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The Climate Scoreboard

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, December 17th, 2009 - 41 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags:


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41 comments on “The Climate Scoreboard ”

  1. fizzleplug 1

    Pretty. Purely hypothetical, but pretty.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      “Purely hypothetical”

      That’s like saying nuclear winter is purely hypothetical just because we haven’t experienced it. Doesn’t mean we go about creating the conditions for it.

      Sure it hasn’t happened yet but it would be idiotic to wait until it does.

      • zelda 1.1.1

        Cant have Cannibal Polar Bears. That would be idiotic

      • grumpy 1.1.2

        Just send all your money to a TV evangelist, you never know – there may be a God.

        • Bright Red 1.1.2.1

          not the same thing.

          There is a huge body of evidence that a large nuclear exchange would cause nuclear winter and that relasing lots of greenhouse gases causes damaging climate change. given that evidence, it is wise to not do the things that will cause these events (despite the fact these events have never been casued in the past)

          There’s no evidence there is a god and so no reason to try to buy his favour.

          • grumpy 1.1.2.1.1

            Like this argument – depends who you talk to. Try going to Iran and saying there’s no God.

  2. zelda 2

    Its Lotto from Copenhagen.
    Lets spin the wheel again.
    Remind us again of the predictions from 20 years ago. The boat is still used on weekends and not to get to work

  3. ben 3

    Outright fakery. No, I am not denying warming, but charts like this are drivel given the extent of the uncertainty of future warming. 4.8C vs 3.9C. Please.

    This is the environmental movement in a nutshell. The entire enterprise operates through dumbing down to the point of absurdity, celebrity endorsement and pretty charts over substance, and by pretending big changes needn’t be difficult.

    “To save the climate, just text your name to 5050!”

    • grumpy 3.1

      So do you get the jingle in return?

      “thank you very much, thank you very very very much”

    • Bright Red 3.2

      ben. you can see in the video that those temperatures are the centres of a range of possible temperature outcomes resutlign fro the variosu scenarios.

      idiot.

    • lprent 3.3

      That is because so many of the people they are talking to are like you. Reckon that they know what they’re talking about – but don’t bother to actually read the data. Data isn’t as important as ‘instinct’ and cultural conditioning.

      Consequently facts don’t work to change peoples minds. But emotional responses to ‘celebrities’ and simplified facts does.

      Face it ben – you are the problem you’re complaining about.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.3.1

        This is the environmental movement in a nutshell. The entire enterprise operates through dumbing down to the point of absurdity, celebrity endorsement and pretty charts over substance, and by pretending big changes needn’t be difficult

        drill baby drill.

      • Winston Smith 3.3.2

        Hah that’s priceless – “facts” on the Stranded!

        Here’s a fact for you:

        Professor in climate change scandal helps police with enquiries while researchers call for him to be banned
        02nd December 2009
        Daily Mail UK

        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1232722/Professor-climate-change-scandal-helps-police-enquiries-researchers-banned.html#ixzz0Yaqgc9Vh

        [lprent: I suspect that you’re link-whoring again with cut’n’paste, which I’ve warned you about. The test is how much actual thought you put into it.. I’ll reduce it to your actual comments. If the comment part of the levl gets too low then I’ll zap the whole comment. ]

        • Winston Smith 3.3.2.1

          ooops that’s not a fact:
          you’ve never warned me about link-whoring

          [lprent: Umm that is correct – I warned you about cut’n’paste about a week ago. Look what I’ve been removing. ]

          • Winston Smith 3.3.2.1.1

            yet more manipulating of reality – you haven’t warned me about cutting or pasting either you plonker

            [lprent: 2 weeks ago. Doesn’t time fly.

            Key of the seven veils

            I’m already aware you probably didn’t read it – link whores and cut’n’paste gurus usually don’t actually read any follow-up. However that isn’t an excuse.
            Your choices now are to either apologize or get a ban – which one do you want?

