Climate experts agree: Global warming caused unprecedented Russian heat wave

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"Climate experts agree: Global warming caused unprecedented Russian heat wave"

Carver: “Without contributions from anthropogenic climate change, I don’t think this event would have reached such extremes or even happened at all.”

The World Meteorological Organization says this “unprecedented sequence of extreme weather events … matches IPCC projections of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming.”  NASA says July 2010 is “What Global Warming Looks Like.”

Top climate scientists — Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at UK’s Met Office and Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research — have been making the link  between the record-smashing  extreme weather and human caused global warming (see here)

In this cross-post, Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has more on what scientists are saying, including Meteorologist Rob Carver, the Research and Development Scientist for Weather Underground.
As Russia chokes from a heat wave of unprecedented ferocity, president Dmitry Medvedev has strengthened his call for the world’s leaders to take action to fight global warming pollution. The scientific community has warned for decades that burning coal and oil without limit would intensify heat waves, droughts, and floods. Now that the planet is at its hottest in recorded history, freak climate disasters are arriving with increasing frequency. Some scientists are now stating the obvious: Russia’s heat wave simply would not have happened without the influence of fossil fuel pollution on our atmosphere. University of Texas climate scientist Michael Tobis is “hazarding a guess” that “the Russian heat wave of 2010 is the first disaster unequivocally attributable to anthropogenic climate change”:

But right now I feel like hazarding a guess. As far as I understand, nothing like this has happened before in Moscow. . . . The formerly remarkable heat wave of 2001, then, is “the sort of thing we’ll see more of” with global warming. But it may turn out reasonable, in the end, to say “the Russian heat wave of 2010 is the first disaster unequivocally attributable to anthropogenic climate change.”

Meteorologist Rob Carver, the Research and Development Scientist for Weather Underground, agrees. Using a statistical analysis of historical temperature records, Dr. Carver estimates that the likelihood of Moscow’s 100-degree record on July 29 is on the order of once per thousand years, or even less than once every 15,000 years “” in other words, a vanishingly small probability. However, those tiny odds are based on the assumption that the long-term climate is stable, an assumption that is no longer true.

Like Dr. Tobis, Carver believes that manmade global warming has fundamentally altered weather patterns to produce the killer Russian heat wave. “Without contributions from anthropogenic climate change,” Carver said in an email interview with the Wonk Room, “I don’t think this event would have reached such extremes or even happened at all”:

I agree with Michael Tobis’s take at Only In It For the Gold that something systematic has changed to alter the global circulation and you’ll need a coupled atmosphere/ocean global model to understand what’s going on. My hunch is that a warming Arctic combined with sea-surface-temperature teleconnections altered the global circulation such that a blocking ridge formed over western Russia leading to the unprecedented drought/heat wave conditions. Without contributions from anthropogenic climate change, I don’t think this event would have reached such extremes or even happened at all. (You may quote me on that.)

Just as the Russian heat wave is fueled by global warming, so is the rest of the world’s killer climate. World-renowned climatologist Kevin Trenberth explained in an interview with Wired’s Brandon Keim that the Eurasian heat wave is part of the even larger circulation pattern that has produced the catastrophic southeast Asia monsoon:

The two things are connected on a very large scale, through what we call an overturning or monsoonal circulation. There is a monsoon where upwards motion is being fed by the very moist air that’s going onshore, and there are exceptionally heavy rains. That drives rising air. That air has to come down somewhere. Some of it comes down over the north.

Dr. Rob Carver’s analysis of the statistical likelihood of the Moscow heatwave:

Now, let’s take a look at July 29, when it cracked 100 F at Moscow Shermetyevo. By our records, the reported high was 37.78 deg C and the normal high for that day is 20.0 deg C. According to GDAS, the maximum temperature for Moscow on July 29 was 35.85 deg C and the normal temperature according to CFSR is 20.6. Using the techniques of Hart and Grumm (2001), the climatological anomaly for maximum temperature is 3.9 deg C.

