Landmark 2013 IPCC Report: 95% Chance Most of Global Warming is Human-Caused

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 10:50 AM GMT on September 27, 2013

Share this Blog
124
+

"Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased." Thus opens the landmark 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report issued today. Working without pay, hundreds of our most dedicated and talented climate experts have collaborated over a six-year period to create the most comprehensive and authoritative scientific document on climate change ever crafted. The first 31 pages of what will be a 4,000-page tome was released this morning after an all-night approval session that stretched until 6:30 this morning in Stockholm, Sweden. This "Summary For Policymakers" lays out a powerful scientific case that significant climate change with severe impacts is already occurring, humans are mostly responsible, the pace of climate change is expected to accelerate, and we can make choices to cut emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that will limit the damage.

Q: How much has the planet warmed, and what has caused the warming?
The report documents that Earth's surface temperature warmed by 0.85°C (1.5°F) between 1880 - 2012. Two-thirds of this warming (0.6°C, 1.1°F) came after 1950. Human-emitted heat-trapping gases likely were responsible for 0.5 - 1.3°C of this post-1950 warming, while human-emitted aerosol particles reflected away sunlight and likely caused cooling (-0.6° - 0.1°C change in temperature.) Climate change due to variations in solar energy, volcanic dust, and natural sources of heat-trapping greenhouse gases were likely responsible for a small -0.1° - 0.1°C change in temperature since 1950. The sun was in a cool phase between 1978 - 2011, and the report estimates that lower solar output cooled Earth's climate slightly during this period. The influence of cosmic rays on climate over the past century was to weak to be detected, they said. In short, the report shows little support for a significant natural component to global warming since 1950. In fact, natural effects may well have made Earth cooler than it otherwise would have been. The report says that "The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period." In other words, close to 100% of the observed warming is due to humans.


Figure 1. The changing view of the IPCC's assessment reports on the human contribution to climate change.

Q: How have the IPCC reports changed through time?
1990: The report did not quantify the human contribution to global warming.

1995: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on climate."

2001: Human-emitted greenhouse gases are likely (67-90% chance) responsible for more than half of Earth's temperature increase since 1951.

2007: Human-emitted greenhouse gases are very likely (at least 90% chance) responsible for more than half of Earth's temperature increase since 1951.

2013: Human-emitted greenhouse gases are extremely likely (at least 95% chance) responsible for more than half of Earth's temperature increase since 1951. This is the same confidence that scientists have in the age of the universe, or that cigarettes are deadly, according to an excellent AP article published this week by Seth Borenstein.

Q: Did the new report change the plausible range of global warming?
A. Yes. The "climate sensitivity" is defined as how much the planet would warm if the amount of atmospheric CO2 doubled. A variety of studies have arrived at very different estimates of the exact CO2 sensitivity of the climate, and the 2007 IPCC report gave a range of the most plausible values: 2 to 4.5ºC, with 3ºC deemed the most likely value. Recent research indicates that a sensitivity as low as 1.5ºC may be possible, so the IPCC widened the range of the most plausible values: 1.5 to 4.5ºC. The new lower limit of 1.5ºC is a best-case scenario that appears no more likely than the high end of 4.5ºC. Furthermore, even the lowest sensitivity scenario would not negate the need for emissions reductions. Current trends show that emissions are on track to increase far beyond doubling, which would create dangerous temperature rise even in a low-sensitivity climate. (Note that they give a small but worrisome possibility--0 to 10% chance--that the climate could warm by more than 6ºC for a doubling of CO2.)


Figure 2. Average of NASA's GISS, NOAA"s NCDC, and the UK Met Office's HadCRUT4 monthly global surface temperature departures from average, from January 1970 through November 2012 (blue), with linear trends applied to the time frames Jan '70 - Oct '77, Apr '77 - Dec '86, Sep '87 - Nov '96, Jun '97 - Dec '02, Nov '02 - Nov '12. Climate change skeptics like to emphasize the shorter term fluctuations in global temperatures (blue lines) and ignore the long-term climate trend (red line.) The global surface temperature trend from January 1970 through November 2012 (red line) is +0.16°C (+0.29°F) per decade. Image credit: skepticalscience.com.

Q: What does the IPCC say about the "speed bump" in surface global warming over the past 10 - 15 years?
Much attention has been given in the press to the fact that the rate of surface warming over the past fifteen years has been slower than during previous decades. The report notes that due to natural variability, trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends. As one example, the rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012) of 0.05 °C per decade, which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 of 0.12 °C per decade. However, the recent slow-down in surface warming is likely to be a mere "speed bump" on the highway of global warming, caused by natural variability. We have seen such "speed bumps" before, as well as short, sharp downhill stretches where surface warming speeds up. For example, climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf writes at realclimate.org that "the warming trend of the 15-year period up to 2006 was almost twice as fast as expected (0.3°C per decade), and (rightly) nobody cared. We published a paper in Science in 2007 where we noted this large trend, and as the first explanation for it we named “intrinsic variability within the climate system”. Which it turned out to be." Physics demands that the massive amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide humans have dumped into the atmosphere must cause significant warming, but the chaotic complexity of the system is expected to obscure the magnitude of the long-term trend on time scales of a few years to a decade. The attention being to this latest "speed bump" on the highway of global warming is a direct result of a well-funded PR effort by the fossil fuel industry. One has to look at the total warming of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and ice to judge the true progress of global warming, not just the surface temperature. There has been no slowdown in total global warming when we regard this entire system, as I argued in a post earlier this year. More than 90% of the energy of global warming goes into the oceans, and the reason for the relative lack of surface warming this decade is that more heat than usual is being stored in the oceans. That heat will be released to the atmosphere at some point, removing the "speed bump".

