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Archive for December 2019



  1. While still in his teens, John D. Rockefeller went to work as a cashier and book keeper but within four years he left the job to start a merchant company with great success. The oil boom had started by then and John saw an opportunity and built an oil refinery. The success and expansion of this venture led to the Standard Oil Company. His astute business instinct soon led to a series of acquisitions in the oil business such that in a year or two he controlled the oil business in the Cleveland area and followed up in this success with takeovers to control the whole of the oil business from drilling to pumping gasoline. The meteoric rise of John and the Rockefeller family as oil barons, in finance , in political influence and in social influence through charities is one of the most remarkable stories about America [LINK] . The philanthropic activities of the family gave them great influence in American society, politics, education, and scientific research. In a strange sort of way they helped to shape America into the country we know today.
  2. It now emerges that the charitable giving of the Rockefellers in research and social change is the origin and the momentum of the climate change movement – or so it is claimed in a new book by Jacob Nordangard. The extraordinary influence of the Rockefellers through philanthropy is supported by a GlobalResearch article online [LINK] .
  3. Jacob’s book “Controlling the Game” [LINK] is a history of climate change research and climate policy and activism. And there in that history he finds “a peculiar connection” of these activities to charitable foundations and organizations controlled by the Rockefellers. In other words, it appears that the people who started the oil business are now trying to shut it down. He says that it was the Rockefellers that founded the UNFCCC and the IPCC and it is through their foundations that both climate research and climate activism (such as Greta and Extinction Rebellion) are funded.
  4. In the GlobalResearch article, author Elizabeth Matsangou traces the strange history of the Rockefellers and their enormous social and political influence through philanthropy and charitable foundations; writing that “more remarkable still is the impact the Rockefellers had on education, medical research, equality, social science and the arts. Their support has trickled down to so many different organisations, helping millions upon millions along the way. John alone gave away $540m throughout his lifetime, but the true cost of the family’s ongoing philanthropy is simply unknown”. The GlobalResearch article does not come out and make the clearly stated accusations of complicity in the climate movement that Jacob Nordangard book does but it supports the Nordangard emphasis on their immense social influence through philanthropy.
  5. These findings imply that us deniers are up against the Rockefellers. The odds don’t look good. You can analyze the data and argue the science all you want but it isn’t about the data or the science but about the Rockefeller foundations, their money, and their influence.
  6. I noticed that the DESMOG blog keeps track of Jacob [LINK] . Here he is. Jacob’s website is here [LINK] . There he makes an impressive presentation of his case against the Rockefellers well worth a read if you have the time.

Jacob Nordangard



It is noted that what Jacob Nordangard found was “a peculiar connection to charitable foundations and organizations controlled by the Rockefellers”. This data in and of itself does not show a bias in this vast philanthropic system (see an outline below of its history and philosophy) that would indicate that Rockefeller Foundation funding has a bias for climate activism. Given the size and diversification of this institution among education, research, environmental causes, and the general well being of people, that some of this money went to climate activism may be understood only in terms of its size and diversity and not in terms of a bias for climate activism. For that it must be shown that the funding pattern and policy contains such a bias. This evidence has not been provided. Therefore, that a charitable organization of the size and diversification of the Rockefeller Foundation has provided some funding to organizations engaged in climate activism does not in itself show a bias for climate activism in the Foundation because the portfolio of causes to which this large organization has donated is highly diversified and unlikely to be internally consistent. Please see item #3 below with respect to the independence of managers in individual units of the Foundation.

  1. The Rockefeller theory of giving is “to solve the problem of giving money away without making paupers of those who receive it.” He said: “I investigated and worked myself almost to a nervous breakdown in groping my way, without sufficient guide or chart, through the ever-widening field of philanthropic endeavor. It was forced upon me to organize and plan this department upon as distinct lines of progress as our other business affairs. “I have always indulged the hope that during my life I should be able to establish efficiency in giving, so that wealth may be of greater use to the present and future generations. If the people can be educated to help themselves, we strike at the root of many of the evils of the world.” [LINK] .
  2. The Rockefeller Foundations: Rockefeller benefactions from 1855 to 1934 totaled $530,853,632, of which the greater amount went to the four great foundations he established for the purpose of handling his charities. They were the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, in memory of his wife, and the General Education Board. The University of Chicago was another large beneficiary.
  3. A philosophy of charity on a business basis : A system of selecting good men for the particular job at hand and then giving them free rein. His gifts were free from restrictions and the trustees were empowered to use the principal as well as the interest to further the projects they were supportingThe Rockefeller system of philanthropy was not to undertake directly the alleviation of a situation or condition that seemed to need correcting, but to provide the funds for a research group to carry out the work.
  4. Interested in Education: A list of Mr. Rockefeller’s organized charities shows that he was chiefly interested in education, scientific research, the Baptist Church and other religious or social organizations. His chief agency of distribution was the Rockefeller Foundation, established in 1913 with a $100,000,000 capital fund, later increased by $25,000,000 in 1917. It received up to 1934 from Mr. Rockefeller $182,851,480.90. This organization was formed “to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.”
  5. World-wide in scope, its activities were largely directed to medical research in recent years. The 1936 annual report declared it to be devoted to the “advancement of knowledge with research as the chief tool.” It financed work in the natural sciences, social sciences, medical science, the humanities, public health. It does no research of its own. 
  6. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, founded in 1918, concerned itself with public administration of government activities through the clearance of information promotion of experiences among officials and government units the demonstration of innovation and installation of improved administration methods and devices. In 1929 the Spelman Memorial was merged with the foundation and the activities were carried on jointly, with the announcement that its aim was “primarily the advancement of knowledge.” 
  7. Supported Health Board: The foundation, throughout its existence, has supported the international Health Board, an independent organization engaged in cooperation with government agencies in demonstrations for the control of hookworm disease in fourteen Southern States of this country and in twenty-two foreign countries, of yellow fever in five South and Central American countries and of malaria in ten Southern States in this country. The Rockefeller Foundation provided the funds in 1917, partly as a war measure, for the organization by the International Health Board of the Commission for Prevention of Tuberculosis in France, which conducted campaigns of public education in hygiene and provided for the training of French women as health visitors.
  8. In 1914 the Rockefeller Foundation established the China Medical Board to encourage the study of medicine and hygiene in Chinese medical schools, hospitals and training schools for nurses. In 1919 it opened the Peking Union Medical College, together with pre-medical schools.
  9. In 1920 it established a Division of Medical Education, which recommended large gifts for the development of medical centers in London and Canadian cities. It also made grants for the support of schools of hygiene at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Fellowships have been provided for students of medical education and public health from many countries.
  10. The Rockefeller Foundation contributed $22,444,815 for war work from 1914 to 1919. It gave $8,083,772 to the American Red Cross, more than $5,000,000 to the United War Work Fund and large sums for relief in the small countries devastated–$1,498,000 to Belgium, $610,000 to Armenia and Syria, and $163,895 to Serbia. It also spent large sums in support of medical research, such as Dr. Alexis Carrel’s work on his serum for wounds.
  11. The General Education Board has appropriated large sums for various institutions. Its general practice has been to make gifts contingent upon the raising of additional sums. It gave $500,000 toward the endowment of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard in 1919 and $1,000,000, the largest gift ever made to an institution for training teachers, to the building fund of Teachers College Columbia University, in 1920.
  12. Medical Schools Benefit: Among medical schools which have received appropriations from the General Education Board are Washington University, $2,345,000; Johns Hopkins, more than $2,200,000; University of Chicago, $2,000,000 (joint fund with Rockefeller Foundation 1916); Vanderbilt $4,000,000 (1919); Rochester, $5,000,000 (1920); Yale Medical School, $1,582,000; and the Meharry Medical College (for Negroes), Nashville, Tenn., $150,000 (1920).
  13. The resources of the General Education Board for aiding medical education were greatly increased by Mr. Rockefeller in 1920, when he made a special gift of $20,000,000, both principal and interest to be expended in the United States during the next fifty years. The total the board received was $129,209,107.10. Outside of the appropriations of the General Education Board, Mr. Rockefeller gave $34,708,375.28 to the University of Chicago, which he founded in 1892. Before giving the first $100,000 to establish this institution, he caused a careful survey to be made to discover the largest community, whose needs could be served by such a university. He refused to allow the university to be named after him, but continued his gifts for twenty years, when his final contribution brought the total up to the figure mentioned above.
  14. The money given by Mr. Rockefeller to the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial was largely for the continuing of charities established by Mrs. Rockefeller. These charities were chiefly for the benefit of women and children.
  15. The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research was the first of Mr. Rockefeller’s philanthropic organizations in point of time. The Rockefeller Institute was incorporated in 1901. Scholarships and fellowships for research work in medicine were distributed throughout the country during the first year, but at the second annual meeting it was decided to centralize all research work in the institute’s own laboratory. The institute laboratories were established on the Schermerhorn property, fronting the East River at Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Streets, New York City. Dr. Simon Flexner resigned as Professor of Pathology in the University of Pennsylvania to become director of the institute. The chief purpose of the institute is medical research. It endeavors to apply the latest discoveries in science to the prevention and cure of disease. It has departments of pathology, bacteriology, physiological and pathological chemistry, physiology, comparative zoology, pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. The hospital gives close scientific study to obscure pathological conditions, such as heart disease, pneumonia and infantile paralysis. Among the specific tasks done by the institute have been cooperation with the Health Department of New York City in the study of the milk supply and the health of children in the tenements; cooperation with city commissions to study acute respiratory diseases and cerebro-spinal meningitis; cooperation with Harvard University to study smallpox in Manila, and appropriations to assist important investigations in various places from year to year.
  16. Apart from his gifts to Baptist institutions, the Y.M.C.A. and colleges, Mr. Rockefeller was a heavy contributor to the Anti-Saloon League, giving that organization $510,042.95. It was the Rockefeller money that provided the bulk of the war chest that brought about adoption of the prohibition amendment.The only other donations in which the pattern of giving departed from the norm were $118,000 to the Republican National Committee and $250,000 to the American Petroleum Institute. Mr. Rockefeller made smaller gifts that aggregated less than $100,000 each but totaled $5,962,839.93. He also had a small list of private pensioners that was not included in the list of his public benefactions.His charity system was not without its critics. There were those who said that his benevolent trusts served to entrench privileged interests and promote class education. His gifts were denounced as being made with tainted money, an indirect slap at his business methods.
  1. Carbon budgets are derived from the TCRE (Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions) correlation between cumulative warming and cumulative emissions. The value of the TCRE is the regression coefficient of cumulative warming against cumulative emissions. 
  2. In related posts it is shown that the TCRE correlation derives not from the responsiveness of warming to emissions but from a sign pattern in which annual emissions are always positive and, during a warming trend, annual warming is mostly positive. [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]
  3. Since emissions are always positive, the TCRE regression coefficient in this proportionality is determined by the fraction of annual warming values that are positive. Larger fractions of positive warming values yield higher values of the TCRE regression coefficient and it is the regression coefficient that determines the value of the carbon budget. 
  4. Because of the random nature of the annual warming values, it is highly unlikely that the fraction of annual warming values that are positive in the full span of the carbon budget period will be the same as the fraction of annual warming values that are positive in the two halves of the full span. 
  5. Therefore we find that in general the TCRE regression coefficient for the full span of the carbon budget period, that for the first half of the carbon budget period, and that for the second half of the carbon budget period will be different.
  6. It is this simple statistical issue that imposes the remaining carbon budget problem because for the carbon budgets in the two halves of the carbon budget period to be the same, the positive fraction of the annual warming values would have to be the same in the two halves and in general they are not and that creates the Remaining Carbon Budget anomaly. 
  7. Therefore, the Remaining Carbon Budget anomaly does not have an interpretation in terms of the climate science of additional forcings or feedbacks in climate models or of additional climate variables in earth system models – but an interpretation only in terms of the statistics of the fraction of annual warming values that are positive
  8. The more relevant consideration is of course that the TCRE regression coefficient has no interpretation in terms of climate phenomena because it is a spurious statistic – a creation of the oddities of the time series of the cumulative values of another time series as described in related posts [LINK] [LINK] .


  1. Callendar 1938 [LINK] : It started in 1900 and warmed steadily from 1900 to 1938 with the warming driven by rising CO2 which in turn is attributable to fossil fuel emissions.
  2. Hansen 1988 [LINK] : It started in 1950 because in the 30-year period 1950-1980 there is a strong measurable warming rate with 99% probability for human cause.
  3. IPCC 2001: It started in 1750 when the Industrial Revolution kicked in and atmospheric CO2 began to rise.
  4. IPCC 2015: It started in 1850 by when sufficient fossil fuel carbon had entered the atmosphere for a measurable response of temperature to CO2.
  5. NASA 2020 [LINK] : It started in 1950 because from then the relationship between CO2 and temperature we see in the climate models closely matches the observational data.
  6. Climate Scientist Peter Cox 2018 [LINK]  : It started in the 1970s because it is since then that we see a measurable responsiveness of surface temperature to atmospheric CO2 concentration according to the theory of the greenhouse effect of CO2.


  1. Harvard biologist George Wald:  Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.
  2. Washington University biologist Barry Commoner: We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” [Published in the scholarly journal Environment.]
  3. New York Times editorial:  “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
  4. Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University: Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years. Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born and by 1975 food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, will perish in the “Great Die-Off.”
  5. Denis Hayes, Organizer of Earth Day wrote in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness that “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation”.
  6. Peter Gunter, Demography Professor, North Texas State University: “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
  7.  LIFE MAGAZINE, January 1970:  Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence that in a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.
  8. Kenneth Watt, Ecologist: At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it is only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.
  9. Barry Commoner:  Decaying organic pollutants will use up all of the oxygen in America’s rivers, causing freshwater fish to suffocate and disappear.
  10. Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University: Air pollution will take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone and 200,000 Americans will die in 1973 due to “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles. DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945 and these people have a life expectancy of only 49 years. Life expectancy will reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.
  11. Kenneth Watt, Ecologist : By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate that there won’t be any crude oil left in the ground.
  12. Harrison Brown, Scientist, National Academy of Sciences: Humanity will run out of copper shortly after 2000. Thereafter, lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver reserves will all have been depleted by 1990.
  13. Senator Gaylord Nelson & Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute: In 25 years (by 1995)  75% to 80% of all the species of animals on earth will become extinct.
  14. Paul Ehrlich, 1975:  Since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rain forests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.
  15. Kenneth Watt 1970: The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be 4C colder for the global mean temperature in 1990 and 11C colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.


  1. 1980, Since 1850 and the Industrial Revolution we have doubled atmospheric CO2 and if we continue to burn fossil fuels it could double again in the next fifty years (2030) because fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide faster than plants can absorb them. Warming could cause the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to crack and slide into the ocean to raise sea levels by 16 feet and submerge Florida.
  2. 1981: Institute for Space Studies, NYC: Rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could bring a global warming of unprecedented magnitude melting the polar ice caps and flooding lowlands in the next century. The temperature rise could be 2.5C to 4,5C depending on the growth in fossil fuel consumption. A doubling of CO2 will cause a temperature rise of 3.3C. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is vulnerable to rapid disintegration and melting. A global mean temperature rise of 2C could cause a rise of 5C at Antarctica melting the Ice Sheet and raising sea levels by 15 to 20 feet and flooding 25% of Florida and Louisiana.
  3. 1982: The use of fossil fuels will cause atmospheric carbon dioxide to double in the next 40 to 100 years raising temperatures by an average of 2.8C by virtue of the greenhouse effect because carbon dioxide traps heat. The warming will cause polar ice to melt. In high northern latitudes spring will come earlier and earlier and winter later and later causing a decline in soil moisture. Warmer temperatures and less rainfall will devastate agriculture in much of the United States and the Soviet Union but a more regular monsoon pattern in India will increase rice production. Glaciers will melt and raise sea levels.
  4. 1982, NOAA:  Two NOAA scientists published a paper in Science to say that in the period 1940-1980 50,000 cubic km of polar ice has melted by global warming and the sea level has risen by thermal expansion as well as the added water from the ice melt.
  5. 1983, EPA : The world is powerless to prevent a greenhouse effect that will dramatically alter food production and living patterns. Instead of fighting the inevitable world leaders should be planning how to cope with its catastrophic impact. Coastal cities without sea-walls will be flooded. The climate of NYC will be like the climate now found in Florida. The US wheat belt will move northward. All because of global warming caused by a buildup of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. By the year 2100 these changes will produce catastrophic results. We should respond to this challenge with a sense of urgency. The warming process now set in place is irreversible and the dire predictions of global warming can only be delayed by a few years even with Draconian restrictions on fossil fuels. By the year 2000 the temperature could be 1.1 degrees higher, 3.6 degrees higher by 2040, and 9 degrees higher by 2100. The temperature rise in the poles will be three times higher melting the polar ice caps and causing sea levels to rise 3.5 inches by 2000, one foot by 2025, and five feet by 2100.
  6. 1984:  Global warming caused by carbon dioxide pollution will cause noticeable warming by 2000 and increase the evaporation rate of water causing the level of the Great Lakes to drop 30% by 2050. These changes will cause a prolonged severe drought that will turn the American prairies into a dust bowl in the next few decades.
  7. 1985, Roger Barry, Univ of Colorado data center for glaciology. Atmospheric CO2 will double by the end of the century due to burning fossil fuels. CO2 induced warming will be evident in the 1990s particularly in the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps. Glacial melting in the last century is explained primarily by global warming. There is a possibility of a seasonally open Arctic (after the summer melt) in the next century brought about by a doubling of atmospheric CO2.
  8. 1985, Carl Sagan testimony in Senate hearing. Global warming will flood coastal cities and turn Midwest farmlands into a dust bowl. The greenhouse effect makes life possible but too much or too little will kill it off.Use of fossil fuels is pushing earth into too much. The answer is to reduce fossil fuel consumption by switching to nuclear and solar. If we do nothing we condemn our children and grandchildren to the effects of global warming. The greenhouse effect of fossil fuels is the most dangerous threat to mankind we have ever faced.
  9. 1985: The Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences: The sea level will rise 4-6 cm by 2000 and 12-27 cm by 2030 because global warming from the greenhouse effect will warm the oceans and melt glaciers and polar ice caps including Greenland.
  10. 1986: Scientists at Senate subcommittee hearing: The greenhouse effect will cause the earth to be warmer in he next decade than at any other time in the last 100,000 years and cause shoreline erosion, droughts, and other catastrophic changes just as the depletion of the ozone layer is doing.
  11. 1988, James Hansen of NASA tells the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that “the earth has been warmer in the first five months of this year than in any comparable period since measurements began 130 years ago” and therefore that the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are now palpable. The nightmare has arrived. Humans burning fossil fuels have altered the global climate in a manner that will affect life on earth for centuries to come”. Southeast and Midwest states in the USA will experience frequent episodes of very high temperatures and drought in the next decade and beyond.
  12. 1988, A buildup of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels emitted by human activities into is causing the earth’s surface to warm by trapping infrared radiation from the sun and turning the entire earth into a kind of greenhouse – just as mathematical models had predicted. Sometime between 2025 to 2050 the earth will be as much as 5C warmer with higher latitudes 11C warmer. Melting glaciers and polar ice and thermal expansion of the oceans will cause the sea level to rise of 4ft by 2050.
  13. 1988, The hottest years on record occurred in the 1980s with the first 5 months of this year very hot. Just as the models had predicted, the rise in temperature is greater in high latitudes than in low, is greater over continents than oceans, and there is cooling in the upper atmosphere as the lower atmosphere warms up. Clearly, global warming by greenhouse gas emissions as predicted by these computer models has begun. “We can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” The snow is melting earlier each year and the rain belt is moving northwards.
  14. 1988: To mitigate global warming we must reduce the use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide and also agree to further reductions in CFC beyond the 50% reduction mandated in the Montreal Protocol. The global warming problem is real because ”We know that greenhouse gases are accumulating and in principle, they should lead to a global warming”.
  15. 1989, We need a sharp reduction in the use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide, and end to deforestation, and a program of reforestation. The re-development of nuclear power could also slow global warming. The world must immediately ratify a treaty to reduce the use of chlorofluorocarbons because they destroy ozone and contribute to global warming.
  16. 1989, Scientists are using powerful computers and advanced mathematical models to simulate the world’s climate. The computer models predict that the greenhouse effect will make the earth warmer. The resulting climate change will have “important consequences for life on earth”. One problem is that the models don’t agree on what areas will suffer drought and where there will be increased precipitation. The dilemma faced by policymakers is that they don’t have information that is precise enough to make policy but if they wait for more precise information it may be too late to take effective action.