So, using the GDAS and CFSR data, the normalized anomaly of maximum temperature was +3.1. That’s near a recurrence interval of once per thousand years which matches the quotes I’ve heard from Russian met agencies. Now, if we assume the climatological anomaly derived from CFSR data is the same of the observations, the normalized anomaly jumps to +4.5, which translates into “less than once every 15,788″³.

That however, is a tricky assumption to make. We know that the climatic properties of CFSR and GDAS data have to have some correspondence with what’s actually happens in the atmosphere, otherwise weather models wouldn’t work. What becomes difficult to quantify (in the time constraints of writing for the public) is how the statistics of the climate properties line up between observations and reanalysis. And at these extremes, it doesn’t take much change in the average and standard deviation of a property to dramatically change how unusual an event is. Another possible source of error is the assumption that the climatology of CFSR is the climatology of the operational GDAS. Which is not a slam-dunk since NCEP shifted to a higher-resolution model on July 28. Now, I don’t have any information to say the post July 28 GDAS data has different climatological characteristics, but it’s a possibility. Another big assumption I make is that daily maximum temperatures follow a Gaussian (normal) distribution and that from 30 years of CFSR data, I can adequately characterize such a distribution.

Next week in Colorado, climate scientists “will meet to consider how we can provide better information on the causes of extreme weather in near-real time,” writes Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the UK Meteorological Office.<
Global warming is one reason” for the rare spate of weather extremes, Friedrich-Wilhelm Gerstengarbe, a professor at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, tells Reuters.
— Brad Johnson

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52 Responses to Climate experts agree: Global warming caused unprecedented Russian heat wave

  1. Wind4me says:

    When will we as a society STOP building coal and build more wind???

  2. fj2 says:

    This is what will be driving change and the future.

    Ignoring this will be equivalent to being out of one’s mind.

  3. Jason Calley says:

    OK, just for the sake of full disclosure and honesty in posting, I admit up front that I am one of those skeptics and deniers that are spoken of. I do, however, try to read both sides of things in an attempt to overcome any confirmation bias I may have. This article is a good example of why I am still so skeptical.

    Repeatedly, when a brief blow of record setting cold passes through a localized area, skeptics are reminded that “it’s just weather, not climate!” True. Very true.

    [JR: Uhh, what once in a thousand year record cold are you referring to. Disinformers trumpet non-record setting cold (like this winter, which was record-setting hot!). We focus on record-smashing extreme events.]

    Now, here are you guys doing the same thing with a heat wave. I have lived in various places for enough decades that I have personally witnessed heat waves and floods that were then ballyhooed as “once in a century,” “once in five centuries,” “once in a thousand years!” The world is a big place. “Once in a thousand year” events happen FAR more often than most people think.

    [JR: Three links would give you credibility. Heck, one would. Documented “Once in a thousand year” events rarely, rarely happen. The Moscow event is beyond “Once in a thousand years” — see Russian Meteorological Center: “There was nothing similar to this on the territory of Russia during the last one thousand years in regard to the heat.”]

    You lead with quotes from Dr. Tobis. After the various verbal dependent clauses are removed, Dr. Tobis is “hazarding a guess” that “it may turn out that” the heat is “unequivocally attributable” to global warming. Isn’t that like saying “Perhaps I am certain!”? Well, I’ll hazard a guess that more of you paid attention to the “unequivocally” than paid attention to the “guess” or to the “may.”

    Dr. Carver estimates the likelyhood of the heat wave as between once a thousand years and once per fifteen thousand years — a variation in one and a half magnitudes of order — but the caveat that those figures are based on a stable climate. OK, let’s look at climate stability during the range he is speaking of. Anyone know what the climate was fifteen thousand years ago? Anyone? Did I hear “Ice Age”? The temperature swings experienced on a fifteen thousand year scale are MUCH bigger than the current, transitory, up-tic around Moscow. Ginormously larger.

    [JR: You self-proclaimed deniers should stop repeating the talking points and actually study the science. The climate has been amazingly stable with a narrow temperature window for 10,000 years, which is what has given us modern human civilization capable of sustaining (well, seemingly sustaining) nearly 7,000,000,000 people. Now the climate is 10,000 changing faster than it has in 1 million years, rapidly taking us outside that narrow window.]