The new IPCC report says that there is medium confidence that the "speed bump" in surface warming is due in roughly equal measure to natural multi-year unpredictable variability in the weather, and to changes in the amount of sunlight reaching the surface due to volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle. Most of the climate models do not reproduce this lower surface warming rate during the past 10 - 15 years. There is medium confidence that this difference between models and observations is due to natural climate variability that is impossible to predict (for example, the El Niño/La Niña cycle), with possible contributions from the models' inadequate handling of volcanic eruptions, changes in solar output, and changes in light-reflecting aerosol particles, and, in some models, a too-strong response to heat-trapping gases. For an explanation of why arguments about the global warming “slowdown” are misleading and should not offer any consolation, see this explainer from Skeptical Science and this one from the Union for Concerned Scientists.

Q: What does the IPCC say about drought?
A: Drought and reduction in water availability due to decreased mountain snow and ice is the greatest threat civilization faces from climate change, since it attacks the two things we need to live--water and food. Unfortunately, the report makes no mention of drought in the text, and we will have to wait for the March 2014 release of the "impacts" portion of the report to hear more about the threat drought poses to society. Today's report does mention drought in one of their two tables, giving “low confidence”--a 20% chance--that we have already observed a human-caused increase in the intensity and/or duration of drought in some parts of the world. This is a reduction in confidence from the 2007 report, which said that it was more likely than not (greater than 50% chance.) However, the forecast for the future is the same as in the 2007 report: we are likely to see dry areas get dryer due to human-caused climate change by 2100. In particular, there is high confidence (80%) in likely surface drying in the Mediterranean, Southwest U.S., and Southern Africa by 2100 in the high-end emissions scenario (RCP8.5), in association with expected increases in surface temperatures and a shift in the atmospheric circulation that will expand the region of sinking air that creates the world's greatest deserts.

Q: What does the IPCC say about sea level rise?
A: Global average sea level has risen 7.5" (19 cm) since 1901. Sea level has accelerated to 1.5" (3.2 cm) per decade over the past 20 years--nearly double the rate of rise during the 20th century. The report projects that sea level will rise by an extra 0.9 - 3.2' (26 to 98 cm) by 2100. While the maximum sea level rise expected has gone up since the 2007 report, when the IPCC did not even consider melt from Greenland and Antarctica because of the primitive state of glacier science then, the new upper bound (3.2') is still is a very conservative number. IPCC decided not to include estimates from at least five published studies that had higher numbers, including two studies with rises of 2 meters (6.6 feet.) This is in contradiction to NOAA's December 2012 U.S. National Climate Assessment Report, which has 6.6 feet (2.0 meters) as its worst-case sea level rise scenario for 2100. Even this number may be too low; at a presentation Thursday in New York City for Climate Week, glaciologist Dr. Jason Box, who knows as much about Greenland's ice sheets as any person alive, explained that Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise doubled over the past ten years. If Greenland's melt rate continues to double every ten years until 2100, Greenland alone will contribute 4.6' (1.4 meters) of global sea level rise, he said. If the doubling time becomes every nine years, then Greenland will cause 16.4' (5 meters) of sea level rise by 2100. His best-guess number for global sea level rise by 2100 is 4.7' (1.5 meters), but warns that our models used to predict melting of ice of Greenland have large unknowns.

Long-term sea level rise is expected to be much greater. The IPCC report states with "very high confidence" that 119,000 - 126,000 years ago, during the period before the most recent ice age, sea levels were 16 - 33 feet (5 - 10 meters) higher than at present. Melting of Greenland "very likely" contributed 1.4 - 4.3 meters of this rise, with additional contributions coming from Antarctica. Temperatures at that time weren't more than 2°C warmer than "pre-industrial" levels during that period. Two of the four scenarios used for the report project we will exceed 2°C of warming by 2100, with "high confidence", raising the possibility that we could see sea level rises of many meters over time scales of 1,000 years or so. The report expects sea level rise reach 3.3 - 9.8' (1 - 3 meters) by 2300, assuming CO2 levels rise above 700 ppm (close to what the higher-end RCP6.0 scenario prescribes.)

Q: What does the IPCC say about ocean acidity?
A: The world's oceans have seen a 26% increase in acidity since the Industrial Revolution, as the average pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. Under all report scenarios, the acidification of the world's oceans will increase, with the pH falling by another 0.06 - 0.32 units. According to a 2012 study in Science, the current acidification rate is likely the fastest in 300 million years, and "may have severe consequences for marine ecosystems."

