We Are What We Eat: What Can I Do? (5)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 3:38 AM GMT on April 30, 2013

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We Are What We Eat: What Can I Do? (5)

Revised: May 9, 2013

This is the continuation of a series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” Links to the previous entries are listed at the end.

Last week I made a list of categories to classify the types of actions that we can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The second item on that list is food. But first, I want to start with some more sets of categories.

When we think of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas come to forefront. We often think of coal as dirty and natural gas as clean, in terms of air quality, climate change and general environmental damage. All of these forms of fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide when they burn, and that carbon dioxide is for practical human time in either the atmosphere or ocean permanently. Therefore we can’t simply replace coal and oil with natural gas and declare that we will avoid global warming.

If we examine how we use energy, then those uses can be divided into three categories: power generation, transportation and direct use for heat. For the past few decades, coal has dominated power generation and petroleum has dominated transportation. All three contribute to direct use for heat. Recently in the U.S., natural gas has been replacing coal for power generation, but worldwide, coal is still the dominant fuel (natural gas and coal, TON, NPR). Oil dominates transportation.

Taking another cut through our energy use, we can categorize use as residential, commercial, industrial and for transportation. Industrial uses create products from raw materials: manufacturing, cement making, mining and agriculture. Commercial uses include shops, government buildings and where governments spend money. Residential and commercial uses include a large part of electricity, heating and cooling of buildings, and heating of water. An interesting point: next to the burning of fossil fuels, cement making is the largest nonagricultural source of carbon dioxide emissions. It’s on the order of 5 percent.

If we return to the question of “What Can I Do?,” then the items discussed in the previous entries on efficiency focus primarily on the better management of buildings (residential and commercial) as well as on +choices in transportation. In fact, an alternative way to categorize use is for buildings, transportation and industry. If one were to think about government regulation, then emissions from coal-fired power plants are relatively easy to target because there are not that many power plants and they don’t move around. Transportation is harder to regulate because there are, globally, billions of cars and trucks and they do move around. The different categories I have described demonstrate both the easy opportunity for regulation, power generation, and the challenges of climate policy – that there is no single thing to fix the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

Now to food – If we were to make a special food and agriculture category, then agriculture is responsible for about the same amount of emissions as, say, transportation or heating. Now, however, we have to become more holistic about what we mean by emissions. For agriculture, we have carbon dioxide emissions, which come mostly from deforestation. Cutting and burning forests to make new rangeland for cattle make up about 10 percent of the total annual carbon dioxide emissions. There is some emission from the use of fossil fuels for tractors and irrigation, and about half of the agricultural carbon dioxide fossil fuel emissions come from the manufacture of fertilizer. There are also other land use and soil management decisions made in agriculture that affect carbon dioxide emissions.

Beyond carbon dioxide, agriculture is responsible for about a third of methane emissions and close to two-thirds of the nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. These are greenhouse gases that are more potent than carbon dioxide; they are in much lower concentrations in the atmosphere.

So, what we eat can make a difference. When I was in college in the 1970s, I was introduced to Frances Moore Lappe’s book, Diet for a Small Planet. What I remember from that book was that if you took all of the calories needed to grow a pound of beef and instead feed those grains to people, you could feed many more people than you could with a pound of beef. It was my first introduction to sustainability. It takes much land and energy to make the well-marbled porterhouses that my father fed me in one-pound servings. No matter how you count, livestock production, in particular, beef production, releases a lot of greenhouse gases.

There are many marketing appeals in food and food supply. These appeals are to make personal decisions that affect the world, and individual choices the public makes about food and food supply do affect the world. We have appeals to buy grass-fed beef, organic meat and produce, locally produced and sustainable agriculture. We are faced with issues of packaging, preprocessing, natural, raw and prepared. There are no easy algorithms. In February, an apple from Chile might take less energy in transportation than an apple from Virginia takes in cold storage. We demand fresh fruit, vegetables and meat all winter. We demand exotic spices, fine coffee, tea and chocolate. The global demand for meat and nonlocal food increases as the world’s wealth increases.

