A Fearful Glance at the Global Carbon Stores — Weekly CO2 Values Hit 404 Parts Per Million a Little Too Soon

mlo two years April 15

(Big jump in weekly CO2 averages during second week of April bring 2015 concentrations into the range of 404 parts per million a month earlier than expected. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

Over the past decade, annual rates of atmospheric CO2 increase have remained in a range of around 2.2 parts per million (ppm) each year. It’s a geologically blinding pace of increase driven by a human carbon emission on the order of around 11 billion tons each and every year. Primarily driven by fossil fuel burning, this massive dumping of carbon into the atmosphere is steadily filling up a number of the world’s key carbon stores.

The oceans are brimming full with carbon — as we see in a rapidly rising rate of acidification.  The oceans are warming, steadily losing their ability to keep a higher fraction of greenhouse gasses stored in solution. The trees are lagging in their ability to draw carbon from the atmosphere — a symptom of a combined deforestation, wildfire proliferation, and endemic outbreaks of invasive species that prey on key trees. And the carbon store in the Arctic is showing signs that it may be actively venting higher volumes of greenhouse gasses back into the atmosphere and oceans.

As a leading indicator that some of these carbon stores are starting to fill up, or worse, dump a significant portion of their sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere, we would expect to see spiking levels of CO2 and CH4 in the global measures. Which is why when, starting on April 5 of 2015, Mauna Loa CO2 values shot up to around 404 to 405 parts per million in some of the hourly records, a few eyebrows were raised.

Implications of Hitting Expected Peak Values a Bit too Soon

Typically, atmospheric CO2 peaks around mid-May. And, for this year, following the 2.2 ppm increase trajectory, we would expect a May monthly value of around 404 parts per million. So readings in the range of 404 to 405 parts per million in early April are a significant jump well ahead of the expected marks. If this increase remained consistent and showed continued seasonal rise on through mid-May, it could skew April and May readings upward — well beyond a 2.2 ppm annual increase at peak.

mlo_one_month

(Consistently High CO2 values show up at the end of the monthly measure. Note the frequent hourly departures above 405 ppm. Image source: The Keeling Curve.)

Typically, the difference between April and May monthly values is in the range of 0.5 to 1 ppm CO2. So an April Average near 404 ppm could yield a May average of 404.5 to 405 ppm or a 2.7 to 3.2 ppm increase over 2014 peak values. A significant high departure that could be a leading indicator of a bad response from the global carbon stores. This possibility was raised as daily Mauna Loa CO2 values ranged from 403.2 ppm through 404.9 ppm from April 5 to 14 and as weekly values for April 8-14 hit 403.9 ppm.

Signal or Noise?

Of course, these admittedly worrisome spikes could well be noise in the overall carbon system. CO2 values have tended to vary more wildly in the Mauna Loa measure recently. And average rates of increase from peak to peak could still fall into the standard range.

It is also worth noting that any major disruption in the global carbon system as it relates to CO2 would also show up as a trailing indicator in the CO2 airborne fraction measure. A higher level of emitted CO2 would remain in the atmosphere as sinks began to fail and as stores became sources. Such a carbon sink failure would eventually show up as a higher airborne CO2 fraction.

Overall, the airborne fraction measure is an indicator of how much of the carbon human beings emit into the atmosphere is being taken up by the global environment:

CO2 Airborne Fraction

(Airborne CO2 fraction showing global carbon dioxide emissions [as gigatons of carbon without oxygen molecular weight added] since 1960 through 2012 and amount of emitted CO2 that has remained in the atmosphere. Image source: James Hansen and The University of Columbia.)

Currently, the amount of carbon from CO2 remaining in the atmosphere is in the range of 45% of the human emission — or around 5 gigatons.

If carbon sinks are retaining their ability to uptake CO2, then the fraction will remain relatively low. If carbon sinks are over-topping and bleeding substantial volumes of their carbon back into the atmosphere, then the airborne fraction measure will tend to rise as a trailing indicator.

During recent decades, the airborne fraction has actually fallen as emissions ramped up — probably due to a combined increase in ocean surface exposure to CO2 and to an initial bump in the rate of CO2 respiratory uptake by photosynthetic life. But considering the very high volume of carbon being dumped into the global system coordinate with a wide variety of stresses to carbon stores resulting from both added heat and chemistry changes, these carbon sinks are under ever-increasing stress. A number of scientific studies have indicated a likely rise in CO2 airborne fraction, under business as usual fossil fuel emissions, to as much as 80 percent through 2100 — with start of carbon store failures during the current decade.

If carbon stores do begin to fail, we would first see atmospheric spikes in the global CO2 and CH4 measures. Then, as a trailing indicator, the CO2 airborne fraction measure would begin to ramp up. In this context, weekly CO2 spikes at Mauna Loa are some cause for concern, but we can’t make any strong calls of a larger carbon system response without a more consistent spike and, eventually, a jump in the airborne fraction.

To this final point, I’ll leave you with the somewhat related Mauna Loa CH4 measure which has, lately, also been showing an increasing rate of accumulation for that greenhouse gas:

Mauna Loa Methane Measure 2004 to 2015

(Mauna Loa Methane measure shows ramping up of atmospheric CH4 readings at that station. Image source: NOAA ESRL.)

Links:

The Keeling Curve

Doubling Down on Our Faustian Bargain

Modeling The Atmospheric Airborne Fraction in a Simple Carbon Cycle Model

NOAA ESRL

Scientific Hat tip to Dr. James Hansen

Hat tip to Wili

Hat tip to Kevin Jones

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152 Comments

  1. Kevin Jones

     /  April 16, 2015

    Robert: “Makiko makes all the figures available on her website. You can right click and save the figures as a GIF or Bitmap. I do this when inserting the figures into our blog or email. Here is her website: http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Temperature/ I hope that is an easy way for you and Robert to save and upload the figures onto his blog. Please try it out and let us know if it works. Thanks, Nicole”

    Reply
  2. Kevin Jones

     /  April 16, 2015

    P.S. Really solid, comprehensive and clear post, Robert. (now that, catching my breath, I’ve read it.)

    Reply
  3. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    Major advance in artificial photosynthesis poses win/win for the environment
    Date:
    April 16, 2015
    Source:
    DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Summary:
    By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, a potentially game-changing new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide.

    Link

    Reply
    • Some major problems with this paper, not the least of which include ‘burning of coal for the foreseeable future.’

      I see this as another desperate gasp of the fossil fuel industry to survive. In any case, this is a fractional carbon capture system that piggy backs off of burning and whose products would also be partially burned. So though some carbon would be captured in raw materials, the net carbon flux is still positive.

