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heads in the sand for climate change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis Friday. The 2,000-page report of Working Group I's fifth assessment (AR5) since 1990 makes it clear that those who have denied and continue to deny that human-caused global warming is happening have accomplished just one thing in their lying attacks on science: slowed attempts to do something about the climate crisis. Scientists who reviewed a boat-load of peer-reviewed journal articles for the IPCC assessment raised their level of certainty that humans are causing global warming from the 90 percent of the fourth assessment published in 2007 to 95 percent now:
In their starkest warning yet, following nearly seven years of new research on the climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it was "unequivocal" and that even if the world begins to moderate greenhouse gas emissions, warming is likely to cross the critical threshold of 2C by the end of this century. That would have serious consequences, including sea level rises, heatwaves and changes to rainfall meaning dry regions get less and already wet areas receive more.

In response to the report, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, said in a statement: "This is yet another wakeup call: those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire."

"Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or commonsense should be willing to even contemplate," he said.

Critics, of course, will not be persuaded. For example, Anthony Watts, a one-time television meteorologist who writes the oratorically aggressive blog Watts Up With That?, called the report “comical at best.” One might be tempted to think he was referring to himself. But the denial he and others continue to display in the face of ever more evidence is not at all funny. Neither is congressional failure to act laughable as a consequence of having 161 deniers in the U.S. House of Representatives. Their opposition is reckless and ultimately lethal.

The bottom line of the IPCC report is what its authors say about the continuing emission of carbon into the atmosphere. To keep the average global temperature from rising above 2°C (3.6°F), the scientists say, the world can only afford to add 800 to 880 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. We have already emitted 530 billion tons. In 2012, the world added another 31.6 billion tons to that total. The math is straightforward. At the current level CO2 emissions, that upper limit will be reached by 2025. Kids born today will only have reached the age of middle schoolers.

Some other critics have been saying in advance of the release of the IPCC assessment that it is too conservative in its pronouncements. Despite a flattening in temperature rise in the past 15 years, they say, the global average will hit 2°C well before the end of the century. Joe Romm of Climate Progress has repeatedly noted a key problem of the IPCC assessments is that they are obsolete before they are published. Given the process they must undergo to make it into print and pixels, that obsolescence is understandable.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced last week that he wants a special summit of world leaders in 2014, a year ahead of the next round of talks at the 21st U.N. Conference on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris. Getting together well in advance of the Paris talks is seen as crucial since the failure to come to substantial agreement in the Copenhagen talks of 2009 was blamed in great part on the fact that world leaders, including President Obama, more or less parachuted into Denmark at the last minute to salvage what they could. Which didn't work out. Indeed, in spite of efforts to put lipstick on the mess, the conference ended in discombobulation.

Please read below the fold for bullets condensed from the IPCC report.

Here are the condensed findings of the fifth assessment included in the summary for policymakers:

• Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years.

• Ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90 percent of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010. It is virtually certain that the upper ocean (0−700 meters) warmed from 1971 to 2010, and it likely warmed between the 1870s and 1971.

• Over the past two decades, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass, glaciers have continued to shrink almost worldwide, and Arctic sea ice and Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover have continued to decrease in extent.

Earth as ice cream cone
• The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia. Over the period 1901–2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] meters.

• The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. CO2 concentrations have increased by 40 percent since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions. The ocean has absorbed about 30 percent of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification.

• Total radiative forcing is positive, and has led to an uptake of energy by the climate system. The largest contribution to total radiative forcing is caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 since 1750.

• Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.

• Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes. This evidence for human influence
has grown since the fourth IPCC assessment. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

• Climate models have improved since the fourth IPCC assessment in 2007. Models reproduce observed continental-scale surface temperature patterns and trends over many decades, including the more rapid warming since the mid-20th century and the cooling immediately following large volcanic eruptions.

• Observational and model studies of temperature change, climate feedbacks and changes in the Earth’s energy budget together provide confidence in the magnitude of global warming in response to past and future forcing.

• Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all
components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

• Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 for all Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios except RCP2.6. It is likely to exceed 2°C for RCP6.0 and RCP8.5, and more likely than not to exceed 2°C for RCP4.5. Warming will continue beyond 2100 under all RCP scenarios except RCP2.6. Warming will continue to exhibit interannual-to-decadal variability and will not be regionally uniform.

• Changes in the global water cycle in response to the warming over the 21st century will not be uniform. The contrast in precipitation between wet and dry regions and between wet and dry seasons will increase, although there may be regional exceptions.

