le Quere" climate site:bbc.co.uk 2
"Mike Lockwood" climate site:bbc.co.uk 3

Official 71 results

"Lord Stern" climate site:bbc.co.uk 13
"Julia Slingo" climate site:bbc.co.uk 10
"Myles Allen" climate site:bbc.co.uk 9
"Brian Hoskins" climate site:bbc.co.uk 8
"Mark Walpert" climate site:bbc.co.uk 9
"Rajendra Pasharui" climate site:bbc.co.uk 22

Skeptic 5 results

"Richard Tol" climate site:bbc.co.uk 2
"Piers Forster" climate site:bbc.co.uk 4
"Richard Lindzen" climate site:bbc.co.uk 1

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 09, 2014, 03:15:32 PM
It has occurred to me that this idea would be a useful parameter in classifying opinions among climate scientists and climate commentators.  i.e. Ask them “What is the size of the carbon budget that can be omitted before triggering dangerous climate change?”

Do you think you would get different answers to AR5 high confidence answers:

Quote
Mitigation scenarios in which it is likely that the temperature change caused by anthropogenic GHG emissions can be kept to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels are characterized by atmospheric concentrations in 2100 of about 450 ppm CO2eq (high confidence). Mitigation scenarios reaching concentration levels of about 500 ppm CO2eq by 2100 are more likely than not to limit temperature change to less than 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels, unless they temporarily ‘overshoot’ concentration levels of roughly 530 ppm CO2eq before 2100, in which case they are about as likely as not to achieve that goal.15 Scenarios that reach 530 to 650 ppm CO2eq concentrations by 2100 are more unlikely than likely to keep temperature change below 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. Scenarios that exceed about 650 ppm CO2eq by 2100 are unlikely to limit temperature change to below 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels. Mitigation scenarios in which temperature increase is more likely than not to be less than 1.5 °C relative to pre-industrial levels by 2100 are characterized by concentrations in 2100 of below 430 ppm CO2eq. Temperature
peaks during the century and then declines in these scenarios. Probability statements regarding other levels of temperature change can be made with reference to Table SPM.1. [6.3, Box TS.6]
14
from WG III SPM
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 09, 2014, 03:33:32 PM
Crandles

Quote
The IPCC estimates that with cumulative emissions of 1000 GtC, there is a two-thirds chance of staying below 2°C relative to pre-industrial.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013)

Do acknowledge that the CMIP5 models used for AR5 were underpowered because of missing feedbacks?

Is 2 deg C the threshold for "dangerous climate change"?

I know there are limitations to "remaining carbon budget" but that's easier for policy makers than "ppm"s. Is it possible to translate?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 09, 2014, 04:47:56 PM
Crandles

Quote
The IPCC estimates that with cumulative emissions of 1000 GtC, there is a two-thirds chance of staying below 2°C relative to pre-industrial.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013)

Do acknowledge that the CMIP5 models used for AR5 were underpowered because of missing feedbacks?

Is 2 deg C the threshold for "dangerous climate change"?

I know there are limitations to "remaining carbon budget" but that's easier for policy makers than "ppm"s. Is it possible to translate?

Very well put.

When you look at the data and Climate Science as we understand it now, then its clear that the IPCC is essentially selling away our future. The carbon budget is understood by our politicians as an opportunity, a commodity with value they intend to profit from. Who in their right mind approved a budget with only a 66% success chance (not to mention all the other underestimations, omissions, dismissals, and even political meddling)?

Yes, there are many scientists speaking out, some mentioned here, others we may never know their name. But I see that the institutional powers of mainstream Science seem to be dominated by Conservatives, whose ideology essentially prevents them from making a good macro assessment of out situation.

I also reject the notion that not being a Conservative means one is an alarmist, as even James Hansen was calls for many years. Scientists need to be realists, devoid of fantastical ideas like Objectivism and Individualism. Conservatism is the search a for moral justification for selfishness.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 09, 2014, 06:17:25 PM
Crandles

Quote
The IPCC estimates that with cumulative emissions of 1000 GtC, there is a two-thirds chance of staying below 2°C relative to pre-industrial.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013)

Do acknowledge that the CMIP5 models used for AR5 were underpowered because of missing feedbacks?

Is 2 deg C the threshold for "dangerous climate change"?

I know there are limitations to "remaining carbon budget" but that's easier for policy makers than "ppm"s. Is it possible to translate?

My understanding is that the CMIP5 models have prescribed GHG levels rather than emissions and a carbon cycle. Now you can take this to mean that carbon cycle feedbacks are not included or, possibly more appropriately, say that the carbon cycle feedbacks reduce the levels of emissions (and sequestrations) needed to reach the ghg levels set for

Do acknowledge that the CMIP5 models used for AR5 were underpowered because of missing feedbacks?

Is 2 deg C the threshold for "dangerous climate change"?

I know there are limitations to "remaining carbon budget" but that's easier for policy makers than "ppm"s. Is it possible to translate?

My understanding is that the models have prescribed GHG levels and not emissions levels and a carbon cycle. Now you can claim this means that carbon cycle feedbacks are not included. I prefer the alternative of saying the cc feedbacks reduce the level of emissions that will reach the ghg levels set for the models.

Much model development is going into adding a carbon cycle into the models. Maybe AR6 will change this approach?

2C seems to be the threshold for "dangerous climate change" that politicians seem to use. Perhaps climatologists answers might be different.

translate? translate what to what?

from politicians 'dangerous' to climatologists 'dangerous' might be difficult but might in some way be possible with a survey of climatologists views of what is dangerous.

from dangerous climate change to carbon budget remaining or 2C above pre-industrial to carbon budget remaining?

Well it would be an estimated remaining carbon budget that came out in either case.
 
I see the big unknown being the amount of sequestration we can do rather than problems in the translation causing too much difficulty.

.

Quote
When you look at the data and Climate Science as we understand it now, then its clear that the IPCC is essentially selling away our future. Do understand, the carbon budget is understood by our politicians as a commodity with value they intend to profit from. Who in their right mind approved a budget with only a 66% success chance (not to mention all the other underestimation issues)?

IPCC does not decide policy, so how can it 'sell away our future'? Surely it is the politicians that do decide on policy that are failing to act sufficiently given the clear warnings from the IPCC.


To me there does seem a stark difference between a remaining carbon budget of about 11 years of current activity to get to 500ppm CO2eq (maybe a little more if you allow temporary overshoot to 530 ppm CO2eq) and recent headlines saying fossil fuels must be phased out by 2100. So perhaps my simple translation into remaining carbon budget is not the norm?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 09, 2014, 06:27:05 PM
590 to 790 GtC would be about 20 years activity at current levels to get to 'likely' remain below 2C. Perhaps the current level of 478ppm CO2eq level I used to get ~11 years to 'more likely than not' level wasn't correct.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 09, 2014, 07:31:19 PM
Quote
When you look at the data and Climate Science as we understand it now, then its clear that the IPCC is essentially selling away our future. Do understand, the carbon budget is understood by our politicians as a commodity with value they intend to profit from. Who in their right mind approved a budget with only a 66% success chance (not to mention all the other underestimation issues)?

IPCC does not decide policy, so how can it 'sell away our future'? Surely it is the politicians that do decide on policy that are failing to act sufficiently given the clear warnings from the IPCC.


You misunderstand. To us the budget is a countdown to catastrophe. But the whole notion of a "budget" to politicians means something meant to be spent, an opportunity to profit. So the IPCC since it's very inception has been used as a tool to twist the science, and delay action. Heck, many IPCC meetings even helped sell tons of fossil fuels. Along with all other mentioned issues in this thread, this essentially guarantees we will overshoot targets.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 09, 2014, 09:23:05 PM
Crandles

Quote
Now you can claim this means that carbon cycle feedbacks are not included.
So did the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in January this year. (Risks from Climate Feedbacks - POST Note 454)
Quote
Compared to existing model estimates, it is likely that climate feedbacks will result in additional carbon in the atmosphere and additional warming. This is because the majority of poorly represented climate feedbacks are likely to be amplifying feedbacks. This additional atmospheric carbon from climate feedbacks could make it more difficult to avoid a greater than 2˚C rise in global temperatures without additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The strength of many amplifying feedbacks is likely to increase with warming, which could increase the risk of the climate changing state (Box 3). Some commentators suggest the uncertainties in our knowledge of carbon cycle and physical feedbacks may mean the Earth will warm faster than models currently estimate.
http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/POST-PN-454.pdf (http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/POST-PN-454.pdf)

Crandles
Quote
I prefer the alternative of saying the cc feedbacks reduce the level of emissions that will reach the ghg levels set for the models.
If you mean the level of allowable anthropogenic emissions is reduced, that's OK. I'd call "allowable anthropogenic emissions" the carbon budget. So including feedbacks will reduce "the carbon budget".

TeaPotty
I think I agree but more is necessary to address the BBC question.  But is my approach likely to help?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 09, 2014, 09:34:00 PM
No, I don't think it will help. What values are used to decide what emissions level is acceptable anyway? Some area of the world will fry at 2C, and we even know some feedbacks begin at 1.5C.

Again, it's a politically convenient way to twist the Science so we can continue the status-quo.

It's like using Mercury toxicity levels research to determine  that food companies are allowed to sell food with just enough Mercury not to kill them. This is not rational thought.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 09, 2014, 10:18:34 PM

Yes, 5-7 degrees warming by 2100 seems quite possible. And yes, this would create massive natural feedbacks. But would these feedbacks be strong enough to cause another 10 degrees warming by 2200?

5-7 degrees of warming by 2100 would require massive natural feedbacks to have already occurred.  Two doublings of co2 is RCP8.5 and is about 2 degrees of warming due to direct co2 radiative effect.  Then add another 4 degrees of warming due to feedbacks for water vapour, cloud changes and albedo effects and you get the mid range for IPCC equilibrium climate sensitivity(a significant amount of which is still slower than a century, so just over 5 degrees is the maximum amount of warming that IPCC models predict.  Add another degree for a wost case methane feedback and then take away whatever amount of methane feedback is effectively included in the RCP8.5 concentration projections).  Feedbacks to take warming beyond this point are slow feedbacks that take centuries to have an impact and climate modelling in the IPCC beyond 2100 shows warming rates slowing down significantly.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 09, 2014, 10:40:30 PM
The conservatism in science actually cut both ways.  This conservatism is really a healthy skepticism and resistance to new ideas.  Someone comes up with a clever new idea and publishes a nice paper and the scientific consensus says 'do I really have to believe that?'.  So Arrhenius and some others publish papers on Co2 warming more than 50-100 years ago and the consensus says 'what about saturation effects, what about the ocean being easily big enough to absorb basically all human emissions?'.  So many decades pass and this issue is worked out and finally in the late 20th century the consensus says 'ok I believe you Co2 does cause warming'.

An idea that at least one serious climate scientist has promoted is that the large number of papers measuring climate sensitivity can be used in a statistical analysis to narrow the measurement of climate sensitivity.  This is a valid idea to the extent that errors and uncertainties in the different papers are independent of each other, and problematic to the extent that errors and uncertainties are repeated from one paper to the next.  This idea has been used to significantly narrow the range of uncertainty around the central 3 degree estimate, which if valid would significantly reduce the possibility of upper range climate impacts.  However the IPCC being conservative have decided not to take this idea into account.  In this I support IPCC, as although I cannot find anything wrong with the Anan et al analysis, I'd rather err on the side of caution and not reduce the size of the climate sensitivity uncertainty window until we are absolutely sure.

James Empty Blog (http://julesandjames.blogspot.jp/2006/03/climate-sensitivity-is-3c.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 09, 2014, 11:40:44 PM
For RCP 8.5 there are two scenarios that lead to the temperature regimes that I am talking about, they are called pattern 41 and pattern 42 95.000 (I assume this is 95th percentile).

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Foi62.tinypic.com%2F2qbxe1f.jpg&hash=1e94cf59395521ce42237d2b03a32f47)

my understanding is that the multi model means will necessarily reduce the associated uncertainties to the average.  Therefore, the high end estimates of 2200 and 2300 temperatures in the graphic I posted previously rely solely on higher ECS values (4.5 max)

However, if my understanding of Durack et. al. implications for higher end uncertainty values for both GHG and Aerosol forcing are correct then the ECS is well above 4.5 and closer to 5.5.

I am looking for the parameters for pattern 41 and pattern 42 95th percentile but have not found them as a comparison with the scenario that I am sharing above.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 09, 2014, 11:56:09 PM
TeaPotty

Quote
No, I don't think it will help.
My aim was to show that the BBC has been pitting official scientists against climate skeptics rather than putting them up against those that think climate change is worse than the official line.

Is my judgment on this wong?

If true, is it counter productive to show it?

Is there a better way?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 10, 2014, 12:30:46 AM
Sorry Geoff, not sure I understand your point. Obviously this fake debate between Climate Change "believers" and cultural skeptics is dangerous theater. If your asking whether a debate between scientists about Climate Change's severity would be helpful to informing the public... I don't know.

We are all a part of this society today which runs its whole economy on anti-Science ideologies and ideas such as "endless growth" Capitalism. I think real change can only come from below, and right now I am inclined to believe that the only good potential motivator remaining is the collapse of this system. What other way to change the public's  skepticism/apathy/ignorance on sustainability/Anthropocene/Climate than the loss of what they value, their superstitious identities disconnected from their dependency on Nature. History shows this to be true as well.

Its not that I think this is desirable. Really what we lack is motivation. The question we need to answer to move forward is not "How?", but "What is our objective?". Conservatives mostly just want to "go to heaven", and believe God is the prime director, and not that we shape our own world. They certainly see themselves above nature that we experience in the corporeal world. Where to begin the discussion with people who are not headed in your direction (at least they believe they are not)?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 10, 2014, 01:40:20 AM
If my understanding of Durack et. al is correct and the large uncertainty of Aerosol forcing cloud effects are severely underestimated (negative), then this cloud cover effect from persistent contrail induced cirrus will be a likely contributor to the southern hemisphere energy gains.

If this is true then the forcing component of GHG (less aerosols) is much larger and ECS is 10-30% higher.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Foi62.tinypic.com%2Felb7t5.jpg&hash=d6112acc5248c745a3ee1045f59dfa74)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 10, 2014, 02:02:35 AM

My aim was to show that the BBC has been pitting official scientists against climate skeptics rather than putting them up against those that think climate change is worse than the official line.

Is my judgment on this wong?

If true, is it counter productive to show it?

Is there a better way?

Sounds like it should be useful to show it.

http://isthishowyoufeel.weebly.com/this-is-how-scientists-feel.html#pramod (http://isthishowyoufeel.weebly.com/this-is-how-scientists-feel.html#pramod)

seems to come up with similar feelings
often a mixture of feelings like
Hope, Despair, Frustration, Anger, Concern, Bemusement, Disgust

If these views are typical then perhaps the BBC ought to be pitching debate between mainstream views and those who feel it will be worse.

But does it become debate between those willing to talk about speculation of highly unlikely outcomes and mainstream opinion just dismissing these as very unlikely possibilities. Does this make interesting television? Also, does the dismissal of unlikely possibilities simply reassure people that climate change won't be too bad?


Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 10, 2014, 02:38:25 AM
If ANY significant body of respected scientists thought that there was ANY likelihood that a comet or meteor was soon going to hit the planet and wipe out most complex life, you better be damn well sure it would make some pretty f'n good TV!

Why should it be any less so if annihilation may be looming because of climate change rather than from extraterrestrial bolides??
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 10, 2014, 02:51:51 AM
As hai's graph above shows, we are well on our way to barbequing our progeny.

GB, your instincts are right. Go with them. They are giving me ideas about how to reconfigure my course for the spring. Best of luck to you.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 10, 2014, 09:12:44 AM
wili
   thanks

crandles
   Reading between your lines, I guess you think that the IPCC AR5 projections are the best possible so any other view is an "unlikely possibility". Is that correct?

Do you agree with the UK Met Office summary?
Quote
Cumulative emissions from pre-industrial (1750-2012) have reached 590 ±75 GtC. This is an update to the IPCC 1750-2011 estimate of 555 [470 - 640] GtC as 2012 emissions are included and an upwards revision is made of early 20th century land use emissions (20 GtC). The IPCC estimates that with cumulative emissions of 1000 GtC, there is a two-thirds chance of staying below 2°C relative to pre-industrial. At current levels we are over half way towards this figure. If other non-CO2 gases are included the emissions budget reduces to 790 GtC.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013)

I don't think this is right and I am sceptical of their implication that 2 deg C is safe.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 10, 2014, 10:03:04 AM
If my understanding of Durack et. al is correct and the large uncertainty of Aerosol forcing cloud effects are severely underestimated (negative), then this cloud cover effect from persistent contrail induced cirrus will be a likely contributor to the southern hemisphere energy gains.

If this is true then the forcing component of GHG (less aerosols) is much larger and ECS is 10-30% higher.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Foi62.tinypic.com%2Felb7t5.jpg&hash=d6112acc5248c745a3ee1045f59dfa74)

If the warming impact of contrails is contributing to the increase in heating in the southern hemisphere, then that would imply ECS is lower.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 10, 2014, 10:39:48 AM
I hesitate to speak for him, but I assume that jai means that the contrail effect is to keep the Northern Hemisphere cooler than it would otherwise be. So they are artificially masking warming that would otherwise be happening. Hence the claim that ECS is higher than generally proposed.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 10, 2014, 01:41:35 PM
   Reading between your lines, I guess you think that the IPCC AR5 projections are the best possible so any other view is an "unlikely possibility". Is that correct?

Do you agree with the UK Met Office summary?
Quote
Cumulative emissions from pre-industrial (1750-2012) have reached 590 ±75 GtC. This is an update to the IPCC 1750-2011 estimate of 555 [470 - 640] GtC as 2012 emissions are included and an upwards revision is made of early 20th century land use emissions (20 GtC). The IPCC estimates that with cumulative emissions of 1000 GtC, there is a two-thirds chance of staying below 2°C relative to pre-industrial. At current levels we are over half way towards this figure. If other non-CO2 gases are included the emissions budget reduces to 790 GtC.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013 (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/gcb-2013)

I don't think this is right and I am sceptical of their implication that 2 deg C is safe.

I think there is some conservatism by scientists, but when AR5 is stated with 'high confidence' then you will only find a few suitably knowledgeable people who disagree.

I think it is quite a stretch to say this means AR5 projections are the best possible. There is always room for lots of improvement. Also there have been measurements, papers etc since AR5.

Generally I feel the scientists deserve a fair bit of respect. They know a lot more than me and I don't think they deserve a lot of the criticism they are getting from some around here. Of course others here may know enough to be in a position to criticise fairly.

>Do I agree?

Who am I argue? When AR5 is stated with high confidence, I trust that view. The quote seems an update since AR5 so obviously AR5 is out of date and we are nearer to danger now as a result of the update.

The quote simply states the science of this carbon budget leads to warming of X. Therefore I don't need to consider what is dangerous to agree with this quote. I do have to have considered whether I trust the modelling process, and I do.

It is, I think, politicians that defined dangerous as meaning 2C above pre-industrial.

> sceptical of their implication that 2 deg C is safe.

I think I would also dispute the characterisation '2 deg C is safe'. To me, saying over 2C is dangerous can easily imply that under 0.5C is relatively safe and 0.5C to 2C is unclear but has increasing chance of being dangerous.

We have nowhere near the knowledge to say x.y is safe and the next number x.z is dangerous. For all I know, there could be a small chance that 3C is not dangerous or there could be a small chance that 0.3C above pre-industrial is dangerous or maybe both.


The politicians seem to have gone for using dangerous and over 2C interchangeably. What should be considered dangerous probably depends upon the position you are in. At some point doing anything other than the maximum possible becomes dangerous. That is a very late point of danger. Should dangerous be a moving target, starting well before that point and moving towards it as we get closer to danger?

Problem with a moving target might be that we are always 10 years away from burning the remainder of the carbon budget. To infer from that we can carry on burning carbon would be pretty silly but it would encourage a pov that these environmentalists are always crying wolf.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 10, 2014, 03:01:47 PM
Candles, you're not a very good apologist. It's nice that you have trust, but feelings wont change the conservatism of the IPCC, which is well established, with many scientists speaking up about it. Also, 2C is also not even a remotely safe target. And yes, it is IPCC scientists who agreed to it and continue to support it.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 10, 2014, 04:27:26 PM
http://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/uploads/2C_history.pdf (http://www.climateemergencyinstitute.com/uploads/2C_history.pdf)

Quote
An analysis of the first appearance of the objective to limit temperature
rise to 2°C shows that it has no clear origin and that its adoption is due
neither to compelling scientific evidence nor to the negotiators’ informed
choice based on scientific date. Before the UNFCCC negotiations seized
on this value, 2°C was already used as a marker to concurrently address
scientific, economic and political apprehensions about climate change.

Does 'UNFCCC seized on this value' mean politicians or IPCC scientists?

I would say politicians but if it includes IPCC scientists then it is certainly a policy driven sort of science involved rather than WG1 science. IPCC don't decide policy, they do provide information to assist such decisions.

In case it hasn't been apparent, I do accept that the impacts do seem much more likely to come much earlier than previously thought. West and East Antarctica losing mass being a good example post AR5. I also said that I agree there is some conservatism. If I am in a small minority on this thread for not saying there is extreme conservatism, then we may have to agree to disagree.



 
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 10, 2014, 04:35:05 PM
LOL, extreme conservatism sounds like a contradiction in terms, but in IPCC's case it's probably adequate
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 10, 2014, 04:40:34 PM
On contrails: I'm not sure what's being argued. Are they warming or cooling? According to IPCC 2013 they're warming (Technical Summary, p.55):
"Persistent contrails from aviation contribute a positive RF of 0.01 [0.005 to 0.03] W m–2 (medium confidence) for year 2011, and the combined contrail and contrail-cirrus ERF from aviation is assessed to be 0.05 [0.02 to 0.15] W m–2 (low confidence). This forcing can be much larger regionally but there is now medium confidence that it does not produce observable regional effects on either the mean or diurnal range of surface temperature. {7.2.7}"
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 10, 2014, 04:50:48 PM
Jai said:
Quote
For RCP 8.5 there are two scenarios that lead to the temperature regimes that I am talking about, they are called pattern 41 and pattern 42 95.000 (I assume this is 95th percentile)... I am looking for the parameters for pattern 41 and pattern 42 95th percentile but have not found them

On the graph you show it says pattern 41 and 92, but I suppose that should be 42 then?

If you can't find the parameters for that graph, does that mean you made the graph yourself based on some parameters? If not, do you have a source for the graph itself?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 10, 2014, 05:09:52 PM
Maybe David Wasdell is one of the least conservative in reading the available science, as shown by this presentation of June 2014:
http://www.apollo-gaia.org/Sensitivity%20and%20the%20Carbon%20Budget.pdf (http://www.apollo-gaia.org/Sensitivity%20and%20the%20Carbon%20Budget.pdf)

For two doublings of CO2 he expects an ultimate warming of almost 16 degrees C, as shown by the attached image from his presentation. It's not clear to me on what timescale he thinks this warming could occur, and what the warming would be with three of four doublings of CO2 (as in RCP8.5). But since he's talking about Earth System Sensitivity, I suppose it would take at least many centuries or millennia to realize this ultimate warming.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 10, 2014, 05:28:48 PM
Some conclusions of Wasdell, for discussion, since I've no idea if all of his reasoning is correct:

"One of the most profound implications of replacing the transient temperature response of the SPM with the full value of the Earth System Sensitivity, is the dramatic change in predicted temperature. Where the “Charney” sensitivity indicated that a 903 GtC level of total cumulative anthropogenic emissions would lead to a 2°C rise in temperature, that same total can now be seen to give rise to an equilibrium temperature response of 5.4°C. It is starting to become clear why the “New Metric” of the SPM is so politically and economically attractive, and why the pressure not to base GHG stabilization targets on the Earth System Sensitivity is so intense.

Another outcome of replacing the fast feedback sensitivity with the whole Earth System Sensitivity concerns the projected end-of-century temperature response to the current set of international commitments to reduction in CO2 emissions. With an expected total cumulative carbon emission of around 2000 GtC, the IPCC SPM indicates a transient temperature response of around 4°C. The ESS corrects this to around 10°C, with the extension to full equilibrium response of more like 15°C. An ice-free world and a sea-level rise of around 120 metres are in prospect.

In the light of the above, and taking into consideration the following facts:
1. That the Earth System Sensitivity in current conditions of the Anthropocene will be higher than the value used in this exposition
2. That the contributions from other non-CO2 greenhouse gasses have not been taken into account
3. That the 2°C target is now known to be set too high to avoid dangerous climate change
4. That equilibrium temperature increase predicted as a result of current concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gasses is already over 5°C

We note that climate stabilization at a level close to the required policy target of not more than 2°C above the pre-industrial benchmark, (let alone the essential reduction in that target to no more than 1°C above the pre-industrial benchmark) cannot be achieved simply by a programme of emissions reduction on its own. That is a necessary but not sufficient intervention.

The gap between current and target concentration requires urgent and aggressive reduction in the airborne concentration of CO2, in concert with a termination of emissions from fossil hydrocarbon sources and a rejection of all other activity that increases the net radiative imbalance of the planet or that profits therefrom.

The inadequacies imbedded in the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC AR5 WG1 clearly render it unfit for the purpose of policymaking.

The subsequent reports of Workgroups 2 and 3 of the IPCC AR5, depend on the output from Workgroup 1 for their scientific basis. As a consequence, their analysis of likely impacts, intensity, time-frame and proposed mitigation requirements are all subject to the limitations exposed above.

Substitution of the value of the Earth System Sensitivity in place of the limited fast-feedback sensitivity of the CMIP5 model ensemble amplifies all temperature predictions by a factor of 2.5. Major revision of the Reports from Workgroups 2 and 3 will therefore be essential if strategic policymaking by the international community is to achieve Climate Change Solutions that deal with the reality of Climate Change Problems."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 10, 2014, 06:19:09 PM
If ANY significant body of respected scientists thought that there was ANY likelihood that a comet or meteor was soon going to hit the planet and wipe out most complex life, you better be damn well sure it would make some pretty f'n good TV!

Why should it be any less so if annihilation may be looming because of climate change rather than from extraterrestrial bolides??
My sentiments exactly! And very well put. TV would be all over it with funky graphics showing the hypothetical 'alarmist' meteor danger hitting the Earth as if it was already happening, and military top brass would be abundant in all channels planning to nuke the darn thing.... :)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 10, 2014, 06:35:14 PM
LvdL, iirc people have identified some double counting in that Wasdell chart. But certainly, long term warming will be greater than what is generally discussed about stuff happening this century.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 10, 2014, 06:50:24 PM
This is my recent complaint to the BBC
 
Quote
BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-3013771-H8DMTT

I have complained about the BBC’s promotion of economic growth without explaining that it means more carbon pollution. In the Kaya identity predicting global CO2 emissions, the (CO2/energy) term may be reducing but this is not enough to keep below the carbon budget recently issued by the IPCC.

The concept of a carbon budget is not perfect but it is useful to policy makers and democratic knowledge. In practice, this budget is calculated by climate scientists using computer models – the CMIP5 models. A note by the Parliamentary of Science and Technology (POST note 454) has pointed out that these models had missing feedbacks. This means that the models were underpowered and overestimate the allowable budget before dangerous climate change is triggered.

There are several eminent scientists that would question the size of this budget and make different estimates. Their estimates would be a useful measure of the scope of opinion about the seriousness of climate change.  This is one measure on the “warmist” to “sceptic” scale (The WS scale?) that could be used.

I have made guesses to place prominent climate experts on the WS scale and noted their mentions on the BBC website. I find that there is a huge bias to experts with the “official” view in the middle of the scale.

The BBC is not allowing a balanced debate on climate change. I believe it is promoting a business/growth agenda which is dangerous to our future.

The test I suggest will help the BBC construct an essential debate.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 10, 2014, 07:44:42 PM
I wish you luck with the complaint.

Myles Allen is ranked as official? Despite his 'climate sensitivity might be 11C' which some people like to still go on about. I think I would put him up to 'concerned' for a tendency to push the high end but maybe my knowledge of him is tainted by experience with him regarding CPDN and also regarding priors where James Annan took him to pieces.



Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 10, 2014, 07:46:45 PM
secondary cloud effects are cooling components with very high uncertainty.  Durack et. al. indicates that this source is likely higher negative, operating on the northern hemisphere.  This is why the warming effects acting on the southern hemisphere are higher.  However, since the northern hemisphere still operates within the models, then a higher positive forcing must be included to balance out the apparently higher negative forcing in the northern hemisphere.  This would be the uncertainty associated with GHG emissions forcing (they are now slightly more than previously asserted)

Both of these increase the ECS value.  Currently contrail associated effects are a (slight) warming mechanism in the models.  If the cloud forcing is much more negative then the contrail effects become a strong negative, not a positive forcing.

VAN

the pattern 41 and pattern 42 model runs were part of a spreadsheet of individual model runs used in the IPCC AR5 RCP 8.5 projections.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 10, 2014, 08:53:39 PM
It should be noted that the temperature regimes in this IPCC AR5 graphic are only 1 standard deviation of uncertainty.  So the red shaded RCP 8.5 temperature response is the 66% probability distribution.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.easterbrook.ca%2Fsteve%2Fwp-content%2FIPCC-AR5-Fig-12.5.png&hash=1800a9ba66eefa22d0dd1120e473d255)


Since we already know that the IPCC did not include frozen soil and long-range carbon cycle response as well as underestimation of other terrestrial carbon sources and polar albedo responses, the potential of a high ECS pushes the likely temperature response well above the shaded red portion of the graphic.

In the RCP 8.5 forcing scenario Methane abundances hold steady at 2100 and CO2 abundances hold steady at 2160.  Increased warming induced by ECS of 4.5 or more will produce significantly larger natural methane and CO2 emissions well into 2300.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 10, 2014, 09:08:25 PM
secondary cloud effects are cooling components with very high uncertainty.  Durack et. al. indicates that this source is likely higher negative, operating on the northern hemisphere.  This is why the warming effects acting on the southern hemisphere are higher.  However, since the northern hemisphere still operates within the models, then a higher positive forcing must be included to balance out the apparently higher negative forcing in the northern hemisphere.  This would be the uncertainty associated with GHG emissions forcing (they are now slightly more than previously asserted)

Both of these increase the ECS value.  Currently contrail associated effects are a (slight) warming mechanism in the models.  If the cloud forcing is much more negative then the contrail effects become a strong negative, not a positive forcing.

VAN


Increase in ocean temperatures = total warming - aerosol cooling - warming of other clime components.

Therefore if oceans are warming more then total warming is higher, or aerosol cooling is weaker or warming of other components is weaker.  Based on Church et al analysis Total warming is calculated directly, and not by adding up the components, so repeating the Church et al analysis with the updated ocean increase of Durack et al must result in a lower aerosol cooling factor.

As already demonstrated the heat flux between the hemispheres is quite large enough to account for significant differences in the location between a change in heat input, and change in ocean heat storage.  Also consider that the heat budget may not have balanced on a hemisphere basis with the incorrect figures prior to Durack.  Durack shows a SH heat component equal to what is predicted in the models, and higher in the NH.  So Durack shows an increase in the SH heat component, but the extra heat in comparison to the models is in the NH, which is the opposite of what would be expected with a stronger aerosol cooling effect and no heat transport between hemispheres. 

Note that the surface SSTs in the SH are well sampled since the satellite era.  It is the deeper ocean heat content that is in question, and the location of the extra heat probably has more to do with the location of extra mixing from the surface to the deeper ocean beyond what is predicted in the models than it does to the geographic location of the source of the extra heat.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 10, 2014, 09:23:51 PM

Since we already know that the IPCC did not include frozen soil and long-range carbon cycle response as well as underestimation of other terrestrial carbon sources and polar albedo responses, the potential of a high ECS pushes the likely temperature response well above the shaded red portion of the graphic.


While I agree that frozen soil and other responses are not included in CMIP modelling as feedbacks, this ignores the fact that the CMIP models are mostly concentration driven scenarios and not emissions driven scenarios.  So the question then is how much methane (if any) for natural processes is included in the IAM modelling that defines the RCP scenarios.  From my googling I haven't found a definite answer on this, but as IPCC gives significant discussions of how much methane could be emitted by such sources I would expect that methane for permafrost is included in the IPCC projections.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 10, 2014, 09:31:02 PM
In the RCP 8.5 forcing scenario Methane abundances hold steady at 2100 and CO2 abundances hold steady at 2160.  Increased warming induced by ECS of 4.5 or more will produce significantly larger natural methane and CO2 emissions well into 2300.
And on that thought: I just saw the BBC Horizon docu «The Day the Earth Nearly Died» again this weekend. Recommend everyone to do the same, as the End–Permian seems to be where we are headed with this 'choice' of leadership.

http://www.ava360.com/the-day-the-earth-nearly-died-bbc-horizon-documentary-video_c8a892c3b.html (http://www.ava360.com/the-day-the-earth-nearly-died-bbc-horizon-documentary-video_c8a892c3b.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 10, 2014, 10:06:25 PM
The only value for earth system climate sensitivity that I can recall being mentioned in this thread is 8 degrees.

However a quick google finds a few other values that have been claimed:

Penn State University (https://www.e-education.psu.edu/meteo469/node/219) 4.5
Real Climate  (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/on-sensitivity-part-i/) 3  - 6
Pagani et al (http://people.earth.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pagani/1_2009%20Pagani_NatureGeosci.pdf) 6.1 - 11.0
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 10, 2014, 11:02:44 PM
Previdi et al 2013 estimate an ESS of 1.3-2.0 times ECS, so 4-6 degrees:
http://www.precaution.org/lib/previdi_climate_sensitivity_in_anthropocene.2013.pdf (http://www.precaution.org/lib/previdi_climate_sensitivity_in_anthropocene.2013.pdf)

I don't know about others, but to me this is about risk assessment based on scientific uncertainty ranges. So higher potential ECS and ESS implies more risk and a need for stronger mitigation policies to reduce that risk.

On permafrost feedback IPCC 2013 chapter 6, p.526 says:
"Overall, there is high confidence that reductions in permafrost extent due to warming will cause thawing of some currently frozen carbon. However, there is low confidence on the magnitude of carbon losses through CO2 and CH4 emissions to the atmosphere. The magnitude of CO2 and CH4 emissions to the atmosphere is assessed to range from 50 to 250 PgC between 2000 and 2100 for RCP8.5. The magnitude of the source of CO2 to the atmosphere from decomposition of permafrost carbon in response to warming varies widely according to different techniques and scenarios. Process models provide different estimates of the cumulative loss of permafrost carbon: 7 to 17 PgC (Zhuang et al., 2006) (not considered in the range given above because it corresponds only to contemporary tundra soil carbon), 55 to 69 Pg (Koven et al., 2011), 126 to 254 PgC (Schaefer et al., 2011) and 68 to 508 PgC (MacDougall et al., 2012) (not considered in the range given above because this estimate is not obtained from a concentration driven, but for emission driven RCP scenario and it is the only study of that type so far). Combining observed vertical soil carbon profiles with modeled thaw rates provides an estimate that the total quantity of newly thawed soil carbon by 2100 will be 246 PgC for RCP4.5 and 436 PgC for RCP8.5 (Harden et al., 2012), although not all of this amount will be released to the atmosphere on that time scale. Uncertainty estimates suggest the cumulative amount of thawed permafrost carbon could range from 33 to 114 PgC (68% range) under RCP8.5 warming (Schneider von Deimling et al., 2012), or 50 to 270 PgC (5th to 95th percentile range) (Burke et al., 2013)."

But pp.530-531 then says:
"under sustained Arctic warming, modelling studies and expert judgments indicate with medium agreement that a potential combined release totalling up to 350 PgC as CO2 equivalent could occur by the year 2100... Modelling studies of permafrost dynamics and greenhouse gas emissions indicate a relatively slow positive feedback, on time scales of hundreds of years. Until the year 2100, up to 250 PgC could be released as CO2, and up to 5 Pg as CH4. Given methane’s stronger greenhouse warming potential, that corresponds to a further 100 PgC of equivalent CO2 released until the year 2100."

So the 250 GtC from permafrost CO2 and CH4 could add up to about 350 GtC in CO2 equivalent.

What I understood so far, these are not included in emission driven models. In concentration driven models they make the available carbon budget smaller.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on November 10, 2014, 11:07:39 PM
Viddaloo
I can't read the video on your link (says error can't read).
I suppose it is that video you want us to see ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaQg0M1BhW4&list=PLD41DB1A87FF394D5 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaQg0M1BhW4&list=PLD41DB1A87FF394D5)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 10, 2014, 11:39:59 PM
Annan and Hargreaves have a review article out in QSR doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.09.019
free copy temporarily at http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Pzm9-4PRZkpV (http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Pzm9-4PRZkpV)

By comparison of LGM to now " ... implies an equilibrium sensitivity of around 2.5 C with a 90% confidence interval of about 0.5 to 4  C."

This is a mix of ECS and ESS since they put in the slow ESS feedback like albedo, in addition to CO2 and vegetation changes. Nice review.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 10, 2014, 11:40:30 PM
Quote
Therefore if oceans are warming more then total warming is higher, or aerosol cooling is weaker

not if the additional heat accumulation is attributed to the southern oceans.  I understand that you probably just "don't get this" as I have stated it over and over. (sigh) one last time.

Since the heat attributions of northern hemisphere follow the models and the southern hemisphere were GROSSLY underestimated, this implies a much greater aerosol cooling effect since the aerosols primarily act on the northern hemisphere.  What part of this statement don't you understand?

Quote
As already demonstrated the heat flux between the hemispheres is quite large enough to account for significant differences in the location between a change in heat input, and change in ocean heat storage.

That's correct, as the flow of heat by convection currents is predominately south to north, the amount of differential heat fluxes that would produce the observed SOUTHERN heat accumulation must be even greater!  This would further indicate a higher northern hemisphere component of aerosol negative forcing. . .VERY GOOD!!!


In future posts regarding Durack et. al.  I am requesting that you stop threadjacking and posting off topic posts to this thread and start posting on the appropriate thread found here:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html)

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 10, 2014, 11:43:26 PM
Rohling et al 2012 estimate climate sensitivity without slow feedbacks:
http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/download/fedora_content/download/ac:162782/CONTENT/Paleosens_Project_Members_2012.pdf (http://academiccommons.columbia.edu/download/fedora_content/download/ac:162782/CONTENT/Paleosens_Project_Members_2012.pdf)

They conclude:
"we find overlap in the 68% probability envelopes that implies equilibrium warming of 3.1–3.7 K for 2 x CO2 (Fig. 4), equivalent to a fast feedback (Charney) climate sensitivity between 0.8 and 1.0 K W-1 m2. For longer, multi-centennial projections, some of the slow feedbacks (namely vegetation-albedo and aerosol feedbacks) may need further consideration. However, their impact is difficult to estimate from palaeodata, because uncertainties are large, and because responses during climates colder than present may differ from responses during future warming."

Including slow feedbacks may increase the sensitivity to more than 3 K W-1 m2:
"Inclusion of ESS values (approximated by S[CO2]) would extend the upper limit beyond 3 K W-1 m2 (Fig.3a)."

So ESS may be as high as 11 degrees C, although uncertainties are very large.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on November 11, 2014, 12:15:49 AM
As already demonstrated the heat flux between the hemispheres is quite large enough to account for significant differences in the location between a change in heat input, and change in ocean heat storage.  Also consider that the heat budget may not have balanced on a hemisphere basis with the incorrect figures prior to Durack.  Durack shows a SH heat component equal to what is predicted in the models, and higher in the NH.  So Durack shows an increase in the SH heat component, but the extra heat in comparison to the models is in the NH, which is the opposite of what would be expected with a stronger aerosol cooling effect and no heat transport between hemispheres.

Note that the surface SSTs in the SH are well sampled since the satellite era.  It is the deeper ocean heat content that is in question, and the location of the extra heat probably has more to do with the location of extra mixing from the surface to the deeper ocean beyond what is predicted in the models than it does to the geographic location of the source of the extra heat.

From my reading of the Durack et al. paper (ftp://www.cccma.uvic.ca/pub/kmccusker/Durack_etal_NatCC_2014_quantifyoceanwarming.pdf),

1. The "extra heat" in comparison to the observations is in the Southern Hemisphere.

2. The "extra heat" in comparison to the models is in both the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere.  The paper suggests that both hemispheres contribute about the same amount of "extra heat", relatively, compared to the models.

See also Figure 5 of Durack et al., shown below.  The grey rectangles show the CMIP multi-model means, and the black vertical lines indicate the one standard deviation spread.  Note that the Southern Hemisphere contains about 60% of the world's oceans;  So Durack et al. suggest that the oceans in the Northern and the Southern hemispheres have been absorbing heat at a roughly equal rate (per unit area), which is in good agreement with the CMIP model results.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nature.com%2Fnclimate%2Fjournal%2Fv4%2Fn11%2Fimages_article%2Fnclimate2389-f5.jpg&hash=e1d900104c6143123faa955fbd13e98c)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 11, 2014, 12:44:36 AM
Viddaloo
I can't read the video on your link (says error can't read).
I suppose it is that video you want us to see ?

No, it's not that one. I'm sorry for posting a non–functional link, but it seems the Beeb has been pulling all versions of it from the face of the Web. (I found it on my hard drive.)

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 12:50:20 AM
steven:

the caption for the image (5) that you posted says:

Quote
The NH and adjusted SH estimates are summed to yield global estimates (upper inset). Uncertainty estimates show the range of adjusted values obtained using the one standard deviation spread of model-simulated ratios

the little bits on the bottom right above the white line? those are the adjustments.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 01:13:30 AM
Jai,
I think I found your graph with the 16 degrees C 95th percentile RCP8.5 temperature projection for 2200.

See figure A3 in this Appendix of Kopp & Rasmussen:
http://rhg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Appendix-I-Physical-Climate-Projections.pdf (http://rhg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Appendix-I-Physical-Climate-Projections.pdf)

It also contains the SLR-projections (in feet) published in Kopp et al 2014 (in metres).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 01:41:23 AM
LV.dL

Yes, that is indeed the source of the spreadsheet, the pattern 41 and pattern 42 are indicated as a blue/grey line indicating a CMIP5/model surrogate combined run.

I wonder what parameters/assumptions/model tweaks they used to get this pattern shift. . .Still waiting back for an email.

I can't tell you how impressive it is that you were able to find that curve within a range of spaghetti lines on a graph within some obscure publication!!!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 01:42:54 AM
I have migrated all Durack et. al. discussion topics to the Durack et. al thread.

I would appreciate all future discussion on this topic take place there:

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 02:56:47 AM
The Pattern 41 and Pattern 42 95th percentile temperature response to the RCP 8.5 concentration scenarios relied on a very high ECS.  7.2C per 2XCO2.  This is obviously well above the current IPCC range of potential ECS values.

However, the carbon cycle and frozen soil feedbacks are not yet known. I am still trying to get follow up on it.

Even though the ECS is very high in this scenario, I expect that some albedo and carbon cycle feedbacks are not adequately discussed.  However, this absolutely would be a worst case scenario.  Without exception.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 07:16:55 AM
Even though the ECS is very high in this scenario, I expect that some albedo and carbon cycle feedbacks are not adequately discussed.  However, this absolutely would be a worst case scenario.  Without exception.

Just published today, Ken Caldeira says that a loss of all sea ice is equivalent to nearly 1 full doubling of CO2.
https://twitter.com/KenCaldeira/status/531979557343989760 (https://twitter.com/KenCaldeira/status/531979557343989760)

But his paper does not reference this one:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/29/1413640111.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/29/1413640111.abstract)

Quote
Incorporating these far-IR surface emissivities into the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario of the Community Earth System Model leads to discernible changes in the spatial patterns of surface temperature, OLR, and frozen surface extent. The model results differ at high latitudes by as much as 2°K, 10 W m−2, and 15%, respectively, after only 25 y of integration
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 09:11:14 AM
Jai,
I couldn't have found it without your pointers. The appendix by Kopp & Rasmussen belongs to a recent big input report for the Risky Business Project:
http://rhg.com/reports/climate-prospectus (http://rhg.com/reports/climate-prospectus)

They discuss small likelihoods with big impacts, up to a chance of 1 in 1000.

Kopp et al 2014 on SLR-risks apparently is also part of this work.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 09:29:31 AM
Some quotes from the full Kopp et al Oct 2014 input report for the Risky Business Project:
http://rhg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/AmericanClimateProspectus_v1.2.pdf (http://rhg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/AmericanClimateProspectus_v1.2.pdf)

P.8:
"In some contexts, we also discuss ‘tail risks,’ which our probability estimates place at less than 1% probability. While we judge these outcomes as exceptionally unlikely to occur within the current century (though perhaps more likely thereafter with continued warming), we could plausibly be underestimating their probability. For example, carbon cycle feedbacks of the sort discussed in Chapter 3 could increase the temperature response of the planet, or the destabilization of West Antarctica might amplify sea- level rise. Though our formal probability calculation places low likelihood on these possibilities, the true probability of these scenarios is challenging to quantify."

