General Climate Discussion #5

Clean thread, clean thread, move down!

mad-hatter-2

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1,250 thoughts on “General Climate Discussion #5

    1. And how does he know the ones on Mars are recent or what their frequency is. Perhaps someone with access to the paper can enlighten us. Even if they are similar, how is it an analog for the Arctic?

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    2. Yikes, yes. Small journal, single author with no academic affiliation… Not a good sign to read “Identical mounds occur in their millions on Mars but are uniformly interpreted as ancient volcanic structures, a geomorphic paradigm whose geological basis continues to escape objective observation” in the abstract.

      Sure looks like a crackpot paper.

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      1. Gesh… so happy we actually have science. The world is indeed round and gravity is actually real. Oh, and BTW, carbon molecules trap heat. Lol. I’m thankful for reputable peer-reviewed journals by multiple authors doing quality science using reliable methodologies.

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  1. Hey, ALL. Scott and Will, long time no talk.

    I’m very curious about your reaction to this article in Science Magazine, titled “Earth’s climate to increase by 4 degrees by 2084” citing a paper in Advances in Atmospheric Chemistry, Vol 35, No & July 2018. It’s from a collaborative research team in China (details at bottom).

    https://scienmag.com/earths-climate-to-increase-by-4-degrees-by-2084/

    First thing I notice before reading article is that the journal’s cover page is July 2018, meaning it’s over a month early. Do publications actually do that?

    Link to actual ACC article with no pay wall is below, and title of journal article itself is:

    “Climate Change of 4°C Global Warming above Pre-industrial Levels”.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00376-018-7160-4

    Here is the abstract:

    “Using a set of numerical experiments from 39 CMIP5 climate models, we project the emergence time for 4◦C global warming with respect to pre-industrial levels and associated climate changes under the RCP8.5 greenhouse gas concentration scenario. Results show that, according to the 39 models, the median year in which 4◦C global warming will occur is 2084. Based on the median results of models that project a 4◦C global warming by 2100, land areas will generally exhibit stronger warming than the oceans annually and seasonally, and the strongest enhancement occurs in the Arctic, with the exception of the summer season. Change signals for temperature go outside its natural internal variabilities globally, and the signal-tonoise ratio averages 9.6 for the annual mean and ranges from 6.3 to 7.2 for the seasonal mean over the globe, with the greatest values appearing at low latitudes because of low noise. Decreased precipitation generally occurs in the subtropics, whilst increased precipitation mainly appears at high latitudes. The precipitation changes in most of the high latitudes are greater than the background variability, and the global mean signal-to-noise ratio is 0.5 and ranges from 0.2 to 0.4 for the annual and seasonal means, respectively. Attention should be paid to limiting global warming to 1.5◦C, in which case temperature and precipitation will experience a far more moderate change than the natural internal variability. Large inter-model disagreement appears at high latitudes for temperature changes and at mid and low latitudes for precipitation changes. Overall, the intermodel consistency is better for temperature than for precipitation.”

    About Research Team: Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, the Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters at the Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, the Joint Laboratory for Climate and Environmental Change at Chengdu University of Information Technology, and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences contributed to this study.

    This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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    1. Katharine Hayhoe just comments by Twitter: “Classic example of poor headlining. Ugh. This is what gives good science a bad name.”

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    2. So, #1, understand this has nothing to do with the journal Science. That’s a crap website reprinting press releases for easy money. The journal this is published in is not a big one–I don’t think I’ve heard of it before, though that’s not really a surprise for a journal based in China. It is a real journal, though.

      The study itself doesn’t sound surprising–and couldn’t be, given that they’re simply analyzing the model simulations prepared before the last IPCC report. The press release just has a very stupid headline (translation probably didn’t help). It’s not predicting that we will see 4C warming by 2084, it’s just stating that’s what happens given the highest emissions scenario. That’s basically a fact you could have eyeballed off the IPCC figures.

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      1. Yep, I discovered that ScienMag is not Science Magazine. I contacted Science Magazine and they told me so. Thanks, Scott. And the 8.5 scenario is highly unlikely considering how coal has become so uncompetitive as renewables provide more affordable options, and coal will continue to atrophy. Gas is about to follow coal, if not already doing so, and rightfully.

        Thanks for giving us all a place where we can work these things out by drawing on a greater community. A lot of the science in this paper is way beyond my experience to understand, but I try anyway. Cheers!

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  2. Hi guys. Thought this might be of interest,

    Antarctica Is Losing An Insane Amount of Ice. Nothing About This Is Good

    “Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in the past 25 years, and that ice loss has accelerated rapidly over the last five years.

    “In a new study, the most comprehensive to date of the continent’s icy status, an international group of 84 researchers analyzed data from multiple satellite surveys, from 1992 to 2017.

    “They discovered that Antarctica is currently losing ice about three times faster than it did until 2012, climbing to a rate of more than 241 billion tons (219 billion metric tons) per year. Total ice loss during the 25-year period contributed to sea level rise of about 0.3 inches (around 8 millimeters), approximately 40 percent of which — about 0.1 inches (3 mm) — happened in the past five years. [In Photos: Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf Through Time]

    “Millimeters of sea level rise may not sound like much, but previous surveys suggested that Antarctica’s massive ice sheets likely wouldn’t be affected by climate change at all. The new findings hint that the continent’s ice cover may not be as resistant to warming as once thought, and present a very different picture of Antarctica’s potential contributions to a rising ocean: Consider that if all of Antarctica’s ice melted, the resulting water could elevate sea levels by about 190 feet (58 meters), the researchers reported.”

