How Much Does It Cost: What Can I Do? (6)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 5:18 AM GMT on May 09, 2013

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How Much Does It Cost: What Can I Do? (6)

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 rather than taking the conventional view of looking at greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, I presented an accounting of the emissions associated with agriculture. My primary points were that agriculture was a major emitter of greenhouse gases, and, therefore, the choices we make individually and collectively about what we eat have large environmental consequences.

I want to explore more the impact of agriculture, particularly livestock. First, however, I want to remind folks of the series on calculating budgets. Last summer I did a series where I compared the basic methods of climate science to keeping a budget – just like a checking and savings accounts. One of the entries in that series looked specifically at complexity. The idea being that despite the fact that maintaining a budget is a relatively simple matter of addition and subtraction, if you consider all of the ways we get and spend money, then it can become remarkably complex.

I implied the complexity of accounting for the greenhouse gas emissions of agriculture in the previous entry. The amount of emissions from the direct use of fossil fuels is relatively small. Big sources of emissions come from removing trees and changing forests to agricultural lands and soil management. Many aspects of soil management influence how much carbon and nitrogen is stored in the soil. There is also the need to consider greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide: for example, methane associated with ruminates and solid waste from livestock and nitrous oxide associated with fertilizer. Emissions also depend on:

- what crops are grown and what animals are raised

- agricultural practice, for example, whether the land is plowed or no-till methods are used

- policy, for example, renewable energy policy provides incentives and disincentives on what to grow

- biological processes that are different from field to field, region to region, year to year, and that are not highly quantified

The calculation of the budget of emissions from agriculture is a difficult problem. We can say with certainty the emissions are large and they change based on many factors. We can also say that the impact of agriculture on the environment is more far reaching than climate change. Anecdotally, most people think of the impacts of pesticides and herbicides, the issues of genetically modified organisms, soil erosion and water quality before they think of how agriculture and climate change play together. Agriculture is also a major focus of those who think about sustainability.

I ended the previous entry with a relatively weak statement that what we chose to eat or not eat does make a difference. I stated that at the top of the list, perhaps, the easiest decision is to eat less meat. The issue of eating meat, of course, steps into a set of the more controversial subjects of our society. For example, there are the issues of personal choice and intrusion into individual's lives. Also, there are those who place high value on the ethics of raising and slaughtering animals. There is no doubt, however, that livestock production uses immense resources.

The source of much of the material in my previous entry was Livestock’s Long Shadow a 2006 publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In that report they conclude:

“Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency. Major reduction in impact could be achieved at reasonable cost.”

As strong as this statement is, there is a school of thought that Livestock’s Long Shadow is a significant underestimation of the emissions due to livestock. Most notably is an analysis by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, Livestock and Climate Change, which does a different accounting of the budget of emissions of greenhouse gases. In Livestock and Climate Change it is maintained that there is significant undercounting and misallocation in the United Nations budget calculation. A point that is particularly important is that the proliferation of livestock production is human-made just as much as any building, road or power plant. Therefore, for example, the carbon dioxide of respiration of the animals needs to be considered in the budget calculation. Taking all of the budget changes in Livestock and Climate Change, the conclusion is that livestock is responsible for 51 percent of the total emissions. With this number, a far larger intervention is needed than “eat less meat.”

In December 2009, I took a group of students to the 15th Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen. When I got off the subway at the conference center, there were two loud groups of advocates. One was People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who had gone around Copenhagen and placed markers on utility poles and in trees where sea level would be if the Greenland ice sheet melted. Another group claimed that if we were all vegetarian, then we could reduce global warming by 70 percent.