  1. 1990, NYT: Global warming will cause serious environmental damage starting early in the next century long before the maximum predicted temperature is reached. We must set limits beyond which the global temperature and sea level should not be permitted to rise to avoid serious and ever increasing risks posed by the continued flow of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere at present rates. The IPCC report serves as a prelude to the Second World Climate Conference in Geneva later this year.
  2. 1990 A UN panel of international climate experts came out to strongly support the global warming theory saying that the buildup of CO2 from fossil fuel consumption lead to rising temperatures worldwide, altered weather patterns, lower food production, and rising sea levels. In the long run the cost of inaction exceeds the cost of mitigation. The panel put political pressure on President Bush who is not inclined to take costly measures against CO2 as long as there are credible scientists who oppose the global warming theory and as long as there is no “scientific consensus” on the issue. 
  3. 1991, The National Academy of Sciences says US should act quickly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by developing new generation nuclear power plants and by implementing reforestation, mass transit, and higher fuel efficiency standards for cars. The plan represents a compromise between the more extreme positions of the EPA and the Bush administration. Despite great uncertainties, global warming poses a threat sufficient to merit a prompt response. 
  4. 1991, Burning fossil fuels produces aerosols that reflect sunlight and cool the earth. The resulting rise in temperature could more than offset the cooling achieved by reduction in CO2 emissions in the next 10 to 30 years according to an article in Nature by Prof Wigley, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in England. The aerosol effect is a sleeping giant because it is something that has been missed and its effect is not trivial. It implies that reducing fossil fuel consumption will cause acceleration in global warming for 10 to 30 years before the gains from CO2 emission reduction kick in
  5. 1991, NYT, The National Academy of Sciences says that the cost of inaction is not high because the US can easily adapt to the effects of global warming due to the greenhouse effect of pollutants in the atmosphere. It is more costly to control the climate change than to adapt to it. Human adaptability has been grossly underestimated. A dissenting committee member said that indirect costs of global warming have not been adequately considered. The report said it might be harder for developing countries to adapt to global warming. It encouraged “efforts to advance regional mobility of people, capital and goods,” better preparations for disaster and famine relief and expansion of free-market economies, so that changing prices can serve as market signals that would encourage people to adapt to global warming. 
  6. 1992, TREATY TO CURB GLOBAL WARMING. Sixty nations sign an agreement at the Earth Summit in which they promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The agreement is not binding and there is no time table. 
  7. 1992, WHITE HOUSE VOWS ACTION TO CUT GLOBAL WARMING GASESThe concentration of greenhouse gases is growing because of human activity and that could lead to catastrophic warming of the earth in the next century. Global warming advocates say that this move is positive and shows that the US has abandoned the flat earth society of global warming deniers. 
  8. 1993, THE NEW YORK TIMES DEFENDS GLOBAL WARMING. There are two undisputed facts about global warming – carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels has been accumulating in the atmosphere for a hundred years, and carbon dioxide traps heat reflected from the earth’s surface that would otherwise radiate out to space. It only remains to compute exactly how much the earth will heat up after an amount of CO2 is injected into the atmosphere. Since a real world experiment is not possible it must be carried out in mathematical models on supercomputers that simulate the earth’s climate although these models are far from perfect. Scientists have examined the results from the best computer models and advised the UN that CO2 will double by 2100 and cause a temperature rise of somewhere between 3C and 5C
  9. 1993, RISING SEAS A PRECISE MEASURE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Using the most accurate system ever devised for measuring global sea levels,scientists have found a steady rise of 3 mm per year for the past two years. These data now establish beyond any doubt that the greenhouse effect is causing global warming. If this trend continues for another few years it will be solid evidence of a warming trend related to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Doubts about the reliability of older and less precise temperature data may now be put aside as the very accurate sea level data clearly establishes the scientific basis of global warming. 
  10. 1994, GLOBAL WARMING MAY HELP U.S. AGRICULTURE,(NYT). Civilization is playing a high stakes game with mother nature by emitting heat trapping greenhouse gases that could forever alter our fragile ecosystem in catastrophic ways. The planet is going to get hotter with radically altered weather and rainfall patterns. Yet, a new study appears to show that its effect on American agriculture will not be the dust bowl catastrophe that was once predicted. In fact, global warming is now expected to benefit American agriculture by greatly increasing crop yields. 
    After a three year hiatus and a bitter winter in 1993-1994, the warming trend has returned with a warmer than usual winter in 1994-1995. Global warming is not gone, it was just temporarily interrupted by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
    Global warming will bring altered crop growing seasons, more severe storms, more tropical diseases, and the inundation of low lying areas by rising seas. As to the cause, the scientific debate about whether the warming is a natural variation or caused by man has now been settled. A scientific consensus due to advances in computer modeling has emerged that the cause of the warming is the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide emitted by man’s fossil fuel consumption. This finding is issued in a new report of the UN-IPCC panel of scientists and is based on the best data and science available. These findings are now beyond question. The debate as to the cause of the warming in the last 100 years is now over.
    UN-IPCC scientists issued a report in Dec 1995 saying that the warming of the earth by 0.5C in the last 100 years is the biggest since the last ice age and is not within the range of natural variability. Therefore it must represent a man made influence on global climate.Periods of cooling during the overall warming period can be explained in terms of global warming.
    Just four days after scientists announced on Jan 3 1996 that global temperatures had crept to a record high in 1995, the Northeast US was hit by record cold and snowfall but scientists say that the blizzard of 1996 as well as the bitter cold in Europe were actually caused by global warming because warming increases evaporation that in turn increases precipitation.
    (NYT) According to UN scientists, there are serious threats to public health if actions to reduce global warming come too slowly. The earth’s climate will change rapidly in the coming century as greenhouse gases trap solar radiation. Thousands could die in major cities in heat waves and tens of millions will face malaria epidemics in areas where the disease does not now occur. Last July a heat wave killed 465 people in Chicago alone.
    Twenty years of hard data from meteorological stations and nature show a clear warming trend. Growth rings in Mongolian and Canadian trees are getting wider. Butterflies in California are moving to higher ground once too cold for butterflies. Stalactites in Britain are growing faster. The growing season for crops in Australia is getting longer. Permafrost in Siberia and Canada is melting. The evidence is there anywhere you look.
    Entire nations among the Pacific islands vanish beneath the waves, coastal communities in the USA from North Carolina to the Texas Gulf wash out to sea, wild swings in precipitation first bring drought and then torrential rains and floods, coastal mudslides in California become routine, and maple trees of the North die out as dengue fever and mosquito borne encephalitis move in
    “Without reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, scientists warn that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could double in the next century, warming the atmosphere and triggering an environmental chain reaction that could raise sea levels, change ocean currents and intensify damage from storms, droughts and the spread of tropical diseases” (CNN).
    Last year was the hottest year on record and this decade has already produced 9 of the 11 hottest years of the century. The data show that man made greenhouse gases are causing a potentially disastrous warming of the earth.
    Climate scientists in the Hadley Center on Climate Change: 1998 will be UK’s hottest year since 1106, “the warmest year of the millennium”; sometime between 2041 and 2070 we will see a sharp rise in sick, hungry, and thirsty people; by 2048 the world’s forests will become so degraded that they will change from net CO2 sinks to net CO2 producers further accelerating global warming; human greenhouse gas emissions have contributed substantially to global warming over the past half century; the climate model is validated by its ability to reconstruct the last 150 years of climate conditions; the 1997-1998 ElNino is the most extreme on record; in the next 100 years global temperatures will rise by 6C – the most extreme in the last 10,000 years. The Amazon forest will die out and rot releasing carbon dioxide. Tropical grasslands will be transformed into deserts. For the first half of the 21st century, vegetation will absorb CO2 at a rate of about 2-3 GtC per year while human emissions of CO2 are about 7GtC a year. From 2050 onwards, vegetation dying under the impact of climate change will itself add about 2GtC a year to greenhouse emissions, further intensifying global warming. Global warming will accelerate due to positive feedback. More than 170 million people will suffer from water shortage. The overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion is that climate change is real.
  21. 1999, STUDY SHOWS ARCTIC ICE SHRINKING BECAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Sea ice in the Arctic Basin is shrinking by 14000 square miles per year “probably” because of global warming caused by human activity according to a new international study that used 46 years of data and sophisticated computer simulation models to tackle the specific question of whether the loss of Arctic ice is a natural variation or caused by global warming. The computer model says that the probability that these changes were caused by natural variation is 1% but when global warming was added to the model the ice melt was a perfect fit. Therefore the ice melt is caused by human activities that emit greenhouse gases.
    An article in the Journal Science says that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a natural event not related to global warming contrary to claims by climate scientists. The WAIS is indeed melting quite rapidly receding at the rate of 400 feet per year but it has been doing so for thousands of years long before human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, having receded 800 miles since the last ice age.
  23. 1999, WARM ARCTIC MAY ENHANCE GLOBAL WARMING. A sophisticated computer simulation model shows that increasing the temperature or snowfall on the Arctic tundra can triple its CO2 emissions from the soil of the tundra. The Arctic contains 1/3 of the earth’s soil stored carbon dioxide. The computer model shows a positive feedback look that can cause global warming to snowball because warming in itself can increase carbon dioxide in the air and accelerate the rate of warming.It is a frightening scenario that could cause global warming catastrophe to occur sooner than previously thought.


Fossil fuel emissions is causing atmospheric CO2 concentration to go up and that in turn is causing global mean temperature to go up. If we don’t take climate action to reduce and eliminate emissions, the temperature will continue to go up and when it warms 5C above pre-industrial, warming will become irreversible – meaning that it will no longer be possible to attenuate warming with climate action and that will make it impossible for us to save the planet.


Fossil fuel emissions is causing atmospheric CO2 concentration to go up and that in turn is causing global mean temperature to go up. If we don’t take climate action to reduce and eliminate emissions, the temperature will continue to go up and when it warms 4C above pre-industrial, warming will become irreversible – meaning that it will no longer be possible to attenuate warming with climate action and that will make it impossible for us to save the planet.


Fossil fuel emissions is causing atmospheric CO2 concentration to go up and that in turn is causing global mean temperature to go up. If we don’t take climate action to reduce and eliminate emissions, the temperature will continue to go up and when it warms 3C above pre-industrial, warming will become irreversible – meaning that it will no longer be possible to attenuate warming with climate action and that will make it impossible for us to save the planet.


Fossil fuel emissions is causing atmospheric CO2 concentration to go up and that in turn is causing global mean temperature to go up. If we don’t take climate action to reduce and eliminate emissions, the temperature will continue to go up and when it warms 2C above pre-industrial, warming will become irreversible – meaning that it will no longer be possible to attenuate warming with climate action and that will make it impossible for us to save the planet.


Fossil fuel emissions is causing atmospheric CO2 concentration to go up and that in turn is causing global mean temperature to go up. If we don’t take climate action to reduce and eliminate emissions, the temperature will continue to go up and when it warms 1.5C above pre-industrial, warming will become irreversible – meaning that it will no longer be possible to attenuate warming with climate action and that will make it impossible for us to save the planet.

WHAT SCIENTISTS KNOW FOR SURE IN 2020:Insights from Earth system model initial-condition large ensembles and future prospects, C. Deser, F. Lehner, K. B. Rodgers, T. Ault, T. L. Delworth, P. N. DiNezio, A. Fiore, C. Frankignoul, J. C. Fyfe, D. E. Horton, J. E. Kay, R. Knutti, N. S. Lovenduski, J. Marotzke, K. A. McKinnon, S. Minobe, J. Randerson, J. A. Screen, I. R. Simpson & M. Ting: Nature Climate Change (2020). Abstract: Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales. A new collection of initial-condition large ensembles (LEs) generated with seven Earth system models under historical and future radiative forcing scenarios provides new insights into uncertainties due to internal variability versus model differences. These data enhance the assessment of climate change risks, including extreme events, and offer a powerful testbed for new methodologies aimed at separating forced signals from internal variability in the observational record. Opportunities and challenges confronting the design and dissemination of future LEs, including increased spatial resolution and model complexity alongside emerging Earth system applications, are discussed.



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bandicam 2019-12-22 18-45-05-769