      If carbon emitting industry wants to figure out a way to become viable (viable for a living world at least) it needs to figure out a way to make itself net carbon negative. And this tech isn’t going to cut it. It might cut 10-20 percent emissions if it becomes practical. Nowhere near enough.

      Finally, the process is still not economic.

      Reply
  4. Adriaan Schipper

     /  April 16, 2015

    The methane discussion often seems to focus on the possibility of a sudden and huge methane burst. While that is an important topic, I’m also curious to know what would happen if we have no methane burst, but we keep having this kind of superlinear methane growth. What nmol/mol level do you get if you extrapolate this graph to say 2050 (and I realise there’s a lot of uncertainty there), and what does that methane level mean?

    Reply
    • I think the moderate feedback scenario is the most likely, which is one of the reasons I keep bringing it up. We could be looking at 2150 to 2500 ppb methane by mid century on that path.

      Reply
    • Andrew Dodds

       /  April 17, 2015

      Methane is interesting because of the short atmospheric lifetime. So the concentration is quite strongly related to the emission rate.

      This is why it’s gone from c.700 to c. 1850 ppb.

      So it’s possible to get more rapid shocks with Methane. If you double CO2 emissions, you raise levels by perhaps 1.2% a year instead of 0.6% a year. If you double Methane emissions, you raise levels by 100% pretty quickly.

      On the plus side, if we do actually cut methane emissions then the concentration will rapidly drop as well. Could be tricky if the emissions are natural, though..

      Reply
    • Tom

       /  April 17, 2015

      THANK YOU ADRIAN and ANDREW! That’s why i’ve been chiding Dave Cohen (and Andrew Ac) for his poor excuse for smearing Guy McPherson. He bases his critique on the ‘burp’ scenario [as if anyone “knows”], dismisses it using “science”, but misses the point that it keeps going up in concentration and known magnification of CO2 [using the COe terminology].

      i’m warmed by this site’s commenters illustrating that someone else is ‘getting it’ and corroborating that i’m not being petty.

      i’ll lay it to rest now.

      Reply
  5. Kevin Jones

     /  April 16, 2015

    Robert: “Great, glad to hear that works well for Robert! Makiko updates the temperature figures on a regular basis. Here is the link to her general website–a great resource as well: http//:www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/
    Nicole Crescimanno
    Program Coordinator
    Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions
    csas.ei.columbia.edu
    718-866-7331 “

    Reply
  6. Kevin Jones

     /  April 16, 2015

    http://csas.ei.columbia.edu/ As a stenographer, I just fired myself!

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    Methane Leaks from Oil and Gas Wells Now Top Polluters

    The oil and gas industry surges past cows as top U.S. methane emitter

    Link

    Reply
  8. wili

     /  April 16, 2015

    Great to see this important development being addressed.

    In”Currently, the amount of emitted CO2 remaining the atmosphere is in the range of 45% of carbon emitted by humans — or around 5 gigatons.” is the last amount intended to be just the mass of the carbon? If not, I’m confused. (Or more confused than my usual generally bewildered state. ‘-))

    At the beginning of the second-to-last paragraph: “If carbon stores do began to fail…” needs fixin’.

    Thanks for the hat tip!

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 16, 2015

      wili: Scientists (in order to simplify) say 10 gigatons C which is just the C in CO2. Multiply by 3.67 for gigatons CO2. For instance NOAA tells us one part per million CO2 = 2.12 gigatons C.

      Reply
    • Thanks Wili. Fixes are in.

      Changed bit in question to “Currently, the amount of carbon from CO2 remaining in the atmosphere is in the range of 45% of the human emission — or around 5 gigatons.”

      The weight is for the molecular carbon fraction for CO2. If you add oxygen, it’s around 17 gigatons. Does this help clairify?

      For further clarification CO2 portion including oxygen weight is around 35 gigatons per year (human emission). Total CO2e emission from all greenhouse gasses in CO2 weight equivalent is around 50 gigatons. Take all the other oxygen and non carbon molecules out and you get around 11 gigatons of carbon.

      Clear as mud?

      Reply
      • wili

         /  April 16, 2015

        That seems better to me. And thanks for the further clarifications here, rs and KJ.

        Reply
  9. Kevin Jones

     /  April 16, 2015

    DMI still rising. About +11C for 80 degrees to North Pole.http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Reply
    • Hello early June…This is what happens when surface winds start to circulate around Greenland due to a shift of the cold core to that region. The front side of the flow draws Asian, Atlantic and European heat into the High Arctic. Tough outcomes.

      Reply
  10. Kevin Jones

     /  April 16, 2015

    Click on other DMI big melt years and this prelude stands out ominously.

    Reply
  11. wili

     /  April 16, 2015

    OK, one more point for now–if these higher values hold up for now, how should we square this with claims that emissions from energy production were flat last year? Will isotopic analysis be able to figure our where the extra carbon is from?

    Reply
    • Yes. If they do an isotopic survey, they could determine the source of the extra carbon. Methane may well be at least partly human. But a strong CO2 spike may well indicate store exhaustion, feedback or both. Would take some time for those numbers to shake out. More likely we get say +2.8 ppm for one year, +2.0 ppm for another, +2.4 for another, +2.9 for another etc. It shows up in the rear view mirror for the most part.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  April 16, 2015

        “It shows up in the rear view mirror for the most part.” As is the case with so much of this stuff…even as our front fender goes over the cliff (or hits the wall…which ever metaphor suits you).

        Right now I’m thinking about melting and burning tundra…

        Reply
      • james cole

         /  April 17, 2015

        .” But a strong CO2 spike may well indicate store exhaustion, feedback or both”

        We have been living on borrowed time, for a long time, thanks to carbon sinks. Nature has a nice natural buffer on CO2 build ups in the atmosphere. These probably account for how stable we have had it for so very long! When this debate first heated up in the 1980’s, I remember the huge debate over how capable our carbon sinks were, and how much and how long they could buffer us from our emissions. My fear now is that the sinks are stressed, imagine CO2 rate of increase if they start to fail us! Every nightmare of the 80’s literature on Global Warming has turned out to be far too conservative.
        A personal opinion is that the major disaster that first takes society down hard will be ocean system failure, not overly hot air temperatures.
        People just lose sight of the oceans, because we live on land. We are a water planet, by and large. The ocean currents and life support systems are what makes this place livable. Or is this just a sailors bias?

        Reply
  12. climatehawk1

     /  April 16, 2015

    Tweet scheduled.

