Amplifying Feedbacks — Warming Tropics Found to Now Release 2 Gigatons More Carbon Each Year

In looking at the problem of human-caused climate change, we often miss a critical point. Human greenhouse gas emissions warm the atmosphere, melt ice, and heat the ocean, yes. But a warming world also releases its own additional volumes of carbon, often in the form of methane and CO2. In the Arctic, we have seen massive releases from natural stores of CO2 and methane. Releases that, on their own, are enough to amplify the already significant warming caused by human fossil fuel emissions. Now, according to a new study, the tropics are also contributing an amazing volume of carbon as they continue to endure the insults of warming.

In essence, when humans warm the globe, they are kicking nature. And an insulted nature then releases increasing volumes of her own carbon stores in an ever-worsening cycle until humans stop and the severely riled natural cycle runs its course. Such an agitated carbon cycle can swiftly trip into a phase that accelerates atmospheric heating to rates far more rapid than initially feared. And, as research progresses, it appears the worst fears about nature’s sensitivity to our insults are steadily being realized.

Chasing down the feedbacks

Climate researchers must have felt an ominous sinking feeling when they discovered this year that, as the globe heated up, changes to the world’s clouds resulted in an amplifying feedback to human-caused warming. Many researchers had left previously clouds out of climate models and, as such, the models showed lower rates of warming than what we would find from comparable measures in paleoclimate. For example, many climate models only showed about 1 to 1.5 C warming as a result of atmospheric CO2 levels at 400 parts per million (the level seen today), while paleoclimate showed long term warming twice that, in the range of 2-3 C. This disparity created a bit of cognitive dissonance in the science between those who modeled climate and those who studied past climates. But, slowly, the gap is being bridged and the new research in clouds makes up a portion of this difference. But it was not the only missing feedback.

Another measure some climate models leave out is the complex carbon cycle response from the Earth System as it warms. These include the carbon feedbacks in the Arctic we’ve explored so much on this blog but they also include large systems around the globe that are likely to experience profound change as they warm. (It’s worth noting that some models do include growing portions of these measures, such as the NCAR global climate models which show up to 7 C warming with each doubling of CO2).

Tropics carbon out-gassing found to equal almost 20% of human emissions

Amazon Forest Fires

(Forest Fires in the Tropics, like these Amazon fires, are one of the many human-driven changes to the region resulting in a 2 gigaton per year annual carbon emission increase over the past 50 years. Image source: Earth Observatory.)

Now, new research from the University of Exeter has discovered that the tropics are also beginning to contribute massive volumes of carbon to the global climate system. In total, the study found that carbon emissions from the tropics had increased by 2 gigatons over the past 50 years in response to human-caused warming. This 2 gigaton tropical emission is just a little less than 20% of the carbon emission coming from the human use of fossil fuels. This amount is a staggering total, roughly equivalent to total US carbon emissions from all CO2 related sources. When combined with the emission already ramping up in the Arctic, this new source is now a very powerful contributor to warming the planet.

The study showed that just one degree of global temperature increase was enough to result in the added flood of this extraordinary volume of carbon. The extra heat particularly impacted rain forest systems which saw the increased insults of added heat, drought and fire.

Paper authors, including Professor Friedlingstein, who is an expert in global carbon cycle studies, attributed a good share of this change to the increasing prevalence of drought which results in both more rapid decomposition and more widespread forest fires.

It is worth noting that tropical systems have been plagued with increasing instances of fire and drought. As an example, the massive forests of the Amazon are under the combined assault of drier conditions, large forest fires, as well as smaller understory fires that eat away at large sections of the Amazon. In a typical year, an area of the Amazon the size of South Carolina is destroyed by small fires alone. And it is mechanisms such as these that were found to increase the rate at which tropical carbon is returned to the atmosphere in a warming climate. Dr. Friedlingstein noted: “Current land carbon cycle models do not show this increase over the last 50 years, perhaps because these models underestimate emerging drought effects on tropical ecosystems.”

hidden-fires-amazon

(Map of incidents of small fires in the Amazon from 1999-2010. Image source: Earth Observatory.)