• The global ocean will continue to warm during the 21st century. Heat will penetrate from the surface to the deep ocean and affect ocean circulation.

• It is very likely that the Arctic sea ice cover will continue to shrink and thin and that Northern Hemisphere spring snow cover will decrease during the 21st century as global mean surface temperature rises. Global glacier volume will further decrease.

• Global mean sea level will continue to rise during the 21st century. Under all RCP scenarios the rate of sea level rise will very likely exceed that observed during 1971–2010 due to increased ocean warming and increased loss of mass from glaciers and ice sheets.

• Climate change will affect carbon cycle processes in a way that will exacerbate the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (high confidence). Further uptake of carbon by the ocean will increase ocean acidification.

• Cumulative emissions of CO2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond (see Figure SPM.10). Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped. This represents a substantial multi-century climate change commitment created by past, present and future emissions of CO2.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, Holy $h*tters, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (110+ / 0-)

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:54:56 AM PDT

  •  This is one of those times being able to say (27+ / 0-)

    "I told you so" is not pleasant at all.  The delay is worse than criminal and those responsible the worst sort of terrorists.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:04:45 AM PDT

    •  Google Pay Me $7k a Month!$$$@### (0+ / 0-)

      my roomate's aunt makes $88/hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her pay check was $18897 just working on the computer for a few hours. website link.....

    •  Math error (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The predicted amount of carbon to be emitted is in gigatons of carbon, not gigatons of carbon dioxide.  We emit about 9 gTC per year, so we have roughly 30 years to hit the midpoint of the coolest scenario RCP 2.6 which predicts temperature rising roughly 1 degree centigrade by 2100, though the IPCC predicted range of emissions with RCP 2.6 goes as high as 410 gTC.
      The next coolest scenario they offer, RCP 4.5, predicts temps to rise 1.1-2.6 degrees by end of century, with average prediction of 1.8 degrees.  In RCP 4.5 carbon emissions will be in the range of 600-1000 gTC with a mean of 780 gTC, which is obviously much looser standard than RCP 2.6.  It would take almost 90 years at current rates to hit 780 gTC.  The US emits 1.5 gTC annually, we peaked in 2007 and are headed lower in the future as we raise mpg and decarbonize the grid.  
      The determinants of total carbon emissions will be quantity of population and economic growth in the developing world, and intensity of carbon in the global energy economy of the 2030's and beyond.  What the US does will not materially change global carbon emissions as we are already on a declining path, though our example and research will be very important.

      •  Gigatons of C is nearly three times as bad as (0+ / 0-)

        the same number of gigatons of CO2.

        The point that the US has passed its carbon peak would be of extreme global political importance if anybody were paying attention. One of the Denialist talking points is that we should feel helpless and so do nothing about the problem. The claims are that the US shouldn't try to do anything about Global Warming because it would cost us too much, and anyway, what's the point because India and China. Both of which in what is sometimes laughingly called reality take the threat very seriously, but have much farther to go in order to be able to install renewables at a rate that matches their growth in demand. But it is only a matter of time.

        Can you give us a link on US peak carbon?

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 06:52:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's Obvious Why Big Dirty Energy Wanted to (19+ / 0-)

    assemble their faux climate panel and reports.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:14:14 AM PDT

    •  Oh, the petro-1% can fucking cry me a river. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The richest people in the history of history and they're not willing to take some of their massive billions and their widespread political power and create a new industry to make money in? Boo hoo, we're being forced to be entrepreneurial for once.

      For fuck's sakes, monopolize rare earths that are used in wind turbines. Put money into nuclear. Mine uranium (you know how to do that, Koch brothers; cheating native tribes out of their uranium is one way your dad made money). Be creative, for once; I'm not even a businessman, and I can come up with this shit. What are you paying yourselves for, anyway? If Koch senior had been this uncreative, we wouldn't have his technique for refining petroleum, and they wouldn't be billionaires.

      On the other hand, it probably would have been better if he hadn't been creative. Nonetheless, now we could use some actual capitalism out of you people, since human decency is apparently beyond you as a motivation. Here's your challenge: find a way to make money in a non-fossil-fuel based system. C'mon, princes and princesses, climb off that pile of mattresses defending your oh-so-sensitive skin from the tiny pea, and put your backs into it.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 04:16:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly Goose (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      "This is yet another wakeup call: those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire."
      I really believe most of our wingnut congresspersons and senators know in the hearts that humans are the main cause of global warming. But they are so beholding to big business that they'll destroy the planet to serve them.
      I have to laugh when they wail about the debt and how the evil Dems are passing this "crushing debt" on to our grandchildren. Even if that statement were true, what's it going to matter if they don't start taking global warming seriously......  

