Pause? What a Joke. The Reality is Global Temperatures are Skyrocketing.

News out from NASA today — the first five months of 2015 are the hottest ever recorded in the global climate record. Global temperatures hotter than any comparable period by a very significant margin.

According to NASA’s GISS division, May of 2015 came in at 0.71 C hotter than the 20th Century average. That ties 2012 for the second hottest May since record keeping began in 1880. But, more importantly, when averaged — January (+0.75 C), February (+0.82 C), March (+0.84 C), April (+0.71 C) and now May — the first five months of 2015 come in at 0.766 C above 20th Century baselines. That’s about 0.96 C above 1880s values — a level fast approaching the 1 C threshold and the far more dangerous climate impacts that come after.

GISS Temp

(NASA GISS Graph with modification [star] provided to emphasize global warming extremes for first five months of 2015. See also here.)

If 2015 were to remain at such hot levels, the final measure would appear as the star on the above chart. And with the first half of June already seeing +0.7 to +0.85 C warmer than 20th Century conditions amidst a growing El Nino in the Equatorial Pacific, it appears highly possible, even likely, that current atmospheric warming levels could be maintained or even exceeded through end of year.

NOAA Shows Warming Kept Pace or Accelerated — Climate Change Deniers Proven Wrong for the 1 Millionth Time

For reference, +0.76 C is fully 0.15 C hotter than the Super El Nino year of 1998 — the cherry of all cherries for global warming deniers. A fossil fueled group that has used this particular atmospheric and ocean cherry as a basis for arguing that greenhouse gas forced global warming ‘paused’ after the 1998 El Nino. A claim that has also been used as a platform to advance a raft of other nonsense including the false notion that climate sensitivity is far less than consensus ranges of 3 C ECS and 6 C ESS (basically meaning that each doubling of atmospheric CO2 brings 3 C warming short term and 6 C warming over many centuries). A claim that was recently also destroyed in a fantastic paper released earlier this month by NOAA.

From the press release to the June 4 NOAA paper:

A new study published online today in the journal Science finds that the rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as or faster than that seen during the latter half of the 20th Century. The study refutes the notion that there has been a slowdown or “hiatus” in the rate of global warming in recent years.

There were numerous related and predictable meltdowns from climate change denial media and political personalities not worth specific notice at this time (AW and BT, I have something for you later this year, but not now.). But the NOAA data is pretty amazingly clear as seen in the chart below which notably does not include the new 2015 records:

no slow down in global warming

(NOAA study finds pace of global warming has kept steady or even accelerated over the past 35 years.)

Ocean Heat Accumulation Accelerating

Of course, any rational observer paying attention to heat accumulation in the top 2000 meters of the world ocean or the ever more rapidly destabilizing glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica already knew that talk of hiatus was probably most likely at best a sick joke. The ocean ends up taking in a far greater portion of the greenhouse gas heat forcing than the atmosphere ever could. As a result, more than 93.4 percent of the heat accumulated by human fossil fuel emissions ends up in the ocean. That’s an enormous amount of heat destined to come back and impact both glaciers and atmosphere even if rates of warming in either of those smaller systems had paused (which NOAA indicates they haven’t).

Ocean heat content

(Global Ocean heat content since 1958 as provided by NOAA NODC showing an extraordinary heat accumulation and a disturbing upward curve at the end of the graph.)

Instead, we see a clearly accelerating rate of ocean warming. A slope that makes one of those sick upward curves we’ve become so used to when dealing with a human-spurred greenhouse gas accumulation at least 6 times faster than at any time in all of Earth’s deep history.

It thus now appears that the atmosphere is in the process of catching up to the ocean. And the strong heat bleed off a ramping El Nino in the Pacific now combines with human greenhouse gasses in the range of 400 ppm CO2 and 480 ppm CO2e to enable this ominous heat increase.

Links:

NASA GISS

NOAA: No Slowdown in Global Warming

The Latest Global Temperature Data are Breaking Records

Leave a comment

97 Comments

  1. Hello Robert
    If you don’t mind, I’d also like to translate this article of yours for my French blog http://leclimatoblogue.blogspot.ca/
    Of course, I will credit you and link to your blog as I did the previous time.
    Thanks for your excellent work
    Keep it up
    A. Randomjack

    Reply
  2. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 15, 2015

    For anyone looking at this graph wondering what the deal is with ~1945 to ~1950, that is due to the following (quote & credit Nature.com).