The tropical forests are one of the largest carbon sinks on the planet. And climate scientists have long warned that this carbon could be returned to the atmosphere as the Earth was forced to rapidly warm by human emissions during the 21rst Century. Overall, what we are now witnessing is just such a rapid intensification of that transfer. It is one that probably approaches the significance of another major carbon stores transfer emerging in the Arctic. When combined with the massive and still growing human fossil fuel emission, these carbon flows are in the process of tipping the planet into a very hostile and unstable new climate state.

Links:

Sensitivity of Carbon Cycle to Tropical Temperature Variations has Doubled

Earth Observatory

Colorado Bob’s Climate Feed

Slash and Burn Forest Clearing in the Amazon

Hidden Wildfires Destroy the Amazon

What does at World at 400 ppm CO2 Look Like Long-Term?

NCAR Shows up to 7 C Warming With Each Doubling of CO2

Leave a comment

107 Comments

  1. This is the map of the British Isles in fictional 2100 rising sea level scenario
    100 meters –
    http://jaysimons.deviantart.com/art/British-Isles-in-2100-315945336

    Reply
  2. Jay M

     /  February 3, 2014

    Makes one think of those many recent years when there have been accounts of vast smokey hazes in the Indonesia area due to forest clearing.

    Reply
  3. 2 gigatons = 2,204,622,621.84 short tons

    Reply
  4. mikkel

     /  February 3, 2014

    Have you watched the tipping point series on the Weather Channel (of all places)? I haven’t been able to find full episodes but one is about the Amazon and evidence that it could collapse completely in a 10 year drought. They talk about a study which built a roof over a patch of the forest in order to simulate a severe drought (on the order of magnitude that’s expected to happen in the next 20-30 years) and were astonished to find how quickly the canopy trees died and crashed to the ground. This of course led to rapid drying of the soul and undergrowth death.

    Reply
  5. From the Science Daily story: “Professor Pierre Friedlingstein and Professor Peter Cox, from the University of Exeter…” I should have known Peter Cox would be involved in this important study. I haven’t heard of Pierre Friedlingstein before now, but Peter Cox has been doing work in the tropics for a long time, and has been sending red flags up the pole consistently.

    I hope similar studies are being done in temperate and polar (taiga) forests, because fires are radically increasing in them as well.

    Reply
  6. Jay M

     /  February 4, 2014

    The rapacious cutting of the North American space unfortunately is a model for the clearing of the rainforests
    the clearing of the native american populations also inspired various problematic social movements

    Reply
  7. I am pleased that you are identifying positive feedbacks.

    It seems proof that we are seeing rapid (and probably irreversible) climate change. I like systematising to enhance my own understanding – so I put this together (based on Guy McPherson’s work) –

    http://robinwestenra.blogspot.co.nz/p/the-following-incorporates-additional.html

    Reply
  8. Tom

     /  February 4, 2014

    Robin, great job on the “update”!

    Robert: there seems to be a correlation between the price of fossil fuels (for home heating, where it’s used) and the loss of trees used in substitution (see Greece, for one example). As more and more trees die they’ll be used for fuel (or just burnt to get rid of them) – putting more CO2 into the atmosphere in the process. In the meantime, with so much ozone in the troposphere now, fewer trees will reach maturity. Also relevant is this article from Desdemona Despair:

    http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/02/increased-climate-stress-causing.html
    Increased climate stress causing extensive change to Australia’s eucalypt ecosystems

    (Sydney Morning Herald) – Australia’s standing as the home among the gumtrees could be challenged, with increased climate stress causing extensive change to Australia’s eucalypt ecosystems.

    A study by the National Environmental Research Program’s Environmental Decisions Hub has found that climate stress on eucalypts will mean many of Australia’s 750 species will struggle to cope with climate change.