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    1. Yep. So not good news. Just read a Tweet by Michael Mann confirming a new paper’s conclusion we are looking at 2 meters of sea level rise by 2100 at a minimum, not just one meter. And that could still rise in the next decade. We are now at 4.2mm / year.

      Anyone have any idea on rate of increase each year. It must be around 1-2 mm per year because just a few years ago it was 3.7 mm/year.

      Cheers, but not a cheery situation…

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      1. You can’t say 2 meters is the minimum, even in the high emissions scenario. I assume you mean this tweet? https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/1007043784473886720

        He’s talking about the max numbers there.

        It could be that this year will see 4.2 mm rise (I don’t have a good source at hand), but there’s a significant amount of year-to-year variability. There’s not a sudden change like that: https://sealevel.nasa.gov/understanding-sea-level/key-indicators/global-mean-sea-level

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      2. Good point. Need to better fact-check. NASA Earth Vital Signs website says we are at about 3.2 mm annual sea level rise. Yes, that Mann citation is maximum rise by 2100; a lot can happen – good or bad – before that time.

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  3. Hi guys. Thought this might be of interest,

    Antarctica Is Losing An Insane Amount of Ice. Nothing About This Is Good

    “Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tons of ice in the past 25 years, and that ice loss has accelerated rapidly over the last five years.

    “In a new study, the most comprehensive to date of the continent’s icy status, an international group of 84 researchers analyzed data from multiple satellite surveys, from 1992 to 2017.

    “They discovered that Antarctica is currently losing ice about three times faster than it did until 2012, climbing to a rate of more than 241 billion tons (219 billion metric tons) per year. Total ice loss during the 25-year period contributed to sea level rise of about 0.3 inches (around 8 millimeters), approximately 40 percent of which — about 0.1 inches (3 mm) — happened in the past five years. [In Photos: Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf Through Time]

    “Millimeters of sea level rise may not sound like much, but previous surveys suggested that Antarctica’s massive ice sheets likely wouldn’t be affected by climate change at all. The new findings hint that the continent’s ice cover may not be as resistant to warming as once thought, and present a very different picture of Antarctica’s potential contributions to a rising ocean: Consider that if all of Antarctica’s ice melted, the resulting water could elevate sea levels by about 190 feet (58 meters), the researchers reported.”

    https://www.space.com/40879-antarctica-3-trillion-tons-ice-lost.html

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  4. Sorry about the double posting. Somehow the address got lost the first time and I couldn’t find the edit button.

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    1. Agreed. It’s certainly a fair point to make in a publication, but I think the press release just caught eyes at outlets who thought words like “hothouse” sounded flashy…

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  5. Please explain why this science-based, non-ad hominem comment by Bud Nye prompted him to be banned by the proprietors of this blog. I think he brings up good questions that people interested in science would very much like to engage in. So much for a respectful, open dialogue of ideas that we may or may not agree with….
    ‘This blog seems to me not so much about how Guy McPherson supposedly gets it (scientifically) wrong as about “Let’s personally attack Guy McPherson for committing the unforgivable sin of having elicited our terror of death.” (See The Worm At The Core, On The Role of Death In Life, 2016, by psychologists Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski and Denial, Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind, 2013, by Ajit Varki and Danny Brower for much more about this.)

    In the process of insisting that Guy McPherson supposedly should not predict the future of Earth’s biosphere in negative ways based on scientific evidence, most commenters here insist that THEY CAN predict the future of Earth’s biosphere in positive ways based on scientific evidence. A sweet double standard concerning prediction indeed. In all of this I see little or no mention of the scientifically fundamental and essential concept of probability. Regarding this, I hope someone here will explain how ecology, complexity theory, and thermodynamics supposedly support the grandiose, wishful belief that a high probability exists that we can, and will, significantly ameliorate or stop the massive, rapidly occurring, yes, irreversible, changes we have made in Earth’s biosphere, while ecology, complexity theory, and thermodynamic principles supposedly do not suggest a very LOW probability of our doing that. How do thermodynamic principles suggest that we supposedly can do this? Where will we get the energy to do it, and how will we do it without violating the fundamental principles of thermodynamics? Some evidence-based reasoning concerning this, please? And with no personal attacks on me for asking this, nor still more self- and other-comforting personal attacks on Guy McPherson for his persistently insisting on the very high probability of near term human extinction, please?
    