    The mysterious post-war ocean cooling is a glitch, a US-British team reports in a paper in this week’s Nature. What most climate researchers were convinced was real is in fact “the result of uncorrected instrumental biases in the sea surface temperature record,” they write. Here is an editor’s summary.

    How come? Almost all sea temperature measurements during the Second World War were from US ships. The US crews measured the temperature of the water before it was used to cool the ships engine. When the war was over, British ships resumed their own measurements, but unlike the Americans they measured the temperature of water collected with ordinary buckets. Wind blowing past the buckets as they were hauled on board slightly cooled the water samples. The 1945 temperature drop is nothing else than the result of the sudden but uncorrected change from warm US measurements to cooler UK measurements, the team found.

    https://robertscribbler.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/no-slow-down-in-global-warming.jpg?w=600&h=455

    Reply
  3. climatehawk1

     /  June 15, 2015

    Tweet scheduled, thanks.

    Reply
  4. pccp82

     /  June 15, 2015

    can someone who is very familiar with the drought situation provide an update? from what I gathered, Lake Mead is about half a foot above the action elevation. correct?

    Reply
    • rayduray

       /  June 16, 2015

      What drought? Everything is looking rosy for Lake Mead. Relatively speaking. May was very, very good for the Colorado River Basin, much like what happened in Texas and Oklahoma.

      Here’s a blogger who keeps very current (pun intended) on what’s flowing down the Colorado.

      http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2015/06/lower-colorado-shortage-now-unlikely-in-2016-maybe-not-in-2017/

      If we are to believe BuRec, then the inevitable draining of Lake Mead has been postponed by at least 18 months. Very good news, indeed.

      And Lake Powell has risen by four feet in the last week with more basin filling to come.

      Reply
      • Rex

         /  June 16, 2015

        Animas River at Farmington, NM crested at 9.97 ft. on June 11. Animas is major tributary to Colorado River.

        Reply
    • Ray’s right. We’ve had heavy rains in the Central and Western regions due to increased tropical flow associated with El Niño. Silver lining to all the floods we’ve seen.

      Reply
  5. I find this encouraging. Joe Romm is one of 25 scientists/leaders to take part in a project aimed at convincing conservatives that confronting climate change is necessary. The Weather Channel has produced a series of short videos that contain leading voices from the business community and Republican Party, as well as scientists who take aim at deniers. Seeing that the founder of The Weather Channel is an outspoken denier, and many meteorologists refuse to acknowledge climate change’s influence on weather, this should be seen as good news.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/15/3669379/weather-channel-climate-change/

    Reply
  6. entropicman

     /  June 15, 2015

    We’re going to need a bigger graph.

    Reply
  7. From the left end of the NASA GISS and NOAA graphs, one could plainly see that before oil combustion really took off, we were possibly headed for a new Ice Age. I saw one Denialist graph of global temps once, with almost the whole 20th Century missing! (cut-off at 1905)

    Then the cherry-picked reference date of 1998 Deniers love so much: clearly, that year was an outlier! Kind of wrecks the “hiatus,” IMO.

    Reply
    • Jacob

       /  June 16, 2015

      [QUOTE]From the left end of the NASA GISS and NOAA graphs, one could plainly see that before oil combustion really took off, we were possibly headed for a new Ice Age.[/QUOTE]
      Absolutely, the last few hundred thousand years indicates a clear pattern of Ice Ages which we have just as clearly blown up. The denialism is abject madness and maddening for people of reason and conscious to contend with.

      Reply
    • I guess 2015-16 is going to become their new favourite cherry. Rinse and repeat, carefully choosing a La Niña in 5-10 years time for comparison.

      Hopefully most normal folk will be regarding them as village idiots by then.