      "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

      by fugwb on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 05:50:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think that's actually (12+ / 0-)

    been unequivocal for a while now. We're finally getting to a point where we can say it out loud, though. (Well, my two cents on that, anyway...)

    I am optimistic about the changing tone, anyway.

    Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

    by rb137 on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:14:25 AM PDT

    •  I'm just feeling good that we have until 2025 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb137, Smoh

      though of course we don't really; but if they say we have till 2025, that probably means that if we started in the next couple of years we might yet avoid Armageddon. Which would be awesome (even though we would still suffer some awful losses). I'm aiming for not having a dead race on a nearly-dead planet.

      The rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come.

      I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 04:20:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The best scenario in this study (0+ / 0-)

        is a further temperature increase of 2 degrees C, continuing for centuries after we get rid of fossil carbon burning. That means that we need to think about global CO2 sequestration through geoengineering, which we are not supposed to discuss because the cure could be worse than the disease.

        For example, it is proposed that we could create huge plankton blooms by fertilizing large stretches of ocean with iron dust. If a large fraction of the resulting plankton fell to the ocean bottoms, it would make a start on de-acidifying the oceans, and allow them to absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere.

        But then what? What other effects would it have on ocean ecologies at the scale required? That's gigatons of plankton annually for decades. We don't know the answer.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:01:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tearoom credibility at the Cato Institute (9+ / 0-)
    Two years ago, Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd was deposed for implementing his cap-and-trade program (pretty much the same one that cost Turnbull his Liberal leadership) and replaced by Labor’s Julia Gillard, who vowed to scrap his program and also to never impose the alternative, a tax on carbon-containing fuels.
    When I asked Mr. Rudd, after running into him in the men’s room at Washington’s tony Café Milano, why he did what he did, he got all huffy, saying for all to hear: “My scientists told me, I say, my scientists told me that this is a terribly important problem.”
    — Patrick J. Michaels is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.  at Freeperland

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:16:00 AM PDT

  •  only nit is the assumption it's not too late. (7+ / 0-)

    it rather is too late.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:17:46 AM PDT

    •  Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we fry? n/t (14+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:19:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and with the massive ongoing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      remembrance, WarrenS, terrypinder, Mokurai

      carbon being used - with slated increases over the next have century or so - things will only become more dire.

      It is time to get over the idea that catastrophe can be prevented and /or avoided and get hard at work towards mitigating it.

    •  Too late to avoid major changes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, RustyBrown

      But it is never too late to kick carbon. Indeed, it is still imperative that we do so. Because if we don't kick carbon now, it is going to be even worse in the future. So as we talk about adaptation to climate change, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we still absolutely have to cut carbon emissions, today.

      "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

      by Lost Left Coaster on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 01:39:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  THIS! ^ ^ ^ (6+ / 0-)

        We know we're going to have to deal with more climate change than we can really clearly imagine.  But we still have to focus fiercely on reducing carbon emissions as fast as possible.  THat's the first imperative.  How far past 2C are we going?  To 3C?  That's bad.  To 4C, which many scientist believe will be incompatible with the survival of global civilization?  That's...worse.  And somewhere out there is a temperature rise from which the biosphere itself simply can't recover;  the feedback loops will be too many and too drastic.  So we lose humanity and all the rest of it too, and over the course of a few centuries Earth turns into another Venus.

        Ah, what a waste.  

        Let's not go there, okay?

        Remember that in 2014 there are 127 power plants set to be built in the US, and only three of them are coal.  The rest are either natural gas or wind; and wind outnumbers natural gas.

        I don't say that because it's a fast enough pace of change to carry us.  It's not, especially with all the methane that's released by fracking for natural gas.  All the same, it's a pace of change that could not have been predicted 10 years ago, or even five years ago.  We have to keep that up.  We have to keep changing the rate of transition that's possible.

        And we have to hope that some of those bright scientists, biologists, farmers, etc., who are out there looking for ways to store solar energy, slow down ocean acidification, store massive amounts of carbon in greener semi-arid plains, etc -- hope that some of them strike gold.  No magic bullet; that's not going to happen.  But there may be significant help for speeding up the transition away from carbon, and for mitigating the harm.

