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Archive for September 2020

fire
Indonesia forest fires surge, stoking global warming fears
How climate change is increasing forest fires around the world |  Environment| All topics from climate change to conservation | DW |  19.06.2017

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A 9/25/2020 BBC NEWS ARTICLE WITH THE FINDING THAT GLOBAL WARMING DRIVES WILDFIRES. LINK TO BBC NEWS ARTICLE: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54278988

PART-1: WHAT THE BBC NEWS ARTICLE SAYS

  1. Climate change is driving the scale and impact of recent wildfires that have raged in California, say scientists. Their analysis finds an “unequivocal and pervasive” role for global heating in boosting the conditions for fire. California now has greater exposure to fire risks than before humans started altering the climate, the authors say.
  2. Land management issues, touted by President Donald Trump as a key cause, can’t by themselves explain the recent infernos. The worst wildfires in 18 years have raged across California since August. They have been responsible for more than 30 deaths and driven thousands of people from their homes.
  3. The cause of the fires have become a political football, with California Governor Gavin Newsom blaming climate change for the conflagrations. President Trump, on the other hand, has dismissed this argument, instead pointing to land management practices as the key driver.
  4. Now, a review of scientific research into the reasons for these fires suggests rising temperatures are playing a major role. Earlier this year, the same research team published a review of the origins of Australia’s dramatic fires that raged in the 2019-2020 season. That study showed that climate change was behind an increase in the frequency and severity of fire weather – defined as periods of time with a higher risk of fire due to a combination of high temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and high winds.
  5. The new review covers more than 100 studies published since 2013, and shows that extreme fires occur when natural variability in the climate is superimposed on increasingly warm and dry background conditions resulting from global warming.
  6. In terms of the trends we’re seeing, in terms of the extent of wildfires, and which have increased eight to ten-fold in the past four decades, that trend is driven by climate change,” said Dr Matthew Jones from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, who led the review.
  7. Climate change ultimately means that those forests, whatever state they’re in, are becoming warmer and drier more frequently. And that’s what’s really driving the kind of scale and impact of the fires that we’re seeing today.
  8. In the 40 years from 1979 to 2019, fire weather conditions have increased by a total of eight days on average across the world. However, in California the number of autumn days with extreme wildfire conditions has doubled in that period.
  9. The authors of the review conclude that “climate change is bringing hotter, drier weather to the western US and the region is fundamentally more exposed to fire risks than it was before humans began to alter the global climate”.
  10. The researchers acknowledge that fire management practices in the US have also contributed to the build-up of fuel. Normally, fire authorities carry out controlled burnings in some areas to reduce the amount of fuel available when a wildfire strikes – but these have also suffered as a result of rising temperatures. When you do prescribed burns, you can only do it when the conditions aren’t too hot and dry, because you need to be able to control the fire,” said Prof Richard Betts from the UK Met Office in Exeter, who was part of the review team.
  11. But once you’ve passed the point where you’ve got hot, dry conditions for much of the year, you’ve lost your opportunity to do lots of prescribed burnings. So that makes matters worse and makes the land management challenge even greater.
  12. Another factor in California has been the encroachment of human settlements into forested areas. This has put many more homes at risk of these blazes. Between 1940 and 2010, there was around a 100-fold increase in the number of houses built in dangerous fire zones in the western US. It’s like building on floodplains as well, you know, people are putting themselves in harm’s way, based on past statistics, which are no longer true,” said Prof Betts. The past is no longer a guide to the future, for flooding and for fire and lots of other ways in which climate change is played out.
  13. The researchers say that the conditions for wildfire are likely to continue to grow into the future, and according to Dr Jones, the resulting fires will likely get worse. It’s pointing towards increases in fire weather that become increasingly intense, widespread and dramatic in the future,” he said.
  14. And the more that we can do to limit the degree to which temperatures rise, is fundamental to how frequently we see dangerous fire weather in the future.
Staff | Geography | University of Exeter
Matthew Jones - Research Database, The University of East Anglia
University of Exeter - Massey University

Body discovered in a lake outside the University of East Anglia | Daily  Mail Online

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

Hilda Bastian a Twitter: "📌 Important alert! Please note that in this  pandemic, an actual study is no longer required to activate scientists' confirmation  bias.… https://t.co/B3Qdyow9HH"
THE CONFIRMATION BIAS ISSUE

THE INTERNAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY ISSUE

Post Hoc Fallacy - Definition and Examples - Fallacy In Logic
THE POST HOC EVENT ATTRIBUTION ISSUE

burden of proof | Logical fallacies, Life science lessons, Scientific  writing
SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF FALLACY

Indian Ocean phenomenon helping to predict extreme weather
THE LOCAL CLIMATE DRIVERS ISSUE FOR AUSTRALIA

NWS JetStream - Weather Impacts of ENSO
THE LOCAL CLIMATE DRIVERS ISSUE FOR CALIFORNIA

THE CONFIRMATION BIAS ISSUE IN POST HOC EVENT ATTRIBUTION Neither the Australian bushfires of 2019-2020 nor the California forest fires of 2020 were predicted by climate science, not even in probabilistic terms, and not even within large time or area spans and so these attributions derive only from the climate science position that global warming would exacerbate forest fire conditions where they occur. The nature and statistical weaknesses of these studies are found for example in the works of Leroy Westerling, Adam Pellegrini, and others described in a related post:

LINK TO PELLEGRINI POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/12/climate-change-wildfires/ .

FROM THE LINKED POST: The assumed causal connection, that AGW climate change increases wildfire frequency, is derived from the various works of Leroy Westerling, Professor of Climatology, the University of California at Merced from 2006 to 2011 and some later works by other authors. The references are listed in the RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY below. These research papers find that: “In certain specific regions (eg California), but not in others, wildfires have increased since the mid-1980s while at the same time AGW climate change was causing increased warmth, desiccation, and wind speed that could enhance wildfire conditions. These relationships are taken as evidence that AGW climate change did in fact cause an increase in wildfires.

The weaknesses in this argument are many as listed below.
(1) DATA SELECTION BIAS: Evidence of the effect of global warming on wildfire frequency or severity is not established globally; but rather for specific regions where rising devastation by wildfires is known to have occurred are selected for the evaluation. This procedure contains the data selection bias (2) A STATISTICAL WEAKNESS: That variable y is rising while at the same time variable x was also rising establishes neither correlation nor causation even when x and y could have a causation relationship in terms of theory. Yet this is the sole argument presented for the attribution of wildfire severity and/or frequency to AGW other than the rationalization that AGW is expected to cause increased warmth, desiccation, an wind speed (3) INCONVENIENT VARIABLES REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION: Other factors that are also concomitant are not considered such as changes in California logging regulations that were made around the time when the Spotted Owl was declared to be an endangered species threatened by logging. Logging in California’s wilderness was banned. At the same time, prescribed forest management fires were banned or severely curtailed. These changes also occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s but they have been removed from consideration to make way for a single minded focus on a pre-determined causation relationship between AGW climate change and wildfires. Even more egregious, if indeed the wildfire devastation in California is related to the failure of forest management by way of inadequate prescribed fires, the Pellegrini 2018 implication that prescribed fires are bad because of lost carbon sequestration is the exact opposite of the forest management change needed in California. (4) Computer modeling of the impact of AGW climate change on wildfires will of course show that relationship because it has been programmed into it. These results serve only to show that the model works the way it is supposed to work and can’t be presented as empirical evidence that the observed increase in California wildfire devastation since the 1990s must have been caused by AGW. Computer models of expected theoretical relationships are an expression of the theory itself and it cannot also serve as the data to test theory. The works listed in the AGW Wildfire bibliography below, particularly those by Professor Westerling are biased in this way. (5) Results of modeling studies and climate theories of the impact of AGW climate change on wildfires have created a sense that the truth of the causation relationship is a given and that the observational evidence plays the minor role of providing the kind of data that are expected in going through the required formality for a causation that has been fully accepted by the researchers apriori.

In other words, that AGW climate change increases wildfire devastation is the null hypothesis. However, it is necessary for empirical test of theory to be carried out in exactly the opposite way where the null hypothesis is the absence of the causation relationship and sufficient and convincing unbiased evidence must be presented before the null hypothesis can be rejected.

Thus, it was only after they had occurred that climate science found ways to attribute the event post hoc to fossil fueled anthropogenic global warming. There was no forecast of any kind not even in probabilistic language. This kind of attribution generally derives from confirmation bias where data analysis is carried out not with a null hypothesis that that the proposed hypothesis is false but with a null hypothesis that it is true. It is then defended with the burden of proof fallacy. A detailed presentation of confirmation bias and burden of proof fallacy in climate science is presented in a related post on this site.

LINK TO CONFIRMATION BIAS POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

THE INTERNAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY ISSUE

The importance of the separating natural internal climate variability from the effects of anthropogenic global warming has been recognized in climate science in a recent series of papers published on this topic. See for example, Insights from Earth system model initial-condition large ensembles and future prospects, Clara Deser,et al: Nature Climate Change, 2020 or Quantifying the role of internal variability in the temperature we expect to observe in the coming decades Nicola Maher et al, 2020. The essential finding of these papers is that anthropogenic global warming {AGW} is a theory about long term trends in global mean temperature such that the reference climate in the climate change issue is long term changes in global climate such that ” Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales“. The implication is that localized climate events – that is, a climate phenomenon that is constrained by a small geographical extent less than significant latitudinal sections of the globe and by a brief time scale less than 30 years is likely to be driven by natural internal climate variability to an extent that it does not have an interpretation in terms of AGW.

In the Internal Climate Variability context, we note in the chart below that Australia represents only 5% of the world’s land and 1.5% of the global surface. As for California, the state consists of 0.28% of the world’s land surface and 0.08% of global surface area. The corresponding figures for the western states that suffered through the dry lightning event and the fires attributed to that event represent 0.56% of the world’s land surface and 0.17% of global surface area. A further consideration in terms of Internal Climate Variability is that the entire event occurred within a time span of one calendar month, specifically the month of September in the year 2020. This time span, being less than 30 years, implies that the climate variability that created these weather events cannot be understood in terms of AGW and must be interpreted in terms of weather events that are creations of internal climate variability and separate from AGW.

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LINK TO INTERNAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/16/the-internal-variability-issue/

SHIFTING THE BURDEN OF PROOF FALLACY ISSUE

The arguments presented above as weaknesses of the climate science argument that the California fires were caused by AGW and that therefore they could have been avoided with timely climate action contains the climate science rebuttal that these fires are unusual and not part of the trend and pattern seen in historical data and so to question the AGW causation hypothesis of climate science, the critic must provide the unusual causation for this unusual event. In the absence of a convincing alternative unusual causation, the climate science theory that AGW caused these fires and that these fires underscore the urgency of climate action stands as scientific fact. This implied argument in climate science is an expression of the shifting the burden of proof fallacy. It cannot be claimed to be science.

FINALLY, WE PROPOSE THAT THE POST HOC ATTRIBUTIONS OF CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY THAT ARE DRIVEN BY CONFIRMATION BIAS CAN BE UNDERSTOOD IN TERMS OF ANTI FOSSIL FUEL ADVOCACY FOUND IN THE FOUNDATION OF CLIMATE SCIENCE. THE DETAILS AND HISTORICAL ROOTS OF THIS ASPECT OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE MOVEMENT OF OUR TIME ARE DESCRIBED IN A RELATED POST: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/23/anti-fossil-fuel-activism-disguised-as-climate-science/

fire
Indonesia forest fires surge, stoking global warming fears
Staff | Geography | University of Exeter
Matthew Jones - Research Database, The University of East Anglia

THE RELEVANT BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Fried, Jeremy S., Margaret S. Torn, and Evan Mills. “The impact of climate change on wildfire severity: a regional forecast for northern California.” Climatic change 64.1-2 (2004): 169-191.  We estimated the impact of climatic change on wildland fire and suppression effectiveness in northern California by linking general circulation model (GCM) output to local weather and fire records and projecting fire outcomes with an initial-attack suppression model. The warmer and windier conditions corresponding to a 2 × CO2 climate scenario produced fires that burned more intensely and spread faster in most locations. Despite enhancement of fire suppression efforts, the number of escaped fires (those exceeding initial containment limits) increased 51% in the south San Francisco Bay area, 125% in the Sierra Nevada, and did not change on the north coast. Changes in area burned by contained fires were 41%, 41% and –8%, respectively. When interpolated to most of northern California’s wildlands, these results translate to an average annual increase of 114 escapes (a doubling of the current frequency) and an additional 5,000 hectares (a 50% increase) burned by contained fires. On average, the fire return intervals in grass and brush vegetation types were cut in half. The estimates reported represent a minimum expected change, or best-case forecast. In addition to the increased suppression costs and economic damages, changes in fire severity of this magnitude would have widespread impacts on vegetation distribution, forest condition, and carbon storage, and greatly increase the risk to property, natural resources and human life. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  2. Westerling, Anthony L., et al. “Warming and earlier spring increase western US forest wildfire activity.” science 313.5789 (2006): 940-943.  Western United States forest wildfire activity is widely thought to have increased in recent decades, yet neither the extent of recent changes nor the degree to which climate may be driving regional changes in wildfire has been systematically documented. Much of the public and scientific discussion of changes in western United States wildfire has focused instead on the effects of 19th- and 20th-century land-use history. We compiled a comprehensive database of large wildfires in western United States forests since 1970 and compared it with hydroclimatic and land-surface data. Here, we show that large wildfire activity increased suddenly and markedly in the mid-1980s, with higher large-wildfire frequency, longer wildfire duration, and longer wildfire seasons. The greatest increases occurred in mid-elevation, Northern Rockies forests, where land-use histories have relatively little effect on fire risks and are strongly associated with increased spring and summer temperatures and an earlier spring snowmelt. In the Conclusions section of the paper the authors write “Robust statistical associations between wildfire and hydroclimate in western forests indicate that increased wildfire activity over recent decades reflects sub-regional responses to changes in climate. Historical wildfire observations exhibit an abrupt transition in the mid-1980s from a regime of infrequent large wildfires of short (average of 1 week) duration to one with much more frequent and longer burning (5 weeks) fires. This transition was marked by a shift toward unusually warm springs, longer summer dry seasons, drier vegetation (which provoked more and longer burning large wildfires), and longer fire seasons. Reduced winter precipitation and an early spring snowmelt played a role in this shift. Increases in wildfire were particularly strong in mid-elevation forests. [LINK TO FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD]
  3. Scholze, Marko, et al. “A climate-change risk analysis for world ecosystems.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103.35 (2006): 13116-13120.  We quantify the risks of climate-induced changes in key ecosystem processes during the 21st century by forcing a dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) with multiple scenarios from 16 climate models and mapping the proportions of model runs showing forest/nonforest shifts or exceedance of natural variability in wildfire frequency and freshwater supply. Our analysis does not assign probabilities to scenarios or weights to models. Instead, we consider distribution of outcomes within three sets of model runs grouped by the amount of global warming they simulate: <2°C (including simulations in which atmospheric composition is held constant, i.e., in which the only climate change is due to greenhouse gases already emitted), 2–3°C, and >3°C. High risk of forest loss is shown for Eurasia, eastern China, Canada, Central America, and Amazonia, with forest extensions into the Arctic and semiarid savannas; more frequent wildfire in Amazonia, the far north, and many semiarid regions; more runoff north of 50°N and in tropical Africa and northwestern South America; and less runoff in West Africa, Central America, southern Europe, and the eastern U.S. Substantially larger areas are affected for global warming >3°C than for <2°C; some features appear only at higher warming levels. A land carbon sink of ≈1 Pg of C per yr is simulated for the late 20th century, but for >3°C this sink converts to a carbon source during the 21st century (implying a positive climate feedback) in 44% of cases. The risks continue increasing over the following 200 years, even with atmospheric composition held constant. [FULL TEXT PDF DOWNLOAD] .
  4. Westerling, A. L., and B. P. Bryant. “Climate change and wildfire in California.” Climatic Change 87.1 (2008): 231-249.  Wildfire risks for California under four climatic change scenarios were statistically modeled as functions of climate, hydrology, and topography. Wildfire risks for the GFDL and PCM global climate models (note: GFDL and PCM are different resolutions of GCM climate models) and the A2 and B1 emissions scenarios were compared for 2005–2034, 2035–2064, and 2070–2099 against a modeled 1961–1990 reference period in California and neighboring states. Outcomes for the GFDL model runs, which exhibit higher temperatures than the PCM model runs, diverged sharply for different kinds of fire regimes, with increased temperatures promoting greater large fire frequency in wetter, forested areas, via the effects of warmer temperatures on fuel flammability. At the same time, reduced moisture availability due to lower precipitation and higher temperatures led to reduced fire risks in some locations where fuel flammability may be less important than the availability of fine fuels. Property damages due to wildfires were also modeled using the 2000 U.S. Census to describe the location and density of residential structures. In this analysis the largest changes in property damages under the climate change scenarios occurred in wildland/urban interfaces proximate to major metropolitan areas in coastal southern California, the Bay Area, and in the Sierra foothills northeast of Sacramento. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  5. Cannon, Susan H., and Jerry DeGraff. “The increasing wildfire and post-fire debris-flow threat in western USA, and implications for consequences of climate change.” Landslides–disaster risk reduction. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2009. 177-190.  In southern California and the intermountain west of the USA, debris flows generated from recently-burned basins pose significant hazards. Increases in the frequency and size of wildfires throughout the western USA can be attributed to increases in the number of fire ignitions, fire suppression practices, and climatic influences. Increased urbanization throughout the western USA, combined with the increased wildfire magnitude and frequency, carries with it the increased threat of subsequent debris-flow occurrence. Differences between rainfall thresholds and empirical debris-flow susceptibility models for southern California and the intermountain west indicate a strong influence of climatic and geologic settings on post-fire debris-flow potential. The linkages between wildfires, debris-flow occurrence, and global warming suggests that the experiences in the western United States are highly likely to be duplicated in many other parts of the world, and necessitate hazard assessment tools that are specific to local climates and physiographies. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  6. Abatzoglou, John T., and Crystal A. Kolden. “Climate change in western US deserts: potential for increased wildfire and invasive annual grasses.” Rangeland Ecology & Management 64.5 (2011): 471-478.  The influence of climate change on future invasions depends on both climate suitability that defines a potential species range and the mechanisms that facilitate invasions and contractions. A suite of downscaled climate projections for the mid–21st century was used to examine changes in physically based mechanisms, including critical physiological temperature thresholds, the timing and availability of moisture, and the potential for large wildfires. Results suggest widespread changes in 1) the length of the freeze-free season that may favor cold-intolerant annual grasses, 2) changes in the frequency of wet winters that may alter the potential for establishment of invasive annual grasses, and 3) an earlier onset of fire season and a lengthening of the window during which conditions are conducive to fire ignition and growth furthering the fire-invasive feedback loop. We propose that a coupled approach combining bioclimatic envelope modeling with mechanistic modeling targeted to a given species can help land managers identify locations and species that pose the highest level of overall risk of conversion associated with the multiple stressors of climate change. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  7. Girardin, Martin P., et al. “Vegetation limits the impact of a warm climate on boreal wildfires.” New Phytologist 199.4 (2013): 1001-1011.  Strategic introduction of less flammable broadleaf vegetation into landscapes was suggested as a management strategy for decreasing the risk of boreal wildfires projected under climatic change. However, the realization and strength of this offsetting effect in an actual environment remain to be demonstrated. Here we combined paleoecological data, global climate models and wildfire modelling to assess regional fire frequency (RegFF, i.e. the number of fires through time) in boreal forests as it relates to tree species composition and climate over millennial time‐scales. Lacustrine charcoals from northern landscapes of eastern boreal Canada indicate that RegFF regional fire frequency during the mid‐Holocene (6000–3000 yr ago) was significantly higher than pre‐industrial RegFF (ad c. 1750). In southern landscapes, RegFF was not significantly higher than the pre‐industrial RegFF in spite of the declining drought severity. The modelling experiment indicates that the high fire risk brought about by a warmer and drier climate in the south during the mid‐Holocene was offset by a higher broadleaf component. Our data highlight an important function for broadleaf vegetation in determining boreal RegFF in a warmer climate. We estimate that its feedback may be large enough to offset the projected climate change impacts on drought conditions. [FULL TEXT]  
  8. Westerling, Anthony LeRoy. “Increasing western US forest wildfire activity: sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371.1696 (2016): 20150178.  Prior work shows western US forest wildfire activity increased abruptly in the mid-1980s. Large forest wildfires and areas burned in them have continued to increase over recent decades, with most of the increase in lightning-ignited fires. Northern US Rockies forests dominated early increases in wildfire activity, and still contributed 50% of the increase in large fires over the last decade. However, the percentage growth in wildfire activity in Pacific northwestern and southwestern US forests has rapidly increased over the last two decades. Wildfire numbers and burned area are also increasing in non-forest vegetation types. Wildfire activity appears strongly associated with warming and earlier spring snowmelt. Analysis of the drivers of forest wildfire sensitivity to changes in the timing of spring demonstrates that forests at elevations where the historical mean snow-free season ranged between two and four months, with relatively high cumulative warm-season actual evapotranspiration, have been most affected. Increases in large wildfires associated with earlier spring snowmelt scale exponentially with changes in moisture deficit, and moisture deficit changes can explain most of the spatial variability in forest wildfire regime response to the timing of spring. [FULL TEXT]

