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Last Build Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:05:44 +0000


Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by zebra

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:05:44 +0000

nigelj 171, I replied to you earlier and the comment got lost, so I will try again, although I am surprised that you don't get this. A smaller population will, to use Mal's term, have lower per capita LNC. I thought you agreed with this??? For the US example I gave, it seems obvious. Put aside earthquakes and tsunamis, and hurricanes and nor'easters. Living on either of the coasts in the US, you need less energy for heating and cooling, and you have access to both hydro, wind, and solar. Why would you dig up coal and transport it from Wyoming to generate electricity? If the interior of the country is vacated and allowed to return to grasslands and other natural states, there would be plenty of bison or beefaloes or whatever genetic engineering can come up with. No more feedlots. No more excess corn production. Natural carbon cycle. You are concerned about air travel, as I recall. Hopping around between small cities in the mid-continent is terribly inefficient. North-South rail corridor already exists on the East Coast. Goods can be transported by sea, which is very efficient- we also have a coastal waterway system. What don't you understand here? Geography is really important in "culture"-- what technology is chosen, social organization, and so on. Some people like to live in cities, which is very environmentally sound. I don't, but I like to have access to the benefits. Some people want to be farmers or hunters. There is some population density that allows this to happen, without the need for marginal use of land and resources. Marginal uses increase LNC per capita. I don't know what kind of "evidence" or "proof" you are looking for, and this is my limit of long comments. Do you have a counter-argument, or just incredulity?

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by zebra

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:23:06 +0000

alan2102 190, You appear to be agreeing with me, as painful as that may be for you. But let's see if you can take one more step, and see why I still wonder where you are coming from.
What it DOES seem to require is a degree of social development sufficient to bring the population out of a dark-ages-like state of backwardness.
My problem is that you appear fixated on Africa when you say this. There's a lot to discuss for Africa about numbers and consumption, but first, read this very articulate piece from a very prosperous and high-tech location and tell me what you think:

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by nigelj

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:22:20 +0000

Regarding the great debate on carbon sinks, with some people pushing trees, some pushing better soil management through better farming, and a mention of biochar. Surely its likely a combination of all three? These are not all mutually exclusive? I think the combination may stack up as follows. Regarding planting trees this creates so much mass storage, but making a big difference requires a lot of land if you do the maths, and land is actually just not so available. It can only be scaled up to a very moderate point, and simply wouldn't make sense over taking crop lands. Some forests are also becoming net carbon emitters as below I think you also have huge temptation to cut down trees before the appropriate time. In fact planting new trees may at best replace those being lost. I still think planting trees is a good idea, and suits steeper land useless for other things, but its not going to make a huge difference to emissions. Enhanced soil sinks through modified farming techniques seem to have potential. The chemistry and biology looks convincing and you are using already existing lands of huge areas, so it can in theory be scaled well up. But the problem you have is convincing enough people and maybe it needs education and some sort of incentives scheme. Biochar has so many benefits for animal health and also some benefits for soil sequestration of carbon, but mainly in that just that it promotes some of the basic chemical and bacterial processes. Its potential is just modest in terms of soil carbon storage, but because it makes so much sense for other things as well, it's just clearly a good thing. But anyway it looks to me like soil sinks may have most potential, with trees and biochar in a useful second place. Given tree planting would tend to be on land less suited to crops, there's no need for bitter argument.

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by nigelj

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 06:31:50 +0000

Killian @172: " You are ignorant on these topics." I don't think so. I would say I'm better informed and more nuanced than you. I stand by all my comments. Virtually all the criticism from people on this website is directed firmly at you. "Why do you constantly lie about what I have and have not said?" I don't tell lies, and I rarely accuse others of lies. Calling people liars is just cheap mostly empty rhetoric. "I didn’t expect pages of empty ranting, and insults directed at me.Nor did you get any." I find your many accusations of ignorance are an insult. I don't call people on this website ignorant or moronic.If that's not an insult pray tell what is? Your views on this are a mystery to me and don't make sense. "You make some good points on denialism, but I don’t think there’s some organised cadre or conspiracy of the denialists.Oh my jesus…" Killian you are just over reacting a bit. The Heartland institute is awful, but not some giant global conspiracy or mobile cadre of denialists. Reality is bad enough, but a bit more mundane. You lack self scepticsm and get carried away. That's not SCIENCE. I loathe the Heartland Institute in all respects by the way. Regarding your general views. Anyone can cut emissions and resource use by saying"low tech small scale". You say this as if its some great revelation, as if nobody else has thought of this, and you talk in vague generalities on a science website of all things! You refuse to engage in specifics. I don't oppose all your ideas, but you ask a lot with your overall harsh prescription, and so the duty is on you to prove your case really well, and you havent. YOU HAVENT. I have knocked so many holes in it I have lost count. I have also offered an alternative approach at the end of last unforced variations fyi.