    I do not expect anyone reading this post to magically renounce belief in catastrophic man-made global warming. That is not my purpose. I do, however, hope that you will at least use a more reasoned defense of your opinions.

    [JR: You folks are beyond reason. If you were open to a “reasoned defense” you wouldn’t be a denier of basic science.]

  4. Peter Mizla says:

    With CO2 rising so rapidly- & at 390ppm now- are the conclusions by The World Meteorological Organization really a surprise>?

    Its time to dispense with the ‘weather that is a day to day occurrence and has great variability…… and any one event cannot be said to be caused by AGW’………

    Perhaps the general media should follow the example the WMO

  5. Bob Ashworth says:

    Jason,

    I understand what you are saying, but one of the most likely outcomes of global warming has been predicted as an increase in extreme weather patterns. Not that these have never happened before, but that there frequency, duration and intensity will increase. All the research points to this likelihood. See the the following BBC report from 6 years ago.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3559426.stm

  6. Bob Ashworth says:

    PS The only way we can know for sure this is happening is when it is getting too late to do anything to mitigate it. Is that a risk worth taking?

  7. fj2 says:

    3. Jason Calley, “This article is a good example of why I am still so skeptical.”

    The species would not have survived this long if it did not have a certain functional reality.

    And, a wide diversity of ways of dealing with things provides certain advantages.

    Survive we must and a sense of what is real must prevail.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy assists the cessation of unreal thoughts.

  8. Turboblocke says:

    I notice the use of the term “catastrophic man-made globalwarming” in post 3. Elsewhere I’ve seen CAGW: I think this is a rebranding exercise from the deniers. As the evidence is now so strong for AGW that if the deniers try to deny it’s happening they just look foolish, they are now touting a benign form of AGW: the sort that helps you save on your heating bill in the winter.

    So to differentiate it, classic, IPCC type AGW is now being called CAGW.

  9. Mark says:

    It would be helpful if these people could produce something a little stronger than

    “. But it may turn out reasonable, in the end, to say “the Russian heat wave of 2010 is the first disaster unequivocally attributable to anthropogenic climate change.”

    I guess this is the “scientific” way to say this, but I don’t think it will influence many people, or open up many closed minds.

    As evidenced by the use of the phrase by “jason” above.

  10. Chris Winter says:

    Jason Calley wrote: ” ‘Once in a thousand year’ events happen FAR more often than most people think.”

    Please provide some examples. Also, please indicate who is calling such events “once in a thousand years” events.

    I applaud your up-front admission that you are “one of those skeptics and deniers that are spoken of.” But you should know that those terms are not used interchangeably, at least not on this side of the fence.

    It is true that one heat wave does not unequivocally confirm global warming. None of the scientists quoted said that the Russian heat wave of 2010 does. They do speculate that it may later be found to have been the harbinger of such events.

    However, the full context of their remarks makes it clear they are looking at all the recent extreme events. And that is the crux of the matter. There has been a series of extreme weather events, including: extreme rainfall in the U.S. southeast; extreme heat and drought in Australia; unprecedented uncold in the western U.S. and Canada (permitting pine bark beetles to flourish); and finally the flooding in Pakistan and the Moscow-area heat wave.

    All these things lend weight to the belief that climate change is happening as projected. So does the trend in heat records vs. cold records, in which the former continue to greatly outnumber the latter. In fact, what we are facing here is what’s known by legal eagles as “a preponderance of evidence.” It has to be considered in toto.

  11. Chris Winter says:

    Mark wrote: “It would be helpful if these people could produce something a little stronger…”

    Quite right. And this is the heart of the “double ethical bind” dilemma that the late Dr. Stephen Schneider described in his book Science as a Contact Sport. (I’m working on a review, btw; guess I’d best get cracking.)

    Scientists are caught between the need to be accurate, by including all the conditions and qualifications that apply to their conclusions, and the need to hold the attention of the public, which demands short simple sentences.