FOREST FIRE EFFECT ON TOPSOIL CHEMISTRY:  BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Shakesby, Richard A., et al. “Impacts of prescribed fire on soil loss and soil quality: an assessment based on an experimentally-burned catchment in central Portugal.” Catena 128 (2015): 278-293.  Prescribed (controlled) fire has recently been adopted as an important wildfire-fighting strategy in the Mediterranean. Relatively little research, however, has assessed its impacts on soil erosion and soil quality. This paper investigates hillslope-scale losses of soil, organic matter and selected nutrients before and after a ‘worst-case scenario’ prescribed fire in a steep, shrub-vegetated catchment with thin stony soil in central Portugal. Comparison is made with soil erosion measured: (1) on a nearby hillslope burned by wildfire and monitored at the hillslope scale; and (2) on long-unburned terrain at small-plot, hillslope- and catchment-scales. Hillslope-scale pre- and post-fire soil erosion was recorded over periods of 6 weeks to 5 months for (1) 9.5 months pre-fire and 27 months post-fire in the prescribed fire catchment, and (2) c. 3 years post-fire at the wildfire site. Organic matter content, pH, total N, K2O, P2O5, Ca2 + and Mg2 + were measured in the eroded sediment and in pre- and post-prescribed fire surface soil. Results indicate that: (1) both the prescribed fire and the wildfire caused expected marked increases in erosion compared with unburned terrain; and (2) the hillslope-scale post-prescribed fire soil losses (up to 2.41 t ha− 1 yr− 1) exceeded many reported plot-scale post-prescribed fire and post-wildfire erosion rates in the Mediterranean. As a comparison, post-fire erosion for both fire types was less than that caused by some other forms of common soil disturbance (e.g. types of tillage) and even that on undisturbed shrubland in low rainfall areas of the region. Total estimated post-prescribed fire particulate losses of organic matter and nutrients represent only 0.2–2.9% of the content in the upper 2 cm of soil, suggesting only a modest fire effect on soil quality, although this may reflect in part a lack of extreme rainfall events following the fire. The longer-term implications for soil conservation of repeated prescribed fire in the Mediterranean are explored and future research priorities identified.
  2. Pellegrini, Adam FA, et al. “Fire alters ecosystem carbon and nutrients but not plant nutrient stoichiometry or composition in tropical savanna.” Ecology 96.5 (2015): 1275-1285.  Fire and nutrients interact to influence the global distribution and dynamics of the savanna biome, (Biome=large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna such as a forest) but the results of these interactions are both complex and poorly known. A critical but unresolved question is whether short‐term losses of carbon and nutrients caused by fire can trigger long‐term and potentially compensatory responses in the nutrient stoichiometry of plants, or in the abundance of dinitrogen‐fixing trees. There is disagreement in the literature about the potential role of fire on savanna nutrients, and, in turn, on plant stoichiometry and composition. A major limitation has been the lack of fire manipulations over time scales sufficiently long for these interactions to emerge. We use a 58‐year, replicated, large‐scale, fire manipulation experiment in Kruger National Park (South Africa) in savanna to quantify the effect of fire on (1) distributions of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus at the ecosystem scale; (2) carbon : nitrogen : phosphorus stoichiometry of above‐ and below-ground tissues of plant species; and (3) abundance of plant functional groups including nitrogen fixers. Our results show dramatic effects of fire on the relative distribution of nutrients in soils, but that individual plant stoichiometry and plant community composition remained unexpectedly resilient. Moreover, measures of nutrients and carbon stable isotopes allowed us to discount the role of tree cover change in favor of the turnover of herbaceous biomass as the primary mechanism that mediates a transition from low to high soil carbon and nutrients in the absence of fire. We conclude that, in contrast to extra‐tropical grasslands or closed‐canopy forests, vegetation in the savanna biome may be uniquely adapted to nutrient losses caused by recurring fire.
  3. Fultz, Lisa M., et al. “Forest wildfire and grassland prescribed fire effects on soil biogeochemical processes and microbial communities: Two case studies in the semi-arid Southwest.” Applied soil ecology 99 (2016): 118-128.  Fire is a natural disturbance that shapes many ecosystems. In semi-arid regions, where high temperatures and low soil moisture limit nutrient cycling and plant growth, fire is critical to supply nutrients and drive vegetation composition. We examined soil chemical and biological properties to assess the short-term impacts of wildfire and prescribed fires on soil functioning in semi-arid regions of Texas. Better understanding of soil organic matter transformation and nutrient cycling processes will aid land managers in predicting ecosystem recovery response post-fire. Soil samples were collected following both prescribed grassland fires in June of 2009 in Lubbock, TX and the April 2012 Livermore Ranch Complex Fire located in the Davis Mountains, TX. Prescribed fire samples (0–2.5 cm) were collected within 6 hours prior to burning and again at 0.5, 24, 48, and 168 hours post-fire to experimentally examine short-term influences of fire and fire frequency (1× vs. 2×) on soil carbon dynamics, inorganic nitrogen, and microbial community composition. Wildfire samples (0–5 cm) were collected two and six months following the wildfire. We evaluated the effects of three burn severity levels and sampled under three tree species (Juniperus deppeanaPinus cembroides, and Quercus grisea). Within 0.5 h of the prescribed fire, CO2 flux, NH4+-N concentration and total microbial biomass (as estimated by total fatty acid methyl esters) increased. A shift in the microbial community from a predominance of fungi to Gram positive bacteria occurred immediately following the fire. Chemical shifts were short lived (decreased within 24 h), but the biotic shift to a dominance of Gram negative bacteria and actinomycetes was measured in samples collected after 168 h. Soil pH and NH4+-N concentration increased at two and six months following the wildfire. In contrast, soil organic matter content decreased at two months post wildfire which, in combination of abiotic conditions such as low moisture content (<3.3%), resulted in reduced soil microbial biomass and enzyme activity. Increased soil moisture six months post fire created more favorable conditions for nitrification resulting in increased NO3-N concentration (0.8 to 36.1 mg NO3-N kg−1 soil), particularly following high severity fire. Prescribed fire did not have lasting impacts on soil nutrients, but both prescribed and wildfire resulted in increased NH4+-N, shifts in microbial community structure and decreased in microbial biomass. While the increase in nitrogen maybe be beneficial to the plant growth and revegetation, the loss of microbial biomass may have far reaching implications to the overall sustainability of the soils in these systems.
  4. Brown, Julian, Alan York, and Fiona Christie. “Fire effects on pollination in a sexually deceptive orchid.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 25.8 (2016): 888-895. Research into the effectiveness of prescribed fire in managing pollination has only recently begun. The effects of fire on pollination have not been explored in sexually deceptive systems. Further, the potential for multiple effects operating at different spatial scales has not been explored in any pollination system despite multi-scale effects on pollination observed in agricultural landscapes. We observed the frequency of pollinator visitation to flowers of sexually deceptive Caladenia tentaculata and related it to the post-fire age class of the vegetation at local and landscape scales. We also related the number of the pollinator’s putative larval hosts (scarab beetles) captured at these sites to age class. At the local scale (i.e. the sample location), visitation was highest in recently burnt sites. At the landscape scale, positive associations were observed between (1) putative pollinator hosts and vegetation burnt 36–50 years ago, and (2) pollinator visitation and vegetation burnt ≥50 years ago. Local- and landscape-scale effects on visitation were synergistic, such that visitation was greatest when fire age was heterogeneous within pollinator foraging range.
  5. Alcañiz, M., et al. “Long-term dynamics of soil chemical properties after a prescribed fire in a Mediterranean forest (Montgrí Massif, Catalonia, Spain).” Science of the total environment 572 (2016): 1329-1335.  This study examines the effects of a prescribed fire on soil chemical properties in the Montgrí Massif (Girona, Spain). The prescribed forest fire was conducted in 2006 to reduce understory vegetation and so prevent potential severe wildfires. Soil was sampled at a depth of 0–5 cm at 42 sampling points on four separate occasions: prior to the event, immediately after, one year after and nine years after. The parameters studied were pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total carbon (C), total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2 +) and magnesium (Mg2 +). All parameters (except pH) increased significantly immediately after the fire. One year after burning, some chemical parameters – namely, EC, available P and K+ – had returned to their initial, or even lower, values; while others – pH and total C – continued to rise. Total N, Ca2 + and Mg2 + levels had fallen one year after the fire, but levels were still higher than those prior to the event. Nine years after the fire, pH, total C, total N and available P are significantly lower than pre-fire values and nutrients concentrations are now higher than at the outset but without statistical significance. The soil system, therefore, is still far from being recovered nine years later.
  6. Armas-Herrera, Cecilia M., et al. “Immediate effects of prescribed burning in the Central Pyrenees on the amount and stability of topsoil organic matter.” Catena 147 (2016): 238-244.  Prescribed burning is the deliberate application of fire under selected conditions to accomplish predetermined management objectives. It is generally accepted that controlled use of fire has neutral or even positive effects on soils due to its lower temperature, intensity and severity compared to wildfires. However, very few studies have examined the effects of prescribed burning of shrub vegetation in humid mountain areas on soil properties. The objective of this work was to determine the immediate effects of prescribed burning on the quality and biochemical stability of soil organic matter (SOM) in areas encroached by shrubs in the Central Pyrenees (NE Spain). Soil samples were sampled in triplicate immediately before and after burning from the Ah horizon at 0–1, 1–2 and 2–3 cm depths. We quantified the variations as a direct result of burning in (1) the SOM content, (2) the content and mineralization rates of labile and recalcitrant C pools as inferred from incubation assays (141 days), and (3) the soil biological activity related to C cycling (microbial biomass C and β-D-glucosidase activity). Nearly all the soil properties studied were significantly affected by fire, varying in terms of extent of the effect and the soil depth affected. The total soil organic C (SOC), C/N ratio, β-D-glucosidase activity, C-CO2 efflux and estimated content of labile SOC decreased significantly up to 3 cm depth. The total N and microbial biomass C were significantly affected only in the upper cm of the soil (0–1 cm). These results describe a short-term stronger impact of the prescribed fire on topsoil properties than usually reported. However, comparing these findings to other studies should be performed with caution because of the different environments considered in each case, as well as the differing soil thicknesses found in the literature, typically between 5 and 15 cm, which can lead to a dilution effect associated with the actual impacts of fire on soil properties. In this sense, the choice of a suitable soil thickness or sampling just after burning can be relevant factors in the detection of the immediate effects of fire. Short- and medium-term monitoring of the soils is needed to assess the suitability of this practice for pasture maintenance and for adapting the frequency of prescribed fires in order to minimize its impact on soil.
  7. Sun, Hui, et al. “Bacterial community structure and function shift across a northern boreal forest fire chronosequence.” Scientific reports 6 (2016): 32411.  Soil microbial responses to fire are likely to change over the course of forest recovery. Investigations on long-term changes in bacterial dynamics following fire are rare. We characterized the soil bacterial communities across three different times post fire in a 2 to 152-year fire chronosequence by Illumina MiSeq sequencing, coupled with a functional gene array (GeoChip). The results showed that the bacterial diversity did not differ between the recently and older burned areas, suggesting a concomitant recovery in the bacterial diversity after fire. The differences in bacterial communities over time were mainly driven by the rare operational taxonomic units (OTUs < 0.1%). Proteobacteria (39%), Acidobacteria (34%) and Actinobacteria (17%) were the most abundant phyla across all sites. Genes involved in C and N cycling pathways were present in all sites showing high redundancy in the gene profiles. However, hierarchical cluster analysis using gene signal intensity revealed that the sites with different fire histories formed separate clusters, suggesting potential differences in maintaining essential biogeochemical soil processes. Soil temperature, pH and water contents were the most important factors in shaping the bacterial community structures and function. This study provides functional insight on the impact of fire disturbance on soil bacterial community.
  8. Badía, David, et al. “Burn effects on soil properties associated to heat transfer under contrasting moisture content.” Science of the Total Environment 601 (2017): 1119-1128. The aim of this work is to investigate the topsoil thickness affected by burning under contrasting soil moisture content (field capacity versus air-dried conditions). A mollic horizon of an Aleppo pine forest was sampled and burned in the laboratory, recording the temperature continuously at the topsoil surface and at soil depths of 1, 2, and 3 cm. Changes in soil properties were measured at 0–1, 1–2, 2–3, and 3–4 cm. Both the maximum temperature and the charring intensities were significantly lower in wet soils than in air-dried soils up to 3 cm in depth. Moreover, soil heating was slower and cooling faster in wet soils as compared to dry soils. Therefore, the heat capacity increase of the soil moistened at field capacity plays a more important role than the thermal conductivity increase on heat transfer on burned soils. Burning did not significantly modify the pH, the carbonate content and the chroma, for either wet or dry soil. Fire caused an immediate and significant decrease in water repellency in the air-dried soil, even at 3 cm depth, whereas the wet soil remained hydrophilic throughout its thickness, without being affected by burning. Burning depleted 50% of the soil organic C (OC) content in the air-dried soil and 25% in the wet soil at the upper centimeter, which was blackened. Burning significantly decreased the total N (TN) content only in the dry soil (to one-third of the original value) through the first centimeter of soil depth. Soluble ions, measured by electrical conductivity (EC), increased after burning, although only significantly in the first centimeter of air-dried soils. Below 2 cm, burning had no significant effects on the brightness, OC, TN, or EC, for either wet or dry soil.
  9. Dove, Nicholas C., and Stephen C. Hart. “Fire reduces fungal species richness and in situ mycorrhizal colonization: a meta-analysis.” Fire Ecology 13.2 (2017): 37-65.  Soil fungal communities perform many functions that help plants meet their nutritional demands. However, overall trends for fungal response to fire, which can be especially critical in a post-fire context, have been difficult to elucidate. We used meta-analytical techniques to investigate fungal response to fire across studies, ecosystems, and fire types. Change in fungal species richness and mycorrhizal colonization were used as the effect size metrics in random effects models. When different types of methods for assessing fungal species richness and mycorrhizal colonization were considered together, there was an average reduction of 28 % in fungal species richness post fire, but no significant response in mycorrhizal colonization. In contrast, there was a 41 % reduction in fungal species richness post fire when assessed by sporocarp surveys, but fungal species richness was not significantly affected when assessed by molecular methods. Measured in situ, fire reduced mycorrhizal colonization by 21 %, yet no significant response occurred when assessed by ex situ bioassays. These findings suggest that the putative magnitude of fire effects on soil fungal communities may be dependent on the approach and assessment method used. Furthermore, biome, but not fire type (i.e., wildfire versus prescribed fire) was a significant moderator of our categorical models, suggesting that biome might be a more useful predictor of fungal species richness response to fire than fire type. Reductions in fungal species richness and in situ mycorrhizal colonization post fire declined logarithmically and approached zero (i.e., no effect) at 22 and 11 years, respectively. We concluded that fire reduces fungal species richness and in situ mycorrhizal colonization, but if conditions allow communities to recover (e.g., without subsequent disturbance, favorable growing conditions), soil fungi are resilient on decadal time scales; the resiliency of soil fungi likely contributes to the overall rapid ecosystem recovery following fire.
  10. Girona-García, Antonio, et al. “Effects of prescribed burning on soil organic C, aggregate stability and water repellency in a subalpine shrubland: Variations among sieve fractions and depths.” Catena 166 (2018): 68-77.  Soil organic matter, aggregation and water repellency are relevant interrelated soil properties that can be affected by fire. The aim of this work was to analyse the effects of shrub prescribed burning for pasture reclamation on the soil aggregate stability, organic carbon and water repellency of different soil depths and aggregate sizes in a subalpine environment. Soil samples were collected from an area treated by an autumnal low-intensity prescribed fire in the Central Pyrenees (NE-Spain) at 0–1, 1–2, 2–3 and 3–5 cm depths just before and ~1 h, 6 months and 12 months after burning. Samples were separated as whole soil (<10 mm) and 6 sieve fractions, <0.25, 0.25–0.5, 0.5–1, 1–2, 2–4 and 4–10 mm. We analysed soil organic Carbon (SOC)aggregate stability (AS) and soil water repellency (SWR). In the unburned samples, SOC and SWR were higher in the <0.25 to 2 mm sieve fractions than the 2 to 10 mm sieve fractions. Fire severely and significantly decreased the SOC content in the whole soil and the <0.25 mm fraction at 0–1 cm depth and in the 0.25–0.5 mm fraction at 0–2 cm depth. SWR was reduced by burning mainly at 0–1 cm depth for the whole soil and the <0.25 to 2 mm sieve fractions. Nevertheless, the AS of the 0.25–0.5 mm aggregates increased after fire, while the rest of the sieve fractions remained virtually unaffected. One year after the prescribed burning, SOC slightly increased and SWR recovered in the fire-affected fractions, while the AS for all aggregate sizes and depths showed a considerable decrease. The results suggest that the direct effects of burning are still present one year after burning, and the post-fire situation may pose an increased risk of soil loss. Furthermore, our results indicate that fine soil fractions are more likely to be affected by fire than coarser soil fractions and highly influence the whole soil behaviour.
  11. Butler, Orpheus M., et al. “The phosphorus‐rich signature of fire in the soil–plant system: a global meta‐analysis.” Ecology letters 21.3 (2018): 335-344.  The biogeochemical and stoichiometric signature of vegetation fire may influence post‐fire ecosystem characteristics and the evolution of plant ‘fire traits’. Phosphorus (P), a potentially limiting nutrient in many fire‐prone environments, might be particularly important in this context; however, the effects of fire on Phosphorus   cycling often vary widely. We conducted a global‐scale meta‐analysis using data from 174 soil studies and 39 litter studies, and found that fire led to significantly higher concentrations of soil mineral Phosphorus as well as significantly lower soil and litter carbon:Phosphorus  and nitrogen:Phosphorus ratios. These results demonstrate that fire has a Phosphorus ‐rich signature in the soil–plant system that varies with vegetation type. Further, they suggest that burning can ease Phosphorus limitation and decouple the biogeochemical cycling of Phosphorus , carbon and nitrogen. These effects resemble a transient reversion to an earlier stage of ecosystem development, and likely underpin at least some of fire’s impacts on ecosystems and organisms.
  12. Alcañiz, M., et al. “Effects of prescribed fires on soil properties: a review.” Science of The Total Environment 613 (2018): 944-957.  Soils constitute one of the most valuable resources on earth, especially because soil is renewable on human time scales. During the 20th century, a period marked by a widespread rural exodus and land abandonment, fire suppression policies were adopted facilitating the accumulation of fuel in forested areas, exacerbating the effects of wildfires, leading to severe degradation of soils. Prescribed fires had emerged as an option for protecting forests and their soils from wildfires through the reduction of fuels levels. However such fires can serve other objectives, including stimulating the regeneration of a particular plant species, maintaining biological diversity or as a tool for recovering grasslands in encroached lands. This paper reviews studies examining the short- and long- term impacts of prescribed fires on the physical, chemical and biological soil properties; in so doing, it provides a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of this technique, to help determine if prescribed fires can be useful for managing the landscape. From the study conducted, we can affirm that prescribed fires affect soil properties but differ greatly depending on soil initial characteristics, vegetation or type of fire. Also, it is possible to see that soil’s physical and biological properties are more strongly affected by prescribed fires than are its chemical properties. Finally, we conclude that prescribed fires clearly constitute a disturbance on the environment (positive, neutral or negative depending on the soil property studied), but most of the studies reviewed report a good recovery and their effects could be less pronounced than those of wildfires because of the limited soil heating and lower fire intensity and severity.
  13. Koltz, Amanda M., et al. “Global change and the importance of fire for the ecology and evolution of insects.” Current opinion in insect science 29 (2018): 110-116.  Climate change is drastically altering global fire regimes, which may affect the structure and function of insect communities. Insect responses to fire are strongly tied to fire history, plant responses, and changes in species interactions. Many insects already possess adaptive traits to survive fire or benefit from post-fire resources, which may result in community composition shifting toward habitat and dietary generalists as well as species with high dispersal abilities. However, predicting community-level resilience of insects is inherently challenging due to the high degree of spatio-temporal and historical heterogeneity of fires, diversity of insect life histories, and potential interactions with other global change drivers. Future work should incorporate experimental approaches that specifically consider spatiotemporal variability and regional fire history in order to integrate eco-evolutionary processes in understanding insect responses to fire.
  14. Pellegrini, Adam FA, et al. “Fire frequency drives decadal changes in soil carbon and nitrogen and ecosystem productivity.” Nature 553.7687 (2018): 194. Fire frequency is changing globally and is projected to affect the global carbon cycle and climate. However, uncertainty about how ecosystems respond to decadal changes in fire frequency makes it difficult to predict the effects of altered fire regimes on the carbon cycle; for instance, we do not fully understand the long-term effects of fire on soil carbon and nutrient storage, or whether fire-driven nutrient losses limit plant productivity. Here we analyse data from 48 sites in savanna grasslands, broadleaf forests and needleleaf forests spanning up to 65 years, during which time the frequency of fires was altered at each site. We find that frequently burned plots experienced a decline in surface soil carbon and nitrogen that was non-saturating through time, having 36 per cent (±13 per cent) less carbon and 38 per cent (±16 per cent) less nitrogen after 64 years than plots that were protected from fire. Fire-driven carbon and nitrogen losses were substantial in savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests, but not in temperate and boreal needleleaf forests. We also observe comparable soil carbon and nitrogen losses in an independent field dataset and in dynamic model simulations of global vegetation. The model study predicts that the long-term losses of soil nitrogen that result from more frequent burning may in turn decrease the carbon that is sequestered by net primary productivity by about 20 per cent of the total carbon that is emitted from burning biomass over the same period. Furthermore, we estimate that the effects of changes in fire frequency on ecosystem carbon storage may be 30 per cent too low if they do not include multidecadal changes in soil carbon, especially in drier savanna grasslands. Future changes in fire frequency may shift ecosystem carbon storage by changing soil carbon pools and nitrogen limitations on plant growth, altering the carbon sink capacity of frequently burning savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, our results reveal the sensitivity of surface soils to fire and the substantial effects that changes in soil pools have on long-term ecosystem C exchange. The large empirical and conservative modelbased
    estimates of soil C changes suggest that present estimates of fire-driven C losses7, which primarily consider losses from plant biomass pools, may substantially underestimate the effects of long-term trends in fire frequencies in savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests in particular. Our findings suggest that future alterations in fire regimes in savanna grasslands and broadleaf forests may shift ecosystem C storage by changing soil C levels and changing the N limitation of plant growth, altering the carbon-sink capacity of these fire-prone ecosystems.
  15. Pressler, Yamina, John C. Moore, and M. Francesca Cotrufo. “Belowground community responses to fire: meta‐analysis reveals contrasting responses of soil microorganisms and mesofauna.” Oikos 128.3 (2019): 309-327.  Global fire regimes are shifting due to climate and land use changes. Understanding the responses of below-ground communities to fire is key to predicting changes in the ecosystem processes they regulate. We conducted a comprehensive meta‐analysis of 1634 observations from 131 empirical studies to investigate the effect of fire on soil microorganisms and mesofauna. Fire had a strong negative effect on soil biota biomass, abundance, richness, evenness, and diversity. Fire reduced microorganism biomass and abundance by up to 96%. Bacteria were more resistant to fire than fungi. Fire reduced nematode abundance by 88% but had no significant effect on soil arthropods. Fire reduced richness, evenness and diversity of soil microorganisms and mesofauna by up to 99%. We found little evidence of temporal trends towards recovery within 10 years post‐disturbance suggesting little resilience of the soil community to fire. Interactions between biome, fire type, and depth explained few of these negative trends. Future research at the intersection of fire ecology and soil biology should aim to integrate soil community structure with the ecosystem processes they mediate under changing global fire regimes.

