Thongchai Thailand

Archive for May 2020

 

FIRST GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH AND IT WAS GOOD BUT THEN GOD WAS BORED AND DECIDED TO CREATE MAN. THINGS LOOKED GOOD FOR A WHILE AND GOD WAS PLEASED AND GAVE THE MAN A WOMAN. THEN THE MAN AND THE WOMAN BECAME EVIL AND GOT TOGETHER TO CREATE A POPULATION EXPLOSION UPON THE EARTH. IT WAS THEN THAT THE DEVIL APPEARED AND TRICKED THE POPULATION BOMB HUMANS INTO DIGGING UP FOSSIL FUELS FROM UNDER THE GROUND WHERE GOD HAD FORBIDDEN MAN FROM GOING. THIS SINFUL ACT OF MAN UPSET GOD’S DELICATELY BALANCED CARBON CYCLE AND BROUGHT THE HORROR OF CLIMATE CHANGE UPON THE EARTH THAT THREATENED TO DESTROY THE PLANET.

DESPERATE TO SAVE THE PLANET THAT HE HAD CREATED AND THAT HE LOVED, GOD CREATED CLIMATE SCIENTISTS AND SENT THEM TO SAVE HIS BELOVED PLANET. AND THE PLANET WOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED BY GOD’S GOOD CLIMATE SCIENTISTS BUT THE DEVIL WAS NOT DONE WITH THE EVIL THAT HE HAD STARTED BY SHOWING MAN THE FOSSIL FUELS.

THE DEVIL FOUND CLIMATE DENIERS IN A DISTANT PLANET THAT GOD HAD FORSAKEN. THE DEVIL THEN CAUSED THE CLIMATE DENIERS TO APPEAR ON THE PLANET EARTH TO TAKE MONEY FROM EVIL FOSSIL FUEL CAPITALISTS AND THEN TO WRITE BLOGS AND POST TWEETS TO CONFUSE THE PEOPLE ABOUT THE SETTLED SCIENCE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE AND TO LAY THE SEEDS OF DOUBT. IT IS THUS THAT THE PLANET THAT GOD CREATED AND LOVED IS NOW ON A DEAD END TRAJECTORY FOR DESTRUCTION IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2100.

SADLY, THE DEVIL AND EVIL HUMANS HAVE TAKEN OVER THE PLANET THAT GOD LOVED. TOGETHER THEY HAVE CREATED THEIR OWN GEOLOGICAL PERIOD THEY CALL THE  [ANTHROPOCENE].  

 

 

IF ONLY JIM AND TAMMY FAYE BAKKER WERE STILL HERE THEY COULD HAVE SPREAD THE MESSAGE OF THE GOOD CLIMATE SCIENTISTS THAT GOD HAD SENT AND THUS THEY COULD HAVE SAVED THE PLANET THAT GOD LOVES. 

 

 Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, BY AMBER GARRETT, 2019 [LINK]

Jim and Tammy met at North Central Bible College in Minneapolis and created a ministry for children using puppets, appearing first on Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network. They went on to create The PTL Club, which stood for “Praise the Lord,” which pushed the ideas of faith healing and “prosperity gospel,” justifying their riches as endowed by god. They were so rich and successful, they founded their own TV network and a Bible-themed amusement park called Heritage USA. The couple was quite famous and Saturday Night Live would frequently impersonate them, with special attention paid to Tammy’s heavy makeup. 

It all fell apart when Jim was accused of rape by model-actress Jessica Hahn, who further claimed Jim has tried to buy her silence with $279,000. The money for that bribe came from funds the ministry raised from faithful donors who thought their money was being used to help bring the healing love of God to others and helping people living with AIDS or suffering from drug addiction. And it turned out that wasn’t the only questionable spending of their ministry’s funds. A big part of the fraud trial involved PTL’s sale of “lifetime memberships” that entitled donors to a 3-night stay at a Heritage USA luxury hotel each year. The funds were supposed to be used to build new hotels that would accommodate all the members, but they only built one 500-room property that would never meet the demand of the tens of thousands who had secured these memberships. Instead, the Bakkers pocketed $3.4 million of the donations.

Jim was found guilty on all 24 charges against him, which included eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy. He was sentenced to serve 45 years in federal prison. Despite that 45-year sentence, Jim Bakker is now our of prison. Though his conviction was upheld on appeal, the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals felt the lengthy sentence was unduly influenced by the judge’s faith and his own personal feelings of betrayal brought on by Jim’s crimes. In a re-sentencing hearing, which reduced Jim’s prison stint to eight years. He was paroled in 1994 after serving five of those eight years.

Tammy divorced Jim while he was in prison. He is now remarried to Lori Beth Graham, with whom he adopted five children and started a new ministry show called The Jim Bakker Show, where he focuses on a lot of end of days prophesying and sells Doomsday prepper supplies. Clearly, he learned a lot in prison. Tammy Faye Bakker, born Tamara Face LaValley, escaped criminal prosecution but stood by Jim throughout his trial. However, she filed for divorce in 1992 and remarried a year later to Roe Messner who was a real estate developer. He too was in trouble with the law. He was tried and convicted for bankruptcy fraud in 1996. Tammy stuck by Roe, however, as he served 27 months in federal prison. She released an autobiography called Tammy: Telling It My Way and had a short-lived talk show with Jim J. Bullock. A documentary about Tammy came out in 1999 called The Eyes of Tammy Faye. She had a couple of TV appearances.

Both Tammy and Roe were diagnosed with cancer in 1996, Roe with prostate cancer and Tammy with colon cancer. Though Tammy successfully fought her cancer and seemed to be in remission, the cancer spread to her lungs. In 2004, she announced that she had an inoperable tumor but was undergoing chemotherapy. While battling cancer, she appeared on Season 2 of The Surreal Life. After an 11-year battle, Tammy suspended treatment in 2007 and passed away on July 20, 2007, one day after her final interview with Larry King aired. She was 65.

Though Jim doesn’t seem too remorseful about defrauding faithful viewers, Tammy was penitent the remainder of her life. She was met with compassion and love from the gay community, who embraced her as an icon and celebrated her compassion for people living with AIDS during a time most fundamentalists were pushing the agenda that AIDS was an apt punishment for the “sin” of homosexuality. As early as the 1980s, she was pleading with viewers of her show to show their gay children love and acceptance, which was pretty revolutionary at the time. She was an especially big icon for drag queens in the ’90s because of her famously heavy makeup.

 

RELATED POST ON WUWT [LINK]

 

RELATED POST:  AN EXCLUSIVE RELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS OVERLOOKS NATURAL CARBON FLOWS. [LINK]  

Seeps Give a Peek Into Plumbing

CO2

 

 

IPCC

 

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

THIS POST IS A COLLECTION OF LINKS TO RELATED POSTS ON THIS SITE THAT TOGETHER EXAMINE THE STATISTICAL VALIDITY OF THE CLAIM BY CLIMATE SCIENCE THAT ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING IS CAUSED BY FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS BECAUSE THESE EMISSIONS CHANGE ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION. 

 

A WUWT POST: “But the idea that the Worldwide Covid Lockdown has had any effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations is simply not true. And that’s the news for the day…. Don’t ask me to explain it, I don’t know. But it sure is interesting – even I thought the lockdowns would show up at Mauna Loa.” [LINK]

RESPONSE: There are a few things to consider when relating observed changes in atmospheric composition to fossil fuel emissions (if fossils they are) as explained in the documents linked below.

 

LINK#1: When the stated uncertainties in carbon cycle flows are not considered we can detect fossil fuel emissions in the mix and measure its effect on atmospheric CO2, but when the stated uncertainties in carbon cycle flows ARE considered the relatively small flow of fossil fuel emissions cannot be detected. Bottom line: from a purely empirical point of view we can’t even tell that fossil fuel emissions exist let alone measure their effect on the atmosphere.   [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#1]

 

LINK#2: “Since the industrial revolution we have been burning fossil fuels and at the same time atmospheric CO2 has been going up.” This kind of logic has no causation interpretation as Tyler Vigen has shown over and over and over again.                     [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#2]

 

LINK#3: To keep Tyler happy, what we need to do is to compute the detrended correlation between fossil fuel emissions and atmospheric composition at an annual time scale. Why annual time scale? Because the IPCC and the Carbon Project and climate science in general carry out this mass balance at an annual time scale. I looked for that detrended correlation. It’s not there. Detrended correlation is a necessary though not a sufficient evidence of causation. Therefore detrended correlation does not prove causation but its absence proves the impossibility of a causation relationship in time series data. Here is my work. [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#3]

LINK#4: And here is a more comprehensive correlation analysis that looks at CO2 data around the world and not just at Mauna Loa.  [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#4]

 

LINK#5: Climate science has an answer to that and it is the Damon Matthews 2009 paper. Damon says screw the atmospheric composition thing because there is a near perfect correlation between cumulative warming and cumulative fossil fuel emissions. The regression coefficient of that relationship shows that temperature goes up by about 1.5C per terratonne of cumulative emissions give or take 0.5C. Climate science now says that this coefficient, that Damon calls the Transient Climate Response to Cumulative Emissions (TCRE), is the proof of human cause and the measure of the impact of emissions on temperature and also the tool we need to construct climate action plans with carbon budgets. [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#5]

 

LINK#6: Sadly for Damon and for climate science, Damon made a horrible statistics error in his TCRE proposal. It is described in detail here [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#6]

 

LINK#7: When Damon’s statistics error is corrected we find no evidence that warming is related to fossil fuel emissions and no evidence that the rate of warming can be attenuated by reducing fossil fuel emissions in accordance with the “climate action” demands of climate science and the United Nations [CLICK HERE FOR LINK#7]

 

LINK#8: For those not easily convinced by boring statistics arguments, here is a demonstration of the spuriousness of correlations between cumulative values.
[CLICK HERE FOR LINK#8]

 

LINK#9:  That takes us right back to the atmospheric composition thing; and here is the answer. THE REASON THE STATISTICS DO NOT SHOW AN EFFECT OF FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS ON ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION IS THAT CARBON CYCLE FLOWS CANNOT BE MEASURED AND THEY ARE THEREFORE INFERRED. THESE INFERRED VALUES HAVE LARGE UNCERTAINTIES. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DETECT THE EFFECT OF RELATIVELY SMALL FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS ON THE MUCH LARGER UNCERTAIN FLOWS OF THE CARBON CYCLE[CLICK HERE FOR LINK#9]

 

ONE OF TYLER VIGEN’S MANY CHARTS OF SPURIOUS CORRELATIONS

bandicam 2020-06-02 13-30-50-042

FOOTNOTEIN CLIMATE SCIENCE, THE RESPONSIVENESS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS IS ASSSESSED AT AN ANNUAL TIME SCALE. IT IS NOTED THAT THE COVID EMISSION REDUCTION PERIOD IS LESS THAN A YEAR AND THEREFORE IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE CLIMATE SCIENCE TIME SCALE. THE QUESTIONS RAISED BY IN THE  WUWT COMMENT AND ELSEWHERE IN THIS REGARD DO NOT MEET THIS TIME SCALE REQUIREMENT.

 

NOW OVER TO CLIMATE SCIENTIST MICHAEL MANN 

[ABOUT THE ANTHROPOCENE]

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

OTHER POSTS ON SEA LEVEL RISE: [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]  

THIS POST IS A PRESENTATION OF A SERIES OF REPORTS SINCE 2010 ON THE DEVASTATION OF THE MALDIVES BY CLIMATE CHANGE BY WAY OF SEA LEVEL RISE AND CORAL BLEACHING: AND HOW THE MALDIVIANS USED THE CLIMATE ALARM TO PROFIT FROM THEIR FAME AS THE CLIMATE CHANGE POSTER CHILD. 

PART-1: SUMMARY AND CRITICAL COMMENTARY

MAL-4

The country called the Maldives consists of a number of islands mostly atolls located in the southwestern Indian Ocean next to Sri Lanka. With a population of 540,000 and per capita GDP of $15,563 USD (2019), it is at once the smallest and richest country on a per capita basis in the region. The economy, once dominated by fishing and shipping, has found immense wealth in the tourism industry, most famously by way of their “Honeymoon Water Villa Resorts” seen in the images above.

A feature of the Maldives that made it an attractive target for climate scientists looking for pitiful victims of the Industrial Economy of rich nations to be used to sell their climate agenda, is its flatness and proximity to the water.  The islands are somewhere between 1 to 3 meters above sea level and they are very very flat. These features of the Maldives imply that  projections of future sea level rise of a meter or more by the year 2100 will cause most of these islands to go under water.

A case had already been made in climate science that vulnerable small island states or SIDS (Small Island Developing States) were a special case in terms of climate change impacts because they can be presented as hapless and innocent third world victims of the industrial economy of rich nations that have brought about the climate crisis. It is thought that the climate crisis and climate action agenda of climate science will find a larger sympathetic audience if the call to climate action appeals to sympathy in a humanitarian and altruistic context. This strategy requires pitiful third world victims of climate change.

The Maldivians were thus used by climate science to sell their climate action agenda such that rich nations in the West would be motivated to take climate action thereby to save those Godforsaken people in the Maldives. In general, the putative victims of climate change tend to go along and to play their victim role expecting that their status as victims will bring some financial rewards.

But here, the Maldivians did something extraordinary such that even as climate science was using them to sell climate the Maldivians were using climate science to sell their tourism business and also to highlight  their climate victim status for additional financial gain.

Their climate victim game began with the government of the Maldives holding an underwater cabinet meeting to highlight their climate change sea level rise plight. This event was seen on TV all around the world. For the first time, the whole world came to learn that there was a place called the Maldives. The event also helped the climate science cause by highlighting the sea level rise catastrophe of climate change as well as by pushing the emotional argument of climate science that poor third world countries that had no part in the Industrial Revolution are being hurt the most. For a time, the Maldives had taken over from the polar bear as the poster child of climate catastrophe.

The Maldives were thus used to promote the climate change cause but for the clever Maldivians it also worked the other way around. Almost overnight the market for their tropical vacation paradise by the sea expanded from a small European clientele to South Asian and Middle Eastern countries that eventually took over from the Europeans as the largest market for Maldives tourism. At the same time, engineers and scientists in the West began proposing defensive measures that the Maldives can take to protect themselves from sea level rise and the UNDP and the World Bank jumped in to help with funding such projects.

The Maldives government thus undertook a huge climate change adaptation project called the City of Hope. It consisted of building new artificial islands that would be higher than the natural islands and above the projected sea level rise so that Maldivians can relocate to high ground. These new islands were adorned with new top of the line Honeymoon Water Villa Resorts that received free promotion as news about climate change adaptation and quickly drew new customers thus greatly expanding the Maldivian tourism business and economic prosperity.

