Elephant Tears Over Lost Climate Cherries — House Republicans’ Most Recent Witch Hunt Targets NOAA

We live in dark times.

Dark times of rampant, media-supported climate change doubt and denial mongering. Dark times when global temperatures are hitting new all-time record highs and extreme weather and climate change related events are growing in scope, scale, and danger. Dark times when it is becoming all-too-obvious that the fossil fuel companies of the world are committed to continue burning their dangerous and heat amplifying fuels regardless of the cost or pain or devastation inflicted upon others. Inflicted on persons, communities and the very nations of this world. Dark times when public officials level unfounded and baseless attacks against the very science upon which we depend to track the dangerous and growing crisis that is human-forced warming of the globe.

* * * *

NOAA September Hottest On Record

(Most recent NOAA global analysis graph showing that land and ocean temperatures for September of 2015 were the hottest on record. Republican climate change deniers in Congress have singled out NOAA for a Witch Hunt, implying that NOAA scientists aren’t telling the truth about warming. However, every temperature monitor around the globe shows warming since the 1880s and every major monitor shows that we are now experiencing the hottest period ever recorded. The Republican assault on NOAA is therefore not just an attack against a single agency. It’s an attack against the whole of climate science. A false and unfounded attack made for the financial benefit of their fossil fuel backers. Image source: NOAA Global Analysis.)

Over the past few weeks this continued commitment to inflicting climate harm could not have been more plainly obvious than in the actions of the Republican House Science Committee. The Committee, led by Representative Lamar Smith, made baseless accusations that NOAA was intentionally manipulating climate data. Lamar Smith, in a recent statement seen here at Ars Technica blustered:

The American people have every right to be suspicious when NOAA alters data to get the politically correct results they want and then refuses to reveal how those decisions were made. NOAA needs to come clean about why they altered the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda. The agency has yet to identify any legal basis for withholding these documents. The Committee intends to use all tools at its disposal to undertake its Constitutionally-mandated oversight responsibilities.

Representative Smith and his committee, in a now typical tactic among those serving fossil fuel corporate interests over the past two decades, has basically decided to conduct a witch hunt. He has no reason to suspect that NOAA is manipulating data. He has merely accused NOAA of such a manipulation by claiming that NOAA temperature data revisions are somehow a reason to suspect foul play. This despite the fact that NOAA often revises data based on new information as it becomes available. Despite the fact that the data is publicly available and has been published for peer review in the broader scientific community. Data that if it had been inconsistent, manipulated, or baseless, would have been revealed as such during the peer review process. NOAA’s updates and data refinement are not fraud. They are simple due dillegence.

Elephant Tears over Lost Climate Cherries

But despite the fact that both the methods and data are publicly available, Representative Smith, his committee, and the members of the fossil fuel media that support them continue to generate trumped up accusations. This is likely due to the fact that the NOAA revision came up warmer than their previous data set by a margin of 0.06 degrees Celsius. A margin that isn’t really too significant when it comes to overall warming. But it is significant when you look at the most recent years in the climate graph following the monster El Nino year of 1998. The section that climate change deniers claim represents a pause in global warming. With the revision, the new span of the graph really doesn’t look like a pause anymore — much to the grief and outrage of climate change deniers everywhere.

global-temperature-anomaly-time-series-and-trends

(Elephant tears over lost cherries. NOAA’s most recent global temperature trend analysis revision for the period of 1995 through 2014. Note that in both versions the hottest years on record remain 1rst 2014, 2nd 2010, 3rd 2005, 4th 1998. Also note that neither graph really supports the notion of a ‘pause’ in the long term warming trend. Basically what climate change deniers have done is focus in on the section of the graph that follows the record 1998 El Nino year temperature spike. A period that was also followed by a cool phase in natural variability called negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Image source: NOAA.)

As a part of their attack on NOAA for the outrage of making their fake pause look even less like a pause, the Republican Committee (which may as well be named the Fossil Fuel Committee for the sake of accuracy and consistency) continued to single out the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the object of its attacks. This action despite the fact that the whole of climate science basically confirms NOAA’s data even as any rational or informed analysis clearly finds no pause in the rate of atmospheric warming.

Attacking Individual Scientists, Demanding All Internal Communications

Naming individual scientists, particularly scientists who in the words of Andrew Rosenburg had the “temerity to express … views that fossil fuel companies should be held accountable for climate change,” the committee had the audacity to falsely imply, yet again, that global warming isn’t actually happening or that it stopped and that NOAA is somehow at fault for reporting the fact that, yes, it is happening and, no, it didn’t stop. It was, sadly, a scene that could have come straight out of Animal Farm when the Republican House Committee then made the ridiculous and unreasonable demand that NOAA surrender “All Internal Communications” for its review.

Japan Meteorological Agency Global temperatures through 2014 end

(Japan’s Meteorological Agency shows global annual temperature averages on a consistent and continued rise since the dawn of widespread fossil fuel burning in the late 19th Century. Japan’s data confirms that of NOAA — the Earth is warming, we are hitting new all time record high temperatures now. Image source: Japan’s Meteorological Agency.)

Unfortunately, the top scientists of the world have been subjected to this ridiculous and baseless bullying time and time again. A prime example was the manufactured Climategate scandal in which IPCC scientist emails had sentences taken out of context by members of the conservative media in an effort to claim that global warming science was a fraud. The scientists, after years of fake controversy and doubt-spreading, have since been vindicated time and time again. But not after being subjected to the most heinous bullying to include constant calls for internal records, court appearances, endless attacks and demonizing by the corporate media, and even the receipt of death threats to themselves and members of their families.

In a recent article published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, representative Ed Markie’s (D) outrage at the new order is plainly noted. He points out that all of the scientific data is already public and that requesting all internal documents amounted to basically bullying and harassment:

However, obtaining all of the data and methods used in this study seemingly was not enough for the majority. You also demanded internal communications by NOAA scientists regarding their scientific research. NOAA, rightfully, has been reluctant to waste their time and resources, not to mention break confidence with their superb research scientists by responding to this demand…

I cannot help but note that your requests in this case echo the tactics of notable climate change skeptics, who frequently submit similar FOIA requests of climate scientists in both the federal government and in state universities. One of the most publicized occasions of harassment occurred when then-Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the American Tradition Institute (ATI) sought email communications of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann.

Knowing that the Republican House Committee was likely involved in another fake fishing expedition, the NOAA head courageously refused to submit to Republicans’ demands. And, now, predictably, the fossil fuel media screams its fake outrage about what NOAA supposedly has to hide.  According to a recent report in Media Matters:

Conservative media outlets are wrongly claiming that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is hiding data related to a recent study that challenged the so-called “pause” in global warming, and echoing Republican House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith’s baseless accusation that NOAA manipulated temperature records to show a warming trend. In reality, the NOAA study’s data is publicly available online, and NOAA routinely makes adjustments to historical temperature records that are peer-reviewed and necessary to account for changes to measuring instruments and other factors.

Every Major Climate Monitor in the World Shows the Earth is Warming — So Why Are Republicans Aiming Their Fake Outrage at NOAA?

It’s not like the NOAA data is new or unique. Sure, NOAA shows the world is warming. But so does everyone else in the global scientific community. NASA GISS shows the world is warming. Japan’s Meteorological Agency — warming. The Hadley Center — warming. NCAR — warming. The UN’s IPCC — warming. Every sensory system, every monitor that tracks global temperatures all shows the same — warming.

NASA Land Ocean Temperature Index

(NASA’s Land-Ocean Temperature Index showing that the world is entering its hottest period ever recorded. Image source: NASA GISS.)

And all this warming backed up by reams and reams of scientific evidence. The Himalayas have lost 20 percent of their ice as 90 percent of the glaciers around the world are melting. Greenland is melting, and at an ever more rapid rate. The North Atlantic Overturning Circulation is weakening. The Oceans are becoming more stratified. The wetlands of the world from the Arctic to the Equator are belching out more methane (a feedback that comes about with warming). And everywhere temperature records are falling, supplanted by new records that last for a few years or maybe a decade before they fall again. Wildfires are increasing in both intensity and frequency. The severity of droughts and rainfall events are increasing. And we, as a global community, are now treated to 100 or even 1,000 year floods, hurricanes, droughts and fires on an annual basis.

Over the past few weeks residents of Texas and South Carolina alike were subject to freakish flood events of the kind that we’ve really never seen before. The intensity of rainfall in South Carolina was so horrific that residents now report that they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress disorder. Scientists warned us that rainfall events would tend to become more intense as human-forced warming loaded up the atmosphere with more and more moisture. Now, around the world, it’s happening.

And last of all — sea levels are rising. Rising more rapidly than at any time in the Holocene. Rising because they are warming up and because the world’s glaciers are melting.

