The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread — General Discussion and Questions
This is The Definitive Global Climate Change (aka Global Warming) Thread. So global average temperature anomalies are a big feature of that, hence such discussion.
The goal of controling the weather as a weapon has been achieved. Check out HAARP and the many other ionispehere heaters as well as solar radiation management through high altitute aerosol spraying by several governments that has been perfected over the last two decades.
Lots of information can be found at geoengineeringwatch.org.
Investigate and spread the word to stop this damage to the atomosphere.
I have a cousin scientist who worked at the Poker Flat Rocket Range in Alaska. He said HARP hasn’t been active for decades.
For anyone who cares about such things as Global Armageddon, the Doomsday Clock is now closer to midnight than ever before in the almost 75 years of tracking such things. (2020 statement)
As an old Cold War warrior who had a front row seat for at least one very near miss with global annihilation, I find it somewhat concerning that the perceived risk of the Science and Security Board for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists now sees global risks as being higher than ever in the history of the nuclear age. But that’s just me….
Just another topic that main stream media doesn’t cover anymore and one that the blogosphere considers more political propaganda to be ignored. How’s this for a blunt statement?
Faced with this daunting threat landscape and a new willingness of political leaders to reject the negotiations and institutions that can protect civilization over the long term, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board today moves the Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight—closer to apocalypse than ever. In so doing, board members are explicitly warning leaders and citizens around the world that the international security situation is now more dangerous than it has ever been, even at the height of the Cold War.
Civilization-ending nuclear war—whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication—is a genuine possibility. Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge.
But the band plays on….
Who knows, maybe nuclear winter will be the perfect antidote for global warming….
Good to hear from you Mark. Its been a while.
I share you concern. I thought the days of the Armageddon clock were over. I remember the Cuban missile crisis when the entire nation (world?) was on edge for the proverbial 13 days. To think we are closer to midnight now than we were then is a bit shocking. It puts the whole economic collapse and even climate change into a different perspective.
There are still thousands of warheads out there, many of them in less than stable hands, including you-know-who. I hope there are people willing to sacrifice their careers to take him down should he go for the “football” in a moment of irrationality.
Glad to see that you’re back. I’ve got a few questions related to climate change that I’d appreciate your insights. I’ll bold the specific questions I’d like you to address, but feel free to comment on anything I bring up. Note that I bolded some portions of the snippets I included. Apparently, underlining is no longer allowed. 🙁 First, I’d like to make a couple of salient points:
1) I’m not a fan of nuclear war. The current brinksmanship scares the bejeezus out of me. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail before any of the players push their personal big red button. The results would be catastrophically devastating!
2) I’m also not a fan of human (Homo economicus) desires to strip the world of any and all economically viable resources and consume those resources as fast as humanly possible. This “business as usual” will inevitably end in pain and suffering. It doesn’t matter how infinite a resource appears. On a finite planet, it is finite.
You and I have had discussions before. In one of those discussions, I asked you if there was anything that could be done to halt anthropogenic CO2 production without severely hampering economic growth. After a few dodges, you admitted that there was nothing to be done. About a year later, you wrote in a post that you bring that question up at conferences with other climate scientists. As I recall, the response has been silence and blank stares.
My point is that if there are no solutions to the problem, then it is a predicament with outcomes. There’s no sense worrying about it. One of the potential solutions I’ve heard bandied about has been taxing carbon dioxide or setting up carbon dioxide credits with active trading. (I wonder who will get remarkably rich from this scheme? Then, the huddling masses will shiver in their bunkers while the elite carry on as normal.) If I were one of the elite, I’d certainly push for this solution by trying to get ‘woke’ individuals to think they’re smart and vote for this system. That hypothesis seems to fit with MSM messaging.
Now that you’ve had a few more years behind you, have you found any answers to the CO2 problem yet?
I recently found this 27 bulleted point paper from Dr. Roger Higgs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bAr8qdj-aCQ_pWYza3EawTA2up-TOZLjlVXV_2RnmoE/edit He is a geologist specializing in sedimentology and is going to be involved in the next United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) get together in 2022. I’ll post a few of his bullet points.
