Dangerously Beyond 350: CO2 to Remain Above 400 PPM For Most of 2015

For 2015, CO2 levels will remain above the dangerous 400 parts per million level for almost 2/3 of the year. A perilous new record for a human-warmed world.

The last time global CO2 levels averaged above 400 parts per million was more than 3 million years ago during the Pliocene. A period that was just beginning to see the dawn of humankind (Australopithecus emerged about 2.5 million years ago). It was a world of 25-75 foot higher seas. A world where much of Greenland and West Antarctica was ice free. A world that took hundreds of thousands of years to settle into its climate patterns.

2014 Begins at 400 ppm +

(A bad start of 2015 — CO2 levels on January 1st exceeded 400 PPM. Most of the year will see levels in excess of this dangerously high atmospheric value. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

But the current human tool-using species that is now warming the Earth so drastically would have to wait for about 2.8 million more years and for far cooler climes to develop. And that species would set conditions for a rapid shift to climate states not seen for 3 million years in just decades through a hellish pace of fossil fuel burning.  For in just one century we’ve propelled ourselves back to that deep time. Back to a world climate state that is entirely alien to what we, and so many other animals, are accustomed to.

For this year, human fossil fuel emissions will push 2015 to reach or exceed those 400 ppm levels for around 7-8 months running. By 2016, it’s possible that 300 part per million levels — the ones that dominated our environment for most of the 20th Century — will be little more than a melancholy memory as humans face off against a series of increasingly dangerous  geophysical changes.

All set off by the inexorable burning of fossil fuels. A malpractice that simply must stop.

An All Too Steep Ramp-up Toward The Hothouse

Current human fossil fuel burning coupled with a few, still somewhat contained, environmental carbon feedbacks are enough to push an annual atmospheric CO2 increase of 2.2 parts per million each year. It’s a pace of initial greenhouse gas heat forcing never before seen in all of Earth’s geological past — even during the greatest global hothouse extinction events. The fruits of dumping 36 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each and every year.

petm_vs_modern_emissions

(Rate of carbon emission at more than 30 billion tons of CO2 each year vs the PETM [Note that WeatherUnderground has erroneously labeled CO2 as Carbon in the graph]– which was the most recent hothouse extinction 55 million years ago. It’s enough to push an atmospheric temperature rise on the scale of a mass extinction over the course of decades rather than millenia. It’s also worth noting that with CO2 emissions at 36 gigatons in 2013 [vs the above graph results from 2010] and CO2e emissions just shy of 50 gigatons this trajectory is even steeper than the graph depicts. Image source: WeatherUnderground.)

As a result, if current rates of burning continue or increase, we will see 450 parts per million levels well exceeded within about two decades. And that threshold will undeniably lock in at least 2 C worth of warming together with a growing carbon feedback from the Earth System itself.

484 PPM CO2e For 2015

But this drastic pace of atmospheric greenhouse gas additions doesn’t tell the whole story. For if you add up all the other gasses humans have dumped into the atmosphere, all the methane and HCFs, all the industrial chemicals, you end up with a CO2 equivalent number (CO2e) far greater than the present CO2 measure. And that CO2e measure is set to hit 484 parts per million this year (With a nearly 50 gigaton annual increase in CO2e gasses each year). A level that, if it correlates with past climates, will push warming by 1.9 C this century and 3.8 C after the entire Earth System responds. A level not seen in at least 13 million years.

A rather terrible situation to say the least. For at these levels, even the great ice sheets of Antarctica proper were much reduced and sea levels were 85-120 feet higher than they are today. And continuing to burn begs the very worst hothouse extinction consequences that come from wrecking the world’s oceans.

Very Hard Work to Get Back to 350 PPM

Near the end of the first decade of the 21st Century Dr. James Hansen, former head of GISS at NASA advised the world community that the likely safe level of global CO2 was below 350 parts per million. This assertion flew in the face of some in the international community who were pushing for an established ‘safe’ level of 450 parts per million and below. A level, of course, which would allow for the burning of quite a bit more of the world’s fossil fuel reserves.