      Reply
  8. Loni

     /  June 16, 2015

    Those of us who work outside, i.e. construction/farming, know that there was no such thing as a ‘heat hiatus’, and we’ve got soaked work shirts to prove it. 2015 early and mid June here at the farm, (in the hinterland of the north coast of California), are already over 100 F, when they should be in the high 80’s to low 90’s.

    Can nocturnal farming be far behind?

    Reply
    • 4 C is the range where you’d probably see that kind of thing become more common. And your region is certainly ground zero for some localized heat/drought effects due to larger global climate change

      Reply
    • This was a contributor to the Indian deaths, with the poor forced to choose between going out to work in the heat, or face starvation I read.

      Reply
      • Absolutely the case. In the tropics, we are already at the wall during extreme events. 2-4 C more ocean warming and wet bulb of 35 C becomes a regular event in this zone.

        Reply
  9. Greg

     /  June 16, 2015

    Likely a very serious flooding event in next couple of days in Texas and other states based on a very warm Gulf and pregnant atmosphere:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3018

    Reply
    • That, my friend, was officially named tropical storm Bill earlier this evening. And the rainfall potential for a huge swath of the central US is quite extraordinary.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  June 16, 2015

        Yikes. In this case very high soil moisture levels from record previous rains could even strengthen this storm after hitting land.

        Reply
    • wili

       /  June 16, 2015

      Good point, Greg. And as the discussion shows, lots of ambient moisture in the region could make this thing intensify further even as it passes over land. It acts like it is going over very warm open sea when there’s lots of ground level moisture to fuel it.

      Reply
  10. Greg

     /  June 16, 2015

    A very interesting new paper (link below is popular news interpretation of it) out on why the dinosaurs largely avoided the tropics. Required collecting a lot of evidence on the specific climates in the regions where their fossils are found today. Conclusion is that the tropics are not a hospitable place when atm carbon levels high. How high? About where they are predicted to be in next 100 years or so.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/paradise-avoided-why-largest-dinosaurs-skipped-tropics-210225252.html

    Reply
  11. John Hamer

     /  June 16, 2015

    I really get a lot out of your posts. I have been pushing for years to reclaim the prairie. It was the largest biome pre Columbian. It now has about 1 percent left. It was the perfect long term sequestration biome since 80 plus percent of the biomass was underground. The release of this carbon is independent of temperate ranges, fires or anything but the plow. We had at one time some soils which were 7 feet deep of black soil. The prairie is getting very hard to make a living on and there are possibilities for reclaiming sequestration land. Is anyone looking at this or am I way off in how much it could take carbon out of the atmosphere. There is 99 percent to restore. I would be interested to know what you would think of this idea.

    John Hamer

    Sent from Windows Mail

    Reply
    • Land revitalization is a critical front in the climate/sustainability battle. I would be very happy to hear your thoughts and experiences.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  June 16, 2015

        Biochar for carbon sequestration. Works best in high productivity areas, however.Restoration to original ecological niche? Depends a lot on temp and rainfall and return of natural fires and megafauna. Start by stopping tilling for sure.

        Reply
      • phil s

         /  June 16, 2015

        Probably not something you’d be too enthusiastic about Robert, but farming practices going by the names of Holistic Management, regenerative agriculture, carbon farming achieve very impressive results. I can vouch for them first hand.
        Not only does it help to mitigate CC, it makes soils and farmscapes more resilient in drought and heatwaves, and more porous to absorb and store massive deluges.
        The big benefit is that it can be employed on a very large scale in borderline agricultural land and abused soils.
        Alan Savoury’s TED talk is a good place to start. Joel Salatin and Courtney White give a good introduction.
        Thanks again for all the great work you do

        Reply
      • Phil —

        Am actually quite interested. Wrote a section on polyculture, permaculture, and vertical farming in Growth Shock. One that probably just scratches the surface. Maybe now is the time for a deeper foray. But, yes, land revitalization and related potential for atmospheric carbon reduction is a keen interest.

        Reply
    • Takes many decades to reform an inch of soil – I’d guess that 7 feet of black stuff was a few millennia of carbon.

