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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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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Quoting Snowlover123:


Yes, CO2 increased along with temperatures. That tells us nothing about how much warming CO2 caused or how sensitive the climate is to a doubling of CO2.



You just won the chair of the day award...









...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility - In One Pie Chart



Source
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Quoting cyclonebuster:

RE: 584





How about graphing Co2 concentration on that chart like it is on this NOAA chart?






...


Yes, CO2 increased along with temperatures. That tells us nothing about how much warming CO2 caused or how sensitive the climate is to a doubling of CO2.
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Quoting goosegirl1:


Actually, the sun has been in a cooling trend, and I didn't have to guess at that. I looked it up :)

Link

Link

If the sun is not putting out as much energy, as the evidences shows, we should be cooling. Since we are not, well... it's not the sun.


Hi Goosegirl.

Whether the sun's activity increased during the late-20th Century is actually a matter of debate. If you look at ACRIM, you see an increasing trend in TSI. If you look at the most important index; the Geomagnetic AA Index, you see an increasing trend during the late-20th Century, and can explain most temperature changes over the 20th Century. If there is an amplification mechanism, then this correlation would signify a cause and effect mechanism, since the variations from TSI alone are insufficient to account for much warming.



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Related to the pevious post:



New Data and WRI’s Working PaperThe authors of WRI’s working paper,Reducing Upstream Methane Emissions from U.S. Natural gas Production, chose to publish our research in a working paper format because the natural gas emissions landscape is constantly shifting, with new data and information expected to be published on a regular basis in the months after our paper went to press. The 2013 GHG Inventory estimates that 6.9 MMt of fugitive methane leaked from U.S. natural gas systems in 2011. This implies a leakage rate of approximately 1.4 percent, which is considerably lower than the 2.3 percent leakage rate implied by the last inventory. Clearing the Air was researched and written based largely on data from and reports based on the 2011 and 2012 GHG inventories. As such, if the new inventory data was available at the time we published our paper, our findings would have changed as follows:

Our estimate of total upstream GHG emissions (carbon dioxide and methane) from natural gas systems in 2012 would be about 29 percent lower.


Our business as usual (BAU) upstream GHG emissions estimate (factoring in the implications of recent EPA rules addressing air pollution from natural gas systems) would be roughly 25 percent lower in 2015 and 23 percent lower in 2035. Note, on a percentage basis, our estimates of the scale of emissions reductions achieved as a result of the NSPS would not be substantially affected by changes between the 2012 and 2013 inventories. This is because the 2013 inventory still estimates that there are substantial methane emissions associated with well completions and recompletions, at least 95 percent of which would be eliminated under the new EPA rules.


Our first emissions abatement scenario would yield roughly 40 percent fewer reductions relative to BAU, but would result in roughly the same lower level of total emissions as we originally modeled. This is because new information in the inventory indicates that the opportunity to achieve emissions reductions through the broader use of plunger lifts during liquids unloading operations is actually very limited, since the use of this technology is already common standard industry practice (as would be reflected in a new, lower BAU baseline).


It is important to note that new GHG Inventory data does not impact the policy recommendations in the working paper, which are technology neutral. It also does not impact the strategies that industry and governments can take to reduce these emissions. Furthermore, a 1 percent leakage rate is still a worthy and achievable performance benchmark.
.
Even with the drop in EPA’s estimate of emissions from natural gas


Read the working paper, Clearing the Air: Reducing Upstream Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Natural Gas Systems here.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3446
Quoting schwankmoe:
now what does the chart look like when you remove ENSO? people gotta start learning about signal and noise here.

besides, when skeptics point to a cooling trend after WWII, they conveniently ignore sulfates and other aerosols causing dimming.


Anthropogenic aerosols were probably a secondary factor in the mid 20th Century Cooling. The primary cause was likely the PDO/AMO flipping negative. Aerosols don't explain why temperatures shot up dramatically in the early 20th Century and the late-20th Century. All of those periods can be adequately explained by the PDO/AMO. 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. Plus, the PDO/AMO, as well as declined solar activity can probably mostly explain the hiatus period we're currently in.
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RE: 584


Quoting Snowlover123:
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. There is a very good correlation between the PDO/AMO and the detrended temperature trends.

We can also see the pause in the warming very nicely from HadCruT4.