    It’s a difficult path to tread successfully, especially when there’s a small army of folks ready to pounce on any omission as proof that the scientist is exaggerating and hence can’t be trusted. And that’s why scientists with Dr. Schneider’s gifts of communication are so rare.

  12. mike roddy says:

    wind4me: When
    1. More and better long distance transmission is planned
    2. Permitting and zoning hurdles are overcome
    3. More local utilities follow California’s lead and institute preferential purchase of renewables
    4. Merchant banks specializing in power plants begin factor risks of coal and gas plants, such as carbon pricing and air and water pollution

  13. llewelly says:

    Jason Calley August 14, 2010 at 8:55 am:

    Now, here are you guys doing the same thing with a heat wave. I have lived in various places for enough decades that I have personally witnessed heat waves and floods that were then ballyhooed as “once in a century,” “once in five centuries,” “once in a thousand years!” The world is a big place. “Once in a thousand year” events happen FAR more often than most people think.

    A mistake common among non-experts is to combine extreme weather events of many different sorts into the same category. However, estimates of the chance of a given extreme weather event are specific to individual types of extreme weather events. If the chance of a heat wave of a particular magnitude is assessed to be 1 in 1000 annually, and the chance of flood is also assessed to be 1 in 1000 annually, the chance that one or the other will occur in any given year is not 1 in 1000. It’s higher. (It would be just less than 2 in 1000 if floods and heat waves were independent events, but they are not.)

    A related mistake is to group together weather extreme which happen in different regions. But the assessment of the chance of a particular weather extreme is region specific.

    Here, Jason Calley makes both these mistakes. This causes confusion about whether some types of extreme weather events are becoming more common, which is the most important question with respect to global warming.

    Jason Calley also conflates Michael Tobis’ use of the qualifier “may turn out reasonable” to qualify his statement about what sorts of statements scientists may be able to defensibly say in the future, with a the qualifier “unequivocally”, which is properly part of the example statement Tobis uses. The two seemingly conflicting qualifiers are not applied to the same statements.

    Pet peeve: Describing a weather extreme which would have a 1 in 1000 annual chance of occurring if weather was stationary and consistent with historical statistics as a “once in a 1000 years” weather extreme contributes to terrible misconceptions among non-experts; a 1 in 1000 annual chance does not mean the event can only happen once in any given 1000 year period. If such an event happens in a particular place in 1998, that does not mean another such event cannot happen in the same place in 1999. If the events were independently random, 1999 would have the same 1 in 1000 chance of having a like event. In fact – for many times of weather events there is substantial auto-correlation, and those sorts of extremes are more likely to be grouped together than spaced apart.

  14. frank says:

    The debate isn’t over!

    1. The Russian heat waves are nothing unusual.
    2. The Russian heat waves are unusual, but they also have beneficial side effects.
    3. The Russian heat waves are unusual and bad, but fixing the problem will kill The Economy, and that’s, of course, even badder.
    4. The Russian heat waves are unusual and bad and should be fixed, but climate regulation violates the United States Constitution.
    5. The Russian heat waves are in fact caused by a UN-led conspiracy to impose a Marxist-Leninist World Government.
    6. The so-called Russian heat waves are a hoax.
    7. FREEDUM!!!!! SECOND AMENDMENT!!!! GUNZ!!!!!! OBAMA MUSLIM!!!!!!

    frank

  15. darth says:

    I think anyone who uses the word “ginormous” in their argument can simply be ignored.

  16. J Bowers says:

    Re. Jason Calley: ”‘Once in a thousand year’ events happen FAR more often than most people think.”

    Indeed, they used to happen once in a thousand years. However, this century…

  17. S. Molnar says:

    I think what Jason Calley is trying to say is that this would be good news for dinosaurs if they weren’t extinct. I can’t say that I disagree.

  18. Gladys says:

    Due to globalwarming I probably will have to move my family to another planet. The sun is melting my children and the raging river just sweapt away my only house

  19. Peter Mizla says:

    #18

    You nay be closer to ” Due to global warming I probably will have to move my family to another planet” THEN you think.