Just as the anti industrial economy and anti capitalism movement of climate science was using the Maldives to promote its cause so it was that the Maldivians were using climate science alarmism to expand their Maldivian industrial economy and capitalism wealth. This caricature continued into great scientific missions and engineering projects funded by the West where Western scientists go to the Maldives on missions of scientific and engineering projects with lots of money and many scientists who will need honeymoon water villa resorts to stay in while they do their job.

Two of these projects are described below. One is a an engineering project to “protect the islands from powerful waves” and the other is a curious MIT project to “collaborate with natural forces of the ocean” that tend to build sandbars and to guide them to make them grow islands and re-build beaches. Both of these engineering projects worked with local NGOs and with the government both bringing enormous wealth and international exposure to the tiny country with so many luxurious honeymoon water villas to rent at $200 per night. The Maldives needs international exposure and a climate victim image to fill these villas with customers. In the relevant bibliography provided below, kindly take note of the papers by Paul Kench [LINK] that reveal a paleo history of the Maldives in which it has undergone higher sea levels than the level that climate science fears. 

CONCLUSION: Climate science had set out to use the Maldives to sell climate change in a cat and mouse game but instead got used by the Maldivians to sell honeymoon water villas at $200 per night and to bring in $millions in international assistance for climate adaptation.

PART-2: A BOOMING TOURISM ECONOMY IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

2020: TTM Report: Maldives Tourism Industry Forecast 2023: Key Findings:
• Total tourist arrivals to reach 2.5 million by 2023
• Indian market to overtake Chinese market by 2021
• Indian and Chinese market to have 30% market share by 2023
• Europe to remain the largest market by region
• Average Daily Rate and Average Stay to fall with increase in Asian markets
• Operating bed capacity to increase by average 8%

The tourism industry is the largest economic sector in the Maldives. It plays a significant role in contributing towards the economic growth, earning foreign exchanges and creates employment opportunities in the tertiary sector. Our team at TTM decided to look into a brief overview into the Maldives tourism industry for the year 2019, including the key markets and the highlights along with the future forecast of the demand and supply of the industry for the next 4 years. Current Status: According to the statistics by the Ministry of Tourism, 2019 proved to be one of the most successful years with tourism reaching a target of the 1.5 millionth tourist arriving on November 24th, Maldives welcomed a record amount of 1,702,831 tourists. This was a 14.7% increase compared to 2018. After slowing in 2018, tourist arrivals rebounded during the first half of 2019 and continued to do so throughout the year. Europe has been the strongest region for the Maldives for the past few years and even in 2019. In 2019 tourist arrivals from Europe (49%) was with a 14.8% increase and 833,904 tourists. The second strongest performance was from Asia and the Pacific (41.4%). There were 705,117 tourists from this region in the year. This is a 13.5% increase compared to 2018. This was followed by American countries (5%) with 84,793 tourists, Middle East (3.5%) with 60,003 tourists and Africa with 18, 698 tourists.
Looking at the top 10 country-wise markets, though China market has continued to be in the top, after no increase in the growth for the past 3 years, the market had a 0.3% increase in 2019. Indian market, which was at 5th place in 2018 with 66,955 tourists, jumped to the 2nd position with a whopping 166,030 tourist arrivals in 2019 and India showed the highest growth rate with 83.5% in 2019. India is now one of the fastest growing outbound tourism markets in the world, second only to China. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. Maldives being geographically closer to the Indian market contributes to this growth. In addition to this, the emergence of more airlines and routes has increased the availability of options for the Indian travelers. Indian budget carriers such as GoAir, Spice Jet and Indigo have launched direct connections between Male and important Indian cities such as New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. The Germany and USA market also continued to show increase as the previous years while other markets Italy, UK, Russia, France, Japan and Australia showed a steady increase. Looking into the supply, with over 20 new resorts opened in 2019, there were 927 tourist centres registered by the end of 2019. Traditionally, the tourist centres mainly compromised of the resorts, however with the emergence of local island tourism in 2017, guesthouses have opened new options for even the budget travelers. Every year Maldives has witness over 1000 new operating bed capacity from guesthouses itself. By the end of 2019, the tourist centres include 152 resorts, 12 hotels, 607 guesthouses and 156 safaris. All this combined gave an accumulated operating bed capacity of 49, 924. This was a 13.9% growth in the operating bed capacity for 2019 compared to 2018. NOTE: Maldives 2019: Population=540,000,  Per capita GDP=$15,563 USD. Compare with Sri Lanka $3,947 USD, India $2,015 USD).

PART-3:  LIST OF MALDIVES CLIMATE CHANGE ALARMS

THE ACADEMIC AGENTPROVIDES A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MALDIVES SEA LEVEL RISE ALARM THAT HAS BEEN PERPETRATED BY CLIMATE SCIENCE SINCE 1990.

2010: WORLD BANK:  CLIMATE CHANGE IS AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT FOR THE MALDIVES BECAUSE FUTURE SEA LEVEL RISE OF 10 TO 100 CENTIMETERS WILL CAUSE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY TO BE SUBMERGED. The country’s coral reefs, which protect it from storm surges and serve attract tourists to its tourism economy, are in danger of being damaged or destroyed by poorly handled waste disposal methods. Rising sea temperatures also threaten the coral reefs and cause bleaching and death, with the most severe damage in areas that are stressed by pollutants, or damaged by physical disturbance. Vulnerability to climate change hazards has been magnified by damage to coral reefs which has in turn impaired their protective function, thus a negative cycle of impact. Its geography makes the Maldives vulnerable to climate change. Being land scarce and low lying, the country is exposed to damage caused by inundation, extreme winds, and flooding from storms. With the melting of polar ice caps, the Maldives is also exposed to the risks of sea-level rise. Future sea level is projected to rise within the range of 10 to 100 centimeters by the year 2100, which means the entire country could be submerged in the worst-case scenario. The World Bank is working with the Government to build capacity and knowledge on environmental issues. President Nasheed raised awareness of the disaster facing the Maldives by holding a cabinet meeting underwater where they signed a communiqué calling on all nations to cut their global emissions and called for the formation of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. The role of the World Bank is to promote responsible stewardship of global public goodsThe coral reefs of Maldives stand as the first line of defense against storms and sea-level rise. Poor solid waste management remains the most visible threat to the reefs.

2011&2012: SOVACOOL: Benjamin K. Sovacool, Climatic Change volume 114, (2012):
This essay assesses the “Integrating Climate Change Risks into Resilient Island Planning in the Maldives” Program, or ICCR, a four-year $9.3 million adaptation project supported by the Least Developed Countries Fund, Maldivian Government and the United Nations Development Program. The essay elaborates on the types of challenges that arise as a low-income country tries to utilize international development assistance to adapt to climate change. Based primarily on a series of semi-structured research interviews with Maldivian experts, discussed benefits to the ICCR include improving physical resilience by deploying “soft” infrastructure, institutional resilience by training policymakers, and community resilience by strengthening assets. Challenges include ensuring that adaptation efforts are sufficient to reduce vulnerability, lack of coordination, and the values and attitudes of business and community leaders.

2012: UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS: THE MALDIVES, THE FLATTEST COUNTRY ON EARTH, FACES THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE MAJORITY OF ITS LAND AREA WILL BE UNDER WATER BY 2100 BECAUSE OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE SEA LEVEL RISE. The expected impacts: periodic flooding fro storm surge, scarcity of freshwater and drinking water. A sea level rise of 0.5 meters by 2100, expected for a low emission scenario, will cause the Maldives to lose 77% of the land to the sea and a rise of 1 meter by 2100 will cause the whole of the Maldives to be inundated by 2085. Many adaptation strategies are being proposed with moving to drier ground also being considered.

2016: WIKIPEDIA: Climate change severely threatens the existence of the Maldives as well as diminishing existing human capabilities on these islands. According to the World Bank, with “future sea levels projected to increase in the range of 10 to 100 CM by 2100, the entire country could be submerged“. president Gayoom, says “to the three hundred thousand inhabitants of the Maldives none of these threats compare, in magnitude and likelihood, to global climate change and consequent sea level rise.” Most people there live on small, flat, densely populated atolls that are threatened by violent storms or even the slightest sea level rise. The capital Malé is especially threatened because it is on a small, flat, extremely densely populated atoll that is surrounded by sea walls, and other barriers to protect against storms. This means the Malé atoll cannot change shape in response to rising sea levels and is increasingly reliant on expensive engineering solutions. To prepare for climate change and the sea level rise, the government has prepared a comprehensive National Adaptation Program of Action, that attempts to critically consider and alleviate many of the serious threats the Maldives faces. The Maldives have already implemented several measures to combat sea level rise including building a wall around the capital of Malé and refurbishing local infrastructure, particularly ports. The Maldives has a goal of achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2020. Former environment minister Mohamed Aslam, says “If Maldives can do it, you can do it. It’s important to us not just to talk but to lead by example“.

2017: NEW SCIENTIST: On front line of climate change, the Maldives fights rising seas. White sand circles picked out by the sun in sparkling blue seas. The Maldives is a tropical paradise spread over almost 1200 islands as it faces rising sea levels and bleaching coral reefs that made it a poster child for climate change. Former PM Nasheed had proposed buying land elsewhere so the Maldivians can relocate but the new leader Yameen has plans to stay put and resist the rising seas with geoengineering projects by renting out islands and investing in fortification and building new islands. One of these new islands is named the City of Hope is being built on an artificial island. A state owned company pumps sand from surrounding atolls onto shallow reefs that surround the lagoon and then fortifies the new island with walls 3 metres high, higher than the highest natural island at only 2.5 metres above the sea. When finished in 2023 it will accommodate 130,000 people. Eight such islands have already been built, and three more are planned. According to the president building new islands high enough to withstand sea level rise is the way to keep the Maldivians save and all he needs is money. As a way to raise money the Maldives plans to lease an atoll of 23 islands to Saudi Arabia for 99 years for $10 billion after relocating the 4,000 inhabitants. Saudi Arabia wants to secure its oil trade routes to China and perhaps tourism and maritime commerce as well. The Maldives government is planning for 50 more tourist resorts by 2018. Environmentalists are concerned about the pace of artificial island development saying that coral islands can grow naturally as seas rise as seen in Tuvalu (Paul Kench [LINK] ) and satellite images show that some islands are growing. Those that are shrinking are doing so due to damage from shipping. And explosions meant for clearing the way for boats through the reefs are loosening the sand that is then carried away by storms, waves and streams to the deep waters. Another problem with reclamation is that by pumping sand onto the reefs, surrounding corals become covered too and die out. Maldivian environmentalists ar not happy with all this geo-engineering and seek a sustainable approach “with as little damage as possible although nothing has been done about the huge amount of trash and plastic on the beaches. The New Scientist trip to the Maldives for this story was paid for by the Maldives Government. 

2018: THE CONVERSATION : Maldives: climate change could actually help coral islands rise again – but they’re still at risk: With most of the islands in the Maldives just a metre or so above the sea level, the world’s lowest country may drown beneath rising sea levels by the end of the century. For tourists, this ranks the Maldives as a destination to visit before it disappears. For the 400,000 people who live on the islands, things are rather more serious: rising sea levels could render them climate change refugees. But, what if the land could build vertically as sea level rises? In our research published in Geophysical Research Letters, we studied five reef islands in the southern Maldives and found that they were built when sea levels were higher than they are today. The whole country is made up of small islands poking up from a submerged reef. The Maldives is a nation of around 1,200 coral reef islands. Reef islands are unique land forms in that they are formed entirely of sediments produced by organisms such as corals, molluscs and gastropods that live on coral reefs and in the surrounding waters. This reliance makes  reef islands vulnerable to climate change, particularly to sea level rise. This is of particular concern for the Maldives, built entirely on reef islands with nowhere to go.
To improve predictions of how reef islands may respond to climate change, it is important to understand how they responded to environmental change in the past. We reconstructed the island-building histories of five islands in the southern Maldives and found that the key phase of reef island building occurred between 4,200 and 1,600 years ago, when sea levels were 0.5m higher than they are today and with large wave events caused by distant storms. These waves would have had the power to break pieces of coral off the reef. Over time, these pieces of coral, as well as sand from the the reef, built up to form the islands. Climate change will mean rising sea levels and even stronger large wave events. It may therefore recreate conditions that are conducive to reef island building, which may enable these islands to keep growing vertically. This would make the islands more resilient and may even be necessary simply to keep pace with rising sea levels. Our work complements other studies which are showing that islands are in fact dynamic landforms that are able to move and adjust in response to environmental change. All this should make reef islands in the Maldives more physically resilient. However, large waves can make islands less habitable for humans. Reef island nations will have to develop infrastructure that can withstand powerful waves. However, coral reefs are also threatened by climate change, not just by rising sea levels, but also by warmer and more acidic oceans. Under climate change, we may therefore end up in an odd situation where we have the perfect conditions to build coral reef islands, but an absence of any building materials.

2020: MIT:  Environment-MIT-Oceanography: The Maldives is facing an existential threat as a result of a rising sea level induced by global climate change. MIT researchers are testing ways of harnessing nature’s forces to help maintain and rebuild threatened islands and coastlines. Some suggest building barrier walls, dredging coastlines to rebuild beaches, or building floating cities to escape the inevitable, but the search for better approaches continues. In the Maldives, an MIT team intends to combat sea-level rise by redirecting natural sand movement. Together with collaborators in the Maldives, researchers from MIT are designing, testing, building, and deploying submersible devices that, based simply on their geometry in relationship to the ocean waves and currents, promote sand accumulation in specific areas. The MIT group was invited by Invena, a group in the Maldives who had seen the researchers’ work on self-assembly and self-organization and wanted to collaborate on solutions to address sea-level rise. The resulting project has now shown promising initial results, with a foot and a half of localized sand accumulation deposited in just four months. It was incredible to see the size of a sandbar that had just formed, about 100 meters long and 20 meters wide, and the quantity of sand, over 1 meter deep, that was built completely on its own, in just a matter of months. We came to understand that these sandbars appear and disappear at different times of the year based on the forces of the ocean and underwater bathymetry.
Local grow vegetation to expand their islands or morph their shape, a natural approach to growing land mass through sand self-organization instead  of dredging sand from the deep ocean, also used for island reclamation. In the 3 months that it takes to dredge an island, we watched three different sandbars form. The amount of energy, time, money, labor, and destruction of the marine environment that is caused by dredging would be unnecessary if we could tap into the natural phenomenon of sandbar formation. By collaborating with the natural forces of the ocean we can promote the self-organization of sand structures to grow islands and rebuild beaches. Together with our local collaborators, we  deploy submersible devices that, based simply on their geometry in relationship to the ocean waves and currents, promote sand accumulation in specific areas. Our experiments are making the fabrication and installation process as simple and scalable as possible. The simplest mechanism that we are testing is a ramp-like geometry that sits on the ocean floor and rises vertically to the surface of the water. The water flows over the top of the ramp and creates turbulence on the other side, mixing the sand and water and then creates sediment transport. The sand begins to accumulate on the backside of the ramp. Our goal is to create adaptable versions of these geometries which can be easily moved, reoriented, or deployed whenever seasons change or storms are increasing. We installed our first field experiment in February 2019 and our second  in October 2019. The satellite images and drone footage give us a visual indication of sand accumulation. We have a series of coordinates that we send to our collaborators in the Maldives who then sail out to those coordinates and take depth measurements. We are now seeing roughly a half meter of new sand accumulation over an area of approximately 20 meters by 30 meters, since November. That is about 300 cubic meters of sand accumulation, in roughly four months. This is part of an initiative where we aim to continue to test these approaches in the Maldives. We plan to go back to the Maldives for two more field installations. Our long-term goal is to create a system of submersible structures that can adapt to the dynamic weather conditions to naturally grow and rebuild coastlines.