The numbers in Livestock and Climate Change follow from a well-reasoned argument in the calculation of the budget of the emissions due to livestock. However, they are not without controversy. This controversy can be found in a number of places on the web: Columbia Journalism Review and Lifting Livestock's Long Shadow, Nature Climate Change and Measuring Livestock's Long Shadow, NYTimes. At the center of the controversy is another accounting of the impact of livestock, Cleaning the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change by Maurice Pitesky and others. This paper takes a vastly different accounting and concludes that impact of livestock is much smaller than in the United Nations Report, Livestock’s Long Shadow. An interesting aspect of its argument is that “The fact that land-use changes associated with livestock (i.e., forested land converted to pasture or cropland used for feed production) are a significant source of anthropogenic GHGs in Latin America and other parts of the developing world is apparent. However, it is likely that any kind of land-use change from the original forestland will lead to great increases in global warming.” The argument being that development in countries with growing population will lead to deforestation. Their argument is carried further “The United States and most other developed countries have not experienced significant land-use change practices around livestock production within the last few decades. Instead, over the last 25 years forestland has increased by approximately 25 percent in the United States and livestock production has been intensified (concentrated geographically), thus reducing its geographical footprint.”

The line of reasoning in Cleaning the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change contributes to the argument that concentration into highly efficient, mass producing farms is a more practical way forward than reducing consumption (Livestock production and the global environment: Consume less or produce better?, by Henning Steinfeld and Pierre Gerber).

In this food niche of strategies to mitigate climate change, we see the same arguments emerge as in the discussion of fossil fuels. We could be more efficient in our use of resources. With efficiency, however, in the face of a growing population and growing consumption, we are still faced with a growth of emissions of greenhouse gases. Therefore, if climate-change and broader environmental issues are given priority, then we must consume less of those products that are responsible for our largest greenhouse emissions. We can conceive of sources of renewable energy that are free of carbon dioxide emissions. However, it is more difficult to imagine how we raise livestock without the methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and these greenhouse gases cannot be dismissed.

My original list topper on diet was eat less meat. If we take the high emissions scenario as correct, then a climate priority calls for an intervention into our dietary practices that is comparable to the intervention required for reducing fossil fuels. This is a change in diet that I assert will be more difficult than the change in our energy system. Therefore, back to the original question, “What can I do about climate change?” – eat (a lot) less meat. Vegetarianism is good for the planet. This from a man who does eat a lot less meat than he used to, but has been, I maintain, overidentified with BBQ.

r

Some dietary resources: I have not checked these out too closely!

Environmental Working Group: Meat Eaters Guide (I do like this group’s approach to things.)

Climate Diet

Human Media: The Diet-Climate Connection


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

We Are What We Eat Counting agriculture and its emissions of 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 allahgore:



I provided how cattle are priced! Sorry but web -cams and video data for the life of the animal was not part of it. Maybe someone videos cows 24-7-365 now? But i could not find it.

Try going back and reading the whole thread. Your reply isn't just wrong it's nonsensical, although typical of your replies. (As well as being cut and pasted without bothering to format or explain how the content was related, also typical though normally you manage some formatting.)

Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting allahgore:




In late 2009, in reaction to the controversy over the contents of emails from the Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, Petr Chylek authored an email titled "Open Letter to the Climate Research Community" and sent it to 100 of his Climate Research peers. In the email, he writes that the climate science community has "substituted the search for truth with an attempt at proving one point of view" and suggests "Let us drastically modify or temporarily discontinue the IPCC." He also appeals for climate scientists to stop making what he calls "unjustified claims and exaggerated projections about the future even if the editors of some eminent journals are just waiting to publish them."[2]


source wiki

Thus immortalizing himself as a crank. As I said.

And I see you have now resorted to posting polemical screeds instead of attempting debate. With that...*poof!*, as they say on Dr. Masters' blog.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Big AG wins again..who needs bees when everyone is being fed GMO corn & soy through processed foods anyways..

EPA Approves New Pesticide Highly Toxic to Bees

In apparent contradiction to its stated intention to protect pollinators and find solutions to the current pollinator crisis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the unconditional registration of the new insecticide sulfoxaflor, which the agency classifies as highly toxic to honey bees. Despite warnings and concerns raised by beekeepers and environmental groups, sulfoxaflor will further endanger bees and beekeeping. The U.S. EPA continues to put industry interests first to exacerbate an already dire pollinator crisis.