But Hansen wouldn’t compromise. He felt it would be a betrayal to future generations. To his grandchildren. To all our grandchildren. So he set the safe limit at 350 parts per million with the caveat that we may need to reduce it further.

In 2008, during the year Hansen set the 350 parts per million level, CO2 levels peaked at around 386 parts per million. For 2015, just 7 years later, levels will peak at around 404 parts per million. A rampant increase directly in the wrong direction.

In order for rates of CO2 increase to begin to taper off, the world simply must stop burning so much in the way of fossil fuels. And even a full cessation of fossil fuel use would still result in some emissions unless both farming and construction were altered to reduce carbon emissions. Beyond this, atmospheric carbon capture through various methods to include fixing carbon capture and storage facilities to biomass generation and other land use and chemical based techniques are the most likely to be effective.

Such a transition and change is as difficult as it is necessary. For the world as we know it simply cannot continue along its current path. Hansen was right and we should have listened 7 years ago. We should have listened in 1988 at his first major climate hearing. But we didn’t. And so valuable time was wasted.

Let’s not make the same mistake in 2015.

Links:

The Keeling Curve

2015 Begins With CO2 Above the 400 PPM Mark

WeatherUnderground

2013 CO2 Emissions Will Set Record High

A Faustian Bargain on the Short Road to Hell: Living in a World at 480 PPM CO2e

Scientific Hat Tip to Dr. James Hansen and Dr. Ralph Keeling

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110 Comments

  1. I have a newspaper from 1986 about him testifying before the Senate: http://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/11/us/swifter-warming-of-globe-foreseen.html

    Reply
  2. For at least 48 it’s over :-((
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30805498

    Will be for us too, sometime in the near future.
    Hard to get our brains around that one.

    Reply
  3. wili

     /  January 14, 2015

    My Lord–when it rains it pours. Such an embarrassment of RS riches we can barely keep up. They will have to keep us busy during his next long absence, I guess.

    I can’t decide whether I’m happy or sad to see that such a sage voice as rs’s has come to the same conclusion I have–that this is quite likely to be the first year since the Pliocene that the earth will see a year when the average atmospheric CO2 levels were above 400 parts per million.

    I like the feeling of validation, but I would rather he had looked over all the evidence and discovered that nukes or terra preta or permaculture or sustainable cities or universal enlightenment or cosmic winds or some other deus ex machina or combination thereof was going to swoop down and save us from our foolish ways.

    It’s like I’m a five year old under the covers calling to dad because I think there’s a monster in the closet, only to have dad come in and say, “Yup, that sure is one heck of a monster!” ‘-)
    : – /

    Since I opened the last discussion with a slightly off topic video, I might as well do the same here. I’ll leave it to readers to try to determine which points in it are not quite according to Hoyle, as they say; but I think most of it is pretty good:

    Reply
    • There’s a monster in the closet and dad, mom and all the older kids are going to have to fight it before it eats the house.

      Reply
    • Interesting video, Wili. That flash in the Urals appears to be a sudden ground burst reflecting on the cloud deck.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  January 15, 2015

      There are a few problems with some of the claims in the video. Goreau at about minute 19 claims that the eventual global temperature we should expect to reach at 400 ppm is 17 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. The only sense I can make of that is either he left out a decimal point between the 1 and the 7, or he is talking about just the Arctic. But perhaps I’m missing something.

      Reply
      • 2-3 C for 400 PPM. Goreau is off by an order of magnitude. May be decimal displacement. May be double counting. May be assuming stronger feedbacks due to the fact that current atmospheric values are the initial forcing only and do not take long term feedbacks into account and he’s assuming a huge runaway based on the current perturbations. If he does this, these are pretty much exponential response assessments.

        Reply
  4. wili

     /  January 14, 2015

    And here’s a good article on the longer perspective on humans and climate change from Skeptical Science: https://www.skepticalscience.com/Just-when-did-humans-first-start-affecting-the-climate.html

    Reply
  5. wili

     /  January 14, 2015

    Sorry about back-to-back posts:

    ” The fruits of dumping 36 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each and every year.”

