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Climate science from climate scientists...

Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:49:24 +0000


Comment on Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics? by Jim Eager

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:49:24 +0000

Hank, at least Mack has been good for a laugh. Back in the days when I used to engage the likes of him on Huffington Post there was a fellow who went by the handle Fumes who asserted that the reason earth had temperate latitude seasons was because earth orbited around the sun. No amount of explanation that it was because earth's axis is tilted had any effect on him. Yes Virginia, there really is a significant portion of the adult population that is not as smart as the average sixth grader.

Comment on Unforced variations: Sep 2016 by Chris Dudley

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:20:42 +0000

In a Climate Central article, Gavin claims we won't see carbon dioxide concentrations below 400 ppm again. However, Mark Jacobson predicts the concentration will fall below 400 ppm around 2040 with and adequate policy response. It is a mistake to ignore this work.

Comment on Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics? by Bernard J.

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:56:11 +0000

It's no wonder that "Mack"* doesn't grok the geometry of incident radiation on a sphere if he can't understand the geometric mechanics of the phases of the moon. One might watch agog with appalled fascination at such ignorance, wondering whether it's real or simply a ploy to maintain an ideological stance, but there's no point in trying to cure him of his assertions - he's been at this game for years, originally posting at Deltoid under sock variants such as 'Sunspot' and 'Karen'. The sad thing is that this lobbying behaviour has already succeeded in its intent, in Australia at least. It's useful idiots such as Mack, and their media shock-jock and conservative political analogues, that have deliberately and concertedly acted to successfully stymy any Australian progress on fossil carbon emissions for well over a decade. The latest manifestation of the war on science in Australia, as I have just noted at Sou's, is a case in point... Last night the state of South Australia endured unprecendented storm weather* that resulted in the whole state being blacked out as a result of damage to transmission infrastructure. This morning, before the roofs had even stopped dripping, Australia's conservative politicians were announcing high and low that there was a crisis of too much renewable energy, and that we need to dial back on the "ideology" of moving from renewable energy, and go back to fossil fueled energy. In this game of count-the-plethora-of-logical-fallacies we had commentary supporting this thesis from the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, from the deputy prime minister, and from recalcitrant idiot Barnaby Joyce, and the eternally yapping poodle Christopher Pyne. There are many bad jokes to be made, but one that must take place in the forefront is that Malcolm Turnbull claims to be the "innovation" prime minister. The only innovation I can see is the new extremes to which a conservative politician capitulates to the fossil fuels interests in the country, and engages in the type of New Speak that would make Orwell blush: to wit, turning away from the need to have a modern and sustainable energy supply and instead cleave to the polluting past. Rest assured that the conservative government attack on renewables following the SA storms will be repeated with gusto by the Denialati in Australia and overseas. (*This weather is at least in part attributable to global warming. The salient point though is not that such extreme weather occurred, but that such occurences will become more frequent as global warming continues. If the right wing can't stomach the cost of such events now, how will they digest the geometrically-increasing costs of climate change in the future?)

Comment on Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics? by Hank Roberts

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:42:42 +0000

When the Earth interposes itself between Sun and Moon its called, phases of the Moon.
Ahahahahahahah hahahaha hahah haha ha ha.

Comment on Unforced variations: Sep 2016 by Scott Strough

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:19:18 +0000

@265 killian, There is somewhere between 35 and 40 Gt CO2 emissions yearly worldwide. To draw down CO2, (decrease the stocks in the atmosphere) we must adjust the flows into and out of the atmosphere until we achieve a net negative flux. There are approximately 5 Giga Hectares of land in the world currently being used to produce food and fiber for human populations. (only ~3%+/- is in permaculture or other regenerative ecofriendly management) Agriculture has been proven to be capable of being an emissions source or a sequestration sink depending on the methods used. Currently right now agriculture is an emissions source. (97% being managed by either industrial or traditional subsistence methods) Working backwards, for agriculture to offset emissions and achieve a net negative flux for atmospheric CO2 worldwide each hectare of agricultural land producing food would need to sequester long term into the soil over approximately 8t CO2/year. 8t CO2/ha/year X 5 Gha = 40Gt CO2/year The case studies mentioned by Dr. Christine Jones show a range in results between 5 & 20 tonnes CO2e/ha/year increases in soil carbon by using permaculture pasture cropping methods. (direct seeding grain crops into perennial pasture and cell or pulse rotational grazing integrated together) The carbon footprint for running a tractor to plant those pastures is trivially small. To give you an idea how trivially small: Using this as an estimate of fuel use, Estimating Farm Fuel Requirements, we get a range of between .39 - .59 gallons of fuel to run the no till drill / acre. Using the conversion of 2.5 to convert to hectares and rounding up, we get from 1.0 to 1.5 gallons per hectare to run the no till drill. According to this: How much carbon dioxide is produced by burning gasoline and diesel fuel? about 19.64 pounds to 22.38 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced per gallon depending on the fuel used. Lets just say you have a gas guzzling old tractor and round everything up to make the math easier to understand. Say 25 pounds. So to no till drill 1000 hectares would release 25000 pounds of CO2, but the plants on those 10 hectares would sequester to the soil 5000-20000 tonnes of CO2. Or to frame it in your terms: 25000 pounds CO2 = 11.3398 tCO2 So the number of hectares required to offset the carbon footprint of the no till drill on 1000 acres is approximately in the range of 0.1 hectares +/-. Maybe another 0.1 hectares to harvest it? Trivially small. So not only would it offset the tractors use, also quite likely if done on enough land, offset between 62% and 250% of all emissions worldwide. (yes even the carbon cost to build the tractors in the first place) That is VERY conservative BTW, because it doesn't even include the oceans or the forests which already are removing about 1/2 of the ~35 to 40 Gt CO2 emissions yearly worldwide. So we have some wiggle room to do other things beneficial to the environment if we were to switch to a 97% regenerative ag world instead of the 97% industrial and subsistence agriculture we use currently. No one understands the importance of the small to tiny family farm more than me. I grew up living it. I also found work as a youth as a laborer on larger commercial farms and large seed research companies. I have hands on experience at both scales, large and small. I grew up in a cornfield, nearest neighbor 1/2 mile down the road a retired farmer. Nearest neighbor with children 1 mile across a field, 2 miles by road. But sorry, you are just wrong about the need for scale-ability. All you are saying to the Iowa farmer with 1000 acres is that you can't help him, so he might as well carry on the best he can using the [...]

