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Conspiracy theories surrounding human influenced climate change, what's up with that?


Off-Topic Discussions

2,551 to 2,585 of 2,585 << first < prev | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | next > last >>

Quark Blast wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

You haven't actually asserted anything about my main point. You've gone off on a tangent on an irrelevant detail.

Prove me wrong. Tell me how arriving at a different definition of "species" will mean that humans survive the heat death of the universe. Remember, your definition should be complete, scientifically valid, AND you've got to show conclusive proof that something survives the heat death of the universe. I'm not sure how you're going to do it. It seems like a strange hill to make your stand on, but you've claimed it.

WTF?

Sorry, can't help.*

* Not certain of many things but this one is a lock.

This is why I was really confused. I made a comment about how the heat death of the universe will almost assuredly result in the destruction of the human species... and you chimed in that it matters how we define species.

It seemed like a really silly distinction to make, but you've spent over a page insisting this is a really important one. Are you backing off of it? Or holding strong?


CBDunkerson wrote:

Clear cutting rainforests is a massive problem for a host of reasons unrelated to climate change.

As climate change goes it is a middling level issue. Replacing all the carbon 'locked up' in those trees with smaller amounts held in agriculture and other 'developed' land uses would increase atmospheric greenhouse gas levels... but the amount is paltry compared to fossil fuel burning. If fossil fuel emissions are reduced to near zero then we will end global warming... whether the rainforests survive or not.

So no, human industrial emissions of greenhouse gases are not 'less a problem'. In terms of global warming, they are the only problem that really matters. Every other factor contributing to global warming is far smaller and more manageable. Industrial emissions is the "problem that must be fixed"... without that, covering the entire planet with forest land would be "nothing but stalling".

Think of it as single step vs cumulative. Fossil fuel emissions are cumulative... the longer they go on the more greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. Converting to/from forest land is a one time change... it shifts the size of the 'carbon reservoir' on that land, but once that reservoir fills up there is no ongoing cumulative impact. You're adding an extra bucket (i.e. more forest land) below a leaky pipe rather than turning the water off (i.e. emissions).

You misinterpreted me. The rainforests are a, if not the major provider of planetary oxygen. And how do they do that? By changing co2 into oxygen. The rainforests are a major part of consuming the co2 in the air, thus it is the rainforests that have the single greatest ability to recover from too much co2 (heck, the rainforest probably loves being inundated with plenty of it).

I don't care about carbon lockup, I care about converting co2 into oxygen, and the rainforests are the major player there.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

Clear cutting rainforests is a massive problem for a host of reasons unrelated to climate change.

As climate change goes it is a middling level issue. Replacing all the carbon 'locked up' in those trees with smaller amounts held in agriculture and other 'developed' land uses would increase atmospheric greenhouse gas levels... but the amount is paltry compared to fossil fuel burning. If fossil fuel emissions are reduced to near zero then we will end global warming... whether the rainforests survive or not.

So no, human industrial emissions of greenhouse gases are not 'less a problem'. In terms of global warming, they are the only problem that really matters. Every other factor contributing to global warming is far smaller and more manageable. Industrial emissions is the "problem that must be fixed"... without that, covering the entire planet with forest land would be "nothing but stalling".

Think of it as single step vs cumulative. Fossil fuel emissions are cumulative... the longer they go on the more greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. Converting to/from forest land is a one time change... it shifts the size of the 'carbon reservoir' on that land, but once that reservoir fills up there is no ongoing cumulative impact. You're adding an extra bucket (i.e. more forest land) below a leaky pipe rather than turning the water off (i.e. emissions).

You misinterpreted me. The rainforests are a, if not the major provider of planetary oxygen. And how do they do that? By changing co2 into oxygen. The rainforests are a major part of consuming the co2 in the air, thus it is the rainforests that have the single greatest ability to recover from too much co2 (heck, the rainforest probably loves being inundated with plenty of it).

I don't care about carbon lockup, I care about converting co2 into oxygen, and the rainforests are the major player there.

Rainforests are big contributors, but oceanic phytoplankton is the main player. Roughly half the oxygen comes from plankton. All land sources, including rainforests, split what's left.

Liberty's Edge

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

You misinterpreted me. The rainforests are a, if not the major provider of planetary oxygen. And how do they do that? By changing co2 into oxygen. The rainforests are a major part of consuming the co2 in the air, thus it is the rainforests that have the single greatest ability to recover from too much co2 (heck, the rainforest probably loves being inundated with plenty of it).

I don't care about carbon lockup, I care about converting co2 into oxygen, and the rainforests are the major player there.

No, I understand what you are saying... but you aren't thinking through how the carbon cycle works.

Yes, trees (and other plants) 'convert' CO2 to O2... which means that they take out the carbon molecule... which they use to grow. They therefore 'lock up' that carbon within their physical form... until they die and release the carbon back in to the environment.

Basically, the carbon which plants take out of the atmosphere does not just 'disappear'. It is temporarily sequestered within the plant until it dies. A forest thus represents a 'reservoir' of carbon rather than an ongoing 'CO2 scrubber' as you seem to imagine. Assuming the forest remains the same size, the amount of carbon it holds remains roughly constant as old trees die and new ones grow... it keeps a fixed amount of carbon out of the atmosphere rather than removing ever increasing amounts. The difference between a planet covered in trees vs asphalt is a fixed amount of carbon... not a rate of atmospheric carbon reduction.

