Thongchai Thailand


Posted on: January 2, 2020

CBC News Technology and Science

Greta Thunberg has talked about a ‘carbon budget.’ [LINK]

What is it, and why does it matter?




  2. Hello, people! This is our weekly newsletter on all things environmental, where we highlight trends and solutions that are moving us to a more sustainable world.
  3. “If we are to have a 67 per cent chance of limiting the global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees [C], we had, on Jan. 1, 2018, 420 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide left in our CO2 budget. And of course, that number is much lower today. We emit about 42 gigatonnes of CO2 a year. At current emission levels, that remaining budget is gone within 8 1/2 years.” Those words were delivered by youth climate activist Greta Thunberg to the French parliament on July 23, 2019.  She said she has not heard much on the subject of a “carbon budget,” either from politicians or the media. But what’s left in our carbon budget is of utmost importance if we hope to limit global warming.
  4. Simply put, this budget refers to how much carbon — which includes CO2 and other greenhouse gases like methane — we can emit into the atmosphere before we pass the point of warming the Earth to 1.5 C or 2 C. The carbon budget was discussed in the first of three special reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released in October 2018. The final installment, the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), will be discussed in Morocco this weekend, with a summary due to be released next Wednesday.
  5. The Paris Agreement seeks to limit a global temperature rise to 2 C above pre-industrial levels this century (with a goal of keeping it to 1.5 C). The key to understanding the carbon budget is that even if countries keep in line with the Paris accord, if the budget is depleted by then, it won’t matter. The damage will already be done. And it will be irreversible.
  6. “If you think about annual emissions and reducing emissions without thinking about the carbon budget, you could really blow past the Paris Agreement,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, director of climate science at the U.S.-based Union of Concerned Scientists. “That’s the trouble.”
  7. After a few years of stable global CO2 emissions, they rose in 2018, and there are concerns they may rise again in 2019. If we don’t pay attention to the carbon budget, it increases the chance of a host of global problems: the loss of coral reefs, no summer sea ice in the Arctic, more severe weather events and changes in crops that could lead to further food scarcity. If it sounds dire, Ekwurzel said, but we have the power to change the trajectory.
  8. “Whenever we’ve been faced with a problem before and really … lean into it, we make big changes,” Ekwurzel said. “And a lot of those changes we’re calling for, we can do.” She said we need to look at deep de-carbonization of our energy supply, as well as doing “nature-based enhancements,” including the expansion and protection of carbon sinks such as forests, wetlands and mangroves, as well as seagrass. Ekwurzel stresses that economists say the transitions are economically feasible.
  9. Like Greta, Ekwurzel said it’s time that everyone — governments, organizations, businesses, and yes, consumers — begin to pay more attention to that budget that is nipping at our heels. She insists that together, we can make a difference. “Yeah,” Ekwurzel said. “We can do this.”
  11. The Carbon Budget is constructed with the TCRE [Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions] regression coefficient that expresses the responsiveness of surface temperature to cumulative emissions. The TCRE is a creation of the near perfect correlation between temperature and cumulative emissions discovered by Canadian climate scientist Damon Matthews in his now famous 2009 paper {Matthews, H. Damon, et al. “The proportionality of global warming to cumulative carbon emissions.” Nature 459.7248 (2009): 829}.
  12. The TCRE regression coefficient shows that a trillion tonnes of carbon emissions will  cause approximately 1.5C of warming with an uncertainty range of 1C to 2C regardless of how fast, how slow, or what pattern of emission rates generated the amount of cumulative emissions. The versatile and powerful TCRE metric has revolutionized and re-invigorated climate science and rescued it from a  dead end in the climate sensitivity metric imposed by an unmanageable uncertainty problem as described in Knutti 2017 {Knutti, Reto, Maria AA Rugenstein, and Gabriele C. Hegerl. “Beyond equilibrium climate sensitivity.” Nature Geoscience10.10 (2017): 727}.
  13. In “Beyond Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity”, Knutti writes {The quest to constrain climate sensitivity has revealed important insights into the timescales of the climate system response, natural variability and limitations in observations and climate models. Estimates of the transient climate response are better constrained by observed warming and are more relevant for predicting warming over the next decades. Newer metrics relating global warming directly to the total emitted CO2 show that in order to keep warming to within 2 °C, future CO2 emissions have to remain strongly limited, irrespective of climate sensitivity being at the high or low end}. The Matthews 2009 and Knutti 2017 papers together are the climate science origin of the climate action metric now known as the carbon budget.
  14. And yet, in their excitement for a savior that will rescue them from the climate sensitivity uncertainty dead end and provide them with a tool for climate action in the form of the carbon budget, climate scientists overlooked fundamental issues in statistics that render the TCRE and therefore, the carbon budget as creations of a spurious correlation that have no interpretation in terms of a relationship between emissions and warming that is assumed in climate budgets.
  15. These issues are described in related posts at this site listed below.
  16. Related Post#1: The spuriousness of correlations between cumulative values of time series data [LINK#1]
  17. Related Post#2: The absence of useful information in the carbon budget [LINK#2]
  18. Related Post #3 & #4: The Remaining Carbon Budget problem in climate science that demonstrates the futility of the carbon budget concept [LINK#3] [LINK#4]
  19. Related Post #5: The statistics of the Remaining Carbon Budget problem in climate science [LINK#5]
  20. CONCLUSION: Although the carbon budget appears to be a useful concept in climate science, its utility is illusory because it is based on a spurious correlation that has no interpretation in the real world.













The underlying problem is that alarmists and “sceptics” alike believe that somehow the atmosphere has warmed the deep oceans, since their temperature is ~275K, already 20K above the infamous 255K.
(see eg Lacis ea 2010 or 2013)
Well, try heating a swimming pool with cold air…….
The oceans are so hot for the same reason as the continental crust is hot: the incredibly hot interior of our planet.
Although the flux is low (~65mW/m^2), continental crust is entirely heated from the inside. Same for the oceans (flux~100 mW/m^2)
Once you realize this, the whole system suddenly makes sense.
The NO Greenhouse effect, and no measurable role for CO2.

In case you wonder how the oceans became even hotter in the distance past:

Thank you Ben. See also

I don’t see how GH can have a measurable effect on human timescales, except for very local effects like underwater volcanoes near the surface.

100 mW/m^2 warms all ocean water 1K in ~5000 year.
1 million km^3 magma warms all ocean water 1K, so the 5-10 km^3 /year at all spreading ridges takes ~100.000 year or more for 1K warming.
Forget about the deep oceans being warmed from above.
Only COLD, dense water like AABW sinks to the ocean floor.
This COOLING blances the warming by GH apparently, since the deep oceans have on average been cooling for the last ~85 my.
During that time GH provided the OHC 50-100 times over.

The sun delivers daily maximum 20-25 MJ/m^2 to the oceans surface, barely enough to warm the upper 5 m 1K.
This small warming is lost again during the night.
Same for the seasonal warming of the upper 200-500m, lost again in the winter season.

The atmosphere does NOT heat the oceans, the solar heated surface heats the atmosphere.

WordPress ate part of my post.

The NO Greenhouse effect, and no measurable role for CO2.

Should have been:

The less than 50% of solar that actually reaches the surface is perfectly capable of warming the top layer of the oceans a few degrees. The atmosphere just reduces the energy loss to space.
With some basic meteorological knowledge (Hydrostatic Equlibrium against gravity) it should be obvious that every atom/molecule of the atmosphere is involved in this process.
So NO greenhouse effect, and no measurable role for CO2.

Thank you again sir. Appreciate your well studied assessments.

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