Weekly salon 31/5

I should change the heading to Occasional salon, but hope springs eternal, plus I really don’t have time!

I’ll just try to select a few of the many insights and events which a making our future.

1. A different world order is already here

Geoff Raby in Why a different world order is already here tells us that Jo Biden scuttling back to Washington to deal with the debt ceiling crisis while Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over the third China-Central Asian Summit in the Chinese city of Xian.

Recently Xi tried to broker a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine, has made clear that it has interests in many parts of the world. New groupings emerge without the US of A, trade is de-dollarising as countries deal in each other’s curency.

    Effectively, it comprises two bounded orders. One with the US at its head, the other with China. These are not “blocs” in the sense that the Cold War had blocks. They are not ideologically based so much as representing different ordering of values and associated forms of social and political organisation. At times states may move between the two, as the Philippines has recently shown.

    Nor do they preclude co-operation between bounded orders on the global commons, such as environment. As the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have so succinctly summarised, our relations with China, the bounded orders will “co-operate where they can and disagree where they must”. The challenge for Australian foreign policy, then, is to come to grips with the end of US primacy long before the US comes to understand that it has ended.

Chandran Nair, founder and CEO of Global Institute for Tomorrow and a member of the Executive Committee of the Club of Rome says I’m sorry, but the toxic G-7 ‘rich club’ is past its sell-by date:

    It is worth reminding the world that six of these seven are from the West which only represents less than 15% of the global population and their histories are riddled with colonisation, plunder, and the destruction of indigenous communities.

    Their current foreign policies seem focused on one goal: maintaining the status quo and the privileges borne out of conquest and domination.

2. The hidden extinction

Graham Lawton in the New Scientist tells of the shocking decline of Earth’s microbiome:

    Bacteria, fungi and other microbes, which are vital to life on Earth, were long thought impervious to threats endangering larger lifeforms. Now biologists are warning of a microbial extinction event

    …A gram of soil contains around a billion single-celled organisms, including tens of thousands of different species, and if you could tease out the fungal strands, they would stretch for hundreds of kilometres. These are indispensable to life on Earth, including you and me. If they all died, we would soon follow.

    They are dying.

Apart from plants, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals:

    there are perhaps 7.7 million species of animal, around 80 per cent of which are insects and other arthropods, including arachnids and crustaceans. But there are at least 6 million species of terrestrial fungus and up to a trillion species of bacterium and archaeon, collectively known as prokaryotes. On top of that, there are about 200,000 species of complex unicellular microorganisms called protists, such as slime moulds. These latter two groups make up the majority of Earth’s biodiversity.

There are obvious problems in gathering data, but fungus hunters in Europe tell of about a 45% decline of species in a century. Other indicators tend to confirm the pattern.

Ironically in Sweden the decline was worse where foresters had been at work.

Conversely 27 restoration experiments that added wild microbiomes found that plant growth increased by an average of 64 per cent versus plots that weren’t seeded or that used commercial mycorrhizal solutions.

The solutions are simple. Stop global heating, dial the knobs down by removing CO2 back to Holocene levels, reduce the population of humans by at least half, give over half of the land currently used for food reproduction to rewilding.

There are plenty to tell us how. For example Julian Cribb has A plan for human survival.

Or try Mark Diesendorf in Saving humanity: here’s a radical approach to building a sustainable and just society.

3. We ignore James Hansen at our peril

If you are 99.9999% sure James Hansen is wrong, then feel free to ignore him. If there is one in a million chance that he is right, then prudence you should pay attention.

My introduction to Hansen and indeed to the gravity of the global heating issue was via the print edition of the Scientific American, which headline Hansen’s article Can we defuse the global warming time bomb?

He has always asked the big questions and tried to answer them.

In latest monthly mailing of May 2023 Equilibrium Warming = Committed Warming? he links to a revised draft of Global warming in the pipeline.

On that site there is a link on the RHS to the new draft paper where on p41 we have this:

    Equilibrium global warming for today’s GHG level is 10°C for our central estimate ECS = 1.2°C ± 0.2°C per W/m2, including the amplifications from disappearing ice sheets and non-CO2 GHGs (Sec. 4.4). Aerosols reduce equilibrium warming to about 8°C. Equilibrium sea level change is + 60 m (about 200 feet).

Elsewhere we are told to expect 1.5°C by 2030 and 2°C by 2050. I’ve only skimmed the paper, but I think they expect several metres of SLR in the next 100 years and an AMOC shutdown.

They don’t nominate a point of no return, but say we need to remove 7.6Gt of CO2 pa, plus presumably zero emissions. The cost is trillions of $s pa, which you have to be a bit pessimistic about.

4. Direct removal of carbon vs planting trees

Here beginneth the big debate about whether the direct removal of carbon or planting trees are the way to go, with this mob asserting the latter:

Capturing Carbon With Machines Is a Failure—So Why Are We Subsidizing It?

Pascal Lamy has set up a Climate Overshoot Commission which seriously contemplate geo-engineering, or sunlight reflection methods (SRM), also known as “solar radiation modification”. He’s the man who took over the World Trade organisation in 2003 when it ran into a cliff in 2003. If you check him out I think you’ll find he is a serious player.

141 thoughts on “Weekly salon 31/5”

  1. Elsewhere we are told to expect 1.5°C by 2030 and 2°C by 2050.

    IMO, an increasing list of indicators suggest this is increasingly likely.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted on Jun 4:

    Meanwhile, the 36-month running mean for the Earth Energy Imbalance continues to hit new all-time highs. The 36-month EEI is now at a record 1.36 W/m². This corresponds to an average of 11 Hiroshimas per Second over the last 3 years.

    Average daily sea surface temperatures (for 60°S-60°N latitude band) have been at record seasonal highs for more than 2 months.

    The average daily 2-meter air temperature is near record seasonal highs.

    Antarctic sea ice extent is at record seasonal lows.

    Arctic sea ice extent for this year (2023) is currently tracking below the record minimum year-2012 seasonal track.

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) published their latest results of the NINO34 climate model (dated May 20), indicating temperature anomalies for:
    * Jun 2023: +1.3 ℃
    * Jul 2023: +1.7 ℃
    * Aug 2023: +2.2 ℃
    * Sep 2023: +2.4 ℃
    * Oct 2023: +2.5 ℃
    * Nov 2023: +2.7 ℃

  2. What did that funny guy from the UN, António Guterres, say about heading for damnation with our foot on the accelerator? Or words to that effect.

    David Spratt has let fly with James Hansen’s new climate bomb: Are today’s greenhouse gas levels enough to raise sea levels by 60+ metres?

    As usual he does an excellent job of setting out what Hansen et al are on about. He ends with:

    the current level of greenhouse gases is enough in the longer term to create an ice-free planet with sea levels 60 metres higher than today.

    I wonder if policymakers could even get their heads around that proposition, let alone act on it?

    60 metres would bring the sea to my doorstep, here in the foothills of Mt Coot-tha, which would become an island behind our house. Must check out the flood maps, and ask our local MP what she is going to do about it.

  3. Brian: – “Must check out the flood maps, and ask our local MP what she is going to do about it.

    Would she be thinking beyond getting re-elected in the next election?

    I’d suggest on our current GHG emissions trajectory, dangerous temperatures will arrive long before SLR becomes disruptive in your location.

    Published by Cambridge Independent on 29 May 2023 was an article by Mike Scialom headlined Current climate path will lead to collapse of life on Earth, say climate scientists. It began with:

    The state of peril facing the Earth is so serious that on current trends life the Earth will soon be incapable of supporting human life, according to two climate scientists speaking at the inaugural Innovation Zero Congress in London.

    Professors Johan Rockstrom, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Sir David King, founder and chair at Cambridge’s Centre for Climate Repair, said that failing to limit the global temperature to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is likely to trigger tipping points, destroying rainforests and marine life while making vast areas around the tropics uninhabitable for human life.

    Opening the Innovation Zero Congress in London, Prof Rockstrom and Prof Sir David King, put the current trends into the starkest imaginable perspective.

    Prof Rockstrom told delegates: “1.5C is not a target. I call it a physical limit.

    Barring multiple nuclear weapons airbursts, major volcanic eruptions, and/or major meteor surface impact event(s) here on Earth, I would not be at all surprised to see:

    An overshoot (temporary) of the +1.3 °C global mean surface temperature threshold for this calendar year (2023);
    An overshoot (temporary) of the +1.4 °C global mean surface temperature threshold for the next calendar year (2024).

    Will we temporarily overshoot +1.5 °C next year? We’ll know soon enough!

  4. New study:

    The Arctic may be sea ice-free in summer by the 2030s, new study warns

    A new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications found Arctic sea ice could disappear completely during the month of September as early as the 2030s. Even if the world makes significant cuts to planet-heating pollution today, the Arctic could still see summers free of sea ice by the 2050s, scientists reported.


    The study’s findings contrast with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2021 state-of-the-science report, which found the Arctic would be “be practically ice-free near mid-century under intermediate and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.”

    This new study shows it could happen 10 years earlier, regardless of emission scenarios, Min said.

    Over the past several decades, the Arctic has warmed four times faster than the rest of the world, a 2022 study showed. There has already been a rapid loss of sea ice in the region, with September sea ice shrinking at a rate of 12.6% per decade, according to NASA.

    An Arctic with no summer sea ice would send dire ripple effects around the world. The bright white ice reflects solar energy away from the Earth. When this ice melts, it exposes the darker ocean, which absorbs more heat causing additional warming – a feedback process called “Arctic amplification.”

    The decline of sea ice can also have an effect on global weather stretching well beyond the Arctic.

    Scientists need to ask why they keep getting surprised by the speed of climate change. I’m sure James Hansen doesn’t, who, because he focusses on paloeclimate in the first instance rather than models, seems to have a better handle on what’s happening.

  5. Tim Lenton et al have had another look at the ‘human niche’:

    Climate Crisis Is on Track to Push One-Third of Humanity Out of Its Most Livable Environment

    The data suggests the world is fast approaching a tipping point, after which even small increases in average global temperature will begin to have dramatic effects. The world has already warmed by about 1.2 degree Celsius, pushing 9% of the earth’s population out of the climate niche. At 1.3 degrees, the study estimates that the pace would pick up considerably, and for every tenth of a degree of additional warming, according to Lenton, 140 million more people will be pushed outside of the niche. “There’s a real nonlinearity lurking in there that we hadn’t seen before,” he said.


