Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon By Joe Romm July 27, 2013 at 9:55 am Updated: July 28, 2013 at 5:12 pm 32Share This 35Tweet This Share this: "Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon" Share: Opine away! H/t Skeptical Science Tags: humor ‹ Last-Minute Attempt To Repeal Fracking Moratorium Fails In North Carolina Braking Bad: Meth Cook Walter White Drives (And Kills With) An Aztek, Not A Prius › Close Like Climate Progress on Facebook Don't show this to me again 75 Responses to Open Thread Plus Toles Cartoon prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 10:05 am Antarctic bottom water disappearing ‘When we speak of global warming, we really mean ocean warming: more than 90% of the extra heat energy stored by the earth over the last 50 years has gone into warming up the ocean. ‘The Southern Ocean is particularly important because it stores more heat and carbon dioxide released by human activities than any other region, and so helps to slow the rate of climate change. A key goal of our work is to determine if the Southern Ocean will continue to play this role in the future.’ http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-antarctic-magazine/2011-2015/issue-23-december-2012/science/antarctic-bottom-water-disappearing Joan Savage says: July 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm Key quote: “…as much as a 60% reduction in the volume of Antarctic Bottom Water – the cold dense water that drives global ocean currents.” — since 1970. prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 10:05 am Updated: Antarctic Methane Emissions http://climatestate.com/magazine/2013/07/east-antarctic-methane-emissions/ Rob says: July 27, 2013 at 10:26 am Totally fascinating. One of the unpredictable discontinuities? What is predictable is Igor Similetov’s 2012 non-reporting of Siberian methane seabeds. Colorado Bob says: July 27, 2013 at 12:47 pm Anyone hear if Igor Similetov is returning this season ? Mond from Oz says: July 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm So just how significant are the ‘other’ greenhouse gases in the predictions of catastrophic temperature change? According to Gavin Schmidt (Real Climate, 20th January, 2011), not very. He writes “ all of the extra GHGs and aerosols actually cancel out to a large extent and so the CO2-eq in this sense is quite close to the actual value of CO2 all on its own” That theme is repeated in policy and political pronouncements where much is made of iconic numbers deriving from the very legitimate concern with CO2 E.g. ‘400 !!’ and ‘2 degrees !!’. It also occurs in educative communications, where in a recent example pposted on SkepticalScience, 22 July 2013 by gpwayne, the author addresses the question ‘Why doesn’t the temperature rise at the same rate that CO2 increases? Here, in several instances he does refer to gases, but makes no attempt to evaluate or quantify their role: in short, they are mentioned, but seemingly dismissed as unimportant. However, their role has been quantified, and appears to be highly significant. T.J.Blasing (CDIAC, Recent Greenhouse Gas Concentrations, updated Feb 2013) calculates a combined 1.04 Watts/M2 of increased radiative forcing from CH4, N2O and O3, plus a small 0.34 from other gases. That totals to 1.38 W/M2, which seems a significant addition to the increased radiative forcing of 1.85W/m from CO2 alone. Total increases in radiative forcing since 1750 amount to 3.23 W/M2. Butler ( NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index 2012) calculates a CO2 equivalent of 473 ppmv for 2011: the present (mid-2013) value must be ~ 476 ppmv. He does not include tropospheric ozone, and there are other minor differences between his account and that of Blasing. However, he does provide a table of CO2 equivalent values for each year from 1979 to 2011. Plotted, they show a linear increase of 2.9 units of CO2 –e units per year. Of immediate concern is the implication for global temperature of the present CO2 –e value. Applying the standard formulation for CO2 alone, the forcing for the difference in atmospheric concentrations from pre-industrial values is F = 5.35 * log(476/280) = 2.84 Watts per Sq Meter. Assuming a climate sensitivity value of 3 degrees Celsius at a doubling of atm. CO2, we find a difference of temperature equal to 0.8 * 2.84 or 2.27 degrees Celsius, at equilibrium. Applying the increase in forcing given by Blasing (3.23 W/M), we find an increase in temperature of 2.58 Celsius. 