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thunderhead
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PostTue Feb 26, 2019 4:41 pm 
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drm wrote:
Chief Joseph wrote:
Flagstaff, Arizona, a record 2 feet of snow in what, a 24 hour period? Global warming?

No, climate change.

No, random chance.

Individual events are neither proof of nor against an overall trend.  Especially with the magnitude of the variation being much larger than the magnitude of the trend.
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PostSat Mar 02, 2019 7:57 pm 
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Tom wrote:
There was a pretty good video posted a while back.  I'll see if I can find it but made it pretty easy to understand what's going on, even for the layman.  Basically we are in an ice age where the earth should be cooling (not warming) but we've changed things enough for it to go in the other direction.  Temporary weather events really don't factor into the equation.

Edit: here it is on page 571:  http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1084634#1084634


Interesting presentation.  One criticism I'd make is that his graphic at 41:25 of glacial mass balance "dropping off a cliff" starts at 1960.  According to the IPCC AR5, Figure 4.12, annual rates of glacial ice mass loss were substantially higher in the first half of the 20th century than in the second.  If that's the case, it doesn't fit very well with Dr Britt's narrative of anthropogenic CO2 being the primary driver.

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/observations-cryosphere/

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Anne Elk
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PostSun Mar 03, 2019 6:55 pm 
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That was a great lecture that Tom linked back to -- funny, even.  Excellent exposition on the "macro" view of global climate cycles.

I suspect AGM has passed the tipping point, so even if we stopped all use of carbon-based fuels tomorrow, it might not make much of a difference.  Gov't entities who want us to not drive gasoline powered cars, burn coal, etc, should try carrots rather than sticks. The carbon tax route is such a non-starter.  How totally unimaginative.
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PostMon Mar 04, 2019 11:23 am 
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Just watched the lecture.  It's pretty good in most aspects.  He does present a few ideas as fact, such as the recent rise of the Himalayas being the cause of the current Ice Age.  We just don't know that.  Also, if you do a deep dive into proxy records - a topic that fascinated me way back before Anthropogenic Global Warming even came up - it is hard to agree with his statement that we know past climate "well."

He shows a hindcast made by a prominent climate model.  He does not mention that climate models are good at hindcasting because they are tuned that way, and forecasting with climate models has not yielded much skill (the technical term for model accuracy).

Being in Florida, sea level rise is emphasized.  They don't worry so much about continental glaciers.  So that is one thing.

I will just point out one more thing.  The claim that we have ended the Ice Age is quite extraordinary.  The Skeptic's Motto is "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."  I am certain from my own research that that threshold has not been met.

I spent my career performing root cause analysis of technical systems.  Because of my pre-existing interest in paleoclimate, I spent hundreds of spare hours reading climate science papers.  So I wrote an essay describing what I found.  Here is my essay on global warming published on Judy Curry's blog:*

https://judithcurry.com/?s=root+cause+analysis+of+the+modern+warming

*I consider Judy Curry to be a skeptic like me, not a denier.  Climate "denial," in my opinion, is when your political views prevent you from even considering AGW.  But you will find plenty of true denial in the comments sections on her blog.  Me, I'm for curtailing of fossil fuel use, I just don't put climate change on my top ten list of environmental issues.

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PostMon Mar 04, 2019 7:35 pm 
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Sculpin wrote:
I spent my career performing root cause analysis of technical systems.  Because of my pre-existing interest in paleoclimate, I spent hundreds of spare hours reading climate science papers.  So I wrote an essay describing what I found.  Here is my essay on global warming published on Judy Curry's blog:*

https://judithcurry.com/?s=root+cause+analysis+of+the+modern+warming

*I consider Judy Curry to be a skeptic like me, not a denier.  Climate "denial," in my opinion, is when your political views prevent you from even considering AGW.  But you will find plenty of true denial in the comments sections on her blog.  Me, I'm for curtailing of fossil fuel use, I just don't put climate change on my top ten list of environmental issues.

Matt, thanks for your comments, and thanks for the link to your essay on Climate, Etc., looking forward to reading it.  I admire Judith Curry a lot - she's one of those precious few in climate science who remembers that skepticism is at the heart of scientific reasoning.  If we ever needed the Skeptic's Motto, it's today with all the drastic measures being proposed to save the world.

I lean toward Alex Epstein's point of view on fossil fuels, although I'd be happy to see nuclear take the place of coal.  That's one of the things that makes it hard for me to take climate alarmists seriously - climate change is supposedly this looming existential threat and yet most alarmists also seem to be anti-nuclear.  Not all, but most.  In any event, large-scale energy transitions take a lot of time so fossil fuels will probably be with us for the foreseeable future.

Cheers.