Q: How about hurricanes?
A: The new report gives “low confidence”--a 20% chance--that we have observed a human-caused increase in intense hurricanes in some parts of the world. This is a reduction from the 2007 report, which said that it was more likely than not (greater than 50% chance.) The IPCC likely took note of a landmark 2010 review paper, "Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change", authored by ten top hurricane scientists, which concluded that the U.S. has not seen any long-term increase in landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes, and that "it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes." The 2013 IPCC report predicts that there is a greater than 50% chance (more likely than not) that we will see a human-caused increase in intense hurricanes by 2100 in some regions; this is a reduction from the 2007 report, which said this would be likely (66% chance or higher.)

Q: How about extreme weather events?
"Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950. It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights have decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. It is likely that the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia, and Australia. There are likely more land regions where the number of heavy precipitation events has increased than where it has decreased. The frequency or intensity of heavy precipitation events has likely increased in North America and Europe." The report made no mention of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, since the uncertainties of how they have behaved in the past and how climate change might affect them in the future are too great.

Q: What does the IPCC say about a "Day After Tomorrow" scenario?
A: In the disaster movie "The Day After Tomorrow", the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)--the ocean current system of which the Gulf Stream Current is a part of--collapses, causing a rapid and extreme change in climate. A collapse of the AMOC is very unlikely (0 - 10% chance) before 2100 according to the report, but cannot be ruled out beyond the 21st century. A weakening of the AMOC by about 11 - 34% by 2100 is expected in the moderate RCP4.5 scenario, where CO2 levels reach 538 ppm in 2100. However, these odds assume that Greenland will dump a relatively modest amount of fresh water into the North Atlantic by 2100. If the higher-end sea level rise estimates that the IPCC did not consider as plausible come true, the AMOC will likely slow down much more, with a higher chance of collapse this century. No slow-down in the AMOC has been observed yet, according to the report.

Commentary
As I read though the report, digesting the exhaustive list of changes to Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and ice that have occurred over the past few decades, I was struck by how the IPCC report reads like lab results from a sick hospital patient. The natural systems that civilization depends upon to thrive have been profoundly disturbed, and the forecast for the future reads like a medical diagnosis for an overweight smoker with a heart condition: unless the patient makes major lifestyle changes, the illness will grow far worse, with severe debilitation or death distinct possibilities. We can and we must make the huge effort to turn things around. Oil and natural gas are the energy technologies of the 20th century. Coal is the energy technology of the 19th century. We have countless innovative and dedicated people ready to move us to the energy technology of the 21st century; I heard three of them speak last night at the Climate Week event I am at, and they really gave me some needed hope that we can turn things around. We must elect new leaders and pressure our existing leaders to take the strong actions needed to advance us into a new, 21st century energy economy. You can all help make it so!

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 579 - 529

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53Blog Index

Quoting 573. DoctorDave1:


Now this is not the truth. They did not even know about the correlation until May.



Link

DoctorDave1, you are attempting to reason mathematics with some who believe (3896/11944)*100=97%
They constantly throw out "Y" to solve for "X"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
well i guess stormy weather is off topic in here today...bye..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Germany sets new solar power record, institute says

(Reuters) - German solar power plants produced a world record 22 gigawatts of electricity - equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity - through the midday hours on Friday and Saturday, the head of a renewable energy think tank said.

The German government decided to abandon nuclear power after the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, closing eight plants immediately and shutting down the remaining nine by 2022.

They will be replaced by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and bio-mass.

Norbert Allnoch, director of the Institute of the Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster, said the 22 gigawatts o f solar power fed into the national grid on Saturday met nearly 50 percent of the nation's midday electricity needs.

"Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity," Allnoch told Reuters. "Germany came close to the 20 gigawatt (GW) mark a few times in recent weeks. But this was the first time we made it over."

The record-breaking amount of solar power shows one of the world's leading industrial nations was able to meet a third of its electricity needs on a work day, Friday, and nearly half on Saturday when factories and offices were closed.

Government-mandated support for renewables has helped Germany became a world leader in renewable energy and the country gets about 20 percent of its overall annual electricity from those sources.

Germany has nearly as much installed solar power generation capacity as the rest of the world combined and gets about four percent of its overall annual electricity needs from the sun alone. It aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

SUNSHINE

Some critics say renewable energy is not reliable enough nor is there enough capacity to power major industrial nations. But Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany is eager to demonstrate that is indeed possible.

The jump above the 20 GW level was due to increased capacity this year and bright sunshine nationwide.

The 22 GW figure is up from about 14 GW a year ago. Germany added 7.5 GW of installed power generation capacity in 2012 and 1.8 GW more in the first quarter for a total of 26 GW capacity.

"This shows Germany is capable of meeting a large share of its electricity needs with solar power," Allnoch said. "It also shows Germany can do with fewer coal-burning power plants, gas-burning plants and nuclear plants."

Allnoch said the data is based on information from the European Energy Exchange (EEX), a bourse based in Leipzig.

The incentives through the state-mandated "feed-in-tariff" (FIT) are not without controversy, however. The FIT is the lifeblood for the industry until photovoltaic prices fall further to levels similar for conventional power production.

Utilities and consumer groups have complained the FIT for solar power adds about 2 cents per kilowatt/hour on top of electricity prices in Germany that are already among the highest in the world with consumers paying about 23 cents kw/h.

German consumers pay about 4 billion euros per year on top of their electricity bills for solar power, according to a 2012 report by the Environment Ministry.