Sea level rise Hansen

(For most of the Holocene, global seas were remarkably stable — neither rising or falling at a significant rate. By the late 19th Century, seas had begun to slowly rise. As the Earth warmed and oceans sucked up more heat, thermal expansion combined with glacial melt to cause the seas to rise at an ever-more-rapid rate. As the world’s oceans trap more than 90 percent of the excess heat re-radiated by greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, rates of sea level rise are a good confirmation that global temperatures are also rising. Image source: Dr. James Hansen.)

This mountain of scientific proof that global warming is indeed real, worsening, and ongoing is probably greater than any other proof for any other science in existence. And yet the Republican House Committee has the temerity to single out NOAA as some kind of sacrificial offering to their demonic fossil fuel masters. And to imply what is basically the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American public — that climate change somehow isn’t real and that NOAA, somehow, is hiding something in its email that proves that.

What a ridiculous pile of festering nonsense!

Republicans Fighting Against the Public Welfare

The real reason Republicans are conducting a witch hunt against the faithful public servants at NOAA is due to the fact that the corporations who have supported their election campaigns simply cannot continue to exist as they are now in a world that responds to climate change. They would be forced to switch to new energy sources or to learn how to effectively capture the carbon emitted by their operations. Doing this would cost them money and put them in a position where they no longer dominate markets. Where consumers start to have more and more choice regarding what forms of energy they use.

Having enjoyed market dominance for more than a Century, these entities are not at all enamored with the prospect of having to compete or to allow energy customers a broader range of choices or freedoms. They have therefore made the cynical and ridiculously amoral decision to attempt to deceive the public. To generate doubt about the veracity of climate science reports. And to use this doubt to block government policies that address the issue of human-forced climate change.

Since a failure by government to enact effective climate policies will result in a growing risk of inflicting damage to an ever larger group of the US and global populace, those companies, media figures, and politicians involved in this effort are complicit in what amounts to a vast campaign to inflict harm on individuals, communities, and nations. It does not matter if their original intent is simply to preserve the profits of powerful fossil fuel corporations, the net result is the same — the inflicting of harm on the public.

House Republicans and the fossil fuel companies they serve are therefore complicit in a heinous act. And their actions over the past month in their leveling of trumped up charges against NOAA, is a stark proof for what they’re doing — committing themselves to inflicting climate atrocities upon the public for the benefit of fossil fuel companies which they represent.

Links:

NOAA Global Analysis

Congressman Accuses NOAA of Doctoring Results

Conservative Media Defend Congressman’s Baseless Attacks Against NOAA

Dr James Hansen

NASA/GISS Global Temperature Analysis

Japan Meteorological Agency Global Temperature Analysis

The House Science Committee’s Witch Hunt Against NOAA Scientists

The New Normal — South Carolina Flood Victims Suffer from PTSD

Denying the Neverending Heatwave

Please support public, non-special interest based science like the fantastic work provided by the now politically persecuted scientists at NOAA

Leave a comment

184 Comments

  1. Jeremy

     /  November 4, 2015

    “Say what you will about Lord Christopher Monckton, one thing is absolutely certain: contrary to the forecasts made by scores and scores of CAGW alarmists over the past 35 years, his predictions are actually coming true. In fact, when we first watched the short video that can be seen further below, it struck us as downright eerie. Considering the implications, the fact that his prediction turned out to be 100% on the mark is actually quite depressing.”

    http://www.actingman.com/?p=41111

    Yikes we’re in trouble.

    RS Disclaimer — Monckton is among the worst of the worst climate change deniers. His graphs have more in common with Bugs Bunny than with anything having to do anything with climate science.

    Reply
    • Moncton is obviously more like a paid informant or scoundrel for hire.
      One of many.
      Pay no attention — keep speaking truth(s).

      Reply
    • BerdFerple

       /  November 4, 2015

      Jeremy, Mocktons graph ends 95 years bfore present A.D,, or 1905. See the X-axis on bottom, its last date is 110 years ago. Interesting that it ends right as global temperatures start to really climb. A simple deniers trick courtesy of Chris Mockton.

      Reply
      • Jeremy

         /  November 5, 2015

        I posted the article as an example of the misinfo being promulgated.
        We here all know what a tool and a loon Monckton is.

        Reply
    • Speaking of cherry pickers. This guy manages to be both idiot and buffoon all wrapped together.

      Reply
  2. American Meteorological Society to Congress: Ease off NOAA scientists
    Letter to Lamar Smith says his actions “can be viewed as a form of intimidation.”

    …Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) is clearly not happy with the fact that the apparent “pause” in temperatures has gone away. So, he started issuing requests for the data and methods used in the analysis. When NOAA pointed out that these were already publicly available, Smith issued subpoenas for all correspondence related to the temperature record, and the politician issued a statement suggesting NOAA scientists colluded to manipulate the record for political ends.

    The American Meteorological Society (AMS) finds this all disturbing, and it has released an open letter to Smith in which it says the committee should be celebrating the fact that the data and methods were already available. Trying to get access to correspondence, in contrast, is worrisome:
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/11/american-meteorological-society-to-congress-ease-off-noaa-scientists/

    Reply
  3. NOAA scientists devote their lives to learning more about the world around us. Attempts by Congress to intimidate and harass them should be met with fierce resistance. Photo: NOAA
    /NOAA_coastalHabitat_Sea_Grant_Program_Pic_LR.jpg

    Reply
  4. PlazaRed

     /  November 4, 2015

    These House Republicans’ remind me of the king Canute, maybe they will sit on the shores and order the seas to recede.
    On the weather front we can always consider that things are not globally worse than they have been historically and that communications are so much better, as we constantly see with virtually instant news feeds but having said that when you look at CO2 levels and sea level rises, then no amount of news communications can counter the evidence.

    One of the most profound events of recent years has been the massive rain events in so many parts of the world.

    I think that these House Republicans will eventually melt into the background in the face of solid climate change evidence.

    Reply
    • You do Canute a great injustice – he knew that the tides would not stop on his royal command – the entire point of his exercise was to demonstrate to the nobles accompanying him that his powers as king (even by “divine right”) were limited, and that natural laws and forces were immutable and unstoppable.

      Were Canute around today, he would be in the forefront of the fight to mitigate climate change and stop the use of fossil fuels. He would understand very well that the basic laws of physics are not up for debate, and that the forces we are unleashing through the use of fossil fuels are powerful, dangerous, and potentially deadly for the human race

      DaveW

      Reply
  5. Thanks again for the helpful review Robert. I spronged it across the Inet (i.e. publicly broadcasted).

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    I’m Not a Politician – Though I Might be Politic
    By: Dr. Ricky Rood

    This is a continuation of a series preparing for The Conference of the Parties – 21 (COP21) in Paris. COP21 is the next of the annual meetings that are part of the governing body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    In the first in the series, I started to discuss how things might be different going into COP21 than they were in 2009. I repeat them here:

    In Building Momentum for COP21 (recording) the importance of the convergence of the moral, spiritual, and ethical imperatives, with scientific imperatives, and economic imperatives is an important difference from previous COPs.

    Link

    Reply
  7. Keith Antonysen

     /  November 4, 2015

    Monckton is absolutely wrong about why Abbott was usurped. The first budget adopted by the Abbott government was an attack on the less well off. The budget was almost universally loathed by Australians, except by extreme right wing supporters. There were many broken promises, it is probably right to say that no Australian leader has lied more to the Australian public than Abbott.

    Australia is an egalitarian society; the concept of a fair go for everybody is an almost universal concept. There has been a palpable sigh of relief now Abbott has been deposed.

    Monckton is English, what would he know about Australia?

    Polling continually showed people were not prepared to re-elect the Abbott government, since Abbott was deposed the polls have significantly turned for the Coalition government.

    Reply
    • Have to agree with you here, Keith. I think Monkton may as well have come from another planet considering the total and complete lack of understanding exhibited in his statements.

      Reply
  8. – US East Coast: “Nitrogen Bomb”

    Ecosystems Are Dying as Long Island Contends With a Nitrogen Bomb
    Wednesday, 04 November 2015 05:00

    Septic systems and nitrogen pollution are killing the island’s marine heritage

    Peconic Bay fishkill dead fish Long Island toxic algae bloom brown tide nitrogen
    Photo courtesy of Stefan Beaumont
    Dead fish pile up on the shore of Long Island’s Peconic Bay in this photo taken on June 1, 2015. The fish suffocated when an algae outbreak depleted the water of oxygen.

    Reply
  9. US West Coast:

    Toxin from vast algae bloom off West Coast found in wildlife

    Scientists detected domoic acid — a neurotoxin produced by the marine algae and is harmful to people, fish and marine life — in more than three dozen animals from Washington to California.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/toxin-from-vast-algae-bloom-off-west-coast-found-in-wildlife/

    Reply
  10. Why Indonesia can’t put out its rainforest fires
    Scott Edwards, University of Birmingham

    “Indonesia’s central government is hamstrung by opposition from local governmental elites and ‘regents’, known as ‘bupatis’, who often have lucrative relationships with the large palm oil companies responsible for the fires.”