World of Change: Arctic Sea Ice

THIS POST IS A LIST OF LINKS TO SEA ICE POSTS ON THIS SITE FROM THE MOST RECENT TO THE OLDEST POST.

Green green grass of home by chaamjamal on SoundCloud - Hear the world's  sounds

SEA ICE POST#1: JULY 30, 2020: RECORD ARCTIC SEA ICE MELT: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/30/record-arctic-sea-ice-melt/

The Global Impacts of Rapidly Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice - Yale E360

SEA ICE POST#2: JANUARY 29, 2020: Peter Wadhams: Arctic Sea Ice Expert https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/01/29/the-aaactic/

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SEA ICE POST#3: NOVEMBER 21, 2019: Arctic Sea Ice Weirdness in the Chukchi Sea https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/21/chukchi-sea-2019/

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SEA ICE POST#4: NOVEMBER 7, 2019: Precipitous Decline in Arctic Sea Ice Volume https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/07/precipitous-decline-in-arctic-sea-ice-volume/

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SEA ICE POST#5: SEPTEMBER 28, 2019: Sea Ice Extent & Area 1979-2019 https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/09/28/sea-ice-extent-area-1979-2018/

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SEA ICE POST#6: JULY 2, 2019: Antarctic Sea Ice Collapse of 2019 https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/07/02/antarctic-sea-ice-collapse-of-2019/

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SEA ICE POST#7: AUGUST 6, 2018: Antarctic Sea Ice: 1979-2018 https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/06/antarctic-sea-ice-1979-2018/

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SEA ICE POST#8: AUGUST 4, 2018: Does Global Warming Drive Changes in Arctic Sea Ice? https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/04/does-global-warming-drive-changes-in-arctic-sea-ice/

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SEA ICE POST#9: JULY 24, 2018: Global Warming and Arctic Sea Ice: A Bibliography https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/07/24/global-warming-and-arctic-sea-ice/

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SEA ICE POST#10: JULY 21 2020: CLIMATE CHANGE VS POLAR BEARS: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/21/climate-change-vs-polar-bears/

Climate change: Polar bears could be lost by 2100 - BBC News

SEA ICE POST#11: JULY 1: 2019: RELEVANT GEOLOGICAL FEATURES OF THE ARCTIC AND THEIR ROLE IN SEA ICE DYNAMICS: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/07/01/arctic/

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Antarctica 2 – The Deception Island Caldera |
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CREDITS: THE LAST THREE IMAGES ABOVE PROVIDED BY THE VOLCANO HOTSPOT BLOG: LINK TO SOURCE: https://volcanohotspot.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/antarctica-3-the-volcanoes-of-marie-byrd-land/

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A GUARDIAN ARTICLE ABOUT POLAR ICE MELT IN ANTARCTICA AND ITS FEARFUL SEA LEVEL RISE PROJECTIONS.

THE POLAR ICE MELT AND SEA LEVEL RISE OBSESSION OF CLIMATE SCIENCE: LINK TO RELATED POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/07/16/antarctica-slr/

A HISTORY OF THESE DIRE FORECASTS ABOUT ANTARCTICA

  1. 1999: An article in the Journal Science says that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is a natural event not related to global warming contrary to claims by climate scientists. The WAIS is indeed melting quite rapidly receding at the rate of 400 feet per year but it has been doing so for thousands of years long before human activity and greenhouse gas emissions, having receded 800 miles since the last ice age. If the process continues unchecked it will melt completely in another 7000 years. Therefore it seems unlikely that the event is linked to human activity or that the time frame of a collapse of the ice shelf could fall within 100 years.
  2. 2001 ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE: A report by the National Research Council (USA) says that global warming may trigger climate changes so abrupt that ecosystems will not be able to adapt. Look for local or short term cooling, floods, droughts, and other unexpected changes. A growing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere due to the use of fossil fuels is to blame. Some regional climates have changed by as much as 10C in 10 years. Antarctica’s largest glaciers are rapidly thinning, and in the last 10 years have lost up to 150 feet of thickness in some places, enough to raise global sea levels by 0.4 mm. Global warming is a real problem and it is getting worse.
  3. 2002, ICE SHELF COLLAPSE: A piece of ice the size of Rhode island broke off the Larsen ice shelf in Antarctica and within a month it dissipated sending a huge flotsam of ice into the sea. At about the same time an iceberg the size of Delaware broke off the Thwaites Glacier. A few months ago parts of the Ross ice shelf had broken off in a similar way. These events serve as a dramatic reminders that global warming is real and its effects are potentially catastrophic and underscores the urgent need for a binding international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. 2004: An unprecedented 4-year study of the Arctic shows that polar bears, walruses, and some seals are becoming extinct. Arctic summer sea ice may disappear entirely. Combined with a rapidly melting Greenland ice sheet, it will raise the sea level 3 feet by 2100 inundating lowlands from Florida to Bangladesh. Average winter temperatures in Alaska and the rest of the Arctic are projected to rise an additional 7 to 13 degrees over the next 100 years because of increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities. The area is warming twice as fast as anywhere else because of global air circulation patterns and natural feedback loops, such as less ice reflecting sunlight, leading to increased warming at ground level and more ice melt. Native peoples’ ways of life are threatened. Animal migration patterns have changed, and the thin sea ice and thawing tundra make it too dangerous for humans to hunt and travel.
  5. 2004A meltdown of the massive Greenland ice sheet, which is more than 3km-thick would raise sea levels by an average seven meters, threatening countries such as Bangladesh, certain islands in the Pacific and some parts of Florida. Greenland’s huge ice sheet could melt within the next thousand years if emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming are not reduced.
  6. 2004: The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report says: increasing greenhouse gases from human activities is causing the Arctic to warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet; in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia winter temperatures have risen by 2C to 4C in the last 50 years; the Arctic will warm by 4C to 7C by 2100. A portion of Greenland’s ice sheet will melt; global sea levels will rise; global warming will intensify. Greenland contains enough melting ice to raise sea levels by 7 meters; Bangkok, Manila, Dhaka, Florida, Louisiana, and New Jersey are at risk of inundation; thawing permafrost and rising seas threaten Arctic coastal regions; climate change will accelerate and bring about profound ecological and social changes; the Arctic is experiencing the most rapid and severe climate change on earth and it’s going to get a lot worse; Arctic summer sea ice will decline by 50% to 100%; polar bears will be driven towards extinction; this report is an urgent SOS for the Arctic; forest fires and insect infestations will increase in frequency and intensity; changing vegetation and rising sea levels will shrink the tundra to its lowest level in 21000 years; vanishing breeding areas for birds and grazing areas for animals will cause extinctions of many species; “if we limit emission of heat trapping carbon dioxide we can still help protect the Arctic and slow global warming”.
  7. 2007: A comparison of Landsat photos taken on 8/11/1985 and 9/5/2002 shows that global warming caused by our use of fossil fuels is melting the massive Greenland ice sheet and exposing the rocky peninsula beneath the ice previously covered by ice.
  8. 2007: Climate scientists say that the current rate of increase in the use of fossil fuels will melt the Greenland ice sheet and cause sea levels to rise by 7 meters in 100 years and devastate low-lying countries like Bangladesh. When these estimates were challenged and their internal inconsistencies exposed, the forecast was quietly revised downward 100-fold from 7 meters to 7 centimeters on their website but the news media alarm about 7 meters continued unabated with “thousands of years” inserted in place of “100 years. 
  9. 2008: IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF PETERMANN GLACIER IN GREENLAND 
    Climate scientists looking through satellite pictures found a crack in the Petermann glacier in Greenland and concluded that it could speed up sea level rise because huge chunks of ice the size of Manhattan were hemorrhaging off. Yet, scientists who has been travelling to Greenland for years to study glaciers say that the crack in the glacier is normal and not different from other cracks seen in the 1990s.
  10. 2008: When there was a greater focus on Antarctica climate scientists said that global warming was melting the West Antarctic Ice Sheet; but the melting was found to be localized and with an active volcano underneath the melting and the attention of “melt forecast” climate science shifted to Arctic sea ice after the an extensive summer melt was observed in September 2007.
  11. 2008Climate scientists have determined that Adelie penguins in Antarctica are threatened because climate change is melting Antarctic glaciers although it is not clear whether the melting is caused greenhouse gas emissions or by volcanic activity underneath the ice.
  12. 2008Mt. Erebus along with most of the mountains in Antarctica are volcanic mountains and it is now known with certainty that volcanic activity under the ice there is causing great amounts of ice to melt and to cause glaciers to flow faster. The attempt by climate scientists to represent these events as climate change phenomena is inconsistent with this reality.
  13. 2008: THE FIRE BELOW: A volcano under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, that last erupted 2000 years ago, is now active and responsible for melting ice and for retreating glaciers in that part of the continent (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008). Yet, climate scientists claim that these changes are man-made and that they are caused by carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels as predicted by their computer model of the earth’s climate.
  14. 2008: In March 2008, the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula lost more than 400 square kilometers to a sudden collapse. Following that event, the it continued to break up even as the Southern winter brought frigid temperatures.
  15. 2009Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have caused the Wilkins Ice Shelf to break up. If all of the land based ice in Antarctica melted it would raise the sea level by 80 meters
  16. 2009Human caused global warming is causing havoc in Antarctica with potentially incalculable results. Over one hundred icebergs broke off and a huge flotilla of them are floating up to New Zealand
  17. 2009Our carbon dioxide emissions are causing the East Antarctic ice shelf to lose 57 billion tonnes of ice per year and that if CO2 emissions are not reduced this process could raise sea levels by 5 meters.
  18. 2009: Temperature data 1957-2008 show that the whole of Antarctica including Western Antarctica, the Antarctic Peninsula, and Eastern Antarctica, is warming due to CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
  19. 2009: Man-made global warming is causing Greenland’s glaciers to melt at an alarming rate. By the year 2100 all the ice there will have melted causing a calamitous rise in the sea level that will inundate Bangladesh, the Maldives, Bangkok, New Orleans, and atolls in the Pacific
  20. 2009Climate scientists say that the melting of Antarctica is more severe than “previously thought” because the melt is not limited to the Antarctic Peninsula but extends to West Antarctica as well. The melt could cause devastating sea level rise. (although new data show that the West Antarctic ice shelf collapses every 40,000 years or so and that this cyclical process has been regular feature of this ice shelf for millions of years (Antarctica ice collapses were regular, Bangkok Post, March 19, 2009). These melting episodes can raise the sea level by as much as 5 meters but the process takes a thousand years or more.
  21. 2009Climate scientists say that the Wilkins Ice Shelf collapse is caused by warming of the Antarctic Peninsula due to man-made “global climate change”.
  22. 2009In 2005 two glaciers in Greenland were found to be moving faster than they were in 2001. Scientists concluded from these data that the difference observed was a a long term trend of glacial melt in Greenland and that carbon dioxide was the cause of this trend. The assumed trend was then extrapolated forward and we were told that carbon dioxide would cause the land based ice mass of Greenland to be discharged to the sea and raise the sea level by six meters. They said that the only way out of the devastation was to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. However, in 2009, just before a meeting in Copenhagen where these deep cuts in emissions were to be negotiated, it was found that the glaciers had returned to their normal rate of discharge.
  23. 2009: Some glaciers on north and northeast Greenland terminate in fiords with long glacier tongues that extend into the sea. It is found that the warming of the oceans caused by our use of fossil fuels is melting these tongues and raising the specter of devastation by sea level rise.
  24. WITH REGARD TO THE INTENSITY OF FEARMONGERING IN 2009, KINDLY NOTE THAT IT WAS THE YEAR OF COP15 IN COPENHAGEN WHERE CLIMATE SCIENCE AND THE UN MADE A LAST DITCH EFFORT FOR A GLOBAL CLIMATE ACTION AGREEMENT BUT FAILED.
COP 15 and COP/MOP 5 - 7-18 December 2009 - Copenhagen - Denmark

2020: THE GUARDIAN SAYS THAT ” Melting Antarctic ice will raise sea level by 2.5 metres – even if Paris climate goals are met, study finds. Research says melting will continue even if temperature rises are limited to 2C. LINK TO SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/23/melting-antarctic-ice-will-raise-sea-level-by-25-metres-even-if-paris-climate-goals-are-met-study-finds

PART-1: WHAT THE GUARDIAN ARTICLE SAYS

Melting of the Antarctic ice sheet will cause sea level rises of about two and a half metres around the world, even if the goals of the Paris agreement are met, research has shown. The melting is likely to take place over a long period, beyond the end of this century, but is almost certain to be irreversible, because of the way in which the ice cap is likely to melt, the new model reveals. Even if temperatures were to fall again after rising by 2C, the ice would not regrow to its initial state, because of self-reinforcing mechanisms that destabilise the ice, according to the paper published in the journal Nature. Simulation shows how much warming the Antartic Ice Sheet can survive. The more we learn about Antarctica, the direr the predictions become,” according to co-author Anders Levermann of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. These scientists have determined that “we will get enormous sea level rise from Antarctica melting even if we keep to the Paris agreement, and catastrophic amounts if we don’t. The Antarctic ice sheet has existed in roughly its current form for about 34m years, but its future form will be decided in our lifetimes, according to Levermann. We will be known in future as the people who flooded New York City”. Temperatures of more than 20C were recorded for the first time in the Antarctic earlier this year. Jonathan Bamber, a professor of glaciology at the University of Bristol evaluated the Potsdam Institute research as follows: “This study provides compelling evidence that even moderate climate warming has incredibly serious consequences for humanity, and those consequences grow exponentially as the temperature rises. The committed sea level rise from Antarctica even at 2C represents an existential threat to entire nation states. We’re looking at removing nations from a map of the world because they no longer exist.”