    Probably that’s more like 37.5 b tons for 2014:

    “-CO2 emissions in 2000 were 24.787Gt, in 2012 these had risen to 35.425Gt1

    – This is a mean growth rate of a little over 3% p.a. for 2000 to 2012; a period that included, arguably, the most severe global financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    -Assuming emissions have continued to grow at ~3% p.a., then emissions for this year (2014) are likely to be:

    ~37.5Gt.”

    http://kevinanderson.info/blog/full-global-decarbonisation-of-energy-by-2034-and-probably-before/

    Reply
  6. Reblogged this on jpratt27.

    Reply
  7. Griffin

     /  January 14, 2015

    News from NASA relevant to your excellent post Robert.http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2219/

    Reply
  8. RWood

     /  January 14, 2015

    Rack ’em up:
    Fun fact: the Alyeska Pipeline, which transports oil from AK’s North Slope, is built up on stilts to keep the heat of the oil moving through the pipe from melting the tundra the pipeline travels over and making it unstable. If the warming of the arctic continues and the permafrost under the pipe starts thawing out in the summer….well, use your imagination…
    (this in a comment on Naked Capitalism by diptherio).

    Reply
  9. climatehawk1

     /  January 14, 2015

    Nice post. I think you mean 2015 in the title.

    Reply
    • climatehawk1

       /  January 14, 2015

      Thanks, tweet scheduled on this.

      Reply
    • Wharf Rat

       /  January 14, 2015

      Tule fog disappearing…

      Central Valley sees big drop in wintertime fog needed for fruit and nut crops
      May 20, 2014 by Sarah Yang

      The researchers paired NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite records with data from a network of University of California weather stations, covering 32 consecutive winters. There was a great deal of variability from year to year, but on average, the researchers found a 46 percent drop in the number of fog days between the first of November and the end of February.

      Other studies have marked the decline in the Central Valley of winter chill – the number of hours between 0 and 7 degrees Celsius. The number of hours of winter chill has dropped by several hundred since the 1950s, the study authors noted.

      http://phys.org/news/2014-05-central-valley-big-wintertime-fog.html

      Reply
  10. Andy in San Diego

     /  January 14, 2015

    California needs a bit of rain…. (that is if the word “bit” means sh!tload).

    http://www.vox.com/2015/1/13/7538163/california-drought-rainfall

    Reply
  11. T-rev

     /  January 14, 2015

    My incredulity comes from those who accept the science and understand the need for mitigation, aren’t. I know everyone is waiting for someone else to mitigate but that’s simply not going to happen, we’ve had decades of waiting. If the people who do think we need to mitigate aren’t, we will never have enough impetus to introduce legislation to drag the
    deniers along.

    We need a significant minority of citizens to actually start to mitigate: not fly, not own a meat eating pet, cut back on personal meat consumption from ruminants, only green energy, cycle don’t drive. Then engage friends and peers in mitigation discussiona and only vote for politicians that have effective mitigation policies. In Australia, we have a state election in a couple weeks, the Greens will get 5.9% of the vote, they’re are the only party to take climate change seriously in Australia, there in lies the problem. Until we get to 20- 25% (my estimate) of people taking it seriously, nothing will change and by seriously I mean beyond couchtavism)

    What can we do as individuals ?
    Mitigate significantly
    Engage friends and peers
    Vote only for effective climate policy.

    If we do nothing, everyone else will follow.

    Reply
    • Matt

       /  January 14, 2015

      Could not agree more T-rev, i’m in Aus and have never voted for any party other than the Greens. It amazes me how some of the most amazing scientists like Richard Ally publicly tell of their support for the Republican party??? that party’s support for science and the independence of science died long ago!

      Reply
      • Have to agree wholeheartedly with you both. From bottom to top everyone needs to take responsibility.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  January 14, 2015

        He’s talking about being a Republican in the hope that Republicans will pay attention and understand that science and a conservative philosophy are not actually contradictory. Part of the denier mythos is that climate science is a liberal plot to spread big-government socialism and redistribute wealth. As a result, several climate scientists who are not liberal Democrats are making a point of emphasizing their political (or, in the case of Katharine Hayhoe, religious) views.

