State of the Climate: Much Worse than Predicted

Tue, 2009-11-24 12:14Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

State of the Climate: Much Worse than Predicted

Given the dated nature of the last report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a panel of some of the world’s most respected climate scientists have put together an update called The Copenhagen Diagnosis.

The news is worse than predicted on every front.

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions are up 40 per cent from 1990.
  • The global warming trend has continued, despite a temporary decline in solar energy.
  • Both Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass at an accelerating rates, as are glaciers the world over.
  • Summer-time melting of Arctic sea-ice during 2007-2009 was about 40% greater than the average prediction from the IPCC’s last report.
  • Global average sea-level has risen at a rate 80% above past IPCC predictions over the past 15 years.
  • Several vulnerable elements in the climate system (e.g. continental ice-sheets. Amazon rainforest, West African monsoon and others) could pass irreversible tipping points if warming continues in a business-as-usual way throughout this century.

Even if global emission rates are stabilized at present–day levels, the Copenhagen Diagnosis advises that just 20 more years of emissions would give a 25% probability of warming exceeding 2oC, widely considered an overall tipping point.

If global warming is to be limited to 2oC above pre-industrial values, emissions need to peak between 2015 and 2020 and then decline rapidly. To stabilize climate, we need to reach near-zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases well within this century. Average annual per-capita emissions will have to shrink to well under 1 metric ton CO2 by 2050. This is 80-90% below the per-capita emissions in developed nations in 2000.

It’s also outside even the most optimistic scenario and the blockers and delayers are bringing to Copenhagen. As the Diagnosis team says, every year we delay action drives us closer to a tipping point beyond which lies a global environmental catastrophe unimagined in the human age. We can only hope that the negotiators are listening.

Previous Comments

Much of the state of affairs you quote is either based on fabricated data or just part of a natural cycle. We do have environmental problems to solve but it is not near as dire as you predict. There is no sense trying to through towels on him, the emperor has no clothes and we all can see that now.
CRU HACK

It is always good to have a good argument. Unless you dont… http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/climatechange1/01_4.shtml

RealClimate has a post about it:

“…This report was written for policy-makers, stakeholders, the media and the broader public, and has been sent to each and every one of the COP15 negotiating teams throughout the world…” http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/copenhagen/

so here is the problem in a nutshell…how do we know if the “most respected scientists’ ” new report is full of lies, misrepresented data or agenda driven? and you have the balls to suggest we should go to the realclimate website. see the problems they have created?

One thing’s for sure, youse guys/gals sure got moxie!

Let’s just forget about what all has transpired in the last week.
Tabula Rasa?

The deck chairs are being re-arranged on the Titanic’s Lido deck in preparation for Nero’s fiddle virtuoso concerto extravaganza.

According to the models, there shouldn’t have been any icebergs in that quadrant. The Humanity!

The scientists aren’t looking for truth anymore. They are convinced they have it. Therefore the climate science they do now and in the future is of reduced value.

So you’re saying all the work done on evolution is of reduced value because evolutionists don’t buy creationism any more? Honest scientific work is always of value, whether it confirms or disproves a theory.

reduced value should not be read as no value. It was a well selected word.

No, it is based on a faulty judgment.

The scientists dont have to work to find evidence supporting global warming. It pops out of every data set.
NASA satellites take pictures of the ice that any loon can evaluate for himself (apologies to the birds).
Biologists know the springs are coming earlier, the falls later. Seed companies have changed their planting recommendations.
Gravity data sets show baselines – where gravity is not changing – and the areas where gravity is weakening. The weakening areas occur where land-ice is melting.
The pine bark beetles in the American West are not being killed because the winters are warmer. The infestation is killing trees massively. You think this is hard to see? Wait till the fires start, you will be able to smell it for yourself.

Pine Beetles have been big news several times going back to the 19 century. It turns out to be cyclical. Warm temps are favorable to the beetles but the current outbreak has a lot to do with modern fire suppression in the forests too.

Pictures of ice are all too recent. There are no pictures of arctic ice from the 12th century. It’s all guesswork.

Climate has always changed. Seeding and harvest times naturally adjust.

Gravity data sets are new. Just because things are changing now, doesn’t mean they weren’t changing 3000 years ago too.