Earlier this week, the earth’s northern ice cap also showed the impacts of the climate crisis. Arctic sea ice reached its annual minimum, at the second lowest extent seen in four decades. On 15 September, the ice was measured at 3.74m sq km, which marked only the second time that the extent has fallen below 4m sq km in the current record, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. Scientists said the melting ice was a stark sign of how humans were changing the planet. It’s devastating to see yet another Arctic summer end with so little sea ice. Not only is there a very small area of sea ice, but it is also younger and more vulnerable overall. The Arctic is a changed place. All hope rests on humans to act on climate and slow this alarming pace of ice loss.

While the Antarctic ice sheet will take centuries to melt in response to temperature rises, the new Nature paper showed how difficult it would be to reverse. Antarctica’s vast ice cap holds more than half of the earth’s fresh water. Some of it is floating sea ice, which does not cause sea level rises in the way of ice melting from land, and is subject to melting from above and below because of the warming sea. The researchers examined how ice over land in the region can be expected to melt, and found a strong “hysteresis” effect, which makes it harder for ice to re-form than to melt. When the ice melts, its surface sinks lower down and sits in warmer air, so it requires lower temperatures for the ice to reform than it did to keep the existing ice stable.

If we fail to take climate action and if temperatures rise by 4C above pre-industrial levels, which some predictions say is possible, then the sea level rise would be 6.5 metres from Antarctica alone, not counting the contribution from Greenland and other glaciers. That would be enough eventually to inundate all of the world’s coastal cities and cause devastation on a global scale.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. As shown in a related post, LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/22/global-warming-1979-2019/ , satellite temperature data since 1979 show that indeed global warming is real and that indeed the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. We find there that the globe is warming at a rate of 1.3C per century and that the Arctic is warming at a rate of 2.6C per century, twice the rate of the global mean just as climate scientists had predicted. However, the data for the South Polar region where Antarctica is, show a starkly different pattern. Here we find a warming rate of only 0.16C per century, not twice the global rate as in the Arctic but about 12% of the global warming rate and 6% of the Arctic warming rate.
  2. It is probably for this absence of global warming in Antarctica that extreme temperature events there are highlighted as a way of claiming anthropogenic global warming impacts in Antarctica. These temperature events are discussed in related posts at this site. LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/20/global-warming-antarctica/ LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/22/10684/ LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/02/26/antarctica-heat-wave-of-2020/ LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/02/08/antarctica-hottest-ever/
  3. As explained in these related posts, these temperature events have no interpretation in terms of the AGW issue and that they have a more rational explanation in terms of episodic geothermal heat and chinook winds. An additional consideration is the internal climate variability issue described in a related post: LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/16/the-internal-variability-issue/ . Briefly, the internal climate variability issue is that anthropogenic global warming is a theory about long term trends in global mean temperature and that the interpretation of localized climate events in terms of AGW is not possible because ” Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales“.
  4. Yet another consideration in understanding ice melt events in Antarctica is that the specific regions of Antarctica where they tend to occur are known to be very geologically active specifically in terms of two significant geological features underneath all that ice. They are the West Antarctic Rift system and the Marie Byrd Mantle Plume and the large number of active volcanoes under the ice. These extreme geological features are capable of and have been known to create extreme episodic localized heat and ice melt events as described in a related post on this site: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/06/27/antarctica/ and also at the VOLCANO HOTSPOT BLOG: https://volcanohotspot.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/antarctica-3-the-volcanoes-of-marie-byrd-land/

A product of these geological features is seen below. It is Deception Island Collapse Caldera. A collapse caldera is a huge volcano that erupts so violently that the center of it collapses. It is often filled with fresh water but in this case because it is so close to the ocean, this huge hole is filled with sea water. Here there’s a little opening in this large caldera so that eco tourists can come in and visit it. On the right slide is the interior of the collapse caldera where the tourists are soaking in steaming hot water on black volcanic sand. The reason for the steaming hot water is that this caldera is still active. It is one of the first stops in visits to Antarctica

Antarctica 2 – The Deception Island Caldera |

CONCLUSION: BASED ON THE TEMPERATRE TREND DATA AND THE GEOLOGICAL FEATURES OF ANTARCTICA PRESENTED ABOVE, AND IN CONSIDERATION OF THE INTERNAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY ISSUE IN CLIMATE SCIENCE, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO ARBITRARILY ATTRIBUTE ALL TEMPERATURE AND ICE MELT EVENTS IN ANTARCTICA TO AGW WITHOUT THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE THAT THE EVENTS DESCRIBED WERE CAUSED BY FOSSIL FUELED ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING AND THAT THEY CAN THEREFORE BE ATTENUATED OR MODERATED BY TAKING CLIMATE ACTION IN THE FORM OF REDUCING OR ELIMINATING THE USE OF FOSSIL FUELS.

kamis-erebus

Fossil-fuel emissions unbraked by financial crisis
Fossil fuel emissions hit record high after unexpected growth: Global  Carbon Budget 2017
HOW TO MEASURE FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS | Thongchai Thailand

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF AN ARTICLE ON EUREKALERT BY THE KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FÜR TECHNOLOGIE THAT FOUND THAT THE GLOBAL CO2 EMISSION REDUCTION OF THE CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC DID NOT SLOW DOWN THE RISE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION. LINK TO SOURE DEOCUMENT: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/kift-cce092120.php

Fossil-fuel emissions unbraked by financial crisis

PART-1: WHAT THE SOURCE DOCUMENT SAYS

  1. Corona-induced CO2 emission reductions are not yet detectable in the atmosphere. Effects of the pandemic will be detected in the atmosphere much later – To reach the Paris climate goals, decade-long measures are needed.
  2. Restrictions of social life during the corona pandemic can be predicted to lead to a reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by up to 8% in 2020. According to the IPCC, cumulative reductions of about this magnitude would be required every year to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2030.
  3. Recent measurements by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) revealed that concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has not yet changed due to the estimated emission reductions. The results are reported in Remote Sensing (DOI: 10.3390/rs12152387). The corona pandemic has changed both our working and our private lives. People increasingly work from home, have video conferences instead of business trips, and spend their holidays in their home country. The lower traffic volume also reduces CO2 emissions. Reductions of 8% are estimated for 2020.
  4. In spite of the reduced emissions, our measurements show that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has not yet decreased,” says Ralf Sussmann from the Atmospheric Environmental Research Division of KIT’s Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU), KIT’s Campus Alpine, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. “To reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere in the long run, restrictions imposed during the corona pandemic would have to be continued for decades. But even this would be far from being sufficient.”
  5. To prove this, researchers additionally studied a long-term scenario that can be controlled well with atmospheric measurements: The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius can only be reached by an immediate significant reduction of CO2 emissions and a further decrease down to zero by 2055. “The restrictions imposed during the corona crisis, however, are far from being sufficient. They have just resulted in a one-time reduction by eight percent. To reach zero emissions in the coming decades, cumulative reductions of the same magnitude would be required every year, i.e. 16 percent in 2021, 24 percent in 2022, and so on. For this, political measures have to be taken to directly initiate fundamental technological changes in the energy and transport sectors,” Sussmann says.
  6. For the study, the team used data from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). It measured the concentrations in different layers of the atmosphere above Garmisch-Partenkirchen and at other places around the globe. “High-tech infrared spectrometers are applied, which use the sun as a light source. The measurement method is highly precise, uncertainties are in the range of a few thousandths.
  7. Long Life of CO2 Prevents Early Detection: According to the researchers, the long life of CO2 and the high background concentrations that have accumulated since the start of industrialization prevent the changes in the atmosphere from being detected. “But also natural impacts make early detection difficult: Anthropogenic emissions, the main cause of the long-term increase in atmospheric CO2, are superposed by annual fluctuations of the growth rate due to natural climate variabilities of ocean sinks and land vegetation,” Sussmann says. Successful emission reduction, hence, is hard to detect by atmosphere measurements.
  8. For their study, the researchers compared the TCCON measurements with the prognoses of the atmospheric growth rate for 2020 – with and without corona restrictions. “Precision analysis of atmosphere measurements revealed that the impacts of COVID-19 measures on the atmosphere might be measured after little more than six months, if the reference state without COVID-19 would be predicted precisely,” the climate researcher explains. “In any case, we would be able to find out within presumably two and half years, whether global political and social measures will help us find viable alternatives of fossil fuels and reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

ABOUT KIT: Sussmann, R., and Rettinger, M.: Can We Measure a COVID-19-Related Slowdown in Atmospheric CO2 Growth? Sensitivity of Total Carbon Column Observations, Remote Sens., 12, 2387, 2020. doi:10.3390/rs12152387: Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

The issue here is not the time span but the uncertainty in carbon cycle flows that are an order of magnitude larger (around 100+ gigatons of carbon per year each with uncertainties of {+/-} 10 gigatons as for example in the flows from atmosphere to photosynthesis, atmosphere to ocean, ocean to atmosphere, respiration to atmosphere, and so on.

We show in related posts, that when these uncertainties are ignored and certainty is assumed, the data verify the so called “retained fraction” of about 50% assumed by climate science and standardized by the IPCC. However, when these uncertainties are included, no relationship between fossil fuel emissions and changes in atmospheric composition can be detected.

RELATED POST#1: A MONTE CARLO SIMULATION OF THE INSERTION OF FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS INTO THE CARBON CYCLE: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/06/10/a-monte-carlo-simulation-of-the-carbon-cycle/

Here we find that the contribution of fossil fuel emissions of 37 gigatons of CO2 is estimated as a “retained fraction” of 17.5 gigatons of CO2, close to the 50% retained fraction used by climate science and the IPCC. When uncertainties in carbon cycle flows are ignored, the retained fraction used in climate science is confirmed.

However, when the uncertainty in carbon cycle flows is not ignored, the retained fraction amount of 17.5 gigatons of CO2 is found to contain an uncertainty given by a standard deviation of 46.5 gigatons. The corresponding t-statistic is t=0.375 with a p-value close to the pure ignorance in the middle of the normal distribution.

The large uncertainty in the estimate of the retained fraction implies an absence of information meaning that given the large uncertainties in carbon cycle flows it is not possible for us to know the effect on atmospheric composition of relatively low flows of fossil fuel emissions – approximately 10% of carbon cycle flows. To ignore these uncertainties and estimate the impact of fossil fuel emissions on atmospheric composition in terms of the estimated 17.5 gigatons as a 50% retained fraction is a form of confirmation bias and circular reasoning explained in a related post on this site: LINK to confirmation bias post: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

"Decisions

This uncertainty condition is confirmed with a second Monte Carlo simulation using a different computational method in another related post at this site: LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/05/31/the-carbon-cycle-measurement-problem/ . The results are summarized below.

CHART-1: TABULATION OF RESULTS

CHART-2: GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION OF RESULTS

In the Monte Carlo simulation we assigned different levels of uncertainty to the flows for which no uncertainty data are available from the IPCC and test the null hypothesis that the flows balance with Anthropogenic Emissions (AE) included and again with AE excluded. If the flows balance when AE are included and they don’t balance when AE are excluded then we conclude that the presence of the AE can be detected at that level of uncertainty. However, if the flows balance with and without AE then we conclude that the stochastic flow account is not sensitive to AE at that level of uncertainty because it is unable to detect their presence. If the presence of AE cannot be detected no role for their effect on climate can be deduced from the data at that level of uncertainty in natural flows. The balance is computed from the atmospheric perspective as Balance=Input-Output where Input is flow to the atmosphere and Output is flow from the atmosphere. The p-values for hypothesis tests for uncertainties in the natural flows from 1% of mean to 6.5% of mean are presented as a tabulation in CHART-1 and graphically in CHART-2.

CHART-1 shows the assumed percent standard deviation in the natural flows for which no uncertainty information is available in the IPCC reports. In the base case, the blanket statement by the IPCC that the uncertainty is 20% is interpreted to mean that the width of the 95% confidence interval is 20% of the mean and the corresponding standard deviation computed as (20/2)/1.96. The data in each row shows the p-values of two hypothesis tests labeled as WITH and WITHOUT. The WITH column shows p-values when the AE are included in the balance computation. The WITHOUT column shows the p-values when the AE are left out of the balance computation.

We use a critical p-value of alpha=0.1 for the test of the null hypothesis that Balance=0. Balance=0 means that the stochastic flow account is in balance. If the p-value is less than apha we reject the null hypothesis and conclude that the stochastic flow account is not in balance. If we fail to reject the null then we conclude the stochastic flow account is in balance. The p-values for WITH and WITHOUT in each row taken together tell us whether the stochastic flow system is sensitive to AE, that is whether the relatively small AE flow can be detected in the context of uncertainty in much larger natural flows.

If we fail to reject the null hypothesis that Balance=0 in both WITH and WITHOUT columns, the stochastic flow account balances with and without the AE flows. In these cases the stochastic flow account is not sensitive to AE, that is it is unable to detect the presence of the AE flows. This is true for the five rows in which the uncertainty in natural flows is 3% of mean or higher.

For the two lower uncertainty levels of 2% and 1% we find that the null hypothesis Balance=0 is not rejected when AE are included (the stochastic flow account is in balance) but rejected when AE are not included (the stochastic flow account is not in balance). Under these uncertainty conditions, the stochastic flow account is sensitive to the presence of AE, that is the flow account can detect the presence of the relatively small AE flows.

CHART-2 shows that the crossover uncertainty lies somewhere between 2% and 3% and in fact it is found by trial and error that the crossover occurs at 2.3%. Since the IPCC carbon cycle flow uncertainties are greater than 2,3%, our results imply that the carbon cycle stochastic flow balance is not sensitive to the presence of the relatively small flows of fossil fuel emissions.

The underlying issue is that the large natural carbon cycle flows cannot be directly measured and they can only be indirectly inferred. These inferred values contain uncertainties much larger than 2.3% of the mean. It is not possible to carry out a balance of the carbon cycle under these conditions that can detect the relatively small fossil fuel emissions.

In climate science, carbon cycle flows that are an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions and that cannot be directly measured are inferred with the implicit assumption that the increase in atmospheric CO2 comes from fossil fuel emissions. The flow balance can then be carried out and it does of course show that the increase in atmospheric CO2 derives from fossil fuel emissions. The balance presented by the IPCC with inferred flows thus forces an exact balance by way of circular reasoning.

Therefore, the IPCC carbon cycle balance does not contain useful information that may be used to ascertain the impact of fossil fuel emissions on the carbon cycle or on the climate system.

A confirmation of the findings in the two related posts cited above is provided with with detrended correlation analysis in a third related post at this site. LINK TO CORRELATION ANALYSIS POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/

The data and analysis are summarized graphically in the below.

1YR-1
1YR-2

In charts below we find that no detrended correlation is found, at any of the five time scales tried, to relate observed changes in atmospheric composition to fossil fuel emissions.

COMPO-CHART

Details of these analyses are provided in the related post cited above.

We conclude from the detrended correlation analysis that atmospheric composition specifically in relation to the CO2 concentration is not responsive to the rate of fossil fuel emissions. This finding is a serious weakness in the theory of anthropogenic global warming by way of rising atmospheric CO2 attributed to the use of fossil fuels in the industrial economy; and of the “Climate Action” proposition of the UN that reducing fossil fuel emissions will moderate the rate of warming by slowing the rise of atmospheric CO2. The finding also establishes that the climate action project of creating Climate Neutral Economies, that is Economies that have no impact on atmospheric CO2, is unnecessary because the global economy is already Climate Neutral.

THEREFORE, THE FINDING OF THE  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) STUDY THAT ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION IS UNRESPONSIVE TO EMISSION REDUCTIONS IMPOSED BY THE COVID PANDEMIC CAN BE UNDERSTOOD IN TERMS OF UNCERTAINTIES IN CARBON CYCLE FLOWS AND WITHOUT THE NEED FOR THE CIRCULAR REASONING AND CONFIRMATION BIAS EXPLANATION OFFERED BY KIT THAT THE OBSERVATION PERIOD WAS BRIEF AND THAT THE ABSENCE OF THE RESPONSIVENESS OF ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSION REDUCTION MUST THEREFORE BE DUE TO THE BREVITY OF THE TIME SCALE AT WHICH IT WAS TESTED BECAUSE WE KNOW DEEP IN OUR HEARTS THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSONS CHANGE ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION.

