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Gray-Wolf

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Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    http://news.aaas.org/2009/0215climate-wors...-expected.shtml

    Didn't have chance to expand over on the general discussion but maybe this deserves a thread in it's own right.

    Folk who do not see GHG's impacting global climate need not apply :D

    IPCC Scientist: A "Vicious Cycle" of Carbon Spikes

    February 14, 2009 · Posted By Craig Miller · Filed Under Cryosphere, Emissions, Policy

    For a while now, we've been hearing that greenhouse gas emissions are still off the charts, which is to say increasing beyond the U.N.'s worst-case scenario for global warming. Now a Stanford researcher has laid out some specific scenarios–and they're not pretty.

    Chris Field, who is working on the next IPCC report, said "There is a real risk that human-caused climate change will accelerate the release of carbon dioxide from forest and tundra ecosystems, which have been storing a lot of carbon for thousands of years."

    Field, a professor of biology and of environmental Earth system science at Stanford, and a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, issued a warning for members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago today: "We don't want to cross a critical threshold where this massive release of carbon starts to run on autopilot."

    And yet, that would appear to be path that we're on. As Field told the AAAS symposium, "We now have data showing that from 2000 to 2007, greenhouse gas emissions increased far more rapidly than we expected, primarily because developing countries, like China and India, saw a huge upsurge in electric power generation, almost all of it based on coal."

    So what would some of the consequences be? "Tropical forests are essentially inflammable," Field said. "You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried. But if they dry out just a little bit, the result can be very large and destructive wildfires. It is increasingly clear that as you produce a warmer world, lots of forested areas that had been acting as carbon sinks could be converted to carbon sources. Essentially we could see a forest-carbon feedback that acts like a foot on the accelerator pedal for atmospheric CO2."

    The loss of functioning forests worldwide is already estimated to account for about 20% of carbon emissions. But field also warns of another carbon burst from decomposed plants that have been locked in permafrost for tens of thousands of years. As if all that weren't plenty, Field says the accelerated forest destruction and melting permafrost could combine to create a "vicious cycle" of accelerated carbon emissions.

    Field sums up by saying: "We now know that, without effective action, climate change is going to be larger and more difficult to deal with than we thought."

    The Chicago symposium is being held to address new developments since the last IPCC interim report, in 2007. A formal update is due out next year. Field is co-chair of the IPCC's Working Group 2, which is assessing the impacts of climate change on social, economic and natural systems

    For those of us who have concerns about how deep and fast man is able to impact the planets climate systems there must be as many variants as in the debate of the "is it, isn't it" forum.

    Rather than finding ourselves on the same old roundabout maybe it would be refreshing to discuss our feelings on how bad things are and can become. :D

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Of course what Professor Field meant to say is that "Tropical forests are essentially non-flammable" (since inflammable actually means the same as flammable).

    Sorry. I'll go back to Pedants' Corner now...

    :D

    CB

    Actually, perhaps I can offer something serious to this debate after all.

    I would ask where the evidence is for these "Carbon Spikes" in the historic record.

    And if they do indeed start spiking in a vicious cycle then one comes back to the idea of Runaway Global Warming, which has clearly not happened in the past despite higher temperatures and higher CO2 concentrations.

    Any thoughts on this?

    :D

    CB

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    Posted
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
    So what would some of the consequences be? "Tropical forests are essentially inflammable," Field said. "You couldn't get a fire to burn there if you tried. But if they dry out just a little bit, the result can be very large and destructive wildfires.

    AGWer's line appears to be breaking. Over here it's drying out, but over in Antarctica the atmosphere is always getting more moist, because that explains all the extra ice.

    Troubling recent reports on climate change actually are underestimating the pace and depth of change because of an unexpected surge of greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2007, according to an influential Stanford researcher.

    This surge in Greenhouse gases should have been accompanied by a surge in warming.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    This surge in Greenhouse gases should have been accompanied by a surge in warming.

    Should it? Why should it? Please explain... :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    I would ask where the evidence is for these "Carbon Spikes" in the historic record.