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    Islamabad – Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Saturday that the catastrophic floods had affected 20 million people in his country, up from an earlier UN estimate of 14 million victims, as Pakistan marked a very muted celebration of independence day.

    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/339392,displaced-floods-summary.html

  21. Colorado Bob says:

    Russian Wildfires Create Towering Dirty Clouds

    Satellite images of the vast plumes of smoke emanating from the peat bog fires currently sweeping across Russia are revealing a worrisome phenomenon: so-called pyrocumulonimbus clouds.

    http://www.livescience.com/environment/russia-fires-smoke-plumes-pollution-100813.html

  22. Wit'sEnd says:

    Arctic boreholes reveal the permafrost is thawing – 2 degrees C warmer than 20 to 30 years ago:

    http://thearcticsounder.com/article/1032borehole_network_confirms_permafrost_is

    (ignore mistake in article, 2C does not equal 35.6F, the rate equivalent should be 3.6F)

    And the pathetic thing is, there isn’t enough funding for the scientists to monitor the rate of thawing!

  23. Mark says:

    Frank, @14, you forgot about the the bilderbergers, and the ufo’s.

  24. Colorado Bob says:

    Floods in Pakistan’s south take huge toll on farmers
    In Pakistan’s Punjab province, rice, sugar cane and mango growers have seen their land submerged, leaving them to ponder how to survive without the crops that sustain them.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pakistan-breadbasket-20100814,0,633559.story

  25. Wit'sEnd says:

    Frank forgot the contrails too…but then, it’s so hard to keep track of it all…

  26. Adam R. says:

    Jason Calley says:
    I do, however, try to read both sides of things in an attempt to overcome any confirmation bias I may have.

    Apparently, you do no such thing. If you did, you would know there is nothing happening in the “cold” direction that remotely matches the recent warming events.

    Faux skepticism FAIL.

  27. Jeffrey Davis says:

    #4: Current event is ~4 standard deviations outside of normal.

    Snow in DC in February? Not so much

  28. LearDog says:

    How does one ‘hazard a guess’ that something is unequivocal?

    I’m embarrassed for Dr. Tobis and Univ of Texas.

  29. catman306 says:

    I want my old climate back. You will too.

    The incredibly complex amalgam of interconnected systems that is Gaia has spent tens of millions of years building us a stable climate with which to flourish.. It was very short sighted of us to break that climate. Billions of humans may die over the next decades because a broke climate won’t support as many of us as there are now. Weather disaster may play out over months, not the 24 hour news cycle.

    Futurists will want to study Pakistan with its floods and the recovery. Such study will shed much light on future weather disasters on populations..

    Doesn’t it seem intuitive that a species that evolved in forests and came down out of the trees to walk upon the earth, needs a climate that will support great expanses of forests? We’re not nearly as removed from the environment as some people would like to believe. When the climate changes and the environment fails, we fail, too.

  30. Chris Winter says:

    LearDog wrote: “How does one ‘hazard a guess’ that something is unequivocal?”

    One does not. Read Dr. Tobis’s words again, slowly this time.

  31. Lore says:

    LearDog quote:
    ———–
    “How does one ‘hazard a guess’ that something is unequivocal?

    I’m embarrassed for Dr. Tobis and Univ of Texas.”
    ———–

    It would seem you have a low threshold for embarrassment, or else you could really make a point.

  32. If the deniers are seeking some sort of incontrovertible evidence that the Earth has passed a tipping point and entered the so-called “Catastrophic Anthropic Global Warming” era, I’m quite confident that they will see such evidence within a decade. This is a purely intuitive statement, though, and not based upon any sort of scientific technique or computer models.

    I am also quite confident that incontrovertible evidence of Peak Oil will appear within ten years, with or without an economic recovery. Though it is quite likely that the Peak Oil signal will be lost in the thicket of catastrophes which shall afflict and overwhelm civilization soon.

