2011-02-02 12:06:44Monckton Myth #10: Warming in the Pipeline
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
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I finished drafting up MM #10.  Let me know if the section headings are too...jockular.
2011-02-02 12:16:31Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
134.153.163.105
What about the effect of sulphate aerosols which Ben Santer talked about before congress. He indicated that's why warming wasnt exactly as much as the models on co2 alone would predict ??
2011-02-02 12:32:36different issue
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

That's a different issue Robert - one I talk about in the third of the Case Study trilogy (why we've seen as much warming as we'd expect).  Here we're just talking about warming in the pipeline.

I could talk about aerosols, but they're canceled out (so far) by non-CO2 greenhouse gases.  So just talking about CO2, while not showing the complete picture, accurately tells us the warming in the pipeline (unless aerosols and/or non-CO2 greenhouse gases change significantly).

2011-02-03 06:23:02other comments?
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252
Anybody else?  Surely it's not perfect :-)
2011-02-03 07:05:02
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206
Dana, this is not my field of expertise by any stretch, and I'm feeling a little under the weather (damn flu) but I'll take a look.....
2011-02-03 07:05:49
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.149.21

Where you say:

  • "Making that happen, however, would require a radically rapid reduction in human CO2 emissions."

What if you take that further. Eg:

  • "Making that happen, however, would require everyone everywhere stops using electricity and driving cars immediately."

Eg - something ridiculous and impossible, hence demonstrating the ridiculousness of Monckton's argument.

Your percentages of 2100 warming for different scenarios seems counter intuitive to me - can you explain where I'm understanding it wrong? I would've thought the lower the CO2 levels, the closer to equilibrium we would be by 2100. But your table shows the opposite - 90% of warming by 2100 for A1F1. Visually, looking at the IPCC graph, A1F1 is still on the up and up while the other scenarios are flattening and approaching equilibrium. What's up with that?

2011-02-03 09:11:22intuitiveness
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

That threw me off at first too John, but I think it's because of the other factors which change in the various scenarios.  I tried to explain after the table:

"It's worth noting that CO2 isn't the only factor to change in these scenarios.  For example, global methane emissions rise much more in Scenarios A1F1 and A2 than B1, which helps explain the relatively smaller fraction of equilibrium warming experienced in Scenario B1 by 2100."

Basically methane is pushing up the temp in Scenarios A1F1 and A2, but not as much in B1.  So you get closer to the equilibrium temp, which is just based on CO2 changes.

Hard to say exactly what it would take to freeze CO2 at current levels, but I'll add something in there.

2011-02-03 10:03:53
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.8

dana,

You are interpreting Monckton's error to an unrealistic belief in projected CO2 emissions: total cessation. I read them more as a conflation of equilibria: the equilibrium based on today's level of CO2, and the equilibrium ultimately to be reached by the CO2 level of the year 2100. This confusion may, or may not, be deliberate. But I think it will be easier for the reader to understand the second interpretation. It is very implausible that Monckton could be assuming zero CO2 emissions anytime in the near future.

2011-02-03 10:11:36
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252
Well, it's still true that to make Monckton's assertion accurate, we need to freeze atmospheric CO2 levels immediately.  But I'll add a comment that maybe he was confusing equilibrium for today's CO2 levels with equilibrium at 2100.
2011-02-03 10:21:11
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.111
I think that the whole reasoning in the section "IPCC Reality is not Pretty" is incorrect. Basically, you take the CO2 concentration in 2100 and assume that it will stay there forever; in this way you can calculate the equilibrium temperature. But the projected temperature shown in figure 1 includes other contributions and so the comparison is meaningless. If you include them, the equilibrium temperature will be higher and the ratio lower; or, if you include in the scenario only CO2, the projected temperature will be lower and again the ratio lower.
I don't know if Monckton's 57% is correct, but you are overestimating the ratio.

2011-02-03 10:53:28
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

But that's why I looked at 3 different scenarios and included the quote (see response above to John) about other factors, Riccardo.  For example, in Scenario B1, methane and nitrous oxide emissions don't change considerably by 2100, so the non-CO2 contributions appear to be small.   The problem is that Monckton doesn't specify where his 57% figure is coming from, so it's hard to evaluate.

I could probably just delete the section if it's going to cause a problem though.

2011-02-03 11:51:11
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Dana,

But you have that Solomon reference I gave you to back you up (albeit using TAR, but I doubt AR4 is much different).  So long as you have a caveat that "we don't know WTF Monckton is talking about (and you can nail him for not citing or substantiating his assertions, another denialist/"skeptics" trick), but this is what the IPCC does say", then I do not see an issue.  What the IPCC says is not consistent with what Monckton is claiming. EOS-- and that is IMHO the point you are trying to make.

I have not read the latest draft Dana.  Sorry, I got distracted by "Agnostic", and we have  a busy evening ahead. I could look at it tomorrow am (Mountain Time) if that is not too late.

 

2011-02-03 16:50:43true
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210
Good point Albatross, I can reference the Solomon calculation in that section.
2011-02-03 18:01:44
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.159

Sorry Dana, I didn't make my point clear enough (it was late night here when i wrote my comment :)). I read your response to John and I know you know the meaning what of you've done. What I wanted to say is that you cannot say that 57% is wrong because you're overestimating the ratio by an unknow factor.

Anyway, the point made by John on figure 1 still applies, it's confusing; it seems to contradict the numbers you give in table 1. Overall this section will probably make people think that the warming will stop there, more so for the worst case scenario.

2011-02-04 03:11:25thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Okay, fair points Riccardo.  I'll try to clarify a bit further.

I added the IPCC report reference which states that ~80% of equilibrium warming will be experienced by 2100 (thanks Albatross).  I also clarified that Monckton appears to be inconsistent with this, without outright calling him wrong.  And I noted that equilibrium warming calculations are only realized when we stabilize atmospheric CO2.

I also added the Monckton Myths button to the top.

2011-02-04 03:45:39
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Dana,

No worries.  Glad to contribute, albeit in a small way.

I'll give the document a read now and see if anything stands out.

2011-02-04 04:10:01
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

"Making that happen, however, would require a radically rapid reduction in human CO2 emissions.  It would basically require that everyone everywhere stops using electricity and driving cars immediately."

"Skeptics"  might seize on this to say that it is hopless to then try and reduce GHG emissions? What is the point of ruining the world's economy? Or something along those lines.  So perhaps it is better to frame the argument that Monckton is being completely unrealistic (as you have), and to add that this indicates that why it is so important to start reducing our GHG emisions immediately.  

Maybe make a note in the caption for Fig. 1 that the anomalies are relative to temperatures in 2000. Perhaps also note that we are currently following path A2 (BAU), and that the differenc ebetween A2 and B1 shows that it is not futile to reduce GHG emissions.

"A 2008 study led by James Hansen found that climate sensitivity to "fast feedback processes" [for doubling CO2]is 3°C"


"This is a particularly significant error considering that Monckton would prefer that we continue in a business-as-usual scenario which will lead to atmospheric CO2 levels more than doubling over the next 90 years."

Maybe include in brackets that BAU would take us along A2 in Fig. 1.

I found this post depressing, even with aggresive cuts to GHGs (B1) we are still looking at 4 K (3.3 + 0.7 = 4 K) warming above preindustrial temperatures by 2100.  Sigh.  But going back to my first first comment, +4 K warming is much better than 5.5 to 5.9 K (for A1F1 and AF2) by 2100.  So some hope.

I also found it interesting that Monckton ackowledges that ther eis wamring in the pipeline, whereas Lindzen ignores it in his caluclations. These guys contradict each other all the time.

2011-02-04 05:57:57thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Thanks Albatross, I made most of those changes.

Monckton does hedge his bets on the "warming in the pipeline" by saying things like "Now, to pretend that manmade “global warming” is a problem as big as the IPCC says it is".  Lindzen also acknowledges that there is warming in the pipeline, he just claims that it's a small amount so he can neglect it in his calculations.

2011-02-08 15:54:52I'm a bit late, but here are my thoughts
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.148.195

You might want to add that Hansen’s slow-feedback sensitivity implies 450 ppm, if maintained for long enough for slow feedbacks to kick in, would mean not 2°C but 4°C. That paper also looked at CO2 and temperature during the Cenozoic and concluded that 450 ppm would eventually result in an ice-free Earth will sea level 75 metres higher.

As for what it would take to freeze CO2 levels, it would basically take a phaseout of coal in the next couple of decades.

2011-02-08 16:44:49
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.233

Thanks James, I don't want to go too into detail about the long-term sensitivity though.  My personal hope is that we can stabilize somewhere near 450 ppm this century, and then hopefully we can come up with a feasible way of reducing atmospheric CO2 in the following century.  But we have to limit it to 450 ppm first.  Which at this point is not looking good.

The issue in the article is also what it would take to freeze CO2 levels immediately.  That would take more than a coal phase-out.  It would basically be an immediate shut-down of most of our technology.