    Should the world continue on its present pathway — making gestures toward moderate reductions in emissions but not meaningfully reducing global carbon levels (a scenario close to what the United Nations refers to as SSP2-4.5) — the planet will likely surpass the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting average warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and instead warm approximately 2.7 degrees. That pathway, which accounts for population growth in hot places, could lead to 2 billion people falling outside of the climate niche within just the next eight years, and 3.7 billion doing so by 2090. But the study’s authors, who have argued in other papers that the most extreme warming scenarios are well within the realm of possibility, warn that the worst cases should also be considered. With 3.6 degrees of warming and a pessimistic climate scenario that includes ongoing fossil fuel use, resistance to international migration and much more rapid population growth (a scenario referred to by the U.N. as SSP3-7), the shifting climate niche could pose what the authors call “an existential risk,” directly affecting half the projected total population, or, in this case, as many as 6.5 billion people.

    There’s more, but that’s enough for this morning!

  6. Per NOAA, dated Jun 8, El Niño has officially arrived:

    The most recent IRI plume indicates the continuation of El Niño through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24 [Fig. 6]. Confidence in the occurrence of El Niño increases into the fall, reflecting the expectation that seasonally averaged Niño-3.4 index values will continue to increase. Another downwelling Kelvin wave is emerging in the western Pacific Ocean, and westerly wind anomalies are forecasted to recur over the western Pacific. At its peak, the chance of a strong El Niño is nearly the same as it was last month (56% chance of November-January Niño-3.4 ≥ 1.5°C), with an 84% chance of exceeding moderate strength (Niño-3.4 ≥ 1.0°C). In summary, El Niño conditions are present and are expected to gradually strengthen into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24 [Fig. 7].

    Per the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the ENSO outlook switched from “El Niño Watch” to “El Niño Alert” on 24 May 2023.

    It looks like the BoM’s next update is scheduled for 20 Jun 2023.

    Meanwhile, the smoke/particulates from the Canadian wildfires are producing extremely hazardous air in NE USA & SE Canada.

    We are experiencing almost unprecedented rapid CO₂ and temperature changes in the Earth’s 4.5 billion year history.

  7. David Spratt has struck again with Dramatic Arctic sea-ice news should not be a shock: We were warned.

    We were warned back in 2007 when there was a big melt of Arctic ice, which shocked climate scientists, leading to estimates that the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free as early as 2030, instead of by the end of the century. Spratt links to and republishes part of his paper The big melt, which is amazing to read now. Spratt reads what scientist are saying and comes to different, and I think more accurate, conclusions than the IPCC.

    We were warned, and Spratt suggested back then, in October 2007, that our target should be 320ppm, two months before Hansen said 350pp.

    He suggests that if we want to avoid breaching a tipping point with Arctic ice, we should get temperature increase back to 0.5°C .

    He’s not wrong!

  8. Geoff, I opened it this morning. Looks good. Will try to read more tonight.

    James Hansen has sent out another mailing.

    He suggests 2023 temperature to be in the yellow band on his graph, and 2024 to be above it, which would get us close to 1.5°C.

  9. Brian: I think that it is a good idea that different forms of clean fuels and batteries are being researched and used for both mobiles and static applications

  10. John, Twiggy Forrest’s top technology bloke said today they are technology neutral. They are trying out all kinds of solutions.

  11. Several groups of scientists are now concluding that we need to get temperatures down to an increase of 1.0°C or less.


    Proposing a 1.0°C climate target for a safer future

    Safe and just Earth system boundaries

    With this comes a recognition that direct carbon removal will be necessary, in the case of the former scaling up to 40Gt pa from 2060. And that group is working on models rather than paleoclimate science.

    Plus it doesn’t necessarily cope with sea level rise longer term.

    It’s encouraging to see that some are focussing on a safe climate and intergenerational justice, both of which have been neglected by the IPCC.

  12. It seems the latest communication (dated Jun 14) by James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, titled El Nino and Global Warming Acceleration
    is not getting any mainstream media acknowledgement. I’d suggest these are the main points (bold text my emphasis):

    Consistent with this interpretation, there has been a staggering increase in Earth’s energy imbalance (Fig. 3). The light blue bar in Fig. 3, the 10 years from July 2005 through June 2015, is the period used for calibration of the satellite-measured⁷ Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI), the calibration being provided by changes of the heat content of Earth’s heat reservoirs.⁸ About 90% of the change of EEI is change of the heat content of the ocean, which is sampled by a fleet of about 4000 deep-diving Argo floats. Earth’s energy imbalance was 0.71 W/m² during the 10-year calibration period, but EEI has subsequently increased to well over 1 W/m² (Fig. 3). EEI provides the direct driving force for global warming and all of the consequences thereof.³ It is this increased EEI that leads us to project a 50-100% increase in the rate of global warming during the few decades following 2010. If our projection is correct, we expect observed global temperature to rise into the yellow region in Fig. 4 in 2023 and above the yellow region in 2024. This is a projection that we hope is wrong, but the main factors that might cause it to be wrong are not very comforting: the El Nino strength affects short time scales and aerosol trends affect long time scales.

    A YouTube video published by PBS NewsHour today (Jun 16) titled Scientists issue increasingly dire warnings as ocean surface temperatures spike, discusses the ocean rapidly heating up, hitting record-breaking levels, and includes an interview by Amna Nawaz who discussed what’s happening with Kevin Trenberth. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that ocean surface temperatures spiked in April and May to the highest levels recorded since the 1950s. All this could have dangerous consequences for aquatic life, hurricane activity and global weather patterns.

  13. Geoff, your comment sent me off wandering in YouTube land last night. It included this one from Just Have a Think

    Why is our upper atmosphere cooling?

    and The Electric Viking:

    Hydrogen’s Mass Uptake Could Have Devastating Consequences, Scientists Warn

    Seems we are making a proper mess of the upper atmosphere. Research now shows that cooling in the upper layers could be jeopardising satellite orbits and opening up a new ozone hole above the arctic.

    We need more research on hydrogen, with impact via methane, ozone and water vapour.

  14. The Electric Viking churns out videos like sausages. Among his latest:

    Billionaire Forrest calls Musk a ‘muppet’ over hydrogen – then his company said this…

    Breakthrough technology produces cheap blue hydrogen, capturing 99% of CO2

    The first has an interesting story of the beginning and rise of Twiggy.

    Bottom line is that hydrogen, whether green or blue, takes three times the energy to create, and never seems as though it will compete with rapidly improving battery technology for transport, unless you have very heavy stuff to move, or need explosive acceleration, as in supersonic flight. Still, a lot of money is being spent on R&D for it.

  15. Meanwhile Polar scientists call for more research and observation into rapid sea ice reduction. Earlier this year we were told that by spokesperson Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organization that:

      the amount of ice lost annually from the Antarctic ice sheet “increased at least six-fold between 1979 and 2017”.

      Most of this ice loss happens when ice shelves melt from below, as they come into contact with relatively warm ocean water, she explained.

      Melting is especially marked in west Antarctica, according to WMO, and to a lesser extent along the peninsula and in east Antarctica.

      Turning to glacier melt, Ms. Nullis warned that around “87 per cent of glaciers along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have retreated in the last 50 years, with most of these showing an accelerated retreat in the last 12 years”.

      Concern is particularly high over the main glacier tributaries to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, in particular the Pine Island glacier, where two large rifts that were first spotted in early 2019 have each grown to some 20 kilometres long.

    Elsewhere diverse cities are sinking into the ground around the world for various reasons, including groundwater extraction and sea level rise.

    And Humans Have Pumped Enough Groundwater to Change the Tilt of the Earth.

    Between 1993 and 2010 humans pumped out 2 trillion tons of groundwater, enough to raise sea levels a quarter of an inch, and change Earth’s pole axis 31 inches.

  16. The Copernicus Climate Change Service tweeted Jun 15 (including graph):

    Global mean temperature exceeded 1.5 degrees threshold during the first days of June. Monitoring how often and for how long these breaches occur is more important than ever, if we are to avoid more severe consequences of the climate crisis.

    Is this the first of more (and longer) incursions above the +1.5 °C warming threshold?

  17. Well-spotted Geoff, but looking at the Copernicus site, the answer is “no” but it’s highly unusual and the first time it’s happened in the northern summer.

    Not good news.

  18. Brian: – “Not good news.


    Published today (Jun 21) at The Conversation was a piece by Adjunct Professor of Environmental Geography Steve Turton, headlined Global average sea and air temperatures are spiking in 2023, before El Niño has fully arrived. We should be very concerned, including:

    What makes these most recent temperature spikes so alarming is that they’ve occurred before a forecast El Niño event in the Pacific, rather than during one.

    Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) updated (20 Jun 2023) their latest El Niño forecast (NINO34 model run dated 17 Jun 2023):

    +3.0 °C by October 2023; and
    +3.2 °C by November 2023.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted earlier today (Jun 21) this:

    And to get an idea of just how massive the developing El Niño could be, the previous record high super El Niño peaked at 2.6°C in November/December of 2015. The 1997 El Niño peaked at 2.4°C. And this one is now modelled by the BoM to break 3.0°C.

  19. Thanks, Geoff. Things are becoming ridiculous, like a cricket Ashes test being played in Birmingham in the centre of England, while a few kilometres to the east the sea temperature is going beserk.

    Also in India people are dying because it’s too hot outside:

      “A scorching heat wave in two of India’s most populous states has overwhelmed hospitals, filled a morgue to capacity and disrupted power, forcing staff to use books to cool patients…. residents said they were scared of going outside after midmorning”

    David Spratt has a new post – Three climate interventions: Reduce, remove, repair while Peter Sainsbury writes about Environment: Two years left for a decent chance of keeping warming under 1.5ºC.

    Except “decent” is not decent at all.

    Because the IPCC was based on emissions from 2010 to 2019, and since January 1 2020 we’ve just kept the Keeling curve trending ever higher, the best that can be offered now using IPCC methodology is an 83% chance of limiting warming to 1.5ºC if we reach net zero in a bit over two years.

    If we do that, which we won’t, we’ll achieve a climate that is already unacceptably dangerous, and where the risk of tipping points starts at about 0.8ºC.

    Spratt’s article lists groups like the Overshoot Commission, which are seriously looking at geo-engineering.

    Realistically, it’s the nest we’ve made for ourselves.

  20. Lab-grown chicken gets US approval, set to make its restaurant debut

    Good Meat is the cultivated meat division of Eat Just, Inc., a food technology company. It creates its chicken by first harvesting cells from either eggs or live animals in a painless process. These cells are then “immortalized,” meaning that they can continuously divide and create more meat without needing to be replenished. The cells are nurtured in a bioreactor where they are kept at the ideal temperature and given nutrients to grow. In four to six weeks, the meat is harvested.

    Not clear how expensive the process is and the potential for replacing traditional meat agriculture.

  21. John, I tried to research the company, Eat Just Inc, which turns out to be private company. Their website doesn’t tell you anything about them. However, Wikipedia has the story.

    They have been around since 2013, in the early days selling plant based egg products. They have a division in Singapore, and have been selling the chicken ‘meat’ product for a couple of years.

