A Climate Realist’s (not so) short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. Question 5 (of 16) Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

NOV. 28, 2015 gave his answers to 16 questions in the N.Y. Times regarding Climate Change.

Answers to Question 1: How much is the planet heating up?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/20/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-1-of-16-how-much-is-the-planet-heating-up/

Answers to Question 2. How much trouble are we in?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/21/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-2-of-16-how-much-trouble-are-we-in/

Answers to Question 3. Is there anything I can do?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/21/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-3-of-16-is-there-anything-i-can-do/

Answers to Question 4. What’s the optimistic scenario?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/22/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-4-of-16-whats-the-optimistic-scenario/

Justin Gillis answer to  Question 5. Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

Yes, beef especially.

Agriculture of all types produces greenhouse gases that warm the planet, but meat production is especially harmful – and beef is the most environmentally damaging form of meat. Some methods of cattle production demand a lot of land, contributing to destruction of forests; the trees are typically burned, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Other methods require huge amounts of water and fertilizer to grow food for the cows.

The cows themselves produce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes short-term warming. Meat consumption is rising worldwide as the population grows, and as economic development makes people richer and better able to afford meat.

This is worrisome: Studies have found that if the whole world were to start eating beef at the rate Americans eat it, produced by the methods typically used in the United States, that alone might erase any chance of staying below an internationally agreed-upon limit on global warming. Pork production creates somewhat lower emissions than beef production, and chicken is lower still. So reducing your meat consumption, or switching from beef and pork to chicken in your diet, are both moves in the right direction. Of course, as with any kind of behavioral change meant to benefit the climate, this will only make a difference if lots of other people do it, too, reducing the overall demand for meat products.

My answer to  Question 5. Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

It will do very little for the climate, but it might help your personal economy to switch your eating habits. Beef used to be cheap, but no more. Bacon, baby pork ribs, beef tenderloin, veal cutlets, chicken wings are at premium prices, and switching from beef to chicken and turkey is already under way thanks to the wonderful regulator called the free market. However, there is one thing that will help the environment and indirectly the climate:

Switch from feed-lot beef to grass fed beef. Release more grasslands for responsible grazing to preserve the environment. Here is an interesting video:

What do you think?

A Climate Realist’s (not so) short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. Question 4 (of 16) What’s the optimistic scenario?

NOV. 28, 2015 gave his answers to 16 questions in the N.Y. Times regarding Climate Change.

Answers to Question 1: How much is the planet heating up?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/20/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-1-of-16-how-much-is-the-planet-heating-up/

Answers to Question 2. How much trouble are we in?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/21/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-2-of-16-how-much-trouble-are-we-in/

Answers to Question 3. Is there anything I can do?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/21/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-3-of-16-is-there-anything-i-can-do/

Justin Gillis answer to Question 4. What’s the optimistic scenario?

“Several things have to break our way.

In the best case that scientists can imagine, several things happen: Earth turns out to be less sensitive to greenhouse gases than currently believed; plants and animals manage to adapt to the changes that have already become inevitable; human society develops much greater political will to bring emissions under control; and major technological breakthroughs occur that help society both to limit emissions and to adjust to climate change.

The two human-influenced variables are not entirely independent, of course: Technological breakthroughs that make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels would also make it easier to develop the political will for rapid action.

Scientists say the odds of all these things breaking our way are not very high, unfortunately. The Earth could just as easily turn out to be more sensitive to greenhouse gases than less. Global warming seems to be causing chaos in parts of the natural world already, and that seems likely to get worse, not better. So in the view of the experts, simply banking on a rosy scenario without any real plan would be dangerous. They believe the only way to limit the risks is to limit emissions.”

My answer to Question 4. What’s the optimistic scenario?

We are now in a sweet spot as to climate, not too warm and no ice age yet. Were it not for increasing CO2 levels the little ice age might have triggered the onset of a real ice age, but a lot of factors, such as coming out of the Maunder solar minimum, starting industrialization in England and Germany sooting up the growing glaciers so they started melting again, the diminishing effect from the Tycho Brahe and Kepler supernovas cosmic radiation, all contributed to get us out of the start of the new ice age. Yet, we are into the latter stages of the bog generating phase of the interglacial period, and the onset of a new ice age is overdue.