            Incidentally the only reason that you are getting the choice is because when you aren’t cut and pasting you are able to write readable comments – why don’t you stick to those. However you obviously have an urge to getting banned. Arguing with me when I’m in sysop/moderator mode is clear evidence towards a wish for a metaphorical self-immolation. ]

      • Winston Smith 3.3.3

        here’s another fact:

        [deleted]

        http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/13830/?a=f

        [lprent: cut and paste removed. ]

      • Winston Smith 3.3.4

        woohoo here’s another fact:

        Ocean Conveyor’s ‘Pump’ Switches Back On

        [lprent: deleted]

        http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=282&cid=54347

        [lprent: It was mildly interesting last time, I’ll leave the link in. This is too little comment. ]

      • Winston Smith 3.3.5

        what’s that you say – another fact?

        [deleted]

        http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/13830/?a=f

        [lprent: too little. Added you to auto-moderation for further consideration of your comments.]

      • Winston Smith 3.3.6

        [deleted]
        [lprent: cut’n’paste. Not even a link…]

  4. grumpy 4

    From a contributor to “The Times”. Sort of makes points that are very relevant to New Zealand – don’t you think?

    So if PEOPLE are causing the CO2 that’s going to destroy the world, and we each HALVE our production of CO2, when the populations doubles we’ll be back in exactly the same position we are now, won’t we? So therefore, the government will be encouraging a decrease in population. Oh, but they’re not are they.
    OK then, maybe the government are ensuring that no homes can be built in low-lying areas, or flood plains, or on the coast. Oh, no, they’re not doing that either are they.
    They’re proposing a carbon trading scheme whereby the international money markets can make money out of global warming while contributing nothing. And UK factories producing wind turbine components are closing down and the trade moving overseas.
    Tell me again, who is this for exactly, because it doesn’t seem to be the UK voters.

  5. grumpy 5

    Yeah, I know it’s a cut and paste but I can’t help it, it was just too good and I didn’t want to do an Witi.

    • lprent 5.1

      Cut’n’paste is ok subject to a few loose rules.

      1. You have to write some relevant commentary (you did)

      2. It must be clearly identified as quoting
      (you sort of did – in your text. blockquotes are easier – see the faq)

      3. You should provide a link if one is available (you didn’t).
      This means that other people can point out when you quoted
      out of context, or those embarrassing bits that got ‘forgotten’.

      4. You have to not pissed off the moderators recently violating the above.
      To check some of them we tend to do google searches if suspicous.
      Wastes our time, and we react accordingly. It reduces our workload
      in the future.

      5. It is a good idea to note when you miss one of these so we know that
      you’re aware of it. Then we don’t bother doing any work (and get pissed off)

      It is all simple common-sense if you consider that we don’t want the comments section a dumping ground for cut and paste, like links and hearing peoples coherent thoughts, and don’t like working too hard.

  6. Herodotus 6

    So we are accepting of an increase of 1.5 – 2 degrees? What cost is that going to be on the world what will sea levels do even at this increase, food production, animal diversity. This is just advertising “gimmikery”. Nos with no meaning, are these 5 organisations est the lower, mid or upper levels?
    There has been some interesting and with depth commentary, sorry r0b from someone who has limited knowledge but has an interest this just cheepens the topic for me anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The 1.5 to 2 degrees is lower than where the climatologists think that runaway climate change will happen. Of course, they’re only guessing at those numbers.

      Say one thing about that scoreboard – it’s very, very conservative. Estimates lately have been 6 degrees by ~2055+ under the most likely scenario – Business as usual – and that is a catastrophic rise. Under that you will see 90% of life on Earth eradicated.

  7. barry 7

    I agree with the sentiment, but I wonder if they are not overegging the pudding.

    1. A goal of 1.5 degrees of warming is impossible, unless we stop emitting now. We have already had warming of nearly 1 degree, and another half a degree is in the pipeline, it just takes time for the climate to reach equilibrium.

    2. The climate sensitivity is still 2-3 degrees per doubling of CO2 equivalent. If we add in other greenhouse gases and deforestation, we have reached approximately one doubling over the last 200 years. To get to an increase of 4+ degrees by 2100 would require another doubling, which would mean CO2 equivalent to get to 1000 ppm. the world doesn’t have enough oil or forests. It would mean a massive surge in coal use, not really Business as Usual. I agree that continued economic growth relying on fossil fuels would get us there, but only ignoring some physical limits.