      Reply
  12. Greg

     /  June 16, 2015

    Robert,

    I’m expecting this blog to increasingly be filled with the observations of climate impacts til we are almost numbed by them due to their increase in severity and frequency. I am hoping, however, some your work will look at in depth analysis of carbon sequestration as it becomes an imperative for our survival even before we stop using fossil fuels🙂 Do you know of any papers out there that have looked at the various natural and artificial means of carbon sequestration with a comparison based on the energy required from a chemistry and engineering perspective and the cost per unit carbon achieved? Such a paper would allow

    Reply
    • Malcolm

       /  June 16, 2015

      Whilst biochar has its place, it would be a mistake to consider it it as an industrial quick fix sequestration option. Permaculture is a much more long term way to (fairly quickly) rebuild healthy soils, which isn’t turn sequester huge amounts of carbon … mostly as a result of the environment created for and created by micro fauna (not so much mega fauna!)

      If you are interested, check out the greening the desert programs in places as diverse as Ethiopia, Jordan and the Loess Plateau in China. John Liu’s “Green Gold” is a good place to start (sorry long time lurker and admirer Robert, first time poster who doesn’t know how to hyperlink here!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLZmwlPa8A

      But search for permaculture projects an enthusiasts in your own backyard … we are everywhere! I just happen to be in Tasmania … which just happens to be where it all started … ;))

      Reply
    • You may be interested in this, which I came across yesterday.

      http://www.thebluecarbonproject.com/the-problem-2/

      In the UK the Environment Agency has a few projects aimed at restoring salt marshes as soft coastal flood defences. It’s great for birds and recreation as well as flood defence and carbon sequestration. Of course the ignorant right had a real go at them for “spending on birds when peoples’ houses are flooding”.

      Reply
  13. Greg

     /  June 16, 2015

    An informed discussion. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. wili

     /  June 16, 2015

    Thanks for another informative article. Things continue to swing in the wrong direction. Yet my family still wonders why I don’t want to take long fossil-fueled trips anymore.

    Slightly off topic, but I wondered if you noticed this study (and apologies if you or others have already discussed it and I missed or forgot about it–wouldn’t be the first time):
    http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2015/may/new-study-iceberg-influx-atlantic-during-ice-age-raised-tropical-methane-emissions

    “Iceberg influx into Atlantic during ice age raised tropical methane emissions”
    It’s a feedback I haven’t heard much about before.

    Reply
  15. Your work is indispensable to me, Robert, and I thank you, as well as your lively, savvy commenters for the considerable value they add too.

    Big picture, on carbon sequestration: The world’s soils can sequester carbon, many times over the necessary amount, and in a meaningful timeframe, sufficient to return the atmosphere to safe levels. And such soil-based sequestration has nothing but multiple hugely beneficial effects to the living soil and the life that depends on it.

    Wendell Berry writes of “solving for pattern.” I take this to mean a solution to a problem that effectively solves the problem, as well as tending to improve and spread healing to all of the related aspects that the solution touches. Drawing down atmospheric carbon into the planet’s vast, ailing soils is the one solution to our atmospheric predicament, I would argue, that genuinely solves for pattern.

    Reply
    • wili

       /  June 16, 2015

      “The world’s soils can sequester carbon, many times over the necessary amount, and in a meaningful timeframe, sufficient to return the atmosphere to safe levels”

      Source? (I hope it’s not Savory.)

      How can you be sure it stays in the ground in the face of more and more devastating, extended/slash eternal droughts punctuated by beyond-bibilical deluges that erode away land and the carbon stored in it?

      You now, there is more carbon in permafrost (now perma-melt) than in all the living things on the planet? And that’s just one potential/likely source of the carbon coming at us, even beyond the massive amounts we are continuing to dump into the atmosphere with ever more frenetic fury.

      Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for soil sequestration–much better than most of the other higher-tech carbon sequestration schemes out there. But I just think we should be accurate and realistic about both the possibilities and limits of all mitigation efforts.

      Reply
      • There are certainly limits to how much carbon you can practically sequester in soil. If you’ve got all guns firing — biochar very widespread, no till/selective till for sequestration, vertical farming biosphere vitalizations, sequestration polyculture, mass reforestation, and permaculture all ubiquitous you end up with 1-3 billion tons of carbon per year sequestered.