P.18:
"The possibility of a rapid collapse is included in the sea-level rise projections described below, which indicate a 1-in-1000 probability of eight feet of global mean sea-level rise by 2100 and 31 feet of global mean sea-level rise by 2200."

P.31:
"Under RCP 8.5, global mean sea level will likely rise by about 0.8 to 1.1 feet between 2000 and 2050, and by 2.0 to 3.3 feet between 2000 and 2100 (Figure 4.11) (Kopp et al., 2014). There is a 1-in-200 chance sea level could rise by 5.8 feet, and in a “worst-case” projection reflecting the maximum physically plausible sea level rise, global mean sea level could rise by as much as eight feet. It is important to note that the estimates of tail probabilities involve a particular set of assumptions about likely ice sheet behavior; feedbacks could render these extreme outcomes more likely than we project.

The uncertainty in ice sheet physics plays a larger role in sea-level projections than scenario uncertainty, but lower greenhouse gas emissions will lower projected sea-level rise, particularly in the second half of the century. Under RCP 2.6, global mean sea level will likely rise by about 0.7 to 0.9 feet by 2050 and by 1.2 to 2.1 feet by 2100. Under RCP 2.6, there is a 1-in-200 chance of a sea-level rise 4.6 feet, and the worst-case projection is reduced to seven feet."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 12:43:11 PM
Just for the record I attach figure A3 from Kopp & Rasmussen, which has the following caption:
"Figure A3: (Top) Global mean temperature trajectories for RCP 8.5 from MAGICC (blue), CMIP5 model output (red) and model surrogates (grey). Heavy blue = median, light blue = 17th/83rd percentile, dashed blue = 5th/95th percentile, dotted blue = 1st/99th percentiles."

Also attached their figure A1, which shows the probability distribution for climate sensitivities. The caption reads:
"Figure A1: Survival function of climate sensitivities from MAGICC. Red squares indicate the statements made by AR5."

Like Jai said earlier, the 95th percentile climate sensitivity would be about 7 degrees C. For RCP8.5 this could give a circa 5% chance of 16 degrees C warming by 2200. Not a negligable risk, it seems to me, also in light of the new papers on potentially larger than thought Arctic amplification, that Jai linked to above.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 01:11:16 PM
IPCC 2013 fig.12.40 below shows the chances under RCP8.5 of 5-7 degrees C warming by 2100 above recent and pre-industrial temperatures.

IPCC 2013 fig.12.44d shows potential ocean thermal expansion this millennium under the four RCPs.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on November 11, 2014, 02:40:24 PM
steven:

the caption for the image (5) that you posted says:

Quote
The NH and adjusted SH estimates are summed to yield global estimates (upper inset). Uncertainty estimates show the range of adjusted values obtained using the one standard deviation spread of model-simulated ratios

the little bits on the bottom right above the white line? those are the adjustments.

The little bits above the white lines in the figure (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n11/images_article/nclimate2389-f5.jpg) are the Durack et al. adjustments to the observations in previous decades (which were data-sparse in the Southern Hemisphere).

However, this is irrelevant to my point.  The discussion was about how the findings of Durack et al. compare to the models (CMIP3 and CMIP5).

Durack et al. find that the Northern Hemisphere was responsible for roughly 40% of the total global ocean heat uptake (between 0 and 700 meters depth), and the Southern Hemisphere roughly 60%.  As I said, this is in good agreement with the CMIP models.

So Durack et al. suggest that the hemispheric distribution of ocean heat uptake in the CMIP models is (broadly) correct.  The paper does suggest that there was an incorrect infilling of data-sparse regions in the Southern Hemisphere, but that was a problem of the observations and has nothing to do with the CMIP models.


I have migrated all Durack et. al. discussion topics to the Durack et. al thread.

I would appreciate all future discussion on this topic take place there:

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1011.0.html)

Apparently you forgot to copy my yesterday's comment to that thread, as well as the comments preceding it.  If you copy those comments to that thread, then I will post any further responses at that location.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 11, 2014, 05:40:25 PM
Scientists, Speak Up On Climate Change
http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/11/09/scientists-speak-climate-change/Ht0r44A5PWPmr4uJL8167N/story.html (http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/11/09/scientists-speak-climate-change/Ht0r44A5PWPmr4uJL8167N/story.html)



Quotes

One could almost feel the breeze stirred by the broad population’s collective shrug at this news coming from the IPCC meeting in Copenhagen. Almost as astonishing as the looming threat that carbon poisons pose for the planet is the indifference that average Americans seem to feel about it.

Hundreds of scientific societies, academies, agencies, and NGOs have weighed in without ambiguity. Yet reliable polls show that fewer than half of Americans know of this overwhelming scientific consensus.

What would it take for the public to get clear both on the unanimity of climate scientists, and on the urgency of what they see coming? An answer from the recent past suggests itself: scientists, instead of merely providing activists and journalists with irrefutable climate data, must leave their cloistered laboratories to become activists themselves. Scientists must take to the streets and lead, even if that means taking hits in the contentious public square.

It happened before, when scientists helped steer the human species away from suicide. The Cold War nuclear arms race might well have run on to Armageddon had not a remarkable cohort of physicists, astronomers, mathematicians, and physicians put their detached analysis at the service of moral fervor. They became passionately engaged advocates of disarmament — organizing international meetings, sounding alarms, headlining demonstrations, and demanding action from politicians. They brought incomparable authority to the debate because they had the ultimate insider knowledge — empirical evidence that the worst nuclear fears were, in fact, not bad enough for what threatened.

Once nuclear annihilation was on the agenda, Soviet and Western scientists began an astounding collaboration, with intermingled groups like The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. For the sake of the formerly “unscientific” question of morality, scientists risked their reputations for analytical objectivity. In some cases they risked careers.

Having learned from the publicly engaged scientists, and having been pressed from below by masses of citizens who embraced what the scientists taught, Reagan and Gorbachev together steered the world away from nuclear war.

Such a transformation must happen again. The Union of Concerned Scientists is still at it, and so are some others. But compared to the Cold War era, the voices of scientists today are mute. Yet the danger is equivalent. Who but climate scientists can effectively refute the lies of the carbon lobby? Where are you?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 11, 2014, 05:41:00 PM
In response to the article i posted & quoted in the previous post (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1053.msg39867.html#msg39867) (Scientists, Speak Up On Climate Change (http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/11/09/scientists-speak-climate-change/Ht0r44A5PWPmr4uJL8167N/story.html)), Michael Mann has tweeted (https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/532188672716967936) that his response is a previous Op-Ed of his in the NY Times:

If You See Something, Say Something
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/if-you-see-something-say-something.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/if-you-see-something-say-something.html)



Quotes

How will history judge us if we watch the threat unfold before our eyes, but fail to communicate the urgency of acting to avert potential disaster? How would I explain to the future children of my 8-year-old daughter that their grandfather saw the threat, but didn’t speak up in time?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 07:08:16 PM
Yes, Mann and others like him are courageous fighters, since the flak from the vested interests who want to shoot the messengers is maybe stronger than ever:
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-10/why-warnings-on-climate-spark-aggressive-denials#.VGIE3hdGobg.facebook (http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-11-10/why-warnings-on-climate-spark-aggressive-denials#.VGIE3hdGobg.facebook)

At the same time, it's not new as scientists and dissidents like Galilei, Chomsky and others can testify.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 07:53:29 PM
Steven,

I don't know why but for some reason, your posts seemed on-topic??  well, I have migrated them as well but see what you are saying and will respond there.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 07:59:26 PM
Also see the AAAS-brochure 'What We Know: Reality, Risks, and Response to Climate Change':
http://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/whatweknow_website.pdf (http://whatweknow.aaas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/whatweknow_website.pdf)

Kerry Emanuel is one of the authors and wrote an op-ed on 'tail risk vs alarmism':
http://climatechangenationalforum.org/tail-risk-vs-alarmism/ (http://climatechangenationalforum.org/tail-risk-vs-alarmism/)

Jim Hansen of course was first (?) in speaking on the dangers of scientific reticence in 2007:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2007/05/25/201445/yet-another-must-read-by-james-hansen/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2007/05/25/201445/yet-another-must-read-by-james-hansen/)

Or were there earlier attempts to speak on this issue?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 08:08:34 PM
If the Caldeira paper is true and if we are going to reach ice free arctic summers at current concentrations (400ppmv) then the world will experience an equivalent of a doubling of CO2  effective forcing at current concentrations.

AND

At 560ppmv we will likely see annual ice free arctic states and an effective quadrupling of CO2 effective forcing.

I wonder if this paper will receive any traction in the popular media/scientific discourse.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 11, 2014, 09:29:25 PM
In keeping with jai's post about the influence of changes in Arctic albedo on climate sensitivity.  It's important to note that the surface temperature change is proportional to the climate sensitivity and radiative forcing (in W m-2), regardless of the source of the energy imbalance.  The climate sensitivity to different radiative forcings differs depending on the efficacy of the forcing (see the attached plot from AR4 and the associate quote):  Per AR4: "Efficacy (E) is defined as the ratio of the climate sensitivity parameter for a given forcing agent (λi) to the climate sensitivity parameter for CO2 changesthat is, Ei = λi / λCO2 ..."

The attached AR4 plot shows that the efficacy of long lived GHGs is higher than for solar radiative forcing; therefore, unless climate sensitivity is sufficiently high it is very difficult to explain paleo cases of changes between glacial and interglacial periods that were initially driven by changes in solar radiative forcing.  Therefore, it is virtually impossible to believe in low values of climate sensitivity.

edit: The caption for the AR4 figure is: "Efficacies as calculated by several GCM models for realistic changes in RF agents. Letters are centred on efficacy value and refer to the literature study that the value is taken from (see text of Section 2.8.5 for details and further discussion). In each RF category, only one result is taken per model or model formulation. Cloud-albedo efficacies are evaluated in two ways: the standard letters include cloud lifetime effects in the efficacy term and the letters with asterisks exclude these effects. Studies assessed in the figure are: a) Hansen et al. (2005); b) Wang et al. (1991); c) Wang et al. (1992); d) Govindasamy et al. (2001b); e) Lohmann and Feichter (2005); f) Forster et al. (2000); g) Joshi et al. (2003; see also Stuber et al., 2001a); h) Gregory et al. (2004); j) Sokolov (2006); k) Cook and Highwood (2004); m) Mickley et al. (2004); n) Rotstayn and Penner (2001); o) Roberts and Jones (2004) and p) Williams et al."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 11, 2014, 09:56:06 PM
If the Caldeira paper is true and if we are going to reach ice free arctic summers at current concentrations (400ppmv) then the world will experience an equivalent of a doubling of CO2  effective forcing at current concentrations.

AND

At 560ppmv we will likely see annual ice free arctic states and an effective quadrupling of CO2 effective forcing.

I wonder if this paper will receive any traction in the popular media/scientific discourse.

You would think mainstream and IPCC scientists would be vocal about the numerous feedback mechanisms discovered since the recent report's research submission deadline ended. Either they are ignorant, which I don't see as likely, or they have other motivations and cultural biases effectively silencing them.

Our near-certain failure on the 2C goal should lead us to recognize that our approach is indeed a failure. If we do not take very strong action in this time period, then all remaining options on the table will be extreme by 2020.

I am sure most people can see the difficulty of organizing activists to avoid a 4C world and its consequences. For some, there would already be little hope for a future livable climate, and many others may find themselves climate refugees in the near-future. Once political communication breaks down...
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 11, 2014, 10:19:00 PM

In the linked Real Climate article, Michael E. Mann and Gavin Schmidt, discuss the Sherwood et al 2014 paper on climate sensitivity.  The attached image (see caption below) indicates that the effective ECS that Sherwood et al 2014 discuss is in the range of 4 C; however, as the following extract indicates the true ECS is about 10% higher than the value Sherwood et al 2014 present; which implies that the true ECS is likely in the range of 4.4 C.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/a-bit-more-sensitive/ (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/a-bit-more-sensitive/)

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

Extracts: "First, ECS is the long term (multi-century) equilibrium response to a doubling of CO2 in an coupled ocean-atmosphere model. It doesn’t include many feedbacks associated with ‘slow’ processes (such as ice sheets, or vegetation, or the carbon cycle). See our earlier discussion for different definitions. Second, Sherwood et al are using a particular estimate of the ‘effective’ ECS in their analysis of the CMIP5 models. This estimate follows from the method used in Andrews et al (2011), but is subtly different than the ‘true’ ECS, since it uses a linear extrapolation from a relatively short period in the abrupt 4xCO2 experiments. In the case of the GISS models, the effective ECS is about 10% smaller than the ‘true’ value, however this distinction should not really affect their conclusions."

Caption: "Figure (derived from Sherwood et al, fig. 5c) showing the relationship between the models’ estimate of Lower Tropospheric Mixing (LTMI) and sensitivity, along with estimates of the same metric from radiosondes and the MERRA and ERA-Interim reanalyses."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 11, 2014, 10:42:42 PM

You would think mainstream and IPCC scientists would be vocal about the numerous feedback mechanisms discovered since the recent report's research submission deadline ended. Either they are ignorant, which I don't see as likely, or they have other motivations and cultural biases effectively silencing them.


What new feedback mechanisms?  Methane has been known for many years and is discussed extensively in the IPCC report.  The 2 degrees due to long wave infra-red is not so much a new mechamism, but a possible adjustment to the Arctic albedo mechanism that has been known about for decades.  Note that the 2 degrees is the maximum regional difference between a model run with and without adjusted long wave infra-red values.  There are substantial negative differences as well, and its not clear from the map, and not stated in the paper whether the difference for the globe as a whole is even positive at all, let alone substantial.

Are there any other undiscovered feedback mechanisms being discussed here that I've missed?

And what about possible negative feedback mechanisms?  One of the possible sources of the recent cooling pause is the observation of increased trades in the Pacific.  Considering that the trade winds had increased to well above what had been observed previously it seems reasonable to speculate that this may have been directly caused by AGW and is therefore a negative feedback mechanisms. 

I'm sure as scientists continue to understand climate better they will continue to uncover many changes that will have both negative and positive impacts on our estimates of climate sensitivity.  If you just cherry pick all the reasons for higher sensitivity and ignore the reasons for lower sensitivity then you are likely to unnecessarily alarm yourself.  If you just cherry pick all the reasons for lower sensitivity and ignore the reasons for higher sensitivity then you become a luke-warmer.

Consider that over more than 30 years since Charney first estimated sensitivity at about 3 degrees climate science has come along in leaps and bounds and many changes to our understanding have been made.  Yet sensitivity is still estimated at about 3 degrees.  No wonder some scientists claim that 'the science is settled', even though the details are ever changing.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 10:45:06 PM
Why haven't scientists worked harder to resolve the fact that we are CURRENTLY experiencing tropical rainforest collapse under changes in precipitation regimes, arctic sea ice collapse and significant stressors to boreal terrestrial carbon pools (peat and forest) under only 400 ppmv and SIGNIFICANT negative forcing effects from short-lived aerosols and cloud effects???

I mean, it is so completely obvious!  we have passed 4C of warming at current GHG forcing values and short (<100 year) feedbacks. 

I guess nobody wants to be a downer. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 11, 2014, 11:03:09 PM
The 2 degrees due to long wave infra-red is not so much a new mechamism, but a possible adjustment to the Arctic albedo mechanism that has been known about for decades. 

Reference please. 

No wonder some scientists claim that 'the science is settled', even though the details are ever changing.

This is a denialist talking point, I think you should be sure not to use it in the future, I mean

1.  It has no real meaning (no real scientist would ever claim that a body of science is "settled"
2.  The term "settle" means in this case to settle a disagreement
3.  The disagreement, not contextualized in your statement is then left open to the reader to decide.
4.  In the end even the use of this in dialogue is nonsensical at best, and promotes denialism (through a reader's ignorance/deception) at worst.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 11, 2014, 11:27:56 PM

I'm sure as scientists continue to understand climate better they will continue to uncover many changes that will have both negative and positive impacts on our estimates of climate sensitivity. If you just cherry pick all the reasons for higher sensitivity and ignore the reasons for lower sensitivity then you are likely to unnecessarily alarm yourself. If you just cherry pick all the reasons for lower sensitivity and ignore the reasons for higher sensitivity then you become a luke-warmer.

Consider that over more than 30 years since Charney first estimated sensitivity at about 3 degrees climate science has come along in leaps and bounds and many changes to our understanding have been made. Yet sensitivity is still estimated at about 3 degrees. No wonder some scientists claim that 'the science is settled', even though the details are ever changing.

The problem is we cannot be sure that sensitivity will be about 3 degrees. The risk that it will turn out to be substantially more seems real and alarming. Pointing this out is not cherry picking or alarmist. It is dangerous negligence to ignore or not take serious this risk.

Society at large is still underestimating the risks of global warming, whatever the reason or cause. That is endangering people now and later. This is immoral and against the law, even if courts have not recognized this yet, just like it took them a while to recognize racist policies were against the law.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 12:04:50 AM
And remember how 'neoconservative' Dick Cheney sold the Iraq war: if there was one percent chance that Iraq had WMD, that was enough to justify bombing and invading the country, even if (almost) all the experts said Iraq did not have WMD and even if unilateral war was clearly illegal, and even if it was very clear all along control over oil was the main motive for that war.
 
Now we have say a one, five, ten, fifty percent or even higher chance of catastrophic global warming, depending on what you consider to be catastrophic, according to (almost) all the experts. Even John Kerry calls global warming perhaps the most dangerous WMD, and still progress in climate policy is very slow, even when international law clearly demands the US and other rich countries to adopt much stronger climate policies.

I'm sure Machiavelli would be able to explain this asymmetry.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 12, 2014, 01:47:18 AM
LvdL, good point, well put.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 12, 2014, 02:20:25 AM
Just came out yesterday:

Positive albedo changes are the real drivers of climate change on a decadal scale.

Quote
in those few models with a weak SW feedback, OLR takes centuries to recover, and energy accumulation is dominated by reduced OLR. Observational constraints of radiative feedbacks—from satellite radiation and surface temperature data—suggest an OLR recovery timescale of decades or less, consistent with the majority of GCMs. Altogether, these results suggest that, although greenhouse gas forcing predominantly acts to reduce OLR, the resulting global warming is likely caused by enhanced ASR.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/05/1412190111.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/05/1412190111.abstract)

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 12, 2014, 03:44:42 AM
Where are you?

Right here with you, TeaPotty, fighting the good fight.

I don't think we can win it, though. Stupidity will always win out against reason, it seems, but at least we can point out the stupor and how esteemed leaders have absolutely no legitimacy, and that they are, in fact, leading us all right over the cliff.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 07:58:47 AM
Tnx, wili.

Woke up this morning to the news of a US-China climate deal:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge)

A small step for mankind, a big step for them?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 08:48:41 AM
First reaction by 350.org:
http://350.org/press-release/china-and-us-take-step-forward-on-climate-strengthening-case-for-divestment-and-rejecting-keystone-xl/?utm_content=bufferd1809&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer (http://350.org/press-release/china-and-us-take-step-forward-on-climate-strengthening-case-for-divestment-and-rejecting-keystone-xl/?utm_content=bufferd1809&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer)

Proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this should only be the beginning.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 12, 2014, 09:40:37 AM
Tnx, wili.

Woke up this morning to the news of a US-China climate deal:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge)

A small step for mankind, a big step for them?

Hi Lennart,

thanks for the link. Well, first I thought this is really good news when I read this form the Guardian Article:

Quote
... The United States has pledged to cut its emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 ... .

But when I had a quick look at the numbers I was a bit shocked. If my calculations are right this translates to emission cuts of 0.6% per year  - which would be ridiculously low. Can this be right?
 
1) 2005 emissions were 7.109 Mt/year in the US (from here - http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/pdf/0573%282009%29.pdf (http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/pdf/0573%282009%29.pdf) , page 1)

2) 2015 emissions are estimated to be 5436 Mt from here (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18611 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18611))

3) A 28% reduction from 7109 Mt would be 5119 Mt. So the necessary reductions would be 317Mt or about 32 Mt per year, which is around 0.6% per year (see chart below for an  illustration). What am I missing here? I am sure I have made some error here.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 10:24:03 AM
3) A 28% reduction from 7109 Mt would be 5119 Mt. So the necessary reductions would be 317Mt or about 32 Mt per year, which is around 0.6% per year (see chart below for an  illustration). What am I missing here? I am sure I have made some error here.

I wouldn't be suprised if you're right. But right or wrong, the US-target for 2025 is still way below what the science says is necessary to have a good chance to stay below 2 degrees, let alone below 1.5 degrees. It should be more like 60% reduction in 2025.

China peaking in 2030 is maybe a more ambitious and just target, although probably not enough for a good chance at 2 or 1.5 degrees. Let's see what someone like Kevin Anderson has to say.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 10:35:22 AM
Malte Meinshausen says it's not good enough, but just compared to the US ambition of 30% reduction in 2025 a few years ago:
https://twitter.com/meinshausen/status/532417145993306112

What are other scientists saying?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 11:23:14 AM
This is an interview with Kevin Anderson a few days ago on China Dialogue:
https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/7473-The-world-is-heading-towards-a-weak-and-irrelevant-deal-on-climate-change (https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/7473-The-world-is-heading-towards-a-weak-and-irrelevant-deal-on-climate-change)

He says the EU (and also US, presumably) should reduce at least 80% by 2030 and China should peak by 2025, to have a good chance of staying below 2 degrees.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 11:47:27 AM
Also see this Climate Action Tracker report on the US and China:
http://climateactiontracker.org/assets/publications/briefing_papers/CAT_briefing_China_and_the_US__how_does_their_climate_action_compare.pdf (http://climateactiontracker.org/assets/publications/briefing_papers/CAT_briefing_China_and_the_US__how_does_their_climate_action_compare.pdf)

They seem to ask more ambition from China than from the US.

Compare this however, to this recent open letter by Kevin Anderson to the UK prime minister:
http://kevinanderson.info/blog/letter-to-the-pm-outlining-how-2c-demands-an-80-cut-in-eu-emissions-by-2030/ (http://kevinanderson.info/blog/letter-to-the-pm-outlining-how-2c-demands-an-80-cut-in-eu-emissions-by-2030/)

I'm not sure why the Climate Action Tracker report seems to be more conservative than Anderson's open letter.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 12, 2014, 11:48:42 AM
Tnx, wili.

Woke up this morning to the news of a US-China climate deal:
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/12/china-and-us-make-carbon-pledge)

A small step for mankind, a big step for them?

Hi Lennart,

thanks for the link. Well, first I thought this is really good news when I read this form the Guardian Article:

Quote
... The United States has pledged to cut its emissions to 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 ... .

But when I had a quick look at the numbers I was a bit shocked. If my calculations are right this translates to emission cuts of 0.6% per year  - which would be ridiculously low. Can this be right?
 
1) 2005 emissions were 7.109 Mt/year in the US (from here - http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/pdf/0573%282009%29.pdf (http://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/pdf/0573%282009%29.pdf) , page 1)

2) 2015 emissions are estimated to be 5436 Mt from here (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18611 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=18611))

3) A 28% reduction from 7109 Mt would be 5119 Mt. So the necessary reductions would be 317Mt or about 32 Mt per year, which is around 0.6% per year (see chart below for an  illustration). What am I missing here? I am sure I have made some error here.

My numbers are indeed bollocks, I have confused CO2e and CO2 emissions ::)

US CO2 emissions in 2005 were 6055 Mt and not 7109. So the emissions target would be 4360 Mt and not 5119, which would be reduction of 2% per year and not just 0,6%. 

This looks more 'ambitious' and the quiet enthusiasm in the Guardian article is not completely off the marks. Of course, as Lennarts link to the interview with K. Anderson shows, it is no even close to what is actually needed (-10% p.a. from Annex 1 countries).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 01:04:41 PM
Michael Oppenheimer sees the deal as 'hugely important':
https://twitter.com/ClimateOpp/status/532490650977976321

As a first step to more ambitious policies, I suppose.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: S.Pansa on November 12, 2014, 01:39:43 PM
I lean strongly towards the view point of this article from John Ibbitson (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-next-climate-deal-is-doomed-but-our-planet-isnt-doomed-yet/article21300990/ (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/the-next-climate-deal-is-doomed-but-our-planet-isnt-doomed-yet/article21300990/)); hat-tip to Sigmetnow who posted the link over at the UN Climate Treaty thread.

The deal sounds more like a lip service, especially if we look at the actual energy policy in the G20 nations, shown in the figure below -  taken from this recent report (http://www.odi.org/g20-fossil-fuel-subsidies (http://www.odi.org/g20-fossil-fuel-subsidies)). I hope I am wrong tough and there is some momentum building up.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 12, 2014, 01:50:40 PM
Fine analysis. Except it speaks of 'sacrifice' when talking about the 'most ambitious policies found anywhere in the world today'. But where is the sacrifice in the countries that have those policies?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 12, 2014, 09:18:54 PM
The 2 degrees due to long wave infra-red is not so much a new mechamism, but a possible adjustment to the Arctic albedo mechanism that has been known about for decades. 

Reference please. 

Hansen 81 et al (http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1981/1981_Hansen_etal_1.pdf)

Just to be clear - the adjustment is new, the feedback mechanism of Arctic Albedo has been known about for decades.
No wonder some scientists claim that 'the science is settled', even though the details are ever changing.


This is a denialist talking point, I think you should be sure not to use it in the future, I mean

1.  It has no real meaning (no real scientist would ever claim that a body of science is "settled"
2.  The term "settle" means in this case to settle a disagreement
3.  The disagreement, not contextualized in your statement is then left open to the reader to decide.
4.  In the end even the use of this in dialogue is nonsensical at best, and promotes denialism (through a reader's ignorance/deception) at worst.

Wikipedia Article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:William_M._Connolley/The_science_is_settled)

Al Gore used the words science is settled.  Others have made statements of similar strength.  Most on the wikipedia list are economists or politicians but Kurt Cuffey is a geography professor.

The instance I was thinking of though was Hansen's claim that 'climate sensitivity is really nailed' as evidenced by nature (http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 12, 2014, 09:26:21 PM

The problem is we cannot be sure that sensitivity will be about 3 degrees. The risk that it will turn out to be substantially more seems real and alarming. Pointing this out is not cherry picking or alarmist. It is dangerous negligence to ignore or not take serious this risk.


Agreed.  IPCC say 1.5-4.5 and allow a 15% chance it may be higher than 4.5.  However some on this thread have basically accused the IPCC of fraud, have stated that the possibility that sensitivity may be lower than 3 degrees is nonsense etc
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 12, 2014, 10:52:43 PM

The instance I was thinking of though was Hansen's claim that 'climate sensitivity is really nailed' as evidenced by nature (http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html)

While it is true that Hansen made the following statement in this link:

http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html (http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html)

Extract: "… James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said, "The climate sensitivity is really nailed. It is three degrees for doubled CO2, plus or minus half a degree." The method Hansen draws on — looking at the state of the planet during the last ice age, 20 thousand years ago — does have advantages. "The physics is exact. It is not modelled," Hansen argues. "All of the feedbacks operate correctly.""

Nevertheless, in that statement Hansen was only talking about climate sensitivity from fast feedback mechanisms as is made very clear by the attached image from Hansen & Sato (2012) that shows that changes in albedo (changes in ASR) can increase the effective climate sensitivity to something in the neighborhood of 5.5 to 6 C; and jai has repeatedly pointed out that the polar albedo can (and likely will) change significantly in only a few decades.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 12, 2014, 11:39:56 PM
With regard to my Reply #279, and for those not used to thinking in terms of changes in radiative forcing (W/sq m), I attach the following image (which for temperature projections assumes fast feedback climate sensitivity of 3 C) for RCP 8.5 and RCP 3/2.6.  Not that the 8.5 and the 2.6 means the radiative forcing (W/sq m) for these two scenarios by 2100; while the 3 means that RCP 3/2.6 is assumed to have a peak radiative forcing around 2045 and which is assumed to thereafter decline.

Most serious people believe that the chances of following RCP 3/2.6 are becoming vanishingly small (including the Union of Concerned Scientists); however Hansen & Sato (2012)'s plot makes it clear that as the radiative forcing exceeds the Holocene norm (say pre-industrial) by 3 W/sq m, then the effective climate sensitivity could shot-up to between 5.5 and 6 C as soon as the polar albedo drops (which is related to polar amplification), due to a reduction in sea ice and snow extent.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 13, 2014, 12:12:29 AM
The 2 degrees due to long wave infra-red is not so much a new mechamism, but a possible adjustment to the Arctic albedo mechanism that has been known about for decades. 

Reference please. 

Hansen 81 et al (http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1981/1981_Hansen_etal_1.pdf)

Just to be clear - the adjustment is new, the feedback mechanism of Arctic Albedo has been known about for decades.


>the feedback mechanism of Arctic Albedo has been known about for decades.

true, ...

but the new adjustment is about difference in emissivity in LW of ocean vs ice. Albedo is about reflection of SW solar radiation. Albedo effect works during daylight, this new adjustment can work after sunset, so it seems dubious to bundle them together.

Perhaps the answer is that it isn't a new feedback in nature because nature doesn't turn it on when we discover it. It is an error in the models - an opportunity to improve the models to give them more realistic Arctic amplification.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 05:02:06 AM

The instance I was thinking of though was Hansen's claim that 'climate sensitivity is really nailed' as evidenced by nature (http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html)

While it is true that Hansen made the following statement in this link:

http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html (http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0905/full/climate.2009.41.html)

Extract: "… James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, said, "The climate sensitivity is really nailed. It is three degrees for doubled CO2, plus or minus half a degree." The method Hansen draws on — looking at the state of the planet during the last ice age, 20 thousand years ago — does have advantages. "The physics is exact. It is not modelled," Hansen argues. "All of the feedbacks operate correctly.""

Nevertheless, in that statement Hansen was only talking about climate sensitivity from fast feedback mechanisms as is made very clear by the attached image from Hansen & Sato (2012) that shows that changes in albedo (changes in ASR) can increase the effective climate sensitivity to something in the neighborhood of 5.5 to 6 C; and jai has repeatedly pointed out that the polar albedo can (and likely will) change significantly in only a few decades.

not only that ASLR but the Caldeira paper indicated that an ice-free arctic was equivalent to an additional 3+ W/m^2 (almost as much as a CO2 doubling).

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fjournals.ametsoc.org%2Fna101%2Fhome%2Fliteratum%2Fpublisher%2Fams%2Fjournals%2Fcontent%2Fclim%2F2014%2F15200442-27.22%2Fjcli-d-14-00042.1%2F20141031%2Fimages%2Flarge%2Fjcli-d-14-00042.1-f4.jpeg&hash=e856f8fb9896f4d1267e5a9c0ec8ca8f)

And the new evidence of far infrared feedbacks from open oceans (vs. sea ice) indicate that the total accumulated forcing from year around ice free conditions are more than the Caldeira paper.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/29/1413640111.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/10/29/1413640111.abstract)

Finally, the last paper that I posted indicates that climate regime changes in ASR from effects not of surface albedo (water vapor mostly) is a much larger positive feedback than previously understood.  If these are all correct then it explains why we are experiencing accelerated ice loss and the last one especially shows that aerosols have a much greater effect than previously thought.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/05/1412190111.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/11/05/1412190111.abstract)

it is clear that the upper bound of ECS must be raised significantly.  Our only hope of remaining below 2C is to lower concentrations back down to 350ppmv, even then we will have to engage in geoengineering.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 05:15:46 AM
Al Gore used the words science is settled.  Others have made statements of similar strength.  Most on the wikipedia list are economists or politicians but Kurt Cuffey is a geography professor.

Quote
The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers. Carbon-dioxide emissions — from cars, power plants, buildings and other sources — are heating the Earth's atmosphere.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9047642 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9047642)

Context is everything.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on November 13, 2014, 04:20:48 PM
...Hansen was only talking about climate sensitivity from fast feedback mechanisms as is made very clear by the attached image from Hansen & Sato (2012) that shows that changes in albedo (changes in ASR) can increase the effective climate sensitivity to something in the neighborhood of 5.5 to 6 C; and jai has repeatedly pointed out that the polar albedo can (and likely will) change significantly in only a few decades.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skepticalscience.com%2Fpics%2FHS12Fig7.jpg&hash=6192d89e270cd6f30d687958da9a5be2)

Surface albedo in the above graph refers to the continental ice sheets, and also to the surface albedo changes due to vegetation change, as discussed in the Hansen and Sato paper (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf).

Note that snow and sea ice feedbacks are fast feedbacks, so they are already included in the fast-feedback climate sensitivity in the graph.
 
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 13, 2014, 04:32:33 PM

The problem is we cannot be sure that sensitivity will be about 3 degrees. The risk that it will turn out to be substantially more seems real and alarming. Pointing this out is not cherry picking or alarmist. It is dangerous negligence to ignore or not take serious this risk.


Agreed.  IPCC say 1.5-4.5 and allow a 15% chance it may be higher than 4.5.  However some on this thread have basically accused the IPCC of fraud, have stated that the possibility that sensitivity may be lower than 3 degrees is nonsense etc

The IPCC AR5 confidence level ranges only summarize the state of the literature at the time that the AR5 report was published.  The IPCC does no original research, thus when they produce confidence level ranges based on the literature they include errors associated with: (a) researchers who error on the side of least drama; (b) climate sensitivity values that are biased by instrument readings during the faux hiatus period to be too low; (c) paleo values that do not reflect the current anthropogenic radiative forcing; which has a rate of growth that is over 100 times faster than during any reported paleo period; (d) mixing effective values with true values (ie reporting climate sensitivity values that include different combinations of feedback mechanisms), (e) climate sensitivity values that do not include feedback from factors that scientists did not adequately understand before AR5 was produced such as that influence of water vapor on absorbed solar radiation (ASR), etc; and (f) the fact that climate sensitivity values are currently continuously increasing as various feedback factors are activated by global warming (such as the reduction in albedo associated with Arctic Amplification), and will continue to increase as long as global warming continues.

For example Shindell (2014) showed that the low climate sensitivity values included in AR5 are physically not possible, but the IPCC does not correct for this consideration; thus any confidence level ranges given by the IPCC should at best be considered as lower bound ranges.  Furthermore, as we continue along our current RCP 8.5 pathway higher values of climate sensitivity will become locked in for at least several centuries, and the probability distribution functions assumed by AR5 will be scaled-up upward in the future.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 13, 2014, 04:53:25 PM
Also of interest is table 1 below from Hansen & Sato's 2012 paper on Paleo Climate Implications.

The paleo approach in principle includes all feedbacks. The crucial question seems to be how these feedbacks may enforce each other under the current and future unnaturally strong GHG-forcing. What used to be slow feedbacks may now turn out to be not such slow feedbacks.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 05:16:03 PM
may now turn out to be not such slow feedbacks.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skepticalscience.com%2Fpics%2FPastfutureCO2figure2.jpg&hash=aef598a7ab8a952559803c4f1692a0ca)

As discussed previously, we have the potential to shoot through 12C sometime around 2150.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 13, 2014, 05:19:34 PM
...Hansen was only talking about climate sensitivity from fast feedback mechanisms as is made very clear by the attached image from Hansen & Sato (2012) that shows that changes in albedo (changes in ASR) can increase the effective climate sensitivity to something in the neighborhood of 5.5 to 6 C; and jai has repeatedly pointed out that the polar albedo can (and likely will) change significantly in only a few decades.


Note that snow and sea ice feedbacks are fast feedbacks, so they are already included in the fast-feedback climate sensitivity in the graph.

Steven,
As both Lennart and jai are illustrating, what one takes as fast vs slow is a matter of context as Hansen & Sato 2012 deals with periods of millennia.  However, the following quotes (and the table that Lennart posted) from their 2012 paper make it clear that for today's case (with extremely high anthropogenic forcing) Hansen & Sato are proposing moving both surface albedo, and non-CO₂ gases, from the slow feedback category into the fast feedback category; which they indicate could increase the calculation of a quasi-equilibrium climate sensitivity value to values well about 6 C.

"Surface albedo is the first slow feedback that we add to fast feedbacks.

The next slow feedback that we add is the non-CO2 GHGs.

If non-CO2 trace gases are counted as a fast feedback, the fast-feedback sensitivity becomes 4°C for doubled CO2, and the Earth system sensitivity becomes 8°C for doubled CO2 with the surface albedo feedback included. The equilibrium climate sensitivity diagram (Fig. 7) is unchanged, except the numbers on the x-axis are reduced by the factor 0.75 with the a-axis being the CO2 forcing rather than the GHG forcing. These sensitivities apply for today's initial climate state and negative climate forcings; they are reduced for positive forcings, as discussed above. This sensitivity, non-CO2 gases included as a feedback, is the definition of Earth system sensitivity used by Royer et al. (2011), which may account for the high sensitivities that they estimate."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 05:46:51 PM

Surface albedo in the above graph refers to the continental ice sheets, and also to the surface albedo changes due to vegetation change, as discussed in the Hansen and Sato paper (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf).

Note that snow and sea ice feedbacks are fast feedbacks, so they are already included in the fast-feedback climate sensitivity in the graph.

Steven,

From the paper (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf).

Quote
Minor exceptions, such as the fact that Arctic sea ice may disappear with a relatively small increase of climate forcing above the Holocene level, might put a small wave in the fast-feedback curve.

how do you reconcile the above with this new data (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1)

Quote
Results obtained here indicate that in this configuration of CESM (CAM4 coupled to a slab ocean and the dynamic–thermodynamic sea ice model CICE4), approximately 3 × 1012 m2 of sea ice is lost for each kelvin of global mean warming and approximately 0.1 W m−2 of “sea ice radiative forcing” is produced by each 1012 m2 of sea ice loss, yielding a value of −0.3 W m−2 K−1 for the sea ice contribution to the overall climate feedback parameter. Because sea ice area in the 1×CO2 control simulation is approximately 30 × 1012 m2, this suggests that complete loss of all sea ice from the 1×CO2 state would produce a radiative forcing of about 3 W m−2, which is somewhat less than, but of the same order of magnitude as, the regressed radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2.




Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 13, 2014, 06:28:31 PM

Surface albedo in the above graph refers to the continental ice sheets, and also to the surface albedo changes due to vegetation change, as discussed in the Hansen and Sato paper (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf).

Note that snow and sea ice feedbacks are fast feedbacks, so they are already included in the fast-feedback climate sensitivity in the graph.


Steven,

From the paper (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf).

Quote
Minor exceptions, such as the fact that Arctic sea ice may disappear with a relatively small increase of climate forcing above the Holocene level, might put a small wave in the fast-feedback curve.

how do you reconcile the above with this new data (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1)

Quote
Results obtained here indicate that in this configuration of CESM (CAM4 coupled to a slab ocean and the dynamic–thermodynamic sea ice model CICE4), approximately 3 × 1012 m2 of sea ice is lost for each kelvin of global mean warming and approximately 0.1 W m−2 of “sea ice radiative forcing” is produced by each 1012 m2 of sea ice loss, yielding a value of −0.3 W m−2 K−1 for the sea ice contribution to the overall climate feedback parameter. Because sea ice area in the 1×CO2 control simulation is approximately 30 × 1012 m2, this suggests that complete loss of all sea ice from the 1×CO2 state would produce a radiative forcing of about 3 W m−2, which is somewhat less than, but of the same order of magnitude as, the regressed radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

The "small wave" in the fast feedback that Hansen & Sato 2012 are referring to is the bump in their Figure 7 that shows that that as the increase in radiative forcing (above pre-industrial) approaches 3 W/sq m (which is likely to occur by about 2045 per RCP 3/2.6, which is much slower than the path we are actually following), the fast feedback quasi-equilibrium climate sensitivity will be between 5.5 and 6 C (as I previously stated).  However, if we stay on the RCP 8.5 pathway we are at risk of switching to an equable climate that was last experienced about 39 million years ago (see the plot that jai provides in Reply #287), where the quasi-equilibrium climate sensitivity will equal, or exceed 8 C, as Hansen & Sato 2012 show as we approach a change of radiative forcing of about 8.5 W/sq m (ie the 8.5 in RCP 8.5 is 8.5 W/sq m by 2100).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 06:38:26 PM
or this one

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdescentintotheicehouse.org.uk%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FSection-1-Fig-2-Shows-the-Early-and-Middle-Eocene-pole-to-equator-sea-surface-temperature-gradient1.png&hash=34ff4eb82a67fe993a372e264fbe7ae3)

temperature curves correspond to early and middle Eocene periods.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 13, 2014, 07:28:21 PM
jai, I''m not sure I've seen that one before: reference?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 08:15:33 PM
http://descentintotheicehouse.org.uk/home/greenhouse-climate/ (http://descentintotheicehouse.org.uk/home/greenhouse-climate/)

[3] Bijl, P.K., Schouten, S., Sluijs, A., Reichart, G.-J., Zachos, J.C., and Brinkhuis, H., 2009, Early Palaeogene temperature evolution of the southwest Pacific Ocean: Nature, v. 461, p. 776-779.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 13, 2014, 10:35:03 PM
The climate interactive organization has posted the attached figure showing the impact of the new China-USA carbon emission pledges as compared to RCP 8.5 (and what would happen if the rest of the world's countries were to follow suit):

http://www.climateinteractive.org/ (http://www.climateinteractive.org/)

However, this figure does not indicate that if these countries are slow in delivering carbon cut-backs then the absorbed solar radiation (ASR) increase associated largely with polar amplification will out-weigh the influence of the GHG emission reduction; thus potentially keeping the world on (or exceeding) the radiative forcing scenario represented by RCP 8.5 (leading to a probable equable climate before 2100).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 13, 2014, 10:35:43 PM

The problem is we cannot be sure that sensitivity will be about 3 degrees. The risk that it will turn out to be substantially more seems real and alarming. Pointing this out is not cherry picking or alarmist. It is dangerous negligence to ignore or not take serious this risk.


Agreed.  IPCC say 1.5-4.5 and allow a 15% chance it may be higher than 4.5.  However some on this thread have basically accused the IPCC of fraud, have stated that the possibility that sensitivity may be lower than 3 degrees is nonsense etc

The IPCC AR5 confidence level ranges only summarize the state of the literature at the time that the AR5 report was published.  The IPCC does no original research, thus when they produce confidence level ranges based on the literature they include errors associated with: (a) researchers who error on the side of least drama; (b) climate sensitivity values that are biased by instrument readings during the faux hiatus period to be too low; (c) paleo values that do not reflect the current anthropogenic radiative forcing; which has a rate of growth that is over 100 times faster than during any reported paleo period; (d) mixing effective values with true values (ie reporting climate sensitivity values that include different combinations of feedback mechanisms), (e) climate sensitivity values that do not include feedback from factors that scientists did not adequately understand before AR5 was produced such as that influence of water vapor on absorbed solar radiation (ASR), etc; and (f) the fact that climate sensitivity values are currently continuously increasing as various feedback factors are activated by global warming (such as the reduction in albedo associated with Arctic Amplification), and will continue to increase as long as global warming continues.

For example Shindell (2014) showed that the low climate sensitivity values included in AR5 are physically not possible, but the IPCC does not correct for this consideration; thus any confidence level ranges given by the IPCC should at best be considered as lower bound ranges.  Furthermore, as we continue along our current RCP 8.5 pathway higher values of climate sensitivity will become locked in for at least several centuries, and the probability distribution functions assumed by AR5 will be scaled-up upward in the future.

Shindell(2014) claims that the low sensitivity values included in AR5 is 'very unlikely', not physically impossible.  (link) (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n4/full/nclimate2136.html)

Also note that Shindell is about transient climate sensitivity, not equilibrium sensitivity, and that Shindell does not find a climate sensitivity above IPCC, but rather moves the observation based estimates from being lower than the IPCC standard range to being roughly equivelant:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.realclimate.org%2Fimages%2F%2Fshindell_tcr.jpg&hash=8d221e63eb805a5decbd9fffb0c8537a)

See more at Real Climate (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/04/shindell-on-constraining-the-transient-climate-response/#ITEM-17134-0)

Your argument overall are the mirror image of Nic Lewis.  He finds that climate sensitivity is lower than the IPCC range.  The heart of his argument is to pick the observation based estimates as the true estimates, find a fault or two with the observation estimates at the higher end, point out a few issues and uncertainties with the higher model and paleo estimates and uses this as an excuse to ignore those estimates all together so that he can pretend that all the evidence points to a lower estimate.  Some more at Skeptical Science (http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-single-study-syndrome-nic-lewis-edition.html)


Your arguments are very much the mirror image of Nic Lewis
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 13, 2014, 10:38:35 PM

Most serious people believe that the chances of following RCP 3/2.6 are becoming vanishingly small (including the Union of Concerned Scientists);

Whereas only people with a sense of humour think that the chances of following rcp8.5 are even smaller than the chances of following RCP2.6.