        We can't know.  And because we don't know, we can't give up.  There's simply too much at stake.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 02:51:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not only is the rate of building coal-fired power (0+ / 0-)

          plants down, but closings of old polluting plants are on the rise. We are net negative for coal generation this year, and will soon be much more so.

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:07:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Right. We get bad major changes, horrific losses. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If we change, we also get to NOT have a dead race on a mostly-dead planet.

        That's the idea.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 04:21:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is too late to prevent major consequences (0+ / 0-)

      It is not, and cannot be too late to prevent even worse consequences.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:03:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  can I nominate this for "diary of the week" (17+ / 0-)

    in tomorrow's Green Diary Rescue..??..most important.

    We are not broke, we are being robbed...but we can fight back...#KosKatalogue

    by Glen The Plumber on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:19:34 AM PDT

  •  they'll still (10+ / 0-)

    deny it's happening, because the report doesn't say they're 110% sure about it. Or some other discredited excuse for not doing anything about the hungry crocodile walking up to them.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:25:00 AM PDT

  •  IMHO the biggest addition vs. 2007 is the Carbon (12+ / 0-)


    AFAIK most governments that sit on fossil reserves, if not all of them, still plan economically to eventually extract and sell them.

    For sure, in Israel that only recently came on board this club thanks to some sizable offshore natural-gas discovery, the loud and acrimonious fight between government, corporations and various parties and organizations from left to right - was only over how much royalties the public will receive. Not a single peep about the fact it is better not to plan on extracting it all.

    This status-quo thinking has got to stop.

    •  Yes, black gold, Texas tea. That's the challenge.. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fiona West, elwior, flevitan, RustyBrown nailed it: to stop the extraction, selling and continued burning of fossil energy reserves.

      ..sit on fossil reserves, if not all of them, still plan economically to eventually extract and sell them.

       - Assaf

      Convincing the extractors not to sell what represents "gold" to them - is almost impossible. But if the profit is greatly reduced while working to make alternatives available (investment in renewables) with a future for greater profits (I'm sounding like a republicans talking of profits here - I know) than it can be done, as is the goal of reducing burnt carbon pollution.

      Make all those reserves too costly to burn by charging for the true cost from extraction to the end use.

      Which is why I'm still plugging the Progressive caucus budgeting solutions - chart a better course

      Progressive Caucus - Back to work Budget - March 14 2013 9:23 AM By Matthew Yglesias @ Slate

      There's a $25 per-ton carbon tax.
      ..and a bunch of other remedies that work and we should be doing - imopdf
      Thx MB
      •  Progressives should not be afraid of profit (0+ / 0-)

        That is to say, legitimate profit, not the result of fraud, theft, and buying political favors. Nor should we despise markets—regulated, functioning markets that cannot be gamed by Masters of the Universe financial typhoons and industrial maggots. (Snark due to the Smothers Brothers).

        It is sad to see Republicans lying about economics and Democrats afraid to learn real economics because of the lies and the cooties that you get from filthy lucre.

        The fact is that Global Warming Denialism is about to become politically irrelevant due to functioning markets, even with all of the monkey wrenches that they throw into those markets. Coal is no longer a sound investment. Goldman Sachs says so, among others. Efficiency has significantly reduced oil consumption in the US. Electric cars and renewables are already starting to cut into oil consumption even further. Renewables are on pace to replace almost all carbon fuels in the 2030s, except possibly in India and China, which will take a bit longer to build out fully.

        We don't yet have a carbon-neutral jet fuel, but researchers are on the problem. We can either find a way to make fuel for existing engines, or redesign the engines to burn something we can already make.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:20:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The findings of this report are watered down by (14+ / 0-)

    the political processes involved and the length of time it takes peer reviewed literature to be included in the report as "valid research," it is quite likely that the temperature threshold that the IPCC claims will be attained by the end of the century will be reached within the next ten to twenty years, if not sooner. This is the most significant issue of the 21st century and will kill and dislocate millions of people and species worldwide. The inaction of governments worldwide and the continuing denial/delay is unconscionable. The literal survival of civilization is threatened and we are arguing about the idiot agenda of billionaires trying to wring the last dollar out of the earth before humanity is plunged into chaos by ecological disaster. Incredible...