From the Met Office above. The periods of rapid warming correspond to PDO periods and the mid 20th Century cooling period corresponds to the -PDO/-AMO nicely as well. That's a reason why Mochizuki et al. 2010 found that the PDO can significantly modulate the long term warming trend over a multidecadal basis.

We can see the pause reflected in this chart using HadCruT4 data as well:




How about graphing Co2 concentration on that chart like it is on this NOAA chart?






...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
5 Reasons Why It’s (Still) Important to Reduce Fugitive Methane Emissions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory report. Using new data and information, the EPA lowered its estimate of fugitive methane emissions from natural gas development by 33 percent, from 10.3 million metric tons (MMT) in 2010 to 6.9 MMT in 2011. While such a reduction, if confirmed by measurement data, would undeniably be a welcome development, it doesn’t mean that the problem is solved.

There are still many reasons why reducing fugitive methane is important. Even better, WRI’s recent analysis finds that we have the technologies and policy frameworks to do so cost effectively.

Here are five big reasons we should care about fugitive methane emissions:

1) Emissions Are Still Too High.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and a key driver of global warming. Methane is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period and 72 times stronger over a 20-year period. In fact, 6.9 MMt of methane is equivalent in impact to 172 MMt of CO2 over a 100-year time horizon. That’s greater than all the direct and indirect GHG emissions from iron and steel, cement, and aluminum manufacturing combined. Reducing methane emissions is an essential step toward reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the rate of global warming.

Even with the drop in EPA’s estimate of emissions from natural gas systems, the average fugitive methane leakage rate is still above 1 percent (see text box). Previous research has shown a 1 percent leakage rate to be an important benchmark: Below this rate, switching from diesel to natural gas as fuel for buses and long-haul trucks produces climate benefits over any time horizon. (The equivalent leakage rate for switching from coal to natural gas for electricity generation is roughly 3.2 percent.) It’s important to note that these rates are only benchmarks—not goals. The goal should be to reduce fugitive methane emissions by as much as is technologically and economically feasible.

2) Natural Gas Should Be Cleaner.


Natural gas comprised 29 percent of the U.S. electricity mix in 2012 and is widely used for industrial processes and for residential cooking and heating. The Energy Information Administration projects a significant expansion in natural gas production over the coming decades, increasing by more than 40 percent between 2012 and 2040, with much of that coming from shale and other unconventional sources. WRI analysis has found that for the United States to meet its stated goal of reducing GHG emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020–to say nothing of the deeper cuts needed beyond 2020–it needs to reduce fugitive methane emissions from natural gas.

3) Reducing Fugitive Methane Emissions Saves Money.

Natural gas is more than 80 percent methane. Lose methane, and you’re losing product. Estimates show that the natural gas industry loses more than $2 billion per year through leaks and venting, but unfortunately, market structures are such that incentives to reduce these emissions are often misaligned.

Fortunately, many technologies that mitigate or capture fugitive methane emissions are cost-effective. Reducing leakage makes economic sense. Policy actions are needed to properly align environmental and consumer interests with business interests.

4) Reducing Fugitive Methane Emissions Doesn’t Require New Federal Legislation.

EPA currently has the authority to set standards for greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The agency’s recent rules aimed at reducing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants had the added bonus of indirectly reducing methane emissions. Going forward, the agency should set standards that address methane emissions directly, in order to maximize GHG reductions. States also have the ability to demonstrate policy leadership and limit fugitive methane emissions from natural gas production.

5) Emissions Are Still Uncertain.

Upstream GHG emissions from natural gas systems are notoriously difficult to quantify, with many diffuse sources of emissions and scarce measurement data, complicated by the fact that the industry is rapidly expanding and transforming. EPA’s GHG Inventory is the best peer-reviewed data source currently available. However, it still relies heavily on industry-supplied emissions factors and activity data as opposed to independently verified, direct measurements. Plus, the dramatic drop in emissions estimates is attributed almost entirely to a change in EPA’s estimate of methane emissions associated with liquids unloading operations—just one part of the entire natural gas production process. The agency’s primary data source for liquids unloading is a recent industry survey.