We need more CO2, not less to keep us in the climate sweet spot. Increasing CO2 levels to between 850 and 1000 ppm should delay the onset by about 2000 to 5000 years (my guess), but after that the next ice age is coming. Historically, according to the Milankovitch cycles we should have already entered the next ice age.

This picture is simplified, but together with the other cycles the picture is quite complicated.

The take home from this picture is that daily insolation (at the 60th latitude) can vary by as much as 100 w/m2 or about 50 times the effect of a doubling of the CO2 level. It is also worth noting that the normal state of the earth is ice age, and thermal runaways have never occurred, even when in past geological ages, CO2 levels were over 10000 ppm.

 

 

A Climate Realist’s not so short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. Question 2 (of 16) How much trouble are we in?

NOV. 28, 2015 gave his answers to 16 questions in the N.Y. Times regarding Climate Change.

Answer to Question 1: How much is the planet heating up?

https://lenbilen.com/2017/03/20/a-climate-realists-not-so-short-answers-to-hard-questions-about-climate-change-question-1-of-16-how-much-is-the-planet-heating-up/

Justin Gillis answer to Question 2. How much trouble are we in?

“For future generations, big trouble.

The risks are much greater over the long run than over the next few decades, but the emissions that create those risks are happening now. Over the coming 25 or 30 years, scientists say, the climate is likely to resemble that of today, although gradually getting warmer. Rainfall will be heavier in many parts of the world, but the periods between rains will most likely grow hotter and therefore drier. The number of hurricanes and typhoons may actually fall, but the ones that do occur will draw energy from a hotter ocean surface, and therefore may be more intense, on average, than those of the past. Coastal flooding will grow more frequent and damaging.

Longer term, if emissions continue to rise unchecked, the risks are profound. Scientists fear climate effects so severe that they might destabilize governments, produce waves of refugees, precipitate the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals in Earth’s history, and melt the polar ice caps, causing the seas to rise high enough to flood most of the world’s coastal cities.

All of this could take hundreds or even thousands of years to play out, conceivably providing a cushion of time for civilization to adjust, but experts cannot rule out abrupt changes, such as a collapse of agriculture, that would throw society into chaos much sooner. Bolder efforts to limit emissions would reduce these risks, or at least slow the effects, but it is already too late to eliminate the risks entirely.”

My answer to  question: 2. How much trouble are we in?

For climate alarmists: big trouble, for climate realists, not anything out of the ordinary as to temperature rise.
The temperature rise is predicted using models that assume the major effect on the climate is from rising CO2 and ignore other factors such as a changing cloud cover. The imbalance due to rising CO2 levels is less than 2W/m2, and every percent change in cloud cover makes a larger difference. Here is the performance of 73 climate models versus observations.
There is almost no correlation between models and observations. What is the problem? Looking at how the models model clouds gives a hint:The models are way off on the amount of clouds. Antarctica is almost cloud free and the Arctic has plenty of clouds. This means the models totally underestimate the effects of water vapor (the source of clouds) and overestimate the effects of rising CO2.  It turns out that clouds are the major stabilizer of the climate on the high end, thanks to their high negative feedback – more clouds, cooler climate. This means that even with a doubling of the CO2 levels we will not even get back to even the Medieval warm period. We are in a long cooling trend.
No such feedback occurs when it cools, rather more snow means higher albedo which leads to a new ice age. More CO2 will delay the onset of the next ice age, but will not prevent it. Fear not, the next ice age is probably more than 5000 years away.

Change of tune in next week’s G20 meeting on Climate Change, a Limerick.

G20 to meet in Black Forest

Sweet unity  no longer chorused

The encouraging word

in the Paris accord

Mnuchin to farce metamorphosed.

(Bloomberg) — Finance ministers for the U.S., China, Germany and other members of the Group of 20 economies may scale back a robust pledge for their governments to combat climate change, ceding efforts to the private sector.

