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Archive for the ‘IPCC’ Category

“Climate Engineering” Best Option: Economists

Posted by feww on September 4, 2009

“Climate engineering could provide a cheap, rapid and effective response to global warming,” the economists said.

marine cloud whitening technology
Oceans contain 6 times more plastic than plankton!

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Posted in Bjorn Lomborg, Finn Kydland, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, IPCC, seawater, Thomas Schelling, Vernon Smith | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who is afraid of melting ice sheets?

Posted by feww on April 18, 2009

Based on its outdated “one-dimensional” model, the U.N. Climate Panel has reported that seas could rise by 18-59 cm  (7-24 inches) by 2100. The model also excludes the threat from highly probable scenarios in which ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland could melt at exponential rates.

Ian Allison, head of  the Australian Antarctic Division’s Ice, Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate program was asked by Reuters the following question: How great is the threat from melting ice sheets?

Allison who is a researcher within the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center, and who has been involved in Antarctic science for more than 4 decades, responded as follows.


I think it is now unequivocal that warming of the world is occurring and I think the last IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) conclusively showed that a major cause of warming is greenhouse gas emissions from mankind.

We now know that the ice sheets are contributing to sea level rise and for the Arctic, at least, this is because the warming of this region is much greater than in other places on Earth.

We also know that glaciers in mountain areas are undergoing a very rapid retreat and they’re a major contributor of sea level rise, too.


Greenland is of more concern because of the warming of the Arctic. Greenland is at lower latitude than much of Antarctica and we’ve seen the direct effect of the melting.

We still don’t understand many things about the dynamic response of the ice sheets but we do see direct melt exceeding snowfall in Greenland.

This might not mean a runaway effect but it does mean Greenland is contributing to sea level rise and will continue to add to sea levels at the present temperatures for many hundreds of years.”


Ice shelves and floating ice tongues can buttress the flow of grounded ice from the interior of the ice sheets. We’ve seen examples in both Greenland and Antarctica of floating ice disappearing, and the ice that sits on the land then flowing more quickly into the ocean.

“In addition, the West Antarctic may be inherently unstable. The West Antarctic forms what is called the marine ice shelf. The ice is resting on bedrock but that bedrock is below sea level. It’s like if you load too many ice cubes in your gin and tonic, the bottom one touches the bottom of the glass even though it’s well below the water level.

Where the bedrock under a marine ice sheet slopes down toward the interior, such as under parts of West Antarctica, the ice sheet may be unstable. If it thins, it will start to float at the edges, becoming an ice shelf.

For a bedrock that slopes backwards and becomes deeper further in, continued retreat of the grounded ice sheet may proceed very rapidly. A small retreat could in theory destabilize the entire West Antarctica ice sheet, leading to rapid disintegration.


There two areas. One, we need to improve our mathematical models of ice streams, ice sheets and ice shelves to be able to better project future changes. We also need more detailed measurements of how deep the bedrock is under the ice sheets to use in the models.

The other major gap in our understanding is what is happening at the bed of the ice sheets; how they react with liquid water at the base, what role water may have in sliding processes and the role of gravels and slurry at the base.

We now know there is a lot of liquid water under the ice sheets. But we don’t really know how changes in this may affect the ice flow. Knowing what’s under the ice sheets we really need to measure that with radar systems.


The main thing is monitoring what’s actually happening with sea level rise and the ice sheets. We’ve now got tools that can do that, we can improve those and make sure they keep going, particularly satellite-based systems.

We need better predictive tools to know just what is likely in the next 100 years. I don’t think we should be rushing into building up coastal defenses until we know what we could be defending against. So our biggest requirement is to be able to refine our projections for what may happen in the future. (Edited by David fox).

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Posted in CO2 Emissions, greenland, IPCC, mathematical models of ice melt, West Antarctica | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Global Warming or Climate Change

Posted by feww on December 17, 2008

From NASA with Love!

What’s in a Name? Global Warming vs. Climate Change

December 5, 2008

The Internet is full of references to global warming. The Union of Concerned Scientists [aka, the snakeoil merchants] website on climate change is titled “Global Warming,” just one of many examples. But we don’t use global warming much on this website. We use the less appealing “climate change.” Why?

By any other name … Whether referred to as “global warming” or “climate change,” the consequences of the widescale changes currently being observed in Earth’s climate system could be considerable.

To a scientist, global warming describes the average global surface temperature increase from human emissions of greenhouse gases. Its first use was in a 1975 Science article by geochemist Wallace Broecker of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory: “Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?”