Also, as thejeff notes, ocean organisms produce more oxygen than land-based plants. They also tend to get eaten by creatures which, when they die, often sink and sequester their carbon on the bottom of the ocean. This makes them much better than trees at reducing atmospheric CO2 levels... though they'd still require hundreds of thousands of years to offset a shift comparable to what humans have done in the last 100.


A healthy ecosystem, however, is generally Carbon-neutral overall. Managed forests might not be, but it's questionable how effective they'd be at sequestering Carbon.


This

Quote:
So when wind pulls warm water up from down deep, the temperature difference experienced at the interface of the water and ice can effectively submerse the glacier in a hot bath, with some areas experiencing more than a 10-fold increase in melt rate.

In reference to this - Complete Bed Topography and OceanBathymetry Mapping of Greenland From MultibeamEcho Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

Is one of those previously un-modeled feedback loops. Ya gotta know there are dozens more - some regional, some global in impact.

===========================================================================

New NASA Maps Have Very Bad News For Greenland

Quote:

On Wednesday, in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, a team of NASA scientists together with collaborators from over 30 institutions published the most accurate high-resolution maps of Greenland’s bedrock and coastal seafloor, using data from NASA’s OMG campaign — short for Ocean Melting Greenland, but apt for describing its scary findings. The maps revealed some terrible news for the country’s 54,100 inhabitants: While scientists had long known that some of the glaciers comprising the icy landmass were melting because of climate change, it now appears that up to four times the original number of glaciers are under threat.

Greenland's coasts are lined with glaciers, some of which extend into the warmer waters deep in the ocean.
These results suggest that Greenland’s ice is more threatened by changing climate than we had anticipated,” said Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Josh Willis, who wasn’t involved in making the maps, in a statement from NASA.

'More than anticipated'? What?! Climate models were proven critically inaccurate yet again? Crazy! Who would've guessed that?

===========================================================================

CSSR's NCA4 Vol. 1 Report

CSSR wrote:

Global mean atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration has now passed 400 ppm, a level that last occurred about 3 million years ago, when global average temperature and sea level were significantly higher than today (high confidence). Continued growth in CO2 emissions over this century and beyond would lead to an atmospheric concentration not experienced in tens of millions of years (medium confidence). The present-day emissions rate of nearly 10 GtC per year suggests that there is no climate analog for this century any time in at least the last 50 million years (medium confidence).

The observed increase in global carbon emissions over the past 15–20 years has been consistent with higher scenarios (very high confidence). In 2014 and 2015, emission growth rates slowed as economic growth has become less carbon-intensive (medium confidence). Even if this trend continues, however, it is not yet at a rate that would limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels (high confidence).

Roughly speaking, if humans cannot get into something equivalent to negative CO2 emissions by 2050 the year 2100 will be really ugly. If we cannot get to zero emissions by 2030 a +2.5°C year 2100 is a minimal guarantee.

CSSR wrote:

Annual average temperature over the contiguous United States is projected to rise (very high confidence). Increases of about 2.5°F (1.4°C) are projected for the period 2021–2050 relative to 1976–2005 in all RCP scenarios, implying recent record-setting years may be “common” in the next few decades (high confidence). Much larger rises are projected by late century (2071–2100): 2.8°–7.3°F (1.6°–4.1°C) in a lower scenario (RCP4.5) and 5.8°–11.9°F (3.2°–6.6°C) in the higher scenario (RCP8.5) (high confidence).

Achieving global greenhouse gas emissions reductions before 2030 consistent with targets and actions announced by governments in the lead up to the 2015 Paris climate conference would hold open the possibility of meeting the long-term temperature goal of limiting global warming to 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels, whereas there would be virtually no chance if net global emissions followed a pathway well above those implied by country announcements. Actions in the announcements are, by themselves, insufficient to meet a 3.6°F (2°C) goal; the likelihood of achieving that goal depends strongly on the magnitude of global emissions reductions after 2030. (High confidence)

Stabilizing global mean temperature to less than 3.6°F (2°C) above preindustrial levels requires substantial reductions in net global CO2 emissions prior to 2040 relative to present-day values and likely requires net emissions to become zero or possibly negative later in the century. After accounting for the temperature effects of non-CO2 species, cumulative global CO2 emissions must stay below about 800 GtC in order to provide a two-thirds likelihood of preventing 3.6°F (2°C) of warming. Given estimated cumulative emissions since 1870, no more than approximately 230 GtC may be emitted in the future to remain under this temperature threshold. Assuming global emissions are equal to or greater than those consistent with the RCP4.5 scenario, this cumulative carbon threshold would be exceeded in approximately two decades. (High confidence)

Note: The RCP4.5 scenario is the "lower" CO2 emissions scenario. Also note: This report was written from a "optimist" perspective. I consider mine to be a "realist" perspective. Although some of the tipping point scenarios really can't be seen as anything but "pessimistic".

CSSR wrote:

Positive feedbacks (self-reinforcing cycles) within the climate system have the potential to accelerate human-induced climate change and even shift the Earth’s climate system, in part or in whole, into new states that are very different from those experienced in the recent past (for example, ones with greatly diminished ice sheets or different large-scale patterns of atmosphere or ocean circulation). Some feedbacks and potential state shifts can be modeled and quantified; others can be modeled or identified but not quantified; and some are probably still unknown. (Very high confidence in the potential for state shifts and in the incompleteness of knowledge about feedbacks and potential state shifts).