More and better measurement data from all stages of the natural gas lifecycle will go a long way toward alleviating uncertainty around the magnitude of fugitive methane emissions. Several studies are underway that will help in this regard. But with more than half a million natural gas wells, hundreds of thousands of miles of pipeline, and thousands of processing plants and compressor stations – plus the huge amount of variation between individual producers – we will never have perfect data. But we know enough to take action to start reducing methane emissions now.

While the EPA’s new data is encouraging, the fugitive methane problem is far from solved. Meanwhile, without policy action, greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise, and climate change’s impacts continue to be felt. We cannot afford to take a wait-and-see approach. Fugitive methane emissions should be reduced as much and as quickly as possible.

Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3446
Quoting Snowlover123:


You're welcome. Like I said, the role of CO2 should not be ignored either. But the role of the sun has been large throughout the 20th Century.. perhaps larger than 50% of the warming, though I'm not entirely sure.


Actually, the sun has been in a cooling trend, and I didn't have to guess at that. I looked it up :)

Link

Link

If the sun is not putting out as much energy, as the evidences shows, we should be cooling. Since we are not, well... it's not the sun.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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. There is a very good correlation between the PDO/AMO and the detrended temperature trends.

We can also see the pause in the warming very nicely from HadCruT4.



From the Met Office above. The periods of rapid warming correspond to PDO periods and the mid 20th Century cooling period corresponds to the -PDO/-AMO nicely as well. That's a reason why Mochizuki et al. 2010 found that the PDO can significantly modulate the long term warming trend over a multidecadal basis.

We can see the pause reflected in this chart using HadCruT4 data as well:

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Quoting ScottLincoln:
Wow I think I just found a bruise on my forehead... from face-palming.


Do tell us what it was that caused you to hurt yourself by face-palming?
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Quoting FLwolverine:
#542 - Snowlover123 -

Thank you. Some of this is still over my head but it's good to stretch my mind.


You're welcome. Like I said, the role of CO2 should not be ignored either. But the role of the sun has been large throughout the 20th Century.. perhaps larger than 50% of the warming, though I'm not entirely sure.
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From Bad Astronomy:

Flatly wrong global warming denial

By Phil Plait

Sometimes climate change deniers make it all too easy.

The UK paper Daily Mail has a long history of courting climate change denial, and apparently it has no wish to change. It recently posted an atrocious article called "Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it". The article was written by David Rose, who wrote a pretty inaccurate article earlier this year on a similar topic.

In fact, this new article was so blatantly wrong that the MET office – the national weather service for the UK – wrote a rebuttal to it detailing the flaws. To start with, they point out they did recently update their global temperature databases, but that’s a very different thing than "quietly releasing a report", as Rose claims. Cue the conspiracy music!

It gets worse from there. They take on his points one at a time and take them down. I highly recommend reading them. And if you haven’t gotten your fill of it, or you’re still not convinced, you can check out The Carbon Brief’s article that gives more details on Rose’s denial.

Or you can read the takedown by Skeptical Science.

Or by Open Mind. In fact, let’s take a closer look at that.



Tamino, the author of Open Mind, shows just how Rose picks and chooses his data to make it look like global warming stopped years ago. In the picture here, the top graph shows what Rose says the temperature looks like: flat across the past 15 years or so. But that’s terribly misleading: the starting point he chose falsely makes the graph look flat. The bottom one shows the true situation as Tamino describes it. You have to go farther into the past to find a reasonable starting point, and when you do, you see what looked flat is actually a rising temperature over time.

To do what Rose did in that upper graph is to strain reality (and credulity) past the breaking point. It’s almost as if Rose specifically chose the data that he liked and rejected the rest. That’s a big no-no in the reality-based world. Tamino thoroughly vaporizes Rose’s article, showing that it’s wrong in its most basic assumptions, its methodology, and its conclusions.

But other than that…

This article is just another in a long line of climate change denials that fiddles with the data to make it look like the Earth isn’t warming up. But it adds up. This kind of nonsense is damaging to real efforts to do something real about a real problem. And venues like the Daily Mail are all too happy to fan the fire while the world burns.


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well, when you make a prediction that in one year the global temperature anomaly is going to change by a whopping .8C, you better have a solid phenomenon to point to and good methodology. yikes.

tamino really does a great job hammering home the idea of signal vs noise in the climate record.