    I agree with McPherson that a very high probability exists that we will soon experience mass loss of human life on Earth, and probably with extinction soon following. I agree with this, not because he says it, but because what I know of ecology, complexity theory, and thermodynamics very strongly suggest that extremely high probability—plus I do not have any human supremacist belief that humans supposedly have some “special” or “supreme” biological status on Earth on in the Universe. Meanwhile, arguing about whether this mass die-off and extinction will occur in one year, five years, ten years, or twenty, seems a pointless and irrelevant waste of time to me. The simple fact remains that we ALL WILL die soon, and we ALL MAY die within the next few weeks, all of our science and technology notwithstanding. But we love to distract ourselves from that reality, which we often find so anxiety provoking and painful. Meanwhile, personally attacking someone like Guy McPherson serves as a great distraction, indeed, as do our technologically utopian fantasies. Desperate times call for desperate distractions and desperate delusions. Hence this blog, which specializes in ad hominem attacks on people who disagree, especially personal attacks on Guy McPherson—all exactly as the authors of The Worm At The Core describe.'
    

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    1. I’m not going to re-litigate the behavior that got Bud banned. You can read through the hundreds of comments for yourself if you want to do that. His comments were very much not “a respectful, open dialogue of ideas that we may or may not agree with”.

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      1. Hmmm, ok Scott.

        Putting that aside, I’m still a bit mystified as to why you don’t address the questions and comments in Bud’s post, all which have to do with ecology and physics-based science. Very strange to just ignore in my view

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      2. Jd, Josh, Gail, Robyn:

        You all appear to be deaf in one ear, maybe two. Reminds me of Bud Nye himself. Perhaps one of you is he returned from the deep?

        Scott already dealt with this four years ago and Sam did his best to explain the details, which I can vouch for since I witnessed and participated in them.

        For those who insist on broaching topics already dealt with which don’t deal directly with issues related to SJ’s critique of GM, then I think an appropriate action is to follow the course as with Bud Nye. Engage with the actual arguments, points, data, as the blog was originally intended, or be gone.

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    2. Well, if you can find a post where commenters here are predicting the future (and pointing out the flaws in McPherson’s predictions is not, itself, predicting the future), then please point it out. The only one predicting the future is Guy McPherson and it most certainly is not based on science as has been pointed out here and elsewhere.

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    1. Perhaps the key there is “especially carbon-rich”. I’m not familiar with the work they’re referring to, though, so that’s just a guess.

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      1. “No one expects permafrost will ever release all its stored carbon. Most models suggest just 10 to 20 percent at most would escape even at high human emissions scenarios.”

        If you’re familiar with this work, do you know if that 10-20% figure is in relation to the end of the century? It’s not clear from the article.

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    2. Be a little cautious, even though such events will be expected to occur. The article says:

      The discovery has not been peer-reviewed or published and represents limited data from one spot in one year.

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  6. An important article at NatGeo…

    I’d enjoy discussing it. Of particular interest to me is the section where the limitation of climate models to capture permafrost is discussed.

    Article link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2018/08/news-arctic-permafrost-may-thaw-faster-than-expected/

    Here are concluding three paragraphs from the article:

    “The models can’t handle those landscape-scale changes, all of the processes that could lead to rapid change,” says David Lawrence, a permafrost modeler with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. “And it’s going to be a long time before they can.”

    By the time some changes are detected, a significant transition may be underway, he says. That means the public and policymakers may not grasp the real risks.

    “Most models don’t project major carbon releases until beyond 2100,” Walter Anthony says. That may be the case. But it’s also possible, she says, that they “could actually happen in my children’s lifetime—or my own.”

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  7. I suppose timing on these things is relative – we’re in for trouble either way – but IIRC, weren’t there reports just a few years ago predicting that 2C would be crossed by 2030?

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    1. Just a new theme so I could stop paying to slightly change the font color of the old one, honestly. Plus this should cut down on the emails from people complaining that I have no credibility because they can’t read light-on-dark sites easily. I assume I’ll now start getting emails about bleeding eyes, instead.
      If anybody sees something that isn’t working/looking right, let me know.

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  8. Click to access deepadaptation.pdf

    This was dropped on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum recently. And it was summed up in VICE: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vbwpdb/the-climate-change-paper-so-depressing-its-sending-people-to-therapy

    I don’t know if it’s because of the citations of McPherson, Wadhams, etc., but his commentary about his paper comes off, to me, as owing more to the complexes those guys frequently demonstrate – “I’m being persecuted! I’m speaking truth to power! I’m the only one facing the hard truth!” – than anything else. That’s not to say I haven’t, at times, feared assessments like his are right. But I don’t see how it helps fight climate change for individuals with a bit of profile to get caught up in their own narrative.

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    1. It’s unfortunate that McPherson is referenced, though that particular “analysis” is only mentioned in passing. The Wadhams reference is also unfortunate since he can be thought of as the one crying wolf, year after year, though he should know better.

      However, Bendell isn’t a climate scientist. Nor is David Wallace-Wells, whose recent book, The Uninhabitable Earth, also points to a grim future by highlighting those projected outcomes which lie further up the bell curve, though still have a fair chance of coming true, without significant action (and also points out how difficult such action will be). Wallace-Wells also references McPherson though essentially dismisses him.

      I don’t know whether I’m imagining things but I feel there is a kind of dawning realisation that we aren’t going to take action at anything like the scale needed. Paris is fast receding into history and there doesn’t appear to be much political will for real action to meet even those inadequate intended contributions. As each year passes, the steepness of the down curve for emissions, increases markedly and that makes action even more unlikely. And countries still seem to be planning on a more or less business as usual world.

