Climate Change - 2020

 

Minimum of 2°C (3.6°F) increase by 2020 compared to 1750s (i.e., prior to industrial revolution) average global temperature.
Global land temperatures have increased by 1.5°C (2.7°F) over the past 250 years and over half of that (0.9°C or 1.6°F) in the past 50 years.
Countdown to global habitat destruction: 4-16°C (7-29°F) increase by 2030 compared to 1750s baseline.

  1. If you were terminally ill and had just a short time to live, would you want your doctor to tell you? If not, then skip this web page; if so, then the following provides a diagnosis of planet Earth. This is not a polemic; there is not a 'position' on this data anymore than there is a 'position' on the temperature at which water boils. Rather, it is a series of data points that guide one from oblivious to aware.
  2. If you are not familiar with the scientific method and data presentation, then this page is essentially meaningless. To appreciate the significance of the data, it is presumed the reader has the following knowledge/skills:
    • That the scientific method 'act-of-faith' maintains observables are the only domain to be considered and the observable must repeatable as judged by others, no more, no less.
    • That the simplest theory accounting for the most observable data points trumps more complex theories accounting for the same or less data (a.k.a., parsimony of theory).
    • That theory construction or data extrapolation is based upon logic and reasoning.
    • That data can be summarized with statistics which include probability estimates.
    • That a positive-feedback loop is an exponential function with an unknown exponent. Meaning that the observable event doubles every fixed-time interval, but the exact interval is unknown. As a rule of thumb, a 70% change per fixed-time interval yields the doubling exponent. To estimate the exponent, divide the percent of change into 70 to obtain the doubling interval. For example, if something increases by a 10% per month, then it will double in seven months, quadruple (x4) in 14 months, octuple (x8) in 28 months, and so on. We have a 'linear bias' meaning that we ignore exponential functions all around us. See The difference between linear and exponential growth, and why it matters for a more detailed description.
    • A theory based upon weather data can easily lead to predictions, but it cannot be tested with further experiments because climate science consists of naturalistic observations and correlations among non-manipulated variables, which by definition, does not prove causality. To work around the testing problem models are used, but a model must meet the following criteria to be of value:
      • Are model assumptions based on established physics, chemistry, etc. processes?
      • Are model data robust (i.e., complete and within acceptable statistical variance)?
      • Does the model predict data that has not been included?
      • Do assumptions make the model too simplistic so that it fails to predict overall system behavior?
      We will see that climate models thus far fail the last criterion. Regardless, there is not much theory required here; just extrapolation of exponential functions.
    • Although geologic time scale is vast, our time frame is now, the last 100 years, and the few decades ahead. Although we will reference a similar climate change 65 million years ago, this is about climate change taking place right now and into the next decade or two.
    • Listen to a real scientist struggle with his intuition as the scientific method and data analysis slowly, irrevocably, dragged him kicking and screaming to agree with Climate Change.
      Richard Muller: I Was Wrong on Global Warming - January 2015
      Richard Muller became the darling of the climate denial community a few years ago when he made a number of statements questioning the integrity of climate scientists and science. Since then, his own studies have reconfirmed the rise in global temperature caused by human generated carbon dioxide.
  3. Current Status: average global land and ocean temperature is just under 1°C over 1750s baseline. Regional temperatures vary with largest effect seen in northern hemisphere and Arctic. A month of global below-average temperatures has not been observed since February 1985.
    NASA Earth Observatory Global Temperature Anomaly
    And 2014 is an all-time record breaker..
  4. Status Quo suppresses the overall climate picture. No one likes bad news, especially as it relates to climate which discourages scientists from publishing connect-the-dot type papers.

    Mainstream scientists minimize the message at every turn. As we've known for years, scientists almost invariably underplay climate impacts. And in some cases, scientists are aggressively muzzled by their governments. I'm not implying conspiracy among scientists. Science selects for conservatism. Academia selects for extreme conservatism. These folks are loathe to risk drawing undue attention to themselves by pointing out there might be a threat to civilization. Never mind the near-term threat to our entire species (they couldn't care less about other species). If the truth is dire, they can find another, not-so-dire version. The concept is supported by an article in the February 2013 issue of Global Environmental Change pointing out that climate-change scientists routinely underestimate impacts "by erring on the side of least drama." Almost everybody reading these words has a vested interest in not wanting to think about climate change, which helps explain why the climate-change deniers have won - Guy McPherson

    The Fuse is Blown - The Antarctic is falling apart - NASA scientist Eric Rignot - January 2015
    IPCC may be underestimating global warming
    Climate science results are released to the public too slowly
  5. Conservative estimates in the scientific community state that we, as a species and most mammals, cannot survive above wet-bulb temperatures of 95°F (a 4-6°C increase over historical baseline temperatures). All observations and climate models indicate we will get there at current rate of green-house gas emissions.