        Reply
    • Here’s some ideas for what we can do as individuals to help create a mass mobilization…

      What Climate Change Asks of Us: Moral Obligation, Mobilization and Crisis Communication

      http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/12/19/what-climate-change-asks-us-moral-obligation-mobilization-and-crisis-communication

      Reply
      • ‘Passivity in the time of crisis is complicity’

        Absolutely!

        Reply
      • In other words, any positive action at all is better than no action. And no action at this time is morally reprehensible.

        Reply
      • Superb article – many thanks!

        Reply
      • Griffin

         /  January 14, 2015

        Thank you for this!

        Reply
      • mikkel

         /  January 14, 2015

        “Certainty dispels pluralistic ignorance. Fortunately, the research on pluralistic ignorance and crisis response provides excellent guidance for how to overcome this trance of collective denial. The research shows that humans are actually strongly motivated to act in a crisis—as long as they are sure that there is a crisis and that they have a role in solving it.”

        This needs to be hammered into the heads of every scientist working in the field. The probabilistic way that they communicate is inherently seen as being “uncertain” and greatly contributes to this effect, even as the scientists themselves know it is “certain.”

        Robert, you’ll be glad to know that I utilized this personally by taking the time to find a full cycle GHG analysis for meat and therefore have gone more vegetarian (before I had about 5-6 meals a week, now it’s 3, with minimal red meat).

        I agree that people need an overall framing to work towards (and policy to work within) but feel there was way too much deemphasis on individual action in that piece.

        Reply
    • Burgundy

       /  January 14, 2015

      T-rev, the problem is that the “significant minority of citizens” need to cut links with the BAU System to actually achieve mitigation. Which includes quitting their corporate and government jobs, eschewing the products of corporations and even junking fiat currencies to actually achieve mitigation and stop doing harm. A tall order, that’s why most limit their mitigation to token gestures.

      However, it increasingly looks like we are in the midst of an almighty deflationary economic crash which is going to start cutting those systemic links for use, whether we want to or not. Commodities are crashing (ie. wealth creation), copper fell 8% today alone, which is quite staggering. Services (ie. wealth redistribution) will follow as sure as night follows day creating a world where people have little money after servicing their debts to continue trashing the plant.

      Hopefully good news for the long-term survival of our species and the planet, but a bit rough for us poor humans currently being pushed through the bottleneck.

      Reply
      • Deflation of the unconventional fossil fuels bubble. The cause is relative efficiency gains, high cost unconventional fuels, strategic use of low cost oil by OPEC, economic weakness in producers due to political conflict and oil glut, economic weakness in Europe due to rising inequality, economic weakness in China due to real estate bubble, and competition with increasingly more economic renewables.

        In any case, unconventional FF was a malinvestment for many reasons. Primarily financed by debt the high cost production was vulnerable to shocks. Unless the debt products were fraudulently leveraged throughout the system, the crash won’t be almighty. CE in Europe already ongoing and hopefully the extra money will go to renewables/efficiencies and not more FF nonsense.

        If you are able to break with the system, then by all means do so. If you’re a government worker or work for a corp, jettisoning as much fossil fuel use as possible is a good way to rebel from within. If you require a car, go to a one car household with EV and solar, drop air travel if possible. Go vegan. Vote to support climate change and energy switch related technologies, push to get your institution on a carbon negative footing, coordinate to divest in fossil fuels capital. Jettison anything high carbon or carbon. Push to have steel manufacture run on biomass and electric. Push for negative carbon agriculture. Grow a garden. Use biochar in your garden. Bike to work if you can. Create small groups within your institution or peer groups to coordinate action and communication. Link up with national and international climate campaigns. Support off grid living. Push your utility to go renewable. Be as self sufficient as you can. Help others do the same. Support localized economies. There is quite a lot to be done!

        Reply
  12. Spike

     /  January 14, 2015

    Even if we manage to totally decarbonise electricity and transportation, we are left with 10% of our emissions from intensive agriculture, and perhaps double that from other land use changes. That would leave us with PETM emission rates still looking at the graph above.