That is horrible. I went to the EPA web page and it just makes no sense at all.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting Birthmark:

If one looks at your graphs closely, one can't help but notice that temperature *led* the PDO early in the 20th Century. Additionally, the PDO moves in the opposite direction of the temperature beginning in the late 90s.

So any appeal to the PDO causing any warming looks pretty weak.

And I'm not sure of this but I think HadCrut is one of the datasets where there might be the discontinuity from changes in how sea surface temperatures were measured, ending around the completion of WW2. I would have to read up more on that to see what data was affected and if any corrections were made.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200 8/06/of-buckets-and-blogs/

http://www.nature.com/climate/2008/0807/full/4536 01a.html

http://www.skepticalscience.com/A-new-twist-on-mi d-century-cooling.html

One of the rebuttals to this discrepancy I have heard is that there is also a change in marine air temperature and marine cloud cover over the same period, and clearly an issue with measuring SSTs with a bucket vs. engine intake could not change cloud cover. Obviously, that is true. But where do you think that those measurements of ocean cloud cover and ocean air temperature came from? Yes, that's right, mostly the same ships that were used to measure SSTs. In fact, you can see WW2 clearly on the ICOADS website where it shows the number of reports it received for a given year. The changing proportion of various ships, and the reduction in report numbers, is consistent across all measurement types.

http://icoads.noaa.gov/index_fig3.html

I'm still having trouble finding any follow-up information on what has been done to adjust our data to correct for this.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2872
Quoting Daisyworld:


Careful, Scott. You may end up aggravating that bruise on your forehead from face-palming! ;-) SL123 did this last summer in Dr. Rood's blog, and he'll lead us all into a nice long gish-gallop of disinformation (Scafetta papers and derivative works are his favorite material to drop). If you enjoy picking apart his arguments with logic and reasoning (and you're quite good at it, I might add), by all means carry on. However, don't aggravate yourself unnecessarily. Four of us were unable to get him to see reason last August, and it left us bleary-eyed with frustration. He's here for one reason, and one reason only:


Yes, you're probably right. He's about to go the way of the other drive-by trollers. Although not trolling quite like them, its getting quite clear that he isn't trying to learn and he isn't really trying to ask actual questions about things he doesn't understand. No hubris, and DK in full swing. It's wasteful of an actual skeptical scientist's time.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2872
Quoting Snowlover123:
Temperatures stayed at their high point after 1923. In fact, most of the rise occurred in those 6 years.

Do you have an explanation for the huge jump in temperatures during that timeframe?

Again, noise on top of the trend. The Arctic didn't exactly warm that much in 6yrs. It's an apparent jump. Let's assume that the HadCRUT data is correct and there is not large uncertainty in the data during that time frame, and thattrying to pick apart a 6yr period from 1920s/1930s is not dangerous. Natural varability (winds, currents, etc) caused most of that jump. Over a period of several years to a decade or more, then natural variability stopped favoring warmer conditions, but the background trend had changed such that equilibrium levels were warmer. Its the same thing you see with ENSO in global trends - cooler/warmer apparent temperatures, but El Ninos and La Ninas are all warming.
Quoting Snowlover123:

The reason why I've been so keen on hammering down the role of natural variability, is that it's role is often forgotten when we talk about any decline in Arctic Sea Ice, and assume that all of the changes in the Arctic Sea Ice are often blamed on Climate Change.

Again, what? You really think that scientists studying the Arctic do not realize that there is natural variability on the long term trend?
I do not think you are paying attention.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2872
Quoting greentortuloni:


Seriously? You really overrate your thinking ability if you think your comment was worth making.

Then again, it is the same intellectual ability you bring to analyzing global warming. So it is no wonder that you believe the low brow / no brow articles that you post and fail to understand or refute the serious articles.

I double dare you to try to actually think this out and put your thoughts here in public instead of hiding behind a one liner.



Quoting allahgore:


"...............ge, gender, diet, breed, distance trucked, and the type of market where cattle are sold....."


Chickened out, huh?


Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting allahgore:




In late 2009, in reaction to the controversy over the contents of emails from the Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, Petr Chylek authored an email titled "Open Letter to the Climate Research Community" and sent it to 100 of his Climate Research peers. In the email, he writes that the climate science community has "substituted the search for truth with an attempt at proving one point of view" and suggests "Let us drastically modify or temporarily discontinue the IPCC." He also appeals for climate scientists to stop making what he calls "unjustified claims and exaggerated projections about the future even if the editors of some eminent journals are just waiting to publish them."[2]
Which proves what -- other than Chylek knows how to send emails and you don't know how to cite your sources?
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178. Skyepony (Mod)
Got to say too...these watermelons I've been eating out of my garden this week are zero greenhouse gas producing delicious:)
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177. Skyepony (Mod)
Looks like a fresh layer of snow on the north pole today..

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176. Skyepony (Mod)
Odd kind of crackle on the Arctic image today.. Looks like a Low up there. Click pic twice for large image.
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175. Skyepony (Mod)
"Contrail ice particles in aircraft wakes and their climatic importance," by Ulrich Schumann et al., GRL (2013); doi:10.1002/grl.50539
Geophysical Research Letters, in press; doi:10.1002/grl.50539

Contrail ice particles in aircraft wakes and their climatic importance

Ulrich Schumann1,*,
Philipp Jeßberger1, and
Christiane Voigt1,2

Abstract


Measurements of gaseous (NO, NOy, SO2, HONO) and ice particle concentrations in young contrails in primary and secondary wakes of aircraft of different sizes (B737, A319, A340, A380) are used to investigate ice particle formation behind aircraft. The gas concentrations are largest in the primary wake and decrease with increasing altitude in the secondary wake, as expected for passive trace gases and aircraft-dependent dilution. In contrast, the measured ice particle concentrations were found larger in the secondary wake than in the primary wake. The contrails contain more ice particles than expected for previous black carbon (soot) estimates. The ice concentrations may result from soot induced ice nucleation for a soot number emission index of 1015 kg-1. For a doubled ice particle concentration in young contrails, a contrail cirrus model computes about 60% increases of global radiative forcing by contrail cirrus because of simultaneous increases in optical depth, age and cover.

http://0-onlinelibrary.wiley.com.library.hct.ac.a e/doi/10.1002/grl.50539/abstract
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173. Skyepony (Mod)
Big AG wins again..who needs bees when everyone is being fed GMO corn & soy through processed foods anyways..

EPA Approves New Pesticide Highly Toxic to Bees

In apparent contradiction to its stated intention to protect pollinators and find solutions to the current pollinator crisis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the unconditional registration of the new insecticide sulfoxaflor, which the agency classifies as highly toxic to honey bees. Despite warnings and concerns raised by beekeepers and environmental groups, sulfoxaflor will further endanger bees and beekeeping. The U.S. EPA continues to put industry interests first to exacerbate an already dire pollinator crisis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
172. Skyepony (Mod)

An opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline protests outside the Ronald Reagan Building. (Credit: Washington Post)

A group of 150 major Democratic donors and clean energy investors have sent President Obama a letter urging him to deny a presidential permit to the Keystone XL pipeline, comparing the decision’s significance to Abraham Lincoln’s push to end slavery through a constitutional amendment.

The missive, which was sent by the group Thursday and was obtained by The Washington Post, emphasized Obama’s respect for Lincoln and suggested the controversial pipeline–which would transport heavy crude from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast–marked a similar turning point in American history.

“He made one of the most important decisions of his presidency and for our nation when he decided that he would fight for the 13th Amendment to end slavery even if it took every ounce of his political capital,” they wrote. “Your decision on Keystone may not be so weighty, but we believe it holds a comparable urgency and importance, not strictly as a pipeline decision but as a presidential choice that will signal a fundamentally new direction for our nation.”
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Quoting Snowlover123:
Again, we can see the link in which the PDO modulates the Long term temperature trend in detrended HadCruT3 temperature anomalies.





Note the positive period in the Early 20th Century, the negative period in the mid 20th Century, and the positive period in the late-20th Century.
I breathlessly await the moment you post an image that isn't from the uber-denialist Ole Humlum. It's understandable why you'd want to use these images--but it would probably do your wavering credibility a little better if you pulled your graphics from the actual scientific sources instead of from Denmark's younger version of Christopher Monckton.