PART-4: THE RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Kench, Paul S., Roger F. McLean, and Scott L. Nichol. “New model of reef-island evolution: Maldives, Indian Ocean.” Geology 33.2 (2005): 145-148. A new model of reef-island evolution, based on detailed morphostratigraphic analysis and radiometric dating of three islands in South Maalhosmadulu Atoll, Maldives, is presented. Islands initially formed on a foundation of lagoonal sediments between 5500 and 4500 yr B.P. when the reef surface was as much as 2.5 m below modern sea level. Islands accumulated rapidly during the following 1500 yr, effectively reaching their current dimensions by 4000 yr B.P. Since then the high circum-island peripheral ridge has been subject to seasonal and longer-term shoreline changes, while the outer reef has grown upward, reducing the energy window and confining the islands. This new model has far-reaching implications for island stability during a period of global warming and raised sea level, which will partially reactivate the energy window, although it is not expected to inhibit upward reef growth or compromise island stability.
  2. Gischler, Eberhard, J. Harold Hudson, and Andrzej Pisera. “Late Quaternary reef growth and sea level in the Maldives (Indian Ocean).” Marine Geology 250.1-2 (2008): 104-113.  Based on rotary drilling and radiometric and U-series dating, we present the first comprehensive data on Holocene reef anatomy and sea-level rise as well as nature and age of underlying Pleistocene limestone in the Maldives. Holocene reefs in Rasdhoo Atoll, central Maldives, are composed of four facies including (1) robust-branching coral facies, (2) coralline algal facies, (3) domal coral facies, and (4) detrital sand and rubble facies. Branching coral and coralline algal facies predominate the marginal reefs and domal corals and detrital facies preferentially occur in a lagoon reef. In addition, microbialite crusts are found in lower core sections of marginal reefs. Microbialites formed during the early Holocene in reef cavities. Holocene reef thickness ranges from 14.5 m to > 22 m. Reef growth started as early as 8.5 kyr BP. Marginal reefs accreted in the keep-up mode with rates of > 15 m/kyr. Rate of sea-level rise significantly slowed down from 7–6 kyr BP and subsequently gradually rose with rates < 1 m/kyr. The lagoon reef accreted in the catch-up mode with rates of around 4 m/kyr. Even though no indications of a higher than present sea level were found during this study, it is not entirely clear from the data whether the sea gradually rose to or exceeded present level in the late Holocene. Submarine cementation in Holocene reefs studied is rather weak, presumably as a consequence of high accretion-rates, i.e., short time available for consolidation. Pleistocene coral grainstone was encountered in one core at 14.5 m below present level and three U-series dates indicate deposition during marine isotope stage 5e ca. 135 kyr BP.
  3. Kench, P. S., et al. “Holocene reef growth in the Maldives: evidence of a mid-Holocene sea-level highstand in the central Indian Ocean.” Geology 37.5 (2009): 455-458.  Radiometrically calibrated ages from three reef cores are used to develop a Holocene reef growth chronostratigraphy and sea-level history in the Maldives, central Indian Ocean. Last interglacial reef (U-series age 122 ± 7 ka) was encountered at 14.1 m below mean sea level. An age of ca. 8100 calibrated (cal) yr B.P. immediately overlying this Pleistocene surface records the initiation of Holocene reef growth. Massive in situ corals occur throughout the cores and the consistency of the three age-depth plots indicate that the reef grew steadily between 8100 and 6500 cal yr B.P., and at a decreasing rate for the next 2 k.y. The position of modern sea level was first achieved ca. 4500 cal yr B.P. and sea level reached at least 0.50 ± 1 m higher from 4000 to 2100 cal yr B.P. before falling to present level. Emergent fossil microatolls provide evidence of this higher sea level. Results are significant to two long-standing issues relating to Maldivian sealevel history. First, the ambiguity of a late Holocene highstand has been resolved with clear evidence of its existence reported here. Second, the uncertainty of the regional pattern of sea-level change in the central Indian Ocean has been clarified, the Maldivian results broadly agreeing with island records in the eastern, rather than western Indian Ocean. Our results provide the first field evidence confirming geophysical model projections of a highstand 4–2 k.y. ago in the central Indian Ocean, though the observed level (+0.50 ± 0.1 m) is lower than that projected.
  4. \Khan, Tariq Masood Ali, et al. “Relative sea level changes in Maldives and vulnerability of land due to abnormal coastal inundation.” Marine Geodesy 25.1-2 (2010): 133-143.  Oceanic Islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have extremely small land areas, usually less than 500 km2, with maximum height about 4 m above sea level. The Republic of Maldives is an independent island nation in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka which stretches vertically in the Indian Ocean from 07° 06’N – 0° 42’S. The land area of this island country is about 300 km2, and none of Maldives’ 1190 islands has an elevation more than 3 m above sea level. In fact the Maldives has the distinction of being the flattest country on earth, making it extremely vulnerable to the effects of global warming. Of the south Asian countries, the Maldives is the most vulnerable nation, facing severe consequences as a result of global warming and sea level rise (SLR). Because of their obvious vulnerability to SLR, the Government of Maldives is very much concerned about climate change. As global warming and the related SLR is an important integrated environmental issue, the need of the hour is to monitor and assess these changes. The present article deals mainly with the analysis of the tidal and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) data observed at Male and Gan stations along the Maldives coast in the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively. The objective of the analysis is to study the trends of these parameters. Trend analysis is also performed on the corresponding air temperature data of both stations. The results show that Maldives coastal sea level is rising in the same way (rising trend) as the global sea level. The mean tidal level at Male has shown an increasing trend of about 4.1 mm/year.Similarly at Gan, near the equator,it has registered a positive trend of about 3.9 mm/year.Sea level variations are the manifestations of various changes that are taking place in the Ocean-Atmosphere system. Therefore, the variations in SST and air temperature are intimately linked to sea level rise. It is found that SST and air temperature have also registered an increasing trend at both stations. The evidence of rising trends suggest that careful future monitoring of these parameters is very much required. Tropical cyclones normally do not affect the Maldives coast. However, due to its isolated location, the long fetches in association with swells generated by storms, that originated in the far south have resulted in flooding. Thus the rising rate of sea level with high waves and flat topography have increased the risk of flooding and increased the rate of erosion and alteration of beaches.
  5. Becken, Susanne, J. O. H. N. Hay, and S. T. E. P. H. E. N. Espiner. “The risk of climate change for tourism in the Maldives.” Island tourism: Sustainable perspectives 8 (2011): 72bandicam 2020-05-16 12-58-23-209
  6. Sovacool, Benjamin K. “Expert views of climate change adaptation in the Maldives.” Climatic Change 114.2 (2012): 295-300. This essay assesses the “Integrating Climate Change Risks into Resilient Island Planning in the Maldives” Program, or ICCR, a four-year $9.3 million adaptation project supported by the Least Developed Countries Fund, Maldivian Government and the United Nations Development Program. The essay elaborates on the types of challenges that arise as a low-income country tries to utilize international development assistance to adapt to climate change. Based primarily on a series of semi-structured research interviews with Maldivian experts, discussed benefits to the ICCR include improving physical resilience by deploying “soft” infrastructure, institutional resilience by training policymakers, and community resilience by strengthening assets. Challenges include ensuring that adaptation efforts are sufficient to reduce vulnerability, lack of coordination, and the values and attitudes of business and community leaders.

MAL-4

Sheep: ภาพ ภาพสต็อกและเวกเตอร์ | Shutterstock

THE GREAT THING ABOUT SHEEP IS THAT THEY DON’T HAVE ANY CLIMATE DENIERS AMONG THEM. SO PURE SO GOOD. IF ONLY HUMANS COULD BE LIKE THEM WE COULD TAKE CLIMATE ACTION AND SAVE THE PLANET. OH WELL!

 

bandicam 2020-05-11 16-09-51-683

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF HORTON ETAL 2020 [LINK] CITED BELOW WHERE THE AUTHORS COMPARED A SURVEY OF MEMBERS OF THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY (SOMOSC) IN 2020 WITH A SOMOSC IN 2015 ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE SEA LEVEL RISE PROJECTIONS. THESE FINDINGS ARE ALSO DESCRIBED IN A SCIENCE ALERT ARTICLE OF 11 MAY 2020 [LINK] . SIMILAR FINDINGS ARE ALSO REPORTED IN A 2018 PAPER ON SEA LEVEL RISE BY DANA NUCCITELLI [LINK] 

 

PART-1: CITATIONS AND ABSTRACTS OF THE TWO RESEARCH PAPERS

Horton, B.P., Khan, N.S., Cahill, N. et al. Estimating global mean sea-level rise and its uncertainties by 2100 and 2300 from an expert survey. npj Climate Atmospheric Science 3, 18 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41612-020-0121-5: Abstract: Sea-level rise projections and knowledge of their uncertainties are vital to make informed mitigation and adaptation decisions. To elicit projections from members of the scientific community regarding future global mean sea-level (GMSL) rise, we repeated a survey originally conducted five years ago. Under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 2.6, 106 experts projected a likely (central 66% probability) GMSL rise of 0.30–0.65 m by 2100, and 0.54–2.15 m by 2300, relative to 1986–2005. Under RCP 8.5, the same experts projected a likely GMSL rise of 0.63–1.32 m by 2100, and 1.67–5.61 m by 2300. Expert projections for 2100 are similar to those from the original survey, although the projection for 2300 has extended tails and is higher than the original survey. Experts give a likelihood of 42% (original survey) and 45% (current survey) that under the high-emissions scenario GMSL rise will exceed the upper bound (0.98 m) of the likely range estimated by the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is considered to have an exceedance likelihood of 17%. Responses to open-ended questions suggest that the increases in upper-end estimates and uncertainties arose from recent influential studies about the impact of marine ice cliff instability on the meltwater contribution to GMSL rise from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. 

It is noted that in the Horton etal 2020 paper cited above, though the relatively unknown Benjamin Horton of the Asian School of the Environment is listed as lead author, the full list of authors, “Benjamin P. Horton, Nicole S. Khan, Niamh Cahill, Janice S. H. Lee, Timothy A. Shaw, Andra J. Garner, Andrew C. Kemp, Simon E. Engelhart & Stefan Rahmstorf ” includes Stefan Rahmstorf, a significant and mainline figure in climate science particularly so in climate activism and particularly so in terms of his special interest in the sea level rise issue. An analysis of the findings of this paper requires the consideration that Stefan is quite possibly the significant force behind its content. [RELATED POST ON ACTIVISM]

 

THE DANA NUCCITELLI PAPER:

Nuccitelli, Dana, “How much and how fast will global sea level rise?, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Volume 74 Issue 3, March 4, 2018. The basic physics of how global warming contributes to sea-level rise has long been understood, but new research gives us a clearer picture of what to expect. Prior to the 1990s, most sea-level rise was attributed to melting glaciers and the thermal expansion of warming ocean waters. However, ice sheets such as those covering Greenland and Antarctica have also begun to melt and play a significant role in raising ocean levels. The author reviews the results of a number of recent studies. Two of them conclude that the seas could rise by 1M or more by the year 2100, and one argued that 1.524M or more by 2100 is a possibility. Exactly what happens, and when, will be influenced by the degree to which humans reduce carbon emissions, and the uncertain dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheet. Considerable sea-level rise will occur as a consequence of the global warming humans have already caused.

dana

 

 

PART-2: SUMMARY OF THE SCIENCE ALERT ARTICLE [LINK] AND HORTON ETAL

Latest Estimates on Sea Level Rise by 2100 Are Worse Than We Thought
MARLOWE HOOD, AFP11 MAY 2020. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON HORTON ETAL 2020Oceans are likely to rise as much as 1.3 metres by 2100 if Earth’s surface warms another 3.5 degrees Celsius. By 2300, ice sheets covering West Antarctica and Greenland will have shed trillions of tonnes in mass. Sea levels could go up by more than 5M redrawing the planet’s coastlines according to a survey of 100 experts. About 10% of the world’s population, or 770 million people, today live less than five metres above the high tide line. Even if cap warming below 2C, the sea level could go up 2M by 2300. Earth’s average surface temperature has risen just over 1 °C since the pre-industrial era. According co-author Stefan Rahmstorf, it is clear now that previous sea-level rise estimates have been too low. The new projections for both the 2100 and 2300 horizons are significantly higher than those from the IPCC because the IPCC tends to be cautious and conservative, which is why it had to correct itself upwards several times, according to Rahmstorf. Sea-level projections in the IPCC’s 2014 Report were 60 percent above those in the previous report. While less visible than climate-enhanced hurricanes or persistent drought, sea level rise may ultimately prove the most devastating of global warming impacts. The extra centimetres of ocean water make storm surges from stronger and tropical cyclones more deadly. Across the 20th century, sea level rise was caused mainly by melting glaciers and the expansion of ocean water as it warms. But over the last two decades the main driver has become the melting and disintegrating of Earth’s two ice sheets. Greenland and West Antarctica are shedding at least six times more ice today than during the 1990s. From 1992 through 2017 they lost some 6.4 trillion tonnes in mass. Over the last decade, the sea level has gone up about 4 mm per year. By the 22nd century the waterline could rise ten times faster, even under an optimistic greenhouse gas emissions scenario. The Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets hold enough frozen water to lift oceans about 13 metres. East Antarctica, which is more stable, holds another 50 metres’ worth.