While climate models incorporate important climate processes that can be well quantified, they do not include all of the processes that can contribute to feedbacks, compound extreme events, and abrupt and/or irreversible changes. For this reason, future changes outside the range projected by climate models cannot be ruled out (very high confidence). Moreover, the systematic tendency of climate models to underestimate temperature change during warm paleoclimates suggests that climate models are more likely to underestimate than to overestimate the amount of long-term future change (medium confidence).

Unknown but "highly likely" un-modeled positive feedback loops will hammer anything less than exceeding the Paris Agreement CO2 targets/actions several times over. Tipping points are no fun, let me tell you.


And this general topic come up again and again - different studies, different countries... same conclusion.

It must be true right?

If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef

The Atlantic" wrote:
Recently Harwatt and a team of scientists from Oregon State University, Bard College, and Loma Linda University calculated just what would happen if every American made one dietary change: substituting beans for beef. They found that if everyone were willing and able to do that—hypothetically—the U.S. could still come close to meeting its 2020 greenhouse-gas emission goals, pledged by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Personally I could go without pork as I hardly ever elect to eat it now but the findings of this study doesn't surprise me. I think it was my 8th grade science teacher that harped on this topic - that global climate would be a non-issue except for humanity's penchant for over-indulgence in sustenance.

I must say though until today I had not heard of this solution to mitigating climate change. I could say more on this one but whatever I post here doesn't matter anyway and this particular topic is more likely than not to illicit unhelpful commentary. LOL


All of the talking points in that article concerning population growth are outdated and based on information that is no longer true.

The US, Brazil, Mexico are below replacement levels of births. In fact, the majority of countries in North and South America are below replacement level. Just a handful of countries are over the 2.2 threshhold, and they're all pretty small. Only 4 countries are even above the children per woman mark, French Guiana, Haiti, Bolivia and Guatemala, and zero countries are above the 4 children/woman mark.

Liberty's Edge

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Study suggests that 100% renewable electricity by 2050 is not just possible, but already happening... because it costs less

Given that they are projecting ~80% of the reduction in emissions by 2030, and then slowly tapering off to zero over the subsequent 20 years, it should only take a few more years to see whether they are on target or not. Overall their results seem feasible to me. There is only significant resistance to the renewable transition in a handful of countries, and even there fossil fuel interests are clearly losing.


CB,

I'm sure my home state will declare this a War on Coal...


Mysterious Radioactive Cloud Over Europe Hints At Accident Farther East


Now I'm ready to throw out the Archer quote about "Do you want Mutants? Cause this is how you get mutants!"


In answer to the OP statement...

Climate change has happened and will happen if humans are on this earth or not.

My best guess as to why scientists are saying that we can actually have any effect on climate change is to give a bit of hope.

If the northern hemisphere gets plunged into another ice age, as it had several times before without our help, and Europe gets covered in a thick ice sheet I'm willing to bet things will get very interesting.


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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Now I'm ready to throw out the Archer quote about "Do you want Mutants? Cause this is how you get mutants!"

Don't worry, the risk is small :)

Liberty's Edge

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Spacelard wrote:
Climate change has happened and will happen if humans are on this earth or not.

Forest fires have happened and will happen if humans are on this earth or not.

That doesn't change the fact that we can point to specific forest fires and prove that humans caused them. Ditto climate changes.

Spacelard wrote:
My best guess as to why scientists are saying that we can actually have any effect on climate change is to give a bit of hope.

Or, because, you know... it is simply observed reality that we can and indeed, have.

Quote:
If the northern hemisphere gets plunged into another ice age, as it had several times before without our help, and Europe gets covered in a thick ice sheet I'm willing to bet things will get very interesting.

No worries. Barring some massive unforeseen change (e.g. asteroid strike, invention of global CO2 scrubbing, etc) the next glaciation has already been called off. We have already increased atmospheric CO2 levels to the point that we'll skip the next glacial cycle... nothing to worry about for the next ~100,000 years.


World Population Growth

^This outlines the near future of humanity. Say the next 150 years or so. Does not look good without nuclear fusion.

And remember, if we clean up our gas-guzzling ways and otherwise scrub out the atmospheric pollutants from our activities we will add +0.5°C to the AGW total; then another +0.5°C when jet airliners become too expensive to be commercially viable and humanity stops making contrails.

Added to what we've already measured and that makes for net +2.5°C over preindustrial times minimum.

Liberty's Edge

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Quark Blast wrote:
Does not look good without nuclear fusion.

...or various forms of clean power which are already commercially viable.

Quote:
Added to what we've already measured and that makes for net +2.5°C over preindustrial times minimum.

You are mistaking 'minimum' and 'maximum'.

Those are worst case estimates that relatively few scientists subscribe to.


The reason we need fusion is we need more energy than is practical from solar and wind sourced systems to sequester atmospheric CO2 (as carbonate) as fast as we possibly can.

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

Ripple et al wrote:
Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse (figure 1, file S1). Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels (Hansen et al. 2013), deforestation (Keenan et al. 2015), and agricultural production — particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption (Ripple et al. 2014). Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.

You see humans aren't very good at doing what they know they should. That lazy habit is the only thing you can count on humanity as a whole to always follow through on.

We knew as plain as could be 25 years ago what we as a species needed to do and (with the exception of upper atmospheric ozone depletion) every single indicator has gotten alarmingly worse, not better.

CB wrote:

You are mistaking 'minimum' and 'maximum'.

Those are worst case estimates that relatively few scientists subscribe to.

No, the +2.5°C over preindustrial times is the minimum.