    Fire in Tesso Nilo National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia, on 5th July 2015 – made available through a partnership of Global Forest Watch Fires and Digital Globe. Photo: World Resources Institute via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).
    [This image likely shows some post-burnings palm oil plantations cul-de-sacs with access arteries. Commerce trumps the burning stumps.]

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    The Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron

    Explanations were all over the map, with theories that included climate change (or not), and El Niño.

    But the answer is more complicated. The interplay of all the different kinds of warming going on in the Pacific at the moment can be difficult to sort out and, as with the recent hurricane, attributing a weather event to a single cause is unrealistic.

    Gabriel Vecchi, head of the climate variations and predictability group at the geophysical fluid dynamics laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Princeton, N.J., likened the challenge to the board game Clue.

    “There’s all these suspects, and we have them all in the room right now,” he said. “The key is to go and systematically figure out who was where and when, so we can exclude people or phenomena.” Extending the metaphor, he noted that criminal suspects could work together as accomplices, and there could be a character not yet known. And, as in all mysteries, “You can have a twist ending.”

    Link

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 4, 2015

      The warm water has also been linked to unprecedented harmful algal blooms along the coasts that have rendered shellfish toxic and shut down shellfish fisheries in Washington, Oregon and California. “A single clam can have enough toxins to kill a person,” said Vera L. Trainer, the manager of the marine biotoxin program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. Officials also ordered the largest closure of the state’s Dungeness crab fishing.

      “It’s really worrisome,” Dr. Trainer added. “If this is a single event that then goes away and we can forget about it down the road, it’s O.K. If it’s a window into the future, it’s not a good future.”

      Reply
    • The record temperatures are clearly linked to global warming. We just keep pushing the top of the scale higher and higher. Sure, El Niño played a part and probably the positive PDO switch too. But these temps would have never been so high without global warming, the hot blob would have never been so intense without warming in the Arctic and related high amplitude waves in the Jet Stream to feed it and the El Niño peak wouldn’t have been anywhere near so intense without all that extra human forced heat going into the Pacific over years and decades. NPAC looks like a freak right now and it’s a freak with human forced warming written all over it.

      Reply
      • The positive PDO and El Nino could never reach temps this high on their own. They had to hire a taxi to get to this zip code. Just as the 2011 La Nina was completely unable to reach the depths one would reasonably have assigned as a possibility when CO2 was at 290 ppm. La Nina events are now very hot. ENSO and the PDO are riding on a CO2 freight train on spur track that is going up a mountain.2014 was the warmest year in the record on the power assist of ENSO neutral. Neutral.

        Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    The Oct numbers begin trickling in, this ones Ft Collins, Colorado :

    For the third month in a row, October set a handful of records for warmth in Fort Collins.

    The average low temperature for October was 42.1 degrees, the warmest in the city’s 127-year record and 5.7 degrees above the 1981-2010 normal, according to numbers from Colorado State University’s Fort Collins Weather Station. The average temperature of 55.2 degrees was 5 degrees above the 1981-2010 normal and ties a record set in 2003, back when “Friends” was still on TV.

    Link

    Reply
    • “Fort Collins didn’t freeze until October 24, which was the latest Fall frost in its history.”

      It’s also worth noting that South Florida is also in a record heatwave at the moment. Of course, the globe has never seen temperatures this high.

      Looks like about a million people have been impacted by Chapala…

      Reply
    • AveryCottonwood

       /  November 4, 2015

      Finally, my hometown gets a mention in the comments of my most frequented climate blog! Purely anecdotally, is has felt much warmer than usual. There are lots of insects that are usually dead by now. The same for plants that are still green. Luckily, this year the slightly out-of-character moisture has preventing the masses of beetlekill trees from burning.

      The city has a climate action plan, but it’s not worth much of anything. I feel like this town, like anywhere, could adapt beautifully, if only mainstream culture ditched its self-destructive obsessions with domination and capitalism.

      Here’s hoping a fascist Republican mob doesn’t come and burn down the meteorological station on campus. It’s not like I could afford to attend CSU on my community college budget anyway. But it would be a shame nonetheless.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 5, 2015

        Cheer up kid, voting not despair is the path forward. .

        I’m sure MLK would be with me.

        Reply
      • Can you please tell us more re: Fort Collins? Warmest of feelings for that town/city. I spent some time there in 09 and perhaps I was insulated inside a liberal bubble, but it’s a city I’d think would be at the forefront of this issue. I recall the Save the Poudre campaign well…it’s still not damned, right?

        Reply
        • Cities are very important in this fight. If every city either reincorporated their utility as public and went renewable or used their leverage to force utilities to do the same we’d be halfway there. Cities can set rules for auto dealers, recharging stations, bike lanes, and encourage local, sustainable farming. Cities can form coalitions to pressure state and federal governments. Cities can cut off access to destructive corporations and order fairer wages. Cities can make critical decisions about roads and public transport. Cities will live or die based on the decisions they are making now.

    • Visiting relatives in Centennial, CO — just woken up by a raucous hailstorm. Ran out to put a thick cover on the glass moonroof of the car. (Can’t do anything to prevent dimples in the sheet metal, but don’t want a shattered moonroof + interior full of hailstones).

      Ouch! Those hailstones were getting big enough to sting!

      BTW, it was 54F here *before sunrise*. On Nov 4, in the Denver metro area.

      Reply
  13. wili

     /  November 5, 2015

    “If countries go no further than their current global climate pledges, the earth will warm a total of 3.5°C by 2100.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/03/3718146/misleading-un-report-confuses-media-paris-climate-talks/

    And 3.5 is a low ball figure, since it does not include all feed backs (I assume).

    So probably the figure is more like 4-5 C.

    Basically, the will be in the business of planning the extinction of the human race along with that of much of the rest of complex life.

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 5, 2015

      Shell anticipates 5C

      Reply
      • Shell? The name Sheol is more fitting. To my mind they have no authority to speak on this matter in which they are oh so complicit.

        Reply
      • Steven Blaisdell

         /  November 5, 2015

        Robert, I respectfully disagree. In this I’d fully expect Shell to know with extreme precision where we’re headed. They have no moral authority, no, but they have immense resources and incentive to know what’s coming down the pike. Plus, 5C fits my (unscientific) expectation.

        Reply
        • Shell has an economic interest in continuing to burn fossil fuels. For this reason I find any information coming out of that entity or any other fossil fuel interest entity to be suspect. They either tend to deny climate change or to overplay it. Either way, the object is still the same. It’s burn more fossil fuels. For Shell, it’s either burn more fossil fuels because climate change doesn’t exist, burn more fossil fuels because fossil fuels will run out, burn more fossil fuels because we can’t stop climate change. All these messages are false. All aim at the same destructive outcome.

          The truth of the matter is that we need to stop listening to Shell. We need to stop burning fossil fuels.

      • Mark in New England

         /  November 5, 2015

        A global average temperature increase of 5C is exponential, would you agree Robert? I would like to understand more of how such an exponential increase over this century, assuming business as usual, would likely play out timing wise. It’d be good information to hammer the politicians with. If we hit 5C by 2100, would we have already hit 3C by 2050?

        Reply
        • There’s an upward limit on temperature increase which is governed by how much greenhouse gas human beings pump into the atmosphere and how much the Earth system responds due to feedbacks. The mainstream scientific community is absolutely right, in my view, that this function is not a pure exponential. There are some who have indicated that a pure exponential response to warming is inevitable. But given the science that I’ve read, I see no basis for this assertion. The situation would have to be far worse than any context we have a study for. For this reason, I think I appropriately believe the Earth System response will be bounded by how much in the way of Greenhouse Gasses human beings ultimately emit.

          This emission is the primary driver of the current situation. So, for example, under the current greenhouse gas concentration, we are likely bounded to a temperature increase in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 C this Century and 3 to 5 C long term. This includes the combined forcing from all greenhouse gasses (not just CO2), assumes a degree of response from the Earth System, and assumes that all gas concentrations remain fixed (they will go up or down depending on our responses).

          Given this context there are absolutely upward limits upon how much the Earth System can warm. Those limits are most largely governed by how much greenhouse gas we ultimately emit. So no, it is not an exponential function when it comes to temperature increase. It’s a function of forcing + feedback = new equilibrium. In the worst case of a mini runaway warming this function hits a pretty high boundary. But we need to continue to emit along the RCP 8.5 + path to really risk hitting that kind of runaway. And it’s pretty clear that kind of situation could be worse than the Permian, but would still hit an upper boundary. What we are trying to do now is prevent getting to the point where we hit a PETM/Permian kind of situation. To prevent getting to the point where we melt all or most of the ice. And hopefully prevent getting to the point where we melt all or most of Greenland and West Antarctica. Where we fall in this scale is intrinsically based on how much we continue to emit.