Critics also complain growing levels of solar power make the national grid more less stable due to fluctuations in output.

Merkel's centre-right government has tried to accelerate cuts in the FIT, which has fallen by between 15 and 30 percent per year, to nearly 40 percent this year to levels below 20 cents per kw/h. But the upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has blocked it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Amazing! Well, if the IPCC says so, it MUST be true. I guess humans lived millions of years ago when the earth was warmer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I have read many articles on global warming, ozone holes, volcanic eruptions and weather patterns. I also have had a weather stations at my home. I do not compare my weather station with the other local station because they set in a low spot and the two are sometimes 8 degrees different in temperature and we are only 6 miles a part. I am not sure if any one article or Scientist have ever put all these together in one theory but I have tried. Here are the facts I have gathered in my own weather station findings over the last 30 years sitting in the same spot the median temperature is pretty much steady. We have not broken any all time high temperatures when it comes to the 30 year weather cycle that I have gathered from other sources. The temperatures from the 30's and 50's are still our all time highs. During the last one the high temp for that heat wave was about 4 degrees cooler than the all time highs in the previous two 30 year heat waves.
Now from what I gather the ozone holes on the poles are a collection of CFC's mainly from volcanic eruptions and I don't remember why the cfc's hover over the North Pole or sometimes the South pole could upper level winds or proximity to the source. One thing for sure though the hole on the south pole detected in 2011 was not caused by man made chemicals. Now from the article I read the hole over the poles causes it to be extra cold in those regions and somehow this helps shrink the ozone holes. Now from what I read these cold spells also cause it to be cold in winter for all regions. The article also said the closing of the ozone hole over the North Pole also caused more warming in the Northern Hemisphere including the North pole which caused a lot of the ice melting there. So, my point is this cooling spell over the last 10-15 years that has the caused the scientific community admit cooling is caused by the hole in the south pole which has been colder than in the previous years and the ice has grown there not shrunk. So, with this in mind (thinking outside the box) how can be sure that human co2 output has that much affect on our climate? With the small changes in temperatures that say is global warming how can they be exact enough to say these pattern changes did not affect the numbers? Is this just a volcanic weather cycle from pole to pole that happens every 100 years or so? I think we do not have enough information myself.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Stefan Rahmstorf comments on the The new IPCC climate report at RealClimate.

The time has come: the new IPCC report is here! After several years of work by over 800 scientists from around the world, and after days of extensive discussion at the IPCC plenary meeting in Stockholm, the Summary for Policymakers was formally adopted at 5 o’clock this morning. Congratulations to all the colleagues who were there and worked night shifts. The full text of the report will be available online beginning of next week. Realclimate summarizes the key findings and shows the most interesting graphs.

Global warming

"It is now considered even more certain (> 95%) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Natural internal variability and natural external forcings (eg the sun) have contributed virtually nothing to the warming since 1950 – the share of these factors was narrowed down by IPCC to ± 0.1 degrees."...


..."Conclusion

The new IPCC report gives no reason for complacency – even if politically motivated “climate skeptics” have tried to give this impression ahead of its release with frantic PR activities. Many wrong things have been written which now collapse in the light of the actual report.

The opposite is true. Many developments are now considered to be more urgent than in the fourth IPCC report, released in 2007. That the IPCC often needs to correct itself “upward” is an illustration of the fact that it tends to produce very cautious and conservative statements, due to its consensus structure – the IPCC statements form a kind of lowest common denominator on which many researchers can agree. The New York Times has given some examples for the IPCC “bending over backward to be scientifically conservative”. Despite or perhaps even because of this conservatism, IPCC reports are extremely valuable – as long as one is aware of it.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
Quoting 564. Xulonn:
Yours appears to be the mind that is closed. As others have told you, scientists have looked at CFC's with respect to AGW/CC and found no possible mechanism to tie to the correlation.

Give it up - you are truly beating a long-dead horse.


Now this is not the truth. They did not even know about the correlation until May.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hmmm nyc to boston etc................
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lawdy,

LOL

Solar Energy: As Germany Goes, So Goes Vermont?

Posted May 9, 2013




By Guy Page

“As Maine goes, so goes the nation,” went the political truism between 1834 and 1932, when the Pine Tree State picked the winner in almost every presidential election. When only staunch Republican (!) Vermont joined Maine in selecting Republican Alf Landon in 1936, winner Franklin D. Roosevelt’s campaign manager James Farley famously if somewhat predictably quipped: “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.”

Eighty years later Vermont is following another trendsetter: Germany, the Western world’s undisputed leader of government-subsidized renewable power. Visitors to Germany note that solar panels cover the south face of seemingly every village church, school and home. Germany is home to a well-funded, highly popular “feed-in tariff” (FIT) that has encouraged almost broadbased power production. Of the 40 GW of installed solar power worldwide at the end 2010, almost half – 17.4 GW – was located in Germany. In just two years Germany’s share jumped to about 30 GW, according to the Feb. 2013 Washington Post.