Broecker’s term was a break with tradition. Earlier studies of human impact on climate had called it “inadvertent climate modification.”  This was because while many scientists accepted that human activities could cause climate change, they did not know what the direction of change might be. Industrial emissions of tiny airborne particles called aerosols might cause cooling, while greenhouse gas emissions would cause warming. Which effect would dominate?

For most of the 1970s, nobody knew. So “inadvertent climate modification,” while clunky and dull, was an accurate reflection of the state of knowledge.

The first decisive National Academy of Science study of carbon dioxide’s impact on climate, published in 1979, abandoned “inadvertent climate modification.” Often called the Charney Report for its chairman, Jule Charney of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, declared: “if carbon dioxide continues to increase, [we find] no reason to doubt that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible.”

In place of inadvertent climate modification, Charney adopted Broecker’s usage. When referring to surface temperature change, Charney used “global warming.” When discussing the many other changes that would be induced by increasing carbon dioxide, Charney used “climate change.”

Within scientific journals, this is still how the two terms are used. Global warming refers to surface temperature increases, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas amounts will affect.

Global warming: the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases.
Climate change: a long-term change in the Earth’s climate, or of a region on Earth.

During the late 1980s one more term entered the lexicon, “global change.” This term encompassed many other kinds of change in addition to climate change. When it was approved in 1989, the U.S. climate research program was embedded as a theme area within the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

But global warming became the dominant popular term in June 1988, when NASA scientist James E. Hansen had testified to Congress about climate, specifically referring to global warming. He said: “global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming.”  Hansen’s testimony was very widely reported in popular and business media, and after that popular use of the term global warming exploded. Global change never gained traction in either the scientific literature or the popular media.

But temperature change itself isn’t the most severe effect of changing climate. Changes to precipitation patterns and sea level are likely to have much greater human impact than the higher temperatures alone. For this reason, scientific research on climate change encompasses far more than surface temperature change. So “global climate change” is the more scientifically accurate term. Like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we’ve chosen to emphasize global climate change on this website, and not global warming.

Erik Conway
Global Climate Change

[Text, image, caption: NASA Earth Observatory; comment on UCS: FEWW]

Posted in global climate change, IPCC, NASA Earth Observatory | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pump, Pump, Pump Up the Volume!

Posted by feww on September 27, 2008

All CO2 Stats are Shooting Up!

Up goes the annual mean growth rate of atmospheric CO2 to 2.2 ppm for 2007.

  • Growth rate for 2006 : 1.8 ppm
  • Average rate for the period 2000-2007 : 2.0 ppm per year
  • Annual mean growth rate average for 1977-2007 :  1.5 ppm per year
  • Atmospheric CO2 concentration (2007) : 383 ppm  (37% higher than the preindustrial revolution levels of about 280 ppm (1750)
  • Current concentration of atmospheric CO2 is the highest level probably in the last 20 million years
  • Anthropogenic CO2 emissions have been growing about four times faster since 2000 than during the previous decade
  • Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel and land use change almost reached the mark of 10 billion tons of carbon in 2007
  • Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are growing x4 faster since 2000 than during the previous decade, exceeding the worst case emission scenario of IPCC
  • These changes imply a more critical impact on climate and sooner than expected

[ppm: parts per million]

Note: Based on FEWW calculations, the anthropogenic CO2 Emissions for 2007 almost reached 10.38 PgC.

Emissions increased from 6.2 PgC per year in 1990 to 8.5 PgC in 2007, a 38% increase from the Kyoto reference year 1990. The growth rate of emissions was 3.5% per year for the period of 2000-2007, an almost four fold increase from 0.9% per year in 1990-1999. (Source: Carbon Budget 2007 – Global Carbon Project).

[PgC: Petagrams of carbon. To convert to CO2 million metric tons, MMT, divide C figure by 12 and multiply by 44; e.g., 1PgC  is the equivalent of 3,666.67 MMT of CO2.]

(calculations based on the period 2000-2006) – Canadell et al. 2007, PNAS –
(Source: Carbon Budget 2007 – Global Carbon Project).

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Posted in Carbon Budget, Climate Change, Global Carbon Project, IPCC | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Stern Report: “a great toxic dump of doublespeak in truly Orwellian fashion”

Posted by feww on April 19, 2008

Government “expert” says he underestimated threat

LONDON (Reuters) – Climate change expert Nicholas Stern says he under-estimated the threat from global warming in a major report 18 months ago when he compared the economic risk to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Full Report

Oh, really?

