Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

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80 Responses to Open Thread Plus Cartoon Of The Week

  1. Will Fox says:

    Potholer54’s latest video – “The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC”

    See also his other EXCELLENT video – “Science vs the Feelies”

    (this second video is so well done, it makes me laugh out loud).

  2. prokaryotes says:

    More news from the “Greenest Government EVER”

    Climate change sceptic to advise David Cameron on foreign policy
    Appointment of Peter Lilley, one of only four MPs to vote against Climate Change Act, criticised by green campaigners

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Thanks, shared it on my website.

  4. Tom King says:

    Welcome to the Post 400 Era.

  5. Will Fox says:

    It is scary. When do you think we’ll reach 500ppm?

  6. Andy Hultgren says:

    Hey CP community,

    Does anyone have any good resources discussing the anticipated effects of loss of Arctic sea ice on weather in Europe, in particular?

    There was some general discussion of this in the comments of a recent CP post on the collapse of the arctic sea ice, and I’m wondering if there are any resources discussing the specifics. Sites discussing peer-reviewed literature (or direct links to articles not behind a paywall) would be very appreciated!!

    Thank you!

  7. Andy Hultgren says:

    If anyone wants to check it out I put together a written resource on the same topic (the evidence for climate change apart from models – based largely on Jim Hansen’s book Storms of My Grandchildren). If you’re interested just email me andyhultgren [at] gmail [dot] com and I’d be glad to send it over.

  8. Colorado Bob says:

    AH –
    Pose this question at Neven’s Arctic Ice site , lots of info there :

  9. Superman1 says:

    Excellent suggestion. In fact, jut reading the articles and comments of the past few months provides an excellent resource.

  10. Superman1 says:

    However, because of the nine decades long heavy strategic interest in the Arctic, much work was done (and is still being done) that never saw the light of day. In particular, if there are more shallow methane clathrates than we have been led to believe, as I suspect may be the case given a recent paper on the topic, the situation may be far more dire than one would conclude from the open peer-reviewed literature.

  11. prokaryotes says:

    ClimateState relaunched with a brand new website (temp allocated domain at

    Visitors are invited to share videos in particular (use the footer link “submit”).

    Mission statement
    ClimateState gathers knowledge about the broad spectrum of climate change and tries to help increase understanding and awareness about the threat of dangerous (unchecked) climate change. And to encourage the fast paced deployment of solutions, i.e. carbon sequestration with Biochar and taxing Co2. The scope is to help improve knowledge and inform on the latest science.

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Google Hangout with Greenman – Climate Science and Climate Solutions

    I got an invite from ITN network in the UK to join a Google Hangout with some unnamed folks and discuss climate. Sounded like fun, so I signed on.

    When I got the guest list just before the show, I was very pleased to see that climate denier James Delingpole was on it. Unfortunately, James must have gotten the same list, because he bailed at the last minute, with no explanation. (why am I not surprised?)

    They tried to get Mark Morano, but no luck.

  13. Jeff Huggins says:

    Several Things …

    First, I’m hoping that CP will cover that remarkable letter recently sent by Democrat contributors, business leaders, philanthropists, etc. to Obama regarding climate change. It was very well written, and compelling, and includes themes that should be included in a (hopefully) fast-increasing volume of messages to the President.

    Second, I recently read Thoreau’s speech-essay ‘A Plea for John Brown’, defending John Brown after the Harper’s Ferry raid. I suggest it for those who are interested in the history/rationale of activism and the sadly unresolved question of “what it takes” to prompt societies to wake up and begin to embark on necessary changes.

    Third, I think it would be helpful for someone (Bill McKibben or one of the other 350 folk?) to update us and share his current feelings regarding the outcomes (or current status) of the divestment campaign in terms of a couple/few prominent universities. In particular, I have in mind Harvard and the University of California. As I understand it, Harvard (for the most part) copped out and took an easy, indecisive, and largely inconsequential route. As I also understand it, the U.C. system is still considering the matter (is this correct?) but hasn’t done anything substantial yet. Someone should shine a larger public spotlight on cases like this so we/public can put much more heat on the leaders of prominent U’s like these, who ought to be at the cutting edge of taking meaningful action and setting positive and responsible examples for others. I say this as an alum of both of these universities, and I’m embarrassed by what I’ve heard so far about what they haven’t done.