    Reply
  13. Loni

     /  April 16, 2015

    New post on nuclear-news

    Fukushima nuclear decommissioners have no idea how to deal with molten nuclear cores
    by Christina MacPherson
    Times: “The worst possible result” revealed at Fukushima — Plant Chief: Centuries may pass before humans find a way to deal with molten cores — Top Official: “We have no idea” what to do, “the technology simply doesn’t exist… I can’t say it’s possible” (VIDEOS) http://enenews.com/times-worst-possible-result-revealed-fukushima-plant-chief-centuries-pass-before-humans-invent-deal-molten-fuel-videos

    NHK ‘Nuclear Watch’ transcript, Mar 31, 2015 (emphasis added):

    •NHK: The people trying to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been hit by setback after setback… and faced accusations of misconduct. It’s lost them a lot of public trust… [Naohiro Masuda, president of Tepco’s decommissioning company] revealed he’s not sure if he can comply with the government set plan [for] removing the fuel…
    •Naohiro Masuda, president of Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning Company: We have no idea about the debris. We don’t know its shape or strength. We have to remove it remotely from 30 meters above, but we don’t have that kind of technology, it simply doesn’t exist… We still don’t know whether it’s possible to fill the reactor containers with water. We’ve found some cracks and holes in the three damaged container vessels, but we don’t know if we found them all. If it turns out there are other holes, we might have to look for some other way to remove the debris.
    •NHK: Asked [about the gov’t target to begin by 2020], his answer was surprisingly candid.
    •Masuda: It’s a very big challenge. Honestly speaking, I cannot say it’s possible.

    Dale Klein, Tepco Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee chair, Mar 31, 2015 (at 24:00 in):
    •Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times: I was at the plant last week on the tour and we talked Mr. Ono, the boss. He made no bones about the fact that the technology… to remove the molten or semi-molten fuel doesn’t exist yet… I asked him how can you be sure that it will be, and he said, “Well, 200 years ago people would never have dreamed of bullet trains or mobile phones, but they exist.” That seems to be the scale of the leap… that’s going to be required. So there must be immense uncertainties around that… There must surely be a chance that it won’t work out, and that the eventual solution will be something like the Chernobyl solution… a sarcophagus of some kind sealing in the 3 plants…
    •Klein: This is something that has never been done… Units 1, 2, and 3… molten fuel penetrated the bottom of the vessel… We don’t know… how much and where it moved.

    The Times (complete article), Mar 28, 2015: The chief of the Fukushima nuclear power station has admitted that the technology needed to decommission three melted-down reactors does not exist, and he has no idea how it will be developed [and] conceded that the stated goal of decommissioning the plant by 2051 may be impossible without a giant technological leap… [Tepco] continues to be embarrassed by leaks of radiation into the sea… Recent scans of one revealed the worst possible result: all the nuclear fuel that was in the reactor’s furnace has melted and dripped down into the concrete outer containment vessel… The alternative would be to seal the entire complex in a giant sarcophagus like the one covering Chernobyl — butit would have to extend underground to stop contaminated groundwater reaching the sea. [See the initial report based on an excerpt from this article here]

    Akira Ono, chief of Fukushima Daiichi, Mar 28, 2015: “There are so many uncertainties… For removal of the debris, we don’t have accurate information… or any viable methodology… I believe human beings have the capability to develop technologies… It may take 200 years.”
    Watch: NHK ‘Nuclear Watch’ | Klein Press Conference
    Christina MacPherson | April 6, 2015 at 7:46 am | Categories: Fukushima 2015 | URL: http://wp.me/phgse-jd8

    Robert, here is the Fukushima article, sorry for it being delivered like this, but someone just showed me how to move it here. (It’s my best effort, mate, honestly). This is a sobering read.

    Reply
    • Great job Loni. Thanks for posting here.

      That’s some rough information. I’d also seen that containment of the molten cores was beyond our current technical capacity. And it seems pretty clear we don’t know how far beyond containment the molten cores have traversed. Pretty close to worst case. Very bad outcome.

      Reply
    • danabanana

       /  April 17, 2015

      ” Top Official: “We have no idea” what to do, “the technology simply doesn’t exist… ”

      Said it before, I’ll say it again… how on earth we decided to go Nuclear when, for all its high tech, all we can do when a reactor goes into meltdown is to pour water at it!

      it is madness that Nuclear is still advocated and, like with the Atomic bomb, just because we can build it does mean that we should!

      Reply
  14. Hi Robert I think you’d be interested in this paper…

    The declining uptake rate of atmospheric CO2 by land and ocean
    sinks

    http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/3453/2014/bg-11-3453-2014.pdf

    Reply
  15. It seems to me that atmospheric CO2 rises more rapidly during el nino years (warmer oceans don’t absorb CO2 as well), so a jump larger than the 2.2ppm average this year isn’t entirely unexpected, and might not in and of itself be a signal of carbon saturation, but just another consequence of a moderate el nino.

    You can see increase by year at the bottom of this page:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/

    Reply
    • Well if we are getting a 2.2 ppm increase during a La Nina year and a 3 ppm or higher increase during an El Nino year, that’s a bit outside the 2.2 annual range. 1998, to my recollection was 2.93. The most recent La Nina year was around 1.8 and 2012 (a non El Nino year) was 2.7.

      Reply
  16. Griffin

     /  April 16, 2015

    A reminder that our assault upon the carbon sinks continues. Although the South is not known as a major sink, it all adds up in the negative column.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/16/3644889/woody-biomass-is-thicket-of-trouble/

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 16, 2015

      Thanks Griffin. I saw a piece on this a few weeks ago.. NYTimes? Drives me batcrap! Was it George Carlin who said we can take a perfectly good idea and drive it into the ground?

      Reply
    • From the article:
      “…According to a recent report from Global Forest Watch, Canada and Russia have become leaders in deforestation, overtaking more tropical countries like Brazil. The study found that Russia and Canada combined to make up about one-third of global tree cover loss between 2011 and 2013, averaging a combined 26,000 square miles each year. These Boreal forests act as major carbon sinks, keeping vast carbon reserves out of the atmosphere, and this loss, primarily attributable to forest fires, is a disconcerting trend for GHG emissions.”

      Reply
    • Why is the UK apparently doing everything it can to avoid obvious solutions like wind and solar?