 

 

PART-3: CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON HORTON ETAL & SCIENCE ALERT:

Sea level rise projections in the survey of experts for 2100 and 2300 under emissions scenarios RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 as reported are tabulated below in three tables. From the point of view of statistics, the essential information in forecasts of variables containing an uncertainty is the mean and the variance. However, in this case neither the mean nor the variance is provided and instead, for each of the four conditions, namely, forecasts for 2100 and 2300 for RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, two different confidence intervals are provided at 66% and 90%. The mean and variance inferred from these data are not consistent as seen in Table 1 and Table 2 below. The average of these values is therefore used and these are displayed in Table 3 below.

The net information content of this survey appears in Table 3.  It shows statistical mean forecasts for 2100 of  0.495M and 1,51M for 2100 and 2300 respectively under RCP2.6 and 1.013M and 3.998M for 2100 and 2300 respectively under RCP8.5. If the 106 expert opinions are independent, then these mean forecasts are statistically significant at α=0.05.

TABLE-1: 66% CONFIDENCE INTERVAL SLR-TABLE

TABLE 2: 90% CONFIDENCE INTERVALNINETYPERCENT

TABLE 3: AVERAGE INFERRED MEAN AND STANDARD DEVIATIONAVERAGE-SLR

A particular feature of the statistical significance found in the t-tests above is that it was greatly aided by the large sample size in the sample of experts that participated in the survey of experts. This analysis is therefore based on the important assumption that the 106 opinions were independent. If there is any evidence that these experts were in communication about this matter prior to the survey or that the opinion of any of these experts was influenced by the opinions of fellow experts then these data have no interpretation.

The information content of this opinion survey is that the mean values in Table 3 above tells us what the experts think will happen and the uncertainty, expressed in the survey instrument as 66% and 90% confidence intervals, and in Table 3 above as standard deviation (STDEV), tells us how unsure the experts are about their forecast. The larger the confidence intervals, the larger the variance, and the larger the variance, the greater the uncertainty, and the greater the uncertainty the less they know, such that in the limit, an infinite confidence interval contains no information and a fixed point forecast with no uncertainty contains perfect information.

As explained in a related post on the statistics of confidence intervals [LINK] , variance, standard deviation, and confidence intervals are different statistical measures of the same thing and that is the uncertainty in the estimation of the mean. Therefore, in both statistics and in information theory, the greater the variance, the larger the confidence interval, and the larger the confidence interval, the less we know. However, these variables have a unique interpretation in climate science. There, the expression of uncertainty (lack of information) in terms of large confidence intervals appears to climate science as a forecast of more extreme values that foretell even greater harm from climate change. This oddity of statistics in climate science is also discussed in a post on climate activism  [LINK] . This is the the likely explanation for the climate science preference for expressing variance as confidence intervals and the interpretation of the high end of the confidence intervals as the kind of harm we must avoid by taking climate action.

 

 

PART 4: CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON NUCCITELLI  2018

Instead of a survey of experts, the Nuccitelli paper takes a survey of “a number of recent studies” of which three had an opinion on sea level rise. Two of these studies found that sea levels could rise 1.0 meter “or more” by the year 2100. No emission scenario is mentioned. The third study said that a sea level rise of 1.524 meters or more by the year 2100 was a possibility“. From these data the author concludes that “exactly what happens (in terms of sea level rise) will depend on how diligent we are in taking climate action to reduce fossil fuel emissions. There is not much useful information in this paper except the odd note that prior to the 1990s climate scientists had thought that sea level rise comes exclusively from melting glaciers and thermal expansion of seawater but that at present (2018), scientists are also worried about sea level rise from melting ice sheets. It seems odd for a climate scientist to say that climate scientists were not aware in the 1990s that ice sheets could suffer mass loss and contribute to sea level rise given the very first sentence of the paper where it says that “The basic physics of how global warming contributes to sea-level rise has long been understood”. This odd argument that sea level rise from melting ice sheets is a new chapter in climate science not previously understood is also found in the Science Alert article.

 

IN CONCLUSION, we find in our analysis of the sea level rise forecasts presented in the Horton 2020 paper that the interpretation of greater uncertainty expressed as larger confidence intervals and interpreted as greater evidence of extreme sea level rise is statistically flawed. Greater uncertainty does not imply a greater importance of taking climate action. The greater the uncertainty the less we know and in the case of extreme uncertainty, we don’t really know and it is not possible to demand costly climate action by claiming ignorance. A large statistical uncertainty in the data means we don’t have enough information to demand climate action but in this paper and in climate science in general, uncertainty has a perverse interpretation such that because the greater the uncertainty the larger the confidence interval, the extreme values seen in that interval are then interpreted as  a greater urgency of climate action. The less we know the scarier it gets and the greater the need for climate action. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF AN ASSESSMENT OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE BY THE ECONOMIST MAY 9 2020 [LINK] WITH THE TITLE:

HUMANITY’S IMMENSE IMPACT ON EARTH’S CLIMATE AND CARBON CYCLE: MUCH NEEDS TO BE DONE FOR THE DAMAGE TO BE REVERSED 

THE FULL TEXT OF THE ARTICLE APPEARS BELOW AT THE END OF THIS POST. 

 

 

PART-1: THE CONTENT: WHAT THE ARTICLE SAYS

  1. The article says that 85% of our energy of our industrial economy comes from fossil fuels namely petroleum 34%, coal 27%, and natural gas 24% and that the other 15% comes from RENEWABLE sources namely nuclear, hydro, and “other”).
  2. In this way, the industrial economy causes 9.5 gigatons of carbon per year to be taken from under the ground and added to the atmosphere.
  3. The implication of the statement in item 2 above is that all of our the carbon in our fossil fuel emissions ends up in the atmosphere and thereby increases atmospheric CO2 by 9.5 gigatons per year.
  4. Through its effects on the plants, animals and microbes which make up the biosphere, on the climate and on the oceans, this industrial flow of carbon links the Earth’s distant geological past to its future over millennia to come.
  5. This unnatural man made oddity that connects the past of the planet to its future is the evidence that with their Industrial Economy, the humans have a power over nature and the planet itself. This condition is described as a new geological epoch to be called the Anthropocene in which humans are the dominant geological force of the planet. A critical evaluation of the Anthropocene argument is presented in a related post [LINK] where the relative insignificance of humans on a planetary scale is presented.
  6. Nature’s carbon cycle is in “dynamic equilibrium” where carbon flows to and from the atmosphere are balanced so that even though life on earth produces more carbon dioxide than the industrial economy, there is no accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere and therefore no rise in atmospheric CO2 and no natural global warming because respiration is balanced by photosynthesis. The injection of fossil fuel CO2 into the carbon cycle causes an unnatural perturbation of the carbon cycle with carbon taken from fossil fuels that is millions of years old and not part of the current account of the carbon cycle. This injection of EXTERNAL carbon into the carbon cycle is an unnatural perturbation of the carbon cycle that imposes an imbalance and causes atmospheric CO2 to rise and and that in turn causes anthropogenic global warming or AGW by way of the greenhouse effect of CO2.
  7. The carbon cycle has been intensified by fossil fuel emissions and a side effect of this intensification is a rise in the flow of CO2 to the ocean and that has caused sea water to become more acidic. The process of ocean acidification will probably be very damaging to some ocean ecosystems including coral reefs. Ocean acidification is as frightening as climate change.
  8. The Economist’s analysis ends with a wandering and incoherent rant about various earth science engineering and chemical engineering ideas for humans to remove  carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and control atmospheric CO2 concentration now that we are in the Anthropocene and humans are in control of the planet but this pie in the sky discussion goes nowhere and the author thus concedes that maybe it isn’t the Anthropocene after all for if it were humans would be able to engineer atmospheric CO2 concentration to meet the “Paris Agreement targets”. The confusion of the authors about the inability of the Anthropocene masters of the planet to control atmospheric CO2 concentration underscores arguments presented in a related post that humans are not in control of the planet and are in fact a rather insignificant feature of it [LINK]

 

 

 

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE CONTENT

  1. The content lists nuclear, hydro, and “other” as renewable energy sources. This assessment is grossly at odds with that of mainstream climate science where the portfolio of renewable energy consists entirely of what must be implied in the “other‘ classification of the Economist, namely wind, solar, biomass, and bio-fuel. No mention is made in the call for renewables by climate science, of nuclear or hydro with the possible exception of pumped hydro as a battery to store wind and solar energy.
  2. It is claimed in the content that fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy are 9.5 gigatons per year of carbon and that in this way, the industrial economy transfers 9.5 gigatons of carbon from under the ground to the atmosphere where it accumulates and causes atmospheric CO2 to rise. This is not what climate science says. What we find in climate science is that, in the context of an annual accounting of the carbon cycle, it is estimated that about half the carbon in fossil fuels goes to the atmosphere, the so called “airborne fraction“, and increases atmospheric CO2 concentration; and that the other half goes to other carbon cycle sinks, mostly photosynthesis and the ocean.
  3. It is noted in a related post [LINK] that the the determination of the “airborne fraction” as 50% derives from circular reasoning and that in the context of large uncertainties in unmeasurable carbon cycle flows that are an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions, it is not possible to detect the presence of fossil fuel emissions. In yet another related post [LINK] , we show that the correlation between emissions and changes in atmospheric composition implied by the airborne fraction assumption in climate science is not found in the data. Therefore, in essence, we don’t have the evidence we need to support the assumed causation of observed changes in atmospheric composition by fossil fuel emissions.
  4. The content says that the fossil fuel emissions of man’s industrial economy links the distant geological past of fossil fuels to the present and to a distant future yet to come for millennia and that this linkage is unnatural and dangerous for both nature and for man himself. This assessment is grossly inconsistent with how nature works. All of nature is connected to a distant past and will continue to be connected indefinitely into the future. The geological and biological history of the earth is a sequence of cause and effect for billions of years with the geology and the biology also connected as it was the geology that gave us the carbon from the mantle from which carbon lifeforms came about and gradually evolved into a diverse portfolio of life on earth of which humans are a part. For example, the geological and biological evolution of the planet is profoundly connected to events like the End Triassic plate tectonics extinction event (ETE [LINK] ) such that the world that we live in now can be considered to be a creation of the ETE. To evaluate human impacts on nature in the same way is a gross over-estimation of the role of humans by self centered and egotistical humans.
  5. The further claim in the content, that industrial economy humans and their fossil fuel emissions are now the primary geological force of nature in control of the planet in a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, is discussed in some detail in a related post [LINK] . There it is shown that the crust of the planet is where we have things like atmosphere and oceans and climate, and life on earth, and the humans, and the industrial economy of the humans spewing fossil fuel emissions. However, in terms of total mass, the crust of the planet is an insignificant portion of the planet. Also, it is shown that life on earth is an insignificant portion of the crust; and that humans are an insignificant portion of life on earth. Therefore, humans are insignificant on a planetary scale. The assessment of their alarming planetary impact is likely to be a product of the ego of humans that aspires to a lofty planetary role as the caretaker of nature and of the planet itself perhaps soon to be extended to the solar system by way of the space age of human technology.
  6. The assessment that carbon in fossil fuel emissions was removed from the atmosphere millions of years ago and that therefore this old carbon is not part of the current account of the balanced carbon cycle and that therefore the injection of this old carbon into the atmosphere causes a perturbation of the carbon cycle, rising atmospheric CO2, and anthropogenic global warming is surely a reasonable theory but  it has no empirical evidence. First, carbon cycle flows are an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions and their flow cannot be directly measured but are inferred. As a result there are large uncertainties in the estimates of their flows. Even the uncertainty in these flows requires guesswork, but the IPCC has estimated and published some of these uncertainties. In a related post it is shown that when these IPCC uncertainties in natural carbon cycle flows are taken into account, the much smaller fossil fuel emission flows cannot be detected [LINK]. Therefore,, we don’t really know what the impact of fossil fuel emissions is on the carbon cycle. The 50% airborne fraction used in climate science is thus an exercise in circular reasoning because it is derived from the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration and then used to explain the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. In yet another related post we show that the correlation between emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration implied by the airborne fraction theory is not found in the data [LINK] . In other words, the relationship between fossil fuel emissions and changes in atmospheric composition is assumed by climate science but with no empirical evidence to support that assumption.
  7. That some of the fossil fuel emissions are ending up in the ocean and causing ocean acidification that is damaging ecosystems may be “frightening” but this relationship between emissions and ocean pH has no empirical evidence and the proposed “frightening” extent of such acidification is not possible given the relatively small amount of carbon available in fossil fuel emissions. In a related post we show that correlation and mass balance analyses do not provide evidence to relate changes in oceanic pH to fossil fuel emissions because the observed changes in the ocean requires much larger carbon flows than what fossil fuel emissions can provide [LINK] . The ocean is a little too big for the relatively tiny amount of fossil fuel emissions to cause a measurable change in its pH.  In other related posts we show that the ocean has access to natural geological sources of carbon in amounts that are orders of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions [LINK] [LINK] .
  8. CONCLUSION: The Economist’s analysis of the climate change issue seems strangely ill informed and poorly thought out having dug themselves a trap with the Anthropocene argument that humans are now in control of the planet but without the controlling ability to control atmospheric CO2 concentration. Perhaps economists are better at economic analysis than they are at climate change analysis. 

 

 

 

 

 

PART-3: FULL TEXT OF THE ARTICLE

It is all, in the end, a matter of chemistry. Carbon dioxide is a form of what chemists call inorganic carbon—a simple molecule that is pretty inert. Fossil fuels are made of carbon in its organic form—often complex molecules that are far from inert. Combustion turns these organic complexities into inorganic simplicities: carbon dioxide, water vapour and heat. Of the energy that people pay for (as opposed to the energy that comes from burning firewood) 34% comes from burning oil, 27% from coal and 24% from gas. Nuclear power, hydroelectric power and all other renewables combined provide just 15%. The result of all this fossil fuel use is a modern industrial economy and an annual flow of 9.5bn tonnes of carbon out of the ground and into the atmosphere.

Through its effects on the plants, animals and microbes which make up the biosphere, on the climate and on the oceans, this industrial flow of carbon links the Earth’s distant geological past to its future over millennia to come. It is the single clearest piece of evidence for the idea that humans now have a power over the Earth as great as the forces of nature, and that their use of this power has opened up a new geological epoch that some scientists call the Anthropocene.

To appreciate the importance of this industrial carbon flow, you have to understand the carbon cycle in which it sits. At first, this context seems reassuring. Almost all microbes, and all animals, get the energy that they need for life from breaking up food made of organic molecules. The flame-free, internalised form of combustion by which they do so, which biologists call respiration, produces much more carbon dioxide than industry does. But respiration has a counterpart: photosynthesis, through which plants, algae and some bacteria use sunlight to turn inorganic carbon back into organic molecules. These new molecules are the raw material from which almost all living things on Earth are made; the sunlight stored within them is the source of all the energy that is released through respiration when those living things are eaten.