RELATED POST ON CONFIRMATION BIAS: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
International Department gGmbH of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology  (KIT) | LinkedIn
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( KIT ), Germany Stock Photo - Alamy

FIGUERES
António_Guterres

Climate Change And The Astrobiology Of The Anthropocene : 13.7: Cosmos And  Culture : NPR
Organizing in the Anthropocene | Climate, People & Organizations
The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How It Shapes Our Planet by Synergetic  Press - issuu
Creation, Adam, and Cain - A Beka Flash-A-Cards | Adam and eve, Bible  pictures, Bible art

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW AN ONLINE ARTICLE ABOUT THE ANTHROPOCENE WHERE LEARNED PROFESSORS OF ECO WACKOISM DISCUSS THE ANTHROPOCENE.

THE ESSENCE OF THIS VERY LEARNED DISCUSSION IS THAT SINCE POPULATION, CARBON, AND METHANE ALL SPIKED AFTER 1950, THE ANTHROPOCENE MUST HAVE STARTED IN 1950.

PART-1: WHAT THE REFEREENCE ARTICLE SAYS: LINK TO THE ARTICLE: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/04/great-debate-over-when-anthropocene-started/587194/

  1. Not so long ago, the very nature of planet Earth suffered a devastating rupture. The break was sudden, global, and irreversible. It happened on a Sunday within living memory. Mick Jagger, Meryl Streep, and Caitlyn Jenner were all born before this crack in time. Vladimir Putin, Liam Neeson, and Mr. T were all born after it. That idea might soon carry the weight of scientific fact.
  2. Later this month, a committee of researchers from around the world will decide whether the Earth sprang into the Anthropocene in the year 1950. If accepted, this delineation will signal a new reality, that human activities, not natural processes, are now the dominant driver of change on Earth’s surface—that carbon pollution, climate change, deforestation, factory farms, mass die-offs, and enormous road networks have made a greater imprint on the planet than any other force in the past 12,000 years.
  3. Starting next week, the committee’s 37 members will vote on two questions. First, should the Anthropocene be added as a new epoch to the Geological Time Scale, the standard scientific timeline of Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history? Second, should the Anthropocene, if it does exist, commence in the middle of the 20th century?
  4. William Ruddiman, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, is extremely worried about climate change, but he nonetheless hopes the committee votes against both questions. For the past two years, he has lobbied its members to think of the Anthropocene not as a sudden upheaval, but as a gradual change, a slow transformation of the planet that began 5,000 years ago. “Where could you possibly pick a single start date in this ever-evolving story?” he once asked me in an email.
  5. Last week, he and 23 other researchers argued the topic at length in the scientific journal Progress in Physical Geography. At stake is a seemingly simple question: When did human influence over the environment reach a tipping point?
  6. For Jan Zalasiewicz, a professor of geography at the University of Leicester, the answer is clear. Zalasiewicz chairs the Anthropocene Working Group, the committee that will soon vote on the existence of the epoch. “If you look at the main parameters of the Earth-system metabolism, then things only began to change sharply and dramatically with industrialization,” he told me. He believes that the most significant event in humanity’s life on the planet is the Great Acceleration, the period of rapid global industrialization that followed the Second World War. As factories and cars spread across the planet, as the United States and U.S.S.R. prepared for the Cold War, carbon pollution soared. So too did methane pollution, the number of extinctions and invasive species, the degree of surface-level radiation, the quantity of plastic in the ocean, and the amount of rock and soil moved around the planet.
  7. It was “the Big Zoom,” he said, borrowing a phrase from the journalist Andrew Revkin. There is “nothing really comparable” to that shift in any other period of Earth history. Even setting carbon pollution aside, he said, the spike in fertilizer use led to the largest jump in surface nitrogen levels in 2.5 billion years. Zalasiewicz hopes the committee will start the Anthropocene in the middle of the 20th century.
  8. Ruddiman isn’t so sure. He believes that humanity’s effect on the planet is spread throughout time and is driven primarily by agriculture. Before the year 1750, he argues, humans had already cleared so much forest as to produce 300 billion tons of carbon emissions. Since 1950, deforestation has only led to 75 billion tons of emissions.
  9. Humans remade the planet in other ways, too. About 12,000 years ago, we drove a huge swath of American mammals, including the giant ground sloth, into extinction. About 11,000 years ago, we entered into unprecedented relationships with crops and livestock, domesticating them and taming their genome. Between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago, humans began clear-cutting forests to create new agricultural land; they may have transformed much of Europe by doing so. And by about 1,000 years ago, as humans embraced tilling and made rice paddies, they began moving more dirt and rock around the surface of the planet than is moved naturally.
  10. I don’t think it’s possible to put an exact date on the Anthropocene, Ruddiman told me last week. “It goes on continuously for 12,000 years. There’s no obvious break point. Even just the invention of tilling—it’s huge.” For that reason, he believes that the committee shouldn’t add a capital-A Anthropocene to the geological timeline. Instead, scientists should talk about the “lower-a anthropocene”—a set of profound changes wrought to Earth over the course of millennia, across many different places. They culminate in the biggest anthropocene of all: modern, human-caused climate change.
  11. It is important to say modern, for Ruddiman believes that humans have already shifted the climate once before. About a decade ago, he proposed what’s called the “early anthropocene hypothesis”—a theory that ancient agricultural clear-cutting added so much carbon to the atmosphere that it effectively stopped Arctic glaciers from expanding more than 3,000 years ago. If not for that deforestation, then there would be an additional Greenland’s worth of ice in the Canadian Arctic today, he said.
  12. While Ruddiman’s hypothesis is not widely accepted, it is taken seriously by the community. And his broader skepticism of codifying a late Anthropocene is shared by several members of the working group. In a separate paper published last week, five members of the committee rejected the idea of the 1950s Anthropocene. Today’s scientists are simply too close to the events at hand to place a division in geological time, they argue.
  13. We don’t yet know how significantly the planet’s climate will change in the centuries to come: Will the shift be of the same magnitude as what occurred at the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago? Will it be equal to the first time that ice seized the surface of Earth, 2.1 million years ago? Or does it signal something far larger, a cataclysm on par with the asteroid impact that ended the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic Era, 66 million years ago? “There is no testable way of knowing at present,” they wrote.
  14. The five authors also point out that the last 12,000 years would be understood as a single geological instant if they had happened millions of years ago. (Indeed, it would be one of the most shocking geological moments in the whole rock record.) And they worry about the sudden divisions that a great split in 1950 would impose on geology. If the Anthropocene is adopted as a formal time division, it will mean that any process that began in 1947 and ended in 1953 would straddle two epochs.
  15. So far, the committee at large has not seemed to accept these criticisms. In another paper published last week, Zalasiewicz and 16 of his colleagues wrote that any human-induced changes prior to 1950 paled in comparison with those that came after. “The difference between before and what’s happening now … it’s geologically quite dramatic,” Zalasiewicz told me. “We hadn’t realized that at the beginning. In 2009, I didn’t know that the Anthropocene would be as clear and sharp as it has been. I thought it might fade away into a fuzzy gradational change.” Instead, the committee has accumulated more and more evidence that a new epoch lurched into existence during the mid-20th century, he said.
  16. Carbon pollution, methane pollution, and world population all spiked after 1950 as they never had before, he argues. Ruddiman told me he doubted some of the committee’s reconstructions of human population, but appreciated their “good-faith effort to respond.” Average values of relative change to (a) global human population, (b) atmospheric CO2 concentration, and (c) CH4 concentration over the past 20,000 years. (Zalasiewicz et al. / Science)
  17. The idea of the Anthropocene was first proposed by the Nobel-winning chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000. Since then, it has caught on more broadly in culture, even though it is not a formal term in geology. The musician Grimes is releasing an Anthropocene-themed album later this year. But it could soon have its day: If the working group accepts its existence, that will clear the way for the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences to accept it in full.
  18. Of the working group’s 37 members, 17 members signed their name to Zalasiewicz’s paper, and only five signed their name to the more skeptical review. That leaves 15 committee members unaligned in advance of the upcoming vote. “You’d think people who served on a committee for years would be more willing to put their name on paper,” Ruddiman said. The vote will take place electronically and continue through May. If it succeeds, then the committee will busy itself with the next task: finding evidence in the rock record of the precise moment that humanity pushed Earth into a bewildering new era.

Understanding the Creation Story from Genesis | Zondervan Academic

Abraham and Isaac | Bible pictures, Jesus art, Bible images
Moses Red Sea Bible High Resolution Stock Photography and Images - Alamy
Enough Moses movies: 5 more Bible stories that deserve Hollywood epics |  EW.com
Creation, Adam, and Cain - A Beka Flash-A-Cards | Adam and eve, Bible  pictures, Bible art
David the shepherd boy (Jesse tree day 15) | David bible, Bible stories for  kids, Bible pictures
Jan Brueghel the Elder - The Garden of Eden, Galleria Doria-Pamphili, Rome, 1605.

PART-2: CRITICAL REVIEW

The Creation of Adam - Wikipedia

THAT GOD IS THE LORD OF ALL CREATION AND THAT MAN IS CLOSEST TO GOD AND AS SUCH HAS DOMINION OVER THE BEASTS AND OVER NATURE ITSELF IS AN OLD HUMAN SELF IMAGE AS OLD AS THE HILLS AND AS OLD AS THE OLDEST WRITTEN WORDS WE CAN FIND.

THE ECOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM EXPRESSED ABOVE IN TERMS OF THESE BIBLICAL ASSUMPTIONS IS THE SOURCE OF MAN’S SELF IMAGE AS CARETAKER AND MANAGER OF NATURE AND OF THE PLANET ITSELF SUCH THAT HE CAN ASSIGN HIMSELF HIS OWN GEOLOGICAL PERIOD AT DECADAL OR CENTENNIAL TIME SCALES AT PAR WITH REAL GEOLOGICAL PERIODS AT TIME SCALES OF MILLIONS OF YEARS.

WHAT WE SEE HERE IN TERMS OF HUMAN CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN CAUSED THIS AND HUMAN CAUSED THAT AND THE MERCY THAT HUMANS MUST SHOW TOWARD NATURE IS THIS BIBLICAL SELF IMAGE. IT IS SO DEEPLY DEEPLY INGRAINED IN OUR DNA THAT WE DON’T EVEN KNOW THAT IT’S THERE SUCH THAT ALL ITS ASSUMPTIONS FLOW THROUGH US IN THE FORM OF LOGIC AND SCIENCE. YET, NO MATTER HOW RATIONAL WE GET AND HOW MUCH SCIENCE WE ASPIRE TO THE IMAGINED ROLE OF MAN AS MASTER, MANAGER, AND CARETAKER OF NATURE IS STUCK TO OUR INNERMOST SELF IMAGE. WE ARE AFTER ALL, LIKE MOSES, GOD’S AGENTS ON EARTH.

TAKE FOR EXAMPLE HUMAN CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE.

AT THE ROOT OF THE ASSUMED HUMAN CAUSE IS THE APPARENTLY SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CAUSE ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION TO CHANGE AND YET NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PROVIDED FOR THAT CAUSATION POSSIBLY BECAUSE NONE EXISTS. BUT ALSO BECAUSE NONE IS NEEDED IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ASSUMED ROLE OF HUMANS ON EARTH. THIS ANOMALY IN CLIMATE SCIENCE IS EXPLORED IN A RELATED POST ON THIS SITE LINKED BELOW.

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/23/emission-reduction-atmospheric-co2/

THERE WE SHOW THAT NO EVIDENCE EXISTS IN THE DATA THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CHANGE ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION. AND YET, THE SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT BASED ON THE ASSUMED HUMAN CONTROL OF NATURE IS THAT IT JUST AS TO.

ALL OF THE THEORY OF HUMAN CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE NEED FOR HUMAN INTERVENTION TO FINE TUNE THE CLIMATE TO WHERE IT SHOULD BE AND THAT HUMANS KNOW WHERE IT SHOULD BE AND HOW TO PUT IT THERE.

HUMANS ELIMINATING FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS AND HUMANS REMOVING CO2 FROM THE ATMOSPHERE ARE BASED ON THIS ASSUMED CAUSAL CONNECTION BETWEEN HUMAN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS AND ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION IN THE ABSENCE OF EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.

Creation, Adam, and Cain - A Beka Flash-A-Cards | Adam and eve, Bible  pictures, Bible art

IT IS THUS THAT THESE PRINCIPLES GET TRANSLATED INTO THE HIGHEST FORM OF LANGUAGE OF THE TIME FOR ALL TIME AND IN OUR TIME, PARTICULARLY SO IN THE AGE OF SCIENCE AND THE SCIENCE OF HUMAN CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE WHERE THE PLANET EARTH IS AT OUR MERCY BECAUSE WE ARE ITS MASTERS AND CARETAKERS.

KINDLY NOTE THAT THE POINT HERE IS NOT THAT ECO-WACKOISM DERIVES FROM RELIGION. IT IS THAT BOTH RELIGION AND ECO-WACOISM DERIVE FROM THE SAME UNDERLYING SOURCE DEEP INSIDE OUR INNER PSYCHE. AT THE ROOT OF THE CLIMATE HYPE AND ALL ITS RELATED ECO WACKO HYPE IS THIS SELF IMAGE OF MAN AS THE MANAGER AND CARETAKER OF THE PLANET EARTH THAT GOD CREATED FOR US SO THAT FROM THE KINDNESS OF OUR SOULS, WE TAKE CARE OF THE BEASTS AND IN THAT VAULTED CAPACITY WE DECIDED THAT WE NEED OUR OWN GEOLOGICAL EPOCH.

What if Adam and Eve didn't sin? - Quora

RELATED POSTS ON THE ANTHROPOCENE

LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/30/the-humans-must-save-the-planet/

LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/12/desperation-eco-wacko-ism/

LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/03/the-co2-theory-of-everything/

LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/20/praise-the-climate-science-and-save-the-planet/

LINK#5: https://tambonthongchai.com/2010/05/16/171/

LINK#6: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/07/13/the-anthropocene-fallacy/

LINK#7: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/31/planetary-environmentalism-in-the-anthropocene/

LINK#8: https://tambonthongchai.com/?s=ANTHROPOCENE

It's Official: The Anthropocene Epoch Is Here - EcoWatch
Taking care — The High Performance Life

FOOTNOTE: ANTHROPOCENE SCHOLARS ARGUE THAT THE START OF MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING AND OF MAN’S COMPLETE CAPTURE OF THE PLANET IS THE YEAR 1950 BECAUSEThe most significant event in humanity’s life on the planet is the Great Acceleration, the period of rapid global industrialization that followed the Second World War. As factories and cars spread across the planet, as the United States and U.S.S.R. prepared for the Cold War, carbon pollution soared. So too did methane pollution, the number of extinctions and invasive species, the degree of surface-level radiation, the quantity of plastic in the ocean, and the amount of rock and soil moved around the planet. It was the Big Zoom. There is nothing really comparable to that shift in any other period of Earth history. Even setting carbon pollution aside, the spike in fertilizer use led to the largest jump in surface nitrogen levels in 2.5 billion years. AND YET WHAT WE SEE IN THE BIG ZOOM IS NOT GLOBAL WARMING BUT GLOBAL COOLING.

LINK TO RELATED POST: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/10/23/the-1970s-cooling-anomaly-of-agw/

GEORGE CARLIN ON HUMANS INTERFERING WITH NATURE

Martin Hoffert
How does a climate model work?
Syukuro Manabe - Premios Fronteras

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A BBC ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

LINK TO ARTICLE https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-53640382

The most influential climate change papers of all time
LA Times is Now on the “Exxon Knew” Story | Climate Denial Crock of the Week