And you may be technically right that there are "few scientists" subscribing to it but that's because most scientists are specialists and aren't in the habit of reading across all relevant literature and seeing how all the little "manageable" numbers add up to one BIG "oh ####!" number.

Hard to have a considered opinion on things one has not considered.


Quote:
You see humans aren't very good at doing what they know they should. That lazy habit is the only thing you can count on humanity as a whole to always follow through on.

A large part of this is not human nature, but culture and education. I.E. the Prussian education system which is certainly a cliche model for education.

Liberty's Edge

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Quark Blast wrote:
The reason we need fusion is we need more energy than is practical from solar and wind sourced systems to sequester atmospheric CO2 (as carbonate) as fast as we possibly can.

No. We don't. Solar and/or wind could easily cover all of our energy needs needs many times over... especially with hydro-electric and/or existing nuclear fission helping out. They can also be deployed more quickly than any of the other major power sources.

What is not practical is saying that we instead need to use a technology which does not even exist... nuclear fusion power generation. Most fusion reactors require more energy to run than they produce. The few lab prototypes that get around THAT little problem can do so only because they are small scale and prohibitively expensive.

Quote:
You see humans aren't very good at doing what they know they should. That lazy habit is the only thing you can count on humanity as a whole to always follow through on.

True. Which is why it is good that solar and wind are the cheapest forms of electrical production for many parts of the world, and will soon be so nearly everywhere. They will be adopted not because people are enlightened and look out for the long term benefit of the species and the planet as a whole, but rather because doing so will be the cheapest and easiest option.

Quote:
No, the +2.5°C over preindustrial times is the minimum.

If we accept that we are currently at about +1.5°C over preindustrial times (estimates vary, largely based on how 'preindustrial' is defined) then yes, we likely will eventually get to +2.5°C without further emissions due to slow feedbacks like ice albedo (i.e. Antarctic ice slowly melting over thousands of years and exposing darker land beneath which absorbs more sunlight and results in additional warming).

However, your claim that removal of two fast forcings, atmospheric particulates from fossil fuels and jet contrails, would each cause a minimum +0.5°C additional net warming is nonsense. If you believe otherwise, please feel free to cite a source.

In reality, there is still considerable debate over what the NET impact of these factors even is. Yes, particulates from fossil fuels block incoming sunlight from reaching the ground and thus cause cooling... but they also settle on snow and ice, darkening them and thus cause warming. Ditto for contrails... they block both incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared. The net effect of removing these factors could be anywhere from negligible COOLING up to the +1°C warming you claim as a minimum.

Quote:

And you may be technically right that there are "few scientists" subscribing to it but that's because most scientists are specialists and aren't in the habit of reading across all relevant literature and seeing how all the little "manageable" numbers add up to one BIG "oh ####!" number.

Hard to have a considered opinion on things one has not considered.

More fiction. There have been numerous studies, going back decades now, looking at all known factors to sort out the net impacts. A brief summary of the various anthropogenic forcings from the last IPCC report can be found here.


The Economist lead with this story recently.

What they don’t tell you about climate change

The Economist wrote:

Whether any of these technologies can do the job in time is unknown. All of them are very expensive and none is proven at scale. Persuading Earth’s swelling population to plant an India’s worth of new trees or crops to produce energy, as the climate simulations require, looks highly improbable. Changing agricultural practices would be cheaper, but scientists doubt that this would suck up enough CO2 even to offset the greenhouse gases released by farming...

Setting a price high enough to encourage negative {CO2} emissions would asphyxiate the economy...

Taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is not an alternative to belching out less greenhouse gas. It is necessary in its own right. Unless policymakers take negative emissions seriously, the promises of Paris will ring ever more hollow.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Then there's this: Diving Scientists Report Big Changes Beneath Antarctic Ice Shelf

SA wrote:

Scientists diving beneath sea ice at the edge of Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf have discovered unexpected changes in the seafloor ecosystem compared to previous studies of the same area, and they think the thinning of the ice shelf caused by climate change may be to blame.

"Surprisingly big changes in the coastal seafloor communities have occurred in only a few years," Patrick Degerman, one of three researchers from Finland on the expedition along with six from New Zealand, wrote in a dispatch from the team's camp on the ice shelf near New Harbour in the Ross Sea.

Yes, there's another discovery not factored accurately into global climate models (if at all). The study results seen so far might even be a harbinger of good things. Feedback loops and changes that can mitigate AGW. Or maybe not. We don't know and if the likes of Stephen Wolfram and Stuart Kaufman are right, we can never know via modeling. We just have to watch it happen in real time.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

CB wrote:
Solar and/or wind could easily cover all of our energy needs needs many times over... especially with hydro-electric and/or existing nuclear fission helping out. They can also be deployed more quickly than any of the other major power sources.

Except nothing like the quantity of solar power generation that is needed will be produced in the time needed and have that energy production devoted to Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).

CB wrote:
... it is good that solar and wind are the cheapest forms of electrical production for many parts of the world, and will soon be so nearly everywhere. They will be adopted not because people are enlightened and look out for the long term benefit of the species and the planet as a whole, but rather because doing so will be the cheapest and easiest option.

But if about half the world's electricity generation isn't dedicated to CCS by 2030 we don't have a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal.

Which is to say, we don't have a chance.

CB wrote:
If we accept that we are currently at about +1.5°C over preindustrial times (estimates vary, largely based on how 'preindustrial' is defined) then yes, we likely will eventually get to +2.5°C without further emissions due to slow feedbacks like ice albedo...