    I could predict that incontrovertible evidence that the United States is in a Depression (as opposed to a Recession or even worse the media creatd mythological monster called the “Double-Dip Recession”). There is plenty of evidence that millions of Americans are realizing that they don’t have a safety net. Numerous local and state governments have also reached the same realization. The only question at this point is how soon will the Federal government realize that the Magical Infinity Money machine has stopped working and along with its death to Perpetual Motion Machine of Eternal Economic Growth has also died.

    What we are presently observing in this world is the convergence of catastrophes, each one individually sufficient to deal the death blow to technological civilization but collectively they are powerful enough to bring an end to humankind’s existence.

    Extinction happens.

    Humankind’s survival isn’t guaranteed by either God or Nature or the Universe. But the conservatives don’t need to worry, though, because they are correct in saying that humans aren’t powerful enough to destroy the Earth. There is life after humankind.

    Nature moves on and peace returns to the Earth post-humankind.

  33. Mike#22 says:

    #31, “It was very short sighted of us to break that climate” It would be if we had done that. Time’s not quite up yet.

  34. john kearns says:

    What can be inferred from occurrences of events which have never been observed before – especially if similar events have been rare? How well do extremes estimate means and variances? I am more comfortable with the assertion than a small changes in the means, medians, or variances of something might predict more frequent outliers than I am with saying that more frequent outliers indicate changes in the values of the ordinary have already happened.

    What does an observed “bell-shaped” curve really look like far from the center? Without a great many observations no one could know.

  35. Jacob Mack says:

    The latest lies regarding AGW:

    A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF MULTIPLE TEMPERATURE
    PROXIES: ARE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF SURFACE
    TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST 1000 YEARS RELIABLE?

    The full PDF is available free online and was recently featured on Watts. They start out with a overly simplified explanation of proxies and then they improperly weigh the averages from the proxy data.

    [JR: As Gavin Schmidt Real Climate notes, “The M&W paper will likely take some time to look through (especially since it isn’t fully published and the SI does not seem to be available yet), but I’m sure people will indeed be looking. I note that one of their conclusions “If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years” is completely in line with the analogous IPCC AR4 statement. But this isn’t the thread for this, so let’s leave discussion for when there is a fuller appreciation for what’s been done. – gavin.”]

  36. Scott B says:

    Can we Americans do something abrupt, radical, as we did when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941?
    By 1942, as a consequence of the war, all automobile construction for consumers was halted in the United States. In my website,
    http://www.maxattainablespeed.blogspot.com
    I propose that we curtail the speed of all highway vehicles, so they can only, physically, travel 55 KMph (34mph) top speed. Above 34 mph, the effects of aerodynamics significantly affect fuel consumption. In addition, engines and frames, all components would get lighter, roads would get less costly, etc etc. And it can be done to existing vehicles, using escapement mechanisms. Rather than wait for electric cars (at an optimistic one million per year) to supplant the US fleet of 220 million vehicles anytime soon, a new industry (employment!!) that actually saves everyone money (and promotes less oil/gasoline consumption) would be the manufacture and installation of escapement mechanisms. Many many benefits to this plan. Shall we take the Russian heat wave/Pakistani floods to initiate some “party’s over” sober planning??

  37. Prokaryotes says:

    Scott B , #37 “I propose that we curtail the speed of all highway vehicles”

    Curtail all vehicles which use fossil energy.

  38. Raul M. says:

    Two very different outcomes from the
    study of Earth Science.
    One) A study through the years by various
    means and sources of the laws of
    Nature that produces the weather
    norms that made the development
    of mankind possible from the time
    say early Egypt to Greek to 1700
    Europe. In some ways the study
    is easier because of less complexities
    in the historical possibilities.
    Two) A study that takes into account human
    involvement in the natural forcing
    of climate from the 1700’s.

    Study one is optimistic and reveals the glory
    God?
    Study two is pessimistic and reveals many who
    didn’t want to know that there is a new bad?

  39. Raul M. says:

    So, if Mother Earth and Father Time
    manifest themselves and Mother Earth
    says to mankind if you want fair weather
    you will need to clean up the air and
    oceans and lands. And Father Time adds
    yes yours is the greater bad.
    My guess is were are cooked and not
    many indicators are pointing to the
    divine intervention that will save us.