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      1. I’d like to suggest a more positive outcome. While US emissions have spiked since Trump administration took over, they have been going down. China and India’s new coal fleets are being put on hold or won’t be competitive with increasingly lower cost of wind and solar. Grids are being rapidly modernized. Both nations alone could with increasingly aggressive action help Earth meets its Paris commitments to <2C, and even 1.5C. And once you aim for 2C, 1.5C isn’t that much harder. A lot can happen in 11 years with hard work and commitment to taking meaningful and effective multi-leveled actions. The IPCC scenarios mostly suggest coal will be burned to make emissions hit high temp increases. That appears to need serious revision in ongoing IPCC assessments and new scenarios that project pathways at 1.5 and 2.0 in light of RE + storage LCOE prices. Learning curves are dropping costs in double digits yearly, and efficiency is going up as well. With combined disruptive effects, we are looking at an ever rapidly accelerating energy transition dependent on tech and policy progress. In the US despite horrendous Trump federal policy favoring FFs, states and cities are taking leadership and ramping RE+batteries. There were more coal power plant retirements in Trump’s first two years than in Obama’s entire two terms. It’s ‘unstoppable’, as in Bill Nye’s (‘The Science Guy’) book on the topic of energy transition and climate solutions.

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      2. I look at the global picture primarily. There is so much misleading data on individual country data (especially those data which are based on territorial emissions from energy rather than consumption emissions from their economies) that only the global picture is useful to see how we’re faring. As far as I can tell, there is no good news, whatsoever, globally. The best we can hope for is another global economic downturn.

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    2. On deep adaptation “paper”: if it doesn’t pass peer-review something is deeply flawed in it. Ecoextremists like McPherson routinely claim their papers won’t be published because reviewers do not like the conclusions, which is patently false. Just like reviewers who won’t publish climate deniers work, deniers are inspired to create their own “journal” to get their work published. Also, I wouldn’t call 100,000+ reads viral on a non-paper. So much work gets many reads, books sell millions of copies, etc. I for one am deeply adapting that “paper” for the dustbin for not passing basic academic standards.

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      1. That’s a bit premature, Balan. Tim Garrett’s paper took a long time to get published but looks sound. So not passing at the first attempt doesn’t seem like a sufficient reason to dismiss it. However, I don’t regard Bendell’s “paper” as a scientific paper, in any case. There is no new research in there, just an analysis using existing research. David Wallace-Well’s original article, and his subsequent book, are also not peer reviewed (though it has mixed reviews from scientists) but is worth a read.

        It’s clear to me that the best case scenarios, and even the middle scenarios are not likely to be played out. The worse scenarios look closer to what we’re getting and will get. The conservative analyses are not having the desired effect; maybe the more alarmist analyses need to be tried, as it can’t do any less to encourage action.

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      2. Hi, Mike.

        By best-case and middle scenarios, what are you referencing? I’m referencing IPPC scenario pathways which all except one (2.5) assumes massive coal consumption which is now (74%) uncompetitive in USA under Trump. While LNG is picking up some of that, it too is increasingly uncompetitive with REs being 1st choice of preference for most utilities because of zero marginal cost (no fuel costs of fuel cost volatility!). This was not foreseen in IPCC 5th or previous pathways, begging the question, when will it. Of course, still tons of problems – like Brazil opening Amazon to further agribusiness – which must be stopped. Pathogen that’s killed 501 species of frogs. Plastics being produced and consumed and finding their way into oceans. There’s no question we are still in deep doo-doo. But it’s not worst case, or 8.5 scenario pathway in IPCC. Nothing close.

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      3. Balan, I’m referring to the future impacts of climate change. David Wallace-Wells’s position is that we usually hear about the median projections but that the some of the worse projections are still quite possible.

        Zeke Hausfather doesn’t think RCP 8.5 should be completely discounted, though I also don’t think we’re likely to stick to that, since societies would start to crumble part of the way along any of the pathways.

        We don’t need RCP 8.5 to see catastrophic outcomes. We now need something over 10% reductions year on year, to have half a chance (only) of staying within 2 degrees, with still hugely damaging impacts.

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    1. It’s probably the best summary of the state of play I’ve seen, as it comes from a bunch of the most active researchers in the field. A couple of the statements require you to follow the citations for context (e.g. “it increases permafrost carbon release projections by about 50%”) but it’s otherwise a pretty clear read. To look at numbers and get a feel for the amount of warming they’re talking about, you can glance at this 2012 paper. (1 petagram equals 1 billion tons, so no conversion needed.)

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      1. I suppose all I have to say is a question – I can’t quite figure why so many of the areas of rapid thaw on the map they provided would be those farthest north. Even with the loss of sea ice, would those not be the coldest regions?

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      2. That’s a good question… From the ref, it seems like a combination of two things. Those are the low-lying areas of lumpy wetland/lake “thermokarst” terrain that can change rapidly, and the rate of warming is also highest farther north.