    A radical transition to more climate friendly agriculture seems necessary. This is necessary for other reasons such as biodiversity, eutrophication and soil erosion – a recent study said the UK may have only 100 harvests left due to soil degradation, yet there is little sign of any attempt to tackle this issue.

    “Intensive farming is like a leaky bucket, wasteful of precious soils, water and ironically, food”

    http://www.philiplymbery.com/2015/01/intensive-farming-what-legacy-will-we-leave-our-children/

    Looks like we are going to have to get right to the cliff edge before changing – I just keep wondering if we are going to become the cartoon character who goes right off before hanging in the air for a second and then plunging away.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  January 14, 2015

      “we are going to become the cartoon character who goes right off before hanging in the air for a second and then plunging away.” Are you sure we aren’t there already?

      Reply
    • Yep. So we fight to get back to PETM rates and once we do that we fight to change agriculture and land use to be carbon negative. Long road ahead.

      Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  January 14, 2015

        And if it is any comfort, we don’t have any choice. Most everyone will recognize that eventually.

        Reply
  13. JMA has just reported December 2014 as the warmest Dec on record. They already reported 2014 as the the warmest year on record last week as Robert mentioned in an earlier post.

    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/gwp/temp/dec_wld.html

    Reply
  14. Stephen

     /  January 14, 2015

    I just heard a report on NPR from Sao Paulo. I missed the first part but they are reporting that sales in shops are down as are new car sales. Oh and a gentleman they interviewed said he would not vacation abroad this year because of his anxiety about the economy. Nothing about a drought. The consumer news is more important I suppose.

    Reply
    • Unconscionable. 60 million people under threat, 9-12 million people under water rationing and all they can cover is car sales and vacations?

      The night before, they had some blow hard from The Wall Street Journal extolling the virtues of ICE vehicles and downplaying EVs yet again.

      Reply
  15. Mark from New England

     /  January 14, 2015

    Very powerful post Robert! The graph comparing the current rate of emissions to that during the PETM is especially scary. I’m going to copy/paste it into a letter to my Republican Senator, asking her to vote against the Keystone pipeline.

    One very minor point from one who has read a lot about human evolution; when you stated:

    “But the species that is now warming the Earth so drastically would have to wait for about 2.8 million more years and for far cooler climes to develop”. Back in that time frame, the hominid line was represented by the Australopithecines, with the genus Homo emerging around 2 – 2.5 mya. So though there’s an unbroken chain of evolutionary descent, technically they were different species from modern Homo Sapiens. Still, they used tools and were well on their way to us.

    In the context of the point of your article, it probably doesn’t even warrant correction, but I thought I’d bring it up.

    Reply
  16. Time for our homeopathic dose of Hopium. EU power emissions fell 8% in 2014

    http://www.sandbag.org.uk/blog/2015/jan/14/eu-power-emissions-fell-more-8-2014/

    Reply
    • It’s the resource curse coming back to haunt them. Tar Sands basically devoured their economy. It prevented diversification, ruined a vast environmental wealth, and when the unconventional fuel began to lag economically due to the fact that it was very costly and inefficient, the whole state suffered.

      Oil is parasitic to economies in this way. But the higher cost, dirtier stuff all the more so. All around the world, economies hollowed out by oil are suffering. Suffering, because the curse of the fossil fuel is that it destroys most other wealth.

      Reply
    • Alberta’s and all of Canada-USA morals — and the very lives of its children are mired in that bitumen crust called tar sands.

      Reply
  17. JPL

     /  January 14, 2015

    “Boundary dam, a power plant in Estevan, Saskatchewan, is the first commercial coal-fired plant to capture carbon dioxide from its emissions, compress the gas, and bury it underground.”

    http://www.technologyreview.com/demo/533351/a-coal-plant-that-buries-its-greenhouse-gases/

    Interesting article, lots of pictures and descriptions of the process. This solution certainly doesn’t seem like a panacea, of course. We all know where the coal needs to remain…

    John

    Reply
    • Almost every CCS scheme I’ve seen thus far sells the CO2 to an oil producer to enhance extraction. CCS used in this way multiplies carbon emissions from the oil well by x4 simply by extending its lifespan.