  1. COMMENT#1: with regard to the statement: So why would 11,000 scientists agree to declare a climate emergency? Being a scientist I can tell you that we are a very contentious lot. We argue a lot about the science. To get 11,000 scientists … to get even 11 scientists to agree on anything is really remarkable. To get 11,000 scientists to agree is just extraordinary.
  2. This statement is a reference to a website that publicized its URL on social media seeking an endorsement of a “climate emergency” declaration. Anyone with access to the internet was then able to visit that website, sign the climate emergency declaration, and leave whatever name, affiliation, and professional function and position they chose to leave. The information the visitor left on the site was then taken as truth with no effort to validate any of it.  The only exception is that when some comical identities became publicized, the website lost credibility and made an attempt to recover from its discredited status by removing these names from the list. This kind of data do not provide evidence that the 11,258 signatories were “scientists” much less that they had a sufficient qualification in climate science to make the charge that AGW is a climate emergency that must be addressed to avoid “irreversible climate change” or for that matter to even define the terms “climate emergency” and “irreversible climate change”.
  3. In this case, the data collection method alone disqualifies the data from further consideration if climate science really is science and if scientific methods are to be used in the evaluation of the data collected online without oversight and or validation.
  4. COMMENT#2: The atmosphere’s CO2 accounting presented in the video begins with a 280 ppm pre-industrial CO2 level and the accounting through time proceeds with additions from fossil fuel emissions and subtractions due to absorption in soil, forests, and oceans. The mass balance follows the IPCC procedure that contains the arbitrary assumption of convenience of a 50% “airborne fraction” meaning that half of the CO2 in fossil fuel emissions remains in the atmosphere. 
  5. These mass balance assumptions are not supported by the data. It is shown in a related post [LINK] that given large uncertainties in nature’s carbon cycle flows, it is not possible to compute a mass balance against the relatively smaller flows of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel emissions because these smaller fossil fuel emissions cannot be detected net of the uncertainty in carbon cycle flows. Given the uncertainties in nature’s carbon cycle flows, the carbon cycle balances with and without fossil fuel emissions [LINK] . This relationship implies that no measurable impact of fossil fuel emissions on the  carbon cycle exists in the empirical evidence. 
  6. A further confirmation of this conclusion is presented in terms of correlation analysis in another related post [LINK] where it is shown that the observational data are inconsistent with the climate science assumption that atmospheric composition is responsive to fossil fuel emissions.
  7. It is suggested, therefore, that the mass balance for atmospheric CO2 concentration may be more complex in the context of large and unmeasurable carbon cycle flows and in the presence of natural geological flows of carbon [LINK] . It is possible that these complexities in carbon cycle accounting have been assumed away by climate science as a way of making its case against fossil fuels. 
  8. COMMENT#3: The steadily decreasing warming target for climate action to prevent “irreversible climate change” begins at 5C above pre-industrial in 2001 and is then lowered to 4C in 2007, to 3C in 2013, to 2C in 2015, and finally to 1.5C in 2018. These series of changes expose an unacceptable level of ignorance of climate scientists who are at the same time demanding a devastating overhaul of the energy infrastructure of the global economy on the basis of their knowledge about climate change.
  9. The explanation of these mysterious changes is offered as “Back in 2001 we had thought that somewhere around 5C increase in temperature since pre-industrial we would start seeing irreversible changes. That’s how little we knew. Because back then it was not obvious that Greenland was melting. It wasn’t obvious that Antarctica was melting. We were just beginning to see the melting of the Arctic sea ice”.
  10. Here, the presenter admits that back in 2001 climate science and the UN-IPCC &WMO were demanding an overhaul of the global economy in terms of restructuring the world’s energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels without the information they needed to make such a devastating assessment. This is a serious admission to activism by individuals who claim to be scientists. It appears that the anti fossil fuel activism needs of climate science are deemed to be more important than the scientific basis for that demand. The role of activism in climate science that corrupts the science is described in a related post [LINK]
  11. The statement that “Scientists don’t make up facts – and therefore they don’t claim things that they don’t know about. And back in that earlier time we just didn’t know. You know, the information we had, 5C looked like what it was.” is self canceling because it states that “scientists don’t make up facts” but that scientists did make up the 5C fact even though they just didn’t know” and just because “it looked like what it was”. Climate science suffers from the delusion that if a later assessment is more fearsome than a prior assessment, it does not make the prior assessment wrong but makes it even more right than previously thought.
  12. That’s how little we knew. Because back then it was not obvious that Greenland was melting. It wasn’t obvious that Antarctica was melting. We were just beginning to see the melting of the Arctic sea ice.  In this statement, year to year changes in Arctic sea ice is presented by the authors as an effect of AGW caused ultimately by fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy and that the extent of Arctic sea ice melt serves as a measure of the intensity of warming and as a determinant of whether a climate emergency is at hand in terms of irreversible climate change without the evidence for the assumed causal relationships.
  13. There is of course a strong seasonal cycle in Arctic sea ice extent suggesting that ambient temperature drives sea ice extent and that therefore year to year changes in September minimum sea ice extent should be understood in terms of AGW. This assessment is often presented with the alarming prospect of an ice free September and its positive feedback effect. Along those lines, it is noted that there have been repeated alarming forecasts of an ice free Arctic in September particularly so in 2007 when over a period of months we were warned that “the Arctic is screaming”. Yet, though all of these claims have subsequently been proven wrong, these high profile failures have not dented the enthusiasm of climate scientists for this cataclysmic event. These alarming reports are described in related posts on this site [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] where it is shown that the data do not support the claim that year to year changes in September minimum Arctic sea ice extent is responsive to AGW.
  14. Possible reasons for the absence of evidence for AGW forcing of sea ice extent are explored in related posts [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] where the role of geological activity is explored given that the Arctic is a geologically active area. The data presented in these related posts imply that “We were just beginning to see the melting of the Arctic sea ice” is not something that can be related to AGW or to irreversible climate change or to a climate emergency. 
  15. That’s how little we knew. Because back then it was not obvious that Greenland was melting. It wasn’t obvious that Antarctica was melting. We were just beginning to see the melting of the Arctic sea ice”.  With respect to the reference to ice melt in Antarctica, it should be noted that sea ice in the Antarctic is not melting [LINK] [LINK] . With respect to continental ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica, the melt is found almost entirely in a small corner of the continent in West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula. What is peculiar about this corner of the continent is its intense geological and geothermal activity that has been identified as the source of energy driving the observed ice melt. For example, the observed melt in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), initially attributed to AGW is now thought to be driven by volcanic activity under the WAIS particularly since paleo data show that the melt started thousands of years ago. Details of the geological features of Antarctica relevant to ice melt are described in a related post [LINK] . {A 1999 article in the Journal Science says that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a natural event not related to global warming contrary to claims by climate scientists. The WAIS is indeed melting quite rapidly receding at the rate of 400 feet per year but it has been doing so for thousands of years long before human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, having receded 800 miles since the last ice age}. If the process continues unchecked it will melt completely in another 7000 years.Therefore it seems unlikely that the event is linked to human activity or that the time frame of a collapse of the ice shelf could fall within 100 years.
  16. That’s how little we knew. Because back then it was not obvious that Greenland was melting. It wasn’t obvious that Antarctica was melting. We were just beginning to see the melting of the Arctic sea ice”. As in the ice free Arctic obsession of climate science so we find that for decades climate science has been presenting alarming reports glacial and ice sheet melt in Greenland in terms of sea level rise and runaway climate change from a positive feedback loop leading to irreversible climate change and a climate emergency. However, as shown in these related posts [LINK] [LINK] , melt data presented to create a sense of alarm and climate emergency do not contain that kind of interpretation when examined in light of the realities of Greenland and the Arctic. Alarming “Greenland is melting” statistics presented by climate science as for example {GREENLAND IS MELTING AWAY AT THE “MIND BLOWING” RATE OF “8500 TONS PER SECOND, EVERY SECOND”} do not contain the implied alarm or the implied alarming consequences having to do with irreversible climate change or climate emergency when analyzed rationally as in  {CLAIM: Greenland is losing 8,500 tonnes of ice per second every second of the day every day of the year. RESPONSE: Year-round ice loss is normally not possible as Greenland loses ice in summer but gains ice in winter; but even if it were possible for Greenland to lose ice every second of the year, 8,500 tonnes per second amounts to 268 gigatonnes per year that would cause the Greenland ice sheet to be gone in 9,800 years raising sea level by 0.64 mm per year in the meantime. The data presented do not support the fear that is being sold in terms of the data}. {CLAIM: The Greenland ice sheet is now melting seven times faster than it did in 1992. RESPONSE: The year 1992 was selected for this comparison because it was a low melt year and it could therefore be used to imply dangerously rising melt rate due to fossil fuel emissions. If they had needed to show a declining melt rate, they might have selected the year 2011 for comparison when the melt rate was higher than the melt rate in 2019.  Thus the claim that “it was not obvious that Greenland was melting” implied a warming target of 5C but now that we have more Greenland melt information we had to reduce the warming target to 1.5C to avoid irreversible climate change and the climate emergency” is not supported by the data. 
  17. COMMENT#4: CLAIM: The melting of ice in Antarctica, the melting of ice in Greenland, the rising of sea level, all of those things are on this map. So climate tipping points are too risky to bet against. We don’t know where they are and we don’t know what all of them are but there are enough of them out there – oh by the way I might just say that if any one of these things that is on this map that oh! it’s is just a coincidence; but the fact that all of them are happening and they are all traceable to a changed climate makes it pretty certain that this is really caused by climate change.
  18. RESPONSEThe key word here is “traceable” and they are indeed traceable in climate models where they are traceable backwards in time after the fact but such tracing cannot be interpreted as empirical evidence of cause and effect but rather as an extreme form of confirmation bias driven by activism in search of events that will support the cause of the activist as described in this related post on confirmation bias [LINK] .  Also, the statement “So climate tipping points are too risky to bet against” in the context of an overarching admission of ignorance in “We don’t know where they are and we don’t know what all of them are but there are enough of them out there” is an admission that the precautionary principle became necessary because of the ignorance of climate scientists. That provides even more evidence of activism driven confirmation bias in climate science as described here [LINK] [LINK]
  19. COMMENT#5: CLAIM: “Well, we talk about sustainable forestry meaning that we cut down a forest and then we are so responsible that we replant the forest or we plant a replacement forest and it grows back in 50 years. But what the chart below shows is that letting the old forest grow for 50 more years captures more carbon than cutting down and replanting the 50-year old forest. The same is true for letting the 100-year old forest grow to 150 years old because that captures more carbon than cutting and replanting the 100-year forest. Similarly, letting a forest grow to 150 years captures more carbon than cutting and replanting 50-year forests. This is the essential equation of proforestation”.
  20. RESPONSE: With regard to the accounting of carbon sequestration in trees stated above, Ian Lipton writes in the comment section under the video [LINK]  as follows: “When Dr. Moomaw claims the amount of carbon sequestered over two generations of 50-year-old trees is less than half the carbon sequestered over one generation of 100 year-old trees, he assumes that the carbon in the wood harvested after 50 years is released – but that is not the case when the wood is used for durable products like houses or furniture. In such cases, the carbon that remains sequestered over the lifetimes of two generations of 50-year-old trees is much closer to the amount sequestered over the lifetime of one generation of 100 year-old trees.” Ian Lipton is President of the Carbon Accounting Company. He provides carbon sequestration accounting services.
  21. CONCLUSIONDr. Moomaw has done some impressive work in forestry and forest management and there is no doubt that his heart is in the right place in terms of being close to nature and as a defender of nature against perceived harm to it that may be caused by human activity. The arguments he has presented for climate action against a perceived case of dangerous fossil fueled climate change reflect his sincere need to defend nature against what he sincerely believes is a causal relationship between fossil fuel emissions and dangerous climate change. However, the arguments presented cannot be claimed to be objective scientific inquiry. Instead what he has presented is well meaning and passionate arguments against fossil fuels in the defense of nature without a scientific basis and without empirical evidence for the assumed causation. The confessed ignorance of climate scientists cannot be presented as reason for costly climate action. In “the less we know the scarier it gets” logic [LINK] , the null hypothesis is that the AGW Climate Emergency hypothesis is true and the alternate hypothesis is the absence of evidence of its truth. This logic is presented as science although in science it is exactly the other way around. 


Dr. William Moomaw one of the 5 co-authors of the World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency and lead author of five IPCC reports explains the nature of the emergency and what we MUST be doing about it. The reference paper is : Ripple, William J., et al. “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency.” BioScience (2019).  ABSTRACT: Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. Exactly 40 years ago, scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference (in Geneva 1979) and agreed that alarming trends for climate change made it urgently necessary to act. Since then, similar alarms have been made through the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as scores of other global assemblies and scientists’ explicit warnings of insufficient progress (Ripple et al. 2017). Yet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still rapidly rising, with increasingly damaging effects on the Earth’s climate. An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis (IPCC 2018). Most public discussions on climate change are based on global surface temperature only, an inadequate measure to capture the breadth of human activities and the real dangers stemming from a warming planet (Briggs et al. 2015). Policymakers and the public now urgently need access to a set of indicators that convey the effects of human activities on GHG emissions and the consequent impacts on climate, our environment, and society. Building on prior work (see supplemental file S2), we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years for human activities that can affect GHG emissions and change the climate (figure 1), as well as actual climatic impacts (figure 2). We use only relevant data sets that are clear, understandable, systematically collected for at least the last 5 years, and updated at least annually.  [LINK TO FULL TEXT] BELOW IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE YOUTUBE LECTURE FOLLOWED BY CRITICAL COMMENTARY AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ON THE SUBJECT OF CLIMATE EMERGENCY

bandicam 2019-12-22 18-45-05-769

  1. I want to talk to you about responding to the climate emergency with natural solutions. This is the front page of our article which has had an amazing response. And in it we state that scientists have a moral obligation to really let the public know what’s actually happening. And we joined together in looking at all the data and information and have decided that it is necessary to declare this a climate emergency.
  2. So here are the things we have to do. We have to of course first transform our economy to get rid of fossil fuels and other things that we are burning putting into the atmosphere biofuels and various things, AND GET RID OF THESE SUBSIDIES FIRST.  Absolutely, get rid of the subsidies first. It is unbelievable that we are paying people to put more carbon into the atmosphere country after country after country.
  3. We need to reduce the black carbon that comes from some of that combustion – diesel, coal, burning wood for electricity, and methane, nitrous oxide from agriculture, and some industrial chemicals.
  4. We need to protect the natural system that are already removing well more than half of what we put in every year of carbon dioxide and increase the capacity of natural systems to remove carbon dioxide.
  5. Our food habits for the whole world have a profound effect in terms of emissions. They emit carbon dioxide, the emit nitrous oxide from fertilizer, they emit methane from primarily animal husbandry and we need to shift our food and diet away from animals and towards plant based foods. No more, no more, no more Big Macs! Well, they now have impossible burgers in all kinds of things made from plant food that are selling really well apparently at least in the United States. We have to consume less meat products.
  6. We have an economy that could not have been better designed to emit carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere than it is. It is amazing that we have become so reliant on fossil fuels. So we need to reduce the activities that release those emissions and these heat trapping gasses and create a carbon free economy. bandicam 2019-12-22 21-09-18-557
  7. It’s the economy! It is our current mainstream growth economic system that is causing our doom. This system provides the incentive for us to consume the planet more and more quickly. It’s an insane system; but they can’t get off it because if they stop that exponential growth the Ponzi scheme falls apart (Note: A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam that generates returns for early investors by acquiring new investors). It is a bit of a Ponzi Scheme and it takes all kinds of interventions to keep it going from central banks and so forth so it is not just a market system running itself like it was promised to be way  back in the 18th century and it needs a lot of work to keep it running.
  8. And finally there is the human population! We’re adding 80 million people a year to the planet’s human population. There are economists that tell us that we need to keep having more population growth to keep the economy going. I find it absolutely bizarre that my role in society is to keep the economy going and it’s women’s role in societies to keep having babies to keep the economy going. I find that an extraordinarily bizarre notion of what is most important. Does the economy serve us or do we serve the economy?
  9. So one of the ways of the things we have to do is to do this in a way that will re-keep society intact and one of the things we can do is to provide education for women and for girls all over the world and provide information for women and girls with information for managing their own fertility.
  10. So why would 11,000 scientists agree to declare a climate emergency? Being a scientist I can tell you that we are a very contentious lot. We argue a lot about the science. To get 11,000 scientists … to get even 11 scientists to agree on anything is really remarkable. To get 11,000 scientists to agree is just extraordinary. There is an old New York joke that if you get 11 scientists together you get 13 opinions.
  11. We use the term “emergency” deliberately. We felt terms like crisis and disaster are not very helpful. They simply leave you feeling depressed because there is nothing you can do about it. There is not even a possibility suggested in those terms. But emergency means something dangerous is about to happen and you can work to prevent it or you are going to have to respond to a mess afterwards – just like you can prevent an automobile accident or you can deal with it after the crash and we want to do it before rather than after. bandicam 2019-12-23 07-39-40-131
  12. As scientists have improved their capacity and have more time to gather more information about what’s happening in the world, we have come to recognize that abrupt and irreversible changes are coming at lower and lower increases in temperature. The four bars in the chart below represent the estimates in four IPCC reports from 2001 to 2018. Back in 2001, and I was one of the coordinating lead authors in one of the chapters there – about emissions from industry and transportation – and we had thought that somewhere around 5C increase in temperature since pre-industrial we would start seeing irreversible changes. That’s how little we knew. Because back then it was not obvious that Greenland was melting. It wasn’t obvious that Antarctica was melting. We were just beginning to see the melting of the Arctic sea ice. bandicam 2019-12-23 07-50-21-707
  13. And then 5 years later, it looked like it could be somewhere between 4C and 5C, maybe somewhere below 5C and 6 years later it looked like it would be somewhere below 4C maybe somewhere 3C to 4C. And in the most recent assessment, in the report that came out just a year ago in 2018, it is between 1.5C and 2C. Everybody says “what’s the difference between 1.5C and 2C? The difference is that at 2C we get a lot more irreversible changes than we get at 1.5C.
  14. Regina Valdez: I’ve heard a lot of people who are not really cognizant of the science pooh pooh the issue of climate change by saying that scientists keep changing their mind, they don’t know what they are talking about, they’re exaggerating. How do you address that charge when it has gone from 5C to 1.5C?
  15. Moomaw: Well it’s a good question. I mean … the thing is a lot of people … a lot of people have the attitude that “my opinion is as good as yours” but the famous statement is that you can choose your opinions but you can’t choose your facts. Scientists don’t make up facts – and therefore they don’t claim things that they don’t know about. And back in that earlier time we just didn’t know. You know, the information we had, 5C looked like what it was. And I’ll have to say this, I cannot think of a single thing that has been studied in science about climate change that has come to the conclusion that it’s not going to be as bad as we thought it was yesterday. It just keeps getting worse and worse as we learn more and more. Because things ARE getting worse. This is not just a creeping problem for future generations. It is accelerating every single day from what it was before.
  16. So, let’s just take a quick look here. That there are changes to the world and many of them are becoming irreversible. And this is just a map (image below) that was put together and it shows the different things. The thawing of the permafrost. You know when the permafrost thaws – this is just like the carbon in the soils is like frozen meat in your freezer. What happens when the electricity goes off and that meat thaws? It rots. And that means that bacteria are chewing on it. And the same thing is happening. It’s not meat that’s in permafrost, it’s basically organic carbon in soils but the same thing happens. In the liquid water, the bugs wake up and they are able to start devouring it and they start exhaling methane and carbon dioxide.  bandicam 2019-12-23 09-39-16-932
  17. The melting of ice in Antarctica, the melting of ice in Greenland, the rising of sea level, all of those things are on this map. So climate tipping points are too risky to bet against. We don’t know where they are and we don’t know what all of them are but there are enough of them out there – oh by the way I might just say that if any one of these things that is on this map that oh! it’s is just a coincidence; but the fact that all of them are happening and they are all traceable to a changed climate makes it pretty certain that this is really caused by climate change. bandicam 2019-12-23 09-40-06-273
  18. And so, this is a direct quote from the paper, “the growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate change is … must compel political and economic action on emissions”. There is no scientific action. There is no magic bullet. It is .. we have to change and respond to this in our economy and in our political system and that is supposedly what we are here in Madrid for.
  19. Question: are we running out of time? This is a remarkable graphic that was put together (chart below) and what it shows fossil fuel emissions denoted in gigatons of CO2 per year. The historic trend, that’s the black line, and the various colored wedges from darker red to lighter pink are really the following situations. The first is the current policies. We’re somewhere in that range just doing what we’re doing now – business as usual. But didn’t we have Paris? We did have Paris and this is what those commitments will get us (shown in dark pink). It’s a little bit better but it’s nowhere near enough, nowhere near enough. In Paris we said … that’s what countries did in their nationally determined (intended) contributions but they said we should not get more than 2C warming above pre-industrial. We have to be somewhere in that dark pink fat wedge going down to stay within 2C. And to stay within – to make all efforts to stay within 1.5C we have to go down in that really steeply dropping wedge colored light pink.  bandicam 2019-12-23 10-25-07-560
  20. Question from co-author seated next to Moomaw: The 1.5C and 2C goals, the guys and girls over there (pointing to COP25 meeting) keep moving the goal posts. They should be 1750. If we use the 1750 baseline then we are already at the 1.5C. But they moved it to 1850 because that’s when the …. etc …. they had reasons! That’s right. And that’s when the thermometer record starts and it would be a little difficult to estimate 1750 but that’s no reason to ignore it. It was cooler in 1750 than it was in 1850 {Related post: CET warming since 1771 [LINK]. And some countries came in and said we’re going to use a 2005 baseline. 
  21. In a bleak report that just came out a little over a week ago, by the UN, this remarkable statement in there, “We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated”, a top UN official said. bandicam 2019-12-23 11-43-43-416
  22. Global greenhouse gas emissions must begin falling by 7.6% each year beginning in 2020 a rate currently nowhere in sight to meet the most ambitious aims of the Paris Climate Accord.  bandicam 2019-12-23 11-40-16-730
  23. In 2005 I wrote a paper doing an analysis, it was called the 2% solution. If beginning in 2005 we had reduced our emissions by 2% a year, by 2050, assuming we did not destroy nature that is sucking up carbon, that we would have stabilized the climate and the temperature at sort of reasonable levels around 350ppm or something like that. So we wasted that opportunity and to add salt in the would, a term that people use, the World Meteorological Organization just announced, though no surprise, that despite all the things that we say we are doing carbon dioxide emissions reached a new high and so did a lot of other gases, methane and other heat trapping gases. bandicam 2019-12-23 11-58-39-080
  24. So, we need to catch up on the years we procrastinated. That’s the message from Inger Andersen, Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). That’s the message for the negotiators who are here in Madrid right now. That is a very untypical statement from a UN agency. That is a harsh statement in diplomatic terms, but it’s very much on target.
  25. Regina Valdez: Does that mean we need to go below net zero but actually negative? We need to draw down? Moomaw: Yes, thank you, let me just say …  here’s the 1.5C report and let me just put it into the context in the answer to your question. So, this report came out a little over a year ago and here’s what it says,  “To keep temperatures from rising above 1.5C, global net anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions must decline by about 45% from … below 2010 levels by 2030 reaching net zero in 2050. So now we are on the verge of 2020, and that means that we have just 11 years, and we go through 2000 and 2020 and up to 2030, 45%, that’s why we have to go down by 7.6% a year. ipcc1.5c
  26. The problem is that people procrastinate such that action needed to meet a 2030 target does not kick in until 2030. That’s like students sitting in lectures, not doing the assignments and then staying up all night to study for the final exam. That usually does not work out well. It doesn’t work well for students, it doesn’t work well for diplomats, and it doesn’t work well for the planet.
  27. And so here’s the point that people really need to understand. We must simultaneously reduce combustion emissions and all other sources of carbon dioxide; and from methane and from all these other heat trapping gases. And simultaneously, And simultaneously we must increase the removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide by nature based solutions. It’s not either or, it’s both and. And this number .. this business … NET emissions – what that means is the difference between what we put in and what nature takes out.
  28. A term that is commonly used is “carbon neutral”. Oh that sounds so good. But that is not a scientific term. Carbon neutral is not the same as zero carbon. Carbon neutral means that someone else at some other time and at some other place removed carbon so I can emit more. Maybe maybe because this is an accounting system that they came up with in their (COP25) to allow wealthy countries to pollute more while they supposedly plant more trees in Indonesia which are harvested 5 or 10 years down the road. That’s right, I mean it’s not just Indonesia, it is happening in the United States and it is happening in Europe.
  29. So, how do we remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? Well, trees grow. Half of the weight of wood is carbon. Which tree absorbs more carbon dioxide every year? The big one does. The foresters will tell you “we have to get rid of the big one because they are about to keel over and emit carbon dioxide – the one in the picture is 160 years old. It’s in Massachusets where I live. It’s the tallest tree in the whole Northeast United States, it’s about 53 meters high, about half the height of the redwoods in California. These trees are remnants of what was once an entire forest. We just have remnants. So, there are studies now showing that we are managing our forests in such a way that if we manage them differently they could absorb twice as much carbon dioxide as they already do now.
  30. Remember, forests and wetlands and the oceans are currently removing more than half of what we put in every year. That’s amazing. It is really nice to have friends like that. We would really be beyond hot water because the seas would have risen and the temperatures would be much warmer if it weren’t for nature taking this carbon dioxide out.
  31. Regina Valdez: According to our president in the United States, President Trump allowing all these trees to grow to big and tall is causing forest fires and burning down the state of California. Moomaw: Yes, actually it’s the cutting down of trees that causes forest fires. We find that there are very few forest fires in old forests with big trees. How many of you have ever lit a campfire or lit a fire in a fireplace? Have you ever put a match to a big log? It doesn’t burn. What do you do? You get little sticks. Little sticks burn. The fires in California are almost all in areas where they have been cut over by loggers and have smaller trees coming back. And if you look at the photos of Paradise, California, it was decimated by fire, there are still tall green trees standing in the ashes, in ruins, of the buildings. So it’s not the big trees that are causing the problem.
  32. So, what should we do? If we were to allow more trees to get to be big trees, and older trees, we would not only reduce forest fires, we would store much more carbon, and the process for that is pro forestation management. When we realized what a great potential for nature was to let existing forests grow, we realized there was as word for planting trees where none grew (aforestation), a word for planting trees where forests have been cut down (reforestation), we talked about restoration to solve deforestation but there was no way to describe this in less than four paragraphs and so we invented the word proforestation to describe our version of forest management. Details in image below and in the related paper  [LINK]bandicam 2019-12-23 14-47-57-490
  33. Philosophy: Carbon in the forest and in the soil is carbon that is not in the atmosphere. So let me just give you a quick little instruction here on how this works. So this is looking at how many tons of carbon there are in an acre of white pines in a temperate forest. We will only be doing temperate forests because we are in Europe which is a temperate forest zone and I live in the United States. We keep pointing to tropical forests. They are hugely important because they have a lot of carbon stored but they are actually not growing that fast. The old forests are growing relatively slowly and a lot of deforestation is going on. Forests in the temperate zone, they have been kept young so long they have a potential to grow a lot in the coming years. So let’s just take a look here. So this is just showing the amounts of carbon that trees can store in units of tons per acre (an acre is 0.4 hectare). The data are in 50-year increments. These are actual field data and not from computer models. So, why is the term carbon neutral not a good term? Well, we talk about sustainable forestry meaning that we cut down a forest and then we are so responsible that we replant the forest or we plant a replacement forest and it grows back in 50 years. But what the chart below shows is that letting the old forest grow for 50 more years captures more carbon than cutting down and replanting the 50-year old forest. The same is true for letting the 100-year old forest grow to 150 years old because that captures more carbon than cutting and replanting the 100-year forest. Similarly, letting a forest grow to 150 years captures more carbon than cutting and replanting 50-year forests. This is the essential equation of proforestation.
  34. There are people who will tell you that we can replace coal with wood and Europe is doing this. More than half of all the renewable energy in Europe involves burning something considered climate friendly such as wood and combustible plant oils. This action is subsidized because it is not economically viable. It is leading to the deforestation of vast areas of the United States and Canada. Vast piles of wood are shipped across the Atlantic to be burned in Europe. As for subsidies, the British are paying $800 million per year to a single power plant to replace coal with wood and thus claim compliance with UNEP climate action plans. Burning wood puts out more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity than coal does. While at the same time the supply of wood fuel destroys forests that are more efficient stores of carbon.
  35. Regina Valdez: Is it the size of the tree or the age of the tree that determines the amount of carbon stored and what about fast growth trees? Answer: It’s the size of the tree that determines how much carbon is stored. The type of tree determines ho rapidly it gets there. So different trees do grow more rapidly but, but, we could get smart on this and say that only plant the fastest growing trees! But that is not the right answer. It turns out that a forest of mixed species sequesters carbon more rapidly than mono-culture forests which is what a lot of the tree plantations are. It turns out that the biodiversity of the bacteria and the soils and the fungi in the soils and pollinator birds, pollinator insects, pollinator bats, all make that forest grow much faster.
  36. So, the takeaway message is reduce emissions of heat trapping gases  immediately – anything you can do – any change in behavior. Protect more of our existing forests and let them grow. We have to set aside some of our forests and say “let them grow”. And if we do that, here is a picture of a forest in the Northeast USA, and you see those little trees? They are about to become big trees over the next 50 years. But they will be adding a lot starting tomorrow morning. Thank you.