Quoting JohnLonergan:


Coincidentally or not, the lesson for today at SkepticalScience is
Distinguishing Between Short-Term Variability and Long-Term Trends
and what can happen when you get confused:

"Nevertheless, lead author John McLean predicted a record-shattering cooling for the year 2011, based on the methodology in their paper. As we subsequently documented, that prediction was quite far off (Figure 1)."


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Quoting Birthmark:

Someone who ignores the thousands of papers indicating AGW as the cause of the current warming and a serious problem is a climate denialist. They may outright deny, or more frequently on this board, grab the odd statistic, bit of weather, or a single scientific paper that clashes with the body of knowledge to indicate that AGW a)isn't real; or b)isn't the major cause of the current warming; or c)isn't serious (for whatever non-scientific reason they can contrive).

Some go so far as to claim that CO2 isn't rising or isn't a GHG.

Hope that helps.



That's a good start...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

What is your definition of a "denier" in the climate sense?

Someone who ignores the thousands of papers indicating AGW as the cause of the current warming and a serious problem is a climate denialist. They may outright deny, or more frequently on this board, grab the odd statistic, bit of weather, or a single scientific paper that clashes with the body of knowledge to indicate that AGW a)isn't real; or b)isn't the major cause of the current warming; or c)isn't serious (for whatever non-scientific reason they can contrive).

Some go so far as to claim that CO2 isn't rising or isn't a GHG.

Hope that helps.
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Quoting schwankmoe:
another interesting note: while you point to NOAA data with regards to warming prior to 2000, you use CRU data from 2000 on. which is interesting, as NOAA has plenty of data for the latter period. according to NOAA data, 2005 was the warmest year overall, 2010 being in second, and 1998 being third. which kinda puts to rest the whole 'no warming over the last 15 years' shtick.

besides which, once you remove ENSO, the rise in the signal becomes much clearer. likewise, of course, looking at ocean data (shallow and deep), there is clearly a large-scale warming trend.



Coincidentally or not, the lesson for today at SkepticalScience is
Distinguishing Between Short-Term Variability and Long-Term Trends
and what can happen when you get confused:

"Nevertheless, lead author John McLean predicted a record-shattering cooling for the year 2011, based on the methodology in their paper. As we subsequently documented, that prediction was quite far off (Figure 1)."


Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3446
Quoting schwankmoe:
arr, thermodynamics be a harsh mistress.



Right as Dr. Eli Rabett defined them:

1. You can't win
2. You can't break even
3. You have to play the game
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3446
another interesting note: while you point to NOAA data with regards to warming prior to 2000, you use CRU data from 2000 on. which is interesting, as NOAA has plenty of data for the latter period. according to NOAA data, 2005 was the warmest year overall, 2010 being in second, and 1998 being third. which kinda puts to rest the whole 'no warming over the last 15 years' shtick.

besides which, once you remove ENSO, the rise in the signal becomes much clearer. likewise, of course, looking at ocean data (shallow and deep), there is clearly a large-scale warming trend.

Quoting MisterPerfect:


If one looks at the NOAA chart above, one can see that from 1940 to 1970 there was a distinct mini cooling period in spite of the fact that CO2 was rising steadily during this time. CO2 climate skeptics use this period as evidence that CO2 may not be the primary driver of global warming as it does not correlate at all with the cooling temperatures during this 30 year period.



The chart above is plotted from data released in January, 2012 by the University of East Anglia CRU (Climatic Research Unit) in the UK, a very respected climate research organization. The average was calculated based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the world. The chart basically says that warming hit a peak in 1997 and has been relatively flat for the past 15 years.

Another important factor (not given much weight in the models) is the 60 year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When both oceans have been cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle flipped from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also believed likely to flip in the next few years. Ultimately though, the temperature fluctuations of the oceans are due to energy cycles from the sun, although on about a 60 year cycle instead of the 11 year sunspot cycle. Some climate scientists find the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because if true, it means that the oceans caused most of the global warming between 1970 and 1997, not CO2. The next ten years will reveal which factors are the most important.

http://www.outerspacecentral.com/solar_effects_pa ge.html

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now what does the chart look like when you remove ENSO? people gotta start learning about signal and noise here.

besides, when skeptics point to a cooling trend after WWII, they conveniently ignore sulfates and other aerosols causing dimming.

one thing about the reality-based side is, while we understand CO2 is currently the main forcing behind the current warming trend, we also understand that there are other variables. skeptics focus so much on merely CO2 in some insane quixotic quest to point out somewhere that something cooled in spite of rising CO2 levels, as if that completely disproves basic chemistry.