        You could probably do this for 100-200 years to good effect before you start hitting soil limits. At that point, you’re looking at burial to keep the process going.

        Add in procrete and ecocrete for materials and you get a slow drip sequestration in the million megaton range if you replace the entire global concrete infrastructure.

        If you cease all fossil fuel burning, adopt the new concretes, get going on all the soil carbon initiatives, co produce biochar with biomass CCS at selective sites, link steel production to biomass carbon, and limit biomass burning (no to very little growth here, just switches to more effective use) you end up net carbon negative and it’s pretty easy to hit 1-2 billion tons per year and keep going like that for decades and decades. The upper limit is probably in the range of 3.5 billion tons per year. And that’s with some pretty extraordinary effort.

        The various forms of atmospheric capture are rather expensive and are not practically scalable at this time. And, as we’ve seen with coal, CCS added to fossil fuel facilities is both more expensive (about doubling the cost of coal) and has been traded to enhance oil extraction — which is like taking one step forward and then five steps backward. The net result has been more carbon emitted to atmosphere so that is an extraordinarily bad road to go down.

        Overall, the land use and materials use changes noted above, if implemented early together with a rapid cessation of fossil fuel burning could result in peak 21st Century CO2 at 425 ppm and 510 ppm CO2e. Considering ocean response, we could practically expect a 0.5 ppm CO2 drawdown per year. 10-30 percent carbon store feedback would make this a break even prospect for this century with the added benefit that about 60 ppm CO2e of methane washes out over a few decades.

        That’s a formula for edging very close to 2 C. But it’s a hell of a lot better than BAU.

        Reply
      • phil s

         /  June 16, 2015

        That’s a big claim. I don’t think there’s a single silver bullet solution. Every little bit helps.
        Here’s 21 case studies.

        http://www.soilsforlife.org.au/case-studies.html
        Soils for Life was created by an ex governor general (aus) concerned about food security

        Reply
        • Yeah, it’s no silver bullet. But it does have some rather substantial potential, especially when part of a combined effort including other sequestration methods.

          Based on the research I’ve done, it looks like the practical range is 1-2 billion tons per year from a combination of land use change (all the various agriculture and forest revitalization efforts combined) materials use change, biochar, and CCS + biomass/biogas energy generation on a limited scale with carbon used for steel coproduction. Practical limit looks to be around 3.5 billion tons per year and that’s pushing it.

          The soil starts to run into carbon storage limits over time. At that point, you’re looking at burying saturated soils or using it as feed stock for peat bogs and natural burial.

          These are the safer methods. The more dangerous ones include enhancing algae bloom sequestration in the oceans — which greatly increases eutriphication (we’ve already unintentionally done this to some extent with nitrogen seeding). Carbon energy CCS is a high cost boondoggle that the mining companies then use to enhance oil extraction which is a lot of loss for practically zero gain against global warming. Chemical capture is very expensive, but may be useful for certain novel materials feedstocks.

          That’s a basic overview. But much of the low hanging fruit is in biochar, soil sequestration, land revitalization, and changes in materials use.

        • phil s

           /  June 16, 2015

          Curious about your figures Robert. 1 to 3 billion tons. And how that applies to a human scale, ie the farm, the backyard, the local creek. I’ve read various claims about how much carbon can be sequestered per acre and choose not to get caught up in the argument. The best ‘carbon farmers ‘ would rather be out there increasing the diversity and fertility of their land than counting the carbon.
          Being rural, I’m somewhat internet deprived so doing the research is beyond me. That’s why I value this blog so much. It’s a one stop shop for all the important stuff

        • Compared to those who are optimistic, my numbers are conservative. Some claim soil changes alone can store 1 to 3 gt carbon per year:

          “Even at our current level of knowledge, many see great potential for storing carbon in soil. Lal of Ohio State says that restoring soils of degraded and desertified ecosystems has the potential to store in world soils an additional 1 billion to 3 billion tons of carbon annually, equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion to 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions.”

          http://e360.yale.edu/feature/soil_as_carbon_storehouse_new_weapon_in_climate_fight/2744/

          And biochar can account for 0.5 to 2.2 billion tons per year according to this initiative:

          http://www.agmrc.org/renewable_energy/biomass_energy_production/using-biochar-systems-to-sequester-carbon/

          Add in materials like this:

          http://thehigherlearning.com/2015/04/16/environmental-chemist-invents-cement-that-absorbs-co2-like-a-sponge/

          And it becomes pretty clear that my assessment may be a bit conservative.