PART-1: WHAT THE ARTICLE SAYS

  1. Marty Hoffert leaned closer to his computer screen. He couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing. It was 1981, and he was working in an area of science considered niche. “We were just a group of geeks with some great computers,” he says now, recalling that moment. But his findings were alarming. “I created a model that showed the Earth would be warming very significantly. And the warming would introduce climatic changes that would be unprecedented in human history. That blew my mind.” Marty Hoffert was one of the first scientists to create a model which predicted the effects of man-made climate change. And he did so while working for Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companies.
  2. At the time Exxon was spending millions of dollars on ground-breaking research. It wanted to lead the charge as scientists grappled with the emerging understanding that the warming planet could cause the climate to change in ways that could make life pretty difficult for humans. Hoffert shared his predictions with his managers, showing them what might happen if we continued burning fossil fuels in our cars, trucks and planes. But he noticed a clash between Exxon’s own findings, and public statements made by company bosses, such as the then chief executive Lee Raymond, who said that “currently, the scientific evidence is inconclusive as to whether human activities are having a significant effect on the global climate”. “They were saying things that were contradicting their own world-class research groups,” said Hoffert.
    Angry, he left Exxon, and went on to become a leading academic in the field. What they did was immoral. They spread doubt about the dangers of climate change when their own researchers were confirming how serious a threat it was.
  3. So what changed? The record-breaking hot summer of 1988 was key. Big news in America, it gave extra weight to warnings from Nasa scientist Dr Jim Hansen that “the greenhouse effect has been detected, and is changing our climate now“.
  4. Political leaders took notice. Then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher acknowledged the great new global threat: “The environmental challenge which confronts the whole world demands an equivalent response from the whole world.” In 1989, Exxon’s strategy chief Duane Levine drew up a confidential presentation for the company’s board, one of thousands of documents in the company’s archive which were later donated to The University of Texas at Austin. Levine’s presentation is an important document, often cited by researchers investigating Exxon’s record on climate change science. “We’re starting to hear the inevitable call for action,” it said, which risked what it called “irreversible and costly draconian steps”. “More rational responses will require efforts to extend the science and increase emphasis on costs and political realities.”
  5. How they made us doubt everything investigates how some of the world’s most powerful interests made us doubt the connection between smoking and cancer, and how the same tactics were used to make us doubt climate change. Kert Davies has scoured through Exxon’s archive. He used to work as a research director at the environmental pressure group Greenpeace, where he looked into corporate opposition to climate change. This inspired him to set up The Climate Investigations Centre.
  6. He explains why this Exxon presentation mattered: “They are worried the public will take this on, and enact radical changes in the way we use energy and affect their business, that’s the bottom line. This fear can also be seen in another document from the archive that sets out the “Exxon position”, which was to “emphasise the uncertainty” regarding climate change. Researchers argue this was the start of a decades-long campaign to shape public opinion and spread doubt about climate change.
  7. In June 2020, the General Attorney of Minnesota Keith Ellison sued ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and Koch Industries for misleading the public over climate change. The lawsuit claims that “previously unknown internal documents confirm that the defendant well understood the devastating effects that their products would cause to the climate”. It says that despite this knowledge, the industry “engaged in a public-relations campaign that was not only false, but also highly effective,” which served to “deliberately undermine the science” of climate change.
  8. The accusations against Exxon and others – which the company has called “baseless and without merit” – build on years of painstaking research by people like Kert Davies and Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard University and co-author of Merchants of Doubt. “Rather than accept the scientific evidence, they made the decision to fight the facts,” she said. But this isn’t just about Exxon’s past actions.
  9. In the same year as the Levine presentation, 1989, many energy companies and fossil fuel dependent industries came together to form the Global Climate Coalition, which aggressively lobbied US politicians and media. Then in 1991, the trade body that represents electrical companies in the US, the Edison Electric Institute, created a campaign called the Information Council for the Environment (ICE) which aimed to “Reposition global warming as theory (not fact)”. Some details of the campaign were leaked to the New York Times. “They ran advertising campaigns designed to undermine public support, cherry picking the data to say, ‘Well if the world is warming up, why is Kentucky getting colder?’ They asked rhetorical questions designed to create confusion, to create doubt,” argued Naomi Oreskes. The ICE campaign identified two groups which would be most susceptible to its messaging. The first was “older, lesser educated males from larger households who are not typically information seekers“. The second group was “younger, low-income women,” who could be targeted with bespoke adverts which would liken those who talked about climate change to a hysterical doom-saying cartoon chicken.
  10. The Edison Electric Institute didn’t respond to questions about ICE, but told the BBC that its members are “leading a clean energy transformation, and are united in their commitment to get the energy they provide as clean as they can, as fast as they can”. But back in the 1990 there were many campaigns like this. “Unless ‘climate change’ becomes a non-issue,” says another, leaked to the New York Times in 1997, “there may be no moment when we can declare victory”. To achieve victory, the industry planned to “identify, recruit and train a team of five independent scientists to participate in media outreach”.
  11. This important tactic assumed the public would be suspicious if oil industry executives dismissed climate change, but might trust the views of seemingly independent scientists. These would be put forward to take part in debates on TV, potentially confusing a general audience who would see opposing scientists in white coats arguing about complex technical details without knowing who to believe. The problem was, sometimes these “white coats” weren’t truly independent. Some climate sceptic researchers were taking money from the oil industry.
  12. Drexel University emeritus professor Bob Brulle studied the funding for the climate change “counter movement”. He identified 91 institutions which he says either denied or downplayed the risks of climate change, including the Cato Institute and the now-defunct George C Marshall Institute. He found that between 2003 and 2007, ExxonMobil gave $7.2m (£5.6m) to such bodies, while between 2008 and 2010, the American Petroleum Institute trade body (API) donated just under $4m (£3m).
    In its 2007 Corporate Citizenship Report, ExxonMobil said it would stop funding such groups in 2008.
  13. Of course many researchers would argue such money didn’t influence their climate contrarian work. It seems some may have been motivated by something else. Most of the organisations opposing or denying climate change science were right-wing think tanks, who tended to be passionately anti-regulation. These groups made convenient allies for the oil industry, as they would argue against action on climate change.
  14. Jerry Taylor spent 23 years with the Cato Institute – one of those right wing think tanks – latterly as vice president. Before he left in 2014, he would regularly appear on TV and radio, insisting that the science of climate change was uncertain and there was no need to act. Now, he realizes his arguments were based on a misinterpretation of the science, and he regrets the impact he’s had on the debate. For 25 years, climate sceptics like me made it a core matter of ideological identity that if you believe in climate change, then you are by definition a socialist. That is what climate sceptics have done.
  15. This ideological divide has had far-reaching consequences. Polls conducted in May 2020 showed that just 22% of Americans who vote Republican believed climate change is man-made, compared with 72% of Democrats. Unfortunately many of the “expert scientists” quoted by journalists to try to offer balance in their coverage of climate change were – like Jerry Taylor – making arguments based on their beliefs rather than relevant research. Usually these people have some scientific credentials, but they’re not actually experts in climate science, says Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes.
  16. Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes began digging into the background of leading climate sceptics, including Fred Seitz, a nuclear physicist and former president of the US National Academy of Sciences. She found he was deeply anti-communist, believing any government intervention in the marketplace “would put us on the slippery slope to socialism”. She also discovered that he had been active in the debates around smoking in the 1980s. “That was a Eureka moment. We realised this was not a scientific debate.
  17. A person with expertise about climate change would in no way be an expert about oncology or public health or cardiovascular disease, or any of the key issues associated with tobacco. “The fact that the same people were arguing in both cases was a clue that something fishy was going on. That’s what led us to discover this pattern of disinformation that gets systemically used again and again.” Naomi Oreskes spent years going through the tobacco archive at the University of California at San Francisco. It contains more than 14 million documents that were made available thanks to litigation against US tobacco firms. A strikingly familiar story emerged.
  18. Decades before the energy industry tried to undermine the case for climate change, tobacco companies had used the same techniques to challenge the emerging links between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s. The story began at Christmas 1953. In New York’s luxurious Plaza Hotel, the heads of the tobacco companies met to discuss a new threat to their business model. Details of the night’s anxious conversations were recorded in a document written by public relations guru John Hill from Hill and Knowlton. Widely read magazines like Readers Digest and Time Life had begun publishing articles about the association between smoking and lung cancer. And researchers like those who had found that lab mice painted with cigarette tar got cancer were attracting increasing attention.
  19. As John Hill wrote in the 1953 document, “salesmen in the industry are frantically alarmed, and the decline in tobacco stocks on the stock exchange market has caused grave concern“. Hill recommended fighting science with science. “We do not believe the industry should indulge in any flashy or spectacular ballyhoo. There is no public relations [medicine] known to us at least, which will cure the ills of the industry.”
  20. As a later document by tobacco company Brown and Williamson summarised the approach: “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public.” Naomi Oreskes says this understanding of the power of doubt is vital. “They realise they can’t win this battle by making a false claim that sooner or later would be exposed. But if they can create doubt, that would be sufficient – because if people are confused about the issue, there’s a good chance they’ll just keep smoking.”
  21. Hill advised setting up the “Tobacco Industry Research Committee” to promote “the existence of weighty scientific views which hold there is no proof that cigarette smoking is a cause of lung cancer”. As in the climate change debate decades later, “Project Whitecoat” would pit scientist against scientist. According to Oreskes, the project targeted those who were already doing research into other causes of cancer or lung conditions – such as asbestos – which the tobacco industry could fund.
  22. “The purpose of these programmes was not to advance scientific understanding, it was to create enough confusion that the American people would doubt the existing scientific evidence.” Journalists were one of the tobacco industry’s main targets. The Tobacco Industry Research Committee held meetings in its offices in the Empire State Building for major newspaper editors. It even persuaded one of the most famous broadcast journalists of the time, Edward R Murrow, to interview its experts. The eventual edition of Murrow’s celebrated television programme “See It Now” – broadcast in 1955 -shows Project Whitecoat in action, with tobacco industry funded scientists set against independent researchers.
  23. But as would happen later with climate change, it was difficult for the audience at home to form an opinion when opposing scientists contradicted each other. Even Murrow ended up on the fence. “We have no credentials for reaching conclusions on this subject,” he said. If doubt was the industry’s true product, then it appeared to be a roaring success.
    For decades, none of the legal challenges launched against the tobacco companies themselves succeeded.
  24. This was partly due to the effectiveness of Project Whitecoat, as an internal memo from tobacco firm RJ Reynolds in May 1979 concludes: “Due to favourable scientific testimony, no plaintiff has ever collected a penny from any tobacco company in lawsuits claiming that smoking causes lung cancer or cardiovascular illness – even though 117 such cases have been brought since 1954.”
  25. But pressure on the tobacco companies continued to mount. In 1997, the industry paid $350m (£272m) to settle a class action brought by flight attendants who had developed lung cancer and other illnesses which they argued were caused by second-hand cigarette smoke from passengers. This settlement paved the way to a landmark ruling in 2006, when Judge Gladys Kessler found US tobacco companies guilty of fraudulently misrepresenting the health risks associated with smoking.
    Judge Kessler detailed how the industry “marketed and sold their lethal products with zeal, with deception, with a single-minded focus on their financial success, and without regard for the human tragedy or social costs“.
  26. The tobacco companies may have eventually lost their battle to hide the harms of smoking, but the blueprint drawn up by John Hill and his colleagues proved to be very effective. What he wrote is the same memo we have seen in multiple industries subsequently,” says David Michaels, author of The Triumph of Doubt, which details how the pesticides, plastics and sugar industries have also used these tactics. “We called it ‘the tobacco playbook’, because the tobacco industry was so successful.
    They made a product that killed millions of people across the world, and the science has been very strong for many years, but through this campaign to manufacture uncertainty, they were able to delay first, formal recognition of the terrible impact of tobacco, and then delay regulation and defeat litigation for decades, with obviously terrible consequences.”
    We asked Hill and Knowlton about its work for the tobacco companies, but it did not respond.
  27. In a statement, ExxonMobil told the BBC that “allegations about the company’s climate research are inaccurate and deliberately misleading”.
    For more than 40 years, we have supported development of climate science in partnership with governments and academic institutions. That work continues today in an open and transparent way. Deliberately cherry-picked statements attributed to a small number of employees wrongly suggest definitive conclusions were reached decades ago.
    ExxonMobil added that it recently won the court case brought by the New York Attorney General which had accused the company of fraudulently accounting for the costs of climate change regulation
    .
  28. But academics like David Michaels fear the use of uncertainty in the past to confuse the public and undermine science has contributed to a dangerous erosion of trust in facts and experts across the globe today, far beyond climate science or the dangers of tobacco. He cites public attitudes to modern issues like the safety of 5G, vaccinations – and coronavirus.
    By cynically manipulating and distorting scientific evidence, the manufacturers of doubt have seeded in much of the public a cynicism about science, making it far more difficult to convince people that science provides useful – in some cases, vitally important – information.
    “There is no question that this distrust of science and scientists is making it more difficult to stem the coronavirus pandemic.”
    It seems the legacy of “the tobacco playbook” lives on.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

CLAIM: Marty Hoffert leaned closer to his computer screen. He couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing. It was 1981, and he was working in an area of science considered niche. “We were just a group of geeks with some great computers,” he says now, recalling that moment. But his findings were alarming. “I created a model that showed the Earth would be warming very significantly. And the warming would introduce climatic changes that would be unprecedented in human history. That blew my mind.” Marty Hoffert was one of the first scientists to create a model which predicted the effects of man-made climate change. And he did so while working for Exxon, one of the world’s largest oil companie RESPONSE: The novelty of this 1981 climate science Eureka moment is undone by the history of climate science. The first research paper on anthropogenic global warming by fossil fuel emissions was published in 1938 by Guy Callendar { LINK TO CALLENDAR 1938: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/06/29/peer-review-comments-on-callendar-1938/ } where he noted the co-occurrence of fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy, rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, and rising temperatures in the period 1930-1938. Other papers followed in the 1950s and 1960s by Revelle and Keeling and a very significant paper in 1971 by the Late Great Stephen Schneider in which he was able to explain both the warming prior to the 1970s and the 1970s cooing anomaly in terms of fossil fuel emissions that contain not only CO2 but also aerosols. { LINK TO SCHNEIDER 1971: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/10/23/the-1970s-cooling-anomaly-of-agw/ } There were also several significant climate change papers in 1981 including the now famous paper by James Hansen etal, the precursor to his 1988 paper and his Congressional Testimony that led to fear based climate movement of our time. { LINK TO HANSEN 1988 TESTIMONY: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/11/a-climate-industrial-complex/ }

schneider

As for the climate model novelty of 1981 written by computer geeks, we note that the world’s first climate model was written by Syukuro Manabe in 1965 {LINK TO MANABE: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/09/14/manabe-and-other-early-estimates-of-ecs/ }. Manabe has since fallen out of grace from the climate science consensus for mysterious reasons and his consistent estimate of climate sensitivity as ECS=2 was undone when the IPCC adopted the Jule Charney estimate. In 1979, Jule Charney used the Manabe climate model to predict a symmetrical Gaussian distribution of ECS defined by a mean of ECS=3 and a 90% confidence interval of 1.5<ECS<4.5. This range was adopted by the IPCC and has since become gospel in both the literature and in textbooks. Charney died shortly after his landmark climate sensitivity presentation of 1979 but his estimate of ECS=[1.5,4.5] survives to this day as the IPCC standard against which all estimates must be compared and evaluated.

CLAIM: At the time Exxon was spending millions of dollars on ground-breaking research. It wanted to lead the charge as scientists grappled with the emerging understanding that the warming planet could cause the climate to change in ways that could make life pretty difficult for humans. Hoffert shared his predictions with his managers, showing them what might happen if we continued burning fossil fuels in our cars, trucks and planes. But he noticed a clash between Exxon’s own findings, and public statements made by company bosses, such as the then chief executive Lee Raymond, who said that “currently, the scientific evidence is inconclusive as to whether human activities are having a significant effect on the global climate”. “They were saying things that were contradicting their own world-class research groups,” said Hoffert. Angry, he left Exxon, and went on to become a leading academic in the field. What they did was immoral. They spread doubt about the dangers of climate change when their own researchers were confirming how serious a threat it was. RESPONSE: The unbiased information here is that Exxon hired climate scientists and carried out climate research so managers could have the information they needed to make the relevant decisions. Hoffert did not “share” his research with Exxon managers, he was hired and paid to produce that research for the managers. All of Exxon’s research in climate science was in the public domain and published in peer reviewed journals. The implied veil of secrecy is not there. Therefore, that Exxon had come upon secret information about the coming AGW catastrophe and then kept it a secret for profit’s sake, is not credible. Everything that Exxon knew was in the public domain and nothing that Exxon knew was a secret. That Exxon had indeed looked into that matter in depth and spent significant resources investigating the fossil fueled global warming issue before they made their decision means that their decision was an informed decision made in the open with all research findings made public. These details of Exxon’s research into AGW do not cast them as evil and secretive but as rational business managers.

CLAIM: Chief executive Lee Raymond said that “currently, the scientific evidence is inconclusive as to whether human activities are having a significant effect on the global climate”. They were saying things that were contradicting their own world-class research groups,” said Hoffert.
Angry, he left Exxon,
and went on to become a leading academic in the field. What they did was immoral. They spread doubt about the dangers of climate change when their own researchers were confirming how serious a threat it was. RESPONSE: What we see here is that Exxon managers hired climate experts to do the research and advise managers but the managers did not heed the advice of these experts. Yet, this is exactly how business works. The managers are the decision makers accountable to shareholders. They hire experts to provide them with information they need to make their decision but in the end the managers make the decision. Technical experts are not hired to make decisions but to provide managers with information they need to make decisions. The important information here is that the managers DID hire experts to investigate this matter and then only after receiving their reports and findings did the managers do their job and make a decision on the basis of those findings. There is nothing odd or suspicious or evil in this matter particularly so considering that the renewable energy alternative was still in development and without a practical solution to intermittency and unreliability. The extreme irony here is that renewable technology is still in development and not a reliable technology ready for implementation. Details in a related post on this site LINK TO POST ON RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/08/18/energy-storage/

CLAIM: Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes began digging into the background of leading climate sceptics, including Fred Seitz, a nuclear physicist and former president of the US National Academy of Sciences. She found he was deeply anti-communist, believing any government intervention in the marketplace “would put us on the slippery slope to socialism”. She also discovered that he had been active in the debates around smoking in the 1980s. “That was a Eureka moment. We realised this was not a scientific debate. A person with expertise about climate change would in no way be an expert about oncology or public health or cardiovascular disease, or any of the key issues associated with tobacco. “The fact that the same people were arguing in both cases was a clue that something fishy was going on. That’s what led us to discover this pattern of disinformation that gets systemically used again and again.” Naomi Oreskes spent years going through the tobacco archive at the University of California at San Francisco. It contains more than 14 million documents that were made available thanks to litigation against US tobacco firms. A strikingly familiar story emerged. Decades before the energy industry tried to undermine the case for climate change, tobacco companies had used the same techniques to challenge the emerging links between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s. The story began at Christmas 1953. In New York’s luxurious Plaza Hotel, the heads of the tobacco companies met to discuss a new threat to their business model. Details of the night’s anxious conversations were recorded in a document written by public relations guru John Hill from Hill and Knowlton. Widely read magazines like Readers Digest and Time Life had begun publishing articles about the association between smoking and lung cancer. And researchers like those who had found that lab mice painted with cigarette tar got cancer were attracting increasing attention. RESPONSE: It is now standard practice for climate activists, particularly Naomi Oreskes, to insert the tobacco story into the Exxon knew allegations to insert a greater insinuation of evil but the relevance of this insertion is obscure with no rational argument from the accusers of its relevance to AGW climate change. The only possible argument here is that tobacco is proof that corporations profit from bad stuff, the oil industry profits from fossil fuel, so therefore fossil fuels must be bad. These arguments serve as evidence of the extreme advocacy and the absence of rational thought in these discussions. Consider for example that if Oreskes had been on the other side of this debate she would have been written off as someone with insufficient climate science credentials to comment.

FOOTNOTE: That there are significant uncertainties in climate science is acknowledged by climate scientists in their published papers and yet a reference to these uncertainties by Exxon managers is deemed evil and unacceptable. The difference is not in the extent of the uncertainty but how uncertainty is understood. In science as in rational decision making by managers, uncertainty is interpreted as dearth of information such that the less we know the more uncertainty there is in our estimate. But n climate science, the variance statistic is first converted into a confidence interval and the extreme end of that interval that creates the greatest fear is then interpreted as the information provided by that estimate. This is a gross statistical error as described in a related post: LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/22/climate-science-uncertainty/ .

BRIEFLY, UNCERTAINTY DOES NOT MEAN OH! LOOK HOW HIGH IT COULD BE. IT MEANS WE DON’T REALLY KNOW. THE LESS WE KNOW THE HIGHER IT COULD BE AND IN PERFECT IGNORANCE IT COULD BE AS HIGH AS INFINITY BECAUSE THE ANSWER IS NOT CONSTRAINED BY INFORMATION.