    ”Those that will be most affected are the Eucalyptus and Corymbia species in the central desert and open woodlands area,” said author Nathalie Butt of the NERP Environmental Decisions Hub and the University of Queensland.

    The study found that ”under the mid-range climate scenario, these species will lose 20 per cent of their climate space, and twice that under the extreme scenario”.

    The mid-range scenario suggests that ”temperatures will increase by more than 1C by 2055 and by more than 2C by 2085. For the extreme scenario temperatures will increase by more than 1.5C and 2.5C respectively”, Dr Butt said. She said there is additional concern for the impact these conditions will have on wildlife in such areas. ”Trees are habitats and food sources. So this will have a cascade effect on birds, bats, and invertebrates that are reliant on eucalypt, and it will affect pollinators as well,” she said. [there’s more]

    Thanks for another great post!

    Reply
  9. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 4, 2014

    All of Guy McPherson’s sites deliver a blank screen when clicked.
    Nature Bats Last has disappeared without explanation.
    All has gone dark as in his last book, GOING DARK.
    This has been happening since last Sat.
    I have sent him e-mails that are delivered but no response.

    Reply
  10. In Medicine we have a term, “cascade” which is very similar to the “tipping point” we are using in environmental/climate discussions. In complex systems changes begin to occur that appear manageable, but with each intervention unexpected results lead to a worsening situation as the patient crashes. I have expected us to see a cascade of events in the global climate system for some time, but it is impossible to tell when it has started until we look back. I fear we are there now. Sigh….

    Reply
    • As a system nears a tipping point it swings to the extremes , and gets stuck in those extremes before wildly swinging back to the other extreme. As the tipping point nears, these extremes tend to last longer, before the new state is achieved.

      Reply
      • I think it’s entirely appropriate to consider our Earth System ‘the patient’ at this point. In this case, tuouback is probably apt in their description. The patient is starting to show signs of cascading effect due to all the pollutants (ghg other) we’ve pumped into its system.

        I also like to think of the proposed geoengineering solutions as, at best, palliative. It might be useful to get the patient through a tough phase (amplifying feedbacks, low grad acceleration). But if the flow of toxins continues (ghg, other pollutants), there’s no hope of the patient.

        The other point is that these palliative measures are experimental and that many may do more harm than good.

        Reply
  11. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 4, 2014

    For several years now as a genuine scientific Bayesian, Guy has been confronting & openly publicizing the gruesome consequences of the escalating gruesome data about climate catastrophe & the increasing probability of near term human extinction.
    I am sure that anybody who does what Guy has done must pay an emotional toll.
    I wish that he would tell us that he is still well & kicking.

    Reply
    • Trust me, I understand absolutely. I go through these emotional crashes as well. It’s a very rough subject.

      Do you think there’s any way we could send a message out to him? Any contacts?

      Reply
    • Burgundy

       /  February 4, 2014

      Guy is in Winnipeg this week. His website seems to be working ok for me.

      Also, there’s this article (hat tip seemorerocks) regarding mental health issues caused by climate change:

      Americans’ Mental Health is Latest Victim of Changing Climate
      http://news.yahoo.com/americans-39-mental-health-latest-victim-changing-climate-185245229.html

      Reply
      • I don’t know about others, but what causes the most despair for me is what is a now generational lack of comprehensive policy response.

        Gerald is certainly right about this — we should have addressed these problems 30 years ago.

        Glad to hear Guy is on vacation and that the problem may have been just a glitch in Gerald’s browser. In any case, it will be good to have him back.

        Reply
  12. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 4, 2014

    In 2007 on his terrific science blog, SANDWALK, biochemist Larry Moran strongly criticized me for being too forceful about the seriousness of global heating.

    Moran criticized my use of the words “unquestionably” & “perilous problem.”

    Gerald Spezio Sunday, June 03, 2007 8:59:00 AM

    At a time when global heating unquestionably presents the most perilous problem ever encountered, Nisbet and Mooney’s engineered framing discussion is the last thing we need. The probabilistic and predictive claims of science are our best hope for survival. Casting any unnecessary doubt on scientific evidence and predictive power is absolutely counterproductive.