Know what I mean?

Now, Humlum's--and, by extension, your--love affair with the visually deceptive practice of "detrending for linear fit" is such a cheesy and transparent attempt at cooking the graphs to "hide the incline" that I'm finding it hard to stop laughing. Mathematically removing upward trends from a plot is like an alcoholic pouring his vodka into empty milk cartons and coloring it white in an attempt to convince himself that he doesn't have a problem. In both cases, it's pathetic and intellectually dishonest--though, also in both cases, some are certainly fooled.

Now, here's "untrended" data from HadCRUT3. Using this actual graphic--not the silly and cooked "detrended for linear fit"--care to show us where the PDO has made "large" or "HUGE" modulations? TIA...

HadCRUT3
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13263
170. Skyepony (Mod)
Slideshow of that oil spill in AK
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169. Skyepony (Mod)
150 Major Democratic Donors Urge Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline
Where money talks louder than science, the letter from the donors won't go unnoticed, the week before Prime Minister Harper is to visit Washington.
By David Sassoon, InsideClimate News
May 10, 2013
President Obama and Vice President BidenPresident Obama and Vice President Biden/Credit: The White House

In the latest show of force by opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, a group of 150 major Democratic donors sent a letter Friday to President Obama, urging him to reject the controversial application from TransCanada for permission to send more than 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

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168. Skyepony (Mod)
National Strategy for the Arctic Region Announced



May 10, 2013 at 05:41 PM EDT
The Arctic is rapidly changing. While the Arctic region has
experienced warming and cooling cycles over millennia, the current
warming trend is unlike anything previously recorded. As sea ice
diminishes, ocean resources are more readily accessible. This
accessibility, along with recent scientific estimates indicating the
presence of significant energy and other resources, have inspired strong
interest for new commercial initiatives in the region, including energy
production, increased shipping, scientific research, tourism, and
related infrastructure development. As an Arctic nation, the United
States must be proactive and disciplined in addressing changing regional
conditions and in developing adaptive strategies to protect its
interests. An undisciplined approach to exploring new opportunities in
this frontier could result in significant harm to the region, to our
national security interests, and to the global good.
Today, we are releasing the National Strategy for the Artic Region. Through
this strategy, we are setting the United States Government’s strategic
priorities for the Arctic region. These priorities are intended to
position the United States to respond effectively to emerging
opportunities – while simultaneously pursuing efforts to protect and
conserve this unique environment.
These priorities include: advancing our security interests, pursuing
responsible Arctic region stewardship, and strengthening our
international cooperation. We will advance these priorities in a manner
that: safeguards peace and stability in the region, utilizes the best
available information for decisions, emphasizes the use of innovative
arrangements, and underscores the importance of consulting and
coordinating with Alaskan Native communities.
The National Strategy for the Arctic Region recognizes our existing
policy structure and ongoing efforts by more than 20 federal departments
and agencies as well as Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski,
Representative Don Young, the State of Alaska, and Alaskan Native
communities, which has been underway for decades. In the coming months,
we will develop an implementation plan, as well as a document defining
roles and responsibilities. To develop this implementation plan, we will
seek opportunities to gain input from critical stakeholders. As a
demonstration of our commitment to such input, Administration officials
will be hosting roundtable discussions in Alaska in the coming weeks to
discuss how best to move forward with the implementation of the concepts
laid out in this National Strategy. The meetings will be held in
mid-June, at a time and location that will be confirmed shortly.
Next week, Secretary of State Kerry will meet his seven Arctic state
counterparts in Kiruna, Sweden at the biannual meeting of the Arctic
Council. The eight Arctic states are planning for greater human activity
in the region in the near term. The Council is providing a valuable
forum for advancing important efforts, such as the 2011 search and
rescue agreement and an agreement for preventing and responding to
marine oil spills.
Through the release of this strategy, the United States is pleased to
join our Arctic Council colleagues Canada, Norway, Denmark, Iceland,
Finland, Russia, and Sweden in articulating our strategic priorities for
this critical region of the world.
Ultimately, the United States seeks an Arctic region that is stable
and free of conflict, where nations act responsibly in a spirit of trust
and cooperation, and where economic opportunities are pursued in a
sustainable and responsible manner.
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167. Skyepony (Mod)
Take the Pledge: Stop the Koch Brothers from buying your local paper



Nationally, over 110,000 people have signed petitions calling on the Tribune Company to not sell its important local newspapers to the climate-denying Koch brothers.

