Showing posts from January, 2015

Social Disorder Expands

This week UNICEF issued a report on the world's children.  In earlier report they state

Up to 15 million children are directly entangled in violent conflicts in the Central African Republic, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine, said the report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, or Unicef.  Globally, the report said, an estimated 230 million children live in countries and areas torn by armed conflicts.
Social disorder is a central result of global warming, and symptoms of this disorder are beginning to appear.  The UNICEF report stated that 2014 was one of the worst ever for the world's children.  Just as CO2 and biosphere temperature increases, as Arctic and Greenland ice and glaciers worldwide melt, as sea levels rise, so social disorder and its consequences will expand.

Global Warming Denial Exists Because It's Too Hard To See The Evidence

It took millennia for humans to realize that we were standing on a ball of dirt and water.  A very large one, but a globe nevertheless.  I'm certain that only a few humans over that time figured it out on their own.  It couldn't have been too hard to generalize from the moon, an obvious large ball of dirt out there in space, to what we are standing on.  But for a large portion of humanity it wasn't until the 15th Century that they were able to get their head around the idea that Earth was a globe.

But then seeing that our Earth circled the Sun rather than the other way around was even more difficult.  The significant discovery of Copernicus was published posthumously and it was another 100 years before heliocentrism was generally accepted.

And we might feel more smug about how we see the world today, but amazingly perhaps 95% of people (I'm afraid that it might be more like 99%) think gravity is an attractive force even though Einstein disproved that 100 years ago.  …

Global Warming Pearl Harbor

It has been said that we need a Manhattan Project for global warming.   The Manhattan Project was started in secret to produce a nuclear weapon in response to intelligence that Hitler may be producing a nuclear weapon.

The Manhattan Project produced the nuclear bombs that brought the war in Japan to a halt, and appears as a significant event in history, but it really isn't the model we need for bringing global warming to a halt.

There was something more important than the Manhattan Project for WWII.  What was needed to bring Hitler down was to monumentally provoke the American people, to cause them put everything in their lives aside and join the war effort, to make victory gardens, buy war bonds, join the army, navy, marines.  And the event that made this happen was Pearl Harbor.

And I believe that is what is going to happen.  In the next five years there will be such an event, an extreme weather event, comparable to Pearl Harbor, that will seize the attention of the entire worl…

2014 Record Warm Year

The NY Times reports today on a study showing that the global atmospheric temperature hit a new record
In the annals of climatology, 2014 now surpasses 2010 as the warmest year in a global temperature record that stretches back to 1880. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1997, a reflection of the relentless planetary warming that scientists say is a consequence of human emissions and poses profound long-term risks to civilization and to the natural world.  And as they point out, this happened without an El Nino.  An El Nino has been forecast for this year but it didn't happen, but when it does we will have a very hot year.  The El Nino is independent of global warming due to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, as I've explained elsewhere, and so that makes this years record all the more disturbing because it the record is more due to the underlying increasing trend in temperature that it would be otherwise.

There recently has been some concern that …

Global Warming May Be Worse Than They Say, Update #2

I've reported before that global warming may be worse than is currently thought.  And I've further made the point that forecasts and predictions depend on linearity, and that reality is likely nonlinear, and therefore forecasts are likely to be conservative.

This point has just been reinforced by a study on sea levels.  As described at ThinkProgress and the NY Times, the study shows that earlier measurements of sea level were too high, the implications of which are that sea levels have in recent years risen more than was earlier thought.  This goes to the point that I made about nonlinearity in forecasts, the changes we are undergoing are accelerating, faster than a linear project would conclude.  In other words, sea levels are going to rise to greater levels at a sooner time than we thought.

Approaching Irreversible global warming

Atmospheric CO2 has been gradually increasing for 150 years, and has just passed the 400 ppm mark:

It was 300 ppm in 1920, 350 ppm in 1998, and now 400 ppm in 2015.   The concentration is accelerating, 68 years to 350 ppm, and 15 years to 400.   A simple projection suggests our hitting 450 ppm by 2020.  450 ppm is regarded by scientists as an irreversible limit:

If the world is to stay below 2C of warming, which scientists regard as the limit of safety, then emissions must be held to no more than 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere  Unless we begin right now
it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be "lost for ever", according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure. This 400 ppm limit is a least case.  All other uncertainties about the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases are worse cases.

I believe what is in store for us is …

An Exchange on Global Warming

A friend of a friend posted an objection to something I said about global warming in the middle of an email exchange among friends.  I asked him to expand on that, which he did in detail.  It was a great exchange, bereft of the usual rant.  However, he hasn't (yet) given my permission to post it on this blog.   Nevertheless I am posting my response, to which, by the way, he hasn't yet commented on.

First, I don't know of any scientist that believes a simulation proves or disproves anything.  They are only for information because there are always missing factors whose behavior has to be assumed in some fashion.  I do not look at climate simulation for any purpose at all myself.
Next, many of you may be familiar with financial time series which never move linearly but rather bounce up and down as they move.  My background is in statistical models, and any statistical model includes variability that is not part of the underlying trend, called error variability or "rando…

Evaluating Global Warming Science

Usually science deals with phenomena that doesn't matter except to the scientists studying it.  There aren't many people who care about gravity waves except physicists studying gravity waves in the infant universe.  When science proceeds in this fashion, it can go in fits and starts, only eventually converging on strong evidence that can be widely accepted.  For example, after great effort, BICEP and BICEP2 purport to find the evidence, but then objections emerge and physicists looked further.

 But sometimes the topic matters, a lot, to everyone, like global warming.  How do we proceed?  For gravity waves we can withhold our judgement waiting for the physicists to reach consensus.  But we do not have that luxury when it comes to global warming.  The scientific evidence is presented and debated by the scientists taking a winding path as science usually does, but what do we do when the outcome is so important?

I have some expertise in data analysis, so I am able to make judgem…

Pope Francis to Issue Encyclical On Climate Change

Pope Francis is going to issue an Encyclical on climate change, urging all Catholics to take action.  I don't know if this is going to make a difference or not.  Something must be done immediately:

But if we don’t reverse emissions trends far faster than currently envisioned, we will certainly double and probably triple that temperature rise, most likely negating any practical strategy to undo the impacts for hundreds of years:National Geographic Maps Our Coastline After We Melt All Earth’s Ice, Raising Seas Over 200 FeetScience stunner — On our current emissions path, CO2 levels in 2100 will hit levels last seen when the Earth was 29°F (16°C) hotter. Such is the climate change yet to come.