Consider the deal struck between China and US for significant mitigation action.  Consider that for the first time last year China added more renewable energy to their grid than coal.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 13, 2014, 11:08:51 PM
jai, thanks, interesting.

Als see Hollis et al 2012, especially their fig.2:
http://www.es.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/pubs/Hollis_etal_2012.pdf (http://www.es.ucsc.edu/~jzachos/pubs/Hollis_etal_2012.pdf)

There may be some overestimation in Bijl et al 2009, at higher latitudes? But who knows?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 13, 2014, 11:15:56 PM
Your argument overall are the mirror image of Nic Lewis.  He finds that climate sensitivity is lower than the IPCC range.  The heart of his argument is to pick the observation based estimates as the true estimates, find a fault or two with the observation estimates at the higher end, point out a few issues and uncertainties with the higher model and paleo estimates and uses this as an excuse to ignore those estimates all together so that he can pretend that all the evidence points to a lower estimate.  Some more at Skeptical Science (http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-single-study-syndrome-nic-lewis-edition.html)

Your arguments are very much the mirror image of Nic Lewis

The difference is that Lewis risks not enough mitigation and adaptation, whereas the reverse approach stressing worst-case scenario's of AGW risks too much mitigation and adaptation, which on balance is a lesser risk, according to IPCC and most risks analists, it seems.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 13, 2014, 11:16:07 PM

Most serious people believe that the chances of following RCP 3/2.6 are becoming vanishingly small (including the Union of Concerned Scientists);

Whereas only people with a sense of humour think that the chances of following rcp8.5 are even smaller than the chances of following RCP2.6.

Consider the deal struck between China and US for significant mitigation action.  Consider that for the first time last year China added more renewable energy to their grid than coal.

The link from the following Scientific American article includes the following quote:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-u-s-china-climate-change-agreement/ (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-u-s-china-climate-change-agreement/)


Quote: "Plus, the new agreement is nowhere near ambitious enough to meet the reduction targets laid out in the most recent report of the IPCC. No country or league of countries—not even the E.U.—is on track to reduce pollution enough. Policy modeler Chris Hope of the University of Cambridge fed the new commitments plus the E.U. effort into a computer model under the assumption that other countries would continue to allow pollution to grow. He came out with "less than a 1 percent chance of keeping the rise in global mean temperatures below the iconic 2 [degree C] level in 2100. Most likely the rise will be about 3.8 [degrees C]." In other words, more needs to be done and China's level of striving to reach peak pollution before 2030 will prove crucial.
 
 The world still has a long way to go to combat climate change and even this new inadequate agreement will require some tough, perhaps impossible, efforts from the U.S. and China. "We're nowhere near the world we need to be in to achieve our most ambitious climate goals," says Valerie Karplus, director of the Tsinghua-M.I.T. China Energy and Climate Project. "We need to recognize that reality and think where do we go from here.""
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 13, 2014, 11:45:14 PM
Your argument overall are the mirror image of Nic Lewis.  He finds that climate sensitivity is lower than the IPCC range.  The heart of his argument is to pick the observation based estimates as the true estimates, find a fault or two with the observation estimates at the higher end, point out a few issues and uncertainties with the higher model and paleo estimates and uses this as an excuse to ignore those estimates all together so that he can pretend that all the evidence points to a lower estimate.  Some more at Skeptical Science (http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity-single-study-syndrome-nic-lewis-edition.html)

Your arguments are very much the mirror image of Nic Lewis

The difference is that Lewis risks not enough mitigation and adaptation, whereas the reverse approach stressing worst-case scenario's of AGW risks too much mitigation and adaptation, which on balance is a lesser risk, according to IPCC and most risks analists, it seems.

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

So, placing yourself between Nic Lewis and the mirror of Nic Lewis will not only show you two Nic Lewis', but might turn out to still be too conservative. The logical and responsible thing to do is to turn away from Nic Lewis and have a look in the mirror.  ;)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 13, 2014, 11:48:21 PM

(graphic with commitments)


An eyeball estimation of the second from bottom curve (previous pledges plus U.S. and China commitments) shows a cumulative emission of 4,875 GT of CO2 by 2100.
 
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 14, 2014, 12:57:57 AM
The following quote from the linked cnbc article indicates that crude oil prices keep dropping; which to me means that the fossil fuel industry is not going down without a fight:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102183148#. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102183148#.)

"Brent futures Thursday tumbled more than 3.4 percent to $78. Brent was off more than 3.4 percent, and West Texas Intermediate slumped $2.97 to $74.21 per barrel. Brent has fallen nearly 7 percent so far this week."

Furthermore, the linked Guardian article discusses tactics that the new Republican Congress can use to frustrate Obama's new climate agreement with China:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/12/how-republican-led-congress-could-kill-climate-change-deal (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/12/how-republican-led-congress-could-kill-climate-change-deal)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 14, 2014, 06:16:47 PM
Per the linked article, Obama's "Clean Power Plan" may be insufficient to meet his commitments in the US-China climate pact:

Meredith Fowlie, Lawrence Goulder, Matthew Kotchen, Severin Borenstein, James Bushnell, Lucas Davis, Michael Greenstone, Charles Kolstad, Christopher Knittel, Robert Stavins, Michael Wara, Frank Wolak, Catherine Wolfram, (2014), "An economic perspective on the EPA's Clean Power Plan", Science 14 November 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6211 pp. 815-816, DOI: 10.1126/science.1261349

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6211/815.summary (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6211/815.summary)

Summary: "In June, the Obama Administration unveiled its proposal for a Clean Power Plan, which it estimates would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing U.S. power plants 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 (see the chart). Power plant emissions have declined substantially since 2005, so the plan is seeking reductions of about 18% from current levels. Electricity generation accounts for about 40% of U.S. CO2 emissions."

See also:
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/economists-epa-co2-plan-may-be-too-weak-18325 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/economists-epa-co2-plan-may-be-too-weak-18325)
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/on-eve-of-climate-pact-iea-warns-fossil-fuel-trends-dire-18320 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/on-eve-of-climate-pact-iea-warns-fossil-fuel-trends-dire-18320)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 14, 2014, 07:03:45 PM
Challenge, Don't Worship, The Chiefs and High Priestesses of Science
http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/may/17/science-policy1 (http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/may/17/science-policy1)


Quotes

When I was looking into the Big Bang Fair last term, I learned that volunteers were briefed not to get pulled into debating "politics" of arms dealing or the fossil fuel industry, lest it distracted from the science. I've since heard similar briefings have been issued for science events running over the summer. It's also a line I heard all too often when I worked at Imperial College.

It's bullshit. Simple bullshit. Politics doesn't distract from the science. An over-emphasis on decontextualised science is used to distract from the politics.

It is often assumed science is somehow above political issues, but just because disinterestedness is an aspiration doesn't mean it's true in practice. It can be hard to spot ideologies you're part of, so decent public engagement – which is honest about the uncertainties and arguments in science and actively invites questioning – can help science uncover itself more clearly. This is vitally important, because if you don't recognize how routinely political science is, you just get played by those who do.









Climate Change Talk Scarce At Science Institutions
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/technology/article3556889.html (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/technology/article3556889.html)


Quotes

Michael Mann, a leading climate-change expert, said exhibits must address the issue: "They are perhaps the greatest source of informal education the public receives about science and nature."

Mann gave the zoo display "a solid B+", but noted an ongoing debate over energy sources like ethanol, clean coal and natural gas. Because those are, or rely on, fossil fuels, he said, "Some of their solutions may not be solutions at all."

Marks said that the zoo "felt we had to have a mixture" of energy sources.

"We're in the coal belt," she added, "so for us to think coal is going away is probably not going to happen."

It's wrong for museums that celebrate science and nature to have relationships with the fossil-fuel industry... There's a chill that happens, subconsciously, where you don't want to critique the practices of donors... And extracting fossil fuels causes environmental devastation. So why are you providing them a clean image?"

I wouldn't be so quick to judge them. We live in the real world. We're all using fossil fuels.

The Carnegie had planned to address climate change in an exhibit called "Earth, Energy and the Environment." The exhibit is currently shelved, partly due to changes in museum leadership. But Shreckengast said it will give viewers — including those who disbelieve climate sciencea chance to provide input on the subject.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on November 14, 2014, 07:09:00 PM
The "small wave" in the fast feedback that Hansen & Sato 2012 are referring to is the bump in their Figure 7 that shows that that as the increase in radiative forcing (above pre-industrial) approaches 3 W/sq m [...]

This is a misunderstanding.  Here is Hansen and Sato's (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf) quote regarding a "small wave":
 
Quote
The fast-feedback climate sensitivity is a reasonably smooth curve, because the principal fast-feedback mechanisms (water vapor, clouds, aerosols, sea ice) do not have sharp threshold changes.  Minor exceptions, such as the fact that Arctic sea ice may disappear with a relatively small increase of climate forcing above the Holocene level, might put a small wave in the fast-feedback curve.

This quote has nothing to do with the large bump (peak) in the center of the Fast Feedback + Surface Albedo curve (http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/HS12Fig7.jpg) (just to the right of the Holocene conditions).  In fact, the latter bump is due to the "possibility of a hysteresis effect that makes demise of the Antarctic ice sheet difficult, thus stretching out toward larger forcing the ice sheet addition to the fast-feedback sensitivity". 

See also the following SkepticalScience comment by Tom Curtis:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/hansen-and-sato-2012-climate-sensitivity.html#80362 (http://www.skepticalscience.com/hansen-and-sato-2012-climate-sensitivity.html#80362)
 
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 14, 2014, 07:37:04 PM
How does one reconcile the apparent nonlinear contribution of Arctic sea ice loss to radiative forcing over the last 20 years to H&S fast feedback curve that remains linear (mostly) to the PETM threshold?

I think it is clear that they are hindcasting from paleo records and do not have sufficient scale of resolution to include short scale jump in arctic sea ice loss during the relatively instantaneous interstadials.  (even though they mention it in the body of the paper, it is not diagrammed on their curve projections.)

If a full 25% of forcing from CO2 (since 1979) can be attributed to albedo loss, and over 65% of that additional forcing has occurred over the last 10 years, then this would be an additional forcing of almost .5 W/m^2 since 2004.  This is enough to show a rise in the Hansen & Sato curve.

Reference:  http://eisenman.ucsd.edu/papers/Pistone-Eisenman-Ramanathan-2014.pdf (http://eisenman.ucsd.edu/papers/Pistone-Eisenman-Ramanathan-2014.pdf)

Since the Caldeira paper showed a 3W/m^2 increase in forcing under ice free conditions (and we know that this is most likely underestimated, since they did not include the more recent determination of ice/water far infrared emissivity differences, then the curve should have a rise somewhere after the Holocene that is nearly double the current value on the fast feedback curve.

I think that this curve should be redone, thrown out, or simply relegated to a good first effort but not considered too closely. . .I mean, how can one possibly justify that fast feedback ECS is constant between the LGM and 2W/m^2 above the Holocene? (while there is so much ice in the arctic providing a potential 3w/m^2 non-linear forcing potential???)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.skepticalscience.com%2Fpics%2FHS12Fig7.jpg&hash=6192d89e270cd6f30d687958da9a5be2)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 15, 2014, 07:44:13 PM
The "small wave" in the fast feedback that Hansen & Sato 2012 are referring to is the bump in their Figure 7 that shows that that as the increase in radiative forcing (above pre-industrial) approaches 3 W/sq m [...]

This is a misunderstanding.  Here is Hansen and Sato's (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120508_ClimateSensitivity.pdf) quote regarding a "small wave":
 
Quote
The fast-feedback climate sensitivity is a reasonably smooth curve, because the principal fast-feedback mechanisms (water vapor, clouds, aerosols, sea ice) do not have sharp threshold changes.  Minor exceptions, such as the fact that Arctic sea ice may disappear with a relatively small increase of climate forcing above the Holocene level, might put a small wave in the fast-feedback curve.

This quote has nothing to do with the large bump (peak) in the center of the Fast Feedback + Surface Albedo curve (http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/HS12Fig7.jpg) (just to the right of the Holocene conditions).  In fact, the latter bump is due to the "possibility of a hysteresis effect that makes demise of the Antarctic ice sheet difficult, thus stretching out toward larger forcing the ice sheet addition to the fast-feedback sensitivity". 

See also the following SkepticalScience comment by Tom Curtis:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/hansen-and-sato-2012-climate-sensitivity.html#80362 (http://www.skepticalscience.com/hansen-and-sato-2012-climate-sensitivity.html#80362)

While I agree with jai's response to Steven's post, that Hansen & Sato 2012 are hindcasting using approximate GCM projections that were calibrated primarily by paleo records, and that as H&S's Figure 7 does not adequately differentiate between various slow, intermediate and fast feedback factors, it is difficult to interpret exactly what they mean, and thus it would be good if the ACME Earth System Model project were to put out some early results of their findings (which includes any possible Antarctic hysteresis).  Unfortunately, as the final ACME ESM results may not be available for 10 years or so, we are left with commenting about the information at hand.  Therefore (not to beat H&S 2012 to death), I provide the addition quote from H&S 2012:


Quote form Hansen & Sato 2012: "The equilibrium climate sensitivity for a positive (warming) from the Holocene state depends on the magnitude of the forcing. Hansen et al. (2008) conclude that the mean sensitivity over the entire range from the Holocene to a climate just warm enough to lose the Antarctic ice sheet is almost 6°C for doubled CO2, but most of the surface albedo feedback in that range is caused by loss of the Antarctic ice sheet. The decreasing amplitude of glacial-interglacial temperature oscillations between the late Pleistocene and Pliocene (Fig. 4b) suggests that the sensitivity is smaller as climate warms from the Holocene toward a Pliocene-like climate."

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the 6 C "wave" on H&S Fig 7 is associated with the Antarctic ice sheet, and while I do agree with jai that Arctic amplification must contribute to this 6 C "wave"; all of my prior comments were predicated on polar amplification (both Arctic and Antarctic amplification), as Hansen and Sato project a sea-level rise of up to 5m by 2100; which in my book means that they must believe that a collapse of a significant portion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, WAIS, is probably by 2100.  In this regards the National Research Council, NRC, (2013), "Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change Anticipating Surprises", The National Academies Press, Washington D.C. makes the following statements:

"However, a large part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), representing 3-4 m of potential sea-level rise, is capable of flowing rapidly into deep ocean basins. Because the full suite of physical processes occurring where ice meets ocean is not included in comprehensive icesheet models, it remains possible that future rates of sea-level rise from the WAIS are underestimated, perhaps substantially. Improved understanding of key physical processes and inclusion of them in models, together with improved projections of changes in the surrounding ocean, are required to notably reduce uncertainties and to better quantify worst-case scenarios. Because large uncertainties remain, the Committee judges an abrupt change in the WAIS within this century to be plausible, with an unknown although probably low probability.
...

A retreat of Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica could give a much wider and deeper calving front than any observed today, so the "speed limits" suggested by Pfeffer et al. (2008) may not apply (Parizek et al., 2013)."

Furthermore, Eric Rignot (2014) makes the following statements on the topic of the WAIS stability:

"We announced that we had collected enough observations to conclude that the retreat of ice in the Amundsen sea sector of West Antarctica was unstoppable, with major consequences – it will mean that sea levels will rise one metre worldwide. What's more, its disappearance will likely trigger the collapse of the rest of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which comes with a sea level rise of between three and five metres. Such an event will displace millions of people worldwide.
Two centuries – if that is what it takes – may seem like a long time, but there is no red button to stop this process.

...

Thwaites glacier started to accelerate after 2006 and in 2011 we detected a huge retreat of the glacier grounding lines since 2000. Detailed reconstructions of the glacier bed further confirmed that no mountain or hill in the back of these glaciers could act as a barrier and hold them up; and 40 years of glacier flow evolution showed that the speed-up was a long story.
At the current rate, a large fraction of the basin will be gone in 200 years, but recent modelling studies indicate that the retreat rate will increase in the future.

...

Controlling climate warming may ultimately make a difference not only about how fast West Antarctic ice will melt to sea, but also whether other parts of Antarctica will take their turn. Several "candidates" are lined up, and we seem to have figured a way to push them out of equilibrium even before warming of air temperature is strong enough to melt snow and ice at the surface.
Unabated climate warming of several degrees over the next century is likely to speed up the collapse of West Antarctica, but it could also trigger irreversible retreat of marine-based sectors of East Antarctica. Whether we should do something about it is simply a matter of common sense. And the time to act is now; Antarctica is not waiting for us."

Furthermore, the first attached image of the Amundsen Sea Sector ice mass loss rates (from the European Space Agency - GOCE satellite 2014), shows that ice mass loss from this area has been (2009-2012) contributing an average of 0.51 mm/year (out of 3.2 mm/year) to global sea-level rise.  Furthermore, the second attached image (from Mouginot, J., E. Rignot, and B. Scheuchl, (2014), "Sustained increase in ice discharge from the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica, from 1973 to 2013", Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, doi:10.1002/2013GL059069) shows the evolution of ice mass loss from the Amundsen Sea Embayment marine glaciers, that shows particularly that ice mass loss from the Thwaites Glacier is continuing to accelerate.  Therefore, if Rignot points-out that without the acceleration of ice mass loss from the WAIS glaciers that it could take as much as 200-years for the WAIS to partially collapse, then it is not unreasonable to assume that as the acceleration of ice mass loss from the WAIS is likely to continue, that the partial collapse of the WAIS is probable (or at least as the NRC states plausible) by 2100.

I will post more on the topic of significant polar amplification by 2100 shortly (or if you do not want to wait you can look at the threads in the Antarctic folder)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 15, 2014, 10:16:02 PM
DeSmogBlog has posted the most balanced (imho) assessment of the US-China Climate deal and its larger context: the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Posted in 2 threads)



China-U.S. Climate Deal Is Historic, But On Its Own Is Not Enough
http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/11/14/u-s-china-climate-deal-historic-its-own-not-enough (http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/11/14/u-s-china-climate-deal-historic-its-own-not-enough)


Quotes
it is historic. For the first time ever, China has agreed to put a cap on the emissions produced by its rapid, voracious economic expansion. While it's certainly not true that the U.S. taking responsibility for its share of global warming pollution wouldn't have had a meaningful impact anyway, it also can't be ignored that averting runaway climate change would be nearly impossible if China's emissions keep growing unabated

...is not the same thing as saying that the deal President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping struck is enough to get the job done... the emissions targets themselves, which come nowhere near what climate scientists say are needed to prevent catastrophic warming. We must lower global warming pollution 80% below 1990 levels by mid-century, yet the US is still using 2005 as its baseline, and has only committed to lowering emissions 26-28% by 2025. China, meanwhile, needs to see its emissions peak by 2020, climate scientists say, but has only committed to doing so by 2030.

“The net result is not victory,” writes Peter Lee in Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/11/13/the-uschina-climate-pact-a-requiem-for-the-kyoto-treaty/), “it’s probably the recipe for a global temperature rise of 4 degrees which is much higher than the 2 degree rise that everybody said would be very, very bad.”

There's some fuzzy logic at work in how emissions will be tracked, too, according to DeSmog research fellow Steve Horn (http://www.accuracy.org/release/u-s-china-climate-deal-what-the-cheering-overlooks/): “As the saying goes, read the fine print: nuclear energy will be accounted for as ‘zero emission’ and it looks like carbon capture and storage (CCS) will too, aka ‘clean coal,’ or ’21st Century Coal’ as the U.S. has preferred to call it in terms of its wheeling and dealing with China.”

Meanwhile, a major push to export the U.S.'s fracking boom to China (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/china-us-fracking-shale-gas) is underway, which further complicates the matter. China is looking to exploit its vast shale gas resources as a means of lowering its reliance on coal and addressing its smog problem, at a time when the U.S. is only beginning to grapple with the true extent of emissions from its own fracking boom (http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/10/17/policy-politics/natural-gas-not-answer-emissions).

Another cause for concern: even the emissions reduction commitments in the deal, weak as they may be, are non-binding, so there are no legal or other mechanisms stipulated to actually hold both countries accountable. As Bill McKibben says (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-mckibben/the-big-climate-deal-what_b_6145026.html), “In effect President Obama is writing an IOU to be cashed by future presidents and Congresses (and Xi is doing the same for future Politburos). If they take the actions to meet the targets, then it's meaningful, but for now it's a paper promise. And since physics is uninterested in spin, all the hard work lies ahead.”



Naomi Klein points out (http://thischangeseverything.org/some-very-initial-thoughts-on-the-us-china-deal/) that, “by tying the emission reduction targets of both countries together in a bilateral deal, the President is making sure that his successor will have to weigh any desire to break these commitments against the risks of alienating America most important trading partner.”

The signal it sends to the international community could well be the most important aspect. It has already put pressure on the world's third-largest emitter, India (http://www.newsweek.com/after-us-china-climate-deal-focus-india-follow-suit-284362), to develop its own strategy for lowering emissions... Another good sign is China's commitment to getting 20% of its energy from zero-emission sources by 2030... because they've revolutionized the production of solar energy, driving down the cost of panels by 90 percent or more in the last decade. Who knows how much cheaper this commitment will drive solar prices.


Naomi Klein's new book This Changes Everything makes the case that globalization based on neoliberal economic policies is essentially the antithesis of climate action, and she reiterated that point in her response to the China-U.S. deal:

Quote
As I argue in the book, free trade deals and World Trade Organization rules are increasingly being used to undercut important climate policies, by blocking subsidies for renewable energy and other supports for the clean energy sector. The mindless expansion of cross-border trade also fuels carbon-intensive consumption and emissions growth, and NAFTA-style pacts bestow corporations with outrageous powers to challenge national policies at international tribunals. Climate objectives could yet be undermined by the US-China deal on high-tech goods, which still has to be approved by the WTO, or by a massive new regional trade agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Republicans have already said they're gunning for the emissions standards in the Clean Power Plan (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/09/3590628/gop-senate-epa-rule-shutdown/), and have shown their willingness to shut down the entire federal government to get their way in the past.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 16, 2014, 02:41:36 AM
While my last post (Reply #307 ) showed that a significant portion of the WAIS is on track to collapse in less than 200-years without any further anthropogenic forcing (ie if anthropogenic GHG emissions dropped to zero today).  However, as has been discussed in this thread it is not unreasonable to consider the case that further anthropogenic forcing causes mean global temperatures to raise by about 5 C above pre-industrial levels by (or before) 2100.  Assuming such a BAU scenario, the linked reference indicates that changes in cloud cover/albedo for such conditions would rapidly induce the Equatorial Pacific Ocean into a permanent El Nino-like state.  As cloud albedo is a rapid response feedback mechanism, such a change could happen in as little as a few decades from now (say 2040-2050). Permanent El Nino-like conditions would telecommunicate large amounts of heat from the Equatorial Pacific directly to West Antarctica; which, could greatly accelerate (beyond the current rate of acceleration) ice mass loss from this area.

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

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014PA002644/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014PA002644/abstract)

Also note that Feldmann & Levermann 2014 have demonstrated that an early partial collapse of the marine glaciers in the Amundsen Sea Sector could contribute to the acceleration of the collapse of the marine glaciers in the Weddell Sea Sector.  The partial collapse of the marine glaciers in these two sectors would eventually (and no one know just how quickly) form seaways that would allow for ocean currents to flow between these two sectors:

J. Feldmann and A. Levermann, (2014), "Interaction of marine ice-sheet instabilities in two drainage basins: simple scaling of geometry and transition time", The Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 4885–4912, doi:10.5194/tcd-8-4885-2014

Possible seaways through the current location of the WAIS are indicated by the attached image from Vaughan et al 2011:

Vaughan, D.G., Barnes, D.K.A., Fretwell, P.T., and Bingham, R.G., (2011), "Potential seaways across West Antarctica", Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, Vol. 12, No. 10, 7 October 2011, doi: 10.1029/2011GC003688.

Worst, the following reference shows a large-scale climate response to a significant retreat of the WAIS, including associated feedbacks in the oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns, would change the global circulation patterns and probably the "Antarctic hysteresis" that Hansen and Sato 2012 were referring to; which in my opinion could possibly occur by the end of this century:

F. Justino, A. S. Silva, M. P. Pereira, F. Stordal, D. Lindemann and F. Kucharski, (2014), "The large-scale climate in response to the retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet", Journal of Climate; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00284.1 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00284.1)

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00284.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00284.1)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 16, 2014, 05:11:05 AM
In the following free access reference Hansen et al (2013) clarify that: (a) the fast-feedback climate sensitivity is at the high end of the 3 +/- 1 C range; and (b) that ice sheet response time to radiative forcing is faster than earlier researchers thought and consequently that the Antarctic hysteresis was less than previously expected (see abstract and extract):

Hansen J, Sato M, Russell G, Kharecha P.,  (2013), "Climate sensitivity, sea level and atmospheric carbon dioxide", Phil Trans R Soc A 371: 20120294, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2012.0294 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2012.0294)

http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/2001/20120294.full (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/371/2001/20120294.full)

Abstract: "Cenozoic temperature, sea level and CO2 covariations provide insights into climate sensitivity to external forcings and sea-level sensitivity to climate change.  Climate sensitivity depends on the initial climate state, but potentially can be accurately inferred from precise palaeo-climate data. Pleistocene climate oscillations yield a fast-feedback climate sensitivity of 3 ± 1◦C for a 4Wm−2 CO2 forcing if Holocene warming relative to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is used as calibration, but the error (uncertainty) is substantial and partly subjective because of poorly defined LGM global temperature and possible human influences in the Holocene. Glacial-to-interglacial climate change leading to the prior (Eemian) interglacial is less ambiguous and implies a sensitivity in the upper part of the above range, i.e. 3–4◦C for a 4Wm−2 CO2 forcing. Slow feedbacks, especially change of ice sheet size and atmospheric CO2, amplify the total Earth system sensitivity by an amount that depends on the time scale considered.  Ice sheet response time is poorly defined, but we show that the slow response and hysteresis in prevailing ice sheet models are exaggerated. We use a global model, simplified to essential processes, to investigate state dependence of climate sensitivity, finding an increased sensitivity towards warmer climates, as low cloud cover is diminished and increased water vapour elevates the tropopause. Burning all fossil fuels, we conclude, would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change."

Extract wrt Earth System Sensitivity: "We have shown that global temperature change over the Cenozoic era is consistent with CO2 change being the climate forcing that drove the long-term climate change. Proxy CO₂ measurements are so variable and uncertain that we only rely on the conclusion that the CO₂ amount was of the order of 1000ppm during peak Early Eocene warmth. That conclusion, in conjunction with a climate model incorporating only the most fundamental processes, constrains average fast-feedback climate sensitivity to be in the upper part of the sensitivity range that is normally quoted [1,48,99], i.e. the sensitivity is greater than 3◦C for 2 × CO2. Strictly this Cenozoic evaluation refers to the average fast-feedback sensitivity for the range of climates from ice ages to peak Cenozoic warmth and to the situation at the time of the PETM. However, it would be difficult to achieve that high average sensitivity if the current fast-feedback sensitivity were not at least in the upper half of the range of 3 ± 1◦C for 2 × CO2.  This climate sensitivity evaluation has implications for the atmospheric CO2 amount throughout the Cenozoic era, which can be checked as improved proxy CO2 measurements become available. The CO2 amount was only approximately 450–500ppm 34 Myr BP when large-scale glaciation first occurred on Antarctica. Perhaps more important, the amount of CO2 required to melt most of Antarctica in the MMCO was only approximately 450–500 ppm, conceivably only about 400 ppm. These CO2 amounts are smaller than suggested by ice sheet/climate models, providing further indication that the ice sheet models are excessively lethargic, i.e. resistant to climate change. The CO2 amount in the earliest Pliocene, averaged over astronomical cycles, was apparently only about 300 ppm, and decreased further during the Pliocene."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 16, 2014, 06:15:06 AM
ASLR,

Quote
While my last post (Reply #307 ) showed that a significant portion of the WAIS is on track to collapse in less than 200-years without any further anthropogenic forcing (ie if anthropogenic GHG emissions dropped to zero today).

I think you may have forgotten that we have yet to experience the full warming that has been incurred by our current CO2 concentration levels.  Currently, our Top of Atmosphere radiation levels indicate that we have between .4 and 1.2K of additional warming "locked in".

In addition, this additional warming will likely induce significantly more arctic sea ice loss, possibly even inducing an ice free summer AT CURRENT CONCENTRATION LEVELS. 

This fast feedback will produce significantly higher regional warming in the boreal summers, as well as produce significant permafrost decomposition as well as boreal peat and forest destruction (if what we have seen in the last decade is any indication).

so the likelihood of WAIS steady state loss rates over the near future is untenable.  just saying. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 16, 2014, 10:14:15 AM
In the attached pdf, Hansen clarifies his belief that fast feedback climate sensitivity is somewhere between 3 and 4 C:

See:
James Hansen (15 April 2013) "Making Things Clearer: Exaggeration, Jumping the Gun, and The Venus Syndrome"
http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/ (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/)


edit: For those who do not know the back story, when the IPCC was first determining what range of ECS to use in their models, Hansen recommended the use of a value of 4 C; which some researchers felt was an exaggeration.  Thus, in the attached article Hansen is expressing some vindication that calibration of the Russell GCM to the paleo record requires the use of an ECS closer to 4 C than to 3 C, thus indicating that Hansen is not subject to exaggeration but that the critical researchers chose to error on the side of least drama rather than to error on the side of greatest public safety.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 16, 2014, 07:18:27 PM
ASLR,

Quote
While my last post (Reply #307 ) showed that a significant portion of the WAIS is on track to collapse in less than 200-years without any further anthropogenic forcing (ie if anthropogenic GHG emissions dropped to zero today).

I think you may have forgotten that we have yet to experience the full warming that has been incurred by our current CO2 concentration levels.  Currently, our Top of Atmosphere radiation levels indicate that we have between .4 and 1.2K of additional warming "locked in".

In addition, this additional warming will likely induce significantly more arctic sea ice loss, possibly even inducing an ice free summer AT CURRENT CONCENTRATION LEVELS. 

This fast feedback will produce significantly higher regional warming in the boreal summers, as well as produce significant permafrost decomposition as well as boreal peat and forest destruction (if what we have seen in the last decade is any indication).

so the likelihood of WAIS steady state loss rates over the near future is untenable.  just saying. . .

jai,

While I agree with the general nature of you comments (& I absolutely agree that even if all anthropogenic GHG emissions stopped today that the mean global surface temperatures would continue to rise), for the sake of clarity, the rate of growth of the acceleration of ice mass loss from the WAIS is not only related to the increase in mean global surface temperatures, but also to such factors as: (a) ENSO periodicity, (b) the possible SAM trend, (c) basal topology and basal friction, (d) local ocean currents, wind patterns and upwelling near marine glaciers, (e) buttressing action from ice shelves/ice tongues, etc, etc.  Therefore, while I agree that rate of ice mass loss from the WAIS is almost certain to continue accelerating for several more decades; without a beyond-the-state-of-the-art Earth System model like the ACME project, there will be a considerable amount of uncertainty as to how much faster than 200-years will it take for large parts of the WAIS to collapse (as such collapse is now unstoppable).

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 16, 2014, 10:17:01 PM
ASLR,

in my very unscientific estimation of current transitory states, I predict that the established trends of drought, ice loss, heatwaves and storm intensities (as well as the time rate change of those trends) will continue into the future for some time.

in my estimation of H&S I cannot help but wonder if they have also lulled us into a false sense of security as the millennial rate of temperature change that we witness from the Paleoclimate records of interstadials allows for a gradual increase in forests and other biomass accumulation of carbon that work as a semi-slow feedback (negative) parameter.  This feedback will not be present in todays biosphere due to time and baseline conditions. 

Compare, the Nordic forests of the 12th century to today, the bony fish biomass from then to now.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 12:26:25 AM
I dont get what you mean there Jai - at present warming levels and with increasing CO2 there has already been an increase in green biomass of over 10% (I am being conservative as some estimations are 15%), this in itself means that 10% of the world is being fed by this increase in Biomass. The earths productivity has being increasing therefore there must be a considerable negative feedback against the CO2 increase otherwise there would have been a considerable increase in the rate of CO2 increase - something must be holding the curve at just a little past straight for such a long period - otherwise the rate of increase would be closer to 10 -15ppm/annum to accommodate a 5 fold increase in fossil fuel carbon emissions - it depends on when the tipping point where all mans emissions equalled the increase in CO2. A feedback of some sort must be happening or all that increase would be represented at Mauna Loa or we have only just arrived at that tipping point.

The rate is increasing and will continue to increase by the look of it to 2030 and well beyond, what the temperature will be then is open to debate but certainly 0.5 - 1 degree above now. What has to be determined is when this will have an adverse effect on green photosynthesising biomass the vast majority of which is contained in the oceans. At that particular tipping point the rate will really take off as the green biomass starts to decline. Are you saying that point is already here because as far as photosynthesis is concerned I dont see the evidence yet.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 12:44:00 AM
jai,

I agree that biosphere is currently being shocked by the current BAU rate of climate change (which will likely only accelerate for at least several centuries); however, I doubt that H&S is the source of societal complacency.  Hansen has projected global mean sea-level rise on the order of 5 m by the end of the century and has cited the risk of climate sensitivity values of over 6 C before 2100 if we stay on the BAU pathway.

The real problem is the complexity of climate change, and the desire by humans to make simple decisions "on the margin".  Climate complexity creates uncertainty, which is like a "fog of war" that the enemy can hide behind.  I have read accounts that in the early 1960's, Lyndon Baines Johnson was advised about the risks of climate change but he felt that geoengineering could solve the problem without rocking the boat.  Therefore, policy makers have been aware of the climate change problem for a long time and they have chosen to take the easy route for at least the past five decades.  In other words, the reason that we are in this mess should not be pinned on scientists, but rather on society's unwillingness to make effective decisions in the face of uncertainty.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 01:23:18 AM
ASLR theres a lot of predicted shock to the biosphere at increasing temperature but very little now, in fact the opposite seems to be true at the moment. The critical thing will be to know when this critical point is reached where the biosphere starts to react negatively to warming rather than positively at the moment. Only at that point is our ecosystem in danger from warming with the exception of sea level rise and the loss of land based habitat. Where is that point (I have raised this before on this forum) is it in the cold pre industrial time, the relatively benign temperatures of now or in the future at +1, +2, +3 degrees C. The Sea Level rise is critical to low lying coastal populations - they will be reduced by migration, or depopulation - but that alone will not influence mankinds survival prospects and stretched over a generation or 2 may only be inconvenient (locally catastrophic as with the Netherlands I know but not insurmountable).

I have set out my viewpoint before on here, but you cannot convince me by speculation and hearsay. There is a large proportion of farmers out there who do not believe they are in any kind of biosphere shock - give them some real unmodelled experimentation that says their livelihoods are at stake and that will change
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 17, 2014, 01:38:52 AM
The critical thing will be to know when this critical point is reached where the biosphere starts to react negatively to warming rather than positively at the moment.
Den tause våren i fuglefjellet (http://mm.aftenposten.no/kloden-var/?artikkel=den-tause-vaaren-i-fuglefjellet) [The silent spring on the bird mountain]
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 02:37:23 AM
ASLR theres a lot of predicted shock to the biosphere at increasing temperature but very little now, in fact the opposite seems to be true at the moment. The critical thing will be to know when this critical point is reached where the biosphere starts to react negatively to warming rather than positively at the moment. Only at that point is our ecosystem in danger from warming with the exception of sea level rise and the loss of land based habitat. Where is that point (I have raised this before on this forum) is it in the cold pre industrial time, the relatively benign temperatures of now or in the future at +1, +2, +3 degrees C. The Sea Level rise is critical to low lying coastal populations - they will be reduced by migration, or depopulation - but that alone will not influence mankinds survival prospects and stretched over a generation or 2 may only be inconvenient (locally catastrophic as with the Netherlands I know but not insurmountable).

I have set out my viewpoint before on here, but you cannot convince me by speculation and hearsay. There is a large proportion of farmers out there who do not believe they are in any kind of biosphere shock - give them some real unmodelled experimentation that says their livelihoods are at stake and that will change

mark,
Your comments remind me of the old joke that goes: "A French Foreign Legionnaire came across a tent in the desert with a long line of camels entering at one end and exiting with great tears in their eyes out of the opposite end.  As the legionnaire approach the tent he read a sign that said: "Pain free camel castrations".  Outraged the legionnaire marched-up to the  Arab sitting in front of the tent and demanded:  "Sir how can you say that these castrations are pain free, just look at these animals they are suffering greatly.  How do you perform these castrations?" as he pointed to the camels exiting the tent.  So the Arab pulled two stones from his pockets and said: "See it is simple" as he banged the rocks together.  The legionnaire growled at him: "How can you say that is pain free?", and the Arab answered: "I hold my thumbs to the sides!"
Just because plant growth is temporarily absorbing more CO₂ than previously, and just because the majority of farmers are not in shock yet; does not mean that the biosphere as a whole is not already being shocked and will certainly suffer still greater shocks.  The NRC (2013) Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change Anticipating Surprises (see the reference & link below) cites many examples of both the current and future shocks on the biosphere from our current BAU pathway including the following statement:

"Increases in Extinction Threat for Marine and Terrestrial Species

The rate of climate change now underway is probably as fast as any warming event in the past 65 million years, and it is projected that its pace over the next 30 to 80 years will continue to be faster and more intense. These rapidly changing conditions make survival difficult for many species. Biologically important climatic attributes—such as number of frost-free days, length and timing of growing seasons, and the frequency and intensity of extreme events (such as number of extremely hot days or severe storms)—are changing so rapidly that some species can neither move nor adapt fast enough (Figure S.2). 

Specific examples of species at risk for physiological reasons include mountain species such as pikas and endemic Hawaiian silverswords, which are restricted to cool temperatures at high altitudes. Species like polar bears are at risk because they depend on sea ice to facilitate their hunting of seals and Arctic sea ice conditions are changing rapidly.  Other species are prone to extinction as changing climate causes their habitats to alter such that growth, development, or reproduction of constituent individuals are inhibited. 

The distinct risks of climate change exacerbate other widely recognized and severe extinction pressures, especially habitat destruction, competition from invasive species, and unsustainable exploitation of species for economic gain, which have already elevated extinction rates to many times above background rates. If unchecked, habitat destruction, fragmentation, and over-exploitation, even without climate change, could result in a mass extinction within the next few centuries equivalent in magnitude to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. With the ongoing pressures of climate change, comparable levels of extinction conceivably could occur before the year 2100; indeed, some models show a crash of coral reefs from climate change alone as early as 2060 under certain scenarios. 

Loss of a species is permanent and irreversible, and has both economic impacts and ethical implications. The economic impacts derive from loss of ecosystem services, revenue, and jobs, for example in the fishing, forestry, and ecotourism industries. Ethical implications include the permanent loss of irreplaceable species and ecosystems as the current generation’s legacy to the next generation.

Research on species extinctions is in many ways still at a nascent stage of discovery. Prominent research questions at this time include identifying which species in which ecosystems are most at risk, identifying which species extinctions would precipitate inordinately large ecological cascades that would lead to further extinctions, and assessing the impact of climate-induced changes in seasonal timing and species interactions on extinction rates."

See the first attached image of Figure S.2 of the Velocity of Climate Change, with its caption in the second attached image; which shows that animals will have a difficult time moving fast enough to keep-up with climate change this century.

I could go on, but based on your post it seems like only seeing climate shock that effects your personal food supplies will convince you (say when your chocolate or coffee costs go through the roof in a few decades).

National Research Council, NRC, (2013), Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change Anticipating Surprises, The National Academies Press, Washington D.C.

http://serppas.org/Files/Climate/NAS.Abrupt%20Impacts%20of%20Climate%20Change.Anticipating%20Suprises.pdf (http://serppas.org/Files/Climate/NAS.Abrupt%20Impacts%20of%20Climate%20Change.Anticipating%20Suprises.pdf)

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 17, 2014, 03:13:11 AM
mark, aslr,

consider the following.

the conditions used by Hansen and Soto to determine ECS response include carbon cycle feedbacks in the Eemian.

now imagine the Eemian, with a very slow growth of temperatures from below current by 1.5C to well above current (2C) over the course of 5,000 years or so.

During this time, the majority of northern hemisphere land surface was covered in old-growth forests.  By the time the temperatures reached their maximum, old growth Nordic pines stretched all the way to the arctic circle. 

In addition, the oceans teemed with shoals of fish in a pristine primordial environment.

In this scenario, the slowly increased temperature, and associated carbon cycle feedbacks of soil and ocean warming, were mitigated with extreme efficiency, due to the baseline carbon biomass available to spread and grow and reproduce and expand in territory further northward.

Compare this scenario of (relatively) slow growth in temperature to today.

Even if we were able to somehow slow down our growth in temperatures, the deforestation that has occurred in the northern hemisphere is so vast that it would take over 1,000 years of hands-off growth for these forests to repopulate their numbers.

Now consider if we DON'T slow down our temperature rise?  Now we have massively shocked these ecosystems that will inevitably find new champions that will master the system, but during that time a huge increase in the carbon cycle contributions of CO2, as well as a continual reduction in natural carbon sinks as the oceans warm, will lead to a higher ECS value today than that of the Eemian.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 03:36:42 AM
The RCP8.5 is a more extreme point of view and I completely get that you and others are completely behind this projection and are concerned that noone is listening and therefore little is being done. I dont believe it, I am more closely aligned with the IPCC view but even then I dont believe that it will continue indefinitely at this rate of CO2 increase or even slightly higher. I believe the temperature increase that is coming will tail off exponentially with the logarithmically reducing effect of increasing CO2 - my view I know but not entirely unreasonable. My point being I take a lower perspective of the same problem but the more extreme version is not convincing me at all - in fact it sounds increasingly desperate as the hiatus lengthens - how then do you convince the likes of me and others whose livelihood depends on 'green' matters, by necessity I am conservative in my outlook.

You ask the question repeatedly (implied anyhow) 'why arent people listening'. Personally I think they were, but extreme views in the light of little recent trending is switching people off - just like the comet analogy - they know that a comet could hit this planet just as they know given the circumstances we may become another Venus - it is too extreme to want to consider it and is based on conjecture and modelling that is not backed by current trends. Psychology has it that the majority want to think positively rather than negatively so will always respond better to a positive point of view - its why cold callers trying to sell you something always try to get you to say yes before they ask anything pertinent to a sale.

The joke I appreciated (LOL) and I assume I am supposed to be the man with the bricks - only worried about his own welfare - you dont know me so please dont pretend to know what I think or the lengths I would go to to support others. I am incredibly concerned about the future of this world and worry for the sake of my kids - CO2 increase is not even in my top 3 however - but my priorities are not a topic of debate here - CO2 and its effects on the biosphere (currently) and why the more extreme possible outcomes are not being taken onboard - is. I am a farmer by education and still involved in growing things so the points of view of farmers does interest me. A recent poll of farmers in America had just 8% believing man is responsible for global warming and 66% believing there is any warming going on at all.

My point is that they are not convinced and some may scientifically naive but frightening them (and me) with unproven models isnt working either so in answer to the question I posed above perhaps another approach is needed
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 03:44:54 AM
Thanks Jai - I am not trying to get a rise out of anybody even though I know I am not on the same wavelength. But as in my post in reply to ASLR. I am not yet convinced of the scenario of RCP8.5.

I have much greater faith in the adaptability of the earths Biosphere especially as it has run at considerably higher CO2 levels and temperatures. So I appreciate what both of you are saying but I am just giving another viewpoint as to why the argument isnt working IMO
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 03:49:16 AM
The critical thing will be to know when this critical point is reached where the biosphere starts to react negatively to warming rather than positively at the moment.
Den tause våren i fuglefjellet (http://mm.aftenposten.no/kloden-var/?artikkel=den-tause-vaaren-i-fuglefjellet) [The silent spring on the bird mountain]

Mange takk for det Viddaloo men hva mener du
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 04:02:58 AM
I have a bit of a norwegian ability but not much but I would say that as in Scotland the stocks of sild and torsk (herring and cod) are overfished and I dont believe that the ocean has warmed by 1.5C even if the climate has. I loved being in Norway and spent some time in Stokmarknes and would be equally horrified if the wildlife there was threatened anywhere like as much as it has been ravaged by fishing and overpopulation in the UK but I reckon you as a country are along way behind. Even if we were to reverse the CO2 trend it will  be a century or so  before the oceans are likely to respond, far better to reverse the overfishing of the North Sea. Perhaps then some of the norwegian fishing communities that have been lost in the last 50 years will return!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 04:43:28 AM
Thanks Jai - I am not trying to get a rise out of anybody even though I know I am not on the same wavelength. But as in my post in reply to ASLR. I am not yet convinced of the scenario of RCP8.5.