          Now the subject of tipping points is a tricky and a contentious one. And hitting a tipping point when it comes to carbon feedbacks could for a short time look like an exponential. But it’s really just a forcing plus an amplifier, which is the feedback. Early on, the limiter amplifying feedbacks tend to run into is in phase 2 climate change when the ice sheets respond and atmospheric warming would tend to be tamped down as a result. Problem is that net energy imbalance actually increases, warming the deep ocean continues, and even though atmospheric values would tend to be reduced as a result you still have the underlying forcing building up. I think this is a situation where continuing to emit becomes very dangerous. We just simply need to stop emitting now. That needs to be the central goal we focus on.

      • Mark in New England

         /  November 6, 2015

        Thanks for that detailed explanation Robert! I have a better understanding of the big picture now.

        Reply
    • Christina in Honolulu

       /  November 5, 2015

      I am getting confused and I am interested (as I know many of us are) in getting a clearer picture of how much warming is is anticipated to happen when. Am I understanding this right that Robert is saying that warming this century will range from 1.5-2.5C above 1880 temperatures but isn’t likely to exceed 2.5C by year 2100? My understanding was that the IPCC end of century projection Best Case Scenario was 1.8C above the 1980-99 average temperature (which is different than 1880 temps) with a likely range from 1.1-2.9C and worst case is at 4C with a likely range from 2.4-6.4C. However, I assume all warming doesn’t happen in the last year. It would be very helpful to get decadal projections based the different emission scenarios. This would help everyday people make better plans and might help motivate the masses.

      https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-projections-of.html

      Reply
      • My reply was based on no increases in ghg levels, but on stabilization at current levels. I’d say that roughly correlates to the IPCC best case scenario. The current rate of warming at around 0.2 C per decade gets us to 1.5 C around 2035 at about a steady rate of emission. The worst case could get us to 2 C by around 2037 under BAU emissions (see Mann).

        I’ll see what I can do about decadal warming tracking in a post. That said, IPCC does have model tracks for warming scenarios. And we’ve been about on the A1B track for some time now.

        Reply
  14. Doug

     /  November 5, 2015

    I’ve had the thought lately that the name “Exxon” will be remembered for centuries. Much as native Americans pass down stories from centuries before, this will happen to Exxon. Even if civilization collapses and almost everything else is forgotten hundreds of years from now, the name Exxon will be remembered.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 5, 2015

      It’s not the name of a babysitter is it ?
      I think about words as well , I never took this on.
      You are spot on. Exxon sounds like some level of Hell that the Greeks never dreamed of.

      Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 5, 2015

        Otherwise known as XX or Double Cross (they value that Double Cross trademark).
        Well they have double crossed the American People and the World

        Reply
    • A name that will live in infamy, I think.

      Reply
      • Syd Bridges

         /  November 6, 2015

        Perhaps the extra Global warming brought to us by Exxon’s mendacity could be called “the Exxon Increment” and then abbreviated to “The Excrement.”

        Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Working other threads tonight –

    193. PlazaRed

    You have got about a +5/C anomaly off the coast of Baja California and spreading northwards.
    With this kind of heat about all sorts of things can go wrong.
    Probably the tip of the melting iceberg for a lot of marine life not only off the west coast of north America but in all sorts of other locations as well unfortunately.

    But not for the tiny things , the viruses, the bacteria, the algae, the fungus. There’s whole universe of them that has been sleeping , waiting for a time when their temperatures come back.
    Think of the reptiles, if the temperature varies by as little as 3F degrees in the nest, the eggs will be either all male, or female.

    ThinkProgress today up dated the story on the death 200,000 animals in Tibet last spring in just a few days. At the same time, the sea star population off Washington was finishing it’s crash.

    This tinkering with our thermostat , is going to bite us in ways we never dreamed of. Because all the tiny things adapt on scale none of us has our head around. I don’t care, permafrost bacteria , or viruses off the coast off Washington they in the drivers seat now.

    One of the oldest stories in the western world is Pandora. And what happen when she opened that box.

    Reply
    • Griffin

       /  November 5, 2015

      Your right. Unfortunately.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 5, 2015

        Yep.
        My thinking is based on my reading of Earth science .

        The little things , always did the big things.

        Reply
    • Griffin

       /  November 5, 2015

      “The little things, always did the big things”

      Man, that is a great comment.

      Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  November 5, 2015

      Probably contributed to this:

      The CA public health department on Tuesday said high levels of domoic acid have been found in crabs from the Oregon border to the southern Santa Barbara County line.
      In severe cases, the neurotoxin can cause seizures, coma or death.
      It’s unclear whether the health warning will affect California’s recreational Dungeness crab season, which begins Saturday.

      Think I’ll skip the Crab Cakes this year😦
      http://www.10news.com/news/u-s-world/high-toxin-level-in-crabs-prompt-warning-from-california-health-officials

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 5, 2015

      CB
      http://www.allgov.com/news/controversies/global-warming-nurtures-infectious-disease-outbreaks-150816?news=857210
      Add another unforeseen problem to the list of consequences of global warming—the spread of diseases.

      The bacteria that cause cholera, rarely seen in the United States, love warm weather. Usually winter weather halts the spread of the disease, but with longer, warmer summers and poor sanitation brought on by extreme weather events, it’s possible thousands more every year will contract cholera, according to Marlene Cimons of ClimateProgress.

      “I would put cholera highest on my list to worry about with respect to climate change,” Dr. David M. Morens, senior advisor to the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told Cimons. “Cholera likes warm weather, so the warmer the Earth gets and the warmer the water gets, the more it’s going to like it. Climate change will likely make cholera much worse.”

      Salmonella is another disease that will benefit from climate change. Extreme weather, particularly along coastlines, can lead to contaminated water and to salmonella poisoning. A study, published in Environment International, showed a 4.1% increase in the incidence of salmonella with an uptick in extreme temperature events, and 5.6% increase connected with extreme precipitation. In both cases, coastal areas had a higher risk of increased salmonella poisoning.

      Reply
  16. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    A tune to cheer us all up –
    TRAFFIC Dear Mr.Fantasy

    Reply
  17. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    One more from great song from Steve Winwood, Buddy Holly’s great song –
    Well Alright

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 5, 2015

      Buddy Holly’s words –

      Well all right I’ve been foolish. ……………….

      Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    We need some more music to combat is headline –

    The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed Full Album 1967 (HD)

    Reply
  19. More details re: National Geographic “layoffs.” Fact checkers–check.

    Several people in the channel’s fact-checking department, for example, were terminated on Tuesday, employees said.

    The National Geographic Society said “involuntary separations” will represent about 9 percent of its workforce. In addition, buyout offers have been made to an undetermined number of employees.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/national-geographic-society-sets-biggest-layoff-in-its-history/2015/11/03/2966e1b4-8252-11e5-a7ca-6ab6ec20f839_story.html

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 5, 2015

      Great work Maria , one thing that does matter to the Fox Empire is facts.

      Perfect, the death of facts at the National Geographic.

      Reply
    • Facts? When did Newscorp and subsidiaries ever care about facts?

      Reply
      • Mark in New England

         /  November 5, 2015

        I wonder if it’d be worthwhile for National Geographic magazine subscribers to cancel their subscriptions and mention the buyout by Newscorp as the reason? I would imagine that would send a message. Given the backlog of NatGeos on our bookshelves, it might not be a bad idea in the clutter dept. either.

        Reply
  20. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    If are your down, music will cheer you . If you are really down music will save you.

    Listen to the Moody Blues.

    Reply
    • labmonkey2

       /  November 5, 2015

      Yes, CB – Their Music is My Aeroplane
      To Our Children’s Children’s Children Time – 1:23:20

      Reply
  21. Exxon indeed employed the best scientists available….

    Exxon Predicted Today’s Cheap Solar Boom Back in the 1980s

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-04/exxon-predicted-today-s-cheap-solar-boom-back-in-the-1980s

    Reply
  22. wili

     /  November 5, 2015

    It’s a bit long, but I’d be interested in others’ views of this position: https://onsync.digitalsamba.com/play/wasdell/23178-climate-dynamics-harsh-realities-of-now
    “Climate Dynamic: Facing the Harsh Realities of Now”

    He claims that, since full Earth Systems Sensitivity to CO2 doubling is above 6 degrees, we actually have no ‘carbon budget’ that we can ‘spend’ and stay below 2 degrees.

    Reply
    • We might, if we are very fast and very lucky, edge below 2 C this Century. If GHG levels stay where they are, then we definitely bust it long term. ESS is 5-6 C according to paleoclimate. But that’s a longer term sensitivity after oceans and ice sheets respond. We might be more sensitive due to the pace of human forced warming. But that’s pretty speculative at the moment. And those ice sheets will most certainly start to play their cards soon.