    Businesswire says:

      GOOD Meat won multiple regulatory approvals for its chicken in Singapore in 2020 and 2021, and in January 2023 received a key clearance that paves the way for greater scalability, lower manufacturing costs and a more sustainable product. Since its Singapore launch, the company’s chicken has been featured on menus at fine dining establishments, popular hawker stalls, via the foodpanda delivery platform and most recently by reservation at Huber’s Butchery, one of Singapore’s premier producers and suppliers of high-quality meats.

    Seems they have won a few awards. It looks like genuine innovation taking off.

    Europe have a whole bunch of startups in the alternative foods space.

  22. A YouTube video was published on Jun 8 titled A True Paradise: WHERE WE ARE HEADING – Kevin Anderson, duration 0:16:25. Climate scientist Kevin Anderson warns that continuing on our current path could result in a 3-4 °C temperature rise by the end of the century, a catastrophic outcome to be avoided at all costs. He cautions against believing the political rhetoric about progress in the fight against climate change and calls on us to push for bold policy changes.

  23. John, I don’t know why, but your comment lobbed in the ‘moderation’ bucket!

  24. John, I noticed there was a link to an article Bald Hills Wind Farm ordered to stop emitting night-time noise, pay neighbours damages in landmark ruling which doesn’t tell us much, except that local residents took the wind farm to court and won.

    RenewEconomy does give useful information in Wind farm ordered to make less noise at night, in unprecedented court ruling, which makes me wonder about the value of a study simulating real world conditions.

    The Clean Energy Council urges community engagement. which Bald Hills WF now does explicitly by sprinkling around a bit of cash. They also encourage and facilitate complaint making, wanting to avoid paying expensive damages.

  25. Geoff M, Kevin Anderson has always been a straight shooter. I think he shows the value of bringing an engineer’s perspective. Scientists, economists and politicians have pretty much run the show at the IPCC and the UNFCCC. Their task back around 1990 was to avoid DAI (dangerous anthropogenic interference), in which they demonstrably failed, which should have been clear to everyone when the Arctic ice took a deep dive in 2007.

    Kevin Anderson called them out on the Paris agreement in January 2016 in The Hidden Agenda: How Veiled Techno-utopias Shore Up the Paris Agreement and became quite personal in 2020 in an interview with Andrew Simms.

    His latest shtick (or Schtik) with Dan Calverley is to take IPCC prescriptions at face value and look in practical terms what needs to be done, starting with fossil fuels. Part One of their post How alive is 1.5? Part one – a small budget, shrinking fast in November 2022 promised a Part Two soon.

    It has not arrived. I suspect that what they planned to say back then is now out of date.

  26. John, while La Nina prevailed the sun didn’t go on holidays, so 90% plus heat still went into the sea.

    I think James Hansen thinks less is going into the deep ocean than the models assume. The article gives some of the other reasons like the depletion of Antarctic sea ice and less aerosols from shipping etc.

    Nevertheless, there is a lot of serious talk now about CCS and even geoengineering, as countries are not honouring their pledges, which are anyway inadequate. Prof Kevin Anderson is perfectly right – we are looking at 3-4 degrees. Hansen, who understands the Earth System better than most, is saying it could be more.

  27. How much are we and our politicians willing to sacrifice now to ensure a livable future. Particularly given that other countries need to make a major sacrifice too if the world is to take control of emissions.
    Recent successes of the Greens might look like a move in the right direction but Greens housing/tenant rights policies appear to have a strong effect on results.

  28. Greenland ice surface melt extent is perhaps another thing this year to watch emerging:

    The Greenland ice sheet cumulative daily mass balance has recently headed strongly towards deficit.

    The Greenland ice melt is not anything even remotely comparable to previous melt events in Greenland – not yet.

    Greenland’s ‘heatwave’ continues across the northeastern ice sheet.

  29. I think I found the EU report, with some difficulty.

    EU proposes comprehensive new outlook on threats of climate change and environmental degradation on peace, security and defence

    Somewhere on that page there is a link to a 25 page report:

    JOINT COMMUNICATION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL: A new outlook on the climate and security nexus

    Addressing the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on peace, security and defence

    On pp 21 and 23 there is mention solar radiation modification.

    They decided:

      Guided by the precautionary principle, the Commission and the High Representative will support international efforts to assess comprehensively the risks and uncertainties of climate interventions, including solar radiation modification and promote discussions on a potential international framework for its governance, including research related aspects.

    They recognise that people are thinking and talking seriously about geoengineering. They are suggesting that this needs to be considered within an appropriate international framework with thorough investigation.

    The whole report is largely about the need for better information and international cooperation.

  30. It seems from yesterday afternoon, Twitter is now denying access to tweets to those people not logged in to a Twitter account. It seems to me Twitter is sabotaging their primary purpose for being a public message service.

    In 2023, Twitter currently has 353.90 million users, a 3.93% decrease from 2022. Users are expected to decrease further to 335 million by 2024, a decline of 5.14% compared to 2023.


  31. It’s a shame, Geoff. They won ‘t attract new users by shutting people out!

    Meanwhile BHP are going for batteries rather than hydrogen:

    BHP says battery electric cheaper than hydrogen as it dumps diesel for haul trucks

    I understand they are doing the same at Fortescue, in spite of Twiggy’s investments in hydrogen.

    At the same time Australia’s first hydrogen-powered truck launched

    A hydrogen highway of charging stations is being set up down the east cost.

  32. Diesel electric mine haul trucks have been around for yonks. Some mines have overhead connections for trucks going uphill and, in theory could recover power when trucks are going down slopes.
    Green ammonia is attractive because it has similar characteristics to LPG. Others promote green methanol.
    Final decisions may depend on tech advances in each option.

  33. Peter Carter is a prolific Tweeter. His latest points out a shocking increase in atmospheric CO2. Here’s the NOAA site.

    This Financial Times article came from a re-tweet by Stefan Rahmstorf, also prolific:

    British companies are required to report on their climate risk. there has bee an inquiry into the standards used.

    From Damien Meadows:

      For example, an assessment of GDP loss in a world of 3C higher temperatures by a group of 114 central banks and financial supervisors did not include impacts related to extreme weather, sea-level rise or wider societal impacts from migration or conflict(!)
  34. The “Daily 2-meter Air Temperature” (World, 90°S-90°N, 0-360°E) has broken instrumental records twice:

    Mon, Jul 3, 2023: Observed Temp 17.01 °C (anomaly +0.81 °C)
    Tue, Jul 4, 2023: Observed Temp 17.18 °C (anomaly +0.98 °C)

    The “Daily Sea Surface Temperature” (SST World, 60°S-60°N latitude band) has been at record seasonal high levels for more than 3½ months. (SST North Atlantic, 0-60°N, 0-80°W) has also been at record seasonal high levels for almost 4 months.

    The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) declared the onset of El Niño conditions on 4 Jul 2023.

  35. Here’s the image of that first link:

    It’s time politicians and business elites woke up!

  36. Just listening to the audio of the public hearing conducted today by the Standing Committee on Agriculture inquiring into Food Security in Australia with Professor Dr. Johannes le Coutre, FRSN, for the University of NSW.

    Professor Coutre mentioned the Global Food Security Index 2022, where of 113 countries assessed, Australia is ranked:

    22nd overall (score 75.4);
    1st for affordability (score 93.3);
    48th for availability (score 61.1);
    13th for quality & safety (score 84.0);
    33rd for sustainability & adaptation (score 58.8)

  37. Geoff, thanks for the link.

    I’m not sure people realise that the Energy Charter Agreement allows fossil companies to sue for profits denied up to 20 years after the country has left the scheme, and can also be triggered through bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements that contain ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) clauses, as does the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    The UK is still in it. This Guardian article UK should quit ‘climate-wrecking’ energy treaty, say official advisers actually gives a good rundown on what is happening.

    Australia originally ‘joined’ in the 1990s, but never ratified, thought better and now has a policy on not including ISDS clauses and trying to clean them out wherever they exist.

    Patrica Ranald via AFTINET has campaigned against this caper for decades.

    In this post on the AFTINET site they point out that Australia needs to exchange side letters with the UK excluding ISDS action now that the UK is joining the TPP.

  38. Switzerland is very naughty in exploiting this issue to make a buck while killing the planet.

    The Energy Charter thing is also why the UK can’t refuse new coal and gas licences.

  39. NOAA’s June 2023 Global Climate Report included:

    June 2023 set a record as the warmest June for the globe in NOAA’s 174-year record. The June global surface temperature was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th-century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). This marked the first time a June temperature exceeded 1°C above the long-term average. The Junes of 2015–2023 rank among the ten warmest Junes on record. June 2023 marked the 47th consecutive June and the 532nd consecutive month with global temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average.

  40. Berkley Earth’s June 2023 Temperature Update by Robert Rohde, dated 11 Jul 2023 stated:

    The following is a summary of global temperature conditions in Berkeley Earth’s analysis of June 2023.

    • Globally, June 2023 was the warmest June since records began in 1850, and broke the previous record by a large margin.
    • In the oceans, June 2023 also set a new record for the warmest June since 1850.
    • On land, June 2023 was nominally the 2nd warmest June since 1850, though with an uncertainty margin that leaves it effectively tied with the warmest June (2022).
    • Particularly warm conditions occurred in the North Atlantic, Eastern Equatorial Pacific, Canada, the UK, Mexico, southern Africa, and Antarctica.
    • Unusually cool conditions were present in the Southwest USA, Western Russia, and Northwest India.
    • The North Atlantic reached all-time record warmth by a large margin.
    • El Niño was officially declared to have begun in early June, and continues to strengthen.
    • 2023 is now likely to become a new record warm year (81% chance).


  41. Another communication by James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy was published on 13 Jul 2023 titled The Climate Dice are Loaded. Now, a New Frontier? It includes Fig. 1. The shifting bell curve for Northern Hemisphere land in the summer, for periods 1951-1980, 1990-2000, & 2010-2020.

    Andy Revkin recently asked whether the “climate dice” have become more “loaded” in the last 15 years. Climate dice were defined¹ in 1988, after we realized that the next cool summer may cause the public to discount human-caused climate change. The answer is “yes,” the dice are more loaded as we will explain via the shifting bell curve (Fig. 1). The shift is large enough that most people notice the change, but that doesn’t prevent a person with a bias from taking the cool June in the U.S. this year (Fig. 2) as proof that global warming predictions were wrong – and, of course, a loose cannon on Twitter has done just that. That’s nonsense, of course. On global average, June 2023 was easily the warmest June in the historical record, as we will illustrate below.

    In conclusion:

    It seems that we are headed into a new frontier of global climate.

  42. Yes, Geoff. June was unusually cool in the USA, which is only 2% of the global land area, if memory serves.

    Now in July their luck ran out. US Republicans oppose climate funding as millions suffer in extreme weather and in Europe Europe’s Sizzling Summer: A Heatwave Like Never Before.