I have much greater faith in the adaptability of the earths Biosphere especially as it has run at considerably higher CO2 levels and temperatures. So I appreciate what both of you are saying but I am just giving another viewpoint as to why the argument isnt working IMO

mark,

I think that jai's main point is that there are many positive feedback factors (or alternately negative feedback factors that are being weakened like CO2 absorption by the land and ocean biospheres) that are currently being activated by global warming that even if society could manage to lower its radiative forcing footprint down to that of RCP 4.5 (while currently it is following RCP 8.5 and after agreed to USA, China and EU cuts would get close to RCP 6), that since the IPCC has decided in its optimistic way (or alternately Pollyanna manner) to calibrate its models to an ECS of about 3 C; that if the effective climate sensitivity (averaged over the coming century) turns out to be closer to 6 C, then in effect we will be following the global temperature increase pathway of RCP 8.5 even if we are following the anthropogenic radiative forcing scenario for RCP 4.5.

As to whether I think that mankind has the wisdom to adequately reduce its radiative footprint in time to avoid the worst aspects of climate change, my answer would be no, but at least I am learning something while I make posts that some seem to interpret as efforts to frighten them.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 17, 2014, 06:36:03 AM
WRT ocean biomass as a carbon sequestration feedback

http://climateandcapitalism.com/2013/10/14/oceans-brink-ecological-collapse/ (http://climateandcapitalism.com/2013/10/14/oceans-brink-ecological-collapse/)

Quote
“We are entering an unknown territory of marine ecosystem change, and exposing organisms to intolerable evolutionary pressure. The next mass extinction event may have already begun. Developed, industrialised human society is living above the carrying capacity of the Earth, and the implications for the ocean, and thus for all humans, are huge.”

Report co-author, Professor Alex Rogers of SomervilleCollege, Oxford, said on October 3:


“The health of the ocean is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought. We are seeing greater change, happening faster, and the effects are more imminent than previously anticipated. The situation should be of the gravest concern to everyone since everyone will be affected by changes in the ability of the ocean to support life on Earth.”

The ocean is by far the Earth’s largest carbon sink and has absorbed most of the excess carbon pollution put into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. The State of the Ocean 2013 report warned that this is making decisive changes to the ocean itself, causing a “deadly trio of impacts” – acidification, ocean warming and deoxygenation (a fall in ocean oxygen levels).

The report said:


“Most, if not all, of the Earth’s five past mass extinction events have involved at least one of these three main symptoms of global carbon perturbations [or disruptions], all of which are present in the ocean today.”

Mark,

I want you to understand right here, right now that the amount of heat accumulation measured by the ARGO buoy network in the last 10 years is more than enough to raise the temperature of the atmosphere by over 20C.

So where is your "hiatus" now?

I appreciate that you think that you know better than the IPCC on what future temperature responses will look like based on emission patterns.  The fact is that they understand it a whole lot better than you do.  I suggest you try to figure out why their temperature projection curves don't follow the logarithmic function.  (hint, it has to do with heat capacity and radiative balances)

for the record, I have stated on several occasions that if we attempt to follow the RCP 8.5 curve we will run into resource depletion and societal collapse long before the 2100 emissions scenario is completed.

HOWEVER,

My understanding of the underrepresentation of Carbon Cycle and frozen soil feedbacks, the increase in atmospheric fraction (loss of natural carbon sinks) and the underestimate of ECS and polar amplification under ice free summer states in the arctic, show that even if we only follow RCP 8.5 for another 20 years and then attempt to decarbonize we will unleash these forces and they will mimic the RCP 8.5 curve and even exceed them by 2200.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 10:36:48 AM
Jai, I do appreciate what you are saying and it is a reasonable hypothesis. I dont want to argue each point because that can be done elsewhere and becomes a bit off topic.

I'm a difficult cuss at the best of times but I am putting forward my view and the view of others because it may be a minority view but it is widespread and puts me at odds with the extreme. I can be convinced and perhaps if you are going to make policy then I might be a good sounding board. But I and I think a large part of the public are going to need rather more proof that this is an abnormal and catastrophic departure from sustainable life.

If it comes to aerosols, population, pollution or disease I am there right with you but CO2 just does not do it for me or a lot of others. I think it needs to be sidelined to 'a' feedback mechanism not the feedback mechanism. When that is properly packaged as a more robust hypothesis I will be there with anybody.

The ARGO buoys are a case in point - we now know how much we didnt know about stored temperature in the oceans - what we dont know is how that has changed over big El Nino/La Nina events or during the colder 70s. How much is held there normally, how unusual is any heat fluctuation now, how does that heat work its way out, how long is a deep ocean heat cycle and how far does it travel? 10 years wont tell us much but at least now we have a mechanism for measuring it accurately and more regularly so it can be studied and understood.

There are just too many questions and the general present system of shouting questions down/ ignoring them or attacking the authenticity or even sanity of the questioner has lead to this awful impasse where there are two such distinct 'sides'. Thank you so much for not doing so here. ASLR perhaps has it right - I think he understands human nature better but works hard on his belief alongside this knowledge rather than against it
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 11:57:05 AM
mark,

The linked discussion about the IPCC's Assessment Report 5, AR5, at Skeptical Science points out that many American reject climate change not because they do not believe the science but because they believe that climate policies will slow economic growth (and thus will hurt their pocketbooks), even though good climate policies (like carbon fees with dividends) can actually promote the public's economic wellbeing.  The following extract and associated figure show that within 15 years food production around the world will likely be hit very hard, so in my opinion: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  If we wait until Earth System Models advance to the point where we can better answer all of your doubts about how the Earth systems work, then the price for the cure will be a pound of fresh.

https://www.skepticalscience.com/IPCC-AR5-synthesis-risk-management.html (https://www.skepticalscience.com/IPCC-AR5-synthesis-risk-management.html)

Extract: "Conversely, policies to slow global warming are reversible. A new study by scientists at Duke University found that the widespread rejection of climate science by American political conservatives is in large part due to their distaste for the proposed solutions. Climate contrarians are afraid that climate policies will slow economic growth, despite evidence to the contrary.
However, if it turns out that the sceptics are right in their optimism that the best case climate scenario will occur, and if we go too far in our efforts to reduce carbon pollution, we can easily scale those efforts back. We can’t reanimate extinct species, but we can adjust climate policies as needed.
Speaking of species extinctions, the IPCC discussed that serious threat as well,
A large fraction of species face increased extinction risk due to climate change during and beyond the 21st century, especially as climate change interacts with other stressors (high confidence). Most plant species cannot naturally shift their geographical ranges sufficiently fast to keep up with current and high projected rates of climate change in most landscapes; most small mammals and freshwater molluscs will not be able to keep up at the rates projected under RCP4.5 and above in flat landscapes in this century (high confidence).
Marine species are also at risk due to the dual threats of warming oceans and ocean acidification, both of which are caused by carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels.
Since the beginning of the industrial era, oceanic uptake of CO2 has resulted in acidification of the ocean; the pH of ocean surface water has decreased by 0.1 (high confidence), corresponding to a 26% increase in acidity
The IPCC concluded that if we take serious action to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, we can limit the future increase in ocean acidity to about 16%. If we continue on a business-as-usual fossil fuel dependent path, ocean acidity will increase by around 100%, with dire consequences for marine ecosystems. This will also hurt our fisheries and contribute to food insecurity.
Climate change is projected to undermine food security (Figure SPM.9). Due to projected climate change by the mid-21st century and beyond, global marine species redistribution and marine biodiversity reduction in sensitive regions will challenge the sustained provision of fisheries productivity and other ecosystem services (high confidence) ... Global temperature increases of ~4°C or more above late-20th century levels, combined with increasing food demand, would pose large risks to food security globally (high confidence).
As the figure below from the report also illustrates, about 70% of studies indicate that crop yields will decline as the Earth continues to warm after 2030, with a high chance that yields could decline by 25% or more by the end of the century if we continue on our current path.
Climate contrarians often argue that we should continue with business as usual and try to adapt to the consequences of global warming. We will have to adapt to some inevitable climate change, but as the IPCC concluded, we must also prevent as much global warming as possible to minimize the associated impacts enough that we will be able to adapt to them."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 01:42:24 PM
I have to gree with a lot of what you have to say and I read the shorter of the references in your previous post which outlines exactly the problem we are both really alluding to - the difficulty in portraying the evidence in a robust manor that will measure the need for action. That is probably impossible to achieve at the rate required. We only have a peaking of carbon emissions from China in 2030 and not a particularly arduous target from America. I think you are absolutely right that people are much more worried about their personal circumstances than the global environment, and  a painful prod is probably needed before that will change.

As for the Ph, as you want to go there - there has been a lot of reports on the shellfish farms in the estuaries in and around Washington State in the US. This is probably an area of the highest oceanic fluctuation in Ph in the world and so shellfish farming is susceptible to the problems associated with the current upwelling in that area. The Ph of the deeper ocean water is considerably less alkaline than the surface, so upwelling areas, especially when impacting coastlines, tend to be less alkaline (I would only use more acidic if the Ph dropped into the sub 7 zone and actually became acidic) to a factor that can be as great as 0.5 - 0.7. Coupled with agricultural run off of nutrients directly into the water courses feeding the estuaries leads to a recipe for disaster. So not really climate change or Ph change per se, just inconvenient weather, causing natural  events. The 0.1 drop I completely concur with and believe it to be inline with the current temperature increase, I dont expect it to be much more though as the oceans are very unlikely to have moved in Ph that much through our efforts alone - it is far to massive a shift. Much more likely and as alluded to by Jai and the Argo Buoys we are presently seeing a period of increased overturning/upwelling to release the stored heat deeper in the oceans

The modelled IPCC Ar5 representation of crop yield failure, and indeed there is a higher knowledge base than mine, does not however ring true at all, the 2010 - 2029 is not trending that way at all and I expect this particular model to need a complete rethink before it has any credibility with the people it most effects - food producers. But, hey ho, I am back on opinion again.

<snip N.>
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Bruce Steele on November 17, 2014, 05:10:19 PM
Mark, As much as I would like to ignore you as I do most uninformed people with self-serving opinions I will take the bait and weigh in.
 Deep waters are not less alkaline than surface waters they are more alkaline ... As shell material from plants and animals sink they are dissolved at depth - increasing alkalinity . Organic matter is ballasted in the process, bacterial decomposition ( releases Co2 ) and increases acidity. Yes it increases acidity just like water going from 32 to 33 is getting warmer although if you put your foot in it you'd still call it cold.  Rivers do supply alkalinity as rain dissolves both terrestrial calcium carbonates and their mineral forms as well as dissolving silicate minerals like serpentine ... This process is only effective at delivering alkalinity for watersheds that traverse landscapes that actually have these minerals in abundance so not every river supplies alkalinity at the same rate. Bottom line is this process that is necessary to counter the Co2 uptake and consequent acidification of the oceans takes tens to hundreds of thousands of years to stabilize large carbon spikes like the one we are currently supplying to the atmosphere.
 I don't have a clue about how you conflate temperature and acidity using earths increased temperature to explain away the current drop in the pH of the worlds ocean but you are simply confused and as usual wrong.
 Your opinions on what is responsible for the oyster hatchery problems on the U.S. northwest coast are as usual incorrect but i think you are rationalizing rather than studying up on acidification and no amount of arguing will dissuade a devout troll.
   
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 17, 2014, 05:13:30 PM
Mark,

I have gone through your posts, you don't back up any of your assertions with links.  You tend to post denialist talking points and display a very light breadth of understanding of the science.  In all of your posts, you did post a single link:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html  (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html)  Which was an attempt to smear Britain's wind power supply with Chinese pollution practices.

Your scientific assertions are so off base that they border on disinformation.  (for instance would you like to back up your 10-15% increase in plant biomass claim with some actual evidence?)

I believe in seeking out truth and gathering understanding and would be glad to discuss these things on a separate post, if you were to display an actual desire to learn and debate.  However, you have only, so far, displayed a disruptive role, providing banal "assertions" without evidence and recycled talking points from the denialist propaganda machine.  A machine that is well funded and designed to promote practices that will lead to a holocaust of unprecedented proportions in the next 40 years.

keep your "opinions" to yourself, if you have "facts" or "evidence" to bring to the table, by all means. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 17, 2014, 05:15:46 PM
no amount of arguing will dissuade a devout troll.
 

or an intentional disinformer.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 05:15:54 PM
mark,

I agree with all that Bruce Steele has to say about pH; however, if facts are not sufficient to convince you then consider national security.

The linked Forbes article entitled "Does Our Military Know Something We Don't About Global Warming?", indicates that the BAU pathway that you are supporting (until we have 100 percent certainty based on "conservative science" before we take meaningful action) is actually a national security threat (see extracts below).  There are numerous reports linking the current round of unrest in the Middle East to climate change induced drought that is hurting the local farmers and promoting radical groups (such as ISIS/ISIL).  I submit that using the "Fog of War" to ignore what the military has been warning about for years is not prudent, and that coming generations will pay a high price for this generation's complacency: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/11/14/does-our-military-know-something-we-dont-about-global-warming/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/11/14/does-our-military-know-something-we-dont-about-global-warming/)

Extracts: "General Gordon Sullivan put the issue of uncertainty where it should be: “People are saying they want to be perfectly convinced about climate science projections…But speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

The Military Advisory Board is dismayed that discussions of climate change have become so polarizing and have receded from the arena of informed public discourse and debate.
“While the causes of climate change and its impacts continue to be argued or ignored in our nation, the linkage between changes in our climate and national security has been obscured. Political concerns and budgetary limitations cannot be allowed to dominate what is essentially a salient national security concern for our nation. Our Congress, the administration, and all who are charged with planning and assuring our security should take up the challenge of confronting the coming changes to our environment.”

Our Military Advisory Board concluded that “coordinated and well-executed actions to limit heat-trapping gases and increase resilience to help prevent and protect against the worst projected climate change impacts are required — now.”
Whatever your thoughts on the relative human and natural influences on climate change, ignoring our military is not prudent. They understand the dangers of not being prepared."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on November 17, 2014, 05:50:41 PM
I did like this one : (From denyer to truth seeker)
TEDxPentagon - Rear Admiral David Titley, USN - Climate Change and National Security
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7udNMqRmqV8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7udNMqRmqV8)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 08:19:14 PM
Jai if you happen to think that wind power is a carbon efficient and pollution free way of providing energy then I am definitely not going there. I have no time for expensive, enormous carbon footprint white elephants that pollute a third party environment, ruin the visual amenity of vast tracts of land and water now and endanger numerous migrating  birds - the Mail was not the only source but the first one I found when googled. To try to discredit me by flicking through my posts does you a disservice and I am disappointed. The way out of fossil fuels is not to burn more of them to build things that ultimately dont pay back on the energy they have consumed in the making and need alternatives as back up when not working.

The post title is not about proving GW facts but about consequences of conservative scientists, I do try to get on point but get waylaid the whole time. I read the biomass increase recently, ignore it if you wish, I was making a point about the facts you presented and why there is a disconnect. For weeks you have been posting about all sorts of extremes on this and other threads and I find your opinions interesting and worth following as I do ASLRs and the convesrsation regularly gets unsubstantiated but I trust that your sources are robust.

 The negative CO2 feedback scenario is from Hansen s Fossil fuel C tonnage in the article I was directed to on here and the Mauna Loa CO2 graph both of which are common knowledge here and I didnt think would need a reference. This post subject is not asking for specific scientific fact it is a fairly rhetorical debate subject. I dont get why you get so cross just because I throw up the conservative view - I have been entirely honest with my viewpoint as I assume are you. What is wrong with engaging and asking questions or offering a view. I dont believe a single one of my 'facts' to be erroneous or exaggerated but I am not trying to back up any science here I am trying to make a point about engaging the likes of me in your opinion. With your last post you have absolutely failed to convince me of anything and I am just less alarmist - it rather proves the point I am making. The way people go for the jugular in this debate just stops any debate and it becomes a game of mass back slapping.

Your post before I jumped in was:-

This is in my very unscientific estimation of current transitory states, I predict that the established trends of drought, ice loss, heatwaves and storm intensities (as well as the time rate change of those trends) will continue into the future for some time.

in my estimation of H&S I cannot help but wonder if they have also lulled us into a false sense of security as the millennial rate of temperature change that we witness from the Paleoclimate records of interstadials allows for a gradual increase in forests and other biomass accumulation of carbon that work as a semi-slow feedback (negative) parameter.  This feedback will not be present in todays biosphere due to time and baseline conditions. 

Compare, the Nordic forests of the 12th century to today, the bony fish biomass from then to now.what got me

Tell me this is not an opinion ('I predict' and 'in my estimation') - I disagreed and gave mine

Bruce its in wikipaedia here:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification#mediaviewer/File:Acidifiedupwelledwater.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification#mediaviewer/File:Acidifiedupwelledwater.jpg) - lots of other goodies there as well including the aragonite saturation levels crucial to shell production. My post said 'deeper' water not deep water which I hope implied that ph decreases with depth 8.1 - 8.3 at the surface and 7.4 - 7.6 below @250m which is why upwelling water decreases ph at the surface or when winds/ currents push waters up coastal shelves and into estuaries. I respectfully suspect you are remiss in my implication. Especially when you ask me for references ina debate that shouldnt need them on this point and then provide absolutely none yourself. However if Wikipedia is wrong I apologise and concede the point - reference please

ASLR - I respect your position and am enjoying the references please allow me to catch up with the references you gave in your last response. I apologise to you as well if my reference on Ph is wrong I was watching a video on u tube by Jim Steele on ocean acidification having read about the plight of oyster fisherman in Washington State and checked his unlisted sources, it is a skeptical video but relevant to the situation and I was just checking. The graphs on the 0.1 shift were also on the same original google page
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 09:01:48 PM
mark,

If you are interested in learning about the actual serious situation about ocean acidification then you can review the following reference and attached image (with caption below):

Taro Takahashi, S.C. Sutherland, D.W. Chipman, J.G. Goddard, Cheng Ho, Timothy Newberger, Colm Sweeney, D.R. Munro, (2014), "Climatological distributions of pH, pCO2, total CO2, alkalinity, and CaCO3 saturation in the global surface ocean, and temporal changes at selected locations", Marine Chemistry Volume 164, Pages 95–125, DOI: 10.1016/j.marchem.2014.06.004

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304420314001042 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304420314001042)

Caption: "In northern winter, the Bering Sea, dividing Alaska and Siberia, becomes the most acidic region on earth (in purple) as shown in this February 2005 acidity map in pH scale. Temperate oceans are less acidic. The equatorial Pacific is left blank due to its high variability around El Niño and La Niña events. Courtesy: Taro Takahashi"

See also:

http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/new-global-maps-detail-human-caused-ocean-acidification.html (http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/new-global-maps-detail-human-caused-ocean-acidification.html)

Extract: ”Ocean acidification is already having an impact, especially in places where the seasonal upwelling of deep water has made seawater naturally more acidic. In a  recent study by researchers at NOAA, more than half of the pteropods sampled off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California showed badly dissolved shells. Ocean acidification has been linked to fish losing their ability to sniff out predators, and the die-off of baby oysters in hatcheries off Washington and Oregon, where more acidic deep water comes to the surface each spring and summer.   
By 2100, ocean acidification could cost the global economy $3 trillion a year in lost revenue from fishing, tourism and intangible ecosystem services, according to a recent United Nations report.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress, has reached similar findings and recommended that President Obama create a research and monitoring program dedicated to ocean acidification."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 17, 2014, 09:10:02 PM
Mark,
Quote
I dont get why you get so cross just because I throw up the conservative view

That is just it, You don't put up a "conservative view" you put up lies and disinformation.  The reason that I can assert the things that I believe is because I link significant numbers of peer reviewed studies that prove these views have scientific validity. 

While you, on the other hand, rely on lies, disinformation and wan assertions of mischaracterized information from 'something that you read", usually from easily discredited sources, which is why you don't post references. 

You are a troll and I will happily ignore you.





Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 17, 2014, 09:48:54 PM
You are a troll and I will happily ignore you.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sfj.no%2Fcmssff%2Fcmsmm.nsf%2FlupGraphics%2FOriginal_Jotne2_dark.jpg%2F%24file%2FOriginal_Jotne2_dark.jpg&hash=08aca9978708fafeed087b9eb8c6c374)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 17, 2014, 10:05:06 PM
<snip N.>

Thanks again for the references ASLR  I will get on to them now - from the caption and extract it would seem for the most part I was correct. As for predators smelling I definitely missed that one! and the dissolving of oyster shells - very interesting as the sea would need to be below PH7 which I wasnt aware was possible unless affected by acidic runoff, which is another issue .

I must admit I am confused now as your reference says that the deeper water is less alkaline and Bruce says its more Alkaline and shells are dissolving would indicate actually acidic - below 7 but buffering back to Ph8.1 at depth (Bruce). El Ninos are doing exactly what I said they were doing and then to cap it all I am called a troll and misinformed - thanks guys for the succinct and well integrated replies
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 17, 2014, 10:25:21 PM
People, this is typical concern troll behavior--they show up claiming to have 'reasonable' doubts. After people bend over backwards to kindly and patiently point out faults in their logic and failures in their ability to support their points, people finally start to loose patience. Then the troll turns petulant and pouts that everyone is treating him (they almost always seem to be males) shabbily.

Please, can we all stop feeding this dweeblet?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 10:38:56 PM

Getting back to the main topic of this thread.  Not too many years ago most IPCC scientists thought that Antarctica would warm relatively slowly; however, the truth of the matter is that Antarctica is the region on Earth with the fastest rate of warming as indicated by the article at Robert Scribbler that references the first attached image for October 2014 warming in Antarctica compared to the rest of the world, and the second & third images (NH & SH respectively, see caption below) showing that polar amplification is indeed one of the strongest positive feedback mechanism, which will likely serve to increase climate sensitivity if BAU global warming is allowed to continue for a few more decades:

http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/ (http://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/)


(Top frame shows North Pole to Equator temperature difference since 1948. Bottom frame shows South Pole to Equator temperature difference from 1948 to 2011. Note the approximate 3 C temperature swing indicating a faster warming at the poles in both graphs. Data is from the NCAR-NCEP reanalysis model.)

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 10:59:07 PM
As the following reference has been in the news lately indicating that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has demonstrated that the contiguous United States will experience a 50% increase in lighting strikes by 2100; I thought that I would state the obvious that this will ignite more wildfires, thus indicating yet another positive feedback factor that the IPCC has not accounted for:

Science 14 November 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6211 pp. 851-854DOI:10.1126/science.1259100

Abstract: "Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming on lightning rates is poorly constrained. Here we propose that the lightning flash rate is proportional to the convective available potential energy (CAPE) times the precipitation rate. Using observations, the product of CAPE and precipitation explains 77% of the variance in the time series of total cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Storms convert CAPE times precipitated water mass to discharged lightning energy with an efficiency of 1%. When this proxy is applied to 11 climate models, CONUS lightning strikes are predicted to increase 12 ± 5% per degree Celsius of global warming and about 50% over this century."

See also:

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/11/13/lightning-expected-to-increase-by-50-percent-with-global-warming/ (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/11/13/lightning-expected-to-increase-by-50-percent-with-global-warming/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 17, 2014, 11:42:13 PM
The linked reference (with an open access pdf) indicates that two coupled climate models show that in response to an ozone depletion the Southern Ocean responded with two processes for sea ice extent change.  The first process based on a northward Ekman drift occurred relatively quickly and served to expand Antarctic sea ice extent about three decades ago.  The second process acted relatively more slowly (years to decades), results in a warming trend for the Southern Ocean leading to a reduction in projected sea ice extent (see attached figure).  Based on these findings we can expect Antarctic amplification to begin accelerating in the next decade or so.

David Ferreira, John Marshall, Cecilia M. Bitz, Susan Solomon, and Alan Plumb, (2014) "Antarctic ocean and sea ice response to ozone depletion: a two timescale problem", Journal of Climate, In press.

http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~gf905417/Publications_files/Twotimescale_final.pdf (http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~gf905417/Publications_files/Twotimescale_final.pdf)


Abstract: "The response of the Southern Ocean to a repeating seasonal cycle of ozone loss is studied in two coupled climate models and found to comprise both fast and slow processes. The fast response is similar to the inter-annual signature of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) on Sea Surface Temperature (SST), on to which the ozone-hole forcing projects in the summer. It comprises enhanced northward Ekman drift inducing negative summertime SST anomalies around Antarctica, earlier sea ice freeze-up the following winter, and northward expansion of the sea ice edge year-round. The enhanced northward Ekman drift, however, results in upwelling of warm waters from below the mixed layer in the region of seasonal sea ice. With sustained bursts of westerly winds induced by ozone-hole depletion, this warming from below eventually dominates over the cooling from anomalous Ekman drift. The resulting slow-timescale response (years to decades) leads to warming of SSTs around Antarctica and ultimately a reduction in sea-ice cover year-round. This two-timescale behavior – rapid cooling followed by slow but persistent warming - is found in the two coupled models analysed, one with an idealized geometry, the other a complex global climate model with realistic geometry. Processes that control the timescale of the transition from cooling to warming, and their uncertainties are described. Finally we discuss the implications of our results for rationalizing previous studies of the effect of the ozone-hole on SST and sea-ice extent."

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 18, 2014, 12:17:18 AM
<snip N.>

ASLR i found the pdf I read on the oyster farming concerning upwelling events in the hatchery areas. I couldnt get a full download of your first reference but the in depth study does compliment the second reference very well. Having reread it I have to say it makes my future 'balance much less likely!! Ref - http://marine.rutgers.edu/dmcs/ms606/2013%20spring/barton%20et%20al%202012%20lando.pdf (http://marine.rutgers.edu/dmcs/ms606/2013%20spring/barton%20et%20al%202012%20lando.pdf)

Bruce........I was asked for my references!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 18, 2014, 12:22:58 AM
<snip N.>
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 18, 2014, 01:01:38 AM
LCA for a smallish 1.65MW Vestas windturbine gives positive EROEI after 7.2 months. Larger is better. The Daily Mail article is a hit piece. Getting wind analysis from that rag is about as good as getting evolution theory from the bible.

If anyone is really interested in wind power, look at the series by Jerome a la Paris on eurotrib. Analyses there include financials, and many other interesting things.

On another note, I wish people would do their homework first before commenting. Especially the bit about oceanic ph decrease, the facts are trivially findable ... and trivially obvious to anyone with any chemistry.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 18, 2014, 01:23:20 AM
Fair enough Sidd - I stand corrected and Im glad finally someone can put a figure to it. I was however pointing out in a pollution thread the pollution being caused in China I didnt use it here. My comment - 'The Chinese seem to work on the principle that you build the business first and worry about the pollution later. There are far too many examples of environments toxic to life that are being lived in by human beings in China. Sooner or later there will be a humanitarian disaster - its inevitable.' So my comment has been cherry picked to demonise me!! I dont like the b***** things and their benefit when they need another source to back them up when becalmed dubious. Hopefully we will develop fusion power or some other continuous plentiful power source and do away with them. Darring your correction I stand by my comments
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 18, 2014, 01:24:52 AM
Sorry barring not darring
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: mark on November 18, 2014, 02:34:53 AM
mark,

I agree with all that Bruce Steele has to say about pH; however, if facts are not sufficient to convince you then consider national security.

The linked Forbes article entitled "Does Our Military Know Something We Don't About Global Warming?", indicates that the BAU pathway that you are supporting (until we have 100 percent certainty based on "conservative science" before we take meaningful action) is actually a national security threat (see extracts below).  There are numerous reports linking the current round of unrest in the Middle East to climate change induced drought that is hurting the local farmers and promoting radical groups (such as ISIS/ISIL).  I submit that using the "Fog of War" to ignore what the military has been warning about for years is not prudent, and that coming generations will pay a high price for this generation's complacency: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/11/14/does-our-military-know-something-we-dont-about-global-warming/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2014/11/14/does-our-military-know-something-we-dont-about-global-warming/)

Extracts: "General Gordon Sullivan put the issue of uncertainty where it should be: “People are saying they want to be perfectly convinced about climate science projections…But speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

The Military Advisory Board is dismayed that discussions of climate change have become so polarizing and have receded from the arena of informed public discourse and debate.
“While the causes of climate change and its impacts continue to be argued or ignored in our nation, the linkage between changes in our climate and national security has been obscured. Political concerns and budgetary limitations cannot be allowed to dominate what is essentially a salient national security concern for our nation. Our Congress, the administration, and all who are charged with planning and assuring our security should take up the challenge of confronting the coming changes to our environment.”

Our Military Advisory Board concluded that “coordinated and well-executed actions to limit heat-trapping gases and increase resilience to help prevent and protect against the worst projected climate change impacts are required — now.”
Whatever your thoughts on the relative human and natural influences on climate change, ignoring our military is not prudent. They understand the dangers of not being prepared."

[/quote]

I've had a read of that ref now ASLR - that is chilling that the military take that view. what exactly are they proposing - it seems to me that by having a pact with China they are starting the process of carbon enforcement on the rest of the world that wont be able to argue. The point is well made but is from a militaristic problem solving point of view this would be one of many scenarios they would be planning (I was in the military - if just a small % of contingency planning was in public hands there would be a massive outcry but they must prepare for every possible scenario they can think of, to be effective). There is nothing wrong in what they say but to those countries in power poverty or not on the USA christmas card list - chilling.

You said yourself you cant see this happening anytime soon and I think that is the crux of this thread. How can you get the facts across to make this happen. I dont need 100% certainty I have never said that and I reckon hardly any of the worlds population need 100% certainty, but the mood out there is considerably less than the 97% scientific consensus. So how do you convince thise that will lose out. By frighteners - that hasnt worked and in some cases hasnt happened, by education - the 2 sides are too deeply entrenched to reach a consensus or even meet to discuss (look at the abuse I got!!)  - so that wont happen, wait until something bad happens - thats too late, wait for a politician to make the right decision with the worlds welfare as a priority, not the next election.....yeah right!!. Or perhaps create a new world order with enforcement in mind - any takers!!

So where does that leave consevative scientists and the consequences - you know what - I dont reckon it is making a blind bit of difference what they are saying anymore - the politicians will win the day one way or another and to hell with the consequences (sarc)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 18, 2014, 03:59:45 AM
Jai, reference please. . .

here (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=376) you will find dozens of references and graphs I have linked.  Please consider that you also have the freedom to post valuable links and information that contributes to our greater understanding.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: icefest on November 18, 2014, 05:22:37 AM
I have no time for expensive, enormous carbon footprint white elephants that pollute a third party environment, ruin the visual amenity of vast tracts of land and water now and endanger numerous migrating  birds
Evidence please. Peer reviewed and not published in a tabloid. Must inlude comparisons to the alternative power source that you suggest.
The way out of fossil fuels is not to burn more of them to build things that ultimately dont pay back on the energy they have consumed in the making
Evidence please. To proove that this is true you'll need to show that all current ones don't and not just give an example of a single one that didn't. Or give a decent theoretical proof that they cannot work. Peer reviewed and published, as with the other piece.
need alternatives as back up when not working.
Please give evidence that other power generators don't need backup for when they don't work. I'l like to know how to get power from a non-working other power plant.
I dont get why you get so cross just because I throw up the conservative view - I have been entirely honest with my viewpoint as I assume are you. What is wrong with engaging and asking questions or offering a view.
Because:
I dont believe a single one of my 'facts' to be erroneous or exaggerated but I am not trying to back up any science here I am trying to make a point about engaging the likes of me in your opinion.
So you are saying that unfounded opinions carry as much value as a scientifically justifiable one?
With your last post you have absolutely failed to convince me of anything and I am just less alarmist - it rather proves the point I am making.
The one where you refuse to believe in provable reasoning?

Compare, the Nordic forests of the 12th century to today, the bony fish biomass from then to now.what got me
Where is the evidence? Post the links.
I was watching a video on u tube by Jim Steele on ocean acidification having read about the plight of oyster fisherman in Washington State and checked his unlisted sources, it is a skeptical video but relevant to the situation and I was just checking.
You should take the time to re-examine what he says and check it for accuracy. He has made many significant errors in interpreting scientific data in the past.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 18, 2014, 06:16:21 AM
I am just logging on to say that I am traveling for three days, so I will not be posting much.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 18, 2014, 07:01:51 AM
Why do we not hear more discussion of how Climate Change will magnify the Anthropocene crisis (overpopulation, water & mineral resource depletion, biodiversity loss, etc) ? Omitting these problems from IPCC risk assessments seems a recipe for failure, not to mention unscientific.

[Video] 60 Minutes: Depleting The Water
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/depleting-the-water/ (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/depleting-the-water/)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcbsnews1.cbsistatic.com%2Fhub%2Fi%2Fr%2F2014%2F11%2F16%2F2863c2e4-e4da-458d-8c5a-019269134cb1%2Fthumbnail%2F770x430%2F68746fbe4f210a38e3eb64dc637379b0%2Fwater9.jpg&hash=4ead87a1a579e00ac8984b469fb9e33a) (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/depleting-the-water/)


A 2012 report from the director of National Intelligence warned that within 10 years "many countries important to the United States will experience water problems ... that will risk instability and state failure..." and cited the possible "use of water as a weapon or to further terrorist objectives."

[Reporter] Lesley Stahl: Water is the new oil.
Prof Jay Famiglietti: It's true. It's headed in that direction
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 18, 2014, 07:35:53 AM
Re: Wind

reference in the last comment should read

"... the series by Jerome a Paris on eurotrib.com"

The a is supposed to have an aigu (acute) accent on it
The "la" was inserted by a misfunctioning french neuron

But really, read the series, very good. And while you're over there, read the Chris Cook series on gaming oil markets. Cook also has a long series on alternative accounting, which is good, but to me, rather tedious.


sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 18, 2014, 09:08:56 AM
For the sake of transparency I want everyone to know I've disabled mark's profile for the ASIF, with the following text:

Quote
mark, you keep regurgitating climate denier talking points and disinformation, and you keep responding like an insulted princess when people point this out to you. It's costing me too much time and energy to keep an eye on what you write, the EROEI is too low.

"I am incredibly concerned about the future of this world and worry for the sake of my kids - CO2 increase is not even in my top 3 however -"

I suggest you direct your energies towards solving your top 3 problems.

Good luck,

Neven

I've also snipped the insulted princess parts from his latest comments, as they annoy me even more than the slavish redistribution of disinformation.

Sorry for taking so long, I like to give people second/third chances, and try to maintain a breadth of opinion to stimulate discussion, but I draw the line at structural repetition of denier talking points.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 18, 2014, 09:15:50 AM
At last. Thank you, Neven. My morning cup of coffee tastes better already!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on November 18, 2014, 09:45:37 AM
Yes, many thanks. It's a hard line to walk, determining just how trollish someone has to act before they get the axe.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 18, 2014, 07:53:25 PM
Schwartz et. al has some very interesting observations.  Did the AR5 suffer a fatal error in allowing bad-faith actors within their consensus model to  intentionally move ECS to the downside?

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Foi59.tinypic.com%2F2j48z91.jpg&hash=bca38c19f9c170c037ca9f7da18ef4c0)

(open access)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000273/pdf (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014EF000273/pdf)

Earth’s Climate Sensitivity: Apparent Inconsistencies in Recent
Assessments
Stephen E. Schwartz1, Robert J. Charlson2, Ralph Kahn3 and Henning Rodhe4

Quote
1. What degree of confidence can be placed in the large reduction in the magnitude of
negative aerosol forcing and resultant increase in total forcing
over the industrial period,
as assessed in AR5 versus AR4?

2. Given the increase in forcing adopted by AR5 relative to that of AR4, why is there so
little decrease in the assessment of ECS adopted by AR5
relative to that of AR4, as would
be expected from energy-balance considerations?

3. Why, especially in AR5, is there such a great difference between the likely range of ECS
given in the assessment, 1.5 to 4.5 K/(3.7 W m-2), and that inferred from the likely range
of forcing over the industrial period, together with observed increase in GMST and
planetary heating rate, 1.2 to 2.9 K/(3.7 W m-2)?

4. Why are the values of F – N in the CMIP5 model calculations of climate change over the
twentieth century systematically lower than the range of this quantity determined as the
AR5-assessed likely range
of forcing minus the observed planetary heating rate (Figure
1)?

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 19, 2014, 01:28:39 AM
Much of the discussion in this thread has focused on the question of whether scientific reticence (erring on the side of least drama, ESLD) has lent scientific support to the calibration of GCMs to simulate climate sensitivities (fast, intermediate and slow feedback mechanisms) that are too low for use when projecting future (say to 2100) global temperatures (particularly process-based IPCC projections of mean global surface temperatures).  Obviously, this has been such a point of contention that the likely range of ECS used in the IPCC AR5 model runs was increased from 2 to 4.5 C in AR4 to 1.5 to 4.5 C in AR5.  Furthermore, since AR5 was published, references such as Smith et al 2014 (which includes some of the original authors of the RCP scenarios) have raised questions of bias in climate models:

Steven J. Smith, Tom M. L. Wigley, Malte Meinshausen & Joeri Rogelj, (2014), "Questions of bias in climate models", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 4, Pages: 741–742, doi:10.1038/nclimate2345

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2345.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2345.html)

See Shindell's response at:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2346.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2346.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 19, 2014, 06:10:38 AM
My French neuron is really misfiring: "Jerome a Paris" on eurotrib.com clearly should have a grave accent on the second "a" not an acute accent ...

Of course, the string "Jerome a Paris site:eurotrib.com" returns the right results regardless of diacritic

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 19, 2014, 09:13:41 AM
Some scientists and policy makers have proposed to immediately limit the emissions of short-lived climate forcers, SLCF, (like black carbon and methane) as a means of buying more time until policies can be implemented to better control CO₂ emissions in order to remain below 2 C below preindustrial temperature levels.  However, the following linked reference demonstrates that neglecting the links between SLCFs and CO₂ emissions leads to overestimating the climate benefits assumed by early regulation of SLCF until CO₂ emissions can be brought better under control:

Rogelj, J., M. Schaeffer, M. Meinshausen, D. T. Shindell, W. Hare, Z. Klimont, G. J. M. Velders, M. Amann, & H. J. Schellnhuber (2014) Disentangling the effects of CO2 and short-lived climate forcer mitigation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI:10.1073/pnas.1415631111.
http://www.pnas.org/content/111/46/16325.abstract (http://www.pnas.org/content/111/46/16325.abstract)

Significance: "Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times. Human activities, like fossil-fuel burning, result in emissions of radiation-modifying substances that have a detectable, either warming or cooling, influence on our climate. Some, like soot (black carbon), are very short lived, whereas others, like carbon dioxide (CO2), are very persistent and remain in the atmosphere for centuries to millennia. Importantly, these substances are often emitted by common sources. As climate policy is looking at options to limit emissions of all these substances, understanding their linkages becomes extremely important. Our study disentangles these linkages and therewith helps to avoid crucial misconceptions: Measures reducing short-lived climate forcers are complementary to CO2 mitigation, but neglecting linkages leads to overestimating their climate benefits."

Abstract: "Anthropogenic global warming is driven by emissions of a wide variety of radiative forcers ranging from very short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs), like black carbon, to very long-lived, like CO2. These species are often released from common sources and are therefore intricately linked. However, for reasons of simplification, this CO2–SLCF linkage was often disregarded in long-term projections of earlier studies. Here we explicitly account for CO2–SLCF linkages and show that the short- and long-term climate effects of many SLCF measures consistently become smaller in scenarios that keep warming to below 2 °C relative to preindustrial levels. Although long-term mitigation of methane and hydrofluorocarbons are integral parts of 2 °C scenarios, early action on these species mainly influences near-term temperatures and brings small benefits for limiting maximum warming relative to comparable reductions taking place later. Furthermore, we find that maximum 21st-century warming in 2 °C-consistent scenarios is largely unaffected by additional black-carbon-related measures because key emission sources are already phased-out through CO2 mitigation. Our study demonstrates the importance of coherently considering CO2–SLCF coevolutions. Failing to do so leads to strongly and consistently overestimating the effect of SLCF measures in climate stabilization scenarios. Our results reinforce that SLCF measures are to be considered complementary rather than a substitute for early and stringent CO2 mitigation. Near-term SLCF measures do not allow for more time for CO2 mitigation. We disentangle and resolve the distinct benefits across different species and therewith facilitate an integrated strategy for mitigating both short and long-term climate change."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 19, 2014, 09:45:48 AM
Much of the discussion in this thread has focused on the question of whether scientific reticence (erring on the side of least drama, ESLD) has lent scientific support to the calibration of GCMs to simulate climate sensitivities (fast, intermediate and slow feedback mechanisms) that are too low for use when projecting future (say to 2100) global temperatures (particularly process-based IPCC projections of mean global surface temperatures).  Obviously, this has been such a point of contention that the likely range of ECS used in the IPCC AR5 model runs was increased from 2 to 4.5 C in AR4 to 1.5 to 4.5 C in AR5.  Furthermore, since AR5 was published, references such as Smith et al 2014 (which includes some of the original authors of the RCP scenarios) have raised questions of bias in climate models:

Steven J. Smith, Tom M. L. Wigley, Malte Meinshausen & Joeri Rogelj, (2014), "Questions of bias in climate models", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 4, Pages: 741–742, doi:10.1038/nclimate2345

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2345.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2345.html)

See Shindell's response at:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2346.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n9/full/nclimate2346.html)

The biases being claimed are in simple models, and are studied by comparing the results of simpler models to the CMIP5 model results as utilised by IPCC.  There is no claim the the climate models as used by the IPCC are biased within these studies.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 19, 2014, 07:19:39 PM
Abrupt SLR

Quote
the following linked reference demonstrates that neglecting the links between SLCFs and CO₂ emissions leads to overestimating the climate benefits assumed by early regulation of SLCF until CO₂ emissions can be brought better under control:
Some time ago. I came across Adrian Williams work for UK Department of Environment Food and Agriculture (DEFRA). I think DEFRA tried to bury the work which showed beef and lamb (and cheese) had very large carbon footprints due to methane emissions from ruminants.  See "Can DEFRA be trusted with the climate?"  http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/can-government-be-trusted-with-the-climate/ (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/can-government-be-trusted-with-the-climate/)

If my comments are correct that's another example of why scientists might be conservative and reluctant to bite the hand that funds them.

I tend to believe the scientists and policy makers that have "proposed to immediately limit the emissions of short-lived climate forcers, as a means of buying more time" and I do see the linking issue for some sources of SLCFs and CO2 but surely this linkage is small for methane emissions from ruminants.

Also what about paddy fields? There are other ways of growing rice.

The authors do say
Quote
CH4 only has a few sources that are linked to, and thus possibly affected by, CO2 mitigation (e.g., CH4 release from fossil-fuel extraction)

They also say
Quote
Early action on CH4 is less important for limiting warming to below 2 °C: also when delaying CH4 reductions by three decades, a similar effect on maximum warming during the 21st century remains
This worries me.  Does this conclusion assume there are no serious feedback/tipping point issues that will be encountered in the 21st century? Haven't we discussed "missing feedbacks" in climate models?

What if we decide it's dangerous to go above 1.5 °C or 1 °C?

Some climate scientists have suggested we cannot keep below 2 °C under current conditions. Is this relevant?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 19, 2014, 08:02:16 PM
Geoff,

I think the way to think about this issue is that society needs to keep pressure on reducing all radiative forcings and that we cannot afford to give CO2 a little more time (it needs to be cut back now).

ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 19, 2014, 08:25:11 PM
The linked reference indicates the negative forcing from recent volcanic aerosols was stronger than previously estimated; thus indicating that climate sensitivity (for periods without significant volcanic activity) is likely higher than previously assumed:

D. A Ridley, S. Solomon, J. E. Barnes, V.D. Burlakov, T. Deshler, S.I. Dolgii, A.B. Herber, T. Nagai, R. R. Neely, A.V. Nevzorov, C. Ritter, T. Sakai, B. D. Santer, M. Sato, A. Schmidt, O. Uchino and J. P. Vernier, (2014), "Total volcanic stratospheric aerosol optical depths and implications for global climate change", Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1002/2014GL061541

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL061541/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL061541/abstract)

Abstract: "Understanding the cooling effect of recent volcanoes is of particular interest in the context of the post-2000 slowing of the rate of global warming. Satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) above 15 km have demonstrated that small-magnitude volcanic eruptions substantially perturb incoming solar radiation. Here we use lidar, AERONET and balloon-borne observations to provide evidence that currently available satellite databases neglect substantial amounts of volcanic aerosol between the tropopause and 15 km at mid to high latitudes, and therefore underestimate total radiative forcing resulting from the recent eruptions. Incorporating these estimates into a simple climate model, we determine the global volcanic aerosol forcing since 2000 to be −0.19 ± 0.09 Wm−2. This translates into an estimated global cooling of 0.05 to 0.12 °C. We conclude that recent volcanic events are responsible for more post-2000 cooling than is implied by satellite databases that neglect volcanic aerosol effects below 15 km."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 19, 2014, 10:15:11 PM
AbruptSLR

Agreed.