So what rules of food selection matter? My personal evaluation is that reducing meat consumption is at the top of the list, and at the top of the meat list is beef. Pasture-raised might be better than feedlot, but life cycle studies show that beef is a relatively inefficient use of energy. Chicken is far more energy-efficient. Should we choose sustainable, local or organic meat and produce? From an emissions point of view, I hear sustainable advocated as best if there are actual standards and certification of sustainability--then local, then organic. I have made the controversial claim that since our current practice of organic, local and sustainable agriculture demands high payment for produce and meat, and since most of our generation of money requires high fossil fuel energy use, there is a hidden cost to the climate that comes from high-value crops.

It’s not easy, but what we eat does make a difference to the environment. We usually think of this difference in terms of pesticides, herbicides and erosion, but there is also a climate impact. And as is often the case, the connection is indirect, far in the future and difficult to know how to value.

r

Note: The source of much of the material in this entry is based on Livestock’s Long Shadow a 2006 publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There has been much criticism of this report, especially in its calculation of the emissions of the transportation sector. The original authors did modify their specific statements about transportation. As noted in the next blog in this series, there is substantial controversy about the impact of agriculture. My evaluation is that the agriculture numbers in this report are as robust as any I know. My opinion would be that the agriculture emissions in this report are more likely an underestimate than an overestimate. As for comparisons to other sources of emissions, when fossil fuel emissions are broken down as described in this blog, the different sectors, residential, commercial, transportation and industrial, are all large and no single one is dominant. Therefore, the conclusion that agriculture is comparable to these sectors seems reasonable.


Previous Entries in the Series

Setting Up the Discussion Deciding to do something, definition of mitigation and adaptation, and a cost-benefit anchored framework for thinking about mitigation

Smoking, Marriage and Climate Behavioral changes and peer pressure

Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts A little detail on efficiency and thinking about how individuals can have more impact than just that of a single person

The Complete List Eight categories of things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases


Moderation of comments: I have been getting more and more complaints about what is going on in the comments. WU and I will be addressing this. To start, here is a modified version of Dr. Master’s Blog Contents Rules.

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645. Skyepony (Mod)
Indian Court Strikes Down Another Coal Plant
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644. Skyepony (Mod)
The Arctic seas are being made rapidly more acidic by carbon-dioxide emissions, according to a new report.

Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region.

They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels.

Many creatures, including commercially valuable fish, could be affected.

They forecast major changes in the marine ecosystem, but say there is huge uncertainty over what those changes will be.

It is well known that CO2 warms the planet, but less well-known that it also makes the alkaline seas more acidic when it is absorbed from the air.

Absorption is particularly fast in cold water so the Arctic is especially susceptible, and the recent decreases in summer sea ice have exposed more sea surface to atmospheric CO2.

The Arctic's vulnerability is exacerbated by increasing flows of freshwater from rivers and melting land ice, as freshwater is less effective at chemically neutralising the acidifying effects of CO2.

The researchers say the Nordic Seas are acidifying over a wide range of depths - most quickly in surface waters and more slowly in deep waters.

The report’s chairman, Richard Bellerby from the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, told BBC News that they had mapped a mosaic of different levels of pH across the region, with the scale of change largely determined by the local intake of freshwater. ..more at the link.
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643. Skyepony (Mod)
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Quoting allahgore:


that chart shows co2 is not the cause.


Your correct it shows that C02 is just one of the fossil fuel GHG'S that is causing the warming...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
What he said ^ plus what happens when those weather patterns wain a bit? Back to more tornadoes I bet....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting Snowlover123:


A lot of the year to year changes have to do with ENSO variability, not Global Warming. We'll see what the rest of this year brings, but this is one of the quietest starts on record for Tornado Season.
And of course, there's not a snowball's chance in hell that changes in the arctic have so changed northern hemisphere weather systems that we are seeing conditions that have not existed in the history of modern civilization. And that these conditions might be affecting North American weather patterns that produce tornadoes, and introducing new patterns based on jetstream anomalies over particular time spans that are unlike anything that modern meterologists have experienced.