    Nonlinear temperature effects indicate severe damages to U.S. crop yields under climate change
    The United States produces 41% of the world's corn and 38% of the world's soybeans. These crops comprise two of the four largest sources of caloric energy produced and are thus critical for world food supply. We pair a panel of county-level yields for these two crops, plus cotton (a warmer-weather crop), with a new fine-scale weather dataset that incorporates the whole distribution of temperatures within each day and across all days in the growing season. We find that yields increase with temperature up to 29°C for corn, 30°C for soybeans, and 32°C for cotton but that temperatures above these thresholds are very harmful. The slope of the decline above the optimum is significantly steeper than the incline below it. The same nonlinear and asymmetric relationship is found when we isolate either time-series or cross-sectional variations in temperatures and yields. This suggests limited historical adaptation of seed varieties or management practices to warmer temperatures because the cross-section includes farmers' adaptations to warmer climates and the time-series does not. Holding current growing regions fixed, area-weighted average yields are predicted to decrease by 30-46% before the end of the century under the slowest (B1) warming scenario and decrease by 63-82% under the most rapid warming scenario (A1FI) under the Hadley III model.
    On a planet 4°C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction - Oliver Tickell - August 2008
    Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided - November 2012
    Four Degree Celsius Rise Will End Vegetation "Carbon Sink" - December 2013
    2014 World Energy Investment Outlook - June 2014
    The Delusion of the "Good Anthropocene": Reply to Andrew Revkin - June 2014
    Peter Wadhams on Importance of Geo-engineering in a 4°C World - September 2014
  6. Over the last two decades, each new climate model has shorten the length of time to the 4°C or greater transition point. Estimates started from 2100 -> 2060 -> 2050 -> 2035 -> 2025.
    1. United Nations Environment Programme (2009) +3.5°C by 2100
    2. Global Carbon Project, Copenhagen Diagnosis (2009) +6°C by 2100
    3. Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research (2009) +4°C by 2060
    4. United Nations Environment Programme (2010) up to +5°C by 2050
  7. Each new set of observations and model estimates shorten the interval to the wet-bulb-95°F extinction point, but none of these estimates include newly observed tens of feed-back loops (exponential functions) that have quickly arisen since 2010.
    Latest Supercomputers Enable High-Resolution Climate Models, Truer Simulation of Extreme Weather - November 2014
    Note: Even the most recent models do not include feedback loops:

    ...One simulation generated 100 terabytes of data, or 100,000 gigabytes. The computing was performed at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. "I've literally waited my entire career to be able to do these simulations," Wehner said. The higher resolution was particularly helpful in mountainous areas since the models take an average of the altitude in the grid (25 square km for high resolution, 200 square km for low resolution). With more accurate representation of mountainous terrain, the higher resolution model is better able to simulate snow and rain in those regions. "High resolution gives us the ability to look at intense weather, like hurricanes," said Kevin Reed, a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a co-author on the paper. "It also gives us the ability to look at things locally at a lot higher fidelity. Simulations are much more realistic at any given place, especially if that place has a lot of topography." The high-resolution model produced stronger storms and more of them, which was closer to the actual observations for most seasons. "In the low-resolution models, hurricanes were far too infrequent," Wehner said.

    Of course, modelers know what a positive feedback loop is and if they were to include such things in climate models, their results would go, well... exponential.
  8. Recently discovered exponential feed-back loops are driving climate abrupt change.
    Paul Beckwith - A climate system summary - October 2014
    Our climate system is presently undergoing preliminary stages of abrupt climate change. If allowed to continue, the planet climate system is quite capable of undergoing an average global temperature increase of 5°C to 6°C over a decade or two. Precedence for changes at such a large rate can be found at numerous times in the paleo-records.
    Here are a few of the currently identified 40 or so positive-feed-back loops.
    1. Warming Arctic seas melting methane hydrates and subsequently releasing methane.
      Video Summary of Methane Release - December 2014
      More detailed presentation of methane release - December 2014
      Dr Natalia Shakhova East Siberian Arctic Shelf ESAS Researcher - October 2014
      Dr Natalia Shakhova Interview: Part 1- Methane Hydrates & Stability of East Siberian Arctic Shelf - June 2014
      Methane Hydrates - Extended Interview Extracts With Natalia Shakhova - July 2013
      Google shakhova semiletov methane
      Permafrost Methane Time Bomb
      High Methane Levels over Arctic Ocean continue in 2014
      Arctic Death Spiral and the Methane Time Bomb
      Arctic Methane Catastrophe
      Global Methane Tracking
      Arctic News
      Permafrost Methane Time Bomb NBC News - September 2012
    2. Expansion of vast eastern Siberian methane vents as a result of defrosting tundra.
      Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian Sea - August 2014
      Huge Methane Burp July 2014
      Unified Methane Layers from MethaneTracker.org (1 of 2)
      Unified Methane Layers from MethaneTracker.org (2 of 2)
      Global Warming and Feedbacks: Near-Term Human Extinction
    3. Multiplicative effects of atmospheric methane
      Paul Beckwidth - A Little Chat About Arctic Methane - October 2014
      August 2014, Kevin Moore Says:

      If you study the "official" global warming factor of methane you will see that it is assigned a value over time. The most recent I have seen are 34 times CO2 over 100 years and 72 times CO2 over 20 years, in both cases the overall potential is calculated on the basis that molecules of CH4 are oxidized to CO2 and that the effect of the methane over the stated time period will be an integral of he area under the decay curve graph.
      The point I have frequently made is that in the real world we are not dealing with an isolated sample of methane which get oxidized to carbon dioxide but are dealing with a system in which any methane molecules in the atmosphere which are oxidized and instantaneously replaced (or to be more accurate, more than replaced because the methane concentration has been slowly rising during the industrial era).
      All the decay curves I have seen presented start from a high point and show a roughly exponential decay similar in shape to the decay of radioactive substance, i.e. very steep at first and then leveling out to zero gradient. None of the graphs I have seen presented have the line commencing from time zero. It is the activity of methane at "time zero" I believe we should thinking about if the methane concentration in the atmosphere is stable or rising.
      Looking at the graphs suggests the intercept point with the X axis would be in the range 250 to 300 times the effect of carbon dioxide, which is why I postulated a value of 300 times CO2 to be "on the safe side".
      I postulate that the roughly 2000 ppb concentration of methane in the atmosphere (2 ppm) could be having an effect of the order of 2 * 300 = 600 ppm CO2 equivalence, which, when added to the 400 ppm CO2 and contributions from other greenhouse gases takes us to ~1000 ppm or more CO2 equivalence.
      I am not saying I am absolutely right in this but am saying I am getting nobody prove me wrong. When I discussed the matter with Paul Beckwith he indicated he had seen a multiplier of the order of 250 times CO2 for CH4. I have had no confirmation either way on this.

    4. Open Arctic seas absorb significant infrared energy compared to sea ice - November 2014.
      Arctic Sea Ice Changes, 1987-2014
      Berkeley Lab scientists identify new driver behind Arctic warming
      In the Arctic, the simulations found that open oceans hold more far-infrared energy than sea ice, resulting in warmer oceans, melting sea ice, and a 2-degree Celsius increase in the polar climate after only a 25-year run.
      This could help explain why polar warming is most pronounced during the three-month winter when there is no sun. It also complements a process in which darker oceans absorb more solar energy than sea ice.
      "The Earth continues to emit energy in the far infrared during the polar winter," Feldman says. "And because ocean surfaces trap this energy, the system is warmer throughout the year as opposed to only when the sun is out."
    5. Warm North Atlantic ocean currents going directly into the Arctic due to a lack of cold water to turn currents back to the south.
      Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
    6. Changing Ocean Characteristics
      • Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized - October 2014
        ... Research published Sunday concluded that the upper 2,300 feet of the Southern Hemisphere's oceans may have warmed twice as quickly after 1970 than had previously been thought.
        ... Durack and Lawrence Livermore colleagues worked with a Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist to compare ocean observations with ocean models. They concluded that the upper levels of the planet's oceans - those of the northern and southern hemispheres combined - had been warming during several decades prior to 2005 at rates that were 24 to 58 percent faster than had previously been realized.
        ... "We continue to be stunned at how rapidly the ocean is warming," said Sarah Gille, a Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor... "Even if we stopped all greenhouse gas emissions today, we'd still have an ocean that is warmer than the ocean of 1950, and that heat commits us to a warmer climate..."
      • Ocean acidification (CLIM 043) - June 2014
        1. Ocean acidification in recent decades is occurring a hundred times faster than during past natural events over the last 55 million years.
        2. Surface-ocean pH has declined from 8.2 to below 8.1 over the industrial era due to the growth of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. This decline corresponds to an increase in oceanic acidity of about 30%.
        3. Observed reductions in surface-water pH are nearly identical across the global ocean and throughout Europe's seas.
        4. Ocean acidification already reaches into the deep ocean, particularly in the high latitudes.
        5. Models consistently project further ocean acidification worldwide. Surface ocean pH is projected to decrease to values between 8.05 and 7.75 by the end of 21st century depending on future CO2 emission levels. The largest projected decline represents more than a doubling in acidity.
        6. Ocean acidification may affect many marine organisms within the next 20 years and could alter marine ecosystems and fisheries.
      • International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)
        1. Ocean surface temperatures at an all-time high and increased temperatures have been detected down to a depth of more than 3,000m.
        2. Arctic summer sea ice has been shrinking by 7.4% per decade and will be gone by 2016.
        3. Carbon dioxide absorption has caused a reduction in ocean pH levels, increasing its acidity, which has reduced plankton by 50% due to inability to form calcium exoskeletons.
        4. 75% of the global fish stocks that have been assessed are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted.
        5. Iconic marine species such as sharks and corals are disappearing from the Ocean.
        6. Ocean 'dead zones' are spreading.
    7. Warming Arctic (boreal) forest peat and Amazon basin drought-based carbon release.
      • Amount and timing of permafrost carbon release in response to climate warming
        We predict that Permafrost Carbon Feedback (PCF) will change the arctic from a carbon sink to a source after the mid-2020s and is strong enough to cancel 42-88% of the total global land sink. The thaw and decay of permafrost carbon is irreversible and accounting for the PCF will require larger reductions in fossil fuel emissions to reach a target atmospheric CO2 concentration.
      • NCDC Releases June 2014 Global Report
        It is estimated that Amazon basin drought-based carbon release exceeds all of the USA emissions on a year-to-year basis.