      This plant is no different.

      In addition, the plant still emits 10 percent as much as a regular coal plant through venting.

      Finally, the cost consideration, even with the sale of CO2 to multiply oil emissions, is such that wind out competes these plants by a wide margin and solar is at parity with them now.

      CCS has always been a fossil fuel dog and pony show. They were never serious about using it to reduce net emissions. Now they use it to extend the life span of oil wells. All the stuff should just be kept in the ground.

      Reply
    • Somewhat related — a Canadian tar sands fund just dropped 70 percent today… Canadian Oil Sands Ltd… Huge bust.

      Reply
    • A truly demented enterprise, it is.

      Reply
  18. JPL

     /  January 14, 2015

    The Seattle port commission is moving ahead with a plan to allow currently idle terminal 5 to be the staging base for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet, even as they acknowledge the ramifications of Arctic drilling for climate change. Sigh…

    http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/arctic-drilling-support-fleet-at-west-seattles-terminal-5-after-impassioned-debate-port-commission-says-yes/

    Business as usual.

    John

    Reply
    • They won’t be doing much Arctic work in this market. Shell down 8 percent year on year. Oil very volatile today — but still trading in the 45-46 dollar per barrel range. Most new projects are now on hold and activity is shifting to the most economic zones in the plays. For the best zones in the Bakken, the bottom is 37 dollars per barrel. Overall, mainstay of the easiest unconventional oil produces at a loss along the 35 dollar line. That’s not marginal oil. That’s getting into the best of the best for unconventional.

      And the Arctic has a habit of eating oil rigs for lunch. Shell will need assurances of much higher oil prices for this venture.

      Reply
  19. RWood

     /  January 14, 2015

    This is not entirely news to those who follow Robert Scribbler, and maybe it’s not too different from Professor McPherson’s cogitations:
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/28490-the-methane-monster-roars
    I would appreciate your analysis and comment.

    Reply
    • Another fantastic report by Dahr. Thanks for posting.

      Although there is one technical error in the article. Human emissions since 1850 are on the order of about 550 GT carbon, 1,600 GT + CO2. There seems to be a bit of mixing up of these figures lately.

      Reply
  20. – New News from desperate minds?

    Re-Freeze the Arctic?

    “Governments must get a grip on a situation which IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has ignored. A strategy of mitigation and adaptation is doomed to fail. It will be impossible to adapt to the worst consequences of global warming, as IPCC suggests.”

    John Nissen, Chairman, Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG”), Press Conference Announcement, COP20, Lima, December 4, 2014.

    According to AMEG, an Arctic meltdown is nearly upon us, and the consequences will be brutal for everybody alive today. “In fact, the September sea ice volume is already down 75% with a trend to zero by September 2016, suggests that the Arctic is heading for complete meltdown, which would be a planetary catastrophe,” Ibid. Yes, a planetary catastrophe!

    According to Nissen: “There is no sign of any natural process to break the cycle,” of the Arctic meltdown.

    According to AMEG, and by way of insinuation, the Artic must be refrozen or life on planet Earth is certain to turn very, very ugly, nearly uninhabitable, and given enough time, it could become uninhabitable. The planet can only handle so much human-caused greenhouse gases before it coughs, burps, erupts, and sneezes away viable food production and the temperate climate humans depend upon.

    But, seriously, refreeze the Artic?

    Yes, according to AMEG, it is possible: “Techniques exist for cooling on the necessary scale. Both the brightening of low-level clouds and the production of a reflective haze in the stratosphere are techniques based on natural phenomena, which have been studied extensively. Various methane suppression techniques have been proposed. However, all these techniques require technology development and testing before deployment.”

    http://www.ukprogressive.co.uk/re-freeze-the-arctic/article34697.html

    Reply
    • And here we go with the human global dimming promotions… Right on schedule.