    All this as El Niño is barely out of the starting blocks. Hansen’s reading of the situation is more than plausible.

    Julian Cribb points out that Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus came up with the descriptor for humans as homo sapiens in 1758. Cribb reckons it was a mistake. We may be clever and innovative, but a species which is acting to render the Earth uninhabitable withing three or four generations cannot be described as “wise”.

  43. There’s an episode of the Aaron Sorkin series, The Newsroom, that highlights a jaw-dropping example of the deeply toxic relationship between mainstream media and the existential-level predicaments we face including Climate Chaos and Global Heating. The 4-minute video segment below is from The Newsroom series 3 episode 3.

  44. Lets be clear, according to Wikipedia:

      The Newsroom is an American political drama television series created and principally written by Aaron Sorkin that premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012, and concluded on December 14, 2014, consisting of 25 episodes over three seasons.

    So all that scary stuff is from Sorkin’s fevered imagination and is actually BS, right?

    Wrong. Mother Jones fact-checked the episode:

      So, in all, well done Newsroom. Informative, accurate, if a little heavy-handed on the doom and gloom.

    Marginally heavy-handed. And using IPCC science of the time.

  45. Professor Jason Box posted on 16 Jul 2023 another informative YouTube video titled insane flooding rain to Greenland – rapids in an atmospheric river, duration 0:11:26. Prof Box talks about high rainfall (i.e. ≥1 foot / 304.8 mm of rainfall within a 24-hour period) events observed in Greenland in recent years.

    Extreme rainfall ‘darkens’ the surface snow, inducing more heat adsorption on following sunny days, elevating melting rates for days/weeks.

    This is an excellent presentation discussing atmospheric ‘river’ rapids that instrumentation is now observing in greater detail in southern Greenland!

  46. Sorry to hear, John. I’ll write to Viv again. She hasn’t responded to my last.

    I’m just finding it slow, and it won’t let me do anything at all unless I’m logged in.

    The back end homepage says it needs urgent attention.

  47. Geoff M, that’s a very significant post from Jason Box. I knew Greenland had experienced rain, but imagined it was light. I have thought for some time that with warming the difference in precipitation was caused by changes in global ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns. Not so much by the explanation usually given, that the carrying capacity increases by 7% for every degree warmer.

    Box is critical of the climate models, and says specifically that we are going to have to remove significant amounts of GHG from the atmosphere.

  48. The SST North Atlantic (0-60°N, 0-80°W) on Fri, 21 Jul 2023 reached 24.8 °C, about 0.1 °C below the record established in Sep 2022. With about 1-1½ months of general warming in the North Atlantic still in the pipeline, and the recent temperature trend still rising at about 0.1 °C/day, it seems to me a new record is perhaps due to be set for today or tomorrow. But where will the new peak reach in this year? 25.5 °C? 26.0 °C? higher?

    The SST World (60°S-60°N) is currently (21 Jul 2023) about 0.1 °C below the record established in early Apr 2023.

    And 19 days (so far) of record-setting high 2m Temperature World (90°S-90°N, 0-360°E)

    And 2m Temperature Tropics (23.5°S-23.5°N, 0-360°E) is at record seasonal highs for the last few weeks.

    Andrew Dressler wrote in a post headlined Why are climate impacts escalating so quickly? on Jul 18:

    Thus, the correct mental model is not one of impacts slowly getting worse over decades. Rather, the correct way to understand climate change is that things are fine until they’re not, at which point they’re really terrible. And the system can go from “fine” to “terrible” in the blink of an eye.

  49. Geoff, I listened (and watched) Dessler’s NASA talk. I was a bit amazed at how simplified he kept it, and how much relating just to energy production. The complexities came up in the questions. The money quote was at about 50:00 on the tale:

      “We have no idea how bad it’s going to be!”
  50. BTW in response to John’s problem, Viv says she’s out of range until Wednesday, when she will take a look at the works. The dashboard says there are things to be fixed, which should improve the speed and reliability.

    Shouldn’t be too hard if you know what you are doing.

    So we live in hope.

    I’m in heavy duty doing personal stuff at present.

  51. I note that Climate Reanalyzer has increased the y-axis from 25 °C to 26 °C in the graph for North Atlantic SST. With 5-6 weeks of more heat to go this year it seems there’s perhaps still an expectation of breaching the 25 °C threshold this year. The latest data point for Sunday, 23 Jul 2023 is still just a little shy of the Sep 2022 record of 24.89 °C.

  52. There’s another very informative data dive by Prof Jason Box published on 23 Jul 2023 in a YouTube video titled record setting July 2023 Greenland heatwave alert, duration 0:14:53.

  53. Michael Pascoe: Why ‘fantasy’ carbon credits scheme is a Labor and Coalition problem

    Professor Andrew Macintosh believes the federal government has acted illegally in aspects of its “carbon farming” scheme for generating carbon credits.

    And he claims that, like Robodebt, there could be criminal matters of misfeasance in public office and misconduct in public office – an offence that can carry a sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

    The professor is wisely not holding his breath waiting for the government to take itself to court while it is continuing to defend and promote the Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU) scheme that is at the core of its half-hearted climate policy.

  54. John, I tidied up the link. I’ve been worried about the whole safeguards mechanism, partly because I don’t see merit in offsetting through planting trees or improving soil carbon. Meritorious in themselves, although there are issues, but not as a 100-year carbon store.

    Partly because the share prices on the likes of Santos, Woodside and Tamboran (Beetaloo) did not miss a beat when the legislation was passed.

    I need to study the links more, but I suspect the ‘illegal’ complaint refers to credits handed out historically, with ACCUs that still sit in the system.

    Geoff M, what is happening now seems to be surprising scientists, although perhaps Jason Box, Hansen and a few other earth system scientists not so much. Latest is Warning of a forthcoming collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation:

    We estimate a collapse of the AMOC to occur around mid-century under the current scenario of future emissions.

  55. James Hansen’s latest communication dated 21 Jul 2023, titled Peer & Public Review of “Global Warming in the Pipeline”, included:

    We take no pleasure in being the bearer of bad news, but the physics tells us that humanity is in the process of driving an acceleration of global warming. Why report this? The same reason that we predicted that the Pinatubo volcanic eruption would cause global cooling. It is just conceivable that predictions and real-world confirmation may eventually persuade the darned fools that we know what we’re talking about. I refer not only to those who deny the reality of human-caused climate change, but to those who pursue a wishful thinking policy approach.

    On Tue, 25 Jul 2023, the North Atlantic SST daily mean was at 24.87 °C, only 0.02 °C below the record of 24.89 °C set on 2-4 Sep 2022.

    There may perhaps be another full 1 °C of warming ahead before this year’s peak is reached. Where will the peak reach? 25.5 °C? 25.7 °C? Higher?

    It seems 26 Jul 2023 is perhaps the day to break another temperature record.

  56. CarbonBrief in State of the climate: 2023 now likely hottest year on record after extreme summer has a wide collection of graphs, showing that there appears to be a decisive break in the smooth trend, which has in fact startled most scientists irrespective of what they say.

    However, CarbonBrief does a disservice IMO in attributing what’s happening entirely to the early affects on the emerging La Niña.

    In this short video the ABC collects some dramatic footage. Towards the end Warren Howden is quite exolicit ib saying the effects of La Niña are not yet in play.

    From Democracy Now U.N. Warns: “The Era of Global Boiling Has Arrived” we get a fuller version of Antonio Gutteras’ warning that we are facing a decisive break. The discussion examines the Biden administration’s reaction and finds it inadequate.

    I note that concern for sea level rise is missing.

    This piece G20 meeting fails to agree on climate policy, EU says ‘we are simply nowhere’ looks at the reaction of the G20.

    Fine words, but in terms of action when we ask whether the glass is half full or half empty, the answer is clear: the glass is empty.

  57. Brian: – “However, CarbonBrief does a disservice IMO in attributing what’s happening entirely to the early affects on the emerging La Niña.

    Should that be the emerging strong El Niño?

    Meanwhile, the Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI) from NASA satellite data reached 1.97 W/m² (12-month mean)!

    • 15.9 Hiroshima nuclear bomb-magnitude energy equivalent uptake per second;
    • 500 million ‘Hiroshimas’ in the last 12 months;
    • More than one billion ‘Hiroshimas’ over the last 36 months.

    On Thu, 27 Jul 2023, the Arctic just hit a modern-day record high 2-metre temperature of 5.813°C (42.46°F), which is 3.33σ above the 1991-2020 mean.

    Climate scientist Johan Rockström explains the urgency of operating within “planetary boundaries“ – the planetary life-support systems essential for maintaining human life on Earth. See the YouTube video titled A True Paradise: AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT – Johan Rockström, published 2 Jun 2023, duration 0:10:53.

  58. Yes, El Niño. My brain is turning to sludge!

    I hadn’t seen that Rockström video. Very clear, and for a general audience. The pedant in me points out that we crossed 350ppm in September 1988, I think two or three months after Hansen’s Senate testimony. ‘Burnable carbon’ has been a fiction that scientists have bought into.

    Rockström’s Planetary boundaries: scientific advances | Frontiers Forum Live 2023 is more detailed in the science. It’s worth listening all the way through, including the Q&A.

    Rockström is head (joint head, I think) of the Potsdam Institute, which has over 400 staff. Seems he is using the planetary boundaries frame to align their effort to best help the existential challenge.

    I took another look at Kevin Anderson’s A True Paradise: WHERE WE ARE HEADING.

    Rockström is on record as saying we have the technology to deal with the climate threat. Not sure he still says that. Anderson is brutally direct – we don’t.

    He thinks we are going to fail, but we must try.

    As Wikipedia notes:

      Australian radio broadcaster Phillip Adams often fondly recalls Casals’ 80th birthday press conference where, after complaining at length about the troubles of the world, he paused to conclude with the observation: “The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step”.
  59. The situation is hopeless. We must take the next step”.

    Exploring this concept might be more productive than accepting “eat, drink and be merry, tomorrow we die.)
    Perhaps one of the underlying problems is that too much power lies with those who will die before the real shit hits the real fan? OR.….

  60. Stefan Rahmstorf has done a post What is happening in the Atlantic Ocean to the AMOC?

    Seems he wrote it before the new Danish study, which just confirmed his view that the IPCC had underestimated the danger:

      The AMOC is projected to weaken in the 21st century under all RCPs (very likely), although a collapse is very unlikely (medium confidence). Based on CMIP5 projections, by 2300, an AMOC collapse is about as likely as not for high emissions scenarios and very unlikely for lower ones (medium confidence).