      These are results from refereed journal articles and each of these feed-back loops lead to exponential warming and subsequently more methane/carbon release. For a complete list of exponential feedback loops see: Climate change summary and update.

  9. Methane-induced exponential Arctic warming leads to exponential global warming.
    IPCC too conservative? - November 2014

    Sam Carana is the nom de plume of two or more climate scientists who feel their livelihood would be in jeopardy if they went public. History is rich with examples of individuals using nom de plumes. For example, Mark Twain used the nom de plume Samuel Langhorne Clemens to criticize common ignorance; Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay used the nom de plume publius to write the Federalist Papers; contemporary political events contributed to Antonovych's renunciation of political figures under the nom de plume Tadeusz Padalica; Diane Feinberg, under the nom de plume of Diane Leslie, held political discussions; And Gloria Jean Watkins under the nom de plume Bell Hooks is an American author, feminist, and social activist.
    DOOMSDAY 2020 - Arctic Methane Melting NOW - April 2014
    A 'dramatic' discussion of the above graph, nevertheless, the description remains true to the data...

  10. Arctic warming produces extreme weather events in the northern hemisphere. Temperature gradients between the Earth's equator and poles influence climate and make our weather. As warm equatorial heat moves towards the poles and meets cold air (combined with the Earth's spin), it sets up the northern and southern jet streams which in turn influence daily weather patterns. For example, in January 2014 there were extreme temperature differentials (~80°F) between the equator and Antarctica in the southern hemisphere creating a high-speed southern jet stream which expanded Antarctic ice sheets, and at the same time, created an intense heat wave in western Australia.

    However, the warmer Arctic and thus its weaker temperature gradient in the northern hemisphere combined with the Earth's rotation (angular momentum) has led to stretching of the northern jet stream into long waves ("polar vortex") and subsequent extreme weather patterns that were experienced in the 2014 winter. To be clear, this is not unusual weather, but rather a new climate pattern of extreme weather events.
    Evidence for a Wavier Jet Stream in Response to Rapid Arctic Warming - January 2015
    Jet stream disruption contributed to "polar vortex" - Sep 2014
    Giant-Storm-Battered Alaska Strongest Recorded in North Pacific - Nov 2014