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      1. They had another paper this year: https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/9/6/251/htm

        I don’t know if I fully understand…well, almost any of it, but this part in particular:

        “One more issue regards the level of data representativeness and the statistics applied to the analyzed data sets to enable conclusions to be drawn. Very often scientists use statistics of the most common probability distribution, a normal (Gaussian) data distribution. Sometimes they even apply these statistics as filters while collecting data without investigating the nature of the raw data first. As a result, they set a data range by removing outliers; sometimes that can be like throwing the child out with the bath water. Indeed, when one sets 1 SD (or 1 σ) as a data filter, this means that all outliers are removed and only 68% of the data is taken into consideration. Many years ago, when we started our investigation, we collected a limited data set; dissolved CH4 was not detected in most samples due to low instrument precision, and in only one sample did we measure a very high concentration of dissolved CH4 (20 µM). Following the mainstream, we removed this sample from our data set and, as a result, we lost at least five years of expertise, because, as we learned later, that single sample was from a hot spot, which we identified in that location five years later. Other authors have made the same mistake as we did, and removed outliers from the analysis [80,100]. We suggest that no statistical filters be set while collecting the raw data; this allows researchers to consider every data point when investigating the nature of the raw data. Before applying any statistics to a raw data set, it is reasonable to test the data using variable statistical tools and available software to understand which distribution fits best and what statistics is appropriate to apply. When measured values vary many fold or even by orders of magnitude, instead of removing the outlying values, it would be appropriate to divide the data into sub-populations and apply other than normal distribution statistics to the data [19].

        “For example, in [100] the authors reported data from a single data set collected on the joint Russian–Swedish expedition onboard Ice Breaker Oden in 2014 (Figure 9). Based on applied methodology, and despite clearly observed ebullition, they suggested that diffusive fluxes alone can explain observed atmospheric mixing ratios that are slightly elevated in some areas but much less than those reported for shallow inshore areas. However, from the presented data it follows that in the investigated areas of the ESAS all measured concentrations of atmospheric CH4 were above the latitude specific monthly mean of 1.85 ppm and concentrations of CH4 in a majority of the surface water samples were above the saturation level, reaching up to 250 ppm of CH4 (≈400 nM). One of the authors of the current paper participated in the 2014 IB Oden expedition, and all participating researchers began to write the paper later published by [100]. The published authors of [100] reported the atmospheric and aqueous CH4 data sets that were treated in accordance with the authors’ methodology, the shortcomings of which are described below.

        “This methodology was flawed in the following ways. (1) Methods used to measure both atmospheric mixing ratios and concentrations of dissolved CH4 were not calibrated; that is, they did not estimate the time required for sample equilibration before determining the measurement frequency. Because time of equilibration was longer than the time between measurements, they measured unequilibrated samples, and measured levels were lower than they would have been if samples had been allowed to equilibrate. (2) While collecting the raw data, 1 SD from the mean was set as a data filter; as a result, all outliers, which are values of major interest when studying ebullition, were removed and only 68% of the observed values were used for analysis. This corrupted the data range and the applied statistics, because the atmospheric mixing ratios of CH4 in fact varied by up to 4.2 ppm, but the authors only reported variation by up to 2.5 ppm. (3) They interpolated a very limited data set (collected on just one expedition) obtained under very specific conditions—mostly ice-covered water, collected in the outer-shelf area (deep water), along a single ship’s track (which exists in two-dimensional space)—to the entire shelf area (which is a three-dimensional space). After all these questions were raised, the co-author from our team was asked to leave the authors’ team.”

        If I understand this in layman’s terms, they’re claiming that current practice is to apply statistical filters to data collection, and they view this as a mistake because it could mask significant findings. But if that is standard practice, then I would assume any filters applied to data collection are based on many, many runs at collecting raw data with an eye to saving time by weeding out obvious anomalies. If that’s right, would there really be much lost in a study like this?

        And how unusual is it for a co-author to be asked to leave a scientific paper?

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      2. That is… very strange. The airing of grudges usually doesn’t make it through peer review… I wouldn’t attempt to figure out what went on there based on this one-sided depiction.

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      3. Oh, I wasn’t trying to tease out any motives/causes about that bit, just curious. The criticisms about data collection were the bigger question for me.

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      4. Yeah, I just don’t think you can take a combative description of the data collection at face value, so I can only shrug here.

        Identifying outliers is tricky business, and you could definitely end up with people using lousy assumptions. (In a previous job, I once spent a long time arguing with coworkers about why they shouldn’t use normal-distribution stats to identify arsenic contamination in soil…) But it could also be that they had a carefully thought-out justification the angry person is leaving out.

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    1. I’ve spoken with experts on this and found that it doesn’t work without a high carbon price, and it’s better to produce SG with direct electrolysis than with CCS which is expensive.

      On another note, Australian H2 and SG manufactures are looking to scale production over the next two decades to be a huge exporter with cheap and negative pricing of solar which makes it all work. They’ll export to South Korea, Japan and other nations whose geographical features make renewables a challenge.

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  9. https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/research-highlight-loss-arctics-reflective-sea-ice-will-advance-global-warming-25-years

    There’s no link to the actual study; if anyone has that, it’d probably be good to share it. As it is, I can’t tell if they’re talking about summer sea ice or the entire Arctic, year-round, being ice-free. And when they say “advance warming by 25 years,” I feel a little dumb not knowing exactly what that means. Is that supposed to be rapid, “instantaneous” rush?