German Inspiration

rooftop solar energyThe German program was an inspiration to the crafters of Vermont’s May, 2009 feed-in tariff law, the energy-generation lynchpin of the state’s plan to use 90% renewables by 2050. Then Senate Pro-Tem (and now Governor) Peter Shumlin was particularly enthusiastic. In March, 2010 he told Fox News that if overcast Germany can get 30% of its electricity from solar power, so can America. He said this just days after leading the Vermont Senate in its “no” vote on Vermont Yankee. (When Fox reporter Stuart Varney pointed out that Germany gets just one percent of its power from solar, Shumlin conceded the error but has never retreated from his central point: Vermont, like Germany, can become a leader in the new renewable power energy economy, resulting in new jobs, clean air, and energy independence.)

Like its European forebearer, Vermont’s FIT solar power program also contributes about one percent to the state’s total power portfolio – actually, about one-third of one percent. The state’s SPEED website lists 13 projects (see “project summary” page) as “online and generating,” producing about 18,000 MWh of Vermont’s total load of about 6,000,000 MWh. (The FIT program for ALL forms of generation comes in at 53,000 MWh, or just under the one percent mark.)

German FIT solar power costs about 32 cents American per kilowatt-hour. Likewise in Vermont: FIT solar power is down from 30 cents to 25.7, about five times the average market rate. And while market power rates fluctuate – for better or worse - the Vermont FIT solar power rate, once set, is fixed in contractual stone over the course of the 10 year contract.

Nuclear and Fossil

As in Germany, Vermont opponents of nuclear power were empowered by a nuclear “incident” that helped them reverse government support for nuclear power. The Vermont Senate’s 2010 vote was held amid a powerful public response to reports of a tritium leak at Vermont Yankee. In May 2011, in the wake of Fukushima, the German government announced plans to close many nuclear plants. Although Germany followed Vermont chronologically, the decisions-making process was similar: the politically astute realized that a sense of crisis had moved matters to a tipping point.

The pro-renewables, anti-nuclear policy has had an unexpected effect in both locales: they are more reliant on fossil fuels. Germany has been an acknowledged leader among the “green” nations of Europe. In 2011, Vermont had the nation’s smallest carbon footprint for power generation, thanks largely to its reliance on hydro and Vermont Yankee.

A Step Backwards for the Carbon Footprint


Lignite or "Brown Coal"
In carbon terms, both have taken a step backwards. According to a February 27 2013 Bloomberg News report, Germany plans to build 6000 new megawatts of coal-fired power generation, a move which will significantly increase their overall carbon footprint. The pragmatic Germans realize they need plentiful, domestic, baseload power capacity to support Europe’s strongest manufacturing economy. Deprived of nuclear power, the German government is turning – back – to coal.

In Vermont, something similar has happened. Vermont Yankee’s contract providing about a third of the state’s electricity expired in March, 2012. Vermont’s reliance on New England grid power jumped about one million megawatt-hours in 2012 over 2011, according to “Vermont Electricity At A Glance,” study I conducted for the Vermont Energy Partnership. That figure equals one-sixth of Vermont’s total electrical load. About three-quarters of the grid’s power is derived from fossil fuels, mostly natural gas.

Concerns about the technical Achilles Heel of intermittent power - grid instability - are present in both Vermont and Germany. The August, 2012 Spiegel Online reported that large German manufacturers have experienced expensive power interruptions related to the transition to renewable power. In Vermont, the New England transmission grid operators have “curtailed” its purchases of power from the Lowell Mountain wind turbine development due to intermittency, resulting in a million dollars of lost income this winter, according to the general manager of one Vermont utility quoted in the April 5, 2013 Vermont Digger. The project’s owner is installing a synchronous condenser - $10 million pricetag – that it hopes will solve the problem.

Looking Forward

It is only fair to point out that in neither Vermont nor Germany has the final chapter been written. Perhaps solar power will prove to be greener, in both cash and carbon, in the long run. Someday, a bright engineer may solve the problem of “translating” intermittent power into a traditional power grid. No doubt renewable power is delivering many positive benefits right now, including energy diversity, property tax income, and strong growth in solar-related employment. Solar power’s cost of production has decreased somewhat in recent years, in part due to fierce competition from China’s solar panel producers. Nevertheless, it’s a safe bet that when the avid backers of solar power in Vermont and Germany celebrated the passage of their FIT laws, few of them were anticipating that the immediate future would have more carbon and serious concerns about power cost and reliability.


-------

Guy Page is a frequent guest blogger at Yes Vermont Yankee. His most recent blog post described his report on Vermont's transition to renewable energy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I hope the sky does not fall.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 451. Patrap:


What is it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anybody keeping score? Seems pretty close to me...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 542. Patrap:
Commentary

As I read though the report, digesting the exhaustive list of changes to Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and ice that have occurred over the past few decades, I was struck by how the IPCC report reads like lab results from a sick hospital patient. The natural systems that civilization depends upon to thrive have been profoundly disturbed, and the forecast for the future reads like a medical diagnosis for an overweight smoker with a heart condition: unless the patient makes major lifestyle changes, the illness will grow far worse, with severe debilitation or death distinct possibilities. We can and we must make the huge effort to turn things around. Oil and natural gas are the energy technologies of the 20th century. Coal is the energy technology of the 19th century. We have countless innovative and dedicated people ready to move us to the energy technology of the 21st century; I heard three of them speak last night at the Climate Week event I am at, and they really gave me some needed hope that we can turn things around. We must elect new leaders and pressure our existing leaders to take the strong actions needed to advance us into a new, 21st century energy economy. You can all help make it so!