      Reply
      • wili

         /  November 5, 2015

        Thanks. I thought that something like that was the more usual value for ESS.
        But I do think that he is right that the moral thing to do is to look at what the long term effects will be, not just what they will cause in this century.

        Reply
        • I absolutely agree with the notion of looking at the long term, total, warming. The scientific community was given a tough job when asked to put warming the context of just this Century. In order to do that, there are some artificial boundaries in place for ECS. My opinion is that we need to keep the longer term in perspective because 1. Slow feedbacks might not be quite so slow and 2. That’s the warming we get eventually. Image if, for example, people during the 1500s did something that continued to negatively effect us on a massive scale today. That’s the kind of thing we are dealing with here. A legacy of multi century and millennia harm.

  23. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    I was sitting on a pile of railroad ties at Belen, NM, in 1967 looking for my life. And Tuesday Afternoon was running in my head. . By the time I got to Clovis, I was completely covered by diesel soot , and 3 days on a freight train. !00 miles from home By that time I made my way to the to the back engine. We rolled through Clovis at 10 mph. headed for home.

    I never found my my life.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 5, 2015

      Timothy Leary’s death.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 5, 2015

        I never thought I would outlive JFK Jr, , but I always knew I would beat Jerry Garcia.
        They are both dead.
        This is funny place. Like those rail road ties at Belen. .

        Life is a funny old dog.

        Reply
      • Mark in New England

         /  November 5, 2015

        Well poor Jerry had some bad habits! For him it wasn’t the years, it was the ‘mileage’.

        Reply
  24. TomCobbler

     /  November 5, 2015

    If your optimistic and hopeful about mitigating AGW, please don’t read further.

    I haven’t been commenting much lately. But I have been keeping up on AGW issues and U.S. politics. I’m very troubled about where the U.S. is politically right now. Trust me, democratic coalitions have been weakened over the last 7 years, I sense an “empire strikes back” period approaching where our side is put on defense. This really begins with a GOP president and fractured/insufficient global efforts to curb CO2 followed by a horrible successor to Obama who backs out of every effort to mitigate emissions. Goodbye EPA emissions standards, hello keystone XL, goodbye Paris commitments. Free reign of gas exploration and yes a resurgence of coal extraction that seems to defy what many environmental commenters thought was possible. These are very dark thoughts.

    So someone answer this question. It’s January 2025 and we get a new pro environmental democratic president once again. It has been close to RCP 8.5 up until this point. How far gone are we?

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 5, 2015

      TC –

      No one here is optimistic , that’s why I paste so much music.

      I soothes the savage beast.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 5, 2015

      From another place 2022 is the point of no return the processes are in motion yet can still be halted or reversed up till then with exponentially greater effort, the warnings have been given and the choice to heed or ignore has been mankinds, the source I trust, it has never been wrong.
      More specifically it was the end of 2008 and the message was 13 years

      Reply
    • I think we’re in a must win situation at this point. I suppose there are levels where we can keep fighting if the federal gov’t falls back into republican hands. But it really makes our survival much more doubtful. 2025 is an ugly year on the current emissions path. If we kick it up a notch, well, I honestly don’t think conservatives have the mental or spiritual equipment to handle this without turning it into a free for all.

      Reply
      • Mark in New England

         /  November 5, 2015

        Robert, I’m not clear on what you mean in your last sentence above.

        Reply
        • What I mean is that conservatives, who as a group have tended to deny climate change, tended to oppose cooperative responses to almost any crisis other than war, and tended to support systems that foster increasing levels of exploitation and inequality are, without major changes in the way in which they perceive the world, mentally and spiritually incapable of effectively responding to climate change.

          Responses to climate change require large scale efforts, it will require a greater degree of equality, in many if not all cases it will require the greatly reduced excess consumption of resources, responses will tend to challenge traditional conservative thoughts on the nature of economic growth, and will require group action for the benefit of the public — not of private, monied, interests. This kind of response tends to look like sacrilege to the ideologically blind. Conservatives, under current ways of thinking, will inevitably and falsely compare such efforts to Stalinist Russia. And because the crisis is one in which the solutions are too far outside of their mental framework, their crippled worldview, to consider, then they will either change that view, or drastically fail.

          How will they fail? Well that is easy. In the past they have tended to respond to these kind of crises on a level that they can understand. And that response has tended to be competition. What that will mean is removing government rules and supports so that competition for resources increases even as resources come under greater stress. What this means is demonization and scape goating of already victimized groups — the homeless, the starving, the increasingly displaced. What this means is attempting to profit, short term, from destabilizing and disentigrating nations in a kind of loot and pillage manner. Conservatives will respond to symptoms of global climate change through fight, fear, and denial. Their world and ours will shrink, become ever more vicious, violent, and brutal.

          The free for all means no-one really helps anyone else. They all eat each other. That’s what the conservative view tends to lead to anyway. In any situation this tends to be true. But when facing climate change the outcomes are drastically worsened by approaching the crisis from a political point of view whose very nature it is to erode the means by which we can most effectively respond to the crisis. They will ignore, or worse, demonize and exploit the victims.

      • Mark in New England

         /  November 5, 2015

        Thanks for your insightful clarification Robert. Yes, it’s damn tragic. The conservatives should realize that a true ‘conservative’ response would be to limit exploitation of non-renewable resources and safeguard the biosphere for the long term. That’s implied in the Dictionary definition of the term, but not how it’s played out politically.

        Reply
        • I think the laser focus on wealth accumulation to the exclusion of pretty much everything else has eroded traditional conservative views that have tended to act as safeguards against the things we see now. The new term is neo liberalism. But even that is inappropriate if you look at pure definitions. Neo liberalism isn’t really new (neo), being founded on retreaded 19th Century monetary views, nor is it liberal (open, free, egalitarian, or enlightened). A term that I think might apply is ‘corporate dictatorship and monopolistic special interests party.’ Maybe neo fascism. But even fascism had a social component. Neo despotism possibly, but I don’t think they’ve yet gone quite that far. They appear to still be warming up to it.

  25. Some time ago, I decided to take a crack at crunching the NOAA raw temperature data myself. I coded up a simplistic baselining/gridding/averaging program and ran the raw temperature data through it. I found that I could reproduce the NASA “meteorological stations” index pretty closely even when I used NOAA’s raw temperature data (NASA uses the NOAA adjusted data to compute its “meteorological stations” results.)

    I put up my results (and a description of how I got those results) here: http://forums.sandiegouniontribune.com/showpost.php?p=5337377&postcount=222

    The piece at that link shows that (1) the bias between my raw data results and the NASA adjusted data results is -pretty modest, and (2) much, if not most, of that bias is due to corrections for station moves from city centers to outlying airports (corrections present in the adjusted, but not the raw, data). It uses the results of a simple analysis exercise to tell a simple story.

    I was able to do the above with freely-available data and documentation supplied by NOAA. No subpoenas, no FOI demands, no threats or intimidation (as if I could intimidate NOAA in the first place). All I did was download NOAA’s free data/documentation, RTFM, code up my own simple temperature averaging program, and then crunch the data.

    Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 5, 2015

      caerbannog666 (@caerbannog666)

      You sir are a scribbler. Never mind the other 5 data sets, in the post, And that is the important take a way There are 5 other data sets that say NOAA is right. If NOAA is lying. they entered into a con job with the Japanese , the Aussies, the UN , the Germans, NASA, etc., etc.

      That’s the plan of attack with this monkey from Texas.

      This guy is not very bright , if one punches him in the nose He’ll fold like a tent.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 5, 2015

        I’m am a Texan. These people aren’t that bright.

        Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 5, 2015

        Texans are really bright their political class is in a race with box of rocks.

        Reply
    • Fantastic work here. Clearly shows that anyone willing to make the effort can check the validity of these results against the data. My opinion is that I don’t think republicans care too much about the actual facts. I think they’re instead working to generate a sense of uncertainty that isn’t really there.

      Reply
  26. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Send lawyers, guns, and money the shit has hit the fan.