Quoting MisterPerfect:


If one looks at the NOAA chart above, one can see that from 1940 to 1970 there was a distinct mini cooling period in spite of the fact that CO2 was rising steadily during this time. CO2 climate skeptics use this period as evidence that CO2 may not be the primary driver of global warming as it does not correlate at all with the cooling temperatures during this 30 year period.



The chart above is plotted from data released in January, 2012 by the University of East Anglia CRU (Climatic Research Unit) in the UK, a very respected climate research organization. The average was calculated based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the world. The chart basically says that warming hit a peak in 1997 and has been relatively flat for the past 15 years.

Another important factor (not given much weight in the models) is the 60 year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When both oceans have been cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle flipped from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also believed likely to flip in the next few years. Ultimately though, the temperature fluctuations of the oceans are due to energy cycles from the sun, although on about a 60 year cycle instead of the 11 year sunspot cycle. Some climate scientists find the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because if true, it means that the oceans caused most of the global warming between 1970 and 1997, not CO2. The next ten years will reveal which factors are the most important.

http://www.outerspacecentral.com/solar_effects_pa ge.html

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Quoting Birthmark:

1. Climate deniers (they are NOT skeptics) use whatever they can lay their hands on in order to deceive.

2. If one wants to look at the 1940-1970 period, one might want to ask how much CO2 was actually in the atmosphere. If it was substantially less (and it was), then it is readily apparent that it couldn't be doing much driving. IOW, natural variability had a much easier time masking any CO2-caused warming. That doesn't include the fact that air pollution was probably a very large factor.


Most 15 year periods have been relatively flat throughout the current warming. Less than half the time has a 15 year period shown statistically significant warming, so this is nothing unusual.

There are several different data sets. GISTEMP, for example, doesn't show 1997 as being the warmest year. It is not the only data set that does so. It's best to look at *all* the evidence when trying to reach a reasonable conclusion.


Oceans do not generate heat. They move it around. They can influence air temperature, of course, but we are talking about *global* warming, not just atmospheric warming. The Earth has been absorbing more energy than it releases to space --IOW, the Earth is warming. The oceans, in particular the deep oceans, have been warming greatly of late. Why is being investigated. I don't think that there are firm answers at this point, but it's tough for me to keep up with everything.

If you investigate further, you will learn that neither the PDO or the AMO track the current warming very well.

What is your definition of a "denier" in the climate sense?
Member Since: April 16, 2013 Posts: 27 Comments: 3168
CO2 climate skeptics use this period as evidence that CO2 may not be the primary driver of global warming as it does not correlate at all with the cooling temperatures during this 30 year period.

1. Climate deniers (they are NOT skeptics) use whatever they can lay their hands on in order to deceive.

2. If one wants to look at the 1940-1970 period, one might want to ask how much CO2 was actually in the atmosphere. If it was substantially less (and it was), then it is readily apparent that it couldn't be doing much driving. IOW, natural variability had a much easier time masking any CO2-caused warming. That doesn't include the fact that air pollution was probably a very large factor.

The chart basically says that warming hit a peak in 1997 and has been relatively flat for the past 15 years.

Most 15 year periods have been relatively flat throughout the current warming. Less than half the time has a 15 year period shown statistically significant warming, so this is nothing unusual.

There are several different data sets. GISTEMP, for example, doesn't show 1997 as being the warmest year. It is not the only data set that does so. It's best to look at *all* the evidence when trying to reach a reasonable conclusion.

Another important factor (not given much weight in the models) is the 60 year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Oceans do not generate heat. They move it around. They can influence air temperature, of course, but we are talking about *global* warming, not just atmospheric warming. The Earth has been absorbing more energy than it releases to space --IOW, the Earth is warming. The oceans, in particular the deep oceans, have been warming greatly of late. Why is being investigated. I don't think that there are firm answers at this point, but it's tough for me to keep up with everything.

If you investigate further, you will learn that neither the PDO or the AMO track the current warming very well.
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Way ahead of last years melt rate.


Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Way ahead of last years melt rate...

Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting MisterPerfect:


If one looks at the NOAA chart above, one can see that from 1940 to 1970 there was a distinct mini cooling period in spite of the fact that CO2 was rising steadily during this time. CO2 climate skeptics use this period as evidence that CO2 may not be the primary driver of global warming as it does not correlate at all with the cooling temperatures during this 30 year period.



The chart above is plotted from data released in January, 2012 by the University of East Anglia CRU (Climatic Research Unit) in the UK, a very respected climate research organization. The average was calculated based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the world. The chart basically says that warming hit a peak in 1997 and has been relatively flat for the past 15 years.

Another important factor (not given much weight in the models) is the 60 year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When both oceans have been cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle flipped from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also believed likely to flip in the next few years. Ultimately though, the temperature fluctuations of the oceans are due to energy cycles from the sun, although on about a 60 year cycle instead of the 11 year sunspot cycle. Some climate scientists find the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because if true, it means that the oceans caused most of the global warming between 1970 and 1997, not CO2. The next ten years will reveal which factors are the most important.

http://www.outerspacecentral.com/solar_effects_pa ge.html


Thought I would repost to put some emphasis on what SnowLover123 was getting at yesterday. I think the correlation can be mentioned here.

Member Since: April 16, 2013 Posts: 27 Comments: 3168
Quoting Xulonn:
She didn't say they were - but they are related

Why so defensive, SI? Been getting whupped by science lately? (Don't take me too seriously - just some gentle snark!)

Depends on your definition of being whupped.
Member Since: April 16, 2013 Posts: 27 Comments: 3168
Quoting MisterPerfect:


If one looks at the NOAA chart above, one can see that from 1940 to 1970 there was a distinct mini cooling period in spite of the fact that CO2 was rising steadily during this time. CO2 climate skeptics use this period as evidence that CO2 may not be the primary driver of global warming as it does not correlate at all with the cooling temperatures during this 30 year period.



The chart above is plotted from data released in January, 2012 by the University of East Anglia CRU (Climatic Research Unit) in the UK, a very respected climate research organization. The average was calculated based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the world. The chart basically says that warming hit a peak in 1997 and has been relatively flat for the past 15 years.

Another important factor (not given much weight in the models) is the 60 year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When both oceans have been cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle flipped from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also believed likely to flip in the next few years. Ultimately though, the temperature fluctuations of the oceans are due to energy cycles from the sun, although on about a 60 year cycle instead of the 11 year sunspot cycle. Some climate scientists find the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because if true, it means that the oceans caused most of the global warming between 1970 and 1997, not CO2. The next ten years will reveal which factors are the most important.

http://www.outerspacecentral.com/solar_effects_pa ge.html




LOL! They had to stop cherry picking last 16 years because they found out they were wrong so now they are cherry picking last five years...LOL...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401


If one looks at the NOAA chart above, one can see that from 1940 to 1970 there was a distinct mini cooling period in spite of the fact that CO2 was rising steadily during this time. CO2 climate skeptics use this period as evidence that CO2 may not be the primary driver of global warming as it does not correlate at all with the cooling temperatures during this 30 year period.



The chart above is plotted from data released in January, 2012 by the University of East Anglia CRU (Climatic Research Unit) in the UK, a very respected climate research organization. The average was calculated based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations around the world. The chart basically says that warming hit a peak in 1997 and has been relatively flat for the past 15 years.

Another important factor (not given much weight in the models) is the 60 year water temperature cycles in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. When both oceans have been cold in the past, such as from 1940 to 1970, the climate cooled. The Pacific cycle flipped from warm to cold mode in 2008 and the Atlantic is also believed likely to flip in the next few years. Ultimately though, the temperature fluctuations of the oceans are due to energy cycles from the sun, although on about a 60 year cycle instead of the 11 year sunspot cycle. Some climate scientists find the importance of water cycles difficult to accept, because if true, it means that the oceans caused most of the global warming between 1970 and 1997, not CO2. The next ten years will reveal which factors are the most important.

http://www.outerspacecentral.com/solar_effects_pa ge.html

Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20139
arr, thermodynamics be a harsh mistress.

Quoting Birthmark:


I don't know about him, but I sure have. Gravity has been totally kicking my nether regions.