      Reply
      • http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/062b34dc-e2a4-11e4-aa1d-00144feab7de.html#ixzz3XWqauYm5

        “The whole thing is just perverse beyond belief,” said Andrew Whalley, chief executive of Renewable Energy Generation, which owns or operates 16 wind farms around the UK and has about 20 plants in development.
        “For a government that claims to be the greenest ever and wants electricity prices to be lower it doesn’t make any sense,” he said, arguing that wind farms in some locations were as cheap as gas plants and supported thousands of jobs.
        Onshore and offshore wind farms currently generate about 10 per cent of the UK’s energy and surveys show about two-thirds of the public approves of onshore projects, said Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, the industry trade body.
        “So when the Tories claim in their manifesto that they intend to cut carbon emissions as cost effectively as possible, they’re being breathtakingly illogical and therefore idiotic,” he added.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  April 17, 2015

        Poor governance Robert, with a strong conservative bias against renewables driven by factors like the landscape impacts and strong fossil fuel and nuclear interests; I hope we are about to change this in the May election – fingers crossed.

        Some progress is being made in wind, thanks to offshore (which attracts less opposition) and a sympathetic Scottish government, and in solar, which attracts less opposition -excepting some rural solar farms. The proposed tidal lagoons are something I hope will go ahead ASAP. Solar progress last year was fair, despite all the political backwoodsmen. The continuing decline in costs, along with the ever escalating projected costs of Hinkley Point’s new nuke are harder and harder to deny

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/29/solar-power-in-the-uk-almost-doubled-in-2014

        Our renewables resource here is so considerable that I like you find it strange that we don’t push on with this massively. There is also huge scope for energy efficiency measures in our poor building stock.

        Reply
      • climatehawk1

         /  April 17, 2015

        “Why is the UK apparently doing everything it can to avoid obvious solutions like wind and solar?”

        In wind, NIMBYs have reigned supreme from the beginning in the UK–it’s been the hotbed from which all sorts of anti-wind memes have proliferated. It’s also where the phony “wind turbine syndrome” got its start (not by that name at the time) when a general practitioner reported that she had patients being upset by turbines.

        Reply
  17. rustj2015

     /  April 16, 2015

    “trailing indicator” indeed…makes me think of the culmination of Forbidden Planet — at the beginning of the last assault by Id….
    ah, well, it’s just a movie.

    Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    New Mexico St. Univ., Mar 15, 2015 (emphasis added): What’s Killing Baja’s Marine Animals? Dead gray whales and dolphins. Corpses of sea lions, birds and sea turtles decomposing on the beach. Since the beginning of the year, the coasts of Baja California have been the scene of multiple discoveries of dead marine animals. The latest find was reported last week… 55 dead dolphins and 4 sea lions… [The gov’t will] probe the reasons for the mysterious deaths. In mid-January… 550 dead sea birds and 4 dead sea lions near San Felipe. Another zone of mystery surrounds the Laguna Ojo de Liebre… where 150 dead sea turtles were discovered at the end of January. About two weeks earlier, 14 lifeless gray whales (13 babies and 1 adult) and 16 dead sea turtles were found in the same area… Mexican authorities hypothesized that sea turtles… could be succumbing to hypothermia [and] baby gray whales were dying from lack of nourishment… [They] migrate to Baja California from northern Pacific waters…

    http://enenews.com/13-baby-gray-whales-55-dolpins-found-dead-west-coast-corpses-sea-lions-birds-sea-turtles-decomposing-rash-dead-humpback-whales-oregon-fear-whales-encountering-radiation-hot-spots-whale-watchi

    Reply
    • If it’s Baja, it’s not cold water. T anomalies there are +3 to +4 C. And if it’s radiation, then the whole Pacific Ocean would be seeing this with the most intense instances near Japan. I’d go down there and start looking for ocean anoxia conditions. That would be enough to set up a kill zone (hydrogen sulfide or related toxic microbes) and would match very warm water conditions for that region.

      Reply
  19. Apneaman

     /  April 16, 2015

    Newly Released Documents Provide Further Indication That Florida Officials Were Directed Not To Talk About Climate Change

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/04/15/newly-released-documents-provide-further-indication-florida-officials-were-directed-not-talk-about-climate-change

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    Thousands evacuated from flood areas in Kazakhstan

    Floods in Karaganda Oblast continue to wreak havoc as Kazakh authorities are forced to evacuate dozens of settlements, Tengrinews reports citing the Oblast’s Department of Emergency Situations. 1,760 houses have been flooded in 35 villages. 340 livestock have drowned.

    A sharp rise in temperature to 20 degrees Centigrade between March 23 to 29 intensified the melting of snow and caused flooding of villages in Semey and Ayagoz districts in East Kazakhstan Oblast and of four districts in Karaganda Oblast.

    The second wave of floods began on April 6 as a result of another sharp rise in temperatures, again to 20 degrees Centigrade, creating a threat of flooding of settlements in Karaganda and Akmola Oblasts in central Kazakhstan. Moreover, the threat now extends to Astana suburbs located near the riverbed of Nura.

    Link

    Reply
  21. wili

     /  April 16, 2015

    I think part of what we’re seeing is an increase in amplitude of the wave. If so, it might mean that we will still go below 400 later this year even if we peak at above 406 in May.

    Of course, the peak could come sooner, too. That is the trend detected hear by tamino for some northern observation points.

    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/annual-cycle-of-co2/

    Reply
  22. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    Russia: Arctic megapolluter pays record-high dividends

    Alone the company units in Nikel and Zapolyarny, located along the border to Norway and Finland, emit about 100,000 tons of sulfur per year. That alone is about five times more than Norway’s total sulfur-dioxide emissions.

    In the first days of April, the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the town of Nikel exceeded the maximum allowed level by up to 12 times, BarentsObserver reported.

    Link

    Reply
  23. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    Warm Weather Drives Bears Out of Hibernation

    Utah animals left dens early but found little food.


    In Utah, female black bears with young cubs typically emerge from their hibernation dens at the end of March. But when state biologists entered two dens in mid-February to count cubs, both were already empty.

    A third den concealed an awake adult female bear “that almost attacked the biologists,” says Tonya Keiffer of the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

    The bears were likely roused by unseasonably warm temperatures and may have wandered out looking for food, says Dale Liechty, a state bear biologist.

    The bears have had their work cut out for them this spring, since plants didn’t start growing in much of Utah until weeks after the bears started stirring.
    Link

    Reply
  24. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    Biologist studies how the increasing acidity that has come with climate change is affecting ocean life

    There are a lot of data showing that the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are higher now than they have been in the last 150,000 years.
    We are talking about all the world’s oceans—all of them—becoming more acidic. We have produced so much extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in the past 250 years or so that we have actually managed to make the world’s oceans more acidic. That is a lot of water. This is one of the most fantastic things I’ve heard in my life.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 16, 2015

      The marine snail Crepidula fornicata doesn’t listen to AM Talk Radio .