400!! and 2 degrees!! are danger signs long passed. Discussing CO2 on its own may make for a simpler message, and it is certainly the atmospheric contaminant of priority. However, the ‘other’ gases surely merit a prominent place in any discussion of rising temperature. Taken together with CO2 as the CO2 equivalent, they demand a greatly increased sense of urgency. Methane in particular, points to irreversible disaster. prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm Just a quick sidenote “..taking all atmospheric composition into account, the concentration of greenhouse gases is over 470 ppm of CO2 equivalent” tinyurl.com/od9r4ut Lewis Cleverdon says: July 27, 2013 at 8:24 pm Mond – thanks for this thoughtful and very informative post. Could you clarify the meaning of the phrase “at equilibrium” in your penultimate paragraph ? I’m not confident that I’m interpreting it correctly as meaning -in the long term after its residence period – If so, there is the difficulty that short of commensurate mitigation including Emissions Control, Carbon Recovery & Albedo Restoration, the seven mega-feedbacks now accelerating means that there is no prospect of a termination of additional GHG inputs to the atmosphere this side of some natural negative feedback becoming dominant, such as a global vulcanism on a scale to eradicate our infrastructure while emitting sufficient cooling sulphate aerosols. That is, it is hard to see any equilibrium being reached naturally, this side of terminal decline. But perhaps I’ve misunderstood your meaning. Not having much faith in my own maths, I’d be interested to know what additional forcing you would calculate for a rather modest ESAS CH4 output of 1.0Gt/yr for 50 years. The curve of CO2e value including 75 at 20yr timeframe and 23 at 100yr timeframe, plus the factor of exhaustion of reactants raising residence time, looks intriguing but beyond my capacity. Regards, Lewis prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 10:15 am Andy Revkin is steering drama (trolling) when calling credibility. “Arctic Methane Credibility Bomb” dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/arctic-methane-credibility-bomb It’s a question of probability NOT credibility. prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 10:21 am Arctic time bombs Although this is an extreme worst case scenario, I think it’s good that it gets some attention through controversy and is discussed widely. Some people will say that it’s easy fodder for fake skeptics to ridicule and disparage, as they’ll do anything to kill the discussion of potential risks of AGW and Arctic sea ice loss. But even if the study is absolute nonsense, it still serves a purpose in widening the playing field. Many persons that are considered part of the mainstream science, like Gavin Schmidt, dismiss the report in Nature, but that will make it more difficult to paint them as extremists. Is the study absolute nonsense though? The problem with methane clathrates is and remains, that not enough is known about the subject (here’s a good summary though). We see the drastic changes in the Arctic, we know there’s around 1500 Gt of methane in the Arctic Ocean’s seabed, and so it’s quite legitimate to think about worst case scenarios, in this case a rapid release of just 3% of those methane stores. We might just want to get a grip on this by stimulating more research and gathering more data, and in the meantime think a bit about what it is we’re doing and where it might lead if we’re not careful. Because things aren’t looking too great in the Arctic right now. http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/07/arctic-time-bombs.html Mond from Oz says: July 27, 2013 at 9:43 pm I’d like to see some discussion of the validity of the CO2-e calculation (Blasing, Butler), also the use of the standard CO2 calculation of sensitivity and temperature based on that. The expression for the rising CO2e is CO2-e = 2.7487 * (the number of the calendar year) – 5055.1 OK, its an approach to BAU that may be as good as any for the next couple of decades. It says that even without the methane bump, we’ll be on co2-e of 580 by 2050. using the CO2 alone formulation that translates to 3.4 c by 2050. Which looks like bloody bad news. Lewis Cleverdon says: July 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm Mond – is that 3.4C committed by 2050 (i.e. timelagged in the pipeline) or is it 3.4C realized at 2050 ? I assume its the former, and bloody bad news at that given its exclusion of feedbacks and of sulphate parasol loss, but would like to be clear. Regards, Lewis Colorado Bob says: July 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm By Peter Wadhams What is actually happening is that the summer sea ice now retreats so far, and for so long each summer, that there is a substantial ice-free season over the Siberian shelf, sufficient for solar irradiance to warm the surface water by a significant amount – up to 7C according to satellite data. That warming extends the 50 m or so to the seabed because we are dealing with only a polar surface water layer here (over the shelves the Arctic Ocean structure is one-layer rather than three layers) and the surface warming is mixed down by wave-induced mixing because the extensive open water permits large fetches. So long as some ice persisted on the shelf, the water mass was held to about 0C in summer because any further heat content in the water column was used for melting the ice underside. But once the ice disappears, as it has done, the temperature of the water can rise significantly, and the heat content reaching the seabed can melt the frozen sediments at a rate that was never before possible. The authors who so confidently dismiss the idea of extensive methane release are simply not aware of the new mechanism that is causing it. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/07/26/rebuttal-to-methane-mischief-misleading-commentary-published-in-nature/ Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm Why give that creature the oxygen of credibility? Jeff Huggins says: July 27, 2013 at 10:28 am Does Anyone Know? (Important Questions and A Crucial Point) Does anyone know whether or not Hillary Clinton would continue with an “all of the above!” energy strategy if she were elected president in 2016? Does anyone know whether or not she would approve of drilling in the Arctic? Does anyone know whether or not she would continue the “natural gas is a great bridge fuel” bandwagon, and support fracking ad infinitum? Does anyone know whether or not she would continue the leasing of large chunks of public land at rates that are nearly “free” relative to the value of the resources being stripped from them? Does anyone really know whether or not she would approve Keystone XL if she were president today, and whether or not she will approve similar projects in the future if elected? Does anyone really know whether or not she would place more priority on addressing climate change than on achieving her own political ambitions? Well then, why is it that many people — Democratic pundits, many Democratic politicians, much of the media, and now David Axelrod and etc. — are all proclaiming her as The One, that is, as the Democratic nominee already? The climate movement organizations (350.org, etc.), the environmental organizations, and the climate-concerned arms of the progressive organizations (i.e., CP/CAP) — and all of us! — are dropping a huge ball, so to speak, if we don’t seriously vet Hillary and other potential nominees with respect to climate change, BEFORE we choose a nominee. The point should speak for itself. It would take one simple post — one short post, worded positively and with civility and utmost sense — for CP to raise this point, to say what should be said but nobody seems willing to say. The idea that we should vet candidates before choosing one; and the idea that it would be beneficial to all causes to have at least several excellent candidates in the race for the nomination (e.g., Hillary, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Elizabeth Warren, Al Gore); and the idea that we should find out the clear positions and commitments of would-be nominees regarding climate change before choosing one, … this idea is apparently the elephant on the table that nobody will dare mention or push, let alone insist on. It seems to be the fashion, the “beltway wisdom”, to pronounce that Hillary is The One. Can any of those people who are pronouncing Hillary as The One answer the questions I’ve listed above, credibly and concretely? If not, shame on us. Consider: We are asking, and demanding, that universities and colleges divest their investments in fossil-fuel companies. That’s well and good — I applaud it — but at the same time, we aren’t even willing to pose clear questions to, and expect clear answers from, Hillary Clinton before we nominate her, in effect, to be the president during the crucial period, from the standpoint of climate change, of 2017 to 2021. Indeed, we want China to change its policies, for goodness sake, and we aren’t even willing to pose good questions to Hillary. The imbalance in this — the gaping gap — is striking. And the silence is deafening. Enough said to begin the conversation. Be Well, Jeff BobbyL says: July 27, 2013 at 11:09 am The biggest issue in the 2016 campaign with regard to climate change will probably be the need for congressional ratification of an international agreement to reduce remissions signed at the end of 2015. Of course we don’t know whether there will be such an agreement. If an agreement is signed there will be of time to ask the candidates about their views on it. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 27, 2013 at 4:39 pm Quite possibly by 2016 we will be in a full climate destabilisation emergency. The rapidity of developments is such that nothing, no matter how dire, is out of the question. Henry says: July 27, 2013 at 11:09 am @ Jeff; In my opinion, Al Gore is not electable. And some of the others barely so. We need to balance picking the right enviro friendly candidate that also has a chance to get elected. Otherwise you’re helping the ‘dark side’ into the While house. And if we don’t get some serious surface warming before 2016 you can bet whomever the candidate is, he or she will not be talking Climate before the election. H. BobbyL says: July 27, 2013 at 11:40 am The Democratic candidates are obviously going to be talking about climate change during the primaries regardless of any temperature measurements. What happens after that when the primary winner had to face off against a Republican is hard to predict. I doubt if Gore, Kerry, or Warren have any chance of being nominated. More likely it will either be Hillary or Biden or one of many possible dark horses. If I had to make a wild prediction about a dark horse I would guess Kirsten Gillibrand. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm Any mainstream politician who promises ecological action will renege upon election. The political system is a fully owned and controlled subsidiary of the money power, who show no signs, whatsoever, of sacrificing the tens of trillions of fossil fuel assets. A President who attacked that power would simply not last long in office, one way or another. BobbyL says: July 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm I don’t buy that complete control stuff by the financial powers, but we have to remember that in 2016 we will not just be electing a president but all the members of the House and one third of the Senate. To focus entirely on who we are electing for president makes no sense. If the Tea Party right winger extremists score big in the House or Senate or both the power of any climate hawk president will be severely limited. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 28, 2013 at 5:19 am I respect your disbelief. Pray tell, who do you think controls US politics? BobbyL says: July 28, 2013 at 11:00 am It’s not controlled. It is sort of a chaotic process with many influences. Basically ordinary voters and special interests all have inputs. Clearly corporate special interests have developed too much influence during the past several decades. I don’t understand why you need to evoke the concept of control. Sara says: July 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm Hillary Clinton will be 69 years old at the time of the next election. Wouldn’t the democratic party nominate someone a bit younger? If you want to speculate on the climate views of potential candidates, there must be someone else. Any idea who it might be? Joan Savage says: July 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm I’m keeping an eye on Senator Elizabeth Warren. Quote: “Carbon-heavy fuels intensify the risks of climate change. The science is unmistakable: Earth’s climate is changing and human activities are contributing to climate change. Climate change endangers our health and national security, it threatens agricultural production and the availability of clean water, and it risks floods and droughts.” Warren’s incisive language contrasts with Hillary Rodham Clinton’s apologetic words to Conservation International’s gala. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NmEKki7VNo Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 28, 2013 at 5:21 am Such cogent commonsense makes Warren unelectable under the current US political dispensation, which Jimmy Carter recently and correctly, in my opinion, identified as no longer being democratic. BobbyL says: July 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm I agree. As I noted in a reply in Comment 4 one person who comes to mind is New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She seems to fit the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama winning formula. Relatively young, articulate, bright, physically attractive, energetic, a lot of experience being in government and likeable. And supposedly the Democratic Party considers her someone with potential for higher office than senator. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 28, 2013 at 5:23 am How can anyone seeking climate action wish for a re-run of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama? Joan Savage says: July 28, 2013 at 9:29 am Gillebrand’s quote: “There is no doubt that climate change is real and that it is here. In New York, we had two ‘storms of the century’ one year apart. We can’t pretend that climate change is not happening and hope it will go away on its own. We have to take this issue head on and I commend President Obama for taking action, and heeding our call to cap carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants.” Joan Savage says: July 28, 2013 at 9:39 am Gillibrand is also a member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. BobbyL says: July 28, 2013 at 11:16 am Another possibility is New York governor Andrew Cuomo. He has to make a decision on whether to allow high-volume fracking in New York. If he bans it I think he is someone who deserves strong consideration. Lewis Cleverdon says: July 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm Jeff – if the democrat tribal machine were to put up Ms Clinton as candidate, it would seem a fair indication that it accepts it is time to get off the pot and let the other lot have their turn. The continuity of policy on climate has been almost seamless from 2,000 to the present, with the dismissal of the need for a global treaty, with the denial of liability for cumulative emissions, with the launch of the circus of denial (with massed flipping across the GOP) to maintain a focus of blame for inaction away from the the Democrat president, and with a heavy diversionary focus on renewables – which are of course irrelevant in the absence of a global treaty. The only slight hiatus I’ve seen was when Obama, within days of being elected, gave a ringing endorsement of action to the “Govenors Climate Summit” but within weeks he’d been persuaded of the paramount bipartisan polticy of a Brinkmanship of Inaction with China to crush its bid for global economic dominance, and in March 2009 he proceeded to instruct the NGO’s to end their use of the word Climate, to renege on the duty of submitting Kyoto for ratification, to renege on the UNFCCC 1990 baseline in favour of Bush’s unilateral 2005 version, to start