    He says:

      It has long been my opinion that “very unlikely”, meaning less than 10% in the calibrated IPCC uncertainty jargon, is not at all reassuring for a risk we really should rule out with 99.9 % probability, given the devastating consequences should a collapse occur.

    Apparently the climate models don’t even recognise the input of fresh meltwater from Greenland.

  61. Just published by Nick Breeze ClimateGenn a few hours ago was a YouTube video titled Professor Jason Box – Atmospheric River Rapids + why next year will be worse + what can we do?, duration 0:18:45. Glaciologist Professor Jason Box answers:

    What are atmospheric river rapids?
    What do these teach us about extreme deluge events around the world that we are seeing now?
    What is driving it?
    Why next year will be worse
    What do we have to do?

  62. Leon Simons posted a long tweet today (Aug 3) on solar irradiance, and the increasing amount of solar radiation that Earth absorbs due to less (sea) ice and snow and decreasing aerosol and clouds.

    12-month solar irradiance at the top of the atmosphere is only +0.4 W/m² higher than the lowest value in 2008.

    Because of less (sea) ice and snow and decreasing aerosol and clouds, Earth now absorbs about +2 W/m² more sunlight.

    So yes, the sun is currently making warming worse than it would be if the 11-year solar cycle was at its low point.

    But we/humanity are making the warming much worse with our GHG emissions.

  63. Glaciologist Prof Jason Box tweeted earlier today (Aug 4) an animated graph of accelerating concentrations of greenhouse gasses (CO₂, methane, nitrous oxide).

    US petroleum geologist Art Berman tweeted Aug 2, quoting a comment from an article about extreme weather could cripple the US grid:

    “It’s a bit like the pandemic: everybody said it was a risk before it happened, but no one did anything about it.”

    Perhaps a good reason to put critical power transmission underground?

    Leon Simons suggests in a tweet in Aug 3:

    Climate modelers should stop with the coupling of CO₂ and SO₂ emissions.

    Otherwise their models will underestimate present and future warming.

    The decoupling is already clear for global electricity and international shipping:

  64. There’s another post by David Spratt at Climate Code Red, published today (Aug 4), headlined The Australian Government refuses to say what it knows about climate-security threats, so we gave policymakers a helping hand. It begins with:

    Last year the Australian Government asked the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) to assess climate-related security risks. Due to time constraints, ONI looked at the global and regional picture, but not the domestic one, and their report was given to the government last November.

    Eight months later, the Prime Minsters’ Office has decreed that the report is not to be released, even in a declassified form. This is contrary to the practice of the government that the prime minister likes to call our best ally, which regularly releases climate and security assessments, such as Climate Change and International Responses Increasing Challenges to US National Security Through 2040. Likewise, the Pacific Islands Forum has just published a Pacific Climate Security Assessment Guide.

    So Australia looks like the odd person out. Nobody else seems to have a problem telling the people who elected them what the biggest threat to their future well-being, health and human security looks like.

  65. Thanks for all that Geoff. I’ve been rushed off my feet in the last few days.

    On blog news, Viv has said she has tidied up the back end of the blog ahead for a foreshadowed major update from Word Press. So I’m hoping it will function a bit better. If anyone has problems, pls let me know.

  66. Geoff, re Art Berman ‘s tweet, it’s worth checking out the article –
    Extreme weather could cripple the US electrical grid – Nexans.

    The grid is antiquated, split into three, but each has very poor connections between states. Blackouts are increasing:

    In Europe, there is on average 0.5 hours of blackout every year; in the US, it is 1.2 hours. In Europe, all the utilities in the mature economies have steadily increased investment in infrastructure, but in the US that has been flat.

    Investment in renewables generation has not been matched by investment in infrastructure, so the interconnection queue has ballooned:

    The number of backlogged renewables projects in the US is growing due to its interconnection queue; the current backlog amounts to 1,300GW of energy – 30% more than the US’s current generation capacity.

    It’s not clear that the Biden expenditure burst will fix things. Seems things may have to get worse before they get better.

  67. Zeke Hausfather has done a piece, now that July is in as the hottest month on record, What a record July means for 2023 temperature.

    Taking into account the state of ENSO:

      This model gives a 98% chance of 2023 being the warmest year on record. The central estimate is 1.42C above 1850-1899 levels, with a range of 1.35C to 1.50C. It suggests there is a ~2.5% chance that 2023 exceeds 1.5C, and turns out to have a slightly better fit to the data (adjusted r2) than the version that doesn’t include the latest month. It also produced a good hindcast. (Emphasis added)
  68. Hausfather on 25 July did a post Are temperatures this summer hotter than scientists expected?

    Here we do have some evidence that something exceptional is happening to North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, with anomalies in July outside the range of what was projected by CMIP6 models. The specific drivers of this anomaly (sulphur phaseout in fuels, dynamics around Saharan dust, or other factors) are still under investigation by scientists so it will be some time before we know for sure whats driving these regional extremes.

    The takeaway

    Climate change is real, caused by human activity, and is increasingly damaging to society. The world will not stop warming until our emissions of CO2 get down to (net) zero. We know its going to get worse as long as we keep emitting CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Just because things are not “worse than we thought” in terms of global temperatures does not mean that the problem is not severe and getting worse.

    The fact that climate models capture the extremes we are seeing this summer (for the most part) is, ultimately, a good thing. There is no evidence that we are passing particular tipping points that are contributing to significant additional warming today. A climate we understand and can model is one where we can more effectively design policies to reduce emissions and limit warming to well-below 2C.

    Hausfather works entirely on measured evidence and models. The one factor that is popping out of the top of his error bands is the North Atlantic ocean temperature. Elsewhere what we see is towards the high side, but within bounds.

    Three comments. First, Hausfather simply leaves out known unknowns.

    Second, I think he under-rates the tipping point factor, where many are clearly inn play and will become increasingly problematic.

    Third, even if we can design effective policies, there is little evidence that we are doing so.

    Finally, there is no sense that we have gone too far and if we are to get to the place which gives human well-being within planetary boundaries we need to get temperatures down to Holocene levels – at least.

  69. The Guardian published an article on Aug 6 by climate justice reporter Nina Lakhani, headlined Racism at heart of US failure to tackle deadly heatwaves, expert warns, reporting on an interview with Jeff Goodell, an award winning climate journalist, about his latest book titled The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet. The article included quotes from Jeff Goodell:

    “To be blunt about it, the people most impacted by heat are not the kind of voting demographic that gets any politician nervous. They’re unsheltered people, poor people, agricultural and construction workers. People like Sebastian Perez are just seen as expendable. They’re not seen as humans who need to be protected. Racism is absolutely central to the government’s failure to protect vulnerable people.”

    Heat, much like the Covid pandemic, exposes and exacerbates existing structural and racial inequalities in housing, wages, healthcare, mobility and access to solutions. One of Goodell’s biggest fears is that the world will adapt to heat deaths much like it did with Covid. “Covid showed us how much death we’re willing to tolerate. I am concerned that we’ll simply adapt to the chaos and tragedy and accept 60,000 people dying every summer, and we’ll forget that we created this climate and that we have control over it.”

    See also the YouTube video published 17 Jul 2023 titled “The Heat Will Kill You First”: Rolling Stone’s Jeff Goodell on Life and Death on a Scorched Planet, duration 0:20:16.

  70. Leon Simons tweeted today (Aug 10):

    The whole North Atlantic Ocean just reached a record average Sea Surface Temperature of 25.1°C for the first time in observational history.

    To be sure, El Niño normally only happens in the Pacific Ocean, on the other side of the Americas

    And there’s still probably a few more weeks of ocean warming to go.

    Prof Eliot Jacobson tweeted yesterday (Aug 9):

    Breaking news!!!

    The streak of consecutive days with global 2-meter temperatures setting a modern-day high has come to an end after 36 days.

    Each day from July 3 to Aug. 7, global 2-meter temperatures exceeded the previous record of 16.924°C set July 24, 2022.

    Northern Hemisphere 2 m mean air temperature appears to have passed peak, but is still higher than previous instrumental years.

    Tropics 2 m mean air temperature is still at seasonal record highs.

  71. From Bill McGuire:

    UK when the ice melts[/caption]

    Geoff, I hadn’t got to Geoff Goodell’s stuff. He could be right about our accommodation to disaster:

    Heat, much like the Covid pandemic, exposes and exacerbates existing structural and racial inequalities in housing, wages, healthcare, mobility and access to solutions. One of Goodell’s biggest fears is that the world will adapt to heat deaths much like it did with Covid. “Covid showed us how much death we’re willing to tolerate. I am concerned that we’ll simply adapt to the chaos and tragedy and accept 60,000 people dying every summer, and we’ll forget that we created this climate and that we have control over it.”

    In an interview with Al Gore about 15 years ago, Goodell recalls agreeing with the former vice-president turned environmentalist’s view that everybody eventually has an “oh shit” moment when something happens which wakes them up to the climate crisis. Not any more.

    “There’s not gonna be a kind of larger cultural moment, or a single thing that changes the political dynamic in a big way. We’ll see incremental changes, two steps forward, one step back. This is trench warfare, everywhere, all the time.”

    I would have thought the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2022 would have produced panic, but it seems not. However, if the AMOC stops, or the Thwaites Glacier suddenly crumbles we may wake up in fright.

  72. Leon Simons tweet scrolling down reproduces reproduces this image:

    The image is not sourced, but is meant to show sulfate aerosol emissions including those from shipping prior to 2020, when they reduced. There is also a link to an article Aerosols must be included in climate risk assessments:

    Estimates of impending risk ignore a big player in regional change and climate extremes.

    I think the suggestion is that changes in emissions from shipping may be a large part of the story in heating of the North Atlantic.

  73. Leon Simons tweeted on Aug 13 (including a graph of SST for Florida Keys):

    Top graph is SST, shown on the left axis.

    Bottom shows Degree Heating Week (DHW), 12-week running heat stress index:
    “When heat stress reaches 8°C-weeks or higher, you would likely see severe, widespread bleaching and significant mortality.”
    DHW is >16°C-weeks!

    What will be the fate of the GBR this summer, and the next summer?

  74. Geoff, I’ve recently seen three articles on the GBR.

    First, Imogen Zethoven, who I’m told is a GBR specialist, has a lot of detail on what can be done to preserve the GBR of the Holocene, given what is coming down the track – The terrible reality: Great Barrier Reef on threshold of rapid deterioration.

    However, she ignores research that finds the GBR will be stuffed with 1.5°C from Peter Kalmus, Scott Heron and Adele Dixon, while recognising that it is in big trouble at present temperatures.

    Also nothing about what happens when miners empty deluge water from open cut mines in the Bowen Basin.

    I found this one genuinely impressive – Management approaches to conserve Australia’s marine ecosystem under climate change.

    They recognise that while seeking to preserve what flourished in the Holocene we need to plan positively for the best outcomes in the Anthopocene. They recognise the value of using introduced species.