Citing “scarce public resources,” the ministers said they would encourage multilateral development banks to raise private funds to accomplish goals set under the 2015 Paris climate accord, according to a preliminary statement drafted for a meeting that will be held in Germany next week.

The statement, obtained by Bloomberg News, is a significant departure from a communique issued in July, when finance ministers urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, including a call for wealthy nations to make good on commitments to mobilize $100 billion annually to cut greenhouse gases around the globe.

“It basically says governments are irrelevant. It’s complete faith in the magic of the marketplace,” John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto’s G-20 Research Group, said in an interview. “That is very different from the existing commitments they have repeatedly made.”

The shift in tone comes as U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, prepares for his first G-20 meeting, scheduled for March 17 to 18 in the spa town of Baden-Baden. While European nations including Germany have been at the forefront of combating global warming, Trump has called climate change a hoax.

The Republican president vowed during his campaign to “cancel” the Paris agreement but has said little about the deal since taking office. His cabinet members, meanwhile, have sent mixed signals. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. should keep a seat at the table for international climate talks. Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Thursday expressed doubt that humans were to blame for global warming and called the Paris agreement a “bad deal” for the U.S.

The most notable element of the draft is what’s missing. The statement issued after the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in July dedicated 163 words to the Paris Agreement, pushing nations to bring the deal into force, meet emissions targets and fulfill financial pledges. This current draft dedicates just 47 words to the agreement, focusing exclusively on development banks raising private funds, without mentioning government financial support.

Germany, as the meeting’s host, leads the process of writing the statement, which will eventually be adopted via consensus by all 19 nations plus the European Union. The German finance ministry declined to comment on the draft.

“The most charitable thing to say is they’re waiting to see where Donald Trump actually lands by the time they get in Hamburg and thus, doing nothing to annoy the incoming American Treasury Secretary,” Kirton said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who holds the rotating presidency of the G-20, has signaled that she would use the forum to push Trump on climate issues. The two leaders are scheduled to meet in Washington March 14.

“The takeaway is it clearly puts less emphasis on climate finance as a priority than last year’s did,” Alden Meyer, director of policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview. “It doesn’t talk about government action. That is a significant step back from what countries agreed to in Paris.”

Full statement: https://www.bloombergquint.com/politics/2017/03/09/g-20-document-shows-governments-retreating-from-climate-funding

Greenpeace protest got fertilized. A Limerick.

Aroma from countryside Lancashire;

the farmer gave Greenpeace its hire.

Emma Thompson got sprayed

she got frackin’ afraid.

Her bake-off, frack free, reeked of mire.

Source, The Telegraph: An angry farmer attempted to spray Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson with manure on Wednesday after she broke a court injunction to stage a protest against fracking on his land. Ms Thompson and her sister Sophie entered a field on the Lancashire farm, where energy company Cuadrilla is planning to frack for shale gas, and baked renewable energy-themed cakes in a Greenpeace-backed protest stunt. An injunction has been in place banning protesters from the land near Preston since 2014 .The farmer, who was said to be “very upset” about being prevented from getting on with work in the field, proceeded to drive a muck-spreader around the protesters, narrowly missing the Thompson sisters and their cakes. Emma Thompson said she was staging the so-called “Frack Free Bake Off” in order to “show the government that we will not allow fracking to scar our countryside and fuel yet more climate change”.  “What better way to do that, here in Britain, than hold a Bake Off?,” she asked.

 

 

 

 

 

More trouble for Oroville Dam, a Limerick.

More trouble for Oroville Dam

Debris caused a water log-jam

Got a week-long reprieve

to remove the debris.

A scene of increasing bedlam.

The Oroville Dam is in more trouble than thought. Between one half and one million cubic yards of debris is clogging up the diversion pool causing the power plant to be shut down until it is cleared. The debris is all from erosion from the failing spillways which shows the erosive power of water not properly channelled. In addition they continue work on the emergency spillway and will attempt to shore up the breach in the main spillway.