phasing out his own use of the word climate, and to prepare to crash the Copenhagen summit with a patently repressive ‘deal’. I rehearse all this to make the point that it is a change of US international policy that is required, not specifically a change of president. If someone like Ms Warren were to stand as candidate and then state unequivocally that “America must step aside from the flawed and dangerous policy of a Brinkmanship of Inaction with China, in favour of constructive engagement at the UN over both current and cumulative emissions” there would at least be a candidate worth supporting massively. But as things stand the chances of such a candidate getting the nomination, and then of winning the election after 8 years of Obama, look at best pretty poor. Moreover the focus on finding such a candidate does nothing for the imperative of achieving constructive US engagement in the 2015 Paris conference, where agreeing the treaty is scheduled. Shifting Obama’s position before that event is surely the imperative for action if we’re to see a commensurate treaty agreed ? If we fail to do so, even the best possible candidate would take office with the hobble of the brinkmanship being maintained under whatever Obama arranged in Paris. And without that sea change in climate policy turning climate into THE wedge issue of the election, the prospect of getting an effective candidate elected are not good. Regards, Lewis Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 28, 2013 at 5:31 am Excellently put. Voting Democrat in the hope of seeing meaningful action on the ecological catastrophe seems to me to be quite mad. Not irate, but insane. Just how many betrayals does it take before the message gets through? Jeff Huggins says: July 28, 2013 at 9:50 am Lewis, thanks for the reply. Briefly, Elizabeth Warren could very well take a stand like that — a bold, paradigm-shifting stand. Let’s find out. And let’s find out what Hillary’s stand is, presently, by posing the tough questions to her. And so forth. The point is, let’s take this seriously. And, that aim is complementary to, not inconsistent with, the aim of pressing President Obama to embrace and play a responsible leadership role in the next round of climate talks. Those aims go hand in hand. One way to start letting people — all politicians — know we’re serious is to pose tough questions, not accept vague answers and non-commitments, and simply not support candidates who don’t embrace the need for real action. Period. Problem is, the leading organizations in the climate movement — including right here, that is, CP/CAP — are doing no such thing. As one example, just count the number of posts having to do with the media dropping the ball, or having to do with the ridiculous stances of most Republicans, and compare that number to the number of posts having to do with understanding and analyzing and questioning the stances and track record of the person who wants to be our next nominee and president, on “our side” of the political spectrum. What do you find? Cheers, Jeff Spike says: July 27, 2013 at 10:32 am The protracted effects of drought on tree health revealed in a new study: “Our study shows that the beech trees could tolerate drought with little long-term impact until a threshold of drought severity was reached. At this point, the trees suffered a sudden and previously unpredictable reduction in growth, with a very slow recovery. For beech, even the healthiest trees have never fully recovered from this most severe historical drought: even decades later, their growth is still suppressed,” says Jump. Interestingly the UK naturalist Chris Packham previously said that he thought beech would be the first tree to be severely adversely affected by climate change in the UK, so it looks as though he may well be correct. http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/releases/2013/39-forest.asp?cookieConsent=A prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 11:54 am Part of this video covers sudden heat stress tolerance threshold of crops http://climatestate.com/2013/07/06/state-of-the-climate-system-2013-by-richard-alley/ prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 11:55 am Near real-time deforestation monitoring system to go global http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0725-terra-i-deforestation-tracking-system.html rollin says: July 27, 2013 at 10:51 am Absolutely perfect. If all we use is horses and men to do all the work then the problem is solved. Lewis Cleverdon says: July 27, 2013 at 11:45 am Prof. Wadhams has posted a rebuttal to the pathetically poor hatchet-piece in the WashPost on his recent paper in Nature, which is worth reading. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2013/07/26/rebuttal-to-methane-mischief-misleading-commentary-published-in-nature/ Quote: “In support of your skepticism about methane emissions you quote authors who wrote before the enormous retreat of summer Arctic sea ice and its oceanographic effects became so evident. The mechanism which is causing the observed mass of rising methane plumes in the East Siberian Sea is itself unprecedented and hence it is not surprising that various climate scientists, none of them Arctic specialists, failed to spot it. What is actually happening is that the summer sea ice now retreats so far, and for so long each summer, that there is a substantial ice-free season over the Siberian shelf, sufficient for solar irradiance to warm the surface water by a significant amount – up to 7C according to satellite data. That warming extends the 50 m or so to the seabed because we are dealing with only a polar surface water layer here (over the shelves the Arctic Ocean structure is one-layer rather than three layers) and the surface warming is mixed down by wave-induced mixing because the extensive open water permits large fetches. So long as some ice persisted on the shelf, the water mass was held to about 0C in summer because any further heat content in the water column was used for melting the ice underside. But once the ice disappears, as it has done, the temperature of the water can rise significantly, and the heat content reaching the seabed can melt the frozen sediments at a rate that was never before possible. The authors who so confidently dismiss the idea of extensive methane release are simply not aware of the new mechanism that is causing it.” _________________ My only gripe with the paper is that it might have generated far more public attention had it included, alongside its main focus on the economic impact of the predicted massive ESAS CH4 release, a brief account of the scale of additional CO2e output. For example, taking the low end of the range of Prof Wadhams’ prognosis of 50Gts CH4 output over 50 years, at 1.0Gt CH4 /yr it would be about 105Gts CO2e /yr, or roughly three times the present annual anthro-CO2 emission. To assist discussion of the mitigation of AGW this can best be expressed as multiples of major polluter-nations’ annual outputs. In these terms the low end of the ESAS CH4 output prognosis equates to about 10 new China’s-worth of annual CO2 output or about 18 new America’s-worth. From this perspective unless and until some new scientific research is able to refute Prof Wadhams’ prognosis, I suggest that there is no longer any rational basis for viewing mitigation by emissions control alone as being remotely credible. Without the inclusion of Albedo Restoration and Carbon Recovery with Emissions Control in a global climate treaty, mitigation is already patently impracticable. Regards, Lewis Will Fox says: July 27, 2013 at 11:59 am World-changing technology enables crops to take nitrogen from the air After 12 years of research, scientists have demonstrated a GM-free process that could dramatically reduce nitrogen pollution. It allows virtually all of the world’s crop species to obtain up to 60% of their nitrogen requirements from air, as opposed to expensive and environmentally-damaging fertilisers. http://www.futuretimeline.net/blog/2013/07/26.htm Joan Savage says: July 27, 2013 at 12:37 pm Cutting down on on GHG emissions from making N-fertilizer would be good, of course, but I don’t like being backed into new and different problems. The aquatic dead zones are strongly affected by phosphorus fertilizer as well as nitrogen. An abundance of nitrogen-fixing algae (blue-green algae) can form an algal bloom and resulting dead zone, supplied by other nutrients continuing in runoff. “..putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots” may not meet the technical definition of genetic modification (GM), but it should give economists, agronomists and ecologists cause for careful reflection. There are proven ways to get nitrogen to plants, such as companion-planting and crop rotation, that don’t come with a patent, a price, and only two or three years of field trials. Sigh. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 27, 2013 at 4:44 pm But, Joan, think of the lovely profits. That’s all they ever do. Joan Savage says: July 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm I smile but it’s not just money. Don’t forget the fun of problem solving. The horseless carriage, heating with coal, and cooking with gas were all praised for solving problems. Oy. The Toles cartoon is apt! Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 28, 2013 at 5:35 am When down a hole, first stop digging. Done in by the iron law of Unforeseen Consequences. Vic says: July 28, 2013 at 7:47 am Cheaper food Cheaper biofuels Less nitrous oxides emissions Less algal blooms and dead zones Less coral destruction Nobel prize material I reckon. Wesley Rolley says: July 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm It seems that most readers of CP are convinced that the solutions to global warming (weirding?) involve political action. That brings us to the old question as to whether one should vote for a candidate whose policies would be based on ecological intelligence or a candidate who is “electable.” That is exactly the point of Henry’s comment earlier. This is all based on the assumption that a candidate who is truly a climate hawk is NOT electable. Has anyone ever put that to a test? It seems that the most climate hawkish members of Congress (Waxman, Holt – PhD in Physics – in the House; Markey now in the Senate) are all in supposedly safe seats. We do have a choice. We can pick a candidate now, maybe from outside