      Reply
  25. http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/orthographic=-12.32,39.66,312

    Apologies if I am the last to discover this real time global wind animation…
    Click on “earth” and set your own parameters.

    Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  April 16, 2015

    37 tons of dead fish removed from Rio Olympic rowing venue

    Fish continued to die by the ton Thursday in a Rio de Janeiro lake that’s slated to host Olympic rowing events, while city authorities and biologists argued about the cause of the die-off.

    Rio’s Comlurb waste management company said that as of Wednesday night, it had collected more than 37 tons of dead fish from the Rodrigo de Freitas lake since the die-off started late last week.

    Read more at: Link

    Reply
  27. Reblogged this on Damn the Matrix.

    Reply
  28. climatehawk1

     /  April 16, 2015

    Frantic battle to stop #wildfires engulfing suburbs of Siberian city: http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/news/n0185-frantic-battle-to-stop-wildfires-engulfing-suburbs-chita-city/ #climate #globalwarming

    Reply
    • Most of the fires are under heavy cloud cover. So it’s tough to get them in the satellite shot. A few big ones near Lake Baikal. The tell-tale is the steely gray tint much of the overburden is taking on.

      Like last year, we have large scale, military-like, operations involved. Ironically, we see a similar military style mobilization to deal with Dengue Fever in Brazil. Two climate change related events and two military scale responses. And people wonder why the Pacific Fleet is worried about climate change.

      Reply
  29. http://exame.abril.com.br/brasil/noticias/haddad-pede-ajuda-ao-exercito-para-combater-dengue-em-sp

    Google translation – “São Paulo city government decided to seek help from the army to fight dengue, because of the outbreak in the metropolitan area, which recorded 8,063 cases in the first quarter of this year, almost triple the 3,183 in the first three months of 2014.

    The mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad , told a news conference that he will ask permission to mobilise at least 50 soldiers to help eliminate Aedes aegypti multiplication of outbreaks in house-to-house.

    Haddad added that public confidence in the military will help the residents of areas with high transmission rates of the disease open their doors to the soldiers and allow inspection of their homes, where there are 80% of mosquito breeding.”

    50 soldiers will inspect homes. The metropolitan area of São Paulo has a population of 20m+, the state has 44m+ inhabitants.

    Reply
  30. Tweets from São Paulo increasing…

    Melissa Vieira ‏@boasortelizz 4h4 hours ago Sao Paulo, Brazil
    São Paulo inteira tá com dengue, puta que pariu!
    Translated from Portuguese by Bing
    São Paulo’s entire with dengue, Goddammit!
    1:03 PM – 16 Apr 2015

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Poor Brazil, so much to win , so much is lost.

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    When I was very young, one Saturday morning Don Herbert tossed a ping pong ball on to a ping pong table covered with mouse traps. Each bait part had a ping pong ball sitting on it. He tossed one ball onto the table.

    He was explaining what a chain reaction looked like. I never for got.

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  April 17, 2015

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  April 17, 2015

        I have this one bookmarked and I have shared it a number of times to demonstrate how a seemingly small change at one end can have a major impact down the line.

        Reply
      • Thank you – I will use that. I have always had a problem with the idea of a butterfly flapping its wings and eventually causing a tornado, but now I have some physics instead of a metaphor.

        Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    “ Only mad men and economists believe a ever expanding world lives on a finite planet. “

    Between 2011 and 2013 China poured more concrete than the US used in the entire 20th century

    Reply
    • rayduray

       /  April 18, 2015

      Bob,

      I believe the quote you paraphrase originated with Kenneth Boulding:

      “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”–Attributed to Kenneth Boulding in: United States. Congress. House (1973) Energy reorganization act of 1973: Hearings, Ninety-third Congress, first session, on H.R. 11510. p. 248

      See: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Kenneth_Boulding

      Reply
  34. http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/al-qaida-taking-advantage-of-yemen-turmoil-us-defense-chiefs-say-1.340630

    Shia/Sunni, Iran/Saudi Arabia, Radical Islamism/Dictatorships, Drought, Water, Oil…

    (Ok – I can’t vouch for The accuracy of Wiki:)
    Yemen – income per capita $2,500.
    Its neighbour, Saudi Arabia – income per capita $18,000.

    Whatever game the US, Europe and Russia are playing in the Middle East, there can be no doubt that climate, oil and water are drivers of conflict which is being played out as a web of ideological struggles in the region.

    Whole populations are being attacked by their political and religious opponents, when the real enemies are increasing atmospheric CO2 and waning resources.

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Buckle your chin straps, Kids. Hell is coming to breakfast,

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Apneaman –
    Nice work, Small things make big numbers . Don Herbert was right.

    Reply
  37. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    humortra

    Your work is priceless .

    Many thanks for your links. Never stop.

    Reply
    • There you go Bob –
      “I’m drunken now
      and I’m seldom sober
      A handsome rover
      From town to town
      Ah but I’m sick now
      And my days are numbered
      So come ye young men and lay me down.”

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 17, 2015

        You’re not the Lone Ranger, my liver is as big as the dead zepiilin..

        Reply
  38. Andy in San Diego

     /  April 17, 2015

    As an aside, I read that Sao Paolo State represents 70% of the SA economy. Not sure how true that is, but no matter what the economic impact to Brazil is significant, and perhaps South America.

    Reply
    • Greg

       /  April 17, 2015

      Andy, Sao Paulo is described as a key economic capital of South America. The Guardian, has a piece this week on the general disconnect among analysts between the environmental disaster there and the economic consequences and more generally between economic activity and the human and natural support systems for it:

      “It’s hard to overestimate the appalling environmental and economic crisis that’s brewing in Brazil right now. The country is in the grip of a crippling megadrought – the result of pollution, deforestation and climate change – that deeply threatens its economy, society and environment. And the damage may be permanent: São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and industrial center, has begun rationing water and is discussing whether or not it will need to depopulate in the near future.

      But if Brazil’s drought is shocking, Wall Street’s shortsighted approach to the country is appalling.”

      http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/10/brazil-megadrought-wall-st-investors-finance-drought-water?CMP=share_btn_tw

      Reply
  39. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    “ Only mad men and economists believe a ever expanding world lives on a finite planet. “

    Between 2011 and 2013 China poured more concrete than the US used in the entire 20th century .

