21st Century Climate Data Gives New Insight

Climate monitoring this century achieved new levels of precision – and it puts into doubt key assumptions of the theory of global warming.  Most of the discourse on global warming is about who said what about the temperature at 2 metres from the ground – the surface temperature record – and whether the planet is warming or not.  It is the wrong place to look for an answer to that question.  For a much more complete Earth energy budget – data on ocean heat, solar radiance and energy radiated at the top of the atmosphere is required.  The most precise and comprehensive Earth energy monitoring system ever assembled shows that most warming – and cooling – this century was entirely natural.

Although it is a very minor part of the global energy system – a quick aside on surface temperature is useful given the undue attention it receives.  Land temperatures are measured as sensible heat (the heat you can sense) by thermometers in a box at 2m from the ground.  Ocean temperatures are measured as sea surface temperature  – most often using floating buoys.  In explanation, most usually what we see as data is the change from conditions in a baseline period defined as the ‘climate normal’ – so-called anomalies.  Latent heat is the energy that melts ice or vaporises water.  This is a large part of the surface energy flux and it is not measured by thermometers.  As water vapour condenses higher in the atmosphere, heat is released and is measured by satellites.  The most significant problem in the surface temperature is the divergence of the land and ocean records this century.  Land is warming faster than ocean surface temperatures.  This can only happen if the land is drying out leading to more sensible and less latent heat flux at the surface.  From 1st principles – the land surface record is not a consistent or complete record of energy in the atmosphere and we must look elsewhere to draw reasonable inferences.

The Argo project has 3800 floats in the oceans that sink measuring temperature and salinity at different depths and then, at the surface again, relay data back to base via satellites.  The system is an immense improvement over haphazard methods of the past.  Cloud and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instruments aboard NASA satellites measure incoming and outgoing radiant power at the top of the atmosphere.  Radiant power over time is energy – one Watt for one second is one Joule.  CERES also measures water vapour in the atmosphere, clouds and the temperature in the bottom 50 kilometres of the atmosphere.  Greenhouse gas forcing should cause air in the troposphere to warm and the stratosphere to cool.  As indeed it does – but climate is not that simple.

The global energy equation is very simple.

Δ(H&W) ≈ Ein – Eout

The change in heat energy content of the planet – and the work done in melting ice or vaporising water – is approximately equal to energy in less energy out.  There are minor contributions with heat from inside the planet and the heat of combustion of fossil fuels that make it approximate but still precise enough to use.   Energy imbalances – the difference between energy in and energy out – result in ocean warming or cooling.  The oceans are by far the greatest part of Earth’s energy storage – and Argo record gives us a real sense of whether the planet is warming or cooling – or both at different times.

argo-to-december-2016

Source:  Professor Ole Humlum

The solid blue line is the average temperature of the world’s oceans between the surface and 1900m depth – the dashed line is a 13-month running mean.  Cooling in the early record is not explicable in any manifestation of global warming theory.  The best that is done is to wave hands, call it natural variability and pretend it doesn’t matter.  But unless there is a better understanding of natural variation it is impossible to determine the impact of global warming.

‘Our interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realised a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Anastasios Tsonis, Atmospheric Sciences Group, University of Wisconsin

The large annual variability is due to north-south asymmetry.  There is more ocean in the Southern Hemisphere and the oceans warm in the Austral summer.  The changes in the running mean are due to other factors. The underlying principle is that a change in energy in or energy out causes the planet to warm or cool.  When the planet warms disproportionately more energy is emitted (temperature to the 4th power) – and disproportionately less energy when there is cooling.  The planet moves towards energy equilibrium.

There was a nominal increase in greenhouse gas forcing of 0.864W/m2 since 1990 – although the real world isn’t cooperating (Keenan et al 2016).  The global warming theory is that a very, very small increase in greenhouse gas forcing – an instantaneous rate of increase of 0.00000001W/m2 (Watts per metre squared) – caused an energy imbalance of some 0.5W/m2 to accumulate at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) – more energy in than out – over time due to the thermal inertia of the planet.  If you put a candle under a pot – water in it will warm over time until the energy losses equal the energy input from the candle.  The time delay is a result of thermal inertia.  If you overheat the pot with a blowtorch – which you then take away – the pot will cool to the equilibrium temperature.   Thermal inertia is far less relevant when there are other, much larger, sources of heat than the candle.

Of course, the planet is many orders of magnitude more complex.   There are multiple sources of energy – certainly in the short term much greater than the change in greenhouse gas forcing.  Extra heat from all sources – including the interior of the planet, fossil fuel burning, nuclear fission, solar radiance, north-south asymetry and – the bid one – cloud radiative forcing – is retained in planetary systems as longwave emissions and shortwave reflectance adjusts to balance the global energy budget.  Reality contrasts starkly with the idea that the planet is slowly warmed from greenhouse gases alone.

Energy imbalances – from all causes – cannot be determined directly from satellite records.  The error bounds on absolute values are far too great.  Variations are much more precise and show changes in energy in and energy out.  This gave us clues about the underlying causes of climate change.

The Sun is the source of energy in.   It changed over the Schwabe cycle since the turn of the century.  Remembering that energy at the surface is one-quarter that at TOA – because the planet is more round than flat – the change in solar radiance has the same form as Argo warming and cooling – but cannot explain the extent of the changes.

energy-in

Source: CERES Data Products

It is well established that solar UV and ozone interact at the poles – changing sea level pressures.  These changes in low solar activity push polar storms into lower latitudes and spin up ocean gyres.  In the Pacific Ocean more flow in the Peruvian and Californian currents trigger more frigid and nutrient rich upwelling in the north-eastern and central Pacific.  It causes immense variability in Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures which set up feedbacks in wind and currents.  With more upwelling’ the atmosphere cools and more warmth is retained in the global system – but there is more cloud to reflect solar shortwave.  The net effect is a cooler planet over decades to millennia.  There are as well dramatic impacts on global hydrology and biology.   Small solar changes are thereby amplified through the terrestrial climate system.

GYRE IMPACT

Source:  http://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/3/4/833/htm

The schematic shows enhanced polar winds driving sub-polar winds and currents in cool climate regimes.

The 20 to 30 year regimes referred to in the Tsonis quote above are part of the system. They were discovered by hydrologists, oceanographers and biologists – nothing to do with physics at all.  They can’t be modelled.  The last Pacific climate shift happened in 1998/2001.  The next is due in a window of 1918 to 2018 – and we will have a complete record this time.  A cooling sun suggests that the next shift will be to yet cooler conditions.

I have included two versions of energy out – the raw variability and the deviation from monthly averages with a 13-month running mean.  Net power flux positive is warming by convention.  There are very large annual variations.  This is again north-south asymmetry.  The planet reflects more shortwave in the southern summer and emits more longwave in the northern summer – producing a complex pattern of net radiation.

ceres_ebaf-toa_ed2-8_toa_net_flux-all-sky_march-2000toseptember-2016

Source: CERES Data Products

This one is the money shot – and we can actually see a 13-month running mean against a smaller variability.  The combinations of factors – ice, cloud, water vapour, atmospheric temperature – caused cooling in the first years of the century and a little warming since.  The changes are almost entirely the result of cloud cover and atmospheric temperature changes related to Pacific upwelling variation.  Earlier satellite data – Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) – were cobbled together from instruments not designed for the purpose.  They have been ‘adjusted’ as much as the surface temperature record.  They do in their final form, however, agree in showing that reduced cloud cover was the major cause of warming late last century.  There are confirming sea level observations of cloud in the Pacific.

ceres-net-13-month-running-average

Data Source: CERES Data Products

The are fundamental things in climate that lead to immense variability over millennia – the 20th century was relatively balmy compared to other periods in the recent past.  Short-term variability is sufficient to account for changes in ocean heat without resort to an accumulating energy imbalance from greenhouse gases.  The Pacific Ocean solar amplifier opens up the potential that most 20th century warming was natural and the prospect for that energy to be lost this century.  Pacific Ocean climate shifts mean that the next decade should be very interesting.

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The climate ‘problem’ and the solution

The problem

Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture.   Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems.  A critical metric is the losses from soils and forests.

Returning carbon to soils and ecosystems has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing.    Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security.  Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding.  There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs.  Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content.   Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss.  Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth.  Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce the health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food – thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions.  A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology.  Many countries have committed to increasing soil carbon by 0.4% per year.  As a global objective and given the highest priority it is a solution to critical problems of biodiversity loss, development, food security and resilience to drought and flood.

The Other Science

The Pacific Decadal Variation is a system that switches from more or less cold, nutrient-rich, deep ocean upwelling every 20 to 30 years.  It includes both the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).   In a cool (ocean surface) mode – La Niña activity is much more intense and frequent and vice versa.  There was a warm (ocean surface) mode in the early 20th century, cool in the middle part and warm again at the end.  This system is little understood by physicists and computer programmers – but has been known about by oceanographers and hydrologists for decades. The ocean surface warming and cooling precisely match warming and cooling in temperature records.

We have evidence on this over a 100o years.  It is all quite natural.  Indeed – as the PDO and ENSO are in lockstep – we have evidence of extremes over the Holocene – mega floods and mega drought – that put to shame those seen in the 20th century.

Yes, greenhouses gases cause warming – at a rate increase of 1E-9Watts/meter squared (W/m2).  It is an increase in greenhouse gas forcing in the late 20th century of some 0.8W/m2.  The Pacific system resulted in a cloud radiative effect of 1.8W/m2 over the tropical Pacific – based on Earth Radiation Budget Experiment data.

The short and sweet version.

A more speculative version.

https://watertechbyrie.com/2017/01/12/an-earnest-discovery-of-climate-causality/

The real threat of global warming

The urban doofus hipster vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems.  And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals.

Now I’m just a humble little sanitary engineer – but it seems it is rich economies wot saves the world.

income and lpi

They seems quite taken with using global warming to overthrow democracy and capitalism.

Dateline 3 February 2015 – The Top UN Climate Change Official is optimistic that a new international treaty will be adopted at Paris Climate Change conference at the end of the year. However, the official, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC,  warns that the fight against climate change is a process and that the necessary transformation of the world economy will not be decided at one conference or in one agreement. 

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 – you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation.” UNRIC

The real solution

Let’s just sock away 360 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide as 100 billion tonnes of carbon in soils and ecosystems – and say we are doing it for climate change.

A plan for a truly inspiring purpose.

Communities securing food. development and environments.

In the Dubbo context.

This is an astonishing example of trophic cascade.

And in the quite inevitable and rapid transition to 21st-century energy systems.

https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/06/18/safe-cheap-and-abundant-energy-back-to-the-nuclear-energy-future-2/ 

Modern materials science and nuclear fuel cycles brings decades old nuclear technology into the 21st century.    The new designs of high temperature, fast neutron nuclear engines are cheap, safe, reduce the volume of waste by 80%, waste cannot be used for nuclear weapons and radiation from what remains decays to background levels in 300 years.

Which future is for you? Economic collapse, civil strife, war – or resilient communities in vibrant landscapes.

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A primer for ‘climate science deniers’

The bottom line on climate is impressively simple.  There is an instantaneous rate of increase (nominally – see below) in greenhouse gas forcing of 1E-9 W/m2 – set against a background of immense natural variability. The 97% consensus on the first point is a misdirection intended to deceive the public that 97% of climate deniers don’t believe this.  Simply not even close to true.   The disagreement was always about the scope and depth of natural variability, on the point where data adjustments become statistical manipulations, on gaps and uncertainties in data, on the proper use and limitations of climate models and on chaos in climate and models.  But far and away – disagreement was always about energy and development.  In every instance we have been on the right side of science and policy.

Land temperatures are what they focus on – although it is a very minor part of the global energy budget.  It is measured as sensible heat (the heat you can sense) by thermometers in a box at 2m from the ground.  Ocean temperatures are measured as sea surface temperature.  In explanation, most usually what we see as data is the change from conditions in a baseline period defined as the ‘climate normal’ – so-called anomalies – and there is no problem with that.  Latent heat is the energy that melts ice or vaporises water.  This is a large part of the atmospheric energy content and it is not measured by thermometers.  As water vapour condenses higher in the atmosphere, heat is released and is measured by satellites.  The most significant problem in the surface temperature is the divergence of the land and ocean records this century – see below.  Land is warming faster than ocean surface temperatures.  This can only happen if the land is drying out leading to more sensible and less latent heat flux at the surface.  From 1stprinciples – the land surface record is not a consistent or complete record of energy in the atmosphere and we must look elsewhere to draw reasonable inferences.  Nonetheless – lat’s have a quiick.

Over a few decades, the range of surface temperature trends from different sources is broad. I have constrained endpoints to 1944 and 1998 – for reasons that will become clear – and chosen the worst case. And the winners are: GISS in the global category and NOAA land.  The global trend is at worst 0.870C/century – and it can’t continue.  Oil, gas and coal reserves are limited and prices will rise – emissions from land will be reversed and a transition to 21st century energy sources will happen over the next few decades.  Cheap energy will fuel global development and ecological restoration.

berkley-trend

Figure 1:  GISS global temperature with trends – source: Dr Kevin Cowtan’s Trend Calculator

The land trend is appreciably greater than in the global record.  The conclusion to draw from this is that surface conditions – wind, rain, humidity, vegetation cover, soil moisture – conspired to amplify warming over land.  Rather than a real effect – the likely cause is reduced latent heat flux and increased sensible heat.  Only sensible heat is measured by thermometers.

 noaa-land

Figure 2: NOAA land record – source: Dr Kevin Cowtan’s Trend Calculator

If you look carefully at the global record you can see a period of cooling from 1944 to 1976 and warming to 1998.  This mirrors changes in the volume of cold, nutrient rich, deep water upwelling in the north and central Pacific.  The logical end points for trends is 1944 and 1998 – over the complete record of a natural cooling and a natural warming regime.

‘Our interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural.’  (Anastasios Tsonis, Atmospheric Sciences Group, University of Wisconsin)

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the El Niña-Southern Oscillation are linked.  (Indeed all global climate phenomenon are linked as signals propagate around the planet.)  More upwelling in the north-east Pacific is associated with more frequent and intense La Niña – and vice versa.  Changes in upwelling occur at 20 to 30 year intervals and have for a very long time.  It is a climate sub-system that has enormous influence on global temperature, hydrology and biology.  Both ENSO and PDO were first identified in shifts in fisheries abundance.   This powerful sub-system caused in the 20th century alternate warming and cooling – and a moderate return to more upwelling since.  The next Pacific climate shift is due within the decade.  There is, however, variability over the Holocene.  Based on long term (in the real sense), high resolution proxy’s – as El Niño activity nosedives off a 1000 year high –  I suspect that a shift to yet cooler conditions will emerge.

On the instrumental record is high La Niña activity from the start – and for centuries beforehand – transitioning to a 1000 year high in El Niño activity in the 20th century –and with the ever present 20-30 year upwelling regimes.  There are associated changes in global temperature trends and in global hydrology and biology.

ext-ts1

Figure 3:  The MEI of Klaus Wolter – source: NOAA

Below is a high-resolution proxy of the Pacific state over the past 1000 years.  More salt in a Law Dome, Antarctic ice core is a cool Pacific and more rain in Australia – with implication for global temperature, hydrology and biology.

vance2012-antartica-law-dome-ice-core-salt-contentFigure 4: A millennial Pacific state proxy – source – Tessa Vance et al, 2013

Over the Holocene – immense variability is evident in a high-resolution sediment record.  Christopher Moy and colleagues examined a sediment core from Laguna Pallcacocha in southern Ecuador.  More rainfall and runoff from a warmer sea surface in the eastern Pacific washes more red sediment into the lake.  So we know it was pretty rainy in South America a 1000 years ago.  Some 5,000 years ago there was a change from more upwelling to less – that dried the Sahel.  Just 3,500 years ago there were a long series of warm Pacific events with red intensity greater than 200 and civilisations fell.  For comparison – red intensity in the ‘monster’ 1997/1998 El Niño event was 99.  Extremes in the Holocene put those of the 20th century to shame.  All climate activist hydrology, on the other hand, starts in the 1950’s and everything since is extreme.

moys-2002

Figure 5: A high resolution Holocene spanning sediment record – source – Moy et al 2002

And then there are models. Below is a perturbed physics model using a nid-range no mitigation emissions scenario.  It shows thousands of diverging solutions that is the defining property of these chaotic models that have at their core nonlinear equations of fluid transport.  The thick black line is temperature observations.  The thick blue lines are the one standard deviation limits.  The red lines are the IPCC range derived by an entirely different method.  The range of the perturbed physics ensemble (PPE) is even greater than the IPCC range.

The IPPC opportunistic ensemble uses a single solution from 50 odd models – a solution arbitrarily chosen from 1000’s of plausible solutions, graphed together and a fake statistics fabricated over the top.  They have known this (e.g, IPCC TAR 2001, McWilliams 2007, Slingo and Palmer 2011) since Lorenz in the 1960’s.  It is as crude as that.  The use of this method strongly suggests incompetence or fraud.

ngeo1430-f1

Figure 6:  A perturbed physics climate model – source – Rowland et al, 2012

So let’s go with the PPE that has an even broader range – and a complete absence of a way to calculate a probability density function over the range.  There is no way of telling a priori the solution – if any – that is most likely.  The other problems are that there is no way to model abrupt changes in the Pacific state and actual emissions are overwhelmingly likely to diverge from IPCC emission scenarios.  Climate will continue to diverge from models – almost certainly cooler.

We will transition to cheap and abundant 21st century energy sources within decades.

In the meantime we will continue – I predict – to suffer the annual Grand-Guignal circus of annual averages temperatures – if ever again drought or ENSO pushes the surface temperature a little higher.  It is so unbelievably irrelevant.  Annual averages are pretty much dependent on the state of the Pacific during the year – ENSO does not work to an annual rhythm – and on soil moisture around the world.  Is it such a minor part of the global energy budget – it measures only sensible heat at 2m from the surface – it misses entirely surface latent heat flux.  It neglects ocean heat – which is where the overwhelmingly greatest part of global energy stores is found.  It neglects the large variability of incoming and outgoing energy.

The global energy budget is very simple.

Δ(O&Aheat) = energy in – energy out

It is a differential equation if you are unsure of the derivation.  It is the change in ocean and atmospheric heat content – and net energy change as the difference between energy in and energy out.  Energy in and energy out are measured as radiant flux over one second – i.e. the instantaneous energy flux.  Remember that the rate of increase in greenhouse gas forcing is 1E-9 W/m2.  It is a very small number – but the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over time increases photon scattering that can be observed from space (Harries 2001).  Proof positive of the 150 year old predictions of global warming.

Greenhouse gas warming increases the energy content of the planet at the speed of light.  The planet accumulates additional energy, warms and restores the nominal balance of incoming and outgoing energy.  There is no radiant imbalance that is not instantly eliminated.  Radiant imbalance is an archaic climate meme which is the subject of strange divination in the entrails of climate data.  Greenhouse gas forcing cannot be seen in top of atmosphere radiant flux.   It can only be seen in changes in the heat content of the planet.

In atmospheric temperature changes – where satellite instruments are much to be preferred.  Where there is huge variability and slow greenhouse gas warming are well within instrument measurement error.

rss-temp

Figure 7:  RSS satellite temperature anomalies – source – woodfortrees.org

In ocean heat content.  Where in a limited period relatively precise data it is impossible to tell where small greenhouse gas takes over from large natural variability.  The problem of a small signal superimposed on a very much larger signal.

argo-to-december-2016

Figure 8:  Argo ocean heat content – source – climate4you – well worth multiple visits for a range of up to date data.  There was a large cooling to 2008 and strong warming since.

There is no precision in absolute values of energy flux in either incoming or outgoing energy.  Anomalies are much more  precise and can tell us a little.  The sun was a little warmer in past few years in the upswing of the 11 year Schwabe solar cycle.

energy-in

Figure 9:  Solar irradiance anomalies – source – CERES data products 

Net flux is a combination of emitted infrared and reflected shortwave.  Net upward is warming by convention.  There has been a considerable natural warming since 2008.

Figure 10: Net outgoing power flux anomalies – source – CERES data products

Ole Humlum is Professor of Geosciences at the University of Oslo – he is of course one of the 1000’s of scientists on denier hit lists – mostly for saying something like this.

ncomms13428-f1

Figure 11: A pause in carbon dioxide increase –  source – Nature Commentary 

It is where I started this post – with profound anger at motivated idiots who can see nothing wrong with fitting science to a Procrustean bed.    They have been told these other things for decades.  The response has always been abuse, denigration, personalisation and marginalisation – and to place names on hit lists for future denier pogroms – come the revolution.

The performers are a cabal of self-appointed arbiters of science, swarms of followers who confound the discourse with dissimulation, trivialities, diversions, denigration and abuse – climate memes learned by rote and strategies honed in echo chambers – and a political class exaggerating risk to justify societal and economic transformation. They can, of course, be all three.  The personal investment of scientific credibility, self-image and political ambitions is enormous – and then there is the gravy train.  Motivated performers are hardly likely to be moved until ideology and reality diverge sufficiently such that the strange superstructure of climate activism collapses.

Returning 100 billion tonnes of carbon to soils and ecosystems has major benefits that are utterly unrelated to global warming. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security.  Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding.  There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs.  Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content.   Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss.  Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth.  Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce the health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food – thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions.  A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology.  Many countries have committed to increasing soil carbon by 0.4% per year.  As a global objective and given the highest priority it is a solution to critical problems of biodiversity loss, development, food security and resilience to drought and flood.  Fifty countries and millions of people have joined the cause since Paris in 2015.

The other inevitable progression is a transition to 21st-century energy.  At this stage the frontrunner is modular, high temperature, fast neutron nuclear engines.  I was told recently that even if my nuclear fantasy was possible that cheap and abundant energy would increase resource use and be globally damaging.  I think I’ll disagree.  We are choosing for very good reasons a high energy future.  You may be dismayed at the choice – but that’s not our problem.

The COP21 shadow proclamation, on the other hand, results in an increase of energy emissions of 3.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions to 2030.  Liars and dissemblers proclaim a victory and cling to faint hopes of a comeback.  Like Kyoto it is a failure even in its limited objectives – and will continue so.

The rest of us are concerned that the real objectives of humanity are not lost sight of.  It is simple in principle to take the initiative on the broad front of population, development, energy technology, land degradation, conservation and restoration of agricultural lands and ecosystems and building resilient communities.  What we really want is much more clarity on effective policy responses – with a focus on the real issues of global economic progress and environmental protection.

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Picking at the threads of climate activist assumptions

Apologies – this is being extensively revised – update to follow.

Replacement post – https://watertechbyrie.com/2017/02/11/a-primer-for-climate-science-deniers/

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Who’s the climate denier now doofus

The Pacific Decadal Variation is a system that switches from more or less cold, nutrient-rich, deep ocean upwelling every 20 to 30 years.  It includes both the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).   In a cool (ocean surface) mode – La Niña activity is much more intense and frequent.  There was a warm (ocean surface) mode in the early 20th century, cool in the middle part and warm again at the end.  This system is little understood by physicists and computer programmers – but has been known about by oceanographers and hydrologists for decades. The ocean surface warming and cooling precisely match warming and cooling in temperature records

Yes greenhouses gases cause warming – at an annual average rate 0.032Watts/meter squared (W/m2).  In the late 20th century the Pacific system resulted in warming at a rate of 0.07 W/m2 over the Pacific – based on Earth Radiation Budget Experiment data.

sst_anomaly_AMSRE_2008105

Source: NASA

We have as well high-resolution data on the history of this system.  The 20 to 30 years shifts have persisted for at least 1000 years – and likely for 2.58 million.  More salt in an Antarctic ice core is La Niña – and the rain is in Australia.  There are, of course, global implications for temperature, hydrology and biology.vance2012-antartica-law-dome-ice-core-salt-content

Source: Tessa Vance et al 2013

A cool Pacific in La Niña decrease infrared emissions from a cool atmosphere and increase cloud cover resulting in more sunlight being reflected back to space.  The net effect is a planetary cooling.  Within the large-scale variability are 20 to 30 year shifts in the mean and variance of ENSO activity.  Over time these add up to millennial variability.  It shows El Niño activity being higher in the 20th century than it generally was for a very long time.  There is a simple statistical rule – reversion to the mean – that suggests that the energy gain in the 20th century from this system will be reversed over centuries to come.

The mechanism involves solar UV/ozone interactions at the poles.  Cooling in the  of the stratosphere during low solar activity increases sea level pressure at the poles – that pushes polar fronts into lower latitudes.  The recent decline in solar activity – and the predicted future decline – means that the next climate shift – due in a 2018-2028 window – will be very interesting.

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An Earnest Discovery of Climate Causality

It is hypothesised that upwelling in the Pacific Ocean is modulated by solar activity over periods of decades to millennia – with profound impacts on communities and ecosystems globally.  The great resonant systems of the Pacific respond at variable periods – the tempo increased last century for instance – of La Niña and El Niño alternation.  There are variations in this tempo at 20 to 30 years that – throwing this out there – suggest a trigger in the 22 year Hale solar cycle of magnetic reversals.  The solar butterfly flutters and the cyclone ensues.  Longer term indicators of solar activity show changes over millennia that mirror the state of upwelling in the Pacific.  The mechanism proposed is a spinning up of the Pacific trade winds and surface gyres as a result of colder and denser polar air.  Low solar activity spins up the gyres producing more frequent La Niña and a cooler northeastern Pacific (more upwelling) – and vice versa.  With a cooling Sun – it suggests that the next climate shift – due in a 2018-2028 window – will be to yet cooler conditions in the Pacific Ocean.  This has implications for global heat content, hydrology and biology.

The Pacific Ocean has major influences on Earth’s climate.  Only glacials and interglacials – those pesky 100,000 year odd freeze cycles the world has been getting for 2.58 million years – have a greater impact.  The shoaling on the Isthmus of Panama disrupted surface flow in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans – creating the potential for feedbacks to dramatically change climate.  Orbitals, bottom water formation in the northern Atlantic and runaway ice feedbacks is a more likely chain of causality at a 100,000 year cycle.   But the Pacific has a globally influential role in climate variability at scales of months to millennia.  The variability in atmospheric temperature, rainfall and biology has its origin in the volume of cold water rising off California and in the equatorial Pacific.  It is an ever changing anomaly.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

PDO+ENSO

The principle of atmospheric heating and cooling by ENSO is very simple.  Cold, nutrient rich currents cascade through the deep oceans over a millennia or more.  These turbulent currents don’t generally emerge through a sun warmed surface layer.  By far the most significant deep ocean upwelling is in the eastern and central Pacific.  Cold water in contact with the atmosphere absorbs heat and warms as the atmosphere cools.  At times there is less upwelling and warm water spreads eastward across the Pacific – warming the atmosphere.  It is simple enough to see in temperature data.  There are – as well – cloud feedbacks anti-correlated with sea surface temperatures that change the energy dynamic of  the planet.  More cloud with cooler sea surface temperatures.

http://w5ww.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ At

uah-december-2016

2008 was relatively cool – February 1998 and sometime last year were warm.  The rapid and large changes in atmospheric temperature, rainfall and biology can best be seen in monthly data.  Warm months are El Niño – cool La Niña.

I have a preference for near global coverage and depth integrated satellite temperature records – it doesn’t miss energy in latent heat at the surface for one thing.  21st century instrumentation is much to be preferred going forward.  Over the past century the 20 to 30 year influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) anomaly can be seen in the surface records.  Warming to the mid 1940’s, cooling to 1976, warming to 1998 and little change since.  The PDO and ENSO are, moreover, in lockstep. A cooler PDO anomaly and more frequent and intense La Niña – and vice versa.

The atmospheric/ocean system of triggers and feedbacks varies – it varies abruptly rather than smoothly.  The trigger for more Pacific upwelling is the great ocean gyres.  Ocean gyres spin up on the surface through winds and planetary rotation.   Positive and negative states of the Northern Annular Mode are shown below.  The negative state involves relatively high pressure at the pole pushing winds, cold air and storms into lower latitudes.  The negative state is associated with low solar activity.  There is an equivalent system in the Southern Hemisphere.

https://www2.ucar.edu/news/backgrounders/weather-maker-patterns-map

nao_fig_4

Winds and storms pushing into lower latitudes spin up the gyres pushing cold polar water into the Californian and Peruvian currents facilitating deep ocean upwelling.   Roiling cold water upwelling sets up wind, cloud and current feedback across the Pacific.

http://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/3/4/833/htmocean gyre

The figure shows global “wind and gyre circulation changes hypothesized to be associated with multidecadal (a) warm and (b) cool phases of the North and South Hemispheres. White arrows indicate regions of enhanced wind and black arrows indicate areas of enhanced gyre circulation. The blue patches indicate the sinking waters in the North Atlantic. The zonal warm phase occurred from the 1910s to 1940s and 1970s to 1990s and is characteristic of strong westerly winds in the northern and southern hemisphere. North Pacific and North Atlantic subarctic gyre circulations enhance with sinking waters associated with the northern North Atlantic winter. In the Atlantic subtropical gyre circulations also enhance. Some surface waters travel from the Indian Ocean to the south Atlantic and join the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic. The meridional cool phase occurring from the 1940s to 1970s and 1990s to present consists of equatorward winds over the continents and poleward winds over the subarctic and sub-antarctic oceans, resulting as Rossby wave formations. Intensified circulation in subtropical gyre systems enhances upwelling and productivity in the California and Peru systems. Strengthened easterly trade winds increase equatorial current circulation in the Pacific. The background global chlorophyll is from Yoder et al.”

The mechanism involves solar UV/ozones chemistry.  “A number of studies have indicated that the decreases in global mean temperature associated with a future decline in solar activity are likely to be relatively small3,4,5,6,7. However, variability in ultraviolet solar irradiance has been linked to changes in surface pressure that resemble the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations (AO/NAO)8,9,10 and studies of both the 11-year solar cycle11,12 and centennial timescales13 suggest the potential for larger regional effects. The mechanism for these changes is via a stratospheric pathway, a so-called ‘top-down’ mechanism, and involves altered heating of the stratosphere by solar ultraviolet irradiance.”http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8535

Trade winds spin up as a feedback and piles warm water against Australia and Indonesia.  Sometimes the winds falter and warm water flows back eastward suppressing cold upwelling.  The whole is a complex and dynamic system triggered by changes in atmospheric pressure zones at both the north and south poles. Mass movements of the atmospheric are driven by a marginal change in solar activity.  A large reaction from a small jolt as expected with technically chaotic systems.

Cosmogenic isotopes provide a reliable record of relative solar activity over millennia.  There are several of them and carbon 14 is convenient as it is taken up by plants and can be dated and measured.  When solar magnetic currents are most active cosmic radiation is further blocked and fewer isotopes are formed from collisions of radiation with molecules in the atmosphere.   Thus in the 20th century high solar activity phase – fewer isotopes were formed.  A return to lower solar activity is widely expected this century.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maunder_Minimum#/media/File:Carbon14_with_activity_labels.svgisotopesTessa Vance and colleagues from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC found a proxy of eastern Pacific upwelling in an ice core at the Law Dome Antarctica.  A higher salt content – from polar westerlies – is a proxy for solar activity.  But also results in changes in the Pacific gyres and the intensity of upwelling.   More upwelling brings rain and cyclones to Indonesia and northern and eastern Australia, drought in the United States of and South America, cooler global temperatures and biological abundance.   Less in El Niño conditions and we – in Australia – get drought.   The absolute volume of rainfall is roughly constant but where it falls on the planet changes.

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1vance2012-antartica-law-dome-ice-core-salt-content

But even with a millennial high El Niño anomaly last century – conditions have been far more extreme at other times in the past 12,000 years.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v420/n6912/abs/nature01194.html

moys-2002Christopher Moy and colleagues examined a sediment core from Laguna Pallcacocha in southern Ecuadora.  More rainfall and runoff In El Niño conditions wash more red sediment into the lake.  So we know it was pretty rainy in South America a 1000 years ago.  Some 5,000 years ago there was a change from dominant La Niña anomalies to dominant El Niño – that dried the Sahel.  Just 3,500 years ago there were a long series of El Niño with red intensity greater than 200 and civilisations fell.  For comparison – red intensity in the ‘monster’ 1997/1998 El Niño event was 99.

Will there be more La Niña over the next centuries? Can we expect more El Niño in a thousand years?  Might we see great herds return to the Sahel?  The details of the future evolution of climate remains absolutely uncertain.  What is more certain is that the next global climate shift is due in a 2018-2028 window.  The next shift may be to yet cooler conditions – given the 20th century high in both solar activity and El Niño intensity and frequency.  Regardless of near term outcomes – it is odds on for a cooler sun and more upwelling in the Pacific Ocean this century – providing a cooling influence on the oceans and  atmosphere and the inevitable regional variability in rainfall.

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Adani Lawfare

Adani is an Indian company with a coal project in development in the Galilee basin in Central Queensland.  Serial and vexatious litigation – all actions brought over years have been lost – have delayed the project and added to costs.  The litigation it turns out – as was revealed just days ago – was funded by an American foundation with ties to Hilary Clinton.  The coal from the Adani mine would bring energy and development to hundreds of millions of Indian poor.  The legal actions have failed at every step – but have succeeded in frustrating development.  The challenges are trivial in themselves but serve a wider agenda.

The latest Australian carbon auction brought the total of carbon dioxide emission reductions to 150 million tonnes through land management at a cost of $10.23/tonne.  The potential abatement is in the order of many billions of tonnes in Australia.  This is not an Australian invention but part of a massive global effort.  The methods range from reinstating fire regime – and 30% of the continent is owned by indigenous people who may well benefit from accessing some of this money – to holistically managed grazing and no till farming.  We can look to balance the human ecology through knowledge and technology – and create vibrant, resilient and prosperous communities.   We will see energy systems organically transitioning to innovative, cost effective, low carbon sources within decades.

Costs of abatement range from cost saving efficiencies through low cost land management options to high cost alternative energy sources.  It is the latter however that is the cornerstone of progressive climate policy.  In the green ideological mix is antipathy to economic growth with increased energy costs as the preferred tool.  The least extreme advocate voluntary poverty – the most extreme the reduction of global population to a few hundred million this century with the bulk of the Earth left to ‘rewild’.  There is a suggestion that the ultimate goal is a dismantling of our economic and energy systems in the hope of founding a new existance for mega-rich westerners in a pristine wilderness.  The collecive agenda is massively unworkable.

climate-works

Source: Climate Works

The starkly contrasting policy preference is for economic and energy growth fueled by whatever energy source makes economic sense at a time and a place.  The inevitable future is of course cyberpunk.  Innovation on information technology and cybernetics will accelerate and continue to push the limits of what it is to be human and to challenge the adaptability of social structures. New movements, fads, music, designer drugs, cat videos and dance moves will sweep the planet like Mexican waves in the zeitgeist. Materials will be stronger and lighter. Life will be cluttered with holographic TV’s, waterless washing machines, ultrasonic blenders, quantum computers, hover cars and artificially intelligent phones. Annoying phones that cry when you don’t charge them – taking on that role from cars that beep when you don’t put a seat belt on. Space capable flying cars will have seat belts that lock and tension without any intervention of your part. All this will use vastly more energy and materials this century as populations grow and wealth increases.

More than one billion people globally lack access to electricity, and billions more still burn wood and dung for their basic energy needs. Our High-Energy Planet, a new report from an international­ group of energy and environment scholars, outlines a radically new framework for meeting the energy needs of the global poor.

According to the authors, the massive expansion of energy systems, mainly carried out in the rapidly urbanizing global South, is the only robust, coherent, and ethical response to the global challenges we face, climate change among them. The time has come to embrace a high-energy planet, they say.

“Climate change can’t be solved on the backs of the world’s poorest people,” said Daniel Sarewitz, coauthor and director of ASU’s Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes. “The key to solving for both climate and poverty is helping nations build innovative energy systems that can deliver cheap, clean, and reliable power.”  Breakthrough Institute, Our High Energy Planet

Energy is the most fundamental requirement of every society or nation as it progresses through the ladder of development. This is clearly reflected in the average energy consumption per person across nations — for instance, an average American consumes more than 15 times the energy consumed by an average Indian. 

Today, India finds itself going through a phase of rapid ascent in economic empowerment. Industries are evolving at a significantly higher rate since liberalization. Our focus for this decade will be on the development of key infrastructure and the uplifting of the 600,000 villages where 750 million people live, as vibrant engines of the economy. In 2008, we crossed the trillion-dollar mark, and it took more than six decades for us to reach that milestone. However, it is predicted that the Indian economy will double again, to reach the $2-trillion mark by 2016, and then again redouble, to reach the $4 trillion milestone by 2025. All this economic growth will need massive energy. It is predicted that the total electricity demand will grow from the current 150,000 MW to at least over 950,000 MW by the year 2030 — which will still be less than one-fourth of the current U.S. per capita energy need. In fact, by 2050, in all likelihood the demand could go even higher, and the per capita energy demand would be equal to the current French or Russian figure of about 6000 W per capita.”  Next Big Future

The global reality is increasing emissions.  The Paris climate talks reality is for an increase in energy emissions of 3.7 billion tonnes in 2030 at a cost of US$13 trillion.  By my calculation – that could buy a trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide emission abatement through ecosystem restoration and land management.  Even half that is equal to the total of global emissions from 1750 to date.

emissions

Source: EIA 2016 Energy Outlook

Indian coal imports are expected to increase to a quarter billion US dollars in the next 16 years.  It is this demand that the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland is planned to help meet.  All within India’s Paris commitments.  Using trivial legal points to game a system to delay such projects in the hope that they will just go away is a profoundly undemocratic fraud – using foreign money allied to foreign political parties to pay for it doubly so.  To do so in support of denying energy and development to the world’s poor exposes the moral vacuum at the heart of our green elites.

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