    My criticisms would be that they could be more specific about the size of the problem – 3000 reefs in an area the size of Italy, and the need to make hard choices where to concentrate effort.

    Also, no-one seems to recognize how sea level rise will make us lose our coastlines within the century and what might be the effects of a couple of metres of SLR, which is pretty much inevitable in what should be our forward planning horizon.

    Third, a piece in the possible negatives of introduced species – New research highlights risks of selective adaptation in extreme coral habitats.

  75. If anyone was looking in the last few minutes, I’ve untangled two links which appeared in the wrong places, and added links for Kalmus, Heron and Dixon.

  76. Berkley Earth published on Aug 14 their July 2023 Temperature Update, by Robert Rohde. It included:

    The global mean temperature in July 2023 was 1.54 ± 0.09 °C (2.77 ± 0.16 °F) above the 1850 to 1900 average, which is frequently used as a benchmark for the preindustrial period.

    This is the 11th time in the Berkeley Earth analysis that an individual month has exceed 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) over the preindustrial benchmark. All other such occurrences have happened during December to April, i.e. during the traditionally more variable months of Northern Hemisphere winter and spring. This is the first time that a 1.5 °C anomaly has occurred during Northern Hemisphere summer. Such a temperature excess coming during the already hot summer months is more likely to lead to extreme temperatures and all-time records than if it had occurred at other times of the year.

    2023 is virtually certain to become the warmest year on record (99% chance).

  77. To add to scientists sharing the news, I found a tweet by Andrew Dessler, who links to an article by Veronika Meduna – Meltwater from Antarctic Glaciers Is Slowing Deep-Ocean Currents.

    That’s around the Weddell Sea.

    Quite startling is this graph of the Antarctic sea ice which dropped like a stone this year:

    Dessler has a chat with Matthew England embedded in The oceans are changing because of climate change: Matt England tells me how.

    England says the overturning current around Antarctica is slowing by around 40% in the next few decades. Inter alia this means that nutrients are not brought back to the surface. He kind of describes the SH and NH overturning currents like two great fly-wheels that kept the whole Earth System steady during the Holocene. Towards the end he refers to James Hansen’s latest, where warming at 0.18°C per decade is speeding up to 0.27°C to 0.36°C per decade.

    Scrolling down Dessler’s tweet there is a link to a Paul Beckwith video – The Mother of All Tipping Points: AMOC Shutdown and Chaotic Connections to Earth Systems and Us

    1) Global warming hole south of Greenland and warming water off East coast of North America, isotopic analyses of sediments, physical monitoring of ocean column, and other proxies all show that the AMOC has slowed significantly, and ocean water currents comprising AMOC are the slowest in the last 1000 years.

    2) Nonlinear physics analyses shows that probability of AMOC shutdown between 2025 and 2095 is 95%, with highest likelihood by around 2050.

    3) AMOC shutdown would basically cool northern hemisphere and warm southern hemisphere.

    4) High Arctic north of Canadian Archipelago, Greenland, and Scandinavian countries would cool as much as 8C, Western Europe would cool 2 to 3 C, and eastern Canada by 1 to 2C. Southern hemisphere by Latin America and western African coast would warm by 2 to 3 C.

    5) With ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone) shifting from just north of equator to just south of equator, precipitation would increase up to 100% around 15 degrees S latitude and decrease this amount at 15 degrees N latitude. 6) Dynamic sea level change would be large. Between Antarctica and southern tips of South America and Australia, sea level would drop a foot, Gulf of Mexico to Mediterranean would increase a foot, high Arctic would rise as much as 3 to 9 feet.

    I suspect that does not take into account the additional chaos caused by what’s happening in Antarctica, because England says the main action will be around the Thwaites Glacier area, which is simply the worst.

    Having rellies in Toronto I was interested in Beckwith talking about tornadoes whistling past and clipping Ottawa.

  78. We have just got back from Cains. Went there for a family reunion expecting sunny days to suit American family. Cool and wettish. would have got better weather if we had stayed in Ballina.
    Where is global warming when you want it???

  79. Welcome back, John. I heard on late night talkback last night that it had finally stopped raining around Cairns, just after you’d been there!

    I understand you have a sub to the New Scientist. In the August 1 edition there is an article Something strange is happening in the Pacific and we must find out why.

    Apparently a tongue of cooler water is developing in the Eastern Pacific, which would mean we spend more time in La Niña rather than El Niño. That would make it cloudy and wet this side of the Pacific.

    I’m a bit sceptical about all that, because they say:

    The eastern Pacific (near the Americas) has always been cooler on average than the western part of the ocean (near Asia) by 5°C or 6°C, but between 1980 and 2019, this temperature difference widened by about 0.5°C.

    That could mean simply that there is less warming on the eastern side. However, the map graphic shows a far wider differential.

    In any case on this side the SE trade winds seem to have been enhanced pretty much permanently, which moves moisture just to the east of where I sit, but hits the coast in FNQ.

  80. Meanwhile Hansen has done an update Uh-Oh. Now What? Are We Acquiring the Data to Understand the Situation?

    Global temperature in June and July (Fig. 1) shot far above the prior records for those months for the 140 years of good instrumental data. Early indications are that warming exceeds expectation based on only the long-term trend due to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) plus the emerging El Nino. Three additional mechanisms will have a near-term effect, with a result that the 12-month mean global temperature likely will pierce the 1.5°C warming level before this time next year. Uncertainties in present analyses draw attention to the inadequacy of and the precarious state of crucial global observations.

    Essentially he is saying, I think, that we are not measuring as much as we should to know what is going on. We need more on aerosols, on clouds, and much more on the oceans.

    So he is turning to paleoscience for the bigger picture.

    In that he is in furious agreement with what Will Steffen said. That is, we are hitting the Earth System with a shock like no other, apart from the asteroid strike 65 million years ago, but in the opposite direction.

    However, the disposition of the continents was very different back then. In the broad the effect is similar, but how it may depend on which tipping points tip first, and how the consequent cascading effect plays out this time.

  81. Professor Jason Box published today his latest YouTube video titled climate wildcard – Greenland melt lakes, duration 0:12:54. Well worth a look.

  82. Good one, Geoff, and genuinely scary.

    Here’s one on the bright side – Judge sides with youth in Montana climate change trial, finds two laws unconstitutional:

    The State of Montana’s failure to consider greenhouse gas emissions from energy and mining projects violates the state constitution because it does not protect Montanans’ right to a clean and healthful environment and the state’s natural resources from unreasonable depletion, a judge ruled Monday in a victory for 16 youth plaintiffs who sued the state.


    Seeley permanently enjoined the 2023 version of the MEPA limitation, passed via House Bill 971 more than halfway through the session, as well as a portion of Senate Bill 557, saying both were unconstitutional and the latter “removes the only preventative, equitable relief available to the public and MEPA litigants.”

    “Plaintiffs have a fundamental right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate as part of the environmental life support system,” Seeley wrote in her decision.

    Bruce Shapiro talking to Phillip Adams, likened the judgement as a clear home run, but not the end of the game, as the judgement would almost certainly be appealed.

    I was interested that 350ppm made an appearance in the evidence.

  83. Thanks Brian. There is so much on offer that I rarely look at tiny house links these days.
    What needs to happen is for them to be used but not just the glorified caravan version.

  84. Published in yesterday’s (Aug 23) Newcastle Herald was an op-ed by David Spratt headlined David Spratt | Anthony Albanese government refusing to release declassified climate security report. It included (bold text my emphasis):

    In 2021, the respected UK think tank Chatham House analysed the risks of climate disruption and came to a startling conclusion: global demand for food would increase 50 per cent by 2050, while crop yields would fall 20 to 30 per cent due to drought and desertification, extreme heat and chronic water shortages.

    The average proportion of global cropland affected by severe drought would likely rise to 32 per cent a year by 2050, and in Australia closer to 40 per cent a year.

    The report concluded that cascading climate impacts will “drive political instability and greater national insecurity, and fuel regional and international conflict”.

    US intelligence agency reports identify south and central Asia, the Pacific small island states and Indonesia as “highly vulnerable countries” of concern for climate disruption. South Asia, China and Indonesia are identified by the World Resources Institute as countries where water stress will be “extremely high” by 2040.

  85. Leon Simons has been busy and that’s a stunner from David Spratt, who apparently posted also in the Canberra Times, and now at Climate Code Red. He finishes with:

    Labor’s resistance to revealing the intelligence office findings has two likely causes. First, that the report’s frank intelligence assessment has deeply shocked cabinet members, exposing the gross inadequacy of the government’s current climate stance; and secondly, that it undermines their preferred security narrative focusing on China.

    Concealing the intelligence analysis is the opposite of good security policy governance. It means we face a threat that we cannot even talk about.

  86. David Spratt from the Climate Code Red site has linked to a “brutal but necessary video” from Mike Hudema.

    Julian Cribb just tweeted a link to Michael Klare’s piece We Are Witnessing the First Stages of Civilization’s Collapse.

    It’s actually a reprint of Klare’s original Collapse 2.0. I found that perchance on the weekend at resilience.com then decided to subscribe only to receive their starter offering for me – We need an ecological civilization before it’s too late published in 2018.

    We are on the threshold of it becoming too late. The ALP at its national conference last week decided that its policy platform accepts the need for the economy to work within ecological limits, with consideration of climate and biodiversity impacts.

    How this is enacted and institutionalised will be critical. There are good people working on making that happen.

    Meanwhile Greens push for 2035 net zero target in NSW as Labor sweats over Eraring closure and David Osmond reckons A near 100pct renewable grid for Australia is feasible and affordable, with just a few hours of storage.

  87. ICYMI, David Spratt & Ian Dunlop’s op-ed at the Pearls and Irritations blog was posted on 29 Aug 2023 headlined Fatal mistake: Intergenerational report misleads on climate risks. It included:

    The report suggests, rather disingenuously, that Australia is on board with global actions to hold warming to well below 2°C, which current policy patently demonstrates is not so. Government enthusiasm for domestic and export fossil fuel expansion hardly meets the need for “deep, rapid and immediate greenhouse gas reductions”.

    The IGR reasserts the need to achieve the 1.5–2°C goal but seems unaware that this horse has already bolted. The world has just recorded its first 1.5°C month (July), may get close to an annual average 1.5°C in 2023-24, with the longer term warming trend reaching 1.5°C by the end of this decade.

    Emissions reductions alone will not stop Earth charging past 2°C; that task would have required a halving of emissions between 2020 and 2030, but the latest projections suggest that emissions may simply plateau this decade. If the rate of warming accelerates, as seems likely, the trend will pass 2°C well before 2050, and by 2063 — the end point of the IGR’s 40-year time frame — it may be heading towards 3°C.