The other great flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is similarly balanced. Carbon dioxide dissolved in seawater naturally diffuses into the air above. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves into seawater. Left to themselves, the two flows balance (see diagram).

These flows create a system in what is called dynamic equilibrium; if you push it away from current conditions, it pulls itself back. If atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels go up, the rate at which carbon dioxide dissolves into the “sinks” provided by the oceans and plants will also, all things being equal, go up. This reduces the surplus, restoring the status quo. Until the 19th century this dynamic equilibrium had kept atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels pretty stable for most of the 10,000 years since the end of the most recent ice age.

The plants-and-food branch of the carbon cycle, though, is not quite perfect. Like the little bit left in the corner of the sardine can that you can’t get out, not all the organic matter made through photosynthesis gets used by creatures that respire. Some ends up buried in sediments instead.

The amount of carbon which leaks out of the biosphere this way is tiny compared with the flow returned to the atmosphere. But the leak has gone unstopped for a very long time, and that has allowed the Earth’s crust to build up a significant store of organic matter. Now human industry’s use of the most concentrated and readily available deposits of these fossil fuels has returned to the carbon cycle in a couple of centuries a fair fraction of what was stashed away over hundreds of millions of years. It is the addition of this new source with no new sink that has knocked the cycle out of whack.

The world’s seas and plants have tried their best to keep things in equilibrium, responding to rising levels of carbon dioxide by stashing more away in the biosphere and oceans. They suck up roughly half of all the extra carbon dioxide that industry puts into the atmosphere. But that is as much as they can do. And so the amount in the atmosphere grows.

This intensification of the carbon cycle has side-effects. Plants fed with extra carbon dioxide tend to grow more, if circumstances allow. Current estimates suggest the global rate of photosynthesis is 3-7% higher than it was 30 years ago; satellite images show the Earth is getting greener. Such “carbon-dioxide fertilisation” has improved the yields of some crops, and the growth of some forests and other ecosystems. This is not enough to compensate for the damage climate change does to agriculture by higher temperatures and altered rainfall. But, on balance, it is hard to see it as much of a problem.

The same cannot be said of the increased flow into the ocean sink. More dissolved carbon dioxide makes seawater more acidic. How bad this acidification will prove is open to debate. But the process will probably be very damaging to some ecosystems, including reefs already stressed by rising temperatures. Even if fossil-fuel use were not warming the climate, this acidification would in itself count as a frightening global change.

The growth of the two carbon sinks is also, left to itself, unsustainable. Warm water absorbs less carbon dioxide than cold water. So as the oceans warm their ability to offset emissions weakens. As to the land sink, higher temperatures speed up microbial respiration, especially in soils, more reliably than higher carbon-dioxide levels speed up photosynthesis.

The Paris agreement of 2015 calls for increases to the atmosphere’s carbon-dioxide level caused by fossil fuels to end by the second half of this century. Even if that deadline is not met, some mixture of policy, catastrophe and/or resource depletion will eventually bring the rise to an end. The flows of carbon between the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere will then come back into balance.

But the equilibrium thus restored will not be the pre-industrial one. The carbon-dioxide level will settle down not far short of whatever the 21st century’s peak level turns out to be. Which means that temperatures will stay high, too—with all that entails for crops, ice caps and the like.

This plateau will eventually subside. The erosion of the Earth’s crust exposes silicate minerals that react with carbon dioxide, eventually producing solid carbonate minerals from which the carbon cannot readily escape. But this “chemical weathering” works on a much longer timescale than the sinks. Geochemists think it would take 1,000 years for a post-fossil-fuel carbon-dioxide level of around 550 parts per million to be brought back below today’s 415ppm towards a mid-20th century level of 315ppm.

Going backwards
What, though, if the Anthropocene transitioned from a past dominated by anthropogenic carbon sources to a future characterised by anthropogenic sinks? There are two reasons why this might be appealing. One is that some fossil-fuel emissions may be very hard to eliminate from the economy. If they could be counterbalanced by “negative emissions” that take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere at a similar rate, the Paris goal of stopping any further increase to the carbon-dioxide level would be far easier to meet.

The second attraction of the idea stems from the other Paris goal, that of keeping the global temperature increase, compared to pre-industrial times, well below 2°C. Doing this simply by reducing emissions would require much steeper cuts than any seen to date, and they would have to continue for decades. If the world developed negative-emission technologies, more gentle emissions cuts in the near future could be made up for by negative emissions later on, which would bring the carbon-dioxide level back down from its excessive peak.

Some forms of negative emission look fairly benign: farming in ways that make the soil richer in organic carbon; restoring degraded forests and planting new ones. More ambitious is the idea of harnessing photosynthesis to industry; growing plantation crops, burning them to generate electricity and sequestering the carbon dioxide given off underground, rather than letting it out into the atmosphere, an approach called bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or beccs.

Then there is the idea of stripping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere with renewably powered open-air chemical engineering: “direct air capture”, or dac. And there is also the possibility of helping along the chemical weathering process by grinding up silicate rocks into fine dusts, thus speeding up the reactions that store carbon dioxide away in stable minerals.

There are two big problems with these ideas. One is the scale at which they need to operate to make a difference. Imagine that in 2060 the world had, through a vast effort, renounced 90% of its fossil-fuel use. To offset the remaining recalcitrant 10% would still require a sink capable of soaking up about 1bn tonnes of carbon a year. The industrial systems for taking carbon dioxide from the air currently on the drawing board operate at barely a thousandth of that scale. Creating such a flow through photosynthesis would require a plantation about the size of Mexico.

This leads to the second problem. Imaginary backstops are dangerous. If countries build negative emissions into their thinking, they will cut emissions more slowly on the basis that any overshoot can be mopped up later. But they will not necessarily undertake the huge efforts required to make those negative emissions a reality. The Anthropocene fact that humans are now integral to the processes of the planet does not mean that they can change those processes

IMAGE#1: CLIMATE VARIABILITY SYSTEMS OF THE TROPICS

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IMAGE#2: INDIAN OCEAN DIPOLE IO-5

IMAGE#3: CARLSBERG RIDGE: INDIAN OCEAN

 

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF “DiNezio etal, “Emergence of an equatorial mode of climate variability in the Indian Ocean”, Science Advances,  06 May 2020: Vol. 6, no. 19, eaay7684 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7684.  Abstract: Presently, the Indian Ocean (IO) resides in a climate state that prevents strong year-to-year climate variations. This may change under greenhouse warming, but the mechanisms remain uncertain, thus limiting our ability to predict future changes in climate extremes. Using climate model simulations, we uncover the emergence of a mode of climate variability capable of generating unprecedented sea surface temperature and rainfall fluctuations across the IO. This mode, which is inhibited under present-day conditions, becomes active in climate states with a shallow thermocline and vigorous upwelling, consistent with the predictions of continued greenhouse warming. These predictions are supported by modeling and proxy evidence of an active mode during glacial intervals that favored such a state. Because of its impact on hydrological variability, the emergence of such a mode would become a first-order source of climate-related risks for the densely populated IO rim. The full text of the article is provided below at the end of this post

 

 

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. The researchers find that the Indian Ocean is remarkable in terms of its stability because of an absence of variability in sea surface temperature (SST) seen elsewhere either as short term monthly time scale “marine heat waves” [LINK] , or as cyclical decadal time scale changes changes in the SST pattern over large sections of ocean such as the ENSO cycle.
  2. In that context, the authors note that the paleo data show that during the most recent deglaciation into the Holocene, the Indian Ocean was not stable and had undergone intense “climate variability” in terms of SST and rainfall changes contemporaneous with vigorous upwelling and flattening of the thermocline. Since deglaciation is a time of rapid warming, it is postulated on that basis and verified with climate models that an increasing warming rate in AGW climate change may create similar conditions and cause the same kind of climate variability seen in deglaciation in the Indian Ocean but not seen at present.
  3. Here we present contrary evidence to contest the claim that the Indian Ocean is unusually stable in terms of SST and that SST changes necessarily have a climate change implication.  SST variability in the Indian Ocean at two different time scales is presented in paragraphs 5 and 6 below.
  4. It is true that compared with the Pacific, the Indian Ocean is relatively stable. That difference is generally attributed to the unique geography of the Indian Ocean in being “landlocked” in the north and thereby isolated from the Arctic Ocean, as seen in the map below. Although that may inhibit climate variability to some degree, we show below that climate variability is seen nevertheless both the short term and the long term.

THE INDIAN OCEAN IS LANDLOCKED IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

bandicam 2020-05-08 08-20-28-022

 

5. MARINE HEAT WAVES: The GIF image below is taken from a related post on marine heat waves [LINK] . It shows the location and intensity of marine heat waves (MHW) month by month from December 2018 to January 2020. It was created with data provided by marineheatwaves.org, an excellent keeper of MHW data. The intensity of MWH is denoted by the darkness of color with darker colors indicating higher temperatures in the SST anomaly that can be described as an MWH event. Here we find MHW events in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean in most of the 14 months of data although at a relatively lower intensity than the intense dark events in the Arctic and the northern part of the Pacific. In terms of marine heat waves at brief time scales, it cannot be said that the Indian Ocean does not show SST variability.

MARINE HEAT WAVES DEC 2018 TO JAN 2020 (MONTHLY TIME SCALE)

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6. THE INDIAN OCEAN DIPOLE: At a longer multi decadal time scale, the Indian Ocean goes through an intense SST cycle similar to the ENSO called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) that cycles through three SST states as (1) No SST anomaly, (2) A large area of high SST anomaly in the Southwest Indian Ocean and not anywhere else in the Indian Ocean, and  (3) A large area of high SST anomaly in the Southeast Indian Ocean and not anywhere else in the Indian Ocean. The IOD cycle is depicted graphically in the GIF image below. Much of the climatology in the region from Arabia to Australia is understood in terms of the IOD. In view of this intense climate variability, it cannot be said that the Indian Ocean does not show SST or climate variability.

INDIAN OCEAN DIPOLE DYNAMICS: DECADAL TIME SCALE

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7. THE CARLSBERG RIDGE AND THE CHAGOS-LACCADIVE RIDGE: It is known that the seafloor south and southwest of India (map below) is geologically active with significant geological features in terms of a series of ridges and their role in the Late Cretaceous Deccan Traps Volcanism recorded in the paleo data. Currently the Carlsberg Ridge, the Laccadive Ridge and the Chagos Ridge are all geologically active. The Chagos Ridge is not shown in the seafloor map below and can be thought of as a southern extension of the Laccadive Ridge.  Sporadically hydrothermal plumes and volcanism can release enormous amounts of heat and materials from the mantle into the Indian Ocean. It is noted that the reference paper reports that during the deglaciation SST anomalies the thermocline had flattened. We interpret that in this way. When the sun/atmosphere system is the heat source, SST is the hot part of the ocean in a vertical temperature profile in which the water is cooler the deeper you go. This is the thermocline. A flattening of the thermocline means there is no temperature gradient with the implication that there is a heat source in the bottom of the ocean too. The flattening of the thermocline reported by the authors suggests that the significant sources of geological heat in ridge system in the southwest Indian Ocean can create the the kind of temperature profile that is used in the study to propose that global warming will cause the Indian Ocean to become more climatically volatile. This conclusion does not take the geological features of the Indian Ocean into consideration. These features can transfer significant amounts of heat from the mantle to the ocean and can explain what the authors are trying to explain in terms of the atmosphere with climate models. It is a case of the atmosphere bias in climate research. It is noted that both in terms of MHW and the IOD, the high temperature events are found only in known geologically active areas. 

DECCAN TRAPS VOLCANISM

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INDIAN OCEAN GEOLOGY: THE CARLSBERG RIDGE

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8. With regard to the climate model runs that led the authors to the conclusion that global warming will change the Indian Ocean from a region with no climate variability to a region with more and more climate variability, it is imperative that we consider the language used in the paper to present this conclusion. The paper states its findings as “Present-day conditions do not favor the coupled interactions required for the mode’s emergence, and indeed, historical observations do not show evidence of the occurrence of these extreme events. A potential activation under greenhouse warming, however, could lead to record-breaking SST and rainfall fluctuations, rendering the emergence of the mode a main factor determining future climate risks, including more frequent and devastating wildfires, flooding, and droughts“. The plain language translation of this conclusion is that “We think that global warming will make the Indian Ocean more changeable in terms of climate variables. We don’t see it in the Holocene data and we don’t see it in the model runs but the possibility exists that it could happen because we saw it during deglaciation.  This conclusion does not really say what the paper is supposed to say.

9. In this critical review, we find that the climate variability in the paleo data was assumed to be an atmospheric effect without the relevant geological data and it was thought that the effect could be re-produced in climate models with atmospheric forcing but that this exercise did not produce useful results. The conclusion that “it is still possible that global warming might increase climate variability in the Indian Ocean anyway” does not contain useful information and it is not a useful research finding. 

 

A very different interpretation and review of the DiNezio paper is found at Science Alert Magazine [LINK] where the authors refer to the deglaciation variability identified by DiNezio as “an ancient El Nino system of the Indian Ocean” and promote the paper’s findings as a dangerous and alarming climate change impact in the form of re-activating an ancient El Nino system in the Indian Ocean. The author is David Nield of the Guardian.