  40. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    ScottB at 37 –

    Cutting US vehicle emissions as you describe could be done abruptly, but even if they were to be halved to match average EU emissions, that would hardly be a radical step given the scale and urgency of the problem.

    Demonstrating US leadership by committing unilaterally to a national emissions cut of 43% off 1990 by 2020, thereby exceeding the planned UK target of 42% (once it has got EU policy raised from 20% to 30%) – that would be radical.

    Demonstrating US integrity by committing to grant-fund its share of afforestation for biochar worldwide to recover the ~85GTs of its damaging historical carbon emissions in the next few decades – that would be radical.

    Demonstrating US will by committing publicly to negotiating an equitable and efficient allocation of future national emission rights under the declining global GHG budget – that would be radical.

    Perhaps it needs saying once more that the tertiary and diversionary nature of techno reductions in fossil fuel usage are very evident once they are seen as addressing just a part of the CO2 problem, which is just a part of the GHG problem, and as being disfunctional until a binding global treaty is in operation. Until then, any fossil fuels displaced are being, and will be, bought and burnt elsewhere.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  41. hapa says:

    my favorite part of all this is last year the russian powers-that-be thought climate science was an attack on them dating back to anti-communism. this has never been about how capitalism affects the world; in our country big money is the vector; in all cases dirty industry is the disease.

    the bigger socialists in the US version of the argument are the big biz deniers, arguing that they get to keep the pollution revenue and the rest of pay the cleanup bill. more corporate welfare, another bailout.

    we’ve already proven in court multiple times that this pollution is dangerous and costly. everything that needs to be done has been done to show that ‘free markets’ are being hustled by these companies. remaining deniers are patsies, haters, or paid spokespeople.

  42. mike roddy says:

    Lewis, #41- I like the way you lay out the program.

    It’s clear after Copenhagen that international agreements based on conscience won’t get done. There are going to have to be sticks, in the form of tariffs based on products’ embedded fossil fuel energy and deforestation. I don’t know why world leaders don’t even bring this up, unless the banks have them all trained to mouth the words about free trade and globalization.

  43. Mike says:

    Front page story in Sunday’s NYT print edition:

    Is Weather Chaos Linked to Warming? Probably

    Here is the on line version:

    In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/science/earth/15climate.html?_r=1&hp

  44. David says:

    No, Raul #42. You’ve just fallen victim to more Watts propaganda. The graphic he posted was only based on the observed temperatures from 2000-2008 — the climate doesn’t change much over such short periods, so of course it’s going to show areas warmer and colder.

    RSS:
    http://img131.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=81702_RSS_122_76lo.jpg

    UAH:
    http://img141.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=82551_NCDC_122_737lo.jpg

    NCDC:
    http://img231.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=83509_UAH_122_174lo.jpg

    GISS:
    http://img46.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=83463_GISS_122_391lo.jpg

  45. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Mike at 44 –

    thanks for your response.

    The extent to which the climate treaty will be based on moral obligation (e.g. does Obama wish to be remembered as the reckless hold-out who caused unprecedented genocide by serial famines)
    and to which it will be based on self interest (e.g. the EU faces losing the Gulf Stream and so much of its northern farmlands’ yields and cities’ habitability)
    for me remains an open queston.

    The self interest case has, notably, got nowhere in 30 years, while the ethical case has yet to get a hearing.

    The first difficulty with applying coercion is that the US has demonstrably reneged on its formal commitments on various occasions. With its de-facto “target” of just a ~1.67% cut off 1990 in the next ten years, it is the logical choice as the target of trade tariffs to cause it to change its behaviour.

    The second difficulty is that any nation faced with such tariffs tends to find that they empower right wing zenophobes, rather than those working for international co-operation. In the US, I could see the GOP actively welcoming such tariffs (covertly) knowing just what hay they could make out of their imposition.