5) CO2 is a ‘greenhouse gas’. But as CO2 rises, its theoretical heat-trapping ability sharply declines, already 67% ‘used up’ at 100 parts per million (ppm) CO2, 84% at 300ppm (NB 275ppm when industrial CO2 output began; Bullet 8), 87% at 400ppm (today 415ppm, or 0.04%) and >99% at 1000ppm. Moreover, Climate Sensitivity (CS), the warming due to doubling CO2, is guesswork. IPCC ‘estimates’ CS from climate models (circular reasoning) as probably between 1.5 & 4.5 (300% contrast!), but models are defective (Bullet 6). In reality CS might be very near zero, perhaps explaining why up to 7,000ppm in Phanerozoic time (Bullet 7) did not cause ‘runaway’ warming.
7) For ~75% of the last 550 million years, CO2 was 2 to 15 times higher than now. Evolution ﬂourished, with CO2 enabling plant photosynthesis, the basis of all life. Extinction events due to overheating by CO2 are unknown.
Since climate scientists only consider the last 150 years of the planet’s existence, it is understandable that they would miss levels of CO2 up to 7,000 ppm during Phanerozoic time. For anyone worrying that we’ll encounter runaway global heating if CO2 levels exceed current levels by much more, this should dispel that fear. Mark, my question for you concerns CO2’s theoretical heat-trapping ability. It looks like this isn’t a linear (more logarithmic) relationship and that most of CO2’s ability to trap heat has already been consumed. What are your thoughts?
11) Since the ~1850 start of man’s CO2 additions, thermometer-measured global warming (1.3 degrees C) was interrupted by frequent minor coolings of 1-3yrs (not all attributable to mega-volcano ‘winters’) & two substantial coolings (0.2 deg) of 30yrs (1878-1910, 1944-1976), plus the 1998-2013 ‘warming pause’ (Wiki). In contrast, CO2’s rise has accelerated, with only a brief pause (1887-97) & a mini-reversal (1940-45), both during the 30-yr coolings.
12) This unsteady ‘sawtooth’ Modern Warming resembles the sawtooth rise of the sun’s magnetic output from 1901 toward a rare solar ‘Grand Maximum’ (GM; peak 1991), unmatched since 300AD! See Bullet 21.
The “Little Ice Age” occurred shortly after the Maunder Minimum – a time when sunspot activity was extremely diminished. The 20th century saw the arrival of the “Modern Maximum” at the same time that we awful humans have burned lots of fossil fuels and increased the atmospheric content of CO2. I wonder how much of the heating can be attributed to CO2 and how much is due to increased solar activity? Of course, the IPCC hasn’t recognized solar influence in the past since total solar irradiance fluctuates by about 0.1% during the 11 year solar cycle. (More on that later.)
21) Since thermometer records began (1850), sawtooth global warming (Bullet 12) correlates very well with solar-magnetic ﬂux by applying an 85yr lag, attributable to the ocean’s thermal inertia (vast volume, high heat capacity & slow mixing cause slow response to changes in solar-magnetic ﬂux hence cloudiness), grossly underestimated by the IPCC (Bullet 22). Thus Modern Warming is driven ~100% sun, dwarﬁng any CO2 effect (Bullets 5, 6).
25) Although the sun is now declining since its 1991 magnetic peak, sawtooth warming will continue until c.2075 due to the 85yr lag (Bullet 21). Rising CO2 will continue raising food production. Cooling will begin c.2075 & last at least 28 years (i.e. post-1991 solar decline to date). Our benign ‘interglacial’ period is likely to end by 2500AD.
I remember in one of your posts, you said that the oceans were heating up and that’s why the last 20 years haven’t been as warm as the climate models predicted. All I can say is that if a model doesn’t predict accurately, the model is flawed. It may still be useful, but it is flawed nonetheless.