I do have in my memory a conversation, from a few years ago, telling me that Myles Allen was briefing UK Government people that current methane emissions didn't matter much because it will have degraded to CO2 before "the peak".

I think that's a flawed and dangerous argument but my informant thought it was influential.

This paper seems to support that view.

My hope is that soon we will be cutting the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere by extracting it and storing/fixing it but (of course) stopping emissions is easier.

I hope to find out more about the state of geoengineering next week and find out if CO2 atmospheric extraction is in the wings.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 19, 2014, 10:49:34 PM
AbruptSLR

Agreed.

I do have in my memory a conversation, from a few years ago, telling me that Myles Allen was briefing UK Government people that current methane emissions didn't matter much because it will have degraded to CO2 before "the peak".

I think that's a flawed and dangerous argument but my informant thought it was influential.

This paper seems to support that view.

My hope is that soon we will be cutting the lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere by extracting it and storing/fixing it but (of course) stopping emissions is easier.

I hope to find out more about the state of geoengineering next week and find out if CO2 atmospheric extraction is in the wings.

Geoff,

this view is inconsistent with the current science that shows methane emissions provide significant additional forcing mechanisms through the process of oxidation.

http://co2now.org/Know-GHGs/Methane-%7C-CH4/methane-and-climate-science.html (http://co2now.org/Know-GHGs/Methane-%7C-CH4/methane-and-climate-science.html)

Quote
The direct radiative forcing (warming) due to the CH4 concentration increase in the industrial era (i.e. after 1750 AD) is 0.48 W/m2 (Forster et al., 2007). Increasing methane concentration also contributes a radiative forcing indirectly, through tropospheric interactions that influence ozone concentrations, increasing stratospheric water vapor (of which it is the main source), as well as providing a small additional source of CO2 (methane, in its destruction, is oxidized to CO2). If these indirect effects are taken into account, the radiative forcing due to anthropogenic (from human origin) methane increase is estimated at ~ 0.85 W/m2 , as compared to 1.66 W/m2 for CO2 (Forster et al., 2007).

In addition, near term forcing produces near term warming which will work to release carbon cycle and frozen soil feedbacks faster.  This is a primary concern with a potential ice-free arctic in 2030 vs. 2080.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 19, 2014, 11:17:01 PM
The linked reference indicates the negative forcing from recent volcanic aerosols was stronger than previously estimated; thus indicating that climate sensitivity (for periods without significant volcanic activity) is likely higher than previously assumed:

D. A Ridley, S. Solomon, J. E. Barnes, V.D. Burlakov, T. Deshler, S.I. Dolgii, A.B. Herber, T. Nagai, R. R. Neely, A.V. Nevzorov, C. Ritter, T. Sakai, B. D. Santer, M. Sato, A. Schmidt, O. Uchino and J. P. Vernier, (2014), "Total volcanic stratospheric aerosol optical depths and implications for global climate change", Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1002/2014GL061541

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL061541/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL061541/abstract)

Abstract: "Understanding the cooling effect of recent volcanoes is of particular interest in the context of the post-2000 slowing of the rate of global warming. Satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) above 15 km have demonstrated that small-magnitude volcanic eruptions substantially perturb incoming solar radiation. Here we use lidar, AERONET and balloon-borne observations to provide evidence that currently available satellite databases neglect substantial amounts of volcanic aerosol between the tropopause and 15 km at mid to high latitudes, and therefore underestimate total radiative forcing resulting from the recent eruptions. Incorporating these estimates into a simple climate model, we determine the global volcanic aerosol forcing since 2000 to be −0.19 ± 0.09 Wm−2. This translates into an estimated global cooling of 0.05 to 0.12 °C. We conclude that recent volcanic events are responsible for more post-2000 cooling than is implied by satellite databases that neglect volcanic aerosol effects below 15 km."

That is part of an explanation for why the warming rate in recent years has been slower than predicted.  It in no way implies that climate sensitivity should be revised upward.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 20, 2014, 04:45:18 AM
Micheal,

instead of simply asserting that something someone says isn't true, can you EXPLAIN why it isn't true?  Just going around and saying, "you're wrong!" doesn't really prove your point.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 20, 2014, 05:25:54 AM
Don't want to speak for Mr. Hauber, but my takeaway from the paper is that negative volcanic aerosol forcing over first decade of this century was larger than included in models. Says nuttn about the sensitivity of those models. I disagree with Mr. AbruptSLR  where he says
"indicating that climate sensitivity (for periods without significant volcanic activity) is likely higher than previously assumed"

Sensitivity is unaffected by this paper. All it points out is that volcanic aerosols were underestimated. Perhaps Mr. AbruptSLR meant that we would see more warming in a period without such negative forcing, in which case I agree with the sentiment but not the expression.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 20, 2014, 09:01:12 AM
I thought that Mr. ASLR was suggesting that the intensity and duration of Aerosol forcing for volcanoes was underestimated and that, by association, the overall aerosol and secondary cloud forcing factors were also underestimated.  As shown in the Schwartz 2013 graphic I posted earlier, this would imply a lower forcing and coupled with the higher OHC (as shown in durack et. al.) a higher heat rate, the value of (F-N) would be much lower and project the likely ECS value toward the upper range and even beyond.

and I will say it again, this projection does not include the forcing of frozen earth, carbon cycle, or arctic albedo from ice collapse. . .just feel I have to throw that in every time I look at modeled forcing based observations of the past 3 decades. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on November 20, 2014, 10:28:37 AM
Jai

Quote
In addition, near term forcing produces near term warming which will work to release carbon cycle and frozen soil feedbacks faster.  This is a primary concern with a potential ice-free arctic in 2030 vs. 2080.

Perhaps someone should tell Myles Allen and the UK Government.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 20, 2014, 01:54:52 PM
Don't want to speak for Mr. Hauber, but my takeaway from the paper is that negative volcanic aerosol forcing over first decade of this century was larger than included in models. Says nuttn about the sensitivity of those models. I disagree with Mr. AbruptSLR  where he says
"indicating that climate sensitivity (for periods without significant volcanic activity) is likely higher than previously assumed"

Sensitivity is unaffected by this paper. All it points out is that volcanic aerosols were underestimated. Perhaps Mr. AbruptSLR meant that we would see more warming in a period without such negative forcing, in which case I agree with the sentiment but not the expression.

sidd

sidd,

I my view, one of the fundamental issue that needs to be clarified in this thread is related to the interpretational debate over the meaning of the word ‘probability,’ with the frequentists on one side claiming a probability assignment is really nothing more than an assignment of the frequency of occurrence of a given outcome of a trial, and the Bayesians on the other side claiming a probability assignment is a state of knowledge.  Roughly speaking, statistics generally describe information we already know or data we’ve already collected, whereas probability is generally used to predict what might happen in the future.  In other words, probabilities can only be accurately formulated from statistical data if that data arose from a perfectly repeatable series of experiments or observations.

I myself prefer the Bayesian interpretation of probability and I am concerned that many scientists today act as frequentists, using incomplete models to perform repeatable thought experiments in order to produce frequency curves that they believe represent true probability distribution curves. However, in a non-stationary chaotic world it is difficult to say whether these frequency curves are hiding Black Swan events, or even Dragon King events.  In the real complex world we are conducting an experiment involving climate change that we do not get to repeat, as most of the non-linear changes to feedback factors are effectively irreversible in our lifetimes (or even societies lifetime).  Therefore, I believe that society would be well advised to adopt the "Precautionary Principle" and to be very careful when deciding whether "masking factors" are temporarily hiding greater climate sensitivities, that could indeed emerge from the "fog of war"/uncertainty as either a Black Swan, or a Dragon King, event.

Cautiously yours,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 20, 2014, 02:54:09 PM
In another cautionary manner, I would like to note that society is currently following a BAU (similar to RCP 8.5) pathway, and while we all hope that we will drop down to a lower pathway soon, I believe that it is denialist to at least not acknowledge that for at least several years to several decades it is possible to exceed the RCP8.5 scenario.  For example, it the US concludes negotiations with Iran in a favorable manner, this would end the current restrictions on Iranian oil production which would further drop oil prices and promote fossil fuel emissions.  Another example is that currently holding banks are allowed to own fossil fuel stocks, which they can manipulate to drive-up fossil fuel prices; however, it is possible/probable that new regulations will limit this practice thus dropping fossil fuel prices and promoting more emissions.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 20, 2014, 03:40:00 PM
I'm totally behind what Abrupt is saying here. Just look at Svalbard (http://www.newsinenglish.no/2014/11/20/wildlife-suffers-as-svalbard-melts/), for instance: No–one ever predicted its winter temperatures (and rainfall!) would resemble those of Bergen (Western Norway (mainland)) as early as in the 2010s. It hadn't before in recent memory, so how could it?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 20, 2014, 05:42:35 PM
In my view, one of the fundamental issue that needs to be clarified in this thread is related to the interpretational debate over the meaning of the word ‘probability,’ with the frequentists on one side claiming a probability assignment is really nothing more than an assignment of the frequency of occurrence of a given outcome of a trial, and the Bayesians on the other side claiming a probability assignment is a state of knowledge.  Roughly speaking, statistics generally describe information we already know or data we’ve already collected, whereas probability is generally used to predict what might happen in the future.  In other words, probabilities can only be accurately formulated from statistical data if that data arose from a perfectly repeatable series of experiments or observations.

I myself prefer the Bayesian interpretation of probability and I am concerned that many scientists today act a frequentists, using incomplete models to perform repeatable thought experiments in order to produce frequency curves that they believe represent true probability distribution curves. However, in a non-stationary chaotic world it is difficult to say whether these frequency curves are hiding Black Swan events, or even Dragon King events.  In the real complex world we are conducting an experiment involving climate change that we do not get to repeat, as most of the non-linear changes to feedback factors are effectively irreversible in our lifetimes (or even societies lifetime).  Therefore, I believe that society would be well advised to adopt the "Precautionary Principle" and to be very careful when deciding whether "masking factors" are temporarily hiding greater climate sensitivities, that could indeed emerge from the "fog of war"/uncertainty as either a Black Swan, or a Dragon King, event.

Cautiously yours,
ASLR

AbruptSLR brings up a very good point. I think most today agree that frequentist methods are more susceptible to assumptions and omissions (I'll skip the details).

Today's best statisticians are generally pluralistic and use all methods when applicable to give them a more comprehensive perspective. However, Frequentists quite often identify as "anti-Bayesians" and politically Conservative. Much has been written about this, and this group still holds a lot of power and influence in academia and politics.

In essence it helps Conservatives do what they always do, ignore all that conflicts with their rigidly ideological worldview.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on November 20, 2014, 06:32:03 PM
From translating Joel Bakan's great documentary «The Corporation», I know a lot about so–called 'externalizing'. In short, the corporations, large and small, love to externalize costs (and consequences), while of course keep the profits. This means that you and I (and the forests, the fish, oceans, atmosphere) have to take the cost of running their business, so that they can secure a profit.

I suspect that a so–called 'conservative' (who, mind you, does not conserve very much at all) is also a person that supports this habit of externalizing costs and side–effects of doing business, and, therefore, by way of necessity, also supports «conservative climate science», where the real dangers or the enormous scope of the danger is not supposed to be properly emphasized.

Were it to become frontpage news, their way of making a profit would pretty soon be outlawed.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on November 20, 2014, 06:38:02 PM
"First, assume a can opener."  Said the economist.

Imagine if the Allies were run by economists instead of tacticians in WWII.  "first lets assume an unlimited amount of land territory that the Nazis can take. . ."

In the world of subjective reality and indeterminate futures, it is an intellectual crutch to rely on statistical methods to predict the future.  It is a fallacy of human thought to ascribe extreme outlier "black swan" status to events that could (even should) have been predicted.

Such was the 2007-2008 economic collapse.  This was, by any rational analysis a "dragon king" event. (a system-driven fast-feedback toppling of the global economy)  However, when looked at it in hindsight, Nicholas Taleb called the collapse a "classic" black swan event (in his book "black swan).

The evidence of this being a semi-intentional systemic fast-feedback driven collapse is shown in the analyses of Karl Marx and Kondratieff as well as the prescient market analysts that were telling people to get the hell out of stocks in 2006.

So in the real world, we live in a state of constant threat and threat assessment, avoidance and, (if necessary) adaptation. 

It is in the communication of a potential threat that we find the arguments based on statistical models.  This is because these threats often require extraordinary measures for amelioration.  This "policy inertia" requires much higher material "proof" than a simple risk/reward model.   The "proof" of threat is much higher due to the exorbitant adaptions required.

Like when hitler invaded Poland, vs. simply annexing Austria.

This is why ALL informal polls of climate scientists show a MUCH higher impact of climate change in coming years than the "likely" range in the IPCC.  These impacts are often significantly higher, between 150% to 400%.

This is why the earth must experience a truly catastrophic climate-associated event, one that causes the "hot frogs" to jump out of the pot before it begins to boil. . .
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 21, 2014, 05:40:11 AM
Bayesian logic makes extensive use of inductive logic, and Bayesian techniques can help to determine allowable climate sensitivity values, as often the estimated climate sensitivity values are based on data that are sparse, noisy or biased, and/or all of these. Using Bayesian logic, estimates of climate sensitivities based on observations/measurements can be compared with previously projected values, and observing a difference, the projections can be "corrected" by arbitrarily subtracting off the discrepancy.  When new data are collected, these too may disagree with the new predictions, and if so, another "correction" is applied, and so on.
Kelly and Tan, 2011, built a preliminary integrated assessment model to test how fat tails (for temperature change PDFs) due to uncertainties in the climate system affect economic growth, and examined whether, and how fast, uncertainties could be diminished through Bayesian learning.  This research found that if the climate system is close to equilibrium then Bayesian learning will quickly provide evidence against fat tail uncertainties; while if the climate system is not close to equilibrium (implying that true climate sensitivity is high) then Bayesian learning occurs more slowly, and the implications of a fat tail on the demand loading distribution would have a significant increase in the risk of failure.  Weitzman, 2009, argues that fat tails reflect the "deep structural uncertainty for the low-probability, high-impact catastrophes" and that: "… It is inherently difficult to learn from finite samples alone enough about the probabilities of extreme events to thin down the bad tail of the PDF because, by definition, we don't get many data point observations of such catastrophes".  Therefore, I find it disturbing that recent climate sensitivity measurements have not lead to an elimination of the fat tail for the climate sensitivity PDF.

Kelly, D.L. and Tan, Z., (2011), "Leaning, Growth and Climate Feedbacks" 2011 Camp Resources XVIII, University of Miami, August 15, 2011.

Weitzman, M., (2009a), "On Modeling and Interpreting the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Review of Economics and Statistics, 91, pp. 1-19.

Weitzman, M., (2009b), "Additive damages, fat-tailed climate dynamics, and uncertain discounting"; Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, 3, pp. 1-29.

What does the Bayesian interpretation of probability tell us about reductionism? The key to the Bayesian interpretation is the notion that, if probabilities represent our states of knowledge, measurements update these states of knowledge. Thus knowledge is gained in an incremental manner which is the essence of reductionism. Thus probabilities, in a Bayesian context, are absolutely reductionist.  Reductionism does not preclude the existence of what might be called emergent phenomena (such as a Black Swan climate change event), but it does imply the ability to understand those phenomena completely in terms of the processes from which they are composed (given a suitably sophisticated well calibrated Earth System Model).  Thus with sufficient Bayesian learning possible Black Swan events (which may be predictable by the "Butcher" but cannot be forecast by the "Turkey") can be revealed to society at large (hopefully in time to do something about it).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Bruce Steele on November 21, 2014, 07:53:59 AM
As an aside , and losing it on the bayesian , lagrangian arguments I would like to make the argument that within the ocean acidification side of the climate change issue we have plenty of examples of bold individuals willing to put numbers on the unique extent the current carbon spike and how it compares to carbon excursions past. With a history of papers published ( 2004 -eighteen papers  published ) and 
in 2013 ( 374 papers published ) there has been incredible advances in our knowledge base. I have only kudos to the individuals involved and wonder how would one explain or rationalize the whole concept of "conservative science" or the critiques in arguments above re. Acidification? Maybe climate science moves separately in the various fields but for a ten year history of  acidification the science has moved incredibly quickly and the boldness of the individuals involved maybe should stand in counterpoint to the reticence otherwise criticized on this page. Even the IPCC has highlighted this issue.

  http://news-oceanacidification-icc.org/2014/11/20/promoting-international-collaboration-on-ocean-acidification-data-management/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wordpress%2FlRgb+%28Ocean+acidification%29 (http://news-oceanacidification-icc.org/2014/11/20/promoting-international-collaboration-on-ocean-acidification-data-management/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wordpress%2FlRgb+%28Ocean+acidification%29)



 



Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 21, 2014, 06:24:55 PM
Bruce,
I certainly am not questioning the bravery, or integrity, of the vast majority of scientists.  However, the IPCC has a process-based procedure for advising policymakers what to do about climate change.  Furthermore, most policymakers do not look beyond the official approved Summary for Policymakers (SPM) linked below, in order to make their decisions: 

IPCC:  "CLIMATE CHANGE 2014 SYNTHESIS REPORT
Approved Summary for Policymakers", 1 November 2014

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_SPM.pdf (https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_SPM.pdf)

Below I have extracted all of the guidance offered to policymakers from the SPM regarding ocean acidification.  There is no mention of the fact that ocean acidification can act as a positive feedback mechanism to accelerate climate change, despite all of the good research that is available in the literature.  I would image that most policymakers would read the following extracts and would conclude that ocean acidification is not too bad yet and that they have other pressing matters and then they would move on without taking action to more aggressively reduce CO₂ emissions.  While individual scientists may be doing brilliant work, the integration of available facts is being watered down by the IPCC process-based methodology to the point that the policymakers think they can wait a few more decades before taking more aggressive action:

Extracts: "Since the beginning of the industrial era, oceanic uptake of CO2 has resulted in acidification of the ocean; the pH of ocean surface water has decreased by 0.1 (high confidence), corresponding to a 26% increase in acidity, measured as hydrogen ion concentration.

The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic CO2, causing ocean acidification.

Some impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms have been attributed to human influence (medium confidence).

Earth System Models project a global increase in ocean acidification for all RCP scenarios by the end of the 21st century, with a slow recovery after mid-century under RCP2.6. The decrease in surface ocean pH is in the range of 0.06 to 0.07 (15–17% increase in acidity) for RCP2.6, 0.14 to 0.15 (38–41%) for RCP4.5, 0.20 to 0.21 (58–62%) for RCP6.0, and 0.30 to 0.32 (100–109%) for RCP8.5.

The overall risks of future climate change impacts can be reduced by limiting the rate and magnitude of climate change, including ocean acidification. The precise levels of climate change sufficient to trigger abrupt and irreversible change remain uncertain, but the risk associated with crossing such thresholds increases with rising temperature (medium confidence). For risk assessment, it is important to evaluate the widest possible range of impacts, including low-probability outcomes with large consequences.

Marine organisms will face progressively lower oxygen levels and high rates and magnitudes of ocean acidification (high confidence), with associated risks exacerbated by rising ocean temperature extremes (medium confidence). Coral reefs and polar ecosystems are highly vulnerable.

There is high confidence that ocean acidification will increase for centuries if CO2 emissions continue, and will strongly affect marine ecosystems."

Best ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Bruce Steele on November 21, 2014, 07:35:48 PM
I could name a good long list of scientists that I believe have covered the long term downsides to ocean acidification and yes the IPCC report doesn't really match the terror that an honest evaluation of that information should evoke. But. Good policy should be well informed policy and to read the Summary for Policymakers and not take the time to then read the science articles responsible for the policy outline
is laziness . I suppose most people in power are overly dependent on staff and hiring people to read and understand the science for them. That is however no excuse for not understanding important science issues as they relate to policy and decision making. So is it reticence in the IPCC policy statement or the attributes and candor we expect from politicians that is really the problem?
 How do we choose elected representation and what is the limit to what money will buy? Those aren't issues likely to self resolve and I am afraid the window of opportunity to get it right is rapidly closing.
No amount of good governance will turn this bus  around if we get down this road to far. I am not very optimistic and nobody likes to be told what they can't do, so putting positive spin on annihilation is all we get even from those few elected representatives that are up to date on the science. 
 To sum , it isn't the scientists that help write the executive summary we should worry about as much as the apparent willingness of the public to be duped.
 I am a fisher man/farmer with zero formal education so it bothers me that people just don't give a crap enough to study up themselves. We get the governance we deserve , the planet will pay the price



 
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on November 21, 2014, 09:31:08 PM
I suppose most people in power are overly dependent on staff and hiring people to read and understand the science for them. That is however no excuse for not understanding important science issues as they relate to policy and decision making. So is it reticence in the IPCC policy statement or the attributes and candor we expect from politicians that is really the problem?
 How do we choose elected representation and what is the limit to what money will buy? Those aren't issues likely to self resolve and I am afraid the window of opportunity to get it right is rapidly closing.
No amount of good governance will turn this bus  around if we get down this road to far. I am not very optimistic and nobody likes to be told what they can't do, so putting positive spin on annihilation is all we get even from those few elected representatives that are up to date on the science. 
To sum , it isn't the scientists that help write the executive summary we should worry about as much as the apparent willingness of the public to be duped.

For the USA, please see: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354310 (http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9354310)

"Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."
 
Politicians are bought and sold by fossil interests. It is not the vast majority of the public who are to blame, they have no control in the USA. Elected representation is a joke. Money cannot buy everything, but it can buy enough, and is already deeply invested in climate hell. And we see the apparat of ubiquitous surveillance already brought to bear against those who attempt populist challenge to fossil interests. One possibility is that the plutocrats can be induced to turn on each other, which they will, in any event, but only  after they destroy the middle class. But that will be difficult to engineer in time. Outside the USA there are more hopes, but so few, always so few.

I think that eventually, (and perhaps too late for places like Bangladesh) climate disaster will force even the likes of the Koch brothers to back down. By then many will be dead or destitute. Unfortunately that is a long way away. Unless the fossil fuel oligarchy can be brought to heel, and quickly, in a generation their names will be a hissing and a curse in the mouths of dying multitudes all over the globe.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: TeaPotty on November 22, 2014, 07:09:05 PM
A lot of interesting articles this week. First is a lecture that lays out a foundation for the main narrative shift that must occur for humanity to properly address our current crisis.

"Promoting conservation as primarily not about preventing human-caused extinction, but primarily about sustaining ecosystem services, is this fundamentally anthropocentric frame. Its implicit in the term even. Its 'those' ecosystems serve 'us'." [11:30]
Tom Butler: The Language of Dominion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os2rm2fMVC8#ws)

I think all scientists need to frame climate change within the spectrum of our Anthropocene crisis. It's becoming increasingly dishonest to talk about Climate Change as if it occurs independently of the ecosystem and its creatures we need to survive. Discussing our planet as a commodity of profit at some uncertain risk to uncertain projections of future loss is exactly what Business-As-Usual is.




The Magical Thought That's Assumed in Climate Studies
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-20/the-magical-thought-that-s-assumed-in-climate-studies.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-20/the-magical-thought-that-s-assumed-in-climate-studies.html)

There's a huge gap between the volume of pollution emitted every year and how much scientists say we can safely send aloft... The carbon overshoot could grow by 2030 to 40 percent.

...two degrees doesn't say much to normal people when you're talking about the temperature of a planet... At the rate we're going, the budget may burn up by the 2040s. Now, in finance, the notion of a budget deficit make sense. When someone overspends, he pays the money back at a later date. Ecological deficits make less sense. How do you pay the ground back in carbon minerals once they've been vaporized and are hanging in the atmosphere?

Whenever anyone starts talking about negative emissions, "the feasibility of these assumptions still needs to be explored," the UNEP writes. That "feasibility" phrase seems like a charitable euphemism to suggest that a key tool in fighting climate change is still magical thinking, and that the dominant, de facto world policy on climate change is to hope that it won't get as bad as scientists think it will.




Meanwhile this week...

Hottest October And Year To Date On Record Globally, NOAA Reports
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/20/3594961/hottest-october-on-record-globally/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/20/3594961/hottest-october-on-record-globally/)

2014 is almost certainly going to be the hottest year on record worldwide — probably by far

The years 2013 and 2014 are the only years on this list not to begin during a mature El Niño event.
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww1.ncdc.noaa.gov%2Fpub%2Fdata%2Fcmb%2Fimages%2Fglobal%2F2014%2Foct%2Fytd-scenarios-thru-oct-2014.png&hash=8b6eed7ae2fd699c96ebd5b907ac34d6)




Heatwave frequency 'surpasses levels previously predicted for 2030'
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/17/heatwave-frequency-surpasses-levels-previously-predicted-for-2030 (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/17/heatwave-frequency-surpasses-levels-previously-predicted-for-2030)

...the frequency of heatwaves in parts of Australia has already surpassed levels previously predicted for 2030

They kill hundreds of people and the fact they are accelerating beyond the predicted trends is a concern

“We’re not looking at these things in a linked-up way, we don’t seem to recognise the relationship between the number and intensity of heatwaves on bushfires, and the impact on droughts,” he said. “It’s an inconvenient truth and people don’t want to face the truth.”




To my surprise, actual research has been published on my theory that the religious hold beliefs that reinforce Climate Inaction:

A Big Reason Climate Change Isn’t A Priority: The Apocalypse

The fact that half of Americans cite the end times as a cause of recent severe weather events suggests a kind of fatalism that would certainly lead to less urgency when it comes to issues like climate change. Even many of those who believe in climate change -- and about one-quarter of Americans don't, per the survey -- seem to think natural disasters are part of something that is preordained. In addition, 39 percent of Americans say God would not allow humans to destroy the Earth (53 percent disagree). So, apparently, most of those who believe we're in the end times also believe God would intervene. Basically at least four in 10 Americans see little reason for a human response -- or, at least, doubt things will wind up being catastrophic.

Fifty-seven percent say God “gave humans the task of living responsibly with animals, plants and other resources, which are not just for human benefit,” while 35 percent say God gave humans all that “solely for their own benefit.”

Just 5 percent rate it as the No. 1 issue, behind things like immigration, education and the wealth gap.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpublicreligion.org%2Fsite%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2FScreen-Shot-2014-11-21-at-11.36.55-AM.png&hash=532c8b30ebf1aa5800d7fbb627fa75da)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpublicreligion.org%2Fsite%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2FScreen-Shot-2014-11-19-at-2.15.13-PM.png&hash=e12396b44f04c970723f938001c30aa1)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fwp-apps%2Fimrs.php%3Fsrc%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fimg.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F2%2F2014%2F11%2Fpage15.jpg%26amp%3Bw%3D600&hash=7a2adee6571a44bef9b6a9a67dee1237)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg.washingtonpost.com%2Fblogs%2Fthe-fix%2Ffiles%2F2014%2F11%2FEndTimes.gif&hash=a18a1f1352d4bfc541d84810801e7537)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpublicreligion.org%2Fsite%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2FScreen-Shot-2014-11-19-at-2.23.34-PM.png&hash=066971969f9621d6dd36c1647bb5f46c)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 22, 2014, 11:47:21 PM
The philosopher C. D. Broad once wrote: "Induction is the glory of science and the scandal of philosophy".  Therefore, it is not surprising that for a politically charged topic like abrupt climate change that the IPCC process-based GCM projections would over-emphasize deductive logic (which typically follows Frequentist thinking), and under-emphasize inductive logic (i.e. to avoid accusations of bias).  Furthermore, science is one of the most competitive professions around, and scientist set a high burden of "proof" on new theories; which helps to explain scientist's tendency to err on the side of least drama regarding claims of possible abrupt climate change.  Scientists are smart, and if they were responsible for public safety instead of for avoiding accusations of bias, they would make more use of induction (and Bayesian logic) in order to reduce the risks of Black Swan, or Dragon King, abrupt climate change events. 

One example of a such a possible Black Swan abrupt climate change event is that: as China, America and Europe progressively restrict GHG emissions, that economic resources/capital may likely flow into developing countries (e.g. India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Nigeria) that may likely be willing to allow relatively high GHG emissions in exchange for higher economic growth rates (rather than waiting for green to develop sufficiently to allow them to share in the "good life"); which will keep the world near an RCP 8.5 pathway until at least 2050.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 23, 2014, 02:49:42 AM
Just to show how clever scientists can be, the extract from the following link, indicates that the ACME project is initially most concerned about: (a) the water cycle, (b) biochemistry, and (c) the cryosphere.  All three are potential sources of strong positive feedback:

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/08/25/acme/ (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/08/25/acme/)

Extract: "The project, called Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy, or ACME, is designed to accelerate the development and application of fully coupled, state-of-the-science Earth system models for scientific and energy applications. The plan is to exploit advanced software and new High Performance Computing machines as they become available.

The initial focus will be on three climate change science drivers and corresponding questions to be answered during the project’s initial phase:

 (Water Cycle) How do the hydrological cycle and water resources interact with the climate system on local to global scales? How will more realistic portrayals of features important to the water cycle (resolution, clouds, aerosols, snowpack, river routing, land use) affect river flow and associated freshwater supplies at the watershed scale?
(Biogeochemistry) How do biogeochemical cycles interact with global climate change? How do carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles regulate climate system feedbacks, and how sensitive are these feedbacks to model structural uncertainty?
(Cryosphere Systems) How do rapid changes in cryospheric systems, or areas of the earth where water exists as ice or snow, interact with the climate system? Could a dynamical instability in the Antarctic Ice Sheet be triggered within the next 40 years?
Over a planned 10-year span, the project aim is to conduct simulations and modeling on the most sophisticated HPC machines as they become available, i.e., 100-plus petaflop machines and eventually exascale supercomputers. The team initially will use U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Leadership Computing Facilities at Oak Ridge and Argonne national laboratories."

see also:
http://catalog.data.gov/dataset/climate-change-science-institute/resource/aa2d6619-45ab-4b7a-88cb-cd8587158e6e (http://catalog.data.gov/dataset/climate-change-science-institute/resource/aa2d6619-45ab-4b7a-88cb-cd8587158e6e)

especially see:
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/35/14118.full (http://www.pnas.org/content/110/35/14118.full)

Extract: "The highest emission scenario currently being considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5, which would bring CO2 concentrations up to 2,000 ppm, which is in the upper reaches of the range considered in ref. 2. Even this scenario can be considered somewhat optimistic, in that it assumes that the annual growth in CO2 emissions rate (which has been hovering around 3% for decades) will tail off by 2060 and that the emissions rate will cease growing altogether by 2100, whereafter emissions will trend to zero; unrestrained growth could easily dump twice as much carbon into the atmosphere."

Also, the previously discussed linked article (by Sherwood et al 2013 & published after the cut-off for AR5) indicates that ECS is somewhere between 3 and 5 C.

http://phys.org/news/2013-12-cloud-mystery-global-temperatures-4c.html (http://phys.org/news/2013-12-cloud-mystery-global-temperatures-4c.html)

Furthermore, the following linked article discusses how increasing uncertainty increases to probability of a high climate sensitivity value:

http://phys.org/news/2014-04-uncertainty-isnt-climate-complacencyquite.html (http://phys.org/news/2014-04-uncertainty-isnt-climate-complacencyquite.html)

Also, it is worth noting that the linked article about paleo findings indicate that long-term Earth System Sensitivity is higher than previously thought:

http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/Franks_et_al_2014_GRL_new_stomatal-CO2_proxy.pdf (http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/Franks_et_al_2014_GRL_new_stomatal-CO2_proxy.pdf)

Also there are many articles in the Antarctic "Forcing" thread that discuss various positive feedback factors that are more active than previously expected, such as the higher biochemical activity discussed in the following linked article:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v513/n7516/full/nature13604.html (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v513/n7516/full/nature13604.html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 23, 2014, 06:13:38 PM
The linked website discusses the importance of the water cycle on climate sensitivity and emphasizes how much we have to learn (which increases our risk of high climate sensitivity):

http://www.wcrp-climate.org/index.php/decala-prediction/26-grand-challenges (http://www.wcrp-climate.org/index.php/decala-prediction/26-grand-challenges)

Extract of critical issues:
"- Climate and hydrological sensitivity
- Coupling clouds to circulations
- Changing patterns
- Leveraging the past record
- Towards more reliable models"

Also see:

http://www.wcrp-climate.org/images/documents/grand_challenges/GC4_Clouds_14nov2012.pdf (http://www.wcrp-climate.org/images/documents/grand_challenges/GC4_Clouds_14nov2012.pdf)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 24, 2014, 10:19:59 AM
To follow-up on the importance of refining the uncertainties associated with cloud feedback; the linked reference indicates that the short-term feedback for the clouds evaluated was likely positive.


A.E. Dessler, "A Determination of the Cloud Feedback from Climate Variations over the Past Decade", Science, vol. 330, pp. 1523-1527, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1192546 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1192546)

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6010/1523 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6010/1523)

Abstract: "Estimates of Earth's climate sensitivity are uncertain, largely because of uncertainty in the long-term cloud feedback. I estimated the magnitude of the cloud feedback in response to short-term climate variations by analyzing the top-of-atmosphere radiation budget from March 2000 to February 2010. Over this period, the short-term cloud feedback had a magnitude of 0.54 ± 0.74 (2σ) watts per square meter per kelvin, meaning that it is likely positive. A small negative feedback is possible, but one large enough to cancel the climate’s positive feedbacks is not supported by these observations. Both long- and short-wave components of short-term cloud feedback are also likely positive. Calculations of short-term cloud feedback in climate models yield a similar feedback. I find no correlation in the models between the short- and long-term cloud feedbacks."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 24, 2014, 06:28:27 PM
I thought that I would like to point-out that while we are typically discussing global climate sensitivities and global feedback mechanisms in this thread; regional climate sensitivities & regional feedback mechanisms can also be calculated.  When regional climate sensitivities are carefully considered it becomes more clear that several key areas of the global (including portions of the Tibetan Highlands, West Antarctica, and the Arctic) have higher climate sensitivities than the rest of the Earth (ie they are already warming faster than the rest of the Earth); and with continued warming: as "slow feedback" mechanisms are transformed into "fast feedback" mechanisms, in these key areas, global climate sensitivity may well accelerate faster by 2100 than as projected by GCM's calibrated to sensitivities from the observed in the paleo record.

Edit: the linked reference provides discussion of how the Tibetan Highland are warming faster that surrounding areas (which in my opinion indicates that more warm air and dust will be carried from this key area into the Arctic, and if so, it will contribute to an acceleration of Arctic amplification):

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/11/114008 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/11/114008)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 25, 2014, 08:01:00 PM
While the IPCC Probability Distribution Function, PDF, for Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, looks so well researched and robust, I would like to make the following comments (in addition to my comments made previously in this thread) on this matter:

(1) First, as the PDF for ECS is skewed to the right, increasing uncertainty increases the likelihood of high values of ECS being correct.  The first image from Shaping Tomorrows World illustrates how this is the case (see the link and caption below):

www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org (http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org)

Caption for first image: "Chances of 5C warming (red line) in response to distributions of estimates centered on 3C warming but with differing uncertainties.  The top left panel shows the least uncertainty, and least chance of exceeding 5C, the bottom right shows most uncertainty and most chance of exceeding 5C. Credit: www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org (http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org)"

(2) The second attached image is from Kelly & Tan, 2011 (referred earlier in this thread), which presents how iterative cycles (500 cycles here) of Bayesian Learning slowly converges a very conservative (denialist) ECS - PDF to pre-assumed value of 4C.  This emphasizes that: (a) PDFs for ECS change the more observations/measurement that we make; and (b) The fact that the PDF for ECS has been slow to converge towards a single true value, provides support for the position that the current effective ECS maybe appreciably higher than 3C.

Caption for second image: ""Experiment 2" Convergence of PDF on Pre-Assumed Climate Sensitivity of 4.0 (average of 500 simulations), from Kelly & Tan, 2011."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 26, 2014, 12:19:50 AM

(2) The second attached image is from Kelly & Tan, 2011 (referred earlier in this thread), which presents how iterative cycles (500 cycles here) of Bayesian Learning slowly converges a very conservative (denialist) ECS - PDF to pre-assumed value of 4C.  This emphasizes that: (a) PDFs for ECS change the more observations/measurement that we make; and (b) The fact that the PDF for ECS has been slow to converge towards a single true value, provides support for the position that the current effective ECS maybe appreciably higher than 3C.

Some pedantry:
I think the 500 simulations are to smooth out random effects it is actually iterated 160 times each with 1 year of data.

While the blue curve is denalist in having high chances of ECS less than 1.5C, I would expect a denialist pdf to have negligable probability of ECS being above 5C. That blue curve must have over a 5% chance of ECS being above 6C and is declining so slowly that at the top end the curve looks to also have some alarmist characteristics to me.
/pedantry

Comments
As a 1970 prior, I would suggest more chance of ECS being below 0.5C but this really doesn't matter much as the data soon rules this out. (Hence I suggest in classifying a pdf of ECS as denialist or alarmist more attention should be given to the top end than the bottom end.)

I would also move the mode probability to a higher level, so in that sense I would be less denialist than the curve suggests.

The image shows that after 60 years we have very good knowledge of ECS. If ECS acts as a single constant number, this may well be the case. However in reality ECS will vary with the climate state, so I doubt that the value of ECS can be restricted to such small ranges as indicated by year 60 and year 160 curves.

Note how after just 10 years of data, the fat tail has almost disappeared. We have a lot more years of data since IPCC First AR, so shouldn't our pdf for ECS be almost symmetrical by now? Why do you retain the view that there is a fat tail on the high side for ECS?


Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 26, 2014, 12:53:39 AM
crandles,

I had hesitated to post the image by Kelly & Tan, 2011, as it only represents a thought experiment to illustrate in theory how Bayesian Learning might apply to climate sensitivity.  As this is only a thought experiment, there is no need to relate it to our actual situation (perhaps I should not have referred to a PDF from a thought experiment as denialist).

I primary point in referring to the Kelly & Tan 2011 figure was to point out that in fact the current AR5 PDF for ECs is broad and that many years of study has not yet narrowed; and that per Bayesian Learning this fact may support a true value of ECS meaningfully higher than 3C.

Best,
ASLR

Edit: For those interested in reading a somewhat long debate about ECS and TCR you can find one at the following link:

http://www.climatedialogue.org/climate-sensitivity-and-transient-climate-response/ (http://www.climatedialogue.org/climate-sensitivity-and-transient-climate-response/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 26, 2014, 02:10:29 AM

I primary point in referring to the Kelly & Tan 2011 figure was to point out that in fact the current AR5 PDF for ECs is broad and that many years of study has not yet narrowed; and that per Bayesian Learning this fact may support a true value of ECS meaningfully higher than 3C.


If ECS was meaningfully higher than 3C then that image suggests a major effect that we should see is the low end of the range rising not insubstantially as we gain another 5 or 10 years data.

AR5 says:
Quote
Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high
confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)16. The lower temperature limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2°C in the AR4, but the upper limit is the same. This assessment reflects improved understanding, the extended temperature record in the atmosphere and ocean, and new estimates of radiative forcing. {TS TFE.6, Figure 1; Box 12.2}

The lowering of the lower limit of the range would normally suggest the lower end of the range rather than the upper end.

The range getting wider rather than the normal expectation of it getting narrower seems to me to suggest the data or our understanding of climate and climate sensitivity is all over the place.

Thus the conclusion of Kelly and Tan does not seem to follow from the fig 5 image you posted. On looking at the paper,
http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~gradconf/ZhuoTan.pdf (http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~gradconf/ZhuoTan.pdf)
I see you need to show fig 4 as well as fig 5 to show the papers conclusion that learning is slower with high ECS.

The paper seems a bit unclear perhaps even contradictory to me. It states

Quote
A hight(sic) climate (sic) has two effects on the learning dynamics. First, as temperature is higher, signals are stronger, hence reduce the learning time. Second, since our prior locates further away from the true value, it takes longer to learn. The results shown here indicates that the second effect overweigh the first.

This seems to suggest to me that if climate sensitivity is lower than expected then learning will also be slower than if sensitivity is close to the expected level. Thus the abstract saying
Quote
Learning occurs more slowly if true climate sensitivity is high.

does not seem to have been shown by the paper.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 26, 2014, 02:36:12 AM
Perhaps this is a better paper on effect of learning:

The effect of learning on climate policy under fat-tailed uncertainty
In Chang Hwang and Frederic Reynes and Richard Tol

http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/53681/1/MPRA_paper_53681.pdf (http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/53681/1/MPRA_paper_53681.pdf)

fig 1 suggests the fat tail lasts longer.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 26, 2014, 05:00:06 AM
crandles,

Thanks for the link.

The following link leads to John Fasullo's explanation of why IPCC AR5’s lower bound for ECS and TCR should be revised upward:

http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/John-Fasullo-guest-blog-def.pdf (http://www.climatedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/John-Fasullo-guest-blog-def.pdf)

This discussion includes the following quote:

"In short, I argue that although IPCC’s conservative and inclusive nature may have justified such a reduction at the time of their report, the evidence accumulated in recent years argues increasingly against such a change."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on November 26, 2014, 10:56:36 AM

(1) First, as the PDF for ECS is skewed to the right, increasing uncertainty increases the likelihood of high values of ECS being correct.  The first image from Shaping Tomorrows World illustrates how this is the case (see the link and caption below):


This would be true no matter the shape of the distribution and has nothing to do with the fact that ECS is skewed to the right.  With the requirement for a consensus it would be likely that the IPCC would overestimate the uncertainty, rather than underestimate it.  This is illustrated well by what you posted in another thread:

If anyone has the patience to read through the long dialogue on climate sensitivity at the following website, it addresses many of the points being discussed in this thread:

http://www.climatedialogue.org/climate-sensitivity-and-transient-climate-response/ (http://www.climatedialogue.org/climate-sensitivity-and-transient-climate-response/)

This discussion has three different people with three different opinions on climate sensitivity.  Each opinion is narrower than the IPCC consensus view.  If the three are forced to hammer out a consensus then the only option would be to expand the uncertainty range of the consensus to include them all.  None of the participants would be happy about it, but unless they can force the other parties to abandon their opinions it is the only option.

Another interesting aspect of this discussion is the total absence of any argument that climate sensitivity may be at the high end of the IPCC range.  Nic argues for the low end and James for the middle.  John does not argue for the high end, but disputes the IPCC's decision to reduce the low end from 2 to 1.5, which he argues ' may have justified such a reduction at the time of their report, the evidence accumulated in recent years argues increasingly against such a change'
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on November 26, 2014, 11:44:37 AM
Another interesting aspect of this discussion is the total absence of any argument that climate sensitivity may be at the high end of the IPCC range.  Nic argues for the low end and James for the middle.  John does not argue for the high end, but disputes the IPCC's decision to reduce the low end from 2 to 1.5, which he argues ' may have justified such a reduction at the time of their report, the evidence accumulated in recent years argues increasingly against such a change'

That's because ClimateDialogue is a platform for amplifying the voice of climate skeptics arguing for inaction, paid for by the Dutch tax payer. It has provided the person behind it, Marcel Crok, to develop and strengthen ties with the GWPF (the old banking boys network for promoting laissez-faire oligarchy capitalism).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on November 26, 2014, 11:57:24 AM
And because of that some/many prominent climate scientists do not want to cooperate with climatedialogue.org, such as Jim Hansen, for example.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: crandles on November 26, 2014, 12:02:03 PM
James Annan reaction to Kelly and Tan 2011
Quote
My first reaction is that it's a shame that this silly fat tail stuff persists in the economics literature years after it was debunked in climate science ;-)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 26, 2014, 04:58:40 PM
Obviously, the topic of climate sensitivity is highly politicized (including within the IPCC process).  Nevertheless, the desire of climate skeptics (denialists) to stay (for at least a couple of decades) on our current path is the most convincing argument of all that society will stay on a BAU pathway which will activate many non-linear positive feedback mechanisms; which in-turn will raise climate sensitivity above the current value to higher levels this century.  In this sense all of the arguments provide by Nic Lewis (a clear denialist) are just proving my point.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on November 26, 2014, 09:56:25 PM
I will be on vacation until Dec 8, 2014 so I will not be posting any replies in that period.