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    1. Yeah, not a very helpful release. 2C “threshold” talk, too. I found the paper here: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2019GL082914 (pdf: https://sci-hub.tw/10.1029/2019GL082914)
      The scenario is zero sea ice through half the year…
      If you think about the radiative forcing of the emissions scenarios–like RCP8.5 having a human forcing of 8.5 W/m2 in 2100–I think they’re quantifying the added forcing from this hypothetical sea ice change and saying that’s equivalent to the forcing 25 years later in that emissions scenario.

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    1. I love Naomi Oreskes, but I really wish she (and colleagues) would stop forcing this. I think I could spend a long time on this piece… You can’t just cite a few examples where revisions increased a number for physical/technical reasons, circle them all, and claim that it supports your assertions that scientists underestimate (or err on the low side) their findings. HadSST4 didn’t increase SSTs by 0.1C because scientists are afraid of being extremist. It did it because that’s how the number came out when they crunched their latest version of corrections. I mean, it’s a bloody dataset.

      It’s possible there’s an element of natural variability in the currents bringing warmer water to the WAIS ice shelves, but that complication is brushed aside here because they want to say that AR4 got it wrong and everything is “worse than we thought”. AR4 explained its numbers, and explained what was and wasn’t included in one set of numbers or another and why. The fact that further research and future data caused a revision doesn’t automatically mean that AR4 should have spitballed.

      I feel like this argument takes perfectly plausible human tendencies that could be, in reality, having a subtle effect and blames them for the biggest things they can find. Where they draw lessons they think scientists should remind themselves of, that seems perfectly useful. But “it’s worse than they’re saying” is a message that undermines the science, even if they think it’s undermining the deniers. (The deniers don’t care, aren’t paying attention, and are never changing their minds.)

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  10. https://www.catherineingram.com/facingextinction/

    McPherson isn’t mentioned once (though his slogan makes a cameo), and this lacks his mixture of self-pity and messianism, but it seems even more sparse on facts to me. Which is why I was surprised it was cited here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/29/sustainability-expert-michael-mobbs-im-leaving-the-city-to-prep-for-the-apocalypse

    Granted, all I know about Michael Mobbs is this article and a bit of research done after reading it. But I’m a little nervous about this concept of NTHE creeping into the popular press – not because I’m getting convinced of the idea, but because if that idea gets spread around by major media outlets while still divorced from evidence, I’d worry it’ll have a bad effect on efforts to do something about climate change.

    Like

  11. Click to access saunois19essddis.pdf

    This was shared on the Sea Ice Forum recently. Of note:

    “For geological emissions, the most used value has long been 20 Tg CH4 yr-1, relying on expert knowledge and literature synthesis proposed in a workshop reported in Kvenvolden et al. (2001), the author of this study recognising that this was a first estimation and needs revision. Since then, oceanographic campaigns have been organized, especially to sample bubbling areas of active seafloor gas seep bubbling. For instance, Shakhova et al. (2010; 2014) infer 8-17 Tg CH4 yr-1 emissions just for the Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), based on the extrapolation of numerous but local measurements, and possibly related to thawing subseabed permafrost (Shakhova et al., 2015). Because of the highly heterogeneous distribution of dissolved CH4 in coastal regions, where bubbles can most easily reach the atmosphere, extrapolation of in situ local measurements to the global scale can be hazardous and lead to biased global estimates. Indeed, using very precise and accurate continuous land shore-based atmospheric methane observations in the Arctic region, Berchet et al. (2016) found a range of emissions for ESAS of ~2.5 Tg CH4 yr-1 (range [0-5]), 4-8 times lower than Shakhova’s estimates. Such a reduction in ESAS emission estimate has also been inferred from oceanic observations by Thornton et al. (2016a) with a maximum sea-air CH4 flux of 2.9 Tg CH4 yr-1 for this region. Etiope et al. (2019) suggested a minimum global total submarine seepage emissions of 3.9 Tg CH4 yr-1 simply summing published regional emission estimates for 15 areas for identified emission areas (above 7 Tg CH4 yr-1 when extrapolated to include non-measured areas). These recent results, based on different approaches, suggest that the current estimate of 20 Tg CH4 yr-1 is too large and needs revision. Therefore, as discussed in Section 3.2.2, we report here a reduced range of 5-10 Tg CH4 yr-1 for marine geological emissions compared to the previous budget, with a mean value of 7 Tg CH4 yr-1.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This on its face scary discovery is making the rounds at the moment: https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/09/truly-terrifying-scientists-studying-underwater-permafrost-thaw-find-area-arctic

    To put this in context with all the learning I have done here and elsewhere, we do not know if this 50 sq ft (4.65 sq meter) bubbling emissions of CH4 has been active since the last thousand years. The article does not address this point and put it into the larger context. Would anyone care to add to what I am sharing here?