      So we buy a few more decades of fossil fuel burning, acidifying the oceans even more, and in the end hit 1000 ppm under a milky white shroud of ozone killing sulfur dioxide? It really would be the Permian all over again. But just in a century rather than over the course of millennia.

      Hello Faustian Bargian writ large!

      Selling point for oil corps — global dimming reduces solar PV efficiencies.

      This has moral hazard written all over it.

      Reply
      • Ouse M.D.

         /  January 14, 2015

        It seems to me the more we try to evade the obvious, the greater punishment will be cast on us by mother nature.
        The recent SPAM satellite launch coincides with the planned large scale geo- engineering:
        quick- assessing soil moisture content before the water depleting SRM is being deployed in full scale.

        Reply
        • Rapid mitigation is the only real solution. Frankenstien measures like geo-engineering should only be held off as an absolute last resort when all else fails. In this case, it looks like fossil fuel industry manipulation to infuse more undead life into its zombie industries.

      • I’d be a little less critical of AMEG if they weren’t so obviously courting fossil fuel special interests. That said, the notion of geo-engineering has always been one that is fraught with severe peril.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  January 14, 2015

      “all these techniques require technology development and testing before deployment”

      Good idea; but how exactly do you ‘test’ the effect such a massive endeavor might have on the entire area and planet before actually doing it??

      Reply
      • Exactly. You can do small scale tests and use models to estimate outcomes. However, any serious tests would look more like deployment.

        Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2015

    Sea level rise quickens more than thought in threat to coasts
    Jan 14 (Reuters) – Sea level rise in the past two decades has accelerated faster than previously thought in a sign of climate change threatening coasts from Florida to Bangladesh, a study said on Wednesday.

    The report, reassessing records from more than 600 tidal gauges, found that readings from 1901-90 had over-estimated the rise in sea levels. Based on revised figures for those years, the acceleration since then was greater than so far assumed.

    The report said the earlier readings were incomplete or skewed by local factors such as subsidence.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/14/us-climatechange-seas-idUSKBN0KN25520150114

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2015

    Half of Malawi declared disaster zone after flooding

    Torrential rains leave scores dead and tens of thousands homeless as president appeals to international donors for humitarian aid ……………….. The country’s Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has warned of heavy rainfall and flash floods for the next two to three weeks.

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/14/malawi-flooding-torrential-rain-mozambique

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2015

    Floods hit Turkey’s southwestern coast, killing one

    The stormy weather also disrupted daily life in the touristic province of Antalya, prompting the local authorities to close schools on Jan. 14. Winds reached 155 kilometers per hour in Kemer, causing considerable material damage. Meanwhile, floods blocked traffic between the city center of Antalya and Kemer.

    Power was also cut for several hours when giant waves hit the beach of Konyaaltı, near Antalya’s city center, damaging boats.

    Floods and unusually cold weather has also hit agriculture, a mainstay of the local economy along with tourism. Orange farms were frozen while trees were swept by the storm and fruit was destroyed ahead of the harvest period.

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/floods-hit-turkeys-southwestern-coast-killing-one.aspx?pageID=238&nID=76946&NewsCatID=341

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  January 14, 2015

    Robots probe climate change

    South Pacific Gyre – a mass of circular currents that rotate anti-clockwise and dominate the circulation of the South Pacific Ocean.

    The amount of water being transported by the gyre over the past decade had increased about 10 per cent – the same rate observed in each of the two decades previously – and Professor Roemmich suspected this was mainly being driven by winds.

    While temperature and salinity changes are relatively clear, changes in the currents forming the large-scale ocean circulation are more difficult to define. However, a clear signal is emerging.

    Professor Roemmich said the changes so far seen in ocean circulation were linked to climate change, which had contributed to a heavily evidenced warming of oceans over the past 50 years.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386528

    Reply
  25. wili

     /  January 14, 2015

    The graph dramatically shows the difference in rate of change between our current assault on the planet and the rate of change during “The Great Dying.”

    But it seems to understate the case since it is both out of date (the figure for last year will be more like 37.5 gigatons and this year’s should be closer to 39), and it seems to be labelled incorrectly–surely they mean gigatons CO2, not carbon, right? (And of course, these are not the most relevant numbers anyway, since the CO2 equivalent is more like 50 gigatons, as you point out.)