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

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

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

Abstract: "This introductory article presents the special Discussion and Debate volume “From black swans to dragon-kings, is there life beyond power laws?” We summarize and put in perspective the contributions into three main themes: (i) mechanisms for dragon-kings, (ii) detection of dragon-kings and statistical tests and (iii) empirical evidence in a large variety of natural and social systems. Overall, we are pleased to witness significant advances both in the introduction and clarification of underlying mechanisms and in the development of novel efficient tests that demonstrate clear evidence for the presence of dragon-kings in many systems. However, this positive view should be balanced by the fact that this remains a very delicate and difficult field, if only due to the scarcity of data as well as the extraordinary important implications with respect to hazard assessment, risk control and predictability."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on December 10, 2014, 11:24:59 AM
You are sure you don't want to stay in hollyday...that would make life easier !!!  ;) ;) ;)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on December 10, 2014, 01:19:21 PM
It may be fair to say that we - humankind - are the Dragon King event that could harm us most severely? IPCC estimates about a 10% chance of ECS being around 6 degrees C. Our climate forcing may become up to 100 times stronger than the PETM-forcing, according to Diffenbaugh & Field 2013.  That could tip ECS over the top. So we better hit the brakes and brace for impact.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 10, 2014, 05:33:48 PM
It may be fair to say that we - humankind - are the Dragon King event that could harm us most severely? IPCC estimates about a 10% chance of ECS being around 6 degrees C. Our climate forcing may become up to 100 times stronger than the PETM-forcing, according to Diffenbaugh & Field 2013.  That could tip ECS over the top. So we better hit the brakes and brace for impact.

Lennart,

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

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

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

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on December 10, 2014, 05:58:57 PM
ASLR,

Indeed.

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

And who calls on his colleagues to be less reticent:
Quote
Box doesn’t shy away from bold strokes. As he sees it, the general public has been betrayed by the reluctance of climate researchers to speak about the dangers of climate change with sufficient urgency. For Box, this has never been a problem. In 2009, he announced the Petermann glacier, one of the largest in Greenland, would break up that summer – a potent sign of how fast the Arctic was warming. Most glaciologists thought he was nuts – especially after the summer passed and nothing happened. In 2010, however, Petermann began to calve; two years later, it was shedding icebergs twice the size of Manhattan. Another example: In early 2012, Box predicted there would be surface melting across the entirety of Greenland within a decade. Again, many scientists dismissed this as alarmist claptrap. If anything, Box was too conservative – it happened a few months later. He also believes that the climate community is underestimating how much sea levels could rise in the coming ­decades. When I ask him if he thinks the high-end projections of six feet are too low, he doesn’t hesitate: “Shit, yeah.”
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Laurent on December 10, 2014, 06:16:43 PM
Just a welcome joke Abruptslr. Nice being feed with informations... ;)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 11, 2014, 01:45:53 AM
As Laurent can handle more feedback factors not fully accounted for in AR5, I offer the following partial listing ;):

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/just-published/12346/wheres-atmospheres-self-cleaning-power (http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/just-published/12346/wheres-atmospheres-self-cleaning-power)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 11, 2014, 07:58:01 PM
The linked article provides more evidence that the Amazon basin is more susceptible to degradation from the predicted increasingly frequent El Nino events; which will likely contribute to higher climate sensitivity than previously expected:

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

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

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

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

See also:

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

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/11091/20141211/dried-out-amazon-could-speed-up-climate-change.htm (http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/11091/20141211/dried-out-amazon-could-speed-up-climate-change.htm)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 11, 2014, 08:33:11 PM
RealClimate,  "Climate Science from climate scientists" celebrates 10 years
Quote
Ten Years of RealClimate
In the spring of 2004, when we (individually) first started talking to people about starting a blog on climate science, almost everyone thought it was a great idea, but very few thought it was something they should get involved in. Today, scientists communicating on social media is far more commonplace. On the occasion of our 10 year anniversary today it is worth reflecting on the impact of those changes, what we’ve learned and where we go next.
http://www.realclimate.org/ (http://www.realclimate.org/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 12, 2014, 04:11:34 AM
While it may be obvious to most readers, I thought that I would mention that the 3 C ECS values used in most IPCC projections is the mode of the PDF; which may be acceptable when climate change is only an Inconvenient Truth as it is today; however, as global warming continues it will be unacceptable to society to use environmental loading parameters associated with normal operational conditions.  As we are now beginning to transition into a climate condition of Hard Truths, the IPCC will need to report projections based on an ECS with a higher confidence level; and if we stay on a BAU pathway for a few more decades we will transition to climate conditions with Sad Truths.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: GeoffBeacon on December 12, 2014, 11:47:55 AM
ALSR

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

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

Last night I posted on a UK Labour Party discussion board

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 12, 2014, 06:02:21 PM
Geoff,

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

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

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: viddaloo on December 12, 2014, 07:11:00 PM
Sounds bad, ASLR, but in an early civilization collapse scenario (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1009.0.html), it may ironically be good.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 13, 2014, 12:17:39 AM
I would also like to note that PDFs actually represent our ignorance as much as our knowledge, and it is my opinion that Bayesian Learning should be applied to the climate sensitivity PDFs on at least a monthly basis in order to get new current PDFs.  This could be possible to achieve if state-of-the-art programs like the DOE's ACME (accelerated climate model energy) program, through their "Big Data" module.  I do not know whether the DOE would provide such a service but it would be rather valuable to help decision makers as climate change mechanisms become increasingly active with continued warming.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 14, 2014, 12:46:52 PM
The topic of the possible future impacts of methane on future global warming has been extensively discussed in other threads in this forum (which I will not summarize). Nevertheless, I thought that I would say that of all of the multiple synergistic dragon tails that the IPCC process has ignored, the methane dragon tail (including both anthropogenic [eg: fracking, transmission lines, abandoned wells, coal mines, farm animals, rice crops, etc.] and natural positive feedback mechanisms [eg: permafrost degradation, rainforest degradation, methane hydrate degradation, etc.]) is the one that concerns me the most.  In particular, as the planet is currently warming at a rate of about 100-times faster than during the PETM, I am concerned that atmospheric methane will accumulate faster than the OH in the atmosphere will be able to begin the chemical process in the atmosphere to convert methane to carbon dioxide; which (if the case) could significantly increase the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of methane.
In this regard the first attached image from NOAA's Mauna Loa station shows that not only is the atmospheric methane concentration increasing but that last month the reading temporarily jumped above 1900 ppb.  The second attached image from Jason Box's Meltfactor site shows that similar jumps (which he calls dragon breaths) are common in the Arctic region, but this is the first time (a possible harbinger) just a large jump has been reported for Mauna Loa.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary: "Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown, and possibly substantial, source of the greenhouse gas methane to Earth's atmosphere. After testing a sample of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, the researchers found that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. Because there are many abandoned wells nationwide, the researchers believe the overall contribution of leaking wells could be significant."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 15, 2014, 05:13:54 PM
As another example of a dragon tail not fully accounted for in the IPCC AR5 process, the following linked reference (Liu et al 2014) indicates that: "…. increased temperatures led to strong dust activity, while decreased temperatures resulted in weak dust activity in the northern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau."

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

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

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

Abstract: "Dust plays an important role in climate changes as it can alter atmospheric circulation, and global biogeochemical and hydrologic cycling. Many studies have investigated the relationship between dust and temperature in an attempt to predict whether global warming in coming decades to centuries can result in a less or more dusty future. However, dust and temperature changes have rarely been simultaneously reconstructed in the same record. Here we present a 1600-yr-long quantitative record of temperature and dust activity inferred simultaneously from varved Kusai Lake sediments in the northern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau, NW China. At decadal time scale, our temperature reconstructions are generally in agreement with tree-ring records from Karakorum of Pakistan, and temperature reconstructions of China and North Hemisphere based on compilations of proxy records. A less or more dusty future depends on temperature variations in the Northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, i.e. weak and strong dust activities at centennial time scales are well correlated with low and high June–July–August temperature (average JJA temperature), respectively. This correlation means that stronger summer and winter monsoon should occur at the same times in the northern Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 15, 2014, 05:38:51 PM
Following the relatively weak out-come of the UN Climate Change conference in Lima, Peru, I would like to point-out that it would be a bad idea for the USA to wait until the Paris conference to take further active action against climate change (for example we currently have a bill await in the Senate for a carbon fee and dividend plan that is structured to allow the USA to act unilaterally without damaging our economy).  As in the words of General George S. Patton:

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


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

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

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

Summary: "We give an overview of the practice of developing and using complex climate models, as seen from experiences in a major climate modelling center and through participation in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). We discuss the construction and calibration of models; their evaluation, especially through use of out-of-sample tests; and their exploitation in multi-model ensembles to identify biases and make predictions. We stress that adequacy or utility of climate models is best assessed via their skill against more naïve predictions. The framework we use for making inferences about reality using simulations is naturally Bayesian (in an informal sense), and has many points of contact with more familiar examples of scientific epistemology. While the use of complex simulations in science is a development that changes much in how science is done in practice, we argue that the concepts being applied fit very much into traditional practices of the scientific method, albeit those more often associated with laboratory work."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 17, 2014, 04:19:27 PM
Some readers of my posts on Bayesian vs. Frequentist approaches have been turned-off by the whole topic, if so you can stop reading now.  Others have been confused by this unfamiliar line of thought, if so please read the relatively straight forward discussion of this topic in the following link.  As the following quote indicates the Bayesian approach: " … provides as close to a mathematical description of “the scientific method” as we’re likely to see."  Furthermore, I believe that the Bayesian approach is the only one of these two scientific methods that has a chance of providing appropriate guidance for addressing climate change in a reasonable timeframe:

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

Quotes: "One of the things that gets people fired up is that Bayesian statistics can introduce a level of subjectivity into the scientific process that some scientists see as unacceptable; whereas its counterpoint, the frequentist approach, can be seen (as Peter puts it) as answering the wrong question and is certainly prone to highly subjective (mis)interpretations. Emotive stuff. At this point I probably ought to make my own attempt at saying what Bayes’ theorem actually is, so here goes.
….
Climate change is another good example. If you have a prior assumption that modern life is rubbish and technology is intrinsically evil, then you will place a high prior probability on carbon dioxide emissions dooming us all. On the other hand, if your prior bias is toward the idea that there is a massive plot by huge multinational environmental corporations, academics and hippies to deprive you of the right to drive the kids to school in a humvee, you will place a much lower weight on mounting evidence of anthropogenic climate change. If your prior was roughly neutral, you will by now be pretty convinced that we have a problem with global warming. In any case, anyone paying attention as evidence mounts would eventually converge on the right answer, whatever their prior – though it may come too late to affect the outcome, of course.
….
On the more positive side, Bayes (who was an 18th century priest, by the way) allows us to acknowledge, and therefore somehow accommodate, our prejudice and bias, as well as the weight of prior evidence, and therefore, in my opinion, provides as close to a mathematical description of “the scientific method” as we’re likely to see."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 17, 2014, 06:30:11 PM
In research with relevance to the Sherwood et.al. (2014) reference on the influence of tropical atmospheric convective mixing on equilibrium climate sensitivity, ECS, the linked reference (Tomassini et.al. 2014) projects values of ECS from "… a little over 3 °C to more than 10 °C".   The fact that the AR5 models poorly represent/understand convective mixing processes (particularly in the Tropics), indicates to me that no one reading this forum thread should express surprise if within the next ten years both observational measurements, and/or state of the art Earth System Models (like the ACME model being developed by the US – DOE) demonstrate that ECS is currently substantially higher than 3 oC.

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

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

Abstract: "The connection between the large-scale tropical circulation of the atmosphere, convective mixing, and climate sensitivity is explored in a wide range of climates through a perturbed-parameter ensemble of a comprehensive Earth System Model. Four parameters related to the representation of atmospheric moist convection are found to dominate the response of the model. Their values govern the strength of the tropical circulation, the surface temperature, atmospheric humidity, and the strength of the tropical overturning circulation, largely through their influence on the atmospheric stability. The same convective parameters, albeit in different combinations, also have a strong influence on the equilibrium climate sensitivity of the model, which ranges from a little over 3 °C to more than 10 °C. The importance of the most poorly represented processes in determining important aspects of the behaviour of the model argues for the need to move beyond statistical approaches to estimating climate sensitivity and to focus on the development of a better understanding and representation of convective mixing, particularly in the Tropics."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 17, 2014, 07:42:47 PM
The linked reference indicates that for an abrupt 4×CO2 forcing, the effective climate sensitivity can increase by about 20% in a 75-year period as compared to the conventional ECS (which my immediate prior post indicates could be appreciably greater than 3 C), due to a relatively large positive ozone-circulation chemical feedback mechanism in the atmosphere.  While RCP 8.5 may be less extreme than an abrupt 4×CO2 forcing, nevertheless, this study does not focus on possible/probable other positive earth system feedback mechanisms that will likely be activated/accelerated with continued strong radiative forcing:

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

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

Abstract: "State-of-the-art climate models now include more climate processes simulated at higher spatial resolution than ever. Nevertheless, some processes, such as atmospheric chemical feedbacks, are still computationally expensive and are often ignored in climate simulations. Here we present evidence that the representation of stratospheric ozone in climate models can have a first-order impact on estimates of effective climate sensitivity. Using a comprehensive atmosphere–ocean chemistry–climate model, we find an increase in global mean surface warming of around 1 °C (∼20%) after 75 years when ozone is prescribed at pre-industrial levels compared with when it is allowed to evolve self-consistently in response to an abrupt 4×CO2 forcing. The difference is primarily attributed to changes in long-wave radiative feedbacks associated with circulation-driven decreases in tropical lower stratospheric ozone and related stratospheric water vapour and cirrus cloud changes. This has important implications for global model intercomparison studies in which participating models often use simplified treatments of atmospheric composition changes that are consistent with neither the specified greenhouse gas forcing scenario nor the associated atmospheric circulation feedbacks."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 21, 2014, 06:20:19 PM
While not news to those reading the Antarctic folder, I thought that I would note here that since the 1950's the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, ACC, has been moving southward, in large part due to the increase in the Westerly winds over the Southern Ocean due to anthropogenic climate change.  The linked science daily articles indicate (see attached image) that as the ACC moves southward (note that the Subtropical Front marks the north boundary of the ACC, see the image at the Cape of Good Hope) more warm salty ocean water from the Indian Ocean's Agulhas Current leaks (Agulhas Leakage) into the South Atlantic Ocean (around the Cape of Good Hope), where it stimulates the great oceanic conveyor belt current, which in turn then carries more warm ocean water via the "Gulf Stream" into the North Atlantic and subsequently into the Arctic Ocean basin.  This in turn decreases Arctic Sea Ice extent, which reduces Northern Hemisphere albedo, which thus serves as a positive feedback mechanism for global warming.  I also not the computer model projections indicate that this trend will accelerate with continued anthropogenic global warming.


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427131809.htm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110427131809.htm)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822091720.htm (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120822091720.htm)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 22, 2014, 11:10:46 PM
The linked reference provides evidence from coral in the western Pacific indicating a strong relationship between variations in Pacific trade wind strength at decadal timescales and the rate of mean global surface air temperature change.  Also, as the PDO appears to be entering a positive phase, we can expect two to three decades of relatively low Pacific trade wind strength, and consequently a relatively high rate of mean global surface temperature increase.

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

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

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

See also:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coral-clues-hint-at-looming-global-warming-spike/ (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coral-clues-hint-at-looming-global-warming-spike/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on December 24, 2014, 11:17:08 AM
Nice short comment by paleo-climatologist Maureen Raymo on the climate science community usually underestimating the rate of climate change:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntRhitFPw9c (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntRhitFPw9c)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on December 24, 2014, 02:37:51 PM
Also see this blogpost with comments by Raymo and Rob DeConto:
http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2013/06/12/400-ppm-world-part-2-rising-seas-come-with-rising-co2/ (http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2013/06/12/400-ppm-world-part-2-rising-seas-come-with-rising-co2/)

Quote
DeConto is quick to caution that modeling studies of ice sheet growth and decay have plenty of limitations. Alarmism is, unfortunately, not one of them. “Time and again, we have a problem making models as sensitive as they need to be. They are not sensitive enough to match the geologic record. If anything, our models are too conservative. And that’s scary,” says DeConto.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on December 29, 2014, 05:22:10 PM
The linked reference includes several authors of the RCP scenarios and they state: "We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth."  I read this as an admission that these scientists erred on the side of least drama when developing the RCP scenarios.

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

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

Abstract: "Efforts to limit climate change below a given temperature level require that global emissions of CO2 cumulated over time remain below a limited quota. This quota varies depending on the temperature level, the desired probability of staying below this level and the contributions of other gases. In spite of this restriction, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have continued to grow by 2.5% per year on average over the past decade. Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2 °C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates. We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth. In the absence of more stringent mitigation, these trends are set to continue and further reduce the remaining quota until the onset of a potential new climate agreement in 2020. Breaking current emission trends in the short term is key to retaining credible climate targets within a rapidly diminishing emission quota."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 02, 2015, 09:58:53 PM
If you are on Twitter (and if you are not, it's easy to sign up:  www.twitter.com (http://www.twitter.com)):
"List of people who tweet about climate change, all pro-science, many key scientists and communicators:"
http://twitter.com/gregladen/status/551050196806017025 (http://twitter.com/gregladen/status/551050196806017025)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 04, 2015, 10:38:51 AM
Good piece by Oreskes in NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/opinion/sunday/playing-dumb-on-climate-change.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/04/opinion/sunday/playing-dumb-on-climate-change.html?_r=0)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 06, 2015, 08:56:30 PM
Long piece by Michael Mann on the Serengeti strategy used by the denial machine to intimidate and scare scientists into keeping silent and stay as conservative as possible:
http://bos.sagepub.com/content/71/1/33.full.pdf+html (http://bos.sagepub.com/content/71/1/33.full.pdf+html)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 06, 2015, 09:21:40 PM
The linked article shows (see extract below) how while it may not be possible to prove many of the stronger climate change risks, it is relatively easy to disprove denialist claims.  Now we need to convince policymakers that history will not be kind to their legacies if they ignore the risks of climate change.

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

Extract: "Science may not do proof, but it certainly does do disproof. So although it may not be possible for climatologists to prove their case conclusively, it is possible to look at the contrary hypothesis and refute it. And the contrarians do have a hypothesis: it is that man-made carbon dioxide will not have a severe effect on global climate. This angle transforms the debate into a question about the degree to which the global climate will change given the known increase in greenhouse gases.
There is no reasonable doubt that, ignoring feedback mechanisms, a doubling of carbon dioxide will raise the planet’s surface temperature by about 1.2°C, because this fact is derived from calculations based on universally accepted textbook physics, and is accepted by climatologists and reasonable contrarians alike. The real debate is about climate sensitivity – or what will result from this 1.2°C rise. The Earth’s climate is a complex system of interrelated energy flows, and any warming will result in an array of changes in the system. Most of these changes provide positive feedbacks – that is, they will further increase the initial warming. A number of different lines of evidence drawing from known or deduced changes in global temperature, recent and palaeological, all converge on an eventual temperature rise of between 1.5-4.5°C, with the most likely value being 3°C. Against this, classical climate contrarians put forward a value of 0.5-1°C as their figure for the final temperature increase resulting from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. This is their hypothesis; and it is refutable through measuring and calculating the known positive feedbacks – increase in atmospheric water vapour, changes in ice and snow albedo (reflectivity), changes in vegetation, and from secondary releases of carbon dioxide and methane from soil and ocean. The main negative feedbacks (temperature reducers) are a change in heat distribution in the atmosphere, which can be calculated as slightly reducing the positive water vapour feedback, and an increase in total energy radiation from the warming Earth (a feedback which probably sets a limit to extreme planetary overheating). Several attempts have been made by sceptical climate scientists to substantiate their 0.5-1°C warming hypothesis, but each of these has ended in failure. Contrarian scientists placed their faith in clouds to provide a strong negative feedback, for instance, but recently, measurements by Andrew Dessler have shown that the net effect of clouds is more positive than negative (see Science, Vol.330, 10 December 2010).
Perhaps as a result of realising the unsustainability of the idea of ultra-low climate sensitivity, a small sub-set of climate sceptics has emerged recently, the ‘lukewarmers’, who argue for a figure somewhere below that of the consensus view but above that of the classical contrarians. However, given that their evidence base is much smaller than the evidence for higher climate sensitivity, this group is in a very weak position to claim that there is no need decarbonise the global energy supply.
In conclusion, despite the complexity and ongoing uncertainty in understanding the future effects of greenhouse gases on the climate system, one thing is certain: the hypothesis that the effect of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is trivial and warrants no action simply does not hold up. It does not match the facts. It has been refuted. Journalists may not be able to understand science or the philosophy of science to any great depth, but they can understand the concept of ‘disproven’, and climate scientists can indeed disprove the contrarian hypothesis that greenhouse gases will have no significant effect on the global climate."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: ritter on January 07, 2015, 07:18:22 PM
The linked article shows (see extract below) how while it may not be possible to prove many of the stronger climate change risks, it is relatively easy to disprove denialist claims.  Now we need to convince policymakers that history will not be kind to their legacies if they ignore the risks of climate change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s worth noting that this best possible future, where the risk of a mini-runaway in warming to PETM or Permian levels remains low, probably won’t happen as business as usual fossil fuel emissions continue unabated with no sign of being rationally held in check. Under the current regime, a CO2e of about 550 ppm, enough to warm the Earth between 5-6 C long term, is locked in within 25-30 years. A climate state that pushes the risk of a mini-runaway to moderate. Meanwhile, levels that would almost certainly set off a Permian or PETM type, anoxic ocean, extinction event, at around 800 ppm CO2e, become possible under BAU by 2060-2080."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 21, 2015, 05:34:11 PM
Many climate scientists appear to be conservative because their GCMs (General/Global Circulation Models) give conservative projections, for reasons including:
(a) Their computers are too slow and consequently their meshes are too coarse; and
(b) The GCMs need to be replaced by state-of-the-art Earth Systems Models, ESMs (such as the ACME [Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy], see links below), project currently being developed by the US DOE). 

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

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

https://www.palantir.com/ (https://www.palantir.com/)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

(6) Then link the observations by Laura Nielsen and Julie Brigham-Grette that a collapse of the WAIS will drive warm Pacific ocean water into the Arctic Ocean to research about the stability of submerged permafrost and methane hydrates on the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on January 21, 2015, 06:55:13 PM
A rather disturbing final number both due to its departure over the current 400 ppm CO2 value and due to the fact that though most greenhouse gasses have atmospheric residence times of decades to centuries, the cooling sulfates would likely last for 1-2 years before falling out entirely.

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

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

Quote
The bulk of the atmospheric aerosol mass is present in the lower troposphere, reflecting the short  residence time of aerosols against deposition (~1-2 weeks; see  problem 8. 1 ). Aerosol concentrations in the upper troposphere are typically 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than in the lower troposphere.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 22, 2015, 07:47:20 PM
The linked article states that today The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their Doomsday clock forward by 2 minutes due to concerns including climate change (see extract).  This shows that while professionally scientists are conservative, they are so smart that they know that society is in eminent danger (including from climate change):

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

Extract: "As of Thursday, the clock was set at three minutes to midnight. Since January 2012, the hands of the clock had been set at five minutes to midnight. The minute hand moved forward, for the first time in three years, due to rising nuclear concerns and increasingly dire climate science findings."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on January 22, 2015, 08:15:44 PM
Great catch! That's my friend Sivan in the picture!
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 22, 2015, 10:19:47 PM
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

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

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

Anyone who thinks that society can zoom right up to a 2 C mean global temperature rise threshold and then just stop any further climate change risk growth is living in a "Fool's Paradise".
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 23, 2015, 09:34:32 PM
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

Yes, it was. Why do you bring this up?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 26, 2015, 09:02:46 PM
Eric Rignot on scientific conservatism and the inevitable collapse of WAIS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANBHZfH4l6M (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANBHZfH4l6M)

Timescales, timescales...
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 27, 2015, 06:39:04 AM
The doomsday clock was set at 2 minutes for much of the 50s, and 3 minutes for a spell in the 80s.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's why I think it's not wise to dismiss this recent warning without any argument, particularly not by misunderstanding it to be a prediction instead of a warning.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on January 27, 2015, 07:44:18 AM
"One way of judging the value in a prediction is to consider the accuracy of past predictions."

 :) ::)

Sooo, we haven't already blown ourselves to smithereens, so that means there was never any threat of that happening???
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 28, 2015, 01:14:36 AM
I'm not saying its a great method, but its certainly one way.  Do you have a better way?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 28, 2015, 04:54:55 AM
A previous argument on this thread was that the IPCC was conservative because it ignored carbon cycle feedbacks.

The recent paper Uncertainties in CMIP5 Climate Projections due to Carbon Cycle Feedbacks (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00579.1) analyses 11 earth system models from this ensemble and finds that when forced with RCP8.5 emissions and ran as an earth system model that the projected warming increased from 3.7 to 3.9 degrees.  So including carbon cycle feedbacks results in a not at all scary 0.2 degrees extra warming over the next century.

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

And yes CMIP 5 earth system models are capable of [ulr=http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/30jul2013a4.html] modelling permafrost[/url] changes.  Alost note that some of these models are significantly overestimating the current state of permafrost degradation.  Of course the fact that the these models still show serious flaws suggests that maybe when these are fixed up they will predict much greater warming.  Or maybe they will predict less warming?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on January 28, 2015, 08:21:39 AM
The reason that they model only a slight increase in CO2 for the RCP 8.5 is because they delay the bulk of the emissions to the end of the century and due to the logarithmic forcing function of concentration the incremental increase in forcing within this scenario is very low due to the 850PPMv abundance already in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic emissions, oh, and they only expect a total of around 100 gigatonnes of CO2, even though some model runs emit over 600 gigatonnes.

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

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

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

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

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

So, it takes significant mental yoga to pretend that with recent understandings of arctic ice loss, Antarctic mass loss and topography and frozen soils potential for emissions that the IPCC isn't severely understating the damage loss functions of carbon emissions.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 28, 2015, 10:37:47 PM
The reason that they model only a slight increase in CO2 for the RCP 8.5 is because they delay the bulk of the emissions to the end of the century and due to the logarithmic forcing function of concentration the incremental increase in forcing within this scenario is very low due to the 850PPMv abundance already in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic emissions,

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

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

Not sure what you are referring to here. 

That being said, they still neglect to include frozen soils

The paper I refer to does consider frozen soils.

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

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

Also we don't know if the faster than modeled Arctic ice loss is a permanent fault of the models in failing to capture a key Arctic process, or whether it is due to natural variation which may reverse some time in the future.  If it is natural variation, then consider that with faster than expected Arctic ice loss global temperatures have been going up slightly slower than expected.  If the Arctic feedbacks are so important for total global temperature change then when whatever natural cycle is speeding up Arctic melt reverses then the extra warming for the extra Arctic melting will disappear and global warming will slow down.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on January 28, 2015, 10:57:31 PM
your paper on frozen soils was published after the cutoff date and was not included in the IPCC AR5

I was specifically referring to the IPCC that has so far no included frozen soil carbon feedbacks and only include carbon cycle feedbacks in the RCP 8.5 scenario.

---------------
Quote
Arctic ice loss is in the ocean, frozen soils are on land.

When ice melts it maintains a constant temperature no matter how much energy you impart into the system.  once the ice is gone then the temperature can rise, and will.  Estimates for a sea ice free arctic show an increase in regional temperatures by between 8 and 14C, this will radically increase soil decomposition.  That is why it is a carbon cycle and frozen soil positive feedback as well as an albedo one.

Quote
If part of the extra Arctic melt is caused by cold air leaving the Arctic for the continents then this mean that frozen soil loss will be slowed down, not sped up

This quote makes no sense, permafrost is maintained near or above the arctic circle, the decrease of regional temperatures in short pulses in the midlatitudes has absolutely no effect on this permafrost.  You appear to be making this up.

Quote
If the Arctic feedbacks are so important for total global temperature change then when whatever natural cycle is speeding up Arctic melt reverses then the extra warming for the extra Arctic melting will disappear and global warming will slow down.

you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 29, 2015, 12:50:49 AM
While I have mentioned it before, Schuur & Abbott (2011) have a good discussion of how much methane emissions from permafrost degradation, were left out of the AR5 projections:

Schuur, E.A.G. and Abbott, B., (2011), "High risk of permafrost thaw", Nature, 480, 32-33, Dec. 2011
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on January 29, 2015, 03:04:16 AM
While I have mentioned it before. . .

ever get the feeling you are fighting zombies?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 29, 2015, 03:21:27 AM
While I have mentioned it before. . .

ever get the feeling you are fighting zombies?

:)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 29, 2015, 07:04:40 AM
your paper on frozen soils was published after the cutoff date and was not included in the IPCC AR5

That is the whole point of what I posted.  A study published after the IPCC AR5 which does include the carbon cycle feedbacks finds a warming amount only 0.2 greater than what IPCC AR5 finds.  And this amount is an overestimate as the models overestimate the amount of carbon feedbacks experienced to date.

When ice melts it maintains a constant temperature no matter how much energy you impart into the system.  once the ice is gone then the temperature can rise, and will.  Estimates for a sea ice free arctic show an increase in regional temperatures by between 8 and 14C, this will radically increase soil decomposition.  That is why it is a carbon cycle and frozen soil positive feedback as well as an albedo one.

Quote
If part of the extra Arctic melt is caused by cold air leaving the Arctic for the continents then this mean that frozen soil loss will be slowed down, not sped up

This quote makes no sense, permafrost is maintained near or above the arctic circle, the decrease of regional temperatures in short pulses in the midlatitudes has absolutely no effect on this permafrost.  You appear to be making this up.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.noaa.gov%2Ffeatures%2F02_monitoring%2Fimages%2Fwarmarctic_coldcontinents.png&hash=d4b8a3d85fae4ae31cc6c8346bc09901)

Warm air in the Arctic ocean, cold air in the continents nearby.  Caused by winds blowing from Atlantic or Pacific into the Arctic ocean pushing the cold air out of the Arctic ocean where the ice lives into the continents where the permafrost lives.  Therefore ice melting faster than projected and permafrost (presumably) melting slower than projected.  This isn't happening all the time, (note chart is for Dec 10) but it is possibly part of the reason why ice is melting faster than projected.  Further discussion (http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/warmarctic.html)

Quote
If the Arctic feedbacks are so important for total global temperature change then when whatever natural cycle is speeding up Arctic melt reverses then the extra warming for the extra Arctic melting will disappear and global warming will slow down.

you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Yes I do.  You left out the start that paraprapgh where I say 'If it is natural variation'.  I doubt anyone can prove that there is no natural cycle/variation etc that is currently speeding up the Arctic melt?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on January 29, 2015, 08:39:26 AM
so mike, what percentage of the cumulative global heat accumulation was used to reduce the maximum winter arctic ice volume from 32,000 cubic km in 1994 to 23,000 cubic km in 2014?  (hint, use ocean heat content accumulations from the NODC).

and tell me again how much this has reduced the earth's temperature?

And tell me again how the polar vortex moving down into Ohio and moving away from the arctic circle, where the permafrost is will somehow hinder permafrost decomposition?

If you only look at RCP 8.5 concentrations and you assume a reduced co2 response over a long-term then you will get significantly reduced warming.  If, however, you reach a tipping point where vast forests collapse and burn in the tropics and in the boreal regions, well then you suddenly have a much more rapid production of Land based CO2.  This is especially true if you reach it 40 years earlier, as we are observing.

Your paper brings nothing new to the discussion, it is a recycling of the IPCC values.  They model sea ice remaining through 2065, and negligible land-use responses while we are observing crushing droughts in the amazon, the south west and a massive increase in boreal forest fires, including boreal peat fires.  As I said before, and you still refuse to acknowledge, these events are being observed TODAY.



Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 29, 2015, 07:29:37 PM
The linked articles describe how climate change can lead to abrupt changes in hypoxia in coastal fisheries (see the attached image and quote below):

http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/deadzones/climatechange.pdf (http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/deadzones/climatechange.pdf)

http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/28/7930047/climate-change-could-mean-massive-ocean-dead-zones (http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/28/7930047/climate-change-could-mean-massive-ocean-dead-zones)

Quote: "Though the exact mechanism driving dead zone expansion is unclear, studies show that it’s happening and will likely increase. One model predicts a 50 percent increase in low-oxygen water by the end of the century. As the zones spread, they reduce the number of habitats for many of the sea creatures we eat.
The disconcerting thing about Moffitt’s study is that it shows how quickly these changes can happen. Most policy discussions about climate change are conducted in terms of estimates and averages — 3 feet of sea level rise, 170 percent increase in ocean acidity — but what we’re dealing with are complex interlocking systems with tipping points and feedback loops we barely understand.
"It’s not just about temperature," says Moffitt. "It’s about disrupting fundamental earth processes that we as humans have understood to be very stable. They’re not stable. These systems have the capacity to be very unstable when you poke climate system with a sharp stick.""
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 29, 2015, 10:14:30 PM
so mike, what percentage of the cumulative global heat accumulation was used to reduce the maximum winter arctic ice volume from 32,000 cubic km in 1994 to 23,000 cubic km in 2014?  (hint, use ocean heat content accumulations from the NODC).

and tell me again how much this has reduced the earth's temperature?

By next to nothing.  I see no relevance of this point to the current discussion.

And tell me again how the polar vortex moving down into Ohio and moving away from the arctic circle, where the permafrost is will somehow hinder permafrost decomposition?

Cold air does not use Star Trek style teleport beams.  It has to move across the land one inch at a time and so any cold air from the Arctic that makes it to Ohio will have cooled thousands of kilometres of permafrost along the way.

Your paper brings nothing new to the discussion, it is a recycling of the IPCC values. 

Quote

The paper models earth system carbon cycle feedbacks.  A major criticism of the IPCC in this thread is that the IPCC did not model carbon cycle feedbacks.

They model sea ice remaining through 2065, and negligible land-use responses while we are observing crushing droughts in the amazon, the south west and a massive increase in boreal forest fires, including boreal peat fires. 

Drought in the Amazon and the southwest, and peat fires are not land use changes, they are carbon cycle feedbacks.  The paper clearly states that the model shows higher carbon cycle feedbacks today than are actually being observed.

As I said before, and you still refuse to acknowledge, these events are being observed TODAY.

The amazon is drying out, California is in major drought .  Peat is burning.  The total rate of carbon emitted into the atmosphere by these and all other sources is currently slower than the CMIP models project as the paper I linked to points out.  Which is no guarantee that these feedbacks will be slower than model for the future but is a good start.  Arctic is certainly melting faster than model predictions.

I've acknowledged your points.  Now how about you try acknowledging some of my points.  Like the fact that Antarctic sea ice is not melting as fast as the models predict.  Both factors that may cause accelerated warming and those that may cause reduced warming need to be considered together.  If you point to the Antarctic and ignore the rest of the globe you are a denier.  If you point at the Arctic and ignore the rest of the globe you are just as ignorant.  And how about acknowledging the fact that models that include carbon cycle feedbacks show only 0.2 degrees more warming than the IPCC projections, and also show more carbon cycle feedbacks currently occuring than are measured, instead of saying that the paper 'adds nothing new to the discussion'
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on January 29, 2015, 10:48:46 PM
Like the fact that Antarctic sea ice is not melting as fast as the models predict.

Pray tell, which 'the' models? Not the 1992 one from Manabe et al (http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.co.at/2010/03/wuwt-trumpets-result-supporting-climate.html), I presume.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 29, 2015, 11:59:54 PM
Like the fact that Antarctic sea ice is not melting as fast as the models predict.

Pray tell, which 'the' models? Not the 1992 one from Manabe et al (http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.co.at/2010/03/wuwt-trumpets-result-supporting-climate.html), I presume.

I was sure I had posted the link, but I can't find where I did so maybe I accidently deleted it or something.  Here it is (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00068.1) again.  The CMIP 5 models show negative trends for Antarctic for all models, and most of them are statistically significant.

I am not arguing any significance to the Antarctic sea ice beyond pointing out that the whole picture needs to be looked at.  The fact that some components of the climate system are reacting faster than modelled can be balanced by other components reacting slower than modelled.  Overall the global temperature has recently been just below model - close enough to comfortably call the models accurate, but I want to emphasise the fact that global temperatures are lower than modelled for anyone who is arguing that thing are happening faster than expected.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 30, 2015, 12:03:25 AM
I also retract my agreement that Arctic ice is melting significantly faster than models predict.  While this was true 5 or so years ago it looks like the latest CMIP projections (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013JD020593/full) are a bit more aggressive with 2007 within the 1 standard deviation range, 2012 just below the range, and the higher years of 13 and 14, while not shown would be comfortably within the range and closer to the model mean than the bottom of the range.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on January 30, 2015, 01:06:50 AM
I am not arguing any significance to the Antarctic sea ice beyond pointing out that the whole picture needs to be looked at.  The fact that some components of the climate system are reacting faster than modelled can be balanced by other components reacting slower than modelled.

Hold on, this is like saying that world hunger is balanced by obesity. We've got two pretty extreme events going on at both poles, but somehow this is reassuring because they're not going in the same direction?

To tell the truth, I'd be reassured if Antarctic sea ice would remain stable, while Arctic sea ice declines. Of course, I'd be extremely worried if Antarctic sea ice were declining as well, but that wouldn't make sense, as the Antarctic is a harder nut to crack, as it is the most dominant factor in its region (continent surrounded by sea, etc). It's not warm enough for that yet.

But the fact that Antarctic sea ice is growing so significantly (especially at the maximum), to me could be a sign that things are already changing there as well. Besides the stuff happening to the land ice, of course.

And second: Perhaps Antarctic sea ice is reacting faster as well, just not in the direction that models anticipated, because of their imperfections? Why does growing sea ice around the Antarctic mean AGW-induced climate change can't have anything to do with it?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2015, 02:00:14 AM
For what it is worth, Tamino posted about this a couple of years ago comparing the change in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice insolation, indicating that the change in the Arctic is about six times the change in the Antarctic (see the attached Tamino plot):

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 30, 2015, 03:36:25 AM

Hold on, this is like saying that world hunger is balanced by obesity. We've got two pretty extreme events going on at both poles, but somehow this is reassuring because they're not going in the same direction?


I have been arguing about global temperature changes, and that you can't just look at one part of the globe that is experiencing faster than modelled changes and automatically conclude the global temperature change will be faster than modelled. 

More ice in Antarctica will certainly partially balance out less ice in the Arctic as far as global warming is concerned, even if there are other potential issues (eg the SH polar vortex tightening up around Antarctica and contributing to drought in Southern Australia).
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 30, 2015, 03:50:20 AM
For what it is worth, Tamino posted about this a couple of years ago comparing the change in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice insolation, indicating that the change in the Arctic is about six times the change in the Antarctic (see the attached Tamino plot):

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/. (https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/.)

Back in 2012 when this was written the global sea ice totals were clearly down.  Since then Antarctica has gone up a lot - so a very short term event that can hardly be called a long term trend and could quite easily reverse just as quickly.  At the same time the Arctic has had two years of less melt.  But the upshot is that global sea ice totals (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg) have been very near long term averages in the last two years since that chart was produced (and I'd guess will be on the way down again shortly).  And to get a total global picture of albedo effects the big drop in NH snow cover (http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=nhland&ui_month=6) needs to then be added.  The drop in snow cover in June has been greater than the loss of Arctic sea ice.

(technically SH snow and ice sheet areas also need to be added, but the area of ice sheet lost so far, and total SH snow cover is tiny)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on January 30, 2015, 05:02:24 AM
(Straight out of denialists tired hand hackneyed playbook--"My brain tumor is twice the size of my head, but then at the same time my legs have shriveled up and nearly fallen away, so my total body flesh totals have been very near my long term averages...so I guess I'm just fine!" Rather disgusting, really.)

I any case, Antarctic sea ice is down to 3,298,000 km^2 which is lower than 2003, 2013 and 2014 for this date and will still be falling for around two more weeks.


http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.recent.antarctic.png)


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Farctic.atmos.uiuc.edu%2Fcryosphere%2FIMAGES%2Fseaice.recent.antarctic.png&hash=d413fc2067eace6198996f43dddfd0af)

Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on January 30, 2015, 07:28:23 AM
More ice in Antarctica will certainly partially balance out less ice in the Arctic as far as global warming is concerned,

More obese people balances out world hunger, but that doesn't mean mortality rates will decrease.

Again, I would be more assured if Antarctic sea ice would be more stable.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 30, 2015, 07:58:28 AM
I have been arguing about global temperature changes, and that you can't just look at one part of the globe that is experiencing faster than modelled changes and automatically conclude the global temperature change will be faster than modelled. 

Ok, but then shouldn't we also look at ocean heat content, melting land ice and permafrost, to get a picture of the total energy balance? My concern is not that changes will certainly be faster than modelled, but that they could be faster, and that both IPCC and the public are not taking this risk seriously enough. Brysse et al 2013 and Anderegg et al 2014 give some strong arguments for that concern, among others. You seem less concerned, but why is not clear to me.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 30, 2015, 10:32:27 AM
I am arguing that the IPCC is the best source of climate change information, and that their projections are the most accurate thing we have.

I get accused of stating that things are fine and making plays straight from the denialists handbook.

I think someone is missing the point.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 30, 2015, 10:39:03 AM
Ok, but what do you think of Brysse et al 2013 ('erring on side of least drama') and Anderegg et al 2014 ('risk of type 2 errors')? And about IPCC itself stating that it's SLR-projections beyond 2100 are probably under-estimates and that carbon feedbacks are not (fully) included in their models?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: folke_kelm on January 30, 2015, 04:09:52 PM
Michael Hauber,

You think someone is missing the point?

Then i have to say that.......
"More ice in Antarctica will certainly partially balance out less ice in the Arctic as far as global warming is concerned, even if there are other potential issues (eg the SH polar vortex tightening up around Antarctica and contributing to drought in Southern Australia).".......
you have to think twice before you make such statements, because they give exactly the impression that you are citing out of denialists handbook.

Not only is it a phrase often used in the denialosphere, but it is almost certainly wrong.
There are many threads just about why antarctic sea ice is growing and there is plenty of research going on since years which clearly gives us the first answers why antarctic sea ice is growing, that it is growing despite melting, and we get information that it probably has been like today during former deglaciations, with melting deep down and a lock of insulating ice on top.

You have to concider that the albedo effect of antarctic ice growth is much less than in the arctic, because the growth in summer in the antarctic is much less than the loss of snow and ice in the north.

"arguing that the IPCC is the best source of climate change information,"
Here you are of course right, provided that you take your time to read the many papers too which are basis of the reports, but....
"that their projections are the most accurate thing we have."?
Let me eppress my doubts about this part of your statement.
In regard to IPCC´s mandate to provide a synthesis between research and policy there must be a tendency to be on the conservative side of the picture and this is obvious at least when you only read the summarys for policymakers.




Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 30, 2015, 05:41:09 PM
For what it is worth, Tamino posted about this a couple of years ago comparing the change in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice insolation, indicating that the change in the Arctic is about six times the change in the Antarctic (see the attached Tamino plot):

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/. (https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/.)

Back in 2012 when this was written the global sea ice totals were clearly down.  Since then Antarctica has gone up a lot - so a very short term event that can hardly be called a long term trend and could quite easily reverse just as quickly.  At the same time the Arctic has had two years of less melt.  But the upshot is that global sea ice totals (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg) have been very near long term averages in the last two years since that chart was produced (and I'd guess will be on the way down again shortly).  And to get a total global picture of albedo effects the big drop in NH snow cover (http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region=nhland&ui_month=6) needs to then be added.  The drop in snow cover in June has been greater than the loss of Arctic sea ice.

(technically SH snow and ice sheet areas also need to be added, but the area of ice sheet lost so far, and total SH snow cover is tiny)

You seem to both be mixing-up: (a) long-term trends in sea ice extent with short-term fluctuations (a common denialist tactic); and (b) ice extent with insolation.  Regarding insolation, as you can see from wili's plot in Reply #465 that most of the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice extent occurs during the austral Fall and Winter when there is little solar insolation; while there is relatively little increase in Antarctic sea ice extent in the austral Spring and Summer.

In no way is it reasonable to postulate that the GCM modeling done for AR5 is sufficient to safeguard society from future climate change risks, and it is essential that new state-of-the-art ESM projections be developed such as the US DOE is doing in the ACME project.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 31, 2015, 12:00:13 AM

Not only is it a phrase often used in the denialosphere, but it is almost certainly wrong.
There are many threads just about why antarctic sea ice is growing and there is plenty of research going on since years which clearly gives us the first answers why antarctic sea ice is growing, that it is growing despite melting, and we get information that it probably has been like today during former deglaciations, with melting deep down and a lock of insulating ice on top.