And by "eventually" you mean the year 2100, right?

Throughout this whole thread that's the year I've been prognosticating for a +2.5°C over preindustrial average global temperature.

CB wrote:
However, your claim that removal of two fast forcings, atmospheric particulates from fossil fuels and jet contrails, would each cause a minimum +0.5°C additional net warming is nonsense. If you believe otherwise, please feel free to cite a source.

I did cite sources. Many times up thread.

Or limber up and try your Google Fu.

CB wrote:
In reality, there is still considerable debate over what the NET impact of these factors even is. Yes, particulates from fossil fuels block incoming sunlight from reaching the ground and thus cause cooling... but they also settle on snow and ice, darkening them and thus cause warming. Ditto for contrails... they block both incoming sunlight and outgoing infrared. The net effect of removing these factors could be anywhere from negligible COOLING up to the +1°C warming you claim as a minimum.

Even thejeff backed me up on the +0.5°C when jet contrails go away. We had a nice global experiment the week of 9/11/2001. No jet flights the world over for 4+ days. Then several months of study = result that jet contrails contribute net 0.5°C cooling on the global scale. And with the increase in jet travel since 2001, I'd say that 0.5°C cooling effect is now a low estimate.

Particulates from general human activities, because those sources are largely confined to the lower atmosphere, is about the same impact as jet contrails.

CB wrote:
There have been numerous studies, going back decades now, looking at all known factors to sort out the net impacts.

By "known factors" you mean things like what my link to The Economist and Scientific American covered? Or many of the scores of other links I've provided up thread?

You see, "known factors" is just the issue I'm getting at.

What we do know is that all relevant known factors aren't known because we keep discovering them as AGW changes the Earth's climate.

Look up the work of Stephen Wolfram and Stuart Kaufman as it relates to complex systems like the global climate. We have three sources of not knowing.

1) Not knowing from our simple ignorance (undiscovered feedback loops and the like)

2) Sensitive dependence of the system parameters that we hope to model (where we can't even in principle measure carefully enough to produce accurate models)

3) Computational irreducibility (some things... well, some things you just can't calculate however well you can measure them)


And this. I have to share this.

Building a Modern Campus - Microsoft

Microsoft wrote:
Next fall, we will break ground on a multi-year campus refresh project that will include 18 new buildings, 6.7 million square feet of renovated workspace, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space.

Look at all the solar panels... oh wait, there aren't any! WHT Microsoft!!

:(

At least Apple came through for us.
Apple Spaceship - Largest Office Building on Earth


For the record, my backing him up on the contrails thing consisted of:

Quote:

It's true. At least as a short term effect. Though it's a little trickier than that. Contrails from daylight flight reflect more sun and lower temperature. Nighttime travel blocks radiating warmth and thus actually raises the temperature.

It also has a much dimished effect, if any, when it's already cloudy.

All that ignores the longer term effects. The contrail effect is likely minimal and definitely transient compared to the effects of the carbon emitted by burning all the jet fuel needed to produce them.

Without digging back into whatever sources I found then, I can't say whether I was agree with the numbers or just the basic concept. Several other posters also pointed out reasons why that experiment might not be generalizable worldwide.

The Exchange

Quark, you made a statement earlier about most scientists being specialist who don't cross reference information.

I doubt you know many professional scientists from that statement.

Reading current as well as past literature to cross reference it's relevance to the work being done is actually part of the job description of a scientist. They all do it.

There's no faster way to shoot your career in the foot as a scientist than publish something that has already been disproven and you didn't bother to check.

So, if there's something published that most scientists don't subscribe to, then that's because it's probably bad science, not because they haven't read it.

The Exchange

Quark Blast wrote:

And this. I have to share this.

Building a Modern Campus - Microsoft

Microsoft wrote:
Next fall, we will break ground on a multi-year campus refresh project that will include 18 new buildings, 6.7 million square feet of renovated workspace, $150 million in transportation infrastructure improvements, public spaces, sports fields and green space.

Look at all the solar panels... oh wait, there aren't any! WHT Microsoft!!

:(

At least Apple came through for us.
Apple Spaceship - Largest Office Building on Earth

And in this one you're getting upset because the computer simulation hasn't put solar panels in. Can you find me many computer simulations of building projects where the solar panels are shown?

That's not even taking into consideration that Microsoft may in fact embrace some of the newest solar energy capturing technology in the form of thin sheet plastics capable of covering your windows or any surface exposed to sunlight. He'll, with that technology even the covered walkways they show in the video can be hooked up. They just need effective wiring and storage systems in place to ensure all those cells work together. Again, probably something a company like Microsoft can handle easily enough.


CBDunkerson wrote:
However, your claim that removal of two fast forcings, atmospheric particulates from fossil fuels and jet contrails, would each cause...

You're arguing this with someone who has repeatedly claimed that modeling cannot possibly be accurate, but continuously cites models to back up his claims.

Liberty's Edge

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Quark Blast wrote:
Except nothing like the quantity of solar power generation that is needed will be produced in the time needed...

Why?

Which of the facts below do you disagree with?

1: There is more power available from solar every year than there is total from all fossil fuels combined.
2: New solar power plants can be deployed more quickly than any other type of plant of comparable capacity.
3: Solar power will soon cost less than any other energy source nearly everywhere.

If you accept these facts, then how is solar not the fastest/most abundant power source available?

Quote:
...and have that energy production devoted to Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS).