  1. Ripple, William J., et al. “World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency.” BioScience (2019). Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency. Exactly 40 years ago, scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference (in Geneva 1979) and agreed that alarming trends for climate change made it urgently necessary to act. Since then, similar alarms have been made through the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as scores of other global assemblies and scientists’ explicit warnings of insufficient progress (Ripple et al. 2017). Yet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still rapidly rising, with increasingly damaging effects on the Earth’s climate. An immense increase of scale in endeavors to conserve our biosphere is needed to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis (IPCC 2018). Most public discussions on climate change are based on global surface temperature only, an inadequate measure to capture the breadth of human activities and the real dangers stemming from a warming planet (Briggs et al. 2015). Policymakers and the public now urgently need access to a set of indicators that convey the effects of human activities on GHG emissions and the consequent impacts on climate, our environment, and society. Building on prior work (see supplemental file S2), we present a suite of graphical vital signs of climate change over the last 40 years for human activities that can affect GHG emissions and change the climate (figure 1), as well as actual climatic impacts (figure 2). We use only relevant data sets that are clear, understandable, systematically collected for at least the last 5 years, and updated at least annually.
  2. Lenton, Timothy M., et al. “Climate tipping points—too risky to bet against.” (2019): 592-595. Politicians, economists and even some natural scientists have tended to assume that tipping points1 in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are of low probability and little understood. Yet evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes. Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them. In our view, the consideration of tipping points helps to define that we are in a climate emergency and strengthens this year’s chorus of calls for urgent climate action — from schoolchildren to scientists, cities and countries. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) introduced the idea of tipping points two decades ago. At that time, these ‘large-scale discontinuities’ in the climate system were considered likely only if global warming exceeded 5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Information summarized in the two most recent IPCC Special Reports (published in 2018 and in September this year)2,3 suggests that tipping points could be exceeded even between 1 and 2 °C of warming (see ‘Too close for comfort’).
  3. Lenton, Timothy M. “Can emergency geoengineering really prevent climate tipping points?.” Geoengineering our Climate?. Routledge, 2018. 43-46.  One broad framing of geoengineering is that it could be used to try to avoid a “climate emergency”. The fundamental problems with the “emergency-use” framing of geoengineering are that the parts of the climate system which may pass a tipping point are lagging behind anthropogenic forcing, and that passing a tipping point can lead to irreversible change. As for geoengineering to “avoid reaching a climate ‘tipping point'” there is a glimmer of hope in that systems approaching bifurcations carry generic early warning signals, such as becoming more sluggish in their recovery from natural fluctuation. So, those suggesting geoengineering to avoid reaching a tipping point would do well to focus their attention on fast-responding systems which should carry the best early warning prospects, for example, monsoons or the Arctic sea-ice. In summary, “emergency-deployment” framings of geoengineering to avoid or reverse climate tipping points could be seriously flawed.
  4. Foster, John Bellamy, and Brett Clark. “The planetary emergency.” Monthly Review 64.7 (2012): 1-25. Capitalism today is caught in a seemingly endless crisis, with economic stagnation and upheaval circling the globe. But while the world has been fixated on the economic problem, global environmental conditions have been rapidly worsening, confronting humanity with its ultimate crisis: one of long-term survival. The common source of both of these crises resides in the process of capital accumulation. Likewise the common solution is to be sought in a “revolutionary reconstitution of society at large,” going beyond the regime of capital. It is still possible for humanity to avert what economist Robert Heilbroner once called “ecological Armageddon.” The means for the creation of a just and sustainable world currently exist, and are to be found lying hidden in the growing gap between what could be achieved with the resources already available to us, and what the prevailing social order allows us to accomplish. It is this latent potential for a quite different human metabolism with nature that offers the masterkey to a workable ecological exit strategy.
  5. Gillett, Nathan P., et al. “Ongoing climate change following a complete cessation of carbon dioxide emissions.” Nature Geoscience 4.2 (2011): 83.  A threat of irreversible damage should prompt action to mitigate climate change, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which serves as a basis for international climate policy. CO2-induced climate change is known to be largely irreversible on timescales of many centuries1, as simulated global mean temperature remains approximately constant for such periods following a complete cessation of carbon dioxide emissions while thermosteric sea level continues to rise1,2,3,4,5,6. Here we use simulations with the Canadian Earth System Model to show that ongoing regional changes in temperature and precipitation are significant, following a complete cessation of carbon dioxide emissions in 2100, despite almost constant global mean temperatures. Moreover, our projections show warming at intermediate depths in the Southern Ocean that is many times larger by the year 3000 than that realized in 2100. We suggest that a warming of the intermediate-depth ocean around Antarctica at the scale simulated for the year 3000 could lead to the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which would be associated with a rise in sea level of several metres2,7,8.
  6. Bello, Walden. “Will capitalism survive climate change?.” Chain Reaction 104 (2008): 44.  Climate change is an issue that has to be addressed by taking steps for reduction of green house gas emissions, which would be possible with reduce in growth and energy use while raising the quality of life of the broad masses of people. The aim should be low-consumption, low-growth, high-equity development model that results in an improvement in people’s welfare, a better quality of life for all, and greater democratic control of production, which leaves less room for capitalism.  











Claims made in the YouTube video [LINK] and responses to those claims. 

  1. CLAIM: A team of climate scientists have released a new study in the journal Nature showing that the Greenland ice sheet is now melting seven times faster than it did in 1992. RESPONSE: So what? What is so special about the year 1992? Why was 1992 selected as the comparison year and not for example the year 2011 when the melt rate was higher than the melt rate in 2019? It is exactly this kind of trickery that has discredited climate science and created the number of deniers that there are in the world and this is exactly why climate science has lost its credibility as unbiased and objective scientific inquiry. If climate science were a real science it would not have needed this kind of fake logic. The real information in such wild fluctuations in the melt rate is that such a wild pattern does not support causation by steadily rising atmospheric CO2 levels and suggests that geological heat sources should also be included in the study of Arctic ice melt [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] .
  2. CLAIM: And that report comes in the heels of a similar study back in June that revealed that Antarctica is losing 200 billion tons of ice a year representing a threefold increase in the rate of loss compared to 2012. RESPONSE: Is an annual loss of 200 gigatons of ice a significant event in Antarctica? It represents 0.000755% of the ice in Antarctica and if this melt rate persisted, all the ice in Antarctica would be gone in 132,500 years. Is that something we should be worried about enough to cut emissions and give up the good life that the industrial economy has given us? And how was it determined that this melt event was caused by fossil fuel emissions and that it could have been prevented by eliminating fossil fuel emissions? Ice loss in Antarctica is mostly geological and not atmospheric as can be seen in the lopsided ice loss statistics in geologically active regions described in a related post [LINK] . Besides, why was the year 2012 selected for comparison? Is 2012 a year when the correct rate of ice melt was observed? or is it just a year you found while looking for a low ice melt year to make your comparison seem like a dramatic and dangerous increase in ice melt caused by fossil fuel emissions and a reason therefore to take climate action? It is this kind of dishonesty and childish chicanery and not oil industry funding that creates climate change deniers. If you really had a “science” in your argument, you would not have needed to stoop this low into snake oil activism. 
  3. CLAIM: These findings are worse than climate scientists have previously been predicting. And because both bodies of ice sit on top of land masses and not on top of the sea, it means that as the ice melts into the ocean it is contributing to an accelerating rise in global sea levelRESPONSE: That these findings are worse than what climate scientists had predicted does not mean that climate scientists were even more right than previously thought. It means that they were wrong. And that implies that climate scientists who claim to know AGW well enough to demand trillions of $$$ to be spent in accordance with their climate action prescription don’t really know the science of climate science well enough to make such demands. Also, the fact that the ice that is melting sits on land and not on water implies only that the melt will cause sea level rise and NOT that it will cause “accelerating sea level rise”. The need to randomly insert words like “accelerating” to create a sense of alarm is proof that you are engaged in some form of snake oil salesmanship. Your claim that what you are selling is science is undone by the methods you have used in your sales pitch. 
  4. CLAIM: So this year, another indication that we’ve reached a point where global climate change feedback loops are now out of our control and if so what consequences are we facing as a result? The IMBIE 2019 paper (citation below) shows that the Greenland ice mass balance was roughly neutral in the 1990s but since then annual losses have been rising, peaking at 350 billion tonnes per year in 2011. In total, Greenland lost about 3,800 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2018 and the consequences of that has been a rise in sea levels of about 10.6 millimeters. That sounds almost negligible until you put some more tangible figures against it. For every 10mm of sea level rise, approximately 6 million more people in low lying coastal regions of the world are put at risk of having their homes and families overwhelmed by flooding every year. RESPONSE: 6 million out of 7.8 billion is 0.077%. It would be a lot easier for the other 99.923% of the people to take care of these unfortunate coastal lowland slobs than to take debilitating climate action in the form of giving up the benefits of fossil fuel energy we gained in the industrial revolution. Besides, these “number of people at risk of sea level rise” statistics are based on high tide events in low lying coastal regions with their elevation estimated from satellite data that contain large uncertainties that are not reflected in their evaluation in terms of high tide floods [LINK]  . The photo presented in the video is that of a monsoon flood in South Asia similar to the monsoon flood image that appears below the TBGY image. These floods are unrelated to sea level rise. 
  5. bandicam 2019-12-17 12-48-01-353
  6. monsoonflood
  7. bandicam 2019-12-17 12-55-38-113
  8. CLAIM: In an average year, Greenland sheds about 250 billion tonnes of ice but 2019 has been exceptionally warm with temperatures in the region where the Jacobshaven Glacier enters the ocean reaching the high 20s Celsius. From July 30 to August 3 in the year 2019, melting occurred across 90% of the continent’s surface as it lost 55 billion tonnes of ice into the sea in just 5 days. That’s enough to cover the entire state of Florida in 5 inches of water. On August 1, Greenland lost 12.5 billion tonnes of ice into the sea in a single day. This is the highest single day ice loss recorded since records began in 1950. According to Dr. Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute, the ice loss this year was 370 billion tonnesRESPONSE: three different alarming Greenland ice loss statistics are presented as 55 gigatons in 5 days, 12.5 gigatons per day, and 370 gigatons/year. At 370 gigatons per year, the Greenland ice sheet will be gone in 7,100 years while raising sea level at a rate of  about 1 mm/year  until the sea level rises 7.36 meters 7,100 years from now. The daily rates cannot be annualized because the ice melt is seasonal with the ice sheet losing ice mostly in July and August and gaining ice in winter. If  these figures are assumed to be in the Month of August, the higher rate of 12.5 gigatons per day is equivalent to 380 gigatons per year and the lower rate of 11 gigatons per day is equivalent to 334 gigatons per year assuming no accretion in winter. In those cases the sea level rise and time needed for the ice sheet to be completely melted are about the same as in the 370 gigatons per year figures presented above. What makes that so scary that it should motivate us to give up fossil fuels? 
  9. CLAIM: The IMBIE Team’s report on Antarctica earlier this year had already concluded that the IPCC were underestimating that continent’s contribution to sea level rise by about 10cm in the sea level rise projection for the year 2100. Now they have concluded that the current prediction of Greenland’s contribution is also under by about 7cm. That means that on top of the 360 million people already categorized as being at high risk of annual flooding, another 40 million people now drop into that category raising the number of people at risk to 400 million. RESPONSE: That climate science does not know exactly what the sea level rise will be from Greenland and Antarctica ice melt does not mean we should be even more scared than previously thought. It means that there is no reason for us to be scared because now we know that the people feeding us these scary statistics don’t really know what the correct figures are. They have not divulged the uncertainty of their predictions and when the uncertainty is considered it implies that climate science doesn’t really know what these numbers really are. The climate science position that the less they know the more scared we should be is illogical [LINK] Besides that one should also consider that ice melt in the polar ice sheets is not purely an atmospheric phenomenon that can be attenuated by reducing fossil fuel emissions because of the role of geological activity in polar ice melt phenomena described in related posts  [LINK] [LINK] .