  14. GMA news item this AM. Record level of CO2 reached, highest in millions of years. Said to have “catastrophic consequences.” But then it was just another quick item, not commented on and not on the ABCNews web site.

  15. Andy Hultgren says:

    Colorado Bob,

    I had thought too of heading over to Neven’s to ask – I wasn’t sure to what extent they focus solely on sea ice itself (what I head over there to read about from time to time) or on the global effects of its loss also.

    I’ll head over there and ask!

  16. Andy Hultgren says:

    Article in NYT front page today:

    “Heat-trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears”

    on daily CO2 readings passing 400ppm mark.

    It’s a good article overall, though the scientists quoted could use a little less obtuse language. In “science speak” it is clear. In normal language though, it sounds like it has a lot of caveats and hedging.

    Still, overall I was very happy to see the news so prominently featured!!

  17. Andy Hultgren says:

    It was picked up and reprinted on the front page of the local paper as well, the Star Tribune (a Minnesota paper).

  18. Andy Hultgren says:

    Jeff, do you have a link to the letter sent to Obama that you mentioned?

  19. rollin says:

    At current trends 450 ppm CO2 will be reached between 20 and 30 years from now. If one considers the other greenhouse gases, 500 ppm will be reached at the same time period.

    What is not considered is the increasing role of natural feedback systems.

  20. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    AH, here’s Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers speaking at the recent Climate Summit about the effects of Arctic ice loss. Very thorough, almost two hours long.

  21. prokaryotes says:

    Indeed, this video is very good – should watch the entire recording.

    In a nutshell: Less ice = more persistent weather patterns (blocking causes a pronounced weather event).

    This anomaly already is contributing substantially to billion $ weather disasters. One reason Sandy hit New York city so hard was a very unusual swing, because of a frontal system – blocking pattern.

    — from Nov 2012
    There are three different ways climate change might have influenced Sandy: through the effects of sea level rise; through abnormally warm sea surface temperatures; and possibly through an unusual weather pattern that some scientists think bore the fingerprint of rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice.

    “In addition, an unusual weather pattern in the northern hemisphere steered the storm in an unprecedented direction, as it made a dramatic — and for many East Coast residents, catastrophic — left hook right into coastal New Jersey. The east-to-west movement, which is exactly the opposite of how weather systems normally move in this area, helped maximize the storm surge, since a strong easterly air flow struck the coast at a right angle.”

  22. prokaryotes says:

    If you are bored, watch this

    You can follow Cassidy and Marshburn as they work on NASA’s live stream at NASA TV or below.

    Live streaming atm…

  23. prokaryotes says:

    Direct link, 4,5 hrs into mission, space walk to fix leakage!

  24. prokaryotes says:

    University of Utah metallurgists used an old microwave oven to produce a nanocrystal semiconductor rapidly using cheap, abundant and less toxic metals than other semiconductors. They hope it will be used for more efficient photovoltaic solar cells and LED lights, biological sensors and systems to convert waste heat to electricity.

  25. Andy Hultgren says:

    Dennis and Prokaryotes,

    Excellent!! Thank you and I’ll give the whole video a watch this weekend.

    And yes, I am familiar (in a general sense) with the recent publications on blocking patterns, and the link there to Hurricane Sandy. I assume the video of Dr. Francis will deal with those blocking patterns, which I probably need to familiarize myself with a bit more anyway.

    Do you guys know if her research, or similar research, is what people are referencing when they talk about dramatic weather effects particularly on Europe, due to Arctic ice loss?