Well, in the past, climate changes have killed lots of people, such as the Little Ice Age. But the main problem now is that the changes are happening so quickly that many species cannot adapt; and we are probably going to have widespread crop failures because crops don’t do well in weather extremes. And we need food more than oil.

I quickly reviewed the references at the end to see just how “up-to-date” this is, and it is very recent.

Of the about 270 scientific studies cited in the references, only about 60 pre-date the 2007 IPCC report (figuring anything dated 2006 or earlier was available to the IPCC). This means this report’s conclusions rely on around 200 peer-reviewed studies not available to authors of the 2007 IPCC report. This suggests a strong need to get this into the hands of the people who might rely only on the 2007 IPCC summary for policy makers.

Lorne Gunter strikes again: http://www2.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=5bcff36a-ddf5-4b21-b501-ae589c4d1a2a&p=2

East Antarctica http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo694.html

…on Antarctica and Greenland.

http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/press/press_releases/press_release.php?id=989

Likely repeats some data in your post but the stuff on Greenland may be of interest.

Like the old saying goes…. “nature bats last”. Looks like shes going to be a heavy hitter with the bases loaded and a count of 3 & 0.

Going through the update from the IPCC was so depressing I had to stop and go for a walk. The body count is going to rise quite quickly in the next few years and the least responsible will suffer most.

Just kicks me in the guts to see this when there was a chance to stop it. Its looking now like we may not even be able to slow it enough to soften some major impacts.

I,m better understanding why Suzuki made the comment about jailing those standing in the way. If there isn,t a law there sure should be.

Albertans hate David Suzuki - they see red when they hear his name. I had people hissing at me. As if the guy had horns and a tail. I do not know where this anger stems from. To me, he is a reasonable guy with reasonable views - not particularly radical in any way, just reasonable. And the same accounts for Al Gore - I was surprised how moderate his views in the convenient truth movie were - after all the discussion and attacks, I expected provocation, but saw a calm guy. And I never had the impression that he tried to fiddle data - as opposed to, let’s say, Lorne Gunter. Amazing, this hate. Hmm, as I learnt at school: in North America, it is indecent to be different (exceptions may apply to some figureheads, such as the highly excentric, however British, Lord Monckton).

Some Albertans hate environmentalists in general, I’m not sure why; and sometimes they may not distinguish between non-scientist activists and scientists. But because both Suzuki and Gore are popularizers of science, they have become especial targets of the anti-science crowd.

Gore is hardly a popularizer of science. He is a charlatan amassing a fortune while downplaying his massive conflicts of interest on the issue. Unbiased he is not.

Bishop Suzuki? He appears untouchable in Canada, misguided though his prescriptions are.

paul s displays the anger and ad hominem attacks also seen from the Heartland Institute and other “skeptics” on the right end of the spectrum (also seen in rednecks; overlaps exist). When coming to Canada over 15 years ago, I noticed this anger against gays (“gaybashing”), which probably translates into anger against anybody who thinks different, e.g. Gore, Suzuki. Now, does this anger point to broadmindedness? You can answer this question yourselves and then you are not surprised about the tactics used by “climate skeptics”.

you’re kidding right? emotive language and personal attacks belong in some particular way to the skeptic side? ever read Joe Romm? He pretty much holds the patent on emotional attack.

I do apologise, I do not intend to hijack this threat, but I have a couple of burning questions on Lorne Gunters claims:

1. True or false?
Even Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, one of the leading sirens of the alarmist community, had to concede late last month that, when it recalculated global temperatures for the past decade using the latest data and techniques, the average over the past 10 years had risen just 0.07 degrees centigrade, less than half the 0.2 degrees they and the UN had previously claimed. And when the natural phenomena of El Ninos and La Ninas were excluded, the change was exactly 0.0 degrees.

Here, he excludes short-term natural variablity (weather) to arrive at a zero trend. Is this zero trend true? If you remove the 1998 El Ninjo, you take away the basis for the usual falling trend claimed by others. Elsewhere in the article, he uses short term variability alone in support of no climate change (few hurricanes this fall).

2. Also true or false:

First came the news that Arctic sea ice didn’t melt nearly as much this year as it did two years ago, or even last year. While the area covered by ice at the end of the summer of 2009 was nearly a quarter smaller than the average of the past 25 years, nevertheless, it was almost 20 per cent greater than at the 2007 minimum.