Since you are so much smarter than the the vast majority of the world's research climatologists - and the members of all of the world's major scientific research organizations - perhaops you could enlighten us on which years had similar patterns, how they are caused by solar radiation, and where they fit into the mix of weather patterns and trends over time.

I await my enlightenment
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1498
When is that pesky cut off low getting out of the way?
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting Snowlover123:


A lot of the year to year changes have to do with ENSO variability, not Global Warming. We'll see what the rest of this year brings, but this is one of the quietest starts on record for Tornado Season.


Lets see what later this week brings....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting cyclonebuster:


If leaves room for doubt and may is not concrete enough..


A lot of the year to year changes have to do with ENSO variability, not Global Warming. We'll see what the rest of this year brings, but this is one of the quietest starts on record for Tornado Season.
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This is from Rabett Run and relates to my comment #535

"Monday, May 06, 2013
If not now when? If not me, who?

An organizing moral of Judaism is Rabbi Hillel's, %u201CIf I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?%u201D to which Eli, and several others would add "If not me, who?"




If not now, when? and If not me, whom? are the two questions that no Honest Broker dare answer. David Appell at Quark Soup drives the n 1st stake into the heart of that broken image, first as farce.[...]

and then by showing how Carl Sagan, and E.O Wilson answered the accusations that they were "advocates" and not to be trusted when a churnalist tried to pin that on them. As Wilson said

"It is reasonable then to ask what scientists are expected to do when they hit upon a serious environmental problem. Whisper in the ear of a journalist? Entirely and chastely refrain from publishing outside technical journals, hoping the results will be discovered by nonscientists?"


In the April 5 issue of Science Bassam Shakhashiri (2012 American Chemical Society President) and Jerry Bell (Chair of the committee drafting the new ACS policy on climate change) write

F. Sherwood Rowland was a central figure in the late%u201320th-century controversy about the effect of chlorofluorocarbons on stratospheric ozone. For years, he engaged audiences ranging from students to members of the U.S. Congress. As an exemplary scientist-citizen, his focus eventually led to the worldwide ban on these compounds. Rowland spoke to all scientist-citizens when he asked: %u201CIsn't it the responsibility of scientists, if you believe that you have found something that can affect the environment, isn't it your responsibility to do something about it, enough so that action actually takes place?%u2026If not us, who? If not now, when?
This, of course is the road that James Hansen is traveling down.

Eli's friend Andy Revkin (well we are Facebook buddies) really needs to man up. There is not a middle to some roads. Pretending that there is, is both dangerous and dishonest, to your reputation, and to your friends.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3461
Quoting Snowlover123:


If tornadoes decrease overall, that's a good thing. However, I feel that only the bad news is talked about with a changing climate. A changing climate will both have it's positives and it's negatives. A warming climate may steer hurricanes further away from the coastline and may decrease storminess overall. The good news with a changing climate should also be focused on as well.


If leaves room for doubt and may is not concrete enough..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

What is your definition of a "denier" in the climate sense?
Search Google Scholar for "climate change denial" (without the quotation marks) and you will get 47,200 hits. There you will find not only definitions of climate denial, but research into why people deny scientific reality. Should keep you busy for a while.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, so long as you're acknowledging these statements are your opinion only and are not supported by anything you've shown here (including the Mochizuki paper), I suppose that's okay. Erroneous, obviously. But okay.


I based it off of the correlation observed with the detrended temperature data and the PDO data. The authors I quoted do not disagree that the PDO plays a major role in modulating the long term temperature trend on the multidecadal scale.
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Quoting Xandra:
List of nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action >>



Here's an example of why this may not be the ultimate proof of a consensus.

The AMS is considered to be one of the scientific organizations that endorse the "mainstream" view on anthropogenic Global Warming.

However, that doesn't mean that it's members necessarily agree.