26) IPCC says sea level (SL) from 0 to 1800AD varied <25cm (& <1m since 4000BC) & never exceeded today’s, so the 30cm SL rise since 1800 (& the 1.5mm/yr average rate) is abnormal, blaming industrial CO2. But this claim ignores dozens of studies of geological & archaeological 3000BC-1000AD SL benchmarks globally, showing 3 or 4 rises (& falls) of 1-3m in <200yr each (i.e. >0.5cm/yr), all reaching higher than today, long before industrial CO2.
This should give some comfort to those who worry that our profligate burning of fossil fuels will cause sea levels to rise. Looking at it from a geological perspective, sea level rises (& falls) are just a normal feature of earth’s history. Feel free to comment on the veracity of his arguments. (That’s it for the Higgs link.)
I was doing some research to decide whether to use expanded polystyrene (EPS) or polyurethane (PUR) for insulating a house. One of the sales brochures for EPS was saying that polyurethane uses chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a blowing agent and that CFCs are 1430 times as effective in trapping global heat as CO2 is. I thought CFCs have been banned from use due to their ozone killing capabilities. So, I looked it up on Wikipedia (caveat emptor) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorofluorocarbon. Here are a couple of snippets:
As previously discussed, CFCs were phased out via the Montreal Protocol due to their part in ozone depletion.
However, the atmospheric impacts of CFCs are not limited to their role as ozone depleting chemicals. Infrared absorption bands prevent heat at that wavelength from escaping earth’s atmosphere. CFCs have their strongest absorption bands from C-F and C-Cl bonds in the spectral region of 7.8–15.3 µm  – referred to as an “atmospheric window” due to the relative transparency of the atmosphere within this region.
The strength of CFC absorption bands and the unique susceptibility of the atmosphere at wavelengths where CFCs (indeed all covalent fluorine compounds) absorb creates a “super” greenhouse effect from CFCs and other unreactive fluorine-containing gases such as perfluorocarbons, HFCs, HCFCs, bromofluorocarbons, SF6, and NF3. This “atmospheric window” absorption is intensified by the low concentration of each individual CFC. Because CO2 is close to saturation with high concentrations and few infrared absorption bands, the radiation budget and hence the greenhouse effect has low sensitivity to changes in CO2 concentration: the increase in temperature is roughly logarithmic. Conversely, the low concentration of CFCs allow their effects to increase linearly with mass, so that chlorofluorocarbons are greenhouse gases with a much higher potential to enhance the greenhouse effect than CO2.
Groups are actively disposing of legacy CFCs to reduce their impact on the atmosphere.
According to NASA in 2018, the hole in the ozone layer has begun to recover as a result of CFC bans.
It turns out that one of CFCs’ most attractive features—their low reactivity— is key to their most destructive effects. CFCs’ lack of reactivity gives them a lifespan that can exceed 100 years, giving them time to diffuse into the upper stratosphere. Once in the stratosphere, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is strong enough to cause the homolytic cleavage of the C-Cl bond.
[Bolding is mine in the above snippets] CFCs (think of Freon) were used extensively as refrigerants, propellants, and solvents. CFCs were used because they have great engineering properties for these uses. Unfortunately, these chemicals are extremely unreactive and persistent!
This Nature article says that CFCs were a significant contributor to Arctic warming.
Ozone-depleting substances, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are known to warm the atmosphere thousands of times more efficiently than carbon dioxide. But most of the research on these chemicals has focused on their effects on the planet’s protective ozone layer — especially over the Southern Hemisphere, where they are responsible for the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole, says Mark England, a climate scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. He co-authored the study, published on 20 January in Nature Climate Change1, which he says is “really reframing a lot of the discussion on a more global basis”.
England and his colleagues compared climate simulations both with and without the mass emission of CFCs that began in the 1950s. Without CFCs, the simulations showed an average Arctic warming of 0.82 °C. When the presence of ozone-depleting compounds was factored in, that number jumped to 1.59 °C. The researchers saw similarly dramatic changes in sea-ice coverage between the two sets of model simulations. By running the models with fixed CFC concentrations while varying the thickness of the ozone layer, the team was able to attribute the warming directly to the chemicals — rather than changes these substances caused in the ozone layer.