          My figures, however, are based on assumptions of incomplete roll-out even in the more ideal scenarios.

        • phil s

           /  June 16, 2015

          Good article in the Yale page.

          The future directions link outlines an action plan with some very optimistic figures:
          With improved access to water, these bio-systems should be able to fix 5-10 tonnes of carbon per hectare per annum, resulting in the possible sequestration of over 1500 million tonnes of carbon per year; or 10 times Australia’s current annual industrial carbon emissions. By extending their longevity of green growth and preventing wildfires, the existing vegetation could over time fix up to 3,300 million tonnes of carbon per annum or 20 times Australia’s current emissions –

          That’s about 2 to 4 tonnes C per acre for the metrically challenged

          http://www.futuredirections.org.au/publications/associate-papers/1385-regenerate-australia-our-greatest-challenge-and-opportunity-a-conceptual-paper.html#.dpuf

        • Yes. Some of these are wildly optimistic. I think that 1-3 gt globally from a mix of options is probably doable with a good amount of work. The other stuff is just nuts.

      • Greg

         /  June 16, 2015

        Thank you Robert for all the posts below (and above?) with an excellent big picture overview of carbon sequestration potentional. A great five minute brief for the President?

        Reply
        • Maybe. Will need to do some work to hone down the finer points and make it more relevant to current agriculture. The problem is these big industrial farms are just pretty intrenched and big ag has a big hold on government (as do the oil companies). So my view is to go one sector at a time. Fossil fuel is the most immediate impact so we strategically go after that first. But big ag would certainly be next. The Humane Society has done some decent work to apply animal rights laws to various regions that has blunted some of the negative impact of big ag. But what we are talking about here is a full court press. Climate change is the highest threat issue at the moment so we tend to focus on that.

      • wili

         /  June 16, 2015

        Thanks, RS. Do you have a view on the Savory claims? Is he one you would categorize as ‘wildly optimistic’?

        Might we expect a posting from you on some of these approaches some time??? ‘-)

        Reply
        • I was referring specifically to the Future Directions report which claimed Australia alone could sequester 1.5 to 3.0 gt carbon though revitalization and land use changes each year.

          http://www.futuredirections.org.au/files/Associate%20Papers/Northern_Australia_Concept_Paper1.pdf

          I’ll see if I can do a report/broad assessment to attempt to better nail down the accuracy of these findings. There are quite a few claims so near perfect accuracy is probably not achievable at this point.

        • phil s

           /  June 17, 2015

          The reason for all the claims is that doing it well is more an art form than a science. There’s so many variables.
          In my experience, the 2 to 4 tonnes per acre is realistic. That’s up to 1kg/sq m (about 2 pounds per 9 sq foot…I think).

          It takes 3 to 5 years to get really good results from degraded landscapes depending on how fast you learn, how observant you are, and how intuitive.
          That’s when all the positive feedbacks start kicking in ( nice to know there are positive positive feedbacks in nature as well as all the negative positive ones we read about here), like dung beetles, earthworms, fungii and the like.
          Any one who cant put half a kilo of carbon in a sq m of soil after 3 to 5 years should give up and go get a desk job.

          The extrapolation out to vast, continent sized scale is where I’ve got a problem with

        • Your figures seem pretty extraordinary to me. 2-4 tons per acre is 5-10 tons per hectare. There are 1.5 billion hectares of cultivated land worldwide which would equal 7.5 to 15 gigatons per year of carbon sequestration. Based on the studies I’ve read, this is pretty wildly optimistic. That said, we are probably dealing with instances where some zones that are carbon poor, depleted soil, are preferentially enabled for carbon draw down. So I’m not saying I doubt your figures, I just think it unlikely that globally you end up with that kind of net effect.