Given that solar power does not produce carbon emissions there would indeed be none for it to capture and sequester.

Quote:
But if about half the world's electricity generation isn't dedicated to CCS by 2030 we don't have a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal.

CCS is a theoretical (i.e. not currently existing) technology involving capture of carbon from fossil fuel plants before it is released to the atmosphere. Optimistic estimates have it capturing 80% of carbon emissions. So, 50% of power generation having CCS would mean a roughly 40% emissions reduction by 2030.

Whereas all production switched to solar power would have zero emissions. So again, why is CCS better than solar?

Quote:
And by "eventually" you mean the year 2100, right?

Is 2100 "thousands of years" from now? No? Then you ought to have been able to work out that clearly wasn't what I meant.

To be clear, slow feedbacks (like Antarctica melting out), which could raise temperatures another degree even without further CO2 emissions, would take thousands of years to do so.

It is extremely unlikely, but just barely possible at the extreme upper end of estimates, that we could see another degree of warming by 2100 without further CO2 emissions.

Of course, since we obviously will have further emissions this is all largely moot.

Quote:
Even thejeff backed me up on the +0.5°C when jet contrails go away. We had a nice global experiment the week of 9/11/2001. No jet flights the world over for 4+ days. Then several months of study = result that jet contrails contribute net 0.5°C cooling on the global scale. And with the increase in jet travel since 2001, I'd say that 0.5°C cooling effect is now a low estimate.

Oh. YOU would say. So that's your 'scientific' basis? A single study of a one off event and your own extrapolation from there.

Yes, there was a study after 9/11 which suggested that contrails could be causing as much as 0.5°C warming at the high end. However, that was inconsistent with most prior and subsequent research. In short you are taking the highest end estimate of the highest end outlying study and recasting it as the minimum.


”Wrath” wrote:

Quark, you made a statement earlier about most scientists being specialist who don't cross reference information.

I doubt you know many professional scientists from that statement.
Reading current as well as past literature to cross reference it's relevance to the work being done is actually part of the job description of a scientist. They all do it.
There's no faster way to shoot your career in the foot as a scientist than publish something that has already been disproven and you didn't bother to check.
So, if there's something published that most scientists don't subscribe to, then that's because it's probably bad science, not because they haven't read it.
”Stephen Wolfram” wrote:

One might have thought that in the literature of traditional science new models would be proposed all the time. But in fact the vast majority of what is done in practically every field of science involves not developing new models but rather accumulating experimental data or working out consequences of existing models.

And among the models that have been used almost all those that have gone beyond the level of being purely descriptive have ended up being formulated in very much the same kind of way: typically as collections of mathematical equations.

What he’s getting at is that systems in nature aren’t generally well modeled by “collections of mathematical equations”.

The vast majority of current climate models are nothing if not a huge pile of equations. Unfortunately the global atmosphere doesn’t operate like a bunch of math equations and so the models are surprisingly fragile when pitted against actual climate.

Wrath, what I said about scientists was, “most scientists are specialists and aren't in the habit of reading across all relevant literature”. By “relevant literature” I mean something Wolfram gets at obliquely a little earlier in his book, talking about his own search of published papers.

”Stephen Wolfram” wrote:
But scattered around the literature – in various corners of physics, chemistry, biology and elsewhere – I have managed to find at least some cases…

Note: Dr. Wolfram is a mathematician, computer scientist, and (once) a theoretical physicist. Not a biologist. Not a chemist. Etc. Yet, yet!, he has read widely and deeply across these and many other fields. Darn few scientists do anything like what he or Stuart Kauffman have done (and do regularly!) in preparing their work for publication. So, your point is well taken but is also not a valid criticism of my argument. Sorry.

:/

Getting this back to climate science.

Most climate scientists are spinning collections of equations they call “climate models” and focusing mightily on their various research specialties. They need to do this because their models are purpose built to fail at the real world and it takes a ton of focus to fiddle the models and excise the chaos from them. Alas, in the end, they often whittle out the applicability along with the chaos.

As I mention just up thread. Current models suffer from three main forms of ignorance.

1) Not knowing from our simple ignorance (undiscovered feedback loops and the like)
2) Sensitive dependence of the system parameters that we hope to model (where we can't even in principle measure carefully enough to produce accurate models)
3) Computational irreducibility (some things... well, some things you just can't calculate however well you can measure them)

I suspect that items 1) and 3) are the main culprits but there is a lot of favor behind item 2) so I leave it in there. And hey, its got a neat name – The Butterfly Effect. As Wolfram explains ad nauseam in his book, you can’t model your way out of this Hole of Ignorance with a pile of differential equations.


”Irontruth” wrote:
You're arguing this with someone who has repeatedly claimed that modeling cannot possibly be accurate, but continuously cites models to back up his claims.

The climate models, as such, can give us some idea of how big the box is. Or to use Stuart Kauffman’s favorite phrase, playing with the numbers gives us some idea of the nature of the phase space our global climate is operating in.

That’s why I’ve picked a “floor” of +2.5°C over preindustrial average global temperature for the global temperature in the year 2100. I could be wildly wrong about that number but if I am, based on the size and shape of Earth’s climate “box” as given by all the many climate models currently in use, I’ll wager that I’m wrong on the low end*.

* And of course I’m assuming no significant carbon capture and sequestration will occur before the year 2100 as well. There is a non-zero chance that our global climate hops over to another strange attractor and all bets are off. I consider that possibility to be so remote that I only mention it to be complete in coverage of the topic.