    Normally, sea ice keeps heat energy from escaping the ocean and entering the atmosphere. When there's less ice, more energy gets into the atmosphere and weakens the jet stream, the high-altitude river of air that usually keeps Arctic air from wandering south, said study co-author Jin-Ho Yoon of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. So the cold air escapes instead.
    Paul Beckwith - Abrupt Climate Change - Feb 2014
    White House Explains Polar Vortex Weather - Jan 2014
    Arctic Sea Ice Decline
    Under normal climate conditions, cold air is confined to the Arctic by the polar vortex winds, which circle counter-clockwise around the North Pole. As sea ice coverage decreases, the Arctic warms, high pressure builds, and the polar vortex weakens, sending cold air spilling southward into the mid-latitudes, bringing record cold and fierce snowstorms. At the same time, warm air will flow into the Arctic to replace the cold air spilling south, which drives more sea ice loss.
    Big Waves in Jet Stream Mean Extreme Weather
    Our extreme weather and climate future
    Explanation of Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream Dynamics
    Explanation of Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream Dynamics
    Jennifer Francis - Understanding the Jet Stream - Abbreviated Version
    Jennifer Francis - Understanding the Jet Stream: Climate Change and Extreme Weather - Long Version
  11. Seeing a glimpse of what is to come. It is estimated that climate effects lag ~40 years behind recorded CO2 levels, so we are seeing the effects atmospheric warming from the 1970s; since then, we have pumped into the atmosphere the equivalent of 236 years of pre-1970s CO2. In the same way that it takes time for a pot of water to boil, it takes time for the atmosphere to heat the Earth's oceans which have 500 times the mass of the Earth's atmosphere. With the atmospheric 'burner' turned up to 'high', warmed-ocean-jet-stream-modified climate change we are experiencing is only the beginning of what will occur in the next 40 years. Moreover, this does not include the exponential Arctic feed-back loops dumping massive amounts of methane and carbon into the Earth's atmosphere (see details in the articles). Methane (CH4), of course, is a green-house gas with 100-300 times the influence of CO2 and there is a more sequestered methane in the Earth's mantel than bio-mass on the Earth's surface.
  12. Oceans have been absorbing most of the excess heat leaving land masses relatively stable. So, it is not about warm or cold air masses as much as it is about weather instability and winning or loosing in the "Weather Casino." There is growing empirical evidence that warming temperatures cause more intense hurricanes, heavier rainfalls and flooding, increased conditions for wildfires and dangerous heat waves.
    • A Major Surge in Atmospheric Warming Expected in the Next Five Years - March 2015
    • Warming Pacific Drives Global Temperatures - Nov 2014
      ...2014 being reported as the warmest year on record... waters off the coast of Hawaii reached 29°C or 30°C through the summer... causing corals to die and bleach... seen temperature anomalies of 4°C in some areas - very extreme... Fish and sea life are experiencing [temperatures] this year [that were projected not to occur for] 100 years...
    • Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean
    • January 2014 was the warmest and driest on record in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles.
    • Hottest October And 2014 Year-to-Date on Record Globally, NOAA Reports
    • Alaska had the highest temperature ranking among states in 2013, with the 10th warmest year in their 95-year period of record and 2.3 degrees above the 30-year average (1971-2000).
    • 2014 Spring - The Coldest On Record
    • NOAA Global Analysis - May 2014 May 2014 the hottest May since 1880. Four of the five warmest Mays on record have occurred in the past five years. May 2014 marked the 39th consecutive May and 351st consecutive month (more than 29 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average.
    • Once-in-a-Thousand-year drought risk in the American Southwest and Central Plains - Feburary 2015
      We have demonstrated that the mean state of drought in the late 21st century over the Central Plains and Southwest will likely exceed even the most severe megadrought periods of the Medieval era in both high and moderate future emissions scenarios, representing an unprecedented fundamental climate shift with respect to the last millennium. Notably, the drying in our assessment is robust across models and moisture balance metrics. Our analysis thus contrasts sharply with the recent emphasis on uncertainty about drought projections for these regions, including the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report.
    • Farmers complain they cannot predict when to plant, so it is not unrealistic to assume additional significant crop failures within the decade due to climate variability, maybe within the next five years. The California drought, for example, will have a significant effect on produce prices.
    • World Bank Report - "New Climate Normal" Poses Severe Risks to Development - November 2014
      "Today's report confirms what scientists have been saying - past emissions have set an unavoidable course to warming over the next two decades, which will affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people the most," said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. "We're already seeing record-breaking temperatures occurring more frequently, rainfall increasing in intensity in some places, and drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean becoming drier."
    • Nineteen different state records were set for individual months, such as the hottest January in California in 2014. Six were for heat: Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and California. Nine states set monthly records for being too wet: Iowa (twice, setting records for April and May in 2013), Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Florida, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Two states set records for lack of rain: New Mexico and Utah. Two set records for coldest individual months: Maine and North Dakota.
      Final fed climate report will present dire picture
  13. View jet streams (climate change) in real time. The Earth Wind Map provides real-time NASA wind and ocean current data refreshed every three hours. The Earth Wind Map URL link arguments position the view over the USA showing the winds at an altitude of ~30,000 ft (i.e., the jet stream). Place the cursor over the globe and drag, using the left-mouse-button (LMB), rotating the Earth map to the Antarctic. There you will see a defined jet stream. Next, rotate the Earth map to the Arctic and compare its meandering jet stream with the southern jet stream. Return to the map the next time a weather event occurs and notice how the northern jet stream is associated with the event bringing down cold air from the north or bringing up warm air to the north.
    Environmental Analysis, Display and Integration/Distribution System
  14. Fossil and ice-core evidence indicates that historical climatology consists of long (million and thousand year) periods of consistent weather combined with punctuated changes that may occur within a decade. In other words, our climate is susceptible to unpredictable, abrupt, non-linear, changes that can switch into alternate pattern(s) lasting for thousand/million years.
  15. It is beyond our power to reverse these newly discovered positive feed-back loops. It is estimated that we have 10-20 years before life as we know it will be extinct due to habitat destruction (crop failure).
    • Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) says that "Global warming is irreversible without massive geoengineering of the atmosphere's chemistry."
    • Live Science says that "Current schemes to minimize the havoc caused by global warming by purposefully manipulating Earth's climate are likely to either be relatively useless or actually make things worse, researchers say in a new study."
    • Skeptical Science says that "Alarming New Study Makes Today's Climate Change More Comparable To Earth's Worst Mass Extinction."
    • National Academy of Sciences says that "A Four-Degree Rise Will End Vegetation 'Carbon Sink' Research Suggests."