A recent AMS survey, which asked the AMS members their views on Global Warming, is giving a rough idea of what is happening here.

There were close to 2000 members surveyed.

A pretty large majority (89%) agreed that the Earth had warmed. The 89% were asked then what the cause of the warming is. 59% attributed the primary factor in recent warming to human activity. Thus, 89% of 59% is close to 52-53%. This is the percentage of members surveyed that agreed with the "mainstream" view of Anthropogenic Global Warming. A large minority disagreed with the "mainstream" view (47-48%).

What this is showing is that while organizations may put out statements endorsing human caused warming, many scientists within those organizations do not agree with what the "position statements" are saying.

These position statements are decided by a group of scientists. For example, the AMS Council, which puts out position statements is made up of 21 scientists. A very small group of people to write a position statement for an organization containing tens of thousands of members is not at all impressive when looking to see what scientists think overall.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Thanks for posting that. As a helpful companion piece, here's a comprehensive list of all the worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has not been caused by human action.


You mean even the Petroleum Geologists have seen the light?
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Hey, I've got a fun exercise for you; look up the meaning of this word.


If tornadoes decrease overall, that's a good thing. However, I feel that only the bad news is talked about with a changing climate. A changing climate will both have it's positives and it's negatives. A warming climate may steer hurricanes further away from the coastline and may decrease storminess overall. The good news with a changing climate should also be focused on as well.
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Quoting Xandra:
Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree


Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the
past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.


List of nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action >>

Thanks for posting that. As a helpful companion piece, here's a comprehensive list of all the worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has not been caused by human action.
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Quoting Xandra:
Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree


Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the
past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.


I find it interesting that the JMA Temperature curve for the last decade shows even more of a hiatus period than all of the other datasets. Could be because of a different method of processing the temperature data.
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Quoting Xandra:
Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree


Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the
past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.


List of nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action >>



Thanks, I was looking for a place that had a list that complete.
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Quoting Snowlover123:
I seem to notice that when tornado activity is high, this chart is posted numerous times on this blog. However, when tornado activity is very low, like it is now, this chart isn't posted at all. Why is this so?

Hey, I've got a fun exercise for you; look up the meaning of this word.
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Quoting Snowlover123:
The PDO is likely the primary factor responsible in modulating the long term warming trend to mask the long term warming trend in the mid 20th Century... I did claim that the PDO/AMO were likely the primary factors involved in the mid 20th Century cooling trend, but I did not directly cite that claim with the Mochizuki paper.
Well, so long as you're acknowledging these statements are your opinion only and are not supported by anything you've shown here (including the Mochizuki paper), I suppose that's okay. Erroneous, obviously. But okay.
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Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree


Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the
past few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record.


List of nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action >>

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Quoting Snowlover123:
I seem to notice that when tornado activity is high, this chart is posted numerous times on this blog. However, when tornado activity is very low, like it is now, this chart isn't posted at all. Why is this so?https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak -ash3/525255_163978977104904_207669561_n.jpg



Why because you never know when that energy is going to release it's self. It can be in the form of tornadoes,severe weather,hurricanes or heat waves...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
I seem to notice that when tornado activity is high, this chart is posted numerous times on this blog. However, when tornado activity is very low, like it is now, this chart isn't posted at all. Why is this so?

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O.K. I must confess I wouldn't have thought immediately of Lebanon when it comes to environmental improvement. Chapeau!

Lebanon: Smart grids fight blackouts
Lebanon is upgrading part of its energy system into a smart grid, a network that integrates various renewable energies that complement each other. The flexible technology is meant to tackle frequent power failures.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
This statement from the linked article: "Our results suggest that the PDO also plays a major role in modulating the global warming trend on decadal timescales."

...is not equal to this statement of yours: "The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible for the significant decadal modulation of the long term warming trend over the 20th Century"

See that? The authors stated "...the PDO also plays a major role"; you misinterpreted that to say, "The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible..."

