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« Intolerant correspondence | Main | Flannery's admission »
Friday
Mar252011

More Flannel - Josh 88

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Reader Comments (31)

Josh, your'e a bloody genius, mate! You have captured the authentic Antipodean laughing-stock of Aussie and Kiwi bush legend, the clever 'new chum' who thinks he knows it all and sets about proving he certainly does not! This image of the almost wilfully-stupid Tim Fannery will keep me chuckling for a very long time.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Does he look like Mann in real life too? are they all clones or something<lol> Very good Josh ;)

Might have been over complex for a cartoon if there had been a Co2 meter probe, instead of a radio microphone, reading at 40k ppm ;^)

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Strewth sport. Wot the heel d'ja mean by portraying me as a drongo? Is it 'cos I thought I was going to see BP workers when I actually went to see Shell workers? Don't come the raw prawn.

Mar 25, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

More flannel from Flannery.

The bloke is a real dag!

Mar 25, 2011 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Shouldn't those be beer bottle caps instead of wine bottle corks? :)

Mar 25, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

David Archer from the University of Chicago goes a lot further , it seems .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5ptXL_gLKE
At about 27mins into this video he says that (im paraphrasing here OK) when you fill your gas tank you are making effects on the climate that will last half a million years.

Mar 25, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Hengist, isn't that so wonderfully true. And what is great is that it could mean anything you like - drive your car and feed the world!

[Bloomin' bioshphere]

Mar 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Hengist

While there is debate over the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere I don't think I've ever heard anyone claim 500ky.

Can you link to at least two other reliable sources for this figure?

Thanks

Mar 25, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If you jump off the roof and break your right leg, it will takes weeks to heal, even if you refrain from jumping off roofs in the future. Of course if you do jump off the roof again you may well break both legs. All Flannery is saying is that we should stop jumping off the roof and let the planet heal.

There is nothing new in Flannery’s statement. Obviously the CO2 we have pumped into the atmosphere will take awhile to dissipate and cause warming until it does. If we pump more CO2 into the atmosphere the worse it will get. (And it will take even longer for ocean pH to return to normal.)

See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127163403.htm

Mar 25, 2011 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike

All Flannery is saying is that we should stop jumping off the roof and let the planet heal.

Okay, how?

Let's review the facts:

- Western industrialised economies require more energy now than any conceivable deployment of renewables could provide.

- Energy demand is rising, not falling

- The huge scale of Chinese industrialisation (in the main coal-fuelled) means CO2 emissions will continue to rise regardless of the slight effect of Western emissions abatement policies

- India will be next, and Brazil, Russia and others will play their parts

- Global CO2 emissions will continue to rise over coming decades

- Greens are more determined than ever in opposing nuclear, the only low carbon baseload generation technology that could significantly displace fossil fuels.

So sitting there spouting painful inanities about how 'we must stop jumping off the roof and let the planet heal' is worse than useless.

It's useless and fantastically annoying, as smug, condescending wittering always is.

Mar 25, 2011 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Dancing the dances, telling the stories, painting the 'songlines'

Mar 25, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Anoneumouse

I understand the Aboriginal reference, but nothing else about your comment above ;-)

Mar 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The 'jumping off roof' analogy would be more accurate if there was heavy fog, and we didn't know what the landing looked like. Some assert it looks like concrete, some suggest it looks like water, some suggest it looks like fluffy marshmallows, but all we can see is something foggy looking.

Mar 25, 2011 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

It'll be a long time before anyone tops Clive James's summation of the Tim Flannery phenomenon in his Standpoint article here: http://tinyurl.com/4aq4eyy

This bit says all that needs be said about this guru so beloved of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's true believers:

"Until the rains came, the voice of Professor Tim Flannery had been loud in the land. More moderate professors, who said that there might indeed be some man-made global warming, but not a lot, were heard only occasionally. Professor Flannery was heard all the time, and always predicting that the major cities would run out of water. The nice thing about him was that he was without guile and therefore ready to say that a certain city would run out of water in some verifiable time: say, two years. Two years later, abundant rain would be falling on that city. But he always had an explanation, and the media always liked his story best, because it was a story about Australia eventually and inevitably running out of water, even though what appeared to be water might currently be seen to be falling out of the sky. Then an awful lot of it fell on his head at once and he was finally seen to be short of credibility. "

Mar 26, 2011 at 12:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterMique

Mique,

Clive James used to be the darling of the ABC intelligentsia. With that article his reputation with the organisation is well and truly sunk. Oh well at least he will have Pof. Bellamy for company at the dogs home for wayward dogs.

Mar 26, 2011 at 6:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterdlb

@BBD

"- Western industrialised economies require more energy now than any conceivable deployment of renewables could provide."

I am pro nuclear. http://bravenewclimate.com/

Nuclear + renewables + conservation = conceivable. Not certain, but conceivable.

"- Global CO2 emissions will continue to rise over coming decades"

Likely true. But the amount matters. Less is better.

"- Greens are more determined than ever in opposing nuclear, the only low carbon baseload generation technology that could significantly displace fossil fuels."

Fight them! Educate them!

You don't have to be left to be green: http://www.rep.org/

PS: My first was simple pointing that Flannery's is logically consistent.

Mar 26, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike @12:35pm

Delighted to hear that you are an energy realist. Energy fantasists are the common enemy of mankind, after all ;-)

Nuclear + renewables + conservation = conceivable. Not certain, but conceivable.

Nuclear yes. Renewables... just too many engineering constraints and nowhere near enough energy. A critical reading of MacKay will convince you of this so I won't even try. MacKay is very, very pro-renewables, so this is hardly me cherry-picking an antipathetic source.

http://www.withouthotair.com/

By 'conservation' do you mean energy rationing?

I understand the 'less is better' sentiment re increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, but the real point here is can any realistically implementable decarbonisation of energy supply achieve enough to make a difference?

Given the unlikelihood of China or India simply halting industrialisation (predominantly coal-fired for reasons of price), I don't think this is possible. I don't think it ever was, so there's no need to lament 'missed opportunities'. It was always a pipe dream and it's time the realists stopped being scared to say so.

As for fighting and educating greens - well, I've been attempting that for years. It's like ploughing the sea.

They are much happier spouting condescending nonsense than actually admitting that the problem cannot be solved with fairytales about renewables. Joking aside, the anti-nuclear, pro-renewables, CO2-concerned brigade really are a menace to the rest of us.

If I mistook your tone and intentions then I apologise.

Mar 26, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Am I the only one that thinks someone should explain how far lower global concentrations carbon dioxide levels during the Eemian (the previous interglacial period) resulted in far higher sea levels than what we're seeing today? Since the Earth passed the peak Eemian carbon dioxide threshold around 1750AD(?), can someone tell us all why sea levels aren't significantly higher than they are now? Are we looking at a "Time Lag" of 400 years or greater (for the impact of carbon dioxide amounts on sea level)?

Perhaps if the last interglacial made Sweden and Norway an island, flooding Finland this time might be due to the campfires of Napoleon's Army...

Mar 26, 2011 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterWalt Stone

Walt Stone

Milankovitch forcing.

Mar 26, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@BBD: Interesting link.

I am not in favour of energy rationing - that is where everyone is allotted a fixed amount. I think we in the U.S. should cut income taxes and tax GHG emissions. Instead of providing disincentives to work hard or invest we provide incentives to conserve energy. This has many positives even if AGW turns out to be a false alarm. (I don't think it is; I think it is likely (80%) the mainstream scientists are correct. I know many readers here differ. But surely there is some positive probability the mainstream scientists are correct, right? )

US GHG emissions per capita are about 24 tonnes/person/year. For China it is about 6 tonnes.
See: GHG per capita

India is 1.7. France is 9, UK is 11. So, we in the US have a lot of room to improve. However, clearly GHG emissions will continue to increase for several more decades. But the rate of increase matters and it is at least plausible GHG emissions can come down some day. So, I don't think mitigation efforts are a fool's errand. But, it s clear that if AGW is real we will have to adapt to a changing climate, which is Flannery's point. We should plan for that too, just in case the mainstream scientists are correct.

Mar 26, 2011 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

BBD: "As for fighting and educating greens - well, I've been attempting that for years. It's like ploughing the sea."

I have been teaching mathematics to lazy unmotivated American college students. Don't gripe to me! ;)

PS: My link above didn't work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita

Mar 26, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike

I'm pretty much with Roger Pielke Jr as he argues in The Climate Fix. If you've read it or are familiar with the main arguments (see the Hartwell paper; link at end) then this might shorten and simplify this exchange.

I'm not optimistic about the chances of sufficient reductions over the next 4 - 5 decades to make much difference to AGW assuming AR4 WG1 is about right.

The possibility that a multitude of factors has led to an overestimation of the value for climate sensitivity to CO2 remains on the table.

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/05/hartwell-paper.html

Mar 26, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD:

Nice arm waving there, Lou. :)

It's why I posted my thoughts in this thread - that, and that I was reminded of it recently.

I might buy the quick rise of carbon dioxide in around the same time that the various ice ages abated, but the quick fall of the carbon dioxide levels at the end of the interglacial is intriguing to say the least.

I'll buy the Milankovitch cycles as a partial or primary trigger of beginner and ender, but not as a sustainer of warm periods. Or better, a sustainer of cold periods. I have a real hard time believing any prediction of Milankovitch cyles "forcing / strength" far back into time - and I don't believe I've seen much of a "signal" in the historical record.

Not the thread to talk about it on, but it is an ongoing gripe I've had. The fall of carbon dioxide at the end of the warm periods has twirled around in my head for way too long... a bunch of arm waving there, too.

Mar 26, 2011 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterWalt Stone

Walt Stone

You say

I'll buy the Milankovitch cycles as a partial or primary trigger of beginner and ender, but not as a sustainer of warm periods. Or better, a sustainer of cold periods. I have a real hard time believing any prediction of Milankovitch cyles "forcing / strength" far back into time - and I don't believe I've seen much of a "signal" in the historical record.

The sustainer of warm periods is OHC. ~4ka of Milankovitch/solar forcing gets stored in the oceans, the ‘great flywheel’ of climate.

It takes millennia for the energy to dissipate out of the oceans and while it does, it warms the climate. But when it’s gone, the ice eventually returns. For 100ky. Then along comes another (Milankovitch) increase in solar forcing that lasts ~4ky, enough to break up ocean ice sheets and reduce the ice-albedo forcing. Positive feedback occurs and abrupt warming ends the glacial.

Not sure what you mean by a ‘signal in the historical record. The last glaciation was terminated by Milankovitch forcing beginning about 12kya. The resulting Holocene Thermal Maximum lasted ~9kya – 5kya.

Warm climates are correlated with elevated CO2. Radiative physics aside, the expanding biosphere and slightly reduced absorption by a warmer upper ocean would account for this.

Cooling or cold climates restrict the biosphere and slightly increase CO2 absorption by the oceans, so atmospheric CO2 falls.

Mar 26, 2011 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD,

I am familiar with R.P.'s blog. I'm waiting for the paperback edition of C. Fix. I still think we need a "maximal" solution - one where reducing GHG emissions is central, but will take get what I can get in the meantime. That debate of course cannot be reduced to 'science': one's intuition and values play a significant role in determining one's preference.

Walt,

Here are two references I found. I was not familiar with Eemian sea level issue, so I am just offing these FYI without an opinion on them. The first does not address your question directly, but it comes up in the comments. The second talks about it as an aside. Both seem to agree with BBD.


http://www.cejournal.net/?p=3305

http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-constitutes-safe-global-warming.html

Mar 27, 2011 at 2:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike

Mike, yes, the cejournal piece goes to my point. It discusses the topic and my point, but I wish there was more of it.

BBD, as I seem to recall, there was always an issue with the strength of the solar forcing from the effects of the Milankovitch cycles in comparing the interglacials. I quit following the academic issues on the topic sometime in the late 1970s, and had hoped there had been a bit more research on the topic. The solar forcing at the end of the last glacial period does match up well with what we know about the Sun Earth alignment.

But as I seem to recall, using the Milankovitch cycles to hindcast the glacial cycles kind of falls apart the farther you go back. Was the Eemian subject to a stronger solar forcing for a longer time to come up with the warmer temps and the higher sea level? Or did the little bit of CO2 help the whole thing stay warm? The point is, if it was the CO2 in the Eemian, then the line about Napoleon's campfires is a joke line with some truth behind it - and we passed the point of stopping future sea level rise 200 years ago.

Mar 27, 2011 at 5:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterWalt Stone

Mike

I have been teaching mathematics to lazy unmotivated American college students. Don't gripe to me! ;)

Ouch. Rather you than me...

Re a 'maximal' solution where reducing CO2 is central - my point is that we aren't going to get one. Realpolitik and all that.

What I like about the Harwell proposals is that they are an attempt to get past the horrible policy logjams that prevent anything much happening.

I am no fan of gesture politics and 'green' posturing - but that's what we're stuck with right now.

Here in the UK the problem is even more complex and requires a heretical solution.

We are in the process of a colossal, advocacy-driven energy policy mistake. Coal is being aggressively phased out; not nearly enough new baseload nuclear is proposed, let along being built, and a huge push is underway for on- and offshore wind.

The result will be a severe and artificially created energy gap within the decade. The obvious (ie sane) solution would be to keep coal, even expand it, while building more gas and nuclear. We have enough coal reserves in the ground to make this both affordable and secure.

With security and continuity of supply ensured, then we phase out coal and switch to nuclear for baseload, and gas for load-following and peak.

The windmills, frankly, are a waste of public money since they are a non-dispatchable and unfit for baseload, load-following or peak. I do not 'buy' the Euro renewables supergrid fantasy for a slew of reasons - politics, engineering constraints and risk/scale issues that affect security of supply.

Since the UK is only responsible for 1.84% of the annual global CO2 emissions, our continuing use of coal (without fairytale CCS) for two decades will make no difference whatsoever in an atmospheric commons shared with China, the US, India, Brazil, Russia etc.

So the best policy for the UK is to keep on burning coal, but that would put us at odds with our insane commitments in the Climate Change Act (gesture politics; real-world damage) and both European and international rhetoric on emissions abatement.

So it's heretical. You cannot say this or your political career is over. Pfft. Gone.

Now that's wrong, undemocratic, unscientific and more than a little frightening.

Mar 27, 2011 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Walt Stone

You ask:

BBD, as I seem to recall, there was always an issue with the strength of the solar forcing from the effects of the Milankovitch cycles in comparing the interglacials.

[...]

But as I seem to recall, using the Milankovitch cycles to hindcast the glacial cycles kind of falls apart the farther you go back. Was the Eemian subject to a stronger solar forcing for a longer time to come up with the warmer temps and the higher sea level? Or did the little bit of CO2 help the whole thing stay warm?

See Fischer & Jungclaus (2010) Effects of orbital forcing on atmosphere and ocean heat transports in Holocene and Eemian climate simulations with a comprehensive Earth system model (emphasis added):


Glacial-interglacial cycles in the Quaternary had a periodicity of approximately 100 000 years for the last 500 000 years and the interglacial periods lasted for 7000 to 17 000 years. The main driver of the cycles is assumed to be summer insolation at high northern latitudes. It increases when
the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit around the sun is high, the obliquity of the Earth’s axis of rotation is increased and, concurrently, perihelion is close to summer solstice. For the last two interglacial periods insolation maxima at high northern latitudes occurred 9000 yBP in the Holocene and
127 000 yBP in the Eemian. Due to the global climate system’s inertia, e.g., continental ice sheets and ocean heat content, there is a delay up to several millennia in climate response, thus the climate optimum of the present interglacial, the Holocene, as well as that of the Eemian occurred several
millennia after the insolation maximum. During the Eemian, the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit around the sun was larger than in the Holocene and therefore insolation changes were more pronounced.


Hope this answers your question.


Full text:

http://www.clim-past.net/6/155/2010/cp-6-155-2010.pdf

Abstract:

Orbital forcing does not only exert direct insolation effects, but also alters climate indirectly through feedback mechanisms that modify atmosphere and ocean dynamics
and meridional heat and moisture transfers. We investigate the regional effects of these changes by detailed analysis of atmosphere and ocean circulation and heat transports in a coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice-biosphere general circulation model (ECHAM5/JSBACH/MPI-OM). We perform long term quasi equilibrium simulations under pre-industrial, mid-Holocene (6000 years before present
– yBP), and Eemian (125 000 yBP) orbital boundary conditions. Compared to pre-industrial climate, Eemian and Holocene temperatures show generally warmer conditions at higher and cooler conditions at lower latitudes. Changes in sea-ice cover, ocean heat transports, and atmospheric circulation
patterns lead to pronounced regional heterogeneity. Over Europe, the warming is most pronounced over the north-eastern part in accordance with recent reconstructions for the Holocene. We attribute this warming to enhanced ocean circulation in the Nordic Seas and enhanced ocean-atmosphere
heat flux over the Barents Shelf in conduction with retreat of sea ice and intensified winter storm tracks over northern Europe.

Mar 27, 2011 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I've cross posted the cartoon with a link back to your page. I hope that 's OK. It is brilliant! Jen

Mar 27, 2011 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Marohasy

BBD,

http://www.clim-past.net/6/155/2010/cp-6-155-2010.pdf

excellent, thanks

Mar 28, 2011 at 4:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterWalt Stone

The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post.

Oct 19, 2011 at 8:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBest Forex Indicator

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