    I’m particularly asking based on comments from this recent TP post:

    Particularly comment #6 and following. Like this from John McCormick:

    “Bruce, Western Europe and Russia have no time to prepare their infrastructures and agriculture in time to deal with the climate scenario you painted.

    I see Austalia’s agriculture collapsing and fast as the El Nino is stuck in the La Nina grip.

    Europe is next.”

  26. Andy Hultgren says:

    That’s pretty dang cool.

  27. Jeff Huggins says:

    Andy, I read about it in a Guardian article titled ‘Keystone XL: Obama urged by Democrat backers to reject pipeline’. The article, on the Guardian’s website, has a link to the full letter. Cheers. Jeff

  28. John H. Cato, jr. says:

    “I dunno, does management know what ‘the grid’ is?”

  29. Andy Hultgren says:

    Jeff and Will – thanks!

  30. islandraider says:

    Hi Andy,
    Neven recently opened a forum for discussions not directly related to Arctic Sea Ice. Here is a link to the forum:

  31. catman306 says:

    Timelapse enhanced Landsat satellite views of human destruction of the biosphere over three decades from Google.

    (Cancer on the land.)

  32. Jeff Huggins says:

    Andy and Will, the link that Will provides is about something else — not the letter that I was talking about — but both are helpful. Be well, and thanks. Jeff

  33. prokaryotes says:

    Truly stunning…

  34. prokaryotes says:

    The Tar Sands destroying literally everything…

  35. prokaryotes says:

    Large scale carbon sink elimination over time.

  36. Joan Savage says:

    A primary reference not behind a paywall:

    Cold winter extremes in northern continents linked to Arctic sea ice loss
    Qiuhong Tang et al 2013 Environ. Res. Lett.

    Other primary references are sometimes available through academic websites. A search via Google Scholar can turn some of them up.

  37. Will Fox says:

    Mission to measure world’s forest will launch in 2019

    The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation Programme Board has today (Tuesday 7 May 2013) given the go-ahead for a new €400-million Earth Observation mission that will measure global forest biomass for the first time.

    The BIOMASS mission is scheduled to launch in 2019 and will produce the first accurate maps of tropical, temperate and boreal forest biomass from space. The maps will help scientists address fundamental questions about changes in forest structure, especially in tropical regions, where ground data are scant. They’ll also help put a figure on the carbon emissions resulting from deforestation and land-use change.

    Read more:

  38. While we work on getting our politicians to pay proper attention to the climate, a few educators are working on feeding the planet in a changed world. In March, the Univ. of California – Davis hosted a Global Conference on “Climate-Smart Agriculture”. For those who are not familiar with UC Davis, they are the leading agricultural school in the leading agricultural state in the US. Details of the conference can be found at including archived video of the sessions. I am still sorting through it, but since we just blew through 400 PPM, we need to learn to adapt as best we can.

  39. Andy Hultgren says:

    That looks very promising – thank you Joan!

  40. Andy Hultgren says:

    Jeff, I think this is the link:

    It’s good to see donors pressuring Obama on this.

  41. Brooks Bridges says:

    Thanks! Wonderful videos. Wish there were transcriptions too.

  42. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    We probably won’t, because The Collapse will come first.

  43. Brooks Bridges says:

    Another great Naomi Klein article. This one on the growing number of divestment campaigns(from fossil fuels) and pointing out how many environmental organizations are far from guilt free.

  44. prokaryotes says:

    ESSC Scientists make prediction for 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane Season

    ESSC scientist Michael E. Mann, alumnus Michael Kozar, and researcher Sonya Miller have released their seasonal prediction for the 2013 North Atlantic hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1st and runs through November 30th.

  45. Ed Leaver says:

    Meanwhile, U.S. decision on Keystone XL pipeline seen dragging past summer.

    The EPA had concerns about the level of emissions from Canada’s oil sands, where crude production is carbon-intensive. It also took issue with the State Department’s conclusion that the pipeline would have no effect on climate because the oil sands would make it to market whether or not the pipeline was approved.