    And if they do indeed start spiking in a vicious cycle then one comes back to the idea of Runaway Global Warming, which has clearly not happened in the past despite higher temperatures and higher CO2 concentrations.

    Any thoughts on this?

    :D

    CB

    That's also the first question that sprung to my mind when I saw that article. I don't advocate dismissing the possibility, just as I didn't advocate dismissing the "4-6C of warming" possibility in the other thread, but those extreme projections generally strike me as being very hypothetical and not especially likely to happen.

    Emissions are indeed exceeding expectations, which is a worry if the mainstream projections are right. As for the recent surge in CO2, if the science behind AGW (and by extension climate model projections) is correct it should cause more elevated warming in the long-term but not necessarily an immediate response.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    Because climate models tell us this?

    Do they? What about natural cycles - they are all included in the predictions.

    TWS: You have answered my question! :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
    That's also the first question that sprung to my mind when I saw that article. I don't advocate dismissing the possibility, just as I didn't advocate dismissing the "4-6C of warming" possibility in the other thread, but those extreme projections generally strike me as being very hypothetical and not especially likely to happen.

    Emissions are indeed exceeding expectations, which is a worry if the mainstream projections are right. As for the recent surge in CO2, if the science behind AGW (and by extension climate model projections) is correct it should cause more elevated warming in the long-term but not necessarily an immediate response.

    How long, is the long term though TWS?
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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

    Probably over a decade or two- although I have to admit I'm not sure on that (and I don't know if the climate scientists are either!)

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    Posted
  • Location: Maidstone, Kent
  • Location: Maidstone, Kent
    Of course what Professor Field meant to say is that "Tropical forests are essentially non-flammable" (since inflammable actually means the same as flammable).

    :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
    Probably over a decade or two- although I have to admit I'm not sure on that (and I don't know if the climate scientists are either!)
    That's the problem though TWS with climate models, it's at best a guess. I'm not knocking it, because at this present time it's as much as we know. Just wish some posters on here would see it like that!!
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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    The way I've seen things is as time has progressed we have been able to make better and better climate models (though far from perfect) and each step of the way (in the evolution of the models and our understanding/measurements of our climate) we have upped our emissions. To be above the increases of the worse case scenario figures of the last IPCC 'predictions' already illustrates my point.

    We will not reign in our emissions in the foreseeable future (IMHE) and ,in fact, they will probably continue to accelerate in their rising.

    So as the models refine the probable outcomes of increasing GHG levels (at various rates) we ignore the basic drift of what they bring us and do the exact opposite!!!

    Strange eh? :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    That's the problem though TWS with climate models, it's at best a guess. I'm not knocking it, because at this present time it's as much as we know. Just wish some posters on here would see it like that!!

    Well, why not take it a tad more seriously then?

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    Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
    The way I've seen things is as time has progressed we have been able to make better and better climate models (though far from perfect) and each step of the way (in the evolution of the models and our understanding/measurements of our climate) we have upped our emissions. To be above the increases of the worse case scenario figures of the last IPCC 'predictions' already illustrates my point.

    We will not reign in our emissions in the foreseeable future (IMHE) and ,in fact, they will probably continue to accelerate in their rising.

    So as the models refine the probable outcomes of increasing GHG levels (at various rates) we ignore the basic drift of what they bring us and do the exact opposite!!!

    Strange eh? :D

    The higher end of the range has increased... but the lower end hasn't. As we've delved deeper into the climate system, the uncertainties have, if anything, grown, and I am strongly of the view that the real uncertainties are actually higher- due to the doubts over how good the climate models really are.

    But, it is true that the current generation of climate models are the best we've got- and the fact that there's such a consensus among the major models on significant warming surely suggests the possibility should be taken seriously- though not necessarily accepted as gospel (as it seems to be in some circles) or dismissed due to lack of certainty (as also happens in certain, other, circles).

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
    Well, why not take it a tad more seriously then?