Jeff Masters


Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/landm ark-2013-ipcc-report-95-chance-most-of-global-warm ing-is-human#A1GP571rEt3j5VW7.99


I am all for this. Massive investments in geothermal energy, energy beamed to Earth from satellites and growing potential of LENR could fundamentally change our energy dependency on fossil fuels. However, have we heard the world governments stand up and promote these programs? No, not one word. So, Dr. Masters, what say you about this?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 406. CybrTeddy:


Why won't this argument about GW just die? There's a major difference between climate and 7-day forecasts, .... Climate is based off patterns, trends, and observations where forecasting the weather for next Saturday is usually based off ......



.....patterns, trends, and observations?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 527. Losttsol:
Everyone on the site realizes that there have been multiple times throughout geologic history when no ice sheets existed, even at the poles, right?


As a geologist, absolutely.

You also realize that we are into about year 11000 of an interglacial period, with others lasting over 25000 years.


Also true, though it appears the natural climate optimum for this interglacial period occurred several thousand years ago. Up until the late 1800s, the planet was slowly cooling back down due to Milankovitch orbital variations.

Good, now carry on your conversations with your <50 years of real scientific data on climate change.


Well, you were doing pretty well, but this is pretty much an entirely 100% fact-free statement. Especially given the fact you were just trying to convince us what the climate has been doing for at least the last 25,000. ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 516. DoctorDave1:


Well, if I called for scientific study to determine if there is a causation base on Lui's correlation, don't you understand that that means I do not accept Lui's hypothesis on face value either. You folks are too used to pushing people down on this blog that actually try to have discussions on this forum that you don't even try to open your minds (and ears) just a little bit.
Yours appears to be the mind that is closed. As others have told you, scientists have looked at CFC's with respect to AGW/CC and found no possible mechanism to tie to the correlation.

Give it up - you are truly beating a long-dead horse.
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
Quoting 558. ScottLincoln:

No comments were taken that way, at least from you anyway.


Glad to hear it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 442. MrMixon:


If you know of any natural cycles that no scientist has considered you should write it up and publish it! Publishing is hard, but it's not that hard, and if you are passionate about the topic it's even easier.


But if you're wrong, it's almost impossible.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2764
Quoting 552. BirdieMan:
The IPPC doesn't have a clue. This is nothing more than a bunch of academics with an agenda. The bottom line to the global warming debate is MONEY. Most of the people that promote the junk are looking for a personal economic gain.
Well you waited quite a while to comment on the blog. Welcome!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
perhaps the northeast should watch this,gfs has it closer to the coast this run..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 552. BirdieMan:
The IPPC doesn't have a clue. This is nothing more than a bunch of academics with an agenda. The bottom line to the global warming debate is MONEY. Most of the people that promote the junk are looking for a personal economic gain.


Ah yes, the academic monetary conspiracy theory. One of my favorites. Thanks for sharing!
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 2694
Quoting 546. MikeyRana:


Didn't mean to question your integrity or ability as a scientist. You have your view, I have mine. Thanks anyway for the civil discussion.

No comments were taken that way, at least from you anyway.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 519. Torito:
I know this is too far out to believe, but there now appears to be yet another nor'easter or sub-tropical system impacting the north east US at the very end of the GFS full res run.....

992MB for those who need glasses...
Winter is coming to town.
Quoting 509. Torito:
He even looks better than that wretched TS Erin that didn't deserve TS status. xD

Another shear ts in the making.I am not sure if I am more shock that the epac haven`t had a major or that the Atlantic haven`t had a major.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3707
I do, I do, I do like AR5 and Ham !

And I will read it in the Dark,
and I will read it in a park.

My views are theirs as Science is King,

Pass the Tabasco this is such a good thing !

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 549. Tornado6042008X:
Welcome to the blog!


Hey thanks! Long time follower of Dr. Masters,

I am going to get back to not watching that storm over near the Lesser Antilles...



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 515. Torito:
This needs a yellow crayon, 10%.


Agreed
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9592
The IPPC doesn't have a clue. This is nothing more than a bunch of academics with an agenda. The bottom line to the global warming debate is MONEY. Most of the people that promote the junk are looking for a personal economic gain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Maybe all this hot air on the blog will help that disturbance form east of the islands.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...RIVER FLOOD IMPACT...
DUE TO THE RECENT WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAIN THE PAST SEVERAL
DAYS...RIVER FLOODING WILL CONTINUE ON THE MANATEE RIVER...LITTLE
MANATEE RIVER...MYAKKA RIVER...CYPRESS CREEK...AND HORSE CREEK.
WORST FLOODING WILL BE ON THE MYAKKA RIVER WHERE THE RIVER IS
EXPECTED TO RISE ABOVE MODERATE FLOOD STAGE OF 8.5 FEET LATE THIS
AFTERNOON OR THIS EVENING.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 529. Sycosys:
While all the armchair scientists prattle on about how their middle school grasp of science suggests that AGW is nonsense, is anyone else rooting for this system in the east to get organized?
Welcome to the blog!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 529. Sycosys:
While all the armchair scientists prattle on about how their middle school grasp of science suggests that AGW is nonsense, is anyone else rooting for this system in the east to get organized?
its suppoosed to turn northward and out to sea..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
547. myway
Extinction is inevitable. The only question is...from what? It is unrealistic to believe that the human race will last forever.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 534. ScottLincoln:


We have no reason to know what the high was in Denver, CO, in 998AD. That is irrelevant to climate.