bandicam 2019-12-16 22-35-19-901




  1. CITED BY TBGY: IMBIE Team. “Mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2018.” Nature (2019).  ABSTRACT: In recent decades, the Greenland Ice Sheet has been a major contributor to global sea-level rise1,2, and it is expected to be so in the future3. Although increases in glacier flow4-6 and surface melting7-9 have been driven by oceanic10-12 and atmospheric13,14 warming, the degree and trajectory of today’s imbalance remain uncertain. Here we compare and combine 26 individual satellite measurements of changes in the ice sheet’s volume, flow and gravitational potential to produce a reconciled estimate of its mass balance. Although the ice sheet was close to a state of balance in the 1990s, annual losses have risen since then, peaking at 335 ± 62 billion tonnes per year in 2011. In all, Greenland lost 3,800 ± 339 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2018, causing the mean sea level to rise by 10.6 ± 0.9 millimetres. Using three regional climate models, we show that reduced surface mass balance has driven 1,971 ± 555 billion tonnes (52%) of the ice loss owing to increased meltwater runoff. The remaining 1,827 ± 538 billion tonnes (48%) of ice loss was due to increased glacier discharge, which rose from 41 ± 37 billion tonnes per year in the 1990s to 87 ± 25 billion tonnes per year since then. Between 2013 and 2017, the total rate of ice loss slowed to 217 ± 32 billion tonnes per year, on average, as atmospheric circulation favoured cooler conditions15 and as ocean temperatures fell at the terminus of Jakobshavn Isbræ16. Cumulative ice losses from Greenland as a whole have been close to the IPCC’s predicted rates for their high-end climate warming scenario17, which forecast an additional 50 to 120 millimetres of global sea-level rise by 2100 when compared to their central estimate.
  2. RELATED PAPERS: Mouginot, Jérémie, et al. “Forty-six years of Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance from 1972 to 2018.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.19 (2019): 9239-9244.  We reconstruct the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet using a comprehensive survey of thickness, surface elevation, velocity, and surface mass balance (SMB) of 260 glaciers from 1972 to 2018. We calculate mass discharge, D, into the ocean directly for 107 glaciers (85% of D) and indirectly for 110 glaciers (15%) using velocity-scaled reference fluxes. The decadal mass balance switched from a mass gain of +47 ± 21 Gt/y in 1972–1980 to a loss of 51 ± 17 Gt/y in 1980–1990. The mass loss increased from 41 ± 17 Gt/y in 1990–2000, to 187 ± 17 Gt/y in 2000–2010, to 286 ± 20 Gt/y in 2010–2018, or sixfold since the 1980s, or 80 ± 6 Gt/y per decade, on average. The acceleration in mass loss switched from positive in 2000–2010 to negative in 2010–2018 due to a series of cold summers, which illustrates the difficulty of extrapolating short records into longer-term trends. Cumulated since 1972, the largest contributions to global sea level rise are from northwest (4.4 ± 0.2 mm), southeast (3.0 ± 0.3 mm), and central west (2.0 ± 0.2 mm) Greenland, with a total 13.7 ± 1.1 mm for the ice sheet. The mass loss is controlled at 66 ± 8% by glacier dynamics (9.1 mm) and 34 ± 8% by SMB (4.6 mm). Even in years of high SMB, enhanced glacier discharge has remained sufficiently high above equilibrium to maintain an annual mass loss every year since 1998.
  3. Zwally, H. Jay, et al. “Greenland ice sheet mass balance: distribution of increased mass loss with climate warming; 2003–07 versus 1992–2002.” Journal of Glaciology 57.201 (2011): 88-102.  We derive mass changes of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) for 2003–07 from ICESat laser altimetry and compare them with results for 1992–2002 from ERS radar and airborne laser altimetry. The GIS continued to grow inland and thin at the margins during 2003–07, but surface melting and accelerated flow significantly increased the marginal thinning compared with the 1990s. The net balance changed from a small loss of 7 ± 3 Gt a−1 in the 1990s to 171 ± 4 Gt a−1 for 2003–07, contributing 0.5 mm a−1 to recent global sea-level rise. We divide the derived mass changes into two components: (1) from changes in melting and ice dynamics and (2) from changes in precipitation and accumulation rate. We use our firn compaction model to calculate the elevation changes driven by changes in both temperature and accumulation rate and to calculate the appropriate density to convert the accumulation-driven changes to mass changes. Increased losses from melting and ice dynamics (17–206 Gt a−1) are over seven times larger than increased gains from precipitation (10–35 Gt a−1) during a warming period of ∼2 K (10 a)−1 over the GIS. Above 2000 m elevation, the rate of gain decreased from 44 to 28 Gt a−1, while below 2000 m the rate of loss increased from 51 to 198 Gt a−1. Enhanced thinning below the equilibrium line on outlet glaciers indicates that increased melting has a significant impact on outlet glaciers, as well as accelerating ice flow. Increased thinning at higher elevations appears to be induced by dynamic coupling to thinning at the margins on decadal timescales.
  4. Rignot, E., et al. “Mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet from 1958 to 2007.” Geophysical Research Letters 35.20 (2008).  We combine estimates of the surface mass balance, SMB, of the Greenland ice sheet for years 1958 to 2007 with measurements of the temporal variability in ice discharge, D, to deduce the total ice sheet mass balance. During that time period, we find a robust correlation (R2 = 0.83) between anomalies in SMB and in D, which we use to reconstruct a continuous series of total ice sheet mass balance. We find that the ice sheet was losing 110 ± 70 Gt/yr in the 1960s, 30 ± 50 Gt/yr or near balance in the 1970s–1980s, and 97 ± 47 Gt/yr in 1996 increasing rapidly to 267 ± 38 Gt/yr in 2007. Multi‐year variations in ice discharge, themselves related to variations in SMB, cause 60 ± 20% more variation in total mass balance than SMB, and therefore dominate the ice sheet mass budget.
  5. Box, Jason E., et al. “Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance variability (1988–2004) from calibrated polar MM5 output.” Journal of Climate 19.12 (2006): 2783-2800Regional climate model runs using the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesocale Model modified for use in polar regions (Polar MM5), calibrated by independent in situ observations, demonstrate coherent regional patterns of Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) change over a 17-yr period characterized by warming (1988–2004). Both accumulation and melt rates increased, partly counteracting each other for an overall negligible SMB trend. However, a 30% increase in meltwater runoff over this period suggests that the overall ice sheet mass balance has been increasingly negative, given observed meltwater-induced flow acceleration. SMB temporal variability of the whole ice sheet is best represented by ablation zone variability, suggesting that increased melting dominates over increased accumulation in a warming scenario. The melt season grew in duration over nearly the entire ablation zone by up to 40 days, 10 days on average. Accumulation area ratio decreased by 3%. Albedo reductions are apparent in five years of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived data (2000–04). The Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)-derived albedo changes (1988–99) were less consistent spatially. A conservative assumption as to glacier discharge and basal melting suggests an ice sheet mass loss over this period greater than 100 km3 yr−1, framing the Greenland ice sheet as the largest single glacial contributor to recent global sea level rise. Surface mass balance uncertainty, quantified from residual random error between model and independent observations, suggests two things: 1) changes smaller than approximately 200 km3 yr−1 would not satisfy conservative statistical significance thresholds (i.e., two standard deviations) and 2) although natural variability and model uncertainty were separated in this analysis, the magnitude of each were roughly equivalent. Therefore, improvements in model accuracy and analysis of longer periods (assuming larger changes) are both needed for definitive mass balance change assessments.
  6. Hanna, Edward, et al. “Runoff and mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet: 1958–2003.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 110.D13 (2005)Meteorological models were used to retrieve annual accumulation, runoff, and surface mass balance on a 5 km × 5 km grid for the Greenland ice sheet for 1958–2003. We present the first such history that provides insight into seasonal and interannual variability, which should prove useful for those studying the ice sheet. Derived runoff was validated by means of a control model run and independent in situ data. Modeled accumulation has already been validated using shallow ice core data. Surface mass balance (SMB) responds rapidly on a yearly basis to changing meteorological (surface air temperature and precipitation) forcing. There are distinct signals in runoff and SMB following three major volcanic eruptions. Runoff losses from the ice sheet were 264 (±26) km3 yr−1 in 1961–1990 and 372 (±37) km3 yr−1 in 1998–2003. Significantly rising runoff since the 1990s has been partly offset by increased precipitation. Our best estimate of overall mass balance declined from 22 (±51) km3 yr−1 in 1961–1990 to −36 (±59) km3 yr−1 in 1998–2003, which is not statistically significant. Additional dynamical factors that cause an acceleration of ice flow near the margins, and possible enhanced iceberg calving, may have led to a more negative mass balance in the past few years than suggested here. The implication is a significant and accelerating recent contribution from the ice sheet to global sea level rise, with 0.15 mm yr−1 from declining SMB alone over the last 6 years.

















  1. THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF Licker, R., et al. “Attributing ocean acidification to major carbon producers.” Environmental Research Letters 14.12 (2019): 124060: ABSTRACTRecent research has quantified the contributions of CO2 and CH4 emissions traced to the products of major fossil fuel companies and cement manufacturers to global atmospheric CO2, surface temperature, and sea level rise. This work has informed societal considerations of the climate responsibilities of these major industrial carbon producers. Here, we extend this work to historical (1880–2015) and recent (1965–2015) acidification of the world’s ocean. Using an energy balance carbon-cycle model, we find that emissions traced to the 88 largest industrial carbon producers from 1880–2015 and 1965–2015 have contributed ~55% and ~51%, respectively, of the historical 1880–2015 decline in surface ocean pH. As ocean acidification is not spatially uniform, we employ a three-dimensional ocean model and identify five marine regions with large declines in surface water pH and aragonite saturation state over similar historical (average 1850–1859 to average 2000–2009) and recent (average 1960–1969 to average of 2000–2009) time periods. We characterize the biological and socioeconomic systems in these regions facing loss and damage from ocean acidification in the context of climate change and other stressors. Such analysis can inform societal consideration of carbon producer responsibility for current and near-term risks of further loss and damage to human communities dependent on marine ecosystems and fisheries vulnerable to ocean acidification.
  2. The full text of the paper is available in PDF format online [LINK] . A media story about the paper has been published by Science Alert  magazine with full text also available online [LINK] .
  3. The Environmental Research Letters paper and the Science Alert article along with tweets on Twitter by one of the authors of the paper have raised an alarm about the observed trend in ocean acidification. Specifically, the paper stresses and highlights the human cause of ocean acidification in terms of CO2 emissions of the industrial economy by identifying industrial enterprises that are responsible for significant portions of the emissions. This aspect of fossil fuel emissions is found to be harmful to the environment. The harm by anthropogenic ocean acidification is identified in terms of destruction of marine life as well as a degradation of marine ecosystem in terms of its ability to nurture ocean life as we know it. It is further claimed that climate action in the form of reducing emissions according to UNFCCC sponsored international agreements is urgently needed to attenuate the ocean acidification horror caused by the fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy.
  4. In a related post [LINK] ocean acidification data from 1958 to 2014 are presented as shown in the chart below. The data show a rising trend in ocean acidification by carbon dioxide during a period of rising emissions.
  5. CO2-TRENDemissions
  6. The causation hypothesis of ocean acidification identifies fossil fuel emissions as the obvious source of CO2 as an extension of AGW climate change theory that identifies CO2 in fossil fuel emissions as the agent of change that is driving the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration and surface temperature. This assumed causation hypothesis is thought to be supported by the data by virtue of the observation that both the acidification and the emission time series are rising together. Although causation is likely in such circumstances, that the two time series are rising at the same time does not in itself prove causation.
  7. In a related post [LINK] the causation hypothesis is tested with mass balance and detrended correlation analysis. The mass balance test checks to ensure that the the rate of CO2 absorption by the ocean and the rate of CO2 production in fossil fuel emissions are consistent with causation. The results of the mass balance test appear in the table below. They show that even in the unlikely event that all of the CO2 in fossil fuel emissions dissolved into the ocean it would be unable to create annual changes in oceanic CO2 seen in the data.
  8. Therefore, the real cause of these changes must lie in the ocean itself. These mass balance relationships are not consistent with the atmospheric causation hypothesis for the observed changes in ocean acidification. The analysis suggests an oceanic geological cause as in the PETM [LINK] . MASS-BALANCE
  9. A further test of the atmospheric causation of ocean acidification is carried out with detrended correlation analysis. The results appear in the chart below. No correlation between emissions and ocean acidification is found. The results do not support the usual assumption that fossil fuel emissions cause ocean acidification. DETCORR-TEMP-ADJUSTED
  10. An additional consideration is the observed vertical gradient in ocean acidification. The data show [LINK] that the acidification intensifies with depth. This gradient does not support the atmospheric source hypothesis. Rather, it suggests an oceanic source of CO2 in the ocean acidification trend that appears to have become a priority of climate science to be described as an impact of fossil fuel emissions.  CO2-DEPTH
  11. CONCLUSION: The analyses presented above and in a related post [LINK] do not support the assumed atmospheric causation of ocean acidification by way of fossil fuel emissions. That climate science is fixated on such causation provides further evidence, discussed in related posts, that the science of climate science contains an extreme form of atmosphere bias and a pre-determined causation sequence that begins with fossil fuel emissions [LINK][LINK] , [LINK] . Unbiased and objective scientific inquiry should and would include the role of submarine geological activity in the investigation of ocean acidification given the data. It is noted that the most salient example of ocean acidification in the paleo record is the PETM (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum) event that involved catastrophic ocean acidification by the ocean itself. This event is described in a related post [LINK] .








  1. “CO2 in fossil fuel emissions enter an alkaline ocean and make it acidic” {The extreme atmosphere bias of atmospheric scientists on display here. As to the ocean becoming “acidic”, it ain’t so. Acidification does reduce the pH of the alkaline ocean but not all the way down to below pH<7 to make it acidic . The ocean still remains alkaline but at a lower pH. Not even in the horrific acidification of the PETM did the ocean pH go below 7 into being acidic}
  2. “Shellfish capture and remove carbon dioxide into the shell and when they die they take the CO2 to the grave with them but AGW fossil fueled ocean acidification is making the ocean acidic and re-dissolving the shell to release CO2 from it and to return the CO2 back to the atmosphere. The CO2 that was removed from the atmosphere by the ocean and the CO2 that had been trapped in shells are thus returned to the atmosphere as a feedback to the climate system and to ocean acidification.” {How far the termites have spread and how long and how well they have dined! A Biblical form of climate fear mongering is on display here. Millions of years of CO2 trapped in shells returned to the atmosphere for the ultimate CO2 hell that will end it all! And all of this triggered by fossil fuel emissions! Although strangely this CO2 bomb was not triggered by the PETM.}
  3. If shellfish of the deep are threatened by carbon dioxide in our fossil fuel emissions, we need an explanation for why the shellfish of the deep like to hang out near hydrothermal vents.
  4. Below is a brief Ocean Acidification Bibliography that explores these projected  impacts of ocean acidification on ocean life forms. The results are less dramatic than that painted by Wadhams. Of note is Nagelkerken (2016) and similar papers that chose to study ocean acidification in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents. Thus, though natural sub-marine flows of carbon dioxide is recognized in empirical research it is  completely ignored in climate change theory which relies entirely on atmospheric phenomena to explain changes in the ocean. As a footnote, the total mass of the atmosphere and ocean taken together is 1.32E18 tonnes of which the ocean is 99.61% and the atmosphere 0.39%. In the science of climate science, oceanic sources of carbon are ignored. The atmosphere tail wags the ocean dog.
  5. A survey of oceanic sources of carbon emissions is presented in a related post [LINK] .


RED LINES MARK LOCATION OF KNOWN HYDROTHERMAL VENTShydrothermal-vents-1hydrothermal-vents-2