[Bolding is mine] Rather than pick a specific number to say how much more efficient CFCs are than CO2, the authors just said “thousands of times more efficient”. Are CFCs included in IPCC’s models? If so, what is the typical efficiency multiplier compared to CO2? If not, why not?
The IPCC updates their criteria and models after each of their reporting periods. That makes tremendous sense! Why stick with old model criteria when new thoughts and information becomes available? The IPCC released the criteria for CMIP6 a few years ago. One of the (biggest) differences between CMIP5 and CMIP6 is the inclusion of solar forcing and cosmic rays. Here is a link to an abstract of the paper: https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-10-2247-2017.
This paper describes the recommended solar forcing dataset for CMIP6 and highlights changes with respect to CMIP5. The solar forcing is provided for radiative properties, namely total solar irradiance (TSI), solar spectral irradiance (SSI), and the F10.7 index as well as particle forcing, including geomagnetic indices Ap and Kp, and ionization rates to account for effects of solar protons, electrons, and galactic cosmic rays. This is the first time that a recommendation for solar-driven particle forcing has been provided for a CMIP exercise.
A new and lower TSI value is recommended: the contemporary solar-cycle average is now 1361.0 W m−2. The slight negative trend in TSI over the three most recent solar cycles in the CMIP6 dataset leads to only a small global radiative forcing of −0.04 W m−2
Each solar cycle is ~11 years long. That fits with Higgs’ “1991 solar magnetic peak.” The IPCC took a good step in the right direction. This next article is from NASA and dated Jan. 8, 2013. That was near the peak of solar cycle 24. Solar cycle 24 is just ending and solar cycle 25 should begin this year.
Indeed, the sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion. (Note: Penn and Livingston were not participants at the NRC workshop.)
The best estimates I’ve seen for solar cycle 25 is that it will approximate or be slightly below the strength of solar cycle 24. Meanwhile, the earth’s magnetic shield is weakening and the magnetic poles are currently on walk about. (We don’t know if this is just an “excursion” or the beginning of a pole flip.) Nonetheless, a weakening magnetic shield allows more charged cosmic rays to enter our atmosphere.
To close this out, I’ve heard that there were several papers (~10 so far) written that used the CMIP6 protocols. All of them attributed the warming we experienced during the last century and a half to solar activity. None of them considered increased CO2 levels to be the primary cause. I can’t find these papers. I don’t know if the search engines are purposefully hiding them or I’m just not asking the right questions. Mark, can you try to find these papers and confirm or refute what I’ve heard?
And finally, for those who think I’m just a “climate change denier,” I’ve got good news for you. Climate change is going to happen exactly at midnight on 12/31/2020. You see, weather.gov defines climate as the average of the prior 3 completed decades. They consider decades to start in the “1” year and end in the “0” year. Since the 2011-2020 decade will be complete, they’ll replace the relatively cool 1980s with the much warmer 2010s. That is as close as we get to real man made climate change. The result is that it raises the bar (literally) for temperatures to be warmer than average.
What will be interesting to see is if they actually make the change or come up with some cockamamie excuse that what worked in the past isn’t pertinent anymore. It will also be interesting if they use the raw data for the climate or the highly massaged data that they present to us now.
- This reply was modified 2 days, 2 hours ago by Grover. Reason: Note - had to remove unaccepted calls for underlining
Quite a laundry list here. I do not have the time or energy to exhaustively play whack-a-mole with the endless retread of recycled and debunked memes but here’s some brief feedback.
1. Does solar activity drive the climate? Yes, it always has. What we call ‘climate’ is simply the redistribution of heat from incident solar radiation that reaches the planet (if it isn’t reflected back to space).