    Of course there might be nonlinear effects and tipping points that make it happen, but the scientific evidence for them is not sufficient to consider them the main scenario.

    My take is that BAU involves an increase in non-CO2 energy sources of necessity, as growth outstrips the oil supply. By 2100 the world will have warmed another 1.5 degree C (with another half a degree committed, even if emissions have stopped by then). A sensible agreement to reduce emissions starting now, could reduce this to 1 degree C, with hardly any more warming to come. The difference is half a degree in 2100, and one degree by 2150. That may not sound a lot, but it would make a difference of 1 metre of sea level rise, and maybe some glaciers might remain in the Himalayas etc.

    To summarise: a goal of 2 degrees C rise by 2100 is achievable, with meaningful cuts, otherwise we are going to see 2.5 degrees by 2100, and 3 degrees by 2150. 3 degrees will mean that some parts of the world change radically, in their land use, population patterns. 2 degrees will already be very bad for some people.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The climate sensitivity is still 2-3 degrees per doubling of CO2 equivalent.

      You seem to be seriously misreading that. From my reading you would get 3 degrees for a doubling of CO2 if everything else remained the same. Albedo changes from melting glaciers, disappearing Arctic ice and increased desertification also add forcings to the climate. These forcings are a result of the increasing temperature and produce feedback loops which increase the amount of warming for the same amount of CO2. It’s not all about the gas but about the whole changes that occur.

      Of course there might be nonlinear effects and tipping points that make it happen, but the scientific evidence for them is not sufficient to consider them the main scenario.

      So, not knowing how positive feedback loops will affect AGW is reason to ignore it?

      • barry 7.1.1

        No, The climate sensitivity includes the effect of feedbacks. Without feedbacks it would only be about 1 degree C.

        No, we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of nonlinear effects. However, it is most likely that they won’t happen. I am not saying that 4.8 degrees temperature rise is not possible, but the BAU expected temperature rise (based on the best available evidence) is somewhat less.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1

          Yeah, no.
          http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/climate-sensitivity/

          Climate sensitivity is a measure of the equilibrium global surface air temperature change for a particular forcing. It is usually given as a °C change per W/m2 forcing. A standard experiment to determine this value in a climate model is to look at the doubled CO2 climate, and so equivalently, the climate sensitivity is sometimes given as the warming for doubled CO2 (i.e. from 280 ppm to 560 ppm). The forcing from doubled CO2 is around 4 W/m2 and so a sensitivity of 3°C for a doubling, is equivalent to a sensitivity of 0.75 °C/W/m2. The principal idea is that if you know the sum of the forcings, you can estimate what the eventual temperature change will be.

          http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/11/forcings/

          Forcings in the climate sense are external boundary conditions or inputs to a climate model. Obviously changes to the sun’s radiation are external, and so that is always a forcing. The same is true for changes to the Earth’s orbit (‘Milankovitch cycles’). Things get a little more ambigous as you get closer to the surface. In models that do not contain a carbon cycle (and that is most of them), the level of CO2 is set externally, and so that can be considered a forcing too. However, in models that contain a carbon cycle, changes in CO2 concentrations will occur as a function of the climate itself and in changes in emissions from industrial activity. In that case, CO2 levels will be a feedback, and not a forcing.

          No, we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of nonlinear effects. However, it is most likely that they won’t happen.

          We don’t know exactly what will happen but the scientists are absolutely terrified of it and have gone to the effort of saying that more than 2 degrees will cause runaway climate change and you’re sitting there, in your ignorance, and saying that it doesn’t matter because it won’t be much.

          • barry 7.1.1.1.1

            There is nothing special about the target of 2 degrees. At some stage the system will become nonlinear, but nobody has any idea what temperature will cause it. That said 2 degrees maximum is a sensible target. It is probably safe (as in avoiding runaway climate change), and possibly achievable.

            I hope that the world can come to its senses and stop tinkering with the climate system. We don’t understand enough of how it works to be sanguine about any increase in CO2 loading. However, I think we should be sticking to the best evidence, instead of presenting the more extreme possibilities as certainties.