  1. 2005: Orr, James C., et al. “Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms.” Nature 437.7059 (2005): 681. Today’s surface ocean is saturated with respect to calcium carbonate, but increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are reducing ocean pH and carbonate ion concentrations, and thus the level of calcium carbonate saturation. Experimental evidence suggests that if these trends continue, key marine organisms—such as corals and some plankton—will have difficulty maintaining their external calcium carbonate skeletons. Here we use 13 models of the ocean–carbon cycle to assess calcium carbonate saturation under the IS92a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario for future emissions of anthropogenic carbon dioxide. In our projections, Southern Ocean surface waters will begin to become undersaturated with respect to aragonite, a metastable form of calcium carbonate, by the year 2050. By 2100, this undersaturation could extend throughout the entire Southern Ocean and into the subarctic Pacific Ocean. When live pteropods were exposed to our predicted level of undersaturation during a two-day shipboard experiment, their aragonite shells showed notable dissolution. Our findings indicate that conditions detrimental to high-latitude ecosystems could develop within decades, not centuries as suggested previously.
  2. 2007: Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, et al. “Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification.” science 318.5857 (2007): 1737-1742. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is expected to exceed 500 parts per million and global temperatures to rise by at least 2°C by 2050 to 2100, values that significantly exceed those of at least the past 420,000 years during which most extant marine organisms evolved. Under conditions expected in the 21st century, global warming and ocean acidification will compromise carbonate accretion, with corals becoming increasingly rare on reef systems. The result will be less diverse reef communities and carbonate reef structures that fail to be maintained. Climate change also exacerbates local stresses from declining water quality and overexploitation of key species, driving reefs increasingly toward the tipping point for functional collapse. This review presents future scenarios for coral reefs that predict increasingly serious consequences for reef-associated fisheries, tourism, coastal protection, and people. As the International Year of the Reef 2008 begins, scaled-up management intervention and decisive action on global emissions are required if the loss of coral-dominated ecosystems is to be avoided.
  3. 2008: Anthony, Kenneth RN, et al. “Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2008). Ocean acidification represents a key threat to coral reefs by reducing the calcification rate of framework builders. In addition, acidification is likely to affect the relationship between corals and their symbiotic dinoflagellates and the productivity of this association. However, little is known about how acidification impacts on the physiology of reef builders and how acidification interacts with warming. Here, we report on an 8-week study that compared bleaching, productivity, and calcification responses of crustose coralline algae (CCA) and branching (Acropora) and massive (Porites) coral species in response to acidification and warming. Using a 30-tank experimental system, we manipulated CO2 levels to simulate doubling and three- to fourfold increases [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projection categories IV and VI] relative to present-day levels under cool and warm scenarios. Results indicated that high CO2 is a bleaching agent for corals and CCA under high irradiance, acting synergistically with warming to lower thermal bleaching thresholds. We propose that CO2 induces bleaching via its impact on photoprotective mechanisms of the photosystems. Overall, acidification impacted more strongly on bleaching and productivity than on calcification. Interestingly, the intermediate, warm CO2 scenario led to a 30% increase in productivity in Acropora, whereas high CO2 lead to zero productivity in both corals. CCA were most sensitive to acidification, with high CO2 leading to negative productivity and high rates of net dissolution. Our findings suggest that sensitive reef-building species such as CCA may be pushed beyond their thresholds for growth and survival within the next few decades whereas corals will show delayed and mixed responses.
  4. 2008: Fabry, Victoria J., et al. “Impacts of ocean acidification on marine fauna and ecosystem processes.” ICES Journal of Marine Science 65.3 (2008): 414-432. Oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) is altering the seawater chemistry of the world’s oceans with consequences for marine biota. Elevated partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) is causing the calcium carbonate saturation horizon to shoal in many regions, particularly in high latitudes and regions that intersect with pronounced hypoxic zones. The ability of marine animals, most importantly pteropod molluscs, foraminifera, and some benthic invertebrates, to produce calcareous skeletal structures is directly affected by seawater CO2 chemistry. CO2influences the physiology of marine organisms as well through acid-base imbalance and reduced oxygen transport capacity. The few studies at relevant pCO2 levels impede our ability to predict future impacts on foodweb dynamics and other ecosystem processes. Here we present new observations, review available data, and identify priorities for future research, based on regions, ecosystems, taxa, and physiological processes believed to be most vulnerable to ocean acidification. We conclude that ocean acidification and the synergistic impacts of other anthropogenic stressors provide great potential for widespread changes to marine ecosystems.
  5. 2009: Miller, A. Whitman, et al. “Shellfish face uncertain future in high CO2 world: influence of acidification on oyster larvae calcification and growth in estuaries.” Plos one 4.5 (2009): e5661. Human activities have increased atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide by 36% during the past 200 years. One third of all anthropogenic CO2 has been absorbed by the oceans, reducing pH by about 0.1 of a unit and significantly altering their carbonate chemistry. There is widespread concern that these changes are altering marine habitats severely, but little or no attention has been given to the biota of estuarine and coastal settings, ecosystems that are less pH buffered because of naturally reduced alkalinity.
  6. 2009: Doney, Scott C., et al. “Ocean acidification: the other CO2 problem.” Annual Review of Marine Science (2009). Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), primarily from human fossil fuel combustion, reduces ocean pH and causes wholesale shifts in seawater carbonate chemistry. The process of ocean acidification is well documented in field data, and the rate will accelerate over this century unless future CO2 emissions are curbed dramatically. Acidification alters seawater chemical speciation and biogeochemical cycles of many elements and compounds. One well-known effect is the lowering of calcium carbonate saturation states, which impacts shell-forming marine organisms from plankton to benthic molluscs, echinoderms, and corals. Many calcifying species exhibit reduced calcification and growth rates in laboratory experiments under high-CO2 conditions. Ocean acidification also causes an increase in carbon fixation rates in some photosynthetic organisms (both calcifying and noncalcifying). The potential for marine organisms to adapt to increasing CO2 and broader implications for ocean ecosystems are not well known; both are high priorities for future research. Although ocean pH has varied in the geological past, paleo-events may be only imperfect analogs to current conditions.
  7. 2010: Talmage, Stephanie C., and Christopher J. Gobler. “Effects of past, present, and future ocean carbon dioxide concentrations on the growth and survival of larval shellfish.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107.40 (2010): 17246-17251. The combustion of fossil fuels has enriched levels of CO2 in the world’s oceans and decreased ocean pH. Although the continuation of these processes may alter the growth, survival, and diversity of marine organisms that synthesize CaCO3 shells, the effects of ocean acidification since the dawn of the industrial revolution are not clear. Here we present experiments that examined the effects of the ocean’s past, present, and future (21st and 22nd centuries) CO2 concentrations on the growth, survival, and condition of larvae of two species of commercially and ecologically valuable bivalve shellfish (Mercenaria mercenaria and Argopecten irradians). Larvae grown under near preindustrial CO2 concentrations (250 ppm) displayed significantly faster growth and metamorphosis as well as higher survival and lipid accumulation rates compared with individuals reared under modern day CO2 levels. Bivalves grown under near preindustrial CO2 levels displayed thicker, more robust shells than individuals grown at present CO2 concentrations, whereas bivalves exposed to CO2 levels expected later this century had shells that were malformed and eroded. These results suggest that the ocean acidification that has occurred during the past two centuries may be inhibiting the development and survival of larval shellfish and contributing to global declines of some bivalve populations.
  8. 2010: Kroeker, Kristy J., et al. “Meta‐analysis reveals negative yet variable effects of ocean acidification on marine organisms.” Ecology letters 13.11 (2010): 1419-1434. Ocean acidification is a pervasive stressor that could affect many marine organisms and cause profound ecological shifts. A variety of biological responses to ocean acidification have been measured across a range of taxa, but this information exists as case studies and has not been synthesized into meaningful comparisons amongst response variables and functional groups. We used meta‐analytic techniques to explore the biological responses to ocean acidification, and found negative effects on survival, calcification, growth and reproduction. However, there was significant variation in the sensitivity of marine organisms. Calcifying organisms generally exhibited larger negative responses than non‐calcifying organisms across numerous response variables, with the exception of crustaceans, which calcify but were not negatively affected. Calcification responses varied significantly amongst organisms using different mineral forms of calcium carbonate. Organisms using one of the more soluble forms of calcium carbonate (high‐magnesium calcite) can be more resilient to ocean acidification than less soluble forms (calcite and aragonite). Additionally, there was variation in the sensitivities of different developmental stages, but this variation was dependent on the taxonomic group. Our analyses suggest that the biological effects of ocean acidification are generally large and negative, but the variation in sensitivity amongst organisms has important implications for ecosystem responses.
  9. 2012: Narita, Daiju, Katrin Rehdanz, and Richard SJ Tol. “Economic costs of ocean acidification: a look into the impacts on global shellfish production.” Climatic Change 113.3-4 (2012): 1049-1063. Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a major global problem. Yet economic assessments of its effects are currently almost absent. Unlike most other marine organisms, mollusks, which have significant commercial value worldwide, have relatively solid scientific evidence of biological impact of acidification and allow us to make such an economic evaluation. By performing a partial-equilibrium analysis, we estimate global and regional economic costs of production loss of mollusks due to ocean acidification. Our results show that the costs for the world as a whole could be over 100 billion USD with an assumption of increasing demand of mollusks with expected income growths combined with a business-as-usual emission trend towards the year 2100. The major determinants of cost levels are the impacts on the Chinese production, which is dominant in the world, and the expected demand increase of mollusks in today’s developing countries, which include China, in accordance with their future income rise. Our results have direct implications for climate policy. Because the ocean acidifies faster than the atmosphere warms, the acidification effects on mollusks would raise the social cost of carbon more strongly than the estimated damage adds to the damage costs of climate change.
  10. 2013: Andersson, Andreas J., and Dwight Gledhill. “Ocean acidification and coral reefs: effects on breakdown, dissolution, and net ecosystem calcification.” Annual Review of Marine Science 5 (2013): 321-348. The persistence of carbonate structures on coral reefs is essential in providing habitats for a large number of species and maintaining the extraordinary biodiversity associated with these ecosystems. As a consequence of ocean acidification (OA), the ability of marine calcifiers to produce calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and their rate of CaCO3production could decrease while rates of bioerosion and CaCO3 dissolution could increase, resulting in a transition from a condition of net accretion to one of net erosion. This would have negative consequences for the role and function of coral reefs and the eco-services they provide to dependent human communities. In this article, we review estimates of bioerosion, CaCO3 dissolution, and net ecosystem calcification (NEC) and how these processes will change in response to OA. Furthermore, we critically evaluate the observed relationships between NEC and seawater aragonite saturation state (Ωa). Finally, we propose that standardized NEC rates combined with observed changes in the ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon to total alkalinity owing to net reef metabolism may provide a biogeochemical tool to monitor the effects of OA in coral reef environments.
  11. Ekstrom, Julia A., et al. “Vulnerability and adaptation of US shellfisheries to ocean acidification.” Nature Climate Change 5.3 (2015): 207-214.  Ocean acidification is a global, long-term problem whose ultimate solution requires carbon dioxide reduction at a scope and scale that will take decades to accomplish successfully. Until that is achieved, feasible and locally relevant adaptation and mitigation measures are needed. To help to prioritize societal responses to ocean acidification, we present a spatially explicit, multidisciplinary vulnerability analysis of coastal human communities in the United States. We focus our analysis on shelled mollusc harvests, which are likely to be harmed by ocean acidification. Our results highlight US regions most vulnerable to ocean acidification (and why), important knowledge and information gaps, and opportunities to adapt through local actions. The research illustrates the benefits of integrating natural and social sciences to identify actions and other opportunities while policy, stakeholders and scientists are still in relatively early stages of developing research plans and responses to ocean acidification.
  12. Nagelkerken, Ivan, et al. “Ocean acidification alters fish populations indirectly through habitat modification.” Nature Climate Change 6.1 (2016): 89.  Ocean ecosystems are predicted to lose biodiversity and productivity from increasing ocean acidification1. Although laboratory experiments reveal negative effects of acidification on the behaviour and performance of species2,3, more comprehensive predictions have been hampered by a lack of in situ studies that incorporate the complexity of interactions between species and their environment. We studied CO2 vents from both Northern and Southern hemispheres, using such natural laboratories4 to investigate the effect of ocean acidification on plant–animal associations embedded within all their natural complexity. Although we substantiate simple direct effects of reduced predator-avoidance behaviour by fishes, as observed in laboratory experiments, we here show that this negative effect is naturally dampened when fish reside in shelter-rich habitats. Importantly, elevated CO2 drove strong increases in the abundance of some fish species through major habitat shifts, associated increases in resources such as habitat and prey availability, and reduced predator abundances. The indirect effects of acidification via resource and predator alterations may have far-reaching consequences for population abundances, and its study provides a framework for a more comprehensive understanding of increasing CO2 emissions as a driver of ecological change.
  13. Gibbs, Samantha J., et al. “Ocean warming, not acidification, controlled coccolithophore response during past greenhouse climate change.” Geology 44.1 (2016): 59-62.  Current carbon dioxide emissions are an assumed threat to oceanic calcifying plankton (coccolithophores) not just due to rising sea-surface temperatures, but also because of ocean acidification (OA). This assessment is based on single species culture experiments that are now revealing complex, synergistic, and adaptive responses to such environmental change. Despite this complexity, there is still a widespread perception that coccolithophore calcification will be inhibited by OA. These plankton have an excellent fossil record, and so we can test for the impact of OA during geological carbon cycle events, providing the added advantages of exploring entire communities across real-world major climate perturbation and recovery. Here we target fossil coccolithophore groups (holococcoliths and braarudosphaerids) expected to exhibit greatest sensitivity to acidification because of their reliance on extracellular calcification. Across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (56 Ma) rapid warming event, the biogeography and abundance of these extracellular calcifiers shifted dramatically, disappearing entirely from low latitudes to become limited to cooler, lower saturation-state areas. By comparing these range shift data with the environmental parameters from an Earth system model, we show that the principal control on these range retractions was temperature, with survival maintained in high-latitude refugia, despite more adverse ocean chemistry conditions. Deleterious effects of OA were only evidenced when twinned with elevated temperatures.
  14. Speers, Ann E., et al. “Impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reef fisheries: an integrated ecological–economic model.” Ecological economics 128 (2016): 33-43Coral reefs are highly productive shallow marine habitats at risk of degradation due to CO2-mediated global ocean changes, including ocean acidification and rising sea temperature. Consequences of coral reef habitat loss are expected to include reduced reef fisheries production. To our knowledge, the welfare impact of reduced reef fish supply in commercial markets has not yet been studied. We develop a global model of annual demand for reef fish in regions with substantial coral reef area and use it to project potential consumer surplus losses given coral cover projections from a coupled climate, ocean, and coral biology simulation (CO2-COST). Under an illustrative high emission scenario (IPCC RCP 8.5), 92% of coral cover is lost by 2100. Policies reaching lower radiative forcing targets (e.g., IPCC RCP 6.0) may partially avoid habitat loss, thereby preserving an estimated $14 to $20 billion in consumer surplus through 2100 (2014$ USD, 3% discount). Avoided damages vary annually, are sensitive to biological assumptions, and appear highest when coral ecosystems have moderate adaptive capacity. These welfare loss estimates are the first to monetize ocean acidification impacts to commercial finfisheries and complement the existing estimates of economic impacts to shellfish and to coral reefs generally.
  15. Anthony, Kenneth RN. “Coral reefs under climate change and ocean acidification: challenges and opportunities for management and policy.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 41 (2016): 59-81Carbon emissions in an industrialized world have created two problems for coral reefs: climate change and ocean acidification. Climate change drives ocean warming, which impacts biological and ecological reef processes, triggers large-scale coral bleaching events, and fuels tropical storms. Ocean acidification slows reef growth, alters competitive interactions, and impairs population replenishment. For managers and policymakers, ocean warming and acidification represent an almost paradoxical challenge by eroding reef resilience and simultaneously increasing the demand for reef resilience. Here, I address this problem in the context of challenges and potential solutions. Management efforts can compensate for reduced coral reef resilience in the face of global change, but to a limited extent and over a limited time frame. Critically, a realistic perspective on what sustainability measures can be achieved for coral reefs in the face of ocean warming and acidification is important to avoid setting unachievable goals for regional and local-scale management programs.
  16. Sunday, Jennifer M., et al. “Ocean acidification can mediate biodiversity shifts by changing biogenic habitat.” Nature Climate Change 7.1 (2017): 81.  The effects of ocean acidification (OA) on the structure and complexity of coastal marine biogenic habitat have been broadly overlooked. Here we explore how declining pH and carbonate saturation may affect the structural complexity of four major biogenic habitats. Our analyses predict that indirect effects driven by OA on habitat-forming organisms could lead to lower species diversity in coral reefs, mussel beds and some macroalgal habitats, but increases in seagrass and other macroalgal habitats. Available in situ data support the prediction of decreased biodiversity in coral reefs, but not the prediction of seagrass bed gains. Thus, OA-driven habitat loss may exacerbate the direct negative effects of OA on coastal biodiversity; however, we lack evidence of the predicted biodiversity increase in systems where habitat-forming species could benefit from acidification. Overall, a combination of direct effects and community-mediated indirect effects will drive changes in the extent and structural complexity of biogenic habitat, which will have important ecosystem effects.
  17. Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove, et al. “Coral reef ecosystems under climate change and ocean acidification.” Frontiers in Marine Science 4 (2017): 158.  Coral reefs are found in a wide range of environments, where they provide food and habitat to a large range of organisms as well as providing many other ecological goods and services. Warm-water coral reefs, for example, occupy shallow sunlit, warm, and alkaline waters in order to grow and calcify at the high rates necessary to build and maintain their calcium carbonate structures. At deeper locations (40–150 m), “mesophotic” (low light) coral reefs accumulate calcium carbonate at much lower rates (if at all in some cases) yet remain important as habitat for a wide range of organisms, including those important for fisheries. Finally, even deeper, down to 2,000 m or more, the so-called “cold-water” coral reefs are found in the dark depths. Despite their importance, coral reefs are facing significant challenges from human activities including pollution, over-harvesting, physical destruction, and climate change. In the latter case, even lower greenhouse gas emission scenarios (such as Representative Concentration Pathway RCP 4.5) are likely drive the elimination of most warm-water coral reefs by 2040–2050. Cold-water corals are also threatened by warming temperatures and ocean acidification although evidence of the direct effect of climate change is less clear. Evidence that coral reefs can adapt at rates which are sufficient for them to keep up with rapid ocean warming and acidification is minimal, especially given that corals are long-lived and hence have slow rates of evolution. Conclusions that coral reefs will migrate to higher latitudes as they warm are equally unfounded, with the observations of tropical species appearing at high latitudes “necessary but not sufficient” evidence that entire coral reef ecosystems are shifting. On the contrary, coral reefs are likely to degrade rapidly over the next 20 years, presenting fundamental challenges for the 500 million people who derive food, income, coastal protection, and a range of other services from coral reefs. Unless rapid advances to the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement occur over the next decade, hundreds of millions of people are likely to face increasing amounts of poverty and social disruption, and, in some cases, regional insecurity.





Scientists are baffled by a giant spike in this greenhouse gas (it’s not CO2)
By Leta Dickinson on May 17, 2019



The unexpected culprit that could throw a wrench in the world’s efforts to stop climate change? Runaway methane levels. Researchers monitoring air samples have noticed an alarming observation: Methane levels are on the rise and no one’s quite sure why. NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory scientists have been analyzing air samples since 1983. Once a week, metal flasks containing air from around the world at different elevations find their way to the Boulder, Colorado, lab. The scientists look at 55 greenhouse gases, including methane and its more-famous climate villain, CO2. You might know methane as the stuff of cow farts, natural gas, and landfills. It’s also an incredibly potent greenhouse gas, absorbing heat 25 times more effectively than CO2. While the rise of carbon dioxide has been stealing the spotlight as of late, methane levels have also been on the incline. Methane levels, not surprisingly, have been steadily rising since the Industrial Revolution. Things picked up in 1980 and soon after, the NOAA scientists began consistently measuring methane. Levels were high but flattened out by the turn of the millenium. So when levels began to increase at a rapid rate in 2007, and then even faster in 2014, scientists were baffled. No one’s best guesses came close to predicting current methane levels of around 1,867 parts per billion as of 2018. This means studies evaluating the effects of climate change and action plans to address them, like the Paris Climate Agreement, may be based on downplayed climate crisis forecasts.

Methane levels from 1950 to present. 2° Institute

So what’s the big deal? Carbon dioxide emissions are relatively well understood and can be tracked to various human activities like transportation and electricity, which means policies can be enacted to target and lower emissions. Pinning down the source of methane, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. “The really fascinating thing about methane,” Lori Bruhwiler, a NOAA research scientist, told Undark, “is the fact that almost everything we humans do has an effect on the methane budget, from producing food to producing fuel to disposing of waste.” As if things weren’t complicated enough, a study published in AGU100 distinguished microbe-produced methane from fossil fuel methane — historically the more abundant one — and found that “natural” methane had taken the lead. This unexpected result might explain the upticks in methane levels that do not seem correlated with human activity.

Of course, it could also be any number of human-made causes, including warming temperatures freeing up the gas and more frequent floods amplifying the methane output of wetlands. Natural methane or not, this finding doesn’t exonerate anyone. The study’s authors made that clear in their concluding remarks. If the increased methane burden is driven by increased emissions from natural sources,” they wrote, “and if this is a climate feedback—the warming feeding the warming—then there is urgency to reduce anthropogenic emissions, which we can control.”

Curbing methane could be a powerful tool in our upcoming climate fight. Since the greenhouse gas is relatively short lived, only around 12 years, versus the 20 to 200 years of CO2, and is more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, addressing methane emissions could be effective as a short-term climate remediation tool. The first step? Bringing more attention to methane so we can figure out where it comes from and nip it in the bud.