And no, the proxies for global temperature are not from the same source.


"Still just theories"
Scientists really don't use terminology like that. You might be confusing hypothesis with theory?

Why do you think that we cannot make conclusions about climate without 1000 years of data?
In 1000 years, we will likely have better means of estimating global average temperature. Do you not think that we'll have someone telling us that "well we only have quantum particle accelerated pinpoint temperature precision averaging for the last 20 years or so, and it is far superior to thermometers, if we just had 100 years more of data..."

We use the data we have to make the best conclusions possible. Over time, we get better data. In this case, we don't need more temperature data, or even more accurate temperature data, to know what greenhouse gases do with regards to climate.


Didn't mean to question your integrity or ability as a scientist. You have your view, I have mine. Thanks anyway for the civil discussion.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 531. WalkingInTheSun:

I am curious -- not disputing or argueing, but curious. The CFCs got reduced & the air temps levelled out, also, in correlation to that, right?
Okay, so how does that all work in with some of the other aspects of GW arguments? Wouldn't someone think that "Okay, we've found the causative factor, so it therefore is not all the other stuff or else air temps would not have flattened out"? -- You know, like since they flatteneed out, THE cause must be CFCs (almost entirely)....or else the air temps would not have done that way?

Correlation is not causation. Better correlation is not necessarily evidence of better causation.

The physics of CO2 and the physics of CFCs are known. The paper didn't address the physics. And that's really the only way to explain how CFCs could have been more responsible than CO2. One paper cannot refute over a 100 years of known physics, especially with a skepticism arousing "near 100% correlation" only.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 520. Patrap:
Angela's Blog
What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

Posted by: Angela Fritz, 12:06 PM CDT on September 27, 2013


A heavyweight boxer in the climate change match is missing from the 5th climate assessment report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Friday.

Permafrost, which is frozen ground that doesn't melt during the summer, covers 24% of the land in the northern hemisphere. Permafrost acts like a massive cryogenic chamber, stabilizing tens of thousands of years of organic matter, and stores approximately 1.5 trillion tons of carbon, which is twice the amount of carbon that's currently in our atmosphere. When the organic matter thaws, that carbon will be exposed to the elements, made available to escape into the air in the form of heat-trapping gases, with the potential to knock out our efforts to slow down global warming with a one-two punch.......


Good info, Patrap, and I respect your views. I am not disputing this information, either. I wonder though that since it is part of the natural environment that has been on earth all this time...and once WAS NOT frozen, should we truly think it a BAD thing...or simply a matter of a DIFFERENT thing -- one we are not used to: the earth reverting to a former state that at one time was entirely natural?
Why could it not somehow be good? CAN it somehow be bad that the earth became so "cold" (relatively) over all those many years? If something caused the relative coldness, why not consider THAT to be bad and that we are somehow getting back to something better, even if inadvertantly? Hey, I like to see mutiple sides of an issue, so I have to consider this as a possibility too, in doing so. Has anyone thought about such things?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
California wind farm seeks permit to kill eagles




UPI 9/27/2013 5:37:15 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27 (UPI) --
A Solano County, Calif., wind farm would be the first renewable energy project in the nation allowed to kill eagles under a federal plan, a U.S. agency said.



Under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal, outlined in a draft environmental report released Thursday, the Shiloh IV Wind Project would be issued a golden eagle take permit for its 3,500-acre plant in the Montezuma Hills, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Commentary

As I read though the report, digesting the exhaustive list of changes to Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and ice that have occurred over the past few decades, I was struck by how the IPCC report reads like lab results from a sick hospital patient. The natural systems that civilization depends upon to thrive have been profoundly disturbed, and the forecast for the future reads like a medical diagnosis for an overweight smoker with a heart condition: unless the patient makes major lifestyle changes, the illness will grow far worse, with severe debilitation or death distinct possibilities. We can and we must make the huge effort to turn things around. Oil and natural gas are the energy technologies of the 20th century. Coal is the energy technology of the 19th century. We have countless innovative and dedicated people ready to move us to the energy technology of the 21st century; I heard three of them speak last night at the Climate Week event I am at, and they really gave me some needed hope that we can turn things around. We must elect new leaders and pressure our existing leaders to take the strong actions needed to advance us into a new, 21st century energy economy. You can all help make it so!

Jeff Masters


Read more at http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/landm ark-2013-ipcc-report-95-chance-most-of-global-warm ing-is-human#A1GP571rEt3j5VW7.99
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Did the blog just crash? LOL...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 537. Haymaster:


The only thing the chickens are doing is running around and screaming "The SKY is falling . . . The SKY is falling!!!

Welcome to the blog!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 530. Xulonn:
Oh no! John Carter is in big trouble!

I read The Gods of Mars after Betsy waiting for the electric to come back. Great series.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Unless your looking at this from the point of trying to indoctrinate other people of your views, this debate of GW isn't accomplishing anything on this blog.