Comment on Unforced variations: Sep 2016 by Lawrence Coleman

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:58:28 +0000

261: Thomas, been watching the S.A battering unfolding. They are still playing politics with it's current energy systems in place, saying the system was rushed to implement as much renewable energy as possible, thus not investigating thoroughly the contingencies for what if major weather events were to strike the state like what's unfolding now. Concurrent to that was the statement that due to 'climate change' forcing more extreme events can be expected in the near future. You can't have it both ways even in politics. Either you spend many years of research and fine tuning a 'weather proof' system, knowing that with every passing year the climatic extremes are going to get worse. Or you do something now and get as many renewables on the grid a possible with the inevitable teething troubles that are bound to arise when you are mixing coal/gas/wind/solar into a hybrid energy distribution system. Full accolades for S.A for taking the initiative(for whatever reason?) and leading the country. We have friends living in S.A and they just want to get out of the soggy state ASAP. Climate refugees..haha!

Comment on Unforced variations: Sep 2016 by MA Rodger

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:08:38 +0000

Thomas @262. I think your CO2 emissions numbers are greatly in need of a little revision. Your estimate for FF-use emissions 1750-2011 is probably sound. But that on its own does not provide a total of human CO2 emissions. You need to add to you 365Pg(C) FF emissions a value for the CO2 emissions from cement production (Boden et al provide a figure of 9Pg(C) 1751-2011) and also CO2 emissions from LUC (Houghton provides a figure of 156Pg(C) for 1850-2005 suggesting a figure of perhaps ~190Pg(C) for 1750-2011). Other estimates for these emission sources will vary but Cement & Land Use are significant contributors and cannot be ignored.

Comment on Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics? by Sou

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 07:02:53 +0000

@ Titus #110 - the terms greenhouse and glasshouse are almost synonymous. One could argue that a greenhouse can have polyethylene instead of glass. However these days, glasshouses as often as not don't use glass. What they are called depends in part on what part of the world you live in, and in part on what it is used for (and what your occupation is - horticulture, backyard gardener, or whatever). In Australia, you can buy glasshouse tomatoes, which are produced on a large scale and grown in high tech conditions. They aren't called "greenhouse tomatoes" even though the structures they are grown in might not (or might) have glass. The term "greenhouse effect" originated before there were high tech greenhouses or glasshouses and it is pointless to change it. What would you change it to and why would you? There are lots of terms in use today that have no meaning. At least this is based on a reasonable analogy. (We even invent some changes for politically correct purposes. The silliest being common era, so as not to offend non-Christians - but marking CE/BCE swap-over with the birth of Christ! How politically insensitive is that?) If the greenhouse analogy doesn't work for some people who either cannot imagine a glasshouse or greenhouse, or who use greenhouses, or learnt about them at some stage, then try another analogy. Most people probably don't know how a greenhouse works anyway. The blanket analogy is good and probably would be the most universally understood. Most people use some sort of covering to sleep under. Home insulation should work, for people who are familiar with it. (Not every country builds homes with insulation.) Steve Easterbrook did some digging into the origin of the term "greenhouse effect". It obviously originated before the Woods flawed experiment - back in the early 1900s.

Comment on Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics? by Thomas

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 02:56:15 +0000

fwiw on Mack: "Mack September 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm # Apologies Bob fernley-Jones, I cannot reply to your conversations above, because I’m a layman….but can roughly understand what you’re saying, and it seems OK stuff to me." and for more scary stories try: and "The relevance of the thermosphere on the climate might be best explained to you, reading my comments…just very recently…on this posting by Stefan Ramsdorf at Real Climate. I must say I’m very delighted to finally be allowed to comment on Real Climate….Stefan must have let his guard down….or they might be loosening up a bit. My second to last comment however, went into The Borehole …obviously too much for them."

Comment on Why correlations of CO2 and Temperature over ice age cycles don’t define climate sensitivity by Omega Centauri

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 02:53:28 +0000

dp @21 .3% (as well as .1C) has to be way too high. The general order of magnitude I recall of human energy versus solar input is 1:10000, or .01%. This is averaged over the whole planet -much of which is ocean or unoccupied desert. .3% might represent a typical urban number perhaps.