”CB” wrote:

Why?

Which of the facts below do you disagree with?
1: There is more power available from solar every year than there is total from all fossil fuels combined.
2: New solar power plants can be deployed more quickly than any other type of plant of comparable capacity.
3: Solar power will soon cost less than any other energy source nearly everywhere.
If you accept these facts, then how is solar not the fastest/most abundant power source available?

Part of the problem is this (and I must ask rhetorically, did you (yet again) not read what I just posted?)

”Quark” wrote:
But if about half the world's electricity generation isn't dedicated to CCS by 2030 we don't have a chance of meeting the Paris Agreement goal.

Who cares what kind of power is available if it isn’t used to mitigate the problem! Right?

Your idea of “build more solar capacity” seems like a no brainer. And I agree! However, the very fact that we haven’t already transitioned off of fossil fuels tells you a lot about how big the problem is and where it is located.

Remember, half of humanity is below average in thinking capacity. And only half-jesting, I’d say most of humanity is extremely selfish and short sighted. Short sighted is at least as important as our innate selfishness because AGW is a multi-generational problem – we won’t get a workable solution if it isn’t expressly multigenerational. And kicking the can down the road doesn’t count as a proper way to make the solution multigenerational.

To paraphrase you; “Snap! Solar power, problem solved.”

Well OK but, knowing the solution is not even half the battle I’m afraid.

”CB” wrote:

Given that solar power does not produce carbon emissions there would indeed be none for it to capture and sequester.

CCS is a theoretical (i.e. not currently existing) technology involving capture of carbon from fossil fuel plants before it is released to the atmosphere. Optimistic estimates have it capturing 80% of carbon emissions. So, 50% of power generation having CCS would mean a roughly 40% emissions reduction by 2030.
Whereas all production switched to solar power would have zero emissions. So again, why is CCS better than solar?

Dude, seriously? The carbon that needs sequestering is already in the atmosphere. If we plan to meet the Paris Agreement goals, then sequestration is a thing we have to do.

”CB” wrote:

Oh. YOU would say. So that's your 'scientific' basis? A single study of a one off event and your own extrapolation from there.

Yes, there was a study after 9/11 which suggested that contrails could be causing as much as 0.5°C warming at the high end. However, that was inconsistent with most prior and subsequent research. In short you are taking the highest end estimate of the highest end outlying study and recasting it as the minimum.

Sure, I’ll take one actual, global, empirical study over a bunch of theoretical noodling with non-relevant equations by any number of scientists any day. You’re certainly welcome to your faith in the status quo. I’ve never been too impressed with people when they come in bunches – their net thinking runs along the line of; “None of us are as dumb as all of us”.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here are a couple of current examples to highlight humanity’s collective ignorance when it comes to climate modeling. I could cite stuff like this all day – findings from quality peer-reviewed literature that are not, or are inadequately captured, in current climate models.

More-severe climate model predictions could be the most accurate

”phys.org” wrote:

The climate models that project greater amounts of warming this century are the ones that best align with observations of the current climate, according to a new paper from Carnegie's Patrick Brown and Ken Caldeira published by Nature. Their findings suggest that the models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on average, may be underestimating future warming.

Climate model simulations are used to predict how much warming should be expected for any given increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

"There are dozens of prominent global climate models and they all project different amounts of global warming for a given change in greenhouse gas concentrations, primarily because there is not a consensus on how to best model some key aspects of the climate system," Brown explained.

Raw climate model results for a business-as-usual scenario indicate that we can expect global temperatures to increase anywhere in the range of… 3.2 to 5.9 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels by the end of the century—a difference of about a factor of two between the most- and least-severe projections.

Climate models differ “primarily because there is not a consensus on how to best model some key aspects of the climate system” – LOL, talk about an understatement!

”phys.org” wrote:

"Our results suggest that it doesn't make sense to dismiss the most-severe global warming projections based on the fact that climate models are imperfect in their simulation of the current climate," Brown said. "On the contrary, if anything, we are showing that model shortcomings can be used to dismiss the least-severe projections." …

"It makes sense that the models that do the best job at simulating today's observations might be the models with the most reliable predictions," Caldeira added. "Our study indicates that if emissions follow a commonly used business-as-usual scenario, there is a 93 percent chance that global warming will exceed 4 degrees Celsius … by the end of this century. Previous studies had put this likelihood at 62 percent."

Yeah, you read that right, “+4.0°C” over preindustrial average global temp by the year 2100. So you see my +2.5°C estimate is really quite conservative.

:p

Of course there are scientists who disagree with this latest meta-analysis, but I’ll point out that this was published in Nature. One of the top tier science journals in the world, which uses world class peer reviewers, tells me that this paper is better than any one critic.

Also, for those of you keeping track this would fall under category 2) Sensitive dependence of the system parameters that we hope to model (where we can't even in principle measure carefully enough to produce accurate models).

Clouds are a ##### to measure, let alone model.

Here’s another interaction not currently in global climate models, yet should be:

Subsurface iceberg melt key to Greenland fjord freshwater budget

Nature Geoscience” wrote:

Liquid freshwater fluxes from the Greenland ice sheet affect ocean water properties and circulation on local, regional and basin-wide scales, with associated biosphere effects. The exact impact, however, depends on the volume, timing and location of freshwater releases, which are poorly known. In particular, the transformation of icebergs, which make up roughly 30–50% of the loss of the ice-sheet mass to liquid freshwater, is not well understood.