the current political spectrum, and begin to back that person NOW with “crowd-sourced” funding. Gov. Dean showed everyone that it is possible to get a lot of money through many small donations. Surely we can get enough to send the right person to Congress. Mulga Mumblebrain says: July 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm In a country as unequal as the USA, one or two determined billionaires will out-spend the ‘crowd’ every time. And, with the NSA watching your every move, the era of repercussions and negative consequences for supporting the ‘wrong’ candidates cannot be far off. Wesley Rolley says: July 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm Just to show how hard it is to get our topic on the news, NY City Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner wanted to talk about Hurricane Sandy yesterday… all he got were questions on his personal sexual embarassments. Why do we end up at the mercy of such flawed candidates? You know it is bad when Eliot Spitzer could call Weiner a “bad husband”. Robert In New Orleans says: July 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm Because sane intelligent people look at our electoral system and either do not have the money, time or need for ego gratification to become involved in it. Merrelyn Emery says: July 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm I thought the point was that Weiner wanted to talk about something important but the media was interested only in the trivia, ME Joan Savage says: July 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm Fifty-five people were arrested in Washington during a protest Friday against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, … (Washington Post) Spike says: July 28, 2013 at 3:14 am Fracking protest continues in UK http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/more-arrests-in-sussex-fracking-protest-8735107.html Joan Savage says: July 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm EU and China reach deal in solar panel dispute (bbc world news) prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm Heavy rains trigger major flash flooding in western North Carolina http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/heavy-rains-trigger-major-flash-flooding-in-western-north-carolina/2013/07/27/11f36236-f6fa-11e2-81fa-8e83b3864c36_story.html Colorado Bob says: July 27, 2013 at 10:44 pm This event saw 12 inches in 24 hours, on top of 24 inches in the area in the month of July. Colorado Bob says: July 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm About 50 inches of rain has been measured at the Asheville Regional Airport so far this year, more than double the amount through this point in 2012. http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130723/NEWS/307230022/Record-rainfall-Asheville-July Spike says: July 28, 2013 at 3:19 am Vermont has had more than 11 inches of rain above average for May and June. The two months are the wettest consecutive 30-day periods on record for Vermont. “That trough that’s off to the west over the U.S. is what’s unusual—to lock in and stay there for such a long period of time,” said Hill. Typically, the jet stream moves in short waves, perhaps the size of Montana and Wyoming, across the United States, and it does so relatively quickly. “But what’s happening is the big, long meandering jet stream that snakes way down into the Gulf of Mexico from Canada, it picks up that tropical moisture and displaces it way north. That’s what’s making the weather crazy. And it’s stuck, it can’t get anywhere.” http://vtdigger.org/2013/07/14/facing-climate-change-record-summer-rainfall-flooding-of-lake-champlain-caused-by-instability-of-jet-stream/ Spike says: July 28, 2013 at 3:22 am More flooding in Canada: Environment Canada says unofficially, St. Stephen was the hardest hit. An unmanned weather station recorded 165 mm of rain. Fredericton saw 120 mm fall in the city. “These rainfall amounts actually exceeded the average total amount of rain typically seen in July for many parts of New Brunswick, which is usually between 80 and 90 mm,” said CBC Meteorologist Kalin Mitchell. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2013/07/27/nb-torrential-rain-southwest-floods.html lecoor says: July 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm As the old poem goes,…….”all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm A closer look at subglacial glacier cavities and water pressure http://climatestate.com/magazine/2013/07/a-closer-look-at-subglacial-glacier-cavities-and-water-pressure/ Brian Smith says: July 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm By the way, many thanks for Climate State. I just watched “Nitrogen-fixing bacteria helps crops to ‘feed’ themselves” which looks like a stunning, non GMO, non-chemical innovation to improve crop yield and gut the nitro fertilizer in one stroke. http://climatestate.com/2013/07/27/nitrogen-fixing-bacteria-helps-crops-to-feed-themselves/ Congratulations on your work. I hope readers here are checking out Climate State. Brian Smith says: July 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm “nitro fertilizer *industry*”, I meant.. Jack Burton says: July 