The Arrow of Time ain't doin' me any favors, either.

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just because the basic mechanism is firmly established doesn't mean there isn't much to learn.

we understand that the germ theory of disease is firmly established and proven science. that doesn't mean we still don't study disease.

Quoting allahgore:



If that is true it's time to pull the taxpayer funding for ALL studies. Why keep wasting taxpayer money if it's settled?
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Been getting whupped by science lately?


I don't know about him, but I sure have. Gravity has been totally kicking my nether regions.

The Arrow of Time ain't doin' me any favors, either.

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Quoting CEastwood:


My questions weren't rhetorical. The leading members of your movement agree that temperature isn't increasing. Even Revkin is bailing. Doesn't that speak volumes? When "scientists" can't even agree on input data for flawed models, it ain't science. The movement behind supposed AGW don't have the interest of mankind at heart. They have more taxes, more restrictions, and more control as their ideal. Just investigate Maurice Strong. Sorry you're so gullible as to believe all of this nonsense.



Even the chair knows where it sits on climate change..









...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Weather is not climate. They are two different things.
She didn't say they were - but they are related

Why so defensive, SI? Been getting whupped by science lately? (Don't take me too seriously - just some gentle snark!)
Member Since: June 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 1488
Quoting SouthernIllinois:
Plants are so amazing. They adapt so well to the shifting climate, even the rapid shifts we have seen with solar radiation being reflected from aerosols after large volcano eruptions.


Link

Read the other articles on that page as well. Things aren't as rosy as you would have us believe.
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Here's an interesting read about the psychology aspect of climate change: Link

"Dr Andy Jarvis said: "In order to avoid dangerous climate change, society will have to become much more responsive to the risks and damages that growth in global greenhouse gas emissions impose."

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Plants are so amazing. They adapt so well to the shifting climate, even the rapid shifts we have seen with solar radiation being reflected from aerosols after large volcano eruptions.
Member Since: April 16, 2013 Posts: 27 Comments: 3168
As Climate Changes, Boreal Forests to Shift North and Relinquish More Carbon Than Expected

May 5, 2013 — It's difficult to imagine how a degree or two of warming will affect a location. Will it rain less? What will happen to the area's vegetation?

New Berkeley Lab research offers a way to envision a warmer future. It maps how Earth's myriad climates -- and the ecosystems that depend on them -- will move from one area to another as global temperatures rise.

The approach foresees big changes for one of the planet's great carbon sponges. Boreal forests will likely shift north at a steady clip this century. Along the way, the vegetation will relinquish more trapped carbon than most current climate models predict.

The research is published online May 5 in the journal Nature Geoscience.


Boreal ecosystems encircle the planet's high latitudes, covering swaths of Canada, Europe, and Russia in coniferous trees and wetlands. This vegetation stores vast amounts of carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere where it can contribute to climate change.

Scientists use incredibly complex computer simulations called Earth system models to predict the interactions between climate change and ecosystems such as boreal forests. These models show that boreal habitat will expand poleward in the coming decades as regions to their north become warmer and wetter. This means that boreal ecosystems are expected to store even more carbon than they do today.

But the Berkeley Lab research tells a different story. The planet's boreal forests won't expand poleward. Instead, they'll shift poleward. The difference lies in the prediction that as boreal ecosystems follow the warming climate northward, their southern boundaries will be overtaken by even warmer and drier climates better suited for grassland.

And that's a key difference. Grassland stores a lot of carbon in its soil, but it accumulates at a much slower rate than is lost from diminishing forests.

"I found that the boreal ecosystems ringing the globe will be pushed north and replaced in their current location by what's currently to their south. In some places, that will be forest, but in other places it will be grassland," says Charles Koven, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division who conducted the research. [...]


More



Boreal carbon loss due to poleward shift in low-carbon ecosystems(abstract
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 3446
Quoting allahgore:



If that is true it's time to pull the taxpayer funding for ALL studies. Why keep wasting taxpayer money if it's settled?


Seriously?

You can't think of any reason? (It's a question)
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Quoting goosegirl1:
Even with the cool March in the eastern US, somehow we have this: Link

Kind of makes you think the weather isn't the same everywhere, doesn't it? :))))

Edit: I'm still asleep, evidently- I just noticed Holy Cow eastern Canada and Greenland! Look at central Asia for that matter.