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FULL TEXT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER:

  1. INTRODUCTION: Predicting changes in the pattern and magnitude of sea surface temperature (SST) fluctuations over the tropical oceans is critical for attributing changing climate variability and extreme weather over large parts of the world (1). Observations show that the Indian Ocean (IO)—a tropical ocean long considered a minor driver of climate variability relative to the Pacific or the Atlantic oceans (2)—is experiencing changes in its mean state that could favor stronger SST variations (3–5). These long-term changes appear to be forced by increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations (5–7); however, models are inconclusive on whether SST variability will increase or not (8–12). Paleoclimate records show that SST variability in the eastern IO has increased since the 1850s (13), a trend that, if continued, could exacerbate the already sizable climatic impacts of subtle variations in IO temperatures over surrounding land masses (11, 14–17). While the changes in mean state—particularly a shoaling thermocline in the eastern IO—are likely to strengthen the coupled feedbacks governing SST variability (9–12), the lack of model consensus limits our ability to attribute the observed trends and predict future changes. The tropical IO exhibits much weaker SST variability than the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans (Fig. 1A). Unlike these oceans, where the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and the Atlantic Niño drive pronounced basin-wide SST anomalies (SSTAs), variability in the IO is restricted to the western side of the basin and along the coast of Sumatra and Java (18). Large SSTAs spanning the equatorial IO are extremely rare because the uniformly deep thermocline (Fig. 1B, shading) and a lack of equatorial upwelling (not shown) hinder coupled ocean-atmosphere interactions in this ocean (19). Depending on the season, the dominant mode of SST variability in the IO has a uniform warming pattern over the entire basin. This IO Basin (IOB) mode is not generated via ocean dynamical processes and instead is forced by El Niño events via changes in evaporation and cloud cover (20–23). The IO Dipole (IOD) is the second mode of variability in terms of explained SST variance and has SSTAs restricted to the western IO and the off-equatorial region along the coast of Sumatra and Java (18). SSTAs driven by IOD events do not reach the equatorial IO, which only responds during very rare extreme cold events, such as during 1997 (11). (A) SST variability, (B) annual mean subsurface ocean temperature along the equator (5°S to 5°N), and (C) annual mean SST (shading) and surface wind stress (vectors). SST variability is computed as the SD of monthly anomalies relative to the monthly mean seasonal cycle. In the tropical oceans, a metric of variability that is dominated by variations occurring on interannual time scales. SST and surface wind stress are from TropFlux (46) and subsurface ocean temperature data are from ORAS-S4 (37). The intensity and spatial pattern of SST variations in the IO are thus determined by the direction of the prevailing winds along the equator, which are weakly westerly (Fig. 1C, vectors), and by the subtle east-west SST gradient underlying them (Fig. 1C, shading). Model simulations show that continued greenhouse warming could alter these features, and the IO could evolve into a mean state similar to the Pacific or Atlantic oceans (5, 7, 10). Historical observations support this prediction, showing a tendency for easterly winds along the equator, an eastward shoaling thermocline, and a reversal of the east-west SST gradient since the 1950s (3–6). These changes should be accompanied by increased SST variability along the equatorial IO (19); however, model predictions are not consistent with this theoretical expectation (8–11). Furthermore, the possibility that the IO could harbor stronger modes of climate variability has remained largely unexplored. Here, we address these questions using numerical simulations of past and future climate changes in which the mean state of the IO could favor stronger variability. Our goal is to assess physical processes that could cause new modes of variability to emerge in the IO under continued greenhouse warming as well as the potential existence of these modes during past climate intervals. We analyze an ensemble of simulations of 21st-century climate performed by 36 models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5). These simulations were run under increasing GHG concentrations following a “business as usual” high-emission scenario (see “Data” and “Methods” sections). These models accurately reproduce the observed patterns of variability in the southeastern IO (fig. S1) as well as long-term changes in the east-west gradient over the 1900–2017 period (fig. S2), lending credibility to their predictions of an altered mean state under continued greenhouse warming throughout the second half of the 21st century (see Supplementary Text 1 for additional model evaluation). We also analyze simulations of the climate at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM)—a past climatic interval ∼21,000 years before present when the IO exhibited a similarly altered mean state featuring stronger upwelling and an eastward shoaling thermocline (24, 25). The LGM simulations were performed with the Community Earth System Model version 1.2 (CESM1) (26), a model that simulates changes in IO mean state supported by multiproxy syntheses from this climate interval (24) and consistent changes in variability (27). To our knowledge, CESM1 is one of the very few climate models capable of simulating physical processes in the IO amplifying regional climate changes during the LGM (24), justifying the use of a single model for this part of our study. Despite being triggered by exposure of continental shelves due to lower glacial sea level (28), these changes result in changes in IO mean state and variability (24, 25, 27) analogous to those simulated under greenhouse warming, albeit in a globally colder climate. Additional CESM1 LGM simulations are used to isolate changes associated with both emergent and existing modes (Materials and Methods).
  2. RESULTS: Our simulations indicate that under greenhouse warming and LGM conditions, the IO can exhibit increased SST variability in the eastern equatorial IO (EEIO) (Fig. 2, A and B). This pattern of intensification resembles modern variability in the other tropical oceans and represents a pronounced departure from current variability in the IO, which is minimal along the equator (Fig. 1A). The increase in gSST variability occurs during late boreal summer (August-September-October) following changes in the mean state favoring stronger coupled interactions during the preceding months. Increased equatorial upwelling and an eastward shoaling thermocline during July-August-September (JAS) (Fig. 2, C and D) favor the development of SSTAs in the EEIO. The changes in mean state are also part of a coupled ocean-atmosphere response. Equatorial winds become more easterly under greenhouse warming and glacial conditions (Fig. 2, E and F, vectors), a response that is reinforced by the changes in the underlying SST gradient (Fig. 2, E and F, shading) via the cooling effect of a shallower thermocline. These coupled responses are initiated by different atmospheric processes: a reversal of westerly winds over the eastern IO driven by a weaker Walker circulation, for greenhouse warming (7); and an atmospheric response to shelf exposure, for the LGM (28). Despite the different triggering mechanisms, the same coupled feedbacks amplify the changes in both cases, generating an oceanic mean state reminiscent of the eastern equatorial Pacific and Atlantic oceans, with a shallow equatorial thermocline and vigorous upwelling favoring stronger air-sea interactions and SST variability (19). Changes in (A and B) SST variability, (C and D) subsurface ocean temperature (shading, m), vertical velocity (contours, m/day), and (E and F) SST (shading) and surface wind stress (vectors). Glacial changes (left) are computed from a simulation of LGM relative to a simulation of preindustrial (PI) climate, both performed with the CESM1. Changes under greenhouse warming are computed for the 2050–2100 interval in high-emission scenario [Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5)] simulations performed by 36 CMIP5 models relative to the 1850–1950 interval from historical simulations. The changes in variability are computed as the difference in SD of SSTAs during the August-September-October (ASO) season. Changes in mean state are computed for the JAS season. The changes under greenhouse warming are the average among the changes simulated among all 36 CMIP5 models. Dashed and solid red curves in (C) and (D) indicate the depth of thermocline in the reference (PI and historical) and altered (LGM and RCP8.5) climate states, respectively. (G) Relationship between changes in SD of SST anomalies in the EEIO (70°E to 95°E, 2.5°S to 2.5°N) during the ASO season and zonal wind stress in the equatorial IO (50°E to 80°E, 2.5°S to 2.5°N) during the JAS season for each model simulated response to greenhouse warming (blue circles) and LGM boundary conditions (red circle). Models with mode activation are outlined in red. The CMIP5 models show a direct link between the changes in mean climate and the increase in variability under greenhouse warming. The magnitude of the increase in SST variability, measured by the change in SD of SSTAs averaged over the EEIO, is strongly anticorrelated with the changes in zonal wind stress along the equator (r = −0.73, P <0.001; Fig. 2G). This indicates that greater easterly wind stress leads to a larger increase in variability, a relationship that reflects the influence of zonal winds on seasonal upwelling and thermocline depth over the EEIO. Most CMIP5 models predict increases in variability and more easterly winds for the second half of the century (Fig. 2G); however, the magnitude of these responses differs by an order of magnitude. Some CMIP5 models predict pronounced changes in equatorial winds accompanied by increases in SST variability of up to 100%. In these models, the magnitude of the changes represents a reversal of the climatological winds, i.e., absolute easterlies develop across the equatorial IO along with seasonally colder SSTs over the EEIO. A similar wind reversal and seasonal “cold tongue” is simulated under LGM conditions (not shown), resulting in the largest changes in variability among all simulations (Fig. 2G, red circle). These seasonal variations are similar to those occurring in the modern Pacific and Atlantic oceans, which sustain the ENSO and Atlantic Niño modes. Likewise, the simulated changes in the IO give rise to its own El Niño–like variability. Under the altered mean states of the LGM and high-emission scenarios, climate variability in the IO manifests as warm and cold events that are physically different from those associated with the IOD—currently a dominant mode of IO climate variability (18, 29)—although superficially similar to very extreme IOD events. To isolate the dynamics of the emergent mode, we use our subset of LGM simulations in which ENSO and IOD modes are disabled (see “Methods” section). Results from these simulations show that events associated with the emergent mode are independent from the IOD (fig. S3) and, more importantly, that they are triggered by a distinct atmospheric precursor on the western IO (fig. S3A). Because additional simulations cannot be run with CMIP5 models, we isolate the events associated with the emergent mode using a methodology based on this wind precursor (fig. S4; also Materials and Methods). The CMIP5 simulations also show that these events are driven by a coupled mode that has not been observed in historical observations and could become active under continued greenhouse warming. Unlike IOD events, which are triggered by wind fluctuations in the southeastern IO along the coast of Java and Sumatra (16, 30), events associated with the emergent mode are initiated remotely by an atmospheric circulation anomaly over the western IO and Arabian Sea (Fig. 3, left; vectors). This atmospheric precursor develops during late boreal spring and influences the EEIO via propagation of downwelling oceanic Kelvin waves along the equator (Fig. 3, left; contours). For warm events, the atmospheric precursor has a westerly wind stress anomaly along the equator that drives a Kelvin wave response characterized by a thermocline deepening toward the East (Fig. 3, A and C, contours). This response suppresses climatological cooling over the EEIO during late boreal summer, when the thermocline is seasonally shallower and upwelling is strong (Fig. 2, C and D), driving an initial warming in the EEIO. An anomalous zonal SST gradient is established along the equatorial IO, further weakening surface winds. These wind changes drive oceanic responses, thermocline deepening, and reduced upwelling that continue the warming of the EEIO until its peak during late boreal summer (Fig. 3, B and D, shading). Such coupled responses are akin to the positive feedback loop proposed by Bjerknes (31) for the growth of El Niño events in the Pacific Ocean. First column: SST (shading), surface wind stress (vectors), and thermocline depth (contours) anomalies associated with the atmospheric precursor of warm equatorial mode (A) in a subset of CMIP5 greenhouse warming simulations, (C) a LGM simulation, and (E) historical observations. Second column: Same as first column but for the peak of the event, 3 months after the occurrence of the precursor. Warm equatorial events are triggered by the atmospheric precursor under (B) greenhouse warming and (D) LGM conditions, but not (F) under historical conditions because the mean state is not conducive for coupled interactions. Events are identified and composited, when the April-May-June standardized zonal wind stress anomalies averaged over the western IO (40°E to 60°E, 2.5°S to 2.5°N) exceeds 0.5. The precursor phase is during May and the peak in August. The LGM simulation has modes of variability disabled as described in the “Methods” section. At their peak, westerly wind anomalies coupled to the underlying SST gradients span most the basin (Fig. 3, B and D, vectors). These anomalous winds keep the thermocline anomalously deep in the EEIO (Fig. 3, B and D, contours) and suppress equatorial upwelling (not shown) sustaining the positive SSTAs in the EEIO. The pronounced equatorial signature of these events is consistent with the pattern of SST variability increase (Fig. 2, A and B), and their activation occurs under large changes in mean state, such as under LGM conditions (Fig. 2G, red circle), and in the subset of simulations of future climate with the largest increases in variability (Fig. 2G, blue circles with red outline). The changes in mean state also favor the emergence of equatorial cold events with negative SSTAs exhibiting similar magnitude, spatial patterns, and underlying dynamics as the warm events (fig. S5; see Supplementary Text 2). Observations do not show an active mode under current conditions (Fig. 3, E and F, and fig. S5, E and F) because the mean state is not favorable for large-scale coupled interactions. The emergence of the equatorial mode could drive rainfall variability with stronger amplitude and altered patterns over the IO and surrounding land masses relative to currently experienced. Warm events, with their positive SSTAs spanning much of the equatorial IO, could drive rainfall deficits over the Horn of Africa as well as over Southern India, in addition to increased rainfall over Indonesia and Northern Australia (Fig. 4C). Rainfall anomalies with such patterns and magnitudes have not been observed during the historical period because warm IOD events are extremely weak and their rainfall impacts are restricted to the southeastern IO (Fig. 4A). On the other hand, cold events associated with the equatorial mode could drive rainfall anomalies with a similar spatial pattern and magnitude as the warm events, but with opposite polarity and subtle, yet important differences for terrestrial precipitation (Fig. 4D). For example, cold equatorial events are associated with increased rainfall over peninsular India and thus drive a response opposite to the impacts of a typical cold IOD event (Fig. 4B). These high-amplitude rainfall impacts have only been observed in 1997, during the strongest, cold IOD event on record (11)—the only observed event with SSTAs reaching the EEIO. The emergence of the equatorial mode could make these high-amplitude SSTAs a common occurrence by the second half of the 21st century when CMIP5 models predict two to four events (warm or cold) per decade (range was estimated from the subset of models with mode activation). Over Sumatra and Java, the associated rainfall fluctuations could represent a surplus (or deficit) of 30 to 50% of current seasonal rainfall during the JAS season. Thus, predicting and attributing changing distributions of future extremes in a warming climate must consider these dynamical changes in rainfall variability alongside with thermodynamic effects (32). Composite rainfall anomalies (shading) during (A, B) observed Dipole Mode events and (C, D) simulated Equatorial Mode events active in the IO under greenhouse warming. In both cases, warm (A, C) and cold (B, D) events are, respectively, characterized by positive or negative SST anomalies (contours) over the eastern IO. SST contour interval is 0.25 K. Equatorial Mode events show rainfall and SST anomalies spanning much of the equatorial IO. Anomalies correspond to the peak season of each mode, September-October-November (SON) for the Dipole Mode and August-September-October for the Equatorial Mode. Observed Dipole Mode events are selected and composited on the basis of SON values of the Dipole Mode Index (18) with a 0.5σ threshold. Equatorial Mode events are selected and composited on the basis of indices of the western IO atmospheric precursor and the peak SSTA in the EEIO during the ASO season with a 0.5σ threshold (see “Data” and “Methods” sections). Both criteria combined isolate events that evolve into large-scale SST anomalies. Dipole Mode composites are based on the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (42) and TropFlux (36) observational datasets over the 1980–2017 period. Equatorial Mode composites are based on output from CMIP5 rcp85 simulations over the 2050–2100 period composited for each model run and then averaged across the 10 models with mode activation.
  3. DISCUSSION: In addition to revealing previously unrecognized dynamics of the IO, our results explain the lack of consensus in model predictions of future changes in SST variability in this ocean (9–12). Not all models show increasing SST variability under future greenhouse warming because the equatorial mode does not become active because of muted changes in mean state. Activation might require a change in direction of surface winds along the equator—at least seasonally—so that large-scale upwelling can be established along the equatorial IO. Larger changes rather than just a reversal in winds might be required so that the balance of positive and negative feedbacks in the EEIO favors unstable growth of SSTAs. Addressing these questions could help clarify the interpretation of model simulations, which show consistent predictions of a strengthening thermocline feedback, yet equivocal results regarding changes in SST variability (9–12). Additional questions must be answered to accurately predict this disruptive outcome, such as whether the changes in the mean state after 2050 will be sufficiently large to favor activation of the equatorial mode. The magnitude of these changes will depend on whether they are amplified by coupled feedbacks, an issue that remains hotly contested (33, 34). All available observational evidence, however, supports predictions of large changes in mean state potentially amplified by coupled feedbacks (fig. S2). Historical observations show pronounced changes in the east-west SST gradient, particularly during the season when coupled feedbacks are stronger (3–5). Here, we showed that only models with equatorial mode activation can simulate changes in the SST gradient as observed (fig. S2). Furthermore, multiple paleoclimate datasets from the LGM show large changes in mean state potentially amplified by coupled feedbacks (24) along with much stronger climate variability (27), attesting to this ocean’s ability to experience large changes in mean state and variability via coupled feedbacks. In summary, we have demonstrated that the IO can sustain an equatorial mode of climate variability under altered mean states predicted for the second half of the 21st century. This mode manifests as cold and warm interannual events with large-scale SSTAs spanning the central and EEIO. These events, particularly warm ones, represent a marked departure from current variability, characterized by weaker and more spatially confined warm IOD events. Because of their basin-wide and stronger SSTAs, future warm events could drive unprecedented hydrological extremes across the basin. They could bring more frequent droughts to East Africa and southern India, in addition to increased rainfall over Indonesia, exacerbating the effect of a warmer climate on these hydrological extremes (11). Cold and warm events are governed by physical processes similar to those driving El Niño and La Niña and could therefore be predictable at least a season in advance. However, further research on its predictability and global impacts will be needed to improve adaptation efforts to climate change. The emergence of the equatorial mode is supported by a consistent link between changes in variability and mean state across climate models, although a sufficiently large change is required for its activation. These predictions are supported by paleoclimate data from the LGM, which show mean state changes of a magnitude comparable to those predicted under high emissions (24) along with an active equatorial mode (27). Furthermore, the activation of the equatorial mode appears to be less sensitive to common biases in the simulation of seasonal climate by CMIP models (fig. S6 and Supplementary Text 3), supporting our conclusion that this disruptive outcome will be largely determined by the magnitude of the changes in mean state. Further work is needed to accurately assess threshold behavior in this key component of the climate system, particularly under lower-emission scenarios or past climatic states other than the LGM.
  4. Present-day conditions do not favor the coupled interactions required for the mode’s emergence, and indeed, historical observations do not show evidence of the occurrence of these extreme events. A potential activation under greenhouse warming, however, could lead to record-breaking SST and rainfall fluctuations, rendering the emergence of the mode a main factor determining future climate risks, including more frequent and devastating wildfires, flooding, and droughts.