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PostMon Mar 04, 2019 8:02 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
That was a great lecture that Tom linked back to -- funny, even.  Excellent exposition on the "macro" view of global climate cycles.

I suspect AGM has passed the tipping point, so even if we stopped all use of carbon-based fuels tomorrow, it might not make much of a difference.  Gov't entities who want us to not drive gasoline powered cars, burn coal, etc, should try carrots rather than sticks. The carbon tax route is such a non-starter.  How totally unimaginative.

Hi Anne --

I agree with you on the carbon tax question - so many new coal plants in the works today worldwide that imposing a tax on ourselves is nothing more than an empty gesture, especially in Washington State where ~80% of our electricity generation is already carbon-free.

I saw an earlier link you posted on Antarctica from National Geographic:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/11/antarctica-climate-change-western-peninsula-ice-melt-krill-penguin-leopard-seal/

Great pics & video but I have to say, it seems like a good example of the media giving us a distorted and alarmist view of things.  Granted, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced some warming in recent years, but the Nat Geo folks really should have pointed out that Antarctic sea ice extent has recently experienced both record highs and record lows, and has been on a generally increasing trend for the past ~40 years.  See the graphics here:

https://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index

Also, for a little context, the land-based ice in Antarctica (which contributes to sea-level rise unlike sea ice) may or may not be experiencing a net loss today, but at recently estimated loss rates it would take over a thousand years to lose just one percent of the continent's ice mass.  I just point this out to counter the impression we're typically given in the media or by activist scientists.  For the Greenland ice sheet in the Arctic the figure is about 100 years at current rates to lose one percent of its mass.

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Anne Elk
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 1:16 am 
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Parked Out - Sorry that bit of editorializing re carbon taxes snuck into my last post - I forgot that topic had been argued to death in this forum right up to the mid-term election.   biggrin.gif

I'm going to read Sculpin's essay on J Curry's blog also.  In re the video lecture
Sculpin wrote:
"He does not mention that climate models are good at hindcasting because they are tuned that way, and forecasting with climate models has not yielded much skill... The claim that we have ended the Ice Age is quite extraordinary.

Not sure if by "tuned that way" is meant some kind of interpretive error or bias.

The graphic on sea ice trends in Antarctica that you cited is interesting.  You're right that there wasn't a mention in the Nat'nl Geo program about a ~40 year increase trend; quite the contrary - there seemed a concern that the recent large calvings of the sea ice might precipitate an increased flow of the land ice. 

Although the geography, ocean currents and pollution levels in the southern hemisphere are quite different, there apparently is considerable glacier shrinkage in the southern Andes/Patagonia.  About 10 years ago I chanced to have a conversation with the researcher who'd been the chief scientist on the NOAA ship I'd worked on for 2 seasons off the Antarctic peninsula.  He told me that all the beautiful glaciers we saw while traveling thru the Beagle Channel in the late 80's had retreated up their valleys so far that they couldn't be seen.   

Re your comment, "I'd be happy to see nuclear take the place of coal", what about the waste storage problems?  I've heard there's a plume underground from a leak at Hanford that's slowly making its way to the Columbia ... and, well, Fukushima, Chernobyl, etc.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 8:52 am 
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They juggle the code until the hindcast matches the data tortured into submission for their model inputs. This is chasing the data, not science.

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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 10:16 am 
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Anne Elk wrote:
Re your comment, "I'd be happy to see nuclear take the place of coal", what about the waste storage problems?  I've heard there's a plume underground from a leak at Hanford that's slowly making its way to the Columbia ... and, well, Fukushima, Chernobyl, etc.

There are great fears about radiation, but there is evidence that these fears are overblown

http://ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_english/ramsar-natural-radioactivity/ramsar.html

Then there is the issue that radiation emissions from coal plants is measurably higher (100x) than emissions from nuclear plants.

https://www.researchgate.net/post/Why_is_coal_ash_more_radioactive_than_nuclear_waste_and_what_is_the_exact_reason

Some people are living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-04-26/30-years-after-chernobyl-these-ukrainian-babushkas-are-still-living-their-toxic

It will be interesting to observe to what degree they are affected by radiation effect diseases like leukemia, cancer, etc.
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drm
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 12:12 pm 
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Sculpin wrote:
The claim that we have ended the Ice Age is quite extraordinary.

And probably wrong. We probably have delayed the start of the next glacial cycle. Even if it takes us centuries to stop adding CO2 to the atmosphere, there are various geological processes to reabsorb it over thousands and tens of thousands of years. Since the next glacial maximum would probably be about 100,000 years away, it might still happen, maybe it will be weaker if it gets a slow start. Nature will fix us, at it's own pace.
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drm
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 12:18 pm 
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thunderhead wrote:
drm wrote:
Chief Joseph wrote:
Flagstaff, Arizona, a record 2 feet of snow in what, a 24 hour period? Global warming?