Weather is not climate. They are two different things.
Member Since: April 16, 2013 Posts: 27 Comments: 3168
Quoting goosegirl1:

Even with the cool March in the eastern US, somehow we have this: Link

Kind of makes you think the weather isn't the same everywhere, doesn't it? :))))

Edit: I'm still asleep, evidently- I just noticed- Holy Cow eastern Canada and Greenland! Look at central Asia for that matter.
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Even with the cool March in the eastern US, somehow we have this: Link

Kind of makes you think the weather isn't the same everywhere, doesn't it? :))))

Edit: I'm still asleep, evidently- I just noticed Holy Cow eastern Canada and Greenland! Look at central Asia for that matter.
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Anyone know anything about Ecotricity in the UK?

Guy started with a turbine tied to the truck he slept in and is now a multimillionaire.

More important than the millionaire part is that they are shooting for 60% renewable energy generation this year.

Anywya it is an intersting story and maybe one that certain people (ahem, CB) might consider as an alternative to starting large.
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Quoting JohnLonergan:
From Quark Soup: I saw this post concerning a scientist's obligation to speak out, I found it interesting.

"I made it up after reading a quote in Eli Kintisch's article about the retirement of James Hansen in this week's Science magazine, which includes this quote:

"It's disheartening that he has to [now] remove himself from a federal position to advocate on climate change. Government exists, in theory at least, to serve the public's best interests," says Emmy Burns, a student activist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison."


"I recently found these letters (below) from Science of 20 years ago, written by Carl Sagan and E.O. Wilson, about being "blacklisted" by a science journalist named Christopher Anderson because of their "advocacy" on the threat of nuclear winter and species extinction, respectively.

Sagan wrote:

"Suppose you had found that the global consequences of nuclear war were much worse than had been generally understood and that military establishments worldwide had overlooked those consequences, especially in a time of a swiftly proliferating strategic arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union and when allegedly responsible officials were talking about nuclear war being "survivable" and "winnable." Wouldn't you be concerned? Would you think it your responsibility to keep quiet about this because the results were not absolutely certain, or because the full-scale experimental verification had not yet been obtained?

"Or would you consider it your obligation to your children and the children of everyone else to speak up? Keeping quiet under such circumstances seems bizarre and reprehensible to me.

"Because our technology has achieved formidable powers, and because we sometimes can be careless in its application, this issue is of broad importance. If scientists will not speak out when they see such a danger to the human species, who will?
Or, as E.O. Wilson put it succinctly:

"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?""




Edit link to more legible version of Sagan letter


This is something that is actually a sore point with me: why aren't scientists standing up as citizens more?

I read works and I do think I understand the social delimma: the models are hard to get within 95%. Not because of the data, that is just math and the good scientists have no problem getting a good fix on the accuracy of the data. But the modeling is such big data that it is hard to be within a certain boundary.

What this means is that scientists play it very conservative as they risk their career if they go public with risky estimates. Further, they risk being attacked by bigoil, etc.

On the other hand, to me this reason is bullshit. Piomass and other graphs are pretty clear abotu the dangers and have been for years. But is really only in the last few months (with a few exceptions) that diverse scientists have come out and said this is a serious immediate threat.
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Quoting CEastwood:


Who is that? Obama? It's pretty laughable that the warmists' own collaborators show no warming and even the warmists are ignoring their own idols. Personally, I don't believe we currently have the technology to calculate a true "global temperature average", but your own numbers show a decline or no increase. Why are you ignoring your own data? It's gone from "global warming" to "climate change" to "climate disruption". Your "science" can't predict the past weather, the current weather, or the future weather. Do you people realize how laughable you are among real scientists?



You don't need to know any of that.. All you need to know is how much ice there is....The ice is the best indicator as to what is happening.. Even a chair knows that...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting ScottLincoln:
Wow I think I just found a bruise on my forehead... from face-palming.
What? Did I screw up? Your post is right after mine........

Added: I was just being polite.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2403
Link Amazing!
Member Since: June 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1479
Wow I think I just found a bruise on my forehead... from face-palming.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3226
#542 - Snowlover123 -

Thank you. Some of this is still over my head but it's good to stretch my mind.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2403

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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.