          All that said, we should probably find a good way to incentivize farmers to draw carbon into the soil the way you have managed it. Perhaps on a trial basis before a broader roll out to determine practicality and scalability. I’ll take a closer look and see if I can find some better material.

        • phil s

           /  June 17, 2015

          So I’m not saying I doubt your figures, I just think it unlikely that globally you end up with that kind of net effect”

          I agree. There will be no global effect unless millions of farmers and land managers can appreciate the subtleties of the approach. Unlikely.
          The best way to learn that the figures may be possible is to walk on the land and talk to the land manager.
          Thanks for your time Robert. I appreciate your openness

        • Cheers Phil. Do you have a website or a place where you publish findings for your project. I think this is an essential mitigation and that there’s much to learn from what you’re doing. Also, do you have a means to coordinate with other farmers/land managers? And finally, do you have a way to link in with the global sustainability movement?

          Where are you located? Do you have a methodology document you might be willing to print or post?

        • phil s

           /  June 17, 2015

          Hope I haven’t misled you Robert.
          I’m but a small producer in the Mary Valley, Noosa hinterland, SE QLD.
          I raise free range heritage breed pigs and they currently consume about a 1/3 the feed free range farmers generally recommend, due mainly to my management practices. I run cattle instead of a diesel sucking tractor as a management tool to boost diversity and fertility, and grow subtropical perennials that many permaculture enthusiasts would be familiar with.
          No website. My marketing is through a monthly email newsletter and sales are generally local within a 50km radius.
          I hold regular farm tours in conjunction with the local growers coop, with up to 60 attendees, which are generating alot of interest.
          Those 5 to10 tC/hectare figures that came from the future directions site, I’ve traced back to Dr. Christine Jones
          http://renewablesoil.com/pdf/JONES-AustSoilCarbonAccScheme%28March07%29.pdf
          There’s an article in CSIRO’s Ecos magazine from 2008.
          I myself have done no measurements or testing, I simply have no reason to doubt them from my experience.
          As for sustainability, I don’t know what that means anymore, when my prime minister and a host of clueless politicians and economists keep throwing the word around. And besides that, anyone following the climate science is aware that major changes are underway. Regeneration and resilience mean more to me.
          There will be people in your local area focused on soil health and carbon sequestration. Search them out.
          If you’re still interested, my email:
          stringspace@live.com.au
          Cheers

        • Thanks Phil and best wishes to you. I’ll be in contact. If you were closer, I might make the trip, but can’t conscientiously justify a flight to Australia.

        • phil s

           /  June 17, 2015

          The whole soil carbon debate is a minefield. We’ve mismanaged our agricultural lands to the point where soils often hover around 1% organic matter and yet scientists continue to maintain that soil building is a geological process.
          Dirt is a geological process. Soil is full of life and organic matter, and carbon makes up the bulk of that stuff.
          All the best

      • Ah, here we go.

        CGIAR estimates that 9 percent of the annual global carbon emission can be sequestered in soils due to revitalization:

        https://ccafs.cgiar.org/blog/new-study-estimates-mitigation-potential-soil-carbon-sequestration#.VYDLQnD3aK0

        That would be quite close to the lower range of my estimate (1 billion tons). CGIAR goes on to estimate that this pace of sequestration could be maintained for about 30 years (30 billion tons) before starting to drop into a long tail toward zero as soils reach saturation.

        Notably this does not include buried biochar. And I wonder if peat bogs or other soil burial methods might extend the sequestration lifetime?

        This looks like a good, practical study to me and jibes with my initial assessment.

        Reply
  16. New study shows Arctic Ocean rapidly becoming more corrosive to marine species

    New research by NOAA, University of Alaska, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the journal Oceanography shows that surface waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas could reach levels of acidity that threaten the ability of animals to build and maintain their shells by 2030, with the Bering Sea reaching this level of acidity by 2044.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-06-arctic-ocean-rapidly-corrosive-marine.html#jCp

    Reply
  17. Andy in San Diego

     /  June 16, 2015

    If the worlds population (7 billion) lived like people from various countries, how many planet earths would we require to feed / house and provide them with their lifestyle.

    Reply
    • Well, let’s break it down.