    Reply
  27. Steven Blaisdell

     /  November 5, 2015

    “Naming individual scientists, particularly scientists who in the words of Andrew Rosenburg had the “temerity to express … views that fossil fuel companies should be held accountable for climate change,””
    Don’t know if anyone upthread highlighted this – THIS is the main, primary reason Lamar Smith (Cuccinelli, et al) are doing what they’re doing; Stalin would be proud, and would recognize his own handiwork. I don’t think “bullying” quite dies it justice, or even “intimidation” – it’s an open, explicit threat, backed by the concomitant threat of brute force at the hands of the United States Government; it’s a blunt force hammering intended to beat down, traumatize, and instill a sense of helplessness. I hope we’re nearing or have reached a “have you no decency” moment – if amoral apparatchiks like Smith continue to threaten, harass, intimidate, demean, insult, derogate, and slander good, decent, committed, hard working, Americans without some kind of effective calling out of their moral turpitude then this country is toast, nothing more than a corporatized totalitarian state.
    I’ll say it again – Smith is a pig, pure and simple. There are thousands, tens of thousands of hard working, dedicated, learned, overworked, underpaid, passionate scientists working on the most important issue of our time, or any time – decades of research in some of the most dangerous locales on Earth, thousands of studies, untold human effort and commitment that goes almost entirely unnoticed and unrewarded until a loudmouth coward and liar like Smith decides to run interference for his corporate masters by defaming the work and character of men and women he can only dream of standing in the shadow of.
    And this is the problem: Smith, like so many of his Republican brethren – is nothing, a cipher, a characterless moron, a dead-souled, bottom trolling parasite feeding on the life’s blood of those able to see life as it is, and live it as it must be lived if one is to claim any shred of humanity. Which Mr. Smith obviously can’t. He’s a piece of ****, pure and simple, a soulless Pharisee in thrall to a deluded, retarded ideology fed by rivers of poison money. He appears to want the destruction of a livable Earth; he apparently desires the ugly death of millions. He appears to want waste and starvation and (even further) mass displacement, human and otherwise. Well, good for him. I just want to let Mr. Smith, and all those who thoughtlessly parrot his line evil excrement, know that their actions are being seen and noted for what they really are.

    Reply
    • Steven Blaisdell

       /  November 5, 2015

      Sorry for the intensity, but Smith’s Mafia-worthy behavior is criminal in any true sense of the word. That he’s with extreme cowardice attacking the intent and character of some of the most dedicated, committed, truthful, hard working people on Earth, people committed to giving humanity a fighting chance, is beyond the pale. He – and all like him – need to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 5, 2015

      Well said
      I have noted the GOP’s desire for Space Exploration and colonies, I have wondered if they actually intend to exterminate most life on the planet while they hide safely off planet or in some secure underground facility to rise and reclaim the no longer overpopulated earth. Considering what is involved that would be the height of delusional fantasy if that was the case, even with super robots and A.I, there would be no recovery for many millenia, maybe even millions of years. They would be aliens on an alien planet with limited resources

      Reply
      • Paul

         /  November 5, 2015

        I wonder how they’ll get there without science?
        Or a functioning habitat for humans on Earth for that matter.

        Reply
        • I find it appropriately ironic that easily plunder able resources aren’t available in space. We have to learn how to make the most of what we have here. To nurture it. To learn how to multiply the resiliency and abundance of life, rather than to simply exploit and to destroy if we are ever going to be able to survive the rigors and the challenges of interstellar or even interplanetary travel.

    • Griffin

       /  November 5, 2015

      Amen! No apologies necessary for the intensity. I wish even a fraction of your moral intensity existed in the halls of Congress.

      Reply
    • Well said, Steven!

      Reply
  28. Steven Blaisdell

     /  November 5, 2015

    Best blog on the internet, Robert.

    Reply
  29. Caroline

     /  November 5, 2015

    C.B.: Love, love, love Steve Winwood and Moody Blues—-thank you!
    “If are your down, music will cheer you . If you are really down music will save you” —– Well said dear man!
    Great comments/posts on this much needed blog.
    And this:
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/11/04/introducing-keep-it-ground-bill-sanders-goes-big-climate

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Hat tip to Colorado Bob

    This the best thing I have ever done. Make no mistake I have bit in in my teeth.

    Reply
  31. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Get over it.

    Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Bob Marley – Get up, stand up 1980
    Bob Marley – Get up, stand up 1980
    Bob Marley – Get up, stand up 1980

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    We forget things . this thing is 35 years old.

    Reply
  34. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Cause I never give up the fight.

    Bob Marley

    Reply
  35. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Get up, stand up for your rights/

    Reply
  36. Colorado Bob

     /  November 5, 2015

    Don’f give up the fight.

    Bob Marley

    Reply
  37. Abel Adamski

     /  November 5, 2015

    And for a blast from the past courtesy of The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/nov/05/scientists-warned-the-president-about-global-warming-50-years-ago-today#comment-62760985

    50 years ago today, as the American Association for the Advancement of Science highlighted, US President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee sent him a report entitled “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment.” The introduction to the report noted,

    Pollutants have altered on a global scale the carbon dioxide content of the air and the lead concentrations in ocean waters and human populations.

    The report included a section on atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change, written by prominent climate scientists Roger Revelle, Wallace Broecker, Charles Keeling, Harmon Craig, and J. Smagorisnky. Reviewing the document today, one can’t help but be struck by how well these scientists understood the mechanisms of Earth’s climate change 50 years ago.

    The report noted that within a few years, climate models would be able to reasonably project future global surface temperature changes. In 1974, one of its authors, Wallace Broecker did just that in a paper titled “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?”.

    …….

    The 1965 report also debunked a number of myths that climate contrarians continue to repeat to this day. For example, the first section of the climate chapter is titled, “Carbon Dioxide from Fossil Fuels – the Invisible Pollutant.” Although the US Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant in a landmark 2007 case, many contrarians object to this description. Nevertheless, climate scientists realized a half century ago that human carbon emissions qualify as pollution due to the dangers they pose via climate change.

    The report noted that although carbon dioxide is an invisible “trace gas” – meaning it comprises a small percentage of the Earth’s atmosphere as a whole – it can nevertheless have significant impacts on the climate at these seemingly low levels. As the scientists wrote,

    Only about one two-thousandth of the atmosphere and one ten-thousandth of the ocean are carbon dioxide. Yet to living creatures, these small fractions are of vital importance … Within a few short centuries, we are returning to the air a significant part of the carbon that was slowly extracted by plants and buried in the sediments during half a billion years.

    50 lost years

    Reply
  38. It’s appalling that there has to be a debate, but of course, because politicians are in the business of pleasing business, we’re in an endless loop

    Reply
  39. Greg

     /  November 5, 2015

    Abel, I told my 11 year old son the other day that he will, without a doubt, not have a boring life, that we are headed for some very serious changes ahead in our civilization and way of life with the outcome not yet determined. He gets it, and instead of a zombie for Holloween, which I suggested as a last minute costume, he put together a Tesla salesman outfit (as he envisioned it including an “ask me about ludicrous mode lapel”) thanks to a gift last week from a wealthy friend who has all the model x marketing stuff, the hat, the bags, the labels, etc. Point is, he wants to fight this. Along those lines….has the following company crossed the radar here?: Globalthermostat. The back story about this company, that is successfully commercializing the removal of CO2 directly from the air for whatever market needs it, is that the founder, Dr. Peter Eisenberger, is the same guy who used to work for Exxon and warned them decades ago about the cost curve for solar and predicted then that it would reach economic ascendancy around 2012.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-04/exxon-predicted-today-s-cheap-solar-boom-back-in-the-1980s

    Ultimately, we will need to put several hundred million years of naturally captured carbon back into the soils and lands in a matter of decades through this and other means. Roll up the sleeves…

    Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 7, 2015

      Hi Greg, yes the kids are our future, I am concerned at the encroaching attempt to build false beliefs in them however.
      Re Global Thermostat, I had read of them and the fact that pretty much most of Dr Peter’s ex EXXON team are key foundation personel. They knew the writing is on the wall and took the best course they felt they could, good on them
      There are some others also – this one in some ways concerns me as I see many risks involved with such biological solutions – Pandora strikes again
      “Scientists a step closer toward creating biofuels directly from atmospheric CO2”

      “Hybrid artificial photosynthesis technique produces hydrogen and methane”

      This one is promising without all the inherent risks of nuclear or biological processes

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-17/27artificial-leaf27-an-untapped-fuel-source/6703364

      Caveat mentioned
      “But he also foresees some obstacles.

      “The carbon-intensive industries like coal and oil are making vast profits from the infrastructure that they have in place,” he said.

      “They will be looking askance at this technology and thinking well is it something we can profit from or is it something that’s going to inhibit our profits.”

      Professor Faunce had some advice for would-be competitors.

      “Look at it carefully because this is something that if you invest in now would actually earn you vast profits, because think of what you could earn if the process had to go on of retro-engineering artificial photosynthesis and to all the structures on the surface of the Earth,” he said.

      “There’s vast amounts of money made for the corporation prepared to take this challenge.”

      The research is published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.”

      Still in research, but it’s coming as the key is cheap readily available nickel

      Reply
      • I think the issue is that we already have technologies like wind and solar that are cheaper and easier to adopt on a large scale basis.

        Reply
  40. Greg

     /  November 5, 2015

    The last two years of Pacific Ocean temperatures as captured by Jason satellite and Steve Gregory at wx:

    Reply
  41. Spike

     /  November 5, 2015

    The winter of 2013/4 saw a succession of storms batter the UK, leading to heavy rain and severe flooding across large parts of the country.

    The odds of those storms bringing such extreme wet weather were seven times higher than on a planet that wasn’t warming, according to a new analysis by Met Office scientists.