    A prudent, precautionary, approach to climate risk management would focus on this scenario, because it is now the most likely, and the most damaging. The IGR does acknowledge that “as temperature increases approach 2°C, the risk of crossing thresholds which cause nonlinear tipping points in the Earth system, with potentially abrupt and not yet well understood impacts, also increases”, but that insight is left dangling. What would this mean for the economy? Not a word. Another silo.

    So what will Australia likely face by 2063? It will include heat extremes in the northern quarter of Australia beyond the niche of historically experienced temperatures, fatal for people and agricultural stock without mechanical cooling. A 2021 UK risk assessment concluded that by mid-century global food demand would be up 50 percent, but crop yields down 20 to 30 percent, an equation that would result in global famine and a food cost-of-living crisis making our current problems look like a picnic.

  88. Thankyou Geoff, I did see it, now reproduced at Climate Code Red as Thinking in boxes, Australian Government’s Intergenerational Report misleads and fails to connect the climate dots.

    Problem is while I’m not we are achieving nothing in emissions reduction, in terms of net emissions it’s close to nothing. See Greg Jericho’s Australia’s greenhouse emissions are a national disgrace that are destroying the planet and costing households.

    See the third and fourth graphs, where he looks at emissions with and without LULUCF.

  89. ICYMI/FYI:
    Dr Andrew Forrest AO explained the practical steps needed to accelerate collaboration, stop global warming and build a green energy economy in the Asia-Pacific, at the Boao Forum for Asia Perth 2023, on Wednesday, 30 Aug 2023.

    Forrest declared in a presentation slide (from time interval 0:03:35):

    Humanity is at risk.


    Forrest concluded with (from time interval 0:23:11):

    Because it’s business – I need you to know – it’s business which is causing global warming. It’s business which will kill your children. It’s business which is responsible for lethal humidity. But it’s policies which guide business. You, must hold us, to account. Don’t let us, with our clever advertising, blame you the consumer, or you the public or individual – that’s rubbish. Business, guided by government, will either destroy, or save this planet.

    Hold us to account – the power of you.

    Thank you. Make us change. That’s all I’m asking you to do – make us change. Thank you very much.

    See the presentation slides here.

    See Dr Forrest’s presentation in the YouTube video titled Dr Andrew Forrest AO speaks at the Boao Forum Asia, duration 0:24:10.

  90. Thanks, Geoff. I’d heard a news headline, but hadn’t seen the video. Chances are I would have missed it.

    Twiggy Forrest of course has a PhD, which Google describes as:

    a PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Western Australia, and serves as an IUCN Patron of Nature, a World Economic Forum Friend of Ocean Action, and a member of the United Nations Environment Program’s Scientific Advisory Committee on the Assessment on Marine Litter and Microplastics.

    He clearly understands the ‘human niche’ science.

    He hasn’t put his PhD on the shelf and forgotten about it. He seems to take cleaning up the company operations seriously, aiming for real zero in Scope 1 and 2 in his mining operations by 2030. He’s also converting to ammonia for his ships.

    I’m interested in his proposal to make ecocide and killing the planet a real crime. There are now at least four moves in that direction. There is one through the Pacific Islands Forum, aiming at this year’s COP. Julian Cribb is lobbying for an Earth System Treaty. There is a more legalistic and punitive one emerging from Europe. I’ve lost the details, would have to look up.

    A dimension not highlighted by Twiggy is what happens with overshoot and beyond zero. Pascal Lamy has been working on an Overshoot Commission, due to report at the end of next week.

    Have to go now, but will try to give details. I’ve been looking at the dimensions of what needs to be done in terms of drawdown, given that 1.5C is no place to try to park the Earth System. Seem somewhere between at least 100 to 1000Gt, which is a helluva lot as you would always take the top number as minimum to take account of risk.

  91. David Spratt this time in the Bulletin for Atomic ScientistsBetting against worst-case climate scenarios is risky business:

    Policy makers and global leaders seem not to recognize that when risks are existential, a bad outcome means the future is unrecognizably different from before. By downplaying the high-risk possibilities, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others are foolishly conducting a dangerously unprecedented experiment: how much heat—how much change—can human systems tolerate before society collapses?

  92. Earth just had its hottest three months on record, according to the European Union-funded Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) implemented by ECMWF.

    Per the C3S press release dated 5 Sep 2023 titled Summer 2023: the hottest on record, included August 2023 – Surface air temperature highlights:

    August 2023 was the warmest August on record globally, and warmer than all other months except July 2023.

    The global-mean surface air temperature of 16.82°C for August 2023 was 0.71°C warmer than the 1991-2020 average for August, and 0.31°C warmer than the previous warmest August in 2016.

    The global temperature anomaly for the first 8 months of 2023 (January–August) ranks second-warmest on record, only 0.01°C below 2016, currently the warmest year on record.

    The month is estimated to have been around 1.5°C warmer than the preindustrial average for 1850-1900.

    Heatwaves were experienced in multiple regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including southern Europe, the southern United States, and Japan.

    Well-above average temperatures occurred over Australia, several South American countries and around much of Antarctica.

    Marine air temperatures were well above average in several other regions.

  93. Dr Robert Rodhe tweeted on Sep 8 (including a graph of Periods when the Arctic Ocean has been Passable):

    This year, the seasonal open water passage through the Arctic Ocean opened in mid-August, earlier than in 2021 or 2022, but still much later than the record set in 2020.

    As a reminder, such open water passages in the Arctic Ocean were rarely observed prior to 2005.

    North Atlantic sea surface temperatures are spiking again, up 0.06 °C on 7 Sep 2023, reaching a new high for 2023 of 25.37 °C.

    The National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported on Sep 5:

    A strong weather pattern from August 21 to 24 caused widespread melting across Greenland. This unusually late summer melt event was caused by a high and low air pressure configuration known as an omega pattern because of its jet stream shape. The 2023 cumulative melt area is currently the second largest in the 45-year satellite record, trailing the extreme melt year of 2012.

    I wonder when (not if) we see a major ice sheet collapse?

  94. Good question, Geoff.

    Basically I think Hansen is right in saying the climate is entering a new frontier. Climate scientists are very anxious about what is happening. I’ve just seen a post on Twitter, following a re-post by Stefan Rahmstorf, posted by Peter Jelenek, translated as:

    Almost at the same time, flash floods in Greece, Morocco and Hong Kong, new high temperatures and record rainfall in many regions of the world.

    Look at what happens at 1.2 degrees and then think about what’s going on here at 3 degrees…

    I think that’s Morocco. If you scroll down he has more.

  95. Of interest to all, I would think, documentary filmmaker Johan Gabrielson has worked with Tim Flannery in a search for the one ingredient currently missing – good climate leadership.

    On Sunday 17th September the resulting film “Climate Changers”, after its world premiere at the 2023 Sydney Film Festival, will screen at more than 25 cinemas around the country, followed by a live-streamed Q&A including Prof. Tim Flannery, co-founder of Rewiring Australia Dr Saul Griffith, and international human rights lawyer and activist Kavita Naidu, to be moderated by actor and climate advocate Yael Stone.

    The film explores how individuals, cultures and countries have successfully implemented many forms of leadership with the hope that “Climate Changers” will offer inspiration and impetus to a greener tomorrow.

    See the trailer and book tickets here.

    Tim Flannery, back in 2020 when he penned the introduction of his book The Climate Cure: Solving the climate emergency in the era of COVID-19 said:

      We have almost no time to avoid the ultimate failure, and much to change. This declaration is a last call for rational action to protect ourselves and our children from climate catastrophe. Fail now, and we fail forever.

    He proposed emissions reductions of 8 per cent per annum, and as much drawdown as we could manage, heading for net zero by 2030.

  96. Ian Duncan has let fly in Breaking the suicidal impasse. He says:

    – 1.5°C global average temperature increase relative to pre-industrial conditions, the lower limit of the Paris Climate Agreement, will occur prior to 2030, irrespective of any action taken in the interim.

    – The upper limit, 2°C, is now likely prior to 2050, even with actions better than the current Paris commitments.

    – The war in Ukraine and the US/China standoff over Taiwan, unless rapidly resolved, will bring forward these outcomes, leading to global temperature increase above 3°C well before 2100.


    – Experts, for years, have warned of the dangers of increasing carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon concentrations. The implications have been masked by inertia in the climate system and by aerosol cooling from fossil fuel use. As oceans have warmed and aerosols reduced, these masks are being removed. As a consequence we face abrupt, non-linear, climate change which must be addressed as an emergency now.

    – The absolute priority must be to reduce carbon emissions extremely rapidly by cutting fossil fuel use. The big emitters, countries or companies, must take the brunt of the cuts. Other initiatives, from technology, communities, agricultural ocean and reforestation sequestration offsets, etc are very important, but will not achieve the required reductions in the limited time available.

    – The immediate challenge is to prevent matters becoming far worse, particularly by expanding the use of fossil fuels, whether domestic or export. Coal and gas expansion, currently being approved in Australia and elsewhere, is utterly irresponsible, and unnecessary given more attractive alternatives are available. Short term energy security insurance should be provided by a gas reservation policy.

    – In addition to rapid emission reduction, atmospheric carbon concentrations must be drawn down from the present level of 420 ppm CO2, toward a more stable level of below 350 ppm CO2. The technology to achieve that drawdown is in its infancy, further compounding the risks.

    – Geoengineering will be essential to buy time, by cooling areas of the planet, before other initiatives take effect.

    That’s a sample. It’s strong stuff!

  97. Brian: You and Geoff seem to be running a competition to see who can accumulate the most pessimistic projections. Any serious solutions on offer??

  98. John D; – Any serious solutions on offer??

    What’s required to avoid worst-case catastrophic conditions for humanity in the coming decades?

    1. Reducing emissions to zero at emergency speed;
    2. Removing carbon by drawdown to return atmospheric conditions to the Holocene zone; and
    3. The urgent research to identify safe interventions that protect and repair vital systems and, in the shorter term, aim to prevent warming reaching a level that triggers a cascade of calamitous tipping points that are irreversible on human timescales.


    Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, in the Foreword to What Lies Beneath: The Understatement Of Existential Climate Risk, published Aug 2018, concluded with (on page 3):

    But climate change is now reaching the end-game, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.

    Therefore, it is all the more important to listen to non-mainstream voices who do understand the issues and are less hesitant to cry wolf.

    Unfortunately for us, the wolf may already be in the house.

    Do your federal and state members of parliament encourage and support more fossil fuel projects? If so, have you asked them directly why? Have you indicated to them that more fossil fuel projects is effectively civilisation suicide?

  99. John, I think that this year may well be the year homo sapiens lost the war to the enemy, being the fossil fuel industry, so designated by Peter Carter in his Climate Emergency Update Sept. 2023.