That's a no-no. That's like a doctor telling a patient, "You smoke three packs a day, and that's why you have lung cancer, although being raised in Beijing's smog also played a major role in you getting the disease," and you coming away with "Living in Beijing is the primary reason I have lung cancer. See? Cigarette smoking hasn't hurt me at all!"

Listen up: it's not the sun. It's not clouds. And it's not PDO/AMO. It's an increasing imbalance of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. If not mostly, then entirely. Period.


You may as well be talking to a






...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting Neapolitan:
This statement from the linked article: "Our results suggest that the PDO also plays a major role in modulating the global warming trend on decadal timescales."

...is not equal to this statement of yours: "The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible for the significant decadal modulation of the long term warming trend over the 20th Century"

See that? The authors stated "...the PDO also plays a major role"; you misinterpreted that to say, "The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible..."



The PDO is likely the primary factor responsible in modulating the long term warming trend to mask the long term warming trend in the mid 20th Century. It's a major cause of the mid 20th Century cooling period.

Also, I did not say that the paper showed that the mid 20th Century cooling was primarily caused by the PDO/AMO. I posted it in support that the PDO/AMO are major modulators of the long term warming trend, which it does.

I did claim that the PDO/AMO were likely the primary factors involved in the mid 20th Century cooling trend, but I did not directly cite that claim with the Mochizuki paper.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Please show me that correlation. HadCRUT3:

temps

PDO:
tempsUm....


Look at the detrended temperature series I posted. Your temperature series you posted are not detrended. Also, to determine if a correlation exists on a centennial scale or not with the detrended temperature series, you should compare the two variables on the same timeframe, not different timeframes.
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Four Must-See Charts Show Why Renewable Energy Is Disruptive – In A Good Way

"A common refrain, from skeptics to allies alike, is that renewable energy is a great idea, but not feasible because oil, gas, and coal will always be cheaper. Leaving aside the fact that fossil fuels are a finite resource and are the primary driver behind a warming planet, is it really true that renewable energy is more expensive?"

Since a picture is worth 10,000 words. I'll just post the charts:


The graph above compares the price history of solar energy to conventional energy sources. This is what a disruptive technology looks like. While conventional energy prices remained pretty flat in inflation adjusted terms, the cost of solar is dropping,fast, and is likely to continue doing so as technology and manufacturing processes improve.








Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3461
Please show me that correlation. HadCRUT3:

temps

PDO:
temps
Quoting Snowlover123:
The correlation is pretty evident.
Um....
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Quoting Snowlover123:


I've already said that the PDO doesn't cause long term climate change. You're saying that the paper doesn't support my claim that the PDO modulates the centennial warming trend.

In fact the paper notes right here,

" Our results suggest that the PDO also plays a major role in modulating the global warming trend on decadal timescales."

So why don't you point out to where this is somehow in disagreement with my previous statements?

This statement from the linked article: "Our results suggest that the PDO also plays a major role in modulating the global warming trend on decadal timescales."

...is not equal to this statement of yours: "The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible for the significant decadal modulation of the long term warming trend over the 20th Century"

See that? The authors stated "...the PDO also plays a major role"; you misinterpreted that to say, "The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible..."

That's a no-no. That's like a doctor telling a patient, "You smoke three packs a day, and that's why you have lung cancer, although being raised in Beijing's smog also played a major role in you getting the disease," and you coming away with "Living in Beijing is the primary reason I have lung cancer. See? Cigarette smoking hasn't hurt me at all!"

Listen up: it's not the sun. It's not clouds. And it's not PDO/AMO. It's an increasing imbalance of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels. If not mostly, then entirely. Period.
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Quoting barbamz:
May this be right!
Brighter Clouds, Cooler Climate? Organic Vapors Affect Clouds, Leading to Previously Unidentified Climate Cooling


That's an interesting negative feedback. I'm curious as to what the magnitude of it is.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
As others have pointed out, the PDO is simply not capable of doing all the magic of which you and some others would like it to be. I know it's one of Bastardi's pet theories, as it is Dr. Maue's; both gentlemen are wrong, of course, as is anyone who abides by the same idea. The thing is, as even a cursory glance at a dual plot of global temperature and PDO index shows, there little to no correlation between the two. None. Here:

PDO

As has been stated, the PDO doesn't add or subtract heat from the climatic system; instead, it simply moves it around. That fact is indisputable...