      We need 1.5 Earths to sustain us now. If we all lived like the poorer half, that figure would be closer to 0.6 Earths. If we switched all fossil fuels to renewables, that figure would be 1.1 Earths. If we shifted to sustainable farming, that figure would be 0.8 Earths (in addition to renewables). If we all went vegan, (in addition to renewables and sustainable farming) that figure would be 0.5 Earths. If we eliminated plastic waste, polychemical waste and other waste or brought it to near zero that figure would be 0.3 Earths.

      Now, let’s think about it this way. If we all lived like the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent and consumed the level of resources that they consumed and dumped the amount of carbon that they dump and monopolized the amount of land and water that they monopolize then the number of Earths we need to sustain civilization is in the range of 10,000.

      So you understand why I am so critical of the super-rich and why I don’t really like breaking things out into national consumption. The US consumption is skewed by the super-rich among us and if you break those guys out and you break out the top one percent as well the US looks a lot closer to one of the European countries which is about 2 to 2.5 Earths and much of that due to unsustainable carbon burning.

      On a somewhat related note, Costa Rica is getting very close to 100 percent renewable energy usage:

      http://inhabitat.com/costa-rica-powered-by-100-percent-renewable-energy-for-over-75-days/

      But like New Zealand, they’ve recently also become a bolt-hole for the super-rich.

      Reply
      • Andy in San Diego

         /  June 17, 2015

        On a somewhat related note, Costa Rica is getting very close to 100 percent renewable energy usage:

        Amazing!

        Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015

    North Korea says hit by worst drought in 100 years

    Reclusive North Korea said on Tuesday it has been hit by the worst drought in a century, compounding chronic food shortages in a country where the United Nations says almost one third of children under five are stunted due to malnourishment.

    Link

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015

    How 15 Years Of Drought Has Changed Lake Powell, In One GIF

    How 15 Years Of Drought Has Changed Lake Powell, In One GIF

    Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015

    End of the Miracle Machines
    Inside the Power Plant Fueling America’s Drought

    by Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica

    A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness. At their base, the Navajo Generating Station, the West’s largest power-generating facility, thrums ceaselessly, like a beating heart.

    Football-field-length conveyors constantly feed it piles of coal, hauled 78 miles by train from where huge shovels and mining equipment scraped it out of the ground shortly before. Then, like a medieval mortar and pestle machine, wheels crush the stone against a large bowl into a smooth powder that is sprayed into tremendous furnaces — some of the largest ever built. Those furnaces are stoked to 2,000 degrees, heating tubes of steam to produce enough pressure to drive an 80-ton rod of steel to spin faster than the speed of sound, converting the heat of the fires into electricity.

    The power generated enables a modern wonder. It drives a set of pumps 325 miles down the Colorado River that heave trillions of gallons of water out of the river and send it shooting over mountains and through canals. That water — lifted 3,000 vertical feet and carried 336 miles — has enabled the cities of Phoenix and Tucson to rapidly expand.

    Link

    Reply
    • These are the awful time machines transporting us back to the Permian, the fearsome engines that with each gout of carbon filled smoke are burning away the future of life on the Earth.

      Reply
  21. Colorado Bob

     /  June 16, 2015


    N.W.T. fires at almost triple the average number so far this year

    65 fires so far this season, as compared to 20-year average of 24

    Gravel added that the forest fires have burned about 136,000 hectares so far this year. That’s just under double the 20-year average, which is 79,000 hectares.

    Reply
    • Its been amazingly intense. Though NWT has had a bit of a weather respite lately. That will change soon if the 7 day model runs are correct.

      Reply
  22. Greg

     /  June 16, 2015

    He’s 100 now and it took being stubborn for six decades but one man, using science, gets the credit for the ban just announced on artificial trans fats in our food. An example here for all of us?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/06/16/the-100-year-old-scientist-who-pushed-the-fda-to-ban-artificial-trans-fat/?tid=HP_more?tid=HP_more

    Reply
    • Fantastic! I didn’t know this stuff was finally made illegal. A few years ago, I saw some ridiculous news peice equating this gunk to advanced civilization.

      Reply
  1. Pausa del riscaldamento? La realtà è che le temperature globali sono schizzate alle stelle.
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