  1. That “natural microbe-produced methane” has taken the lead and that “upticks in methane levels are not correlated with human activity” does not imply that “Curbing methane could be a powerful tool in our upcoming climate fight against AGW climate change”. It implies that this is nature at work and not human activity of the industrial economy from which the climate and the planet need to be saved.
  2. Related post on “upticks in methane levels are not correlated with human activity” [LINK]
  3. Related post on NOAA: [LINK] 




  1. Saunois, Marielle, et al. “The global methane budget 2000–2012.” Earth System Science Data 8.2 (2016): 697-751.  The global methane (CH4) budget is becoming an increasingly important component for managing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change. This relevance, due to a shorter atmospheric lifetime and a stronger warming potential than carbon dioxide, is challenged by the still unexplained changes of atmospheric CH4 over the past decade. Emissions and concentrations of CH4 are continuing to increase, making CH4 the second most important human-induced greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Two major difficulties in reducing uncertainties come from the large variety of diffusive CH4 sources that overlap geographically, and from the destruction of CH4 by the very short-lived hydroxyl radical (OH). To address these difficulties, we have established a consortium of multi-disciplinary scientists under the umbrella of the Global Carbon Project to synthesize and stimulate research on the methane cycle, and producing regular (∼ biennial) updates of the global methane budget. For the 2003–2012 decade, global methane emissions are estimated by top-down inversions at 558 Tg CH4 yr−1 , range 540–568. About 60 % of global emissions are anthropogenic (range 50–65 %). Since 2010, the bottom-up global emission inventories have been closer to methane emissions in the most carbonintensive Representative Concentrations Pathway (RCP8.5) and higher than all other RCP scenarios. Bottom-up approaches suggest larger global emissions (736 Tg CH4 yr−1 , range 596–884) mostly because of larger natural emissions from individual sources such as inland waters, natural wetlands and geological sources. Considering the atmospheric constraints on the top-down budget, it is likely that some of the individual emissions reported by the bottom-up approaches are overestimated, leading to too large global emissions. Latitudinal data from top-down emissions indicate a predominance of tropical emissions (∼ 64 % of the global budget, < 30◦ N) as compared to mid (∼ 32 %, 30–60◦ N) and high northern latitudes (∼ 4 %, 60–90◦ N). Top-down inversions consistently infer lower emissions in China (∼ 58 Tg CH4 yr−1 , range 51–72, −14 %) and higher emissions in Africa (86 Tg CH4 yr−1 , range 73–108, +19 %) than bottom-up values used as prior estimates. Overall, uncertainties for anthropogenic emissions appear smaller than those from natural sources, and the uncertainties on source categories appear larger for top-down inversions than for bottom-up inventories and models. The most important source of uncertainty on the methane budget is attributable to emissions from wetland and other inland waters. We show that the wetland extent could contribute 30–40 % on the estimated range for wetland emissions. [LINK TO DATA]
  2. Saunois, Marielle, et al. “The growing role of methane in anthropogenic climate change.” Environ. Res. Lett 11.12 (2016): 12.  Unlike CO2, atmospheric methane concentrations are rising faster than at any time in the past two decades and, since 2014, are now approaching the most greenhouse-gas-intensive scenarios. The reasons for this renewed growth are still unclear, primarily because of uncertainties in the global methane budget. New analysis suggests that the recent rapid rise in global methane concentrations is predominantly biogenic-most likely from agriculture-with smaller contributions from fossil fuel use and possibly wetlands. Additional attention is urgently needed to quantify and reduce methane
    emissions. Methane mitigation offers rapid climate benefits and economic, health and agricultural co-benefits that are highly complementary to CO2 mitigation.
  3. Nisbet, E. G., et al. “Rising atmospheric methane: 2007–2014 growth and isotopic shift.” Global Biogeochemical Cycles 30.9 (2016): 1356-1370.  From 2007 to 2013, the globally averaged mole fraction of methane in the atmosphere increased by 5.7 ± 1.2 ppb yr−1. Simultaneously, δ13CCH4 (a measure of the 13C/12C isotope ratio in methane) has shifted to significantly more negative values since 2007. Growth was extreme in 2014, at 12.5 ± 0.4 ppb, with a further shift to more negative values being observed at most latitudes. The isotopic evidence presented here suggests that the methane rise was dominated by significant increases in biogenic methane emissions, particularly in the tropics, for example, from expansion of tropical wetlands in years with strongly positive rainfall anomalies or emissions from increased agricultural sources such as ruminants and rice paddies. Changes in the removal rate of methane by the OH radical have not been seen in other tracers of atmospheric chemistry and do not appear to explain short‐term variations in methane. Fossil fuel emissions may also have grown, but the sustained shift to more 13C‐depleted values and its significant interannual variability, and the tropical and Southern Hemisphere loci of post‐2007 growth, both indicate that fossil fuel emissions have not been the dominant factor driving the increase. A major cause of increased tropical wetland and tropical agricultural methane emissions, the likely major contributors to growth, may be their responses to meteorological change.
  4. Schaefer, Hinrich, et al. “A 21st-century shift from fossil-fuel to biogenic methane emissions indicated by 13CH4.” Science 352.6281 (2016): 80-84.  Between 1999 and 2006, a plateau interrupted the otherwise continuous increase of atmospheric methane concentration [CH4] since preindustrial times. Causes could be sink variability or a temporary reduction in industrial or climate-sensitive sources. We reconstructed the global history of [CH4] and its stable carbon isotopes from ice cores, archived air, and a global network of monitoring stations. A box-model analysis suggests that diminishing thermogenic emissions, probably from the fossil-fuel industry, and/or variations in the hydroxyl CH4 sink caused the [CH4] plateau. Thermogenic emissions did not resume to cause the renewed [CH4] rise after 2006, which contradicts emission inventories. Post-2006 source increases are predominantly biogenic, outside the Arctic, and arguably more consistent with agriculture than wetlands. If so, mitigating CH4 emissions must be balanced with the need for food production.
  5. Turner, Alex J., et al. “A large increase in US methane emissions over the past decade inferred from satellite data and surface observations.” Geophysical Research Letters 43.5 (2016): 2218-2224.  The global burden of atmospheric methane has been increasing over the past decade, but the causes are not well understood. National inventory estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate no significant trend in U.S. anthropogenic methane emissions from 2002 to present. Here we use satellite retrievals and surface observations of atmospheric methane to suggest that U.S. methane emissions have increased by more than 30% over the 2002–2014 period. The trend is largest in the central part of the country, but we cannot readily attribute it to any specific source type. This large increase in U.S. methane emissions could account for 30–60% of the global growth of atmospheric methane seen in the past decade.
  6. Hausmann, Petra, Ralf Sussmann, and Dan Smale. “Contribution of oil and natural gas production to renewed increase in atmospheric methane (2007–2014): top–down estimate from ethane and methane column observations.” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 16.5 (2016): 3227-3244.   Harmonized time series of column-averaged mole fractions of atmospheric methane and ethane over the period 1999–2014 are derived from solar Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) measurements at the Zugspitze summit (47° N, 11° E; 2964 m a.s.l.) and at Lauder (45° S, 170° E; 370 m a.s.l.). Long-term trend analysis reveals a consistent renewed methane increase since 2007 of 6.2 [5.6, 6.9] ppb yr−1 (parts-per-billion per year) at the Zugspitze and 6.0 [5.3, 6.7] ppb yr−1 at Lauder (95 % confidence intervals). Several recent studies provide pieces of evidence that the renewed methane increase is most likely driven by two main factors: (i) increased methane emissions from tropical wetlands, followed by (ii) increased thermogenic methane emissions due to growing oil and natural gas production. Here, we quantify the magnitude of the second class of sources, using long-term measurements of atmospheric ethane as a tracer for thermogenic methane emissions. In 2007, after years of weak decline, the Zugspitze ethane time series shows the sudden onset of a significant positive trend (2.3 [1.8, 2.8]  ×  10−2 ppb yr−1 for 2007–2014), while a negative trend persists at Lauder after 2007 (−0.4 [−0.6, −0.1]  ×  10−2 ppb yr−1). Zugspitze methane and ethane time series are significantly correlated for the period 2007–2014 and can be assigned to thermogenic methane emissions with an ethane-to-methane ratio (EMR) of 12–19 %. We present optimized emission scenarios for 2007–2014 derived from an atmospheric two-box model. From our trend observations we infer a total ethane emission increase over the period 2007–2014 from oil and natural gas sources of 1–11 Tg yr−1 along with an overall methane emission increase of 24–45 Tg yr−1. Based on these results, the oil and natural gas emission contribution (C) to the renewed methane increase is deduced using three different emission scenarios with dedicated EMR ranges. Reference scenario 1 assumes an oil and gas emission combination with EMR  =  7.0–16.2 %, which results in a minimum contribution C  >  39 % (given as lower bound of 95 % confidence interval). Beside this most plausible scenario 1, we consider two less realistic limiting cases of pure oil-related emissions (scenario 2 with EMR  =  16.2–31.4 %) and pure natural gas sources (scenario 3 with EMR  =  4.4–7.0  %), which result in C  >  18 % and C  >  73 %, respectively. Our results suggest that long-term observations of column-averaged ethane provide a valuable constraint on the source attribution of methane emission changes and provide basic knowledge for developing effective climate change mitigation strategies.
  7. Allen, Grant. “Biogeochemistry: Rebalancing the global methane budget.” Nature 538.7623 (2016): 46.
  8. Schwietzke, Stefan, et al. “Upward revision of global fossil fuel methane emissions based on isotope database.” Nature 538.7623 (2016): 88.  Methane has the second-largest global radiative forcing impact of anthropogenic greenhouse gases after carbon dioxide, but our understanding of the global atmospheric methane budget is incomplete. The global fossil fuel industry (production and usage of natural gas, oil and coal) is thought to contribute 15 to 22 per cent of methane emissions1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 to the total atmospheric methane budget11. However, questions remain regarding methane emission trends as a result of fossil fuel industrial activity and the contribution to total methane emissions of sources from the fossil fuel industry and from natural geological seepage12,13, which are often co-located. Here we re-evaluate the global methane budget and the contribution of the fossil fuel industry to methane emissions based on long-term global methane and methane carbon isotope records. We compile the largest isotopic methane source signature database so far, including fossil fuel, microbial and biomass-burning methane emission sources. We find that total fossil fuel methane emissions (fossil fuel industry plus natural geological seepage) are not increasing over time, but are 60 to 110 per cent greater than current estimates1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 owing to large revisions in isotope source signatures. We show that this is consistent with the observed global latitudinal methane gradient. After accounting for natural geological methane seepage12,13, we find that methane emissions from natural gas, oil and coal production and their usage are 20 to 60 per cent greater than inventories1,2. Our findings imply a greater potential for the fossil fuel industry to mitigate anthropogenic climate forcing, but we also find that methane emissions from natural gas as a fraction of production have declined from approximately 8 per cent to approximately 2 per cent over the past three decades.
  9. Rigby, Matthew, et al. “Role of atmospheric oxidation in recent methane growth.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.21 (2017): 5373-5377.  The growth in global methane (CH4) concentration, which had been ongoing since the industrial revolution, stalled around the year 2000 before resuming globally in 2007. We evaluate the role of the hydroxyl radical (OH), the major CH4 sink, in the recent CH4 growth. We also examine the influence of systematic uncertainties in OH concentrations on CH4 emissions inferred from atmospheric observations. We use observations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (CH3CCl3), which is lost primarily through reaction with OH, to estimate OH levels as well as CH3CC3 emissions, which have uncertainty that previously limited the accuracy of OH estimates. We find a 64–70% probability that a decline in OH has contributed to the post-2007 methane rise. Our median solution suggests that CH4 emissions increased relatively steadily during the late 1990s and early 2000s, after which growth was more modest. This solution obviates the need for a sudden statistically significant change in total CH4 emissions around the year 2007 to explain the atmospheric observations and can explain some of the decline in the atmospheric 13CH4/12CH4 ratio and the recent growth in C2H6. Our approach indicates that significant OH-related uncertainties in the CH4 budget remain, and we find that it is not possible to implicate, with a high degree of confidence, rapid global CH4 emissions changes as the primary driver of recent trends when our inferred OH trends and these uncertainties are considered.
  10. Turner, Alexander J., et al. “Ambiguity in the causes for decadal trends in atmospheric methane and hydroxyl.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.21 (2017): 5367-5372.  Methane is the second strongest anthropogenic greenhouse gas and its atmospheric burden has more than doubled since 1850. Methane concentrations stabilized in the early 2000s and began increasing again in 2007. Neither the stabilization nor the recent growth are well understood, as evidenced by multiple competing hypotheses in recent literature. Here we use a multispecies two-box model inversion to jointly constrain 36 y of methane sources and sinks, using ground-based measurements of methane, methyl chloroform, and the C13/C12 ratio in atmospheric methane (δ13CH4) from 1983 through 2015. We find that the problem, as currently formulated, is underdetermined and solutions obtained in previous work are strongly dependent on prior assumptions. Based on our analysis, the mathematically most likely explanation for the renewed growth in atmospheric methane, counterintuitively, involves a 25-Tg/y decrease in methane emissions from 2003 to 2016 that is offset by a 7% decrease in global mean hydroxyl (OH) concentrations, the primary sink for atmospheric methane, over the same period. However, we are still able to fit the observations if we assume that OH concentrations are time invariant (as much of the previous work has assumed) and we then find solutions that are largely consistent with other proposed hypotheses for the renewed growth of atmospheric methane since 2007. We conclude that the current surface observing system does not allow unambiguous attribution of the decadal trends in methane without robust constraints on OH variability, which currently rely purely on methyl chloroform data and its uncertain emissions estimates.
  11. Zhang, Zhen, et al. “Emerging role of wetland methane emissions in driving 21st century climate change.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.36 (2017): 9647-9652ABSTRACT: Wetland methane (CH4) emissions are the largest natural source in the global CH4 budget, contributing to roughly one third of total natural and anthropogenic emissions. As the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the atmosphere after CO2, CH4 is strongly associated with climate feedbacks. However, due to the paucity of data, wetland CH4 feedbacks were not fully assessed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report. The degree to which future expansion of wetlands and CH4 emissions will evolve and consequently drive climate feedbacks is thus a question of major concern. Here we present an ensemble estimate of wetland CH4 emissions driven by 38 general circulation models for the 21st century. We find that climate change-induced increases in boreal wetland extent and temperature-driven increases in tropical CH4 emissions will dominate anthropogenic CH4 emissions by 38 to 56% toward the end of the 21st century under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP2.6). Depending on scenarios, wetland CH4 feedbacks translate to an increase in additional global mean radiative forcing of 0.04 W·m−2 to 0.19 W·m−2 by the end of the 21st century. Under the “worst-case” RCP8.5 scenario, with no climate mitigation, boreal CH4 emissions are enhanced by 18.05 Tg to 41.69 Tg, due to thawing of inundated areas during the cold season (December to May) and rising temperature, while tropical CH4 emissions accelerate with a total increment of 48.36 Tg to 87.37 Tg by 2099. Our results suggest that climate mitigation policies must consider mitigation of wetland CH4 feedbacks to maintain average global warming below 2 °C.
  12. Dyonisius, Michael, et al. “The contribution of geologic emissions, thawing permafrost and methane hydrates to the global methane budget-perspective from ice core records.” AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 2018.  Studies of methane (CH4) mole fraction and isotopes from trapped air in ice cores provide a long-term perspective on the natural CH4 budget. Among the CH4 isotopes, 14CHis unique in providing a definitive top-down constraint on the total fossil CH4 emissions from old carbon reservoirs (marine hydrates, permafrost, natural geologic seeps). We present new measurements of 14CH4 throughout most of the Last Deglaciation (≈15-8ka). Our 14CHdata show that 14C-depleted CH4 sources (marine hydrates, geologic seeps and old permafrost) were not significant contributors to the deglacial CH4 rise. As the relatively large deglacial global warming (≈4oC, with warming further amplified at high latitudes) did not trigger CH4 emissions from old carbon reservoirs, such emissions in response to future warming also appear unlikely. Our results also strengthen the suggestion from an earlier study (Petrenko et al. 2017) that natural geologic emissions of CH4 are much lower (less than 15 Tg CH4 yr-1, 95% confidence) than recent bottom-up estimates (54-60 Tg CH4 yr-1) (Etiope 2015; Cias et al. 2013) and that, by extension, estimates of present-day total anthropogenic fossil CH4 emissions are likely too low.
  13. Bruhwiler, Lori E., E. J. Dlugokencky, and S. E. Michel. “The Uncertain Global Methane Budget.” AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts. 2018.  Numerous recent studies attempt to explain the observed increase in global atmospheric methane since 2006. Atmospheric methane is so compelling because if natural emissions are increasing, then feedback between CH4 emissions and climate change becomes possible, with consequences for future climate. On the other hand, if methane is increasing due to fossil fuel production or agriculture, then it is possible that emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas can be mitigated. Also, if the increase in global methane is due to a decrease in the atmospheric sink, then we must ask what processes are changing and what are the implications for atmospheric oxidizing capacity.
    Current ideas about the global methane increase include (1) increased microbial emissions (anthropogenic or natural) (2) increased emissions from fossil fuel production (3) decreased chemical loss due to decreased OH. Hypothesis 1 is mainly based on atmospheric observations of d13CH4, which suggest a trend towards isotopically lighter sources such as wetlands and ruminants. Some studies have suggested that ruminants are likely to have accounted for most of the increase, an idea that seems to be supported by current generation wetland emission models using spaced-based inundation data. Hypotheses 2 and 3 rely either on isotopic observations being a weak constraint, or that decreases in isotopically heavy biomass burning emissions imply increases in fossil fuel emissions.We add a Hypothesis 4: the recent increase is likely to be due to a combination of processes, including a significant contribution from wetlands (in conflict with wetland models). We argue that observed d13CH4is indeed a strong constraint on global CH4emissions, and that any hypothesis must be consistent with atmospheric d13CH4. We find that ruminants and rice agriculture are unlikely to have grown enough to account for the observed methane increase notwithstanding considerable uncertainty in agricultural statistics. We also show that a downward trend in biomass burning observed from space-based observations is likely to be balanced or exceeded by an increase in small biomass burning events. Using model studies of CH4and d13CH4, we explore whether wetland models are likely to realistically simulate recent trends in wetland emissions.






