920x1240It is a race against time. The upstream dams are all full, so all the snow-melt will fill the Oroville Dam back in no time, and there is at least one more major rain event coming down the pineapple express. The snow-pack is already way over normal for the season, so both spillways will have to be used again, and soon.

Will they succeed with the task in time?

Keep the bags packed if you live downstream. And please, pray!

The origin of the 97% consensus, a Limerick.

Canard: Ninety-seven percent,

on Climate Change give their assent

that it is getting warm,

and they want to conform

and blame CO2, they’re hell-bent.

pies-public-scienceHow did the 97% consensus come about, and is this claim valid, or do 55% of the public have a point?  The number 97%  stems from a 2008 master’s thesis by student Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at the University of Illinois, under the guidance of Peter Doran, an associate professor of Earth and environmental sciences. The two researchers obtained their results by conducting a survey of 10,257 Earth scientists, excluding scientists most likely to think that the Sun,  planetary movements or cosmic radiation might have something to do with climate on Earth — such as solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, astronomers and meteorologists.

To encourage a high participation among these remaining disciplines, the two researchers decided on a quickie survey that would take less than two minutes to complete, and would be done online, saving the respondents the hassle of mailing a reply. Nevertheless, most didn’t consider the quickie survey worthy of response — just 3,146, or 30.7%, answered the two key questions on the survey:

1. When compared with pre-1800 levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2 Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

The 10,257 scientists in such disciplines as geology, geography, oceanography, engineering, paleontology and geochemistry were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that only scientists employed by an academic or a governmental institution  would qualify. Neither was academic qualification a factor — about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn’t even have a master’s diploma.

The questions posed to the Earth scientists were actually non-questions. Nearly all scientists know the planet has warmed since the 1700s, and almost all think humans have contributed in some way to the recent warming — quite apart from carbon dioxide emissions, few would doubt that urbanization,  clearing of forests for agricultural purposes,  or misguided irrigation efforts such as the Aral Sea disaster have affected the climate. When pressed for a figure, global warming skeptics might say humans are responsible for 10% or 15% of the warming; some skeptics place the upper bound of man’s contribution at 35%. The skeptics only deny that humans played a dominant role in Earth’s warming.

Surprisingly, just 90% of the Earth scientists who responded to the first question believed that temperatures had risen — I would have expected a figure closer to 100%, since Earth was in the Little Ice Age in the centuries immediately preceding 1800. But perhaps some of the responders interpreted the question to include the past 2,000 years, when Earth was in the Medieval  or Roman Warm Period, when the climate was warmer than today.

As for the second question, 82% of the Earth scientists replied that human activity had significantly contributed to the warming. For openers, the question is a catch-all, is it CO2, pollution, urban development, cutting down of forests, failed irrigation projects or what? Secondly, how much is significantly?

To get up the percentage of positive responses above the 82% they excluded all the Earth scientists whose recently published peer-reviewed research wasn’t mostly in the field of climate change. This subset reduced the number of remaining scientists from over 3,000 to under 300. But the percentage that now resulted still fell short of the researchers’ ideal, so they chose a subset of 77 scientists that in the last 5 years had published multiple, peer reviewed papers, paid for by their respective academic institutions.

Once all these cuts were made, 75 out of 77 scientists of unknown qualifications were left endorsing the global warming orthodoxy. The two researchers, the master’s student and her prof, were then satisfied.

This claim was picked up by politicians and became truth that could not be disputed or you  were called the scum of the earth, worse than terrorists. Many more surveys, all intended to confirm the original claim

ritchie-2_121416The newer surveys also intended to confirm that it is CO2 that is the cause of Anthropogenic Climate Change. Because the U.N. agency IPCC insists that CO2 is the dominant, if not sole factor affecting Climate Change most scientists, eager to maintain funding tended to comply.

Lately there has been exposed one scandal after another has exposed massive data manipulation, from Climate Gate to changing old temperature tables eliminating the heat waves of the 30’s, just to name a few.

So, is there Anthropogenic Global Warming, and if so, is the cause mainly increasing CO2?

The jury is still out.