No, climate change.

No, random chance.

Individual events are neither proof of nor against an overall trend.  Especially with the magnitude of the variation being much larger than the magnitude of the trend.

That's true, and my quoting of Chief Joseph was clumsy. But as time and research has continued, some weather events can be connected with climate change with some degree of uncertainty of course. I don't know if the Flagstaff snow is one or not. But we can measure changes in the atmosphere due to climate change and if those changes appear to connect with an event, then there is some evidence of a connection. But it's not based solely on statistical values like magnitude of frequency. Extreme weather events have specific features and causes, and sometimes those connect with changes caused by climate change.

My larger point though was that climate change may mean warming overall, but not everywhere all the time.
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 12:19 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
Re your comment, "I'd be happy to see nuclear take the place of coal", what about the waste storage problems?  I've heard there's a plume underground from a leak at Hanford that's slowly making its way to the Columbia ... and, well, Fukushima, Chernobyl, etc.

Anne, the UNSCEAR assessments of both Fukushima and Chernobyl are worth reading.  The effects have been a lot less dramatic than what we often hear.  Chernobyl didn't even have a containment structure, and even though it was by far the worst nuclear accident to date, I believe the remaining three reactors continued operations for several years after the meltdown in 1986.

http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/chernobyl.html
http://www.unscear.org/unscear/en/fukushima.html

I don't remember the particulars at Hanford but that was a WWII installation.  Obviously mistakes were made (as they were at Fukushima & Chernobyl) but Hanford was first-generation and not representative of how a modern nuclear plant is designed & run.

As far as the waste issue, it's been an extremely effective talking point for the anti-nuclear movement but is a relatively minor problem within the industry.  Onsite dry cask storage of spent fuel rods has been safe & effective, and fast reactor designs are in the works that will eventually burn the spent fuel that's now stored as waste.  The energy density of nuclear fuel is so high that even after several decades of operation, the quantity of waste is very small which helps make it a very manageable problem.

I'm not completely on board with every statement in this Our World in Data post on the relative safety of different energy sources, but it gives you a pretty good idea of the benign nature of nuclear.    https://ourworldindata.org/what-is-the-safest-form-of-energy

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Anne Elk
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 1:16 pm 
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Parked Out wrote:
Onsite dry cask storage of spent fuel rods has been safe & effective, and fast reactor designs are in the works that will eventually burn the spent fuel that's now stored as waste.

OK, good point - SOPs have improved a lot since Hanford was operational.   I'll look at the citations you listed re Chernobyl and Fukushima, but am inclined to be skeptical of UN committee report (based on whatever sources). They're likely erring on the side of minimization - that's what's bureaucracies and gov'ts do.  I suspect there was a lot of "sloshing" right into the ocean during the Fukushima even that no one has an idea about. An acquaintance who's from Japan thinks the Japanese gov't was covering up the full extent of the damage/exposure. 

But to get back to the main topic -  after considering Sculpin's contributions here and your input, I'm beginning to think that climatology (paleo and otherwise) is another one of those systems that's so complex that humans can't fully grasp it, much like biological systems. Look how much we didn't know about immunology until HIV caused us to spend more time researching that.

Civilizations come and go for all kinds of reasons, right?  The main difference now is, we think we can see it coming.
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 1:54 pm 
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I agree with many of the above posters in that fission plants are much cleaner than coal.  They are also significantly cheaper than solar/wind at grid penetration values above 10-20%, and would become even cheaper to install due to economy of scale/simple regulatory changes if we elect to go that route.

If you want to reduce CO2 emissions starting now without significantly messing up the economy, fission plants are the obvious and only choice.
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PostTue Mar 05, 2019 3:11 pm 
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Building up nuclear generation isn't a "quick fix" The WWPPSS fiasco is a cautionary tale on the risks of trying to build too much too quickly.

However France following the 1973 Oil Embargo pursued a path of nuclear generation to ensure that they would not be dependent of oil imports to "keep the lights on".

Germany with more plentiful domestic supplies of coal didn't pursue nuclear power as aggressively.

In recent years Germany has pursued  solar and wind generation -- but they have a long way to catch up to France in terms of CO2 emissions per capita:

CO2 Tons per capita:
Germany 2017: 9.70
France 2017: 5.20

Source:
https://countryeconomy.com/countries/compare/germany/france?sc=XNC1

But even if the USA starts an aggressive nuclear power plant building program -- it will be over a decade before enough capacity can be built to significantly reduce emmissions -- and even if construction doesn't get tied up in court for years by anti-nuclear organizations -- which seems likely.
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