    Be interesting to see EPA sign off|on this thing without an EPA Administrator to do the signing. Pushing decision to year’s end also gives Mr. Obama chance to see how U.S. summer and Arctic sea ice play out.

  46. Paul Magnus says:

    yup. I recon that things will definitely unravelling in the next 5 to 10yrs. I can not see how civil society can be sustained at the level of extreme events we have been seeing over the last 2-3yrs. But, hey, its going to get worse. Sea level rise is going to have some surprises too.

    So there, not much we can do now, but buckle down and do our best. Keep our chins up, keep clam and carry on.

  47. Paul Magnus says:

    Yes, we are definitely toying around with some kind of threshold in terms of weather extremes over the last couple of years….

    Earth’s climate changed dramatically when CO2 hit 400, study says,0,4454078.story

  48. “There are three different ways climate change might have influenced Sandy: through the effects of sea level rise; through abnormally warm sea surface temperatures; and possibly through an unusual weather pattern that some scientists think bore the fingerprint of rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice.”

    There is a fourth way — increased atmospheric water vapor — 5% or more higher.

  49. Paul Magnus says:

    “This decision more than any other will signal your direction, your commitment, your resolve,” the letter said. “It is the biggest, most explicit statement you will make in this historic moment, the moment when America turns from denial to solutions – or fails to.”

    … “or fails.”

  50. Paul Magnus says:

    “Yours is the last presidency in which it is possible for America to choose a responsible path forward for itself, before climate disruption becomes unmanageably dangerous,”

  51. Paul Magnus says:

    “This new climate milestone reflects a profound failure of politics, in which democracy has quietly been supplanted by plutocracy. ”

  52. Paul Magnus says:

    “The 1,000-year legacy of current carbon emissions is long enough to smash anything resembling human civilisation into splinters. ”

  53. Merrelyn Emery says:

    As my extended family sat around at lunch celebrating Mother’s Day and trying not to get sunburnt, everybody was saying ‘what wonderful weather’. I said “It’s ominous’. A few nodded but most of them had not connected our recent heatwave with the consequences, and there is not a denier amongst them, ME

  54. Spike says:

    Just started reading this well reviewed book – very accurate and interesting so far:

  55. Spike says:

    te change will lead to desertification and mass migration says Lord Stern.

    “When temperatures rise to that level, we will have disrupted weather patterns and spreading deserts,” he said. “Hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homelands because their crops and animals will have died. The trouble will come when they try to migrate into new lands, however. That will bring them into armed conflict with people already living there. Nor will it be an occasional occurrence. It could become a permanent feature of life on Earth.”

  56. Spike says:

    Morocco expects to build five new solar plants by the end of the decade with a combined production capacity of 2,000 megawatts and at an estimated cost of nine billion dollars.

    The kingdom has no oil and gas reserves to speak of and is hoping, with the solar projects, along with a string of planned wind farms along its Atlantic coast, to raise renewable energy production to 42 percent of its total power supply mix by 2020.

  57. prokaryotes says:

    Imagine this world with food riots in developed nations and large scale radioactive contamination, throughout the food chain.

  58. Superman1 says:

    Focus on the larger picture. On his site, McPherson concludes we are headed for NTE – Near-Term Extinction. His estimation is by mid-century; perhaps earlier. I would add a generation in the nominal case: end of century if we are very lucky, mid-century if we are unlucky and feedbacks are stronger than expected.

  59. Superman1 says:

    McPherson states that ‘Obama and others in his administration knew near-term extinction of humans was already guaranteed. Even before the dire feedbacks were reported by the scientific community, the Obama administration abandoned climate change as a significant issue because it knew we were done as early as 2009′. He concludes that Obama did not want to ‘shoulder the unenviable task of truth-teller’.

  60. Superman1 says:

    It is crystal-clear there is no way we can stay within the constraints of the CO2 emission trajectory required to avoid catastrophe. The proposals presented here confirm and validate that conclusion; they don’t even come close. Their only impact will be to increase the assets of their proponents.