P.S. -- That screwball 5th degree polynomial trendline in the bottom image in #584. Dude, seriously? Listen: there are a large number of credible climate science sources on the internet. You'll do yourself--and your argument--a large favor if you visit them, rather than sites featuring the denialist claptrap emitted by Humlum & Co. Just saying...


As I've said, the PDO doesn't explain the long term temperature increase. I've had to explain this multiple times now. On a multidecadal basis, the two variables correlate very nicely. I explained that in the post you, yourself quoted. Again, the PDO correlates very well to the detrended long term temperature changes over the last 100-150 years. It correlates to the rapid warming periods in the early 20th and late-20th Century, and the mid 20th Century Cool period. The PDO is a measurement of the atmospheric circulation patterns. An explanation for this nearly perfect correlation could be that the PDO modulates the amount of Cloud Cover on a multidecadal basis on the order of 1-2%.



Detrended temperatures from HadcruT3 above.



PDO variations above.

The correlation is pretty evident.

I wasn't aware that the Polynomial fit used in Climate4you wasn't legitimate. However, it should be noted that the running mean in the HadCruT4 dataset I posted looked pretty similar to the polynomial fit from HadCruT4. Just food for thought.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:
Oh, and did anyone read that PDO paper that was linked to?

It was interesting. Most interesting was that it didn't really say what some have claimed it said. In fact, all it really said is that by taking into account PDO, we possibly improve our forecasting of climate variability. It also suggests that global near-surface temperatures averaged over a decade would be warmer during pos-PDO and colder neg-PDO (compared to the background, forced temperature), because long term climatic changes and the PDO were both a part of observed temperatures. Did you know that there is noise on top of the longer term climatic trend? Gosh, groundbreaking stuff.


I've already said that the PDO doesn't cause long term climate change. You're saying that the paper doesn't support my claim that the PDO modulates the centennial warming trend.

In fact the paper notes right here,

" Our results suggest that the PDO also plays a major role in modulating the global warming trend on decadal timescales."

So why don't you point out to where this is somehow in disagreement with my previous statements?

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Quoting ScottLincoln:
Oh, and did anyone read that PDO paper that was linked to?

It was interesting. Most interesting was that it didn't really say what some have claimed it said. In fact, all it really said is that by taking into account PDO, we possibly improve our forecasting of climate variability. It also suggests that global near-surface temperatures averaged over a decade would be warmer during pos-PDO and colder neg-PDO (compared to the background, forced temperature), because long term climatic changes and the PDO were both a part of observed temperatures. Did you know that there is noise on top of the longer term climatic trend? Gosh, groundbreaking stuff.


Not until you mentioned it. I tend to avoid links from known "skeptics". It avoids a lot of facepalm bruises and broken headvices.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3461
Oh, and did anyone read that PDO paper that was linked to?

It was interesting. Most interesting was that it didn't really say what some have claimed it said. In fact, all it really said is that by taking into account PDO, we possibly improve our forecasting of climate variability. It also suggests that global near-surface temperatures averaged over a decade would be warmer during pos-PDO and colder neg-PDO (compared to the background, forced temperature), because long term climatic changes and the PDO were both a part of observed temperatures. Did you know that there is noise on top of the longer term climatic trend? Gosh, groundbreaking stuff.
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There was this kid that I went to college with that was really good and grabbing papers, random topics, & definitions out of thin air when he was called on. It made him actually seem rather intelligent. The words were from a somewhat advanced vocabulary and the concepts were not high school science, either. Then came time for group projects and exams. Turns out, he was actually just good at brain dumping... knowing something but not really knowing it. Just knowing how to link to papers or make smart-sounding statements doesn't cut it if you cannot apply critical thinking skills to the information you find, nor fit evidence into the big picture.