 

 

THE WEST PACIFIC BASINNWP-GIF

THE NORTH ATLANTIC BASINNA-GIF

THE EAST PACIFIC BASINNEP-GIF

THE NORTH INDIAN BASINNIO-GIF

 

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A RESEARCH PAPER [LINK] WITH THE FINDING THAT THE IMPACT OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE ON TROPICAL CYCLONES IS “THE SPATIAL PATTERN OF THEIR OCCURRENCE RATHER THAN THE NUMBER OF TROPICAL CYCLONES GLOBALLY”. THE STUDY PERIOD IS 1980-2018. THE PAPER WAS REVIEWED BY KERRY EMANUEL WHOSE WORK ON TROPICAL CYCLONES IS DISCUSSED IN A RELATED POST [LINK] 

Kerry Emanuel and his Hurricane Destructiveness Chart

 

PART-1: CITATION AND ABSTRACT

Detected climatic change in global distribution of tropical cyclones, 
Hiroyuki Murakami etal, 
ABSTRACT: Owing to the limited length of observed tropical cyclone data and the effects of multidecadal internal variability, it has been a challenge to detect trends in tropical cyclone activity on a global scale. However, there is a distinct spatial pattern of the trends in tropical cyclone frequency of occurrence on a global scale since 1980, with substantial decreases in the southern Indian Ocean and western North Pacific and increases in the North Atlantic and central Pacific. Here, using a suite of high-resolution dynamical model experiments, we show that the observed spatial pattern of trends is very unlikely to be explained entirely by underlying multidecadal internal variability; rather, external forcing such as greenhouse gases, aerosols, and volcanic eruptions likely played an important role. This study demonstrates that a climatic change in terms of the global spatial distribution of tropical cyclones has already emerged in observations and may in part be attributable to the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
THE “SIGNIFICANCE” OF THIS WORK IS DESCRIBED AS: Little had been known about whether the ongoing climate changes had already affected observed global tropical cyclones (TCs). This study revealed that a climate change in global TC activity over 1980 to 2018 has been more evident in the spatial pattern of TC occurrence, rather than the number of global TCs. The total effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, aerosols, and volcanic eruptions on global TC distribution is spatially inhomogeneous: Increases and decreases in TC occurrence depend on the region. However, our climate models project decreases in the number of global TCs toward the end of the 21st century due to the dominant effect of greenhouse gases on decreasing TC occurrence in most of the tropics, consistent with many previous studies.

 

PART-2: WHAT THE PAPER SAYS

The paper says that when the authors looked at the global tropical cyclone data 1980-2018 they did not find evidence for the the prior climate science hypothesis that AGW will increase the number of tropical cyclones worldwide particularly so in terms of the large variance and uncertainty in the data. When they looked at the data cyclone basin by cyclone basin they found that the reason for the absence of a trend in the global frequency of tropical cyclones is that the frequency has increased in some basins while they decreased in other basins. A further study of tropical cyclone frequency basin by basin revealed a trend in the pattern of the spatial distribution of the frequency of tropical cyclones. In their own words, “However, when we look at a global map of the trend in TC frequency of occurrence since 1980 , there is a pronounced spatial pattern in the trends, namely, decreasing trends in the southern Indian Ocean, western North Pacific, Coral Sea off the northeast coast of Australia, and the far eastern tropical North Pacific, but increasing trends in the Arabian Sea, central Pacific including Hawaii, and the North Atlantic.

It was then that they decided to test the hypothesis that impact of AGW climate change is not on the global frequency of tropical cyclones but on their distribution among the cyclone basins. In their words, “We wish to assess whether anthropogenic climate change could play a role in driving this spatial pattern in the global trends of TCF”  The paper is a test of this hypothesis with the data and findings summarized in the chart below.  The finding is that 

F1.large (1)

Having identified the changing pattern of tropical cyclone distribution without a change in global frequency in the period 1980-2018, the authors then used climate models to determine whether the observed changes in the global distribution of an unchanging number of tropical cyclones could be explained in terms of climate forcings. The climate models showed that with the right portfolio of forcings including terrestrial volcanism, they could explain the changing pattern in an unchanging global frequency of tropical cyclones in the study period 1980-2018 (chart below).

F4.large

 

 

PART-3: CRITICAL COMMENTARY  

  1. THIS STUDY WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE CREDIBLE IF THE HYPOTHESIS TO BE TESTED WERE DERIVED FROM THEORY OR FROM THE MODELS AS KNUTSON (2010) HAD DONE WHERE TOM KNUTSON AND HIS MANY CO-AUTHORS INCLUDING KERRY EMANUEL USED A LARGE NUMBER OF CLIMATE MODEL RUNS TO DETERMINE THE THEORETICAL IMPACT OF AGW CLIMATE CHANGE ON TROPICAL CYCLONES LISTED BELOW. THE AUTHORS OF THIS PAPER DID NOT DO THAT.
  2. INSTEAD WHAT WE FIND HERE IS THAT THE HYPOTHESIS WAS DERIVED FROM THE DATA AND THEN VERIFIED WITH CLIMATE MODELS LEAVING OPEN THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE FORCINGS AND OTHER MODEL PARAMETERS USED TO VERIFY THE THEORETICAL VALIDITY OF THE HYPOTHESIS WERE FINE TUNED TO CREATE THE DESIRED RESULT .
  3. HOWEVER, IN FIELDS SUCH AS CLIMATE SCIENCE, ECONOMICS, FINANCE, POPULATION STUDIES, AND SO ON, THERE ARE MANY RESEARCHERS AND MANY HYPOTHESES BUT ONLY ONE HISTORY AND ONLY ONE DATA TIME SERIES RELEVANT TO THE RESEARCH QUESTION. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE IN THIS CONTEXT TO TEST A HYPOTHESIS THAT IS DERIVED FROM THE DATA BECAUSE THERE IS NO INDEPENDENT DATA WITH WHICH TO TEST THE HYPOTHESIS. THE TEST OF A HYPOTHESIS WITH THE SAME DATA USED TO CONSTRUCT THE HYPOTHESIS IS CIRCULAR REASONING.
  4. THE USE OF CLIMATE MODELS AFTER THE FACT DOES NOT VALIDATE THE FINDING BECAUSE IT OPENS THE POSSIBILITY OF FINE TUNING THE FORCINGS AND OTHER MODEL PARAMETERS TO VERIFY THE FINDING THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DETERMINED FROM THE DATA.
  5. THEREFORE THE FINDING IN THIS PAPER THAT CLIMATE CHANGE HAS CAUSED THE CHANGE IN TROPICAL CYCLONE DISTRIBUTION THAT WAS FOUND IN THE DATA IS FLAWED BECAUSE IT CAN BE EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF CIRCULAR REASONING AND CONFIRMATION BIAS

 

Knutson, Thomas R., et al. “Tropical cyclones and climate change.” Nature geoscience 3.3 (2010): 157-163.   (1) Globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones will rise as AGW increases SST.  Models predict globally averaged intensity increase of 2% to 11% by 2100. (2). Models predict falling globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones with frequency decreasing 6%-34% by 2100. (3). The globally averaged frequency of “most intense tropical cyclones” should increase as a result of AGW. The intensity of tropical cyclones is measured as the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy). (4). Models predict increase in precipitation within a 100 km radius of the storm center. A precipitation rise of 20% is projected for the year 2100. (5) Model projections for individual cyclone basins show large differences and conflicting results. Thus, no testable implication can be derived for studies of individual basins.   

 

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A PNAS RESEARCH FINDING [LINK] THAT AGW CLIMATE CHANGE WILL FORCE 1 TO 3 BILLION PEOPLE TO LIVE IN A CLIMATE THAT IS HOTTER THAN OPTIMAL FOR HUMANS: Chi Xu etal, “Future of the human climate niche”, PNAS, May 4, 2020, ttps://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1910114117
ABSTRACT
: All species have an environmental niche, and despite technological advances, humans are unlikely to be an exception. Here, we demonstrate that for millennia, human populations have resided in the same narrow part of the climatic envelope available on the globe, characterized by a major mode around ∼11 °C to 15 °C mean annual temperature. Supporting the fundamental nature of this temperature niche, current production of crops and livestock is largely limited to the same conditions, and the same optimum has been found for agricultural and nonagricultural economic output of countries through analyses of year-to-year variation. We show that in a business-as-usual climate change scenario, the geographical position of this temperature niche is projected to shift more in the next 50 years than it has done in the last 6,000 years. Populations will not simply track the shifting climate, as adaptation in situ may address some of the challenges, and many other factors affect decisions to migrate. Nevertheless, in the absence of migration, one third of the global population is projected to experience a mean average temperature >29C currently found in only 0.8% of the Earth’s land surface, mostly concentrated in the Sahara. As the potentially most affected regions are among the poorest in the world, where adaptive capacity is low, enhancing human development in those areas should be a priority alongside climate mitigation.

 

 

REVIEW OF THIS PAPER PART-1: WHAT THE PAPER SAYS

The essence of the paper is contained in the chart below. The data in the chart are from the HYDE database [LINK] in Holland and the Archaeo-Globe Dataverse [LINK] at Harvard. In a grid of x=mean annual precipitation (map)and y=mean annual temperature (mat), human success in terms of population and well being is mapped with redness of colors. This color graphic analysis shows that in terms of welfare, survival, and success, we humans do best in a narrow band of map and mat. These are about 1000mm of map and somewhere between 10C and 20C in mat.

F1.large

These guidelines of climatic measures of human welfare are compared with AGW climate change forecasts of future climate 50 years from now using the “business as usual” measure of warming (RCP8.5) and the projected population growth. The study uses a temperature rise of 7.5C since pre-industrial or 6.5C in the next 50 years (2020-2070) and takes into consideration that population growth is fastest in warmer climates. In terms of the narrow comfort zone of 10C to 20C, regions closer to 20C will warm to above the comfort zone and will thus be driven off the  MAT comfort zone by a warming of 6.5C. This is the core finding of the paper from which many conclusions are drawn.

 

REVIEW OF THIS PAPER PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

It is noted that the paper uses a warming of 7.5C from pre-industrial to the year 2070. It is generally recognized that the earth has already warmed about 1C since pre-industrial leaving 6.5C of the projected  warming to occur in the next 50 years from 2020 to 2070. The average warming rate required to reach that temperature forecast is 6.5/5 or 1.3C per decade or 0.13C per year.

By way of comparison we present land surface temperature for the Tropics, the Northern extent, and the Southern extent in the 40-year period 1979-2019 provided by UAH. They show overall annual warming rates of 0.0159C, 0.0198C, and 0.0151C per year respectively. These warming rates are lower than the projected warming rate 2020-2070 by factors of 8.2, 6.6, and 8.6 respectively and thus, on the face of it, the projected warming for 2020-2070 of 0.65C appears to be an unrealistic forecast.

However, since RCP8,5 is based on rising fossil fuel emissions, the relevant warming rate for the period 2020 to 2070 is likely to be higher. Accordingly we look for evidence of rising decadal warming rates in the same data and we find some evidence of rising decadal warming rates in a moving 10-year window from 2009-2019 as seen in the “decadal warming rate” charts below. The observed rate of increase in the decadal warming rate in a moving 10-year window for land surfaces in the three regions are found to be 0.00361, 0.00450, and 0.00507 degC per year per year. If that growth rate sustains, the average decadal warming rate in the period 2020-2070 is expected to be 0.12626,  0.14762, and  0.18281 degC/per decade respectively. It appears that the warming rate used in the reference paper of 1.3C per decade is an order of magnitude larger than the warming rates estimated in this work on the basis of historical observations. The extremely high warming rate used in the reference paper requires more support than just a reference to the RCP8.5. The authors should provide the the forecast for emissions, atmospheric CO2 and climate sensitivity as support for the extremely high rate of warming that led them to the conclusion that the earth will become too hot for human comfort by the year 2070.