    Reply
  40. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Buckle your chin straps. Kids. Hell is coming to breakfast

    Reply
  41. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Buckle your chin straps. Kids. Hell is coming to breakfast

    Cream- Fresh Cream 1966

    Reply
  42. Thank you for this, Robert. The Hawaiian data needs to be read in conjunction with what’s happening with Arctic methane. Things will be faster and worse than any current predictions (as usual with science):
    http://arctic-news.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/north-siberian-arctic-permafrost-methane-eruption-vents.html

    Reply
  43. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Buckle your chin straps. Kids. Hell is coming to breakfast

    Love – Forever Changes (Full Album)
    The best album of the late 60’s.

    Reply
  44. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Reply
  45. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Seven and seven is – Love

    Reply
    • 7 & 7 — my favorite “attitude” song of all time.

      Reply
      • LA TIMES 2006
        OBITUARIES
        Arthur Lee, 61; Forceful Leader of Influential ’60s Band Love
        August 05, 2006|Mike Boehm | Times Staff Writer


        Intent on bringing his New York-based Elektra label into the rock era, Jac Holzman rifled through newspaper club listings on a trip to Los Angeles, thought the name Love looked interesting and checked out the band at Bido Lito’s in Hollywood.

        What he saw was Lee fronting the band in a motley pre-hippie outfit. “It was just a sight, their take on things was so interesting, and the girls in the club were so into what they were doing,” Holzman said. He quickly got an inkling that, in Lee, he wasn’t dealing with a typical fellow.

        “He was one of those people you know is likely to do something terrible to you or around you,” Holzman said, “but you like him so much and he’s so talented that you always support him.” Holzman said he trusted Lee’s musical judgment enough to check out a band he recommended called the Doors — and to keep going back after he didn’t initially think much of them, because Lee kept saying the Doors were special.

        “Arthur set in motion things that had enormous consequences,” Holzman said. “When we approached the Doors, they thought that Love was the coolest band around, and the fact that Love was on Elektra was a reason for them to be on Elektra.”

        Reply
  46. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    This guy, ain’t in the hall of fame.

    Reply
    • BRUCE BOTNICK
      As an engineer and producer, Bruce Botnick worked with many top artists in the 1960s, particularly for the Elektra label. He was the engineer for Love’s first two albums, and co-produced their classic third album, 1967’s Forever Changes, with the band’s principal singer-songwriter, Arthur Lee…

      Was Arthur Lee very much the main figure in the band, even at the point they first started recording?

      Oh, definitely. He wrote all the songs, except for some of the things that Bryan wrote. But basically, he was the band. And he could play any of the instruments in the band, and would show the guys what to play.

      http://www.richieunterberger.com/botnick.html

      Reply
  47. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Sorry RS, it’s just a few clips Just scroll past them , and we get back to the grime work here.

    Reply
  48. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    There you go Bob –
    “I’m drunken now
    and I’m seldom sober

    This is saddest thing human beings have ever done. I stay liquored up most of the time as well.

    Reply
  49. Vic

     /  April 17, 2015

    Breakfast… Siberian style…

    Reply
    • Ouse M.D.

       /  April 17, 2015

      Nikola Tesla:

      You may begin to see man-made horrors beyond your comprehension.

      Reply
  50. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    Breakfast… Siberian style… in April, not August.

    Reply
  51. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/02/global-warming-worsened-syria-drought-study
    Global warming contributed to Syria’s 2011 uprising, scientists claim

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/17/middleeast/syria-civil-war-by-the-numbers/index.html
    (CNN)Syria is a Hell on Earth that is expanding in plain sight

    Reply
  52. Colorado Bob

     /  April 17, 2015

    For Tropical Island, a Brief Storm Surge Fuels Big Water Problem

    Storm surge thrown onshore by tropical systems can kill, destroy property and reshape coastlines.

    Here’s another negative for the list: Depending on the makeup of the soil and local infrastructure, it can also contaminate water deep in the ground.

    The people on the Philippine island of Samar are learning this the hard way 17 months after waves of seawater thrown onto the island by Typhoon Haiyan fouled groundwater with salt and bacteria, according to a paper published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-15/for-tropical-island-a-brief-storm-surge-fuels-big-water-problem

    Reply
  53. http://news.sky.com/story/1466525/yemeni-man-saw-family-burn-in-saudi-airstrike
    “The poorest Arab country is under attack from the richest.”

    UNHCRNews @ RefugeesMedia 1h1 hour ago
    A quick click from our press note read by @ AdrianEdwrds the situation continues to deteriorate the in # Yemen
    Embedded image permalink

    Reply
  54. Climate driven drought and crop failure creates poverty. Economic migrants, refugees – millions of people are on the move, many of them are desperate, and unwelcome.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/16/africa/south-africa-anti-foreigner-attacks/
    “Thousands flee after South Africa mobs attack immigrants”

    http://www.ibtimes.com/indias-mexican-problem-illegal-immigration-bangladesh-213993
    “India’s ‘Mexican’ Problem: Illegal Immigration from Bangladesh”

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/order-from-chaos/posts/2015/02/20-cve-displacement-refugees-koser
    “The risk of radicalization is especially heightened where IDPs and refugees find themselves in protracted situations: marginalized, disenfranchised, and excluded. Finding solutions for displaced populations should be an urgent priority for humanitarian reasons but also as a security issue.”

    Reply
    • james cole

       /  April 17, 2015

      Good post. We are on the cusp of the great migrations that will rock the world. Already the Europeans are dealing with tens of thousands of climate and economic migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean Sea to strike land in Italy, Greece, Spain and their Medit. Islands. Yesterday another disaster at sea with many lives lost. Italian Military Intelligence has warned it’s government of nearly a Million people camped out on the North African shores, awaiting boats to make the crossing.
      So far, most all get absorbed legally or illegally into Europe. Migrants report they seek to go to Britain, Scandinavia, Germany and France. The native push back is just now building steam, at the current rate of movement out of the Middle East and Africa, conflict is coming. Worse than that, the majority of migrants are young men, 16-30 years of age.
      Many years ago, the global warming theory predicted this movement of peoples we are seeing today. Any rational person who looks at climate problems in the Middle East and Africa, adds up the potential numbers of migrants, and considers they ALL seek Western European homes, you can see the potential conflict building.
      There really is no right or wrong here, it is a matter of “can millions be taken in by Northern Europe every year?”
      And in the Pacific, an army of migrants is building and their goal is Australia. This could be a flash point in the next 10 years.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 17, 2015

        Your thoughts are mine…. With crystal clarity James Lovelock predicted this.