    Cheers,

    Balan

    Like

  13. https://arctic.noaa.gov/Report-Card/Report-Card-2019/ArtMID/7916/ArticleID/844/Permafrost-and-the-Global-Carbon-Cycle

    “A new comprehensive synthesis study of non-summer ecosystem CO2 fluxes across the circumpolar region showed that carbon release during the Arctic winter was 2 to 3 times higher than previously estimated from ground-based measurements (Fig. 3) (Natali et al. 2019). This circumpolar estimate suggests that carbon release in the cold season offsets net carbon uptake during the growing season (derived from models) such that the region as a whole could already be a source of 0.6 Pg C per year to the atmosphere. It was not possible to determine whether these higher flux estimates were a result of changing environmental conditions or the aggregation of more observations during this scarcely observed non-summer period.”

    Would it even be possible to determine whether it was a matter of changing conditions or more observations in the future, given that significant changes are likely anyway?

    Like

    1. And, unrelated – I just noticed that Scott is a science editor for Climate Feedback. Cheers – that site’s a great resource.

      Like

      1. Yeah, I’ve been doing that for about 3 years now, although I’m actually ending my time there soon as I’ve had too much on my plate with increasing teaching opportunities and other work. Glad to hear!

        Like

    2. I would guess there are ways to structure a comparison, possibly including model simulations, that would allow you to get some clarity on that point. Even if there aren’t those winter surface flux measurements, there may be other types of data that can be compared against expectations to see if they’re consistent with one scenario or another. (But I could be wrong.)

      Like

  14. Hi, All.

    This paper by Zeke H. And J. Ritchie at The Breakthrough Institute, funded largely by Bill Gates, I believe, recently published this paper: https://thebreakthrough.org/issues/energy/3c-world

    It came out of a Twitter (“war”) discussion invited by Robert Peilke Jr.’s Forbes article (https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke/2019/12/06/the-incredible-story-of-how-climate-change-became-apocalyptic/#6a9847b2789d ) retweeted by Michael Liebreich am supported in his blog post here: https://about.bnef.com/blog/in-climate-wars-episode-4-the-2020s-will-bring-new-hope/ . There was a lot of push back to central thesis that AR5’s RCP 8.5 is implausible and used as baseline in papers. The article link above is allegedly a middle road compromise and I’d like to explore all possible angles with anyone interested.

    Like

    1. The twitter discussion (sometimes enlightening, sometimes maddening) about RCP8.5 goes back farther than Pielke’s post. What I’ve gotten out of it is that a lot of people (myself included) have not been describing the RCP8.5 scenario as accurately as we could. The phrase “business-as-usual” has led to some sloppy over-simplification, as it’s really a high no-policy scenario and we’ve been treating it as the de facto most likely no-policy scenario. And as we’re coming up on a decade since RCP8.5 was created, it’s time to take stock of the ways the world has changed. These are good things to think about.

      As for Zeke’s Breakthrough article, I’ve been thinking about it a lot with slightly mixed reactions. I’m not sure that I like applying “business-as-usual” to a Paris-agreements-met scenario—it might just be the phrase has lost its ability to communicate what we want it to and we should ditch it. (That’s my plan going forward.) But more importantly, the hard problem is what to say the alternative to action looks like. RCP8.5 was kind of simple in this way, we could talk about available fossil resources and a simple continuation of trends. But if there’s now a structural barrier to emissions that high, we have to start assigning plausibilities to more complex factors. Is RCP6.0 really the new “high” emissions scenario? I’m not comfortable with that yet.

      The one thing I do wish that article was clearer about is the post-2100 picture. RCP6.0 doesn’t eliminate the +4-5C world, it just delays it. Our first-order question is whether warming 1) stops or 2) continues. So the focus has to be not just on warming by 2100, but on date and level of ultimate peak.

      Like

  15. https://phys.org/news/2020-01-climate-gas-highly-overestimate-methane.html

    “The Arctic Ocean is a harsh working environment. That is why many scientific expeditions are conducted in the summer and early autumn months, when the weather and the waters are more predictable. Most extrapolations regarding the amount of methane discharge from the ocean floor, are thus based on observations made in the warmer months.

    “‘This means that the present climate gas calculations are disregarding the possible seasonal temperature variations. We have found that seasonal differences in bottom water temperatures in the Arctic Ocean vary from 1.7°C in May to 3.5°C in August. The methane seeps in colder conditions decrease emissions by 43 percent in May compared to August.’ says oceanographer Benedicte Ferré, researcher at CAGE Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.”

    Like

  16. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-02-03/climate-models-are-running-red-hot-and-scientists-don-t-know-why

    “In all, as many as a fifth of new results published in the last year have come in with anomalously high climate sensitivity. There are dozens still left to report, and their results will determine whether these grim forecasts are outliers or significant findings.”

    The wording on this was a little confusing to me, especially since the graphic right above it only lists seven models. Just how many of these new models are out at this point, and what exactly do they mean by “as many as” 1/5?