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/met-office-climate-change-made-uks-extreme-wet-winter-in-20134-seven-times-more-likely-2

    Reply
  42. – The Arctic

    Chinese Shipping Group Cosco Planning Regular Trans-Arctic Sailings
    Declining Arctic sea ice may make shorter route to Europe viable

    Chinese cargo-shipping giant China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co. plans to launch the first regular Asia-to-Europe sailings through the Arctic, shaving two weeks off the travel time via the Suez Canal as rising temperatures make the icy route increasingly viable.

    “The group is actively studying the feasibility of operating regular services on the northern route,” a spokesman for the company, known as Cosco, told The Wall Street Journal. “We are considering to buy secondhand ships or build new ships for the potential routine services.”

    Reply
  43. Greg

     /  November 5, 2015

    32 groups of scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and across the world examined 28 strange weather conditions from 2014 to see if global warming partly increased their likelihood or their strength. In a 180-page peer-reviewed report, the scientists spotted some effects of climate change in half of them:
    https://www2.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/explaining-extreme-events-from-a-climate-perspective/

    apologies if posted earlier.

    Reply
    • Now this is something I can work with from the emerging threats angle. Thanks again! Working on an El Nino and Sea Level Rise impacts piece RE the US East Coast right now.

      Reply
      • Greg

         /  November 5, 2015

        Then along with the usual suspects check out Boston harbor just this week:
        http://www.universalhub.com/2015/state-did-warn-us

        Reply
      • Abel Adamski

         /  November 5, 2015

        Greg
        Just reprising a relevent link from earlier
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-04/saudi-wells-running-dry-of-water-spell-end-of-desert-wheat

        Despite torrid weather and virtually no rain, the world’s largest oil producer once grew so much of the grain that its exports could feed Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen. The circular wheat farms, half a mile across with a central sprinkler system, spread across the desert in the 1980s and 1990s, visible in spring to anyone overflying the Arabian peninsula as green spots amid a dun sea of sand.

        The oilfields remain, but the last wheat farms have just disappeared to save the aquifers supplying them. For the first time, Saudi Arabia will rely almost completely on wheat imports in 2016, a reversal from its policy of self-sufficiency. It will become a full member of the club of Middle Eastern nations that, according to the commodity-trade adage, “sell hydrocarbons to buy carbohydrates.”

        However
        The shift is propitious as the wheat market weathers the largest glut in nearly 30 years, with bumper harvests filling up silos from Russia to Argentina. Prices for high-quality wheat, which reached an all-time high in Kansas City of more than $13 per bushel in 2008, have fallen to less than $5 this year.

        It may not be the last country to turn away from growing its own crops. Aquifers in other key agricultural regions, including northern India and northern China, are also under pressure. The stress is compounded by erratic rains, which some blame on climate change.

        Middle East food-deficit countries are moving into investing into agribusiness,” said Monika Tothova, an economist at the FAO in Rome.

        Reply
      • Eric Thurston

         /  November 6, 2015

        Wonder whatever happened to Saudi Arabia becoming the ‘Saudi Arabia’ of solar energy?
        I suppose FFs are too cheap now for that to happen. They should really develop the infrastructure while they have the $$$. Isn’t Morocco jumping into solar?

        Reply
        • Saudi is investing in solar electric. Even for them the cost of burning fossil fuels for electricity is far greater than the cost of solar generation. But they’re in a kind of catch 22 situation where if they reduce demand for their product, even internal demand, then they lose money. But any wise head in Saudi should know that continuing to burn FF is contributing to making their region uninhabitable for human beings. Making it even less sustainable than it already is. And I’d think that should be a greater concern.

          Around the world solar certainly out-competes diesel and oil electricity generation. And, thankfully, this threatens about 3-5 million barrels per day of oil production.

          It’s worth noting that in many markets solar is less expensive than gas and coal generation, even with the cost of the fuels plummeting due to falling demand. The primary barriers to solar and wind now are political, as we can clearly see in Abbott’s Australia. As ever, it’s a question of fossil fuel interests trying to block people’s access to these new energy sources by preventing the necessary policies that will spur their entry to markets, by generating barriers to their adoption, and by generating utility pricing models that inhibit their adoption.

          The people involved in these efforts, whether they realize it or not, are a part of this barrier erection process. As such, they’re more greatly complicit in the continued emissions of carbon long into the future. They need to just get out of the way.

    • Yeah, great addition.
      I downloaded the 180 page pdf .

      Reply
    • Interesting, to me, re AMS website, bottom: “Corporate Patron Lockheed Martin.”

      Reply
      • – A lot of our fellow citizens get their weather info from a broadcast source.

        Here is the AMS journal: ‘Climate Matters: A comprehensive educational resource program for broadcast meteorologists.’

        Abstract lede paragraph:

        Local TV meteorologists are optimally positioned to educate the public about the local implications of global climate change: they have high public trust as a source of climate science information; local TV is the #1 source of weather information in America; and most weathercasters have relevant scientific training and excellent communication skills. Surveys show that most TV meteorologists would like to report on climate change, but lack of time, lack of broadcast quality graphics, and lack of access to appropriate experts are barriers that inhibit such coverage.
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00235.1

        Reply
  44. – N (NOx) as the common thread to ozone (O3) even as Republicans and fossil fuel industries and others fight against EPA’ s lowering of ozone standards. (Still too high.)
    Agribusiness corn and soybeans (often GMO) are grown mostly for animal feed for hogs, dogs, and cattle. (Growers tend to be hard core GOP.)
    A 5 – 10 percent decrease in crop yields should concern their bottom line.
    It should.
    But NOx is still the root of the lowering of crop yields – just as anthropogenic N in the atmosphere, land, and sea is nourishing unprecedented algal growths.
    Equally important — these often bright green algal growths make for an excellent and easy to follow dye marker for fossil fuel generated N and GHG.
    But back to NOx and O3’s influence on crop ($$$) yields.

    ‘ A 10 percent decline in corn yield over three decades surprised researchers studying the effects of ground-level ozone on crops.’

    Public Release: 5-Nov-2015 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Study: Ground-level ozone reduces maize and soybean yield

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Despite government regulations, ground-level ozone — an odorless gas that forms as polluting nitrogen oxides drift in sunlight across the countryside — continues to threaten crop quality and yield. In a new study, researchers quantify this loss from historical yield data for the first time. They show that over the last 30 years, ozone emissions have reduced soybean and corn yields by 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
    The findings are reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/uoia-sgo110515.php

    Reply
  45. WebHubTelescope

     /  November 5, 2015

    What I don’t understand is why the US government ever funded AGW denier cranks such as Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Murry Salby, and William Gray when it comes to atmospheric physics?

    We used machine learning and elementary gravitational physics to show how one of the most elementary atmosphere-based climate indices originates : http://contextearth.com/2015/10/22/pukites-model-of-the-quasi-biennial-oscillation/qbo_paper/

    Lindzen especially should be frog-marched for not spotting this obvious mechanism. He had been working on it for like 50 years !

    Why do they allow Curry to give congressional testimony?

    Why do they allow Spencer to lord over important satellite data?

    Reply
  46. Jimbot

     /  November 5, 2015

    Robert Scribbler,

    Thanks for all the work you’ve done in presenting all the facts in your great blog articles as they arise. I know many people appreciate your efforts.

    I think all your friends and commenters on this site are gradually bringing you to the realization of where I think we’re at now. It’s probably actually somewhere past 2026 in terms of your scenario of the conservatives running out of control. Ukraine, Syria, Libya, all the way back to Gulf War 1. That was a little bit of extra carbon. Remember those well fires? Then there were the Democrat wars, all good for the big daddy warbucks corporations, definitely not carbon neutral.

    This is what some of the great sci-fi writers said, that they were just commenting on what they see in current times. Anyway, writers always have to be mindful of the publisher as I understand it.

    Best regards, please keep up the great work.

    Reply
  47. – I recently attended a conference by the Oregon Chapter of the AMS about the winter weather forecasts for the PNW.
    I hope to work it into a good report w/ audio for KBOO. I’m a bit rusty at editing so it’s taking a while.
    Here’s the script FYI. Overall, the conference had the energy of a TV time slot — a bit frenetic.

    “Are you curious what our weather will be like this winter?
    Well, you’re not the only one.
    A crowd of about three-hundred weather-watchers packed a river side auditorium recently to find out.
    The Oregon Chapter of the — American Meteoro-logical Society had a panel of experts on hand to tell us what to expect in the Pacific Northwest.
    Scientists, media broadcasters, and the National Weather Service brought along data from computer models to make their forecasts.
    First off, though, we were told.
    Global warming — or cooling, would not be a topic.
    But with no reason given.
    Curious though, the speakers told bits about sports scores and weather mascots.
    A common thread in the forecasts was this year’s strong El Nino.
    A condition caused by large pools of warm water in the equatorial Pacific.
    It’s been named “Godzilla”, after the giant fire breathing movie monster.
    Whether by fiery breath — or a soggy wet tail, we will feel it.
    But for now, expect a dry and warmer than usual winter.
    With a little rain showing up here and there.
    But more rain in the Spring.
    If temperatures stay warm though, snowfall and snow pack is hard to predict”

    An analysis of the conference will follow – AUDIO.