References:
Pauline Schneider - Going Dark Documentary - password: Going Dark - September 2014
Guy McPherson - Global Climate Crisis and Human Extinction - April 2014
Guy McPherson - Presenting in Olympia, Washington - March 2014
Climate Change and Human Extinction - A Personal Perspective - March 2014
Guy McPherson - Picking Cherries, January 2014
Guy McPherson - Planet Earth: The Next 30 years, January 2014
Guy McPherson - Earth Extinction 2030 - November 2013
Guy McPherson - Presentation at DePauw University, Indiana, October 2013
Guy McPherson - Presentation at Bluegrass Bioneers 2012

 


Is Global Warming Unstoppable? Theory Also Says Energy Conservation Doesn't Help - November 2009
Associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Tim Garrett, quantifies civilization as a "Heat Engine"
  • Energy conservation or efficiency doesn't really save energy, but instead spurs economic growth and accelerated energy consumption.
  • Throughout history, a simple physical "constant" - an unchanging mathematical value - links global energy use to the world's accumulated economic productivity, adjusted for inflation. So it isn't necessary to consider population growth and standard of living in predicting society's future energy consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions.
  • "Stabilization of carbon dioxide emissions at current rates will require approximately 300 gigawatts of new non-carbon-dioxide-emitting power production capacity annually - approximately one new nuclear power plant (or equivalent) per day," Garrett says. "Physically, there are no other options without killing the economy."
University of Utah professor Tim Garrett says conservation is futile
ENERGY = WEALTH = INFLATION + RUINED ATMOSPHERE
How persistent is civilization growth?

 


Paul Beckwith - Abrupt Climate Change
Explanation of Southern Hemisphere Jet Stream Dynamics
Explanation of Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream Dynamics
Paul Beckwith - Abrupt Climate Change
Siberia, Jets, Mixing, Methane, Abrupt Climate Change
James Lovelock - Enjoy life while you can

 


Michael Jennings - Associate Professor of Geology - U of Idaho
Because of increasing temperatures due to green-house gas emissions, a suite of amplifying feedback mechanisms (exponential functions) have begun. They include massive methane leaks from the sub-sea Arctic Ocean and are probably unstoppable. These processes, acting in concert with the biological and physical inertia of the Earth system in responding to atmospheric loading of green-house gasses, along with economic, political and social barriers to emission reduction, currently place Earth's climate trajectory well within the IPCC's A1FI future climate change scenario. There is a rapidly diminishing chance of altering the trajectory towards human extinction. There is also now a very real risk of sudden climate change. The pace of this quickly advancing situation, along with our scientific understanding of it, has substantially outstripped policy discussion.

Climate Disruption: Are We Beyond the Worst Case Scenario? - September 2012
Audio interview

 



NASA Satellites See Arctic Surface Darkening Faster

The Arctic has warmed by 2°C (3.6°F) since the 1970s. The summer minimum Arctic sea ice extent has decreased by 40 percent during the same time period.