    It’s well worth a listen, actually. Made me realise that floods are more photogenic, but drought is hugely on the increase, and is killing the planet.

    Currently I’m reading Earth for All – A Survival Guide for Humanity, the book. I see just now that they also have a website.

    If I was properly retired and could find the space in my somewhat frustratingly crowded life, I’d post about it, plus all the amazing stuff I’ve been reading and seeing about energy storage, the latest a battery being developed that will drive your EV 3.7 million miles, or so it was said!

  100. Active wind turbine control aims to cut bird deaths by 80%
    apart from describing a system that helps reduce turbine deaths a few interesting stats:

    It’s hard to ascertain how many birds fly into the spinning blades of wind turbines and die as a result – and indeed, the topic is so politically charged that I’d recommend a radiation suit before even googling it. The American Bird Conservancy has waded through some of the available evidence and come to the conclusion that at least one million bird deaths a year in the US alone is likely to be an underestimate.

    Now, that’s substantially less than the estimated 25.5 million birds a year that kill themselves by flying into overhead power lines, or the estimated 980 million per year that die crashing into buildings, or the 1.4 to 3.7 billion per year killed by domestic cats. But it’s still an unacceptable number, and a problem that needs to be addressed – because a fully green energy network will need more and more turbines over the coming decades.

  101. Also from the Climate Emergency Forum was a YouTube video titled Risk in the Climate Casino, published 10 Sep 2023 (recorded on Sep 6), duration 0:29:46.

    Dr. Peter Carter, Paul Beckwith and Regina Valdez discuss the topic of risk assessment as it pertains to climate change, how it is a crucial aspect of understanding its effects on populations, and the consequent need for immediate action to mitigate the impacts.

  102. Just now, on batteries:

    Fully Charged in Just 6 Minutes – Groundbreaking Technique Could Revolutionize EV Charging

    This is the first I’ve seen, I think, from Korea:

    Professor Won Bae Kim, from the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Graduate Institute of Ferrous & Energy Materials Technology at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH, President Moo Hwan Kim), led a research team to develop a new anode material.

    His team, which included Ph.D. candidates Song Kyu Kang and Minho Kim from the Department of Chemical Engineering, synthesized manganese ferrites (Mn3-xFexO4) nanosheets using a novel self-hybridization method involving a straightforward galvanic replacement-derived process. This groundbreaking technique boosts storage capacity approximately 1.5 times above the theoretical limit and enables an electric vehicle to be charged in as little as six minutes. The research was recognized for its excellence and was published as a front-cover paper in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

  103. Dr Robert Rohde, Lead Scientist at Berkeley Earth, tweeted late yesterday (Sep 13):

    Between the strengthening El Niño and the recent record warmth, the global average in 2023 is on pace to become the warmest year ever directly measured.

    There is now even a significant chance (~55%) that temperatures in 2023 exceed the 1.5 °C threshold.

    Berkeley Earth’s August 2023 Temperature Update was published yesterday (Sep 13).

  104. James Hansen has issued his monthly email – Global Warming is Accelerating. Why? Will We Fly Blind.

    He repeats his common complaint that we are not monitoring critical information about aerosols and criticises again the current role of NASA GISS.

    I think the story is that when he was running the show under the Bush administration his public advocacy got under their skin to the point where they put a line through the main part of his mission “To Understand and Protect the Home Planet”.

    His former deputy and successor, Gavin Schmidt, is a climate modeller, has concentrated on that and is extremely cautious about making public statements that could harm his organisation.

  105. CNN published on 6 Sep 2023 an article by Angela Fritz headlined ‘Doomsday glacier,’ which could raise sea level by several feet, is holding on ‘by its fingernails,’ scientists say, including:

    The Thwaites Glacier, capable of raising sea level by several feet, is eroding along its underwater base as the planet warms. In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists mapped the glacier’s historical retreat, hoping to learn from its past what the glacier will likely do in the future.

    They found that at some point in the past two centuries, the base of the glacier dislodged from the seabed and retreated at a rate of 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers) per year. That’s twice the rate that scientists have observed in the past decade or so.

    That swift disintegration possibly occurred “as recently as the mid-20th century,” Alastair Graham, the study’s lead author and a marine geophysicist at the University of South Florida, said in a news release.

    It suggests the Thwaites has the capability to undergo a rapid retreat in the near future, once it recedes past a seabed ridge that is helping to keep it in check.

    “Thwaites is really holding on today by its fingernails, and we should expect to see big changes over small timescales in the future – even from one year to the next – once the glacier retreats beyond a shallow ridge in its bed,” Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist and one of the study’s co-authors from the British Antarctic Survey, said in the release.

  106. John, I’ve had a go at cleaning up the link.

    Seems one advantage of the new design is that wind turbines can be put further out, and to trade off the best wind and the least nuisance, being out of sight, shipping lanes etc.

  107. Geoff M, I wonder whether we’ll need something like the Thwaites glacier crashing of AMOC stopping before the world wakes up.

    Saul Griffith said in Q&A after the film Climate Changers on Sunday that no single country was treating climate as a wartime emergency. Specifically not the USA, which, the ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ notwithstanding, was still coming up short.

    The film showed the beach erosion at Stockton near Newcastle. The Council has put up a tourist feature where you can take a photo of the beach and then compare it with a photo taken only two years earlier.

  108. Meanwhile, there is a fascinating long interview Johan Rockström interview | Planetary boundaries, ‘negative emissions’, mitigation models & fairness with Kevin Anderson as interviewer doing most of the talking.

    Listening to what they say, I’d wager that most climate scientists would learn something.

    The major point, mentioned at the outset, and I wish they had returned to it at the end, is that if we want a stable, safe climate in the Anthropocene, we need Holocene-like conditions. That is GHGs need to be scaled down to appropriate levels to give us pre-industrial temperature plus no more than 0.5°C .

    This is now horrendously difficult.

    Rockström, the climate scientist, says that we need negative emissions technologies. Without them we’ll need reductions in the order of 10 to 15% pa, which is impossible.

    Anderson, the engineer, says that such technologies can’t be scaled up in the time available.

    Then we need negative emissions just for the IPCC’s overshoot. In fact we need them beyond that to reach a safe climate which is dangerous now.

    Both of them should be looking to people with expertise in social and political change, rather than thinking they have to solve the ‘equity problem’ themselves, although their ideas are indeed interesting.

  109. Here’s one from Kate Raworth in full flight on Doughnut Economics, which of course sits within the Planetary Boundaries concept.

    She seems to have turned it into a business planning service product.

    Nearly a century ago Ruth Benedict, the famous anthropologist, distinguished between societies with economic systems like siphons (traditional societies) vs funnels (modern capitalism).

    Meanwhile the UN Secretary General is not impressed with Australia’s efforts in climate change. We too are left off his list of 41 countries found to be more or less serious about it:

    ‘First movers’ only: US, China, UK left off UN climate guestlist

  110. Part of the problem, IMO, is that we are relying on the market, rather than making rational decisions as to which storage form is appropriate and how much should be installed.

  111. Waterless high-density hydro makes more energy from less elevation

    UK company RheEnergise is quietly rolling out an interesting new approach to pumped hydro energy storage, aiming for a capacity of at least 100 MW by 2030. It

    Basically it is talking about using a denser liquid to reduce height and/or tank size required to store a given amount of energy.

    But RheEnergise has added a simple tweak: it doesn’t use water. Well, not by itself. It uses a proprietary “high-tech fluid” it calls R-19, which it says is both environmentally neutral and 2.5 times as dense as water.

    The result: you can generate the same power from just 40% of the elevation change, using tanks just 40% of the size. That “dramatically” cuts down on materials and installation costs – and thus energy storage costs – and since the tanks are so much smaller, they’re often able to be buried underground.

    No details re liquid used. Might also work with slurries like those used in the minerals industry,

  112. Interesting, John. It all helps.

    There seems to be a ‘game changing’ announcement about batteries every couple of days. The latest I’ve seen is NASA has cracked the code for replacing lithium batteries: ‘triple the energy’ .

    It’s sulphur-silenium solid state.

    They are claiming double the density of the best lithium, discharges 10 times faster. Shouldn’t catch fire or explode, could have 2000km range, and suitable for serious aviation.

    I don’t think there was anything about price, but could be commercially available this decade.

  113. Leon Simons tweeted yesterday (Sep 25):

    The next 12-month average temperature anomaly might reach a ΔT of +1.8°C.

    Maybe even higher, depending on the dataset, El Niño’s strength, and other variabilities.

    Will people just shrug this off?

    And the associated disasters around the world?

    It seems the Antarctic sea ice melt season has already begun, with a million km² of sea ice below the previous record low!

    The energy transition can’t come fast enough!

  114. Stefan Rahmstorf tweets that he can’t stop looking at these graphs:

    Visualizing a summer of extremes in 7 charts

    I heard yesterday that 3 of 4 penguin colonies produced no surviving chicks as the lack of ice did not allow them to develop waterproof feathers in time.

    At that Lean Simons site, I found this:

    This might be the year everything changes, as those who don’t count joules and radiative fluxes are too starting to feel the heat from reducing air-pollution.

    Many great scientists have tried to inform on this in the past decades (e.g. James Hansen, James Lovelock, Paul Crutzen and Veerabhadran Ramanathan).

    Policy makers and media have paid very little attention so far.

    This was the reason for me to start using my largely dormant Twitter account 3.5 years ago. To create awareness about rapid warming from rapidly reducing air pollution.

    There’s mainly been a small crowd of ‘climate doomers’ and slightly anoyed climate scientists to interact with.

    In the past months this changed, as the additional accumulating heat is starting to surface.

    My amount of followers has tripled, the graphs we make receive millions of views and media around the world are paying attention.

    This is bigger than any one of us. We need specialized scientists to assess what this means for changes to monsoon systems, others that look at how ocean and atmospheric currents (might) change and how that could impact melting ice and sea level rise.

    We need politicians, legal experts and social scientists to learn what is at stake and debate the effects of unintentional and intentional emissions on climate, not just health and the environment.

    There are no easy choices in this.

    How much warming will the world except? And how fast can the rate of warming be until we are unable to adapt?

    When will we learn how high our dikes really need to be?

    How extreme will droughts get?

    How many people will lose their homes and need to move to greener pastures? Be it a locally overflowing refugee camp or to another country?

    Will we have the stability of global governance to face these accumulating challenges?

    Uncertainties are very large, which might be the main problem.
    We don’t know how bad it will get, and anyone who tells you one way or another is lying.

    The precautionary principle tells us we have the duty to act.
    For ourselves, for our children and for strangers we will never meet.

    We are the most adaptable species known to ever have existed.

    I believe that with a more thorough understanding of our planet, humanity could become a beneficial force to life on Earth.

    If we soon acquire collective will to do so.

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