    If they were just yuppies on a career roll, it would be bad enough, but I claim that their published statements are filled with crypto uncertainty. Just read the crap, and they are determined to continue.
    Reply
    Larry MoranSunday, June 03, 2007 10:11:00 AM
    gerald spezio says,

    “At a time when global heating unquestionably presents the most perilous problem ever encountered, Nisbet and Mooney’s engineered framing discussion is the last thing we need.”

    I agree with you that deliberate “framing” as a way of changing what you would naturally want to say is wrong.

    However, your statement that “global heating unquestionably presents the most perilous problem ever encountered” can’t go unchallenged. The scientific data shows that global warming is real. It does not show that it necessarily represents a “perilous problem.” In fact, it might actually be a long-term advantage to the world (but probably not).

    By using words like “perilous problem” you are framing the debate in a way that many scientists can’t go along with. It’s exactly what Mooney and Nisbet want to do. They do not want scientists to mention that the consequences of global warming are somewhat uncertain and may not be perilous. When you say “unquestionably” you have exited the realm of science and entered the realm of pure politics and rhetoric. I will not follow you down that path.

    The probabilistic and predictive claims of science are our best hope for survival. Casting any unnecessary doubt on scientific evidence and predictive power is absolutely counterproductive.

    With all due respect, that’s exactly what you have done. As a scientist, I’m prepared to hedge my bets and advocate that we do something about global climate change on the grounds that we need to allow for the worst case senarios. What I will not do is lie about the probabilities in order to convince people that they should take action.

    Good science education requires that we teach people the truth about science even if this means acknowledging that we don’t know for certain whether Florida will be covered with water or whether cutting back on CO2 emissions at this point in time will have a significant impact. Science is all about probabilities and skepticism. If you sacrifice that for political expediency then all is lost.
    Reply
    Gerald Spezio Sunday, June 03, 2007 2:31:00 PM

    I stand corrected and chastised. My choice of “unquestionably” was dumb from a rhetorical perspective. My passion in opposing the global heating deniers (warmers) overcame my good judgment.

    Most probabilistically, however, the overwhelming evidence for human generated greenhouse gases as the primary cause in global heating and the consequences of climate disruptions can surely be called very critical, if not perilous. Nothing like this has ever happened before. I am following James Hansen’s position and predictions basically.

    I am very surprised that you could suggest that there is much probability of real positive advantage to the planet from even the most moderate scenarios. Indeed, this shuck, so readily presented, about increasing growing seasons and “better weather” in some locations is pure madness.

    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2007/06/matthew-nisbet-and-chris-mooney-video.html

    Reply
  13. Residents of Brazil’s business hub Sao Paulo are sweltering in record temperatures after a January with the highest average in 70 years, while low rainfall could lead to water rationing.

    Meteorologists recorded 35.8 Celsius (96.4 Fahrenheit) Saturday afternoon — the highest February temperature since records began in 1943. And the Inmet meteorological institute said Sunday the hot spell would continue.

    The seething metropolis of 20 million has been laboring under baking conditions since the turn of the year.
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140202/sao-paulo-swelters-record-heatwave

    Reply
  14. Horrific plague causes starfish to tear themselves to pieces
    EN MINER: The experiments are infectiousness experiments, where we take individuals that have signs of the syndrome and we put them in tanks with individuals that don’t have signs.

    KATIE CAMPBELL: Then they closely watch the progress of the disease. First, the stars twist their arms into knots, and sometimes lesions form on their skin.

    BEN MINER: One of them was very sick, and the other two individuals started ripping themselves apart. The arms just crawl away from the particular body.