Northern Spotted Owl. Credit SPUI

What’s the connection between climate change spinners, the government “experts”, Nicholas Stern, Chomskette and costly “mistakes?” Asked the Northern Spotted Owl.

The brief discussion that follows may shed some light on the answer. It started when  Founder of The Management School of Restorative Business [HS] made the following comment posted at [Caution: NASPIR could be an element in the UK Government’s covert operations.]

[Mon Dec 4, 2006 1:56 am] –

[HS] The Stern Report: Playing Politics with Ecology – Spin the Tailspin

The Stern report, Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, asserts:

“The risks of the worst impacts of climate change can be substantially reduced if greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere can be stabilised between 450 and 550ppm CO2.”

The opening salvo of environmental calamities, sparked about 30 years ago at levels of 330ppm CO2, has now begun to engulf humanity. Just how the report authors can presume an additional 28 percent increase in the CO2 pollution in the atmosphere [up on the current levels of 430ppm CO2] would create any semblance of stability is a great toxic dump of doublespeak in truly Orwellian fashion. [Emphasis added.]

[Mon Dec 4, 2006 7:36 am] –
A reply by Mr Milan Rai, biographer of Noam Chomsky and co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness UK:

Hi folks

It seems to me that we should distinguish between

1) whether this is a reasonable statement, on the facts
2) whether this is a reasonable goal.

> The Stern report, Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change,
> asserts:
> “The risks of the worst impacts of climate change can be substantially
> reduced if greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere can be stabilised
> between 450 and 550ppm CO2.”

1) This talks about the ‘worst impacts’ being less likely if greenhouse
gas levels can be stabilised at a level somewhat higher than we have now.
I can’t see how this is an unreasonable statement, given that the ‘worst
impacts’ would clearly be the result of unstabilised greenhouse gas levels
increasing to even higher levels.

2) Is it a reasonable goal to set this greenhouse gas level as the target?
That’s the real debate.

Best wishes


[Tue Dec 5, 2006 8:15 am]
[HS] Replied

Hello Milan

Syntax or semantics?

Tried the statement with 600ppm (instead of 550ppm), it read like Curry’s paradox (e.g., the statement must be true, since Santa exists.)

Then tried 650ppm, it turned into the liar’s paradox (e.g., the unstoppable positive feedback was triggered at much lower pollution levels. The unstoppable positive feedback can be stabilized [sic] at much higher pollution levels).

[REM: Average knowledge of ecology and feedback systems would be required—and the authors bank on the lack thereof—to realize the ramification of what happens to the system itself.]

Now let us try 700ppm. It turns to the fallacy of the beard (paradox of the heap or continuum fallacy) – if 300ppm is a safe level, then 400ppm is just 33percent higher, and 500ppm is a natural extension to 400ppm ad infinitum.

Take another shot at it, this time as dark humor. Does it not look like Bobby Henderson’s Flying Spaghetti Monster reasoning (reductio ad absurdum) vying for scientific legitimacy?

Interestingly, the syntax remains [deceptively] reasonable throughout!

Imagine being told about the advantages of drowning in shallower waters, while your benefactors [sic] are recommending measures to control drowning in deeper waters, [and shining a green light at the oil industry to keep on pumping out, and the airline and automobile industry to keep on clocking up those uncovered miles…]

Best wishes


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Posted in cabal, chomsky, Climate Change, environment, food, IPCC, mistakes, Nicholas Stern, Noam Chomsky, ORLY, politics, spinners, stern report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Greenland Ice Melt Faster Than IPCC Estimates

Posted by feww on December 11, 2007

“The amount of ice lost by Greenland over the last year is the equivalent of two times all the ice in the Alps, or a layer of water more than one-half mile deep covering Washington DC,” said Konrad Steffen of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Using satellite data, Steffen and his colleagues have monitored the rapid thinning of ice, which was 10 percent greater than the previous record year in 2005.

If all the ice in Greenland melted, about one-twentieth of the world’s total, the sea level would rise by 6.4 meters globally.


According to a National Snow and Ice Center report in May, the Arctic ice cap was melting much faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and was now about 30 years ahead of IPCC forecast. Read more…

Is melting ice the world’s foremost problem? Read more…

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    Posted in Al Gore, Climate Change, costal flooding, Global Warming, Greenland ice sheet, health, IPCC, National Snow and Ice Center, politics, sea level rise | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »