It's Inevitably Going to Get Hot Around Here, Says National Academy of Sciences

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Some like it hot?

The National Academy of Sciences is today releasing a new report, Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia, which finds that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will lock in higher global temperature increases. The press release offers these details from the report:

Although some important future effects of climate change are difficult to quantify, there is now increased confidence in how global warming of various levels would relate to several key impacts, says the report. It lists some of these impacts per degree Celsius (or per 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) of global warming, for example (these apply for 1 C to 4 C of warming):

    * 5 percent to 10 percent less total rain in southwest North America, the Mediterranean, and southern Africa per degree Celsius of warming.
    * 5 percent to 10 percent less streamflow in some river basins, including the Arkansas and Rio Grande, per degree Celsius of warming.
    * 5 percent to 15 percent lower yields of some crops, including U.S. and African corn and Indian wheat, per degree Celsius of warming.

While total rain is expected to decrease in some areas, more of the rain that does occur is expected to occur in heavy falls in most land areas (3 percent to 10 percent more heavy rain per degree Celsius). In addition, warming of 1C to 2 C (1.8 F to 3.6 F) could be expected to lead to a twofold to fourfold increase per degree in the area burned by wildfire in parts of western North America, the report says. Warming of 3 C (5.4 F) would put many millions more people at risk of coastal flooding and lead to the loss of about 250,000 square km of wetlands and drylands. And warming of 4 C (7.2 F) would lead to far warmer summers; about nine out of 10 summers would be warmer than the warmest ever experienced during the last decades of the 20th century over nearly all land areas.

… Emissions reductions larger than about 80 percent, relative to whatever peak global emissions rate may be reached, would be required to approximately stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations for a century or so at any chosen target level.

Further, stabilizing atmospheric concentrations does not mean that temperatures will stabilize immediately. Warming that occurs in response to a given increase in the CO2 concentration is only about half the total warming that will ultimately occur. For example, if the CO2 concentration stabilizes at 550 ppmv, the Earth would warm about 1.6 C on the way to that level; but even after the CO2 level stabilizes, the warming would continue to grow in the following decades and centuries, reaching a best-estimate global "equilibrium" warming of about 3 C (5.4 F).

Just one observation, climatologists still hotly dispute (adverb, bad as it is, intended) whether or not the planet was 2 to 4 degrees warmer on average than it is today during the Holocene Climatic Optimum, some 6,000 to 9,000 years ago.

Go here for the whole report.

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  1. What is the point of this? People will not stop emissions any more than people will stop having sex.

    1. Why, you’re absolutely right. Burning fossil fuels is inevitable and as natural as reproduction, not to mention American as apple pie.

      1. Why, you’re absolutely right. Burning fossil fuels is inevitable and as natural as reproduction, not to mention American as apple pie.

        Not just fossil fuels.

        Even breathing emits greenhouse gases.

        1. Michael:

          Learn about the carbon cycle. Get back to us when you pass third grade science.

          Unless you eat coal and drink oil, your breath does not add CO2 to the atmosphere. How many times have I told you this, and how many times have you proven yourself stupider than an eight year old?

      2. Not everything is oil. Burning coal is also common. We used to burn trees. From the “discovery” of fire tens of thousands of years ago, mankind has been burning something. It is indeed almost as natural as sex.

        You ever tried having sex in a cold cave at night? Sometimes it takes a fire to get the fire going.

    2. It’s not about getting us to stop. It’s about controlling every single aspect of our lives, herding us into cities and making us into heavily taxed wage slaves, totally dependent on big government.
      If these unions and left-wing socialist NGOs really gave a damn about the environment, they wouldn’t be lobbying, they’d be doing and they aren’t.

      1. Yes, that’s it. It’s the government that is controlling you. Our global cartel–er I mean wonderful happy business–merely provides you with what you want. And what you want is dirty, planet-destroying fossil fuel energy. You want it so much we work our altruistic little butts off making sure everything in your life depends on our product.

        1. “Our global cartel”-so your really OPEC?

  2. Industrial-scale adsorption of CO2 by nanotech, with direct purchase of credits for such sequestration by carbon fuel producers, within the next 40 years.

    Next problem?

    1. You want to sequester carbon? Stop recycling your paper and bury it instead.

      1. Libraries.

    2. I met someone who is working to sequester carbon by pumping it down and injecting it into porous strata. I asked her how they would know the right amount to sequester. How to make sure they don’t sequester too much CO2.

      “Too much?” she said. “How is it possible to sequester too much?”

      1. Exactly the right question.

        Every time I read how freaking cheap geoengineering is, I am struck by the fact that Bill Gates could do it and, if he wanted to, start another ice age.

        When we get back down below 400ppm, we’ll definitely need some global agreement on what range CO2 should sit in. Watch the Russians and Canadians fight the Indians and Australians over that one!

      2. They’re sequestering CO2 emissions. I don’t understand your question either.

        1. CO2 is CO2. Whether it comes from burning wood, buring oil, or plain old fashioned respiration, it’s CO2. It is impossible to pick a CO2 molecule out of the air and say whether it was the result of Evil Big Oil, or the result of an Obama voter exhaling.

          1. If you’re picking off the stack, it’s safe to assume it’s a combustion product.

            1. Do you even know what CO2 is?

              Who the hell let these pinheads in here? Shouldn’t they be back on the set of Freaks?

              1. You ignorant cunt, please explain why CO2 is 150,000 ppm higher than air if it’s not combustion.

                1. What does that even mean?

                  Seriously, what are you trying to say?

                  1. CO2 concentration is 390 ppm in air and 150,000 to 200,000 ppm at the stack (exhaust) of a coal plant.

                    Brandybuck says it’s impossible to know the source of these particular molecules. That proposition is fucking retarded. I think she’s actually completely clueless about every aspect of this, but I have zero sympathy because her arrogant gibberish has now cost her two chances get a clue.

  3. What, they figured out the feedback effects of water vapor?

    When did hey do that? Because last I heard even senior guys at the CRU admitted they had no clue.

    So the models that have been failing the past 2 years are now fixed, huh?

  4. Ronald, that there was one awesome alt text. Kudos

  5. Holocene Climatic Optimum

    Everything good happened already.

  6. Here’s why I have a big problem with these global warming forecasts:

    “Warming that occurs in response to a given increase in the CO2 concentration is only about half the total warming that will ultimately occur. For example, if the CO2 concentration stabilizes at 550 ppmv, the Earth would warm about 1.6 C on the way to that level; but even after the CO2 level stabilizes, the warming would continue to grow in the following decades and centuries, reaching a best-estimate global “equilibrium” warming of about 3 C (5.4 F).”

    Prior to the industrial revolution, the atmospheric CO2 concentration was ~280 ppmv. Today it is ~390 ppmv. The temperature today is 0.6C warmer. Even assuming this is only half the expected impact, that would imply a long term 1.2C increase in temperature for a 1.39x increase in CO2 concentrations, or 2.5C for a doubling of CO2 concentrations (using a logarithmic scale).

    Yet, the example prediction provided suggests that increasing CO2 levels to 550 ppmv (a 1.41x increase from today’s 390 ppmv) will somehow lead to 3C of warming in the future, when it only created 1.2C in the past.

    Somehow, they’ve increased the sensitivity factor from 2.5C for a doubling of CO2 (as evidenced by the past 150 years) to an estimated 6.0C.

    Can anyone show any actual evidence that future changes in CO2 will have a 2.4x greater warming impact than past changes?

    1. Yet, the example prediction provided suggests that increasing CO2 levels to 550 ppmv (a 1.41x increase from today’s 390 ppmv) will somehow lead to 3C of warming in the future, when it only created 1.2C in the past.

      Somehow, they’ve increased the sensitivity factor from 2.5C for a doubling of CO2 (as evidenced by the past 150 years) to an estimated 6.0C.

      Can anyone show any actual evidence that future changes in CO2 will have a 2.4x greater warming impact than past changes?

      I think they are taking other factors aside from CO2 emissions into account.

      The 3C of warming includes the total expected warming, not just the 1.6C expected from the increase in carbon dioxide concentration.

      (This implies that even without an increase in carbon dioxide concentration, there would still be substantial warming.)

      1. Yes, but in the meantime, they’re using a number that is essentially pulled out of the air to represent the feedback effect of water vapor in the atmosphere. And that’s supposed to be the elephant in the room.

        You could give a pen to the World Cup octopus and get just as valid a prediction, it’s all a bunch of WAG’s at this point.

        1. Wives and Girlfriends? Pics or GTFO!

      2. “I think they are taking other factors aside from CO2 emissions into account.”

        Okay, but why would those non-CO2 factors not have had an impact in the last 150 years, but lead to positive feedback in the future?

        1. Okay, but why would those non-CO2 factors not have had an impact in the last 150 years, but lead to positive feedback in the future?

          I have not heard or read anyone imply that, or that non-CO2 factors are part of a feedback loop, instead of operating pretty much independently.

          1. “I have not heard or read anyone imply that, or that non-CO2 factors are part of a feedback loop, instead of operating pretty much independently.”

            Can you clarify a bit.

            I’m not sure I follow what you’re suggesting, since there are plenty of well-known non-CO2 feedback mechanisms put forward (e.g. ice/snow cover albedo, methane release, water vapour feedback).

    2. Largely, Torontian, your are under-estimating the time lag and the accelerating feedbacks, while underestimating the temperature increase. You seem to be assuming that the zero point is the temps at the beginning of the industrial revolution. It is not.

      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

      The zero point is the 1951-1980 average. We had already had a few tens of a degree by then, and around a full degree by now. So it’s more like a 2C increase for what we already have, and another 2C as we jump to 550. Oh, and another 2C as we shoot towards 800, which is highly likely if stick to business as usual.

      1. Nice try. I’m not underestimating anything (except perhaps your ignorance.) If you’re going to use quote the GISS data set, you should at least make yourself aware of any biases or adjustments.

        But regardless of what data set you choose, your argument (paraphrased as “there’s been more warming than you acknowledge”) is self-defeating. If you ignore UHI effects, METAR errors, and GISS/NOAA adjustments, and argue the global temperature actually increased by a full degree C during the last 150 years, and humanity simultaneously enjoyed the greatest ever increase in crop yields, life expectancy, and overall quality of living, then there’s a serious flaw in your argument that warmer temperatures are inevitably catastrophic, when all the available evidence shows exactly the opposite.

        The greater the warming you say occurred during a clearly positive period for humanity, the greater the evidence that warming is not catastrophic.

  7. What difference does it make if it was, or was not, hotter during the Holocene Climatic Optimum? What matters is whether global warming will be “disastrous” or not. I think it won’t be, and I think we should stick with coal and gas. I guess an energy tax would be nice, if it weren’t very large, but that won’t happen. Obama’s “green jobs” talk is total jive. Oh, and insert Al Gore gets a massage joke here.

    1. Shouldn’t you be at home working on your new book Little Women?

  8. Won’t all the water removed from the ground and placed in the air as clouds by evaportion, and all smoke from increased fires, shield the planet from the Sun’s heat, thereby reducing temperatures?

  9. As far as I know, CO2 warming hits a ceiling at around 2 degrees Celsius, due to a saturation effect – above a certain CO2 concentration, CO2 just doesn’t cause warming.

    Any warming above that level is attributable to something else that is somehow accelerated by CO2 or the extra 2 degrees attributable to CO2. Its this something else that is speculative and, as far as I know, hypothesized rather than proven.

    So, get back to me when they can demonstrate, rather than merely propose, these positive feedback loops, demonstrate that offsetting negative feedback loops don’t exist, and explain away the effect of solar radiation and the remarkably coincidental observation of higher temperatures on other planets.

    That’s what it will take to convince me. I don’t think its unreasonable.

    1. What’s interesting is the satellite observations being made now. I suspect that a decade or so of observations will go a long way towards settling many of the uncertainties vis a vis the short-to-mid-term behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    2. Jupiter is believed to be going through some major weather upheavals in what is being referred to as “Climate Change”.

    3. RC, you have no bleeping clue what you are talking about.

      Even before we starting spewing CO2, it was causing far more than 2C worth of warming.

      There are diminishing returns to adding more CO2, as it is a logrithmic function. The calculations and experiments confirming such were done decades ago, are well-understood, and not debated by anyone who matters.

      1. Chad’s correct here, but only to the extent that we’re talking about the effects of CO2 in isolation. Assuming no other factors, the radiative forcing from increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations is a logarithmic function, and doesn’t reach a “saturation point”.

        However, the absorption spectra of CO2 and H20 overlap substantially, so in areas with high water vapour concentrations, additional CO2 would have less impact.

    4. Consider this: if these positive feedbacks existed and it was an unstable system, wouldnt it have been triggered in the past?
      Well no, we will rewrite history and pretend that current temps are unprecedented.

      1. Consider this: not all positive feedback lead to runaway scenarios.

        L2MATH and get back to me.

        One A causes .9*B, one B causes one A. How many A’s do you get for an initial pulse of exactly one A?

        1. “One A causes .9*B, one B causes one A. How many A’s do you get for an initial pulse of exactly one A?”

          Simple. 1A / (1 – .9) = 10A

          Now a question for you:

          Why should climate feedback factors be higher in the future than they have been in the past?

  10. Here’s a picture of the water flow for the Rio Grande in the town I grew up in.

    What would a 5% reduction look like?

    1. Here is a picture a little downstream. I don’t think a 5% reduction would help much.

  11. shouldent the trolls be hear by now

  12. * 5 percent to 10 percent less streamflow in some river basins, including the Arkansas and Rio Grande, per degree Celsius of warming.

    Ceteris paribus? Or are they trying to fool somebody with “predictions” like that?

    1. Dontcha know? The warmer it is the less water there will be? The heat will evaporate all the water and there won’t be any more clouds or rain. Everything you learned in school about the water cycle is wrong! The entire planet will be a desert!

  13. Y’all need to read Michael Mann’s snotty retort to a skeptic who called him out in the wsj. Mann has made his credibility even more questionable, if that’s possible.

  14. Isn’t this essentially the same report they put out every 10 years citing new unseen data that supports their absolutes.

  15. Can’t we just agree that everything we know is wrong?

  16. I’m surprised no one has picked up on the rapid-response counterpoint: one meteorologist says that these data are faulty because the measurements are centered in hot, urban areas.

    Just thought I’d preempt the inevitable: skepticism to the point of idiocy regarding any claim that contradicts your religion that pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere does not, in fact, trap heat, but total blind faith in one lone dissenter.

    1. Strawman.

      1. Not a strawman. A lie. His assertion that only one lone meteorologist dissents is a lie.

        1. This is the strawman:

          “your religion that pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere does not, in fact, trap heat”

  17. “Emissions reductions larger than about 80 percent…would be required to approximately stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations for a century or so at any chosen target level.”

    Does anyone believe an emissions reduction of 80% is feasible or even possible? Shouldn’t we be talking about bioengineering and/or how to live with global warming rather than pushing front-loading washers on everyone?

    1. I own a front loading washer and love it. It is quiet, I don’t pay as much to run it, and it gets my clothes clean.

      To help balance things out, I burn a lump of anthracite coal for every load.

      1. Let’s say that coal lump was burned in a boiler and you had some sort of futuristic “continuous emissions monitors” placed at the air inlet and the stack. Just for giggles let’s assume the inlet shows 78% N2, 21% O2, 390ppm CO2 and the stack shows 78% N2, 6% O2, 15% CO2. Also the coal has magically disappeared.

        It is your assertion that no human could ascertain, despite the 50,000 fold increase, the source of these particular CO2 molecules, correct?

  18. Shouldn’t we be talking about bioengineering and/or how to live with global warming rather than pushing front-loading washers on everyone?

    No.

  19. Even if you believe the pseudoscience the policies wont work.

    CO2 is primarily a function of population, if the population grows about 1% a year until it stabilizes sometime this century, how can any reduction in emissions in the developed world, however great and painful, compensate for this? CO2 emissions will increase to the point of no return however many billions are spent on green fantasies.

    AGW is just a pretense to promote an anticoal/oil agenda, for reasons I do not clearly understand, but seem to be grounded on the belief that coal/oil are somehow artificial because they are associated with industry and are thereby evil, and not mere underground compost heaps.
    What are biofuels? I would assume them to be organic energy sources, so oil/gas would be bio as opposed to uranium. I checked some time ago in wikipedia and the definition used to be that it was not bio if it had been laying around for centuries, an arbitrary exclusion of oil/coal. They must have caught on, I just checked and the present definition is whether it is produced from biomass, and it?s only considered biomass if it is renewable. Another arbitrary definition to exclude oil/coal.

    CO2 emissions per se do not seem to be the problem, there is also the concept of good and evil CO2. If I travelled by horse instead of by automobile my CO2 emissions would increase becuase the horse would be producing that noxious substance 24/7, but that would be good CO2. Pets also produce CO2, but it is good CO2.

    AGW is just a war against what fossil fuels represent: industry, civilization?

    1. All human beings that do not worship Gore, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

  20. Massive government engineering of the economy through Cap and Trade will “create or save” 2 degrees C.

  21. You’re inevitably going to take off all your clothes!

    1. Sure. And the government is about to force us all to loose weight. So we’ll all look better naked.

      And then people will screw more. And then they’ll have more babies. And then there will be more mouths to feed and it’ll take more energy.

      Don’t you get it? The positive feedback loops are everywhere.

      1. You missed the joke there Ebeneezer.

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