The fact that we know why the sea ice is growing does not mean that it is not growing, and does not mean that it is not relfecting sunlight and reducing the amount of warming that we have been experiencing.

(of course if growth in Antarctic ice has been causing a cooling over the last 30 years then when it inevitably starts melting sometime in the future this will result in an increase in the warming rate)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 31, 2015, 12:07:31 AM



You seem to both be mixing-up: (a) long-term trends in sea ice extent with short-term fluctuations (a common denialist tactic);
The trend for Antarctcic sea ice for the complete satellite record is statistically significant growth.  The trend for all CMIP models over the same period is decline, and mostly statistically significant.
and (b) ice extent with insolation.  Regarding insolation, as you can see from wili's plot in Reply #465 that most of the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice extent occurs during the austral Fall and Winter when there is little solar insolation; while there is relatively little increase in Antarctic sea ice extent in the austral Spring and Summer.

So I'm looking at short term graphs when I look at 30 + year trends, but you are not when you look at a 2 year chart.

Look at the chart again and in particular the anomaly line.  Peak insolation is December - which is just before the markers for 2014 and 2015.  Both Decembers show quite high peaks (although not quite as high as the peak in 2014).  Perhaps if you definition of 'most' is >50% you might just scrape in by a whisker.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on January 31, 2015, 12:22:31 AM
Ok, but what do you think of Brysse et al 2013 ('erring on side of least drama') and Anderegg et al 2014 ('risk of type 2 errors')? And about IPCC itself stating that it's SLR-projections beyond 2100 are probably under-estimates and that carbon feedbacks are not (fully) included in their models?

If the IPCC is doing a good job then they will overestimate some things and underestimate others.  Studies that pick a small handful of things that they are underestimating and claim a systematic bias are about as convincing as Denial Depot's  (http://denialdepot.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/this-week-of-global-cooling.html) claim that the world is cooling. (this denier wouldn't be caught dead reading WUWT, but loves DD and is very sad it ended).

On SLR-projections I went and had a look at the first assessment report on sea level rise.  In 1990 they predicted a 18.3cm sea level rise by 2030.  This is 4.6mm/year.  The trend from 1990 to 2015 is currently 3.2mm/year.  While the possibility of acceleration in the near future is certainly there, I don't think that the next 15 years won't be enough to make up the difference and it will turn out that the IPCC first assessment report made at least one overestimation of one aspect of climate change.

Of course sea level rise to date has been dominated by thermal expansion so this overestimation is no guarantee that dynamic component won't push actual trends over the projection in the future.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 31, 2015, 01:16:07 AM
For those that are interested I provide the following link to a Real Climate article entitled: "Clarity on Antarctic sea ice":

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/clarity-on-antarctic-sea-ice/ (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/clarity-on-antarctic-sea-ice/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on January 31, 2015, 05:19:18 AM
Southern sea ice increase is in winter where there is no sun to reflect and ice insulates OHC against heat loss to winter atmosphere, while the pronounced arctic sea ice loss in summer decreases albedo exactly when the sun never sets.

Is this so hard to understand or are people being intentionally obtuse on this matter ? Especially when one considers that part of SH winter sea ice increase is from freshening of surface water from Antarctic land ice melt, effectively an export of heat from lower latitudes into the AIS.

This is not difficult. Follow the heat.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on January 31, 2015, 08:46:05 AM
If the IPCC is doing a good job then they will overestimate some things and underestimate others.  Studies that pick a small handful of things that they are underestimating and claim a systematic bias are about as convincing as Denial Depot's  (http://denialdepot.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/this-week-of-global-cooling.html) claim that the world is cooling. (this denier wouldn't be caught dead reading WUWT, but loves DD and is very sad it ended).

On SLR-projections I went and had a look at the first assessment report on sea level rise.  In 1990 they predicted a 18.3cm sea level rise by 2030.  This is 4.6mm/year.  The trend from 1990 to 2015 is currently 3.2mm/year.  While the possibility of acceleration in the near future is certainly there, I don't think that the next 15 years won't be enough to make up the difference and it will turn out that the IPCC first assessment report made at least one overestimation of one aspect of climate change.

But Brysse et al find more systematic under-estimation by IPCC:
https://www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/2/0/b/f2601035-3fa4-41cb-b0f5-77de713695fc_erring.pdf (https://www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/2/0/b/f2601035-3fa4-41cb-b0f5-77de713695fc_erring.pdf)

You think they're cherry picking, but you only give one example of potential over-estimation from 1990. Is that enough for you to dismiss Brysse et al? Their paper seems much more convincing than your (potential) counter-example.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on January 31, 2015, 01:07:00 PM
Tamino posted about this a couple of years ago comparing the change in Arctic and Antarctic sea ice insolation, indicating that the change in the Arctic is about six times the change in the Antarctic (see the attached Tamino plot):

https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/. (https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/sea-ice-insolation/.)

For what it's worth, I played around with a simplified version of Tamino's calculation.

For each year from 1979 to 2014, I calculated a (weighted) average of the daily CT sea ice area (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere) data from January to December.  For the weights, I used insolation values from here (http://dosbat.blogspot.com/2014/12/calculating-insolation-as-function-of.html).  So the weights are maximal at summer solstice, i.e., 21 June in the Northern Hemisphere and 21 December in the Southern Hem.  For simplicity, for these weights I used the daily insolation values for latitudes 75 or 80°N (for the NH), and 65 or 70°S (for the SH).

Here is the resulting graph that I calculated for the sea ice insolation for the Arctic (red) and Antarctic (blue):

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F0S6sNi7.png&hash=dc66abe3e3bc39a7e3aa7e881271e4ff)


Note that the values in this graph are very similar to those in Tamino's graph (https://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/iceinsol.jpg).

Tamino's graph has data for 1979-2011, whereas the above graph uses data up to 2014.

For what it's worth, the 1979-2014 linear trendlines in the above graph show an increase in Antarctic sea ice insolation of about 101 TeraWatt, and a decrease in Arctic sea ice insolation of about 352 TW.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 31, 2015, 04:45:41 PM
As far as I can tell, no one in this discussion is denying that the Antarctic sea ice extent has been trending upward since anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons created an ozone hole over Antarctica just before 1979; which:
(a) Among other things increased the circumpolar westerly wind velocities over the Southern Ocean; which,
(b) Drove warm Circumpolar Deep Water over the continental shelves in most parts of Antarctica; which,
(c) Contributed to an increase in basal ice melting of ice shelves and at the grounding lines of marine glaciers.   

Furthermore (in general terms): (a) the changed wind patterns pushed sea ice made near the shore seaward so that more ice could form, and (b) the freshening of the Southern Ocean surface waters due to all of the ice melt water also makes it easier to form sea ice.  While these points are just part of the Antarctic sea ice story, it clearly indicates that the increases of the trend in Antarctic sea ice extent is driven primarily by anthropogenic causes (e.g. chlorofluorocarbons and their cousins); which as Neven points out implies that the observed increasing trend of Antarctic sea ice extent is a clear sign of anthropogenic climate change; which is bad news.
See other details for the arguments to these points in the linked thread from the Antarctic folder at:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1128.0 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1128.0)
&
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,904.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,904.0.html)

Certainly, the increase in Antarctic sea ice extend has led to some increase in the associated insolation; which is clearly far less than the decrease in Arctic insolation associated with the trending decrease in Arctic sea ice extent.  But Mike's argument that the observed increase in Antarctic sea isolation somehow means that GCMs used for the AR5 projections are the best that we can do, and are also good enough that we can all just relax and get back to Business-As-Usual, is sadly mistaken for many reasons including:
1) Sherwood, S. C., S. Bony, O. Boucher, C. Bretherton, P. M. Forster, J. M. Gregory and B. Stevens, (2014), "Adjustments in the forcing-feedback framework for understanding climate change", Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc., doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00167.1; (http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00167.1;) argue that the modeling of the forcing feedback mechanisms used in the AR5 GCM projections should at least be modified to account for feedback mechanisms that are not directly related to changes in mean global temperature such as chlorofluorocarbons (which is the primary cause of the observed trend of increases in Antarctic sea ice extent) and anthropogenic aerosols.  Thus even without changing to state-of-the-art Earth System Models, ESMs, we can and should do better analyses with GCMs than we did in AR5.
2) Cowtan & Way, clearly showed that the published mean global temperature rise values do not adequately account for Artic Amplification; which implies that the AR5 hind-casts may be too low (even when corrected for changes in ocean heat content, aerosols and volcanoes).
3) With continued global warming (say RCP 4.5) it is ridiculous to believe that the recently observed trend of increasing Antarctic sea ice extent will continue for more than a few more decades, and thus this negative feedback that Mike is counting on to counter-balance the positive feedback of Arctic Amplification is a fool's dream, as is relying on the negative feedback of anthropogenic aerosols, and the temporary spurt of plant growth driven by increasing atmospheric CO₂ levels.

Thus just as President Obama (yesterday) signed an Executive order forbidding all government agencies from using linear projections of historical SLR trends, but instead required them to use non-linear projections of SLR, for their coastal design work; we all need to think non-linear climate sensitivity risks rather than to play games of linearly extending recent (non-equilibrium) trends of increasing Antarctic sea ice insolation trends in to the future and to dream that such a relatively small negative feedback mechanism will offset other more numerous and more forceful non-linearly increasing positive feedback mechanisms.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on January 31, 2015, 10:53:29 PM
The linked op-ed from Livescience entitled: "Fear, Ridicule, Danger: Is It Safe to Be a Climate Scientist?" discusses some of the pressures put on climate scientists (and associated teachers) by society.  Not only does the public (particularly in the USA) ignore their conservative warnings of climate risks; but the societal pressures described in the article make these scientists think twice before presenting any controversial finding.  If our entire generation is not going to be vilified by generations for centuries to come; we had all better grow-up and open our societal eyes to the reality in front of our faces.

http://www.livescience.com/49641-fear-permeates-climate-science.html (http://www.livescience.com/49641-fear-permeates-climate-science.html)

Extract: "In fact, the harassment of climate scientists has become so prevalent that a nonprofit group, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, has popped up for the sole purpose of providing legal counsel to climate scientists."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 01, 2015, 10:34:17 PM


For what it's worth, I played around with a simplified version of Tamino's calculation.

For each year from 1979 to 2014, I calculated a (weighted) average of the daily CT sea ice area (http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere) data from January to December.  For the weights, I used insolation values from here (http://dosbat.blogspot.com/2014/12/calculating-insolation-as-function-of.html).  So the weights are maximal at summer solstice, i.e., 21 June in the Northern Hemisphere and 21 December in the Southern Hem.  For simplicity, for these weights I used the daily insolation values for latitudes 75 or 80°N (for the NH), and 65 or 70°S (for the SH).

Here is the resulting graph that I calculated for the sea ice insolation for the Arctic (red) and Antarctic (blue):

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2F0S6sNi7.png&hash=dc66abe3e3bc39a7e3aa7e881271e4ff)


Note that the values in this graph are very similar to those in Tamino's graph (https://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/iceinsol.jpg).

Tamino's graph has data for 1979-2011, whereas the above graph uses data up to 2014.

For what it's worth, the 1979-2014 linear trendlines in the above graph show an increase in Antarctic sea ice insolation of about 101 TeraWatt, and a decrease in Arctic sea ice insolation of about 352 TW.

And then on top of this consider what the CMIP5  models used in the latest IPCC report.  They show decreases in both Arctic and Antarctic sea.  For Arctic I guess by eyeball that the CMIP models project roughly 75% of the recent trend in ice loss.  So that would make the current increase in Arctic insolation due to loss of sea ice roughly 75 TW greater than IPCC estimates.  As the CMIP models show a loss of Antarctic sea ice the reduction in Antarctic insolation due to gain of sea ice is going to be greater than 101 TW.  So I'd guess that the gain in Antarctic sea ice more than balances out the loss of Arctic sea ice if we are asking 'are things worse than the IPCC CMIP 5 models'.  Of course if we are asking 'is the world warming up at all' then the raw amounts of 352 vs 105 show that Antarctic is nowhere near balancing the Arctic. 

Also remember that the NH snow cover reduction has to be considered as well.  The reduction in snow cover at peak insolation has been even greater than the reduction in sea ice, and there has been if anything an increase in NH snow cover near minimum insolation.  I'd expect a substantial increase in insolation due to loss of NH snow cover of similar size to the Arctic, which when compared to no warming skews things even further out of balance.  How it effects comparisons with CMIP models I have no idea.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 01, 2015, 10:38:45 PM

You think they're cherry picking, but you only give one example of potential over-estimation from 1990. Is that enough for you to dismiss Brysse et al? Their paper seems much more convincing than your (potential) counter-example.

- methane emissions
- Australian rainfall reductions (as a whole Australian rainfall has increased - however reductions have been in the more heavily populated and farmed southern areas)
- US temperature increases (regional effect - but then so really is Arctic sea ice reduction)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 02, 2015, 02:05:45 AM
The linked article emphasizes the importance/dominance of the Southern Ocean w.r.t. anthropogenic carbon and heat uptake; and as the following extract states this area is the region models differ the most.  Therefore, it is un-imaginable to me that anyone could think that such models do not need further improvement in order to provide projections that are sufficiently accurate (particularly in this Antarctic region) to match the serious risks associated with climate change.

Extract: "The results highlight the significance of the Southern Ocean for the global climate and as the region where models differ the most in representation of anthropogenic CO2 and, in particular, heat uptake."

Thomas L. Frölicher, Jorge L. Sarmiento, David J. Paynter, John P. Dunne, John P. Krasting, and Michael Winton, (2015) "Dominance of the Southern Ocean in Anthropogenic Carbon and Heat Uptake in CMIP5 Models", J. Climate, 28, 862–886, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1)

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1)

Abstract: "The authors assess the uptake, transport, and storage of oceanic anthropogenic carbon and heat over the period 1861–2005 in a new set of coupled carbon–climate Earth system models conducted for the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), with a particular focus on the Southern Ocean. Simulations show that the Southern Ocean south of 30°S, occupying 30% of global surface ocean area, accounts for 43% ± 3% (42 ± 5 Pg C) of anthropogenic CO2 and 75% ± 22% (23 ± 9 × 1022 J) of heat uptake by the ocean over the historical period. Northward transport out of the Southern Ocean is vigorous, reducing the storage to 33 ± 6 Pg anthropogenic carbon and 12 ± 7 × 1022 J heat in the region. The CMIP5 models, as a class, tend to underestimate the observation-based global anthropogenic carbon storage but simulate trends in global ocean heat storage over the last 50 years within uncertainties of observation-based estimates. CMIP5 models suggest global and Southern Ocean CO2 uptake have been largely unaffected by recent climate variability and change. Anthropogenic carbon and heat storage show a common broad-scale pattern of change, but ocean heat storage is more structured than ocean carbon storage. The results highlight the significance of the Southern Ocean for the global climate and as the region where models differ the most in representation of anthropogenic CO2 and, in particular, heat uptake."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 02, 2015, 05:09:34 PM
As a follow-up to my last post (Reply #483), it is important to note that trends in insolation related Antarctic sea ice (and it is not clear to me that Steven's extension of Tamino's work correctly captures the timing differences between when the sea ice is present and when the solar irradiance is occurring) is only one transient consideration.  Other considerations include: (a) the influence of polar amplification on climate sensitivity (ie what ever difference in Arctic vs Antarctic sea ice insolation trends that there is, polar amplification will make this difference about three times more important to mean global warming); (b) the influence of CO₂ venting on the net amount of CO₂ absorbed by the Southern Ocean and (c) the recent, and likely to continue, slow-down of Antarctic Bottom Water, AABW, production which will likely slow the future rate of heat absorption by the ocean.

In this regards, the first linked reference (with a free pdf by Armour et al 2014), indicates that heat input directly into the high latitudes, is about three times more effective at promoting mean global temperature rise, than an equal heat input into the tropics.  This polar amplification emphasizes the importance of the Southern Ocean venting (see the second linked reference by Quere et al 2007) CO₂ directly into the high latitude Southern Atmosphere, as well as the reduce OHU in the Southern Ocean due to the slow-down in the AABW production rate:

Rose, B. E. J., K. C. Armour, D. S., Battisti, N. Feldl, and D. D. B. Koll, (2014)," The dependence of transient climate sensitivity and radiative feedbacks on the spatial pattern of ocean heat uptake", Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, doi:10.1002/2013GL058955.

http://web.mit.edu/karmour/www/Rose_etal_GRL2014.pdf (http://web.mit.edu/karmour/www/Rose_etal_GRL2014.pdf)

Abstract: "The effect of ocean heat uptake (OHU) on transient global warming is studied in a multimodel framework. Simple heat sinks are prescribed in shallow aquaplanet ocean mixed layers underlying atmospheric general circulation models independently and combined with CO2 forcing. Sinks are localized to either tropical or high latitudes, representing distinct modes of OHU found in coupled simulations. Tropical OHU produces modest cooling at all latitudes, offsetting only a fraction of CO2 warming. High latitude OHU produces three times more global mean cooling in a strongly polar-amplified pattern. Global sensitivities in each scenario are set primarily by large differences in local shortwave cloud feedbacks, robust across models. Differences in atmospheric energy transport set the pattern of temperature change.  Results imply that global and regional warming rates depend sensitively on regional ocean processes setting the OHU pattern, and that equilibrium climate sensitivity cannot be reliably estimated from transient observations."

The first attached image by Le Quere shows her original field data compared to the previously expected CO₂ absorption projections for the Southern Ocean (see the caption below).  The second image shows the increase in the wind velocities, primary due to the ozone hole.

Corinne Le Quéré, Christian Rödenbeck, Erik T. Buitenhuis, Thomas J. Conway, Ray Langenfelds, Antony Gomez, Casper Labuschagne, Michel Ramonet, Takakiyo Nakazawa, Nicolas Metzl, Nathan Gillett, Martin Heimann, (2007),"Saturation of the Southern Ocean CO₂ Sink Due to Recent Climate Change", Science, Vol. 316, no. 5832  pp. 1735-1738, DOI: 10.1126/science.1136188

http://www.cccma.ec.gc.ca/papers/ngillett/PDFS/1735.pdf (http://www.cccma.ec.gc.ca/papers/ngillett/PDFS/1735.pdf)

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/316/5832/1735 (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/316/5832/1735)

Abstract: "Based on observed atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and an inverse method, we estimate that the Southern Ocean sink of CO2 has weakened between 1981 and 2004 by 0.08 petagrams of carbon per year per decade relative to the trend expected from the large increase in atmospheric CO2. We attribute this weakening to the observed increase in Southern Ocean winds resulting from human activities, which is projected to continue in the future. Consequences include a reduction of the efficiency of the Southern Ocean sink of CO2 in the short term (about 25 years) and possibly a higher level of stabilization of atmospheric CO2 on a multicentury time scale."

Caption for the first image: " Le Quéré expected to see a steady increase in the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the Southern Ocean between 1981 and 2004 (blue line). Instead, weather station measurements (red line) suggested year-to-year variability, but no long-term increase over time. (Graph by Corrine Le Quéré, University of East Anglia.)"

See also the "Southern Ocean Venting of CO₂" thread:

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,888.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,888.0.html)

Edit: The devil is in the detail and it is essential that models be improved to capture all such key Antarctic and global feedback mechanisms.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 02, 2015, 09:51:40 PM
The linked article emphasizes the importance/dominance of the Southern Ocean w.r.t. anthropogenic carbon and heat uptake; and as the following extract states this area is the region models differ the most.  Therefore, it is un-imaginable to me that anyone could think that such models do not need further improvement in order to provide projections that are sufficiently accurate (particularly in this Antarctic region) to match the serious risks associated with climate change.

Extract: "The results highlight the significance of the Southern Ocean for the global climate and as the region where models differ the most in representation of anthropogenic CO2 and, in particular, heat uptake."

Thomas L. Frölicher, Jorge L. Sarmiento, David J. Paynter, John P. Dunne, John P. Krasting, and Michael Winton, (2015) "Dominance of the Southern Ocean in Anthropogenic Carbon and Heat Uptake in CMIP5 Models", J. Climate, 28, 862–886, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1)

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00117.1)

Abstract: "The authors assess the uptake, transport, and storage of oceanic anthropogenic carbon and heat over the period 1861–2005 in a new set of coupled carbon–climate Earth system models conducted for the fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), with a particular focus on the Southern Ocean. Simulations show that the Southern Ocean south of 30°S, occupying 30% of global surface ocean area, accounts for 43% ± 3% (42 ± 5 Pg C) of anthropogenic CO2 and 75% ± 22% (23 ± 9 × 1022 J) of heat uptake by the ocean over the historical period. Northward transport out of the Southern Ocean is vigorous, reducing the storage to 33 ± 6 Pg anthropogenic carbon and 12 ± 7 × 1022 J heat in the region. The CMIP5 models, as a class, tend to underestimate the observation-based global anthropogenic carbon storage but simulate trends in global ocean heat storage over the last 50 years within uncertainties of observation-based estimates. CMIP5 models suggest global and Southern Ocean CO2 uptake have been largely unaffected by recent climate variability and change. Anthropogenic carbon and heat storage show a common broad-scale pattern of change, but ocean heat storage is more structured than ocean carbon storage. The results highlight the significance of the Southern Ocean for the global climate and as the region where models differ the most in representation of anthropogenic CO2 and, in particular, heat uptake."

CMIP models underestiamte carbon uptake in the southern ocean, and estimates of heat content are found to be within range of observations (which seems to be at odds with Durack et al).  More Co2 in the oceans means less in the atmosphere so this study is good news for us, and bad news for the sea life in the southern ocean.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on February 02, 2015, 10:29:35 PM
More Co2 in the oceans means less in the atmosphere so this study is good news for us, and bad news for the sea life in the southern ocean.

Which means bad news for us.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 02, 2015, 10:40:11 PM
CMIP models underestiamte carbon uptake in the southern ocean, and estimates of heat content are found to be within range of observations (which seems to be at odds with Durack et al).  More Co2 in the oceans means less in the atmosphere so this study is good news for us, and bad news for the sea life in the southern ocean.

There is an old joke that goes like: "A man comes across a group of scientists looking around on the ground beneath a street lamp on a dark night, and he asks what are you doing; can I help?  They reply that they lost their car keys and they are looking for them.  After a few minutes of helping them look around he asks where they lost the keys, and they point off in the distance away from the lamp.  So the man asks: "If you lost your keys over there, why are you looking over here?"  To which the scientists replied that they are looking here because the light is so much better beneath the lamp."

Saying that society is safer because: (a) Antarctic sea ice extent is temporarily trending upwards; and/or (b) the Southern Ocean is temporarily absorbing more CO2 and heat content; is pure and simply poor risk management, just as when Faust bargained with the Devil to live in paradise for a day in exchange for living in hell for the rest of eternity.  If higher CO2 absorption in the Southern Ocean now leads to an earlier loss of plankton in the future, we are trading a lower transient climate sensitivity today for a higher equilibrium climate sensitivity, ECS, in a few more decades (and the same said about warmer AABW taking some heat out of the atmosphere today but slowing down the ocean currents so that less heat is taken out of the atmosphere in a few decades time).

With a hat-tip to deep octopus, in the linked article (and associated image) at Skeptical Science Cowtan explains that there is a high degree of uncertainty about what is the actual temperature in the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.  While some denialist would say that such uncertainty means that society should take no action and should just continue on an BAU pathway because it is the easiest path forward, much as the group of scientists under the lamp would prefer to continue looking under the lamp because it is convenient.  In reality we need to be looking into the darker future conditions in the Antarctic region rather than the partially lighted past (note we do not even know the true current temperatures in Antarctica), in order to find our lost keys to a safe future free from accelerating ECS values.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/cowtan_way_2014_roundup.html#.VM-dcnpKWwI.twitter (http://www.skepticalscience.com/cowtan_way_2014_roundup.html#.VM-dcnpKWwI.twitter)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on February 02, 2015, 11:52:27 PM
... it is not clear to me that Steven's extension of Tamino's work correctly captures the timing differences between when the sea ice is present and when the solar irradiance is occurring

The method does this correctly.  In my calculation, the daily sea ice area data are weighted (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weighted_arithmetic_mean) in such a way that their weight (i.e., their relative importance) has a peak at the summer solstice (21 December in the SH), and gradually decreases away from that date.  The data for the dark winter months play a negligible role.

Here is an image showing my graph (left) next to Tamino's graph (right) (http://i.imgur.com/p7lcL0f.png).  Note that the blue curves in these two graphs, and the locations of their peaks and troughs, are almost identical.  (Tamino's blue curve ends in 2011 and mine in 2014).  My values are systematically slightly higher than Tamino's, but that doesn't matter much, because only the trends are important.

For the period 1979-2011 (ignoring the 2012-2014 data), my calculated linear trends show a decrease in sea ice insolation of 331 TW for the Arctic, and an increase of 47 TW for the Antarctic, over these 32 years.  This is in good agreement with Tamino's values for that period, which are 329 TW and 53 TW for the Arctic and Antarctic respectively.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 03, 2015, 12:10:55 AM
Steven,

Thanks for the clarification.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 03, 2015, 02:21:40 AM
I would like to note that a significant amount of effort is currently being put into up-grading Earth System Models, ESMs, including the following work using the CESM to disentangle the signal between model error and internal climate variability:

Title: "The Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble Project: A Community
Resource for Studying Climate Change in the Presence of Internal Climate Variability"

http://cires.colorado.edu/science/groups/kay/Publications/papers/BAMS-D-13-00255_submit.pdf (http://cires.colorado.edu/science/groups/kay/Publications/papers/BAMS-D-13-00255_submit.pdf)

Extract: "While internal climate variability is known to affect climate projections, its influence is often underappreciated and confused with model error. Why? In general, modeling centers  contribute a small number of realizations to international climate model assessments (e.g.,
Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5)).  As a result, model error and internal   climate variability are difficult, and at times impossible, to disentangle.

…..

 Internal climate variability alone can produce projection spread comparable to that in
CMIP5.  Scientists and stakeholders can use CESMWLE outputs to help interpret the observational record, to understand projection spread, and to plan for a range of possible futures influenced by both internal climate variability and forced climate change."


Edit: The following provides a more complete citation:

J. E. Kay, C. Deser, A. Phillips, A. Mai, C. Hannay, G. Strand, J. M. Arblaster, S. C. Bates, G. Danabasoglu, J. Edwards, M. Holland, P. Kushner, J.-F. Lamarque, D. Lawrence, K. Lindsay, A. Middleton, E. Munoz, R. Neale, K. Oleson, L. Polvani, M. Vertenstein, (2014), "The Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble Project: A Community Resource for Studying Climate Change in the Presence of Internal Climate Variability", Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00255.1 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00255.1)


http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00255.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00255.1)

Abstract: "While internal climate variability is known to affect climate projections, its influence is often underappreciated and confused with model error. Why? In general, modeling centers contribute a small number of realizations to international climate model assessments (e.g., Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5)). As a result, model error and internal climate variability are difficult, and at times impossible, to disentangle. In response, the Community Earth System Model (CESM) community designed the CESM Large Ensemble (CESM-LE) with the explicit goal of enabling assessment of climate change in the presence of internal climate variability. All CESM-LE simulations use a single CMIP5 model (CESM with the Community Atmosphere Model version 5). The core simulations replay the 20–21st century (1920–2100) 30 times under historical and Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 external forcing with small initial condition differences. Two companion 1000+-year long pre-industrial control simulations (fully coupled, prognostic atmosphere and land only) allow assessment of internal climate variability in the absence of climate change. Comprehensive outputs, including many daily fields, are available as single-variable time series on the Earth System Grid for anyone to use. Early results demonstrate the substantial influence of internal climate variability on 20th–21st century climate trajectories. Global warming hiatus decades occur, similar to those recently observed. Internal climate variability alone can produce projection spread comparable to that in CMIP5. Scientists and stakeholders can use CESM-LE outputs to help interpret the observational record, to understand projection spread, and to plan for a range of possible futures influenced by both internal climate variability and forced climate change."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on February 03, 2015, 04:18:07 AM
"the daily sea ice area data are weighted in such a way that their weight (i.e., their relative importance) has a peak at the summer solstice (21 December in the SH), and gradually decreases away from that date."

Is there latitude dependence in the weighting ? ie, a patch of sea ine at 50 S is not illuminated the same as one at 67S

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 03, 2015, 04:41:30 PM
While I know less about sea ice than many of the experts on this forum, and while I think that focusing on Antarctic sea ice extend trends is a distraction from more important issues, nevertheless, as sidd raised the question of correcting isolation data for latitude, I will point-out that there are a lot of other potential corrections for the influence of Antarctic sea ice extent on mean global surface temperature warming (or alternately error bars should be added to the plots reflecting the lack of adjustments), including:

1. Corrections for sea ice concentration vs sea ice extent
2. Corrections for the albedo of melt ponds and wave inundation of the sea ice (not to mention the difference in albedo of ice vs snow covered ice).
3. Corrections for the influence of clouds on both insolation and on outgoing longwave radiation, OLR, including: (a) variable cloud cover, (b) variable cloud height and type, (c) variable cloud density and ice content, etc.
4. Corrections to the data to account for natural multi-decadal oscillations in Antarctic sea ice extent.
5.  Corrections for variations in atmospheric specific humidity.

Furthermore, if the Cowtan & Way regional surface temperature data for the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere cited in Reply #487 are correct then the Antarctic surface temperatures were significantly higher in 2010, 2013 and 2014 than official agencies reported measuring.  Thus if someone wants to discuss how important the increase in insolation due to the recent (short-term) transient trend in Antarctic sea ice to offsetting all of the other deficiencies of the AR5 GCM projections, then they should also parse out the differences of surface heating from teleconnection of energy from other regions (like the tropical Pacific/Indian/Atlantic Oceans) in order to provide a meaningful discussion.

To paraphrase an old say: "A broken clock (or AR5 model) is right twice a day", and while some may say that the use of such incomplete AR5 model projections should be good enough for the masses, I believe that we should focus on trying to create new state-of-the-art Earth Systems Models linked to Big Data modules in order to get a much more accurate idea of the climate change risks that society is facing.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 03, 2015, 06:27:56 PM
The linked reference indicates that when evaluating the range of plausible warming rates (ie plausible ranges of climate sensitivity) it is critical to include a proper evaluation of the nonlinear regional warming distributions.  That is to say that if strong regional superlinear warming drives nonlinear positive feedback mechanisms, consideration of this phenomena will result in higher estimates of climate sensitivity than currently estimated by AR5:

Peter Good, Jason A. Lowe, Timothy Andrews, Andrew Wiltshire, Robin Chadwick, Jeff K. Ridley, Matthew B. Menary, Nathaelle Bouttes, Jean Louis Dufresne, Jonathan M. Gregory, Nathalie Schaller & Hideo Shiogama (2015), "Nonlinear regional warming with increasing CO2 concentrations", Nature Climate Change, Volume: 5, Pages: 138–142, doi:10.1038/nclimate2498

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n2/full/nclimate2498.html (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n2/full/nclimate2498.html)

Abstract: "When considering adaptation measures and global climate mitigation goals, stakeholders need regional-scale climate projections, including the range of plausible warming rates. To assist these stakeholders, it is important to understand whether some locations may see disproportionately high or low warming from additional forcing above targets such as 2 K. There is a need to narrow uncertainty in this nonlinear warming, which requires understanding how climate changes as forcings increase from medium to high levels. However, quantifying and understanding regional nonlinear processes is challenging. Here we show that regional-scale warming can be strongly superlinear to successive CO2 doublings, using five different climate models. Ensemble-mean warming is superlinear over most land locations. Further, the inter-model spread tends to be amplified at higher forcing levels, as nonlinearities grow—especially when considering changes per kelvin of global warming. Regional nonlinearities in surface warming arise from nonlinearities in global-mean radiative balance, the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, surface snow/ice cover and evapotranspiration. For robust adaptation and mitigation advice, therefore, potentially avoidable climate change (the difference between business-as-usual and mitigation scenarios) and unavoidable climate change (change under strong mitigation scenarios) may need different analysis methods."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 03, 2015, 11:59:03 PM
The linked research indicates that thermodynamics (warming and near-surface stability) control 21st century Southern Ocean shortwave climate feedbacks.  Besides illustrating how challenging it is to correctly model the Antarctic region, this research indicates to me that if the telecommunication of Pacific Tropical energy to the West Antarctic occurs (as many models project), then the West Antarctic could be subject to more positive feedback (warming) in the 21st century than previous assumed in the AR5 models.

Kay, J. E., B. Medeiros, Y.-T. Hwang, A. Gettelman, J. Perket, and M. G. Flanner (2014), Processes controlling Southern Ocean shortwave climate feedbacks in CESM, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 616–622, doi:10.1002/2013GL058315.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL058315/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL058315/abstract)

Abstract: "A climate model (Community Earth System Model with the Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CESM-CAM5)) is used to identify processes controlling Southern Ocean (30–70°S) absorbed shortwave radiation (ASR). In response to 21st century Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 forcing, both sea ice loss (2.6 W m−2) and cloud changes (1.2 W m−2) enhance ASR, but their relative importance depends on location and season. Poleward of ~55°S, surface albedo reductions and increased cloud liquid water content (LWC) have competing effects on ASR changes. Equatorward of ~55°S, decreased LWC enhances ASR. The 21st century cloud LWC changes result from warming and near-surface stability changes but appear unrelated to a small (1°) poleward shift in the eddy-driven jet. In fact, the 21st century ASR changes are 5 times greater than ASR changes resulting from large (5°) naturally occurring jet latitude variability. More broadly, these results suggest that thermodynamics (warming and near-surface stability), not poleward jet shifts, control 21st century Southern Ocean shortwave climate feedbacks."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 04, 2015, 12:19:06 AM
More Co2 in the oceans means less in the atmosphere so this study is good news for us, and bad news for the sea life in the southern ocean.

Which means bad news for us.

So do you think the bad news for fish = bad news for us factor is going to outweigh the less Co2 in atmosphere = good news for us?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 04, 2015, 12:22:25 AM
To paraphrase an old say: "A broken clock (or AR5 model) is right twice a day", and while some may say that the use of such incomplete AR5 model projections should be good enough for the masses, I believe that we should focus on trying to create new state-of-the-art Earth Systems Models linked to Big Data modules in order to get a much more accurate idea of the climate change risks that society is facing.

Deniers have told me exactly the same thing as  an excuse to ignore what the model projections show.  We do of course want to improve the models as much as we can.  Model projections that were made on frightfully primitive basis compared to what we had in the early 80s have proved reasonably accurate - if not perfect.  All the advances we have made in modelling from this time to now have not made any significant change to climate projections.  Perhaps the next factor that they add in will make a big difference where all the other factors added to date have not.  Perhaps that will make things worse, or perhaps it will make things better.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on February 04, 2015, 12:26:44 AM
So do you think the bad news for fish = bad news for us factor is going to outweigh the less Co2 in atmosphere = good news for us?

I agree that dying from gangrene takes longer than dying directly from a fatal wound.  ;D

In other words, in the short term the bad news will not outweigh the good news, but in the end the effect will be the same. Because, you see, everything is connected. If something is bad for sea life, it will eventually be bad for us (human civilisation) too.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 04, 2015, 12:36:38 AM
The linked research indicates that thermodynamics (warming and near-surface stability) control 21st century Southern Ocean shortwave climate feedbacks.  Besides illustrating how challenging it is to correctly model the Antarctic region, this research indicates to me that if the telecommunication of Pacific Tropical energy to the West Antarctic occurs (as many models project), then the West Antarctic could be subject to more positive feedback (warming) in the 21st century than previous assumed in the AR5 models.


Many models are projecting something to occur which would mean more feedbacks than the models used in AR5.  Do you realise that the model used in the research you refer to is one of the models used in CMIP5?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 04, 2015, 01:21:17 AM
There are many different versions/generations of Earth Systems Models.  Thus saying that an earlier version of the Community Earth System Model, was included in CMIP5 does not mean that we have the final answer in hand from AR5.  Indeed, the ACME project lead by the DOE (and which will not be complete for another 10 years) is based on (started from) the Community Earth System Model, but will be further developed for the DOE mission and computers.

I am hoping that ACME will provide sufficient guidance to allow decision makers to make reasonably well informed decisions.  Until then (& even after then) we will need to make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have; understanding that decision makers with a high tolerance for risk will push the envelope perhaps further than what is good for the global community/environment.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 04, 2015, 04:57:32 PM
As some would point out, for at least the past 50 years (when President LBJ first warned Congress about global warming risks) society has been well notified about climate change risks; however, in all those decades (as pointed out in the linked reference below) anthropogenic GHG emissions have tracked the high end of the current (AR5) RCP emission scenarios.  In any reasonably well constructed scientific investigation, the input radiative forcing scenarios should track the middle emissions track-record and not the high end.  With the world GDP estimated to grow at 3.5% in 2015, and with higher than average GDP growth rates in most of Africa and South Asia, societies chances of reducing (unlike our chances of accelerating) the growth in anthropogenic GHG emissions before 2020 are not good.  We need to recognize that the earlier and the stronger society pushes anthropogenic radiative forcing, the greater the chances that non-linear positive feedback mechanisms will activate well before 2100, thus compounding the problem of following the high end of the RCP scenarios:

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


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

Abstract: "Efforts to limit climate change below a given temperature level require that global emissions of CO2 cumulated over time remain below a limited quota. This quota varies depending on the temperature level, the desired probability of staying below this level and the contributions of other gases. In spite of this restriction, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have continued to grow by 2.5% per year on average over the past decade. Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2 °C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates. We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth. In the absence of more stringent mitigation, these trends are set to continue and further reduce the remaining quota until the onset of a potential new climate agreement in 2020. Breaking current emission trends in the short term is key to retaining credible climate targets within a rapidly diminishing emission quota."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on February 04, 2015, 08:52:11 PM
"the daily sea ice area data are weighted in such a way that their weight (i.e., their relative importance) has a peak at the summer solstice (21 December in the SH), and gradually decreases away from that date."

Is there latitude dependence in the weighting ? ie, a patch of sea ine at 50 S is not illuminated the same as one at 67S

sidd

Here is a graph (http://i.imgur.com/xS43sIx.png) showing the weights as a function of time, for the Southern Hem.  As mentioned, these weights are based on the (top-of-atmosphere) insolation at latitudes 65-70°S.  65°S was used for September, 70°S for February, and for the rest of the year a combination of these 2 latitudes, in line with the annual cycle of expansion/retreat of the sea ice.  For the Northern Hemisphere, 80°N and 75°N were used. 

Clearly this approach is a rough approximation, and could be further refined for the spatial distribution of the sea ice.  But as discussed, the results are in good agreement with Tamino's numbers.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 04, 2015, 11:50:58 PM
The linked reference indicates that Transient Climate Response to cumulative Emissions (TCRE) varies with the rate of radiative forcing, and that TCRE is largest for either very low or very high rates of radiative forcing (which is not a good thing if we continue following a BAU pathway).

Krasting, J. P., J. P. Dunne, E. Shevliakova, and R. J. Stouffer (2014), "Trajectory sensitivity of the transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions", Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 2520–2527, doi:10.1002/2013GL059141.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL059141/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL059141/abstract)

Abstract: "The robustness of Transient Climate Response to cumulative Emissions (TCRE) is tested using an Earth System Model (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory-ESM2G) forced with seven different constant rates of carbon emissions (2 GtC/yr to 25 GtC/yr), including low emission rates that have been largely unexplored in previous studies. We find the range of TCRE resulting from varying emission pathways to be 0.76 to 1.04°C/TtC. This range, however, is small compared to the uncertainty resulting from varying model physics across the Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project ensemble. TCRE has a complex relationship with emission rates; TCRE is largest for both low (2 GtC/yr) and high (25 GtC/yr) emissions and smallest for present-day emissions (5–10 GtC/yr). Unforced climate variability hinders precise estimates of TCRE for periods shorter than 50 years for emission rates near or smaller than present day values. Even if carbon emissions would stop, the prior emissions pathways will affect the future climate responses."

Furthermore, I provide the following link to a pdf of a PowerPoint presentation that explains the IPCC AR5's official thinking about the carbon budget, which uses the concept of TCRE (which is lower than using equilibrium climate sensitivity.  Furthermore, the IPCC's carbon budget concept ignores methane emissions from permafrost degradation under RCP8.5, and it ignore what are traditionally considered slow response feedback mechanisms (such as the collapse of the WAIS) that could actually happen this century following a BAU pathway:

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 05, 2015, 12:16:45 AM
For those you want to put the influence of emissions rates on TCRE as discussed in Reply #502 by Krasting, J. P., J. P. Dunne, E. Shevliakova, and R. J. Stouffer (2014), "Trajectory sensitivity of the transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions", Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 2520–2527, doi:10.1002/2013GL059141.

I provide the attached CO2 equiv. emissions/year plot for the RCP scenarios per Riahi et al 2011 (who developed the RCP 8.5 scenario for the IPCC).  While our current carbon emission rate is above 10 GtC per year (or above 36.7 CO2 equiv. per year), which per Krasting et al 2014 has a relatively low TCRE; by about 2060 following RCP 8.5 the carbon emissions per year will be about 25 GtC per year (or about 91.75 CO2 equiv. per year), which had the highest TCRE evaluated by Krasting et al 2014.  Thus we may be living in a Fool's Paradise now but in a few decades we could be very sorry if we follow a BAU pathway.


Riahi, K., Rao, S., Krey, V., Cho, C., Chirkov, V., Fischer, G., Kindermann, G., Nakicenovic, N., and Rafaj, P. (2011); "RCP 8.5 - A scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions", Climatic Change (2011) 109:33-57, doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0149-y.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 05, 2015, 12:55:39 AM
In my last post I said that CO2 equivalent emissions are currently about 37 GtCO2 eq per year; however, the attached image shows that in 2010 emissions were about 45 GtCO2 equiv. per year, and by now (2015) are probably getting closer to 50 GtCO2 equiv. (13.6 GtC) per year.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on February 05, 2015, 04:48:17 AM
These estimates most likely rely on u.s. EPA data which has now been shown to underestimate oil and gas methane emissions by almost 600%.  There is significant work being done on categorizing regional trace emission data and the implications are absolutely shocking!  Something like 10-14% of total U.S. annual methane sales volumes being emitted at extraction and distribution points.  The EPA recently reduced their estimates to 1.5%.  This would hardly cover the leakages being detected in municipal pipelines.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 05, 2015, 05:11:28 AM
In any reasonably well constructed scientific investigation, the input radiative forcing scenarios should track the middle emissions track-record and not the high end. 

Very wrong.  If a scientist group makes multiple predictions/estimations etc, some should be near the middle, some should be near the high end and some in the low end, with a small amount outside the range.  If this is not the case then the error range is being overestimated.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: sidd on February 05, 2015, 05:58:30 AM
"As mentioned, these weights are based on the (top-of-atmosphere) insolation at latitudes 65-70°S.  65°S was used for September, 70°S for February, and for the rest of the year a combination of these 2 latitudes, in line with the annual cycle of expansion/retreat of the sea ice.  For the Northern Hemisphere, 80°N and 75°N were used."

Thanks for the graph and the explanation.

sidd
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 05, 2015, 06:10:41 AM
There are many different versions/generations of Earth Systems Models.  Thus saying that an earlier version of the Community Earth System Model, was included in CMIP5 does not mean that we have the final answer in hand from AR5.  Indeed, the ACME project lead by the DOE (and which will not be complete for another 10 years) is based on (started from) the Community Earth System Model, but will be further developed for the DOE mission and computers.

I am hoping that ACME will provide sufficient guidance to allow decision makers to make reasonably well informed decisions.  Until then (& even after then) we will need to make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have; understanding that decision makers with a high tolerance for risk will push the envelope perhaps further than what is good for the global community/environment.

But the models will not have changed very much from where they were for CMIP 5. 

And if a model did make a small change in this timeframe that mattered for climate sensitivity, or for transient climate response over the next 100 years then, either the scientists writing up the research are incompetent or party to a conspiracy of silence, or there is no interesting change and the scientist writes up about a detail such as a change in the Jetstream position as the most interesting result of the recent modelling study.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 05, 2015, 06:25:28 AM

I agree that dying from gangrene takes longer than dying directly from a fatal wound.  ;D


Isn't dying of gangrene usually just a form of dying of a fatal wound?  I'd rather die quick than slow.  Unless slow = 80 years of aging lol.....

I don't think the situation is so dire as to compare it to dieing.  More like the choice of having your arm chopped off or your eye poked out.  And hopefully losing all the fish is like having your eye poked out when you are half blind anyway (but which eye?  I'm not saying). 

Which means off course that I think everything is ok, and nothing bad is happening and I'm a denier.