    KATIE CAMPBELL: You heard that right. The arms crawl in opposite directions, until they tear away from the body and their insides spill out. And unlike most starfish, the arms don’t regenerate. Stars that came in with symptoms died within 24 hours.
    http://boingboing.net/2014/02/02/horrific-plague-causes-starfis.html

    Reply
  15. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 4, 2014

    Robert, I have tried everything & failed miserably.
    I’m psychologizing, but I claim to have observed highly probable developing depression as we communicated/non-communicated.
    I angered him some time ago, when I offered my categorical rejection of the “infallible” Jevons Paradox & equally unassailable Kazzom-Brookes Postulate.
    In his inimitable way, he told what a fool I was to entertain such heresy.

    Reply
    • So are you taking responsibility?

      Reply
      • Anyone who has followed this story is depressed , and we all worry just how it will unfold..

        If anyone should take responsibility , it’s that ass-hole who discovered how to make fire .

        Please see my 3 link comment in the spam filter .
        Insert smiley face here.

        Reply
        • CB: without fire we’d have to spend all our time foraging and chewing. Fire allowed culture. I have never gotten the sense that we started becoming seriously problematic until we started settling down in one place and farming. Although that development was perhaps from population pressures, so perhaps you are correct.

          Somebody was hungry and somebody (likely nonhuman) got cooked in a lightning strike and somebody found out this was edible, and there was no looking back.

        • Fair enough.

          Got the comment.

  16. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 4, 2014

    No, just a simple anecdote.

    Reply
  17. 4 large historic droughts running at the same time , all in areas where agriculture plays a key role.
    Brazil
    Turkey
    Australia
    California

    Brazilian cattle is trading at the highest level ever as heat scorches dry grazing fields in the top beef-exporting country, threatening livestock supplies for meatpackers such as JBS SA and Minerva SA.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-04/brazilian-cattle-price-surges-to-record-as-heat-chars-pastures.html

    Lake Sapanca, one of the biggest water reservoirs of Turkey’s Marmara region faces with one of the serious water withdrawal, which was triggered by one of the serious drought and excessive consuming.
    http://en.cihan.com.tr/news/Bottom-water-sources-of-Lake-Sapanca-drain-away_0703-CHMTM1MDcwMy8yMDA3

    Farmers feel the heat as drought advances.

    Three big heatwaves have hit the state this year, the latest one still searing its way across southern parts of the state on Monday. Hay Airport clocked up 45.5 degrees, Deniliquin a fourth day of at least 43, while Canberra set a record for the most days of 37 or warmer with its sixth such day.

    Sydney, while shielded from the worst of the blasts of summer by sea breezes, is also drying out.

    Last month alone, Sydney collected just 17.4 millimetres of rain, or less than a fifth of the long-term average, making it the driest January since 2003. Temperatures were about 1 degree above average for the city.

    For NSW, maximum temperatures last month were 2.7 degrees above average, the 10th highest, adding to farmers’ woes.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/weather-farmers-feel-the-heat-as-drought-advances-20140203-31xgf.html#ixzz2sORM2egD.

    Reply
  18. Lake Sapanca, one of the biggest water reservoirs of Turkey’s Marmara region faces with one of the serious water withdrawal, which was triggered by one of the serious drought and excessive consuming.
    http://en.cihan.com.tr/news/Bottom-water-sources-of-Lake-Sapanca-drain-away_0703-CHMTM1MDcwMy8yMDA3

    Reply
    • After Frank made this commercial.
      Portland GE was taken over by Eron , they looted the pension plan . And then jacked up power prices in California.

      :”Supply Side Jesus” may not be our answer.

      Reply
  19. Miep / February 5, 2014

    Trouble comin’ every day.

    Reply
  20. My mom had that Otis album. We listened to it a lot.

    My first stepfather turned me onto the Mothers a few years later, in 1971.

    For some reason they overlooked the PBBB, far as I remember.

    Reply
  21. Phil

     /  February 5, 2014

    Yes, its been quite hot in south eastern Australia.