We're working with a growing coalition of powerful progressive groups to display our message where the Tribune Company can’t ignore it: in their very own newspapers with ads featuring the names of people who have pledged to unsubscribe if the sale goes through.


Tribune Company papers include The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant, Baltimore Sun, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, Allentown Morning Call, Hampton Roads Daily Press, El Sentinel, El Sun-Sentinel, and Hoy. Click the picture or here to sign..
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Quoting Snowlover123:
Again, we can see the link in which the PDO modulates the Long term temperature trend in detrended HadCruT3 temperature anomalies.





Note the positive period in the Early 20th Century, the negative period in the mid 20th Century, and the positive period in the late-20th Century.

If one looks at your graphs closely, one can't help but notice that temperature *led* the PDO early in the 20th Century. Additionally, the PDO moves in the opposite direction of the temperature beginning in the late 90s.

So any appeal to the PDO causing any warming looks pretty weak.
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Quoting Snowlover123:


I didn't say that natural variability is causing most of the trend on a Global basis. I said it has a large role to play in decadal scale modulation in temperature trends.

So, weather varies? Who knew?
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Again, we can see the link in which the PDO modulates the Long term temperature trend in detrended HadCruT3 temperature anomalies.





Note the positive period in the Early 20th Century, the negative period in the mid 20th Century, and the positive period in the late-20th Century.
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The natural variability conversation started when John posted a chart of IJIS JAXA showing a steep decline for one day, and said that this may be signs of a huge melt already beginning. I said it was day to day variability.

Last night we only had a melt of around 21 K. Very low melt.

We probably will start seeing consistently accelerated day to day declines compared to the 2000's average starting in perhaps early June.

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Quoting ScottLincoln:

I guess I'm just at a loss for how you've gone from arguing that "natural variability" is causing a most of our observed climate changes to somehow trying to stretch that point to maybe 5% of the globe. Maybe I missed that connection - either way, the data is much more noisy on that level and it's not even remotely climate. And if it isn't even remotely climate, then it is even that much farther from climate change. And in the end, it doesn't matter, because that variability did not add or remove heat from the climate system. So when you claim you are talking "trends" in the Arctic over the 1917-1923 period, well, thats not even a decade - thats not a trend. And what are you doing using one of the temperature data sets with the least coverage of the Arctic? The data source you used even specifically mentioned how data before the 1930s was created using few stations, leading to high uncertainty:
The number of high latitude meteorological stations is low in the early part of the 20th century, but increased from 1923 and especially 1933.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why you are belaboring this point so much - no climate scientist is arguing that weather/climate variability is not noise on top of the long term warming trend!


I didn't say that natural variability is causing most of the trend on a Global basis. I said it has a large role to play in decadal scale modulation in temperature trends. True that 1917-1923 was not even a decade, so that period would not apply to my statement above. However, it would seem likely that it's some product of a non-linear system though shifting from one state to another through some sort of variability. Temperatures stayed at their high point after 1923. In fact, most of the rise occurred in those 6 years.

Do you have an explanation for the huge jump in temperatures during that timeframe? It's an interesting observation, and you would know better than I with regard to the possible cause of that shift.

The reason why I've been so keen on hammering down the role of natural variability, is that it's role is often forgotten when we talk about any decline in Arctic Sea Ice, and assume that all of the changes in the Arctic Sea Ice are often blamed on Climate Change.

Also, Natural Variability should not be ignored when discussing Global trends as well. There was a recent paper that wrote that up to one-third of the late-20th Century warming could be a consequence of natural variability.