    I realize that you got this from wunderground so it is not easily changed. But it’s too bad, because I’d like to share it more broadly, but hesitate to do so, given these rather glaring inaccuracies.

    Reply
    • The rate of increase was based on 2010 figures. And, yes, it should be CO2. Error noted in the Article.

      Seems folks have been mixing up CO2 and Carbon figures a bit lately the recent Dahr paper from Tuthout does the same thing.

      Reply
  26. Jay M

     /  January 14, 2015

    Regarding using sulfur dioxide in geoengineering, I checked wikipedia to determine where sulfur production is currently derived: “Today, almost all elemental sulfur is produced as a byproduct of removing sulfur-containing contaminants from natural gas and petroleum.” So we have great synergy here with the ecocidal fossil fuel economy.

    Reply
    • Yeah. They run giant train cars of the stuff through downtown here now and then. I’m sure the industry would love to have another market for their toxic crud.

      Reply
  27. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    Mass die-offs among fish, birds and invertebrates on the rise
    Global warming, diminished water supplies, and increased exposure to toxic contaminants are a few of the reasons.

    Mass die-offs of birds, fish and invertebrates are on the rise, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley say. The trends were borne out the first ever quantitative analysis of large scale animal deaths. Scientists plotted 727 mass die-off events over the past 70 years, involving a total of some 2,500 species (some events feature more than one species).

    Read more: Link

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    We burn 2.7 million gallons a minute, so why’s oil so cheap?

    “How much oil we have is an economic and technical question, not a geologic one,” says Doug Duncan of the U.S. Geological Survey. “There’s far more than we can extract economically using today’s technology.”

    More than enough, for now at least, to sustain record high consumption of 91.4 million barrels per day. There are 42 gallons in a barrel, so that’s 3.8 billion gallons per day. Looked at another way, it’s as if every human on the planet went through a gallon of oil every two days.

    Since 1980, the world has burned nearly 40 trillion gallons. That’s a bit more liquid than held by Lake Tahoe, the 11th deepest lake in the world. It’s enough to cover the state of California in oil to a depth of 14 inches.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    New contaminants found in oil and gas wastewater

    Duke University scientists have discovered high levels of two potentially hazardous contaminants, ammonium and iodide, in wastewater being discharged or spilled into streams and rivers from oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    It seems that the only animals on the increase are humans and “black swans”.

    Reply
    • That and black sheep😉

      Reply
    • Nathan

       /  January 15, 2015

      Had a friend who once thought photos of black swans from Australia were faked, that we had white ones and just coloured the photos in. She had a real surprise when she visited! But seriously, I think their population is pretty stable…

      Reply
  31. joni

     /  January 15, 2015

    Were at 401 ppm currently and rising fast…

    https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/

    Reply
    • Yep. Got the spike in the most recent post🙂

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  January 15, 2015

      joni –
      Methane oxidizes into Co2. This may be out gassing of Ch4 .

      Reply
      • We’d have to see a much larger jump in CH4 to affect CO2 levels like that. However, I did notice that the recent IPCC report now estimates global CH4 emissions at 717 MT with 100 MT from gas hydrates and permafrost. That’s about an 80 MT jump, overall, from their previous estimate and the first time they break out hydrates+permafrost thaw.

        Reply
      • In other news, Shell just cancelled a 6.3 billion dollar oil project in the Middle East. The hits just keep coming…

        Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    Shell just cancelled a 6.3 billion dollar oil project in the Middle East. The hits just keep coming…

    The old guard is on the attack , they after the tar sands , and shale oil. I have seen them do this my whole life. One day soon they will have no more oil. Then they are screwed.

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    Galaxy 11
    Britain Snow Storm 2015 VIDEO : Record-Breaking Winds Batter UK, Snow Blow in With Gale-Force Winds

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  January 15, 2015

    I looked at my hands tonight. ii is full of wisdom

    Then I thought of the Beach Boys.

    The Beach Boys – I Get Around

    Reply

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