:P
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 05, 2015, 07:12:20 AM

Furthermore, I provide the following link to a pdf of a PowerPoint presentation that explains the IPCC AR5's official thinking about the carbon budget,

Since when does IPCC have an official thinking about the carbon budget?  I find no discussion of what the carbon budget should be in the IPCC report.

which uses the concept of TCRE (which is lower than using equilibrium climate sensitivity. 
IPCC project climate change using TCRE because that is what is relevant to projections over the next century.  They still discuss equilibrium climate sensitivity and make projections for several hundred years in the future.  Full equilibrium sensitivity will likely take centuries to millennia to achieve.

Furthermore, the IPCC's carbon budget concept ignores methane emissions from permafrost degradation under RCP8.5,
One of only two places I find 'carbon budget' briefly mentioned in the IPCC report is on page 323 with the comment that permafrost emissions from the Arctic 'could substantially alter the carbon budget through the release of methane'

and it ignore what are traditionally considered slow response feedback mechanisms (such as the collapse of the WAIS) that could actually happen this century following a BAU pathway:

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf)

Do you refer to the recent ice sheet collapse (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6185/735.abstract) research which finds that the onset of rapid (i.e. >1 mm a year or 1 metre/ centurey) sea level rise due to ice sheet melt will start within 200 to 900 years?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Neven on February 05, 2015, 12:02:09 PM
Which means off course that I think everything is ok, and nothing bad is happening and I'm a denier.

:P

With all due respect, Michael, but that's the impression I get when you say something like: "More Co2 in the oceans means less in the atmosphere so this study is good news for us, and bad news for the sea life in the southern ocean."

But maybe that says more about me than about you.  ;)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 05, 2015, 06:42:39 PM
Do you refer to the recent ice sheet collapse (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6185/735.abstract) research which finds that the onset of rapid (i.e. >1 mm a year or 1 metre/ centurey) sea level rise due to ice sheet melt will start within 200 to 900 years?

Joughin et al 2014 is one recent publication pointing to the risk of abrupt sea level rise starting this century, since it has some conservative assumptions. Another one is Rignot et al 2014:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060140/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060140/full)

Rignot thinks one third of WAIS could be gone in 100-200 years.

Pollard et al 2015 is another recent paper which suggests WAIS could be gone within 100 years, once the collapse really gets going, which could be by the middle of this century:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007961 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007961)

Co-author Alley said this may not be the "true worst worst-case" yet.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 05, 2015, 06:52:13 PM
In any reasonably well constructed scientific investigation, the input radiative forcing scenarios should track the middle emissions track-record and not the high end. 

Very wrong.  If a scientist group makes multiple predictions/estimations etc, some should be near the middle, some should be near the high end and some in the low end, with a small amount outside the range.  If this is not the case then the error range is being overestimated.

Frequentists (such as adopted by the IPCC process) can (and do) construct investigations anyway that they want and then do a frequency count of the out-coming and then declare that their frequency count represents the true probability; which is the truth behind the common saying: "There are lies, damn lies and statistics".  In other words if the investigation is not well-constructed its frequency count will not represent the true probability (ie "Garbage in, Garbage out").

IPCC has constructed a family of forcing scenarios from RCP 2.6 to RCP 8.5; following a frequentist approach.  However, frequentist methodology only works when their investigations are well-constructed, otherwise I would recommend using the Bayesian approach of developing a priori PDF based on the past fifty years of experience following a BAU pathway, and then change this PDF incrementally based on new observation.

Evidence that the IPCC RCP frequentist methodology is biased is easily seen by the fact that they give equal weighting to the out-comes of all of the RCP 2.6 thru 8.5 scenarios; while in-fact RCP 2.6 has less than a 1% chance of being achieved while we have been following essentially RCP 8.5 every year for the past 50-years but we give it equal weight to any of the other constructed scenarios.

Even worse, when the IPCC establishes their carbon budget of "840 GtC" with a 50 percent chance of staying below 2 C (as guidance to decision makers) they assume that RCP 2.6 is the only scenario being followed, and that there is no need to multiply the 50 percent chance number by the probability that RCP 2.6 will be followed (which by their own methodology should be 20%, while I believe that it should be 1%).  Furthermore, the IPCC only updates their guidance every six to seven years so when they tell decision makers that in 2011 GHG emission rates were around 10 GtC per year, they fail to point-out that this number is increasing every year and by 2015 to 2016 should be more like 13.7 GtC per year (especially when considering all of the methane gas leaks that jai points out)

http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/ipcc-summaries/fifth-assessment-report-working-group-1 (http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/ipcc-summaries/fifth-assessment-report-working-group-1)

"Cumulative Carbon Budgets
The AR5 relates different carbon “budgets” – an accumulated amount of carbon emissions over time — to the chances of average warming exceeding 2 degrees above 1861-1880 levels. Governments have set an international goal of limiting average warming to 2 C. For the world to have a 50 percent chance of staying below 2 C of warming by 2100, the AR5 identifies a greenhouse gas emissions budget of 840Gt of carbon. More than half of that (over 531GtC) has already been emitted. At current emission rates (around 10 GtC per year), we will use up our carbon budget in just 30 years."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 05, 2015, 06:53:48 PM
Also see this non-technical explanation by Rignot in the Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/17/climate-change-antarctica-glaciers-melting-global-warming-nasa (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/17/climate-change-antarctica-glaciers-melting-global-warming-nasa)

Quote
At the current rate, a large fraction of the basin will be gone in 200 years, but recent modelling studies indicate that the retreat rate will increase in the future. How did this happen? A clue is that all the glaciers reacted at the same time, which suggested a common force that can only be the ocean. Ocean heat is pushed by the westerly winds and the westerlies have changed around Antarctica in response to climate warming and the depletion of the ozone. The stronger winds are caused by a world warming faster than a cooling Antarctica. Stronger westerlies push more subsurface warm waters poleward to melt the glaciers, and push surface waters northward.

Nerilie Abram and others have just confirmed that the westerlies are stronger now than at any other time in the past 1,000 years and their strengthening has been particularly prominent since the 1970s as a result of human-induced climate warming. Model predictions also show that the trend will continue in a warming climate.

What this means is that we may be ultimately responsible for triggering the fast retreat of West Antarctica. This part of the continent was likely to retreat anyway, but we probably pushed it there faster. It remains difficult to put a timescale on it, because the computer models are not good enough yet, but it could be within a couple of centuries, as I noted. There is also a bigger picture than West Antarctica. The Amundsen sea sector is not the only vulnerable part of the continent. East Antarctica includes marine-based sectors that hold more ice. One of them, Totten glacier, holds the equivalent of seven metres of global sea level.

Controlling climate warming may ultimately make a difference not only about how fast West Antarctic ice will melt to sea, but also whether other parts of Antarctica will take their turn. Several "candidates" are lined up, and we seem to have figured a way to push them out of equilibrium even before warming of air temperature is strong enough to melt snow and ice at the surface.

Unabated climate warming of several degrees over the next century is likely to speed up the collapse of West Antarctica, but it could also trigger irreversible retreat of marine-based sectors of East Antarctica. Whether we should do something about it is simply a matter of common sense. And the time to act is now; Antarctica is not waiting for us.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 05, 2015, 06:58:11 PM
And Rignot again in the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/research-casts-alarming-light-on-decline-of-west-antarctic-ice-sheets/2014/12/04/19efd3e4-7bbe-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/research-casts-alarming-light-on-decline-of-west-antarctic-ice-sheets/2014/12/04/19efd3e4-7bbe-11e4-84d4-7c896b90abdc_story.html)

Quote
how fast could the loss of West Antarctica unfold? Velicogna’s co-author, Eric Rignot of UC-Irvine, suggested that in his view, within 100 to 200 years, one-third of West Antarctica could be gone. Rignot noted that the scientific community “still balks at this” — particularly the 100-year projection — but said he thinks observational studies are showing that ice sheets can melt at a faster pace than model-based projections take into account.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 05, 2015, 07:01:21 PM
Alley's comments to his paper with Pollard and DeConto:
http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/01/updated-ice-sheet-model-matches-wild-swings-in-past-sea-levels/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/01/updated-ice-sheet-model-matches-wild-swings-in-past-sea-levels/)

"Step-application of the [warming] is too extreme, clearly…  but, it is within the realm of possibility that for the time-scale of collapse, the true worst worst-case scenario could be even a bit faster than modeled here"
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 05, 2015, 07:10:17 PM
There are many different versions/generations of Earth Systems Models.  Thus saying that an earlier version of the Community Earth System Model, was included in CMIP5 does not mean that we have the final answer in hand from AR5.  Indeed, the ACME project lead by the DOE (and which will not be complete for another 10 years) is based on (started from) the Community Earth System Model, but will be further developed for the DOE mission and computers.

I am hoping that ACME will provide sufficient guidance to allow decision makers to make reasonably well informed decisions.  Until then (& even after then) we will need to make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have; understanding that decision makers with a high tolerance for risk will push the envelope perhaps further than what is good for the global community/environment.

But the models will not have changed very much from where they were for CMIP 5. 

And if a model did make a small change in this timeframe that mattered for climate sensitivity, or for transient climate response over the next 100 years then, either the scientists writing up the research are incompetent or party to a conspiracy of silence, or there is no interesting change and the scientist writes up about a detail such as a change in the Jetstream position as the most interesting result of the recent modelling study.

You are wrong, as the linked information confirms that ACME will make major changes to CESM:

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/08/25/acme/ (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2014/08/25/acme/)
http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/ (http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/)
http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/sites/default/files/publications/acme-project-strategy-plan_0.pdf (http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/sites/default/files/publications/acme-project-strategy-plan_0.pdf)
http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/sites/default/files/publications/acme-project-strategy-plan.pdf (http://climatemodeling.science.energy.gov/sites/default/files/publications/acme-project-strategy-plan.pdf)
http://science.energy.gov/~/media/sc-1/pdf/2012/Dehmer_2016_Budget_Presentation.pdf (http://science.energy.gov/~/media/sc-1/pdf/2012/Dehmer_2016_Budget_Presentation.pdf)
http://crf.sandia.gov/acme-climate-modeling-powered-by-doe-supercomputers-tamed-by-uncertainty-quantification/ (http://crf.sandia.gov/acme-climate-modeling-powered-by-doe-supercomputers-tamed-by-uncertainty-quantification/)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 05, 2015, 07:43:43 PM

Furthermore, I provide the following link to a pdf of a PowerPoint presentation that explains the IPCC AR5's official thinking about the carbon budget,

Since when does IPCC have an official thinking about the carbon budget?  I find no discussion of what the carbon budget should be in the IPCC report.

AR5 was the first time that the IPCC introduced a carbon budget, and in your comment below you admit that you found a reference to this carbon budget, so your comment here is nothing more than a red herring, wasting everyone's time. ASLR

which uses the concept of TCRE (which is lower than using equilibrium climate sensitivity. 
IPCC project climate change using TCRE because that is what is relevant to projections over the next century.  They still discuss equilibrium climate sensitivity and make projections for several hundred years in the future.  Full equilibrium sensitivity will likely take centuries to millennia to achieve.

If applying the TCRE to the RCP forcing scenarios were the final answer then there would be no need to run any Earth Systems Models, because you are ready have the answer.  However, this is not the case as: (a) in Replies 502 thru 504 I show that in scenarios highly out of equilibrium such as RCP 8.5, TCRE is non-linear and would increase markedly. by 2060; and (b) as Lennart has shown at least the ice sheet feedback mechanism for the WAIS could be accelerated to be effective in 21st Century. ASLR

Furthermore, the IPCC's carbon budget concept ignores methane emissions from permafrost degradation under RCP8.5,
One of only two places I find 'carbon budget' briefly mentioned in the IPCC report is on page 323 with the comment that permafrost emissions from the Arctic 'could substantially alter the carbon budget through the release of methane'

Thanks for confirming my comment. ASLR

and it ignore what are traditionally considered slow response feedback mechanisms (such as the collapse of the WAIS) that could actually happen this century following a BAU pathway:

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf)

Do you refer to the recent ice sheet collapse (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6185/735.abstract) research which finds that the onset of rapid (i.e. >1 mm a year or 1 metre/ centurey) sea level rise due to ice sheet melt will start within 200 to 900 years?

Again, Lennart provides a lot of evidence that you are out-of-date with your information, and I will add the following reference:

DeConto R, and Pollard D., (2014), "Antarctica's potential contribution to future sea-level rise", SCAR - COMNAP Symposium

http://www.scar2014.com/assets/SCAR_and_COMNAP_2014_Abstract_Document.pdf (http://www.scar2014.com/assets/SCAR_and_COMNAP_2014_Abstract_Document.pdf)

Abstract: "A hybrid ice sheet-shelf model with freely migrating grounding lines is improved by accounting for 1) surface meltwater enhancement of ice shelf calving; and 2) the structural stability of thick (>800 m), marine-terminating (tidewater) grounding lines. When coupled to a high-resolution atmospheric model with imposed or simulated ocean temperatures, the new model is demonstrated to do a good job simulating past geologic intervals with high (albeit uncertain) sea levels including the Pliocene (3Ma; +20 ±10m) and the Last Interglacial (130-115ka; +4-9m).  When applied to future IPCC CMIP5 RCP greenhouse gas forcing scenarios with ocean temperatures provided by the NCAR CCSM4, the same model shows the potential for massive ice and freshwater discharge beginning in the second half of this century. In both RCP2.6 and 8.5 scenarios considerable retreat begins in the Pine Island Bay region of West Antarctica. In the more aggressive (and arguably more likely) RCP8.5 scenario, Pine Island Bay retreat is followed by more massive retreat of the entire WAIS, and eventual ice retreat into deep East Antarctic basins. During peak rates of retreat, freshwater discharge exceeds 1 Sv and exceeds 0.2 Sv for several centuries with potential to disrupt ocean circulation in addition to contributing between 2m and 9m sea level rise within the next 500 years. Here, we demonstrate that large portions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet (in West and East Antarctica) can retreat on relatively short (decadal to centennial) timescales, posing a serious threat to global populations."

Note that as 1 Sv = 86mm of SLR per year, this research indicates that the WAIS might plausibly contribute over 0.86 meters per decade to SLR before the end of this century. In addition to other SLR sources, this could resulting in over 3m of SLR, and over 4m of Regional SLR for the Continental U.S.A. for a RCP 8.5 pathway.
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 05, 2015, 10:07:45 PM
The linked article contains many good points (see the extract below), supporting the position that there may be no budget available for more carbon emissions if society wants to take a responsible approach towards climate change risks:

http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/06/carbon-budgets-climate-sensitivity-and.html (http://www.climatecodered.org/2014/06/carbon-budgets-climate-sensitivity-and.html)

Extract: "… preliminary results by scientists at the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory presented at the 2013 AGU meeting showed that higher sensitivity models do the best job simulating observed cloud changes. These results are also consistent with Lauer et al. (2010) and Clement et al. (2009), which looked at cloud changes in the Pacific, finding the observations consistent with a positive cloud feedback" (4).

If indeed ECS is more likely at the higher end of the range, this would diminish the remaining carbon budget.  Quantifying a carbon budget for a ~4°C mid-point ECS has not been done as far as I can ascertain.

Long-term earth system sensitivity

Paleoclimatology (study of past climates) suggests that if longer-term feedbacks of "slow" factors are taken into account, such as the decay of large ice sheets, changes in the carbon cycle (changed efficiency of carbon sinks such as permafrost and methane clathrate stores, as well as biosphere stores such as peatlands and forests), and changes in vegetation coverage and reflectivity (albedo), then the Earth's sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 could itself be double that of the "fast" climate sensitivity predicted by most climate models, or around 6°C (5). These "slow" feedbacks amplify the initial warming burst. A measure of these effects for a doubling of CO2 is known as Earth System Sensitivity (ESS).

Longer-term ESS is generally considered to come into play over periods from centuries to several millennia, depending on how fast is the rate of change in greenhouse gas levels and temperature.

The problem is that rate of climate change now being driven by human actions may be as fast as any extended warming period over the past 65 million years, and it is projected to accelerate in the coming decades. This means that longer-term "slow" events associated with ESS – such as loss of large ice sheets, and changes in Arctic and biosphere carbon stores – are starting to occur now, are happening much more quickly than expected, and likely will proceed at a significant scale in the current hundred years. We face an event unprecedented in the last 65 million years of "fast" short-term and "slow" long-term climate sensitivity events occurring alongside one another in parallel, rather than one after the other in series as is usually the case. Thus, even as some of the "fast" warming is still to be realised due to thermal inertia, some of the "slow" feedbacks are already coming into play:

Evidence from Earth’s history suggests that slower surface albedo feedbacks due to vegetation change and melting of Greenland and Antarctica can come into play on the timescales of interest to humans, which could increase the sensitivity to significantly higher values, as much as 6°C … the slow feedback climate sensitivity has relevance in the Anthropocene era, since ice sheet/vegetation feedback may become significant on decadal-to-centennial timescales of interest to humans (6).
and
Unfortunately, slow feedbacks are amplifying on time scales that humans care about: decades, centuries, even millennia. As the planet warms, for example, ice sheets melt, exposing a darker surface that increases warming. Also warming causes a net release of long-lived greenhouse gases from the ocean and soil. Vegetation changes that occur as climate warms from today's situation will also have a significant amplifying effect, as forests move into tundra regions in North America and Eurasia (7).

The problem is that the IPCC carbon budget analysis assumes that none of these longer-term feedbacks will be materially relevant before 2°C of warming, and so exclude the possibility of large-scale permafrost, methane clathrate or less efficient biological stores (Amazon, tundra etc) making contributions to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels and impacting on the carbon budget.

Thus the IPCC 2013 report notes that "Accounting for ... the release of greenhouse gases from permafrost will also lower..." the target, and that the CMIP5 modelling used for the IPCC's carbon budgets does not include "explicit representation of permafrost soil carbon decomposition in response to future warming". It also notes that "the climate sensitivity of a model may... not reflect the sensitivity of the full Earth system because those feedback processes ["slow feedbacks associated associated with vegetation changes and ice sheets"] are not considered".

Several lines of evidence suggest theses assumptions are not robust. Recent research shows that the Amazon may often be releasing huge quantities of CO2 to the atmosphere, acting not as a carbon sink but as a source (8); and that the seafloor off the coast of Northern Siberia is releasing more than twice the amount of methane as previously estimated and is now on par with the methane being released from the Arctic tundra (9).

In February 2013, scientists using radiometric dating techniques on Russian cave formations to measure historic melting rates warned that a +1.5ºC global rise in temperature compared to pre-industrial was enough to start a general permafrost melt. They found that “global climates only slightly warmer than today are sufficient to thaw extensive regions of permafrost.” Lead researcher Anton Vaks says that: “1.5ºC appears to be something of a tipping point” (10).

In 2011, Schaefer, Zhang et al. warned: "The thaw and release of carbon currently frozen in permafrost will increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations and amplify surface warming to initiate a positive permafrost carbon feedback (PCF) on climate…. [Our] estimate may be low because it does not account for amplified surface warming due to the PCF itself….We predict that the PCF will change the Arctic from a carbon sink to a source after the mid-2020s and is strong enough to cancel 42-88% of the total global land sink. The thaw and decay of permafrost carbon is irreversible and accounting for the PCF will require larger reductions in fossil fuel emissions to reach a target atmospheric CO2 concentration" (11).

This very strong and disturbing finding – that permafrost decay is "irreversible" and requires a lower carbon budget – is not reflected in the IPCC's figuring.

Conclusion

Climate change with its non-linear events, tipping points and irreversible events –  such as mass extinctions, destruction of ecosystems, the loss of large ice sheets and the triggering of large-scale releases of greenhouse gases from carbon stores such as permafrost and methane clathrates – contains many possibilities for catastrophic failure. 

If climate sensitivity is, in reality, at the high end of the range used for the IPCC's carbon budgets, then as a consequence that means that we must adopt a very low-risk of exceeding the target.   As the previous post explained, If a risk-averse (pro-safety) approach is applied – say, of less than 10% probability of exceeding the 2°C target – to carbon budgeting, there is simply no budget available, because it has already been used up. The notion that there is still "burnable carbon" is a myth."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 05, 2015, 10:36:15 PM

You think they're cherry picking, but you only give one example of potential over-estimation from 1990. Is that enough for you to dismiss Brysse et al? Their paper seems much more convincing than your (potential) counter-example.

- methane emissions
- Australian rainfall reductions (as a whole Australian rainfall has increased - however reductions have been in the more heavily populated and farmed southern areas)
- US temperature increases (regional effect - but then so really is Arctic sea ice reduction)

Can you give sources? Brysse et al say over-estimation is less common than under-estimation:
https://www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/2/0/b/f2601035-3fa4-41cb-b0f5-77de713695fc_erring.pdf (https://www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/2/0/b/f2601035-3fa4-41cb-b0f5-77de713695fc_erring.pdf)

And Anderegg et al conclude:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00115.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00115.1)

"Both in paradigm and procedure, the scientific method and culture prioritize type 1 error aversion (Hansson 2013) and “erring on the side of least drama” (O'Reilly et al. 2011) or “scientific reticence” (Hansen 2007), and this can be amplified by both publication bias and scientific assessment (Freudenburg and Muselli 2010; Lemons et al. 1997; O'Reilly et al. 2011). Thus, the high consequence and tails of the distribution of climate impacts, where experts may disagree on likelihood or where understanding is still limited, can often be left out or understated in the assessment process (Oppenheimer et al. 2007; Socolow 2011)... the balance of evidence indicates that potential type 2 errors may be more prevalent in assessments, such as the IPCC."

Do you know of any peer-reviewed papers that refute or contest these conclusions?

Anderegg et al then say:
"This asymmetry of treatment of error has unintended consequences. Type 2 errors can hinder communication of the full range of possible climate risks to the media, the public, and decision makers who have to justify the basis of their analyses. Thus, such errors have the potential to lead to unnecessary loss of lives, livelihoods, or economic damages. Yet, as Stephen Schneider eloquently highlighted throughout his work, high-consequence, controversial, uncertain impacts are exactly what policy makers and other stakeholders would like to know to perform risk management (National Research Council 2011; Schneider et al. 1998; Socolow 2011).

Naturally, varying situations and contexts apply different decision rules in considering type 1 versus type 2 errors, and type 1 error aversion is beneficial in certain circumstances. Moreover, uncertainty must be recognized as multifaceted and textured. As such, Brian Wynne described four kinds of uncertainty: 1) “risk”—where we know the odds, system behavior, and outcomes can be defined as well as quantified through probabilities; 2) “uncertainty”—where system parameters are known, but not the odds or probability distributions; 3) “ignorance”—risks that escape recognition; and 4) “indeterminacy”—which captures elements of the conditionality of knowledge and contextual scientific, social, and political factors (Wynne 1992). Thus, the risks through uncertainty in these conditions of postnormal science have material implications. Incomplete presentation of the full possibilities of outcomes (likelihood compounded by consequence) can lead to a lack of preparedness, loss of livelihoods or lives, and economic damage."

Do you think all this is nonsense or irrelevant, or could it make at least some sense?

If there's a chance that IPCC under-estimates risks we better be aware of that. If it turns out their best estimates were about right after all, so much the better. Would you agree with this conclusion, or not, and if not, why?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 05, 2015, 11:59:06 PM

Joughin et al 2014 is one recent publication pointing to the risk of abrupt sea level rise starting this century, since it has some conservative assumptions. Another one is Rignot et al 2014:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060140/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060140/full)

Rignot thinks one third of WAIS could be gone in 100-200 years.

Nothing in the linked paper seems to support that, although he has been quoted in media releases as saying that.

Pollard et al 2015 is another recent paper which suggests WAIS could be gone within 100 years, once the collapse really gets going, which could be by the middle of this century:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007961 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007961)

Co-author Alley said this may not be the "true worst worst-case" yet.

This is the most aggressive paper, and both ends of the range need to be considered (I posted the less aggressive paper because that was the one I found).  Note that this paper is talking about volume which relates to sea level rise which is a separate issue to what I am debating.  The issue under debate is Antarctic albedo and the idea that there will be a major acceleration in warming due to Antarctic albedo loss.  Antarctica happens to be very close in size to the Arctic sea ice at maximum.  Just eyeballing his future charts it looks like the loss of Antarctic ice sheet area in the next 100 years may be something like 20%, which is 500k sq km per decade.   This looks slower than the Arctic area loss witnessed in the last 10 or so years, which hardly set the world on fire as we've seen the hiatus (however minor and statistically insignificant it may be) in recent warming at the same time.  Basic physics does say it will have to provide some warming, but until someone puts some hard numbers on it, I'm not convinced it will be enough to make much difference.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 06, 2015, 12:10:01 AM

Frequentists (such as adopted by the IPCC process) can (and do) construct investigations anyway that they want and then do a frequency count of the out-coming and then declare that their frequency count represents the true probability; which is the truth behind the common saying: "There are lies, damn lies and statistics".  In other words if the investigation is not well-constructed its frequency count will not represent the true probability (ie "Garbage in, Garbage out").
Frequentists measure the probability of something by measuring the frequency that something occurs in a sample set and assuming this is the probability.  This contrasts to Bayesians who also consider 'prior' probabilities based on other logic and then blend this with the measured frequency to create and adjusted probability function.

IPCC has constructed a family of forcing scenarios from RCP 2.6 to RCP 8.5; following a frequentist approach.  However, frequentist methodology only works when their investigations are well-constructed, otherwise I would recommend using the Bayesian approach of developing a priori PDF based on the past fifty years of experience following a BAU pathway, and then change this PDF incrementally based on new observation.

Evidence that the IPCC RCP frequentist methodology is biased is easily seen by the fact that they give equal weighting to the out-comes of all of the RCP 2.6 thru 8.5 scenarios; while in-fact RCP 2.6 has less than a 1% chance of being achieved while we have been following essentially RCP 8.5 every year for the past 50-years but we give it equal weight to any of the other constructed scenarios.

The IPCC do not make any probabilistic statements on RCP2.6 vs 8.5.  They do not use frequentist (or any other statistical) methods, but rather define the scenarios around meeting several pre-defined target for final radiative forcing value. 


http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/ipcc-summaries/fifth-assessment-report-working-group-1 (http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/ipcc-summaries/fifth-assessment-report-working-group-1)

"Cumulative Carbon Budgets
The AR5 relates different carbon “budgets” – an accumulated amount of carbon emissions over time — to the chances of average warming exceeding 2 degrees above 1861-1880 levels. Governments have set an international goal of limiting average warming to 2 C. For the world to have a 50 percent chance of staying below 2 C of warming by 2100, the AR5 identifies a greenhouse gas emissions budget of 840Gt of carbon. More than half of that (over 531GtC) has already been emitted. At current emission rates (around 10 GtC per year), we will use up our carbon budget in just 30 years."

The centre for climate and energy solutions talk about an IPCC carbon budget, but I can find no such thing when searching the IPCC reports.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 06, 2015, 12:25:50 AM
An additional point on 'frequentist' issues.  James Annan  (http://julesandjames.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/uniform-prior-dead-at-last.html) criticises the IPCC for using a Bayesian (i.e. opposite of frequentist) technique for estimating climate sensitivity, and using it incorrectly.  James shows that the IPCC's improper use of a uniform prior provides a more alarming estimate of climate sensitivity then the prior that he considers most appropriate.  Note this predates the latest assessment report so may not be relevant to the fifth assessment report.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 06, 2015, 12:30:21 AM
Quote
Furthermore, the IPCC's carbon budget concept ignores methane emissions from permafrost degradation under RCP8.5,
One of only two places I find 'carbon budget' briefly mentioned in the IPCC report is on page 323 with the comment that permafrost emissions from the Arctic 'could substantially alter the carbon budget through the release of methane'
Thanks for confirming my comment. ASLR


You have that totally backward.  The IPCC do not have a carbon budget, and have pointed out that permafrost emissions will have a significant impact on the carbon budget.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 06, 2015, 01:13:42 AM
The issue under debate is Antarctic albedo and the idea that there will be a major acceleration in warming due to Antarctic albedo loss.  Antarctica happens to be very close in size to the Arctic sea ice at maximum.  Just eyeballing his future charts it looks like the loss of Antarctic ice sheet area in the next 100 years may be something like 20%, which is 500k sq km per decade. This looks slower than the Arctic area loss witnessed in the last 10 or so years, which hardly set the world on fire as we've seen the hiatus (however minor and statistically insignificant it may be) in recent warming at the same time.  Basic physics does say it will have to provide some warming, but until someone puts some hard numbers on it, I'm not convinced it will be enough to make much difference.

Caldeira & Cvijanovic 2014 conclude loss of Arctic sea ice will make much difference:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1)

"Results obtained here indicate that in this configuration of CESM (CAM4 coupled to a slab ocean and the dynamic–thermodynamic sea ice model CICE4), approximately 3 × 1012 m2 of sea ice is lost for each kelvin of global mean warming and approximately 0.1 W m−2 of “sea ice radiative forcing” is produced by each 1012 m2 of sea ice loss, yielding a value of −0.3 W m−2 K−1 for the sea ice contribution to the overall climate feedback parameter. Because sea ice area in the 1×CO2 control simulation is approximately 30 × 1012 m2, this suggests that complete loss of all sea ice from the 1×CO2 state would produce a radiative forcing of about 3 W m−2, which is somewhat less than, but of the same order of magnitude as, the regressed radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2."

And you may not be convinced, but did you read the posts above on the risk of making type 2 errors?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 06, 2015, 01:51:47 AM
The issue under debate is Antarctic albedo and the idea that there will be a major acceleration in warming due to Antarctic albedo loss.  Antarctica happens to be very close in size to the Arctic sea ice at maximum.  Just eyeballing his future charts it looks like the loss of Antarctic ice sheet area in the next 100 years may be something like 20%, which is 500k sq km per decade. This looks slower than the Arctic area loss witnessed in the last 10 or so years, which hardly set the world on fire as we've seen the hiatus (however minor and statistically insignificant it may be) in recent warming at the same time.  Basic physics does say it will have to provide some warming, but until someone puts some hard numbers on it, I'm not convinced it will be enough to make much difference.

Caldeira & Cvijanovic 2014 conclude loss of Arctic sea ice will make much difference:
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1 (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00042.1)

"Results obtained here indicate that in this configuration of CESM (CAM4 coupled to a slab ocean and the dynamic–thermodynamic sea ice model CICE4), approximately 3 × 1012 m2 of sea ice is lost for each kelvin of global mean warming and approximately 0.1 W m−2 of “sea ice radiative forcing” is produced by each 1012 m2 of sea ice loss, yielding a value of −0.3 W m−2 K−1 for the sea ice contribution to the overall climate feedback parameter. Because sea ice area in the 1×CO2 control simulation is approximately 30 × 1012 m2, this suggests that complete loss of all sea ice from the 1×CO2 state would produce a radiative forcing of about 3 W m−2, which is somewhat less than, but of the same order of magnitude as, the regressed radiative forcing from a doubling of atmospheric CO2."

And you may not be convinced, but did you read the posts above on the risk of making type 2 errors?

So if my eyeball estimate is right that loss of Antarctica area will be roughly 20%, this corresponds to a 0.6 w m-2 feedback (with further water vapour and cloud feedbacks compounded on top), which compares to an RCP 8.5 scenario forcing of about 8.5 w m-2. with total feedbacks of something like 15 w m-2 (including water vapour and cloud feedbacks) to get to a midrange climate sensitivity estimate.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 06, 2015, 02:11:34 AM
Which means off course that I think everything is ok, and nothing bad is happening and I'm a denier.

:P

With all due respect, Michael, but that's the impression I get when you say something like: "More Co2 in the oceans means less in the atmosphere so this study is good news for us, and bad news for the sea life in the southern ocean."

But maybe that says more about me than about you.  ;)

Neven,

You may want to consider that "where there is smoke there is fire", and where there is troll-like behavior, there may well be a troll.

Best,
ASLR
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 06, 2015, 02:22:12 AM

You think they're cherry picking, but you only give one example of potential over-estimation from 1990. Is that enough for you to dismiss Brysse et al? Their paper seems much more convincing than your (potential) counter-example.

- methane emissions
- Australian rainfall reductions (as a whole Australian rainfall has increased - however reductions have been in the more heavily populated and farmed southern areas)
- US temperature increases (regional effect - but then so really is Arctic sea ice reduction)

Can you give sources?

Methane:  I cannot find the specific emissions allowed for in early IPCC scenarios, however looking at the  history (http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/figures/atmospheric-concentration-of-ch4-ppb-1) which shows  a rapid decline in growth of methane concentrations after 1990 (and an increase again in the last few years - which the linked chart omits most of, but I can't find a complete chart that shows further back than 1980 and more recently than that).  Given the size of this decline, and a lack of any hint in discussions of methane in the IPCC reports of a possible mechanism that could have predicted such a decline it seems a safe bet that methane scenarios in early IPCC reports were a significant overestimate.

US temperature - It used to be a favourite denier trick to create an analysis of temperature trends in the US for stations selected as 'good quality' and without adjustment, point to the lack of warming trend and claim that the measured warming was due to the adjustments and/or poor quality of the stations.  This ignored the fact that sources such as GISS also showed little warming.  However looking at the GISS US chart (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.D.gif) much of this lack of trend is due to the very warm years around 1930, so it isn't really fair to claim that this reflects an overestimate of US warming rates in the IPCC reports which were produced from 1990 on, during which period the US has warmed at a significant rate.  An investigation of regional trends using GISS mapping tool (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/) for the period from 1990 does show that much of Russia has shown very little warming over recent years, which is a roughly equivalent regional effect.

Australian rainfall:  Official Australian Bureau of Meteorology (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/index.shtml#tabs=Tracker&tracker=timeseries&tQ%5Bgraph%5D=rranom&tQ%5Barea%5D=aus&tQ%5Bseason%5D=0112&tQ%5Bave_yr%5D=14) statistics show a clear increase in total rainfall for Australia.  However note the increase is in the almost unpopulated northwest of the country (Darwin pop 100k, a couple 10k towns are the major population centers for 1000s of kilometres of coastline).   This hides declines in the southern part of the country which is where the greater part of our population and agriculture is found, and drought is definitely a serious concern for Australia.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on February 06, 2015, 03:58:41 AM
Do you refer to the recent ice sheet collapse (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6185/735.abstract) research which finds that the onset of rapid (i.e. >1 mm a year or 1 metre/ centurey) sea level rise due to ice sheet melt will start within 200 to 900 years?

Joughin et al 2014 is one recent publication pointing to the risk of abrupt sea level rise starting this century, since it has some conservative assumptions. Another one is Rignot et al 2014:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060140/full (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL060140/full)

Rignot thinks one third of WAIS could be gone in 100-200 years.

Pollard et al 2015 is another recent paper which suggests WAIS could be gone within 100 years, once the collapse really gets going, which could be by the middle of this century:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007961 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007961)

Co-author Alley said this may not be the "true worst worst-case" yet.

Don't worry, he has already seen these studies in depth presented here and in other threads. Yet, he will be sure to provide the same conclusions.  This is where his 'blind spot' exists.  Even though he is shown the concrete studies that indicate, nay, assert that the current projections are severely undserstated.  He will continue to wanely pass them over and post his cherry picked research.  Just like any intentional climate denier would.

Mike is a warmist.  just get over him.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: wili on February 06, 2015, 08:51:58 AM
"where there is troll-like behavior, there may well be a troll."
+1

"Mike is a warmist.  just get over him."

+2
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 06, 2015, 09:16:04 AM
"where there is troll-like behavior, there may well be a troll."
+1

"Mike is a warmist.  just get over him."

+2

I may be wrong, but he seems to accept IPCC's conclusions. What he does not seem to recognize is the risk and likelihood that IPCC under-estimates important climate risks. So he joins many scientists in a preference to rather err on the side of least drama than to worry about fat tails. I would not call this 'troll-like' or 'warmist', but 'conservative' or 'risky' or 'confused' or 'stubborn'.

But I may be wrong.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 06, 2015, 09:17:46 AM
I forgot 'frustrating'. It certainly is frustrating :)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Michael Hauber on February 06, 2015, 10:06:10 AM
I believe that the IPCC is accurate in their conclusions.

I believe they are imperfect and will be a mix of overestimates and underestimates.

I believe that considering only the middle case underestimates potential risks - the small chance of very large impacts at the high end of IPCC estimates outweigh the small chance of milder impacts at the low end.  Very roughly - 10% chance of low impacts cost = 1, 80% chance of moderate impacts cost = 10, 10% chance of high impacts, cost = 100.  Expected cost = 10%*100+80%*10+10%*1 = 18.1, which is much higher than the expected cost of the middle impact.

I believe that any claim that the high range estimates have more scientific support for being likely than the mid range impacts is ignorant.
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: jai mitchell on February 06, 2015, 01:39:01 PM
I believe that any claim that the high range estimates have more scientific support for being likely than the mid range impacts is ignorant.

Ignorance is when you *ignore* the significant body of new science that has been done since the recent IPCC cutoff date that indicates a significantly higher risk than has been previously asserted.  Ignorance is when you assert that all of the emissions reductions likely for the energy generation sector will also magically spread to the industrial and transport sector and when you confuse the RCP 4.5 with the RCP 2.6 scenarios, thinking that 2.6 is even remotely possible, when RCP 6.0 is now our most likely optimistic scenario.  Ignorance is when you repeat the falsehood that the IPCC included frozen soils in its projections (it didn't) and that the Carbon cycle feedbacks were included (they were but only for RCP 8.5, not the more likely scenarios).

Ignorance is asserting that the Antarctica sea ice growth somehow balances out the arctic sea ice growth. 

I guess it is fine to have someone to argue with, however, constantly asserting your *truth* with complete disregard to the evidence that is presented to you, often times by many different people using multiple sources, makes you appear either dull or operating on an agenda of misinformation. 
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Lennart van der Linde on February 06, 2015, 07:55:50 PM
I believe that the IPCC is accurate in their conclusions.

I believe they are imperfect and will be a mix of overestimates and underestimates.

I believe that considering only the middle case underestimates potential risks - the small chance of very large impacts at the high end of IPCC estimates outweigh the small chance of milder impacts at the low end.  Very roughly - 10% chance of low impacts cost = 1, 80% chance of moderate impacts cost = 10, 10% chance of high impacts, cost = 100.  Expected cost = 10%*100+80%*10+10%*1 = 18.1, which is much higher than the expected cost of the middle impact.

I believe that any claim that the high range estimates have more scientific support for being likely than the mid range impacts is ignorant.

So with these four beliefs, what is in your view an appropriate mitigation target and carbon budget?

Hansen et al 2013 (PlosOne) argue we've only 130 GtC left to burn and think that could keep warming below 1.2 degrees C, while Bill McKibben thinks this would give an 80% chance of keeping warming below 2 degrees C (under some different assumptions):
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081648 (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081648)

To what extent do you or don't you agree with Hansen et al, and why?
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 06, 2015, 08:20:27 PM
While some deny that the AR5 officially discusses a carbon budget to stay below 2 C, the following link leads to an official IPCC cite discussing the carbon budget:

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/WMO_EC/2%20plattner14wmo_exec_council_prelim.pdf (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/WMO_EC/2%20plattner14wmo_exec_council_prelim.pdf)

See also:
http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/outreach.shtml (http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/outreach.shtml)

More specifically, Reto Knutti is one of the lead authors for the AR5 WG1 report and the ClimateChange2013 website is an official IPCC website, there can be no doubt that the linked R. Knutti PowerPoint represents official IPCC guidance regarding a carbon budget:

http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf (http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/7_knutti13sed2_v1.pdf)

See also:
http://www.climatechange2013.org/ (http://www.climatechange2013.org/)

Authors of WGI report:
 Lisa V. Alexander (Australia), Simon K. Allen (Switzerland/New Zealand), Nathaniel L. Bindoff (Australia), François-Marie Bréon (France), John A. Church (Australia), Ulrich Cubasch (Germany), Seita Emori (Japan), Piers Forster (UK), Pierre Friedlingstein (UK/Belgium), Nathan Gillett (Canada), Jonathan M. Gregory (UK), Dennis L. Hartmann (USA), Eystein Jansen (Norway), Ben Kirtman (USA), Reto Knutti (Switzerland), Krishna Kumar Kanikicharla (India), Peter Lemke (Germany), Jochem Marotzke (Germany), Valérie Masson-Delmotte (France), Gerald A. Meehl (USA), Igor I. Mokhov (Russian Federation), Shilong Piao (China), Gian-Kasper Plattner (Switzerland), Qin Dahe (China), Venkatachalam Ramaswamy (USA), David Randall (USA), Monika Rhein (Germany), Maisa Rojas (Chile), Christopher Sabine (USA), Drew Shindell (USA), Thomas F. Stocker (Switzerland), Lynne D. Talley (USA), David G. Vaughan (UK), Shang- Ping Xie (USA)
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 06, 2015, 09:06:07 PM
The linked reference (with a free access pdf) and associated tables elaborate on the carbon budget issue (with the authors presenting assumptions in line with IPCC thinking, while I am concerned that other developing nations beside China will likely soon accelerate their carbon emissions):

Friedlingstein, P., R. M. Andrew, J. Rogelj, G. P. Peters, J. G. Canadell, R. Knutti, G. Luderer, M. R. Raupach, M. Schaeffer, D. P. van Vuuren and C. Le Quéré, 2014, Persistent growth of CO2 emissions and implications for reaching climate targets, doi: 10.1038/NGEO2248

http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/friedlingstein14natgeo.pdf (http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/friedlingstein14natgeo.pdf)

Abstract: "Efforts to limit climate change below a given temperature level require that global emissions of CO2 cumulated over time remain below a limited quota. This quota varies depending on the temperature level, the desired probability of staying below this level and the contributions of other gases. In spite of this restriction, global emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion and cement production have continued to grow by 2.5% per year on average over the past decade. Two thirds of the CO2 emission quota consistent with a 2 °C temperature limit has already been used, and the total quota will likely be exhausted in a further 30 years at the 2014 emissions rates. We show that CO2 emissions track the high end of the latest generation of emissions scenarios, due to lower than anticipated carbon intensity improvements of emerging economies and higher global gross domestic product growth. In the absence of more stringent mitigation, these trends are set to continue and further reduce the remaining quota until the onset of a potential new climate agreement in 2020. Breaking current emission trends in the short term is key to retaining credible climate targets within a rapidly diminishing emission quota."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: Steven on February 06, 2015, 09:56:17 PM
New paper on climate sensitivity for Pliocene-Pleistocene.  See the following blog post:

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/what-a-three-million-year-fossil-record-tells-us-about-climate-sensitivity (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/what-a-three-million-year-fossil-record-tells-us-about-climate-sensitivity)


Quote
the researchers... found that the climate responded to changing carbon dioxide in the same way during both the warm Pliocene and the cold Pleistocene.  Foster says:

"At least for climates up to three degrees warmer than the pre-industrial, and four degrees cooler than pre-industrial, no extra feedbacks operated."

The results are likely to translate to a climate sensitivity [ECS] of between two and three degrees, says Prof David Lea from the University of California, in an accompanying News and Views article.  This is consistent with the range of climate sensitivity the IPCC gives, Foster adds:

"This suggests that the IPCC range is adequate to explain the response of the system in the Pliocene to climate forcing, and so, by extension, is likely adequate to explain the climate response in the near future as we approach Pliocene-like conditions."
Title: Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 06, 2015, 11:09:39 PM
New paper on climate sensitivity for Pliocene-Pleistocene.  See the following blog post:

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/what-a-three-million-year-fossil-record-tells-us-about-climate-sensitivity (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/what-a-three-million-year-fossil-record-tells-us-about-climate-sensitivity)


Quote
the researchers... found that the climate responded to changing carbon dioxide in the same way during both the warm Pliocene and the cold Pleistocene.  Foster says:

"At least for climates up to three degrees warmer than the pre-industrial, and four degrees cooler than pre-industrial, no extra feedbacks operated."

The results are likely to translate to a climate sensitivity [ECS] of between two and three degrees, says Prof David Lea from the University of California, in an accompanying News and Views article.  This is consistent with the range of climate sensitivity the IPCC gives, Foster adds:

"This suggests that the IPCC range is adequate to explain the response of the system in the Pliocene to climate forcing, and so, by extension, is likely adequate to explain the climate response in the near future as we approach Pliocene-like conditions."

I concur that this paper represents good science; however, we should all remember that paleo investigations only address relatively slowly changing near-equilibrium conditions.  Furthermore, we should all remember that James Hansen has said the same thing that ECS is near 3 C and is the same for both warm and cold near equilibrium conditions; but it is important to note that Hansen is honest enough to advocate that rapidly changing global temperatures (due to strong anthropogenic forcing) can increase the effective climate sensitivity well above an ECS of nearly 3 C for reasoning including rapid changes in albedo, and/or one-shot degradation of the permafrost (and/or methane hydrates in the ESS).