Wu et al. 2011 write,
The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s (IPCC in Climate change 2007: the scientific basis, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007). In Wu et al. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:14889%u201314894, 2007) we showed that the rapidity of the warming in the late twentieth century was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillatory variation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08%uFFFFC per decade since ~1980. Here we demonstrate the robustness of those results and discuss their physical links, considering in particular the shape of the secular trend and the spatial patterns associated with the secular trend and the multidecadal variability. The shape of the secular trend and rather globally-uniform spatial pattern associated with it are both suggestive of a response to the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases. In contrast, the multidecadal variability tends to be concentrated over the extratropical Northern Hemisphere and particularly over the North Atlantic, suggestive of a possible link to low frequency variations in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. Depending upon the assumed importance of the contributions of ocean dynamics and the time-varying aerosol emissions to the observed trends in global-mean surface temperature, we estimate that up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.

So even though the role of natural variability is not dominant, it's still has a large role to play in modulating trends.


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If we want to talk about natural variability, then take a look at the first two graphs on this page. That looks (to my untrained eye) like what natural variability should look like.

The third graph shows something else beginning to impact the Arctic Sea Ice. There is still natural variability of course, but it's no longer the sole player.

The final graph again shows natural variability becoming less descriptive of the ASI situation. AGW is now the big player in the Arctic and will get bigger. Natural variability will continue to happen, but it's against the backdrop of AGW.

That's my dos centavos, anyway.
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Quoting allahgore:



Who would have time to watch 3 yrs, 7yrs, worth of video before buying something?


Seriously? You really overrate your thinking ability if you think your comment was worth making.

Then again, it is the same intellectual ability you bring to analyzing global warming. So it is no wonder that you believe the low brow / no brow articles that you post and fail to understand or refute the serious articles.

I double dare you to try to actually think this out and put your thoughts here in public instead of hiding behind a one liner.
Member Since: June 5, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1220
Quoting ScottLincoln:
Quoting Snowlover123:
I don't think you understood the context of why I posted Arctic temperatures in my last post. It was because we were discussing about trends in the Arctic over the last couple of threads. How is showing Arctic temperatures when discussing Arctic temperatures considered to be comparing apples to oranges?

I guess I'm just at a loss for how you've gone from arguing that "natural variability" is causing a most of our observed climate changes to somehow trying to stretch that point to maybe 5% of the globe. Maybe I missed that connection - either way, the data is much more noisy on that level and it's not even remotely climate. And if it isn't even remotely climate, then it is even that much farther from climate change. And in the end, it doesn't matter, because that variability did not add or remove heat from the climate system. So when you claim you are talking "trends" in the Arctic over the 1917-1923 period, well, thats not even a decade - thats not a trend. And what are you doing using one of the temperature data sets with the least coverage of the Arctic? The data source you used even specifically mentioned how data before the 1930s was created using few stations, leading to high uncertainty:
The number of high latitude meteorological stations is low in the early part of the 20th century, but increased from 1923 and especially 1933.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why you are belaboring this point so much - no climate scientist is arguing that weather/climate variability is not noise on top of the long term warming trend!


Careful, Scott. You may end up aggravating that bruise on your forehead from face-palming! ;-) SL123 did this last summer in Dr. Rood's blog, and he'll lead us all into a nice long gish-gallop of disinformation (Scafetta papers and derivative works are his favorite material to drop). If you enjoy picking apart his arguments with logic and reasoning (and you're quite good at it, I might add), by all means carry on. However, don't aggravate yourself unnecessarily. Four of us were unable to get him to see reason last August, and it left us bleary-eyed with frustration. He's here for one reason, and one reason only:

Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 6 Comments: 786
Quoting Snowlover123:


I don't think you understood the context of why I posted Arctic temperatures in my last post. It was because we were discussing about trends in the Arctic over the last couple of threads. How is showing Arctic temperatures when discussing Arctic temperatures considered to be comparing apples to oranges?