  1. The Kauppinen & Malmi 2019 paper (KM2019) [LINK] with the provocative title “NO EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE FOR THE SIGNIFICANT ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE” (SIC), uses recently published satellite data for low cloud cover (Figure 1) along with HadCRUT4 global surface temperature data to display a visual correlation between temperature and low cloud cover (Figure 6).  Obvious departures from the correlation are  explained in terms of the 1991 Mt Pinatubo eruption (temperature too low) and the strong 1998 El Nino (temperature too high) and concludes that declining low cloud cover, and not rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, explains global warming.
  2. Based on the charts of overlaid temperature and low cloud cover data shown in Figure 6 (See Figure 2 and Figure 3 in the source document [LINK] ), the authors claim that the observed warming trend in surface temperature is explained by declining low cloud cover and not by rising atmospheric CO2. The rationale for the low cloud effect is that clouds reflect incoming solar radiation and that therefore rising cloud cover causes cooling and declining cloud cover causes warming. The decline in low cloud cover in the study period 1983 to 2008 is well established in the ISSCP datasets [LINK] and is displayed above in Figure 1. A relationship between low cloud cover over and temperature over the tropics is presented in the Climate4You blog [SOURCE] and is displayed in Figure 3 above. It shows rising temperature in the tropics coincident with declining low cloud cover and appears to be consistent with the KM2019 finding that the declining low cloud cover (LCC) causes warming globally and not just in the tropics. The causation rationale is that clouds reflect incoming solar radiation and thus lower surface temperature.
  3. It is noted however, that correlation between time series source data do not always imply causation and that when they do, no information about the direction of the causation can be inferred from these data. For example, in {McCoy, Daniel T., et al. “The change in low cloud cover in a warmed climate inferred from AIRS, MODIS, and ERA-Interim.” Journal of Climate 30.10 (2017): 3609-3620} the authors find that warming surface temperatures have caused a decline in low cloud cover over sub-tropical regions in the same period of study as the KM2019 paper. The reverse causation is suggested in the Somerville 1985 paper in which he finds that CO2 induced global warming is self correcting because warming increases cloud formation and clouds reflect sunlight back into space. {Richard Somerville, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego}. 
  4. An added complication is that in the instrumental record, global warming is found mostly in nighttime daily TMIN and not in daytime daily TMAX  {Related posts [LINK] [LINK] }. G. Kukla, PD Jones, and others (Kukla 1993) describe this apparent anomaly in terms of low cloud cover that reflects solar radiation upward and the earth’s long wave radiation downward. At night, with no solar radiation to reflect upward, the net effect of low clouds is warming by reflecting terrestrial radiation downward. The relationship between low cloud cover and warming is therefore more complicated than the reflection of solar radiation upward.
  5. The significant claim of the KM2019 paper relating to AGW is that since the observed warming in surface temperature can be explained in terms of declining low cloud cover, no meaningful role for atmospheric CO2 concentration is possible and that therefore, the correlation between low cloud cover and surface temperature proves the falsehood of AGW theory. In this post, we test this KM2019 hypothesis that by comparing the relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global mean surface temperature below low clouds (HadCRUT4 surface temperature) with the corresponding relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global mean temperatures in the lower troposphere above low clouds (UAH). The study period is constrained to 1979-2018 by the availability of UAH satellite data for lower troposphere temperatures.
  6. The results are displayed in Figure 4 and Figure 5 above. Figure 4 displays the rate of warming in the study period for each calendar month labeled 1=January to 12=December along with the strength of the regression in terms of the T-statistic for both the surface temperature below low clouds (HAD) and the lower troposphere temperature (UAH) above low clouds. The warming rate is seen to be much stronger under low clouds than above low clouds. This result is consistent with the low cloud effect assumed in the KM2019 paper.
  7. The further conclusion in KM2019  that the observed warming during a time of decreasing low cloud cover proves the CO2 effect in AGW to be false is tested in Figure 5. If this KM2019 finding is correct, we would expect to find that temperatures below low clouds (HAD) would be relatively unrelated to atmospheric CO2 concentration but that temperatures above low clouds (UAH) would show a stronger correlation. What we see in Figure 5, however, is the exact opposite. Temperature below low clouds has a stronger correlation with Ln(CO2) {the natural logarithm of atmospheric CO2 concentration} than do lower troposphere temperatures above low clouds. In case of detrended correlations, though all values are generally very low, values above DETCORR=0.2 are statistically significant and are found only in the HAD surface temperatures below low clouds. These data are inconsistent with the KM2019 finding that the warming trend during a time of declining low cloud cover proves CO2 forcing of surface temperature to be false.
  8. An additional consideration is that cloud albedo is not just in low clouds but also from high clouds that have the greater cooling effect along with stratospheric aerosols. No declining trend in high clouds is evident in the data (Figure 2) that appear to show only cyclical variations. In light of these considerations, the emphasis on low clouds in the KM2019 analysis appears to be a form of data selection bias.
  9. CONCLUSION: The data show that the relationship between measures of AGW and low cloud cover is more complicated than implied by the KM2019  paper and that the correlation of warming above and below low clouds with atmospheric CO2 concentration are inconsistent with the interpretation of the data in the KM2019 study. As a reference, the cloud page in the climate4You blog [LINK] may contain more useful information on the interpretation of ISSCP cloud cover data than the relatively simplistic analysis contained in KM2019. Atmospheric water vapor content, low clouds, high clouds, and their combined surface temperature effects are more complicated and these effects vary regionally.


Update 3/25/2020): Figure 4B is added to show a relative correspondence in the warming rates implied by HAD and UAH temperatures 1979-2019 in support of using two different temperature data sources. With thanks to Kiri58 for his insightful comment which appears below.


CNN: November, 2019: It’s all quite devastating! 

Documenting the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice


  1. The Arctic is heating twice as fast as the global average. Sea ice is rapidly shrinking, changing the delicate composition of one of the world’s most pristine ecosystems and the traditional way of life that indigenous communities have preserved for hundreds of years. What happens in the Arctic has far-reaching consequences, altering global weather patterns and endangering coastal communities, but for many people these problems are out of sight and out of mind.
  2. For those who explore the planet’s northernmost reaches, these problems have become a harsh reality. CNN spoke to three photographers and filmmakers who have made it their mission to document an evolving Arctic landscape — for the sake of raising awareness, for the sake of highlighting the individuals fighting to save it, and for the sake of posterity.
  3. Faces on the frontlines of climate science: Esther Horvath is currently drifting through Arctic sea ice aboard German research icebreaker the RV Polarstern as part of what has been billed as the largest polar expedition ever undertaken by humankind. As a photographer and the communications manager of the MOSAiC expedition, a €140 million scientific mission comprising 19 nations, the Hungarian sailed into the Arctic Ocean to document the unknown faces on the frontlines of climate science.
  4. “Who are the scientists? They deliver this crucial information for all of us,” she says. “This is what I’m extremely interested in; to show climate change stories through the eyes of scientists, showing how they live in such an extreme, remote location.”
    Captain Stefan Schwarze and Lutz Peine First officer on the bridge of Polarstern on October 2, 2019. Photographer Esther Horvath is onboard the Polarstern as part of the year-long MOSAiC expedition.
  5. Over the course of the next year, the Polarstern and Horvarth will drift, locked in sea ice, from north of the Siberian coast, through the central Arctic then southwards. Six hundred experts on rotation across six legs are conducting experiments, taking measurements from deep beneath the ice to high up into the atmosphere to assess how the Arctic is changing, and how that impacts the Earth’s climate. “With this expedition, scientists will be able to create much better models, which may be extremely important for politicians and decision makers,
  6. Horvath followed the years of preparations which led to the MOSAiC expedition finally departing in September 2019. As well as documenting the crew, from biogeochemists to balloon operators, she is also photographing nature in all its majesty, including polar bears taking an interest in the expedition. “If I can make this human connection between the audience and the scientists who live and work in this remote location, I hope that I can raise more awareness,” she adds.
  7. Capturing nature’s last stand: Martin Hartley recounts a climate horror story from February 2018, when an area of sea ice pulled away from the floating ice pack off the northern coast of Greenland. It was winter and should have been a stable time of year for sea ice, but images showed it drifting back towards the North Pole, exposing mile upon mile of Arctic Ocean below. “That’s never happened before,” he says, concern in his voice.
  8. Hartley says the melting ice is also making the North Pole a harder place to explore on foot. Historically, surface expeditions could depart from land in certain places within the Arctic Circle and walk on to sea ice to journey to the pole. Now, Hartley says, ships are being used to venture further and further into the Arctic Ocean in search of stable ice on which to disembark. Expeditions carry thick waterproof immersion suits should they fall through the ice, or if they are forced to swim between ice floes. Reaching the North Pole is becoming harder on foot, says Hartley (the last successful expedition from land was in 2014).
  9. “Water rules out most North Pole expeditions — 99.9% of them, anyway,” Hartley says. The last people to successfully trek from land to the North Pole were Americans Ryan Waters and Eric Larsen in 2014. Hartley has traveled to the Arctic Ocean since 2002. Now he’s preparing to return in 2020 for his most ambitious expedition yet. With the help of NASA, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the European Space Agency, Hartley will be searching north of Greenland for the last multi-year ice, a rapidly shrinking percentage of Arctic ice that survives the summer. Multi-year sea ice is more resistant to melting and better at insulating the cold atmosphere from the warmer ocean water.
  10. Hartley is to photograph what he calls “ice sentinels,” where multi-year sea ice has been pushed up into hulking monoliths. “It’s magnificent and peaceful and you cannot help but be affected by this ice,” Hartley says, “(it’s) like something out of a fairy tale.” Hartley will travel with guides and scientists to take ice samples and leave satellite trackers on ice sentinels to chart them drifting and melting away.
    “There’s a lot of risk involved,” he says. “But the risk of not at least trying, to me, is almost a moral sin.”
  11. The social and geopolitical implications of ice loss is Maya Craig’s line of inquiry. An American photographer and filmmaker, Craig is embarking on a documentary feature about a changing Arctic across multiple countries. “Receding sea ice is impacting countless communities across the Arctic, and stakes are high as nations vie for control of newly accessible shipping routes and resources,” she explains. “I’m honing a grouping of stories that weave a portrait of the changing Arctic as diminishing sea ice gives way to newly open ocean.”
  12. In the summer of 2019, Craig traveled to the Native Village of Savoonga on St Lawrence Island, part of Alaska in the Bering Strait, to interview its president Delbert Pungowiyi, who is a vocal advocate for the island’s Yupik people. “Historically the Bering Sea around St Lawrence Island was frozen 9-10 months each year, while today it freezes for just a few months,” she explains. “The villages subsisted primarily by ice hunting whale and walrus, which is increasingly less viable and putting their entire way of life in peril.
  13. Craig also spent time on the Healy, a US Coast Guard (USCG) vessel and the only US icebreaker operating in the Arctic, documenting the life of the coast guards and scientists on board. “Ice breakers are essentially the infrastructure of the Arctic,” she explains, comparing them to roads and bridges. “Even as the sea ice recedes more, ice breakers are required for consistent operation and can make year-long operation viable.” Russia has built 14 new icebreakers since 2013 according to a USCG report, and there are plans to increase shipping traffic through Russia’s Arctic coast tenfold by 2024.
  14. How nations will fare in the race for resource exploration and extraction, cargo transportation and tourism in the Arctic is a major outstanding question for the 21st century. And even while summer sea ice remains, it cannot be ignored. “It’s all quite devastating,” she adds. “The fact that by mid-century it’s expected that in summer months there will be no ice at all in the Arctic Ocean — this is a huge, historic milestone



  1. CLAIM: “Sea ice is rapidly shrinking, changing the delicate composition of one of the world’s most pristine ecosystems and the traditional way of life that indigenous communities have preserved for hundreds of years“.  COMMENT: The sea ice extent in the Arctic undergoes a seasonal cycle with a very large range that varies from 50 to more than 100 years of year to year changes [LINK] . The issue here is the relatively very small seasonal minimum sea ice extent in September that sustains an apocalyptic fear that AGW climate change will reduce the September minimum sea ice extent to zero to deliver an ice free Arctic in that month that is thought to be able to accelerate the rate of warming by way of an albedo loss feedback mechanism. The so called “Ice Free Arctic” fear has been invoked repeatedly since 1999 with failed forecasts of an ice free Arctic in September listed in a related post [LINK] .  The evidence presented that relates year to year changes in September minimum sea ice extent to AGW climate change is that they are consistent with climate model predictions. However, a very different evaluation is implied by the observational data that show no evidence that year to year changes in September minimum sea ice extent is related to AGW [LINK] [LINK] .
  2. CLAIM: Scientists sailed into the Arctic Ocean to document the unknown faces on the front lines of climate science. COMMENT: There is more truth in this sentence than was probably intended by the authors. From the very inception of the modern version of AGW climate change since Hansen 1988 (as distinct from the original theory of Callendar 1938), climate science has steadfastly held that all observed sea ice melt events in the Arctic are caused by changes to atmospheric composition due to fossil fuel emissions and that they can and must be attenuated by reducing and eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Though these relationships are seen in climate models, the data have not cooperated and so since the 1990s, repeated and alarming forecasts of an ice free Arctic in September, of catastrophic methane release, of runaway feedback warming due to albedo loss, and of catastrophic losses in the mass balance of the Greenland Ice sheet  have failed to materialize. So dismal has been the performance of climate science in this arena, that climate scientists have developed a language of making predictions without making a commitment to the prediction as in the sentence “I am not saying that there will be a catastrophic methane release in the Arctic any time soon but only that there is a possibility of such catastrophic event and it could initiate a cataclysmic runaway global warming (Dr. Peter Wadhams) [LINK] . In terms of predictions and evaluations of events in the Arctic, climate science, though armed with sophisticated climate models, have performed very poorly and this poor  performance of climate science in the Arctic is succinctly stated in the source document above when the Arctic is described as “the unknown faces on the front lines of climate science“. In other words, the Arctic is where the we-know-it-all climate science ends and the mystery begins. 
  3. CLAIM: Climate scientists are taking measurements from deep beneath the ice to high up into the atmosphere to assess how the Arctic is changing, and how that impacts the Earth’s climate. With this expedition, scientists will be able to create much better models, which may be extremely important for politicians and decision makersCOMMENT: This claim accurately describes and thereby exposes a fatal flaw in climate science research. In climate science the research question is not constructed for objective scientific inquiry such that the absence of the effect being tested for as the null hypothesis; but rather the suspected effect is itself the null hypothesis that portends catastrophic consequences and it remains for climate science researchers only to determine just how bad its going to be. Here for example, the research question is not whether the Arctic is changing and whether the changes can be attributed to AGW climate change and not whether the findings will have policy implications for politicians and decision makers; but HOW the Arctic is changing and HOW that impacts Earth’s climate and HOW important these results are for politicians and decision makers. In other words, assume the worst and frame research questions and design the research agenda to just how bad things are and how catastrophic the climate impacts that are expected to create an overwhelming motivation for politicians and decision makers to take climate action.
  4. CLAIM: A climate horror happened in February 2018, when an area of sea ice pulled away from the floating ice pack off the northern coast of Greenland. It was winter and should have been a stable time of year for sea ice, but images showed it drifting back towards the North Pole, exposing mile upon mile of Arctic Ocean below. “That’s never happened before“.  COMMENT:  This claim exposes the extreme atmosphere bias of climate science. More evidence is exposed here that climate science research is not unbiased scientific inquiry but contains a heavy bias for the finding that all bad things are climate impacts and an overriding bias that all ice melt events are driven by AGW climate change by way of surface warming caused by rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. Ultimately all observed changes are found to be catastrophic and interpreted as an impact of fossil fuel emissions – thus leading to the required conclusion that the changes observed can and must be attenuated with climate action in the form off emission reduction.
  5. CLAIM: Melting sea ice is making the North Pole a harder place to explore on foot. Historically, surface expeditions could depart from land in certain places within the Arctic Circle and walk on to sea ice to journey to the pole. Now, ships are being used to venture further and further into the Arctic Ocean in search of stable ice on which to disembark. Expeditions carry thick waterproof immersion suits should they fall through the ice, or if they are forced to swim between ice floes.  COMMENT: As in CLAIM#4 above, the atmosphere bias and the prior null hypothesis that all ice melt events in the Arctic are ultimately caused by fossil fuel emissions and that they can therefore be controlled or moderated by emission reduction form the overriding context in which all observed changes are interpreted. In the context of the ice melt alarms raised in claims #4 and #5 it is noted that the absolute atmosphere bias of climate science makes it impossible for them to consider other sources of heat that could melt sea ice. In related posts it has been shown that the Arctic is a very geologically active region of the planet not unlike the Ring of Fire in the Pacific [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] and that the observed changes in September minimum sea ice extent cannot be related to AGW temperature rise because the required correlation is not found in the data [LINK] . The specific claim that even winter sea ice (in February) is melting due to CO2 forcing of surface temperature exposes an extreme form of bias and circular reasoning in climate science such that even at a time of year when the Arctic does not see the sun, sea ice melt events are attributed to an enhancement of solar radiation heating due to a carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere attributed to fossil fuel emissions. The atmosphere bias in climate science is so strong that it makes it impossible to consider the impact of geothermal heat even when CO2 forcing is not possible.
  6. CLAIM: Russia has built 14 new icebreakers since 2013 according to a USCG report, and there are plans to increase shipping traffic through Russia’s Arctic coast tenfold by 2024. How nations will fare in the race for resource exploration and extraction, cargo transportation and tourism in the Arctic is a major outstanding question for the 21st century. And even while summer sea ice remains, it cannot be ignored. COMMENT:  Climate science has presented no scientific argument that relates Arctic ship traffic to AGW such that ship traffic in the Arctic should be considered an undesirable AGW variable. Yet, the science of climate science appears to be opposed to the idea of growing ship traffic in the region whether by way of technological ship innovations or by way of ice melt. This oddity is just one of many that appears to use AGW climate change as the science that backs up old environmental activism now rationalized in terms of AGW. This relationship is consistent with the view that AGW climate science serves to rationalize and revitalize radical environmentalism of all colors in search of a reason why.
  7. CLAIM: By mid-century it’s expected that in summer months there will be no ice at all in the Arctic Ocean — this is a huge, historic milestone. COMMENT: A black mark in the science of AGW climate change is its obsession with the ice free Arctic idea and its long history of failed ice free Arctic predictions described in a related post [LINK] . The forecast of an ice free Arctic in September of “mid century” is likely derived from a published paper that makes a forecast of an ice free summer in the Arctic at sometime between 2044 and 2067. In the related post cited above it is shown that the seasonal cycle was used as the model of ice melt in the forecast and that significant differences between the seasonal cycle and year to year changes make the comparison impossible [LINK]The mid-century ice free Arctic forecast follows a long list of failed ice free Arctic forecast fear mongering activism including the high profile “the Arctic is screaming” alarm of 2007. Not much credibility remains for climate science in this area of what is still being presented as science.