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm Norlisk in the north of Russian Siberia is having 32C today. One of the worlds most northerly cities, it is famous for killing cold and it’s nickle mines founded by Gulag inmates. Siberia is under a heat dome locked in by the unglued jet stream. Heat, forest fires and a methane pulse have resulted. This is what global warming theory and models predict. This is what the denial community calls a “liberal Hoax”. Ha! Ha! Ignorance and greed are almost funny to watch play out. So many people so committed to lies and greed. Perhaps a majority of Americans still think global warming will never ever affect them, even if it is not just a liberal Hoax. We’ll see, I am betting anyone under 50 is going the be heavily affected by global warming. The next shoe to drop?? I am betting it is Ocean Currents, with changing strength or direction. They are THE major heat transfer engine, if they change, climate shits massively. Merrelyn Emery says: July 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm They have already started shifting in the Southern ocean Jack with repercussions on the Antarctic and Australian aquatic ecologies, e.g. giant kelp forests. I’m sure it can become more dramatic but seems to be well underway, ME Rob says: July 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm Each temperature decline is always followed by are larger increase. That Siberian city gets so cold in the winter that drivers have to melt the gasoline in their tanks by getting under the vehicle and heating the tank with a propane torch. prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm Look what a movie company from Canada has cooked up The Colony (I) (2013) Forced underground by the next ice age, a struggling outpost of survivors must fight to preserve humanity against a threat even more savage than nature. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1160996/ prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm 1300 people sharing this … https://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/8744563/The_Colony_2013_DVDRip_x264_AC3-JYK prokaryotes says: July 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm From the reviews… “7.4 of 10. Saw this close to Oblivion and preferred Colony. Both are solid dystopian sci-fi, with this having the far more solid science behind it, which helps with the believability and immersion.” Rob says: July 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake is an excellent trilogy by a prize winning author. Colorado Bob says: July 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm What can plants reveal about global climate change? Diverse approaches and techniques may be the key to revealing the complex relationships between plants and wide-scale biological changes Recently, climate change, including global warming, has been a “hot” news item as many regions of the world have experienced increasingly intense weather patterns, such as powerful hurricanes and extended floods or droughts. Often the emphasis is on how such extreme weather impacts humans, from daily heat index warnings to regulating CO2 emissions. While the media continues to present climate change as a controversial issue, many scientists are working hard to gather data, collaborate across disciplines, and use experimental and modeling techniques to track how organisms and ecosystems are responding to the current changes in our Earth’s global environment. A group of organisms that play a wide variety of crucial roles in our global ecosystems is plants. What role do plants play in helping to regulate climate change and how will they fare in future times? A new series of articles in a Special Issue on Global Biological Change in the American Journal of Botany expands our view on how global changes affect and are affected by plants and offers new ideas to stimulate and advance new collaborative research. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-07/ajob-wcp072613.php Spike says: July 28, 2013 at 3:31 am Drought in China affects over 8 million people http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/07/27/Drought-in-China-affecting-837-million-people/UPI-28441374938366/ http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2013-07/27/c_132578080.htm Spike says: July 28, 2013 at 3:36 am And in southern Africa: http://www.voanews.com/content/namibia-in-grips-of-worst-drought-in-decades/1699834.html http://en.starafrica.com/news/botswana-declares-201314-as-drought-year.html PAUL DONOHUE says: July 28, 2013 at 7:53 am I wonder what the chances are for a large rapid loss of ice from Greenland? And, how much might the oceans suddenly rise? I know there is geological evidence in the distant past for such events. It could be a real wake up call. prokaryotes says: July 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm Dramatic Global Flash Flooding, Hurricane Force Gusts in Mexico – July 27/28 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKjwpmaD0HY Joan Savage says: July 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm The other “new” format stopped accepting comments on this post at 74. This older format indicates 89 comments, before this one. Should be an interesting Monday.