 


NASA has more bad news about Arctic ice and global warming

Eisenman, an assistant professor of climate dynamics, said that the results of the study show that the heating resulting from albedo changes caused by Arctic sea ice retreat is "quite large." Averaged over the entire globe, it is one-fourth as large as the heating caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the same period.

 


Merchants of Doubt

In their book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Examples include the Heartland Institute and George C. Marshall Institute

Oreskes and Conway addressed tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT revealing how free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era. For example, there were four physicists from the George C. Marshall Institute: Fred Seitz, S. Fred Singer, the lesser known William Nierenberg, and Robert Jastrow. All are ardent anti-communists, advocated free-markets, opposed to government regulation, believed that future technology can solve problems, and that 'free-markets' solve big problems. They also characterized environmentalist opponents as "watermelons" - green on the outside, but red on the inside.

These 'scientists' also believed restricting CO2 emission would weaken the US and lose-the-peace that had been fought for so long in the cold war; and thus disguised a political debate as a scientific debate. In this way they inserted Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) into factual discussions to confuse the American public and delayed political action on time-critical climate chaos events.

FUD tactics revolved around denying science in each issue (tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT) by being 'skeptical' (to create the illusion of credibility); funding of 'new' science designed to create uncertainty (i.e., not to answer questions, but to create contrasting data they can misrepresent); publish opinions about how 'the science is not settled' (knowing that science is never settled, but the public won't understand); and of course, using Frank Luntz word smithing, and punchy, though meaningless, catchphrases like 'sound science' to make it appear they are saying something.

These 'scientists' mastered the use of four key FUD and obfuscation techniques:

  1. Results from scientific studies are uncertain.
  2. Concerns were exaggerated
  3. Technology will solve the stated problem
  4. No need for government interference

In spite of using FUD on regulators, politicians, and journalists to thwart and delay government regulation, they have lost three of the four battles:

  1. Acid rain was found to be related to smokestack emission.
  2. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were related to the ozone depletion.
  3. Environmental tobacco (second-hand smoke) and smoking is associated with lung cancer.
  4. Global warming is associated with increasing CO2 emission.

Naomi Oreskes: "No scientific conclusion can ever be proven, absolutely, but it is no more a 'belief' to say that Earth is heating up than it is to say that continents move, that germs cause disease, that DNA carries hereditary information or that quarks are the basic building blocks of subatomic matter. You can always find someone, somewhere, to disagree, but these conclusions represent our best available science, and therefore our best basis for reasoned action."

FUD artists are able to guide public opinion and control the public when:

  1. The public has trust in government authority.
  2. FUD 'scientists' can create a catalyst to crisis and a propose a solution that will result in control.
  3. The crisis must be caused by the public in order for the solution of control to be established.
  4. The more severe the crisis, the more the public will demand increased control of their behavior.
Selected chapters of Merchants of Doubt

CHAPTER 1 Doubt Is Our Product
CHAPTER 6 The Denial of Global Warming
...The authors conclude that "balanced" coverage is a form of "informational bias," and that the ideal of balance leads journalists to give minority views more credence than they deserve.

The divergence between the state of the science and how it was presented in the major media help make it easy for our government to do nothing about global warming. Gus Speth had thought in 1988 that there was real momentum toward taking action. But by the mid-1990s, that policy momentum had not just fizzled; it had evaporated. In July 1997, three months before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized, U.S. senators Robert Byrd and Charles Hagel introduced a resolution blocking its adoption. Byrd-Hagel passed the Senate by a vote of 97-0. Scientifically, global warming was an established fact. Politically, global warming was dead.
Chapter 7 Denial Rides Again: Revisionists Attacks on Racheal Carson

 


"Dark Money" Funds Climate Change Denial Effort
Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change
Dark Money Corruption of Democracy Forces Climate Change Direct Action and Mass Mobilization
Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at MIT, said he was duped into appearing in, The Great Global Warming Swindle
The American Denial of Global Warming - Perspectives on Oceans
Crashed a Climate Change Denial Conference in Las Vegas

 


Three Es: Environment, Economy, and Energy
Peak mining & implications for natural resource management - Simon Michaux
Presentation update. New data showed that 2005 was a peak resource turning point. Oil supply became inelastic and at the same time Chinese demand for raw materials accelerated. Metal prices (Au, Ag, Ni, Pb, Cu, Fe, Zn, etc) spiked and became very volatile. The 2008 economic correction (tax-payer bailout) did not return metal prices prior-2005 levels, nor did it create a new level of stability.
This means that we are now 8-9 years into an era of industrial transformation. I believe this is a signature for the start of transformation as a consequence of Peak Oil. All of our resources are following this pattern. Peak oil is certainly not the only problem we face. Our financial and economic systems are far too fragile and disconnected from reality to engage in the required industrial reform.
There are some technological solutions which might help if applied correctly. But we are out of time. We really need 10-20 years to manage the transition after political-will is established. These problems here now. Current political leadership are engaging in squabbling over meager resources and maintaining status quo. We are using the last of the easy to get resources to 'straighten bananas.' This indifference to dire circumstances suggests a certain outcome.