2. Is solar activity driving the current change in global climates? No, at least not to any significant extent. Yes there are 11 year solar cycles, periods with fewer sunspots and orbital Milankovic cycles that all affect the amount of incident solar radiation but they are not the problem here. We aren’t having an 11 year cycle in climate, less sunspots would cool the planet and the Milankovic cycles had given us 5,000 years of net cooling (some variation but sloping ever lower in temperature on average) before humanity started seriously modifying the climate, most strongly through emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) (CO2 being the one of greatest impact ~60%). We undid 5,000 years of cooling in 100 years by the way.
3. How would you know if it was solar versus GHGs? If we were warming because of more sunlight then the places and times getting the most sunlight would warm the most. In short, the greatest warming would be during the day, during the summer, and in the tropics. If the problem is the trapping of heat from GHGs you would expect to see the greatest changes in temperatures at night, in the winter and at higher latitudes (Arctic/Antarctic) which is what we are seeing if you actually look at real data.
4. CO2 saturation is a bunch of malarkey. It’s a fallacious argument that misleads either through ignorance or intention. The effect of CO2 is to slow down the rate at which heat escapes the atmosphere. Molecules of CO2 and other GHGs absorb photons of radiant heat energy momentarily and then release them again. Maybe up, maybe back down at the planet. More GHGs means more chance that photons are intercepted one or more times. Net result is that heat is trapped for a longer time before escaping back to the universe. Therefore the planet warms more causing it to radiate more heat (photons) until a balance between incoming and outgoing energy is reached. Even if we stop adding GHGs to the atmosphere, the planet will have to warm for hundreds of years to reach equilibrium again though it will do so at increasingly slower rates.
5. Do climate models and modelers ignore solar radiation, CFCs, water vapor or anything else of significance? NO. They know all about global warming potentials between gases, residence times etc. Neither do they only look at the last 150 years in isolation. That’s what gets reported because that’s what the public is interested in. Everything is built upon understanding of climate over geologic history. It’s only in the last 100+ years that we’ve had lots of extra data to work with (e.g. thermometers, satellite etc.) but there are other proxies for temperature, precipitation and atmospheric composition but the temporal and spatial resolution gets fuzzier the further back you go.
6. Are scientists saying we are going to have a runaway greenhouse that turns us into Venus? No. At least not anyone I know of. You can probably dig up someone’s crazy uncle from under a bridge who says differently. That said, although we think in terms of ice ages and interglacials (now), that is only the dynamic for the Earth in a cool phase (e.g. like the last 30 million years or so). Warm phases (roughly 80% of the Phanerozoic you mention – last 500,000 years, or 70% of the last 2.5 billion years) had the planet without any ice anywhere because the planet was ~6C warmer than now (if memory doesn’t fail me). Living in that world would be tough but surviving the transition from the current climate to that one would be the end of anything like our current civilization and economy. It would take thousands of years to unfold so it’s not an immediate worry.
7. Do I have a magic solution for stopping our emissions of GHGs while somehow maintaining our current economy? No. News flash, our current dysfunctional economy of delusional fiat currencies and unbridled resource use isn’t sustainable even if we didn’t have climate change issue to deal with. Action on climate change isn’t a binary yes/no sort of decision. We can reduce emissions now and buy time to figure out better solutions in the future or we can continue to close our eyes and run forward as fast as we can under the assumption that what we can’t see won’t hurt us (my 1 yr old niece does that!). For what little it is worth, I would prefer the Carbon Fee and Dividend model – “The system imposes a carbon tax on the sale of fossil fuels, and then distributes the revenue of this tax over the entire population (equally, on a per-person basis) as a monthly income or regular payment. ” Adopting the Don’t Worry Be Crappy attitude of, if we can’t do everything, just do nothing, is a self serving justification for trying not to be inconvenienced in our lifetimes. It would be the same as concluding that since they can’t cure your lung cancer that you might as well smoke-em-while you got-em, screw the kids and anyone else wallowing in the clouds of carcinogens you produce. Only its worse because the real costs are going to be heaviest on future generations.
Ok, back to my paying work…..