    Also, most of the rural/farming constituency including those facing drought conditions recently voted overwhelmingly for a conservative Government (at both State and Federal levels) who are absolute climate change deniers and who are looking to expand coal and natural gas exports as well as ‘cement’ in coal as the prime source of electricity generation in Australia while at the same time attacking renewable energy. So much for climate change creating or contributing to drought and heatwave conditions, especially in La Nina or ENSO neutral phase.

    Gas will probably price itself out of the electricity generation business and most gas companies are looking to primarily export LNG. Businesses including gas generation companies cannot secure long term gas supply contracts anymore and the gas price has or is expected to triple with the onset of LNG export trade. Renewable energy support is under review and will probably be scaled back significantly. Support for rooftop PV has already been scaled back because it reduced demand too much and now alot of power companies are having problems making money.

    As a final thought, the heatwaves recently led to enormous spikes in electricity demand especially in South Australia and Victoria and the electricity network really had problems accommodating this demand. Nothing like climate change induced heat waves to cause spikes in peak demand and VOLL events to help the bottom line.

    Reply
  22. Please release my 3 link comment.

    Reply
  23. Let’s look at Turkey. ( # 2) This link means that a lake in Turkey that once had water flowing into it’s bottom , is no longer working, Why ? Because farmers have been drilling the crap around this lake. And pumping every drop they could get.

    Reply
  24. RS –
    Remember
    Every framer is drilling as deep as he can afford. today. . Tomorrow we drill deeper.

    Reply
  25. Every farmer all over all over the world, Is drilling as deep and as fast as he can.

    Reply
  26. Phil

     /  February 5, 2014

    That Sydney Morning Herald article was very interesting, particularly, about how the heatwave conditions have significantly increased evaporation, making the impact of the drought appear much worse. The Sydney Morning Herald often has interesting pieces on climate change and the environment – something lacking in alot of other papers owned by a particular ‘news corporation’.

    I think drought tends to focus peoples minds on climate change here more in Australia also possibly combined with fires – we don’t have visits from the southern hemisphere version of polar vortex. Climate change became a credible political issue in 2007 and helped contribute to the election of the Rudd Government in that year, on the back of severe droughts. These were more severe in that it also impacted on major cities – for example, Brisbane had severe rationing of water use at that time and the Snowy Mountains and Murray-Darling Catchments were also very low. While the current drought is affecting rural/farming communities, it has not really impacted the water supply to major cities and would probably need to run for a couple of years to achieve this type of impact.

    Now, if a severe or sustained El Nino event was to emerge, that would make things very interesting, coming on top of the heat of 2013 as well as the unfolding drought.

    I’ve heard some speculation relating to recent model output that the cyclone season now might be in some problems (particularly for Queensland and Coral Sea area) because of some Rossby Wave now affecting the MJO and propagating dry air out into the Coral Sea. It might also affect the northern monsoon which is currently very active but scheduled to retreat soon. It will be interesting to see if this eventuates and its extent (if it does) because it could seriously dampen the prospect of rainfall in inland Queensland, in particular, which is already largely drought declared.

    Reply
  27. RS-
    I’m old man , my talents are failing . But my mind is clear.

    Reply
  28. Speaking of old men rising –

    Reply
  29. Any one who is cool understands this clip. If you don’t , screw you.

    Reply
    • Anyone who is cool? Anyone who is awake, I’d think.

      I lived and worked in the Ninth Ward for a year in 1995. When Katrina hit I tracked down my ex-employers (easy) and my ex-coworker (less easy) who lost everything. She was in Houston. We helped her out some. I was glad I could do that.

      Reply
  30. ” New Orleans is sinking man , and I don’t want to swim “

    Reply
    • I’m thinking there are quite a few New Orleans around the world these days. Climate migrations are already occurring on some islands in the Pacific. Britian is right now debating whether to give up some of the lowlands along its southern coast. The Arctic is moving whole communities inland as the newly mobile oceans eat away at the shore. And this is just the start.