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:36:57 AM PDT

    •  Why exactly do you say that..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      remembrance, WarrenS, terrypinder
      "the findings of this report are watered down by the political processes involve..."
      •  It is an observable fact (0+ / 0-)

        that reality has outpaced the research. In particular, every climate model has been too conservative about the rate of warming, and the resulting rates of melting ice, ocean acidification, and all the rest.

        Not that scientists should be making wild guesses in their models. They have to be built step-by-step, and they have to be tested to see what is still missing each time. But we should be emphasizing factual observations, not models. Denialists can obfuscate models, but they can only ignore the vast body of facts.

        The air is warmer; the land is warmer; the oceans are warmer and more acid, and are rising; the ice and permafrost are melting; there is more ocean evaporation and resulting precipitation (including more snow in winter, which then melts faster), but not in the same places as before, leading to more catastrophic storms, with more major flooding and major droughts at the same time; species are migrating; and so on.

        Simple facts.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:30:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As Joe Romm at Climate Progress has pointed... (15+ / 0-)

      ...out many times, the biggest problem with the assessments is that they are obsolete by the time they are published.

      They are also necessarily conservative since they are essentially a distillation or condensation or whatever you want to call it of the scientific literature that has been published on the various climate change issues since 2007. Because of one serious error in the 2007 assessment—the prediction of Himalayan glacier melt—it's been reported that there was overcompensation and the findings were bent toward an even more conservative outlook than they would have been this time.

      Given what we have seen over the past two decades, it will be no surprise to anybody if the predictions fail (again) to account for a clear acceleration toward or even past the worst-case scenarios. But those of us determined to at least ameliorate the damage climate change is going to do must be careful not to get ahead of the science ourselves. Doing so weakens our already tenuous political clout.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 10:45:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Science is necessarily conservative. (0+ / 0-)

        There is no end point to science. It is always skeptical and doubting of any claim. I'm queasy at scientists saying much of anything with loads of certainty. The whole point of science is to disprove falsity not arrive at truths.

        The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

        by Common Cents on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 05:48:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree about the report being obsolete and (8+ / 0-)

      politically watered down. The actual situation is surely much worse. It is what it is due to conservative scientific caution and political pressure among many people and countries trying to reach consensus. This clearly causes parameters to be lowballed, when a spread is available. The fact that these conservative predictions, based upon conservative estimated trends and consensus agreement among so many, are where they are is truly sobering. No one is saying the status quo is just fine - except for paid shills, wackos and kooks. Yet governments are acting like they are following the advice of those paid shills, wackos and kooks.

      muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone

      by veritas curat on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 11:00:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Possibly but that is definitely on the fringe side (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Common Cents

      of the argument.  There was a group of scientists that published a paper saying that the Arctic would be ice free this year, and, needless to say, it didn't occur.  Every now and again you get deniers linking to an article and the paper making this prediction and they use it as proof that scientists don't know what the hell they are talking about.

      A consensus view likely isn't going to be balls on accurate but it throws out the fringe elements on the low and high side of estimates that allows most people to sign on and give it more authority.  

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 01:01:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you have a link? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        On the comment that "There was a group of scientists that published a paper saying the Arctic would be ice free this year?"

        I've seen estimates of 2016 + or - 3 years, which is rather a different prediction that "would be ice free this year".  Instead, it indicates a six year window, not a one-year estimate.  Given the natural variability, I sort of doubt any peer-reviewed article would have a one year estimate.

        •  Here's one: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KJG52, Common Cents

          BBC News, December 12, 2007:

          Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

          Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.
          Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

          Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.
          Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

          "Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.

          "So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

          There have been predictions for an even earlier demise of summer ice in Arctic:

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 03:26:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Consensus forecasts are more conservative (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades

            Maybe too conservative.  I appreciate the links to past sea ice projections, but those some more like speculations of indiividual scientists, not consensus projections.  I think the consensus forecasts in IPCC reports have been for too little arctic sea ice loss, not too much.  That's why I was surprised by the statement that made is seem like sea ice loss had been overpredicted.  I think underpredicted is more the case, at least based on the consensus models.

            I've been using WU as sort of a quick summary of the consensus or midrange predictions:


            None of the models used in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report have foreseen the recent, remarkable sea ice loss. This is likely because the models have a hard time understanding the transport of heat within the ocean itself, which some argue causes over 50% of Arctic sea ice loss. The NOAA GFDL model paints a similar picture as that of the IPCC models: an ice-free Arctic summer by 2100. However, these forecasts are too conservative, and it's looking more and more like the Arctic will be ice-free in the next few decades.
            Neven's sea ice blog and forum do a nice job of tracking shorter run, seasonal projections from the experts as well.
        •  The BBC link that Meteor Blades has (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          is the one I was referring to.  After researching that particular claim I found a website that seems to be much more serious about the breadth of the scientific views of when the Arctic will be ice free.  I found it after a few minutes of searching on the internet and I'm sure you could find it too.  But if asked I could go look for the link which I think I saved on my other computer.

          From what I recall (and I could be wrong) the gist is that the scientific community as a whole largely agrees with dates after 2040 but there is no real consensus.  They also said that it was faster than most had predicted but that the science should be allowed to continue to get a better grasp on the variables at play to come up with better predictions.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 05:44:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well argument from consensus IS a fallacy. (0+ / 0-)

        And the dustbin of scientific history is full of theories that 99.9% of scientists were sure were correct, until they weren't.

        The scientists we remember most fondly in history are those that said the consensus at the time they were alive was bullshit.

        The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

        by Common Cents on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 05:51:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and: republished to CCSOS and DKgreenRoots. (6+ / 0-)


    Thanks for the in-depth coverage, Tim.

  •  Lowballing temp rise, I see. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    figbash, remembrance, WarrenS, Villabolo

    We're already close to a 1 deg C rise;  2 deg is going to happen long before 2100.

  •  Report says GW will go from 1 to 2 deg C between (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    remembrance, DRo, Eric Nelson, WarrenS, elwior

    now and 2050. Then it will go to 3 deg by 2100 or more
    depending on what we do based on last page of Summary.

    We went up 1 degree since 1880 and will go up another degree in 50 years under all scenarios and another two degrees by 2100 if we manage to keep our CO2 emissions constant something that will take enormous international efforts.

    Remember only Germany and Sweden succeeded in maintaining 2005 Kyoto agreed  CO2 cuts of 20%, maintaining 1990 levels.
    The same rate of warning in the next 50 as the last 100 years under all scenarios, even the low increase one.
    And possibly much worse after 2050.

    •  The range tops out at 6.4°C. But so much... (0+ / 0-) iffy. Predicting what measures will be taken and how they could affect the climate over the next 87 years is not easy.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 12:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  First, thanks for a fact-based report, MB. (8+ / 0-)

    Of course, I expected that.

    Before I checked DK, I read the NY Times story about the report and note these two paragraphs:

    To stand the best chance of keeping the planetary warming below an internationally agreed target of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the level of preindustrial times, the panel found, no more than one trillion metric tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas released into the atmosphere.

    Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at the rate energy consumption is growing, the trillionth ton will be released somewhere around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report. More than three trillion tons of carbon are still left in the ground as fossil fuels.

    (My bold of the last sentence.)

    We'd better start leaving that carbon where it lies!

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 11:26:58 AM PDT

  •  I've been writing letters... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paul Ferguson

    ...on the IPCC report for weeks now.  The report is conclusive, sure...but it won't convince any of the remaining deniers.  They're locked into their conspiracy theory nonsense.  Too bad they're so heavily represented in our politics and media.

    Barring some sort of huge technological jump in the next decade, I'm pretty much convinced that we clever apes are going to join the Great Hum.  

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 11:41:56 AM PDT

  •  I tell my conservative friends (4+ / 0-)

    Use Global Warming as a gauge for the accuracy of media they rely on for news and information.  If their preferred sources have reported that GW is a hoax, they can assume they're being lied to about everything else.

    West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

    by Nicolas Fouquet on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 12:12:40 PM PDT

    •  Excellent. Because as GCC keeps going, everyone (0+ / 0-)

      is going to know it's real.  

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 03:03:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's a pretty mild temperature increase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man

    I imagine they're going for the conservative figure, but 2 degrees in 9 decades is only 0.22 C/decade, or basically what we saw between 2001-2011.