  61. Superman1 says:

    We are too far out of balance with Nature; there is No Way Out. Nature is in the early phases of eliminating the imbalances and restoring a new balance. McPherson recognizes this; Obama recognizes this; I recognize this. By their disinterest and lack of action, the global electorate recognizes this as well!

  62. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    “Obama knows…” = unsubstantiated
    “global electorate knows” = unsubstantiated.
    And there is likey no way you could substantiate these.
    Here’s what we do know: McPhereson is a doomer and gloomer who we all hope is wrong; Obama and Holdren have discussed geoengineering (per Holdren). As for the global electorate, we simply don’t know – which is also a likely description of the state of the global electorate (unsubstantiated, of course).

  63. Superman1 says:

    Dennis, McPherson has much solid data on his site. He takes a harsh interpretation of that data. I take neither an optimistic nor pessimistic interpretation; that’s why I add a generation or two to McPherson’s estimate, recognizing the uncertainty could swing a generation or two in either direction.

  64. Superman1 says:

    Dennis, “who we all hope is wrong”. You don’t even have to go to McPherson. If you think about what Anderson is really saying about emission trajectory constraints, and if you realize that even the unattainable (by his words) 1 C target is too high by about a factor of two, then we can’t get there from here. That’s why I say we have dug a hole so deep there is No Way Out!

  65. Anne says:

    The Earth is my true mother. Happy Mothers Day, Earth. I will try and be nicer to you! How about some flowers? LOL

  66. Superman1 says:

    McPherson also states: “climate scientist Kevin Anderson tells us what I’ve known for years: politicians and the scientists writing official reports on climate change are [stating mistruths – my words], and we have less time than most people can imagine.”

  67. Superman1 says:

    The latest posting on this site states that climate sensitivity may be far larger than the models have been assuming. That would make the presently unattainable 1 C constraint during the transition even more unattainable. More proof that there is No Way Out!

  68. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    That is Monbiot at his best, without the blinkers. Of course I say that because I agree with everything he says.

  69. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Leading on to generalised war, turning thermo-nuclear at some stage, if the worst-case eventuates. No sign that the thanatocrats wish to avoid it, either.

  70. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Never trust the World Bank, the IMF or the WTO. They are central pillars of the ‘New World Order’ of elite plutocracy enforced through ‘neo-liberalism’.

  71. Belgrave says:

    Peter Lilley is the Prince of Darkness incarnate! Even before climate change was known he was one of Thatcher’s most right wing cabinet ministers. He has big investments in the petroleum industry which he doesn’t see as a conflict of interest.

    Expect more of this lurch to the denialist right. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is snapping at Cameron’s heels and the clmate-change denialist, homophobic,poor-people-hating hard right within his own party are becoming emboldened. Hopefully this dogs-breakfast of a coalition will crumble soon.

    UKIP, by the way, is hardcore denialist, extreme right wing and ultra-nationalist – unfortunately quite a lot of people seem to be deluded enough to vote for them.

  72. Raul M. says:

    We probable have figured out that mutiny would be counter-productive. Would someone have to be a social scientist to polling statistician to provide proper analysis. What is productive is a myriad of approaches by a great number of people and groups directed to the reduction of GHG’S and putting the carbon back into the ground.
    Meanwhile, what are the chances of an Ark type of spacecraft that would last for ~ millions of years reseeding life to the Earth. A craft with minimal support mechanisms for such building blocks and numerous such caches of said building blocks to be sent to the Earth during the ~ million’s years.
    Now figuring out what, when, and where would take experts to figure an Ark type reentry of life and many more experts to figure how to do the Ark type craft.
    Probably another group of experts to figure how to acquaint the religious ones to the need for life to see a third run upon the Earth. They do say that God helps those who help themselves. To jump start life on Earth once the Greenhouse effect subsides?

  73. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Those who the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad. And the Right are heading for Cloud Cuckoo Land with fevered determination. Pity they’re taking us human beings with them.