            Oh and:

            see
            http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/235402/global-warming/274836/Feedback-mechanisms-and-climate-sensitivity

            “Climate sensitivity can be defined as the amount of surface warming resulting from each additional watt per square metre of radiative forcing. Alternatively, it is sometimes defined as the warming that would result from a doubling of CO2 concentrations and the associated addition of 4 watts per square metre of radiative forcing. In the absence of any additional feedbacks, climate sensitivity would be approximately 0.25 °C (0.45 °F) for each additional watt per square metre of radiative forcing. Stated alternatively, if the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere present at the start of the industrial age (280 ppm) were doubled (to 560 ppm), the resulting additional 4 watts per square metre of radiative forcing would translate into a 1 °C (1.8 °F) increase in air temperature. However, there are additional feedbacks that exert a destabilizing, rather than stabilizing, influence (see below), and these feedbacks tend to increase the sensitivity of climate to somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0 °C (0.9 and 1.8 °F) for each additional watt per square metre of radiative forcing.”

            • lprent 7.1.1.1.1.1

              There is nothing special about the target of 2 degrees. At some stage the system will become nonlinear, but nobody has any idea what temperature will cause it. That said 2 degrees maximum is a sensible target. It is probably safe (as in avoiding runaway climate change), and possibly achievable.

              And a good starting point to hit before we start dropping the emissions. However it would not pay to use that as a long-term target.

              At present the oceans is adsorbing a considerable quantity (between 60% and 80%) of the emissions over the last couple of centuries – largely in the cooler long-turn over currents. They will continue to do so at a reducing efficiency (ie as the average CO2 concentration in seawater goes up, the absorption rate goes down). They are effectively storing those gases, but at some stage a high proportion will return to the atmosphere when the water warms causing a slow spike in emissions.

              Similarly the icepacks and sheets are also adsorbing heat and melting. Effectively these are cold stores sucking up current heat rises. But they will not rebuild under the warmer temperatures you’re envisaging.

              So even if we don’t trigger a run-away in the near term, stabilize the climate on reduced emissions from the current, and hit 2C as a stable world temperature increase. The world still has to reduce emissions to cope with previously stored emissions resurfacing – with less buffering available. ie there is a time bomb in the ocean currents.

              Right now the concern is to stop the rate of increase in emissions. The longer term issue is to be able to cope with the emissions that we’ve already put into cold storage.

              Looks to me like you need to do some more reading.

              • barry

                “And a good starting point to hit before we start dropping the emissions. However it would not pay to use that as a long-term target.”

                Actually we have to stop emitting to stabilise the temperature. If we keep emitting, the CO2 level rises, and the temperature keeps rising. If we keep CO2 levels where they are, the temperature will keep rising for a while and then level off. Some of the temperature rise has been reduced by the effects of air pollution, and more temperature rise is anticipated, as Asia becomes cleaner.

                The only way not to overreach 2 degrees is to get a sharp decline in emissions, reaching close to zero in 50 years.
                Even if we stop emitting greenhouse gases today, the temperature will keep rising and will stay more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels for centuries. The only way to bring it back down, would be to remove CO2 from the air (i.e negative emissions).

                None of this excuses the ClimateScoreboard for overstating the expected temperature rise.

        • lprent 7.1.1.2

          No, we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of nonlinear effects. However, it is most likely that they won’t happen.

          They will happen. The only question is when. Soon as we tip something over, or later when all that CO2 stored in ocean currents releases. The latter one will happen, it is part of the normal ocean cycle.

          • barry 7.1.1.2.1

            Perhaps, except there is no sign of it in the measurements.

            Atmospheric CO2 levels keep on rising at just under 2ppm each year. No sign of any acceleration, or sharp jumps. This accounts for about half of human emissions.

            Sea levels are increasing at a roughly constant level of just over 3 mm per year. This is an increase over the last century’s average of about 2mm per year, but there are no signs of jumps.

            Of course there are local nonlinear effects, and some areas experience sudden changes in climate. However the overall climate seems to be changing quite smoothly.

            Perhaps when the arctic is completely ice-free that feedback will stop and temperature rise will slow.

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