      Reply
    • Hey Bob, look sharp. We have 800 + dead Manatees in FL and 400 + dead dolphins in Peru…

      Reply
      • Yes , it’s grinding dead tally we keep. I’m an old man. I’ve got some strange dead growth on the tip of my nose. I’ve buried 3 of my love ones in the house I live in.

        Please all you folks tell me about death , and fate.

        Reply
      • I got the strange dead growth on my nose , because I spent years above the tree line.. Where the sun cooks every man who comes close.

        Reply
  31. Fuck everyone who ever lived , and worked below 8,000 feet.

    Reply
    • You’re not alive until you go to 10,600′ , and drill holes in the Earth. I did that 35 years ago.
      Only 1 or 2 men have ever done the same thing. I did first. On a Texaco contract. On the Overtthrust Belt. The modern world of oil started where we drilling.

      Reply
      • Make no mistake when I drilled that hole on the top of the West end of the Unitas. Everyone in Houston said , “We can go anywhere , and drill everything”.

        Reply
      • What were you guys drilling at that elevation?

        Reply
        • I was wondering that too.

          Weat of here the Guadalupe Ridge is considerd the premier place to search for caves, and the speleogenisis is a H2S process, which is tied into fossil fuel locations. It’s only at about two thousand meters tops, but it is an uplift.

        • Yeah, I was thinking a thrust or mega thrust.

  32. Make no mistake I slam steel .

    Reply
    • Still? Seems a bit outside your current frame of reference.

      Reply
    • CB, when I wrote “nobody’s perfect” I was referring to your concerns about the growth on your nose, not your professional background.

      I don’t like to give personal advice to people, especially people I’ve only just made the acquaintance of. I try very hard to only give advice when I think I might have something new to offer, or when I feel I can be supportive about what a person is already inclined to do.

      In other words: I don’t know what’s going on with your nose. If you want to deal with docs about it, or if you don’t, not gonna argue with you.

      I’m sorry that you’re having such a hard time, what with having lost people you loved and being old and having physical problems and worries. That all sounds very difficult. It’s pretty clear that you are in the habit of bearing up well under hardship.

      I’m not very good at talking to guys. I just wanted to say something that wasn’t joking around. I joke around because this is all so scary and overwhelming and depressing. That’s the point, not to be flippant or dismissive.

      Most kind regards,

      Miep

      Reply
    • Hey Bob. Just wanted to say that I hope you’re well and I understand how you feel. Get that nose checked out, btw. They cut a melanoma off my toe when I was 20. The doctor was quoting survival chances to me.

      I apologize for the gallows humor. I used to be a cop and, I think, the old coping mechanisms just started to kick in.

      Warmest regards,

      Rob

      Reply
  33. Gerald Spezio

     /  February 5, 2014

    I wrote a short response to Robert’s excellent article; “Stop the war to silence science …”

    I gently criticized Robert’s “hopeism.”

    I said that Robert had done a magnificent job presenting the gruesome evidential data – but I claimed that he appeared to be blocking the highly probable conclusions of near term extinction.

    Robert’s scientific premises were excellent & possibly the best on the net, but his inferences were very different from mine.

    Although it published it briefly, Robert promptly removed it.

    Yes, we are doomed; & part of why we are doomed is because we have blocked scientific inquiry & the ugly & deadly inferences we must make.

    Tragically, my inferences don’t provide any evidence for hope.

    The best we can do is make the most of our time left.

    Reply
  34. Paul Hawley

     /  February 5, 2014

    Another pesky little typo: In your third paragraph, the word “left” was left out of this sentence: “Many researchers had previously LEFT clouds out of climate models . . .”

    Excellent, lucid, as always. Rock on, sirrah!

    Reply
  1. Amplifying Feedbacks — Warming Tropics Found to Now Release 2 Gigatons More Carbon Each Year | rober tscribbler | Enjeux énergies
  2. CO2 Continues Dangerous Rise, Hits 400.2 Parts Per Million in Late February | robertscribbler
  3. It’s Not Just Sao Paulo — Much of South America and Caribbean Sweltering Under Extreme Drought | robertscribbler

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