 


Symbiotic relationship among energy, the economy, and perception of wealth

Our debt-based financial system is a result of growth allowed through essentially free energy and, therefore, is dependent upon growth. Said another way, forms of wealth that include Fractional Reserve Lending, equities, corporate bonds, letters of credit, infrastructure project funding, and debt-based currency (Federal Reserve Notes) all depend upon future growth to pay back the debt.

The financial system is maintained with negative-feedback loops; but, the system is also extremely complex and unable to assess true risk as demonstrated in the London Whale and other blowups. However, once the system breaks through its outer limits, reverse positive-feedback loops take control. One example is panic stock selling, but in today's economy the most likely outcome would be a lack of trust and panic withdraw of credit as occurred in 2008.

Turning our attention to energy, we see our modern societies have become dependent on nearly-free energy with Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROI) factor of at least 8:1 to maintain current living standards. But an EROI of 14:1 is required to support such things as good education, health care, and the arts.

The bad news is that our EROI is on the cusp of dropping exponentially and as EROI continues to drop (Arctic, deep sea, tar-sand and shale-oil, have an average EROI of 5:1), economic growth will slow with far reaching and devastating reversal of global prosperity in an unequal fashion.

Once one accepts that growth will slow or even cease, all of the current common sense assumptions about financial investing, such as the assumption of making money from money, cease to be true.

Funding the needed $trillions to develop 5-3:1 EROI oil infrastructure in a low-to-zero growth world economy will be almost impossible. This simple realization would create a positive-feedback loop of bankruptcies that would destabilize and crash the world's financial system.

Again, wealth is based upon future growth, so the wealth that disappears in a financial crash is stocks, endowment funds, pension funds, insurance companies portfolios, the ability of governments to borrow, and the ability of governments to tax.

Today's wealth is a perception of future growth. If that perception shifts negatively as a result excessive risk in financial markets or an unexpected decrease in EROI, the world's civilization may reset itself back to the 1850s.

Roger Boyd Video - Financial System on Life Support - July 2014
Roger Boyd Book - Energy and the Financial System: What Every Economist, Financial Analyst, and Investor Needs to Know - February 28, 2014
Nate Hagens: Twenty Important Concepts Not Taught in Business School

 


McPherson Rebuttal (name calling)
A discussion with Nicole Foss - Serving the Empire of Lies
Nicole Foss - "I do regard this issue (climate change) as of lesser importance than those things we can hope to change. This not to say that climate it not important of course, merely that investing time in the humanly immutable is probably wasted time, and I don't have a lot of time on my hands.
The difference is that both financial crisis and peak oil are far more personal and immediate than climate change, and so are far bigger motivators of behavioral change. For this reason, addressing arguments in these terms is far more likely to be effective. In other words, the best way to address climate change is not to talk about it."

Guy McPherson - "I'd be hard pressed to find a stupider statement than this: "the best way to address climate change is not to talk about it." In other words, channelling Orwell, "truth is treason in an empire of lies." At least in this case, Foss apparently prefers the empire of lies."

Captain of Titanic to passengers
Captain:    The Titanic has struck an iceberg and is sinking fast.
Passengers: Can we stop it?
Captain:    No. It will sink and most of us will die.
Passengers: We (quoting Nicole Foss) "would regard such predictions as unlikely,
            disempowering and dangerous, in the sense that they could, when fear is in the
            ascendancy anyway, provoke a disproportionate fear response that could in itself
            be very destructive"
Captain:    Fine. Whatever. You're going to die anyway you nitwits.
Passengers: Stop being so negative. Let's not talk about this anymore.
Captain:    You really are a bunch of nitwits, aren't you.
How Guy McPherson gets it wrong
McPherson's Evidence That Doom Doom Doom
Toward Improved Discussions of Methane & Climate
American Association for the Advancement of Science - What We Know Confirms Arctic feedback loops but says we need to see exponential explosion before we can claim it will occur!?!

 


Conservation of Energy and Climate Change Pseudo Science
Plastic from the Air, Global Warming Solution or SCAM?