UAH LOWER TROPOSPHERE MAT 1979-2019

TRLN-TEMPNEXT-TEMPSEXT-TEMP

 

UAH LOWER TROPOSPHERE MAT: DECADAL WARMING RATES

TRLN-DECNEXT-DECSEXT-DEC

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Mark Maslin - 2016 Offstage Interview on Climate Change ...

PROFESSOR MARK MASLIN, CLIMATE SCIENTIST

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE PAPER BY PROFESSOR MARK MASLIN CITED BELOW THAT DESCRIBES A ROLE FOR ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE IN GLACIATION CYCLES WITH RADICAL AND UNCONVENTIONAL CONCLUSIONS ABOUT A ROLE OF HUMAN ACTIVITY IN THE EVOLUTION AND CONTINUATION OF THE HOLOCENE 

MASLIN, MARK: Tying celestial mechanics to Earth’s ice ages; Physics Today 73, 5, 48 (2020); https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.4474: There is no abstract. The last paragraph appears to sum up the findings. It says “The extended interglacial period caused by persistently high GHG emissions produced an unusually stable climate and may have helped human empires emerge. Those emissions, however, are small compared to what humans have emitted since the start of the industrial revolution. Atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by 47% to more than 410 ppm and methane by some 250% to more than 1860 ppb. Depending on future carbon emissions, global temperatures could rise 1.5–5.6 ˚C during the next century. The GHGs already emitted have delayed the next ice age for 60 000 years, as shown in figure 5, according to climate models. If the emissions reach the highest predicted level, glaciation would be delayed for 0.5 million years. Human fossil-fuel use has created a super-interglacial period that has overridden the effect of orbital forcing on Earth’s climate.  [FULL TEXT PDF] 

SUMMARY OF THE CLAIMS MADE IN THE PAPER

The paper describes the Milankovitch theory of glaciation cycles and then concludes that the change in the period of the glaciation cycle to 100,000 years in the last million years from 40,000 years prior to that is inconsistent with the Milankovitch eccentricity argument and goes on to propose a theory of glaciation cycles in terms of the greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 and ice albedo and other proposed feedback systems.

The modified theory of glaciation cycles is presented as follows: First, to get glaciation started, “(1) summer temperatures must first decrease a little bit” but does not explain how or why that happens. Perhaps it is a random event in which case there would be no periodicity in glaciation cycles. (2) The decrease in summer temperature causes ice formation and that gets the (3) ice albedo feedback started because the more ice there is the more ice there can be. This goes on until the (4) ice sheets are big enough to deflect high elevation Rossby wave wind patterns depicted graphically in the video below provided by NOAA. Glaciation ice sheets can be 2,000 to 3,000 meters high and therefore assumed to be an atmospheric anomaly in terms of elevation such that they can change the climate by altering Rossby wave wind patterns. As a way of comparison the major  peaks in the Rockies are more than 4,000 meters high and those in Europe are 5,000 meters and higher. Rossby wave winds are also called planetary waves because they are created by the rotation of the earth.

The proposed climate impact mechanism of the Rossby wave deflection by ice sheets is that (5) the deflected Rossby wave takes storms to the North Atlantic and dumps cold water on the Gulf Stream. This prevents it from going too far north and thus acts as yet another feedback system that causes even more cooling in the Northern Hemisphere and even more ice to form. Glaciation ice formation is thus presented as a feedback system that gets started because “summer temperatures must first decrease a little bit” and is then propagated by two different feedback systems – ice albedo and Rossby wave deflection.

It is suggested that during glaciation, atmospheric GHG concentration (CO2+CH4) deceases by a half or a third ahead of the cooling implying that the glaciation cooling is an atmospheric phenomenon driven by the GHG effect of CO2 and CH4. It appears therefore that what gets the glaciation feedback system started is an unexplained loss of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 “by a half or a third” that causes “summer temperatures to decrease a little bit” which in turn causes ice formation and activates the albedo and Rossby wave deflection feedback systems to create the full glaciation state of the climate. A further role for GHGs in glaciation is described in terms of reinforcing ice sheet albedo feedbacks. Ice core data show that atmospheric GHG at that time had decreased in a sequence that implies that falling GHG causes cooling and not that cooling causes falling GHG. The Milankovitch theory is thus modified with the insertion of two new variables – the GHG concentration of the atmosphere and the Rossby wave deflection by ice sheets to accommodate the large differences in glaciation periods from 40,000 years to 100,000 years.

However, details of the GHG effect are not provided in terms of their concentrations and the value of the climate sensitivity parameter used in the evaluation of the temperature effect of the observed changes in atmospheric GHG concentration. It is also noted that the author insists on including CH4 as a separate and independent GHG forcing agent over the very long time scales in glaciation and deglaciation processes even though CH4 is unstable in the atmosphere with a half life of about 5 years. It spontaneously oxidizes to form CO2 and therefore its greenhouse warming effect over much longer time scales should take this instability into consideration.

The author explains that ice formation is a slow process that took 80,000 years to form in the most recent glaciation but that the melt is much faster. He says that summer sunshine at 65 degrees North Latitude gets the melting started and rising GHG concentration of the atmosphere causes warming and ice melt to accelerate. Once the melt starts, 80% of the ice can be gone in 4,000 years. The implication is sunshine alone initially gets  both warming and GHG release from the ocean started and the heat trapping effect of the GHG then acts as a feedback loop and accelerates the rate of warming and that in turn increases atmospheric GHG concentration even further.

The author then claims that the whole of the current interglacial, the Holocene, is an unusual and exceptionally warm interglacial that he calls a Super-Interglacial, made that way by the presence of humans and by the nature of human activity since the Neolithic Revolution 10,000 years agoIn contrast, mainstream climate science theory traces human caused global warming (AGW) and climate change to the Industrial Revolution about 200 years ago years ago, when the Little Ice Age (LIA) is thought to have been ended and the current warm period started by the fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy of the humans. Also, mainstream climate science holds that the the natural interglacial warming had caused the Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) 10,000 years ago and that it was this warmth that had caused the Neolithic Revolution and the rise of human civilization {described in a related post on this site [LINK] }. In the revisionist history of the Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) presented here, the causation is reversed. The HCO did not give rise to the the Neolithic Revolution but rather it was the Neolithic Revolution that had caused the HCO by way of the CO2 emissions of human activity presumably in the form of cutting down trees, building homes, farming, and raising farm animals. However, no estimate is given for the amount of  CO2 and/or CH4 emissions of the Neolithic Revolution farmers and/or the climate sensitivity or TCRE values that were used to determine that the warming seen is explained in terms of these emissions. It is an innovative and creative conjecture by the author that is consistent with the super-interglacial hypothesis of the author but no data is provided and no empirical support is found in the paper.

The author may have used climate models to make these determinations as he had done in predicting the future of the Super Interglacial. In a forward  projection of the Super Interglacial hypothesis into the future, climate models show the temperature could rise by 1.5C to 5.6C in the next century and that the GHGs already emitted by humans have locked in enough long term future warming to push the next glaciation cycle 60,000 years into the future. If emissions continue to rise at the high end of the forecast, the next glaciation cycle will be delayed by 500,000 years according to climate models.

CRITICAL COMMENTARY 

THE CLIMATE CHANGE EVALUATIONS AND SCENARIOS DESCRIBED IN THE PAPER ARE DERIVED FROM CLIMATE MODELS. CLIMATE MODELS TELL US THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE CLIMATE THEORY BEING PROPOSED BY THE AUTHOR. IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER THESE THEORIES HAVE BEEN TESTED WITH EMPIRICAL DATA. NO CLEAR PRESENTATION OF EMPIRICAL SUPPORT IS FOUND IN THE THE PAPER. THE THEORIES PROPOSED ARE MOSTLY INCONSISTENT WITH CLIMATE  SCIENCE AS IT EXISTS AND AS IT IS BEING USED BY THE IPCC AND BY MAINSTREAM CLIMATE SCIENCE IN THE EVALUATION OF FUTURE SCENARIOS AND THE DESIGN AND PROPOSAL OF CLIMATE ACTION PLANS. THE RADICAL THEORIES, SCENARIOS, AND FORECASTS PRESENTED HERE, AS FOR EXAMPLE THE HUMAN CAUSED SUPER INTERGLACIAL, ARE A FORM OF CLIMATE DENIAL EXCEPT THAT IT IS DENIAL ON THE HIGH END OF THE ALARMISM SCALE UNLIKE THE LOW END DENIAL THAT WE NORMALLY SEE IN CLIMATE SKEPTICISM.

PERHAPS THE ANOMALOUS FINDINGS REPORTED BY THIS AUTHOR ARE BEST UNDERSTOOD IN TERMS OF THE EXTREME ALARMISM OF HIS “HUMAN IMPACT” POSITION PRESENTED IN HIS EVALUATION OF THE ANTHROPOCENE IN THE VIDEO BELOW. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR A RESEARCHER TO CARRY OUT OBJECTIVE AND UNBIASED SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY WHEN HE HAS AN ACTIVISM INTEREST IN THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE RESEARCH QUESTION. 

A COMMENTARY ON THE ANTHROPOCENE IS OFFERED IN A RELATED POST ON THIS SITE [LINK]  . IN TERMS OF THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE HOLOCENE AS A HUMAN CAUSED EXCEPTIONALLY WARM SUPER INTERGLACIAL, SOME EXPLANATION IS NEEDED FOR THE CHAOTIC PATTERN OF THE HOLOCENE AS CYCLICAL ALTERNATIONS BETWEEN COLD AND WARM PERIODS AT MILLENNIAL AND CENTENNIAL TIME SCALES SEEN IN PALEO DATA [LINK]

THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOW TAKEN CHARGE OF OUR ENERGY FUTURE THAT IS COMMANDED TO BE RENEWABLE ENERGY AND NOTHING MORE LEST THERE BE ICE MELT AND SEA LEVEL RISE AND EXTREME WEATHER AND FOREST FIRES AND VIOLENT STORMS.

it-just-dont-add-up

 

There are some contentious and unsettled issues in the statistics of vaccine development. Here we discuss two of these that appear to be most prominent in vaccine debates. They are the small sample size issue and the so called “non-inferiority” tests.

The small sample size issue arises from conflict between (A) the safety issue in the administration of the tested vaccine and (B) the safety issue in the test itself.  Ideally we would like to have a vaccine with a high level of confidence in (A), the safety of the tested vaccine; but that would require putting a large number of people at risk in the test (B). This difficult balancing task typically leads to the use of smaller test sample sizes than what we would use if we didn’t care about the welfare of the humans we are testing it on. This is the so called “small sample size” problem. The small sample size problem remains a serious and unresolved issue in vaccine development not because vaccine developers are evil but because there is no easy answer to a difficult question.

The other unsettled statistical issue in vaccine development has to do with “non-inferiority” tests. This issue involves a tested and FDA approved vaccine where some modifications have been made that are considered minor, as for example a change in the formulation with equivalent material or a change in the manufacturing process. In such cases the vaccine must be re-tested. However, since the vaccine that was altered had already been proven safe and is an FDA approved vaccine, there is some question as to what the null hypothesis should be in the hypothesis test. Strictly speaking, the null hypothesis in hypothesis tests is always the negation of what you believe is true and in this case the null hypothesis must be the same as in the initial test and that is that the vaccine is not safe. However, since the vaccine has already been proven safe and since the only question is whether a minor change in the manufacturing process or change in materials supplier has made a significant change, the null hypothesis used is that there is no change. Thus only the rejection of this null hypothesis implies the possibility of harm and, in an anomalous way, the “fail to reject” condition actually proves the safety of the vaccine. This is a serious but unresolved anomaly in the statistics of vaccine development, but, as in issue-A, it has no easy answer and no simple solution. However, at the minimum, statistical tests where fail to reject is the criterion for safety, a high value of  α should be used as for example α=0.10 to ensure that any reasonable ability to discriminate is not overlooked. Here is an example in climate science [LINK] .

Conclusion: Vaccine development statistics issues are like no other medical statistics issue because of the involvement of human subjects in potentially very harmful tests and because of the need to continually modify manufacturing procedures to stay abreast of technological and materials availability issues in the area of vaccine manufacture and distribution.

See also:

https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=2c6057c528fdc6f73fa196d9d&id=905babc439&e=3624e5b785

Nature Briefing on vaccine development.

Excerpt: More than 90 vaccines for the coronavirus are at various stages of development, and at least six are being tested for safety in people. Now, developers, funders and other stakeholders are laying the groundwork for their biggest challenge yet: determining which vaccines actually work. The World Health Organization has proposed an adaptive trial design that allows vaccines to be added and dropped on an ongoing basis. The agency still has to work out which vaccines to test first, and how to convince drug developers to have their products pitted against each other. Large trials are usually necessary to determine safety and efficacy. An alternative is to administer vaccines that look safe in early-stage trials to high-risk groups — such as health-care workers — under ‘emergency use’ rules.

 

See also  https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/basics/test-approve.html

Excerpt: Clinical development is a three-phase process. During Phase I, small groups of people receive the trial vaccine. In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended. In Phase III, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety. Many vaccines undergo Phase IV formal, ongoing studies after the vaccine is approved and licensed.

See also: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8483112

Excerpt: We discuss in detail factors that influence sample size. Factors most influential are the incidence rate of HIV infection in the study population and the minimum efficacy at which a vaccine is still considered acceptable. The smaller either of these factors is, the larger the sample size will be.

A few other issues in noninferiority tests are mentioned in the literature exemplified by the Wang etal 2006 paper below:

Wang, W. W. B., et al. “Statistical considerations for noninferiority/equivalence trials in vaccine development.” Journal of biopharmaceutical statistics 16.4 (2006): 429-441.  Noninferiority/equivalence designs are often used in vaccine clinical trials. The goal of these designs is to demonstrate that a new vaccine, or new formulation or regimen of an existing vaccine, is similar in terms of effectiveness to the existing vaccine, while offering such advantages as easier manufacturing, easier administration, lower cost, or improved safety profile. These noninferiority/equivalence designs are particularly useful in four common types of immunogenicity trials: vaccine bridging trials, combination vaccine trials, vaccine concomitant use trials, and vaccine consistency lot trials. In this paper, we give an overview of the key statistical issues and recent developments for noninferiority/equivalence vaccine trials. Specifically, we cover the following topics: (i) selection of study endpoints; (ii) formulation of the null and alternative hypotheses; (iii) determination of the noninferiority/equivalence margin; (iv) selection of efficient statistical methods for the statistical analysis of noninferiority/equivalence vaccine trials, with particular emphasis on adjustment for stratification factors and missing pre- or post-vaccination data; and (v) the calculation of sample size and power.



  • chaamjamal: Very interesting assessment. Thank you very much. I'll read it again after golf.
  • chaamjamal: Good point. Thank you.
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