  •  Sea level rise... (3+ / 0-)

    As the seas rise due to increased mass and heat, they will flow into the Arctic.  Adding heat to Arctic waters likely will result in release of methane in methane clathrate (methane locked in frozen H2O).  Current estimates of Arctic permafrost methane reserves are about 80 times the measured amount of methane currently in the atmosphere.  The greenhouse effect from methane is 25-75 times that of CO2 (I've read different things on this).  Methane released in atmosphere of Arctic tends to remain concentrated there due to jet streams.  Degradation of methane in the atmosphere slows as the concentration increases.  The life of a methane molecule is measured in years, maybe decades, but the damage is so much greater than CO2. Additionally, ozone decreases as it is used to degrade methane (along with hydroxyl radical).  As I understand things, CO2 can only absorb infrared from a limited set of frequencies whereas methane can absorb so many more. I watch for increasing Arctic methane concentrations as a harbinger of hard times to come.  Will we have time to shut down and secure the nukes if civilizations collapse?  Do we owe anything to life on earth yet to come however we leave it?

    Buy Monkey Milk for your next Tea Party!

    by just us on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 01:19:29 PM PDT

  •  I won't be around but, at best, by the end of... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the century humanity will be lucky if it's a Mad Max world.

    Mad Max photo MadMax_zpsc886c563.jpg

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 02:33:19 PM PDT

  •  We can hit the reductions cited, I think they're (0+ / 0-)

    a bit optimistic, but I'll take optimism any day.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 03:41:54 PM PDT

  •  Can we *please* change now? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm so sick of people telling me that we can't change because we can't possibly change anything about the Sacred American Lifestyle, because the people won't' stand for it.

    We sure can change the Sacred American Lifestyle when it comes to decimating the buying power of the 99%. We have no problem re-engineering our society to accept kill lists and indefinite detention. My whole life I've been watching the 1% re-engineer this society (for the worse).  Is it too much to fucking ask that they spend a little energy re-engineering it for the better--or at least so it will survive?

    I don't expect the rich who sit on the boards of energy corporations to be sensible. But the rest of the rich should be on my side, not theirs.

    WTF, people. At this point I no longer care what you do. Build a fleet of crappy nuclear power plants if you want to (endangering all our health). I'll take endangerment over extinction.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 04:05:09 PM PDT

    •  We are changing (0+ / 0-)

      We are at Grid Parity (Renewables cheaper than carbon) in many places, and soon will be everywhere.

      We are now shutting down coal-fired power plants faster than we are building them, a trend that is accelerating. Soon it will be impossible to secure construction funding for coal-fired plants anywhere outside of India and China, which will take longer to catch up. Nuclear is going nowhere. Renewables and natural gas are pushing out coal and oil for generating electricity, and are starting to push out natural gas as costs for renewables fall faster than fracking costs. Electric cars will start to push out the largest segment of oil consumption. That leaves heating oil, jet fuel, and some other applications where we need further innovation, and application of innovations already available. Simply insulating houses in cold climates could drastically cut heating oil consumption.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:44:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, of course I'd rather have renewables. (0+ / 0-)

        But my impression is that coal is dropping like a rock because nat gas is outperforming it. and we're being very very friendly and encouraging of fracking.

        I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 03:27:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  On another note, (0+ / 0-)

    Welcome back, Mr. Kerry. It's good to hear you sounding like yourself again.

    I tried to go online to find a similar bear head...but when I searched “Big Bear Head” it gave me a San Diego craigslist ad entitled “Big Bear needs some quick head now” and then I just decided to never go on the internet again.--Jenny Lawson

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 04:06:09 PM PDT

  •  It is astonishing that the GOP & Fox News..... (0+ / 0-)

    ....deny these scientific facts.  They are in the pocket of the petrochemical industry.

  •  Does the report explain the 15 year flattening? (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't had a chance to read through the report as of yet. If someone can give me their assessment of what caused the 15 year flattening I would appreciate it.

    The first rule of government should be "Do no harm." The urge to act can frustrate the desire to help.

    by Common Cents on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 05:44:37 PM PDT

  •  I encourage everyone to read the IPCC summary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, RustyBrown

    It has very concrete projections.
    I think RCP4.5 is possible but RCP6.0 is more probable.

  •  First Bulk Freighter travels NW Passage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Thanks" to the reduced icepack in the Artic Ocean. The freighter's cargo? Coal! Its truly an addiction.

    Here is the link to Think Progress story.

  •  Google Pay Me $7k a Month!!!!$ (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    my roomate's aunt makes $88/hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 7 months but last month her pay check was $18897 just working on the computer for a few hours. website link.....

    •  21 comments in 7 minutes before attaining (0+ / 0-)

      bojosity, 1 minute after posting this. The spammers are getting faster.

      That comes to more than 50 hours a week. These spams are evidently targeted to people who can't do arithmetic, even with a computer.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:51:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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