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 17, 2015

        40 million in California, more in AZ, NM, UT, NV. . . . Look out to points north by northeast.

        Reply
  55. Kevin Jones

     /  April 17, 2015

    Uplifting sermon, anyone? (from my longest and greatest amigo…)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-xrzjxFJNw

    Reply
    • Interesting to note how the spirit will get creative in the spirit of the original poetry. As time passes some may come to believe that Daniel Berrigan authored parts of the Bible, which was an early work of cli-fi.

      126th Psalm adapted by Daniel Berrigan:

      When the spirit struck us free
      we could scarcely believe it
      for very joy.
      Were we free
      were we wrapt
      in a dream of freedom?
      Our mouths were filled with laughter
      our tongues with pure joy
      The oppressors were awestruck;
      What marvels the Lord works for them!
      Like a torrent in flood
      our people steamed out.
      Locks, bars, gulags, ghettoes, cages, cuffs,
      a nightmare scatttered.
      We trod the long furrow
      slaves, sowing in tears.
      A lightning bolt loosed us.
      We tread the long furrow
      half drunk with joy
      staggering.
      The golden
      sheaves in our arms.

      Psalm 126 King James Version:

      When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
      Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.
      The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
      Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.
      They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
      He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 17, 2015

        Really appreciate your appreciation. humortra. Dan and Phil and John and Mitch Snyder and I were best of friends in the Stony Lonesome 44 years ago….long strange trip…..

        Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 17, 2015

        humortra: Thought you and others might get a kick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGRyO1H6jOk

        Reply
      • rustj2015

         /  April 17, 2015

        Thank you for this enlightenment, and I offer this I’ve heard spoken in unison by some poets:

        I am content to follow to its source,
        Every event in action or in thought;
        Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
        When such as I cast out remorse
        So great a sweetness flows into the breast
        We must laugh and we must sing,
        We are blest by everything,
        Everything we look upon is blest.

        from “A Dialogue of Self and Soul”
        William Butler Yeats

        Reply
  56. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/labor-migration-united-arab-emirates-challenges-and-responses
    “The GCC region—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE—is the most popular destination for temporary labor migrants of any world region, and flows have continued to increase over the past three decades (see Table 1). According to researchers Nasra Shah and Philippe Fargues, these migrants comprised more than 43 percent of the region’s total population in 2010, and their share is expected to continue to grow over the next decade.”

    43% of the population are immigrants. That’s 17m+ (legal) immigrants in the region, with few rights, and without whom the economies collapse.

    Hundreds of thousands of those immigrants are from Yemen. Following the Gulf War, 800,000 Yemenis were deported from Saudi Arabia in response to Yemen’s vocal support for Iraq and denouncement of the United Nation’s coalition forces, which included Saudi Arabia. This was a huge strain on Yemen’s economy.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/blogs/middleeast/2015/04/winners-yemen-war-wills-150416231917482.html
    “Saudi Arabia is afraid of losing face if it leaves the fight without any objectives achieved. It would also mean permanent insecurity along the border, an ever more unstable neighbour on the southern flank stretching 1,800km. And it would mean an annoying direct or indirect presence of Shia Iran with influence over that flank and the strategic waterways of the Gulf of Aden.
    Even Iran, which may seem the least affected due to its relative distance geographically, is not going to gain from an open conflict which may entail more Western intervention in the region.”

    http://www.yementimes.com/en/1859/opinion/4887/When-will-they-announce-the-death-of-the-Arabs.htm
    “ISIL in particular and religious extremism in general clearly indicates and directly results from the bankruptcy of most Arab regimes. Islamic extremism fills the void left by Arab dictators who crush any secular, liberal, political, or civil society organizations, leaving the political arena open only to those who do not need secular organizations to thrive. The failure of those regimes to meet the growing needs of their people also leaves the young and the frustrated looking for alternatives. Many become galvanized by the slogan, “Islam is the solution,” and seek to reconstruct a glorious past in the hope of escaping a depressing and humiliating present.”

    Reply
  57. Kevin Jones

     /  April 17, 2015
    Reply
  58. Kevin Jones

     /  April 17, 2015

    I was scheduled to stand Divest Harvard all last night. Alas, a godawful cellulitus infection kept me home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u-M5GcASCs

    Reply
  59. james cole

     /  April 17, 2015

    The World is fast becoming hooked on low oil prices! Bad for the CO2 count is the world’s fresh oil addiction, fed by low oil prices. The Saudi gambit to kill off frackers in the USA and around the world has begun to kill of fracking production, which is now starting to decline. But consumers see low energy prices and start using more. Here is the latest figure. ” Oil demand is growing quickly – the IEA predicts global demand will jump from 92.66 million barrels per day in the second quarter up to 94.67 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter.”
    Global warming is not going to be brought under control, because nobody acts like it is even a problem. Low oil prices is a reason to use more!

    Reply
    • Mark from New England

       /  April 17, 2015

      Alas, we may not be smarter than yeast after all😦

      Reply
    • The free market isn’t smarter than yeast. You could probably run free market models and yeast models in parallel. Without any governor to ensure rational action like, say, a carbon tax, all we are is yeast…

      Renewables and efficiencies will drive all energy prices down. So are the point at which renewable adoption becomes broad and net energy supply increases, you need a rational lever to continue to disincentivize destructive carbon burning.

      Reply
  60. Kevin Jones

     /  April 17, 2015

    New feature passed along by Nevin (Arctic Sea Ice Blog): http://www.cpom.ucl.ac.uk/csopr/seaice.html

    Reply
  61. islandraider

     /  April 17, 2015

    Robert, you touched on this in your essay, but I am struck by the increasing variability in the CO2 measurements shown on the Keeling Curve. When you go the the Keeling site (link below & also in your essay), this increasing fluctuation is very apparent, especially when looking at the one month, six months, one year and even two year time frames. This increasing variability started around February this year and appears to be unprecedented in the record reported on the Keeling site. With (reported) global emissions pretty flat last year, I still expect global concentrations to rise (due to the nature of CO2), but to see not just unprecedented year-on-year concentrations to increase this dramatically but also to see dramatically increasing variability is perplexing and concerning. You touch on loss of sinks and sinks potentially becoming sources, but I cannot wrap my head around why the concentrations are fluctuating more than previous. Any thoughts you or other have on this is much appreciated.

    Thanks also for this site. I post rarely, but read the essays and great comments every single day.

    Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 17, 2015

      CORRECT me if I’m wrong (anyone) but the only claim is that CO2 emissions growth rate flattened. In order to flatten Keeling Curve we would have to reduce CO2 to equal what the oceanic and terrestrial sinks will (continue to) take up. Somewhere around 5 gigatons….A roughly 50% reduction. Am I right?

      Reply
      • Kevin Jones

         /  April 17, 2015

        I’m meaning fossil fuel and other human caused (forest loss) additions to the Global Carbon Cycle.

        Reply
      • Andy in YKD

         /  April 17, 2015

        My understanding is (something to do with Boyles Gas Law, but I’m no chemist) as our CO2 burden is reduced the oceans will be releasing CO2 back into the atmosphere. The upshot being that the amount needed to be removed to bring atmospheric CO2 down to a safe level is higher than simply taking the current amount in the atmosphere and subtracting 80 ppm or whatever the difference is between what is up there and the safe atmospheric level.

        On another note, never doubt that capitalism will find a way to keep an unsustainable system going just a little longer:
        http://www.adn.com/article/20150414/long-anticipated-bulk-water-exports-sitka-start-summer-businessman-says

        Reply
      • Yes to Kevin and yes to Andy.

        1. You need to reduce carbon emissions to keep the rate of atmospheric accumulation flat due to store saturation.
        2. You are looking at high CO2 concentrations over millennial timescales due to the fact that the added carbon in the ocean sink vents back to the atmosphere if atmospheric values drop.

        So you need to draw down both the atmosphere and ocean store to get dropping atmospheric values.

        Reply
    • The high flux may be due to the fact that pulse sources are so large that they now affect even remote areas like Mauna Loa sensor stations. To the west we have the massive China source and Mauna Loa sits in the world’s largest ocean which may be hitting thresholds for CO2 surface drawdown. If sinks and stores are stressed and if sources are large and erratic, then we would expect measurement variability to increase prior to start of sink failure and store feedback. Kind of like a spluttering engine.

      These are my, back of the napkin, thoughts. We see some validation for this in the scientific lit pointing toward the possible initiation of store failure this decade and to a falling efficiency of a number of the global sinks.

      Reply
      • islandraider

         /  April 17, 2015

        I have read that complex systems tend to become more erratic as they approach tipping points. Any time I see new unexpected trends in long term data I think is cause for concern. Usually a change in trend is easily explainable. Increasing variability is more complicated and more difficult for me to understand. I think the sputtering engine analogy is a good one.
        Thanks Robert, Kevin & Andy for taking the time to respond.

        Reply
        • A possibility we should probably take a good hard look at. We have a degree of evidence that the carbon stores are starting to respond. I’d think that would show up as increased variability in the measures first.

  62. islandraider

     /  April 17, 2015

    Agreed. Emissions were flat, but we would expect CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to continue to grow. We are still emitting a LOT of CO2 & the concentration in the atmosphere will continue to increase. What I am perplexed by is the increase in the variability. I forgot the link in my previous post. It is below. If you hover your mouse over the time frames immediately below the graph (‘one month’, ‘six months’, etc.) look how the recent measurements are all over the place. More so than in the past. Just wondering aloud what the explanation might be???

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

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  April 17, 2015

      My comment above was meant to be a reply to Kevin.

      Reply
    • Kevin Jones

       /  April 17, 2015

      One thought, island raider, is that Charles Keeling placed his instrument on Mauna Loa because of the persist (well mixed due to fetch) westerlies. Could more variable wind directions be doing this?

      Reply
    • Griffin

       /  April 18, 2015

      Might be worth it to note that while our emission rate may have flattened, there are other significant sources of emissions such as the huge northern fires of last summer, that contributed to the overall level of CO2.

      Reply
  63. Kevin Jones

     /  April 17, 2015

    Andy in YKD: David Archer in The Long Thaw has oceans absorbing most but not all of a slug of CO2 such as ours in, depending on the ultimate size of the slug , 100,000 to 500,000 years, barring feedbacks……once we stop all of our emissions. Fig. 20 page 152. (Ultimate 1000Gton or 5,000 Gton slug C respectively) Of his book, Dr. Hansen said this man knows what he’s talking about. It is a very good ‘big picture’ book.

    Reply
    • Which is why, unless human civilizations manage to become carbon negative, climate consequences are basically locked in. We are talking about millennial and epochal timescales when it comes to natural CO2 drawdown through ocean overturning and weathering.

      Reply
    • wili

       /  April 18, 2015

      “barring feedbacks” But of course, we can’t bar feedbacks, so that puts us into, what, millions of years? More?

      Reply
      • Probably about 3 million at least if you include all the feedbacks. If CO2e is considered, you’re looking at around 20-30 million if the feedback is a rough allegory to previous climate states given an equivalent forcing. The middling detail is the ice age accumulated carbon stores and the store built up during cooling and glaciation. These would imply an outside effect or variance beyond a direct allegory. What we are looking at is a potential new run up to hothouse once a certain tipping point is reached given the vulnerable carbon store accumulated over the last 30 million years or so. That’s the risk we would be unwise to ignore and the problem that is tough to solve — because the feedback system is not static, it is not linear, and it does not necessarily respond gradually. It’s magnitude is likely influenced by velocity of heat accumulation as well as the forcing itself and the carbon stores, like ice sheets are mostly stable until they begin to move — then they are very rapidly unstable. So, for science, the feedback system is a rather difficult and complex problem. Not that we know nothing. But feedbacks have been left out for a reason. They really muddy the water.

        Reply
  64. Kevin Jones

     /  April 18, 2015

    wili: a big takeaway from Archer’s The Long Thaw is BAU gives us a 1000Gton C slug this century and prevents the next glaciation for 100,000 years. If we burn all the coal (especially) we can dig, we prevent the next glaciation for 500,000 years. “barring feedbacks” was my insertion, not Archer’s, but I cannot answer your question.

    Reply
  65. Kevin Jones

     /  April 18, 2015

    Of course nobody wants mile high ice atop Manhattan (do they?), but a present concern will be sea level rise for a long, long time.

    Reply
  66. Spike

     /  April 22, 2015

    “There has been a 50 per cent increase in extreme rainfall events during the past 50 years in India,” Jayaraman Srinivasan, chairman of the Divecha Centre for Climate Change in Bengaluru, wrote in the journal Current Science after the Uttarakhand disaster.

    Bhupendra Nath Goswami, former director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune, says his studies have shown that the occurrence of “extreme rainfall events” had been increasing over the country in the last five-six decades.

    http://www.eco-business.com/news/india-should-prepare-to-face-extreme-weather-warn-scientists/

    Reply

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