Measurement of Uncertainty

As an example, consider the climate science study of the Greenland Ice sheet melt rate to come to the alarming conclusion that its sea level rise contribution by the year 2100 could be as high as 90mm. A large uncertainty is reported in the data but not interpreted. When that uncertainty is included in the interpretation of the finding, no alarm remains. For critics to point out these uncertainties cannot be described as a misuse of uncertainty to cast doubt because the doubt is in the data. LINK TO GREENLAND MELT STUDY https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/09/19/greenlands-future-sea-level-rise/

IF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE POINTING OUT THESE UNCERTAINTIES AND STATISTICAL ERRORS IN CLIMATE SCIENCE ARE MERCHANTS OF DOUBT THEN WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS RIGHT NOW ARE MORE MERCHANTS OF DOUBT. MERCHANTS OF DOUBT ARE CRITICAL CONSUMERS OF INFORMATION. UNCRITICAL CONSUMPTION OF INFORMATION BASED ON THE POWER OF WORDS SUCH AS SCIENCE AND CONSENSUS DOES NOT PROVIDE A USEFUL SERVICE TO SOCIETY.

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on  Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (Audible Audio Edition): Erik  M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Peter Johnson, Audible Studios: Amazon.ca:

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Hurricane Katrina | Damage, Deaths, Aftermath, & Facts | Britannica
11 Facts About Hurricane Katrina | DoSomething.org

Thomas Knutson
TOM KNUTSON, NOAA

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A RESEARCH PAPER PUBLISHED IN IOPSCIENCE IN 2020 THAT CLAIMS TO HAVE FOUND AN IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON TROPICAL CYCLONES. LINK https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9e1f

CITATION: An increase in global trends of tropical cyclone translation speed since 1982 and its physical causes. Sung-Hun Kim1,2, Il-Ju Moon1 and Pao-Shin Chu2. Published 2 September 2020 • © 2020 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Environmental Research Letters, Volume 15, Number 9

ABSTRACT: In this study, the causes of the increase in global mean tropical cyclone translation speed (TCTS) in the post-satellite era were investigated. Analysis reveals that the global-mean TCTS increased by 0.31 km h−1 per decade over the last 36 years, but the steering flow controlling the local TCTS decreased by −0.24 km h−1 per decade in the major tropical cyclone (TC) passage regions. These values correspond to a change of 5.9% and −5.6% during the analysis period for the mean TCTS and steering flow, respectively. The inconsistency between these two related variables (TCTS and steering flows) is caused by relative TC frequency changes according to basin and latitude. The TCTS is closely related to the latitude of the TC position, which shows a significant difference in mean TCTS between basins. That is, the increased global-mean TCTS is mainly attributed to the following: (1) an increase (4.5% per decade) in the relative proportion of the North Atlantic TCs in terms of global TC’s position points (this region has the fastest mean TCTS among all basins); and (2) the poleward shift of TC activities. These two effects account for 76.8% and 25.8% of the observed global-mean TCTS trend, respectively, and thus overwhelm those of the slowing steering flow related to the weakening of large-scale tropical circulation, which leads to a global mean increase in TCTS. Given that TC activity in the North Atlantic is closely related to the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation and a poleward shift of TC exposure is likely induced by global warming, the recent increase in the global-mean TCTS is a joint outcome of both natural variations and anthrophonic effects. FULL TEXT PDF: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9e1f/pdf

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. The expected impacts of anthropogenic global warming on tropical cyclones were derived from AGW theory using a large array of climate model runs by Thomas Knutson and more than a dozen co-authors that included Kerry Emanuel, Chris Landsea, James Kossin, Gabriel Vecchi, Phillip Klotzbach, and other notable researchers in this field. See for example: Knutson, Thomas R., John L. McBride, Johnny Chan, Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, Isaac Held, James P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava, and Masato Sugi. “Tropical cyclones and climate change.” Nature geoscience 3, no. 3 (2010): 157-163. … Also Walsh, Kevin JE, John L. McBride, Philip J. Klotzbach, Sethurathinam Balachandran, Suzana J. Camargo, Greg Holland, Thomas R. Knutson et al. “Tropical cyclones and climate change.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 7, no. 1 (2016): 65-89.
  2. What we find in these studies is the theoretical basis for the impact of AGW on tropical cyclones that serves as the starting point for empirical research in this field in the form of formulating the hypothesis to be tested against observations. In summary, this theoretical basis derived from the cited works above is as follows: “Tropical cyclones and climate change.” Nature geoscience 3.3 (2010): 157-163. In the paper, Tom Knutson spells out exactly what climate science claims in terms of the impact of AGW climate change on tropical cyclones with climate model predictions of the effect of rising SST on tropical cyclones. His main points are as follows: (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) Extremely high variance in tropical cyclone data at an annual time scale suggests longer, perhaps a decadal time scale which in turn greatly reduces statistical power. (6) Model projections for individual cyclone basins show large differences and conflicting results. Thus, no testable implication can be derived for studies of individual basins.
  3. As shown in related posts, tests for these hypotheses have mostly failed: LINK#1: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/11/28/trends-in-tropical-cyclone-activity/ LINK#2: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/03/22/ace-sst/ LINK#3: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/04/04/1737/ LINK#4: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/08/01/tropical-cyclones-climate-change/ LINK#5: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/04/agwcyclones/
  4. An apparent success in this line of research that is still cited is the Hurricane Katrina paper by Kerry Emanuel on the destructiveness of hurricanes. The paper found that AGW was making Hurricanes of the North Atlantic Basin more destructive. However, as shown in a related post on this site, this paper suffers from fatal statistical errors and the findings are therefore discarded on this basis. Emanuel also violated the Knutson etal principle against restricting the study to selected cyclone basins. LINK TO THE EMANUEL PAPER https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/09/18/climate-change-hurricanes/
  5. We also find in the Emanuel paper, and in many similar papers, a violation of the Knutson 2010 principle that tropical cyclone studies in the context of climate change must include all five basins in the for of a bias for the North Atlantic Basin to the exclusion of the other five tropical cyclone basins LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/11/14/hurricane-obsession/
  6. Within the strict guidelines of the Knutson paper and the principles of empirical research and of statistics, the effort by climate science to relate the destruction of tropical cyclones to climate change has failed. Yet there remains a yearning in climate science for such a relationship. A possible reason for that yearning is that the dramatic destruction of tropical cyclones, as for example by Hurricane Katrina, provides a convincing argument for climate action and against fossil fuels.
  7. This line of research therefore persists but the hypotheses to be tested no longer bears a relationship to the original theoretical basis by way of SST whereby AGW increases SST and higher SST increases cyclone energy. Such new tropical cyclone hypotheses, as the one under review here, are apparently derived from whatever pattern can be found in the data.
  8. As an example, we describe in a related post LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/06/tropical-cyclones-climate-change-2/ , a study that found that climate change is changing the global pattern of tropical cyclones with the finding that since 1980, cyclone activity has tempered and decreased in the South Indian and West Pacific basins and increased in the East Pacific and North Atlantic basins. This pattern was then stated as the hypothesis to be tested in a new empirical work on tropical cyclones in which they found that climate change had caused a shift in the global pattern of tropical cyclone activity with a weakening in the South Indian and West Pacific basins and a strengthening in the North Atlantic and East Pacific basins {Detected climatic change in global distribution of tropical cyclones, Hiroyuki Murakami etal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 2020, 201922500; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1922500117}
  9. There are three issues with this study that nullifies the findings. First, it is not possible to test a hypothesis with the data used to construct the hypothesis. That is a severe form of circular reasoning called the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy. The second issue is that causation is assumed simply from a co-occurrence. Co-occurrence does not prove causation. The third issue in this research is that it is entirely unrelated to the only theoretical format for the study of tropical cyclones in the context of climate change as laid out in Knutson et al 2010. The findings are rejected on this basis.
  10. The paper under review in this post, {An increase in global trends of tropical cyclone translation speed since 1982 and its physical causes. Sung-Hun Kim1,2, Il-Ju Moon1 and Pao-Shin Chu2, 2020} is rejected on the same basis. The hypothesis to be tested is not derived from theory but from the data and then the same data are used to test the hypothesis. Also, the hypothesis is unrelated to Knutson etal 2010 and no source is cited for the theoretical basis of this hypothesis.
  11. The essential finding in these kinds of studies is that the authors found a pattern in the data with the implication that this pattern is relevant in the study of climate change impacts on tropical cyclones and that it should therefore be considered a climate change impact. The research methodology violates research norms and the findings are rejected on that basis.
  12. More on such AGW impact research: LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/06/21/climate-change-impacts1/

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A third of Himalayan ice cap doomed, finds report | Environment | The  Guardian
Report: One-Third of Himalayan Glaciers Could Melt by 2100 | Time
Himalaya glaciers are melting twice as fast as last century - CNN
Stark warning on melting Himalayan glaciers | News | DW | 04.02.2019
Himalayan glaciers melting at alarming rate: study - Global Village Space
Ecozine Film Festival - Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, ex presidente del Grupo  Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático y Premio Nobel de  la Paz 2007, ha muerto hoy en Nueva Delhi. Y

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A MEDIA ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY THE INDIAN EXPRESS IN SEPTEMBER 2020 WITH THE CLAIM THAT FOSSIL FUELED ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING IS CAUSING HIMALAYAN GLACIERS TO MELT.

PART-1: WHAT THE ARTICLE SAYS: LINK: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/glacier-retreat-in-himalayas-to-cause-water-crisis-study-6601814/

TITLE: Glacier retreat in Himalayas to cause water crisis: study
Studies by ISRO show that approximately 75 per cent of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate. Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi | September 19, 2020 2:36:17 am

The Himalayan Hindu Kush region has the biggest reserves of water in the form of ice and snow outside the polar regions. A study commissioned by the Observer Research Foundation, published this month, has found that the retreat of glaciers in the Himalayan Hindu Kush region is now affecting the surface water and groundwater availability in the region, and has adversely affected springs a lifeline for the population in hill areas. The study, carried out by Dr Anjal Prakash, IPCC author and Research Director of Bharti Institute of Public Policy at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, says that unless a coherent nationwide policy is developed for springs and Himalayan groundwater, villages and towns in the region will face a severe water crisis in coming decades. Studies by ISRO show that approximately 75 per cent of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating at an alarming rate. These retreats will increase the variability of water flows to downstream areas and endanger the sustainability of water use in the earth’s most crowded basins. Receding glaciers would also have an impact on the rates of groundwater recharge in some areas,” says the study. The decline in groundwater due to anticipated decline of glacial meltwater is likely to affect the Ganges basin the most, it says. Glacial decline is closely related to climate change. The study looks at the interconnectivity between this and the groundwater and surface water in the area. There are 5 million springs in the Himalayas and they are showing a decline because of overuse by an increasing population, but also because of retreating glaciers and depleting ground water levels. This is alarming because the populations that live in the upper and middle Himalayas, in villages and even towns, are dependent on spring water. NITI Aayog has set up a committee to look at springs in the Himalayas. But there needs to be a mission mode policy on this,” said Dr Prakash. In many parts of HKH springs are drying up due to prolonged pre-monsoon drought as a result of climate change, threatening the way of life for local communities and downstream areas,” said Dr Vishal Singh, Executive Director of Centre for Ecology Development and Research. The HKH region extends across 3,500 km over eight countries—Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. It has the biggest reserves of water in the form of ice and snow outside the polar regions, and is the source of 10 of the largest rivers in Asia. About 1.3 billion people directly depend on the HKH ecosystems, including for irrigation, power and drinking water. For the upper Indus basin, glacier melt may contribute up to 41 per cent of the total runoff, 13 per cent in the upper Ganga basin and 16 per cent in upper Brahmaputra. While initially the retreating glaciers will not have a direct impact on water flow in rivers, except in the Indus where 26 per cent flow is from glacier melt, this is likely to change soon, says the study. Climate warming is affecting hydrological regimes in the HKH region because of factors like changes in seasonal extremes, increased evapotranspiration, and changes in glacier volume. However, the study forecasts that in all three basins, there would be a decrease in snow and a rise in glacier melt by the middle of the century. Initially, there will be an increased amount of meltwater available, but this quantity will decline abruptly as the glacier storage is reduced.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

The fearful climate change topic that anthropogenic global warming is melting Himalayan glaciers is no longer credible in the context of its sordid historical past as evident in the related posts and historical notes below.

RELATED POST #1: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2010/07/22/himalayan-glaciers-melting-again/ Himalayan glaciers melting again

In: Bangkok Post | global warming | Nature Leave a Comment
Reference: Our beaker is on the boil, Bangkok Post, July 21, 2010. In its 2007 assessment of climate change, the IPCC had warned that global warming is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt and recede and that this process, unchecked by their prescribed intervention of carbon emission reduction, would dry up Asia’s great rivers including the Yellow, the Yangtze, the Mekong, and the Ganges and leave more than a billion people without water (Himalayan glacier melts to hit billions of poor, Bangkok Post, December 7, 2009). Skeptics were quick to point out that glacial meltwater plays a very minor role in feeding these rivers and that therefore the loss of glaciers would not affect these rivers in the way postulated by the IPCC. The IPCC was forced to make a full retraction of this assessment. Soon thereafter climate scientists started looking for rivers in the region that do depend on meltwater from Himalayan glaciers in order to resurrect their glacial-melt agenda. They came up with the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers as possible candidates on the basis of their dependence on glaciers (Our beaker is on the boil, Bangkok Post, July 21, 2010). The Brahmaputra does receive a greater portion of its water from glacial melt than the Ganges, but at about 8% or so it is still too small a fraction to cause the river to “dry up” without glacial meltwater. The Indus, however, is a different story for there the complete loss of glacial meltwater would cause a 24% decline in flow and that would indeed be a catastrophic impact. There is a small problem with geography, however. The source of these rivers is not in the region where the receding glacier is identified. In particular, the source of the Indus is in the Karakoram range where most glaciers – including the Siachen glacier that feeds the Indus – are growing and advancing and certainly not receding. The assertion that global warming will cause the Indus and Brahmaputra to run dry is based on data from the wrong glacier and is therefore not valid. It is yet another example where climate science has attempted to generalize local data when such generalization is not possible. All glaciers in the Himalayas are not receding. Many are advancing and many more are at steady state – neither advancing nor retreating; but you won’t hear about them from climate scientists because they cannot be used to evoke fear and loathing of carbon dioxide. This kind of fear based activism appears to be an integral and important part of the science of climate science.

RELATED POST #2: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2010/06/17/the-glaciers-in-tibet-are-melting/ Are the glaciers in Tibet melting?

It is reported that global warming is melting the glaciers in the Tibetan plateau and that this process will cause 1/3 of these glaciers to disappear in 10 years (Global warming spells doom for Asia’s rivers, Bangkok Post, June 16, 2010). The article claims that declining water flow in the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, and in particular, the severe decline in Mekong waters in Southeast Asia downstream of China, are due to the loss of glacial mass caused by global warming and that these changes have doomed 1.3 billion people in Asia to death by global warming. No explanation is offered for why an increase in the melt rate of source glaciers decreases water flow in the rivers they feed instead of increasing it. This story first surfaced in mid 2004 with a warning of “ecological catastrophe” from Tibet’s glaciers that have been melting for the last 40 years as a consequence of climate change and that would continue to melt at a rate of 7% per year and reduce water flow in the rivers fed by the glaciers. As to why an increase in the melt rate does not increase the flow rate in the rivers, it was proposed that global warming was again to blame because it was causing all that excess melt water to evaporate. All of these conclusions were derived from the discovery of a number of ice islands that were assumed to have separated from their glaciers. It was predicted that without human intervention in the form of emission reductions 64% of the Tibetan glaciers would be gone by the year 2050 and all of it would vanish by the year 2100. The year 2100 plays a magical role in global warming theory as some kind of end time when the full wrath of every aspect of climate change doom will be realized. Later the same year in 2004, a different story was floated. It said that a visit to the Zepu glacier in Tibet at an elevation of 11,500 feet showed a torrent of melt water gushing out at an alarming rate and all that excess water was forming the headwaters of a river downstream at a much higher elevation due to global warming. Their data showed that 30 years prior to that date, Zepu was 100 yards thicker. They concluded that what is happening to Zepu is happening to all the glaciers in Tibet and what is happening in Tibet is happening globally. Glaciers are melting all over the world due to global warming with the possible exception of Scandinavia. The story changed again in 2006 when it was announced with a great sense of alarm that global warming was causing sandstorms in Beijing by way of melting glaciers and drought. This version of the story came in the aftermath of the unusually large sandstorm event in Beijing in April 2006 that captivated TV audiences and made headlines around the world; but the effort to sell global warming on the back of this tragedy was ineffective as the expansion of the Gobi desert is historical and a well understood phenomenon linked to over-grazing and other land use issues and not due to melting glaciers. However, the story that the Tibetan glaciers were melting and threatening water supplies to a billion people continued to re-appear in 2007 and 2008 but went on a hiatus in 2009 when excessive amounts of black soot deposits were found in core samples of Tibetan glaciers implying that accelerated melting if any was more likely due to soot than to global warming. Yet another deterrent to hyping global warming with Tibetan glaciers came in early 2010 when it was found that the Tibetan glaciers were unique in that they never got very big but varied in size within a range that was not very large with their temperature sensitivity not very significant even going as far back as the last ice age. Also of note is that there is no evidence that water flow in the Yellow, the Yangtze, or the Mekong is declining in the river as a whole. The only evidence presented is that water flow in the Mekong in Laos and Thailand – downstream of China – has declined. In fact it has, but that could not have been caused by a decline in the flow of its headwaters for that would have affected flow in the entire length of the river and not just in a section thousands of miles downstream. The loss of water in the lower Mekong has received a lot of attention in Southeast Asia and it has been a contentious water sharing issue with China which has built a number of dams upstream but it is not a glacial headwaters issue, nor a global warming issue. No one here would take it seriously that the water problem in the Southeast Asian section of the Mekong would be alleviated by lowering carbon dioxide emissions. Consider also that the Mekong is fed mostly by monsoon rains with a water flow that is highly seasonal. Its flow during the monsoon is 30 times its flow during the dry season. Therefore if there were a climate related decrease in the total amount of water it carries it would have to do with the monsoons and not with glaciers. Coincidentally, climate scientists had made the same error in 2007 when they had said that the Ganges river – which receives less than 10% of its water from glacial melt – would dry up because of melting glaciers. So it is curious to find them attempting to revive the Tibetan glacier story yet again in the light of these data and in the heels of their humiliating retraction of similar false alarms about Himalayan glaciers. It is likely that real evidence of global warming catastrophe is hard to come by these days and there is a certain degree of desperation in the global warming camp to keep the issue alive in the media.