Comment on 1.5ºC: Geophysically impossible or not? by nigelj

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 05:09:20 +0000

Dan Millar @19 "#15 7 #16: Global GDP dropped during WW2 and spiked thereafter:" I'm not so sure, and maybe you just didn't look closely enough at the graph. Your graph shows global gdp per capita rising right to at least 1944, then dropping after this date for about 5 years, then rising from 1950 onwards. Nasa giss shows temperatures rising to about 1945 then dropping after that. So its hard to see a drop in industrial emissions being more than a small factor at most in warming to 1945. I'm nit picking a bit. I agree with your overall assessment of aerosols over the last 200 years, and it was illuminating to me as I hadn't considered it that way.

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by Thomas

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:58:02 +0000

143 Killian .... spot on ....

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by Thomas

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:50:04 +0000

#166 Hank re "Mitigating global warming therefore remains a priority to avoid dangerous impacts on global water and food security." Ha, in their dreams maybe. Not going to happen in the real world upon planet Earth. Merely more unheard unheeded voices crying in the wilderness.

Comment on O Say Can You CO2… by d helfrich

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 20:06:57 +0000

Barry #17: The "reduction" is in reference to the gross primary production (GPP) of vegetation, which is a carbon absorption process, or sink. A reduction a carbon sink's intake of Carbon via photosynthesis amounts to an increase in the carbon dioxide burden in the atmosphere.

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by alan2102

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:37:44 +0000

#146 zebra 14 Oct 2017: "The default state for humans reaping the benefits of technology and technological exploitation of resources is a stable or declining birth rate... my bottom line is that it should be possible to “nudge” things in that direction using inputs that do not add to fossil fuel consumption." Except that in China, fertility fell off a cliff during a time (60s/70s) when there was almost NO technological exploitation of resources of the sort you probably mean. Hell, GDP per capita was still in the low hundreds, $U.S.! And oil production and consumption were at near-trivial levels, relative to today: Roughly the same happened in India, though the curves are less dramatic, fertility declining more smoothly over several decades. But still, very low per capita GDP. So, my bottom line is: YES, it is quite possible to get fertility down a great deal with very little fossil fuel consumption, and a very low general level of development, relative to the West. It might be possible with almost no fossil fuel consumption at all, as the renewables buildout continues. I am thinking of Africa and its vast renewable energy potential. The demographic transition clearly does NOT depend on modern first-world development status, great wealth and income, etc. I used to think (and I was in lots of company) that per capita GDP was a good-enough proxy for all the developmental-progress indicators that are associated with lower fertility, and that the demographic transition is something that happens as incomes rise from hundreds to thousands ($U.S.) per year. However, a closer examination of the stats for India and especially China reveal that that is not really so. China's big demographic transition happened at per capita GDP of ~$200! In other words, it seems to require almost no wealth at all as conventionally measured, and also very little resource consumption. What it DOES seem to require is a degree of social development sufficient to bring the population out of a dark-ages-like state of backwardness -- whether or not this is reflected in per capita GDPs or other conventional measures. See my post to Kevin McKinney, immediately above. Maybe it is just a matter of getting development up to the point where women have easy access to simple birth control tech, combined with a degree of general existential security and lower infant mortality. Maybe that is really all it takes. Anyone?

Comment on Unforced variations: Oct 2017 by MA Rodger

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:24:49 +0000

GISTEMP have posted for September with an anomaly of +0.80ºC, a little cooler than recent months and the 2nd coolest month of the year-so-far (with June the coolest at +0.70ºC). (While the satellite TLT anomalies did not reflect the warm start to the year seen within the surface data, UAH is showing September the warmest of the year-so-far while RSS has yet to report for September.) It is the 4th warmest GISTEMP September on record after Sept 2016 & 2014 (+0.87ºC) and Sept 2015 (+0.82ºC) and ahead of Sept 2013 (+0.77ºC). For all months, Sept 2017 is the =34th warmest anomaly on the full record. Of the anomalies warmer than Sept 2017, only five months are not from 2014, 2015, 2016 or 2017, the five of exceptions being two months from 2010 and single months from 2007, 1998 & 2002. For 2017 to achieve hottest-year-on-record status, the remainder of the year would have to exceed +1.22ºC. And to drop to 3rd spot the remainder of the years would have to average below +0.75ºC. So a 2nd spot for the full annual 2017 is reasonably the likely outcome. The following table is ranked by the Jan-Sept averages. ........ Jan-Sept Ave ... Annual Ave ..Annual ranking 2016 .. +1.03ºC ... ... ... +0.99ºC ... ... ...1st 2017 .. +0.91ºC 2015 .. +0.80ºC ... ... ... +0.87ºC ... ... ...2nd 2014 .. +0.72ºC ... ... ... +0.73ºC ... ... ...3rd 2010 .. +0.72ºC ... ... ... +0.70ºC ... ... ...4th 2007 .. +0.68ºC ... ... ... +0.64ºC ... ... ...7th 1998 .. +0.67ºC ... ... ... +0.62ºC ... ... ...10th 2005 .. +0.66ºC ... ... ... +0.68ºC ... ... ...5th 2002 .. +0.66ºC ... ... ... +0.63ºC ... ... ...9th 2013 .. +0.63ºC ... ... ... +0.65ºC ... ... ...6th 2009 .. +0.62ºC ... ... ... +0.64ºC ... ... ...8th