Here we estimate the spatial and temporal distribution of the freshwater flux for the Helheim–Sermilik glacier–fjord system in southeast Greenland using an iceberg-melt model that resolves the subsurface iceberg melt. By estimating seasonal variations in all the freshwater sources, we confirm quantitatively that iceberg melt is the largest annual freshwater source in this system type. We also show that 68–78% of the iceberg melt is released below a depth of 20 m and, seasonally, about 40–100% of that melt is likely to remain at depth, in contrast with the usual model assumptions. Iceberg melt also peaks two months after all the other freshwater sources peak.

For those of you keeping track this would fall under category 1) Not knowing from our simple ignorance (undiscovered feedback loops and the like).

Of course the important factor is category 3) Computational irreducibility (some things... well, some things you just can't calculate however well you can measure them). A great many processes in nature operate under this category. There is no equation to short cut what the system will do.

That these category 3) errors exist in all climate models is not up for debate – it’s a fact. We can only hope that our errors in this category cancel each other out. It could happen. I could win the jackpot lottery too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Quark Blast wrote:
Who cares what kind of power is available if it isn’t used to mitigate the problem! Right?

Solar power emits zero carbon. Using it instead of fossil fuel power, even fossil fuel power with some theoretical future carbon capture and storage technology, thus DOES mitigate the problem of atmospheric carbon levels.

Quote:
Your idea of “build more solar capacity” seems like a no brainer. And I agree! However, the very fact that we haven’t already transitioned off of fossil fuels tells you a lot about how big the problem is and where it is located.

No. This would only be logical if the situation were static. It isn't. The reason we didn't convert to solar 30 years ago is that it was more expensive than fossil fuels. The reason we WILL convert to solar now is that it is LESS expensive. The situation has changed. The fact that humans haven't changed is irrelevant. We'll go for the easiest solution? Yes, I agree... that's WHY it will be solar.

Quote:
Dude, seriously? The carbon that needs sequestering is already in the atmosphere.

Then you are talking about some form of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technology, rather than Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

At which point the power SOURCE is irrelevant... an electron generated by solar power can run CDR exactly as well as an electron generated by a fossil fuel plant... and without putting more carbon into the atmosphere in the process.

Quote:
If we plan to meet the Paris Agreement goals, then sequestration is a thing we have to do.

Depends on which 'goals' you are talking about. The national reduction goals can certainly be met without it. The +2°C over pre-industrial by 2100 warming limit might still be possible without CDR (depending on how we define pre-industrial, how the uncertainty ranges play out, and how quickly we decarbonize). The +1.5°C 'aspiration' (not really a goal) is the only one which definitely isn't going to happen w/o CDR.

Quote:
Yeah, you read that right, “+4.0°C” over preindustrial average global temp by the year 2100. So you see my +2.5°C estimate is really quite conservative.

You continually hurt your case with these gross misrepresentations.

You claimed +2.5°C with zero further emissions. That study is saying +4°C with business as usual emissions.


@CB

You say that but have done nothing substantive to counter my citations and other support for the Three Ways of Ignorance that confounds climate science.

Consequently I don't think you understand the implications. As a specific example, when you say:

CBDunkerson wrote:

You continually hurt your case with these gross misrepresentations.

You claimed +2.5°C with zero further emissions. That study is saying +4°C with business as usual emissions.

You forget that to get from +4.0°C down to my estimate of +2.5°C is a near impossible task involving the coordination of humanity as a whole.

And yeah, you said something to the effect that "cheap solar = fast adoption of the better route to energy production, 'cause profit". However that only works in concept. I would say it was a no-brainer that Communism was a total waste as a national political/economic strategy in 1900. Yet here we are well over 100 years later and Communism has a few billion adherents.

So yeah, solar will eventually be more popular than fossil fuels and then continue to gain in popularity. But my point has been, that transition needed to happen circa 1995, not in (maybe) 2040 or 2050.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Quark Blast wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:

You continually hurt your case with these gross misrepresentations.

You claimed +2.5°C with zero further emissions. That study is saying +4°C with business as usual emissions.

You forget that to get from +4.0°C down to my estimate of +2.5°C is a near impossible task involving the coordination of humanity as a whole.

Hmmmm, no. Given that you argued that study's 4°C by 2100 (with no decrease in future emissions) finding showed that your +2.5°C by 2100 (with ZERO future emissions) claim was conservative... you were the one 'forgetting' the difference between current emissions and zero emissions.

Quote:
So yeah, solar will eventually be more popular than fossil fuels ... in (maybe) 2040 or 2050.

Solar power is growing. Fossil fuel power is shrinking.

Ergo, solar is already more popular than fossil fuels.


@CB

Dude, I’d ask you to reread my relevant posts but I’m not sure you read them the first time so… yeah, never mind.

As for what’s “popular”:
Well, as long as you keep defining words to mean something I don’t you’re going to continue to be able to make fatuous points about how “wrong” I am. Whatever.

If by 2030 humanity is producing something over 90% of our electricity from renewable sources and something over 50% of our transportation is powered via renewable sources and there is a realistic and funded plan in place to pull 1-3 GigaTons of CO2/year out of the atmosphere starting no later than 2040 and store it away for the long term, then, and only then, will we have a shot at something less than a +2.5°C over preindustrial norm near future. And by “near” I mean, again, the year 2100.

But please, go on and parse this latest post however you need to to be able to be sarcastically harsh with me. *

* I’m just nice like that.
:)

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