I guess I'm just at a loss for how you've gone from arguing that "natural variability" is causing a most of our observed climate changes to somehow trying to stretch that point to maybe 5% of the globe. Maybe I missed that connection - either way, the data is much more noisy on that level and it's not even remotely climate. And if it isn't even remotely climate, then it is even that much farther from climate change. And in the end, it doesn't matter, because that variability did not add or remove heat from the climate system. So when you claim you are talking "trends" in the Arctic over the 1917-1923 period, well, thats not even a decade - thats not a trend. And what are you doing using one of the temperature data sets with the least coverage of the Arctic? The data source you used even specifically mentioned how data before the 1930s was created using few stations, leading to high uncertainty:
The number of high latitude meteorological stations is low in the early part of the 20th century, but increased from 1923 and especially 1933.

To be honest, I'm not even sure why you are belaboring this point so much - no climate scientist is arguing that weather/climate variability is not noise on top of the long term warming trend!
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 2872
Quoting allahgore:



What is the moon phase at the time of landfall?


That was already calculated..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20219
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



They're coming to get you Birthmark!

Nah, they won't get me. I am the Puma Man!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Birthmark:

Cats are scary. They'll hunt you remorselessly.



Cat fonts, doubly so.



They're coming to get you Birthmark!
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8004
Quoting allahgore:



Chylek also would not take any grants funded by taxpayers.

Among his peers is known to give true an correct data.

Oh, stop making things up. He's a denialist hack with zero credibility on climate.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
No one liked my cat font comments in my blog. Perhaps the noise to signal ratio is too high. I'll take them out I guess.

Cats are scary. They'll hunt you remorselessly.



Cat fonts, doubly so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
410 myself.

I remember when everyone up there was 301...and we liked it, by gum!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Republican civil war on climate change


TreeHugger.com

Already, deep fissures are emerging between, on one side, a base of ideological voters and lawmakers with strong ties to powerful tea-party groups and super PACs funded by the fossil-fuel industry who see climate change as a false threat concocted by liberals to justify greater government control; and on the other side, a quiet group of moderates, younger voters, and leading conservative intellectuals who fear that if Republicans continue to dismiss or deny climate change, the party will become irrelevant.

“There is a divide within the party,” says Samuel Thernstrom, who served on President George W. Bush’s Council on Environmental Quality and is now a scholar of environmental policy at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “The position that climate change is a hoax is untenable.”

Davenport touches on how Republicans both inside and outside the beltway are working to explain to fellow conservatives that climate change is real and addressing makes important moral and economical sense.

One problem is that members of Congress face radical, fundamentalist challengers from their right in primaries if they are seen as too moderate.
Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I doubt World War I had much of an impact. World War II was much bigger and it doesn't seem to have had one.

I'm not so sure.



It should be noted that I'm totally WAGging here.

Quoting Snowlover123:
Any specific mechanism you have in mind for an anthropogenic role?

Primarily, I'm thinking a ramp up of industrial pollution, aerosols and whatever fine dust, if any, might be able to make it high enough into the atmosphere to have an effect. Again, I'm totally guessing.
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No one liked my cat font comments in my blog. Perhaps the noise to signal ratio is too high. I'll take them out I guess.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8004
I doubt World War I had much of an impact. World War II was much bigger and it doesn't seem to have had one.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8004
410 myself.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8004
Quoting Birthmark:

Can't help but wonder if that hella big War around that time played some part? They blew up a lot of stuff, iirc.


That's a good question. Humans and natural factors probably have had a role during that time frame. Any specific mechanism you have in mind for an anthropogenic role?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JohnLonergan:


Don't leave out those of us in 508.

I wouldn't dream of it. I channeled my inner denialist and picked the first numbers that appealed to me. ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Birthmark:

26,352 with most of them living in the 714 area code, oddly enough.


Don't leave out those of us in 508.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2742
I'm not sure. 1917/1918 was one of the coldest winters in the USA. 1918 also saw the heaviest snow in Buenos Aires and the only recorded snow in Sao Paulo.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 25 Comments: 8004
Quoting allahgore:



What is the moon phase at the time of landfall?

Pick any phase that pleases you.

Heck, pick any Moon for that matter.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.

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