    Like

  17. S E A R E S E A R C H S O C I E T Y ‘ S A P P E A L T O
    T H E G O V E R N M E N T S W O R L D – W I D E :

    WORLD GOVERNMENTS MUST LEARN FROM CORONAVIRUS EMISSIONS SHUTDOWN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

    Global Circulation Models (GCMs) are computer models of the world’s atmosphere based on observations and assumptions if there are no direct information available. World emissions shutdowns are a novel opportunity to learn about how climate system responds under different circumstances that cannot be normally experimentally checked. It is vitally important for the world’s governments not to shut down meteorological measurements. Indeed, efforts must increase to use opportunity to test and search regional responses of the highly unusual situation. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and national meteorological organisations must quickly come up with new research proposals to gain every possible bit of information as this helps to understand how world’s climate will respond as the world moves towards ZERO emissions. It is a tremendous tragedy if this unique opportunity to find more about how our atmosphere operates is lost. We do not foresee many situations like this rising when large world regions turn their lights off one after another. Modelling SO2, N2O, O3, CFC, CO2, CH4, CO shut downs.

    Sponsors, please look at serious proposals to make research offers right now!
    Let’s make something positive happen out of this coronavirus calamity.

    Veli Albert Kallio
    Vice President, Sea Research Society
    Environmental Affairs Department
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Research_Society

    This was posted on the Sea Ice Forum without a link to the statement. I understand how a (relatively speaking) short-lived shutdown could generate a lot of information about aerosols, but what kind of data would research like this bee looking for on CO2 and CH4? I wouldn’t think that a few months, or even a few years, of reduced economic activity could add much to what’s already known about the effects of their emission or decline.

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    1. I suppose it would be possible to, say, get a slightly different estimate of natural methane emissions if oil production were to ramp down by a known amount? But yeah, I’d mainly expect some papers on aerosols and local air pollution, as there were with air travel post-9/11.

      Like

      1. The university press release Balan linked is better than the Guardian story… But even the Guardian story notes that this was not suggested to be a consequence of warming. The paper explains this is in an area close to Mt. Erebus with a higher geothermal heat flow, which may or may not be related. It’s a “that’s interesting, we know very little about these things in this place” story rather than a “oh my god this will make climate change worse” story.

        Like

      2. Hey, there. I’d say that it’s an important new area of study that should be given generous research funds to further understand CH4 seepage in Antarctica. Remember that ice on land is like 5 km thick and CH4 seepage may be limited and take hundreds to thousands of years to seep making it a non-emergency. However, when added with cumulative emissions elsewhere, it’s hard to really know until more research is completed. I’m hopeful about satellite monitoring of all global emissions in real time, and other upcoming satellites that can monitor a Earth systems better:

        https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/energy-and-environment/2020/7/16/21324662/climate-change-air-pollution-tracking-greenhouse-gas-emissions-trace-coalition

        Like

  18. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/faulty-science-doomism-and-flawed-conclusions-deep-adaptation/

    “Why is it important to deconstruct Deep Adaptation now, in the midst of a global pandemic? In short, the fatal verdict handed down by Deep Adaptation brings with it a bundle of personal and strategic implications with the potential to cripple us as a movement…Where Deep Adaptation implies that scientific understanding can no longer save us from catastrophe, COVID-19 has shown the critical importance of science-based policy. Where Deep Adaptation backs away from questions of equity and distribution in the face of disaster, COVID has shown that (in)justice only becomes more important under such circumstances…The coronavirus pandemic may open a window for policy shifts to begin an equitable transition away from our carbon based economy — in which case we cannot allow a faulty quasi-ideology like Deep Adaptation to mislead us.”

    The forum connected to the Arctic Sea Ice blog has (my impression, at least) been trending toward the Deep Adaptation mentality since new management took over; one would probably get a lot of Twitteresque disdain thrown one’s way for posting this in response to a DA post.

    Like

    1. Thanks for posting this Will and monitoring Arctic Sea Ice blog, as I’ve not done so for ages. It’s worthy to continue keeping a close eye going forward, until it’s not. I’m starting to notice some pushback on so-called Deep Adaptation, which seems to me, rather, deep adaptation to willful ignorance. It’s important, in my view, to drill down on the meaning of “Deep Adaptation” and that any rational and sensible approach must abide by and integrate best-in-class scientific understanding, as COVID19 response demonstrates vividly. There are countless others.

      From review of openDemocracy’s 2019 annual report, they have not covered the climate before and it is new for them. Their 2020+ strategic plan mentions “climate” once and within the context of many other issues. Overall, it appears openDemocracy means well in their good work, but it is just inexperienced. I should add that it’s typical for indy media outlets to be easily hoodwinked by sociopaths like McPherson or crackpots such as Carana because they just don’t know better yet. It’s up to folks like us to inform them of our own experience, show them the data, so they can come to their own informed conculsions.

      Like

    1. I started contacting researchers for a fact-check of the Guardian article about this yesterday. Hopefully we’ll have that up tomorrow or Friday: https://climatefeedback.org/feedbacks/

      In the meantime, you can see some discussion on Twitter:

      Liked by 1 person

  19. https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/07/heres-what-climate-scientists-are-really-saying-about-this-catastrophic-summer/

    I’ve been trying to moderate how much time I spend reading the news over the last few months, so the coverage of the heat waves in the US and flooding in Europe didn’t register as more than the (unfortunately) standard level of climate stories. Now that I’ve run into a few pieces like this, and the recent finding about areas of the Amazon going from source to sink, I am nervous and curious – to what extent among scientists is there a sense that there’s been a shift in severity or expected timetables, and would that extend to the rate of feedbacks like Arctic carbon?

    Like

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