The 25 year average is only a red herring, but 2009 and 2007 minimums?

So on page 1, Gunter writes: “Hackers have taken alleged e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at Britain’s Hadley Centre and posted them on the Internet…” I wonder which denial website he got that from, since he doesn’t know it was the CRU at UEA.

NOAA released a new report (Nov 23/09) on the building El Nino event with numerous graphs projecting temps and precip expected for NA.

This helps explain the weather we are getting here on the BC coast.

If it continues to build we are in for a warm & wet winter and a continued trend in increased temps across much of Canada. http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

“Global average sea-level has risen at a rate 80% above past IPCC predictions over the past 15 years.”

Has it? Or have you conveniently just chosen to use a different meauruement system?

It’s true, sea level rise has NOT accelerated. Tidal gauge data shows a slow and steady approx. 1.8mm per year rise.

The “trick” in getting an 80% increase in sea level rise is by switching over to a completely different measurement system (TOPEX/Poseidon satellite), in the early 1990’s.

CO2 up - yes, the only thing that reduces CO2 is economic downturn, and while we did have that over the past year driving miles are on the way back up again.

Antarctic Ice sheets. - I thought mass was trending up due to increased precipitation that goes with the warmer temps associated with global warming down there. not so?

Sea level - -thats strange. All I’ve heard from the last year or so is that it seems to be less than expected and sea level rise does this ebb and flow thing so you need about 50 years to make any sense of it.

2020 is a lot closer than we tend to think. (in 2000 I was working at a building that needed new elevators very badly. It was next on our list. It’s still next on our list)

Also here’s a trend that might have legs. Americans who believe global warming is happening is down from 80% to 72% in 1 year. (We aren’t even talking AGW, just global warming irrespective of cause) So at that rate in just 9 more years we reach 0%

Hey - maybe by 2020 public acceptance of AGW climate doctrine will turn out to look like an inverted hockey stick graph.

Here’s a link to show you what the top global warming PR machine is up to now.

http://www.breitbart.tv/new-climate-change-shock-ad-features-polar-bears-falling-to-bloody-deaths/

Aren’t you convinced yet that global warming is real?

It is pretty obvious - and has been long before global-warming science emerged - that we are presently living beyond our means. We are nearing the end of the oil - and even if it is 200 years away (an overly optimistic speculation), we will have only had oil for ca. 300 years (or less) of the history of mankind. Truly a short period on the grand scale. Since in particular North American producers and consumers are short-sighted and only live for the day and its short term profits, things will change as soon as somebody starts making huge profits with alternative energies. For example, when the electric car and it battery technology have matured and become cheaper than the gasoline car, everybody and their dog will jump on the bandwagon and try to cash in. So, while the overall unfeathered free-market ideology may not even (have to) change, consumerism and production will. I look forward to the first ultra-conservative think tank embracing clean technologies…the day will come. Opportunism never dies!

Disclaimer: Freiherr von Monckhausen is a petroleum geologist and a professional geologist registered in Alberta.

very optimistic - life beyond fossil fuels - and without poverty I assume. Okay, lets do that.

State of Climate: Much worse than Projected

Should read

Climategate: Much worse than Projected

I’m talking to die hard global warmers and all you have to tell them is “check out the e-mails for yourself”. I’ve e-mailed the website with the searchable database and a cue card of some specific keywords and e-mails to seach for and bam! They come back a day or so later and feel betrayed. Then they re-examine the science for themselves and realize that its all bunk.

This may prove interesting.

I went through the above report last night to look at some of the papers the report is based on.

Just a really rough count came in at around 276. Many are newer than the 07 release of AR4 and the authors are listed.

Dont want to spoil the surprise but folks may want to take a look through the alphabetical listing and be sure to check out the papers listed under “M”.

There are 3 papers cited there with a couple of names that will be familiar to those in the know on the “hockey stick” issue.

Wonder if they know they are listed………. ?? Love to see their faces when they find out.

Perhaps we should change tack slightly and learn to cope will climate change rather than trying to stop it. Thanks

[x]

A worldwide transition to low carbon fuels could save the global economy as much as $1.8 trillion over the next two decades, according to two reports published Thursday by the Climate Policy Initiative.

By switching to renewable energy sources, the high costs associated with extracting and transporting coal and gas could be avoided, the reports, titled Moving to a Low Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon...

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