Historical note #1: 2009 LINK http://chaamjamal.blogspot.com/2009/12/reference-giant-climate-fraud-in.html Reference: The giant climate fraud in Copenhagen, Bangkok Post, December 13, 2009: An article breathlessly promoting climate catastrophe hysteria claims that “Himalayan ice is rapidly vanishing and will be gone by 2035 so the great rivers of Asia that are born there will shrivel and cease” to provide water to a quarter of humanity (Bangkok Post, December 13, 2009). The preposterous and scientifically impossible idea that the Himalayan ice will be gone by 2035 comes from the IPCC which initially cited a research paper that claimed that Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2350. As this statement may not have contained the fear factor that climate alarmism needed, the date has been whittled back to 2035 without explanation and Himalayan glaciers have been gradually expanded to include all Himalayan ice. As for rivers running dry, the IPCC specifically targets the Ganges river claiming it will go bone dry by 2035 because of vanishing ice. Kindly note that the Ganges derives less than 5% of its water from glacial melt.

Historical note #2: 2009: LINK: http://chaamjamal.blogspot.com/2009/12/reference-himalayan-glacier-melts-to.html Reference: Himalayan glacier melts to hit billions of poor, Bangkok Post, December 7, 2009: In 2007, the IPCC issued a report citing data on the retreating Gangotri glacier in the Himalayan mountains that showed that the rate of retreat had accelerated from 19 m/yr in 1971 to 34 m/yr in 2001. They extrapolated the observed acceleration forward and wrote that global warming devastation due to carbon dioxide was only a decade away for people who depend on the Ganges and other rivers with headwaters in the Himalayas. This scenario continues to be widely disseminated in the media (Himalayan glacier melts to hit billions of poor, Bangkok Post, December 7, 2009) in spite of more recent data that show that the predicted acceleration has not occurred; with the IPCC going so far as to vilify Indian scientists who who published the data as climate change deniers. In any case, the idea that glacial retreat in the Himalayas will cause the Ganges river to dry up is inconsistent with the observation that the river derives less than 5% of its water from glacial melt. Also of note is that a gradual decline in overall glacial mass worldwide began in 1850 when the Little Ice Age had mysteriously ended well before fossil fuel consumption and atmospheric carbon dioxide rose to levels that the IPCC has identified with man-made global warming. The melt is not a carbon dioxide issue.

Historical note #3: 2010: LINK: http://chaamjamal.blogspot.com/2010/02/unwinding-of-climate-change-hype-once.html The unwinding of the climate change hype. The once feared hype about catastrophe from carbon dioxide emissions is in ruins. The failure of climate science to make their case at the Copenhagen summit came on the heels of leaked emails from climate scientists that exposed a conspiracy to defraud. Even as the IPCC was in damage control mode to defend itself from these charges, there were further even more damaging revelations of scientific fraud and incompetence. It is now known that scores of their claims about devastation from carbon dioxide emissions including their claim that hurricane Katrina was caused by carbon dioxide emissions, that the Amazon forest will be turned into a savanna, that Africa’s agriculture and coral reefs worldwide would be devastated, that the Himalayan glaciers are melting and will be gone in 25 years, that the sea level is rising and inundating atolls in the Pacific, and that the Arctic will be ice free in 15 years, that that glaciers in the Alps and the Andes are in accelerated and alarming decline; are lies. The IPCC is now busy retracting one scary claim after another apparently in secret as the media that once hyped them have gone silent on the retractions. Even so, the credibility and fear factor of climate science are down. Weaknesses in the global warming house of cards are exposed.

Historical note #4: 2010: LINK: http://chaamjamal.blogspot.com/2010/04/reference-800-flee-eruption-bangkok.html In the heydays of the global warming movement glacial advances were ignored and glacial retreats exaggerated and ascribed to carbon dioxide emissions. Geothermal effects were not considered even after it became known that the melt data on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were taken from a region with volcanic activity under the ice (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008). Now that the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull has erupted and broken through the ice for all to see, can we expect yet another retraction from the IPCC with respect to retreating glaciers in the Arctic along the lines of their retraction of the state of impending catastrophe about retreating glaciers in the Himalayas?

Historical note #5: 2010: LINK: http://chaamjamal.blogspot.com/2010/04/reference-ice-cap-thaw-may-awaken.html Reference: Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes, April 17, 2010: Global warming scientists have come up with the idea that carbon dioxide causes volcanic eruptions in Iceland. The argument goes that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming, global warming in turn causes glaciers in Iceland to melt, and melting glaciers lighten the weight of the ice cap on volcanoes and thereby trigger eruptions (Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes, April 17, 2010). It is clearly a sinister attempt to ride the media wave created by the volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier and to use that fear factor to sell their war against carbon dioxide. The reality is of course very different. Melting glaciers do not cause volcanic eruptions. Volcanic eruptions cause melting glaciers. We now know that much of the glacier melt that the global warming people tried to pin on carbon dioxide was actually caused by geothermal activity under the ice not just in Iceland but also in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and in Greenland. They have not learned from their prior errors committed while dishonestly overselling the global warming hype and are about to commit Volcano Gate right in the heels of the HimalayaGate retraction.

Historical note #6: 2010: LINK: http://chaamjamal.blogspot.com/2010/04/reference-non-water-flushing-bangkok.html

It has been a long and bitterly cold winter in the Himalayas with record snowfall; and so I was surprised to read in the Bangkok Post that the Mekong River is drying up because “the amount of ice and snow in the Himalayas this winter is less than usual, and much of it melted in January and February” due to global warming (Non-water flushing, Bangkok Post My Home Magazine, April 22, 2010). Has the global warming juggernaut reached such momentum that even actual weather data don’t matter?

Ecozine Film Festival - Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, ex presidente del Grupo  Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático y Premio Nobel de  la Paz 2007, ha muerto hoy en Nueva Delhi. Y

Climate change: Greenland ice melt 'is accelerating' - BBC News
Guest post: How the Greenland ice sheet fared in 2017 | Carbon Brief

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS REPORTED IN CRYOSPHERE ON THE FUTURE SEA LEVEL RISE CONTRIBUTION OF THE GREENLAND ICE SHEET FOUND IN AN ENSEMBLE OF CLIMATE MODELS. LINK TO SOURCE: https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/14/3071/2020/

CITATION: Research article17 Sep 2020, The future sea-level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet: a multi-model ensemble study of ISMIP6, Heiko Goelzer1,2,32, Sophie Nowicki3, Anthony Payne4, Eric Larour5, Helene Seroussi5, William H. Lipscomb6, Jonathan Gregory7,8, Ayako Abe-Ouchi9, Andrew Shepherd10, Erika Simon3, Cécile Agosta11, Patrick Alexander12,13, Andy Aschwanden14, Alice Barthel15, Reinhard Calov16, Christopher Chambers17, Youngmin Choi18,5, Joshua Cuzzone18, Christophe Dumas11, Tamsin Edwards19, Denis Felikson3, Xavier Fettweis20, Nicholas R. Golledge21, Ralf Greve17,22, Angelika Humbert23,24, Philippe Huybrechts25, Sebastien Le clec’h25, Victoria Lee4, Gunter Leguy6, Chris Little26, Daniel P. Lowry27, Mathieu Morlighem18, Isabel Nias3,28,33, Aurelien Quiquet11, Martin Rückamp23, Nicole-Jeanne Schlegel5, Donald A. Slater29,34, Robin S. Smith7, Fiamma Straneo29, Lev Tarasov30, Roderik van de Wal1,31, and Michiel van den Broeke1

ABSTRACT: The Greenland ice sheet is one of the largest contributors to global mean sea-level rise today and is expected to continue to lose mass as the Arctic continues to warm. The two predominant mass loss mechanisms are increased surface meltwater run-off and mass loss associated with the retreat of marine-terminating outlet glaciers. In this paper we use a large ensemble of Greenland ice sheet models forced by output from a representative subset of the CMIP5 global climate models to project ice sheet changes and sea-level rise contributions over the 21st century. The simulations are part of the Ice Sheet Model Inter-comparison Project for CMIP6. We estimate the sea-level contribution together with uncertainties due to future climate forcing, ice sheet model formulations and ocean forcing for the two greenhouse gas concentration scenarios RCP8.5 and RCP2.6. The results indicate that the Greenland ice sheet will continue to lose mass in both scenarios until 2100, with contributions of 90±50 and 32±17 mm to sea-level rise for RCP8.5 and RCP2.6, respectively.

The largest mass loss is expected from the south-west of Greenland, which is governed by surface mass balance changes, continuing what is already observed today. Because the contributions are calculated against an unforced control experiment, these numbers do not include any committed mass loss, i.e. mass loss that would occur over the coming century if the climate forcing remained constant. Under RCP8.5 forcing, ice sheet model uncertainty explains an ensemble spread of 40 mm, while climate model uncertainty and ocean forcing uncertainty account for a spread of 36 and 19 mm, respectively. Apart from those formally derived uncertainty ranges, the largest gap in our knowledge is about the physical understanding and implementation of the calving process, i.e. the interaction of the ice sheet with the ocean.

LINK TO THE FULL TEXT OF THIS PAPER: https://tc.copernicus.org/articles/14/3071/2020/

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

It is noted that the sea level rise from Greenland ice sheet melt is forecast for the year 2100 for RCP8.5 business as usual with no climate action as a 90% confidence interval of 40 to 140 mm with the range of 100mm derived as a 95% confidence interval from a mean of 90mm and a standard deviation of 50mm. Similarly, the sea level rise range for RCP2.6 is reported as 45mm to 49mm derived from a mean of 32 and a standard deviation of 17. RCP8.5 represents “business as usual” meaning that no climate action is taken. RCP2.6 represents the result of climate action.

The difference is the effect of climate action, that is the amount Greenland melt and its sea level rise that can be prevented by taking climate action. The difference between these means is 90-32 = 58mm indicating that climate action will reduce an amount of Greenland melt that will result in preventing the additional 58mm of sea level rise. However, this analysis does not take into account the uncertainty in the two sea level rise estimates.

The stated uncertainty in these estimates and in the difference between RCP8.5 and RCP2.6 are depicted graphically below in a GIF image that presents the difference between random selections from a Monte Carlo simulation of the two uncertain Greenland melt and sea level rise estimates. The interpretation of this difference is the impact of climate action, that is the amount of Greenland melt and sea level rise that can be prevented by taking climate action that is expected to transform the RCP8.5 business as usual into the RCP2.6 climate action results. The thick horizontal orange line in the chart marks the zero position of no impact of climate action. Values above this line show a positive impact of climate action in terms of a reduction in Greenland ice melt and sea level rise achieved with climate action. Values on the thick orange line indicate no impact of climate action and those below the orange line represent the anomalous result that climate action will increase ice melt and sea level rise. The Monte Carlo simulation Excel spreadsheet is available for download.

What we see in the graphical depiction of the Monte Carlo simulation is that the estimate of Greenland melt and sea level rise saved with climate action varies over a wide range from -100 to +200. Negative values imply that climate action results in greater Greenland melt and higher sea level rise. More to the point, the large range of values in the Monte Carlo simulation depicted graphically below imply that the uncertainty in the climate model ensemble estimates of future Greenland melt and sea level rise are too large for their mean values to provide useful information.

Here we encounter an oddity of climate science in the treatment of uncertainty. This oddity is explained in some detail in a related post LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/04/22/climate-science-uncertainty/ Briefly, large uncertainties also yield large confidence intervals that invite their interpretation to suit the advocacy needs of the researcher to note with alarm at how high it could be. For example, in this case we see that the effect of climate action to transform RCP8.5 to RCPP2.6 could be as high as 200mm of sea level rise prevented. However, this kind of interpretation of uncertain data contains a confirmation bias that appears to be part of the methodology of climate science as described in yet another related post LINK https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

CONCLUSION: THE INTERPRETATION OF LARGE UNCERTAINEIES IN TERMS OF “OH LOOK HOW HIGH IT COULD BE” IS A BIASED MISINTERETATION OF WHAT UNCERTAINTY MEANS. WHAT WE SEE IN THESE GREENLAND ICE MELT AND SEA LEVEL RISE PROJECTIONS IS THAT THE UNCERTAINTY IN THE ESTIMATES ARE TOO LARGE AND THAT THEREFORE THE FORECASTS OF FUTURE GREENLAND MELT AND SEA LEVEL RISE BASED ON THESE CLIMATE MODEL RESULTS DO NOT CONTAIN USEFUL INFORMATION.

THE HONEST ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF FUTURE SEA LEVEL RISE ATTRIBUTABLE TO ICE MELT IN GREENLAND IS THAT WE DON’T KNOW BECAUSE OF LARGE UNCERTAINTIES IN THE CLIMATE MODEL FORECASTS.

Uncertainty - Wikipedia

uncertainty at work

THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY DAVID WILKINSON BLOG ON UNCERTAINTY:

How you cope with uncertainty predicts how biased you are” LINK https://www.oxford-review.com/how-you-cope-with-uncertainty-predicts-how-biased-you-are/

Uncertainty Increases Positive and Negative Emotion -GymLion

Thwaites Glacier: If hole collapses from global warming, what happens?
Geological 'Hotspot' Melting Pine Island,Thwaites Glaciers, Not Global  Warming | Principia Scientific Intl.
Thwaites: 'Doomsday Glacier' vulnerability seen in new maps - BBC News
Hidden Volcanoes Melt Antarctic Glaciers from Below by Daniel Ayala on  Prezi Next
Newly-discovered volcano in Antarctica could erupt and add to global  warming. [Printable]
More Scientists Confirm Volcanoes Rapidly Melting Antarctica's Ice Sheets »  Exopolitics
Song of Ice and Fire: Active Volcano Found Benea | Earth And The Environment

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A LIVESCIENCE ARTICLE THAT SAYS THAT THE THWAITES GLACIER IS THREATENED BY A HIDDEN RIVER OF WARM WATER WITH THE WARMTH OF THE WATER ATTRIBUTED TO CLIMATE CHANGE . LINK TO THE LIVESCIENCE ARTICLE: https://www.livescience.com/thwaites-glacier-hidden-rivers-mapped.html

PART-1: WHAT THE LIVESCIENCE ARTICLE SAYS

Hidden rivers of warm water threaten vast Antarctic glacier
By Rafi Letzter

Sea levels could rise more than two feet if just this one glacier collapses.

Instruments aboard the British Antarctic Survey ship RV Nathaniel B Palmer helped scientists map the channels under the glacier.
Instruments aboard the British Antarctic Survey ship RV Nathaniel B Palmer helped scientists map the channels under the glacier. One of the largest, most unstable glaciers in Antarctica is sliding into the ocean. That’s due, in large part, to hidden rivers of warm water that lubricate its underbelly, more so now than ever in the era of climate change. Now, researchers know what those unseen channels look like. By using equipment that can measure fluctuations in gravity, radar and seismic waves, scientists were able to map precisely where these glacier-melting channels cut through the deep seabed. “It was fantastic to be able to map the channels and cavity system hidden beneath the ice shelf; they are deeper than expected some are more than 800 meters deep. They form the critical link between the ocean and the glacier.


12/06/20120 Million-Year-Old Crocs Walked on Two Feet Like T. Rex
Thwaites Glacier is a vast brick of ice flowing into Pine Island Bay in western Antarctica. If you took off in an airplane from El Paso, Texas and flew due south — across about 590 miles (950 kilometers) of western Mexico and 5,700 miles (9,200 km) of Pacific Ocean — you’d see it out your window as a white expanse with sheer cliffs where it meets open water. The Thwaites has moved toward the ocean its entire existence, but that rate of motion has increased fivefold over the last 30 years, to the point where snowfall at the rear of the glacier can no longer replenish ice lost in the front. That lost ice has contributed to about 4% of global sea level rise over those three decades. If the entire glacier were to collapse into the ocean, sea levels would increase by about a whopping 65 centimeters. This dramatic increase would devastate current coastlines, so scientists are trying to understand the dynamics driving Thwaites’ seaward motion and how fast these processes are accelerating the melt.

This new research, published Sept. 9 as a pair of papers in the journal Cryosphere, combined several under-glacier detection techniques to build detailed maps of those hidden channels. A key method: directly detecting gravity from the seafloor. The action happens where the seabed, water and ice at the bottom of the glacier meet. Ice is less dense, and therefore lighter, than water and this difference in mass causes gravity to fluctuate from one part of the glacier to the next. Sensitive instruments on boats or airplanes flying overhead can pick up those fluctuations — revealing details hidden deep below the ice surface. By combining that gravity data with radar and seismic measurements taken on the ice’s surface, scientists have created the most complete description yet of that hidden world, where warm water slicks the glacier bottom — its “bathymetry,” in scientific-speak.

The results confirm a major marine channel more than 800 meters deep that extends tens of kilometers to the front of Thwaites Glacier while the adjacent ice shelves are underlain by more complex bathymetry. {bathymetry=submarine topography = shape of the ocean floor}.What they found is that the bottoms of younger ice conform tightly to the jagged seafloor, while older ice shelves tend to have flatter bottoms. Details like that will help scientists refine models of how ice moves over ocean floors.

This research has filled a critical data gap. The new coastal sea floor maps and the cavity maps track the deep channels for over 100 km to where the glacier sits on the bed. For the first time, we have a clear view of the pathways along which warm water can reach the underside of the glacier, causing it to melt and contribute to global sea-level rise.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

It appears that costly and sophisticated research by these very dedicated climate scientists has made the amazing discovery that maps the deep channels on the seafloor bathymetry by which warm water reaches the underside of the Thwaites glacier and thus explains how this Doomsday glacier melts.

Yet another consideration, not given much attention in this research, is the issue not of identifying the channels by which the deep ocean waters flow to the bottom of the Doomsday Glacier, but of identifying the source of the heat that makes the water warm. Only if that source of heat is anthropogenic global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions that can be moderated by taking climate action, can the observed melt at the bottom of the Thwaites glacier be attributed to AGW climate change.

However, no such finding is made in this research project possibly because these researchers know, as do most researchers who study Antarctica, that this region of Antarctica is extremely geologically active. It is located directly above the West Antarctic Rift system with 150 active volcanoes on the sea floor and right in the middle of the Marie Byrd Mantle Plume with hot magma seeping up from the mantle. As described in a related post LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/02/09/antarctica-threatens-florida/ and in this related online article LINK https://www.labroots.com/trending/earth-and-the-environment/27/song-of-ice-and-fire-active-volcano-found-beneath-antarctic-snow ice melt at the bottom of the Thwaites glacier must be understood not in terms of man made fossil fuel emissions but in terms nature’s geological activity.

Details of these relevant geological features of Antarctica may be found in a related post on this site: LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/06/27/antarctica/

Geological 'Hotspot' Melting Pine Island,Thwaites Glaciers, Not Global  Warming | Principia Scientific Intl.



  • chaamjamal: Thank you very much for this informative andcrelevant comment.
  • philohippous: https://polarbearscience.com is run by Susan J. Crockford. She has been studying them in detail for many years. She was the first to contest a fals
  • chaamjamal: https://principia-scientific.com/japan-reveals-first-uv-lamp-to-safely-kill-coronavirus/