    Reply
    • – Ps – line breaks are for radio vs usual text.
      – An analysis:

      From this informed-reporter’s view.
      “Global Warming” — not talked about here — will surely impact our weather.
      Conditions now are unlike past El Nino’s.
      Arctic ice has declined dramatically which slowed the polar jet stream that steers our weather.
      Our mountains have little, or no, snow-pack.
      Glaciers are melting at a rapid pace.
      To the south a record breaking hurricane struck the Pacific coast of Mexico .
      A storm that sent plumes of moisture that added flooding to Texas and other Gulf states.
      Patricia had category 5 winds that grew from ten miles per hour to two-hundred.
      In just twenty-four hours.
      Its fierce winds were fueled by deep pools of abnormally warm ocean-water.
      It became the strongest hurricane recorded in this part of the world.
      The Pacific Northwest, all the while, has been in severe drought conditions.
      Offshore, the Pacific has grown very warm and acidic.
      In Portland, October was over five degrees above normal – fahrenheit.
      Data totaled at two point eight degrees celsius.
      Which is above the agreed global warming limit of two degrees C.
      Not a good sign.
      Weather and climate data is available online at the National Weather Service, Portland.
      For more on weather and atmospheric conditions go online to Climate Re-analyzer, and other related sites.
      For this reporter though.
      Our winter weather looks to be confused.
      Because, in my neighborhood — daffodils are growing high above the ground.
      Something I should see next February — four months from now.
      ‘Christmas’ cacti bloomed for Halloween.
      House sparrows outside my room are debating whether to nest again.
      Nature doesn’t know which season it is.
      One day it’s fall, next day it’s summer.
      Then a day starts out as spring– but ends up feeling like winter.
      And so on…
      ###

      Reply
  48. – Exxon subpoenaed by NY attorney general.

    Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General

    The New York attorney general has begun a sweeping investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business.

    According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html?_r=0

    Reply
  49. – UC Santa Barbara has been at work.
    – …”would not be possible without climate change caused by human activity.”

    Anthropogenic warming in the west Pacific likely contributed to the 2014 drought in East Africa
    November 5, 2015

    It comes as no surprise to geographer Chris Funk that East Africa has been particularly hard hit with back-to-back droughts this year and last. In fact, he and colleagues at the UC Santa Barbara /U.S. Geological Survey’s Climate Hazards Group (CHG) predicted the area’s 2014 event based the increasing differential between extremely warm sea surface temperatures in the west and central Pacific Ocean.

    Now with the same data set, CHG scientists have confirmed not only that this temperature differential is a leading indicator of drought in southern Ethiopia, Kenya and northeastern Tanzania but also that extremely warm west Pacific temperatures, which contributed to the 2014 drought and recent rainfall declines in the region, would not be possible without climate change caused by human activity. Their findings appear in a special issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, which examines annual extreme weather events to evaluate evidence of climate change.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-11-anthropogenic-west-pacific-contributed-drought.html

    Reply
  50. National Parks Fail EPA Ozone Mandates
    Tourists visit national parks to get away from pollution, but 26 popular sites fail EPA clean air standards.

    “Usually ozone pollution is caused by traffic rather than power plants,” said Dr. Saewung Kim, an assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of California, Irvine.
    usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/04/national-parks-fail-epa-ozone

    – Smog is seen in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Nevada in 2010. Car emissions are causing many national parks to fail clean air standards, according to the EPA.

    Reply
  51. Abel Adamski

     /  November 6, 2015

    Re oceans, interesting preliminary report re trace minerals and ocean life support
    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/elementary-new-theory-on-mass-extinctions-that-wiped-out-life-2015-11

    Many intertwined threads to the weave

    An amazing new theory on mass extinctions suggests tiny molecules could be the cause
    John Long of Flinders University, Ross Large of University of Tasmania

    New research by our team published this week in Gondwana Research has shown that a depletion of trace elements in the oceans could be another major factor in this extinction and two other major extinction events.

    In an earlier article we explained the natural cycle of nutrients caused by plate tectonics, as increased erosion of the Earth’s crust supplies nutrients such as trace elements to the oceans.

    Trace elements such as zinc, copper, cobalt, manganese and selenium, in particular, are required for life in doses that have a very specific tolerance range. Too much or too little selenium can be toxic.

    Tolerance levels of selenium for phytoplankton, molluscs, fish and many land plants and animals are very well known. Recently, selenium deficiency in large parts of China and Africa has been linked to major outbreaks of diseases such as AIDS, SARS, Ebola and Avian flu (H1N1). This is because lack of selenium impacts on the immune systems.

    Such dangerously low levels of certain trace elements, such as selenium, could be a new factor in three major mass extinction events. But how could this occur?
    Selenium abundances in the oceans over the past 550 million years. Note severe depletion of this vital trace element at three major extinction events (red triangles), suggesting this was a possible factor in these extinctions. John Long & Ross Large.
    Could selenium depletion cause mass extinctions?

    Reply
  52. Greg

     /  November 6, 2015

    Ominous Shelf Cloud over Sydney Australia today:

    Reply
  53. Abel Adamski

     /  November 6, 2015

    The web if interconnections
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/global-warming-is-moving-mountains/articleshow/49686659.cms

    American research reported on in an Indian publication WTF

    Reply
  54. Leland Palmer

     /  November 6, 2015

    To us, the corruption of the House seems obvious. These Representatives are in the pockets of the fossil fuel interests, one way or another.

    So, is it all run just by campaign contributions? Or are numbered overseas accounts containing huge bribes involved?

    Reply
  55. Greg

     /  November 6, 2015

    El Nino driven weather is officially resulting in food price increases world-wide but it does not appear to be of major concern “The FAO Food Price Index averaged nearly 162 points in October, up 3.9 percent from September, while still down 16 percent from a year earlier.

    FAO’s latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief slightly trimmed its October 2015 forecast for global cereal production and now projects production at 2.53 billion tonnes, 1.1 percent below last year’s record output.

    Half of the forecast cut reflected dimmer expectations about maize crops in India and Ukraine, mostly due to adverse weather. Drought in Thailand prompted a reduction in the seasonal rice harvest projection.

    At the same time, the forecast for global wheat production has been raised, largely reflecting a bigger harvest in the European Union than earlier anticipated.

    World cereal stocks are expected to remain at a comfortable level, with global wheat inventories rising further, reaching their highest level in 15 years. “:

    http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/342011/icode/

    Reply
  56. Wharf Rat

     /  November 6, 2015

    Obama and Kerry to speak momentarily

    WASHINGTON — President Obama is expected on Friday to announce he has rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-years-long review that had become a flash point in the debate over his climate policies.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/07/us/obama-expected-to-reject-construction-of-keystone-xl-oil-pipeline.html?_r=0

    Reply
    • islandraider

       /  November 6, 2015

      An interesting idea for a Scribbler article: Would Obama’s (pseudo) rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline be possible under Obama’s TPP? Having read much about the TPP, this seems like just the kind of situation where the corporation’s interests would be placed above the will of the people and/or government.

      Also, scoring political points (with the left) by rejecting a pipeline that Canada said they no longer want to build is simple silliness. How many pipelines did get built, I wonder, during the last 7 years of squabbling over this one? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

      Reply
  57. Greg

     /  November 6, 2015

    A second tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean this weekend?
    The North Indian Ocean may witness a very rare event this weekend: the existence of two simultaneous tropical cyclones in November–one in the Bay of Bengal and one in the Arabian Sea.
    And right on the heels of Cyclone Chapala which left at least 8 fatalities and more than 200 injuries and destroyed dozens of structures in Yemen, including Socotra Island, now a possible direct hit from a new Cyclone — Megh.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/two-disturbances-to-watch-in-the-atlantic-megh-and-96b-active-in-the-

    Reply
  58. Robert, I just came across the idea that we need some sort of Richter scale for global warming. For all sorts of natural events we have scales that ordinary people understand, when it comes down to earthquakes, hurricanes, wind or even terms like a heat wave. It’s ordinary people who don’t understand what a few degrees of warming implies. A scale like this could help make people understand what we’re dealing with here.

    We could simply take 1880 as the baseline with no warming and up the number for every 0.5C of warming. Since it isn’t exact science we need to make this on the best knowledge available. Only, who would be willing to make such a thing backed by a large percentage of the scientific community?

    Reply
  1. House Republicans’ Most Recent Witch Hunt Targets NOAA | GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi)
  2. Hmm Again | Sauntering at the Edge of Heaven

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