    Pete, it's not a case of taking them seriously, more a case of people taking them literally, as if they were set in stone! I still stand by the fact, that climate models are only as good the info put into them. This is why they have been caught on the hop now,with temperatures refusing to go up as predicted a few years ago!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    Pete, it's not a case of taking them seriously, more a case of people taking them literally, as if they were set in stone! I still stand by the fact, that climate models are only as good the info put into them. This is why they have been caught on the hop now,with temperatures refusing to go up as predicted a few years ago!

    I agree. And that's why I'd rather we took them seriously than literally. They are not 'set in stone' mate. And, very few of us think that they are... :D

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    Posted
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
  • Location: Blackburn, Lancs
    I agree. And that's why I'd rather we took them seriously than literally. They are not 'set in stone' mate. And, very few of us think that they are... :D

    Oh I think there are a few on here, who tend to think that. I still maintain that they will be proved wrong, due to their AGW bias. Of course the next few years will prove this, one way or the other!!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    Oh I think there are a few on here, who tend to think that. I still maintain that they will be proved wrong, due to their AGW bias. Of course the next few years will prove this, one way or the other!!

    I'm not sure that there are, my friend? Can you find a model that shows no warming at all? :D

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    Posted
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
    I'm not sure that there are, my friend? Can you find a model that shows no warming at all? :D

    Certainly. The leaky integrator, by VP and Bobski, stickied at the top of the climate change forum.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    Certainly. The leaky integrator, by VP and Bobski, stickied at the top of the climate change forum.

    But, does that include all the same variables as do the 'big' models? That is the question!

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    Posted
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
    But, does that include all the same variables as do the 'big' models? That is the question!

    You weren't asking me: "which out of all the almost identical models which approach climate change using almost identical variables don't show warming"?

    If a little model is able to offer more explanation than a bunch of billion dollar ones which all have almost exactly the same variables, then one has to wonder whether the big models, and their researchers, are worth the money we spend on them.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    You weren't asking me: "which out of all the almost identical models which approach climate change using almost identical variables don't show warming"?

    If a little model is able to offer more explanation than a bunch of billion dollar ones which all have almost exactly the same variables, then one has to wonder whether the big models, and their researchers, are worth the money we spend on them.

    So, if the 'little model' tells you what you want to hear - that is enough?

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    Posted
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
  • Location: South Woodham Ferrers, height 15 metres
    So, if the 'little model' tells you what you want to hear - that is enough?

    With respect, you asked me something other than that.

    Can you find a model that shows no warming at all?

    The answer is: yes, the leaky integrator.

    I'm not passing judgment on it here. In response to your question, that is a very basic climate model that doesn't show runaway warming.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
    With respect, you asked me something other than that.

    The answer is: yes, the leaky integrator.

    I'm not passing judgment on it here. In response to your question, that is a very basic climate model that doesn't show runaway warming.

    Yes AF, I did ask you that, that's true.

    But, I don't see any 'runaway warming'; not from any mainsream models. I think that that scenario is the worst-case possible, and something more intermediate needs considering?

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    Posted
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
  • Weather Preferences: Southerly tracking LPs, heavy snow. Also 25c and calm
  • Location: Redhill, Surrey
    Yes AF, I did ask you that, that's true.

    But, I don't see any 'runaway warming'; not from any mainsream models. I think that that scenario is the worst-case possible, and something more intermediate needs considering?

    IMO Pete, no. If warming continues during the next century it will be at the lowest scale in line with natural cycles [however, they are pointing to cooling now].

    However, 10 years of cooling and counting...million dollar models didn't see this coming? and all non linear arguments put forward still do not answer the basic question on many people's lips.

    With CO2 still ever rising why are we cooling?

    Ten years is long enough IMO for people to really question where the hell are we going from here and really question the AGW theory?

    Currently its not up.

    CO2 is NOT driving the climate...never has and never will...and I am very comfortable with that.

    GW, what damage has recent mild warming done? Are things bad because of recent low level warming? One better hope that serious global cooling doesn't kick in or then we'll discuss how bad. B)

    BFTP

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