I need to go work on some actual science for a little bit and give my facepalm bruise a fighting chance to heal.
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Quoting Neapolitan:


P.S. -- That screwball 5th degree polynomial trendline in the bottom image in #584.


It's just a illustrtion of what Tamino calls "mathturbation"

T'm sure you've seen this before:
"With 4 parameters, I can fit an elephant, with 5 I can move his trunk."
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Quoting Snowlover123:
I never said it was the cause of the long term trend upward in temperatures. I actually specifically mentioned that it wasn't the cause of the long term trend upward in temperatures multiple times.

I wrote in Post #588:

Of course, the PDO/AMO aren't responsible for the long term trend upward, which is likely a combination of solar and anthropogenic factors, but it can explain pretty much every single multidecadal temperature change over the 20th Century.

And in Post #584 I wrote:

The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible for the significant decadal modulation of the long term warming trend over the 20th Century
As others have pointed out, the PDO is simply not capable of doing all the magic of which you and some others would like it to be. I know it's one of Bastardi's pet theories, as it is Dr. Maue's; both gentlemen are wrong, of course, as is anyone who abides by the same idea. The thing is, as even a cursory glance at a dual plot of global temperature and PDO index shows, there little to no correlation between the two. None. Here:

PDO

As has been stated, the PDO doesn't add or subtract heat from the climatic system; instead, it simply moves it around. That fact is indisputable...

P.S. -- That screwball 5th degree polynomial trendline in the bottom image in #584. Dude, seriously? Listen: there are a large number of credible climate science sources on the internet. You'll do yourself--and your argument--a large favor if you visit them, rather than sites featuring the denialist claptrap emitted by Humlum & Co. Just saying...
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Quoting barbamz:
May this be right!
Brighter Clouds, Cooler Climate? Organic Vapors Affect Clouds, Leading to Previously Unidentified Climate Cooling


Yes that probably would happen if the concentration of fossil fuel GHG's present in our atmosphere were lower....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting JohnLonergan:
The PDO, like ENSO and AMO, is an oscillation with no trend. It moves the heat through different part of the climate system but can not create nor retain heat. It can not be the cause of a long term warming trend.


I never said it was the cause of the long term trend upward in temperatures. I actually specifically mentioned that it wasn't the cause of the long term trend upward in temperatures multiple times.

I wrote in Post #588:

Of course, the PDO/AMO aren't responsible for the long term trend upward, which is likely a combination of solar and anthropogenic factors, but it can explain pretty much every single multidecadal temperature change over the 20th Century.

And in Post #584 I wrote:

The PDO and AMO are probably the primary variables responsible for the significant decadal modulation of the long term warming trend over the 20th Century

They don't cause the long term warming trend, but they modulate the long term warming trend to produce periods of rapid warming and multidecadal periods of no warming.



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Quoting JohnLonergan:
The PDO, like ENSO and AMO, is an oscillation with no trend. It moves the heat through different part of the climate system but can not create nor retain heat. It can not be the cause of a long term warming trend.



It can retain heat in the sense of not releasing it to space due to fossil fuel GHG's trapping it....
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20426
Quoting Xandra:
Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility - In One Pie Chart



Source


Here is an alternate view on James Powell's search.



Quoting Article:
By fabricated a strawman argument claiming he found only 24 papers "rejecting global warming", Powell intentionally misrepresented actual skeptic arguments and failed to count hundreds of peer-reviewed papers authored by skeptics such as,

Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change?
(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 94, Number 16, pp. 8335-8342, August 1997)
- Richard S. Lindzen

* Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is indexed in Web of Science (Science Citation Index).
* August 1997 is between January 1, 1991 and November 9, 2012.
* Can increasing carbon dioxide cause climate change? includes the search phrase "global warming".

and,

On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
(Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 47, Number 4, pp. 377-390, August 2011)
- Richard S. Lindzen, Yong-Sang Choi,


How do you respond to this analysis of his method?
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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.