    Rather than using coercion, it would seem far more productive for a coalition of the willing to advance an equitable and efficient treaty that leaves space for laggard nations to accede to once they are willing to play catch-up, with the treaty’s incentives such as carbon permit markets and preferential technology trade being open only to full participants.

    The issue of US denial of liability for its massive historical emissions has long been a large part of the logjam, and there is as yet no sign of official awareness that its resolution is eminently affordable via afforestation for biochar. I suspect that if such a strategy were adopted, the prospects for the treaty’s negotiation might well be transformed without any further mention of coercion via tariffs.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  46. dbmetzger says:

    and in russia the drought and fires have resulted in a ban on wheat exports. how much will the cost of food be rising in the near future?
    Russia Begins Ban on Grain Exports
    Russia has imposed a ban on wheat and other grain exports until the end of the year after a severe drought and an outbreak of wildfires destroyed one-third of the harvest and ravaged agricultural land – sparking fears of increased costs and shortages http://www.newslook.com/videos/241614-russia-begins-ban-on-grain-exports?autoplay=true

  47. Raul M. says:

    David Sorry I must have been vague.
    The problems earlier generations had
    with the weather could be shown to be
    different from present generations.
    Yet the striving(s) for life could be
    shown to be same in concept except the
    potentials for harm to future generations
    by the majorities lifestyle(s).
    So new pages need to be added to the
    potential we as humans have.
    Certainly the child who is way to young
    to drive was born in sin in ways that
    were not conceivable 200 years ago.
    As a 7 year old I had a hard time with the
    old Babtist saying that we are all born into
    sin.
    I was only pointing to the belief of some that
    the child of today is born into new and
    expanded sin not only old style but new
    style and it is bad and will make it all the
    more difficult for the youngster.

  48. Edward says:

    Letter to the editor of my local newspaper:

    Dear farmers: The climate is not going back to the way it was in the 1950s for about 100,000 years. This is the new climate the scientists warned you about. You are going to have to adjust your farming practices to the new climate. If your corn seed got washed away this year, chances are good that it will get washed away next year as well. Think about planting rice.

    The drought and heat wave in Russia caused a large part of the Russian wheat crop to die before it was harvestable. If it had not been for the extra [something like] 2 degrees caused by Global Warming, the wheat would have survived. Russia embargoed wheat exports on 7 August 2010. The price of wheat went up on that day. On 8 August, the price of all other grains went up worldwide. The world’s poorest people will not be able to afford food this winter because of Global Warming. More Global Warming means more famine.
    From:
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/08/14/climate-experts-agree-global-warming-caused-russian-heat-wave/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29

    “University of Texas climate scientist Michael Tobis is “hazarding a guess” that “the Russian heat wave of 2010 is the first disaster unequivocally attributable to anthropogenic climate change””

    To keep your grocery bill from going so high that you have to give up eating, we have to shut down the coal industry. Electricity has to come from renewable or nuclear sources. The longer we wait to shut down coal, the faster your grocery bill will grow. MORE COAL = LESS GROCERIES.

  49. Prokaryotes says:

    Disasters ‘prove that global warming is happening’

    The simultaneous catastrophes of flooding in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia and landslides in China are evidence that global warming predictions are correct, according to climate change experts.

    They said the “extreme weather events” of recent months were all “unprecedented” and that such disasters, taken together, were proof of climate change. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Disasters+prove+that+global+warming+happening/3382134/story.html

  50. paulm says:

    Good, its about time.

    I think everyone has recognised this for these events without scientist having to confirm it. Funny how it took the scientist longer to arrive at the conclusion.

    They were so over cuatious on this – it was fustrating and detramental.

    If an event was more likely than not to have occurred due to Climate Change then it should be labeled as such.

    For extreme events, especially record ones, that occur in a trend and as predicted by the physics this is the case. The probability that they are a result of the underlying change is very very likely and therefore within confidence.

    Scientist failed to understand that that is the way to communicate this to the public. Many of the previous flood events earlier this year should also be atributed to GW. Also some of the events back in 1998 & 2005.
    I hope they go over them and highlight them for obious reasons.