I find it amazing that some people in here have been on this blog for as long as half a day (at least from what I can tell) debating.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 50. Neapolitan:
Oh, I see. The Heartland Institute. The Exxon-funded Heartland Institute, that well-known, thoroughly-discredited, repeatedly-debunked group of professional denialists who just last year compared climate scientists to domestic terrorists. Awesome. I can't possibly imagine why they'd feel the need to hijack and slightly tweak the name (and the initials) of the IPCC. I mean, it couldn't possibly be because they realize the gig is up, the chickens have come home to roost, and their lies have been exposed, can it?


The only thing the chickens are doing is running around and screaming "The SKY is falling . . . The SKY is falling!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 532. Torito:


Shhhhhhh, you will make it dissipate! but yea, it looks a lot better than earlier.


hmm, maybe I'll go make some tea and stop looking..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 479. Neapolitan:
The way i see it, if you--or anyone else--chooses to abide by a debunked and discredited hypothesis that has absolutely no support among the wider science community, a hypothesis put forth by a known denier whose first few tries at the "CFCs account for all the warming and now the planet is cooling" paradigm were laughed out of the room, and one whose basic mathematical errors have already become the stuff of ridicule and legend among academia, that's perfectly fine. But I would question why anyone would choose to latch on so firmly to a nearly-impossible outlier, while at the same time rejecting in its entirety the massive mountains of evidence that exist offering a valid and "extremely likely" (read: "almost certainly true) hypothesis.


Since I actually followed the discussion on this in the days after this paper was published, I know a little how the "scientific" community handled it. You are correct. It was discredited and debunked WITHIN ONE WEEK. That is clearly impossible. And, to this day, the CORRELATION presented in this paper remains as the only known correlation that fits the observed global temperatures. I also do not agree with the hypothesis as one of God's 10 commandments either, but that does not mean that another hypothesis cannot be postulated that does have general scientific support.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 524. MikeyRana:I would agree, that all of the properties being observed and calculated upon are from the same source. However, they are all still being generated from thousands, or millions of years of assumptions of the varaible aspects. We do not and never will know what the global temp was 1000 years ago, beings the first mercury thermometer was not invented until 1714. Granted, there are definately methods of estimating what those temps were, but we do no have the factual data that says "It was 76 degrees for the high in Denver, Co area in Oct 998 AD.

We have no need to know what the high was in Denver, CO, in 998AD. That is irrelevant to climate.

And no, the proxies for global temperature are not from the same source.
Quoting 524. MikeyRana:I am not arguing that these are half-cocked, unprocessed theories, but they are still theories just the same given the amount of assumed data.

"Still just theories"
Scientists really don't use terminology like that. You might be confusing hypothesis with theory?
Quoting 524. MikeyRana:Give us another 1000 years of accurate record keeping, and then I would feel that there may be an adequate enough data suite to derive a more defined theory from.

Why do you think that we cannot make conclusions about climate without 1000 years of data?
In 1000 years, we will likely have better means of estimating global average temperature. Do you not think that we'll have someone telling us that "well we only have quantum particle accelerated pinpoint temperature precision averaging for the last 20 years or so, and it is far superior to thermometers, if we just had 100 years more of data..."

We use the data we have to make the best conclusions possible. Over time, we get better data. In this case, we don't need more temperature data, or even more accurate temperature data, to know what greenhouse gases do with regards to climate.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Climate data is younger than Dr. Masters and everyone else 53 ?

Gro, you must respond.

ALPHA X-RAY BRAVO.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 529. Sycosys:
While all the armchair scientists prattle on about how their middle school grasp of science suggests that AGW is nonsense, is anyone else rooting for this system in the east to get organized?


Shhhhhhh, you will make it dissipate! but yea, it looks a lot better than earlier.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

"Lu's hypothesis can be disproven very simply. He argues that the radiative forcing (global energy imbalance) from CFCs matches global surface temperatures better than that from CO2 over the past decade. This is because as a result of the Montreal Protocol, CFC emissions (and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which replaced CFCs) have been flat over the past decade, and global surface air temperatures have also been essentially flat during that short timeframe, while CO2 emissions have continued to rise."



A few comments
First, someone stated someone was a scientist & used that to disregard someone else in a post: just because a person studied one kind of science...does not make him expert on all science. That would be like saying don't question a urologists unstudied opinion about a foot problem.

Now, on the above quote: I am curious -- not disputing or argueing, but curious. The CFCs got reduced & the air temps levelled out, also, in correlation to that, right?
Okay, so how does that all work in with some of the other aspects of GW arguments? Wouldn't someone think that "Okay, we've found the causative factor, so it therefore is not all the other stuff or else air temps would not have flattened out"? -- You know, like since they flatteneed out, THE cause must be CFCs (almost entirely)....or else the air temps would not have done that way?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting 434. bappit:

Mars lost a lot of its atmosphere. It does not have a magnetic field to shield it from the solar wind. Not the kind of place to raise a kid.
Oh no! John Carter is in big trouble!
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
While all the armchair scientists prattle on about how their middle school grasp of science suggests that AGW is nonsense, is anyone else rooting for this system in the east to get organized?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 579 - 529

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.